I made it.
Everything went according to plan for the first 50 km. 2km run with 2 minutes walkbreak. Clocked in at 8 hours 7 minutes. 16 hours was doable if I just did the same thing for the next 50.
I sat down at km 50 drinking coffee and ask myself how can I run another 50km? While slowly sipping the coffee, I thought of a change of strategy.
I would break down the last 50km into ten 5km chunks which I felt was more manageable than twenty-five 2km chunks. I’d run 5km straight but take longer 5-6 minutes walkbreaks to recover. It worked and I felt good. I got my stride and rhythm back aided by Edward’s metronome. Did it for 20 kilometers from km 50 to 70 and made good time. I was on my way to a negative split.
I underestimated the last 30 kilometers though. I felt really good at km 70 and thought I was strong enough to run all of the remaining distance with very little or even no walkbreaks. So I ran from km 70 to 80 with no walkbreaks and at a pace of 7min/km. Edward was becoming concerned and asked me repeatedly what my pace was. I would understate it and say that it was slower than 8min/km. I was afraid he would tell me to slow down when I was feeling very good. Huge mistake 😦
Edward told me that I was looking great but also subtly advised that I listen to my body and not build up lactic acid. It may cause me to burn up and not finish strong. Boy, did he hit the bullseye with that one.
I took a walkbreak at km 80 and took stock of how I was feeling. Felt some fatigue set in and realized how stupid I was to start running fast too early and not stick to the strategy. So I went back to 5km run/5minute walk from km 80 to 90 or so I thought…
At Aloguinsan I asked a local guy manning a municipality-sponsored aid station how many kilometers left to the finish line and he said 11 kilometers. I was surprised that it was nearer than expected but my mind readily believed him. I wanted it to be 11 kilometers. It turned out that he was wrong. *sigh* I ran around 5-6km thinking there was only 4-5km left and was shocked when I saw a sign that said I was still at “KM 90”! It really brought me down like a ton of bricks. I was demoralized like never before. That was when I didn’t have the strength to jog anymore, I only walked.
I walked and walked and walked…. Jogged for a minute or two but my legs were so so tired. I was seriously thinking of DNF at km 96 a few hundred meters from the Pinamungahan Plaza *sigh again*. Edward kept giving me the encouragements I desperately needed to just reach the finish line. It was the longest 5km of my life.
When I saw the parked cars along the road and heard the drums, it was such a relief. Ma’am Sheila Colmenares ran towards me and gave me a hug congratulating me, Doc Humility Igana also came up to me and spurred me on to the finish line telling me to run because there were cameras 🙂
Crossed the finish line in 17 hours 15 minutes, it was surreal. I still couldn’t believe it. 🙂
A race to remember, paced with a lot of friends part of the way, Ms. Joy Polloso, Nikko, Tony Galon, Joel Ouano, a big group with Mark Abol, John and Dins Domingo, Doc Ted Zamora, Lyra Valles, so many others. Had some photos with Dax McSuez and TG group at KM 45.
The organizers Doc Mitty, Michelle So, Sheila Colmenares, Joy Polloso, Lulu Valiente, Tony Galon, Joel Garganera, Nap dela Torre, Haide Acuña, Alex Junia, Ledoy and Bjane Mendoza, Jun and Loi Alicante, Joel Juarez, Willie Estepa, Ervin Limpag, and company, THANKS A MILLION METERS! 🙂
I’m eternally grateful to Edward Tan Ting, my one man support crew. He knew I was prepared mentally and had a game plan so he never tried to dominate me mentally and dictate what to do even when he saw I was making mistakes. He would just listen to me and observe my condition and just carefully drop hints here and there to let me be the “hero” for myself. He let me realized my own mistakes and let me correct them myself. A support crew who knew what to do and when to do it, what more could you ask for? For a newbie 100k runner, you are only as good as your support. And I was fortunate enough to have the best.