My Way of Living + training

On Murphy's Law And My Nat-Geo Comeback Race

Murphy's Law (mur-feez lo)
- humorous adage or epigram that typically connotes a situation where anything that can go wrong will go wrong.

Murphy's Law. Sigh. Those dreaded two words have pretty much haunted mankind since time immemorial. Little did I know that it would apply to your fun Gingerbread scribe on a mundane Sunday morning race. Actually, I should have paid more attention to certain signs early on as a portent of things to come.

I not likey.

Having been out of commission for nearly a month while recovering from BDM , I've been quite antsy to race again. The ITBS that plagued me in Bataan was all but gone, and I've been able to string together a couple of pain-free training weeks. I targeted the Nat-Geo 10k run as my comeback race, only because people were jumping up and down over its cool freebie shirt. Besides, the riveting (smirk) MOA flatlands should be good for my knees.

Then I realized they were charging 700 effin bucks for a miserly 10k.Hmmm... ..


Thus, I had to do some sort of rationalization to justify spending a day and a half's minimum wage on a 10k. And at MOA to boot.

But... . I really wanted that shirt. I really, Really, REALLY wanted it. So, 700 bucks equates to P300 registration then I just "imagine" I bought a cool P400 shirt plus the satisfaction of knowing that I'm actually "running for the earth" in a mall complex that was once, well, part of the sea . Makes sense right? What fun.

Never knew a runner who could turn down a nice shirt

Missed Signs

Maybe I just don't know how to take a hint. So I troll out to BHS on the last day of registration during my lunch break, was assuming the whole thing wouldn't take that long. To my horror, I was advised by the amiable manong guard at Nike Park (who incredibly knew which shirt sizes were still in stock. Promotion due.) that the Nat Geo person would come in at 1- 1:30 pm. Which meant an hour of sheer drudgery while waiting. Thus, I had no recourse but to troop to the nearest fancy coffee joint to burn time. Ugh.

He's better than some of the salesmen there.
An hour or so (and P150 poorer) later, I come in and find a mob scene. Apparently, the Nat Geo dude came in at exactly 1pm and people are jumping over one another. After I come in five minutes later to get in on the action, I am informed in the most glacial manner that they had just sold the last slots to the two ladies to my left.


As my blood pressure went through the roof, I attempted to explain that I was there before anyone, I just stepped out to grab some coffee. Guy wouldnt budge. Sorry ser huli na talaga yun eh. DANG. This needed drastic action. Several options that were forming in my head at light speed :

1. Use my Gingerbread pseudo-celebrity status by exchanging a slot for my highly-coveted autograph or photo op.

Inherent risk : Cold, icy stare followed by "Never heard of you, you deluded fool. Security!!"

2. Use my not-so- pseudo-celebrity sister as bait by promising a nice, all-expense paid date with her in any Palawan resort of his choice.

Inherent risk : The dude would actually say yes. Gulp.

You can disown me now Ate (x_x)
Realizing that both were not exactly feasible, I had no recourse but to go for the oldest trick in the book... .

And voila, I happily walk out with bib and shirt in hand. And yet, I should have taken this near-misstep as a mere prelude what lay ahead... ..

Raceday Sunday
Fast-forward several days and there I was anxiously putting on my gear on a hazy Sunday morning, a ritual that I have sorely missed over the last couple of months. As I was traversing an otherwise traffic-free EDSA, that 80's song "The Name Game" by Laura Branigan came on. And it drove me absolutely nuts. It was like I was under some hypnotic trance, unable to change the station for nearly 6 minutes. Should have taken it as another sign. To those who have no idea what I'm talking about, I couldn't find a clip on YouTube due to some copyright crap but I did find the original 60's one :

A Case of the Misinformed

Now, I went there under the pretext that the race would be starting at 6 am . Or at least that was what my good buddy/blogger extraordinaire/Milo Nationals finalist Natz told me. Being the original moderator at, and one of the people who taught me a lot of running stuff as a 200 lb. fattie noob, I have immense respect for the guy. So I was there at 5 am thinking I had an hour to burn. This is where the fun starts. To sum it all up, this is how the next 30 minutes unfolded :

1. Guy waits 20 minutes for Lotto-like line to parking
2. Guy finally reaches entrance
3. "Ser, pono na poh eh sa kabila na lang"
4. Guy freaks out and endures several minutes of hair pulling
5. Goes to the next parking area.
6. With about 4 cars to the entrance, hears the siren and sees the 10k lead pack lead go out.
7. More hair pulling and a lot of Exorcist-like gyrations in car.

GBM lost his nerve

First time. Ever. I was at a loss coming to terms with the fact that I was actually late for a race. No freaking way. I was unnerved that I parked my car nearly diagonally much to the chagrin of Manong guard. I could really care less. So there I was, sprinting for the starting corral, and had to muscle my way through the throng of 3k and 5k runners. Quick check-in, and I was off. Nearly 10 minutes behind everyone else.

Quare mihi Murphy?
Yeah. Why me Mr. Murphy? So here I am, with no warm-up and stretching, attempting to hack out my 10k positive split. Que Horror. 1k split - 4:22. Okay, not so bad. I felt like I was in one of those racing video games where you get a nitro boost and are passing everyone left and right. Dang, thirsty already. Haven't done this in a while. I reach for my hydration and OH. I left it in the car. Great. My kind of day.

By the 3k mark I really had to drink already. Went for a stop at the water station and the water was ... . hot. Not lukewarm. Hot. As in, ready for afternoon tea hot. Another unsolved mystery of the universe.

Mid-race tea any one?

Alay Lakad anyone?
At the 5k mark, split was at 22:58. Decen t, b ut not where I wanted it to be. The lack of preparation and race rust was glaring. Nearing 6k, that's where it happened. I got stonewalled en masse by a throng of 5k runners who were walking the narrow roads of the course. Ugh. I was forced to stop at least three times by the Alay Lakad- like procession Ahhh, the dangers of starting at the back of the pack in a looped race. Flustered, I just saw my Sub-Piolo bid fly out of the window.

Stonewalled again.

It can't get any better than this
Reaching the homestretch, I attempted a last-ditch albeit demoralized rally. Splits were improving, then suddenly I felt a slight twinge at my ITB. Hopeless. It was apparent that it was nowhere near 100% . I just had to gut out the final 1.5 k with the lingering feeling that I could blow out my knee at any time. I gingerly hit the 10k split at 49:24 , nowhere near my best time. I then gingerly jogged the final 40om, because as MOA races go, the excess distance is becoming somewhat of a trademark already. My Murphy's Law race was finally over.

10k? Nah.

Post -Mortem
After the race, I barely saw anyone from the team. Seems everyone went to Earth Run. I couldn't blame them, that was like half the price of this race. Hung out with a profusely apologetic Natzter (who offered to buy me breakfast) and galpal Beth along with multisport dude Jason after. So was the race worth 700 bucks? For the shirt, maybe. It's an open market anyway, with so many races runners have their pick of the lot. It featured a lot of booths to keep the people busy after, and I had this feeling that a lot of people there had a feeling that they were running for a good cause. It's also an exercise in utilizing the power of a strong brand to reel people in. Case study for future mid-sized races.

Ran into officemate Dette. More people running yeah!

Bromance mode with th e Natzter

Fun at the Natgeo Video Truck

Natz and Beth pointing at some weird guy
As for me, it's apparent that I'm a long way off. The knee swelled up after, so im now in RICE and Salonpas roller mode. I'll give it another shot in two weeks or so. Take it easy everyone, stay away from Mr. Murphy! I'll see you on the road!

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On Murphy's Law And My Nat-Geo Comeback Race + training