Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas Reminder

Let me echo the words of the Gingerbreadman:

"Lechon = SLOWER YOU!"


Sunday, December 19, 2010

2010 Mission Completed

With 12 days left before the year ends, I've accomplished ahead of schedule my 2010 goal of completing 1,500 kilometers!

Hmmm, does this mean I can stop running until Dec.31?

Hehe, just kidding.... :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Milo Finals 2010 Race Results

Here you go...

3km results
5km results
10km results
21km results
42km results

Source: MILO website.

Race photos can be found here.

Runpix analysis can be found here.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Milo Finals 2010 21km: Perfect

When everything around you,

be it the first time you tried 1000m cruise intervals 3 days prior to race (in which you bonked on the 4th rep after 3 5:40 laps),
the massage 2 days prior to raceday,
the nice cool weather,
the flat course,
the multivitamin you took that morning,
that pack of biscuits and half a donut prior to start,
that chug of Gatorade,
the GU at km0/8/16,
that ½ of a banana you took from the banana station at km17 and ate at km19,
the constant checking of quick-leg-turnover,
the absence of left knee pain,
the generous amount of water/Gatorade stations along the course,
the point of not giving up even with a side stitch from km16 to the finish,

is encouraging you to beat your half-marathon PR, all you have to do is embrace all of it and run your best. You run like hell, hoping that your 305 will lap every km close to 6:20. At the sign of 1.5km to go, you don’t stop at the last water station to save on time and lap km21 at an amazing sub-6:00.

That day, everything was just perfect.

The result?

2:14:48 (Garmin gun time).

A new 21km PR.

Now THAT definitely encapsulates all the hard work I’ve done since building up mileage last August.

As a runner, should I stop after that achievement?

I say no.

On the contrary, I will continue to train.

For suddenly, a sub-2:10 half-mary and, more importantly, a sub-5:00 full-marathon is possibly, hopefully, within my grasp.

Next year.

with good buddy balikbayan Edesel (had a 2:34 PR too!)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Running According to Tony Krupicka

Elite Ultrarunner Tony Krupicka summarizes running very simply.

Hear him in the 1st 22 seconds of the video below.

Damn, that video just made me want to do a TRAIL RUN!

Anywhere near Manila? Suggestions are most welcome. :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

QCIM2 21km: A Pacer's Story

Joining a race as an official pacer was totally new for me. It was on a whim that I signed up for 21km as a 2:30 pacer to Rene, hoping that my last 3 Pikermi finishes (2:53, 2:22, and 2:22) would be sufficient for approval. Eventually, I was approved for the 2:30 21km finish.

Finishing at 2:30 would require me to run at approximately 7:09/km even-pace. This was just perfect since I'm hoping to run the same pace in my next full-mary (Feb 2011) to finish just under 5 hours. Further, weekends require long runs. The plan was to run 26km for that day so after the race, I planned to run 5km more to complete the required mileage.


I was searching for fellow pacer RunningDiva among the sea of 21km runners but couldn't find her nor the pacer flag for 2:30. I then approached a QCIM2 Marshal who, by coincidence, turned out to be the assignee who kept the flags for 2:30. He then handed me three 2:30 flags.

It was a mix of being embarassed and beaming at the same time as I was making my way through the middle of the pack lifting the 3 flags with one hand. There was a little bit of pride when I heard someone say to his companion, "Uy dito na tayo sa 2:30!" ("Let's stay here with the 2:30 pacer!"). With Ron delos Reyes, the host, asking for everyone's applause for the volunteer pacers, I was beaming but at the same time humbled by the responsibility of leading other runners to a desired 2:30 finish.

It was a good thing that I lifted the flag out there at the start since Raymund Canta, the 3rd pacer, eventually made his way towards me to grab one of the flags. Then Ricky Gundran, the 2:15 pacer, approached me to mention that RunningDiva will not be racing that day due to a death of a loved one (my sincerest condolences to you on this difficult time of your life, RunningDiva).

This turned out to be the first pacer duty for Raymund and me. We eventually agreed to keep the pace at 7:00/km which is just right if you'll consider walking at the water stations, uphills, and other variables.

The runner behind me had a nifty idea of removing the stick from the flag and just pin it on my back. This will relieve me of having to carry the flag (made of tarpaulin) the whole race.

At 5:01am, we were off.


km1-13: 7:05, 7:07, 6:52, 6:46, 7:08, 7:05, 7:09, 7:03, 7:06, 7:02, 6:58, 6:49, 7:01

Raymund and I were in control. We kept to a little over 7:00/km which will take us between a 2:27 and 2:30 finish. There must've been around 4-6 people following us in a group, which I presume to have set a 2:30 finish. A group of RUNNEX members passed us, with the one in the lead congratulating us for keeping a just-right pace for the predicted finish time we were carrying.

I was feeling good. Since this pace was not my 21k race-pace, I was relaxed. I felt that I could be in this good condition until the finish line. Raymund and I were even having small chats, something that I'd never do when I'm on race mode. He even mentioned something about the Kenyans who were racing here but that's another story. ;-)

Me (7908) and Raymund (7213) havin' a great time

One thing I learned from my RunRio3 32k was that I should learn to take the taste of Powerade sports drink in alternating water stations. I'm used to Gatorade during my training but since most races seem to be sponsored by Powerade, I wouldn't take the risk back then since it was something new ("Never try something new on race day" many had said). But this time I took the risk and drank Powerade to refill my body of lost electrolytes. Fortunately, there was no incident.

From time to time I had to call Raymund, who was slightly speeding up due to the downhill parts of Commonwealth Avenue, to regroup and recall pace.

It was only a matter of time when we realized that I should've took up a little speed too....


By the turnaround point, which I assumed to be the halfway point (10.5km), my Garmin registered almost 12km. I then recalled a forum section that an officemate forwarded to me the week before the race. It complained that they measured the race route and it seemed to have more than 23kms. I forwarded the forum clip immediately to Rene that day for verification with the race organizers but there was no response. I never gave much thought of it back then since I knew that if it were really an issue, it would be taken cared of immediately.

By that turnaround point, I was hoping that there might've been a change of route. Maybe we're not entering the UP Oval anymore? Or there could be a revised section towards Trinoma and back to QC circle? Raymund and I were thinking hard.

At this point, we had to decide if we were to keep the 7:00/km pace, or speed it up to meet the 2:30 predicted pacer time? Since our pacer flags were printed with big bold "2:30:00," we decided to chase 2:30:00. And that meant speeding up.

km14-22: 6:44, 6:24, 6:35, 6:32, 6:27, 6:12, 6:15, 6:23, 6:08

for a brief moment in this pic, it seems I'm flying!

It was like a tempo run for me at that point. This was race mode for me. But by the time we entered University Avenue and saw the 2:00 pacer running hard to PHILCOA with 2:01 already lapsed, I concluded that it will be a miracle for us to reach the finish at 2:30.

km21 arrived just passed midway of the UP Oval return route with Raymund and I clocking at 2:22. But there was still 2+ kilometers left. My 305 stopped logging stats after the km22 mark (since I preset it to distance countdown during races, allowing a 1km buffer just in case). Thus I had no knowledge of the time past km22. We eventually finished at 2:36:50 (Raymund) and 2:37:01 (me).

2:30:00 was not met. But imagine if we stayed at 7:00/km, we would've finished at 2:44. The good news was we were able to chew up 7mins from the time we started chasing 2:30.


Until now I'm feeling a little guilty. Should we have stayed at 7:00/km all throughout, we still would've finished at 2:30 at the km21 point. Even with the total race distance at 23+ km, the 21km goal would still have been met. But at that point in the race where Raymund and I were in a state of panic of not meeting 2:30, we had to make a decision then and there. The important people, the 4-6 runners following us, must've been frustrated with us suddenly increasing pace. But we had to fulfill our pacer duty which was to finish 2:30.

The good thing about the distance was that I got the mileage I needed for my scheduled long run (1km walk from parking to start, 23.4km race, 1km walk back to parking = 25.4km).

