Monday, December 26, 2011

News: Two Year- End Runs!


3rd RIZAL DAY 32k RUN

Where: GHQ Grandstand, Camp Aguinaldo, Cubao, Quezon City
4 and 3/4 loops of the 7K-loop inside Camp Aguinaldo
Start & Finish: In front of the GHQ Grandstand

When: Dec 30, 2011 (Rizal Day)
Assembly Time: 5:00 AM
Gun Start: 5:30 AM

Distance: 32km

How Much: P 850.00

Registration: ARC Manila
On Site at least an hour before gun start

Additional Details: Finisher will receive Finisher's T-Shirt, Medallion/ Coin, Finisher's Certificate
No Cut-off Time




RESCUE RUN

Where: Venice Piazza, Mc Kinley Hill, Taguig

When: Dec 31, 2011
Assembly Time: 5:30 AM
Gun Start: 6:00 AM

Distance: 5km

How Much: P 150.00

Registration: ROX, A Runner's Circle

Additional Details: A run for Typhoon Sendong Victims (proceeds will be sent here). Runners will receive a race bib for their donations.



I'm definitely joining at least one of these races. Still thinking if I can join both...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I've Got Mail!


And just when I'm getting discouraged from running too! Perfect timing to motivate myself (have to make multiple copies and place them all over the house... hehe).

It's time to re-ignite the flame and understand (again) why I am doing all these speed works, tempo and long, easy runs.

My first marathon for 2012 and exactly two years since I did my last one.

Hope to finish it strong and injury- free (fingers crossed)!

A good Christmas gift... :)

Friday, December 16, 2011

News: Go Natural Run - Jan 15, 2012

GO NATURAL 2012


Start the year 2012 right with Runrio’s Go Natural on January 15, 2012 at the Bonifacio Global City. Run for the education about Diabetes at an early age.


Proceeds from the event will be donated to ABS CBN’s Ako ang Simula.


Join Go Natural 2012 and run for a diabetes free future.


Live healthy, Go Natural.


RACE CATEGORIES


3K/5K/10K/21K


REGISTRATION FEES


3K – PHP 350
5K – PHP 550
10K – PHP 650
21K – PHp 800


- Includes Bib with Timing Tag and Singlet (21K + Finisher’s Shirt)

-
First 1,000 early bird registrants get a special Go Natural Baller ID. Special surprises await those who wear the Baller ID during the run.

- Register 4 + 1 race kit for free for any category (in-store only)




Sample Singlet (it comes in 4 different colors for you to choose from).

No finisher medals for 21km runners but they do have a nice shirt design for 21km finishers.


An additional donation of P150 on top of the registration fee in support of early child diabetes education gets a freebie T-Shirt (pickup on race day).


REGISTRATION VENUES


November 28, 2011 to January 8, 2012 (12:00 nn – 8:00 pm)
- Toby’s – Shangri-La Mall and SM MOA
- Planet Sports – Trinoma and Glorietta 3
- Riovana – Bonifacio High Street
- Athlete’s Foot – Robinson’s Galleria and Alabang Town Center


To register online visit http://www.runrio.com


For More Information visit:


Official Website -> http://www.gonatural.com.ph/gonaturalrun
RunRio Website ->
http://runrio.com



Go Natural is brought to you by Ampalaya Plus, Amapalaya Plus Delite Herbal Tea, Slenda, Enduranz, Renalin, Resorts World, Powerade and Viva Mineralized Water.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Milo Finals 21km - RFB Vs Cut Off Time

Ahhh… the prestigious Milo Race! Anyone who has been joining the road races in the Philippines for the past 1-3 years should join this one as well, regardless of the race category (5km, 10km, 21km, or 42km) as this is one (if not THE) oldest road race in the country.

On a personal level, I have been running Milo for some time now (but never the full 42.2km marathon distance). For 2010, I didn't join any of the Elimination Rounds or that of the Finals as I had grown tired of it (having joined the race twice in 2009 and twice in 2008).

But 2011 made me excited again to join the Milo Races. So what’s the difference this time around?

Well, first of all, the race organizer is different. For this year (and for succeeding years), the races were handled by RunRio.Inc. In previous Milo events, there were problems with hydrations, too many runners and not having sufficient marshals. Parking was also a problem as there weren’t enough parking slots near the Starting Line, which was across Rizal Park.

All of the above concerns were addressed by RunRio.Inc and the starting line was moved to Mall of Asia Grounds (which had ample parking spaces).

Secondly (and a big come on for me) are the very nice finisher medals that they will be giving out (for the first time) to 21km finishers, provided said finishers make it before the cut off time. So what was the finish time? 2:30!

