Less than 3 weeks before the big C…Condura, that is.
I had planned on running the half marathon; in fact, that’s what I had registered for last December, but certain key influencers (named: Alvin and Ton C.) convinced me to go for the full. Well, I didn’t need that much convincing anyway.
LAST LONG RUN?
Typically, a marathon program will ask you to run the longest training run, 20 miles or 32km, three weeks before the big day. Since I just ran Singapore Marathon last Dec. 6, my program is anything but typical. I don’t have a strict program I’m currently following. Every time I run with my coach-friend Alvin, I basically ask him what I should run for the next week and, with occasional whines about the speedwork, I willingly comply.
Alvin asked me to run what should be my last long run: 32km last Sunday. (I think I heard him say he’ll make me do 35k next Sunday. Not too sure.) I usually incorporate a half marathon race into the picture, but with no 21k race last weekend, I was left on my own.
6K WITH FRIENDS
Hubby and I were invited by friends–Isa, Ivy, Julian, and Norman–to join their 3.5 hour run last Sunday. I had never run with them before, but I thought it was the perfect way to let time fly running all those kilometers.
We started at 4:30 a.m. and, in the dark, we went off. As they’re a close knit group who regularly train together, hubby and I settled comfortably in the back, chatting as we always do, as if we were in our own world. No, we were not holding hands.
The course was a flat and quiet 6k loop that the group planned on running five times over. Midway through the first loop, I whispered to hubby: “I don’t think I’ll last another loop in here.” My quads and I were dying of boredom.
At the end of the first loop, hubby and I had to take a bathroom break, so we let the group go ahead.
12K WITH HUBBY
Hubby and I ran another 12k together. His plan was to run 15k, so when he ran 18k, uhm, we figured it was time for him to stop.
He drove off to have a tapa breakfast at Sentro, while I ran McKinley Hill all the way to Bonifacio Global City.
The first 15k or so on my own was energizing. It was the kind of run that I needed to clear my mind, unload all the burdens of the past week (or even year), and encourage fresh thoughts and emotions to enter my soul. At certain times, I almost felt like I was in a trance, lost in the rhythm of my footsteps. I learned later on that friends, Lody and Coach Jo-Ar, spotted me from other side of Lawton Ave. and were yelling out to me, but I didn’t even hear them.
It’s true when they say that running has more to do with the mind than the body. When I hit 30km, I suddenly felt spent and exhausted. All the energy suddenly drained out of me. I wanted to quit. After all, 30km was good enough!
By this time, I started doing loops around Bonifacio High Street. Near Starbucks, I bumped into the forever hands-on Condura Run organizers, Patrick and Ton Concepcion and Rudy Biscocho, who were planning for the exact race I was training for. They asked how long I was running and I replied “32k” then I looked at Ton and jokingly told him “This is all your fault!”
Those loops around Bonifacio High Street had never felt so long. Every single time I rounded each corner, I battled with my inner demons who were telling me to quit. I knew I would never forgive myself if I ended without hearing the 32k beep from my watch.
ENDING LIKE A WINNER
I finished the full 32km as planned. And, for the very first time, I ran it with absolutely no walking breaks (with 6 bathroom breaks though). My legs were completely fine all throughout the run; they were slightly sore, but after some stretching, they felt unbelievably great.
I dropped by Sentro where hubby was having his tapa breakfast outdoors and feeling like a real winner, I yelled to him with excitement: “I did it!” Condura, here I come.