Monday, July 20, 2009

nursing a bruised knee and ego

yesterday's Globe Run For Home was a special run for me.

the day started kinda like any race day. i had some takbo members to wake me up to make sure i get there on time, i had my 'runs' the week prior to the race. i did my usual day before race rituals,(rest at home, chillax lang, then go to mass sa gabi, etc). so far so good. well, i added to the ritual pala yung hanging out at second wind, and took a mid afternoon nap while watching DLSU getting beat by FEU (super boring talaga to kaya ako nakatulog siguro hahahaha).
tas since di ako maka tulog, nag net muna ako and usap sa phone :) nothing bad naman about that diba? (kasi nga natulog ako ng hapon) :)

so there, ok naman pag dating sa race venue, ok na sana kasi walang traffic etc, pero ung intended parking space behind ROX was dedicated daw to VIPs, tas sobrang nag traffic ung paikot to the other side as the other runners were either tinatamad mag isip, OR walang idea san pa pwede pumunta to park.

as soon as i got there, met up with ellen & bong to do 1 round warm up sa BHS. ok naman sha. feeling ko ok ako kasi nakapag CR na naman ako, tas nag wiwi na rin ako before the race started din. so ayos pa, so far so good :)

everything was going normally as soon as the race started. was initially pacing with bongz, ellen & migz, super bilis group diba? pero sige lang kaya pa naman eh. unti unting naubos din ung mga kasabayan ko, kasi it was either i was thinking i can always catch up with them at the later stages and/or feeling ko tinatamad na ko to be competitive at that point of the race so ako, chill running lang.

so there, so cut the long story short, i was not that "confident" in myself during the race. or siguro even before. :) ang yabang ko kasi after milo and after finding out carlo (hydraice) was 2:17 sa cebu, i said to myself, if carlo can do it, i should also be able to do that too! sabi ko pa, target ko si carlo during the race, pero un nga. hindi ko nagawa. PLUS sumama pa lalo ung time ko from MILO (2:23:33) naging 2:26:xx.

all throughout the race, wala namang nag bobother sa mind ko, actually, mabilis pa ako. feeling ko papatak ung time ko na 2:20 or less if i didn't take as much walk breaks as i did yesterday. since i started becoming serious with these long distance races, i've been known not to take as much walk breaks as possible (a combination of bongz's school or speed and my own decision na rin) pero yesterday was different. even though other runners were passing by me, i knew i'm still ok, it just so happened din siguro that no one was pacing with me, the other people i initially intended to go with were either way in front of me na, OR way behind me pa. so medyo ako ung gitna, and in my mind, i thought it was okay. not for me. i felt like i was doing the run half-baked, that deep down i know i can go faster or better (than what i got).

i'm actually happy for most of the peeps who were able to outrun me at this race (docT, rod, gab, meron pa bang hindi ko nabati?) they were really focused on the race, and that they were able to overcome the tamad factor which i had during the race :( initially i thought pacing with a triathlete girl was ok (as she was doing walk breaks often too!) i tried imitating her pace, but as i've learned at the end, it was stil best to stick to one's game plan rather than trying to go with other's flow.

after the race, medyo na sad pa rin ako sa results ko. i was with a friend making kwento what happened during the race over lunch,and un, di naman pa kasi sha ganon into running as much as i am so parang effort din on her part to "understand' ung scenario (pero her efforts to try and cheer me up were very well much appreciated naman, sobra :) ) she even said na parang ang competitive ko daw naman mashado sa running na tipong obvious kasi na i was not my 'usual self' that afternoon, na bad trip ako sa run ko kahapon. the roles were reversed that lunch time kasi usually ako ung parating sinasabihan nya ng concerns nya pero this time ako ung kinocomfort. (okay din pala magpa comfort eh :) i think i should do this more often? hahaha)

so while waiting for my friend to get off work, i was texting another friend who has been there naman whenever saddened or sobrang elated with my race results. i just texted her lang na the result for me was panget/ not what i would have wanted, etc. we talked about it and as always made me realize things like, sa mga ganitong bagay, its better to start the race AND finished it with no injuries, etc na bonus na lang ung time/ PR.

