Sometime last year, I got it in my head to run a 5-kilometer race. The Race for Life was a benefit run organized by the Real Life Foundation, and it was set to happen in November. So, for more than a month before it, I got my running gear set aside and ready. That included a new pair of running shoes.
Unfortunately, work got in the way of my practice schedules, and I kept pushing back the days I would practice running at least 5 kilometers on a treadmill or on a track. And then, Race Day rolled around and I also had a work commitment, so I never started the race.
Then I pulled my shoes out out one fateful night in December when some of my friends from church invited me to join them in their evening run at the UP Oval. When I got there, it was two guys and three girls plus me. Joel (Guy #1) started the run at a really, really slow pace. I got so bored that I picked up my pace, sprinted away, and did four rounds of the Oval by myself.
Apparently this grew into an urban legend among the guy joggers among my friends. They set up a running club (dubbed the “Samahan ng Midnight Runners” or SMR) and made it a goal that by this month, they can keep pace with or overtake me.
At least these guys got themselves into good shape; one of them is currently training for a triathlon. The rest have been training to beat me, which is funny. I absolutely hate competing with others because I often end up losing. Actually, I hate losing even more than competing. So it’s great when I can set a little goal, like four times around the Oval, and accomplish that. It’s something else entirely when I have to accomplish that against other people.
When I talk about running, I run against myself to test my own physical fitness. I only want to see whether my five days of dance fitness training can cross over into being fit for a race. When I talk about running, it’s to break the monotony of my workouts: when I run I don’t have to teach anyone which foot to use first, I don’t have to yell across the room to motivate anyone. It’s exercise purely for my own health, and I rarely get the chance to do that anymore.
When I talk about running, I talk about escaping from my work.