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It’s a Go!!!

It is official!!! I am running the Tokyo Marathon 2012!!!!

I received the notification this afternoon, thanks to Ice for informing me and asking me to check my mail.

Out of the 282,824 applicants, I have about 12 percent chance to get selected in the lottery. I really am bad in the game of chances. And I never get to win any cool stuff in rafles or even win in bingo. But this is really great. Just when it counts the most!!!
I can’t wait to buy a new pair of shoes for the event cause my 2 yr old lunars may not actually survive race day, some thermal clothing for winter and long hours of training.

So come February 26, 2012, with the finish time of about 5-5.5 hours, I will complete my first marathon, my first international event and probably the most expensive event I will ever join.

Let’s do this!!!! 行こう!!!


Could it be My Last?(ADIDAS KOTR 2010)

It has almost been a year since I started joining races here in Metro Manila. And I would like to thank Meay for inviting me last year to join the KOTR 2009. Although we don’t get to run together anymore, this yearly event is something I will always remember wherever I may go.
Go? Yep… A few months back, I posted that something is coming up. Now that I have seen the details in-print, and have already decided about it, I guess I’m free to tell what it is about. Turtle Runner is going to Japan. For how long? Minimum of 3 years… Would I like an extension if given the chance? We’ll see.
There is the possibility I may not be able to run this race because the date of my departure has not been finalized yet (maybe by the end of October). Whether I’m here in Manila or in Tokyo, I promised myself that I will still be covering the 21km distance I signed up for.
So, I have been back in my training for almost 2 weeks now. Trying real hard to juggle with the schedules of sayounara’s with friends, work and training. I am not attempting to beat my 2:30:00 target in the Condura race early this year but what matters most is that I enjoy this run with my friends, get that finisher’s medal and and be injury-free before my departure.
So, could it be my last race? Definitely not. Although there are limited races in Japan, and the costs are really high, I will still continue to train for my 42km and hopefully I’ll be able to do it in the Tokyo Marathon event, 2012 or 2013? Besides, the Philippines will always be the place where my heart is. Who knows, I might come home for the Condura 2011?!
I will surely miss running in Metro Manila. Around Eastwood, going to the Marikina Sports center, UP academic oval and the Green Meadows and White Plains road. I will surely miss my running buddies at work and the people I met at Takbo.PH and that person who first introduced me to road races. So this 21km is for all of you. I won’t say goodbye to anyone here yet. Hopefully this departure gets postponed til January.. hehe
See you on the 24th, Kings/Queens Of The Road!!!

watch out for me

Runs last May and June

I wasn’t able to update my blog site the past weeks for the race events I joined last May and June. I have been very busy with my work and some personal stuff that kept me from running the past weeks. So, I’ll try my best to remember the Kerygma Run, Nature Valley Run and the OCAI run.

Kerygma run: I ran the 5km event with my ex-officemate and friend/gym trainer from Fitness First. I left my place around 4:30am and met with my friend at MOA around 5am. When we were walking towards the site, it was only then that I remembered that I forgot to bring my race bib. Luckily, the people at the information booth were kind enough to replace my “lost” race number. We waited until the ceremonies began. There was a pre-run worship headed by Bro Bo’s Ministry and some pre-run warm-up exercises and stretching. We checked in the starting line and waited for the gun start. I told my friends that I would go ahead of them because I was in a hurry to finish the run because I need to be with my brother. I didn’t put much effort for this run because I have a 10km run the next day. It was weird though that my legs felt heavy and after the 3rd kilometer, I started having stomach cramps which made me stop for a while. I continued on, not thinking anymore of what my race time will be. I just wanted to finish it and meet my family. I crossed the finish line and the man claiming the race stubs for the 3km run took my stub. (what were we both thinking, hahaha) I finished the race around 27mins according to my ipod. After claiming my bag, rested for a bit and changed, I went straight to Makati to meet with my brother and officially said goodbye to him. I hope he will be able to finish what I had started and stopped more than 11 years ago.

