Cautiously ambitious

EUPHORIA run this morning ladies!! 3 weeks out from the race day, thus longest run of the training cycle. 18 miles was in my book.. I wasn’t sure because I feel like I did get a cold this week thus was tired, some cough, and some stuffed nose. I told my coach about my unsureness (is this a word?), he said “if you don’t feel good after 6 miles, cut it short, and try again Monday or Tuesday”. I know an extra day of rest wouldn’t make a difference so I put all my chips for Sunday to get it done. I gave my body extra rest on Saturday, had a super nice massage to de-stress (long runs cause me stress and excitement), and had a gigantic sweet potato before bed.

Sunday 4:30am. Slept solid 8 hrs. Felt fresh and energetic. I got up and husband told me it was raining. Typhoon season here in the Philippines. So I went back to bed to take some extra rest before the run. I fell asleep and woke up again 5:20am. Extra energy!!!

I packed 2.5 liters of water, 4 gels, ate one ucan bar on the way to the start of my run. When I started, rain came back, pretty heavily. I was soaked within minutes. “crap!!! now what? after I pulled all my braveness to come out here, I have to go back because of the rain?” I kept running while praying for it to stop, and the rain stopped a bit.

The first 5 miles were the hardest, because I had the option of stop. My pace was okay, my heart rate was above average (again!!!) so I hold back my pace to keep it below 145. I kept going as nothing terrible was happening… my nose was a bit stuffed but i could still breath with my mouse. I coughed a few times but nothing that gives me enough reason to cut it short.

Then at mile 7, I felt super good… like I could run forever… HR went down to 140 while keeping my easy pace. Effort level was probably 4-5. Then 2 more miles and I was at half way point. By then I was sure I could finish 18 miles. I started to entertain the idea of doing 20 miles instead. I remember my first call with coach, he mentioned about putting a 20 miler. He is aware my life stress this last two weeks thus he only added 18 miles. But if I can do 20 miles today, why not? it prepares me even better mentally right?

Miles went by quickly. I was in a flow state while enjoying the playlist I put together the day before, old song that husband and I love. I was having a time travel while putting in the miles.

Mile 16, I had my last gel with caffeine. I was going for 20 miles for sure. After mile 17, I stopped checking my heart rate and just run.

I finished 20 miles with 3 fastest miles of the entire run! 😀

I didn’t even empty the tank. i could have done 22 miles.

I am ready for the race, physically and mentally. The only uncertain part is how long it will take me? will I PR?

The best part of finishing the 20 miles run is that I wasn’t too tired. Legs were not very sore, and my heart rate came down quicker to last week. I jumped into the freezing cold pool for 15 min to let the recovery process starts…. it felt good.

Because of my late start (6:11am), I didn’t get to eat “breakfast” until 11am and I wasn’t even hungry.

A new thing I learned with my coach is to focus on protein after a hard workout, totally against conventional view of refueling with carbs. So now… after a hard workout I would have 2-3 eggs, then throughout the day focus on protein as well, in the form of tofu/beans/fish occasionally.

I was curious to know how did I do the 20 miles during my last marathon training cycle (2019) as I have the idea that I am running slower now. Thanks to garmin, I realized that today I finished 20 miles 90 sec faster than in 2019. And I do recall I felt terribly during that run, had 4 liters of water (today only 2 liters), and took long time to recovery. This means I am getting stronger relative to 2019! YAY! If i’m being cautiously ambitious again, I’d say maybe I have a chance to PR this year! 😀 Let’s see.

Super excited about my trip, which I made it almost 1 full week. I’ll first visit my BFF in Munich arriving on her birthday, then we will go to Bolzano for 3 days just to chill, before flying to Berlin 2 days before the race to explore along the city and run the race. I feel like that’d be a special trip for myself after 3 years of pandemic life, with a new mental state and appreciate of everything in life, good and bad.

I treated myself for a 90 min chinese foot massage. It felt soooooo good!

Girls had a busy day. It started with 3 hours soccer in the morning. Then lunch (takeout is our new tradition for Sunday), homework, playdate, and more homework. Don’t feel bad for them as they watched netflix all day long while sick. When I am not around, they slack so when it’s time to catch up on homework, nobody complains.

Excited for the new week…. 5 weeks left in Manila. 🙂

5 thoughts on “Cautiously ambitious

  1. Sounds like you’re ready! When the heck did you start marathon training exactly?? I feel like the training cycle went sooooo fast??! When I did a marathon I trained for 4 months. But I didn’t have the running experience you do- I had only been running for less than a year at that time, and had only done 2 half marathons. What’s your marathon PR/time to beat? Can’t wait to see how it goes!! No matter what, a marathon is always an accomplishment. 🙂 so cool it’s in Berlin too. Make sure to not do TOO much sightseeing before the race so you don’t tire your legs and feet out…


    1. my PR is 4 hrs. 11 min, that was in October 2019, so let’s see what is possible this time around.
      the training cycle did feel fast this time maybe because so many things were happening in life. 🙂


      1. Omg, that is my EXACT same PR!! From my marathon! How crazy is that?!!! So ironic!! (My one and only marathon was in… let’s see… 2011 maybe?? Asher was not even two! 😱)


  2. Wow! What a great result, especially with some sinus issues and all the stress and fatigue of travel and all the busy life and work stuff happening. Great job!!

    It also sounds like you’re really enjoying this process. Your enthusiasm is contagious!


  3. Having a great final long run is so great for your confidence going into the race. I’ve done 4 marathons and have mostly had great peak runs but one year I did not and it was hard on my confidence. Enjoy the taper time!! You’ve done the work so I am sure you’ll have a great race. I had a big PR for my 2nd and 3rd marathon so I bet you’ll do really well. There is a huge learning curve for marathon training/racing, IMO. By the time I got to my 4th marathon I only shaved a few minutes off, but even that was a great feeling.


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