Sunday, September 25, 2016

Frustrated, Disappointed

Today was a hard humbling lesson for me as I DNS'ed the BikeKing Duathlon.

Yes, I wasn't able to start in my A-Race for this year.

In summary my rear wheel set fell off from my bike and broke while driving to the start venue. I was only able to realize it when I parked at Sandbox Porac, the rear wheel missing from my bike as it hanged from the bike rack.

I was able to retrieve it and scavenge for reusable parts (the tire, the interior (possibly), the 6800 cog, and the Garmin magnet), after retracing my steps with the help of one of the race participants telling me he may have seen it somewhere in Clark across Petron.

All else was deemed for disposal, specifically the skewer and the rear CNC wheelset itself.

This served me well. Thanks CNC!

Right now I feel very disappointed, with all my race preparations (mental, physical, and financial) down the drain all because of my overconfidence with the bike rack.

The duathlon gods thought it would be a good laugh to tag me as the unlucky one for the day.

Yup, they got me indeed. But I wasn't laughing.

I vented my frustrations by running inside Clark for 13k instead, recalling that run loop on my last dua (the Phil Dua leg4) where I did badly on Run2. It was a struggle on the latter part of this run, as I battled mentally the thought of me that should've been racing and plying the SCTEX on my bike ---and possibly getting near my 3:29 PR.

I know there's always next year but what happened this morning will be something that I won't be able to forget anytime soon.


But I guess there is a good ending to this mishap. I was able to spend time with my family in the resort this morning during breakfast and (longer time) in the pool ---something that I don't get to do when we come to Clark for a race. What happened made me appreciate my family more, and that they are more important than a broken rear wheel set (and a skewer).

Alas, onto my next race, whatever it may be.....

Thursday, September 22, 2016

BikeKing Duathlon 2016: Pre-Race Thoughts

I *think* I'm better prepared for this one now versus last month's race. CTL is on the upper 50s however TSB might be too much on the negative side due to cramming for workouts that I did for the past 4-6 days. However, I needed it (especially the 50k ride last Sunday @ Nuvali) to boost me mentally in preparation for this weekend's 60k SCTEX ride.

I kept the weight at a manageable level and my runs are quite better especially after that hill repeat session last week. That will probably be useful as the SCTEX Run1 and Run2 legs comprise of killer inclines on the latter part of the runs.

The short aerobars I borrowed from our newspaper boy slash weekend cyclist may prove to be helpful on the Bike leg this weekend too, as the aeroness should help during the SCTEX descents for more speed for less watts.

This is the 4th time I'm joining this race. My A-race for this year. Hoping to get a decent time on this one although my 3:29 PR might be a challenging one to beat.

SCTEX here I come (again)!

Monday, August 22, 2016

PhilDua Leg4 2016: The Hurt Locker

The Good:

  1. Accurate distance for the Bike and Run2 leg
  2. Well placed race marshals and aid stations
  3. Nice finisher's shirt

For improvement:
  1. Run1 exceeded by 1k (and that's a lot in duathlon!)
  2. Bikes could not be released until the last duathlete finishes the bike. I don't understand this rule if the participants already wear the wristbands to identify themselves with their respective bikes. It wastes the time of the participants who would like to head home immediately after the race (like me).

My race:

I went into this race not in tip top shape (training wise although mentally I was prepared, hehe) so I just went right into the unknown as I had low mileage for run and bike for the past weeks.

 Surprisingly, Run1 went pretty well (6:40/km average for 11k) although in retrospect I may have pushed a little too hard for my own good.

The bike leg, well, was a mix of masarap and mahirap. Masarap because I enjoyed the high speed I attained in the descents and flats. Mahirap coz of the 2 long (but low elevation) climbs which you had to do twice due to the 2-loop course. I finished it in 1:29 for 40k but I could've done better had I logged the miles prior.

Run2 was where the title of this post is so apt. Km1 went ok but I slooooowed down by km2-5 as the heat avenged itself after days of rain. Everytime you wanted to walk, it was like a big magnifying glass was aimed at your back so much so that you had no choice but to jog ---in pain. I was very tired by this time that it was really a battle of wills if I were to walk the rest of it or jog.

I chose the latter....painfully.

What I like about duathlon is that you see who did well, pace-wise, by Run2. If you gave too much in Run1 and on the Bike, you will surely pay for it on Run2 as what I experienced immensely.

By the last turn to the finish I was so glad to see the finish arc and get that medal. Finished the race in 3:28 which is far from my 3:02 PR.

