Friday, March 30, 2012

TBR Dream Marathon Chronicles - Part 2

Picking up from where we left off in my previous post

Right there and then I realized the huge number of marathon dreamers. Jaymie's program is very friendly to any runner who aims to finish a full marathon. The program will give anyone the courage to overcome any fear that running a marathon can throw at you. I guess it is fair enough to say that we will definitely have more by next year

Roughly three hundred meters from the starting line, we were asked to veer to the left and cross the dirt road. With the fear on stepping a stone I just walked this part of the route and resumed running once I've hit the concrete. I noticed that a handful were being faithful with their run-walk strategy early on

Halfway the kilometer mark, I caught up with Gian (aka Bigfoot). Noticed that he was wearing compression socks. In my experience, compression socks helped in minimizing fatigue and cramps especially on long runs. Recommended two brands. Good thing he decided to get one. Chatted with him for awhile before he shooed me away

Just ahead I bumped into Josef (aka Romp). Noticed that he was wearing red. Seems that Alpha1 family has grown again. Always a good thing. Toyed with him for a bit by pushing him forward. I just asked Rocky's whereabouts before running off again.

I met up with Rocky on the 1st kilometer. Rocky has been plagued with an injury and was supposedly to take it easy last February but still raked in some roadwork by participating in some races. Asked him about his foot injury. He just smiled and said okay.

Rocky and I started to pick up the pace at this time. We met up with CJ/Run Adobo King whom reminded me a phrase (its not about the time!) uttered by Jim Lafferty on his inspirational talk during our send-off party. I mischievously responded that its not and teased him with a route recon (for a race event) he did the day before. CJ then decided to ran with us. I glimpsed at my watch and it says we were doing 9.6 minute per mile (6 min/km)

Somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd km mark, a traffic circle (Terelay Rotunda) greeted us and there was a steep climb to this landmark. My plan was to walk up this part. Some decided to jog their way up. Even though I'd lose some time here, I can make it up with the descent that awaits us on the other side. After passing the rotunda, CJ and Rocky eased up on their pace and I found myself running alone when I reached the 3km mark

I was somewhere near 4km mark, when I bumped into Atty Rain (KB Runner) and JackieG. KB asked me if I was pacing someone, I answered back "no one". That I was pacing myself since I am a participant as well. KB was in disbelief and immediately replied "get outta here". I just smiled back

I guess it can't be helped. KB's reaction wasn't totally unexpected. A handful of people couldn't believe that I signed up for TBRDM as well. Though I've been running for 2 years already, fact is I'm lazy to train for a full marathon. Just couldn't imagine running a half-marathon twice! And that's the reason why I signed up.  Was to force myself to join the marathon bandwagon. I've been enjoying 21km runs too much that I don't want to leave my comfort zone. Besides there's only a handful of local events that provides a full marathon category and tons for the half mary

For the next kilometer, I was taking it easy since this particular section of the route was mostly uphill. I am applying what Christine Jacob-Sandejas shared to us during one of our TBR clinics. Keeping it slow and easy while running uphill then taking advantage of gravity on a downhill. Making a conscious effort that my running form is relaxed and my stride is not forced. This allowed me to compensate for lost time

I was nearing the 5km mark when I saw MarkT. He reminded me to clock in a good time or at least finish within top 10. With such a tall order, I just laughed back. A few yards ahead, I saw the dream chasers station. They were cheering everyone with a lot of enthusiasm. Realized it was being manned with familiar faces (Wes, James, Aileen, Rain, Eman and Banjo). This station will always be remembered with their long balloons
image credits to Yongsky

Near six kilometers into the run the road split into two. Neville announced before our gun start that changes were made in our route. Upon reaching this point, we will be turning right (Everest Academy) instead of going left (Avida Village) as originally communicated. This was made in order to compensate for the missing distance. Who would want to be called marathoners knowing that we didn't cover the required distance - 42.195 kilometers
image credits to Mutz Cruz

Since I did not cover this part during our long runs, I didn't knew what to expect. Lo and behold, I got the surprise of my life The next kilometer, going to 7km mark, was mostly (if not all) uphill. I've already covered at least 500 meters when I saw the lead pack. They were on their way back to cover their 8th kilometer. I cheered them as they zoomed away from my view

After the seemingly nonstop ascend, here comes the turnaround point at km7. Since a water station was available, had my mandatory walk break here. The marshal handed me a blue loop cord which I placed on my left wrist. Took a deep breath and relaxed my shoulders. Went back running again

What goes up must come down. The next kilometer (8km) was all downhill. I used this to my advantage. With the help of gravity I slowly picked up my pace and found myself running at 7.75 minute per mile (sub5 min/km). I felt relaxed while consciously avoiding to heel strike.  Surprisingly I was having fun while doing so. Haven't had the chance to run at this pace since I got injured last year

By the time I've reached Nuvali Blvd again (8.4km), I didn't felt tired nor gasping for air. A good sign. So I just continued and kept my pace. Upon reaching the 9km mark (Republic Wakepark), I saw Allan Gregor and rest of the lead group. Was dumbfounded. Finally caught up with the group and was now trailing them. Perhaps they took it easy on their way out towards Avida Village

