Monday, December 19, 2011

My Take On Serious Running On Races...

For the longest time I have been running for fun, and I enjoyed every moment of it. But one time when I was at the office browsing at some Marathon photos of top finishers on Facebook I wondered, "What if I try running a race seriously?" and boom! Here comes Ms. Curiosity!

I got a chance to join the Quezon City International Marathon 2011 (QCIM 2011) and I decided to stage my "Serious Race Mode" in this event. I researched on how serious runners prepare before the race and take note of each of them and here's what I did.

1. Have a serious training scheme - I did not have one because of work schedule but I tried doing core exercises during my spare time. At least I did some training right?

2. Take on hydration, diet and nutrition well - I always get a healthy meal and stayed away from my guilty pleasures for a while (No Churros Con Chocolate and Frozen Yogurt, for the meantime). I did a hydration plan before the race. Taking in much water as I can and making sure I drink before I get thirsty. I was very strict with this. I often visit the comfort room for a pee though.

3. Prepare all your race paraphernalia - I forgot my jellybean so I use an alternative, chocolate!

4. Try on a race plan - One of my effective strategies is using the Galloway Method in declining order, starting from 5:1, 4:1 and 3:1 up to the last 3 Kilometers which we take 1:1

5. Get a Competitive Pacer - I asked Che-Anne to be my pacer and glad she did agree!

6. Psych yourself up! - Yes! I did a serious concentration before and during the race.

7. Have an adequate 8 hour sleep - Cancelled! Work schedule won't permit me to do so. What I did is I had a good 6 hour sleep on early morning of Saturday.

Race day came. After work I did a quick relaxing shower and prepped up. Ofcourse I didn't have sleep and was kinda mentally tired because of the changes at work. But as a hard headed person I still pushed through.

From Left: Mike, Vladimir and Kevin of Never Run Alone, Boss Bern, Paul, Me and Che-Anne

We started the race like a breeze. Doing the 5:1 Galloway Method, Che-Anne was having an easy time with me, until I tried this new thing that I never tested on, a chocolate bar!

I was having this sweet tooth problem these past few weeks. I cannot resist the temptation of chocolates! I always find myself munching on Churros Con Chocolate in the office during my breaks. I am having a hard time controlling myself. When I try not to give in, I feel irritated and uncomfortable so I just give in to it. My blood sugar at night suffered the most so yes, I had +2 units of Insulin dose post dinner, and I gained another 2 Kilos! *Sobs*

After munching two blocks of that chocolate bar and going for a Kilometer, stomach started to feel uneasy. I felt so acidic the only way to reduce it is to throw up, and I did.

I tried getting everything out but I was out of luck, running the road stopping abruptly to throw up on the side of the street. I felt so bad, then our race started to suffer but still, I kept my motivation and will to take on it seriously.

Che-Anne reduced our Galloway plan to 4:1 and in a slower pace. It was still a struggle but I keep on holding on to the pace. When I saw the turnaround point I felt a sense of  relief. At last! We're halfway done!

At last! The turnaround point!!!

The hyperacidity was reduced since I already took out most of what I ate. I got all thirsty at La Mesa Dam because we need to remove our race belts. There are bacteria cultures inside and bringing in water or any form of liquid  from outside is prohibited.

So where did I put my Hydration Belt?

Going back, we passed by a hydration station that offered bananas. Nice! Che-Anne offered me some but I was hesitant. Thinking that it might help I took a bite and what do you know! It made my hyperacidity worst! I never learned my lesson at Condura Skyway Marathon where I also had this stomach problems when I ate bananas. I never learned!

At the last 6 Kilometers to the finish line, my body wants to shut down. I felt all the pain on my body, especially on my back and my thighs. I want to stop and walk but Che-Anne was so persistent in pushing me and I also want to maintain my race mode so yes, I pushed myself beyond my limits.

Rain drizzled and it gave us a kind of boost to hurry since our gadgets will get soaking wet if we don't. I should thank God for doing it so. At around 2 Kilometers I really want to get it over and done with so I tried running at a faster pace, but it only depleted my remaining energy so at near finish line I could barely run but still I pushed myself through.

Photographers are expecting a bubbly, all-smiles Amanda but they failed to see it. Here are some of the photos taken from the race.

Backshot! (Photo by Anjie Lintao)

Struggle well captured! (Photo by Lestsky Runner)

Was in struggle and pain! (Photo by PhillipBF)

Finish line! I don't even have the energy to wear my medal! (Photo by Spongebob Runner)

We finished the race with a time of 3 hours and 12 minutes based on the official time. That is 33 minutes off my previous PR at Run United 3! I even got almost 34 likes when I posted the result on my Facebook page. If you will notice the QCIM Individual Performance Chart below you'll see at the last stretch we were really sprinting to the finish.

I lost my head at the last Split Time, I think I really did...

Even if I didn't live up to Che-Anne's expectation, she is very happy of the result. She's so proud that I beat my previous PR with a tremendous time difference. When I got my medal at the finish line, it gave a sense of relief, confirming that it is over, and that's where I got my bubbly character back.

I was so glad I finished, and its all over!

The race was hard for me, and to admit, I was a bit frightened when we were running at Commonwealth Avenue. There were some loiters around bullying runners. My friend Ate Ajie even had her Camera snatched away from her, but she managed to run after the culprit to get it back. There is also an incident we saw that motorists argue with the traffic enforcers in a irrespective manner because of the heavy traffic we've cause, taking the right side of the road for the race.

Did I enjoy the race? No. I think If I didn't try eating a chocolate bar during the race I would somewhat enjoy it. Am I happy with the time result? Yes! It's nice to overtake other runners at the race. It brings a sense of achievement that I am improving based on performance but I guess I am not into competitive running at all, the only thing I can beat is myself. Oh well, it reminds me of my one-liner "I run not to win over other runners, I run to win over Diabetes!"

Thanks to my Daddy, Jazzrunner Rene Villarta for giving me the opportunity to join this race and to Runnex and the Quezon City Goverment as well. Ofcourse to my ever patient Pacer/Pusher, Cheryl Anne Lumanog for being very supportive and always uplifting my spirit, saying that I can, and I did!

Will I ever run QCIM again? Given a chance, yes! But I don't consider staging my PR mode there again, and I don't think I will try the competitive mode on. I'll just run to enjoy and who knows, maybe even without much exerted effort I can still beat my PR! and I guess beating myself while enjoying is the most rewarding feeling of all. Hoping that I will soon!

Good Vibes everyone and Sweet Running! ^_^

1 comment:

Rod said...

Congrats on your run last QCIM3!

I had my first full marathon that rainy day :-)

See you on the road! And Happy Holidays ahead!