Posts Tagged 'marathon'

All Systems Go for NYC

Only a week before ING NYC Marathon 2010 and we’re about to go to get acclimatized.  What an exciting time for us… our first trip to  the US of A, running the biggest marathon in the world!

Long runs all done.  Taper mode for me pushed to the limit with very little mileage due to colds and coughs.

I know, i know, what a bad time to get sick.  I’m taking all the necessary steps to come out of this — 2 days off from work, mega dose of vitamin C, colds and cough medication, antibiotics, water, pineapple juice, chicken soup, etc.

Family in NYC say weather forecast for the next week, all throughout marathon week,  is very cold… BRRRRR….  I hope to be well enough to battle the cold on marathon day.  I am hoping the marathon spirit and the earlier training will pull me through this.  I am hoping to do better than 5:22 during my first mara at  TBR Dream Marathon but then again this is a tougher course.  I’ll be happy with just enjoying what might be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for me.  Praying all systems will really be a GO come Nov 7th.  Lord, HELP!

One thing for sure though… can’t wait to have a fabulous time in New York, New York!!! 🙂

Can’t believe it’s almost here— my dream marathon, the ING NYC Marathon 2010.  Preparations have been quite rushed on booking flight schedules, coordinating with family, researching and preparing clothes and gears for cold-weather running and going around.

Our marathon will be sandwiched with lots of sight-seeing and not too much shopping for the pink sole, i hope,  We really got to make sure we   squeeze in a couple of short runs in between.

Truly praying for a great NYC marathon experience for us both.  What a great privilege… God be with us…


Camsur Marathon 2010: Final Call

It is Camsur Marathon week.  Are you registered?  Are you all geared up?

Not ready for a full marathon but want to go see Camsur and the now famous Camsur Watersports Complex (CWC) and participate in the festivities?  Why not join the shorter events — 3k, 5k , 10k and 21k.  You can still enjoy a good run and of course, the nice place.

You still have a chance to register for Camsur’s first ever marathon and for all the other shorter distance events.  Registration still on-going now only in CWC, Camsur.

For more details of the race details,  visit

Run strong  and have fun!!!

My First Marathon at TBRDM

How does one capture a perfect moment in words?

I’m no trained writer.  I feel utterly inadequate chronicling what I’ve experienced.  Words don’t seem enough.  I can’t seem to find the right adjectives to describe the mixture of emotions I felt in that race called The Bull Runner Dream Marathon — excited, happy, overwhelmed, grateful, surprised, amazed, tearfully happy?

My marathon experience was one I would like to relive over and over again. Yes, including the exhaustion and pain. For at the finishline  was total bliss!


Jun & I headed to Sta. Rosa  May 21, Fri, right after lunch.  It will just be Jun & myself as nobody could take the kids to Nuvali on race day.  My sister who I asked to bring the kids had prior commitments on the day of the race that she couldn’t get out of.  Anyway, I didn’t want to insist as I was also thinking how awkward it would be if I forced them to be there and I didn’t finish.  Just as well…

We checked-in in El Cielito at 3pm where we bumped into Jaymie & Neville on their way out to the race site.  An hour’s rest, early dinner 5pm  at the Paseo, a quick peek at the race site and brief chat with Jaymie & Edward and we’re off heading back to the hotel for a planned early knock-off at 7pm and a wake-up call at 12mn that would give me 5 hours sleep.

That was not to be had though.  The mariposas in my stomach wouldn’t let me rest.  I guess Jun had butterflies albeit smaller in his for we both slept at around 8pm and found him awake already at 10pm. I knew he was a little nervous for me.  The blue sole had been edgy the whole day and I even kidded him to chill while driving to Sta. Rosa “Hon, you’re nervous din ano?”  He momentarily stopped and only gave a smile.  Hah, confirmed! He’s nervous for me.  I thought that was sweet.

So with 2 hours light sleep, we geared-up and proceeded to Nuvali.  We thought we were early but the place was already busy and charged.  The excitement was evident everywhere.

We stayed a while at the Dream Marathon Support area where dream chasers Banggi and Bobby were lacing up.  Mommy Kim arrived and we proceeded to the starting line.  I was one of the first few runners in the corral where I was joined later on by Dra. Lora, a 2nd-time marathoner and her hubby who will be pacing her. We were early so there were a lot of opportunity for stretching, chatting and of course, some photo ops.

Jun sending me off at the Starting Line

Coach John, Nana Mayen, Mommy Kim, Jun, me, Dra. Lora & hubby

Ready... get set...


A brief, inspiring talk from race director, Jim Lafferty with Jaymie and a  heart-felt prayer from Team Logan and we were ready.  At exactly 2am, we, approximately 250 dream marathoners were off.  It was a happy send-off.  The runners were charged and inspired and I’m pretty sure being first-time/second-time  marathoners only, are pretty much nervous too on how each one will fare in this new territory.

