Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Crash Course in Flat Tire Replacement

Last Saturday I rode from my home in QC to BGC. I planned the route and estimated one way to be around 15km in total. I started off at around past 6am, able to go as I pleased since there were only a few vehicles plying the roads at the time.

As I left the Ortigas Business District and headed to C5 via Shaw, riding thru the downhill was very inviting so I obliged. The feeling, as always, was very exhilirating.

As I turned right and climbed that short uphill entering C5, I noticed that my pace started to slow. I looked down to check my tires, and, as confirmed by another biker who passed me, "May flat tire ka Sir!"

I am convinced that the flat tire resulted from that downhill wherein I hit a rather sharp break on the road. Tsk tsk.

At that moment, I was along the bridge at C5 bordering Pasig(?) and Taguig, over the Pasig River. I stopped to the side and thought, "Well, here goes nothing..."

This was my 3rd flat tire experience, but on the first two (one in Greenhills and one in Camp Aguinaldo) I was fortunately near my car. I just packed my bike and took the flat tire to my LBS where it was replaced with no worries. This 3rd time, along C5, there was no "vehicle support" to help me.

Instead, fortunately, I brought along a spare tire tube, hand pump, and bike levers ---all conveniently placed in my bike shirt's back pockets. The hand pump and levers were of the Lezyne brand and were bought from Bikezilla which is a short walk from my office here in Ortigas.

With no experience except at recalling what the bike mechanic did in my first two flat tire replacements, I dove in and started the work. It took me about a little over 10 minutes, and thank goodness, I was able to replace the flat tire! Needless to say that I was able to reach my destination with no further issues.

Whew!!! Boy, was I glad that I brought along those tools and spare tube!

Here's a BETTER way of replacing the flat tire that I found on YouTube that you may find helpful ---just in case. :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

World Vision 10k: Better Late Than Never

As the gun time was at 5:10am, I set my alarm clock for 4am that Saturday night. I woke up to the alarm, and as expected, I canceled it in exchange for a 5 minute snooze.

Wrong move.

The next thing I knew I was woken up by my wife with her phone showing clearly the current time: 5:30am.

I have missed the gun time!

This is the 4th time that this happened since I started running 2009, with the first one being the McHappy Fun Run last Nov 2010. I thought about the comfort of my bed and how I can just sleep off this bad experience versus getting up and just run the race.

By not running I will just give up my P750.00 reg fee so I chose to get up and made my way to the starting area which was just 1km from where I stayed.

As I haven't really trained specifically for this race, I expected to finish somewhere between 1:02 to 1:05. Sub-60 was a long shot as I wasn't sure on my overall endurance after just 1 10k long run, which was done the previous Sunday.

I reached the starting area but the security told me that I was way past the cutoff time so I couldn't start on the mat. They just pointed me to start from the side of the arc. No biggie for me as I had my Garmin. The (only) advantage going for me for starting late is that I have a lot of space to work on from the starting line versus walking with the rest of the runners from gun start and weaving through the runner traffic.

I made my goal as I clicked "Start" on my Garmin: let's target a sub-60!

I started off, well, way too fast for my own good as I felt comfortable:

km1= 5:41
km2= 5:42

Until this time, after years of racing, I still haven't perfected the art of pacing. The succeeding kilometers showed my decline in pace well:

km3= 5:57
km4= 5:52 (took one GU gel)
km5= 5:52

My 5k split showed sub-30, a promising sight for my sub-60 goal. The rest of the course, especially the last 2k, is mostly uphill so I had to prepare myself for that by relaxing on the pace from km6-8:

km6= 6:07 (well this was one uphill, hehe)
km7= 5:59
km8= 6:34

I felt the need to slow down at about 7.5k of the race, my heart racing too fast and telling me to stop. I fought the urge to walk so I slowed (a bit) which resulted in that 6:34 split in km8. By the last 2k I had to give my all:

km9= 5:41
km10= 6:05 (uphill on 32nd street)

As I made that last turn, I looked at my Garmin and found sub-60 was within grasp. The only thing I needed to do was hang on in that last 400m to the finish line (which felt like forever to complete).

Photo c/o Vertical Finisher

As I stepped on the mat, I stopped my Garmin and was very pleased:

A sub60.

That was damn close!


The race just showed that I need to improve on speed as I've earlier predicted. My running performance has really suffered since I fell in love with cycling late last year, thus sharing my training time between the two disciplines. I may need to bring back my running training/routine to go back to PR-beating conditions that was reminiscent of my 2012 races.

Next up is the July 14 Duathlon in Filinvest, Alabang. The run legs there will be 6k and 3k. I hope to do better pace-wise by then.


As expected in any Runrio race, this was well organized. The price is still costly for a 10k race (P750.00) but it's all worth knowing that you have enough support on the route (accurate distance, marshals, hydration, etc).

World Vision, the recipient of the money generated from this race, is a non-profit organization helping out needy children worldwide with education and other needs. As a member for some years now, it has been a very humbling experience. If you have the opportunity, I encourage you to sign up as well.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Discovering STRAVA

I'm a very competitive person. In races, I would seek out runners ahead of me and try to overtake them as part of my motivation to finish at a faster time. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes my "impromptu competitor" out sprints me in the end. Either way, it's a healthy way of bringing out my competitive side in sports.

STRAVA is a new source of fueling that competitiveness in me. Thanks to @RoadieManila, I've signed up and have been uploading my Garmin bike rides for about 2 weeks now.

This morning I made my first serious attempt at becoming King of the Mountain (KOM) of the Camp Aguinaldo Fast Climb segment. It's a 700 meter climb with 1.8% incline grade that bikers and runners use for hill intervals/repeat sessions. I warmed up on my first climb, taking it easy and planning out where I will pour everything out and when to change gears when the climb starts to settle.

On my 5th try, I gave it my all with heart rate peaking at 169bpm (I maxed at 170bpm just after that segment ended). I felt that I did enough to beat the 1:34 record set last May 12 by another STRAVA member.

As I uploaded this morning's bike session to STRAVA, my jaw dropped as the Agui Fast Climb segment top notchers were recalculated: I finished in 1:36, two seconds shy of the current record.

Darn it!

It was, however, good enough for joint 2nd place (with 3 other members, including @RoadieManila).

I will DEFINITELY be back in Camp Aguinaldo next Saturday for another attempt at that segment. Hopefully, the KOM title will be mine (insert evil laugh here).

This is war.

Monday, June 3, 2013

And just like that, I'm registered for a 10k race!

To boost my training for my July14 duathlon, I have (stupidly?) registered online for a 10k race 2 weeks before it. Such is the convenience of Runrio races that registration is easy.

I'm a proud member of World Vision and what it stands for, so I'm more than happy to join this race that they're organizing on the 23rd of June. It's going to be held in BGC so logistics won't be a problem. I'll be joining the 10k event only as this will be a gauge as to how I'll attack the run legs of my next duathlon (a 6k and then a 3k).

This will DEFINITELY force me to sked my intervals and tempo runs again.

Here we go!