Back to Zero: Pinoy Fitness SUB-1 10K Challenge

This morning, I found myself running in the Pinoy Fitness Sub-1 10K Challenge.  “Sub-1” means running 10km under an hour, something that most runners consider to be the ultimate goal in this distance category.  Now this is no easy feat at all.  Related literature says that only athlete-level runners can actually pull this off, them having the special training required to meet the physical demands that this task entails.


It’s been five months and five days since I truly last exercised.  I stopped having a healthy lifestyle last October because of a minor operation that I had on my left thigh (read about it here).  I was supposed to stop all my endorphin-endorsing activities for about a month, until my thigh was strong enough.  That meant no running, no surfing and no yoga.  I missed all of them so much but I got paranoid of straining myself so I prolonged the recuperation period to two months.  Then three.  Next thing I knew, It’s already been five months and I hadn’t done any exercise at all.

Hence, the training for a sub-1 10km run that usually takes months, I crammed into one week.  I ran for 15 minutes last Monday, 20 minutes last Wednesday and 40 minutes last Friday.  Crazy, I know.  But my life got hectic and I got used to not sweating.  So when I went back to running last Monday, I felt every cell of fat in my tummy and thighs weigh down my stride.  I also felt my lungs screaming, no longer used to the exertion.  My knees, legs and feet acted up too quickly, too, threatening me with cramps at every step.  And worst of all, I felt the familiar negativity that my brain was all too happy to dish out: You can’t do this!

And that was how being back to zero in running felt like.

This morning, not 1km from the starting line, I was already breathing like a racehorse.  And my brain was already telling me that I shouldn’t have even come (I really shouldn’t have), that I wasn’t trained for running 10km (I really wasn’t) and that I wouldn’t make it.  Well, my brain was only right on the first two.  Because I was able to do it.  I ran-walked my way around BGC, up and down the Kalayaan flyover and in Buendia, all the way to the finish line.

And the amazing thing about it?  I didn’t feel like I was on the brink of dying at all!

Pinoy Fitness SUB-1 10K Challenge

Still standing.

I finished the run in 1 hour, 18 minutes and 35 seconds, according to Nike+.  Granted, I was not able to run the length of the course in under 1 hour, nor was I even able to beat my first ever 10km run time (1:17:__).  But in the end, I was just happy that I was able to finish it.

Now, how about an aquathlon?  ^___^

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Jayce Cairo

Jayce is a linguaphile who speaks four languages and currently works as a translator to finance her various interests. Scoring very high on “Openness to Experience” on the Big Five Personality Test, she is an avid globetrotter who aspires to retire at 35 and travel for the rest of her life.


  1. takbo takbo din pag may time. pangtanggal stress 🙂

  2. What running shoes would you recommend for beginners? 🙂

    • Hi Lee! Thanks for dropping by. =) Well, I think you should have your stride checked at Runnr to see if you are pronated or neutral. Then you should pick your shoes from there. Look for shoes that give you the most support. I’ve been using Asics and I think they are the best. ^___^

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