Saturday, August 29, 2009

Deysi Otso

Yup, after conquering the BOTAK 10-miler last Sunday, my longest run, it was time to crank it up a notch as dictated by my current half-mary program.

It was supposed to be an 18k route which I've mapped out yesterday via Google Maps. The route would start at my house, then go towards Kamuning, Timog, East Ave, QC Circle, UP outer path, UP Oval, and back. This was going to be one long run, I thought. There'll be no water stations, marshals, and markers. It will just be all me dictating this practice run.

So I packed up a bag of Sports Beans, filled up my hydration bottle with Gatorade, and off I went. I actually stopped for about 3mins at the UP Oval since my Gatorade ran out so I bought a bottle of mineral water from the store near AS Palma Parking lot to refill my bottle.

It was smooth sailing until I passed 16kms. The WALL reappeared its ugly head and I found myself dragging my feet just to finish the last 3 kms. It was hell I tell you. 3kms seems to be a short distance but not in this run. Grabe...

My GPS tracker showed 19kms which was weird since from my Google Maps reference I should only be at 17kms. Perhaps the buildings, MRT tracks, etc. disoriented it. I was dead tired from running so I stopped the workout at 19kms, i.e. 17kms. I then walked the last kilometer to home. So technically I still completed the whole 18km distance.

The time from 0-19kms was 2hrs 12mins which was quite respectable although if I base it from the 17km Google Map distance, it was at 7+min/km ----one of my worst. I think I need adjustments on my pacing. The pace from 0-19kms was depressing to look at. It was like a graph of the Philippine Stock Exchange Index during the last US Recession when it lost a lot of value. Masyado ko kase hinataw sa umpisa, naubusan tuloy sa dulo.

Good thing this was just a practice run.

Next Saturday: 19kms (for real this time).

Nokia Sports Tracker Beta run details can be found here.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Race Review: BOTAK Paa-Tibayan 10 Miler

This was my 1st 16k, 2nd BOTAK, and 2nd UP race. As mentioned in a previous post, this race fits smackingly nice into the end of week 5 of my 10-week half-marathon training schedule in preparation for the Sep27 21k NB Run.

I've actually registered for the BOTAK 10-miler since June after I read in that the original sked had to be moved to prioritize the 100k Ultra. I went to the BOTAK office in Kamuning and registered by none other than Ian Alacar, the race organizer. So from June to Aug23 was a long time coming for me to run this race.

The race route had to be changed from the original 1-loop along Commonwealth to a 3-loop route inside UP. After some thought I can say that I'm glad it was changed since I can only imagine the organizer's nightmare of managing a race on accident-prone Commonwealth. Baka may masagi pang mga runners ng mga rumaragasang mga bus eh.

Btw, this was my first race to try Sports Beans since tackling 10miles/16kms is a first for me. I was able to buy a pack for P65.00 at Athlete's Foot Galleria. Definitely the calories burned for the first 10k will equal to hunger for me as based on my previous 13km practice run the previous Sunday. I took 1 bean at 5:30am and placed 2 beans on my armband for use during the race.

At the starting gate I wasn't able to see singlets worn but I was able to see Bald-Runner getting ready. I saw his Team Bald-Runner booth near the starting gate which indicates their preparedness for this race. In case you're a fan, Zorro was also there. :)

First to be released were the 10-mile runners. The starting gun went off at exactly 6am and we were off. My target time for this race is 1:51 (as estimated by the McMillan race calculator) so I was aiming to average just below 7mins/km.

My Nokia N85 where my GPS tracker was installed conked out on the 1st 3mins of the race (or maybe I accidentally pressed "Stop" when I checked my pace at the time) so I had no choice but to restart its monitoring. Good thing I was wearing a stopwatch so the time recorded was still accurate. Below was my pace/km (the last km is in error since I manually added the missing 300-400m and 3mins that I lost from the GPS tracker error):

I don't know how it happened but as I was approaching 8kms I was feeling for the 2 Sports Beans in my armband but couldn't find 'em. They must've fallen off. ARRGGHHHH!

Yup, I started slowing down by the 9th km although I was still fast since at the end of 10k I timed at 1:05 which could've been a new PR for me if this were a 10k race.

On the 12th kilometer a tiny voice whispered to me that I look again on my armband. Lo and behold! There was 1 of the 2 Sports Beans at the deep corner! GOTCHA!

By the 12-14th kilometers, I was fighting the urge to walk. I may have reached what many runners fear the most: the WALL. I remember what I read on the blogs: just fight it and continue running. And so I continued to run until I went passed it. The WALL has been conquered. A battle won, but I'm sure the WALL will be waiting for me on my next long distance races.

Less the added 3mins, the original average pace marked on my tracker for the 16th and last kilometer is 5:57/km which is good for a final push on my standards.

