Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Alleycat Race Philippine Star Feature

Here are some of the pictures we got in Philippine Star's Lifestyle section last May 18. The feature was about the Alleycat Race.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Taguig Run

We joined another race event last sunday. But this isn't a race event familiar to many runners. Well, almost. Not until after getting to the race venue and we saw too many elites! The race event wasn't as fabulous or as well marketed as the other races held on the same sunday such as the Vertical Run and the Doc Fit at UP. Yes it was not well marketed, but it so happened that the makati elite varsities and runners had a nose for this race. The entry was cheap and they knew they had the shot to win in the events.

I joined my very first and shortest race: The 3K 41 years old and below category. My goal time was at least a sub 12minute 3K. It was the shortest race I've ran and after finishing I wasn't that exhausted compared to my other 10K races (with pretty obvious reason of course). I was surprised I clocked at 9minutes and 10seconds, but there was something wrong with the distance. My watch only registered 2.3KM. So its 700 meter short. And I knew there was something wrong since when I was about to add speed to the pace, the finish line began to pop at my sight. So there wasn't any more time to add momentum to the speed. So indeed, this was my shortest race. Well, the race was'nt that well organized. But what do you expect with such a small budgeted race.

Anyway, I'm happy I had another race event in my record: The 3K...uh I mean 2.3K race at Taguig. :)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

5K Run and First Gym Session

Because of my ankle injury I had to lessen my mileage for this week. The good thing is, I have enrolled myself already to a gym so I could get my strenghtening sessions.

This morning was my first session with a gym instructor. If you enroll yourself at fitness first, then you get 2 free tickets for a one on one session with a gym instructor. Should you wish to avail their multiple sessions package (10 - 25 sessions), there is a fee that you have to pay. I've yet to decide if I'd be availing the multiple sessions package.

Before my appointment with the gym instructor, I did my warm up already. Well, not quite a warm up, but it was a short 5K run around Bonifacio High Street for 21minutes. After my run, I did a few chat with my Fort Striders buddies, signed up for one of this sunday's race and headed to Fitness First.

I met up with a fitness first instructor Bernie who mentored me during my first formal try of their gym equipments. We started by filling up a fitness form and by analyzing my body fat percentage. The average for my age and height should be from 14% - 20%. My body fat percentage was 16.1%, so I guess I'm normal. We did lightweight exercises with 15 reps of 2 sets each. I felt great after the workout and ill definitely be back for another workout.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Enrolled at Fitness First the Fort

We are already approaching rainy season and this is the season where its so tempting to spend your mornings with your bed. The cold breeze of air makes you want to spend just another hour on sleep.

But for a runner, skipping those runs isn't an option. But this poise a problem when its raining. Yes there are some who will, in any cost even in expense of getting a cold would still run outside amidst an uncooperative weather. But for me, I think its too risky and the consequences might by lethal.

So I have 2 options:

1.) Buy a treadmill.

2.) Use a treadmill in a Gym.

The first option is too expensive. Yes I can create all the excuses I can to get me this cool gadget, but I've already spent too much this month. Besides, to spend 40K for a motorized treadmill can be spent for a nice Road Bike (This is also one of my dream machine). So I'm gearing toward buying myself a Road Bike first before a treadmill.

So this leaves me for the second option, which is way cheaper and to my opinion more beneficial. Not only will I be able to run even if its raining, but I can add strengthening exercises to help improve my runs. Another advantage is its walking distance from my work, so I got myself a locker and shower area. This gives me the advantage to run even after work at the fort area.

I've enrolled at Fitness First the Fort. I had my first treadmill session last week, and it feels alot harder for me than running outdoor. This may seem counter intuitive since most sites would say running outside is harder than running indoor. But I guess I'm not used to NOT feeling the breeze of the air and the view of the trees so it felt harder for me. A minute in a treadmill feels like 5minutes for me. Maybe I just need to get used to it.

Nevertheless I now got an option whenver its raining outside.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Itching for a Run

I'm probably in a whithdrawal syndrome right now. For this week there have already been two days without a run.

2 days and no runs and I'm in danger of not being able to run today. It looks like I've injured my right ankle. 2 days ago I was already limping, and today every step feels awefully painful.

So what shall I do? Ahhhh.... I don't know. I just hope and pray my ankle heals soon.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

2nd Champion Run

Last Saturday's Champion run was another race event where I intended to break my previous PR. The goal was to get 40minutes in 10K, or if still too ambitious to achieve, I would be happy for a sub 43minute time.

Getting to the race venue on time was a race against time in itself. I arrived at the Fort Strider's meeting place at the Fort Chowking just in the nick of time. They were about to leave and if I had been seconds late, then I would have to look for a ride going to Marikina all by myself. Finding the race venue was also an adventure for us. We thought that the race event would be held at the place where the Pasig Marathon was held. We had to find our way in getting to the correct venue of the race event. Fortunately, after arriving at the place, there where still plenty of time enough to do my warm up run. I saw the baldrunner doing his warm up as well. While doing my warm up, I overheard from the announcer that the actual course is 11KM. There had been some problems due to the rain the night before and so they couldn't move the bridge to create a 10KM loop. It was an honest mistake and I'm glad that the organizers admitted the mistake before the race started.

