20 Weekends of Non-Procastination

Time you enjoy wasting is time not wasted.

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Point of View! – (photo from your-e-cards)

Whew, Time flew so fast, I didn’t even notice that the year is about to end.  Soo we will bid goodbye to 2016 and welcome 2017. I didn’t write much on my blog as I have a mixed emotions of laziness in writing, being upbeat on my alleged trainings, active in Toastmasters, writing speeches, working… and many more (lol).

But let me look back on all the races that I have done!

  1. January 31 – Yeouido Marathon – 5:24

The race began at 10AM, -6C. Han River was frozen.  Two loops of 21k.  Got lost at the final kilometer due to disorientation.  I don’t really like this race because the road was opened and we shared the road with the bikers which was quite scary.

  1. March 1 – Ulsan Marathon – 5:06

Good View of Ulsan!  Run with my friend Laejin Park.

  1. March 20 – Seoul “DongA” Marathon – 5:11

Finally ran in the city of Seoul. It was a packed event!

  1. March 27 – Jeju Marathon – 5:13

Probably my sore condition after Seoul Marathon made it worse. Got to see and interact with many old runners in Korea (respect!). Ran with Jinoe (Founder of Takbo.ph).  Weather was still cold at that time but of course, manageable. The beauty of Jeju is definitely spectacular!

  1. April 10 – Gunsan Marathon – 4:58

There were so many cherry blossom trees around Korea, I have thought about Kyungju well, but for a change, I checked out Gunsan. The road is relatively flat and it was indeed a friendly atmosphere.

  1. May 15 – Daegu Olympic Tri – 3:17

First triathlon of the season. I joined a triathlon group called Seoul Synergy!  A year ago, I clocked 3:42 in this race and I was almost the last of the pack. Fortunately, I did better in every category.

  1. May 24 – Pohang Olympic Tri – 3:09

This is one of my most memorable event.  I won a wetsuit that costs around $500. Though I struggled during the bike ride, this is my Personal Best (PB) in an Olympic course.

  1. June 12 – Gwangali to Haeundae 5K swim – 2:0X

While this is not a race, this event was still quite remarkable for me as I swam my longest distance in swimming. We wore fins though which is quite easier.  I swan with my swimming group, 9-Fin.

  1. June 17 – Busan Half Ironman – DNF

It was a bad race right from the start of the event.  It was foggy in the morning and waves were high during the swim course, thus making the swim course short by the organizers. The bike was a terrible hill (for me).  I tried my best to cope up but, at km 53 of my bike pursuit, I had a flat tire. I got some spare and asked some volunteers to help; unfortunately, odds were not really on my favor as the spare blew up as well. This was my 4th failure in a half ironman event.

  1. July 3 – Sokcho Olympic Tri – 3:24

Oh this race… The race was remarkable but what’s more fascinating was my travel to Sokcho as I drove 500Km from Busan and back.  It was a bit tough as I got lost going to the place and it was raining as I return.  I felt so tired during specially in running. What good about this race was I was able to help someone by lending my spare wetsuit to him.

  1. July 17 – Gunsan Great Man Triathlon (Half Distance) – 7:42

Finally, a half distance event that I have completed though it’s just a local event and not an Ironman, but who cares!  The swim course is quite tough here but with my determination to complete the race, I did it!

  1. August 15 – Uljin Olympic Triathlon – 3:22

Triathlon in summer in Korea is really bad.  Or probably I’m no longer used to it. I had few mishaps in this event as I failed to get a room thus making me sleep in my car.  Tired, tired, tired, but there’s no one to complained with. Oh well.

  1. September 4 – Kyungju Olympic Triathlon – 3:15

Weather is getting better and so is my time as I slowly catch up. I did this race a year ago and felt that I performed better in the swim course.

  1. September 25 – Gurye Ironman – 6:42

This is my redemption race from a failed ironman event a year ago, where I had a flat tire at Km 15. Thankfully, this time I prepared as hard as I could and ensured that I won’t have another bad luck. I did it!

  1. October 1 – Ultra Trail Mount Jiri (55K) – 15:19

I was quite tensed in this event as I was trying to comeback from Ultrarunning… trail-ultrarunning.  The good thing was, I met a number of runners, Hyonsim (who joined the race) and Jeongho and they helped me a lot in grasping a few trails in Busan.  It was quite a fun experience.

  1. October 16 – Gwangali to Seongjeong 10K swim (Race Stopped)

This was supposed to be a 10K event, but a week ago, a tsunami occurred in the coastline of Busan and it was raining at that time.  Surprisingly, the organizers made a go signal to proceed only to cut the race in Haeundae – We manage to swim a little over 5km in 2hrs. Though the event was canceled, the decision was still a good call.

  1. October 22 – Teongyeong ITU – 3:23

This was the last triathlon of the year in Korea.  I did the same race a year ago and I for sure had a hard time. I managed to cut my time by 19 minutes in this course.

