6:00 AM 18 May 2008 @ Market! Market! at The Fort
There were three (3) road races on this day in Metro Manila but I preferred this race because it was longer in distance, I am familiar with the roads, and it’s a day after my 56th Birthday. These are my insights; lessons learned; and things to improve on to improve my running and be able to compete with myself:
1) Road Races Should be Done “Rain or Shine”—It did not matter whether it was raining or not, I was determined to join/participate in this road race. Aside from the fact that this race was longer than the other road race which was held on the same day, I wanted to run in this race because of my familiarity of the course. The rains on the night before the race was not strong enough to cancel the road race and I prepared for my runners kit and other gadgets needed for the race including the charging of the battery for my digital camera. The road was wet and I thought it was slippery. I made sure to use the heaviest among my running shoes which is the ASICS Gel-Kinsei 2 which has better traction from the other ASICS I have. I initially brought with me my runner’s cap to keep my head from the rains during my warm-up runs and planned to remove it once I start to sweat profusely, which I did. Fortunately, there were no rains during the time that I was on the race. If I decided to continue with my run even after finishing the race, I could had been exposed to the strong rains that dropped immediately after I finished the race. Anyway, running with the rain is a nice experience!
2) Wider Roads Means Faster Run—With my past experience in the 2nd Champion 11K Race which was conducted at the Marikina Riverbanks with narrow paved roads, running at The Fort is completely the reverse/opposite .with very wide road to run! Maybe, the big difference from the past road race before this race gave me that faster pace as soon as I hit the wide road from the Starting Line. There was no problem overtaking other runners who were slower in pace because of the enough space to manuever on my sides.
3) Start Fast But Finish Faster—I was confident that I could run faster on the last two kilometers because the distance of this road race was only 8 kilometers. I planned to have a fast pace on the first 4 kilometers and have a faster pace on the last 4 kilometers but I felt I slowed down on the last two kilometers of the race. Although I finished in sub-40 minutes on this race and ended sustaining a faster average pace, I really wanted a better finish time. I felt I was only delivering 80-90% of my maximum effort on this race.
4) More Interval Training—The better way for me to improve my finish time is to introduce (again!) speed on my training. Actually, I’ve been stucked, for the meantime, with my endurance and strengthening workouts with my long slow distance runs, of which I really need before I go into speed plays. The gout that I ‘ve been experiencing for the past days had been giving me some problems and I am trying my best to cure this by avoiding foods high in uric acid/purine. During this road race, I was still in pain with my righ big toe but I managed to run by taking in some “out of the counter” pain killers. But I guess, the best “pain killer” is still running as it seems all the pains on my foot disappear after having my warm-up jogging before the start of the race and moreso, during the actual race. But after resting for an hour or two after the race, the pain on my toe would be most severe again.
5) Learn To Look On My Shoulders—Since my idea in running is not to compete with the other runners but to compete with myself, I really don’t mind other runner’s pace or runners overtaking me. But on the “darker” side of my brain, I would like not to be overtaken by other runners. Being overtaken by runners on the last few meters from the Finish Line and thinking that you are on your fastest pace, your psychological stability and pride is sometimes affected and it slows me down a bit. So, after this race, I should learn to watch and look on my shoulders at least one kilometer from the Finish Line and watch out for other runners who try to outsprint me in the last few meters from the Finish Line.