I can't believe I'm done for the year! There's just so much more to learn, improve and achieve so I have to say that I am quite gutted that the year is ending without a bang!
Last Sunday, I told myself to aim for a better time compared to the Shape Night Run in July. If I achieved it at the Malakoff, then I would have managed to improve by a significant margin (even two minutes less than the last run of a similar distance is a good thing!) in terms of speed. Whether there are any improvements in my technique, posture, endurance, etc, well, it is still a long way more to go.
However, I do admit that halfway through a run, niggling doubts will set in. For example:
"oh man, it's too humid! i can't run in this heat!"
"hmmm, i'm not feeling too good. it's ok if i don't meet my target, eh?"
"man, this is tough! perhaps i should lower my target to a more reasonable one ..."
I am such a hopeless case of optimism, I tell you. It iritates the hell out of both YB and I as it makes me sound like such a quitter!
And then some time near the end of a race, I'd finally snap out of it and tell myself to stop making excuses, GET GOING!
You see! I am a procrastinator through and through. =D
It was a quiet event for both YB and I as we had no one to hang out with as a group. *sniff* We felt so lonely!
We bumped into Azri, Raymond and Michelle before the start of the run. After the run, I bumped into Amy, Nik, Adam and Olivia. Yay! I finally managed to speak with Olivia in person. =D
For the first part from the start line until the set of traffic lights on top of the slope from the Securities Commission, I did my best to keep my pace and made sure I wasn't huffing and puffing from going too fast. That was the first slope of the route where everyone would take it slow in order not to run out of steam so early of the race.
I checked my watch and thought I did OK, more or less at the target I had set. Without giving in to temptation to walk to catch my breath, it was then the beginning of the first of two loops along Jalan Beringin.
I saw the same uncle taking his golden retriever for a walk and I was so tempted to wave at the dog as I normally would do but decided otherwise this time - didn't want the runners to think i was an oddball.
Arriving at the first slope somewhere after the Shell station near Manulife, I slogged on uphill. I still felt good so I was pleased. Took a ribbon at the checkpoint and started pacing the hot Santarina ahead of me by 10m. (You should know by now who the hot Santarina is. *swoon* I have a crush on her! heh. Well, if you must know, I have a crush on TWO female runners. =P)
Right after the school, it was a matter of keeping a consistent pace and making sure I wouldn't go too fast and die on the second slope. I started chatting to a lady who encouraged me to run after the Santarina but I declined. She told me that two years ago, the route for the Malakoff was much tougher than this one.
Arriving at the 2nd slope, I mustered up whatever strength I had trained/prepared for and embraced the steep incline. Knowing that there could be papparazzi waiting at the top, I had to make sure I wasn't grimacing or panting like an ugly cow - you should know by now how unflattering I look while running!
At the traffic lights, I checked my watch and was surprised to find myself a minute and a half earlier than my target. Oh crap, I thought, it's going to be hard to stick to this pace!
The second loop saw many men increasing their pace and overtaking most of the ladies. They really revved their engine so early for the finale!
There were no hitches for me until the second check point when I started suffering a bad stitch on my right side. Oh gawd.
I tried to make it go away but it refused. I didn't want to stop, knowing that I would be able to achieve my target time but it was so bloody painful - I think it was a muscle cramp!
It was really painful.
I continued running and three girls overtook me (bugger!) and even the lady whom I had a small chat during the first loop managed to overtake me as well. Oh bugger. I had to force myself to move on and eventually managed to cover up the distance between the lady and one girl and then came the second slope (the last one, YAY!), i managed to overtake the two remaining girls.
But as I reached the traffic lights again, I slowed down a bit to ease the pain on my right. And dang it, the last two girls I overtook shot off downhill towards Securities Commission and finish line. I sped up as well but only to find myself in more agony, so I had to forget it. I couldn't even keep up with Santarina anymore!
Checked my watch to find that I was back on track and the 1.5minutes I had saved from the first loop were taken up by my 2nd loop. Half pleased and half disappointed, I gave a mental pat on my back and moved on. I was within my target time.
Ignoring the pain, I quickened my pace from Securities Commission and all the way to the finish line. YAY!
It was such a dull crowd at the finish line. There was no loud cheering as the runners crossed the finish line, just instructions to head on to collect your goodie bags. =P
So I was -1.05min from my target time. Awesome!
(But if you must know, I was still secretly dissatisfied. If I wasn't in pain, would I have shaved off a minute? =S)
I was queuing up for Revive when I heard YB call out to me. Aiks, I really didn't expect him to be back so soon.
Part of the goodie bag allowed runners to redeem either Tau Foo Far or Mee Mamak or Roti Jala AND a bowl of cendol. We chose the Mee Mamak and Roti Jala.
We didn't feel like eating then and there so we headed back at 9am after hanging out with Adam for a while. I reheated the food together with some rice and beef rendang and that was our brunch. Basically our carbo loading came after our run. =D
Anyway, our next competitive run should be the Bareno Run 2011 in March. That's a long way to go but who cares, at least I have a run to look forward to!
p.s. I sent a message to the hot Santarina that evening to tell her I was pacing her and that I think she's awesome! =P
p.p.s. Am secretly bummed! Apparently it's not 12km, but it could be only 11km+.
p.p.p.s I also read on someone's blog that a few cars parked at the darker corners of the car park outside Securities Commission were broken into! I KNEW it!! I wanted to be early so we could get a spot nearer to the entrance or guard house but we were fairly late and had to park in the middle row. While we were walking out towards the main road, a young man on bike was driving out and I asked YB, "hey he doesn't look like a marshall or volunteer, right? he could have been checking the cars out to plan for burglaries."