And it was because I was getting faster in my 10km race, from a 1:02:39 finish time last December, to 1:01:16 finish time in February, I was just a minute or so away from my target finish time.
So I took the plunge, paid the registration fees, took home the race kit and didn't know what to do next! Haha!
I run only twice a week, a short mid-week run and one race over the weekend. The mid-week may be an easy run, a
tempo run of 7 minute pace or speedwork via 200m x 10 times and would usually involve running up a steep hill. Even with the steep hill, the 200m would be finished in 1:05 or less, then I would walk down the hill and repeat run again.
The races I join vary from 10km (to build speed) to 16km and 21km (to build endurance). All with the ultimate goal of going sub-60 in the Pinoy Fitness challenge. Usually in all these race, I try to go sub-6 minute pace for the last 3-5km regardless of distance I joined so that I could be familiar with running at this pace especially with tired legs. I may not
always achieve it but in all times, these races helped my performance and I got to finish fast in them. The goal for the last 3-5km is to be able to still run fast even with tired legs!
You may think two runs a week is insufficient, and I agree with that. But i was also able to go to Gold's gym for one month and join some of their classes (spinning, boot camp) which helped my endurance and developed core muscles too.
Once a week I play badminton too which helps in speedwork as I try to catch every shuttlecock heading my way! It is usually in badminton that I am out of breath so I know that there is still room for improvement.
There is one 10km race (Amcham) that I joined before the Pinoy Fitness run and the purpose for this race was a tune-up race. Basically I would race this with goal of finishing it in sub 60 minutes. I will see if my target here is achievable and my effort level in getting to it.
I finished successfully this race with a finish time of 57:15 but it was short 400 meters. Still, my pace was at 5:56 minutes per kilometer, which would guarantee a sub-60 in PF run.
Two takeaways though from this race:
1) It was mostly flat as just went around BGC area. Or if there were some climbs, they wouldn't be that steep. I had no idea yet on route map of PF run at time of this race.
2) My effort level was in the RED. That means I was giving everything in the race and having a really hard and horrible time in it. I was having a hard time at the last part of the race in trying to bring my pace down further.
So rather build confidence from that race, there was some self-doubt too as felt I wasn't strong enough or confident enough for PF. But it was also a good tune up race as it had been a long time (years!) before I had done a sub 60 10km race.
Thankfully, I had two more races: Yakult 16km and Run United 21km. With these two longer distance races, it should help my endurance and make me stronger!
I also use foam roller to remove the tight spots in my legs and lower back.
For the final week of training, I did an easy 7km run in BGC Tuesday morning followed by two hours of playing badminton that same day (but in the evening).
On Friday morning, I did 3km warm up followed by 200m x 10 sessions of speedwork where 5 of these sessions will be going up a hill.
Rest on Saturday so legs will be fresh come Sunday morning!
An extra challenge when the route map came up:
Kalayaan bridge! My nemesis in all the races. In the past years, I walk going up this as felt it was too steep and hard effort for me to run it. Can't do that for this race!
Hopefully the hill sprints I did were enough to meet this challenge. We shall see..