I can’t get over running my first 10k! It was at Ultra, the most unlikely place to run your longest distance. The track is great for your knees, the community of runners is motivating, but the repetition will make you feel like a hamster on a wheel. And you pay Php35 to use a stinky toilet with no flush!

But that’s where I hit my new longest distance! Big, big, HUGE milestone for me, because it’s always felt like an unreachable dream. I never thought I’d ever have enough strength or fortitude for it.

I was shooting for 7k, and I started with a go-easy mindset, convincing myself that lack of sleep and buffet overload were good enough reasons. But by the 6th km my knees were feeling badgered.

I pushed on, feeling strong-lunged enough to go the distance. I tried to adjust my gait to something more comfortable for my knees, until I hit a stride that felt really good and effortless! It was a longer stride, and I had to lean forward more, and trust that my legs knew what pace they should go.

I basically let my legs lose, picturing them flowing smoothly one step after another. That mindset did wonders! I realized I was limiting myself with my mind; when I opened up to running faster and with longer strides, the jog felt so much freer and funner! And the knee aches left! Whatever it was, it felt good so I kept going, all the way to 10k.

The finish was one of the sweetest victories I’ve had over myself, and the taste lingered till days after. It was a victory over my short-sightedness, my small brain, my boxed-in boundaries.

Two days after I feel still a bit sore, but at least now I know, at least I hope I remember, how to run more efficiently. Funny how your body teaches you, if you’ll let go of your preconceived notions and listen. Sometimes, your mind has to push beyond what your body says is possible. It’s really a team effort, even this sport for one!