Friday, July 8, 2022

Back to Foot Races with Green Run Vermosa 5k

My first foot rate after the pandemic restrictions was The Green Run at Vermosa last July 3, 2022. I chose this race because the venue was near my San Pedro home and the race advocated sustainability. 

I registered for the 5km distance as that was the most I could do given my current fitness level. Last May, I resigned from my work as Chief Risk Officer of a foreign bank branch to focus on my health. The pandemic in general and my personal bout with Covid 19 at height of the delta scare have a way of making people reassess personal priorities. Health comes first, and no amount of money, influence or prestige can make up for poor health. I was at a juncture where stress is wreaking havoc on my sugar and cholesterol levels, putting me at risk for diabetes and heart problems. I chose freedom to focus on my health.

Prior to July 2022, I have been doing regular walks almost daily at an average of 2-3kms. I rarely jogged or ran though as I was still very heavy. Since my resignation, I have significantly improved my sugar and cholesterol levels, but I have lost just about 5 pounds in two months. I joined a foot race to ramp my weight loss journey.

In June I slowly started jogging, beginning with 100m and slowly progressing with constant heart rate monitoring. I eventually graduated to doing rounds of walk and jog in the UPLB oval/field. Slowly, my average moving pace fell from 15min per km, to 14mpk, 13mpk, etc. To finish the 5k race within an hour, I needed to run an average of less than 12mpk. 

In the last rounds of my tempo runs I was already running below 12mpk. Conditions before the race though posed personal challenges. For two days before the race I tried brewing coffee myself (I am not regular coffee drinker) and that wreaked havoc on my metabolism and body clock. I felt like a zombie the last two nights before the race with less than 3 hours of sleep. The day before the race, I only had an hour of actual sleep.

For the first 1km of the race I just dragged myself like a zombie. I walked. On the second kilometer, I added some slow jogs. It was only in my 3rd kilometer that I got my groove back and my body remembered the training I've had. I was already hitting less than 12mpk and progressively getting faster in the last 3 kms. My negative split failed to deliver my target 55 minutes finish time, but 58:50 was okay given my circumstances.

More than the finish times, I was just happy to be able to actually run again, join races, immerse in the experience of running with others, and get to see familiar faces. I saw several friends, including my teammate Tracy from Endure. Thank you Lord!

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