Seven is a nice prime number, and it sort of has a poetic and Biblical ring to it. This year marks Kikay Runner’s seventh blog anniversary. I can’t believe this blog has been around for that long, but I’ve enjoyed every bit of the way I’ve come.
While the race reports and travelogues are always fun to write and share with all of you, my readers, I’ve also written many times about thoughts and experiences close to my heart as a runner and as a human being. So for my anniversary post, I would like to highlight The Magnificent 7: seven of the blog entries I’ve made over the years that I feel have the most significance for me. I hope you will read along and click through for the full entries!
Thoughts at the 25th Kilometer
Funnily enough this post wasn’t written by me, but by a friend who ran the same marathon I did but had a vastly different experience. Success is good, but I do think you learn and realize more in hardship.
“It began well. Too well that all my focus was on myself, my efforts, my glory, forgetting the very reason why I was doing this. It really was a good first half. I was running strong and fast, reaching the halfway mark way under 2 hours, when suddenly pain embraced the soles of my feet, and they embraced hard. It hurt so bad. With much disappointment I had to slow down. I was running with a friend then and he had to go run his own pace. Not that he wanted to leave me, but he was just running his own race the same way I was running mine.”
Running Etiquette: Don’t Be a Running Ruffian
There is always, always time and room to remind runners how to treat their fellow runners. Let’s build a respectful running culture and ensure that every race is an enjoyable experience for everyone.
“Good manners and decency shouldn’t fall by the wayside when we race, and we shouldn’t start acting like undisciplined wild animals just because we unleash our animal energy when we run. Follow good running etiquette. Don’t be a running ruffian. Here are some courtesies we can extend to each other before, during, and after a race to make it a more pleasurable, civilized experience for all concerned.”
Beware the Ninja Injury
Some injuries happen suddenly, like when you trip and twist your ankle. Other injuries creep up on you, and if like most endurance athletes you have a high tolerance for pain and have a habit of pushing through regardless, you end up making injuries worse. I drew attention to this tendency in this blog post in the hopes that other runners could avoid the significant break I had to take to cure my ankle inflammation.
“Ninjas are stealthy. They barely giving any warning that they’re there, although you might see the faint flit of a shadow out of the corner of your eye, or hear the scuff of a shoe above you. And all of a sudden, they strike. And the last thing on your mind before it all goes dark is, I should have known…”
Being out on the open road, we take on some amount of risk whenever we train or race. While our sport is solitary, it is up to us as good sports and good human beings to help those who are struggling, whether it’s with a kind word or silent companionship.
“I was glad for the company because it kept me alert; also, with him riding beside me, motorists had to give way to us. Then he told me, ‘Buti malakas loob mo. Kasi may nagnanakaw ng bisikleta dito.’ I didn’t even get to ask his name as we parted ways. I could only imagine what kind of target I had painted on my back before he’d come along. A lone female cyclist on a lonely country road.”
How to Plan a Destination Race
If you are inclined to travel and run elsewhere in the world, it always pays to be (over)prepared and organized so you have fewer things to worry about in the lead-up to your race.
“Going to a destination race is different from racing locally. You can’t just drive from home to the venue on race morning, for one thing. A lot of thought should go into not only the logistics of how to get there and where to stay and eat, but also how to prepare yourself properly to race on unfamiliar soil. Here’s how to plan your destination race.”
How to Deal with Catcalling
As a female runner I have always had one extra thing to hurdle when running outdoors: the staring and catcalling from strangers on the street. I wanted to give other runners who have faced these kinds of situations the tools they need to protect themselves and fight back against this symptom of rape culture.
“Being on the receiving end of catcalls is annoying at best, terrifying at worst. Some women feel validated and flattered, but those women are in the minority. The rest of us feel vulnerable, and when you’re out on the streets just on your own two feet there’s not a lot you can do… So, long story short, here’s what you can do about catcalling.”
What You Need to Know Before Your First Ironman
Any long-distance event needs to be prepared for properly. Marathons definitely, but even more so ironmans. I took a really long time writing this post because I wanted to make sure any of my readers looking to do an ironman know exactly what they’re in for.
“Putting it all together on race day is still tough. You will be tired physically, mentally, emotionally; it will hurt, and you will be tempted to pull the plug at various points. Because the race itself is so long, there’s plenty of time and opportunity for disaster to strike. But there’s also plenty of time and opportunity to recover and keep going until the finish line.”
A Scar is a Badge of Honor
In the time since I wrote this blog post, I’ve racked up a few more scars thanks to a collision from another athlete on the Challenge Roth course. But my attitude toward my scars is still the same.
“I know in time each scar will fade like all my other scars have. But while they’re there around, I consider them a badge of honor. Not because they reveal how clumsy I am. They remind me that I lived through something that could have ended my day, but I got through it.”
Fit to Stand Up
This is one of my more recent posts, but I think it’s important because it connects personal fitness with the world outside of sport. Being fit and healthy is a tool to be used in achieving your life goals; it is not the end goal.
“I am not just a runner. I am a citizen of this country and thus share a common destiny and burden with the Filipino people: to uplift the nation in what we do, to change what is in our power to change, to love and defend this country God placed us in by virtue of birth. Regardless of political color or affiliation, I do believe Filipinos love this country and want to see her rise. So, last Wednesday, I used the fitness I have painstakingly wrought for myself to walk out onto the streets and cry out for justice for this country…”
Happy seventh blog anniversary to me! I aim to continue crafting meaningful blog posts that will resonate among and inspire more people in their fitness journeys.
See you on the road.