Friday, April 30, 2010

No Sting

I tried this out on my long run last Saturday. Chose this over Hammer Gel at the time since there was no more supply of Tropical flavored Hammer Gel (my fav) and this one costs P5.00 less. Bought 2 packets. Had 1 before I started the 26km trek and another midway.

Verdict? There really was no effect except for the "bleck! too sweet!!!" taste. No "kick" nor sting like how the HammerGel provides.

Sorry, I'm not buying this anymore.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Aren't You Glad You're Running?

I found this "Lower Cholesterol" newsletter on my email inbox last week:

"Many prescription medications used to treat high cholesterol make you feel worse instead of better.

Statin Drugs

Statin drugs are the most commonly prescribed prescription medication to treat high cholesterol. Unfortunately the drug comes with side effects, such as liver toxicity, digestive issues, rashes, muscle inflammation, weakness, blurred vision, and rhabdomyolysis. Many people on statins complain of constant muscle aches and pains. The possible side effect of rhabdomyolysis is the most dangerous. Rhabdomyolysis is the rapid breakdown of smooth skeletal muscle tissue. As the tissue breaks down it releases damaged cells into the bloodstream, such as myoglobin. This by-product of muscle breakdown is harmful to the kidney and can lead to acute kidney failure. Back in 1997, 81 deaths were linked to statin drugs and the side effect of rhabdomyolosis. One statin medication was withdrawn from the market due to these deaths, but several still remain available and are frequently prescribed.

I encourage you to make the necessary diet and lifestyle changes needed to support a low cholesterol naturally and avoid the need for medications."

Being someone who used to have high cholesterol, low HDL, and high LDL levels, I was glad to have discovered running. It's definitely a better way versus taking statin drugs.

So, aren't you glad you're into running?

Friday, April 23, 2010

Asics Gel Foundation 8 Review

Bought for P4,200.00 (sale price) at Planet Sports Rockwell, I've been running with a pair of these for several weeks now, probably logged about 80-90kms already. This included 18, 16, and 21km weekend long runs and a 10km race in Botak Baguio.

I decided to buy the Foundation8 since (1) the PlanetSports/NB shops ran out of 769s (except for the Festival Mall branch which was too far from my office), and (2) I wanted more stability since, based on my gait analysis at RUNNR months back, I was a severe overpronator.

The shoes are quite heavy especially at the heel. I noticed that my pace was slower whenever I wore them which was actually to my favor because it controls me from going faster especially on my long weekend runs which is often advised to be done at easy pace. Slower pace, less injuries. Still, slower pace. I just compensate for speed whenever I do my tempo and interval training days with my other shoe, the Adidas Response Stability.

The ride at forefoot/midfoot strike somehow feels less-cushioned. To be more specific, I could describe it as more "earthy" versus my Adidas Response.

Until now I feel that I'm still at break-in stage with this pair since I still feel some discomfort at the beginning of my runs, particularly at the right shoe inside-heel lining area. It feels like it's hugging around my ankles too tight. There is a similar feeling at the shoe-lace area of the right shoe as well. But the said feeling subsides by the time I reach km5 onwards. It's just pretty bothersome at the beginning. But why is it taking so long for me to break it in? Hmmm.

Stability-wise, it's damn stable so much so that I don't get that achy feeling on my left knee even with the 21km long run I did last Saturday. I think this shoe is in the category of motion-control already since it has somehow helped reduce my overpronation unlike my Adidas that doesn't really secure my overpronated gait on left-foot heel-strike.
To summarize, the Asics Gel Foundation 8 provides a very stable ride especially for severe overpronators such as myself. The downside is that the heel part is rather heavy on the ride that somehow restricts the pace. Further, it takes a while (and it still is) to break it in. This shoe will work pretty well for easy short and long runs. Not recommended as a race shoe but it sure can provide the needed stability to get you to finish a half or full marathon ---if finish-time is not important.

*pics taken from

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Cheruiyot wins Boston!

"Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn't matter whether you're a lion or gazelle - when the sun comes up, you'd better be running." - Unknown

It must be the lions

There was great expectation this year from Americans Ryan Hall and Meb Keflezighi to bag 1st place but it seems the Kenyans are still to beat. With a record-smashing 2:05 finish, Cheruiyot bags the $150,000 prize and the $25,000 bonus for beating the course-record.

Ryan and Meb can only finish 4th and 5th, respectively.

This makes me wonder what sort of training do these Kenyans/Ethiopians do?


How do Filipinos compare?

Coach Rio finished a respectable 3:00:15 for 1,384th overall as I found him to be the only runner listed with "Philippines" as the country of residence. Still a lot of room for improvement since he's only 28. I still see him trimming his marathon time in the years to come. Congratulations Rio for representing us!


If I base it from Vertek Buenavista's 2009 SEA Games performance wherein he bagged the gold, he "only" finished at 2:21 if I compare it to Cheruiyot's 2:05. I guess the whole SEA needs a lot of catching-up to do if we intend to be world-class.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mizuno 10k: Sub-60?

Mr. B

Rudy Biscocho's races are always something that I look forward to. He goes down to the very basics: reasonable registration fee, accurate distance, no chip (except for Milo Finals last year, but still reg was cheap at P150.00), no TV/radio ads, no celebrity endorsements, and timely/accurate race results. He's known to start races ahead of schedule (which I don't complain). Each and everytime, he's managed to pull through. If I may relay it to cooking, he always comes up with a perfect sinaing. Not burnt. Not watery. Not dry. Everything is just right ---even without pandan leaves.

Aside from Rudy, I registered for the Mizuno 2010 run to beat my 1:09 10k finish last year. That made the lure of this race irrestible for me. I know that I can finish a 10k less than 1:09 now but to cement it on this year's Mizuno Run would be special. If I took it easy, I know I'll finish around 1:05, a respectable margin of improvement. However, I wanted to see for myself if my 1:04:55 10k PR can be beaten.


The Monday before the race I did speedwork: 500m warmup, 2x1mile with 800m recoveries. Note that I've NEVER done speedwork before as I've been contented with tempo, easy short, and easy long runs only. Speedwork seems so complicated to do (even with a Garmin). Further, it was very (very!) tiring. I wouldn't run that fast on race day anyway, right? So why do speedwork?

I was probably influenced by this interval training video that I got from Banana Running's blog. Seeing those guys doing 2x1mile, 2x2mile, 2x1mile, 2x2mile left me aghast. Wow, that looks challenging!

Anyway, I finished the 2x1mile workout, clocking in at 9:46 and 9:34 per mile (or 6:04 and 5:57 per km).

Wait, a 5:57 mpk on a training run? Hmmm, interesting I thought. So I can run a mile on that pace? Hmmm, would it be possible that I can do sub-60 in the Mizuno Run?

Long Run....Are You Nuts?!?!

Friday before the race was a National Holiday. Even though the race was 2 days away, the addicted runner in me managed to log 10 miles in 2hours 20mins easy pace. This would work either way for Sunday. That is, I might not recover in time or I'll be conditioned endurance-wise for the race.

Kids, don't do this. ;-)

Race Day

Food intake before the race: 1 strawberry-filled Mister Donut bought from the Caltex convenience store along EDSA near Greenhills. Plus a few sips of Gatorade and a cup of water.

Warmup: 200-300m jog from BHS parking to the starting line.

Starting corral position: about 10 meters behind the line next to the left sidewalk. I had to make my way through from the back though since I wound up running back to the car to get my sunglasses.

Planned pace: 305 set to 6:10 per km for a 1:01:40 predicted finish.

Secret plan: 59 minutes.

