Friday, June 27, 2014

Countdown To GCAM14

When I first joined the GCAM Training group set up by Jamie last year, it wasn't with the intention to actually run the Gold Coast Airport Marathon. It was more for using it as a training tool for my SCKLM marathon. Training alone for long distances isn't all that fun, doing it with a group makes the pain a lot more bearable. So I grabbed the opportunity to join the GC training sessions since it was after all geared towards marathon training.

Inaugural Gold Coast Airport Marathon Group Training January 26, 2013
Pic courtesy of Jamie Pang 
Little did I dream that in slightly more than a week from today, I'll actually be running in the Gold Coast Airport Marathon. Weird things happen when you join a group of crazy people, some of whom are perpetually on 'poison' mode (LOL) to do your training with. But all said and done, joining the group was a blessing seeing as how my running has improved a little with the numerous long run sessions we've been through, not forgetting the good friendships that were formed during those long runs together.

Anyways, all that sentimental talk aside, I'm feeling rather jittery as the days to GCAM draws near. I've always had some form of butterflies before every race but this one feels like I have butterflies, grasshoppers and dragonflies all running havoc in my tummy together. It's probably cos it's my first race away from home, a very long way from home at that. I'm not sure what to expect, culture wise, environment wise, weather wise and it's all putting my mind in a state of slight unease. It's a good thing the wife is going with me.

Training and preparation wise, I've done all I can to prep myself for the race. I don't think I could do anything more to be any more prepared, not at this point anyway. All the hard work of almost daily runs in the morning and waking up at ungodly hours on weekends for training have all been put in. Now all I have to do is trust in my training and mostly myself to see if I have what it takes to translate all this into some sort of personal success for myself.

Yes, I race for PB's, no shame in admitting that. I'm very competitive with myself and I always want to get better with each race I run in. After all, why do something and not have a goal or a target? Yes, I have a goal for GCAM, not a sub-4 goal as some of you might be thinking (you know who you are). I'm not in the sub-4 class just yet. I'll get there, mind you, but not yet. My personal goal is a bit more realistic, something based on my abilities.

After all, this is only my 5th marathon, so you can't really expect much, right? It took me close to 15 tries to get my half marathon done right before even attempting a marathon last year. We all run for different reasons be it for health, a bucket list, personal goals, bragging rights or just to plain show off, hey whatever floats your boat. For me, training for something in earnest matter a great deal. Then if I fail, I have only myself to blame.

All that aside, I'm actually looking forward to my first ever Gold Label road race event. The chance to line up on the same starting line with the likes of Yuki Kawauchi and Nicholas Manza, to name a few makes me feel like a child on Christmas day. Of course, I'll be holed up in the slower start pen way behind and wouldn't even be able to catch a shadow of them but it still does feel damn exciting. I'll have two other 'elites' in the starting pen with me in the form of Jamie and Choon Yuen, so I won't be alone, at least until we all start chasing our own personal goals once the gun goes off.

Kawauchi & Manza
All this is kinda surreal for me though. Like I said earlier, little did I dream I'd ever be travelling to Australia to run a marathon. Loads of stuff needed to be looked into. Travelling and accommodation needed to be sorted out. By doing some of your own research you could get a good deal on flights and accommodation but the wife and me opted to take up the GCAM travel package offered by Holiday Tours and let them do all the work for us. A little more pricey but a lot more peace of mind, especially for someone like me who's not familiar with the country.

Sadly though, we don't have too much time to really bask in the place since our itinerary is pretty tight and not much time for sightseeing save for one full day to ourselves after the race which we've already filled up with some activities. But that doesn't mean I don't intend to take advantage of every single waking moment we have over there.

The wife will be lining up an hour and twenty minutes earlier than me to start her half marathon. The trick will be to find a way to keep warm until race start cos according to what I've heard, it gets pretty cold in the early morning but warms up as the race progresses. I'm rooting for the wife, who initially wasn't supposed to run, to do well. She's been training pretty hard the past few months even though she was coming off from injury when she first started her training. She's not putting pressure on herself and is just out for a good time and ogling tall surfer hunks with six packs :D

My race gear have all been tried and tested, save for one or two things which I might change on race day. At least that's one less thing to worry about. Race strategy or what amounts to something remotely called a strategy has already been planned which is basically to avoid the sweeper bus! I can't wait to cross the finish line next week and bawl my eyes out ... hahaha!

Now to start the tedious process of packing.

7 comments:

  1. Phew!! I'm glad I'm not part of the group of evil people you mentioned, poison feeders and sub4 taunt givers!!

    Sorry I won't be there to heckle you at the start line *evil cackle* but you'll do fine! Trust your training and instincts! :)

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    1. In proxy, you actually are in that evil group too! You should have taken a holiday and come over to see us cry at the finish line la .... hahaha!

      Thanks for the good luck wishes. I'll do my best, that's a given :D

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  2. I forgot to say good luck, all the best, and have a Magnum ice cream afterwards!

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  3. Whatever the outcome, it's been one heckuva ride. Just enjoy the experience!

    Ps. Wilder rides are coming *insert ominous music*

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    1. Yup, I'm eager to see all those hours we've clocked amount to something next week.

      Not gonna lie, am totally intrigued by those wilder rides ... :D

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  4. You'll both do fine :) Good Luck.. enjoy the run... enjoy Owstralia and remember to pick up the lil stone when you are home.

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    1. Thanks Annyboo, The wife and me still owe you a coffee plantation for your help with the lil thing :D

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