I am Mark Lloyd Gallardo, 29, IT professional. So why Markee Runner? Nothing special on that actually, my friends call me Marky or Markee, so I better name myself Markee Runner.
I started my first run by joining the Century Tuna Superbods Run last January 2010. I ran for a 5km race without any training then in which I have finished in 35mins. After that, I felt that it was fun and have enjoyed it. Then the story began. The enthusiasm started to grow in me. I run almost every day and make it to a point that it is part of my routine. I run in Ayala Triangle, Nuvali, McKinley, Luneta. Then in April 2010, I decided to join my first 10km race in Takbo para sa PGH which I finished with 1hr and 10mins.
After each race, I challenged myself to be faster. I run 5 times a week. If I can’t, I go to gym and have improved my 5km to 26mins and 10km time down to 1hr. After several 5kms and 10kms I asked myself if I’m ready for a half marathon. So I registered in the 34th Milo Marathon last July 2010 and ran my first 21km. I finished the race within the cut-off time with 2hrs and 24mins. The feeling was extraordinary when I completed my first half marathon. Since then I continued my training and participated in races with longer distances (15kms up to 21kms).
I also tried to race out of town and my first was the Camsur Marathon 2011. I did the 21km category. My initial pace was good but when I was reaching the 10km mark, I felt an aching in the side of my left knee. That’s when I knew that I have an ITBS. It is every runner’s nightmare and I had my fair share of it. It had affected all my succeeding races where I struggled to finish them and even got the worst time ever. ITBS struck me after reaching 10km mark. In my Cebu marathon last January 2012, it was my right knee that almost stopped me in reaching the finish line.
That gave me the hint to seek medical opinion. I was expecting for the worse but the news was even worst. I needed to slow down and rest for a while, meaning not to run for a period of time.
This has changed my training plan and affected me as a whole. Instead of 5 times, I reduced running to 3 times a week. But on the lighter side, this situation has led me to discover my passion to other sports such as swimming, table tennis, lawn tennis and wakeboarding. I turned to these activities whenever I couldn’t run.
As of now, ITBS already healed. I ran 42km in Camsur marathon but my knees didn’t hurt at all. My training plan was now back to normal and I feel that I am fully charged to join in more marathons, hopefully ultramarathon and if possible triathlon. I am saving for that so I can buy my dream bike and have a proper pool trainings. Moral lesson is - do not stop dreaming. Don’t stop believing as what Journey said because it is true. If I stopped right after ITBS injury, then I won’t be writing this article and you won’t be reading it now. I wouldn’t be able to join more races and wouldn’t be able to feel the same rush I feel when running. We just need to listen to what our body says and always be safe. There’s no need to rush in pursuing our dreams as everything will fall into place in the right time.