Sunday, December 27, 2009

One tawsan! Con-GRAT-tulations!!!

I've finally reached my 2009 mileage goal of 1,000kms. It was done on the usual 5km route that I've plotted around the neighborhood ---the same practice route that I've used ever since I started running last March.

It was on a chilly Christmas morning that I decided to do a 5km run, several days after the 22.2km Celebrity Run. Actually, I did another 5km on 12/23 but that was only a walk throughout, averaging 11 mpk. So I decided that it won't count in my running mileage coz, well, I didn't run.

Anyway, the reason why I ran last Christmas morning was not only to counter the expected onslaught of Christmas feasts that will be served thru the rest of the day, but to meet my first goal of 1,000kms in this new passion of running that I've learned to love.

1,000 kilometers. Wow! If you talked to me this time last year I wouldn't even imagine of having done such an accomplishment. Kaya naman pala. :)

My goal for 2010? There are actually two:

1. To run 2,000kms
2. To run a full marathon (preferably below 5hrs, but finishing one is not bad at all)

Happy New Year!!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

21k Celebrity Run - Makina

"Ikaw ay isang makina"

That was what EG told PT (my college buddies) a couple of years back when PT's wife had their 3rd child. The context of being called a machine would attribute to PT's sexual vigor, obviously, to everyone in the yahoogroup's laughter online. I guess you'd have to call my lolo on both sides as "makina" as well since they were blessed with 12 children. Yes, 12 on my mom's side and 12 on my dad's side.

Mga makina.

There are also noted sportsmen who have the same "The Machine" monicker:

Sasha Vujacic

Oliver Ortmann

Mga makina.

Fast-forward to last Friday's free lunch from one of our vendors. Dom, owner of said company, used to be a member of the UP track team wherein he recalled the two sub-4hr marathons that he joined back then. He's not as athletic as before but he still remembers how he'd run. In his own words, "Ang natatandaan ko eh paglagpas ng km13 eh parang MAKINA ka na nun." From that point to km 42.195, everything was just automatic ---less the mental interruptions that, if one entertains, would be the cause of one's folly or, DNF.


Ikaw ay isang makina

As the Celebrity Run 21k event sped off yesterday morning, that became my mantra for the whole race. The 2:26 21k PR had been sitting at its throne for too long now, I thought. It's time to have it replaced with a new/better one.

The plan was to employ a 1-4 strategy: 1km 7mpk recovery, 4kms 6-6:45mpk run repeats throughout. Said plan was successful during my last race (a 10k) wherein I coasted to a 1:05 finish. For nutrition, I had the usual handies: a Milo wafer bar and a sachet of Hammer Gel. Btw, as this might prove helpful, I ate 5 slices of Tutta Carne pizza and a helping of spinach pasta Saturday night at Amici as I crammed for carbo. Yup, I was Popeye.

As I descended the Buendia flyover going to Ayala, I noticed something was wrong distance-wise when my Garmin registered 3.5kms verus the 3-km marker. Hmmm, probably the buildings I thought.

Lady with red socks

Towards km4 I sensed a trio steadily moving in front of me. I didn't recognize the other guy (sorry) but the other two were unmistakeably bloggers RunningDiva and KenkoyRunner. Since I felt that my Garmin might be going bonkers because of the buildings and the cloudy sky, and that this trio of runners were moving at a less than 7mpk pace, I decided to pace behind them. I would lose them during my 1km recoveries, but was able to catch up at the water station whenever they would stop to drink. As long as I have those red high socks in sight, I'm ok I thought. There was about a 200m gap between them and me. This was the case from Ayala to Buendia to 5th Avenue to Essensa and Lawton Avenue.

I don't know if it was the Hammer Gel that I took along Rizal Avenue going to Essensa, this helpful video, or the makina mantra but, as I turned left at Bayani Road, I felt everything was just right in place running-form/condition-wise. Since the beginning of Bayani Road was a descent, I found myself accelerating without any problems. The trio that I've been following had now split up in the order of unknown runner, KenkoyRunner, and RunningDiva. As I wanted to take every opportunity to speed up during the descent, I was able to catch up with RunningDiva at the Bayani turn-around point, KenkoyRunner mid-way into Bayani. I didn't really recognize the other unknown runner so I guessed he was still ahead of me.

I suddenly remembered RunningFatboy after the Bayani U-turn. As in my past 21k races, he would expectedly glide over me by km13, zooming into a strong finish. But there was no repeat this time since we were already at km15. I guessed that he was racking up mileage for the weekend so he was taking an easy pace on this one.

As I hopped back onto Lawton Avenue, it was time to meet Mckinley Hills.

a.k.a. Magneto

I didn't do hill-training like I wanted to after the NB 21k run so this was going to be another messy encounter. Descent going to the Mckinley Showroom was a breeze. As expected, the ascent back up Lawton was a killer.'s Jinoe was well-prepared, taking every ascent with ease as he passed me after the British Embassy.

My legs couldn't take anymore so, after passing by McDo, I walked for about 10secs. My average pace at that point was about 7:30mpk.

The last part of the race ---after Mckinley Hills from Lawton to BHS--- is a true test of how fast one can recover pace-wise. If Magneto had killed you, there was no way you're speeding to your intended sprint-pace at this leg. No strong finish.

Then, as all hope to recover started to fade, I recalled my mantra.


Ikaw ay isang makina.

With everything I got, I stepped up the pace from Essensa all the way to The Fort. What was bothering me was the time. At 2kms to go and an obviously more than fast pace, why is my Garmin registering a 2:20 time? I knew I pressed the Start button on time when the race-host shouted GO. Something's really weird.

As I made a last ditch effort to sprint at the final turn to the finish line, I realized that I was too late. 100meters from the finish line, the timer ticked 2:30+. I failed. I decided to walk for a few seconds to catch my breath and pace myself up to run again until I reached the finish line.

Unofficial time: 2hrs 31mins and change.

What relieved me in the end after introducing myself to GBM, KenkoyRunner, and El Kyoshi, was that the surprise that they all mentioned that the race was a kilometer too long. 22k. Same as my Garmin.

Wow, that was my longest run so far! I calculated that if my final average pace was 6:49 mpk on a 22k distance, I would've finished a true 21k distance at 2:23:43 ---a new PR!!!

I guess that's a reason to celebrate. Except for the 2:31:something that will be posted in the official results, my race-performance was all perfect. The nutrition, the 3-week training plan, and the mindset/mantra throughout the race was all perfect!

'Til next year!

Well, that's it I guess for my rookie 2009 running/racing season. I'll be banning myself from heavy training for the next 2-3 weeks since I think it's time to rest my left knee. Probably runner's knee (mild pain when going down the stairs, it wears off when I run thanks to the patella brace). I might have 5k-walks and 2k-light jogs instead for maintenance.

See you at the Condura Run which, btw, I've already registered for the 21k event last Saturday morning at RUNNR.

Skyway here I come!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

For Flipper II

I just read another update on the Condura 2010. Race website is now up and running!

Like a kid on Christmas morning, my mind was shouting (screaming! nagtitimpi ng excitement actually as I am in the office now) as I drooled over the website showing the registration details, the Asics Expo, the nice finisher's shirt (distance you ran is ticked at the back, pangyabang, hehe), the finisher's medal (the distance ran is stamped at the back, double drool!), AND, last but not least, the 21k race route ---with Skyway.

Yup, I'm 99.9% sure that I'll be running 21k on Condura 2010. 7 weeks for a full-marathon plan is too short, I think, if I want to finish my first full below 5hrs (pangarap lang naman, hehe).

I've been reading a lot of SCSM blogs last week and if I were to base it from what I read on the Condura 2010 website, it looks like it will be one very-organized race that *maybe* could be comparable to the likes of SCSM and Rio's Timex Run.

Ahhhgggghhhh! Sabiiiik na sabik na ako to race this! Tagal pa ng 02.07.2010!

Anyway, Celebrity Run 21k muna this Sunday. I hope to finally beat my 2:26 PR.

See you at the races!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

For Flipper

As accustomed after my weekday morning run, I'd power-on the home laptop and browse This morning, after a 6km easy run (beating my 7:40mpk Garmin Virtual Partner ---again! [naks!]), the latest post greeted me with this logo:

Yup, Condura 2010 has been signed and ready to go on Feb 7th. This is THE race that started my love for running, having run the 5k event last March 22nd (see, naalala ko pa yung date! ganung ka-memorable! hehe) finishing at 33:50.

Including Condura 2009, I've ran 3 5k funruns, 9 10k races, and 4 half-marathons (with PhilStar Celebrity Run as my 5th 21k). Including my practice runs, total mileage is now at 944kms (lapit na 1,000kms! I want that BR 1,000km club shirt! hehehe).

All that due to my will-power to join (and finish) my first 5k at Condura 2009.

Albert, a college friend who I saw at the NB 21k weeks ago, texted me last Tuesday morning with a very tempting invitation:

"Wana run d Condura marathon feb nxt year? :)"

With 8 weeks left before Condura 2010, my mind has been wondering. I'll definitely sign-up for Condura 2010.....but for what event? 21k or 42k?

Is 8 weeks too late to start training for my first full-marathon? If my average finish for a half-mary has been around 2:30, I calculate that I might finish a 42k in 5:20 (that is, IF I finish).


