Friday, June 29, 2012


This has somewhat become my mantra lately, especially in the latter part of my run when my mind tells me to ease off and walk. Somehow, this works for me. By just remembering to say it to myself during those very hard last miles, I forget the temptation to ease off my pace.

I just bear the suffering and trudge on.

Mentally stronger.


Yeah, you too should HTFU.

Too sleepy in the morning to run? HTFU!

It's raining? HTFU!

You've been running so far 2 of your targeted 3 hour long run and want to call it quits?


Monday, June 25, 2012

World Vision 21km: In the bag!


  1. Accurate distance. Garmin registered 20.92km but that's still ok with me.
  2. Challenging change of route. 21k races here are usually going around in BGC first before Buendia. This one, similar to Brooks 21k, started with Buendia (+ Malugay) and then around BGC last.
  3. Adequate hydration. Water all around, plus bananas and sponges.
  4. Nice medal. The glass medal was a different approach to the usual medals that we get.
  5. Generous loot bag.
  6. A feel good race since part of the reg fee went to World Vision
  7. Official results were available the next day
For improvement
  1. Delayed gun start. Garmin recorded it at 5:13am. As per the race organizer that I had a chance to meet after the race, he couldn't prevent the delay since they were waiting for the VIPs (or should I say, pa-VIP, hehe) to arrive.
  2. It would be better if the official results included chip time, not just gun time.


I treated this race as another long tempo run since I wasn't able to do my scheduled tempo run earlier in the week. Of course, finishing sub-2:20 was a must as part of my marathon program for July 29th. Pre-race meal: 1 Burger Mcdo.

The hot temperature the previous day followed suit on race day as the sun was there as an extra challenge. I was able to compensate by dousing  myself with ice cold water (as in almost taking a shower) as I went through almost every water station. It was definitely refreshing that, probably, I should bring soap next time. Hahaha. Seriously, the cool water helped lower my body temperature (like a coolant to a car's engine probably) as I was able to keep pace.

I took my Hammergel along km6 and 12. I didn't need to take a 3rd gel since I was sustained by the whole banana (almost the same calorie count as 1 Hammergel) that I took along Rizal Avenue coming from Buendia (which was surprisingly quiet as I didn't hear the usual irate drivers honking their horns in disgust).

The effort throughout the race was "comfortably hard," the way one should feel during tempo runs. I was focused on not getting my average pace slower than 6:30/km and studying the route as well, i.e. holding my pace since there are several long climbs in BGC really helped.

wet from all the water dousing, but happy!

Finish time: 2:15:56 (official from It was a great run as I was able to log my fastest 21k when under the BGC-Buendia route, and 2nd fastest 21k of all time!


I have to mention that I had a pleasure of joining a race with runner #4026 (Mark Casidsid as per the website). As I was a little over 1km when the race started, I heard a guy announce "Excuse me, blind runner" as he and a group of Soleus-shirt runners went through. I looked carefully and found Mark in the middle of the group, running at about sub-6:00/km holding a looped rope together with his guide runner. The guide runner (different from the pic below) was barefoot btw.

Their pace was too much for me so I had to let them go. By the Buendia turnaround I saw Mark and his group still going at it. By km17, near Market Market, I caught sight of them again but this time they were walking. I'm suspecting a blow up in the pace strategy or probably the heat may have been too much for Mark. Either way, I clapped my hands and said "Good job! Good job!" as I passed them.

As per the results website, Mark finished a very respectable 2:32:20 (barefoot! Shouldn't this be a Guiness world record?!). I hope to see more of him in the coming races.

Galing mo pare!!!

Friday, June 22, 2012

World Vision Run: June 24

Yup, it's gonna be another Pikermi this weekend, my 3rd for the month of June. These 21k'ers have been helpful in getting me to meet my long run. I've come to the conclusion that running LSDs alone is not my cup of tea. I need to see other people running out there with me on the road. At least the hydration and traffic are taken cared of by the organizers. I run on Saturdays and Sundays to increase the mileage, just tinkering a bit from the Brooks-Hansons marathon training with still an aggressive Pikermi target time of sub-2:20 to hopefully meet sub5.

