Sunday, 12 February 2017

Nice Day for a 10K Run

Finally making it to the starting line before starting the 10K run
I went to bed early hoping to get a decent night's sleep, but was a bit anxious about running the 10K in the Standard Chartered Marathon. While my start time wasn't too early, I still had to wake up early to get ready and get to the site.

When I ran it in 2015, I overdressed and got overheated, resulting in me walking twice to catch my breath. This time I followed what other experienced runners do -- wear a plastic rain poncho to keep warm.

Several thousand people ran together this morning
And it pretty much did the job, and the weather cooperated as well. However, I drank a bit too much water in the morning and had to go line up for the porta-potty three times...!

By the time I got to the starting line -- I was way, way back. It took me five minutes just to walk to the starting line. And then we were off! But the first almost two kilometres were crazy, dodging people and trying to get some rhythm in my pace. It was hard, thanks to the narrow road (one lane was closed off because of construction), and so it took a while just to jockey out of the crowd.

At first my hands were very cold -- I had shake them periodically to get the blood circulating. The sun was out and so it was nice to be in the shade thanks to buildings covering the sunshine.

In about half an hour we reached and passed the Film Archive building in Sai Wan Ho and turned around to go back. The highway was undulating up and down. I just tried to keep my pace. At the five-kilometre mark I looked at my phone that had an app tracking my progress and it was at 33 minutes. Pretty good.

The view this morning from Tin Hau starting point
Soon it was 6km, 7km... and there were more people walking. I've said this before, but it bears repeating -- people who plan to walk, should move off to the side so that they don't get in the way of runners, particularly in the beginning. But by this point we were decently spread out and I was catching up to people who had been up in the front.

There were also people taking pictures at each sign that indicated which kilometre we were at. Really? Don't you want to run as fast as you can and not waste time taking pictures with your friends?

Past the 8km mark was the second drinks station and the end was in sight. I even saw one of my colleagues and shouted his name and waved to him, and he took some pictures of me...

Just past 9km, I was starting to get really tired, but I had to tell myself to keep going because it was almost over. Getting onto the on ramp (actually the cars use it as an off ramp) was tough because it was pretty steep, but I kept my pace. Many people were walking at this point, others began running again at the top because it was downhill from there.

It took me five minutes to walk to the starting line!
When I turned into Victoria Park towards the finish line I tried to run as fast as I could. The time on my phone? 1:06:17. My official time is 1:06:19.

I shaved off several seconds from my 2014 time, and several minutes from 2015.

Interestingly I wasn't as exhausted as I was before, perhaps because I have been training so hard for this race in the last month or so. But the real test will be tomorrow and see how my thighs are doing.

For a recreational runner I'm pleased with the result and the weather conditions were just perfect for running today.

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