Be it 21k or 42k, it's still for Flipper anyway. :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Company Sportsfest Closing Ceremonies 10k: My Garmin305's Debut

Just having finished the NB 21k the other weekend, I was excited to drive back home from BHS. The reason? Owa, my mother-in-law, just arrived back from the US. Apart from the Kobe Bryant 2008-2009 season championship jersey that I asked my sis-in-law there to buy me from Staples, I was about to get my first hold of this:

Yup, the Garmin Forerunner 305. I was able to find one via and asked my sis-in-law there to buy on my behalf for US149.00 (or about P7,500.00). The price is about 25% cheaper than the rates being sold here so I was glad to finally get hold of one at a bargain.

Why did I decide to buy one when prior to this I was an avid Nokia Sports Tracker Beta (NSTB) user? There were two main points actually:

1. I've outgrown the NSTB such that I was looking for more in terms of features. Nokia has still labeled this current version as their beta version ---a sign that plans to release an improved FINAL version is not in the near future. Comparing it against what I've read with Garmin/Polar users, the NSTB application doesn't have a Pace Alert function. Yes, knowing one's current pace by looking at the phone is good. But you can't be looking at the phone ALL the time during your run, would you? It would be good if the NSTB would alert/beep if you were ahead or behind your intended pace.

2. Working for a telco company and being issued test phones is a great bonus. Since I've discovered running and the NSTB, I was able to malfunction (by accident, mind you!) two of our Nokia test phones namely the N85 and the E52 ---both good high-end phones. Whenever I ran with these NSTB-enabled Nokia phones, I would usually have them inserted on an armband that fits snuggly on my arm. However, my long sweaty runs would somehow find the phone covered in sweat. This caused the sweat to find its way to the phones' circuits (through the buttons or speaker screen) and short-circuit it. Seeing the NSTB conk-out during my NB run even when I was just at 1.46kms of my half-mary was the last straw.

Since Nov29 I've been tinkering on my new toy and employing it on my morning runs. So far I was able to use the pace-alert, heartrate training zones with my tempo runs, speed zones, and this morning the virtual partner which I beat in a mock 6km race by about 20meters ("You win!" said the Garmin). Uploading my runs to the laptop using the free Garmin Connect software is a breeze as well. I think there are still a lot of features I haven't discovered yet so it'll take sometime before I get to discover its full capabilities.

My Garmin's Race Debut

Dec5, Saturday. It was the closing ceremonies of our company's sportsfest. Our CEO, an avid runner, has staged again another 2.5/5/10k event at Heritage Park ---the same event and venue held last July for the opening ceremonies in which I clocked in at 1:08 in the 10k event. It will be organized again by Coach Rio's team so I was confident that it will be well-organized so much so that I didn't even bother to bring my hydration-belt.

Since the day before race day I was up and about thinking on what to program in my Garmin for the race. Going sub-60 is still a dream right now so I opted to at least improve on my 1:04:55 10k PR set at QCIM. After much deliberation, I setup a workout program in my Garmin for the race as follows:
Km0-1. 6:30-7:00 mpk
Km1-5. 5:00-6:00 mpk (Yeah I know. 5:00 mpk. I couldn't believe I can run that fast now)
Km5-6. 6:30-7:00 mpk
Km6-10. 5:00-6:00 mpk
Km10-11. 4:00-5:00 mpk (pangarap lang yung 4:00 mpk. Malay mo, di ba? Hehehe)

The program was set in such a way that I have at least a time to warm-up at the 1st km, run like hell from kms2-5, rest again between kms5-6, then a final push from km6 to the finish line.

Assuming that the course was exactly 10kms and that I never exceeded the max set paces above, I predicted a 1:02 finish. I added the Km10-11 pace above just in case GPS variances would cause the race distance to exceed 10k.

Race was supposed to start 5:30am but since most of the bosses (and feeling bosses) arrived late, the gun start for 10k fired at around 5:50am. There'll be 4 loops for the 10k runners since 1 loop was about 2.5kms based on Rio's map.

So off I went with my Garmin. Needless to say that I was able to follow the workout I've setup to the letter. Although the beep to speed-up or slow-down was irritating (especially nung super-bagal na ako, i.e. behind my planned pace), I find the pace-alert function to be a great aid. I was not mindful of getting fatigued on the latter kms (thanks as well to a serving of Hammer Gel that I consumed partially between Km5 and 7.5) and concentrated myself on meeting the pace that the Garmin commanded me to follow with its constant beeping.

I reached the finish line at 1:05:05 ---just 10secs slower than my 10k PR but more importantly, it was a big improvement versus the same race/route last July: exactly 3mins and 18secs better. My Garmin recorded a distance of 10.61kms (buti na yung sobra kesa kulang).

I find the Garmin 305 to be a great training tool for runners like me who'd like to improve their time. I highly recommend any runner to get one. If I may quote the RunningDiva when I was able to meet her after the NB 21k run, "[the Garmin305] is a basic necessity [for us runners]..."

A quick pic with idol CoachRio and my peeps (that's me to Rio's left)

Monday, November 30, 2009

New Balance 21k Power Run: The Hills Have Eyes

Postponed for several weeks, finally, the NB Power Run had its way yesterday morning. I have to say that this was a very organized race so this post begins with a big “CONGRATULATIONS!!!” to the race organizers for doing a terrific job.

The Training

My training for this race (courtesy of RunnersWorld’s Smart Coach) consisted of 6 weeks of easy short/long runs, tempo runs, and speedwork. I wasn’t able to do the latter since, well, I was too lazy to do it (parang complicated naman yung 1600m sukatin tapos may 400m jogs pa, hehe). I modified the easy runs such that the 1st half of it were in easy pace while the latter half would be RTYP (run til you puke) pace.

The 21k race route will be done entirely inside Taguig so the dreaded Kalayaan Flyover will not take part. However, the last leg of the route, McKinley Hills, would prove decisive for any half-marathoner who participated that day ---including myself. Although my weekend long run included the Horseshoe Village hills, it was NOTHING compared to McKinley which I last trekked during the Autoreview 10k months ago.

Even with the knowledge of Mckinley Hills in the route, I still didn’t have enough hill-training for those 6 weeks. Eventually, all that training (and non-training) will show come race day.

The Plan

The plan was to treat this as any other weekend long run: 1st half easy, 2nd half all-out. I was egging myself to beat my 2:26 PR on my maiden half-mary at EcoDash. Seeing that I’ve improved on my training and in-race nutrition habits, I was hoping I would beat it this time around.

The Race

I warmed up with an easy jog for about 400-500meters around BHS and did some stretching when I got into the corral ---somehow a 1st for me for 21k (I wished I did it more often, hmmm. Dapat pala maaga dumating lagi, hehe). Before I entered the corral I managed to see Men’s Health Mag’s model Pio warming up. Yup, he’s running 5k again. I was able to see some of my office friends and known bloggers Pojie and Bull Runner waiting inside the 21k corral as I checked in. Btw, I ate ½ of the Milo bar just before the race.

The race started at exactly 5.30am with the usual gun-start. Too bad there was no 10-second countdown so my stopwatch and Nokia GPS tracker weren’t in sync with the official time. It was probably off by about 10seconds.

The first 10k went well as planned. For nutrition, I ate ¼ of the Milo Bar at km6, then ¾ serving of Hammer Gel in the middle of km9. Well, if easy pace was supposed to be at 7:00mpk, I did more than well as I clocked 1:05 after 10k (my 10k PR is 1:04 so this really WAS good). Surprisingly, at this pace I was feeling good, no pains whatsoever. The only downside at this point was that my Nokia GPS tracker conked out as early as km1.46 (ahhhhggghhhh!!!!). I had to rely on the km-markers to calculate my current pace. Well at least it helped my brain get busy with all that subtraction, multiplication and division.

At the 10.5km mark, I shifted up a bit as planned and still felt good. Looking at my pace around km13 as I left Bayani Road towards Lawton, I was 4minutes ahead of the 2:27 total time, averaging about a little less than 7:00mpk. It was very tight, but I felt good that a new 21k PR was on sight. Or so I thought.

The Hills Have Eyes

I would like to christen Mckinley Hills with a new name: Magneto. It grabs you in, and you won’t be able to get out of it with the same energy as you came in. It will suck out every ill-prepared runner of his/her running strength just before you leave it.

At this mind-bending, strength-zapping part of the race, I have to admit, the Buendia-Kalayaan flyover is ‘peanuts’ compared to Magneto. I’ve seen many of the runners succumbed to walking, even stopping for a while.

Fortunately for me, I didn’t walk. But on that last leg, that final incline that even my 45x45 or 30x60 high school drafting triangles won’t be able to measure, I was running so slowly that the walkers next to me seemed to be at the same pace. It was VERRRRY tempting to walk (I saw and greeted Sam who walked just before he left Bayani around km12 so this added to the temptation. He walked, so why can’t I? I also saw and greeted Pojie inside Mckinley Hills just before the descent to the Japanese embassy and he was walking too) but I just psyched myself to keep on running. It was killing my thighs but not my mind. I left Magneto alive and hopped on back at Lawton avenue with a lot of precious time eaten up. Could that 2:26 PR be beaten today, I thought?

It was probably km19 when I left Magneto so my mind was all go-go-go. I ate the ¼ remaining Hammer Gel and cooled my head with water. I wanted to run harder but my thighs were still tired from all that hill-climbing. It took quite a long while, probably upon seeing the km20 marker, that I just threw everything out of the window and ran as fast as I could. Seeing my stopwatch at 2:20 and with an assumed calculated pace of a little under 7:00mpk, I just went for it.

I ran the last 100meters like there was no tomorrow but, as early as I made that final turn, I knew that the 2:26 PR would not be beaten this time.

My time: 2:27:40 (unofficial).

