Thursday, August 11, 2016

Post Milo Marathon Ramblings

This morning, I went out to do an easy 10km run and although my pace wasn't fast, I felt winded and tired by the 7-8km.  "Only 2-3km to go", I thought to myself as I slowed down to a walking pace.  My, why is this short distance so hard to complete when just less than two weeks ago, I just completed the Milo Full Marathon?  Granted, I haven't been doing much running since that time, putting in just one 5km run the other night and with this morning ran as just my second run for the entire month.

I ended up contemplating on the Milo Marathon event as well (yes, our minds wander whenever we are out on the run and for me that is a good thing).  How did I survive and complete this event within the 6-hour cut off time?  I definitely did more mileage last year when I did the Run United Philippine Marathon and Subaru Marathon and yet in both races, my finish time was past six hours. 

I put in more weekly mileage as well in my other two Milo Marathons - which lead to one finishing at 5:55 and other at 6:09 (and not receiving a finisher medal for it).  Because of the Milo DNF, I stayed away from joining any Milo event for the past three years.  It was a defeating moment for me and I didn't want to repeat it again.  I took the easier way out, still joining marathons but those with very long cut-off time (7 hours or more).  It was always a Just to finish race.

And yet, here I was again on the starting line with my name on my bib and getting ready to complete it.  My training has been erratic as wasn't able to reach the minimum weekly mileage and that hurt me at the latter part of the race.  I wasn't that serious with this race, looking first at vetoing it, to running it but quitting 2/3 of the way and running home (instead of the finish line), to deciding that I should see this race through from beginning to the end (thanks to Per for encouraging me to do so).  Per told me to just finish it and if completed beyond 6 hours, that's fine.  It was still better than quitting and I never quit in any race that I had started (never mind getting feverish or getting sprained during the race).

As my kids sometimes play and wear my finisher medals, the Milo one is the single one I keep away from them.  This one is mine!  Hands off!  I act like that character from Lord of the Rings (my Precciousss) but it is okay and they are happy with the other medals in our room.  Haha!

So what made this one different from all the other Philippine marathons.  Well, this blog entry is brought to you by the letter S:

SPEEDWORK: The one thing I didn't do before as goals before were just to get to the finish line.  This one had an added pressure of getting to the finish line within the gun time of 6 hours.  So I did various speedwork ranging from fast 10 x 200m up a hill, to fast 10km races and sub 2:30 Half Marathons. 

But speedwork were a bonus for me as I did speedwork so I could have faster 10km and 21km races.  This of course, helped me in the Marathon too.

SPINNING:  Rather than do running the entire four months (and get bored from it), I joined spinning classes at Golds Gym too.  It was tiring as well but I always felt stronger in the runs after doing this.  No pressure or weight on the legs, yet it improves in my endurance and stamina.  Aside from spinning, I also play badminton once a week and badminton feels like doing a little speedwork as well.

SALT TABLETS:  I bought a small container of salt tablets from Runnr that had about 30 pieces of it inside.  I had with me about 7 of these capsules as I was at the starting line of the race and took it every 45 minutes to an hour.  I always feel weak with too much liquid in me (from drinking Gatorade and water) and with a lot of sweat from my body, my salt level get depleted.  This helps boost it up again and gives me strength to continue on.

(TRIPLE DECKER) SANDWICH:  Before any race, my go to quick meal is a peanut butter sandwich.  It is still the same now but with one more slice (and one more layer of peanut butter spread in between).  I was so full from eating this that I wasn't able to eat the bananas anymore.  But this also helped as I didn't experience hunger in the race (I usually get hungry at 25 -30km).

SUPPLICATION:   def:  the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly.  
I prayed that I can complete the Milo Marathon days before the actual event.  During the event, I said the Lord's prayers every kilometer to honor HIM and lift this race UP to him.  And for that this gave me:

STRENGTH:  At the latter part of the race, when it was the hardest for me, I kept repeating this life verse:

Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things though Christ who strengthens me.  
I believed HE was there for me and that gave me strength, that I wasn't alone in this race

(No) SUN/ SHADED COURSE:  Forecast of thunderstorm for this morning but none came.  Even better, the sun didn't come out to burn us all out.  So weather was as perfect as it can be!!!  And I believe it wasn't out of pure luck that this happened.

But it still wasn't easy.  My feet and shoulders were painful and I really wanted to sit down a couple of times.  Due to lack of weekly mileage, I felt my legs about to cramp soon (thank goodness that didn't happen).  It was a hard race.  And as I crossed the finish line, and got the much coveted medal and loot bag, I had to sit in the sidewalk and just rest for a while.  I was so tired that I wasn't sure yet if I could drive myself home that day!

And although I was always below the recommended weekly mileage targets (worse as for beginner levels!), I made sure to hit the weekend mileage needed.  So that one I followed and did two 32km runs before tapering off for this race.

Thank YOU GOD for this, without which it would have been impossible for me to finish the race.

Praise to YOU Lord Jesus.

These two medals are my most prized finisher medals for 2016 as both had cut off times to get the prize.  Both hard to attain and therefore more appreciative once attained.