Monday, July 10, 2017

Race Review: Maxicare Run 2017

The good:

  1. Accurate distance
  2. Well placed aid stations
  3. Great post race stuff: finisher's shirt, medal, lootbag, etc.

For improvement:
  1. Still need to find a way to prioritize runners over vehicle traffic especially along Gil Puyat. I may have lost a minute or so due to marshals giving vehicles a chance to cross.

My race:

I was able to meet my target for this race which was to pace at or near 7:00/km throughout. I never felt the need to speed up (except for the last 2k which I'll explain later) as I never thought of "really racing" this one as this would be my longest run (16k) after quite a while which would really be an achievement in itself. The plan was simply to control the pace throughout and see how I hold up towards the latter kms. This also served as my gauge if I will ever be ready for the upcoming Milo 21k on July30 (which I haven't signed up yet) ---pace wise so that I am within the 2:30 cutoff.

I got a little worried about the 2 week taper that I did before Sunday but in retrospect, it worked out well for my benefit. The body was fresh for 16kms of sub-tempo running although the high HR is something I need to work on (jumped to 155 as early as km5). Perhaps adding a lot more Zone 2 running (or longer tempo runs) should do the job?

So onto the race. I was coasting for sub-7:00/km from the start until km11 and I thought, "Hey, maybe I can speed up a little" and so I did, running about 6:50/km for the next 3 kms. Btw, the Kalayaan flyover on the way back to BGC was still hell as ever as I pushed hard while I recorded my highest HR for the race (170).

By the time I was back in BGC there was this guy with specs and wearing wireless earphones using me as a marker (I was wearing the classic bright yellow Adidas singlet from years back) as I was easily noticeable among the blue singlets around. He would run past me then stop to walk. By the time I would pass him for a couple of meters he would do the same all over again. I knew he meant no disrespect but I guess it was just a way for him to motivate himself to finish.

I, on the other hand, got irritated. My competitive me took control of my race pace plan and just said, "F*ck it, we're leaving this dude!"

So, in the last 1 or 1.5km of the race, I stepped on the gas and zoomed away. I would check for him if he voted for chasing his "marker" but I guess he couldn't as I averaged 6:39/km for the last 2 kms. Sorry dude, but I just had to go. ;-)

Finished the race in 1:50:52 (Garmin time) for a 6:49/km average pace. 

Not good, but not bad either. :)

1,300 calories burned!

All in all this was a good race for me even though no PR was broken. I felt really good after that race as I *think* I'm back on the groove again in terms of my running. Hopefully I could keep the weekly volume up and, just maybe, help the weight go down.

Milo 21k is coming up in 3 weeks but I'm still undecided. The race org requires a med certificate to register (plus a bought Milo pack receipt) so that is keeping me from finalizing my plan to race this one or not.

But it's Milo, right?

Sigh, we'll see.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Another Race Week

So Sunday's the Maxicare 16k race in BGC and I *think* I'm ready for it. I was able to peak my long run at 14.7km the other week and I am tapering nicely in time for Sunday. Just need to make sure that I keep the runs short but intense for the next couple of days (around 2 runs only) before Sunday's 4:30am early start.

As to the race strategy, I'll probably do somewhere around 7:00/km average which is a safe bet based on where I am now in terms of performance. Pushing it to 6:45/km will be excellent but let's see how my body and overall feeling responds by gun time. As always, finishing a race will be fulfilling in itself as I haven't done a 10 miler in quite a long loooong while.


Meeting my weekend long ride targets have been a challenge as I am only averaging below 40km on my weekend rides. Largely due to family commitments (my boys were enrolled to a basketball clinic on Saturday mornings), this leaves my weekend ride to the indoor trainer for 1-1.5hrs only. I just try to make up for it by upping the intensity either thru Sufferfest videos or taking the intense ones from GCN, or just coming up with my own set (Z2 and Z3 alternates, for example) to hopefully keep my bike CTL up.

I just hope that I'll be able to log in more longer rides before my A-race duathlon on Aug20 (which requires a 60km ride segment).


Body weight is still hovering between 168-169 lbs on weekdays and going back up to 170-171 lbs after the weekend binge ---this is even after 5-7hrs of training per week. I guess cutting back on the food intake is what I need to do (carbs mostly) since it seems that exercise alone is not helping. Yeah, I read about that 80-diet 20-exercise thing (sadly) so I just have to be conscious, especially during weekends.

Tsk, this is hard.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Dreaming of Milo

So the annual Milo Marathon Elims are coming up on July 30 and I'm still dilly dallying if I'm going to register....for the 21k race.

As you know I am in NO condition to run a full mary anytime soon so the 21k event is something that I *could* achieve by then.



Meeting the 2:30 cutoff for the finisher medal is also a concern ---something that I used to do with no worries years (and less pounds) ago.


What's going for me to register is that my weekend long run has been building up nicely (12k and 13k for the past two Sundays). This is in preparation for the Maxicare 16k in BGC on July 9 that I already registered for sometime back. I need to bring back the regular long runs so registering for the July 9 race should help motivate me to run further ---and hopefully start burning more fat in the process.

But the question still remains: should I Milo or not?

