How sweet it is! – Condura, My 2nd Full Marathon

Just like what I said in my previous post, Condura run 2010 will be special for me and the pink sole. First, it will be our anniversary run,  her 1st and my 2nd year anniversary. Second, it will be our first race for the year and it will be the pink sole’s 2nd 21k run, my 2nd full marathon after our first try for the same distance events last December at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon.

After having a not so satisfying experience with my first full, i am hoping that maybe this time i will be able to redeem myself and answer my millon dollar question, can i run a full marathon one more time without cramping? That question was answered yesterday after i crossed the finish line.

My goal for this race was the same i had in Singapore — finish within my target time of 4:30-4:40 and accomplish this without any injury or another episode of cramps.

We arrived early and had enough time to stretch and clear my bladder. I told Mariel that it might be a hot day since there wasn’t any cold breeze that morning.  I went to the starting line and saw good friend Annie who always times her vacation to join a big race here.  Saw many familiar faces — Kim, Jonel, Randy, Charlie,  Mikey, Raymund, Dindo who will also be doing his 2nd full  and  Bro J who will be doing his first.

It was a big crowd for a 42k.  Around 700 registered runners were in the corral, proof of the sport’s increasing popularity. I psyched myself to go slow, start conservatively and remember everything I planned to do including what i should do if there is any sign of muscle cramps. For the first few kilometers, I let my natural stride and pace carry me through and intentionally didn’t look at my Garmin to check my pace.  I just tried to feel my body take me through an easy, comfortable pace.  Saw a lot of running friends who went ahead of me.   After crossing the 10k mark, i took a peek at my time which is 1:02:42. Ooops! I was way too fast from my target time so,  I slowed down.

Before turning left to Estacion street, caught up with friend, Philip, a seasoned triathlete who’s doing his first full. As we went up the skyway toll gate, he went ahead while I continued to  maintain my running pace. At 20k, time logged-in at 2:06:45 was again too fast from my target time.  Ooops. ooops!.  I was feeling good and continued my pace. I needed to make sure I have  reserved energy before reaching the condura hill.  Slowly but surely conquered the hill. A few minutes after, l felt a little tightness in my inner thigh.  Suddenly, my Singapore experience flashed-back.  I had to slow down and changed my strides from time to time to make my other muscles work and let the others rest.  After a few kilometers, the pain went away.  After crossing all 30k and all under my target time, I was already thinking that I might be able to hit my target if I will have that reserve energy.  The cheering and bananas being distributed at the and Reinier Pacific volunteer Aid Station really provided  relief. Thank you,  guys!.

I was very tired already and it seems Buendia avenue was way too long that day. Vener (Run Unlimited) caught up with me and gave me some encouraging words just the way he also did during our  long runs at UP and BDM.  He told me to  give more effort in the last few kilometers. We are getting nearer and nearer.  After a few more minutes, saw the 40k mark which gave me a big boost knowing that its just 2k to go. I went to speed up little by little looking for the last two turns. And there it was, such a glorious sight the finish line was!  Yes, i did it!!!

How sweet it is conquering my 2nd full without cramping, hitting below 5hours target time. I remember telling Vener few weeks before the race, I will be happy even with a 4:44:44 time. But this one is much better, 4:34:44 ( My garmin time).

Not only is it  sweet, it surely is  one of the best races around.  Looking forward to celebrating our next running anniversary at next year’s condura.

Congrats again to Patrick and Ton   Concepcion!!!  Thanks for a great race!

Nearing the Finish line

with Coach Rio

With Mariel and Annie

Thanks for the push Vener

Exchanging stories with Annie, Vince and Jay

Jun and I agreed we will have no stressful activities day before what is a very important race for us — our anniversary race.  That we tried to do.  After waking up very early still (my body clock won’t let me over-sleep), and a good breakfast with the family, i surprisingly dozed-off.  My body probably caught on the the planned slow day and decided to  give way to much-needed rest.  I woke up in time for lunch?!?  That was a sweet dreamless sleep.  So on to the table again  for lunch with the whole family where conversation revolved around our schedule for the afternoon.  That would be a quick trip to the supermarket with my 2 younger kids and back to the house for a DVD marathon — our idea of a relaxing time with the family.

