Guest Post: My Sister’s First Marathon

People who have the same attitudes and goals, and go through the same journey and experience are the same in many ways. Look at how my younger sister’s personal story is so similar to mine. 

“Training for a marathon is an act of faith. Actually running the marathon is an act of courage. With faith and courage, ordinary humans can accomplish great things!” – Randy Essex

My leap of faith started when I, together with my sister Sandi and my brother Sam, officially registered for TBRDM Batch 4 that Sunday afternoon of September. Deep inside, I felt a mixture of excitement and anxiousness of what’s ahead of me.

We were given a 22-week program to train both the body and the mind. My husband and the rest of the family were so amazing in giving me support. They were very understanding with my training schedule. My husband even learned to like eating brown rice as I changed and improved my diet.

Coach Jim said, “Trust your training.” Those were the words that I took home from the last Bull Circle. So after running my longest (30K) before tapering, I knew I was ready and my anxiety was replaced with excitement for “graduation day”!

I was so looking forward to do this marathon because it would be my way of giving thanks because I was greatly blessed with a healthy body by the one who first loved me, Jesus Christ. My goal was to finish well and strong. I expected to finish 42.195km within 6 to 7 hours using Jeff Galloway’s run-walk method (2:1).

I was able to sleep well the day before the race. And when I woke up just before midnight I ate “saging na saba”, two pieces of pandesal and half liter of Gatorade. Then my dear husband drove me and my siblings to Nuvali. When we got there, the runners were already warming up and the energy was vibrant. Everybody was in high spirits.

It had rained heavily the day before but that morning was perfect: clear skies with a big and bright moon and hundreds of stars. The cool weather was an added treat. When the gun went off at 2 am, I paced myself so that I won’t tire myself by running too fast too early.

When I approchead the hill towards Miriam College, Sandi and I parted ways as she sped off ahead of me. I love the uphill more than the downhill because of piriformis syndrome or pain in my butt. I experienced it the first time on a 21km LSD, also in Nuvali. Usually after a downhill run, I’d experience tightness on my hip and butt area. I’d sometimes feel that my upper body had separated from my legs. At the 3rd support tent, I saw our good friend Joseph (TBRDM 2012). He knew about my downhill weakness and asked me how I was doing. “No pain, so far, thank you!” I said. He reminded me to take it slow when running downhill and just enjoy the course. And yes, when I saw him taking my photos, it motivated me to run faster! I woudn’t want my photos to look like I was dying! Haha! Thank you Joseph!

At about the 19th km, I whispered, “God, I’d like to experience you in this run. This race is all about and for you.” I saw and picked up 2 unused GU gels on the road and with my favorite flavors: chocolate overload and chocolate mint! A miracle, like manna from heaven! With one packet left in my belt, I was ecstatic! Then I saw Sandi at the 21st km turn with a close-to-crying look, she said “I lost my GUs!” “Here, I found them!” and gave her the packets. 🙂

At the 23rd km, my left butt was beginning to say hi to me. So I stopped at the next support tent and asked for liniment. A lady dream chaser was ready and gave me enough and then sent me off. Again, I put on more liniment at the 31st km. Then I said to myself “This is it! I’m bringing it home!” But when I started to feel tired at the 34th km, I prayed for strength. Then behold, I saw a double rainbow. It was as if God was reminding me that He is faithful and that He is with me. With that thought, the dreaded wall crumbled. I kept on kunning.

I saw my husband in the midst of cheerers before the Abrio loop. I didn’t know what came over me but I began to cry! I tried to suppress it but I just couldn’t. Then he kissed me and said, “I’m already proud of you, Darling. You are finishing well!”

As I was nearing the 41st km mark, I stopped by the kikay tent! The Dream Chasers were very kind, God-given angels, I must say. They held a face mirror for me as I combed my sweaty-frizzy hair, gave me wet wipes for my face, lip gloss and popped 2 mints for me! I was ready to run the last kilometer. I saw my family cheering for me near the finish line. I whispered, “Thank you God, this is all you.” I raised my arms up high as I crossed the line. I finished at 6:57:24. Sure, I could have finished it earlier but hey, what’s important is that I conquered the distance injury-free and I’m incredibly happy!

“A lot of people say that they love running because of how they feel afterward. Not me. Well, I love that, too, but it’s also so much fun while I’m out there”. – Dick Beardsley

To Jaymie, Coach Lit, Coach Jim, Jun, Neville, and Macel, thank you for your unwavering support and helping 1st time marathoners achieve their dreams. I will never forget this marathon because really, there is nothing like your first. God bless your hearts! To God be all the glory!


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