Last April 18 April 2009, I woke up as early as 4:00 am to prepare for my first 10 miler (16K). I was looking for this day to test my endurance despite my age. My husband, who will also be doing his first 16K and my children rose early too, thus we were able to leave our home on time to reach the venue with allowance to do some pre-race rituals.
The race was supposed to start at 5:30 am for 16K and 6:00 am for 5K and 3K. But for reasons unknown to me, the race started at 6:03 for all categories.
I started in a very comfortable pace as I wanted to conserve my energy in order to finish strong because I still have to give seminars and attend meetings during the day. I prepared and planned for this, so I divided the 16K course into four parts of 4K each. I set 30 minutes for every part.
On my first part, my husband paced with me but I asked him to go on his own as I can handle myself and there was nothing to worry about me. On my second part, I found myself truly enjoying every step. On my third part, fatigue slowly bothered me but the excitement was still there. At this point, I passed through a limping lady trying to finish the race. She served as motivation to me. I told myself that I have no reason not to finish this one because I am strong and not injured like her. I opted to forget the feeling of tiredness and kept on going. I was also encouraged by gestures of kindness shown by runner-friends. They waved, cheered and said nice words to me. At the start of my 4th part, I envied male runners who can attend to the call of nature by just facing the wall. For me, I have no recourse but to reach the finish line before I can seek comfort. On my last 500 meters, my daughter came into sight and paced with me. She urged me to run faster and to overtake the man in front of me. At first, I did not succumb to her persuasion but when she said ” Sayang legs mo, Ma! May ibubuga pa yan!, then I realized that I still have the energy and finishing my first 16K in my target time is now within my reach. As we approached the last 200 meters, we passed ahead of the target man and my two sons suddenly appeared. My boys took my pictures and even ran with us. The mother with three kids ran together until the finish line.
I am very happy and proud of myself. I thank the Lord for blessing me with this life and healthy body. I thank Him for my family and friends.
To my husband and children, thank you very much! I love you all!