My Way of Living + training

Rainy Days and Sundays Don't Always Get Me Down : The Earth Run Report

The soothing line of the Carpenters classic reverbrated through my mind as I drove out Sunday morning. The rain was steadily pouring over the pavement as I pulled out of my condo, the pre-dawn serenity of a Sunday morning punctuated by the incessant rain. I was thinking, will the run be cancelled? Then I realized the amount of preparations that are put into organizing a race. Moving it would be tantamount to a logistical nightmare. So I figured, the show must go on!

On Rainy Races and Alcohol-Free Uncles I picked up Erick at Shaw Blvd, about 5 mins from my place. We picked up a groggy and thankfully not drunk Tito Caloy a few minutes later. Apparently, he had begged off from an inuman party with the kumpadres the night before just to prepare for the race. Absconding from free beer? Now that's what you call dedication! So the three of us were talking shop as we reached Mckinley at 5:15, 15 minutes before the announced race time. There was some confusion as to where the parking area was, so we had to ask around. Two marshals, one sleepy guard, and one crabby guard later we ended up in the open parking area. Note to self : 15 minutes to race time! Hurry! Warm-up running in the rain towards the starting line, I saw that the race was still surprisingly well-attended despite the inclement weather. I saw gals Cherry and Ross walking around, pointed us to where the team was hanging out. The usual suspects were there, along with a morose-looking Sam akaThe Running Ninja in blogging parlance. I thought he was intensely focused on his strategy, little did I know that he had run over someone the night before. Hang in there buddy, things will be resolved soon. Takeshi's Castle Fun Times The organizers soon announced that the race would be starting at 6 am, or 30 minutes later than the announced time because of the weather. Tito Caloy was wondering if it would push through, a 16k virgin's typical anxiety in play. I nodded somewhat unattentively, my wandering thoughts fixated on my strategy for the race as the "peloton" of 3k, 5k, and 16k were gathered en masse for a common start. 10 miles. 16 something kilometers. It's my first time to tackle the distance, first crack at the famed Mckinkley Hills. I have no idea if my pace would hold here. I feel like I'm out of shape. I lack mileage this week. I should stop working and just run. Okay maybe not. This kid next to me is really loud. Did I bring enough money to eat later? Oh crap I left my camera in the car. No pix for the blog then. But then again if I brought the camera, where would I put it? What's the true meaning of love? It's starting to rain... oh great it's pretty hard ... . my Garmin's gonna get soaked... .. Wow I feel like I'm in the Takeshi's Castle starting grid... . Oh great here we go... The starting gun jolted me back into reality. Suffice to say, it was a riot. Bundling together the 16k runners with the 3k and 5k runners wasn't the high point of an otherwise well-organized race. Truly, the Takeshi's Castle analogy was not far-fetched. It was virtual bedlam. I think that the fact that the rain started to pour a few seconds before the starting gun went off contributed to a rock-concert like atmosphere, which in turn elevated the adrenalin levels of pretty much everyone. Not only did I have to contend with the rain and the slippery road, I also had to deal with rowdy kids who were jumping (yeah, jumping) on the road. By the time I had extricated myself from that mess, I figured I had lost about 10-15 seconds worth of pacing. Prior to the race, I had no idea what was a good target time for 16k . Coach Pojie said a 1:30 would be nice. Personally, I thought it was a stretch given my propensity to fade late. But I took solace in the training runs I've had lately, so might as well give it a shot. The first kilometer registered 4:53 on my 305. Right on schedule! For 10k's my preferred opening would be a 4:30, but into the great unknown that was the 10-miler, I was guessing the aformentioned pace would be sufficient. At the 3km mark , I began to pace with Docs Eric and Pinky. Doc Eric is a sub- 2 hour 21k runner, one of the strongest in the group. I thought it would be prudent to pace with him, at least get myself acquainted with the level that I am training for. Doc Pinky was actually pacing faster than us, and it turned out she was competing in the 5k. Her breakneck pace was good enough for a 5th place podium finish wohoo :) Congrats Doc Pinky, terrific run. So me and Doc Eric ran together until the 9k mark. The hills were harder than I expected. The course was living up to its billing. I accelerated in one of the steeper extended regions heading to the Heritage Park region, and once again I was alone. There were numerous water stations available, and I crossed the 10k mark at 53:50, just 10 seconds off my 10k PR. I thought to myself, I have a real shot at this. Just keep your head in it. As I sprinted downhill towards the 11k turnaround point, the daunting uphill climb to my left was a grim reminder of the tribulations up ahead. So this is what Sisyphus must have felt like Let's just put it this way. If you have no hill training at all, kiss your PR goals goodbye for this course. The return uphill stretch went for something like 3 km. My pace went down from 5:25 to 5:30. Soon Doc Eric caught up with me, a friendly face ready to boost me up in what seemed like an endless uphill battle. Even when I thought it had ended, it was still haunting me.My hammies rather. Finally, we had started our reentry into the Mckinley area proper. 4k to go! The Garmin showed us at 1 hour something! Wow! We have a real shot! Doc Eric told me that we should just go for it, and we did. We were sprinting the last 4k at a 5:05 - 5:10 pace. I made the mistake of going LT on the 15th kilometer, and I faded a little towards the end. I also saw amiable Happy Feet/ habitue Mon towards the homestretch, last saw him during our Baguio run. When all things were said and done, I happily crossed the line at 1:26:03, 4 minutes below my target! Final pace was 5:32., about 20 seconds behind locomotive-like Doc Eric. I was so happy, because I realized that if I maintain that pace for at least 5k more, I could do a sub -2 hour 21k! That's my secret (well not anymore) dream! Yeah! As the group congregated, the rest of the gang started to pile in. Sam came in injury-free at 1:40. Speedy, comebacking Migz got 1:32, his first since his injury. "Wala ako sa kundisyon" Erick got a strong 1:30 finish, a testament to his run-walk strategy. Tito Caloy logged in at an estimated 1:50, a wonderful time for the 50-year old 16k Virgin. Wilnar, Girley, and as mentioned earlier Doc Pinky took podium finishes in their respective categories. Overall, was a good day for the team! Afterwards, the factions of the group met at Mcdonald's Net One for a wonderful post-race celebration of sorts. Lots of photos, laughs, and goofing around :)

All's well at Earth Run

Doc T wins!

Wilnar's 5th place finish for the 5k

Coach wins too!

Rico aka Sheer Will with his "medal"

Girley aka Pepsi with the real thing So with all things said and done, suffice to say do rainy days and Sundays always get me down? With runs and friends like these, not really :) Tito Caloy Quote of the Day :

Picture 037 by you.

"Napasarap ung kwento ko dun sa mag-asawa, naligaw tuloy ako!" - On following Neil and Rach to the 5k route

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Rainy Days and Sundays Don't Always Get Me Down : The Earth Run Report + training