Good Read: So, which type are you?

I chanced upon a good running article at the Philippine Daily Inquirer (also at INQ7.net) yesterday entitled “How to prevent injuries among runners” by Mitch Felipe.

It was perfect timing considering I am ‘quite’ injured at the moment. Quite because it is, fortunately, a minor injury. I have been sidelined for 3 days now due to a ‘left quadricep strain.’ I’m guessing I got this by running too fast on the downhill run at the finish at McKinley Hill. A sudden increase in the intensity from biking might have contributed as well. My orthopedic doctor said that regular warm compress and stretching would do the trick. Since the pain is bearable, no medication is needed. In a way, I am relieved. At least, it is not a major injury and when I resume running next week, I still have 3 weeks to prepare for the Condura Run.

However, the article best describes how I feel right now about not being to run. It seems that I am having that so-called ‘withdrawal symptoms after 24 to 36 hours without running.’ From the symptoms described in the article, ‘guilt’ is what I am feeling the most. Guilt from not being able to continue to practice, in effect missing the Nike clinic sessions this week. Guilt from being inactive from running for 1 week.

Level of Running Involvement. The article described the 4 levels of running involvement and made me ponder which type I belong to. Apparently, recognizing one’s level of commitment greatly helps in setting realistic goals. Based from the criteria I think I belong to type 2 — running 25K a week, intervals once a week, attend races at least twice a month, I log my runs (Daily Mile & Nike+ page), fewer than 50% of friends are runners. So far, I think I am training within the type 2 criteria. It is what I can do at the moment.

I am glad I came across this article. It gives a good perspective in terms of the psychology that comes into running. It is a subtle way of saying — ‘don’t worry what you’re feeling is normal.’

At the end of the day, my good doctor said it best — ‘since you want to run for a long time, you also have to think long-term.’ And here I am following his advise…albeit with a heavy heart (sob!).

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March Run Madness

Lace up those running shoes and get ready…It’s the March Run Madness!

This March runners are treated with 5 Sundays of running events. Plus, there are a lot of runs to choose from with some Sundays having 2 scheduled run events. Undoubtedly, the Condura Run for The Wahle Sharks is the most anticipated run event of the month. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s plan ahead…sign up…practice and, of course, RUN!

Here are the run events for the month of March:

Botak Paa-Bilisan Road Race Series (5K/10K) | NBC Tent, Fort Bonifacio | Mar. 1, Sunday

  • Registration is on-going
  • Reg. Fee: Php 300 (after Feb. 14); Php 350 (race week) — Includes Singlet
  • Register at: Botak Store — Kamuning QC (near Kamuning MRT station)
  • Website: www.botakphilippines.com.ph

2nd Doc Fit Run (5K/10K) | UP Diliman | Mar. 1, Sunday

  • Registration is on-going
  • Reg. Fee: Php 200 — Singlet will be given after the race
  • Register at: Nike BHS or at Philippine Heart Association
  • Event is limited to 800 participants
  • Website: www.RunRio.com

Takbo Para Sa Kalikasan Yr. 10 (3K/5K/10K) | Quirino Grandstand | Mar. 8, Sunday

  • Registration is on-going
  • Reg. Fee: Php 150 — Includes Singlet
  • Register at: Vasquez Madrigal Bldg., Annapolis St. Greenhills (near Promenade) or at DZMM Aksyon Center, Eugenio Lopez Drive
  • Registration time: 9:00am to 5:00pm
  • For the benefit of the continued rehabilitation of the La Mesa watershed

Botak sa Panagbenga (3K/5K) | Burnham Park Athletic Bowl | Mar. 8, Sunday

  • Reg. Fee: Php 250 — Includes Botak Sports shirt
  • Register at: Botak secretariat, SportsConnection HQ Japa Bldg. 2256 Chino Roces Ave., Makati City (Tel: 7031720) or at Baguio office (look for Jogin Tamayo: 09185990817/09063213832)

Women Rule (5K/10K/15K) | Manila Bay Side, SM MOA | Mar. 15, Sunday

  • Registration is on-going
  • Reg. Fee: 300 — Includes singlet with Velcro seal back pocket and Beverage loader
  • Register at: Unit S207 Ash Creek Center Ortigas Center Ortigas Ave., cor Madison St., Greenhills
  • In celebration of the International Women’s Month

Run For Their Lives (3K/10K) | NBC Tent Fort Bonifacio | Mar. 22, Sunday

  • Registration is on-going
  • Reg. Fee: Php150 (3K); Php 250 (10K)
  • Register at: selected Planet Sports and New Balance Stores
  • Commemorative medals will be given to finishers
  • Website: www.extribe.com.ph/main.php?sctn=4&indx=3

