Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Chicago Marathon 2017 Registration

My wife and I applied for the Chicago Marathon about a month ago, but we knew our chances of getting accepted in the lottery was only 53% according to That means it's highly likely one of us could only be accepted. Well there's roughly 25% chance we both get accepted, 25% chance nobody gets accepted, and 50% chance either of us gets accepted. Yesterday I was 50% very happy to know I was accepted in the lottery and 50% sad my wife wasn't accepted. However I do not want her to be discouraged so much that she'll stop running completely. There are other races we could join if we go to the US in October 2017. Plus, we plan to finish the Milo Marathon Elims 2017 together. Hopefully she'll qualify again.

I realize it's been 10 years since I've motivated myself enough to keep on running seriously and eventually finished marathons that I could no longer track of. This month has been a huge dip in my fitness due to fatherhood duties to keep my son happy since being his favorite person in the world is both "my joy and burden" according to his mommy. Also I seem to have some strange unidentified autoimmune disease that have the symptoms of hives but at the same time my muscles would also inflame too much. This will hurt my running.

Not all runners may understand why, but the Chicago Marathon is one of the best in the world. Berlin being the marathon record holder serveral times for a decade now, seems to get all the hype, but in our case it is relatively harder for our family to go there. On the other hand, Chicago Marathon does not seem to get all the prestige it deserves. It is the fastest course in the US. It is the 3rd fastest in the world next to Berlin and London, and for slower runners like me they should not be much of a difference except for the inconsistent weather in Chicago. It may not be as prestigious as Boston but it is the best one for PR's. Also, it is the same route as the movie "The Spirit of the Marathon(2007)".

The course record is 2:03:45 by Dennis Kimetto, his 2nd fastest marathon after Berlin Marathon

So today, or yesterday rather, when I was accepted in the Chicago Marathon, my motivation to run went sky high again. I may not be at my fittest self, but I seem to be at my most motivated (could be the excitement) state. How much motivation is that? I had no idea until this afternoon God tested how driven I was. While running an unplanned 5K, just because I was so inspired to start my 10month marathon training program, God gave me tremendous amount of pouring rain that it flooded gutter deep. I had to run on the sidewalk even with an inch thick of rain. I went home dripping wet like I jumped on the pool. Well i practically did by occasionally jumping on the flooded roads.

The race is very expensive at $220, more than 10 times the registration for the milo marathon. This time I can't afford to DNF like I did in the Milo Marathon Elims 2017. I believe the key is to train smarter and more consistent than ever before. Honestly and personally this is a real challenge. I am now 10 years older than when I started running and have more responsibilities. However, with father time behind me, this time I need to run the best and fastest Marathon of my life in the Chicago Marathon 2017.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Update after 4 years

I basically stopped blogging after realising I had very little time because life was so good. However yesterday I realised, it would be fun if I could just read back everything I've done in the past 4 years but no, I had no journal to write anything, only pictures. One of my weaknesses is my poor memory and perhaps if I do write what I was thinking, experiencing, someday when I'm 60 (not so far from now) and read this again, I would have something to remember and reminisce when i was younger. Also, I received feedback that I write too much, and people nowadays have very short attention span including myself. So for now, I will shorten the update of the last 4 years since I last blogged to the following:
  • I got married to my secret college crush in March of 2013.
  • Broke my marathon PR in HK marathon on January 2014, time was 3:10'54".  Weather was perfect. Too bad I didn't realise I was only 55 seconds behind my BQ time of 3:09.59.
  • No other PR's broken in other distances :-( 
  • Wifey and I ran the Milo Marathon Elims in 2014
  • We had a baby boy in December 2015.  
  • Did Not Finish (DNF) the Milo Marathon 2016 due to training with little sleep every night. I realised how hard it is to be a dad now. 
  • Failed to finish the Pinoy Fitness 21K on November 2016 because my Nike racing flats shoes fell apart at 11km point. I can't really blame the shoes, they're quite old but I rarely use them. Need to buy new racing flats. 
Although my running sucked for this past few years due to lack of new PR's, life has been great for me and my family. I never really imagined how it's like to be a dad, but it has been great. Hopefully someday our boy would join us in our Milo Marathons.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Start Slow, Finish Faster

