Running From Voices

Hunat Sugbu: Dagan Para Kang Maning  5k  05/15/11

8 days before the race, I was setting myself up for a disaster. I had spent the weekend lurking around the dining table. It was my birthday after all and I considered that a license to stuff myself silly.

6 days before the race, I felt weird. My stomach was bloated and it felt wrong running with it. Run I did anyway. I tried running slow but I had forgotten how, which is weird. It must be because I had accustomed myself into running comfortably hard for a while now. Running comfortably hard did not help with my stomach problems. By the 2nd kilometer, the pain had made itself known. I stopped running after the 4th kilometer.

4 days before the race, I struggled to relearn how to run at an easy pace. It felt weird running that slow but I felt I could run longer and safer this way. The pain was still there though. A buddy of mine, who was a full 5 minutes faster than me with regards to 5k PRs, tagged along. I would have enjoyed his company more if he’d slowed down. I stopped after 6th kilometer. I felt optimistic. Maybe, I was going heal in time for the race.

At the start of the race, I was anxious. The pain was there, hiding. It did not show during the warm-up but it was there. I tried putting my worries at the back of my mind and for a few minutes I succeeded. Pain came as fast as my starting surge. Had I kept running, I would have been overwhelmed. The 2nd kilometer broke me. I walked and after 5 minutes I ran again, slowly this time. The run-walk strategy was my only option and I was a willing participant. The pain did not just break my concentration. It also broke my determination. I managed to do a halfhearted kick. Strangely enough, the timekeeper gave me a time six seconds faster than the time on my watch. Was the cause human error or battery failure? I allowed myself to be distracted by the trivial inquiry. My heart was in no shape handle disappointment.

8 hours after the race, I was lifting weights. Disappointments often led to more disappointments, at least, in my case. I did lunges, calf raises, and squats with weights I was wholly unprepared to use. At the end of that session, I knew I was not going to walk right for a few days. 36:16.28


One Thousand Cranes Run  6k  05/22/11

I am somewhat skilled in making excuses. Going into this race, I must have mentally compiled dozens of it. Here are some of my perennial favorites in no particular order.

  • It’s a miracle! I just healed the injuries from my calves, feet, quads, hamstrings, thighs, abs, and back with only a day to go before race day. Yikes!
  • Oh goodie! Hills! My knees love hills.
  • 3 days until I toe the line and I have not ran a mile. Will this easy run of 30 minutes get me ready?
  • Why are the race marshals positioning the ‘competitive’ runners 8 steps ahead of the ‘recreational’ runners? Am I a recreational runner? Looks like I don’t need to give this as much effort then. That’s a load off my shoulders.
  • Good lord this crowd is fast. I guess there is no shame in being outrun by this people.
  • Wow! Those gun start sprinters are really starting to slow down the race with their superior walking form.
  • 3 km to go at the halfway. What!?! I thought this was 5 km race!
  • A hot babe just passed me. I don’t deserve her. I don’t deserve to get a PR. I don’t deserve to finish this race.
  • The no drinking at water stations strategy is really hard. I’m starting to feel dizzy. I am dizzy. I should stop really.
  • My legs feel like wet noodles. Is that normal? Should I stop?
  • I don’t want to look at my watch. What if I’m a few minutes short of a PR already? I am a few minutes short of my PR, aren’t I? I should take a peek. No wait! I’m too scared to find out. Oh, what’s the point?
  • It’s a fun run, no, a charity run. A charity fun run. Whatever. Why go all out?

The reasons to stop kept piling up in my head. Strangely enough, most of them were valid excuses. I just recently healed from my injuries. I only had 1 easy run prior to the race.  That course was grueling as usual. Any number of these reasons was enough to bail me out. However, I didn’t. As I added more excuses to my mental list, they started to not make sense to me anymore. Well, it really was a good idea I didn’t stop. I timed in a full minute faster than my previous 6 km PR. 35:34.72


Best Race of the Month: Hunat Sugbu: Dagan Para Kang Maning

There’s a lot to like about this race. Cheap. Well organized. Great post race meal. Great competition. Not crowded. Take your pick.


Best Performance of the Month: One Thousand Cranes Run

I had lots of problems going into this race but I powered through. The PR is almost an afterthought at this point.

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