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.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tempo Runs: Run Like a Kenyan

"Ano ba yang tempo-tempo run na yan ha?!" I asked myself as I was looking for a race training program a few months back.

That's when I found this article at

Nope, I haven't employed it yet since the rookie 21k training program that I'm currently using concentrates more on racking up mileage, not speed. Anyway, it coincides with my goal to at least finish my first 21k at EcoDash this weekend.

Who knows? Maybe in a year or two I'll be running like a Kenyan.

Yeah right. :)

Friday, September 4, 2009

Midfoot Strike

I was in the middle of my scheduled 6km morning run yesterday when I remembered those posts/articles I read about midfoot strike running being the most proper, efficient way to run. So, at kilometer 3, I purposely tried it: striking the ground purposely with the balls of my feet.

Ang hirap pala mag-adjust. All this time I've been running heel first ---which I've read is not the proper way. It's like almost tip-toeing ang pakiramdam but, well, not really. Hehe.

The second thing I noticed when I tried it is that, well, I don't know if you'll believe this, pero I felt that I was going faster. With a slight lean forward I felt that I was being pushed forward effortlessly.

The result? As per my Nokia GPS tracker I ran 6.07kms in 41:26 at 6:49min/km pace. Compare that to my previous 6km runs:

8/31: 6.02kms, 43:24, 7:12min/km
8/27: 6.02kms, 46:44, 7:45min/km
8/25: 6.80kms, 46:56, 6:54min/km

There was noticeable improvement but not that much since I only insisted myself to do midfoot-strike on the latter half of that run.

Hmmm, I think I'll start adapting to this type of foot-strike from hereon. Less than 4 weeks left before my debut 21k at the NB run, hopefully I'll be fully adjusted and ready for the distance by then.

The problem is, I've been staring at this pic the whole day.

Parang gusto ko na mapaaga yung 21k experience coz of the nice route.

If I do register for the Eco-Dash, bahala na si Batman!