Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hitting 100k and long weekend stuff

Happy Easter!

The four-day holiday was a blast, with enough time to run and take a breather from work.  Here’s a rundown of running activities and updates.

Got the 33km mark this week

Yeah!  More free days more runs!  Two work-week day runs of 5k each and a 10k & 13k on the non-working days made me find my potential to go further.  I know I can sustain this coz I’m injury-free today.  Although the 10k run was a bit of a drag due to the heavy heat and sun that morning.  If there’s one thing that would keep me from running the distance it would be the summer heat.  At 6:30 in the morning its already sunny and hot!  Although this may be a good time to heat train as I know its going to get worse. Hydration and proper gears will be improved on and checked.

Losing a gear

Lost this one :(
The Thursday run didn’t end with the drag, but left me without my Adidas cap.  I was at my usual post-run corner doing my stretching when I took off my cap to let my head breath.  I really felt hot after that run so I removed it.  While I was cooling off, I told myself not to forget my cap and I kept looking at it.  Might have had my “senior moment” so I still forgot about it as I left.  Only found out about it late in the afternoon as I was preparing my gears for washing.  Good thing that my friend gave me a Reebok running cap last Christmas day so I still have one with me.  But I felt bad for three days on losing it (the P600 I paid for it is what’s bothering me, actually)

Running the 13k after a 10k run

So even after doing a sluggish 10k two days before, I decided to do a long run on that Saturday morning.  I felt good when I woke up that morning.  So I just put on my shoe, got my water bottle and gel and went on.  Warm up was a good one and I immediately felt that this would be a good one.  Until I got to my main route - at that early, the sun is shining bright already.  And since I lost my Adidas cap the other run, I didn’t bring another one.  I pushed on anyway as I didn’t want a small detail ruin my momentum.

So I pushed on.  Getting to km7 I was still running quite well and on pace.  Took a gel and continued on.  I was on my way back to complete a 10k run when I turned to go another round.  Sun was shining high that time but still pushed on.  By km10 I felt the ground getting too hot and the sun shining brighter.  And km 11 to 13 easily became a drag.  Also I’m out of water.  As my watch gave me the 13k mark, I immediately got into cool down mode.  I really am hot!

The 100km mark for the month

The recent post I made that I’m planning to get the 85km mark for the month of March was reached.  I also said that that won’t include the 10-miler Yakult run.  This ended up in a 100km for the month, well above February’s 78km mark.  Thanks to the holidays and extra weekend this March, I got to race to this distance.  However, I missed today’s run.  I’ll just treat it as an extra recovery day to prepare for the 25km run this week.

Moving forward & enjoying the little things

After that 13k run, I wanted to continue cooling down so I played with water a little and decided to give my shoes its 1st washing (yeah, I just use it and dump it –  icky but true)
Family went to MOA that day just to roam around and for us to enjoy the holiday.  And as I’m planning to do my heat training, I decided to go to Toby’s Arena to shop for a good hydration bottle.   They only have this small “sprint” hand-held bottle available for P495.  It was too small compared to the Powerade energy drink bottle that I’m currently using with 500mL capacity.  I’m looking at getting the handheld water bottle that has a bigger capacity.  I ended up buying 2 GUs instead. 

I ended my activities on Black Saturday, we just relaxed for Sunday to prepare us for work again.  I had a hard time telling my daughter that we'll be back to the office again as she really enjoyed the vacation with us (as I did too).  That's the reality, really can't just run and go out and have fun all the time.  But it really was a fun weekend to rememeber.  

Enjoying the little things in life and in family, I hope you'll start doing it too:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Fit and Fun Buddy Run

The first running event I joined last year is here again.  Its just now that I learned that its on its 6th year.  

Being my first run I experienced a lot of newbie errors including late registration, arriving late on gun time and running without any pre-race preps.

Being a part of the Robinsons Retail Group, we were given a special registration schedule along with company rate.  Same with other company initiated programs, I thought that it would be alright if I do the registration on my most convenient time.  I didn't know that there would really be a limit, or that there were lots of interested participants from the Retail Group.  So me and my buddy got on the waiting list (but was the first on the list)

As my first time to run in BGC, I didn't time my travel well.  I thought that since its "early", there wouldn't be too much traffic.  Wrong again, Roxas Boulevard was closed due to another race, and I had to take the inner, winding roads to BGC.  Getting there was no easy task as well as the roads were closed to traffic, so I had to find my way to a parking slot - I didn't get to a parking slot so I just parked my car on an open road.

