After recuperating from my operation and getting clearance to get back to running from my doctor, I was just too excited to be back on the road again. With the Run United 3 in the horizon, I know I have to get some milage. I started by “testing the waters” with the Adobo Run After Dark 3K costume race and then slowly built mileage. I also registered for the New Balance Chevrolet Power Race 25K distance. I was not so sure I can do it but I registered anyway.

“Yabang at kapal ng mukha” has always been a battle cry for me in this running thing. Its more of making yourself believe that you can do it and actually doing it. So there I was registered for a 25K run 3 weeks after a major operation with only 11K mileage for the week. Registered or not, I will still be having a long run that weekend anyway so it would be better to do it in a race.

A friend wanted to hang-out Saturday so I took it as a chance to carbo load. I ate a lot of pasta in preparation for the race. A Venetto was the chosen place and we feasted on their sea food parmigiana and some chicken tenders while catching up.

“This is going to be a long run, not a race.” I kept reminding myself. So when I was preparing for the race, I opted not to wear my usual race day stuff. Shorts not tights, training shoes, not the lighter race day ones. I also did not buy energy gels as I don’t usually take them on long runs.

3:05 AM on the race day, my alarm went off. It was raining very hard. I wanted to go back to sleep but a message on my phone from a runner friend was asking me where he’d pick me up at 3:30. I replied telling him that i’d be in the nearby Shell gas station and started gearing up for the race. My race gear included a big transparent laundry plastic bag to keep me warm and dry before the race starts. So that was it I am running a race!

“Long run, not race,” I kept reminding myself as we queued to the starting line. I kept on reminding myself as we started running. I had a good 1st 3K run averaging at 5 minutes per kilometer pace. I told myself that i’d start slowing down after the 5K mark. I stopped at all the water stations and continued my easy pace. While running, there is still this question in my head whether I will be able to finish the race or not. I took note of the aid stations where there is a parked ambulance just in case. A couple of times in the race, I had to slow down as I was already running faster than 5 minutes per kilometer. Of course I always check my neck if it is still ok as i was feeling great while running and greeting friends along the way. Most people who knew what happened to me were surprised to see me.

Every water station was a walk break for me. I imposed my usual no walking unless there is a water station rule. I tried walking going up the Kalayaan fly over but it felt better and easier running so I started running again. “Ok, i’ll start waling when I reach 20K,” I promised myself. At the 21K mark, I was still running at sub 2. I deliberately slowed down and started walking at some points in the route. i would slow down when I see photographers for me to have a good picture.

I finished the race with a time of 2 hours, 26 minutes. It felt really great. I am so happy to be back!


About Kit Atienza

A researcher/runner/triathlete/cancer survivor who found himself in the world of development work. He enjoys, reflects, and rants about things while doing his job, improving his personal record in running distances, and training for the IronMan in 2016.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s