Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Hyundai Run for a Cause 2011

Walking in the monumental street leading to the Quirino Grandstand at around 4:30 in the morning seems strangely easy. But running isn't.

Straight from the land of cold waters in the morning and wind-burnt people Antipolo City I head straight to Kamias road for a rendevouz with my running mate Anak Ni Matchete at exactly 3am. After a couple more minutes of trying to look awesome in our Singlets and running outfits, we finally waved my partners dear doggies goodbye and decided to head out the door and commute to the venue.

For a total of P170 we got to Quirino Grandstand at exactly 4:30am. We had to step out of the cab a block away from the venue proper since there's already a heavy traffic leading to the entrance of the stadium and not to mention our meter's already ticked too much to bare. The moment I stepped out of the cab and my feet hit the concreted streets the can of Baccus started to kick in. I walked so eagerly to the bathroom to relieve myself and took so much time to pin my Bib on when a booming voice was heard all over the place.

The Hyundai Fun Run 2011
is about to begin.

Standing before the stage watching and heartily following Regine Tolentino and Boom Gonzales demonstrate some warm-up exercises for us runners I repeatedly heard them say "so…the gunstart is about to go in a few minutes for our runners of 10k Wave A". Then it dawned at me, "what the hell are we doing here watching this program when we're supposed to be at the starting line?!" We were for 10K Wave C, by the way. "And where is the Starting Line anyway?!" I continued evidently alarmed at the thought. Startled, my partner began asking random people and then finally event marshalls about where we're supposed to be. Freaking out in the middle of an already catastrophic state of a beginner makes you pee more. So I made another trip to the portalet and the necessary sign of the cross praying my feet, knees, heart and lungs don't give in. Then suddenly the gunstart was off for the first wave. This means we must be in our freaking position.

Walking to the square for Wave C my partner met a couple of familiar faces. Watching them and hearing them talk animatedly about their anticipations of this run and I’m just left standing there amidst some giants and running veterans in the tracking field (be it literally, i have to say) made me feel so damn weird. I see numerous people who have gadgets clasped on their arms for seems like a personal time recordings or something, earphones clogged in their ears and all that, great looking running shoes and guess what? No bags! No bags!!! Hell yeah not one tiny bit of luggage with them! Timidly I looked at my self and was horrified at how poorly dressed I am. Thank God I have here a 5’9 male running mate who can carry my backpack effortlessly because if I don’t I’d probably just be watching this run from the sidelines.

As soon as my partner and his friends (I didn’t catch his name. I was probably busy flexing my muscles you know) were done talking we started to make our way to the front of the line. Moments later my gaze fell on the gigantic silk screen at the right side of the road. From that thing, my partner and I saw how unbelievably populated this event is. It’s like half of the entire oval of the Quirino Grandstand was covered with people donning the white, blue and green Hyundai Fun Run singlet.

And I was! There were hundreds, if not thousands of eager beavers who woke up this early just to run. And I'm not exagerrating this, okay. Because as I stand in line here at the square with fellow Wave C runners, I can see that there are still a hundred more behind us getting ready for their turn to run. Amazed as I was suddenly something nagged. I realized that I haven't done enough warm-up yet! Oh what, that Regine-Tolentino-warm-up exercise? Um, well...yeah. Actually, my legs feel just fine so I think I'm good. Ok, not that this is a real marathon or anything it's just that I'm concerned about finishing this run and still have my legs on in one-piece when it's all done. Seriously. But as I think about doing another round of warm-up another gunstart was fired and Wave B was off. Slowly as the departing wave fade in the break of dawn our wave was asked to move forward before the starting line. Our wave started hooting, cheering, clapping and then raising their fists with euphoric anticipation because in about 30mins we will be the next ones running our ass off the street. Oh boy! Oh boy! Oh boy! I need to pee again!

