5:13 AM 05 June 2008 In Laoag City
Finally, I decided to run the whole distance from my sister’s residence in Barangay Dibua South, Laoag City to Suba, Paoay, to be exact at the Golf Clubhouse of the Fort Ilocandia Golf Course which covers a distance of 15 kilometers and then back to where I started.
At 5:00 AM, the surrounding is already bright and the sun is about to appear on the horizon but the streets were still clear of any kinds of vehicle. Without any food to take and contented myself with a glassful of water, I started my run with a bottle of Propel on my hand and my Nathan Water belt full of water. I started my first kilometer with a slow run with a pace of 6:00 mins/km but after two kilometers, I’ve started to increase my pace up to 5:30 mins/km and never letting my pace reach or pass over 6:00 min/km. It was a comfortable pace with me as I take a sip of Propel from the bottle on my hand every time I finish 2 kilometers along the way. I saw to it to transfer the bottle from one hand to the other to give extra effort to both of my arms as I swing them.
Before reaching the Barangay Mangato Church and Seminary, I had to take a detour on a dirt/gravel road as the bridge is under construction. It slowed me down a bit as I had to go down to the small creek and had to choose a better landing of my feet due to the gravel and stones protruding unevenly on the ground, before and after the small bailey bridge which was temporarily constructed with a span of about 15 meters. As I passed the small bridge, I had to go through an ascending portion of that dirt road and finally reaching the asphalted road again. I was glad there were no vehicles passing along the said detour as dusts would fill the air, thus making my pace slower. From this point fronting the Mangato Church, the asphalted road starts to slowly ascend slightly and ends up to the 15-km mark.
Instead of stopping at the Golf Clubhouse, I went directly south towards the direction going to Paoay which is the 1st kilometer portion of the then famous North Start 10K Run and finished at the crossing of the road that goes to Suba Beach which is the road where a portion of the movie “4th of July” starring Tom Cruise was shot and taken. After finishing my first lap of 15 kms, I replenished and rehydrated myself with more water after finishing my one bottle of Propel. I bought some bottled water in a small sari-sari store in one of the houses near the crossing.
I finished the 1st lap of 15 kms in 1:28:40 hours which made me happy (temporarily!). I improved my time to reach this point from my previous time last week with one minute and twenty seconds! Not bad!
After filling up the Propel bottle with water, I started again my second lap which was going back where I started. After two kilometers, the heat of the sun was already piercing on my skin and started to sweat profusely as I took a gulp or two of water from the Propel water. Instead of drinking water every two kilometers, I was forced to drink my water every kilometer along the way. At km 6, I had to refill (again!) my Nathan Water Bottle and Propel bottle with bottled water I bought in one of the stores along the way.
At km 11, I had to stop again in one of the stores as I need to put something in my stomach. I was really hungry! I ate two packs of Skyflakes and drank at least three (small) bottled water with it. I made sure that all my water bottles were filled with water from this point to my finish line as I conditioned my mind not to stop shuffling along the road until I reach the house of my sister. The last four kilometers were not the problem to me at this time but the heat of the sun that kept on burning my skin was my only concern. I haven’t felt any pain in any part of my body and my legs were still strong at this point. The other problem which I observed after resting for awhile was those painful little steps from rest up to the time I could bring back my “shuffling” gait. But once I was back on my “shuffling” style of running, I was back to business in running.
To give me more adrenaline and “power boost” to my shuffling, I had to make the sound of my music “louder” to my ears from my IPod Nano with Bon Jovi rendering those rock music. Sipping of water from my water bottle became a must every 400-500 meters. I had to count from 1 to 50 every time my left foot strikes the ground on the 4th step! The last 50 meters before the finish line is an ascending portion and had still the strength to increase my pace. I finished my 2nd lap of 15 kms in 1:52:18 hours. The heat of the sun really killed me this time but I was glad I didn’t have any pains or cramps on my leg muscles.
Next time, I have to start my long runs earlier and eat something before the run. But I am happy that I haven’t reached my “wall” with this 30K run. We’ll see what will happen if I attempt to run 33 kms next week.
San Francisco, Los Angeles, White Sands, here I come!
But the “bigger picture” is an “ultramarathon” experience in the future.
“Mira Quita.” (“We will see” in Chabacano).