Thursday, May 27, 2010

182- Dream Come True

When I was new to joining races- I said to myself, I will only run 5K category. Because I am comfortable with this distance. Hence, the 5krunnr alias was concocted.
I am so afraid to run more than that distance because I fear's difficult to get sick, to be injured and unproductive.

The body wanted to run more....but everytime it goes beyond 5K- there is like a subconcious button that stopped me. I struggled for more than a year. It was only during 2009 MILO marathon eliminations in manila, that I started joining 10K....funny, I ran that 10K with a hydration belt- no stopping on the water station,drank only 1 bottle from the 3 bottle I brought....was continuously running and did a sprint 200m to finishline at a time record of 1:09:31. Funny, because even if I have no walk breaks- that race is not my PR. My personal best in 10K at 1:01:26 during the NB Power Run last Nov 29, 2009- when I had all the walk breaks, visited all water station, and no sprint to the finishline.

Early this year, I said to myself that my goal in running are: to complete my 1000km mileage; finished at least four half-marathon; and finished at least two marathon.
But then, I was seriously thinking how can I finish a marathon? Training for this distance is quite difficult. I have no idea. It has been in my mind for several weeks after the dawn of new year and was so happy doing a half-marathon in Condura Run by Feb....then came Jaymie's announcement of a TBR Dream Marathon early was an opportunity I cannot miss.
But the initial offering of 200 slots came closed immediately- that was the time when I was still contemplating- to join or not to join.
But God is good- he wanted me to realize my dream....Jaymie added 100 more slots! And I grabbed one.

The training, the long runs, talks- all history that made great memories.

Eight days to the race - got my ticket to the best marathon bib is 182.

Then  four days to the race, swarms of work came work work! The fifth metatarsal was like gone forever-this was my only good news.

Friday came....5PM, when all the dreamers are probably dreaming in their slumber- I was on my way home, feeling like a loser. Because something happened that wreak havoc my pride, my feelings, my whole being.
7 PM- I still cannot sleep... 9 PM- still awake feeling devastated, the dream marathon is NOT in my mind.
Then I drifted to slumber- my mind suddenly shaken....the dream marathon happens today, I looked at the clock its an unimaginable 1:12 AM! Darn! Call time is 1:30 AM. I didn't know how hubby and I managed to rummage our things- we were off to the vehicle 1:34 AM- stressed, devastated and still willing to make it. Hubby hit the road like a real marathoner- at the Sta Rosa Hi-way infront of Solenad, clock says 2:34 AM. My mind was on negative mode -sigh! no more pre-race pix, no more breakfast, no more stretching.....they all have 8 hours cut-off time, while mine is just 7.5 hrs (then felt like crying.... gee but I didn't too shy to allow a drop of tears).
Traffic is not moving- a lot of runners were crossing from the ALI spine road......because at 2 AM- they had the gun start.

So I decided to  went out of the car- cross the street approached one of the marshall asked them if I could run because I'm late....then came a reply- "Where's your bib? Are you registering?" Uh-oh! it felt like a bad dream but it's happening- so while scratching my head I went back to the static car, grabbed my bib and walked to the starting line sooo ashamed of being late.

Then I approached Coach Jim, asked him if I could start already because I was late. He didn't said anything. He was just looking at me like "I told you so 1:30 am". Well....I can't blame him - it was written all over the handbook, the last reminder- and here I am late.

As I started to jog, I saw Jaymie and nervously asked about directions since nobody is already coming out of ALI spine road. It was really dark, I didn't know that the lighting provided in that area is the roving flood lights. Jaymie is very encouraging, I didn't even see her frown even if I was late. Oh my! she just reminded me to go slow- besides, there is a timing chip.

I want to finish a marathon- so I brave myself running in the dark, I have no headlamp ....I continued running until I heard some footstrikes behind me. Oh! It's not only me, there is another soul came to race late...his name is Christian bib 163. Luckily, I have a company.
We would occasionaly chat....trying to keep each other motivated to run.....the turn around point seemed so far. Before we reach it, I realized when I glance from my garmin that I have not reset my watch and my previous work out was just continued- so I have to stop my clock, reset it then timed my run again....we did not bother to get some water or gatorade- we just continued the run.

