I spend almost 10 hours a day at work. This excludes the 1 hour total travel time. I know most of the people here, either by name or by face. The teasing and joking among officemates are common, as in any workplace.
The teasing and joking exponentially rises when the Company Sportsfest is around the corner. The Fun Run, in particular, is a much-awaited event. I have to admit, this is the one event that I cook up mini competitions in my head to psych myself into running faster. Just imagine the mental shame if I get beaten by this guy in the meeting or that person in the elevator. Hehe.
Take Chuck Norris, a guy from our Marketing department, for example. He was christened as Chuck Norris after that famous Twitter userid (@chucknorris_) who comes up with funny pa-macho-epek quotes. The office Chuck Norris, can be described as hated by all since he's very irritating. Come on, you have one too in your office, right? ;-)
Anyway ChuckNorris has been egging me the week prior that I cannot beat him. The previous sportsfest last June resulted in Chuck finishing the 15k race 8mins ahead of me ---a sub-1:30 performance for him. That was a big confidence-booster for him to be able to suggest that he will still be able to beat me this time around.
As I said in my last post, this 15k race will be a "check-point" in terms of my pre-marathon training plan for Condura 2011. The pre-marathon training plan's main goal is to increase my weekly mileage to 40-50kms/week before I start the 16-week marathon training leading up to Feb 6, 2011, my second full marathon. Aside from the easy-paced short and long runs, I try to insert tempo and intervals in the sked to help improve on speed. My finish-time will determine how effective (or not) this self-made training is. Beating Chuck Norris would be a big bonus too!
Race-Org: RunRio with D-tag.
Race route: BHS, University Parkway, St Lukes, Rizal Ave, 5th avenue, Lawton, Bayani Road just before Heritage. Turnaround from there going back to Bayani, Lawton, 5th avenue, 32nd street, finishing at BHS.
Gear: takbo.ph singlet. Shoes: Newton Distancia Racers. Yup, I was going to test how comfortable (or not) my Newtons will be on a long distance race. Further, I wanted to test my newly-found midfoot strike if I can hold it for 15km at race pace.
Strategy: Don’t go out too fast at the start. Target pace: 6:15/km. Go all out at the last 5k.
As for Chuck Norris, I couldn’t find him among the 40-50 15k runners assembled at the starting line. I guess he won’t be running, I thought.
At exactly 5:30am, we were off!
Km1-6: 6:23, 6:36, 6:36, 6:21, 6:18, 6:20
FINALLY, I prevented myself from going all-out at the starting gun. With the help of MP, a mid-20s officemate, I was able to forget the 1st 6kms by just talking and having fun with MP as we trotted on our way, but trying to stay at sub-6:30/km pace.
By km6, MP had wanted to go ahead. He ran off with probably a 5:30/km pace as I was left with my planned pace moving up along 5th avenue, just having passed the Mini Cooper showroom.
Km7-10: 6:06, 5:57, 6:10, 6:13
I took my Hammer Gel approaching km7. Coupled with my sudden interest in chasing MP, I quickened my pace. Being familiar with this race route, I knew that it would be mostly descent right after Mckinley Avenue. Thus the fast km splits above.
AND ON THE 10TH KM, THERE CAME CHUCK NORRIS
As I left the Bayani Road turnaround signalling the start of a long uphill climb back to 5th avenue, I finally got my first glimpse of my nemesis. Chuck Norris had rode his bike all the way from his house (which I don’t know where and I don’t care where) to BHS.
He arrived about 10 minutes late, which allowed me a head start in the race. It looked as if he was on a sub-6:00/km pace, about 400-500 meters behind me. Boy, he was really fast having caught up with me. I later found out that he was shouting “Hahabulin ko si RP!” (“I will chase RP! (RP = my initials)”) as he left the starting line just before the 10k runners were sent off.
Km11-12: 6:32, 6:29
It was a struggle trying to keep my pace from the uphill stretch from Bayani to Lawton towards 5th avenue. Winning against mind-games encouraging me to walk and rest, I was able to keep my race pace in check determined not to let my guard down at the thought that Chuck Norris might be closing in.
Luckily, 5th avenue was a welcome respite since it was all downhill up to 32nd street.
Km13-14: 6:18, 6:19
32nd street from 5th avenue is a slight climb all the way to Serendra. Midway into 32nd street, I looked back to scan the field. Lo and behold, I saw a guy in a maroon-shirt about 300 meters ahead. Chuck Norris was chewing up on my lead, albeit slowly. As I turned right from 32nd street towards BHS, I was hoping that Rio would plot the route in such a way that I head straight and turn right at Honda to relieve of this cat-and-mouse scenario, or, aptly put, Chuck-and-mouse. But no, this was going to wait until I do one round of the popular BHS perimeter.
MAD DASH TO THE FINISH
I decided to forget my conservativeness and went all out at the last km. About 200 meters from the finish, I heard deep breathing coming in fast from my rear left.
Chuck Norris, I thought, was going for broke as well. I didn’t need to look back since I fairly suspected that it would be him. I decided to drop the hammer and sprint it, recalling that 10x200m speedwork that I did 2 weeks prior. My calves started to act as if going to cramp, but I didn’t care. Pride was at stake. It’s something that I could lash back at him if he starts being his unruly, irritating self.
“Talo ka naman eh!” (“You lost!”)
But then, with that final turn towards NBC tent with 50 meters to go, he passed me.
It’s NOT Chuck Norris!
It was this 20s something-fella wearing the 2010 Adidas KOTR black singlet.
I decided to let the guy win the dash and I slowed down as I approached the finish mat.
1:35:25 Garmin time. I’ve beaten my 15k PR by almost 2 minutes!
Moreover, Chuck Norris had been round-house kicked!!! YEHEHES!
He probably finished 1-2mins behind me. I guess he ran out of gas trying to chase me. He probably beat me chip-time but the official time to be used is of course, the GUN TIME.
Garmin recorded the distance at 15.13kms. Not bad although I heard the 10k event ended at 11.92kms, an impromptu long run for 10k newbies. Nevertheless, RunRio org’ed it perfectly with his patented ice cold water stations and directional-signs.
So, the training worked. Actually, the pacing I did at km1-6 helped me a lot in conserving my energy for the latter kilometres. It worked wonders in keeping my pace checked (within 6:00-6:20/km pace). The strong finish at km13-15 was a surprise as well. Plus that 5:57 at km8 was a revelation.
And so, on with my training. Adidas KOTR 21k is 3 weeks away.
Yes, Chuck Norris will have to hear a lot from me on how I’ve beaten him handily for the next 6-8 months.
Such is life in the office.