Sunday, March 17, 2013

what running has taught me

it's been a while since i started running and i have ran a few races here and there. i have also ran in trail and finished in top 50. that's great for a first timer like me. and it makes me really proud.

my first trail run where i finished 38th overall
after all these races, had to reflect and look back at my accomplishments. it's not a bad thing after all, is it? well, i didn't look back to gloat or anything like that. i just had to so that i could see what are the effects of running to me and my lifestyle.

so, first and foremost, running gave me a wider set of friends. i had to join a running group so that i can have someone kick my lazy ass when i slack off. that was the idea, anyway. but what i found are people who would lift me up whenever my self confidence dips. i have found me friends who are there to cheer me no regardless how good or bad my performance is. they also offer a tip or two to improve myself and my running. i cannot be thankful enough for this blessing.

second, unless you die, you should never quit. in a race, you will experience all kinds of humps that will test your determination to perform. you will experience fatigue, minor injuries and sometimes, even storms. these things will not kill you and they will only help you be better in the future races. so embrace the pain and tough it out and finish the race. pain is temporary but quitting will haunt you forever.

my running friends
third, you may suffer a major injury that will force you not to finish or race at all but as long as you can recover and get back to running, bounce back strong. you owe it to yourself to make it up and perform a lot better. but keep in mind not to overdo it because you might end up with another major injury that will force you to give up running altogether.

fourth, never race without a game plan. a race is not always won by the strongest runner. most of them are won by a runner with the best game plan. know your strengths and weaknesses, know the race route and plan accordingly. also, prepare your body through proper training and diet. a race does not start on gun start. it starts on the first day you train for it.

five, always feel good about yourself when you run. give yourself a pat on the back whenever you finish a race, PR or not. because only when you feel good that you will keep running. the moment you feel bad, it will pull you away from running and that shouldn't happen. never let a bad race or a bad training ruin your running career.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

TBRDM 2013: my first full marathon

i dunno what made me do it but without any running activities or any form of exercise for the longest time, i signed up for the 2011 we run manila. it was a 10k run and i am not even sure whether i can cover the distance. i signed up maybe because to force myself to exercise and get back in shape.

wait up. flashback to 2009, we were practicing basketball in colegio san agustin in makati for the office basketball tournament. as i drove strong to the basket, with 2 defenders waiting for me, i had a bad fall. i wasn't able to move well and my knee was swelling bad. i had it checked up and found that i fractured my femural bones and completely tore my ACL. reconstructive surgery was done by doctor gar eufemio.

at the earlier part of the race
ok, back to 2012. i joined ANR-ortigas united after deciding to take running as my sport since i cannot play basketball like before anymore. it was fun and i consistently attended their sessions simply because it is fun.

then there was a session where everyone was talking about the TBRDM. my curiosity got the better of me so i listened intently. they said that joining it is fun and definitely worth the registration fee because of the training given to the participants. to make the long story short, i was persuaded to join despite my lack of mileage and experience.

my balloon of happiness
i offset my jitters by joining the bull circles, bull sessions and races between the registration and race day but i still felt that somehow i didn't train enough. i felt that i could've given more time to running and exercising. training gives me confidence that i can. what coach lit said kept echoing in my head. you cannot do in the race what you didn't do in practice. the longest distance i ran before the race was 25kms and i started to panic as the race day drew close.

race day. my family and girlfriend came with me in nuvali. the support was overwhelming but i am still nervous and jittery. i am trying my very best to calm myself. i saw some friends, some of whom i met through my training for this race. it helped me relax.

gun fired. runners went on their way through the course. the wind was cool. i savored it sweeping through my face and hair. i told myself, this is where i belong and running is what i do. i was able to finally compose and control my nerves before the first hydration station. by this time, i was chatting animatedly with my running buddies billie, doc nini and ferrita.

running alone and the sun is starting to rise
the plan was to pace them through the first 21k of the route. this will be my first 42k so time is of little importance. through the first half, i served as their clown along the race. i kept sharing jokes and tips all along. i even asked a particular guard where is the tricycle terminal and how much is the fare going to finish line. at one hydro station, i asked kuya if i can have cloud 9 and said "pakilista na lang muna sa pangalan ko".