The World Vision Run is one that I wanted to join since I have been a part of this group for quite a few years now. I've been sponsoring a child thru World Vision. It's good to know that, even in my own small way, I get to help a a little girl out there for her family and schooling needs.

See you on Sunday!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

K is for Kelvin

Two years ago when I started to get addicted to running, I got a little pissed when my highschool batchmate replied to one of my FB posts.

I posted something like, "I ran 10K today in 1hr 10mins and blah blah blah...." which my nerdy batchmate (who's still nerdy up to now btw) replied that I'm using the "K" incorrectly and forwarded me to a site that explained how the K has been misused by the running world.

Nerdy (or nosey) as he is, well, he was right.

To borrow the statement from the University of North Carolina:

The K is "an informal abbreviation for one thousand used in expressions where the unit is understood, such as "10K run" (10 kilometers) or "700K disk" (700 kilobytes or kibibytes). Note that "K" is also the symbol for the kelvin and is often used as a symbol for the karat. Also note that the symbol for the metric prefix kilo- (1000) is actually k-, not K-. In computer science, K often represents 210 = 1024 (see below under kibi- and kilo-).

Wikipedia makes further distinction between Kelvin and kilometer:

The kelvin is a unit of measurement for temperature. It is one of the seven base units in the International System of Units (SI) and is assigned the unit symbol K.

The kilometre (American spelling: kilometer; SI symbol: km) is a unit of length in the metric system, equal to one thousand metres (kilo- being the SI prefix for 1000). It is now the measurement unit used officially for expressing distances between geographical places on land in most of the world; notable exceptions are the United States and the United Kingdom where the statute mile is the official unit used.

The International System of Units (SI) closes all debate by specifying the actual symbols that should be used for Kelvin and the metre. That is, K is for Kelvin and nothing else. A table showing this can be found here.

Saying "I ran 10K" would mean that you ran at around -263 degrees Celsius. Could there be such a cold cold place in the universe? :-)

It must've been a cold cold race!

It is therefore correct to say "I ran 10km" or just "I ran 10k."

Or my nerdy/nosey batchmate might reply to your FB/Twitter post. ;-)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Run United 2 21k: Perfect!

June 9, 8am

I was at the Greenhills morning market with running buddy @lingerboy. I ran 13k so far (10k with @lingerboy) and I was not feeling good so I was seated at one of the chairs there while dousing my head with cold water. It could've been due to several factors, but I'm suspecting that it was the unusual humidity that morning that sucked up all my energy. As I ran from my house to Greenhills which was 3.5km long, I still had the heavy task of running back. @lingerboy advised me to take a jeep as I felt my heart palpitaing more than usual (it lasted until the afternoon). I hopped onto a jeep for about a km and walked the remaining 2.5k.

Distance for the day closed at 16k in 2:19. One of my worst training runs yet. I rested for two days and soldiered on with my training (a 1:09 10k on Tues, a 10k speedwork on Thurs night, and a 7k easy on Sat).

Checkpoint number 2 was Sunday, at the Run United 2 21k. I needed to finish another sub-2:20 Pikermi.

June 17, RU2 21k raceday

The drizzle that morning would dictate weather conditions for the rest of the race. It was gonna be great, I thought.

Since there were 5,000 runners for the 21k event, we were sent off in waves. As I didn't want to end up bludgeoned by the sea of runners, I decided to start with the 3rd and last wave.

Planned pace: 6:30/km. I suspected the route from BGC to MOA would be a slow descent, except for 2 flyovers so I had to take control of my pace.

km1 - 6:51
km2 - 6:51

The challenge at the beginning of the race was mazing through the thick crowd of runners. As we were cramped as we ran in the BGC area, the cool weather was replaced by a slight heat, probably brought about by the energy being emanated by the 5,000-strong 21k runners.

km3 - 6:30
km4 - 6:23 (took 1st gel)
km5 - 6:18
km6 - 6:25
km7 - 6:21
km8 - 6:25
km9 - 6:17
km10 - 6:22
km11 - 6:28 (took 2nd gel)

As expected, I was breezing through Buendia avenue without no care of managing my pace (arghh!). I would pay dearly for it later on in the race.

km12 - 6:42
km13 - 6:31
km14 - 6:36
km15 - 6:41

I was surprised that the part of the route that I was most challenged with were from km12 to 15. This was already in Roxas Blvd. I had only raced twice in Roxas, with the last one a 21k on Dec 2010 (Milo) so I'm not really familiar with the course. km12-15 was hell for me as it seemed to be a very very slight incline up to the km0 Rizal monument area.

