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After deciding to train for a half marathon without knowing the schedule of my first 21k race before 2007 ended, I followed the magazine article’s 12 week 21k training plan. By the first week of April, I was ready for my first half. The only problem was, to my surprise, there wasn’t any 21k race! It left me no choice but to be introduced to those 5, 10 or 15k weekend races while waiting for that race I trained for.
After 6 long months and a number of weekend races I came to enjoy week after week, Adidas King of the Road 2008 came on October 11. I signed up as soon as registration opened. I can still remember the buzz about how reasonable registration fee was (at 350 pesos) and the nice singlet.
As it was my first, my number one goal was to finish. It would be an icing on the cake if I could do it in 2 hours (or less, fingers crossed) so I felt good about my 1:51:42 finish. Not bad, I thought.
Fast forward to this year’s staging. I couldn’t help but feel a little nostalgic as I look back at what I’ve done and the races I’ve finished since then. I never thought I’d be able to sustain what others would call as the running fad. What seemed to be a weekly training became a part of my life now, a lifestyle. While some people would notice that my weight dropped a little (they never thought that was possible given my light frame), I would assure them that I’m okay and that I love every single day of running.
3 full and 5 half marathons and a number of runs of shorter distances later, I feel so fortunate to still run injury-free, which I always attribute to “listening to my body” and paying equal importance to rest and recuperation. I also feel much stronger and faster now.
Another big difference I’ve observed one year hence is the number of friends I have known in a span of one year. I congratulate, smile at and wave to more fellow runners now. It’s always nice to talk to people who really understand you, what you undergo through and compare running notes once in a while.
This blog was also born during that period of time. While it has been my notebook as I log every single run I make, this blog has also been my pal through thick and thin, and has been witness to the joy and every tear I shed especially after every marathon I finished. 🙂
They say the reward of doing a job well done is to have done it. That’s why I shall forever be grateful for all the bonuses running has given me.
I don’t mind the new 21k PR of 1 hour and 41 minutes either. 🙂
This year’s run was also well organized, with sufficient Gatorade, water and banana aid stations. Except for the 5k-turned-6k-plus booboo, it was a great run on a great day for me. I also liked the cheerleaders’ words of encouragement: “Channel that inner Kenyan in you” “Pain is temporary, pride is forever.”
The 21k race was won by a Kenyan runner but the real winners of the day were the Filipino children. I didn’t mind shelling out the extra 150 bucks this year because this year’s race donated 140,700 pesos to HOPE Worldwide Philippines as they continue to help make the lives of the children under their care better for more than a decade now.
Congratulations and thanks to the organizers and sponsors for making Adidas King of the Road 2009 a fun, safe and worthwhile experience for me and for the other runners, too, I hope!
See you next year!
While I see a number of tall runners in races of shorter distance, I didn’t see them in the three full marathon races I have joined so far. I get very interesting comments from spectators while I run. The most recent of which being, “Oy ang tangkad mo, bakit ka nagja-jogging?”, during the Milo finals.
I play tennis, too, but I don’t get a lot of questions as to what I am doing in a tennis court as much as I do when I run. Is it because running is not a sport for “vertically endowed” individuals?
My curiosity on the subject matter has led me to several sites and articles relating height to running and speed. And checking how tall some runners are: Usain Bolt 6’5″, Haile Gebrselassie 5’5″, Ryan Hall 5’10”, Samuel Wanjiru 5’4″, Paula Radcliffe 5’8″, Deena Kastor 5’4″, Kara Goucher 5’7″, Craig Mottram 6’2″, Lydia de Vega 5’7″, Elma Muros 5’6″.
These are just names I thought of randomly and whose stats are readily available online. But, the fact is, there are successful short AND tall runners.
In the Ask A Scientist website, Scientist Burr noted that runners of average height usually are more successful because very short or very tall runners will find it more challenging when it comes down to striding.
Scientist Matt Voss attributes flexibility as key to both tall and short runners but because short runners just can’t grow tall as easily as a tall runner can be more flexible, tall runners have a greater “stride potential.”
He went on to say that stride is not everything because strength, flexibility and endurance are equally important, if not more important. Both scientists agree though that sprinters are more muscular and shorter (tell that to Usain) and distance runners are taller (not Haile) and lighter in weight, but both with low body fat.
A study from Michigan State University on the Effects of Physical and Training Characteristics on Marathon Performance after doing an online survey on 1,371 Detroit Marathon finishers in 2005 came up with the conclusion that to run faster marathons it helps to be a tall, thin male, and run lots of training miles. Obviously, one can’t do anything about gender (okay, generally…) or height, but changing the way one trains can spell the difference.
So I don’t think I’m in the wrong sport after all.
That, of course, still depends on whom you ask. And even if people tell me otherwise, I just can’t ignore how fun, rewarding and fulfilling running is to me as a sport.
So I’ll just keep training for my next marathon.
Just like when I viewed my Globe Run For Home results, I was like a kid in a candy store all over again when I saw my Milo Finals results just before I did my recovery run last night. There were so many things to see, study and improve for the next race.
Some entries are very interesting like:
For the record, you were ahead of about 23% of female finishers. (Just goes to show how strong the field of female finalists was. Or how slow I was. Or both 🙂 )
My favorite definitely has to be this:
From 35Km to Finish You passed 10 runners and 0 passed you. 🙂
For your stats and photos (you can also view the results of other runners by entering their name or number), click here.
