Wednesday, 19 September 2007

miLo Legazpi City eLims 21km

I met up with Totoy, Tisha and Rio. We were all heading for the city with the perfect cone, Legazpi. The bus ride would take us 11hours, 2 rest stops and 510kms. We left Manila 6minutes past 7pm. And the traffic at Osmena highway was just staggering. To top it all, everyone didn't have any snacks, well Rio did grabbed some sandwich, lucky guy. and just minutes after we left we were already feeling the hunger. I was just wishing to get to the first stop as fast as possible.

Chowking Candelaria,Quezon was the first stop of the trip. Since it was a 21km race that we were going for, carbo loading was on top of our to-do list. Thank god for chao-fan and Lauriat!
Arriving at the second stop we grabbed some java and stretched a bit. It was freezing back at the bus, so we just stayed out the entire stop.


We got a glimpes of the provincial 2 lane road, but with no luck on the majestic view of Mt. Mayon, it was raining litttle animal that's why. When we reached Legazpi City proper, guess what we did first? EAT. I took the guys to best restaurant in town! Cres Snack Inn! Got some soup, Chinese noodles, rice and fish for our first meal of the day. We then headed home to freshen up and rest again.It was before lunch that we headed to the Legazpi Sports Office to fix our registration for the race. We ran into some trouble since the 21km event was limited to 100 slots only. And we were forced to use the best Filipino technique in times of panic! Name Drop. And of course call the person that you just name dropped. :D Good morning Mrs. Biscocho! We were wondering if you could still accomodate 3 more runners for the 21km event.... pls pls pls..... Ok so we got the race numbers. 5km Female race numbers! hehehehe with a big felt marker it became the single most important thing for a race, of course next to the free shirt.We met up with our additional runners Pen and Renz before lunch. Then went back to the best restaurant in town for some spicy stuff. By this time I was sure they were ready for it. :) Bikol Express, Laing and more Bikol Express!
Got everything that we needed for the race, gatorade, red bull, oatmeal, MILO and some meds. We also took the time to go through the 21km route. We didn't want any nice surprise the next day right. Went back to the mi casa and chatted till dinner time. My folks prepared more carbs for us and so we worked our way into dinner.

4AM Sunday :: Race Day

I already heard footsteps upstairs. Someone was really excited! hehehe I went through my usual stuff, gatorade, and some light meal just to avoid the acidic feel in my tummy during the race. We took some group photos before we head out for the race. I bet you those smiles are mere reflections of all the excitement(anxiety) that we all experiencing.
We arrived 45 minutes early at the starting grid. 21km runners are up front followed by the 3km kids and 5km runners at the back. When the countdown clock ticked at 20mins before race start, it started to rain heavy. I didn't mind the rain since I love running while its raining. The problem here is that the parents of all the kids running 3km were starting to panic. "naku sisipunin anak ko"...... 5minutes to race start, I started to shiver in the cold already. I was starting to get worried of the possible problems..... hard start(like a cold engine of a car) hehehe and blisters!

:: Gun Start ::

I think it was my first time to start at the front of the grid. And I was just shocked by the mad dash of the runners. Maybe it was because of all the waiting or the excitement or both. Whatever caused it, I was really not prepared for it. I started to huff and puff just barely 300meters away. :D It felt like I was doing an all out 400 repeat at the track. All 100 runners got separated early on the race.

Passing the 2nd kilometer I was greeted by my Sister with her son and daughter all cheering my name! wehw! I smiled and tried to fly! hehehehe After just another kilometer I was greeted by my Mom&Dad with the same cheer! Talk about pressure. hehehehe I knew it was still really early on the race so I tried to stay on my current pace just get to the halfway mark.

Since I was wearing my favorite yellow jersey I was an instant pick out from the local runners wearing the official singlet. I would hear all the side comments from the locals in our dialect. They thought that I couldn't understand them.... Well I can understand every d@mn word they were saying. :P One of the runner from the biggest contingent PNP said to the other runner "makusog man palan an.... tirahun mo na. kayang kaya!" ---> "he's strong, get pass him, you can do it!" :) When I heard them say that I immediately gave them a taste of my dust. hehehehe well for just about 300meters.

Got to the turn around point in under an hour, which means that I did run faster than I was supposed to or have planned to. Grabbed the loop tag and got some fluids, a very diluted Gatorade tasting drink.

Just after 3km from the turnaround point. I started to feel my legs getting heavier and heavier. I knew I was loosing proper form by that time. But I needed to push.... Only to find out there's nothing more left in me for a good push. I knew that I would be sacrificing a good finish if I continue to suicidally push my pace. 2 runners pass me by the last 7km. One of them was a fellow runner from Manila, Lala Calma. I knew she was coming out strong. And she did!

I passed by the last 4km only to see my very supportive folks still cheering for me to push to the last kms. I felt my heart drop to the ground in disappointment. I know that my mom would instantly see that I was already in trouble, just by my running form at that time. I just knew that I was throwing a really sloppy stride. 500m down the road I saw my sister and her kids again cheering my name. I smiled for the camera and just pushed at the same pace. This is were I saw one runner, a local, walking. He got cramps and by his count it was the 16th cramp attack already. I shouted for him to join me in my pace and just hold on till the final 2km. He tried but only to give up after 500m. Now I have to deal with my own problem. Getting into the finish as fast as I can.

I noticed a police motorbike rider trailing by my left side. It felt good! Knowing that I wasn't alone. He didn't mind me, or maybe he was just being cautious seeing my tired face and dragging feet. hehehe Reaching the last slight uphill section in front of my Alma Mater I got a glimpse of the start/finish line. I pushed..... and held on tight.... Closed my eyes..... and just thought of the finish line. I finished 1:44:26 || 36/100 runners. A good 4 minutes faster than my KOTR half.

I knew I trained well the past few weeks before this race. Did I unrealistically challenge myself for a faster time??? or maybe I just got too confident at the first half and forgot to do my usual race strategy (wait.... wait... wait.... then all out after the turn around) Still, I have another race to add on my list for next year.
- Totoy with a strong 13th spot finish -

- Renz doing a last 200m sprint alongside Ina -

- Lala still looking fresh after finishing 1:41:00 2nd place womens -

- thanks Rio for the post race recovery meal !!! sana lagi kang champion para lagi libre kain kami. :D -

- everyone's worried, clouds covering the view -

- I had fun! I sure hope they did too! -