Ahhggghh, missed it. But still, it was a great time since I managed to beat my Adidas KOTR time of 2:29:55. It was STILL a big improvement, moreover that this route included Magneto. Maybe if Mckinley Hills were not part of the route, maybe I finished at 2:20 (naaaaks, sobrang bilib ba sa sarili? Hehehe). Probably yes, but still, it was a great finish time.

I decided to let go of my PR-failed thoughts when I ran to a lady-organizer who hanged this over my head:

My 1st ever finisher’s medal. Wow. After just having started running last March, this was just precious. It encapsulated all that training in the early mornings, all the money invested into my running gear, and that 12lbs (and counting) weight loss. The feeling was just…..beautiful. I’ll probably have all my 2009 race bibs put into one glass frame with this medal in the middle. Yup, bragging rights. ;-)

What I learned from this race was that I must train based on the race route. I should've done hill-training since I had prior knowledge of meeting Magneto. Kumbaga kay Coach Freddie Roach, I should've studied the tapes (in this case, the race route) and trained accordingly. Yup, there'll be another bout with Magneto in future races pero wag muna ngayon as my thighs are still aching, hehe.

What’s next?

It’ll be the closing ceremonies of our company sportsfest this Saturday at Heritage Park. Along with it is the fun run where I’m joining 10k. Four 2.5km rounds around Heritage Park as how Coach Rio’s group organized it last July. I finished it at 1:08 so I hope to improve on it this weekend. Hopefully, improve on my 1:04 10k PR as well.

Plus, between now and Saturday, I’ll find out how to use the contents of this box that had just arrived Sunday morning.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Hammer Gel versus Sport Beans

It was my 2nd Thursday evening last week at BHS doing a 6km run. I find the route refreshing since I'd often do my practice runs here in QC. Plus, I get to invite some of my officemates to join in and maybe my runner's high might leave a mark on them. So far, the dinner after those runs took us to Tapaking and then Rufo's the following week. Hmmm, maybe I should call my Thursday run my Tapsi runs, hehe.

Anyway, I finished a 6k easy run (5 rounds around BHS) at around 42mins last Thursday. Since my officemates were still running/jogging/walking around, I decided to drop by RUNNR and do some window-shopping. It's really amazing to see so many running stuff in one store. A testament to the current running boom that has hit our country.

On the cashier's counter I saw energy gels/beans displayed. Sport Beans, my fuel of choice for about several runs/races now, was there priced at P85.00, 20 bucks more expensive versus the ones being sold at Athlete's Foot in Galleria. I guess it's the high BHS rental fee that prompted the store owners to increase the price.

To the left of the Sport Beans, I saw the Hammer Gel display. Most of the blogs I've read have talked about Hammer Gels and GU(?) whenever they race. "So eto pala yun?!" I told myself. Priced at P75.00 each, the feel of the contents are well, gel-lish. Instructions were simple: take 1 serving (1pack) every 1-2 hours of activity.

I decided to give it a try since I'm scheduled for an 18km easy run on the coming weekend. I bought 1 pack (tropical flavor).

I packed the following "supplies" for yesterday's 18k run: the Hammer Gel I bought, 1 Milo wafer bar, and the remaining pack of my Sport Beans (about 3 beans left). Water was filled up on my Nathan 1.5 and 1/2 of another bottle which I left purposely near a tree when I reached km5. The latter served as my water supply in case I ran out by the return leg which is at around km13.

I've slightly modified my easy runs for the 21k program I downloaded from the 'net such that the 1st half ran at the assigned easy pace (7:13 mpk) then the second half was ran faster (not slower than 6:45 mpk ---well, at least I tried to make it at that pace, hehehe). If you've been reading my previous posts involving runs exceeding 15-16k including my 3 half-marys, I'd always find myself gasping at the last 3kms. Doing the slight modification I made (1st half easy, 2nd half at race pace), I feel that my speed and endurance has improved. I think they call this as a "negative split" run.

So, I was able to consume my food supply throughout the run as follows:

Weight before the run: 167.6lbs

- 1/2 of the Milo bar before stretching
- 1/4 of the Milo bar at km6
- finished the entire Hammer Gel (w/ water as advised) between kms 9-10
- total water consumed: 1/2 of my total water supply

- rest of the Milo bar (1/4) and a bottle of Gatorade upon reaching home
- Sport Beans were not eaten

Weight after the run: 165.0lbs (Haaay, yes. This a great benefit of a long run. 1,400kcal burned! Wow! Nokia GPS stats can be found here)

Going back to the Hammer Gel, well I have to admit: it was beneficial. Normally after km15, I'd start to get hungry. But since I finished the gel, I felt full after that. I even had to remind myself to take water since I seldom felt thirsty which was unusual for me when I'm in kms13-15 of a run.

First 9kms was timed at 1:04. Second 9kms was at 58:51(!). Total time was 2:02:55.

Well, I can't fully say the Hammer Gel alone helped since I also had the Milo bar ---and a more improved me as well(?) hehehehe. I guess I have to try it again on another long run to see if it alone will still produce good results which is next Sunday's NB 21k.

Comparing it to Sport Beans, the Hammer Gel can be taken in one shot whereas the Sport Beans you just need to consume 1-2 beans every now and then (30mins ideally). There are pros and cons of the latter since it spreads out the fuel but then you have to remind yourself to take it at a recommended time ---an additional chore that you don't need to do if you're in a race. The Sport Beans has no "kick-start" effect compared to the Hammer Gel probably since the latter has 25mg of caffeine (the Sport Beans has another flavor sold with caffeine as well which could prove comparable to Hammer Gel's kick. But I guess I have to try that some other time).

In terms of availability, I was only able to find Hammer Gel at RUNNR. Sport Beans are sold in RUNNR and Athlete's Foot. Sport Beans are cheaper by P10.00 as I've mentioned earlier. Both Hammer Gel and Sport Beans come in a variety of flavors.

I still have to try diced hopia which I read on another blog proved good as well.

So, what's YOUR fuel of choice?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The latest Celebrity with Runner's High

Running at an easy pace of approximately 8-10mins per km from Round 7-12, Miguel Cotto could've finished around 2kms trying to avoid Pacquiao.

Damn, running IS becoming a boom nowadays.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Run for C.H.I.L.D. 10k

This was a rescheduled race originally planned last Oct3 but had to be put off due to Ondoy. I was glad to find out that it was going to be done this morning via the updates earlier this week. I was excited as well for Francis, our family driver, who was making his race debut via the 5k event. I signed up for 10k since it fits nicely in my current 21k training schedule in preparation for this month's NB run (another rescheduled race).

I had a feeling that this was not going to be a high-standard organized race so I didn't keep my hopes up the moment I got the racekit last month. The tarpaulin bib, the so-so Barney-purple singlet, and the two 5km-loop race route were sure signs that this wasn't going to be organized by Rio, Rudy, nor Ian. I think that a group of mountaineers (well identified by their Jamaican style long hair) volunteered to help organized it since Habagat was one of the sponsors. It was all for charity particularly for those children being treated with cancer so I didn't mind the P350.00 reg-fee. "It's for a good cause," I told myself again and again. Further, I wanted to give Francis a feel of how a race "ambience" is compared to the usual weekday 5k morning runs that he does 3-4 times a week. With recent times of 25-28mins for a 5k practice run, he is no push-over. But still, maybe not enough to beat the elites joining this race.

We arrived at the venue at BHS 7th street (not the usual start/finish area of the usual TheFort races) at around 5am. The organizers were just about getting setup the "START/FINISH" banner at the starting arc. It was still a handful of participants at the time (less than 20?) so I kidded myself that I might just end up at the top 10. Hehe.

Guntime was originally set at 5.30am but from the looks of things, I guessed that this race won't start on time. I was able to pass the time by introducing myself and chatting to Pio, made famous by one of GBM's LSD posts and now the latest member of Men's-Health Magazine's Belly Off Club. Yes, this guy appears in the Nov 2009 issue of Men's Health. Damn, I should've brought my copy if I knew he'd be running this race for an autograph, hehe. Hmmm, ako kaya kelan mailalagay dun? Hay, onga pala, I still have to lose 15lbs more to get my BMI back to normal. Hayyyy....

Pio, fresh from his first full mary at the QCIM, told me he was lying-low for the moment by joining 5k races momentarily ---including this one. The chat helped ease the waiting time as it was already 6am. Still, no announcement for gunstart except for the endless loop of the "Wastong Pagkain" song sponsored by the Gov't (it will end up being my LSS for the morning up until I arrived home). Btw, we saw that guy from the Yakult commercial. "Ok ka ba tyan?" was running 3k.

Eventually, the racers were called in to the starting corral: 3k, 5k, and 10k with the latter runners at the front. At first, it was annonced that the 10k would be released first, 5k second, and 3k last in 5-minute intervals. However, at the last minute, the announcer said it was going to be one gunstart for all events (ngeh!). A fair estimate would be less than 150 runners in all. 10k runners made up of about maybe....30 or less? So for the first time I found myself just 1 meter from the starting line.

There was a final plea from the announcer that the winners of the race have the option to donate their race winnings to this particular charity. Yup, this race was primarily to collect money for charity and for a well-organized race as second priority. The elites up in front all laughed quietly. I knew that the money that any of them will win will be a big help for their daily needs so donating them is really out of the question. It just goes to show that runners AND charitable-institutions like the OneRopeProject need support.

On with the race

"Most mistakes in a race are made in the first two minutes, perhaps in the very first minute." ---Jack Daniels, Exercise Physiologist and Coach

At long last, the race gun fired at 6.20am with the morning sun rising with all its glory. My usual overeager self didn't remember the quote above as I zoomed, trying to catch up to the elites ---and Francis!