For these past 2 weeks, I still found myself back at the drawing board, trying to figure out how come it was easy for me to run 22miles at 7:39/mi (4:45/km), and yet had trouble achieving that average pace in the first 15miles of the marathon. Then it occurred to me, I was always feeling a bit lousy before in almost all my long runs, while in the marathon, I was always anxious to start running right away. So normally, in my long runs, I would just take the first 10Kms real easy. Then depending on how I feel, I would hammer the last half to a little bit faster than marathon pace.

22miles (7:39/mi ave pace) started at 8:20/mi
On the other hand, I started my marathon too fast at 7:25 pace. I already tried to run this slower, but since I was near the front at the starting line, my adrenaline must have made me run faster than needed.
My Marathon split pace (ave 7:50/mi) started at 7:25/mi.

After the 13mile halfway point, I was already fatigued and was getting slower and slower. My slowest miles were at 18 and 23miles. Comparing the two graphs (Blue=22mi long run, Red=Marathon), it is obvious that I've progressively slowed down in the marathon after running the first 5miles too fast. On the other hand, my 22mile long run started really slow.... it reached my marathon target pace after 5miles, and I still progressively ran faster. In the end, I hit my goal pace without trying during training. In actual execution at the race, I failed.

Moral lesson of the story is still like the Hare and Tortoise story. Start slow and finish faster. At least I've learned in my last marathon and hope to do better in my next one. Next week would be the start of my 12week marathon program and I'm aiming Condura to run under 3:20. I hope I execute this one correctly.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Run United Philippine Marathon - Part 2: Marathon Race

Week 3 - Start Tapering... with a 5K race under 20minutes. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I was scheduled for a 10K to 21K tempo race in my training program with 2weeks to go till the marathon race. This coincides with my company, ON Semiconductor, internal fun-run. We had 1K, 3K, 5K, and 10K races. I thought 10K would burn me out too much and wouldn't be able to recover soon for the marathon, so I picked the 5K. I've done 5K's under 20minutes twice last year, and I thought it would be another challenge to do. I did, and won the race in my company, finished at 19'56". Kat also joined the race and finished 23minutes+, and awesome time for her! I could still remember my last 23minute+ 5K and it was so hard for me back in 2008. Too bad the company only award winners to employees, so Kat didn't win the female category.

Weeks 2 to 1, I kept on lowering my mileage further, but retaining the intensity as much as possible. For some reason, I gained 5 pounds and I haven't even started carbo-loading yet. This freaked me out because this calculates to a 6-minute slower time in the marathon. I couldn't do much about it, so I stopped looking at the weighing scale. I thought maybe Kat and I were eating too much chocolates! I also bought 7gels to bring with me for the marathon, and Kat cooked some delicious pasta for our carbo-loading.

Race Morning
I woke up at 12AM feeling fresh and energetic. I wasn't as scared nor anxious as I used to be in my earlier marathon races. Drank coffee and made sure my tummy was empty before going to the race. Kat and I arrived at the starting line at 2AM an had some pictures with KB runner, Belle, Annaly (from Kabankalan), and Edrick. Kat was going to run 21K, and she was just scheduled for a long tempo run. I told her she'll surely break her 1:59 personal record set last June, but she shouldn't give 100% effort since she still has to run 42K in the QCIM. I on the other hand, was planning to give my 100% effort for this race. Target time was sub-3:20, a 7:39/mi pace (4:35/km).

