Wednesday, January 27, 2010
It's final. I will be running my first (maybe only) ultra marathon in this year's Bataan Death March 102.
People ask me why and I wish I had a deeper reason for wanting to run an ultra. I want to do it because it's there -- a new running challenge waiting to be conquered.
102 kilometers from Mariveles, Bataan to the old train station in San Fernando, Pampanga in 18 hours or less.
An ultra is unknown territory for the marathon foodie. 42K is already long. The BDM is twice that distance and then some 18K more. So how am I preparing for this race?
Mileage is a given, but one needs a race plan you can commit to on race day. Pretty much like preparing a trial brief at the beginning of the litigation process.
I made a guide and it looks good on paper. Eugene will be my one-man support crew. I hope it all comes together on race day. Wish me luck?
Time/ Race Pace Plan
12:00-1:00AM KM1 to KM6
1:00-2:00AM KM7 to KM12
2:00-3:00AM KM13 to KM18
Note: Road forks at KM 14, support vehicle to wait at KM 14 marker.
Runners turn rigt upon reaching KM 14.
3:00-4:00AM KM19 to KM24
Note: Road forks at KM 23, support vehicle to wait at KM 23 marker.
Runners turn rigt upon reaching KM 23.
4:00-5:00AM KM25 to KM30
5:00-6:00AM KM31 to KM36
Note: Road forks at KM 32, support vehicle to wait at KM 32 marker.
Runners turn rigt upon reaching KM 32.
Note: Breakfast 10 mins. (Wheat pandesal, Adobo flakes or adobo pinauga, banana)
6:00-7:00AM KM37 to KM42
7:00-8:00AM KM43 to KM48
8:00-9:00AM KM49 to KM54
9:00-10:00AM KM55 to KM60
Note: Snack Break 10 mins. (Wheat pandesal, adobo flakes or adobo pinauga, banana)
10:00-11:00AM KM61 to KM66
11:00-12:00PM KM67 to KM72
Note: Lunch Break 10 mins. (Wheat pandesal, adobo flakes or adobo pinauga, banana)
12:00-1:00PM KM73 to KM78
1:00-2:00PM KM79 to KM84
2:00-3:00PM KM85 to KM90
Note: Snack Break 10 mins. (Wheat pandesal, adobo flakes or adobo pinauga, banana)
3:00-4:00PM KM91 to KM96
4:00-5:00PM KM97 to KM102
Nutrition/ Hydration Plan
9:00PM Jollibee Meal (Rice and Chicken)
1:00AM Trail Mix, Water, 100 Plus
2:00AM Trail Mix, water, 100 Plus
3:00AM Trail Mix, water, 100 Plus
4:00AM GU, water, 100 Plus
5:00AM GU, water, 100 Plus
6:00AM Wheat pandesal, Adobo flakes or adobo pinauga, banana
7:00AM Trail Mix, Water, 100 Plus
8:00AM Trail Mix, Water, 100 Plus
9:00AM GU, water, 100 Plus
10:00AM Wheat pandesal, adobo flakes or adobo pinauga, banana
11:00AM GU, water, 100 Plus
12:00PM Wheat pandesal, adobo flakes or adobo pinauga, banana
1:00PM GU, water, 100 Plus
2:00PM GU, water, 100 Plus
3:00PM Wheat pandesal, adobo flakes or adobo pinauga, banana
4:00PM GU, water, 100 Plus
-10 bottles 100 Plus
-10 bottles Cobra Energy Drink
-Water (2 bottles 5 liters each)
-Leukoplast Tape (for blister)
-Ponstan SF (5caps.)
-Benadryl Antihistamine No Drowse (2 Tabs.)
Race Day Clothes:
-orange singlet (for 12AM to 6:00AM)
-longsleeve dri fit golf shirt (for 6:00AM to Finish)
-Sugbutri shirt (for photo op.)