Since my buddy was already there, she couldn't race as the marshalls were strict in asking for the buddy.  So when I got there, it really was a pain to find my buddy as I forgot to bring my mobile.  I had to find someone I know to call her to say that I'm already there.  Anyway, we still got to run it.

2 bottles made me tired
On the route, it really was a run-walk thing.  My buddy, like me didn't have the training for it.  I did have a few practice runs prior to this so I could do more.  So I asked my buddy that I'll go first and meet at one point before the finish line.  I did get to run most of it and it felt good!  

This was my first water stop, and being a Supermarket run, there were booths of energy drinks handing over cups and bottles.  Seeing that most of them got the bottles, I got one too.  There were also some water bottles given away, so I got one too.  Yeah I know, i got to be cheap doing that - but it was my first time.  I'm not doig that again!

Post-race, the crowd was really heavy on the give-aways booth from fruits like bananas and pineapple to ice-creams to juices, photo booths (there were only 2) and all.  It really was wild.  I guess the small staging area was at fault.  HOpefully this next race event it will be improved.

I forgot how much I clocked here, but its really not that important to me that time.  I just wanted to know how it was to run a race.  And the Supermarket Buddy Run made me want to run more.  I owe this race my current lifestyle, and I will run this again.  

The Fit & Fun run makes it easy for new runners to go into running.  Running with your buddy will make the experience enjoyable.  Its also good for competitive runners, just be sure to get a partner that will be able to keep your target pace.  I highly recommend this running event.

The Fit & Fun run by Robinsons Supermarket will be on June 30, 2013 at Bonifacio Global City.  Overview below:
  • Race distances - 1k (Kids), 5k and 10k races with a buddy
  • Registration fees 1k @ 300/pair, 5k @ 1,200/pair and 10k @1,500/pair
  • Inclusive of - singlets, Bib numbers with timing chips, race map, rules & regulations, Finisher's lootbags
For more information you may visit Pinoy Fitness or Robinsons Supermaket Facebook Page.

Post run pic at the race map - yeah I won't be doing this anymore at any future races 

Monday, March 18, 2013

First 16k with Yakult 10-miler Run 2013

My last run was I think last November 2012 for the New Balance run, it was a 10k run.  I remember as I got to buy my NB Minimus Zero at a discounted price, and I have yet to use it in a race - that was until yesterday at the Yakult 10-miler Run 2013.

Yakult anyone?
The Yakult 10-miler Run 2013 is in its 24th year and one of the pioneers in running events in the Philippines.  I think the other one is Milo.  The Yakult run is probably one of the cheapest (read-affordable) 16k runs at P500, with 5k and 3k at a much cheaper race fee.  The affordability is translated into basic inclusions - Singlet, Race bib with timing chip, Race guideline and map - that's it.  Upon finishing there's a finisher's shirt (just your basic T-shirt) and a couple of bottles of Yakult (I was given 2 but I think  others got 1 and 3).  There was a Skechers booth and a water station, that's it.  Oh and hydration stops serve water, and there were a few sponges available.

The Yakult run was really as basic as it gets.  Route was good as it was in the long stretch of Roxas Boulevard - wide road and with just a couple of U-turns on both ends.  I prefer that instead of the inside roads with frequent turns of BGC.

Going back to this being my first race this 2013 - I was given by my good friend from Devant John a 10k race-kit for the Run United 1 last Thursday.  And this Yakult run registration was made on the day I was given a free race.  So I have 2 races that will happen on the same day!  

Since I paid for the Yakult run and it was a 16k race, I took this and gave the Run United 1 race kit to one of our Graphic Artists in the office - that I learned didn't run the race as it was "too early".  He was expecting it to be around 7am (which is a little hot to start running as its summer already)

The Run United 1 was originally scheduled a little late this month (March 24, I think), and I don't understand why it was moved along with the Yakult run.  It only made a competition between running events.  Yakult's turn-out was very small.  Considering Run United series' all out hype, plus pre and post race activities.  No contest.

Anyway, I'm glad that I still got to run on the weekend.  I'm really not the kind of runner who races for the medals, beautifl singlets, concerts or post-activities like games, photo booths and stuff.  I wake up early, run and go home afterwards (I don't like staying in the morning as I get migraine when it gets bright and hot.

