Sunday, April 2, 2017

Race: Run United Sub 230 21km

There is always an added pressure when a certain race distance have a qualifying time to attain the finisher medal.  Be it a sub-1 10km, sub 2:30 21km or sub 5 or 6 hours full marathon.  In these instances, you are required to finish the race not only by its required distance but also by its speed or pace.

Such is the case for this race wherein you have to finish within 2 hours and 30 minutes in order to get a medal.  I had anxiety attack the day before as wasn't sure whether I had the speed to do it given that I haven't been running fast for the past month.

My goal was to try and keep a sub-7 minute pace for each kilometer and hopefully to keep that pace throughout the pace.  Best case scenario was to go faster on second half for a negative split.

The thing that affected me in this race was its later than usual gun start of 5am.  I am hoping it won't be too hot for the second half of the race.

Alvin and I met at my house and I drove us to the parking area near the starting area.  We had about five minutes left when we reached the starting line and
met fellow runner Paolo there.

With so many runners the race organizers put two waves for this half marathon (it was the only race category for this event).  We got in the second wave which was released five minutes after the first wave release at 5am.

Two advantages for second wave:
1) lesser number of runners so roads less crowded
2) later time offers more time for last minute toilet breaks and/ or stretching/ warm ups

The route was two loops around BGC.  Initially I was happy with it as that meant no Kalayaan Avenue or Bayani Road which are the steepest roads in BGC area.


But I was mistaken to think that it was a flat route (it wasn't) and to do it twice made it particularly challenging!

Praise God that the weather cooperated and I was able to maintain pace that I wanted all throughout the race.  Yes there were some kilometers wherein pace
for that was above 7 minute pace but at least my average pace was well below 7 minute pace.

At one point during the run I realized that my Garmin was making an error as kilometer markers on the road were 1km shorter than what was reflected in my Garmin's total kilometers.  So I ignored the pace and distance of my Garmin and followed instead the one on the road.

Instead of having 5km to go based on my Garmin, it became 6km.  And so on and so forth.  I didn't feel particularly strong for this race but I didn't feel weak either (except for first part where legs
were tight).

My goal was simply sub 2:30 but I finished better at 2:19!  Praise God!

My final time at finish line was at 2:19 but it shows 22.3km.  If I based it on 21.1km, that will be an equivalent 6:35 pace.  Either way, it was good for me and I was happy.

I ended up using two GU gels for this race as was having a hard time.  The second GU I even used at 18km, just 3km from the finish line!  But I was exhausted and hungry and knew that this was the only way for me to finish strong.  And that I did!  Praise God!

Alvin finished more than 20 minutes ahead of me and accompanied me as I ran another 500 meters before calling it a day and having breakfast at McDonalds.

The finisher medal is one of the nicest I have seen in the Philippines (similar to international races) so it was well worth running this race and finishing below 2:30.

The only thing I didn't like from this race was the white gatorade they offered in it. Only one flavor and one I hated the most.  But even with that, it helped me the finish line at target time that I wanted.



Praise God for this race, the final race before my big race exactly a week from now. God is definitely good!! All the time!

It is all YOU LORD all YOU! 



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