Five more days to the Kuala Lumpur Marathon, five more days to my longest run since that 50-miler nearly 11 weeks ago. Now that KL is just around the corner, I finally feel a little anticipation welling inside me - sort of. I still find it odd that I am not too worked up over my next marathon, especially considering that it will be held in a country that I will be setting my foot on for the very first time. I will even confess that, over the weekend, my wife Bam and I seriously considered cancelling the trip altogether. As it turns out, neither she nor I have been too hot about seeing KL, after all. But hey, the trip will push through, the show will go on.
Speaking of going on, one thing that has been going on is my preparation for the Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU) Fort Magsaysay 60k Ultramarathon, which will be held on July 16 in Nueva Ecija. For the third straight week, I was able to meet (actually, exceed) my mileage target, with 75 Kilometers ran during the week of 13 to 19 June. I did all my runs at my usual ultramarathon pace. But really, that's just a fancy-sounding way of saying that I ran at a shamelessly slow pace. The Galloway walk breaks also made a comeback of sorts, as I re-incorporated walk breaks in my daily runs. My main accomplishment for the past week was getting my body re-accustomed to the grind of running almost everyday.
A summary of how the week went:
Monday, 13 June: 15-Kilometer run completed in 2:04:25 at an average pace of 8:17 mins/km. Splits were 8:36, 7:36, 7:28, 7:57, 8:27, 7:57, 8:38, 8:36, 8:01, 7:25, 8:15, 8:20, 8:05, 9:55, and 9:02. I felt good all through out the run. Not bad at all, considering that I did 20 Kilometers just the previous night.
Tuesday, 14 June: Rest day. I attended my sister's birthday dinner. Stuffed myself silly with Peking duck cooked two ways, but only to motivate myself to run my ass off for the rest of the week. Yeah right.
Wednesday, 15 June: 15-Kilometer run completed in 2:01:22 at an average pace of 8:05 mins/km. Splits were 8;39, 7:00, 7:35, 7:31, 8:31, 7:41, 8:32, 7:52, 8:54, 8:04, 7:48, 8:23, 7:29, 8:58, and 8:20. No effort whatsoever to pick up the pace.
Thursday, 16 June: 17-Kilometer run completed in 2:20:02 at an average pace of 8:22 mins/km. Splits were 8:45, 7:59, 7:30, 7:38, 8:39, 7:39, 8:41, 7:42, 8:33, 7:33, 8:31, 8:12, 8:38, 8:53, 8:10, 8:52, and 10:54 for the last kilometer, which I walked. I wanted to do 20 Kilometers, but I was already starving and suffering through a splitting headache by Kilometer 17. I should have taken a heavier a snack before the run.
Friday, 17 June: 15-Kilometer run completed in 2:06:19 at an average pace of 8:21 mins/km. Splits were 8:22, 9:10, 7:56, 7:39, 8:31, 7:23, 8:11, 7:46, 7:47, 8:16, 7:10, 9:40, 7:36, 9:26, and 11:28 for the last kilometer, which I once again walked. I felt really tired after this run, probably an effect of the heavy mileage that I have been logging for the past three weeks. No serious issues, though, and I knew I would feel better with a full night's rest.
Saturday, 18 June: 13-Kilometer run completed in 1:44:06 at an average pace of 7:59 mins/km. Splits were 8:06, 7:50, 8:38, 8:37, 7:18, 7:41, 6:58, 8:17, 7:41, 8:15, 9:18, 7:17, and 7:34. Surprisingly, I felt strong after this run. Must have been the rain. I was tempted to stretch the run to 15 Kilometers, but my wife and I were meeting some friends for dinner. Definitely felt strong all the way.
Sunday, 19 June: Father's Day was also a rest day. Some things, such as running, will always have to give way to more important things, such as family. A Son Never Forgets.
All told, it was a very satisfying week. My daily runs are becoming longer in terms of both distance and duration, and I am once again becoming comfortable - both physically and mentally - with spending hours upon hours on my feet. Good ultra training. I know that I will eventually have to throw a bit of speed work into the mix, but that will have to wait as I simply am enjoying these easy runs at the moment. And it's all good, because I am making good progress without burning myself out.
With a full marathon scheduled for the coming weekend, I am tempted to experiment and go for at least 85 Kilometers this week. Unfortunately, this might not be the best time to risk sustaining an injury, what with a highly-anticipated ultra set to happen in a few weeks. I will play it smart and aim for 60 Kilometers instead.