It was a calming Saturday night when we arrived at the venue. The moon seemed to be cooperating as it revealed its full face. The sky was showing a blanket of stars.
The “Hero” motiff was apparent as we approached the Condura Village in Filinvest City Alabang.
Another memorable event was about to begin. It was the 2015 Condura Skyway Marathon.
The Condura Skyway Marathon is an annual running event that is definitely considered as one of the much awaited runs of the year.
I was chilling. I had goosebumps. Not because of the mixed emotions brought about by my excitement and nervousness, but because the wind was too strong that night.
Yes, it was game time for me. That was the moment I was waiting for. Another run was waiting to be put on record. And it all boils down to one thing. My passion.
There’s no turning back now. It’s now or never.
Knowing that a total of more than 15,000 runners have registered, lightened up my spirit. Commitment and determination were apparent all over the place. I didn’t know why, but it somehow boosted my energy. They were contagious!
Another defining moment was about to come to a close.
How It All Began
Runners had to be broken down into different waves with 2 minutes interval each to avoid congestion. I was in wave J.
The gun started at 12mn .Our wave officially kicked off at 12:33 am.
And off we go!
You could see the joy on everyone’s faces as soon as the gun time started.
I was a bit emotional as soon as I had my feet working not just because it was my first time joining a full marathon, but also because the place turned into an emotional tribute as everyone paid homage to the new heroes of today. They were the 44 members of Special Action Force who lost their lives fighting the Moro rebels.
We gave our snappiest salutes as we passed by the soldiers who were carrying images of the Fallen 44. What a great way to start the run!
As soon as we hit the Skyway, that was when it officially started.
It was as if the wind knew how long we had to endure that it gave a cool breeze as we passed by the tall Skyway. Somehow, that helped me. I personally felt comforted.
Everything seemed just fine as I approached the first hydration station. I remember when one of my friends told me to make use of every station to keep myself hydrated. Well, not too much that it may lead to water intoxication.
I did it and it helped a lot.
I was still all smiles when I reached the 8th kilometer mark, passed by the 15th down to the 19th kilometer.
But nope, things changed as soon as I hit the 22-kilometer mark. That was when I started to feel the discomforts.
It was as if my calves were starting to cramp. My thighs felt swollen. I felt the pain at the bottom of my feet.
As soon as I passed by the next station, I looked for the salt in my pocket, put something onto my hand and took it. I drank some water immediately.
It is said that when you’re running, you lose electrolytes, such as salt, through sweat. Taking salt will help retain body fluids and may prevent muscle cramps.
Thanks to one of my friends who shared me about this “salt” tip prior to my run. It did help a lot.
Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
The “salt” thing somehow eased the pain I was feeling. But it didn’t take long until another discomfort got the better of me.
I had several reasons not to finish the run. I had all the reasons to quit. But what kept me alive was my vision of finishing the run.
Instead of focussing on the pain, I thought of focusing on the prize. I visualized having to cross the finish line.
Talk about the power of visualization. It worked!
It seemed like eternity until I reached the 29th kilometer mark. I had to do some walking to preserve some energy.
Keep the Positive Energy Flowing
Negative thoughts have the tendency to pollute your mind especially when you feel all the discomforts when running. That is why it is so important to keep the right attitude.
When I reached the 29th kilometer mark, I had these tempting thoughts.
“Oh my, I still have to run 13 kilometers more??! Grrrr.. When do I reach the finish line???!”
To tell you honestly, I was bothered by these playing in my mind because of all the discomforts I was feeling. I had to change my thoughts though.
I kept these words running in my head instead, “Great job, March. You’re only 13 kilometers away from finishing the run. Keep going! Keep pushing!”
You may think that this didn’t work, but hey it drove me crazy! Well, of course, in a good way.
I call it mind conditioning.
Savor Every Moment
I took it one step at a time.
Have you ever felt so great because you’re about to reach your goal? I tell you, you would never trade it for anything.
That was how I felt as I passed by every kilometer closer and closer to the finish line.
I took the time to enjoy the whispering wind gently soothing my warm body.
I savored every moment looking at the bay area as I got to witness how the early morning sun rays skimmed the horizon.
These little things helped me moved on. It’s as if they were in our favor that day.
Little by little I took every step.
There is Nothing Like Crossing the Finish Line
There was this amazing long drum roll when I finally reached the 40th kilometer.
I had to walk because my feet were already hurting. I just really couldn’t force myself to run.
Yes, I was that close to crossing the finish line.
That moment though!
I was holding back my tears. Not because of the discomforts I was feeling but because of another goal I was about to achieve!
I crossed the finish line after 6 hours, 19 minutes and 13 seconds of glorious run. Yes, it was my very first full marathon following my first ever run which was a 16K last December 2014.
This is definitely one for the books.
February 1, 2015 marks a new chapter of my life. It wasn’t easy but it was worth it.
I thank God for the grace to finish the run.
And now I can honestly say…
I RAN FOR A HERO. I CONQUERED THE SKYWAY! 🙂
To God be the glory!