I bet every runner has a story – whether they started getting on the road to lose weight, to build endurance, to be healthier or to realize a dream of completing a full marathon. My story started last June 2010, exactly a month before I decided to apply to a mountaineering organization. Of course, that wasn’t the first time I ran. The longest time I could run on the treadmill was about half a minute. Believe it or not, folks, I couldn’t even run without straining my ankles on my first few months enrolled at the gym. No, this wasn’t because of the gym’s facilities, in fact, their treadmills even have built-in fans! I was 40 pounds overweight – obviously, my ankles can’t support that enough weight. I don’t know if the size of my feet contribute to my dilemma, but having 5-inch feet and small ankles somehow doesn’t help me much. A year into working out, I’ve shed 30 pounds and decided to give mountaineering another try.
For those who don’t climb, FYI – most clubs require their applicants, and some, even the members, to pass a “qualifying run” before each climb. Some orgs (organizations) require you to run at least 6.6k on the first climb (Level 1) for 45 minutes, others longer. That’s three (3) rounds on the UP Acad Oval in Diliman. Before I started running on the road, I could only sustain running 20 minutes of run-walk-run-walk on the treadmill. Having ran on the smooth surface of a machine for a year, I discovered the minute I ran on the road that is it unforgiving. Cracks, uneven surfaces and even the road’s sudden change of incline can lead to injury. I have a nasty kelloid on my right knee after falling face down at the same oval I will be running on for our trainings. I stopped running for 5 years after getting that big gash on my knee, with flesh flying everywhere, then getting it treated because it blew up the size of Jupiter after I ate chicken skin. I couldn’t walk for days. Saying that I was traumatized after that run is an understatement.
For the record, I have never completed 6.6k in 45 minutes. The fastest I’ve gone was almost 47 minutes. I thought my lung would collapse after running that fast. I reached the finish line very light-headed, the muscles on the legs cramping. I threw up all the water and Gatorade I’ve consumed for the past 45 minutes. It wasn’t pretty and I wasn’t looking forward to doing it again.
After two months of training twice a week, I’ve finished my first 10k in 1 hour and 10 minutes. Believe me, it wasn’t fun. Well, it became bearable – eventually became a force of habit – because of my supportive batchmates. After that, I haven’t gone further. It seems that I’ve lost my drive to run further. A 4.4k run at night is enough for my body for the past four months. So, why do I want to increase my mileage if – 1) I have no reason to do it and 2) if my body can’t take it. An attempt at a third round on the oval makes me realize that my torso hurts and my legs are begging to stop – just stop.
Well, I’ve always been curious. I have less than two weeks to train for a 16k at the Condura Skyway Marathon. I’ve always wanted to experience running on the Skyway. This is a perfect chance to get my game on. This year, as I’ve written on my 2011 goals, I want to increase my mileage to 30k. I’m starting with this race. Others might think running a 16k is easy as eating a half gallon of ice cream. To me, it’s one of the most difficult things I’ve always wanted to do.
It’s not about the distance – it’s about getting molded by the road. I want to know how far my body can take me and how much my mind can endure with only a vision of the finish line ahead. I know my love-hate relationship with running won’t end just yet.
PS Just for the heck of it, you can add me on Dailymile – http://www.dailymile.com/people/faithsalazar#