Thursday, March 10, 2011

The GOOD Run

I haven't been training well these past few days and I don't like it. My hands have been really full since after the Condura Run. Birthdays, anniversaries, work, transportation hassles, and a lot more contributed to my lack of time to train. But I think next week would give me more time for training for my next race. Yes, I have a next race right away (April 3) which I did not expect to be registered to. It's called the GOOD Run and it's organized by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists together with RunRio. GOOD stands for Goiter, Obesity, Osteoporosis and Diabetes. The race is made to create more awareness for these diseases. 

The race only has 3K, 5K, and 10K divisions and yes, I am registered at 10K. With only a few weeks ahead before the event, I plan to just pace with my friends whom I conned into registering for the 10K race as well. I didn't really plan to register here but since I work in the medical field and a doctor, who is part of the organizing committee, convinced me to register, I gave in. Besides, it's for a good cause. And I get a singlet this time. :) 

Here's the 10k route this time. It's not gonna be using the Buendia flyover as I expected so this route is quite unfamiliar for me. 

Oh well. Better just keep running. My game plan this time? Maybe use the Galloway method. Run for 4 minutes, and walk for a minute. See you on the road!

Monday, February 7, 2011

I Did It. I Did It With His Help.

I could not believe it. I finished my first 10k race without having to walk. I did it. I achieved my objective. And it's all thanks to God and to a lot of people. 

Since my last post, I was contemplating on what I would do for the last few weeks before the race. I did not do the test run that I was thinking about for fear that I might injure myself, or I might not have enough time to recover. So I just did my usual run and held out on running for the last 7 days heading to race day. By Saturday, I did not feel any bit of soreness on my legs or feet so it's safe to say that I'm completely recovered. But I still felt unprepared. I did not have the right amount of training. I haven't even ran 10 kilometers straight up without stopping or walking. I was scared. And this is what scared me even more.
It's when I found out about the route 2 days before the race that it started to sink in how challenging the race was. I felt stupid not to prepare well. But I won't back down. I've told everybody already. What will I say to the people who will ask about how my race went? That I chickened out at the last moment? Make up a lame excuse about why I wasn't able to race? No way. 
I had a lot of driving to do by Saturday. And I was able to sleep past 12AM. It was horrible. I was exhausted and nervous. I could hardly sleep. I woke up at 2AM thinking I overslept went back to sleep again and got up at 3:15AM when my alarm went off. I bathed quickly, got ready and left. I had to drive 45Km to the race location, which is why I left early. I was there by 4:30 and started eating my sports beans for a pre-race meal. I parked my car near the finish line and took a cab to the starting line. I was quite sleepy but the realization that I'm about to race woke me up. I pinned my bib during the ride. I realized that there were a lot of 10k runners. And I really mean a lot. We were squeezed into clusters. Everybody's getting ready. Warming up. Stretching. I, on the other hand, just pissed at the portalet, found a spot at my cluster, sat on the curb, attached the D-tag to my right shoe, and waited 'til gun start. I started to pray. I knew I couldn't do this on my own so I asked God to pace with me up to the end of the race. All I wanted was the energy to keep running up to the end. That's all. I can only run for 5 kilometers straight during my training. I lifted up the remaining 5 kilometers of the race to God as He's the only one who could help me at this point. 
I didn't stretch because I realized during my training that I'm stronger and more efficient if I didn't stretch before a run. I didn't warm up as well because my objective was just to finish the race. I'm not aiming for any personal record so might as well just use the first kilometer of the race to warm up. 
Right before gun start, we were all clustered together and that's how I realized how many the 10k runners really were. There were wave starts and I was part of wave G. The gun sounded off at exactly 5:30AM. The first wave went off. The next wave after 2 minutes. When our cluster reached the start line, I started running just to warm up my legs. Everybody was ecstatic. Cheering and clapping. I noticed also some who brought point-and-shoot cameras in the run. Obviously, they're fun-runners. They took pictures at almost every marker they could stop at and pose. After the first kilometer, some were already walking. This dissipated my noob fear that I might finish last. I ruled that out and I started to loosen up. 

