Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Men's Health All Terrain 15k (June 21, 2009) - Post Race

Why I joined this race?

1. It is by Men's Health, who has been doing a couple of All Terrain Races for some years now. Good history! I also loved all the shirts and singlets the MH have given out (Urbanathon, All Terrain, Miracle Run) and quality has been consistent with these shirts/ singlets.

2. This race will be organized by http://www.runrio.com/ so expect lots of water, lots of marshals, fast race results and no runners getting lost!

3. It will be a trail run. How exciting is this? More so, there will be a 15km event for this race (along with a 5km and 10km event). The farthest I ever ran for a trail run was 12km (MH All Terrain 2008) and got muscle pains the following day. But it was worth it for the experience alone!

4. It will be a new course. And not just a new course like a different loop here or there. It will be at an entirely new area: Sta. Rosa. This has never been opened for the public (in terms of running) so it will be great to be part of the first group to try it out.

But as much as I was excited to be a part of this event, there were also reasons why I wanted to BACK OUT at the last minute:

1. I was tired from doing the back to back runs the week ago and therefore didn't run from Monday to Thursday. Resting my legs instead.

2. Since this was a 15km trail event, I needed to see how my endurance can handle it.

Conclusion: Do a Test Run!

And so Per and I went to Fort Bonifacio last Friday to join the Nike Clinic. I had to run 7 big loops around Serendra/ Boni High Street (1 Big loop = 1.2km). The result wasn't good! I had a really hard time finishing the task. I was coughing hard. I was panting. I couldn't suck in the air. I was just tired (and dizzy too). The finish was horrible and by covering only half the distance vs the required race distance on Sunday, my confidence level dropped significantly. What's worse was that I wasn't running fast in the first place: about 30 seconds to 1 minute longer than normal race pace.

Can we say, "Worry worry worry?"

But I couldn't back out from this as I was the one who convinced my sister Natalie, friends Neil and Janine to join and two of them will be riding with me to the said venue. So I still pushed through with it with a strategy of taking it slow and easy and see how I would feel during the run ...


It was an early wake up call for me (3AM!), ate two museli bars and drove off to pick up Nat and Janine in different spots in Makati. Had some problems with the e-pass (didn't know how to use it!) but got to Sta Rosa at about 5:10AM. Had enough time for stretching , a little warm up jog and for the two ladies to get their race packs from the organizers before the 15km race started at approximately 5:40AM.

All three of us will be doing the 15km trail run (Yikes). Met Neil at the starting line too who will be doing the same event as us. We started the race at 5:42AM and almost immediately, all my friends disappeared! But I was conscious of what happened last Friday and decided to take it easy.

After running the first 1km, I felt good (phew!). No heavy coughing and surprisingly, I can breathe again! That was a good first sign but I know I still had 14km to cover. I ran a little bit faster and a bit faster still.

I thought there would be a lot of pavement running but I was wrong. Almost immediately, we went to the trail and just kept going inside it. It was a snaky trail and every time I thought we would go to the cemented road, we would make a turn into the woods again.

I felt comfortable with my pace. I was able to avoid most of the mud and even played a little mind game based on the HBO movie I watched the night before:

Imagine there's a T-Rex running after you (and all the other runners) so you can't stop running! Yep, Jurassic Park was on! Hehe :)

A very frightful RFB running away from a T-REX. Only to find out it was Janine+ with a menancing camera phone!! Hehe

I was running normal again and I was happy. No more heavy coughings and difficulty in sucking of air. Thank goodness! By 10km, I saw the finish line for the 10km racers and know I have 5km more to go.

By this time, the sun was out and it was hot hot hot! I was taking more walk breaks but kept going and running. Slowly counting down the miles. And running to the next water station so I have an excuse to walk again.

I saw the last 1km sign but unfortunately the distance was 1.5km more! I kept looking for the last stretch but kept getting disappointed as it seems I was running in the trail forever.

Finally, got off the trail and had to walk for a few seconds before sprinting to the finish line!

My time based on Garmin was at 1:47:41 (with pace of 6:57 min/ km) and distance of 15.49km.
On the official results, my time was at 1:47:58 (pace of 7:12 min/km) and I ranked 73rd out of 162 runners.

I was dizzy from heat and had to sit down for a few minutes before realizing I had to walk it off! I got off my butt, drank some water, ate an energy bar (and a GU from Nat) and that made me better. I may have been a bit dehydrated from this race. I got a massive blister on my left foot and took out my shoes and socks and just walked on the grass.

Aside from the energy bar and water, some other things found at the finish line were 1)Photovendo booth for that trail run photo souvenir! Very nice quality and memorable 2) Free back massage! So relaxing that I didn't want to leave the chair even after the massage was finished.
No Mens' Health Back issues though :(

Our feet before and after the race. Quite opposite from those detergent powder commercials !

15km trail run finishers (Go Ladies!)

15km trail run finishers (Go MEN!)

Shot taken near our car. No idea why we posed liked this! Haha. Thanks to Janine for all these photos! Till the next (trail or otherwise) run, this is RFB signing off!


Anonymous said...

Hi Dennis. Congratulations on the 15K. Despite the blister, it still had to be fun. Getting off the roads is a pleasuable experience. Coach Rio has some good organized races and the singlets look pretty cool!

Take care and have a good week ahead. BTW, Wilbert is running the marathon on Saturday in Seattle!

Gingerbreadman said...

NIce run Dennis! Trail runs don't come that often, and it's always a refreshing experience despite the hardships :) I am angling to join the next one that comes up. Congrats on the finish man.


Nat said...

back to normal as of yesterday...even excited over NY again...haha!

Running Fatboy said...

hi Wayne, thanks for this. Yes, it was fun and unforgettable! I am sure Wilbert will do great in his race.

hi Luis, thanks bro! Yes, it's like hiking and running rolled into one. haha

hi Nat, normal for me too. I'm thinking about the full marathon again too! haha

22loy said...