From February till end of May, I will need to do a long slow run every Sunday morning to get enough mileage in preparation for my first ever Marathon. With this Smart Coach training program, some sacrifices have to be made: obviously, I can't stay out late on a Saturday night anymore (unless I do a long run on a Saturday morning instead). Also, I won't be looking at setting a new PR in a 10km race as will be using these races mainly to get the required mileage for that day. But for the Skyway 21km race and PowerRun 15km race, I will try and run faster just to measure my performance for this distance. The scariest part of this program is doing two 32km runs. This is just terrifying as never ran that far before (farthest I've run is 25km and did it once only).
Yesterday was the first of my long runs as I target 16km for that day at a relaxed pace. My Nike training classmate Benny agreed to join me in this long run and we met around 6:15AM at UP Theatre. Not knowing which route to run on, we then saw a large group of runners coming by. All were wearing race numbers on their chest. First I recognized running was Coach Rio, who was leading the pack. This event was the Takbo May Yabang 4.4k/ 8.8k race. We then decided to join them for the 8km route so that it will be more interesting for us. We then saw Vince running the race as well. He decided to join us upon hearing that we will be doing a long run. The Race route here was quite simple : a 2.2km loop around Roxas and Osmena Avenue so for us, we had to run it four times. There were enough marshals and runners were on the rightmost lane of the main road. It will be unlikely anybody will get lost in this race given that it's just around the Oval field. As Vince crossed the finish line, Benny and I stopped for a minute or two to have a water break. We are halfway through our run and didn't even notice it!!
We then started running again and went to an area I am not familiar with. Good thing we were running slow so I was able to follow their pace. The two of them upped their pace at the last 2km while I held mine at a steady pace. I finally finished my run at a time of 1 hour 48 minutes with average pace of 6:45 minutes/ km. I was a little bit sore and tired but felt good overall. I dreaded seeing my run schedule for next Sunday (as it's usually a 10% increase in the long runs) but was quite happy when I saw that I only had to do 10km! Yay!!! It will be a recovery run after doing 15km Happy Run and this 15km run! My long run will resume again come Feb 15 and Feb 22 where I have to run longer than the 15km races i will join. Boo yah!!!
All in all, it was a fun Sunday morning and had a good time Bandit running too (my very first). Thanks Benny and Vince for the company! For me, it's always better running with friends than running by yourself! Let's run again soon.
SUNDOWN MARATHON UPDATE:
We bought our plane tickets last week via Cebu Pacific. My sister Carolyn will join this event but having her own marathon to do in April, she will do the 10km race instead. Good thing she is coming with us as Per and I will be getting free lodging in Singapore via her friend who lives there! YAY!! Per will run the 10km race and so will our friend Blanche, who is coming to Singapore with her siblings.
Looks like it will be an exciting trip for all of us in Singapore! Why don't you join us as well? More info on the marathon via this link.
Further update as of 2.03.09: the 10km category (for women) and 42km category (for both men/ women) are now full. Runners interested can email organizers and be part of the wait list. As of now, it is still the team relay of 4 x 10.5km and ultramarathon 84km which are available.