That was completely unachievable for me back in July when they had the Manila Eliminations leg as I never ran a 2:30 half marathon for 2011. My time for said distance ranged from 2:45 to nearly 3 hours. So goodbye finisher medals and goodbye Milo race (I ended up joining a 21km race in UP at the same time as Milo and getting a finisher medal there).

But I was also irked upon finding out that there were some leniency in the cut off time for 42km and 21km Milo finishers and people who exceeded the cut off times were also awarded with the finisher medals. (If I only knew about this, I would have joined this race too).

So I vowed to join the Milo Finals leg for a shot at the finisher medal. Having heard about the leniency back in July, I wasn’t too worried if I didn’t make it to the cut off time this time around. But at the back of my mind, that was still my target goal just to say I deserved the medal and not because of the organizer’s sympathy that I got it.

So on December 11, 2011, Per and I drove to Mall of Asia grounds for our own individual races (Per joined the 5km race). My race started at 5:00am while Per’s race started at 5:30am. Right there, I noticed how organized everything was:

1) The 5km runners had five different waves to separate the thousands of runners that day

2) Separate starting areas for 5km and 10km, 21km runners

3) Route for 21km runners didn’t mix with the 5km runners

I got there just in time (but couldn’t do any stretches anymore) and ran at the back end of 21km runners. It was my farthest distance for three weeks so didn’t know how I would do. Plus the fact that back and shoulders pain along with PFs came back and none of those were good news for me.

The first few kilometers were good for me (although the legs were a bit tight) but by 8km mark, I was feeling the back pain and had to put some walking in my running to stretch my shoulders and back. Pretty soon, my right foot was getting some pain too and I was using the water stations as an excuse to walk some more. I was drinking and stopping at almost every water stations and the weather wasn’t that hot!

I had hoped for a new PR for 2011 but with the various body pains I was experiencing, I tried for my next goal, which was a sub-2:30 finish time. But even that was getting hard to do.

I kept calculating and re-calculating whether I would make the race’s cut off time or not. At first it was quite achievable. Then as I got slower, the margin got tighter and I had to lessen my walk breaks and run some more. I tried running faster but it was hurting me more.

By the 19km mark, I had less than 14 minutes to go before reaching the cut off time. And this wasn’t just a flat 21km race. It was a 21.1km race (and sometimes the distance is a little bit more) so I had to go faster.

It was time to dig deep!!

At the final turn, I had about 500 – 700 meters to go and saw the finish line ahead. The clock was ticking down. Will I make it in time?

Time to dig deeper!!

I also saw Per standing in the middle of the road in her Pink Adidas KOTR singlet cheering for me. She also turned around to look at the finisher clock, wondering whether I could make it or not.

I was so near but I wasn’t sure how close I was. The battle was just between me and the clock.

PUSH! PUSH! PUSH!

And then it was over!

I heard the people cheering and a finisher medal was placed on my head. I walked again to get my loot bag and to meet with Per.

I made it by 8 seconds! It was like winning a race… and it felt great!

To God Be the Glory!

Note: I found out later that my 20 to 21km was at 6:33 pace and the final 270 meters to the finish line was at 4:33 pace. Nothing like fear and panic to make a guy run faster!




The last stretch and I was looking at my Garmin to make my final calculations!


SPRINT MODE!! - notice the "run-it-all-out" face


Phew! Barely made it!!
Happy it's over!

CRUNCHY !
The couple is running again!
What a loot bag! Thanks Milo!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Boracay 5km Race

The last time I was in Boracay, I "bandit" joined a 2km race as it was opened solely for women only. (Click this LINK for more info on said race).

Luckily on my next visit to Boracay I was able to find a fun run happening the next day. This was for a 3km and 5km fun run starting from Casa Pilar at Station 3 and it served as the Boracay leg for the "Million Volunteer Run" by Philippine Red Cross. (they had a Manila leg too at SM Mall of Asia Grounds).

This was a perfect race for me as I needed to do 5km that day (and left my Garmin in Manila). I tried to convince Per to join the 3km race but she was too lazy to run on our vacation. (Good thing she didn't say yes or else I have a lot to answer for in trying to register her for a Kiddie race category!)

By 5:50 am on December 4th, 2011, I was at the race site and registered for that race. Due to lack of time, I didn't bother to fill up the registration form and just paid for it in order to get my race bib and Red Cross Volunteer shirt.


The race was supposed to start at 6:00 am but we had to wait until the helicopter would come and fly over us. Yes, a HELICOPTER!




The Starting Line at Station 3.


Red Cross Ambulance at the beach


The kids started their 3km race first...


.. followed by the province's local tribe...


