May 2, 2010
Woke up this morning at 2:30 am to get ready for a half marathon race. After 45 minutes of stretching and breakfast of egg and banana, I drove to the event Finish line parking area. From there at 5:15 am, I took the shuttle bus and was driven to the start line about 10 miles away. This was the most organized event I have been to. In spite of the huge number of runners, the shuttle buses departed the staging area like clock work. No cutting line, no pushing, no delay. I think, the dispatchers and drivers conducted business as usual - - driving school kids for the OC unified school district.
It was still dark when the shuttle bus arrived at the start line. I immediately went to my coral (for all runners expected to finish the run in 2:00 hrs to 2:30 hrs). Did more stretching and also took my energy gel and puffs from my asthma inhaler. Went I arrived at the start line, runners were milling around, stretching, drinking their favorite energy drink/coffee and talking with friends. By 6:16 AM, the area was packed, runners were anxious and ready to go. Lines on the portable restrooms were still long as runners relieved themselves. Going to the portable restrooms; along the course mean ,losing 5 to 10 minutes. I was lucky enough that I haven't been to the pit stop along the course, thus saving valuables minutes. I even learned to drink from a cup while running without drowning, thus saving another valuable seconds.
The race started at 6:30 am. I immediately started looking for my pacer to get behind her and draft off her arse. Unfortunately, maybe, they were all ahead of me. The runners passed through some scenic places like the Newport Harbor, the Pacific Coast and Newport Wildlife Refuge. If only those protected species can talk, they will be shaking their heads and quote" you mammals supposed to be smart, why are you running around early in the morning like turkeys".
I trained hard for this race, both on flat and hilly courses. Also, 5 days before the race, I take it easy. No running (light treadmill and bicycle workout only) and no racquetball. Because of these, I ran the race confident and strong, in spite of the pain on my right knee, and focus to set a personal record. At mile 6, I glanced at my garmin watch , I was within my average 10K pace and my legs and breathing were good. I did a grade school math on my head and concluded that I can finished the race with a new Personal Record.
I started and finished the race strong like a real "mataraken masiken" and came in 5th place in my age division- 65 to 69 (iyong mga nasa 1-4 places mas bata sa akin kasi. Siyemre may dahilan). Also, I just set a new PR of 2:06:32, a good 3 minutes faster than my previous PR.
What is next?
1. Seattle, Washington - half marathon - June 2010
2. San Diego, CA - half marathon - August 2010
3. Long Beach, CA - full marathon - October 2010
4. Manila, Phil - half marathon - Feb 2011