Going for it

Hey have I told you that this was my first time running a marathon? No? Oh… yeah I didn't. Well, that's probably because I kept telling myself that I'm really not so new about this too. You see, incase you didn't notice, I also do have some athletic skills if you don’t mind me saying. Yeah well I know I lack the height for one but believe me I am athletic! You know when I was in Elementary I was my classmates hero in Soccer. It stopped when my father bought me a set of roller blades. For 2 years in high school I was a varsity Softball player, second base and a hitter. That also stopped when my boobs started getting bigger. Then very recently I learned swimming and ultimate frisbee. It stopped because I had a boyfriend who was so in to longboarding that I got myself hooked on it as well. You see? I'm okay, right? I can do it! I can do this!





Now stop. Freeze. Rewind.

Two weeks ago Anak Ni Machete registered himself for this free fun run offered by Korean car company Hyundai. He asked if I want to join him knowing I'm into being fit as well and that I'm into doing stuff I haven't tried yet. Ultimately, said yes. Since the registration for the 5K run was already full and there were only two choices of either 5K or 10K run we chose the 10K instead. Back then nothing about this seemed to matter to me. Until one day when I had the chance to finally assess my planner and count the days before the run was when I realized that we only have two weeks left to train.

Two weeks. That's all we have. Running tips and forum sites were always saying we needed at least 8 weeks to prepare for the 10K, needless to say for us to be able to run with body unharmed. So, being the scaredy-cat at first-times I trained like mad. I stopped smoking leisurely, ate rightfully and jogged as much as I can after work, at night or during the weekends. The first week I trained together with my partner, Anak Ni Matchete, since he has the right training tools in his place. But when I finally moved back to my hometown I had to just jogged on my own around our Subdivision. All in all I was able to improve my running capacity. Before, I could run 3 minutes before collapsing. Now, I could do 10! Wuhoo!!!

Back to reality
Do I really think I can do this? Is 10 minutes running capacity enough for this 10-kilometer run? Thinking about it again I nearly collapsed in utter bewilderment when a photographer asked for a photo of me with my partner the towering Anak Ni Machete. I hurriedly put my weight on him and smiled scarcely for the camera. After the photographer left our side my partner turned to me, smiled sweetly and cheered to me convincingly the world's greatest one word motivator of all "yes!!!" Suddenly, we were off.

Hi-ho, Silver, away!

Walking – Jogging – Running. Then I go back to walking again. Went back to jogging again. Now I’m running again. Honestly, I don’t know how to describe to you entirely how good it felt for me running that 10K stretch from the *Quirino Grandstand to Edsa but I guess all I can say is that I made it! I really, really, really made it! I may have done the run-walk-run thing but for me that's not bad at all knowing that when I saw the 5K mark I realized I wasn't that too tired yet and that I still want to keep going!

I kept telling myself that maybe part of my
sudden outburst of strength should be credited to the can of energy drink and carbs I had about an hour before the run. But then again I realized that the real motivation came from somewhere right over here. Yeah, this spot that relates to you how epic that run was and how positive that this won't be the last marathon I'll take on. Yeah, I really think I should say I owe it to myself. So thank you, dear self, for not giving up and for allowing yourself to improve physically. Also, thank you to my partner – Anak Ni Machete – who’s been with me through defying moments while preparing for this run and in the end had to drag me by the hand to the finish line because my eyes are getting hot with tears, tears that may have been drawn out of joy or out of almost ceaseless feat of physical exertion, just so we both finish what we’ve already started. To my new idol Jerry Radam, thank you! I have to say that it was you who posted that Hyundai Fun Run link and influenced my partner to register us both. Lastly, thank you Hyundai for this opportunity. You guys are so kind. I love you with all my heart.

Okay, well I think now I can say it's not that hard running around Quirino Grandstand in the wee hours of the day. But then again I guess that's just easily done when you've had enough Baccus in you, you have a skilled carved out of wood partner, and your fitness idol does not go by the name of Regine Tolentino. He-he. Peace out.

HERE'S MY RACE RESULT: "I swear, I'm going to do better next time."

* According to runners who had garmins, that stretch from Quirion Grandstand to Edsa
is not exactly 10 Kilometers. The organizers added 3-4km more.

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