Last June 2, 2013 I had the opportunity to level up my running experience as I plunged to one of the most popular running event series in the Philippines by RunRio and Unilab, “The Run United 2″. I registered for the 32 kilometer as they call it “Afroman distance” and this was my first long distance running event after my 18 kilometer in Philhealth Run last February 14th.
It was truly a unique experience running in this category as I haven’t had my half-marathon and that jumping to 32 kilometer distance got me in mix emotions. But and my mind I keep telling myself that I must surpass this challenge in preparation for my first marathon this year if ever and as they said that it is what this distance category meant for. I registered in the last week of April along with a friend so I just had almost 7 weeks to train for it. I’ve planned and made my own training program that was suitable for just 5-6 weeks of running schedule. So I’ve marked my calendar for every week tapping a total of 3 runs, Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday (LSD). I’ve based this program from what I’ve research with our best friend in the world wide web – Mr.Google.
It was a struggle striving to put the effort in my training schedules as I got busy in many other activities aside from my job. Also the stress of travelling 4-hours a day was added to the pressure making me feel so tired and procrastinate my run for the day. Thankfully, as one of my friend registered also in the same distance, we’ve pushed and strove together to make our runs every week despite of busy schedules. Every after work for Tuesday and Thursday, we run at Ayala triangle or even extending that going to BGC taguig using the McKinley Route. Added to my training is taking some hills and good thing is that where I live in Filinvest II Batasan Hills was perfect place that I could run some nice elevation. So some mornings and nights that I took up that hilly route as part of my easy and fast runs. But one thing that I’ve lacked on this training was to make a 3-4 hour LSD as I only had 2-3 hours of it throughout the training as I got busy on some of my Sundays. Though I was really pushing on my training and being so positive that I could finish the race and having a running buddy truly helps on not only focusing on the self but focusing to help others to achieve the goal, to conquer the afroman distance. I felt satisfied & happy in this area where I had dared and shared the challenge and experience to others.
Having some other activities or responsibilities had been also very helpful to me as to divert and relax myself from some of the pressures in preparation for this run. Striving to balance things out and accomplish other goals for the month before this big day run was enjoyable, it had lead me to push harder and be excited also whenever I make some runs for training.
The night of the race day came, am very thankful that I’ve been able to sleepover to one of my friend’s house in Makati that it had been greatly contributed for having a good rest and short time travelling going to Mall of Asia. They also hosted a carbo-loading for me cooking a delightful pasta that is a little spicy but I loved it.( Thanks Brahm and Heide.). It was hard for me to sleep around 9 to 10pm and I felt that I just had a power nap as I woke up at 12:55 AM. Then I made my special morning preps and then quickly put my running gears and packed up my own power run breakfast (Raisin bread, Bananas, SNICKERS, & Gatorade.) We took a taxi with my 3 running buddies going to MOA by 2 AM to secure other things and catch up with the 3 AM gun start. Fast forward, we lined up ourselves in the middle of the sea of runners maybe 30-40 meters from the Starting line. While others are busy on the countdown, I kept on refreshing myself with some goals that I’ve set for the run. One is to FINISH(most important goal), two is to finish the race around less than 4 hours, and three is to finish strong by sprinting 100 meters down to the finish line. As the countdown timer ticks out, we got more tense and we’re oozing with perspiration, that our endorphins ready to burst out.
We’re chatting a bit and exchanging some smiles with my running buddy, Lulu after a quick official warm up exercise and then 10..9..8..7..6. 5..4..3..2..1.. BANG! Focus and excitement leveled up and the sea of runners began to move like gathering waves pushing forward pounding the road. We’ve positioned ourselves just on the right side just perfect for us to easily rush on and overtake others. But as we’ve plan that we will go slow & easy for 3-5km to really get our legs warmed up and to reserve our energy for a 2-3 hours running.