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.
October 6, 2013 – The First Bull Session
It’s the day after the first Bull Session – the first of several long, increasing runs that I, along with the other participants of The Dream Marathon batch 2014, need to run as part of training. After a few weeks of training from scratch (I have never trained for any running activity in my life), yesterday was my first experience of running in an organized group. With my tireless running patron Joanne, I got to the site with almost no expectations other than to learn even more things about training. What greeted me was a sea of blue as most everyone there had the official training shirt on. My own training shirt, even as I already got the 2XL size, did not fit as I had hoped, so my purple shirt had me standing out like a sore thumb. I see this as a good thing as it gave me an additional goal – to fit into the training shirt between now and Christmas.
Everyone and his brother were busy in various stages of stretching, meeting and greeting each other, and general merry making. My brain was failing. I couldn’t recognize anyone I had met online because my mind was processing so much information. As if it hadn’t sunk in that I was doing this – not just this one training run but the entire Marathon. As daunted as I occasionally am, the great thing was that everyone was as friendly in person as they are online. Could it be true that running united these people? Apparently so. Strangers greeted me with words of encouragement.
The run itself was thankfully uneventful – by uneventful I mean nothing untoward happened to me by way of cramps, breathlessness, or such. My 2:1 pack had all but left me behind but, aside from my run-bud, there were two guys who stayed back with me egging me on: “Power walk ha!”. Thank you. I had pre-decided to just do 1:1 on account of my weight and hypertension so hanging back was fine save for a few bouts of guilt that I might hold some back. Having been training mostly in the evenings, running in the sun was also somewhat new to me. Still hard for me but I welcomed the experience. Saying my prayers, training as I’m told, and eating as I should, are the things that carry me forward.
I came in ‘alive last’ (the complete opposite of dead last!) I believe but it was very good for me to go through it. ‘Complete don’t compete’, ‘As long as you finish’, ‘Run at your comfortable pace’, and similar words of encouragement in various friendly voices kept echoing in my mind. Just the same, I look forward to run-walking more pounds off and logging on more mileage. This time, I really am thankful for all the Bull.