Sunday, October 25, 2009
Adidas King of the Road Half Marathon (Oct 25, 2009) -Post race
There were no chip timers in this race nor were there any finisher medals. The only thing I got at the finish line was the finisher certificate and two cups of water. Still, for a fee of Php 500, the very nice Adidas singlet more than made up for it. This was my and Per’s first Adidas King of the Road after missing out on it last year. But we heard great reviews from Janine then when she accomplished her first half marathon (she got a runner’s high!).
So when we heard news that there was a King of the Road for 2009, we made sure our schedule was free for that weekend. At the expo, aside from the singlet, we got a free breakfast from KFC. Definitely worth the Php 500 registration fee!
We weren’t the only people who liked the bright yellow singlet as evidenced by 90% of the runners who wore it on the race day, be it the 5km, 10km or 21km category. If Milo races were a sea of green runners, Adidas for this year was a sea of bright yellow runners. I joined the 21km as another part of my long run but with my marathon in just two weeks, I only had to do 26km for the day. Whoopee! Per registered for the 10km with an ambition of going below 1:10, after her disappointing finish last week.
We got to the race venue at 4:45am. I originally wanted to do the 5km before the race so I can finish at the same time as the race itself but the lack of time made me do only 3.2km. At least that was 3.2km that I didn’t have to run anymore! By 5:20am, I was at the starting line where I saw Jason, who had just arrived from his Subic 42km race to do a 21km race here, and Coach Alvin, looking to do an easy run. My sister and brother were also there waiting for their turn at the 10 km race.
My target pace was at 7 minutes/km and by 11 km point, I should increase the pace to 6:30 min/km. I started at 6:30 min/km and maintained that pace with the other runners. Alvin ran with me for a few minutes before increasing his own pace. Fearing that I would burn out should I follow him, I stuck to my pace at 6:30 min/km (I was afraid that even at 6:30, I was running too fast but for some reason, I just couldn’t slow down).
There were a lot of water and Gatorade stations here. I mostly drank water as Gatorade stations get crowded easily and didn’t want to waste time waiting for my cup to be filled here. The nice thing about the Gatorade stations is that they had La Salle Pep Squad members and Cheerleaders cheering the runners and giving positive comments. In a way, it felt like I was doing the Animo Run again. Course took me to Buendia Ave., for the turnaround to Fort Bonfacio where we then head to Lawton Avenue for the final turnaround to the finish line.
Heading back to Fort Bonifacio, my shoulders were aching again and I was tired. My average pace became slower at 6:40 min/km, which meant my speed went down to 7 min/km, a positive split and a big no-no. I was determined not to slow my average pace further than 6:45 min/km and forced myself to keep running to the finish line. But I was exhausted! By the last 2km, Alvin came back for me and pushed me to go faster. I was whining to him the whole time about how tired I was but he wouldn’t hear about it and just said how close I was to the finish line. And so I pushed myself, ignoring the fatigue and shoulder pains. My pace went down to 6:20 min/km for the 20-km mark! Alvin wasn’t content and said that we should go faster! I whined even more (really sorry about that)! As a form of bargaining, I asked if I could run slow for the remaining 2km that I still had to do after finishing the race. He said that I can make it into a cool down run, provided I run at his pace for the last km to the finish line. Easier said than done! I was panting and wheezing and wanted to walk but instead I pushed the negative thoughts at the back of my mind and just kept going faster and faster….overtaking more runners… faster and faster still…. until I finally crossed the finish line. And gave out a big sigh of relief!
I was able to do the last 2km via run-walk as my feet hurt already. After doing the 26km target distance for the day, I checked my Garmin and swore under my breath when I realized we went at 5:36 min/pace for the last km to bring down the pace to 6:36 minute for the Half Marathon Race for a time of 2:18:11, a 10-minute faster time from last week’s QC Half Marathon and 14-minute faster time from Milo Half Marathon two weeks ago.
It’s true what they say that pain is temporary but the feeling afterwards last longer! I was tired, exhausted, and whining during the race but glad that I was still pushed to reach my limit and get the target I didn’t expect to attain. Per, had her own great moment when she beat her target time of 1:10 and finished her race strong at 1:07:55! A new PR for the Mrs.!
Next race will be our first USA race in San Francisco, where we will meet Wilbert and Wayne there. We shall be doing the Half Marathon together and running on and off the Golden Gate Bridge! The week after will be my 2nd Full Marathon in Fresno, California. Hopefully, all my long runs, tempo runs and easy runs pay off for that big day!
Big thanks again to Coach Alvin for pacing for the last 2km of this race (regardless of how much I hated it...hahaha).
See you guys in 3-4 weeks!
Neil nearing the finish line for another 21km achivement!
the running couple in a happy mode
Siblings Janine and Jeanne!