Well, if Mayweather can come out of retirement to challenge Pacquiao, I think I can run another half marathon after my supposedly last one at the last week of November. I didn’t originally intend to join and I wasn’t even paying attention to the extended registration after the run had been postponed for a later date. But three days before race day, Junrox sent a message asking me if I would join the said race. Then, what was planned to be a week of mostly tennis for me (I had already played three straight days at Makati Sports and was planning to do a long run at Camp Vicente Lim on Sunday and then another game of tennis), I couldn’t resist the tempation.

With my mixed doubles partner Jen

Lack of sleep + Not enough mileage ≠ PR
 
 

 

Well it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that statement of inequality but I was just hoping for a decent time at least.  Although at the back of my head, I knew not getting enough shuteye and being somewhat lackadaisical in putting in those needed kilometers prior to a half-marathon race would kick me in the face in the end.

It didn’t help either that I had nasal congestion a couple of days before Sunday and that the season for Christmas get togethers made it even more difficult to follow my usual traning regimen.  In spite of all that, I still went to Glorietta and signed up 4 hours before the registration closed.  In local parlance, Bahala na si Batman!

Tigerboy and El Kyoshi

After leaving my bag at the counter (which later on would be full of mud because of the rain), I went near the starting line and one by one, the familiar faces of the local running scene appeared, those who know me gave me a smile, some short talk and the others well-wishes for a nice run.

It was our third half marathon together for the year and since both of us lacked the training, we were quite realistic not to hope for a record breaking run.  I was thinking more in the line of doing a combination of speed training, tempo run and long run all in one day during the race 🙂

The Curse of McKinley Hill

I was doing my pre-race stretching after a quick warm-up when I heard from the runners that the original route had been changed and McKinley Hill would now be part of the run!  It made me imagine Macaulay Culkin screaming with his mouth and eyes wide open after patting aftershave onto his face!!!  That was probably my reaction, the not-so-fond memories, albeit full of lessons, the New Balance Run left in my head.   I know I should have started doing hill training after that but some things I really have to learn the hard way.

Perfect weather for running

A soft drizzle greeted the runners going into the now famous Buendia-Kalayaan flyover.  We were running a little under the 5 minperkm pace at that time up until about the first half of the run.  The lack of training definitely was starting to show as we hit km 12 but the weather was still encouraging. 

My “mini-wall” came as I made my way towards the Heritage Park.  Some runners were starting to overtake me.  And then, the shocker I was fearing!  No more going past Heritage Park near C-5.  A surprise early turn-around greeted us just after negotiating the uphilll portion of Bayani Road.  I knew then that before the end of the race, McKinley Hill would again torment us runners.

It’s a Beautiful Life

That’s what the McKinley Hill website says.  So despite the challenges the residential, commercial and educational community offered, I faced them all–downhills, uphills, curves, including the absence of marshals, and a headache in the middle of the race–and kept running.  And running.  And soon enough, I saw a rainbow after the storm.  Quite literally, there was this glorious refraction of sun’s rays just after that very exhausting leg.  And my figurative rainbow is that  there was only 2 kilometers (based on Junrox’s Garmin) and 3 kilometers (if you were reading those kilometer markers) left.

Life is indeed beautiful.  What if there weren’t enough marshals to guide the runners?  Or adding to the route THE Hill and an extra 1.2 km for good measure?  I should be more thankful for being healthy and able to enjoy the MANY benefits of running. 

I was surprised I still had the energy to do a fast final kilometer and overtake one runner before crossing the finish line.   A little bit disappointed at first to see 1:52 at the clock but when Junrox and the other runners confirmed the extra 1.0+ km, I thought it was an overall OK run.

Kids, don’t try this at home.  Always train before a race.  🙂

I ended up signing up for DEFINITELY my last race of the year:  the Rizal Day Run!  See you there  🙂

With the Bald Runner and the Tigerboy after the race

My 1,000 km Club shirt, yay!

I started running about two years ago hoping to log in 1,000km. Now I'm almost at 3,000km with no signs of stopping anytime soon. (Thanks Junrox for the great shots!)

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