today's race capped my very challenging month of may.
the nature valley run held this morning is my first half-marathon and i really thought i had covered all grounds in preparing for it. as a matter of fact, i did not join any organized race for the past one-and-a-half month just to focus on my training. but unexpected things happened and i am just very thankful that i was able to conquer it albeit not achieving my target time.
i started strong for the first ten kilometers but bayani road challenged my threshold. crossing the 16-km marker, i started experiencing cramps on both my legs. "mind over matter", i was constantly reminding myself about this. however, the seering pain in my leg muscles are just too much to bear that i have to stop running from time to time. even walking the course became too painful and quitting the race came to mind.
i hit my first wall at eighteen kilometers. my legs became too stiff to move and i almost shouted in pain. it was then that i felt a tap on my shoulder and upon looking, a middle-aged guy told me that i can still do it. running past me, the other runners are offering words of encouragement. i kept hearing "kaya mo 'yan" from them making me push myself harder. "i will conquer this no matter what", i told myself.
i was already limping then but i tried to keep on running. passing the 20-km marker, i already know that i can finish it. however, about 400 meters into the finish line, my legs won't move anymore. i can feel my tears building up, both due to pain and frustration. one old runner stopped beside me, held my hand and guided me to walk but my legs still won't move. i just thanked him and ask him to go on since he's already sacrificing his personal time to help me.
my final push came from the crowd lining up the bonifacio high street. looking at them, i can see nods of support as if telling me to move on. i saw two blogger friends and they were equally supportive and encouraging. as if on cue, i felt my legs relax again and i started to run towards the finish line.
i crossed at 2:37:55. i guess it's still not bad for a first time.
may has become a month of challenges for me. work has been more demanding recently since another project is in the works. likewise, my relationship with the partner went through a very difficult situation. through it all, i tried to remain as positive as i can, believing that everything will fall into their proper places. i guess my race today underscores this as well as the fact that we only need to believe in ourselves to overcome all challenges crossing our path.