What is it about running that really thrills me to the bones?! Despite the near death feelings during a particularly hard run? What is it about it that makes you will yourself to go beyond what you know is your absolute physical limit? Why does one feel silly giddy after a tortuous run? How can one smile, laugh and want some more? It's just pure insanity. :) :)
Today was still supposed to be part of recovery week. We did 1.2K warm-up, stretching and drills. C decided to skip gym and join our run instead. It was nice to have him there tonight. :)
Those of us who've been in the clinic for a longer time were assigned to do 8x1.2K or 9.6K, the others were assigned to do 6x800m or 4x800m.
So okay... should be a slow, easy run. Takbong mayaman, is what Coach Jo Ar calls it. I was the only girl in the 8x1.2K group. The stronger girls were absent. But I was fine with it. At first C said he'll run with me. But when the faster guys started breaking away from our group, I told him to go on ahead and run with the faster group.
I was running with several guys and Coach Jo Ar. I was determined to keep my own pace, and not feel pressured to speed up or keep up with the boys. But boy oh boy... Coach had other plans.
After maybe two laps, I felt that our pace wasn't easy at all. I was having a hard time keeping my breath even and slow. But I was still okay. AND... when I tried to slow down so that Coach would go on ahead, he would slow down too. Because he kept pace with me, I also unconsciously started keeping pace with him.
When I run, I constantly evaluate how I'm feeling. If my legs are tired, if I'm running out of breath. With the pace that Coach was taking, I did struggle to breathe calmly but my legs weren't giving out on me so I kept to his pace while just mentally telling myself to breathe properly and efficiently. Harder said than done but I took it as an opportunity to practice mental strength. Naks!
By this time we were a nice little pack of runners. Maybe five. After the fourth lap, we picked up two more boys who had left the leading pack. It felt good to be running in a pack! My first time to do so. And I felt smug that I was running and keeping up with boys. It was nice too to be a big enough group to warrant the parting of the Friday night crowds milling about our route in High Street. Yabang!
But torture!!! I found it sooo tough to keep to that pace! Although I know (and confirmed post-run) that the boys were also struggling to keep to the pace that Coach set. Being in a group really pushes you to go a level up on the self-torture scale.
For the boys, they felt they couldn't stop and walk because the girl in front wasn't stopping and walking. The girl in front wasn't about to let any boy say: ay babae kasi...
The winner in all this was Coach Jo Ar, who must've been snickering the whole 8 laps. Hahaha. But seriously, he was such an encouragement to us. We hardly even noticed that we were increasing speed. And he would joke and egg us on. On the last 200m, he was pushing me to do 400m more so I can do a complete 10K but I chickened out. I told him I want to conserve what energy I had left for my first 10K on Sunday. Chicken. Haha.
It was a really damn good run! And I'm so proud that C ran so well too! He was with the really fast group! Naks!
Time to sleep and recharge my batteries now. :)