Monday, May 7, 2012

Run For Integrity 2 - Double PR!

My entire body from the shoulders to the feet are in pain right now. The only culprit for this pain was the race held the day before: Run For Integrity Towards A New Philippines (only we can think of a race name as long as the actual race!).

At that race, I did the 15km distance while Per did the 10km distance. My race was supposed to start at 5:00AM while Per's 10km distance had the gun start at 5:30AM. Good job (that's me being sarcastic) on the race organizer in following the gun start time! The 5:00AM gun start came and went and we were doing the Philippines National Anthem, the integrity pledge, and some warm up stretches! Shouldn't these things be done BEFORE the gun start?

So our gun start was around 5:15AM or so, but I maximized that time waiting by doing a 1km jog around the starting line (to add to my weekly mileage as well). (I learned later on that the 10km and 5km race categories started way earlier than their scheduled gun start time. Pat on the back again for the race organizers/hosts for making their own rules! And once again, that is me being sarcastic!).

But I can't worry on that too much as I have a race to finish. And not just any race. What's at stake here is one Gulliver's Full Bone steak as Alvin threw this in as a motivational tool for me. That should I finish my race in 1:37 or less (race pace of 6:30), then he would treat me to a full bone steak!

Hmmm, very tempting!

I kept thinking on how to achieve this and the best case scenario was to just go all out and not hold anything back. Yes, there's a strong possibility of burning out and fading at second part of the race but if I kept thinking about the future and the various what ifs scenarios, then I won't be able to run fast and I won't be able to reach my target pace goal. I'm also curious as to how fast I can go before I tire myself out. Not really a good strategy for this distance but what the heck, it's time to test my limits!

The route for the 15km race was pretty straightforward, literally and figuratively speaking as not much turns to make and just went out to Kalayaan Bridge and on Buendia Avenue for the U turn back to BGC, where we had to run a few more kilometers before reaching the finish line.

I heard my name being called out on the way to Kalayaan Bridge and who do I see but fellow runner blogger Roelle (Daytripped Running). We exchanged some notes and chatted a bit before we got separated in that race. I was within goal pace when I looked at my Garmin watch. Actually, I was way below my target pace and I imagined seeing the look of surprise in both Alvin's and Per's faces when I tell them my finish time at this pace. Yes, it was a good dream but in reality? Hmmm... let's see.

I still felt strong at this stage but slowed down as I climbed the Kalayaan Bridge. The water stations were just that - cold water in plastic cups and nothing else offered. But the coldness of this drink more than made up for what they lacked in sports drinks. Besides, I have a back up GU gel in my belt in case I need to "Power Up".

Thank God the weather was nice that morning and that helped take out the fatigue in my body. But I was slowing down, which was expected as I was running in my 10km race pace! I threw caution in the wind and refused to slow down. But I was getting out of breathe and took longer walking breaks at the water stations. I jogged/ walked going up Kalayaan Bridge a second time and looked at my Garmin. I was still ahead of pace target of 6:30 although that gap was getting smaller.

Time to Power Up! 1 GU gel consumed and I was able to overtake some more runners.

I checked the time and wondered where Per was. She should be around 7-8km by now. I hoped she was okay as this was her first 10km post-pregnancy race that she would be running by herself. But I saw the excitement in her eyes when I told her the night before to try and beat her 10km PR here. She was in her own race as well. Her previous 10km PR pace was at 8:11 with a time of 1:22++.

My previous 15km PR in 2011 was at 1:50:08, which happened all the way back in January of that year. This was my first 15km race for 2012 so although it was an automatic PR for the year, I was aiming to at least beat the personal record I set for 2011 too. Alvin, obviously had other goals for me as he wasn't just satisfied with me beating my 2011 PR but wanted me to obliterate that "slow" time from my memory. Hence the steak reward!

But I was slowing down and walking more. I finally saw Per at her 8km distance but had a very hard time catching up to her. But I saw her running continuously and took that as a sign that she wasn't injured or tired yet. I saw her overtake some 10km runners and that was another good sign.

I closed the gap slowly to her just so I can ask how she was doing. But when I got to her, I was tired too and could only blurt out, "Great job Per. You are strong! Keep going! You are near!" but more with a whispered tone of voice as I was clearly fighting my own battle here. I hoped that was enough for her and saw that they had their final turn to the finish line whereas for us 15km runners, we still had 2km to go! Argh!

It was all just a mental game from hereon. "It's just 2km more. You don't want to lose that steak on just 2km! Keep going! Do not stop!" I kept looking at my Garmin and felt mildly panicky. Will I make it in time?

The 2011 PR has been decimated but I didn't care about that anymore. I just want the reward! Haha. I reached the 15km marker but the finish line wasn't there yet. Dang it! No other choice but to keep on going.

Finally, I crossed the finish line at 1:38:15 for 15.33km and I was obviously exhausted.

I beat the target pace by 5 seconds to have an average pace of 6:25! Fantastic!

Per was giving me a thumbs up and raised her eyebrows when she saw me cross the finish line. I can only smile back to her.

She also performed magnificently, going below 8 minute pace to finish her 10km race at a time of 1:19:32 (pace of 7:57) and set a new PR level for herself!

What a great day for the two of us!!

God is Great!!!

The very nice finisher medal for all 15km finishers!

Race results are out via, but since it's based on the "gun time" (and not chip time), I didn't take it to heart and will just follow the time and distance as measured in my Garmin watch.

Now, how to get rid of this body pain ???

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