1. Don’t be “mayabang”(boastful)—This was the exact words from my wife when I told her that I was coughing the day before the marathon. Travelling by land for two straight days in the island of Negros just to fulfill my mission to visit my troops and give them their specific mission in the island in person, made a “heavy price” on my health status barely few days before the D-Day. I should had rested when I reached Iloilo City and should had cancelled my oval track run where rains poured on me while running. Sometimes, I forget that I am almost 56 years old and my mind would tell me that I still have the body and strength when I was in my 30s whenever I have my daily runs. This is the most significant lesson I’ve learned in preparing for a marathon race—there is no way I could reach and attain my previous PR time when I was in my 30s! However, breaking sub-four hours in a Marathon Race will be a nice goal after my retirement from the service.
2. Taper and Rest—I guess, my 14 weeks of training for the Marathon Race were not enough to improve my time but just enough to finish the marathon without any injuries or illness after so many years of not training for road races. I should had made my last long run two weeks before D-Day and slowly tapered and rested in the next few days.
3. From “low-tech to high-tech”—I thought my GF 305 does not have any backlight. It was my fault, I usually do not read the manuals of “high-tech” items, as long as they work, it is fine with me. My thanks to my blog-friends for telling me more about my GF 305.
4. More mileage & “speed” runs—This is obvious! After retirement, I will try the Lydiard Method of Training. I guess, I have more time to run with no more pressing responsibilities to attend to. Having my grandchildren to “babysit” will be another story! Ha! Ha! Ha!
5. Sports Gel & Enery Drinks—I have 100% belief that Sports Gel (Gu) and Energy Drinks (Gatorade/Red Bull) give a runner more resistance and strength in marathon races. I consumed at least 8 pieces of Sports GU (Vanilla & Chocolate flavors), a dozen of plastic-bottled Gatorade drinks (from 30 Km mark to the finish line), a dozen of bottled water, and one bottle of Red Bull!
6. ASICS Running Shoes Forever!—This will be my running shoes, for training & road races, from now on. I have ordered an ASICS Gel-Kayano 14 from my wife as my “gift” to myself for finishing the 2008 Pasig River Marathon.
7. Start Getting a Running Partner—Since I am alone in my training for the past four months, I didn’t have any training partner except when my son was visiting the country. However, in marathon races, I randomly look for runners whom I think would be a “companion” while running. Sad to say, they have a faster pace and compete with me and sometimes, other runners could not cope up with my pace. I tried picking up a 19-year old boy (with a nice running form) as my running partner at JP Rizal, Makati but after giving him a bottle of water, he just slowed down. At the Pandacan Bridge, I tried to run with a guy who is older than me but ultimately, he walked later along the way. I guess, I need to join one of the Running Clubs at The Fort in order to look for a running partner in marathon races.
8. Going Back to the Gym—Definitely, I am going back to the gym again to strengthen my calves, thighs, and hamstring muscles. For the past 3 months, I avoided the gym and wanted to reduce my weight by 3-5 pounds and put more time to running. I found out that running is not enough to make your legs more responsive but I need light and high repetition workouts for my leg muscles.
9. Always “be positive”—Even if I knew I was not 100% healthy & fit a day before the marathon, I knew I could finish the race based from my past experiences and training/preparations. On the last 10 kilometers or 6 miles of the marathon race, everything is about “positive attitude”. You should be able to bring out your “warrior” spirit from your body and pray harder that you will finish the Marathon.
10. Support Team—You have an “edge” and positive outlook if you have a support team to give you the much-needed assistance along the way. You need a photographer to document the event. I really appreciate the wife and children of a runner, aboard a van, taking his still pictures and video along the route. Of course, if you are a blogger, having your pictures posted on your blog while you are running a Marathon give/provide more credibility and fun to your readers.