2 days before the Aug.21,2011 Unilab Run, a miracle happened. My cousin Titin sent me a free race packet for 5K. Her son Joshua was registered for 5K but nobody in the de Ala Clan was available to accompany him. I asked Gio if he could run with Josh and much to my surprise, he said YES!
And so last Sunday, I excitedly woke up at 3AM and did my early morning ritual before finally waking up Gio. My son was moving slower than a zombie pace, which was understandable because it was a Sunday morning and he was supposed to be somewhere in dreamland during that unholy hour.
It was almost 5AM when we got to the Fort and I was hoping I didn't have to visit the restroom anymore but I dunno why and how my stomach developed this nasty habit of "revolting" 15 to 30 mins. before a race.
As expected, the queue for the portalet was loooong. I had to run to BHS and looked for a restroom with a shorter queue. Thank God for runners who let me go ahead because they saw that I was wearing a yellow race bib. Otherwise, I wouldn't have made it in time.
I went back to the baggage area where I left Ate Ella and Gio, deposited my bag and headed to the starting area. There were lots of runner friends I wanted to see but with the large number of people present that day. I lost hope that I could meet any of them.
There was still time for a quick picture taking but when we turned around, Gio was GONE! And before I could even go back to look for him, the countdown for 21K already began.
How I wanted to have kissed and hugged Gio to wish him good luck for his first 5K but I had to start walking or I'll be crushed by the overwhelming crowd.
My heart and mind were not on my race but on my son. I couldn't help but think that maybe, he decided not to run anymore.
I was still submerged in deep thoughts when somebody called my name and realized it was Anna! My, oh, my, she was FAST! There's no way I could catch up with her. Suddenly, I felt so old haha...
I was on top of the Kalayaan Flyover when my cousin Titin called. She and Josh were looking for Ate Ella and Gio. My heart sank for I knew that the 2 boys won't be running the race together as planned. There's a very slim chance that they will see each other with the tremendous number of 5K runners.
Later, I found out that Ate Ella saw Josh and was able to take a shot before gun off.
Along Buendia, Alfred (RunningAtom) spotted me and called out "Tita Nora!" I was sooh happy to see him even just for a brief moment. That man flies!
A few minutes later, Bro J and her darling swhrt were in front of me. I wanted to hug Baby but that would take long so we just kissed. After not seeing this dynamic duo for a long, long, time, I told myself it didn't matter even if I don't do a sub 3hr. I'm completely happy.! Compared to a meal, I am overly satisfied with the main dish.
But wait! There's still dessert. There was Cath (www.cathletic.wordpress.com) flashing her beautiful smile while calling my name. Ang saya saya ko!.
I was sooh happy that even if I missed the banana that I wanted so much, I didn't get THAT frustrated. Ordinarily, I would be pissed. I was asking for a banana and they told me there's not one left because some runners took 3 bananas. In my mind, why would they give 3 bananas to 1 runner if the allocation is only 1 banana per runner? And how could 1 consume all 3 bananas in a race? Were the bananas that small?
Enough. Next race, I'll bring my own banana just to make sure.
Then my phone rang. It was Ate Ella, She couldn't wait to tell me that Gio just crossed the finish line! I congratulated my son and wished I was there with him. I told him they could eat ahead of me for I knew he was very hungry already (he was asking for food as soon as we arrived at the Fort).
Congratulations anak! I'm so proud of you. You made it, without training and without me by your side. I hope this is the beginning of your beautiful relationship with running. Keep it up!
Kawawa naman anak ko. Gutom na gutom na talaga!
As I was descending Kalayaan Flyover, Gio called to tell me they haven't eaten yet and were waiting for me before the finish line. I thought there was only 2kms left but when I asked the marshal, 3 kms pa pala!
Runners were cheering "Go, tweety, go" becoz of my "tweety" hat. Next time, I'll put my name in front so they will know it's me -- Nora.
As I approached the finish line, I looked up and saw 3:11. RunningAtom documented this in FB but unfortunately, I don't know how to transfer it here.
After I got the gorgeous medal, I proceeded to the 21K booth to claim my kit and shirt.
Soon after, I was reunited with my "lost" son Gio.
With my cousin Titin who sponsored Gio's first 5K, my favorite son with his cousin Josh and my ever faithful cheerer/photographer Ate Ella.
One last picture before we go home. I hope Titin will be inspired to run by her son Josh. Like Gio, he's also 13 yrs old but will soon be 14.
We said goodbye to Titin and Josh then I just changed and walked back to the car. But guess what?
I saw Cathy again! I learned that she's preparing to run her first marathon in CAMSUR and even invited me to go there! Hmmm . . . will that fall during the semestral break?
When we got home, we just took a bath, rested for a while, then attended the birthday celebration of Nanay Nene, our 89-year old family friend.
Gio was too tired to go. Eia was all-smiles for she really enjoyed the food. My stomach's so big I honestly think I ate more than the calories burned in my 21K run!