Wednesday, 28 November 2007

New Route.........


"Good Morning Mr. Chan! This is your wake up call."

I think I did set it a bit too early! It's still dark outside. However I can smell the fresh provincial scent of the streets, the already cool November breeze......

Got down at about 5:30am already..... I did my usual stretching routine and walked for my warm up. I have totally no idea where to go. The front desk at the hotel didn't really have an idea where its good to run. They however assured me that its way safer here than it is back in Manila. :)

Since she was the 4th person who told me that detail since I arrived here, I think I got pass the scared stage and now on my way to just the concerned stage. And besides I can't skip training today. I need the mileage.

Coach Jo sent me an SMS. The day calls for a good 40 minute 80% run. Too bad though, I couldn't find any hill nearby.

Realization for the start of the day..... I was really in the province! At 5:30am there were only a few people outside and just as many tricycle doing rounds at the plaza. I took off at a really easy pace. Trying to just feel every stride and push off. It felt good! After a quick check on my watch 7 minutes had already pass. I increased my pace, still focusing on every stride.

I ran on a 2 lane concrete provincial road. I think I was heading towards the container yard area. There were a few uphill sections but were really short and mild. So I turned up the pace a bit more and tried the usual follow the bike in front. :) I guess the local thought I was sneaking at his back so he instantly gained speed on the slight downhill section.... Oh well, time to bring down the pace a bit. I passed by a couple of heavily armed army checkpoints as well.

After 21 minutes, I headed back to the same direction. I guess I lacked in the preparation for the route. I should have asked more people where it was best to go. I was really hoping I'd be able to see those fisherfolks carrying huge tunas on their shoulder. :) I guess I was kind of disappointed. But at least I was able to carry on my training.

I stopped by the plaza for some strider session. I found that they closed about 150m of the road right in front of the city hall. It was still early enough for me not to be noticed that much by the employees so I made it into my own striders track. :) After a few reps a cool down walk around the plaza and it was again time to hit the core! :)

General Santos City isn't that scary. I think it was just all this bad media hype that got me really concerned about the security of the place.

Monday, 26 November 2007

changes........ (animo run 2007)

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!)