Monday, September 15, 2014


Yesterday, I finished the same ultra marathon (100km = 62miles) as last year. My record was 11h 24m 04s, about one and half hours shorter than last year. I'm very happy with the result, and it was a wonderful race. It is always a lot of fun to find 'something new' inside yourself even after you've grown up.

I got up at 00:50 am, grabbed 2 rice balls and 4 rice cakes, and left the hotel at 02:00. I wanted to eat two more rice cakes just before the race, but I had a stomach upset the day before and I passed them (I ate a banana instead). I had prepared almost everything in advance, so everything went very smoothly.

This time, I repeated two mantras while I ran the race.

(1) Ultra-marathons are sports of self-management, which consist of 70% mental control and 30% physical training.   

(2) Ultra-marathons are "eating and drinking contests with a little exercise and scenery thrown in".

0-10 km:  1h 00m (5m58s/km) 
   It was very cool and we sometimes had misting rains. I felt very comfortable to run, but I tried to save energy for later legs of the race.

10-20km:  0h 59m (5m55s/km) 
   I felt other runners around me very fast, but I still tried to save energy. I started to feel a strange pain on my toes, but it was mild enough to be ignored.

20-30km:  1h 00m (6m01s/km) 
   I kept almost the same good pace. Just before the first control gate, I noticed my shoelaces were not tight, and thought the pain derived from loosen feet inside the shoes. I temporarily tightened them.

30-40km:  1h 06m (6m38s/km)
   This leg includes steep slopes, and I slowed down when I climbed. I first planned to run at 6m35m/km pace, so I could run just as scheduled.

40-50km:  1h 11m (7m07s/km) 
   I took a good rest at 44km point, where they served noodles. I had a cup of them, some snacks and pickled plums, and several cups of coke. I kept going.      

50-60km:  1h 16m (7m38s/km)
   The second control gate was placed at 56km point. I ran through it and exchanged my shirts, re-laced my shoes, and applied pain relief cream on my legs. I had a large meal there, and be able to relived. As the sun rose higher, it was getting hotter and hotter.

60-70km:  1h 24m (8m22s/km)
   There was a mountain about 400m (444yds) high. My plan was to climb it at 9m/km pace combining fast walking. I finally got to the peak.

70-80km:  1h 13m (7m19s/km)
   I ran through the third gate just after the peak of the mountain (74km). I was OK and still had energy enough to finish the last 20km.   

80-90km:  1h 09m (6m57s/km)
   I felt I passed through something. When and after I ran down the mountain, I resumed faster speed and streaked (at least for me). However, it got blazing hot, so I poured cold water over my head at every resting station. I also never forgot to eat and drink a lot.

90-100km:  1h 05m (6m29s/km)),  Total (100km):  11h 24m 04s
   I streaked harder. When I reached 90km point, I had a strange melancholy feeling. "Only 10km were left?? I even want to keep running a little more!" Different from last year, I passed through many runners before the goal. Anyway, I reached the goal, and I'm glad to run this race.

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