My Cobra IronMan 70.3 2014 Race Diary

Cobra Ironman 70.3 weekend came faster than I ever expected. It only seems like yesterday when I crossed the finish line of the 2013 edition, cried like a baby and felt so overwhelmingly happy that I fell even more in love with the world of multi-sport. The recently concluded IM 70.3 is officially my 10th triathlon after joining my first one in the year 2012. To say that I have gone a long long way from my first race is an understatement.

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Looking scared and nervous at the National Age Group Triathlon, Plantation Bay April 2012

 Coming into IM 70.3 2014, I felt a lot more confident about my swimming, biking and running skills. Thanks to my teammates who are my inspiration and my training buddies, I was able to put in months of hard work and dedication. We spent weekends doing long rides, long runs and brick sessions and weekdays doing our training on our own. We had fun, we bonded and we helped each other mentally (and emotionally) prepare for the big day. Somehow knowing that we are all in the same boat made everything less daunting.

Team SHUFA Brick Session. Less than a month away from race day.

Team SHUFA Brick Session. Less than a month away from race day.

 Race Weekend

Before we knew it, IM 70.3 weekend was here. Despite all the nervousness, the pre-race jitters, bouts of self-doubt and fear, we were ready to face “Graduation Day” head on.

IM2014-001 (1)Saturday, August 2, 2014, the day before race day, I prepared my gear for the bike check-in and drove with my brother/official photographer to the race venue at Shangri-la Mactan Island Resort and Spa.

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 Met up with the team, and hurriedly checked in our bikes under the awful sweltering heat of the sun. The place was brimming with triathletes who were just as excited as us. We made sure to look for landmarks so that tomorrow we will know exactly where our bikes were. Here’s an aerial view of how the transition area looked like after all the bikes have been checked in. It’s one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

source: Cobra IM FB Fanpage

source: Cobra IM FB Fanpage

 Right before the race briefing started, I got body-marked with the number 2550. That was the moment when I said “Hoo boy! This is it. This is REALLY is it. No turning back now, mickiego!

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 At the race briefing, one of the speakers, Coach Lance Watson gave us a beautiful pep talk that gave me goosebumps all over my body. Apart from several last minute tips on how to survive the race, he reminded all of us to have an attitude of gratitude. I began to think about all the people who have helped me get to where I am now, my family who has always had my back, my friends who have been my cheerleaders, and most especially my teammates who have given me the most valuable support throughout our training sessions and races. “Tomorrow when you get to the starting line, know that there is absolutely no other place that you would rather be than HERE.”

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 Before leaving the venue, I made sure to check once again the bike route. It’s only less than 24 hours before race day and I still had zero idea what the so-called “Double M Loop” is supposed to mean. I started feeling nervous, panicky and feverish at the same time. Knowing that the course is going to require multiple U-turns gave me knots in my stomach. L I have always been terrible at u-turns and I haven’t had the chance to master it. It was only during the drive back home from Mactan when I had a lightbulb moment. I closed my eyes, visualized the Talisay Fish Port and the exit of the tunnel and pictured a letter M on the lanes. Ah-hah! So that’s what a double M loop means! LOL!

Bike course

 Race Day

 On Sunday, August 3, 2014, for some reason I felt a wave of calmness rush over me. This is just another triathlon, mickiego. Except there will be 2,000 other athletes and it is an international event. You’ve done this before, you’ve trained hard for this, you’ve done several 90km bike rides, you’ve done several long distance runs and brick sessions to prepare for this. YOU ARE READY.

 With my mom behind the wheel and my friend/rah-rah girl Mause at the back seat, we headed out to Shangri-la at 4:00am. They were proudly wearing their “I’m Supporting 2550” stickers too! I had a quickie breakfast of Jollibee Spaghetti and Chicken Joy meal but I could hardly finish the entire thing.

 At the transition area, I busied myself with last minute checks on my bike. I had a marshal check my tire pressure, I arranged all my bike and run gear and positioned everything to make sure that they were all easily accessible.

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The atmosphere at the transition area was incredibly festive. Loud music was blasting from the speakers and there was an air of excitement all over the place. All around me people were helping each other set up their respective areas, friends and teammates were hugging each other and taking pictures. The sky slowly brightened up and soon it was time to head to the beach.

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 The Swim Leg

 With a few minutes before gun start, all of us participants headed down to Shangrila’s beach which was quite a long walk from the transition area. Us girls were to start at exactly 6:40am, the last wave to be released together with the relay swimmers.

photo by James Go

photo by James Go

While waiting, we did a short swim just to get our heart rates up. Just as the gun fired for the first wave, my teammates and I gathered in a small circle to hold hands and pray. I found myself in tears as our prayer leader Hannah said strong and powerful words to the heavens to keep us safe during the entire race. I said my own prayer too and asked my Dad to please keep a close watch over me from up above.

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photo by Janice Dihayco

At gun start, I stuck close to 2 of my teammates Hannah and Dudin. We tried to navigate away from the pack to avoid getting run over. Thankfully the water condition was a LOT calmer this year. I didn’t have to contend with big burly men kicking me in the face and in the leg this time around because unlike last year, the 40 above guys were released 5 minutes ahead of us.

photo by James Go

photo by James Go

Thanks to 3 years of varsity swim training in high school, I’ve always considered the swim discipline my strongest. I felt calm and relaxed throughout the swim leg and tried to get away from the pack as fast as I could. Soon there were very few pink swim caps around me and they were replaced with more blue caps. I focused on my pulls, I rotated my body, and concentrated on my breathing. There were hardly any bodies swimming too near me allowing me to maintain a good form instead of just swimming for survival like I did last year.

photo by James Go. No. 2550 battling it out w/ the boys.

photo by James Go. No. 2550 battling it out w/ the boys.

I had such a good swim that I didn’t even realize I was already nearing the shore. Lol! When I surfaced I heard my brother yelling my name SO LOUDLY so I gave him a wave. I covered the 1.9km distance in 43 minutes and I felt good about myself. Yay me!

photo by James Go

photo by James Go

I made sure to walk carefully since the surface was extremely slippery. I grabbed a cup each of water and Gatorade, stopped by the shower for a bit then started doing a slight jog all the way to T1. Spectators and acquaintances shouted my name and cheered me on as I made my way to T1 and I felt like a superstar. :) Oooookay, mickiego! On to the bike leg!

photo by Kurt Fick

photo by Kurt Fick

The Bike Leg

At T1, I hurriedly wiped my feet off, put on my bike shoes, ate a GU power gel and put on the rest of my gear. As I exited T1 I saw my mom and my friend Mause by the bleachers, cheering me on saying GO GO GO MICKIEGO! The bike mount was a bit tricky as I had to make sure there was no one in front of me or directly behind me. The sun was starting to shine so hot at this time and I knew it was going to be a super hot 90km ride. Yikes.

photo by ShutterFrog

photo by ShutterFrog

I cruised along the Mactan roads carefully as I was still trying to adjust my body. I heard bikers around me saying “On the left!” so I focused on riding on the right side as I knew I was going to take this part of the bike leg slow and easy. I wanted to have fresh legs in preparation for the steep incline at the Marcelo Fernan Bridge. Surprisingly, I didn’t have much difficulty conquering the climb and I powered on going down all the way to the North Reclamation area.

