27 & 37

C24/7 1st Fun Run  5k  4/10/11

I remember little of the actual run. The time before the gun start is a different story though. I had gone through great lengths to replicate the activities I did prior to the Citirun event. With a new PR in mind, I ate the same food, slept the same number of hours, and did the same warm-up routine. Now, that I think about it, it was so similar that it was almost automatic. Maybe I did not remember that events that have transpired prior to the race after all. Maybe what I did remember was the Citirun event but I digress. Like I said, I remembered very little of the actual run. As the gun sounded, the little details fell away. My focus narrowed and it longed for the sight of the finish line.

There are things that I do remember though. The chilly air and the intruding drizzle for example. Both conspired to take the warmth from the muscle and the confidence from the heart. I remembered valiantly shrugging them off. I think I remember doing my usual racing plan such as the strong forefooted strike start, the economical turn technique, and the no water break strategy. I am not sure how it went though. I remember chasing after a woman. I do not remember why I engaged her competitively. Was she pretty? I did not see her face. I remember being outran by her. I think she surged on me at the halfway point. I never saw her again. I remember slowing down somewhere around the 4th km. I remember seeing two cops. The younger cop constantly encouraged his superior not to stop and press forward. I remember losing sight of them at one turn and I slowed down even more. I remember perking up at the sight of the finish line. The cops were 50 meters away from the finish line and over 100 meters ahead of me. I remember the surge. I remember the kick. I remember finishing alongside the cops. I remember the timekeeper saying I finished alongside the cops.

The pain broke off the stranglehold of my focus and on my memory for some reason. It would have been overwhelming had I not experienced a strange haziness. I directed my attention at my time and the pain took a back seat. My new PR was almost a 2 minute improvement from my last effort. This got me in a pretty good mood. I even socialized with some of the runners, which is not really my thing. I usually went home immediately afterwards. I should have. Some of the winners were complaining about the small prize money. Apparently, it was not enough to cover registration expenses. It dawned on me that there are plenty of runners out there who see this sport as a bread-and-butter job. Although, I hold no illusions of winning in these races, I do want see how far and how fast I can go in this sport. I left the race wondering if my level of commitment was enough to get me where I want to be. 27:57.01

Run For A Child’s Future  6k  4/24/11

Several mistakes were made before, during, and after this race. While most of them were rookie mistakes, I did some pretty stupid ones that make me question my age. I will probably be able to laugh at these blunders in the future, maybe 20 more races in the future. Hopefully, I have become wiser after this ordeal.

The mistakes started early. So did the pain. It was a familiar pain and one that intensified with every step. An affliction brought about by concoctions of different temperatures. It was gas and there were copious amounts of it in my belly. I assumed you’re laughing right now reader. I am going to wait for you to stop. Are you done? Yes? So, I really wanted to discharge the gases from their cage but I was faced with a daunting conundrum. I was near the starting line. Do I really have the guts to release my gases upon those innocent unsuspecting runner folk? I didn’t. They crowded behind me so it was very possible that I would get caught. Looking back, I think I did a pretty good job managing the pain. Even with the pain, I held off most of the runners that tried to overtake me. All things considered, the pain made the usually demoralizing ascent only mildly discouraging. However, the pain robbed me of a skill I did not think I would ever use in a sporting event; I forgot how to do basic math. At the halfway point, I clocked at 19 minutes. With a PR in mind, I knew I was going to have to do some calculations to determine my odds. I miscalculated. 36 – 19 = 27. Thirty six minutes minus nineteen minutes equals twenty seven minutes. How dumb was I? Naturally, I cruised through the second half. If I ran the first three kilometers at 19 minutes, then 27 minutes was going to be a breeze right? The dumb get dumber. Anyways, I could forgive myself for miscalculating mostly because of the pain in my belly but I did take it too easy on the second half. This was a loop course and the second half was mostly a series of descents, which I failed to take advantage. I guess I just ran out of mental strength on this one.

Well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that I failed this one. There were too many mistakes. Even I knew this race was going to be a colossal failure the moment I saw the registration booth. They had pink singlets! Pink! Oh, I also almost choked on a hotdog. It did not go down easy; I was dehydrated. I did take comfort in the fact that I just helped send kids to school. Wrong! The organizers had to ruin this one for me too. A day later I read at a local newspaper that the run attracted only 300 participants. I was a failure. The whole thing was a failure but they did promise to hold another run outside the province. The organizers just won’t give up on educating those kids. Well, if children can trust strangers with their future then I can probably have a little faith on myself as well. However, I’m going to eschew pink singlets from now on. 37:04.57

Best Race of the Month: C24/7 First Fun Run

A measly 700 participants including one Kenyan participated in this one. Still almost 400 more participants than the other race though.

 

Best Performance of the Month: C24/7 First Fun Run

27 minutes. I fear that I will plateau after this.

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