No pain, no gain – we’ve always known that this continues to hold true for most types of physical exercise, so that unless one makes himself or herself sweat, no rewards can ever be experienced.
The same can be expected of running. Although it is one of the most natural forms of motion, it is certainly not for the weak when taken seriously.
So how does a runner take running ‘seriously’? Let’s checkout the highs and lows of Edna’s passion for running.
But first – Who is Edna?
We are so grateful to our guest Edna, a mother of two, for giving us the time to take peek inside her journey into running. Let’s learn all about this sport, and the reasons why, in spite of its popularity, so few manage to integrate it into their lives as an indispensable routine.
1. Can you introduce yourself to our readers?
“Hi, I’m Edna Jugarap, 32 years old. I’m currently a performance development coach in Eperformax.”
2. How long have you been running and how many events did you participate?
“I have been running for a little over 3 years – 3 yrs. and six months to be exact. I have participated in a lot of running events, I cannot count how many running events exactly, but I can give an estimation, maybe around 30 to 40. On the average, more than 10 runs per year.”
3. What made you choose running over other sports?
“Running is always available, more convenient than any other form of exercise. I find running something that you can readily do, all you need to do is grab your running shoes and go outside.”
4. What is your main motivation when running? What made you start running and continue doing it?
“I started running just to lose weight. When I started almost four years ago, I just really wanted to lose all the (extra) weight, and after I lost that I changed my goal, or upgraded my goal, to becoming a half marathoner. When I achieved being a half marathoner, I upgraded again to a full marathoner, and then to an ultra marathoner. Just this year I ran my first 50k ultramarathon. My overall goal is actually to be a hardcore ultra marathoner.”
5. How did you gain all of that weight?
“All from pregnancy.”
6. What do you enjoy most about running? What do you think about to distract yourself from getting tired (or giving up) and finishing your goal?
“I always go back to my ultimate goal which is to be a hardcore ultra marathoner. So I want to run 210 kilometres, that’s just the first step, then go higher than that.”
“I just want to know how far I can go. That’s why when we join running events there is always a goal on what we need to achieve in that specific event. Like this coming September, we have a Milo marathon coming up. For my age category, I have to finish 21k in an hour and 55 minutes to qualify for a national. So for every event that we’re joining, we have to have a specific goal to achieve for that specific event.”
7. Were there instances when you gave up or almost gave up? How did you recover?
“During trainings, there were a lot of times when I had to stop because I feel tired or less motivated, but never in a running event that I joined that I went on “DNF” which means “did not finish”. It’s really different when you’re on training and when you’re joining an event. In races, we really push ourselves to finish the race regardless of how tired we feel, or how demotivated we feel. Just imagining the finish line and being able to finish the entire course would really motivate you.”
“If I can recover, maybe I just need a little more fuel or need more hydration – to drink lots of water or energy gels. Especially during long runs we always bring energy gels with us.”
“We just always have to listen to our body when we really cannot recover anymore and we have to stop during training.”
8. What do you like about running? What do you not like about running?
“Running is a great escape for me. It’s my “me time”, when I want to clear things out of my head and just want to be with myself, and with my own thoughts. So basically it’s an escape for me.”
“I can’t think of anything I don’t like about it.”
9. What are your biggest achievements as a runner?
“When I was still starting, I was able to achieve my goal to lose weight. I was 80 kilos at that time, and 9 months after I started running I lost 10 kilos, and then I pushed myself some more. My goal was to hit at least 60 kilos. I’m 57 (kilos) now, that’s the very top achievement for me.”
“Second top achievement would be joining the biggest running team in Cebu. I am a member of ADR, or Any Day Runner. It’s a privilege to be part of that.”
“And recently, I finished a 50k marathon and made it to the top ten. It was my first podium finish, and finished 7th. Out of 300 plus runners, I finished as one of the top ten.”
10. Have you been injured before? If yes, what sort of injury and how did you overcome it?
“Yes, a lot of times. I had shin splints. That’s a very common running injury. I also had runner’s knee. I’ve been running a lot and increased my mileage in a short time while my body was still trying to adjust. That’s one of the nightmares for runners, and one of the injuries that runners don’t ever want to have. That was the worst for me. If you’re not running, that’s the time when it hurts. I suffered that for three months.”
“I never had any sessions or any doctor visits, thankfully. For the shin splints, I just changed my shoe. You have to match your shoes with your running form or your legs.”
“You’re either neutral, cushion, or stability. My legs need neutral type of shoes. I am wearing neutral type of shoes, New Balance.”
11. Do you have any advice on how to avoid injuries?
“A very important advice I can give especially for those who are starting is to start really low. I started (running) three times week, like every other day, for 30 minutes.”
“I did not finish the whole 400 meters running. What I did for 30 minutes was run for a hundred meters, and then walk, and then run for a hundred meters again, and then walk.”
“So you do it slowly while your body is still adjusting to the stress and pressure to avoid injury. And then you can increase gradually.”
12. What are the signs that you are ready to level up your training?
“For me, I levelled up to training for a 5k when I was able to run 400 meters without stopping, then another 400 meters, then 3 laps, and then I upgraded to a 5k training.”
13. What is your take on meals before, during and after a race?
“Just make sure that you eat three times day. Do not skip meals. Eat vegetables and fish. I don’t eat red meat. Being on a sugar diet works for me, too.”
“The diet actually depends on your goal, and what you want to achieve for your body. The reason why I started sugar dieting is because I wanted to be lean, and I wanted my muscles to show. And that’s not going to happen if I did not cut off on sugar. So basically your diet would really depend on what you want to achieve for your body, and should match your training.”
“When I was training for an ultra marathon, I never went on a diet, I ate a lot because my goal is to run 50k, my body is going to burn a lot of fats. I have to recover all the calories that I lost.”
14. What kind of food do you bring with you when you are running?
“I have energy gels, and I have chocolates. It’s important that I have chocolates.”
15. Do you have a memorable running experience/story to share with us?
“I think I can consider the time when I felt like stopping. When I felt that I cannot finish the race anymore and pushed myself. It was a 21k. It happens many times especially when the running course is hilly, downhill, or muddy.”
16. If you could give a single piece of advice to new runners what would it be?
“Start really low. I think the reason why some people hate running, or would eventually hate running, is because they start really fast. They get overwhelmed, tired, and feel muscle fatigue. And when they start feeling that, they will eventually hate running. So it’s important that you have to let your body adjust. Go slowly to lessen injury and stress that you are putting into your body.”
“It is (also) really important that you invest on your running gear. It is important to feel comfortable because you don’t want your outfit to be distracting you.”
Knowing your mind and finding your passion is a very personal and unique undertaking. As experienced by Edna Jugarap with running, it is a test of endurance and determination – physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is a realisation of priorities. Through her, we hope that we have given you inspiration to get fit and shared useful tips on motivation. Like Edna, let’s push ourselves to the limits and do what we like to do well, and do it better each time.
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