To be frank, I didn’t really train for 42km because all these while, I thought I was going to be running the 10km race. However, with less than a month to race day, my bib got swapped back to 42km.
I told myself to just do my best and besides, Coach told me to aim for 5 hours. I was honestly very demoralized because I thought he would at least tell me to aim for 4h 30mins or something like that.
So anyway, I decided to disobey Coach just this once.
I did my own pre-race prep and plotted out a rough gauge of my pace and expected timings.
I wanted to attach this to my singlet so that I could refer to it during the race, but the thought of not being able to hit 4:30 struck me and I didn’t want to embarrass myself, so I ended up not pinning this bib on my singlet.
I managed to start the race of quite consistently and I stuck to my timings.
I hit the 10km marker at about 1 hour, and hit the 21km marker at about 2 hours.
I hit the 30km marker at 2h 50mins, but I was starting to feel really drained. If I carried on at my current pace, I would be able to finish the 42km at approximately 4 hours flat.. But I knew that it’s out of my reach because the fatigue was really getting to me and I couldn’t sustain the pace.
So anyway, the beginning of the last 5km was to climb up the Sheares Bridge. It was torturous. The cramps started to get really bad and I started to walk and jog. I hit the 37km marker at about 3h 50mins and I had 5km to go.
I was suddenly reminded of Coach’s words. He said 5 hours, but I told myself 4h 30mins. With 40 minutes on the clock and 5km more to go, I had more than enough time.
I started to take things easy and continued aiming for 4h 30 mins, but guess what… I saw the 4h 15mins pacer about 20 metres in front of me, and I decided to chase after him. Battling the cramps, it’s gonna be my last 42km attempt anyway, so I just gave it my best shot.
Well, I guess my efforts paid off.