The social netwoking phenomenon on the internet has been an incredible 5-years or so meteoric journey. First, there was Friendster. Then, Multiply and MySpace. But Facebook and Twitter were the sites that really got everyone from all ages hooked on the internet, from 8 year olds to 80. But for athletes, runners, cyclists and triathletes, thank God for Dailymile!
For a runner like me, Dailymile has been heaven-sent. I encountered the site from a post on Facebook, then started tinkering with it. I thought this could be very useful for me since I could track my running workouts. You could map your running routes and find out how far you ran! Cool! Then by doing so you can see what was your running pace (min/km or min/mil), how many calories were burned and what gear you used. It's like a personal logbook of your workouts! How convenient! For weeks I used Dailymile solely for this purpose. Then I found out that there were many Cebuanos using it as well. Some guys I knew, but mostly total strangers who, by the look of their profile pictures, also loved running. I figured it was like Facebook for athletes!
After a few months of runs, races and workouts, I finally bought a Garmin Forerunner 305 last May. Now my Dailymile workouts really looked cool! My time and pace were accurate to the last millisecond while the GPS feature showed the map of where I ran after syncing, no need to map your routes. Still I used the site merely for logging my workouts.
But with the ever-growing running boom in Cebu, runners were flooding Facebook and other running sites like ceburunning.com or Doc Reel Bontol's blogspot, reelrunning.com. Dailymile users also started to grow and even though I only knew a few Cebuanos, you couldn't help but add and be added by these running enthusiasts. The comments and motivations started to increase, from friends and from total strangers. Some guys whose faces look familiar only from road runs or weekend races, but never formally introduced to each other. And so my Dailymile friends kept on growing while you give and receive comments and motivations after each workout.
It was through Dailymile that a few of us got together for a 21-kilometer LSD (Long Slow Distance) run back in August. It was to be a training run in preparation for two upcoming 21 km runs later that month. Some of us knew each other from Ungo runs or weekend races, but most of us had just met personally even though you've been chatting, motivating and exchanging comments on Dailymile for months. We had a lot of fun from that LSD, and even decided to form a running group: Team Tytsbogdo. For more on that, click this link: http://kirkboying.wordpress.com/2010/08/09/ttb-team-tytsbogdo/
From there, Team Tytsbogdo or TTB just took off! A Facebook page was created, more LSDs were scheduled, as well as carbo-loading and beer hydration sessions, with everybody continuing to motivate each other plus a few crazy and wacky comments here and there on Dailymile. We decided to have TTB uniform singlets and a logo, which we have been using for a few races and LSDs already. Running just added another notch to its fun level!
For me, Team Tytsbogdo is more than just a running group. It's more than just guys wearing the TTB annoying orange singlets. It's also more than the comments, motivations and remarks made on Dailymile. It's more about the friendship and camaraderie, and the will to push yourself more and more. Sometimes you have to run a kilometer or two more because you know Eric the Great will say "sayang ang miles!". Sometimes you have to get up at 4 in the morning because Fafi is already up and running at that time. Sometimes you have to speed up your pace because you know your current pace is only Doc Porfie's recovery pace. And sometimes you have to stop walking during LSDs because Coach Boying is still running right in front of you.
Team Tytsbogdo is currently training for the 2011 Cebu City Marathon, with most of us full-mary virgins. A very daunting task indeed, but with TTB on your side, you just know that it's going to be a much smoother route. Go TTB!