Sunday, March 22, 2009
condura run '09
this is my first ever 10K run and unlike my first 5K before, i didn't feel as anxious this time. i slept like a baby the night before and woke up fully refreshed at 3am.... the race was at 6.... and it only takes me about 30mins to drive to the fort. what can i say, i don't like to rush. but really, i did manage to get some sleep. i guess it helped that i now have a job with a fixed schedule, working as my family's auditor. when i say fixed, however, it means working non-stop from 9am to 7pm, mondays to saturdays. i most often come home dead tired at night. more so on days when i would come from my training runs around UP. thus, it's no surprise that i have no energy left in my system to even give a rat's ass over some fun-run for whale sharks!
i arrived at the fort at about 4:50am. narnian and i had planned of meeting up just so we could serve as each other's company before the race. he was running the 5K. i actually have some friends who were running the 3K and relatives on the 10K as well, but never got to find then until after the race. compared to the other races i have joined, this probably had the most people participating. the estimated registrants were about 7000 but i doubt all actually came. being a highly publicized event, there were a few celebrities around and in my attempts of stargazing, i was fortunate to able to spot a couple. i however wasn't so blown away by their star power, owing possibly to the fact that i was starting to feel nervous already. i hadn't been really training as hard as i wanted to for this race and i sincerely had doubts that i can actually finish the course. worse, in the days leading to the event, i gained a few pounds as well. extra pounds i sincerely do not need my joints to bear. but no point now of worrying... the race was about to begin.
the 10K runners would trail behind the 21K by about 30mins. i saw the pool of people who were running the 21K and wished i could be so fit to endure such a physical feat. from their looks, all of them were just itching to run... and their course was definitely something to look forward to. they would run up the skyway.
the starting shot went off for the 21K and the runners scrambled ahead to break free from the tight pack. the 10K then assembled in the starting line where they left. we were a good number of runners as well, a few hundred if i eyeballed correctly. by now, i should be stretching and getting myself warmed up but i was too distracted by having rovilson fernandez behind me to do so. though he was definitely quite a looker, i wasn't really lusting over the guy, just that he was now my motivation. rovilson.... you just became the lone person to keep me from giving up. just like how paolo bediones was on my first race :) do your job well. hehehehe.
the shot for us to begin running finally went off. the sun was already up, which worried me a bit since this meant we would be finishing under its scorching rays. the first part of the run required me breaking free from slower runners. though i don't mind starting slow and eventually pick up my pace, i get claustrophobic easily and would rather be in a pack where it's not too crowded... which unfortunately is WAYYY up front. i find myself zigzagging the first few minutes before finally settling at a comfortable position among more steady runners. by that time, we were already heading towards the kalayaan flyover. i recall driving along this route earlier today while getting myself to the venue and could not help myself to swear under my breath. this route is A KILLER!!! the climb was not steep but long... really long. it was the part of the race that i knew would tax me the most and as i climbed up the ramp... my fears were realized.
my calves were burning as it was all i relied on just to get me to more level plane. thankfully, my shin did not hurt during the race for if it did, then i am a goner for sure. by the time we reached buendia, the path became smoother and the ground, softer. it offered me a bit of rest from that trip along the flyover, very much needed i have to say. we u-turned at the reposo intersection and started heading back the same route we came. reaching reposo was the 5k mark and i didn't stop to rest, which meant i stuck to my pace. 5K onwards however was till unknown territory for me and i didn't know how much more i could endure before i burn out. the answer, at about kilometer 6. that was where i had to stop and walk a bit, just to catch my breath and feel blood rush into my legs.
i have to admit, i felt a tinge of defeat the moment i stopped to walk. i would have wanted to have lasted a bit longer but i was starting to feel faint and did not want to pass out. despite the feeling however, i knew couldn't give in now. i counted to 5 and began running again. i knew if i stopped too long, i would waste too much energy to gain inertia to run up to my speed again. there was still a very long way to go and i had achieved this much already to let it all go to waste. my shoulders were getting fatigued and my legs were in initial spasm. i shook off the strain fro my arms and tried to relax my stride. though my legs were not hurting, they were however loosing steam and could not propel me as much as i want them to anymore. the second trip up the flyover did them in and that was where i stopped the second time to walk again. i was alone then, just trailing behind the first wave of runners and in front of the oncoming onslaught from the second wave. i knew i had to avoid the second wave at all costs since loosing myself in that swarm would that i would not be able to gather the momentum i need anymore to finish. fighting fatigue, i began to pick up my pace again. as i descended towards the fort... rovilson, who was all this time behind me, passed me. @#$%@!& .... i said. there goes my motivation.... having me eat his amazing race dust! change of strategy... i decided to put my pride at stake, and for the next few minutes, it worked since i saw myself overtaking rovilson for a couple of meters. unfortunately, my body just was too tired and soon enough, i had to take my third stop. by now, my calves were as firm as stone and the balls of my foot are burning from friction with my shoes. i knew my toes were blistering inside my socks already as i could feel sharp points of pain on them. i sincerely wanted to give up. i saw how far i still had to go, about 3KM more and almost found myself scream out of exasperation. funny though, just when i was about to shout "PU**N* IN*.. ang layo pa!", this runner who just came off the flyover beat me to it by shouting "thank you, LORD!". of course, cursing now would just be soooo inappropriate. defeated in my race and my moment to express my loss, stolen by an over zealous runner.... i began running again.
that last leg of the run was probably the longest ever. i felt so tired and just out of it. i had probably used every bit of endorphin store i had in my body and my sole motivation for finishing fast and strong had already passed me. resolving myself now to the fact that i am alone in this, i decided to just gun for the finish. i took a deep breath and exhaled with a huff and began to increase my pace. after a few minutes, i was passing other runners and was squeezing my body already of every single drop of energy it still had left. the finish line finally appeared and i bolted towards it like crazed bull seeing red. my time... about 50:20mins, about a minute faster than my runs on the treadmill.
i wanted to die! i swear. i was drenched in sweat and my shirt and my shorts clung to me tight as water trickled down into my socks. i guess people were wondering where i swam since i probably looked like some chinese refugee who crossed the border! i got my freebies (lousy water and lousier energy drink.. i missed gatorade) and my certificate and headed straight to my car to change and freshen up.
as i walked, i wondered why the hell do people run and go through all this pain? really? what for? here i was, dripping wet, exhausted, sore, bruised (i sure) and for what? a print-out certificate and a bottle of water? as i contemplated on these life-changing questions while undressing, a 21K racer walked passed me. he gave me a brief glance which prompted me to stare at him as well. he was kinda cute actually, he looked even more appealing since he was dripping wet as well and quite lean as evidenced by how his attire also clung to him, revealing his silhouette . but what really caught my eye was what he was wearing... a medal. they gave medals to all who FINISHED the 21K. it did not matter if you walked at some parts or felt sucky because u could beat ur time.... what mattered was that you finished... and that you did not give up.
realizing this made me smile, at myself, not him ah! and made me decide.... 21K.... BRING IT ON!!!
but for now... rest muna ako! HAAAAYYYYSSSH!