By the time we reached the skyway ramp, some walked while some sped up. A lot of people were still horsing around. I just maintained my pace. Right on top was the first hydration stop. I didn't need to drink. I could still go. I kept running until I reached the next hydration stop. I took a cup of 100Plus and took two sips. I dropped the rest and made the U-turn. After the turn, somebody from the other side called on my name and cheered me on. It was The Curious Runner herself. I waved to her since I didn't have much time to say something. It's great to see some people you know and cheer you on. I also feared that she might outrun me. But I just kept running. 

We reached the end of the Skyway and I sped up at the off-ramp downhill. It's my only chance of speeding up without having to exert more energy. When we turned right at Buendia, there was a banana stop. I didn't get one. I just kept on going, knowing that Buendia is quite a long stretch with another uphill at the end. By the next hydration stop, I took a cup of water since there were no more energy drinks. I took two sips again and threw the rest on the ground. Then I reached the 5 kilometer marker. I said the same prayer I kept saying since the start of the race, "Lord, help me finish this race. I can't do this without you." 

By the 7-kilometer marker, my left ankle was aching. My left hamstring was also getting tighter. I kept running and saying my prayer. I took a cup of Plus100 at the stop, then I saw the flyover. That uphill that, I knew days before, would punish me. I kept my pace at the uphill and at this point, a lot were already walking. I felt my heart raise rise up but I kept on going. By the time I reached the top of the flyover, I felt empty. But something just kept me going. I knew it was Him. He's there. He was running with me. 

We landed at Bonifacio Global City and marshals were cheering us on. The 9-kilometer marker presented itself and I was amazed at how I even reached that point without stopping. We turned right and saw the finish line. A lot of cheerers were on the side. There was even a drum band playing. I had goosebumps. I sped up a bit with the little energy I had left and crossed the finish line. I thanked Him. It was a great feeling having achieved my objective. I couldn't have done it without Him. 
Phillippians 4:13 says, "I can do anything through Him who strengthens me." And it's true. I finished my first 10k race with barely 4 hours of sleep and a lack of training. Of course, it won't be the same on my next race. I'll continue to train and harder this time until I can run 10 kilometers in 45 minutes. Discipline is still key in achieving this and as always, with the help of God, it's doable. 

Runners painting dolphins on the wall after the race. I painted one and put my name on it. I also signed a petition form to stop dolphin shows in order to protect them. Looks like I won't be watching any dolphin shows  in the future. Besides, it's better if you watch them on their real habitat.
Thank you again, Father God, for helping me out. Thanks also to Runners Speak for giving me the free 10k slot as consolation prize. You're awesome. Thanks to Ice Rodriguez who talked me into taking the 10k race instead of the 5k race. Ice ran a full marathon with ITBS. Both his calves cramped at 32k. He was considered to be pulled out of the race because of his condition, but he got off the stretcher and walked to the finish line. Kudos to Ice for the determination. God sustained Him. Thanks also to my former pace partners, Dax and Dale. We used to run at the Meralco compound twice a week after work. Hope to see you guys in future races. Thanks also to my wife for continually encouraging me. The medal is for you. 
I know. Give me a break. It's my first race. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


My first race is fast approaching and I must say I'm excited despite my lack of preparation. I can easily run 5k nowadays but I still don't know how I will fair on a 10k route. But I've been meaning to run 10k as part of my training and see how I'll do so I know what to expect. The thing is it's only less than two weeks before my race and I might risk injuring myself if I don't do things right. Or even if I do make it in my own 10k route, I don't know if a week is enough for me to recover for the real race. Whether I'm gonna do the simulation or not, I still don't know. But anyway, I just wanna show you guys my planned route.
If you're familiar with the area, you can imagine what obstacles I might encounter in this route. The first kilometer will be a bit downhill that ends in a steep uphill. This is good because it kind of simulates the ramp at the Skyway. Then the third to fourth kilometer will have busy areas where I might need to dodge people loitering around. I might also encounter some hecklers who are not used to seeing runners around their area. Maybe I'll speed up my pace around that area to get it out of the way quickly. Then I have rolling hills along the fifth and sixth kilometer. Still, kind of like how the Skyway is. Then the rest of the route will give me just little unnoticeable elevations but a bit of a busy area again along the 7th kilometer. 