I was so relaxed I got momentarily worried about not being nervous about our Big race.  I shook all cares and just totally relaxed with the family.  So relaxed, I munched on our fave Soft Batch chocolate chip cookies again and asked for a glass of Coke Zero which was immediately shifted to a bottle of Gatorade when Jun heard me.  Hahaha  the kids and I had a good laugh!

On race day, we were characteristically early at the race site.  While Jun was stretching and preparing his gear, I sat in the front seat yawning away.  Oh my, I was really still so very sleepy having only had 3 hours sleep.  I guess my long after-breakfast sleep Saturday wrecked havoc on my body clock this time.  Good thing I was still able to get up very early and didn’t stress the blue sole. 😉

My first anniversary  race turned out to be pleasant one for me.  I accidentally got myself a running buddy in the person of good friend, Melody (also Jun’s BelieveStrong teammate) who was reluctantly running her first 21k having been shut out from the 10k event.  Flying in straight from Vancouver, she didn’t plan much less train for a 21k.  Anyway, we ran together, pacing each other through long CR breaks (mine actually), water breaks and skyway picture-taking breaks.  It made my run more fun. Thanks Melody!

Melody at the Skyway

With Tiffin

got caught fixing my hydration belt which was forever turning

The race proper was handled very well  in my opinion.  I enjoyed it a lot except during the first  Buendia flyover run early morning when it was still very, very dark.  Furthermore, the headlights of on-coming vehicles at the other lane was blinding us.  Not comfortable with night-time runs, I kinda worried I might lose my footing over uneven roads.  None of that happened though and we were able to traverse the flyover unscathed.

Going down Buendia Ave., the portalets beckoned.  Good thing Melody was up for a breather and patiently waited for me.  I pity those who lined-up after me.  I kinda took a long time in there.  After that I felt better and enjoyed the run even more especially my first skyway run.  I was running the skyway while the sunlight was slowly inching its way out of the horizon. The sun cooperated and didn’t rear it’s hot head all the way out such that the runners were treated to a comfortable almost sunless skyway run most of the way.  Great day for a skyway run!  It was fun seeing friends Tiffin and Jonel on the skyway!

Exiting the skyway, i felt Melody breathing heavily and told her to just slow down.  I was still pacing her. Going down the skyway, I checked out the time and thought I won’t be able to slash time-off my Singapore time.  At about the same time,  Melody wanted to take a breather and really go slow and told to me to go on ahead.

The rest of the Buendia run was uneventful.  I was still having fun with just a slight heaviness at the back of my thighs.   Trouble awaits though at the Buendia flyover … I felt my legs getting numb and felt my knees turning liquid.  Is this the dreaded cramps? I tried to remain calm and scanned my options … walk?  tried a few steps while hydrating with gatorade and decided against it as walking seemed to aggravate the situation.  I ran on again albeit with slow, small steps and started praying that the Lord pull me through this.  I was already at the last 2 kilometers of the race.  I can’t stop now!  I found some singing space and connected with the Source of all strength.

All that I am, all that I have

I lay them down before you, oh Lord.

All my regrets and all my acclaim

The joy and the PAIN, I’m making them Yours.

Lord, I offer my life to you everything I’ve been through

Use it for your glory

Lord, I offer my days to you lifting my praise to you

As a living sacrifice

Lord I offer you my life.

What a joy to have a living God who hears us and answers our pleas for help. Going down the flyover and towards the last kilometer, I felt well.  My legs gained strength and my spirits soared.  I gained speed, reached out to well-meaning cheerers along the way for mid-fives and sprinted towards the finish.  What a race and what a testament of God’s goodness!

What a great anniversary run …  from a 5k last year to my 2nd 21k in this year’s Condura Race.  Not bad, not bad at all. 🙂

Best of all, I’m very happy Jun had a very  good run.  All the preparation paid-off at last!

With God, all things are possible.  Thank you, Lord!

Running and loving it! 🙂

Melody, me, Jun, Tiffin, Marc and Vince

With Raymund, Jun and Patrick after the race

Leo Valdez and Me. Ya think I can pass-off as Kim? 😉

The Solemates -- Happy Running Anniversary to us!!!