Pace after 1km = 5:18 mpk

Aside from the missing marshals that enabled us runners to play patintero with the passing vehicles, I was somehow worried about my pace ---it seemed too fast for my own good. It's only 10k, I thought, and the tempo runs I've been doing lately have been helping with my speed. But those runs were only 5kms long so will I endure a whole 10k? There was only one way to find out. Remembering my QCIM 10k, I just pushed everything in the 1st 5km loop. Total time after 1 loop was at 32mins according to my stopwatch. Hmmm, the distance could be longer than 5k, I thought. Francis was already done with his 5k so I handed him the car keys when I passed by the finish line.

My doubts on the ability of my body to maintain that sub-6:00mpk pace was finally answered when I started my 2nd loop: I started slowing down. Yup, a big NGEH?!?!

There was only 1 water station (at the 2.5km U-turn) so it was a good thing I was wearing my hydration brief errrr, hydration belt. Hehehe. Remember? The Nathan 1.5 that my officemates gave for my birthday? Yup, it finally made its race debut. Except for that moment when the 0.5 flask fell from its holster without my touching it, the belt was all ok.

Anyway, I still pushed during my 2nd loop but somehow, I felt that my strides were 20% less compared to my 1st loop effort. Needless to say, I ended the 2nd loop at a measly 35mins, totalling my 10k unofficial time to 1:07. Well, my QCIM 10k PR of 1:04 still stands. The Run4Child race had taught me a valuable lesson (YET AGAIN?!?!!!!) on proper pacing. Dapat talaga wag mag madali sa umpisa ---unless you're an elite.

Francis finished his maiden 5k at 24mins, about a minute or so ahead of Pio. Finishing 12th place, that's not bad at all! Hmmm, probably I'll try to scout for more Saturday races so I can have Francis join in.

As I got home, I plotted the route on The loop was 5.4kms long. Thus, an approximate total of 10.8kms for my 10k run. My Nokia GPS registered it at 11.5kms so averaging both measurements the whole distance could be somewhere around 11kms. Yup, the overshot distance might've been expected too, seeing that it could've been the reggae-men mountaineers that measured it ---car odometer style? Hehe.

But it's still my run that counts. Obviously I have to go back to my training (extend my tempo run distances probably?) and improve since I wasn't able to break my 10k 1:04 PR.

10k would have to take a backseat for now since my next focus is my 4th half-mary at the NB Run on the 29th. A 2:26 PR needs to be broken.

See you there!!!

NSTB race stats can be found here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Congrats Meb!

I was looking at Ryan Hall to make an impact on this one but, unfortunately, he ended up 4th overall.

But it was still a good day for the American runners.

Congrats Meb!!!

“You visualize it and visualize it and when reality hits, it’s pretty sweet” ---Meb

Friday, October 30, 2009

Hydration belt?

A week before my birthday, I hinted at one of my office staff that I wished for a hydration belt as a birthday gift. It costs around P1,300(?) when I saw it at Toby's so I knew that if they wanted to, my 10 staff can split the cost and buy one as their birthday gift to me. Well, at least they know what I wanted instead of having to think of something that I may or may not like.

Unknowingly earlier this week, they handed me a gift-wrapped object and greeted me a belated happy birthday complete with a speech. It was very touching.....until I opened the gift.

A hydration brief, if there ever was one. Yup, you just have to admire my playful and creative team for coming up with something like that to make us all laugh. A prank on their favorite(?) boss.

Good thing is, the leader of the prank whispered that the hydration-belt that I really wanted might take a while since my size is out of stock and might take a while for Toby's to deliver.

Well, I hope that part isn't a prank too coz I'll find it really useful for my long weekend runs.

Otherwise, the hydration-brief will have just to do. Hehehe.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Adidas KOTR 21k: Redemption!

"Are you going to be a wimp? Or are you going to be strong today?"
--Peter Maher

After Googling the 'net for a good running quote for my vanity bib, I ended up with the above the night before the race. This was going to be my 3rd 21k since EcoDash and Milo. As you may recall, after setting a 2:24 official time at EcoDash, I failed miserably at the Milo Finals, finishing at 2:41. Adidas KOTR was going to be a crossroad of sorts for me in terms of success or failure trending at the 21k distance.

How did I prepare for Adidas? After Milo, the two-week preparation ended up with the following:

Oct13: 5km easy run
Oct15: 7km tempo run
Oct18: QCIM 10k
Oct20: 8km easy run
Oct22: 11km (first half easy, second half tempo)

Long runs were left wanting. Weekly mileage was low. If I could go back, I should've skipped QCIM in exchange for a long run (probably 16-18kms) to get my endurance and mileage up. But, unfortunately, whatever preparation I've made will have to do for Adidas.

Nutrition before and during the race was now considered as well. Recalling again Milo, I didn't eat anything prior to the race except for the Sport Beans. During the race it was 2 cups of banana from the aid station at around km16 but I think that was too late already. This may have been a contributing factor for a poor pace at km18-21. Hence, the 2:41.

Sunday, 4.15am. The phone alarm went off and I was up preparing my gear. I ate 1 banana and two Sport Beans before driving to BHS. I purposely left my headphones at home since I wanted to see how I'd perform without soundgear on a longer distance (QCIM 10k last week proved to be a good decision not to have soundz, finishing with a personal-best of 1:04).

5.15am. I ate a 2nd banana and a gulp of water just before leaving the car after parking at BHS parking lot.

5.22am. I distinctly recall the timer amidst a sea of yellow on the starting gate counting down from 8mins+ to gun time when I arrived for check-in. I said hello to some of the company bosses on their 21k debut and went on the right side near the back to do my stretches.

5.30am. BANG! We were off racing!

Km1-5. My Nokia GPS tracker went berzerk again no thanks to the tall buildings. Recorded pace, however, was at 6:00/km but I think I was settling at around 6:30-6:45/km. I felt good at this stage, passing by the dreaded Kalayaan-Buendia flyover towards Ayala. The first water station was filled with runners so I had to skip it and get hydration from the next. It was a sight to see the front-runner of the 21k, a Kenyan, by his lonesome going back to EDSA already. It really shows that we Filipinos have a lot of catching up to do in the sport (panalo ba naman sa QCIM, SIM, and now KOTR!). It was only after 2-3mins when the next two runners, Filipinos, passed by me side-by-side. A minute or so later, you won't fail to notice the 4th runner leading the pack with his patented Afro-hair freely bobbing up and down as he strided wearing a red TIMEX singlet: Coach Rio. Everyone was just clapping and cheering for him to catch up with the first 3 runners.

Km5-8. Noticed a water station complete with bananas and salt. Btw, what's the salt for? A DeLaSalle cheering squad was noticed as well distributed on most of the water stations. I would've liked it except for the cono cheers like "Let's go runners!" in that familiar college-cono twang. Anyway, I decided to grab a banana on my return trip.

By Km8 on the way back to EDSA, I was approaching the U-turn slot for the 10k runners. Seeing 10k runners left and right overtaking me on their (I assume) negative-split pace, it was mentally-challenging not to try racing with them. My pace, still between 6:30-6:45/km, was a 7/10 effort on my part to conserve energy once we approached the hills (Mckinley). My plan was to be at that pace up until km16 and just go for it at the last 5kms.

Km9-11. I made my ceremonial (i.e. mandatory) water-station gulp before trecking up the Kalayaan-Buendia flyover. It was easy this time since I may have gotten used to the incline, being my 4th race traversing through it. Runners who may have underestimated the return trip started walking on their way up. I was climbing it easily at a manageable, probably 7:00/km pace. I win. Flyover loses. Score: 4-1.

Km11-13. Took 2 Sport Beans at the Rizal Ave water station. I was hoping that my pace increased at this time before I slow down again in preparation for the hills of Mckinley and Bayani but I couldn't, or should I say wouldn't. I got scared that I might run out of gas again like in Milo so I just continued my 6:45/km pace. Passing by the km12 marker I did some calculations. Still below 7:00/km so I'm doing good. No need to rush. Running Fatboy, about 2mins behind me after the Buendia-QuirinoHway turnaround, had now passed me after the corner of 5th and Mckinley Parkway.

Km14. From my calculations I was 2mins ahead of the estimated total time of a 7:00/km pace. Still doing good. It was time to pullout my last chibog for the race: a bite-sized Hershey wafer rice crisp bar that I grabbed from my son's supply from the ref (hehe). I was able to consume it just before turning left at the hill-paved Bayani road, gulped a cup of water from the water-stop and off I went.

Km15-18. Bayani Road is hills hills hills going towards Heritage park ---and back. At this time I was frequently feeling pain just below my right rib which I initially thought was due to poor breathing. I recovered my breathing but still the slight pain was there. It may have been caused by the 3 bananas and the hershey bar that I ate so far. Ugh! It was more of irritating than painful. It took a while before the pain had subsided, probably by km19. I saw Bald Runner heading back to McKinley along km16.

Midway at km17, a male runner called me from the back and said, "Hey Peter! I'm going to be strong today!" and passed me. It's safe to say that he got that from reading my vanity bib. Nope, I didn't know the guy. I wanted to shout, "My name's not Peter! It's just a quote I got from the 'net!" He was probably at 6:30/km pace so I lost sight of him soon thereafter.

Km18. The water station that used to be there was now packed up. Balde-baldeng tubig na lang ang natira. Realizing that this could be my last water stop, I scooped a pitcher from one of the large containers and just poured it all on my face and my neck to refresh me for the final push. My calculations at this point were worrying since, apart from taking a long while to calculate due to fatigue, hehe, I realized that I was only 1minute ahead of the 7:00/km total race pace.

