Reflections on the year that was…

                 I turn thirty-four years old this month…  yes, 34 – three decades and four years. I know of some people who would stop counting their age when they reach the big 3. Others won’t reveal their age and it’s a big No to ask a woman how old is she. I am not one of those… I am not making any judgment, that’s their choice – let them be. The same way that I want people to allow me to take pleasure in my own idiosyncrasies every once in awhile no matter how crazy they might be.

*****

                Last year my heart was overflowing with love and gladness… I am not saying that I don’t have it at this point in time; it’s just that I had to let go of bullet number 10. Not because I want to, but because I have to. I know you’ll come across this page… I am hoping that when you do, you’ll know that I thought of you in the nicest and most loving way. You were the first person who really made me feel that I am the most wonderful woman there is. You accepted me for who I am… just the way I am. I hope you understand why it has to be this way, although I know that at this point in time you don’t. I want to tell you why, but I have always believed that there are things better left unsaid. Thank you for letting me go; it’s hard for both of us… but then and again it was the right thing to do given the circumstances we are in. How I wish we met at a different time.

*****

                 It was also in 2010 when I finally made peace with the father of my children. It’s not that we’re not on speaking terms – we actually do; civil, pero “pilit”. I made the move to befriend him not for the sake of my kids but for my own sake. I don’t want to live my life bearing grudges. It was a terrible phase; one that almost took my will to survive, but I learned from it. I can honestly say that I am over that chapter. I just have to give it to Jonathan; besides that union produced my two adorable rascals. Hindi naman ata ako pwedeng bumuo ng bata mag isa 🙂 and I also have to thank him for leaving me. Because when he did, I found myself.

*****

                 Life took another turn when in April I finally decided that I can no longer endure the thought of being away from my boys. I know it was hard for my parents, but I guess I need them more beside me. It was a very trying time for the three of us and I know that I can never take back those two years. It wasn’t what I wanted way back in 2007, but it was what I can afford. I am happy to say that my boys and I are doing well. I am making up for all the lost times and sinasamantala naman nilang dalawa 🙂 I’m not complaining; I actually love it. Motherhood defined me and its one thing that I can truly be proud of.

*****

                 My sister and I also had a falling-out. We’ve always been close because it’s just the two of us. I’d rather not discuss the reason behind it, but suffice to say that I was hurt and I felt betrayed. I so wanted to stand for her but I had to let her go so that she’ll realize her shortcomings and she will learn to be responsible and accountable for her actions. I guess I also have myself to blame why she turned out that way… I was such a spoiler and I always sided with her even when she was wrong. You could just imagine my frustration when despite everything… she chose the other way.  Everything is ok now between the two of us. I am still glad that we had that falling-out. I can still feel a tinge of sadness when I look at her now but I know that her experience thought her the hardest lesson; she’ll still need more guidance in the face of what she has right now, but I am sure she learned her lessons well… besides, ate will always be there for her no matter what.

*****

                 Mother’s day saw me finishing my ultra-dramatic first ultra marathon. I did the 50Km race of Sir BR right at the backyard of the former address of the Officer Candidate School.  That route was a silent witness to all that I went through from 06 April 1999 to 08 April 2000. Who would have thought that ten years after I was commissioned as a 2LT I will go back to that place just to run 50K? I loved it! I’m sticking out my tongue right now to those who use to tease me because I always collapse during our road runs hehehe

*****

                I went back to school in June for my second year of MC D at the UP-D. How I love school… it gave me another perspective in life and I just love my classmates and my Professors. They are the best! I miss them now since I wasn’t able to enroll for the second semester due to that deployment (more on that later). I wish to go back very soon!

*****

                  When I started running, my only wish was to finish a marathon before I turn 35. I finished the Milo marathon in July in 4:38. Not bad for a first timer, but as they always say the first time hurts like hell… it was. More so because I didn’t qualify for the finals; it broke my heart, but that’s the way it is. Despite the horror of Milo, I still want to run that one and settle the score 🙂 I will come get you this year, I promise you that.

*****

                I closed August with the sensational P2P finish. Thanks you so much Team BR-P! You are simply the best… TFC, till next time…

*****

                September was Viva La Virgen… I signed up for the Camsur Marathon despite the injury that I sustained during the P2P. I finished that one in 5:03. I actually planned to run all the marathons in 2010 as my preparation for BDM. I also planned to do all the Ultramarathons that Sir BR will stage prior to BDM. Oh well…

*****

                I was so stressed in October due to several school turn-ins and other matters. It was also about this time when I received a message from the Personnel Office of the Army that I was considered for a UN posting in New York in January 2011. That one was a dud though since I was informed way after the deadline of submission of requirements to the UN Headquarters in New York. I wasn’t that affected with it since I wasn’t really prepared for it anyway, and besides that will still be deliberated by the UN along with the recommendations from the other member nations so it will be “suntok sa buwan”. I was at the right place at the right time when the candidate for the PKF-Staff in Golan Heights wasn’t able to meet the requirements of the United Nations. I was asked to submit my application since I am somehow qualified for it.

*****

                I was so ecstatic when I learned in November 4 that I will be the primary candidate for the PKF-Staff. This is so unexpected; but it was a welcome development to my career and to my financial status. It will be a great help to me and the kids and it will surely go a looooooooong way. I then applied for a leave of absence in my Masteral Class since I was supposed to leave in November 25. I went through the mandatory Physical and Medical Examination. I was all set to go. Only to be told that I am not fit to be deployed… what happened after that was torture – physical and emotional torture at its best. I even had to forego running the Tagaytay-Nasugbu 50Km run. I retreated to my cave and dealt with the pain away from the prying eyes of some people. I also hid it from my friends until I realized that I had to let it out. I learned so much from that experience; but one thing is sure, it didn’t break me. Yes, I was devastated for a while but life is how you make it. I don’t have any choice but to bounce back… after all, this is nothing compared to all the things I went through in the past.

