The Valley of (Sudden) Death: A DNFer’s Tale


After reading my partner in (ultra) crime Dennis the Runningpinoy’s very graphic account of what transpired last Saturday at the first-ever frontRUNNER Valley Trail Challenge held at Nuvali in Sta. Rosa, I have decided I cannot possibly come up with a better – if not more descriptive – blog post. By the way, have you read it? Get full details here.

The Close-up smile before the copious tears.

So now that you know, I, being the queen of stating the obvious (only sometimes, anyway) and at the risk of sounding more pitiful (uuuyyy, pa-damsel in distress effect pa kunyari!) would like to state for the record that I DNF’d – with only a few kilometers left to cover before the finish line! And even more painful than that, I dragged Dennis down the highway of shame with me. I tried as best as I could to push the pain on both knees away – mentally, at least – but sometimes, you REALLY have to listen to what your body is telling you. In my case, my body wasn’t just ‘telling’ me it was feeling some minor discomfort – it was screaming in pain and begging for respite. As much as I am a proud woman with a relatively high tolerance for physical pain  — Remember, this girl took a major plunge while MTB riding and suffered cuts, bruises, and what-not and had to be CT-scanned and X-rayed but was back on her feet doing hiphop in just three days and competing in a 5k race exactly a week after the accident. Yes, I’m a mutant like that. —  I also know when to throw in the towel and call it an unfinished race. Live and fight another day, right?

With Team UNGAS.

With Reebok Team Captain, Titanium Runner

With Dennis and birthday boy Totoy

With Paul aka Pageman (thank you for the plaster on my left knee!)

Dennis asked me several times, perhaps noticing the drastic drop in my pace and the limping which I could no longer hide, if I’m feeling okay and (still) in shape to see the 58k race to its very end. And I, of course, would only smile and say h*ll yeah.  Unfortunately, I can stretch my tolerance for pain so far. With less than 4kms to go, I found myself slumped on the trail, crying both in agonizing pain and utter frustration over what I consider to be another failure. My failure. Do you ever feel like you’re being too hard on yourself sometimes? I do, except that it’s more frequent with me. Sometimes I cannot even forgive myself for something as simple as spelling error or mismatched socks. It’s horrible, isn’t it?

Before gunstart.

Well, anyway, and this has to be said, Jonel Mendoza and frontRUNNER did a great job of putting this race together and despite DNF-ing, I’m still glad I participated. Overall, the combination of greens, paved road, mini river crossing, hills, and pebbled dirt road made the trail exciting and challenging at the same time. Even today, I ask myself how it came to be that I took on Mt. Pinatubo by the horns (so to speak) and actually finished second in the 50k race and fail in a major way in Nuvali which is not exactly as rugged and raw as the former. Not to say that I did everything perfect. In fact, as I was telling Pageman earlier on Facebook, except for the generous application of petroleum jelly on my feet, I did nearly everything wrong before and during the race itself: (1) zero sleep on Friday night, (2)ate only half a tuna sandwich for lunch and half serving of Pad Thai for dinner, (3) and during the race itself, my body was literally powered only by Pocari sweat, a minimal amount of water, and a bar of Nature Valley. Add all those elements together and voila! You have a dust-and-mud-covered girl, slumped on the dirt road, bawling her eyes out in pain — until finally being carried on a stretcher to the finish line area.

Oh yes, Siree, I took the ambulance ride of shame! *hides face* But I have the ability to bounce back so fast so don’t be surprised to see me pounding the road again soon. *shows face again*

But enough about me. We have 10,000 more blog posts to cover all that, so just sit tight ya? Dennis said some glowing stuff about the trail/route and I am in total agreement. Hard on the knees as some parts of it were (especially on my 32-year-old knees, demmit!), there truly were some exquisite slices of nature to see and experience that you cannot help but feel revitalized no matter the exhaustion. Dennis took some nice shots and I’m sharing it with you.

The hills are alive with the sound of my quiet tears (yes, drama queen!)

And it's still a looong way to go...

Bowed head, shoulders hunched over --- yep, I was already gone at this point.

Dennis the Runningpinoy

Vicky the Runningchimay --- ay hindi pala, mukha lang. hihihi.

And now that we got the pagpa-pa-cute out of the way, let’s talk shoes. Notice that steel grey + neon green beauty in some of my photos? That’s TERRA and she belongs to the Reebok ZigTech family. To those who have yet to get themselves familiarized with Reebok’s latest shoe performance technology, here’s all you need to know: Reebok ZigTech shoes are designed to conserve and return energy to the athlete for a soft and springy ride. And due to the sheer volume of cushioning in the ZigTech sole unit, training or running is much easier on the leg muscles, especially the shins and hamstrings. Now, runners out there, this you would know — shin splints are a common injury, but Reebok ZigTech running shoes give athletes a bounce and energy for longer training sessions with less strain on the muscles. And that’s how you get a pair that allows you to go further and faster with less fatigue, but without reducing the work your muscles are doing for a much more rewarding running sessions. But my Terra is, right now, the only one of its kind here and that’s because this line of offroadies is not due for release until 2012. How lucky am I?!? VERY. And she did perform well at the race, carrying my weight all the way to the 52nd kilometer without giving me a single blister. So yes, I would give her an A+ for cushioning.

