As part of our preparation for the 1st QCIM this October and the BDM102 Ultra Run next March (yes, many are already “secretly” training for this ultra), i decided to join the LSD (Long Slow Distance) run with a number of friends from the Takbo.ph group. The run was going to be from Km Zero (Rizal Park) up to Tagaytay City for a total distance of 56 kms which will pass through the towns of Bacoor, Imus and Dasmarinas in Cavite. It was also going to be the first time that many of us would be starting the run at 12:00 midnight.
My plan and training schedule was to complete about 31-32 kms only and after that, listen to my body if i could extend it a few kilometers more. Yesterday was also a significant day since we woke up to the news that former President Cory Aquino, the world’s icon of democracy had passed away after a battle of colon cancer. That afternoon, Pojie ( forefootrunner ) texted me to wear a yellow shirt for this run. He probably wanted to have some significance for this run, yellow being the color that people wore during the struggles that Pres. Cory underwent to restore freedom and democracy for this country. So this run will have a theme…An LSD Run For Cory:-)
The group met at McDonalds, U.N. Avenue as we set up our hydration belts and energy snacks we would be bringing during the run. James (blueman168) provided a support vehicle and a driver where we could place our bags and other carry-overs. He also provided 2 large coolers full of energy drinks and food. (The gourmet egg sandwiches was a winner, James. Thanks!)
At 12:00 midnight, we started to jog to the starting point at KM Zero as we were still to meet other runners who were joining. At this point, everybody was now pumped up, not for the run to start– but to have pictures taken! When all were present, we divided into 2 groups, the faster group we branded the “Halimaw” group led by Dennis (runningpinoy) who would be running at a 6:00-6:30/km pace and the group that i ran with, at a steady average pace of 7:15/km pace.
The run along Roxas Blvd. was literally a storm, as the high waves along its shorelines were whipping the baywalk promenade as gusty winds and the cold breeze were on our backs as storm “Jolina” was in a very foul mood. At the boundary of Macapagal Ave and the entrance to the Coastal Road, we turned left via an overpass to Airport Road and made a brief stop-over at a 7-11 store which would be our first of several stops to various convenience stores along the route.
At first, it felt unusual, if not a bit strange running on almost barren streets at 1:30am. However, at this time, there were still signs of life as the few people who were still awake or had just come out from the many beer joints along the way were looking at us in wonderment, glancing at their watches to check what time it was and why these running freaks were running at an unholy hour! Running in darkness, away from crowds, traffic and the mundane responsibilites of life can help you relax, stimulate your senses, disconnect you from everyday stress and there’s a great sense of purpose for each individual runner, to focus and conquer the long distance ahead, together–as one.
We would sometimes run as a group, in pairs and sometimes alone. We would chat anything worth talking about and at times fall silent as we just listened to the steps of our feet, each one respecting their moments of silence and meditation. We passed the towns of Bacoor and Imus and at each of these towns there were several stops which provided us an opportunity to re-group, replenish our bodies with food and laughter and bond together. Ahh.. such is the life of a long distance runner.
At the break of dawn, we finally entered Dasmarinas and it would be just 3 kilometers away before we reach the first major stop point at Waltermart and rendevouz with a new group who will be running the last 25kms on the way to Doc Erin’s house in Tagaytay City.
As i mentioned earlier, my training schedule called for a long run of 31kms. Though i thought i was still good for another 5-6 kms, I decided againts going further so i decided to call it a day. Moreover, i wanted to catch up with my other running group (Runnex) who were having their running clinic at the ULTRA in Pasig but finally decided against it too.
All in all, i ran a total of 30.86kms in 4hours and 22 minutes (actual running time). It was a great weekend for me and for all of us. I’m sure a lot of us are limping around today (specially those who pursued the whole distance to Tagatay City) with very sore and tired legs. But the run was fruitful, all in the name of Tita Cory!
(Pics courtesy of Rodel. Thanks!)