Gun Start
I had no problem lining-up near in front, I saw my Kenyan friend Peris Peywo, who was a 3:30+ marathoner. She told me she had sleeping problems before the race. I also saw Christabel Martes, who humbly declined the bouncer's (yes, race marshals are now bouncers) offer for her to get in front of the starting line. I knew this woman is going to be much faster than me. Unfortunately, my bladder filled-up quickly again and I felt the need to pee just few minutes before start. The gun started a few minutes after 3:00AM, and a lot of adrenaline marathon runners still blasted away like crazy! Most of them ran like it was a 400meter race. I had problems trying to slow myself down, my plan was to do negative splits, but seeing those adrenaline runners would easily push you. Garmin showed my pace to be too fast at 7mins/mile! Then I really felt the urge to pee. Since I've already ran my first mile too fast, i guess it's OK to go to the side and take a leak and still be within schedule. When I joined the pack again and settled down, the pace was still a little faster than plan, and my first mile was 7:25. Not a good sign if I wanted to conserve my precious glycogen reserves.

Jerome and Wilnar was able to run with me for a while when I joined the pack. It looks like they're the smarter type of runners not running along with the adrenaline runners. Jerome has just ran a great 15K race a few weeks ago, and I knew he was in another great marathon. I was estimating his time to be 3:30 to 3:40 this time. He slowed down a bit behind Wilnar and me. Wilnar was always a few strides ahead of me, approximately 5meters ahead. Wilnar's the strongest marathoner in our team, ran a 3:04 marathon already, and I believe he's capable of a sub-3hour marathon if he wanted to. This time, he's out to easily "long-jog" the RUPM at 3:20, since he has a full Triathlon scheduled soon. Wilnar would always take the lead, but he wouldn't fully leave me behind. I also noticed his running stride greatly improved, he was now forefoot/midfoot striking with a powerful back-kick. Stride-by-stride, Wilnar's seems to be more powerful. He would walk at hydration stops, but could quickly accelerate back to pace effortlessly. I therefore new I shouldn't overtake this guy since he's much stronger than me. After 10miles, Wilnar and I were averaging 7:35 to 7:38/mile pace, a little faster than plan, but we were OK.

Kalayaan Flyover-Prison Break should be the hardest part of the race, since this is the hilliest part of the race. Strange, but Wilnar and I were in for a new surprise challenge. We were able to catch-up and merge with the slowest pack of 21K runners. It was a nightmare. The 21K running pack was so dense and they were so slow I estimate their pace to be around 10 to 12mins/mile, and Wilnar and I had a great deal of headache weaving through them. Nobody was sharing a fast lane, we were on our own. Now looking at the graph, I see that this slowed us down to 9:11/mile.  Being furious, there were many times that I was being tempted to push the slower runners aside, but realizing it's not their fault I had to just keep on saying "excuse me" like 1,000 times. But really, runners should be educated on proper race etiquette and give way to faster runners. Unfortunately, I don't think they were even aware of the faster 42K runners. I guess the organisers were the ones to blame for this, but they probably didn't foresee the volume and density of the 21K runners merging with 42K runners. At halfway of the flyover, I just couldn't take it anymore and decided to climb the "island" separation and jump to the opposite lane where there were still speeding vehicles. I called Wilnar and he joined me. We ran like hell fast to make-up for the lost time. It was scary since the vehicles were quite fast when they approached us, but Wilnar waved for them to move to the other side and they all complied. Wilnar and I had to continue running at the opposite lane all the way to Buendia, till we saw faster 21K runners that were more manageable with our pace.

Unfortunately, I felt all these surging and excitement to suck the energy out of me at the latter part of the race. When we reached Roxas Boulevard, I was already fatigued and sluggish. I decided to let Wilnar go ahead and for me to slow down, hopefully recharge my legs (if it's even possible).

