01 March 2009

Botak Paa-Bilisan 5K at The Fort (Feb 28)

I stood quietly behind the start line along with hundreds of runners in this morning's race. I had already done my warm-ups in place and was just waiting for the gun start.

As runners around me chattered excitedly and took pre-run pictures, I looked antisocial, listening to the music on my earphones and checking and re-checking my watch to make sure that the distance and activity time were set to zero, so I could properly track my run.

I wasn't being withdrawn and standoffish, actually. With only one good eye, I felt it best to economize my movements and literally get a feel of the concrete road from where I stood, as a way of prepping myself. As I've mentioned in my last post, my right eye is sore and a little red due to overuse of contact lens, and my doctor has instructed me to go without contact lens in the said eye. Which leaves me with only one working eye, the left.

Seconds before the race started, I said a quick prayer, hoping that I wouldn't trip and fall because of my, er, handicap. I wasn't entirely confident about doing well in this race due to my limited vision, but I also wanted to prove to myself that I could hack it. After all, some people would run with injuries (and on some occasions, I would see this elderly man running fast with only one arm), so what's to stop me from running with only one contact lens on?

I was also insistent on running this Botak 5K race in particular because my first-ever run last October 2008 was also a Botak Paa-Bilisan event. Also 5K. In a way, I wanted to see how far I'd gone from my first race to this current one. Believe me, I haven't gone so far in terms of improved performance, haha. But I'm glad to see that I've made some progress in improving my endurance and pace. Because in my first race, I had a S-L-O-W total run of 43 minutes.

Today's race started late (unlike runrio races), so by the 4th kilometer, the sun was already up and the glare of its light was merciless on my poor eyes. Yup, summer's back with a vengeance, I thought to myself.

The first two kilometers were the hardest for me because my muscles still felt cold, and I was trying to adjust to running with only one good eye. To be safe and prevent myself from tripping, I stuck to the middle of the road and looked out for potholes. I was pretty conservative in my running and in my goals for this race; I just wanted to make it to the finish line, safe and in one piece. That's already a lot, considering my very poor vision.

Of course, when I saw the finish line (from my left eye), my face broke into a smile and I ran a little faster. I clocked in at 35:16 and checked my watch, which had the exact same activity time. A 7:05 pace wasn't altogether bad for this girl with the vision handicap. And when I checked my right eye afterwards, much of the redness was gone and the eye even looked a tad brighter.

This is totally encouraging. At least I can still do practice runs in the next couple of days even with one eye. Hurrah!


  1. Hooray for the One-Eyed Runner!!! :) Congratulations! But Gina ha... medyo delikado yata what you did. I'm glad you're fine and didn't trip or anything.

    I guess your eye also benefited from the high you got from finishing well and in one piece. Hope it gets better soon.

    Summer na nga... it was also quite warm when we were in the last kilometers of DocFit. Got me thinking... hirap na tumakbo sa races. Unless they start earlier than 6.

    Condura here we come! Bring out your sunblock!

  2. Haha, actually medyo delikado nga sya. Pero matigas ulo ko eh. I'm just really grateful that I finished okay even with one good eye. I'll just be extra careful as well in my succeeding practice runs.

    Yeah, I hope they start the races now as early as 5:30am. The sun's a real killer. I can just imagine being on top of that flyover, with the sun beating down on us. Waah.

  3. Way to go Gina! Run with you soon!

  4. Thanks, RUNdeh! *hug* Let's all go out again soon!