Terrific TERRA

So you see, it wasn’t all bad for me last weekend. Looking back, I had more to be grateful for (shoes, friends, nature, running, and very important life lessons I mulled over while running) than to feel bad about at the Valley Trail Challenge.

Thank you God – YOU. ARE. AWESOME. BEYOND.WORDS.

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Clutter Express: Reebok Bloggers’ Night, Total Fitness, and GAG-O


It seems to me that everything is running at top speed these days. There’s just so much going on – mostly at work – that I sometimes have to sprint in order to keep pace. And when that happens, I swear that I can see my heart beating through the fabric of my shirt!

First things first.

Two weekends ago, I introduced you to Purple Pippa, my second pair of Zig Glam who carried all 97lbs of me from the starting line of the Fuego Sunset Run all the way through the 5k finish line. A few days ago, Bruno, Basia, and Purple Pippa, welcomed another addition to the growing Reebok family — feminine yet tough as nails TERRA. Terra is the offroad/trail shoes featuring the Zig(Tech) technology which comes in sushi green and flat grey colours. Terra will be seeing hard action in the upcoming 50k Nuvali Trail Challenge organized by Ultramarathoner and frontRUNNER Magazine owner Jonel Mendoza. Wanna know just how lucky I am these days? It seems I will be the only one in the country who owns this pair as Terra won’t be released in the local market – at least (not) for now! I just love, love, LOVE Reebok!

Terrific TERRA

Incidentally, I will have Dennis the Running Pinoy running by my side in Nuvali. If you remember, Dennis was my rock when I dared to run my first ultramarathon last year at the PAU 50k Mt. Pinatubo Trail Challenge and landed second behind the unstoppable Camilla Brooks. He never left my side when he could just as easily have, at any given time of that harrowing – but very fulfilling! – 9 hours or so of trail running adventure. Because of that, Dennis is now officially the Batman to my Batgirl!  Fellow Team Reebok ambassador Titanium Runner will also be there running the same 50k distance.

Batman and Batgirl of Ultra Trail Running

With The Running Pinoy and Titanium Runner doing Nuvali 50k with me, how can I not cross the finish line in one piece? Now IF I land another podium finish, would it then be safe to assume to I am officially ‘made’ as a runner, nay, ultrarunner? Not yet? Okay then. Next stop: PAU 60k and BDM 102.

***

More on REEBOK. So last Monday, Reebok held the ZigTech Run Bloggers’ Night at Paul Calvin’s in Burgos Cirle, The Fort. Close to 40 runner-bloggers trooped to the venue, including everyone’s favorite The Bull Runner Ms. Jaymie Pizzaro, in a show of solid support to Reebok’s first-ever run to be held on the 5th of June. TEAM REEBOK was there, along with the official photographers, and of course, Ms. Yoya and Ms. Villy of Reebok Philippines – the two ladies responsible for making us perform and look good while running!

With Ayn and Beep Beep of Team Reebok

Flanked by Titanium Runner and frontRUNNER's Jonel Mendoza

Bloggerful of Fun at the Reebok Bloggers' Night

To all our runner and blogger friends, thank you for your love and support! And again, to all runners who have yet to register for the REEBOK ZigTech Run, you have until the 4th of June to register for the race. Don’t miss this one, okay?

***

Have you picked up a copy of this month’s TOTAL FITNESS magazine, yet? What the?!? We’re more than halfway through May, you should already have a copy in your home, car, office, and even your Ex’s bedroom!  Read my article on the Ultimate Wake Championships held last January and another feature on running.  Besides that, there are tons of interesting articles on motoring, sports, health, relationships and a few other topics of great interest.

Shameless plugging by the writer.

***

And finally, here’s something FIERCE, FABULOUS, and FUNNY from The Grupong Rainbow…

GAG-O’s SHANGHAI SURPRISE Day 1!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoBXxNvTAwE

Remember that time we went to Shanghai for a quickie tour? Well, we didn’t just go all touristy in the city labelled as the Paris of the East. In between train rides, coffee breaks, hunting down cuties and what-not, we actually shot some scenes for our youtube show GAG-O!

I watched the episode more than ten times already and quite frankly, I am getting sick of my face and my nasal voice, so can I pass on the viewing duties to you guys and make us even more famous than we already are? Great! And while you’re at it, why don’t you click on the share or email button and send it to whoever you think needs some major cheering up.

Okay. Now. I. Am. Good.

***

Oh wait. Happy birthday to my gorgeous boyfriend who is celebrating his 31st on Friday, 20th of May!  We have come  a loooong way, you and I. Here’s a toast to so much more in the coming years. ILY.

Happy birthday, Luv!:*