Km18-20. The last and final push. The Detroit Marathon mishap kept bothering me as I wanted to increase my pace. The thought of collapsing like those 3 unfortunate runners at the race got me worried. I know I won't collapse, but what if I overexerted myself and ended up with my face kissing the road? The thought was just too strong to bear. But I still managed to push, fighting each step, probably pacing already at 7:30/km. I was near breakpoint but not yet dead like in Milo. I was still relaxed and enjoying the run as I made a right turn at 26th street.

Km20-21. I was really really trying to push hard. Looking at my stopwatch as it read 2:24, EcoDash will not be beaten, but not for my Milo time. That "2:41" reading has plagued me for the past two weeks, seemingly teasing me on how poor I performed back then at Milo. Now, as early as Km20, I knew IT WAS SOUNDLY BEATEN. FINALLY this monkey was off my back!

I've decided at this point that I wanted nay, NEED, to finish below 2:30. The two 10-second walk-breaks before I turned left at Serendra had to be done probably due to fatigue and nahawa din ako dun sa kaharap ko. Plus, a rest before one last push.

Final turn towards the finish line, I could clearly see the timer from my vantage point that it was already at 2:29:00. DAMN! Mukhang di ako aabot! I decided to forget all my worries and just ran hard.

I looked above the timer as I crossed the finish line triumphantly, raising my right hand in a fist....

....2:29:55!!!! Barely making the 2:30 cutoff (if there was one).

After the official took my racebib tag, I looked around if anyone was handing out medals for half-mary finishers. None. Oh well. I was still panting at this point from the last 100m "sprint" that I did, looking for the Gatorade station. Took a while to get a bottle (which I consumed in seconds). I then got my race certificate, got back in the car and headed home.

The drive home was a happier one compared to Milo. I felt better after this race because of my 2:29 finish. I'm back in the game to improve my time. I really learned a lot from my Milo experience and poured it all at KOTR (except for the need for long runs which I need to schedule in the weeks ahead). In a way, I feel that I'm still at the lower-end of the learning curve which challenges me more to train harder to beat my time(s).

Yesterday, I reviewed the actual race route on GoogleMaps. It turns out that the 19kms that I plotted weeks back based on the printed racemap the organizers gave was not the same as the actual route. When the actual route was plotted on Google Maps, it showed 21.28kms. The distance was accurate for a half-marathon. Wilson was right: RACE events usually don't have distance problems, including this one. It was just a misprint on the racemap on the registration form.

Congrats to RACE and Adidas for putting up a great race! I hope for another KOTR on 2010.

What's next for me?

I'm still undecided if I want to list for the Timex 21k or the 10k Run Against Climate Change in UP. The latter would have to include an extra 6km run to complete my half-marathon training that I made from Runner's World Smart Coach. After that, it's the Nov29 rescheduled NB 21k race.

For now, it's back to my regular training. Tempos and Short/long easy runs await.

Nokia Sports Tracker Beta race stats can be found here.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

QCIM: 10k PR set!

Ha! And you thought I won't be able to run this one! ;-)

Lucky for me, our company was one of the sponsor-booths for QCIM. I learned last Friday evening that there were FREE slots given to our Corp-Marketing department for this so upon hearing the good news from one of our VPs I quickly grabbed the chance to make some calls, fill-up the reg form, and by Saturday afternoon me and officemate MP were confirmed good-to-go for the QCIM 10k!

Why not 21k you might ask. I already joined EcoDash and Milo 21k right? Parang pangit namang bumaba ng distance?

Yup, the choice was difficult to swallow with the prospect of having my 1st Finisher's Medal dangling down my neck if I chose another half-mary, but I didn't. I feared that I might over-exert myself by running 3 half-marys in 3 consecutive Sundays so I opted to mellow down and join 10k instead. Further, and I think this was the strongest part of my decision, I wanted to overwrite my poor finish on my last race which was the Milo 21k by trying to beat my 10k PR (68mins). If I failed on improving my time on another 21k distance at QCIM I might get really disappointed going into next Sunday's KOTR so going for a PR on a lower, manageable 10k distance is a good psychological preparation for me.

But I still needed my scheduled long run so my original plan was an easy run from our house to QC Circle (about 4kms), run the 10k race, and then another easy 4km run back home. Total planned mileage: 18kms. THAT would be good enough as preparation for KOTR 21k next weekend, I thought. It was a good plan.

But then my 2nd son was feeling ill earlier in the week until Sunday so I had to sacrifice the planned 18k long run by taking the car instead. This is in case I needed to go back home in a hurry if there was an emergency.

Sunday came. I left the house around 4.30am since I still needed to look for the company booth and get my racekit. I drove to East Ave and had to turn right after Heart Center since the police detour encouraged it. I parked in front of the 7-11 store and walked/jogged towards the start/finish line to look for the booth.

After 30mins of searching I finally managed to find the booth which was inside the QC Circle. The lady manning the booth quickly identified me and gave me the racekits. The first thing I noticed was the singlet....

...and HU-WAW! The singlet quality was very good! It's right up there now in my favorite singlets list (Botak 10miler and KOTR. Milo is up there too coz of prestige, hehe). Ang danda-danda!!!!

An addicted runner (like me) wouldn't fail to notice as well the racekit-envelope's quality containing the racebib and timing-chip. It's not the regular brown envelope that one's used to getting. To borrow a comment from the QCIM thread: talagang pinag-gastusan talaga.

So I hooked myself up with the bib and timing chip and off I went to the starting line. Btw, I've changed two things that I used to do going into this race. First, I purposely didn't bring my earphones so there'll be no music pumping in my ears as I race. I want to find out if I'm able to race better with or without it.

Second, this'll be the race-debut of my recently bought Adidas Response Stability shoes. My precious. Igh-igh-igh!

My aim? Since my last 10k race, the M.O.V.E. Manila Run in UP, under a GPS-recorded 9km+ distance, the 57mins finish-time didn't seem believable coz the distance was lacking. An estimate of 64-65mins would've been my finish time back then but I still don't want to consider it since it's not official. Hence, I wanted to put it on paper, so to speak, to have that 57min mark on a true 10k distance or at least, a sub-60 finish would suffice.

The starting gun went off and I went ahead of MP since he was pacing his gf on her 2nd 10k. MP is faster than me so I knew he'll be able to catch me sometime in the race.

By km2, by some stroke of bad luck, my timing chip fell off. Stupid right? I knew I laced it properly when I made the knot but it somehow fell off (the lace was still tied on tightly). Strange really. So there goes my race stats. Hay...

By the middle of km4, as expected, MP had arrived from leaving her gf's slow pace. I told him that I lost my timing-chip and he said I could run along side him so we both have the same stats. Yeah right. His pace is too fast for me so I told him to go ahead since I still had my Nokia GPS tracker anyway. He will eventually finish at 60mins flat.

By the turnaround point I looked at my stopwatch and saw 30:00+. I thought it was the 5km mark but then I didn't see any "5km" marker not until a few hundred meters further so if I calculated it I'm not within a sub-60 pace. I HAD to run faster, I thought.

So I ran faster than my tempo practice run the earlier week. Well, I FELT I ran faster. Hehe.

The difficult part of the race was not the slight uphills. Rather, it was encountered at the 7.5km mark: the 5km runners. It was like a tsunami of runners devouring every 10k runner that I've marked for overtaking so much so I couldn't see them due to my zig-zagging path trying to gain space and beat the time.

By the time I reached the end of Commonwealth towards QC Circle the stopwatch was at 59mins. Ahhhgggghh! I won't be able to make sub-60 this time. Hay. Time to set a new target: beat my 68mins 10k PR. This was manageable I thought but recalling my MOVE Manila 57mins at 9km+ distance made me do mental calculations.....................65mins.


THAT'S the time to beat! So with once last push (and thinking happy thoughts: my wife and two kids, of course), I accelerated my pace around QC circle until I reached the finish line.

The timer above the finish line arc, my stopwatch, and Nokia GPS tracker read beautifully: 1:04.



Nokia GPS tracker measured the race distance at 10.5kms with my average pace at 6:10/km. I was pacing at 5:59, 6:05, and 4:24(?!?!?!) on the last 3 kms. Now THAT was fast since I usually only have an average race pace between 6:30-7:30/km. The downside was that the tracker (again) conked out on the middle of the race (dunno why, probably lost the A-GPS signal) so NSTB stats for pace during that period wasn't recorded correctly.

Recalling that run, I considered my pace to be all push-push-push from start to finish. I think I've failed to do this in all of my past races. I was too relaxed either at the start (Milo 21k) or at the finish due to fatigue (the rest of my races). The nearest race that had me at this same intensity was the Botak 10miler last August in UP. I guess that's how I must race. Push-push-push lang lagi.

Could it be my decision not to have music influenced my mindset throughout the race? That is, to be always conscious of my pace and running form instead of the boom boom boom chorus of the Black-Eyed Peas?

Could it be the new shoes, my precious (which btw felt comfortable throughout the race)?

Will the same "no music" decision work on this week's KOTR 21k? Hmmm...we'll see.

It was good to see several members as well during and after the race:

1. Jazzrunner. I was able to greet him when his pace-group was at their 7th km.

2. Argonaut. I overheard him say to his buddy, "Iturbo ko lang ng konti" meaning up the pace a little. Good luck sa upcoming marathon pards!

3. Craig and family. I met him twice: along km1 pushing his son as usual and then at the finish line when they finished at 1:10. Pushing a heavy weight at a 7:00/km pace for 10kms ain't a joke. He said he'll be running SIM 42k this weekend so all the best to you Craig!

