Tuesday, November 8, 2011

NB Power Run 25km (+7km): Nailed It

The objective of the day was to complete 32km, a distance that many recommend to be the minimal number of kms of a long run when training for a full marathon. It provides a physical and mental edge come race day. As it was a little over a month left before QCIM, my third attempt at 42k, I had yet to chalk up a 32k on my 16-week training cycle. The NB Power Run 25k was my last chance (since RU3 32k falls on a Pacquiao Sunday), just add 7k more to meet the required mileage.

Running the race would mean slowing down at a relaxed pace since finish time was unimportant. All that matters will be the "32.00 km" logged on my Garmin. To coin it in engine terms, I was leaving the Ferrari in favor of a Prius. It was imperative that I leave BGC with 32k on my belt.

It was probably 15mins before gun time when I made my warmup jog around BHS. By the time I caught a glimpse of the start arc and the corral, the host started counting down from 10. It was no biggie, I thought, so I started the race from the back of the pack ---a first for me who'd normally squeeze to the middle of the corral. The warmup was 1.6km long as per my Garmin.

30.4km left.

At a last-minute-decided 7:30/km pace, I was amazingly relaxed throughout the 25km race. I didn't care of the race time, or if this guy or that guy or gal was way ahead of me. "32" was all that mattered but my perspective all throughout was like I got a dose of the happy pill, if there ever was one.

I shared a few kms with Jazzrunner Rene inside BGC ("finisher medals" hehehe), I was chatting with Craig Logan while he pushed Justin along Buendia on the away path. I was able to check my form in time to stop an impending right calf cramp.

What proved to be a sure sign of my relaxed mood was that I had absolutely NO problems tackling the Buendia flyover return path, even volunteering my services in pushing Justin and his stroller along that dreaded uphill flyover for about 100 meters. I really felt great (and surprised how Justin weighed with that uphill factor).

Upon reaching the last 5km of the race, I decided to push the gas pedal a bit to 7:00/km, see if I can hold my target 42k pace after 21k. I surprised myself as I was able to maintain it, passing most of the runners who gassed out or had cramps or blisters.

Finish time: 3:04 (unofficial gun time).

As I got my lootbag and walked back to my car, I knew that the day was still not over. There was still 5+ km left to run. I changed singlets, strapped on my hydration belt, and made an out and back course on the last part of the race course. I was still ok on the first half but started walk-running on the way back. Fatigue crawled in, finally.

But fatigue couldn't do much as I finally reached my car and my Garmin beeped the end of the workout. I was just too mentally-conditioned that day:

32km in 4:00:14!!!

It was one of those rare everything-just-clicked days. I didn't carbo-load days before but I followed a strict 1GU-2cupsof100plus per hour during the race, something that I got from a running article days earlier. Ok ok, I take back what I said before about 100plus sports drink (smile).

My Brooks GreenSilence, now at 448km after Sunday's workout, performed well as usual. No blisters even when the race was dampened by rain. Probably the cool rainy-then-cloudy weather helped running conditions, too.

Seeing that 32km completed was a real mental boost for me now that QCIM is a few weeks away. I hope the running gods will be kind enough to bestow a sub-5:00 finish for me by then.


  1. Hey, Great Job on completing the distance. It's amazing what it does to our confidence levels. I love when I get to convert km to minutes per mile to see what you are talking about. lol. Nice pic too btw. Take care. Sub 5 is in the air!

    Kenley EOR