Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My First 10K @ Condura 2011 :)

(Hallo, today is the 15th of Feb already and my run has been a good 9 days ago. Only publishing today because of uh, the lazy writer's hand. Heee)

On Sunday, I ran, AND FINISHED, my first 10K! It's an incredible feeling and I am still amazed at the feat. Not to pat my back or anything, but more of because I am thankful I am able to do this now :)

What an awesome feeling to wear that
finisher's medal! Woop! :)

November 2010, plans for JR's Broacay Birthday floated. As soon as I booked tickets to Bora, I also registered for the Condura 10K. This was to get back into running, but also to force me to run to lose weight for Bora -- now that's another story. Haha.

The move to register for 10K was a bold one for me. I've never ran that long. I said pretty long shot, but what the heck. I knew I wouldn't graduate to longer distances if I don't push it. And Condura looked like  a good start. I started training in December break my feet in back into running, and well, to fight off the holiday weight gain, too.

I stuck to my gym schedule and tried to run thrice a week: Tuesdays on the treadmill after Pump, Thursdays alone in UP (which is such a wonderful experience altogether, I'll write about it in another entry), and Sunday mornings, sometimes alone, sometimes with the folks,  also in the UP acad oval. No PR-beating concerns yet for me, all I was training for was stamina to finish my 10K strong and injury-free.

Come race day, I was up at 3:30 A.M. and was walking the streets of Ayala by 4:15 P.M. I bumped into Mav and her friend Iola (hello, Iola!) and it was crazy how we were laughing so loud at 5 in the morning!

With Iola, Lace and mav, post-10K :)

We were batch F, which meant that we were the 6th batch to be released at the start line after the first gun start. Come 5:40 AM, we made our way through the 10K course. I started with an easy pace, a light jog I knew I can keep up for the next hour or so til I finish all of the 10 kilometers. My goal was to keep running all throughout the 10 kilometers and stop to walk only after the finish line.

I loved that moment when I started pounding the ground. I felt so strong and able, it was a beautiful moment :) It was dark when we started running and we were enveloped in a sea of people all bursting with energy, so very early in the morning. I ran the first kilometer with Mav and Iola. They wanted to walk a little after the kilometer 1 mark and told me to run ahead, so I did.

I went off to go up the Skyway alone. It was a really awesome feeling! I peaked right around kilometer 3 after the Skyway turnaround. I had this big (stupid) smile on my face and at that moment, I felt like nothing can bring me down.

Thanks to the Condura Skyway Marathon Facebook page for the photo :)

Right around the end of the Skyway pushing to Buendia, I said a short prayer of thanks for my able legs, for the ability to run, and for that beautiful, poignant moment. It took all of me not to cry. I cannot explain the kind of gratitude I felt in my heart at that time. I will always remember that moment to be one of the happiest moments of my life :)

The sun was rising as I approached Buendia. I knew I had enough energy to finish the race but right around this time, the strain of the past half hour is starting to creep up on me. But I was there for a reason, to run all of 10 kilometers, so I soldiered on. You will finish this race and you will finish strong, I told myself.

The Ayala crossing marked Kilometer 5 and I remembered my last run (Rock & Run - in the rain! Awesome, awesome time!) where I only ran 5K. I was so elated that I am now running double that distance that day so I LITERALLY pat myself on the back! Hahaha! I kinda felt stupid doing that, but a bigger part of me felt mighty proud!

A little past Kilometer 6, I had to give in to a bathroom break. I was debating whether I should or should not pee. But not stopping to pee would mean I probably wouldn't be able to finish my race from holding it in, so I had to go. I wanted to berate myself for not mastering my fluid intake and well, my teeny tiny bladder. And then like a friend playfully hitting you on the head, I realized, hey this is my FIRST 10K! Why act all 'competitive triathlete' when all you are now is a 'fun runner'? Hahaha! And that my friends is the story of how I went from "Damnit you freakin bladder, control yourself!" to "Eeh, first long run. Charge it to newbie runner experience" and then kept on running.

Just a few steps away from the finish line! Woop!
(My ONLY running photo. Just half of me, pero thanks Dad!)

Kilometer 7 was when the struggle began. We started to make our way through the Bel-Air flyover to cross EDSA on the way to BGC. It was a steep ascend (or maybe looked steeper cos I was already pretty tired) and it felt really long before we hit the top of the flyover. I switched between walking and running, hoping to get through the ascend a little faster through the momentum. And then the descend... finally BGC! Last 2 kilometers!

Right around a bend to the finish line, there was a drum and bugle band! I could hear the drums from half a kilometer away and I couldn't be happier! Then there was this poster that read, "crossing that finish line will change your life forever."I don't mean to be overly cheesy, but running does have it's way of doing exactly that :)

Again, credit to The Condura Skyway Marathon Facebook page
for this very beautiful photo :)

As I made the turn to the street leading to the finish line... goosebumps. I was very very close to finishing my first 10K! I could see the finish line now! And even though I was tired, I felt like there was more bounce to my step now, that it ever had the past 9 or so kilometers. I can feel my very own orchestra playing in my head as I approached the finish line. The close the finish line gets, the stronger I feel I get. It was as if I hadn't been running the past hour. 50 meters.. 30 meters... 10 meters... 3 meters... FINISH LINE. THE FEELING WAS GLORIOUS.

I went straight to the claim booth, got my water with my loot bag and medal! I hurriedly unpacked the plastic, untangled the medal and proudly wore it over my chest! It probably was a little tacky to wear the 10K medal around the 21K and full mary finishers, but I just couldn't care any less :)

It may have taken me close to an hour to look for them (Oh yeah, I didn't bring with me any cell. And when I called using Lace's phone, surprise! My dad didn't bring his phone, too!), it doesn't make my gratitude feel any less. Thank you Mum and Dad! Thank you for waking up at 3 in the morning on a beautiful Sunday morning, driving me to Fort and waiting for me to finish running all of 10 kilometers!

And as a bonus, phot op with Rovilson. Heee, I just had to put this up. Meet my new "running friend" Hahaha!
Check out how AWKWARD I was! Now I understand when Marsall says,
"What do I do with my hands? What do I do with my hands before?"

My takeaway from this race? I want to run 21K in CamSur on September this year! Dream big, yeah? :)

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