Race bits:

  1. Got to the event early 30 minutes before it starts
  2. Warm-up and gun-start on time at 5:30am
  3. Took my time at an average of 6 minutes per kilometer (I was aiming to sustain the whole 16k at this time, I didn't know if I can do it faster so I didn't gamble) Breakdown as follows:
    • 1km - 5:57
    • 2km - 5:45
    • 3km - 5:50
    • 4km - 5:58
    • 5km - 5:39 (29:09 - could've been better, but didn't gamble on bonking later)
    • 6km - 5:53
    • 7km - 6:00
    • 8km - 5:57
    • 9km - 6:05
    • 10km - 5:53 (58:57 - best time for 10k so far)
    • 11km - 6:05
    • 12km - 6:00
    • 13km - 6:05
    • 14km - 5:52
    • 15km - 6:05
    • 16km - 5:38 (1:34:42 - I should've tried to be this fast on the 14th to 16th marker)
  4. Took water breaks on km 4, 8, 12 and 14 markers.
  5. Took GU on km 8 and 12 markers
  6. Soleus clocked it in at 1:34:52 at 16.02km with an average speed of 10.1km/h or 5:55 pace - better than expected
  7. Official time of 1:35:31(I guess this is gun-time)
  8. Got my Finisher's shirt and 2 bottles of Yakult, had my post-race rituals and went home.
Btw, I got to use the Body Glide that my wife bought me.  Previous 12k practice run I had a couple of chafes in my underarm and nips.  This time there was none.  I'm satisfied with the product.

Also got to use GU Roctane.  Although i'm just used to taking in the regular GU, but my wife bought me the Roctane.  It didn't feel any different from the regular GU.
Near finish - looks fresh for a change

Overall I feel that my preparation for longer distance is paying off.  Afterall, I did manage to run the whole length of the distance at my intended pace, with a few faster time as I felt that I could squeeze.  I did get a blister in my right foot though, and my thighs and calf muscles are a bit sore - usual pains after a run.

So what's next for me?  I might run a couple of 16k on my weekend long runs until I get the hang of it before doing HM.  But there is a BDO Race for Life Run 2013 on April 7 that I'm thinking of joining for 21k.  This is in 2 weeks time, with only one weekend to do a long run.  I'm really excited to do a weekend long run again, and its good that I'm excited.  But 2 weeks with only 1 weekend to prepare?  Excitement might not be enough.

My McMillan Running Calculator says that I can be able to finish HM in 2:06:36.  Although that's my most acceptable conservative time, I'd really love to finish it in 2 hours flat.  For this I need to run at least 5:40/km for the whole stretch.  I don't think I can do that yet.

So the confusion's here:
  1. Should I run 21k for the sake of me to know if I am able to run that distance? (Run now improve later?)
  2. Should I train first to meet the target time of sub-2 hours? (Prepare now, run after?)
Your views may help me decide, but please make it quick. :)

Anyway, there's a deadline for registration, I'll have to check if its still open.  For the mean time, I'll look for another possible race at a later date.  Below's the official time of the Yakult 10-miler run 2013, I'm number 188 from a total of 796 runners:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Guilt-free on missing A run

After 2 days of migraine/nausea, I'm unhappy to announce that I missed my morning run today. :(  Let me stress, just TODAY.

Not surprisingly though, as I said to myself yesterday that I would take an extra recovery to alleviate the throbbing of the veins in my head.  And for the past 2 days (plus today) I have been very sleepy on the afternoon, so the extra hour I spent running could help (but it didn't!).  And I said that I'd just do a simulated 10-miler race this weekend so the extra day would seem like a taper. 

But now I feel guilty that I didn't run.  I feel that the missed run could've given me a little improvement on my training. Its true what they say that its hard to accept that there is a need to do recovery sessions.  

Good thing I came across this article from Runners' Connect once so I get  to be reminded about it (although the article is about coming off from a bad work-out as a sign that you need to back-off):

... the legendary coach Alberto Salazar sums it up perfectly:

"You've got to have the mental toughness and confidence in yourself where you believe that you can take those days off and you can recover and you can run great. A lot of what we see in athletes that just train all the time and never give themselves adequate recovery is often portrayed as toughness. What I've realized over the years is it really is a weakness. It's an insecurity that you're not good enough to recover like other athletes: I'm not good enough to do that; I need to keep training; I can't take time off; I can't take easy days."

Good thing I'm not an athlete; or do I look like one?  --->

Thanks coach Alberto for saying that!  Its good to know that we're just human and our bodies need to recover every once in a while.  And to give us something to justify missing a run, haha!

Moving forward, I've enough rest, fed on almonds, hydrated, and plotted the 10-mile course for the weekend, Let's do it!  But for now, I"m enjoying my coffee :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

What keeps you going?

