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What’s inside a female ultra runner’s hydration bag?
The above hydration bag belongs to Kathrina “Doc King2x” Perez. She will be one of the female participants for the 1st kind of 100-mile race in Cebu this coming Nov. 17, 2012. I asked to interview her, and she invited me to a coffee. Talking with her over coffee is like leisurely curling up in your couch on a rainy day with your favorite book. There was no hint of an endurance athlete in her.
Before our conversation started, she was like that line from a Mother Goose nursery rhyme:
“Sugar and spice and all things nice
That’s what little girls are made of!”
I was expecting to listen to her talk about lipsticks, which she is known to keep during runs, and fashion.
But I ended up digging into whatever stock knowledge I have just so I can keep up with her talking about bits of forensic and pathology, windsurfing and skydiving, and how she can be passionate with coffee. Nosebleed!
Thus, on the later part of our conversation, I realized that the “sugar-and-spice” can be totally an out-of-place description for a girl who finds joy in bitter-ness. Dark coffee makes her happy, and no sugar as much as possible. Her favorite coffee bean variety is the French Roast, the darkest and boldest roast of Starbucks.
Simply put, she is not into all-things nice easy types. She wants hard stuff.
Doc King2x is a medical doctor by profession. She started specializing in family medicine but she shifted to pathology. Family medicine is definitely not easy; but the thing is that that she was not afraid to get out of her way, and took a risk to find what can really make her happy. It may be unusual that she finds happiness in geeking over blood and gut. Then to make it more challenging, she chose to do her residency at a public hospital, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, where almost everyone avoids to be in that place as much as possible.
She is also a teacher. She is currently teaching pathology in Gullas medical school. In med school, pathology is a make-or-break area for medical students as it’s what can separate them from a real to a fake.
Knowing this, what ticks her, it becomes easy to understand why she is into running ultramarathon races, and why she will be joining the 1st hundred-mile (160KM) race to happen in Cebu, Hardcore Hundred Miles Ultramarathon. It will start at 1:00AM on Nov. 17, then it will finish at 7:00am on Nov. 18, 2012, which means participants will be on their foot for 2 nights non-stop (except for the occasional breaks).
But before getting into ultra runs, just like the usual newbie runners in us, she did start with 5KM as her 1st official race during the CCM 2010 (Cebu City Marathon). Not the usual is when a first-timer 5KM-finisher was already looking forward to running a marathon, and also an ultramarathon, BDM (Bataan Death March) 102 just because she saw the participants of the 42KM category and she read Haide Acuna’s blog.
“The runner’s most important organ, by far, is the brain—the source of our dreams, drive and determination.”– G. Hirsch, A. Burfoot
After our conversation over coffee, the above saying is now the first statement that comes into my mind when I think of her. She is a royalty in geekness. We can say that her red lips is more of a reflection of how active her brain neurons are than of her fashion statement.
Each of the runners has their own strategy of enduring running long distances. In case of Doc King, I imagine that what gets her through races is her brain working on analyzing real or imaginary laboratory results. She probably pack with her a few difficult cases which will entertain her during the run. Or, maybe she’ll be studying other runners’ or her own anatomy. Or, maybe she would create diagnosis of the different pain and discomfort she experienced along the way.
With the 101+ body parts we have, Doc King will never run out of things to geek on to last her more than 100 miles.
On a more serious note which can be of use to us, she will be externally doping herself with ice on her upcoming 100-mile (160KM) race. Doc King has already finished 2 100KM ultramarathons on top of various other races from 5 KMs to 50 miles. But despite that, the 160KM will be something an entirely new kind of beast to handle.
And, how would a geek doctor fight a hundred-mile race? Aside from her famous lipstick, she will gear herself with stocks of ice. Part of her race strategy is to immerse her legs and feet in ice every after 1 hour or 10KM. Icing can promote better blood circulation, and lessen swelling to prevent the capillaries from bursting and to avoid haemostasis. (Note: I just made up this explanation by stringing the medical terms of Doc King so kindly double check with her. But she did test this theory by walking around IT Park, Cebu City for 20 hours.)
Doubting her race strategy? Never underestimate someone who can still execute a perfect jumpshot at the end of a 102KM race.
This is our Cheers to Doc King2x to get that signature jumpshot at the finish line of Hardcore Hundred Miles Ultramarathon – Cebu! And, maybe an ultramarathon championship title before she will jump on to half-ironman next year!