The Condura Run for The Whale Sharks (3K/5K/10K/21K) | NBC Tent, Fort Bonifacio | Mar. 22, Sunday

  • Registration is on-going
  • Reg. Fee: Php 300 (3K/5K/10K); Php 500 (21K) — Includes a collectible Condura Run 2009 T-shirt
  • Register at: selected Nike stores or at 51 Annapolis St., Greenhills or at Concepcion Industries Bldg. 208 Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City (beside Zuellig)
  • Website: www.condurarun.com

Pinay In Action Annual All Women’s Run | SM MOA Grounds | Mar. 29, Sunday

2nd Men’s Health 10,000KM Miracle Run (2x5K/10K) | UP Diliman | Mar. 29, Sunday

  • Registration starts Mar. 16, 2009
  • Reg. Fee: Php 350
  • Register at: ROX Bonifacio High Street or at 6F Robinsons Cybergate 3 Pioneer St., Mandaluyong City
  • For the benefit of Tahanang Walang Hagdang’s Gulong sa Pagsulong (MH will donate Php 200 for every finisher)
  • Participants may register as an individual and complete the entire race course or register as a team of 2 (each to run 5 km.). Teams can be same of mixed gender.
  • Website: www.menshealth.com.ph/miraclerun

Please go the websites specified to know more about the run events. You may also go to Takbo.ph to download registration forms and race routes.

Happy Running!

RUNew = McKinley Hill + 2(Heritage Park)

The title pretty much sums up how my run was yesterday. The moment I saw the race route I already knew that I’m in for a tough run — I already knew it would be a ‘Hilly’ run. I had no wishful thinking of setting a PR — running uphills is a weakness of mine. Instead, I ran today to enjoy the gruesome uphills, the rolling downhills and the beautiful scenery.

How My Race Went

I almost thought that I’d be late as I only got to park around 5:35 am as there was a long queue towards the the multi-level parking. As soon as I got out of the car, I ran towards the start-finish area. Fortunately, the race started at 5:45 am, instead of the planned start time of 5:30 am. Come to think of it, the run from the parking lot was a very good warm-up.

It was still dark when the run started. I started slowly as it was quite difficult to weave around the traffic. I was able to increase when I got to Upper McKinley Road. Initially, the roads leading to Accenture were mostly flat and downhill so it was easy to run at a faster pace. But, traversing  the entire Upper McKinley Road leading to the U-turn near the British Embassy was very challenging. My pace fluctuated like the ones you see on ECG readings — 6:20 on uphills, 5:30 on flats and 4:45 on downhills. Then, the long ascend from McDonald’s to the corner of Lawton Ave. was the ‘killer’ of all the uphills as my pace went down to as  much as 7:10.

I took advantage of the flat roads at Lawton Ave. I ran at a sustained pace of 5:30 and felt very comfortable with it (plugging lang: I think the Nike Running Clinic is really helping me). Then, running along Bayani Road was another challenge. Lots of uphills and downhills with the same story — fluctuating pace. It was pretty straightforward and I ran along Bayani Road without any hassle.

Now comes the first of the Heritage Parks. Coming from Bayani Road, runners turned right to enter gate 1 (I think?) of the Heritage Park. I think this is also the first time that Coach Rio included this side of the park as part of the route. Upon entering, you would be greeted by a long stretch of uphill. It was manageable but my pace still dropped as I did not know how many more uphills there will be. True enough, there were some more uphills to tackle. The rest of the way was a combination of uphills, downhills and a few flat roads.

After that, comes the next Heritage Park — the usual route from previous RunRio races. That means more uphills, more uphills and more uphills! The good thing though is that this side of the park has more flat roads and I took advantage of it by increasing my pace. It was around this time as well that the sun was shining brightly and it was very hot. I was beginning to feel tired and felt the need to drink water every 10 minutes. As I passed the 10-km. marker, I found out that I am way off pace for a possible PR with a time of 59m 35s. My estimate was that a time of 55 to 57 minutes would be enough to set a time below 1h 23m.

From then on, I ran most of the way at a sustained pace of 5:30 — and about 6:00 on uphills and 4:30 on downhills. I increased my pace some more after passing the 1-km. mark especially in Lawton Ave. where the road was flat. I finally made it back to McKinley Hill and finished the run with an official time of 1h 24m 48s.

