Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Inner Glow & Reflected Glory

The past two weekends I had the worst half-marathon times under happy circumstances.

I finished my Milo 21K with a chip time of 2:56, a career-low, even lower than my first half at Condura where I ran coming from a two-week lay-off due to bullheadedness and resultant inability to run. Milo was not in my personal race calendar, especially since I had a tough aquathlon the day before it, but I enlisted nonetheless. I simply wanted to relive my Milo experience, to run again with friends I trained with for our first marathon. So I boldly told training buddies friends BongY and EO, and new friends Mark and Jix I would see them at start line for 21K. I came in at least 10 minutes late, tired but in high spirits.

Bong, EO, Mark and Jix had spectacular PRs. I had my worst PR. But I enjoyed the Milo Race. I had a great time chatting on the road with RunningFatBoy Dennis; cheering Bong, EO, Mark on their way to their PRs; horsing around with the takbo.ph at the aid station; watching marathoners on their way back, and coming home finally to the grandstand. Ah, the grandstand, it would always evoke pleasant memories of strong, celebratory sprint ending my first marathon. Along the way I tried to redo my Milo run. For a few moments I would go there, rejoice in the moment, only to be reigned back by fatigue. It was a day for my friends, not mine. I had my Milo 'glory' so to speak. To expect and demand more is to be selfish.

The QCIM last Sunday was supposed to be my shot at glory - that race when I finally break my personal 2:30 time barrier for the half. I actually broke that barrier running the first half of my first marathon, but I wanted to make it official and documented via a timing chip. Once again I told Bong and EO I hope to run with them again, just like the old days. Alas it was not meant to be. I lacked sleep, my body was tired, and my right foot was still trying to correct itself and get rid of the pesky plantar fasciitis bothering it. I let Bong and EO surge ahead, managed to pace with Gerard for a while, but early on I told him to go ahead as well. The three all had good, relaxed runs. I had a slow, enjoyable one spent with rower-friend Edward whom I saw along the way. We finished in 2:45. It was a very slow one for sub-2hr, monster Edward, but both of us dutifully practiced our planned walk-breaks for our second marathon at Subic. I spent the rest of the morning waiting for friends who did their first marathon. Waited till the last one came home. To witness and partake of the indescribable joy of finishing one's first. It was a morning well-spent.

Eleven minutes. In two weeks I managed to improve my half-marathon time by 11 minutes. On an ordinary week I would have been happy with an improvement of 11 minutes. But at a time when I am supposed to be picking up tempo, the improvement was not enough. I wanted to peak at a tempo pace of 7min/km for my marathon, but storms and injury precaution prevented me from doing so. I suppose I simply have to run my next marathon with the best of what I've got.

I come into my second marathon with a thought that every runner has his moment. The past few races had not been my moments, and my other races were not exactly glowing ones, but at one point - at that point when I decided to push myself, that point where it really personally mattered - I had my 15 minutes in the spotlight. For all runners doing their first marathon, their first half, or even their first 10, I sincerely wish they will have their moment. We runners live and train for those moments. In the meantime, I am happy to glow inside and bask in the light of others. Godspeed!


  1. I believe its just OK not to put too much effort on your runs 2 weeks or a week before a marathon, so come marathon day you'll be a powerhouse.

    Each of us have their own moment, my first marathon was not really my best so come this Sunday, I hope to give my best and achieve that "moment". Weather weather lang yan ika nga!

    See you bro on Saturday.

  2. rico, just tell me when you want to get those PRs and i will gladly pace with you or puede ring support crew.


  3. thanks for a very motivating post!

  4. Hey Rico,

    Congrats on your back to back 21k's. Wasn't exactly the time's you were looking for but you were certainly able to rank up some mileage for the marathon. I bet it will pay off on Saturday!

    Best of luck to us in Subic!

  5. Nice post!

    Good luck in Subic for your second full!

    Wish I could run in Subic but I'm stuck with work on Saturday and will run KOTR the next day.

    Hope to meet you in future races :-)

  6. Hey Sam, mag-dilang anghel ka sana at nawa'y maging powerhouse ako on Saturday. Anyhow, I'm more excited for you. I am almost certain you will have your moment. Pa-haircut ka at wear your best singlet/shorts/tights/shoes!

    EO, thanks, pero sabi ni BongY higpit mo daw pacer nung marathon (hehe)...But next I really have to do well in half-marathons, so maybe I will take your offer on those. :-)

    Good luck Marvin!

    Gerard, congrats sa PR...God bless us all on Saturday...Pare, I think it is your time to shine, so believe it, grab it, be thankful for it. Godpspeed!

    Wow, Alfred, hataw kaagad sa KOTR after your Milo finals. Galing! Idol!

  7. hello sir rico,

    true, bad finish times do not necessarily equate to bad times. i'm sure you'd do well this Saturday. Good luck!

  8. bawi nalang sa SIM... if you have exerted more effort on QCIM, it might take it toll on SIM... See you in Subic!

  9. Ricow, we should have a blast! Once my Nike Human is done I will immediately join you, if I can find you! Bring your phone!