25K run

Today’s workout called for a 25k “increasing pace” run, which is basically 5K slow, 5K fast, 5K slow, 5K fast, and finally 5K slow. You’d think that the “fast” portions of the workout were the tough portions. Nope. It was actually the final 5K, the portion were I was supposed to be run at an “easy” pace, that was tough.

Ok, the first 5K (slow) was easy.

The next 5K (fast) was tough but not THAT tough. OK, it was fast and it got my heart pumping and I was breathing heavily but it didn’t exhaust me.

The next 5K (slow) was ok. I was able to recover but somewhere around the final 1K of that portion I felt my legs beginning to weigh on me.

The next 5K (fast) was challenging. Now I was breathing heavily. My mind was focused on keeping a fast, steady pace. I tried to my cadence quick and light. My arms were pumping harder than usual to keep my legs moving. I constantly reminded myself to keep my head up, my torso straight, and not to slump or look down.

And when I got to the final 5K (slow) I was tired and sapped. The final 5K was more of a mental battle than a physical one. My body was aching but not painful. I figured that the final 5K was more to train mental fortitude than actual aerobic stamina. I was feeling the fatigue during the uphill climbs but it eased during the downhill descents. My mind was counting down the kilometres.

I finished the 25K in a little more than 3 hours.


Takbo.ph 20-miler tomorrow

Tomorrow is the Takbo.ph 20-mile run. Once again, just like last week’s 32-kilometer Resolution Run, I am excited for this run. I fared pretty well in last week’s 32k run, where I ran strong with some energy in the tank despite the long and steep uphill climbs. Tomorrow’s route is still a hilly route but not as steep as last week.

I also reviewed my run stats.  My PR for a 32k is 3:54, which I achieved in November 2011. That’s 3 years ago. Will I be able to beat that record?

Ok. Let’s put some goals to shoot for:

  1. Finish in 3:46 (that means I can theoretically finish the marathon in less than 5 hours)
  2. Get a new 32K PR
  3. Finish without walking

So I wonder, how should I approach this run? Definitely I won’t start off by running my marathon pace. Probably do an easy (but no too easy!) run for the first 5 kilometres then settle into a steady pace. I don’t want to burn out and struggle in the last few kilometres.

Tomorrow I am running a 32k / 20-miler

Tomorrow I run a 32k run (that’s 20 miles for the non-metric) and I am both excited and nervous. The 32k has always been a challenge – I always “crash” some where at the 28-kilometer point. I had always paced myself wrong, pushing the pace too fast. But this will be a run where I feel that I now have a solid base. I have been running a slow zone-2 pace for months now so I guess this will be a test if that slow zone-2 training pace really works. If I finish the run without walking then I can confidently declare that it works!

The run tomorrow is the Resolution Run 2015 and will be held at Nuvali, Sta. Rosa. I have never run in Nuvali so I have no idea if the route is hilly or scenic or flat or twisting. This will be an interesting test on how I will run the Tokyo Marathon which is something like 6 weeks away.

Milo Marathon is postponed!

Bad news to all those running the Milo Marathon tomorrow December 7 – IT’S POSTPONED!

In a statement released earlier today, the National Finals of the 38th MILO Marathon will be postponed “in view of the imminent arrival of Typhoon Ruby and to ensure the safety and welfare of all concerned.”

Typhoon Ruby (international code name: Hagupit) is the strongest storm to hit the Philippines since Yolanda last year.

I feel for the runners. I am not running any Milo Marathon event but I can imagine the frustration of the runners who had trained hard to get to tomorrow’s run. Of course safety should take precedence over beating a personal record.

That was a tough interval run

The day’s long interval run – 5 sets of 12 minutes at a pace 50 seconds faster than 21K pace – WAS a challenge. Man, that was tough! I don’t recall the last time I was challenged this much. The first interval was tough but I figured that I could keep that pace for an additional four sets. By the time I got to the third interval, the thought of quitting crossed my mind. By the fourth interval, I was seriously considering quitting but had to repeatedly coax myself to finish. You can do it, I was telling myself. I was already counting down the minutes. I had to keep on saying to myself that I should endure this discomfort because this is how tough it will be in a marathon.

I still managed to run slightly faster than the prescribed pace, averaging something like 60 seconds faster than 21K pace, or 10 seconds faster than the prescribed pace. But it was a wonderful feeling to push myself harder than usual. It’s a mental boost to discover that I still have stamina, despite my age!