Maybe if the distance was measured accurately, I would not feel all that bad. The QCIM2 was overall, well-organized. Hydration stops were aplenty, roads were well-secured (imagine closing Commonwealth Avenue which is a major thoroughfare in QC!).


Of course! I would like to be an official pacer again. The QCIM2 pacer experience is something that I've learned a lot from. Being a pacer requires a lot of responsibility of leading other runners to a common time goal. However serious as that may seem, it really is fun to do.

Who knows, I might pin that 2:30 pacer flag in one 21km race these days. :)

But not this Sunday wherein it's the Milo Finals 21km. It's my last race for 2010 so I hope to end it on a high note, seeking a sub-2:20 finish (or even beat my 2:18 PR if the running gods allow).

Friday, December 3, 2010

Breakhrough Run

I had just made a breakthrough on, hopefully, improving my running gait.

About a quarter into my tempo run the other morning, I started to think about a chapter I recently read in RUN by Matt Fitzgerald where he talked about how elite runners' strides tend to be "beautiful" (or something like that). It made me recall how effortlessly it seemed for BaldRunner and the other guy below whom I see frequently in races (sorry Sir I only know you by face) to make sub-6:00/km race paces km after km.

pic taken from and

How do they do it? Seeing these guys run in races, I've come to realize that they have quick leg turnover (allow me to acronym it as QLT). It's the same technique that Danny Dreyer recommended (at least 90 steps a minute per foot(?)) in his book, Chi Running. I believe Baldrunner posted something similar on his blog sometime back as well.

this guy has high QLT

But even if I noticed it at the time, I still wouldn't try it on my runs since I found it a lot of effort to keep a constant QLT. I was comfortable already with the way I ran although race pace was still left wanting. Another downside of my running form was that I get very fatigued as the miles click by.

As those thoughts went through my head, I then said to myself, "What the hell, let's try this QLT stuff!" This could complement my current study on midfoot strike.

And then, breakthrough.

My "eureka!" moment in running had just happened.

At first it seemed that I was slowing down, but actually I wasn't. It was my EFFORT that was getting less that made me feel I was slowing down. The QLT was actually making me faster as evidenced by my 305.

Although it seemed that the paces are not constant due to adjusting to the hilly part of my training route, the obvious impression that QLT left on me was that it made my run effortless. The 8km run (1k w-up, 6k tempo, 1k cooldown) left me wanting to run for more. It was only unfortunate that I had to get myself ready for work that day. If it were a weekend, I believe I could've run another 5-8km effortlessly.

I'm hoping to burn QLT into my running gait from hereon. Although it was only 8km, that run had somehow made me believe that I can run more effortlessly if I learn to keep good running form in check.

(Note: I ran 16km again last night at easy pace (2:01 elapsed time) with QLT. And yes, it seemed effortless!)

Monday, November 29, 2010

McHappy Day Fun Run 10k: Better Late Than Never

I was still in bed when I fumbled for my phone and looked at the time: 5:20am.

"AHHHGHHH!!!! I'm going to miss the 5:30am gunstart!"

This race was not planned but seeing that "Pahabol" racekit giveaway by Gingerbreadman made me trigger-happy into keying in my comments for a chance of a free racekit (I actually wrote the first comment). 10 or so comments later, I was surprised to find out that I won (naaah, I was actually certain I would win coz I was the first to comment. Call it vibe since I've NEVER won anything online before). Thanks Luis!

This wasn't the first time I woke up late. I actually missed the 10k race and another 5k race in QC some months back. That was bye-bye reg fee for me.

Fortunately last Sunday, we slept just a kilometer or so away from the starting line so, in 10 minutes, I was able to grab my stuff and scamper off to McKinley Hill. Needless to say that my 10k race started from the condo.

I ran to the starting arc and was relieved that they were still performing warmups. But then "they" turned out to be the 5k runners. The 10k runners had left X minutes ago!

Yes I put X since the timer at the top of the arc was off, thus I couldn't tell exactly how many minutes late I was. Worse case could be 10-15minutes. YIKES!

Without any warmup/stretching and my 305 taking too long to look for a signal, I turned off my Garmin and just started my race.

McKinley Hill, or Magneto as I fondly called it, is a hard climb if you start all the way from the C5 intersection at the bottom. This was the first section of the 10k. I was able to see the 10k pack climbing up as I was just starting my descent. Sheesh! Damn late.

Calling any race hilly in the McKinley-Lawton-Bayani route is an understatement. This route can really squash any dreams of a PR. I may have made a mistake of wearing my already-worn Newtons for this race (the 4th lug towards the outside of both shoes had worn out since my purchase of it last July) since I found it difficult to adjust to the hills.

The course was well-managed. There were plenty of water stations since another race, the BGC Run, went along the Lawton-Bayani route too. I was able to grab a banana from one of the BGC water stations as I left Heritage Park, just across the Libingan ng mga Bayani entrance.

I was really out of it on the way down to Mckinley, i.e. started to walk-run. Sprinting immediately from the condo to the race site, no warm-up and stretching had finally taken its toll on my hill-battered listless running form.

I reached the finish at 1:18+ gun time. Again, I wasn't sure how many minutes I was late but I think my "chip-time" could've been around 1:05-1:15. I guess I'll never know for sure exactly, but that was surely a forgettable race for me.

I hope to recover in time for my next race this coming Sunday, QCIM2, wherein I've volunteered to be a pacer for a 2:30 21km finish. I hope to do better there.

Actually, I just hope to be there.....on time!!! :D

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Runrio3 32k: Midterm Exam

RunRio3 32k was right smack in the middle of my training for Feb 2011's Condura 42k. Thus, it was only fitting for me to sign-up and see how effective (or not) the mileage build-up and addition of new workouts (200-400m intervals, stricter adherence to long runs) from last August to present is helping.

The plan was to stick to 7:00/km as close as possible ---my target full-marathon pace--- throughout the race. I managed to be slightly ahead of said pace at the 10k (1:08) and 21km mark (2:24). I was feeling good at this point, stopping at almost all the water stations and eating a pack of GU gel every hour. I was attentive to sensing my form as well, adjusting in time to stop that left knee from acting up (you really gottta try midfoot running, it works!).

And then, after grimacing through that final incline just moments after leaving the Heritage Park turnaround, it came.


You will see it noticeably in my Garmin stats, particularly on km25 onwards. The uphill climb at Bayani Road had left km25 with a 7:35/km pace. Things started to go bad from there, pace-wise. I was run/walking between 8:00-9:36/km between km26 to 31 then eeking out a 6:54/km on km32 (although km32 only measured 0.79km based on my 305).

I crossed the finish line in 3hours 51minutes. 7:17/km average pace, beating my self-proclaimed 4hour cutoff ---barely.

Not bad.

On the upside, the persistent training (long runs, in particular) that I've been doing had managed to push the WALL from km16 (experienced during my full-mary debut in Milo last July) to km25. I GOT to be happy with that. From hereon, I need to continue on religiously doing my weekly long run to hopefully push the wall further before Feb6.

Not to sound like a broken record, I really really really really need to do some serious hill-training, probably on that forsaken hill on Bayani Road itself if need be.

Congrats again to RunRio for conducting a well-organized race! You guys rock!!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Nutrition Strategy

Training for a race not only involves short runs, long runs, tempo runs, hill training, progression runs, or intervals. Yes they help improve your endurance and speed in preparation for a race. But part of one’s training should also include a nutrition strategy not only pre and post race, but also DURING the race, especially for long distances. Either employing gels (which I’m a regular fan of), granola bars, chocolate wafer bars, or bananas, such nutrition strategies should be taken well into consideration.

Just ask Canadian elite Simon Bairu, who learned the hard way in his debut during the recent NYC Marathon. It’s an unfortunate tale of how NOT to race a debut full marathon.

“My head got light, and it was almost like a drunken stumble. I was conscious, but I wasn’t in (the race),” Bairu was saying over the phone on Tuesday. “The next thing I knew, I was on the ground and my legs were just shaking uncontrollably. They were just twitching.”

