Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Report Card - First Half 2009

Time just fly! It is now JULY and we have completed half of the year 2009. With not so much awareness it will soon be BER months and followed by Christmas time. To translate the 1st 6 months of 2009 in my running/walking logged distances, I have the following REPORT CARD to submit for the data and races that I have competed for the year 2009.

From 27Apr07 to 30Jun09 or for a period of 2years 2months 3days I have logged a total distance of 6,401.18 kilometres. I could have walked my way from Manila to Melbourne Australia which is only 6080 kilometres and I would still have 321 kilometres to spare!

For the 1st half of the year I have entered into eleven (11) competitions consisting of one (1) full marathon, two (2) half-marathon, two (2) events of 15K, four (4) events of 10K and two(2) events trail run of 10K. Of the eleven (11)events that I participated, two (2) of them were overseas which the LA Marathon and the USA Track and Field 15K Masters Walk Event.

During the 1st half of the year, I have undergone my ANGIOPLASTY last January 21, 2009 which more or less made me incapacitated from January 21-31, 2009. I did my fist post-procedure examination last May and will do my 2nd post-procedure this coming August which I hope and pray that the three (3) stents placed in my heart will continue to hold and keep the arteries in my heart open.

For the 2nd half of 2009 I am looking forward to participate more on the local races and I have my eyes set on the Singapore Marathon and The 2nd 12 Hour Walk at Kuala Lumpur. I continuously pray for good health and surrender myself to the will of the Lord Almighty.

PS I hope that the economy picks-up!!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Takbo.Ph - Service With A Heart

One of the most dynamic group that I have encountered in the local running community is ”TAKBO.PH” so much so that when “BOTAK Paa-tibayan takbo 100k” announced their offer for an AID station to be hosted by a running groups or organization, it was an opportunity for my organization REINIER PACIFIC to partner with Takbo.ph to give service to the sport we all adhere and love so much.

From a simple idea which I and Jinoe Gavan have agreed upon, the group collectively poured in their different ideas as to WHO, WHEN and HOW such an Aid Station will be manned and operated during the Botak 100K run. One aspect that has touched my heart in how a simple blog item and later on carried forward at the group’s “forum section” has logged 62 replies and 1152 views. The spirit and heart of volunteerism of the group is but outstanding. Allow me to provide to you here a link on the forum on how things started, how interesting and lively the replies were coming in and eventually how the concept was decided to became a reality;


The AID station for Reinier Pacific / Takbo.ph was designated at the approximately the 80th km area of the route which is located at Marikina River Banks. The 1st batch (Tim and Doc Eric and company)were already at the area even before 5:45am making sure that all logistical requirements have been set up prior to the arrival of the first runner. By 6:45 the tent provided by Botak has been installed and more and more Takbo.ph volunteers have arrived and ready to serve the participants.

In was only on or about 8:00am that the very first runner JESSE ANOP (who eventually won the race) passed by the tent and the group was so eager to give encouragement and logistical help. It was not after a lengthy period of time that the next runner passed by and was followed by another trickle of runners. We all looked with envy and respect to each participants that passed by for by this time they have already covered almost two (2) marathon distance in one running more than any of us can say for ourselves. These guys are of different “breed”.

One thing we all have learned during the process that actual running was much easier that being on a service team for the worst thing you have to deal with is WAITING. However, as the very essence and meaning of the word SERVICE, giving back something to the sport you love is a very gratifying feeling. It is so easy to critique after a race how the handling of the booths and/or water stations was not proper or so on and so forth, but, being on the other side of the fence makes you understand the importance of even how small and unremarkable a task may be.

It was also only today that I saw how beautiful it was to do you running at the Marikina Riverbanks. It has a clean and inviting scene free from any traffic which according to the locals you can easily log a 10k run. I promised myself to try the route one of these days. Check it out for yourself.

