Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Oldest Runner at the 32nd MILO MARATHON

After watching CSI:New York at 10-11 PM last Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2008 I patiently waited for the Correspondents to be aired knowing that Karen Davila would feature the 32nd MILO MARATHON where I ran 5k. Had I known that Karen would also be running 5k, I would have run side by side with her. That way, I could have earned the fastest ticket to fame (hah hah ...).

My mother dearest who just arrived from a prestigious awarding ceremony surprisingly waited with me (I had this weird feeling that maybe she wanted to see for herself if I did run the Milo Race). Fearing that her chinky eyes would pop out in search of her only daughter in the midst of a multitude of runners, I pointed to her that I was the one in Nike blue cap and maroon jacket. Although she didn't actually see me, she believed me anyway (oh, the love of a mother for her child).

I didn't jot down any notes while watching the one-hour episode so I'm relying on my good, old memory on this special episode of the Correspondents.

As I remembered, Karen featured the following:

1. The runner who came all the way from Puerto Princesa to join the Milo Marathon

He was 236 lbs. before (but have a lovely wife as flashed in the picture) and used to have a 46" waistline (proven by the pants he actually wore when he was still obese). One single stroke which almost claimed his life changed it all. He started to watch his diet and incorporated brisk walking in his daily exercise. His walking eventually led to running. Once, while he was running around the oval in Palawan, a running coach spotted him and offered to train him. I guess their efforts paid off because this man is now lean and slim at 135 lbs. with 29" waistline (just like mine!).

2. The youngest runner in the 10k Race

He was only 8 years old but joined the 10k Race with his running coach--his father. When asked why he trains and runs, he answered that he wanted to win. His father gave the same answer. According to him, it would be a great honor if his son wins the race.

3. The oldest Marathoner

This is where my tears began to drop. Lolo Alfredo Fototana goes to the wet market every morning at 3:30 AM to sell meat. After his work is through, he goes home, change his outfit from meat vendor to a professional runner. He runs around the oval for 2-3 hours then go back home to take his nap. Karen tried to catch up with him in one of his practice runs but she just couldn't reach him. How could she? At a prime age of 72, Lolo Alfredo finished the whole 42k at the 32nd Milo Marathon at 4:01. Although his Official time was 4:06:09, this is quite an achievement for a 72-year old runner--don't you think so?

So Johnny Sy, malaki pa ang pag-asa natin. 50 pa lang tayo!

Sabi nga ni kaibigang Lonerunner, Run On Friends!

4. Coach Rio

I couldn't believe that it was Coach Rio being interviewed by Karen. He looked different. If I may say so, he was telegenic. Okay, cute. He gave some tips on proper form when running like the position of the arms and the feet when landing on the ground. Very helpful to viewers who would like to start training and also for runners who were not sure if they're doing the right thing(like me).

5. Pinoy Ultra Runners

I think 5 of them said something but one comment caught my attention: "Takbo tayo ng takbo, wala namang napapala." (We run and run but we don't achieve anything).

According to them, they are not a competitive organization. They are here to promote running 100k or more. They run to help cancer patients through the KYTHE Foundation, the beneficiary of their runs. So far, they have already contributed almost P500,000 to this foundation.

In my 2nd post last year, I invited my friends/relatives to run 5k with me on my 50th birthday for the benefit of DSAPI (Down Syndrome Assn. of the Phils. Inc.). Most of them couldn't make it but some of them offered financial assistance to the association. Last week, I formally submitted my proposal to DSAPI to organize a Fun Run/Race on Feb. 22, 2009 in observance of the Down Syndrome Consciousness Month. Will let you know of the details if the Board will approve my proposal.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

For the First Time

Yesterday, I couldn't contain my emotions seeing on TV (again) the senseless killings of innocent lives in my native land, Mindanao (dubbed as the Land of Promise before). When my Tennis Coach texted me that we'll play at 5 PM, I begged off.

I desperately needed to run yesterday to shake off the hurts and pains that were bottling up in my chest.

I walked from our house to the park, in preparation for my 5.5k run--my first attempt ever.

Maybe due to my unstable emotional state, I wanted to run for as long as I can. But if I run at my normal pace, I would definitely exceed the 5.5k mark--something I want to avoid because I wanted to stick to the 10% Rule (you only increase your distance by 10% each week if your goal is to be injury-free).

Putting everything in perspective, I decided to run as slow as I can and stop when I reach 5.5k.

And I did it! I was able to run 5.5k for the first time. And I was able to run for 52 minutes straight without walking, also for the first time.

I can't wait for next week, when I will run 6.05k for the first time . . .

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Shake, Rattle and Roll

As I write this post, my heart is grieving (again!)

I missed the Mommy Milkshake Run last year because of sheer ignorance. Promised myself to join this year with my 2 kids. My son was breast fed for 19 months and my daughter, for 9 months. Running with families who share the same advocacy would surely be fun. And finally meeting Jaymie, my mentor since May 2007 and the Happy Feet group was an added bonus (if not the main attraction heh heh...).

When I called the registration office, I was advised to e-mail all the names, ages and contact numbers of all of us who'll be joining since there were five of us. And I happily obliged. After that, I looked for pink t-shirts in all our closets. Finding none for Eia, I bought her one at MAKRO when we shopped there yesterday.

Gio was reluctant to go but after hearing the magic words (blow-out at Chowking or McDo) he readily agreed. No problem with Eia. I assured her that she could just walk or rest when she gets tired.

We attended the 6PM Anticipated Mass yesterday because later, we are scheduled to watch Lea Salonga's Cinderella at the CCP Theatre. After the mass, we proceeded to EMAPALICO for Minerva's (my cousin Weldel's wife) birthday celebration. We didn't stay there long because we had to sleep early (or so I thought).