His race was over, about three miles from the line, but his ordeal was not. Spectators immediately sprang to his aid. Someone called 9-1-1. Someone else ran to get a blanket. Meanwhile, Bairu said his spinning head felt as though “it was going to explode.”

I couldn't believe how Bairu, an elite runner who has beaten Ryan Hall in an earlier half-mary race this year, missed taking the energy gel halfway (he only had one at the start of the race).

How about you? What’s your nutrition strategy?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Farewell to the King

Haile ends his great career after the DNF-ing at the 2010 NYC marathon.

For all it's worth Haile, your racing career had a good run (no pun intended).

For the rest of us, we run.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Adidas Adizero Adios Review


I was rotating between my Asics Gel Foundation 8 and Newton Distancia Racers when I decided to buy another pair simply because the latter's outsole was starting to show signs of wear. I love the Newtons so as much as possible I try to save the mileage on it, especially since the cost per km is very expensive compared to average running shoes. I have been using the Asics sparingly (limited to short easy runs up to 7km) since it will just put my newly found midfoot-strike off-track. Since I was already sold into the natural-running method that Newton promotes and after getting much information on the booming interest in minimalist running, I chose to purchase the Adizero Adios to rotate with my Newtons.

I have to admit as well that my interest in the said shoe was also brought about by the fact that this was the pair that Haile wore when he logged the still-standing marathon record of 2:03:59 set in Berlin 2008. I wanted the yellow colorway but that was only available in the 2009 version of the shoe. The one I got was the red/gray/blue 2010 colorway as seen here. Price was P1,000.00 discounted due to the Adidas Refresh Your Gear Promo (extended, I read, until Nov.14, 2010).


The shoe is very light (210 grams) when compared to the already-light Newton Distancia (244g) and a very low heel-to-toe lift (6.5mm), both of which are typical specs for minimalist shoes. Although not recommended in a first run, I ran in these babies for 12km in 1:29 (7:25/km average pace). It rained from km6 onwards but I didn't mind. The Adios didn't mind either, with its outsole marking on the forefoot/midfoot able to grip the ground perfectly through wet roads. This would be advantageous during rain-dampened races, especially here in the Philippines.

Cushioning at the forefoot/midfoot was not too springy, not too "earthy" ---it was just right. Although there was no feeling of energy-return that the Newton's actuator lugs provide, the Adios had better heel-cushioning (which I hope never to use since I'm trying to burn into my running system a midfoot gait). But still, once fatigue sets in on long-distance races, the heel-cushioning of the Adios will be put into good use.

The other reason why I chose an alternate to the Newtons is that its upper construction, although comfortable and breathable, was not good once it rained or when I splashed myself at the aid stations with water (I used it during a 15k race). I could feel my whole foot sliding to the end of the forefoot when I go downhill under wet conditions. In contrast, the Adios' meshed upper was able to refrain less water from seeping into my sock so foot slippage was not happening during my first run.


As if the 12km break-in run was not enough, that weekend I used it immediately in the Adidas KOTR wherein I ran the half-marathon. I have to say that, under race pace conditions, it performed very well. Finishing 2:22 without enough training, the lightness of the shoe and good grip was able to help carry me through the whole 21km race.

As expected, the fatigue that set in at the last 5-6kms brought my left foot to heel strike slightly (damn BGC hills!). The Adios' heel-cushioning was able to aid me during that unfortunate part of the run so much so that the usual heel-pain that I encounter with the Newtons post-run was never felt after that race with the Adios.


Last Monday I used the Adios for my scheduled 25km long run. It was raining 3/4 of the whole time I ran (3:20, 8:00/km ave pace) but the Adios proved its worth by keeping me in pace due to its lightweight construction and "just right" cushioning.


A complaint on the shoe is that during my initial runs, I felt that the upper was slightly stiff. The sock-lining felt tight on one part of my left foot so much so that I was expecting a rash on that part (fortunately there was none). This may have been brought about by the newness of the shoe (need more miles to break it in) until the upper adjusts accordingly to the fit of my wide feet. I think the shoe is naturally fit for narrow feet so I don't think they'll be able to experience this problem.

Secondly, I really would've liked it if they released a yellow colorway. *SIGH*


The Adizero Adios, IMHO, lived up to the hype of Haile using it to smash the marathon record to 2:03:59 last 2008. Lightweight and with a low heel-to-toe ratio, it is suitable for those venturing into the minimalist shoe trend. Slight cushioning keeps you with that "near the ground" feeling that minimalist running recommends. The outsole's forefoot grip is excellent especially on wet roads. Although the upper may take some time to get broken in, the mesh is perfect for keeping less water out of your foot so you can concentrate more on keeping your pace and not on your wet socks. The Adios is a perfect shoe for training and racing up to the half-marathon distance.

Full-marathon distance? I'll let you know once I use it for Condura 2011.


02/11/2011 Update: The shoes have been very instrumental in giving me two PRs: a 2:14 in the half-marathon and, more recently, a 5:23 (30minute improvement) for the full-marathon. Except for muscle soreness which is expected, I didn't experience joint pains in my knees while using the Adios. This may have been due as well to my improved gait of preventing to overstride and by employing quick leg turnover (at least 180 steps/minute).

04/14/2011 Update: I browsed the Running Warehouse website to window-shop and I found out that, based on their measurements, the heel to toe drop of this shoe is actually 11mm and not 6.5mm as I've mentioned last year. This therefore conflicts my earlier statement that this is a minimalist shoe when in fact it is not. It would be better to coin the Adios' shoe type as a minimalist-bridging shoe for those who're still used to shoes 10oz or greater and would want to venture into the minimalist trend slowly.

Btw, if you found this review helpful, thanks for clicking a Google-Ad below.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Take The Stairs!

"Gusto ko nyaaaaaan!" ("I want thaaaaaat!")

Officemate/triathlete/sadist @paopedal got excited when I showed him an ad I found on the Philippine Star newspaper yesterday. With eyes beaming like a child on Christmas morning, you could feel that he wanted, nay, NEEDED to try this.

I think there's a similar race in the US (Empire State?) conducted yearly. IMHO, this is a true test of knee/leg-strength.

All I can say is, wasakan ng tuhod ito ("This race is gonna break your knees") if your unprepared/untrained.

Now, who's in? :-)

Race details here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Adidas KOTR 2010 21k: I'll take it

In a nutshell, me finishing this race at 2:22:00 (gun time) was not bad. My 2:18 PR still stands, but coming out of this race with that finish time (2:21:35 chip time) is still a decent finish if you look at how unconditioned I was going into this race.

Recalling the past weeks where I got under mileaged due to a bout with the flu (only 15km for that week), having only a dismal 14.6km (supposed to be 18k) as my longest long run in 4 weeks, didn't do specific hill-training, and didn't do carbo-load preparations the week before the race, I was lucky to come out of this race alive.

What may have saved me is a good race-nutrition strategy (HammerGel Espresso taken at km7 and km14, stopping at almost all the hydration stations), the lightweight Adizero Adios shoes that I've used only once prior to this race (a 12km easy run 3 days prior), and that feeling of positive-thinking and invincibility whenever I overtook another 21k runner (hehe).

Looking at my Garmin stats, I was doing well pace-wise until km12 ---Buendia flyover return route. I was able to refrain from walking during that entire stint, but it took a lot from me on the way to the hilly RizalAve-5thAve-Lawton-Bayani route. Pace dropped considerably from 6:30/km to as much as 7:26/km. I found myself doing walk-breaks during that stretch. Yet again, hill-training NEEDS to be done. Seriously Roelle (yes I'm talking to my future self), you really need to do serious hill-training. Do your long runs religiously, PLEASE!

I really need to stick with the program, so to speak, especially now that I'm starting week #2 of my Condura 2011 full-marathon training. Further, my next race, Runrio3 on Nov21, is a 20-miler (32km). Poor performance will definitely haunt me during these races if I fail to execute my training to the letter.

