Monday, December 3, 2012

QCIM 4 : PR on my 3rd Marathon (Part 1)

Quezon City International Marathon on its fourth year keeps its prestige and attracts foreign runners including a dear friend of mine to come home and grace this event. With its monumental race route exhibiting Quezon City's pride, this truly were once again a very successful event. Thanks to the Quezon City government for continuing QCIM to its fourth year. Thanks to Runnex for decades of promoting the sport. Thanks to SMDC for making QCIM a part of your corporate social responsibilities. Thanks to Without Limits for ensuring an outstanding event for runners. A big thanks to Titanium Runner for making me a part of this eminent event. And many thanks to Diadora Philippines for my shoes and apparels.

Respect the Distance (unlike me)

Desire and excitement to run side by side with a dear friend - that's what drives me to run my third marathon even without a proper training. Marathon (42.195 kilometers) will provide no joke and will torture those who are insolent enough to run it without paying due respect of doing the necessary training. Yes thats me - insolent. My logs on would show how lazy I was in the past 6 months. Several races on roads and trails were all I had. I logged 162 kilometers in six months and 85% of which were racing events (very few or practically no training runs). This is a perfect example of things a runner shouldn't do. My reason being is personal. But this can't be an excuse I suppose.

My Motivation

Quite honestly, I was not suppose to run this marathon due to lack of training. However, a friend who just arrived from the US suddenly asked me to run again with him at QCIM. The idea of running with this particular friend elates me since I know for a fact that he could turn a gruelling 42.195 kilometers into an enjoyable marathon. The problem was the registration period was over. Luckily, Titanium Runner (with his wide connections) came to the rescue. I thought he would just help facilitate my late registration and Im already happy with that. But to my surprise, he generously gave a free race kits for me and my wife Nette. You're an angel with titanium wings... ;)

Excitement Turned to Worries

My day before the event was spent  sleeping and a quality time with my family. I'm well rested in preparation for my third marathon. Nette called our friend that I'm supposed to run with. But there was a change of plan on his part and he decided not to push through. He's an important person and time is of the essence in his short stay here in the country. I perfectly understand and wish him well to all his undertakings. But the moment we finished that conversation, I started to feel the worries about the kilometers that I'm about to face in just a few hours. Oh my! I'm doomed!

Key to Life? Running and Reading - Will Smith

The key to life according to Will Smith is simply running and reading. I don't have enough mileage in running but the good thing is I read a lot. I'm not talking about how many books I read about running but rather mention which one works for me. Now, many runners are familiar with Galloway method. The term is loosely used by runners that most of the time it loses its true meaning. Some would say they continuously ran the first 15 kilometers and did the Galloway Method to finish a half-marathon. Its not Galloway Method since the walks comes after being exhausted. Galloway Method means conserving energy at the start of the race and making sure that it would be a strong finish. The walk breaks ensures that a runner wouldn't reach an exhaustion level wherein recovery time will take longer. Its about keeping the legs fresh and strong by employing walk breaks as early and as religiously as possible resulting to quality runs on every cycle. Galloway Method is a potent running strategy. Not an excuse when a runner found himself walking. This strategy is my life line for finishing my third marathon strong and injury free. An alternating one minute quality run followed by one minute walk (1:1) that begins after the gun-start.

Shivering on the Starting Line

I can't help myself but shiver as I look at the starting line. The idea of not finishing this marathon hunts me. I told my wife Nette how nervous I was. I tried walking around looking for some friends and saw Mark, Nonoy, JazzRunner, and Boy Ramos (aka Running Host). I also get to see Ian Alacar of Without Limits who was more if not equally tense than me. :)) Sir Boy sent the marathoners off with a good prayer and some good words from Ron Delos Reyes. Thank you Running Host for the greetings before the gun-start. A goodluck that was simple but very encouraging. Thanks TBR batchmate!

