The Greentennial Race was my first road race for 2011. It was my first 15km race for the year and it would promise to give me my first finisher medal for 2011 with only one rule – that I finish the race.
Ordinarily, it would be a cinch for me to do so but with little or no running for the past one and a half months, I was a little bit scared by its distance. I was unprepared for it, doing only some short, slow runs on the ACTUAL week of the race. In any race training rulebook, this was a definite foul! And I’m doing it for a couple of valid and invalid reasons: to burn calories, to get in shape again and to bring home that finisher medal!
I was anxious the night before (just ask my wife) and couldn’t sleep till past midnight. When I finally did, it seemed too short before both our alarms started ringing off. With a quick change, a cracker to fill up my growling tummy, and some minor stretching, we drove to BGC for the race.
Parking was easy this time around and I still had 10 minutes to go when I reached the starting line and spotted Janine and RunningAtom there. I was a little excited given I haven’t been joining a race for some time but knew also that I should take it slow as this was a big distance for the non-running FATBOY.
The 15km race route was one of my favourites when it comes to running in BGC as it took us to the Buendia Flyover, past the 5km and 10km turn around points on Buendia Avenue, past the three stoplights of Buendia Avenue before we reached our own 15km turning point and headed back to Fort Bonifacio to run 5km more. However, there were no street lights on the flyover and one had to be really careful where he/she is running on as it was pitch dark at that time. But I had no complaints. The mere fact that I was running was already a great moment for me.
I left my MP3 player at home, choosing instead to absorb the sights and sounds around me. It was also a great time to talk to God while running, when you can see all of His creations around you and appreciate them – the sunrise was always the best part for me! And to be blessed with legs and feet and with little pain is something I don’t always appreciate.
As I headed back to Fort Bonifacio, I was clearly panting and wheezing. Yes, lack of running/ training would do that to a person! Luckily there were ample water stations there, giving me an excuse to take some walk breaks and drink the Powerade/water that were handed out to me. I saw recent NYC Marathoner finisher Alvin there doing the 10km race and he opted to run with me and to do a little bit of chatting. In that 1-2km run, I got to chatting too and got my second wind back. Yay! That really helped me and by the time he left me, I only had 3kms to go. This looks achievable!
And it was. As I headed towards the final turn before the sprint to the finish line, I heard my wife call out my name as she waited patiently for me by the sidewalk. I gave her a big smile and a wave and then I focused my attention to the last 300 meters. The finish line sign got bigger as I got closer. Last 100 meters! Finished!
I was so tired when I finished my race that I even wanted to vomit whatever was in my stomach (the puny soda cracker???). Good thing I didn’t or it would be a sad sight especially to the girl who put the finisher medal around my neck!
Yes, I am very much happy for having finished this race strong and to God for being there by my side. I dedicated this race to Him at start of the race and I was rewarded a finisher medal at the end. I believed he nudged Alvin to my direction too when I really needed some pushing!
To Him Be the Glory!