Of course, I have to love doing it too!


Shoutouts: I'd like to greet the runner-bloggers I saw during the race. Dennis, Wilson ("Yo!" hehe), Patrick, Rene, and James. I also saw Jet, Roselle (thanks for that high-five along 5th Ave, I really needed it!), and Sam who didn't race but were on their scheduled long run I presume. It was great seeing you guys.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I've had these Adidas Response Stability pair for a year, making its race debut at QCIM 2009 10k and then wrapping up with the Milo Manila 42k Elims last July 04. The shoe has served me well, spanning 10k's to several half-marathons (2:18 PR from last Feb still stands) and of course my first full-mary. The wear on the outsole, especially at the heel, is fair evidence of the mileage that this shoe has gone through. I estimate that I've logged about 700-800kms with this shoe, races and training included.

I'm a sucker for being sentimental towards things, but last weekend's supposedly 18k that turned 14.6k has prompted me to upgrade my gear. Specifically, I'm not really getting along well with my Asics Gel Foundation 8 during long runs, especially now that I'm slowly getting accustomed to midfoot strike. The Foundation 8 is just plain heavy midway into the long run. Maybe for 5-8km easy runs is ok, but any longer than that, it feels like running with ankle weights. The morning sun heating me up that day didn't help as well.

Secondly, I'm trying to save on the mileage of my Newton Distancia Racers. These babies are excellent as well as expensive, thus there should be an alternate shoe to complement it during tempo, speedwork, and races.

So I made my contribution to the Adidas Refresh Your Gear promo by saying goodbye to my Adidas Response Stabilities during lunchtime today at Adidas Trinoma.

Or, a more apt way of saying it was......


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Avon Step Out 5k: Her First Race

Yes, I joined another race the day after the Company Sportsfest 15k. This was definitely a no-no for me, but for the purpose of pacing my sister, who'll be running her first race, a 5k, rest/recovery would have to wait.

There was no plan for this race but to be with her all throughout as she tackles on finishing her first race, come hell or high water. MOA being the race venue will be a gentle initiation for her into road-racing since the course is flat. Race-organizer was RACE if I were to assume the black and yellow timer at the starting gate.

We situated ourselves at the back of the pack. This is better for a newbie like her so that she won't get dragged onto zooming at the start (something that I've only learned to refrain from lately). The race started on time (5:30am).

We were pacing at a slow 10mins/km but was actually good for my post-race recovery. Towards km2, this happened:

She felt a small pebble in her shoe hampering her run so we went to the sidewalk for her to take a look. She couldn't find it. The pebble turned out to be...well...

It turns out the blister may have been caused by her wearing footwear that she never uses for running. Yikes!

We clocked 12mins in km3 which was our slowest. We also encountered our first walk-break here, about 1-2mins. I wanted her to quicken up the pace so I looked for a target in the crowd of 5k racers. There was this mildly chubby woman around my sister's height and weight who was slightly in front of us. I then pointed to her and whispered to my sis, "Wag kang magpapauna dyan!" ("Don't let her be in front of you!")

With this challenge, she may have just mustered enough strength to go toe-to-toe with the lady runner. There were several lead changes (with walk breaks too!), much like the recently concluded Kona Ironman wherein Macca and another triathlete were going at it for the last 5k of the marathon-leg. And I was in the middle of this great battle of will! Hehehe...

In the end, good ol' sis had beaten the other runner handily with a finish time of 53mins. Her initial comments about finishing her first race? Here you go...

The cursing may have been a combination of fatigue and accomplishment. I couldn't be too sure if she loved it. Well, any non-runner won't love running 5k at 5:30 in the morning, right?

For this week, she targets to run 2km/day from Monday to Friday. That is a great sign. The prospect of weight loss could've been very enticing to her too! Well, I hope she keeps on running and never loses interest.

Congrats sis!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Company Sportsfest 15k: Chuck Norris

The Office

I spend almost 10 hours a day at work. This excludes the 1 hour total travel time. I know most of the people here, either by name or by face. The teasing and joking among officemates are common, as in any workplace.

The teasing and joking exponentially rises when the Company Sportsfest is around the corner. The Fun Run, in particular, is a much-awaited event. I have to admit, this is the one event that I cook up mini competitions in my head to psych myself into running faster. Just imagine the mental shame if I get beaten by this guy in the meeting or that person in the elevator. Hehe.

Take Chuck Norris, a guy from our Marketing department, for example. He was christened as Chuck Norris after that famous Twitter userid (@chucknorris_) who comes up with funny pa-macho-epek quotes. The office Chuck Norris, can be described as hated by all since he's very irritating. Come on, you have one too in your office, right? ;-)

If Chuck Norris has five dollars and you have five dollars, Chuck Norris has more money than you!

Anyway ChuckNorris has been egging me the week prior that I cannot beat him. The previous sportsfest last June resulted in Chuck finishing the 15k race 8mins ahead of me ---a sub-1:30 performance for him. That was a big confidence-booster for him to be able to suggest that he will still be able to beat me this time around.

As I said in my last post, this 15k race will be a "check-point" in terms of my pre-marathon training plan for Condura 2011. The pre-marathon training plan's main goal is to increase my weekly mileage to 40-50kms/week before I start the 16-week marathon training leading up to Feb 6, 2011, my second full marathon. Aside from the easy-paced short and long runs, I try to insert tempo and intervals in the sked to help improve on speed. My finish-time will determine how effective (or not) this self-made training is. Beating Chuck Norris would be a big bonus too!


Race-Org: RunRio with D-tag.

Venue: BHS.

Race route: BHS, University Parkway, St Lukes, Rizal Ave, 5th avenue, Lawton, Bayani Road just before Heritage. Turnaround from there going back to Bayani, Lawton, 5th avenue, 32nd street, finishing at BHS.

Gear: singlet. Shoes: Newton Distancia Racers. Yup, I was going to test how comfortable (or not) my Newtons will be on a long distance race. Further, I wanted to test my newly-found midfoot strike if I can hold it for 15km at race pace.

Strategy: Don’t go out too fast at the start. Target pace: 6:15/km. Go all out at the last 5k.

As for Chuck Norris, I couldn’t find him among the 40-50 15k runners assembled at the starting line. I guess he won’t be running, I thought.

At exactly 5:30am, we were off!


Km1-6: 6:23, 6:36, 6:36, 6:21, 6:18, 6:20

FINALLY, I prevented myself from going all-out at the starting gun. With the help of MP, a mid-20s officemate, I was able to forget the 1st 6kms by just talking and having fun with MP as we trotted on our way, but trying to stay at sub-6:30/km pace.

By km6, MP had wanted to go ahead. He ran off with probably a 5:30/km pace as I was left with my planned pace moving up along 5th avenue, just having passed the Mini Cooper showroom.


Km7-10: 6:06, 5:57, 6:10, 6:13

I took my Hammer Gel approaching km7. Coupled with my sudden interest in chasing MP, I quickened my pace. Being familiar with this race route, I knew that it would be mostly descent right after Mckinley Avenue. Thus the fast km splits above.


As I left the Bayani Road turnaround signalling the start of a long uphill climb back to 5th avenue, I finally got my first glimpse of my nemesis. Chuck Norris had rode his bike all the way from his house (which I don’t know where and I don’t care where) to BHS.

He arrived about 10 minutes late, which allowed me a head start in the race. It looked as if he was on a sub-6:00/km pace, about 400-500 meters behind me. Boy, he was really fast having caught up with me. I later found out that he was shouting “Hahabulin ko si RP!” (“I will chase RP! (RP = my initials)”) as he left the starting line just before the 10k runners were sent off.

Km11-12: 6:32, 6:29

It was a struggle trying to keep my pace from the uphill stretch from Bayani to Lawton towards 5th avenue. Winning against mind-games encouraging me to walk and rest, I was able to keep my race pace in check determined not to let my guard down at the thought that Chuck Norris might be closing in.

Luckily, 5th avenue was a welcome respite since it was all downhill up to 32nd street.

