Our coach in six:30, Ronnel proposed an easy run last Saturday, March 19 before the send-off party of the Barneys who will join in The Bull Runner Dream Marathon (TBRDM). As early as 6am I was already sitting at the Quezon Hall to wait for the Barneys. Alas seems like everyone is nervous, I started to walk to Mang Manny’s place (the stores in front of CAL/beside the parking lot in front of Palma Hall). Later on Doc Noel Señorin came and I left my things on the store and we started running. After 1 round, we caught up with Igy and ran another round. I stopped after completing the 2nd lap realizing I’m supposed to rest my legs for the event. Hendy soon came and Igy, Hendy and I went to Somethin’ Fishy at Eastwood to meet the rest of the Barneys while Doc Noel will complete his planned distance. We met with Marvs, Matthew, Alfred (running atom), John and Jonj and had our brunch.
Later on, I tagged Hendy and Igy along to Fitness First Trinoma to shake off the nerves. I wanted to distract myself, so I danced. Sorry but I’m just tensed!
I saw myself still in Trinoma till 7pm, I had my haircut recalling Abby (Jocson of aNR Pearl/UP) recount of her ultramarathon experience: “If I’m going to die, then I wanted to die beautiful.”
Going to Nuvali
I only had an hour of sleep (7:30-8:30pm) and woke up, took a bath and prepared my things. My running gear is already set from top to bottom. I bought Petroleum Jelly and Leucoplast after what Ronnel advised as one of his secret weapons in his BDM102. I also bought my trusted energy gel, Carb Boom! and tried Salt Sticks after Sir Bald Runner recommended this to avoid cramps. Recalling my first ever trail run in Nuvali, I didn’t want to experience yet again those awful cramps!
My Dad left me at ROX around 9:45pm and later met with my fellow Barneys Hendy, Matt and Taruk. The bus came at around 10:45pm and left on the dot, 11pm! We sat at the back and we were making fun obviously trying to forget what we are feeling, taking pictures and updating our status. I tried to sleep but soon woke up to realize we’re already at the Santa Rosa tollgate. Great! Just when I wanted to ease the tension!
Those short 2 hours of waiting!
Believe me when we stepped out of the bus until I changed clothes and waited for the event to start, it was so fast! Though it was evident we were so nervous because we have to go back to the comfort room 4 times just to pee and make sure we don’t feel uncomfortable during the race. We tried warming up and stayed at the 42k marker while seeing a lot of familiar faces already arriving at the event. We had a laugh seeing ourselves all in compression and dubbed ourselves as Team Compression.
Gunstart till 21k
It was an inspiring reflection from Team Logan and an encouraging short talk from Coach Jim Lafferty before that gunstart. And as the countdown went down to zero, all of us dreamers were in high spirits knowing our personal pace. I told Team Compression (no we’re not official, just a moniker excuse me!) of my plan: run the whole stretch of the first 21k then walk half of the next 21k to conserve energy for the rest of the marathon.
I was thankful I guess that I joined the last Bull Session as when I reach (to my surprise!) the Nuvali Blvd. stretch we turned right and I thought it was too soon that I ever reach that end! I remembered John (TBRDM Batch 1 and fellow Barney) saying theirs turn left and it was the longest stretch in their route so when my head was turning right I thought if we are covering this new route plus the one John mentioned we’re dead! I had my eyes on Helen Arabia as Madol shared that she’s eyeing for podium so I thought there’s nothing wrong to trail behind her so I know I can realize my sub-4:30 dream!
As I reach km21, my time was 2:04 (in my watch) and I thought if I maintain and sustain that I have a lot of allowance for sub-4:30! But realizing my plan and not wanting to break my legs, I walked. I WALKED! This is when I recalled Ronnel (Kampuger of The Powerpuff Boys/Coach of six:30) walking the last few kms. of his BDM102. Yes, runners do walk and we are entitled to walk. WE DON’T RUN THE WHOLE DISTANCE but elite runners and idols do so…yes, we’re humans. Haha!
Thanks to SUPERMOON!?
It was forecasted earlier that the full moon will be at its brightest at 2am and we kept on looking up but the clouds were just everywhere! And when the full moon said hi, I was singing the loudest I can as I huffed and puffed trying to complete the first 12k of the last 21k. I tried to invest on my strength during uphills and flat terrain then I get to run the fastest I can during downhills or whenever there are strong winds.
The Last 8k
I guess running brings out all my emotions that whenever I see the pacers, the chasers and the running groups cheer for me, I choke up, trying my very best not to cry. I felt stupid talking to myself, telling I should focus in the race, there’s no room to hug everyone, YOU’RE STILL IN THE RACE! But I can’t help it, the chips, Cadbury, lemon slice, water spray, the pictures…how will you ever avoid appreciating this!?
The last 3k I saw myself talking to my Creator saying how great it is that He’s there with me running beside me, telling me I can do it and just run no matter what. I never looked back, maybe once just to cheer the runners overtaking me because all of us believe in each other, that we are here because of our own race. Not only to realize the marathon dream but to realize celebrating what life has offered!
The Last 2k
Like what Charisse (met her in the Finishline Run X Trail last January) said, “This is the longest 2k!!!” I wanted to quit but when I saw Team Boring and then after that someone gave me a cup of water and indulged me with water spray, I told myself, “Here are the people believing in you, encouraging you, telling you can do it, so why quit YOU’RE ALMOST THERE!” So I tried running and then promised myself for little walks in between before the last kilometer.
The Last 1k
I walked telling myself to run in the last kilometer because this is your reward, not the medal: FINISHING A MARATHON. And then I guess there are really angels here on earth because when I saw the Powerpuff singlet I know it was her, it should be her: Maan (of aNR Pearl/TPPB). I asked her, “Will you run with me to the finish line?” I almost choked but still managed to joke with her telling her personal stuff and then I heard her saying, “Enough about me. This is your day. Bale magkakahiwalay lang tayo saglit tapos I’ll meet you sa last corner up to the finish line (I’ll leave you in a bit then meet you again to race you to the finish line).”
I guess TBR/Jaymie and the rest of the wonderful people behind TBRDM intentionally put the last track in the Solenad activity center so that you’ll see everyone cheering for you because the minute I saw my family (Mom, Ate Jo and Dad) I was not able to contain it anymore and cried while running and just joked myself, “You haven’t crossed the finish line, stop crying!” I saw aNR UP with their encouraging faces already congratulating me and saw Maan once again, “Are you ready? Finish strong!” And I DID. Six:30 welcomed me, teasing me because I can’t stop crying! THE MEDAL, my first medal for my FIRST MARATHON was given by the matador, an ice and a cold towel, a pretty lady giving the 2-liters Gatorade bottle, everything was momentous!
And then there they were, my family, I raced to them and hugged my Mom and saw myself sobbing like what I did back in high school. Yes, I’m sorry I cried but I’m happy and that’s enough.
When I told this to my officemate while having breakfast awhile ago, I told her it felt like going on a retreat and the emotions will overcome you but as long as you have the focus, for sure, you will finish your race and that means any distance you will cover.
This is dedicated to all of my TBR Dream Marathon batchmates. We did great! And to you Ms. Jaymie Pizarro, I know your FB is flooded with tags and wall posts but that’s because you really did something special for all of us and to your dream team, thank you for the kindest and encouraging words. All the best and I wish to pay it forward come next year.
We ended the race with my six:30 family, celebrated at Yellow Cab as we also celebrated our fellow Barney’s birthday, Jeremi.