After paparazzi shots of Condura Race from the previous post, here are photos of runners there that I actually know…
Close to 200 participants showed up for the DND-AFP Gintong Pangarap Invitational Marathon at the Bonifacio Naval Grandstand yesterday morning. This was relatively a small race with majority of registrants coming from the military, but the level of excitement and trepidation among the teams of runners was palpable; it was akin to that of a major race. Perhaps one could say it was even a little bit more festive with a band belching out favorite tunes to ease the tension building up among runners.
– The Marching Band. They also had another band onstage. This was one festive and lively race. Or was I just charged up with excitement? –
Certainly, this was not your typical small running event. It was a team relay race with each of the 3 members in one team—2 male and 1 female—covering 7 kms from Navy Village to the turnaround point inside Libingan ng mga Bayani to complete the total 21km course. Each runner wore his bib number ending in A, B, or C to identify him/her as the first, second, or third in his team.
Our team, Team Injured Fast Runners—composed of Happy Feet members Ben, Joms, and myself—was among the 94 teams that signed up for this event. Each of us wore battle scars due to obsessive running: Ben is recovering from shin splints, Joms from knee problems, and me…aahh do I have to tell you again? But, the three of us believed we could still outrun the civilian (read: not military) competition and yes, oh yes, we had a pretty good chance of winning.
– Team Injured Fast Runners supports the fight against AIDS. Thanks to our sponsor Doc Oknoy! –
Assembly time started at 5 a.m. with the race starting at 6 a.m. Joms was our A runner, followed by me, while Ben would carry the heavy burden of being the last runner who would have to run as fast as light to bring our team to possible victory.
When I arrived, Joms was already in the starting line along with all the other A runners. Before I could even bid my team mate “Godspeed!”(literally), he was off. Together with the other B & C runners, Ben, Jo-Ar, his running coach, and I waited in anticipation for the A runners to come back, especially Joms of course!
We waited…and waited…and waited. I thought a relay could be pretty slow since there was a lot of waiting to be done before you could actually participate in the race. Then, things changed…
The first A runner was spotted from afar returning from his 7k journey. Wild cheering from the crowd filled the air! Everyone was charged up and raring to run! More and more A runners started coming back and the scene was an organized chaos where A runners would swiftly turnover the rope necklace to the B runners without a second to waste. Everything was going by so fast, one could hardly have time to breathe.
– Relay team mates making the quick switch –
As for me, I morphed into a bundle of nerves. As I waited behind the starting line along with the other B runners, I felt worry, pressure, and anxiety creeping into my psyche. But, this was certainly overpowered by the thrill and excitement I was getting from this fast-paced race.
Suddenly, I could see Joms running downhill towards the finish line. Ack, it was my turn! I looked towards my right and saw Ben and Jo-Ar cheering with excitement. Oh yeah, I couldn’t wait to run!
I grabbed the rope from Joms, put it around my neck, and headed out towards the start of my 7km run. At that point, all pacing and negative split ideas were erased from my memory. The adrenaline rush must’ve gotten the better of me. In a couple of minutes, I checked my Garmin to discover I was running at my fastest pace ever: 3:46 min/km. Crazy!
After climbing uphill out of Navy Village, I slowed my pace to a 4:45 to 5 and maintained it at that level until the 3km mark. By the time I reached the Libingan ng Bayani turnaround point, I was exhausted. Normally, I would have slacked off a bit and ease up on the pace since I only have myself to answer to. But, I couldn’t just slow down at this point. I owed it to my team mates to give it my best shot.
So, tired and weary, I pushed myself further. It certainly didn’t help that the way back was mostly uphill climbs, but once I passed that, the last 2km were a lot more manageable. It also helped that Joms and Jo-Ar ran alongside me for support. As I neared the finish line, I spotted Ben and quickly handed him the 2 ropes with barely any time to wish him luck.
I ended my 7k run at 35.28 mins. I was a little bit disappointed with my time, but Joms was quick to remind me that everyone’s time had slowed due to the rolling hills.
After some waiting, Ben came in to complete our relay race. He suffered stomach cramps as early as 5k into the course but forced himself to run despite the pain. Ouch!