IM2014-018I exerted extra caution at the bumpy roads near T. Padilla St. and slowed down even more when I saw a fellow participant lying by the side of the road. She was wearing a red tri-suit and medics were tending to her bloodied face. I prayed to the heavens and hoped she was okay. I also reminded myself to be EXTRA EXTRA careful lest I suffer the same fate. *shudder*

IM2014-022As I entered the tunnel, I panicked a little because I could hardly see a thing. I tried to bring my shades down to my nose so I could see properly but it only made breathing difficult. I said to myself “S**t, I’ll have to do this freakin’ 8 more times. Goodluck mickiego!” Upon exiting the tunnel, nothing could have prepared me for the crazy headwinds of the SRP. I mean, yes, I’ve practiced on that small strip of road on the SRP a few times but heck, this time it was just awful.

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I shifted to the lightest gear and focused on spinning just to keep moving forward. I was going at a lousy speed of about 21 to 22 kph yet I was starting to feel some signs of fatigue on my legs. As I approached the first turning point, I de-cleated from both pedals, slowed down considerably and put all my concentration into turning without losing my balance. YESSS!!! One u-turn down, 7 more to go!

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The rest of the bike leg went quite smoothly and I handled all the other u-turns beautifully. I hated the part where I had to enter and exit the tunnel because it made me awfully dizzy. From super bright light to extreme darkness to super bright light again. Ugh. Coming from the U-turn at Talisay, the tailwind helped me make up for the slower laps. I was going at 32 kph to 35 kph (yes, that’s fast for me! Lol!) and I absolutely loved those moments.

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I also made sure to keep eating from my small front bag filled with gummy bears, cut-up Nutri-bars and dried bananas. I kept myself hydrated and made sure not to wait to feel thirsty before getting water into my body. I also yelled to my friends who I saw whiz past me. The good thing about a very “loopy” bike course is that it’s a lot less lonely. You’d still see a lot of triathletes all around so it feels like you have company all the way.

I also appreciated all the cheerers along the route. School children selflessly spent many hours under the heat of the sun to cheer on us saying “Girl power, girl power, GO GO GIRL POWER!”. The bike course became even livelier when celebrities whizzed by giving us good reason to feel entertained throughout the course.

At the last u-turn in Talisay, I got a drink of cold Gatorade from the water station and heard one guy behind me saying “We’re going hoooooome!” Wooohooo! Done with those crazy loops and its going to be tailwind all the way :) Let’sgoooooo Mickieeeeee!

The climb back up the Marcelo Fernan Bridge was a lot more difficult this time as my legs were already feeling worn out. I had to breathe through my mouth to get more air in and to keep myself sane. Some cyclists had gotten off their bikes just to get past the bridge but I knew that wasn’t an option for me. So I pushed, pushed and pushed and kept telling myself that this was the last major hurdle anyway and that I just had to suck it up.

IM2014-019I breathed a huge sigh of relief as I sped downhill but made sure to slow down knowing that there is a sharp curve right at the foot. I handled it quite well then focused on pedaling all the way back to Mactan Newtown. A friendly guy biked past me and said “Matatapos na rin natin to!!!” Yahoooooweeeeeeee!!! :D

As I dismounted from my bike, I sent a prayer of thanks to the heavens for keeping me safe and for not having any flats or technical difficulties. I patted my good old bike and thanked it for doing a great job. Another 90km ride done, dear Roadie J You have never let me down. I put my bike back on the rack and prepared for the last leg. Gaaaaaaahh! 21kms to go!

The Run Leg

I took my own sweet time at T2 and even asked a fellow triathlete for some Vaseline. I was having some serious chafing on my armpits (sorry overshare!) and I had left my tub in my backpack which was already w/ my mom. Thank you so much Lilia of Team LakanTri for saving me! :)

photo by James Go

photo by James Go

Heading out of T2, I munched on my Peanut Butter sandwich but only managed to swallow half of it. My body was in total disarray at this moment and my stomach felt queasy. Plus, the heat was just INTENSE. I had serious doubts about surviving the 21km run. Here I am with my photographer brother who waited at one of the tents at the transition area. Quick selfie first while my mouth was filled with bread. Lol!

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My game plan for the run was to run-walk the first 2kms then to slow jog the rest of the way. I was dying from the heat and my entire body just felt so weird. I chanced upon Maricel of Team TTB and chit-chatted w/ her for a bit. I was so grateful for her company for a while because it was exactly what I needed to get my head back in the game. By this time my legs started to cooperate, I felt it power up again and I managed to put one foot in front of the other.

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Each water station was filled with ice, water and Gatorade and I was ever so grateful for each chance to shower. The run route was filled with spectators from the running community who cheered me on, little kids with their arms outstretched for high-fives and it was enjoyable to say the least. :) I was so thankful for having put in run mileage in the last month leading up to race day.

IM2014-036As I approached the 10km marker, the sun miraculously started to ease up a little. Hooray for clouds! J Without the heat, I knew that finishing the last half of the run was going to be a breeze. At this point I also realized that I had left my Nutri-Bar at the T2 and I was HUNGRY. My hydration belt only had GU Gels in it and I knew that they just wouldn’t suffice. I was so thankful for the Team SHUFA support crew. They had exactly what I needed, PUTO! A little past 10km, I had a short break for a photo op with Bernie, Chai, Regie and Janice. Plus a nice little leg massage using the Omego Pro bottle that I kept in my pack.

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With my legs and stomach feeling a lot better, I proceeded on with the run. I knew I was still making good time. I picked up my pace and focused on breathing steadily as I high-fived and cheered on friends from the Cebu tri community who were already making their way back to the finish line. I said to myself, I will get there soon too!

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As I entered the second to the last subdivision, I saw a familiar figure a few feet ahead of me. Oh my gosh! It was Tito Bonggo a.k.a Coach K! Am I really going to finish faster than my so-called “coach” this time around??? I guess I will! Hah! So I caught up w/ him, we chatted for a bit, and jogged in unison for a few kms. At 4kms more to go, my thighs had stiffened up so bad I knew I had to take more walk breaks if I wanted to finish in one piece.

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With less than 3kms more to go, marshals were calling on us to say “Pick it up guys! Cut off is at 3:15pm!” I looked at my watch, it was around 2:40pm already. I still had all the time in the world but I knew I wasn’t going to break last year’s time. Boo! With 1km to go, I bid Tito Bong goodbye and literally FLEW all the way to the finish line.

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My legs felt great, my heart was pumping, and I was grinning from ear to ear as I entered the finish line chute. People were cheering, photographers were snapping their cameras and I felt like I was on top of the world.

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After 8 hours and 6 minutes of swimming, biking and running, I triumphantly crossed the finish line of my second Cobra Ironman 70.3 triathlon and I let out the loudest scream as seen in this photo.