*****

                I ended the year with the RDR 32Km run inside my playground in Camp Aguinaldo without any training. I slacked to the nth and was brought to my senses that I need to get back on my feet and start pounding the pavement again if I really want to join the BDM. The holidays were doubly special owing to the fact that after five years we spent the holidays together as a family. Jonathan and I both know that we can never go back to where we were five years ago, but we can at least be the best parents for our children. It felt good and somehow it gave us a semblance of what a family is. It was also in December when I finally decided to run the CCM…

*****

                If there is one thing that I learned the past year is that patience indeed is a virtue. Those who know me could attest that I am the most impatient person there is. The deferment of my deployment strengthened my resilience. Come to think of it, maybe the reason I wasn’t deployed is that I was meant to run CCM and meet amazing people in Cebu. Then it dawned on me – I am therefore destined to run the BDM 102 in March. Don’t I just love my life?

                HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

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Cebu City Marathon: You’re My Number One, Pit Senyor!

               It’s been twenty (20) days since the Cebu City Marathon, but since I am the queen of procrastination, I delayed putting into words the events that transpired during that AWESOME Cebu trip to give way to my endless search for a decent picture… Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find any – oh I did find one, but I had to enter another bib number; but since I can’t figure out how to buy it online, I let it go.

              I wasn’t supposed to run CCM because I presumed that I will be out of the country the whole of 2011. I also missed out on the Tagaytay-Nasugbu 50Km and the QCIM last year because well-meaning friends advised me against it lest I hurt myself and spoil my pending deployment.

             Most of the Team BR-P has other plans for Jan 9. That left Helen and I signing up for CCM while Maridol will be on vacation mode. I was hesitant to do the marathon because I am not prepared for it. If I am not mistaken, I only had a total of 70Kms in the past two months to include the 32Km Rizal Day Run, which was my year-ender for 2010. I am not also sure if I can get away from work so it took me a while to decide. I can’t remember who finally convinced me, but I finally relented to the pressure with a plan that it will be my first LSD to kick-off my BDM training.

              I am not a first timer in Cebu as my BSN Class, the Lorenz Maries ’97 stayed there for 30days way back in 1996 for our OJT at the Perpetual Succour Hospital. My kids are also half-Cebuano so that makes me a Cebuana by affinity (tama ba?) I therefore looked forward to this trip; it’s been quite a while since the last visit.

January 8, 2011 – Sights and Foods

                I was supposed to leave Manila at around 12:15 but my flight was delayed due to airport traffic (whatever that is). Sharon, one my best buddies, met Helen and I at the airport. It was Helen’s first trip to the Queen City so we decided to do a windshield tour after our late lunch at the Da Vinci, great food at very affordable price!

good food and good company 🙂

            Helen has a list of places to go so we decided to start at the Lapu Lapu Shrine on our way back to the City from the airport. This day was all about sightseeing and food! I am just glad that I will be running a marathon the next day; at least I have all the reason to eat.   

with Lapu Lapu

              We had dinner at the famous Casa Verde in IT Park. The place didn’t disappoint and the “monster” burger was the biggest burger I’ve ever seen!  

monster burger!

                 We met Kenneth shortly after dinner but I have to beg off for coffee because I really want to sleep early and I still have to prepare my gear and other stuff.

                 I finally called it a night at 2200H… Darn!

January 9, 2011 – Race Day

number 1 for the year... 3rd on my list 🙂

               My day started at 0330H. I was at my element, I am not pressured. I was just hoping that my left knee will be fine during the whole 42Km.

I left the hotel at 0400H, all set to run my first marathon for the year… the starting line was already full of life when I arrived. I saw friends from takbo.ph and Team CB.  Up until that moment I was still not sure how to run it. I just told Helen that I will finish it at 5:30; how? I don’t know…

The race started on the dot and the fireworks display was grand! There were so many runners.

I was cruising steadily, careful not to put too much pressure on the left knee. I was having a good time but it was humid. I started to douse myself with water at Km2. I was at Km 6 when a familiar figure passed me by; I said hi and the next thing I knew he decided to pace with me. There goes my plan of an easy pace…

Kenneth was with me until the turn-around… it was fun alright, but it was crazy! I was going too fast. I felt the click on my left knee at Km 15 and I knew that I had to slow down because if I will maintain that pace I am pretty sure that I won’t finish.

Ikaw na talaga ang bida 🙂

               The route was amazing! I loved the tunnel… the band, the cheerers, the never-ending shower, the sponges… it was just awesome!

              We reached the turn-around at 2:09. Wow! I can’t believe it! I had to literally beg Kenneth to just go ahead because I really can’t keep up with the pace anymore. It was nice running with you, dude 😉 I was relegated to the background but that was ok; now I know how it feels to be running with the international celebrity runner 🙂 🙂 🙂

             I was practically on my own after that… it was painfully hot and it’s really taking its toll on me.  I was also able to catch up with Rej of Team Boring on my way back to the SRP. We paced for a while but I also had to hold back. Boy, did I already tell you it was hot?!

             I made it to Km 36 at 4:26:38 by that time I was one lonely runner who ran out of Gerber! I was desperately looking for chocolate and Gatorade. I could just have closed my eyes and did Yasso to get it over with; but my legs were sore and already getting heavier by the minute. I was just comforted by the thought that it will be over in a little while and I can eat all the lechon that I want.

              I finished my first marathon for the year in 5:14:42… It felt good but I was tired.

              I am glad I signed up for this one… I will never trade it for anything. I had fun; I met wonderful people (who will surely take pictures of me next year), and I had another reason to smile and to just enjoy life. Till next year, CCM!

Doc, Miss B, Ken, and Mel

at 1634...

              In lieu of a picture which I really don’t have (bitter!) I attempted to prettify my medal…

my pretty pretty medal

January 10, 2011 

                Day Tour – Bohol

 

the girls

 

at the man-made forest in Bilar

River Cruise

                 My heartfelt gratitude to Sharon for being a good host… I will be back, Nang – soon!

                  To Giant and Jewel – I am so sorry for your lost. I am glad to be there with you even for just a little while.

                  To Mel, Doc G, Hazel, Miss B, Ivan, and Brendon – Thank you so much for the fun that we had at 1634. I will definitely see you again!

                   To Kenneth – Thank you…

                   To my dearest Helen and Maridol – To all that has been and to all that will be, Thank you! I love the two of you dearly.

