Saturday, November 15, 2008

FatBird Marathon Training Session #12

Team FatBird Pacers & Trainees

Its 3 weeks to D-Day. The weather this morning was immaculate...cloudy, cool, although slightly humid, and nowhere near the kind of air we find in overseas temperate weather. The Pacers assembled early to get fitted for their race day tops, and fortunately, most of them found the right fit...*phew*. Thanks to FatBird Terry and Esther who helped to coordinate the tryouts as well as pack the tops in proper packages according to Names and Pace Timings for a personalized print.

Section of Team FatBird Pacers

I gave a quick brief to the Pacers and runners about the 28km route before starting off towards NSRCC/Changi Coastal with my 4hr group. Ultra, Raven, Cheow12, Soloman, YN's friend, and 2 more were running in the 4hr Pace Group as we moved along at 5:30min/km average pace. I informed the group about our race day strategy and that we should attempt to keep to that 5:30min/pace for up to 21km, before slowing a little to allow for drift. With that, we should have a buffer of about 4min for the Pacees, providing a safe margin.

We reached 10km in 55min...hmm, not bad. We chatted less as the group strung along Changi Coastal stretch. There were so many faimiliar faces that my arms got tired just waving to them...haha. We turned at the 4th Shelter along CCR, 14km mark, still maintaining the 5:30min/km pace. It was great to see the 4:15hr, 4:30hr, 4:45hr, 5:00hr, 5:15hr and 5:30hr groups running to pace, and in bunches. With 3 weeks to go, the team is coming together and peaking at the right time...I am so heartened :)

When we got to the Sailing/Canoe Centre, it was near 21km and avg pace was about 5:33min/km...slight drift. I told Cheow12 that we could afford to average out to 5:40min/km pace after that. Ultra took a pitstop at the toilet, and Raven continued with Soloman slightly behind. Saw the Too Family training hard and looking good for race day. David Tay and TriFam Pacers were out in force, putting in some good paced mileage. When I reached 26.5km, I took a walk break to wait for the rest to come closer....until about 5:40min/km pace before I finished off the final 800m. It was refreshing to have 3 cups of iced-cold 100plus, thanks to Ultra, Niwas, Esther and the drinks support team.

The 4hr group came back within 5min of my zone. Terry reported that all the Pacers were fitted. I had a good time handing Alber, Freddy and Deep their training gear and shoes. The rest of the Pacers got water bottles to help them collect rain water....haha. We took some nice group and Pacer photos, before I gave a briefing to the Pacers on the training schedule for the next 2 weekends, the final week's SCSM08 route recce run, as well as carbo-loading session on Dec 5. Then I handed out the Group Leaders' caps to the leaders as a symbol of their leadership as well as wearing those caps to be visible on race day to Pacees. They were pretty excited and happy with the colours of the gear and caps, although some found extra fascination with the colour of the water bottles...haha.

Overall, it was a good paced run for me and I can say for most who attended. The Lunar Racer I had on served me well, especially with a thinner and air-ier pair of socks. I will likely wear the Racer on race day for its sheer lightness and vibrant colour...hehe. A light drizzle came after the entire run, as we proceeded to wash up. I went with one group to Old Airport for my favourite Lor Mee, while another group went to Telok Blangah for Scissors Curry Rice....sinful, but well deserving carbo-reloading after a long distance run :)

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