Finally, we were back to Nuvali-we kept on running until we got a glimpse of fellow dreamers. Then, we reached the bird sanctuary where I saw Nora and told her I was late....she was very encouraging- and it made me feel better about my problems the previous day. Nora had her injury days before the event so it must have been difficult for her. Christian was kind enough to run with me until 16km....after that we need to go solo, because he is not  my pacer and he needs to find his destiny. Then I remember to congratulate myself silently because at that distance it means I have completed my first 1000 km mileage, also it means that there is 26 km remaining. Then Sir BR's image and words of wisdom came to my mind....I was thinking about the collapse point, that is why I slowed down a lot- my poor mileage might take me to the wall early on kept me going until I was back to Solenad- completing 22K in the process...I had quick chat with my hubby, reapplied some body glide on my forefoot hotspot, I knew the blister is starting to come out, had  CR break then I was back to running for my second loop.

On my way to km 23- I saw Mayen's entourage, coach John and her son....and wow they were also with Coach Rio who was doin' an easy run. Besides Jaymie, Coach Rio is also one of my favorite running icon- a great runner,  a good race organizer and a fellow bicolano. He leaves us after some 700 m. I had short chat t with Maye's entourage....sometimes I am ahead of them....sometimes I am has been like that for while because I was doin the 9:1 sequence. Been like that- but a surge kept me afloat approaching the bird sanctuary then back towards the major turn around point....saw Raj bib 208 already on his way to Solenad. At this point, I was completely aware that I missed pink shuffle. In my haste I left her at home that is why my breathing and my footstrike and fellow dreamers' is the wonderful music to my ear. Getting back to the major turn around point and handed out with Banana and Hersheys chocolate was pleasant experience- as if these volunteers of TBR DM know when I am exactly craving for something solid. Then I started to noticed the loud music and it was almost 33 km.
After the turn around point I was trying to understand what the wall is all about. One of my marathoner friend told me that km 32 on his first full marathon- he didn't feel like running anymore....someone just urged him to take it further.

Maybe I didn't hit mine....because I was running slow and I was lucky that everytime, the idea came to my mind....I was able to met fellow runner that help me boost my morale.
I met this guy also Raj with bib 001- he can't bend his left knee anymore yet his spirit never dies....he just kept on going.....I stayed awhile chat with him and bid goodbyes.
When I was back to the water station- I took three cups of water and asked for ice and put one on my chest and on my head (covered by my buff)....the ice on my chest was a great relief the sun is too much. I was able to continue a short run then do the run-walk 9:1 at a very slow pace of 8:01.
I enjoyed watching the kids from an everest dream mobile- they would cheer their father and urged him to continue running by chanting "Move it....move it...." (inspired from the Madagascar movie). It was a very sweet scene. And at that point, I felt like crying....I missed my children, I long for their hugs and kisses. I know if they were with us...they will do the same.

At km 38 I was reunited with Mayen's entourage and ask permission to stay with them for awhile. Coach John was gracious enough to chat with me...we shortly discuss my 5th metatarsal thing....which at that instant was already making it difficult for me. I was trying so hard to overpronate my right foot just to keep away from the 5th metatarsal...but I guess I am natural supinator- it twist back, specially when I am on walk breaks.
It was really nice chatting with them....when we arrived at the second wind station- it felt great seeing these guys. Cheering, giving you hi-fives, trying to boost you, offering food water and that is where I saw Mayen's another son- making her entourage grew bigger.
They stopped for awhile...then I decided to go on my own. I continued running- with renewed strength....imagining someday when  my son and daughter grew up we will be like Mayen's entourage. Yes, I hope my son and daughter will develop fondness in running like me and my husband....I hope to visist cities with them and do a marathon.
These day dreaming kept me sustained with my 9:1 sequence....I felt like hugging the 41 km marker when I was approaching it and there is a nearby water station. I took one pitcher of ice water and showered it to my head.....that one help me propel my needed strength....I ran along the grass to help my knees prepare a better speed for my final bout to 42.195km. I am so proud that from that post I continued running to the finishline.

