I Survived My First 5K Run

I was among the NatGeo Earth Day runners who flocked to The Fort, Taguig during the wee hours of Sunday morning. Light-headed, due to lack of sleep, and filled with anxiety, I was overwhelmed by the view of thousands of people mostly wearing either gray or yellow Earth Day Run shirts. Each color signifies registered race distance: gray is for 10K and up, yellow is for 3K and 5K.

Excited and determined to join my first ever official 5K event, I found myself in the middle of yellow runners getting ready and warming up along with the stretching exercises led by the race host—one of them is weatherman/celebrity Kim Atienza. And in the same manner as the 21K and 10K races were started, the 5K countdown came.

As soon as the big bright red digital timer hits 0:00:00, a chorus of “go” from the eager crowd and with the accompanying fireworks display (with the sun already peeking out of the horizon), runners begin crossing the start line on the 7th avenue. The cadence each pair of running shoes make, and the huffs and puffs of runners around me were infectious—somehow intimidating but most times encouraging. Every sight of the distance markers (1-km increment) and water stations also made me to keep on running.

Less than 40 minutes later, the finish line becomes visible after the last turn on the 9th avenue. (I realized that it must be every runner’s happiest moment to see the capital letters F, I, N, I, S, H up ahead while trying to summon whatever strength is left.) Handing over the race bar code capped the race for me. Thank you lord for good health, treadmill and a sneaky and supportive wife—everything made me survive my first official 5K run.

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Based on the figures from natgeorun.com, there were a total of 8,337 finishers in all four (4) races. 2782 finished the 5K race and I was the 1039th placer with an official time of 41 minutes. Not bad.

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Trivia: April 10, 1996, or exactly 15 years ago, I was rigging TCP equipment with wifey.

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Mood: 2/10 Honks! (I’ll definitely participate in more 5Ks.)

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Will Burn Calories and Gas

About 10 hours from now will be a day about burning calories and gas. Weeks on the treadmill and just a day on the road (to pace myself) will prove its worth during tomorrow’s NatGeo Earth Day run. It will be my first official 5K and I am already excited to see how it will end up. Of course, I’d like to see myself finish in less than an hour—as my wife indicated on the online form when she secretly registered me for this race.

Immediately after I burn calories in The Fort, Taguig, I will be on my way back south to join my wife, kiddo and my in-laws for our annual summer outing which was scheduled just last week during their town fiesta celebration. It was supposed to happen next month but for several reasons they decided to have it tomorrow instead. And this is the reason I have to get back home in Cavite alone from a week of vacation in Batangas so that I can get my NatGeo race kit, be with hundreds of runners tomorrow, and then drive around 100 kilometers back to meet everyone at the resort. Burn baby, burn. Wish me luck.

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Mood: 3/10 Honks! (I cannot recall the last time I was home alone. Silence.)

Surprise! You’re Running

The explanation why my wife has been interviewing me while I kill my Sunday time in front of the TV has come. She asked me a couple of seemingly unrelated questions: “what is your favorite program?” and “how soon are you going to finish a 5K run?” The query happened as I watch a NatGeo special about the Nazis. And last night, like a perfectly organized Schutzstaffel plan, she told me to check my email in the morning.

True enough, in the middle of the Jobstreet, JobsDB, oDesks notifications and spams on my inbox is an unfamiliar subject: National Geographic Channel Earth Day Run – Completed Registration. Details of the email confirmed my suspicion – I’m running on April 10, 2011.

I checked today’s date and it’s just the 7th of March. I still have a month to prepare to make it to the finish line. Yes, I have to or else the P700 pesos that was charged to wifey’s credit card would be put to waste and she won’t like it. Come April 10, I should be able to cross the line in less than an hour or wifey might execute another SS-like plan.

But I think I have a good chance. During my recent treadmill sessions, I have clocked 30 minutes while on a sweat suit. Distance travelled indicates around 2.2 km and based on the last fun run I made, the treadmill has an approximate error of 50% which means I can actually do twice the distance at the same time–especially if I lose weight.

Wish me luck.

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Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Already a week without an oDesk job.)