Running Poetry XXII

I still remember the pain. It was a pain that won’t let me run anymore. Walking was ok. I somehow got by with plenty of rest. It rears its ugly head from time to time.

Exhaustion is equal to
An hour of injured running
Plus only five hours of sleep
Plus four more of singing

I thought I had missed
Seven minutes per KM
Had excuse ready

Near perfect pacing
Need to raise mileage next
Ignore injury

I have succumbed to
Pancakes and hot chocolate
Should have kept going

Had to walk again
Still within target pace though
So it is all good

Fourteen days to go
No time to sit on my hands
Must keep mileage up

Eliminated
The overpowering dread
Only pain remains

Stubborn as a rock
Running at boulder pace
Sleep like a stone…NOW!

Unusual route
Hills and runners aplenty
I forgot to walk

The water hates me
Graceless, I sank like a rock
Sad slow journey home

Running Poetry XV

How time flies.. These old poems from 27-year old me are amazing! It’s a wonder how I can keep describing pain and endurance after every single run. My fear is that I will eventually run out of words to say about these topics. Only time will tell.

Dusk before Christmas
Danger assailed the senses
I’m saved by His grace

This oblivion
A self-imposed food coma
No Elysium
Foreshadowing a trauma

I felt it tugging
Towards a dark eerie place
It’s chill beckoning

Started new year right
Went to church, updated blog
Met a girl and ran

I knew pain again
Never thought I’d forgotten
The mem’ry tastes..sweet

Need a miracle
Botched training and kept saying
Please don’t get injured

Running while I’m aching
Singing while I’m coughing
This ceaseless suffering
Needs an abrupt ending

Pain wracked the vacuum
As mettle filled its absence
Resolve is renewed

3rd since the thirteenth
COLD AND MALAISE WON’T QUELL ME!
Was I this headstrong?

There was dissonance
And I failed at remembrance
Shaky and craven
All my thoughts longed for haven
Until the embers
Sparked an undaunted temper

Running Poetry XII

I am currently battling a host of ailments. The marathon last week really did a number on my immune system. Moreover, the Sinulog merriment did not help. I would never trade both experiences for a few weeks of health though. Maybe I am masochistic after all. My obsession with running is a very strong indicator of that. Here are a few more poems to prove my point.

I am without words
For these runs get me on the verge
Of the utmost high
Yet still hankering for the sky

I jog, he ran
I jog, she walked
Strayed from the plan
Numbed from the talk

Early rising moon
Staring at the unfolding
Failure of a run

I am on the mend
From my weakened legs and side
To my aching heart

The man called in awe
To which, he replied simply
“Just sweating it out.”

My life absent drive
Grudgingly paid a steep fine
Fiction was cheaper

A star’s fearless gleam
Fought biting wind and cruel clouds
Alone in the end

Concealed in layers
The agony found a way
Through hushed surrender

You expect its arrival
But bracing yourself will not matter
Neither fiery denial
Nor boldness will stand once the scenes blur

Slow and steadily
Building up speed until I
Slingshot through the crowd

42 Thoughts From The Mind Of A Marathon Survivor Part I

I feel more like a marathon survivor rather than a marathon finisher right now. Last Sunday’s marathon did not go as well as I had hoped. This time around, I was more desperate than ever to finish the race. The voices in my head were screaming full time. Most of them made me laugh while some were seriously messed up thoughts. All of these thoughts kept me going though. Here are just a few of these thoughts.

  1. It finally started. Quickly! Take note of escape routes for my inevitable DNF exit.

  2. Damn it! I left my money in bag. I guess I’m gonna have to finish this race.

  3. Keep running and don’t look at your watch. Keep running and don’t look at your watch. Keep running and don’t look at your watch.

  4. Water or Gatorade? Gatorade!

  5. 4 dozen moms have passed me today. I am officially a marathon noob.