KM 1-10

I started slow as Jun painfully reminded me.  I just tried to warm-up my legs with a slow pace trying to get my rhythm.  This wasn’t the time to speed up so I let my legs and body get used to the beat.  Just as well for the first 2kms took us to a route across the highway where only fog lamps lighted our way.  Some parts were dark so I took out my teeny-weeny led-lighted flashlight.  I took a peek at my Garmin and found I was within range of my slow pace.

Going back to Solenad rounding the commercial area, happy Takbo peeps  cheered runners on.  They were a happy bunch and I loved their cheering!  Great job! Thanks to Yvette and company for the hearty cheer!

Going towards the Nuvali Road, was where I first felt I was in a marathon.  It was dark.  Only  streetlamps provided some light.  The pack was thinning.  I was on my own.

I felt good though and has found my rhythm.  I dutifully took my gel at 8k as planned.

Then the surprise… the turn towards the bird sanctuary turned out to be a long 2km trail.  Uugh, no runner immediately before nor behind me but runners on their way back would be passing me from time to time.  There were marshals along the way but still there would be long stretches when I would be alone.  I was so thankful for that tiny flashlight Jun bought me.  It lighted my path and allowed me to run still albeit slowly and carefully.  But, I must say there was no instance i felt unsafe.  I almost tripped twice though but that’s just the “lampa” in me. hahaha

Picture this…. only, it’s pitch black at 3am…

2km dirt road --- spicing up the route!

gravel trail to the gazebo turn-around --- 100% walk

KM 11-20

Guess what?  A short but uphill gravel path awaits at the turn-around.  This one I walked 100% while drinking  some gatorade. This race has many surprises, indeed.

Going back that same dark trail road, nature began calling.  I knew there would be portalets at the turn-around point.  I guess that thought made me ran faster to it.  hahaha  Besides, that long stretch after the trail road was my favorite part of the race route.  One  where I always felt a need to run faster even during our simulation run.  But wait… another surprise awaits — another trail road!!!

Yes, yet another dirt road with a short incline at the turn-around point.  The portalets near the turn-around provided much-needed relief.  Lost 4 1/2 minutes there as the OC in me made sure everything was okay before and after I did my thing.  Brought my tissue paper but the sight of rolls of toilet paper and alcohol was very much welcomed.

With a lighter, more comfortable feeling, I surged on and stepped on the first timing mat at Km 13. Timed in at 1:54.03. The next kilometer was mostly uphill going back the paved road before the next water station at the corner turn.  Caught up with Dra. Lora and hubby and ran with them a while.  She mentioned how this is is not really a newbie route and felt like a more difficult race than Standard Chartered Hongkong because it was  dark, had a rolling terrain and there were trails. ” Woh, really???”  The surprise trails especially the one towards the bird sanctuary was really an awesome experience.  It really added spice to the route.

As I ran on ahead, I passed the Second Wind booth again and again received a hearty cheer from Hector and Mikey.  Thanks guys! You were great!

The race route was actually full of hearty cheerers — the pacers, the race marshals and the Nuvali security men dished out pleasant greetings and encouragements.  Fellow marathoners would often exchange smiles, nods of acknowledgement, waves and cheers.  People were just eager to encourage one another.  What a positive environment.  I loooove it!

Passed the 16km marker and I remembered to take my 2nd gel at this point.  Urgh, intake delayed by 4kms.  Garmin km reading stopped, you see, so I wasn’t able to monitor distance ran and relied on the kilometer markers. It was here that i felt pain in my left hip. Ooh oh… It’s way too early to feel any pain please.  I tried massaging and applying pressure on the area while I ran.  I tried changing my stride, too. Pain still there but was still very manageable. As I saw the Evoliving structure, my pace quickened.  I am always excited seeing that place as I associate it with finishing a run.

KM 21-30

Hah, almost there.  I can see cheerers again!  Most of all, I relish the thought that Jun will be running with me now after fulfilling his marshaling duties.

As planned, he met me after the 2nd round at the commercial area and paced me starting the 2nd loop.  I’ve covered 23kms now, he advised.  He checked how I was, gave me a cup of gatorade to drink, poured some water over my head and took my hydration belt from me. That was a relief!!!  I think he was relieved, too, that my legs still felt good.  I was pacing myself well and hydrating at every water station.  Darkness was receding now and the sky was getting bright.  The 2nd trip to the bird sanctuary trail road felt better in broad daylight and I began chronicling to Jun my experience running this road in the dark.  A cold drink at the gravel road towards the gazebo turn-around awaits.  Mayen was stretching her legs there as she was having cramps.  After asking how she was, we ran on.   I advised him that I felt like going for a restroom break again.  Wehehe I know this will be another laughing matter with the kids when this race is over.  hahaha  Thankfully, the uncomfortable feeling passed.   I felt so full though taking in all the gels, water and gatorade but I knew I had to.  Turning right from the trail, Jun fetched me an icy sponge as I continued to run on.

