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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Thank God For Trees

The Milo Marathon elims in Manila is nearing close and having decided (sort of) last minute to sign up for the half-marathon, we had to follow a tight schedule on our long runs if we wanted to be confident enough to make it to the 2.5hr cut off.

Unfortunately for me, having gone through a really rough week at work and being sleep deprived to boot after tending to a sick little girl this past 4 days (thank God she's better now), my body just sort of crashed last night. I had a bad asthma attack. But despite that, all I could think of was losing another training day. And we only have 2 more weekends to prepare hard so I badly needed this weekend run. I slept early and was praying hard I'd be better in the morning.

Come morning, guess what? My prayers were answered. I was better with nary a trace of that asthma bout. Tibs and I got ready at 5am hoping to start by 530 in the hopes that we could avoid the torturous heat. I took a few more puffs of my dear lifesaving inhaler (which I named Symbi wahaha I really suck at giving names) before we left but yes when we got to Daang Hari at 545, Mr Sun was already up and shining. No choice but to go on anyways.

We were aiming to cover at least 12km today. Two kilometers into the run and going through 2 hilly climbs I had to stop, catch my breath and rehydrate as I was sweating profusely. I let Tibs run ahead of me since he was looking good and pacing well. I walked for 30 seconds and felt there's no way I could cover 12km today. Not in this hot day. But a nagging thought told me I might as well try anyways. I'm here. And I'm still breathing well.

So I started running again. When I checked my speed, I was surprised to see I was running quite fast (paced at 5.30/km) for my normal pace (of usually 6.30/km). After about 5 mins, I could already see Tibs running ahead and in no time I caught up.
one of the lower climbs (but longer) we had to pass through while running this course
This route used to be hellish for us. With all the steep climbs on every kilometer. But today, the terrain didn't seem to bother us at all. We were running easy and light. Although we had to take a couple of water breaks (sooooooo hot, i tell ya), our pace didn't fall behind 6.30/km for which I was very very happy. I am now confident I can make a better finish than my previous half-marathon. 

We decided not to take our usual route when we got to the Daang Hari-Daang Reyna intersection. We chose to go straight through Daang Hari and just make a turnaround once we hit 6km. The nearest turn was short of 300m but I decided to make the turn anyway since I didn't want to strain myself hard (I reckon the next u-turn slot is probably more than a kilometer away).

Tibs and I took another water break at this point. And paused to enjoy the breeze in this area. I took a deep breath and whispered a prayer of thanks.

"thank you God for these trees."
thank you for the shade. thank you for filtering the air so they're cleaner on this side of our running route. 
When I usually reach my final turnaround point, I am always confident I can finish a race. It's probably the familiarity of the road that makes me feel like the route back is always easier. It was extremely hot at almost 7am when we headed back to our starting point. It took me longer to go back but it wasn't because of breathing problems or leg cramps or just lazy bones. It was for the lack of hydration (our 4 water containers were drained dry after the 9th km). And again, I'm pretty confident I could go even faster than today. Next week, we're up for 16km then we'll be tapering off for the 2 weeks prior to the race. We'll be ready.

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