– Ben in pain as he nears the finish line –
The final results? Team Injured Fast Runners won 3rd place in the civilian category!!! We were the 23rd team among 94 teams. Go, Team Injured Fast Runners! Hopefully next year we can scrap “injured” from our name already!
– Posing with Jujet de Asis (he and his team mates were the champions for Army category) and other runners –
– Happy Feet pose. If only Joms didn’t wear his Mommy Milkshake shirt! –
Two running working mothers. One marathon: 24 February 2008.
Training begins NOW.
Every Friday afternoon, Annie and I exchange the routinary SMS message: “Run tomorrow? Same time, same place?” And, almost always, the other will send a customary reply of “Yes. See ya!”
For the past six months, Annie and I have been enjoying our Saturday runs together. Saturday mornings is reserved exclusively for our long runs; it is the time where we can run without distractions from work or family. Children have no school nor homework. And, at least for me, the hubby is out longer than I am playing golf.
– Training in Alabang with Annie and Coach B (June 2007) –
Ours is a friendship built on running. I met Annie after I invited an acquaintance to join Coach B’s running clinic; that friend took Annie along. When the running clinic ended, it was only Annie and I who found ourselves committed to continue training on our own.
Annie, a mother of two girls, is a Fitness First and stotts pilates instructor. Between the two of us, she is by far the stronger, faster, and more experienced runner. She has been running for over three years and has joined more races than I can count. During our runs, we can talk about a wide range of topics ranging from motherhood to shopping, but our discussion will always, always go back to running. It is what binds us together.
– Adidas KOTR with Annie and her friend (July 2007) –
So, it came as no surprise that when I told Annie about my plans of joining the Pasig Marathon, she instantly decided to join too. When we got over our initial excitement (which lasted for over five minutes), we informally discussed our strategy. She suggested using Hal Higdon’s marathon program while I recommended Jeff Galloway’s (She won here. I’m now using Higdon’s Novice II program while she’s using Intermediate I). We also agreed, quite happily, that we would transform our 10 to 15k Saturday runs into our once-a-week long runs. “Annie,” I begged her, “we seriously have to slow down from now on” because, as I’ve experienced many a times, Annie does not know the meaning of slow or tired. “Yes,” she adds, “we also have to force ourselves to take walking breaks now” something we always fought against in the past.
As I write this, I am building a mental checklist of other things I must discuss with Annie as we try to add more science and strategy to our runs. These have something to do with 1) starting earlier so the sun doesn’t beat down on us, 2) stock piling on power gels since water won’t do for us anymore, and 3) planning the races we intend to join so that they can work seamlessly with our program.
Suddenly, my personal goal has turned into a dream I can share with a friend. While running a marathon is still an individual conquest, I take comfort in knowing that I can share the same hardships and triumphs, pains and joys, and hills and troughs with someone who doesn’t need to stop and ask me “Why must you put yourself through this?” She just gets it. And, should the time come during the marathon that my legs turn to lead and I want to give up at 30 km, I know that Annie will be there pushing and urging me to move forward…just as I will do for her.
Good luck to us Annie!
For those of you who do not frequent my ever-changing, constantly-being-updated List of Races for the year, here are the races for October/November within Metro Manila only. I decided to post this here because there are so many races lately, I’m getting confused about which ones to join!
Oct 21 Sunday: Raising Hope, Powerplant Mall. This is a fund-raising activitiy of Planet Sports for the Carewell Community Foundation which supports cancer patients. It is a fun run from 6 am to 8 am with no prescribed distance. Course will be the inner lane of Power Plant Mall. Call Maan of Planet Sports (898.1933) for details. Registration onsite only. Click here to download registration form.
Oct 21 Sunday: 4th BaRUNgay Fun Run, Concepcion Uno Marikina City. Run will be from 5 am to 6 am. Registration fee P100. Call Boy Francisco/Poly Guadamar (948.6454).
Oct 27 Saturday: Run For Love, The Gawad Kalinga Marathon Philippines. Adidas will donate all funds to the planned local Adi Dassler development projects with Gawad Kalinga. Race is 5k/10k near SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City. Registration fee P250. Registration forms will be available in GK offices, selected Adidas concept shops and with RACE c/o Thelma Biscocho (727.9987)
Nov 11 Sunday: New Balance Power Race 10k/25k, Clark Freeport Zone. Registration fee P300. Call Mr. Biscocho (727.9987). Registration has been extended to Oct. 21, Sunday. Interested participants may register at Planet Sports Rockwell branch or on Raising Hope race day on October 21, 2007.
