65 ~ 27 ~ 70

2016 Running Goals

Stay under 65 kilograms by the end of the year

I remember the struggle of running the Cebu Marathon last year. It was really hard on the knees since I was around 6 kilograms heavier than my ideal weight. I’m not going through that again. Losing weight is definitely tough so I’m going to strive to maintain my weight this year.

Crush my 5k pr

27:55.43 has become a formidable psychological version of the great wall of China. I know I can beat it. I just need to get into more 5k races. The wall goes down this year. Yes, good eye beloved reader. I just copy-pasted this paragraph from last year. This goal needs no rephrasing.

Minimum of 70 kilometer mileage per month

I eclipsed my 2014 mileage by 131 kilometers. That’s a lot for me and I’ve been patting myself at the back ever since. However, this was a hard feat to achieve because I had plenty of low mileage months. This new minimum mileage goal is going to make 1000 kilometers a year a cinch. I hope.

How To Know If You Have Improved In A Race (Despite Not Getting A PR)

PRs are awesome. All runners love ’em. In a perfect world, we’d love to get a PR to go with our medals and finisher goodies. Sadly, it is unrealistic to expect one every race. Your body won’t always be in peak condition. Training won’t always yield significant improvement in race performance. The weather will get in your way at times.

I learned during my race last Sunday that you can still find satisfaction in your racing despite not getting a PR. My race is in its 5th year. I have run this race since the first one and my racing distance has been the 21k for the third year now. Let me just go ahead and inform you, dear reader, that I did not get a PR for this one. I did, however, see improvements that can help improve your own mindset when it comes to racing success.

  1. You slept soundly enough the night before the race. 6 hours is now your current pre-race sleep PR! When you wake up, you did not need to consume your morning coffee.
  2. The gun start is late! You are not as worried about the morning heat as you should be.
  3. The water problem just got worse this year. You already skipped three water stations but you ain’t worried.
  4. You spend more time lamenting the fact that you passed up the free chocolate than you do running.
  5. You finally get to the Gatorade station. It has the orange one. Your favorite! A moral battle ensues. Your conscience wins and you get only one cup of Gatorade. You’re a saint!
  6. At the last turning point, you think that the route seems shorter this year.
  7. You are sure you heard someone announced that you get watermelons during the race but you did not see any. This saddens you. You comfort yourself with a banana. You move on.
  8. You realize near the end of the race that you forgot to rub Vaseline on your, uh, fragile areas. No point worrying about that now.
  9. It’s the same route with the same weather but you ran it faster than last year. No, it’s neither a PR nor a race PR but you killed it out there and that’s a good enough story to tell your future grandkids.
  10. You’re tired. You’re hurt. You need someone to haul your butt back home. Who could it be? Wait! You have a girlfriend now! You promptly parade her around for all the lonely, tired, hurting finishers to see. This would make a great ending to that story that you will eventually keep telling your future grandkids.

 

SM2SM Run 5

February 22, 2015

2:52:20

42 Thoughts From The Mind of A Marathon Survivor Part II

On the second half of the Cebu Marathon, I got more creative with finding ways to distract myself from the pain. My emotions were all over the place. I knew that the race would end sooner albeit on an ambulance if I gave in to either fear or anger. Thankfully, the route was abundant with bananas, lamp posts, and company. Here are 21 more thoughts from a marathon survivor.

22. Bananas are awesome! I wonder if I can get two.

23. I swore off lechon (roasted pig) during the holidays but the lechon shaped medal at the end is gonna best the tasting pig ever.

24. One lamp-post of running then one lamp-post walking.

25. My body is playing Pain Roulette. It’s a different body part every 2 kilometers!

26. Those kids are staring at my Gatorade cup but they can’t have it yet! I need my reason to keep walking!

27. Drizzle! Yes! Drizzle! Wait. Sunshine! Nooo!

28. Great! My friends saw me. I have to run now.

29. Half a banana! Where did the full bananas go?

30. Who needs Body Glide? Vaseline works just fine!

31. Four lamp posts of walking then one lamp-post of running.

32. Anyone with the strength or breath to help that guy cramping up at the sidewalk should go help.

33. I knew I should have taken more chocolate.

34. Is it possible that that overweight half marathoner in front of me is having more fun than I am?

35. Oh no! A water station! I better finish this caffeine flavored candy quick.

36. Only seven minutes left! Run! Damn it! Run!

37. Yes, I know the finish line is near! You don’t have to tell me! That big sign back there said so already!

38. That’s it. The quest for a PR is over. Bummer.

39. No! I’m not giving up! PRs be damn!

40. I know it hurts feet but I’m gonna keep ignoring both of you until this race ends.

41. Time to kick! Wait! Everyone is staring at me. I’ll just kick like I normally do. Damn. Performance anxiety.

42. Finally over! Now, where’s the food at?

Cebu Marathon 2015

January 11, 2015

6:08:48

 

65 ~ 27 ~ 876

2015 Running Goals

Reach my ideal weight of 53 – 65 kilograms

For the past 2 years, I have watched the critical finger of my weighing scale point from 62 kg to 65 kg then finally 71 kg. Right now, my cabinet is filled with clothes from a stranger who wears small slim fit shirts and size 29 jeans. I jiggle a lot and get hurt far to quickly. Sick days have become more frequent as well. Every cell in this chubby yet still quite handsome frame I call a body is yelling for me to lose weight. I hear you body.

