Monday, May 27, 2019

Race Review: PruRide PH 2019 60km

Good:
1. Good race route that is Subic. I heard people were complaining of the hilly route not meant for GFs but I think if you trained well for it, it won"t be that bad.

2. Nice medal

For improvement:
1. Not enough water stations on the return route. No bananas or Gatorade especially for those dying with cramps.

2. Bike jersey of poor quality. I guess that's what u get for 850 bucks. Still wore it though during the race. Hehe.

3. Medals for the finishers still WITHIN cutoff had to claim their medals from the booth. It would've been nice if all that climbing was rewarded with the medal being hung around your neck just after the finish arc.

MY RACE:
Weight: probably 166 lbs
CTL (bike): 23
TSB (bike): 3

I really didn't "race" this one as I had to accompany my high school batchmates throughout the route who were all but 2 of us riding with MTBs. Thus it was more of a fun ride, if you will, for me and my mates as we encouraged each other to finish the 60km leg.

The route was not my usual whenever I stay in Subic with the family (my route is from the Lighthouse to OceanAdventure which is probably about 30k+). The elevation didn't disappoint as there were monstrous climbs (around 3 apart from the usual 1 that I ride) that tested how far I've gone in terms of getting stronger on the bike. Good thing for my Trainerroad sessions, I was able to pass those climbs with flying colors. Note that we had to stop once in a while for our mates lagging behind which made me recover just before heading to the next climb.

Forgive me, but I had to applaud myself from not suffering from cramps, nor walked the hills, nor withered due to lack of nutrition throughout the race. It just shows that if one trains consistently (and correctly!), you will reap the rewards on race day. I had to stay though with my MTB friends since, as a unsworn pact of brotherhood, we mustn't leave a man behind. Again, no biggie as I treated this race as a friendly group ride.

Finished the race around 5.5hrs which was well within the 6hr cutoff. Glad to report as well that all 4 of us batchmates finished.

Maybe, when I get back to Subic for a non race weekend, I *may* try that 60k route again. Hehehe...



Monday, April 8, 2019

Race Review: Clark Dua Classic 2019


PROS:
  1. Clark has always been a great venue for racing. So good job on organizing this race here.
  2. Good job on the race marshal work. Lots of signs and marshals abound by the race route.
  3. Sufficient hydration.
  4. Accurate Run1 distance.

CONS:
  1. Bike leg was short 2kms. 
  2. Run2 leg exceeded by 0.6km
  3. My apologies, as I didn't like the post race meal. Ineng's would've been nice.

MY RACE

Racing weight: 167lbs (lost about 5 lbs since early March)
CTL: 49 (after 2 weeks of taper, concentrating on high intensity but shorter workouts)
FTP: 177
Pre-race meal: Mcdo Cheeseburger Meal 😁

Drove from QC to Clark for this one in the early morning, arriving an hour before gun time which was sufficient time to claim my race kit and setup my bike and other gear.

Race strategy was to pace 6.30/km on Run1, then 27-28kmh average on the Bike, then hold on for dear life with an "ideal" (more of "hopeful") pace of 6.30/km as well. This should make me finish just outside the 3hr mark ---near my 3:02 PR.

The number of participants totaled 400+ as per the race emcee, which made for an "intimate" setup compared to other races I've been to. The race venue had a "local, close knit" feel to it which made the whole race very comfortable for me (in terms of non-grandeur). I didn't feel a tinge of race nervousness as I've done this lots of times (although my last Standard Dua was last 2016), and add to the fact that I put my trust on the weeks of training that I did coming into this one.

"You've Got This" was going to be my mantra for this one, I thought.

You've Got This.

Run1 went smoothly as planned, finishing the 10.1km distance in 6:31/km average. Gel at km7.

This was good, I thought, as I went into the transition to get my bike. As mentioned on my last post, I'll be racing with my new BMC TMR02 frame which will have to prove itself on this semi-technical, "wall" laden course.

Left the transition after 2.5min transition and pedaled off to the bike course. The TMR02 made its aero-ness felt on the flats and descents, letting me cruise above 30kmh with little to medium effort. Surprised that I was at this rate up to the U-turn which started the trek up to the dreaded "Wall" which I estimated to be 4-5kms of gradual to semi-steep gradient.

