Thursday, March 28, 2024

The Jogger

Many years back, when I was still living in Cebu City, there was a running craze.

This running craze came on the heels of a badminton craze.

I was never really a fan of badminton or running. Back then I used to lift weights. Then I switched to indoor cycling (also known as spinning). Then I dabbled in boxing. And then I discovered Freeletics, a series of bodyweight exercises that you can do anywhere -- I downloaded .pdf copies of three guides, the Strength Guide, the Cardio Guide, and the combo Cardio & Strength Guide ("Freeletics is a sport. The core of Freeletics is a set of predefined high-intensity workouts. All workouts are bodyweight only. You always do them as fast as you can. They only take between 5 and 45 mins on average. Workout times will be used to measure performances and progress and to compare to other athletes," says the introduction to all three guides). 

Fast forward many years later, and I'm still doing Freeletics, but through an app that I downloaded on my phone. The Freeletics app is, obviously, more advanced than those .pdf guides -- you can personalize your workouts based on your needs. 

But then I figured, why not incorporate running into these bodyweight workouts too?

Sorry, not running, JOGGING.

Why not incorporate JOGGING into these bodyweight workouts too?

I won't call myself a runner; I jog. I slog. I can call myself a slow runner, but why not use the more appropriate word instead? 

I'm no runner. I'm a jogger.

Back when there was a running craze in Cebu, the company I was working for sponsored a run. Of course, all employees were encouraged to join the run. So my then-girlfriend (now my wife) and I signed up for the shortest distance, the 5K.

But because life happens, I ended up not even finishing the run. The night before the run, I came home stinking drunk, to the wife's chagrin. I told her I'd still try to run the next day, and that there would be no problem waking up early in the morning.

And so I woke up early in the morning. We took a taxi to the event and lined up at the starting line. 

After a few steps, I felt like puking. I took a taxi back home and slept off my hangover. The wife ended up finishing the run.

Many years later, here in Mexico City, the company that the wife worked for organized a run. All employees were encouraged to join the run. So the wife and I signed up for the shortest distance, the 5K.

This time we both finished the run. I promised her I wouldn't drink the night before. The problem was, even though I was sober, I was in no shape to run even a 5K. Sure I did bodyweight exercises, but the stamina you need for running is another thing. So I ran-walked the entire 5K, finishing at a very slow time. (I was a little bit faster than the wife, but not by much. She also ran-walked the entire 5K.)

When I decided to take up jogging a few weeks ago, I vowed to take it seriously. I downloaded a couch-to-5K app, and signed up for a 5K run in Puerto Vallarta, which at that time was more than two months away. That way, I'd have more than enough time to prepare. I'm more than halfway done on my training now, and so far, so good. I've also had a lot of help from a group I recently joined on Facebook, Slow AF Running Club. There are a lot of tips for the slow AF runner. 

One of the most common tips is to run as slow as you can.

In other words, jog.

It's still three weeks away from the run, but I'm feeling good. 

But more importantly, I'm comfortable enough now to call myself a jogger.