I admit: I am a morning person. But setting my alarm at 4:00 am to join a run wasn't exactly my cup of tea. I debated on whether I should get up or make up a ridiculous excuse. Like the stomach flu, maybe? It's hard to make sound decisions when you're surrounded by fluffy pillows and a warm blanket.
But I stuck to the plan. I got out of bed, laced my running shoes, and headed to the SM Mall of Asia to join the 2013 Run Rio Battle of the Sexes. Yas Hidalgo of Sofitel was kind enough to invite me a month before, and I jumped at the chance because despite hating the early morning call time, I do love running.
The truth is, I've never joined a race alone. I've always had a parent, my brother, or my boyfriend to accompany me. And as I found myself making my way to the starting line, I realized how gratifying it was to do this on my own. I know it sounds so mundane, but just standing there and just absorbing all the energy from the runners was exciting. I was so pumped to run!
When the gun went off, I took my time. I wanted to finish the race running, so I paced myself well. It started to rain, but that didn't stop me from going because I looked around and everyone was smiling despite the awful weather. They looked so happy!
By the 3-KM mark, I was ready to run-walk through the last two kilometers. Finishing a run can be hard if you do it on your own. Without a friend to pace and cheer you, it's easy to quit. And that was the last thing I wanted. I was about to stop, until this 12-year-old girl started running beside me. Her hair was up in a cute ponytail, and her face was so red. But she kept going! I was amazed and slightly embarrassed for myself.
So instead of focusing on being tired, I focused on the little girl. I said to myself, "If she can run a 5-K without walking or stopping, I could, too!" Call it being competitive, but it worked. On my last kilometer, I sped off and ran my all—finishing my 5-K in 34 minutes, a personal best!
Trust me: Finishing a race (no matter what distance) is one of the most fulfilling things you can ever accomplish. The adrenaline you get after is intoxicating. After crossing the finish line, I remember saying, "Kaya ko na mag-full marathon!" FYI: a full marathon is 42-K! Call me crazy, but I was that ecstatic!
I've finished a couple of races before, but I've never finished one alone. While it’s nice to have someone run with you, it’s a different feeling knowing you got to the finish line on your own. Cosmo girls, I challenge you to do something new this year. It doesn't have to be something huge. Try a new fitness class, take a vacation by yourself, or get a pixie cut—just do something you’ve never done before. You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish.
Until next time!