Monday, August 24, 2009

Running in Uni

I haven't been running for 5 days.

Most runners fear gaining weight when they stop running. I fear losing my stamina and endurance. Unlike most people, I don't really seem to 'enjoy' enjoy running - I only like the after effect of running, that feeling when you feel invincible and able to do anything. That was my pure motivation when I was in uni, lacing up my running shoes (a cheap Power bought in Giant with my scholarship money, no less) in the evenings while my friends either watched downloaded series or napped or watched boys playing football.

I used to run in the mornings as well too. I was an early morning runner when I was in high school. My dad and I and mom would go to the lake that I run now and we'd be doing a couple of rounds. Running in the morning is the best feeling. You just feel more energized plus the whole world is slowly waking up. There's nothing more beautiful for me.

In uni I would run straight after Subuh. I remember there was this senior dude who always run too. We would be running in opposite directions and I would secretly look at him because he was kinda cute. I think we were silent running partners for over a year. Then my subjects got really tough and I slept later than I would and would run in the evening. It's not so good because that means boys are around playing football and the really naughty ones would cat call you or just tease you while you run.

But all throughout I always have a love-hate relationship with my running. Somedays I dread it, some days I couldn't wait to do it. Sometimes I hate it even while doing it - this usually means that the whole run would be a mental one as I would be struggling to complete the distance - and the would be other times, very rare though, that my legs just feel loose and my knees don't hurt an my mind singing. I love it when that happens.

One thing I love and hate about myself when I run is that I never give up. If I've started to run 5km, for example, this means there will be no turning back. I could never go back to less than 5km unless I'm doing speed intervals or the likes. Sometimes I get tired even at 2km. The moment I get tired, I know it's not going to stop. It is then that I find myself thinking, "Let's just do 4km. I could stop this." But I would push myself hard to do 5km because I know the end result is highly rewarding. I've beaten the odds. I've actually challenged myself.

This is what I felt when I ran my first 10k. I haven't been running properly for a year until then. I took up other sports: since last year I've been doing kickboxing, swimming and badminton religiously every week. Then I found out that a friend I used to run with did the marathon and I got such a jealousy kick. I mean, I've ran with her. And look at her, doing a mara. I searched the internet and instantly registered myself to 3 running events that july. I was filled with the vigor of such an overwhelming level. I felt like I wanted to leap out of my office chair and run.

But I ran only twice that week. And it was only 3 km I think. Then I went to Thailand and bungeed jump. When I went back, I only ran twice for 4km. I was still gaspng for air.

Then I ran my first 10k.

The race was horrible, and my legs screamed after the first 10 minutes. Uphills were torturous, and I think my pace were as slow as a snail. I paced myself behind a lot of other women, sometimes overtaking them, most of the time being left behind. And, then, about 4km to the finish line or so, I couldn't quite explain it, my body just felt lighter. It was such a noticeable difference, like swimming into the colder parts or the sea, and I felt my legs sprung to life. I ran faster than I could imagine at a pace I usually reserve for the last 200m of my running.

I got the qualifying medal.
I spent the whole day riding the wave of my euphoria.

It's ramadhan, and it's a wonderful month to be in. I had such a fine Ramadhan last year that I'm all happy about celebrating it this year. If you put aside the fact that you can't eat/drink, this holy month has such an upbeat, warm feeling to it. I owe a lot of my positive outlook to the ramadhan month, specifically last ramadhan. My life wasn't too great the past few years becaue of some emotional problems I was going through but during ramadhan I decided to buck up and focus on what's important and even though it sounds cheesy, but I'll just write it anyway: there is a reason for everything, and God knows what He is doing and everything is already pre-ordained for you. There is nothing to be sad about.

Running today. Kinda looking forward to it. Actually, really looking forward to it. But we'll see how I feel at 4pm!

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