Monday, July 25, 2011 Runfest 16km: Hills? Bring 'em on!


I was lucky to have that 10x200m hill-repeat session 3 weeks ago and a hilly 10km Subic long-run the weekend prior to this race in BGC because once I saw the route days before the race, I only felt a tinge of fear (usually, it's a heap of fear) upon seeing the Lawton-Bayani-McKinleyHill leg of the route. It’s like Mr.Bean’s classmate who was happy to see that the questionnaire for their exam was for Trigonometry, the one that he studied for.

The only question left was as to what pace should I run this one. After a manageable short tempo run the other week (5km averaged 6:35/km), I decided to settle for an even-paced run at 6:30-6:40/km effort.


The race started on time (5:30am for 16km) and we were off. I decided to take it easy in the first km (even doing a #1 just before the 1km marker, hihihi). I was feeling good at this point, deciding on banking on good km-splits early on since I know I could be in trouble pace-wise on the uphills later on.


I managed to go thru Bayani Road’s return uphill climb. The difficult part, as expected and as recounted by many, is the McKinley climb from C5. Everyone was either on a slow-jog or walking ---I was partly both. When I reached the top back to Lawton, it was time to recover my bearings and just go for it.

By the last km I was pushing hard, even with a side stitch. “Pain is temporary,” I thought, as my GF305 passed my 1:45 target time. My 2009 1:49 PR seemed to be there, teasing me that I won’t be able to beat it. I even resorted to daring myself to beat this guy in a black compression shirt and Garmin310XT, but failed. The shoelaces on my left Brooks Green Silence got loose (time to buy Yankz?) but I resorted to run.

I ran as fast as I could though and, as I made that last turn, glanced at my 305, I rejoiced and raised my left arm in a victory fist as I approached the finish arc:

1:47:55 (GF305 time).

16km PR broken by nearly 2 minutes.

3rd PR-breaking race in a row.

Life is good!


I got my medal and rested by the sidewalk which was at the last 200m of the race. As I saw fellow running-bloggers passed by (Sir Amado, Roselle, and Sir Jovie), I could only thank for helping me discover their blogs and keeping me inspired thru their posts. I’m thankful as well for for the “race schedule” updates that they post, keeping me on my toes as to when’s the next race that I would like to join in.

Giving back to, via this recently concluded Runfest, was definitely a good choice. Thanks Jinoe and Queenie for a giving us a great race!

Friday, July 22, 2011

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

This was a nice read. It will not exactly pump you up to head out the door for a run like "Born To Run," but Haruki Murakami's calm writing presents to its readers an alternative way to thinking while on the run, instead of with iPods.

His thoughts as he ran were calm and collected, the way I think how non-elite, non-competitive runners like myself should be.

Anyone for a zen run?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Another Subic Long Run

My family and I checked-in at the Kamana Sanctuary and Spa in Subic last weekend and boy, it's a very nice place especially if you want some peace and quiet.

It's just unfortunate that I only noticed last Sat when we reached Subic that there was a Milo elims race scheduled there (Olongapo leg) the next day. This was obvious after I noticed almost every other electric pole along the road to Subic airport wrapped with a Milo poster plus a lone open tent which I presumed to be a water station. If there was room for late registrants I would've woken up early and went to the track and field in Subic-proper to race an impromptu half-marathon.

Anyway, prior to that discovery I already conditioned myself to do a 12-14km long run on Sunday morning in preparation for this Sunday's 16k. Thus, with my trusty Bikilas, hydration belt and pack of GU, I started my run.

To summarize my run, I fell short of my target and ended up with 10.26km only as per my GF305. The 1st 3km run (or climb) was from the resort to the main road. It was an endless climb (think Baguio, but without the chill) that I ended up sweating like a pig after a mile. Average pace was at a struggling 8:30/km but I still trudged on and turned right on the main road towards Zoobic.

The main reason why my long run was cut short was, sissy me, I saw a mean-looking askal.

No, not that Azkal, but a real ASong KALye (stray dog) barking at me wildly like I was for breakfast. Sad to say, I had to turn back which was incidentally at km5 at that point and made my way back to the resort.

Except for that dog incident, I had a nice, challenging run. The climbs and descents were steep that are comparable to Baguio.

"S" climb

Yup, I'll run that route again the next time we spend the weekend there, hopefully without the askal.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Next race: A 10-miler

10-mile (16km) races don't come very often. There's 3k, 5k, 10k, and 21k events that often come up every race weekend, but rarely/never a 10-miler.

The first (and last) 16k race that I ran was in 2009 (Botak Paa-Tibayan in UP) wherein I set a 1:49 PR. I'm not really sure why, but I have this fascination with the 10-mile distance. It's often my favorite number when it comes to weekend long runs, especially that I already have a fixed route from home to Greenhills to San Juan then back to home.

16k. 10miles.

It just sounds perfect.

Well, thanks to takbo.PH, I'll be able to race that distance again on the 24th. I've DNS'ed last year's takbo.PH race (overslept) so I hope to have no problems waking up for this year's version.

See you there!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Raceless but happy

I haven't registered for any race since Mizuno. There was an unfortunate event in the family that required me to put that in priority first over races the past weekends, but I still had my early morning runs, averaging about 22kms per week for the past 3 weeks.

My usual route is a 5km-loop that stretches throughout the New Manila area. As I've memorized by heart the kilometer-markers, I can even set my runs for 6, 7, 8, 9 or even 10km via an out-and-back path. I mostly do easy and tempo runs here but sometimes I also do 1km cruise-intervals and even use the 1st 4km as a start-path for my weekend long runs which often goes to GreenHills and then to San Juan via Wilson Street. The route then goes to a street parallel to P. Guevarra until I reach N.Domingo. It's all uphill from there to Balete Drive which is the last street to complete my usual 10-miler (16km) long run.

As I had to change hating hills to loving them, last week I discovered a 100m hill at Horseshoe Village, about a mile from my house. The merciless 100m climb belongs to a street with a name that speaks for itself: HILLTOP street. My planned 10x100m hill repeats was reduced to 8x100m last week as I felt my heart and lungs pounding after the 8th repeat. Yup, I'll definitely get back at said hill next week.

Going back to the 5km New Manila route, I see various people doing their morning run/walk. The ages vary, but most of those that I've known by face (a brief "good morning" as we pass each other) are probably within the 40-60 age group, all men. There's an old Japanese fella that always has a water bottle in each hand, another with a compact stick to ward off potential street dogs, and a Chinese-looking guy in his 60s that can still manage a 7:00/km steadily. It's nice to know that these guys, even at their age, strive to wake up every morning to get their daily dose of exercise.

I've also seen those that look to be racing a lot, based on the singlet that they wear (like me). This one guy, in particular, looked heavier than me when I first saw him run months ago. But, as I've seen him last week, he's lost a lot of weight! There's also a young lady, probably in her teens, that had lost weight over the many times I've seen her out-sprint her yaya. It just goes to show that running does help in keeping the unwanted fat out.

The tall trees provide sufficient shade in New Manila, especially in Broadway Avenue where the road stretches up and down like the SLEX Skyway. Just be careful of the oncoming vehicles that uses the street as a shortcut on their way to Tomas Morato.

If I do a 5km run, the last km is all uphill until I reach home. As my GF305 beeps the end of another morning run, I go back to the house and get myself ready for work.

Another morning run completed, I log into my trusty Excel file and

"I felt good."