Km13-14: 6:18, 6:19

32nd street from 5th avenue is a slight climb all the way to Serendra. Midway into 32nd street, I looked back to scan the field. Lo and behold, I saw a guy in a maroon-shirt about 300 meters ahead. Chuck Norris was chewing up on my lead, albeit slowly. As I turned right from 32nd street towards BHS, I was hoping that Rio would plot the route in such a way that I head straight and turn right at Honda to relieve of this cat-and-mouse scenario, or, aptly put, Chuck-and-mouse. But no, this was going to wait until I do one round of the popular BHS perimeter.


Km15: 6:09

I decided to forget my conservativeness and went all out at the last km. About 200 meters from the finish, I heard deep breathing coming in fast from my rear left.

Chuck Norris, I thought, was going for broke as well. I didn’t need to look back since I fairly suspected that it would be him. I decided to drop the hammer and sprint it, recalling that 10x200m speedwork that I did 2 weeks prior. My calves started to act as if going to cramp, but I didn’t care. Pride was at stake. It’s something that I could lash back at him if he starts being his unruly, irritating self.

“Talo ka naman eh!” (“You lost!”)

But then, with that final turn towards NBC tent with 50 meters to go, he passed me.

But wait!

It’s NOT Chuck Norris!

It was this 20s something-fella wearing the 2010 Adidas KOTR black singlet.


I decided to let the guy win the dash and I slowed down as I approached the finish mat.

1:35:25 Garmin time. I’ve beaten my 15k PR by almost 2 minutes!

Moreover, Chuck Norris had been round-house kicked!!! YEHEHES!

He probably finished 1-2mins behind me. I guess he ran out of gas trying to chase me. He probably beat me chip-time but the official time to be used is of course, the GUN TIME.

Oh yeahhhh!

Garmin recorded the distance at 15.13kms. Not bad although I heard the 10k event ended at 11.92kms, an impromptu long run for 10k newbies. Nevertheless, RunRio org’ed it perfectly with his patented ice cold water stations and directional-signs.


So, the training worked. Actually, the pacing I did at km1-6 helped me a lot in conserving my energy for the latter kilometres. It worked wonders in keeping my pace checked (within 6:00-6:20/km pace). The strong finish at km13-15 was a surprise as well. Plus that 5:57 at km8 was a revelation.

And so, on with my training. Adidas KOTR 21k is 3 weeks away.

Yes, Chuck Norris will have to hear a lot from me on how I’ve beaten him handily for the next 6-8 months.

Such is life in the office.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Upcoming Races

Company Sportsfest Closing Ceremonies
15k, The Fort

I did the same race earlier this year, finishing 1:37:20 (PR since it was my 1st 15k). I hope to do better this Saturday, with Goal A at 1:30 and Goal B at 1:35. Aside from that, this race will serve as my checkpoint on how effective my current training is, which by the way, I have cooked up personally by including easy runs, long runs, tempo runs, and lately, intervals.

Should my race performance here be below par, I will try to look at it positively by going back to the drawing board and adjusting my training.

Adidas KOTR
21k, The Fort

I finished the same distance in the 2009 edition at 2:29:55. Yup, you guessed it. I want to improve on my finish time here too.

Unilab RunRio3
32k, The Fort

I have never done Rio's "The Afro-Man distance" before. I hope to finish well here since this will determine the course of my training for Condura 42k 2011. Again, adjustments to my training would have to be made if this race falls below my expectation.

21k, QC Circle

I did 10k in the 1st edition of QCIM, finishing at 1:04 which stood quite long before I broke it to 1:00:57 in Mizuno earlier this year. I'm stepping it up a notch by hoping to conquer the 21k event. This'll be just right since long runs will be required.

Milo Finals
21k, Manila

This will hold a special meaning for me since I'll be tackling the distance the late Remus Fuentes succumbed to last July. I'll treat this one as a special tribute to Remus since I discovered we had many in common. We were both the same age, we each had a loving wife and 2 children, and we love the sport of running. I will probably stop at km19.9 and say a short prayer for the repose of his soul during this race (I hope you do so too!).

Condura 2011
42k, Skyway

As early as now I'm announcing my plan to race my second full marathon in Condura, the race that started it all for me. 5:53 is the time to beat. I hope all the training and above races will condition me well into meeting a sub-5 finish (Goal A), or a 5:30 finish (Goal B), or simply, to finish (Goal C).

How about you? When's your next race?

Friday, September 24, 2010

The early bird gets....

....the KOTR racekit.

Woohoo! Nice singlet!

Click here to get race info on registration and maps.

See you on Oct.24!

Monday, September 20, 2010

What is a Finishing Kick?

Negative split.

Finishing strong.

In case you don't know what these terms mean, check out Nick Symmonds in this outstanding 800m USA Olympic Trial finals last 2008.

Btw, he did the same this year.

Makes you wanna go out and do speedwork, right?

Now go practice.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Newton Distancia Racer Review

As a gift to myself for finishing my first full marathon, a week after July 4 I bought a pair of the much talked about Newton Distancia Racers for P7,000.00 (approx. USD 159.00). I was sold to buying such an expensive shoe (average running shoes costs around P3,500-5,000.00) since I've made it my mission to adapt to midfoot/barefoot running after reading Born To Run and Chi Running.

I was also sold to the numerous articles/books I've read that changing from heel-striking to midfoot-striking could make my runs injury-free, particularly on my left knee. Much of the "blame" would also be on my running buddy and triathlete/officemate @paopedal who swears by the product's technology.

I also read the Newton blog-reviews of BaldRunner ("this shoe will not make you faster in road races") and RunningNinja ("They are designed specifically for people who are already mid-foot/fore-foot runners, or for people who are working on transitioning from a heel-strike stride to a mid-foot/fore-foot stride") prior to my purchase.

In RUNNR BHS, I was able to test it on the store's treadmill. It was good to know that my barefoot running tests showed that I've improved my gait to near-midfoot after my first try at RUNNR almost a year ago. With the Newtons, the storeguy said that it seemed that I've easily adapted to the shoe compared to most first-time wearers.

Needless to say, I've considered all angles before I bought the shoe.


On my first run (1km), the shoe felt very light (244 grams) compared to others I wore previously (my Adidas tResponse Stability weighed 360 grams while the Asics Gel Foundation 8 I'm still using weighs at a hefty 390 grams!). Newton recommends to just double the distance-increase during break-in period but I overdid the 2nd run (3-4km). I ended up with extremely painful calves for the next few days.

Moral lesson: follow the directions.

After the soreness of my calves had healed, I must say that the next runs with the Newtons were really great. The patented lugs were forcibly correcting me to strike midfoot. It also made me conscious of preventing heel strike although the soles of the shoe indicate that I still heel-strike a little on my right foot.


I've logged about 90-100km already with this pair. Aside from using it for my tempos (5-8kms), a few short easy days, a couple of long runs (14km last Sunday) and a speedwork session last Saturday (10x200m), I've used the Newtons for two 5k races as well: Rexona Run and St. Lukes QC. In both races I finished sub-30 (although the latter, St. Lukes QC, was short of 800m), which is a marked improvement, probably due as well to the continous training/running since my last 5k race (April, or was it May 2009?).


The previous pain on my left knee is slowly degressing since I started running with the Newtons. So whatever pain I have there now was brought about by the remnants of previously running heel-strike. So there's definitely a marked improvement with the change of running gait that the Newton is forcing me to do.

The problem with the Newtons is that when I heel strike (when fatigue sets in on long distances), there is no support to cradle your fall at the heel since the design is primarily for midfoot strike. The result is pain on my left heel. You really have to be conscious to midfoot-strike all the time with this shoe or else it will let your heel suffer.

Further, I think that when I switch between the Newtons and my Asics (which are of the motion-control class, i.e. heavy) the heel-support that the latter provided made me relax a bit on midfoot-strike, thus triggering heel strike. And pain.


