Monday, November 1, 2010

34th National MILO® Marathon Race Palawan

Plenty of training and just as much injuries for the Palawan Milo race. This is my story and review for the 34th milo 21km provincial race in Puerto Princesa Palawan.

I have been waiting for this race for long. I started my training program a couple of months ago because I wanted to qualify for the milo finals in Manila in Dec. My plan was to do the Singapore marathon. I never knew the opening date for applications and so by the time I went online it was to late. Sayang... I then decided to go all out for the milo qualifier and run it under 1h35m for my age category. After a short visit to Manila I met with Rio and he asked me after listening to my bad luck with the Singapore, why don't I apply for the Hong Kong marathon. Upon my arrival back in Palawan I immediately went online. I continued to go back to the site until the entries opened and so I registered... I AM GOING TO HONG KONG IN FEBRUARY 2011 - who are joining me?

I had to do this introduction for you to understand why I did not go full out with my training. You see after I registered I decided not to put so much pressure on my training to qualify for the milo but to use it as early training for the Hong Kong. I also started again struggling with knee injuries and pains. I think it is mostly due to a lot f trail running (although it helped my training to fitness a lot). Being out of running for about a year was difficult to get back to fitness again and slowly but surely I am getting there again!!!

The night before the race we had a huge storm and I woke up at midnight thinking we wont be running. I woke up ate 3:30 am and after preparing all my race equipment and leaving the house I noticed the beautiful weather, ideal for running. I arrived at the venue at Mendoza Park in Rizal Ave at 4:00am and everything was already set up. The vibe was great, the organizers, helpers and marshals were plenty.

I did feel again like a sore thumb as I AGAIN was the only white runner. It does draw unwanted attention but something I slowly but surely are getting use to with our three years being in the Philippines already. We were called to the start area at 5:00 and the race started at 5:30. We were not a lot of 21km runners and most raced of so fast and before I knew it I was caught up in the excitement and had to hold myself back again. The first 10km until turn around point went well. I felt good and refreshed after the turn. It started getting hot towards the end.

I finished unofficial time of 1:38 and I was aiming for a 1:45 so I am satisfied with my performance as I felt I could have gone faster. At the finish line, I was awaited by very capable staff. There were no queues, no 10km runners we caught up with and well organized race.

The water stations were sufficient and well manned. We received a couple of times gatorade (or so I was told) in little plastic bags. I at first thought maybe low budget but it was all sufficient and just enough until the next water station.

Medical ambulances were noticed at all times as well as marshals that were plenty on the road. I even at one stage had my own escort for almost 2km - thanks to the marshal, it did help me a lot.

The chip system on the bib worked well. At the turn point I could clearly hear it register even though they made for a person to write the numbers down at the turn.

The only bad point I can mention is that there was a water station at the worst hill of the route. They must know that especially close to the end it is hard already running an uphill and then have to drink water as well - mission impossible. I used the water to wet my head instead.

Overall well done to the organizers and everyone involved in making this a great day for the people. I do have a confession to make though. At the end we received nice goody bags. I handed my banana to a little girl at the finnish line and she was happy. I then saw a little boy and immediately took of the one stub as I noticed a day before you can get a free milo with the stub and I gave the stub to the boy. Upon my arrival back home, I noticed I accidentally gave him the wrong stub, it was the baggage claim stub. I am so sorry and if I see him again in town I will make up for that. If someone know him please let me know....

I am glad to be back into running. I will be in Manila during December and part of January and would like to meet up with you all. I am also interested in buying a treadmill so any advice will be helpful.

Until then KEEP RUNNING!!!!

Friday, July 30, 2010

I am back!!!

It is almost like the day you wrote that final day you wrote your school exam or standing at every start line and your stomach is trying to give you information that your brain don't understand. I am sure most of you know how it feels or at least one example... This is how I felt getting the thought again to blog running experiences again here in the Philippines. You see, it is not just about dotting down information others can use but more a intimate relationship with the person reading the blog, in this case with you.... :)

I had so many questions the last year ranging from... are you upset with us? to where have you been brother, man, Joe etc... Let me try and explain and in the same breath or ink blot, ask for forgiveness but hopefully you all will understand my excuses...

At the end of 2008 we went to our annual conference. I found out that due to the program there I wont be able to run as frequent as I wanted to. At that time I was also into biking for triathlons. As this was brought to my attention and the fact that I had to leave my bike at home, I became someone else.. I became rude to the people close to me, I lost my temper much quicker and became someone that no one wanted to know. I had to sit back for a moment and assess what is happening to me. It then hit me. Those of you that can still remember some of my previous posts telling you how overweight I was weighing a whopping 120kg and being unfit before I started running. At that time I was also smoking 40 cigarettes a day!!! Everytime we went to a restaurant we had to sit in a smoking session. When we went to the movies I made a break to go out and smoke.... Wow, I realised I am going through the same emotions, if I could not smoke I got upset and become someone else... here I am again but this time it is running! If I cant train, I become someone else.

I a sense I was happy getting to the root of the problem.... I WAS ADDICTED!!! Never thought one could become addicted to training. I had to do once again what I did when I was smoking and that was to give it up and not be a slave to anything. I took time out.

After more than a year, I am back and enjoying it again. It took me three months to try and get some of my fitness back but I am running again. A lot of things changed, the most biggest thing is the scenery as we moved in the mean time into a tribal location where we are busy learning the new dialect of Agutaynen getting ready to evangelize to the area where we are. I do mostly trail running (any advice will help) and train at the moment for the Provincial marathon here in Palawan. I was planning in doing the Singapore but was to late to register then decided to do the milo. The only problem is I need to run the 21km in 1:35min to qualify. If I make it then I will surely see you all again in Manila for the Milo marathon. Until then, if you are in Palawan, drop me a note and we might run into each other.

Thank you all for your kindness during the last few years as I have treasured that so much of the mng Pinoy. Friendliness is part of your day to day life. Also special thanks to the people at team baldrunner that was sending me messages, and also the great friendship through Rio, Jun C and Jaymie, you guys rock. The rest of all you running friends, keep running and see you soon again.

God bless