2015 Blog Post Number 1! A quick update.

*blows dust off this blog*


*cough cough hack cough* Ok, that wasn’t really necessary.. That was a lot of digital dust. hahaha. I really have been away for a while. I actually had a post lined up some 7 odd months ago, but I never managed to get back to it. So here we are again :p Let’s have a quick run through of my 2014.

For the usual sports highlights…

  • 2014 Marathon PR – Cebu City Marathon (5:45)
post-race at the hotel after the 2014 Cebu City Marathon

post-race at the hotel after the 2014 Cebu City Marathon

  • Triathlon debut: Bataan International Triathlon – Rapido Category
breaking into triathlon

breaking into triathlon

Non-sports highlights…

  • More travel and vacations: El Nido and Bohol!
Island hopping!

Island hopping!

for nocturnal critters, they sure keep those eyes open a lot during the day

for nocturnal critters, they sure keep those eyes open a lot during the day

  • 2014 marked my first year back at work after graduation. It also marks my first year in a supervisory post. It’s been challenging, and thankfully continuous learning experience.

and last, but definitely not the least…


why are you reading this caption?

why are you reading this caption?

Continue reading

My Top Tips when Running in Destination Races

2013 was the year of the destination race for me. Sure, there was that one time I ran at the Subic Marathon in 2012. But it was in 2013 that it really took off for me. And with the overall cost of traveling becoming cheaper in recent years, as well as the overall running and traveling boom in the Philippines, many runners will definitely have more destination runs in the foreseeable future.

But things don’t always go smoothly with out of town races. As I’ve experienced, out of town races can amplify problems that are usually of no consequence during the usual hometown race. My biggest and recent out of town races were last December’s Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon, and this month’s Cebu City Marathon. So I’ll reference my experiences from those races the most for this list post (haven’t made one in a while). hahaha.

  1. Running the marathon? Then do the walking-intensive tourist stuff after the race (not the day before). It should be common sense to stay off our feet. I learned this the hard way in Singapore with my friends. We tried to be tourists and runners at the same time. Not really planning to stay beyond the marathon, my friends and I only had a day to go around. Naturally we chose to spend that day on our feet at Universal Studios. lol. Cesar and I were barely 5-km into the full marathon, and we were already complaining of our sore feet. hahaha.
  2. Running different race categories? Make sure to have a means of communication. This holds especially true for races out of the country. Sometimes even the “let’s meet at this spot” plan is difficult too. It works great when you’re “home,” and everything is familiar. But it’s not so great especially when you pick a crowded spot like the finish area AND everything is unfamiliar. lol. Everything’s just so peachy when you’re running together in a group… but when you’re in another country, and you’re in different race categories, AND nobody activates their roaming? it’s just a nightmare trying to find each other. hahaha. That is yet another realization brought about by Singapore.
  3. Get your race supplies early. Just because you’re going to a big destination race, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to find your choice supplies when you get there. Don’t wait until the last minute to find them at your hometown too. Just this month I experienced this when I just couldn’t find any salt caps the week before Cebu. I had a good experience using them during Singapore, and I wanted to use them again. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any at Cebu running stores when I arrived there either. Thank god for the rock salt during the race. lol.
  4. Pick lodging that is easily accessible to the race venue, and easy to find. This ensures that you aren’t late for your gun start. The “easy to find” is kind of a jab on my Singapore experience. I just couldn’t find that hostel even after wandering almost an hour around that block – even locals didn’t know, and we were 15 meters from the door. lol. Also, this can actually fix any problems with number 3. If you’re hotel is close enough to the venue, then your group can probably just meet back at the room!
post-race at the hotel after the 2014 Cebu City Marathon

post-race at the hotel after the 2014 Cebu City Marathon

If you think about it, it all boils down to planning ahead. Understand that there are other things to consider when running in a destination race, and adapt your plans accordingly. If you do that, you can assure yourself of a hassle-free race and vacation experience.

Marathon number 3!! Singapore SCM 2013

Last December 2013, I ran in the Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon. It’s my 3rd marathon ever, but my very first in another country, as well as my first truly international race.

marathon number 3: success!

marathon number 3: success!

For me, running at Singapore was a culmination two things. The first is how far I’ve come (and run) as a runner. It’s been a great 3 years, and I see no end in sight. There’s still much to explore as a runner, and leaps and bounds to improve upon. And after running in my third marathon, I’m sure this is something I really enjoy, and want to keep doing for the rest of my life. Marathoner for life!! hahaha.

The second is my newfound financial freedom. I can’t recall if I talked about it all that much (I’m probably mentioned it in more than a few posts), but I wasn’t part of the labor force from mid-2011 to over half of 2013. I wasn’t just running all those years. haha. I was taking up my MBA. Having graduated earlier in 2013, since mid-September, I was finally employed again. It’s such a joy to be earning again. hahaha.