i was having fun until my body reminded me of my lack of training. at 17k mark, my left leg started to hurt. i paced my buddies a little slower this time to take my legs to the finish line. i also talked and joked less until i noticed that my buddies were not with me anymore. before i know it, i ran at my comfortable pace to somehow ease the pain. i felt a pang of guilt about leaving them behind but i know deep inside that they've done their homework and that will be enough for them to finish.

thanks to my fellow runners and chasers, i was able to run through the pain. the nuvali view also helped me forget about the cramps i am suffering especially when a rainbow decided to join the cheering squad. though i never thought of quitting, i literally dragged my left leg which is cramping.

cramps and distance conquered
when i saw the 40th km marker, i told myself, this is it! 2kms should be a piece of cake even to a runner like me. or so i thought. km40 is the most evil among the markers. this is where the devils in my head started mocking me. there goes your confidence, you conceited you! said one of them. another one said "you really thought you could pull this one off without proper training?"

but when i took the last right turn, the strength and energy that long left me found me again. i started running as fast as my hurting leg would take me. along this stretch, people, all of who i don't know, cheered me on like they would their friend. it was overwhelming. i kept my smile and kept saying thank you to everyone for the cheers. then i finished, my medal was handed out and i heard the sweetest music in my entire life. tyo boy ramos' voice boomed behind me and said james timothy havana! that's my teammate! congratulations!

how sweet it is!!!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

my first KOTR experience

welcome to the 2012 Adidas KOTR

i registered for the 10k event in the Adidas King Of The Road and set my sights to finishing it in less than an hour. however, a week before the race, i did a race simulation run to see how realistic my goal is. the result is not pleasant. i cannot maintain the pace i need in order to hit my target time.

before the race yesterday, i am having the usual pre-race jitters i feel every single race i join. funny how i haven't gotten over this jitters. nonetheless, i am feeling light and strong for the race.

my running buddies are telling me to forget my target time and just run with them to practice the 3minute run 1minute walk interval. i said, ok let's do it! we missed the gun start for the 10k event because we were busy chatting and we decided to start with the 5k runners. however, when we started running, their pace is much slower than what i would like so i decided to run my own pace. i bade them goodbye and started weaving my way through the 5k crowd.

after run bonding with ANR ortigas
i told myself, i will catch up with the 10k runners if i could just keep up my pace. when i reached the first kilometer marker, i looked at my watch and saw that i am running at 6min/km pace. just enough for me to hit my target. so i changed plan again and decided to go for the sub-60 target i originally have.

everytime there is a kilometer marker, i would check my watch to see whether or not i am getting slower or faster. i want to just keep that 6min/km pace for 2 reasons. (1) if i go slower, i will miss my target and (2) if i go faster, i might run out of gas in the latter part of the race. well, my pace was really around 5:50 or so with the spare seconds i use when stopping over hydration stations.

my unofficial time
i finally caught up with many 10k runners when i got around 5k mark and i was feeling great. i was overtaking everyone in the group and it's motivating me to race on. if they're fast enough, i won't catch up with them, anyway. ^_^ i even saw jollibee the mascot along the way and he gave me a high five. i continue to feel great with all the cheers and because of the fact that i am running just at the right speed.

when i got to the 8k mark, however, i started to feel fatigue in my legs. it sends jolt of pain every once in a while. i urge myself not to give in to it. not when i only got 2k to go. when i saw a runner cut a corner, i wanted to give him a kick in the shin but i told myself, it's not me who is fooling myself by cutting my distance. besides, i have a painful leg to deal with.

homestretch. last 200m, i think
i skipped the last hydration station because it is placed in about last 500m of the course. i told myself i will just drink after i crossed the finish line. i am running on pure willpower at this point in the race. i am also feeling a bit dizzy and i am seeing some stars while running. my legs are so tired i was forced to take a 10 second walk break. when i ran again, i wanted to dash but my legs are not up to it anymore. so i just ran as fast as my tired legs would allow and when i crossed the finish line, i looked at my watch to see what my unofficial time is. 59:52. buzzerbeater. barely made it. i only got 7 seconds to spare. hahaha!

my finisher medal

this, so far, gave me the best feeling in my running career. to be able to hit the goal i set for myself. to be able to push myself outside my comfort zone. the best part of it is that, i am only just beginning. ^_^


the official results for the 2012 adidas king of the road are out. my official time is 59:47. see my race analysis:

