Charles Dickens began his famous novel A Tale of Two Cities with these words: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” The year 2011 has felt that way for me. There’s a clear demarcation between my peak performance period in the first half of the year, and the slump that followed after my harrowing elbow dislocation.
But I’m not going away any time soon. I’m still head-over-heels nuts about running, even returning to action at the Takbo.ph Runfest barely two weeks after getting my arm out of its sling. Two weeks after that, I decided to take on the run leg of the Camsur Ironman 70.3 without any training, which was stupid, I know, but people in love can be foolhardy.
Though this slow body has been frustrating at times, I know I’m getting back into shape. The speed is coming back, culminating in my first 10K in six months to be run within 50 minutes at the Sunpiology Run. Endurance has taken a hit and I won’t be ready for a marathon soon (yup, I’m backing out of Condura this year), but just like how I began in 2009 and continued in 2010, it will all come again eventually.
I’m glad I was able to participate in so many races nonetheless, especially those for a cause. I ran two destination races, the Greenfields Clean Air Run and the Camsur Marathon, which both benefited environmental efforts. The TAKBO.ph Nightfest, Avon Race to 125,000 Kisses, and 500-Smile Run raised funds for physically challenged children, breast cancer patients, and cleft palate surgery candidates, respectively.
Then there were those races I joined just because they seemed like fun. I always have a blast at the events Summit Media mounts, and the Women’s Health Athena Run and Men’s Health All-Terrain Race didn’t disappoint. Since I had missed the first Run BGC last year, I made it a point to do this year’s Run BGC. The Adobo Run After Dark gave me opportunity to run in costume for the first time!
I was able to experience the entire Run United/RunRio Trilogy (RU1, RU2, RU3) although I didn’t get to do the Afroman distance this year. The biggest surprise for me this year came at Run United 3, when I took home my first (and will probably be my only) 21K race podium medal. So despite RU3 being one tough race to run, it’s my favorite of the year.
Last year I said I wanted to do more triathlon events with Team Endure, and I did: the Speedo NAGT Subic mini-sprint, the Subic Bay International Triathlon sprint, and the Animo Sprint Triathlon. Leveling up to longer distances had to wait ’til next year, though (the elbow dislocation sent me into triathlon offseason early). But I’m not in a hurry; just like joining my first marathon, I’ll take my time.
This year’s experiences showed me you can never plan everything down to the smallest detail. The unexpected happens and you’ve just got to roll with it. So it can be the best of times and the worst of times; what matters is how you respond to it. I’m really thankful that by God’s grace I was able to “count it all joy”.
For 2012, I want to run another marathon (perhaps the Run United Philippine Marathon that Unilab and Coach Rio are planning), finally accomplish being the biker in a long distance triathlon relay, win first place in a 10K, and do a race overseas. Hey, if you’re going to dream, dream big, right?
One thing’s for sure about next year though: I’ll still be around, running my heart out.