Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Condura 2011 42km Part 1: Worried But Ready


For the first time, I couldn’t sleep the night before the race. It was already past 10pm and I was still awake. I even replied to the tweet by @ConduraRun2011 about counting sheep: “Not working!”

This was my 2nd full marathon and my nth race, why am I so worried?

There were two possible answers.

First, I was worried about bonking. Based on the >21km weekend long runs that I’ve made, bonking at km24 (or around 3hrs) was pretty consistent during the 16-week training phase. The fault can only be blamed on myself, as I was too lazy to commit to my weekend long run schedule. This was best shown during my last long run prior to taper, supposedly a 32k, when I bonked at km23 and decided to call it quits and took the short-cut to walk home. That run ended up with 25km total only. Maybe it was a combination of fatigue and laziness that I couldn’t find myself running at my 7:30/km easy pace beyond km24 (or above 3hrs). That last long run would haunt me up until Saturday night. I’m very certain that I will hit the wall, so I thought of several mantras to coax myself should I reach that moment on race day:

“Love running” (as narrated in the book “Born to Run,” when two Tarahumaras ran against Ann Traison in the Leadville 100)

“You’ve trained 16 weeks for this! Don’t waste all that hard work for nothing!”

Second, I was worried on the post-race recovery. How fast can I rehydrate and restore my normal sugar and other nutrient levels is something that I should constantly check after this one since I got worried when I felt weak after my 32km race last year (RunRio3). I was worried of tales of getting dehydrated like that one blogged by Anton of ourawesomeplanet.com after his first Milo marathon. I definitely didn’t want to experience that. I decided to take Julius’ reco on my last blog post and bought a sachet of Hammer Recoverite (P165.00). This will be on-the-ready with my water bottle to mix immediately once I walk back to the car.

Amidst the worrying, by 11pm, (I think) I fell asleep.

I woke up 1:30am, just in time for my pre-race meal: a takeout order of a Taco Bell beef burrito. Yup, I’ve been munching on carbs since Thursday lunch (Sbarro), Friday lunch (Mexicali burrito), and Saturday dinner (Taco Bell burrito). The Thurs-Fri meals have been paired by a full-body massage during my Friday lunch break ---a ritual that I’ve recorded which, I personally believe, was part of race preparations that have made my 21k PR (2:14 last Dec on Milo) very successful.

Superstitious, I know, I know.


I was lingering on the thought of a constant 6:45/km pace. There was also a part of me thinking of doing 7:30/km in the 1st half, then increasing to 7:00/km in the 2nd. But that would be doubtful once fatigue sets in. Seeing how I bonked during RunRio3 2010, I decided that I’ll hold back to a more manageable 7:00/km all throughout which would have a finish time of sub-5hrs. But for how long will I be able to keep that pace is another question.

Since the hydration to be provided during the race was water and 100plus, I had no choice but to bring my hydration belt filled with Gatorade. I’m not a fan of 100plus and I’ve been training using Gatorade. Thus it would be prudent not to try 100plus during race day itself. With 5 GU gels and a NatureValley granola bar, I was at the BHS starting area by 3am.

16 weeks totalling 600kms of running easy, fast, short, and long.

Close to 60 days of waking up early to run.

Countless GU gels and Gatorade bottles consumed.

I've been waiting for this day to arrive. My 5:53 PR was about to go down.

I was ready.


  1. iba talaga training ng full mary "Close to 60 days of waking up early to run at gatorade at GU".... and gastos! grabe and focus and discipline. congrats on your 2nd FM sir, and nice to meet you, finally! haha camsur marathon na next!

  2. it was nice to meet u too James! elib na sana ako kase akala ko naka-Vibrams ka while u ran 21k! hehehe.... ;-)

    Hmmm, Camsur is very tempting. But first, Baguio21k sa April 10. :)