Monday, December 14, 2015

Wavering Motivation for Running

As 2015 has come and pretty much gone, so has a lot of my motivation for running. I've been running pretty much steady since 2011 and never really went long periods of time with a layoff, even when injured. This year has been different.

Early in the year is my heavy running schedule, with Columbia Trail (leadup to TNF), The North Face Thailand and UTKC (Ultra Trail Koh Chang 66km). Those races went well, but I lost 9 toenails at UTKC...and I failed to register in time for the 10 hour race that followed. That failure to register on time (sold out in four days) for the 10 hour ultra put me in a negative mood, bad mood, running depression!! I was really looking forward to running it again and improving on my 86 km from last year.

That started my long layoff from running. I went from running four or five days a week and following a strict training plan to running twice a week and just doing whatever I felt like on the day. GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT.

Over the next few months I ran four or five races only...The three marathons I ran are listed here with some pictures. The race I ran with Pae will have its own post ;)

I ran the following marathons on crap training:

Muang Thai Marathon Bangkok 2015
First edition of this race, on the same road as the Bangkok Marathon...just as boring. Finished okay at 3:40:51. Ran some, walked some...hahahaha!! Too hot, too humid on the day. Ran right past the finish line (on a big bridge spanning the Chao Phraya River) and kept on walking to the bottom of the bridge to catch a taxi home!)
Wore my hydration pack for this race, just to get used to the weight...two liters of water really takes a toll on your during the course of a 42km run.

Marines Marathon 2015
This is a marathon that I've wanted to run since running the Pattaya Marathon in 2012. During that race, I was passed by and ran with for a while, a couple Thai Marines (probably retired) and found out that there was an annual Marines Marathon in Satthahip (near Pattaya). This was my year to run it, went down with Pae and Bubble.
Felt really good going into it even on less training than usual. I ran pretty quickly in the beginning but then the course became hilly and it destroyed me. I died at a big hill late in the race, texted Pae and told her that 3:30:00 wasn't happening so to expect me in 3:45:00 instead as I intended (no other choice really) to walk the rest of the hills and jog the flats. It was hot and I was dying the whole last ten km of the race. I finished in 3:43:12 and came in 6th in the age category, top five got trophies but foreigners were not allowed to be among the winners (keeps the Kenyans away as they dominate any race with prize money).
Suffering is good, especially when you're 200 meters from the finish

Khao Yai Trail Marathon 2015 
Another race that I put very little training into. My only goal was to negotiate the race without injury and to try to finish faster than last year. There were plenty of Bangkok Runners there this year. Funny thing happened at the start...we were all standing around, chatting, waiting to be called to the start line. Suddenly the horns (start horns) started blaring. We all looked at each other, looked around and then looked at the race timer. The timer was at three seconds already and we were all just standing around smokin' and jokin' haha. We eventually started to run, but it was so funny that they didn't even get our attention and let us know that they were gonna start the race.
The Bangkok Runner contingent

The race was the same route pretty much, not as well, but had plenty of wet areas and the mud was tough. I started out pretty fast, running with a couple guys, took a wrong turn  and ended up behind the same guys. Used a lot of energy to catch up to them only to lose them around 15km on a long gradual climb. After that, I worked hard to limit the damage until the halfway turnaround. I was quite happy with my race up until that point. On the way back, I lost my energy, didn't enjoy the hills, the sun, and just labored back to the finish line wet and muddy and sunburned.
So, I really suffered throughout this entire race. The photos help refresh my memory of that suffering.
I suck at this race, but I like the course. I ended up finishing faster than last year by a little bit (but last year we ran an extra couple km, haha) but the pace was almost exactly the same: 4:37:43 for 43 km. Tough race.

Ayutthaya Marathon 2015
This was my third time running this race. I run it because it is close to home, it is relatively cheap (700 baht) and it fits in really well with my training for my January and February big races (TNF and UTKC).

I finished in about 3:46 maybe 3:47, I failed to stop my GPS at the finish line and eventually stopped it at like 3:58. I walked quite a bit of the race once I hit the wall and knew that my mind just wasn't into the pushing and hurting.

I ran with several guys and we fought dogs together. I ended up 7th overall and 5th in my age group. Again, the 40 year olds were "strong" and made up 5 of the top 7 finishers. Two Bangkok Runners finished 1st and 2nd overall, awesome.
Right before the finish line...what you don't see in this photo is that I walked from the last turn towards the finish for about 200 meters...I was done and just wanted to go home.

I was almost embarrassed at getting a trophy for running barely under 4 hours, but in the end, regardless of my time or effort, I was the 7th fastest on that particular day in that particular race.

 But hey, now I have a third trophy from Ayutthaya, haha! I had joked with Eric last year that since we got a triangle shaped trophy in 2013 and a round one in 2014, that we had to get a square one this year...It was not square, but it'll do ;)
Ayutthaya Marathon 2015, 5th place in 40-49 age category
I ran a small race that Pae's airline organized for employees and their invited guests, I'll post that tomorrow or sometime soon ;) Auntie, you'll not wanna miss it ;)


mardenheyjude said...

Interesting stories of these races. Even though you did not seem to be as motivated as in the past you certainly recorded some great finishing times. Love always, Auntie

mardenheyjude said...

Can't wait to read your story of the airline organized race... Love always, Auntie

Pae and Guy said...

It's probably part a running thing, a burnout thing too, but pretty much since BunBun left us, nothing has been quite the same. Still trying to get my head and heart sorted out since April. Grieving isn't always just crying and missing...there is a hole, and though it can be filled with something else, it seems to always still be a hole. Slowly (just like my running) a new norm will become...well...normal.

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