A Good Start

As the 10k race went off minutes before the 5:45am scheduled time, I was squeezing myself left and right to get my pace going. I can't help but notice this one guy in black wearing a white towel (not the Good Morning towel, hehe) wrapped around his neck. He was fast, mind you. He became my designated target for the race. Why? Wala lang. Probably because he was easy to find with that towel around his neck. Towards the end of km1 he was way way ahead of me so I've immediately forgotten about him and concentrated on my pace.


Is THIS possible?!?! Is this the fruit of the speedwork I did last Monday?? probably is! If I can sustain this pace until the finish, a sub-60 is very imminent. Yehehehessss!!!

The water station along Rizal Avenue was a good respite as I drank and doused myself with the cool water provided. As I turned left, the flat course will have a brief change in elevation as I expected.

Over The Bridge

The Kalayaan flyover. Yes, that THING. That looong climb to and fro just happened to sit there along Km3 of the route. I'm certain that I won't walk through it like what happened when I was first introduced to it early last year. The question was, will I be doing sub-6:00 mpk pace over it? Well, here's your answer:


That was just going to Makati. The climb on the way back will be harder as you'll see later on.


Amidst the irate drivers being stopped by the race marshals to let runners through, I was struggling to go back to sub-6:00 pace. As I neared the turn-around point, I opened my HammerGel and ate half of it. The turn-around point at N.Garcia was on the dot (5.01km on my Garmin) as I almost missed getting my loop-cord. I probably lost about 5secs there. Performance-wise, I was still ok. I felt like I was in one of my scheduled tempo runs wherein my running form (well, I would like to think) was doing alright. The first half of the race was over in 29mins and change.


Back to the Bridge

When everything was starting to fall in place, there it was again. The flyover. This time, the return route to The Fort comes with a vengeance because of the long incline passing over Buendia. Pace dropped considerably at this point, with km7 logging my slowest pace for the day. I really have to do more hill training!


Last 2

Took the remaining half of my HammerGel at the Rizal avenue water station. As I neared the left-turn across McDo, lo and behold!

There he was with pace considerably slowing down.

It was....

...Towel Guy!

He may have lost time going through the flyover, I thought. As I turned-left, I was able to easily pass him.

At that time along Rizal Avenue, I came into a realization that the possible cause of my left knee patellar tendinitis might have been caused by my gait. It was at this point that I observed the obvious: my left foot was outside heel-striking and heel-striking hard. As what I've read, heel-striking is actually disadvantageous since it acts as a brake and that secondly, and more importantly, it can be the cause of many knee injuries. That point has been well-saved on my mind as I will try to work it out consciously in my succeeding runs and races.

In my previous races in The Fort, particularly the half-marathons (except RunRio1), I'd often find myself considerably out of pace by the last 2 kilometers, i.e. from McDo to the BHS finish line. This time I was still giving my all but still comfortable. I calculated as early as km8 that 59mins is impossible at this point since it required me to make the last kilometer at a minimum 5:00 mpk. Ngeks!


Still, I ran as fast as I could as I reached the finish arc. My 305 registered 10.05km with its time and the finish arc time exactly the same as I pressed STOP:


I've beaten my 2009 Mizuno 10k time by almost 9mins and, more importantly, A NEW 10k PR!!! IIIYYYYEEAAAAHHHH!!!

Although I've yet to see the full race results, it was good for the organizers to email me of my own result hours later after the race:

Congratulations for finishing your event in the Mizuno Infinity Run. Here is
your place, time, and pace. 206 1:00:57 6:06

206th place. Not bad, don't you think?

Sub-60 just around the corner?

Yup, I'll surely aim for sub-60 on my next 10k race. The 1:00:57 finish time had improved my calculated full-marathon finish time to 4:40 and a half-marathon finish of sub-2:15. The latter I hope to achieve late next month during the 2nd leg of the RunRio trilogy. The 4:40? Hmmm....still unsure whether to join Milo Elims or another race later this year or Condura 2011.

For now, it's back to training.

Btw, the Mizuno finisher shirt is bad ass!