KM 31-35

A spiritual experience…

31km … 32k …  I was still good to go and I was just overwhelmingly grateful.  I felt so light and alive I just felt like giving thanks to my King.  I was praying.  I was singing praises.  During a long stretch of road, I pictured Him with outstretched arms waiting for me to run to Him.  I did!  My legs quickened without effort.  I barely felt my feet touching the road.  It was an overwhelming experience.  I felt my eyes watering. I couldn’t help raising my hands in praise as I ran.

Whom have I in heaven but You.

There is nothing on earth I desire besides You.

My heart and my strength, many times they fail.

But there is one truth that always will prevail…

God is the strength of my heart

God is the strength of my heart

God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.


Truly, the Lord of Lords lifted me up and carried me through this journey.  I knew whatever happens, He is with me.

KM 36-40

Did I get carried away running that fast?  ha ha ha! I started to feel some pain in my right calf and my left hamstrings.  A bearable discomfort. Good thing another set of my fave dream chasers Bobby and Banggi armed with spray-on pain reliever were stationed not too far ahead. I got a special spraying from Bobby with a GO GO GO cheer from Banggi.

Slowed down considerably at this 5 kilometers stretch conserving my energy. The heat was starting to bother me  and  Jun made sure I get a regular dousing of water.

Then a car of cheerers passed us cheering and enthusiastically shouting my name “Go, go, go Mariel! Galing!” That provided a great boost!  Thanks so much Edward, Raymund, Ella and company!

Jim Lafferty patrolled the route, too, shouting encouragements “Remember, you’re now a marathoner! You’re doing great! ”

I’m sure a lot of runners got some lift and ran faster with those encouragements.

But, this stretch felt looooong.   I see the Evoliving building and I know it’ll be over soon.  Yes, I’m going to finish this!  I’ll be a marathoner before lunch just as Jim Lafferty reminded us at the starting line. Checking on me,  I think the blue sole  felt relieved I was still strong going into the final stretch.  He egged me on…


The Solenad commercial are was within reach.  I knew that just behind that is the finish line.  I increased my pace with Jun leading me … rounding the commercial area with around 400 meters to go … we were speeding up …

Come on, come on!”  Jun was pushing me. ” Do it for the kids … think about the kids …”

I was pounding the pavement with all I’ve got with the blue sole right beside me.

Then, a pleasant bomb…

Just as we saw the finish line Jun  dropped a bomb …” go for the kids …. go, go, go! … andyan sila Bea … andyan silang lahat!” and dropped behind so I couldn’t ask him.

Huh?…   WHAAAAT?!?  Sinong lahat???  Successive questions, confusing thoughts raised through my mind as I raced to the finish line.  Scouring the faces ahead as I ran, I saw my eldest daughter Bea, then  Mikka, then Sofia.  Wow, what a very pleasant  surprise!

marathoner after 5 hours 23 minutes!!!

But that’s not all, as I crossed the line and I saw my sister Jen… then my Mom…  and  my Dad!

You’re all here!!!  HAHAHA  What a surprise!  You’re all here!!! BUHUHUHUHU  You’re all here….

so surprised to see my whole family there I couldn't contain the tears as my sister Jen welcomed me at the finish line.

Dad and Mom (partially covered) engulfing me in a tight hug. (thanks raymund for this pic!)

I chased my dream and made it reality...

... with the help of my dream chaser, my solemate ...

... in a dreamy race envisioned by Jaymie, The Bull Runner...

... with my family as witness. What more can I ask for?

I couldn’t have asked for a better marathon finish story… That was really beyond words!!!

I didn’t expect anyone to be there.  I was content to share whatever triumph I would have with just the blue sole.  Little did I know that a conspiracy was hatched behind my back weeks ago  intending to pleasantly shock me with my family’s presence and more!

To my daughters Bea, Sofia and Mikka, you’re my inspiration, our precious treasures.  I love it that you love our running! love you 3 soooo very much!

To my coach, pacer, solemate, hubby and friend, thanks Hon for training and coaching me. Your continuous encouragements, support and guidance truly made a difference.  I couldn’t have endured the long hours of weekend trainings without you running with me.  You were witness to all the preparations.  You endured too as you also woke up in the wee hours to run LSD’s with me.  That special support encouraged me to train and prepare well for this race.  You helped me run strong and helped give me an enjoyable first marathon experience.  You took good care of me out there. A big big thanks! Thanks a bunch  for cooking up the best surprise ever!  Love you much!!!