Training Mistake Apparent - I asked myself, "How come in training I could run 7:39/mile for 22miles, but now in the race I ran 7:39/mile and at 16miles I was already tired, and I feel the need to slow down?" This was what I was afraid of, when I ran 22miles at marathon pace in training. Ideally, only the latter part of the long runs can be ran at marathon pace, but not all of it, otherwise one would be peaking already and racing the long run. Come Marathon Race, one would be too tired to maintain the pace. That was the theory of my Boston Marathoner friend Raffy "Alaska Runner" Castaneda when he noticed my training mistake of the past. Now I've repeated the mistake and suffering for it.

Kat Anasco and Chris Iblan
Kat Kat Salangsang
Ah shit! I'm too late for 3:20!
After 20miles, my average pace has significantly slowed down to 7:45/mile, and I lost hope for the 3:20 goal finish. I just felt the need to survive. 21K slower runners merged with us again and it gave me more challenge than was welcome. Then approaching me on the opposite lane of the road, I saw Kat Kat running 21K fast, and then few strides behind her were Chris Iblan and Kat Anasco. When Chris shouted at me that Wilnar is just ahead of me, that gave me a motivation, like a small goal, just chase Wilnar and hopefully finish with him. At 23miles, my time was already 3hours. With 3miles or 5Kms to go, the fastest 5K I could theoretically run is under 20minutes but I was too tired to run that fast. So a possible 23 to 25minutes would mean 3:23 to 3:25minutes. Then slowly I was able to close the gap to Wilnar. I was so tired when I reached him. He seems OK and his strides were still powerful. With 2miles to go, I told him we only have 3Kms to go. He took some hydration and gave me some. With only a mile to go, Wilnar seem to have slowed down and told me to go ahead. He must be aware I was trying to run for a new PR. I didn't feel the wall, but my whole legs were really fatigued again. With 800meters to go, I tried to run faster, then my quadriceps, both of them, cramped! However, lifting my heels like a semi-butt-kick seems to help stretch the cramping muscles. Slowed down a bit till the cramping feeling goes away.

With 200meters to go, I saw the finish-line and the adrenaline got me fired-up again. I pumped my arms harder and prepared for a sprint-finish. They gave me these cute little Philippine Flags for the Photo-Finish with the red carpet awaiting us. I finished at 3:25'29" Garmin Time. Not the sub3:250 I've hoped, but this was a 4minute PR improvement for me already. Wilnar finished just a minute behind me. I found out later that he didn't take any gels and that must have caused his slow-down at the last mile of the marathon. Still, a 3:26 marathon for a jogging long-run workout is crazy fast! On the other hand, our fellow teammate Jerome Bautista also did a great job improving his new PR to 3:37! It's inspiring to see Jerome improve consistently year after year in the marathon. He's also had podium finishes in an Ultramarathon race this year. Really great to see his speed has improved as well, and it was just a week ago that he also did a 15K PR.
Not what I hoped for, but still a new PR
Wilnar's Jogging Pace
Speedy Jerome with a new 3:37 PR!

JoggerNatz and JoggerJoey

Meanwhile, my other teammates Alex Mac, Joemar Paras, and our Team Captain Ronnel Go ran the Marathon, but they all treated it as a long run and didn't seek for new PR.
4:11 time of Alex Mac
Kaptain Ronnel Go

Team Power Puff Boys (left to right: Alfred, Joms, Chris, Joey, Jerome, Gian, Mark, Jixee, Wilnar, Alexis, Natz, Ronnel, and Alex)
I'm a little disappointed with myself for not being able to reach my goal time, but somehow glad that I didn't hit the wall and didn't collapse so much. My 3:25 time is something I could live and be happy for now. It was my fault not being able to train wisely in the latter stages of my training program, I pushed myself too hard and wasn't able to recover in time for the marathon. It was also a challenge to do negative splits again, but there were unintentional challenges by the race organizer like the dense high-volume of slower 21K runners out there to block the faster 42K runners. This is the first Marathon Race organized by Run Rio, I've been excited to be part of this event, and overall, the race is not bad. The finish line was unique with the red carpet with VIP treatment.
Still Positive Split Paces

Exaggerated size designed for medal-greedy runners

21K medals same size as 42K?

