As I write this entry, the familiar jingle advertisement of Milo kept playing on my mind… “Growing up with olympic energy, growing up with Milo. Milo everyday!”
The brand recall is very effective, as my parents always see to it that we have ample supply of the chocolate drink everyday. The campaign also hooked me into sports. I always dreamt of becoming a basketball player. I can still remember the joy in my face and that of my brother, when our father gave us our first basketball gear (ball, goal, shoes). Since then, we played almost everyday after school, either in the campus or in the neighborhood. We even join small basketball leagues to hone our skills. Sometimes, I am frustrated whenever I am benched because either I lack height, or I’m no match to the player I’m guarding.
While growing up, I never paid attention to the Milo Marathon Events. It just doesn’t appeal to me before. I’m 32 years old now. This year will be Milo’s 33rd National Marathon. I practically grew up with it unnoticed (Milo started sponsoring the event in May 1974). If only I gave it even a single minute to linger on my mind when I was still in my formative years, perhaps, I could have already built my mileage and enjoyed its sweet experience much much earlier in my life.
And so upon learning that the registration is open, I said, “This year, I will never miss the country’s premier running event.” Nicky and I planned to go to Greenhills last Sunday, 14 June 2009 after the 1st PTAA running event in UP Diliman, for registration to the 33rd National Milo Marathon. Rafa, Alvin, and Cesar also ran that Sunday morning, and joined us going to Greenhills for our usual recovery meals. While having breakfast, we exchanged chats about the run in UP (our first, and we’re awed by the running environment), and that eventually led us discussing about Milo. Easily, the three also decided to register, and hurried to the nearby grocery to get their required Milo purchase, and headed to G/F Vasquez Madrigal Bldg., in Annapolis Street for registration.
While accomplishing our entry forms, I suddenly felt the same humbling experience most runners felt, where one submits and commits himself to be at the starting line when the gun sets off, to run the prescribed route, and to be at the finish line thereafter. Nicky and I registered for our first half-marathon, Alvin and Cesar for their first 10k, and Rafa for 5k (I think he’s into something here… PR/PB?). I honor Alvin and Cesar. Initially, they wanted to register for the 5k run. But after learning that 5k runners get a t-shirt, they shifted to 10k for the nice singlet.
I also felt some affirmation when I received my race kit and learned that I’m runner 2740. It’s a bit similar to my car plate, ZJS-740. What’s the significance? Well, I’m driving my car at a comfortable pace of 2000rpm for fuel efficiency. My race number will serve as a reminder to run the distance at a comfortable pace. Forget about the time. Conserve energy, and ensure that I’ll reach the finish line. Praise and thanks be to God for this! Finishing it within the cut-off time of 2:30:00 will be big time bonus for me (my average comfortable pace right now is 7:30 min/km).
Honestly, I feel some degree of jittery. But I’m confident I will finish the race. I resolve that this shall only form part of my on-going training plan to build mileage for future runs. The jitters may just be a result of the inner battle of my mind, body, and spirit.
To focus, I will continue to be dedicated to my Tuesday/Friday easy runs, Thursday tempo runs, and Sunday long runs. I will have enough rest and take the right amount of food, drinks, and vitamins. I will continue to learn things about running from my favorite running references (runner friends, runner mentors, books, blogs, runnersworld.com, etc).
I will run my first half-marathon in my first Milo running event. This will definitely be one sweet moment for me. And my reply to Milo’s 2009 inspiration: “Kaya Ko ‘Yan!”
Post script: Henry will also run his first 21k. To my running buddies, I really praise and thank Jesus for sharing with me the joy of running. I pray for an injury-free and joyful runs ahead.