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photo by Kurt Fick

Yessssssss!!! DONE DONE DONE! :D No crying this time around! Just the feeling of pure unadulterated joy and of immense pride in myself for conquering this feat all over again.

photo by James Go

photo by James Go

Cameras flashed all around me, the medal ladies hung the bamboo medal around my neck, and I was awash with overwhelming happiness.

photo by David Villagonzalo

photo by David Villagonzalo

As icing on the cake, I am officially 9 minutes faster than this guy called Tito Bong. None other than the guy who took me under his wing as his “project” way back in 2012. The project has surpassed the “coach”! Nyahahahhaha!!!!

photo by Kurt Fick

photo by Kurt Fick

Here’s a finish line selfie with my documentation team James Go and Kurt Fick of Ficktures.

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After some picture taking, I suddenly felt light headed and dizzy. Oh god. I thought I was going to faint. The world was turning and I was seeing bright spots all over. Gaaaaaah! Medic! Medic! I asked for white flower or any type of inhaler to clear my head and to help me breathe better but they had none. So I lied down on the medic station as they massaged and tried to relieve me the best way they can. Whew! Thank you docs!

IMG_0535After I recovered somewhat, I joined my team mates and gave everyone congratulatory hugs. WE MADE IT girls and boys!!! :D Here’s to all the CRAZY that we just went through!

photo by James Go

photo by James Go

Then I saw my mom, my number one support crew since the beginning of time. Thank you motheroo! This medal is for you and Fatheroo! :)

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To my gorgeous rah-rah girl and ever supportive friend Mause, thank you for your presence. :)

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To everyone I’ve ever trained with and helped me throughout this IM 70.3 journey, you know who you are. I am ever so grateful for your love and support. (Feeling artista lang ko! Lol!)

Whew! That was one extremely tiring but fulfilling race :) Congratulations to all the winners and finishers! Congratulations to the organizers, volunteers and marshals for a job so awesomely done! I will be back next year! (Please come back to Cebu PLEASE!)

The Day I Gave Ironman 70.3 A Tri

August 4, 2013. My first Ironman 70.3. Where do I even start with all the stories that I need to tell? With 1.9kms of swimming, 90kms of biking and 21kms of running, I went through so much I just don’t know how I’m going to put everything into words but I will try my best.

Registered last December 2, 2013

Registered last December 2, 2013

Weeks prior to race day I was an emotional wreck. IM was all that I could ever think about. When I found free time at work I scoured the internet for blogs and read articles just to help me get my mind into it. I assigned my mother to be my designated personal assistant for this race so we made sure to prepare everything logistics wise before the big day. On Saturday we packed all our stuff then headed to Mactan.

ready to go!

ready to go!

Thanks to the kindess of an old customer of ours who owns a retreat house very near Shangri-la who offered to let us stay in one of their rooms for the weekend. We checked in there first before heading to Shangri-la for the registration. Everything went smoothly from the race packet pick up to the body marking up to the bike check in.

body marked! this time dili na pentel pen. it's a tattoo! yeah!!

body marked! this time dili na pentel pen. it’s a tattoo! yeah!!

checked in!

checked in!

I was super thrilled to see one of my running idols The Bull Runner Jaymie Pizzaro. I couldn’t help but ask to have a picture taken with her. She’s super nice!

The Bull Runner and me

The Bull Runner and me

We wished each other luck for tomorrow then off I went to hang out with my mom at the lobby for a bit. We checked out the expo where I bought some souvenirs then stayed there till the race briefing, up to the Catholic mass. During the mass the priest, also a participant, reminded us to be “triathletes for Christ” and that if ever we get tired during the race all that we have to do is to pray, pray and pray.

During this time the weather took a turn for the worse. Rain poured the entire night which kept me wondering what’s going to happen if it didn’t stop up to the next day. I could hardly sleep. I kept praying for the rain to stop, I kept visualizing what to do at T1 & T2, and I kept visualizing my finish line moment. ☺ At 3:00am my mom and I were up and about. Rain was still pouring but I knew that I had to get to the venue as fast as I could. It was about 4:30 when the organizers issued a text message that the race was going to push through on time despite the bad weather condition. Rain or shine the race is on!

I took all my stuff at the transition area, prepped up my bike and asked a marshall to pump air into my tire. I chatted with some triathletes there and everyone was just so excited. The rain tried but hey, some drizzle wouldn’t dampen our spirits. We kept positive that things were going to turn around in an hour or so. And it DID! By the time we started warming up at the beach the sky cleared up a little. I felt surprisingly calm and I just enjoyed watching all the people who I was going to race with. This is my first time to join an international event and my first time to see THIS many people and celebrities in a triathlon. Speaking of celebrities, I’m so happy I got to have a picture with Papa Piolo near the swim start. Weeeee! Thank you Tanya Sy for this pic! :D And Thank you also for that sip of Gatorade which I really needed at that time. Hehe.. :D

OMG! It's Papa P!

OMG! It’s Papa P!

The swim started precisely on time with the pros, the Filipino elites and the CEO category going first at 6:25am followed by the 18 to 39 male and relay swimmers and lastly at 6:40, my wave, all female and the 40 above male. I was with Hannah Galo, Loriz Echavez and Tito Bong at the swim start and for some reason I lost all my nervousness. I just wanted to get it on. Hannah reminded me to follow the yellow buoy and to make sure that it was at my right at all times. We headed to the deep end of the water, treaded for a bit there then at gun start the last thing I heard was some guy saying “naku. Ma wa-washing machine tayo dito”

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He was right. There was no better description for the swim start. I got kicked in my right eye right at the start and had to adjust my goggles. I knew I had to move away from the crowd as fast as I could. There were scary swells throughout the swim course which made it difficult to breathe. I got kicked and bumped into so many times but I managed to stay calm and composed. I just kept on telling myself “ You are a swimmer. You will have a strong swim finish.”

41 minutes on the swim! yay!

41 minutes on the swim! yay!

At 7:20am I exited the water and jogged my way to T1. I heard Tito Bong’s friend Julie (or should I say Tita Julie? Hahahah :p kidding) shout my name so loudly along with some people saying Go go go! I kept jogging until my swim coach Marlon Galo yelled so loudly “Ate Mitch! Ni lapas naka sa imong bike!” LOL!!! OMG! Major bloopers moment. I went back got all my bike gear as fast as I could, ate my GU gel and composed myself. THIS IS IT mickiego. I knew I had to take extra precaution on the bike route because the roads were slippery due to the yestrday’s downpour.

at T1 after i found my bike. lol!

at T1 after i found my bike. lol!

Upon exiting Shangri-la the raods were very narrow. I took it very slow knowing that there were very many bikers infront, at my back and beside me. I waited till we got to the wider roads to start gaining speed and momentum. It felt so incredibly liberating to bike without the fear of jeepneys or cars suddenly stopping infront of you or having to worry about weaving through heavy traffic. Weeeeee! I was one happy biker throughout the first half of the bike route. Even the ascent towards the Marcelo Fernan bridge felt like a walk in the park. It was going to be a 90km ride so I tried my best to pace myself even if I felt very excited. The roads near the SM and pier area were awfully bumpy, I saw some bikers on the side of the road with flat tires and I just kept on praying that it wouldn’t happen to me.

