taking the advice of my dear fellow runners, i decided to hit the UP oval again last night with a plan... run the opposite direction (the sarcastic bitch, ling ling, clapping while rolling her eyes in the background... shaddap woman!).
society had us programmed, by some reason to always deviate towards the right. truth be told, you see this factoid taken into great consideration in the layouts of most establishments, most obvious inside supermarkets wherein they put slow moving items, indeed, at the right, just so it would be the first things you see and thereby, first things you consider. such is the weird psychology we all have that when faced to run around a circular path, we do so do it counter clockwise. i have noticed this while on the my grandstand route, as well as in UP. though i am pretty sure the ground will not open to swallow me up due to my sacrilegious desire to go about things the other way, it still took me a good while to convince myself to stop at my tracks, deny my urges, turn around a full 180 and run against traffic. here are some of my observations while doing this unpopular feat:
1. firstly, the obvious. there are a lot of runners gearing towards you. some see you and actually give way. some are so oblivious due to fatigue i guess that you could have been a running blue whale and they would still smash into you.
2. the path is not easier when trekked the other way. true it felt more comfortable this time around since pressure got relieved from my right ankle (the path slops centrally toward the sunken garden, hence my right ankle carried most of my weight when running counterclockwise) but eventually, the left one starts to feel abused :) i find it is most comfortable to just run near the middle of the road rather than near the gutter.... word of advice, dear narnian.
3. while it is more comfortable running in the middle of the road, chances of you smashing into on coming jeepneys and cars are however, higher. this considering that a great number of jeepney drivers are legally blind and also legally stupid, and should thereby be exterminated for the good of mankind. also, since you run close to vehicles, the occasional chances you get "perfumed" in car exhaust are also at a high.
4. you apparently get a lot of stares from people you pass. you never really notice this when you run the same direction, that is unless you have eyes at the back of your head. but when running opposite everyone else... you definitely get a whole lot of eye contact. some brief, some the uber prolonged stalking variety. almost makes u wanna give them the finger, but also hoping you can run faster than them when you do....
5. thanks to lukayo... i now know that the oval is a good 2.2 km around and not the underestimated 1km. explains why i almost died at my third revolution and my pride felt crippled as i could was almost sure i was doomed come race day.
6. since i now run the other way and can see the faces of the people i run with... i think i'd like to run counter clockwise again... or just run at CCP again.... :) sorry... i have my moments of being shallow. hehehehe
7. since i still deviate towards the right, which is where the gutter is on the road when running clockwise... i have this constant fear of tipping over and fall into the sunken garden. it doesn't help me knowing that there are still trees and a sidewalk in between me and falling into the pit. i'm just irrational that ways...
8. there is this korean lady that jogs there nightly.... you notice here since, well, she's korean and that she runs funny... like she has a fruit held in between her legs or something.
9. i was running with a seasoned marathon runner. he kinda just popped out of nowhere and began trailing behind me. he stayed there for a good long while before he zoomed past me and had me eat his jogger dust. not wanting to get beaten so easily, i tried to increase my pace and regain my position, which i kept for a long while as well until my ankles said no more. sensing his victory, he dashed in front and left me in defeat. i then got into my car and drove past him :) so what if i play dirty... hahahahaha!
10. cars who drive with their headlights on hi-beam should be more conscientious of who or what they are beaming their lights on. trust me, since asphalt has a degree of reflectance, running towards a car on hi-beam is the worst thing you could face as a runner... well, maybe not the worst. running into the car head on and colliding with the dumb-ass would certainly trump being blinded by glare anytime.
so there... the race is this sunday already and i still haven't felt i have built up my stamina for it yet. hopefully in the next few days, i can get my groove in order and feel at least a bit confident that i'll survive come race day :)
good luck ot moi!!! :)