Tuesday, January 25, 2011

First 15km for 2011 - Greentennial Race

The Greentennial Race was my first road race for 2011. It was my first 15km race for the year and it would promise to give me my first finisher medal for 2011 with only one rule – that I finish the race.

Ordinarily, it would be a cinch for me to do so but with little or no running for the past one and a half months, I was a little bit scared by its distance. I was unprepared for it, doing only some short, slow runs on the ACTUAL week of the race. In any race training rulebook, this was a definite foul! And I’m doing it for a couple of valid and invalid reasons: to burn calories, to get in shape again and to bring home that finisher medal!

I was anxious the night before (just ask my wife) and couldn’t sleep till past midnight. When I finally did, it seemed too short before both our alarms started ringing off. With a quick change, a cracker to fill up my growling tummy, and some minor stretching, we drove to BGC for the race.

Parking was easy this time around and I still had 10 minutes to go when I reached the starting line and spotted Janine and RunningAtom there. I was a little excited given I haven’t been joining a race for some time but knew also that I should take it slow as this was a big distance for the non-running FATBOY.

The 15km race route was one of my favourites when it comes to running in BGC as it took us to the Buendia Flyover, past the 5km and 10km turn around points on Buendia Avenue, past the three stoplights of Buendia Avenue before we reached our own 15km turning point and headed back to Fort Bonifacio to run 5km more. However, there were no street lights on the flyover and one had to be really careful where he/she is running on as it was pitch dark at that time. But I had no complaints. The mere fact that I was running was already a great moment for me.

I left my MP3 player at home, choosing instead to absorb the sights and sounds around me. It was also a great time to talk to God while running, when you can see all of His creations around you and appreciate them – the sunrise was always the best part for me! And to be blessed with legs and feet and with little pain is something I don’t always appreciate.

As I headed back to Fort Bonifacio, I was clearly panting and wheezing. Yes, lack of running/ training would do that to a person! Luckily there were ample water stations there, giving me an excuse to take some walk breaks and drink the Powerade/water that were handed out to me. I saw recent NYC Marathoner finisher Alvin there doing the 10km race and he opted to run with me and to do a little bit of chatting. In that 1-2km run, I got to chatting too and got my second wind back. Yay! That really helped me and by the time he left me, I only had 3kms to go. This looks achievable!

And it was. As I headed towards the final turn before the sprint to the finish line, I heard my wife call out my name as she waited patiently for me by the sidewalk. I gave her a big smile and a wave and then I focused my attention to the last 300 meters. The finish line sign got bigger as I got closer. Last 100 meters! Finished!

I was so tired when I finished my race that I even wanted to vomit whatever was in my stomach (the puny soda cracker???). Good thing I didn’t or it would be a sad sight especially to the girl who put the finisher medal around my neck!

Yes, I am very much happy for having finished this race strong and to God for being there by my side. I dedicated this race to Him at start of the race and I was rewarded a finisher medal at the end. I believed he nudged Alvin to my direction too when I really needed some pushing!

To Him Be the Glory!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Am I Ready?

My first run for 2011 will be held this coming Sunday at BGC (the place formerly known as Fort Bonifacio).

In my confidence, I registered myself waaayyy back in November for the 15km category to avail of the early bird rate. Little did I know that I would stop running for a month from December 05 to January 05, do one super slow 8km run after that hibernation, and then nothing again for one entire week. SHEESH!!

With only a week to go before the big day, I had no choice but to hit the road once again.

Monday - super slow 8km run around BGC (doing multiple 1.2km loops around area)

Tuesday - no running

Wednesday - another super slow 6km (+ two 400 meters walk) around Ultra's Oval Track even while it was raining (yeah, us runners don't care about the freaking rain!).

Thursday - 5.5km run inside the village

I hate cramming! But that is all I can do for now less I burn myself out even before the race starts! Hopefully, it should be enough for this Sunday's 15km race. Fingers crossed!

So .....Am I ready? We will know soon enough!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Run For Fun, Race For Place - Jan 30th 2011

Here is a perfect race to join just before the Condura Skyway Marathon. With a 3km, 5km, and a 10km course, and the race being held at the flat gounds of MOA, it would be a relatively nice fun run for all of us joining it.

There will also be a finisher medal for all categories but it is just limited to the first 500 people to finish PER CATEGORY.

Will you be able to finish your race category within the top 500 people and get a finisher medal (hence the name Race for Place)? Hmmmm.....

Personally, I don't think I could make it to the top 500 as I haven't been running for some time now, but this will be a good excuse for me to burn some calories. It will also be my first 2011 race that will be held in Mall of Asia area.

Registrations are Php 400 for 3km category and Php 500 for 5km and 10km categories. The 10km race starts at 6:00am, followed by the 5km at 6:05am, and finally the 3km race at 6:10am.

Registrations are ongoing at ROX.

Sample of Singlet. (They have also added an XXL size for which I got for myself).

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Solitary Running

I haven't done any solitary running for some time now. Come to think of it, I haven't done any running. Period!

After a month of hiatus from running and doing nothing but eat, sleep, and watching TV programs, I ventured out to do more eating, more sleeping, and more watching TV programs, and have added one other activity: that of watching movies!

But it is now time for me to hit the road again, especially since I have an upcoming 15km and an upcoming 21km race to do within the next 30 days. (What the f%$& was I thinking?) Well, no time like the present to get this fat @$$ off the bed/ couch and hit the road again.

And so I did.

At 5:00pm, I got off my bed, put on my running shorts and a simple cotton tee shirt, laced up my rubber shoes and left the house. No Garmin watch this time. I didn’t care about the pace (or more correctly, I didn’t want to know!). And I ran, or rather I jogged. There was nobody else on the road. But I didn’t mind. To be frank, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed looking at the different houses, the Christmas decors that weren’t put down yet (one house had a total of 8 Santas on their gates, garden, walls, etc), the damp roads, the foggy atmosphere, the large trees, the stray cats, the dead frogs (well, maybe this sight I didn’t enjoy). A lot of things entered my mind too as I ran (okay fine.. JOGGED) around the area: the accomplishments I’ve done, the blessings I’ve received, the changes in my life, the good stuffs, the bad stuffs, and all the stuffs in between.

And I think about running too. How I’ve come to my peak running form about a year ago, only to have it crashing again due to injury. How I’ve gained weight since then. How I’ve slowed down since then. How I’ve been left behind. But then I think about how I started running when running wasn’t the craze yet. There were no Garmins yet, no Ipods, no Runnr store, no Newtons, no Secondwind, no BGC, no RunRio Trilogy, no running blogs, no ROX, no Condura Races, no chip timers, and no finisher medals. Wow, how things have changed! But going back to me – I never thought I would run longer than a 10km. Actually, a 10km run was already overwhelming to just think about it. I never thought I would survive a full marathon. But I did. Repeatedly. I never thought I would run it at a good pace. But I did.

And then, I remember... that this was how I started running. Just me and the road. Left, right, left, right. This was me some years ago. Where there was no other runner in sight. This was me going back to basics with just my G Shock watch (back then, it was an Adidas Sports watch) to time the entire run. This was me not knowing how far or how fast I’ve ran but just kept on going for as long as the road would me take me. This was me running with no water or cash in sight but didn’t care about it. This was me not being competitive, with no running goals, no time pressure, no PR pressure.

This was just me and the road.