Friday, May 15, 2015

T Minus 50 Days

There's only about 50 days to go before the Gold Coast Airport Marathon (GCAM) comes along. While it might look like there's still lots of time but at the speed the days move these days, it won't be long before I find myself boarding the plane to the beautiful Gold Coast of Australia again.

The wife and me decided that we'd both sign up for GCAM again immediately after last year's race. Last year was just too rushed for us. We flew in, ran the race and then flew home again. We didn't really have any time to enjoy the place, save for a one day tour after the race the next day. Hardly enough to take in the splendour of the place.

The beautiful beach along Surfers Paradise with Q1 looming in the background

So this year, the wife and me made plans to fly in a whole lot earlier to just explore the place before race day. Tickets and accommodation were booked way back in September of last year. The training plan was drawn up, tweaked and changed countless time before finally embarking on it and things seemed to be moving along nicely, that is until a dent was put into our plans.

With two months to go, Air Asia decides to cancel our original flight out to the Gold Coast for some absolutely unknown operational crap and move our flight to the next day. Now, the wife and me planned this trip to maximize our stay there and this unexpected cancellation will make us miss an entire day of the Gold Coast which had me fuming! As far as I'm concerned Air Asia are being absolutely unfair to all of us who had our flights cancelled and moved to the next day.

The view from outside the race expo

When I called to demand an explanation, I was told that it was some operational issue but they couldn't tell me why cos they're not really sure themselves. I was dumbfounded! Then they offer me options which are absolutely useless and I told them so. And when I made even more noise, they tell me that it's stated in their terms and conditions that they can reschedule and cancels flights! I had nothing more to say. How I can argue when they quote me the bloody terms and conditions.

You can be rest assured, the next time I booked a flight, I'll look at all other airlines first before taking Air Asia. While it might not be an issue to some, I'm not filthy rich or even nearing anywhere to being rich. The wife and me planned and saved for this trip so that we could make the most of our very little money, which is why we booked our flights and accommodation so early last year. Now, we're left to juggling our plans for the trip, all thanks to Air Asia.

The quaint little shops at Gallery Walk, Mount Tamborine

On a good note, I'm still looking forward to GCAM, and not only just to run it. Last year's trip there made me fall in love with the place. Makes me wish I was capable and qualified enough to pack up everything and go live there. I hear from a reliable source (no names mentioned) they even bake cookies (or was it brownies) for the garbage man :D But jokes aside, I can imagine myself settling down there. One can dream, right?

On the training side, things have moved up several notches with the plan moving into third gear. I'm blessed to have a supportive wife and an equally motivated group of people to train with. Weekdays are spent on my solo runs that include marathon specific sessions and my easy days accompanying the wife on her training with the weekend emphasis placed on longer runs with the GCAM gang. All these sessions combined actually makes the training more bearable.

I simply don't wanna leave the place!

Anyone worth his salt would know how tough a training plan can be when you have to work it on your own. Having like minded friends with a similar training plan makes things all that much less tough to go through. Which is why these days I thoroughly enjoy my easy runs with the wife and look forward to the weekend runs with the gang. At least I don't look like an idiot mumbling to myself when I run solo!

Most of you who know me knows my training plan is based on the Hansons method. I'm a firm believer of the Hansons plan. Of course I had to tweak the plan a little to fit around my schedule since I do have a life, family and career outside of running but basically it still follows the original as close as possible with the key being consistency in my runs. Consistency was the key in my previous plan in Chiang Mai where I got my marathon PR and hopefully it'll see me with a good finish in GCAM too. Fingers crossed.

This time though, I placed a little more importance in the weekday intervals, tempo and strength aspect of the training, something which I neglected in the previous plan. It has not been easy. Forcing myself to wake up every morning before work just to make sure I get in the desired mileage and training. I'm not a morning person, mind you and having to force myself out of bed is herculean effort. But every time I feel like sleeping in I remember this video clip the wife shared with me: Rise & Shine!


My entire premise for GCAM is to just go out there, run my best and hopefully pull off a good showing. I have a personal goal but nothing lofty. I don't have a habit of making unrealistic goals. I've got to be honest with myself, I am after all an aging 48 year old who pretends to think he's still in his 30's. The body isn't what it used to be but by god, I'll definitely give it all I've got in GCAM!

This time though, aside from the usual suspects, Jamie and Choon Yuen, we have a bigger group with us running GCAM. It's definitely going to be fun and hopefully we'll be able to motivate each other all the way to the finish. Insanely, some of us have also signed up for the 10km run the day before the marathon which we aim to use as a shakedown/fun run kinda thing. After all, we can't be too serious with our respective goals, at least for me anyway.

So, with 50 days to go, I'm still finding an excuse to get out of the Q1 Skypoint climb. Any help, guys? LOL!

Even the cows look contented 

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