An Unexpected Evening
September 17, Thursday. I was looking forward to attend the 2nd session of the Mizuno Run Clinic. Amidst of a usual hectic day in the office, I was doing a roll call on who would be attending the event. Ken, check. Noy, his usual maybe and I sent a an SMS to Tracy who I promised to remind about the event. She instead managed to convince me to join the LIEMPORUN instead. I was curious about this TEMPO Run turned LIEMPO Run so I decided to skip the clinic and join this instead.
The meeting place was in McDonald’s Pearl Drive. I decided to drive home 1st to pick up the driver so I wouldn’t need to find parking for the car. And, in case I get tired, I can just have him pick me up instead of running back to Pearl Drive I wasn’t sure how far the Takbo.ph peeps would be running and I didn’t want to ruin their fun by not being able to keep pace with them.
I found Pio, Shelly and Coach Mar seated in Mcdo waiting for the others to arrive. Luis aka Gingerbreakman, Gerard and a bunch of people also joined us after their warm up. Lorie, Tracy, Rico, Bong also arrived. Ken arrived late so we had to leave him as it was getting pretty late. We promised to meet up in Tiendesitas, the 1st pit stop. We started to run around the campus of UA&P as a warm up and headed to Tektite, Antel and right to Julia Vargas. Mind you, this was at 7pm Thursday so we were in the middle of rush hour traffic. I am a very obedient pedestrian. I do not Jaywalk and I always make sure that I am walking on a designated sidewalk if any. However, I completely turn into a different person when running. I found myself with the group running alongside vehicles, on the other side of the pedestrian barriers. Nice…pollution galore One thing I also notice, traffic enforcers and vehicles are a bit more accommodating to runners. For one, they don’t care if you jaywalk. They even make you pass without blaring their horns at you. Probably because we cross the street faster than pedestrians who cross leisurely.
Running along J. Vargas was surprisingly a pleasant experience. I was a bit concerned with the distance between Pearl Drive and Tiendesitas and the pace of the team. But thankfully, both were tolerable.
In Tiendesitas, we had our bathroom break while waiting for Carol. Noy also dropped by…yes just dropped by as he was too tired to run. I as already having too much fun to mind that he wasn’t coming along again. Ken already decided to just go home instead of meeting up in Tiende. After taking a few pictures and doing a bit of stretching, Carol arrives and off we go. Luis directed us to Lanuza so we can train uphills in St. Martin Hills. I’ve been wanting to conquer St. Martin Hills but never had the opportunity to do so. I wanted to see if I can handle it and how fast I can do it. St. Martin Hills is an incline of about 500m found beside ULTRA and near St. Paul Pasig. This will be our training ground.
Lap 1, my test climb. When I used to train for uphills, I would always want to finish it at the fastest pace in order to shorten the torture. But I realized that doing this actually spends most of your energy and you won’t have enough to finish the run. So I used a technique I read in RW….when running uphills, try to straighten the horizon by leaning forward, bending your knees so that your center of gravity is closer to the ground and slowly trudge and conquer the slope. Slowly, but surely. This is what I did, but I added a bit push to it as I knew I would have time to rest anyway.
Lap 2, a much easier climb. I knew what to expect so I was mentally prepared for this one. Still exhausted when I hit the top but the recovery was better.
Lap 3, felt a bit tired but still manageable. This was our last lap.
Bong and Coach Mar taught us a technique in going downhill. Keep your legs straight so your entire body absorbs the impact and not just your lower extremities. We tried that a bit but I didn’t want to push it much as I know that you’re actually more prone to side stitches when going downhill and this is my major problem when running. Another longer uphill climb was the road along St. Paul Pasig. This time, I joined Shelly, Lorie and Coach Mar in walking leisurely as I was on the phone with Noy. He promised to pick me up after our run.
I started to pick up my pace when we hit Meralco Avenue making a U-Turn under the Flyover and heading towards Tektite and Antel. Since I knew where I was going and we were all going to end up in the same place any way, I picked up my pace, turned on my MP3 and ran, ran, ran. After hitting the end of the street behind Antel, I decided to look back and was panicky when I realized that no one from my team was behind me. Oh no…I might have left them This is a cardinal rule amongst runners (well for me, it is)…leave no one behind. I felt awful. So I headed back to Benpres hoping to see them. Finlly, I saw Rico. The group decided to wait for the others to cross before heading back to Pearl Drive. I guess I was too enthusiastic to run that I didn’t notice they stopped.
We arrived at our destination…CHIGGY’S. This is the reason why they call it Liempo run. We get to reward ourselves by having Liempo dinner after the run. Since I was still learning how to use my Garmin FR305, I wasn’t able to measure our distance. Fortunately, Luis was able to. Our total mileage was 10.5km! My 1st 10km run! It was an indeed surprisingly, unexpectedly wonderful run!
Thank you Luis for pushing us hard and thank you for my LIEMPORunning buddies for an awesome evening! Now to work on hitting 15k