Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Resurrection

There is no excuse for not training.

Simply put, you failed to train because you were lazy. You find all the excuses (alibis actually) in the world why you couldn't possibly run but the truth is, you just lost the passion.

You hate to admit it but you're slowly being hooked to stay comfortably under the covers of your soft bed during rainy mornings, and have become a T.V. addict during late afternoons.

You just wish for something or someone or anything that would alter this curse and snap you out of your comfort zone.

Then it happened.

Your birthday is fast approaching and you suddenly remember why you thought of running in the first place.

I started training in May 2007 to run my first 5K on my 50th birthday the following year. It's my way of telling (more of consoling) myself that "Life Begins at 50".

Because of the storm, my first 5k race was rescheduled to July 6, 2008--exactly one month after my 50th birthday.

It was a dream come true for me! I had lingering doubts if I could ever do it but I eventually did. I finished my first 5k race at 38:27 minutes.

The memory of finally crossing the finish line started to play in my mind again. I vividly recalled I challenged myself that on my next birthday, I will run 10k.

I trained for 14 solid months to run 5k on my 50th birthday but this time around, I haven't run for 5 looong months. Sure, I lack the proper training to run 10k last June 7 but I just felt in my bones that I had to do it. Ready or not, joining a race to celebrate my 51st birthday was the best way for me to be back on track again.

Yes, I ran 10k one day after my 51st birthday during the Mizuno Infinity Run. This proved that if you only put your mind into it, you can do what you want even though it seemed impossible.

This was the antidote I was hoping for. After the struggle I went through in overcoming the Buendia flyover, the whole agonizing experience jolted me from my "quarantine" and resurrected the passion hiding somewhere deep inside me.

Last June 21, I celebrated Father's Day (one of my multiple roles) by enjoying my longest run ever.

I left the car at home and headed for my favorite hilly route in BF Resort Village. I clocked 1:32:39 upon entering our gate. My thighs and feet were aching but my heart was fully alive!

Along the way, I passed by men and women half my age who were only walking on the uphill route. This boosted my self-confidence and inspired me to run even faster.

There were times, however, when I was almost tempted to stop or walk back home because of the pains in my lower body but I told myself I have no right to call myself a runner if I don't push myself to the limit.

Yes! The passion is back!

I am running again and I hope you won't get tired seeing me at the race for the next 51 years hah hah hah . . .

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Will You Be My Partner?

The Fit and Fun Buddy Run this July 12, 2009 requires anyone to run 5k or 10k with a partner.

No prob. As soon as I learned about this race, I immediately contacted my cousin Jun Muego if he's interested to join and he readily said YES!

Then it hit me. I would be inflicting a great injustice on Jun if he runs with me 'coz he finishes 10k at 53 minutes while my fastest time was 70 minutes.

I simply don't have the heart to compel Jun to run slower because of me.

And so this morning we both agreed that we'll look for partners compatible to our finishing times. That way, we'll get to enjoy the race because we will be running at our comfortable pace.

We need a partner for Junjun whose goal is to finish 10k at 50-53 minutes.

I need a partner whose goal is to finish 10k at 65-69 minutes.

If you are this runner or knows somebody who's still looking for a running buddy, please inform me.

Thank you very much in advanced, my dear runner friends!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

51 to Inifinity and Beyond

I'm sooh easy to please. On my 51st birthday I only had 3 wishes:

First, that I could have a birthday cake to plant these candles (numbers 5 and 1) that I'm holding so I could make a wish before I blow hah hah . . .

God is good. Before night time came, my first wish was granted!

The candles 5 and 1 are now planted on a rocky road cake, courtesy of my son's godfather.

As for my second wish, I asked God for good weather the following day during the Mizuno Infinity Run where I would attempt to finish a 10k race even without the proper training. I've only done 3 short runs during the past 5 months!

I must be crazy to even think of running 10k that included the Kalayaan flyover--a route I've never dared before. My first 10k race and the only race I've run this 2009 was the PSE Bull Run last Jan. 18. It was an easy, almost flat route with a few uphills which took me 70 minutes to finish. No sweat.

The fact that Quennie (Jinoe's beloved wife) pledged to accompany me during the race gave me the much-needed confidence that I won't certainly get lost and I won't definitely be the only one to arrive last heh heh . . .

Jenny, my official photographer couldn't make it so I asked Romy, my mother's driver to accompany me.

Unlike in my first 10k race where I was nervous to the bone, this time I felt so light yet excited to be back on the road again and meet some runner friends whom I already missed so much.

After forcing myself to eat a slice of toasted bread with peanut butter and 1 pc. of banana latundan followed by my favorite hot chocolate drink, off we went to Bonifacio Global City.

We arrived just in time to watch the pack of 15k runners go.

I easily spotted Quennie among the crowd and she introduced me to some members.

Yes, my double chin is back-- one of the many reasons why I should run again. Yes, I gained 6 lbs. during the 5 months that I didn't run but I know I'll revert to my ideal weight soon, now that I'm back in the groove again.

My friend Agnes and her husband Boy came to send me off. I was hoping they would be running with me but not this time. Romy was nowhere to be found so I had no photo with them.

After a short stretching exercise lead by Fitness First, the gun was fired at exactly 6AM.

Quennie advised me to take it slow and I followed her advice, not having any choice anyway since my legs were stiff as steel. Oh, the pains of not running enough.

Running the first 5k was a breeze. I didn't notice how long we were running 'coz Quennie and I were talking and greeting some runner friends who were on their way back. We saw Vener, Bards, Mark, Jinoe closely behind Sen. Pia, Christy, Vimz, Rico.

I glanced at my watch at the U-turn slot and it read 38:27. So far so good. This was almost my 5k time during my first 10k race.

But running back to the Fort was a different story. Quennie sensed that I was already struggling so she advised me to drink water and I did.

By the time that we reached the peak of Kalayaan flyover, the sun was up and brutally bright. I couldn't complain 'coz didn't I pray for a good weather? Deep inside, I was silently telling myself that I should have prayed for a rainy (but not stormy) weather instead.

I asked Quennie what could be our estimated finishing time and she informed me @1:20. That's when I told her to go ahead since I previously learned from her that her time in Baguio was 1:05. She's forced to slow down because of me. What a sacrifice!

Quennie stayed with me through and through. When I could no longer force my legs to go on, she proposed that we could just walk or jog then run fast at the last corner to the finish line.

I could no longer feel my legs touching the ground, only my body brushing against the wind.

At the last turnaround, Quennie and I flew towards the finish line!

Powered by Quennie's loyalty and dedication, I made it!

I survived the Kalayaan flyover without any injury.

Never mind my time. At my age, to finish this race at 1:20 without training for 5 months is enough to make me happy. Thank you, thank you Quennie. I wouldn't be savoring this victory without you by my side.

And meeting some of my runner friends even made me happier. Nice to see you again Jinoe, Vener & Christy, Roselle!

With the growing members. Hope to know everybody in person.

Together again: Quennie, Roselle (the Running Diva), me (once the golden girl--now 51) and Vener's better half, Christy.

Now, what could be my third birthday wish?

Simple. Just for Roger Federer to win the elusive French Open, the only Grand Slam that he has yet to win for him to be acknowledged as the 'greatest player of all time'.

With all my 3 birthday wishes granted, I couldn't ask for more--except for Alaxan to ease the pains in my aching body!