When I was a kid, I loved to run. Run, as in run during games like mataya-taya, Pepsi-seven up and cops and robbers where I had to avoid being caught by the “it”. So far, that’s my only involvement in this sport. And it wasn’t even anything sports-related to me; I was just a kid who loved to run because I thought I ran fast. These days, running has become a sport and a hobby to many fitness enthusiasts. Everyone has his reasons. To be healthy. To lose weight. To stay fit. These three are pretty much everybody’s reason for running. Pero sa totoo lang, running doesn’t appeal to me as much as mountain climbing does. For one, I feel that everyone is “into it”, therefore making it a trend, and, well, I don’t like joining the bandwagon. But I’m sure there are many reasons people run apart from joining the bandwagon, like staying healthy as I already said. And I know it just shows the overall importance of staying fit and healthy. But, it still doesn’t appeal to me. Another reason I don’t like running is because I’m already a very thin person. At 90lbs now (my normal weight is 94lbs), I feel that any more running I do and I would end up fainting somewhere along the race track. Baka kaladkarin nalang ako papuntang hospital. What an embarrassment, right? The last time I ran for my climb, I felt I lost 2lbs and I honestly thought my face was sagging. Third, there’s very little interaction done in this sport. Once you run, you’re pretty much set on your own race. Mountain climbing is different and is a good social activity.
But then I noticed a difference, or an advantage, to being a runner. Runners make good climbers. One friend of mine —-she was not a mountaineer, she has never climbed a mountain in her life, and she is just about the same body frame as me —climbed the most difficult trail of Mt. Apo, and all she could say about the trail when I asked her about it was, “it was great! I didn’t find it difficult!” Yes, you guessed it right: she’s a runner.
So my point is, there is something I’m obviously missing from all this running that people do. And I’m about to test for myself the benefits that running gives to a climber like me. One is building up endurance. During my climb in Kanlaon, I did my share of training with my usual daily exercises, warm ups and body conditioning, the same exercises I do in gymnastics. I thought stretching would suffice. But I failed to understand that climbing a mountain as tough as Kanlaon would require more than just your basic stretching. I’m embarrassed just writing about it now, because I was very proud and I thought it would be a fairly easy climb since I’m an athletic person and my body is used to being subjected to rigorous trainings. Not to mention, I have good climb credentials. But when I was in Kanlaon, boy did my body really struggle. It was a combination of many factors –the rain, the cold weather, and the assault. I was not physically prepared for it and for the first time in my climbs, I had cramps. I’ve never had that before. I guess I can also add stress to the list.
So now I’m giving more importance to an adequate training and body conditioning before a climb. I’ve put on some run training to condition my lungs, my knees, my heart —to what could be another difficult climb up Mariveles.
And after my first morning run, I actually felt good and I didn’t hurt a bone. Zinne is helping me do drills after each runs, increase the intensity of the running and rests, and we do the training every other day. During nights, it’s biking.
I’ll be monitoring my progress from today and I’ll test just how effective this run training is during my climb to Mt. Mariveles and Tarak Ridge traverse. I told Zinne that even after this climb, I plan to run on a regular basis every morning. Not only do I wake up early for the run (I won’t be late for work anymore!) I also now have a deeper appreciation to the discipline behind running. To top it off, I just want to maintain a healthy lifestyle.