4. Queenie. Greeted her "hello" at the finish line as well.

The QCIM was a well-organized race. I hope more local-governments would join in and help organize future races in their areas to support the sport.

There were nice giveaways after the race: the meal-bar, 100-plus bottle, sealed water, and the Nike Human Race shoe-bag.

But along the left lane before reaching the Nike shoe-bag queue, a simple booth stood without any ad except for a lady standing and holding something blue and gold and shouting:

"Finisher's medal for 21k/42k runners!!! Get your medals here!!!"

Haaaay. I guess that 1st medal has to wait. Adidas KOTR 21k won't have one I think. I'm still unsure of joining TIMEX 21k so probably I won't have that medal until Nov29's NB run.

But don't worry, I'm still celebrating. A new 10k PR is still a great accomplishment....

...especially coz it's my birthday this week. ;-)

Nokia Sports Tracker race details can be found here.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

KOTR Racekit Claiming: They never learn

I didn't run in KR Urbanite. Reason being was that Saturday night is usually my date night with the missus after anticipated Mass. Call it a cramming-session for carbo-loading since most of the races I joined were on a Sunday morning.

I didn't run in Globe's Run4Home either since I'm an employee of their competitor. Yeah I know there should be no such thing as company-loyalty but the idea of an ex-colleague from Globe seeing me at the starting gate could be too embarassing once word gets around.

In those two races, race packet claiming day was a mess. It was chaos as most of the runners in the forums and blogs wrote if I recall. First time to introduce chip-timing so rookie errors were expected.

And I thought Adidas learned from these past two mishaps.

Saturday 12noon. After playing 3 badminton games in the morning session of the company sportsfest at Smash Ville, I drove to SM Megamall to save the trip and claim my race packet.

Coming from Home Depot along Julio (or is it Julia?) Vargas, it was a slow drive to Megamall, probably around 20-30mins. Parking was difficult so I ended up at Bldg A and valet-parked it (an P80.00 convenience for a known 'masa' mall such as Megamall). I guess they're starting to level-up with Ayala and Rockwell malls.

As I approached the 5th level where the Adidas Expo was, lo and behold:

Lines. Spiraling around the right side of the expo. It didn't move.

I asked one of the guys with the "Organizer" ID what's causing the long queue and he said that it started with this one guy claiming his 21k race-packet. It just snow-balled from there he said.

Well, I can't tell you more since the comments on the Adidas KOTR registration extension and forums will tell all the frustration and tests of patience that every runner had to overcome. All that just to claim a racekit.

I think so far, the Adidas KOTR race-claiming day yesterday would prove to be worse than Urbanite and Run4Home since KOTR doesn't even have a timing chip to begin with. I would've understood holding a separate day for the racekit-claiming from the registration sked since they would have to do some other work to sync the chips with the race numbers.

But then MILO and QCIM, both sporting the timing-chip in the racekits, didn't have this problem. So I guess it had to be something else that caused the chaos at the KOTR Expo.

I hope (I hope!) future races would learn (please please please learn!) from the disappointing mishaps at the Urbanite, Run4Home, and now KOTR race-kit claiming. It should be improved somehow.

Well, as I said the racekit would've been nice if a timing-chip was included. But I do like the vanity bib that they introduced (apart from the obvious yellow MARVELOUS singlet). Ano kaya magandang isulat dun? Here's what I thought of so far:

1. daytripper1021
2. If you can read this, you're too close
3. There IS a WALL! Ayan na, bumabagal ka na! Hwahahaha!
4. I queued for 90mins at the Adidas Expo and all I got was this crummy vanity bib
5. Naiihi ka na
6. Naeebs ka na
7. Belat! I'm in front of you!
8. Nauuhaw ka na
9. Nagugutom ka na
10. Think happy thoughts
11. You can doh et!
12. Simplify: 1021x + 73x + 1,345,234y + 223,234,123,123y
13. If A is running at 10kph and B at 15kph at opposite directions, at what time will they meet assuming A starts 12:31am and B starts 1am?
14. Assuming he passed you already, what was Bald Runner's shoe brand and color? Bonus question: what was the color of his neckerchief?
15. Parang ang layo pa ng finish line ano? Ba't ba naten ginagawa ito uli?

How about you? What would you write on your vanity bib?

See you on Oct25!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

My 1st Milo Race

The Milo Finals lived up to the grandeur and prestige that has made it known for the past 33 yrs. Patches of green everywhere as I entered the 21k starting corral at kilometer 0. A stage was at the right where opening ceremonies were held. People from all walks of life arriving and getting ready to run. With race organizers Rudy B and Rio at the helm, I was confident that the race will have a smooth ride. But will I be able to endure my 2nd half-marathon after EcoDash?

The starting gun blew a little before 5:30am and we were off. My strategy for this race was to try to employ the 8-8-5km which I failed to do at EcoDash: 8kms easy, 8kms fast, and 5kms all-out (or RTYP). I ended km1 at 6:20/km which was too fast for me so I adjusted my pace to 6:45/km, zeroing-out all temptations to speed up as runners overtook me left and right. I just told myself, “Mamaya I’ll get you!” An exception to this was Bull Runner whom I saw charging and overtaking me as early as km4 at a fast, comfortable pace. She’s one tough/seasoned runner, I thought.

6:45/km was my pace all throughout Roxas Blvd. I noticed my Nokia GPS was about 100m off compared to the race markers so I only referred to it for my average pace while I would look at my stopwatch for my per km pace. As long as it was less than 7:00/km, that’s good enough for an easy pace. The Buendia and EDSA flyovers were a synch since they were not as long as the Kalayaan flyover near The Fort that I got used to.

By km10 going towards Buendia, I was 1:07 based on my clock. Good. This would definitely bring me within the 2:30 cutoff time I thought. Along Buendia, I was amazed at how the organizers/police/MAPSA were able to control vehicular traffic for the runners. By the time I reached Makati, Buendia was fully closed to motorists. Congrats guys for a superb job!

Right after Quirino Hway, I started to get hungry in spite of the Sport Beans that I was carrying. Call it right timing, a few meters away I saw my scheduled food stop: the Reinier-Pacific, aid station. It was time for a banana break. I was able to grab a cup of banana from one of the guys there. Incidentally, I also saw Sam of RunningNinja.

I revised (again) my 8-8-5 strategy such that I’ve kept my pace at 6:45/km until the final turning point at PS Bank. After which, I’ll increase my pace.

And improved on it I did. Passing by the aid-station one more time (and one more cup of banana), I saw Queenie and Jinoe and said hi. I was invigorated to go boost my pace such that I clocked in at 5:22 and 5:24 at km15 and 16, respectively. I’ve never done a negative split race before and this could probably be it. A chance to beat my 2:24 EcoDash 21k PR.

Then, the unforgiveable, regrettable happened. From km17-21, my pace dropped to 7:37/km down to a miserable, regrettable 8:26/km. I recall making my last turn towards Roxas Blvd and seeing the “KM3” marker and, well, couldn’t pick up my pace anymore. I tried (really tried) but my legs can only run at a very slow pace so much so that I did something that I’ve never done for a long time in previous races: taking walk breaks. It was like that towards the last 3kms of the race. By the time I reached Padre Faura I already knew that I will miss the 2:30 cutoff based on my estimates. Finish the race, I said to myself. A DNF is totally out of the question. It was getting hot and the cars at the other side of Roxas started growing and contributing to the morning pollution which didn’t help my cause. I was even hoping that the race route would turn left right after the US Embassy to ease my woes but, obviously, it didn’t. It was a difficult one last gasp to reach the finish as I passed by km0 with one of the race-hosts shouting my name on the microphone and saying, “Kaya mo yan!”

Yeah right. I’d like to see you do a 21k and beat 2:30. Yup, it was all negative thoughts by then and I just wanted to reach the finish line. Almost every 21k and 42k runner was overtaking me left and right. Even my mp3 playlist couldn’t help inspire me to run faster. I was a pitiful site.

I crossed the finish line at 2hrs 41mins (unofficial). For a 7:05/km average pace, I found my performance to be very disappointing. Before the race started, I was very confident that I would finish faster than 2:24. Why why why why???? WHY?!?!?!?!

By km19 I was already thinking of all possible “excuses” for this regrettable finish. Like how my bosses in the office would require post-mortem reports on why system outages occurred, I HAD to make one for this race. Here they are:

1. My long-run training mileage only logged two 15km weekend runs (or a total of 30kms) prior to Milo. The rest were either 5 or 10kms. This could be one main suspect why fatigue overwhelmed me right after km16 of the race. I didn’t retrain my body to go near the 21km distance. Maybe one 19km long run would’ve been sufficient. Incidentally, I logged a lot of long-runs prior to EcoDash (16, 18, 19kms before tapering off) so I think this was a major factor for my poor finish.

2. On my last turn to Roxas Blvd at the “KM 3” road marker, I started feeling pain on the ball area of my right foot. It felt like a hundred sharp thumbtacks were hitting it as I made every step that it caused me to take walk breaks. Could it be fatigue-related (I'm still feeling the pain until now)? Could it be shoe-related since I was still wearing the wrong shoe-type (my Adidas Response Stability shoe will only make its race debut by Oct 25’s Adidas KOTR 21k)? But I never felt this at EcoDash so this couldn’t be a good reason (yet a very painful experience).

3. Weather. EcoDash weather was cloudy, rainy at the time so many PRs were set including my 21k debut. Could the hot sun by km17 onwards and the pollution at the Buendia area contributed to my deteriorated race pace? It’s highly possible but you can’t have an ideal race weather everytime.

