R is for Running

Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.

Psalm 37:4 NASB

On Sunday, July 14th, I ran my first run in over 20 years.

I am happy to say that I will be ticking off Number 17 on my Bucket List. What’s more, I finished 57th out of 103 runners in the 3km category, completing the run in 0:25:48!! That’s from the partial and unofficial results from the race organizer, Takbo Philippines.

I don’t care if I was the last to cross the finish line. So when I learned that I had finished the run in less than 30 minutes I danced myself a little jig! That’s not bad for a first-timer! My goal was to just cross that finish line and earn myself a finisher’s medal. I got both and did it in good time, too! For that, I only have God to thank. I couldn’t have done it without His power and grace.

According To Runningmate.ph, the official time-tracker for the run, I’m the 7113th out of 22,896 runners. I’m just not sure who or where those runners are. I don’t think I saw 20,000 people at the race on Sunday; it’s probably for the entire country. That may not be a big deal for most people but I’m ecstatic about it. And I’m still floating on cloud nine for finishing my very first run!

I know what you’re thinking….where’s the medal? Here’s what I got for all that sweat and some pain in my right ankle…

The 3km Finisher's Medal
The 3km Finisher’s Medal

Again, all glory and honor for this belongs to God. I prayed about it, and so did my family and ladies’ group. I’m so grateful for their prayers. I’ve wanted to do this for so long. I realized if I hadn’t put it in writing it would not have happened. It really does pay to write your goals down. 

For what it’s worth, here’s what this not-so-old “first-timer” learned from this:

Train slowly. I trained for almost 3 months before the race. I started with walking 1km and gradually built up the pace and distance from that. After the first few weeks I was doing fine with my running time but my right ankle started to hurt. I got some ankle support to help and that eased the pain I was feeling when I walked-jogged-ran. Running experts would probably advise a longer training period especially if you’ve lived a sedentary lifestyle for some time (like me).

Eat healthy. This is a no-brainer, I should think. You need to be eating the right stuff so you can run. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water.

Get enough sleep. This should be another no-brainer but for a night owl Mommy like me, I really should have known better. After feeling the difference in energy levels and running performance between a night’s full sleep versus running after staying up late, I finally told myself to sleep early the night before a run.

Find someone to run with. I was shy about letting people know that I was joining an official run (even if it was a fun-run). But I found it daunting to run on my own. My Beloved couldn’t run with me because of a physical condition and my kids were too young to run 3km with their Mommy. So I talked my cousin, a P.E. and Fitness major in University, into running with me. This was right up his alley. I had to talk him into lowering his standards for me because he wanted us to finish the race in less than 20 minutes! I told him I couldn’t do it and that all I wanted was to finish the race and earn that finisher’s medal (so Wreck-It Ralph-like of me, I know). He was very gracious about it. The funny thing was, during the race we got separated among the running crowds and I ended up crossing the Finish line before he did. He lost time looking for me. But he was such a good sport about the whole thing.

Relax and have fun. Because my standards were low I wasn’t worried about running times or finishing at the head of the pack. I just wanted to enjoy the run itself (and finish the race and earn my medal!!) and so I did.

I’m blessed that my Beloved was so supportive. He took care of the kids (and me) during my training period, he woke up at 330am that Sunday and drove us to the race venue. He and the kids cheered me and my cousin on as we passed them. It was such a wonderful show of love and support from him.

My children “ooohhed” and “aahhhed” at my medal. They were very happy and proud of their Mommy. A side benefit from all this is that they want to run now, too.

Now that I’ve got my medal goal out of the way, I want to improve my running time for 3km for my next run, which will be in October.

Here’s to happy running!  

Blogging Through the Alphabet

**This post is my contribution to Blogging Through The Alphabet, a weekly link-up hosted by Marcy Crabtree at http://www.benandme.com . This week it’s the Letter R. Please do click on the button to read more entries or to join in. The link-up opened on Monday and will remain open through Sunday.

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