Before the start of the race, I was talking to my other pace buddy Reggie, who also ran with me at the Mizuno Infinity run. We were so consumed with our talk that we forgot to have our bibs checked. To make it even worse, the countdown of the race began and we weren't even ready. We couldn't find anyone holding markers that would do the check in. Now we were on panic mode at that point. When the gun sounded, we thought that the 5K runners would run first and there would be enough time before the batch of 10K runners starts running. I was surprised though that even the 10K runners began running when the gun sounded. So now it seems I should be running already. Reggie saw the guy with a red marker just in front of the starting line and we had our bibs checked. We were literally walking at the back of all the runners at that point.

Now comes the hardest part of the race - overtaking the runners in front. We were at the back of the pack of runners and we were literally in a traffic jam. This is due to the fact that the road was too narrow. We were probably running at a 6 to 7min/km at that point. I whispered to myself: "there goes my PR." I was kind of disappointed already, but I told myself that I can still enjoy the race regardless of the outcome. The spirit of running isn't supposed to be just breaking PRs nor winning medals. So to get me right on track I decided to still do my best during the race and treat this as an 11KM new PR for me. Since the event would be my first 11KM race, then whatever the outcome would be a PR. Me and Reggie took advantage of any hole we could see, including the muddy sides of the road. Slowly, we were gaining speed until we reached up a controlled pace of 4:15-4:20min/km. I also stared at the elegant view of the river with so many greens around. It was so beautiful that it made me smile while running. I felt I was doing a trail run, only that I was doing it in concrete. Then it became sunny. It was a spectacular view except that it was getting hot already.

At the 8th kilometer mark, I felt thirsty due to the sun's heat and so for the first time of all my 10K races, this was the race when I took a sip of Aktivade. Slowly I reached the finish line and I was so happy to finish it.
In my watch the distance recorded was 11.29KM. So it was approximately 300 meter more than 11k. Calling Garmin users, did you register the same distance as my Suunto did? Average run pace 4:24min/km. I completed the distance according to my watch in 49mins and 34seconds. My official time though in Rio's website is 50mins and 11secs. I think Rio's site is correct since I was only able to press my watch after we have marked our bibs, so I got seconds delayed in pressing my watch. I also looked at my time after reaching the 10K mark in my Suunto watch and the time was 43mins and 44secs. The 10K was not a PR, but at least the 11K is. My only problem is looking for another race with an 11K distance to break this new PR. So Rio, when will be the next 11K race?

Anyway, about the race, it was really fun. There may be some room for improvement, but the race event wasn't really bad. I commend Rio for organizing this event amidst all odds it did push through. Congratulations also to the winners of this event, I hope you could shower your blessings to us as well.

For the marathon training, now I know a nice place to do a morning long run. Marikina is definitely a great place to enjoy those runs.

Monday, May 12, 2008

2nd Champion Run Race Results

Its amazing that race results for yesterday's Champion run is out already. Coach Rio, for what most runners call him has been organizing races. Yes some races are greatly planned, and some may need some improvements. But what makes me want to join all his races is the fact that results comes out faster than any other race events.

You can find the results at:

Will be posting my Champion run experience next...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Action and Fitness Magazine

Truth be told and I've been a recent fan of the Action and Fitness Magazine. It's not because of their feature celebrity cover, but because this magazine is serious about promoting health, fitness and sports.

I've already got 3 issues and so far, I've been getting tons of tips and future sport endeavors from them. The best part is for P120 you'll definitely get your money's worth. Oh, you would even get a better bargain if you subscribe for 6 months or 12 months which is what I'm planning to do soon.

Last Saturday and Sunday (May 10 and 11) Action and Fitness magazine and other sponsors held a fitness event at the Fort Bonifacio High Street. The very first event was the 5K fun run, and I'm definitely in for this event. Since the Champion run would be on Sunday, I treated this fun run as an easy 5K in preparation for Sunday's event. I carried the 5min/km pacer flag and ran 4x around the Bonfacio High Street pacing with kuya Melvin. We finished 23mins and 53 seconds. Well it’s a little over the 5min/km target but I've measured the Bonifacio High Street loop and its 4.8KM only so I'm was almost running at a 5min/km and maybe just a few seconds faster.

The event was really fun and not to mention there were tons of sponsors. There were lots of freebies as well such as free flowing Aktivade, Sola, and to top all a free Action and Fitness Magazine! I've even been fortunate that they have been distributing different issues so I chose the issue that I still don't have.

The fun run was just the kick off event and there were plenty more such as the Navara Adventure, Wall Climbing contests by Tribu, and booths featuring many fitness gadgets including the Suunto watches.

Congratulations to Action and Fitness Magazine and to all the sponsors who participated in the event. Oh, and congratulations also to the MC, George Rocha who happens to be a crush back during my college days at La Salle.

This was my Saturday story... Now for my Sunday story at the 2nd Champion run is up next...

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Action and Fitness 5K Run vs Champion Run

There are two running events this weekend. There will be an Action & Fitness 5K run that will be held at the Fort Area. Race will start around 6am and meeting place would be somewhere at Bonifacio Highstreet.

