Today was all about racing in the rain.
I woke up at 2:30am to a cold, incessant rainy morning and had some deep thoughts of just curling up over a double-folded Ilocos blanket in a friend’s townhouse and catch some more Zzzzzz after a late night out with friends. It was raining since last night and the Chevy-New Balance Power Run was just about 2 hours away and the thought of going through all the pre-race rituals is sometimes a drag, but then you move and shake off the drowsiness and i manage to get over the initial lethargy.
I ate one of the leftover Papa John pizza we had last night, one of the rare times i get to stuff a pre-race meal if you call one that. It was going to be a long race, a 25k that’s sure going to deplete our reserves whatever fats and carbo we’d stuff a few days earlier. I’ve been observing the drizzle outside, not so huge but enough to get you all soaked up if you stay out unprotected.
I arrived at BHS with Zarina and Carlo, two of our runners from the Heartbreakers group in UP and while still raining, we sprinted to the starting area to catch up the tail end of our 25k race which had already began. I was pacing with Za for the first time and went out for an even 7:30 pace. About 2 kms into the run and we were all soaked up, the rain unrelenting, the wind cold but most seem to enjoy the sprinkling of water into our bodies.
Before we knew it, we hit into this inundated street past the British School and a gridlock suddenly converged with runners undecided whether to surge along the more than ankle deep water or thread by the side road which was drier. Since my position was nearer the sidewalk, i followed that route and that was one bad decision. As the other runners were sprinting head-on at the flooded street, we on the side were hardly moving as we were in a line formation, waiting for the runner in front of us to negotiate the 1 foot wide embankment, parts of it flooded as well. Oh dang! That was about 3 minutes lost so it was time to compensate.
Za had gone ahead making the wise move so i had to play catch up. Saw her at the 6 km mark as she waited for me and saw Betty and Leo who also waited so after we were all together, we all went for it. We must have left Za near the downhill of Kalayaan bridge and Leo forged ahead so it was just me and Betty taking turns in pacing each other for the whole stretch of Buendia.
I was a bit surprised about the turn-around point which was supposed to be at The Columns, corner Buendia and Ayala Avenue but it took us the whole of Buendia even crossing Osmena Highway before we turned around at Bautista Street. I felt good all the way, stopping only when we had to drink at the water stations. Lots of bananas were made available and this really helped in sustaining our run. The rains had stopped before we turned around except for intermittent drizzles that continued up to the 20th km.
The last 5 kilometers were also a breeze although i felt some chafing near my groin that felt uncomfortable at times. Other than that, the run still went smoothly. To compensate for the extended route along Buendia, we were directed to Old Lawton Road going towards the American Cemetery oval instead of going straight to Bayani Road which was originally in the race route. So that explains the extended kms along Buendia.
I felt some sharp pain in my heel during the last km which prevented me from shifting to a higher gear as Betty was egging me to do so, but couldn’t muster enough energy so i just maintained my pace up to the finish. We finished in 3:11 and achieved our goal in finishing below 3:15. Average pace was a constant 7:30/km. Needless to say, this is another masterful race organized by Runrio!
Next race will be the Run United3 32k Run and we’re gearing up for this Sunday’s run and hoping to do well, rain or no rain.
See you all! (Photos courtesy of Team USB, Chevy-Phils)