Sunday, July 31, 2016

My Milo Marathon 2016 Story Part 2

With only three hours of sleep I was off to Mall of Asia around 2am.  My plan was to get there early so that I would have time to stretch and be at the front of the starting line as 6 hour cut off will be based on gun time and not chip time.

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 :)

My Milo Marathon 2016 story part 1

I was adverse in joining this race due to the strict 6 hour cut off time.  The last time I attempted this was in 2013 and sadly, I didn't make it to the cut off time.  All the time on the road was all for naught as there were no finisher medals to show my hard work.  It was my second time to do Milo Marathon.  The first time I was able to get a finisher medal as made it 5 minutes before the cut-off time.

I joined other local marathons (Subaru and RUPM) due to more lenient cut off time. And yet in both races, I still finished beyond 6 hours 30 minutes.

And yet I was enticed for Milo Marathon as it is celebrating its 40th edition.  But I didn't have high hopes for it as lacked mileage for it.  

I changed my strategy this time and incorporated a lot of speedwork. So shorter weekly distances but more effort due to faster pace.  Because of it, I was able to bring my 10k below one hour (three times this year) and 21km below 2:30.   

One setback for me was when I did the Run United 32km as a test run for my endurance.  It did not turn out well.  In fact, it was horrible as I finished at a time of 4:30 and pace of 8:25, which is too close pace wise for a sub-6 hour marathon.  I was discouraged once again and debated whether I should continue with the Milo Marathon or veto it all together.

In the end, I decided to push through with the Marathon as I had already registered for it, with my personalized
name on it and "21" next to it to signify that this will be my 21st marathon.

But I still wasn't convinced that I would do well here and thought of quitting when I reach BGC and just run/walk home.  But Per told me to finish the race regardless of the outcome as I had never quit before and I shouldn't start now.

To which I agreed to her point and will try my best for this race. I was able to do one more 32km solo run and whose results turned out well.  It was taper time after this and I did one fast 21km race ( Runfest) as final long run before Milo Marathon.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Race Review: Runfest 21km was the online group that started it all for the running community here in the Philippines.  

I was able to register for the Half Marathon category for this year as that is my requirement for the week's long run.  Having it at BGC is an added incentive as it will just be 10 minutes away from my house.

The gun start for the 21km was strange at 4:10am but I didn't mind as had a chance to chat with some friends whom I haven't seen a long time. really is the one race that brings together runners, whether they are new ones or ones who have stopped joining races.  It's like a high school reunion! Haha!!

The route was so old school in that we would go up Kalayaan Bridge and into Buendia Avenue with a U turn near South Super Hi-way before heading back to BGC for another climb towards Lawton Avenue and Bayani Road before making a U Turn back and head towards the finish line.

My goal for this race was 2:30 finish time and to distract myself, I thought of it as a video game wherein I am the player.  There would be four levels for this "game": first level going up Kalayaan Bridge, level two return to Kalayaan Bridge, level three and four going to and fro from Bayani Avenue and Lawton Avenue.  By the time I had finished my own "level four", I was just two to three kilometers away from the finish line and with the remaining distance flat to downhill, it was an opportunity for me to surge and pick up the pace.  

By this time, I knew that I would be able to attain my target goal time and as I still felt strong, I ran faster to see how  much faster I could go.

A final push to the finish line garnered me the fastest pace for this race at a pace of 5:49 and this was for the last kilometer!

Final time of 2:22:50, average pace of 6:49 minutes/km with a distance of 20.97km.  Thank YOU LORD!

The medal was pretty awesome.  There were sufficient hydration, km markers and marshals to guide us on the road and monitor cars.  The finisher shirt was nice too. No complaints whatsoever in terms of how race organizers handled this race.  Even the claiming of loot bags and finisher shirt were quick and efficient.    

Congrats to Leadpack Race Organizer for a well handled race.  Congrats to all the finishers for this race. It was nice seeing a lot of familiar faces too. Till the next road race :)

Race statistics:
Number of GU gels consumed: 2 (one at 9km and second at 16km mark)

Paces: 1km - 6:34, 2km - 7:09, 3km- 7:03, 4km - 6:33, 5km -6:49, 6km - 7:05, 7km - 6:56, 8km - 7:22, 9km - 7:36, 10km - 6:50, 11km - 7:01, 12km - 6:48, 13km - 6:48, 14km - 6:35, 15km - 6:43, 16km - 6:46, 17km - 6:47, 18km - 6:59, 19km - 6:34, 20km - 6:03, 21km -5:49