I closed my eyes.....
Turned on my right side......
Turned on my other right side.....
I still couldn't sleep! D@mn iT!!!!
I went downstairs 3 times that night. I guess I did over hydrated the whole Saturday.
::: 3am :::::
"Is it time already?????", arrrgh! Still too early..... I can't sleep! I did however took my time, brushed my teeth, took a quick shower and put on my Brand Spanking new h@ppyFeet uniform.
:::: 4:20am ::::
"Hmmmm..... Pan de Manila!" its just about 400meters away from my apartment..... Fearing that I might over pace myself again and puke Pan de Sal a the finish line. I bought 2 pcs only and again took my time to finish it on the spot.
:::: 5:15 am ::::
"Where's the parking area!!?!?!?!?!" If I have a gripe on last Sunday's race, it would be the different directions that I got from the guards on Mall Of Asia (MOA). It took me 15 minutes of endless U turns on the mall grounds. Only to find out that we had to park on the 3rd floor parking! I looked for Totoy's car and as usual, parked nearby to catch all the pre-race chat.
:::: 5:30 am ::::
Coach Jo and I were still trying our luck to change my registration to the La Salle Category. It seems that I ran out of luck. I was stuck on the OPEN category. (note to self: look for my old ID). Did a couple of 250m jog for warm up and my usual stretching routine.
::: 5:55am ::::
"The race will start on time...." yup! that's true! We headed on the starting grid and for the first time I was starting near the front row! Coach Jo ran me through all the pros/cons of starting up front. Hard as it seems, I mustered all my excitement and tried to churn it into courage. Courage that I needed for the next 5kms. It was a real big change for me.
:::: Gun Start ::::
Inspired by Haile's Sprinting Burst at the start and fueled by the excitement of racing again. I sprinted alongside all the runners up front. Paced back only when I got a comfortably fast rhythm. I knew I have the speed, the only question that was bothering me that time was, Did I have the endurance to keep my speed up to the finish? Plagued by this shin problem I have only done a couple of 40 minute "long" run sessions in the past 3 weeks of recovery training. I shifted my concentration more on my form. Stride per stride, I checked my gait, I checked my back, and my ever so wobbly arms. Concentrated on keeping them clipped but relaxed enough.
Got to the first turn-around and I was still feeling strong. No sign of slowing down now.... Coach Jo then told me to ready for another break away strider. We passed by a couple more runners this time.
:::: 3km marker :::::::
I checked my watch and it flashed this 4 big numbers....... 12:01
"Just on time.... Now I just need to sustain my pace for a couple more km". This is when I noticed that I didn't have more left to push. I tried to recover just before I hit the next short uphill section. But I just can seem to find my rhythm. I can't find my stride.... I'm loosing my pace.
::::: last 1km :::::::::
I closed my eyes...... lift, contact, push-off..... lift, contact, push-off..... I focused on my arms, swing, swing, swing.....
I just wanted to take my thoughts away from slowing..... I knew I lost a lot of time from the 3rd km lap. I had to maintain my pace or push. I saw the last 400 stretch! I ran and just closed my eyes. Got to the last turn and held my strength for the last push.
I clocked in at only 21:26.
Disappointed?????? I guess a little.... I was really hoping to break 20 minutes.
New PR????? Well, for this route (MOA)??? Hell yeah! I still slashed 1:10 off my last race time.
Now off to some more long run session. I still need to improve my endurance. Thanks to Coach Jo for guiding me throughout the race and throwing me tips on race day strategies.
I will break that 20 minute barrier..... (now ben, repeat 200,000,000,000 times!)