Monday, December 31, 2012

2012: A Great Year

BROKEN

The year 2012 has been very kind to me as I was able to break several PRs:

FM 5:11:16 (2012)
32km 3:49:07 (2012)
16km 1:42:30 (2012)
10km 0:56:53 (2012)
5km 0:29:59 (2012)

The one that I'm most proud of is the FM (42.195km) PR wherein I chopped off 12 minutes, proof that when you do the work (16 weeks of smart training), you are rewarded handsomely.



CROSS TRAINING

2012 will be known for me as the year I started cross-training: spinning and strength-training. These tools that were made available to me by signing up in a gym has helped greatly in injury prevention and overall race performance. That is, activating those muscles that I never use before has now helped me perform better in my runs, especially during the last part of the run/race where stronger muscles keep my form intact to be able to dig in for more.


WEIGHT LOSS

Except for the last 4 days of food binging in Singapore, 2012 has allowed me to lose 10lbs which I previously wasn't able to do since losing my first 10lbs last 2009. Calorie counting helped via myfitnesspal as I held on to keeping myself below 1,400 calories (as much as possible when without exercise) to lose the unwanted weight. The 10lbs that I lost was also a reason for me to break PRs this year.


CYCLING & DUATHLON

2012 marks the year that I started cycling and joined a duathlon standard distance. The ASTC Duathlon that I joined last November has thought me a lot, that I have a lot to improve on especially on the bike ---a new sport that I have come to love and crave for in the mornings.

Starting the bike leg of the 2012 ASTC Duathlon


2013?

I hope to continue this upward 2012 trend in 2013. As I mentioned a few posts ago, I will aim for a new 21km PR. I would like to join more duathlons. I would like to lose another 10lbs. And, of course, the unfinished business of aiming for a sub-5 full marathon is still there.

I hope you, my (few) readers, have enjoyed my blogging this year. I hope to continue to share with you my running and duathlon experience in 2013. I don't mind if you spread the word out about my blog btw. ;-)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

No rest even in Singapore

Pic taken from http://singaporewhisky.blogspot.com/
The family and I will be heading off to Singapore for a well-deserved vacation starting tomorrow until Sunday. In case you're wondering, I used to work there from 2001-2002 on a brief contract stint. So, yup, I really miss the place (and the food!!!) so going there will bring back lots of memories working as an expat.

As this blogpost says, I hope to have some workouts there especially now that I've confirmed that the hotel that we're staying in has a gym complete with cardio and strength training equipment. Thank God!

I hope to run around the city as well at dawn. See if my lungs are capable to withstand the humidity that Singapore is known for especially during the Standard Chartered marathon.

At least I'm still able to burn some calories after my tastebuds revisit the delicious chicken rice, satay, hofun, teh ais, teh tarik ais, etc. etc.

I guess I'm qualified as a triathlete:

Bike.

Run.

Eat.

Repeat.

Happy Holidays everyone!!!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Review: K-Swiss K-Ruuz 1.5: Fast!

When you love running in a particular shoe, you worry if the succeeding versions of the shoe will live up to the performance of its predecessor. Tinkering too much or too little might make the upgraded version a downgrade in effect, similar to how movie sequels failed in beating box-office expectations of the previous film. But then, there are rare movie sequels that satisfy the audience thinking that the sequel is oh so much better than the first one.

The K-Swiss K-Ruuz 1.5 racing flat is such a sequel.


After 409 kms on my K-Ruuz 1.0, it was time for me to buy a new racing flat. The upper, in particular where the pinky toe resides, have worn out due to the numerous runs and races that this pair has joined in.

Fortunately, during the Tripalooza at the Piazza Mall in McKinley months ago, I was able to acquire at a very good discount the K-Ruuz 1.5 version.

The 1.5 sports a fiery red and yellow look and, compared to its 1.0 predecessor's 9mm heel to toe lift, this one has a 10mm lift as per the runningwarehouse.com web site. The 1.0mm difference is very unnoticeable, unless you're the Princess of the Pea.

Once you get out for a run in this shoe, the noticeable difference between the 1.0 and this one is the more comfortable feel of the improved upper. The outsole markings remain the same so you'll still have the small stones getting into the drainage holes from time to time which was the same experience for the 1.0.

Still, the lightness of this shoe (at 6.0 oz) makes you run fast with quick turnover due to its lightness, as expected in every racing flat such as this.

I have a small issue though on the sock liners since the drainage holes in it are a little bigger compared to the 1.0 version. The result of which, during and after a sockless run, is some mild pain under the foot since the   holes have marked heavily there. I was able to fix this by swapping the 1.5 sockliner with the 1.0's so my sockless runs have been comfortable since then.

After 146 kms so far, this shoe has helped me this year in my tempo and speedwork training runs which has resulted in improved performances in my 10k, 21k races and in last November's maiden duathlon (where I saw that it was being worn by about 3 out of every 10 duathletes there).

Definitely, this is a serious racing flat for serious runners that want to achieve PRs.

Of course, I'm hoping that the next installment (the 2.0?) will live up to the hype to complete the K-Swiss K-Ruuz (successful) trilogy.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Run-ny Nose

It's been 3 days since my last workout (a 5km run). Quite odd for me to be idle for 3 days. The reason is that I caught the flu and I've been nursing it since early this week through a barrage of medicines and drinking lots of liquids.


I think my body is complaining since I've been working out 6 times a week for the last couple of weeks. Coupled with little sleep, night parties and weekend family duties, I guess my body has reached its limit.

pic taken from buckeyes_blog
So here I am recovering with a water bottle on one hand and a medicine bag in another. Hopefully I get better later this week to get the miles moving.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Saved by "Nasu: Summer of Andalusia"

"Come in your best Anime costume!"

That was the invitation I received about 2-3 weeks ago for a Thanksgiving party to be held at our boss' residence in time for the Holidays.

Fast-forward to 24 hours before tonight's party, the only "costume" I could manage was a Naruto T-shirt which I hope could suffice. But a colleague said most of the attendees to the annual costume party go "all out" with the theme. For example, the 2011 edition required everyone to be in a Greek costume so a lot of 'em wore branches on their heads and robes. Quite stupid-looking, I know, but pakikisama dictates that you play the part.

In panic, this morning I prayed, nay, implored that Google would reply for a positive result for my "cycling anime" search. Wearing my cycling outfit would be my last resort in getting a full costume since the Naruto wig supplier at sulit.com.ph had no stock of the yellow spiky hairdo.

Fortunately, the costume gods answered my prayer:


"Nasu: Summer of Andalusia" is a 2003 Japanese anime film (about less than 50mins long) according to Wikipedia.

Finally.

An anime costume without spending a single cent.

Saved.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

DuaDaddy

I thought about renaming my blog since (1) my running passion is now shared with cycling, my new found (rediscovered) joy, (2) "DuaDaddy" is more applicable for me, a father and endurance freak, and (3) "DuaDaddy" has a better name recall, hehe.

The URL will remain the same but the title and content will now focus on not only my running but on my (would be) duathlon/cycling exploits as well.