as we were talking about it (text and usap) i accepted naman na the facts na for one, i should have trained more for this run. i was too cocky to think that i can manage it without much running (actually i still believe i could have, if i didn't walk as much). and pride na rin pushed me to go beyond what i know i can do (beyond in a panget sense ah, kasi given na i was not able to run as much as i SHOULD have done for this distance). she made me realize that starting and finishing this half mary was itself an achievement, something which i didn't really pay much attention to at that time kasi feeling ko ang olats ko to go slower than my last 21k time. also parang tinamad ako in the middle of the race kasi wala akong kasabayan (other than kay triathlon girl na for sure eh parang nag LSD lang nung the whole thing). sabi rin ni friend, there is no such thing as a "bad run" :) only KEY lessons learned :) and for this race, here are the learnings i've had:

1) lessen your PRIDE
- it doesn't automatically translate na if someone "bigger" than you can do it, you can also. training is the key. and during this race i sure am lacking in this department :)
- training also is needed in order to achieve things. small steps lead to big leaps :) and talking about something and doing something about it are two different things. one must be able to back up what they say (and if they can't back it up, then learn to accept it and swallow their pride :) )

2) APPRECIATE the distance
- time and time again, i hear people say "respect the distance." in my case naman, i do respect the distance kaya lang, baka sa sobrang yabang ko eh ang kinalabasan eh si distance kinda 'shamed me' (lola ganush, is that you?)
- its not that i didn't respect the distance, its more of, i wasn't able to APPRECIATE the distance. as was mentioned by a friend, the achievement here is that i was able to start and finish the race safely and injure-free.

- i've always been an advocate of running with happy thoughts. for me, happy thoughts give that sudden urge to go faster, to finish the race, to break that PR, or even to make sure that i won't be the last to cross the finish line. during this race, i was not able to do that as much as i've wanted to. this might be similar to "going back to basics." for some, it might be correcting their form, their stride, breathing, etc. pero for me, its more of having happy thoughts at the start of the race :) until the end. happy thoughts are not limited to 'happy" moments, but also, it can be events or people that you'd want to see at the end of the finish line. tipong something you want to be with agad, kaya ka din mag pursue to go faster. in this case, parang wala akong nilook forward towards the finish line. wala pang intrinsic reward for myself upon reaching the finish line.
- happy thoughts can also provide you with the needed push to sprint it out to the finish line. happy thoughts can be done through friends who encourage you to go all out when you are having doubts with yourself. with this race, riezl (ey monks!) was able to urge me to go run to the finish line na when we bumped into each other sa may bago mag fully booked kasi i was disheartened na to finish strong kasi ang lagpas ko na sa target ko of finishing shorter time sana than my previous run (or kahit same time man lang sana).
-happy thoughts can ba as simple as a cheer, a pat on the back or simply a smile from a friend who can make you want to go faster.

4) the need for a GF.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

twenty one plus ten

during the first and only run for the week for milo half, i was a bit dissatisfied with the way i ran. last tuesday, we had 16K covered, and for some weird reason, this cloud of self-doubt was hovering over me. i felt i had a bad run during my (one and only) practice run for the week. sobrang drained ako that day (well for the week actually). during my usual runs, i would normally be happy during the run, but that time, there was something bothering me, something i can't pinpoint yet (or something i don't want to pinpoint yet). at first, i didn't want to harbor on that thought, na sobrnag bad run for me kasi ang bilis kong napagod, na hindi ako maka focus as compared to my usual runs, tas to top it all, work has been hectic (or should i say, mas focused ako na sa work ehehehe) kaya medyo na out of focus sa runs.

throughout the week, my thoughts were focused on that, on that "one bad run." i was not able to get over that thought tipong until the saturday night eh i was still not that confident with myself, that i was still focused on that one incident that i felt, might predict how my milo half mary would be. add to this the fact that, i was to pace with a friend who i know was a halimaw runner (someone who runs super fast and super strong!) during the milo support group meeting while we were discussing the strategy for the 21K, some of my friends were wondering why i was still having doubts about myself; why i was thinking too much of the race even when i have been able to cover the said distance already in the past.

when i went to mass saturday night (kasi for sure di ko na naman kakayanin mag simba after race because of either 1. post race lakad or 2. post race wasakan moment), i was trying to look for something na inspiring, something to lift my spirit up or something to help me change my outlook for the milo race. as i was in mass, i texted a very good friend and told her that i was afraid/nervous, and that i was uneasy. she asked me why i was scared, etc, and i told her about my concern. initially she thought that it was because of the cutoff time. I told her it was not that, but it was because of what happened during tuesday's run and that of the twenty one plus ten. she replied, without batting an eyelash, that "bad runs don't predict the next, ok?" i told her na, parang im not sure if i can do it nga ba talaga, do run a half mary, and then comeback to pace a friend during the last 10K of his full mary.

