Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Condura Race dilemma!

My dilemma isn't whether I will join this race or not.

OF COURSE, I will join this race!! This is the most anticipated race so far and a lot of my family members and friends have already signed up for it for fear it would run out of race numbers.

For a brief background, this race will be held on March 22, 2009 at Fort Bonifacio with 3km, 5km, 10km and 21km event and this is a race for the whale sharks.

I was very impressed with how this was organized last year, when I joined the 10km event and that race made it to my Top 10 Favorite Races at number...

6. Condura Race: First race I felt pampered as got a lot of goodies here. Love the freebies and shirt design was awesome! Lots and lots of water and sports drinks as well from what I remember. A very well organized race.

For list of the other 9 unforgettable races in my 1st year of running, click this link.

Aside from wanting the same experience I had last year, the other reasons I joined the race this year are:

1. Run the SkyWay! Enough said! Okay, maybe, not enough said. How about this: Run The SkyWay without paying the toll fee ! Hehe... ;)

2. I will need to do a 32km run that day in preparation for my full marathon two months later. So this is perfect in that I would cover 2/3 of the distance already. 32km will be the farthest I've ever ran in my entire Running Fatboy's life so I hope that I can do it!!!

3. Finish the 21km and get a bling bling medal (to once again fool your non-running friends that you won first place ... in the category: fastest Running Fatboy!)

4. Awesome souvenir shirt! The shirt from last year I still wear from time to time. I liked the colorful designs and this year's shirt design looks great too! The whale sharks are worth saving AND worth seeing! If you haven't seen them, it's time to plan for it this summer. You will not regret it !
5. Freebies! Goodies! Costume Party! Pictures with the stars! Plus 10% discount from Nike!

More info on race can be found at their website:

So, with all the great things coming from this race, what the #$%!@ is my dilemma ?????

It's simply this:

How do I go about doing my long 32km run for that day?

Do I

a) Run 11km first at very early morning, forfeit getting a 21km PR and just have goal of finishing the SkyWay race. Advantage here is that at least I will be done after race and can hang around for pictures and whatnots. Disadvantage of course will be a bad finish time for my Condura race.

b) Run the 21km Condura race with aim of PR, take some pictures, rest for 10- 15 minutes and then do the remaining 11km. Advantage here is a potential PR. Disadvantages are: 1) it might be too hot already for last 11km and, 2) I might be too tired if I ran hard in my half marathon so might not achive target long distance (though I will still try to do it even if I walked the entire way)

c) Run 5km first at early morning, do 21km Condura Race (no PR but hopefully an okay time), rest 10-15 minutes, then do remaining 6km. The advantages/ disadvantages are a mix of first two options.

If you were in my shoes, what would you do?


Monday, February 23, 2009

RuNEW 15k (Post-Race) - Feb 22, 2009

The RuNEW Race by was held at McKinley Hills on Feb 22, 2009, with a 3km, 5km and 15km categories.

We got to the venue around 5AM and got a parking space at the open air. I did a 5.5km jog around McKinley Hills while Per slept some more in the car! But that's okay, because this will be a BIG day for her! It will be her first 15km race in the world of running so any rest she needs, I shall give to her.

This February has been the month where she joined the most races in her entire life (and quite reluctantly) as she prepares herself for today's long distance race. So we both hope that her training (via Nike clinics and the weekend 10km runs) has paid off. On my side, I have agreed to accompany her for the entire race, helping get her water when needed and supporting her till the finish line.

One of my running goals for 2009 is to convince Per to do a 15km so luckily she has agreed to try it. Our goals for this race is just to finish it, thereby getting a PR for Per and getting a Couple PR.


The race started promptly at 5:45AM and we ran at a steady 7 minutes/ km pace. Instead of leaving McKinley Hills which I thought the route would be, we were there for the first 3km as we ran up the various hills in this course. This may turn out to be the hardest 15km route I've ever tried!