... and concluding with our 5km race

For both race categories, it was a simple straight run along the beach shore, followed by a U Turn at half way point to run back to the starting line. For the 5km race, the U Turn point was at White House Resort on Station 1 (and right where the Life Guard post was).

I planned to race this as it was just 5km but I underestimated how difficult it was to run on the dry sand as my feet kept sinking in them (and they were DEEP)! By 500 meters, I was panting hard, and BOTH my calves were hurting. I was also feeling pain in my heels at 1km point. The incline of the terrain wasn't helping too.

Instead of staying on the difficult beach, I went instead with the other runners on the rough sidewalks and tried to regain some lost time there. I overtook some runners but clearly I wasn't fully recovered yet from what happened earlier and I took some quick walk breaks to stretch out my legs too.

Pretty soon the sidewalks ended at Station 2 and I was forced to go back to the beach area for the U turn point some 800 meters away. The organizers positioned the water station there and I took a quick sip before running back on the beach.

My halfway mark was at 17 minutes! Wow, that's slow.

This time, instead of running on the dry sand or on the sidewalk, I ran instead by the shoreline. The sands were wet making them compact and good to run on. The challenge was not getting my feet wet but pretty soon I realized it was unavoidable and just ran on sand and on water. And I ran faster.

But the calves pain were still there and I had to walk again near the finish line before running off again to finish it.





My finish time was at 31:51, not a personal best but since this was my first 5km for the year, it's a 2011 PR Time.


After the race, there were free foot massages given my Mandala Spa therapists. Yes, THE MANDALA SPA! Not willing to let this go, I waited patiently for my turn here.


Aaahhh, soothing (and a little painful) foot massage!




My poor shoes post-race!


Back to R&R mode!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sub- 60 !


Finally! I didn't think this was possible for this year (especially given my not-so-thin weight and not-so-small body size).

But I was able to do it at last Sunday's BGC run at (where else!) BGC.

At first glance, the race route for the 10km category looked flat as it was just around the BGC area (International Schools, Bonifacio High Street, etc.) but the route was quite the opposite. There were a lot of uphill climbs that just made it harder to move faster.

My race pace was at a steady 6:05 average for the first 3km but by 5-6km, the average had gone up to 6:09! Argh! I had to quicken my pace if I am going to make it under 1 hour (and I had 4kms to do that!)

I kept thinking about the finish line and how this was just a 10km distance race (on a regular weekend, we would usually run 16km - 21km). It was time for me to go all out! The breathing became heavier and shorter. The arm swings became longer. I HAD TO MOVE FASTER! I stopped looking at my Garmin and just did my best to stay at a good (and not so comfortable) speed.

But we had to go through the final (and quite long) uphill climb before getting to the finish line. I kept thinking of an imaginary bus right behind me, pulling people out who weren't below 6 minute pace and that little mind game kept me going and going. There was one final water station and I asked Alvin to get me a cup of water. But I was too out of breathed that I couldn't even swallow it and ended up spraying and spitting it out. Haha! But it was a good way to wet my mouth.

Then it was the final right turn to the finish line and I saw the clock already surpassing the 1 hour mark. Damn! I was already too late but I didn't want to give up (especially for the 200-meter distance left to do). It was all or nothing (hard to slow down too with Alvin shouting at me to go faster!).

I crossed the finish time at a little below 1:01 gun time. Upon looking at my Garmin, my finish time (chip time) was at 1:00:08. Dang! Just 9 measly seconds for sub-60 (but it was still a PR for this year)!

I then looked at my average pace and saw that it was at 5 minutes, 55 seconds.

Wait a minute, that can't be right! Then I saw the distance that I ran and saw that it was at 10.18km!

Alvin erased the 0.18km from my Garmin watch to give me a flat 10.0km distance, an average pace of 5:57 (I was fastest at the last 0.18km distance) and a time of 59:25. Yes!


TO GOD BE THE GLORY!


I was ecstatic with my time that I wanted to run some more, and we did for 2km more before calling it quits for the day!

I was also able to get a loot bag at the finish line with a finisher certificate, some canned goods and vitamins/medicine in it. Not bad in terms of freebies!


2011 10km PR!


A big thanks to Alvin for the much needed push I needed to achieve my goal in this race.

Friday, November 25, 2011

READ: The Long Run by Matt Long

Every once in a while, I would read a book on running. I'm more interested in the "inspiring" kind of running book rather than those that has various marathon training plans in it.

This is one of those inspiring running book. I first heard about this writer when he was featured in an old issue of Runner's World. Matt Long was a member of NYFD and did the New York Marathon back in 2005, and qualified for Boston Marathon (he finished at 3:13).