this daunting task was somewhat making me think about my capabilities for the said race, and it was also going to be my longest distance ran if ever.

so, there. we texted etc etc, she gave her insights, etc. so medyo kumeri na ako, na sige, kaya ko to. while i was packing my stuff, huma happy thoughts at gumu-good vibes na ako ulit :) so there, chumichillax mode na ako kahit na di ko pa rin ma gets ung GF ni pat na ilang araw gabi ko nang pinaglalaruan, hindi ko pa rin mahuli ung kiliti, so sabi ko, bahala na, gagamitin ko na lang din si old reliable timex ko for my timing purposes. bahala na si pace hahaha :) so there, before i slept, i did my usual pre-race day messages and texts etc and then i went to sleep na rin.

race day proper, i was not really able to eat much for breakfast despite being up by around 2:30 eh ung oatmeal ko eh umapaw so there, tinamad nako mag gawa ng bago :) dumating ako sa mcdo ng maria orosa (shempre di ko na i kwento dito ung part na somekinda nawala ako sa manila area dahil di ko alam ung lugar diba, nakaka anti-climactic naman ng dating nun), na nag peprepare na ung the rest of the 21K peeps, after a few minutes, team logan arrived and we had a short prayer. sobrang at this point, gumu-good vibes na ako for the run. hindi ko na gaanong iniisip ung nangyari the past week so as to focus on the race itself. while waiting for the the gunstart, eh i called up a friend who was to have her first run ever, i made her kamusta lang, asked her whereabouts, pampa kalma lang ba sa akin, ganon lang :) she was ok na naman, and the race was about to start din, so there, babay, then focused na ulit sa race.

during the race, i had to pee again, so iniwan na ako ng pacemate ko dapat. i guess that became a blessing in disguise na rin as i was able to go about my usual pace, AND at the same time, test myself if i can really push myself til the end, na wala akong kasama (pero technically kasabayan ko si edu dun sa second half. hehehe)

in fairness, i was able to finish the race with a decent time, AND a new PR at that. I wasn't really expecting my time to be that "fast" kasi nga ang init na nung second half, pero sa awa ng diyos at sa mga inspirinng people eh, natapos ko din naman sha ng matiwasay.

special thanks to the support group peeps, lalo na ang buendia station (kasi dun lang ako umabot hehehehe). sobrang refreshing ng feeling at nakaka recharge ng energy pagdaan kanina sa station nila, may saging, towel, drinks, etc :) para shang pag daan mo dun, additional batt life sa takbo, na feeling mo nadagdagan ka ng lakas (buti na lang dalawang times ako napadaan dun wehehehe) thanks ulit girls and guys! :) (sayang walang massage tulad nung botak 100K hehehehe)

i was able to finish the race unofficially at 2:24:18.

after that i waited for my fellow plus TEN pacers before we attempted to meet up with the 42K runners at ideally sa Kalayaan station, pero we were late na, so sa buendia station na lang kami nag abang. before going to the buendia station, people were already commending us for having enough strength to "go back" and push the last 10K of the 42K runners. initially parang i was thinking twice about it na rin, but since i've committed myself to the cause, and promised that i'd be pacing towards the end, i rested for a while before attending my call of duty :)

i don't know if they'd noticed it but i was kinda nursing my right knee na when i got sa buendia aid station, medyo sumakit kasi ulit :( pero keri lang, kasi chill pace lang kami ni rod when he arrived sa buendia. so bale ung twenty one plus ten eh naging five na lang :)

this milo half mary has given me more than what i'd expect from myself. for one, it made me realize again that i can do what i put my mind into. it made me realize that no matter what others might say, it always boils down to ME deciding and acting upon things for it to work to what i have in mind. it made me realize that even if i need others, it would be up to me to maximize what they've shared to me and use it to my advantage.

as my dear friend leaves for a month, it would also be a transitional stage for me. i've gotten used to talking to her about everything under the sun for almost every day, and this trip of hers would be a challenge na rin for me to be more "independent". actually this "independence trip" of hers will open up new beginnings, and realizations. (great things start from small beginnings...) hahaha ;)

thanks friend! :D for the motivation and the inspiration :D

(don't forget my pasalubong, ayt?)

wag ka mag alala, pag balik mo madaming kwento :) lalo na you still owe me coffee, (pwede rin tsoko.nut and esaymada, okay?)

ayot? APIR!

will miss you! :(

enjoy and good luck! galingan nyo! :)

see you soon!