At 11:30am with still plenty of time before the last runner was to pass by the Reinier Pacific / Takbo.ph AID Station, I have to beg-off with the group that I have to leave for I have other commitments to fulfil for the day. At 4:45pm I got a text message from Jinoe that the last runner has passed the AID station and that Takbo.ph is signing-off for the day. What can I say, that is efficiency, commitment, love and dedication of the group.

I wish to thank Jinoe Gavan and the whole service team of Takbo.ph who have in their own way been part of this collaboration before, during and after the event. It was a great pleasure on my part to be part this endeavour which is our own simple way of giving back something to the sport of running.

Takbo.ph = Service with a Heart!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My 10 Excuses On A Lazy Day Not To Run

On a lazy day, the most difficult thing to do before a regular run is to convince yourself that you need to run either to pursue your training or just to keep and maintain your selected life style of running.

Listed below are some of good excuses that I have in the past told myself. They may not be logical and may even sound senseless to some of you, but, when you are into running these excuses dumb as they may be have been part of my running life particularly on a lazy day.

10. Today is a Saturday, I need a rest before my scheduled road race on a Sunday.

9. We have a balikbayan house guest or business partner to attend to.

8. It is my wife/son/daughter birthday or we have a family reunion.

7. I have a scheduled early/late meeting in the office.

6. I have to bring/fetch my kid to/from the school today.

5. It is traffic going to the Fort Bonifacio or Ultra, might as well just stay home.

4. My golf buddy/partner called insisting on a round of golf. He feels I have exchanged him to my running buddies.

3. It is RAINING.

2. My blood pressure monitor registered in my OMRON wrist machine at 160/100 while I was dressing up.

1. I dreamed last night I was on a marathon. I was so tired when I woke up!

Seventy five (75%) percent of time that I feel lazy to run, I ignore all reasons and just RUN. After my run I feel so great to have fought the temptation making the run more meaningful. However, twenty five (25%) percent of the time, I am just human and giving in to any of the above reasons has no sham int. Once in a while these excuses have its purpose.

How about yourself?

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Men's Health ATR - A Race of International Standard

First things first! Overall rating for the Men’s Health All Terrain Race held today 21Jun09 at the Sta Elena Estate was “An Outstanding Success, a race organized and conducted to International Standards”. To the Sponsors Men’s Health Magazine, Sta Elena Estate and all other major and minor sponsors, your money’s worth was well spent! To the organizers Finishline.ph , the whole group of Coach Rio Dela Cruz you did it again, better yet, I would say that this is your best of the best. Congratulations to all of you.

(late posting 22Jun09 1200 hrs) - I received a comment on my blog from a certain LET GUIEB that he/she is personally aware that a participant in the race had their car opened and lost some personal belonging. To put matters on the right perspective, I deem it right to add this late posting in my blog and call the attention of FINISHLINE to investigate the matter and come up with a report and possible corrective measures to satisfy the needs of the running community)

From Parking arrangement, security, race starting line chute, water stations, support of Sta Elena Estate, photovendo staff, booths and the numerous marshals in the field it was a perfect set up. The route was challenging to beginners with a lot of twist and turns. The course track is more like a “Snake Trail Run” as could be seen on my Earth Google Map from my Garmin 405. This is one race that even though it was a trail run, it was next to impossible that a runner will get lost or be out of track as the trail was cordoned and marshals well positioned on critical points and/or on two way traffic sections.

Great as it was, two points that could further be improved would be (a) sound system – a much louder/bigger sound could be considered in the future to booster a festive atmosphere (b) further improvement of the trail course to include possible creek and muddy areas to lift the bar of course handicap. These two items are not complaints, but, only recommendation to further enhance the race standard. Even as early as now they have already announced the same venue for next year! Take a bow guys!

I have been to Sta Elena on numerous occasions, but, primarily as a golfer wherein Sta Elena is well known to have “fast greens” and “professional greens keeper for maintenance” so much so that their services has been used by various golf course s in the country. The trail route lives to the same level of standards that Sta Elena is known. A segment of the trail run was running alongside the fairway which was great. This is one time I can say that “I was out of bounce but well within the trail running rules with no penalty to take” great view of the fairway from a lost ball perspective on the out of bounced area!