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Run United Philippine Marathon - Part 1: Peak Week Training

With 4weeks to go, last week was my Peak Week for the Run United Philippine Marathon. Part of the allure of the Marathon is its Training, and I have been excited to get my highest mileage and highest intensity training week since Week#18. Unfortunately, for some reason, I caught some cold/cough virus and it got worse last Wednesday, when I was supposed to do some VO2max interval workouts. I felt so bad that I took a sick leave that day. The next day, thursday, I felt a little better and I was so eager and anxious to run some intervals. I thought it would be best to try that YASSO800 workout to gauge my marathon ability.  I was surprised myself when my dad made me realise I was no longer dreading interval workouts. I ran 10x800meters with 400meter jogs in between. I averaged 3:15 for those 800meters, predicting a 3hour15minute marathon finish time.

However, I've read that these workouts sometimes predict marathon finish times 5minutes faster, so I guess I'm on track for my 3:20 goal. Also, I still had some coughs and colds that my workouts could've been faster. I had to perfect the art of Snot Rocket to run fast!

We're Excited!

Like I've mentioned in my previous blog, I was willing to register in the first ever Run Rio Marathon, as long as the registration doesn't go higher than P2,999.99. Good thing they've initially declared it to be P2,500, and further lowered it to P1,300 when a lot of runners protested against the high price. As long as Run Rio gives us the best marathon experience, I was OK with the P2,999.99. So with P1,300, my expectations now are a bit lower... so I'll probably be happy with the race. The official website published that the insite registration would be October 8th, but thanks to RunRio organizer Kulit Runner, she announced on Facebook that Riovanna would be accepting registration on the 7th! I got so excited Kat and I went there in the afternoon :-)
Registered and Ready to Run!

Unfortunately I skipped some days of running due to my coughs and colds so I wasn't able to hit my peak mileage of 70+ miles. This morning, however, I was scheduled for a 22mile run at 10% slower than marathon target pace, so that should be 8:20/mile. For some reason, this morning, I felt so good, so strong, that I kept running below 8:00/mile.... then after 4miles, I've decided to let it rip!!! I eventually averaged 7:39/mile, exactly my marathon pace target, but on a 22mile long run. I have this bad habit since the beginning, of racing my long runs like this. I have been warned by a Boston Marathoner friend that I should never run my long runs at marathon pace, well at least it should be rare, and only for the last half of the workout. Otherwise, I would have peaked already. Now, I am worried that this could be the case, and if I don't run under 3:20 come October28th, I would know the reason. But for now, I've enjoyed and remained relatively strong in my Peak Marathon Week training despite of the coughs and colds. In the next 3weeks, I would be tapering and be lowering my mileage and speed work. I'll keep you guys posted.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Kwicky Blade Review by Kat Kat

Kat and I went shopping last Saturday for new shoes and she bought the KSWISS Kwicky Blade. Although KSWISS is very vocal that their shoes aren't for joggers, I feel the need to share KatKat's review of the KSWISS Kwicky Blade.
I love to run that I happily endure all the discomfort and pain that comes with it.   Those are nothing compared to the joy that it brings me anyway.  Two things that constantly bother me during and after my runs are BLISTERS and toenails that constantly die on me.  (Gross! Believe me, I know!!! And very unladylike too!)  I get blisters on top of old blisters and new ones after each run.  I have lost several toenails which takes a month and sometimes more to grow back so I constantly wear closed shoes or cover it up with a band aid.  I have also said goodbye to sexy killer heels since I started running last January 2012. 

(PS. These aren’t mine!)

Anyway,  I have gone through four (4) running shoes this year.  I gave away my old Reebok to a running enthusiast and retired my old Nike – the culprit for the first toenail that I lost this year!  I remember that was February 25, 2012. March 10, 2012, Nathaniel and I bought the Skechers GO RUN.  It was great to run in but I still get blisters and my toenails kept dying.  May 2012, I bought the Nike Lunar Racer hoping it will solve the problem but I realized after running in it that it was quite narrow so it gave me blisters way worse than what I got from wearing Skechers. 

