Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Running in the habagat / thoughts of a treadmill

Recent tropical storm “Maring” plus the habagat (Southwest Monsoon) gave way to 5 straight non-working days.  It also didn’t allow us to leave the house.  It was ironic that in those 5 days, there were 2 weekends and 2 holidays, yet there was nothing to be festive or to celebrate.

Also in those 5 days, there was not a single chance to do some running.  Aside from the heavy rains, roads were flooded as well.  Even our compound was flooded.  Just when I was on a roll the previous weekend with 28km consecutive mileage, it really had to end.

However, before the rains I managed to do a quick one last Saturday, just before I did daddy duties - the weekdays prior to that I had zero runs.  And today, I managed to do a quick one, but heavy pouring caught me as I was finishing 5km.  My voice sounds weird and I feel heavy now, I hope this will not go bad.  It was a gamble for me running in between the heavy rains, but the runner in me insisted.

If it does go bad for me, then I think I really should go for the treadmill.  For the 5 days, I was looking and studying my options for the treadmill.  Was initially planning on going for a manual one, due to cost constraints, but reading about it I think I would have to go with the more stable and sturdy electric.  What’s bad is that what suits my running needs would be the mid-range one at 2.0HP (at least 10km/hr speed range).  This would set me back at a minimum around Php20, 000 (USD 500).  Not to mention the space needed for this equipment.

I’m assessing the need right now to get one.  Although I can get it in installment, its just too costly.  I’m weighing it to safety and convenience (as I wouldn’t have to go out in bad weather, or when I just want to go for a quick one) also to get my wife and dad to get on it to get them moving, I think the cost justifies it.

Overall, its about health and the benefits that me and my family would get from it.  My daughter at an early age will more likely to do it as well once she sees everyone in the house is doing it.  As for me, no more missed runs when I get this, just have to get the will to shell out money for it.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The FUN in running - Robinsons Supermarket Buddy Run 2013

The Robinsons Supermarket Fit and Fun Buddy Run finally pushed through last August 10, and it surely made up for the previous cancellation BIG TIME!

The run started on-time with a little bit of drizzle.  Good thing that the sky cleared up enough to give the runners a good view of the road.  Starting point was different from the runs I participated in BGC.  The area though doesn’t have that many parking area near it, but I got to park at the road illegally.

What’s good about it was that the route was different, and a little challenging – steep uphill with slow and steady downhill.  There were intersections where we were stopped to give way to motorists.  This is the first run in BGC that I encountered this.

Rain stopped at mid-race.  Still the weather was cool.  Hydration was flowing with Gatorade and water.  Not a problem with Robinsons Supermarket.  First stations setup was a bit late perhaps, as runners had to queue for it.  But subsequent stations were fine.

So how did I do?  Well first, it’s a buddy run, so my running buddy, Justin was with me all the way.  Its his first race (and he forgot to bring the race bib).  Anyway, it is clear that this run would be a FUN run, so I’m not looking for PR here, and told my buddy that we’ll just “enjoy the view” and the social aspect of running (there were a number of co-employees here).  So we took it at a very comfortable pace.

You can really see the FUN in my face in these pics.

We clocked in at 1:22.  Not bad, actually.  Cramps and blisters attacked my buddy.  I know how blisters feel, and it really takes a lot to run through them, so to pair it with cramps, its really something to stop about.

Post-race, what can I say, true to the previous Robinsons Supermarket run last year, it was a blast!  Loot bag was heavy with REAL usable products.  Hotdogs, ice cream and treats a plenty from sponsors.  Its just too damn FUN to even think of getting a PR in this race.

Oh, the social aspect, friends and colleagues were everywhere.  The weather was conducive enough to spend time chatting and laughing about.  A friend also celebrated her birthday, so she was treated with a birthday banner with matching flowers.

 I guess the Robinsons Supermarket could be the race where I could ease off and enjoy running.  I could do this every year, just for a change.  Anyway the day after this, I still got to run 18k, just to make up for my “competitiveness”.  But that’s a different story.

Of course the ever so supportive Devant (now I got a pic with the stiltwalker)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Men's Health Urbanathlon - challenging, (not for the unprepared)

The running event that left me bed-ridden is here again – the Men’s Health UrbanAthlon 2013 on September 29 at the SM Mall of Asia.  This is a race with a combination of “traditional road race elements with rigorous obstacles”, according to RJ Knight Rider.  Any way we put it, it’s a test of running, strength and endurance.

