Monday, June 8, 2015

Race Review: Run United 2 32km (2015)

Once in a while, there is a race that you think you are ready for and quite prepared for it that you set high goals for it:  A new Personal Best, A sub whatever target time, etc.

This for me, isn't one of those races!  Haha!

With only one or two runs in a week and at a very slow pace, my goal for this race was simply to finish it safe and sound.

Then I heard at the starting line that there was a cut-off time of 5 hours 30 minutes but I wasn't worried as that would be a conservative pace for a runner to get to that level.

The starting time for this race was at 3AM, which for me was pretty good in that you would be running more in the darkness than in the sun (and we all know how hard it is to run along Roxas Boulevard with the sun burning you up).  Kudos also to race organizer for tweaking the route in such a way that we would run toward both ends of Roxas Blvd. FIRST before heading out to Buendia Avenue.  This is pretty good planning in that we would be in Roxas Blvd. during the cool weather and when it gets hot, then we will be in shady Buendia Avenue.  I can't count the number of times I suffered in the past on Roxas Blvd., wanting to stop running due to the heat in that area.

But since it started at 3am, then my wake up call was at 1am and I was super groggy!! It felt too soon to be woken up my phone's alarm clock.  To get rid off the sleepiness, I made and drank two cups of brewed coffee and ate two muesli bars.  BAD CHOICE!

Once the race started, I had a very difficult time running as my tummy was acidic (figured later on that it was probably the two cups of coffee that did that)!  I would run for a bit but needed to stop and walk or I would vomit!  By 3km I was walking already!  How am I going to complete the last 29km!  My legs felt tight too.  Everything was working against me.  The distance was just too far to be in this kind of situation and I was contemplating quitting too.

I stopped at every water station and drank Gatorade to try to compensate for the acid reflux.  At that time, I was thinking that it could be hunger.  By 5km, I took my first GU gel.  I am so glad I packed extra gels!  I definitely didn't expect taking my first one at such an early part of the race!

By 9km, aside from the acid reflux and tight legs, I needed to go to the toilet and do the nasty!  Oh man!  Just two days ago, I read from Unilab's facebook account that 60% of runners needed to go to a toilet in a race and to take Diatabs (of course it was an ad for Diatabs).  That was a very clear sign for me back then to which I obviously didn't follow!

Luckily, being on Roxas Blvd. at that time, I had my pick of nice hotel toilets.  But even with that I was suffering from acid reflux.  I didn't know what else I could do as I was far, far away from the finish line and no matter what remedy I did, the acid reflux and tight legs were still there.

That's when I surrendered.  I gave up.

But I didn't surrendered or give up on the race.  Rather, I surrendered it to the Lord.  I gave up the race to Him.  And I started praying.  A lot.  Every five minutes, I would say the Lord's prayer.  And I would continue doing that every kilometer.

Amazing how things change once You surrender it to Him.  The tight legs disappeared and I could run longer and faster.  The acid reflux disappeared too and I didn't need to walk that much anymore.  I slowly overtook more runners.  My average pace of 9:10 at first 10km (!!!!) went down to 8:55, then to 8:50, then to 8:45!

GOD is loving and He took me to the finish line.  I can definitely say that by myself, I would have quit even before reaching 1/3 of this race.  And I didn't mind if that happened.  I even convinced myself that there wasn't anything to prove as I completed the Trilogy last year.

But GOD helped me have a better victory by leading me towards the finish line happy, strong and injury free with a reasonable time of 4:43:17 (my goal pre-race was just to finish but hoping it wasn't more than 5 hours) and a significant reduction of average pace to 8:38.  Total distance conquered was at 32.76km (via Garmin).

 Second medal completed (but not by doing it alone).

Praise God!

2 Tim 4:7

nice breakfast reward after - BULALO!!

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