Running reflection on a Sunday

After eleven hours of sleep, I felt that my body has recovered enough from Saturday’s Tour de Cebu Stage 3 six-hour run.

I suffered pain on the sole of my feet because I ran barefoot in the first 8 kilometers and with my slippers on in the last 17 kilometers.

The pain is manageable though and I’m ready to face the day. So, I decided to work on the migration script for this week’s release.

But it’s a Sunday so I attended the 1:30 p.m. mass first before going to the office. As I sat in front of the altar and listened to the gospel, one question, asked by Jesus to his apostles, struck me.

Today’s Mass Gospel from Matthew 16:13-20:

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”

“But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah.

“Who do you say I am?” in other words “Who I am?” Have you ever asked yourself of this question? I believe so. Some may have even answered it quickly and some needed longer time to answer. I belong to the latter.

I remembered the time when I asked myself about this question, that was when I ran my first half marathon. Even until now, everytime I run long distances, I still have these three words in my head.

Our physical strength usually starts to disintegrate after two to three hours of running. Hydration packs, salt, chocolates and bananas can give us extra strength, but they cannot ‘really’ stop our body from breaking down. At this point, our mental preparedness will be put to test. The mind starts to wander and communicate with you every time you step forward. It’s when you will try to think of a lot of things just to avoid the idea of quitting.

Every time I run long distances, the following questions just popped out in my head:

  • Who am I?
  • Why did I run today?
  • What am I doing now?
  • Why did I punish myself?
  • What are my accomplishments since I was born on this planet?
  • What are my goals in life?
  • To whom do I dedicate this kilometer, and the next kilometers?
  • What if I can fly? What if I am a fish?  What if I am rich? What if I am a president? What if I am the mayor of this town? What if I meet God? (Several and any WHAT-IFs)
Long distance running allows us to think both nonsense and sensible inquiries in life. In my case, I always ponder more on the sensible ones because they give me inner strength, when fatigue and body pain persist. They inspire me to push myself to the limit, and do more than I can think. Questions, reflections in life, are always part of my crossing the finish line.

After finishing Tour de Cebu Stage 3 (25km run)

After finishing another 25 kilometer during the Tour de Cebu Stage 3, I already have found answers to some of these questions. I will not state them here though (a page is not enough) for privacy reasons.

But who am I in running? I am not a fast runner but a fearless one…So folks, start running and share your reflections while running…

Eager to hear your running reflections,

The 4-1 Runner

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