Race Report- FT Day 2011 7km Run

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I’ve done it. The FT Day 2011 7km run

What a surreal day. Last night I wrote about my pre race jitters. After I wrote that post, I tried to go to sleep but couldn’t. How do you sleep before a race. I tossed and turned on my bed for several hours until I finally nodded at 4:30 only to be rudely awaken at 5:30 by my alarm clock. I got up, had a shower, did my morning prayers and started to kit up.  Got to the startling line at about 7:00. The organisers had organised an aerobic workout as a warm up for the race. I have to say, I  was a bit moody and didn’t join in preferring instead to jog for a few minutes. Next time I have to stop being such a grump and join in whatever pre-race activities planned by the organisers. Good to see some of my cousin running in the same race as well. Also good to see colleague Terrence who turned up to support and take some pictures for me.

Its 7:30 and we’re supposed to start the race now…

After a very short briefing by the organisers we were told to line up and get ready to run. I was very pumped by this time and the fear factor just went through the roof. I had visions of not being able to run and I was worried someone will stop me from running (I know that sounds silly but that actually went through my mind)

I can’t remember how the race was started but I think there was a starting gun. All I could remember was suddenly there was a flurry of activity around me and people started running. So up press start on my heart monitor and started running.

 

After about 1 minute of running (I thought I was running at a gentle pace) I glanced at my watch and to my horror discovered that my heart rate had gone up to 90% MHR. This was not supposed to happen. I was only suppose to start off at a gentle 75% MHR. I had thoughts of not being able to sustain my running and therefore fulfilling some of my fears from last night’s pre-race jitters. I slowed down in the hope of being able to get my heart rate to an acceptable level but no matter how much I slowed down, it remained in the 80s.

Me running with Lina on the right..

The route was mostly flat for the first 750m. I was suddenly presented with something that I am totally not prepared for- hills. I didn’t incorporate any hills in my running sessions the last few months simply because I didn’t think I needed to. The objective of the last few months was just to get the hang of running. Hills were supposed to come later when I get in my pace training mode.

Boy. Did I suffer. My heart rate jumped to 95% and I had to stop running and walk instead to get my heart down. By this time I had a nasty suspicion that I was last (another one of those fears from last night).  It turned out that I wasn’t last though there were not that many people behind me. All in all, there were 3 hills that I encountered and I probably walked a total of 5 minutes. All the time walking I was mumbling ‘it’s ok to walk. It’s ok to walk’….

By this time evil thoughts started to stream in my mind,

‘Why on earth am I doing this’?
‘I could be asleep right now’?
‘Who are you kidding Reza’?
‘You must be insane’?
‘I’m going to give up this running and triathlon nonsense, shut down my blog and just disappear’.

I kept looking at the distance indicator on my watch and it seemed like an eternity. There were 2 drink station along the route and I kept desperately asking how much farther? Instead of saying not much further you can do it, the response was ‘you got a long way to go’.

Thanks for the motivation (but also many thanks for volunteering)..

I had earlier envisioned that I’ll be running at medium pace for the first 5 km which gives me the opportunity to enjoy the run and the view and sort of soak up the whole atmosphere. That didn’t pan out. It wasn’t until the last 2 km that I began to get strong (probably because it was flat). And I started running hard. I can feel the form of my running improving by this time and I started to enjoy the run.

Lina was with me all the way..

I wrote earlier that I have a personal medal system for my running events.

Bronze 60-70 minutes
Silver 55-60 minutes
Gold Below 55 minutes

I was determined to give myself a silver by completing in just under 60 minutes. I knew the gold was not possible when I hit that first hill. So silver was my target. To get under 60 minutes I had to do the final 1+ km in about 8 minutes. I know I could do it if I pushed myself really hard. But I didn’t know when I should go all out for a sprint towards the finishing line. I was afraid of blowing the last few hundred meters. So I waited and waited and as it turns out, I waited for too long and didn’t get to speed until it was too late. I was running at top speed towards the finishing line and when I got to the end I knew I had enough to have started earlier. I missed the 60 minute mark by 3 mins and got my personal bronze medal.

Race time: 63 minutes (personal time keeping)

Time when I finished my run..   8:50 AM

Despite missing my target I learnt so much from today’s run that will help me on future races. I’m still puzzled why my heart rate went so high during the earlier parts of the race. Maybe I got caught up in the moment and the adrenaline rush was more than I anticipated.

What is interesting to me though is that I am a very slow starter and will only get fired up in the latter part of the race. Maybe I need to slow jog 1 or 2 km before the race starts so that I can settle in earlier on in the race.

From the training perspective, I got incorporate hills earlier in my triathlon training programme. I recognise that I lack power in my legs and they tend to wither out during the hilly sections.

My first race t-shirt, medal and completion certificate

Another very major lesson- GET ENOUGH SLEEP…..

Even though it was touch and go in the first few km and I didn’t have a great time, all told I had the time of my life. The last 2 km was so liberating for me and I couldn’t help but smile all the way to the finishing line.

I really felt like a kid running round in the park and it was a great feeling.

I may not be good at it yet but you know what, good or bad, it was the most fun I’ve had in ages.

My completion medal and certificate

When I look back at the last 5 months I can’t believe that I ran today. Considering I couldn’t run 100m without gasping for air back in Nov last year, it seems like a real miracle to do what I did today. Aren’t dreams great to have???

Many thanks to the organisers and the volunteers for making the run a success for me.

Many thanks and love also to my friends and family members with their noted of support through facebook. It’s feels good to be acknowledged and supported.

My next event will be the World Kidney Run which is next week, March 20, and I will be runner number C2167. Where. Same route as today except it’s a 5km event instead of 7km (which probably means less 1 hill).

Can’t wait for it.