I completed the 10K trail run in 01h20m54s nothing spectacular, but, it was a race worth the money and effort to travel. The crowd was great and seeing familiar faces was an assurance of being at home. My only regrets was that today was Father’s Day” so I have to leave as soon as possible and be with the family. To all the fathers that run today, that was our gift to ourselves a relaxing early morning run, no need to do the household chores today! That’s only today mind you.

Let us get spoiled for the day. Happy Father’s Day!

Friday, June 19, 2009

You Know You're A "RUNNER" When........

Something for you guys to think about .....

  1. you have more SINGLETS than a souvenir shop.

  2. you wear your running shorts underneath your work clothes so that you can quickly get running after work.

  3. you not only know how you did in a race, but you know exactly how every other runner finished.

  4. you install hooks in your shower for wet running clothes.

  5. you know SPLITS are something that not only cheerleaders care about.

  6. you won't drive by any running store without a quick look inside.

  7. you are not embarrassed to show someone where your hamstring "really" hurts.

  8. you can use ENDORPHINS in a sentence.

  9. you get up earlier to run on the weekends than you do for school/work.

  10. you spend at least 25% of your income on running stuff.

Now, can you see yourself to any and/or all of the above?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Starting Out Fast - "Pace Yourself"

On my last blogged regarding my experience at the 3rd ALL TERRA KOM which was my very first trail run, I mentioned of having committed the mistake in breaking the cardinal rule of “starting out to fast” which I paid dearly on the latter part of the race particularly on the stiff mountain climbs which made me literally walk if not crawl.

While going through my old mails, I come across today to an article titled “PACE YOURSELF” by Jeff Galloway published on 06/29/2007 at the RUNNER’S WORLD. I am reprinting the said article which I find very informative. Hopefully by sharing it in my blog it wil find its way to benefit others who might have encountered the same mistakes that I have made.


The best place to work on your intuitive pace clock is the track.
By Jeff Galloway

PUBLISHED 06/29/2007

How many times have you heard runners say after a race, "I went out too fast"? I've heard it a lot--because it happens a lot. I'd be willing to bet it's the most common mistake made in racing.

But you don't have to make it. If you train properly, you'll soon know which race pace is right for you. And your improved sense of pace will carry over from your races to your regular training runs.

With pacing practice, you can also learn to run the second half of your races faster than the first. This is called running "negative splits." Most of the marathoners I've worked with over the years have run their personal bests with negative splits.

Why run an even or negative-split pace? For several reasons. One, it gives your muscles and tendons time to warm up and stretch out. Once this happens, you can maintain the same pace with less effort or increase the pace without expending more effort.

A second big reason not to be overeager at the beginning: A fast start increases your body temperature more quickly, which speeds up your sweat rate, thereby depriving you of much needed body fluids. As research has shown, even mild dehydration will significantly hamper your performance.

Lastly, an overambitious start will make you pay in the end. What could (and should) have been an enjoyable run ends up as drudgery. Thus, the all-too-frequent finisher's lament: "I went out too fast."

Perfecting your pace
I believe each of us has our own intuitive pace clock. But to keep it "running on time," you need to do some regular pacing drills. The best place to do this is on a track or on an accurately measured trail or road.

Before your pacing session, jog easily for a mile or so. Then do a series of 400-meter repeats at your current race pace. Which race, you ask? That's up to you. If you do mostly 5-Ks, use 5-K pace. If you do 10-Ks, pick 10-K pace. Do three or four repeats the first time out, with an easy 400-meter walk or jog between them. Do this pacing session once a week, each time increasing your repeats by one until you reach 10 per session. Now, here's the key to each session. On your first two 400s, check your watch at 200 meters to see that you're on the right pace. Thereafter, don't look at the watch until you're at the end of the 400. Simply try your best to stay within 2 seconds of your target time. Doing this without the watch forces you to rely on your internal clock. This once-a-week pacing session will do more than teach you pace. The up-tempo nature of it will make you a stronger and more efficient runner. You'll learn to run with your chest and head up, eyes looking forward, arms pumping and feet stepping lightly. You'll also learn how to conserve energy reserves while running--how to use them sparingly and efficiently.

