Sunday, January 14, 2007

Mental prep run for Pacesetters 30km

Because of the unpredictable rainy weather this week, I had to skip the Animiles run on Saturday, and joined in the SAFRA MF prep run for Pacesetters 30km next Sunday. When the route (Clubhouse -> Henderson Rd -> Harbourfront -> Kampung Bahru -> Mount Faber hill -> Morse Rd -> Harbourfront -> Telok Blangah Rise -> Clubhouse -> [Repeat x3] Distance: 30 km) came out early in the week, I was quite apprehensive about going up MF from the Kampong Bahru side 3 times...I have not done that before, and this route having to lap Harbourfront 6 times really's gonna take a mental toll on me...haha. I actually planned to do 2 loops and then probably run a little extra on a easier path.

And happened again...Urghh...I overslept. I actually set my alarm for 6am. Midway through the night, I woke up to do something on the comp, and when I went back to sleep, I forgot to re-activate the alarm. I awoke abruptly at 7.30am, and by the time I realised it, DO had already gone for his own run....sorry DO...I sent a message to ask if DO wants to go down despite us being late. When I got no reply, I decided to 'chiong' down without any breakfast...just a quick cup of kopi. Reached ClubHouse at 8.10am....did 5min of stretching, and away I went. I was still feeling sleepy as I jogged to awake my body, at the same time thinking I would run 2 loops, and then decide.

I reached Harbourfront and spotted the first signs of SAFRA was Eng Hwa. I ran up, and explained I was late. I would try to catch up a bit, and if I can make it before the last runner, I would do the 3rd lap. Further up, I saw Adam, and I told him the same story. As I approached Kg Bahru, I spotted HK Bill and Derrick, who seemed to be limping? Derrick later confessed that he had a muscle pull, his first injury in a long time. I told Derrick to take it easy. Soon I reached Kampong Bahru, and my strategy for this morning was to run up this steep part slowly. When I reached the Jewel Box, I was feeling ok...not panting very hard. I ran up just fast enough to maintain the momentum. 1 down...2 to go. I carried up to the cafe at the top, and then descended on the gentler side...not wanting to risk any impact to knees, I took it easy on the downslopes. Continued at a steady pace, and reached back at ClubHouse in 55min for the first 10km loop. Spotted Jaime, TLH waiting.

I continued on the second loop feeling warmed up, and perspiring....good...have been feeling COLD and DRY these few rainy days :(. I sucked on 2 Sports Beans to give me a steady stream of nutrition. I took my Powergel (Double Latte) to prepare for the 2nd ascent. The new Powergel is a lot more liquid, easier to ingest, and tasted saltier because of the 4x salt content, good for repleshing lost salts. When I reached Harbourfront, I saw Colleen, who was on her way to the finish...wah, she looked really relaxed, aided by her iPod Shuffle. She mentioned that the Shuffle really helps her get through such mentally-challenging routes...hmm, I might want to try one of those...maybe ask for it for my Birthday....haha.

I went on to ascend MF the second time, and again, I took it easy. Along the way, a ang mo cyclist came from behind and shouted words of encouragement...I was a little shocked, but recovered to give him a friendly I understand what Ultraman said about not shouting at runners when they are concentrating...hehe. When I was near to the ClubHouse for the second loop finish, Bug overtook me, as he completed his 3rd and final loop in 2hr20+min? I finished the 2nd loop in 1hr50min, a steady 55min lap time.

I was still feeling good for the 3rd lap, as I tried to maintain pace. As I reached Harbourfront for the 5th time, I saw Julie. She mentioned that she had yet to do the final acent. I cheered her on, and asked her to maintain a steady pace. When I did the final ascent to MF, I was feeling the strain...good that it was the final one. I chugged along, not wanting to stop, although there were 2 people walking up *tempting me to just stop and walk*...haha. I reached the top, and calculated that it took me 10min from the bottom to reach the restaurant right at the top of MF. From there, it was recovery all the way back, and I continued to think about my posture and form.

I finished at the ClubHouse looking strong, in 2hr47min. Trainer Ong mentioned that my timing was not bad. I was just happy to run the whole 30km in a steady pace, without any threat of cramps. The last lap cost me 2min more, but I was content not to push it, and to reserve myself for race day. I had a good stretching down, and then makan at the Food Centre. When I was eating, the rains came...heng arhh! Looking back, I would attribute my feeling relatively strong to the cool weather and the steam-boat carbo-loading dinner I had last night. Somehow, steamboat dinners always gave me the 'power' for long runs the next day...hmmm!

Distance: 30km__Time: 2hr47min__Pace: 5:34min/km

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