When Failure Changed You

Turning wounds into wisdom…

Left – September 2014, Right – October 2015

Everyone fails.  Once, twice or maybe a hundred times; just like Thomas Alba Edison when he thought of creating the light bulb, his failures did not stop him from doing what he loves.  It even made him to do something better, until he achieved his goal… Just like him, it may not be phenomenal, I have a story too.
Flashback – I left Kuwait for Korea in July 2014. I was a bouncing 100kg block at that time. Wooohhoooo! One of my friends even threw a joke at me that I am 0.1 ton (Damn, how could they use the unit ton on me). I know I’m heavy and big for my height but I believe that things will be okay if I workout.  I’m sure it will be okay.  So I started having this new life, working out, running, swimming, but nothing really serious as my diet was the same.  SEE-FOOD (When I see food, I eat). I would always try to weigh myself and see very minimal changes; I joined various half marathons, but naaah, nothing.  Ok, I lost weight, 1lb per month.  I’m not really sure if it was a big difference… maybe, at least I’m going somewhere.  I even joined Tokyo marathon in February 2015, and I was around 95Kg; 5kg in 7months.  Then triathlon events came in April and finished last.  At the end of July 2015, I weight 93kg; a loss of 7kg in one year.

Busan Half Marathon Finished at 2:43.
Busan Half Marathon Finished at 2:43.

My friends see me as very optimistic person and I really consider myself the same: fit and able to endure anything that goes in my way. Then, this event came.  70.3 Ironman… A Complete Failure. I blame the full moon, the unforgiving heat and the inconsiderate marshals (even though they are not) for now allowing me to run…

Fine. No problem, I’m fine, Perfect, Try again. I was trying to console myself and so did my friends, but the truth was, it’s not okay. I returned to Korea thinking about it, and I had this realization, that I need to do something different for me to really achieve my goal.

I started planning, and logging my accomplishments manually, there are strava and runkeeper, but putting it this way gave me a sudden thrill of completing every workout.
I started planning, and logging my accomplishments manually, there are strava and runkeeper, but putting it this way gave me a sudden thrill of completing every workout.

I signed up for a number of multisport events, but I told myself that I want to be better. I created a training diary and told myself that I should do it. Whatever my reasons were when I wake up, I have to do it. I get up early to swim or bike or run. Then in the evening do the same. 7 days a week. I rest sometimes but that’s because of my work schedule.  The key was I should have a good sleep.   I used my common sense on my diet; eliminated sugar in my coffee and chose healthier options.

IMG_3687
On the first 2 weeks I saw significant difference on my weight. Wow! This is working.  I shared my plan to few of my friends who I know can motivate me; to keep my sanity (because I’ve never done this before). I would show them what I’m doing and they would virtually pat my back for my job. That feels good.

I consistently workout, and it showed huge results.  All my races may not be a complete success but there is one thing in this pursuit that thrilled me most. I lost 10kg! I looked back on some of my photos a year ago, and it was like I’m looking at two different people, with the same smile (lol).  Even I couldn’t believe on what I have achieved, just when I thought it’s IMPOSSIBLE. Then, I change the way I look at things, then it became, I’M POSSIBLE.  I used my failure as my inspiration to be better, and so I succeed.
Today, I am still aiming to shred few more pounds, I just recently hit sub 2 hours in my last half marathon, and looking forward to improve my time in my marathon pursuit.

DIFFICULT, BUT DEFINITELY ATTAINABLE.

inbody
Monitored my progress with the use of Body Analyzer in the gym I am registered, while the accuracy of the Fat% and other things seemed to be questionable, it is giving me a ball park value and something to target.
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Perdition of Dream (My Milo Story)

Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.

Prince: I LOVE MARATHON!!!

I am not utterly certain when I did start my training. I have really wanted to do Milo Marathon right after Condura Marathon but of course due to my desire to join BDM, TNF and PAU, everything started on the 2nd week of May.