Unfortunately, there are days when things don't go the way we planned especially for him when he was hit and dragged under a passenger bus, while riding his bike to work!

This is the story of how one ordinary guy became extraordinary through the trials that he had to face (he couldn't walk, he couldn't even move, and he was given a 5% survival rate by the doctors!) and how he conquered all these things.

The next time I would complain about my legs or shoulders or the hard run, I have to think of Matt Long. And stop complaining (or in Alvin's words: whining) and start counting my blessing.
ddf

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED READ! (Especially if you are training for a big race)..


Note: I bought my copy at Fully Booked, BGC (Fort Bonifacio)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Run United 3 - Afroman Distance (32km)


The recently held Run United 3 race was my first 32km race and as such it was an automatic PR. But I didn’t join this race for an automatic PR. Rather, it served as my long run for the weekend and it was also used to gauge on how I would do for this ¾ full marathon distance.

The result: Not so good.

Words pop out of my head when I think of my race performance: Disappointment, disgusted, frustrated, irritated, sadness, and so on and so forth.

RACE DAY!

I got to Mall of Asia grounds around 4:30am and by the time I got to the race’s starting line, the 32km had already started some seven minutes earlier. But I didn’t mind this as there was a b-tag attached to my bib and I had my Garmin with me to record my own finish time.

I started at a comfortable 7:30 minutes pace as I slowly caught up with some 32km runners. The 32km route took us from Mall of Asia grounds to Roxas Boulevard to make a left turn underneath the flyover (on the other hand, 21km runners went up here) and into Buendia Avenue. There was a small lane reserved for runners and some marshals/ traffic enforcers watching over it. I tried to leave this place as quickly as possible as there were a lot of cars and jeepneys here, honking and beeping and releasing all those carbon monoxides! Definitely not healthy for any runner!

At one point along Buendia Avenue was the U Turn back to Roxas Boulevard to do some more miles here. At this point, my average pace had gone down to 7:09 but try as I can, I couldn’t bring it any lower. I was calculating when to consume my 3 GUs within this race and figured that the second one should be done right after the 21km mark (first one was used in 15km mark). Everything was still going fine with me. No pain, no slowing down, no tiredness. But that wasn’t bound to last.

At 27km, I slowed down… significantly. By this time, it was really, really hot and the heat was getting to me. I tried running in what little shade there were but that didn’t seem to help. I craved for water – drinking two cups at a time and using the third cup to pour the water over my head. My average pace went down to 7:12, then to 7:15, then to 7:17. This wasn’t turning out well. My slow running pace became a run-walk fiasco.

My lungs were okay but I had a hard time with the heat and even with the all mind games I played with (“run fast to rest”, “run fast so can get out from the sun”, “run so can see wife and kid again”, “run to get to buffet breakfast soonest”), none seemed to be producing the effect I desired for. But I wasn’t alone in this. All around me, almost everyone was walking the remaining distance.

And then the water ran out. Groan! They gave water in cups but said it was just for pouring and not for drinking. So I did that (but thought twice about drinking it) and moved on, looking for the next available water station, which came after 2km more. I was spent and exhausted by the time I reached the last kilometer and even at this short distance, I was still walking part of it!

A fellow 32km runner asked, “The finish line should be right around the corner, right?”

“I think so.”, I replied before adding, “I really hope so!” The runner chuckled thinking I was joking. I wasn’t but my own comment brought a smile to my face.

We were there that morning to challenge ourselves: to conquer that distance and we should appreciate it and not whine about it (which was what I was doing internally).

Then, it was the final turn and I saw the finish line up ahead. It was a sight of pure joy to know that my ordeal (too harsh a word?) was about to end. But it still seemed too far away. I had reached the 32km mark but the finish line wasn’t there yet.

I finally crossed it with a distance of 32.33km and got my finisher medal (and checked it if I got the right one). Then I got my finisher bag and shirt at the event’s area. And waited for Per to pick me up at a pre-agreed (and shaded) area.

The one single term I could think of as I crossed the finish line was simply, “ WIPED OUT”!

POST RACE

As I finally rested and had a hearty breakfast, I reflected on my race performance and realized that there were silver linings here as well. For one, this was my longest distance run for the entire 2011 (and the most mileage I did for a given week)! I didn’t even join this “Afroman category”, when it first came out in 2010 because I knew back then that I could not finish it. Back then, I was injured and even a half marathon race was difficult to accomplish. And even with a half marathon distance, the finish time wasn’t an issue. The only goals for them were to complete the distances and bag the finisher medals.

So it was just a matter of perspective that in this 32km distance I failed when I did not accomplish my pace target. I failed when I went slower at the last part instead of going faster. I failed when I started walking.

