Monday, July 20, 2009

All Alone in Run For Home

I'm supposed to start this story with the Pre-Race portion but for whatever reason, I couldn't position the pictures in the manner that they should appear. And so, I have no choice but to start this blog with the ending.


Nothing beats the pleasure of meeting running friends after the race! (More so when you ran all alone during the race . . . )

With the sultry Running Diva, Roselle!

With the growing family!

A souvenir pose with Run For Home route map as background.

With a truly inspiring group of running friends Christy, Johnny, the One and Only Jaymie, Mariel, Jun C., Annie, Miguel, Jay and Vener! Finally, I got my copies of the TBR mag which the whole running community is raving about. Thank you, Jaymie!

With the soulmates and solemates Jun C. and Mariel! Hope to run with you, Mariel, in future races.

A very happy reunion with Johnny, Christy and Jay!

With the dynamic duo Vener and Christy, my ever faithful guardian angels!

With the lovely running couple Mark and Tiffin, Jinoe and a fellow family member.

That's me waving before reaching the finish line.

Now let's go to where the story should start.

I registered at Fitness First SM Southmall branch last July 11, 2009. The people who attended to me were warm and accommodating, making my stay at the lobby enjoyable even though it took me almost one hour to be fully registered. Anyway, watching the weight watchers sweating it out with the different gym equipments delighted my attention and didn't even realize that I was sitting there for some time already.

It rained cats and dogs for the whole week. Didn't get the chance to run even for a brief time. Came Saturday, July 18. It was the last day of picking up race packets. No choice but to go all the way to the Fort, or I won't be able to join the maiden voyage of the disposable timing chip (not to mention the P500 that I paid for it).

It wasn't raining anymore when we left Las Pinas City but when we were about to park the car in front of the Globe tents in BGC, strong winds crashed the Globe tents down to the ground. At first I thought they were the claiming booths. I asked the person who seemed to be the one in charge and he informed me that I could just walk and proceed at the back of the building near Nike. I could claim my race packet at the Globe tent situated in that area.

I saw the sign "Fitness First Registrants" and gave my coupon to the lady in front of a laptop. The other lady wrote my name on the race envelope and asked for my size. I told her "Medium". She placed my singlet inside and I was off in less than 1 minute. Wow! That was fast.

It started to rain again so I had to run back to the car. I braved through the muddy field in my newly bought bakya, inflicting wounds on my feet. But I didn't mind. I was too happy to look at my race bib and disposable timing chip.

Race Day:

Left the house at 4:50 AM and proceeded to the the same parking area where we parked the day before. No trouble getting a space. I made a quick stop at the portalet, missing the pre-race warm-up by Fitness First.

I then searched for familiar faces but saw no one I recognize. I guess everybody I know left already at 5 AM. Quennie's running in U.P. My cousin Jun couldn't make it. Oh no! That meant I'll be running alone (sigh).

Race Proper:

I positioned myself in the middle of the pack, beside the 16-year old Jennica. I started talking to her but I remembered Roselle's blog that some runners don't like to chat during races so when we crossed the starting mat, I slowly drifted away from her.

I'm used to train alone but I'm not used to be running alone in races. I needed a friend to talk with. I tried to talk to myself but it didn't work. It was a terrible, empty feeling.

The route was the same as that of the Mizuno Infinity Run last June 7. I should be able to handle it better this time.

Sadly, I didn't.

The first half went well. I crossed the mat at 32 minutes in my watch (although this wasn't reliable 'coz I forgot to start my stopwatch right after I cross the mat at the starting line).

On the way back, I had to stop for water before reaching the Buendia flyover. Something I've never done in a race. As I climbed the flyover, I felt pain on my upper thighs I had to stop and walk a few steps. I've never walked in a race either. Also, my left foot was killing me. I had no idea how I managed to ascend and descend the flyover.

When I saw the next water station, I again stopped and quenched my thirst. My, my, my. This race had a lot of firsts. The idea of not finishing the race was about to play in my mind when I heard the Marshal say "1 km for 10k runners". I said to myself: "I only have to run from the house to the guard house. That's all I have to do to finish this race." And so I went on to finish the longest 1 kilometer run I've done so far.

As I approach the finish line, the clock read 1:20:30.
I had a better time at Mizuno!
How could that be? I didn't run for 5 months and yet I finished at 1:20:01 in Mizuno.
Now that I had proper training, I clocked 1:20:30! I couldn't think of any logical explanation to this reversal of outcome.
I would gladly welcome your opinion on this matter if you have any.