Lessons Learned: 2008 Pasig River Marathon

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.

4 thoughts on “Lessons Learned: 2008 Pasig River Marathon

  1. nvllanora1975

    Hi Sir,
    My name is Nolan Llanora, and I became a regular reader of your blog site since January of this year. I am also a regular blogger at The Bull Runner. I am 32 years old, married, and I’ve been running on and off since 2001 but I haven’t gone beyond the 10 miles. However, last year I started to became serious and I’ve been putting in more times now in my training. And since I came across your site, I even become more inspired and I’ve been learning a lot of helpful tips from you. This coming March 9, I intend to do my first half-marathon in the AFP-DND Gintong Pangarap Half-Marathon. I also plan to to do my first 25K race this year. I think my first full marathon will come in next year’s Pasig Run.
    I really thank you for having a very interesting and helpful site. Where will be your next run, Sir? I hope to see you there and I hope it’s just fine to approach you.

    Thank you again. More power to you. GOD BLESS.


  2. markfb

    Great tips! I read it all, appreciate what you shared from experience. Truly its the best teacher.

    I have had the opportunity to be in correspondence with one of the triathlon coaches in Canada. Here’s the advice he gave me when I asked about joining my first marathon. I only started running again last Oct 2007. My previous running experience was way back in high school but only for 3k fun run events.

    1. For running, build up to a marathon over a few years, maybe 2-5 to save your hips and knees from serious injuries and increasing the risk of osteo-arthritis
    2. I’d say work on 5-10 km races for a year or two, then move to the 15 km/half-marathon races for another few years before the marathon. You’ll appreciate the effort more then as opposed to “just do it”. But that’s me speaking from my experience and what I see in those I coach. Too much too soon = mental / physical burn out.


  3. jhunie16

    Hi Sir,
    Well thanks again for sharing this one! It will be a great help! And the first thing I will do is the lesson #8, I will go back to the gym cause like you I also avoided gym and concentrate on running. Thank You and God Bless.


  4. kingofpots

    nolan, thanks for being a regular visitor of my blog and I am glad you are getting more tips from my posts. i was not sure of running this Sunday’s Condura 10K Run but i just received an “invitation” for an important AFP activity in malacanang palace tomorrow afternoon, so for sure you’ll see me this sunday’s race. i will also run in the DND-AFP Half-Marathon on 09 March. please feel free to approach me & hope to see you this sunday.

    mark, thanks for the inputs. you are right, experience teaches us a lot and that’s the reason i am keeping this blog a worthy reading reference for anybody who would like to run, join weekly road races and ultimately run the marathon..hope to see you soon!

    jhunie, thanks, just remember “light weights with high repetition” exercises to strengthen your running muscles. good luck & keep on running!


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s