Tired, upset stomach and soreness… those were the feelings that I remembered as I was doing my last stretch towards the finish line. Up to the last moment, I still can’t believe that I was about to accomplish a goal that I chased so hard but evaded me for so long. But I know last night was the moment and finally as I step on the finish line, I raised my hand and shouted for joy that I finally made it! A sub-4 hours (3:53 unofficial) finish for a full-marathon at last!
How did my obsession for the sub-4 marathon start? It began right after my 1st Camsur International Marathon. I finished a humbling time during that race but my officemates began to tease me about how a good buddy bagged it under a staggering 4 hours. At that point, I made it as a personal challenge and a goal which I swore that someday I’ll achieve.
The chase for full marathon glory
So my chase for the sub-4 marathon began. For the record, I attempted 7 times to try and reach the very elusive goal:
1. QCIM 2010 -> Started fast and eventually choked out by km. 25 due to a very fast start with injured knee
2. CCM 2011 -> I almost made it but the heat, cramps and uphill choked me out by km. 32
3. Milo Elims 2011 -> Still recovering from being out of shape and obesity. Cramps attack at km 25 due to a very fast start plus the rain proved that it’s my waterloo
4. Condura 2011 -> disaster performance. No sleep, cramps attack, bleeding nips. Was lucky to cross the finish line alive.
5. CamSur 2011 -> Supposed to be a chillax run but picked up the pace late in the race (started at 6:00 mpk pace). Discovered the power of Roctane but still choked out at km 34
6. QCIM 2011 -> Almost but since I’m still recovering from Miyamit, chose to be a pacer instead
7. Cebu City Marathon 2012 -> I was so excited about this race because it will be my last attempt before BDM 160 but alas I choked out because of overhydration and a lot of bathroom break. Too speedy first 21K took it’s toll on my body
Based on my personal experience, these were the things that caused me to choke up:
1. Too Fast Too Early -> I spent too much energy on the beginning of the race which resulted to being depleted towards the end of the race.
2. Cramps Galore -> Being “Krampuger”, I observed that I need to do something about the cramping galore as it forced me to walk and slow down to the finish
3. Walking -> There is nothing wrong with walking BUT I observed the moment I started to walk, I’m too lazy to go back on my original pace
4. Energy -> If I want to sustain the pace, I need more fuel to burn!
So what’s the difference last night?
First, I’m running with a vengeance. My failure last week will be my source of strength and willpower to finish the race. I don’t want to stack up on anymore negative feelings so I had to let it out. It’s only a mental thing but again, it can help boost my performance.
Second, I ran slower on my first few km. Maintain an average 6 mpk then attack the downhills + jog the uphills will be my formula. Try to build up the pace towards the finish.
Third, do something about those darn cramps! I’m testing the supplemental that my idol Alfred Delos Reyes was using. Hammer Anti-Fatigue Caps claims that it will improve your endurance and prevent cramping by releasing the build-up of ammonia from glycogen production. I don’t understand what that means but there’s nothing wrong with trying :)). I think it worked for me! :D
Fourth, minimize walking – Ironically, I’ve been practicing power walk but last night, I decided to minimize it. I’ll only walk when I feel very tired but for some magical reason, I was able to convince myself to push hard
The route was very challenging. The rolling hills, killer uphills and sharp downhills were only a few hurdles that I’ve encountered in the race. A few close call of nature was imminent during my first 10k but I had to focus hard to maintain a pace. Portalets were far so wiwi breaks were never an option. I’m also worried about the fact that I did a staggering distance last week and it might cause me to choke out in the FM.
But for some magical reason, I managed to survive. Cruising along a safe pace while following Alfred throughout the course, I was really determined to reach the goal. Passing thru the 32 km mark I know I need to come up with a good plan to sustain my pace and momentum. Gulped down a GU pack then drank a lot of liquid, I found myself running the last 10K.
I met my teammate Joms along km 34 and encouraged me to never give up as the goal is within my reach. A few more minutes, I caught up with Mam Chang being paced by a bike and also gave me good push to continue my momentum. I can feel soreness already and fatigue on my legs but my determination has overcome them. I also remembered being snobbish as I was passing by familiar faces, sorry po at wala na ko sa katinuan nun kaya di ko na kayo nabati :(
At last, after a few more minutes the ramp going thru the Finish line was on sight. I was tired and I want to finish already so I desperately dashed thru it. But alas, the finish line is still not there. So I took down two cups of water and sped off towards the turn and saw the fantastic arc after it. I was so happy that I raised my fist up high signifying success towards the goal. And there it was, my moment, an elusive goal that I failed to catch for 7 times finally landed on my bag!
Now I value the meaning of the quote “Never give up trying…”
Finally, I have one goal to scratch off my bucket list :)