The First Steps

1st Sinulog Fun Run 5.7 km 01/02/11
My first road race. This was held on the local track oval. A good 10 minute ride from my place. My stomach had finally settled as I did a 30 minute warmup to calm my nerves coupled with another 30 minutes from a pair of gym instructors. I tried starting with the middle pack but I ended up at the back instead.
It was a sluggish start and I daydreamed during a third of the race. I made up for it by steadily picking up the pace and not slowing for drinks at water stations. The course was easier than expected even though this was also my first road run. Moreover, the course was the same one used for the annual Sinulog festival parade here in Cebu City.
Anyways, I finished the race with a kick and some lightheadedness. A modest breakfast of sardine and rice with a bottle of gatorade took care of the lightheadedness. Some folks offered bread but it felt like sandpaper in my mouth. It was a great experience and the results surpassed my expectations. I will probably join again next year. 31:47.07

2nd Cebu City Marathon 5 km   01/09/11
The atmosphere was more competitive here. The marathoners had already gone and the half marathoners were about to start their warmup when I arrived. I had enough time for a few toilet breaks. High carb diets definitely did not agree with me. I managed to squeeze 15 minutes of warmup time before I found a spot with the middle packers. Not that it mattered much where I started though since this event was chip timed.
I made three mistakes. First, my shirt was little too big for me so I wore baggy shorts just so I would not look ridiculous. Second, I didn’t do hill training so ascents felt bothersome to my knees. Third, I did not really give it my all because I did not know where to give it my all. To sum it up, my mistakes were poorly chosen shirt size, lack of hill training, and inadequate course knowledge. I did do a very good kick once I saw the finish line.
I felt a little lightheaded afterwards but nothing a few freebies won’t cure. I finally ate a granola bar! It felt like packed dirt in my mouth. My race was disappointing but I found out 2 days later that I was 154th of 803 male runners so that something to smile about. The event was an amazing experience and I will definitely be joining next year.   30:47.56

PLDT-SMART 10 Miler Run 5 km   01/30/11
I had a horrible taper for this race. I had 2 weeks of practice and had side stitches the whole time. I had a long(ish) run 5 days before the race. Worse of all, I was incapable of sleep the night before the race. I tried my best to make do with my situation. I scheduled a light training day and 2 days of rest after the long(ish) run. I drank coffee and an energy drink to wake my sleep deprived body. I did a good 50 minute warmup before the race to prevent injuries.
The race went really well. I had positioned myself almost at the front. Once the starting gun fired, I immediately ran the shortest route possible and avoided the crowds. I memorized the course map before hand but I made one mistake at one turn. It did not matter much though. I was passing runners running on longer distance events and a lot of 5k runners who started to fast slowed a mile into the race.
It was at the halfway point that I made a mistake. I guess I have not really develop a racing killer instinct yet. I was one of the first runners to make the 360 degree turn back to the start/finish line and it felt lonely. I did not push the pace since I was enjoying myself too much. Passing 3k runners would do that to you. I did my usual 100m kick. Sometimes, I think to myself that I join these races just for the kick.
My finishing time was abyssmal. I tried not dwelling on it too much. I was 48th in the race though, which was a lot higher than the last race. There also existed the possibility that the record combined both the male results with the female’s so I probably should have placed higher. Hey, I don’t mind losing to athletic women. Somehow, it made me feel better about the the outcome. The doughnut helped too. I’m not sure if there will be a next time but I will definitely join again mostly for my growing bib number and shirt collection.   33:51.74

Best Race of the Month: 2nd Cebu City Marathon

The race was exceptional as advertised. It felt like the Sinulog festival itself had started a week earlier. The level of competition was very high and I’ve been told the marathon course was gorgeous a billion times.

My Best Performance of the Month: 1st Sinulog Fun Run

I performed the newbie strategy well. I didn’t go out to fast and my pace steadily increased each kilometer.

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