By Teresa Posted in Races

My Most Memorable Race in Pictures

          P2P: How can I even chronicle what I went through on race day? I am not sure if I can still remember clearly what happened on that day… the only thing vivid is I finished it despite the injury. I never thought of quitting even if I was in so much pain, the only thing that kept me going is the thought that I dedicated that run to a couple who is so dear to me.

          Aside from the fact that it was my first time to be in Ilocos Province, P2P is by far my longest race… and due to the injury that i sustained, it was also the most painful. I can still remember how I wanted to hit the person who told me to just ride a motorcycle since I am still too far from the finish line. How I cried when I saw Pepsi and Maan at Km 65 because I was just so hungry and my left knee is giving up on me. I also wasn’t able to contain my emotions when Craig Logan appeared behind me and asked how I was and when I told him that I am not ok, he stopped and prayed over me. That act of kindness was just too much for me to handle given the situation I am in. 

          Tin and Iah came back for me at Km66… I know they are already spent but Tin walked with me the rest of the way until Doc T caught up with us. At some point I even asked her “Tin, pwedeng hawakan mo nalang ako, pipikit nalang ako habang naglalakad?”

          After more than twelve hours I arrived at the finish line… Allow me to borrow the words of Rob, Jeff Avellanosa’s friend who is one of the photographers during that event: 

                 “The case of one of the female runners of “Team Ultra” is what I could call the most sensational. She came in walking, her face a grim mirror of pain. Obviously, the very long distance had inflicted unbearable pressures on her knees, ankle and feet. When she crossed the finish, she just stood there bent down double. Her teammates aided her to a seat and applied first aid. She screamed as the pain intensifies now that she is not running anymore. They put ice pack on her legs and knees. Her face distorts amidst her groan and subdued scream. She grabbed her friends shirt in the back. I caught that on cam. But I’m sure she’s just as happy in finishing as she was hurt in the process”.

Thank you, Rob!

Let the pictures speak for my major-major race in 2010 🙂

we are about to check-in

they're fine, just tired from the looooooooong travel

          Playing tourist before race day…


          Race Day…

          In pain…

The walk 🙂

          At last…

          So there… It’s better late than never 🙂

By Teresa Posted in Races

I’m Back…

                January is drawing to a close… I last visited this page in November. I was supposed to turn it into a journal since at that time, I just got my orders that I will be leaving for an overseas post in December. Well, I didn’t leave… I won’t go into specifics but suffice to say that I was shattered. I lost the motivation to write, to run, and I cave in to the sadness and frustration that I felt at that time. For weeks I was in limbo. I was so stressed out; I lost weight without even trying and I was rushed to the ER because of severe gastric pain. Looking back at that particular incident makes me laugh. I cried like a baby when the Doctor wanted to do a skin test because he wants to make sure that I’m not allergic to Diclofenac. I stood my ground and told him that I am not allergic to it and that if I suddenly develop a reaction, I will absolve him of any responsibility. He tried to explain to me why the skin test is needed blah blah blah… only then that I realized that he is damn cute! I suddenly felt the pain vanishing into thin air! Kidding aside, I was released shortly after that and was just given oral medication with a strict instruction from Doctor Cutie that I’ll come back if the pain will not subside… hhhhhmmmm I guess he just wants to see me again!

                It took me a while before I told my friends what I am going through… I was having a déjà vu especially when I was subjected into something that brought back all the sad memories of an event that happened almost five years ago. It was like rubbing salt to injury. I so wanted to walk-out and never come back, but I stayed. I stayed through the humiliation and clenched my fist whenever the urge to reason out arises. I learned that patience is indeed a virtue… and for a while there I thought I’d become a Saint for enduring it.

                I learned a lot from that experience… cliché as it may seem but I’ve always believed that everything happens for a reason. I had to go through that so I’d appreciate that I am still blessed and that the good still outweighs the bad. I am still grateful for everything that I have. What’s important is I am still here and I still have the time to rectify the mistakes and be a better person altogether.

                At this point, I can honestly say that I am beautiful, I am loved, and I am enjoying life 🙂

                Watch out for my succeeding posts and I do hope that you will again visit this page to see what I have been up to and for you to once again be entertained by my antics and never-ending quest for adventure.

                 I love you all!

Megamind!

I am back!

In a few days changes will be implemented in this lowly page to make it more ME 🙂 It will also be transformed into a personal journal where I will write about things that I want to share or just about anything that will catch my fancy.

So what’s with the title? I don’t know hehehe I watched it with the kiddos yesterday and I liked it. Megamind = Change or maybe when bad becomes good. So I am thinking that I can make this page better, more informative, and more fun to read. But please don’t expect too much, this is still my page and I’ll write whatever I want.

P2P: Is there anything left to say?

               Once again I procrastinated on writing my thoughts and personal insights on the races that I joined and some other stuff that I thought worth mentioning in this blog… if you can even call it that since my postings are usually far in between.

                I am not a prolific writer… I wish I am! It usually takes me a lot of effort before I could even finish an entry. During a race my head is usually full of ideas, the title of the blog entry, its contents, its focus; I always want it to be entertaining, but as you can see all those thoughts and ideas are sometimes just that –  thoughts that crowds my already clogged brain.

                My last entry is about my sorry finish during the Milo Marathon.  I joined a couple of races after that but dedicated most of my Sundays to long runs with my team as we were seriously preparing for the second leg of PAU in Ilocos Norte.

                I had high hopes that I will be stronger come race day; I was even dreaming of third place since I learned that Tina will not be joining. That makes Michelle the eventual winner, my partner Tin in second place then me (it was a wish, ok? Don’t raise your eyebrows just yet).

Flashback:

               Three weeks before P2P, the TGIS group decided to have a long run in Clark; since there was a scheduled race on that particular Sunday being organized by Atty Jon for the IP in the area, we decided to register. The plan was to do 10k before the race then 10k after to cover the planned 30K for the day. It was a balmy morning, the pre-race run was fun.

