I started the year 2012 by trying to prepare for my Condura Skyway Marathon. I joined two half marathons in January such as the Run for Glory (January 7) and the Go Natural (January 15). Then on January 28, I went to Nuvali to accompany Nora, the Golden Girl, in the TBR Long Run but I opted to stop after KM 13 to ensure I will still have the energy for my full marathon on February 5.
Being new in my post at the Head Office, with lot of new things to learn and do, I was not able focus on my training. I missed my weekday runs and was not even able to have cross training since January 2012. I was not also able to run a 32K which is a basic preparation before a full marathon. So, hours before the Condura Race, I confessed my fear and anxiety to my triathlete son who will be doing a full marathon with me. I told him that despite finishing 4 marathons, I can’t brush away the jitters. I was so nervous that time. My lack of training was bothering me but maybe the stress and fatigue since the Christmas season were also catching up with me.
This is how my day before the big event took place. In the morning of Saturday, I went to our Parish Center to serve as watcher at the slot of MLC up to 11:30 am. After my duty, I proceeded to SM Center for our weekly grocery supplies as well as to buy ingredients for pasta, bottles of gatorade, bread and candies for our Condura race. Upon reaching home, we immediately prepared the pasta as I planned to sleep after eating. But since I was not used to sleeping in the afternoon, I was not able to sleep longer than one hour. At any rate, I kept myself lying on our bed.
Around 5pm, I went down to the kitchen and ate a little. Afterwards, I tried to go back to sleep again but still not successful. At around 8pm, I started my pre-race rituals and prepared myself.
Since my husband and my youngest kid will be doing 21K and 10K respectively, we agreed that we will not be going together to the venue, instead we will be using different cars. So my triathlete son and I went ahead of them and we left the house past 10pm in order to find a parking space and to be at the starting line before 12 midnight gun start. My husband and youngest son will be going around 2am.
It was an easy and smooth drive going to Festival Mall. There were plenty of available parking slots. Everything went on very well except that I felt as if I was chilling and beginning to freeze when I got out of the car. The wind blew strong and cold which I think aggravated my nervousness. I tried to recover my self-confidence but the negative factors such as incomplete sleep, tiredness and not enough training bothered me. Thank God, my son assured me that I will be alright.
As we went to the starting line, I focused on my past experiences as a marathoner. I imbibed the words of my son and also assured myself that I can finish the race within cut-off. I recited my mantra and repeatedly told myself that I have done sort of this before and everything within me, from head to toe, will be cooperating so I can finish strong again.
At the starting friends, I saw a lot of friends and office mates who greeted me with warm wishes and high fives. It was a midnight but all runners were wide awake. The excitement level was high and the eagerness to start the race was very evident. Runners were released by wave. My son and I were lucky to be part of the first wave so we were released right after the elite runners.
From the starting line, we were led to the Skyway wherein the 42K route was basically along that Skyway. It was very cool and pleasurable to run in the Skyway. It was a rare opportunity as nobody will be allowed to run there except during the Condura Races. It was something to look forward to every year.
This Condura Marathon 2012 was very well-organized. There were enough provisions for the runners but the foremost consideration that I enjoyed was the safety of the runners. Every runner can run peacefully and without danger or possibility of being hit or swept by the passing or crossing vehicles along the route. The whole Skyway was dedicated to runners and that was something to be envied by other organizers.
As to my performance, this was not a PR but another marathon I can be proud of. It was another affirmation of God’s graciousness and presence in my life. I want to give all the glory to Him because I was able to start and finish. It was another miracle for me. I was able to finish the race.
My son finished strong at 4h30mins but he patiently waited for me for more than two hours before leaving for this swimming competition. I was so glad that he still has the energy and he even won silver in 100M freestyle even after a full marathon.
When I crossed the Finish Line, my husband hugged me and I felt super victorious. Several meters from the Finish Line, we saw Pat Concepcion waiting for his wife. He congratulated both of us and he also reminded me to get my medal from the designated booth. My husband and I walked to the booth, and I was surprised to see my medal as big as a saucer (where’s the cup of coffee?). I was so happy although I was also very hungry already.
Instead of looking for something to eat, I told my husband I want to go home, my youngest kid also agreed. So we went to our different parking areas and drove home separately. But I felt the need to pee so I told him I will be dropping by Total Gas Station. He also parked there and waited for me. When I was done, we started driving home again.
It was a good day. It was a good race. The best thing is that I learned another lesson that my determination and drive will lead me to wherever I want to go, be in marathon or in the daily course of life. However, nothing can give us better performance than a thorough preparation. We will only reap what we sow.