-extra sports bra
-3 pairs socks
-2 pairs of shoes
-2 GF 305 (ombined batt life 20 hours)
-1 TMX Ironman watch
-flashlight and extra batteries
-two (2) sprayers, one for water, one for eficascent oil
-eficascent oil (big)
-water, additional 5 gallon to be carried in vehicle
-paper towels - to dry feet and stop eficascent from dripping onto -shoes/socks
-hydrite - three (3) tablets per five liter bottle
-big cardboard - to hide behind when you want to pee
It will keep me on a 9:00 MPK pace. Plus they help conjure images of running water, rain and the sea while running on a really hot day.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
1. The 42K route was supposed to pass through the Marcelo Fernan bridge connecting Mactan Island to mainland Cebu. Next to the Magellan's Cross, the second of the two Mandaue-Mactan bridges has become an iconic image of Cebu.
But the bridge management board is headed by Gov. Gwen Garcia who is engaged in a bitter fight with Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmena and Cebu City is a co-presenter of the marathon. If Mayor Osmena was a woman, it would have been a really nasty cat fight and the organizers would be caught in the crossfire. To solve the problem before it became one, the organizers scrapped the bridge portion of the race route.
2. The race route for the 42K was revised four times with members of CERC conducting several test runs to make sure that the distance was spot on.
3. Unheralded but nonetheless crucial was the support of Talisay City during last Sunday's race.
Unlike Manila's MMDA, Metro Cebu does not have a unified traffic management body. Hence, when the 42K runners crossed the small bridge separating Cebu City and Talisay City, CITOM no longer had jurisdiction.
But, setting jurisdictional issues aside and even without any credit in the media releases about the event, the City of Talisay still graciously provided marshalls and their own traffic enforcers who ensured that runners were given priority and right of way when they crossed four intersections found at the Talisay portion of the SRP.
4. Sportsman and marathoner Jonathan Atan Guardo and Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmena clobber each other everyday in the papers as both are running for the Cebu City South congressional seat. One of the major issues in the campaign is Mayor Tom's health, which makes Tom and Atan a study in contrast.
But, Atan ran the full mary at the CCM despite knowing that if the race would be successful, Mayor Tom would surely get credit. On the ther hand, Mayor Tom supported the marathon, thus providing Atan a possible vehicle to show voters a physically strong candidate as opposed to an ailing one.
They may have been rivals, but the CCM provided both camps with a win-win situation.
5. CERC composed of doctors, lawyers, businessmen, university professors, engineers, businessmen and professionals personally manned the stations. RTC Judge Gabriel Ingles personally handed out water cups and bananas at the Capitol Parish water station. Real doctors massaged runners legs at the stations found at the last 10 KM of the race route.
Much has been said about the CERC's perfect teamwork, diplomacy, foresight and combined experience running marathons in different parts of the country and of the world as crucial in contributing to the success of CCM.
I say fierce pride of place brought them all together.
You see, this is how Cebuanos think -- Cebu is not just a place. It is also an identity -- a brand. If an event that carries the Cebu brand fails, then everyone of us here share in that failure regardless of political color or station in life, whether you're a participant or not. Thus, when put to task, expect Cebuanos to come in full force and put our best foot forward.
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
“The marathon is a charismatic event. It has everything. It has drama. It has competition. It has camaraderie. It has heroism. Every jogger can’t dream of being an Olympic champion, but he can dream of finishing a marathon.” – Fred Lebow
I finished the Cebu City Marathon in 5:11:13 (official time) or 36 minutes faster than my first marathon time of 5:47set last October at the QCIM.
With Coach Precing Capangpangan
But my biggest story of marathon triumph is about one of the last four guys who crossed the finish line that day – my husband Eugene.
Eugene and I are hardly ever together in the same place. We’ve been married for a little over three years now, but if we count the number of days we’ve been together it won’t reach 365.
It is not true what the cliché says about distance making the heart grow fonder. Instead, time and distance can erode affection and the lack of shared experience can make strangers of two people, more so when you have little in common to begin with. We were in trouble and just about ready to give up.
So it was a big surprise when after dragging him to Coach Jim Saret’s lecture at the CCM running clinic, he registered for the 42K instead of the original plan of running only 5K while I do my second marathon.
