My first run is for Japan
Monday, April 18, 2011 § 2 Comments
I thought it wouldn’t happen. A week before Run for Japan, I felt a stabbing pain on my left leg every time I attempted to run. It was quite disturbing that I thought if I pushed through with the race, I would limp my way through the finish line, if at all I’d get there. Thankfully, I was forced to rest my legs for a few days to finish a writing assignment. When I resumed to my morning running routine, my left leg was not only OK, it was super OK and, like its twin leg, moved faster and more fluidly. In fact, I was able to run an entire distance, thrice, without a break. That was when I knew I was ready for a race.
My sister and I registered for 3K, the shortest distance, just to see how we would fare. After the gun start, I started to pace myself, aware that if I run too fast too soon, I would end up unnecessarily fatigued midway through the race. But despite the desire to slow down, I noticed myself running at a surprising speed. It was speedier than my morning runs, and I felt a lot stronger than usual. In fact, there was no moment of letup, except when I stopped to wait for my sister tie her shoelace and when we grabbed cups of an ion supply drink.
Perhaps my unusual energy was driven by the sight of people running together for a cause. Or the thought that I was running with a purpose. Running to help the earthquake and tsunami victims in Japan, after all, is enough of a motivation.
But after rehydrating, I felt an unexplainable pain in my stomach. I also had what felt like a menstrual cramp. And when I began to run, my body felt heavy. I told my sister we stop running; she obliged and walked beside me. This was when I noticed some of the 3K runners had started walking. I looked ahead and I knew we still had a long way to run. Ugh, how much longer should we run?
On the other side of the road were some 10K runners, each one pouring cold water over the head. They ran gracefully, but their faces said they meant business. I don’t know if seeing them was what moved my legs to run. All I know is that, despite the pain, I decided to run again.
At this point, time seemed to pass by pretty fast. I ran faster. Slower. Faster. I jumped at the jump shot zone. Watched people watch us. Went ahead of other runners. Pain was gone, and all I was thinking about was to keep running. I told myself, “I started this running and I should end this running.” I was so in the moment that when I rounded the corner, I was surprised to see the sweetest thing of all sooner than expected. The finish line.
I clocked 21-point-something minutes (I wasn’t able to get my exact time, but when I looked back at the clock after passing the corral, it read 00.21.15.) Twenty. One. Point. Something. Minutes. Twenty-one-point-something minutes! Wohoo!
Let me tell you, this means a lot to me. Days before Run for Japan, I didn’t know how I would finish the race. Would I walk the entire race? Would it take me hours? I had no sense of distance, so any number suffixed with a K, be it 3K or 0.5K, seemed too long a distance for me. But I made it. And not only did I make it, I made it surpassing all my self-expectations. Sweating and all, I finished the race with my sister, who, by the way, crossed the finish line first.
To summarize the race in one word: BITIN! The 3K, at least. At any rate, I had fun. Super fun. The feeling of running and actually finishing a race is irreplaceable, especially if you’re doing it for a cause. And I’m glad that my first run was a bayanihan event. I’m certain this would not be my last race. You’ll see me in the upcoming races. And my sister and I will do the 5K. Level up! 🙂
Next run: I Run for Integrity.
Congrats to Greentennial Run, everyone behind Run for Japan, and all the bayanihan runners! All this is for you, our Japanese friends. 🙂