I loved how all the people I’ve gotten acquainted with throughout my triathlons always cheered me on when we came across each other on the bike route. Special mention to Fiona Tudtud, loudest cheerer sa bike ever. Hahah :p thank you Fiona! I was forewarned about how the strong the winds were going to be in SRP and I did feel it hit me so hard on my last loop. My legs felt heavy from exhaustion already, the weather sort of looked worse and the wind came in all different directions. No matter how hard I pedaled I couldn’t get my pace higher than 18kph. It was the most awful feeling in the world. There were very few bikers left, the clouds were getting darker and I was feeling lonely. This time I kept singing songs of praise in my head and I kept on thinking about the priest’s reminder during the mass yesterday “Be a triathlete for Christ”.

The bike cut off was at 12:00 I knew I was still doing good with my time even my pace kept going slower. I just didn’t have the strength in me anymore to go faster I didn’t care that bikers from behind me were overtaking me one by one. I was going to finish this race at my own pace. I felt my spirits getting uplifted a little when I saw the students at the Talisay area cheering so loudly and happily for all the participants. When you are all spent already even little things start to matter. Thank you kids!
I entered the tunnel one last time and managed to pick up my pace there. Upon exiting the SRP I knew I will have to give it one last push. About 20kms to go to T2 and my quads were already hurting so much. I kept thinking about the steep incline at the bridge again and made a promise to myself. No matter what I will NOT DISMOUNT from my bike. NO way! So at the foot of the bridge, I took one swig of water, one deep breath, gathered all my strength and pedaled for my life. The onlookers cheered me on saying go go go! “Kaya na nimo miss! Gamay nalang!”

It was such an amazing feeling when I got to the top of the bridge knowing that I’d gotten through the most difficult hurdle. This is the home stretch, baby! :D woohoo! I picked up my speed again and somewhere along Big Foot there was this Singaporean guy who paced me for a bit. We made chika2x about the race and since he was the veteran IM’er he told me “Hey, you’re doing a great job. We’re almost there! Just a few KMs to go!” Thank you race bib number 1411 for the words of encouragement! ☺

With about 500m away from Shangri-la I was starting to feel anxious again. The 21km run was looming in front of me and I felt like I had exhausted all the energy I had left in the bike leg, my back and legs were aching and my hands were so numb from gripping the handlebars. Climbing up the last small hill, I suddenly heard the loudest of all cheers and saw the familiar faces of my girl friends. I went “OH MY GOD!!! Helllooooo!!!”

OOMMG! you're all here!!

OOMMG! you’re all here!!

They were bringing banners that said “GO MICKIE!!!” The Images Camera Club guys were there too with their own banner. And they cheered sooo loud.” I felt my heart swell with so much happiness. Just look at that happy face. That’s the face of someone who didn’t just go through a grueling 90km ride. Haha! :p

happy!

happy!

I even saw Mause Tan-Gaw there who I totally didn’t expect to go. She said, “Go Mickie! You’re almost done! Run nalang!” Yes, run nalang gyud. The worst part is over. I’m going to finish this race no matter what it takes. THANK YOU EVER SO MUCH friends!

full force gyud :)

full force gyud :)

I entered T2 together with second time IM’er and marathoner Pam Apuhin who asked me “mag sige pa ta ani mick??” hahaha! Mag sige pa ta ani kay ni enter naman gyud ta! LOL! So there I was looking for my bike rack again trying to make sure that I don’t miss it this time. But when I saw my rack it was already occupied by another bike. I went what?????!!! I was lucky there was a marshall around who assisted me. I left him to do the necessary moving of the bikes and trusted him to just put my bike back in for me. I left by bike gear and grabbed my running stuff including my lunch, a peanut butter and banana sandwich. I ate it while walking out of T2 but my stomach suddenly felt tight and queasy. I had to leave half of it on the side of the road and prayed that my stomach wouldn’t act up on the run leg.

Upon exiting Shangri-la again I saw my friends and my mom and heard Maureen say “Mick, ni kaon naka sa imong lunch?” I heard my mom say “Go chi! Love you! Go go go!” I checked my watch. It was about half past 11:00 and I just had about enough time to finish 21kms if I didn’t walk too much. It took a little time for me to recover because of my stomach. I was careful about not drinking too much from the stations for fear that it might worsen things so I jog-walked until I reached the 2km marker. My tummy started to settle down after a lot of burping (and farting! TMI I know! Hahahah!) so I proceeded to a slow jog pace and walked a bit when I felt tired.

thank you Johann Sisno for this pic :)

thank you Johann Sisno for this pic :)

It was fun seeing all the athletes at the point going back for their second loop while I was still doing my first. Many friends and acquaintances cheered me on all the way towards the last subdivision that we had to enter. When Hannah Galo over took me on her second loop she told me “keep going Ate Mitch, just keep going” I remember her telling me before during our simulation as much as possible do not stop jogging for the entire first half of the run. I entered the last subdivision and found that there was a huge party there for us. Lively music was playing, people cheering. I was re-energized somehow and I soon got my black band at the 6km marker. I made sure to hydrate well, I ate my GU, ate bananas, and gummy bears, drank Gatorade and doused myself with water at the hydration stations. I was so thankful that the support was consistent throughout the run course.

Back near Blue Coast, the onlookers told me, “Go mam!! 10kms to go!” Woaaah! 10kms still felt like an entire mountain to climb. So I continued on putting one foot infront of the other and took more walk breaks to relax my tired legs. At this point I started semi pacing with a guy who kept taking breaks because his legs were cramping up. I forgot to get his name but he kept on saying “po” to me. LOL. Do I look that old? We made chika2x for a while sometimes he’d over take me sometimes I’d over take him. I just kept on pushing till I finally went back for my orange band. Yessss!!!! At this point the marshall told me 6kms to go nalang mam! I checked my watch. A little to go before 2:00pm. If I picked up my speed I will finish way before the 3:10 cut off. Since I felt like I had enough time, I paused for a while to look at the breathtaking view in front of me. I sent a little prayer to God because at this point I know I am surely going to finish the race. I didn’t ask for Him to help me anymore. I knew I could do it on my own from here on out. This time I just THANKED Him. I thanked Him for the opportunity to join IM 70.3, for giving me a sound mind and body to do all this, for keeping me safe throughout the bike leg, and most importantly for giving me the most supportive set of family and friends who I was going to see again at the finish line.

Going back to Shangri-la all that I pictured on my head was my finish line moment. I couldn’t wait to hold the banner above me because I was going to do it even if I’m not too confident about showing my armpits like that. LOL! I couldn’t wait to have that medal around my neck and to see my friends again. I kept my slow jog-walk pace for the next few minutes till another marshall on a bike came across us. “How many kms to go?” I asked. “Less than 2kms” she said. Haaay I’m super near. The banner near BE Resorts that said “CONGRATULATIONS IRONMAN, YOU’RE ALMOST THERE!” gave me the final push that I needed to go on.