  6. She just went into that bakery for a quick bite. Can we do that? Man, I’m hungry.

  7. Oh! A water station. I guess I can walk now.

  8. Two hours and thirty minutes have passed. Orange or chocolate flavored gel? I can’t decide while running. Must walk.

  9. My goodness! All the costumed marathoners are fast this year!

  10. I’ve been running for hours. Where’s the next water station?

  11. Those salt packets contain really salty salt.

  12. Four lamp posts of running then one lamp post of walking.

  13. It’s been three hours. That’s longer than my last long run. Go me!

  14. Oh sponge! Where have you been all my life?

  15. Why is it called a water station when it provides Gatorade?

  16. Drunk hecklers running beside me. Run at a reasonable pace faster!

  17. I’m gonna make this cup of gatorade last. I don’t wanna start running yet.

  18. Oh no. He’s talking to me. I’m too tired to talk. Run faster! Aaand I’m walking.

  19. Two lamp posts of running then one lamp post of walking.

  20. It’s so dark. I hope I don’t step on something weird.

  21. Let those drivers wait! I’m running on empt…

Running Poetry IX

The runner’s high and unrequited love conspired to light a fire at the end of my pen. How I envy the me from back then. Surely, the me from back then would envy me of now as well should two points in time meet. For now, I’ll just savor these sweet words from my bygone days.

This unending loop
Of relentless despondence
I will escape this

Clumsy and crooked
The driven newbie sprinted
An inspiring sight

Psychological
Pain fell away and I just
Felt ordinary

My focus swam in quicksand
Then I drown in waves of lethargy
But all these I will withstand
To achieve falling trajectory

The lure of controlled falling
Made overpowering in their presence
All my restraint collapsing
Falling without fear of consequence

The hard fought freedom from pride
Quickly retrogressed into boredom
Falling oversimplified
Stared at the sky to crush the doldrums

Weather turned ambivalent
Begot errors in judgement
To satisfy sentiments
The truth became evident
I am an unrepentant
Sucker for discontentment

Do I fall to exhaustion?
Do I break from starvation?
The miles carved away at the answers
And all that is left is crashing thunder

They started with sweet whispers
Then promised undisguised threats
Courage became mere slivers
Yet enough for an upset

Run
Mojo
Triathlon
Proper arm swing
Corporate douchebags
Elevation
Bicycles
The Plank
Stop

Running Poetry VIII

By the time I wrote these poems, I had grown my circle of friends at the track. Week after week, I had invited people to join me. I was rarely successful but I took heart at the fact that I at least had a good impact on the people who did answer my invitation. In some ways, my friends have influenced me as well. A marathon finish found its way into my dreams.

I did not go unscathed
As I tested my limits
My hand clenching my side
As I limped to the exit

I took to the road
After the tedious grind
With pain as reward
Another lesson to mind

Worry weighed me down
My lips formed a sweaty frown
Stop!
A trespassing rock!
Must remember to wear socks
Stop!
It took them a while
They tagged along for a mile
Stop!
One great meal with friends
Begins and hastens the mend
Stop

How much farther could I have gone?
How much longer could I have gone?
Without the pleasure of their company
Thank you my wonderful jogging buddies

No watch, no warm-up
The gold moon was distracting
Forgot my socks too

Unmotivated
Lethargic and sleepy-eyed
Challenged and wakened
Endangered, hungry, and filled

Nowhere near my best
I plod at my leisure – OW!
Stop poking me Jane!

Two learned men and
A 42k problem
Seven weeks to go

Sweat obscured vision
And disembodied voices
Annoyed my shadow

Near my breaking point
Lightning flashed forebodingly
Cringed with each step til
The end came mercifully

The Team Awaits

Tabuelan 111 Triathlon 21.1k  06/08/14

Swim

Joseph John was nervous. It was his first competitive swim. He never swam two kilometers yet there he was competing in the swim leg of triathlon. Despite all his training, he still had trouble losing weight. He felt all of it as he ran down towards sea with a hundred other swimmers. Like most others, he started cautiously. Survival was the name of the game. When it became too deep, it became a contest of rope grabbing, which he excelled at for almost thirty minutes. He looked terrible when he got out of the water. My heart almost died of worry when he went back in. I could only imagine what his girlfriend was feeling back then. He had another kilometer to go. I launched another barrage of prayers to heaven. He swam better this time. The pack had loosened even though he was swimming with competitors from other categories. His strokes were more confident. When he got out of the water, he had the air of a man who had achieved something great as he walked towards the transition where – 55:54

