Thursday, January 31, 2013

Racing This Weekend

Sorry folks, but it's not Condura.

It's a local 5k race organized by Mt. Carmel Parish QC which is about a kilometer away from the house.

pic taken from

I consider New Manila as my training ground since I've started being an endurance junkie so it'll be good to see how being familiar with the terrain plays to my advantage. I haven't raced a 5k in quite a while so this is a good opportunity for me to hopefully log a sub-30 finish on a mean hilly course.

See you there!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It Shouldn't Be About The Medal

When I started running 4 years ago I admired the sight of half-marathoners and marathoners being donned by medals upon reaching the finish line. Having that piece of metal on your chest as you go around the finisher's area makes you beam with pride is proof that you have made an impossible feat of running 21 or 42 kilometers (or even more), sometimes even in extreme conditions.

Back then, medals have always been a consideration whenever I "shop" for races. Something to add to my collection, I always thought. Something that you can grasp that proves that you have achieved something great. The peak of my medal-collection "hobby" was when I ran to get all 3 Run United medals last 2010 (back then the medals were not interconnecting with one another like in the 2011 and onwards editions).

The medal that I think that could be most important to me is the Milo Manila 2012 Elims medal, wherein I achieved my current 5:11 42km PR. It is simple but elegant, much like the way I conquered that race with cool-tempered pace backed up by a well thought training plan (naks).

Several races/years later, all of my finisher medals are tucked away in a box. Specifically, the box I used is that of my old Garmin305. All of my finisher medals are in there, like a treasure chest hidden and forgotten under the sea. It's been MONTHS since I have last opened it and ran through the different medals as I recalled my race.

Some months ago, while I was looking at the List of Races to view race details, I was somehow taken aback by the comments of some in the feedback section (and note that I'm still irked by similar comments in other races today) who'd ask if finisher medals are available, even for 5 or 10k races. Medals have been put virtual price tags, it may seem, becoming more of a commodity (or a must) rather than being a symbol of achievement. The value of the finisher medal has been downgraded to a requirement for race organizers to provide rather than being something that runners should train (and I mean *really* train) to attain.

Since then, I have changed my view. Although I am still awed by finisher medals, I am done collecting them. My priority in registering for a race is not because of a finisher medal, but on how that race fits my schedule, how it will show my current fitness, and how it will aid in meeting my running (and duathlon) goals.

Getting a medal will be the least of my priorities. If an event has a 10k without medal and a 21k with medal, I will opt to reg for the 10k event since I know that my current fitness/training will make me perform better in the 10k. Medal or no medal, I will not force myself to run 21k/42k  if I know that I am not 100% prepared for it.

That exhilarating feeling of crossing the finish line (and sometimes, with a PR) cannot be encapsulated by a medal. That wonderful feeling of training for something AND achieving it is priceless in all terms.

It shouldn't be about the medal.

Thursday, January 24, 2013 DUAMAN: 04.21.2013

From But I'm not joining for the shirt nor medal.

3km run.

20km bike.

3km run.

Definitely shorter than my 1st duathlon last November 2012. It'll be a walk in the park if I just want to finish, but being competitive with myself will force me to up the pace for this one. 

That means faster during training, i.e. intervals, tempos for run AND bike. Suka (Puke) pace will be the minimum during the hard training days.

Yup, time to HTFU.

Event details here.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Getting Back Into The Groove

Since my last race in late November last year, the excitement to train has somewhat died down. I was so happy after that first duathlon that I was craaaaving for another one A-S-A-P. Unfortunately, duathlons are unlike your weekly running races so I'm stuck with waiting for the next one which could probably be in mid-March (3k-20k-3k). After that one, it'll be some time again before another duathlon crops up.

Sigh, the result of which is lackluster training. Up until 2 weeks ago, I've been lazy to do tempos, speedwork, and even long runs. It was partly due to my goal as well to improve on the bike. Thus, there were weeks when I had more bike rides compared to runs. The good part was that my knees thanked me for the respite. Plus, I loved the feel of speed as I tackle the roads with the bike.

However, I must not sway myself from my (lofty) goal: a sub5 marathon. That is still up for grabs up to this point. Fortunately last week, I found myself squeezing in a 10x400m speedwork and 5k tempo (during a bike-run brick workout). That has somehow livened me up on getting back on the (marathon training) saddle again. By coincidence, announced tentative dates for the Milo Marathon, my A-race. It will be held sometime in July 2013 so I've enough time to fine tune my 16-week training plan from last year's July marathon.

In that plan, I was able to tinker it up by combining the FIRST training program's weekday workouts with the Brooks-Hanson weekend runs. However, I was only able to put that combo towards the latter half of the training schedule. For July 2013's marathon, I hope to do this combo for every week of that 16 week span. Adding my cycling and strength training regimen for my easy days, I hope that'll be enough to (finally) get a sub5 finish.

Tomorrow, I plan to do a long tempo (10k). It was supposed to be a day for me to see if I can do 16k at easy pace again, but I guess with training partners to support you it'll be fun to see how I fare at a faster pace.

Yup, it's time to HTFU again.

Monday, January 14, 2013

RIP Romel Defeo (Sigue Correr Runners)

I received sad news from @dagulrunner yesterday. There was an untimely and unfortunate death during the PSE Bull Run event held in BGC. His name is Romel Defeo, 35 years old, President of Sigue Correr Runners.