                The no frills “Takbo Para sa Katutubo” started a little after 6am. I didn’t have plans on racing it since it is just suppose to be part of the LSD. It was a good race, very simple, and the route was nice. I was having a good time chasing after my team mates when I suddenly felt something on my left knee… it was a sudden click. I slowed down then it hurt even more. I didn’t want to walk or stop until I saw Jan waiting by the water station. He paced with me for a very slow jog then he told me that it is ok to walk. The “fight another day” line brought me back to my senses. There is no way that I will jeopardize my P2P plan so I listened to him. I didn’t push it and finished the 10k in 1:03.

                The week after was a flurry of events, I continued with my training plan but I was more cautious since the knee was bothering me. I don’t understand what it was, just a nagging pain that gets worse when I go up and down the stairs.

                The following Sunday was another LSD from Amadeo, Cavite to Tagaytay. I didn’t finish that one either; I only managed 25K. It’s about time I admit that I am INJURED and my left knee is giving up on me. Well-meaning friends advised me to see a Doctor but then I realized that if I see him at this point in time he might tell me to rest or not to run in the next few weeks… That’s a big NO-NO! I have a big race ahead of me. Come hell or high water I am running that one. So rather than consulting a Doctor, our friend and elite “Bandit” prescribed Celebrex 200mg twice a day for three days. Being the hard-headed not practicing RN that I am, I took his advice hehehe  

                To make the long story short – I didn’t run for two weeks leading to P2P. I was worried; I was afraid and my third place finish was shelved for the time being. My goal at that point was to finish it within the cut-off time of 12 hours. Armed with a heart full of hope, attitude that has surpassed several debacles and encouragement and inspiration from Team BR-P, TGIS, and friends from the running community, i prepared for race day.

Team BR-P during the CLP and briefing at AFPCOC

 

                   That’s how we look like when we’re not in our running gear 🙂 I am glad the CLP was on a tuesday, I am not sure how other runners will react if they see me in my BDU.  The CLP unveiled more surprises… aside from the scenery, the Baldrunner revealed that the route is longer – 3Kms longer. Oh Dear! I am in deep trouble… How will I finish 68Kms in 12hours with my current condition? Honestly, I don’t know.

                    Two days before the P2P I received a message from a very dear friend informing me that they won their legal battle. Thinking at how hard they fought for that, I dedicated my P2P to them. I told her whatever happens, I will finish the race no matter how hard it will be. With that added inspiration I know I am ready.

                 I’ll see you all at the starting line!

D-DAY!

 

they say that the first time is always sweet and painful... indeed it was!

Tin, Edward our support crew, and I left the condo at 0230H. We then called Iah to tell him that we are on our way. Tin need to find a good parking slot, we find one very near the finish line.

I am not really sure how I was feeling during that time; I can’t even find the word to describe it… I didn’t know that my first time will be like that. I was unusually quiet on our way to the starting line – I got a lot of ribbing from Tin and Iah about the silence 🙂 that is not so like me!

The Captain, the muse, and Mr President

After visiting with some friends and going back to the portalet three times, we entered the starting line. The excitement was palpable; green was all I see. I’m not kidding when I tell you that I was so nervous; I could even hear my heartbeat. I tried to shake it off by chatting with my friends – I am so lucky to be surrounded by people who believe in me. We were having our picture taken with Sir BR when we heard the gun start… it went off just like that – no warning at all.  

The Team BR-P with Sir BR

I am not use to wearing a watch during races… I just always rely on the time at the start and finish lines. I am not saying I don’t want a Garmin, I do… the only problem is I may not be able to handle it – I am low-tech!

I know from our recon that the distance from the starting line before I turn to Macapagal is almost 8K so that will be the time to take Gerber. I plan to consume 5 to include one Roctane, which I planned to take before the turn around going to the finish. I am not good in remembering streets during races so I tried to take note of land marks where I will take that much needed energy boost. PICC, Blue Wave, first fly-over…

The first loop was generally a walk in the park. I know that I am on target since Tin is still with me; we were not pacing each other but I knew that she’s just behind me judging from the sound of her shoes 🙂 Learning from my past experiences on dehydration, I made sure that I stopped in all water stations. I also brought extra hydration in case I will miss some. I also left a considerable amount with Edward and Manong Vicente. I was more than surprise to see Jucel before my ascent to the flyover on my first loop. That thoughtful gesture will always be remembered, Jucel.  

still strong on the first loop

I was generally oblivious of what’s happening around me all throughout the run. I was just looking down and tried to look up from time to time. I was actually praying… it took me one Apostle’s Creed, one Our Father, three Hail Mary’s, and one Glory Be to reach the top of each fly-over. I did that all throughout the 10x that I negotiated that ascent. I doubled it though on the last two on my way to the finish line.

I still have no issues on my second loop… I was still with Tin. I am still pretty strong and hoped that if I will maintain such pace before I reached the third loop then maybe just maybe I’ll make it to the qualifying time.

still looking good on the second loop

I saw all the designated support areas of my takbo.ph friends, the team CB at the shell station, and the team of Miss Nao of ANR Alabang near Blue Wave. I didn’t stop for posterities in those areas; it would have been nice to have my picture taken with you guys especially with my placard (thank you ate Luvs! Thank you Maccoy!) which I saw on my way to the second loop… I regret it but as I said I was really bent on qualifying. Thank you so much! I truly appreciate your presence, the cheers perked me up.

It was I guess along Metrobank when I saw a familiar figure ahead of me… I thought I was just mistaken but when I looked up I saw Iah walking… He’s cramping up. It was pretty humid by then; I myself was having hard time breathing. The stench is taking so much of my energy as well.

Jucel was again at Macapagal before KM22… the water he gave me was a welcome treat; I just downed my third Gerber. I also gave him my flask with a request for replenishment. I told him to look for Edward at HK Plaza. It was also about this time that Tin went ahead of me. That was actually the plan – for her to be in front of me so I’ll be motivated.

I saw Ma’am R of the Team BR who gave me ice candies which I also consumed in record time. I was thirsty! She also asked me if I need food, I said no. Thank you very much, Ma’am! That was so thoughtful of you.

