Sunday, November 2, 2008

huff'n and puff'n

i just love the fact that the world wide web now serves as the reservoir of all my thoughts. not only is it absolutely super due to its almost unlimited capacity for storage (God only knows how many i need to clear out of my head), but it also keeps my thoughts very well organized, in chronological order even! (said ala Snaggle Puss)

a couple of days ago, i was reading through the blog i kept while i was in the middle east and came upon one of the later posts i made, about 100 things i would like to do before i die. the idea originally came from bespren vikki. she said since i liked to write so much, might as well write about this one. it also happened to be a good exercise for me since i wrote it down on my birthday and needed to reflect on my past as well as plan for my future. the post was written in parts and but was never finished (i really don't have a lot of expectations for myself obviously, i think i stopped at 75). anyway, allow me to add another item to that entry, run a marathon.


mark and i met up at the quirino grandstand this afternoon. he's been complaining how sedentary he has been and that he desperately wanted to get fit again. i told him about my aspirations for the endurance run and he said he used to run 5K before. BING! he was then immediately drafted as my running bud. though he originally wanted us to go to the UP oval at dili, i told him that i was in no mood to drive that far to just RUN. i said i'll go to luneta instead, a place to which he said would also be ok.

so it was set, sunday afternoon, at sundown... we rendevous in front of the carabao, the statue giving Rizal across the street the evil eye.

i got to the meeting point a good 30 mins before the time, a habit of my OCD to aclimatize myself first to any surrounding. i decided to stay in my car and wait instead of loitering around the premises. experience has taught me that having a pale white guy like myself walking around only gets me very uncomfortable stares, so much so that i'd rather just stay hidden until it was time for me to "surface". mark arrived at 4:50, panting since he walked all the way from the kalaw LRT station. after his routinary complaints and me shooting down his rant with bitchy remarks, we got changed for our run.

this would be my first run in years on open road. to be honest, i am not really a fan of running since my massive bone structure, coupled with my bulk makes the activity quite unpleasant at times. i have lost a significant amount of weight already and have increased my leg muscle stamina, now i can at least manage running without much fear of doing too much joint damage.
i run on the treadmill at the gym but only for short periods of time... though much kinder to the knees, something about feeling like a hamster in a wheel just doesn't make the most flattering of imageries. since getting familiar with the pavement was part of the marathon experience, i best get used to it now i supposed.

mark and i took a warm-up run around the perimeter of the park. he bragged he didn't need to warm up any longer since he already walked a great distance to get to me. i on the other hand felt that we still needed it. after one round, we paused to stretch. pilates had made me extra limber to the point that i had to exhert extra effort just to feel a slight pull on my legs. mark i presumed was just watching me turn myself to a human pretzel. after a few minutes getting all loosened up, we were then off again on round two.

the feeling, as expected, was definitely different running on the road. the ground was harder and i did not have as much bounce as compared to on the treadmill. mark also observed that i ran like a "ballerina", that i ran on my toes. i actually noticed this as well even from way back whenever i would run on the road. i run on my toes. i figured i did this since it gave me extra bounce when i run. it felt more comfortable on my knees and it helped me manuever around sidewalks, corners, trees and people. i also learned from a football playing friend that running on ur toes make u cover farther distances on every stride. i guess if this was a sprint, that would help, but for a marathon, i doubt my calf muscles would last the entire distance. i made myself conscious of this habit of mine and slowly forced myself to run on my heels again. it was slower and more impactful, but like running on pavement, something that i had to get used to.

mark and i chatted while we ran. it was quite fun really as the talk distracted me from the fatigue, much more from the stares i was getting (and i was getting a LOT). mark noticed it too, explaining that it was probably because, again, of my paleness. i however had a feeling it was more than that, these stares had malice in them. anyway... i didn't bother entertaining these thoughts, i was here to train.

after 2 more rounds, the effects of mark's sedentary lifestyle started to show. he was parched, out winded and beginning to feel achy all over. i however was just beginning to feel hints of runner's high. we paused for him to grab a drink and started to run again. the ground was terribly hard and we later discovered that the asphalt felt better underfoot. another 2 more rounds and mark gave up. he apologized if he slowed me down, he didn't realize he was this out of shape. i told him that all is fine. at least i got to run.

though the quality of our training is questionable (we never really had a solid round of non-stop running and we never timed it since neither of us had a watch at hand), i still felt it wasn't all that of a loss. i think i was able to gauge my endurance level and learn of what my resting pace is. i also am trying still to get used to running on my heels and try to avoid doing the "gazelle" :) hopefully a couple more days (or nights) like this, i will be in shape for the real thing.

i can't wait!!! :)


Trip said...

uh-uh... conditioning already huh? very nice. well, i guess if ul run mid-distance to long distance, u really need to get use to heel or midfoot strike. toe strike is for sprinters. ur complaining of the absence of bounce in ur heel strike?

strike on ur heel then as u touch the ground bend ur knee to lower ur body and then propel with your midfoot to toe as if leaping forward not upward. loosen ur knee joint as u do this.

hope u could visualize that. hehehe

jamie da vinci! said...

very much so. you described it very well in jargon i can actually understand!!! :)

ran on the treadmill this evening for 15mins and covered about 3km (2.88 according to my calculation). was trying to get my body used to the movement and figuring out how to shift my weight around as i fatigue. was also feeling my feet and how they strike the ground (the belt in this case) and how i can try to lessen the impact. i'm thinking of heading to the park again tomorrow at dawn to try it out and see if i have ironed out all the kinks :) thanks for the tip though!

super geek in action .... AWAY!!!

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed, running rounds at luneta doesn't even tire you! this is me commenting so that you'll do away with the sarcasm the next time i talk to you. Meyer and I have been talking about how if you can do it, we can do it too...actually it's more me, Meyer just listens. He may need a little more motivation =P

Mugen said...

You're the fifth blogger I know who runs. Good luck on your conditioning. Too bad, I'm built for the free weights area. I doubt if I could last a kilometer on an open road. Hehe.

jamie da vinci! said...

@anonymous, was that sarcasm i sense in your comment? :) glad to FINALLY hear from you. and here i thought that spirit camp had completely done away with your usual cattiness... you have no idea how happy it makes me feel to be proven wrong :)

@mugen,thanks for the comment. i'm a free weights kind of guy as well to be honest. if possible i stay clear of those bulky cardio machines,hehehe. just thought it would be nice to have a change of scenery besides the usual gym patrons. besides.. have you seen the ppl who frequent the park lately?!!! enuf eye candy to make u reconsider, i'm sure :)