Either way, my Milo race debut is something that I would need to improve on. It was supposed to be easy but turned out to be something I would like to forget. It might’ve been a case of overconfidence, taking the the 21km distance, nay, taking the MILO 21k very lightly. I may have totally underestimated it.

Still, it was another 21km race finished in my book. Still, a great achievement.

For now, it’s back to training for me as another half-marathon looms in two weeks: the Adidas KOTR. I hope to do better then, readjusting my training in time for that race.

Again, my heartfelt congratulations to the Milo Finals organizers who did a superb job. Everything was managed very well. Thanks for a lot of giveaways too!

My thanks as well to Reinier-Pacific and volunteers for the aid station at Buendia near Pasong Tamo. You were all great!

To the MILO 21k race route and 2:30 cutoff time: you have earned my respect. I’ll get you next year.

Mark my word.

photo taken by Decipher

(Nokia Sports Tracker Beta race details can be found here)

Monday, October 5, 2009


Inspite of the post-Ondoy happenings and panic buying, I was still able to log mileage last week: 10k, 7k, and then 15.7k for my Sunday long run. Interestingly on that long run yesterday, I passed by two runners wearing the iamninoy yellow jersey: 1 lady just outside the Greenhills area and 1 guy inside the New Manila area. The latter made a friendly wave as we passed by each other. Hmmm, I think I'll get that shirt sometime. I was able to pace around 7mins/km almost evenly from start to finish. By "almost" I meant I started slowing (again demet!) at km 14-15 kung kelan patapos na, hay!

The 32km total mileage last week was good especially that two of my scheduled races got canceled: the NB 21k and Run4Child 10k. Of course it's excusable coz of Ondoy. Good thing I still had the motivation to wake up every other morning to run.

Next race is scheduled this Sunday. Yes, finally I'll be able to join my first MILO race ---a 21k at that! This'll be my second half-mary after EcoDash so not much pressure here ---except to finish better than 2:24 official time (my stopwatch time was 2:26. Btw I got the EcoDash race certificate from Trinoma and ANG GANDA! That's how a race cert should be done.). Good thing SheerWill pointed out that the route is easier compared to EcoDash.


After months of searching, I think I've finally come to a decision on my next running shoe: The Adidas Response Stability. I saw it on sale at My Shoe Rack in SM Megamall last week and the price is a steal! Thanks too for RunningNinja since he made a good review on it which btw he still uses for 21k races and up.

Hopefully I get to purchase a pair this week and break them in before Adidas KOTR.


The full-marathon has been lurking at the back of my mind for sometime now. Condura is Feb 2010 pa, so it'll be enough time to train for it. To join or not? To join or not? To join or not? To join or not? Hmmmmm......

I saw my wife's doctor-cousin on Facebook having completed the Portland Marathon recently at 4hrs 23mins. For a 40+ year old guy, now THAT is amazing!

Marathon....42k.....Feb pa naman.....hmmmmmm.......

I can't think of a title for this blog post so I'm left with Forever sung by Chris Brown ---a newly added song to my running playlist.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

All set for Adidas KOTR 19k!

Yup, I've registered already. I went to Adidas Megamall during my lunch break today (walked from Galleria where my office is to burn a few calories, hehe) and signed-up for the 21k. This'll be my 4th 21k in an 8-week span (a 21k race every other Sunday starting from EcoDash, NB, Milo, and KOTR).

I tried the singlet on for size and I was comfortable with size L. The quality of the singlet felt good, living up to the hype that the singlet is one of the great perks here. The tag price is P495.00 which suggests that the P500.00 reg fee covers singlet expenses, or I guess it's on a reduced price if you register for the race since Adidas still needs to pay for the race organizer and give to the intended charity (Hope Worldwide Phils).

I was glad to know that this'll be organized by RACE under Rudy Biscocho. Better to be there ahead of time coz I've read that his guntime are usually earlier than the posted time.

Once you register you'll be given the race map and a claimstub (part of the registration form) to be presented during the KOTR Expo on Oct17-18 at Megamall Megatrade B to claim your racekit.

I have to agree on what was mentioned by another running blog that the 21k race-route is not true to its distance ---GoogleMaps-wise. I plotted the race course from the map I got and the total length was only 19.18kms.

Being short of almost 2kms will definitely spur a flood of complaints from the running community so as early as now I hope RACE will look into it and make the appropriate adjustments if needed. Paging Mr. Biscocho sir help po!

For now, I'm looking forward to this Sunday's NB 21k wherein I hope to get my first medal. I think I won't be as nervous as in the EcoDash 21k since I know that I'll finish the distance. My goal is to finish faster than 2:26.

See you there!

Monday, September 21, 2009

My 1st Sub-30 5k

In my practice runs around the neighborhood, I've etched out a 5km path thanks to Google Maps and verified by my Nokia GPS tracker. I've been running the route most of the time at a 6:30-7:00min/km pace usually during weekdays and finishing between 32-35mins. No reason for me to sprint it since I use the 5k as a recovery run after my weekend long run. Thus, since March 2009, I haven't dipped below 30mins in 5k ---be it on a race or practice run. The nearest I could go was 30mins 29secs during the Step Up for a Cause around May(?) I think.

Last Thursday, our driver ran the same 5k route in the morning and evening. According to him, he finished it below 30mins, probably 28-29mins. He's a year younger than me (34) so I can only envy him since he's really fast-paced.

The following morning I was scheduled to have my 5k usual practice run. My driver, still wanting to run, decided to join me. I told him that since he ran fast based on his time the previous day, I told him to take the lead.

He sprinted off and I followed. I looked at my Nokia-GPS and saw that I was pacing at 5:40/km. Since he was about 50meters ahead, I can only assume that he could be around 5:30-5:35/km. This was definitely fast, I thought.

He extended his gap over me by about 100-150meters towards the 2nd and 3rd kilometer. I was still keeping up at the 5:40/km pace and, surprisingly, can still manage it. Our driver, on the other hand, seemed to be slowing a bit around 3.5kms.

By the last turn to finish 4kms, I was only 10meters behind him. Suddenly, he stopped and leaned by the roadside. He seemed to be gasping for air. Naubusan ng hangin! I passed by him and said, "Ok ka lang?" in which he replied, "oki lang siiir pero masakit ito (ponting to just below his ribs)."

I recalled my 1st 10k practice run around LA's village, my officemate, wherein I experienced the same thing. "Nakalimutan mo kase huminga!" LA said. From then on I learned to be conscious of breathing especially when I try to work beyond my race pace.

I decided to pay forward the tip to my driver, "Di ka kase nahinga eh," I said nicely. He looked ok so I headed off to finish the run.

Looking at my Nokia GPS, I was still pacing at 5:40/km. WOW! Could this be happening? My first sub-30??!?!

I wasn't wearing my soundgear so I had to keep my mind concentrated on keeping up with the demanding pace. By the last turn, I saw that my Nokia GPS-tracker was nearing 5k. I stopped the workout and looked at the results:

Distance: 5.01kms
Average pace: 5:44/km
Duration: 28mins 47secs

Actual Nokia GPS-tracker stats can be found here.

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOW! A sub-30 performance! A practice run at that!

I cooled down (i.e. walked) back to see where our driver was. I assumed that he walked the last km since it took a while.

As he arrived, he said, "Sayang siiir, sikand place lang ako!" In which I laughed since obviously there were only two of us running.

Looking back at that practice run, it just proved that I can run below my usual 6:30-7min/km race pace. I could run faster pa pala. But I think I won't try to push it too much since running is a long-term, life-long passion. I don't want to get injuries due to my overeagerness to finish races in sub-XXs.

Give me a few years, maybe by then I could be as fast as Bald Runner or The Running Ninja. Hehehe.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


A few days after my first successful half-mary at EcoDash, my mind has been boggled on how to schedule my races for next month. The month of October is of particular interest to the newly "baptized" half-marathoner-me. Just look at the line-up of 21k races up for October:

  1. Oct 11: MILO Finals
  2. Oct 11: Celebrity Run
  3. Oct 18: QCIM
  4. Oct 25: SIM
  5. Oct 25: Adidas KOTR

Impressive, right? It just shows how running/racing has been a boom lately that even our driver has picked it up. He ran with me last Friday on a 5k practice run around the neighborhood that turned into a 5k all-out sprint at 6mins/km: 30mins, 42secs. I was at lead but I can hear him breathing down my neck at a suprisingly fast pace. Wow, that nearly beat my 5k 30:21 PR! I laughed when my driver told me as we walked back to the house, "Siiiir, parang nakakalasing yung takbo na yun ah!"

I'm giving him a "sniff" of my new drug (racing, what else?) by registering him in Oct 3rd's Run For Child 5k (my treat). I'm egging him on to maybe land a podium place but I doubt it. I can only imagine his despair once he sees the elites sprinting past him at accelerating speeds. But still, joining a race is an awesome feeling which I hope he'll appreciate.

So aside from that planned 5k race, which one should I join for 21k? MP, my officemate, is undecided as well and will just follow my lead.

From the above list of 21k races, I was able to trim them down to 3.

SIM had to go since (1) it was sponsored by Smart (my company's competitor), and (2) going to Subic will require a lot of logistics especially for the missus who has to prepare the stuff of my 2 boys (syempre dapat kasama sila dun kase parang vacation na rin yun).

Celebrity Run was next to get the axe coz it had the same date as MILO.

M-I-L-O. That 4-letter word is every runner/racer's dream of participating in. Maybe if the missus, who loves watching TheBuzz and SNN, would join a race, then I'd be with her at the Celebrity Run. But I'd rather watch Entourage versus Tayong Dalawa (grabe si Ramon grabe! ahehehe).

