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Blast From The Past

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Some of you know I also maintain another blog (http://choyinthehale.wordpress.com/) in addition to this run specific site. I was reading a few run related posts and was surprised as to how much I’ve matured running-wise. Being able to reflect on past hardships and accomplishments made me appreciate current ones even more.

I’ve come a long way since I started running 2008.
-Three mile daily runs are now sometimes 20+ miles.
-Twenty mile weeks  are long gone and have turned into 70+ mile weeks.
-7:00/mile pace for tempos are :30 faster.
-Climbing hills is now a love affair.
-Wearing shorter running shorts is more comfortable.

Though I’ve grown physically, many of the reasons why I love the run have remained the same.
-The sense of peace it brings me.
-The excitement of discovering something new on a familiar route.
-The supportive friends and family.
-The sense of accomplishment.
-The attainment of goals.
-The challenge of setting and attaining new goals.

I’ve learned a lot since 2008 and continue to learn and evolve as a runner. It excites me to think of my future in running. For now, check out these entries from 2009.

On finishng my second Hilo Marathon:
“I started off well. 7:40 pace for the first 5 miles. Then a 8:30 pace to mile 13. Then it was downhill from there. I averaged a 9:10 pace until mile 23. Cramps set in and I walked all the way to the finish. Literally walking across the finish line. My nemesis beat me even though I passed his ass at mile 16. I didn’t train at all. Averaged 15 miles a week with a one long run of 10 miles. Didn’t run at all the past 3 weeks. Kona Marathon up next in June. Will train better to finally run a 3:30:00 marathon.”

On what motivated me:
I find motivation for my running in having a better time than someone else, even though the other person may not even know who I am. I managed to destroy my rival’s best time at the most recent Kona Marathon. I say “rival” in the kindest way. He and I are similar in build and run all of the same races. We’re always in the top 6 in our age group, so it was only natural for me to pick him out as my “rival”.

Next goal is to beat the fastest time of an old college friend, John Burgos. I’ll let him know about my plans, maybe we can motivate each other to run some crazy times. He ran the St. Georges in Utah (downhill Marathon;-) in 3:14:00 and a half in 1:33:00. Looking forward to coming close to those times. He does have a couple more years of running experience and seems to be more serious about his training and mileage, but I’ll do what I can to keep up.

On finishing my second Kona Marathon:
“Then had me going to Kona with Betty to run the Kona Marathon. (My pictures are up! Click on the link: Kona Marathon.) Official race results. Purposely stayed in a hotel 4 miles from the start so I can ride a bike as a warm-up and cool down on my way back. Finished in 03:33:36. Pace was way too fast for me. Ran sub 7:30 for the first 14 miles…insane! Really made a difference towards the finish. Walk/run! It was a race where I felt really comfortable running that pace and thought I could keep it up and run a sub 3:30:00. I almost did ,and now hate myself for run/walking miles 25 and 26.”

Thoughts on a Hilo Marathon training run and advice for running it:
“Let me first start off by saying mimosas after a grueling run is awesome and should be a Sunday tradition. As for the run itself, it was pretty tough. I meant to start running at 5:30, but ran a little late and started at 6 instead. I’ve done this loop many times before and knew the sun on the highway was going to be brutal. The Old Goats and the Nannies were going to do a half loop, stopping at Kalanianaole School and taking the Papaikou back roads. Running on the highway is pretty scary in the dark. Ran a conservative pace knowing the scenic route was going to be rough. I don’t remember the climb to Pepeekeo being so tough. The goal was to make it to the Wheel to simulate the first half of the marathon. By the time I made it to the Wheel, I was pretty beat up. Ran through some cramps so I decided to stop by Low’s store to fuel up. It was ridiculously humid so early in the morning. It got worst with the heat later on. The scenic route is a short 3 miles or so, but the short steep climbs and descents take it’s toll on the legs. It was a very clear day and all the waterfalls and streams were flowing with water (a surprise since we’ve had no rain significant rain in some time). It made for a very pleasant run through the woods. Tried to finish at marathon goal pace once I made it back to the highway, but my legs weren’t going to allow me to do that. Instead, I made sure to keep my turnover relatively quick and shortening my stride. Marie and Claire finished just ahead of me and I finished just ahead of DJ, Charlie and Jim. Also saw Sally M. on the scenic route, must also be training for that section.

Lessons learned from this run (and things to know about this section of the marathon in general):

-Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. I always cramp up at this marathon EVERY year, hence my 4+ hour finishes. Start hydrating starting Saturday with electrolytes. Carrying some Enduralytes or something similar will also help out later on.

-Don’t over-run the first half. Sure, it’s all downhill from Papaikou on, but once you reach town, you still have about 16 miles to go!

-Run the scenic route carefully. Don’t kill yourself moving up the climbs and don’t sprint don’t the declines. Enjoy the views!

-Don’t get caught up with the half marathoners’ pace. This is very common and everyone will tell you this happens to them every year. Know your pace and stick to it!

-Hydrate on the course and don’t skip any aid stations. It should also be said to NOT over-hydrate. Drinking too much, sucking up too much gel and eating too much on the course can be just as bad.

-No matter how cold or windy or rainy it is, it will ALWAYS get hotter and more humid later on, so dress accordingly. You can be like Jim and not wear a shirt. Ladies, I’ll leave this decision up to you.”

My first experience with ultra running and my thoughts about it:
“…that yours truly was going to be volunteering at the ultimate test of pain and endurance. I’m currently on Oahu enjoying the pageantry of the HURT 100 Trail Race. HURT is a 100 mile race through the mountain trail system of Makiki/Tantalus, Nuuanu and Manoa. Runners run 5 x 20 mile loops. This is considered one, if not, the hardest trail race.

I was at the Jackass Ginger (JAG) Aid Station. Volunteers catered to the runner’s every need. Unlike marathons or shorter races, ultra-runners eat whole foods such as pizza, hamburgers and burritos to sustain them for the grueling distance and abuse they inflict on their body. Volunteers also paced runners who requested one. Pacers were allowed starting at 5pm or if the runner had completed 60 miles.

I was a pacer for Rick. We set out a little after 8:20pm. Headlamp and flashlights in hand we set out for the pitch black darkness. It was a very beautiful night with the stars so bright and so close you feel like you can tough them. Also, the city scape from the heights of the mountains is a view that leaves one speechless. Rick did the best he could to complete the race, but had to stop at the 60 mile marker. I did my best to get him a reasonable finish time, but his injuries and exhaustion limited what he could do. It was a very courageous effort and showed a lot of character for him to complete one more loop.”

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