I’ve had a long streak of running middle to long distance races this past few years, from the 10k to the full marathon and even LSD runs of up to 50k. These long races builds endurance and improves any runners’ stamina and i love running in these distances. When i tried to register for last Sunday’s Mizuno Infinity Run for the 15k distance several weeks before in order to break the time i set on last 2009’s version of the race, the 15k category has already been sold out!
During the bloggers’ meet and launching of this race a week before, Ms. Jai Cortes of Mizuno offered me a complimentary 5k race packet which i gratefully accepted. But after running long distances for so long, the thought of joining a 5k race was not a pleasant one, not because it was a short race but because i would have to expend more speed and energy since this was going to be a short race.
This 5k race, to be run within the Fort Bonifacio area made me reminisce my first races when i was new to running during the 80s. However, it’s now more of a speed or tempo run but no matter what you call it, i wanted to get this done as quickly as i can. The 15k run started first then the 10k runners were off after 15 minutes. I was with a group of takbo.ph runners, Doc Marvs, Natz, Zinnia and Zinnia’s friend who were all bunched up waiting for our start to commence. Marvs and Natz later moved forward to the start so Zinnia, her friend and myself were left in the rear part of the 5k crowd.
Zinnia asked what pace i would be running so she could pace herself with me. I said i might be dragging her slow so i asked back what her expected finish time would be and she said not slower than 35 mins. Great, i thought, as that would be a tolerable 7 min. pace. Our race started at about 5:45am and we were quickly off. Zinnia and i worked our way through the crowd and i estimated that we were doing a 5:30/km pace.
After about 1.2 kms when we first turned right from 5th Avenue, our pace levelled off to 6:00/km pace but Ziniia was already about 40 meters ahead of me. Having to work my way through the field for the first km really slowed my pace and i was breathing heavily and went through 2kms in 11:30. The run along Rizal Drive up to the back of St. Lukes Hospital was still fast and steady as it was all flat. Many of the runners who had sprinted during the first km have now been reduced to walking and this was the first time i’ve seen runners breathing heavily as i was. I was in good company!
I was increasing my speed gradually starting at the half-way point and i saw Zinnia in front who was about 100 meters away by now. I was starting to feel a little hurt after the 3rd kilometer and was tempted to slow down but thinking that there was just 2 kilometers left, i sustained the pace as you’re expected to hurt in a 5 km race, anyway! Having gotten used to running longer distances lately, i forgot what it felt like running a fast 5k race!
The straight to the finish at 28th Street was a relief as runners tried to muster all their might to sprint and get a good finish. I crossed the finish in 28:50 (29:00 flat Official time). Done! Now i could hang around after the finish and get the free Dri-fit shirt and other freebies easily, which i did. I saw Zinnia who ran a good race and finished in about 27:30.
I’m running a couple of races this April which includes the 21k Earth Run on April 18, the Greenfield Sunset 21k Run in Sta. Rosa on April 24, the VSO Kabahagi Run the morning after and either the Vigan, Ilocos Norte 16K Heritage Run or the RUNEW 16k at Filinvest City, Alabang on May 2.
It will be a very busy month of running and hope to see you in some of the races!