I'm enjoying the cold front right now. The weather bureau says weather like this could extend until February. Perfect climate for the marathon event everyone in Cebu who got infected by the running virus a year ago, is talking about happening on Sunday, January 9th.
My first full marathon as well carrying on the tradition since Greek soldier Pheidippides ran it in 490 BC announcing in Athens, after running continuously from the Bay of Marathon, victory of the small Athenian army against Darius II's massive Persian hoard.
26 miles, 385 yards or 42.195 km.. Not that it matters. Not even if the poor old soldier died within minutes of arriving in Athens. He must have been in terrible need of an electrolyte infusion, bananas, salt caps and power gels.
Come Sunday morning, more than a thousand pairs of running shoes, minimalists and huaraches-- most likely worn by the Ong pioneers, will pour and "Race through the streets and colors of Cebu".
Though I take comfort in the fact that most of the runners are "virgin" marathoners, ultimately it'll be you alone left in your thoughts as you struggle through thirst, hunger, fatigue and the heat.
No amount of weekly mileage, base runs and LSDs (long slow distance running) in the last 10 km of the race will carry you home except your determination to succeed. 10% physical, 90% mental, says one. Pure conditioning of the mind as we "hit the wall" (read: glycogen depletion) around the 32 km mark.
I poured through tens of running magazines, scoured endless articles on the web, got inspired by an incredible writer and was moved to tears by a movie of the marathon spirit (The only other movie I was moved to tears was Superman II when good boy Clark decided to abandon powers for a not-so-hot chick and got pummeled instead. I was 7.).
And yet I still feel butterflies in my GI.
Naysayers will probably think we're crazy and will try to discourage us. Lotsa crazies this Sunday then. See you soon, runners!