And compared to about 6 photos at the Run For Home, I have 30 souvenir shots this time in addition to the photos taken by my friends and the video from Natz!
Thanks Milo, Finish Line and Photovendo!!!
True enough, I didn’t have a decent sleep the night before what with all the excitement, race strategy thinking and re-thinking, considering gunning for a new 42k PR and all other stuff related to the national finals of the 33rd Milo Marathon.
After meeting Tigerboy Junrox at the carboloading dinner, we exchanged text messages on how to best attack the full marathon race, with both of us having qualified in threee-fifties, thereabouts. I got a message from him that said 50, 55, 55, 55, 10, referring to the number of minutes we can try running the distance divided into 4 ten-k’s and the last 2k. That would give us a finish time of 3hrs and 45mins.
Seemed very daunting but since dreams are free, what the heck, we agreed on a strategy similar to that, thereabouts, when we met again at the starting line.
Junrox would inform me if we were running faster than the 5minpkm pace or dipping below 5:20. The road markers also made it easier for me to check from time to time if we were going too fast or too slow as we both constantly let each other know that one could just go ahead if he felt like speeding up some more.
We finished the first half of the race in less than 1hr and 50mins so we we’re really happy to have made some good time. We were praying for some clouds or better yet some rain just like what happened in the eliminations as different factors such as fatigue, cramps, more hills to run, lactic acid build up, etc. etc. started to appear right before our eyes one by one. Unfortunately, we got nothing but clear, sunny skies, which was a little strange for me considering the very recent visits of a typhoon AND a supertyphoon.
We parted ways after the km 30 mark and decided to run the distance individually and give it all we got.
I was so grateful for the presence of friends Grace and Reina along the way to offer encouragement and support. I told them I wouldn’t know what to do without them.
Thanks to cheerleader-for-the-day Bards and all those who didn’t know me but cheered anyway. They really put a smile on my very tired face.
To the people at the Reinier Pacific and Takbo.ph booth, to Natz, Sam and the rest, thanks for the support, too. Your fruit salad, Natz’s high five and camera, Sam’s petroleum jelly white board and all your smiles made me conquer one of the most difficult phases of the race. Special thanks to the guys who sprayed efficascent oil on my legs, particularly the one who massaged my sweaty (and dirty) legs.
And above all, arigato’s to Junrox for the kind offer of food and drink, interesting conversations, technology, and above all, the company. You certainly made the run more bearable and a lot more fun!
As I crossed the finish line, I couldn’t help but think about the people I met during and after the race– Jovie-san, Jonel, Luis, Jet, my seatmates during the carboloading, and to both familiar and new faces who share the same passion of running the 42.195 km distance. Congratulations to all of you, too! And great job, Mr. Rudy B.!!! I also said a little prayer to the runner who was carried into the ambulance on a stretcher with only a few kilometers to go.
I was thinking that I would have finished stronger if I had hydration at the last 6 kilometers but then again, like what I was telling myself in many parts of the race: No regrets! Run as if it were the last marathon race. I think in that respect, I could say, I did it! And I’m extremely happy with 3 hrs and 49 minutes of course!
I didn’t know I had so many people ready to support and help me. People who could turn a difficult situation into a worthwhile and learning experience. In the words of Naoko Takahashi (高橋尚子), the first woman ever to break the 2hr 20minute barrier, moments after winning the Sydney Olympics marathon title: 「すごく楽しい42キロでした」。 “It was a very enjoyable 42 kilometers.”
My cup runneth over.
As the hour struck five in the afternoon yesterday, I asked permission from my bureau chief to leave the office and make my way to the North Greenhills Clubhouse for the 33rd Milo National Finals Carboloading dinner and distribution of race packs.
After the kick off eliminations in Dipolog and Subic on February 8 of this year for a total of 26 elimination stages and 200,000 runners from all over the country and all walks of life, 235 qualifiers (169 from the Manila stage) will vie for top honors on October 11 in the country’s oldest marathon event.
The ride from Malate to Greenhills took a little over an hour so by the time I got to the venue, Bald Runner Jovie-san was already wrapping up his talk. I came just in time to hear him say that the Philippines has a huge potential for producing Olympic champions like Kenya.
I looked around and I couldn’t remember being in a room, or a hall for that matter, filled with people who who all looked very fit! I felt very fortunate to say the least to be a part of the group, knowing that I just barely qualified and that the provincial qualifiers had a strict time barrier of 1:15 for men and 1:35 for women for the 21k qualifying runs.
It was also nice to meet and talk to Tigerboy Junrox and other runners, some I only get to see as they would make their way at the turn-around points way, way ahead of me in the races that I have joined. In fact when I was lining up for the buffet dinner, I asked one runner to stay ahead of me as I’m used to that position everytime we would join the same race.
It was an evening filled with good food, fun games, pleasant conversations with other runners, and surprises (the whole event was a surprise for me as I didn’t even know there would be a qualifiers’ dinner when I signed up for my first Milo full marathon this year). Very exciting to note, too, that chip timing will be used for the first time in the race.
Two more days before my first Milo finals. I’m sure I’ll have problems sleeping the night before trying to contain my excitement!