Race Review: Globe-Ayala Run For Home, July 19
This is my second half-marathon for this month, and shot # 4 for the 21K category.
After having a good 21K experience 2 Sundays ago, I thought if I could further bring my current 21K record down further – even by a few minutes or so. My initial fear was that the route will be traversing the Kalayaan flyover. During the Condura Run several months back, that flyover got the best out of me. I thought that this section of the route was going to beat the crap out of me and would prevent me from getting my much-coveted PR. In fact, I could actually see myself walking on that section, especially on the way back to The Fort. That was no laughing matter.
Add to that, I kept thinking to myself if two weeks’ worth of training after the Cebu Milo Marathon was going to cut it. This wasn’t going to be enough if I wanted some improvements in my pace – I needed at least a month. I trained solely for Milo! When I consulted Runner’s World on what my training schedule should look like after, it consisted of several easy runs, 2 tempo runs, and just one long-distance effort. That long run was supposed to be scheduled July 12th, but since the alcohol I had consumed the night before kept me from waking up, I had zero mileage last Sunday. A disappointment for me, indeed – and I missed that chance to run along with some of the takbo.ph peeps. They did an LSD on a portion of the race route while I was at home trying to detoxify myself. Shame.
What’s more, I was the “marked man” for this race. It seemed as if like I was marked for death or humiliation, so to speak. After telling my running friends that I had drastically improved from 2:44 (garnered during the Greenfield City run) to 2:17, they considered me to be the benchmark. (Almost) everyone was going after my time. All the more pressure for me! I knew about this after several conversations in the shoutbox days before the race. They were telling me to beat my time in this next race, or at least maintain it.
But despite the fear of the flyover, lack of mileage, and “peer pressure”, I WAS ABLE TO BREAK MY 21K RECORD – AGAIN! =D For me, the secret was tempo running. I already had my long runs previously and I was lacking in the tempo run department. If I was going to maintain the pace I had during the Milo Marathon, the treadmill would be my best friend for this one. Last week I did a couple of consecutive tempo runs so that my body will adjust and my cardio would be at optimum. 2 nights before the race, I thought of pitching in just one more. But it’s a good thing some people stopped me from doing so. Had I been that stubborn I could have been wasted on the day of the race itself. Thanks, guys. I owe you one. Also, “severely cutting down” really helps. *wink* 😉
The night before the event I set up the pace zones of my Garmin. During Milo it was set to a max of 6:15 min/km and a min of 6:45 min/km. I decided to up the ante if I was going to break my PR. The pace range was now going to be 6:10 to 6:40. This is going to be quite fast for me, but what the hell. I have nothing to lose. I was going to aim for a finish time of 2:15 – and God willing, anything above it. Like what I did the last time, I didn’t equip myself with a hydration belt. This is a Rio-organized race and I’m sure there will be plenty of water stations around. Besides, that hydration belt will drag me as it is quite heavy, especially when the bottles are filled to maximum level.
It was race day. I met the 21K takbo.ph peeps at the starting line, pumped up to run along the streets of Makati. Good thing the race started at 5AM – it wasn’t going to be that hot after approaching the halfway point all the way to the finish line. The thought of the flyover was sitll lingering above my head at this point. I was praying that it wasn’t going to kick my hiney. I’ll just run as much as I can when I’m on top of it.
With a fully-charged Garmin, warmed-up legs, and a small prayer, I headed off to a slow start. On the way to the flyover I kept to a pace of 6:40 so that I’ll have enough energy to attack the Kalayaan flyover. The first ascent was quite bearable. Fortunately, my legs weren’t screaming yet, so I kept my pace as it was – a steady 6:40. While on top of the flyover I met up with some members of the team – Bong, Ellen, Migs, Sam, Florence, and Timmy. But on the way to the Makati CBD itself, it was time to bring it up a notch. As I was making my way to Buendia, I sped up a bit. It was a steady downhill at this point. But I reminded myself not to speed too much as I’ll be needing some more energy on the way back to the flyover.
Upon KM6 my Garmin pace readings were jumping. Sometimes it indicated that I was within 4:00 min/km, while at times it registered 7:00 min/km. This was due to the high buildings that I had come along the way. I stuck with my current tempo that time to make sure I don’t go above or below my pace limit. It normalized when I got along Paseo. Upon checking the elapsed time, I realized I was still doing good, so I kept up with what I was doing. At the first u-turn at KM8, I had my first dose of an isotonic sports drink – boy, was it refreshing. Then I saw some of the other 21K runners on the way – Mhel, Pojie, Doc Lyn, Rico, Gab, and Neil, to name a few. This was Neil’s first 21K today and Pojie paced him ot make sure he crosses the finish line. On the way back the Garmin was jumping again, but it ceased to do after KM10.