On the day we registered, my training was peaking while
MF: It’s just a month and a half away. There’s not enough time for training.
MF: 42K isn’t 2 miles.
MF: You could die you know.
MF: Why do you want to do the full marathon? You never liked running.
I continued to train in Cebu while
We agreed to run the race, but at different paces. The plan was for me to come back for him at the Fuente Osmena circle and escort him in the final six kilometers -- almost like running an ultra. Eugene's general race day plan was to run right behind Twinkle Ignacio. It is Sinulog after all and surely, the race officials will wait for the only runner carrying the image of the Sto. Nino.
I met my best friend Mary and her husband John at the finishline. They both ran the 5K race and decided to wait with me. The clock kept ticking - 6:00, 6:15, 6:25. Twinkle already crossed the finishline still there was no sign of Eugene and Raffy.
At 7:05, Joel Juarez, the lead motorcycle marshall appeared and told us the last four runners were at JY Square. "Did you find my husband? Puti iyang singlet, kuyog sila Raffy?" Joel said Yes.
I cried again, only this time, from sheer and utter relief. The clearest thought that was running through my head was that if Eugene died that day running a marathon for me, I would be totally heartbroken and would never recover. You know what they say, 'you don't know what you got till it's gone'.
Soon, Raffy and Eugene appeared running hand in hand at the last 300 meters. Everyone was clapping. As I stood there waiting for Eugene to cross the finishline it was as if a cloud had lifted and I was seeing him clearly for the first time.
Raffy and Eugene crossed the finishline together at 7:10:15 (official time). Eugene had cramps as early as KM 14 and again at KM 18. They ran and walked the rest of the way where they met rookie runners Cliff Abraham and Rex Wagas who were hobbling because they were wearing new shoes on race day! Eugene and Raffy found their second wind at KM 35, but refused to leave behind Cliff and Rex, who were the last two to cross at 7:20:59.
All those 26.2 miles became the shortest distance between
Eugene and I are a work in progress, and we realize that we need to work harder than most. The words commitment, perseverance and sacrifice best describe not just what it takes to train for the marathon, but also what it takes to keep any relationship going.
My practice continues to keep me bound here in Cebu and Eugene's obligation to God and country will continue to keep him away from home. As for time and distance, it will hopefully be nothing more than a reading on a GPS watch.
With Raffy Osumo, Mary and John Lood
Photo credits: Crestina Boholst, Marlen Del Mar-Limpag, Michael Enriquez, Mary Valero-Lood
I also met the Bald Runner himself, retired Gen. Jovie Narcise, Jinoe Gavan who's the topman of Takbo.ph. and Jonel Mendoza of Team Hardcore and founder and editor-in-chief of the newly minted Frontrunner magazine.
with Jinoe Gavan and Dr. Reel Bontol a.k.a. Reel Running
And there was Luis Arcangel a.k.a. the Gingerbreadman, whose fantastic humor and writing style I admire so much. It was also a reunion of sorts for me and Carlo Serrano a.k.a Drum and Run who took some of these photos. Thanks Carl!
With the Gingerbreadman and Tin Sayson
I was nervous at the CLP for two reasons -- these bloggers, whose opinions matter to other runners and even corporate sponsors (who read their blogs), will not only be running Cebu's biggest race, but will review and critique it as well. In short, for good or bad, they will play a crucial role in whether or not the Cebu City Marathon in 2011 will gain support from the running community outside Cebu City and the sponsors who are supposed to bankroll next year's event.
The other reason I had butterflies in my stomach was because I as supposed to deliver an inspirational speech that night along with top Filipino triathlete Noy Jopson, sub-four marathoner Dr. Yong Larrazabal and Coach Rio Dela Cruz. Why I got picked, I had no idea. (Paano yan? Walang teleprompter! Hahaha!)
The Pasta Party Speech:
Good evening everyone!
My marathon pace ranges from 8:00 minutes to 7:30 minutes per kilometer, which means I will probably finish the entire course on Sunday between 5 to 51/2 hours.
