I DECIDED on a lark—to run a 42K. But I’ve only ever done a 5K—roughly one year ago. But I thought, why not? Before the year comes to a close, let me do one more, new thing this year.
I never had any plans of taking up running. In fact, I had concrete plans to NOT run. At all. I didn’t want any part of my ageing body injured at this point in my life. But God works in mysterious ways.
Three years ago, I had surgery that compelled me to return to the gym. I was re-introduced to the treadmill. In the beginning, I only walked and jogged. Then, I got impatient. I thought, this is way too slow. So, I started running.
I ran three times a week, 2-3K each time. This was my warm-up before my actual workout. Last year, upon the invite of a friend, I took up a new challenge. I ran my first race—a 5K. I was ecstatic with this unexpected personal achievement this late in life.
Did I think I was going to do it again? Not really. It was a one-time thing for me. I just wanted to support a friend.
And then, the pandemic happened.
I fell behind in my fitness journey. With no trainer in sight to crack the whip, the exercise routine just flew out the window. The sedentary lifestyle did not become me.
But I didn’t give up. I brought the cavalry out—battle ropes, kettlebells, TRX ropes and more. And then I started running on the treadmill. Again. This time, I didn’t run as often but I ran longer.
On not so-great days, I’d run a 4-5K. And on really good days, I’d go as far as 8K. But I ran sporadically.
And then I heard about this virtual run—a fundraiser for Luzon. The thing that caught my eye was the fact that runners were allowed to accumulate their runs within a given time period. That’s when the seed was born.
I thought, well, I can probably never run a 42K anymore as I started running rather late in life but now, it’s like the Red Sea just parted for me. Incredulously, I started to see a path to 42K.
I ran 5 times in 4 days within a 10-day period. My longest run was a 12K. Looking back, I realize I didn’t do the 42K on a lark. In fact, the run was quite purposeful and premeditated.
Each year, I stay faithful to the mantra: do something new each year. I’m happy to close the year 2020 with my 42K achievement—something I never imagined would still be possible in this lifetime.
I started running at the age of 53. My first race, a 5K, I ran at 55. This year, at the ripe, old age of 56, I dared to dream to run a 42K—and made that dream a reality.
Before the year ends, I just want you to know that it’s never too late and you’re never too old to do it. Dare to do something new each year. If you haven’t done it yet, you have five days to do it before we ring in the new year.
Good luck and happy new year!