I am late again (for the Adidas KOTR)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Late comers catching up.
Rico: Where the hell are the other 10K runners?

(photo courtesy of King del Rosario)

I love the feeling of having finished a race. The thing I hate about running though is that I have to wake-up really early. I am not a morning person, and I am slow starter when it comes to running. This morning for the my 10K Adidas KOTR race, I was late again - not because I failed to hear the alarm, but because I stupidly thought the 10K race was set for 6:30am, not the 6 am it was meant to be. I took my sweet time again, even reading for inspiration an article about how 76-year old Oscar Lopez scaled Mt. Pulag.

So the thing that I always dread, but which happens to me every now and then, happened again. I had to start running without the benefit of warm-up, I am pressured to catch up with on-time runners, and in process, I risk developing cramps, side stitches and sprains. This situation seems to happen to me whenever a race involves crossing that fort boni-to-makati flyover. I remember vividly my painful experiences in the two 25K New Balance races I have joined before. I managed to finish both races, but I was cramping for the last quarter of the race. All because I was late. Stupid me!

Though around 8-10 minutes late, I proceeded to catch up with the others. I was very careful in controlling my pace. I intently listened to my body for any sign of cramp or side stitch. I was anxious about this till the beginning of the flyover ascent bound for Makati. At this juncture, I began seeing the fast 21K runners heading back for Fort Boni. I always love watching these elite runners - somehow, by merely watching them I draw power from them. From hereon, I became less anxious, more excited and thrilled, and I began to enjoy running. During the long stretch from the flyover until the U-turn in Reposo, I was drawing inspiration from runners on the opposite direction. I saw former rowing mates and SFC friends as well as smattering of familiar faces. Eventually, I saw my friend with whom I was supposed to run astride, especially on the dreaded uphill climb back over the flyover. Understandably, my friend was already minutes ahead of me.

This Adidas 10k was my first 10K in probably 4 years of absence from road races. I was hoping to beat my personal best of 1hr 17 min. Yeah, I know I am slow, but I did overtake a lot of people on my way back. I hate myself for letting my official time to be pathetic again because of my lateness, but I am still glad I clocked 1hr 11min in my own timepiece. For now, that is already good given the circumstances. I hope within the year I can go sub-hour for a 10K. If only I can come early.


Nora, the golden girl October 27, 2008 at 12:26 AM  

What you did was simply unbelievable! After 4 years of not running a 10k race, you conquered the Buendia flyover and finished the race at 1:11 mins?
Congratulations for that amazing feat, Rico!

I also ran in the KOTR, pero 5k lang. I'm still training for 10k, which I hope to run before the year ends.

Are you joining the VSO?

Nora, the golden girl

Rico Villanueva October 27, 2008 at 2:17 PM  

Hi Nora. I think I did 1 or 2 5K road races before the my Adidas 10K. But these all happened within the last 2 months, 4 years after my disastrous New Balance 25K in 2004. Thanks for the congratulations, but it is not really that amazing. It is something we ordinary people can attain. See you in future races.

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