Saturday, October 24, 2009

I Survived the Adidas KOTR 21K Race



Woohooo! I survived the KOTR (Adidas King of the Road) 21K race. After 2 years of running, this was to be my first 21K distance race. I have tried one 42K last year but never have I tried running a 21K before. Since Adidas has been showing off its great looking singlets, I was lured into registering for the race. I registered on running the 21K event for the mere reason that I have always been missing any long runs. The truth is, for months already, my training only involved short distances of 5K in tempo pace. I don’t know why, but when I decide to do a longer run, I always end up doing short ones. The longest I had on one weekend was a 10K. I had to do something about skipping long runs. I knew my endurance have declined, and if I’m not going to put back those long distances, then I won’t be improving at all. Now here was my chance. At least I know I won’t skip a long run if I paid PHP500 to run it.

Now here comes race day. Like I said in my previous post, I was having race jitters. As we gathered at the starting line I bumped into El Kiyoshi. My goal for this race was to finish at least with a time of sub 1:50. But as the clock started ticking, I had fears of cramps or worse to get a DNF(Did not Finish). But I was psyching myself that I should finish the race. I’ve already set my heart rate to play around 74% to 87%, and my strategy was to keep my heart rate on those zones for the entire race. When the gun started I paced with El Kiyoshi running at a sub 5min/km pace. I was trying to listen to my body trying to find if there is anything wrong. I did not experience any problem so far not until the 10th kilometer as we were heading back along Buendia. I felt my left thigh burning, and accompanied by numbness in my left calves. This was the same experience I had during the Philippine International Marathon, the only difference was I was having it at the 10th kilometer marker. This was the time when I was questioning myself what in the world have I gotten myself into. Instead of getting panicky, I told myself that whatever happens I should try and finish the race. There are instances especially climbs when I had to stop and walk when I felt my left leg muscles felt to be giving up. I normally detest walking, but in this case it was the only strategy I had to finish the race. My finish time was no longer in my mind. It was just a question of finishing it or not. So I tried to slow down my pace, listened to my legs, then when it feels tight, I’d walked for a couple of seconds, and when it feels a little bit better already I’d run again.

At the 14KM marker, I was thinking of not turning right and just head to the finish. But again, that would be cheating. I told myself DNF is not an option. I’ll finish this race whatever it takes. I took a right turn, slowed down and held for dear life!

Time was fleeting as many runners overtook me. But it doesn’t matter anymore. All I wanted was to survive this race. I couldn’t any longer feel my feet. But the funny thing is I knew I was moving. And it was just a matter of time and I finally crossed the finish line. I felt I was the happiest runner alive. I was glad I survived my first 21K. I finished a time of 1:43, a PR to break on my next 21K.

After the race, my legs were cramping I felt like vomiting. Thanks to my officemate and co-blogger Ian who handed me a glass of water after the race. That helped a lot mate. :)

I think I should be incorporating long runs in my training. I still need to decide my next half marathon race. But I hope I’ll be back with a vengeance.

Btw, my wife broke her 10K pr with a time of 1:02. We’ll be celebrating a movie later for our PRs.

See you again on the next race.

9 comments:

run unlimited said...

Congrats and to the wife too. I saw your strides getting pretty bad at the last stretch, I hope its ok now. Good to run with you there. See you at NB21.

Tech Spec said...

Hi Vener, it was nice seeing you at the last stretch. The few chat we had gave me a little energy to at least push myself. Thanks. :)

My legs feel painful but manageable. I'll stack up on those protein shakes for recovery.

natz said...

Wow congrats bro! Bilis mo talaga.

Gingerbreadman said...

Nice one Taki :) To those who are unfamiliar with your blazing speed, your header for this post would be much akin to someone who just cleared a sub 3, not a sub 1:45 haaha. Awesome job man, congratulations! :)

elkyoshi said...

Thanks for the fast pace early in the race although I wasn't sure if I could sustain it! I usually run more relaxed the first few kilometers but running with you did the trick for me yesterday. Congrats on a great time!

fabian said...

Good job! Congratulations on your run. :)

prometheuscometh said...

Congrats man! You are really a speed demon! 1:43 on your first try and with aching legs yet! See you at the races soon!

Anonymous said...

great time! i'm sure it won't be too hard for you to break it next time :)

aleah
http://runninghappy.blogspot.com

ian said...

Congrats on your 21k debut... still can't believe this is your first 21k! :-)
cramps?!! hey tao ka pa rin pala... hehe...