Bike

Mark Jason cursed. His cousin took too long. It was up to him now. He mounted his bike like a pro. You would not guess that he had just started his cycling career just over a year ago. He kept pushing the pace. The no drafting rule was implemented for the cycling leg of this race. He heard a cyclist complain from behind him. His answer was to keep pushing. He pushed as he fueled. He pushed as he hydrated. He pushed like never before. His girlfriend was around here somewhere but his mind could barely register anything else. Push. The clock was ticking. Push. He needed to go faster. Push. He pushed until he arrived at a familiar place the transition area. He took off his shades and gave them to me – 3:02:53

Run

As I jogged out of the transition area, I could already feel the stinging heat. It was 11 am. I tried not to think about it and focus on something else. Maybe someone else. I started about three minutes behind a senator. She had a pacer with her and motorist handed her some ice and water to cool off. I could yell, “Foul!” since support teams weren’t allowed in this race. I would be a hypocrite if I did though. I was guilty of taking some of the ice as well. Besides, she was the darling of this race. Everyone loved her. I followed closely behind her like one of her adoring fans until she pulled away on the 17th kilometer because of my foot cramps. The heat was getting to me. I was not use to noontime running so I took a shower at every water station. It didn’t help much. At some point, it felt like a death march. I felt like quitting. Surrender was never an option though. My team was waiting for me. They needed me. I have to finish. I saw my team when I finally got to the ‘kick zone’. The kick was so painful that my consciousness was going on and off but I kept running until, finally, I ripped through the finish line into the welcoming arms of my friends. 2:43:15

21 Seconds Away From Disaster

SM2SM 4 21.1k  02/16/14

My knees were in agony. My belly was in agony. Everything was in agony. Knee problems have been plaguing me since last year. Diarrhea, was entirely new to me. I ran while focusing on stopping the contents of my digestive system from exiting uncontrollably out of my rear end. I was parched and my stomach was making weird noises. This race was not going well and there was 19 kilometers left to go.

Cue in flashback sequence. Even before gunstart, this race was shaping up to be a test of survival and then some. I had taken precautions. Flanax for the knee pains and diatabs for my diarrhea. I forgot the pair of knee braces I wore during my last race, Cebu Marathon 2014. However, I employed the granny running pace and laid out a run-walk strategy for the entire race before hand which was to alternate running and walking using the lamp posts as my guide. Lame? Yup. Effective? Yup.

Honestly, I don’t know if I could have done more. I was utterly unprepared for this disaster but my recent marathon experience kept me calm. I had just run twice this distance over a month ago. Chances were good that I could tough it out and I did. I survived the pain, all of it, and, worst of all, my fears. I even managed to achieve my race goal, which was to run below three hours. Oh, joy! 2:59:39

Running Poetry V

These poems chronicle my knee injury last year. It might be just me but I can hear my old desperation to become faster in every rhyme. I paid dearly for my rash training methods with a month of rest. Nowadays, the pain has not completely left my knee yet. I could still feel it during my longer races. However, I don’t mind it. Pain is a good reminder after all.

A persistent burden
Giving way to boredom
When at last the spirit streaks
Hoping to behold the peak

Unlisted
DID NOT FINISHed?
2 kilos heavier
3 minutes longer?

A flaw in the core
Reconsidering the plan
Back to base building

Absentminded run
Under a waning starlit sky
Forgot to speed up

Striders at four o’clock
Head bowing to the heat
Striders on rubberless track
Feet wallow and seethe

No time for mileage
Practicing control instead
Need to peak faster

Eked
Out before the cramps
Peaked
In my 2 weeks only program

An old pain subsides
A new pain emerges
Fell by the wayside
The training diverges

Pain like no other
The heat a mere distraction
Stupid bum left knee

It’s been awhile
Tested my knee
It took a while
But it wasn’t achy