As I’ve mentioned from my previous blog post, the plan was to run this race at chillax pace and even considered taking up a role of being an “unofficial” sweeper role for 42km runners. Alas, that didn’t happen and as soon as the gun start was fired, I found myself running at my usual 21km pace mode.
As I didn’t bring my hydration belt for this race, I stopped on all water stations and also did some ITB stretching, checking my watch from time to time to ensure I don’t spend more than 15 seconds doing it (adik mode). As I wore the other bib at my back with my name and blog URL on it, I would hear the following from other runners as I passed them one by one:
Sam, kamusta na injury mo?
Uy si RunningNinja nagparamdam!
Go Ninja go ninja go!
Sam, nice to see you back!
Pare si Ninja habulin nten!
The last made me ran faster, to which they followed me for more than 3km until they gave up. I finished the first 10km in 56 minutes and I thought, if my injury will not pop-up and cramps will not bother me, my evil plan of 4:15 will be a piece of cake.
Fate was not on my side that day and my evil plan didn’t materialize. A few meters from the first U-turn in the Skyway, I suffered cramps on my right calf. From my own experience, there are two cramps that I would usually experience during races. Cramps mabait – this is the kind of cramps that would made its presence known but I could easily shrugged it off by doing some stretching, walking, running slowly then off back to my race mode. Cramps malupit – this is the kind of cramps that would demoralize you physically and mentally. All male ego / kamachohan will go to hell once you suffered from it. You will suddenly stop, look at your legs, you will try to walk but you can’t because any movement will bring excruciating pain, you cannot stretch and you’ll have to spend some time in your current position until the pain goes away. Just like that.
The kind of cramps I suffered was the latter. Cramps malupit. This is the one wherein you could actually see your calf muscles contract or beats like the way your heart does in rhythmic patter. It was really painful and I have no choice but to stop, yell in pain and gently massage my right calf. At that point, I really wished I didn’t put that race bib at my back with my name and blog URL on it. So kaka talaga. One by one, runners whom I’ve overtaken would soon start catching up with me. I would hear some words of encouragement:
Jog mo lang Sam kaya yan!
Do some stretching and you should be fine
Walk Sam, walk!
Worst thing happened was when the same group of runners who decided to run after me which I’ve overtaken earlier now catched up with me and said “Oh Sam what happened? Wasak na?” I just laughed but really my ego was hurt. To that runner whom I’ll call RunnerS, I hate you hahahaha! Really I do.
With my 4:15 target now out of my target, I decided to run the remaining distance at Ultramarathon pace. The plan was to run slowly for 5 minutes and walk for 3 minutes. Occasionally I would encounter some pain near my left knee which I’ve mistaken for ITB but it was not as it would easily disappear after stretching.
The last 5 kilometer as we were approaching the finish line, I decided to make myself more useful by cheering first time marathoners and friends. Finally I crossed the finish line at 5: 20. It’s still a PR for me but really I was not after a record-breaking performance. This race proved that I’m indeed ITBS free and I’m ready for my first UltraMarathon race next month!
Congratulation to all first time marathoners! My hats off to Bryan and Carly who managed to finish their debut Marathon with decent time of 4:12 and 4:23 respectively. Also to competetive biker friend Whreachelle Cardova who finished at 4:30 for her first marathon. You feat is remarkable! You guys will serve as an inspiration for future first time marathoners. Many thanks to Reiner/takbo.ph support station and finally to the Lord whom we’re all eternally blessed and grateful.
Kitakits sa susunod na takbuhan!