I pulled running buddies like Earl and Allan on the preparation and did an average of 50 to 65 Km per week.  Those were really hard-hitting weeks entailing us to do long runs at the end of the week or during Thursday nights. I really want to improve my marathon time to at least 15 minutes or more…  Athena provided me so much wisdom and Eros to combust my passion to pursue my reverie. 

Come race day…  It was an all out flat route except for the flyovers. It was said that grotesque creatures were there and can suck out the power of your hamstrings on those parts. I ignored it, for I know they were just a measly pixie; however, I didn’t in actual fact realize that 10 of those could give me a great mischief.

Takbo.ph gang

My first 15 Km was just right, and so with my next 11Kilometers; however, lurking beasts started to assault me on the last loop.  I endlessly skipped at Zeus lightning despite of my hamstrings fatigue. The sun-god Helios boasted his strength of sunlight.  Good thing that the takbo.ph naiads, nymphs and mortals were there to offer support.  Merely seeing those joyful faces had already provided me more will to push trough. 

Takbo.ph-AnR Alabang in the last 3K photo: by July Pauli

Ultimately, I finished the race at 4:53:55; it was a little over four-minute improvement on my last marathon.  I felt defeated at the finish line for I have underestimated the route. The dream for the fifteen-minute improvement all went to perdition. I tried to contemplate and evaluate myself after the race, thinking if I really had given my 100% potential. 

Anyway, I am pleased I completed the race with all honesty.  I did not ride a chariot to dash, employed a doppelganger to run for me or teleported like the gods and goddesses of Olympus.  I finished the battle with valor; having faster time maybe a gauge of fitness and rapidity, but it’s finishing the race that quantifies manliness.

CB bib photo by takbo.ph

 

Again, I acknowledged all my friends who were there for support.  Takbo.ph,Team CB and AnR Alabang.  May God bless you always…

Featured Photo: Insignia

Victory belongs to the most persevering. – Napoleon Bonaparte

Insignia

Whatever what you’ve been through… All the pains and struggles, the efforts, the beaten zombie-ish body and the “almost defeated face”… All of it… Will eventually turn into bliss when you finally found the finish line…

But when that day had passed, the insignia of triumph on the other hand will bring it back into vivid colors, like you were time warped…

At the end of your day dreaming you’ll realize… Oh what a crazy guy you are, but then again, you would always want to go back…

BDM Snap Shots

I kept on looking for in the net looking for more of my running photos.  I could almost give up looking for them until I suddenly remembered that Emil is keeping alot.

Thanks my friend, for capturing this moment for me…

Self Proclaimed Team CB as our Support Crew

These three were all waiting for us to arrive.

Take it off!

 It was so humid that time, that I decided to remove my singlet…  Still humid but it relaxed me a bit.

Oh no, but what have I done wrong...

Km I approached Km 50… yes, I am enduring a pain, and it drives me up the wall…

Managed to Smile at the halfway...

 Tried smiling halfway for a photo oppotunity; however, my heart is full of doubts at this moment for the fear of not finishing the race…

Resting somewhere...

That’s less than 10Km left and I’m done… crazy…

Oh no, don't look down...

 I have decided to removed my shoes due to blisters…  I tried running and then walking… 

To the finish (enter chariots of fire soundtrack)

A guy at the back trying to outran me after seeing how close I amto him…  It my competetive spirit and pride that dragged me to push even more…

At last... it was the finishline

 Finished at last…  Baldrunner put on the not so big medal on me and handed me the trophy as well…

Thanks Emil for these shots..  more of his BDM pictures here

The Unbreakable Oath (Condura Marathon 2nd Half)

Struggling...

Never say never… that’s what I keep thinking… but how will you go on if every step would be pain?  Alas, there came an old man informing me that he is a descendant of the argonaut named Nestor.  He told me that I need to move to lessen the pain that bolt of lightning Zeus had cast upon me. I did what he said and it did work for me… at least it made me moved for a couple of kilometers.  He left me when he thinks I should be fine…

Z and Pepsi roving near the skyway...

