Two races, one weekend, 2 outcomes.
Takbong May Yabang
Saturday. There was another run scheduled this day at the Quirino Grandstand (Run Against Pain), and even though this run was in my backyard, I decided to join the Takbong May Yabang in Ayala Alabang Village for a change of scenery.
I arrived at the AAV gate at around 5:15am and was set to run all the way to Cuenca (I had no idea how far it was, though the guard said that it was), not minding if I’d arrive late for the race start. Lucky for me, George, a fellow runner, saw me and gave me a lift to Cuenca (which turned out to be quite far indeed) since he was on his way there too (many thanks!). We arrived, registered for the run and chatted with other runners. I met Mark and Tiffin, sir Ipe, saw Dindo, Eric, Jaymie and JunC among others.
The course was 2 loops of the designed course. According to the organizers, it was short at 8.8 km but according to garmin users, it was just at 8.63 km. I wasn’t able to measure the distance myself since my garmin bonked during the race… and sadly, I too bonked during the run.
I intended this run to be part of my training run for that day and was all set in running it at aerobic pace. However, when the race started, everyone was running at a fast pace so instead of following my plan… I went with the flow… and boy was that a big mistake! The uphill terrain, the cemented roads, the fast rising sun and the too fast pace took its toll on me as it caused me to tire out around the 3 km mark. I was already beginning to slow down but at that point, I had used up so much energy that my body just couldn’t recover itself quick enough. By kilometer 6, I had really slowed down that a lot of the other runners were passing me by. At kilometer 7, my legs were just so tired and heavy that though I didn’t want to, I grinded to a halt and walked. With more runners blitzing by me, I reluctantly jogged-walked until the finish.
I crossed the finish line with an unofficial time of 56:50, my slowest time ever in an organized run, slower even than my 1st 10 km run (to think this route wasn’t even 10 km). I was really feeling down and what was more disappointing, I wasn’t able to join Dindo, Jaymie and JunC during their post-race repeat run of the course. I was just too tired and I knew that if I went with them, I’d just be slowing them down (and that would have made me feel worse!). It was a good thing that near the finish line, a group of happy feet runners were there and upon joining them, their cheerful banter eventually bouyed up my spirits helping me feel a little bit better.
After going around the bazaar at the Cuenca Community Center (it was in conjunction with the run), and downing a bottle of Rush and half a liter of water, I decided it was time to pack up my things and go home. I was actually dreading this part since I knew how far I was from the exit and that it would be one really long walk for me. To my surprise, when I got to Acacia Avenue, my slow walk steadily increased in pace… first as brisk walking until I was eventually jogging. I had no idea what my pace was but I knew it was definitely faster than my pace in the latter part of the run. It may have been because of the rest I had, or the fluids I took, or just the thought of going home, but jogging/running at that time just felt good. I was feeling happy (must be the endorphins 😀 ) since this was the first time this has happened to me. To be able to recover well enough to jog again an hour after bonking. I had slammed hard into the wall, and though my rest was quite long, it was the 1st time that I scaled over it. I was tapping into reserves I didn’t know I had. I was able to jog the whole stretch of Ayala Avenue, Commerce Avenue up to the Alabang Market. I felt I could have run some more but since Manila was still more than 20 kilometers away, I decided to just ride a bus and zoom back to Manila.
I think the race organizers did their best to make this run a success. They chose a terrific location for the race. There were ample water stations with overflowing water. The giveaways were different too, an abaca bracelet, a cap and a mug. There were some kinks though. The race started late and the route was short.
Ayala ALabang is indeed a very nice place to live in, especially for a runner. The area is huge! The road network is so expansive that it gives a runner so many possibilities to create different running routes that running there would hardly get boring. The roads are really wide and well shaded by gigantic trees. The terrain is also undulating making it a nice place to do some hill training. My only complaint though is that the roads are made of cement, not asphalt, making it a bit harder on the legs. That’s just one minor complaint though, as Ayala Alabang definitely makes it near the top of my list of favorite running places in the metro.
Coming up next… BOTAK recap