Now go back to training.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

(Half) Marathon Road

I think it's time to set another goal PR. The 42k PR I achieved last July (5:11) was the result of weeks and weeks of hard and long training. I may have not reached my sub-5 main goal, but running that race with a mission and at the same time with confidence that I CAN run at my target pace without worrying of bonking (heavily) was a delight to play back in my head over and over again.

I have to say that it was really those 16 weeks of training seriously that made me ready for race day.

After watching the video below this morning, I may have been inspired again to start training seriously for a race. 

My 21k PR stands at 2:14:16 which I achieved last Dec 2010 during the Milo Finals.

As I have not improved on that PR for 2 years since, I believe it's high time for me to get the training cycle rolling again to beat that time. That would mean digging deeper into a race pace that is much faster and possibly, more painful than that last one.

No pain, no gain.


Monday, November 26, 2012

ASTC Duathlon: Happy and Humbled

Hotels.

Goggles.

Elites passing by.

Telling the fireman to turn off the hose.

Singing the Pia Cayetano election jingle as she passed by.

@lingerboy and I had been chatting about these different topics while running for several kilometers now. It was a typical weekend run that we have most of the time. We run and chat at 7:30/km for about 10-12k, then we grab a bottle of choco milk at the Greenhills weekend market as our reward for the day.

But last Sunday we were (still) chatting but at 6:20-6:30/km tempo pace and we weren't in Greenhills.

We were at Subic for the ASTC Duathlon Championships. My baptism of fire into the sport of duathlon.


RUN1 - 10km

The crowd was small compared to the regular weekend run races in BGC or MOA. About 90% of the age group participants were in lean, race-ready shape so when the starting gun blew for the Standard age group men category, it was no surprise to find @lingerboy and I just before the back of the pack.

Take note that we were at 6:20-6:30/km pace based on my Garmin. That would be my normal pace for a 21k race but I couldn't fathom why we're at the tail end. Probably, duathletes could be on a whole different training regimen compared to runners?

Although I'm a faster runner compared to @lingerboy, I decided to stick with his pace since there's still a 40km bike and a 5k run up ahead. The pace that we were at was manageable but still race-worthy since I won't know how my condition will be at the end of the 2nd transition.

Hammergel taken at km4. Water all the way.

We finished the first run in 1:04 (Garmin) and headed onto the transition area.


BIKE - 40km (38km)

After just a month of bike training, this is where the real race started for me. I felt a cramp on my left calf as I passed the Subic Yacht Club (1-2km mark). Low in electrolytes, I told myself. So I snacked on a second Hammergel, an energy bar, and gulped on Gatorade and water. After about 15 minutes, the cramp subsided.

The bike leg was going to be 2 loops around a mostly flat course. There was one small grade but long climb about 5 minutes from the U-turn. The challenge of it all was to try to push the pace at 27kmh but still leaving enough energy for the final 5k run.

Keeping up the pace was tough as I only had one 40km stint at Aseana last month. Further, it was somewhat discouraging that although I was pushing the pace, I was being passed left and right by tri and aero-bar equipped bikes. Of course, the type of bike is only 10% of the equation I believe since the duathletes themselves were the true source of power that I heard whizzing by me. This included @lingerboy who left me in the dust as early as after the 1st loop's U-turn.

Still, after 38km, I managed a decent 1:26 (Garmin).


RUN2 - 5km

I saw @lingerboy leaving the transition area as I entered it to leave my bike. He was ahead by probably 5mins so it was gonna be a lot of chasing to do. I racked my bike and helmet, laced back my racing flats, and headed out to the run course.

It was about close to 9am when I started run2 so the sun was up but not that hot. I've practiced bike-run brick workouts during my training so my body knew what to expect in terms of adjusting from bike to run gait. I started my run and after a few meters I checked on my Garmin for pace: 6:20/km.

Not bad, I thought. The good of it all was that I felt good heading out for the run after the bike. I wasn't fatigued, feeling flat, bonked, or anything of the sort. It's probably due to those numerous times I watched videos of @CrowieAlexander beating his competitors at Ironman Kona during the run leg with his enviable running form. ;-)

Yes, for those last 5kms, I felt like Crowie.

I would douse my body with water as I passed by the water stations to get cool and saw myself getting closer to @lingerboy. In the process, I managed to overtake most of the duathletes who have succumbed to the heat. I overtook probably around 10 at most.

I finished run2 at an amazing 32mins (Garmin). @lingerboy finished about less than a minute before me so it was good to see that I've managed to get close from a previous 5min lead.

TOTAL RACE TIME (Garmin) = 3:02.

PR, of course. ;-)


MORE PLEASE

As I write this post I have to say that I've been hooked into duathlons so much that I'm eager to race another one. However, since it's almost at the end of 2012 then most likely the next duathlon would be months away which I presume to be that of the Powerade Duathlon series.

Still, I feel both happy and humbled about my 1st duathlon experience. Happy that I've managed to finish this new sport with no injuries and with a somewhat good performance, especially on the run. Humbled that I learned the hard way that there's much to improve on my biking skills.


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thoughts before my 1st Duathlon


My 1st duathlon is 3 days away. I have to say that I'm very excited and anxious at the same time. The sport of duathlon is something very new to me, even if I've watched videos and read articles on duathlons and triathlons for quite a while now. Just the concept of checking-in your bike or planning your transition strategy excites me. It would be interesting to see how I'll fare on Sunday's race. I'll probably be goofing it up during transitions, and staying much on the side of the road during the bike leg to let others pass. Of course, I'm first and foremost a runner so I'm counting on the 2 runs that will sandwich the bike leg to improve my race time. Overall, or probably on run1 and the bike leg, I'll take the pace just on the upper end of my comfort zone then give it my all on run2. No pressure as any finish time on this race will be a PR. Definitely that'll be a good starting point for improvement in future duathlons. We endurance junkies are only meant to go faster anyway, right?

As expected, after my stint with biking in the late 1990s, hitting the pedals is sweeter the second time around. My training partner, @lingerboy, was right: cycling gives you that different high as you glide through pavement or asphalt with S-P-E-E-D. The intricacies of bike handling and maintenance adds to the thrill as well ---not to mention the ever tempting thought of upgrading this or that part, hehe.

Biking has been grand that I've been looking forward to it on training mornings instead of the runs. Don't worry, I'm not leaving running for good (there's still a sub-5 hour 42k to deal with). It's just that I love the way how biking has spiced up my daily cardio workout needs.

Last August to mid October I started gaining weight again, probably due to my laziness in updating my MyFitnessPal calorie counter and the additional 2 slices of toast with Nutella every morning (yummeh!). As a result, I gained 5lbs on my birthday week. "This has got to stop," I told myself. So I reluctantly started calorie counting again. The first 3 days were the same as when I started it last January: just put in all food that you take and don't worry about going beyond the limit. The important thing is that I was building the habit of keying my food intake again to that tool.

After several weeks, I'm happy to say that I've lost 4lbs since then.  Hooray for calorie-counting! That means that I'm 1lb away from my July racing weight. My knees will be thankful for it once they pound the Subic pavement in Sunday's race.

I'm hopeful for a good race on Sunday. I believe proper pacing based on keen observation of my current effort and nutrition intake during the race will be key.