I ran alongside with them for a few minutes before I decided to inch my way forward. Slowly overtaking some runners. Since it was another downhill, I capitalized the terrain to my own advantage. I was a couple of hundred meters away from the second turnaround (10km) when I saw Elvin (lead runner) and was being chased by Ritchel and Mark Anthony

Finally reached the 2nd turnaround point (chasers tent #3). Another mandatory walk break included. I was asked for my bib number. "187", I obligingly replied. Hydrated with a cup of water and braced myself with Nuvali's own heartbreak hill. From the turnaround until the next 500m was a very steep climb. It was only logical (and wise) to take it easy

After the very steep hill was a friendlier ascend that brought us back to Nuvali Blvd. On my way, I saw familiar faces. Most were smiling and can't deny that they're having fun while they take one step at a time towards the finish line and conquering their first (or second) marathon. I continued on cheering everyone. As soon as I've reached Nuvali Blvd, I made another walk break. Drank two cups, one filled with water and the other with sports drink. I also reached for a sponge drenched with cold water

Resumed running and was now going back towards Solenad. I was running with Mark Sigue when we've reached the chasers tent #2 (km12.6) where MarkT was stationed. The dream chasers greeted us again with their infectious enthusiasm and long balloons

From thereon until the next chaser station (km15.5) things got a little bit lonely. There were just 4~5 of us running on the road. And the lead runner was nowhere to be found. I kept on pounding the concrete pavement at a similar pace with the rest so I won't lose them in my sight. I was seizing every opportunity of overtaking one runner at a time. Kilometer 16 marked my energy gel intake. Good thing a water station was nearby. Had to take another walk break to keep my legs fresh.

While running along with the lead group, it seems that most of them don't take any walk breaks at all. Or I'm probably too busy chasing them that I didn't notice. It was a different story with Ricky. He was consistently implementing his run-walk strategy. He was having short walk breaks then bursts with a sub5 min/km pace each time he runs.

Now at km17. I was asked to turn right in East Nature Ave towards Abrio. Sped up a little bit. Did a sub5 (8 min/mi) pace. Was now chasing others again. At this time I was unaware with my current position. All I knew that I was able to pass a few but had no idea how many runners were in front. I saw chasers tent #4 in Abrio Rotunda (led by Miriam). The said station housed speed demons from Team PowerPuff Boys (Alfred, Totoy, Jixee, MarkHernz, and Ronnel) I just grabbed a cup to hydrate myself and quickly resumed on running

It was more than 90 minutes since the last time I saw the guys at the start/finish arc. Was very happy to see them in the SecondWind Zone (km18.4) The team screamed with joy and yelled that I was now in 3rd place. I was astounded! I thought that there were still plenty ahead of me. I just grabbed my second energy gel from Weng, ditched the idea of replacing my moleskin, and put my game face on.

Worked on shortening the distance between me and the runner ahead. I caught up with Ricky at the corner of Evozone Ave and Taal Rd. "I thought this was supposedly fun, why are we all so serious?", I cheerfully asked. I was now infront of Convergys (One Evotech) when I saw Elvin (lead runner) again. Since I didn't knew the exact location of the 3rd turnaround point, I initially had no idea how far or near I was. Though I chose to think the latter. Focused on keeping things positive. And I was right. I was only 150 meters behind!

Knowing how close I was, adrenaline shot through the roof. My leg turnover became faster. My strides longer. Arms swung wider. Focus became razor sharp. Every second mattered. I was now more keen on chasing the leader. After running for almost a kilometer. My wish was granted. Finally caught up with the lead runner

Even though my competitive spirit was screaming I still cheered him on. Shouted out his name and tried to motivate him. Keeping things in perspective, TBRDM isn't about finishing first. It is about finishing. Period.

Now back in the SecondWind Zone (km20.5) headed to Nuvali Blvd for my second loop. The team got ecstatic when they learned that I was now leading. I asked the guys to take a picture of me with the lead bike escort. As I might not have another opportunity because usually it is the Kenyans/Ethiopians who gets escorted on our local races. I was running hard. Still pumped up with adrenaline. Eugene then reminded me to take it easy and be more conscious on my pace. Fearing that I might hit the wall early


To be continued ...

8 comments:

deemenrunner said...

omg bitin pa rin!!! hahahaha! pero ang daming nangyari! grabe ung memory mo ng events. galing! :)

Daves said...

hahahah! will start writing part 3 soon :)

QP said...

spirit of the (tbr dream) marathon ba ito, sir daves? :))

Daves said...

ahahahah! as long as it will inspire others :)

adventistrunner said...

ka-abang abang =)

DaddyCastle said...

wow! so vivid! I cant wait for part 3. Its all coming back.. so inspiring :) congrats!

RunningAtom said...

i-click na ang 'Publish' ng Part 3... kainis! hahaha...

Grabe naman Daves, buong detalye naaalala mo pa rin!

Daves said...

angelo/noel/alfred, to be honest i haven't started with part 3. though i really need to start converting my experience into words. at baka malimutan ko na at hindi ko na maisulat ;)

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