I completed my latest half in 2:47. Bagal! It truly was embarrassIingly slow considering that the average finish time was 2:05:53 for 9,036 runners. But, care ko!!! 2 weeks back, my Half was 3:19 at RU2. I’m so happy no one can rain on my pa-ah-rade!
So how did this madness happen? Well, it all began with a seat sale. 300USD return ticket to Gold Coast was too tempting to resist. And so, last August I booked my flight. I had 11months to train for it and I was confident that I could bring it. Unfortunately, life interfered and before I knew it, I had 3 weeks left and my mileage was pfft .
No choice, I just need to go run!
I needed to be very smart about this race. Lakas ng loob can carry me through it but to be on the safe side I needed a great plan for the other aspects within my control. Cramming too many runs to make up the mileage can only lead to injury.
Training Replacement Plan. With 3 weeks to go before the race, I lined up a race every weekend. I ran RU2 to see if I can survive the distance and AFP Anniversary Run to do a leg power check. I was trying to build my confidence.
I keep flashing back to a race singlet I saw at RU2. It says BELIEVE, BEGIN, BECOME. I needed to believe and begin again to become the runner that I once was. The 2 races worked wonders for my confidence.
Nutrition Plan. One thing I do right when I race is nutrtion. My one too many bonks in the past have allowed me to perfect it.
Gels. I only trust my races to Gu Roctane. One 45mins before, another 15mins before and one every hour. And no, I don’t have an exdeal with Gu and hammer. Although I did get the gels on sale at Runnr. Buy 2 and get 1 free coz their expriry date was July2012. I’ve tried other gels but Gu Roctane just gives me so much more when I need it the most.
Hydration and Nutrition. I can’t eat or drink the morning of and during a race. I did it on Milo 2009 and ended up spray painting Sen. Gil Puyat Ave. Not pretty! Nowadays, drink lotsa half n half purple Gatorade and water 2 days before a race. And since I can’t drink the sports drink while running come race day, I take Hammer Endurolytes and Hammer Anti-Fatigue Caps to replenish my electrolytes and to prevent cramps. I found out about these babies through Jonel and Lester when we did TNF. To prevent my mouth from getting dry, I also bring hard candies. Yup, my fanny pack is quite full when I race. I do drink water but only one gulp every 5K. Any more than that and I end up throwing up. Blech!
Costume. The only thing I don’t like about Fall/Winter races is the cold starting line. This year, I opted to wear a hoodie but left the arm warmers at home. I jumped around a lot and it helped. I ended up discarding the hoodie at Km6. Mainet na! And of course, taping is now integral to my running kit. My high arches perform better when taped.
The rest of my kit is the usual stuff I use when I run at home. But I gotta rave about 2 things!
1. My socks! I am loving my yellow experia thorlos! I was sockshopping and couldn’t find my usual Nike elite running pair so I picked up a pair of Thorlos because they were yellow and yes I’ve heard from friends that they were good. Loooovin’ them. Perfect cushioning.
2. My Shoes! I need to do a full review on the Mizuno Wave Prophecy. I l-o-v-e them now Thanks to Mizuno and Timmy! It was not love at first run but I can say that the other pairs in the cupboard are feeling very lonely and abandoned now.
Race Plan And now the run…the dreaded run. I had friends meeting me after the race. Over dinner we discussed what time we should meet for breakfast and meeting place at the race precinct. I confessed that there is a possibility that we will be eating breakfast early, if they sweep me iff the course.
The Half had staggered race cut off points. And I was really worried. I needed to maintain an 8:30min/km pace to avoid the shame. I have every reason to worry, 2 weeks back my RU2 pace was 9:25min/km. It means bringing down my pace by a whole minute. Lakas ng loob time! I did have better showing of 8:19min/km during the AFP Anniversary Run the following week but that was just a 10K. Oh dear! I really prayed hard to have the strength to finish within the cut-off but if I don’t I just prayed that it will be a hotsiepatootsieaussie who will sweep me. Haha.
I did have a plan.
1. Walk before I need to. I find that there is no shame in walking. Better to plan the walk rather than crawl before hitting the halfway mark.
2. Walk the uphills, ride the downhills. With no training, I did not plan to run the uphills only to run out of gas on the way down and on the flats. I saved all my energy to make sure that I can hit my goal pace.
3. Set targets. I carefully wrote down my target time per km and the cut off times. I could not use their pace bracelet because their slowest one was for 2:20. Yikes. I aimed for 8min/km. I was hoping the cold weather will help me meet my target.
4. Break it down. 900m run and 100m was the plan. I will do it beginning km1 consistent with Item no.1.
And away I go!!!