Getting to the Finish Line
Yes! I was able to join the fun run this morning. *WOOT WOOT* And it’s OFFICIAL: I can’t feel my logs er… I mean legs. That was my exact thought upon reaching 1k of my 5k run. I would have just been contented in walking for a few more kilometers before the turnaround marker. But it was in that kilometer that I saw Daddy D (I call him that) an officemate, a “grandfatherly” kind of guy, and is a member of the Sunday Runners Club. And, fortunately (or rather unfortunately), he was boosting me into running instead of just walking. I tell you, for an old guy your tongue would be dragging by the pavement if you kept with his usual running pace. Good thing there were so many fun run enthusiasts that were blocking our way to actually make a mad dash in weaving in and out of the crowd. (Whew! At least I could still pretend to be ignorant on how out of shape I am especially in cardio programs).
Backtrack a bit (I got so carried away with my aching legs that I forgot to introduce how I started my day). I woke up at around 4am then snoozed my alarm “a bit” before actually starting to move around and get ready. I got my stuff ready last night so there was only little left to prepare except myself. Came 4:45am, I got up and went on in my prepping. No breakfast only water. Beltbag? Check. Money? Check. Towel? Check. Route map? Check. Cellphone? Check iPod? Double check. Ok. Looks good to go. As I started walking to the corner to wait for a ride, I started listening to my tracks in my playlist which I specifically prepared just for today. Hailed a passing jeepney and look, another fun run enthusiast (she was already wearing her singlet while I still hid mine. As I said, I’m not good in crowds. Better not be noticed much). While halfway to the starting line I realized that I forgot my comb. Darn! Oh well… I guess I’ll have to keep my hair up in ponytail. Crowd control. Wow, a swarm of runners were already set to start. More than 4,000 as a rough estimate. Most of them came in groups. Trainee cops, students, colleagues, barkadas, and org members. All taking snapshots of their group. I felt SO out of place. I want my picture taken too. But, you know, with people I know too. Oh boy. I’m way in my head. No one to lean on to if I stumble or hurt myself (yeah, like I’d be really THAT clumsy), nobody to LOL with if I see something funny, and nobody to take pictures with if I finish the race. Poor me. No worries. I thought to myself. Just keep your pace and listen to your music.
And there goes the signal! The gun went off for a few times before the swarm before me started moving. Hmm… did the first few signal fire meant the start of the other category run? Anyway, off I went sprinting-running-brisk walking at first. It was hard to squeeze my way through other groups of people. Then I saw a path I could follow and there I went. I could feel my calf muscles burning with every step I took that I was alternating between running and brisk walking. Looks like other groups too were doing the same. That was the pace I took until I saw Daddy D. When he saw me through the crowd, he made his way through and ran next to me. Run. He said. That’s why it’s called a fun run. With legs starting to feel like lead, I trudged along half running, half jogging. But it was fun to be able to have someone to make the run bearable and easier, and putting the FUN in it. He would tease other runners and marshalls and even jokingly offering to carry me since I was but dragging my legs on the course. Carefully running across slightly slippery roads, we reached the 3k marker. Wait, wet roads? Water! Hallelujah! Ok, I’ll get one after the turnaround marker. Big mistake. There was no more water available. Fine. Continue on. Just finish the run/walk. Then someone called my name. An old schoolmate. It was when I passed her that I remembered her name. I’m so bad. But we weren’t close anyway so it was okay. Off to the finish line we ran. Sir D/Daddy D was already telling me that we’ll just walk when going home. Fine by me. I get to save up a jeepney fare. Yes! The finish line can already be seen from a distance.
Run girl, run! And finally, (what the?!?) a long line awaited me. You had to line up to get your certificate of completion. No worries. What’s important is, I’ve finished the 5K run without injuries, without water breaks, without a care whether I could get free “lugaw” at the finish line or not, and – most of all – bringing home a souvenir and a story. I even saw Jeff and Shane my kumpare and kumare.
I may not be a fast runner from what I’d hope to be, but being able to get up and have the willpower to take that first step and seeing it through makes a colorful and fulfilling chapter. Expert runners would say “keep your own pace”. We all move at our own pace. We compete against our personal best. What makes it all worthwhile is how we take it on, where and when to begin, and all those people (expected and unexpected), who made it memorable. I’ll be running on my 2nd fun run soon. So legs, better get ready!