Friday, July 24, 2009

Running Reflections

November 18, 2007 – this was the day I started running in a road race and stuck to it. This wasn’t my first 10km race as did that before in Feb 29th 2004 and not my first trail run as did that before in June 18th 2006 but this was the race that kept me coming back again and again.

Right after that Sunday run with Janine (with Per and Jeanne waiting for us at the finish line), I came back again the following Sunday (again with Janine) because it was sponsored by La Salle –my alma mater and I wanted to see how they do it. It was successful but I got burned out from too much running and essentially rested till the start of 2008 wherein I came back again but this time with my family as my sisters, brothers, girlfriend and good friends all joined the PSE Bull Run in various categories. And that was how it really started.

Now, nearing the close of two years, so many things have been achieved for me. I trained for the first half marathon but still got burned out from it. But I improved on the succeeding half marathons as I become stronger and faster. I beat my records in 10km races by becoming faster. I beat the distance by going farther. It was a good time. Then, the marathon event happened and I finished the race after 6.5 hours of being on the road. I hated the feeling. I wanted to break down and cry. But I didn’t want to do this and rested instead. I truly hated this race but I was glad I survived it. I didn’t die and as the saying goes "what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger". Unfortunately, it didn’t make me stronger. It made me weaker. My performance withered to the level when I just started running. My finish time was slower by a few minutes. I had a hard time again in the 21km or even the 10km races. I was panting and wheezing again. I was essentially back to zero.

I couldn’t beat any of my Personal Records. I lost my drive for excellence. Instead, I focused my energy this time to help Per achieve her own Personal Records. By running together, we were able to finish our first 16km race strong. We beat our couple PR for a 10km race by doing the recently concluded Robinson Buddy Run. And the biggest surprise of all was Per agreeing to do a Half Marathon Race a day before said race event. She had no training. She had no mileage but she had me to support her and I think that was the biggest factor to her saying “Yes”. And so we ran it. Unlike my first half marathon wherein I went out too fast and hit the wall, this time we took it slow. We did a few walk breaks. It was a run at an easy pace. And we got the benefits from it. We finished the race strong. Tired but knowing that this was doable. It was a proud moment for the two of us. No finisher medals here but at least we have the disposable chip that says “I ran the 21km” and that was good enough for us. Final Results were also great and the free photos were very useful!

On the Kalayaan Bridge flyover as we head back towards Fort BonifacioFloating to the finish line!

So what’s next for us after the Half Marathon? One word, three letters: U.S.A.

It will be our most expensive races to date but the experience will be unforgettable or as a certain credit card commercial would say “Priceless”. Being too ambitious, I registered myself for two road races separated by one full week and thousands of kilometers away but in the same State.

The first race will be San Francisco’s Half Marathon Race on November 1st, 2009. This was supposed to be Per’s first Half Marathon race before the impromptu Globe Half Marathon. Come to think of it, it was supposed to be Per’s 2nd international 10km race. The reason she upgraded her race to a 21km was because the 10km route doesn’t go across the Golden Gate Bridge and that is something she wanted to experience. I will be there to run beside her and be her own support crew. The awesome thing here is that our bibs will be personalized (and we added our last names) and it will be our first half marathon together as a married couple.

The second race will be Fresno Marathon on November 8th 2009. I was supposed to do a Half Marathon here but then decided to upgrade to a Full Mary once I realized that the Halfie will only go through one city. This was called Two Cities Marathon and I didn’t want to be shortchanged by doing a race that doesn’t go through the two cities. Per will be at the halfway mark to be my support crew with drinks, food and maybe even an extra pair of shoes and/or socks. She will be my motivation to finish the 2nd half of the race and I look at beating my PR at Singapore. This race will be done in the morning, have cool weather and have a flat course, which all contradict what I did in Singapore. All of these factors go in my favor. Of course, I still will not underestimate this race as any single thing can happen that can ruin it – heavy rains, slipping on the road, injury while training, indigestion or diarrhea on race day, etc.

So we both have our reasons for the race upgrade. We are each other’s supporters for our partner’s race. We will experience all these things together. And we will do our best to finish our races and bring home the finisher medals and finisher shirts. This would be a perfect ending to my second year of running.

As for our third year of running? Ask me again in five months time! For now, it’s run (easy), run (tempo), run (long) as we revert back to our training mode.


22loy said...

You're married na or you'll be married by then?

RunningPepper said...

I always see you on the races running together.You guys are very inspiring. Magaya nga. I will ask my wifey to join me in the races. =)

Anonymous said...

It is really good to enjoy activities together and at the same time burning calories! haha :) -per

Gingerbreadman said...

Nice on Dennis :) Inggit! Buti nga you could bring Per along, si Gingerbread Gal 2k lang naghahanap na ng pagkain :) Hehe. Agree kay Steve. Inspiring!


Running Fatboy said...

hi 22loy, by then :)

hi Steve, haha! Good luck on that :)

hi per, and gain it back from eating.. :)

hi Luis, haha. Okay, it always starts from the short races naman. :)