To me, this is the final trial exam before the SCKLM. My plan was to test out my capability to run the equivalent pace for a sub 4 marathon in the 10k race, which is 5:06 min pace from McMillan site. The sub 4 project been going on for a while (more then 6 months now), its time to check out the result and fine tuning the final stretch with only 34 days from SCKLM. Anyway, as my last race was >3 months ago, I was excited to join a race to again taste the rush of the adrenaline in the blood stream.
Not much special preparation on the race and the 18k training run on the Saturday before felt terrible. I think the body was yet to recover from long working night on Thursday. Both legs like steel rods and I was really in doubt. Should I just go for 5.5min pace like last year (which is very manageable effort now), or should I continue my plan to test out the 5.1min pace? On top of that, the PF syndrome at right foot still occasionally caused some pain. Lucky when I woke up Sunday morning 4:30am, the body felt normal, not overly excited or too tired for a short race. Left home at 5:10am and it took me 45 minutes to drive to the race venue, SMK Bandar Tasik Puteri.
There are many other races in KL city, hence this event only have less than 1000 participants. Half marathoners flagged off around 6:20am, I think less than 200 participants started. After a few warming up lap, I get myself into the starting pen around 6:40am. The crowd of 10k was more than the half marathoner, but I was not in the mood to count. Tuned my mind to the racing mode, waited in the 2nd row from the front. Then “Bang!” Charging out from the school, the expected adrenaline kicked in but I was still consciously hold myself back so that I will not going out too fast.
After 1km, the number of fast runners reduced to only 20-30, and I knew at least 2 other colleagues were in front of me. The rush of adrenaline pushed my pace to 4.9min, but the body seems to taking in positively with a heart beat rate of around 160BPM. I was looking for a chance to slow down to 5.1min pace. The first 3km past just like that, until I saw one runner in uniform (other company representative) running not too far in front. Then I pushed, past him. Then I realized one of my colleagues was not too far in front. I pushed, past him too. Closing up to the first u-turn point, I counted the returned runners on the other side. Less than 20 now! And there was another colleague not too far in front of me. After the u-turn, I pushed, past him at 6km. From that point onwards, I told myself, WTH, and started to push all the way back.
Approaching the 2nd u-turn point, I did another count of runners in front of me. Hell! Less than 10 now! For sure the top few runners could have finished, but I may still be able to take home one of the individual trophy! I dropped the hammer and thrown in all I had. Past the last lady in front of me and charge back to the finish line. Hack! Finished 49’16”, only 6 second behind the 10th placed in Men Open category. If only I pushed earlier... (I am fully aware that my current capability is yet to enable me to finish on podium, I get these close to it only because of many speed demons when to other races in KL city) On the Corporate Category, as all 5 of us came back before 52 minutes, we won. Our top runner finished with 4th placed in Men Veteran category with a respectable timing of 46min.
|Team Linde Malaysia|
Anyway, I still packed home my 10km PB. With a 6 minutes improvement from last year, I couldn’t ask for more. The trail exam completed with a result beyond my expectation. I am very comfortable now for my sub 4 project, I only need to keep going with 5:40min pace for 42km or 4 hours. Now the challenge will be on the new SCKLM route. The elevated highways sure will increase the total elevation, but I will only know the full impact until I tested it out. Hopefully it will be like what their race director said, “A route to produce new course record”.
33 more days until the final exam.