Run United Series placed a big part in my running career. My first 21K was done at RUPM 2012. My first 42K was also done at RUPM 2013, and last year I beat my own PR for doing a sub6.
I started running in December 2011 and all my first endeavors was with Run United. In 2012, they conducted a running clinic which I joined as a beginner. I learned a lot from that clinic. I learned how to be strong not only physically but also mentally, proper nutrition, and proper preparation.
Run United Series gave me so much memories and for this year, I am paying it forward. This year, I played not as a runner but as a pacer.
And last October 4 at Run United Philippine Marathon, I played as a 42K pacer at 6:30 pace group. It’s not my first time to pace someone for a full marathon but this is my first time to be a part of a 42K pace group, not as a co-pacer but a lead pacer, and I only learned that few days before the race… hahaha. I was so nervous then due to many things going on my mind. I have been sick few weeks before the race and I lack ample time to sleep due to my graveyard shift work. Nonetheless, I already planned for everything; the pace time, the strategies and how to motivate and encourage runners to join our group. I coordinated with Ate When, my co-pacer about our strategy. My bag was ready, complete with my race day regimen.
On race day
As I planned, I woke up around 11:30 pm to get ready and reached the event place at exactly 1am which is the 42K runners’ call time. I saw excited runners doing some stretching and some taking photos. As we are preparing for the gun to start, some runners approached me, asked for groupie (showbiz lang ang peg) and others just gave a wave.
And off we go…
As we planned, we are running at 9mins/km pace. We are one big barangay!, mostly consist of first time full marathoners and other who just want to enjoy the route. Our group is so big and loud. We are having a good time chitchatting.
The “kembot pace”
When we reached the Buendia route going to the Kalayaan flyover, I introduced to them the “kembot pace” where in you sway your hips a little bit making your foot roll, making some of your running muscle take a rest and other muscle group work, making you run longer and stronger. This works great during uphill, giving less stress to the knees. But take note, this only works for slower pace only as the heels tends to drop first, then rolling towards mid foot to toes. Faster pace needs to be a midfoot drop for quick transition.
Runners are enjoying the kembot pace especially when we are traversing the BGC route, which is a surprise for us to run along Bayani Road but it made easy by the “kembot pace”. Upon traversing the Kalayaan flyover back to Buendia, I realized some of the runners are already tired; so when we reached the first 21-km mark along Buendia, I decided to do some stretching for a minute to loosen up tight muscles. I led the stretching and many runners joined including runners that are not in our pace group. As we travel along the Roxas Boulevard toward Luneta, we realized that the kilometer marker does not jive with our GPS watch. So, I told them that the next stretching break will be at the 30-km mark and after that, we will do Galloway technique at 8:30. When we reached the Seaside Boulevard near One Esplanade, the runners are shouting “Whoooooo! ang aga pa natin” (around 6:20 hours) but when we turned right at the corner, we realized that we still have the last U-turn. That last turn was hell for them. It was hot, humid and they are so tired. I understand them as so I am but I was amazed with the runner’s perseverance to keep up with their goal. I saw them how they push themselves just to keep up with us. I saw myself to them, at my first full marathon. I told them, “Laban!.. konti na lang!.. para sa unli-rice!”
We finished the race exhausted, tired and hungry but with happy heart. But my heart was happier due to numerous gratitudes that I received.
The feeling is priceless that cannot be replaced by a fee. Yes, we do not have a fee but we do not regret it. It’s an advocacy to pay it forward. IT’S ALL FOR THE LOVE OF RUNNING!
I would like to thank Unilab Active Health, Runrio, Ms. Zeny Mejia, Ms. Vimz Mendoza, and Bards Bathan for giving me such privilege to be a part of the Run United Pacer group and taking good care of us.
I also would like to thank the runners in our pace group for such a wonderful experience. I had fun running with you guys. Until next run. See you on Run United Recovery Run on December 12, 2015.
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My nutrition that day:
I’m the type of runner who is dropping the glucose level tremendously during the race. That’s why I always bring energy gels during races especially in full marathons. Before, I am using a certain power gel religiously. Taking it every hour but the effect of it only last for 45 minutes so when I reached 1-hour mark, my energy was low and I was very hungry. Not until Unilab Carbgel was introduced to me. It is loaded with carbohydrates to boost your energy and last longer. What I have observed is that, unlike my previous gel that only last for 45 minutes, when I reached my 1-hour mark, I’m not yet hungry but I just have to take one just to maintain my energy and it did. CarbGel is available in 2 fruity flavors. You can purchase them at Unilab Active Health site.
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