Crush my 5k pr

27:55.43 has become a formidable psychological version of the great wall of China. I know I can beat it. I just need to get into more 5k races. The wall goes down this year.

Surpass 876 kilometers

I am on fire right now. I feel like I could do 900 or maybe even 1000 this year. 1000 is a tad optimistic. 900 seems like a sure thing though. Good health and consistency seem to be the keys to executing this lofty goal.

A Good Year

2014 Running Review

RUN A MARATHON       PASS

I think I scored a home run with this goal. I entered not one but two marathons on the first quarter of the year. I even joined a triathlon relay team race last June. How am I ever going to top this achievement?

BEAT MY 5K PERSONAL RECORD      FAIL

I’m starting to think that I may never beat this record. Hah! I was too busy enjoying and dreading the one time I joined a 5k race. I did however beat my 10k personal record by a relatively wide berth. It was quite a feat considering my condition then.

IMPROVE TRAINING MILEAGE       PASS

I realized when I wrote this post that I forgot that I only needed to run 771 kilometers to secure this goal. I did not bike this year but I managed to cover 876 kilometers, which is 105 kilometers better than last year. That is a lot.

OVERALL

Despite the challenges brought about by my growing number of responsibilities, I managed to carry out 2 out of 3 of my goals. I even achieved a marked improvement in both speed and endurance. 2014 is indeed a good year for running. I hope and pray that 2015 would be even better. Carpe Annum!

BEST RACE: CEBU MARATHON 2014
BEST PERFORMANCE: AMAZON ELECTRO RUN 2014
WORST PERFORMANCE: SM2SM 4
MOST ENJOYABLE: COLOR MANILA RUN CEBU
MOST MEMORABLE: TABUELAN 111 TRIATHLON

Breaking Sixty

Amazon Electro Run 2014 10k  07/26/14

00:00

I registered this race with a few new friends and a triathlon relay teammate. They were new recruits so I thought I’d ease them in to the racing scene with a fun race. We had dinner at Persian Palate, which was known for its healthy dining experience. I ordered chicken shawarma rice and devoured it along with some leftover kebab. Regret came swiftly as I walked. My stomach was so full that it ache with every step. Since it was about two hours to gunstart, my teammate and I decided to sleep in his girlfriend’s pickup truck. It was hot and cramp but we made do. We woke up with thirty minutes to spare and walked towards the venue. I led the newbies to a series of warm-up exercises while my teammate did his own routine. Afterwards, my teammate and I lined up at the very front of the pack. It did not escape my notice that my stomach was still busy digesting but there was nothing I could do about it now.

0:47

It was a mad scramble for position. My teammate, whose name is Mark Jason by the way, took the lead and I followed him patiently. He was going a bit faster than I’d like but it the strategy suited him. Competitiveness drove him and he kept pushing the pace. I caught sight of a friend named Jennifer and called out to her. She waved me over, took a selfie with me, and bolted away. I lost sight of my teammate and my friend within a space of seconds. It was at this point that I noticed that legs were not doing well.

3:34

I caught up to Jennifer but I was having trouble keeping up with her. Mark Jason was 50 meters away and still pushing the pace.

8:07

My legs were now sufficiently warmed up. I politely nodded at Jennifer and quickened my pace. Mark Jason was still way ahead of me.

10:18

When I finally caught up to Mark Jason, I position myself at his back like I always did during his training. I had trained him before and it made me proud to see him improve so quickly. He asked me if he should push the pace. I told him that it was up to him to decide.

15:21

I was having trouble keeping up with Mark Jason. He sped when I slowed and slowed when I sped. Our rhythms were out of sync and I was paying the price for it. My bulging belly did damage to my form as well. My stride was heavy and I was heel-striking.

28:52

We crossed the midpoint faster than I had predicted. Mark Jason’s 5k pace was a minute slower than my 5k PR pace but it was fast considering the condition I was in. I honored him and told him that he has nothing else to learn from me. He had broken thirty in the 5k.

37:34

My stomach no longer hurt but I was having trouble breathing. My nose was clogged up and I felt like vomiting every time I tried to clear the mucus. I tapped Mark Jason’s shoulder and told him, “I feel like vomiting. Go on without me.”

