The Rush to Mizuno Run, the second edition of the Mizuno Run held last March 30, was a very highly anticipated race. More than 2400 participants had registered for the 3 distances, 5 km, 10 km and 15 km. Many of us “repeaters” signed up again to determine whether this race would be better than the 1st (in other words, there would be a lot of water for everyone!) and to see whether our finishing times would improve. A lot of us (15 km runners) were humbled by the Mckinley Hills – I had walked parts of the hill the last time -, so this repeat performance provided a chance to make up for that. And since the race was organized by Coach Rio, we were very optimistic that this race would be much improved. The day before the race, I looked at the GF data I had from the 1st run. The data is as follows:
- Total time: 1:19:39
- Distance: 14.66 km
- Average pace: 5:26 min/km
As I further reviewed it, it turns out I had ran the 1st 5 km rather quickly (45 sec faster) as compared to the final 10 km. I got the following data:
- 5km –> 24:41, pace 4:56 min/km
- 9.66 km –> 54:58, pace 5:41 min/km
After analyzing my data, I formulated a new plan of attack for this race. I cut the race into two segments, a slower 1st 5 km at my long run pace, then a quicker 10 km. I would run the 1st 5 km as if it were a warm-up for a 10 km race 😀 While running the 1st 5 km, I had to control the itch to speed up even if other runners were already overtaking me. Adding to the difficulty of controlling my pace was that this part of the course was mostly downhill. Still, I wanted to stick to my plan, so if my pace increased, I’d slow it down, if I slowed down too much, that’s when I picked it up a bit. As I approached 5 km, I was already excitingly counting down the kilometers, I was really itching to crank it up and run at a faster pace. At the 5 km turn around point (tip of Bayani Road), a quick glance at my garmin showed that I had run it at an average pace of 5:23 min/km, giving me a time of 27:04. It was a relatively comfortable run for me up to this point.
After having a quick sip of water at the water station (this I think was already the 3rd or 4th station from the start), I increased my pace to 4:50 min/km. I was able to maintain this through the 2.73 km Heritage Park loop (mostly flat). This is the part where I was beginning to gain some ground on the other runners who had overtaken me at the start. Before exiting the park, I was able to grab an ensaymada, which was being handed out, pocketed it and saved it for my after run snack. 😀 I ran Heritage Park with a time of 13 min at a pace of 4:46 min/km.
From the exit of Heritage up to exiting Mckinley Hills (mostly uphill), I was able to cover 5.32 km in 27:32, giving me a pace of 5:11 min/km. I was supposed to press the lap button of my garmin upon entering Mckinley but I forgot. 🙂 Surprisingly, I was able to run the whole length of Mckinley Hills! YIPEE! 😀
Upon re-entering Lawton Ave, I began to feel some micro cramps in my legs. I’d be running then suddenly, a part of my leg muscle would noticeably stiffen, but it would resolve immediately. With my loony logic, instead of slowing down my pace, I reasoned that I had to further pick up the pace so that I’d end the race quicker, so I would be able to rest sooner. This plan worked out nicely until about 184 meters before the finish line, when my left leg fully cramped up! It was really painful so I had no choice but to stop and stretch my left gastrocnemius muscle. I was a bit disappointed since at this point, I was at pace for a <1 hour, 19 minute finish (PR for this race distance). I ran 1.74 km (until I got my cramp) in 27:32, with a pace of 5:16 min/km. It took me 1:15 to cover the final 184 meters. My unofficial time was 1:19:29 (still a PR!) for the 15.32 km race. My average pace was 5:11 min/km. Breaking it down further, I got the following data:
- 5 km –> 27:04, pace 5:23/km
- 10.32 km –> 52:25. pace 5:05 min/km.
I was able to follow my plan to the letter. I was able to do negative splits, by controlling my pace initially, I prevented myself from being burned out early giving me enough energy to run faster in the latter parts of the course 🙂 The goal now is to improve and train further so that I can decrease my long run pace, eventually giving me better times 😀
What’s great about the race:
- running weather –> the skies were overcast giving runners great shade from the sun.
- great route! –> Mizuno should copyright this course so it would be forever known as the Mizuno course! The first half of the race is easier since its mostly downhill and flat. The next half is so much tougher because there are a lot of uphills, highlighted by the Mckinley Hills. However, its not just Mckinley, much of Bayani and Lawton are uphills! Before you enter Mckinley, there is this long stretch of Bayani road where its just an upward incline. It may not have the slope of Mckinley, but it is a long stretch. Its a good energy sapper prior to Mckinley. Even after leaving Mckinley, the uphills don’t end, because Lawton has its own share of tough upward inclines! What I’ve noted though is that I love hills! I’ve observed that running them is becoming one of my strenghts. As other runners slow down at the hills, I’m able to maintain my present pace, or if I slow down, I don’t slow down by much, thus I’m able to catch up other runners.
- there were a lot of water stations –> I can’t remember how many there were but there were a lot. They were giving away both water and rush fitness water.
- there were a lot of marshals –> all the intersections had marshals directing the runners. There was just no way you were getting lost. Although familiarity of the course helped 🙂
What didn’t work for the race:
- though there were a lot of water stations, some of them were unprepared –> there were two water stations I had approached and I had to wait a few seconds for them to pour me a cup of water. It would have been ok if there were a lot of runners at the stations but there were just only 5 of us
- lack of kilometer markers –> each km should have a mark. This would allow runners without garmins/foot pods to monitor their kilometer splits if they wanted to do.
- 1 chute for all finishers? –> this was the biggest problem the race had. When I was approaching the finish line, I noticed that there was this long line to my left. As it turns out, there was only 1 chute for all the finishers! It was a really long line so I decided to just not line up and just chat with other runners/bloggers near the finish. Though I wouldn’t have an official finish time, I’d still have a finish time based on my watch. After sometime, since I didn’t want a “did not finish” across my name, I entered the chute and submitted my tag. Though I think this matter wouldn’t rattle many of the veteran runners (most have watches), I think this would suck for many of the new runners who were hoping to have their 1st official 5/10/15 km finish runs.
Runners I got to meet:
- JunC –> I saw him before he was going to warm-up at the start
- Marga –> who I met briefly at the baggage counter and at the end of the race
- Joms –> saw him at the starting line
- Levy –> who introduced himself while we were running up Bayani Road
- high altitude –> an Indonesian studying here in the Philippines who came all the way from Silang, Cavite
- BaldRunner –> had a nice chat at the finish with these four guys, about what else… running!
- Bards and Mesh –> met them at BR’s Donate a shoe booth. I got to see their cool Newton’s up close!
- Passion Runner –> he was with some UP Diliman SC members who were involved with Project CHK (the plan to improve the locker rooms of the College of Human Kinetics Gym at UP Dil)
- Taki –> saw him at Mckinley Hills, he didn’t see me though.
All in all, the race was a good one. It would have been great, almost perfectr if it weren’t for that fiasco in the end. I wouldn’t mind running again in future Mizuno races, especially if they’re organized by Coach Rio 😀 I’ve checked Coach Rio’s website, my official listed time is 2:11:08. Way off my GF time hehehe 😀
(Coach Rio has already issued an apology through his blog – click here – )