Monday, January 10, 2011

My first 10K Bloody but Sweet Race

I first heard about Run for Love, Run for Life through a Facebook account. I heard it is the first race of the year and that the proceeds will benefit the Hands of love Philippines. The tagline of the race is “To eradicate hunger and poverty”. I got interested in this race since the cause is good, but when I found out that the race is in Ayala, Alabang, I took a step backward. Makati to Alabang is more than an hour trip and the gun start is 6AM? I’ll give it a second thought first.

But just before the year ends, Nathan Sports Philippines, the makers of my favorite pink hydration belt (Yay!) opened an online contest and the prize is a free race kit for this event, I got excited. All that you have to do is answer the question, post it as a note on your Facebook profile and tag away 5 friends and Nathan Sports Philippines and hola! It’s a contest entry.

The question was “Who/What do you run for?”. I didn’t answer it immediately; I want to think about it first so I gave myself a day or two before I decided to post. Then on New Year’s Day, I got bored since I was just at home. I opened my laptop and answered away. I tagged some runner friends and some friends that I want to encourage in running. I crossed my fingers and I hope the entry will be chosen, and Nathan didn’t fail me. They announced the 3 winners last January 3 and I’m one of the lucky chosen ones...

I'm the first one in the roster of winners!

This is my racekit.

But a bad news came to me the day before the race. I had my period! I usually have irregular periods but I never realized that it will come at this time. I went ballistic. I don’t know what to do, and when I get into this kind of situations, I search for answers on blogs and websites. I also consulted runner friends about it. A friend told me it’s okay to run even if you have your monthly period, just make sure you are properly protected. She recommended I use tampons for much comfortable run.

Race day! I woke up earlier than what I expect myself to be. I am having menstrual cramps! It’s really very uncomfortable and painful. Despite the condition I still motivated myself that I can still run. I can do this!

I asked my brother to give me a ride to the venue of the race. Since I didn’t get the chance to buy tampons, I’ll just buy from convenience stores along the way but to my surprise, for those 6 stores we stopped and inquired (7-11, Mercury Drug and Mini Stop), no one is selling tampons. What to do? Well, back to the old sanitary pads. But this time, I bought the thin and long ones, for overnight use.

I arrived at the race venue around 5:05am. I immediately went to the portalet to change my sanitary pad. They only have 2 portalets, one for males and one for females so there’s a line before you can use the facility.

Since I’m a hard starter, I started stretching and warming myself up 30 minutes before the program starts. As I was doing warm up runs, the pain on my abdomen is acting up. I put some liniment on it and wore my Nathan Speed 2 Hydration Belt to give it compression. The pain was alleviated, but I can still feel it. Very uncomfortable indeed!

My Nathan Hydration belt didn't only serve as a thirst quencher that day, it also served as an abdominal compressor, and it did wonders for my cramps! ^_^

Before the run starts, a pastor led the prayer. I nod my head and say a little prayer; especially in my condition I was a bit feverish because of the menstrual pain. A few activation stretches was led by the run coach and then were off to the starting line.

The pain is still not lowering down. I wore my walkman and turned the volume up. I heard the faint gun start, and then the people started running, I did to.

As expected, it was really a difficult start for me. The pain is now all over. I still managed to push myself to run and if I feel like I can’t run anymore, I walk. I don’t care if other runners run pass by me. All that’s in my head right now is to finish this race... by hook or by crook!

The first 5 kilometers was the killer for me but after that, I broke my fever off and then I feel much better. The compression that my hydration belt did to my abdomen is now working, keeping the liniment’s effect longer. I feel the warmth it brings. The pain is slowly going down. I just found myself going on a faster pace.

Westgate is a great place to run. The route was so refreshing. There were almost no vehicles passing by. There were huge trees and different colored flowers at the center island of the road. It’s like a nature trip for me. There are times when I turn off my walkman and I heard the birds chirping. That was the best tune I heard. So revitalizing! Another nice thing about the route is that it is a combination of uphills, downhills and curvy roads, a good training place if you want to strengthen your calf muscles.

I was enjoying the last 5 kilometers of my run. The most uncomfortable feeling is that the sanitary pad is somewhat reminding me of it’s presence, and the sudden rush of fluid from me that makes me a bit nervous. At the last loop from the course, I feel something is wrong. I put my hands at the back of my running short and guess what, there’s blood!

I need to finish this race fast so I can change. Glad I wore a black running short so the stain is not visible. So to get it over and done with, I added effort on my run, took longer strides and before I knew it, I was at the finish line. I didn’t see the timer clearly so I have no idea of my time but as I look at my phone I guess I finished the race at around 1 hour and 20 minutes. Pretty much good for a 10K run with fever and menstrual cramps right?

As expected, Kenyan’s, Elite Athletes and Military People won the race. Well, I don’t dream of winning anyway.

Those three loop necklaces were more than just ordinary strings for me. I treat them as my medals. I may not be a podium finisher but I am proud that despite being sick and in pain, I finished my race happy and smiling, and for that I am a winner!

I’m so happy that I finished my 10K race. Another running milestone of my sweet life!

Special thanks to Nathan Sports Philippines for sponsoring this race for me and for making a great hydration belt that is very versatile, it’s not only for hydration, it could also be used as compressor for abdominal cramps caused by menstruation.

There’s no stopping a runner from running... not even a period!

Good vibes to everyone! ^_^


RunningShield said...

congratulations on your first race of the year. - Patrick concepcion / runningshield

The Sweet Life Runner said...

OMG! Geez! I'm so flattered that you take time in reading my blog. Thank you very much Sir Patrick! I am truly honored! ^_^