After my first marathon in March, I signed up for 3 more marathons in 2013. Taroko Gorge Marathon and Sun Moon Lake Marathon in November, and Taipei Fubon in December.1
2013 Taroko Gorge Marathon
There was an pretty decent quake two days before the Taroko Marathon, so the full marathon got changed to half. I ran it in the rain and had a blast. I didn’t really have a HM time in mind as I’d been training for the full, so I sort of winged it, but managed to PR with 1:38:47, averaging 7:39 minute-mile. I placed 161st overall and 58th in my age group.
2013 Sun Moon Lake Marathon
Two weeks later I went to Sun Moon Lake for the first annual Sun Moon Lake Marathon organized by TWEMBA . The route around the lake is around 29k, so they had a 29k super half marathon, and a 42k. The full consisted of running around the lake and the remaining 13k out on a highway, and turning back to complete the loop. I didn’t know much about the course and the elevations before the race. I think the race booklet had a course map, but I don’t remember seeing an elevation chart. I got placed into the first wave2, and I saw the 3:40 pacers at the starting line. My goal was sub-3:40, so I ran with the pacers. They went out way faster than I would’ve, my first split was in the low 7-minute pace. That obviously wasn’t really 3:40 pace, but I figured the pacers knew the course and there must be some hills coming. They were right. The course was 80% slight downhill, and since it’s a loop, the remaining 20% had to make up for the elevation loss. The last 10k was pretty insane, I don’t think I had ever run up a steep hill for that long. I managed to run all of it even though I contemplated walking a bit. I ditched the pacers at around the 15-mile mark and ran my own race. Finished with a PR of 3:35:55.52 3, I was 19th overall (but out of only 728 runners). Not bad for my second marathon.
Check out the elevation changes
2013 Taipei Fubon Marathon
Taipei Fubon Marathon happened under heavy rain. I got up at 4am, went through my usual marathon morning routine, and showed up at the super crowded starting line about 45 minutes before start time. I read that almost 50,000 runners participated for the various races that day! The race was pretty uneventful. I had to run fast in the beginning to catch up with the 3:30 pacers. Turned out one of them was one of the 3:40 pacers I ran with at Sun Moon Lake. Their balloons got tangled up so they stopped to fix them at around mile 5, I didn’t feel like stopping to wait so from then on I ran my own race. My goal was sub-3:30, I ran at 7:30-7:45 pace and felt strong, so I just kept going. Ended up with another PR of 3:22:47, 220th overall and 67th in my age group. Not quite BQ, but now it seems closer to reach. 4
I fueled with GU gels (with caffeine) during the races and I drank GU Recovery Brew within 15 minutes of finish. They served me well. Sun Moon Lake was mostly pounding downhill, so the bottom of my feet hurt quite a bit the couple of hours after the race. My feet felt fine after Taipei Fubon Marathon, but my legs hurt like hell that night that I couldn’t get much sleep. I took some Ibuprofen the next day and it helped with the swelling. The day after either marathon, I couldn’t walk fast and especially struggled walking down stairs. I felt better the following day, and by day 3-4 I felt good enough for an easy run. I also foam-rolled, soaked legs in ice bath, and got sports massages 3-4 days after the races.
I signed up for the 2014 San Francisco Marathon, and hope to BQ the month before at Grandma’s. I’ll figure out a training plan to get more speed. My goal is sub-3, just to be safe. I’ll probably fit a couple of halves and shorter distances in just for fun, maybe the Napa to Sonoma Wine Country HM and US Half. Too bad Big Sur is sold out already, maybe CIM. I entered the TCSNYCM drawing, but doubt I’ll get in.
Somehow I thought that was a good idea. I figured training for one was pretty much the same as training for three within 2 months, which turned out to be mostly true. ↩
It was the first race in Taiwan I’ve run that had waves/corrals, not sure why not all races have them, they really help with traffic. This is especially true when a lot of participants are there because running is sorta trendy here and they’re there for selfies to “PO” on Facebook. ↩
It was easy to “PR” when it was my second marathon. ↩