A few minutes later, the 5km and 3km races had started as well and the runners there quickly overtook us. The km marker was quite accurate and finally we left this hilly area to do the run to Heritage Park. The route changed again from previous Fort Bonifacio races as we had to go through two areas of Heritage Park, located on each side of the main road. By this time, the sun was fully up and the heat was making us tire even more. We were switching between walking and running and at this point, I told Per to just drink two cups of water at each water station so she wouldn't be dehydrated. We reached the 10km marker and I can see that Per was wishing that that was already the finish line. I remembered having the same thoughts when I did my first 15km last year, but there was no other choice now but to keep on going. By this time, our pace had gone slower but that was okay as our focus was just to finish the race.

We finally got out of the difficult Heritage Park and headed to Lawton and back to McKinley Hills, counting down the last few km. By 13km, I told Per that we should run all the way as it is just 2km left and so we did. Our pace went back to 7:20 minutes/ km and then we were running downhill McKinley Hills to turn left to ...

the Starting Line!

Oh man! People who finished the race were all shouting "Wrong Way!" and we had to backtrack and go around the road to the Finish Line. By this time, I can see that Per was having a hard time but I still pushed her to keep going for the last 200 meters.

We finally crossed it !!! Whoopie!

My measured distance based on Garmin watch was at 15.35 km (all throughout the race, Garmin distance was exactly the same as that of km markers so the added distance must be the detour we made to starting line).

Our finish time based on Garmin was at 2:03:04 vs official time of 2:03:25 (due to starting our Garmins only when we crossed the Starting Line). Our average pace for this race was at 8:01 minutes/ km.

Per was tired but quite happy that she was able to do a 15km race!

RACE GOAL: to finish it. Mission accomplished!

I ran an additional 2km distance and went to the car to get the camera so we can take a lot of pictures, as seen below:

Giant Flypaper?

Per, all smiling, now that she can finally lie down and eat breakfast!

Great violinist at the stage.

The powerful Ngo sisters: Jeanne and Janine in their 15km races as well!
Though I had some nice pictures via my camera, nothing beats the photos from Ben's Photovendo!
Thanks for the free pictures:

Debate time:
1 Running Fatboy vs 3 lean mean running women ! Who would win?

15km runners!!!

Crossing the fake finish line! haha!
See you in the next race!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Power Run 15k (Post-race) - Feb 15, 2009

The Power Run race was scheduled to start at 6:00AM at the back of Mall of Asia and Per and I got there around 5:40AM, enough time for a short warm up jog and some stretching. There were a lot of runners this day and we ended up at the very front of the starting line (with the very fast runners!) as couldn't go inside anymore. I will be doing the 15km race while Per will be doing the 10km race. Each of us have our own goals for this race: which is a new PR given the flat course of this race vs. Fort Bonifacio and better road vs. the uneven road of U.P.
The only drawback that I could think of that could deter us from reaching our goals was the very confusing race route as there were just too many turns in this race. Hopefully, the marshals will be able to do a good job in leading the runners the right way.

From the start of the race, I ran with Nike classmate Dennis and we both maintained a constant pace of 5:30 - 6 minutes/km. We did two loops at CCP and it was here we got our first straw (blue) to put around our necks (we had a total of 3 straws in this race). At this time, I was looking for water and noticed that there weren't many water stations in this race. Good thing, the weather was nice so that helped me keep going.

After CCP, we headed back to MOA. It was here a problem occurred as at a certain point, the road split into two: one going straight and one turning right. Some runners were running straight while others were turning right. The 10km runners were all turning right but for the 15km runners, we didn't know which way to go. A lot of people were asking the guy marshal who was just STARING at them! He was shocked by all the runners interrogating him and just didn't know what to do!!! Very weird! For comparison sake, he looked like a deer which got blinded by a car's headlights and just couldn't move anymore! He was holding his "15km runners this way" sign but not using it to point to any direction. At this point, the 15km runners gave up on the unresponsive guy marshal and we all just turned right with the 10km runners and hoped for the best. I thought it was a mistake and that we might end up finishing the race at a shorter distance, but at this point, there was nothing else to do but follow the crowd and hope for the best (a lot of the fast 15km runners ran straight as saw them in the distance before I made my turn)!

(Note: Upon looking at the race map at the finish line some 30 minutes later, I saw that all runners (both 10km and 15km) were supposed to turn right in this area so why was the marshal confused??? He could have just told everyone to the turn right and stopped anyone for running straight!! He is definitely the worst marshal ever in all my races! Really really strange...)

I caught up with Dennis and told him that maybe we made the wrong turn. I was discouraged as finishing the race at less than 15km means I won't be able to achieve my goal for a PR. Luckily, we were correct and I was able to finish my race with a Garmin measured distance of 15.06km. I was happy with the correct distance but also so tired and looked for the nearest drink area (which ran out of water/ sports drink but good thing I've got some back up drinks in my car). At the finish line, I gave a high five to Dennis for a job well done and saw also Nike classmate Marvin, who finished his 15km race a few minutes ahead of us.

I saw some other Nike classmates/ bloggers who did the 15km and all of them ended up doing the 17km/ 18km route due to bad directions by the marshals! I would have been as angry as they were if I had gotten lost too!! You would expect that with a high fee of Php 300, the race organizers would have managed this race better!

I did another 2.4km jog after the race to cool down and to add some mileage for this run. Very slow pace as I was exhausted already.

My GOAL for this race: Achieve new 15km PR. Goal Achieved at time of 1:28:11 !!! Yehey! Very very happy in that I've reached a sub-90 minutes 15km run for the first time in my life! Awesome !! :)

Per's GOAL for this race: Achieve new 10km PR. Goal Achieved at time of 1:10:40 !!! Double Yehey!!! She is quite happy too as this was her finish time goal and she was able to shave off 3-4 minutes off her previous 10km PR!! She should be ready for her first 15km race next week, where I would expect it to have good marshals and lots of water as it will be organized by Coach Rio. See you there!!!

Per happily pointing out that it should be a Valentine's Special Run.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Delta Run - Feb 08, 2009

The Delta Run is the first run that Per and I will do for the month of February. We will do the 10km race, which I need to meet my quota mileage for the day and which Per needs as practice run for her first 15km race, which will occur two weeks from now.

We got to the venue around 5:45AM and went to the registration booth to make the payments and claim our race bibs. There was a long line of runners by the time we got there but we didn't mind it as we were still quite early for the 6:30AM race. After claiming our bibs, we did a short (0.67 km) jog on the oval as a warm-up for the race. Stretches were done afterwards.

There were only about 200- 300 runners for this race, a welcome change from the very crowded races in Fort Bonifacio. This one feels more intimate and more exclusive (similar to Nike+ Race and Dasma-Forbes Run of 2008).

We started the race past 6:30AM, but that was okay as sun was still not out so it was still chilly. I went off at a pace of 5:10 minutes/ km and tried to see if I can keep this pace. I couldn't! I was tiring and breathing hard by the 2nd kilometer! Not only that but my stomach was giving me troubles. Oh man, I hope this won't be another disappointing race for me! I slowed down my pace and continued running.

I noticed that the race marshals were all students and they were doing a good job in letting the runners know which way to run. They were holding purple signs with the words "this way" written on it and had the signs pointed at the right directions. The 10km route was just two 5km loops and were quite nice to do. These students were also the ones manning the water stations.

On the final 5km, my stomach acted up again and there were times I had to stop and walk for a few seconds. I had a feeling I won't be able to attain my goals due to the walk breaks but I was still hoping that I can do a sub- 60 target and increased my race pace. Then, I saw the finish line up front and did a final sprint to the finish line!

My time was at 57:34 with an average pace of 5:54 minutes/ km. Distance as measured by my Garmin was at 9.76km.

Goals for this race:

1. Out of the 5 UP 10km races I joined last year, I only finished 1 at sub-60 so hoping to do that again for this race. Goal Achieved! Yehey!

2. Beat current UP record of 58:38. Goal Achieved with time of 57:34! Double Yehey!

I ran back to look for Per and once I found her, we ran together for her big finish in this race as well. At the finish line, we each got a bottle of Pocari Sweat and also some free taho! Yummy! For me, this race was quite organized in that it had a lot of water stations and the students were doing a good job in marshalling this race. There were no singlets given out but that was expected since the race fee was quite low.

Next Sunday we will be Mall of Asia grounds for PowerRun Race. See you there!

The easy to reach Starting Line Banner

RFB's Kili kili (armpit) Powers!

Friday, February 6, 2009

25 Random Things about Me

1. When I was a toddler, I walked and fell into the deep end of the swimming pool. My brother had to jump in and save me!

2. At one time during my Kindergarten days, I decided not to take the school bus home (long story there) and thought it was easy to go home by myself. It wasn’t! I got lost after walking for 6 hours! Too tired to walk, I just slept somewhere on the sidewalks of Taiwan (no wonder I like camping and sleeping on the floor). I was discovered by a Taiwanese girl who reported me to the police. They found contact details in my school backpack! Good thing there were details or I may still be in Taiwan up to now!

3. I got caught stealing Blu Tac at the supermarket when I was 8 years old. At that time, I thought it was easy to steal. Again, it wasn’t. The cashier who caught me offered to pay for it instead. It was just AU$3.00 worth but I didn’t have money at that time!

4. When I was little, when people would ask me, what I wanted to be when I grow up, I always say, “Black Ninja”. Now that I’ve gotten older, I realize that being a black ninja is just NOT feasible. So, I look at being an assassin instead. Haha!

5. I always wrestle against my brother but I never win. Still, it was good fun when he lifted me up into the air and threw me on the bed. Hulk Hogan was still famous at that time.

6. I enjoy running road races. And gave the running bug to my sisters as well. Now, they are more addicted with the sport than I am!

7. I am afraid of mice and rats.

8. I encountered a ghost in my old bedroom before. Seems like an old lady because of the shrieking laughter but all I saw was black mist fading into the ceiling. Left lights on for that night. Good thing it didn’t come back. My dad saw a ghost too some years ago so maybe it’s hereditary.

9. I shaved my head in college because I passed my accounting subject.

10. I eat anything! The spicier, the better.

11. I just learned how to bike last year!

12. Best and scariest experience in my life ever: Skydiving!

13. I was a movie fanatic before. Watching up to 4 movies in a single day. Now, not so much anymore.

14. I never owned a pager/ cellphone/ or a computer during my college days and yet, I survived it!

15. I think I had a rabbit before in Taiwan, but now I’m not really sure.

16. I love Star Wars! Except for the scene where Leia kissed her brother Luke. That is just sick!

17. I lead my friends to Mt Kinabalu climb in Kota Kinabalu and I think most of them were traumatized by that experience. Good thing, they still think of me as their friend. J

18. I tried scuba diving and found out, surprisingly, that I hate it

19. I have too many collections that need to be thrown away! My room is a mess!

20. I can burp whenever I want to. Just ask me.

21. I love to drink but know that it’s bad so now, I limit myself to one drinking spree a month. Hahaha!

22. I love to travel, either in the Philippines or in other countries.

23. Had one major car accident back in college. Car was a total wreck. Driving safer these days.

24. I love the beach. I have been to Boracay 6 times in 6 consecutive years now.

25. I got so many pimples in college. Must be the pollution in Taft Avenue.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Run For Their Lives - March 15, 2009

Another charitable run will be held on March 15, 2009. A project of the Rotary Club of Makati West, this race is for the benefit of children needing heart operations. There will be two race categories here: 3km and 10km with entry fees at Php 150 and Php 250, respectively. Route of the 10km will go through the dreaded McKinley Hills once again! Race will start at 6:00AM.

Registrations are now open at New Balance Stores and select Planet Sports Stores. This race wil be organized by Extribe, the same people behind last year's successful New Balance Run in Clark, so this looks to be another successful event.

Limit of only 2,500 participants.

Here's something interesting based on the registration forms: a special commemorative medal will be given to ALL finishers on race day! Woo hoo! Make your momma proud with your bling bling! Fool your non-running friends into thinking you won first place! And wear it proud (but not to work)!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bonus Feb '09 Race - The Delta 10k Run

After deciding last week that I will do two races in February with a distance of 15km each, I have decided to add one more race and that's for this coming Sunday (February 8) at U.P.

My Reasons to join this race:

1. It's only Php 150. Running a race has never been this cheap!!!! And if you are a U.P. Alumni or U.P. Student, entry is just at Php 100 !!
2. It's for a good cause! This race is for the benefit of the Children of DSWD - Bago Bantay, Quezon City. For me, anything that's for a good cause is worth running for!

3. On a personal note, the 10km distance is perfect too as my program requires me to run 10km that day. Joining a race will be more exciting for me than just running by myself.

4. For Payback! On our last race in UP, which was the UP ICTUS RACE , Per and I both suffered big time in our finish time. We both got injured in that race and had to do a lot of walk breaks! Hopefully, we can redeem ourselves in this race!

1. Out of the 5 UP 10km races I joined last year, I only finished 1 at sub-60 so hoping to do that again for this race.
2. Beat current UP record of 58:38

Race details:

It will have a 2km, 5km and 10km category. 10km is two 5km loops. Registration starts at 5AM but if you want them to reserve a slot for you (like we did), leave a comment at their multiply website: Race will start at 6:30AM (hopefully, it won't be too hot by then), with venue at UP Academic Oval (near College of Music).

Monday, February 2, 2009

Long, Slow (and Bandit) Running

From February till end of May, I will need to do a long slow run every Sunday morning to get enough mileage in preparation for my first ever Marathon. With this Smart Coach training program, some sacrifices have to be made: obviously, I can't stay out late on a Saturday night anymore (unless I do a long run on a Saturday morning instead). Also, I won't be looking at setting a new PR in a 10km race as will be using these races mainly to get the required mileage for that day. But for the Skyway 21km race and PowerRun 15km race, I will try and run faster just to measure my performance for this distance. The scariest part of this program is doing two 32km runs. This is just terrifying as never ran that far before (farthest I've run is 25km and did it once only).

Yesterday was the first of my long runs as I target 16km for that day at a relaxed pace. My Nike training classmate Benny agreed to join me in this long run and we met around 6:15AM at UP Theatre. Not knowing which route to run on, we then saw a large group of runners coming by. All were wearing race numbers on their chest. First I recognized running was Coach Rio, who was leading the pack. This event was the Takbo May Yabang 4.4k/ 8.8k race. We then decided to join them for the 8km route so that it will be more interesting for us. We then saw Vince running the race as well. He decided to join us upon hearing that we will be doing a long run. The Race route here was quite simple : a 2.2km loop around Roxas and Osmena Avenue so for us, we had to run it four times. There were enough marshals and runners were on the rightmost lane of the main road. It will be unlikely anybody will get lost in this race given that it's just around the Oval field. As Vince crossed the finish line, Benny and I stopped for a minute or two to have a water break. We are halfway through our run and didn't even notice it!!

We then started running again and went to an area I am not familiar with. Good thing we were running slow so I was able to follow their pace. The two of them upped their pace at the last 2km while I held mine at a steady pace. I finally finished my run at a time of 1 hour 48 minutes with average pace of 6:45 minutes/ km. I was a little bit sore and tired but felt good overall. I dreaded seeing my run schedule for next Sunday (as it's usually a 10% increase in the long runs) but was quite happy when I saw that I only had to do 10km! Yay!!! It will be a recovery run after doing 15km Happy Run and this 15km run! My long run will resume again come Feb 15 and Feb 22 where I have to run longer than the 15km races i will join. Boo yah!!!

All in all, it was a fun Sunday morning and had a good time Bandit running too (my very first). Thanks Benny and Vince for the company! For me, it's always better running with friends than running by yourself! Let's run again soon.


We bought our plane tickets last week via Cebu Pacific. My sister Carolyn will join this event but having her own marathon to do in April, she will do the 10km race instead. Good thing she is coming with us as Per and I will be getting free lodging in Singapore via her friend who lives there! YAY!! Per will run the 10km race and so will our friend Blanche, who is coming to Singapore with her siblings.

Looks like it will be an exciting trip for all of us in Singapore! Why don't you join us as well? More info on the marathon via this link.

Further update as of 2.03.09: the 10km category (for women) and 42km category (for both men/ women) are now full. Runners interested can email organizers and be part of the wait list. As of now, it is still the team relay of 4 x 10.5km and ultramarathon 84km which are available.