Monday, August 22, 2011

Hardest Back to Back Weekend Run!

I've done a few back to back runs before but this was by far, the most difficult to finish given the distance I had to complete and my lack of mileage (only did one 5km run that week and very little runs the week before due to colds/coughs).


The first run was quite interesting as it was in a new venue: Camp Aguinaldo. I have never stepped inside this camp so to run here would be a wonderful experience. This was the first leg of Extribe’s Camp Run Series for this year with the second leg happening this November.

For Php 600, I got a military dog tag at the finish line, a nice big bag, a small umbrella, a magazine, some vitamins and medicine and an additional tee shirt (although said shirt has “Subic International Marathon” printed on it so I guess it’s a surplus from this year’s event).

The race was quite organized with water stations every 2kms and water bottles handed out to every runner. There were only 45 registered runners for the 10km event (military officials and cadets also ran with us). There was even a small obstacle course placed near the finish line but it’s an optional feature of the race. Being tired already, I chose to skip that out and just ran to the finish line.

I was tired and exhausted (from running the various hills and faster than normal pace) but was happy with this run.


This is one of 2011’s biggest race with 16,000 registered runners (and nearly 15,000 who ran it). This serves at the 2nd leg of the RunRio Trilogy. Runners who complete the longest distance of each of the three legs will be eligible for a 4th medal come RunRio Award Night in early 2012.

Aside from the above incentive, there are also loot bags, 21km finisher medals and 21km finisher shirts, which had the Philippine map on it. Cost for this race was at Php 750.

I wasn’t able to register early for the 21km as was still undecided on joining this race or not. Hence the pink bib pictured here (original 21km bibs were colored yellow). Difference of these two bibs was that for the pink bibs, they won’t get their finisher medals or shirts after crossing the finish line but on a future date. The 21km slots closed early and Runrio.Inc decided to open an additional 500 slots due to high demand from people interested to join this race category. I was lucky enough to be part of the 500 but with a 10km run just a few hours ago, I wasn’t sure how I would perform here.

My goal was simply to start slow and try to run the entire 21km course but rather than getting faster, I got slower and slower until I started taking walk breaks at KM 15. Ugh! It was a pathetic run and I was really tired upon reaching BGC (from Buendia). I kept pushing myself to run one step at a time but at various points, I stopped running to walk instead.

I was glad Alvin ran with me or I would have walked the entire 5km! Haha. My legs were wobbly and at the same time heavy. My shoulders were aching and I was breathing hard.

I got a worst finish time of this year at 2:58:01 but was just glad to finish ALIVE! Haha! I guess my body wasn’t fully recovered yet (DUH!) from the previous day’s fast 10km and I paid the price in this race.


I had a massage right after the run and that helped a lot for my sore legs and shoulders. I will also take 1-2 days off from running and just do a little bit of walking for recovery of my muscles.

Total distance for two days: 31km!

I did not think this was possible!

Praise God for making me finish both races!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Finisher Military Dog Tag!

Now, this is something different and something I am looking forward to do this Saturday at Camp Aguinaldo. I just registered for this race yesterday afternoon at Chris Sports, SM Megamall (registration available at various Chris Sports outlets) and liked the dri fit material of their shirts.

Registration Fee as follows:
10km at Php 600
5km at Php 400

Personally, I haven't done a 10km race for a while so it's time to see how fast/ slow I can get to the finish line this Saturday. See you guys there!

More details at my previous blog entry:
News: Camp Run

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Another Back to Back Weekend Run

Run # 1 (Saturday) :

A 3.2km Run at Philippine Army Grandstand. Sounds simple enough?

Here's the catch: It has to be done barefoot ! No shoes, no socks and no slippers. Just you and the road.

If the road was done at Ultra Oval or on flat grass or even on (wishful thinking) a carpeted floor, then that's fine. But this is hard and uneven asphalt roads. There were a lot of screaming, a lot of shouting, a lot of walking, a lot of pain, and a lot of blisters! I don't think anyone got out of this with the skin of their feet intact.

Mine alone had blisters on the the forefoot and on the fourth toe. Dabbing both feet in petroleum jelly helped alleviate the pain but will that be enough for Run #2?

This run was also Bald Runner's 1st barefoot clinic and just costs Php 50.0. It's quite an affordable run and personally, I am looking forward to Bald Runner's 2nd barefoot clinic happening in September and features a 5km barefoot and/or "barefoot shoes" run. Price has gone up to Php 350, but this would also include a souvenir shirt.

Cheapest run as you don't even need to have a pair of rubber shoes! Haha!

Areas of improvement (on me and not on race):

1. Need to lift legs more without pushing off so would lessen friction (which causes blisters). Raise feet at ankle level and plant it softly to the ground. Feet should look like they are pedaling a bike.

Run # 2 (Sunday): NBA Fit Run 21k

Another good race from RunRio Inc. Cost for 21km is cheap (considering the organizer) at just Php 600. Unfortunately, with the cheaper fee comes some deductions. There are no finisher medals nor finisher shirts for 21km finishers. You will get an Air 21 Environment Bag at the finish line with some other freebies. Race comes with D Tag, Bib no., and NBA Fit Run Singlet.

Due to a lack of medal (which I just love regardless of size, shape or color), it took me a long while to decide whether to run this race or not. But I invited Alvin to go with me and with his yes, there's no backing out for me.

The route is around BGC area and up Kalayaan Bridge all the way to Buendia for the U Turn right before South Super Highway and back to BGC for some more loops inside the area. I thought I was getting stronger but by 14- 15km, I was burning out. I did a mix of run-walk to get to the finish line.

