Sunday, March 25, 2018

PF Sub1 10k: Possible!

I was on my way to pick up Ling, my officemate who I coaxed into joining this race last January, on the way to MoA for the race when I realized I forgot to bring my HR strap. It was no biggie, I told myself, since I will have to race PFSub110k without it ---like Lance Armstrong who does his training runs without an HR monitor BUT with very strong sub 5/km pace.

I was aiming to give my all for this one but with careful consideration of how my 5k time trial training pace went (5:50/km) weeks back and a possible race distance of 10.3k as I earlier mentioned on my previous post.

We were on Wave2 which gave us a good time to warmup (walked probably close to a kilometer from where we parked, haha). I couldn't firm up my strategy for this race except for the main fact of NOT to go above 1hour.

We started on sked and it was the usual zigzagging in km1 to free up to get a good lane (just like EDSA on Monday morning traffic hehe). Kept myself from over exerting, probably a tad too much, as I let the atat boys and girls sprint by, with me and Ling clocking 6.05/km for that lap.

Pace went up a bit at 5.50/km as we felt good along km2-4. It was strange for me not seeing my HR coming up on my Garmin but a welcome sight as well as I only needed to check my pace ---which was the main goal anyway. Such is the appeal of time pressured races such as the PF Challenge series and the Milo 21k and 42k cutoff times: it really pushes you to your limit lest you will not be truly worthy, so to speak.

Midway in km4 I pulled ahead of Ling as I wanted to finish in good time. My 10k standing PR is at 56mins+ which will not be on the cards today due to my excess weight (sigh) but I was hoping somewhere at 59mins+ would be a job well done.

By midway I haven't stopped for water nor taken my emergency GU as I felt good amidst the extreme effort I was in. HR was probably  high but I was more conscious to keep my pace and cadence good, with the latter averaging 174 steps per minute by the end of the race. I clocked in at the 5.40s for the next 2kms.

By km7 it was mentally challenging to keep my pace in check, especially when the route made full use of that road from MoA to the Film Center (2 out and back ways). I was just keeping my form in check: run tall, lean, sway the arms on a straight plane, and just gut it out amidst the fatigue building up.

I have NEVER run at this near max effort for so long. My efforts on a 21k are also hard but not at this blazing pace (on my effort scale).

Had to waste a few seconds eventually as I succumbed to stopping at an aid station for a quick sip of Pocari which, in retrospect, may have helped.

By the last turn to the finish I was spent but still hanging on. It was gonna be a 10k route distance, I said, as I glanced my Garmin. It may exceed a few meters but I *think* it's in the bag.

As I neared the finish arc it was great to see the sub1 pacers and their red balloons stopped a few meters before the finish arc and was cheering every participant to finish sub1. Even the crowd near them was cheering the runners on ---something that I may have NEVER seen in my years of run racing.

For my case, it was a great welcome sight ---especially the race timer which just clocked 59mins (gun time) as I touched the finish mat.

Chip time based on my Garmin:

58minutes and 36 seconds for a 10.08km distance.

I looked back and saw Ling approached the finish as well, looking great and spent at the same time. He too glanced at the race timer and seemed to have beamed with confidence as he finished probably less than 20secs behind me.


Mission accomplished!

After 3 months of training and now in my mid 40s, today proved that I can still finish a 10k race below an hour. The last time I did such a feat was probably 5 or 6 yrs ago.

What's more satisfying is that I was able to help Ling finish sub1 as well. All those weekend long runs with him and the rest of the gang including his faithful dog Flash really helped get the needed weekly miles. The rest of the week was just egging ourselves to the prescribed speed/tempo session no matter how tempting it was to go back to bed instead.

And the rest after that, was just pure guts.

It feels good, man. Really is.

No comments:

Post a Comment