I'm limiting myself to joining two 21k races only so that there's enough time for my body to recover. So, it's a toss-up between MILO, QCIM, and Adidas KOTR.


Before, I wouldn't have thought of joining MILO next month since I thought that even the 21k had an elimination round last July in Manila. Sa 42k lang pala yung eliminations. So pwede pa pala ako sumali sa MILO Finals 21k? Hmmmm....


  1. Prestigious (33yrs of racing glory)
  2. Unfamiliar route
  3. Rudy Biscocho (the last time I joined a Rudy Biscocho race was at Condura 5k last March, my maiden race)
  4. Championchip (I'm still a virgin into using this)
  5. Low price for registration fee (P150.00)
  6. Singlet (wearing a MILO singlet adds a bit of "humbled-yabang" when someone sees me on a practice run at UP or in my neighborhood. I think you MILO past-participants agree: there's a special kind of pride that someone feels wearing a MILO singlet in a practice run and/or race)
  7. A chance to join Adidas KOTR due to an adequate recovery period


  1. No 21k finisher's medal
  2. Finding where to park might prove difficult


This'll be the first International Marathon organized by the QC Government. My reasons for downloading a 21k training plan months ago was due to this race. Especially the fact that there'll be finisher's medals for 21k finishers. Apart from my goal of losing weight and reaching my maximum potential in running/racing, THIS was another reason why I wanted to join a 21k race. I've been following Jazzrunner's blog whenever his posts relate to QCIM since I wanted to see how the organizing committee is moving along. To our satisfaction, I think this race will be a success.


  1. Finisher's medal for 21k
  2. A chance to see more elites in action (the Kenyans, etc.)
  3. Unfamiliar route
  4. Championchip
  5. Nearer to my place
  6. a better quality singlet for 21k/42k (I read in the forums)


  1. P500.00 regfee (although part of the fee includes CLP entrance fee)
  2. 21k/42k singlets needs to be picked up during the CLP at QC Hall
  3. No chance of joining Adidas KOTR due to limited recovery period

Adidas KOTR

My participation of this race will depend solely on whether I choose MILO or QCIM. Of course, I need not say more of the kinasasabikang Adidas yellow singlet.

So, will it be QCIM or MILO? MILO or QCIM?

Yeah yeah you "halimaws" there will tell me to join all three. I'm 35 man. I don't think my body will handle 3 consecutive 21k races.

For now, the odds are in favor of me joining MILO over QCIM. If that happens, I'll be running FOUR 21k races (yes, four!) in 8 weeks:

  1. EcoDash - Sep13 (2:26 PR)
  2. NB Power Run - Sep27 (there'll be finisher's medals here so this solves my quest for my 1st medal............IF I finish it)
  3. MILO Finals - Oct 11
  4. Adidas KOTR - Oct 25

I can only imagine my driver's reaction if I tell him of my plans:

"Siiiir! Lasing na lasing kayo nyan!"

Well, that's what I get from getting addicted to running.

Monday, September 14, 2009

EcoDash: My 1st Half-Mary

"May bagyo ah." the missus said as I woke up at 4am to get ready for EcoDash, my first ever 21km race. Prior to this, my longest run was a 19km practice run from home to Greenhills and back in preparation for the NB Run but, due to a superbly-challenging race route, I decided to sign-up for EcoDash tutal Pinoys are known for their "bahala na" mentality. The 10-week training will be shortened to 8. Bahala na talaga.

My target? To finish the race at 2:27 which will be the actual time if I paced 7mins/km throughout the whole distance. I would consider the task failed if I finished beyond 2:30. I know, it's too strict for a first time 21k-er like me but it's not bad not to impose a challenge, right?

I just whispered to her "Sisilong na lang ako pag bumuhos" then I said goodbye and drove off to The Fort. As I was driving I thought of my raceplan which was doing an 8-8-5: 8kms slow, 8kms fast, then 5kms all-out.

I arrived at BHS around 4:40am and got ready. I was suprised to see that there were no racers yet at the starting coral. The announcement later cleared it: 21k race will start at 5:30am to give chance to those who got caught up in the rain. OK lang at least I got enough time to stretch, pee, and walk around. I was able to see Bald Runner and Running Ninja on the starting coral getting ready.

This'll be the first time I'll be using Sports Beans since malamang magugutom ako nito on the latter kilometers. Besides, I forgot to buy bananas on the night before so it was Sports Beans or nothing at all. As 5:30am approached, there were patches of runners clapping to encourage the officials to start the race. A few minutes later we were all surprised, especially those standing at the near end, when the starting gun fired. "Uy! Game na pala" I heard one say.

My first half-marathon was off.

As we approached 32nd avenue I looked at my Nokia GPS tracker and found that I was pacing at 5:40/km. Ambilis ah! I had to slow down, I thought. The plan was to peg my first 8k at 7-7:30mins/km. Looks like I still haven't gotten off that sickness of getting caught in the adrenalin at the start.

I met an old foe, the Buendia flyover, as our first obstacle. Going up from TheFort was a synch like my previous 2 climbs (Botak and Mizuno 10k). I was more concerned once I climb back since my 1st attempt at Botak, had the flyover winning with me walking up that slow, long incline. I won over it during Mizuno so the score is currently at 1-1.

"I'll get you later," the flyover seemed to wave as I headed off for Paseo.

Going thru Paseo, Makati Avenue towards Landmark, Glorietta 4, 6750, and Shangrila was a refreshing route from the usual Buendia U-turn at N. Garcia 10k-routes. I was amazed to see BaldRunner on the way back when I was just approaching Ayala Avenue from Paseo. I gave him a short-applause which he had acknowledged. Ambilis grabe.

As I headed back from Ayala Ave to Paseo, I saw a long queue of vehicles waiting at Makati Ave. Sorry guys, ganyan talaga. :)

The rain had started to pour chunks of water as we ran back to Buendia, which could be the reason why I didn't feel that tired throughout the race. Still my over-eager self was pacing at less than 6kms/min. I wanted to slow down pero ayaw eh. Parang feeling ko maiiwanan ako.

My GPS tracker started to get disoriented due to the buildings and, possibly, the thick dark clouds above. I think I was supposed to be at km7 only but my tracker registered 8.90kms. Yikes.

As I turned right to Buendia, yup you guessed it. The flyover was there. I remembered why I won over it at Mizuno: I slowed my pace going up. As I made my last sip of Gatorade at the nearby hydration station, I made my way up. Surprisingly, I wasn't bothered/tired at all. I was going up at my above-slow pace, conquering the flyover ---with a vengeance! I even saw my officemate MP and his gf which he was pacing for her first 10k along the way. We both exchanged good-luck and went our way.

Score: 2-1.

Next up was the hilly part of the route from 5th avenue to Mckinley to Bayani. I was now pacing from 5:40/km to 6:05/km. Still, a personal best. But still, I was slowly...slowing down. This was expected from my previous long runs particularly at km12 ---possibly my wall. This was a dreaded moment since I remember my 18km practice run ended with me walking the last kilometer.

Time to change tactic: scrap the 8-8-5 plan and it was time to conserve as much energy as possible in preparation for the route back up from C5 U-turn. At a few meters before the hydration station, I will eat 1 or 2 Sports Beans, stop to get water from the station, and walk until I gulped the whole cup. I must continue running until I see another water station and repeat the whole process. It was like that for about 3-4 water stations along Bayani Road to Mckinley.

Incidentally, just past Heritage Park on my way back, I happened to pass by another runner wearing a very inspiring quote at the back. This definitely perked me up. It simply read:


I told the runner "Nice shirt pards" as I moved on and seemed to have gained second wind. A newly found burst of energy made me conquer Bayani road (my other previous Bayani experience was at the Autoreview 10k were I walked most parts of the road due to the steep inclines).

As I made my way towards Essensa, I felt my phone vibrator activating. It was MP.

Rewind to Friday before the race, I told MP that in case I needed it, I would ask him to pace me for the last 5kms. He agreed on the condition that if he and his gf finish before I do. One of the places were he could meet me was at 5th avenue.

I answered the phone and told MP were I was. He asked me if he should pace me as planned. I thought about it and said, "Sige ok lang, kaya ko na 'to."

It was going to be the longest 3-4kms of the race. I was hoping that the route from 5th avenue to 32nd won't have to go thru Rizal Avenue. But then it did. The run from Rizal to 32nd all the way to Serendra seemed to last for an eternity as I strived every stride.

Konti na lang! I kept telling myself. I even remembered praying an Our Father and a Hail Mary. Yup, desperate times called for desperate measures.

The turn from 32nd to 11th street was a long wait as well. I was now at a slow 8-9mins/km pace. Towards the final turn, I was surprised to see MP approaching me and pacing me for the last 150-200meters. It was a delight to see him cheer me on and congratulating me for my first half-marathon finish (even when I haven't reached the finish line yet). He said goodbye and see you on Monday about 15meters before I reached the finish line.

My unofficial time based on my stopwatch: 2hours, 26mins, and 45secs. I've beaten my target time by 15seconds. WOW.

As I look back at it now, I still can't believe that I was able to finish it ---a half-marathon. It's something that I don't imagine of accomplishing if you talk to me a year ago, or even before March this year when I started joining races.

21kilometers. WOW talaga.

To my loving wife who was always patient for hearing out my stories about running and me waking up at 6am to run on the road despite rain or storm, this race is for you. Labyu.

Next up? Rest muna?


Yup, you guessed it: The New Balance 21k Power Run. Yup, another half-marathon.