I'm sure I would have finished longer if I ran by myself only so I was glad to have someone (with his disappointed look!) push me forward. My finish time was at 2:48:29, quite mediocre vs my other 21km races but quite happy with it because of the following difference (vs that of other 21km races):

1. I ran on Kalayaan Bridge. Yes, it was just one way as going back, I was run-walking the bridge. But this was the first time I ran the entire thing from bottom to top, crossed it, and ran to the bottom at one time. This has never happened for this year so that's something I can be a little proud of.

2. I did not use GU. Ordinarily for a race at BGC, I would end up eating 2 GUs, a banana (if any) and lots of Gatorade/ Powerade. That's a lot of sugar but I always feel like GU has a ton more (but it does work for me). Still that's one GU saved! Kailangan din mag-tipid!

3. It was the 2nd leg of my self imposed back to back run. So legs are tired, calves are working overtime and blisters aren't even healed yet. Even with this condition, I was able to beat the previous three 21km races that used the same BGC route. So hooray for my small victory!

Some areas of improvement (on me again):

1. Need to start slower! So I can go faster at latter part of the race or at the very least, be consistent. Walking at latter part meant I went out too fast.

2. Need to work on core muscles. Shoulders always painful at 2nd part of 21km race so a weak core could be the culprit here..

Monday, August 1, 2011

Run For Juan 2 - 21k Race (Post -Race)

After backing out from this year’s Milo Elimination Race due to their “strict” cut off time of 2:30 for 21km Runners (not so strict as I found out too late – 40% of runners exceeded said “cut-off” time with time ranging of up to 4 hours), I had no race for the weekend.

But I was able to find one race happening in UP and it has two things there that I liked:

1) A 21km Category, and

2) Finisher Medal for all 21km finishers.

That’s good enough for me!

Not much details on this race other than the poster above but I was able to get in touch with one of the organizers via email to confirm whether race would push through. With his go signal, I got excited at doing this race and running in UP Campus again.

To note, the last time I ran in UP (for an ordinary run or for a race) was way back in 2009 (June 28th to be exact). Since that time, Fort Bonifacio (and now MOA area) has become the place to be for weekend road races. Back then, I even used UP for my Sunday long runs (races then were held once a month only) and it was also the venue where Per and I ran the day after I proposed to her. But we liked joining road races and as they moved their venues, so did we.

It was a definite walk (or run in this case) on memory lane for this race. I wasn’t even sure whether I would push through for this run as had stomach pains the day before and the rain wouldn’t stop on that Sunday morning. But every time I think of backing out, I think about the Milo Full Marathon and all those people who still got up, got dressed and ran this race. If they can run for 42.2km in pouring rain, what rights do I have in backing out for a race that is just half that distance? None at all!

So I still went there and after wasting 20 minutes finding the right access road inside the campus (the gate I usually go through was still closed), I got to the venue a little before 5am. With the strong rains, the organizers decided to move the start time to 6am. As I registered myself for the 21km race, I saw there were only 5 of us for this event. Yes, 5! I thought twice about doing this distance. The other runners were all slim and looked fast. I didn’t want the marshals to just wait for this one fat dude to finish his race when all the elite runners have finished theirs in 2 hours or less. There were some serious self-doubts on whether I should proceed or not. Plus it was still raining hard.

But what the hell! I already skipped Milo. It would be worse if I skipped this one too (especially after waking up so early and driving far to get here) and besides, the emcee even dictated that they will wait for 4 hours until the last runner had crossed the finish line. As I know my approximate finish time, I’m giving marshals one hour less than what they expected. Haha!

The race consists of 9 loops around the Academic Oval with the final loop making two U turns in order to complete the 21.1km distance. Ordinarily I would get bored with it. But this was a place I used to go to often and I absorbed all the sights here, never mind if it was done for 9 times. Plus, I get to see the fast runners (fastest 21km runner overtook me THREE times), the 5km and10km runners and those casual runners who still went here even though it was raining. I also liked the course as not as rugged as other roads of UP and there’s a lot of downhill here. By running 9 loops of the same course, you tend to strategize your run as well. You won’t get lost either, which could happen if the course was different and no marshals were present to guide you. I also loved crossing the finish line 9 times (to get 8 black ribbons) as there were a lot of people there and they encouraged me to keep on going.

But I knew I was last in this race (blame it on that impromptu toilet break). Most 21km runners (it’s more than 4 now!), were one loop ahead of me. But that’s fine. Good thing here was that I felt strong and survived this race using one GU gel and lots of water (usually it’s two GU, a banana, lots of Gatorade/ Powerade, etc.) so I am getting stronger!

Being in a 21km race here was very exclusive and it even got the attention (and awe) from some students, who can’t imagine running this distance and in this rain. It was a little ego boost knowing I’m able to run this distance. And I kept going and going till I reached the final loop to make a small U turn near the finish line. I got a blue band this time around to signify that I’ve completed the entire distance and ran/ walked to cross the finish line!

Another big surprise was finding out that I got a P500 G.C. for placing 9th place in this race. The finisher medal became part of my awarding too. Found out that there were a total of 11 runners in the Half Marathon. I still finished last (the other two runners DNF-ed) but became a podium finisher too. What an irony!

To note, I had a great time! It’s nice to run in a different venue so not everything is the same. The last time I had this experience was with the Stallion Run. I also loved running in the rain more so than running in the summer heat!

My first UP run in more than two years and it had to be a Half Marathon (my premier 21km here as well)! Thanks to the organizer for handling a great event and for your quick responses here.