Monday, July 03, 2006

Run to the G, June 18th

Saturday June 17th
So it’s been five weeks of almost no running. True, I did run 40 miles in a span of nine days somewhere in the middle of those five weeks, I also feel out-of-shape.

While walking in Federation square I notice a tent with asics on it and that prompts me to think that there will be a race, possibly tomorrow morning. I need to find this out pronto. My hope is that the race is early enough so that I can make my flight, scheduled for noon.

There are three races planned for tomorrow with the start conveniently located about 400 meters from where I am staying. I have to show up early to sign up for the half which starts at 7:30. The cost is 60 AU. The cost is steep considering the fact that a T-shirt is not included, but it’s not like I need one.

Sunday, June 18th

I turn in my reg. form and decide to walk back to my hotel for another half-hour.

The horn sounds and we’re off. I have lined up within the first five rows. I do not expect too many people to be fast. Boy, will I be proven wrong. Since my lungs were definitely out of shape the first klip was taxing at 4:16. Up to this point I was still hanging on to the 1:30 pacer. But not for long. The pace seemed closer to 5K pace and I consciously slow down. Next klip is timed in 4:30. Now, I will be more than happy if I can keep up this pace. This would guarantee me a sub-1:35 finish. Up ‘till now we have ran in the park, with very little need for traffic control. I cover the following klip in 4:16 and it comes as a surprise. Hmmm, I really need to bring the pace down if I want to finish this darn half mary.

I finally feel I am running half-mary pace. But the eighth klip is actually uphill and I cover it in 4:52. No problem, I say to myself. I can still make the sub 1:35, or can I? The race is actually two loops so whatever I am covering, I will see once more. I pass the halfway point in 47:45 or 15 seconds behind schedule. I feel fatigued; I now know I will not achieve the sub 1:35, so I set my goal for sub 1:37; all I need is 4:40 klips and I’ll be there. The 4:40s seem comfortable. BUT just as I round the 16K the half-maries and some of the 5-keyers merge. I have no option but to slow down even more. I struggle to pass the slower 5-keyers. Luckily the races diverge and I find myself running alone. I should mention that in most races I have done, I seldom get passed by women; this is not to say that I am a better runner than women but to highlight that maybe female American recreational runners do not run to their full potential. In this race I was passed by FIVE women; either I faded badly or they were the better runners.

After about one plus klip of solo running, the races merge AGAIN, for crying out-loud. The problem now is that the bike-trail we’re running is too freaking narrow and some 5-keyers are running with strollers. I have to go to the side and run on the grass. I am fully expended and can barely run five-minute kilometers. It must have been a terrible sight. I, the one who always musters energy to finish strong am struggling to finish. My mind wants to push it but my legs say no way Jose. I finish in 1:38:10, and a 2:40 positive split. Oh well; tomorrow will be another day. There will be another chance to redeem myself.