18 Responses to “How sweet it is! – Condura, My 2nd Full Marathon”

  1. 1 therainman96 February 9, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    good one! thanks for posting the photo jun and mariel. it’s the only photo i have for the condura run.

  2. 3 Tin February 9, 2010 at 2:48 pm

    Congratulations! Sweet indeed…and I love the singing part on the last 2K…

    • 4 thesolemates February 10, 2010 at 6:52 am

      thanks much tin. if you happen to bump into me during one of the races, you just might catch me singing. Feel free to join in! haha Hope to meet you on the road… – Mariel 🙂

  3. 5 bro j February 9, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Congratulations Jun and Mariel, what a great anniversary run for you! God is the true source of our strength! That song is one of my favorite worship song too. God bless your family!

    Jun thanks for the encouragements before the race. It really helped a lot!

    • 6 thesolemates February 10, 2010 at 6:55 am

      congratulations to you, too, on your very first marathon! God is truly good! With Him, we can do all things, right? Keep on running! God bless you and your family! – Jun & Mariel

  4. 9 Melody February 9, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    First of all, I’m so impressed with the name of your blog. It’s creative and really fits. The topics are good and informative. Blue and pink soles… I like it! Keep it up, you make a good running couple!

    Condura Run 2009 was my first running race just like you, I started with 5K. Then jumped to 21K last Sunday without preparation. My legs were not loaded, I just got back few days ago from Winter Olympic site- Whistler Mountain, Canada -12 C temp with very thick snow. No way to train there, I asked my staff to change it to 10K but unfortunately no more slots. I was so apprehensive to join but some of our employees will be running so I must be there. I have been praying for God’s grace and mercy for me to finish the race without major injury. Last minute, near the starting line, I was thinking of backing-out already when I suddenly recognized an ANGEL! Yes, She was God’s answer to my prayer. Mariel was my second wind! Thanks buddy, for your encouragement. I had fun running with you. It feels good to run with someone who’s professing the same faith with the Lord. Double strength na, may kikay moments pa hehe… Sis, you truly inspired me. I knew you wanted to break your last 21K record but you were patiently pacing me. Until finally, I let you go… that was more than enough help for me.

    Thanks for the photos, that’s priceless. That was my 1st 21K run and I conquered the skyway. Praise God for making you an instrument of blessing to me. All the glory belongs to God. Hope to run with you again soon.

    PS. Na inspired din ako sa figure mo, you’re a lot sexier now!

    • 10 thesolemates February 10, 2010 at 7:11 am

      wow, melody those were such nice words, thanks! The Lord make all things work together for our good, right? It was God’s appointment that we run with each other that day. It was good for us both. I had fun running with you!

      You inspire me, too, sis. Imagine finishing a 21k without prep! Only by God’s grace…

      Waiting with great expectation for many more of His miracles in our lives.

      Run with you, soon! -Mariel

      Congrats on your first 21k! – Jun

  5. 11 bards February 9, 2010 at 11:00 pm

    congratulations solemates! ang galing ng time mo jun!

  6. 12 thesolemates February 10, 2010 at 7:13 am

    salamat bards! sa wakas ano nahuli din?

  7. 13 ibetlacbay February 12, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    galing ng time mo Jun!
    congrats Mariel on your second half marathon. 5K to 21K is a great achievement.

  8. 14 thesolemates February 15, 2010 at 10:09 pm

    thank you wilbert! nakuha sa dasal. – jun

    Happy to be able to tackle longer distances slowly but surely. Thanks wil! – Mariel 🙂

  9. 15 Nora, the golden girl February 19, 2010 at 6:23 pm

    Congratulations to the soulmates and solemates, Jun and Mariel! Galing ng time mo, Jun. Ang bilis mo din siguro Mariel, kasi di man lang tayo nagkita . . .

    Mariel, did you sign up for the TBR Dream Marathon? I did!

    Hope to see you soon.

    Take care and God bless!

  10. 17 Argonaut February 20, 2010 at 2:37 pm


    I think we were pacing with you until Km 20. My friend and I were talking that we should always stick with you because you have an excellent pace. Too bad we were not able to stick with you all through out. My Friend was able to maintain his pace and finished 4:44; however, i cramped at Km 27 finishing only at 4:58.

    Congratulations Sir!

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