Thursday, October 28, 2010

Take The Stairs!

"Gusto ko nyaaaaaan!" ("I want thaaaaaat!")

Officemate/triathlete/sadist @paopedal got excited when I showed him an ad I found on the Philippine Star newspaper yesterday. With eyes beaming like a child on Christmas morning, you could feel that he wanted, nay, NEEDED to try this.

I think there's a similar race in the US (Empire State?) conducted yearly. IMHO, this is a true test of knee/leg-strength.

All I can say is, wasakan ng tuhod ito ("This race is gonna break your knees") if your unprepared/untrained.

Now, who's in? :-)

Race details here.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Adidas KOTR 2010 21k: I'll take it

In a nutshell, me finishing this race at 2:22:00 (gun time) was not bad. My 2:18 PR still stands, but coming out of this race with that finish time (2:21:35 chip time) is still a decent finish if you look at how unconditioned I was going into this race.

Recalling the past weeks where I got under mileaged due to a bout with the flu (only 15km for that week), having only a dismal 14.6km (supposed to be 18k) as my longest long run in 4 weeks, didn't do specific hill-training, and didn't do carbo-load preparations the week before the race, I was lucky to come out of this race alive.

What may have saved me is a good race-nutrition strategy (HammerGel Espresso taken at km7 and km14, stopping at almost all the hydration stations), the lightweight Adizero Adios shoes that I've used only once prior to this race (a 12km easy run 3 days prior), and that feeling of positive-thinking and invincibility whenever I overtook another 21k runner (hehe).

Looking at my Garmin stats, I was doing well pace-wise until km12 ---Buendia flyover return route. I was able to refrain from walking during that entire stint, but it took a lot from me on the way to the hilly RizalAve-5thAve-Lawton-Bayani route. Pace dropped considerably from 6:30/km to as much as 7:26/km. I found myself doing walk-breaks during that stretch. Yet again, hill-training NEEDS to be done. Seriously Roelle (yes I'm talking to my future self), you really need to do serious hill-training. Do your long runs religiously, PLEASE!

I really need to stick with the program, so to speak, especially now that I'm starting week #2 of my Condura 2011 full-marathon training. Further, my next race, Runrio3 on Nov21, is a 20-miler (32km). Poor performance will definitely haunt me during these races if I fail to execute my training to the letter.

Of course, I have to love doing it too!


Shoutouts: I'd like to greet the runner-bloggers I saw during the race. Dennis, Wilson ("Yo!" hehe), Patrick, Rene, and James. I also saw Jet, Roselle (thanks for that high-five along 5th Ave, I really needed it!), and Sam who didn't race but were on their scheduled long run I presume. It was great seeing you guys.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


I've had these Adidas Response Stability pair for a year, making its race debut at QCIM 2009 10k and then wrapping up with the Milo Manila 42k Elims last July 04. The shoe has served me well, spanning 10k's to several half-marathons (2:18 PR from last Feb still stands) and of course my first full-mary. The wear on the outsole, especially at the heel, is fair evidence of the mileage that this shoe has gone through. I estimate that I've logged about 700-800kms with this shoe, races and training included.

I'm a sucker for being sentimental towards things, but last weekend's supposedly 18k that turned 14.6k has prompted me to upgrade my gear. Specifically, I'm not really getting along well with my Asics Gel Foundation 8 during long runs, especially now that I'm slowly getting accustomed to midfoot strike. The Foundation 8 is just plain heavy midway into the long run. Maybe for 5-8km easy runs is ok, but any longer than that, it feels like running with ankle weights. The morning sun heating me up that day didn't help as well.

Secondly, I'm trying to save on the mileage of my Newton Distancia Racers. These babies are excellent as well as expensive, thus there should be an alternate shoe to complement it during tempo, speedwork, and races.

So I made my contribution to the Adidas Refresh Your Gear promo by saying goodbye to my Adidas Response Stabilities during lunchtime today at Adidas Trinoma.

Or, a more apt way of saying it was......


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Avon Step Out 5k: Her First Race

Yes, I joined another race the day after the Company Sportsfest 15k. This was definitely a no-no for me, but for the purpose of pacing my sister, who'll be running her first race, a 5k, rest/recovery would have to wait.