 I was unaware of the time because my garmin was out of battery before the cheer zone....I am so glad I came out one piece and still smiling for a wonderful shot with photovendo.

I am elated! I feel like I am floating....completing my first full marathon is's a great relief, it's like getting to the summit of everest or giving birth, a graduation or some sort of ceremonial thing.
Then receiving the loot bags were exciting because there were lots of goodies....and the finisher shirt, was cool! Then I heard my name called- I won a pouch from nike....sweet!

After the depressing situation the other day....I was blessed with so much and I thank God! Help me through one of the most difficult times of my life. That day May 22, 2010- I hit a 1000km mileage, finished a marathon, won in a raffle (perhaps this is my first ever raffle winnings LOL!) and gained so much admiration from my husband.....I remember him saying jokingly "Pwede ka nang sumabak sa gyera!".

Some of my favorite post race pix:

Sunday, May 2, 2010

LSD- Running beyond Half Mary

I always wanted to run a full marathon....but its daunting.

When I first ran the half mary- I was somehow prepared....and I know preparation is the key to finish a full marathon or perhaps any distance.

Last February to early March- I know I was in top shape, my fitness level is more than average. I was able to run half marathon every other week without pain and surprisingly breaking PRs every time.

Then came end of March- an unpleasant allergy cough bugged me....believe me, as of this writing it is still haunting me. I felt like a dog, barking out loud at an unpredictable intervals. Whoa! the cough reflex won't turned off. Luckily, during my runs I rarely cough...except on dusty or smoky condition like my trail run at Highlands the other week (maybe the culprit why even if I have medication it didn't go away).
I was just so lucky that despite being undertrained for a full marathon, I have a chance to finish the distance.

Going back last Feb, my dream to become a marathoner was ignited when Jaymie aka the Bull Runner announced that she is organizing a marathon race for beginner like me dubbed as The Bull Runner Dream Marathon.
At first I contemplated so hard....I questioned myself if its time to do it. But it seems that the answer came late...because by time I decided to join, the 200 slots were sold out!
That is how credible Jaymie is in the running community. Everyone believes in her running prowess, everyone wanted to trust their first time experience to her ability-being a marathoner herself she knows what the newbie needs.
So I thought my dream is over- but God heard my pleas, I was able to grab one when Jaymie opened another 100 slots- I was probably the 60th person enlisted.
Back then , I was hoping a marathon finish of sub-5....perhaps now this is just a dream. I am the type of recreational athlete that sometimes lose focus.  I'm no good example. My priorities juggles, family and other urgent matters blocks my schedule and ugh! the nagging allergy. But the time is gone- I lost a month of training time (it could have helped me meet my target goal). Perhaps the sub-5 will be someday....some other marathon. During this morning long run....I was telling my pacer- I hope to run at least 33 marathons in my lifetime LOL! I dunno if I was kidding- it just came out of my mouth, when I was feelin exhausted. Yes, that is how much I love running. I rarely complaint. Usually when I can't run.

I was just so blessed that Jaymie have been true to her words to guide us every step of the way.
That is why even if I'm undertrained- I have the confidence that I can finish this ordeal....perhaps a slow finish time is a good way to benchmark for succeeding marathons.

Today's long run was ardous task.... The heat is terrible after 8AM, I have toasted skin but no signs of dehydration- thanks to Jaymie for providing ample supply of water for each station even if its just a practice run. In fact we have gatorade and marshalls vehicle and was like a race minus the bib and start and finishline. With all these help, I manage to run on the specified time but was not able to complete the 28K, I am short of 3K.  I don't know if it's a good sign....perhaps! Finish time don't matter now.
I have the joy knowing that I am going to conquer the 42.195K challenge.
Again kudos to Jaymie - the Bull Runner, 19 days to race and you have amazed all the participants of the extra mile to pamper us.
Patiently running- trying to wait for the resting time LOL!
I was telling hubby that mountain reminds me of our trail run the other week.
Run to infinity- that's how long distance run felt like to me....savoring every step of the way.
my pacer, patiently assisting me every step of the way- I'll train better so I can keep up with you!