RUPM Trilogy: Done!

Before the start with Team 90%

I was looking forward to getting this done, the last of Run United’s trilogy race. This marathon got me thinking whether i would be able to finish it without the internal discomforts that bothered me during training, knowing the ordeal i went through after failing to finish the Milo Marathon a few months ago. Back then, i had suffered from diarrhea and a bad case of acid reflux.

My goal was just to redeem myself, finish the race before the prescribed cut-off time and put all those bad experiences behind me.

WARM UP: Fifteen minutes before the start, we had the usual cursory warm-up exercises but what made this warm-up special was that this was lead by no less than our team mate Gemma, a Doctor by profession who also dabbles as a physical fitness instructor at Gold’s Gym!  She had the crowd of about 3,000 runners moving on their feet, dancing on some Zumba beat with our movements suppressed, given the limited space runners had to stretch and swing their legs on!

Me, along Seaside Blvd. (Photo by Running Photographers)

START: The 3:00am start was right on the dot… 3:00am! We were positioned at the middle, right side and since there were only about 3,000 runners for the 42k, no wave corrals were necessary. The gun goes off  and i’m seeing many in blue and white all around me. Always funny to see male runners dashing into the first available walled fence to relieve those over-loaded bladders while getting heckled from the other runners. I even so a female runner pulling down her shorts oblivious of the other male runners around her! Wtf!

I was still worried about my acid reflux and could feel some discomfort while pacing with Betty and Carol so after about 3 kms, i decided to just slow down and keep my pace a little tolerable.

WATER STATIONS: They were pretty abundant and every aspect of it was very satisfactory. Lots of cold water, plenty of extra ice where volunteers would even pour some into your water bottles, abundant sponges which i didn’t feel any need to use since i could pour cups of cold water into my head unlimitedly. Gatorade drinks were also limitless but the taste would vary from station to station as some were blandly mixed while others had the taste just right.

PORTALETS: I saw some that were strategically scattered along the route but there were lines that you have to queue into and that would take precious time. I had already felt some ramblings and queasiness in my tummy and wanted to relieve myself but seeing the long queue prompted me to delay the visit. However, the chance came when i reached the Petron station at the corner of Buendia and Makati Avenues so decided to sprint up the second floor and make a #2. Oh la la!

TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT: I think the marshals, Police and traffic aides did a great job in controlling the intersections although there were points that we really had to be stopped to give way to the motorists for a few seconds and that was fine with me. Bottlenecks were at the Buendia-Dian junction, corner of Roxas Blvd and Buendia, junction of Buendia and Macapagal Highway and the bus crossroad near the coastal highway along Macapagal Avenue.

Along Roxas Blvd.

MEDICAL SUPPORT: They were all over the place! One thing i like about them is their medics carry with them liniment oil which they readily sprayed to whoever needs it. One tip to keep cramps at bay is to have your calves and thighs sprayed with this oil even if you do not feel any cramps coming as yet. I had my legs sprayed twice and for someone who cramps during the end part of the race, i didn’t feel any tightness for the whole duration of the race.

FINISH LINE: Nice touch at this year’s finish when after crossing the finish line, the marathoners are led to a chute that passes beneath the stage as we exit to a supposedly throng of crowds waiting in the open area while they’re watching on the going-ons up stage. Except that there were few people out in the open field (most were under the shade of tents watching from afar).

I think the intended purpose of getting people to cheer you when you come out of this chute was lost as people watching the awarding ceremonies and the pop bands that were playing at the stage didn’t mind who finished the marathon or what. It became a perfect photo-ops session instead, 42k finishers proudly displaying their medals and Philippine flags while photographers from the fantastic Photo-Ops Photographers Team were clicking their cameras non-stop.

OVERALL: A great experience and every aspect of this race was so well organized. Water stations, medics, all-you-can-eat bananas, great race photographers and fantastic runners whom you bump and chat into, sharing thoughts, commiserating each other’s pain, breathing together step by step until the end.

The small Philippine flag given you 400 meters before the finish line is a great booster, at a time when you just want to throw in the towel or just jog to the finish. There was a runner who i assume is from Singapore asking the marshal if he had any Singapore flag to carry instead of the RP flag. Told there was none, she just graciously accepted the Philippine flag and wave it over her shoulders with a broad smile on her face.

