In the October issue of Runner’s World, it says that a cup or two of coffee an hour before a race may cut your time by 30 seconds. Although I wasn’t aiming to break my PR (I don’t think I ever will beat my 46.57 10k PR), I opted for coffee instead of my usual pre-race drink of Rush together with, as always, 3 sheets of graham crackers. Big mistake.
By the time I stood on Mindanao Ave. in Ayala Alabang awaiting the start of the race along with other runners (the larger group of 6k walkers were behind us), I had paid the toilet a visit 4 times already! Good thing the race started just a little after 6:30 a.m. giving me enough time to give my bladder a little scolding.
When the gun went off, my bladder was empty (thank God!), I was feeling strong, and I felt completely race ready. I ran out of Mindanao Ave. towards Visayas Ave. going a wee bit faster than I thought I should. I hate to admit it but I had no strategy for this race. My only plan was to conserve energy for the gradual ascent along Country Club Drive and, after that, I felt I could go as fast as I wanted knowing the route would be mostly flat until the finish line.
I ran at around 5:15-5:30 enjoying the familiar route I was running. Annie passed me early in the race and I watched her outpace runners one by one. On Madrigal Ave., Bald Runner and I were able to exchange a few words before he ran ahead of me. Just like in Gabriel Symphony last weekend, JunC was a few meters in front of me so he pretty much became my involuntary pacer. Surprisingly, I was pretty well-behaved at this race feeling no need nor compulsion to chase any runner down; this bull was good and tame that morning.
By the time we hit the dreaded ascent of Country Club Drive, a foreign lady runner swept by me and it was fine by me. She seemed awfully strong and I didn’t want to bust my lungs climbing up that hill. Before I knew it, the short climb was over and we made our way towards the flat roads of University Ave. Woohoo, there was nothing to be afraid of anymore!
My experience on these roads proved to be helpful as I watched other runners climbing up sidewalks along Country Club Drive, while I confidently stayed on the paved roads knowing it would be easier to just stay where I was. On University Ave., as other runners crossed to the right side of the road, I stayed on the left because the trees would provide shade from the intense heat. Yup, Patrick was right about having a home court advantage!
As we neared the finish, I felt I still had enough energy to sprint to the finish. Nearing Anahaw, I started to increase my pace and enjoyed the rhythm of each step. I crossed the finish line back at Mindanao Ave. with a time of 55.38 min for 10.27km according to my Garmin. My average pace was 5.25 min/km.
I peeked into the list of finishers and saw Annie in 1st place with the lady foreigner in 2nd place. I placed 3rd! So, I guess the coffee did me well.
Together with Annie, Jun, and Prometheus Cometh (who extended his run even after we headed back), I ran another 5km around the village. Total of 15km for the day. Just perfect.
– 10km Winners: Annie (1st), French lady (2nd), and myself –