This is my first SSD (short slow distance) with some of the members of takbo.ph. Actually, I was supposed to have photography classes during this day, but I joined them anyway since it started at 6AM. And besides, I needed to run. I slacked off the previous week after getting much needed rest from the Condura Skyway Run.
Among those present were Pao, Doc Topher, Doc Roy, Migs, Pojie, Timmy, and myself. MJ was also present at the party but only came in after our run. Haha! But at least he was able to catch up for the taho-loading sessions, sponsored by Doc Topher. I think it was his birthday or something that day, so I once again extend my greetings to you. =)
The objective of the run was to familarize ourselves with the route of the Miracle Run event held last March 29. I wasn’t able to run in this event since it was day 2 of my photography classes. Sayang. Technically, those participating should be resting prior to the event, but since most of them were pushing to hold a practice run, might as well do it. A little over 5K shouldn’t hurt that much, right? =)
Here are the pictures I took.
For those who want soft copies, hit me up.
Being a runner, there are a lot of things that I should be avoiding.
But lo and behold, there are some that exempt themselves from the rule. Might I say, it gives a sigh of relief. =)
Be warned: the following “bad” elements should be taken in moderation. As an old saying goes, too much of these will kill you, in the metaphorical sense.
Click here to know more. Be enlightened. And gorge once in a while. It’s a treat to us. =)
Yehey, a race that’s very near to my residence!
The proposed 10K route will start near the ATC parking lots, then will traverse the long, concrete roads of Ayala Alabang Village, then will go all the way back to where it started. There are a couple of uphill portions on the route, especially when nearing (and running along) Madrigal Avenue. Have a look at Mr. Dumpit’s site for the map.
When I was doing my training sessions for the Condura Run held last March, I kept on asking myself why the **** I was engaging in this effort, apart from wanting to be part of the select few who will be dominating the Skyway. After going past 15K for the first time in my life, my legs were throbbing and my feet were in absolute pain! It was so bad that I couldn’t walk well after my first LSD (long slow distance). Yup, I was completely destroyed. Distance running, I thought, wasn’t really meant for me. The farthest I could go, I told myself, was a 5K and nothing above that. I even said that after March 22, I’ll never join another half-marathon in this lifetime.
Indeed, as the days passed and as I continued my training, I was proven wrong, yet again.
As I continued my training, only did I realize that my legs were slowly adapting to frequent running. Though I ran longer than would usually run – thanks to my first LSD – I ended up completing my rounds with a smile on my face, somehow. Of course, there would be the inevitable fact of legs and feet craving for rest. But nevertheless, it was a fulfilling feeling. The fact that you can push yourself to your limit does provide some exhilaration.
Without a doubt, I don’t regret joining the Condura Skyway run. It was very memorable, no matter how tiring it was. Heck, the same joy that Mount Pulag provided the first time I climbed it is EXACTLY the same joy I experienced (and currently experiencing) after completing my first 21K ever. As a result, I am now anticipating my next 21K race – yes, I have already made a decision. I’m running my second half-marathon this coming April 19 at Santa Rosa, Laguna!
Plus, rumor has it that there will be a finisher’s medal. =)
I’ll be training for it starting next week. Proposed regimen as follows:
WEEK 1, MARCH 29 – APRIL 4, 2009
March 30 (Mon) – 7.5K
March 31 (Tue) – 7.5K
April 1 (Wed) – 10K
April 3 (Fri) – 5K
WEEK 2, APRIL 5 – APRIL 11, 2009
I won’t be able to train, out-of-town trip with my family.
WEEK 3, APRIL 12 – APRIL 18, 2009
April 12 (Sun) – LSD @ the actual race route
April 14 (Tue) – 5K
April 15 (Wed) – 7.5K
April 17 (Fri) – 5K
Race number 6 for the year, and my official half-marathon debut. =)
At first, I was very hesitant in signing up for the half-marathon, as I can see myself doing only a maximum of 10K. But since there might not be another chance running the Skyway again, what the hell, I might as well sign up for it anyway. Not only will I be one of the handful who will be part of this historic event, but also I get to push my limits further and test if my body will be able to handle this long run. Might I add that this is the longest run of my life – by far. Besides, I was sure that there will be a lot of people who will be engaged in their first half-marathon. And the fact that you get a finisher’s medal in the end – plus the fact that our names will be published in a few names from now – provides fuel to the fire.