By this time a lot of people who have finished the race cheered me on and showed me their medals. “You can do it!!!” They said. Going inside Shangri-la I saw my friends again. Mick 150m nalang! I’m like huh? I’m sure layo pa! haha :p I told them go to the finish line I’ll see you there.

almost there!

almost there!

I saw Tim & Yves of Team Convergys who gave me high fives and told me shower first pang last before you go to the finish line.

hello team cvg!

hello team cvg!

I felt a wave of nostalgia when I reached the area where Tito Bong and I stayed last year to take pictures of the participants. We were one of those who cheered for just about anyone entering the area. Back then we were mere spectators now we’re one of the participants. What a difference a year makes. A huge wave of emotions suddenly overwhelmed me and I started to feel all choked up. Months of hard work, of waking up early every weekend, of almost not having any form of social life because of training, of working out almost any chance I get, they’re all finally going to pay off when I cross the line. As I was running, people all over cheered me on. “You can do it, IRONWOMAN! GO GO GO! Few meters to go!” Familiar and unfamiliar faces smiled at me and clapped for me giving me the push to go all the way. I was so touched by it all I just knew won’t be able to hold myself back anymore.

yeaaaaaaahhhh!

yeaaaaaaahhhh!

And when I finally stepped on the podium, a huge wave of relief, of happiness, of exhaustion came over me all at once. I made the sign of the cross and sent a prayer of thanks to the heavens. I AM A 70.3 COBRA IRONMAN FINISHER. I held up the banner above me, saw my brother in front and tried to smile through my quivering lips.

PROUD!

PROUD!

love this pic!

love this pic!

Going down the podium I couldn’t hold it in anymore.

cry baby mickiego. haha!

cry baby mickiego. haha!

I bawled like a baby as one of the organizers put the medal around my neck. I heard people all over me “Giver her water first” then somebody doused me with water from the back. So many things were going on at once I still couldn’t stop crying!

looking fugly but feeling happy.

looking fugly but feeling happy.

When I saw Tito Bong (who finished way before me! Woohoo!) I said “omg Bong. Why am I crying??” He only told me “Bai, unsa man ka? There’s no crying in triathlons!” hahahah! :p I’ am now an official graduate of Coach K’s training program. Thank you for planting the seed in me Bonggo. You deserve a pat on the back even despite all the NO CLEAR moments during training. LOL! To more triathlons soon!

Coach K's graduate

Coach K’s graduate

When I saw my mom and friends another round of crying began and I guess na emotional pud sila so well, we had our little crying fest right there. Waaaaaah! Are we crazy or what?

sige pa ta hilak ani??

sige pa ta hilak ani??

Thank you girls for coming out for me today. Despite the heavy rain, the traffic, and your busy schedules. Thank you for the super touching messages your wrote for me too. I’m one lucky girl ☺ I truly am ☺

i can feel the love :D

i can feel the love :D

I saw one of my idols Noelle De Guzman aka Kikay Runner too ☺ So happy I got to have a picture with her!

Kikay Runner and me!

Kikay Runner and me!


Whew. IM 70.3 is DONE. Official time 8 hours and 3 minutes. Just a few minutes off my target sub 8 finish but still, I’m very happy to finish within cut off. It was an incredible experience that I will never forget. Finishing a 70.3 is a true test of the mind, body and spirit. In the end, when your body has ran out of energy it will just be your will and determination that will carry you through to the finish line. Today God made me a half IronWOman. Today He also made me realize that hey, my heart is made of Iron as well. Strong, brave and resilient.

you are mine!

you are mine!

For my THANK YOUs:

1.) My mom = for being my personal assistant and driver, for taking care of logistics and basically for taking care of me over the weekend.
2.) Papa = for always watching over me, making sure that I am safe and injury-free through all my trainings and races.
3.) Dich = for giving me money to buy souvenirs at the IM store. Hehe :D
4.) James = for the support and for my photos.
5.) The friendships = for coming out for me today. For showing me all the love and support ☺ for the prayers, the well-wishes.
6.) Tim Abellana & Fiona Tudtud = for assisting me at the bike check in this morning.
7.) For the cheerers (Fiona, Tim, Yves, Merly, Juliet, Pam, The SHUFA girls Dudin, Wow, The TTB guys Bernard, Rowena, Brian)
8.) Lindon the cyclist = for coaching me well and for cheering so loudly at the bridge
9.) Hannah Galo = for the fun training sessions and for the cheers too
10.) Jason Yap = for sharing your triathlon training plan with me, for all the tips, and for seeing me at the finish line. :)
11.) All the marshalls, organizers and medics = for taking care of all of us during the race.
12.) To all the photographers = for giving us tangible memories of this special day. :) special shout outs to my friends from the Images Camera Club Erwin Lim, Dan Ong, Ryan Go, Rolando Pascua, Michael Jo, Kurt Fick; to Reynan Opada, John Domingo and all the shutterbugs on the road who took my pic. THANK YOU!
13.) To Tiny, Karina and Doc Wyben = for cheering for me so loudly on the long lonely roads of SRP.
14.) The people of my hometown = for cooperating with the traffic rules and being patient about not being able to pass through the major high ways today.
15.) To all my friends who prayed for me, who wished me well through FB, through text, etc. THANK YOU :D

‘Till next year guys! :)

Cebu City Marathon 2013: A 42Km Running Adventure

I still find it surreal that exactly 1 year ago I ran my first half marathon at the 2012 staging of the Cebu City Marathon (read story here ). When the running bug bit me it bit me hard and so my year 2012 was filled with so many running adventures. I’ve learned to love it and have made it a big part of my fitness regimen.  The CCM will always be special to me so I have made a pact with myself that as long as there will be a CCM and as long as my body will allow it i will run this race. It will be my offering to Sto. Niño on the month of his feast.

I came into this year’s CCM with very minimal preparation. Having been injured with a left hamstring strain in October and November I knew I had zero chances of making good time for the race. So I said to myself, bahala na. I’ll just enjoy it, i’ll just embrace the journey, and just make sure I’ll finish in one piece. The longest that I ran prior to this marathon was only a 27km road run which i finished in a little over 4 hrs. Under prepared is definitely an UNDER statement. But the weekend of the race came and I felt more excited than nervous. That Friday I picked up my race pack, feasted on a carbohydrate-rich meal composed of pizza and pasta fr Sbarro, and bought all my race nutrition needs namely 4 GU Power Gel in Tri Berry and 2 Cloud 9 bars.

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Come race day I woke up at 2:30am, took a quickie shower, had my customary pre-race meal of 2 slices of wheat bread w/ peanut butter, geared up, then headed to the race venue. I.T Park was alive and kicking at 3:45am. I took the time to stretch then checked in at exactly 7 minutes before gun start.

