Monday, February 7, 2011

My First Sweet 16K Run at the Skyway

The Condura Skyway Marathon... In the runner's community this event is much awaited and much talked about. Most of the runners are saving their first leap of distance or first marathon here. Why? It's because this event is the only one that offers the runners to run on the Skyway.

I've heard and read rave reviews about this event. Being organized by runners themselves, they really know how to cater the needs of their fellows. Though the registration fee is a bit costly, runners don't mind because they know they will get a quality service for what they have paid for, and the proceeds will go for the support of the dolphins, and indeed I agree.

I've been training for 2 months prior to this race. When my triathlon team had a meet last November, Sir Poch Bermudez, The President of Multisport Magazine told us that he will sponsor us in this event. Everyone was so excited. When we are about to chose a distance, I was to chose 10K, but they encouraged me to take 16K. Beggars cannot be chosers so yes, I took the challenge.

I made a training plan for myself so I could be ready in time for this event. I always see to it that I always stick to my schedule no matter what. Here is my training plan:

Tuesdays - Speed Training (about 5K-8K)
Thursdays - Circuit Training with my aNR BHS Family (5K+)

Sundays - LSD Run (16K-17K in 3 hours)

So after my final training run last Thursday, 9K around BHS, I feel I am now ready for my 16K race on Sunday. I rested well, eat decently and conditioned my mind on it. I prepared my Team PDA trisuit since I'm gonna wear it. It's our first time to wear it and it added excitement on this race. I even dreamed about Dolphins swimming on the Skyway. lol! ^_^

My Team PDA Trisuit ready for a test drive, I mean run on the Skyway!

Since 16K race will start at Ayala, I arrived there early on schedule so I could still have a warm up and meet up with my fellow runners.

When the race was about to start, I discovered that my camera is not powering up. Kennyson (My Sony wireless walkman) won't open as well. Gosh! this only means one thing, I won't be able to capture photos at the Skyway and I'll be running without music, which I've never experience with my runs of more than 30 minutes. I'm so pissed off, but I try not to get affected by it.

I was at Wave A so we are positioned in front, we will be the first ones to run in our category. When the clock countdown was finished we started to run!

It was 5:00AM, and it's still dark. I just did an easy slow jog at the first kilometers of the run. I am reserving my energy so I can still have more at the last kilometers.

When I saw the Buendia flyover I got excited. This is it! Skyway it is! I had a hard time running the uphill of the road but I pushed myself. I just visualized the McKinley hills that I always practice on. In no time, I'm already at the Skyway!

Being on the skyway by foot is indeed a different experience, very much different when you look at it when inside a vehicle, and without music, I can hear the sounds from the environment, from the chatting of the runners, foot landing on the pavement and even chirping birds! Running indeed is enjoyable, even without music on my ears.

The route was great! The hydration stations were available on both sides of the path and they have the longest table too! Bananas were available as well, I took one and ate it while running. Medic Stations, Ambulance are seen at different spots. The skyway was well lit, so runners didn't have a difficulty in seeing where we are running. Marshalls are everywhere and the race route is filled with kilometer marks in which you can track your distance on how far have you gone and I love the quote that is located at the bottom of it. It really does encourage the runners. The traffic marshalls also did a great job in controlling the vehicles. At the near end of the race, you can hear a drum and lyre band, a refreshing and festive tune indeed. Everything in this race are well organized, I couldn't ask for more!

I had frequent stops but it was really short compared to my stops before. I just relax my muscles a bit then run again. It really helped me to recover my speed so I didn't deprive myself. What is very touching is that while running, some runners will pace with me and will say "I saw the print at the back of your trisuit that you are Diabetic, you are an inspiration! keep running! you can do it!" All those inspiring words motivates me more. Some of them interview me about Diabetes and some recognized me because of my blog. I feel so happy that I am reaching people and inspire them even by just mere writings. It's what I was running for in the first place.

I brought a wristwatch with me so I am aware of my time. I already learned my lesson at the Greentennial run. I started the stopwatch the same time that the race clock finished the countdown. I reached 8K in less than an hour, 10K at around 1:18, compared to my 1:21 record for it, I did a PR!

I finished the race at 2:07, 23 minutes earlier than my target 2:30. I was impressed by my performance, and that three red roses given to me at the finishline gave me a different kind of happiness. Thanks much!

After the race we still find the strength to cheer for our marathoner friends. I was moved by the first timers, especially my Ate Lori & the Team Kamote Runners that despite the odds, they still managed to finish their 42K race and for that, kudos! ^_^

Here are some of the pictures from the event, sorry I haven't got a shot at the Skyway...

I love Team HOB!

Showing off the medals!

Photoshoot while cheering for the marathon finishers!

After the lunch date with the Team Kamote Runners. Love you guys! ^_^

The Skyway experience is indeed a very memorable one. I had the sweetest 16K race of my life. While looking at my medal, I don't see it as a reward for finishing the race, I see it as a memory of a wonderful experience, happy moments, great inspiration and wonderful bonding time with friends.

"Hitting your target PR is indeed a good feeling, but the greatest feeling of all is hitting your advocacy, no matter what reason you are running for..."

Thank you very much Sir Pat and Sir Ton Concepcion for giving us this experience to run at the Skyway and to all the organizers as well. To the support group for the boost, the Team HOB, aNR BHS, ChiChem Runners and the Powerpuff Boys for the wonderful time cheering at the near of the finish line, the Team Kamote Runners for the great lunch date and ofcourse, to my Team PDA (Philippine Diabetic Athletes), especially to Sir Poch Bermudez for the inspiration, love and support all the way.

To all the finishers of the Condura Skyway Marathon, Congratulations and see you next year for another set foot at the Skyway!

Am I ready for my first Half Mary? Nope, not yet. I still need to prepare for that one as well. Will engage in a good, continuous practice and training. Who knows? Maybe I'll have it before the end of this year!

Good vibes and sweet running everyone! ^_^


LotusRunner said...

Congratulations Ms. SweetLife! :)

Overall, I really enjoyed reading your very sweet recap.
I really like the funny part, that you dreamed of swimming dolphins :P LOL!
Nag-sink-in lang siguro sa subconcious mo yung event ( hehehe... trying to explain pa :P )

Pikermi?! Why not?
For sure you'll prepare and train hard for it to accomplish one (at least) this year.
And that would be great, as others will learn more from your advocacy :)

The Sweet Life Runner said...

Thank you very much LotusRunner. I appreciate that you read my blog writings. Akala ko kasi walang nagbabasa nito. lol! ^_^

Goodluck and Sweet Running! ^_^

Arthur said...

Read the article this morning about the event at the Fort. Have I known it earlier, I would have registered.
Just like you, I also run with a purpose.

Good luck on today's race. God bless.

The Sweet Life Runner said...

Hello Sir Arthur can you please share what is your purpose? I really want to know it.

Thanks and Sweet Running! ^_^