The Plan was to chase a rabbit and hang on to the pace. Rabbit wasn’t feeling well so I had to revise my plan. I was briefly tempted to slack off and just run to bully Xtn and/or Vicky. Bad bad bad thoughts. I looked at my feet all taped up and ready to race and decided to do this the usual way. I will just run my own race and at my own pace. I removed the Polar and strapped on the Garmin. This is it! After I decided on the what I will do at the race, the bats in my stomach immediately woke up and had a party. Not good …
Since this was not chip race, I decided to stay about 5 meters from the starting line. I hoped that I will be beside people who will run my target pace.
I was dreaming of a 5:30 average pace but I set the Garmin Virtual Partner at 5:50.
5:30 – 5:50. I like. A set goal pace would drive me crazy. I run better with set pace range. This range is good enough for a PR, challenging and will allow room for the 1st 2k gigil pace.
1st 5 – BananaSplits – 5:25 | 5:15 | 5:33 | 5:38 | 5:39
After the awesome fireworks, the count down started. The bats. They were still partying. 5- 4 – 3 – 2 – 1! I took a deep breath and joined the surge.
Margaret passed me on my left and I figured that as long as I can see her then I am still on pace. When I looked to my right, I saw Elvis. Bouffant and Bell Bottoms and Bling. I figured I would rather pay dearly somewhere in Kalayaan than be beaten by Elvis. The chase was on! After I passed Elvis, I went back to my pace range. I was at peace. The goal now was to outrun Elvis.
Kalayaan was dark. This worked for me. I didn’t want to see it roll up and down. I just kept on running and wished that I woundn’t trip on a pothole or something.
I marked intersections of Buendia in my mind and chopped up this section of the race one stop light at time. I was getting tired. The legs were fine but I’ve started breathing heavily. I know I know… it’s been 2 weeks since the last stick. I’m a work in progress.
Last 5 (and then some) – BananaSplits – 5:48 | 5:40 | 6:06 | 6:18 | 5:56 | 1:09
When we hit the 5K mark, I slowed down at the water station to take my Gu and tried to remain on pace. I started smiling and waving at people. It was easier to focus on them rather than on my poor legs, the pins and needles on my right foot and my tense shoulders. Yup I was pretty much whining at this point. I needed to do something positive, so at the risk of looking like a loony, I just flashed a smile at most of the runners I saw. After the turn around, I saw that Kathy and Elvis were not far behind. Gasp!
When we were about to cross buendia, the lead Kenyan passed us. After he passed, the enforcer gave the go signal for the other cars to cross Buendia. This was very unfortunate because a Sabal (si Elmer yun di ba) was just a few meters behind him and lost a few precious seconds.
Onwards to the Kalayaan flyover. The PNP marching band sent me up and over the Kalayaan flyover with the theme from Voltes V. I suddenly missed my T2 friends. Last year, Mesh, Vicky, Tin and I ran this race together and we merrily conquered the flyover together. *sigh*
I passed one runner walking up the flyover and urged him to run with me. I told him that misery is best shared. 😀 A runner from Lucena Striders overtook me at this point. He probably saw that I was struggling. After he passed me, he looked back and called out “Kaya ‘yan.” Thanks! It helped. A very fit looking female runner was bounding up beside and was quickly gaining ground, this gave me enough energy to push and climb the flyover. And then I walked. 20 steps. *gasp* And then continued to run.
The sign said 1km to go. Garmin beeped the 10th lap before I hit the finish line. I continued to run as fast as my legs could take me. I thought I was flying. I was at 5:56 pace lang pala. Haha.
I crossed the finish line at 58:34. PR.
Cheering was fun. After Kathy and I finished, we decided to cheer for fellow runners as they turned to the finish line. It was great to see runners who were already walking start running again. Seeing them smile and wipe away their frowns was fun, too. Some probably ran faster to get away from our shrieks and claps. Haha. And then we saw Lester, we of course cheered loudly for him (not as loud as our cheers for Fernando but very loud). Too bad, he was closely followed by Mesh. We quickly changed allegiance and egged her to overtake him. Now that was fun!
T2 is back and running! Kathy, Mesh, Kristine and I set new personal best times. Dingdong and Vince once again proved that they can run a 21K in a snap. Fuelled by pride and glory, these guys can still run crazy fast with very little training. They also want PRs and promised to train harder for the next race. Vicky and Essie are finally racing again. My fearless forecast is that they will be training furiously again.
To Ton, Patrick and the Condura run team. Take a bow guys!
The Condura run is indeed the premiere running event in the Philippines! Sa uulitin! Wala na akong mahihingi pa.
P.S. So runners, where did you put your reflector? 😉