Gun-Start Fires at Three - Exactly

There goes the gun-start and the crowd was excited getting out of the starting corral. I started my Garmin watch as I passed the arc. According to my GPS watch, the gun-start fired at exactly 3AM in the morning.  Wow! Can you see the advantage of not having politicians on the staging area? hehehe! So accurate! +10 pogi points for the organizer!

Strategy that Humiliates Me

A minute of running is easy. The hard part is walking after it. All the runners behind me must be wondering why I'm walking at the early stage of the race. Its humiliating in a way but I have to stick to my game plan. I set my Gymboss interval timer to vibrate and beep in high frequency in five long seconds. At the very least those who are near would hear it and would  know that I'm walking for a reason. It only took two cycles of run-walk for me to be settled at the very tail of the marathoners pack. That's the time I felt more comfortable. I psyche myself and had a self talk. Don't worry Noel, those early sprinters will burn soon and you'll catch-up eventually. Its better to be last on the start and have better ranking on the finish. Soon enough, on the 5'th kilometer, I reeled-in a few runners.
Each runners that I passed gives me more confidence. However, I still need to control my new found joy and stick to 1:1 run-walk maintaining an average pace of 8 mpk (including walks). Good thing I occasionally checked my sports watch which tells me I'm doing it too fast which could later burn me out of the race. I slew down on my run cycles and religiously walked every minute. That's the beauty of having a sports watch that could show your average pace.

New Addition to This Edition

It's my first time to run along Quezon Avenue up until Aberdeen Hotel as the turn around point. This part is an addition to last years route. It replaces the last loop to University of the Philippines (UP) before finishing. In my opinion, this is far better. The mental torture of seeing near the finish line and running away from it again to finish the last loop inside UP could be mentally tough. We passed the staging area again after covering 9 kilometers of Quezon Avenue. The 21K runners were still waiting for their gunstart and cheer on us by-passers.

Hole, Dark, and Marshals 

The UP part of the route was dark. Since I'm maintaining a slow pace, there were very few runners with me. Good thing there were dedicated race marshals who lit the humps and holes of UP roads with their handheld flash lights and constantly reminding us to be careful with our steps. I can't help it - I really have to say thanks to each and everyone of them. I thanked you on the road and still praising you here on my post. Salute also to those who are manning the water stations. They are polite and nicely serving cold water and gatorade.

The Road That Holds Me Back

Going back on Commonwealth Avenue was a relief. That 12 lane killer highway was well lit, secure, and safe for runners for that time being. Good job Without Limits! You've done your assignments. :D Commonwealth was seem to be holding me back. This is where I merged with the 21K runners. And I'm not really sure if there has been a psychological effect on me when lots of 21K runners overtook me. Or maybe the long rolling elevation of Commonwealth Avenue affects my pace. I'm getting slower and slower. I'm so thankful as soon as I saw the turn around point of 21K runners. At last I'm free again on the marathon route.

First Cut-Off Time 3:30 on the 21K mark

Based on my GPS watch, I clocked 2:39:34 on the 21'st kilometer. Though I haven't seen the station where they will ambush and sweep those runners who will not make it to the first cut-off. Well, it's okay, I don't want to see it first hand anyway... hehehe!

To this point and to my scale, QCIM 4 ranks with flying colors. Let us see how they do on the second half of my 3rd marathon.

click here to see the final half of the story.

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8 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

  1. running a Marathon was indeed a life changing event!

    Congrats for conquering another one!

    1. thanks for the comment. I just realized that my links to your blogsite is broken. Update ko na lng. :D Thanks teammate!

  2. Thanks! mommy Bave! You are one strong runner.. Congrats on your new PR. New PR ba? :D

  3. QCIMovela naman ngayon! Congrats on your new PR. I think I'd also be using the Galloway Run-Walk-Run method when I finally go for my first marathon.

    1. Thanks Franc for the continual support. Galloway Method is a good strategy. The hardest part of it is swallowing our pride of being seen walking at the very start of the race. When will your first marathon be? Thanks again!

    2. Full Mary hasn't crossed my mind yet. =>


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