Running is supposed to increase your endorphins, the brain’s feel-good chemical. But I was close to sobbing in the cab on the way home to Makati after my diagnostic run in UP. No, those were not tears of joy. I was disappointed, worried and ashamed of my time—6.6 kilometers in 51 minutes and x seconds. That wasn’t so bad, really, just bad enough to kiss my application to a mountaineering organization goodbye.
As part of the application process, applicants are required to run 6.6 kilometers in 45 minutes to be declared fit for the first training climb. Pretty doable, isn’t it? Not to me. Well, not anymore. Three years ago, yes, maybe even less than 45 minutes.
Two weeks before the run and right after I decided to apply to this organization, I have started going back to being physically active. I was learning how to swim and after 7 swimming sessions went back to running when I got home for field break. And during my own little training for the 6.6K, I did manage to clock 31:09 for a 4.4K distance two days before the diagnostic run. I thought I would do just fine come Monday or Tuesday evening.
But in the middle of my run this evening, I realized that that kind of training was not enough. I couldn’t even make it under 50 minutes! And I cannot help but feel sorry for myself, for failing myself. Hearing and not being one of the sub-45-minute 6.6K runners made me feel like, well, a loser.
Maybe the colds and the onset of my menstruation were to blame. Maybe I have been misreading signs from God. I cannot say I did not give my best shot. I do not believe I did not do my best. I woke up every day at 5am for the past week to train for this. I continued running, walked for a couple of minutes to catch my breath then started jogging again even if my ovaries and uterus felt like they were about to come out of me.
Still, I ended up with a dismal 6.6-kilometer run time.
I would still run tomorrow. If the physical fitness officer decides that my times (this evening’s and tomorrow’s) are not yet acceptable for this weekend’s climb then I guess that’s the time I should give up on this application.
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm pace to stand. (Psa 40:2 NIV)