The Yakult 10-Miler was my longest run so far and my first attempt beyond 10K so it was venturing into unchartered territories. It was a personal test of endurance for me since I’ve never run for more than an hour. Everything was well days before this event which I was looking forward to until about until the day before the actual race—I somehow managed to damage my knee—oh boy.
Even before the Nokia run a day earlier I have some discomfort on one of my knee, I think it was still the one I got from last week’s Milo Marathon. Right after the Nokia run did I feel much discomfort on my right knee that I decided to turn to science for assistance—I got myself a Patella support (no, it’s not your sideburns). I really don’t want to give up this race, so even with only one good knee, and with the help of the support, I was able to continue this race.
I arrived early in CCP Complex but I really didn’t know where the start line was. It was good that one of my friends who also joined the run told me where it was.
When is the early bird running late?
Before any run I always want to take a restroom break so I won’t have to worry about nature’s call along the way, especially when I don’t have an idea how long I’m going to be running. So there I was queuing on one of the only four portalets (yes, only four portalets for the at least 4,000 runners) when suddenly the queue stopped moving forward—for a very long time! Uh oh, somebody had a bad tummy!
Suddenly the starting shot was fired—the 16K had already begun! Thankfully I already had a restroom break prior to coming to the venue so I didn’t really need it as much as some of the runners, so I just decided to go to the start line and run: a toll of about one to two minutes. Too bad. There were still some runners left queuing at the portalets when I left, some of the guys just decided to find a tree (go figure) and some just decided run.
I felt really good running this race, it felt similar to that I felt on what I consider my first “real” run: the adidas King of the Road, and in some sense it really was since it’s a new distance for me. I loved the sight of so many runners running up one of the flyovers stretching as far as I can see (since I was behind the pack). It was still a bit dark when the race started, on time of course, and the weather was very nice. I had no difficulty running at this early stage of the race.
The course ran on two flyovers (another first for me) which were the only deviation from the mostly flat and straight course. Even before I got near the first turn-around the lead pack was already on the way back, about 20 minutes into the race. On the first turn-around (about 4K into the race) the runners were spread out wide so I had so “uninvitedly” join some group of runners to maintain a constant pace. I was afraid of exerting too much or too little effort—it was still a long distance to go so I can’t afford to spend all my energy this early in the race, nor spend too little that my pace would suffer. Of course I had to change groups every once in a while whenever I felt that they were going slower than my intended average or were running faster than my normal pace. Running in groups just makes running feel easier and prevents you from being bored.
An hour onto the race, I kept thinking of those long distance socks. I was wearing my run fast socks but since they were really thin I realized I missed soft cushioning socks. Now I wished I wore my cushioning socks that I got as a Christmas gift!
Seeing a turn-around sign really give you additional motivation to continue running, until you realize it was a turn-around for 3K! Hehe I didn’t know if I wanted to laugh or just drop in place. Then another sign, what only 5K? Just a little more, we’re almost there, I kept saying to myself. I even thought “are they sure this is just 16K?” because the 16K turn-around seemed like forever. It was an almost perfectly straight course of about 8K (self-approximation) so you’d really feel impatient not seeing that much awaited 16K turn-around sign. And of course eventually you’ll get there, now we’re talking.
After getting the second loop cord it was like running back home after a long run. Reality check: it’s still about 4K to go! I looked at my elapsed time, wow! I can still achieve my goal of an hour and a half for this race! Run Forest, run!
The road signs of Roxas Blvd. indicate important landmarks and distances so you’ll have an idea how long it could take you to reach it. Because the road was virtually a straight line you always see these landmarks ahead but it’s a bit difficult to estimate how far it is. The first sign I saw, I looked for PICC (site of the finish line): 2.25K. Just a little bit more.
After running for quite some time I was really starting to feel my right knee. Every time my right foot lands I felt my knee. 1.25K to PICC, what? I can see CCP, almost there.
CCP, last 500M… I can see the finish line… finally! After running for more than an hour, my knee really hurt. One step at a time, we’ll burn this distance away, one step at a time, and then, at exactly 1:27:47 I crossed the clock below the finish line. It was over! 16K successfully conquered! I could finally relax, get my bottle (a bottle) of Yakult, and get my finisher’s shirt.
I came in just in time for the awarding ceremonies of the winners. The overall winner for 16K finished with a time of 52:10, amazing. Naturally, runners were still coming in as the awarding went through so I was lucky I caught it. While my time wasn’t even close to the winning time I was very happy because I beat my goal (high end) of 1:30:00 for 16K, and note that I started 1-2 minutes late. And this time I was able to use the portalets without much hassle (and of course I used a different portalet than the one I queued for earlier).
I was glad to be able to meet some of my co-members at takbo.ph forums while running and some more behind the finish line. Meeting people with the same interest as you is always pleasant. Glad to meet you guys! I won’t mention them individually because I might forget some.
Ironically, I can run but I can’t walk. Apparently, walking transfers much more pressure on your knees than running do. I was able to complete 16K of running but I was limping my way around after the race. The patella support helped a lot to relieve some of the strain but still—walking (in this case, limping) gives much more pain than running. What a way to end the weekend and start the new week: damaged but happy and fulfilled. Just don’t ask me to climb stairs.