I love wearing my running shoes on Fridays at the office, simply because they’re lightweight and way too comfy, a big break from the high-heeled, close-toed leather shoes of weekdays. Last Friday was just like most Fridays, I wore my Nike Free’s despite its dirty, rugged look.
So when Friday night unfolded, I cleaned them. It’s also in preparation for the 1st OROFOLS (One Run. One Family. One La Salle) running festival this morning. By Saturday afternoon, they were squeaky clean. I was a proud owner of clean, white running shoes again.
But when Sunday came, the rain began to pour as the race started, and we found ourselves running in the rain. My squeaky-clean running shoes became “just-squeaky”, because they got wet in the rain. Along with the rain came the mud. Hence, my Nike Free’s got its dose of dirt once again:
It got a lot muddier than its Friday’s look. It’s about time that I get a new pair. A Mizuno perhaps? I guess it’s time to let the emotional girl take over—I need to shop and swipe.
Racing in the rain
It’s the first time I raced and showered in the rain at the same time. I don’t even remember bathing in the rain as a child, so I didn’t mind racing in the rain. My only worry was how it would affect my pace. I also worried about the dogs who were participating.
It’s been raining since the call time. And when the 16k runners got their signal to run, two of my running buddies and I went to the jampacked starting line. Soon, it was our turn to run. Due to the huge delegation of runners, it was difficult to start with a good, easy pace. I had to run and then walk, just so that I wouldn’t bump into another runner.
It rained harder, but I went on. Squinting, I tried to spy for familiar faces, hoping to spot a few La Salle friends. But then I thought, here I go again, wandering into other thoughts. I should be concentrating on the run, so I put myself together to run a better pace this time, despite the rain.
Concentrate, concentrate, I told myself. Your running form! Relax the shoulders. Light foot steps. Good strides, I kept telling myself. The rain persisted. And soon, my eyes were getting irritated with the mixture of sunblock, sweat and raindrops. I had to wash my face with water and wipe it with my jersey.
Then, the worst came. It wasn’t typhoon. It’s not another water station that ran out of H2O. It’s not an accident. As I passed by a corner, I checked the road mark and was surprised to see that both 3K and 5K runners were instructed to go left. I remembered the route and thought I should run straight ahead. But then, of course, I can’t trust my built-in GPS, so I followed the mark only to find the finish line.
This can’t be right, I thought. So I asked the marshal, “5K?” as I pointed to the finish line. He nodded, as he pointed to the finish line and said “5K, 3K.” I doubted him for a moment, but then the other 5K runners turned left already. So I thought, oh, they’re probably ending the race because a typhoon is coming.
With all the stored energy I conserved, I ran and found myself in a queue of 5K runners. One of the women in front of me had a Garmin and she reported, “3.1 pa lang.” And that’s when I thought, I knew it! My sense of direction is not malfunctioning! In fact, it has improved!
Why the heck did I listen to that marshal? I intended to leave the queue and continue running, but there was already a long line of runners behind me. So I stayed there, restless and wondering how the organizers would deal with such a mess.
I felt really bad after the run. That’s two not-so-good runs in a row. My last run was bogged down with a hang-over. Then the organizers later claimed that the results were only 40% accurate.
This OROFOLS is much worse. The rain had nothing to do with making it a bad run at all. I feel bad for not covering the 5K route. Thus, the results won’t be accurate as well. I should’ve asserted myself. But back then, I wasn’t sure of myself either. They were the marshals, and I assumed that they knew better.
Nonetheless, it was an experience. I felt like a child again as I ran in the rain carefree. I had always envied kids who bathed in the rain when I was a kid. As I said, I’m not sure if I ever bathed in the rain, which children of the 80’s and 90’s did. I had always been locked inside the house whenever it rained.
I guess the “bathing in the rain” scene that I remember is just one of those childhood dreams. My dorm mates from college once taunted me for missing the experience.
Today, however, I have the bragging right to tell them, “I even raced under the rain.” The only difference is, I did it when I was 24.