There was no plan for this race but to be with her all throughout as she tackles on finishing her first race, come hell or high water. MOA being the race venue will be a gentle initiation for her into road-racing since the course is flat. Race-organizer was RACE if I were to assume the black and yellow timer at the starting gate.

We situated ourselves at the back of the pack. This is better for a newbie like her so that she won't get dragged onto zooming at the start (something that I've only learned to refrain from lately). The race started on time (5:30am).

We were pacing at a slow 10mins/km but was actually good for my post-race recovery. Towards km2, this happened:

She felt a small pebble in her shoe hampering her run so we went to the sidewalk for her to take a look. She couldn't find it. The pebble turned out to be...well...

It turns out the blister may have been caused by her wearing footwear that she never uses for running. Yikes!

We clocked 12mins in km3 which was our slowest. We also encountered our first walk-break here, about 1-2mins. I wanted her to quicken up the pace so I looked for a target in the crowd of 5k racers. There was this mildly chubby woman around my sister's height and weight who was slightly in front of us. I then pointed to her and whispered to my sis, "Wag kang magpapauna dyan!" ("Don't let her be in front of you!")

With this challenge, she may have just mustered enough strength to go toe-to-toe with the lady runner. There were several lead changes (with walk breaks too!), much like the recently concluded Kona Ironman wherein Macca and another triathlete were going at it for the last 5k of the marathon-leg. And I was in the middle of this great battle of will! Hehehe...

In the end, good ol' sis had beaten the other runner handily with a finish time of 53mins. Her initial comments about finishing her first race? Here you go...

The cursing may have been a combination of fatigue and accomplishment. I couldn't be too sure if she loved it. Well, any non-runner won't love running 5k at 5:30 in the morning, right?

For this week, she targets to run 2km/day from Monday to Friday. That is a great sign. The prospect of weight loss could've been very enticing to her too! Well, I hope she keeps on running and never loses interest.

Congrats sis!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Company Sportsfest 15k: Chuck Norris

The Office

I spend almost 10 hours a day at work. This excludes the 1 hour total travel time. I know most of the people here, either by name or by face. The teasing and joking among officemates are common, as in any workplace.

The teasing and joking exponentially rises when the Company Sportsfest is around the corner. The Fun Run, in particular, is a much-awaited event. I have to admit, this is the one event that I cook up mini competitions in my head to psych myself into running faster. Just imagine the mental shame if I get beaten by this guy in the meeting or that person in the elevator. Hehe.

Take Chuck Norris, a guy from our Marketing department, for example. He was christened as Chuck Norris after that famous Twitter userid (@chucknorris_) who comes up with funny pa-macho-epek quotes. The office Chuck Norris, can be described as hated by all since he's very irritating. Come on, you have one too in your office, right? ;-)

If Chuck Norris has five dollars and you have five dollars, Chuck Norris has more money than you!

Anyway ChuckNorris has been egging me the week prior that I cannot beat him. The previous sportsfest last June resulted in Chuck finishing the 15k race 8mins ahead of me ---a sub-1:30 performance for him. That was a big confidence-booster for him to be able to suggest that he will still be able to beat me this time around.

As I said in my last post, this 15k race will be a "check-point" in terms of my pre-marathon training plan for Condura 2011. The pre-marathon training plan's main goal is to increase my weekly mileage to 40-50kms/week before I start the 16-week marathon training leading up to Feb 6, 2011, my second full marathon. Aside from the easy-paced short and long runs, I try to insert tempo and intervals in the sked to help improve on speed. My finish-time will determine how effective (or not) this self-made training is. Beating Chuck Norris would be a big bonus too!


Race-Org: RunRio with D-tag.

Venue: BHS.

Race route: BHS, University Parkway, St Lukes, Rizal Ave, 5th avenue, Lawton, Bayani Road just before Heritage. Turnaround from there going back to Bayani, Lawton, 5th avenue, 32nd street, finishing at BHS.

Gear: singlet. Shoes: Newton Distancia Racers. Yup, I was going to test how comfortable (or not) my Newtons will be on a long distance race. Further, I wanted to test my newly-found midfoot strike if I can hold it for 15km at race pace.

Strategy: Don’t go out too fast at the start. Target pace: 6:15/km. Go all out at the last 5k.

As for Chuck Norris, I couldn’t find him among the 40-50 15k runners assembled at the starting line. I guess he won’t be running, I thought.

