As of late I have been playing Madonna concert videos (I bought a 10 disc metal cased compilation) in almost daily consistency every morning in place of my usual news channel TV viewing. This might be a good thing to start the day with given the quality of news items we get nowadays. Then it struck me. That woman gyrating and dancing while singing for almost 2 hours is more than 50 years old! Well on her latest MDNA concert that is! But then nothing has changed that much since her early 2000 Drowned World Tour performance and her latest one. I cannot even sway my hips or bend that much albeit more than 10 years younger! This calls for a major “re-invention”.
I used to be a 6 minute per kilometer runner. Not fast by any standard but not that slow either. For months now I had been finding it hard to maintain or even hit that mark during my every other day runs of 45 minutes to 1 hour. Even this other day run routine I am beginning to miss in increasing frequency. My body seemed not what it used to be. For one, my weight is not what it used to be! In physical looks, many are pleased that I gained a little weight and it made me look fresher, younger. But in running, I look as bad as an obese person.
Not only in speed did this additional baggage impacted negatively, in bone and muscle integrity as well. Since the FTI area was cordoned off to runners, bikers and motorists, my new training ground is the still-closed, newly constructed road along the United Paranaque‘s circumference bordering the FTI area. One direction from the entrance gate of the subdivision to the east service road intersection would slightly be more than a kilometer. So I usually go for four loops at most which is something more than 9 kms. The thing is, this route has a slight uphill configuration going back to the gate from the service road end. As I am not used to this slight increase in elevation, my knees, ankle and calf muscles and ligaments are acting up. The last time, I recall, I had this injury was when I was a newbie running building a base mileage!
I am going to race a half marathon again. The last one I can recall was the second leg of the Safeguard 2XU Sole Racing August of last year! Kalowka! That was ages ago in running. That’s why the wakeup call. Anyway, this Sunday I will run again the half marathon! I am not yet at my peak form and I don’t know if I can ever go back to that one again but at least have a decent finishing time of sub 2:30. That’s good enough for me. Slow by any standards but I am not about to put myself in any pressure of standards. To hell with standards! This is also the very reason why I joined, unwillingly, the Pinoy Aspiring Runners anniversary LSD last Sunday. It was supposedly a 16K run but I do not know with the heads why the route did not go that far. It went only for 13K at most according to other runners’ gps watches. Unfortunately, I was not able to charge my Soleus Fit watch the night before and it refused to gps lock so I cannot give an accurate distance and route read out.
I arrived at the KM 0 marker, Rizal Park (Luneta) at slightly before 4:30, the start of the run. There were already a couple of runners gathered, numbering around 30 I guess. I sat by the side while my co-frdiva Blue made animated chit chat, his usual role, with team Meow Meow, the anti-thesis of Mamaws, the local term for fast runners. It is mostly made up of Team Soleus Chinese runners plus the diva Blue. Sitting beside me is ultra-runner Herbert Puyat who is a Facebook friend. For our first face-to-face meet up, he is such a friendly runner upstart that we clicked right there and then. He is also a “kasimanwa”, or a town mate over at Negros Occidental. Ilonggo gid ya ah! He also proved to be a great pacer aside from being a conversant fellow talking about all things ultra-running and that I should try one as it is super fun despite being difficult, that I was entertained the whole route despite needing to find a 711 to buy some hydration midway in the run.
Our, or actually my, decision to pass the buko station along the Buendia corner without going for some was a mistake and this I learned when along the bay road at the back of SM Mall of Asia I am feeling some dehydration symptoms. Luckily, a Mini Stop lurked some meters past the junction where we are going to make a right turn heading to Coastal Mall after the church. When we went out with our newly bought sports drinks and some Cobra for Herbert, we saw some runners headed our way as they followed our lead. We told them we went out of route just to buy some drinks and together we went back to trace the proper one.
I really enjoyed the very timely albeit rushed lsd with the PAR in time for my 21K run this Sunday. I got to meet a lot of familiar faces as well as new ones that are just starting but are very much at running like I was some years back. It sure gave me a fresh jolt of energy I so very badly needed! After some chika chika and group pictorial while waiting for the rest to arrive, a 4 minute per set workout slash cool down ensued to the decry of most feeling already wiped out of energy. I joined the first set and let pass the next. I don’t want to force things given my not so peak form.
The after race meal or salo salo over at KFC was a fun way to ease out of the exertion while refueling the lost nutrients over fun conversation headed by no other than the ultra diva Blue. At one point, I and another cute runner Mark became his subjects to poke gracious fun at! There was unending dose of laughter and banters. I so thougt to myself what was I thinking not being ecstatic in joining this great group lsd! Luckily, the dire need for one made me do so and put me in the right road to finding my lost form. I may or may not achieve that one again but I am sure I will chasing that while going the ultra route as Herbert encouraged me to.
Here are some of our pictures courtesy of Andrew Gacayan, the leader of PAR. Together with Sejo Balbino, they are the movers of this Cheapangga Team of the Year.
Photos courtesy of Andrew Gacayan.