Since yesterday until now, I have this migraine/nausea thingy happening, and I really don't feel good today.  Its been a long time since I had this; I was thinking that running made my migraine go away.  But I do have it again, and it didn't go away with sleep.  So I'll force myself to handle this with meds the rest of the day.

But I'm not complaining, not after I read a post by The Boring Runner about Iram Leon who finished first the Gusher Marathon at 3:07:35.  Oh and he won pushing his 6-year old daughter in a stroller and he has brain cancer.  

There's a lot to love in this pic!
These words touched me - "This is supposed to eat away at my memory in the end," Iram Leon said of the cancer in his left temporal lobe. "But I hope this memory is one of the last things to go and one she never loses."   

He pushed the stroller with his daughter to the end and won first - even with the weight and the resistance - it didn't stop him as her daughter in the stroller was what was keeping him going.  You the man Iram!

We are on the same boat with our love for our daughters. Same with The Runner Dad, I run to be healthy so I can live fully to be with my daughter and family.  Although I am not living in the most healthy way ( I still smoke a little), I am conscious that I have to be active to stay fit.

I admire Iram, and I wish him the best days to share with his daughter.  I hope there could be something that can be done for his cancer too.  I agree with Adam that there's no other person who can tell his story other than himself.  Read it here.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

My first 12k after a year of running

Yesssss-terday was my first time to run more than 10km; I did my first 12k!  

The route

My usual C4 to C3 route will not suffice for the distance (I get bored if I go around that 4km block twice) so I had to extend it further to a more unfriendly route (dogs in packs roaming around, plus rocky pavement that will shoot rocks if cars’ wheels roll on it).  In passing these treacherous grounds I stay alert and always try to find a way to higher grounds should the dogs find my legs yummy, haha!

The gear

I was wearing my usual race attire – shorts, NB shoes, socks, singlet 500mL water,  GU and all.  What bothered me is the chafing that I felt sometime around km9.  Usually I just feel it in my armpits, but now its even in my nips.  I can still feel it even this morning’s shower!  I just ordered Bodyglide at Toby’s online, hopefully they’ll do a good job and be able to send it.

The mindset

I said it in a previous post that I’ll be targeting 12k this weekend.  So that was the goal.  I didn’t put any thoughts on how long I’ll run it.  It really was just a long run as part of my training.

The afterthoughts

1.       I didn’t know if I can make it to 12k so I had to control my first few kms.
2.       The new route after the 5k makes me slower than the usual, and I have to be conscious on my pace so I can keep up.  On an actual race, this will not be a factor as the route is controlled; so I can concentrate on running.
3.       By km8, the idea of doubling it to run a 16k made me tired; even if I ate GU at this point
4.       Was tempted to stop and call it a day as I passed by my start/end line at km 10.xx 
5.       Was extremely happy when I finished 12k but a little unhappy because of the pains from chafing!

I think what was tough was the point where my mind was gearing toward not being able to go farther than my usual distance.  Two things probably; (1) after running for a year, I have been limited to running 5ks and 10ks so that’s my most comfortable distance.  And (2) is that there’s nothing much to see in the road.  Running in a race makes running an enjoyable activity. Perhaps that will help should I decide to race in a longer distance.

I signed up the form for the Yakult 10-miler this Sunday.  Hopefully if there’s still a slot, I think coming from an 8-mile run this weekend I can manage to do the remaining 2 at still my own pace.  After all, I managed to hit 6:08/km pace in my practice run.  I’m sure adrenalin and will power will contribute on actual race day- Hopefully. J

Monday, March 4, 2013

On may way to 21k

Recent developments in my mileage and running efficiency makes me all tingly inside.  It seems that my 21k dream will soon come to a reality!  I've been running quite fine these past few days, with a double 10k on a weekends plus a good 5k interval run this morning that gave me a sub-5 on a couple of 500m sessions.

Moving forward for the remaining weekdays I plan to run at least 10k more, plus another 12k on a weekend.

As discussed in the previous post, I plan to do 80k to 85k this month.  This does not include yet my plan to run Yakult 10-miler run this March 17 as a tune-up race (My last race was the New Balance run last November 2012!).  If only my in-law can proceed with my registration then it would be great!

If I can make it this March without any injuries and/or sickness then maybe I can go on with my dream HM.  So far I've been having this cold but I think its more from an allergy so I'm good.  Let's see this weekend if I can pull-off the 12k - this will be my longest run ever if I do manage this.  Woohooo! Exciting!