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With seconds to go before the 4:00am start fireworks erupted, a loud applause came from the runners and we were off. This is it! my second full marathon! I made the sign of the cross then started my watch. I planned on fellowing the same race plan that Coach Philip Dueñas designed for me for my 1st marathon in Bohol last September. However I knew deep inside that I will find it difficult to stick to it because I’ve had zero training in the past months. So I said, hantod sa ma kaya lang, I will follow the race plan.

I felt pretty good all throughout the first few kms. From Lahug, Salinas, Gorordo, Escario, Mango, Fuente and Jones I went on a very slow and steady pace. But I got really excited as I was about to enter the SRP tunnel. I don’t know why this is always the part that gets to me. I guess because this is the ONLY time that it is opened to runners. I just had to take a quick snap as I entered it.

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Upon entering the tunnel I heard loud Sinulog music playing and a few meters of running I came upon these very perky group of dancers.

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They gladly obliged to a quick photo op while I chugged down a glass of cold Pocari Sweat. I don’t care how disgusting the name of this drink is. It is actually my second favorite after the purple Gatorade. I was so happy there was so much Pocari during the entire race.

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Inside the tunnel there was also a table with juicy watermelons. Little did I know that this race was going to be a food fest. I was to realize that fact soon enough. LOL!

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Upon exiting out of the SRP tunnel the sky started turning pink and orange on my left side. The waters were calm, the wind was still, and the world was just quiet. I always love having breathtaking moments like this during a race. If only I could capture in a photograph how beautiful that particular moment was. I just wanted to take it all in. :)

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The Cebu City Marathon is indeed one big street party. A few meters ahead a live band was playing and at this time I still remember that they were playing Taylor Swift’s You Belong With Me. I couldn’t help but sing along for a bit. Good job ladies!

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The sun decided to come out early on during the race. I was hoping that it was going to be a cloudy day but it was not meant to be. Thank goodness the volunteers of the Chinese Fire Brigade were out in full force. Many of us runners took advantage of the free cold shower from our friendly Chinese firemen volunteers. To sia very much to you guys!

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Just a few kms towards the halfway mark, I finally caught up with my running buddy Coach K. Yes, that famous guy who challenged me to run my first half marathon in last year’s CCM and who’s been a constant running buddy ever since. The first thing I asked him to do was to take my picture. lol!

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After almost 3 hrs of running the Talisay City Hall finally came into view. That only means one thing. That the turning point is VERY VERY NEAR. Hooray!

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I got a bit worried when I saw my watch go past 3 hrs. How come I still haven’t ran past the 21km marker?? Ana ko ka hinayan? haha! :p Soon enough I saw the next marker saying 22kms. At this point I read my cellphone and came upon a message from my co-worker Elaine “Aja Mickie! You can do it!” Thank you so much Laine!

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A few meters more and we finally reached the end of the SRP. The second of 2 U Turns for the 42 km runners. Of course I just had to have my photo op here. :) Notice the harsh shadows on the picture? It’s because the sun had to started to shine with a vengeance by this time. I knew that this was going to be the most difficult part of the race. Running agains the bright blinding sunshine and running under the sweltering heat. It was going to be a mind game from this point on. I decided to change the race plan. Run when I can and walk when I feel tired. Basta ma abot lang gyud sa finish line.

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If there was something unique about this race, it’s the volunteer stations of the different running clubs in Cebu. The support of the running clubs was just so overwhelming. You just know there’s nothing but sincerity and kindness. Imagine waking up early just to set up, to spend your own money to give food to fellow runners, cheering them on and encouraging them to go on with the race. Grabe kaayo full force gyud ang mga running clubs. I’m ever so grateful to them.

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There was the UNGO Ug Dagan volunteer station that offered me a nice liniment spray on my legs.

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Then I chanced upon my Alien classmate and ultra marathoner Mam Sheila. I said “mam sheila! layo-a pa uy!” She went, Layo pa bitaw Mick. Kaon sa! Naa’y roasted calf, puso, ice cream, bananas, chocolate. And so I helped myself to some roasted calf and ice cream. That ice cream was exactly what I needed at that moment. Sugar to boost my energy and the coldness to avoid possible heat stroke and dehydration. Thank you Ungo runners!! :D

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There was also the Team Boyek runners who were mostly buddies with Coach K. So grabe kayo sila naka cheer when we ran past them. In this photo Coach K’s buddies were asking him to do the “Opa BONGman style” and Coach K went “mick ikaw sad! i’m like noooooo! ikaw lang Bonggo! lol! funny pic here. Thank you to M.V Enriquez for this pic :)

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One of the sons of a Team Boyek runner was also suuuper kind to spray liniment oil on my legs. So buotan this kid! Thank you suuuuuuuper much! (photo credits: R.Chan)

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Coach K and I left the Team Boyek station in such high spirits that we didn’t mind running through the next few kms. The heat was getting pretty bad but still bearable. The soles of my feet were starting to feel really sore. We’ve been running for about 4 hours now. We had to stop to take picture breaks and walk breaks every now and then to keep our sanity.

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Coach K went bai ikaw ra lagi permi picture bai. ako nasad kuno

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Later on we chanced upon the Ungo runners again. I think they’ve started to pack up and the few of them left were giving away what’s left of their supplies. Here runner and photographer J.Domingo took some snaps of us runners.

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Thank you so much J.Domingo for these pics :D (Look at Coach K’s hair here. Na afro ug kalit. LOL!!!)

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Aside from the ice cold sponges, cold water, and ice cubes that I literally put down through the back of my shirt to keep me cool, it was the shower from the firetruck that kept me from feeling weak due to heat exhaustion. The heat at the SRP was so unforgiving I seriously couldn’t have survived it without these showers.

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Pretty soon the 31kms marker came into view. 11kms to go. The finish line still feels like an entire lifetime away and my entire body is starting to feel so worn out. I said, gamay nalang gyud mickiego. We’ll get there. Just put 1 foot in front of the other and smile. :D

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I knew full well that there’s a cut off a the tunnel. All runners MUST get through it before 10:00am. Coach K and I were already nearing the tunnel at around 9:48 so I asked him picture me sa here!

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Inside, I said Bonggo, we need to take advantage of the shade. Lets run the entire stretch of the tunnel ha. Then we heard a race marshall yell at us saying “FASTER! FASTER!” i’m like huh?? pwede dili mo mag buot sa among pace?? Later on another race marshall approached us and said “Congratulations!! You’re the last 2 runners to make it!” OMG! That means the other runners behind us had to be picked up in a bus and were not to finish the race anymore. YIKES!

Going out of the tunnel we caught up with some of the runners before us. They said, pwede na ta mag walkathon. No cut off naman! LOL! I was just so relieved to finally make it out of the SRP. About 9kms to go nalaaaaaaang! I think one of the most difficult parts of the race was when we had to run through all the people in Sto Nino church and the entire downtown area. Thank goodness for the race marshalls who were escorting us and for our fellow runners who helped us navigate through the speeding jeepneys. At Jones Avenue I saw this motivational sign right above the RUNNR volunteer station :) Thank you Raffy & the rest of the RUNNR team!

