“OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE”. RU Philippine Marathon 2013 Race Report

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RU Philippine Marathon Oct 6, 2013 Race Report

When:  Oct 6, 2013

Category 42.195KM

Route: BGC to Mall of Asia Sea Side Blvd.

Saturday Evening of October 5, 2013, I was just relaxing at our house, family bonding, never thinking of the incoming race (although nerves/anxiety/excitement/ bugged me for a little while). My problem for the past running events was I wasn’t able to get some sleep before the event, so that was a big factor in my running performance.

Fortunately, I was able to get some sleep (3 hours) which I never did in my previous racing events. Thanks to God (I prayed to get some sleep) and to Lipton Chamomile Tea (a sleep inducing tea).  Our call time at the rendezvous point (Petron Station, Imus) is 0130 hours.

I brought my car and I was able to meet my team mates Ako Si Dabull and Jeff Poblete (together with his partner in life Beth) on time. Along the way, at Panapaan Bacoor, we met Bajorky Niceman waiting patiently at the side of the highway. Thereafter, we took off and headed to Mall of Asia to ride a shuttle bus going to Bonifacio Global City in Taguig.

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                                         Arrival at SM Mall of Asia Event Area

We arrived at Mall of Asia @ 0200 hours. At the parking lot, we were able to fix our race bibs on our respective singlets and gathered some of our personal  things for the race(For me, it’s the Simple hydration Bottle filled up with Gatorade, 4 pcs GU Regular Energy Gels, Salt and Raisins). We noticed that there are no shuttle bus around to pick the runners up for departure going to BGC @ 0230 hours (Gun start for the 42km is 0300 hours) and the runners started to get pissed! The waiting line is getting long.

While we were waiting, I consumed my first (1 out of 4) regular GU Sublime Energy Gel and some Oreo Biscuit. Finally, three (3) buses showed up. We immediately climbed to the second bus; the bus became full in a matter of less than 5 minutes, and then we were off to BGC. Time check of arrival in BGC is 0250 hours (10 minutes to Gun Start). We rushed at the starting line with no warm ups and stretching at all. The starting line is jam packed, and we have no choice but to squeeze in the crowd. In a flash, the countdown begins for the gun start, and we were off.  The first 5km was only a warm up for me; I was running at a speed of 5:30min/km. After 5km I was able to pick up my pace, at 5:15min/km. The whole BGC route just went into a flash. I was approaching Kalayaan Flyover (which is for me is the hardest flyover in the RU Series) going to Buendia. I was able to pick up more speed @ 5:00min/km after the flyover (I also noticed after the flyover, runners have been minimized).

Along Buendia, I stopped at the hydration station(s) for some quick refreshment (20 seconds every other station).  After 1 hour and 30 minutes, I still felt good; in fact I wasn’t aware that my speed has increased @ 4:40min/km or less by that time. I was able to maintain this speed until 32KM mark with the time of 2 hours and 39 minutes (I’m shocked when I looked at my Garmin Watch, then I realized that I’m ahead of schedule for my target Sub 4 hour finish and hoping to break my old RUPM 2012 time, but that didn’t make me comfortable enough).

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          Honestly, in this picture, I can’t describe where I was, but it was still dark 😉

After the 32km mark (Sea Side MOA going to Macapagal Aseana), my legs started to get heavy, but I wasn’t paying attention to it, I stick to my pace @ 5:15min/km. At 34km, I slowed down to 5:30min/km and eventually walked at least 40 seconds just to catch my breath and recover my legs. At 35.5km, I passed the checkpoint mark, Time check is 3 hours flat and 30 seconds (At this very moment, I know I can do more, not just to break my PR, but to be able to simulate a Milo Qualifying time of 3 hours and 45 minutes).