I clocked-in at the finish line at 1hr 49mins ---not bad considering I've beaten the race calculator by a good 2 mins. Average pace was 6:49/km which would be good if I based it on Milo 21k cutoff standards. Hmmm, makasali na nga sa Milo 21k Elims next year, hehe.

Racing in UP is, for lack of a better word, relaxing. Running under the trees and a with the Sunday running/walking crowd at the oval gave me the added confidence that I CAN finish 10 miles.

Water stations were adequate. I even counted about 2 Gatorade stops. Race marshals were adequate and very helpful to guide the runners along the route as well. The distance was well considered by the organizer since my GPS recorded 15.76kms plus the 300-400m I lost in the GPS error I can fairly say that the whole route was really 10-miles/16kms.

The tarpaulin racebib is good as well. I think this was used by the 100k Ultra-runners too since it will last the whole 100k distance. The lead runners were being escorted by a biker armed with a whistle blowing away to tell slower runners to give way. This was a good initiative by the organizer since some roads of the race were too narrow for a safety car to be used. The loop-markers given were not the standard lubid-loops but a nice thin plastic wristband. The first 2 loops were red while the final loop was green.

There was even a loot bag laden with Hershey's (hindi Chippy/Cheezecurls ha!) products accompanying the standard Gatorade giveaway bottle. Ayos 'to pasalubong sa bahay.

My only concern though was that no one handed out the race certificate to me when I reached the finish line. Hmmm, pwede kaya i-snail mail na lang sakin yun sir Ian?

Btw, I was able to see the Runnex Running Clinic members running about during the race. I was able to see Doc Ed(?) and that newbie gray-haired guy from the Gingerbreadman blog who ran an LSD in Eastwood sometime back. Grabe, nagpeprepare na kayo sa 21/42k ha?! Idol!!! :)

Next on my race calendar is the big one: The New Balance Power run Half-Marathon!

Monday, August 17, 2009

I finished the 2009 NB Run in 2:27:50!

Or that's what this Running Calculator thinks.

If I joined the Milo 21k Elims last July with the above time, I could've made it to the Oct Finals! Wow.

I chanced upon the website while surfing last week. Quite interesting, it showed the estimated times I would finish different races based on my PR for any particular race. The times below were based on my 66:26 PR set during a 10k practice run two Sundays ago:

5K - 31:59 (my current PR is 30:29)

10 miles - 1:51:19 (I hope to do better on my first 10-miler this coming Sunday at the Botak 10-miler in UP)

21k - 2:27:50 (see ya at the NB Run! Nagregister na ako last week <---ADIK! Hehe)

Marathon - 5:11:46 (running for 5+ hours??? Grabeh. Di na muna siguro 'to. Pero I hope to finish at least 1 marathon before I reach 40)

Do you think the calculator is accurate?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Wrong Shoe?

"Pare binili ko yung nireco nilang shoe. Ang galing. Tumakbo ako isang oras ganda ng pakiramdam. Hindi na sumasakit yung paa ko."

That was GS, a vendor to our company whom I chanced upon at RUNNR Store BHS last Saturday morning when I decided to have my foot analyzed. He has the knack of making up stories (with yabang) every now and then so he telling me he was running for an hour is an obvious fairy tale since I know he really doesn't run.

I've been wanting to have a gait analysis since I've been reading posts on such that were available only at RUNNR and Second Wind shops ---stores specific for runners. That was why when the missus and I were at The Fort area I made it a point to finally drop by at RUNNR. Further, I have an uneasy feeling that the Nike Victory shoes that I bought since this whole running addiction started last March may not exactly be built for my feet.

I was ahead of GS on the queue although wala pa namang masyadong tao since it was only about an hour after the store had opened. The saleslady had pointed me to that foot-type analyzing plate (sorry I don't really know the exact name for that) for me to step onto. As I lifted my feet, there was a weird look on her face.

My feet appear to fall under the Normal arch category but the left seems to be more neutral than the right. So magkaibang shoes dapat per foot? Ahehe.

Next, I was asked to run barefoot on the treadmill for no more than a minute. Results of the run showed that my left foot is running normal but my right is severely overpronated by about 7 degrees off. The slowmo replay of my barefoot run clearly showed my right knee seemed to be heading outward right as my right foot touched the ground. Angle showed 186.9 degrees.

The verdict? I need a stability shoe.

My current running pair of Nike Victory is classified as for neutral foot runners.

NGEH!!!! So THAT's why my right foot (mid outside area) seems to be aching a little everytime I run! Hay, sayang naman yung nabili ko.

The saleslady showed me the stability shoes (she offered me the Nikes, Adidas, and NBs) that they got but one thing that I noticed is hmmm...parang di ko type. I would've wanted a Mizuno but she said the stability shoes of Mizuno are only good for short distances since the firm part (that gray area on the inside part of the sole that identifies if a shoe is for stability) is only of a short length. Parang di ata ako naniwala sa explanation nyang yun. Baka salestalk na yun gaya ni GS pag may binebenta sakin. Hehe.

