I have never been good at any sport growing up that is why I am beyond happy, thrilled, and excited to be featured in this month’s issue of Endurance Sports Magazine. Here, I shared what prompted me to join The Bullrunner’s TBR Dream Marathon, what I learned from the experienced, and how it has changed me since then.
Benjamin Franklin once said, either you write something worth reading or do something worth writing. Eversince I decided to reinvent myself, I made it my goal to do both.
Thank you Endurance Sports Magazine and Jaymie Pizzaro for the feature, it feels good to be the subject (and not the writer) for a change. Friends, you can read the virtual copy here (http://issuu.com/newleafmedia/docs/041115_endurance_april_for_referenc/c/subjlru) or grab the April issue at your favorite sports store.
Two days into the marathon, here I am feeling under the weather. I woke up this morning with itchy throat, eyes, and nose. It didn’t help that the weather does not seem to cooperate. It has been cold these past to nights making my throat ache painfully. Quite ironic because these past few days I have been sleeping early and trying to get enough rest. I guess my body doesn’t take kindly to rest.
But then again, these might be a classic case of jitters. My body is reacting to the stress in anticipation for the big day. A while ago while I was reading the bible, I came accross Psalms 46:5, it says “God is within her, she will not fail.” Yes I believe so. God has been with me since the moment I conceived this dream in my heart. He was beside me when I was trading an extra hour in bed for a run at the break of dawn. He is with me now that the dream is almost at my fingertips. I will make this happen. We will make this happen. Me and my God. I will get us to the finish line, sans sweat and colds.
My friend’s text to me this morning was, “Blancs! Did you know that Manila to Malolos is 38kms? Mas malayo pa yun run mo sa Sunday! ? Oh my gosh!” I never really thought of it that way. I never really map out how far 42 km. is. All this time, to me, it is just a number. Four 10 km and an extra two. Sometimes I measure it by time, 6 to 7 hours on the road. But to really see how far it is from the starting to end point, I’ve never really done that. It is because I do not want to start questioning and doubting myself. I don’t want a whole stretch of road. I want to take it by minutes and hours with the Lord. I do not want to focus on the destination but the journey because I know if I do it that way, I will surely get me to the finish line.
On Sunday, I will be running my first full marathon under the TBR Dream Marathon. To say that I am a bundle of nerves right now is to put it mildly. My stomach is full of butterflies and my body is riddled with tension everytime I think about how I might not finish the race, become injured, or get sick days before the race day. I’m driving myself nuts, I know. It suddenly hit me this evening that the biggest obstacle to our dream is really our own self.
When self-doubts and negativity start invading my thoughts, I try my best to stop them by reminding myself how badly I wanted to bag this 42 in the first place and how I have worked hard for this. I think about how the Lord has birthed and planted this desire inside me and how He has been greatly helping me inch my way closer to this dream these past months.
I really shouldn’t worry too much because I have His favor. God’s grace will help me make it to the finish line. He has seen me through the worst these past two years, from the death of my husband to my daughter and I’s battle with cancer. He has never once failed me before, and I know that He is not about to start now. I will make it to the finish line, we will cross it together, me and My God.
My love affair with running started right after my husband, Nan, died. Weeks after he passed away, I remember fervently asking the Lord to give me something (not someone) to occupy my mind, fill my days with wonder, and make me feel alive again. I prayed for Him to bring back the bounce in my step, the smile on my face, and that same silly happiness I felt with Nan. He gave me running.
I remember that exact time I felt it, that gentle yet insistent prodding, that persistent desire to run. It was while I was standing by my husband’s grave one day, looking over at the horizon when I caught sight of this woman who was running strong and graceful, it’s as if her feet don’t so much as touch the ground. Her whole body was radiating strength and joy. I quite remember telling myself then that someday that’s going to be me.
Fast forward to my first attempt to run, my feet felt like bricks, I was gasping for air and I was just about ready to collapse on the pavement halfway through my lap. But I made it, oh yes I made it to the first kilometer, and to the second, and to the third…I have never stopped running since then.
But, my relationship with this sport, it isn’t always easy. In fact, everytime I am out running early in the morning while the rest of the world sleeps, I often ask myself, why do I have to do this? Surprisingly though, it is when self-doubt clouds my mind like this that the amazing thing usually happens. Always as if on cue, my mind will start to clear, my lungs will start to open, my whole body will sing in tune with each step, and I will be left there totally enjoying the exhilirating experience. Finding myself thinking yet again that, this, this is why you do this. So you’ll see that no matter how hard it may seem to get up in the morning, there’s always something great for you out there there. That no matter how difficult it may seem at the start, if just make a run for it with faith and determination, you will see yourself through.
Running has made me understand the beauty of a struggle. It made me see pain in a different light. It made losing my husband easy to bear. It made me realize a lot of things like difficulty will always be a given. The elements that can beat me down will always be there, it is your determination and attitude really that will get you to the next kilometer. It made me understand myself well enough to know when I am ready and strong enough for another push.
At present, I continue to run as passionately as when I first started. For me, love and running, they’re almost like the same thing. You love and run till it hurts because in the end, you’ll find that, it’s all truly worth it.
Blanca will be part of the hundred dreamers who will run their first marathon on February 22 at Nuvali under the TBR dream program of The Bull Runner. Want to run for your dream also visit www.tbrdream.com