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As I made it up towards Fuente Osmeña circle I came upon another running group volunteer station. There was this girl with a big thumbs up sign that said “YOU CAN DO IT!” She said, duol na kaayo mo!!! GO GO GO! last 4kms nalang!! It was also at this point when I read a motivational text message fr my friend Mimi that said “Go Mickie!!!” Thank you Mims!!

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After seeing the 4kms sign I knew I had no choice but to give up my goal of finishing under 7hrs. No way in the world will I be able to PR this race. At the Bohol Marathon last September I clocked in at 6hrs 55 mins. I really hoped I could have performed better. This IS my home court after all. OH well.. At the end of the day it’s not really about PR-ing or not anymore. It’s about finishing the race with every ounce of energy left in you. It’s about keeping a positive attitude despite the pain that’s going through your entire body. It’s about trying to stay calm and collected under the sweltering heat of the sun. It’s about determination and commitment to finish what you have started.

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So here I am at the last 1km mark. Whew!!!! I’m going to make it to the finish line. I run-walked the entire Lahug stretch with Coach K feeling giddy with excitement. As I entered IT Park again so many runners cheered on us it made my heart just swell with so much pride and happiness. To top it all off, photographer R.Opada was there with his big lens. I said to myself, YESS! I am getting myself a very nice picture. :D Thank you so much for this Reynan!! I think i just might have this printed and framed.

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Running towards the finish line I saw some familiar faces cheering on us. Triathlete and ultramarathoner P.Baltazar yelled “Go Mickie!!!” and took this photo on his cellphone.

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Notice Coach K a few steps behind me looking like he’s about to sprint the last few meters. And sprint he did with his tongue wagging like a dog. (Zookie is that you?!) OMG. I keep laughing when I see this picture. Great capture here P.Baltazar!

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So finally after 7 hours & 10 minutes of running I crossed the finish line of the Cebu City Marathon 2013. I am mighty proud of myself for having put behind 42kms behind me and proving to myself once again that I am tough enough for this.

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After claiming my finisher shirt I had a nice little photo op with Mam Twinkle Ignacio the ultramarathoner who’s famous for her outrageous costumes during races. Nice to meet you mam!

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I came home with the loveliest puso-shaped finisher’s medal and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. Thank you CCM! Thank you once again to all the volunteers during the race. Congratulations to all the finishers and organizers! Job well done! :D

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PIT SENYOR STO NINO! Happy Fiesta Cebu City! :D

Summit Run For Pinoy Glory

July 7, 2012

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After the sprint triathlon last week I only had 1 run practice session with Coach JPD at the track oval and 1 gym session for weights. The rest of the days I was too busy doing other career things that took up most of my time. So coming into this race I knew that I wasn’t really in the best-est of conditions. Still, I targeted to make it to a sub 2:40 finish because a.) the race course was relatively flat all throughout and b.) well, I just wanted to prove to myself that (as my original coach, Coach K would say), IT CAN BE DONE!

At the first 5k, I paced with my fellow Coach JPD student and first time half-marathoner Cheska. We kept a pretty good pace and chit-chatted for a bit. We crossed the 5k marker at 37minutes and while Cheska chose to do a 3-minute walk break I proceeded to go on my comfortable pace. I focused on maintaining a good running form and kept my breathing in check at all times.

As I went past the 7km marker I picked it up a notch and hoped that I would reach the turning point by 1hr 15mins. Too bad my watch clocked in at 1:20 when I reached 10.5kms. gaaah! I caught up with Coach K at the 12km marker and asked him, “Bonggo, do you think I’ll make it?” He replied with “um.. I think you will but by a hairpin lang. GO GO GO!”

I grabbed my GU Power Gel, drank my Gatorade from my hydration belt then picked up my pace further. I think it was at km13 when Coach K caught up with me. We ran side by side for an entire stretch while I tried my hardest to sustain a faster pace to keep up with him. I think that was the reason why I was able to get a good momentum. We made another stop at a water station, Coach K showered me with cold water then told me “Go na Micks. Go get your P.R. Ako mag chill nako diri.” LOL!

By this time the sun had started to shine so bright. It was HOT and stuffy and the heat was starting to wear me out but I was determined to cross the finish line before 2.40. So I said, FOCUS lang mickiego. I kept on running on a good pace despite feeling pain on both my knees and behind my right leg. I made sure to drink Gatorade from my bottle from time to time I showered myself with water and drank 100 Plus from the water stations to keep myself sane despite the killer heat.

With 5kms to go my watch struck 2 hours. Shucks. I calculated in my head and realized that I will need to run the home stretch at 7 or 8 minutes per km. Sige lang, I told myself. I can do this. So I picked myself up and ran the last 5km with nothing but sheer willpower to beat my target time. By the time I ran past the 1km marker my watch read 2:33. Legs, you HAVE GOT TO ROTATE. Please don’t let me down now.

Approaching the finish line chute, a few meters before the finish line both my feet started to cramp up. I don’t even know how I managed to hobble and run at the same time but I read the timer and saw that I am definitely going to make it. 2 hours 37 minutes and 45 seconds. :D

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A new personal record that I struggled so hard to achieve. Too bad there was no medal waiting for me at the finish line. Lousy organizers told us we were to go back for it along with the finisher’s shirt at the end of the month. Boo! ☹

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I stretched and massaged my cramped up feet and legs while waiting for Coach K and Cheska to cross. Coach K crossed at 2:49

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while Cheska did at 3:02. Good job guys! Congratulations!!! :D

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Us three then proceeded to Pancake House for our celebratory meal and finished it off with a well-deserved Krispy Kreme. What a great race! Can’t wait to get my medal & finisher’s shirt soon!

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THANK YOU’s:

Coach K/DaBonggo/Tito Bong – for those crucial few kms that you paced with me. It gave me the momentum to push forward and onward. Also for the free ride to and from the venue.

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Cheska Geli – for pacing with me on the first 5km and well, also for being an awesome running classmate at the track oval. Haha!

Shasha & Francis Manglapus – for taking my pics at the finish line :)

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Coach JPD – for preparing me for this and for helping me get stronger. ☺

Sonshine Radio Half Marathon

July 22, 2012

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Hoo boy. I can’t believe I just ran my 10th half marathon this morning at the Sonshine Radio Marathon. That’s a total of 210 race kms since January of this year! Yeaah! ☺ The week prior to this race, I had 2 practice sessions with Coach JPD at the track oval that focused on form and speed work. However, I told myself I should just chill out and enjoy this run without expecting much since the race course involved some hills. I’ve ran this course I think 2 times in the past and it was always the Banawa hills that sucked the energy out of me. I told myself, well, bahala na whether I give myself a new p.r or not. As long as I’ll have fun, sweat out, and give myself a pretty good workout today.

I managed to run the first 5k in under 37minutes then ran at my comfortable pace on the next few kms. I wanted to focus on rotating my legs properly and in proper coordination with the swinging of my arms. I took short walk breaks on every water station to make sure I don’t tire myself out too easily. Before I knew it I was entering Banawa road and I was huffing and puffing my way through the first set of hills. I hit 1hr & 15mins at the first turning point a few meters after Paseo Arcenas. I grabbed some Pocari Sweat to keep myself hydrated. The sun had started to shine so hot and bright as I was making my way back up the hills. I made sure to keep my head down so that my visor can keep my face protected from the heat. I had stupidly forgotten to put on sunblock before I left the house this morning so I’m pretty sure my skin is several shades darker again. Ugh. I couldn’t help but take more walk breaks as I ran through the hills. Major major init na gyud DMD!

