My first Ultramarathon

1st Cebu Ultramarathon 50km

First of all, thanks to our support crew Andy, Mylen, and Mark. Only three of them but they managed to do everything for us!  There were parts of the race where I was running alone and then I’d see the support vechile, it gave me renewed energy.  Thank you, thank you very much.

50km Training Summary

A week-by-week recap of  my training for the 1st Cebu Ultramarathon 50km

Week 1 –  9/6   to  9/12
Total Mileage: 32km
The week following Milo Cebu Eliminations which was the first time I raced in Huarache Sandals.  Got the flu on Friday but fortunately was well enough to run on Sunday.

Week 2 –  9/13  to  9/19
Total Mileage: 47km
My daughter got dengue fever and was admitted to the hospital for around 3 days.  Was still able to put in some runs and the LSD to relieve some of the stress.

Week 3 –  9/20  to  9/26
Total Mileage: 67km
With my daughter back at home and recovering well, I was able to complete the whole week’s schedule including the B2B Weekend.

Week 4 –  9/27  to 10/3
Total Mileage: 46km
Rained almost every morning which accounts for the very low mileage.  I had to squeeze in a run in after lunch but still didn’t accomplish the required mileage.  On Sunday’s LSD, first time I had some pain in my ITB.

Week 5 –  10/4  to 10/10
Total Mileage: 56km
Participated in a 16km race on Sunday and added 12km at IT Park.  ITBS flared up again at more than 20km.

Week 6 –  10/11 to 10/17
Total Mileage: 52km
Did the 32km LSD at Cempark – 16 loops.  Still struggled with the ITBS.

Week 7 –  10/18 to 10/24
Total Mileage: 45km
Cycle down week.  Did hill repeats as the 16km LSD.

Week 8 –  10/25 to 10/31
Total Mileage: 85km
Took advantage of the holidays to complete the week’s required mileage.  LSD was 36km.  My friend Gifford lent me his ITB Strap and this enabled to me to run without the slightest pain in my injury.

Week 9 –  11/1  to 11/7
Total Mileage: 91km
My best week.Did the B2B (36km/16km) on Monday which was another Holiday.  Then ran a 42km LSD up high in the mountains as a semi-simulation of the race.

Week 10 – 11/8  to 11/14
Total Mileage: 67km
After the 42km LSD, this week was lacking in excitement and was only able to run 33km of the supposedly 36km LSD.  The Pacman/Margarito fight was on the same day and we wanted to hurry home and catch it on TV.

Week 11 – 11/15 to 11/21
Total Mileage: 46km
Did some Tempo runs to get back the rhythm lost with so much of the uphill/downhill slow runs.

Week 12 – Tapering
Total Mileage: 9km as of this writing
Did a very easy 5km on Tuesday and a 3.5km jog on Wednesday.

I’m pretty sure the race itself will be a blast because of the number of supporters/volunteers who will be scattered along the race route.  Aside from the official race aid stations every 10km, the Ungo Runners are setting up their own aid stations – the Ungo Team Ultra Support Crew.

So after 12 weeks of training and with a little over a day left before the starting gun fires, I pray to God to bless all the participants, all the support crew, the race marshalls, the organizers, and everyone else who will be there that we may all be safe and for us to enjoy the day of friendship and camaraderie.

Good luck to us all and see you on the road!

Learning the value of B2B Long Runs

Last Sunday October 31, I ran my longest distance ever – 36km.  Together with my training partners Edward and Richard, we did it in 4 hrs 46 mins.  The route took us 10km up and beyond “buak” (the corner going to Tops) and then we came back down and did the rest on flat terrain.

Sunday 36km LSD Elevation

The general feeling was good, we were trying to relax as much as possible so that we would still have some energy left for the next day’s 16km run.

Monday morning.  It was so so so so so hard to get up.  Waking up was easy because I slept early the night before but getting up was a different story.  My quads, hamstrings, and calves were very sore (let me say that again – VERY SORE!)  from the previous day’s long run.  I had to hold on to the walls and tables just to get up and walk to the bathroom.  It took ALL of my mental strength not to surrender and just go back to bed.

I kept thinking over and over again that I can do this.  I should not give up.  So I slowly continued going downstairs and because I already prepared what I needed for the run on Sunday night, all I had to do was pick up the things and go out before I changed my mind.

At the start, it was difficult to get a rhythm.  I was too busy adjusting my stride so that my legs wouldn’t hurt too much.  After a few kilometers of warm-up, the muscles were not so stiff anymore and was able to get a smoother stride.  Started enjoying the run starting at around the 5th kilometer and finished the 16km target distance without bonking.

Now I know the value of these so-called Back-To-Back Long Runs.  It is to train your mind to push yourself even at times when your body is telling you that there’s nothing left.  Doing it will enable you to eliminate negative thoughts and forget about surrender.  It’s like hitting “the Wall”, and being able to think away the pain and continue to finish the race.

Because you know you will be doing another long run on the next day, you will prepare yourself on the first half of the B2B.  You will be trained to hold back and relax even though you feel very strong and fresh at the start so as to have some energy left for the latter part of your activity.

I’m glad I have done it and I hope to be able to do 2 more of these B2B LSDs before the 50km race on November 27.