It was still a breeze going through that road… I am imagining Km30 near Sofitel. I also know that this is my last loop before I finally do the turn-around. I wasn’t just prepared for the little incident that awaits me at Km30.  I don’t know what came over me but I suddenly felt really tired when I turned left where the band was stationed going to the direction of Sofitel. I just felt the need to stop, to sit, to just disappear. It was exactly at the KM30 marker when I was jolted back to my senses when somebody asked me where Iah was… I said “Nasa likod nagka cramps” then he said “huh? Anong nangyari sa inyo, diba nag training kayo?” I was taken aback – what was that about? I didn’t bother say anything; I just looked at him then took off.

Most of my friends know that I am never crabby in any race. The reason they call me Miss Congeniality is because I always see to it that I greet, hug, and do a high-five whenever I meet a runner friend along the way. I always motivate those I feel needs it even if I myself need motivation. That statement threw me off – I don’t think it is what I needed when I was so ready to give up. To you it was just a spur of the moment thing but I hope Gian next time be more sensitive. I accept your apology but then I also have to give you a piece of my mind… I know you are a very strong runner, but I guess you have to learn to be humble and be mindful of the things you say. I never doubted your capability. Indeed we trained… we trained hard because we know that we need it. We’re not elites but as what Iah said – EVEN THE BEST ATHLETES FAIL. NO AMOUNT OF PROPER TRAINING WILL PREPARE YOU FOR THE EXTERNAL FACTORS YOU FACE COME RACE DAY. I am not trying to make an issue or call attention to myself. I just thought you should know. Best of luck in your future races!

I passed the takbo.ph support station one last time before I finally turned right. Thank you so much friends for the ice cold pocari… BB, Maccoy, Gail, Cindy and the rest of the gang – Thanks so much!

The journey to the turn-around was uneventful except that I still want to walk… I took the last of my Gerber, the one they say that has extra kick for the added push. I have already consumed six and the last two is sort of not kicking in. I was on my way to the first flyover when I met BR, at first I thought he’s having a hard time but when he gave me a thumbs-up I knew he’s alright. I saw Macky next after that; the heat is really taking its toll and seeing the flyover made it worst…

I passed Tin along Buendia fly-over. I never knew that she was having a hard time already. I was actually hoping that we’ll run the last 5Km together since she always have that extra energy on the last 5Km.

I was happy to finally see the turn-around, but my legs suddenly felt heavier atop the Buendia fly-over. I am already slurring my prayer and I can’t seem to finish the Apostle’s Creed… I felt suddenly alone and the journey to the next fly-over is taking like forever… I also kept on glancing back hoping that I would see Tin or Iah, but they are nowhere in sight. That got me worried – what happened to my friends? It was blurry from then on… I really slowed down. I also ran out of Gatorade and there is no water station in sight. Godbless Jucel I saw him near Quirino. I remember he gave me something but I am not sure what it was – could be water or Gatorade. I really can’t remember…

It was along the Phil Navy headquarters when this guy with a 42Km race bib came to me and said “halika na, sabay tayo”. We were together intermittently until we reached the US Embassy. I so wanted to ask his name but I guess I was too tired to even speak. Another guy who was in black that looks like a tri-suit also told me “Let’s go, we’ll do 4:30, you will surely qualify” I can only shake my head and told him “wala na hindi na ako makakapasok 4:20 ako eh” then he said that’s ok you’ll still do sub5… Thank you to both of you! I can’t even remember your faces, but surely I will always remember that motivation.

I felt like crying from then on, not even the sight of the starting line could lift my spirit. Another runner egged me to run since the finish line is less than 500M away. I slow-jogged then increased the pace as I enter the finishing chute. Bing was the only person I saw during that time… I was hoping I’ll have a friend who would give me a hug, but nobody’s there. I clocked in at 4:38… I should be happy right? That was a sub 5, but at that point I was really disappointed with myself. I can only mutter “Sayang”…

I stayed under the scorching heat of the sun for ten minutes waiting for Tin and Iah… I only left when I saw Neil and Jerry. The first person I saw after that was Abby – I love the hug, sister! That was my first, then Luis…

Macky and I stayed at one of the tents with the other guys… I can’t keep still so I decided to go back and look for Tin and Iah, I was still outside when I saw my partner, Tin. She managed a wave. Then I saw Iah… both of them still managed a sub 5 despite the cramps, the injury, and dehydration… the two of you are so brave, you deserve my snappiest salute.

well done, Mr President!

 Generally, it was a good race, very challenging. To be honest, I really didn’t know what to expect. I am not saying I am over it, but I am getting there. My musings for the last five days has all been about Milo… I know I can do better; I will train to get better. Maybe next year I can finally use this title for my Milo entry… IT’S FINALS, BABY… SEE YOU IN DECEMBER!

To Team BR-P, Team TFC, and to Team UPLB Mountaineers – Thank you so much!

To Bald Runner, Ma’am R, and the Elites – Thank you po!

To Takbo.ph, Team Boring, Team CB, and the Adination Alabang led by Miss Nao – Maraming salamat!

Milo:42.195KM

I guess by now many have already written about their experiences during the 34th Milo Marathon. What took me so long then to post my article?  I so wanted a different title… it is what I kept on repeating to myself until KM30 – then it became blurry…

I drank Milo when I was a kid… even if my parents can’t afford it on a regular basis; they tried to at least get us some when the budget permits.

When I started working, Milo is always on my grocery list. I never ran out of it. My kids love it; they actually call it Milo everyday.

Milo is not supposed to be my first marathon… my sights are glued to Condura.  It all changed though when my team started talking about it during the Laguna relay. I wasn’t that convinced at that time for I feel that I am not yet ready to do a 42.195KM. I made a go for it only when I got a clearance from Coach Titus.

I am not a seasoned runner; not even a good one, but once I set my mind into something I always make sure that I prepare for it… I was even more motivated because I trained with my friends. At first all I wanted was to finish it, then I realized why not aim to qualify? The qualifying time were not yet published at that time. So we were all thinking that we can manage a 4:30 – 4:29:59 actually.

I guess it was about two weeks to the race when the qualifying time was published… there is no way I can beat that – 10minutes could translate into an hour when you are already wasted; but then again how will I know if I won’t try?

