Notes On My Return To Running

It has been an uphill climb since my return to running last April of 2008. The 9 1/2 months of consistent road pounding have brought about changes, mostly on the positive side although not what i might have hoped for…a return to my former physical prowess of running fast, a sub-50 min 10k or logging more than 100 kms/week. However, seeing my time at races drop (though modestly) and being able to keep up pace with my younger training partners at RUNNEX during our long Sunday runs at U.P. assured me that my running was improving considerably and that i was still fit and healthy. Surely, i couldn’t defy my aging feet and legs and body aches starting to reflect my years but still, its a conspicuous start after a hiatus of about 15 years.

Immediately after those few tentative steps i took that April, i embarked on first and foremost, losing weight and joining races to motivate myself to keep fit. The short distance races i joined were of mixed results. At first, i was utterly disappointed of those initial 5k races wherein i was consistently passed-by by otherwise slow, overweight and older runners like myself. it made me pause and think that if these runners who were breezing past me were slow, i was definitely plodding slower than them! Maybe i had lost the speed of youth but like them, i still had the stubbornness and zest that fuels my desire to compete and have fun at the same time.

i started out weighing at 207 lbs with a waistline of 40 inches, a far cry from my 150/32 stats 15 years ago. My best times during those lean years were 49:00, 1:52 and 3:57 for the 10k, half and full marathon, respectively. So losing weight was my main agenda. i dipped down to 172 lbs last November but gained back some poundage and i’m now at 180 lbs and trimmed my waistline to 36, if that’s any consolation.

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Part of the Runnex family i have been training with

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Lady members, Melina and Merriam

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Another pose of the group after breakfast at Pancake House, Capitol Hills

Highlights for the past 9 1/2 months of running include participating in notable races like the Takbo ni Bayani Marikina run, Adidas King of the Road 10k and the New Balance Clark 10k where i timed, 1:08. hayyy…

I haven’t run any race since.

For this year 2009, i will be embarking on joining races with distances of more than 10k, starting with the 15k Happy Run this Sunday, January 25. However, i will just be treating this race as a regular long run. At this time, i have planned a Three Phase Stage of training. Firstly, since December, i’m doing base training, building mileage and adding it up week after week. Most of my runs are long slow distances (LSD) and for the past 3 weeks have averaged a total of 65-70 kms/week. Included here are Sunday long runs of 21 to 25 kms. I’m doing minimal speed work at this stage, just short 5 x 1 min surges once a week which isn’t much. i have also added aerobic exercises every Saturday to give my upper body a work out too. This base training will go on till March, adding in the Condura-Skyway Half-Marathon on March 22. Hopefully all training this year will culminate to running another 42.195k at the Quezon City International Marathon on October 18. I know it’s way too far off but getting used to the heavy mileage will eventually psyche me up in going for it another try. Having done 4 full marathons in the past, i figured i can do it once more.

If there’s anything this comeback has taught me, it’s to persevere and accept that you can’t turn back the hands of time. After turning 53 last month, your body makes you aware of your limitations. However, i’m just as gung-ho and passionate about my running as anyone there who loves the sport and i know i will improve in time! So why do i still do it? Because at my golden age, i still could!

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2 responses to “Notes On My Return To Running

  1. “I am an old man who will live until I die.” – an Ernest Hemingway character

    Good luck on your 15K tomorrow!

    Thanks, bro! It was a good run notwithstanding the poor time. will write about it later.

    mabuhay ka!:-)

  2. Go rene, kaya mo ‘yan. We wish you success, because if you can do it, then many others will be inspired to follow.

    Thanks, Rico! yes, kakayanin natin yan. hope this year will be a more fruitful one for all us runners. mabuhay ka!

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