Just recently, I signed up for the 36th Milo Marathon which will have its Manila Leg eliminations on July 29. The Milo Marathon has always held a special place in my running history. The first time I joined (the 34th edition), I almost tanked and DNFed (did not finish). They say it was the worstly-organized race in its long proud history (take a bow, Mr. Biscocho) featuring depleted hydration supplies during the final loop and the death of 21KM runner. It was my 2nd Full Mary (after the 1st Condura Marathon) and I clocked a dismal 5:49, practically walking the last 15 kms under sweltering desert-like conditions, along with the rest of the zombie-like runners.
Well, things have improved since then. A year later, during the 35th MM, the weather had a complete turn around. It was literally storming with strong rains whipping on all the runners along Manila Bay. Perhaps, I had improved as a runner (with a lot of competitive challenge from my buddy Dave) for I crossed the finish line this time at 4:52, my first sub-5 time.
With the 36th MM looming ahead, I’ve been trying to challenge myself during our almost daily training runs. The reasons:
a) That PDI article on the Team Wetshop of 3 differently abled swimmer, cyclist & runner who placed 2nd during the 5i50 Triathlon 2 weeks ago. From hereon in, no more excuses or alibis – just too shameful.
b) My frustrating performance during my last 21KM race (Run United 2) where I kept slowing down and walking, eventually timing a poor 2:10. I’ve been eyeing a sub-2 so it was high time to take my training regimen to the next level.
Since May, I’ve been running with Team CrisTina (that’s Cris, Toto & Tina) around the neighboring village which has some minor uphills and downhills. Our speed is what I would call a Chika Pace since we talk and share stories more than run actually, covering around 10 kms. from Monday to Friday (but I would usually miss out on 1 or 2 days). Now our pacing is usually more continuous with some speed runs incorporated when the we’re feeling stronger. Fridays usually takes us up to Antipolo church (a good 13KMs) culminating to short prayer session and a light breakfast. We take the jeepney going down thereafter.
Two Saturdays ago, I got to join former Milo Apex colleagues (thanks Vann) who visited the Marikina Sports Center for their insane speed runs around the oval. I had a trail race the next day so my effort was half-baked even if I was sweating like a pig.
I have a registered already in one international marathon and some trail and ultra races so I’m hoping to really improve on my 42KM performance. I plan to start this with Milo…yep, I’m really getting ready! Now, if only the gods of the old and new would bless me during those magical moments.