As I made my way towards V.Rama for the 2nd turning point I checked my watch and realized that if I wanted to make it to a sub 2.40 finish I had about a little over 1 hour to run 9kms. I still felt quite strong so I picked it up a notch. I made sure to pour water on my head and splash my face to keep the heat from getting to me. I also made sure to drink Gatorade from my hydration belt every now and then. Soon I found myself leaving the 8, 7, and 6kms to go markers. At 5kms to go I checked my watch again and it read 2 hrs 1min. Oh wow. I thought to myself I think I still have it in me to go faster. Let’s hunat na sa last 5kms mickiego. We can do this!

While still keeping a good running form, meaning fists closed (I made sure that I wasn’t doing the “witik” move on my left hand), arms swinging in coordination with the rotation of my legs, I ran with every bit of energy left in me. Maybe, JUST MAYBE I could have a fighting chance of p.r-ing today. I was still feeling pretty good all the way to the last 3kms and as I approached San Jose Dela Montaña, I sprinted all the way to the finish line. I let out a pretty loud “YES!!!” as I stepped on the red line and stopped my watch at 2hrs36mins & 32sec. :D

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On my last training session with Coach JPD he taught me all about “running economy”. He said it was what I needed to learn in order to shorten my time. I needed to get used to learning how to speed up when I needed to and recover just in time to be able to gather speed again. Running is both a mental and a physical game. You have to listen to your body and be able to tell whether you still have it in you to “hunat”. All these while at the same time sill making sure that you’re maintaining a good running form.

I caught myself by surprise when I realized that I could p.r today and I only realized it at the last 8 or 9kms already. This time I finished stronger compared to my last race 2 weeks ago where I had to deal with cramps and majorly painful legs afterwards. As I type this post I’m feeling tired in a general sense but there’s nothing extraordinarily painful at all. Well, my shoulders and back hurt a little bit just because I was trying so hard to improve on the coordination of my arm swinging. I felt so good about this race I couldn’t help but write down so many things about it. LOL!

Oh, shout out to my running buddy and the person who got me into running Coach K! Happy Birthdaaaaay!!! :D Thank you for breakfast and for the ride to and from the venue.

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Here’s to more races and finisher medals!

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I have a little over 2 weeks to prepare for my next race. This time it’s going to be the LONGEST I will ever run. 25kms at the University Run on August 19. Pag serious na gyud sa training mickiego!

Red Durano Sprint Triathlon Series Leg 3

July 1, 2012

What a way to kick off the new month! Today I joined the 3rd Leg of the Congressman Red Durano Triathlon Series in Danao City and finished the sprint triathlon distance of 750m swim – 20km bike – 5km run in 1hr & 46mins. AND, i placed 3rd in my age group. OHYEAAHHHBABY!!! :D so proud!!!

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It was my first time to swim in open, super wavy waters and it was freakin’ crazy difficult. Every time I breathed, waves of water would slap me in the face and I ended up drinking a LOT of salty seawater. ugh. DMD! I ended the swim part in about 20 to 22 minutes then proceeded to the transition area for the bike part.

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By then the sun had started to shine so bright and it was MAJOR init. I was also so thirsty the whole time but I forced myself to pedal faster without stopping for water. The roads were also a bit difficult to navigate because we had to contend with Ceres buses, jeeps, cars, tricycles, and lots of speeding motorcycles. Super scary but I managed to survive. I felt SO RELIEVED when I finally went back to the transition area to begin the run part. By then I had been racing for more than 1 hour so I made sure to take my GU Power Gel for energy.

During the run part we had to do 2 loops. On the first loop, for about 2.5kms, my legs refused to rotate. I was tired and a bit dehydrated so I went on a very slow but steady space. i tried not to walk so as not to destroy the momentum. At the start of the second loop I started to feel better especially after a race marshall showered me with cold water. I miraculously started getting stronger and managed to pick up my pace on the last 1km. When I finally crossed the finish line I was all smiles knowing that the race is over and that I finished strong. :)

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Whew! Triathlon-ing is a lot more fun than running so I hope I get to do more of this in the near future. In the mean time I know I have to train extra hard on all the discplines. Most esp biking & running. Plus, I need to practice swimming in open water more. I’m so proud of my podium finish medal! :) Goodjob Mickieeeeeeee!!!!!!

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THANK YOU’s:
– Abigail Lua & Peter Dy for being my triathlon classmates today!

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– Peter for pumping air into my tires and helping me w/ my bike and of course, for lunch! :D

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– Coach Marlon & Hannah Galo for your support

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– Dudin Villo kay ikaw nag galgal nako nga join ani. haha :p

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– Mam Missy Torralba for shouting my name and cheering me on

Hunat Sugbu Run

June 22, 2012

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This Hunat Sugbu 2 run is my second time to attempt back to back 21kms 1 week apart of each other. This time I didn’t pressure myself to make a new p.r because I knew I hadn’t trained enough and hadn’t earned enough mileage since last Sunday’s DYAB Kapamilya run. So I told myself I’ll just enjoy the race, give myself a nice workout and make sure I’ll get to add that incredibly pretty flower-shaped medal to my finisher medals collection.

The word “HUNAT”, as I understand it means to give it your all. In today’s race I really do think I tried to give it my all and to HUNAT. However, the race route was a bit difficult since we had to run through the punishing hills of Banawa. To make matters worse, after the first 21km turning point near Paseo Arcenas, the sun had started to shine so hot and bright. So hills + weary legs + heart pumping + extreme heat = torture. Luckily, I made it through by maintaining by jog pace but slowing down when the road got too steep.

On my way to Banawa also, I almost tripped on something hard on the ground. I don’t know what it was but I was damn lucky that another runner, a very nice lady who was running back, was there to “catch” me. She said “oh, be careful dear. i almost tripped there sad ganina.” thank you lady! :D i had no choice but to almost put my entire body weight on her. gaaah! i would have fallen flat on my face if it wasn’t for her. haha! lousy-ha gyud nimo mickiego!

Despite not being able to make a new p.r today at 2hrs & 45minutes, I’m still happy that I felt strong all throughout the race. Just several months ago the word 21km seemed so scary and daunting. I had all kinds of fears in my head about not being able to finish the race. Today after running my 8th half marathon I think I can safely say I have conquered my fear of long distance running. :)

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Thanks to my training sessions with Coach Philip Duenas and of course, thanks to my original “COACH” Coach K, aka DaBonggo for believing that “IT CAN BE DONE!” I am more convinced now that i will make it through a full marathon by January 2013. In the mean time I know i have to double my efforts at training and at losing weight.

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Congratulations to all the finishers! :) I love my flower-shaped medal!

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