Monday, December 15, 2008

UP ICTUS 2008 - Our Year-Ender Run

As our final race for 2008, Per and I have decided to make this blog special by having a HE SAID/ SHE SAID portion. My race experience shall be in BLUE while Per, doing her first Blog entry, will be in RED.



Okay, maybe my ego was getting to me. After getting a very good P.R. in previous week's run at Yakult 10miler, a good back-to-back run and breaking a couple P.R. with Per, I was quite confident that I will breeze easily through this run. Not so!

It may have been the high level of alcohol still in my blood from two consecutive nights of getting drunk (ahem...) on various mixed hard drinks, beer and red & white wine (and not in that order). It may have been the restless sleep I had the night before this race where I finally fell asleep at 2AM, only to be woken up by the alarm two hours later. Or it could have been the very heavy dinner we had at Galleria before watching the movie. Or it's neither of these things at all...

On Sunday morning, we were early for this race, arriving at the venue at 5:40AM. With me is my sister Natalie and my fiancee Per, all going for the 10km race and all having personal goals in this race. Rio was announcing the last few minutes till race start so after I did a two minute warm up run, I went to the starting line to stretch and felt a little pain on my left leg. Race started at 6:00AM with the 5km race starting a few minutes after us.

I sped right off as have target time of 5:30/km to finish at 55 minutes if attainable. Almost immediately, there were some confusion among runners as a few ran straight when in fact we had to turn right for the U-Turn area. Still running according to plan and almost immediately there was already a water station in front of me. Then something happened...
At 1KM mark, my left ankle was in really bad pain. I cannot believe it! I had to slow down my pace but it was still painful. With no choice, I had to walk slowly. I ran again but pain was still there. Man, this was very disappointing. I had to run- walk this early in the race, which I haven't done for quite some time now. Nothing to do though. I just kept thinking to myself that I do not want to quit! So my goal of getting a new PR went away the more walk breaks I had. Pretty soon, even the 1 hour goal went away too. It really took an effect with me as wasn't really tired but my legs were just in pain (at this point, even my right calf had its own problems). My walks became limp and there was one point I stopped in the middle of the road to stretch my ankle. Looking at my Garmin, I saw that it was just 3.5km. Oh man! Time really moved slow for me but I was determined to finish this race no matter what and so I started jogging again but still stopped at every water station to drink as figured it could be dehydration and might be getting cramps on my legs.

By 5km, the pain subsided so sped a little to catch up the big time I've lost. By this time, it was already 34 minutes in the course, my slowest so far. My goal was reduced to finishing the race and good thing the pain was gone for the next 3km so I was able to run a little bit more. But after 8km, the pain was back and I had to walk again. This was incredibly frustrating! In the end, I saw the final stretch and ran to the finish line to cross it at a time of 1:08:36. At least I beat my easy goal of under 1:12 and more importantly, I was able to finish the race no matter how hard it took me. This was a humbling experience and one that I can learn from: that I have to train smart by eating the right food, getting enough rest and not training too hard. For this week, I will not do a single exercise so will give my body enough recovery time.
It's kinda ironic that my first run this year in UP (January 2008) got me my worst finish time of 1 hour, 12 minutes. After one year of running, my final race for 2008, also at UP, got me my 2nd worst finish time for a 10km! Oh well, at least the journey was fun!

On the race itself: it was nice that it started on time and there was no sun when race started. Lots and lots of water although no sports drink this time around (which I really needed). The km markers were something new as featured the Krispy Kreme donuts on it and some witty sayings on that product but since we had to do multiple loops, the km markers became confusing with 3km and 7km near each other, a blue sign and green sign which represents 5km and 10km runners. Moreover, near start of course, there were some confusion as to which way to go due to signs pointing to two different directions. Good thing there were some marshals to help us but even they weren't able to stop some runners going straight on the road instead of taking the longer route that we all did. The course was more than 10km, ending at 10.43km. Results came out quickly at and got a donut at finish line plus Rush Drink as well.

Here's to a great 2008 and here's to a more exciting, more challenging 2009!



