Runrio Leg 1 – Unilab Run United 1 2011

Posted: March 14, 2011 in Events, Personal

If races have taught me anything, it is the absolute necessity of training. To avoid a repeat of my dismal showing at the Condura Skyway Marathon, this time I made sure to minimize distractions and follow my training schedule: 3 weeks of build-up from 5K to 21K then 1 week of tapering down before the event itself. In total, I was able to run 122.66K in four weeks. When race morning came, I was confident I’d do much better than my 2:55 PR.

It was raining all night. I feared we’d be running wet. My cab reached The Fort at 5 o’clock and as if on cue, the rain stopped to give us a perfect cool morning run. I quickly deposited my bag at the counter and took my place at the starting line. At exactly 5:15am, we were off!

To cut through the crowd and be able to breathe easier, I always positioned myself at the side of the roads. Even though I can run much faster, I maintained an easy pace to conserve my energy in the first few kilometers. I also learned not to drink too frequently to avoid nausea, hydrating only when needed. By the time we reached the Buendia flyover, I was running at a strong and steady pace.

I spotted Tessa Prieto-Valdes in her trademark pink tutu. I did my best to catch up but she was damn fast! Going downhill at the flyover, I seized my chance using gravity to go all out, getting near and eventually overtaking her. I was thrilled. However, 200m after we got onto the flat road she passed me again. I knocked some sense into my head. Trying to run at her pace will only burn me out. I should follow my game plan and race at my own pace. Props to Miss Tessa for being incredibly fit at her age, leaving lots of guys biting her dust, and making people watching on the street smile with her colorful outfit.

Picture courtesy of @amrieabegail from Twitter

After the Buendia U-turn, a runner came up to ask if I was the girl he saw running in the Corregidor International Half Marathon. I recognized him instantly as the guy who ran with a video camera in that race last December. I told him yes, that was my first 21K. He was surprised because it’s a tough course to make a half marathon debut.

Guy: Dun mo pa talaga ginawa?
Me: Kaya nya inabot ako ng 3hrs doon.
Guy: Ako rin naman 3hrs dun ah.
Me: Petiks ka nun eh. At times parang nagyo-yoga ka pa. (saw him sitting near a cliff looking out to sea)
Guy: Haha. Sige, good luck. Ang lakas mo na tumakbo, hindi ka na 3hrs ngayon.
Me: Sana nga. Good luck din!

I took three packets of my home-made energy gels with me, taking one every few kilometers to make sure I have enough gas all throughout. They helped a lot. I felt strong up to the end. My conditioning was so much better than my previous races that I never had to stop to walk during uphills. When I rounded the corner heading to the finish line, I still had plenty of energy to sprint. I think I could have certainly run a bit faster, but I’m happy with my time of 2:30 – a new PR with a 25min improvement!

Medals were handed out right after the finish line, which is always nicer than receiving it still wrapped in plastic. I think the design could have been better, though, as well as the lace quality. Runners were pampered in the Unilab Village where lots of booths had free giveaways. Tired as I was, all I was interested in was getting my finisher’s kit and finisher’s shirt. Because I got mine late, they said the only size left was XL which would have been useless to me, but my eagle eye found the last XS and got it! Wooot!

I feel quite accomplished. Congratulations to all the runners and thanks to Unilab/Runrio for staging a great event! I’m looking forward to completing the Runrio Trilogy this year. 😉

  1. aby says:

    can we have your recipe of home made energy gels? those are made of what? thanks@!

  2. aby says:

    by the way thanks for using my picture from my twitter time i’ll tag you the next celebrity that i will see in my future run

    • scout says:

      thanks! it was really fun seeing miss tessa on the road with her costumes. it’s like the half marathon suddenly turned into a cosplay exhibition, LOL. 😀

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