A Dream Come True.. I am a MARATHONER now!

The Power of a Woman
From the time that Kathrine Switzer registered for a Boston Marathon and ran it, through her tenacity, stubbornness and belief that women can too run 26.2mi (42.195km), she scaled the male bastion of the Boston Marathon that barred women from its race and helped to open its doors to women, which it officially did in 1972, countless have risen up to take the challenge. And to tell you, I’m one of those women.
I started running last May 2011. I joined fun run once a month. It happened that August same year, our company organized the “Suncel Fun Run”.  I noticed Ms. Jaymie there because she ran so fast. She has the real power. I wish I could run with her pace someday. My curiosity about TBR brought me into her blog. I read her inspiring stories until I catch up the post about TBR Dream Marathon.

When I fall in love with running, it becomes my dream to run a marathon. I thought it would take a long time (about 5-10 yrs) to be ready and run such distance. But upon reading about TBRDM, I was encouraged and ready to give it a try at my early age. With all the dreams in my heart, I registered and ran my first marathon in Nuvali last March 18, 2012.

I remember this simple message from Ms. Jaymie before. This is one good reason why I am a Marathoner now and really a Precious Runner of Pinoy Fitness Family. Thank you Ms. Jaymie. :)
-cropped from TBR's blog-
As what I’ve said in my comment to her post, I’m into a busy schedule. I am an engineer working on a shifting schedule and a part-time mentor. I don’t want this schedule hinders my dream. Time is gold, time is precious, and so I must use it to make my dream a reality.

I’ve run 3kms, 5kms, and 10kms by the end of August. Whenever I got a chance, I also joined free running clinics to learn more about speeding up, increasing my mileage and preventing injuries. I wanted to put that knowledge into use so I decided to run longer distances on the following months. I tried running 16 kms then 21kms. I usually joined races along with my Pinoy Fitness family. I run not to compete but to move forward and see the beauty of life that lies ahead. It really reminds me that I am strong and can go farther if I never stop.

Team Rock and Road was Born
October 2011, my journey along with TBR Dream Marathoners began. Some PF peeps (particularly Joy, Joyce, Riz, Rose, Allan, Chris and Jonard) are my TBR batch mates and so became my running buddies. We do long run together, have a breakfast after and share our different stories.  I also joined races with them during weekend whenever it is possible and consider it as part of my training. As we share our passion for running, we got closer with each other. We find ourselves together, not just running, but doing other things that we love to do. That’s how our friendship grows. That’s how the Team Rock and Road started.

Quality Time before the Race
As soon as I arrived home from a Friday night duty and have a short but quality time with my family that morning, I set all my gear to wear for the race tomorrow and then try to have a good sleep before the marathon day.

I got 7 hours of sleep that day (from 10am up to 5pm). I woke up early as 5pm and no one is around because they’re all in my uncle’s wake. I quickly ate early dinner, prepare myself and head to where my uncle’s remains lie. I prayed for his soul and I stayed with my family about an hour. Then, my mom asked me to go back home, take a nap and get ready for my marathon. She wanted to come with me and wait in the finish line, but the instances don’t permit. It made me sad but of course, I know why, so I must accept. A simple good luck is enough this time.

I managed to take an hour sleep when I get back home. I woke up 11 P.M, Dad is already there. He will drive for me to Nuvali so I’m so excited. I ate my peanut butter sandwich, took a bath, and prepared all my things then ready to go. Exactly 12 A.M, We're Nuvali bound. I will be running my first marathon in our city since Santa Rosa is our hometown.

March 18, 12:30 AM, we arrived at Nuvali. It took Dad only 30 minutes to drive. He can’t stay longer because he has an early appointment that day. But still I’m thankful that despite of his busy schedule, he bring me to the venue. Sweet!

I was excited but quite nervous. It was a MARATHON day! Could I really do this? Could I finish it injury-free? But this is it. It’s now or never. I hope that our training would be worth it. We checked-in early because we don’t want to start our first marathon in a rush. We must find time to relax even for a while, so we spent that remaining minutes with photo ops.
I love my Pinoy Fitness Family!
I have to say that the first 21 km flew by. The time is 2:17. I felt strong. I actually thought, “If I keep up this feeling, maybe I can run more than 42.195 km today…” Huh! Little did I know?
Runners high! (credits to Active Moments)
On the next kilometers, I ran in my average pace, took water breaks as my walk breaks, and did a run-walk during uphill. I need to conserve energy because it is another 21km and I don’t know what might happen next.

On my way to Km 30, I started to feel so tired. I was running alone, until I heard Allan and Elvin coming and cheering for me. It made me smile and help me goes on.

Before I reach Km 32, my knees and legs started to ache but it was a manageable pain. It was an uphill course. This time, I saw Omar on his bike, and then he asked me to make small strides and use my hips going up. I did what he said so I won over that uphill. Yey! Thanks to Omar.

I clocked Km 32 at 3:45. Ten kilometers were left. I take this moment to reflect, feel the beauty of the surroundings, sometimes I hum a song and cheer for every runner that I know along the road.

About Km 35, my legs were complaining. Aish. My muscles were tight. Cramps attacked. Is it the wall that everyone is talking about? At that point, I know I should not stop. My thought was to rest my legs as much as possible so I could go the distance so I did a run-walk and prayed for a fast recovery. Thank God he pulls away the pain at around Km 36. A chaser also run with me until I can run smoothly.

-Thanks to Phillip for this pic-
Since my legs had recovered, I tried to run again on my average pace, increase it from time to time, take a sprint for about 200 m and so on until I reach the road where there were chasers and cheerers. Woooh! All smile upon hearing them cheering for me and the other runners.

At Km 41, all I want to see is the finish line. I ran fast to see it but it feels like the last kilometer is so long. But when I passed the Km 42 marker, it made me smile. I’m almost there. The finish line is within my sight. There was tons of crowd support cheering for every runner. I’m overwhelmed. I knew some of them but other faces are new to me. It’s a great help that our name is printed on our bib and it was nice to have everyone shout, “Go Goldy!”, “Nice Goldy!” , “Congrats Goldy!” Cheerers really help us to get there.

-photo c/o Team Kamote Runners-
Words can’t begin to describe the amount of happiness that I feel when I crossed the finish line. I am a MARATHONER now! I think I want to do another someday but this will always be the best. Thanks to TBR Dream Team for making it happen.
I am a Marathoner now!

I can still feel the runner’s high. This experience just solidified why I love running so much.  The enormous camaraderie was amazing, the runners of all walks of life were inspiring and well… it’s a great chapter of my life as a woman.
with Ate Jackie, The Lucky One Runner (photo credits to Aquiz)

Team Rock & Road rocks!

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