It was 4:30 in the morning and my phone was ringing…it’s my wake up call, Dennis, making sure that I am awake, getting ready for my last run of the year! Good thing he called since I was still in R.E.M. :)

Getting to U.P. was quick, so we got there 30 minutes before the race starts. Dennis decided to do a warm up run, I decided to conserve my energy and just stretch while waiting for him.

Three, two, one… bang! The race starts.

Everyone was running their hearts out. I got excited and ran my heart out as well. My goal was to get to 5k at 30 minutes for me to reach a personal best of at least 1:13 on the 10k mark.

First kilometer…. I felt good and motivated. Second kilometer…5k in 30 minutes? NOT impossible. Another kilometer…(this is where the story changes!) 5k in 30 minutes? IMPOSSIBLE! My knee started to hurt like hell. There’s this sharp pain every step I take. I see signs -- arrows-- left for 5k runners, right for 10k runners. Turning left was very tempting. Having to endure the pain in my knee for another 6 kilometers was out of the question. Suddenly, it hit me! Last run for the year and I sure am not going to quit this one. So I walked, I ran, and walked some more. Then I saw THE Krispy Kreme sign… “ 9k …. Can you smell it? ” Yes, I can smell the finish line. I looked at my watched and the time is 1hr 16 minutes. I felt disappointed. 3 minutes over my goal and I still have another kilometer left. But then a familiar face catches my eye… It’s Natalie (Dennis’ Sister) cheering for me…”Go Per! You can finish under 1 hr and 22 minutes!” She decided to run with me for the last 30 seconds until I reached the finish line… and I did it. I finished at 1 hr and 21 minutes.

As I am writing my first ever blog I realize – finishing this run with my bad time of 1 hr and 21 minutes and my bad left knee is a bad ending to my first running year. But then again, looking back at the year that was for me… I never would’ve imagined that me, the Per that I used to be, could even finish a 10 kilometer run.(ask my high school friends :) ) So here’s to another year of having a love/hate relationship with running. (I love the new balance).

Special Note: Photo credits to marathoner Vener, who was there to support his wife Christy for her 10km race. She got a new personal Record! Congrats!


ibetlacbay said...

nice recap guys. looks like everybody was in pain last Sunday and that includes me. i was aiming for sub 55 pero masakit pa rin ang calves. anyway, the good thing was we still pushed ourselves and finished the race. congrats. sana 2009 will be a better running year for all of us.

Rico Villanueva said...

Dennis and Per, ok itong he said/she said format ninyo ah...Looking back, I think ok pa rin ang year-end run natin dahil we have lessons learned and we all look forward to 2009 with hunger and optimism. Cheers to a great year of running :-)

Anonymous said...

You're getting married! We're happy for you, guys. (That's the ONLY reason why I ran.. I wanted to be with Vener.) Keep running.. together.


Running Fatboy said...

hi Wilbert, thanks! Yes, we always have to remain positive for the future.

hi Rico, congrats to on your 10k finish last Sunday and giving me encouragement I needed to finish the race.

hi Christy, definitely more fun if you run with your loved ones. That way you can share your experiences together. Take care.

sfrunner said...

Dennis, you and Per finished a year ending run. No matter the result, you can build on 2009 with what you accomplished this year.

Anyway, Happy Holidays to both of you and will see you in 2009!

janine+ said...

Naks naman, Per! So many firsts this '08. =) That's all. You know how proud I am of the "new" Per (not that anything was wrong with the "old" one, but definitely waaaaay cooler now. hehe)

Hey drunken, running fat boy. hahahaha. Cheers to more good times in running and parties! ;)

Running Fatboy said...

hi Wayne, thanks! See you in 2009!

hi Janine, getting drunk and then running to rid the alcohol in the blood..... that is the NEW BALANCE. haha!

Jeanne said...

sweet nyo naman... still running together in sickness and in healh (injuries and great PRs).

per, 15K for us in 2009 ha =)

dennis, i wanna run in singapore too! but the bride didn't allow me. huhu.

Running Fatboy said...

hi Jeanne, we will just think of you while we are in Singapore! haha. Definitely go for 15k na dapat kayo!

Jeanne said...

have a pitcher of Singapore Sling for me, okay? haha