The Newton Distancia Racer is a good buy since it teaches you midfoot strike ---a definite way to reduce injuries. It is very light that makes running smooth and effortless. It needs a couple of break-in runs before you get the feel of midfoot strike. Rushing it will cause you calf tenderness (i.e. pain!). You just need to be conscious of your gait all the time since if you heel-strike, there is not much support on the shoe to absorb the impact from the ground to the heel.

I will continue to use this shoe for training (speedwork, tempo, and short-easy runs) and racing (5k for sure, 10k probably, but currently in doubt if I'll wear them for 15k up to a full marathon). Maybe if I get more used to midfoot-strike, I'll be more confident to wear them for longer race distances.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Missed Coffee, but went to a Hospital

The bedside clock displayed 5:35am as I woke up Saturday morning.

Ugh! I woke up late!

The previous night's race preparations for Saturday's Figaro 10k went all for naught as I overslept, due to the long drive from QC to Nasugbu and back to attend the wake of my officemate's Dad there. I had no driver-reliever so I drove 3hrs to Nasugbu, then 5 hours back (because of the traffic and stopovers).

It might've been good as well since my body was obviously not conditioned to race that Saturday. Still dead tired and groggy, I went back to sleep.

I found out later in the day thru my batchmate that the 5km loop of the race only measured 4.44km according to his miCoach. Tsk tsk...


Thanks to's List of Races, I was able to find a race for the next day: The St. Luke's Hospital QC Urology Alumni 3k/5k for P300.00. Knowing the pros and cons of a cheap reg-fee, I still decided to sign up since these legs were aching to race (my last race was the Aug.1 Rexona Run 5k). A sub-30 5k dream must be achieved. Further, this race was just a 5-minute drive from home so even if I wake up at 5:35am, I can still make it to the the 6:10am gun-time.

Sunday morning I was relaxed as I arrived in St. Luke's QC. I felt that sub-30 was imminent, despite being awestruck by the presence of the mighty Kenyans warming up (yes, even for a small race such as this, they were THERE!).

The attendance was around less than 300 combined for the 3k and 5k runners. The gun went off a few minutes late, but that was ok.

By the middle of the 2nd kilometer I felt that sub-30 was going to be impossible at this point due to two reasons. One, the race course was laid with calf-killers: hills. It was like Botak Baguio without the cool breeze and elevation. I started with 5:30 on km1 and succumbed to 6:20 by km4. Hill-training is still my achilles' heel (hehe).

The second reason was that the race distance, similar to Figaro Run the day before, was short. My 305 measured it at a measly 4.21km. Despite my finish time of 25:33, the 6:05/km average pace made me conclude that even if the race was exactly 5km, I won't be able to reach sub-30.

Yup, I'll have to make hill-training mandatory in my training from here on in.


So what's up with these two races (Figaro and St. Lukes) and their route-distances (4.44km and 4.21km), right? I feel that it's an essential part of each race that the distance should be damn accurate. Be it a P550.00 or P300.00 registration fee, the distance MUST be accurate.

Am I right or am I right?

So please do better next time and, for my part, I will do better with the hills, too.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Run Philippines Run!

I think our young (at-heart) runner-bloggers (a.k.a. Reinier, Rene, and Jovie) can attest to the existence of this (since I doubt my folks attended one when I was young):

Cool, right?

Found it while having dinner at Red Crab, T. Morato last night, among a collage of laminated posters from the past. Think Champoy, OG must be crazy, etc.

Doesn't ring a bell?

Man, I'm getting old.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Running Heals

"She credits therapy and long runs with helping her deal with the last nine months, and she also kept a journal of her thoughts and emotions."

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cobra 70.3 Camsur Race Results

Running a 1:25 21k might be easy for some....

....but add a 1.9km swim and a 90km bike ride, I doubt you'll ever get that run finish time.

Congrats to all who joined yesterday's Camsur 70.3! You are all awesome!

Btw, you can check out the race results here.

Yeah, I'm jealous of these ironmen/women. Triathlon seems to be a hard sport since you need to learn 3 disciplines. Training must be more intense than for a marathon?

Congrats again! I hope to do one (70.3) within the next 10 years.

Hmmm, how to swim on open water? And that bike's pretty expensive....

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rest and Recovery

As I crept back to bed from playing with my 1-yr old, my wife asked why I didn't run this morning. According to the Excel makeshift calendar I made, today was my rest day.

I made my own calendar to control my weekly mileage increase (something I've never done) to prevent me from reinjuring my left knee. I'm only allowed to increase my total weekly mileage to 10% as many have prescribed over the 'net. Although I did some VMO exercises this morning for my knees, today was a welcome break from running.

Absence makes the heart grow fonder as they'd say. I guess it goes the same for running.

Yup, I can't wait to run tomorrow morning.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Studying My Gait

The video below captures Ryan Hall (in his nyort-nyorts, hehe) in super slow-mo when he ran the 2010 Boston Marathon. It's amazing how elite runners like him could come up with such a perfect running gait/stride. When you think that he'll be heel-striking, at the last second he strikes the ground midfoot first, and cycles his foot back, way way up to complete the gait cycle. His lean is perfect as well, a straight line from the ankles to his head throughout.

Well I'll never run like that. But maybe, with the proper training, yes. For now, I'll be contented with watching this video I recorded one morning last week. With my trusty digicam and tripod on the other side of the street, I proceeded with recording my running gait using my new Newtons. A few clicks here and there with Windows Movie Maker, I am pleased to present, my current running gait:

A far cry from Ryan Hall's, right?

I have to admit, watching myself run has been mind-opening. All this time I thought I was running "by the book," but the video tells otherwise. It has helped me create my "need to improve" list. Based on what I've been reading and watching all over the Internet, the following are my observations:

- The Newtons had helped me run midfoot-strike, although my feet are still landing slightly before my hip (must be under according to Chi running).

- I am not lifting my leg up high enough to complete the whole gait cycle

- My arms are swinging too close to my body's midline. I've a really bad arm swing.

- Need to work on that lean (especially downhill)

- I need to loose weight! Camera added not 10, but probably 20lbs! Hahaha...

I encourage you guys to take a video of yourself running as well. Just don't do it with too many people around or you might get confused as an actor/actress filming the latest commercial. Hehehe...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Why Running Form Matters

I've just read an article at It's a good read, especially for those like me struggling to find an efficient, injury-free running form. Click here for the article.

Further, here's a helpful video from Danny Dreyer, author of Chi Running, discussing how to avoid heel-striking.

Well, if all else fails, just remember to watch little children as they run. Most often, they have perfect form.

Happy running!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Rexona Run: Just About There


Four minutes before gun start of the Rexona Run 5km event.

When in usual races I'm already inside the starting corral stretched and warmed-up, I found myself at a different area.....

.....I was at the last traffic light just before reaching MOA. Waiting for it to turn green was taking so long that I resorted to changing to my Adidas yellow singlet, attach my 305 and HRM, and take in a pack of Hammer Gel, all while in the car.


I was able to find parking space just across San Mig Avenue near Manila Bay. I jumped right out of the car and ran toward the starting arc. Man, whatever dreams of finishing sub-30 are gone now, I thought, as I reached the arc and started my 305. I couldn't decipher which time among the top of the arc was for the 5k'ers since I noticed that I was just about the end of the race pack.

Demet! Late late late!!!

And so the race begins

Well I was definitely late. Any dream of finishing sub-30 gun-time wise would be impossible at this point.....

....but not D-TAG wise. I could still do it. Although a sub-30 D-TAG finish time would not be posted in my blog's "my races" column, it will still be a good confidence booster especially now that I'm hoping to do "subs" in my future races (as is everyone's goal is).

I felt that I was definitely zooming since I was squeezing in and out the 5k runners/walkers. My pace was sub-6:00/km as I tried to claw my way to the front and hopefully reach the sub-30 runners. I was passing everyone from km1-3. Everything was going well until km3.....

...The 3km runners/walkers had intersected with the 5km route.

