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What is a negative split in a marathon?

Wiki.answerrs.com explains – “a negative split in a marathon is where you run the first half or maybe even the first 10 miles of the race slower than your goal pace. Then the last half of your marathon, you pick up the pace, running faster than your goal pace to make up for the lost time from running slower in the first half of the race. This is a good technique to running a marathon because since it is such a long distance you conserve a lot of energy in the first half, and save it for the last part of the race. Running slower then faster than your goal pace will still get you your goal time if done correctly.”

That’s how my firstborn, Veritas (nickname Vera), came into this world – on a negative split. It was just three days before Christmas and the husband’s Christmas furlough was running out. We were anxious to jump start labor, but when real labor did come, it was fast, easy and with very little suffering when the pushing stage came. I asked my OB Dr. Gladys Pelicano, who is married to an ultrarunner, not to give me Epidural no matter what happens. It sounds silly now, but I was afraid of ruining my reputation. If I could endure the pain of running non-stop for 30 hours, there was no reason for me not to bear the pain of childbirth.

Labor lasted for 9 hours, but I felt pain only between 8cm to 10cm. This lasted just little over an hour. Even then, it wasn’t too unbearable. There were others in the labor room who were begging for painless childbirth at only 2cm. Of course it greatly helped that I had Gladys and her excellent team at Chong Hua Hospital, but I also attribute the easy delivery to all the running, group exercise and yoga I did before and even during my pregnancy.

We checked out of the hospital on Christmas eve. When we checked our hospital bill (before the discounts and Philhealth subsidy), the figure could not have been any more perfect for Marathonfoodie’s baby girl – 42K! It’s an auspicious start. Makes me think that maybe someday, my girl Vera will be the one to break Paula Radcliffe’s record-setting 2:15:25 in the women’s marathon.

In the meantime, it’s sleepless nights and exclusive marathon breastfeeding sessions with Vera, and no running for me even on a good day. It’s hard not being able to do the things you used to be so passionate about. When taking care of the baby gets tough, I remind myself that I survived tougher conditions of not sleeping and running on a loop inside the Cebu IT Park all through the night till the wee hours of the morning while training to run a 100-miler. Although hundred-mile races seem like a totally alien life for me now, its memory, no matter how distant, helps me survive the difficulties of a first-time parent – it’s all about endurance, patience, dedication and of course a lot of love. The difference is that this time there are no medals, no trophies nor silver buckles for crossing the finish line. My most coveted prize now is Vera’s toothless smile at the end of each feeding and that’s more than enough.

Racing Calendar for 2013

For those of you who can still run, the Midnight Marathon in December looks interesting. Here’s the racing schedule for the rest of the year. Carpe viam!


Feb. 17 Philhealth Run 18K P450, 10K P350, 5K P300, 3K P250

Feb. 24 3rd SM2SM Run 21K P750, 12K P450, ’6K/3K P350


Mar. 3, XTERRA Trail Run 21K P1,500, 10K P1,200, 6K P600

Mar. 3 MASEMCO RUN (Parkmall-Mandaue) 10K P350, 5K P300, 3K P250

Mar. 9 2nd AWUM (All Women Ultramarathon) 50K P1,000

Mar. 24 The G.O.O.D. Run 21K P500, 12K/6K/3K P300, 1K P100


Apr. 27 2nd Bohol Ultramarathon 50 miles (80K) P1,200, 50K P900


May 26, 2013 3rd. KAWASAN FALLS MARATHON’ ‘ 42K/21K


June 23, 2013 HUNAT SUGBU 3′ ‘ ’21K/10K/5K


CUC-100 Leg 3 100K P1,500


Aug. 4 Cobra Ironman 70.3

Aug. 25 2nd Bohol Marathon 42K/21K/5K


Sept. 22 Milo Regional Elimination Race 21K/10K/5K


Oct. 27 Citigym Halloween Run 42K/21K


Nov. 10 Red Cross 143: Volunteer Marathon for Humanity 42K/21K



Dec. 1 1st Cebu City-SRP Midnight Marathon 42K/21K/10K/5K

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