This is gonna be fun.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Welcome To The Grind

"You were never created to reach a certain level and then plateau. You were created to excel."

So I got myself a bike. I've dilly-dallied on the thought and, after much analysis on how cross-training has positively affected my running (and races) lately, I've finally decided on hooking myself up with a road bike.

The seat and handlebars on mine are black

I've been using it to complement my running and I'm pleased with the results, especially that it helps get the boredom out of a grueling training week.

Yes, I'm training for a race again: a duathlon on Nov25 in Subic. 10k run, 40k bike, 5k run. For the past 3 weeks I've been peppering in bike rides and run-bike bike-run brick workouts in my training regimen, including a 40km bike at Aseana, MOA to see if I can reach the distance without any issue. I finished it happily at 1:44.

The bike leg in Subic is also 40k but it involves a lot of inclines based from what I scouted when me and my family drove to Ocean Adventure two weekends ago. Fortunately, my neighborhood streets have a lot of climbs so I have the regular opportunity to practice that.

I'm not worried about the run legs since I know that I can finish it. Rather, it's the run-bike-run combination which will truly test my will. I know I don't have that much road bike experience although in the late 1990s I used to bike from Paranaque to Mantrade to and from work, but I think I'll be able to manage it.

Let's see what happens on the 25th. It's gonna be tough, but I'll definitely love the challenge.

Monday, November 5, 2012

RUPM 21km: Still Good

I ran (and loved!) the Run United 2 previously this year so when the invitation for the RUPM came up, I didn't hesitate to register, even after back to back 10k races the previous weekend. I was not in it to complete the medal set (since I only have one of the triangular medals) but rather I wanted to run because of the point-to-point course. I was really impressed by RunRio that time so this one should be a similar race experience overall.

Onto the race, to summarize it I was feeling good all throughout, probably pacing at around 6:20-6:40 on the first 16 kms. I wasn't going for a PR but I was targeting a sub-2:20, just to see if I've already upped by 21km average time from last year. Even with just taking a Bread Pan snack prior to the race (and 2 gel stops during the race), I felt great that I even had a lot in the tank to surge 6:20 in the next 4kms and a 5:55(!?!?!?!!!!!) in the last km ---something that I've never done in previous 21k races. Credit goes to my newly found cross-training regime of strength training and stationary (hill workout) biking.

Finish (crossing the line) time as per my Garmin: 2:17:53.

It was 8 seconds off my Run United 2 time. Probably if I skipped the number 1 toilet break I would've finished better. But that's not an issue since I enjoyed the race throughout.

The medal is biiiiiiiig, as advertised, but it doesn't really matter to me since I prefer the overall experience DURING the race ---which RunRio always provides.

See you next year for another round of the Run United series!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Birthday Weekend (Part 2)


The following day, Sunday, I was back racing again. This time in Mckinley Hill, famous for its steep climbs and descents. I've been shying away from Mckinley Hill races since I know that it'll be a painful one as I'm not a good hill runner, but, it was my birthday and the PinkRun was for a good cause (breast cancer cure).

I signed up for (another) 10k race and I wasn't expecting a PR on this one although a course-PR was in sight. I last raced here in 2010 in the Mcdonalds Happy Day Fun Run when I finished between 1:05-1:15. I was still fresh from the previous day's 10k race so racing this one would be a challenge.

The race course was tough, as expected. I paced myself well from the onset, running above my usual 10k pace to be able to recover after the tough climbs. I made short term goals by marking a runner and hoping to pass him/her. It proved helpful as I was able to have a good race although my pace was not going to be sub-60 even if I gave it my all on the last 1km.

Total distance (Garmin)= 10.10km
Pace breakdown per km (Garmin): 6:28, 6:05, 5:49, 5:55, 5:53, 6:06, 6:00, 6:06, 5:43, 5:50, 38secs (last 100m).
Total time (official) = 1:00:23 (gun), 1:00:10 (chip)

It was a good birthday race as I was able to conquer Mckinley with a course PR by 5mins approximately. Further, I finished 36th overall (!!!) among 271+ runners which makes me on the top 13% of the group. Really nice.

I guess the only natural direction from here is to race that course again and aim for a sub-60.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Birthday Weekend (Part 1)

SATURDAY

It was the yearly Company Sportsfest and the question I asked myself days before was, "Can I still make a sub-60?" It's been months since my last race (Milo 42k last July) and more than a year since my last 10k race which, coincidentally, was the Company sportsfest 10k for last year wherein I set my 57:52 PR.

Except for some tempo/speed sessions that I did on a "how I felt for today" basis, I have not been training exclusively for this 10k. Tempos have been a little above 6:00/km average so I was thinking that finishing 1:00+ for this race would be the corresponding result.

The race was held in BGC and org'd by RunRio. I missed this familiar BGC route for racing since I'd only course through it during my Sunday long runs. It was going to be an advantage coz I knew exactly where the climbs and descents were situated. There were only about 30 people running the race so crowd traffic will not be an issue. The only question that remained as the gun fired to release us was, was my body conditioned enough to do another sub-60 finish?

km1 = 5:28
km2 = 5:47

As usual, I zoomed with the young ones at the start, trying my best to keep up with the lead-motorcycle as it would've been a rare sight to see myself at the lead pack of guys being escorted by the motorbike on ANY race. As the boys slowly accelerated to race pace, I decided to hold myself back as I might empty my gas tank before I even reach the halfway point.

km3 = 5:39
km4 = 5:52 (took 1 gel)
km5 = 6:03

I slowed down from km4-5 as I was trying to catch my breath from running fast along the 32nd street climb to Market Market, in preparation as well for the upcoming climb from the church towards the Japanese school. 

I reached the halfway mark at 28:49.

"So I can do a sub-60," I said to myself. As I was still feeling good at that point, I decided to maintain this (fast) pace as much as I can, manage the climbs (8th ave, half of Rizal ave, 26th street towards the Mini Cooper store, and a long climb again on 32nd street), and hope for the best.

km6 = 5:38
km7 = 5:40

A side story at this point. I've been teasing @lingerboy, my officemate slash training partner, to finish this race in sub-60. He has predicted a 1:05 finish for this one but I was surprised (really surprised!) as we met at 8th avenue when I was climbing and he was charging/descending to the U-turn. He removed his left earphone and shouted to me as we crossed, pointing to his legs, "[These are] Cycling legs! I'm coming after you!"

This is what I loved about the Company sportfest. Faces are familiar and it's always gonna be another 12 months of tongue-lashing if you don't do well (taunts like "Ha! He beat you again you slow runner!" are just "friendly" banter that we hear even weeks after the race). For this race, everyone is a challenge as you'll be seeing them everyday and you know that he knows that he beat you during that race ---even if he doesn't say it.

@lingerboy's challenge, adding to my aim of overtaking that female triathlete since km2 had woken me up from my cruising and really put me into race mode at that point. I was probably 2mins ahead of @lingerboy so I wasn't really worried about him (he would later finish at a personal best 58:45, his first ever sub-60). I was more concerned of being "chicked," as the term goes, as female/executive triathlete was *still* 100m ahead of me.

km8 = 5:37
km9 = 5:24

I was really going after her, even expecting her to drop pace from the Rizal Avenue to Mini Cooper climb, but she didn't falter. She was still going at it, but I was still with her about 100m apart. She was starting her final kick on the last kilometer and so did I. It was only the second and final 32nd street climb that will set the issue once and for all.

She surged ahead and I followed. I felt that I was getting closer but on that final turn, the effect of pushing hard on that final long climb had put a big toll on me: the dreaded side-stitch occured as I made my way to BHS. I was in pain and pace was starting to slow down.

I decided to let her go.

But not my PR.

I looked at my Garmin and saw that I was within sight of a new 10k PR. It was about 400m left and I gave it my all, passing the 5k joggers and walkers while managing my breathing to remove the side-stitch.

km10 = 5:41

Total time (unofficial Garmin time) = 56:53.

A NEW 10k PR! Woohoo!!!

I guess all that strength and cross training at Gold's gym may have contributed to my race performance. Adding to that, of course, was consciously pushing the pace as I challenged myself to run faster.

That joy was going to be parked for a while as, after 24 hours, I shall be finishing ANOTHER 10k race on Sunday: The Pink Run at McKinley Hills.

(To be continued)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My Birthday Weekend Plan

What a better way to get back into racing. Back to back races this birthday weekend. Woohoo!

SATURDAY. Company sportsfest 10k. BGC.

SUNDAY. Another 10k race. This time on the killer hills of Mckinley.



As 2012 Ironman Kona winner Pete Jacobs said, "LOVE LOVE LOVE!"

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sep24-Oct7 log

Sep24-30: 13km (RUN), 18km (stationary bike), 2 days weights, 1 day basketball

Oct 1-7: 34km (RUN), 1 day weights


DEHYDRATED

I was hampered with a mild case of UTI days after Sep24, thus the low run mileage during that week. I read somewhere that too much on the bike could be a cause so I decided to lay off from the stationary bike last week. It turns out that the reason for my problem was that I had probably dehydrated myself from working out too much on some days. For example, I will run in the morning and then go to the gym at lunchtime for a bike ride or weights ---all with less water intake. Since then, I make sure that I always have my water bottle with me everywhere I go. No softdrinks, coffee for the meantime ---just Buko juice.


INJURED

Last week I (stupidly) squeezed in 3 hard workouts when I should be building up my miles slowly:

Tempo run: 1k warmup, 4k at 5:42/km, 1k cooldown (treadmill)
Intervals: 1.4k warmup, 8x400m with 1min rest, 1.4k cooldown (neighborhood)
Long run: 16km in 1:55 (QC-SanJuan-QC)

The result? Pain (again) on my left knee. It's a classic case of "too much, too soon" especially on the long run since the farthest that I ran since July 29 (42km) was only up to 10-11km. The 150% long run distance is a far cry from the recommended 10% increase in mileage per week.


Definitely, an example of what NOT to do in mileage buildups. The pain should subside in days so I'm limited to just easy aerobic runs this week.


STOKED


I'm excited for the Ironman Kona Championships this weekend. Will there be someone who'll take first place from Crowie Alexander? Will Chrissie Wellington still reign at the top?


We'll find out this weekend.





Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Tripalooza

The usual question the wife asks after Saturday's anticipated Mass is where do we have dinner? As we haven't been to Venice Piazza for quite a while, I suggested that we go there last Saturday night with the kids.

Lo and behold, as by sheer luck, Venice Piazza was the venue for Tripalooza! It was a mini-festival of all things triathlon. From goggles, to bikes, and running gear, it was all there!

Yep, I was in heaven.

I told the wife to take the kids to Amici to get seated and have our orders taken while I, ahhmmm, hmmm, took a look around (grin).

I was swept by the numerous tri bikes on display. Sigh, tri bikes (and road bikes) are quite expensive nowadays so I'll just have to pass on buying one ---but it's still gonna be on my bucket list!

I rode on a Scott Plasma that was connected to a Tour de France simulator and I felt as if I was really there that I forgot that I was supposed to get back to my family in Amici for dinner! Hehehe....


Pic taken by my 6 year old son (minsan lang maka-aero position! hehe)
 But I had to score a pair of racing flats from K-Swiss: the K-Ruuz 1.5. At a price discount of 1,000 pesos off (P3,695.00), I just HAD to get it. It was a real bargain!


MINE!!!!!! Scored a bargain on these fast babies!

Yes, there will be a shoe review of K-Ruuz 1.5 in one of my posts soon.

Thanks @KSwiss! Thanks Tripalooza!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Strength

Loved this video tweeted by @Ironmantri. This is the 3rd video installment of the Ali'i Drive series in preparation for the upcoming Ironman Kona Championships on October 13th.




"Do you still want to get up when the alarm goes off? Do you still want to get out of the door and test yourself everyday?" --- Craig Alexander

"[Pain and Pain suffering] becomes part of the thing you most enjoy about the sport in a sick way." ---Chris McCormack


Damn, I just realized that I'm an endurance junkie.

And I love it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Improving

Sep10-16: 22km (RUN), 18km (stationary bike), 2 days weights

Sep17-23: 35km (RUN), 2 days weights, half-day badminton tournament

Been fascinated as to how much I've improved in terms of easy pace. During my training for last July's marathon #4, my average easy pace was at 7:30/km. For the past two weeks, my easy runs have averaged  a little over 7:00/km which is my target marathon pace. I believe the twice a week strength training and hitting the hill workouts for my stationary bike days have improved my running (as obviously pointed out in most of the running articles relating the need for strength and cross training for runners).

This was further proven when, the other Sunday, I did a 5k time trial in my neighborhood route and managed a 29:22 which is 37secs better than my current 5k PR. Including last Sunday's 11k run around BGC (my longest long run in quite a while) that I finished in 1:18, I'm really happy with the progress that I'm making. The 1:18 result did not show it, but I managed to control my pace within sub-7:00/km in the latter half of the run and keep my composure and effort at easy pace ---without taking any gel.

Still, the overall weekly mileage (RUN+BIKE) needs to be increased to my 50km target. At least the stationary bike is contributing a lot to this (except for the calories burned which is lesser than running) so I hope to resume my (stationary) biking this week.

Further, in terms of long runs I'm still stuck on that 11k level. Need to up the distance this weekend (maintaining composure in effort and pace) in preparation for upcoming races.

I guess there is truth to the saying that if you want to run fast, you got to run fast. I hope to remember this in my scheduled tempo/speed runs and consciously refraining from getting myself injured.


RACES

I've registered for two races next month: a 10k during the annual company sportsfest (Oct20) and a 21k the week after (Run United, in which I've already registered for online). I hope that I make progress in the coming weeks before these two races arrive so that I can really see significant improvement in my race performance.

ANOTHER USE FOR THE BROOKS PUREFLOW

Yup, I used the shoe for a badminton tournament last Saturday (company sportsfest as rep for Men's Doubles Class B category). Won the class without any set dropped. I guess the minimalist shoe works well with the padded badminton floor. ;-)

Friday, September 14, 2012

Window Shopping

My K-Swiss K-Ruuz 1.0 has now logged 393 kilometers as of this post. On most running forums, the average life span for racing flats (such as the K-Ruuz) will last between 150-300 miles or 240-480 kilometers.

While I'm still happy with my current K-Ruuz, it's time to look for a reliever especially that the upper is slowly showing signs of wear.

Yup, it's time to window shop for my next racing flat! ;-)

The candidates are (in no particular order):

1. K-Swiss K-Ruuz 1.5
      - heel-to-toe ratio of 10mm
      - PHP 4,600.00 (Secondwind Running Store)



2. Asics Hyperspeed 5
     - heel-to-toe ratio of 6mm
     - PHP 4,600.00 (Asics, The Olympic Village)


3. Merrell Road Glove
     - heel-to-toe ratio of 0mm (zero drop!)
     - not sure of the price but it's probably less than 5,000.00

4. Skechers GoRun
      - heel-to-toe ratio of 4mm
      - not sure of the price but it's probably less than 5,000.00


Monday, September 10, 2012

Base-Building (Again)

Aug20-26: 24km (RUN), 1 day weights

Aug27-Sep02: 35km (RUN), 12mins (stationary bike), 1 day weights

Sep03-09: 20km (RUN), 15km (stationary bike), 2 days weights

I've been acquainted with the gym for the last 3 weeks, especially when it rains or when I'm too lazy to run in the morning (more of the latter I think, haha). My lunch time gym sessions are quickly followed by fruit shake with whey 22-ounce drinks which I hope the weight loss will follow suit.

I'm base-building, hopefully the right approach this time. I target to stabilize my weekly run mileage to 50km before I start another gruelling 16-week training for marathon #5 whichever race that would be. I'm thinking either QCIM is too near. Condura? Need a lot of hill training for the dreaded Skyway. How about Cebu in January? Hmmm.....

Except for the company sportsfest 10k next month, I haven't signed up for any race yet. I'll probably sign up for another this month and see if I can get a crack at beating my 10k PR. It's good to join races coz it helps in keeping me motivated. Just need to find a race that will not conflict the family weekend plans.

Oh yeah, I ran in Baguio last Aug 27 (long weekend). Just an average 12k easy-paced training run from Camp John Hay to Mines View then Wright Park and back. The hills and thin air were challenging, but I loved it never the less.

My officemate is egging me to join a duathlon on Nov25. I will most probably beg off since I don't have a road or tri bike. Multi-sport fascinates me. The thought of cruising the road a la Craig Alexander or Chris Lieto is very tempting, but I feel that I have yet to see my full potential as a runner. I still have my sights on a sub-5 marathon so that'll keep me preoccupied until I've ran out of excuses to buy a bike ("I'll buy a bike only if a won the Lotto!" Hehehe....).


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

K-Swiss K-Ruuz 1.0 After 377km


I'm posting pics of my ever reliable K-Ruuz 1.0. I bought this earlier this year and, after 377 kilometers or roughly 235 miles, it has served (and continous to serve!) me well.


The outsole after 377 km (approx. 235 miles)


This racing flat is very light.  It encourages you for a quick leg turnover, thus I've used it mostly for my speedwork/tempo training days and also for all my 21k and lower distance races this year. It is very responsive especially when you wear it sockless.

The only thing that I don't like about it is that tiny particles can still pass through the water holes from the outsole to the inside of the foot. This is very irritating as that teeny tiny pebble(?) less than a millimeter thick irritates my feet with every step. Thus there's no choice but to slow down, step aside, untie the laces, and remove the shoe so that the particle can be expelled. I saw that the 1.5 version of this shoe still has the same vents so probably there will still be the same irritating experience (especially in races!).

  
Particles smaller than the sock lining's vent holes can pass through, irritating the foot

The upper is starting to deteriorate from all the miles incurred

Overall, the shoe is a great racing flat great for those days when you just have to rub that itch for speed. It's light and the upper is well ventilated. The holes on the outsole and socklining should be addressed to block small particles from reaching the foot.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

2012 Olympics Men's Marathon - Congrats Uganda!

Men's Marathon recap on Youtube here.

Women's marathon recap on Youtube here.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Post-Analyzing Marathon #4

As I have not met my main goal of finishing sub-5hours in last month's Milo Marathon, I need to find out where I need to improve. Of course, there is also the need to give credit on where I did well which led me to finish the race with a 12 minute PR (5:11 chip time). Get the good and throw out the bad as they'd say.




WHAT WORKED (FOR A 12min PR)

A STRUCTURED PROGRAM. The 16-week program I used was a mix of the tempo and speedwork of the FIRST Train Less, Run Faster program combined with the Sat/Sun runs from the Brooks-Hanson program. I was able to put in more quality workouts (1 tempo, long run, and speedwork per week) instead of just putting in the miles per week. It's better to have a program to follow instead of having no training plan at all ---especially for a big race such as a 42k.

MORE MILES PER WEEK. Hands-down, personally, having more miles per week will lead to a better performance on race day. I can easily conclude this based on the performance of my last 3 marathons, particularly the average km per week from week 1 to 15:

Condura2011 (5:23) = 39km per week
QCIM2011 (5:35)    = 31km per week
Milo2012 (5:11)       = 41km per week

If I can increase my weekly target to 50km for my next marathon plan, then it could help me get closer to my sub5 goal.

LESS WEIGHT = FASTER. At the start of the year I have been calorie counting in order to lose weight. I was able to shed 10lbs. Obviously, less weight to carry for 42km would mean better performance on race day as I've experienced. As I've gained 5lbs due to the lull of resting for the past 2 weeks, it's high time for me to get back into running mode again to lose the unwanted weight!

CUSHIONING. For Condura2011 and QCIM2011, I used racing flats for my 42km race (Adizero Adios and Brooks Green Silence, respectively). This has not helped in the latter kilometers after 21k since my feet would start to get fatigued and painful beyond that point. My body weight and the impact that it does to my foot is not (yet) ready to just wear racing flats for 5 or so hours. For Milo2012, I still used a low heel-to-toe ratio minimalist shoe but with a little more cushioning (the Brooks Pureflow). This really helped in getting me through (between km21-33 in particular) as I was still running comfortably at this point.


WHAT NEEDS TO BE IMPROVED (FOR A SUB5)

INCREASE WEEKLY MILEAGE. As mentioned above, more miles per week will lead to better race performance as documented in my previous training logs and marathons. Obviously, 41km per week is not enough. I would need to add more miles per week, probably average between 50-60km per week.

INCREASE AEROBIC CAPACITY. The problem with the FIRST training program is that only the key workouts (tempo, speedwork, and long) are in there. I believe there's still a need to pepper each week with easy/relax paced runs between 5-10k per run in order to keep my aerobic fitness in check ---preferably within Maffetone heart rate limits. I read somewhere that the marathon is 99% aerobic. I obviously experienced this during Milo2012, particularly from km33-42 when I probably depleted all my carb/glycogen reserves. With only fat as my energy resource and that I didn't train enough for these types of situations, I ran out of gas and succumbed to run-walking those last 10kms. I need to run more fat-burning paced workouts.

LOSE MORE WEIGHT. I raced Milo at 155lbs ---my lightest weight in years! I would probably need to lose some more, probably 150lbs by the time I race for marathon #5. 150lbs is good not only for my racing goals but for my health goals as well since that weight would put me right smack in the middle of the ideal BMI for my height. Hopefully, my cholesterol levels would follow suit. But first, I'm now at 159lbs so I better start running and calorie-counting again!

FASTER 21k RACES. The 3 half-marathons that I joined this year were all sub-2:20 ---a great personal improvement from past years. Still, that wasn't enough. Since I'm not yet ready for another 16 week training for my next marathon, I will concentrate on short term goals first by hopefully trimming my 21k times to sub-2:15 or hey, a sub-2:00. I can dream, right? :-)


FOR NOW

I signed up for a Gold's gym membership which helps me get in small amounts of mileage whenever I can squeeze a workout during lunch time,whether using the treadmill or the stationary bike. It helps, especially now that it's been raining very often. I hope the weights/strength training that I'm doing will help me too.

My left knee still needs a lot of care so I'm trying to manage my run paces a bit, except for yesterday's 3x1km workout since I itched the NEED for speed. Probably the dumbell squats and patellar tendinitis exercises that I'm doing will help my knee get back on track.

Next race will probably be the annual company sportsfest next month. I signed up for the 10k event which I hope to finish below 60 minutes. It's been a while since I raced a 10k so it'll be interesting how I'll perform by then.

I'll be in Baguio on the last long weekend of August with my family.

I'm already excited to do a long run there ---with the hills, the challenging altitude, and the cold temps.

Yup, it's gonna be another HTFU run!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Humongous


All four of my full marathon medals. Man, that 4.3-inch medal from last Sunday's race is huuuge! It represents all the hard work that I've done for the last 16 weeks prior to the race. This one will definitely have a special place in my planned medal picture frame (probably after a few more marathons, hehe...).

No wonder I heard stories of desperate runners cheating their way throughout the race route (making their own U-turns) or handing their racebibs (since the chip is attached) to a faster runner just to get a hand of one of these (oversized) babies.

Tsk tsk, whoever you guys (or gals) are, I hope you find it in your heart to dig a hole in the ground and bury yourself with that medal that you so shamelessly took by cheating. You have done a grave sacrilege on the Milo Marathon and the sport of running as a whole.

I bet Mang Felix can even overtake you in a 5k race any day.

 

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Milo 2012 42km Elims: Into The Right Direction

As I write this post with painful quads (especially when going up and down the stairs) which I've been accustomed to experience after running a full marathon, I feel a mixed sense of relief and half-baked joy. Relief since I've finally finished (another) 16 weeks of training. My body has gone thru a lot of workouts since April and I know that its thankful of the rest and recovery that its receiving now. I'll probably give it a few more days before I start running again. Easy pace, of course.

Now for the half-baked joy part.

It had been raining days before the race and I was glad that the weather was runner-friendly last Sunday. I parked at MOA at about 20mins before gun time, got myself ready, and walked to the starting corral with 3 minutes to spare. I stood near the end as the 2,000-strong marathoners were sent off at 3am.

After days of debate, I decided to stick with a comfortable 6:50-7:00/km pace plan for the entire race. At least get myself within sub-5hr target by km32. If I'm still standing by then, I'll push hard for the last 10k.

Km1-10 = 1:11 (took first gel at 00:50)

Along Roxas Blvd I managed to caught sight of takbo.ph big boss Jinoe Gavan, whom I read in the past that he's looking into a sub5 finish as well. I'm guessing that he was doing the Galloway walk-run method at this time so it was good to see a fellow runner with the same time goal. Thus I decided to work with him silently by trying to keep up with him as long as possible since I know he was gunning for a sub5 finish too.

Km11-20 = 1:10 (second gel at 1:40, third at 2:20)
Halfway mark (km21) = 2:28:42

The halfway mark was along Buendia avenue, just before the Quirino H-way intersection. I was hoping to reach it at around 2:27 but I was still a happy camper since overall pace and effort was still comfortable. Adding to the comfort was that Jinoe was just about 200meters ahead of me.

Km21-30 = 1:12 (fourth gel at 3:00)

I approached the Buendia flyover with caution, alternating 20sec walks with runs as I climbed the leg from Makati to BGC. The hilly Rizal Avenue and 5th avenue climb to Mckinley was a task but I was able to recover the way back, much thanks to the presence of beauty Jennelyn Mercado waiting at the Lawton Avenue turn around point (hehehe).


Km32 = 3:49

I reached the 20mile mark in a disappointing 3:49 (although looking back now it seems that I made a 2min PR on that distance!) since I had hoped to finish 3:40 ---a time that would give me a comfortable 1:19 left so I can relax at a 8:00/km pace and still meet sub5. I had past "pace partner" Jinoe on the way back from 5th avenue so it was all up to me now to keep my pace up.

I was still in the game but I needed to do 7:00/km pace for 10k more. I started out well, logging 6:46 in km33 but things started crumbling pace-wise after that. I'm not sure what this is, but my running succumbed to walks everytime I felt heaviness on my chest. Not sure if it was my heart rate or my lungs working over time, but it definitely caused me to stop running. I can only look at my Garmin in frustration as my average pace dropped out of 7:09/km ---the average pace needed for a sub5.

Km34 to 42 (Buendia, Roxas, then MOA) was a battle of wills. I was out of the sub5 game but beating my 5:23 PR was still possible (as in my last post, beating my PR was more realistic based on the feedback given to me by my training logs versus a sub5). Average pace was still dropping, no thanks to longer walk breaks and probably 1 or 2 aid stations that ran out of water (I even doused myself with 100PLUS instead of water just to cool my core temp! Talk about desperate huh?). Everyone along side me was walking too so I guess they were having a hard time passing thru the wall.


Tired but still a happy camper

Along Sunset road(?) in MOA with about 400meters left, I looked for my support group: my family. My first full marathon, Milo 2010, I finished it with my then 4-year old Lucas running towards the finish line. Milo 2012 had to be finished with the same fashion: this time with 6-year old Lucas and 3-year old Matteo.

I ran towards the finish line with my 2 sons on each hand, with my Garmin clocking at 5:13 and change.


Approaching the finish line with my support crew

A 10 minute PR!!!

There will be a lot of post-race analysis that needs to be done, but I'll leave that for my next post. There was no sub5, but I believe I'm in the right direction towards it. I'll definitely savor this 5:13 (or 5:11 if my estimated chip time is correct).

And yes, despite aching quads, I'm ready to climb the Urban Everest known as the 42km marathon once again.

But not anytime soon. ;-)


Monday, July 23, 2012

Hay Is In The Barn


This week is the last of a 16-week training cycle, penultimately ending with the Milo Marathon Manila Elims leg on Sunday morning.

Whatever I've done for the past 15 weeks will have to do to help me achieve that ever-elusive sub5 hour goal. Will I make it? As per my training logs, the average weekly miles will not be enough although my 21k race times have been the fastest (sub-2:20) that I've run since I started joining races last 2009. Based on the McMillan calculator predictions, a sub5 is possible. A hopeful target is still sub-5 although a more realistic one would be to improve my 5:23 PR set Feb last year.

I believe I've trained better now compared to my past marathons. Just waking up before 6am to do my scheduled workout, and almost always doing them to the letter. Just going thru the intervals, not stopping at the latter part of tempos, and just going thru the long run at a better pace, helped me to believe that I did enough to make me ready for Sunday.

I have learned to prepare myself mentally for the challenges that will come after 21k. "HTFU!" was such a battlecry for me during this training cycle that I will surely use it on race day, especially in those moments when I'm tempted to lose my pace or walk. I'm even contemplating on getting a (henna) tattoo on the inside of my left arm just to remind me of it during the race. Hmmmm.....

But a sub5 finish? I really can't say at this point. But I will be damn sure to give my all.

To all the other participants on Sunday's full marathon, let's run our best. There's a bigger prize aside from the humongous medal waiting for us after traversing 42.195km of pavement:

GLORY.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Training update for Marathon #4


July 29 is a little over 2 weeks away and I can't wait to toe the starting line for my 4th full marathon which is the Milo Manila leg.

For those who follow this blog (are there? hehehe...), the most important question would be this:

After 3 unsuccessful attempts, will I be able to finish under 5 hours in marathon #4?

My heart says yes but in my past 3 marathons, I too was convinced prior to race day that I can finish below 5 hours. On race day, however, the marathon gods had handed out a different judgment:

Milo 2010 - 5:53 (debut PR on a hot, humid, waterless day)
Condura 2011 - 5:23 (PR)
QCIM 2011 - 5:35


WHY SUB-5?

Finishing a 42km race is a feat in itself ---for first time marathoners. But I've done this 3 times already. A sub-5 finish, IMHO, proves that you're made of something else. It sets you apart from the average marathoner and puts you into a higher level that makes others know that you take running and all the suffering and training (with stress on s-p-e-e-d) pretty seriously. It's like being a sub30 5k or a sub60 10k runner.

Above average, basically.


MILES AND MILES

Being a stats freak (don't you just luuuuv Excel? hehe), I was able to compare marathons 2 to 4 to see how my training for weeks 1-14 have been versus these two other marathons:


Based on the above stats from my training logs, the results are very encouraging that I can finish better than my 5:23 PR. But can I finish below 5 hours? That is a question that I can only answer after the Milo race.


2:30. REINVENTING THE LONG RUN

My training has been a hybrid concoction of the F.I.R.S.T. advanced marathon program and the Brooks-Hanson training program. That is, I took the speedwork and tempo training from F.I.R.S.T. and opted for the back-to-back weekend long runs that do not exceed 2 hours and 30 minutes from Brooks-Hanson's. I read somewhere that the 20-mile (32km) long run is overrated (Google it!) and that a run of 2:30 max provides the same physical and mental benefits as that of a 3 hour or 4 hour long run. This approach to the long run has helped me concentrate more on being "at home" with my planned marathon pace which often ends up between 20 to 21km at 7:00/km pace which is just outside my planned 6:45/km race pace.


IN LOVE WITH MY PUREFLOWS AGAIN

After cutting the NAV-band of my Brooks Pureflow right shoe, I am now loving my long runs again. I was thinking initially of using my K-Swiss K-Ruuz for the marathon but I don't think my feet will like it after 21km. The K-Ruuz is a very fast racing flat which made me finish 3 sub-2:20 21k finishes this year but I don't think it will have the cushioning that I may need when I go further than 13.1 miles. As I said, I'm in love with my Pureflows again, especially during my long runs. I'm not only able to keep my pace below 7:00/km for these long runs, but I'm running in them SOCKLESS as well! I love this shoe so much that I'll probably buy another one once this pair wears out.


2 WEEKS LEFT

Well I still have two weeks left to taper before the race. I need to maintain the effort and follow the prescribed paces in my training runs ---although with less miles for the week (which is good for a family man like me!). All the hard work for the past 14 weeks has been put in. 2 weeks from now, I hope to write my race update on a positive note, i.e. with a sub-5 hour finish!

Wish me luck!

Monday, July 9, 2012

So, what's your excuse?


That's Arnel Aba out of the water alongside a stunned Noy Jopson (middle) and Fred Uytengsu during the 5150 Triathlon in Subic held the other week.

Read the full story here.

Friday, June 29, 2012

HTFU!

This has somewhat become my mantra lately, especially in the latter part of my run when my mind tells me to ease off and walk. Somehow, this works for me. By just remembering to say it to myself during those very hard last miles, I forget the temptation to ease off my pace.

I just bear the suffering and trudge on.

Mentally stronger.

HTFU.

Yeah, you too should HTFU.

Too sleepy in the morning to run? HTFU!

It's raining? HTFU!

You've been running so far 2 of your targeted 3 hour long run and want to call it quits?

HTFU!!!


Monday, June 25, 2012

World Vision 21km: In the bag!




RACE REVIEW

Good
  1. Accurate distance. Garmin registered 20.92km but that's still ok with me.
  2. Challenging change of route. 21k races here are usually going around in BGC first before Buendia. This one, similar to Brooks 21k, started with Buendia (+ Malugay) and then around BGC last.
  3. Adequate hydration. Water all around, plus bananas and sponges.
  4. Nice medal. The glass medal was a different approach to the usual medals that we get.
  5. Generous loot bag.
  6. A feel good race since part of the reg fee went to World Vision
  7. Official results were available the next day
For improvement
  1. Delayed gun start. Garmin recorded it at 5:13am. As per the race organizer that I had a chance to meet after the race, he couldn't prevent the delay since they were waiting for the VIPs (or should I say, pa-VIP, hehe) to arrive.
  2. It would be better if the official results included chip time, not just gun time.

MY RACE

I treated this race as another long tempo run since I wasn't able to do my scheduled tempo run earlier in the week. Of course, finishing sub-2:20 was a must as part of my marathon program for July 29th. Pre-race meal: 1 Burger Mcdo.

The hot temperature the previous day followed suit on race day as the sun was there as an extra challenge. I was able to compensate by dousing  myself with ice cold water (as in almost taking a shower) as I went through almost every water station. It was definitely refreshing that, probably, I should bring soap next time. Hahaha. Seriously, the cool water helped lower my body temperature (like a coolant to a car's engine probably) as I was able to keep pace.

I took my Hammergel along km6 and 12. I didn't need to take a 3rd gel since I was sustained by the whole banana (almost the same calorie count as 1 Hammergel) that I took along Rizal Avenue coming from Buendia (which was surprisingly quiet as I didn't hear the usual irate drivers honking their horns in disgust).

The effort throughout the race was "comfortably hard," the way one should feel during tempo runs. I was focused on not getting my average pace slower than 6:30/km and studying the route as well, i.e. holding my pace since there are several long climbs in BGC really helped.

wet from all the water dousing, but happy!

Finish time: 2:15:56 (official from runningmate.ph). It was a great run as I was able to log my fastest 21k when under the BGC-Buendia route, and 2nd fastest 21k of all time!


HIS RACE

I have to mention that I had a pleasure of joining a race with runner #4026 (Mark Casidsid as per the runningmate.ph website). As I was a little over 1km when the race started, I heard a guy announce "Excuse me, blind runner" as he and a group of Soleus-shirt runners went through. I looked carefully and found Mark in the middle of the group, running at about sub-6:00/km holding a looped rope together with his guide runner. The guide runner (different from the pic below) was barefoot btw.

Their pace was too much for me so I had to let them go. By the Buendia turnaround I saw Mark and his group still going at it. By km17, near Market Market, I caught sight of them again but this time they were walking. I'm suspecting a blow up in the pace strategy or probably the heat may have been too much for Mark. Either way, I clapped my hands and said "Good job! Good job!" as I passed them.



As per the results website, Mark finished a very respectable 2:32:20 (barefoot! Shouldn't this be a Guiness world record?!). I hope to see more of him in the coming races.

Galing mo pare!!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

World Vision Run: June 24

Yup, it's gonna be another Pikermi this weekend, my 3rd for the month of June. These 21k'ers have been helpful in getting me to meet my long run. I've come to the conclusion that running LSDs alone is not my cup of tea. I need to see other people running out there with me on the road. At least the hydration and traffic are taken cared of by the organizers. I run on Saturdays and Sundays to increase the mileage, just tinkering a bit from the Brooks-Hansons marathon training with still an aggressive Pikermi target time of sub-2:20 to hopefully meet sub5.

The World Vision Run is one that I wanted to join since I have been a part of this group for quite a few years now. I've been sponsoring a child thru World Vision. It's good to know that, even in my own small way, I get to help a a little girl out there for her family and schooling needs.



See you on Sunday!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

K is for Kelvin

Two years ago when I started to get addicted to running, I got a little pissed when my highschool batchmate replied to one of my FB posts.

I posted something like, "I ran 10K today in 1hr 10mins and blah blah blah...." which my nerdy batchmate (who's still nerdy up to now btw) replied that I'm using the "K" incorrectly and forwarded me to a site that explained how the K has been misused by the running world.

Nerdy (or nosey) as he is, well, he was right.

To borrow the statement from the University of North Carolina:

The K is "an informal abbreviation for one thousand used in expressions where the unit is understood, such as "10K run" (10 kilometers) or "700K disk" (700 kilobytes or kibibytes). Note that "K" is also the symbol for the kelvin and is often used as a symbol for the karat. Also note that the symbol for the metric prefix kilo- (1000) is actually k-, not K-. In computer science, K often represents 210 = 1024 (see below under kibi- and kilo-).

Wikipedia makes further distinction between Kelvin and kilometer:

The kelvin is a unit of measurement for temperature. It is one of the seven base units in the International System of Units (SI) and is assigned the unit symbol K.

The kilometre (American spelling: kilometer; SI symbol: km) is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one thousand metres (kilo- being the SI prefix for 1000). It is now the measurement unit used officially for expressing distances between geographical places on land in most of the world; notable exceptions are the United States and the United Kingdom where the statute mile is the official unit used.

The International System of Units (SI) closes all debate by specifying the actual symbols that should be used for Kelvin and the metre. That is, K is for Kelvin and nothing else. A table showing this can be found here.

Saying "I ran 10K" would mean that you ran at around -263 degrees Celsius. Could there be such a cold cold place in the universe? :-)

It must've been a cold cold race!

It is therefore correct to say "I ran 10km" or just "I ran 10k."

Or my nerdy/nosey batchmate might reply to your FB/Twitter post. ;-)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Run United 2 21k: Perfect!

June 9, 8am

I was at the Greenhills morning market with running buddy @lingerboy. I ran 13k so far (10k with @lingerboy) and I was not feeling good so I was seated at one of the chairs there while dousing my head with cold water. It could've been due to several factors, but I'm suspecting that it was the unusual humidity that morning that sucked up all my energy. As I ran from my house to Greenhills which was 3.5km long, I still had the heavy task of running back. @lingerboy advised me to take a jeep as I felt my heart palpitaing more than usual (it lasted until the afternoon). I hopped onto a jeep for about a km and walked the remaining 2.5k.

Distance for the day closed at 16k in 2:19. One of my worst training runs yet. I rested for two days and soldiered on with my training (a 1:09 10k on Tues, a 10k speedwork on Thurs night, and a 7k easy on Sat).

Checkpoint number 2 was Sunday, at the Run United 2 21k. I needed to finish another sub-2:20 Pikermi.


June 17, RU2 21k raceday

The drizzle that morning would dictate weather conditions for the rest of the race. It was gonna be great, I thought.

Since there were 5,000 runners for the 21k event, we were sent off in waves. As I didn't want to end up bludgeoned by the sea of runners, I decided to start with the 3rd and last wave.

Planned pace: 6:30/km. I suspected the route from BGC to MOA would be a slow descent, except for 2 flyovers so I had to take control of my pace.

km1 - 6:51
km2 - 6:51

The challenge at the beginning of the race was mazing through the thick crowd of runners. As we were cramped as we ran in the BGC area, the cool weather was replaced by a slight heat, probably brought about by the energy being emanated by the 5,000-strong 21k runners.

km3 - 6:30
km4 - 6:23 (took 1st gel)
km5 - 6:18
km6 - 6:25
km7 - 6:21
km8 - 6:25
km9 - 6:17
km10 - 6:22
km11 - 6:28 (took 2nd gel)

As expected, I was breezing through Buendia avenue without no care of managing my pace (arghh!). I would pay dearly for it later on in the race.

km12 - 6:42
km13 - 6:31
km14 - 6:36
km15 - 6:41

I was surprised that the part of the route that I was most challenged with were from km12 to 15. This was already in Roxas Blvd. I had only raced twice in Roxas, with the last one a 21k on Dec 2010 (Milo) so I'm not really familiar with the course. km12-15 was hell for me as it seemed to be a very very slight incline up to the km0 Rizal monument area.

I soldiered onwards from that point, but, based on my calculations, a sub-2:20 is still on sight.

km16 - 6:32
km17 - 6:39
km18 - 6:48 (took last gel)
km19 - 6:36
km20 - 6:42

Fatigue, and overconfidence in the first 10k, came back with a flurry as I was coping with pace. Pace was below target but my effort was still ok at long tempo pace effort. As I made that last turn for MOA I gave it my all.

km21 - 6:15 (fastest lap)

That could've been a rare moment of finishing strong as I psyched myself to sprint the last 200 meters.

Garmin chip time: 2:17:45. My third fastest 21k ever and, more importantly, my 2nd successive sub-2:20 in 2 weeks.

That sub5 42k finish just got a little brighter. :-)


RU2 RACE REVIEW

Pros:
  1. Fast/efficient race claiming at the expo.
  2. Great point-to-point course. Relieves the boredom of the usual BGC route.
  3. Great support (ice cold water, Powerade, bananas, sponges). Dousing myself with water in the 2nd half of the race kept my senses awake to keep my pace in check.
  4. Great weather (Thank you Lord!)
  5. Nice racekit, finisher's medal, and finisher's kit.
  6. Efficient bus service from MOA back to BGC.
Cons:
  1. Can you reduce the reg fees? P900+ is still pretty steep for a 21k. I know that RunRio races are of excellent (excellent!) quality but the high reg fees will drive the other so-so races to jack up their fees too. 
  2. I wished that the Powerade served was as ice-cold as the water.

Back to my training. July 29 is very close.