Monday, May 31

Setting New Limits (21k Nature Valley Run)

The half marathon. 
I finally did it. 

It hasn't dawned upon me -until now while I type this blog- that I have finally ran this race distance. I'm half way to my dream marathon. Wow. (That just made me smile there lol)

Event: Nature Valley Run (RunRio Trilogy Leg 2)
Date: May 30, 2010
Location: The Fort, Taguig
Time: 4:30 AM

Laid back was how I felt that morning as I began lining up with the 21k participants. The whole week I've been trying to get pumped for the race but nothing really seemed to spark. Probably it never sunk in that I was running the distance. 

There were more than the usual number of 21k runners that day, this was very nice since it just shows how much the sport has been growing stronger and how its participants are continually improving in their discipline. 

The race route that day is as follows:

The start of the race went very well for me. I was averaging about 5:07/km for the first 9km and my spirit towards the race was very high. But once we got back to the Buendia overpass, my body and mind started to have worlds of their own. I was struggling to keep my pace so I had to make do with hitting at least 6:00/km to have a fighting pace. This went on quite well for the next few kms until I came to McKinley Hills which spanned through Lawton till Bayani Road.

Up till now I still don't know how I managed to go through that crazy route. The roads were as hilly as they can be and I struggled all through out it. The course reaching to the turn around point felt like forever. I managed to keep running, but I had to stop for walking breaks to catch my breath. By the time I got to the turn around mark, I felt a feeling of accomplishment sweep through my body, but I knew this was far from over. 


It's a pretty basic equation isn't it?

So basically I just went through that hell in Mckinley Hills one more time on my way back. This time around though I was exhausted. I was finito, done, all my strength was gone. I was taking walking breaks every 2 minutes and my running pace was shall we call it "KALAT!". Three times I just stood there, bent knees gasping for air, thinking if I could finish still finish this race.  Certain questions boggled my mind:

Am I meant for this running thing?

Should I just sit down now and give up?

I can't even do this properly, how can I ever be a triathlete.

This was the hardest I have ever gone in a race and I've never felt as exhausted as I did. But what kept me going was the strength of finishing what I have started. I have failed and given up in a lot of different things, and having big accomplishments isn't really one of my strong points. But, I told myself: "Not this. I will NOT GIVE UP on this. I won't fail this time."

As lanky and feeble as I looked in those last 4kms, I gave it my all. I would still need to run/walk through it all but I struggled on to keep pushing. In the last 800m I was again spent, but a voice shouted out from the sideline "Elmer! Malapit na!!". It was Jai, from our Alabang Adination Running Club. Man, did that give me a boost! I pushed and ran as fast as I physically can in those last few meters, my lungs were burning, muscles stiffening, and that idea of stopping again just felt so good, but no I will run I said! Just a few more meters, and WOW!  I made it. 

Those were the words that I kept hearing in my mind. I made it. I didn't care if there was a medal, I didn't care about my time, all that matters was that I made it.  

Although I did care about the Hagendaz! haha

Finishing a race was never so sweet! A free pint of Hagendaz was given to the 21k finishers, man was it good!

My offical finish time was 2hr 16min 16sec

My next goal is to run the half-marathon again, but this time at better and stronger pace than ever. Next stop, Camsur!!

"Running is a big question mark that's there each and every day. It asks you, 'Are you going to be a wimp or are you going to be strong today?'"- Peter Maher, Irish-Canadian Olympian and Sub-2:12 marathoner

Sunday, May 2

2 Races, 1 weekend.. A Life Lesson

It was back to back races this weekend for me. The first was a 5km run for "Takbo para kay Kristo" and a 16km run for "RUNew" I will do away with the usual race analysis and instead I'll focus on how these runs have helped me learn new lessons and grow stronger as a runner and as a person.

This was something I have never felt with any other sport, until I found running. I have never seen myself want to push harder so that I can always come up on top as better. This is where I learned that hard work does pay off.

I would say that I have never been anymore disciplined in a certain area of my life until running came around. From waking up at 5am to get ready for a run, to having to squeeze in an afternoon strength workout before dinner, I am ready to do it all now.

Running is so much of a learning process that sometimes it catches you by surprise. At one point you may feel like your on top of the world being able to conquer 15km runs while on other days a 5k run will feel like HELL. Running has taught me that you just gotta keep going at it, again and again. Give up now and you'll give up forever.

Aspirations are what keep us on track. These are long term goals that we strive to reach. Running has made me start dreaming again, it has made me believe that anything can be possible and you can achieve anything as long as you start now. My dream? Run the Boston Marathon.

 Here are pictures from the events during the weekend: