I started jogging way back in February 2012 as my Sunday morning routine, I never really trained for speed and my stamina wasn’t well-developed (I can’t even jog a 5km straight up). I started joining running events in late 2013 and I never even thought about running fast, I just want the experience and I don’t even think about running distances beyond 5 kilometers. And then I was encouraged to run my first 10k run on August 2013 because some of my runner buddies back then wanted to do 10k and I feel like a weak link if I don’t do 10k. BTW, it wasn’t even a competitive event, it was Color Manila Nite: Glow Paint Edition, a fun run that doesn’t encourage you to run fast. I trained before the run, usually finishing 10k between 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 25 minutes. Then came the event on the 30th of August and I finished it at 1 hour and 20 minutes, not bad for a run that encourages you to take it slow and just enjoy what it has to offer. My 2nd 10k running event was an obstacle run, Guerilla Race: Panther. With 18 obstacles in my way including 6ft wall, cargo net, and rope climb, it took me 1 hour and 52 minutes to finish it. My last 10k run of 2014 was a combination of road, trail, and obstacle run, it was Men’s Health Urbanathlon 2014 in Nuvali. It wasn’t as hard as Guerilla Race, but still a challenging run that took me 1 hour and 28 minutes to finish. See, in all my 10k runs, I never really hit the Sub1 barrier or finishing 10 kilometers under 1 hour until I got serious and started training for it. The first time I was able to do a Sub1 run was during a training run on 7th of December 2014, I was able to make new PRs for 5k and 10k. Then I decided to join Pinoy Fitness Sub1 10k Challenge to officially make a Sub1 10k record and get a medal for my hard work. My Sunday Speed Day training in preparation for the event has been mostly consistent, averaging 56-58 minutes and sometimes barely making it with 59 minutes.
Though there are times that I couldn’t hit Sub1 and even considered not joining the event and go for the 1st Calamba All Terrain Race instead (which was to be held at the same date at the time until it was moved to April 19), my mind kept convincing me that getting that Sub1 medal is a significant event in my running history. So, i did join, trained for it, and was very determined to do my best. 29th March 2015, the race day. My recurring running buddy, Erl, also joined the challenge just to see how much she can give in a time-pressured run. I was a bit nervous at first because the week before the race, I wasn’t able to train or hit a Sub1 10k and I gave away my Friday leave (which was suppose to be for training and proper rest) to my office mate and 7-11 running mate, Jaypee, because he wanted to attend his sisters graduation day. So, I just said to myself to just do my best. The race started and everyone seem to be having a relaxed, but faster than normal pace. There are a lot of strong veteran runners, triatheletes, and well-trained youngsters. Since everyone was running fast, most of us are not farther apart each other, the gap among runners is so small that it only widens if a runner runs out of stamina or slow down for other reasons. I was running my best from kilometer 2 to kilometer 6 and, according to Nike+ Running app, I broke my 33-minute Condura Skyway Marathon 6k record with 31 minutes 40 seconds at the 6th kilometer.
I grabbed water cups from 2 water stations to moisten my mouth because it was drying up because of the heavy breathing. It was some time during the 7th kilometer that I started slowing down, but was still able to run below a 6-min per kilometer pace. Some runners that I already passed by caught up, but I didn’t try to speed up and overtake again, I just relax and run my own pace to avoid the risk of over-stressing myself. The last 2 kilometers does feel long, we passed by SMX and Mall of Asia Arena, I feel tired, but still kept running.
Finally, I can see the finish line from a distance. I did not try to sprint, I just kept my pace which I believe was effective and guarantees a Sub1 finish. I slowed down a little bit when I saw some photographers, then went back to optimal running speed just a few hundred meters away from the finish line.
I crossed the finish line before it hit 54 minutes (Nike+ recorded 53:42 and chip time 00:53:58), but the official result based on gun time is 00:54:22. That’s a new PR, beating my previous 56-minute training PR. So happy with the results and I feel so good because it was the culmination of hard work and dedication. I am now a certified, verified, validated, proven, Sub1 10k finisher.
I wasn’t eager to go home, I was savoring my victory as I walk around the activity area to rehydrate and grab freebies whilst waiting for Erl who finished at 1 hour 31 minutes (it’s okay, she did what she can, it’s the effort that counts, and there’s still next year).
The PinoyFitness Sub1 10k Challenge is the 7th significant medal (along with my 3 Outbreak Missions dogtags, my 2 Guerilla Race medals, and my Men’s Health Urbanathlon medal) in my running history as it represents my evolution from runner to jogger. Is it possible for me to hit a Sub-2 hour 21km next? I think not right now or anytime soon, but who knows, right now, I’m just happy to be a Sub-1 10k runner.