Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Burned out?

After doing Subaru Marathon, I felt defeated.  I was glad to have finished the race but it was below what I expected to do.

Since then, I haven't quite recovered yet. 

Legs still feel tired.  I get lazy in runs and finish them but end up walking a significant portion of them.  The excitement has all but disappeared too.

Both mind and body were defeated in Subaru.  So how do I get up from the bottom and run again?

How do I finish another Marathon, that isn't a few months away, but just in a matter of days?

How do I push myself to keep going till the end?

My goal of 5:40 has gone out the window.  Now, it is most likely past the 6 hours.  I hope it doesn't become worse than Subaru Marathon but there is a chance that it might be.

Will see how it goes.  Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Running in Japan

The hard part about training for a marathon is that when there is a vacation during the training schedule, you can't take a vacation from that either!

Of course it will be harder as it will be busier in terms of travel schedule.  For our 11-day trip in Japan, we ended up taking all sorts of transportations (train, subway, tram, ferry, bus) to get to the various cities.

I would schedule my runs on days where we would just go around the city.  No runs on days we need to travel to another city as we might end up missing the trains!

For Kyoto City I was able to do two 7.5km runs on two consecutive days.  Our hotel was located near Kyoto Train Station and although the weather was hot during the day, in the morning it had a nice and cool weather.  Japan had a lot of vendo machines so just bring a few bills or coins and you are all set in your run.  For Kyoto, I was able to discover a 4km loop around the city, which passed through two big city temples, for which I entered one on first day and the second on the second day.  So some sightseeing done in the city too!

The 4km loop passes through the quiet area of the city so that was a good place to observe their day to day activities too.

The scheduled long run for the week fell on the day when we were in Hiroshima,
which was a perfect place to do it as
city felt solemn as I was reminded of what happened to the city during World War II.

There were countless monuments to commemorate this fateful day.  My route took me to the Peace Memorial Park, around A-Dome and towards Hiroshima Castle, wherein I did 4 loops around its perimeter.  Went out again and this time I followed the river to the more rural section of the city.  In this part there are more runners and the road is more cushioned and quite similar to a 400-meter track.  It seems I have discovered where they secretly run in this city.  I wasn't able to finish the required 24.5km and did only 21.5km as our hotel stay included Japanese breakfast buffet and I had to get back before 9:30am to avail of it.

The next run was in Tokyo City, where the only place I could think of to run where it wasn't that busy in terms of traffic, people in the streets, countless traffic lights, etc. was around the Imperial Gardens.  From our hotel near Tokyo Station, it was a relative straight path to the Imperial Gardens, where one loop is equal to 5km distance.  This was bigger than Kyoto Castle but both routes are good for runners.

I planned to run inside the Gardens as well but unfortunately, they close the Gardens on certain days of the week.  Just my luck that Friday was one of those days.  But I was able to see the famous bridge nearby and also run around the perimeter 1.5 times.

The final run for our Japan trip was at Nikko, where we stayed in an Onsen, which overlooked A big lake.  a five minute walk nearby is one of the largest water falls in Japan.  

This was also a good place to run as it had a nice scenic view of the lake.  I passed two temples around here.  The path was more of trail kind so had to be careful in where I would run.  But good experience nevertheless.

All in all, even though I had to wake up early to do the runs in our vacation, it was still a fun experience and through these things I was able to discover Japan more.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Race Review: Takbo.ph Runfest 21km

The Runfest 2015 had different race categories with the longest distance being the 21km or the Half Marathon.

I joined this race because it had been a while since I ran in BGC and also to give support to the race organizers (Takbo.ph's founder Jinoe Gavan).

When the race map came out a few days ago, I knew that this wasn't going to be an easy race as it goes up Kalayaan Bridge and also Lawton Avenue.

Upon seeing the map, I lowered my race goal and knew it won't be a fast race for me.  I decided that I would just run for fun and run by "feel" only.  There won't be any pressure to try to meet a time or pace goal.

With the 4am gun start and nice cool weather, it felt easy for me as I headed towards Buendia Avenue. 

I would glance at my Garmin watch from time to time but only to look at total distance or current pace.  I never knew what my average pace was.

Thank God there was no acid reflux in today's race.

Even though it was a hilly route, I quite enjoyed it and realized how much I missed running along Lawton Avenue and Bayani Road.  It was here that I took a short walk break while eating a piece of banana.

I also took one GU gel at the 9km -10km mark and didn't see the need to take a second one especially since I wasn't racing it.

I felt good all throughout the race and by 16km,I decided I wanted to go faster for the last 5km.  By this time, I was heading back from Bayani Road and climbing the hilly parts to BGC.  But I was still feeling good and used that opportunity to go a little faster.