  1. November 12 – Baekyangsan Challenge 25K – 4:22

I was just thinking of races to join and found this event. It was organized by a man named Mike Noonan who I believe did a lot of effort in bringing this race for us. We normally hiked in this mountain but I never really tried running it. I discovered a great temple and made me admire Busan more. We got a beer glass as a memento, and a victory party in a local beer brewery pub.

19. November 20 – Changwon Marathon – 4:38

There’s no more triathlon, so I’m back to just… running… lol! One of my swimming teammates was there to run a half marathon, and told me that I should try my best to run 4:30.  Apparently, I did but after discovering that I missed my chip… I lost the enthusiasm and was most for the last part of the race.

  1. December 3 – Busan Galmegi 100K Ultramarathon – 15:11

I really dared to exceed my limit for my last race of the year. A 100K race.  91 participated the event but… wait, I blogged about it already – so… 🙂

Wow!  20 weeks of craziness.  People had various reactions on what I do, they say I am crazy, or wasting my time, my money, whatever but for me, I am just glad that I did it;  I didn’t really thought that I can do these things and realized that I am so good in underestimating my true potential.

I am so excited for the next year to come as I booked 5 races until March.  We’ll see.  For sure, the best is yet to come.

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A Hundred Kilometers in Busan

Challenges are beautiful!

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At the starting line with my favorite Ironman Shirt

It was Dec 3, 2016.  I found myself among the 91 participants who registered the Busan Galmegi Ultramarathon.  I did 6 marathons this year (Yeouido, Ulsan, Seoul, Jeju, Gunsan and Changwon) a trail Ultramarathon (Jirisan 55K), a few Olympic triathlons and 3 Half Ironman races; those were great races but I really thought of running a 100K ultramarathon before the year end and luckily, I found this event.

To be honest, I found the cut off of this race quite… errr tight. The time I did the BDM 102K six years ago, I clocked 17:22 and then a year after in BDM 160, though my time was not recorded at km 102, I know I did at least 16hrs, so this was still quite a challenge for me, but thinking that I am a wiser (or probably not) runner now, I know, that I can so really damn do it!  Thanks to my friends Hyonshim and Jeongho for giving me moral support before the race! That add up to my confidence. Hah!

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People were surprised to see me as I was the only foreigner in the event.  They inquired where I am from and what races have I been doing.  I am surprised as well to see many of them myself as some of the participants are good enough to be considered my dad, but I have so much respect for them as I have seen their performances in races that I have joined.  Truly amazing!
It was probably 6oC that night.  I was wearing my favorite ironman shirt, that’s good for chilly weather. I started slow as I know it will be really a long race, though it was weird because I felt my legs were a bit heavy, and here I was analyzing, maybe I didn’t rest enough or maybe my legs were still tired due to my Changwon Marathon two weeks ago – but heck whatever, “I am already running and need to suck it up whatever the odds are.”

The race was a loop of 4 which I thought quite boring, there were pros and cons but I looked at it positively (it doesn’t matter). On first loop, 3hrs 20min; I will just be ok with this speed… while I thought everything fine, I was wrong… because my drama began at km 27 as I felt my stomach was knocking and telling me that something is wrong. I ignored… but I started having chills, I endured it until I reached the nearest place where I… and that took me more than 10 minutes…

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It was dark and cold… I was tried my best finding motivation. Thankfully, I didn’t give up… I did it!  

After that stop, the cold wind pierced me, I needed to stop again to wear my wind breaker. At the 3rd checkpoint I told myself, that maybe it’s not bad to quit; however, I saw my friend JeongHo and gave me rice rolls and energy bars – I was already a bit disoriented that it took time for me to notice him – haha! Damn I can’t quit now.

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Worried at Km 75.

At km 50 – I clocked 7hrs 20 min.  I think that is bad… It took me 4 hours to complete the second loop, I immediately had some food and left the check point, and I can really feel how sore I was.

Before the next checkpoint, quitting played again on my mind, yet to my surprise, my good friend JeongHo was still there. Damn, damn, damn… no quitting!

Km 75 – 11hrs 20min… I just have 3hrs40minutes to spare… At that time, I know that I will really have difficulty… Km 87.5 – 13hrs 10 min…  7:10AM. With less than 2 hours the remaining 12.5km is easy on fresh legs, but not with mine at that time… I keep telling myself to push, but my body would no longer respond to it.  I know I could finish but, not with the cutoff…

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They waited for me… Even I was beyond the cut off by 11 minutes… sob. 

Km99. 15hrs… Suddenly I saw the organizers – they were shouting at me, Push!  Push!  They ran with me… Until I eventually reached the finish line.

To be honest, I felt a very slight emotional pain of not completing the race on time, although as I try to reflect, that was my best 100km time, and I should be content about it.  The organizers who walked with me were happy as well with my success; 61 out of 91 runners completed the event, JeongHo recounts that some of the marshals thought that I would quit soon, but I was so thankful I didn’t.

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My good friend who supported me in the event.  Finisher of The Gobi Desert 250k Ultramarathon

Indeed, it was a great day. Will I do it again?  Yes!

 

Victory Dinner in Mabuhay Filipino Restaurant in Busan Station