Km 31… I had hit my wall that quick. I must have really lost a lot of essential glycogen in my body; despite of the ambrosia (GU) that RJ another argonaut had given me when I saw him along the way.  The mead that the naiad Cindy has given me seemed not to affect on me anymore… I think it must just have been my will to go on and to the vow I have made in the river of unbreakable oath Styx that I will do a sub-5 even if I break my leg.  I was about to exit to Olympus when the muses Z and Pepsi handed me something to eat and drink. 

Feeling the 2nd Wind?

Km 33…  The atmosphere was entirely filled with joy for I have seen Pan the musician’s band, trying to energize the runners like me. The aid station made it indeed alive.  Macoy who was a disciple of Asclepius the God of medicine was there spraying ointments to those who are in need.  While being treated by Macoy, Raff from the breed of the sprinter Atalanta galloped away.  I tried bumping him just to let him acknowledge my presence.  I ran along side with him for a few meters until another pain in my calf.  Raff offered his help but I refused told him to proceed.

Alarmed at Raff Outrunning me...

Friends I knew were also struggling suffering the same fate I had.  Some were bitten by Cerberus, the three headed dog, others were kicked by centaurs and others were frozen by the Gorgon Medussa. 

Km 37… I saw Luis on the road.  Who gave me the impression like he was punished the same way Zeus punished Atlas carrying the earth on his shoulders.  Upon talking and running alongside with him, Joyce from team BZ bumped me! Oh no, how could she be at still her pace when everyone seemed so tired.  I panicked and ran trying to catch up but my legs were already stiff… Nymph Vicky and Prince of Marikina also caught up with us, and then Ellen who never faltered for her pace was still natural. Team Bongz had already passed before me… The cold war between us had ended for they have won this battle…   But wait! I still have my own battle to finish, the one I swore in Styx… To finish below 5 hours.

Km 41… Despite of agony, Luis and Vicky sprinted the final Kilometer.  I no longer tried doing the same for I already feel sick…

Tere was just behind for back up...

400m… 300… 200…  Teresa one of Ares horsemen asked me to speed up, I told her I can’t but she told me to do my best and she will catch me on the finish line (If I fell)

Finish Line Post Pic

4:58:01, my official time in this marathon…tere immediately assisted me after finishing together with Chelly. The great hall was packed with happy finishers despite of the hardships we have encountered…many of them congratulated me but I can’t hear anymore and I need to sit down. 

100% wasak!!!

Gail helped me out in stretching my muscles until I was relieved… and then it hit me the moment I somewhat recovered, I did a sub-5.  A 15min improvement from my previous marathon…  Ellen, Joyce, Gab and Raff congratulated me after and then I went to the booth were the children of Nike the goddess of victory is giving away medals to all those who finished.

 

Gail to the rescue on my still existing cramps... thank you!!!

It was indeed a tiring day for daring to be at the abode of the Gods and go back from where I started.  I encountered surprises along the way which could almost make me fall, yet because of my sheer determination and will. I was able to achieve what I want to be…

Thank you guys for the motivation...
with the takbo.ph girls!
Photo Ops with Team BZ, Jix and Mac
takbo.ph boys with Patcon

 Acknowledgment to my friends and family for moral support, to the Nataniel Garcia, Brando Losaria, Jinoe Gavan, Edu Fabian, Paolo Baldisimo for the pictures taken in this blog, to takbo.ph and Renier Pacific for the support. Team CB on our training and efforts on weekends are also helpful. Calibre 45 Ultra-longrun, Cardiac Hills LSD gace me more endurance. I wouldn’t have made it so far without your presence.  Again, THANK YOU!!!

To the new marathoners, I am also proud of you for finishing it. Congratualtions!

The badge of pure effort...

To Ellen, Bongz Joyce and Gab, let’s bring it on! How about a 10K dash???

