Maybe Next Time, Marathon.

In a few hours the class of 2017 of The Bull Runner University will officially run their first (or second) marathon and a small part of me (yes, there is a small part of me) is sad that I won’t be a part of it.

I signed up for the TBR Dream Marathon back in August. The motivation was laughable and shallow, although I don’t include it in my reasons why I’m not joining the event. I was wait-listed and then got in in a space of two days, paid the fee the next day, and the week after that, I started going to the office gym. It was a very good start.

The next weeks saw me in my regular running routine. Pikit-mata, I invested in a Garmin and in more decent workout clothes — before that, my “workout” clothes were the free singlets from the races I joined in years ago. I read on techniques and training schedules. Like many first-timers, I worked on my stability and endurance and planned on my speed next. I did not get to the focusing on my speed this time! part because, well, my routine started crumbling down.

Before it did, I managed to run one 16km and one 22km. Slow but nonetheless successful. My biggest achievement there was not feeling overly exhausted — hey, I was sllooooowww) and was able to go to work the next day as if nothing happened.

On the first week of December, I got acute gastroenteritis (that SM Aura restaurant and their lousy handling of greens was my culprit, haha) and was unable to train for a week. After that, the holiday season was in full swing and it was also a busier time at work, so I didn’t go back to training. In hindsight, they were all excuses. Then January came. I could have gone full blast in training to make up for it, hey I even found a shortened training calendar leading up to February 19, but the momentum came crashing down. It was disheartening but it was a battle I was sure I already lost.

I paid for runs to cover long distance training for January and February, but had to sell them. Good thing I was able to! Sayang din yun pera, ha.

Then just when I thought I was just extremely undertrained, and perhaps, I can still go and run on marathon day (the cutoff was 9 hours after all!), I was faced with a more serious medical emergency that totally put my marathon plans off the table. I was even scheduled sana to join a mountain hike so as not to feel bad for missing the marathon but even that was prohibited. My take is I am really not meant to do any physical activities during this period.

Anyway, I know it’s not going to be the only opportunity to run 42km. If the chance presents itself, I know I’m not going to be a total noob anymore. I did not regret the time and money I spent in the past months, even with a whisper in some hidden space in my heart that I won’t be able to do it anyway. In fact, one of  the things I miss is the great feeling after working out. I thought that sluggishness was endemic in my system but apparently it’s not! Hahaha! If only for that as a basic motivation, it might be great to poke the territory again.

For now I can only wish that all the marathon dreamers finish strong and safe. I was witness to the amount of hardwork and dedication they had. The friendship they formed is also something to be proud of. Perhaps someday, I’ll meet them, and it would be nice if it’s at a marathon route. Let’s see!

Just Write Just Right

This begins a series of short posts that may or may not be for long. There is still the disconnect. I have said this over and over again.

Anyway, there is still comfort – not guilt – in running close to 7 kilometers, then going home and having panaderia-bought Spanish bread and Finetti (aka upper middle class Nutella) for dinner. And a glass of cold cranberry juice. Whatever makes you happy, you eat it.


My race bib and bracelet markers. I made it, teehee.

I ran 10K again earlier today. My last 10k was two years ago when my former boss requested us to join him for his farewell run in Manila. This time I, along with some people in the office, ran in support of ScholaRun, an American Chamber of Commerce charity event. I initially thought it was a mistake registering for 10k seeing that I haven’t trained in a very long time. Up until the gun start, I told myself if I finish the 1st loop and feel that I can’t do another loop, I’m going to stop. But hey, I didn’t. I’m limping a bit now and have to take the stairs one step at a time but overall, I’m feeling okay.

One of the things why I gave up on fun runs/races is having to wake up so early. I picked up R at 4:30 am and I was still really sleepy. But nothing could wake me up faster than realizing I left my phone at the cab! Good thing the light turned red after we were dropped off so I managed to get it back. Whew. So yeah, that was around 4:50 am, and it woke me up for real.

Like all my runs, the first five minutes, despite the warm up, were still the waking-up-my-limbs phase. I was happy when I was still running when I passed the 1st kilometer mark. That’s a first for me, sustaining it like that. Looks promising, Judie, I said to myself.

wp_ss_20140511_0001I made in haste a playlist to keep me moving. Judge away but those songs are legit choices. I set it on shuffle and should last me 50 minutes before it repeats. When I passed the first station handing out bracelet markers, The Ting Tings were happily singing in my ear.

A little past the Home Depot area, or around the 2k block, I felt like walking. But then Beyonce started blaring and when she sings to you, “We run this motha (yeah)…we run this motha…!” you have TO RUN. So I did.

A combination of long run, semi-long walk brought me back to 34th Street which was almost near the Start line. Oooo, I was almost done with 5k. It was a no-brainer after that, Imma go for another loop!

When I crossed the 6th kilometer mark I started questioning my choice. Hahaha! By this time, it’s so hot already. So I alternated walking at shaded areas and running when the sun’s directly hitting my face and arms. I guess it worked plus when Kenny Loggins enthusiastically sings Footloose, you have to look and act alive.

