long run sunday (my takbo bayani run)

Posted: August 19, 2008 in running
Tags: , , ,

This Sunday, I finished my first official half marathon race. I have ran the full distance a couple of times during our training runs. And I have signed up for a 21k race before. I was actually all set to run the half with the T2 gang at the Subic Marathon Event at the start of this year. I was excited about it and even worked my crazy Christmas schedule so I could sneak in a few training runs. But that was before I managed to roll down Rangitoto Mountain near Auckland and twist my ankle. So, no half marathon for girl with ankles the size of a watermelon. Drat!

All the other 21Km races since then have been scheduled on dates when I would find myself out of the country for work. So still no 21K race for me. Not until this whole TAKBO BAYANI event which I didn’t even plan on running. As far as i was concerned, It was on the other side of the world! Didn’t people need a special visa to get there? But things happened. DATC came out with a post, I ranted. And a couple of email exchanges later I simply found myself sharing the starting line with DATC, Batgirl with her banana, RunMD and other good friends from our time in the university ten million years ago… We even had Prometheus Cometh (Prom) for support on bike-wheels! Wheee! Soon enough, the run I really wasn’t looking forward to had morphed into run I could actually enjoy. We had agreed that we were all going to do this at our long run pace. None of us were truly prepared to race it. We all just grabbed at the chance to run a 21K. I wasn’t particularly thrilled about the busy route. I had driven through it the week before. There were jeepneys and tricycles and cars and carts and pedi cabs etc. But I figured, a run is a run. And a run shared with friends is definitely already a few points ahead in the fun meter.

So off we went and as soon as we hit the bridge, RunMd zoomed away like a supercharged energizer bunny! That guy can really run fast! I cheered him on in my head. And then I busied myself with finding a more comfortable space within the running pack. I felt myself crowded in by the merchant cadets so I instinctively moved towards my right. Eventually, the crowd of bodies started thinning out and I was able to settle into my pace. I noticed that the sun was already getting higher up in the sky. It was bound to get really hot soon. By my computations, which are often way off, I was going to be running a minimum of 2 hours so I knew that sun was definitely going to catch up with me somewhere along the route.

I usually prefer the quieter routes to Marikina’s and Quezon City’s crazy thoroughfares. I don’t relish playing chicken with metal cars and jeepneys. I found the noise of the streets a bit disconcerting too. While I had my earphones on I wasn’t playing any music on my ipod. I thought it made more sense to pay attention to the sounds of the street. This was unfamiliar territory. I needed to have what little of my wits I had about me. Not lost in some hard pounding Green Day beat.

The route itself wasn’t all that interesting. It wasn’t the most scenic nor safest of routes. But then we already knew that before we signed up for it. It helped a lot that Prom was a regular presence. It seemed every time I would hit an intersection he would be there with his camera in ready. I found his presence greatly reassuring. Especially since at this point I had no idea where DATC or Batgirl was. I thought they had followed RunMd while I was trying to negotiate my own little turf on the left side of the running pack.

As I turned into the Batasan road, I started feeling the sun’s direct heat. I checked my watch and noticed I had been slacking off with my pace so I prodded myself to run a little faster. The run downhill was fun. At one point though I found myself having to choose between running straight into a cart or jumping into the sidewalk and probably sideswiping a tree. I chose the tree and thankfully managed to stop just in time to give it an awkward hug. I decided to knock on the trunk twice to say hello to the spirits..and for good luck. Then I composed myself as best I could (a girl with an umbrella wasn’t even bothering to hide a snicker!) and then just started running again. This was one of the more striking memories of the race. And there was also a rock- star moment when all the runners found themselves doing high-fives with the kids playing on the road! I found that amusing. And one other part. A man actually tried to pick me up. Literally. He was driving a jeepney. He stopped it right beside me and I asked if I wanted a ride. I just smiled and waved him away. I told him I was in a race. And besides, I didn’t really have change for the fare! πŸ˜‰ He did the same thing to the guy in front of me. I guess he was having fun. When I finally found myself side by side with the guy running in front of me, I turned to him and said…”Guess, that jeepney ride seems like a pretty good idea now, huh?” We shared a laugh, exchanged some pleasantries and then re-focused on the road ahead.

I finished the run in 2:06:something something. Lets make it a 2:07 run. It was good, it was fun. It was also short by more than a kilometer. But it’s official! I have ran my half. Time to focus on the real long run. Now, it’s time to do a marathon!

  1. bards says:

    ironshoes … wala muna test of friendship until we finish the marathon, oki! πŸ˜› and one more time real loud. cue in music … “I’ll be there someday / I can go the distance / I will find my way / If I can be strong / I know ev’ry mile / Will be worth my while” hehehe

    Haha!! Sige na nga. Though you always pass naman the TOFs with flying colors and straightened curls to boot! Plus you get extra bonus points because i didn’t even have to ask! Thanks Bards!

  2. kingofpots says:

    mesh, you made it..good job! congrats for finishing your 1st half-marathon with a good time. as i said, beware, running is addictive! good luck on your training for your 1st marathon. hope to see you soon!

    Thanks BR, I look forward to seeing you at the tambayan soon! Running is indeed addictive. You, with the stories you post in your blog, always somehow manage to bring it to the level of inspiring. πŸ˜‰

  3. Gene says:

    Wuhoo! girl power! looks like you guys also had lots of fun, jeepneys and sceneries and all πŸ™‚ kaka-ingit naman for those of us who have yet to run our first 21K.

    Wag nang ma-ingit! Takbuhin na! Masaya siya. I think there will be one scheduled next month. Or you can always join the gang in Singapore. I think both half and full marathon are still open for registration.

  4. DATC says:

    Congratulations on an awesome run! Are you sure you’re not training secretly? πŸ™‚ I’m confident you’ll do well in Singapore! I’m willing to be your support crew and photographer there, just send me and my bike the ticket, hehe

    Haha! Thanks DATC! Shhhh! Sobrang secret training nga. I can only do it when I’m asleep. Otherwise baka mag-welga ang community inside my head if they find out what I’m planning to do.
    Tara na! Sama ka na kasi sa Singapore. Bring the family. Turn it into a holiday! Let Christmas come early. πŸ˜‰

  5. sfrunner says:

    myironshoes, congratulations on the “near” half. The effort was definitely good! Hope the recovery training is going well for you. Take care.

    thanks a lot, sfrunner! it was indeed a fun one with a few challenging portions. i’m sure there’s a lot you can teach newbies like me with your experience in running. it’s a good thing you are visiting this part of the world.

  6. loonyrunner says:

    congrats on the half! wow! good luck on your training for the singapore marathon πŸ˜€

  7. dingdong says:

    Nice run Mesh, congrats. Looking forward to seeing you and Bards during the coming races and training runs as we all prepare for our first full marathon.

  8. myironshoes says:

    Loonyrunner, Dingdong, Salamat!
    42K is a terrifying thought for me today though. I can only manage 7 right now. That’s a good number easy 7.

  9. Gene says:

    Wuhoo! I’ll get to run with ironshoes! and see how my iron blisters will stack up against her ironshoes πŸ™‚

  10. prometheuscometh says:

    Bravo! Great performance. You were pretty steady throughout the race I thought you had done this before. It was an honor to have biked with you guys and next time I hope we can all join a race together!

  11. myironshoes says:

    Gene, Prom, I’m definitely looking forward to running with you guys sometime soon. Though I don’t think I really race. I just run as fast as I can to breakfast… Haha!

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