I had trouble sleeping the night before Tour de Cebu Stage 3. It could be because I slept on the floor and heard foot steps or maybe because the foam bed was quite thin.
I also felt something different when I tried to stretch my right leg. It felt like the joints were grinding; and there was a sore, like a needle pinch, on my right knee. I tried to move my left leg up and down but my left knee was fine at all.
“What if something is wrong with my right knee?” And the paranoia haunted me the whole night until my phone alarmed — it was already 2 a.m. I did not get enough sleep but I had to wake up and the rest of the Runnroo as well.
Worries on my right knee bothered me still, as we rode the bus to Sibonga, 50 kilometers away from Cebu City. After an hour and a half, we finally arrived at the Sibonga Church. I did a sign of the cross and asked God for His guidance in our run.
Geared up with reflectors and blinkers, we started running. I ran with beaver slippers and in a pace of 9 minutes per kilometer. It was a slow pace for seasoned runners, but for fun runners like us, it was relaxed and it felt good.
I made my stride shorter to maintain the pace, and I noticed that everytime I try to make a longer stride, my right knee hurts. I also changed my time interval to 3 minutes run and 2 minutes walk.
The beautiful morning sky, cold wind, sound of the insects, sound of nature, river flowing, and fresh air, inspired me to run early that morning.
After 4 kilometers, the sun started to shine, and we finally reached Argao. Its rehabilitated road attracted me to do barefoot running — and I did! My bare feet enjoyed the touch of the smooth, cold asphalted road.
After 12 kilometers of running barefoot, I was forced to wear slippers as I was approaching the rough road. When I checked the sole of my right foot, there was a small stone slowly ripping the outer layer of my skin. I washed the small slit with my hydration water and covered it with gauze bandage.
It was painful when I ran again that I even planned to just walk. But I could not afford to waste more time because the sun started to be cruel. I decided to run and maintain the pace. Two of the team were ahead of me and my Mie-chan, and the other two were catching up behind.
At the last six kilometers, two of our teammates, who were behind us, decided to take a multicab and wait for us at the Kilometer 75 post. It was a right decision for them, for me and for the team.
Meanwhile, the fighter in me kept pushing me to run until the 75th post despite the extreme heat and painful wounded toe. And so I, rather, We did it. My toe survived.
Tour de Cebu Stage 3 was my best run so far, compared to the first two stages (I walked the last four kilometers of Stage 1 and last 8 kilometers of Stage 2). This stage unleashed the best in me. The uphills in the last three kilometers and the heat of the sun made it difficult and challenging but still I managed to maintain my pace until I reached Kilometer 75.
After reaching the 75K post, it felt like I can do another extra kilometers. The run was indeed great and comparable to my ultramarathon experience.
For more information on the route map: visit Tour de Cebu Stage 3 Route.
The run also made Runnroo real winners…but the “Real Winner” really of the Tour de Cebu Stage 3 is Rose Buenconsejo. Her longest run before was 2 kilometers in 40 minutes. But she ran 17 kilometers this time, and looked fresh still after two hours of running.
When we asked her how she did it, she said that she dedicated her run to the patients of the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center. 🙂
Congratulations, Rose! You are now a certified 10-miler.
The old running adage “the race is only with yourself” is certainly true in Rose’s case. Running is 10% physical strength and 90% mental preparedness. Sometimes, we think that marathoners and ultramarathoners are extraordinary ones. Well, they maybe are. But hey, long distance runners are normal people too just like you. (It’s just that we equipped ourselves with reasons on why we run.)
You can also finish marathons for as long as you are physically and mentally prepared, and if you also find hundreds, thousands or even millions of reasons for running.
Are you now ready to be an example of the running adage?
Run with us next week and you have the weekdays to list all meaningful reasons why you should join Tour de Cebu Stage 4.
See you on the road,
The 4-1 Runner