My beat-perfect song has always been Runaway Baby by Bruno Mars (try it, you’ll get moving with each beat), so on the 7th kilometer near Burgos Circle, I was keen on just walking when it played. I really mumbled, “Come on now!” because I knew I had to run to it. I did, albeit slowly.

I wasn’t really “I’m dying” tired but I was walking more than running so I felt happy when I saw this:


Almost there! Eight minutes later, as the cast of Hairspray led by Motormouth Maybelle was singing in my ear, I crossed the finish line. I also heard my office friends cheering and shouting my name (I was the last in our group who finished, hehe). Yay! Made it and it took me an hour and 28 minutes — which is, if I may brag, 20 minutes early than my previous PRs! Sweeeeet. 🙂

Lootbag, photo ops, and mingling after, I treated myself to this:

Burger! Burger! Burger!

It’s a really good way to start my Sunday.

I am not going back to joining runs, that I’m sure. I just did this one because it’s for charity and my office is somehow supporting it. However, I’m sure I’m going to keep training and running on my own. I trained for this only a week in advance, and I liked the feeling. There’s something about sweating that makes me feel good. I think it’s the afterglow that I like. Hmm. 🙂

Anyway, I enjoyed my run today.

Run, Judie, Run

The race bibs that jumpstarted by running career. Missing was my Sugar Rush Fun Run bib to complete all sixteen!

I ran 16 races in 2010.  That’s 78 kilometers in total.  Running wasn’t in my fitness blueprint last year but I found myself joining each month because my friends were doing it, too.  This is one of those things where blindly going with what’s in and hip paid off well for me.

My first marathon was in February and I didn’t stop and ran almost every month until the second week of December.  Here’s a complete list of the events I participated in:

  1. Century Tuna Superbods Run (5k) – February 21, The Fort
  2. Run United by Unilab (5k) – March 7, The Fort
  3. Mizuno Infinity Run (5k) – April 11, The Fort
  4. Earth Day Run (3k) – April 18, The Fort
  5. San Mig Bay Run (5k) – May 23, MOA
  6. Nature Valley Run (5k) – May 30, The Fort
  7. Robinson’s Buddy Run (5k) – July 11, The Fort
  8. Anniversary Run (5k) – July 25, The Fort
  9. Rexona Men’s Fun Run (5k) – August 1, MOA
  10. Run 2 Read (5k) – August 15, MOA
  11. CamSur Marathon (5k) – September 28, CWC-CamSur
  12. Avon Run for Breast Cancer (5k) – October 3, MOA
  13. The Pink Run (5k) – October 17, McKinley Hill
  14. Sugar Rush Fun Run (5k) – November 14, MOA
  15. Run United 2 by Unilab (5k) – November 21, The Fort
  16. Run 4 Change (5k) – December 19, McKinley Hill

In the average, my race time was around 43-52 minutes, staying closer to 46 minutes for most of the races.  It took us a long time in CamSur – that’s where I hit almost 52 – because of the number of runners who joined.  It became very hard to get through throngs of people so we just enjoyed the slow run.  It was still fun.  Overall, I consider my race time a respectable one for someone who has not had any training nor experience in running races before I made my first stride in February.

Hindi naman ako happy nito? Hahaha! Taken at the Anniversary Run in The Fort Photo by Carlo Serrano

It was a year of flexing my muscles and of experiences. I learned how to carbo-load (overdoing it most of the time, hahaha!).  We also met new people, both in races itself and during our Adination training runs in Ayala Triangle Park.  There were also lots of freebies – the most bongga of all was Robinson’s Buddy Run; my lootbag was literally stuffed with groceries which was so worth it for its 350-peso registration fee.

Speaking of fees, that’s my only minor complaint about this running hobby.  It’s a business already.  Registration fees range now from 500 and above, increasing as you aim to run longer distances.  Lucky for races with lots of freebies, but for those with almost none, you only took home a singlet. Parang nagbayad ka para mapagod.  But overall, my experiences were worth it.  It’s hard to mount a successful marathon without money to get you by.

When I look back, I am happy that running has strengthened my stamina.  I still got sick but in the overall, I feel more flexible now.  I may still be slow for a 5k runner but that’s a very huge improvement from feeling like almost dying after running the two-kilometer distance from my office to CCP before I dabbled into this.  Now I can finish 5k, albeit a little tired and so sweaty, but after I slowed down, I am doing okay again.

After 16 races, I felt the need to level up.  This coming February 6, I will be running my first 10-kilometer marathon at the Condura Skyway Marathon!  From today until the race, I need to train for a distance that’s twice of what I used to run.  It’s not going to be easy but I figured, I need to start sometime, for I can’t stay in 5k for another year.  I am giving myself 2 hours at the most to finish 10k.  If I finish it way earlier than that, I will be very happy.  I will keep you posted of my first 10k experience.

Did you run in any 2010 marathon, too?  How was it? If you haven’t tried, I urge you to give it a shot.  It’s fun and healthy at the same time.  Here’s to running in 2011 and beyond!