Running Log

Here's my running log that I'll update weekly. To view details of workouts, please visit this Google Docs page and highlight the workout. Additionally, you may choose to view my Strava profile. Last but not least, I've also started writing some race reviews on JustRunLah!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

POSB PAssion Run for Kids 2014

14 September '14. This race been the most affordable 10km race I've signed up for. Furthermore, it was for a worthy cause - the POSB PAssion Kids Fund.

As this flag off was at 6.30am instead of some others which flagged off at 7.00am, I would not have been able to arrive on time had I taken the MRT. As such, my dad gave me a lift. This meant I could arrive early enough to deposit my bag.

The turnout for the 10km competitive run was certainly low, due to how this event clashed with the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run 2014. As such, as I entered the start pen about 20 minutes before flag off, it was considerably empty. This let me do a few minutes of warm-up jogs and dynamic stretches before squeezing to the front. One downside was the rather narrow route, hence I was still about 8m away from the start. On a narrow route, this meant easily 10 seconds.

We were flagged off promptly at 6.30am. The countdown was a quiet "5, 4, 3, 2 .. *horn sounds*", without music playing. Personally this was suitable for me, though I'm sure others would have preferred blasting music. My race plan was to take the first 2km slower before running the remaining 8km at 4:10 pace and so I did not jostle to the front. 

Perhaps this may have cost me some time as I was running well below threshold for the first 600-800m. Unfortunately, I could not increase my pace due to the narrow course. I waited for the crowd to disperse before trying to pick up my pace. The 1km marker was passed in 4:37, well slower than what I was hoping for. I picked up the pace to what felt like a 4:15 effort.

As the crowd gradually started thinning and we passed the various domes of Gardens By The Bay (GBTB), I passed the 2km marker in 9:13. I was certain the marker was misplaced - I was running faster than a 4:36 (time between 1-2km). Whenever this happens I'd be discouraged - feedback on my pace would henceforth be inaccurate, or accurate but I wouldn't be certain. I proceeded to run by effort.

Towards the 3km mark (passed at 13:27) came the ascent up Marina Barrage. This came as a surprise because according to the route, we were supposed to take this path as we headed back to the start (around 7km). Nonetheless, I didn't really care too much. Just pumped my arms, controlled my breathing and took rapid steps. Thankfully the runners were fairly dispersed as the route was only wide enough for 2-4 runners, hence I could overtake a few on the ascent (and corresponding descent). The overtaking had begun for me. I take pride in running as evenly as possible such that I would not be overtaken after the first few km in a race.

From then on, it was about gradually overtaking. There weren't many runners within reach to latch on to as I passed the 4km marker (17+). Occasionally I'd find a runner I'd catch up with and encourage to run together, but most eventually told me to go ahead as they slowed. Towards the 5km mark, I saw the front runners on their return journey (the route was nearly a loop). Eventually I caught sight of a male runner amongst the top 5/6 that would eventually go on to finish as the male right before me. As I approached the turn around point, I also passed the 5km mark in 21:37. Way off from the sub-42 that I was hoping for, but hoping that the distance markers had been placed further than the actual distance I had run.

As the U-turn took us back in the direction of the barrage, I felt a moderate but consistent headwind as we were running along the bay. This northern breeze was to continue until I eventually returned to Marina Barrage (passing the 6km marker in 26:04 and the 7km marker). As we had already run the ascent, we then proceeded past GBTB and along the waterfront. 

I passed the 8km marker in about the mid-34s. I knew this meant that if I were to run about 4:15 for my remaining 2km, I should finish sub-43 and I was prepared to be content with that. However, the 9km marker was passed in 38:00. Perhaps the additional distance not indicated by the km markers was now being "compensated". Renewed, I gradually picked up the pace, chasing a 42.

Far ahead were 2 competitors, a man and a lady (the eventual women's runner up). They were possibly 20 seconds ahead and I saw the man strongly outrun the lady as he headed home. Meanwhile, it was my turn as I made the final turn to the straight, while catching sight of a 40+ on the clock. I knew I would go below 42. With no one to chase and the nagging feeling that the race was shorter than 10km, I strode to the finish and stopped my watch. 

It was a hard effort, but not an excruciating one. 41:08 on my watch, probably less based on chip Nett time as I usually start my watch early and stop it late. Just checked and found it to be 41:00 as seen below. Though the route was quite certainly shorter than 10km based on my effort level. GPS data seems to record between 9.75-10km, with most around the 9.9km range.

Overall, I'm pretty pleased with this run - with regard to the organisers and my own effort. Race fees were kept low despite this being a run with a cause. Furthermore, the race pack was packed (with freebies). The route was certainly fresh for me, this being the first time I had ever ran around Marina Barrage (besides SCMS 2012). The downsides were the poorly placed distance markers (and distance?) and fizzy isotonic drinks which were tough to stomach while running. On my part, I was glad with the effort - slower beginning before picking up the pace, yet not running myself dry on reserves. I hope to reserve the hard effort for the Straits Times Run at the Hub 2014 in about a week's time.
Resting my eyes around the 9km mark. Credit to Running Shots.

Striding down the final stretch. Credit to Pixelated (Yeo Kim Song).

41:00:401. I would have been grimacing had this race been of complete distance.

Overall Rank (Men's) : 15. This comes after factoring in the
top 5 corporate challenge finishers, who finished ahead of me.

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