At this rate, I will probably never win a marathon; and every runner’s cherished dream of a Boston qualifier is still a good few years away.
But I have been tasked tonight to give a few tips and a bit of inspiration to those who will try to conquer the full marathon distance in this our Queen City of the South.
This is probably because although I am neither the fastest nor the slowest, I represent the average participant – those non-athletes who on Sunday will nevertheless run all those 26.2 miles -- from the gut, from the heart and even from the deepest recesses of our souls.
With Annie Neric of Holiday Gym and Spa, TBR, Jane and Andrew Ong of Leona's
(I’d like a show of hands – Those who will be running the marathon for the first time on Sunday, please raise your hand? Those who will be running the half marathon for the first time please raise your hand?)
There is a great debate going on whether plodders and slow runners like many of us here tonight, have a place in the marathon. It is a race after all – a running event and not a walking competition.
The New York Road Runners’ Mary R. Wittenberg the race director of the world renowned ING New York Marathon gives an excellent defense on behalf of the 5-hour plus marathoners and it goes –
“The marathon is the Mt. Everest of running. In other words, the ultimate goal. One that takes careful and rigorous preparation. But we specifically don’t say – ‘you’ve got to be fast to do it.’To us, it’s about conquering the distance and conquering self doubt. The marathon is about dreaming to achieve and putting in all the work to make that dream reality.A marathoner is a marathoner regardless of time. Virtually everyone who tries the marathon has put in training over months, and it is that exercise and that commitment, physical and mental, that gives meaning to the medal, not just the day’s effort be it fast or slow. It’s all in conquering the challenge.”
Team Sugbu Triathlon
Personally, it has made my life richer with new friends and new-found knowledge. All the sacrifice and self-denial that marathon training demands have made my life more meaningful.
It has taught me once again to dream like a child and to persevere on those dreams. It has made me stronger, tougher and braver – well beyond improved physical fitness.
I’m sure it has changed your life too hopefully for the better and I wish we could swap marathon stories tonight.
I end this short message with a few tips gained from running segments of the Cebu City Marathon’s 42K route over and over in the last 3 months of training.
- 500 meters before SRP, you will be passing through the Basilica del Sto. Nino. If you’re religious, superstitious, or want to finish without injuries, it might be a good idea to light a candle.
- Here’s a real idea, why not light 21 or 42 candles – one for each kilometer? You don’t have to stop running to do this. The Sinulog dancing, candle-wielding mananabtan will do the task for you. A candle costs P1.00 per piece, the Sinulog dancing is free.
- On your way back to the finish line the sun will be directly in your eyes as you will be facing the east when you run along Escario St. and Mango Ave. (for the 42K runners).
- For the 42 K runners, the last 10 kilometers will be a killer. Expect to negotiate at least seven hills and inclines on your way to the finish line. These are – the two hills on Mango Avenue located beside Iglesia ni Kristo and Mango Square; the hill along Escario Street, and the two hills along Gorordo Ave. beside Gemsville Subdv. and the unfinished Mormon temple on a hill.
- When you make the turn at J.Y. square, cheer up, it’s all literally and figuratively downhill from there to the finishline.
Finally, on behalf of my running friends, I would like to thank the Cebu Executive Runners Club for taking on the gigantic task of putting up this prestigious event. It’s amazing how you managed to convince the Cebuano runners – who are all tihik (kuripot) to the bones – to shell out more than P300 pesos for the registration fee. I guess this turnout – huge by Cebu standards – is a testament to your reputation and the trust we runners have in your group.
Thank you to all the sponsors.
Thank you to the City of Cebu, Councilor Jack and Mayor Tom for fully supporting the Cebu City Marathon. Every great city in the world – London, Berlin, New York, Chicago, Boston – have their own big city marathons – if we do this right and be consistent year after year (whether you're a runner, organizer, marshall, spectator or a volunteer at the water station), if we do this right maybe the Cebu City Marathon can someday be in the same league as the world marathon majors.
See you all this Sunday.