I got lazy after crossing the finish line of my first marathon last February. I still ran but they were shorter and my rest days were more frequent than my running days.
I think I over extended my post-marathon recovery period so I decided to sign-up for Run United’s half-marathon to help me get back on track. My sisters signed-up for the 10km race while my brother-in-law went for the 32km distance.
It was almost gun start when I arrived at the race venue. Finding a parking space was a challenge because the parking lots were packed! Finally I was able to park on the 3rd floor of SM MOA’s north parking building. “It’s ok, I thought.” The slow run from the car to the starting line was my warm-up.
I set my watch for the 2:1 (2 minute run, 1 minute walk) sequence. By the 10th km, I smiled, as I was just right on target. I felt good! “Wow, with very little practice, my legs actually remembered how to run!” I was so wrong. By the 15th km, I felt pain on my butt and knees. Guilty as charged! I shifted to 1:1 then eventually was reduced to just walking.
The sun had risen and it was really hot, making running more difficult. Thoughts started to flood my mind:
- “Did I really think I could run 21km with minimal training?”
- “My sisters were smarter to sign-up for the 10km race.”
- “This might be my first “DNF” (Did Not Finish).”
Oh boy, I hit the wall and I scolded myself badly. But when I was about to cry in frustration, a verse from the Bible crossed my mind “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:26). I prayed, “Lord, I’m sorry for not preparing for this race. It’s impossible to do anything with my own strength but with you, it is possible. Please allow me to finish this.”
From that point, I began to feel better and stronger, and I started to run again until I crossed the finish line. Yes, I finished. As the medal was placed around my neck, I felt humbled. I didn’t beat my PR but I brought home a valuable lesson I learned the hard and painful way:
“The will to win is important, but the will to prepare is vital.”-Joe Paterno
“Nobody’s a natural. You work hard to get good and then work hard to get better.”-Paul Coffey
While in the shower this morning I sang, “This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad.” My sunburn lines from last Sunday’s race reminded me to take the lesson to heart, to put it into action.
So I went for a short run for recovery and also to start off the training for my next 21km race. I hope I’ll be able to do better. 🙂