365 days after TNF100 2011

Today mark the first anniversary of my first ever TNF race… it could also be my last; we’ll never know.

I didn’t have any plans to join this race. BDM is crazy. Why on earth should I subject myself to something crazier? Well, I don’t know. 

A newfound friend literally sold the idea to me. He made it appear so enticing, it got me thinking. With most of my friends going into multi-sport, what’s next for me? This could be it. 

Well, I did it. It was scary running without support, in total darkness during night time (I am glad Casper was not anywhere near me), and i was in the woods where I dreaded the presence of snakes. 

What can I say now? Here’s the note I wrote two days after the race…

I just woke up and i walked like a zombie. Last night on the bus, I realized that my feet and legs are a bit swollen… they looked bigger this morning and my ankle is swollen too.

I am still dazed… If there is a word that is much better than happy; I guess I am in that state. My physical pain and maladies are masked by that feeling.

This race was never part of my list… I have done a number of ultramarathon and I thought BDM would be the icing on the cake of all my ultra races. TNF 100 is so much more! BDM will always be SPECIAL to me and I guess the degree of difficulty of the two races is truly different owing to the fact that BDM is road and TNF is trail and may I emphasize — self-supporting.

BDM is supposed to be my last race before I leave the country next week for professional advancement. I really didn’t have plans of doing any race because I wanted to really rest and recover. The idea of doing the TNF was initially floated by Yob, which he posted on my FB wall/status several days  after the BDM. I f I can remember it right, I actually told him that I will never do it.

If my memory serves me right, a fellow BDM finisher and a public servant asked me to consider doing the TNF second week of March. He literally pushed the idea and of course crazy as it may, I succumbed to the pressure because he also promised that we’ll train together and that he’ll never leave me come race day. He was also very generous with his time telling me over and over again his experience when he did TNF 100 in Baguio last year. If there is one person who would get my deepest THANK YOU, it would be him.

I consulted two friends who successfully did TNF 100, Nao (Baguio) and Dhenz (Sacobia and Baguio). Nao sent me a very informative message, which i pondered for a day. I chatted with Dhenz and asked him all the things that I wanted to know, his pointers were really helpful. The idea of these two wonderful people sealed the deal. Thank you so much to the two of you.

Initially, I didn’t tell my closest running friends that I am doing TNF. I already know their reactions hehehe but I have to give it to them. The moment they knew, they were very supportive after the initial guffaws and what have you’s.

So before I get carried away and turn this note into a blog let me just thank the following friends who one way or another helped me in this new achievement.

1. To Maj Jun Cunanan: the one person who bullied me, coached me, trained me, and made me his unwilling protege’ THANK YOU SO MUCH, SIR! I truly appreciate everything that you did for me for this race, words are really not enough. Thank you for staying with me, Cheryl, Aaron, Donie and Erell all the way. You were awesome back there. Truly a feeling and self-less individual who never left us even if you have a goal of your own. I’m sorry if at some point my emotions and physical issues got the better of me. I really don’t have any justification for it…

2. To Boypra: my willing training partner, my newfound baby brother — salamat, bebe! To Dabong, kahit pawala wala ka, dude hehehe Thank you! Kebur parin ang the best hehehe at kahit walang falls sa Montalban happy parin.

3. To Yob: Thank you so much! I will always be thankful that I met you. Looking forward to doing those crazy ultramarathons with you in the not so distant future. Thank you for believing in me and for all the messages that you sent.

I am a proud friend!

4. To my Team Baldrunner friends, Iah, Tin, Helen, Maridol, Mark, Jerry, Macky, Kaye, JV, Carlo, Mikko: Thank you so much! We have come a long way since our speed training days. When most of you ventured into multi-sports, I had nowhere to go. I found a new trail, guys and i guess I will stick with it for a while 🙂 I miss you all! Let’s get ready to parteeeeeehhhh!!!

Team Baldrunner Professionals

5. To Team Boring: thank you sa lahat ng suporta, words of encouragement at sa pagkakaibigan — GROUP HUG! I hope I made you proud 🙂

6. To Team CB: Thank you sa inyong lahat! Miss ko na kayo!

7. To JJ, Mai, and Leya: Ano ba ang masasabi ko mga kapatid, kundi salamat! Alam nyo na kung anong nilalaman ng aking puso nyahahahahaha

8. To Ate Marga: Thank you, Ate Luvs for everything. Your love never seizes to amaze me. I truly love you! mwaaaahhhh

I love you so much, ate luvs!

9. To my bestfriend: Thank you, Addict! Alam mo na yun hihihihi

10. To Jaq: Thank you, sis!

11. To my new found friends: Cheryl and Aaron: Thank you so much! The trails of Mt Isarog and the whole 100KM is a silent witness to the camaraderie that I was able to develop with you. To Jeff and family: Thank you for the very warm accomodation. Please hug your Nanay for me! FR: Salamat! And to the rest of the AMCI peeps who supported us, Thank you! To Donnie and Erell, Thank you!

12. To my soul sister, the one and only diva, Melanie: What can I say? Thank you, Sis!

13. To Baldrunner: Thank you so much, Sir! you will always be my inspiration  🙂 Thank you for planting the seed of ultramarathon in my heart.

14. To Marky: Thanks much! I really appreciate your support. Sorry if I wasn’t able to take your calls… basta, brother salamat!

15: To Lolo Earl: waaaaaaahhhhhhh!!! so sorry, i kinda forgot — Thank you so much for the calves sleeves! naglakad ka pa ng bonggang bongga para maibigay yun sa akin 🙂 Salamat talaga! ang laking tulong, lolo 🙂

Natatangi ka, lolo! mwaaaaaahhhhhh

16. To everyone who one way or another sent me their well-wishes: Thank you! Not mentioning your names doesn’t mean that your thoughts are not recognized. Your kindness will always be remembered, dear friends!

17. To my boys, Lorenz and Micah: I love you, kiddos! I run not because I want to get away from you when I train. I run because it makes me a better person and a better Mommy.

I am not perfect, but I will love you forever...

This one’s for you, Dear God — for all the strength and for giving me the will-power to finish all my crazy races. I give back all the glory to you!

******

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO ME!

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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…