Monday, June 16, 2008

1st Half Marathon - 8th DND-AFP Gintong Pangarap Half Marathon

Edited: My official time according to (Gintong Pangarap official race results): 1 hour 54 minutes 29 seconds. Rank # 73.

Pictures by: Maclan Matthew.
The pictures where taken after the race.
(Top) Group shot. Jerry, Wilson, Mac, Ivy, me.
(Bottom) Group shot with trophy holders.

June 15, 2008

The 8th DND-AFP Gintong Pangarap Half Marathon - My first official road race (the vertical marathon was different). I've been training since April when I got converted into running. The thing was, I was training for a 15k run. I don't know if that makes much difference physically but mentally it does.

In the week before the event, I constantly had this dreadful thought of not being able to finish the 21k. Since sir Jerry already paid for my registration, I didn't have the guts to back out now. The last training runs approaching the event consisted of a run from Talisay, Batangas up to Brgy. Sungay, Tagaytay City. This run is a really steep, uphill run for about an hour. It was a "killing" experience. One hour of pure, constant effort. Getting to the top was a relief!!
Side Track: We took a tricycle down to Talisay. The tricycle drivers were reluctant on taking four people in one tricycle down that road. It was just to dangerous. They were talking about weak breaks and just taking a maximum of three. But after some negotiations, one, who thought he had the strongest brakes, took the challenge.
The tricycle drivers were looking at us saying "Isa pang round!" 'One more round!' in english. They were kinda awed looking at four of us back up there sweating one hour later.

I felt I needed the mental assurance that I could finish a half marathon. I've run a couple of times to Tagaytay City from Silang (around 11-12k) and I've felt comfortable after. But the thought that 21k is twice that distance really bogged me!! I really needed to know if I'll make it or not! I was determined to find out.

Monday, June 9, 2008, 0530h, I set out on my quest for truth. I ran up, along the Aguinaldo Highway to the Tagaytay City rotonda with a pack and 1 leter of water. It started off as a great day. I had no problems what so ever. Finally, I reached the rotonda. I was half way. I turned right and started making for Splendido. At about 1hr and 15minutes into my run, fatigue started settling in. Parkour training has given me a strong mind to overcome. I kept on going til it seemed like I hit my limit. My mind was battling with my body to go on. But with a weaker body, the mind cannot do much. 1hour and 57minutes, I stopped. I couldn't go anymore. I have failed. Flagging a jeepney for home, I wouldn't know how much more to Spendido. I failed!!

Last Training Run
Wednesday, two days after my failed run to Splendido, sir Mac, sir Jerry and I went on another training run. From Malabag down through a back road to Brgy. Iba, Silang. This was going to be my last training run before the event. We were running under a little bit of rain. It was a pretty fast run but I was still mentally and physically shaken from Monday.

The Half-Eve
I've been praying to God for strength to be able to AT LEAST finish this race. I accepted that I could end up with an injury after this run. All I was asking was to be able to finish. The rest of the days to the event, I had a no-run policy. I rested from running. Cross-training instead. Biking instead and playing Badminton.

Saturday night, we left for Quezon City. We got to Cubao at around 10pm and were looking for a hotel room. The hotels were full! Filled with couples who, according to sir Mac, came there for the "wrong" reason. 'We come here for the right reason,' he says. 'We come here to sleep. They come for the wrong reason.' Haha.. you get what I mean. :P We had to wait for one to one and a half hour before we got a free room at Nice Hotel. We booked two rooms. Sir Mac & I took one, sir Jerry and Wilson took another. We were happy to be able to rest. After a bath, I was ready to sleep. The hotel provided us with only one blanket (you could imagine why. The wrong reason.) so I let sir Mac use it. We just turned the aircon on and off.

The Half
Race day came. For me, it started at 3AM. I got up ate a sandwich and gulped down around half a leter of water, took another shower and geared up. Wait a minute.. it was just 0330 and I was ready? Camp Aguinaldo was just 10minutes away!! I decided to go back to sleep. Waking up again at 0400 we were out of the hotel at 0430. We hailed a taxi. We were at the Camp Aguinaldo Grandstand by 0500.

I'll be lazy. To have a mental picture of the route of the race read
Half-Marathon @ 2:00:18 Hrs by BaldRunner one of the well known running bloggers in the Philippines.

My Opinions Count
As to my own perspective of the run. I think it was good. Well ya.. It was my first one but my opinions still count right? As far as I remember, there were only 3 water stations (6 since we pass them twice) in the whole length of the run!! And none in the last 5k. I got really dehydrated. Plus, the 21k didn't start on schedule. The schedule was 0530.. Both 21 and 5k started 0600. The heat, together with the pollution of the vehicles passing made this one a challenge.. It's good the body has a way of filtering all that dirt!! Can't imagine how clogged up my lungs will be right now!! hehe. I didn't feel the difference personally. Guess it's lack of experience.

I'm just glad I finished the race strong. Yes, I sprinted the last 50meters. After a while, it became difficult to walk around. My calf muscles hurt!! Another this that hurt? My right inner thigh. I now know why they have those special, SUPER SHORT SHORTS for running. I made it a goal to "invest" in one.

I also got to finally meet sir Jerry's friend Ivy. Guess what? She's a really close friend of Leo Oracion (first pinoy on top of the world). It was great! She's such an outgoing person, fun with lots of stories, jolly, friendly.. such fun to be around. She treated us to breakfast! An honor! She told of her first running experience, and her other runs, her trip to Island peak, her plans for other events, etc. :) Nice to meet you ma'am Ivy.

So much things happened in the day. It's a milestone for me. Too bad my cam was out of batteries. Sheesh!! I lost lots of photo opportunities.. They'll stay in my mental archive though.

Next up? Mizuno Rush to Infinity 15k on June 29.

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