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                                                       Legs started to get heavy at Sea Side Blvd MOA

At this point, I was tired, my pace is @ 6:00min/km, I can barely feel my legs, and I stopped for a full minute near Transport Terminal Uniwide Coastal. I pumped my legs just to ease the pain, and then I went to run again @ speed of 6:20min/km. At 38KM mark, I was applying the 2/1 run/walk (but not frequent as I was trying to run more than this) strategy (checking my Garmin Watch frequently this time). Then I thought, I am still going to make it to 3 hours and 45, I just have to hold on.

At last, I saw the finish line area and I think it’s the last 500 meters that I am desperate to run, I did not looked at my Garmin Watch because I can see the timing system at the finish line arc clearly (it was 3 hours and 44 minutes and counting), I just burst to the finish line @ 3 hours 44 minutes and XX seconds in my Garmin GPS Watch. Emotions filled my head (thinking of my Family) after the finish line, knowing that I have broken my last year’s Marathon RUPM 2012 PR (3 hours and 59 minutes and 50 seconds), I was able to get a bonus finishing time that I have never planned in this race. And that is the Milo Qualifying Time simulation of finishing 3 hours and 45 minutes. The Rest is History.

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                                                        @ The Finish Line Area

It is true that if you have a goal, particularly in running, you have to inject a lot of training (speed, high mileage and endurance). Believe me; I’ve proven that in this race. It’s not just the time and the PR that I looked to break in this marathon race, but I looked to beat my old self from last year’s event, and I’m happy I did. I went “OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE”. Determination and Discipline will help you finish a race… but nothing beats a runner with a strong heart, courage and spirit. Thank you God, I am humbled. Thank you to my loving Wife and Children.  To my Team Cavite ESE fellow members who participated in this event, Congratulations to all of you.

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                                         Run with your Spirit and Finish Strong

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Imus to Tagaytay 50km Ultra Run (Road to BDM102 2014 Training) Sept 14, 2013

Imus to Tagaytay 50km Ultra Run (Road to BDM102 2014 Training) Sept 14, 2013

I’m thinking of frequent long runs every weekend since I registered in the Bataan Death March 102KM Ultra Marathon to be held on March 1-2, 2014. I made that decision because I know I can finish that 102km mark within the cut-off time. Since the registration fee is out of my budget, with the help of my Ninang Cindy, I was able to register for the event (She provided the registration fee).  Finally, my dream of finishing the race is one step closer, Its up to me now on how will I approach the training going into the race day next year. My Team in Cavite provided a big help in my training by organizing group runs (almost) every weekend, and one of the most long run to date that I will ever had in a group is the Imus to Tagaytay 50km Ultra Run last Sept 14. So, how the run was planned? Simple, I just contacted Enrique a.k.a Ako Si DaBull and told him my plan in running 50km from Imus to Tagaytay, his reaction…(without even thinking), he said OK (very easy for him to say ok for a 50km Run) So the date was set. (I didn’t invite more in Team Cavite because I wanted this to be in a “secret mode” long run training session, faster than LSD session). Two Days before the run, Rico Laplana PM’ed me in Facebook and told me if I am interested to join him for a long run (at the same date of my planned secret run). I told him that I have a run also that day, and told him that he could join (not knowing it’s a 50km Ultra) I told him the details and he said OK.