The final week…

Sunday, June 27 – joined the Lactasyd run with the ladies of Team BR-P. I initially didn’t want to do this for fear that something might happen to me a week prior to Milo.

me and my team during the run... i looked funny!

 

Most of my officemates are going down with the flu; as fate would have it i woke up with all the signs on tuesday… i felt so bad; I texted Iah who told me to ditch the depletion stage. I called my ultra doctor friend, Doc Topher who prescribed fluimucil and nasathera. This is bad… i kept telling Febs and Jean that this is not the time for me to get sick. I prayed, begged was more like it. I increased my Vit C intake, took lots and lots of water. I have never been serious in taking my supplements, but at that point i wanted to take all of it in one go. After 3 days, i felt better. I took it as a sign that God is giving me the go signal to go on with the race.

Friday was carbo-loading for me and the Team BR-P. We went to Joey Pepperoni for the much needed sustenance. It was a fun-filled night. We all have high hopes; we are pretty sure that a couple of those who are present will make it…

I guess after this I won't eat pasta for the next few weeks!

I was still wobbly and stiff on Saturday; generally, I was optimistic but there’s this little voice telling me that I should reconsider joining the race. I had to block that thought and instead focus on getting the much needed rest. Tin and I will be staying at the condo of her friend along Roxas Blvd so that’s a plus for both of us.

Tin fetch me at around 1600 at Camp Aguinaldo… we are both anxious. We decided to do a recon of the route then had dinner at Shakey’s. I actually didn’t have any concrete strategy; I was more like following Tin’s. I even told her and Iah that as long as she’s near me during the race, that’s enough for me. She will be my guide, my motivation…

I prepared all my gears and other requirements before calling it a night at 2100H…

See you all at the starting line!

By Teresa Posted in Races

Going Down Memory Lane: PAU 50KM

44 Teresa Ybanez 6:57:30

My race number 124 are my kids' birthdays... (photo courtesy of Daniel Callanta)

            
            How can I even start to chronicle what I went through last Sunday, 09 May 2010 when my legs are still sore and I am still trying to reconcile the fact that – indeed I conquered that grueling route?

            I used to dread all our road runs when I was a young Probationary Officer – what on earth has pushed me this far? I guess I can only go back to the last couple of years when I was left with nothing but my will to survive. Running has been my refuge during those dreadful times and I never looked back after my first fun run…

            The 1st PAU 50km was conducted exactly a week after our amazing Laguna de Bay 200KM Relay. The team and I had no other run except for the two (2) days recovery run that we did at ULTRA.  I didn’t have any strategy on how to do it except to finish within the cut-off time of eight (8) hours.

            I was about to retire for the night when I received a text from the amiable Margalicious telling me that all our needed supplies are ready and she’s asking me if I still have last minute “bilin”. Thanks so much Ate Luvs, you’re such an angel!

            My day started at 0200H on race day.  It was also about this time when my first blooper was committed. I was putting on my mandatory leukoplast when I discovered that I am running out of supply… I was only able to bandage my right foot. Crap! I can’t run without this stuff! Just the thought of blisters got me all wired… I texted some friends, God bless them I was told not worry because they have some.

            I arrived at the TRANSCOM building in Tiendesitas way before the meeting time of 0300H. I was busily chatting with Nam when Mark arrived. He then started to fix his stuff then I saw him holding a brown envelop… OMG! I forgot my race kit!!! How stupid of me… I can only imagine what BR will tell me if I call him now and tell him that I forgot my race kit… I didn’t like what I saw in my mind. I freaked out! I tried to call our duty driver giving him instructions on where to look for it.  I am about to give up when he told me that he found it. Relieved; I knocked my head and took note of that laxity.

            We left Tiendesitas shortly after I got my race kit. I need to be at the starting line before 0500 since I still have the race kit of Vic, Prince, and Roselle.

            The race started at exactly 0500H without fanfare. After the countdown, off we went! One hundred Sixteen “Crazy” runners.  

           I was full of energy when we started and was hoping that I will be able to maintain the pace as I was then running with Tin and Iah. I knew I have a TOUGH race ahead and the last thing I want to happen is for me to fade away and end up not finishing it.

That is definitely not Iah, Tin! (Photo courtesy of Tin)

            The first 20KM was very familiar… I remember all too well that on 06 April 1999, it was at the 2ID checkpoint when our then Tactical Officers asked us to disembark from the OCS bus so we can all have a hair cut under the huge mango tree… how they made us run from that area to Camp Capinpin, how I vomited even before we reached our destination, how lost and confused I was hearing all sort of commands.

           In the span of my one year Probationary Officer’s Training, I passed that route many times; had our bivouacs at Daranak Falls; and two weeks before we graduated, I collapsed in that very Shell station after finishing one of our long runs from Camp Capinpin.

         It was at KM12 when I felt I needed to pee… I lost five minutes because of that incident. I was huffing and puffing when I finally turned left to the direction of Sierra Madre Hotel because I had to make-up for the lost time.

           The sun is already up when we reached KM20 at Sierra Madre Hotel. My support team religiously attended to me and Tin and Iah’s support are also there ever so ready to extend a helping hand so the thought of dehydration never entered my mind. It was also very heartwarming to hear encouragement from all the support teams and fellow runners.

Thank you, Ate Luvs! (Photo courtesy of Daniel Callanta)

           I was still intermittently running with Tin, Iah, Nam, Earl, and Argo from KM 20 onwards. I can’t clearly remember what we talked about during the entire 50KM every time we have the chance but suffice to say that it eased some of my worries, pains, and so many other aches that I felt while climbing those HILLS…

I am covering their back from enemy fire hehehe (Photo courtesy of Tin)

           I tried to enjoy the view and the scenery which is a whole LOT! I had the time of my life running without the pollution of Metro Manila but I surely hated the sound of big bikes approaching! It could be cool to some people but I despised the way they looked in that road – sorry!

        I realized so many things during the entire duration of that 50KM race; when all you see are runners whom BR refers to as the “purist” – the “hardcore’s”. How nice it is to run amidst all these dedicated runners – makes me wonder again what I am doing here. In a regular race, all I aim for is to establish a new PR – here? All I wanted is to SURVIVE. 