- You burned approximately 578.09 calories during your 10K-Men run.
- You finished the race in 00:59:47
- Your rank is 138 out of 981 runners
- Your rank percentile is 85.93%
- You ranked 134 out of 3,417 runners who are the same gender as you. Your rank percentile is 96.08%
- You ranked 38 out of 1,136 runners who are the same age division as you. Your rank percentile is 96.65%
- Your average speed is 10.04 kph
- Your average time per km is 5m 58s

Thursday, August 9, 2012

be proud, runner!

i have friend who told me that he read somewhere that yoe are not considered a runner unless 
you can run at a steady pace of 6min/km for an hour. so you're just a jogger if you haven't 
clocked an hour or less in a 10k run. well, i'd say eff that!

for me, a runner is a runner if he gets up early morning to do rounds on a track. you are a 
runner if in case your schedule do not allow you to run early in the morning, you do your runs 
at night before going home from work. wherever you do your run, as long as you run, you're a 
runner. joining and finishing an event is just an icing to your feat.

who cares how slow you go as long as you're on your feet, not on your ass in front of the tube, 
you're lapping those who don't run and you deserve a pat on the back. it's not the distance you 
covered in a period of time. it's about he distance you covered. it's not about beating your 
own PR. it's about piling up those mileage. as long as you sweat your laziness off, you're a 

running is not about the intangibles. it's not about the medals. it's not about the podiums. 
it's about willing yourself to go farther. when you run today, run a minute longer than you 
orignally planned. or another kilometer. don't mind your time. just go the distance.
running is not about pleasing other people. it's about pleasing yourself. running is not about 
making yourself look good in front of other people. it's about feeling good about yourself. 
when you feel good about yourself, trust me, you'll look better.

i am going to say this so you better listen good. wear your pride as a runner no matter how 
fast or slow you are. tell yourself and other people that you are a runner. if they asked about 
your PR, say it out loudly and clearly. don't forget to hold your chin high. because you are a 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

the 36th milo marathon

so i'm on the week leading to the milo run. for some reason though, i don't feel comfortable because almost all week last week, i wasn't able to do any workout or practice run. practice builds my confidence and workout is my new comfort zone.

when i can't practice on the road, i still do some cardio exercises at the comfort of my home. i think it is safe to say that i have found something i could be passionate about. which is why i do my exercises diligently. it makes me feel better about myself.

but to be honest, i feel that i can outdo myself this time. i will have a time way better than my first 21k which is clocked at 2:37 something. being with positive people does help a lot, i believe.

so, milo marathon runners, whatever distance you're running, whatever your goal is, good luck! let's do this!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

with my back against the wall

i would like to open this blog by saying this:

if you did something stupid and get yourself out of that stupid situation you have put yourself in, you have done amazing.

i joined an LSD (long slow distance) practice run yesterday and i put myself in a situation where i cannot be left behind because 1) i don't know the place, 2) i stashed my phone in a bag of a companion and 3) the route is mostly hills, which is more demanding on leg strength and conditioning. the worst part of it is, they all run faster and longer than i can.

what i did amazing?

my biggest problem in long distance running is endurance. i cannot run long without taking a walk break and the longer i run, i take more and longer walk breaks. i cannot do that in this particular run because i cannot afford to be left behind by the party.

in my desperate efforts to keep up with the party, i have developed what i have always wanted to develop. rhythmic breathing. with this, i was able to keep up with them throughout the run.
what went wrong?

well, almost. i hit the wall when my right leg cramped. this is because of dehydration. i used up my gatorade and water (which i bought along the way) and there was a stretch where there no store to buy hydration from. this is where my leg cramped.

when we saw a store, my coach told me to drink up not water but soda. i needed sugar that time so i gulped down a bottle of coke then i stretched. i was able to recover at the last kilometer to finish running.

what i started appreciating?

throughout the run, sweat run down from my head down to my face. when sweat get to my eyes, my eyes hurt a lot and my focus is distracted. i don't wanna wear my headband because i think it looks gay. yes, i have my own stereotype. XD but having gone through all the pain and sweat in my eyes, i think i will start wearing my headband in my next run. to hell with my stereotype. hahaha!

i am winding down my training since milo marathon is just 2 weeks away. my target this time is sub-2 hour performance. it won't be easy so i would need your support and prayers. cheers!

note: photo is not mine. no patent infringement intended. credit goes to the owner.