Monday, October 24, 2011

KOTR 2011: Stitches and Burns

I was aiming for 2 goals yesterday, Oct 23. The primary goal was to complete 32km as part of my build-up for QCIM3. The second was to aim a sub-2:20 finish at the KOTR 21km race.

To cut the long story short, I failed on both.

After the effects of a shot of GU taken 35 minutes into the race spread thru my system, I gave into the idea of hitting the gas full throttle as I cruised along Buendia Avenue. I was pacing remarkably well, even logging a 5:50/km on one lap. Blame it as well on the Kenyan 16.8km racers passing us mid-pack runners several kms into the race. It was as if I wanted to run like them too. But, as fate would have it, I lost steam and succumbed to a nasty right side stitch from km15 onwards (there was still some pain the rest of the afternoon which I assume to be caused by my trying to diffuse the pain by pressing hard on it during the race). I was taking a lot of walk breaks than usual, even walking the return-path of the Buendia flyover and the final upward turnaround point at 5th avenue. A second shot of GU at the 1:35 mark didn’t help my cause. By the last 200 meters, I was sorry sight, walking my way across the finish arc as my 305 read 2:22:40.

Now, there is still a chance that I’ve finished sub-2:20 (teeny weeny chance), chip-time wise, since it took me almost (or more than) 2 minutes to cross the start arc due to the 4,000-strong participants of the 21km event. The official race results will provide the answer to that. Nevertheless, this race was a lesson (yet again) that proper and controlled pacing should be considered during races. Oh well, at least the finisher medal was very nice!

The second goal, 32km total distance for the day, was missed on account of the heat and extreme fatigue after that failed race. I was supposed to run 10km more after the race, but I was jogging at a pedestrian 10:00/km. The morning sun’s heat was terribly early that day so much that I decided to turn back and call it a day.

Total distance for the day: 27.75km.

I’ve yet to run the mandatory 20-mile long run prior to my third full marathon.

I’m hoping that it will come soon before taper period comes.

Friday, October 21, 2011


The kids were egging me to go down the stairs immediately this morning. I was surprised to find a beautifully crafted customized birthday cake ordered by the wifey.

The 42k on the Milo singlet I'm wearing on the cake seems to be a sign of things to come (Milo Finals 42km perhaps? Dream on! Hehehe).

You gotta love my supportive wife and kids on my passion for running. Days like these help me to keep in mind that family is ALWAYS first. That is why I try my best to keep myself healthy (thru running and other means) so that I hope to be always there for them, my support system.

Well, a birthday race is coming up this Sunday so I hope to do well. I've been running Adidas KOTR since 2009, always the 21k version (2009=2:29:55, 2010=2:21:59). I hope to finish sub-2:20 this year.

I'm now 38 and havin' a good time. Life's great!

Thank you Lord!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Up The Mountain Again

I've just registered for marathon #3: QCIM (Quezon City Intl Marathon) on December 04, 2011.

Will it be 3rd time's a charm on my sub-5:00 goal? Accomplishing that would be great to close the year 2011.

With the way my total miles per week is unfolding, I really need to do a lot of work, especially on the weekend long runs. Good thing KOTR is coming up this Sunday so that's 21km already covered. I hope to add more after the race to log the needed miles (32km wishful goal ---yeah, I wish! Hehe).

See you on the road!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Kawauchi In You

It was several months ago on a lazy TV-surfing Saturday morning that I stopped the channel at Star Sports when I saw a recap of the 2011 Tokyo Marathon. Running events are rarely shown in ESPN or Star Sports, so seeing a big race such as this was a warm welcome to this running addict.

I was particularly amazed at this runner on the last 3-4kms of the race, a nobody named Yuki Kawauchi (wearing bib 16) of Saitama Prefecture, Japan. Months passed, and I got reminded of him again when I read an article of him from Running Times the other day. Watch the Youtube video below so you'll know what I'm talking about:

Amazing, right? His determination (as seen on his face) paid off. Coming from behind, he finished third overall (behind an Ethiopian and a Kenyan) with a stellar time of 2:08:37.

What makes him more amazing is that he's not corporate-sponsored, unlike many elite runners out there. He's an everyday office worker, like many of us are. It's really inspiring the way he manages his work and training to be able to run a race such as that in Tokyo. He's an example that if we just put our mind into logging the miles and train hard "because you love to run," then you'll get results.

Here's Yuki with his words of inspiration:

Let's run!!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Octoberun 2011: Wicked!


I went into this race with not much expectation from myself. A PR was waaay impossible as I lacked the necessary speedwork and tempo runs, just coming out of a 3 week experiment with Maffetone-paced training. Although I hoped for a sub-2:20 time, I was more concerned on logging decent amount of miles for the day’s required workout: a much-needed long run. Thus, any amount of kilometres before and after the race would be a warm-welcome for my marathon plans for QCIM3.

The strategy would be for me to pace myself in the opening kilometres and try to keep below or at 7:00/km the rest of the way, make most of the hydration stations, keep my running form in check at all times, take a gel after 1 hour, and, most of all, prepare myself mentally for the closing kilometres. The reason for the last bit was because of something I realized whenever I do long runs/races. At the latter part of a long race/run, my mind seems to be at, oh how do I explain it, lazy-tired-oh-just-walk-a-bit-but-you-know-later-on-you’ll-be-walking-the-rest-of-the-way train of thought. I realized this when I was training for Condura2011 and also on the race itself, specifically after km32. Yes, my body could be tired at that point but I know if I tried to dismiss the fatigue mentally, I know I could finish it running strong if I put my mind to it. The problem at the time, my mind gave up easily to the fatigue-mirage being orchestrated by the Governor. I was hoping that in this race, Octoberun2011, I would be better prepared mentally.

