Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Running to work

I ran to work Friday last week. All of 15 kilometers.

It wasn't that hard. The route was practically all downhill from where I started. I had done a couple or so of 20Ks on a route that goes all uphill for the first half. This run was easy.

The catch was since I was running on a relatively busy national highway, I had to run on the road shoulder which was covered with loose gravel. It was also mostly inclined. About five kilometers into the run, I almost twisted my ankle stepping on the loose gravel. A couple more kilometers and I felt another sudden twist, and this time, it hurt.

I continued to run, though, limping as I moved forward at a slower pace. The pain stayed for about a minute or so, but eventually went away. Nothing serious perhaps, I thought. I was soon back to my 5:30/km pace.

The heat was another thing. I usually ran at 5:30 or 6:00 am, with temperatures much cooler than my 7:00 am start. I was estimating a total runtime of an hour and a half, knowing that I would be slowing down in the heat as the clock moves closer to 8:00 am. This is the tropics, and warm, sunny mornings have been common these past few weeks. There are in fact talks of a possible onset of another mild El Niño.

A moderately cool breeze blew a couple of times during the first half of the run, but by the midpoint, all I felt was the heat at the back of my neck. By the 10k mark, I was wishing I had water to pour down my head and somehow cool my nape. I felt the back of my neck, and it was like it had a fever. I felt my pace had gone slower due to the heat.

The Suzuki Samurai that I usually ride going to the office had now gone back for me. It passed me earlier some two kilometers back on its way to the office. I signaled the driver to turn around and go back to the office. I was going to finish this run.

And finish it I did. I somehow got to pick up my pace as I got closer to the provincial capitol where I worked. When I glanced at my 10-year old Timex Ironman Triathlon, it showed a total time of 1:22.09, and an average pace of 5.28/km.

Another run done. Another accomplishment to relish.

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