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With this first blog post for 2010, I offer a brief look back at a few good things that happened in 2009: reconnecting on Facebook with people I grew up with in a small but now troubled town in the Philippines, making new running friends, and finishing a marathon again after four years without running one.
And now to start the New Year with a long run with some of the runners I met over last summer and fall. Doing a long run of two hours (before GPS) was something I used to do on the first day of the year before I got permanently injured. It seemed like a good way to get the year started. This year, with the help of a group of running friends, I got to experience it again, albeit on the second day of the year.
I was planning on running 10 miles with the 7:30 group last Saturday morning until I started receiving emails that the people I usually run with at that time of the morning would not make it because they were extending their New Year’s Day festivities. I immediately contacted the early group whom I ran with the previous week, to find out what time they will be starting their 14 mile run and if I could join them. They were very welcoming but they were going to start at 6:30 A.M. Jeepers! I would have to get up earlier again for the second week in a row, but if I didn’t want to run by myself, I would have to muster up and be counted, and that I did.
We were going to do the 5 minute run/1 minute walk intervals and started well enough and I could feel that the pace was slightly faster than when we ran 10 miles the previous Sunday. Maybe it was just the early morning chill that made us go a little faster than usual. It was a similar out and back course as last week but instead of turning around after 5 miles, we extended it and turned around after 7 miles. On the way back, I felt that I had to use the bathroom and sprinted ahead of our pack to a building which I thought the bathroom was located. I was mistaken. It was the next building. In the meantime the pack had caught up with me and I had to sprint after them to catch up after I had relieved myself. Well, those two episodes of sprinting affected my comfortable stride and breathing so much that I never got my steady rhythm back. After about 10 miles I could feel that I was bonking and getting dehydrated and was using my arms a lot to propel me forward. At that point I had a feeling that I would be very sore the next day. My stride and breathing felt so ragged that I must have also lost my mind momentarily because I started waving to a couple of people whom I thought I knew. They must have wondered who let this crazy running man out of the asylum. As if that wasn’t bad enough, on the path near the Long Beach Yacht Club, water was leaking though the walls from the sea due to high tide and we had to wade through huge puddles and got my new shoes soaked. Without the group I was running with, I would have been tempted to walk the rest of the way from there. When we finished, I was so exhausted and felt drained the rest of the day, and still had to report to work that night. That’s the reason why I couldn’t write this blog until today. Needless to say, I had a rough night at work and struggled to stay awake, but I survived it. I felt that if I had to run a marathon last Saturday morning, I wouldn’t have made it to the finish line based on the way I felt after 10 miles. But then again, I don’t think I would have been sprinting towards a bathroom during a marathon.
Thank you, Michael, Nick, Rosie, and Tina, for carrying me the rest of the way when I was struggling. You helped me accomplish something I haven’t done in a long time. And Happy Birthday, Tam, Tina, and Rosie on your natal days in the first week of the new year.
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