Saturday, October 11, 2014

THE Road To My First Marathon

Sometime in 2013 around August or September if I remember right, i felt a nudge in my heart. I had been running for about a year and I found that desire to run a marathon. With about 5 half marys behind me i thought running a full would do me well. So there I found that seed planted in my heart. I said I would run AND qualify at the MILO Marathon in July 2014.
The Milo Marathon is probably the most prestigous marathon in the Philippines. Although it is nothing compared to the Boston or Chicago marathon it does promote the need for runners to be at least at a certain level of competitiveness because there are cut off markers and there are qualifying times to be able to run at the MILO Marathon finals held every December. Failure to qualify during the regional eliminations means you cannot compete in the MILO Finals. The qualifying time for my age category was 4:30. Reasonable and attainable IF one trains for it. Cut the long story short, I didn't train for it and had to pass registering for it.
By March of this year I told myself that if I don't start doing something about that sees in my heart, nothings gonna happen. It ain't gonna hrow if it ain't gonna be watered! I was blessed to have crosses paths with one of our countrys elite runners, Christabel Martes. I strongly felt that I needed a coach to first of all lay out a training plan for me secondly to strictly guide me and lastly to mentor me. Thankfully, she was more than glad to take me in when. I had no idea what was in store for me.
Running, for me started in 2011 when I wanted to lose weight. And as most stories go, it didn't stop there for me. I started signing up for fun runs.
We met for our first session in mid April. I was eager and excited . In the past, each  run I'd do would be more of a spur of the moment plan at least a day before I would actually run. I never had a training plan I would refer to. The most would be taking out snippets from downloadable training plans on the internet. Having a running coach gave me more of a fixed schedule. Runs I would look forward to and runs I would dread (the long ones and the fast ones LOL). Midway thru my training block at around the time my mileage was peaking (averaging 130kms a week) I hinted on giving up. I reached the point where I was craving to bike or swim but everytime I did, I was too tired to push in a quality workout. Apparently no one payed attention to my hints 😆. There would be times when I wanted to just block out everything and simply not run. But right when I was about to give up, my coach started to discuss my tapering.
Taper? Did anyone say taper?!? I was elated! I had no idea what it really meant to taper but it did sound enticing ! The last 4weeks leading to my first marathon focused on recovery and conditioning. I was made to realize that tapering was all about lowering mileage yet maintaining and even increasing the intensity. Here i made a very early (and wrong) conclusion that I preferred short,high intensity runs better. A week before the marathon, i joined a standard distance relay race where I did the 10k run. The day after that event, I could feel my body taking its toll. Itchy throat and runny nose!
Panic set it.

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