But I was still able to go below 4 hours and my average pace for this run was exactly the same as the one I did in January 2011 – for a 15km distanced race! And that wasn’t just any 15km distanced raced but it turned out to be my 2011 15km PR!

These things show how far I have gone as a runner for this year (with a big thanks to friend Alvin for all those trainings done).

And one final thing after having this experience was a renewed sense of MOTIVATION to be better and stronger the next time I do this.







Race Update: Race results are now available for viewing and can be seen at www.RunRio.com

My results are as follows:
Gun time: 4:05:07
Chip time: 3:57:25

Split times:
9.255km: 1:06:38
24.44km: 2:57:10

Rank (based on gun time): 1,134/ 2,039 32km runners

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New Balance 25km - 2011 Edition

The last time I joined a 25km race was way back in 2008 and that was my farthest distance for a road race. History repeated itself last Sunday as Chevrolet New Balance 25km Run was my farthest distance for a road race for 2011.

With no long runs done for the past three weeks, I was scared for this race....so scared that I got hit with panic/ anxiety attacks the night before! Being unprepared really adds stress to a regular (but oversized) runner like myself. But there are some things that are beyond my control (I got sick for two weeks and even missed running Adidas KOTR). But as is always the case from a bad situation like this, we get up again, pray, and do our best.

The hard rain didn’t help me in that my shoes and socks were drenched BEFORE the race even started. But one good thing about the rain is that I didn’t feel the heat from the sun and the very cold weather kept me going forward. Alvin was right in front of me as we ran toward the various International Schools at BGC (and the ankle deep floodwater therein), the hilly long road near Merkato Centrale, up the Kalayaan Bridge and on Buendia Avenue. But we got separated on Buendia as I had to take a quick toilet break at the gas station there.

I couldn’t catch up with Alvin after that (even though he waited for me at the latter part of Buendia Avenue) and I couldn’t go any faster but that’s okay. For me, my priority was not hitting the wall and to be consistent throughout the race. A new PR wouldn’t hurt as well.

For these things, I was quite happy to achieve them and even go sub-3 hours (including the toilet break). I was so happy that I ran 3km more for a total distance of 28km, my longest mileage for one day for 2011!

God is GREAT!

Cast all you anxiety on HIM because he cares for you – 1 Peter 5:7


Per, in her second 5km race for the year, did well too in her race. She got faster again and finished her race at a time of 38:38. Not bad for someone who stopped running for nearly a year!

After I finished running my extra miles, Per and I stayed a bit more to await the raffle draw. No, we didn’t win the Chevrolet but this guy right next to us did and it was such a joy to see him win it. What a great Christmas gift for this guy, don’t you think?

Congrats to all runners who finished their respective races, to the winners of the races, to the raffle winners and to RunRio, New Balance and Chevrolet Philippines for an awesome 25km race! Hopefully there would be another one for 2012!





Note: Some pictures were taken at the event and can be found on Team UBS' Facebook page.

Race Update: Results are out already!!


My chip time for 25km was at 2:58:53 with a rank of 687/1210 = 57%

Per's chip time for 5km was at 38:24 with a rank of 759/1336 = 57%

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Adidas KOTR 2011 - race supporter

It's rare that I am at a race venue and NOT run it. Why do so when you can just stay in bed and wake up late?

Well, this was a special moment as it marked Per's return to the road races right after giving birth to our daughter. The last race she joined was KOTR 2010 and she did the 10km event back then (not knowing yet that she was pregnant). It just felt right that her comeback race would be KOTR 2011 as well. Exactly a year later!

With a big smile plastered on her face as she crossed the finish line, it looked like Per had a fantastic KOTR experience!

Congrats Per! Her next race will be at New Balance Power Run! This time BOTH of us (God willing) would run that race.

See you guys there!



... As for me, not only did I NOT RUN that day but I ALSO INDULGED ON DONUTS AND COFFEE at Krispy Kreme, BGC. (Of course, being a race supporter, I also bought a donut for Per when she finished her race).

Thanks for the picture broj !

Thursday, October 20, 2011

News: 2nd Camp Run

Camp Run is having its second series this coming November.

I joined the first Camp Run back in August 2011 and that served as the first leg for my back to back weekend races. That didn't turn out as well as I had expected but I had a great time in that race.

For my experience here, click this link



The unique starting/ finish line



finisher dog ID and souvenir shirt

Sunday, October 16, 2011

1,000 Kilometers!



Last October 15th, during the Nike We Run Manila 10km event (more on this later), I reached the 1,000 kilometer total running distance for 2011. That translates to an average of 3.47 kilometers per day for 2011. Not bad!!

