Den Haag Half Marathon
Who would have thought that a sickly child would one day go an extra mile and run a half marathon in Europe?
I remember in grade school, I was not allowed to even play table tennis because I apparently had a heart murmur and I was asthmatic. So strenuous activities were not advised. That though, didn't stop me from playing "piko", "patentero" and "tombang preso". I was also lazy as a child. I hated walking in the streets. Maybe I wasn't really lazy, but I was shy. I didn't want people staring at me in the streets. Not that they did because I know I didn't have the "charm", but just the thought you know. I had the most ridiculous excuses just so I won't walk to school, to the market or even to my friend's house in the next street. I always had to ride a tricycle.
But after two or more decades, things have changed. The sickly child is now a sporty lady.
I wasn't really planning to do any marathons or anything like it. I just wanted to lose some weight. But last year, everything changed when I lost my beloved son. He was the child who believed that he could do anything and everything. He believed that there is nothing impossible, you just need to make things happen. On top of that, he was a firm believer of God.
So, even if I wasn't planning to run farther than 3k because I knew I couldn't do it, I was forced to take the extra mile because I knew my angel would have wanted me to do the things that I have always thought I couldn't do. I decided to challenge myself and to make my son proud.
So, I signed up for the Bristol 10k in May last year. My son became my constant inspiration. And so I took my running to another level and joined the 16k run from Paris to Versailles in September of the same year. That was two long distance running in a year! Who would have thought?
I just wanted my son to be proud of me. Running is the least thing that I would do, so this is really a challenge for me. And the more I do it, the more I get challenged because I know "I can do it".
I decided to run farther and signed up for my first ever half marathon in Den Haag (The Hague). And I did it all for my son.
The Den Haag run was the hardest that I have done so far. It was not the hills that made it harder (because there was almost none- Netherlands is supposed to be flat), but the weather. I have the tendency to choose fashion over comfort. And for this, I went there unprepared. Can you tell how ignorant I am? Or perhaps I should say stupid. By now I would have ran a few miles, but I still don't take running seriously. You can tell that I still don't have proper running gear, apart from my trainers. My excuse is that proper running clothes are expensive and I am not willing to spend that much as yet - for running. Someone has told me a million times that running is not supposed to be fashionable, but obviously I still haven't accepted that. But I'm sure after that agonising run in the -5 degree weather, I may just have to listen. Maybe I really should.
I was doing really well to be fair, keeping up with my pace at my personal best, until we went up a hill by the sea. That's when I got disappointed and lost energy. It was so windy and so cold! I slowed down big time and wanted to give up. But then, the angel that my son is, his favourite song "Lighters" came on. I had to go on. I knew he was telling me that I could do it, and so I did!
At 17km, I knew I was almost there. Only 4k and I was done! On my last kilometer, my son's song came on again surprisingly and it played until I hit the finish line. Coincidence maybe, but I know that he was with me all the way.
2 hours and 28 minutes later and I finished my first ever half marathon. I'm sure my angel was proud of me!
As he would always say for every challenge he had to face, "Kaya ko po, Ako pa!".