My Way of Living + [winners]

To Infinity and Beyond - The Mizuno Race Report

So the rain finally went away. Sigh. Would it be a good day today? Those thoughts crossed my head as I woke up at 3 am, anxiously anticipating the upcoming events of the day. I haven't run a 10k in awhile, and I would be trying to beat my PR for the distance. What was on today's race menu? The highly-anticipated Mizuno Infinity Run, touted by some to be even bigger than the industry benchmark Condura Run. Did it live up to the hype? Let us see for ourselves as the events of the day unfold.

Emeperador - 1, Tito Caloy - 0

The day started with a text message from running buddy/part-time uncle/full-time tomador Tito Caloy. In essence, he had gone drinking and obviously couldn't join the race. Oh great. That's 300 bucks lost off the bat. If he ever pays me, I'll treat you guys for taho. Promise! (don't keep your hopes up). So I ventured off to BHS alone, the silence of the sleepy metropolis an unwilling replacement to Tito Caloy's incessant pre-dawn chatter. I got there relatively early for the 10k check-in, rambling thoughts passing through my head as my anxiety level was rising by the minute.Oh man I'm alone. No one's here yet. Hey is that... . okay maybe not. Hmm they said it would be bigger than Condura? Maybe? Tito Caloy exchanged me for alcohol. I'm sleepy. Why do people wake up this early anyway? He'll never pay me. Wow they moved classes to the 22nd. I don't like this swine flu thing at all. Are people in this world really evil? Can I break my PR? I'm hungry and... The requisite hi/ hello/good luck from Takbo.ph regulars Edu and Rodel jarred me back into consciousness. By this time, the rest of the Takbo.ph gang began to file in. Nearly all of them were running the 15k. Looks like I would be waging another solitary battle here. As the 15k gun went off, the 30 minute countdown towards the 10k start seemed like an eternity. By virtue of me being really early, I was somehow stationed right in the front of the corral, a circumstantial, undeserved spot to say the least. Ansty and nervous at the same time, I attempted to strike some sort of coherent conversation with the runner next to me. Here' s the honest-to-goodness accurate transript of our conversation : Me: "Sir, buti tumigil ung ulan no?"Runner X : "Nga eh." Me: "Um, ano sir ung target ninyo ngayon?" Runner X: " Mga 40, ok na." Me: "Um, aaaah good luck sir! "Running on Empty While that went well, the gun went off. I was in 70's mode for the entire week, so the leadoff song on my iPod was Sumayaw Sumunod. While disco was blaring in my ears, I assessed how I would be approaching this. If the prevailing goal was to break 50 minutes, I would have to work around the 4:30 zone. With a mere 20 km worth of mileage this week, that ain't happening. I started out at 4:29, hitting 5:03 at the 3k mark. I was feeling gassed. Lack of mileage right there. I should buy a treadmill. Or be a member at these fancy gyms so I could use one.Anyway, at the Kalayaan Flyover I ran into Boggs, one of our students from UA&P and a speedy T2 regular. I asked hm what his target was, the response was sub-50. Can I pace with you? The answer was in the affirmative. 2km later he was about 400m from me already. I was zapped. Not happening. Not today. Nice kid though. You'd like him too. The Alchemy of Blood, Guts, and Condura Memories Past the turnaround point and going back up the Kalayaan Flyover, the route quickly evoked memories of the Condura Run. My first major race ever. I remember walking up the steep gradient of the killer flyover. I remembered wanting to quit. I remembered just plain quitting, the heat overpowering my psyche. This is so stupid. Maybe I can just go back to playing poker. At least I'll earn some cash. It's sooooo hot. My feet are killing me. Ayoko na. But if I quit now, I'll never live it down. So I soldiered on. I remembered digging deep within myself just to finish.The pain in my legs was excruciating . I was running on empty. I could hardly breathe. As I was fast fading at that very same flyover last Sunday, those powerful memories were flashing through my head at warp speed. Was I biting off more than I could chew? Am I way over my head in doing this? Does competitiveness have its limits? Is it a sin to strive to be the best at each and every thing you do? Fight or Flight My legs were on fire, the lungs all but out of it. I wanted to give up. But as I descended the Kalayaan Flyover while struggling my way into a 5:50 split, I realized that I only had about 3-4 km to go. Only 3-4 km of pain and sacrifice to go. I thought, just survive a couple more minutes of total exhaustion and you'll feel terrific about exorcising your demons for the rest of the week. I think that right there is the microcosm of "push" - when your body has absolutely nothing more to give and you unabashedly ask it to give more than it ever had.I ran that last 2km stretch, that very same area where I had walked not too long ago, like my life depended on it. I take pride in putting a premium on passion in my everyday travails, in leaving your heart out there on the playing field. It's fight or flight, and I chose to fight. Before I knew it, I could see the chute. Powerful Takbo.ph big man Mond passed me over the final 400m, I could give no more. But even as my body gave out its last hurrah, the clock glanced 51:30. Oh my. I had did it. Getting to the end of the chute, my 305 stopped at 51:38. I pumped my fist and was overjoyed at a blood and guts victory over the most daunting opponent of all.The Aftermath Truly, the whole team was blessed that day. Nearly everyone I talked with set a new PR. Among others, head honcho Jinoe took a new 15k PR, and Bong Z. hit his sub 55 target. I'm so happy because everyone is rapidly improving across the board. As with most of the runners, we were pleasantly surprised to receive a finisher's singlet instead of the advertised shirt. And it fits! In addition, Mizuno saved the biggest surprise for last, announcing that the race was actually a time trial in preparation for next year's event dubbed 1.10.10. The winners would be contingent on how much one had improved from this year's time. Truly, another coup from Mizuno, one that we would all be eagerly awaiting. Afterwards, the group went straight to Mcdonald's Net One for some much needed refueling, the place slowly becoming our favorite post-race BHS breakfast jaunt.

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A sea of White, Black, Yellow, Blue... . and Orange?

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Ellen and Doc Roy with Migz lurking

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Natz, Doc Lyndon and Rico

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Matinee idol/speedster Bong with Pepsi and Ms. Morrison

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The "Hard Core" Takbo.ph team

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Me with Second Wind proprietor/ultramarathoner Hector

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Running Couple Neil and Rach at Mcdo Net One

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Chillin' out after a messy Mcdo Breakfast So there. When all things were said and done, numerous PR's fell, sunny skies and even sunnier smiles abound. Despite the anxiety and sacrifice, despite the blood and guts spilled on the road and the overpowering urge to quit when you were beaten down to the ground... ... It turned out to be a good day after all. Tito Caloy Quote of The Day :

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" Di ako makakasama sayo, ako'y niyaya, napilitan, napainom, napasubo" - On choosing Emperador over Mizuno