I soldiered onwards from that point, but, based on my calculations, a sub-2:20 is still on sight.

km16 - 6:32
km17 - 6:39
km18 - 6:48 (took last gel)
km19 - 6:36
km20 - 6:42

Fatigue, and overconfidence in the first 10k, came back with a flurry as I was coping with pace. Pace was below target but my effort was still ok at long tempo pace effort. As I made that last turn for MOA I gave it my all.

km21 - 6:15 (fastest lap)

That could've been a rare moment of finishing strong as I psyched myself to sprint the last 200 meters.

Garmin chip time: 2:17:45. My third fastest 21k ever and, more importantly, my 2nd successive sub-2:20 in 2 weeks.

That sub5 42k finish just got a little brighter. :-)


  1. Fast/efficient race claiming at the expo.
  2. Great point-to-point course. Relieves the boredom of the usual BGC route.
  3. Great support (ice cold water, Powerade, bananas, sponges). Dousing myself with water in the 2nd half of the race kept my senses awake to keep my pace in check.
  4. Great weather (Thank you Lord!)
  5. Nice racekit, finisher's medal, and finisher's kit.
  6. Efficient bus service from MOA back to BGC.
  1. Can you reduce the reg fees? P900+ is still pretty steep for a 21k. I know that RunRio races are of excellent (excellent!) quality but the high reg fees will drive the other so-so races to jack up their fees too. 
  2. I wished that the Powerade served was as ice-cold as the water.

Back to my training. July 29 is very close.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Brooks Pureflow: NAV-Band Removal

My right foot has been aching probably a month after I started wearing my Brooks Pureflow. It's probably because my right is flat footed compared to my left foot. I was thinking that the NAV-Band is hugging my right foot too tightly that over the course of runs >8k per day, it's too constricting that my right foot's arch gets irritated with the insole's high arch support. This results in Plantar Fasciitis after my Pureflow runs.

I've been thinking about it for a long time and I finally decided to do it last week:

Yup, NAV-Band cut from my Pureflow's right shoe.

The result? Ache-free runs since then!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Brooks Run Happy 2: Sub-2:20 or Bust!


After my 3rd marathon (QCIM 2012) I got a long reply from my post-mortem log from a person who simply signed as "Running Conscience." His comment (I assume it was guy) was very constructive as he gave me several helpful pointers in finishing a 42k under 5 hours. One of his tips was this:

"To do a sub 5hr 42k, you need to run your 21k consistently about 4-6 weeks b4 42k race date at around 2:20hr."
In my current training plan for marathon #4, nailing a 21k in 2:20 would become my checkpoint before my final test. If I can't accomplish it, then my hope of a sub5 42k would diminish rapidly.

Brooks Run Happy 2 will be checkpoint #1.


My race warmup took longer than usual since the gun time was moved from 4:30am to 5:00am. It was a 1km walk followed by a 800m jog around the BGC parking lot just near the starting gate. My right calf and foot seemed to be still asleep as it felt stiff throughout the warmup. I was even contemplating on not starting the race as I can't seem to "wake up" my muscles there.

As 5am neared I walked to the starting corral and was greeted by the race org staff handing out GU gel, Tri-berry flavor. I hesitated at first in taking one since I've already 2 Hammergels in my pocket, but eventually taking one. That would prove to be a wise decision later on in the race.

Race target: Sub-2:20.


I was still finding my rhythm (and my right calf muscle and right foot) by km1 as the 21k crowd started to space out. I logged around 6:59/km here.

Even with the heavy Greenwich family dinner (7 slices of pizza maygad!) I felt hungry by km2. I took one my Hammergels since, anyway, I had an extra gel courtesy of the giveaway at the starting corral.

