My hibernation period is finally over. I’m back. In writing, in blogging, in drawing, in running and in exploring the many things in life. The past I’ve few weeks I lived up to people’s expectation of a young man my age: wake up, go to work, watch TV and stroll around by the weekend. Now I realized that living that stereotypical one-dimensional accountant’s life is not applicable to me. Oh no, I am still Dodok the Explorer. Because, well, I got bored. Better stick to the old status quo: accountant by day, badass by night.
The road back to my old self was a slug fest of doubts, fear and denials. At night I go to bed with an empty heart and only to wake up with a hopeless soul. No matter what I’m always going to love to draw, to write, to play and be good at something, I cant escape those things the way I am bound by my chosen profession. I can’t get away from those things that defined me, the things that gave me safe haven from the grueling numbers at work. That was until I signed up for a fun run in Tacloban City.
The run was held last Sunday in Tacloban City. The event, 2013 Powerade Ion4 Marathon, organized by the Coca-Cola Bottlers of Tacloban which opened its Tacloban leg with categories in 5k, 10k and 21k runs. I signed up for the 10k run on the very first day of registration. I trained for three weeks using an 8k route almost every other morning. I had to drastically change my lifestyle just to prepare for this run (the last time I run a 10k it was nothing but a disaster). First I quit on night running (it’s dangerous to do it on the road), second I quit midnight stands. I now go to bed early and wake up early; lights out at 9.30pm and start the day by 5am. It was hard, but I went through it anyway. I had to balance working out with my actual accounting works with the training program. But even the day before the race I was still doubtful if could have a good race. What if I run out of gas again? What if I place last? blah blah blah.
Kuya Herbie, my friend and fellow runner in my hometown (I think we’re the only runner there), and I went to Tacloban the day before the race. We stayed on this “Welcome Home Pensionne” for only P600 pesos a night and we actually had a very nice stay there. The rooms and hallways are clean. I like the choice of stuffs on the wall; the paintings, the Jacky Kennedy collage, and those framed old Philippine peso bank notes practically made my jaw drop. This is not even a hotel.
And finally the actual run came. Excited, doubtful, and still fat but deep inside I knew I was ready. After seeing that there are only about 40-50 runners for the 10k category, I decided I should start from the bottom of the pack during the gunstart. Yeah let them run ahead, I’ll just catch up with them, if I can! I think thinking that way relaxed me to just run for fun’s sake and not to compete with everybody but myself. And when the gun fired, people in striking red singlets run ahead started running as fast as they could. 1ok is no short distance and certainly not a walk in the park, I think everyone prepared at least as hard as I did.
But to my surprise there are actually some people who stayed at the bottom of the pack who are also running for fun’s sake and was aiming to complete the course at their comfortable pace. And I was suddenly reassured I was never going to be alone in this twilight crusade, as in literally. That meant a lot to my confidence level. Then the best thing happened. There was this girl running on my side who was somehow running the same pace and rhythm that I have. So what I did was stick her with the rest of the way, like a running buddy on a track oval. I guess she was fine with me tagging along, she never slowed down or fasten up or any tactical approach to get rid of a fat guy who has not introduced himself nor would say anything. We just run together, no questions asked, no introductions just plain running for fun’s sake. We were cool.
And we crossed the finish line on a steady, consistent and strong pace. It was really great run, one of the best I ever had. Me never really got exhausted to the point of stopping or slowing down (I think I was still good to go for a 21k). Perhaps it’s a work of adrenaline, or of a training that paid off or just the company of her. I’ll never know but let’s say it’s all of the above. I finished the race, set a new PR, and made a lot friends in the process. It’s like putting an exclamation point on the word Fun Run. I would like to thank the organizers for putting up a great job with the singlet design, the hype in the race and the overall backdoor stuffs in the race; Kuya Herbie for motivating me back to run and hey congratz bro for placing 6th in the 21k category; to Miss Flor for sharing your time, pace and space of the road with me the whole 10 kilometers; and of course to God for keeping us all safe during the race.
Now I am finally back, for good. Never expected it would take a race to bring me back. The Pencil is officially back!
Photo credits to Mr. Yep Kanyada the organizer and host of the Powerade Tacloban Marathon.