Saturday, May 18, 2013

Dream Marathon

New York City Marathon has always been my dream marathon. Two years ago, I was planning to join NYCM on the year that I will turn 40! The plan was to do at least a couple of full marathons before registering for NYCM.  But due to some unfortunate events - the Jaime episode and the shin splint mishap, I saw that my plan wouldn't be able to push through. So, after having done some rain check, I am now kicking in my NYCM plans to 2015!

I ran, however, another dream marathon - The Bull Runner Dream Marathon aka TBRDM.

TBRDM Dream Big Run Strong

TBRDM, as claimed by the organizers, is the first and only marathon exclusive for beginners in the entire world.  You should be running either your first or second marathon to qualify for registration.  Another unique feature of this is the race cut-off at nine hours.  You can actually walk the entire course and be called a marathoner.

The organizers, called TBR Dream Team, advocate the use of Jeff Galloway's run-walk method.  This worked for me, since it had been barely two months before race day did I recover from my injury.  Having said that there is such thing as stock knowledge when one reviews poorly for an examination, I have conveniently believed that my running muscles have stored enough knowledge on how to run long distance.

So, armed with few 5-10k and a couple of 15-21k training runs, I decided to proceed with my first ever marathon!

A medical certificate is required in order to get your race bib.  It was lucky that I was the 2nd or 3rd to get a medical certificate from my Ortho, so I did not have a hard time.  I was just told to have another X-ray of my tibia a week after the marathon.

With a carbo-loaded dinner buffet, plenty of freebies, running accessories and raffle prizes in store, and a host with no less than the very "kikay" triathlete, Tess Prieto, the send-off party was one-of-a-kind.

Come race day, one could feel the excitement among the soon-to-be marathoners.  No one will forget the words of the marathon training program director, Coach Jim Lafferty, a few seconds before the 2 AM gun time.  He said, "In a few hours from now, you will be saying what 99.99% of the entire world population cannot: I AM A MARATHONER!"

And the gun went off at exactly 2 AM!

My strategy was 2.30 min run and 1.00 min walk.  This seemed to have been effective, since I was able to finish the first half of the course still strong.  It was fun during the first half, especially when I heard the buzzing and vibrating of our timing watches at different intervals.  Another thing that set this race apart from other races was that we didn't compete with each other, instead we encouraged one another!  And the dream chasers, wow!  I could only say good things for them.  They really supported and motivated us along the very long way.

Everything was going well, until I reached 25K, where I began to feel the fatigue. The walks became longer.  It was a good thing hubby started to pace me at this point.  It was a proud moment when I passed by Maricel Laxa; I thought she would finish ahead of me. As I saw her and her hubby, Anthony sped off during the first half.

The hardest part was the last 7K or so.  With only a few ounces of energy left in me, exacerbated by the heat of the sun, I struggled to finally finish the race at more than 6 hours.  Not a decent time, but considering that I lacked training and I had just resurrected from a serious injury, I am a happy marathoner!

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