To my sister Jen, co-conspirator to this grand surprise, thanks so much for the support, for taking the time  and trouble to give me a memorable marathon and post race celebration!  luvyah sis!

To my mom and dad, my greatest fans, love you guys! mmmwah!

To my Lord, my God, my source of strength, without whom this wouldn’t have been possible. Love you, Lord.

NEXT:  Happy post-race pics and an even happier surprise…

Chasing a Marathon Dream

Last weekend, I chased the sun.  Tomorrow, I’ll be chasing a dream…

Just one day more… The hard work is over. This week’s game-plan was really just to get enough rest  and ready my legs, my whole body for the pounding it will endure and just as equally prepare my mind, heart and spirit for the big challenge ahead — my first full marathon (42.195kms) at THE BULL RUNNER DREAM MARATHON in  Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna.   I have been trying hard to be a good girl — no late working nights, lots and lots of water, stretching, deep tissue massage  and lots of pasta!  Uugh, I think I gained a couple of pounds just this week.

One thing good going for me is that the ITB tightness  I have been experiencing since I started running my 21k last December decided to give me a break.  Yes!!! I have been running pain-free since 2 weeks ago.  It was an unexpected bonus as I was already prepared to just manage the pain which usually creeps in as early as 8k.  I am expectantly praying it doesn’t show up again on race day.  My race then would be a lot more enjoyable.

Tomorrow is  such a BIG day for me.  With barely 1 day to go,  I now have mariposas in my stomach. 😉

To my fellow TBR Dream Marathoners, have a good, memorable, enjoyable run!!!

Looking forward to celebrating with you all this Saturday.

God be with us all!

See you at the race! 🙂

I have but one reminder to the pink sole —  SHAPE.

Start slow. Use your first few kilometers as your warm-up. Conserve your energy until you have finally adjusted to your rhythm.

Hydrate well. Not too much, not too soon and neither too late. Water stations are in their locations for a purpose. They remind you to hydrate.

Absolute control of your strength. Only you can determine your strength.  Sometimes you will feel okay and want to speed up a little than your planned pace.  Always look ahead.  Think if you can give it all now or save for later.  If you think you need to slow down, then slow down. If you think you can give more, give it only when you feel you can do it till the end.

Persevere to the finish.  Think only of good things.  Remember your purpose,  to whom you dedicate your run. You trained for this race and sacrificed a lot to be able to reach your dream.

Enjoy every minute of your run.  Sing praise songs as you normally do.  Remember THE SOURCE of your strength.

This is it! reckoning time.  You’ve paid your dues.  You’ve put in the hours — the very early morning runs and the late night ones. You’ve endured the pounding, the pain and even the heat.  I was witness to all these.  There’s only one thing left to do.  Run the race and run it that you may win your prize.  Chase your dream and make it reality.  I believe in you.

Aaaw sweet!

My Marathon Dream is On!

I will be gunning for my first ever marathon at the TBR Dream Marathon to be held at Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna on May 22.

So, why am I doing this ?

I ask myself this question even during shorter distance training and races —  at the tail end of a Long, Slow Distance (LSD),  at the last 2-3 kms of a 21k race and even post-race while nursing aches and pains limping around the house trying to keep a straight face and poised stance to my kids’ entertainment.  (“Daddy, daddy look at mom! hahaha” :))

Why do I even run???

I do it simply for what running has done and what it continues to do for me.  Fitness is one of the more obvious reasons and health, the most beneficial.

Why do a marathon?

It is the indescribable and immeasurable joy it brings as I am able to hurdle challenges as I train —  busy schedule, work stress, physical aches and pains, the heat, the rain and bouts of just plain training laziness (haha) — and still go on ahead and run and finish a race.

Like anything else  in this world, circumstances may not be perfect for me now. I am assured though that Jaymie and her team  are working hard to make the TBR Dream Marathon as perfect as first-time marathoners like me could have it.

I admit I was reluctant to register at first.  I thought it was too soon to be doing my full when I just ran my first half mary last December. Now, the excitement has gotten to me.  I really, really hope I have fun running my first marathon ever!

This Sunday, I will be doing my longest training run with the blue sole and the rest of the Dream Marathoners.  My personal goal is to finish 30-32k.    This will be our longest cum test run in Nuvali.  I’m beginning to be all giddy about it.  Our final test before the Big M Day.

handsome medal ... like!

I shall look forward to looking back, smiling at the thought that I pursued … pushed … and conquered.

The dream is on!!!

So, please, please, please…  help me God!  🙂

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