My first half marathon (21 km) in the Philippines

Today, I woke up around 5:30 AM and prepared myself for a long training run: my first 21 km run in the Philippines as a preparation for next Sunday: on July 7, 2013, I will run my first half marathon in Cebu City. So far, the longest run I made in the land of the 7107 islands was about 17 km – and that was already some weeks ago.

After the Tabuelan 111 Triathlon two weeks ago, where I finished my fastest triathlon so far with about 2:35 h for 1 km swim, 44 km bike and 10,5 km run, I was looking forward to some more events to join. It just happened one day before that we (i.e. Bea) found out about the Run with Venus: A Beauty, Health and Wellness Event by STC HS’89.

They offer 3, 6, 12 and 21 km runs – and I did not hesitate to opt for the half marathon distance (I still see a slight chance to join the Ironman 70.3 Cebu on August 4 with 1,9 km swim, 90 km bike and 21 km run, and the event next Sunday would be a nice training run for the Ironman).

Run with Venus half marathon
Run with Venus, July 7, 2013, Ayala Terraces, Cebu City

My preparation during the last days consisted of some shorter runs with Bea who wants to run the 6 km in Cebu City; hence, we were training that distance to make sure that she will be successful on her first running event;) Then some swim training here in Panglao in a 25 m pool, some more runs here in Panglao, a 50 km bike ride yesterday to ICM Tagbilaran and back to Alona Beach and some other bike rides last week in Cebu City and on Bantayan Island.

Biking Bantayan Island
Some really cool bikers I met on a cycle tour around Bantayan Island last week.

So we also started with 6 km this morning and got some Gatorade; I bought two bottles to have enough fuel for the next 15 km. I initially planned to have a rather easy run – maybe 90 min for the 15 km. But only after a few hundred meters, I tried to speed up a little bit and found out that it was really hard to run faster than 5 min / km.

No wonder: I had no real breakfast this morning before my half marathon training and the conditions here in the Philippines are just a lot different from the conditions in Germany. The 50 km bike ride yesterday and the speed training last Friday was still in my legs; after my training run today, I am not sure anymore if can really beat my personal best time of 1:41:21 h for a half marathon (Friedberg 2011) and even run less than 1:40:00 h.

I would need to run about 4:44 min / km in average, and today, I finished the 15 km in 1:23:30 h (5:34 min / km) – 50 seconds slower than I need to be next Sunday.

Of course, it was only a training run; and during an event, you are always a bit faster. But I did  not expect that it would be that difficult to run fast in the Philippines. But I will do my best to finish under 1:40:00 h, – I should at least finish under 1:45:00 h.

After 14 km today, my left knee tried to tell me something, but I did not really listen to it. Some kilometers more, and my left Achilles tendon joined my left knee, but both of them stopped their talks after a while. It is just like it always is: on longer runs – let´s say between 20 km and 42 km, your body would start to hurt.

As Haruki Murakami described it in his wonderful book, pain would wander through your whole body – and “pain is inevitable, suffering is optional“. As long as I don´t get seriously injured that attitude is good for me; and so far, I had no real injury during the last three years – I learned to carefully listen to my body; at the same time, I always try to push myself to my limits and go a bit further…

One of the most important books that inspired me a lot: Haruki Murakami´s “What I talk about when I talk about running“.

So, let´s see, how my first half marathon in the Philippines next Sunday will turn out for me; anyway, I am really looking forward to it. Hope to see you there!

2 Comment

  1. Wishing you a great run for Run with Venus. You might just snag a place at the top10. Good luck this July 7!

  2. John says:

    Hi Marivic,

    thanks for your comment:) Yeah, let´s see how many competitors there are for the 21 k run. Are you also joining “Run with Venus”?

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