One Weekend, Three Races

Posted: November 28, 2011 in Events, Personal

It’s another one of those crazy weeks. Yes, I am on injury recovery mode but a series of events had me cramming 3 races in a span of two days. You see, I registered for the HSBC 136 Run simply for the nice singlet which fits me well, unlike all the others that required adjustment of some sort. Then I convinced my little sister to sponsor my dad’s 5K debut at Camp Run where I’d act as his pacer. Lastly, I won a free race kit for the Greenfinity Run from Pinoy Fitness. Who am I to say no to freebies? 😉

#1 – HSBC 136 @ SM Mall of Asia, 5am Saturday

Several things worked against me in this event:

  1. I did not get any sleep the night before. Tried to close my eyes but nada.
  2. Because I couldn’t sleep, I did my ITB strengthening exercise and felt tired afterwards.
  3. I was compelled to take the taxi which cost me P200 😦 (OK, so this one is more of an emotional blow).

I registered for 3K and took it easy to conserve energy for the next day. Coach Lit forbade us to run on back-to-back days so I did a power walk for cross-training. I went one loop around the MOA complex along with a curious mix of participants, sprinting only near the finish line. I managed to get an average pace of 8:26 which is pretty darn decent for a walk. However, despite my precautions, I felt my whole body aching from the cumulative toll. Well, lessons learned the hard way. I slept the whole day to make it up to my battered body.

Special shout out to the little girl in pink who won the 100-meter dash for kids 6yrs old and below. She made the boys eat dust and we were all cheering! Woot!

After the HSBC "Walk", me (in red visor) with Pinoy Fitness peeps, photo from Riz Damaso

#2 – Greenfinity Run @ Greenhills, 6am Sunday

After lots of sleep, stretching, and self-massage with Efficascent Oil, I was ready to take on the challenge of doing two consecutive runs at different venues. I went out the house at 5am and because there were no jeeps yet, I was forced to walk from Project 4 all the way to Greenhills, my first time to do so. It’s interesting. When you’re a runner, your perspective on distance truly changes.

I claimed my free race kit then and there. As I was trying the singlet on the sidelines, the Fitness First guy energetically led the participants in a warm-up routine. Gun start for the various categories soon followed in 5min intervals. Just before 6am, us 5K runners were off.

I ran at a steady though slightly faster pace than I wanted. The course was mostly flat along the length of Ortigas Avenue (which would really benefit from street sweepers) and uphill towards the back of the mall. There was a corner where one can either go straight ahead or turn right, and because I couldn’t understand the marshal, I opted to go straight (only for this route 😉 ). After I passed the U-turn, something felt odd. I was among the very few who were on the way back to the finish line, in the company of veteran runners. Uh-oh. When I got back to that corner, I talked to the marshal for clarification. I was right, I missed one loop, so I resolved to complete it before finishing the race. Getting a winner’s medal by mistake would have been horrible so I’m glad I was able to rectify the situation immediately. My GPS registered 5.79K in 0:40:21 for an average pace of 6:58, dangerously faster than my projected 7:50 LSD pace for the week. I hope my knees are okay.

Kudos to the organizers and (kulit) race marshals for a great event! I’m glad I ran this because I discovered a new and challenging route near my house for future training. I wish I could’ve stayed a while but there was absolutely no time to rest. I had to get back to EDSA and then to Camp Aguinaldo, quickly!

#3 – Camp Run @ Camp Aguinaldo, 7am Sunday

I entered the gates just in time to hear the countdown. “8… 7… 6…” Since the 5K gun start was scheduled at 7:15am, I thought these were the 10K runners. I leisurely watched them pass me by hoping to see my running buddies among the crowd, but I didn’t. So I proceeded to the starting line to look for my dad and to my surprise, no one was there. Then I realized that what I just saw were the 5K runners released early. I had to catch up with the pack and find my dad. Zoom!

It’s a good thing that I’m very familiar with the route here so I didn’t have any trouble sticking to it or pacing myself. My most pressing problem was hydration. I didn’t bring any water thinking I’d depend on what was being offered during the races, which worked fine with Greenfinity but I was technically a bandit here. Anyway, I reasoned that it’s a matter of life and death so I boldly got water from the drinking stations while apologizing inwardly (pasensya na po).

All the hills were getting to my knees and my dad was nowhere in sight. I did as best I could until I finally found him near the 4.5K mark on the last killer uphill (or UPHELL, as friends affectionately say). I didn’t get to pace him as planned but the fact that he was able to complete the run on his own means that, at least, I did my job as trainer well. He was so proud of his accomplishment, and happier still after he joined me and the Pinoy Fitness peeps for marathon picture-taking. One more running addict in the fold. 😉

Papa with his finisher's military dog tag - 60+ and running!

In front of the Grandstand. On regular days, this is where I do my speed work.

Feeling the runner's high atop a Simba Tank, photo by Antonio Baga

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