Periodic upkeep
Once you work up to 10 400s during a single pacing session, you'll have a much better sense of race pace. At this point, it's possible to maintain your pace judgment by doing just a few 400s once or twice a week. (Of course, many of you may want to continue doing more, which is fine.)
Before beginning your pace-maintenance workout, warm up with an easy mile or two. Then do a few 100-meter accelerations (also called strides or gliders) at 80 percent of maximum speed. Now you're ready for the 400s. Three or four will do, with an easy 400-meter jog after each. Again, don't look at your watch until after you complete each hard 400. Going negative

Running an even pace is definitely the way to go. But running negative splits often works even better. You can make this happen by going out slightly slower than race pace for the first, say, 20 to 50 percent of the race.

Let me give you two concrete examples of how this works--one for the 5-K and one for the marathon. If you're figuring to run your 5-K at 8-minute-mile pace, try to go through the first mile in around 8:10 (i.e., slightly slower than race pace). For mile 2, aim squarely at 8 minutes per mile. For the last mile-plus (especially the last half-mile), go hard. Now for the marathon. Let's say you're planning on 10-minute miles for the race. For the first 3 to 5 miles, go a little slower than this--maybe 15 seconds per mile slower. This will give you plenty of time to get into the groove of this long race. Between miles 5 and 20, cruise at your goal pace of 10-minute miles. For the last 6 miles, pick up the pace and finish strong.

Making adjustments
A quick word on hilly courses and windy days. You need to adjust your pace accordingly for both of these conditions. The key is to maintain the same level of effort throughout the race. If you do this, you'll naturally be going slower than goal pace on the uphills (or into the wind) and faster than goal pace on the downhills (with the wind). Note: To help you gauge effort on the uphills, use your breathing as a guide. If you're huffing and puffing, slow down until breathing normalizes.

The big picture
As I mentioned, developing a better sense of pace will help you conserve energy while running. But it can do more than that. Your ability to find an even pace can carry over into other parts of your life, enabling you to "pace" yourself through tough weeks at work, stressful personal problems, all sorts of challenges. You can accomplish many things--if you pace yourself correctly.


You're probably going out too fast in races or training runs if . . .

* You notice that you're breathing heavily in the early miles.
* You experience extreme fatigue after reaching a certain training distance--and can't go any farther.
* Your pace slows during the final miles.
* It takes more than three days to recover from a 5-K race.
* Your legs feel tired most of the time.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

3rd All Terra KOM - My First Trail Run

Saturday 13Jun09 was my debut for a trail run. "The 3rd All Terra King Of The Mountain 10K Trail Run" will be something for me to remember as I leave my foot marks on the mountain trails of Timberland at San Mateo Rizal.

Coach Salazar, Christian Dalida, Milbert Mabuab and I left Paragon Plaza in Mandaluyong at exactly 4:00am giving enough time to find our way to Timberland at San Mateo Rizal. True enough not knowing the exact direction to take it took us 1 hour to travel. When we arrived at the venue there were only a handful of participants ahead of us and with enough time to spare, we took the opportunity to grab a bite of the hot pandesal we bought on the way and address our individual call of nature.

As with any other race, it was a nice feeling to see familiar faces and exchange pleasantries as the participants started to arrive. The first observation I made for the day was unlike road races, trail run does not generate as much participants. I do not have the exact number but I would say that there was no more than a hundred assembled before the starting gun was sounded.

0km to 2.0km elevation rise of 410ft in 2.0 km distance – Starting line was 820ft above sea level and for the first 2 km it was a climb from the entry gate of Timberland passing the clubhouse and then at 1.8km entering rough roads until elevation of 1230ft above sea level. I would call this leg as the first phase of the race of which I have broken the cardinal rule of starting too fast. Feeling so eager to make the first climb, I did not notice that I speeded to more than my usual pace. On my post race analysis, coach Salazar attributed this error for causing my early lost of strength in the succeeding climbs of the race. Mea culpa, mea culpa.

