- Accurate Distance
- Race started promptly
- Adequate marshals
- Adequate hydration stations (water, energy drinks, bananas)
- Cool looking race jersey and finisher shirt (for 21k runners)
- None at this time.
The plan was to finish between 2:35 to 2:45 for this one, being my first 21k race since 2012. I came into the start area with around 10-15mins before gun time and fortunately met Dennis and Roselle for a quick chat (on separate instances), who are fellow running bloggers that owe a lot to takbo.ph for their respective blog's audiences. Dennis was targeting a sub 2:30, while Roselle was an official pacer for the 3:00 finish time.
The weather was pretty humid, as evidenced by my sweating like a pig in the start corral even before the race started. Good thing Kuya Kim Atienza, who predicted the day's weather, reminded us to hydrate.
Another mental note that I had to keep in mind is to just finish this one and not go all out, as I was experiencing chest pains from playing basketball Fri night in a VERRRRRY humid gym. As I am not as young as before anymore, I had to manage my pace and listen to my body throughout the race.
The race started and I squeezed myself lucky enough to be included in Wave 1 of 2. The route will be reminiscent of the old days when popular 21k races like Botak, Adidas, and Mizuno would take us to the Buendia flyover til SLEX for the U-turn, and then back to BGC going towards Heritage Memorial Park then back to BGC for the finish. The path from BGC to Heritage boosted some confidence in me as I was able to test myself there when I did my last long run (of 18k) two Sundays before race day.
The first 10kms (BGC-Buendia-SLEXUturn-Buendia) went by without a hitch (gel at km4-5) with average pace at 8:00/km which is slow by my standards. However, I was feeling alright so why mess it up, right? Besides, HR was at 150-155 which is already at my tempo range so it was too early to accelerate as there are 11kms to go.
As I finished the Buendia flyover climb from Ayala, I saw yellow balloons along the distance.
It was the 2:45 pacers.
As I was too relaxed with my pace I didn't realize that I already fell off my target finish time as evidenced by the yellow balloons held by the 2:45 pacers about 800m away. I adjusted my pace and it was a game of cat and mouse for the next 8km.
They were probably employing a 6:2 run-walk strategy by my reckon. Everytime I got near them (while they were walking), they would run and I would have to psych myself to keep my pace to chase them. Frustating was an understatement in the pickle I was in.
By about the 18th km (gel at km 11 and 16) I was able to overtake them (finally!) and ran to the finish. I was constantly looking back to see where they were. There was a point that they were suddenly closing in (probably as I walked along one of the water stations) so I had to jump my pace up again. HR was at or near 160 bpm.
Finally, after 2 hours 43 minutes and change, I finished my first half marathon in years.
The time was slow but my overall effort, if I were to rate it from 1 to 10 with 10 being hardest, would be around 7 to 7.5. This was at a "comfortably hard" pace for me which meant that I could definitely do better in future 21k races. Just need to train more and probably work around cycling and running exclusively (no basketball in between, especially in humid conditions).
Next up? The Philippine Duathlon Series Leg 4 on Aug21 in Clark. Time to get back on my bike again.
10k run. 40k bike. 5k run.
Yup, it's racing season! :)