Life in the Fast Lane

A TRIATHLETE'S MULTISPORT ADVENTURES, TRAVELS, RANDOM MUSINGS, AND CHRONICLES OF HER OTHERWISE ORDINARY LIFE

Veni, Vidi, Vici... Running!

By 11:26 AM , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

As mentioned before in entries such as this one, I am a newcomer to the running world. I've only been running seriously since May, and Speedy Gonzales, I am not. I still take walking breaks (to avoid shin splints + prevent my asthma from acting up), but I've seen a lot of improvement compared to when I first started.

So it was about time for me to join my first race. I'd signed up for the Big Blue Run VI three weekends ago, thinking that the race would push through on the 22nd of July.

It happened to be a stormy weekend that particular weekend, so the race was postponed to the 29th instead, which was last Sunday.

My brother, Chuck, and I got up bright and early that Sunday morning. I did a couple of stretches first, munched on a piece of toast and a banana, then we drove to the meeting point for all the runners.



Around 5:30 am last Sunday.

Some people were stretching. Some were warming up by doing some sprints in the parking lot.

After registering our names and pinning on our race bibs, I positioned myself a few feet away from the starting line. The 10K runners were the first to go.

My relatives, Tito Alex and Tita Elaine, were among the 10K runners.
Since they've already done full marathons here and abroad, this was a cinch for them.
I employed one of my favorite photography techniques for this shot: motion blur.

While waiting for our turn, Chuck and I took some photos.

Meet Chuck: the second sibling in the family, he's obsessed with basketball (a lifelong Bulls and Alaska fan plus, of course, the Ateneo Blue Eagles); is one of the worship leaders of our church's music ministry; loves videogames, graphic novels, and good films; and works in the marketing department of one of the country's biggest TV networks. He started running months before I did. You can follow him on Twitter at @chuck_araneta.

My first "runner" photo.
I could actually pass for a serious runner.
Looks can be deceiving, though.

A couple of minutes later, the gun fired and it was our turn to run. I'll let the photos tell the rest of the story.

(Yes, I was running with a camera. I've biked with a camera strapped against my hydration bag many times before, so this event was no different.)

Approaching Katipunan Avenue.

Going up the flyover. I was doing so well up until this point. My lungs were struggling as I attempted to run upward. I ended up having to walk many times while I was on that flyover.

Chuck in fighting form.
He eventually made it to the finish line a good five minutes earlier than I did.

After passing the 1K mark, I made a U-turn.
It was another climb to make it to the other side of the flyover.
Death Part 2.

After several hundred meters, Relief said hello to me.
I was the happiest person in the world when I was given a cup of water.

The discarded paper cups were a sad sight to behold.
But I'm sure the race organizers had a clean-up crew after the race was done.

2.5 kilometers in, I was on my way to the finish line.

Last 50 meters. I sprinted for dear life, hoping I could make up for the time I spent walking on that blasted incline.

Chuck welcomed me at the finish line.

With my ultra-marathoner aunt, Tita Elaine.
Recently, she did the 50K ultra marathon from Tagaytay to Nasugbu and placed 4th, if I'm not mistaken. She plans on joining another marathon (42K) in a month's time.

What I've learned from my first race:
  1. Since I signed up for a 3K run, I should've been more prepared by doing 5K (minimum) workouts. 
  2. Run more on inclined surfaces. Not all races will be done on flat surfaces.
  3. Get lighter shoes for races; thick-soled trainers might slow anyone down.
  4. Now that I've realized how much of a non-runner I am, maybe I shouldn't force myself to join a triathlon just yet since I'm not 100% confident that I already have the stamina for it.
Unfortunately, I went over my usual 3K time by 7 minutes (darn you, flyover and rain!). 

But at least I can say that I finally joined a running event — something I never thought I'd do — and while I didn't place, I didn't do too badly.

Now that I'm more realistic about what my body is capable of achieving, I'm setting my sights on joining another race (Unilab's Run United 3) next month. 

In the meantime, I'll still continue swimming and biking. And if I'm really ready by November, I'll still try to join Unilab's Tri United 3. If not, there's the Ateneo Aquathlon next March and the Century Tuna Triathlon next June.

Here's to continued fitness!

P.S. Thanks to Reg Dominguez for lending me her Canon D10, which really came in handy since it rained during the race. Must invest in a waterproof camera sometime soon, too!

P.P.S. A few days later, I am now the owner of a pair of Adidas Climacools. I've tried running with them while my New Balance trainers are in the wash (since they collected a lot of mud during the race). Loving running with my Climacools so far, and I hope that the next race I join, I'll do much better with these shoes.

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