2km to 3km descent of 245ft in 1km distance – This is a rapid descent to 985ft elevation which I took advantage to gain speed with precautionary foot brakes to ensure I do not trip myself on the red mud trail. This phase of the race was the easiest. It was also at this segment of the race that I came abreast with ODESSA CORAL (a Bataan 102 finisher and muse of the event!) and got her photo after which she went full throttle and never got a glance of her again.

3.0km to 3.5km elevation rise of 163ft in 0.5km distance to elevation 1148ft. Now the real truth of the matter starts to unveil before my eyes. My heart started pounding heavily and my legs getting the shock of steep run in a short distance. I asked myself “why am I doing this?” It was at this segment of the race that KIM O’CONNELL made her move and passed me looking very strong. I envy you KIM!

3.5km to 4.0km descent of 163ft in 0.5km distance back to elevation 985ft. I wanted to run fast but could not but instead took this part of the race as a recovery phase. In this segment, I regain distance to KIM O’CONNELL and caught her on a stream trying to cross. I and coach Salazar offered to help her cross the streaming feeling like gentlemen that we are. My regret was I was not able to take a photo of this experience. This could have won the picture of the day. After her crossing, it was the last this I saw KIM whom the next time I saw was already at the finish line where we had a photo opportunity together prior to my crossing the finish line.

4.0km to 4.8km elevation rise of 163ft in 0.8km distance back again to 1148ft above sea level. The trail started to become sticky making it much more difficult to climb and position your foot on the right path. Another litany of whys as I try to make my climb.

4.8km to 5.2km descent of 82ft in 0.4km distance. It was in this part of the race that I lost my foot coordination which descending causing me to lose balance and trip down. Luckily I was able to pick up myself without any injury except for a muddy hand and legs. On my post race analysis, my blood sugar was at its lowest at this stage that I was having smoky vision.

5.2km to 6.2km elevation rise of 279ft in 1.0km distance. This is the KILLER PART of the race bringing you to the summit of 1345ft above sea level. I tell you if this was a road race that you could quit and get a ride back, I would have done it at this stage, but, being on a trail, you have no option but continue so that you will be back to civilization. This is when I was no longer running nor I was walking but I would term it more like crawling. This part I asked Coach Salazar to keep on talking and tell me stories so that I would forget matters at hand. This was also in the part of the race that took me 12 minutes to negotiate the 1km distance.

6.2km to 10km descent of 525ft in 3.8km distance. This was the feeling of assurance that I know I could finish the race. Feeling so exhausted I told myself this is the time to enjoy the scenery and skyline of Metro Manila which was beautiful in the morning. Just and enjoy the downhill run.

01h 26m 34sec was my Garmin time for the 10km 3rd All Terra King Of the Mountain Trail Run. Feeling just like a “virgin bride” I felt all the pain but it was in the end a pain for joy and happiness for having completed my first trail run. Just like again as any “virgin bride” if you ask me will I do it again? The answer is a definite “yes”. But, again as any “virgin bride” it will take time and practise before I would really be able to savour and enjoy this act of love making. After sometime, I will be the one to ask for more.... TRAIL RUN is what I am talking about.

Thank you Coach SATURNINO SALAZAR for guiding me to this first time experience. Congratulations to CHRISTIAN DALIDA who made it as no.5 finisher for the men. I feel sorry for MILBERT NABUAB who got lost when he was on 3rd position causing him to lose time and eventually only landing the 14th place. Lessons to be learned for him on how not to get lost on a trail run.

Lastly, I am looking forward for the MEN’S HEALTH ALL TERRAIN RACE at Sta Elena Sta Rosa Laguna on 21Jun09. I will for the mean time stay on the 10km category still feeling sore from this trail run. Maybe, just maybe I will enjoy my 2nd trail run having been already de-virginized.

lastly, I wish to share with you photos taken during the race.