For the Love of Running

Hi everyone! Recently, I have been evaluating the results of my fitness journey so  far. As mentioned before, the results have been slow to show but in the end, what matters is not about how fast I get results but the consistency in doing the things that will take me a step closer to my goals. In this post, I wanted to focus and share more about one of the aspects of this journey: Running.

Frankly speaking, this activity is something that I never imagined myself doing because I was not an avid fan of sweating and doing any strenuous physical activities. My logic back then was, why bother sweating for it when you can just breeze through it? Meaning, I always chose the easier route. For example, why bother using the stairs when you can use the escalator instead?

I know, I had a very lazy mindset back then. But now, I am very happy to say that I have successfully turned that way of thinking around to something more productive and goal-driven.

How It All Began

I started with my fitness journey February last year. At first, it was just about going to the gym and learning workout programs. Eventually, I got invited by my officemate to join a fun run. Wanting to check if I had the strength and stamina for it, I gave it a shot. I was constantly training at the gym at nights and made sure I woke up early the following morning to conduct practice runs. And believe me, waking up extra early is really a challenge but because I had a goal in mind, I was able to follow the training schedule I had set for myself.

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Photo taken after my first, legit fun run. Holding my first finisher medal too!

Sustaining Phase

After my first run, I had to assess how I felt about the experience. And to be perfectly honest, I wanted to join another run again. And because of this, I decided to incorporate running in my fitness journey. This meant alloting time not just for lifting at the gym but also for running on treadmills and on roads. It was not easy but I always made sure that I had a goal in mind, be it to run a longer distance or to beat my personal record. Either way, this motivated me to want to do better.

Most Memorable Run

Part of my running journey is joining fun runs and out of all the runs I have joined, the most memorable one would probably be the time-trial race: Pinoy Fitness Sub-1 10k Challenge wherein I had to finish a 10-kilometer run in exactly one hour or less. I say memorable because it was a long-time goal of mine to be able to finish a 10-kilometer run in less than an hour. Doing so is not an easy task and it requires rigorous training.

And because it was a time-trial race, it added extra pressure on me because if I do not finish it within an hour, I will not get a finisher medal which, of course, was not an option.

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Hard-earned medal!

Most Challenging Run

I guess the most challenging would have to be World Vision Run 2015. This was my first 10-kilometer run which I did not train for because that time, my right knee was injured and more training could have damaged it further. It was challenging because I had to endure the knee pain until the end of the race. I remember my knee punishing me (for pushing it too far) by not being able to walk properly for three days after the race. Nonetheless, this was when I realized where the “fun” in fun run is. The sense of achievement I felt as soon as I crossed the finish line made all the pain I felt go away. Now that was fun.

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Holding my finisher medal while resting my knee at World Vision Run 2015

 

Tips In Preparing For A Race

It is never really too late to start a running journey or a fitness journey in general. Just as long as there is a will, there is always a way. I am not an expert when it comes to running but here are some of the things I always keep in mind whenever I am preparing for a race:

  1. The most important thing is discipline. Remember that the results will always be based on the amount of training you put. Fight the “laziness” and always remember the reason why you started this journey in the first place.
  2. Always have a goal in mind and aim to reach that with every race
  3. Remember to rest. Give your muscles the time that they need to recover and become strong. “Over-training” will only equate to “over-straining” which can backfire in the end.
  4.  No heavy lifting at least a week before a race. Instead, focus on doing cardio exercises: running and/or body weights
  5. Rest your legs at least two days before a race
  6. And the fun part: Carbo loading! Eat lots and lots of carbs at least three days before a race
  7. A banana a day keeps the cramps away! You would not want to have leg cramps during a race so it is best to prevent it by eating food rich in potassium.
  8. Do proper stretching before (to condition your muscles) and after (to ease your muscles) a race

I mentioned that one should always have a goal in mind, right? Well, my short-term goal right now is to be a podium finisher for a 5-kilometer race. That means placing first/second/third in a specific category. I still have to train for this but I promise to get it one day. Next of course is my long-term goal. Aside from running a full marathon (42 kilometers), I also want to organize a fun run with a cause. It does not have to be grand but I have always wanted to race funds for a certain community. I am thinking of organizing one in our local village in the far future with the help of an event management software/app which I happen to stumble upon recently.

Eventbrite is a software that helps organizers plan and run their events more efficiently. Think of it as a tool to discover and promote all kinds of events ranging from food, parties, sports, etc. Anyone can submit and promote an event! So in my case, if I want to organize a fun run in my local community, I would simply list this event in Eventbrite for everyone to see. And if someone is interested to join and buy a race kit, he or she can just pay online through Eventbrite’s payment processor. As an organizer, it becomes easier for me to monitor the number of people going and the money the event is making.

But of course these are still for future plans so I am writing this as reference for when that time comes. Lol. For now, I should focus on training for my upcoming race this month.

Thanks for reading!

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