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Monday, May 27, 2013

1st 2013 Group Race - Mark Blazes it

I had rested well during the week. I only did some short speed runs on Tuesday and rested the rest of the week.
I concentrated on losing/maintaining my weight, getting fresh legs and working on my core.
In a way, I felt I needed to re-evaluate my training, get a grip on my new diet regime and just wait for the group run, do it, and then see whats up.
I went to bed early and by 3am, sleep had evaporated. All I needed to do was lie in bed until 6:25, get up sip some water, do the toilet thingy, then go pick Mark at...6:45am?
After lying in bed for a few hours, I decided to get up and go get Mark instead of waiting for him, picking him at 5:50, arriving at 6:20 and starting at 6:30 in a rush then getting baked by the sun from 30minutes into the run.
Mark was game and I picked him kitu 5:20, we were home by 5:45, we were able to chill, do the toilet thingy and even warm up with GK. By about 6:05, we were off!

Okay, I had warmed up and I had carbo-loaded the previous day.

If you have not spent five consecutive days eating 30% of carbs in your meals then consumed carbs 90% of your meals in one day, believe me, you DONT KNOW what carbo-loading is and what it can do. Lets just say its like taking drugs. For dinner, I just drank uji and took plain rice. No meat, no beans, none o that shit. You freakin get turbo-charged!

Aanyways, I took the lead on the first uphill.
Mark took over at about 1.3Kms. I looked back.
We had already lost GK.
This early?
Anyways, the first 1k was in about 4:50.
The second one was in 4:29 or something.
Mark was going quite fast. But I knew I am equally fast so I decided to just hang with him. Plus, he had done some long runs during the week so he should be tired.
I knew that I had fresh legs and I knew that I was well rested and well hydrated and I was not worried about crashing and burning. Bring it on. I had decided that since I was well-rested, I was gonna just ran fast then use my heart and determination to push the rest of the distance. Plus, as my friend Rob Watson says, you gotta spice up shit a bit now and then and take chances. I was not throwing the race away, I just wasn't gonna be cloaked by caution. Let me float!
By this time, I had stopped looking back for GK. Only a madman could stay with us. I figured GK was probably running his own race and had stuck to a conservative pace.

So going downhill, we did some crazy speeds. My garmin has 4:09 and 4:00 for Kms 3 and 4. At Kms 5, I slowed down a bit because it was getting a bit crazy. Mark stayed ahead. In any case, even slowing down was slowing down to 14Kms/hr.
I just followed. But he also seemed to have slowed because despite my slowing down, the gap didnt widen up fast.
After slowing down in the 6th Km, when we were approaching Tmall, Mark maintained but I had all along planned to make a little snack out of that Tmall downhill since I knew it was going to kick my ass on the way back. So I flew past Mark hogging that hill like a kid on a new bike.
Mark also stuck with me. While approaching 8k, he urged me to keep that same pace until 10K.
I had the energy and the speed, so why not? Let me show you how it is done.
I flew past the Nyayo stadium traffic crossing, taking full advantage of my luminous top.
While approaching city Stadium, Mark was breathing on my shoulder, I looked at my garmin and we were cruising at 15Kms/hr. Mark told me we were going too fast and should slow down or we were gonna burst into flames.
So I slowed down and he crossed to the other side of Landhes road and I stayed on the left. We went past Muthurwa and Jiam and past Times Tower.
Thats when I started struggling and stomach cramps came. Right in the middle of my stomach.
When I started going up the community hill, that's when I lost sight of Mark - right when I was beginning 14k. I had crossed 13K in 59minutes so I was happy with that.
The cramps changed everything. I tried walking. Pressing them. Clenching my teeth while running. Running slowly. Nothing.
So I ended up walking and running. On and on. Teeth clenched, to the finish.
My time was atrocious. Lets not even go there. We don't want our children to laugh.
After the run, we had a hearty breakfast - more of a celebration and took some pics that we will look at when we are old, gnarly and or fat. Though fat people generally die early. So if we are old, we will probably be gnarly, incoherent and toothless.

But what Mark did was shocking. 1:53 on such a crazy course? And to do a 21K PR on such a course? Unbelievable.
That is just amazing. After starting at such a breakneck speed, its amazing that he managed to go on and still run strong to the finish. That is testimony to him being a strong runner. It means all he needed was a (crazy) pacesetter for him to do something amazing.
So, there are several lessons for me from that race. There isnt adequate space here to document them. Lets just say huuuuge room for improvement. Lots of work to do.
I need to lose weight urgently because if I am to switch to road-running, I need to have weight that wont result in frequent injuries for me.
And I need to increase my mileage and do more road running so that I can run on rolling terrains.
The greatest thing for the three of us is that we SHOWED UP for the race and competed. That is the most important thing in my view.
I start increasing my mileage this week. Weight loss regime continues. I am targeting 76K by Monday next week.
The only sad thing is my groin injury is still giving me grief. It reaaaly sucks. I just hope it doesnt get worse. I have lived with it for almost three months now.
Really.

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