This being my 4th race we—my hubby, son, and I—have got our pre-race preparation down pat. For a 6 am race like yesterday’s Run For P.E.A.C.E., we planned on arriving at 5:30 am, which meant that I would wake up at 4:30 am, followed by hubby at 4:40, then son at 5:00. We would be out of the house by 5:15 to arrive at the venue on time. As expected, that is exactly what took place yesterday morning.
The gods must have been bored to death by our predictability though because, as soon as the race started, there were a few surprises—pleasant and err not so pleasant—that were thrown my way.
(1) The route was changed! I signed up for the 10k, despite coming from a Batangas business trip the day before, on the premise that the route would be easy and flat as the race organizers had initially presented in their map. It was deja vu for me then when, after running around Libingan ng mga Bayani we were led to make a right turn towards C5. A right?! No way, I thought, because that would lead us all down the hill towards C5, which would have meant that we would take a u-turn and climb back up again! It was the Champion Race all over again—aaaaah!
(2) I’ve made a lot of running friends. I still remember my very first race vividly. I forced (uhm, I think “persuaded” sounds much better) my husband to accompany me for fear of looking like a lonesome loser waiting for the race to start. Fast forward to yesterday and I was pleasantly surprised to meet a few runners I’ve been in touch with online—Mon, Smith, Joms, and Tisha of H@ppy Feet Runners, Hitme64, and Renz. Of course, familiar faces like Mayi and Jamike—the coolest athletic couple ever who I have the pleasure to train with every now and then—were there too.
– with Jamike and Mayi (who finished 10th) –
For the first time, I ran side by side with someone all throughout the race. Joms kept me entertained for a full hour with whatever he could dish out about anything under the sun. Well, there was certainly a lot for us to chat about since this was the first time we had ever really met (excluding the quick photo op in the Champion Race.)
(3) No pain! After struggling through a week of knee pain, I was paranoid about hurting my knee all over again. In fact, I was 80% sure that I would hear my knee clicking again after the race. But, nope—I felt no soreness, no pain, no snapping, no nothing—could it be that I’m getting stronger? Hmmm…it’s probably because I didn’t push too hard during this race.
(4) I broke my PR. Yup, I came in at 1:00:24, 33 seconds faster than my previous 10k. What surprises me though is that I broke it at all. I certainly did not give this race my best. For some reason, my mind wasn’t all that into it. I think I got turned off with the start of the race when we had to literally walk/jog our way out of the mass of runners in the narrow road leading to the cemetery.
– Running towards the finish line –
– My little boy and I after the race. He’s pooped after his 3k –
(5) I placed 6th! Honestly, I don’t know if this is a surprise or a joke! Me, 6th place? 10 minutes after the race, as I was chatting away and taking photos, my hubby asks me about the piece of paper in my hand. I tell him it’s nothing—a man handed it over to me when I reached the finish line. When I take a look at it closely it says “6th Female.” Wooohooo! My time wasn’t all that great, but hey it feels awesome to discover that I was the 6th fastest woman in the 10k. Now, that was a surprise for you too, wasn’t it?
– Who would have thought an index card could bring me so much joy? –