I had to double my effort in passing thru the other runners. By km4 I only saw a few 5km runners left but still a whole lot of 3k'ers. My 305 read 20mins. With less than 2k to go, sub-30 might just be there (D-TAG wise).

With about 300meters left, I resorted to going back to my normal pre-Newton gait to see if I can sprint it. Big mistake as I somehow slowed down (km5 would register 6:02 in my 305). I was doing well with midfoot striking but felt that I wasn't going that fast (although I WAS fast). Big mistake really as it probably chewed up 10secs from my finish time. Should've sticked to midfoot-strike.

However, I was still able to end up with a smile as I pressed stop on my Garmin: it read 29:24. The finish arc clocked me at 32:13 as seen in RunRio's website. D-TAG time was 29:24 was well.

Finally, a sub-30. The "32:13" official time still pegs me above 30mins so I'll need to improve on that (AND my pre-race logistics). Probably another 5km race this month before I move back up to racing 10, 16, and 21k's.

5k fun runs seem to be that: fun. That should what makes this sport feel in the first place. The full-mary training that I had was very demanding so much so that it zapped the fun out of it, which made my Milo 42k pre-race anthem to be to "just get it over with" which, in post-mortem, seemed to be a bad way to psych oneself from starting his very first full marathon.

5k's are all about fun but at the same time getting serious with speed. It was a big ego-boost as I calculated I finished among the top 8% of the 5k runners (#248 out of 2867). I couldn't believe that all those people I passed accounted for some 92% of the whole batch. Further, being in front of the crowd to get all the freebies was good as well as I went back to the car to exit MOA fast before the other cars start rolling home.

A big plus as well was that I got to spend more mornings with my family (my 1-yr old wakes up at 5am while my 4-yr old wakes up at 6-7am, making long runs impossible and with a guilty feeling of neglecting daddy-duties). 5k training need not be serious distance-wise but more on speed. So I got to balance my time with my sons better the past few weeks.

Yup, most definitely another 5k race this month.

Thanks RunRio for a well-organized race!

Friday, July 30, 2010


Tidying Up my “Golf Swing”

I’ve been recovering well these past 4 weeks after Milo. I only started running 2 and a half weeks ago, usually not exceeding 5km per run and 2-3 times a week only. Aside from rebuilding my mileage from scratch, the reason for the conservative mileage is that I’m trying to correct my stride.

My left foot heel-strikes. This may have contributed to the left knee patellar tendinitis that I’ve been plagued with since Oct 2009. Wearing stability shoes may have solved the over-pronation but my gait still needs to be corrected. With the dedicated time I have with family and work, signing up to a free running clinic is out of the question. Assessing and reassessing what tools were available out there, I resorted to buying a pair of Newton Distancia Racers ---a reward I gave myself for finishing my first full.

The first few runs had my calves screaming in pain after each run. I had only myself to blame since I got over eager with the shoe and totally scrapped the allowed 10-minute increase per run so that I get used to the new midfoot-strike method gently (my first run was 1km followed by a 5km, which was supposed to be 2-3km only). Walking down the stairs was a real pain for a week and a half.

But the past 3 runs have been ok. My calves have gotten used to my new gait although I feel that I still need to find that “sweet spot” Newton-Running mentioned with regards to midfoot strike. I hope to consciously remember this new gait as I try to increase my mileage. Left knee has not been as painful as before and pace is slowly getting back….or even getting faster?

Speed Test

Thanks to free slots provided by an officemate, I signed up for the Rexona Run 5km event this coming Sunday. It’s like starting all over again since I haven’t ran a 5k race since April 2009. A sub-30 finish is wishful thinking but, who knows? If the racing gods will be kind, I might just beat my 30:29 PR. With MOA (hopefully) providing a flat course, a sub-30 might just be possible if all the conditions are right.

Yup, this Sunday’s going to be fun.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Pikermi! What?! Pikermi! What?!

What the HELL is a Pikermi?

I've asked myself that question twice already this week after reading a blog (sorry I forgot which one) and on a comment on the KOTR post (which btw costs P850.00 for 21k....whoa!).

So where else to get my answer but in good ol' Mr. Google. Based on the Team Pikermi website:


A Pikermi is a running race of a distance of 13.1 miles, formerly known as a half marathon. The term was coined by a blogger named Pochero in a blog on "The Loop", which is a runner's community on the the Runner's World website. Pochero's original blog describes the idea best, so be sure to view the blog here: Good luck on that Pikermi!

Basically, the term Pikermi is used because of the route of the original "marathon" in Greece, which was a route from the town of Marathon to Athens approximately 26.2 miles (the distance of a marathon). The town of Pikermi is about the mid-point between Marathon and Athens, therefore being a distance of about 13.1 miles.

The idea behind giving the "half marathon" it's own name is based on the thought that the accomplishment of running a race of 13.1 miles should not be diminished by describing it as "only half" of something else.


Hmmm, is Pochero related to the Gingerbreadman who's famous for the liempo runs? Ahehe....

So there you go. Anyone joining the 2010 KOTR Pikermi?


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Book Reviews

Except for that 1km break-in run that I did yesterday morning (for my new Newton Distancia, hihihi), I haven't really ran since the July 4 Milo Marathon.

sweet reward

I made progress though in terms of reading these two running books. I've finally finished reading them ---an amazing feat since I'm not really into reading. I kid my wife that, at 36, my vision is still 20/20 since I rarely read my school textbooks when I was still studying. Basically, I'm not really into reading books (Hmmm, I think I said this twice in 1 paragraph. Yup, it's that much. Hehe). I would start off with a book and then just doze off in bed after 1 or 2 pages then just totally getting lazy to finish the rest. The last time I finished reading a book was the Da Vinci Code which was ages ago.

But amazingly, as mentioned, I've finished reading these two books:

Chi Running by Danny Dreyer. The book is somewhat instructional in the sense that it coaches you on the proper way to run effortlessly and injury-free. I really felt the benefit of this book in terms of Danny's reminders: (a) concentrate on keeping that lean/proper form; and (b) short strides at a waltz-cadence (wuhn, too-tree, wuhn, two-three...).

Born To Run by Chris McDougall. Borrowed from my officemate Paolo, Chris tells about his amazing trip to Mexico to find a lost tribe of super atheletes/runners called the Tarahumara to help him answer this basic question, "Why does my foot hurt?" It's a good read, i.e. two-thumbs up! Careful in reading this though, for you might think of throwing away your running shoes for Vibrams. Haha.

I'm currently reading another borrowed book, Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes. So far, it's starting to become a good read as well. I'll let you know what I think of it once I finish.

That's all I could do for now while still on recovery phase. But I'll try to squeeze a few kms this week. Gotta get used to those Newtons. ;-)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Milo Full-Marathon: Skin O' My Teeth

I won't feel the hurt
I'm not trash any longer
That which doesn't kill me
Only makes me stronger


Back ache.

Both quads, screaming pain.

Left knee, pain.

Right forefoot, stinging pain.

Both arms, numbing pain.

But I'm still smiling.

Waking up Monday morning with an icebag on my back isn't my typical day-after-the-race condition. I've ran several half-marys and I was able to wake up the next day without so much pain. But the race I joined July 4th was entirely different for it was my time to tackle the full-marathon, a.k.a. the urban Everest.

I came to the starting line with 12 weeks of under-mileaged training (a "measly" 29k was my longest long run), an incompletely-healed left knee, and a slight stinging pain on my right forefoot.

Paolo, my triathlete-officemate who celebrated his birthday on the 4th of July (debuting in the full-mary as well), couldn't have prepared our mindset more clearly:

"Let's get this (42k distance) out of the way!"

He was right. I was having palpitations around a week and a half prior to the race, an indication that I was worried sick of this new challenge.

I had slight thoughts on backing-out of Milo but when I recalled what Paolo said, it was definitely the right thing to do. Getting this (in the most sissy voice you could imagine) "Oooooh I don't know if I can finish 42k" thought out of my system was just something that I needed to do and yes, get it out of the way.