I started training one month before the race. Usually, I would engage in a long run, lasting from 16K to 21K, either on a Monday or a Thursday. An easy 5K recovery run would go on a Wednesday. I also pitched in a 10K, also on a Monday or a Thursday, depending on my mood and depending on when I did my long training run. During those days I did lose a lot of weight. And surprisingly, my skin grew darker. I have no idea why, really. What was important is that my body adapts quickly to the concept of long running. A week and a half before the half-marathon, I started feeling a minor strain on my left thigh, so I was forced to cut down my mileage. I only did a maximum of 7.5K runs, but that’s alright, I would be relaxing my body as much as possible before the main event. I also told myself that I would be getting a massage a day or two before the race, but since I was lazy, I just slept it off. Hahaha!
2 days before the race, takbo.ph had a carbo-loading party for us to store all the fuel we need. All the pictures are posted on a previous post. The day before the face, I was a couch potato, and got myself some additional carbs for the race. =P
When the big day came, I was surprised to see that were A LOT who showed up. According to the race organizers, more than 6000 people are present – that counts in all race categories. Impressive, many people do want to make history. I woke up as early as 330AM that Sunday to avoid the traffic I will experience, as well as to get a preview of the actual route I’m about to run on. I’m glad to see that a portion of Buendia was already closed to traffic to give way to the runners. When I got to the Fort, I met up with some of the members of takbo.ph, and they were as hyped up as I am. Who wouldn’t be thrilled to run up the Skyway, right?
The race started at around 530AM. I didn’t bring my watch that time since I didn’t want to pressure myself to finish it in the fastest possible time. Initially, my aim was to accomplish the half-marathon in less than 3 hours. That was the timme I winded up with when I was doing my training runs. So for now, anything under 3 hours would do just fine for me, since this is my first time to run a 21K. With our spirits invigorated pumped up, we ran our best after the boom of the race gun. The sun wasn’t up yet when we started, so it was perfect to get some more cool into our system. Admittedly, it’s hard to run when the sun sears through your skin.
The hardest portions to tackle were the uphill portions of the Kalayaan flyover and the Skyway off-ramp. I have to admit that I’m not used to running uphill, since it does provide much strain to the legs and feet. Hmmmm, maybe that’s the reason why the hell I got that strain a few days before the race. Probably I may have pushed myself. Oh well, the damage has been done. But when you get along the stretch of Buendia and the glorious asphalt-laden stretches of the Skyway, you’ll be more than excited to run, especially when you’re up the Skyway itself! I don’t know why, but somehow I got “high” up there. It may be probably the experience dubbed as the “runner’s high”, but I was really pumped upon reaching the skies. It was an experience that I’ll never forget. Oh, might I mention that I didn’t know most of the people in takbo.ph, I’d utter out two words everytime I pass by them (the takbo.ph runners wore their team singlet for the duration of the race): GO TEAM! =D
I was really amused that even Manila Water even provided “golden showers” during the race. It was like mist dropping across our heads, and it was very relaxing. Unfortunately, I opted not to go under it, since it might permanently damage my iPod. Hehehe. What’s even more interesting is that some race volunteers gave us small sponges drenched in ice-cold water. Spreading that sponge across our necks, our faces, and our heads really released all that inner heat that we had, making us crave for an ice-cold bath when we get home.
At the 14K mark, roughly before the Skyway off-ramp on the way back to the Fort, I started feeling major discomfort between my thighs as there was skin chaffing already. I couldn’t run my usual pace and I was highly annoyed by this discomfort that I was forced to employ a run-and-stop strategy. Run 700 meters, rest for around 150-200 meters, and then do the same process all over again. That strategy proved useful until I got to the Kalayaan flyover. By this time I was already exhausted and my feet were slowly starting to give in. In order to prevent myself from getting injured, I walked that flyover until I got to the downhill part. From there I resumed my run-and-stop strategy.
At the 19K mark, after stopping for a water break, I asked one of the race volunteers what time it was. I was glad to know that I was still within my target – I had spent 2 hours and 15 minutes on the road! Definitely I was going to reach my target of a finish time under 3 hours. Given this, I decided to run with a VERY slow pace and have a few walk breaks as much as possible. The chaffing between my legs was getting worse, and I was left with no choice but to bear the pain since I was close to the finish line. Once one of the race volunteers mentioned that there were only 300 meters left before completing the race, I set off my mind from the walk breaks and tried to sprint all the way. Upon looking at the race clock, I saw a time of 2 hours and 31 minutes. Yup, indeed, I was well within my target and WAY beyond the half-marathon cut-off time. Once I reached the finish line I let off a scream of exhilaration and accomplishment, for I completed my first historic half-marathon. =)
After that, picture taking with takbo.ph. It’s on the previous post. Then breakfast at McDonald’s as a reward. There I got to know the other members. And though most of us couldn’t walk well after that event (including myself), this day was definitely momentous. For many first-timers, we proved that we can run 21K, no matter how slow we were. In addition, we broke our records and our limits at the same time. Am I looking for another half-marathon? ABSOLUTELY. I told myself that I’ll join a half-marathon once a year, but now that I’m looking for more, I guess joining a couple more wouldn’t hurt at all, provided that I train for it. Right? =)
So, here’s my review:
D (direction) – start at the Fort, then make your way to Rizal Drive, then turn left to the Kalayaan flyover and go straight until you reach Buendia. Then run all the way to the South Luzon Expressway. Once you see the Buendia off-ramp, turn left, then go up. Enjoy the glory of being in the skies until you see the Magallanes off-ramp, then make a u-turn and go all the way back until the finish line. Heading to the Skyway was relatively easy since I was that excited to run above it. But after you go down the Skyway off-ramp, it gets really hard, especially with the gradual uphills of Buendia and the killer Kalayaan flyover, which I had to walk for the most part!