Still, the gait analysis at RUNNR was really insightful (and free, hehe).

Right now I'm scouring the 'net ( for my possible 2nd pair of running shoes.

The possibilities are:

1. Nike Airspan 6+ (currently on sale at Nike for around P3,400)

2. Adidas Adizero Tempo (on sale at Toby's for around P2,200)

3. New Balance 1224 (but they ran out of this. 1225 ang meron but it's P5,500 ata)

I have a few questions that you might know the answer to:

1. Can my overpronation be corrected by buying the right shoe? if YES, can I later on move to a different shoe type once it's been corrected or nakatali na ako sa shoe foot-type na yun?
2. Is the Adidas Adizero Aegis for runners that require a stability shoe?
3. Pano na yung Nike Victory ko? Can I still use it kahit for recovery/short runs? Sayang kasi eh.
4. What other stability shoe do you recommend? Mizuno sana gusto ko.

It's very likely that I'll buy the Nike Airspan 6+ since I can use my accumulated Citibank Rewards Points to claim a P2,000 Nike Park voucher so parang P1,300 na lang cash out ko. This is an obvious choice since money is rather tight for me nowadays.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Recommended Running Songs

Yup, I'm that guy you see that wears a black pair of medium sized earphones over his black cap during races.

I run faster (but not THAT fast) when I have music pumping into my ears. I tried running without music and I almost always end up at a slower average pace. It's a drug that produces a natural high that keeps my adrenalin in check. It's better to hear music versus hearing my own voice saying:

"Kalokohan itong takbo-takbo na ginagawa mo! Tignan mo inunahan ka nung tabachoy na yun oh!"


"Pagod ka na, maglakad ka na muna!"


"Naiihi ka na. Naiihi ka na. Kelangan mo nang umihi...."

Yup, music keeps me high (and sane).

Here are 2 new songs on my playlist that I recommend (if it suits your taste).

Di ba parang ang sarap tumakbo while these songs are playing? :)

Keep on running!!!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Weight Loss Update

After taking up running last March and eating oatmeal-only weekday dinners, I've finally decided to have my blood tested for lipid profile yesterday. I've given it 4 months as recommended by my highschool batchmate who's a doctor to take the said test after all the hard work has been put in. Just to really see if there's any improvement.

Well, after 4 months, here's the result:

All have improved! WOW! Tenkyu LORD!!!!

As you can see, dramatic improvements in my cholesterol, LDL, and Triglycerides although the cholesterol still needs tweaking.

The only issue with this is that since my employer had to change health-companies this year, the interpretation of the normal range for these tests differ from one laboratory to another. Only the cholesterol normal-range is the same for both labs. Thus, I can't really say if my HDL had improved since if I use Medicard's normal-range, I'm still low on good cholesterol (pero 2 points lang) and high on bad cholesterol (7 points lang naman).

But still, it's a big improvement. Moreover that I've lost 11 lbs since January. The loss actually accelerated sometime March when I started running so I strongly believe that it has greatly helped (coupled with the missus' imposed oatmeal-only weekday dinners) in my weight loss goal. So thank you LA for coaxing/forcing me to sign-up for the Condura 5k last March. You have helped me find a sport that I've found to love (and get addicted to).

It's still a long way until I reach 152 lbs ---my ideal weight to reach normal BMI for my height. I hope to achieve it by the end of this year in time for EG's biggest-loser contest final weigh-in. Yup, I'm still gunning for that Zoom Kobe IV prize for the biggest loser.

So, from now until December (and maybe forever), I will continue running....

....and eating oatmeal-only weekday dinners (sigh).

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My 12k Cory Run

I ran 13kms last July 26 ---my longest run to date. It was part of the 21k training program so I had to do it. I finished it at 1:36 and averaged 7:23/km. Yup, it was one of my slowest runs probably due to the monster inclines along Horseshoe Village.

Today, Aug2, was another scheduled long run: 12k. Almost the same route as the 13k (but shorter by 1k, duh!) although this run had more meaning since I wanted to offer this run to former President Cory Aquino.

By the 6th km I was nearing the entrance to LSGH where her remains will stay until Wed morning for public viewing. I wanted to go in but my sweaty clothes and panting for breath might shoo away the other mourners. Anyway I made my U-turn and went on my way.

I ended the run at 1:23 and averaged 6:57/km ---a big improvement from last Sunday in terms of pace. I mainly concentrated on keeping my pace between 6:50-7:00mins/km by viewing my GPS tracker often. It was just the right pace for me ("just-enough-to-talk pace") . Let's see if I can improve on it on my next long run on Aug9.

Tita Cory, we will definitely miss you. Thank you for helping us bring back democracy to our nation.

(Nokia Sports Tracker Beta details for this run can be found here)