On The Heels of a Dream is a weekly column by guest writer Obbie Suguitan who is currently training for his first marathon, The Bull Runner Dream Marathon, on February 16, 2014.
The highlight of this week is me not being able to stand up from a sitting position. It wasn’t funny then (well. It was a little funny), it’s not funny now.
– TBR on TBR ULAH Dream Marathon –
At the Bull Circle last Wednesday, one of the things coach Jim Saret had us participants do was to do a move to show just how weak our bodies were – are still. All I needed to do, with a certain body position, was to stand. My weak, non-marathon-ready knees did not perform. Good! It was a rude awakening to how much muscle balance and strengthening I need, along with dozens of other batchmates.
This on a night that I had a knee taped by a charmingly professional Rock doc named Ms. Carmela. At least I think they’re called Rock Docs because they’re experts at applying Rocktape, the best kenisiology tape around.
– with TBR and fellow Dreamers –
This talk by Coach Jim, was sandwiched by my two maintenance runs for the week – both 45 minuters – which I did on Tuesday and Thursday. For both, I had relatively little trouble completing them with a few bursts of faster-than-my-usual speed. Due to being obedient to the program, I found that what little progress I’ve made is starting to build up in terms of endurance. Even in tiny, almost imperceptible increments, improvement is still improvement. Just a couple of months ago, 45 minutes running was unthinkable for a morbidly obese Obbie. During this week, a lot of talk went around about who and how the upcoming Sunday marathon was going to go. In my ‘un-readiness’ for that, I had to stay the course of my own training.
My new experience for this week was the 2nd of my maintenance runs because it was the first time I tried running in compression shorts AND a Rocktaped right knee. As much of a newbie as I am, I felt the difference the right equipment makes. As a try-athlete (I know this is not my original coined term but I’ll use it anyway), any advantage afforded by something as simple as the right shorts is a big thing. I know I’d still hurl chunks at the sight of myself in a compression shirt and pants but, fortunately, I have a few months more to achieve a better shape (‘in better shape’ is different from ‘in a better shape’). Plus, serious runners (of which I think I can count myself as right now) prefer performance over aesthetics.
My weekend LSD was a different story. I had chosen to do it on a Saturday night in the vicinity of my wife and her friends having a night out. This week my marching order was to do 90 minutes and my chosen pace is my uniform slow 2:1. Running around a big circuit around the neighborhood, I went up and down on a relatively hilly course and completed it, surprisingly, fairly fatigue-free. I know it was the case because I didn’t have the sun bearing down on me. What made this run different though, was the aftermath. I cooled down, post-stretched properly, then rested. But, as I got up from my seat barely an hour after finishing my run, I felt pain in both knees which continued well into Sunday. Maybe not pain per se but a peek-a-boo kind of ache. After I had congratulated the participants of the Sunday morning marathon, I received tips, advice, and offers of treatment from doctor batchmates. Yes! The group is coming together in support of one another! So now, after a soothing Sunday night cold compress and hopes of it being nothing serious, the pain has virtually disappeared even as I have two new Doc friends waiting in the wings to help – everyone needs help, yes? Now as I prepare to retire for the night, me and my knees will go to bed safe in the knowledge that I will not go this alone. I’m with friends. I’ll say my prayers, follow my training program, then ask yet again: When’s the next run?