Hardheaded me

Last January 19 was one of my unforgettable run. Why?.. because I am having asthma attack for few days and still running for 21K.  Hardheaded right?.. Yeah, I know… hahaha.  Please don’t tell my pulmonologist, it’s our little secret (shhhh…).  Nothing to worry because on the day of the event, my breathing was manageable.

Earlier before the race

Because the race venue is at Aseana which all we know has limited parking space, me, my running buddy Ino and my kiddo Cliff opted to meet earlier than our usual rendezvous time which is an hour and a half before the gun time.  As always, looking for a parking space at Aseana is as stressful as it can be.  I hope organizers should have contingency solution for that when planning to an event at that place.  When we arrived to the place, we thought that we are too early for the event as there were few people in the activity area. We took several time to look for the starting line as there were no marshals to guide us.  At long last we saw a stage, so we assumed that will be the starting line but feeling weird because there is no sight of the starting arch.  As they are counting down for the last minutes, runners are starting to run, turning to the right and then there I saw the arch. Weird, this is the only racing event that I joined that the stage is situated far the starting line.  Anyway, maybe I am the only one who noticed that because I am such a critic (hehehe).

During the race

While running along the Macapagal Blvd near the Coastal Mall, my phone rang. It was my friend Ryan Salvador asking me if the race has already started and I told him that we are already running and the funny thing, he was still travelling along Edsa to the race venue… hahaha… “pasaway!”

I was pacing with Ino and Cliff.  At first, I can manage that but when we reached the Cavitex area, I felt fatigue.  Cliff was ahead with us. Ino cannot leave me as he still wants me to be at his pace.  Struggling to his pace, a dilemma occurred.  The cool breeze before the race was switched to a humid and sweaty feeling.  My usual routine for that is to pour water all over me but another dilemma occurred; only sport drinks are available at the hydration stations that we have been through.  Feeling humid and sweaty tend my body to get weak and I was starting to cough then.  Then before the turn to the Cavitex flyover, there is a hydration station that serves water.  I took 2 cups, one to pour to my head and one to drink.  I feel sorry for Ino as he want to run faster  but he has to wait for me.  I keep telling him that I am sorry that I cannot keep with his pace at that time.  So when we crossed the U-turn slot, he ask me if it is okay with me if he can go ahead and finish first the race then come back with me after, so I will not be pressured to run with his speed.  I agreed as I am really pressured keeping that speed at that day.

While running alone, I still keep motivating to still reach my goal of 2:30 at 21K.  I keep praying to God to please let me finish the race without an asthma attack.  I did have my headset with me so I cannot listen to my usual running playlist, I just sang it in my mind to keep me motivated and the funny thing, Ryan keep calling me where am I so he can catch me but I think I am way ahead of him as he started late.  As I reached my last 3km sign, Ino called me and told me that he already finished and he’s on his way to catch me.  As I reached the Macapagal Blvd, still no sign of Ino, I ran along with a runner that looks too tired. I told him “kuya, lapit na… konti na lang.. kaya natin ‘to”.  As we turn right, we saw the finish line.  I got strong and try to speed up to be able to reach my goal.  I did it, 2:37 and take note… I’m having asthma for the last few days.

Wondering where are my running buddies, I cannot contact them.  My phone has no network signal.  So I just keep walking wishing I’ll bump in to them but there are so many runners.  I was stuck along the crowd.  Ino and Cliff are keep calling and locating me.  Distribution of finishers’ kit has poor system.  Lines for medals and finisher shirts are too long so I have to sneak and cross line… hehehe… sorry… At last we meet after struggling through crowd.

At the activity area

My disappointment wears off when we reached the activity area.  So many freebies.  Unlimited Slurpee, ice cream, juice, chocolate drinks, chocolate bar and so much more.  We enjoyed lining up for those giveaways.  Especially with Ino and Cliff when they learned that there is a booth giving away a bunch of free condoms… hahaha.

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At the activity area with my running buddy, Ino Lao

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And my kiddo, Cliff

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At the starting line with my running buddy, Ino

My verdict

My only complaint is the lines along the distribution area of the finisher kits.  There should be a more systematic way to segregate the lines per category for that. And also, they should alternate water and sports drinks per hydration area as some runners need water sometimes.  But all in all, we did enjoy the race.  I did have my new PR and I will definitely join the event next year.

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Proud 21K finishers

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