Running at night is NOT an option as I may end up with my shoes and phone missing or with something sharp stuck on my side or on my back. I think it's best to take this route at daybreak where there is less people and vehicles, except maybe at the busy areas where the markets are. But it's a good route considering the elevations and terrain. 

I still don't know if I'm seriously gonna consider running this route. If not before the race, maybe some time after the race when I'm fully recovered. I'm still building my stamina base up to now and I honestly still don't know whether I can survive the 10k race at the Condura Run on February 6. My real objective in that race is simply to just finish the race without walking or stopping. I don't care how long I'm gonna finish the race. Finishing the race is all I care about. That finisher's medal is gonna mean a lot to me once I cross that finish line. I pray that the Lord will provide me with enough energy and protection from injuries on race day. 

If you're running the Condura Run too, then we'll just see each other there. Hopefully have still have the breath to cheer each other on. Next post will be post-race insights. :) 

Friday, December 17, 2010

First Challenge

It's been a while since my last post. It's been really busy lately and it's only now that I had time to write again. The good news is, I have my first race up ahead. It's on Feb 6, 2011 and it's called the Condura Run 2011. 

It's the only race in the Philippines that uses the Skyway once a year. Plus, you're running for the dolphins. How cool is that? I love dolphin,s although I haven't encountered one up close. But I love running more. Anyway, the good people of RunnerSpeak are gonna register me as consolation for the prize I wasn't able to claim. I find them so awesome for hooking me up. Thanks RunnerSpeak if you're reading this. 

The thing is I was supposed to be racing at 5k but a good friend of mine, Ice, talked me into taking 10k instead. And so I did ask to be registered at 10k. I've been running only once or twice a week for the past few weeks because of time constraints and major exhaustion. But starting this week, I will be able to train seriously for my first race. This is serious because I'm just new to running and I'll be pushing myself to run 10k. But hey, I'm running to push myself further right? So it'll all be fine just as long as I train well. Lord help me. 

I'll be posting more on my training soon. I gotta lose some weight as well so I'll be lighter come February. Keep running, guys!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

My New Pace Partners

I couldn't run in the morning last Tuesday so I decided to run in the evening. I asked two of my buddies at work if they wanted to run after work. They confirmed, then I told them to invite others. The truth was, I invited only the two of them because I believe I could easily pace with them with the little amount of endurance I have built for weeks. Some of my work buddies are real runners, like Ice who I just featured weeks ago. They would literally feed me the dust off their shoes if I paced with them. Good thing is that they run in the morning. 

By night time, there were just four of us who were gonna run. Dax, one of my buddies who confirmed, brought a female friend who wants to run too, named Choy. The other one was my best bud at work, Dale. Dax is pretty much fit, unlike me. He's got a regular fitness regimen, enrolled in one of the nearby gyms at his place, and plays basketball a lot. There's no wonder he's gonna leave me behind, but that's the good thing about it. The more I run with this guy, the more my body will try to adapt to the amount of work needed. Dale, on the other hand, is a huge guy. He's more than 6 feet tall, weighs more than 200lbs, and goes to the same gym as Dax. Now what got me is that Dale, with all that extra weight, can run more than I could. That just goes to show how unfit I've really been. It's disappointing, yet challenging. I know I'm gonna outrun them both someday, but not anytime soon. 

After the run, I asked them to run again on Thursday and they confirmed. We invited other people, a lot of people confirmed, but the same people showed up Thursday night. It's okay though, but I haven't recovered well by Thursday due to lack of sleep. Dale, having recovered from the last run, well, outran me. But that's all okay. It's part of training. 

By the way, this is where we run:
Now don't be fooled by the short distance. The route has wicked elevations. Just two rounds of running this route and we're usually zapped of all energy. I have the whole long weekend to recover. Probably an LSD run on Sunday morning and that's it. My left ankle still hurts right now aside from my stubborn shin splints. Hope to be fully recovered by Tuesday night because we'll be running again, hopefully with more people to join us. 

Keep running, guys! 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Building Base Stamina

This morning was the first time I actually timed my run. According to the clock on my cellphone and a little mental calculation, I can only continuously run for about 34 minutes. Here's what I covered during my run this morning.