Below is the update from the club's FB page:

Cardiac Arrest due to Hypokalemia is the cause of death of our beloved President Romel Defeo. This is according to the people who tried to revive Kuya RD and the credit goes to Ace of Red Cross Manila, Dr. Jun - Cardiologist from Asian, Sir Stew, UST ER Staff Nurse and Dr Nina Beltran from Lung Center. According to Dr. Beltran "I wish we could have done more. I hoped we could have saved him. For the race organizers, I hope from now on doctors should be on site during races and not just medics. Few minutes of intervention is critical for saving lives. I am thankful for Makati Rescue for providing AED and adequate meds. I just wish the laryngoscope was working (i'm still beating myself up for not being able to intubate on time). I wish i had a flashlight. I wish I ran faster so I could have helped him a little earlier (5mins of arrest before I got to him) For fellow runners, it's always best to know your body and run safe. I pray for R D. I pray that this will be a reminder for all of us.
We thank all people who helped and assisted our teammate. We appreciate all the people of running community.
Hypokalemia is a condition of below normal levels of potassium in the blood serum. Potassium, a necessary electrolyte, facilitates nerve impulse conduction and the contraction of skeletal and smooth muscles, including the heart. It also facilitates cell membrane function and proper enzyme activity.

To Romel's family and friends, our sincerest condolences.

Monday, January 7, 2013

My Bike Routes in Metro Manila

UPDATE (June 8, 2016): I've started to blog for routes outside Metro Manila. Read my first of a series here.


As a (wannabe) duathlete, half of the training includes riding a bike. In pollution and traffic infested Metro Manila, there is a need to look for venues that are not only possibly kind to the lungs, but also with less cars and other vehicles to make it safe.

So far in my almost 3 months of biking, I have come up with the following routes:

1. Mall Of Aseana grounds, Pasay City

From eye doctor's flicker account

The main road for this route is Sunset Blvd(?) which is at the back of the mall, facing the break water. On an early morning especially on weekends/holidays, the approximately 1km stretch is filled with cycling enthusiasts which range from newbies such as myself up to pro cycling groups arranged neatly in their respective pelotons. You can go around up to Blue Wave and then back via the MoA main street where the big globe monument rotunda is located. Completing this whole square, it is approximately 4-5 kilometers.

Safe: 4 out of 5 (cars start coming in after 9am, mall rats specifically, hehe)
Road quality: 4 out of 5, mostly flat
Volume of cyclists: Many
Recommended day to ride: Saturday, Sunday, holidays, up to 9am

2. Camp Aguinaldo, QC

Team 2Bottles Training Day

Getting in is challenging since you will be asked for proper identification and purpose, but I do see a good number of cyclists inside, including the Greenhills Tri Team, training inside the camp. My team, Team 2Bottles (yup, you've never heard of us....yet. hehe), has learned a 4-5km T-shaped route which has a lot of short and long climbs and descents. This is a good route for hill climbing (especially for that long stretch from AFPSLAI building up to the parade grounds). It's a good route for running too.

Safe: 4 out of 5 (cars are caused to maintain "some" speed limit since they're inside a camp, will pass through soldiers' residential areas so be sure to look out for pedestrians)
Road quality: 3 out of 5, with short and long climbs, descents
Volume of cyclists: Few
Recommended day to ride:  Saturday, Sunday, holidays, up to 10am

3. 38th Street, BGC, Taguig City

On Sunday mornings and if there's no race on this route, you'll most likely find me here grinding away with my bike. It's a modest route with almost no cars except for the few jeeps that ply the streets. The climbs are quite sufficient for training. The only downside for me here is when you can't ride due to an ongoing race, which led me to route number 4.

Safe: 4 out of 5 (few cars and jeeps go via this route)
Road quality: 3 out of 5, flat with short climbs and descents
Volume of cyclists: 2-3 on a Sunday morning
Recommended day to ride:  Saturday, Sunday, holidays, early mornings up to 9 or probably 10am

4. Lawton Avenue, Taguig City

Sometimes in order to find the best route, you need to take risks. This is the case for Lawton Avenue, a 2-3 kilometer stretch of good asphalt that provides cyclists the adrenalin for tempo or speedwork. The risk is to be wary of vehicles that travel the same stretch of road at 40 kph and up ---on a Sunday morning. You also need to be careful of those anti-sleep speed bumps that may cause problems with the tires later on. Going thru the side of it is most recommended. I advise riders to be extra careful when traversing this ride. By the end of the ride, satisfaction guaranteed.

Safe: 2 out of 5 (be VERY careful, eyes open at all times)
Road quality: 4 out of 5 (except for those speed bumps), flat with gradual climbs and descents
Volume of cyclists: you'll come across 10-15 on a Sunday morning
Recommended day to ride:  Sunday and holiday mornings up to 8am

5. Bayani Road, Taguig City

Long climb, long descent. This stretch of road should be part of thesufferfest's training videos. As a runner, I shy away from this road from training and I curse it during McKinley races. But this route will probably provide the most benefit in terms of improving power not just for a runner, but for cyclists as well. There are two long killer climbs: one from the C5 exit (bottom), and another long climb just after the Piazza mall.

Try it if you dare.

Safe: 3 out of 5 (be wary of taxis that roll out from their parked positions near call center buildings)
Road quality: 4 out of 5
Volume of cyclists: probably a max of 4 sadists on a Sunday morning
Recommended day to ride: Saturday, Sunday, holiday mornings up to 10am

So there you go. Do leave something in the comments section if you have a route that you recommend.

Back to training....