Going Bananas: My 53Km weekend

DATC wrote an entry about Running vs. Jogging. I think my Sunday run will help explain the difference. A jogger will think that what I did was crazy, a runner will still think I’m crazy but will understand the madness that fueled my run.

I have never planned or even dreamed to run 53kms in one weekend but that is what I ended up doing.

Saturday: 32km Long. They say that the 20miler is one of the milestones when training for a marathon. For me, it was like a midterm exam. I prepared for this run. I’ve completed my training runs. I did my tried and tested carbo loading. I even slept earlier than usual.

Beni, Vicky and I started out at 5:48am. As usual, we had different goals and paces for the day. Vicky was planning to do 14kms so I planned to run the first loop with her. Beni said she will do between 5-15kms. We stayed together until Km8. When they stopped for taho, I decided to keep on running.

Everything was going great. I was hitting my pace. At Km21, I started getting cramps. This is where things got ugly. My stomach cramps was pretty similar to menstrual cramps. Each step was painful. I couldn’t run heck breathing was even hard. I stopped at Jollibee to recover. I threw up. Not very pretty, I was beginning to feel miserable. I slowly made my way to the convenience store at the Shell station to get Gatorade. I also bought an ensaymada to counteract the acid build up in my stomach. I took my time to rehydrate and forced down the ensaymada…bad idea. I threw up again. I knew then that I wasn’t going to finish my run.

This was my biggest bonk and I didn’t have a PlanB. I’ve bonked before but I always had an alternative plan. This time, there is no plan B available. The goal was to finish 32kms and I just couldn’t run a single step. Truth be told, I was scared big time. I just wanted to curl up and cry.

By the time I got home, I had my plan B. I will run again tomorrow. Whatta? I know, if this happened to a friend, I would have nagged him/her to kingdom come not to do it. Rest assured, that crazy as it may sound, I did not make a rash decision. Minus the stomach cramps, my legs were still strong; my heart rate was fine before the cramps started. I was running at 7:00 pace before it hit. This is why the whole thing was so frustrating.

But why not recover then run the distance? I said I did not make a rash decision but not exactly the most rational decision also. I needed to complete that run. Yesterday, I felt that if I waited another week to do it that I would lose heart and give up. I had to break that distance and fix my mental game.

I have made the decision to run again but I still feel wretched. I texted a few friends to vent and to have a bit of pity party. “Don’t be too hard on yourself … we have bad days … try not to think about it too much … you live to run another day … hinay-hinay 60 days to go … don’t worry about it happened to be before also.” These things I know, but I had to be told again to put me back on track. Thanks guys for keeping my head screwed on straight last Saturday.

After running 21kms, what do you do so you could run again the following day? Well, I stretched like crazy, aggressively rehydrated with water and gatorade, had a very cold shower to cool down the legs then put them up while they marinated in omega pain killer. I also ate a lot of sweets, sublimated by cooking DATC’s pasta recipe and had a big chicken inasal with rice. I also had a massage and slept early.

Sunday: one more time real loud with feelings Long 32km

It was pouring like crazy before I slept. Luckily, the sky was clear and the stars were out at 4am.

Mesh, Kathy, Chuchay and I started running at 5:24am. I decided to avoid MKH because I knew my legs were not the fresh enough for those hills. My plan was to reverse my route yesterday and maybe venture out Edsa via Mckinley.

As I was approaching Bayani Road, I decided to make the run completely baliwrunning and headed towards NAIA 3. I’ve wanted to try this route but my other friends thought it was crazy. Joe said that the road to NAIA3 was negotiable as long as I take it slow. Well, going slow is definitely not a problem for me. BHS to the NAIA3 rotunda is about 8kms. It’s a new route and I enjoyed it. Very little shade so try this route early in your run.

I took it slow and steady and inserted walking breaks earlier in the run. I also stopped periodically to stretch my legs especially my left ITBand.

I calculated correctly, my legs were strong enough to complete the run. I just needed the extra push to complete the distance.

I had 3 pitstops: Km15 for taho, Km23 for Gatorade and Km27 for water. I was also munching on Almonets (choco covered almonds) along the way and having half a Gu every 5kms.

When I reached Km21, I had the irrational fear that I will bonk again. I walked to calm myself. Waited for the cramps and when nothing happened I started running again.

I completed the 32kms in 4:38. It was really a loooong run.

