25 August 2013 – Right after accomplishing my main goal of finishing a triathlon this year, had to refocus on attaining my 2nd goal of this year, which is to get a SUB40 10k.
I wanted to put myself in a position where I would have enough chances to get that coveted SUB40 10k. Hence, I signed up for five 10km races in a short span of 6weeks. I know that once I’ve broke it once, the flood gates will open for me to secure more good performances enroute to a SUB1:30 half-marathon & eventually qualification to Boston.
Hot 91.3fm DJs leading the warm-up in the background.
Final picture before the flag-off.
[Start: Updated with new photos]
Wave for the cameras!
Trading high5s w/ fellow SAFRA Jurong Running Club member, Joyce. Happens that we were part of the winning relay team for SJRC back in 2010.
Metal barricades removed, we are ready to go.
[End: Updated with new photos]
3,2,1 Horn goes off. VIP Flags us off. Here we go!
Check out the flag-off here on RazorTV: http://instagram.com/p/ddU1m5uYqo/
Maybe its instinct, but I immediately took the lead.
Which was a terribly bad idea, something that I should really learn not to do.
Makes for a good photo, but I would learn to pay dearly in the final km of the race. The eventual winner is to my left, he would later finish in a time of 37mins+. He took the lead once we headed down the first slope into the Punggol Waterway.
This was heading up the Sunrise Bridge, approximately after the 3rd km. After starting in a 3:30 pace for the first km, I decided to drop it down to 4:00 for the 2nd & 3rd km. Coming up this bridge, I was in a time of 11:30, with a 30second buffer on that SUB40 10k.
At this point, I was being tightly chased by other 10km runners. The two runners behind me would eventually catchup & overtake me when we entered the trail portion of the race.
At this point of time, it was coming into the final 400m of the course.
Home stretch, decided to make a dash for the FINISH, even though I knew it was too little too late.
At the hydration point after the FINISH. Spotted Mr. Chasing Shots, the man behind the camera at many races. Had a chat with him & asked him why he does it? Camera was underused, & he liked doing it! Really respect the guy for taking photos of runners pro bono, plus he is super friendly! Congrats on your PB!
Some photobooth fun at the Carnival area.
I know I always say it, but I absolutely love the medal for this run, a Traditional, round, weighted medal that doesn’t feel cheap.
Was fortunate enough to be amongst the Top25 for the Men’s Open Category, so I had a Winners medal on top of the Finishers medal. I was also lucky enough to come in Top10 for the first time ever, hope it won’t be the last.
Reflection: In the lead up to this race, I was expecting to run the KOTR, but it was cancelled. That week I suffered a minor hamstring pull after not cooling down properly after a swim. Hence, I had to scale back the miles to prevent further injury. I also came down with a virus that very same week, having a bout of sore throat & flu symptoms. I couldn’t complete key workouts like a 4 X 2km workout due to the hamstring injury, I had to pull out after my first lap of my 2nd set. So I didn’t have the confidence going into that race. I’m glad it was cancelled as I could smell disaster pending.
The tuesday following the triathlon, I managed to complete the key 4 X 2km workout, giving me confidence that I could do it if I maintained a constant pace from the start. But I emphasize constant.
This race, I was looking out for a fast runner that could do 39mins for 10km, but scanning the field, I couldn’t recognise anyone that I knew could do it. It seemed that everyone was reluctant to go to the front of the pack, maybe its for good reason.
This entire race was more mental than anything else. I was focused throughout, stabilizing my pace from 4-9km, hitting all the kilometer marks with at least 30seconds buffer.
Have to thank a fellow runner, Ronnie, who was pacing me from 4-9km. The moment he was running by my side, I felt more confident. He signalled for overtakes a couple of times, and even offered his drink to me at the Hydration Point! But I already grabbed the wrong cup(water), should have got an isotonic drink instead. This proved deadly coming into the last km.
As we stepped up the pace for the final km, it was Ronnie, a guy in the Trail running top & myself heading strong together. But then the severe stitch occurred. & no matter how much I lifted my arm & exhale on the right foot, the stitch wouldn’t go away. I just had to bear with the pain & turn it down a notch, letting the two runners go.
Felt incredibly slow coming into the FINISH line, this is something I will work on in training.
[Start: Updated new insight]
After much post-race analysis, I troubleshooted the problems down to the following:
1. Equipment Failure
The inner tights I was using was too tight & constantly riding up, causing diaphragm not to be able to function to full capacity.
2. Changing of breathing pattern
For some reason, I started to alter breathing pattern to “rhythmic breathing In-2, Out” fast & shallow breathing at 9km mark, causing the bad stitch.
3. Poor running form nearing the end
When I get tired, I tend to disregard my running form, & have a tendency to look down on the ground rather than look far ahead, this causes the head to tilt downwards slightly, & blocks the airway to the lungs. My body posture starts to slouch, & this could be the cause of the stitch. In fact, come to think of it, I felt it coming, my abs were starting to cramp, probably due to the bent over posture I was adopting. My legs also tend to feel heavy & can’t lift as high as I would like.
This is something I definitely would be working on in training.
4. Starting too fast
I started at 3:30/km pace for the first km because there was just two runners ahead of me, & I was just keeping up the pace. As I am just wearing a very basic Casio watch with just a stopwatch function, I have to rely on the distance markers to determine the pace I am going at. Hence, I am constantly caught out at too fast a pace if I follow the front pack.
Next race definitely will start conservatively & overtake runners from the back rather than get overtaken & messes with the psychology of racing.
[End: Updated new insight]
Race Course Advice: The whole course is nice & flat, there was a potential choke point on the Sunrise Bridge, but to my surprise, when I got there, it was not bottlenecking at all. Maybe its due to the fact that it was still early on in the race & the majority of the 15km runners have not passed that point.
There is a trail section on the portion adjacent to Serangoon Island. Big fan of trail in training as it is light on the feet, not so much in racing as it tends to slow the pace down.
Enquire with a few runners, most told me that the course was 10.20 – 10.22km long. Hence, it would be an additional 30-50 seconds to cover. Maybe its a consolation to myself, but I think my performance was sub-par & lacklustre. Time to turn it up a notch for Army Half Marathon.
01 September 2013
SAFRA Bay Run & Army Half Marathon– 10km