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After the Bald Runner‘s Rizal Day Run, the last race of the calendar year, I decided to look back at the year that was.  It was after all no less than Jose Rizal who said, ” Those who do not know how to look back at where they came from will never get to their destination.”

Flashback

Rewind to 2009.  Number of races finished (from the My Races page):

  • Full-marathon:  4
  • Half-marathon:  8
  • 30k run:  1
  • 15k run:  2
  • 8 mile run:  1
  • 10k run:  4
  • 5k run:  1

Before my first full in May, I was optimistic but honestly had some doubts whether I could finish a 42.195 km race.

Daunting task ahead

Fast forward to 2010.  Biggest goal:  finish the 2nd Bataan Death March 102 km Ultramarathon.  No matter how long it takes me.  Just finish.  More than the supplies of energy drinks and other nutrition, I know achieving this goal will demand all the will, guts and determination I can muster so I need to respect the distance and train hard for this.  On the way to the March 6-7 battle, I will also try to finish two full marathons, one in Cebu and one along the Skyway.

During a Saturday 35km long run

During a Saturday 35km long run

With Knight Runner Mark and Tigerboy Junrox in Sta. Rosa

Big scare

Three days before my Cebu flight, I was in the middle of a 15 k run when a pain around my right ankle bothered me.  So much so that I had to cut the run short to 12 k.  I was reminded of an injury I had almost forgotten.  One I suffered when I was studying in Japan seven years ago. 

I was playing basketball with my classmates when I jumped for a rebound and had an awkward landing.  I shook it off and continued playing.  And then  I went on to play volleyball and soccer later.  The result:  I had a ruptured ligament and had to stay away from sports for about two months.

Although there was no major swelling this time, hypochondriac me thought that was it.  No more Cebu.  No more Condura.  And worst, no more BDM!!!  I haven’t even replied to the BDM letter of invitation I had received a few days ago.  I thought oh no!  My 2010 season was over even before it took off  😦 

The Titus factor

I contacted the Bald Runner, got Coach Titus’s number and arranged an appointment the following night.  Coach was kind enough to wait for me for 30 minutes as I made my way through EDSA traffic from Makati (I wanted to take the MRT but walking was just too painful).

He ruled out the recurrence of the old injury as there was no pain in the lower part of my ankle.  Instead there was terrible pain (for someone who has a high pain threshold, the word terrible is even an understatement) at the lower part of my shin (tibia) bone when he put pressure on it. 

Coach said he didn’t even consider it as an injury for I would be able to run 2 or 3 days later.  The ligament on my lower shin bone had been strained according to him but R. I. C. E. (Rest, Ice, Compress, Elevate) would do the trick.  Plus Cataflam.

Relieved

After the excruciatingly painful but evidently effective massage,  he said I was good to go.  I was like doubting Thomas because before the session, any slight movement caused major pain but when he asked me to walk, I was able to do so with more ease and comfort.  I had never been more relieved in my whole life.

Even if I got his go signal for Cebu, I promised myself I would still observe the pain, get in touch with him through text messages or phone calls and see him after five days.

Interesting start

Plus, after losing my wallet with my credit cards, ATM card and other IDs and my work computer being infected by a virus all in the same week,  I think I’m all set to face all the challenges this year may bring. 

While stopping to smell the roses from time to time, of course.

Happy new year, everyone!

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It was my last race of the year.  And the first time in almost two years that I’ve been joining road races that I was late for one due to an early morning (as in 4:30 am) accident along the Alabang-Sucat highway (South SUFFER highway to some).

When I got to the still very dark Camp Aguinaldo grandstand (at around 5:35 am, didn’t check the exact time), I only saw a few people and was told by the guards that the race had already started of course.  I met Mark (Mark’s VO2) at the starting line.  We did the check-in and then made our way to the race route praying we wouldn’t get lost.  After making the first turn, we saw the sweeper vehicle’s lights and followed that.  Mark told me it would be his first run in that distance so he let me go ahead.

It took me a couple more minutes to get past that vehicle and catch up with the runners.  It was a strange feeling to be late in the race to make up for lost time.  As I didn’t know exactly how late I was, I just tried to run alternately in my half- and full-marathon paces being very careful not to use all my energy in all that catching up.

After the first of four laps of the course and when the sun was finally up, I started seeing familiar faces and tried to relax and have a nice chat with them.  Afte the short talks, I would speed a little and continued looking for usual race partner Tigerboy Junrox.

As promised by Jovie-san in his site, the aid stations were one of a kind, complete with water, gatorade, fruits, crackers etc!  These definitely made waking up very early and deciding to still run after being stuck in traffic for half an hour all worth it.

Playing catch up... (Photo by Brando Losaria, tagged by Argonaut in Facebook)

I finally caught up with the Tigerboy in the last kilometer!  I myself was quite surprised I still had some energy speeding up to the finish line after all that chasing in two hours and fifty minutes.

Crossing the finish line (thanks to Brando Losaria for the photo)

The post-race eating/drinking was almost as eventful as the run itself what with the seemingly endless supply of beer, water, ice cream and, to my total surprise, lechon!  I also enjoyed the photo ops and conversations with fellow finishers later.

Junrox enjoying the beer

Junrox enjoying the beer

Jonel caught red handed at the lechon table

So this is Wilnar's secret to his speed: ice drop and lechon!

Chillin' with "celebrity" finishers

Congratulations to the Bald Runner for the last and definitely one of the most memorable races of the year!  Can’t wait for the 2010 Rizal Day Run!

With speed monster Chris, consistent marathon finisher Junrox and blogosphere (and soon radio) favorite Luis

This run officially brought my busiest running calendar year to a close which included 8 half marathon and 4 full marathon finishes.  I hope I’ll also be healthy enough to run more this 2010!

Happy New Year!

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