Wednesday, October 26, 2011

21K Conquered: My First Half-Marathon

The Genesis
It all started about 2 months ago when I asked NJ to join me in the Adidas KOTR.  It’s a special event in which they opened a new category (16.8K) and I was really eyeing on it.  I felt like it’s time to raise the bar when it comes to my running.  But being the real runner that he is, he told me that 21k is just about 4k diff so why not go for it?  To even persuade me, he told me that the registration fee is cheaper in 21K.  The convincing came also with a promise that he’ll run with me for the entire stretch and that we’ll do some training together.  And just like that, I signed up for my very first half-marathon.  :P

The Coach, Bow!
I understand about the training, we were not able to conduct one single training because of his busy sked (he’s quite a juggler of different jobs :P) so I trained on my own separately in the treadmill for three days a week before the race.  I also sought advice from some of my friends who are regular runners.  Come October 23 4:50AM, day of the marathon, he was nowhere to be found among the sea of runners at the assembly area.  Tried calling his number for so many times and he wasn’t picking up.  Seeing how prepared most of the girls came in the marathon with their water bottles belt (while I was just there trying to be cute with my pink fashion statement with my pink cap, shoes, armband, singlet and gadget), I felt so bare and ill-equipped for the run and even doubted if I can make it. 

It was the constant question, will I make it?  Even when NJ called me up at 3AM to wake me, that was my very first opening line to him since I had about 3 hrs of sleep only.  He reassured me and said no pressure.  It was comforting enough to hear that I can come up with a banter right after and replied with “Ano yan, No Other Woman?”  Once again I need to be reassured.  The fear stems from a death story of someone who has an active lifestyle and yet didn’t survive the half-marathon.  And guess who recounted to me about that story, no other than NJ himself.  What a motivator!  LOL!  And he was still missing when I heard the gunshot.  Bravo!

But there’s no turning back, I squeezed myself too much in the crowd looking for my coach that backing out will be absolutely mortifying so I turned on my Sony Walkman which is replete with my favorite gym tracks and started running.  I was thinking to myself, “If this guy won’t show up, he’s sooooooo dead!!!!”  Haha!  Since I was already in too much pink, I didn’t wear my pink Swatch anymore (haha!) but I believe it was about 5 minutes of running when I was about to make a turn and I saw him among the last set of runners and called after him.  I was quite relieved.  I didn’t have to slow down as I know he can speed up and reach me and when he did after a few minutes or so the very first words he got from me were, “Alam mo pag hindi ka nagpakita saken, hindi talaga kita mapapatawad!”  Hahaha!!!  I got stares from some of the runners and ooops, my music is on full blast that I didn’t notice I was speaking a bit loud.  LOL!!

The Music.
A runner friend of mine who is known as DagulRunner in twitter told me that I won’t be able to sleep the night before my first half-marathon because of excitement.  Actually, I wasn’t looking forward to it, I also had another fear of that “female thing” coming at the same day and I might just pass out on the road while running due to cramps that’s why.  Sorry, TMI I know.  But I don’t know, there was definitely something about that day.  Maybe it was the cake I had in the morning (Dulce de Leche) or anticipating my new fave music in my mp3 player during RPM class (Afrojack’s Take Over Control) or the sight of Rovilson Fernandez of Amazing Race shooting up from nowhere during the assembly and stationing himself beside me (while I was thinking, does he still remember me and our “mini online conversation” from our event before? Should I say hi?  Sigh.)  I don’t know but I was definitely in a good mood.  I was even singing part of my tracks out loud while running which warranted some stares from other fellow runners but I didn’t care one jot. :P  Heck, I think I could even rap Nicki Minaj’s Super Bass while running.  Hahaha!!  (Yes, I finally can rap it! ;-)  There was even one time I sang this part of Say You Love Me by Alicia K and Beyonce “Text me on my cellphone” and I could’ve sworn I heard this guy running from behind me who replied “Sure.”  Hahaha!!!

Eureka Moment
And don’t you just love it when the track being played really suits what you’re feeling at that very moment??  I DO. Take for example after reaching the 10k, I can really feel my energy dropping down a bit when I haven’t even reached half of the total distance and the song blasting on my ears was “I Need  A Miracle” by Cascada and I feel like tweeting the first sentence of this paragraph.  Haha!!  Then I had this idea, twitter should develop something like a voice recognition software so that people would have to tweet based on just what they say.  It's going to be useful noh?  Take running for example, isn’t that a cool thing??  Hahaha!!!  Aaaaadddddddikkkk!!!!  But really why not??  You see running really clears your head and gives you these “kewl” ideas.  If someday that thing gets invented, I will say you know I thought of that while I was running.  Naks!! Hahahaha!! Ako na!! =))

The Route
And while I’m talking about the eureka moment, I also realized that the route we traversed is the very same route I take whenever I hop from Samsung office in the Fort to HTC’s office in Makati straight to my way home along Buendia.  Yikes!  I thought we’d even reach the LRT station but we already turned along Sen. Gil Puyat Avenue.  Next time I'm on a taxi, I'll remember how I ran this route for the marathon. :P

The Appreciation
Or maybe it was the fact that I started to appreciate the 21k.  All the runners take the run seriously.  I didn’t observe anybody walking even after my first hour of running which was really great! ;-)  It motivated me too.  I walked only for a couple of times (not lasting one minute) just for quick recovery except for the one where I made a video at the flyover. :P  The other video posted previously was shot while running.  See, I can be quite daft with my camera just like that.  Haha!!

The Result
I was extremely satisfied with my performance for my first 21k.  Based on my training in the treadmill, I can finish 1.5k in 15mins.  So if you do the math, my mind was set to finish the run in 3.5hrs (by walk or by walk, haha!!).  But at the finish line, I saw 2:31 and I was so happy I was screaming while running towards it.  I never thought I’d run it that fast! :D  Well okay it wasn’t fast but still, I’m super pleased with it.  And who knows with more 21k, I could change my mind and join a full marathon someday?? :P

The Rating
Thank you Adidas KOTR for this great run!  It was very organized.  Water stations located every 1.5km, enough marshalls on the road, hassle-free claiming of the freebies, medics availability, etc.  I’ve one complaint though which is about the singlet, I was originally assigned with a blue/green one but I’ll let it slide as I was able to buy the pink/yellow one before the run.  It was amazing how I enjoyed it so much that I can’t sleep when I reached home I just want to tweet about everything.  Hahaha!!


It's the first time for my pink shoes to be used outside the gym honestly, I'm so protective of it. :P  And yey, so happy for my 21k finisher's medal! ;-)  I'm sooo pink during the run.  Since there's already someone called KikayRunner can I just be the Pink Panther Runner?  Hahaha!!

My brother and sis-in-law participated in the event too. ;-)  They ran 5k.  Look at the combination of the singlets, so nice! :D

21k conquered! :D


Tisha said...

Congrats!:) I've said that the only time I'll ever run a full is if I get the chance to join the NY marathon! Haha

CaseyCakes said...

thank you! :) dreaming of that NY marathon too! Haha!!