6 Days after finishing my Condura Skyway Marathon, I’m home doing this. While imagining how colleagues for the BDM (Bataan Death March) 102 km are battling out the heat and exhaustion in the 52 km practice run on the actual route of our run in March – that’s from Abucay, Bataan to San Fernando, Pampanga. It has been 3 days since I first experienced general body weakness which eventually revealed itself as a bad case of Amoebiasis. Probably, from some food/drink I took. Anyway, I’m thinking I will get better sooner than later.
It was best not to have attended my sessions with Coach Titus at the ULTRA and today’s practice run. Little by little, I’m learning to listen to my body. So here I am whiling my time away, watching some DVDs and getting some inspiration from Christopher Mcdougall (Born to Run).
Last week’s euphoria of my 3rd Condura Run (& my 4th Marathon) has whittled down but it had been another personal best with a 5:02 finish (my Garmin registered 4:58).
Even with a milder hip pain that’s been bothering me, last Sunday’s run was quite ideal for my standards – two nights before, I had a 9-hour sleep and the night before, I barely had 3 hours of zzzz but it was really deep. The weather was also quite cooler at 3:30 am at the BGC and Makati areas. I had been keeping in mind most of the lessons Coach Titus had shared with me (‘keep it springy and run smart’) and quite eager to apply them. So once the gun fired, I started keeping a running pace of 7:30 bringing along Vic & Rossell with me. We were in the middle of the pack, I estimated.
At the end of Kalayaan overpass going to Buendia, I was by myself threading the slightly lit streets of Makati. So far, no signs of impending pain.
After Buendia, we were directed to ascend the Skyway where most of the action (and pain) would happen. Going up, I chanced upon a tall guy who would pace me through the whole stretch of the skyway all the way to Sucat.
The guy it turned out was a friend of fellow runner, Jet Paiso. He’s Nicky Tuason, a radio anchor of “Tatak Pinas” on DWDD 1134. He’s also a nephew of the friends Jojo & Randy Banzon (in Marikina) so the connection was instant. For more than 15 kilometer, this radio guy almost unceasingly talked and shared of his life while we were battling exhaustion and dehydration. For me, those were the testy parts of the race as I was still trying to get my pace moving and my groove going. Fortunately, I survived with minor hints of pain and a lot of distraction from Nicky.
We parted somewhere along km 32 and hardly did any walking except for stretching & water/bathroom breaks. There were episodes when the hip pain would send some sensation so I would just adjust my running to Coach Titus’ style (slightly bent knees, toe-knee-chin in one line, etc.). Eventually, the discomfort disappeared and I was back with my old bouncy strides with a lot of push from my collection of run music from the 80’s. At the end of the skyway, I was almost gliding, taking in all the positive vibes and enjoying my second wind.
In the middle of the Buendia route, I found my 3rd running partner. Sorry, didn’t get his name (but from the Condura listing, it could easily be Joseph Salting). It’s his first marathon and was aiming to finish strong.
All the eagerness and enthusiasm eventually seeped into me and I was able to keep up with his pace (quite swift at 7:30 min/km during the last 5 kilometers). After a few periods of walking, we crossed EDSA into the finish line, slightly dashing and putting our best feet and faces forward as the cameras come clicking.
It had been a great day and I joined the other Takbo.ph runners near the finish line as we welcomed other runners enter the finish line. Now this was the fun part, really. As we shared our excitement with the finishers and transmitted that running energy among the struggling finishers into their last meters of the marathon. Come to think of it, running is a really a community thing.