Pace Plan

Paolo and I planned to have a 1km @ 7:30mpk and 4km @ 7:00mpk for 3/4 of the race and then for the remaining 1/4 adjusting the pace at 4km to 6:45 then 6:30. Average pace would be a little over 7:00mpk which could bring us to a sub-5hour finish. Great plan, right?

"If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans." ---Folk Proverb


I carbo-crammed the night before the race (Chinese food at Shaolin Tea House) and ordered McDo Spaghetti for take-out as my breakfast (which I barely finished that morning). Nutrition during the race would be served by 4 sachets of Hammer Gel (I tried GU the weekend prior but it seemed that GU doesn't like me). I was confident that there would be bananas and gels to be handed out on the race course so I didn't bring much food.


Probably due to my last RudyB race (21k Freedom Run) wherein one water station ran out of cups, I decided to bring along my Nathan 1.5 hydration belt. As luck would have it, this was a good decision (again).

I ran out of Body-Glide so I resorted to the cheaper alternative: Petroleum Jelly. I can safely attest that after the race, I'm a PJ-convert from hereon!

So what happened?

I was 3mins off-target by km10 (1:13). The pace just fell considerably after that. It could be a combination of the increasing pain on my right forefoot coupled with the panic that I might run out of energy in the latter kilometers, that I resorted to run-walk as early as km18. At the halfway mark, my 305 read 2:37 ---way way (way!) off the 2:27 target. Paolo was way ahead by that time, probably 3kms ahead.

Summer wanted to make a last hurrah that day as the sun was starting to rise ---with impunity. It was so hot that all was lacking was the sand, sea, and especially the sea breeze. I would refill my hydration bottles at the water stations to be used periodically to cool my face, neck, and arms from the searing heat while I sip a few ounces from the available cups.

At that point, I knew that I had to kiss my sub-5hour wish goodbye. To put things mildly, I was in survival-mode.

I will run/jog but only for about 200-300meters then walk as much as possible. The bananas handed out by the Milo van and by the aid station (thanks guys!) proved that bananas REALLY ARE ENERGY BOOSTERS.

With a little over 7kms to go, I was at Roxas Blvd going southbound for the last turnaround point. Boy, was it hot! Almost every 42k runner that I saw at that point was either walking or at a very slow jogging pace (special mention to Roselle, Jet, Jayson, JP, and yes, even Paolo, who I met at that point). To be honest, I didn't really get negative thoughts of DNF-ing this race. I was slow but my spirits were still high for the following reasons:
  1. As this is my first marathon, there was no pressure on the finish time. Whatever time it will be, it will still be recorded as a Personal Best. Thanks to my wife on reminding this when I phoned her at km32. Sub-5 can be targeted on my next full-mary (Condura 2011? hehehe)

  2. New shoes. As spending is rather tight these days, I had to make a good justification as to why I should be worthy of buying a new pair (of Newtons? Hihihi). If I don't reach the finish line, then I would feel (a little) guilty buying it. ;-)

  3. I was looking forward to my 26-day recovery period. "Just a few more kilometers to go, and you'll finally get that "vacation" you deserve!" I told myself. The whole marathon-training thing has been taxing to say the least. It already came to a point that the last 2 weeks of training seemed to demand too much from my body, especially the long runs. So it's going to be a big relief once I cross that finish line. My aching body agrees.

  4. The medal. I psyched myself that although I was walking at that point of the race, I would find it unacceptable NOT to have a finisher's medal for all my effort (including the 12 weeks of training). Thus, it was only logical that I finish under 6-hours since I WANTED that Milo finisher's medal.

  5. My family. For the first time, my wife, two sons, my sister, and my Dad are all waiting for me at the finish line. I already coaxed my eldest 4-yr old to run with me at the last few meters leading to the finish arc. It's something that I would like to tell him and his grandchildren in the future. I might never get this opportunity to have all of them wait for me at the finish line. Thus, it was really a must that I finished not just for me, but for them.

So for the next 7kms, I was mentally calculating my current pace to a predicted sub-6 finish time. As long as I kept my pace under 10:00 mpk (yes, I was THAT slow), I will have enough time to finish under 6hours.

It turned out to be the longest 7kms of my life. Every water station had packed up except for that volunteer aid station with the blue Coleman after one of the flyovers (thanks a lot guys!). There was even this water station wherein only a pitcher of ice cubes were left. I was so desperate for water that I squeezed in a few ice cubes into my hydration bottle and just shook and shook until the ice melted. Voila, ice water! :D

At 2kms left, I came upon this runner who mentioned that he usually finishes a 21k under 2hours but was unfortunately affected by cramps. He could hardly make a jog but I still encouraged him to go (even though I myself, couldn't believe that 2km was such a loooong way to go).

By the time I reached the corner of the US embassy and Quirino Grandstand, I still had a healthy 10mins before cutoff as per my 305. However, this race marshal told me and another runner that there were only 7mins left. With about 800meters(?) to go, I just decided to go for it and ran as fast as I could.

I was relieved that the timer above the race-vehicle was sync'ed with my 305. I looked around the area and found them: my (moral) support crew. I immediately went for Lucas, my 4yr old, and we ran the last 10 meters to the finish.

Official time: 5 hours, 53 minutes, 21 seconds.

I escaped the cutoff time by the skin of my teeth.

my (moral) support crew


I'm still glad that I came out of this race alive. There are lessons to be learned, particularly in the training and race-pace strategy. Will I ever race 42k again? Yes, of course! But maybe not as often as I would do for a 10k/21k race. I've learned that training for the full-mary is very demanding. If you're body is not ready for the required weekly mileage, it is prudent that you beg off from joining a 42k race. I might keep my 42k races at a minimum, probably once a year. Doing it twice a year could be too much for me already. But we'll see....

But I have to admit, becoming a real marathoner has its benefits. My FB status of my marathon finish had more comments and likes compared to when I had my birthday. The comments, congrats that I'm getting here too at the office has somehow made me feel like a rockstar (there are only 4 of us in the entire 1,000+ employees who've finished a full mary).

Yup, I guess you can say that.

Marathoners ARE rockstars.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Spirit of the Marathon

Several days to the biggest day of my life, and I'm nervous as ever. 26.2 miles. 42.195km. Will I get to see that finish line at the Quirino grandstand where just yesterday our new President and Vice-President were sworned in?

Sunday will be a test. It will be a test if my 12 weeks of training will pay off. As I said previously, I often ended up short on the required weekly mileage. But I still found myself running the following week, eager to still try to complete the program required.

I was scouring YouTube yesterday to look for more videos of Ryan Hall and Josh Cox doing training to maybe inspire me going into Sunday's race. I did find one of Ryan Hall but I also found this movie trailer: The Spirit of the Marathon (2007).

I'm currently on part 2 of 10 of the whole movie thanks to someone who uploaded it on YouTube. I hope this helps add to my mental preparations come Sunday although I may have to edit some of them out like what Bill Rodgers said:

"Geez, this is really really hard.."

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

34th Milo Marathon Race Map

I got mixed feelings seeing the route for the 34th Milo full-marathon.

The V.Sotto-NAIA-road loop to be done 3 times might hit me pyschologically, especially in the latter kilometers. Too bad I won't get to run up until Bayani Road for this one since I've been doing my long runs mostly in that area (last year's race included a Buendia-5thAve-BayaniRd section which I think adds variety to the route). Going around 3 loops seems to have brought down the excitement to my first full. Even PC, my running-mate for this race, feels turned-off by the route as well. I guess RACE, the race-organizer, had problems securing government approval to clear Buendia Avenue traffic for 6 hours (42k cutoff time)?

On the plus side, except for the Roxas Blvd flyovers, the route seems relatively flat. This means my pace won't be sucked up by the cruel Buendia-Kalayaan flyover and Bayani Road. Further, removing Buendia Avenue from the route eliminates the excessive pollution from the jeepneys and other vehicles plying that road while they wait (in anger?) for the road to be cleared of runners.

Hmmm, maybe I should try out the route this weekend on my last long run.

Yup, I probably should.