Run away with me
I'm not a runner. I don't particularly enjoy it, but I know that cardio is good for me and so I do it. In the same way that I'm not a fan of vegetables, I'll do it because it's good for me. Like drinking water, too. I run because it's free and I live in such a safe city with zero pollution. All of which means I don't have excuses to not run.
I was never an athlete. I didn't grow up doing sports. I took a year of gymnastics (was allergic to the chalk). I did a summer of swimming (it was survival). I was never amazing at Physical Education classes. I took tennis lessons in high school cause the coach was cute. I don't recall being encouraged to get into sports. And I didn't look for it either.
So physical activity doesn't come naturally to me. In Manila, I probably did a couple of 5KM fun runs with my mom and sister (probably once a year), but because Singapore is so conducive to exercise, I found myself getting into running. Since I've moved, I've done a couple of runs -- (Snoopy Run being my favorite swag bag; Stan Char 10K and 21K because those are the big Singapore runs and a couple others) the distance getting longer and longer -- 21KM is the longest to date.
When people ask what my goal is for these runs I join, my answer is always to finish. I don't have a time I really want to beat -- in my head, I hope to beat my previous time, but really, I just want it to finish. Sometimes, in my super determined moments, I think I would like to do a full marathon or a triathlon. But then I wake up to reality and know that I can barely survive a 21KM "run".
I finished another one this morning and my body aches and I'm just sore all over. I'm glad I finished with my sanity intact and my knees still supporting me. As I listened to podcast after podcast counting down the kilometers, I always wonder why I subject myself to this but I guess it's some sort of sick satisfaction.
It also happened to be the run that coincided with Prince Harry's wedding. I had family and friends messaging me as the wedding was on its way -- I was carbo-loading and watching Chesapeake Shores, trying my best to stay away from social media so I wouldn't get too depressed but I caved and a couple hours before the night run, I checked it. And it made me sad (bye bye Harry!) but also he looked so damn happy, that I couldn't not be happy for him.
I was talking to a friend about all the feels I was feeling and I was told to run my heart out. I don't know if I did, but I finished 37 seconds faster than my last 21KM so I guess running away from my feelings for Harry helped a tad bit. Every time I felt like I wanted to turn my brain off and give up, I just thought of that bearded ginger looking adorable in his wedding garb and I trudged along, one foot after another.
I kept getting flashbacks to my failed attempt at meeting Prince Harry at the 2012 Olympics in London. I was at the rowing competition a day before he was there! It ain't over till it's over, my sister would always tell me, but as I started the 21KM this morning, I knew I had lost my chance. And so instead, I jogged and jogged, hoping one day, the guy — that looked at me the way Harry looked at his now wife — finds his way to me
Maybe one day, I'll enjoy running. Maybe. For now, I'll keep doing it the way I eat my vegetables and drink my water, because it's probably good for me.