Rekindling the Fire in my Belly

I’ve been absent from the racing scene for more than two years.  Since my ITBS injury in March 2011, attempts at a comeback were foiled by one injury (not necessarily running-related) after another, not to mention occassional bouts with the flu.  To be sure, this is not to say that I did not sign up for anything at all in those two years. 

There was the 2011 QCIM in December, during which I went on pacer duty for the missus for her 1st half-marathon.  My longest runs being only the two 10k’s that I ran the week before the race, I was able to keep up with her for the first 15k only.  I clocked in at 2:16:32, about 6 minutes slower than my better half.  In fact, this race gave me my first taste of leg cramps since my highschool basketball days.

In March 2012, I was requested (read: forced) to join this 5k fun run at UP Diliman that was sponsored by UP WILOCI.  A retired partner of ours is a member and she wouldn’t take no for an answer.  The course was short by 110m, which allowed me to turn in a respectable time of 23:16.  My time would have been a lot better had I not walked.  But alas, the lack of racing experience practically transformed me into a running newbie – I started out too fast on the first 2km, with split times close to the 4:15 mark.

In September 2012, I tried something new.  Actually, two things.  Trail running and trail biking –  in one event – the Adrenaline Off-road Duathlon.  Despite the lack of adequate preparation, I thoroughly enjoyed  the experience.  If anything, I would say that the Adrenaline OD was responsible for getting me back on track, training-wise.  Oh, how I missed pushing myself to the limit.   Yes, this event pushed me to my limits.  I cramped up twice and my average HR was really up there.  Trail running is really a different animal.  I ended up running a lot slower than my 5:45mpk target race pace.  But boy, I had tons of fun –

Running alongside the good senator.

Running alongside the good senator.

Game face on.

Game face on.

     

Game face #2.

Game face #2.

* Photo credit to MTB.Ph

Despite the Adrenaline OD being my first crack at a duathlon and, not to mention the lack of adequate training, I was able to turn in a decent result:

Results

The Adrenaline OD was supposed to serve as my springboard to regular training but, again, a few things got in the way – nasty bouts with the flu, work, relocation and the Christmas holidays.  At least I was injury-free.   In the latter part of January 2013, I was able to get myself to run thrice a week.  It was then that I decided that I should sign up for a race and jump straightaway into a training program to keep myself motivated.  The Safeguard 2XU Half-Marathon scheduled on April 21, 2013 seemed to be the perfect comeback race.  And so my 11-week program began just like that.

The goal initially was to finally run a sub-1:50 half-marathon and banish my 21k demons.  In fact, the SmartCoach 11-week program that I generated called for a 4:52mpk race pace.  While I was able to nail a majority of my workouts, I wasn’t able to turn in decent long runs.  In fact, the weekend before the race, my “long” run was only 11.62km. 

I really had no plans of running at 4:52mpk, but I figured that 5:00mpk should be doable.  However, having failed to nail my long runs, I decided to play it safe and just target 5:12mpk, barely enough to get me that sub-1:50.  I was able to stick to my target race pace of 5:12mpk for the first half of the race.  However, on kilometer 11, I saw that I was a minute behind.  On kilometer 15, I was two minutes behind.  It was at this point that I decided to take it easy as it dawned on me that a sub-1:50 was practically out of reach.  I ended up finishing in 1:55:22 – officially, a new PR, but by no means my fastest 21.1km.   Methinks it’s time to strike while the iron is hot.  RU2 and KOTR, here I come.

Running on fumes as I approached the finish line.

Running on fumes as I approached the finish line.

  *Photo credit: Running Photographers FB Page  

The past two years were insignificant, not only running-wise.  However, 2013 looks a lot more promising as new goals and challenges await.  Exciting times indeed.  Now I’m all fired up.

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2 Responses to “Rekindling the Fire in my Belly”

  1. Prauthner Says:

    Keep at it bro! How do you like dem compression socks?

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