Authored by: Rizaldy Nolasco, MD
I did my first foray into the marathon-level category today. I resolved I want to break lose with what is the norm, the familiar, the comfortable. Anything less than 21 is just a fun run.Perhaps I must have more than enough on the fun side with the 10k and less runs. Perhaps it’s time to get serious with running. Time to up the ante. This is beyond fitness. This is another level of knowing myself, and deliberately stressing oneself – physically and mentally.
I signed up with the Phoenix-Araw ng Dabaw Marathon with a vague understanding of what’s in store for me. Personally, its a public declaration of war against the status quo, a call to arms against what is familiar and comfortable. I announced it to the whole tribe, to checkmate myself from backing out, yet end up infecting them with an itch that cannot be scratched. Few more showed up with gladiator-like bravado of “we-who-are-about-to-die-salute-thee” at the starting line.
And it is something to remember for lots of reasons:
1. It was my first shot at 21, and completed the run.
2. I finished strong! A sprint to the line to be exact! I have been thinking about finishing in style while on the fly…cartwheel? …too tacky, Hussain Bolt’s bow and arrow?…not original, double back-flip summersault?…di ko yata kaya, sprint na lang!
3. Training and preparation paid off. I have trouble sticking it out with training programs, it’s not for everyone I believe. I just put my trainers on in most days and vanished to a glorious session with the gods of fitness and running.
4. Pacing and hydration is the key – busog ako during the run! Indeed, bananas and energy gel on the turn-around saved the day. Commendable also are the strategically-placed hydration stations, ice-cold to be exact. And the sponge! Ah, a lovely addition to cool-off steaming and overheated bodies. Brought one with me until the finish line. My “Wilson ” on the fly. Very important also is to run your own pace.This is long distance running, save enough steam for the later stages.There is no point slugging it out at jump start. Resolve to maintain comfortable and even running pace early on, the one you can maintain for the next 2 hours or so.
5. I surpassed my self-imposed cut-off time. 2:45 it is, 2:30 the least, but I surprised myself! I bit off enough of the shank and sinews, chewed and swallowed! Next time, it’s kaizen time! Improving the improved.
6. Run! But their is no shame in walking – walk and stop by the hydration stations and indulge the volunteers, thanking them for a thankless job they are doing, you’ll add extra sprite with your stride afterwards.
7. Pulikat prevention – something you have to intentionally and deliberately prepare for. You wont look good on TV limping by the finish line! Calcium and electrolyte loading days prior the race also paid off by supplementing with MVT’s, calcium carbonate and snacking on apples and bananas. Needless to say,stretch and run before the actual run! Be sure your eyebrows are dripping wet before heading to the starting line.By sheer estimate, you’ve raised your core body temperature by 1 degree centigrade. Talk about warming up your engine and pistons before acceleration. What does that make out of you? – supple joints, even breathing patterns, warm and firing muscles – a well-oiled Ferrari of flesh!
8. Prayed for an injury-free run, and got more than what I bargained! What a blessed day! It’s not just for the weather but for the safety of the other runners as well. To Him be the glory.
Try it for yourself. If you can run 10k in less than 1:10, coupled
with a firm resolve and discipline, it will be a new milestone for you. A millstone if you keep on procrastinating.
It’s not as formidable as when I first thought it was.
See you at the starting line.