I woke up in the dead of the night—or more like early morning—committed to making it in time for my 4:45 am run with my virtual running buddies spanning the globe: E-rod, Hitme, Ben, Renz, Marga, Steph, Gretchen, and TRF, and of course Coach B who agreed to accompany me for the run. Driving through South Superhighway at 4:30 am, I wondered if running this early was such a good idea. Thoughts of a headless man clad in a barong in the backseat or a white lady drifting by pervaded my mind. But, for the love of running and to honor my promise to my 8 virtual running buddies, I cranked up the radio volume, stepped on the gas, and prayed to God I would get to Alabang Country Club the soonest possible time.
We started warming up at exactly 4:55 am. As we did our usual active-dynamic routine, I was imagining the other runners in Manila closing in on their 5k even before the sun rose. Hitme would have Paula Radcliffe whispering in his ear. Shirtless Ben would probably have a shirt on this time lest he catch a cold before Sunday’s race. Renz would be running the streets of Makati quietly and swiftly. Marga would be running Paranaque with a smile on her face thinking of how many pancakes she’d down for breakfast. And, on the other side of the earth, I was guessing E-rod was conquering the Back Bay dirt trails with relaxing music as company while Steph and Gretchen, E-rod’s friends, and TRF from Kuala Lumpur were enjoying their runs in their own timezones as well. The thought that we were all running at the same time for the same reason—simply because we love to run—was just amazing and motivating.
As for my run, Coach B and I were compelled to run fast since I had to make it back home by 6:15 am to get my son ready for school (oh the life of a running mommy!) So, our target was to run 10k at the fastest possible time. Off we went in the dark rushing through the main roads where street lamps could light our way and keep us from getting killed by speeding cars. I had never ran this early before so my body took a while to warm up (literally) to the idea. I felt like a marshmallow held up by a stick! My legs wouldn’t follow and my arms swung awkwardly like a pendulum from my shoulder. After the 1st kilometer though, we picked up the pace and it was all good for me from then on. Oooh la la, our pace was fast…but I felt strong. Coach tells me that this was my practice run for Sunday. As long as I can sustain that pace all throughout, I could definitely break my PR. Break my PR?! He said the magic words. That kept me going strong until the end.
We had to end the run at an unusual time of 48 mins at an odd distance of 9.33 km (Boooo! We didn’t have time for 10k) and a frustrating 499 calorie count (499! Just one more to hit the big 5! Forgive me, I can get obssesive at times) but it was a great run. The big surprise came when I saw my pace of 5’09/km. Nice. I hadn’t gone that fast before for such a distance so I’m thinking Sunday is going to be one exciting race for me.
I drove home under the light of the morning sun glad that I overcame my silly fears (Well, maybe not so silly. Hitme once ran with a white lady, you know?!) and wondering again about my 8 virtual running buddies. I hear that the others have posted reports on their blogs already. So, excuse me for a while as I hear from the new friends I have made in these two wonderful worlds of running and blogging.
Read other virtual runners’ reports here: