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.


Monday, June 8, 2015

Race Review: Run United 2 32km (2015)

Once in a while, there is a race that you think you are ready for and quite prepared for it that you set high goals for it:  A new Personal Best, A sub whatever target time, etc.

This for me, isn't one of those races!  Haha!

With only one or two runs in a week and at a very slow pace, my goal for this race was simply to finish it safe and sound.

Then I heard at the starting line that there was a cut-off time of 5 hours 30 minutes but I wasn't worried as that would be a conservative pace for a runner to get to that level.

The starting time for this race was at 3AM, which for me was pretty good in that you would be running more in the darkness than in the sun (and we all know how hard it is to run along Roxas Boulevard with the sun burning you up).  Kudos also to race organizer for tweaking the route in such a way that we would run toward both ends of Roxas Blvd. FIRST before heading out to Buendia Avenue.  This is pretty good planning in that we would be in Roxas Blvd. during the cool weather and when it gets hot, then we will be in shady Buendia Avenue.  I can't count the number of times I suffered in the past on Roxas Blvd., wanting to stop running due to the heat in that area.

But since it started at 3am, then my wake up call was at 1am and I was super groggy!! It felt too soon to be woken up my phone's alarm clock.  To get rid off the sleepiness, I made and drank two cups of brewed coffee and ate two muesli bars.  BAD CHOICE!

Once the race started, I had a very difficult time running as my tummy was acidic (figured later on that it was probably the two cups of coffee that did that)!  I would run for a bit but needed to stop and walk or I would vomit!  By 3km I was walking already!  How am I going to complete the last 29km!  My legs felt tight too.  Everything was working against me.  The distance was just too far to be in this kind of situation and I was contemplating quitting too.

I stopped at every water station and drank Gatorade to try to compensate for the acid reflux.  At that time, I was thinking that it could be hunger.  By 5km, I took my first GU gel.  I am so glad I packed extra gels!  I definitely didn't expect taking my first one at such an early part of the race!

By 9km, aside from the acid reflux and tight legs, I needed to go to the toilet and do the nasty!  Oh man!  Just two days ago, I read from Unilab's facebook account that 60% of runners needed to go to a toilet in a race and to take Diatabs (of course it was an ad for Diatabs).  That was a very clear sign for me back then to which I obviously didn't follow!

Luckily, being on Roxas Blvd. at that time, I had my pick of nice hotel toilets.  But even with that I was suffering from acid reflux.  I didn't know what else I could do as I was far, far away from the finish line and no matter what remedy I did, the acid reflux and tight legs were still there.

That's when I surrendered.  I gave up.

But I didn't surrendered or give up on the race.  Rather, I surrendered it to the Lord.  I gave up the race to Him.  And I started praying.  A lot.  Every five minutes, I would say the Lord's prayer.  And I would continue doing that every kilometer.

Amazing how things change once You surrender it to Him.  The tight legs disappeared and I could run longer and faster.  The acid reflux disappeared too and I didn't need to walk that much anymore.  I slowly overtook more runners.  My average pace of 9:10 at first 10km (!!!!) went down to 8:55, then to 8:50, then to 8:45!

GOD is loving and He took me to the finish line.  I can definitely say that by myself, I would have quit even before reaching 1/3 of this race.  And I didn't mind if that happened.  I even convinced myself that there wasn't anything to prove as I completed the Trilogy last year.

But GOD helped me have a better victory by leading me towards the finish line happy, strong and injury free with a reasonable time of 4:43:17 (my goal pre-race was just to finish but hoping it wasn't more than 5 hours) and a significant reduction of average pace to 8:38.  Total distance conquered was at 32.76km (via Garmin).

 Second medal completed (but not by doing it alone).

Praise God!

2 Tim 4:7

nice breakfast reward after - BULALO!!