I thought we were going to have a lot of time in Manila in between watching the three-day IPTL Manila leg, so I signed up a 21k race. But boy was I wrong. I barely had time to sleep when I was there. Traffic in Manila was really bad that it stressed me out.
I still joined the RunLife Philippines 21k race anyway. I needed this for my training for my 42k in February. Actually, I have another 42k before that but that’s still part of the training for February.
The day before the race I was supposed to run with my friend Hazel who was also running the 10k race. But I slept late and woke up at 11am. So we settled for the treadmill at the gym in Dusit Thani. I tried running a 10 kph speed, then 11 kph. I could only do it for a couple of minutes and had to go back to 9 kph. I ran the treadmill for a total of 34 minutes.
I ate two bowls of rice for lunch as my form of carbo loading for the race. I stopped eating rice some time ago, which helped me lost about 40 pounds, so a generous serving of rice was already a lot for me.
At 5pm, we went to see the second day of the IPTL. I was only hoping to stay until 7pm so I could have enough sleep but I couldn’t pass on the Sharapova vs. Ivanovic match, which was scheduled last for the night, so I stayed until the end.
It was about 10:30pm when the matches ended and we had to order takeout for dinner so we could go back to hotel as soon as possible. Since we learned from the night before that most taxi drivers choose their passengers at this time of the night (we were told they would choose those who had farther destinations), we proceeded to the bus stop right away.
Waiting for the bus took about 30 minutes and we were stuck in traffic for almost an hour. That was long and stressful. We ate our dinner in Nene and Caloi’s suite and I said good night right after. I got to sleep around 12:45am.
I set my alarm at 2:15am (yes, an hour and a half of sleep) so Hazel and I could have enough time to prepare and leave at 3am. But lo and behold, I didn’t get up at 2:15am. I woke up but I while I was trying to set the alarm to snooze, I fell back to sleep and didn’t get to wake up again at 3:30am! We had to rush. I didn’t get to shower and just had to put on my running outfit immediately.
We were able to get on a taxi around 3:45am. Unfortunately, the driver had to stop for a couple of minutes to use the bathroom. Geez! We got to PICC where the starting line was at 4:01am. Thankfully, the race had not started yet. They just finished warming up and was just getting ready to start. It was raining a bit and I was really cold so I couldn’t wait for the race to start.
Then gun start was at 4:11am. My run went fine. I made sure that I stopped to get water on every hydration station to avoid fatigue. I also made sure that I was not accelerating. Each time I felt that I was, I would stop myself and start running slowly again. This was just part of my training after all.
I loved the race. There was no vehicle traffic at all, the hydration stations were adequate and the marshals were helpful enough. Plus, the token after the race were two big cans of milk (I had to leave it at the hotel though because there might have been a chance I would have to pay for it at the airport).
BUT, and this is a big BUT, the route was just wrong. I was shocked to see the finish line at 6am! I reached it at 6:04am, a finish time of 1 hour and 53 minutes! I didn’t feel fatigue so I thought I must have improved significantly. I was thinking that since I didn’t run-walk for the whole course (I only stopped at the hydration stations), I must have run faster than in my previous races, BUT I knew I was not this fast. I am not a sub-2:00 21k runner.
I didn’t have a phone with me so I didn’t get to prove my suspicions. I only found out a few days later that other runners had similar complaints and their trackers measured the course at only about 16k. I felt sad that I didn’t get to run the 21k but I guess a 16k was enough.