Good Reviews

When runners say that it was a ‘classic Coach Rio’ race then it must be really good. And indeed it was!

  • There were enough marshalls guiding the runners and, at the same time, directing cars to stop or to take another route
  • There were plenty of water stations. At the same time, runners need not to wait as the people manning the stations made sure that the cups are ready and filled with water.
  • The kilometer markers were very helpful. Those markers aid runners in pacing themselves. At the same time, I refer to the markers to check if the reading in my Nike+ Sportsband is accurate and synchronized with the distance covered. Fortunately, there was not much difference after each marker and with the total distance covered. The reading in my Sportsband says 15.01 Km. (There were cases when it was off by as much as 1 km, especially if I compare it with my friend’s Garmin)
  • There were lot of freebies being given away after the race — Hidden Spring water, Rush, Men’s Health Nov. 2008 back-issue (with lots of running articles), loot bags courtesy of Asian Hospital and GC for a free haircut from Gruppo Barbero. I was not able to have my photo taken at the PhotoVendo booth due to the long line. I hope I didn’t miss mentioning any other freebies being given away. Special thanks to all the sponsors who treated us runners to a lot of freebies.
  • While the start time for the 15K runners was delayed for 15 minutes, I think it was necessary. For sure, it benefitted me and the other 15K runners who got tied to the long lines at the parking. But I think it was because there were still a lot of cars along Upper McKinley Road. It would be safer for everybody to have the road be cleared of cars instead of starting at 5:30 and be met with cars traversing along Upper McKinley road.
  • Having said that, I also hope that there would be a better way to get into the multi-level parking. Perhaps, once all the construction around the parking is finished, there would be an alternative route to enter the parking. In a way, it seems that this is the only downside at McKinley. While a lot parking space is available, the road leading to the entrance is limited.

Ending Credits

For me, what makes it a ‘classic Coach Rio’ race is the synergy between the event organizer (Asian Hospital & RunRio), sponsors and local government. The marshalls are stationed at every major turn. The local government knows how to enforce the lanes for runners. And the sp0nsors were equipped to provide the freebies to all runners.

Congratulations to all the runners who participated! Cheers! Happy Running!

(NOTE: You may download the complete race results here)

On to RUNew

Another great running weekend is upon us. Another great fun of running at McKinley Hill. Time to practice more uphill and downhill runs for this weekend’s RUNew.
 
His & Hers
 
I am glad that Suzanne (wifey) is joining me for this run. I’ll be running 15K and she’ll be running 3K. This is her first step in joining more runs in the future and I surely hope that she enjoys her run at McKinley.
 

His & Hers
His & Hers

The 15K Route

Hats off to Coach Rio for giving us a very challenging (and intimidating? Gulp!) 15K route. There are hardly any flat roads in the route. Right off the bat, I can say that a PR is quite impossible. Just the same, I will certainly enjoy the route and beautiful scenery at Heritage Park.

The 3K and 5K routes are no easy picking either. It’s also mostly uphill and downhill. Looks like wifey will also have a challenging start to running.

You may download the 3K/5K/15K high-res routes at RunRio.

RUNew 15K Route

RUNew 15K Route

Registration Still Open

So hurry up and register at Nike Bonifacio High Street. Plus, I just found out that you may pay an additional Php 500 for the breakfast buffet after the run. Unfortunately I was not able to inquire about the menu. You may call Nike BHS (856-2586/87) for more info about the buffet.

Good luck, run safe and Happy Running!

Mixed Emotions at the Power Run

I have mixed emotions after having finished the Power Run. There is some sense of satisfaction for having finished the race (and running more than the 15K distance) and a sense of disappointment on how confusing the race turned out to be.

The Race

I have been looking forward to this run event for 2 reasons. One, it was my first time to run at SM MOA grounds/vicinity. Two, it would have been a good opportunity to set a PR considering the flat roads. My goal was to eclipse the time I had set at the Happy Run; perhaps a 1h. 20 m. was a good target.

The race started on time and the weather cooperated. Fortunately, the sky was still dark when we started at exactly 6:00 am (at least on my watch). The weather also cooperated with the cool morning breeze. Prior to the run, I had thought the 6:00 am start time was a bit late. But not in this case. All throughout the run, we were fortunate to have very good weather with the sun choosing to stay behind the clouds.

Mostly flat roads. True enough, my friend was right when he said that it was a mostly flat race course. Aside from trying to set a PR, it was also a very good opportunity to run at a sustained pace (without having to slow down on uphills). I surprisingly found myself running at a pace of 5:20 to 5:3o (until an unfortunate situation happened). It was my best pace so far this year and credit goes to the Nike running clinic.

