Vendetta: An often prolonged series of retaliatory, vengeful, or hostile acts or exchange of such acts (http://www.merriam-webster.com)
After a disappointing day during the Condura Marathon, I planned this to be a race of vengeance. It was to be my ultimate comeback. What happened in Condura was heartbreaking… Getting sick on race day, and on even being able to start. All that unused training hours, the sacrifice of training through the holiday season leading up to it. Only to end up not doing the actual race I was preparing for.
Vendetta… The second leg in a series of 10k races within Makati CBD. The perfectly titled race for me. This was going to be my come back race.
After hearing great reviews about the first leg, I was excited to join the second. Due to schedule conflicts I missed the first one, and looking back, I wish I was able to do that as well. It would also be the perfect race to put my newly gained fitness from my marathon training to the test.
Before the race, my wife and I saw a lot of friends joining the race as well. It was a comforting sight to see familiar faces on race day, people that would be your source of motivation as we “RIp the Road”.
I came into this race with a goal of putting in a new personal best. The last one I was able to record was way back in 2011 with a time of 46:44. This is my official personal best since the one I hit a sub 45 was too short, so I don’t count that at all even if I continued past the finish line. So 46:44 was my time to beat.
Fresh, fast, easy?
This first couple of kilometers felt very easy. Maybe too easy… I guess you never notice slight gradients until you actually run the route. Upon turning into Ayala Ave. from the start line, I felt myself running faster than my target starting pace. This got me nervous, but I decided to gun for it and throw caution in the wind. I didn’t want to end up wondering what could’ve happened if I pushed harder. And as Coach Ige said: “Go all out, and leave it all on the course!” And that’s exactly what I did.
Remember that slight gradient I mentioned earlier? The one that gave me a bit of “free speed”? Well, It would later come back to haunt me!
The one big climb
So there was one climb to be tackled in the race, it’s that dreaded section up the Kalayaan flyover coming Makati towards BGC. Going up the bridge, I felt fresh and strong. Probably from all that hill work I did to prepare for the undulating race course on the Skyway. I started to feel it a bit midway on the bridge and slowed down a bit.
While on the bridge, it was a predominantly Fuchsia scene seeing a lot of the Powerpuff Boys relentless with their pace! I tried my best to keep up, but these guys were in the zone!
First lesson for this race came as I was sprinting down the Kalayaan bridge heading back onto Buendia. I felt this sharp, burning pain on my left foot. When I looked down I discovered that I did not properly fix my race tag, and it was rubbing against my skin! I tried to see if it’s something I could run through, but the pain was just too much. I stopped for a few seconds to adjust the tongue of my shoe hoping it would hold and prevent the tag from rubbing against my skin.
To my disappointment, it started rubbing again in the latter part of the race, somewhere on the 7th or 8th kilometer, and I had to stop again to re-adjust the tongue of my shoe to hopefully get me through to the end of the race.
Lesson learned, make sure the race tags are properly placed and has no chance of either rubbing against your skin, or falling off.
One thing I enjoyed about the race route are the several straight sections so you don’t have to worry too much about turning.
Coming down from the Kalayaan bridge, it was about a 2 kilometer run on Buendia. All straight, all flat! This was the part though that the Garmin GPS sensor went crazy and started giving me wrong readings. (So for those thinking that the course was short or long based on your Garmin, I doubt that the GPS reading was accurate due to the buildings messing with the signal).
The last mile
Finally, it was the final stretch of the race. That last mile stretch along Ayala Avenue to loop us back to the finish line.
Just a side story… a runner pulled up to me and ran beside me during this section. he looked so calm, relaxed, and seemed very strong! He was chatting away while I was dying! I tried to keep the conversation going but was totally gassing out. He then asked me what our running time was. When I said that we’re almost at 39 minutes, he proceeded to speed up his turnover and blazed past me!
So going back to my last mile, remember that deceptive gradient? I’m not sure if I was the only one who felt it, but apparently there is this very slight gradient on Ayala as you go past Paseo and continues to Makati Ave. Well, I definitely felt it, and my legs were feeling the burning sensation of lactic acid seemingly stuck and taking their sweet time burning my quads, hamstrings, and calves! At one point, I felt gassed out from exhaustion, and starting to experience tunnel vision as I pushed past the pain.
The second major lesson I learned is on hydration. it’s such a short race that there’s no need to gulp liters of water down! There was one hydration station where I think I gulped 2-3 cups of water. Way too much for me to absorb in the last few kilometers.
I started to feel the effects in the last mile. So in addition to the pain, and exhaustion, I felt nauseous and felt my excess fluid move around my tummy. I felt like vomiting at one point.
With all of these things going on, I just decided to suck it up and finish the race and run through it all. With that final kick, I managed to put in a new personal 10k best! My official chip time was 45:06!
It’s a series
As I mentioned earlier it was the only the second leg of the series. With 3 more to go, I hope to keep improving with each leg. Some observations I would like to point out from my point of view:
- Traffic Management: The ever so chaotic Makati traffic was managed very well! They prioritized the runners safety. It was a day that the roads of really belonged to the runners!
- Hydration: Hydration was also well managed. So far I didn’t hear of anyone mentioning that they ran out of water
- A Community: Post race was a very festive, intimate, fun atmosphere. Several runing clubs joining, cheering on as their team mates were called on stage for their podium prizes. Everybody having their pictures taken with each other. It was that type of atmosphere that you don’t get in big races where there’s too many people, and too many things happening.
Overall, although it was relatively small, it was a well organized race.
I definitely left everything out there trying to make hit my sub-45 goal. So close yet so far, I will avenge this finish and aim to get that elusive sub-45!
See you in the next leg!