my marathon dream in a box…

Posted: August 7, 2008 in marathon, run, running
Tags: , ,

in the locker room inside my head you will find a small black box containing a ragtag collection of things…

1 blue lanyard string
1 medal from a judo competition, gold
1 satellite picture of a route
1 photo
1 excel spreadsheet

The blue lanyard string is from Condura run’s 10Km turnaround point. This was not the first 10K I’ve  ever ran. That would be the New Balance Race in Clark in November of last year. No, this would be the first 10K I almost completely ran. No run/walk combination. I say almost because I couldn’t. And T2 and I were doing so well. Not even 500 meters to the finish line and my knees started wobbling. Within seconds it became a wild throbbing pain in my right hip. That’s the day I became acquainted with the iliotibial band. I had to skip, hop, hobble my way to the finish line. At this point even my stomach was cramping. Breathing came in short, hurried gasps. It was a painful and humbling experience. The possibility of not completing a race never dawned on me. Never. Call it pride, call it bravado, call it pure stubborn will. While some people’s mantra is DIG DEEP. Mine would be closer to DIG DEEP and CRAWL OUT if you must. So the Condura Run was my lesson in humility. Boy did i want to run that last 500 meters. And not that I didn’t try to. I simply couldn’t. My heartbeat topped out at more than 200 that day. I had come so close…And I had failed.

Then there is that gold medal i won from a judo competition. Granted a judo competition seems to have nothing to do with my marathon dreams. But there lies the story. I was not supposed to win this judo tournament. I was not even supposed to be in this judo tournament. The only reason they put me in there was because our team needed to fill in one last slot in my weight category. But for some reason, match after match, i simply kept moving up. Soon enough I’m in the championship match. Facing the best girl from the opposing team. Not only was she good. She was also the girlfriend of the president of the opposing judo club. You couldn’t even call me an underdog, i was a simply no dog! But there we were circling the mat warily watching each other. She almost throws me and gets a half point. One more solid throw and that would be the end of it. In the back of my head I remember telling myself, no shame in getting a silver. And I could have simply done that. Gotten the match over with. But that would require 1 more throw. A throw that at that point I really wanted to avoid. I had hit the mat awkwardly that first time and my shoulders were smarting. I simply did not want to be thrown again. It would be painful. And pain is always something I choose to avoid. Who doesn’t? So the next time she makes the move to throw me I hold on tight. As tight as I can around her neck. I feel my body being lifted off the mat and I hold on even tighter. At this point my eyes were close, I had probably stopped breathing. I was anticipating the throw and dreading the fall. I must have been praying. I must have been speed dialing all the saints I knew. And miracle of miracles. My opponent falls into a kneeling position. I am on top of her. My eyes are still closed. The referee taps my hands and pulls me away. I am in a daze and a little confused. He awards me the match. I stare at him having no real idea about what is happening. Apparently she’s submitted to my choke hold. She’s in tears. Everyone is in shock. No one more than me. Call it tenacity. Call it a miracle. Or simply call it luck. To this day, i have no idea how it happened. My eyes were closed and I must have been praying. And I was simply holding on because I did not want to experience the fall.

A photo of the T2 gang before it was even T2. Three smiling girls posing under direct sunlight. Our faces marked with patches of red, our bodies glistening with sweat. We had just finished our first ever long run (12Kms) around the wide roads of Ayala Alabang. We were tired and yet feeling quite jubilant. This was the first time we’ve ever attempted and completed this distance. My, did we feel good. And did we have a great breakfast while recounting and laughing at all the mini stories along the way.

1 satellite picture of a route I plan to run one day. 42.195km according to Google.

1 excel spreadsheet. Actually, 1 tattered excel spreadsheet. Our very first training program for the Subic half marathon. Our marathon dreams broken down into a daily schedule of runs (easy, tempo, interval, long) and cross-training exercises. Every single mileage, negotiated and discussed…every single route listed, navigated and ran.

So there it is. My ragtag collection of things. Tangible reminders and lessons that accompany me in my journey to fulfill my marathon dreams. The lanyard, my lesson in humility. The gold medal in judo, a reminder of my need for a little faith and some prayer and a sprinkling of luck.;-) A satellite picture of the route, my source of excitement and anticipation, I pore through this during my quiet times in the office, running the entire route in my head. My T2 picture, my gang, my posse, my support group. The reason why I keep running even at times when I don’t really feel like it anymore. They give me the strength, they allow me to hold on to my humor. They are my hold on sanity. And 1 excel spread sheet, my goal, my preparation, my dream on paper… My marathon dream in a box.

  1. lonerunner says:

    Wow! nice unique post.. very sentimental. 🙂

  2. ironshoes says:

    thanks. and yeah. senti”medyo”mental nga sya. haha!

  3. jinoe says:

    I also have a 10K and 42K dream run. Yung 10K I might be able to do it next month when I get home to my province. 42K might be a long while.

  4. bards says:

    i didnt realize it then … but so true … Condura was the first race we didnt run/walk.

  5. ironshoes says:

    Hi jinoe! Have fun running your 10K! I’m still deep in denial and in complete terror of the 42K we are finally training for…;-)

    Bards, correction…Condura was the first race YOU guys didn’t run/walk! 🙂 That’s why we ended up with really lousy pictures at the top of the flyover!! 😉
    Mine would be Runnex …No thanks to the attack of the little man at the water station! Haha!

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