Back-to-Back: Race for Life & King of the Road

Due to a strange and mysterious confluence of events (LOL!), I found myself signed up for consecutive races last weekend: Race for Life on Saturday the 24th, and Adidas King of the Road on Sunday the 25th. Race for Life had been moved from its original date in September due to Ondoy, but I still wanted to run it with my friends. I’d considered skipping KOTR, but then got a slot for free from my Action&Fitness Magazine editor.

Race for Life

Race for Life: 2077
Bib No. 2077

I jostled for space at the very front of the pack, wanting to get a good start. I was competing against friends who were trying to beat their 5K times from last year, and even though I didn’t run last year, I was still determined to keep up with them.

Based on what my friends told me, the turnout this year wasn’t as big as last year’s. Whether it was because of Ondoy causing the race’s postponement, or because the Subic International Marathon was scheduled on the same day, or because KOTR was happening the next day, there weren’t too many elite runners signed up (and most of them had signed up for the 15K and 10K distances). That paved the way for me to winning the bronze medal in the 5K women’s category, with a time of 24 minutes and 41 seconds! Podium finish — therefore my racing life is complete. Ü I even got to share stage space with Rica Peralejo and Donita Rose, who hosted the awards ceremony after the race.

Race for Life: I Won 3rd Place!
Bronzer.

If running a 5K is like window-shopping (like Rose told me last Monday), I went and won myself some Nike Park gift certificates to shop with! I don’t know what I’ll buy with them though; I just bought a new pair of dance shoes and I don’t really like Nike’s apparel choices this season. Maybe I should just get a SportsBand to help me keep track of my mileage. Or not; I use LogYourRun to map my routes out anyway. I should just get new running tights; I found my legs fatigued quickly while running in short shorts. Would I still be able to run KOTR the next day?

Adidas King of the Road

I got home pretty late from Fashion Week and going out after, so I told myself I’d only take a short catnap, then get ready to head back to Fort for the 10K race, which was set to start at 6am.

I woke up at 5:30am.

King of the Road 2009
Noelle the Natural LATECOMER!!!

After jumping into the shower then into my race kit, I drove like a madwoman and would have been late by only 10 minutes — if I hadn’t run into a solid wall of yellow-clad runners making their way past an intersection on their way to Kalayaan flyover.

Feeling dejected, I parked and made my way to the staging grounds thinking I’d just collect my freebies. Then I saw someone start their run. I pulled myself together, got my bib checked, then ran out the gates as well. I didn’t bother to check how much time had elapsed on the clock before I started. The important thing was to run. After all, I didn’t want to waste my outfit. Ü

I was running against the flow of a steady stream of people already on their way back. Although I came face-to-face with some familiar faces, I was running the race pretty much on my own. But as I came around the halfway point, I started overtaking runners who had slowed down, spent from the earlier sprint off the blocks. I ran at a steady pace, not really pushing because I wasn’t chasing a personal record. I even had enough time and breath to yell, “Let’s go, Miss BB!” when I overtook BB Gandanghari (nee Rustom Padilla).

I arrived at the finish with 1 hour 16 minutes elapsed on the clock, but with a huge sense of accomplishment. Even though I hadn’t managed to beat the clock, I still felt like a winner. It was then I realized I didn’t run because I wanted to win a prize. I run because I want to, period.

Next time, though, I swear I will set four alarms to wake me up for an early morning race!

Running the QCIM — Vicariously

Yesterday my future brother-in-law got stuck in traffic for an hour due to the first Quezon City International Marathon. The city government and police closed down some major thoroughfares until about 10am, causing massive traffic jams throughout the city.

Today at the gym I caught a woman (a very toned, tanned one) wearing a QCIM singlet. Since we were sharing the same mirror space, I asked her how yesterday’s race was.

Her name is Rose, and it turns out she ran the full marathon (well, about 36 kilometers of it per doctor’s orders) as a tune-up run. I can barely manage 10K without my legs feeling like mush the next day, and here’s a woman who’s serious about marathons! (On a side note, it just irks me when people say they’re running a marathon, and then it turns out they just signed up for the 5K side event at a marathon.) She told me about the Kenyan runners who had come to the Philippines just to race, and their amazing 2-hour time on the marathon. (It takes a normal human being around 4 hours to run 42 kilometers!)

I asked her if the QCIM was a well-organized one because I’d heard about the chaos it brought to the city roads. As far as races go, it seems it was a good one; she was all praises about the entire Quezon City police department that had deployed for traffic and crowd control. The 42K route passed through the La Mesa Dam in some parts, so Army personnel had been deployed there. The downside, according to Rose, is that the 6 kilometers inside La Mesa had no water stops!

She asked me if I ran, and I self-consciously said I only did 10km at most since I got impatient if running took any longer. I had on my running shoes and was clutching my iPod in one hand, about to do 5 kilometers on the gym’s treadmill. I hadn’t run since Ondoy and I was just trying to ease back into running in preparation for this Saturday’s Race for Life and Sunday’s King of the Road. (Yes, I’m running two races this weekend; yes, I know I’m crazy.) She smirked good-naturedly and said, “Parang nag-window shopping ka lang.”

Looks like I’m going to have to increase my mileage in the next few months. Ü