(Cathy is wearing the KSwiss Kruuz in this picture though.) 
My pretty Iron friend Cathy Bril-Jordan kept telling me since February to buy the KSwiss Kwicky Blade.  She said that she ran her first Marathon in it without socks and she didn’t get any blisters.  She said that she had healthy toenails since. 

I still didn’t buy the Kwicky after being told several times because it is quite expensive at 6200PHP/$135.  I thought it was too much.  I have only decided to get a pair after 8 months and only after seeing that they have it in PINK and that it was on sale (15%). 

My Kwickys are Kikay Pink!!! Bought it just last September 15, 2012 for 5300.00PHP  :D  

“I SHOULD HAVE BOUGHT IT A LONG TIME AGO!” was what I said to myself while running in it last Sunday.  It fit me like a glove and it is very soft and smooth to run in!!
I HAD ZERO BLISTERS!!!  I initially didn’t think it was possible but believe me IT IS! Running in the rain was also no problem because it has drainage too.   It looks a little bulky but it’s actually light.  I can run forever in these.  

You may check out the product details in this site:

I may still race 5ks and 10ks with my Nike Lunar Racer though but I’ll train with my Pink Kwicky and I intend to run my first marathon in it.  (Wish me luck!)   

Cathy didn’t lie, the KSwiss Kwicky Blade Light did deliver on its promise.  Worth every penny I spent!

~ Kat Salangsang 


Friday, September 14, 2012

I am a Marathon Runner. I must run

I've been busy for the past 3months training for the Marathon, and I'm targeting the Coach Rio's 1st Marathon, the Philippine International marathon on October 28. I hear the registration's really expensive at P3,000.00 - I may have to cancel my plans for that in case the rumors were true and train for the QCIM on December instead. But if the actual registration is cheaper, say P2,999, I think I could afford Rio's Marathon.

My Target
I've noticed that at each of my succeeding serious marathon effort, I cut about 9minutes off at each race. Since my last marathon PR was 3:29, I believe a realistic good target would be 3:20. That's 7:37/mi or 4:44/km pace.

One of the things I've noticed in my body's behavior is it really respond well to higher mileage training, around 50miles to 80miles per week(80 to 128kms/wk). Any lower than 50miles/week(80kms/wk), I wouldn't be as strong or fast as I would want to be, and any higher than 80miles/week(128kms/wk) I would start to feel my legs are falling apart. Also, before I started my Marathon Training last July, I was lifting weights in the gym, trying to look good building upper-body muscles and trying to grow some abs. I would go to the gym during lunch time about 3 to 5times a week. I have to admit it's really hard work for me.

Unfortunately, no matter how hard I try, and it's been a year since I've signed up, I am nowhere close to having a stunning body for a magazine-cover, or something you would show-off on the beach. To add to that frustration, my race times and daily runs got slower. The reasons for that, I've realized, is added upper body muscle doesn't add running endurance. I also read somewhere that in running, what we would ideally want is a high ratio of capillaries over running muscles, to deliver as much oxygen and blood as possible to the working muscles. In other words, abs won't make you faster in the marathon. Gym workouts slow you down. Consistent Long runs and high mileage lets you grow more capillaries and are the key to stronger marathon times.

Now after a month or two of not going to the gym, I've easily lost 5pounds, although I looked scrawny, I'm quite happy I look lean and fast -- my workouts are getting faster and longer as well.