To achieve this goal, I was able to participate a total of 32 road races broken down into:

1 3.2km race,
12 10km races,
1 12km race,
3 15km races,
1 16km race,
14 21km races,

And got a total of 18 Finisher Medals plus 1 Finisher Dog Tag (perfect for our Christmas Tree!)

In between these races, I would put in easy runs, tempos, and speed run. I tried running barefoot (and loved it). I ran with a plantar fasciitis injury on my left foot. I ran with knee and shoulder pains. I ran using shoes from two different school of thoughts - from the top of the line stability (read: heavy) shoes to the shoes that offer no cushioning in it (barefoot shoes).

Running 1,000 kilometers was never my goal but it serves as a bonus for joining all these races. And I'm not stopping yet. The big and long races are coming up soon with Adidas KOTR 21km, New Balance 25km and Run United 3 32km.


I can't wait to put on my running shoes and hit the road again!






As for the Nike We Run Manila race, it was a sea of red as 8,000 people flocked to BGC to run (or walk) the 10km distance. My goal was to try and achieve 1 hour finish time but due to a lot of reasons (or excuses) such as 1) difficulty in weaving among runners, 2) heavy legs, 3) not yet 100% from my sickness, 4) lack of light in some areas so can't run fast, 5) etc, etc, blah blah blah, I did not reach my goal but it was still my second fastest 10km for the year.

The total distance according to my Garmin was at 10.25km and I clocked in at about 1:04:32 (pace of 6:18).

I got to say the Nike shirt was really nice and something you can wear going to the mall (and not just for running). At the finish line, I got a bottle of water and a bottle of Powerade sports drink, a mini poster and a letter from RunRio.Inc saying that another finisher item will be sent to my mailing address. I didn't stay any more for the 3 Pinoy bands performing after the race.

I also loved the fact that the race was held on a Saturday afternoon so didn't have to wake up on a Saturday or Sunday morning which I usually do for a race event.

Note: As of today (October 19, 2011), Nike results are out and can be found in this link. Based on that official result, my chip time was at 1:04:30 and I ranked 556 for Men aged 25 and above.

Too bad that there wasn't a total number for that category so that I could determine my percentile here.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Trick of Treat! (Runner's style)


For the past two days, I was like a little kid again as I go from one place to another, collecting my goodie bags.

Only this time, the goodie bags aren't filled with chocolates or candies but all sort of wonderful, wonderful things for a running enthusiast like myself.

It so happened that race kits collections were available for three big race events for the fourth Quarter of 2011 and most were in BGC area. Let me break them down individually:

1. NIKE WE RUN MANILA 10K


This event was held in its own tent right in front of NIKE Store, Boni High Street. It was easy to get our race kits here given the number of counters opened for the runners lining up. There were some Nike shoes and shirts for sale too.


Contents of Race Kit: Nike water bottle, Nike 10km event guide, Nike official dri-fit running shirt (with race number on it), Nike big environment bag


2. ADIDAS KING OF THE ROAD 2011



The best race kit collection venue by far as it was placed inside the very large and very spacious NBC Tent, BGC. There were a lot of booths inside promoting their products with some games (and prizes) from each booth. There were also games held by Adidas at the main stage.

They were also selling some Adidas shoes (and you can also check your foot type). You can also buy a second Adidas KOTR singlet for just Php 500.

We were able to join some of the games there and got things like Multivitamins, note pads, pens, souvenir photo and even a Rubber Duckie!

Contents of Race Kit: 1 canned good (tuna or meatloaf), personalized bib number with chip timer, Adidas official KOTR singlet (color given out to registrant was random), some brochures.



3. RUN UNITED 3


This was a normal registration booth (in-store) but since it was up already, why wait till the last minute to register? For the BHS area, registration was at RUNNR Store but when I got there, the 32km slots had ran out so Per and I drove to Planet Sports, Glorietta to get our race kits there.

Note: according to RunRio staff manning the registration booth, they would replenish the 32k race kits after 1-2 days but I was too impatient to wait for it.


Contents of Race Kit: various multi vitamins samples, bib number (with B-Tag attached to it), small pouch, running singlet.


Overall, I loved the Nike Race kits best given the very nice running shirt that comes with it. Adidas KOTR comes to a close second with Run United 3 being last.

In terms of races, I'm most excited with Run United 3 as it will be my first 32km race and my longest distanced race for 2011!

See you on the roads!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

2:22:25 !


