Running with Giants
The first time I set my goals on running the full marathon was in 2009. Along with a friend, we set our sights on running the 42km Quezon City International Marathon. We had 2 months to prepare plus proper & scientific guidance from a Runnex trainer and the support group of the Runnex family, with most of its members bent on joining their first marathon. So every Sunday at the UP Diliman grounds we trained on the proper way run to keep our momentum and reserve our strength for the long haul. Our plans were on schedule.
Nearly a month before the actual event, Ondoy struck. Everything had to be put on hold as we try to make sense of the flood which suddenly came and left a devastation we never thought would happen in our lifetime. The next time I hit the pavement was almost two months after. During this time, the plan was to join the Hong Kong marathon (a killer with its steep ascents and descents I would later realize). But then the holidays replaced our mini-practices and runs with endless parties and reunions, albeit unhealthy eating.
2010 arrived soon along with a sedentary and slightly flabby me. Then news came from Ian, the unofficial promoter of our runs. The Condura Run will be having a 42 kilometer race on February 7. We had exactly 1 month to prepare for the big one. On weekdays, I would run around 5 kilometers (later going up to 12 kilometers) around the Marikina Sports Center while on Sundays, our group (4 people actually) would gather at 5 am and run from Cainta to Antipolo in the Valley Golf area and back.
We tried all terrains from the flat often uneven sidewalks of the reclamation area to the rolling hills of Crosswinds subdivision in Tagaytay. Days before, a feeling of confidence and positive excitement was more palpable – we are ready for this.
Friday and Saturday before the 7th, I binged on all the ‘healthy’ carbohydrates I can fill my mouth with. All the heavy eating I had to engage in especially during dinner left me with fears of ‘acute pancreatitis’ (bangungot) but I need all the energy reserve I can pack in. With the help of an anti-allergy drug, I was sleeping by 9 pm (could have been earlier if not for the text messages from Ian, e.g. ‘8 hours to go’, ‘Ready ka na?’ etc.).
Sans my reliable alarm, I was up by 1:30 am (30 minutes earlier), ate up my pasta meal and started dressing up. Our group met up before 3 am and was at the Fort area by 3:15 am. Around 700 runners signed in for the 42 kilometer Condura race. Not everyone would finish while some will not make the cut off time of 6 hours.