This was where I had to recall all my indoor rides which I suffered. I just buried my head, embraced the suffering, and pedaled sub-FTP effort. It was one of the longest (10-15mins probably?) moments in the race that I wanted to end. The climb subsided to a descent and then flat to complete the loop...


...then we had to it all over again. Hahahaha....

Yup suffered again on that long climb, and just saying my mantra all over in my head:

You've Got This.

You've.

Got. 

This!!!

After 1 hour and 26mins, I was back in the transition area for Run2. Gel taken at 17mins and 1hr 10mins during the ride.

One question did enter my mind as I was changing to my run shoes: "Did I push too hard sa bike? Do I still have enough for Run2?"

I opted not to take a gel prior Run2. A gamble on my part, yes, but I learned that any gel taken at the time, for a 5k run, will not be "cooked" in time for my energy consumption. I will just have to run this with all the fat stores remaining ---which for my overweight self would be aplenty. Hahaha...

Onto Run2, I suffered as expected but not as worse as my previous duas since I was pacing somewhat well at 7:00/km (I usually expected it to drop as low as 7:30 to even 7:40 on previous races). I was able to analyze why this was after I looked into my bike numbers: lower watts, higher cadence but at the same speed as my 2016 races. I was in a better condition coming into Run2 (di kasing pagod as previous). I guess the TMR02 (and my Trainerroad training sessions including bricks) have helped me a lot. Hehe.

I was taking short 5-10 sec walks (especially at the hydration stations) to recover but just willed it to run amidst aching thighs. Looking for other races up front (and those chasing at the back) as targets to keep me motivated to run (which worked, mind you). 

Finished Run2 at 7:08/km which was outside my 6:30/km but still respectable in terms of previous duas (as earlier mentioned).

Total race time was 3:17 and change, which was a far cry from my 3:02 PR. To my defense, that PR was in Subic where the Bike leg was on Raceway which was mostly flat. No climbs such as "The Wall" to defer any PR chances.

Comparing this 2019 time to my 2016 dua on the same venue, however, was a different story as I improved by 11 mins. Yehey!!!

Food for thought though is how I finished within my Age Group (45-49). I finished 19th out of 29 and ranked on the different segments as below:

Run1 - 26th of 29 (opted to start from the back para no pressure or pakikipagunahan)
Bike - 17th of 29 (Aero Frame + aero bars + Trainerroad indoor sessions, baby 😀)
Run2 - 14th of 29 (it was 16th but there were 2 people which did only 1 loop as I analyzed. Yeah, so drop 'em! Hehe)

You just have to admire at how fast these duathletes (at our age ha!) are in spite of all the training I did ---kulang pa pala!

Transition was not on the race results so I probably dropped considerably to 19th due to slow transition time. Need to improve on that one too, I guess.

Well, I will take this week lightly to recover (my Garmin 920XT said I need 4 DAYS to recover, hahaha) so I am DEFINITELY following that. Hehehe...

In closing, this was a great result considering the training I did. I guess the amount of training done is really commensurate to the race result so I will have to put in more (volume) coming into succeeding races, be it duas, bike races, or run races if I want a better result.

The "You've Got This" mantra really worked. Hmmm...maybe I should get a sticker for it to put on my bike's top tube for motivation. Hehehe...

😉


Saturday, April 6, 2019

Pre Race Thoughts: Clark Dua Classic

It's Saturday night and I just came back from a wedding of my wife's 2nd cousin. My bike and race equipment are all set to be put in the car for the 1.5hr drive to Clark later early morning.

Race kit needs to be claimed before the 6am gun time so I hope to leave QC around 3am for enough buffer, just in case.

These past 2 weeks of taper have been focused on 30min sessions of either ride or runs at or near race pace which I hope to observe throughout the race tomorrow.

Nutrition will be c/o the usuals: GU and lots of water. GU to be taken at the start, 3/4 of the way of Run1, midway and towards the end of the ride, and maybe 1 in T2 for insurance.

