Monday, October 29, 2012

2012 Stanchart Race Report - 1:37:45 - a PB!

This race was not perfect. But it was good. And the weather and organization were perfect to the T.
I went out the previous night and had only four hours of fitful sleep. That was not a big worry.
I had some pain at the back of my left knee. So I popped two tablets of painkillers. It turned out later that that pain was never a factor in the race.
I drank water and took some bread - three slices - and strungi (black tea).
I wore the tights Mark gave me and the caps. Everything fitted perfectly.
I parked my car near Mvuli house or hotel - Nairobi west and walked into the stadium which was a beehive of activity.
I looked for my friends, Ogutu, Sikuku, Mark, nobody. I stretched and walked around and looked again.
Nobody. Time: 6:35. I used the portaloos.
Came out. Looked around nobody.
Took some photos.

So changed and I went and deposited my luggage and used the toilets and came to the start. Four minutes to go.
I saw Mark a few feet from me some minutes to the start time and then we were off!
I did not see Mark again as much as I kept looking for him throughout the race. Neither did I see 'our guy'.
The race was alright. The weather was perfect. My legs were fine. My splits were fine even up to the 12th K when I saw GK standing at the roadside.
I shouted at him and he cheered me on.
Then a cramp started on my right side.
I slowed down and employed heavy breathing. It subsided.
I slammed on the gas pedal.
I crossed 15K in 1:08. Two mins slower than my target time.
That was fine with me because I was still strong. I sped up. I passed the old man in black vest and shorts at 18K. i was surprised - he had improved! No sight of our guy.
Then a stitch. I slowed down and it disappeared. I sped up. Cramps on my left swarmed in.
I slowed down. It subsided but never left me for the rest of the race. So I just breathed deeply, clenched my jaws and avoided speeding up. I finished while I was still strong and it was clear I had a lot left in the tank.
The results: My total time was 1:37:45 and below are my 1K splits. From the 16th K, the cramps had me cornered and I just hang in there and gritted my teeth to the finnish line.

But the cramps are not really a big factor as far as my performance. This performance reflects my current fitness level. I doubt that I could have gone sub 1:35 even without the cramps so I am fine with this - I had about four bad kilometres. So I am happy about it. Its my PB.
Last year, I did the same route in 1:48:55 so I have met my goal, which was to slash 10mins from that time.
I know I could have been faster but that is fine because this is not the last race, or my last race. I will build up on whatever speed I have. I just need to learn from it, adjust my training accordingly and move on. The most important thing right now is to note that my years target next year is to slash 10 mins from this years time.
Here is me with a Lucozade that was thrust into my hands after finishing. I reluctantly sipped it. It wasn't so bad.Here I am, contemplating the day. Soaking up the experience. There are two 10K guys who thought I was a celeb and took photos standing next to me.
Next years target 1:27. That is huge. But achievable. I now need to reflect on what I need to change in my training. Now I will enjoy several days of rest as I plan for next year. Cheers guys.


mista maQ said...

This is great, I looked around but dint see anybody. I dont even have photos before the race. I wondered where ma dawgz @.
That voice behind me at uhuru highway bridge sounded very much like you and I knew we will be going all the way. U mentioned 20mins in the first 5k, I wanted to play your rabbit so that this could be fulfilled - I knew I wasn't going to complete the race cz of my injury so I wanted to make myself useful and see u through the first phase at least. After the university way turn thats when I saw u coming several paces behind and I kept asking myself what happened - its during this time that the 1:38 guy caught up with me and I decided to chase him down and even forgot my pain. All in all u have a new P.B. so dont worry about moving slowly - ONLY BE AFRAID OF STANDING STILL.

Abraham Gumba said...

Well done, Jack.

Running Writer said...

Thanks Maq and Abo. Congrats for finishing under 2 hours Abo. Welcome to our world.

GK said...

Congratulations once again Jack!
This year I was a spectator and I enjoyed myself. The 'other guy' who you did not see must be the one who runs with a blue top and has black tights. We have encountered him regularly including at Ndakaini. On Sunday he had blue shorts and run the Full Marathon.

mista maQ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mista maQ said...

Now we know why our guy was missing in action - maybe he got tired of our mediocre competition and decided to run with the big boys...we will put him to the test during the next Ndakaini meet.

Running Writer said...

Thanks GK. We want to go sub 1:30 next year then we go to the full marathon in 2014. But for all intents and purposes, our training in 2013 will be similar to the full. I intend to be clocking 30K plus Kms in my long runs next year.