I met DaBull at 3:45am, and then we started running at 4 O’clock am. We met Rico at the vicinity of Pascam, General Trias near the Track and Field area at around 5:20am with 15km accumulated in my Garmin Forerunner watch. Rico is fresh, and he dictated the pace.  We had mini stop overs from 14km to 21km. DaBull consumed Cobra drink while Rico consumed Taho and I consumed a bottle of Coke. The first uphill started to show up after Barangay Javalera approaching the vicinity of Amadeo. Rico still dictated the pace (I think his pace is between 5:30 to 6:00min/km…pretty fast) because he just accumulated 6km after 21km. Thereafter, we reached the mark of 32km in a Buko/Pineapple stand near Balite Falls area. We consumed Buko Juice and posed for a photo (thanks to the daughter of the Lady in-charge of the store for taking our pics) and then, we’re off.  At 37km, we stopped in front of Café Amedeo (famous coffee in Cavite) and we posed for some picture (thanks for the assistance of a Lady passing by the store) and then, we’re off again. At 39km, it started to rain, and it rained hard, we didn’t mind it and continued to run. Kilometres passed by and the uphills in Amadeo becomes harder to run, but regardless, we still attacked it. At 42km, we stopped in a store and consumed my “baon”, chocolates and cheesecake; we also bought 1.5 litre of Royal, for a short while, we chat and rest (approx 7 minutes) then, we’re off again, still raining hard. At Km 43, we passed the Kimberly Hotel (my marking that we are near the mahogany intersection). We reached Barangay Kaybagal (part of Tagaytay) and at this point, Rico and I started to get slow… (hahaha, “Kaybagal” it is! )But DaBull…. You will never see any tiredness on his face. At 45.50km, we reached SkyRanch Tagaytay and posed for pictures (again, with the help of a passing Lady). By 10:36am, we reached exactly 50km in my Garmin at Mahogany Market with a finishing time of 6 hours and 36 minutes. We met some friends of Rico who also ran the route of Amadeo started from Manggahan Gentri. We headed for the restaurant for early lunch and ordered the famous “Bulalo”, Tawilis and Kare Kare. The muscles in our legs are aching but after we had lunch, we are recharged. We are satisfied that in that day, we ran 50km in a very hard route of unlimited uphills, and finished fast and strong. After a very long run, we headed home riding a Bus (that’s when you ride a vehicle in an Ultra…. After you finished the race…Period!)

Next Blog… Naic to Patungan (Kaybiang Tunnel and back) 50km Ultra Run, Sept 22, 2013

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Running – It’s more than Life!

Part 1

The Year of 2011, my sport is only tennis. I play three times a week, and also, I’m a smoker and a drinker. My BMI (Body Mass Index) is not normal because I eat a lot. I’m overweight in my height and age. To be specific, I’m 190 lbs. Then, one day while playing tennis, I saw pack of runners jogging along the course near the tennis court, then I saw them twice, and I thought they must have some serious stamina because the route in which I play tennis is a long route. I decided to try to run the other night after my tennis session. Believe me, I just ran 300 meters and I’m exhausted so fast. I do not dare to continue because I just can’t do it, I can’t run like them. I looked over the internet for some tips in running for beginners, and also consulted some friends who has experience in running. It helped me a lot, but the most important that helps me to pursue to get into running is because of my health. I just wanted to change my life style, I wanted to quit smoking, drinking and reduce my eating habit. I ran every day, gaining distance, every 100 meters until I can cover one kilometer without stopping. I’m improving every week, until completed a three kilometer run without stopping. The year of 2012, month of January, I heard that there is a big running event happening on the month of February, the name of the event was The Condura Skyway Marathon 2012. I signed up and joined the 5km race category. This is the first time that I will join a fun run and I know this is a big event so I trained for this 5km race everyday. On race day, I was excited, I was accompanied by my wife and my son, they waited at the event area. I was approaching my wave in the 5km category, and I can feel the excitement going through my mind. The run has started and my reaction is just to run non stop until I reached the finish line. Three days after the race, the results are up and I am shocked that I ranked 108th place out of 2,200+ finishers in the 5km category with the time of 00:28:14. I never thought that I would finish strong like I did. It was a satisfying run.

Drafted on Nov 1, 2012…. at the present time of Sept 5, 2013. A lot has improved and changed. SInce that 5km run last Feb 2012, I met new running friends along the way  for the rest of 2012 up to this present time of 2013. I already finished Six Half Marathons,  Three Marathons and one 50KM Ultra Marathon. All of this happening to me right now, I never thought of it back then, It’s a dream come true for me. I am healthy, I stopped smoking, I’m not a drinker anymore and I watch my diet and what I eat. Thanks be to God, he changed my life, he changed me to the person I wanted to be, he showed me that there is life in running.. “It’s more than life” I

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Next Blog… Road to Bataan Death March 102KM Ultra Marathon 2014.