Completed my first marathon!

by Haifa Carina


After 6 months of dedication, mental struggle and finding time to squeeze in trainings, the moment I crossed the finish line, I couldn’t be any happier that finally mission complete!

Why did I run a marathon in the first place?

It’s #14 of my bucket list. Plus I wanted to lose weight and cardio is the way to go! I registered for The Bull Runner Dream Marathon 2018 as it catered for first time marathon runners. Best decision ever!

What was my training like?

Tuesdays and Thursdays I would go to the running oval with my trainer and do a bunch of lapses, sprints and drills. Then on weekends, I’ll have my long slow distance runs where the mileage increases each week up to 32KM then decreases a couple of weeks before race day. My trainer was Coach Mherlz Lumagbas who was recommended to me by a friend.

What was the most challenging in this endeavour?

Waking up at 5AM was most challenging for me. Having a trainer kept me accountable. Otherwise, I probably skipped most of them. Moreover, I learned that preparing my workout clothes (I wear mine during sleep) & bag makes it easier. Thus, in the morning, I wake up, brush my teeth, put on shoes and off I go.

What do I listen to when I run?

Audiobooks and podcasts! I’ve finished 3 audiobooks (Linchpin & Tribes by Seth Godin, Zig Ziglar’s Secrets of Closing the Sale & Tom Hopkin’s Master the Art of Selling) and caught up with my favorite podcasts (Masters of Scale, Tim Ferriss Show & Entrepreneur Problem Solvers).

What did I remember during the 42KM race?

The Bull Run Dream Marathon is the best race I’ve joined since 2012. Apart from the variety of food you can choose from every stop (most runs they give bananas) – TBR volunteers give hotdogs, spam, cookies, candies, chocolates, etc., the energy of the race volunteers were truly motivating. The cheer on you, celebrate with you for every milestone, they commend your form (or whatever you’re doing right) and on those times when you feel like you’re so freakin’ tired and question why you’re even doing this, they go cheer on you not to give up. Even the photographers would joke to make you smile on camera.

The most heartwarming memory for me at was around 400m before the finish line, my big brother Matt and Kuya Noel (Coach Mherl’s husband who pace with me every training session) ran with me side by side until I sprinted my way solo to the finish line. At the finish line, waiting for me was my partner Franz. You’ll never forget your first indeed.

Any recommendations for those who want to run their first marathon?

Register for The Bull Runner Dream Marathon! You won’t regret it to be your first marathon. Also, if you’re like me who gets motivated when another person is involved, train with someone or get a trainer. Getting a trainer I highly recommend to get the proper running foundation. Good luck!

What’s next for me?

Am I running my 2nd marathon? Maybe. For now, I’m off to complete the next item on bucket list – wall climbing!

Photo credits to Photo-Ops and Bicolano Runner.

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