For this purpose, I have conceived an experimental training plan which I have been following to a tee. Its effectivity will be tested during the Subic race. If it works then a success. If not, well I can only blame myself. So until then, I will defer announcing further details.
18 August 2009
WHAT'S NEXT and THE ULTRA BUG
After finishing 3 ultra races early this year, I caught myself staring at the mirror and asking "What is next"?. I must admit it had not been easy trying to figure out what to do next. There was a sort of post-race lull (the word depression seems a bit strong). No more ultra races this year except the race in HongKong which is still slated late this year, November. Going outside the country to join an ultra race (except HK) is out of the question now and a bit outlandish I must say. Although we do have a plan to run Standard Chartered Bangkok marathon in 22 November 2009 but that is another story. All resources are being conserved for Comrades Marathon in 30 May 2010 assuming of course, I can get a slot even with my qualifying time during Botak 100K last 28 June 2009. (Only 5,000 slots are open for novice for 2010 Comrades.)
"1st November 2009 entries will open to all Novices and will be capped at 5,000. Entries will close on 30 November 2009, or whichever comes first (e.g. if we received 5,000 novice entries by 15th November 2009 then no further entries will be accepted)"
Looking at the 2009 race calendar, only a handful of local races are worth running. On October, there are the Milo Finals, Quezon City and Subic marathons and on November, the Pasig. All 42.2K distance and shockingly in close proximity, October 11, 18 and 24, respectively. Sometimes, it makes you wonder why they schedule races in such a way. For organizers, it is like spreading the return of their capital too thin. Let us admit it, they have to recover somehow. And for runners, confusion. It is like a duel... may the best races win. Next year, we will inevitably see one or two of these races drop their original schedules simply because it is not viable.
So instead of waiting for BDM 102K in March and Comrades in May 2010, I have planned to run Quezon City, Subic, HK and Thailand in that order to keep my sanity intact and the ultra bug in check (but I might drop Quezon City). Milo is out of the question. It was held barely 1 week after Botak. Short races are equally good as well to test one's speed.
It comes down now to the question of how to train again for 42K after being busy with all the ultras early this year. Honestly, the better question is how to train and qualify for 114th Boston Marathon on April 19, 2010. At my age of 40 by 06 January 2010, my qualifying time is 3 hours and 20 minutes. A tough time when one considers that the entire distance has to be run evenly not less than 4 minutes and 7 seconds flat per kilometer just to qualify. Locally, the qualifying time in Subic and Pasig marathons is the only race time that Boston Athletic Association will accept because they are both AIMS-certified. So Subic and Pasig are definitely worth considering especially now that the Subic organizer has chosen a fast downhill course along SCTEX. Great. And when preparing for this kind of race, it is safe to allot 6 months of training just to get things done. Something always comes up which prevents one from following the training plan what with family, work, etc.
So all my trainings and expenses now are geared towards achieving one or both goals - Comrades and/or Boston in 2010 in their particular order of importance. Why the use of "and/or"? Well, it is logistically challenging in the light of current global economic downturn. I just hope things will pan out eventually.