It was back to U.P. again for me for another 10km race and this time, I am accompanied by Per in going here.
Per usually had knee pains whenever she does a 10km U.P. race and swore off running in U.P. again, choosing instead the comfortable even paved roads of Mall of Asia/ Quirino Grandstand area and that of Fort Bonifacio. But since her knee pains come out only in a 10km U.P. race, would it have the same effect as in a 5km U.P. race? We decided to try this experiment and had Janine register Per for the race.
I was looking forward to doing a pre-5km warm up jog before the race started so I could log in my long miles but woke up late and was generally lazy to get out of bed. We were able to get here early but my 5km wish was diminished to less than 2km run. :( Can't blame anybody but my lazy @$$ self for this.
We got to the starting line right before the race commenced. No more stretching for me and Per hadn't even pinned her bib yet (luckily it was just the 10km race that started with the 5km race starting few minutes later). I started running, fearful for my breathing and lack of mileage for this week (just did 6km last Tuesday) but I wanted to finish fast and try to get a finish time of sub-60.
This sub-60 goal was something I wasn't able to achieve for some time now. First missing it out on the Auto Review Race in May, then missing it out again on the UP PTAA Charity Run two weeks ago. Both times I was close (in terms of minutes) but in terms of the running world, they were just NOT close enough!
The race course was one of the nicest I've ever tried in UP as almost all the route went through UP's shaded area and had some minor uphill climbs only. There were plenty of water here and a lot of nice directional signs to guide us on. It's a basic 5km loop where 10km runners will do two of these loops. This is good for me in that on my 2nd leg, I would already know what to expect.
Per doing her first U.P. 5km run was the first in our group to cross the finish line. It has been a while since she joined a 5km race (having done a lot of 10km races and one or two 15km races) so this would be an easy fast race for her. And it was! She got a new 5km P.R. and best of all she wasn't even tired yet. Her knees are fine too!!! It was a great day for her and removed her fear of running in U.P. One wonders if the Sundown Adidas singlet she wore gave her hidden strength to finish her race at a good pace?
As Per finished her race, I was still doing it. I was stopping at some water stations but not all of them. I was running hard but was panting too. It was difficult to achieve the pace that I wanted but I kept thinking "just a few kms more". I use the runner in front of me to push myself to run at his/her pace.
And then I was at the last kilometer. Hmmm, maybe the sub-60 is reachable but if ever, it would be very close. At that point, I reverted to my second goal : 1:00 to 1:01 ! I didn't mind going over 1 hour as long as it would be below 1:02 (my Auto Review and PTAA time).
I reached the UP Oval and knew I was near. It's time to go all out and not look at the watch anymore. No more what if's ! Time to surge! And I did. I finally crossed the finish line and stopped my Garmin. The time reflected on the finish time was at 1:01 something but I started a little late. So I checked my Garmin and saw I finished this race at 59 minutes and 53 seconds!!!! Woo hoo! Just 7 Seconds short of 1 hour but still a SUB- 60 run! Whoopee!
Never had I done a race so close to my goal as I did today but I am happy that I was able to attain it! A perfect ending for a perfect beginning.
Both Per and I were happy in that we reached our goal for this race! Looking forward to our next UP run (whenever that may be).
At the finish line, there was a small festival as food and drinks were being given out to all finishers. Per even got a SPEED magazine (appropriately named for what we do, don't you think?)