The next day, Nature Valley: I tried my best to sleep early that Saturday night after the Kerygma run to be prepared for the 10 km run in The Fort the next day. I woke up earlier than planned, ate breakfast and started preparing for my run. By 4:45am, I was already at The Fort. I met my other ex-officemate and her boyfriend and we waited together for the gun start. Right then, I was thinking that I hope I joined the 21-km event instead. (more punishment for myself, hahaha) At gun start, it took me about more than a minute to step on the carpet lining of the start line. The road was too congested with runners. I told my friends that I’ll go ahead because I wanted to break my 10km PR. It was too hot and humid at that time. I had to pour water on my head at every water station after the 5thkm. I even almost destroyed my earphones for running which was supposedly water-proof because of too much pouring of water. (i got ripped off by sennheiser, hahaha) I took a short walk break after my 7thkm because my left knee was aching. On km9, I was running my usual pace when suddenly the lady right in front of me abruptly stopped and tied her shoe laces. I almost bumped into her and cautioned her from stopping without any sign to other runners behind her. I was already feeling weak because of the heat and I was glad to see the last left turn of the race. I finished with 59:04 for my finish time and 57:53 for my chip time. I guess breaking the 54minute mark would still take me a long time to achieve. I waited for my friends near ROX and went straight to Rockwell for our post-run breakfast at Grams.

OCAI RUN: I was not able to run for 2 weeks or more before this event. I was having sleeping problems and would often wake up around 3-4 am and can’t get back to sleep again. At the end of the day, I was too tired to go to either to UP or Marikina to run even just for 3-5km. On the day before the race, I had to go to work to finish some projects and had dinner with my office mates before playing billiards and bowling with them. I had about 3hours of sleep. On race day, my friend (who got lost while looking for the race area in Ortigas) and I started the race 10minutes behind the gun start. We ran together until the corner of Julia Vargas and Meralco Ave. I wanted to go ahead and catch up with my 2 other friends who started the race on time. The route was new to me and it is a good thing there were marshals every corner of the street. I like the steepness of the road at St.Martin going to ULTRA. I was still running my usual pace until I got back at Julia Vargas. This time, I had to slow down because of the pain on my left knee. I can see my 2 friends about 300meters ahead of me but i can’t reach them because of the pain on my knee when running downhill. I caught up with them a few meters after Rodriguez Rd. From there, we talked and walked until the U-turn at Tiendesitas near Ortigas Ave. After a bit of heart to heart talk with them, I decided to go ahead so I can take their photos at the finish line. From Tiendesitas to Meralco Ave, I overtook some more runners and relaxed when I was already in Garnet Rd and ADB ave. I realized that it has been too long since I last went to Ortigas and for me it felt like a trip back at memory lane. I finished with 1hr, 17mins and 31 seconds. My time from my ipod was 1hr and 7mins and 15 seconds. I guess it was not a bad race time with a long walk break with my friends for about a kilometer. We lined up for our loot bags and chatted for a bit before heading to Eastwood for a great breakfast at Heaven and Eggs. I spent the rest of the day with my friends over 2 movies, a big lunch and coffee late in the evening.

Ending the Month of May with a Blast

Things became a bit crazy the past weeks. With all the workloads (means limited running at night), family stuff and the so-called quarter-life crisis bugging (is it a myth?) me, I wanted to end this month on a positive note.

Since my injury last March’s race, it took me about a month and a half before i wore my running shoes again. My first fun run after March was a run for my high school alma mater held at Quirino Grandstand. The Takbo para kay Inang Lupe event gave me the opportunity to run again and meet some of the people responsible for one of the best 4 years of my life again.

The next day, I ran bandit with my ex-officemates and long-time running mate since I started joining race events in Manila, in BHS for the Earth Run.

Since that day, I wanted to go back to my previous weeknight runs in UP and Marikina.
Running only 5-10km max, 3 times a week.