At exactly 5:30am, we were off!


Km1-6: 6:23, 6:36, 6:36, 6:21, 6:18, 6:20

FINALLY, I prevented myself from going all-out at the starting gun. With the help of MP, a mid-20s officemate, I was able to forget the 1st 6kms by just talking and having fun with MP as we trotted on our way, but trying to stay at sub-6:30/km pace.

By km6, MP had wanted to go ahead. He ran off with probably a 5:30/km pace as I was left with my planned pace moving up along 5th avenue, just having passed the Mini Cooper showroom.


Km7-10: 6:06, 5:57, 6:10, 6:13

I took my Hammer Gel approaching km7. Coupled with my sudden interest in chasing MP, I quickened my pace. Being familiar with this race route, I knew that it would be mostly descent right after Mckinley Avenue. Thus the fast km splits above.


As I left the Bayani Road turnaround signalling the start of a long uphill climb back to 5th avenue, I finally got my first glimpse of my nemesis. Chuck Norris had rode his bike all the way from his house (which I don’t know where and I don’t care where) to BHS.

He arrived about 10 minutes late, which allowed me a head start in the race. It looked as if he was on a sub-6:00/km pace, about 400-500 meters behind me. Boy, he was really fast having caught up with me. I later found out that he was shouting “Hahabulin ko si RP!” (“I will chase RP! (RP = my initials)”) as he left the starting line just before the 10k runners were sent off.

Km11-12: 6:32, 6:29

It was a struggle trying to keep my pace from the uphill stretch from Bayani to Lawton towards 5th avenue. Winning against mind-games encouraging me to walk and rest, I was able to keep my race pace in check determined not to let my guard down at the thought that Chuck Norris might be closing in.

Luckily, 5th avenue was a welcome respite since it was all downhill up to 32nd street.

Km13-14: 6:18, 6:19

32nd street from 5th avenue is a slight climb all the way to Serendra. Midway into 32nd street, I looked back to scan the field. Lo and behold, I saw a guy in a maroon-shirt about 300 meters ahead. Chuck Norris was chewing up on my lead, albeit slowly. As I turned right from 32nd street towards BHS, I was hoping that Rio would plot the route in such a way that I head straight and turn right at Honda to relieve of this cat-and-mouse scenario, or, aptly put, Chuck-and-mouse. But no, this was going to wait until I do one round of the popular BHS perimeter.


Km15: 6:09

I decided to forget my conservativeness and went all out at the last km. About 200 meters from the finish, I heard deep breathing coming in fast from my rear left.

Chuck Norris, I thought, was going for broke as well. I didn’t need to look back since I fairly suspected that it would be him. I decided to drop the hammer and sprint it, recalling that 10x200m speedwork that I did 2 weeks prior. My calves started to act as if going to cramp, but I didn’t care. Pride was at stake. It’s something that I could lash back at him if he starts being his unruly, irritating self.

“Talo ka naman eh!” (“You lost!”)

But then, with that final turn towards NBC tent with 50 meters to go, he passed me.

But wait!

It’s NOT Chuck Norris!

It was this 20s something-fella wearing the 2010 Adidas KOTR black singlet.


I decided to let the guy win the dash and I slowed down as I approached the finish mat.

1:35:25 Garmin time. I’ve beaten my 15k PR by almost 2 minutes!

Moreover, Chuck Norris had been round-house kicked!!! YEHEHES!

He probably finished 1-2mins behind me. I guess he ran out of gas trying to chase me. He probably beat me chip-time but the official time to be used is of course, the GUN TIME.

Oh yeahhhh!

Garmin recorded the distance at 15.13kms. Not bad although I heard the 10k event ended at 11.92kms, an impromptu long run for 10k newbies. Nevertheless, RunRio org’ed it perfectly with his patented ice cold water stations and directional-signs.


So, the training worked. Actually, the pacing I did at km1-6 helped me a lot in conserving my energy for the latter kilometres. It worked wonders in keeping my pace checked (within 6:00-6:20/km pace). The strong finish at km13-15 was a surprise as well. Plus that 5:57 at km8 was a revelation.

And so, on with my training. Adidas KOTR 21k is 3 weeks away.

Yes, Chuck Norris will have to hear a lot from me on how I’ve beaten him handily for the next 6-8 months.

Such is life in the office.