On The Heels of a Dream: First Nuvali Week

Monday, 23 December 2013  |  Running + Triathlon

On The Heels of a Dream is a weekly column by guest writer Obbie Suguitan who is currently training for his first marathon, The Bull Runner Dream Marathon, on February 16, 2014.

I missed doing my maintenance and LSDs for a week and a half. I didn’t like it one bit. I felt lethargic, sleepy, hungry, and generally in a state of unfamiliarity. It also wouldn’t have been good if I forced myself – with recurrent fever, perennially stuffy nose, and an itchy, barking cough. I probably would have ran myself ragged and suffered the effects of a bad decision to train.

I’m back though. The Monday after a missed weekend, I couldn’t fight it anymore – I had to run. My 2:20 was calling to me. Seriously. I could almost see my shoes move on its own. It was going to be an evening run at my usual training grounds. So without further ado, I went and got dressed and went out.

After the first 30 minutes though, I felt really weak and struggling. Like every step was a big effort. That’s when the power came – it started to drizzle in a light mist. Yes! Rain! I felt energized so I proceeded to develop my rhythm as the mist turned into a downpour. For an hour or so it rained and everyone disappeared into shelter. The remainder of the run turned into a haze – just the sound of rain and my splashy footsteps. Thank God for the rain! I had done my 2:20 and wasn’t depleted. But there was the Saturday long run to look forward to…

Saturday morning of that same week, around 4:30 am at Nuvali – I had hitched a ride with batchmate Resty to Nuvali just for me to experience at least part of the actual race course. I had just 3 hrs of sleep due to commitments but wanted to see what I’ve gotten varying, opposing opinions on. Coach Lit gave a brief but insightful talk, split us into pace groups, then we were unceremoniously off!

As is my usual ‘habit’, I sought out the 1:1 group then as the run went underway, fell back into the slower group of said pace. Fortunately, Mike Janeo took it upon himself to sweep/pace the slower 1:1 group. He is a wonderful pacer! Talked incessantly about very useful and gloriously distracting information on running techniques, mental exercises, pace strategies, course descriptions, and whatnot. Ang galing!

– with pacer Mike Janeo –

Our merry band of few, with the exception of warrior Sandy momentarily leaving us to deal w a bout with asthma, had a grand time running together. I say warrior because Sandy didn’t really need to return – coulda just rested, but she did come back to our delight. Sama sama sa hirap at ginhawa! Though there wasn’t a lot of ginhawa. Flat, false flat, rolling, undulating, incline, and decline – the course was a veritable who’s who of surface levels. Richard, one of my new buds, was gracious enough to share a strangely delicious gel that he and mike gave me a lecture on. So that’s a gel! It’s good but I gotta see how a Snicker bar fares. The run was really long and when the sun came out, to me it felt like a blow torch was blazing onto my nape. I don’t like heat. Don’t like heat.

Yet, with the company I was in and the wisdom of our pacer, this run was very nice. Conversation was plentiful and it was great seeing the other pace groups pass us in different directions. As competitive as I can get, I sincerely wish this batch of runners a good time running, the best of health, and good performances.  This run is my longest so far and at the end of it I had enough energy to laugh and hold conversations with friends there. Interestingly, every time I run my longest, adding minutes seems so hard. But every time I do, I find that the trained body will respond by giving more. I hope this continues, even as I realize that I haven’t even ran half of what I’m supposed to in a couple of months. On the way home with Adel, a veteran runner, I was thinking about what lay ahead. It’s Christmas time so keeping the pounds off is a bigger challenge and training during vacay will take more discipline. Fortunately I have the same formula to fall back on: Pray, train, and stick to the plan. Very nice to meet you Nuvali – I’ll see you again sometime.