This coming weekend, I may not be able to break my PR but I’ll make sure that I’ll give my best at the Kerygma and Nature Valley events.
These 2 races are dedicated to my brother who has finally decided to enter the religious life this coming Saturday. Good luck to you bro. We will be praying for you always.

The Amazing Kidney Race (Race Day)

After almost a month after the race, it is only now that I found the time to update my blog page and share my experience during this race. I hope I can still recall what happened on that day.

Most of the runners I know were either at the event in BHS, CCP or in Bataan. My workmates and I chose this event in UP because it was nearer.

I woke up around 3am, prepared my breakfast and my things for the run. By 5am I was already leaving for UP. I was quite surprised when I got there. The tents of the sponsors and organizers have not yet been fixed. I had a feeling that this run will be really delayed at the rate the organizers were moving.. So my workmates and I relaxed for a bit, waiting for the gun start.

5:45am was the scheduled gun start of the 15km race, but we started around 6:30am. The sun was already up and we were pretty sure that this was going to be one hell of a run on that day. I prepared myself for the worst that this route will probably have water stations at least every 3-4km.

The first 2-3km was ok.. From the last water station I stopped(2nd in the race route) near Palma Hall to Katipunan and CP Garcia and back to UP again, was the most hellish experience I had in all my runs. There was no water, the sun was scorching us, my earbuds broke and my right knee was already hurting.. But I was still on schedule to reach the halfway point which was 45 minutes. I crossed the half-way mark at 42minutes and 25 seconds.

I was supposed to relax on the second loop. But I wanted to finish the race ASAP because of the heat. This aggravated my knee. I was also starting to have blisters on my right toe. I took a long break at the water station near Palma hall thinking that this might probably be my last water break for the race. When I exited Katipunan, I looked for a stall and bought some water. The heat was killing me. I didn’t mind the pain anymore, I was exhausted and aching all over but I wanted to end it soon, so I continued running. My knee would hurt on downhill slopes. I’d start running again when the road is flat or uphill. As I entered UP again, I knew that there was less than 2km left. I enjoyed the shade around the Academic Oval and walked for a few more minutes. I took my time walking because I was already sure of the finisher’s medal. I took my last drink near the tennis courts and ran to the finish line. I crossed the finish line with 1hr and 34 minutes in my ipod. I am still waiting for the official race results as of writing.. I hope they release it soon.

What I liked about this race?
It took me to my limit. I already finished a 21km with a lot of uphills but this 15km was painful and exhausting..
I really hope that the organizers will be able to improve on their next races. Although I had a bad experience because there was hardly water anywhere and the race started late, I might still join next year’s event.

I haven’t ran since this event. I’m still nursing my right knee. I can’t wait to get back on the road and run again…

Amazing Kidney Race

Looks amazing indeed!!!

After the Condura run, I promised myself that I will be joining my officemates in their runs. We were supposed to register in a bigger event on March 7 but we ran out of race kits last week.

A friend mentioned the Kidney race that will be held in UP Diliman also on the same date. This is a better venue for most of us living near the eastern and northern part of Metro Manila. I got the race details from GBM. (Check out his site for more details.)
This run, personally, is for a good cause because I had kidney problems when I was still a kid and here I am healthy(I hope) and able to run.
Personal target? I hope to get the really nice medal within the cut-off time. (halfway of 15km in 45 minutes or finish the race (15km) in 1:45 hours).

Kidney medal.. NICE!!!

So I’m back to my training.. Another race to look forward to..(next week? so soon..) Hopefully will make it with my officemate running with me on that day.. Goodluck to us and see if we can enjoy the race and get those nice “kidneys”.

Where to run in the Libis area?

My usual workout plan is to do 3 runs in a week; 2 short ones during weekdays and a long one during weekends. But I live in an area sandwiched by major hi-ways and raging motorists.. The lazy-person in me would rather go to the gym and do some treadmill work. I would also go to UP on stress nights.