On sunday, there will be a Champion run at Marikina. The champion run will be a 5K and 10K event.

So... where shall I run?? Ahhhhhh.... I'll just run in both events. I know what the running docs say, don't run two consecutive races or you'll probably end up injured. Well, the plan is just run slow this saturday and carry The Fort Striders 5min/km pace flag during the 5K fun run. Sunday will be my event, since I'd like to get a new 10K PR. So saturday is easy and sunday will be race day!

See you guys in these events.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Nike Pro

It took me some time to think about buying myself a Nike Pro apparel. The Nike Pro apparel looks sleek and according to Nike, it provides optimum comfort when doing different physical activities. It hugs tight to your body so it feels like your second skin. The reason it took me time to decide whether I'd like to get myself one or not is its price. For this kind of apparel it costs P1995.00, but you could get a 10% discount in selected stores. I know that the price looks too high for any apparel, but you could try and visit Quicksilver stores, checkout their non sporty clothes and you'd see the price is the same. If your an athlete then I'd definitely prefer getting myself a Nike Pro and reap the benefits of this apparel than buying yourself shirts that cost the same.

Yesterday, I finally decided to buy myself this nice good looking apparel at Planet Sports glorietta. You could try other branches or Nike branches, but at Planet Sports, I got mine with 10% discount. I would like to thank Baldrunner for recommending this apparel. I saw from his blog that he used a Nike Pro at last sunday's Runnex race, and according to him, wearing it felt like running naked. I actually used a part of the Electronic Gift Certificate that we've won during last Sunday's Alleycat Race to buy the apparel.

Unable to control my excitement in trying out Nike Pro, just this morning I took the apparel for a run. I decided to do a 12K long run this morning around the Fort area. I enjoyed the view and felt very comfortable with my pace. I finished 12K in 56minutes and my Suunto watch register 46minutes at the 10K mark. I'm not saying that the apparel helped me run fast at a comfortable pace. It most likely didn't. But one thing is for sure, I felt very comfortable wearing it. Baldrunner was right: wearing it felt your running naked. I'm happy I got Nike Pro and I'd definitely recommend it for other athletes who wants to feel and look good while training for their sport.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

The 1st Alleycat Race

Sunday, and it’s yet again another race event. But this one is different. Well, a lot different than all the other races that I’ve ever joined. This time around, It’ll be a combination of 3 things: Run, Bike, and mental ability. Yes if you are fond of watching The Amazing race, this race is quite similar. The difference is, it’s a one day activity, and it’s more physical. That is, you can’t ride a cab to reach certain control points. You have to make use of two things: your running skill and biking skill. I’m a little bit confident with the former, and definitely uncertain with the latter. For one, I didn’t have enough training with bike, nor do I own a bike. I was only able to borrow a modified mountain bike just the night before the race, and I was only able to get a helmet the morning before the race.
The rule of the race is to get as much points from different control points and be the first to finish the race with the most points. You are given a map of Fort Bonificacio with the different location of the control points. In some control points, you have to accomplish certain mental tasks in order to get points. The players are by teams of 2. In my case, my team mate is Glenn Romualdo who happens to be my running buddy.
The race starts by a run until the transition area where you will get your bike. When the race started, it was a great feeling at last to be part of the lead pack. Me and Glenn were the first to reach our bike where Glenn was the first to reach it and I was 3rd of all the other participants. At this point I thought that this was enough an achievement even if we don’t win the whole race.
But everything came smoothly after. We made a different route where Glenn lead the whole trail. We actually got to the control points that could earn the most points. There was a task that asks us to count the number of trees in the circle, and then followed by completing one side of a rubik’s cube. The Rubik’s was kind of a blessing for me since I could actually finish completing one whole cube if given enough time. Since we were only asked to finish one side, we finished the cube for less than a minute. Everything else went smoothly, and we finish the race in 52 minutes.
The amazing part was, we won the race 1st place in the executive category. At last, a race where I won a medal. This was a great race event and I’ll definitely be back next year. I hope there would be many adventure races such as this here in Manila where I could join.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Resistance Bands

It has always been advised by many running experts to do weight training. Unfortunately, if you are like me, going to the gym isn't easy for a working IT person with a very hectic schedule and an undpredictable working hours. The only time I get to run would be in the morning at around 5 or 530am and I only have an hour or two to do my run since my work starts around 9am. Many times, I end up just running 30minutes of tempo pace and I immediately head back home.

So my dilemma is how to fit a weight training program in my schedule. Yesterday me and my wife went to Shangrilla Mall where I had my wife checked at Healthway and for her to have a wart removal therapy at Clarity clinic. The wart removal procedure took an hour and a half so I spent the time visiting different sport shops. I passed by Toby's and found a set of resistance bands that costs P295. I've heard about resistance bands before, but I haven't really digged into the idea of getting some for me. But nevertheless I thought that it could be a great idea to try these bands and see how they could help improve my running, and perhaps also improve my muscle tone.

I hope they work for me. I'm planning to do strengthening workouts 3x a week.