Achievement Unlocked: Running in PF Sub-1 10K Challenge
March 23, 2016
I have recently completed my goal of finishing a half-marathon (21km) in less than two hours and thirty minutes. And as I previously mentioned, my next goal was to finish a 10km run in less than one hour (also known as hitting Sub-1). Originally, I intended to join any 10k race with timing chip just so I can measure my time (because practice runs tracked by my running app are not counted). But then, my friend invited me to join Pinoy Fitness Sub-1 10K Challenge – how timely, right?
The goal of this race is to finish running 10km in less than one hour (Sub-1) in order to get a finisher medal. Failure to do so will void chances of getting the medal and bragging rights.
It was my first time to join a time-trial race and it was, by far, one of the most challenging yet fulfilling runs I have ever done.
I had three weeks to prepare for this race coming from my previous one. However, I decided to rest my legs on the first week because my left knee was hurting and it inhibited me from walking properly. The pain was familiar because last year, it was my right knee that hurt. On the bright side, at least my knees were not hurting simultaneously.
On the second week, I started to conduct my practice runs. As expected, my left knee would hurt after every session but at least I was able to reach my goal per run. I conducted at least one practice run per week and used the remaining days to rest my legs and do light upper body exercises.
I was so nervous come race day because I knew we were going to pass by the long stretch of Kalayaan Flyover and running along inclined surfaces require extra ounces of effort.
There are four waves in this race – The Sub-1 waves: Brooks, Enervon Activ, Enervon HP and the free wave: Walker. My friend, Joey, and I were in the third wave/Enervon HP because the two other waves already ran out of slots when we registered. Before the gun start, we warmed up by running a couple of laps around the area and shortly after, I felt the need to pee but there were so many people lined up waiting to use the portalets so I had no choice but to run on a full bladder. Lol.
Our wave had its gun start at 5:45AM. It was a bit difficult to run around because there were so many runners and we all had to be extra careful not to hit each other. I was running with my friend/coach, Joey, because I am not too confident with how I pace myself. However, because I did not want to hold him back at the same time, I told him to go ahead if I could not keep up.
When Kalayaan Flyover came into view, I literally made the sign of the cross and prayed for strength. I pushed my legs to keep on running and avoid walking because then, my momentum would be ruined. Looking back, that part of the route felt like forever and I remember constantly thinking of motivational statements which include, “Mind over matter” and my favorite, “The body achieves what the mind believes”.
The first U-Turn was somewhere along Sen. Gil Puyat and again, people were giving bands to the runners. But because there were a lot of runners, the marshals were having a difficult time giving bands to everyone, which of course ate up time. Joey and I got separated somewhere after the flyover because he was so quick in overtaking while I, on the other hand, found it difficult to overtake. When he looked back at me, I motioned for him to keep going. Bye Jo!
And so there I was running alone. But then I was already grateful that I was able to keep up with Joey’s fast pace during the first few kilometers because it gave me enough time to spare even during bottlenecks such as the U-Turns where we had to get bands and when the traffic enforcer made us stop to let the cars pass through. (Seriously though, they should try and reroute cars during time-trial races because every second counts)
When it was time to pass by Kalayaan Flyover again, I took a deep breath and made the sign of the cross for the second time around. There were so many things going on inside my mind but mostly it was a debate of whether to walk for a bit or to continue running. Ahh, the flyover really made me want to walk but just as when I was about to, an old man overtook me and he showed no signs of walking and he motivated me to keep on going.
I kept looking at my watch to check if I can make it on time. I was already doubting because my running app’s distance measurement is different from that of the race. My app would tell me that I have already reached 8km but the 8km signboard would appear further into the route. But I honestly think that I ran more than 10km.
When I saw the signboard that read “Last 500 meters!”, I then made another sign of the cross because I was already tired and my legs wanted to stop running. I then thought of my friends’ good luck messages and reminded myself that I cannot miss that medal. At the last turn towards the finish line, I tried to read the time from afar. Thinking that it was already at 00:59:00 going to 1:00:00, I pushed myself to dash. And as soon as I crossed the finish line, I found out that it was apparently 00:58:00 going to 00:59:00.
A girl then handed me my medal and Joey congratulated me right after. Apparently, he waited for me somewhere along the route but went ahead when I was still nowhere in sight. Good call, Joey. Good call.
And because I dashed to the finish line despite being tired, I felt dizzy and nauseous. I tried walking around but later told my friends that I’d sit for a bit and that I’d catch up as soon as I felt better. It took a while for me to regain my strength but when I did, it was when it all sank in that I successfully finished the race in less than one hour!
I then went around the venue with my friends and ate breakfast right after the program.
Special thanks to the following people:
To my friend, Rowe, for my knee support that helped me run without feeling any pain at all.
To Yssa, who went out of her way to take me to the venue. Dinner/lunch on me soon!
To Joey, who invited me and paced me during the first half of the race. Nakabawi na ako from World Vision Run!
And to everyone who believed in me and wished me luck! I appreciate the messages!
I am happy that either way, I was able to finish the race in less than one hour.
My last PR for a 10km race is 1:03:XX so I really had to train to beat it. Therefore, it is really an achievement knowing that my practice runs paid off in the end. Though my knee is currently hurting, the thought of being able to reach my goal is enough to overlook the post-race pain.
And that’s another goal completed! Next up is to be a podium finisher for a 5km race.