Two blog posts ago, I was asking myself : Am I Ready to Run? I wouldn't have been asking that question if I didn't have hypertension and is in fact under medication. But I said to myself, I wouldn't pass up opportunities like this one just because of that condition. I refuse to be held captive of high blood pressure, although I need to be wary of signs of fatigue or whatsoever. I am thankful for those who encouraged me through the comments, that I can in fact do this. And so, last Sunday, the 29th of July, I was there at the Mall of Asia with thousands of runners, ready to pound the pavements and beat their personal records. I haven't got a personal record to beat, except to prove to myself that I can still run...for health.
Minutes before the official gun time for the 3 and 5 K runs, this is what's right in front of me, a sea of green shirts (okay never mind the guy in blue). Seeing the starting line made me smile and all excited, specially since the crowd is already cheering, bobbing their heads, jumping even to see what's happening up ahead. When we heard the gunshot, the cheering grew louder and people started, well, walking. There's such a huge crowd that it was impossible to run a few meters after the starting line.
The brisk walking seems like a good thing anyway as it sets the rhythm. A while later, my companions and I were already running, at least for about 5 minutes straight before we stopped and walked again lol! Hey, we're just priming up here so, a little short break and then off to running again. When I saw the 1 K mark, I was already panting. My legs and feet were still up for the run. In fact, I could have kept running all the way if it were just a matter of leg and feet endurance. Practicing Tai ji made my legs stronger. But as this is a rather intense cardio exercise (at least for a beginner runner like me), I got to go easy on my heart and lungs. The good thing about this particular run is that I was able to endure better than when I was just practicing for the run. I guess the practicing and preparations paid off somehow.
At the U-turn, I was like saying to myself: "Alright, I'm halfway through the route!" There's the realization there that I can actually finish this in less than an hour (1 hour is the maximum time for the 5K run). I was actually smiling as I passed the 3 K mark, meaning only 2 K more! At about 1.5 K to go, I took to brisk walking and was planning to get a go at running when I can already see the finish line up ahead. It was at that time that I kept taking deep breaths already, more frequently than at the start. I figured I need to preserve the remaining energy to cross the finish line.
At the finish line, I am all smiles despite looking haggard, what with all that sweat! I even stepped with emphasis on the timing plate. I was giddy and excited as I reached out for my finisher's certificate. Whoooeeeeee!!!!! I did it! I did it!
|Finishing the Race|
Prior to the run, I was having fears of having a heart attack which is not an unfounded fear by the way. There are marathoners who succumb to that, despite looking physically fit. Silly me, I reminded myself that this is a 5K fun run, not a marathon per se. So that appeased me somehow. Truth be told, that fear dissipated when I started running. I was right, I can do it. The only fear left at that time, is that I might make the wrong turn or get lost in the route. Hey don't laugh. For someone with a broken internal compass, I could pretty much get lost in an unfamiliar place hehehe.
A good friend asked me before this race that wouldn't it be much better to just jog at your own leisure and you don't even have to pay for any registration, if it's only about health that you're after? Talk about dampening my spirits, but I kind of agree with that premise. But as I ran that Sunday morning before the sun has fully risen, I realize that the energy and excitement of that event pales in comparison to running by your lonesome self. Also, knowing that this run is for a good cause, it makes one feel better about it somehow.
As we were riding home, we can still see the marathoners finishing their respective races (10, 21, and 42 K). They were already running before sunrise because we passed by them on the way to the venue. I have such new-founded deep respects for those marathoners who run in those categories. To me, that is some kind of dedication...all for the love of running. I wonder if I'll ever be able to run in any of those categories. But even if I just stick to fun runs, I don't mind, so long as we don't take the fun out of running and that I can finish the race.
This is what you'll see at the runners in front of you, the backside of the singlet. Isn't it a good motivation and reminder? I think so!
|Singlet, the backside|
I think I finished the race in less than the allotted time. I'm still waiting for the official time though. I'll just check the race results HERE and will update this post. Meanwhile, we're already looking for a running event to be held next month.