Nat Geo Earth Day Run 2018

Earlier this year, I decided to go back to running to have a healthier body and mind. One of the first things I did is to register for this event to start conditioning myself that “hey! this is happening!”. I told some of my friends about it and encourage them to register for the event, too. I find it’s always more fun and encouraging to do any type of exercise with friends.

Weeks before the actual run I have established a regular running routine. After office, I would usually go round and round our office compound before heading home. Therapeutic after a long stressful day at work. On weekends, I would go to my college’s campus for longer runs with fresher air and scenery. It’s one of my favorite places so I get energized when I’m there.

Now on to the nitty-gritty…

I wasn’t fully prepared for this run despite establishing a routine early on. Two weeks before the event, I reached a plateau and wasn’t able to do a regular practice. All I managed was an easy 3KM run the day before. I was also not eating healthy which I felt contributed to my sluggishness. And the scariest part? I didn’t get to sleep the night before. No sleep at all.

I contemplated on just skipping because who in her right mind would go run 10KM without proper sleep? Answer: ME.

I know it borders on stupidity but all I was thinking was how I will, yet again, flake on another goal that I set for myself. And how my friends, who I dragged into participating in this run, would think of me.

With my idiocy and pride, I dragged myself out of bed and prepped for the run. The husband made me promise that I wouldn’t push myself too hard and just walk whenever I feel something’s up. He was supposed to bring Mr. Frodo with him so they’ll cheer for me at the Finish line but we decided against it. At least he would be fully available to tend to me if anything happens.

And so it happened. I stood by my promise, so much so that the run felt like alay lakad. I ran a full 1KM before I stopped for a brisk walk. The run was just starting and I’m already feeling some tingling all over my body. I have a long way to go and I couldn’t risk it. So I created a pattern — run as long as I can on a comfortable pace and then brisk walk for a whole minute. I was literally counting the walking seconds in my head. I think after that I haven’t managed a non-stop run for a full KM. It was really a struggle.

But yes, I did it. I got to the Finish line without any injury, thankyouverymuch. 200M away from the Finish, there’s this guy who cheered us on, asking us to go run the remaining distance.

POTR_ Nat Geo 2018

So I tried. To my chagrin.

There’s a long queue of runners waiting to pass thru the Finish! I found it ridiculous because I always loved breaking into a sprint towards the Finish line. But in this race, no. I can’t imagine how it must have felt for the 21KM runners who are serious with their PRs.

Luckily, an organizer beside us said that we can pass thru the Finish just to get our chip time then just go back to the end of the (continuously growing) line to get our medals. So I did and fortunately I was able to find a much shorter queue where the medals are being handed out. Despite the Finish line fiasco, I felt so happy when my medal was worn on my neck.

We initially planned on getting breakfast but I was no longer in the right condition to stay on. My body is begging me to go home and get rest. I slept until afternoon feeling much better after.

Despite my story ending in good, I would like to warn everyone that you should never do this to yourself. It’s better to skip the run altogether than put yourself at risk. Better yet, train properly and regularly so you won’t lose sleep getting too worried that you are not prepared.

Colorburst 2018

My first official run for the year happened on an Easter Sunday.  Quite symbolic when you think about it because this has been my resurrection from my almost-a-decade-running-hiatus!

My friend Mils convinced me to join because (1) his brother is one of the organizers and (2) it would be good practice for my upcoming 10KM run for Nat Geo. This is a yearly event organized by St. Paul the Apostle Parish where Mils’ brother is an active member.

With only 2 hours of sleep and my period arriving days earlier, I headed over to QC to go and finish my 5KM run. When you commit to run for a church and on an Easter, you set aside all excuses you can think of and just soldier on.

It turned out to be a good thing because I had a lot of fun throughout the race. Aside from the obligatory colored powder showers, there were also mini obstacles along the way — giant rolling balls, human balloons out to trap you — and a large tub filled with colorful balls at the finish line! Not to mention the energetic warm up from the organizers, which felt more like a Zumba routine actually. Haha!

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It really relaxes me more when I run outdoors than when I do treadmills because you have fresher air to breathe and interesting sights to drown into. The only challenge that I encountered are the uphills. It’s such a pain on the knees and ankles and it also made my pace slower than usual. Sometimes, I would also get too drowned into my sightseeing that I would forget that I’m in an actual race.

Nevertheless, I was able to finish with flying colors (yes, please let me use the phrase) without walking. I always tag this as an achievement because even though my pace is slower than most, it makes my endurance better. This would help me in my marathon target in the future as long as I keep a regular running schedule.

It was heartwarming seeing families running together as a team during the event. I even saw a dog being carried towards the finish line. I just hope that the colored powders are non-toxic to animals.

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The morning ended with a McDonald’s breakfast and a promise between friends to join this yearly until we have kids of our own to run with.

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