And finally…

My Race Results

Distance: Full Marathon
Time: 6:52:36.14 (gun) / 6:46:47.53 (chip)
Overall Rank: 7567
Injuries: None (yay!)
Pictures: link

It’s not a stellar performance. Heck, it’s actually my worst marathon to date. I’ll touch on the reasons for my result on another post. Anyway, even a slower result doesn’t take away the sense of accomplishment I have for completing my 3rd marathon. Completing a marathon will always be a great achievement for me.

P.S. I really gotta clear my backlog posts. It’s 2014 already! haha.

Return to the Milo Marathon Elims

My first official backlog blog post. Even these backlog posts are backlogged. hahaha. To be specific, it’s my late Milo Marathon post – 5 months late and in time for the Milo Marathon Finals! LOL. Just so you know, I didn’t hold off on my blog post because I had a disappointing performance like last year. Just been real busy!

at the 2012 Milo Marathon Manila Leg

at the 2012 Milo Marathon Manila Leg

I normally don’t put a lot of planning into my half marathons aside from my training plan. Carlito and I usually tackle them with a pretty chill mindset. But Milo was different… I needed to redeem myself at this race, and I needed a stronger finish than ever before to be satisfied. Also, I needed to know I could push myself faster.

Planning for a PR

By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail

-Ben Franklin

I wasn’t going to have failure this year. Trainging-wise, I put in the long runs I needed thanks to Cathy and Carlito. One of the runs was even an uphill run! But a PR isn’t built on long runs alone. Now there’s probably nothing new on my plan for runners out there. It’s just stuff that makes sense, I think.

  • Weekday Cardio. There were days I braved 9AM heat to run to Katipunan and back home because I woke up late. lol. Why did I say cardio and not run? Because the two weeks prior to the race, I spent 1-2 times a week at the condominum pool. There was even a day I had a solo aquathlon, swimming almost 500 meters, then rushing out to run 5-km outside. lol. #noexcuses ang mindset when it comes to training!
  • Weights. Flashback to my first year in running. I spent a lot of time at the gym on my off-running days back then. I went back to this routine, but with my limits on time, I just focused on my legs and core. So it was practically everyday leg day! I made sure to keep the day before my LSD a rest day, and the day after as a light training day.
  • Food/Nutrition. I generally kept an eye on what I was eating, and made sure to keep my protein up especially on heavy training days. A new development on my nutrition plans has been chia. I took around 4 tablespoons of chia everyday leading up to the race, and one tablespoon in my pre-race hydration, and two in my in-race hydration.
My Chia-based hydration plan!

My Chia-based hydration plan!

  • The Competition. Not the Kenyans. LOL. While I agree that an athlete’s toughest competitor is himself, there’s no denying that the legion of runners on the road would be a challenge to overcome. Carlito and I thought about how to take on the special challenge that the Manila leg presented – high volume runners, and the hydration choke points. Based on that, we adjusted our run-walk strategy, and decided that Carlito would carry all things necessary to minimize our stops at the hydration stations.
  • Pray. Offer it up to God. Accept that there will be things beyond your control. On that note, I also had a healing priest bless my knees the Friday before the race.🙂

Don’t Stop Me Now

First things first. WE WERE NOT LATE TO THE RACE VENUE. I was really excited for this race, and I guess it reached Carlito. hahaha. We’ve been late way too many times to races… and given our PR goal, it was best not to stay too far back of the pack. When that starting gun finally fired, everyone wanted to go for a running start as quick as possible. I knew it was going to be a different race.

I’m normally not so fired up during a race. Instead, we’re usually chatting about random things during a run or taking photos – more like friends catching up rather than athletes. In that sense, it was a race unlike anything we’ve shared. We were definitely quieter, and we had a more intense aura. And instead of swapping stories, we were swapping instructions: run, walk, takbo hanggang dun (run up to that point), slow down, inom muna (drink), kain muna (eat), weave left/right, etc. We were taking this run seriously.

With the volume of runners we encountered, it was going to be at least an hour of weaving in between other runners. We were on high alert for most of the race – always looking for an opening to run in between or potholes/obstacles to avoid. We almost always ran past hydration stops to avoid those choke points, then we took the chance to hydrate some distance. This made sure that we weren’t forced to slow down longer than we needed because of the crowd. We couldn’t be slowing down for photographers either – which is why there’s so few photos of us running. hahaha.

our only race photo

our only race photo

But all the preparation was worth it. By the time we passed the halfway mark, we realized we were making good time. We loosened up a bit, and gave ourselves some quick congratulations for our good start. But it wasn’t over yet, and there was still a PR yet to be realized. So we soldiered on, sticking to our strategy. With Carlito leading the way as my pacer, I knew it could be done.

My new Half Marathon PR - 2:13

My new Half Marathon PR – 2:13

So, how well did we do? Well, not only did I finish within the 2.5-hour cut-off, I set a new personal record at 2:13:11 (chip time) – finally breaking my longstanding 2:19:59 record which I set at the Goldilocks 45th Anniversary Run in 2011 (wow, has it been 2 years already?!).