By km4 (I think) I found Dennis of Running Fatboy. We chatted for about less than a km about, what else, running! RU2, T2N, his last trail run. Those few minutes of respite made that uphill trudge just past the chapel seemed a bit easier. Just before the right-turn to British School (or was it Japanese school?), I bid Dennis goodbye as I had a task to do: a 2:20 finish.

I started to get my rhythm after that, logging around 6:20-6:30/km laps. The pace felt comfortably hard if I were ever to describe it, checking on my lean, the way I hold my fingers (not in a fist!), and a quick turnover of my feet.

I took the GU gel at around km8.

At Buendia Avenue, I managed to control my pace ( as it was downhill towards the train tracks) since I lost many of my races here. I learned to slow a little since it will be a long and gradual uphill from the turnaround back to the famous killer incline of the Buendia flyover. There were people going past me left and right but I didn't mind. "I'll catch you later," I thought.

My K-Swiss K-Ruuz still has a problem of getting in very small pebbles, a complaint that I've read in other shoe reviews as well. I had to go to the side of Buendia (in front of Caltex) to remove my right shoe to just get rid of that small pebble (around less than 1mm in diameter) that irritated my every step. I probably lost 30secs to 1 minute in that episode. Sigh. The K-Ruuz is a very good racing flat IMHO but the constant pebble-getting-in incident in most of my runs is just racking up the negatives.

True enough, I was able to keep my pace not going faster than 6:20/km by the turnaround point. As I began the long way back, I was able to maintain a comfortable rhythm as I began to pass many of the runners who started walking or slowing down. I wanted to walk or slow down too but I had a goal and I wanted to meet it. It was really a mental effort to control myself from giving in to rest, but I managed to do well.

By km15 my mind was telling me to take another gel. I fought the urge and took it (my last gel) a km later. Normally in 21k races I would take at most 2 gels. This was the first time I took 3 (along with 1 banana that I got from the aid stations). Fortunately there was no bloated feeling that happened and I was able to continue on with my race.

Buendia flyover return route a.k.a. killer incline was a mighty effort of a climb but I was still able to manage it. By the peak of the climb there is always a temptation to rest but I trudged on as I know that my breathing and heart rate would normalize since it was already near flat by then. I overtook a few more people at this point.

The other climbs of the race route were still many and became more challenging at every turn: Rizal Avenue, 5th Avenue, and that long climb at 26th street. But I managed to survive although pace started to slow down at the 6:40-6:50 range. I recovered on the last couple of turns around BHS towards the finish.

photo courtesy of VVLF Runners

After a short sprint duel with a guy wearing a Greenhills Tri suit (in which I won on the line, hehehe), I glanced at the time:


By the skin of my teeth, I passed my first checkpoint. The day's result proved promising although I still need to log more long runs as I've only less than 8 weeks before marathon #4.



1. Nice singlet (although I wore my Milo singlet as a habit)
2. Great support on the aid stations. Water, 100plus, sponges, bananas.
3. GU gel giveaway at the starting corral.
4. Timely posting of official results.
5. Nice race route (as usual)

1. No chip. For P750.00 reg fee it should've included a chip in the racekit.
2. Better info dissemination of the adjusted gun times. They should've sent out an SMS broadcast to all runners for this, not just email or web post. Sayang din yung extra 30mins na tulog. ;-)

See you on my next race, RU2! Yup, it's another 21k checkpoint.

Friday, June 1, 2012

June Pikermis

Thank goodness that the summer hot months have ended and the welcoming of June has been noticed by the abundance of rain. That means cool mornings for us runners which makes us a little more optimistic of finishing the day's workout.

For June, I've signed up for two Pikermi races: Brooks Run Happy 2 on June 3rd and Run United 2 on the 17th. With the way things are going with my training for marathon #4 (no real long run for the past 4 weeks), signing up for these races will help me meet my weekly long run goal. At least I've covered 21k instead of none, right?

Btw, my Garmin's all patched up. All I needed was super glue (Mighty Bond) to seal the two parts (that I've left to dry from accumulated sweat) and voila, it's working normally!

See you on the road!