Monday, October 22, 2012

Birthday Weekend (Part 1)


It was the yearly Company Sportsfest and the question I asked myself days before was, "Can I still make a sub-60?" It's been months since my last race (Milo 42k last July) and more than a year since my last 10k race which, coincidentally, was the Company sportsfest 10k for last year wherein I set my 57:52 PR.

Except for some tempo/speed sessions that I did on a "how I felt for today" basis, I have not been training exclusively for this 10k. Tempos have been a little above 6:00/km average so I was thinking that finishing 1:00+ for this race would be the corresponding result.

The race was held in BGC and org'd by RunRio. I missed this familiar BGC route for racing since I'd only course through it during my Sunday long runs. It was going to be an advantage coz I knew exactly where the climbs and descents were situated. There were only about 30 people running the race so crowd traffic will not be an issue. The only question that remained as the gun fired to release us was, was my body conditioned enough to do another sub-60 finish?

km1 = 5:28
km2 = 5:47

As usual, I zoomed with the young ones at the start, trying my best to keep up with the lead-motorcycle as it would've been a rare sight to see myself at the lead pack of guys being escorted by the motorbike on ANY race. As the boys slowly accelerated to race pace, I decided to hold myself back as I might empty my gas tank before I even reach the halfway point.

km3 = 5:39
km4 = 5:52 (took 1 gel)
km5 = 6:03

I slowed down from km4-5 as I was trying to catch my breath from running fast along the 32nd street climb to Market Market, in preparation as well for the upcoming climb from the church towards the Japanese school. 

I reached the halfway mark at 28:49.

"So I can do a sub-60," I said to myself. As I was still feeling good at that point, I decided to maintain this (fast) pace as much as I can, manage the climbs (8th ave, half of Rizal ave, 26th street towards the Mini Cooper store, and a long climb again on 32nd street), and hope for the best.

km6 = 5:38
km7 = 5:40

A side story at this point. I've been teasing @lingerboy, my officemate slash training partner, to finish this race in sub-60. He has predicted a 1:05 finish for this one but I was surprised (really surprised!) as we met at 8th avenue when I was climbing and he was charging/descending to the U-turn. He removed his left earphone and shouted to me as we crossed, pointing to his legs, "[These are] Cycling legs! I'm coming after you!"

This is what I loved about the Company sportfest. Faces are familiar and it's always gonna be another 12 months of tongue-lashing if you don't do well (taunts like "Ha! He beat you again you slow runner!" are just "friendly" banter that we hear even weeks after the race). For this race, everyone is a challenge as you'll be seeing them everyday and you know that he knows that he beat you during that race ---even if he doesn't say it.

@lingerboy's challenge, adding to my aim of overtaking that female triathlete since km2 had woken me up from my cruising and really put me into race mode at that point. I was probably 2mins ahead of @lingerboy so I wasn't really worried about him (he would later finish at a personal best 58:45, his first ever sub-60). I was more concerned of being "chicked," as the term goes, as female/executive triathlete was *still* 100m ahead of me.

km8 = 5:37
km9 = 5:24

I was really going after her, even expecting her to drop pace from the Rizal Avenue to Mini Cooper climb, but she didn't falter. She was still going at it, but I was still with her about 100m apart. She was starting her final kick on the last kilometer and so did I. It was only the second and final 32nd street climb that will set the issue once and for all.

She surged ahead and I followed. I felt that I was getting closer but on that final turn, the effect of pushing hard on that final long climb had put a big toll on me: the dreaded side-stitch occured as I made my way to BHS. I was in pain and pace was starting to slow down.

I decided to let her go.

But not my PR.

I looked at my Garmin and saw that I was within sight of a new 10k PR. It was about 400m left and I gave it my all, passing the 5k joggers and walkers while managing my breathing to remove the side-stitch.

km10 = 5:41

Total time (unofficial Garmin time) = 56:53.

A NEW 10k PR! Woohoo!!!

I guess all that strength and cross training at Gold's gym may have contributed to my race performance. Adding to that, of course, was consciously pushing the pace as I challenged myself to run faster.

That joy was going to be parked for a while as, after 24 hours, I shall be finishing ANOTHER 10k race on Sunday: The Pink Run at McKinley Hills.

(To be continued)

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on your PR man. Very impressive. You blew it up!