Tuesday, August 3, 2010

It will take more than willpower to finish a 21km race

Twenty one kilometers.  You might ask, how far is that?  To give you a rough estimate, it is from Monumento to Magallanes station.  A total of 14 stations in the MRT Line 3

I ran the distance last Sunday in MOA (Rexona Run).  It was my first 21km race.  Initially my plan was to cover every kilometer every 7 minutes.  If I'd be able to keep this speed, I will reach the finish line within 2hrs and 30minutes.  This is, of course, if I had covered enough mileage to prepare myself

Unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to properly build my mileage.  Boo.  My last run was a week ago (Takbo Runfest) where I covered 10 kilometers

With no proper training, I headed to MOA.  Arrived at the event around 4:30am.  I took out my heart rate chest belt and sports drink then left my backpack at the baggage area.  Did my usual dynamic stretching like leg lifts and butt kicks.  Ten minutes before the gun time I proceeded to the assembly area and waited for the countdown to start

Strong start.  Focused on keeping a pace of 6 minutes every kilometer.  I felt really good about my speed and thought that I can probably do this.  If ever fatigue kicks in, I will adjust it by a minute and maintain a 7'/km pace.  Never had any problem with the first 10 kilometers.  I knew that I would be ok until the 11th kilometer. Because I had practice runs with this distance.

Unknown territory.  I should be fine, i thought.  Then it begun.  When I've reached the 13km marker, my feet felt heavier.  My arm swings became sluggish.  My breathing became shallower.  I instantly knew then that this was already beyond what my body experiences.  I already started talking to myself that there's only 8 kilometers left in the race

Mirage on a dessert.  Even before I reached the 14km marker, the distance has taken a toll on my body.  I had to stop running.  And begun walking.  My only cue to begin running again was when I'd see a water station.  I ran because I wanted to reach the water station as fast as I can.  I really needed a drink.  During the first half of the race, I was only drinking half a cup.  At this time I was chugging everything down my throat.

Feet hurts like hell.  I have been landing on the balls of my feet for 16 kilometers.  The jagged asphalt was making it worse.  It was so painful that I thought my feet was bleeding already.  This simply meant more walk and less run.  And stepping on a stone and a bottle just made it even unbearable.  I was only running whenever a photographer is present and immediately start walking again once I am no longer in their viewfinder

Two kilometers to go.  I checked my elapsed time and still had 20 minutes more before my goal time.  This translates that I only need to walk 1 kilometer for 10 minutes then I should be fine.  I was optimistic.  It will be difficult but doable.  I was occassionally running but only for a few meters.  In the last turn I can now see the finish line.  I told myself that, in the last 500 meters, I will run all the way

Cramps.  500 meters left.  I started to run.  It should be easy.  Then my left foot started to have cramps.  Why now?  Its because I have been doing walk/run in the last 5 kilometers that my leg muscles has cooled down.  I continued running thinking that it may go away but it persisted

Always finish strong.  The cramps forced me to walk again.  Luckily the pain went away.  Just to be safe I decided to run the remaining 50 meters.  Like I always say - "finish strong".  And also to be photographed running at the finish line.  I managed to set a personal record of 2 hours and 33 minutes

Do not try this at home.  I never felt so tired after a race or should I say wasted.  This one takes the cherry on top of the cake.  It will take more than sheer willpower to finish a 21km run.  Nothing replaces proper training.  This distance requires both physical and mental tenacity.  Another important thing, do not wait to be thirsty.  Drink up every 20 minutes

On my next 21km race, I will be ready


Menard said...

and on your next 21KM race... I will also be ready... to accompany you to Footzone :)

Daves said...

hahaha! make sure that you do

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