Week 2 summary

I ran a total distance of 27 kilometers and a total time of 3:30.  Just like Week 1, I ran for 5 days. For Week 2’s long run, the plan required me to run 12 kilometers with the middle 5K at marathon pace. Once again I ran faster than marathon pace, covering the 5K in 33:53 for an average pace of 6:47. Right now my legs are feeling a little heavy and while I was able to get a decent amount of sleep (6.5 hours), I still feel slightly tired. I guess it is also because I ran Friday (30 minutes) and Saturday (5 kilometers).

Talking about sleep, let’s not forget the fact that I wasn’t able to get much sleep on Thursday night and Friday night. I tried to make it up Saturday night by getting to bed early and on Sunday by taking a long afternoon nap. I don’t think one can “make up” for the previous sleepless nights, but I took the extra hours of sleep to make sure I am fresh for the Sunday long run.

Next week I run the Pinoyfitness 21K. I’m still figuring out how to run that run. I am hoping to break 2:30, which would require me to run at least a 7:07 per kilometer pace. That should be doable, except that I want to take it easy for the first few kilomters. Can I maintain a 7:07 pace – or even a 7:00 pace – for 10 or even 15 kilometers?


105 days to go: Did not get good sleep but ran a 5K nonetheless


The hotel bed of Widus at Clark, Pampanga, where I stayed to attend an IT conference

Looks like a comfortable bed, right? Well, yes it is comfortable, yet because it isn’t my bed, I ended up tossing and turning for most of the night. That’s how I am – I have difficulty sleeping in a bed that isn’t my own. It’s my bane when I travel.

To be fair to Widus Hotel and Casino, which is a hotel in Clark, Pampanga where I stayed to attend an IT conference,  the room was cozy, spacious, and delightful. It felt more like a small apartment than a hotel. It had a standard-sized refrigerator – not one of those tiny models – and a microwave oven. The nice thing about Clark is that there really isn’t much to do so you could go to bed early. It’s just that is wasn’t my bed so I had trouble sleeping.

I knew this would happen, so that’s why I did the scheduled 5-kilometer run in the evening when I got back home rather than in the morning. I was able to squeeze a long nap so I could feel somewhat refreshed before the run. When I hit the road, I felt like I was shaking off the cobwebs in my head. I had For some strange reason my sense of direction got disoriented and I took a wrong turn somewhere but I was able to get my bearings. I ran the 5-kilometer at an easy, comfortable pace and ended up covering the distance in a little over 40 minutes while keeping my heart rate within zone 2 for a majority of the distance. Not bad, I told myself.

Run stats: 5 kilometers, 40:07, average heart rate 142.



118 days to go: an easy 10K

Today’s 10K was even slower than last week’s 10K!

Again it wasn’t because I was tired or fatigued. It’s that I had to keep my HR below 146 as advised by my training coach. So while last week, my slowest pace was fluctuating around 8:30 a kilometer, this run found me around the 9:00 range. Well, to be fair, my average HR last week was 151 while today’s average HR was 145.

Mental note to self: run easy runs at 9 minutes per kilometer.

Run stats: time was 1:26:22, average HR was 145, maximum HR was 156, 56% in Z2, 43% in Z3.

I have a running coach!

In my desire to do the best I can in the 2015 Tokyo Marathon, I have obtained the services of a running coach. I found him through Training Peaks, which has this feature called Find A Coach. You answer a questionnaire and indicate your preferred price range (for the thrifty, the lowest price range is $100-$199). Within a few days you will get an email with the names three candidates for you to choose.

I am not THAT serious to opt for a costly coach. I am no elite athlete. I just want to make sure I am training right and I need someone who can answer questions about training and running. After answering the questions (since I am tech-savvy with all of these sports gadgets, I indicated that I wanted a data-driven coach), I was paired with 3 coaches. I read through their materials and was drawn to David Hall (he has a website here), probably because he had experience coaching athletes outside the US. Moreover, while other coaches would give the training plan in two-week batches, David would map out and present to me an entire 16-week plan. I don't like seeing the plan in snippets. I prefer seeing the entire plan. If I see the entire plan, I can plan events around the training schedule. I can, for example, plan out-of-town trips when the weekend long runs are below 15 km (it's tough doing two hour runs when in unfamiliar territory). I can also sign up for races when I am scheduled for 21k runs.

So far I am having excellent communication with David through emails. He has already crafted a 16-week plan for me, incorporating the races that I had already signed up for (i.e., Pinoyfitness' 21k, Takbo.ph's 20-miler, and the Condura Skyway event). I start the plan next week and am excited!