Jun 18, 2010

Carrie: Calm after the Storm

When I woke up last Sunday, I hoped that Din and I will be able to have a different experience with our run for The Bottle School Project. And true enough we were not disappointed.

The race was spearheaded by Mr. Iliac Diaz of My Shelter together with the Department of Education, the City of Taguig, Cecon and The Insular Life. The event was mainly to empower people and communities to spread the word that we have the solution to build schools using soda PET bottles as hollow blocks. The run aims to collect bottles for the construction of the first school in Taguig City.

The event gathered a small crowd of people who run for a cause. Before the race started Mr Diaz gave a small pep talk about the projects of Bottle School and about how "we" as runners can spread the word about how this project will help less fortunate people especially children to experience having their own classrooms that will help foster an environment for education.

Prior to this event we also participated in the Philippine Independence Day Half Marathon as part of our back to back weekend run but unfortunately the PIDM was to say the least our most forgettable disorganized run. The Bottle School Project run didn't disappoint us at all. Though there were a lot of technicalities that needs to be improved the event was way way above the standards of PIDM. We commend, Mr Diaz together the sponsors and the volunteers for a job well done. The event had a calming effect on us after a day of fiasco called PIDM.

Jun 14, 2010

Din: Disorganized Chaos

Philippine Independence Day Run @ The Fort, June 12, 2010

There was always indeed a first time. I had been through races which had several rooms for improvement but in the end, looking at the law of averages, the plus points outweighed the negatives. On the other hand, with the recently held Philippine Independence Day Run last June 12, unfortunately the negatives overwhelmed the positives. It would have been a race with a great potential that we could look forward to every year but unfortunately it got mired with disorganization resulting to the most chaotic race I ever attended so far.

1. This was my first race that 10K, 15K and 21K runners all started at the same time. The moment I heard this, I already had that uh-oh feeling

2. We could hardly hear the speakers from the runners' corral. As a result, I think there was a miscommunication when one of the speakers was simulating the countdown and unfortunately the runners in front thought it was already the start. Well, I think most of the runners were already fidgety since the race was already about 10 minutes late.

3. Some areas of the route (especially along Lawton Avenue) were lacking in Race Marshalls. As a result, the runners fended for themselves against irate drivers. Thank goodness for the security personnel of some areas and buildings who helped out in managing the traffic chaos. Unfortunately, I  heard that one runner fell victim to a hit and run incident.

4. The only positive aspect of the race were the water stations which gave out Pocari Sweat drinks but unfortunately these also got mired with problems such as the short tables and small number of volunteers.

I ran the 10K and I already have this list of complaints. Imagine how long would it be for the 21K runners? Well, here was a blog post from Life is a Highway who ran the 21K.

On a personal note, amids these challenges, I was able to get a new PR for 10K which was 5 minutes faster than my old one. Yahoo! Next target will be a sub 1:10 time. =)

To show you how much we "appreciated" this race, we only had 3 pictures, 2 of which were taken at home.

Jun 12, 2010

Din: Nature Valley Runrio Leg 2

Kudos to Coach Rio for another great and very organized running event. From the pre-race activities, to the race itself and the water stations (this was the race with the most number and longest water stations I had ever seen so far) up to the post-race activities, everything screamed of organized with a capital O!

This race was supposed to be my first 10K run but I decided otherwise since I was able to make it to the registration for the Runnex Executive Classic 10K run a week before this event. Based on the lessons learned I gathered from the Runnex run, I made sure that I ran on my own pace that was sustainable even if I would be at the tail end of the 10K participants. I am proud to say this strategy paid off. Even if my finish time was 1 hour 22 minutes, I was very proud to say that I was not spent and I did not experience any adverse effects from pushing myself. I was even able to do a recovery run a day after the race.

As for my running partner, this was her second 5K run in the Runrio Trilogy. Even if the route was more difficult as compared to the Leg 1 (well as per my assessment since the 5K and 10K routes shared some parts), she was able to better her previous finish time by more than 1 minute. She is now gunning for the 10K  in the last leg of the Runrio Trilogy. Way to go! :D

Jun 8, 2010

Din: Runnex 10K Executive Classic Run 2010

I was scrolling aimlessly through the Takbo.ph list of races for 2010 when I chanced upon the Runnex 10K Executive Classic Run. I immediately thought, this would be a great opportunity for me to run again a 10K race after almost 20 years. I thought I was ready, emphasis on thought.

When race day came (this was May 23 in UP Diliman), I immediately included this event to my growing list of must-run-race-events-every-year. Even if the participants were few (well compared to the bigger commercial races) and the props for the events were simple yet effective, you could feel the energy among the crowd because you were surrounded by people who love the sport and run for the sake of running. You could feel this passion permeating the atmosphere.

And truth be told, this was my biggest mistake. I thought I could already run with the big boys. Well I did, for the first 30 seconds. It was quite a rude and humbling awakening. On the 6km mark, I was already struggling and running out of juice. Imagine that! Well, to show you how passionate these guys were, the top 30 finishers timed below 1 hour. To top it all, some of them were at least 20 years older than me! Talk about passion!

This race was a big lessons learned about pacing, foundation-building and most especially passion. Most of the participants did not have the latest running gears but what I saw was something more important. I saw passion, commitment, focus and determination. All the pains I experienced in this race made me a better person and I hope a better runner. To quote Dean Karnazes, in his book, Ultramarathon Man, "Pain is the body's way of ridding itself of weakness."

I almost crawled to the finish line. =D

Look at that time! Strong runners would have already done a 15K (or even a 21K) in this time! hehehe =p

Proud moment! Goodies all worth it! =)