27
Dec
16

A Runner’s Christmas Story

Christmas is time for family, loved ones, and friends.  It is also time for countless feasts and parties that stretch your gut and your systems to the limit.  But it doesn’t mean you should just let it go unchecked…

Let’s eat!
(Photo from my Taste Cavite adventure)

Working out is probably at the least priority of most people right now.  How can you think of exercise when there’s so many foods to binge with?  How can you think of sweating it out when your body tells you to take a snooze?  That includes me as well.  Doesn’t it feel good to sleep after eating?

Fortunately, I have a goal.  This was established at the start of this year called my New Year’s Resolution.  It was pretty simple: run a mile (1.60934 kilometers) a day to accumulate 366 miles (since 2016 is a leap year).  Sounds so simple at the time, and I was actually ahead of my goals for the first half of the year.  The second half though, was another story.  By the end of July, I was only ahead of my goal by a mile!  And from there, it all went downhill.

Perhaps my biggest accomplishment for the first half of the year is completing 50K at the 2016 TNF100 Philippines

My monthly mileage dropped significantly the following months.  I think I became relaxed when I reached 366 kilometers on the month of August, thinking that 366 miles should come anytime.  But 366 kilometers is still about 223 kilometers away from 366 miles (589.02 kilometers)!  This I realized when November came, my birth month.  I was so busy with a lot of different things that I realized that I was only able to log a single 5.2K run!  I was still almost 130 kilometers away from my goal at the end of November.

130 kilometers in one month.  That’s a staggering figure for me as I’ve never run that much in a month this year, even when I did my 50K ultramarathon.  But a goal is a goal, and I would at least attempt to reduce that little by little day by day.  “The journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step.”  And with that in mind, I did what I could, whenever I could.  I only have 31 days to complete 130 kilometers, and realistically, there are a lot of days in this month that I won’t be able to run.  If I did 10K a day though, I’d only need 13 days to complete the task.  10K a day!  That’s still a hard figure to chew on, but it’s worth a try!  And it’s a good thing that I got a gadget that arrived at the right time to help me motivate in completing this goal.

The journey of a thousand miles begin with a single step.
—Lao Tzu

Fast forward a few weeks later.  I actually did better than I originally expected.  At first, I was practically dragging myself to run, but a few weeks later I got the hang of it.  The consistent long run actually boosted my endurance in such short amount of time!  When I started, I barely have enough energy to do anything else after running.  Just a few days ago, I can actually do my regular workout after my long run!  My long runs are actually more for distance than speed, so the longer time it took to finish actually helped my endurance.

It is because of these cramming sessions that I got to discover BGC Greenway Park!

Christmas Day.  A day when just about nobody thinks of working out.  When I tallied my progress for the month, I’m actually less than a full marathon away from my 366-mile goal!  When I thought that it was impossible for me to complete 130 kilometers in a month, here I am, almost reaching my goal.  And so when I had free time that Christmas afternoon, guess what I did? 😀

I decided to run from our home to my gym some 6.5 kilometers away.  The distance may not be as far as what I used to do, but this route is pretty much all uphill so the challenge is pretty much there.  As usual, I didn’t really care much about my pace and just enjoyed my run as I see the sun setting while doing it on a Christmas Day.

Bringing some Christmas Spirit into the gym with my “outfit of the day”

Lo and behold!  I actually wasn’t alone in thinking of their health this Christmas Day!  I found two more guys at the gym when I arrived!  Just as when I was hoping to have the gym to myself!  But seriously, I’m glad that there are more like-minded folks that don’t make the Holidays as an excuse to forget about their health!  Later on, two more ladies came into the gym.

The gym is mine! 😀
Fitness is a journey, not a destination so you could say it’s always a work in progress.  I’ve been going to the gym longer than I’m running but I’ve never posted anything about that topic, so if you think I should start sharing tips about working out, let me know!

As of today, I’m less than 30K away from finally completing my long overdue New Year’s Resolution of running 366 miles this year.  What I learned with my cramming is that regardless of how big the task may be, if you worked hard for it, even a little at a time, you’d complete it.  All it takes is the motivation to complete the task, careful planning on how to go about it, and execute!  You’d be surprised at how the little things matter.  The important thing is to act.  Having some friends or tools that could keep you motivated along the way helps too!  And you don’t have to wait for the New Year to arrive to start acting on your goals! 🙂


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