A friend suggested that I should try the C-5-Greenmeadows-Corinthian-White Plains-Katipunan route.

Another suggested the Riverbanks to Tumana bridge route.

I have already tried the Industria Rd-Marcos hi-way and back .

I know there are more.. But the primary concern now is the safety.

With a lot of public and private vehicles around me, and snatcher’s along these routes (got mugged many times) , running around UP could probably be still the safest in my area. I have yet to join some of groups who runs in the south to compare the luxury they have with mine here.

Still, the Greenmeadows to Katipunan route is still worth the try..

4am anyone?

My Condura Experience (21km) D-DAY!!!

I woke up earlier than my planned time… 1:30 am, I was already up, preparing my breakfast of oatmeal, bananas and milk. I did some push-ups, crunches and squats to make sure my body is already pumped-up. After my breakfast, I had a long cold shower, fixed my ipod’s playlist, checked my nike+ sensor and transmitter, packed my extra clothes and made sure I had enough money in my short’s pockets and arm pouch just in case I need a cab during the run if ever I quit during the race. By 3:30am I’m all dressed-up and drinking my chocolate energy drink (another lifesaver for me).

I was walking around our area, drunk party people around me while waiting for a cab, and I felt envious.. not! I will never exchange that moment for anything else. A few minutes before 4am, I was already at BHS. I walked from GAP to ROX to warm up a bit. Then I saw the fireworks, and a few seconds later, I saw a large group of runners, damn.. those were the 42km runners… I stood by the road, cheering for them and walked to Condura village. I fixed my things, checked my ipod again, texted my officemates who will be also running later in the morning and made sure I still have some cash on me for the run.

By 4:30am, I checked-in for the race. People around were doing their warm-up runs, stretching and I was just there standing in awe around these people. I still can’t believe that I’m running this race, more of anxiety than excitement. 1minute or so before gunstart, fireworks were ignited and then the race began. Due to the number of runners on that event, Most of us at the end of the pack were forced to walk. While walking, I tuned in to my Wolfgang and Razorback playlist and completely ignored the playlist I made for the run. This was a good move for me cause it made me relax during the race. Wolfgang rules!!!

On the first corner, I started to speed up. I am not sure if I was just being pulled by the crowd or it is just the adrenaline. Before I knew it, I was already at St Luke’s getting ready for the Kalayaan flyover. I added more speed cause I really was enjoying the music. When I got at the top of Kalayaan, it was too dark for me. I had a hard time adjusting in the dark and the headlights of the cars on the opposite lane. I reached Buendia in no time and took my first drink of water. I saw the Takbo peeps in their Aid station and I took a deep breath cause I knew the sky way is already near.

Up the ramp to skyway, adrenaline started to kick in again. I kept checking my watch what time it is since I don’t want to check my ipod anymore. I was still hoping I can reach the halfway point by 6am. A few minutes later, the lead pack was already on their way back and I just can’t help clapping and cheering for them. I did not stop for walk breaks and slowed down only for a few gulps of water. A few minutes before 6am I was already at halfway point. It was then I noticed that I ran faster than my usual 10km race pace. I took a short break, had a few jelly beans and water. I knew then that I can finish earlier so I started texting my office mates again that I might see them in an hour so. I watched the sunrise and thanked God that I was able to join that event. I started running again at a much slower pace cause I know anytime soon my left knee might act up again. I was wrong. I was near Don Bosco exit when I really had to stop because of the sharp pain on the side of my right knee. I lost my focus that I can’t even jog. I lost my pain meds (probably fell) and I was already limping. I saw a water station and did my best to jog. A lady runner approached me and was offering me salts cause she thought I was having cramps. Such a nice lady. =)

I was munching a few more jelly beans and and was talking to myself that I won’t quit. I would close my eyes every time my right foot strikes the ground because of the pain. When I got used with the pain, I started running again and gradually increased my speed. When I reached the aid station, I really wanted to have some liniment on me, to see if it can help with the pain..I had a brief chat with japorms and started running again til makati med. Crossing ayala ave, I was texting my office mates where I am and told them I’ll text them again when I get to St.Lukes. I was half laughing when I re-read my message, cause they might think I might not finish the race and go straight to St.Luke’s.