Eia and I were already about to doze off when I heard Gio looking for something in the dresser. I asked him why and he told me he's looking for a band-aid coz he accidentally stepped on thumb tacks. I immediately got up, turned on the light and saw the trail of blood on the floor. How could something like this happen the night before Mommy Milkshake? Que horror!

After applying first aid on Gio's wound, I told everybody that we have to skip this morning's fun run. It sure broke my heart (again).

Last year, I cried (literally) for missing to meet TBR.

This year, the feeling is worse. I again missed the chance to meet Jaymie, and this time--also missed the opportunity to meet the wacky group of Happy Feet (sob...more sob...)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The Milo 5k Race: A Parade of Umbrellas

As in the Manila Half Marathon Challenge, I had my doubts that the Milo Marathon will push through today. It's been raining the whole week and it seemed it didn't want to stop just yet. But at around 9 AM yesterday, the organizers made the bold announcement that rain or storm, the show must go on. I think they were really determined to make history as 60,000+ runners from the 4 cities of Manila, Cebu, Davao and Tarlac will run simultaneously for the very first time.

And boy, oh boy, were they serious!

I was quite happy when I woke up this morning not hearing any sound of rain shower. Good. No rain. At about 5:10 AM, we were already approaching Luneta. The police officer prevented me to turn left at Kalaw so I proceeded and planned to park right in front of the Rizal monument. That's when it started to rain. We noticed that there were no cars parked on that side so I asked another police officer where I could possibly park. He told me to turn left to Manila Hotel. When I was about to turn left, another police officer blocked my way and advised me to turn right and park along Burgos. I had no choice but to oblige. Fortunately, we saw one vacant spot. But when we were about to disembark, down came the heavy rain. It was still early so we chose to stay put and wait for the rain to stop.

Nothing to do inside the car but to take some pictures heh heh...

At around 5:40 AM, we decided to go to the assembly area. Jenny and my cousin Wendel brought umbrellas since it was still raining. But me, I just wore my cap and put on my jacket.

Me and my cousin Wendel, while waiting for the final call of the 5k runners. The first batch was the 10k runners followed by the 3k runners. We were the last batch to leave Luneta.

With Jenny, my ever faithful friend. How I wish she could run with me in the next race. Go, go Jenny!

When the rain stopped, Wendel brought back his umbrella and my jacket to the car to lighten Jenny's load. Our mistake. Heavy rain came pouring again. I felt soooh cold without my jacket so I ran to the car to fetch it and when I came back, the 5k runners were now being summoned to enter the assembly area.

Wendel and I positioned ourselves somewhere in the middle. Another mistake. After the Go signal, we couldn't even walk because the people (mostly teen-agers who were obviously not runners) were busy waving at the video camera of ABS-CBN! After some minutes, we were moving at snail pace after I heard another shout of GO, RUNNERS! Then those in front of us stopped again. Then another GO, and we were off at tortoise pace. I couldn't believe that we were blocked again. After what seemed to be eternity, I finally found myself running but at a very slow pace because some participants were only walking with their umbrellas and back packs! It looked like a parade of umbrellas!

Oh, well. Different strokes for different folks, I told myself. We were running the same route as my first race so I already knew where to turn. No problemo. But when I turned at the U-Turn Mark, there was nobody there to give the red straw. I went ahead and saw some runners playing a tug of war with the red straws! They were actually "fighting"over the red straws. I stopped for a while but thought that it's useless to join the "war" so I went ahead and there's this angel giving away red straws. Thank you, Lord!

When I passed by Pedro Gil, I knew I was only 1.5km away to the finish line. I ran faster, motivated by the pouring of more heavy rains. I passed by Rizal Monument. This time, I knew I had to go ahead and turn left at Burgos. I ran even faster, so fast that Jenny didn't see me arrive at the finish line. I was surprised that I reached the finish line without any pain in my body. In fact, I actually felt lighter and stronger. According to my old but reliable Citizen watch, my time was 30 minutes. I did it! But of course, I expect the Milo Official Time to be 40+ minutes because of the delays I mentioned earlier. Well, I don't really mind what my official time was. I know I ran faster this time and most important of all, I arrived free of any injury.

It took me a long time before I saw my cousin Wendel then we both looked for Jenny. We couldn't find her anywhere so we approached the emcee if we could page her but instead, he made the announcement that those looking for their missing friends should meet in front of the stage. With that, Jenny appeared from nowhere and took this last shot below.

After this last shot, I heard the emcee announce the arrival of the first runner in the 42k category. It was 7:31 AM in my watch. I was a bit alarmed, because I had to be home before 9AM. I promised my son Gio that I'd be back in time for the Children's Mass where he was scheduled to sing the responsorial psalm.

We ran back to the car, took off and had a quick breakfast at Max's Malate.

I could feel my heart pounding very fast because of the rerouting. I didn't anticipate that Roxas Blvd would still be closed to traffic. I heaved a sigh of relief when I finally crossed Roxas Blvd. and made it to Diosdado Macapagal Ave. From there we were flying back to Las Pinas.

It was exactly 9AM when we entered the village gate. They were already in church when we got home because Gio had to do a last-minute rehearsal before the mass. I quickly dressed up, brushed my teeth, fixed my hair and face. Then off we go again. I couldn't park the car near the church because there's no more space left so I had to park at a distance. When I heard the choir sing the processional march, I ran like a bull without even thinking that I was now wearing my high heel shoes (shades of Cameron Diaz in "The Holiday" when she ran in the snow to go back to Jude Law).

Jenny and I arrived just as my son was walking toward his seat from the processional march. After his rendition of the psalms, I couldn't contain the tears in my eyes. I was just happy to run the Milo Race and then being back in time for my son and my family. God is sooh good!