(Picture by Photo-ops)

Runrio and Run United put together a great event and i’ll look forward in running it again next year! A special mention of thanks to my photographer friends along the route, my team mates at Team 90%, Mommy Vimz Mendoza, Claire Papa, Janice Miguel, Dada Teves, Runrio, Run United, Judith Staples, my product sponsors and my 2 inspirations, Chica and Marlies! 🙂

Results of last Sunday’s race here: http://runrio.com/2013/10/2013-run-united-3-philippine-marathon-results/

With Soleus big boss Judith Staples

Tapering And Other Musings Before RUPM

Months ago, i had commited to complete the Runrio Trilogy for this year, just like i did last year (2012)  so i registered for the final race, the Run United Philippine Marathon which is happening in less than 3 weeks time. At this moment, I have now entered the homestretch and the tapering has just started after doing copious distances of 32k+ LSDs on weekends.

The 80-90kms of weekly mileage (a modest sum to more serious marathoners) will now ease to 50-60kms for the next 3 weeks and i really look forward to taking a little breather although a quality 21k run with my running buddies, (Leo, Sylvia, Betty, Tonet, Chito, Majonie and Gemma) will still be in order in the next few days just to keep the legs and lungs sharp.

The last long run last Saturday was a blast! We did a lot of goofy things during our 32k run and we were like kids trying to out-run, out-wit and out-hustle those who were naturally running faster than we were. Leo and i were sneaking out to really make fast bursts of speed from the group to give us an advantage to finish the run ahead of the rest. We did this while they were busy buying from some vendors or were taking a break.

I was laughing out loud when looking at my back, Sylvia and Betty who were the faster runners in the group realized what we were up to and tried to play catch-up. They were trying to bridge the gap with so much effort when i suddenly froze on a pedestrian stop light and waited for about 2 minutes. Sheesh, that 2 minutes translated like about 600 meters of fast running so by the time i was able to cross the road at the junction of Santolan and Katipunan Roads, they were now a few steps away at my back!

So, imagine the ribbing i got from these ladies when they nagged about us trying to pull a stunt on them! Hahah…

After the run, we decided to proceed to Betty’s place and have breakfast, with the customary wine and brandy to go with the food and banter. We were in stitches trying to recall the random madness of trying to outran each other and each one of us had a story to tell. We were so hungry, but thirsty as well and we had these:

Breakfast!?!

Liempo! Thanks to Andok’s outlets

Good ol crispy chicken

In other running news, i had an easy 10k run in pouring rain the following Monday at the Greenhills Shopping Center grounds with trail running buddy Iris who lives nearby. I ran from my house to her place which is about 4 kms away and the rains were really blasting when we both started together.

The run around the Greenhills shopping center was a bit jarring as we had to run on the pedestrian walkway which was tiled and kind of slippery when wet. It’s a 1.1 km loop and we were like running around in circles, trying to dodge joggers and walkers whom we were sharing the pavement with.

Iris is coming back from a hip and itbs injury which was aggravated when she slipped on some wet rocks during a trail run at Miyamit in Porac , Pampanga a month ago. This was going to be her first come-back run after that incident and although her injury hasn’t completely healed, she burned the lanes as if a bird was set free from her cage, setting on for a tempo-like session.

We did a total of just 6 kms and i persuaded her not to push it too far or hard as it might only aggravate her still tender injury which she complained was still bugging her after the run. She plans to run the Miyamit CM42 Half-Marathon Trail race this coming Sunday but have my doubts if she’ll be 100% fit to run this hilly course.

I have still maintained my 80kms/weekly training and this, as i mentioned should come down considerably in the next 3 weeks as i taper. The Run United Marathon looms on October 6 which will be my come-back marathon after that disastrous Milo Marathon 2 months ago where i bonked due to Hyperacidity and diarrhea.

I’m still concerned with my acid-reflux and have been taking meds this last few weeks while training. I am aware of this condition and just hope for the best that it improves come race day. I just need to suck it this last few weeks and see. I’ll be doing a 21-25k run tomorrow with my team hoping to add some finishing touches to the taper. This will be a crucial “simulator” run even if this is only a training run.

See you later…