R (registration) – many registration centers were made available for this grand event. No wonder there were as many as 6000+ participants in this race. I had myself registered in Festival Mall, Alabang, since it was the closest to my residence.
U (uhaw) – lots of hydration stations, a couple of fire trucks providing “showers” to runners, and ice-cold water sponges. Not a chance of passing out here, definitely.
M (money) – a cool souvenir shirt and a colorful finisher’s medal? Without a doubt, my 500 bucks was well spent!
S (safety) – the race organizers closed off a majority of the roads, although there were many motorists who cursed at them for not allowing them to move. Hey, you try to run us over, you’ll be slapped with homicide. Kudos to the policemen for making our safety their top priority. And I saw several ambulances along the race route. A very safe running course indeed.
Many thanks to the Concepcion brothers for conceptualizing this races. It’s one of the best I ever participated on. The smile on my face shows it. =)
Oh yeah, in this picture, I was holding a banana, c/o the takbo.ph support group. Many thanks, guys! And many thanks to Neil Barrios for letting me grab this pic. And thanks to the following artists in my iPod for providing me the push I needed to go forth in this race: Siam Shade, Rize, High and Mighty Color, Maximum the Hormone, BeForU, Riyu Kosaka, Slipknot, and Mayonnaise.
Next race: the Greenfield City run. I was supposed to join the Airspeed event at the Mall of Asia, but I’ll be off to Caramoan with my family that time. Awwww. So, will be participating in the 10K or the 21K event? Help me decide, folks! =)
Just before I post about my half-marathon experience, I’ll be sharing some of the pictures I took before and after the race.
For those who want soft copies, leave a comment and I’ll mail you ASAP. =)
Just before takbo.ph hit Fort Bonifacio for the ever-anticipated Condura Skyway run, it hosted a carbo-loading party (aptly dubbed as CLP) for all the members to accomplish the following objectives: (1) to have a high-energy meal so as to provide us all the necessary fuel during the race, and (2) to get to know some of the takbo.ph members. I didn’t know that much people yet, except for Erick, but thankfully Josiah (office colleague and official photographer) to keep me company somehow.
The food was provided by Kenny Rogers. Yummy. There was a big serving of spaghetti with humongous meatballs, potato salad (which I wasn’t able to chow down since I was quite full already), lots of iced tea, and their famous roasted chicken. Quite frankly, I was very satisfied with the food. I could have consumed more, but since I had a couple of pizzas for breakfast and a hefty serving of pasta for lunch during this day, I decided not to gorge down any further. It’ll make me much heavier (and lose my diet at the same time). Hahahaha!
A few noted personalities graced the event, like that of my idol, Sir Junie (aka BaldRunner), and Marc Nelson. I was rather hesitant to have my picture taken with Marc, but what the hell, I posed beside him nonetheless. Josiah took that picture and I’m waiting for him to send me my shots. It was also in this night that I met Sir Rene (aka JazzRunner), from whom I took the review of the Nathan hydration belt I currently own.
This event was a success. Not only did I get to know some of the members of takbo.ph, but also I went home with a happy stomach, armed and ready for the Condura Skyway run. Many thanks to the individuals who thought of this event. Without a doubt, it was the best, and I’m hoping that there will be many more of these in the days to come.
Here are some pictures coming from my camera. For those who are reading this post, feel free to grab as many as you want. =)
Sir Jinoe leading the prayer…
A not-so-stolen shot. Hehehe!
And yet another one… Nice one, Natz!
Pastor Craig and the group.
With BaldRunner himself. Big fan. =)
Class picture (without me =P)
For those who want soft copies, please leave a comment and I’ll mail you as soon as I can. =)