Last week, I took on the challenge - the Pinoy Fitness 21k Challenge that is. It was the challenge to run my best and fastest half-marathon. I participated in the sub-2:30 category wherein I needed to finish the race in two and a half hours or less. Big thanks to Jeff Lo for the race kit. I also joined in the team competition with my teammates from Team Sigue Correr Runners, where we formed an all-female team to compete with other all-female teams.
I started the race feeling fine. I was maintaining a fast but comfortable pace - one that I have gotten used to over the past few weeks during my training runs. I kept my breathing in check, making sure that it was normal. I also hydrated every water station to avoid any dehydration. I finished the first loop well within my target time.
It was in the second loop that I started feeling not-so-good. My breathing became very hard. I started to feel sick and nauseous. I started to feel the beginnings of cramps. That was when I took walk breaks more often because I was scared that I might actually get cramps if I ignored it. It was in the last 500 meters that I did get cramps on my right leg. It was so painful that I couldn't walk. One of my teammates from Team Ayala Triads, Niel, saw me on the verge of tears and helped me sit and stretch. After about a couple of minutes, my right leg recovered and I managed to sprint it out to the finish line, and ended up getting cramps on both legs at the same time. It was so horrible.
Photo Credits: Rickpets Lens
Needless to say, I did not break my personal best. I got the medal, all right, but I did not make it in my target time.
Overall, it was a good race. There was ample hydration for everyone. It was mamaw-packed and it was truly inspiring to see the best and the fastest runners outrace each other. The atmosphere was competitive yet I felt the genuine camaraderie that runners have despite belonging to different teams. There were also lots of spectators who cheered everyone on. That's what I love about the running community - even though people are always competing against each other, the camaraderie and support is still there.
Team SCR Femme
Shout out to all the everyone who participated, with special mention to Team Sigue Correr Runners, Team Active Pinas, Team Ayala Triads, and Team Pinikpikan. It was nice to see the first three teams well-represented in the team competition with three teams from Team SCR (SCR Alpha and SCR Beta for all-male, and of course SCR Femme), two from Team Ayala Triads (Ayala Triads Mixed and Lady Triads), and one team from Team Active Pinas.
I felt like I failed miserably but I won't let that bring me down. I'll be planning my revenge for next year. ;)