My Condura2009 blogpost had put a smile on my face as I recalled that first step I took into running and racing. How I had second-thoughts of registering for it on the last day, how I lost my breath and jog-walked after 4km, how I set-up my song-list, and how glad I was to finish it in 33+ minutes.
Several 10K's and 5 half-marathons (and a Garmin 305) later, I am as excited as I was back then. It's only a few days left until I'll be waiting for the Condura 21k starting gun to set us off.
This race is going to be special since I'll be leading a pack of 21k virgins including LA who was mentioned in my Condura2009 post as the one who convinced (more like forced) me to join that race. He had raced 15k in last year's Mizuno Infinity Run but after that he swore that he'll never race anything further than 10k as he was screaming in pain as his thigh muscles ached. That was then. I guess he didn't want to miss a chance of running up the Skyway, hehe.
PC, a triathlete, had never raced beyond 10k. His best 10k was 58mins. He's pumped up as I am to run this race too.
FP, a bodybuilder, also a 10k finisher.
MP, who I'd often see in races, had never gone beyond 15k (best time 1:39).
PG, an officemate who outran me in the Condura 2009 5k, is also making his 21k debut but with another group.
LA, who had convinced me to join running, has now become my student. "The coach is now the student, the pupil is now the master," he kidded one time.
I've given them a 7-week training sked courtesy of RunnersWorld. It consisted of the usuals: maintenance runs, tempos, speedwork, and Saturday long group runs including an 18k. Except for MP (who regularly plays basketball), the rest of the group was able to follow the sked religiously.
I hope the whole group finishes the race without injury. Our group goal is to finish below 3hrs (enough buffer na yun I think) but my secret goal is to try to go sub-2:20 (my "unofficial" best is 2:23:43 in last year's 22.2k Celebrity run). If I see and feel that they can finish the whole distance, I'll try to increase the pace a bit from our 7:30 mpk flat-out strategy and see if they'll respond (or complain? hehe). I'll let you know the outcome after this Sunday's race.
I'm not really disappointed not to join the full-mary in this year's Condura. It would've been my first. But I thought marami pa namang full marathons scheduled this year (Milo Elims, wink wink). I'm more excited of running up the Skyway which I've driven thru countless times. Yup, it's more of going up the Skyway rather than beating my time. I'll be relishing the moment as we all take that off-ramp in Buendia trudging up to see the sky, just a little nearer than usual.
Let me end with this excerpt from my post last year as I was looking for a 21k training plan to do my first half-mary. I can't believe how much I've accomplished since then, and how much I'm going to accomplish more this year.
"My long-term goal for running is to at least have finished a half-marathon. In particular, I would like to run (and finish) a half-marathon by next year's Condura Run which I hope would have an exciting route similar to last March wherein the runners traversed the Skyway. It was truly an amazing site to see 21k runners approaching the finish line and being given their finisher's medal (not a shirt, mind you, but a medal).
I would like to be one of those (elite) runners come Condura Run 2010, hopefully to conquer the Skyway as well. No need to chase a PR since finishing the whole 21k will be a major feat in itself. Something to add on my "been there, done that" list."
Elite runner daw oh?! Hehehe. Sigh, how time has changed. :)
See you on Feb7!