In the first two months of my training, I focused on the endurance build-up where I started at 40mi/wk(60kms/wk) and gradually built it to 77mi/wk(123kms/wk). My average pace were around 8mins/mi on almost all my workouts. I was able to run five 20-milers during this period ranging from 8:20 to 7:50/mile pace. Now I am on the VO2max section of my training phase, where I would run 600meters to 1,000meter intervals at approx 5K race pace about 6:19/mi or 3:56/km. I later realized I was running my easy runs and long runs too fast! If I were to target a 3:20 marathon at 7:37/mi pace, my long runs would have to be 20 to 10% slower than this, and should be only 9:09 to 8:23/mi, (or 5:41 to 5:13/km). Last week I was scheduled to do a long run of 24miles or 38kms, and if I were to follow this pace, I should finish at exactly 3hours and 20minutes, my marathon target time. I ran with my Team Power Puff Boys teammates at UP Diliman, and I have to say, although this was slower, i felt exhausted. It did simulate what I feel at the end of the marathon, but without the extreme muscle soreness/fatigue. I believe it is the ultimate Marathon workout, and I'm glad I have passed it with 2months to go!

24miles Long Run with Team Power Puff Boys at UP Diliman
VO2max workouts
After the exhausting 24miles last Sunday, I thought I wasn't ready to perform 5x600meter intervals at 5K race speed on Tuesday. I felt awful on the 2.5mile warm-up. But then when I started running those 600meter at fairly fast pace, my muscles didn't feel fatigued anymore, and they were all fired-up! My legs have the bounce and my strides were powerful. I was able to practice what I thought was the best running form, I thought I was copying Haile Gebrselassie or Ryan Hall :-) The next day I felt tired and ran my recovery day at very slow pace. Then the next day I ran 15miles at 8:16/mile pace, no big deal. It may be because I've been recruiting different sets of muscle types - long runs like 24miles and 15miles use the slow twitch muscles, while the 5x600meter intervals use the fast twitch muscles. So I guess the slow twitch take a bit of rest during these intervals. Crazy, but it could be true. It just works.

Recovery Runs (Jogs)
I also remember during in one of my "easy runs", I overtook this known elite Pinoy runner who could run 31-minute 10K and sometimes beat the Kenyans in our local races. 
Photo is loading... Jogging at about 8'10"/mile only, I was surprised to be faster than him during training. He didn't mind me overtaking him, unlike those other younger elite runners who seems to have more pride and wouldn't let you overtake them. After a few minutes, I stopped and drank my gatorade, he overtook me, but I later caught him. We chatted for quite a while, he asked me if I were doing a tempo run, and I said no, I am doing an easy run. He said he was running from home to work, a total of 90minutes, and he works in the Army. That was his normal pace. Then it occurred to me, if this guy could run 31minute 10K's, and I could only run 42minutes 10K's, shouldn't I be a lot slower than him during my recovery runs???!!!  He therefore inspired me to jog my easy runs slower. From 8'10"/mile(5:05mpk), I slowed my recovery runs now down to 9'15"/mile (5:45mpk) or sometimes even slower. I guess it must have worked, for weeks now, I seem to recover faster and better from my hard workouts whenever I really slow down my recovery workouts. Muscles never seems to get sore anymore like before, although I am now running faster intervals.

I've done six 20-milers+ already, so I'm quite confident with my endurance to run strong, I feel I'm at the best shape to run another marathon. However, I still have 3 or 4weeks of hard VO2max workouts ahead of me before peaking, I just hope I don't overdo them and get overboard by inducing another injury.

What wakes me up in the morning
Every time I wake up in the morning, I am motivated to getup from bed and run with the thought of a 3:20 marathon finish. Even if it's raining really hard, as long as there's no sign of another Typhoon or flooding, I am very eager to run. Okay the intervals and speedwork still scares me a bit. But before all that, I I would drink my coffee, surf the web for facebook, runnersworld, dailymile, runningtimes, Then after about 30minutes I would go to the toilet and do my thing for 15 to 20minutes. That leaves me about 10minutes to change into my running clothes and shoes. Then this small clip reminded me of myself and laughed when he said it takes him also an hour from waking up to actually hitting the road :-)