halfway there (The Fort Running Festival)
I did it and I have finished a pikermi. Last Sunday, October 17th, I’ve scratched out another item from my running bucket list, and halfway to my ultimate goal – the FULL marathon dream!
I think I remember every single moment of that event, from pre-race area to finish. Darn it was so fulfilling! I won’t write everything in detail because this blog might not be enough, seriously! But I personally wanted to share some thoughts and my own learning in the course of this new achievement.
A week before the event, FFS and I discussed on our strategy. I wasn’t aiming on a fast finish, but more on a comfortable finish for me, and injury free. The goal was to finish it in under 3:10, with splits of 01:25 (10), 01:35 (10), 00:9 (1). We also agreed “no pressure” on this race as I just simply wanted to have fun, measure the distance, and see how I feel after.
Race day came and I was so hyped. FFS almost did not allow me to run this race a few weeks ago as I was repeatedly getting sick ever since August. Could they just be pre-race jitters? LOL. I wouldn’t know. Ironically though, FFS got sick on race day and still pushed through with accompanying me.
Call it funny, but I was quite prepared in this race, not too much on the training perspective, but with the “vanity” side. Now don’t get me wrong, it isn’t about being maarte or what, but I have been scrambling to get my color back, and am scheduled to attend weddings in the next few days. I just can’t get burned out – literally! Look at this:
Yes, that’s just one event! ha! I brought along a long-sleeved wind breaker that I can change with to cover my arms up when the sun gets too hot. Not to mention, I was literally stopping to wipe sweat and re-spray with sunblock when I feel like I’ll be immersing under the sun’s heat. There were a lot of parts when there wasn’t any shade. 🙂
Okay, enough of vanity, here goes the gruelling summary of my experience, in a running kind of way. It went on great from start to end I would say, I started my first 10 kilometers very relaxed. FFS would always warn me when he felt I was going fast, or whenever he hears me starting to breathe deep. I swallowed a pack of GU gel every 5 kilometers to be able to maintain endurance. I got it at 1:25, right on time. The second split was harder for 2 reasons: 1. the sun was already up, and 2. it had the uphill part somewhere at kilometer 15. Literally at that point I was already tired. I would only say “oh my God!” or “grabeh!” or “I can’t believe this!”, jokingly to FFS. I was laughing at myself, and FFS was particularly laughing at how I looked like. It was probably the most sweaty point of my life – ever! Time check – 2:10. Right on track.
However, I had to stop somewhere near McKinley hills at the 17th km as I got burned out and my right hamstring and pelvic muscles were hurting a little bit. FFS said that my landing wasn’t equal, and I might be heavier on the right. I adjusted and continued. At long last, BHS was on sight and I could already FEEL the finish line. At that point I knew the distance was going to be shorter. Final reading logged at my Garmin was 20.34 kilometers, and I finished at 3:03:20. I was running continuously at a pace under 8 at that last stretch, I was smiling and happy!
It was such a great great feeling! FFS was asking me if I cried and I said “duh” with a smile. 🙂 Philip (BBR) was there waiting for me to finish, he was definitely very supportive (Thanks P!). Millions of thoughts were in my head that time that I didn’t even remember I was supposed to get my medal. FFS and BBR did the honors and placed it around my neck. Hmm..couldn’t see it much with what I was wearing.
On the running event side, I’d give it a 9/10. I would have given a full 100%, except for the fact that the race distance was short by around 600 meters. Nevertheless, the way how it was organized, cheap registration fee, smooth registration process, event setup, marshals, hydration, route, finishers’ medal, right amount of participants, it’s probably one of the best races I’ve joined this year. Two thumbs up for the MLB Road Race Specialists!