A PR at a Milo Elims race does sound more impressive than a Goldilocks one, doesn’t it?

-paraphrasing Cathy (Cathletic).

To my friends, sorry for this really late post. Here are all the photos of us that I have🙂

RUPM 2013: How Fast Can I Go?

Last year, I joined the full marathon category of RUPM. Taking a more conservative stance to my running schedule in preparation for SG, I opted for the half marathon this year. But it was just as exciting and challenging because I was after a time goal once again.

Despite setting a new PR at the Milo Manila leg (2:13:11 chip) earlier this year, I still felt the need to prove myself solo. But with Carlito pacing Elmer at the full marathon category, RUPM became my chance to test my skills as a runner. I wanted to see whether I could break my old PR by myself.

Shitty Half

I actually started the race feeling heavy. At first I thought that I just needed to loosen up in the first few kilometers. That, or I just overdid it on the pre-race Chia-Powerade drinks and bananas. Little did I know that I was actually loosening up my bowels. LOL. After about 5-km I started to feel a rumbling in my stomach. Fortunately it settled down whenever I walked. But of course I very well couldn’t waste my time walking so much. I had a time goal! hahaha. All I could do was pray for it to go away whilst looking out for portalets.😄

I was so thankful to find that God-sent portalet at around the 8-9th kilometer. It didn’t matter that there was a line of 4 people ahead of me. The fact was there was a portalet and I would have relief!!!!😄

*details of dump omitted*

Full On Race Mode!

I burst out of that portalet almost running! Almost like a horse right out of the starting gate. LOL. It was partly wanting to make up for the lost time, and also secretly hoping I move fast enough that the person behind me not see my face😄 *reasons for why I would not want to be recognized omitted*

Feeling recharged and significantly lighter, I just got back to the business of running. I stuck to the run-walk strategy that helped me with my PR with Carlito: only walk at hydration stations, and run the rest of the way. How much time I lost no longer mattered – it was completely out of my mind. I just knew that I could now run fast and I believed I could run fast enough to still beat my old 2011 Goldilocks run record (2:19:59 chip).

Made sure to make up for lost time

Made sure to make up for lost time

Even though I was reinvigorated, in the back of my mind though there was some fear. I feared cramping up like I did last year at Milo. But it was not the time for negative thoughts. First I thought about Cathy who was cheering me on. She got sick a few days before, so I was also running for her! It also helped push back any negative thoughts by focusing on how my body felt. It wasn’t like last year. I felt much stronger, and no matter how hard I was running all that time, it just didn’t feel like any cramps were in my immediate future. So I just kept running, and the next thing I knew I only had 6-km to go… As I got closer and closer I actually tried to push myself a little more. There was no stopping after that last hydration station along Coral Drive, I just ran all the way to the finish!

bawal mag-overtake! LOL

bawal mag-overtake! LOL

The Result

probably one of my best-looking finishes. hahaha

probably one of my best-looking finishes. hahaha

Despite the bit of trouble I had earlier in the race, I finished with a chip time of 2:16:59 – beating my old Goldilocks time by 3 minutes. It was only then that I finally checked my phone’s GPS. It turned out I only lost about 2-3 minutes at the portalet. hahaha. It looks like I could have almost matched my paced PR with Carlito. It was such a feeling of accomplishment! Having a strong and experienced runner like Carlito really made a difference in setting my Milo PR. But of course I really wanted to see for myself if I was capable of it by myself. And with that great finish, I really felt like I exceeded myself that day. 

Race Management and Support

I really have to applaud RunRio and Unilab Active Health for a job well done. My experience on the route was just perfect. I came in to the race prepared to self-support a bit given the problems last year with Gatorade shortages along the route. But it seems, they’ve made sure those problems don’t hinder the runners. I had two bananas (I was elated when I saw the second banana station. hahaha), the new ULAH gel, and all the Gatorade and water I needed. I wish I ran the full marathon in order to really compare it to last year though. Of course I also have to mention Photo-Ops. I only have two photos, but they’re  the best race photos of myself from this year! Perfect profile pic! hahaha.

More pictures!

Backlog Blog Days Ahead

Hey guys, I’m actually still alive and running. A post like this has been long overdue. hahaha. I initially had some trouble writing my post-Milo (Manila leg) post. At some point I just decided to walk away from it for an extra week. A two week blogging break turned into month, and so on and so forth. Suddenly it’s been over 3 months, and here I am without a new post. Well, that’s gotta change.

Bali - I ran so close to the airport that I ran into a fence. lol.

Bali – I ran so close to the airport that I ran into a fence. lol.

It’s not like I don’t have anything to write about. I got a new PR at the Manila leg of Milo, traveled to Bali for vacation in August, continued my training for December, and I also ran the Caliraya 360 last month. And since I’m also running the half marathon at RUPM tomorrow, expect a post about that too. hahaha. With regards to the last 3 months though, I’m planning to still write about them. Guess I’ll call those Backlog Blog posts. hahaha.