Thursday, 19 December 2013

Running for health equals running for better life

Percy A Ostonal, 64, of MWBuzz, crossing the finish line of the 36th edition of Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank International Half Marathon race on Oct 20, 2013 from Detroit, Michigan, USA to Windsor, Ontario, Canada and back. In the past, he ran and completed dozens 3, 6, 10 and 2 half-marathons as well as full marathon (26.2 miles or 42.2 kilometers) in  October, 2009) races, all in the state of Michigan.
Michigan, USA

WAGING my last and final competitive run after being hooked by it 42 years ago, (in the Philippines, Saudi Arabia and in the state of Michigan, USA), I felt proud.
I never had any injury whatsoever until that moment when I was just a mile away to the finish line of the 36th edition of the Detroit's  Free Press/Talmer Bank International half marathon (13.1 miles or 21.1 kilometers ) last October 20, 2013.
For the first time in my running career, (if you can call it that), my left leg gave, crippled by a nasty muscle cramp, forcing me to stop – but only for a moment.
With the pain searing my flesh, I had to relax my legs sitting by the street curve for about 25 minutes.
About five minutes into my misery, three medical volunteers came in rushing, medical kits and ice packs in tow.
They told me they would press an ice pack on the aching muscle, then would gently massage the sore spot and once the pain subsided, I should do gradual muscle stretching.
“Please breathe deeply in a controlled pattern as higher oxygen levels in your blood stream would help you in easing the muscle cramp,” the head medical volunteer said.
And by the way here's a tonic drink buddy: Endurance exertion and dehydration would somehow ease away that cramp. (I was told later that sports drink containing electrolytes was good for muscle cramp).
Come on man, If you think about giving up, this is not the right spot … go on, don't quit … too premature for you to say:" I am done”. By then, a man from the roadside crowd yelled, followed by cheers from bystanders!! 
Finally, limping with my injured leg, I crossed the finish line, clocking three hours, nine minutes and 46 seconds – a disappointment really, if I were to compare it with a better time of two hours, 37 minutes and 48 seconds I set in 2008.
I wondered: At 64, things were no longer the same (what do you expect?).
So for my health/wellness and maintenance regime, I thought that a non-competitive running of three to five miles three times a week at the most -- at steady pace – is the only option I’ve got.
But it would be a breeze, and that’s fine with me.


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