Pace strategy will be to aim for 6.30/km on the runs and hope to be between 27 to 28kph average on the bike leg....which boasts of two loops around the dreaded Wall in Clark. Let's see how the new aerobike frame holds on race conditions which I predict will perform well.

Transition time should be fast so hopefully no problems there.

Race time aim? A sub-3hr finish would be excellent, but I might finish around 3.10 to 3.20 by my estimates which should be mission accomplished based on the way I trained for this.

But we'll see....as usual. 😉


Monday, March 18, 2019

The Road to Clark Dua Classic 2019


Yup, that's the first dua I signed for for this year, 2019. It'll be on April 7 at Clark with me taking on the classic 10k-40k-5k standard distance.

Training has been good since my last post before the Nike shoe review, with my TP CTL reaching exactly 50 yesterday, Sunday. Been training my ass off during the weekdays and hammering it further on the weekends BUT keeping my body status in check (i.e. preventing injury from overtraining/overexerting). Waking up to the workouts, as usual, has been the hardest part but so far I have been shutting the voices in my head to go back to bed and instead pursue the intended workout for the day. REALLY a lost of will power being tested here. Hehe.

I think in terms of race readiness, I am "almost there" for the bike and "somewhat almost there" for the runs. I still have this week to put in big volume, quality workouts so I hope to get more in before the 2 week taper starts next week.

Btw, I am also glad to report that, for 12 days now, I have eliminated eating sugary desserts or drinks as part of my Lenten sacrifice. I have a lost 4lbs since March 6 so this looks very promising. Hopefully, I may be able to reach my long sought after target weight of sub-160lbs. Just sad though that I can only smell Dunkin and oh....no more chocolates! 😢 Sigh...

***

Scored a new frame (which has long been overdue) two weeks ago thanks to roadiemanila's reco: a 2018 BMC TMR02 that he found in one of his bike shop visits. I wanted to have an aeroframe for quite a while now so this was a welcome upgrade to replace my 2014 Argon Gallium Pro that served me really well.

The ride has been great so far, with this aero frame wanting nothing but speeeeed as I tested it out in Nuvali. It's also good on the climbs and overall handling so I can't wait to see how this performs on Apr 7, its maiden race.

I guess that's it for now. I have 3 weeks left before Apr 7 so I hope to do well in that one. A 3:02 2012 PR has been standing for quite a while now. I can't say if I can beat that at this point, but who knows, right? 💪😃




Monday, February 11, 2019

Shoe Review: Nike Epic React



I bought this shoe last December while vacationing in Japan. The Nike Harajuku store had it on sale at about 5,600.00 PhP (or roughly USD 105.00) which was a steal as these were sold at 7,600.00 PhP (or roughly USD 144.00) here in Manila, Philippines. The only color available in my size was the grey one as shown above which looks good for my taste.

Scanned the 'net for reviews and tried it on before my purchase and it felt alright. A Christmas gift for myself, I thought, which hopefully will have me running more miles in 2019.

True enough, I have already logged 60kms with it (alternating with my racing shoe, the Saucony A4) with a 14km long run made yesterday as proof of how much I am liking this shoe (I have only been running 10-12km long runs sparingly for the past few months so yesterday's 14k was a big morale booster).

This shoe is very comfortable with the patented Nike flyknit upper and the soft sole. No hotspots experienced in my first few runs thanks to the flyknit that comfortably "embraces" my foot. Can't trust it fully though to wear sockless, especially for long runs, as I might run into hotspots in the latter kms. One might think at first that the heel cup is not secure, but after several runs I am glad to report that it held up well in securing my heel from any slippage.

The sole has a cloudy/springy feel into it as it helped make those Z2 medium/long runs comfy. The 10mm heel-to-toe drop is slightly above my natural running gait causing me to heel strike (slightly) but I am able to adjust it to make the runs very pleasurable.

This is a (teeny weeny) bit heavier than my Saucony A4 racing flats so I doubt I can achieve a PR on this one nor use it for those fast training days. But still, it's a great shoe that I plan to use extensively for those slow/relaxed medium/long runs.

A great shoe. Thinking about it now, I should've bought 2 pairs. Hehe.