Hydration stations. In think there is a sufficient number of hydration stations along the race course. I did hear some complaints that water ran out towards the end but I cannot validate this yet. Somehow, I have learned my lesson from previous runs and I make it a point to bring my hydration belt in cases of water supply running out. I was also able to get a 500 mL Pocari Sweat from the first station (along Macapagal Ave.) that I was able to maximize it up the 8 km. mark. But a complaint that I can validate is the lack of water supply at the finish line (when it clearly says in the race map that there is an H2O station).

I also find it odd that the guy stationed at the ‘Aktivade’ tent was refusing to give out Aktivade drinks to runners when there was still sufficient supply. When I finished the run, I was looking for a water station as I had finished the liquids I brought from my hydration belt. I asked one runner where he got his Aktivade drink and if it was being given for finishers. He said yes and he pointed where I can get it. I went to the tent and asked, ‘Sir, dito po ba kumukuha nung Aktivade?’ The guy said (pointing at the coolers), ‘Ubos na po.’ I looked at the coolers and I did see that there were no more drinks in there. But at the side of the tent, I saw plenty of Aktivade bottles. I asked him again, ‘Sir, kahit yung hindi malamig okay lang.’ Surprisingly he just looked away and did not say anything. And then, a few minutes after, a group runners were also looking for drinks at the tent. They found the bottles at the side of the tent and started to get bottles of Aktivade. The guys stationed at the tent moved quickly and started to transfer the stacks of Aktivade bottles to the package area so that the runners swarming the tent couldn’t get any more bottles. Hmmm, what could be the rationale behind this?!

Series of Unfortunate Events. It all started on our way back to Seaside Blvd. The 15K runners were supposed to turn left at the first turn. But that did not happen. Without any marshall directing runners, most went straight ahead and went through different directions thereafter (more on this confusion in a while). I back got to the right direction and ran comfortably at a sustained pace.

Then another unfortunate thing happened. As I was running along Coral Way (near SMX Convention Center), a runner suddenly stopped in front of me to walk and drink. It caught me off-guard and I had to quickly evade him. I hopped to his left and as soon as my left foot hit the ground, I instantly felt a sting at the side of my left knee. I went t the side of the road and walked a bit to feel if it’s anything serious. After some knee bending and shaking, I didn’t feel anything and started to run again. But about 5 minutes after, I felt my right thigh tighten a bit signalling that I might have cramps. I had no choice but to reduce my pace to about 6:15 to 6:40. It took me about 10 minutes to increase my pace again but the fastest I got was 5:4o (up until the last 1-km. where I ran 5:15).

Then, after finishing the run, my right thigh finally succumbed to cramps. After some stretching, I was able to shake it off. Then as I was walking around, I was starting to feel a bit of pain on my left knee. A few more stretching relieved me of the pain but the pain came back when I got home. Fortunately, when I woke up this morning there was no more pain and I hope it stays that way.

15 + 1.5 K. With the confusion on the race route, I ran a total of 16.5 km. with an unofficial time of 1h 24m 50s (as seen from the timing device at the finish line). A bit disappointed because I missed the chance for an official 15K PR. Then again, I’m also happy to have ran 16K to build up mileage for the ultimate goal of 21K this March.

Where the confusion lies

Confusion Point

Confusion Point

Based from my observation, I think that the confusion centered on the way back to Seaside Blvd., specifically at the first turn. (Please refer to the green shaded circle from the picture above.) When 15K runners (me included) passed by this point, there was no marshall directing us to turn left. All 15K runners went straight (Please refer to the green arrows on how the 15K runners proceeded) and made a U-turn at the end of Seaside Blvd. After the U-turn, some 15K runners made a right turn to Macapagal Ave. Some 15K runners made a right turn towards the specified direction (green shaded area) after a marshall was suddenly stationed there. This explains why some 15K runners ran about 18K, and some about 16K, and some the registered distance of 15K.

I feel bad for the marshall who was suddenly stationed there. A lot of runners were asking him why he wasn’t there earlier. To his credit, he did apologize repeatedly for what happened.

Here’s my take on this episode. Right from the get-go, a race marshall should have been there. A good example is the route around PICC. There were race marshalls there that instructed runners to run another loop or to run back to SM MOA area. Without any marshall there and with 15K runners going straight (instead of turning left), one would certainly follow where the pack is going. Who knows, the route could have suddenly changed? And when in the process of running, runners are certainly dependent on marshalls to guide them in the proper direction.

