Subtitle: I Can’t Believe I Took Up Running
My parents tell me when I was younger that I was flat-footed — ergo, prone to falling over when walking — and didn’t know how to run. My “running” looked more like a fast-paced walk. (I believe this is why I’m a fast walker to this day.)
I used to run occasionally on the gym treadmills or at the UP Academic Oval, but I was prone to slowing down to a walk, or I’d quickly get bored. When I ran my first race back in July (Globe Run for Home), it surprised me how much I enjoyed running. No, let’s correct that. It surprised me how much I enjoyed racing. For me, a “fun run” is fun because I get to try beating my previous time running the chosen distance, and I pick up on the energy of my fellow competitors. It’s a different feeling running against others versus running by my lonesome.
Thus began the past six months’ sojourn into the world of foot races: luxe races like Run for Home and Kenny’s Open Urbanite Run with timing chips and Photovendo coverage; runs sponsored by media outfits GMA7, ABS-CBN, and Philstar.com; product-powered runs like Del Monte Fit ‘n’ Right, New Balance, and Adidas. I experienced heartbreak and loss (Big Blue Run) as well as trumpets and triumphs (Race for Life).
I’ve never regretted turning up on race day — even if the start gun had gone off 15 minutes prior to my arrival, or running with a full bladder was the only option, or the route had an unexpected hurdle. There is something liberating and intoxicating about being on the open road getting to stretch my legs after being trammeled inside buildings and rooms for most of my days.
Running really boomed this year. Next year, we’ll see who really will keep running and find the love in it, and those who will fall by the wayside. Thinking ahead to the races in 2010, I’m already excited by the prospect of breaking 50 minutes once more in a 10K, or getting a podium finish once more at a 5K, or even increasing mileage to run in 15K races.
Running is teaching me patience — one cannot run only 5K and the next week move up to 21K for the first time. It’s teaching me how to think ahead — when to push and when to back off on a route. It’s taught me that finishing strong is determined not by how you start, but by how you manage yourself over the course of a race. These are lessons applicable not only on race day, but in every life’s day.
I can’t believe I took up running — but I’m glad I did.