What Running for Half a Marathon 21K Have Taught Me: From No Running Passion To Obsession!

October 26, 2022

I love the idea of a marathon race with just simply having a beginning point and an end goal. Thousands of participants join to embark this same journey—be it to check out a life’s bucket list, to get out of your comfort zone, or to physically and mentally challenge yourself. Everybody has different reasons, different paths and intentions. But what I love about it even more is all about the journey.

Before I found my interest and appreciation of running, honestly speaking, I was never a fan of it. When I was younger, I wasn’t a big fan of playing tag. I didn’t fancy the idea of running around and catching just to run out of breath! As I got older, I wanted to find ways to just do mental things that I would look back at myself and think “yeap, that was insane—but I got to do that!”

I do have moments where I ask myself “when will I ever get to do that though? When I’m 60 or 75? so why not now??” and so I have this tendency to do things that I never thought of doing—so that’s when I challenged my inner child and decided—we’re going running!

It was during late summer that I’ve decided to join a run but I was never specific as to which kind—at the end, I signed up for 3 races (10k Seawheeze virtual run, 10k trail water run, where we had to carry a big 4.6L water during our run and lastly the International 21k Half Marathon) to reach my goal!

It was a great push and I couldn’t believe all of the things I was missing out on! In every training session, I got the chance to learn something new about myself and everything else that surrounds me. From the connection you have to plant yourself with your location (be it a concrete side road or hilly trail) and climate—cold mornings, scorching noons, rainy and dark nights. I was so intrigued with how my connection to nature deepen and made me much more fully aware of everything—with the wind, with the rays of the sun and just with every step I take. And to finding your own rhythm and breathing flow. “It’s like active meditation” a dear friend of mine once told me when we were almost nerding out about exercising.

My life motto has always been “you never know until you try” and it’s so so true! If I didn’t decide to lace up and just go for it, I would have never known what running had for me. But of course with all these amazing feelings, there comes tough days—days where I didn’t want to train at all, times where it was just not the best run with burning calves, stiff hips, and hurting thighs. It all comes with that side of the package for sure.

But every aspect of life always comes in those two, doesn’t it? The good and bad, right or wrong, awesome and not so awesome. And it all boils down to perspective—which side will you let shine even more? Remember, there’s only and always those two choices.

During training, you will pass by different walks of life—some will eventually run faster than you, and some others you will surpass them and this part reminds me that everyone has different stories, different battles and that we can never compare to ourselves or to others. You can choose to get competitive or compassionate and I had rough times balancing these two and at the end, I chose to be kind and not be too harsh on myself. I couldn’t believe how an exercise of one foot across the other can show me show much of mental clarity, self kindness, patience and balance.

And oh, we must not forget the best feeling of the “runners’ high”! The bliss and lightless you’ll feel when you’re in that almost perfect running flow—it’s just… ahhhh! And another amazing part is you get to carb load! I was just somehow craving for pasta every time and I wouldn’t feel bad at all after chowing down a whole mountain of it!

I hope you find your own euphoria and experience all these if you decide to go for your first half marathon! 🙂

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Photo: Bel Faustino

Bel Faustino
Bel’s curiosity for healthy living started at a young age of 11. From mindful eating to exercise, she always had a sweet tooth struggle and her weakness are desserts. It then took her high school and uni days to find the balance to maintain the healthy lifestyle yet enjoy desserts in a more guilt-free way and veganizing them seems the way to do it. Obsessed with always finding healthier alternatives, she hopes to recreate her favorite non vegan treats and share her recipes through her culture (Filipina born in Macau, S.A.R., China), lifestyle, childhood memories and travels (Southeast Asia, USA, Mexico, UK and more to come!). Follow her journey in Instagram @belbrosasfaustino.


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