p pol The Adventures of Carboman: 3,000m PR

Monday, May 02, 2005

3,000m PR

Plan for the morning was to bring along Carbokid and Mrs Carbo to the track to watch me run the time trial. The Pacemaker Gang is riding on the Pacesetter organized time trial for the upcoming adidas 4x3K Road Relay. The PM Gang is loking to form 2 teams to have fun in the relay and though I was game to qualify for one of the PM Gang's team, my primary target was to better my last year's time of 14:01.

That morning however, found my wife and kid still sleeping, so after gulping down just 1 cup of coffee, I slipped out of the apartment. I considered between the NB 753 or the Mizuno Precision 3 for awhile and settled for the Mizuno since I need responsiveness a little bit more for this speed run. After 2 laps of warm-up jog, Ronnie arrived and he was soon joined by Justin. Both were my designated pacers for that morning. We chatted a bit commenting how orange was the colour of the season before getting down to serious business.

THe early morning did no one any good as both of my pacers cacked their heads on what pace to run to hit my 13:45 target. John (read his report here) thankfully got it all worked out.

The plan: Start at 1:53 for the first lap and reduce/hold for the other 5. The final lap will be "anything goes" depending on whether the legs and lungs still have anything left.

I repeatedly tell Ronnie to not start too fast. I didn't have much pressure even though I had 2 very fast, strong and capable pacers plus a photographer in Tey. The track was getting crowded with the MSSM (national youth) athletes warming up. I managed to put in a last minute mimick of Pre's trademark crouch at the start. Justin knew my joke and we both laughed. The first lap was steady but I felt that it was a little slow to me to the point that it was easy. In fact, we were still chatting a bit. But there were still 6 to go. John and Ngae had already zoomed far ahead.

I drafted behind the 2 and zoomed in on Bee Hoon's metronome-like heavy breathing. We passed Jason on the 2nd lap and dropped Bee Hoon on the 4th. A few times, I felt that I could go faster and I ran shoulder to shoulder with Ronnie while Justin stayed on lane 3. With every marker passed Ronnie read out the splits and how much off target we were. We were in fact reducing the gap from 8 seconds (lap 3) down to 4 (lap 6). I was imagining scenes from Without Limits when Pre was running strongly with Gammoudi and Viren. And the track stand looked like Hayward Field for awhile. It certainly felt that way to me as we completed 1 lap after another. On one of this mental play, I felt "high" enough to overtake Ronnie - only for a while, I stress! Justin, with his dead-legs, was still traipsing lightly just ahead.

With 400m to go, Ronnie said to turn on the speed. In fact, that was what I had in mind already. At the 200m mark, I zoomed in on the runner ahead but the gap was just too wide. My momentum around the 150m curve put me too close to Ronnie and he was forced to run onto the grass area (sorry!). With my arms driving wildly, I crossed the finish line thoroughly enjoying the experience. I had no time to check my watch and only when Justin asked me to check my time did I peeked at the watch - 13:18! Woo hoo! Beyond my expectations! Jason too lowered him time in his 2nd attempt.

As happy as I was with the timing, I had a new level of admiration for both my pacers. Not only were they spot-on on the pacing (it's as if you can tell them your desired pace, and they can hit it accurately within 3 seconds) but also humble enough to lend their strengths and experience to assist lesser folks like me. Thanks guys!

Personal Timing to Beat: 14:01 (2004)
53:22 - 53:22
2:44.04 - 1:50.82
4:35.89 - 1:51.85
6:26.55 - 1:50.66
8:12.75 - 1:46.20
10:01.46 - 1:48.71
11:46.76 - 1:45.30
13:18.45 - 1:31.69

New Timing: 13:18.45
Approx pace per K: 4:35

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