With a pre-race snack of BreadTalk floss bread (yummeh!), I went to the Octoberun 2011 21km starting line.


There was a modest amount of 21km runners compared to your usual RunRio races, with familiar faces present (saw Dennis “Running Fatboy” on most of the U-turns). To psych myself, I set my 305 to countdown from 2:20 to encourage me to try to finish sub-2:20. We were sent off on schedule (5:15am).

Split for the first 5km was 34:13 (6:50/km ave). Right on schedule.

Btw, the race-org made a twist to the usual BGC-Buendia route for 21km races. Instead of tackling the BGC part first, we went up the Kalayaan flyover and onward to Buendia first. If you ask me, the route was especially challenging since by the time you reach the way back to BGC via the Buendia flyover, you’d think that you’re almost near the finish line. However, in Octoberun, you still got 10km to go around BGC to complete the half marathon. It’s wickedly challenging that it causes you to change your pace strategy: conserve energy along Buendia so you still have something left in the tank by the time you go around BGC. I give credit to MLB, the race organizer, for plotting in that twist. Good job!

Split from km6-10: 33:25 (6:41/km ave). This was along Buendia. I was able to cope with the climb back up the flyover (thanks to the usual Meralco compound hilly runs during training). I took my Powerbal Energy Gel along km8. I may have ran this section too fast, which may have caused the next sequence of events to occur.

Split from km11-15: 34:57 (6:59/km ave). Uh-oh. I started slowing down from here. I had a short side-stitch episode. Further, my right bicep started to ache as well. Based on Condura2011 and this race, I can fairly conclude that my continous holding of a Gatorade plastic bottle from the initial kms of the race caused this ache as I’ve never experienced this in my other races. Yup, I think I’ll ditch the bottle in favour of my hydration belt from now on.

HATAK (“pull”)

I logged my slowest lap at km17 (7:24/km). I was drained at this point (yup, the change of route sequence got me), but not out. At this point I was within range (either in front or at the back) of 2 ladies. One was wearing a tri-suit and the other was wearing an Ironman shirt. I saw them chatting on the initial kms of the race and was surprised that they were still at constant pace ---yup, still chatting. I decided then to drift behind them and use them as my pacers. Just follow them, I told myself. Well that got me going again (or was it the free Ricoa Flat Tops candy that was given along km14?), holding on to their constant “chillax” pace up to the finish line.

Km18 = 6:55, km19 = 7:05, km20 = 6:58.

By the time we reached the BHS perimeter with 2 turns left to the finish, my 2 Ironman (or should I say Ironwomen?) pacers went all out. I upped my pace as well but couldn’t catch up to them. However, I managed to overtake two men using me as marker on their run-walk strategy (hehe) 100m from the finish.

GF305 unofficial time: 2:22:40. Octoberun official time: 2:22:50.


I missed my target by almost 3 minutes. But not bad since I’ve improved on my last 21km race time for this year (2:24). I have to thank my two Ironwomen pacers on the last stretch, enabling me to finish at a decent time (by my personal standards).

Aside from the wicked route, MLB had covered this race well. The hydration stations, sponges, bananas, and, most of all, the Ricoa FLAT TOPS (one of my indulgences)were fantastic. Race marshals were giving words of encouragement which helped too. This was my first MLB org’d race and I have to say that they did a splendid job (all for a fair registration fee of P600.00).

Oh, I have to say that the finisher’s shirt is veeeerrrry nice.


After the race I went back to the car and changed singlets and onto my VFF Bikilas, wherein I did a painfully slow 3km cooldown run in 30 minutes. Total miles for the day: 25km (including the earlier 1+ km warmup). The 21km race was helpful in forcing me to complete my scheduled long run which is why I’m thinking of registering for RunRio3 32km. The race atmosphere just keeps your mind busy as the kms tick by. The schedule is just right before a two-week taper for the Dec 04 QCIM marathon so we’ll see how things happen next month.

For now, it’s back to training.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Woke up late.

Too lazy to get up.

Kids woke up earlier than you.

One of your kids is sick and needs Daddy's dose of TLC.

The bed is just too comfy to move away from.

Had a tiring day yesterday so you had to sleep until late morning to recover.

These are just a few of the reasons why I had to occassionally skip running in the early morning before heading to the office. For those that were due to laziness, I felt guilty the rest of the day, regretting the lost pounds/training/miles that I should've logged.

The answer?


Running on my lunch break, even "just" for 5 kilometers, provides the relief that at least I was able to run for that scheduled day of training. It could be on a treadmill in the gym or the Lawton-Bayani Taguig route, either of which will suffice my addictiveness in running.

Today I had a good runch. I was able to run along the Lawton-Bayani amidst the midday sun with water-bottle in hand. Drinking and dousing my head and arms as my 305 lapped the kilometers, I felt great, managing to maintain an average 6:45/km average pace.

It's 5pm. Now, I need a real (late) lunch!