Thanks Mizuno and Mr.B! I'll see you again next year!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Possibly A New Perspective

I'm starting to rediscover running in a whole different way. It probably started after I first saw this Josh Cox 15-mile tempo training day video forwarded by PC, my triathlete-officemate. I think I've watched the video almost 20 times since then, admiring at how this guy can cruise sub-5:00 per mile pace, mile after mile. I've yet to see a similar training video featuring Geb, Haile, or even Vertek and Rio (do send me a link if you know one). It was impressive to see how an elite runner such as Josh trains. And trains hard.

I'm always left pumped up after watching that video, even if it was just a training tempo run. It wasn't a race but I was still left awed by his performance. Sub-5:00 per mile ba naman.

Moreover, you don't see these guys join races week after week nor even every other week. They're in it for the quality, not quantity of races joined. They really get serious when it comes to training by piling up the miles and pace week after week.

In running-mania Philippines, wherein races are abound every weekend, it's really tempting to register for a race every week. Such was my case last year as I scoured's List Of Races trying to see where I could join. As a newbie then, I would impatiently look for the next race. It started with the 10Ks then the half-marathons. The big races are such a crowd-drawer that I was also pulled into joining. Admit it, you also have been bitten by the race bug too.

But as I'm now looking into joining my first full marathon, my concentration lately has been on not choosing the next race, but on choosing my most preferred marathon training plan. There's this 12-week shortened plan from RunnersWorld, then the SmartCoach training plan from the same website, and then there's this 16-week plan from FIRST. There are also other marathon plans on other websites but I'm down to choosing from the first 3 above. Will it be for Milo Elims this July? I'm not really sure. The mileage base prior to starting these training plans are very demanding (it should be >30km while I'm lately averaging 20-25km only). I might choose to bring up my weekly mileage first then join a marathon later this year (probably QCIM which is in December, I heard).

As expected, I wasn't able to register for next week's big race: Earth Run. Our CEO whom I chanced upon the elevator weeks back told me to join him on the 21k event but I wasn't really keen into joining this one. Training was lacking since my knee had just recovered. My last two long runs, last Good Friday (18k) and yesterday (10miles), told me that I need to build my mileage more as I was left walking in the latter part of the runs. It could be the hot summer sun dwindling my energy or could also be my lack of long run mileage. Either way, those reasons made me decide that I might not be ready for a 21k race soon.

For now, it'll be long runs in the weekends. Actually, I find myself as excited to do a long run as when I'm joining a race. In a long run, you get to act as the organizer and participant. I enjoy plotting out what distance should I run, where I should go, and setup the hydration points. For the latter, I purposely bring my hydration belt plus a bottle of Gatorade. The Gatorade I would leave purposely behind the bushes along km3 of the route so that I can get it after as I'm making the last part of the run. Call it my last hydration stop as I know that my hydration belt, a Nathan Speed 1.5, will not be sufficient for runs more than 10 miles. PC and I are planning to have a long run this month which I've already plotted for about 23km ---my longest run should I complete it.

Eighteen. That's the number of races I registered for last year. If I average the reg-fee at P350.00, that would have been a little over 6,000 pesos. Not really practical so I'll probably have to scale down a bit. There are long runs to look forward to, anyway.

I just have to tell myself constantly: quality (of the race and of my performance), not quantity.

Friday, April 2, 2010

A Good Friday Long Run

I haven't ran long since CenturyTuna 21k (Feb21) so I decided to do one this morning ---18k to be exact. I was left walking and running towards the last 3 kms, a sign that I need to do more of these regularly.

The roads were free of pollution as most of the cars plying the metro were either asleep or have gone to the provinces for the Holy Week break although the summer sun was still here. Nevertheless, the roads were kinder this morning to a runner such as me.

An easy average pace of 7:48/km was not that bad, considering that I haven't ran longer than 10kms for the past few weeks. Further, the 1,344 calories that registered on my 305 served as my prize for the day (woohoo!).

It was definitely a Good Friday.