With only one kilometer to go, and still not feeling winded, I went to my fastest speed and crossed the finish line.

That was the only time I saw my average pace, which was at 7:19, more than 25 seconds faster than my previous 21km distance.  Pace was reflected in the finish time as well of 2:33:51 (previous half marathon at 2:45).

Wow! Thank You Lord for this unexpected surprise.

Congratulations also to the race organizers for a very well managed race. There were kilometer markers the entire 21km, enough water stations (though just one or two had Gatorade in it), a much appreciated banana station and nice finish gears (finisher shirt was one of the nicest one I have seen in terms of design and materials used) at the finish line.

The best part for me was the strong finish and unexpected fast finish time.  Now that is a runner's high! Praise God!

Before going home, I rewarded myself with a nice breakfast at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in High Street. Yum!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Set the 10km bar!

I am quite happy when I saw my results in the recently concluded Li- Ning 10km race.

Didn't expect to have a high ranking in this race.  (And to think I was questioning on getting to the finish line in one piece.)

Praise God for this unexpected surprise.

Hopefully, this sets the bar for me to go faster and be stronger in this Sunday's Fit Buddy Run at Bonifacio Global City (BGC).

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Race Review : Li Ning 10km

I just realized last night (and hours before the race) that this was my first 10km for the year!

I guess I kept on joining the longer ones that I overlooked the short but heart pumping distances.

So I guess this is an automatic PR for the year. Haha!

The reasons I wanted to join this race were:

1) I heard that the singlet was really nice so that alone was worth the registration fee. This reminded me of the Adidas King of the Road and Nike races where we were after the singlets/ shirts more than the finisher medals.

2) Finisher medals for all caregories.  When they say it this way and with no other details, you would know that it's a generic medal for all race categories.

So what's the added benefit for doing the 21km race? The finisher shirts!

But I was quite happy with the singlet and the medal so I registered for the 10km category.

There were only a few hundreds of us for this race but it was short and fun.  The sun wasn't out yet so we had a little bit of leeway before it got really hot.

There were ample water stations all throughout the race which was enough for the 10km runners.

My problem here was more of a personal one as I was acidic the entire morning before the race. Even when the race started, the acidity didn't disappear and at certain parts, it even got worse.

Rather than be discouraged and walk, that got me a little more motivated to finish as quickly as possible so that I can go home and eat properly.

I stopped at every water station with the hopes that the water will flush away the acidity from my body.  But no, it was still there.

The pain lessened and I was able to go a bit faster, going below 7 minutes for the second part of rhe race.  Deep breathing all throughout and lots of water.

I managed to cross the finish line at 1:06:53 which was a lot better than I expected (my target was around 1:30). 

So I was quite happy with that. Obviously.

Best of all, after getting the large medal, I can rest and eat at home!

Praise God for giving me the strength to finish this race.  Without You, this would have been hard or even impossible.  This race is for You Lord! Amen

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Race Review: World Vision Run 21km

I am starting to join more races as it serves as a motivation to train a bit more and to exercise as well.  Without races, I would be too lazy to run.  It also helps to assess my fitness level.

For this race, I was hoping for a sub 2:30 time like what I did three months ago.  I was optimistic that the 32km Run United 2 race I ran two weeks ago was enough for me to get to the finish line at this pace.

With a gun start of 4am, I was awake by 2:15am and prepared my breakfast meal for this race.  I was sleepy once again as just had two hours of sleep but made sure that I will drink just one cup of coffee so it won't be a repeat of the last race where I had acid reflux for the first 10km!

I was positive with the time as figured it was 11km shorter than my last race but that wasn't enough.  I ended up consuming two GU gels (one at 9km and second at 16km) but even these weren't sufficient for me and by 19km, I was slowing down and even walking at some parts of the race.  Getting a 2:30 finish time meant an average pace of 7 minutes per kilometer.  Clearly, I lacked speedwork as none of my kilometer runs were at 7 minutes! Ha ha. 

I ended up crossing the finish line at a time of 2:48 with an average pace of 7:50, tired, exhausted and having sore legs and back.  Clearly, I was short of training (mileage and speed) for this race.

The race route is quite different from all other races from the same venue (Mall of Asia starting ground).  We never ran on Roxas Blvd except for that one point where we would cross it to head toward Buendia Avenue.  So that was something new. 

I also liked the Pocari sports drinks offered at various parts of the race but too bad, they didn't have any banana stations, which I thought was a regular thing for a race with this distance.

In the end, I am happy I survived the race with a quick lesson that I need to train more to perform better and finish well in the succeeding races.  Finisher medal was awesome and added that to my collection.