38:21

After a bit of walking, I resumed running. To stop choking on my mucus, I breathed through my mouth. I hated it.

39:28

I caught up to Mark Jason and told him, “I’ll go on ahead. I’m having trouble adjusting to your pace.” As I went ahead, I allowed the beast to take over. It turned out that the beast hated losing to anyone even a former student and teammate.

45:49

At this stage, many runners became walkers. I passed them all. The beast purred with delight. In the distance, I spied a musclebound gym rat.

51:11

When I caught up to the gym rat, he engaged me in small talk. I obliged him then he suddenly bolted away.

53:20

I recognized my surroundings. The finish line was very near. I saw Mark Jason at the turn. He was looking weary but he was soldiering on. I took several deep breaths.

56:12

When I saw the finish line, something in me clicked. The beast snarled. I was performing my fastest kick in years. Everything blurred. I passed a lot of runners, walkers, and 5kers. I even passed the musclebound gym rat. When I crossed the finish line, I held my hands up jubilantly. I finally broke an hour in the 10k. The gym rat followed behind and sprinted towards the line for the finisher’s medals. No doubt still trying to beat me. What a nasty thought. I forgave myself and allowed the beast and his competitiveness to disappear. The race was done. It was time to celebrate. I found Mark Jason and the newbies later. My teammate had broken one hour as well. I wasted no effort in containing my pride and honored him some more. I honored the newbies as well. They finished with smiles on their faces. That was a victory in itself.

56:43

Near Victory, Near Defeat

Color Manila Nite Run Cebu 10k  05/17/14

This race was different from last month’s race. It took place at night, which made this my first night race. The race t-shirt was black. The organizers exchanged the colorful powder with glow sticks and light thingies. I had only one friend with me this time. He registered for 5k while I moved up to 10k. Perhaps the greatest difference of all was my condition. I felt good. I felt really good. This was still a fun run but I felt really competitive that night.

At the gun start, I was positioned at the back. It was a very slow start. Runners were parading with their glow sticks in hand and almost everyone took selfies with their cellphones and GoPro cameras. I positioned my own glow stick inside my shirt at my back. When I finally got out of the middle pack, I increased my pace gradually. The glow stick kept bumping softly against my head creating some sort of rhythm that kept me going for eight kilometers. I only ever walked during my side trips to the water stations. I felt strong. I felt powerful. I felt invincible.

A dark thought suddenly crept into my heart. I could not possibly keep this going. I walked on the penultimate turn. Runners passed me one by one. I felt the sting of defeat as they did. Defeat was commonplace in me. I accepted them readily. A little too readily. Something snapped inside of me. It was the part of me that was born in the track. Its snarls keep me going during my speedwork. With it, I would issue challenges to elites fearlessly. I may lose a lot during long distance racing but I was at least competitive with the local elites when it came to the track. It was the beast and it ignited fire in my heart down to my legs. I passed each runner that had passed me during my momentary walk of defeat. The last stretch, which was the kick zone, was riddled with selfie and groufie addicts. I did not lose speed but instead sped up even more. It was like threading a needle at high-speed. The beast enjoyed the extra challenge. I was sprinting with my all in the end and passed the finish line victoriously.

I expected a PR and I got it. Victory. A snarl echoed in my mind. I did not break one hour. The beast was disappointed. Defeat. A litany of excuses flooded my brain. I forced them away and headed to the waiting area. My friend was racing. I hoped he was doing okay. He arrived minutes later and regaled me with his own story of victory and defeat. I listened to patiently to his litany of excuses and offered words of encouragement. We had our post-race snacks and enjoyed the concert. The beast staggered off somewhere to slumber. Finally, I could focus on the victory. I could focus on the fun. I could finally focused on the moment. 1:00:25

2 Out Of 3 Is Good Enough For Me

2013 Running Review

Run 4 half-marathons   PASS

I ran only 4 races this year. All of them were half-marathons. These races were the Cebu Marathon 2013 (21k), SM2SM III, Hunat Sugbu 3: Dagan Para Ni Maning, & Leg 9 of the 37th Milo Marathon Eliminations. All four races were hard. A half-marathon is not half of anything. It’s a full challenge.

Beat my 5k personal record   FAIL

I did not beat my 27:55.43 simply because I did not race 5ks this year. My reasons were as varied and trivial as financial constraints to scheduling issues. I did beat my record during training though so I’ll retake this challenge on 2014.

Improve training mileage   PASS

Here are the statistics: I ran 771 km. I walked 59 km (recorded). I biked 24 km. Add them all up to get 854 km. The first stat alone got me way pass the goal. Great job me!

Overall

I got better in terms of endurance this year. 2013 was a challenging but a good year nonetheless. I’m certain that more challenging races will come my way next year. I believe 2014 will be an even better year not just for me but for runners everywhere. Carpe annum!