Friday, February 26, 2010
It hasn’t sunk in yet. Even as I write this first column, I still can’t believe how running has taken me to a totally unexpected path – from non-athlete to certified marathoner and now a sports columnist.
This incredible journey started February 8, 2009, on a chilly in Hongkong where I got picked up by the sweeper bus at kilometer 25 for running too slow.
I remember sitting on that bus so forlorn and utterly ashamed of myself for having spent so much money just to DNF on my first marathon. My thighs were in great pain, but not as much as my wounded pride.
Despite being spurned by the marathon gods on my first attempt, it was then that I decided that long-distance running would be my sports for life. As the song goes “if at first you don’t succeed, you can dust it off and try again.”
I went back to Cebu , bought new running outfits, trawled the internet and read everything I could about marathon running. I also sought guidance from coaches Raffy Uytiepo and Precing Capangpangan and did all my (very) early morning runs with a diligence and consistency of one studying for the bar.
It has been a year since and what a year it has been. I won first place honors in one 3K and two and I’ve had two full marathons under my belt. I’m also just two weeks away from running my first ultramarathon, the Bataan Death March 102. Yet, it still feels like there’s still so much out there to accomplish, and so many running paths that have yet to be discovered.
I’ve been asked countless times, why do I run? Truth to tell, I still don’t fully understand why. I just know that preparing to run a marathon has given me a new sense of direction, commitment and a renewed purpose in life. When I’m running I feel that I can be more, achieve more, give more.
Sometimes I get this crazy idea of taking a really radical sabbatical and just spend a year or two doing nothing else except training and running. Perhaps, if I take this passion as far as I possibly can, maybe I can be really good at it and even run for the Philippines someday.
I tell myself that it’s never too late. The champion of the women’s marathon at the Beijing Olympics was then 38 year-old Romanian Constantina Tomescu Dita (2:26:44) making her the oldest gold medalist in Olympic marathon history. But then reality interferes with my running dreams. There are bills to pay, pleadings to write and duties to fulfill.
Maybe the Olympic marathon is too far off. Like many serious runners out there, I content myself with training for at least one of the five world marathon majors and working hard to save enough money to finance that dream.
In the meantime, the Marathon Foodie continues to run the streets of Cebu no matter how very little time there is to spare, and no matter how difficult and painful it gets. I’ve said this once and I’ll say it again. That’s just how it is when you love something or someone. You invest time, put in your heart and soul and learn to have patience that can run for miles and miles and miles.
This torrid love affair with running I’ve shared with other runners through my online journal called Marathon Foodie
(http://marathonfoodie.blogspot.com), and now I’m sharing it with you, even non runners.
I will not pretend to be an expert, because I’m only an expert of my own running experience. But I can most definitely share with you everything I’ve learned, share tips and information, as well as point you to new runner-friendly routes and tell you which perilous roads to avoid – all of which I’ve road-tested myself.
And speaking of expert advice, Lit Ornubia, the only Chi Running Certified Instructor in the Philippines, will be conducting Chi running workshops in Cebu The workshop will include a lecture and actual training runs. Each workshop session will be limited to twelve runners only. For more details you may email Dr. Raymund Reel Bontol at email@example.com..
Finally, good luck to all those running in the 2nd Rotary Run Carpe viam!.
(For questions, comments and suggestions please email .)
While the rest of Cebu ran the weekend races that filled the weekend race calendar, I ticked my TBR calendar (free for all those who subscribe to The Bull Runner on-line alerts/ mailing list. Subscribe na! Now Na!) with super duper long runs under the heat of the sun, the longest of which lasted for ten hours covering 66 kilometers -- a necessary prelude to the Bataan Death March 102.
Mid-February was taper time, but not for work at the office. It was a race against time. The goal was to finish all my pending pleadings before I fly out of Cebu for the BDM. At least my clients won't be defaulted even if I drop dead while running my first ultra. (Haha)
But it wasn't all run, run, run and work, work, work. I had fun posing for Island Souvenirs "I love Cebu" campaign -- a first and again probably the last for the Marathon Foodie.
One of the high points for the month of February was the launch of Marathon Foodie, the newspaper column. It appears every Friday over at Cebu Daily News.
But not even the new gig as sports columnist could distract me from being afraid of the unknown. I trawl facebook for Abby Jocson's and Takbo.ph's photos of the BDM race route and I'm literally paralyzed with fear over the idea of running and walking all of 102 of unfamiliar roads.
It's eight days to D-day. I guess I'll never know unless I get out there and try. =)
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Run with a Smile
Sunday, February 14, 2010
6:00am - 9:00am
The Terraces, Ayala
The race features the 3-kilometer, 5K and 10K distances and will be open to all interested runners.
The registration fee is pegged at P250 with a discounted rate of P150 for students. The registration sites are located at dental clinics Green Apple (Ayala, near Belo Medical) and Citident (SM North Wing), Cebu Doctors University and Southwestern University.
Since it will be held on Valentine’s Day, the organizers will have a special prize for the first couple to cross the finish line together. Aside from the cash prizes, the
dentists will give free prophylaxis to the winners. (From Sun Star Daily Cebu, MCB.)
The CITE Foundation Day Fun Run is open to CITE students, CITE employees and alumni.
There's only 5km category for this event. Registration is pegged at P150 for students and P175 for alumni.
(Click poster to enlarge)