           I don’t have a watch or a Garmin but I am sure that the water station is located every 10KM; I was so glad to see Frank at the 3rd water station. Thank you, guys! The cold water you doused on me was heaven! Service Deluxe, Ba! I suddenly missed Iah’s son 🙂

           I guess I was a couple of KMs away from the turn around when I again felt the urge to pee… I was looking for a place where to relieve myself, but unfortunately I can’t seem to find a “place”. Time also is one of my biggest consideration if I am going to stop in a house and pee – so I tried to manage it the best way I know how given my current situation.

           Iah was uncontrollable when I told him what I did – it was our secret until he reached the finish line 🙂

           It seems unreal that I was still pretty strong nearing the turn-around. I felt good when most of the runner’s who are already going back tells me that “you are doing well, you are third”… Whoa! Third?! But I am pretty sure that Tina who is behind me could easily overtake me… I know her – I am aware of her achievements as a runner. I’m maybe strong at that point but I am pretty sure that with her experience she’ll come out stronger.

           I have already consumed a considerable amount of gatorade, pocari, and water when I reached KM35. I am also running out of Gerber so I replenished before I got my blue “tali”. I was a bit disoriented because I was thinking that I still have to go straight, yun pala iikot na ako! Salamat!!! AKYATAN NA!

            I was happy to caught up with my friends Iah, Nam, Tin, and Gerry after that. I am a bit hyper, was pushing myself but Gerry cautioned me several times to just take it easy lest I injure myself. I had fun with them during that time – it’s just so uplifting to be with friends; Laughing even if our bodies are already weary…

            I was with Iah for the next 6KM after passing the 3rd water station for the second time. I didn’t want to stop but I can’t refused Frank’s offer of cold water.

            I can’t clearly remember what Iah and I talked about in that span of 6KMs, i guess just about anything under the sun. He left me only when we saw three guys behind us – I told him to go ahead and not to worry – my Fourth Place finish is already sealed.

            I was on my own after that… I was getting really tired and after covering more that 45Kms I finally told Pepsi that I am really tired. Pepsi and Glenn had to force me to take something. That time I already don’t want to ingest anything, just too tired to even chew… Thanks Glenn and Pepsi for staying with me during that crucial moment – I know words are really not enough for me to express my gratitude… 

           It was also during that last 2KMs when memories from 11 years ago came back to me like a motion picture. I was so overwhelmed with emotions when i saw the Pagasa Tower. That tower was a silent witness to what I went through in one of our many exercises – i suddenly pictured myself collapsing in the sidelines – my classmates telling me over and over again that i was malingering… 

The tower that brought back all the memories... (Photo courtesy of Daniel Callanta)

           I saw Glenn and Pepsi again one last time before I reached the finish line… I was already too tired to even wave. When I saw the maroon roof of the Sierra Madre Hotel – I cried; I tried to control the sobs but I can’t. I was just too consumed with emotions…

yikes! hang panget!!! (photo courtesy of Tin)

The one and only Sir BR with the sobbing Captain (Photo courtesy of Tin)

             That was just about it, folks… MY ULTRADRAMATIC FINISH 🙂

             CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE FINISHERS!

             Anong klaseng emosyon kaya sa BDM?

PS:

1. THANK YOU SO MUCH to my awesome support crew : MARGA, PEPSI, BEA, and GLENN.

2. THANK YOU SO MUCH to Tin and Iah’s support

3. THANK YOU SO MUCH to all my friends from takbo.ph – I got a lot of ribbing from Iah because of your cheers 🙂 artistahin kaya ako hehehehe

4. THANK YOU SO MUCH to my BR-Professional friends

5. THANK YOU SO MUCH to Sir BR, Ma’am Rowena, Yan, and the Elites

6. THANK YOU SO MUCH, Coach…

We are Mortals: The Final Offering :-)

Day 2 – 02 May 2010

1-27.1         –        Sta.cruz to Mabitac
2-29.9         –        Mabitac to Jala Jala
3-19,27       –       Jala Jala to Tanay Town Plaza
4-18.7         –        Tanay to Binangonan Municipal Hall
5-19.85       –        Binangonan to Tiendesitas 

ang mahiwagang ruta (photo lifted from http://www.gmanews.tv)

The race proper started at the Provincial Capitol of Laguna in Sta Cruz at around 0530.  Macky will be covering 27km so we made sure that he will be well-hydrated all throughout. Our strategy for the second day is for our first two runners to finish their legs in 3H and the rest of us 2H. It’s really tight considering the route and the weather but that’s the reality that we have to face.

That's our Macky in blue; on his right is Lake Dashers, Loo (sino ang naiba?) Photo courtesy of Sir BR

Learning from our experience on Day 1, we left all the transition areas on time to drop our runners. With the alliance sealed we are pretty sure that whatever happens we will be fine. We just have to remind Jucel over and over again to just take it slow and to not exert too much effort on the affected knee.

Iah’s “son”, Rene was leading the pack when we passed them on our way to Mabitac, he ended winning that leg in 1:40! Tao ba sya?! I should ask Iah hahaha

We left Mabitac for Jala Jala shortly after the second runners of the leading teams left.

It was in Jala Jala when I finally introduced myself to the Team Brooks Contingent. Tsg Buen, their Coach even gave me a snappy salute. The team is very strong; they are actually trailing behind the Antipolo Runners. It is also here where we had so many light moments with most of the support and some of the Elites.

Tere: Master bantayan mo si Vertek, tumatakbo na naman mamaya kamo mabangga na naman ng motor

Coach: Naku to talaga si Vertek, nakakalbo na kasi eh, hirap talaga pag tumatanda.

Laughter ensued after that comment. We also extended help to their first runner who was dehydrated. I was so worried I asked them to bring him to the nearest hospital since he is also vomiting. Katawa lang because there was no Doctor or crew in the Ambulance only the driver wala din silang oresol or hydrite! Haller!!! What are ambulances for?

