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.