From 6 to 200 MPH

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Newbie No More

After three years of running 5k, 10k and 13.1 mile distances and weeks of training, on a cold and cloudy morning, I ran my first full marathon …The Long Beach International Bank Marathon this morning.

After running with relative ease at the short distances, it's a humbling experience running 26.2 miles. I set a PR first 13.1 miles (2:05:58) but unfortunately, I was running the 26.2 event. I was in uncharted territory the last 6.2 miles and my time during this stretch was disappointing. My 68 years old legs and back reduced me to jogging and walking. It was not till 2.2 miles left in the race that I was able to put together enough strength to run non stop to the finish line. Adrenalin had kicked in as I watched mile 24 and 25 go by and the upcoming left turn off of Ocean to the final stretch helped me finish strong!

Crossing the finishing banner was a relief and I was glad to have challenged myself and even more grateful to just have finished such an ordeal. My son and many other runners say, “It's a life changing feeling having run your first marathon and the feeling won’t hit you till after crossing the banner.” I ask myself, is this the first and last marathon I will complete? Is the all of the training worth it? As I view the final results several hours after my finish, I take note of my 7th place in my age group but take keen interest to the finishers ahead of me whom are same age as me. Then I think of what if I had a better finish kick during those 6.2 miles and maybe if I didn’t walk as much. The thoughts quickly pass. I massage my sore legs and straighten my tight lower back and think, it was my first marathon and I finished it! I’ll savor this feeling in the coming days as my sore muscles recover and think, maybe I’ll place 6th the next time…

Time ....................... 4:42:49
Div (65-69) place ....... 7/29
Overall --------------------- 1842/3287

After the Race


  1. Congrats Arthur!
    My goodness, your time and 7th place is AWESOME!
    You are not a Marathon virgin anymore 8)

    I looked for you at the festival, but alas could not find you.

    i had a good time running but because of cramping in my left leg (the one with the tear) I was doing walk-running the last 5 miles (and got a 4:25...but I'm happy with that...I had no problems with the remnants of my cold.

    I thought the race was very well run, and the course nice and flat (compared to SF). The weather wass perfect. ..I'd be happy to run it again with better prep.

    Anyway, you did great and i'm sure you discovered the incredible difference between half marathons and fulls..thats what makes them so interesting.

    I took a bunch of photos while running that will be on my blog when I get to it. (maybe tomorrow?)

    enjoy your soreness....its' your badge of accomplishment 8)


  2. Great performance for a newbie Arthur! Enjoy your rest and recovery week! Be warned, running 26.2s can be very addictive :-) SR MM#2800

  3. Finally! Congratulations Arthur! What a strong finish! And to think it was your first time -- at 68? I wish I could still run the marathon at that age. You're my I-D-O-L!

    Rest well. Ice bath is probably best. It took me 4 months to be fully recovered, but that's fine with me. Reading stories like this inspire me to run another marathon. Maybe you could visit the Phils in February? Let's run the Skyway together (err . .. let's start together. I'm sure you're gonna fly after 7 minutes hah hah . . . )

  4. Dear Arthur - CONGRATULATIONS! In my vocabulary you have long since graduated as a newbie. What a great magical number 4:42:49 The numbers are are not the only WISH of so many runners, but, so many 69'ners wish that they could just be mobile while you could even run a marathon. YOU ARE BLESSED! More power and strenght to you.

  5. @Paul --- Thanks for the motivation, Paul! It will surely help for a faster recovery. Sorry, we were not able to connect during the run. I didn't stay long after I completed my run. I didn't even have my free beer. Did you took picture of the pyramid? I saw a runner taking picture and I thought of you.

    @Scientist Runner ---- Thanks, SR! I hope running 26.2s is not that addictive. I can't imagine putting my body & mind through another excruciating experience.

    @Nora ------ Thanks, golden girl! It's you who encouraged me to run the full when you did the Dream Race. Amado is registering me on the Condura half mary. See you there.

    @Amado ----- What can I say, Amado! I hope we, 50+ runners can motivate/encourage some of our senior kababayan to take up running. You will be training me at the Ultra to acclimate my self on the Philippine weather. BTW, please register me on the Condura HALF Mary. Maraming Salamat, Amado!

  6. Arthur,

    What about running the full at Surf City? Are you game? (Or are you still hurting too much?)

    you should see me going down stairs at work today....eerrrg! Quads not happy! 8)

  7. Hi Paul;
    My quads are still hurting but not enough to stop me from working out on the elliptical & stationary bike this morning. I think, I am done with the full for now. I made many technical mistakes last Sunday's run that, I have to join a training program to be comfortable running one again. I will do a recovery run at Lafayette Reservoir Run on Halloween.

    Good luck on your recovery and at Surf City. I did the SCM half mary this year. Nice & scenic route.

  8. Congratulations, sir. A 4:42 first marathon at 68 is nothing short of amazing. I am almost half your age, and after three full marathons, I have yet to crack the 5-hour barrier. Your achievement is indeed inspiring.

    I see you're planning to do the Condura Run in February. I hope you somehow change your mind and go for the full. Hopefully, I'd bump into you somehow. Rest and recover well - because the road will come calling again very soon.

  9. Hi Arthur,

    Thanks for your kind inquiry...I'm ready to run, (slowly) but the left calf is still more sore and tight so I did elliptical at a moderate intensity good.

    I don't have any events until Feb, so I'm sure I'll be fine by then..

    I'm very impressed at your fast recovery...7th place in AG on first marathon and then you bounce back fast...pretty good!

  10. Hi Julius,
    Thanks for the motivation, Julius! Be patience, keep training, come up with a plan and stick to it, and you will nail that sub 5-hour barrier.

    I am pretty sure we will meet at ultra, if not, alone the Condura route. I plan to run with Amado at his favorite routes.

    Take care and run safely.

  11. Hi Paul,

    Thanks, Paul! I did my recovery run of 5 miles this morning at a padded oval track. I was surprised how fast, I recovered. 4 days ago my wife and son have to assist me getting in the car.

    Take care and good luck on your recovery run.

  12. Congrats Sir Arthur! Your time was really great ... not only for a newbie but also for someone who is 68! My time for my 1st mary was even more than yours ... and I'm more than 20 yrs younger! Good luck on the Condura next year ... wanted to do it too but am going to Manila next month for some operations. Will do the 32km United Run as a prelude to my next full mary in feb ... in Austin, TX. Keep on running! Dr. Raffy Tomacruz

  13. Thanks, Raffy! How are things going in Texas? Hope everything is fine. Good luck on your United Run.