Milo is THE race that all purist runners want to do as it is considered as the most prestigious race in the Philippines. Having finished 2 full Milo marathons and 2 Milo halves under my belt has been a great accomplishment already.

But the allure of racing it once again is very tempting ---as always.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Training Slump

It's been a week and a half since Duaman and my training, as confirmed by the Trainingpeaks performance chart, is at a slump lately.

Actually, it's been like that for several weeks (even before Duaman or PhilDua Leg2). It was primarily brought about by 2 factors:

                         1. Family obligations
                         2. Laziness

Item 1 mostly happened on the weekends which affected my long ride and long run plans. This drags the CTL fitness of my TP chart greatly. However, being a family man, I have to prioritize my obligations to the wife and kids so this is something that I have no choice and just carry on and make up during the weekdays.

Item 2, on the other hand, is something that I can avoid. It affected my weekday and weekend workouts (chose to do 1 hour ride instead of the long ride, chose to sleep on a Wed morning instead of the required tempo run, etc.) which also contributed to my CTL sinking ---run and bike.

Adding to item 2 was my preference on doing GCN bike workouts (which mostly ran for 40mins) instead of the Sufferfest videos (which ran for 50-60mins on average). This greatly affected my bike CTL fitness to drop. This was very evident in yesterday's planned FTP test, when I bonked miserably midway onto the 20-min test and stopping it altogether as I got disappointed in myself.

But then there is always another day to get back at it. This morning, I finally got the urge to bike hard on the trainer again using the Sufferfest Fight Club workout. I was able to complete the 1hr workout (sweating and panting) which helped up the CTL bike graph, even for just a teeny weeny bit.

It's a long weekend coming up so I'm hoping to go back to the 60s CTL level by Monday, after bringing back my long ride and runs into my training.

BikeKing Duathlon is 2.5 months away so I still have time to get back in fighting shape. Hopefully I'll post some good progress next time.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Duaman 2017 Race Review

The good:

1. Great race venue (Nuvali)
2. Adequate and good race marshal work considering there were 1,500 duamans this year
3. Some improvement on the gun start time versus last year (6:15am this year vs 6:30am last 2016)

For improvement:

1. Inaccurate Run2 distance (it measured 2.1km instead of 3km)
2. Racekit claiming should've been via package delivery instead to avoid hassles on queuing up hours before race day

My race:

Coming off from the PhilDua Leg2 race 2 weeks ago, I arrived into the race losing a bit of fitness but was fresher due to the self-imposed (i.e. lazy) low volume days before. Target was to beat my 2016 PR of 1:56 for a 6k-20k-3k distance.

Run1 started off too fast (5:45/km on the 1st k) so I adjusted my pace to my target 6:20/km but to no avail. Being the competitive guy that I am, I wanted to finish faster than an old high school friend turned triathlete that I met on the starting line. Average pace for Run1 was at 6:08/km ---waaayyy too fast for my own good (HR maxed at 170!) which I know I will pay for dearly on the latter part of the race. Took a gel midway btw.

Onto the bike leg (after running thru the 250m(!) long transition area), where Nuvali's route has been all too familiar for me since I frequent riding there on weekends. It was somehow difficult for me to monitor my wattage, speed, cadence and HR as my 920xt wasn't mounted on the bike for easier view. I had to glance at it which was strapped to my wrist (naturally) to be able to see how I was doing. However, as this proved bothersome to do in the middle of the race I just rode by feel.


Nearing the turn around point, I was overtaken by Dingdong Dantes, a famous local actor, on his Cervelo P5 bike. Again, being competitive, I challenged myself to make him my target for this race. It was a game of cat and mouse from then on as I led on the climbs but he would come back strongly on the flats and descents (possibly having a more aero bike than mine). He arrived at the transition area about 10-20 seconds ahead of me. Gel taken midway in the ride.

Approaching T2 smiling since I can still see my target ;-)

He was able to rack his bike earlier than me since his was nearer to the bike exit. I had to run past him (with my bike) to my rack area to change to my running shoes. I was able to finish this quickly and glanced back where he was: about 10 meters from me but was caught in traffic by the other duathletes transitioning as well. I was able to exit to Run2 about 10 seconds before he did.

Run2 in duathlons are the hardest, and it makes you pay for all the overconfident speeding that you did on Run1 and Bike legs. I was running on full gas (and high HR!) from then to the finish, with Dingdong just meters behind. I was holding onto dear life and was fighting the urge to stop or walk. I kept my effort in check (6:26/km average for the entire 2.1km Run2. HR maxed at 170 yet gain).

In the end, I was able to finish the race ahead of Dingdong. More importantly, I was able to get a new PR for the distance: 1:41:38 (Garmin time).

An improvement by almost 10 minutes! :)

My race performance here just goes to show that if I want to race faster, I can really do it if I put my heart and soul into it. Heart rate though needs to be lowered at such paces, probably due to a lot of excess weight that I need to carry around while running and riding.

Hopefully I can find the solution to lose the extra 10 or so pounds before my next duathlon on August.

Yup, it's my A-race for the year: the BikeKing Duathlon. My revenge race from a woeful DNS from last year.

Now THAT will need a lot of work to get there in race ready (and PR beating) shape.

I'll see you soon SCTEX! ;-)