On a personal note, I also take responsibility for missing the right route. I got hold of the route several days before the race and I was not able to carefully remember the right directions.

Moving Forward

Certainly, a lot of things need to be reviewed in order to have a better and organized race the next time around. Aside from this being my first run at SM MOA, it was also my first to join a race organized by MX Sports. I hope that they can learn from this experience and move forward and organize a better race next month (I think they have another scheduled race next month). While there are some unfortunate things that happened, there are also some good things such as the race starting on time and some good marshalls (some were not very helpful actually).

So, there you have it. An eventful Power Run. Lots more running this year and see you all next weekend at the RUNew. Happy Running!

Power Run Update: 5K/10K/15K Race Route

Just an update on the upcoming Power Run this Sunday, Feb. 15, 2009 at SM Mall of Asia grounds. Here are the race routes for 5K, 10K and 15K (thanks to Takbo.ph).
5K Route

5K Route

10K Route

10K Route

15K Route

15K Route

A few comments:

  • The 2 loops around PICC for the 10K/15K route may be confusing. I hope that there are enough marshalls to guide the runners.
  • I really think that the 6am start time for the 15K is a bit late. Perhaps, 5:30 am or 5:45 am would have been better. Then again, there might be a reasonable explanation for this.  So I hope the weather would cooperate. It’s been quite hot the past couple of mornings.
  • I’m looking forward to this race. It’s my first time to run around the MOA grounds. A friend told me that the route is mostly flat so I’m hoping to improve on my Happy Run time.

Good luck to all runners joining this event. Happy Running!

I’m FacebookeD

 
Aside from running, I have stumbled upon  another [good] vice…Facebook. It has been keeping me busy for several nights now. Busy (read: Addicted) enough for me not to post a blog entry for some days now.

Suzanne (wifey) has been encouraging me to sign-up to Facebook. One night I finally dragged my-lazy-self to the computer and created a Facebook account. True enough, it is a very good social networking site. I find it better than the other social networking sites. I find it easier and more seamless to use. I didn’t even notice that four-and-a-half hours had elapsed. (Wow, it was probably my longest time to be online!).

Here are just some of the things that I like about Facebook:

Easy to look for friends. After I finished with my profile, I was given a list of possible people I know who graduated from the same high school and college. There were more than 200 people listed. Instantly, I was able to ‘Add as friend’ about 100 people — friends I have not seen for the longest time, college friends and officemates. Ans as soon as they confirmed, I was given another list of possible friends that I may also know.

Status update by the second. Another feature that I like about Facebook is that the status can be changed easily. It starts with “Jan is…” and it’s up to you to continue and ‘express yourself’ for everybody to read. Then, your friends can comment on whatever your status is. You can update your status every minute, every hour; even every second. The day I signed up, I wrote in my status: “Jan is Addicted to Running.” After several minutes I received several comments from friends like ‘Wow!’, ‘Marathon man’ and some others.

Jan is...

Status: Jan is...

Become a Fan of. You can be a fan of a lot of things; from your favorite movies, books to your hobbies. Of course, I wouldn’t miss this chace to be a fan of anything related to running. Instantly, I became a fan of Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Runner’s World magazine, Garmin (even if I don’t have one yet) and Takbo.ph.

Fan of Garmin and Runner's World

Fan of Garmin and Runner's World

Join a Group. Aside from being a fan you can also join a group. I immediately joined the group of Takbo.ph and some other running groups.

Fan of Takbo.ph and Joined the group

Fan of Takbo.ph and Joined the group

Promote a Cause. This is one thing that I find very appealing in Facebook. You can join a cause (e.g. charity, advocacy, etc.) and invite your friends to join or donate to that particular cause. It’s a very good way to ‘pay it forward’ so to speak. There are thousands of causes and institutions to choose from For now, I have joined the Gawad Kalinga cause.

Join and/or Donate to your chosen cause

Join, Invite and/or Donate to your chosen cause

My Nike+ Mini. Facebook allows me to add my Nike+ Mini to my page. Perhaps, this is also one of the reasons why I created a Facebook account. I tried to include it here in wordpress, but it’s not allowed. It’s a pretty good way to encourage some of my friends to get into running as well.

My Nike+ Mini in action

My Nike+ Mini in action

In Facebook, I have another tool to spread the running fever. Hopefully, I can encourage some, if not all, of my friends and realtives to go into running.

Happy Running (and a little bit of Facebook-ing)!