I am not a running virgin anymore. I lost my "running virginity" when i joined the Ilocos leg of the 35th Milo Marathon last July wherein i 'competed' in the 5k run. It was an impulsive move. It was more geared on proving to myself that despite lack of preparation, i will still be able to pass the finish line. Passed it i did, but my time suffered. I ticked in at a disappointing 1 hour 35 minutes. Almost 2 kms into the race i almost hit the Wall. I told myself "you're so fat, boy.. you won't make it!" I ran for a few meters and find myself walking again. I just couldn't do it properly then. Plus my feet were already aching, and my lungs started to fail me. But the sensation of finishing was amazing. It was a relief to finally stop. This was when i decided to shock myself after almost 5 months of non-acceptable exercise.
Takbo Para sa Pasko was my 2nd running experience. This time i was more prepared. It all started after a Singapore agency crushed the very essence of my existence. "Lose weight and we'll consider you, perhaps even hire you." they told me. My weight was even a huge wake-up call. That was when i vowed to immerse myself in rigorous lifestyle modification. I started with quitting sodas, and then i cut down my red meat consumption, i started running again setting up a personal goal every week, i did upper body strength and toning exercises, this is Lifestyle Modification Shangri-La. The running was partly for health reasons, and partly in preparation for an incoming Zombie Apocalypse. Rule # 1: Cardio. So when Takbo Para sa Pasko emerged, it arrived on a perfect time. I started training myself to finish 3k in less than 30 mins, achievable, until i realized who am i fooling? I need to step it up a notch in order for me to fully prepare myself. So i increased the distance, 5k in less than 30 mins. Then i figured, though possible, i am slowly killing myself with a rather ambitious goal, so i made the time frame 60 mins or less. I have had some ups and downs, best days and worse days, encounters with the Wall, stopped right there but mostly climbed it, then race day came, and it was all worth it.
My rule is always like this: "slow and steady, gradually increasing speed" so i won't prematurely deplete myself of oxygen. It always works but i still need more training in order for me to perform continuous running. That is always my problem, even if i have already built up my momentum, my stamina always fails me. Which i think is still okay at this point. I wish to correct it in the long run though. My body surprised me during the run. I was able to continuously run for almost a km and a half, a feat i couldn't do at the tracks (which is 5 rounds without stopping). I think my stride and form have improved since i did not experience the worse DOMS in my life since July's run. To think that i ran more this time than my first time. I was indeed prepared for this. I even made a "smiling friend" in the presence of the girl who overtook me just right after the turning point. She smiled when she passed me, i smiled back. It was not an "insulting" "ha-ha! eat my dirt fat boy!" smile. After i crossed the finish line, and we walked passed each other we smiled again. This sport was more than running and feeling good about yourself, it is also a healthy way to practice sportsmanship and make friends, even "smiling friends". The feeling of having a complete stranger recognize you and acknowledge you with a smile is rewarding. Or maybe she already knows who i am, i just didn't recognize her. Oh i hope she'll forgive me for i am not good with remembering names and faces!
I wish to run again soon. Hopefully i will be able to compete in a more advanced category. But i need to train first. I need to condition myself before deciding to level-up. More cardio for me, i guess. Iv'e been enjoying its benefits so far. Maybe on the next few Fun Runs i will be joining i would be competing at the 10k run. My goal: Half-marathon (21k) at Takbo Para sa Pasko 2012. :D
I need gear upgrade. New shoes, more shorts. :D