Nov 18 Sunday: Milo National Finals. Call Mr. Biscocho (727.9987)
Nov 25 Sunday: 5th Animo Run 5k/10k, IMAX Parking Area of SM Mall of Asia. 10k P200. Proceeds will go to the Red Cross. Registration starts October 21, 2007 and will end 5:30 am race day. Participants can register at G/F Enrique Razon Sports Complex of DLSU, Vito Cruz, Manila or online. For info, call Edmar (0917.6191821) or visit this.
I woke up for the Fame Run last Sunday feeling utterly depleted. My eyes refused to open and I felt like a ton of bricks lay on top of my legs. This came as no surprise as I had been pulling all nighters for work the past couple of days. For the first time, I contemplated skipping a race, but I knew I would hit myself on the head for that decision later. I decided to cut my run from 10k to 5k instead. So, in true zombie-like fashion, I got myself dressed, woke my hubby and son up (they were joining the 3k) and found myself on the road headed for Mall of Asia. There was a light drizzle on the way there, but fortunately the sky was clear by the time we set foot in the assembly area.
The race was relatively small with majority of the runners being “marinos” (hence the race name “Go Marino Go”) donning their bright yellow race singlets that almost jolted me out of my dazed and confused state. We arrived around 15 minutes before the race started, which gave me just enough time to look for Ben who had our race bibs. (Thanks again Ben for signing us all up!) After pinning my bib, I rushed to the registration booth to change my race distance, but gave up after seeing the chaos there. (I decided to just stop at 5k with my 10k bib. ) My son’s nose started to bleed so I pointed out the medical booth to my hubby so they could treat him there. Realizing the immediate need to pee, I headed for the nearest portalet in a mad rush to clear my bladder before running. Could there be anything else to surprise me?! I jog towards the portalet and—much to my horror—the gun was fired! Ack, I joined the hundreds of runners in the race and prayed to God my bladder would cooperate!
Where do I run?! That’s what I was thinking as I squeezed my way through the massive crowd of “marinos” who ran with their bodies practically intertwined. I followed the path other runners took which was the other side of the street. Oooh, in here, the road was flat and spacious and mesmerizing (my new race playlist with Maroon 5 and Fall Out Boy may have helped to get me enthralled). I ran freely and enjoyed every minute of it. I pushed hard because I knew I could sustain it for 5k no matter how tired my body was. Tired? Wait a minute. Who was exhausted and weak again? Nope, that wasn’t me. Now, I felt strong and I was revved up. In fact, I wanted to run the entire 10k instead. Too bad I told hubby it would be a short run for me.
So, the 5k was quick and short and fun. Actually, it wasn’t a 5k but a 5.86k according to my Nike+. I came in at 4th place as listed by the race organizer at around 27 minutes.
I usually stop my watch and Nike+ automatically after I end the race, but this time, I had no time to even think about it as I was bombarded with complaints from another runner. He argued with the race organizer about my place since I was registered for a 10k. I was so happy that I said in tagalog “Hey man, it’s fine with me. You can have 4th place. I’m not here to compete really.” Caught up in his own anger, he didn’t hear a word I said. I returned the #4 Tag to the race organizer, but he gave it back to me saying I could keep it and they would still count me as 4th. Oh well, whatever decision they made was fine with me.
Right after the run, I headed for the bathroom and did my own business. (Of course, I praised my little bladder for being very well behaved but I told her never to pull that stunt on me before a race. Would you believe she disprespectfully replied “Well, you shouldn’t have gobbled down all that Gatorade in the first place?!) I chatted with H@ppy Feet members and searched for my hubby and son who were nowhere in sight. I did see Jujet de Asis and congratulated him for placing first in 5k. His time was 17 minutes. (I think if I chat long enough with him and train with him at every Mizuno Run Club then his speed may rub off on me. I’ll tell you in a couple of weeks if it works.)
My hubby, son, and I left before photos were taken, medals were awarded, and stories about the race were exchanged with fellow runners. But, you couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I was just glad I ran and I didn’t hide under the sheets that morning.