Still need to work on my pacing strategy, but I'm very glad overall to have finished a standard distance duathlon after a long while (my last one being in 2013).

On to the next one, the Bike King Duathlon, on Sep 25. Now THAT one, based on my previous attempts, will be another hurting experience by Run2. It is a 6-60-4 duathlon but the Run2 usually hurts based on my previous 3 occasions racing it.

But still, it'll be fun! 


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Phil Duathlon Leg4: Pre-Race Thoughts

In a nutshell, I am mentally ready for tomorrow's race (10k-40k-5k) although my training logs show otherwise. 

The rains (and my laziness) contributed to most of the lackluster mileage deposits in my TrainingPeaks account, showing a sub-50 CTL rate (but TSB, obviously, at a 9+ grade which means I am very fresh ---or too fresh?).

Aside from the high TSB (which means training-stress balance btw), what I have going for me is that I still have that 7lb loss which *may* help me get through the runs and the ride. I have also refitted myself on the bike (using an IOS app which is pretty cool btw) after a long while so that could also help me be fresh for Run2.

I just hope that the weather cooperates tomorrow morning so that all of us can enjoy the race (afraid that they may remove the Bike leg completely if the rains pour too hard).

Let's see how this one goes, shall we?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Race Review: TakboPH BGC 21k

The Good:

  1. Accurate Distance
  2. Race started promptly
  3. Adequate marshals
  4. Adequate hydration stations (water, energy drinks, bananas)
  5. Cool looking race jersey and finisher shirt (for 21k runners)

For Improvement:

  • None at this time.

My Race:

The plan was to finish between 2:35 to 2:45 for this one, being my first 21k race since 2012. I came into the start area with around 10-15mins before gun time and fortunately met Dennis and Roselle for a quick chat (on separate instances), who are fellow running bloggers that owe a lot to for their respective blog's audiences. Dennis was targeting a sub 2:30, while Roselle was an official pacer for the 3:00 finish time.

The weather was pretty humid, as evidenced by my sweating like a pig in the start corral even before the race started. Good thing Kuya Kim Atienza, who predicted the day's weather, reminded us to hydrate.

Another mental note that I had to keep in mind is to just finish this one and not go all out, as I was experiencing chest pains from playing basketball Fri night in a VERRRRRY humid gym. As I am not as young as before anymore, I had to manage my pace and listen to my body throughout the race.

The race started and I squeezed myself lucky enough to be included in Wave 1 of 2. The route will be reminiscent of the old days when popular 21k races like Botak, Adidas, and Mizuno would take us to the Buendia flyover til SLEX for the U-turn, and then back to BGC going towards Heritage Memorial Park then back to BGC for the finish. The path from BGC to Heritage boosted some confidence in me as I was able to test myself there when I did my last long run (of 18k) two Sundays before race day.

The first 10kms (BGC-Buendia-SLEXUturn-Buendia) went by without a hitch (gel at km4-5) with average pace at 8:00/km which is slow by my standards. However, I was feeling alright so why mess it up, right? Besides, HR was at 150-155 which is already at my tempo range so it was too early to accelerate as there are 11kms to go.

As I finished the Buendia flyover climb from Ayala, I saw yellow balloons along the distance.

It was the 2:45 pacers.
These guys kept me from finishing beyond 2:45. Thanks!!!

As I was too relaxed with my pace I didn't realize that I already fell off my target finish time as evidenced by the yellow balloons held by the 2:45 pacers about 800m away. I adjusted my pace and it was a game of cat and mouse for the next 8km.

They were probably employing a 6:2 run-walk strategy by my reckon. Everytime I got near them (while they were walking), they would run and I would have to psych myself to keep my pace to chase them. Frustating was an understatement in the pickle I was in.

By about the 18th km (gel at km 11 and 16) I was able to overtake them (finally!) and ran to the finish. I was constantly looking back to see where they were. There was a point that they were suddenly closing in (probably as I walked along one of the water stations) so I had to jump my pace up again. HR was at or near 160 bpm.

Finally, after 2 hours 43 minutes and change, I finished my first half marathon in years.

Approaching the finish line. #SalamatPompo

The time was slow but my overall effort, if I were to rate it from 1 to 10 with 10 being hardest, would be around 7 to 7.5. This was at a "comfortably hard" pace for me which meant that I could definitely do better in future 21k races. Just need to train more and probably work around cycling and running exclusively (no basketball in between, especially in humid conditions).

Next up? The Philippine Duathlon Series Leg 4 on Aug21 in Clark. Time to get back on my bike again.

10k run. 40k bike. 5k run.

Yup, it's racing season! :)