Early in October of last year, I participated in the Run United Philippine Marathon 2014 under the 21km category. Back then, I was not ready to conquer the forty freakin' two distance yet. For this year's edition of RUPM, I was confident enough to tick the small circle beside "42km" during registration because I knew that come event date, I'd have finished two full marathons already.
Before I tell you about my RUPM experience, let me recount what happened during the couple of months before the event. I'll make this as short as possible. After the Milo Marathon, I got injured. There was an entrapped nerve in my left foot and it hurt every time I ran. The first month, August, was difficult. I couldn't walk without feeling a tinge of pain in the said foot, I couldn't wear heels, and worst of all, I couldn't run. So I cross-trained by spinning and swimming. I also did conditioning and strengthening workouts at the gym. Towards the end of the first month, I finally underwent a therapy that involved stretching and deep-massage. It was so painful that I nearly cried. It helped a lot though because I could no longer feel the pain whenever I walked. September came and I was already allowed to run. But since I was so scared that the injury might come back, I only did short distance runs on the treadmill for the first week. On the second, I managed to run a distance of more than 10km. The week after that, I ran 20km, and then 25km on the following week. Thanks to the conditioning program made by my gym coach, my comeback on the road was a breeze. I tapered for two weeks, running only a maximum of 5km, and come race day, my foot was feeling fine and my confidence was back.
Now on to race day. The event was held on the 4th of October at SM Mall of Asia. A couple of hours before gun start, I was feeling a bit nervous and excited. I was wearing compression pants and was in full battle gear, but I avoided putting any pressure on myself. I told myself to just have fun during the race. I did my usual dynamic pre-race warm-up and jogged a distance of around 1km. I went to the corral thirty minutes before gun start, and waited with my friends. Then the ten-second countdown started, I was feeling the mild humdrum of my heart which was totally normal for me during races, and then 3am came...
To be honest, I was feeling super lazy at first. I did my usual interval run but my pace was slower than normal because I wasn't really in the mood. Fortunately, we had to go to BGC first and by the time that I was on the Kalayaan flyover, I was starting to feel excited because it has been a while since I last ran there. I felt unstoppable as I was running downhill along Kalayaan. I started seeing a few of my friends after about two kilometers, they were already done with the first U-turn (because they're mamaws, huhuuu), so I picked up my pace. I saw one of my friends, Joshua, along Coastal Road and paced him for a bit. I maintained my 4:1 Galloway, while making a quick stop at every hydration station, until the 38th kilometer. When I saw that I could make a sub-6 finish and I only had 3km to go, I felt lazy again and decided to walk. LOL, true story. By then, both of my feet was hurting (although no cramps, thank goodness), it was hot, and I was tired. I saw another one of my friends, Becky, who paced me until the finish line. I made it in less than 6 hours and that was good enough for me at the time.
The run was well-organized. It was nothing less than what was expected of Runrio and Unilab events. I really liked what they did this year where there was a separate and air-conditioned area for 42km finishers. This was where we claimed our finishers kit and it provided a venue for the participants to rest and freshen up. There was also photo-wall for photo ops, which I didn't partake because the queue was too long and I simply didn't have the patience for that.
Sorry for such a looong post. But I'm almost done, promise! Let me just give credit where credit is due. Thank you to Coach Pat for the puke-inducing training sessions at the gym that helped big time. Thank you to the photographers who captured these moments. And last but not least, thank you to my Ayala Triads family, GG Squad (*heart heart*), Team SCR friends, and other runner friends for the support on and off the road.
rank: 886th out of 2690 runners, official chip time: 5:46:19