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I am a Bicolano by birth and choice. By any standards, I am a slow runner but I like it that way. I look at running as a healthy and exciting way to make a difference. Together with my fellow runners from our family, school, office and the community, we use running to give back..

November 14, 2012

NEW BALANCE POWER RUN 2012:Why 25 kms?

I joined the 2012 edition of the New Balance Power Run (NBPR) and I wondereWhy 25 kms?   

I googled the question. As always, Google came up with a lot of results (more than 73 M). Good thing that the first entry, that is the one from Pinoy Fitness, made sense.  I quote "The special 25km category has been offered since the Power Run started nine years ago, it’s the perfect distance to give half-marathon runners that extra push as they end their year in training."

It makes perfect sense. To my mind, the appeal of the 25- km  race is that it serves as a practical bridge for the half marathoners looking for some confidence-boosting training runs in their quest for the full marathon. Runners who have been doing 21 kms often will be questioning themselves if they have what it takes to do the full 42 kms. Finishing 21 kms, you need another 21 kms to do the full. But with the 25 kms, the balance is now just 17 kms.  

Thus, I expected, a lot of the first-time runners of the 25 kms in the NBPR  to be using this as an important training run for a full marathon they have been dreaming for, hopefully the next year 2013. Among these dreamers  is my blogger friend Mau. She is gunning for her full mary in the upcoming Condura Skyway Marathon. I volunteered to be her running coach for this endeavor. She has  been helpful in my blogging and the least I could do is to be of assistance to her in matters about the running passion.

Come the early morning hours of November 11, I joined her and 1,880  runners at the start of the 25-km race of NBPR at Bonifacio Global City, Taguig. I ran with her for the entire  25 kms, in the process getting to share with her the “Galloway run-walk method” plus  the concept of “Locus of Control.” 

Allow me to elaborate on this psychological concept I learned from the book “The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer” by David A. Whitsett, Forest A. Dolgener and Tanjala Mabon Kole. If you believe that you are mostly in control of the events in your life, you tend toward what psychologists call an internal locus of control. If you believe that your life is mostly controlled by forces outside you, you lean toward having an external locus of control.  When it comes to training for a marathon, it helps a lot to adopt an internal locus of control because you are going to need a lot of determination and motivation to this done.  For example, if your head is full of images of yourself running easily and effortlessly on your long training runs of the week and you are telling yourself that you feel strong and powerful and can run forever, you will have a more enjoyable run than if your head is full of images of yourself suffering and straining and if you are saying to yourself, "I am exhausted. I can’t keep this up." And this will be true whether your body would have been feeling strong that day or not. Your state of mind creates a bodily reality. 

We crossed the 25-km finish line at 3 hours 34 minutes. My time with Mau running the 25 kms of the NBPR showed me that she has an internal locus of control. Despite some pain felt in her left leg, she motored on to the finish. She is a strong-willed person and I have no doubt she will conquer the full marathon come February. She is in control of her running destiny. 

Smiling to the finish

Happy to finish
Now, a little bit of evaluation of the NBPR 2012.  Here are a few comments:

1.No problem with the availability of water and powerade in all the hydration stations of the NBPR. Supply was abundant, the Runrio people made sure of it . No problems, unlike the experience in RUPM, another Runrio-organized event a couple weeks back.

2.No problem with the  NBPR finisher medal and its availability. However, the way it is given to the runners can be improved.  And one way it can be improved is to have a New Balance executive be the one handing out the medals. The runners have labored thru 25 kms to finish the race. The least that the principals of New Balance can do is to be present and available to give out the medals. Actually, this is true for most races. I still have to see an executive of Unilab be the one give out the medals for Run United events. Same is true for the Milo races.  

3.Best value for the running shirt. 

4.The race result report, particularly the names of the runner, is not accurate. Case in point is my case. The 25-km race result  report indicates my Bib No. of  1718 to be in the name of a certain Vincent Gabriel Dorado. I don’t know how it happen.

Nonetheless, I will not allow such inaccuracy to ruin my running experience at the NBPR.  Learning from the locus of control, if I allow my brain to be full of negative images, my experience will be mostly negative. If, on the other hand, I become skilled at creating positive images , then my experience will be mostly positive. 

Being positive is the best way to power your run for 25 kms and beyond.    

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