Unilab Run United 2 - August 21, 2011 (5th Half-Marathon)
This is my 2nd time to do a pacer duty (first one's from BGC run - blog can be read at this link). Chrissie and her sister Lyn have 3-hour PRs for 21k and we set a goal of 2:30. I know 30 minutes is quite a big slash from their previous PR but it's worth a try.
I arrived early at BGC and met up with Team Alpha 1. Told them I would have to pace some friends and we'd just meet after the race for some post-race breakfast. I then went to the 21k assembly area to meet the Lim sisters.
Target is to do a 7-min per kilometer pace, which equates to 2 hours and 27 minutes for 21 kilometers. The extra 3 minutes would serve as buffer for quick water breaks.
We were doing well the first few kilometers but I could feel the high humidity and I was sweating profusely. Between kilometer 6 and 7, Chrissie told us to go ahead. She seems out of breath, and it looks like she's having an asthma attack. I asked Lyn if we should go ahead; she said we could because she knew her sister will be alright and will just finish the race with her own pace.
And so there were two. I'd regularly check on Lyn if she's ok with my pace and we'd slow down at times when she feels she needs to catch her breath or hydrate. As usual the Buendia flyover's a killer, specially on the way back to BGC. Numerous times I'd be much ahead of Lyn, and I just do quick back glances if she's still visible. I needed to do that to motivate her to keep running, because if I run beside her, I feel as if she's the one pacing me and not the other way around.
The sight of the finish line gave us a quick burst of energy as we ran the final stretch, finishing with a time of 2 hours, 41 minutes and 32 seconds, 11 minutes shy from the goal but still a big improvement from her record time. What a great feeling to make someone else set a new PR!
Earth Run - August 28, 2011 (6th Half-Marathon)
Peer pressure: refers to the influence exerted by a peer group in encouraging a person to change his or her attitudes, values, or behavior in order to conform to group norms. That's according to Wikipedia. :p That's what made me make a last-minute decision to change a supposed 10k run to a 21k. Bry was such bully (lol), he convinced me to run another 21k a week after Run United 2. I didn't know if I'd survive a back-to-back 21k race, now that I've just come back to running.
I usually psyche myself days before a race depending on what distance I'm about to run. A week before race day I was psyching myself to do a sub-55 minute 10k run. With only a few minutes left before gun start, I had difficulty changing my mindset.
The entire race was a disaster - it seemed like all types of negative thoughts came to me - I'd not finish the race, I will be injured, I need to find an ambulance immediately. In fact, I was getting ankle and knee pains which I believe were just caused by these bad vibes. I needed to clear my mind and just enjoy the run. At kilometer 12, I started to feel better and I was just ignoring the race boo-boos (no water at water stations, water stations where runners share the container lid just to get a sip of water) and went on. By this time I knew I can finish this and get my hands on that finisher medal.
And as I cross the finish line after 2 hours, 22 minutes and 14 seconds later, injury-free, still feeling good and holding my finisher medal, I knew I just underestimated myself. Never again. :)