The last 2 kilometers was definitely the hardest but sweetest for me. I ignored the pain and started running again. I caught up with Ms.Prieto going up the Kalayaan flyover and really don’t want to stop. I took a short break again and when I saw St. Luke’s, I knew the finish line was just a few meters ahead. A policeman shouted at me to take off my earphones so I can hear the traffic. I got disoriented and got back to my senses when I heard someone shouting “21km runners, last 200meters!!!”. That was it for me.. I took a deep breath and ran to the finish line.. I stopped right before stepping at the line cause I was making sure I went in the right lane. hahaha I was all smiles when the lady hung the medal on my neck.

2:25:08 was my official time. I few seconds ahead of my ipod. What was really weird was my nike+ sensor was off by 3kms. I looked for my friends, changed and texted my family and closest friends about what happened.

We had breakfast at Gram’s in Rockwell. I’m starting to feel that this is becoming a post-race ritual for us. They were making fun of me cause I can’t walk straight specially downhill. But I still felt great.

I am still in pain right now, still walking with a limp, but whenever I think about that race, I knew it was worth it.

rantings and lessons learned:

1. I can finish this race at an earlier time if I had a proper training.

2. Always make sure to get the allergies (SL) on the last working day of the race weekend. hahaha

3. Wolfgang during my runs was not a bad idea after all.

4. always bring sports beans… =)

5. stop texting while running.

6. next time a nice lady gives you a hand during a run, make sure you get her name. =)

Til my next race, 42km? we’ll see…

Special thanks to:

my officemates – even though you guys didn’t wait for me at the finish line.

my best friend – best morale boost message days before the race.

my parents – who finally approved of my running. I promise I won’t run at the hi-way in Bataan , alone. (BDM!!)

and to you who painstakingly read through this post. hahaha thanks

more power to the TAKBO.PH peeps!! God speed!!!

The Condura Experience (21km) Events before Race day

My dream run happened last Feb 7, 2010. After my first road race (KOTR), I began looking for upcoming events in the Net. Then I found the Condura run site of 2009 which was still up at that time and was still probably on the planning stage for the Condura 2010. What struck me most was the skyway run.. I mean, how many here has already ran on the skyway? I then became obsessed and started running 2-3 times a week just to build mileage. (before this half marathon, 15km was my longest run)

Late December until mid-January, I developed an injury on my left knee.. I had to stop running for some time and do more strengthening and stretching for my legs. 2 weeks before race day, I was able to run again, easy 10-11kms and I knew that I can still do this. Another reason for me to stop running was the work load I had for the past 2 weeks. I can’t run on weekdays because I usually go home around 1am in the morning and be back by 8-9am at work.

I had the guts to finally meet some of the people of TAKBO.PH 3 days before the race(Thursday). I met orgyst,sherry, japorms and karenyt and other runners most of whom I can only now remember by face or their real names. sorry guys…. It was a carbo loading party at Joey Pepperoni near BHS. I used to consider myself as an anti-social kind of person, so this was a big leap for me. hehehe thanks really to my companions that night.

Early in the morning the next day(Friday), I developed rashes and my allergic rhinitis started to act up. I had to stay at home the whole day to rest.. probably something I ate the night before or maybe it was stress-related allergies. I was determined not to run on Sunday if I will still be under medication. Good thing everything subsided in the evening.

Saturday, around 3am, I received a text message from an officemate, also running at the condura event that she is in our favorite bar. I promised not to take in any alcohol but hell.. 3 shots of tequila was really worth it. I rested the whole day, started hydrating, bought some sports beans(life-saver) and ate really well. by 9pm, I was sleeping and waiting for the 2am alarm the next day. (–more to come– race day)