Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Condura Race 2010: An Unsurpassed Record of Firsts for Me

Pinch me. Slap me twice. Kick me at the butt.

I'm still in Cloud 9.

Until now, I still can't believe that after 1 & 1/2 years of running, I finally had the courage to squeeze myself into the elite pool of Half Marathoners who conquered the Skyway last Sunday, Feb. 7, 2010.

I finished no. 1,310 among the 1,500 21K runners but I'm not whining. In fact, I'm elated.

What used to be an unimaginable dream is now a fulfilled reality (let me pause for a while to dry my tears) . . .

Pardon me for being melodramatic. But for someone who ran her first 5K race at 50, this moment is simply overwhelming.

So, what's so memorable about the Condura Race 2010?

I have 21 reasons:

1. It's my first race after graduating from my 3-month stint at the PT-Rehab.

With Mark, my dedicated physical therapist during our last PT-rehab session. Free at last!

2. It's my first race for 2010.

3. It's my first 21K race.

4. I met Patrick Concepcion for the first time!

Patrick is everything I imagined him to be -- cool, warm, and very accommodating. He's so humble he was even the first to greet me, as I was engrossed in searching for the tent where I could claim my race packet.

Seeing Patrick 2 days before the great race was a dream come true for me.

Imagine me jumping up and down, hugging him and screaming like a 13-year old avid fan (I wonder what the people there were thinking during that time hah hah . . . )

With Patrick and Sis Mila who was so kind to accompany me to the Fort. Thanks, Patrick for sending me our picture.

5. My first time to wake up at 2:30AM for a race. My alarm was set at 3:00AM but Mark texted me at 2:30AM for a change in meeting place.

6. My first race in the Fort with my therapist Mark. Our first race together was in MOA, followed by the BF Pasko Run (which I still have to write about).

7. My first race that started at 5:00AM.

Taken barely 5 minutes before gun start.

8. My first time to run with Coach Rio. I normally see him as the organizer.

(Coach, thanks for the message which until now I'm still thinking whether it's true or just a joke -- but I truly appreciate it)
9. My first Condura Race
Last year, I remember Patrick C. inviting me in this blog to join the Condura. I don't remember anymore why I wasn't able to join but thank God I made it this time!

Awesome display of fireworks before the race.
10. My first time to run for the dolphins. I'm almost tempted to fly to Bohol and swim with them.
11. My first race in my new, short, highlighted hair.
12. My first race wearing my bold name at the back.

(Note: Please direct your eyes on the new, short hair and personalized name, not on the kilometric hips. Thank you for your cooperation.)

I'm glad I had my name at the back of my shirt. I was constantly cheered, urging me to go on.

13. My first race wearing my new Nike sports bra. Sorry, I can't show you pictures of my scarred breasts caused by my old sports bras. I had to suffer a number of blisters on my breasts before I compelled myself to buy 2 Nike sports bras which fit me perfectly.

14. My first time to pass the Skyway! I have never been to the Skyway by car and so I had no idea how long the Skyway is. At the turnaround point, I switched my watch back to zero, with the objective of finishing the remaining 10.5K in 1 hr. 10 mins (I can dream, can't I?)
15. My first race to be entertained by 3 sets of bands along the route. Though I pity the band members on my way back. They sounded more tired than the runners!
16. My first time to stop 7X along the race route.

Thanks to for this picture. ( I wonder what happened to my shot with Queenie taken by Jinoe?)
17. My first time to run in the middle of 2 long queues of bananas, courtesy of the and Amado's Reinier Pacific volunteers. Thank you, thank so much!
18. My first time to eat in between a race (yummy banana!)
19. My first time to run for 2 hours, 55 mins. and 42 secs.
At the end of the Kalayaan Flyover was the last 1 km mark. When I checked the time in my watch, it was already 7:50AM.
I was aiming for a sub 3hr finish.
Will I ever make it?
I whispered: "Lord, pag hindi ako dumating before 8AM, hinding-hinde na ako uli tatakbo."
That settled, I ran with renewed energy until I could almost see the finish line.
I passed by my cousin Jun Muego and company happily cheering for me and that gave me the needed boost to even run faster.

Taken right after I handed my bar code. Again, no picture of me approaching the finish line (sob).
20. My first 21K race with Anna (the Meekrunner).

Sayang di tayo nakapag-usap. Nagsabay sana tayo. I ran alone, sometimes I ran side by side with Jess of Happy Feet.

21. My first 21K finisher's medal.
True to the organizer's word, I received my medal this morning. I held it long in my heart and magically, all the aches in my body disappeared. Ah, the sweetness of victory.
Last Sunday, though, I borrowed Mark's medal for picture taking. He had no trouble claiming his medal for he was only the 246th finisher clocking at 2:07:21 (galing talaga ng coach heh heh . . . )

To my support team: Ate Ella, Jenny, and Mark -- thank you very much guys. It was a great sacrifice for you to be there for me. Luv yah!

Need I say more?