My longest and farthest race ever took place on the first day of June. When I registered for this race, I knew what I was signing myself up for but I did not expect the outcome. I trained consistently for this race, running at least three times a week and doing lots of circuit and core training in between. Thanks to Milo R2 APEX, btw, for the circuit training. Although the thought of the race drawing closer was overwhelming, I constantly reminded myself to take it easy and to not be pressured.
A week before the actual race, I joined the Etude Princess Run and I was already injured by then. That whole week, I tapered and kept myself hydrated properly. I also treated my injuries by applying hot and cold compress alternately. I was feeling calm. But on the day before the race, all hell broke loose and I went on full panic mode. You see, I forgot to buy GU Energy Gels until the day before so I ended up scouring every Toby's branch in Makati but to no avail. All of them were sold out. Good thing I found some at GNC for double the price (boo!) and ended up buying them anyways. So that was settled. Then I found out that there was a 4:30:00 cut-off time which was actually in the race FAQs (which I didn't bother to read) all along. Then I suddenly remembered that I left my race bib in the apartment which is an hour away from where I was staying at the moment. And that triggered it. I ended up crying my eyes out, bawling, and telling JC that it was a sign that I shouldn't run. But after fetching my bib from my apartment and getting a dose of pep talk from him, I finally calmed down. I prepared my stuff for the event and spent the rest of the afternoon sleeping.
My running attire and gear:
Pinoy Fitness flagship shirt
Nike running shorts
Nike sports bra
iFitness hydration belt
SL3S calf sleeves
Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS watch
I woke up on the morning of June 1st feeling perky. I prepared myself a breakfast of chicken noodles and bananas, showered and changed into my running attire, and left the house. I chugged a bottle of Gatorade along the way. When I got to the venue, I met up with my running friends. Thirty minutes before the gun start, I consumed my first GU Energy Gel pack. Twenty minutes before the gun start, we were already assembled before the starting line. Waiting. Waiting. Waiting. My first ever 32km run was about to start in several minutes and I was feeling a mix of excitement and anxiety. I was a bundle of nerves, yet I felt like bouncing up and down. Finally, we heard the gun shot and off we went.
For the first half of the race, I stuck to my 3:1 plan (3 minutes run, 1 minute walk) like glue. Even though that seemed slow, it really wasn't. Because of my plan, I eventually started to bridge the gap between me and the runners in front of me. I even ended up getting ahead of some of them so the 3:1 was effective. It also helped me conserve my energy. I skipped every other hydration station to make up for my time.
When I reached the U-turn, I consumed my last pack of GU. By then, I started to feel some pain in my left ankle and the inside of my arms started to chafe. I saw an ambulance and asked for petroleum jelly, and that helped with the chafing. Little by little, the pain in my ankle increased and I ended up ruining my 3:1 plan. The one-minute walk became a two-minute walk. I saw another ambulance towards the 20th km and I asked for this menthol spray that helps relieve pain but they were all out. So I moved on. Within the last 10km, I started to slow down immensely. During the last 3km, the pain went all out and I couldn't run anymore. My energy was there but it felt like my legs did not want to function at all. I checked the time and I saw that there was only 10 minutes left before the cut-off. And that did it. I went on the verge of crying and I wanted nothing more than to just quit and sit on the gutter.
But I didn't. I pushed myself to go on, no matter how slowly I was going. Or walking. When I saw the finish line, I felt hopeful even though I was well outside the cut-off time. I saw JC near the finish line taking pictures and told him that I didn't want to have my picture taken because I looked awful. He took the damn pictures anyway. Haha. Upon reaching my finish line, someone handed me a medal (thank goodness). I'm not proud of my time but I'm proud of the fact that I finished and didn't give up. Also, I rejoiced on the fact that my first 32km run was faster than JC's first 32km run. Because I'm a competitive girlfriend like that (sorry, love). Hahaha.
my WTF face here is the reason I did not want to have photos taken!!!
My official time is 04:42:32 which was bordering on not-bad and really-bad. I promise to do better next time. Really.
me, after the race, looking spazzed out
As for my verdict of the Run United event, I can say that it is one of the best race events I've ever joined because of the fact that it was very well-organised. They never came short of cold hydration. There were also sponges to help us cool down. And there were also bananas, but they could be in one of the hydration stations that I skipped. There were marshals everywhere. There was no hassle or long queues in the finishers kit claiming. I loved the finishers shirt because of the good quality of the fabric and the very nice design. So yeah, it was really good overall. It was definitely one of those races that I will join again. :)
my 32k finishers medal :)