It's three more weeks before the Milo Marathon regional elimination race in Davao City. Preparing for the race has been the main focus of my running life these past couple of months. My goal is to improve on my last 21k time of 1:42:42.
I did my longest run so far of 25 kilometers last Sunday. I have pushed my lungs to bursting during intervals. I have worked my heart to near maximum during hard tempo runs. I have held a pace I never thought I can in my hilly city where I can hardly find a flat course to run, burning uphills and flying downhills to the best my mere mortal capacities allow.
Still, there is that tinge of doubt. Will all these really translate into a better finishing time for a 21k come race day?
I guess self doubt is something that we can never truly dispel. I am confident that I can run a 21k. The 25k long run has proven that I have the required endurance. An earlier 22k long run up a course that climbs for an entire 10 kilometers is proof I have the strength. Running the distance faster is of course another thing. That is what brings in the questions.
I have never seen myself as a fast runner. I have always dreamed, nay, fantasized I was one. More than once, I hear loud cheers in my mind as I race toward the finish line tape, breaking it in victory. More than once, I wake up to the reality that some runners in my age category finish races way ahead of me on very minimal training. While I believe that I was born to run, others are just born to run faster than me.
I have three more weeks of hard work ahead of me. More intervals, more tempo runs, more workouts to burn my lungs and make my heart pump faster. Maybe somewhere in those runs I will finally find the confidence I need about my ability to run fast. That one feel-good run that will tell me that there is a tiger in this cat.