15 February 2009

Double Up on Valentines Day

Did two races within 12 hours.

The first race was Wings XC on Saturday 4pm. Despite its title, it was nothing like a XC race. The first 3k was on concrete and the last 1k+ on gravel track. The only thing that resembled a XC was a steep hill after km 2, other than that the terrain was flat. The organizer said the total distance was 4.5k (vs the advertised 5k) but according to my Garmin it was closer to 4.4k. The race was among the most competitive in SG, attended by school and university runners. Hence, basically I was competing against guys half my age !! The winning time was under 13:53 by a 20 yo national triathlete who has PBs of 16mins 5k and 1:17 HM.

I did a poorly executed race. Despite just coming back from a long lay-off, I couldn’t resist the temptation to go out with the boys and passed the first k in 3:30-ish. As mentioned previously, I am currently having troubles sustaining pace under 4:00 min/km in training either due to lack of endurance/strength or poor lactate buffering ability. So it wasn’t a big surprise that I paid the price and slowed down badly to 4:00+ pace for the remainder of the race (ouch !!!) At the hill, I was virtually crawling due to lack of strength and was simply holding on until the end to finish in 17:13. I think if I have started the first k conservatively at around 3:50, I might have a chance to dip below 17mins. The only positive gotten out of this race was a ‘pain threshold training’ since I was huffing and puffing with a high heart rate for the last mile or so. I guess I never learned!!

12 hours later, I was at the start line for a race aptly called Bedok Valentine Run. Judging from the name, the race didn't look like it would be very competitive. The distance was 2 laps around Bedok Reservoir (8.6k) on gravel track. My plan was to run this as a tempo run aka no faster than HM pace. Started in the 5th position and was cruising at sub 4:10 pace for the first couple of ks before the muscle impact from yesterday’s race and the 95% humidity took their toll. I slowed down to around 4:15 for the next 5k. However, I managed to gradually cut the deficit with the 3rd place runner from 400m at km 4 to around 100m at km 7. I upped the ante (despite really struggling with speed at the moment) and passed him with just over 1k to go. Ran the last mile in 6:40 and finished in the 3rd place in 36:13 (4:13 av pace). The winning time was 33mins, so I was 20secs per km slower. Overall, it was a good tempo-effort run, despite the average pace only turned out to be equivalent to Clown and Epi’s projected marathon (42k) race pace !!!

Picked up a 3rd place trophy and in the lucky draw….get this !!! I won an Apple i-phone worth $1000+ :) My bet to double up on Valentines day Races had paid-off !!

Mon: Easy Day
AM: 40mins Yoga
PM: 30mins Easy on treadmill (5:43 pace)

Tue: Workout Day
2.5k warm up
3 x 800m (av 3:50 pace) with 2mins jogging (3:04, 3:05, 3:02)
4 x 400m (av 3:30 pace) with 2mins walking (84, 83, 85, 84)
2.5k cool down
A mini hard workout before this weekend’s race. Felt terrible in the 800s like last week. It seems that I am okay negotiating a tempo run at 4:00-ish pace, but always struggle every time I go below 4:00 pace. My speed endurance sucks.

PM: 30mins elliptical in the gym for recovery

Wed: Easy Day
45mins Easy (5:23 pace)

Thu: Easy Day
50mins Easy (5:10 pace)
Included a bit of running at old MP and 4x10secs hill sprints (two of them with a fast young European runner whom I met at the hill)

Fri: Easy Day
38mins Easy (5:10 pace) with 4 x 100m strides

Saturday: Race (28c, 73% humidity, 31c heat index)
1k warm up (arrived late)
4.4k Wings XC in 17:13 (3:55 pace), 51/91 Mens Open
4.4k cool down

Sunday: Race (25c, 95% humidity):
2k warm up
8.6k Bedok Valentine Run in 36:13 (4:13 pace), gravel track, 3rd place
4.3k cool down (with Aerosolcan & Trailblazer from SGrunners)

Total 66k for the week.


Clown said...

Sling, good doubleup and great to see that the ankle held up well. Congrats on the trophy and the phone, what a bonus.

Epi said...

Nice work, I was concerned there would be double trouble, but quite the opposite!

Ewen said...

Good double SR. Don't forget to declare the phone on your tax return. Pro runner now!

Our cross country runs get rubbished if there's no 'plowed ground', creek crossings and fence jumps. Wonder what they'd say about that one?

Looks like your form is slowly returning.

kops21 said...


trailblazer777 said...

well done on some good racing! you will be on a better comeback improvement curve if you can build on those results.
going out hard in the 4.4k although it might cost you a few seconds overall, could be very worthwhile trainingwise if you can build on it...Congrats!