To the Abode of the Gods… The Great Olympus! (Condura Run 2010 – 1st Half)

‘Twas another memorable quest when the argonaut once again dared to enter the abode of the gods… the Olympus!

The Argonauts with the Nymphs of Takbo.ph

Another sleepless night… Good thing I slept more the day before the big day so I feel that I am more conditioned from my last run where in I challenged the not so worthy Morpheus.

Oh we don't want the sun king "Helios" burn us to death...

I arrived at the Great Hall of Bonifacio High Street minutes passed 3AM with the nymph Tracy.  Busloads of people were already there, all excited at the gun start for the 42Km, 21K, 10K and 5K.  Meeting with the other Argonauts, we bid each other good luck.  I believe that one is important… Those words of encouragement coming from your comrades.

Welcome Condura Marathon!

Blazing Fireworks in the sky were seen before the start to surprise the runners who wants to dare and we were all running after that.  Most people are trying to strategize by running at their own comfortable pace at first.  I was with my comrade Gab along the way for we have discussed that we’re going to pull each other’s leg during the race until one of us quits.  Mark Hernandez, Jixee were running with us for a couple of Km until Gab and I forwarded in our comfortable pace. 

Running along side with Gab

Reaching Kalayaan, we saw the formidable team Dragon Bong Z.  I told Gab that we should sneak out so that we wouldn’t be eaten easily by them.  We galloped when the light of Apollo was not present; both of us were laughing at the competition for the trio are indeed motivating us not to stop.

Olympus… The mouth of Olympus was already right before our eyes.  Both of us are having Goosebumps the moment we cross its threshold making us even more excited.  It was darkness as we ascend.  Good thing the God of Light somewhat shed some light through her sister’s emblem … the moonlight.  We are still running at our comfortable pace when the sun-king Helios was up.  At the Olympus, you can see nothing but the blue clear sky, both of us amazed at our feat. We saw Wilnar and Chris speeding, Bryan, Carly, Tina, Glen, Totoy, Dennis, Luis and Sam.  When it’s our time to turn, Gab mentioned that it will be the time how far are we from the DBZ.  Until we realize that they are just lurking behind us.  They weren’t doing so bad after all so we need to be on our guards. 

Don't be deceived... They are damn ferocious!

Km 25. A sign of the Nymph Vicky was present and so with the Running Ninja Sam before we reach the highest point of Olympus.   I stopped and walk the moment I reach that point and uttered that there’s no way I’m going to run this part for it will truly drained me a lot. 

Around Km 27, I stopped, for Zeus lightning had stricken me.  I was immobile for a few seconds and agony is all I can feel.  Gab who was a few meters ahead of me had already moved forward and so I was alone already. I don’t know what to do… I was already having a hard time. Zeus will definitely not stop until I crawl and stop…  It was a punishment for daring him to gatecrash at his abode.  The shoe that Hermes had given me is not giving me anymore drive.  I was already injured… My dream of reaching my goal is starting to shatter, the Fates are laughing at me now and Hades dark chariots are rampaging to arrest me.  Poor Argonaut is about to be sent to the underworld…

to be continued…

photos from Bryan Rivera, Carmen Cabiles, Carlo Serrano

DNF

To give up means to loose everything…

DSC_9966

DNF. What is this three letter word? What does it mean to a runner like me.  Is it really such a big deal for other runners to accept it?

DNF. Did Not Finish.  Yes, I have to admit that I just encountered this.  I don’t know if I have already exerted my full potential or I was too dim-witted at that moment and I just played around the whole time that’s why these three letters are already in my face.  I just can’t believe it happened…

I am frustrated.  I feel so weak. I feel like I am just a small and mere little boat floating in a wide ocean…. without a sail (haha! drama!)… Everything flashes in my mind when I saw the finishers. I kept asking myself how come I was not able to finish it.  What are our loopholes? Is it just they are fortunate and too persistent while we are not?

Well…. It’s not right to sourgrape… This will be enough…  All I can say for now is, next time… We’re going to finish it.

See you next year!