That was my finish time for the OctobeRUN 21km race held in BGC last October 9th 2011. The distance for this race was at 20.80km, short by 300 meters for the 21.1km distance. Right after crossing the finish line (and letting the marshals get something from my bib to record my race number), Alvin and I ran the last 300 meters, which ended up where Kabisera Restaurant was for an additional 1 minute 44 seconds.

In reality, my 21.1km time should be 2:24:09 for a pace of 6:50.

But instead it was 2:22:25 with a pace of 6:51. Either one is fine by me. As both are below the time of 2:30, which I did not think was remotely possible in achieving so soon! (Besides which, I usually base my performance on the average pace of my Garmin watch.)

To note, the last time I had a sub-2:30 half marathon was way back in March 2010. That was exactly 18 months ago! And not because I haven’t been running this distance since that time. On the contrary, it was this race distance that I mostly joined due to the enticement of a finisher medal (on my count, there were 15 Half Marathon races that I have joined solely and not including those that I ran with my wife).

But here’s the main difference between this race versus the other ones: I got stronger by training properly.

All this time, I thought it was fine to build mileages by just running the distance and not thinking about the time it would take to finish it. So I would run on a Tuesday night and do another short run on a Thursday night, followed by a Half Marathon Race on Sunday morning. My paces for all three weekly runs were about the same. There was no speed involved. It was just a casual jog as I aim to reach my target distance and burn the calories. It worked in that I didn’t get any cramps from my 21km races and still able to finish them. But I walked in those races. I walked going up the flyovers (or basically any inclined roads). I would take my time at the water stations and stop at EVERY one of them (for fear of getting dehydrated). I would drink so much water/ sports drinks that I would feel bloated and gassy. But I always figured that that way was better than being dehydrated. At least I can still claim to be a finisher. Not a quitter or cheater. And with no cut off time involved, there was NO PRESSURE on my part as a finisher.

But there is a race I’m aiming for that has a cut off time and with what I am doing back then, I will not make it! So I got help from the guy who is used to running so much that it has become a part of his daily routine. And together we would run at BGC, at Ultra Track and at different race venues. And slowly, I got faster and stronger and slowly, he began to change my perceptions about training and running a race. What’s good about his training is that I would still run on a Tuesday, a Thursday and a Sunday. Just three times a week and the same schedule as what I did before.

OCTOBERUN 2011

This race was a big test for me as I usually fizzle out at 15km mark. And I usually get quite frustrated with my performance (there was even one time that I wanted to quit running altogether). My main weakness was really endurance as legs become heavier and more tired and different body pains (shoulders, knees, etc) come out during the long runs. So there is always a fear that it would strike me again.

This race started on time and I took off at an easy pace. I made sure that I was comfortable with my speed and that I wouldn’t burn out too quickly. Inhale… Exhale… Inhale… Exhale…

Alvin came along at 3km mark as he caught up with me in the race.

The first challenge came up in the form of Kalayaan Bridge. It was an uphill climb but I can usually run it especially if it came out early in the race. So that was done and conquered. Then, it was the long stretch of Buendia Avenue with an unexpected turn into Malugay Street, where it started to rain. That was a challenge too but luckily the rain did not worsen and stopped after 15-20 minutes.

The second challenge was returning to Kalayaan Bridge from Buendia Avenue, and that made me especially fearful of it because I had never ran the entire thing. It was just too steep and too hard to do. But that was one thing I aimed to do. Even if I didn’t get a good finish time, this would be my achievement for the day. My mountain to conquer, so to speak!

So I slowed down my pace but still made sure that I was running and not walking it. To make it (a little) easier on myself, I would look at the ground so that I wouldn’t see the steep incline or the other runners, who were mostly walking up the bridge too. I was able to complete the first incline but had to keep on going. There was a second incline before the bridge goes down to BGC, and on this incline, I would always stop to walk on it. But this time was different as I forced myself to keep on running.

Inhale…Exhale…Inhale…Exhale…

Kalayaan Bridge Conquered! Yes! If I fail in anything else, I have this one single thing to be proud of!

We kept on going. I took a GU at 12km mark. The weather was nice as gloomy but not raining again. The water stations were sufficient for me. The Pocari Sweats, bananas and chocolates were a bonus (I just took the drinks and skipped the rest).

As we went near the International Schools, I remembered this route as part of our Tuesday trainings and knew that I had it easier now given I was more than a minute slower. And that gave me the motivation to keep on going at a steady if not faster pace. It was at this time too that I know I would conquer this distance.

The final challenge would come at the 19th KM mark as that was the new road that just opened near St. Luke’s Hospital and featured two hilly climbs. This was hard to do as well especially since my left foot was giving me some grievances. But I didn’t want to stop when I have already exerted a lot of effort for more than 2 hours. I had to keep on going.

