Unfortunately not everything went according to plan. With the road work on the EDSA- Pasay flyover and long parking queue, I got to the starting line less than 5 minutes before gun start. I was able to do some quick stretching for the legs but I wasn't able to position myself in the front of the pack. Again not because I am fast (I am not) but want to maximize the gun time start as much as possible. Luckily, the 42km runners weren't that big and even being at the very back of the pack, I was just 2 minutes away from when first runner took off. Not so bad and is just equivalent to about three seconds more per kilometer.
The route would take us to Mall of Asia to both sides of Roxas Blvd. before heading to BGC and Lawton Avenue via Buendia. With the 42km distance too daunting to think about as a whole, I divided the distance by three segments: 16km, 16km and 10km distance.
The first 16km ended somewhere along Roxas Blvd while the second 16km distance was on Buendia Avenue. The last 10km should have been my fastest but with sore feet, legs and really painful shoulders, it became the worst one.
My average pace prior to this was around 7:55 per kilometer but with the last 10km, my pace slowed significantly. Everything was painful!! More wallking done and pace for last few kilometers were beyond 9 minutes already.
My arsenal for this race were 7 GU Gels taken every 7km (ended up using 5) and salt tablets taken in between. I also had two bananas and unlimited water and Gatorade.
My target was initially to finish at 5:30 but with feet and legs pain (felt at times I was about to cramp!), my goal was just to finish below 6 hours.
I ended walking a lot at last 4km. Even when I saw the finish line in front of me, I still could not run toward it!
During the entire marathon I was reciting the Lord's prayer every time I hit the next kilometer and the verse from Philippians 4:13 at last few kilometers to give myelf some strength and encouragement.
But it was still hard.
Good thing my pace was good at first part so that compensated on overall performance.
I finished the Milo Marathon at a time of 5:46:24, with pace of 8:09. Thank God for that!
I happily received the finisher medal, finisher shirt, and towel from the organizers. It took a while though before I got to the car as I was too tired and had to rest for a few minutes at the sidewalk.
This was my fastest Philippine marathon since 2012 and for that I was grateful. Since 2013 all my Philippine marathons were past 6 hours. This was also faster than my first Milo Marathon. Milo Marathon #2 DNF redeemed!
Thank You God for this opportunity. Now it is time to rest :)