‘Twas a great race!
BR called it accurately when he wrote about his race prediction. Congratulations to Ton and Patrick Concepcion. You raised the bar literally by including the Skyway in the race route. To Mr. Biscocho, “Sir, You Rock!” And now I dare wish and ask again, “Runningshield, are we going to have a Full next year?”
One of the things I loved about this race was the number of 21K runners. Over 1200 runners not only from Manila but from other provinces also. This race did not only offer a great route and sidelights, it was a chance for us to see how we stack up against the best of the best in Manila (maybe even the Philippines?) I read at takbo.ph that target release date for the results is this Sunday. On Sunday, we will see how we stack up against the Metro. Are you ready to find out?
You know my race ending, here is the rest of the story.
Race Strategy1: Chill. Part of my race prep for Condura was to review my running log. I looked at my previous races and read my comments/observations. I noticed that I perform better in races if I don’t overthink the race. Exhibit A – Subic and Exhibit B – Singapore not exactly my best races. Once upon a time, I even plan my race pace by kilometer. Talk about overthinking it di ba.
I did the usual carbo loading (rice galore) and had massage the day before and on the night before the race I just watched TV. Was I worried? Was I anxious? Was I excited? Hell, yeah! Pero chill lang … relax. It was so hard to relax.
Countdown. I met up with T2 at BHS at around 5am. I was excited to see our support van complete with a tarpaulin sign and all the goodies – sports drink, cold sponges, water, bananas – to keep us going for the coming 21kms. Oh, plus we have a muse pa! Thanks to Chuchay and Lito the official support team of T2.
Warm-up. I didn’t have time to have a proper warm-up. I just had a brief slow jog with DATC to search for the nearest loo without a queue. After that I had to settle for my usual high jogs in place warm-up. Oh then, Chuchay and I danced to Footloose when they played it on the sound system.
Check-in. After a little confusion, we managed to squeeze in to the 21K coral and off we go!
Race Strategy2: Hitch. I find it easier to keep pace if I have a target or if I’m keeping pace with another runner. I had a target for this race, but I did not see her at the start. I found out today that she finished roughly 1km way ahead of me. Tsk tsk tsk. Til the next race. So I went on to Plan B and hitched on other runner’s pace. Before the 1km mark, SirRoding of Fort Strider joined me.
He also had a target in mind. After we went up Kalayaan, he pointed to 2 lady runners and told me that we should overtake them. He said that they chicked him at the Amadeo run. I laughed and when we were on the Kalayaan flyover descent I sped up and we overtook the 2 ladies. The lady runners caught up with us shortly. They were running a much faster pace so I turned to Sir Roding and asked if we could slow down since we’ve been ahead for 20 secs. That was fun.
At Km4, he dropped off and said that he was running faster than he planned. The runners in my cluster were familiar. They were in my NB Clark cluster also. After a few minutes, Henry ran along side and we kept pace up to the finish. The Garmin went a little crazy when we entered Makati CBD and I had to rely to RPE to guide my pace. I ran hard last Sunday and there were lots of moments during the race where I was tempted to walk and feared that I was going to throw up.
SkyHigh. My favorite part was the Skyway. It was a new route, yes, but I loved it even more because I got to watch Buenavista and Sabal duel for the lead. I was in awe when I saw lead female runner Fetalvero. The Skyway is also where I had time to cheer and get cheers from runner friends. I felt so proud (but not surprised) when I saw that my TmBR classmates were way ahead of the pack. T2 lead pack on pace and running hard – Harry, Dingdong and Mesh — soon came into view. Before I knew it, I was able to charge up the Skyway and on my way down. I have to say that I took one look at the ascent and decided to focus on the runners on their way down the skyway. That ascent was intimidating!
Getting back to the flats of Buendia, I had to remind myself to sustain the pace. I knew that I was still facing the Kalayaan flyover and the slight incline on the way back to BHS. My pace dropped in the last 5kms but it was calculated. As far back as Km 16, I knew that I would be able to tick off one of my goal times. I was on track to finish before 2:10 and this kept me going.
With one 1km to go, I started losing steam. Luckily, I saw one of the BHS regular runners. Willy was riding a bike and had a plastic sprayer. I called out and asked if he could please spray some water on me. Thanks Willy! In between loony’s whisper and ironshoes’ bullying, TmBr Coaches Espejo and Salazar’s cheers … I let go. As I turned left towards the finish line, I think I shrieked, “Im such a pushover b****.” and started sprinting.
Hydration. Before, I always make the mistake of drinking too much at races. My common mistake is I try to cool down by downing a lot of water and I end up with a bad acid build up in my stomach and then the side stitches would start. In my past races, I’ve decided to limit myself to sips every 2-3kms from my water flask. At races, I still go to the water stations to get water but I just splash it on to cool down. Last Sunday, I also tried one of the tricks I read at RW. Whenever I was approaching a water station, I made eye contact with a volunteer and signaled how many cups I needed. It worked in all the water stations last Sunday and I just slowed down a bit to get the cups being handed to me.
And so that was my race. The perfect ending was of course a great breakfast with friends to talk about whatelse but running.
Recover well and see you on the road!