Friday, July 13, 2018

I Ran My First Full Marathon at 41: NatGeo Run 2017

It was April 23, 2017 when I ran my first full marathon, the full 42km and I was 41 years old. I was fairly new to running (will explain this in my back story) so my official finish time was 6:27:29. Anyway, my goal was not to finish fast, but simply to finish - and I did! 40 days. That's exactly the number of days that I had to officially prepare for my first full marathon.

Thank you, Rickpet Lens Photography, for this photo.

A little back story. December 2016, I availed of this free baseline health test at Open Access, a company that provides multilingual customer services, where I work. The test showed I had high total and bad cholesterol. Being a person who was into various sports and physical activities in the past like football, basketball, martial arts and doing Insanity workout, I then resolved to get back into some sort of physical activity.

I hit the gym and ran on the treadmill. Vividly, I remember that I ran straight for only 12 minutes - that's how long I could last running and I was already spent. My goal was to bring down my cholesterol levels through diet and aerobic exercise. That was my initial purpose for getting into running. I also tried getting back into Aikido training when I found a dojo at Makati Sports Club, but I figured, running was the least expensive between the two, although I admit I would have enjoyed the latter more.

March 13, 2017 - 40 days before the NatGeo Run 2017, our company opened the invitation to all its employees to run in this event and use the 42k category as the qualifying run for the selection of the company's official representatives to the New York City Marathon last November 2017. I signed up.

Since then, I started preparing to run my first full marathon. It was also about the same week that I downloaded Runtastic, the first running app I used to keep track of my runs and progress. Below are the runs I did from the date of the announcement leading to the NatGeo Earth Day Run 2017.

Well, I didn't qualify as our company's representative to the 2017 NYCM, but, I learned a great deal out of the experience and was able to use it as illustration in a sermon entitled 'Steadfadtly Run' from our message series entitled "Keep On" in our church at Eastwood City.

A few weeks prior to the NatGeo Run, I joined Run United Exceed 2017. I joined the half marathon where you only get a finisher's medal if you finish under a challenging cut-off time of 2:30.

As seen above my IG post, I made it. So, there was a bit of confidence that I could finish the NatGeo Run under 6 hours. I was wrong. I learned the lesson, "Respect the distance."

There was no excuse for me. My training and experience wasn't enough for that full marathon and it has been quite a journey for me, looking back more than a year ago.

This year, my qualifying run for the 2018 NYCM was a different story. I will post about it soon and will include my one-year journey and training for that qualifier.