Lessons Learned:

  • We will have bad run days, that is a given. How we deal with it is what would count in the end. This may seem so corny, but when you hit a rough patch, it is very comforting.
  • Have a support network who can pull you out your doldrums and keep you motivated
  • Know when to quit
  • Training programs are not etched in stone, be flexible.
  • You really run the last kms with your heart

So what caused the cramps? I am not entirely sure. A number of things could have caused it. I went back to the day before the run and the run itself and these are the things that could have contributed to it.

  • Its was my 3rd day
  • My stomach was very acidic because I had soda the night before, I also took a time release Vitamin C on Friday, I only had a banana before the run or I was having bad case of stage fright.
  • I was not hydrating enough
  • My purple running tights is jinxed.

And so I lived to run another day. I definitely do not recommend this and do not plan on repeating this weekend. The madness is over, now I need to recover and rehydrate.

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20 thoughts on “Going Bananas: My 53Km weekend

  1. bards, what you had done this weekend is a training for an ultramarathoner! congratulations for a good job. i know you have that physical and mental toughness to finish your first marathon. i am sure you will become stronger and tougher in your next running workouts. good luck!

    haha ultra here i come … but for now it think its Ultra Oval Track only. I just need to keep reminding myself that I can be tough. thanks for the support!

  2. amazing weekend! great show of mental fortitude. i simply would’ve waited another week, thinking i couldn’t do it, but you showed it’s possible!

    dunno about fortitude … but it was certainly amazing. Amazing that I survived. Tigas ulo!

  3. cecil, i went through your archives and checked out your entry on your 20miler. Hay, it felt good to read that I am truly not nag-iisa. 😛 2 more 20milers to go…

  4. that was one heck of a weekend! congratulations!

    it was! i just had a glimpse of what you guys do. truly amazing and borderline crazy. goodluck sa ultra and beyond!

  5. We will call you die hard from now on. Wow congrats in being so goal orientated or (should I say stubborn).

    demented also comes to mind 😛 thanks FR.

  6. but it sure felt good doing it… right? go ultra! hehehe 😀

    haha true! pero my Ultra will be the one in pasig na lang muna. will definitely be there to support you guys. siguro after 90kms i can run on pace with most of you na hahaha

  7. You may be stronger than you think! I’m sure you did not plan for a 53km weekend. Congratulations, big pat in the back. I will save this blog. I need it to remind myself to keep motivated when I’m having the blues. Galing galing!

    haha thanks tina! looks like it can be done. hope i dont pay too high a price for my crazy weekend. keep on running ha kahit cold na dyan.

  8. You are a machine!!!! I did not think you were sserious when you told me you were running the next day but I am happy you did it and you got through it. Now I know you will really kill them in Singapore!

    haha. uy, thanks for no sermon 😛 i let the universe decide … sabi ko kung no rain, eh di run. the stars were out and twinkling brightly. how can i say no to the universe. 1 down 2 more to go.

  9. congrats again bards. hirap naman akong tumakbo where i am now. ang lamig!

    you can have some of my mileage, seems like i have excess haha. see ya soon. sayang you will miss KOTR. keep on running kahit 10s lang.

  10. Go Bards. Great milestone. I will remember this as I do my 20miler someday.

    basta remember … dont wear purple running tights. jinx yun. hehe

  11. congrats bananrunning! U may have gone a little bananas but u have accomplished a great deal. applause!

    to be on the safe side, i think they ordered na rin a straight jacket for me. watchout the blog might be renamed baliwrunning

  12. OH WOW Bards.. all that I can really say is.. OH WOW! You’ve gone a LONG WAY and WOW this sounds really … so serious that im having chills!! 🙂

    asa 5k palang ako and you’re conquering a marathon already!! hehehehe 🙂 I feel so guilty when im not running and not updating, parang shux i dont want to be a failure to Bards! nax 🙂

    get well get well : ) GO GO GO BARDS!!

    .. and yes, naubusan na ko ng singlets! I called and went to south places.. 😦

  13. Bards, good training! You’re doing well in preparation. My apologies for not responding earlier. Continued success and will see you soon!

    ey there wayne. thanks. all set for your trip to the Phils?

  14. Bow bow bow. Galing mo bards! And on your 3rd day…yikes…bow bow bow ulit.

    P.S. maybe you should throw your jinxed leggings away
    its banished to the darkest corner of the closet mwahahah. last weekend was crazy … as in papagalitan ko talaga kung kaibigan ko gumawa nun. good thing they were more understanding and gave me a free pass last weekend. dehydration or napossess ako haha

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