This year, a milestone was achieved by the running community. Compared to the previous years, more runners are now joining marathons and half marathons such that these slots are the first to be filled up instead of the lower distances. Runners are challenging themselves more and more as they progress.
I also challenged myself this year. I planned to complete 4 marathons before the year ends. In one of these marathons, I wanted to beat my personal record of 5 hours and 30 minutes set in 2010. My new target is to finish a marathon in less than five hours.
My training started late in 2011 as I set my first marathon to be at the Borneo International Marathon last May 2012. I made a training plan of how much I would be running on a weekly basis and how fast I should be running. To test my endurance prior to the Borneo Marathon, I joined some half marathons in Manila to check how I am doing against my personal goals.
My training had its up and downs. There would be runs where I would feel great afterwards and wished I had ran more than necessary. There would also be runs where I just can’t find the strength to finish. I would rather just stop running in the middle of the road and call it a day. But I would make up for it in the following schedule.
My four months of training paid off. I finished the Borneo Marathon in 5 hours and 9 minutes. That’s 21 minutes faster than my previous PR. I had high hopes I can even do better in the next 3 marathons I would be doing before the year ends.
At the Borneo International Marathon 2012
But the next marathons didn’t go well as planned. I ran these races much slower. I completed the Milo Marathon last July at 5:18 and the Run United Philippines Marathon last October at 5:36. For both races, I could blame the hilly route. Or probably blame the crowded roads. Or blame the humid weather in Manila.
But the real score is I did not train as much as I should have for the other races. I was not able to keep up with my schedule that I missed a lot of long runs needed to maintain the endurance and speed for the whole 42.195 kilometers. My biggest obstacle is myself. And I need to face my toughest opponent to be able to make it to the next level.
It’s #YouVsYourself. Running can take you to a lot of places and make you reach out for higher goals. The only limit is yourself.
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