7-Eleven Run 2017 | A Run on Skyway
7-Eleven Run 2017 was my second time to run on Skyway. The first time I set foot on Skyway was seven years ago at the Condura Run 2010 wherein I ran my first marathon (42K).
Based on my fitness at the start of 2017, I’m just comfortable to race 10K on the first week of February 2017. I, however, registered for 16K to push myself further towards my journey on regaining my fitness.
I wasn’t able to religiously train for 7-Eleven Run 2017 but I was able to start running more frequently compared to my 2016 running rate. I’ve also ran a tune up race (Resolution Run 2017) prior this race. These preparations, I thought, would be good enough for a decent 16K run at 7-Eleven Run 2017.
Series of Unfortunate Events
The week leading to race day was a series of unfortunate events. I started to have runny nose on Monday night of the race week. My condition worsen on Wednesday as the combo of cough-colds-headache hit me. I decided to rest and take time off from work and running in an attempt to prevent worsening of my condition. Unfortunately, low grade fever joined the cough-colds combo come Thursday morning. I wasn’t able to rest since I reported to work despite my condition in order to cope with several work related deadlines prior end of the week. To make my Thursday worse, Dysmenorrhea said hello on Thursday afternoon (sigh! 🙁 ). My consolation for the week was cough and colds were already tolerable on Friday.
I was feeling okay on Saturday morning. I told myself that I’m good for the 7-Eleven Run. To further prepare myself, I made sure that I had good meals throughout the day and started hydrating myself with an electrolyte drink at dinner time. Not until Saturday night, the night before race day…
I had to wake up three times from my sleep to go to the toilet brought about by a diarrhea attack. I was not certain what caused the diarrhea but I tried to rehydrate with water every after I visited the toilet. One of the possible culprits of my upset stomach is the electrolyte drink so I was hesitant to rehydrate with it.
Before leaving my place for the race, I had a few bites of savory pie, had a dash of salt and drank a glass of water in an attempt to replace the water and electrolytes I lost throughout the night of diarrhea attack. I searched for Diatabs in my medicine container so I could take it before the race but only found one that already expired in 2016. I opted not to take it.
Arrival at the Race Venue
We arrived in Filinvest, Alabang at around 2:30 am, 1.5 hours before the 4:00 am gun start. It was part of our plan to arrive that early so we would have enough time finding a parking space and doing last minute preparations for the race.
We first attempted to park on the covered parking of Festival Mall. It’s the nearest to the starting line and most convenient space to park. Unfortunately, all parking slots were already full so as with the two adjacent open parking spaces. We then tried our luck on my favorite Festival Mall parking space, the one in front of Slimmers World. There were still lots of available parking slots so we were good. It’s still relatively near the starting line, around 300 meters away.
Since it was still early, we took a nap for a few more minutes. At 3:00 am, my stomach was again urging me to go to the toilet. We then did our last minute race preps and I headed on to the nearest portalet.
I was rehydrating with water and was hoping to find Diatabs among the sponsor booths in the race village as I walked my way to the 16K runners assembly area. I didn’t find one so I just hoped and prayed that I would be able to finish the race disaster free. 😛
The 16K Race
The runners assembly per wave was very organized. Wave J runners which include the elites and competitive runners were let in first towards the starting line. Wave K runners followed next until a certain distance from the Wave J runners was established. I observed that the Wave J runners were relatively few hence race start for this wave would not be so crowded which I prefer. I asked one of the marshals if I can join the Wave J runners and she allowed me to do so.
As I joined the Wave J runners, I saw my triathlete friend, Chang and joined her in doing the warm up exercises. As the race start nears, my hands were sweating cold. I was not sure if it was an effect of my GI distress (gastrointestinal distress) or if I was just anxious of what could happen during the race. I tried to keep my race doubts away from my head by having a chitchat with Chang.
The Wave J runners went off at 4:00 am. The game plan going on in my mind that time was to run on my usual comfortably hard pace, hydrate as necessary and adjust accordingly to what my body would feel during the race.
I was feeling good at the start and didn’t struggle on running the steep incline entering the Skyway Alabang ramp. I tried to keep and hold on to my pace. The sight of the 21K runners running on the other side of Skyway towards the finish line helped in diverting my attention away from the accumulating tiredness as the race progressed.
The Skyway seemed like a never-ending uphill. I started to feel dizzy at around 7K. My body was starting to tell me that the continuous uphill and my current pace was too much for my body condition. I slowed down and took half of my energy gel at the next hydration station. I didn’t consume all of my energy gel, paranoid that it might trigger another upset stomach episode.
Upon reaching the U-turn past the 8K mark, I somehow had an adrenaline rush. Thinking that I have already recovered, I attempted to increase my pace again. After around 500 meters of faster pace, I felt dizzy again that I thought I would faint. I slowed down trying to make my mind and body work together.
I ran the remaining kilometers reacting to what my body feels. My pace would increase whenever my body felt I can, then I would feel like either throwing up or fainting that I would slow down again, but I never resorted to walking.
Crossing the Finish Line
I was already feeling weak and exhausted on the last 2 kilometers of the race. Running is a mental game. Imagining myself crossing the finish line helped on pushing my body to keep on running.
At last the finish line was on sight, just a few hundred meters left. And then, there was this steep curved incline as runners make their way to the finish line. My exhausted legs gave in and quickly walked this short steep incline. I was a bit disappointed that I wasn’t able to resist walking when it was just a few hundred meters away from the finish. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against runners who walk during races. It’s just that one of my race rules for myself is that I would not walk on 21K and shorter races.
I crossed the finish line at a distance of 15.95 K in 1 hr 42 mins 04 secs according to my Garmin. My run had an average pace of 6:23 mins/Km.
I paved my way outside the finish line chute in search for water. Gulps from a bottle of cold water I got in the race village eased out my exhaustion. When I had myself back together, I got my finisher loot bag, shirt and medal at the claiming area.
B finished just a few minutes after me with a finish time of 1 hr 45 mins 19 secs. It took a while before I was able to locate her in the midst of the large crowd of finishers who were busy getting more loot from the sponsor booths.
My Official Race Performance
16K Gun Time – 1 hr 42 mins 06 secs
16K Chip Time – 1 hr 41 mins 44 secs
Average Pace (at Chip Time) – 6:21 mins/Km
Overall Rank – 144th out of 1,463 runners
Female Rank – 28th out of 600 female runners
My 6:21 mins/Km average pace put me on the 28th spot out of the 600 female finishers. It was significantly slower than my previous 16K race but I was still grateful that I was able to finish my Skyway run safely and disaster free.
I belong to the upper 9% of the entire 16K finishers based on the overall data of the 16K field.
My performance was subpar compared to my previous races but what matters more is I’m on my way to regaining my fitness. There are several factors which might caused my subpar performance but one thing is sure, I need to continue on my training and on doing my best to sneak in run workouts in my hectic work sked so I can perform better next time. Probably, I should also start considering a conscious effort on reducing my weight.
Race events usually serve as venues for runners to catch up. B, Chang and I hung out for a while at the race village after the race. We were catching up over a hot cup of City Blends coffee which was served free for the runners. We also spent time watching the post race program then chilled over Slurpee (also served to runners for free) when the sun started to make its presence felt.
We later had our breakfast at McDonald’s ATC (Alabang Town Center) since I have a transaction at ATC that day.
Of course, I had a Funko Pop race reward. I had Star Wars’ R2D2 for 7-Eleven Run 2017.