Alex De La Cruz of Eastside Memorial HS talks about overcoming the challenges of marathon training.

This is the first year that I ever joined Marathon High.  I been a part of many other after-school activities such as cooking, art, student council — just to name a few — but never have I been in a club that is the same or even similar to Marathon High.  My name is Alex De la Cruz, a student of Eastside Memorial High School at the Johnston Campus, and this is a documentation of my experience at Marathon High.
     This is probably the first time I have ever started a blog outside of school and I would like to say that I apologize in advance for any misspellings and grammar related issues that should occur.  I say “should” because I know I will make mistakes at some point in the blog, and I want to be honest.
     I started Marathon High either in the end of October or in mid-October, not really sure.  There are many reasons why I joined Marathon High — get in shape, new experiences, and many other typical reasons — however the most important reason is that I want to accomplish something that isn’t school related; so I thought “why not finish a marathon?”  I contemplated on the though for a day, weighed all the benefits and consequences, and decided that I should go through with it while I’m young.  To finish a marathon is a thought that isn’t common in my mind.  The very idea of finishing one is surreal to me because I wasn’t in the best of shape when I started and I can’t even imagine how long one would take.  But it’s a goal I want to accomplish; a goal that demands vast amounts of effort, dedication, and ambition.
     My first day wasn’t as easy as I thought; or even expected.  After signing up in the library, home of the average day book worm such as myself, a man named Chris, the one of the many coaches Marathon High has, told me to head to the school’s track.  After a few minutes wasted taking the long way to the track, I met two more coaches, both were women in their mid or late twenties.  They were nice and their appearance reassured me that they know what they’re doing.  Their names I can’t recall as of now, but the two coaches were kind as they were athletic.  Moments pasted before students, who attend the same school I do, appeared from a distance.  A few of them I know of and the rest were strangers I have yet to know.  They were an assorted bunch.  Some of them were veterans to the club and a few of them were newbies like me; except they started the club in early September, whereas I started in mid or late October.  After everyone, the coaches and the students, got in a circle and were told what we were going to do for the day; a jog on a trail near the school.
     I thought that it was something simple and easy to do.  It was less than a minute, possibly and surely half a minute at most, that I was already getting exhausted.  My calves started burning.  The kind of burning that I would never have expected.  I arrived to the bridge off of South by South West that exhaustion got the better of me and I was, unfortunately, beginning to walk the rest of the way.  However I had a good conversation with the coach who stayed behind with me.  The conversation between her and me helped rid the pain and exhaustion from my mind.  Therefore I continued walking and occasionally jogging when ready.  On the way back, I spoke to a girl.  She, like me, was exhausted and experiencing the same pain I was; the wretched burning of our calves.  The small conversation made understand me that I wasn’t the only one struggling to keep up.  We both were at to the limit of our endurance.  
     Once we made it back, my legs were in pain.  After the run, I headed home.  I was tired and fell onto my bed from exhaustion.  But the weird thing is that I had no thoughts of quitting.  As unusual as it is, I seriously had no thoughts of ending my commitment to the club.  I was actually really glad that I didn’t quit.  Even after the second day in Marathon High.  The second practice wasn’t as smooth or good as one would expect for their second experience to be.
     It was Wednesday.  When I arrived to the track, after signing in, I received a warm welcome, they almost seemed surprised.  The practice focused on a hundred meter battalion.  The first one was easy.  I had no difficulty with it except a sick feeling in my stomach, but I brushed it off as if it was nothing.  That was a stupid mistake.  The second one wasn’t a hundred meter, it increased to, from what I recall, a two hundred meter battalion.  After I done my part for the team, I felt incredibly sick and nauseous.  I tried to jog, but it was no use; I couldn’t.  I walked to the tree where we normally meet, next to a steal bench.  Chris, Coach Turner, and Lesley grew concern watching me walk with such exhaustion and misery.  After another battalion, which I didn’t participate, their concern did not fade nor vanished.  After the others, the students, left, they handed me a cup to drink.  I asked if she could refill the cup for me; I lacked the strength to do it myself.  After a third refill, my condition improved.  They told me that I  was dehydrated.  They said that I needed to drink enough water next time.  I wished I learned that the easy way rather than the hard way, but you live and you learn… I guess.
     I put on my backpack and headed to the front of the school.  I have no idea how I managed to get from the track to the school, but I managed to do it.  I arrived to the front of the school and to my disappointment, my pick up wasn’t  there.  I made my way to the library and used the phone to call my parents to see what happened.  Apparently my father was going to do it, but he gets off work a little after five thirty.  I placed the phone back and astonished to see Lesley standing at the front of the school.  She asked if I was fine, if I gotten any better, and if anyone was coming to pick me up.  I remember saying yes, but that was lie.  I wasn’t doing fine.  The exhaustion and nausea continued to linger.  But her asking was enough to keep my mind off the wretched misery.
     I made my way to the front of the school.  She offered to keep a look out for my dad’s pickup.  I gave her the information of the pickup’s appearance.  Walked to the bench in the hall after drinking more water.  A few minutes passed before she told me that the blue, old Silverado had arrived.  Grabbed my backpack and headed out.  Lesley went out too and spoke to my father about the incident, however he doesn’t speak English, her explanation, therefore, did nothing to help.  I explained to my father about the incident.  On the way home, he bought me a large bottle to help me out.
     Rather than embrace the incident, I regretted it.  From here on then, I drink enough water to prevent an incident such as that from occurring again.  I don’t want history to repeat itself because that would suck and it’s embarrassing to have that repeated; considering I could have easily prevented it from happening again.  But no lesson goes unlearned; even if it takes multiple tries for it.
     Although my first experiences at Marathon High didn’t go as well as I would wanted it to be, but, overall, no regrets.  I have nothing to complain about because all of this is for a good purpose.  There has always been things going wrong, but one shouldn’t focus on such negativity; rather they should look forward to what’s ahead: benefits, the appreciation, and the joy of going through a new experience.

Share This