Inhale…Exhale…Inhale…Exhale…

Finally, there was a loud sound right in front of me, like a strong thunder, as something fell and hit the ground hard.

And what was it?



Well, that was the sound of me kicking 21.1km’s ass!



“You have been weighed. You have been measured. And you have been found wanting.” - A Knight’s Tale




In the end, I got a nice finisher shirt, a finisher certificate, a loot bag, and a nice finisher medal and realized one thing. Although a medal is significant in itself, it would hold more meaning if it was achieved by giving your all and getting the best time possible for that particular race.

As a comparison, my last 21km race prior to this was Run United 2 21km with a time of 2:58:01, more than 30 minutes slower than what I was able to do this day! Proper training really works!!

2011 PR for 21km!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

News: HK Marathon 2012

Thank you for your support to the Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon 2012. Due to the overwhelming public response, the application quotas for ALL race categories are now full. Both online and mail-in entries are no longer being accepted.

The Marathon Secretariat is now checking ALL applications received and will be making an announcement in due course of any places that may be available for a second round of online registration.

Should there be a second round of online registration, advance notice will be made on the marathon website and in the media.
Please check the marathon website www.hkmarathon.com for further announcements.

Monday, October 10, 2011

News: Men's Health Urbanathon 2011



Official Press Release

Register now for the Men’s Health Urbanathlon & Festival 2011

Do you have what it takes to be an Urbanathlete? Get ready as Men’s Health Philippines brings you its most awaited race event the Men’s Health Urbanathlon & Festival 2011. As Men’s Health magazine’s international signature event, the Urbanathlon features urban obstacles like hurdles, a scaffolding maze and an 8-foot wall among others along the race course, making it a race unlike any other.

Now on its fifth year, the Men’s Health Urbanathlon & Festival 2011 is happening on November 13, Sunday at Bonifacio Global City. The race promises to test not just one’s speed and endurance, but also one’s strength, balance, agility and flexibility.

Register for the 5K, 10K, and 15K categories and get a three-month subscription to Men’s Health magazine. All finishers will get finishers medals with the 2011 Urbanathlon ID lanyard. Registration is until October 16 only. For registration details, grab a copy of the October issue of Men’s Health or visit Facebook.com/menshealthphilippines.

The Men’s Health Urbanathlon & Festival 2011 is made possible by official food sponsor Century Tuna, official sports drink, Gatorade, major sponsors: Bo’ Athletics, Cherifer Premium, and Suunto, with the participation of Cataflam. Special thanks to the official venue Bonifacio Global City, official gym partner Crossfit MNL, and registration partners 360 Fitness Club, Fitness First and Bike King.

The October issue of Men’s Health featuring Derek Ramsay on the cover is available in newsstands, bookstores, and supermarkets nationwide. For more updates on the Men’s Health Urbanathlon, visit www.menshealth.com.ph, become a fan on Facebook via Facebook.com/menshealthphilippines and follow them on Twitter at Twitter.com/menshealthph.



And here's what we can find in their October issue of Men's Health:


Men’s Health Philippines is your Guide to Style this October

Amidst the many styles and brands of clothing available in the market, there are pieces that should be considered indispensable in every man’s wardrobe. This October, Men’s Health comes up with its annual Guide to Style and zeroes in on the 17 wardrobe essentials every man will ever need.

When it comes to tailored suits, the fit is everything. Lifestyle editor Amador Madamba points out, “An expensive suit will look cheap if it doesn’t fit well.” Men’s Health gives a manual for suiting up, featuring tips on how a suit should fit you perfectly. The Guide to Style also helps you select the right dress shirt to go with that suit.

Men’s Health shows you how to dress up your casual days with slim-fit khaki pants, polos, basic t-shirts, and more. It also gives you tips on the art of mix and match that can take your wardrobe to an entirely different level. Finish the look with the right accessories, as Men’s Health gives you timeless pieces that you should invest in.

Cover guy Derek Ramsay not only shares his fitness secrets this month, but also reveals his own style rules. Model Hevelyn Almeida, who also graces the flip cover of Men’s Health this October, lets you in on what women want you to wear.

The October issue of Men’s Health also helps you gear up for the upcoming Men’s Health Urbanathlon with a workout that’s guaranteed to make you race-ready. The Men’s Health Urbanathlon happens on November 13, 2011 at Bonifacio Global City.

Grab a copy of the October issue of Men’s Health, available in newsstands, bookstores, and supermarkets nationwide. For more of Men’s Health online, visit www.menshealth.com.ph, become a fan on Facebook via Facebook.com/menshealthphilippines and follow them on Twitter at Twitter.com/menshealthph.