Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Milo 2012 42km Elims: Into The Right Direction

As I write this post with painful quads (especially when going up and down the stairs) which I've been accustomed to experience after running a full marathon, I feel a mixed sense of relief and half-baked joy. Relief since I've finally finished (another) 16 weeks of training. My body has gone thru a lot of workouts since April and I know that its thankful of the rest and recovery that its receiving now. I'll probably give it a few more days before I start running again. Easy pace, of course.

Now for the half-baked joy part.

It had been raining days before the race and I was glad that the weather was runner-friendly last Sunday. I parked at MOA at about 20mins before gun time, got myself ready, and walked to the starting corral with 3 minutes to spare. I stood near the end as the 2,000-strong marathoners were sent off at 3am.

After days of debate, I decided to stick with a comfortable 6:50-7:00/km pace plan for the entire race. At least get myself within sub-5hr target by km32. If I'm still standing by then, I'll push hard for the last 10k.

Km1-10 = 1:11 (took first gel at 00:50)

Along Roxas Blvd I managed to caught sight of takbo.ph big boss Jinoe Gavan, whom I read in the past that he's looking into a sub5 finish as well. I'm guessing that he was doing the Galloway walk-run method at this time so it was good to see a fellow runner with the same time goal. Thus I decided to work with him silently by trying to keep up with him as long as possible since I know he was gunning for a sub5 finish too.

Km11-20 = 1:10 (second gel at 1:40, third at 2:20)
Halfway mark (km21) = 2:28:42

The halfway mark was along Buendia avenue, just before the Quirino H-way intersection. I was hoping to reach it at around 2:27 but I was still a happy camper since overall pace and effort was still comfortable. Adding to the comfort was that Jinoe was just about 200meters ahead of me.

Km21-30 = 1:12 (fourth gel at 3:00)

I approached the Buendia flyover with caution, alternating 20sec walks with runs as I climbed the leg from Makati to BGC. The hilly Rizal Avenue and 5th avenue climb to Mckinley was a task but I was able to recover the way back, much thanks to the presence of beauty Jennelyn Mercado waiting at the Lawton Avenue turn around point (hehehe).

Km32 = 3:49

I reached the 20mile mark in a disappointing 3:49 (although looking back now it seems that I made a 2min PR on that distance!) since I had hoped to finish 3:40 ---a time that would give me a comfortable 1:19 left so I can relax at a 8:00/km pace and still meet sub5. I had past "pace partner" Jinoe on the way back from 5th avenue so it was all up to me now to keep my pace up.

I was still in the game but I needed to do 7:00/km pace for 10k more. I started out well, logging 6:46 in km33 but things started crumbling pace-wise after that. I'm not sure what this is, but my running succumbed to walks everytime I felt heaviness on my chest. Not sure if it was my heart rate or my lungs working over time, but it definitely caused me to stop running. I can only look at my Garmin in frustration as my average pace dropped out of 7:09/km ---the average pace needed for a sub5.

Km34 to 42 (Buendia, Roxas, then MOA) was a battle of wills. I was out of the sub5 game but beating my 5:23 PR was still possible (as in my last post, beating my PR was more realistic based on the feedback given to me by my training logs versus a sub5). Average pace was still dropping, no thanks to longer walk breaks and probably 1 or 2 aid stations that ran out of water (I even doused myself with 100PLUS instead of water just to cool my core temp! Talk about desperate huh?). Everyone along side me was walking too so I guess they were having a hard time passing thru the wall.

Tired but still a happy camper

Along Sunset road(?) in MOA with about 400meters left, I looked for my support group: my family. My first full marathon, Milo 2010, I finished it with my then 4-year old Lucas running towards the finish line. Milo 2012 had to be finished with the same fashion: this time with 6-year old Lucas and 3-year old Matteo.

I ran towards the finish line with my 2 sons on each hand, with my Garmin clocking at 5:13 and change.

Approaching the finish line with my support crew

A 10 minute PR!!!

There will be a lot of post-race analysis that needs to be done, but I'll leave that for my next post. There was no sub5, but I believe I'm in the right direction towards it. I'll definitely savor this 5:13 (or 5:11 if my estimated chip time is correct).

And yes, despite aching quads, I'm ready to climb the Urban Everest known as the 42km marathon once again.

But not anytime soon. ;-)


  1. Great performance! I ran my first marathon under Milo and clocked at 5:36 although I was hoping that I could do it in 5 hours. I didn't happen but I was happy I finished within the cut-off time.

    Reading this post is an inspiration to new runners like me. Keep it up.

  2. Thanks! Congrats on your finish as well!

  3. congrats! with more runs, i'm sure you'll eventually reach the elusive sub-5.