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


Anonymous said...

im teary eyed reading your journal was well written and should i say neat, to the very detail. its very unusual to see people or hear people on whats essential when they do something, but something like this amazes me..touches my soul.

thank you for sharing this...may you continue to keep the spirits high and no matter what happens...DON'T EVER GIVE UP! it doesn't matter how long will it take you to finish it, just finish the job.

congratulations Sir!

grapiks said...

Congrats on your first 21K! Ikaw pala yung katabi namin nagpapahinga sa labas ng Honda showroom. I'm with my two young sons who ran 3k. This was my 2nd 21K and my first HM (Condura run) was really painful. (Finished it at 3 and a half hours)

journeyingjames said...

bro, first congrats to your finish! i can relate very well sa story mo. hindi kasi ako gumamit ng fuel gel after 15K mark. anyway, see you tues

The Scientist Runner said...

Did my first 21k in 2:13 and still finished in the top 30%. I think you did well, actually! I predict sub-2s for you in the months to come. Congratulations!