“If I don’t qualify for Milo finals, there are still other eliminations I can join. Will try my best to qualify!”
Those were my last sentences in my recent post about the Milo Marathon Manila eliminations. I didn’t qualify for the finals so the next thing I did was decide where I could try and qualify for that finals. Tagbilaran was a popular place based on friends’ suggestions as they say the route is flat. So I decided to do it there – Qualify for the Milo Finals in Tagbilaran.
5 October is the schedule for Tagbilaran. Hence I have a week to rest then my training starts immediately. I was looking for a 1:30 finish time program but most of them are 12-week programs. I am 4 weeks short. So I went to my running coach and asked for an 8-week program that would guarantee a 1:30 finish for me. He gave me my 1st week program last week and I religiously followed it. Set my alarm to 4:15 every morning and did what he asked me to do – easy runs, speed drills, workouts.
I signed up for a 21K on 17 August and I decided to make it a test run. If I finish sub 2 (which I never did this year) then maybe I could qualify for the Tagbilaran eliminations. I checked for hotels and flights to Tagbilaran but I waited until this Sunday before firming up plans.
I was with colleagues from the office at the starting line. I greeted Milo Apex friends who were also running the same distance. I stayed at the back of the pack so I reached the starting line 2 minutes after the gun start. Then there I was running. Trying to calculate my speed so that I could hit the sub 2 time. It was a good run. The flyovers were manageable. I tried my best to stop only at water stations. On the 16K point, I was already sure that I will finish within target time so I slowed down a bit. I walked a bit knowing that I still could reach my target.
I crossed the finish line with 1:58 on the clock. If I pushed harder, I know I could finish 5-10 minutes faster. Sofitel Manila half marathon was a good race. I finished my 1st Sub 2 21K this year. More importantly, I am quite confident that after my 8-week program, I will qualify for the Milo Finals. Now I need to finalise travel plans and register for the Tagbilaran race.