For over a year now, whenever I am asked why I haven’t been engaging in both my favorite sports, I will always say that I am on a “running and mtbiking semi-retirement”. My answer I would later on realize, sounded like running and mtbiking were duties which I have to perform instead of my favorite means of recreation. Quite disappointing of me eh? True!
Luckily, I have friends who did not tire of “hounding” me as to when I would get my act together and lace-up (Thank God for friends! XOXO to you all!). So that is why, when I found that work allowed more flexibility on my time, I immediately got in-touch with Coach John Lozada (from Coach Rio’s coaching staff) to schedule my training sessions.
Finally last Monday, I was figuratively and literally “back on track”. At exactly 6pm, I was there at the ULTRA Track Oval, ready for my comeback running training session. My favorite training ground hasn’t changed much, although I would have to say kudos to the administrators, the female changing rooms already have decent shower cubicles – with DOORS!
It was back to square one for me. I did one lap of walking while waiting for Coach John to arrive, happily observing and mentally taking note that there were a good number of runners training, considering that it was a Monday. Back then, Mondays are lean days for the oval but then again, the running boom have changed all that.
When my soft-spoken, 2001 SEA Games 800m gold-medalist and 2002 Philippine record-holder for the 800m run coach arrived, we immediately went on with my warm-up activity – a 3-lap run/jog around the oval. Mediocre right? Not for me! With a considerable percentage of my former endurance and strength lost, not to mention my please-dont-ask-how-many-i-did-not-keep-track-anymore excess weight gained, the 1.2km warm-up run was enough to tire me that I was hoping for training to finish already.
But wait, there’s more! The dynamic stretching exercises and drills which we have been used to doing in the past, I almost entirely forgot – and that includes how to balance! And how about, you might ask, my main training activity - my “main event”? Oh it was an easy 100m run x 100m jog x 5 laps intervals and an easier 100m run x 100m walk x 3 laps intervals. Easy, easier? I would have to say, it was fine. It wasn’t easy but it wasn’t difficult either.
During the intervals, I realized that a lot of things will play on my head – i will feel pain here, there and everywhere as if making me decide to quit. Happily, I went to training with a firm resolve so whatever threat these superficial pains pose on me, I was able to quickly dispel. Mind over matter folks!
The hardest part of the training will have to be the core exercises! I have grown an unwanted belly bulge – one which can be mistaken as if I am still about three to four months pregnant (i think!), reason why doing all core exercises were a nightmare! It was so hard that I even went on reminding myself why I wanted to do it again in the first place. Yes it was a necessity for me, health-wise but I also know deep inside that it was something that I have always really wanted to do. I somehow just got lost along the way.
The best part of the session will have to be, hands down, the stretching part. During stretching, I learned that with all that I lost, I somehow was able to retain much of my flexibility. It made me feel better knowing that not all that I previously built and worked-out for went down the drain.
I had training session number 2 with Coach John last Wednesday at BGC with my whole body – especially my hamstrings and calves, still sore from the previous session. Naturally, this session was better than the first – way better as I was able to run straight for 35 minutes without stopping to walk. I was even able to complete it with more energy to spare!
Coach John have already drawn-up a goal for me to keep me focused on my training. I am not totally fixated on the goal, what I really wanted to do now is to run whenever I have the time to do so. Training session number 3 will have to be an “assignment” since I will need to do it on my own (Coach John has “head marshall” duties for the Milo Regional Elim Races)and will surely be a great challenge, discipline-wise, for me.
So folks, that was kulitrunner me, trying to get back on the right track to running. I am so far from my old running self but I know with small “baby steps” (no grand goals yet!) getting “there” will not be so much of a difficult eventuality. After all, I and running have a lot of catching-up to do.
And while I am at it, I am seriously thinking of taking my mtbike for a tune-up. Who knows, I might have to courage finally to go back to riding the trail too, one of these days.