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10K: Conquered!

"Right there, immortality! Take it, it's yours!" I remember Brad Pitt saying that in the movie Troy, as I made my way to the starting line.

After all the jitters and excitement, I MADE IT! 

But I'm jumping into what happened, right?

My mom and I were on our way to Aseana Blvd. by 4:30 AM today for my first 10K run at the 7-11 Run 800. Before we reached the Coastal Tollway, we saw the a Kenyan runner making his way for his 21K (I wondered if he paid a toll. Nah, just kidding). Followed closely by two more Kenyans. I had to remember that I need to close my mouth from a slight shock. My calculations that the first Kenyan runner will finish as soon as I started came true. They're just amazing.

Kikay Runner did the warm up for my 10K Advanced Wave. At 5:40 AM, we're off.

Running pass off the 5K mark was like freedom from the comfort zone. This was the first time that I never turned around on that mark.

Passing my way to the 5K U-turn. Not for me, this time. :)

On my way to Cavitex!

"Hark, daughters of the great Saint Paul!" I couldn't believe I'm looking at my high school alma mater at this view -  and I'm not in a vehicle!

I have traveled coastal road every day when I was in high school, then now since 2010 to and from my work in Manila. It was a great experience to run-walk in it.

Coastal Tollway 1K ahead!

Uh, wait a minute, these are way too far... :D

Coastal Tollway behind me. Another 5K to go!

I did walking most of the time, but I also followed a 30:30 run-walk interval, just like what I do during my training. No iPods for me, though! I enjoyed the morning breeze of the coastal road (it also included the smell of fish by the fisherman's wharf).

I made it to the finish line, safe and lucid, at an unofficial time of 1:45:07. Hey, not that bad! I made it! Woohoo!

A finisher! Woohoo! Here's the summary of what I ran. :)

The 7-11 Run 800 was very organized, with lots of water stations and friendly staff. It was definitely worth the wait after postponing the event twice last year (it was trash mayhem by the booth site, though).

It was so elating to finish a race that you worked hard for (a massive thank you to everyone who prayed for me!). One 10K down, four to go this year (or maybe 6?)!

Here's to another 10K - super soon!

10K jitters

"Can you really do 10K?"

That was my mom asking me a question a few hours ago after I handed the 7-11 Run 800 race kit that I got from the 7-11 store in Kalaw Street, Manila today.

Got my 7-11 Run 800 race kit today! Will I see you on Sunday?

As I write this, I only have a few days to go before my very first 10K run.

I immediately told her, "I can, I can, I can."
I don't know if what I said worked for me. Because one word comes to mind now: JITTERS.

I wasn't really joking: when I saw this part of the envelope kit, I got nervous. I'm really running 10K on Sunday! Aaaaahhhh!

I don't know if the jitters that I am having is the same as when I did my first 5K. But one thing's for sure: it's present again.

My training was not perfect. I lost a total of three weeks of runs. I think this is the main reason why I'm getting the jitters.

Well, I could always walk my runs. I am already telling myself that as always, I'm not going to rush. I'm going to enjoy my first 10K. I'm going to laugh at myself for bracing the cold of a January Sunday just to cross a part of Coastal Road.

Okay, that made me nervous again.

I think in every first that we do, we get nervous. No one is exempted. This is what I am feeling right now.

If you have a message for me on my last training week, do let me know. I'd love to hear from you.

Why Running and Marriage, I think, are the same

Sealed with a kiss. My friend (the bride) re-affirms her love with her husband a few days before 2013. I was so happy to have witnessed it. (photo by Roman Carlo D. Olivarez via Facebook)

You may think it is weird, but I realized that running and marriage are the same a few minutes after leaving my friend’s wedding a few days ago.

But before I explain why, let me first give a disclaimer: I’m not a marriage expert. I’m not even sure if my one true love is also a runner, just waiting for me to get tripped by the road so he could run fast enough to save me from an embarrassing fall (I’m also very happy to tell you that I was not chosen to get the bouquet on the singles game. Getting that bunch of flowers was the most embarrassing that happened to me; I’d rather get tripped while running.)

With that, let me tell you what happened on the day I got that idea.

My bride friend (she's one of my friends whom I met on the first day of our college years) went back in the country from the United States to re-affirm her vows with her husband. I was glad to see her on one of her important life events because I have not seen her for 8 years. My friend (who’s also a runner) persevered for eight years of being away from her one true love (the husband went to the US to work). My bride friend’s mom shared a bit on how she has spent time in front of the computer, using either Skype of instant messaging to keep in touch with her future hubby (I heard some snippets of stories from her just before we lost touch). I have heard a lot about the pros and cons of a long distance relationship, but I think no one could ever explain it like her. Seeing her walk down the aisle with so much happiness put a smile on my face (the smile immediately turned into laughter and banter when I finally got to hug her, because she was still the same bubbly and girly friend that she was).

Now, what does marriage has the same with running?

Time and commitment.

They say marriage is not only the wedding; it’s the next day, and the days after that, that matters. Race day is not grand day of running; it was the eating the right food, sacrificing TV or parties the night before, and the break-of-dawn waking up that matters. How marriage and running works may be reverse, but if one does not know how to commit, the passion and the love dies.

In marriage, one gives time to his or her spouse. No matter what happens, a committed married person takes out his or her spouse (even kids) to spend time at least once a week. It does not matter if it’s an out-of-the-country couple vacation or having dinner under the night stars by the front yard – what matters is the time. In running, one squeezes time to hit the road. Doing the runs may be three to four times a week, and depends on the training; one can spend more than an hour to run. Time is of essence for marriage and running. Lost time has consequences – a possible break-up in marriage, and possible injuries for running. Both are not good if you ask me.

So does this mean that I feel like I’m married to running?

Well, I couldn't say; running is not the only thing that I do in life. But I have also heard and read that 10K run is for serious runners; training for it is like saying I’m preparing for my “marriage” to running (if that’s true, then I consider my newly-bought New Balance 870 V2 my colored “wedding” shoes).

If Running is my groom, then this is my wedding shoes. I just realized I bought the 2nd version of my New Balance 870. Talk about match made in heaven. 

What I do know is that once a person finds that one love, he or she invests time and commits to make it work.

And works for the love every day not until he or she is tired, but until he or she feels it’s not work anymore.

To my dear friend: I hope to run with you soon. Keep marrying your husband every day.

As for me, I’ll keep running (and staying away from the bouquet throws).