 Last year, even if it is out-of-way, I dropped by 360 Fitness Ortigas to register.  I really exerted effort to join this event.  At that time, I remember I was thinking that I “used” to be this athletic, so training for it was gonna be easy.  As it is, my body didn’t take it.  I was out for a month.

There are quite a few obstacles for this race:

  1. Runner’s Wall – wall-climb of up to 8-ft wall
  2. The Network – 50-foot net stretched over a bus
  3. Container Van – I think its to climb up over this
  4. Tires – to run on these
  5. The tower – 12-foot rope with a bell on top
  6. Traffic Barricades – I guess this is like steeple?
  7. Monkey bars – this I remember on my elementary days
  8. Scaffolding Maze – I guess to run through these

From the previous strength and conditioning session we had from our running clinic, I think I’m gonna have a hard time on these, most especially the Runner’s Wall and Tower.  I’ve already done 21k race, but I’m not going to do it here along with these obstacles, definitely.

Timeline, I have less than 2 months to prepare for this. I have a bunch of store openings and promos that will eat up my time.  I don’t think simple push-ups and crunches will be enough.  As it is, I just found a different running approach during my long run yesterday.  I think it will make a difference, as I was faster yesterday yet there’s nothing sore today.  While I’m excited for this, I guess I’ll have to pass. Its just too risky for the unprepared.
last year's black singlet looks better, I think.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Out of time? Make time!

Time constraints - I haven’t been able to blog that often lately with marketing works overflowing in prep for the season (only thing I hate the BER months).  Good thing that I am still able to run adequately.  Adequately – because I do reach the 20k+ weekly kilometers to sustain my level, but is not done intelligently.  I do that in two runs – intervals and long runs.  However, even with that meager training plan, I still managed to meet my target time for my first HM.

Yes, I reached it, but I was really beat up, wasted on the last 2 kilometers of the race.  That shouldn’t have happened if I trained accordingly.  That’s the kind of output that I always avoided, remember the free race entry I got for the Skyway run?  I knew that I was not ready for it, so I did not push it.

There is a boom in the running community.  In the recent Milo Marathon, there was a strong 4,000+ registrants for the 21k category, this, considering that there is a cut-off time of 2.5 hours.  Gun time, there was 1,600 who made it to cut-off, the rest of the 2,400+ runners?  I don’t want to drill down on statistics as its past the cut-off, so it doesn’t matter anymore.  My point, it is amazing how everyone just signs up for a half-marathon with a strict cut-off time set in a whim.

I’m don’t have anything against those 2,400+ runners who didn’t make it, I believe that some of them really exerted effort to train for it, but there is close to 50% of the total runners who timed at 2 hours and 40 minutes up to even 4 hours to finish.  I think 10 minutes over the cut-off is a little too far to “see” if you can make it.

Again, I think running for a half-marathon is still way better, than not running at all.  I believe that running is a social thing for some as well; and the notion applies – it is not the destination, but the journey.

I’m just pointing out, that my experience with the Milo Marathon is a very humbling one, and it is there that I saw that many fast runners, doing their best to qualify for the finals.  I believe that the Milo event should be run by runners who invested and sacrificed time better than others.  Of course there’s also the issue of running safe and avoiding injuries.

There are quite some deliberations about wearing finisher’s shirts during trainings, races or even casually.  Others find it as yabang (show-off) and others say that it’s only right to be proud of being a finisher.  My take – whatever rocks your boat, baby!  But if I’ll wear one, I’ll make sure to write my time in it, even invest in a printing service to make it more presentable.  That way, whoever sees it, will have to be faster than that before saying something.  I'm only joking, of course.

My time in the Milo HM is 2:10, doesn’t matter if there’s an extra 500 meters into it, but my place is at 564th place over 3,448 listed in the result.  And I’m proud of my accomplished time, and while I will not brag about it to just about anyone, I will be proud to talk about my 21k race and my journey towards it – all the invested time and sacrifices (and pain) that it took me to have the guts to be there on actual race day.

So if anyone asks me, yes, invest time in training, before signing up whatever distance.  You’re having time constraints?  Then adjust, there will always be a race next time.  And if you can, try to be at par.  It’s a lot more meaningful if you finish in that fashion.