We left Jala Jala for Tanay way before our Nam and Jucel arrived so we weren’t able to witness their dramatic moment. The exact picture was that magka akbay silang dumating with Jucel hopping on one leg because of his injury. Buti nalang din hindi ko yun nakita baka pag nandun ako nag lupasay na ako sa iyak. I just hope that the reckless jeepney driver who caused that injury will never ever experienced what he went through.

The blistering heat of the sun is already evident when we left Jala Jala. We are now getting worried with what will happen to Carlo and Mark. The pressure to beat the cut-off is already constricting.

Mark and Carlo with the Mario brothers hihihi (photo courtesy of Tin)

We arrived in Tanay shortly after Alvin Canada (the BDM Champion) passed the baton to their fourth runner. Now I am really getting worried…

Our packed lunch was courtesy of Tin’s friend, Rhea. Thanks Rhea! That was the first decent meal I had since the relay started.

Silently, I am now beginning to obsess on how I am going to finish this race. I know I can really be stubborn if not restrained so I am also trying to keep my emotions in check. I keep going back to the rest room and feels like throwing up. I guess I was really anxious. I am having doubts if I will be able to pull it off. Honestly, I was afraid. I know my strength and surely I am no match to Tin. I am also anxious because I might slow her down. You should see me when we train at Ultra. I am always coming behind these guys when we do Yasso or we do those mind-boggling 100s, 200s, or 400s. My best time for 21K is 2:15. I am only running 18.7k but with the heat? I have been consumed about this fact since the first day when I was told that I am given two hours to finish my leg… I just hope the “Gerber” will give me the much needed kick.

I guess Mark and Carlo are already half-way when Iah and Gerry left for the last transition. The time is really tight now… Unless I use roller blades; the problem is I never used roller blades in my life! See? My line of thinking is getting crazier by the minute.

I was comfortably seated in a chair when I saw Carlo and Mark entering the transition area. I wasn’t prepared! Hindi pa ako nagbabasa!!! I hurriedly drenched myself, grabbed the shades from Carlo who seems disoriented, took the belt, and off I went! Only to come back at natanggal ang race bib!

I dashed like a mad woman and Tin cautioned me several times that I was going too fast and that I need to stay close (nasa gitna na pala ako ng kalye)… Jucel reminded us to run continuously for 30minutes then do the 10minutes run 1 minute walk strategy. I don’t know what happened but we didn’t follow that one. We just ran… then took intermittent walk breaks. I just have to give it to Tin… without her dictating the pace, ewan kung san ako pupulutin!

That's me and my partner, Tin (photo courtesy of Anne, Tin's friend)

Tin know the route by heart so that’s a BIG plus. She knows where to sprint because it’s downhill then walk because it’s uphill. It was very HOT but the good thing is I am now also being supported by Arnel (he is the very efficient motorcycle support of the Lake Dashers) the cold sponge is heaven! Thank you so much, Arnel!

When Tin told me that we covered 6K in 30 minutes… I was surprised. That’s fast considering the heat.

One thing that is still very vivid in my memory during that leg was when we passed Morong, which is a bit congested and busy at that time because of a sports fest. I was so surprised when a policeman helped us navigate that busy street. Imagine a situation when lead runners are in front with the police… ganun ang ginawa sa amin, dalawang pulis hinahawi ang mga tao para kami makadaan. At nung hindi kami makasingit sa gilid, dinala kami sa gitna! The experience was just surreal… we felt like Champions being escorted to the finish line!

We are on the 9th km at 55 minutes when we saw our support vehicle. Iah and Gerry alighted and told us that we are already out of the race so they will just pace with us. Apparently, they were told that unless we arrive in Binangonan at 1500H there is no way they could run. I was dazed… we are trying our best… Tin and I are running like as if there is no tomorrow. Attacking all the downhill as if we are on a regular race without the sun blazing in the horizon… I was lost; I was asking myself what’s the use of running if we are not going to finish anyway?

Gerry and Iah are now our pacers, also giving us necessary hydration. I don’t know what happened after but when I saw the next uphill going to Binangonan, I jogged. I jogged slowly until we reach a rather long downhill that we attacked with gusto. Then it dawned on me, if we are not going to finish then let me just establish a new PR.

I was still strong until we reached the very intimidating uphill separating Rizal and Pasig… I jogged that too; did I not tell you I was running like a madwoman? I was so excited! It could be the “Gerber”!

I don’t know where we were when Macky told me something about going on with the race. I didn’t understand it that time. I just continued running until Tin passed me then I saw the sign to the last transition area. I was hyped! I finished 18k in 2:03 – two minutes behind my partner, Tin. Only then did I fully understand what Macky was telling me…. We will continue with the race. But Iah is already tired; he already did 7km with us. He had like 50minutes to finish 20K… We are not elites! We are mere MORTALS…

It took us a while before we left the last transition area to provide support for our runners. Unfortunately, we got lost and we didn’t see them anymore. They were swept… Initially, I didn’t know what to say especially when I saw some runners still running even after the cut-off time.

We were silent until we reached the finish line and heard what happened. We had to apologize to Iah for not giving him support during that very critical time – I’ll say it again – I’m sorry, Iah. We didn’t mean to leave you there alone…

I became emotional when I read this note from Iah’s FB wall:

 It was my first time to not finish a race. The first time to ride at the back of a moving vehicle that big. My first time to not cross the finish line. I was demoralized. 

Yes, I was demoralized too. I actually cried when I arrived in the barracks. But then I don’t want to be consumed by that feeling. Everything happens for a reason and I know that there is more to being DNFed.

It was an amazing race… I am proud of what we have accomplished. I learned so many things in the span of 48hours… I can now fully say that the camaraderie and bonding that we had will forever be etched in my heart.

CONGRATULATIONS to Team Antipolo, Team Airforce-Brooks, and Team Baldrunner 1 for being the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd placer respectively.

To my team the FLASH FORWARD and the LAKE DASHERS Congratulations and THANK YOU for a very memorable race.

To my friends at takbo.ph who sent me text messages: THANK YOU SO MUCH! I truly appreciate it. I miss you all!

The Lake Dashers and Team Flash Forward with Rene Desuyo (photo courtesy of Tin)

By Teresa Posted in Races