I covered barely 4 kilometers in 34 minutes and pretty much ran-walked the remaining distance. What's good is that I felt better this morning when I was running compared to my previous runs. I felt stronger. It felt great and I'm gonna be doing this every Sunday morning. I'm just gonna do short runs and speed works during weekdays since time is a luxury for me on days I have to work.

Here are a few observations I made during my run:
1. I need to rehydrate every 25 minutes of running. When I reached the 30th minute of my run, my throat was as dry as the road and I felt that my knees weren't moving as fluidly as the 15th minute. So I guess I need to bring hydration next week.
2. My shins are stronger. Shin splints don't bother me as much anymore. Thanks to the exercise I discovered at, which was designed to prevent or lessen shin splints. 
3. I've definitely improved and I plan to continue improving. 

For now, I plan to condition my body to run continuously for an hour. Then I'll incorporate more speed training in my workouts while continually building my stamina. I might join a 5k race soon. Runner Speak promised me a free registration on one of the races here in Metro Manila. That's gonna be awesome! Keep running, guys! 

Monday, November 8, 2010

Takbuhing Guy features a Takbuhing Mamaw: Vincent "Ice" Rodriguez

For those who don't know what a "Mamaw" is, it's a colloquial term we Filipino runners use for people who have monstrous abilities in sports. It literally means 'monster', hence the term. Anyway, this mamaw is responsible for inspiring me into taking running seriously. He's a father of three, a Christian, and a seriously improving runner. He's joined several races already and is continuously training and joining prominent races here in the country. Here are 21 random questions I had him answer:
Century Tuna Superbods Run 2010
1. How and when did you start running?
I started running 2 years ago but put my heart on it this year only, a friend of mine who is into the sport encouraged me to join him and been running with him since then.2. How often do you run in a week?
Two to three times a week short runs at least 10k and once a week long run 15-21k 
3. How do you balance running and other aspects of your life?
If there are other important things that i need to attend to like my family,i cancel my schedule in running.I make it a point that theres no conflict with my schedule in running with family and work 
4. Favorite training exercise?
LSD 30-35k at least a month
5. Best race by far?
Auto Review Run 10k-56:45
6. Worst race?
Running as a bandit, i did a run the night before a race event and i did bad on the day of the event, never mind the time.. 
7. What's your favorite distance? PB in that distance?
Conditioning myself for a 21k race
8. What shoes do you use?
 I'm using Mizuno but dreaming of using an Asics
9. Favorite Singlet?
Adidas KOTR singlet
10. Who's your Personal Hero?
 A friend of mine who did 102k this year and will join in 151k in Bataan Death March
11. What's your ultimate goal in running?
To do my first ever full marathon injury free
12. Any running related injuries so far? How did you handle it?
 Dead toe and blisters-used tape, arm and leg sunburns-petroleum jelly and scratches on nipple-band aid 
13. Any memorable running experience?
35k from Sta Rosa Laguna to Tagaytay from 4am-9:30am 
14. Have you ever ran in a place that was so awesome, you would definitely recommend it to other runners?
 I love running out of town and enjoy the beautiful scenery of God's creation ( Tagaytay,Laguna,Clark) 
15. What's on top of your Christmas wishlist?
New pair of running shoes and Garmin watch
16. Do you usually run alone? Or with a group?
I run alone on week days,and with a group during saturdays (long run) 
17. How did you form your group? How often do you guys run together?
A group of friends whom i met in church who had a common interest in running invited me to join the group " Running Freaks and Pace Partners " and been running and training with them for the past 5 months now. We always do LSD on saturdays and scheduled out of town runs 
18. Morning runner or evening runner?
I was a night runner but didnt bring me anywhere in improving because i am really tired at the end of the day so shifted to be a morning runner, fresh and full of energy and a good way to start a day 
19. Favorite running music?
I dont use music when im running, i prefer to hear the natural sound around me 
20. When is your next race?
My next run will be on Unilab Run United where i registered in 32k category

21. Any tips for beginners like me?
Discipline is very important, put your mind into it and your body will follow. Rest,sleep and run..