At 8:30 am this morning, 22 May 2010, I became a certified marathoner. Not only that, my husband and two kids made it too. It was even touching when the three of us crossed the finish line together. We are now a family of marathoners!
Looking back, on 01 Feb 2010, my husband told me about the TBR Dream Marathon. So I immediately opened the TBR site and signed up myself ahead of them all. My son followed me so with my husband. My daughter was then busy in her medical school and cannot commit on the training so she opted to prioritize her studies. My youngest child is only 15 yo and would not qualify. My friend Nora called me up to inform me that she signed up already. I told her, I already did without a thought.
On 3 Feb 2010, we received a very comprehensive training plan for beginners prepared by Coach Jim Lafferty so despite our busy and hectic work schedules, we tried to find time to comply with it. We attended all the Bull Circles and Bull Sessions wherein we learned a lot during those gatherings. We met friends and became closer to other runners.
In order to make my maiden marathon more memorable, I also decided to dedicate my first full marathon for a cause. I chose the Mother Caterina Shelter Home, Inc. with 30 abandoned and needy young girls, as my chosen beneficiary. The pledges of support and donations were overwhelming and very motivating.
I took good care of myself and made conscientious effort not to injure myself. I also bought the Marathon book of Jeff Galloway and Nancy Clark’s Food Guide for Marathoners. I prepared and prayed hard for this TBR Dream Marathon 2010.
A week before the big day as we taper and relax, we went to Hongkong and Macau. It was a great vacation for the family. However, in our flight back home, we were stranded inside the plane for more than three hours due to thunder-storm. I cannot identify what hit me, but I got colds, very severe colds with cough.
A day before the race, I tried very much to rest and recover from colds. We checked-in at El Cielito Hotel and took all the afternoon lying on bed. I consistently hydrated myself with Gatorade and water alternately every two hours. I took flu tabs to put me to sleep as my brother doctor insisted I should sleep if I really plan to run. He knew he cannot persuade me to give up this dream. So he just advised me to rest and take a lot of fluids.
At 11:30 pm, I felt my daughter moving and preparing herself as she will attend the briefing for pacers. She will pace with me, thus she will also have her marathon debut. I simply looked at her and forced myself to sleep again as I set my alarm at 1:00 am. However, the excitement engulfed me and I can no longer sleep. So at around 12:15 I had my breakfast of oatmeal and banana. Around 1:00 am, my friend Baby texted me that she and husband Bro J will be going to the site soon. They also stayed in the same hotel with us. I replied, we will follow soon.
Thirty minutes before two am, we were in the site. It was a very festive atmosphere. Logistics were set up and some restos were already opened. The parking areas were almost full. Some of runners were inside the starting area. I met Nora and took some pictures with her. Coach Jim reiterated that by noon time, we will all be certified marathoners. He reminded us to start slowly. Then, Craig Logan gave a simple but very sincere invocation before the TBR Dream Marathon started.
It was really dark at 2 am but the Nuvalli provided generators for its street lights, thus it was a smooth run in the pavement. It was cold and we felt good. However, there was a portion of rough road, where I almost tripped but thank God, I was not injured. There was no pain in my right foot despite that incident . My pacer daughter told me she will go ahead so I can follow her and I will be guided where to step in the dark. Another runner, Bernard, suggested I should maintain at least 2 meter-distance from my daughter so I can see the rough road. He also asked what is our strategy and when I told him 5:1, he asked if he can join us so the three of us ran together on the first loop.
On our second loop, we saw my husband after changing his outfit and socks. He joined us in our Galloway run. I was a bit nervous when he showed his pale hands. However, he said he is not a quitter and there is no reason he cannot attain this dream marathon. When we passed the rough road again, it was a bit easier this time as it was no longer dark. But, the stones and gravels came rolling under my shoes. Mizuno is not for rough road. My daughter and I continued running leaving my husband in the rough road. But he was able to catch up with us on our 33KM. I took a toilet break for a while before we continued running again. Bernard was no where in sight.
As we went through the rough and hilly road, the three of us agreed to walk for the next two kilometers (from km 37 to 39) as we are nearing our wall. It was so hot and my daughter and I cannot bear the heat. We are glad there were so many hydration stations and there was this biker providing us with ice. The Second Wind people were so kind that they even offered us to drink in their personal bottles. Thank you, guys!
After passing KM39, TBR support teams started congratulating us and said it was just 3km more. I wanted to complete that 3KM soon but I felt that such 3KM was the longest 3KM in my life. When we reached, 40KM, my husband declared that we will no longer run-walk- run but will continue running until the finish line. I agreed but requested an easy pace, then we ran together, we pooled our energy and we crossed the finish line on the same time. We are Certified Marathoners!
Thank you Jaymie, Neville, Coach Jim and all TBR Support Team.
Marathon is not only physical but mental fitness as well. With this achievement, I was able to confirm that I am not the only one made of a strong stuff in the family but my husband and my children, too.
Praise God for all the blessings! Blessings of good life, happy family and good friends.