At KM12, I was nearing the flyover. It was time – it’s now or never. Whether walking or running I must cross this bridge and get over it once and for all! After going for a hydration stop, I summoned all the energy I had that time and gave it all out on the ascent. I tried tp keep my pace within 6:25 min/km, but after completing halfway of the ascent, I was already panting. With no choice left, I had to walk until I reached the apex. But when the road suddenly evens out (that was at KM13), it was time to resume running again. I got another cup of 100 Plus and ran all the way to the end of the flyover. I even managed to pace with Rod and the Running Diva. =)
There was one final challenge left – Lawton Avenue. After crossing KM15 I could imagine the finish line ahead. But when I checked my time I had the feeling that I wasn’t going to make the 2:15 mark. But I still ran as fast as I could without overspeeding so that there’s enough time to push after getting out of Bayani Road. Somewhere within KM16, I passed by Luis, who was already walking. Apparently, both of his knees had given in! =O He started the race with a 5:30 min/km pace. I thought that he would end up having a good finish time, being that he is one of the fastest in the group. So I walked with him for a bit, hoping that he doesn’t get injured any further. After a few meters or so I got on the road again. Since I feared that I might not make it to the finish line by 2:15, I peaked my pace to around 6:10. There was no time to lose – I have to get to that finish line as soon as I can! I kept that pace until reaching KM18, where I had a gulp. From here I decided to break the speed limit already. Screw the pace zones! It’s time to push! I tried to keep my pace within 5:55 min/km to 6:10 min/km until a reached KM20. With only a few minutes left, there was less than a kilometer to go. After making some quick calculations, I really wasn’t going to make the 2:15 cut – HOWEVER, there was still hope for 2:16! Breaking my PR by just a minute is STILL a record! So I managed to peak at 5:55 min/km again without stopping. Just a few meters from the finish line I could see the timer – it was within the 2:16 range. I gave it all I got. Though I was panting in the end, I beat my record by a minute! =D
Because of all that excitement, I forgot to do one thing – COOL DOWN. After meeting up with some of the finishers, my left ankle was slightly “frozen”, and I had cramps on my right leg. It was SO painful that my screams could be heard from within a 50-meter radius. It was embarassing, really. It seemed as if I was giving birth. Hahaha! =P But after a few minutes of stretching, I finally got up, limping but happy. I couldn’t believe that I had set a new record today. A little sacrifice and perseverance did go a long way indeed. =)
The event culminated with almost all the finishers having breakfast at Jollibee. As always, I ate a lot to replenish all that energy I lost. It’s one of the perks after completing a race. Also, I got my new takbo.ph singlets (I’ll be showing them tomorrow) and met some new members in the process.
Yesterday was a good day indeed. I was able to beat my time, and I couldn’t feel any better. So that leaves me and the Kalayaan Flyover with an even score. Got my revenge on you, buddy. Hahaha!
So, here’s my review:
D (direction) – from the starting line, make your way to 11th Avenue then 26th Street. Turn right at Rizal Drive then make a left to access the Kalayaan Flyover. Run the whole of it, then head all the way down to Buendia, making sure to turn left at Ayala Avenue. Upon seeing Paseo de Roxas, make a left, then immediately head right upon reaching Makati Avenue. Head to Glorietta 5 via Ayala Avenue, then make a u-turn and go back all the way you came from using the same roads you ran on. After crossing Rizal Drive and 26th Street, turn right at 5th Avenue to access Lawton Avenue. Make a left at Bayani Road, then make a u-turn midway after reaching the Philippine Army Gym. Now head back to the finish line. Medium route difficulty – but it surely does get easy when you run across the Makati CBD.
R (registration) – whether online or not, I have read from many blogs that many people are complaning about the registration process. Those who went online were overcharged and haven’t been given their refunds yet! Add to that a chaotic scenery when claiming the race kits! What has happened here? How could a premier telecommunications company allow something like this to happen? Tsk tsk. Sorry guys, but I put my thumbs down on this one.
U (uhaw) – at least there were ample water stations scattered across the route. No need for a hydration belt. =)
M (money) – my sister registered for me and she said that it was quite expensive. And there weren’t even freebies??? Come on! Again, I put my thumbs down on this one. You could have done better!
S (safety) – volunteers from the Makati police managed to keep the traffic orderly and protected runners from harm.
Here’s a map of the route (click here to zoom in):
As well as a split analysis.
Some pictures follow:
On the way to the finish line… (c/o Argo and Pepsi)
Time check! (c/o Argo and Pepsi)
A portion of the team.
Class pic #… Hmmm, 1?
Labor pain? Hehehe.
Yet ANOTHER class picture.
Men in tights!
Showing off the new singlet…
Wow! TV interview!!! =D
Next up – the Urbanite Run in August. I’ll try to beat my 10K record. =) Time to train again!