“A warrior must not only take care that his spirit is not broken.” -selected
My second visit to San Pablo city yesterday to join the Milo half-marathon was full of challenges fromthe very start.
I set my timer at 1:15am, but I woke up at 3:30am, thus, with only 15 minutes to prepare, I was not able to eat any meal, and worst-I failed to do my usual morning habit- ‘unloading my excess baggage’ right there in the pleasure of my throne, my comfort room. Travel time from San Pedro Laguna to San Pablo was estimated to be 1.5 hours, if there’s no delay. And we left our place at 4:05am already. We must hurry, or else…
Since it rained so hard yesterday, our van cannot take chance of overspeeding, it traveled only at 70-80 kms per hour.
When we reached San Pablo at 5:37am, we saw those green warriors already running at full speed, meaning the race has just begun and we’re still inside our van looking for a parking space. After some 5 minutes of quick preparation, I’ve found myself at the starting line but my group were already ahead of me some 300 meters by that time.
Coming from a long trip and without any warm-up, I started running at full speed but I’ve felt some numbness on my legs as I reached km1. Early on this stage, I knew that this race will be a tough one for me, with all of those turmoils I’ve encountered earlier.
When I realized that I was lagging behind, that put a big pressure on me to gradually increase my speed inspite of that numbness. By that, I was able to outrun some, but later turned-out to be a big mistake. That numbness became nagging cramps that haunted me the entire race…
What aggravated my situation was that frequent ‘rainshower that turned to heavy rains’, and the route not frienldy enough-with so many uphills and downhills. With wet socks and shoes, blisters began to develop and without any meal, I started to feel hungry and my cravings for food became so intense, but there was another problem- my gastrointestinal track was now ready to ‘unload.’
At that time, I began to pray. My concern now was to escape a possible ‘great embarrasment’ and no longer finish a decent time. I don’t want to experience the dilemma of that great icon, Paula Radclippe who has no choice but to ‘unload’ in the presence of many spectators during a marathon. She was so embarrased by that incident but she had no other alternatives. She won that race of course, a great runner like her cannot be denied but that incident was the ‘talk of the town’ in many weeks, surpassing even her feat as a winner.
Every strides, I felt uneasy with the tought that my excrement will burst out any time and I’m already prepared for the worst. It could be in the rice field, under the bridge or some hidden area safe from the crowd’s eyes, but God forbid it to happen in open space. But I don’t know when it will come and I kept my pace just below my normal average speed.
Things were going well until I reached the last 4 kms when I can no longer control my hunger. At a Sari-Sari Store, I bought 2 pieces soda crackers and a softdrinks, and hurriedly consumed it in 5 minutes.
With God’s grace, I reached the finish line saving my face from any humiliating predicaments-still making it within the cut-off time of 2.17 hours.
The race was well organized, the route almost perfect-only with occasional strayed dogs in some vicinities, common to rural areas like that in San Pablo.
The only loophole I saw was not everbody was given a loot bag. The ‘fat’ man in-charged for the distribution of the said stuff doesn’t know who ran in the 21k or not, or he’s just simply ‘hoarding’ that loot bag for personal use later? Some of my friends were not able to get theirs. I have mine, but upon checking it- I have no Gatorade, banana and biscuit.
I don’t know if Mr. Rudy Biscocho knew about this. But I’ll make an effort so that he will know…
Congratulations to all who joined races yesterday.
My next race? Crocs 10k race this Sunday in MOA!
God be Praised!