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Unilab Run United 2 – 2011

The Event: Unilab Run United 2
The Sched: Aug 21, 2011
The Distance we joined: 500m (2 kids) / 5km (my wife and 2 kids) / 21km (my run)

Ever since I joined Run United 2 last 2010, I’ve known that this event is a true ‘fun run’ as it is not just for myself but for the whole family. I’ve tried running in a few races without the family and I realized how different it is without them. So whether they run in the race or just “tag along” I knew that this would be an event that combines a race for the serious runner and for the recreational runner. So I made it a point to save up and make sure everyone was registered. So this is a +1 star on my rating scale!

I registered in the 21km distance, while my wife and 2 older children registered for the 5km, and finally my 2 younger kids are registered for the 500m distance. So with everyone registered we are ready for the big day.

My 21km run started on time and I was pumped and ready to go. Same as my last few runs I paced myself slower knowing full well that the combination of the lack of training and the lack of rest (due to a full day with my niece’s wedding the previous day). My first 7kms was on track, but then my legs started to experience some tightness associated with the early signs of cramps. So when I passed Kalayaan Flyover I decided to take it easy all the way across Gil Puyat Ave until I reach the turnaround point at South Super Hi-way U-turn.

my pic at kalayaan flyover

Me and two other runners on Kalayaan Flyover (Thanks for the pic ARC PH!)

It’s really demotivating on my part when I see runners bigger than myself but doing better in the race, but I willed myself to push forward and complete the rest of the race at the best pace I can. And eventually I was able to conquer Kalayaan Flyover! I knew this when I was on the way back (last 3kms) and there was no hesitation to still keep my pace in different sections of the flyover. The feeling of cramps on my right foot and calf (a consistent muscle fatigue I get after kilometer 15) persisted for the last 5kms of the run. I was able to run with a consistent 30sec run / 30sec walk all the way to the finish line.

The race route was alright, running in BGC for quite a number of 21km races has made it slightly predictable (especially the route from Kalayaan flyover until the end of Buendia and back) so nothing new there. Although the combination of a +2 star rating I give this race is the consistency of the water stations (having water and sufficient Powerade, which some race organizers miss out on), the team of competent marshalls, and the coordination between the race organizer and local government (traffic enforcers, police officers, emergency teams). This reiterated my confidence in Runrio organized races, that although are a little pricey than other race organizers provides a high quality that makes runners keep signing up for future races.

Just crossed the finish line

Just crossed the finish line

There I was; tired, thirsty, and exhausted from my 21km run. But I had great news waiting for me. My wife, and eldest son was there waiting for me and could not wait to give me the news…my youngest son Kenneth won first place in the 500m dash for kids. So even with my mind and body drained from the run, I was still able to muster the strength to wait at the stage as the winners of the 500m run was announced. This is the first time my youngest son won in a race, and he was all smiles on top of the podium.

Kenneth at the podium

Kenneth at the Podium

This is a fun-filled event that one post will not do justice to all the fun and family bonding we’ve experienced this day. With all the booth and additional activities in the Kaspersky and Unilab ActiveHealth section, the cool and practical products from Unilab in our finisher’s kit, plus the superb quality of the finisher’s shirt, medal, and to top it all off the event also gives to the HERO and Gawad Kalusugan foundation so not only did we enjoy a fun-filled day, but also helped others at the same time. So another +2 star rating.

This is the first time I’ve given a 5 star rating to an event, but what can I say it is a really good balance of everything a non-elite runner, father, and filipino looks forward to everytime. So Unilab, Kaspersky Lab, and RunRio…kudos and looking forward to the Run United 3 in November as well as future Run United events!

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2011 in Blogs on Running

 

Alaska Family Run 2011

The Event: Alaska Family Run 2011
The Sched: May 7, 2011 (5:30AM gun start)
The Race distance: 3 / 5KM

I’m always on the look out for fun runs and other related activities our whole family can join. And when this race was first announced I marked it on my calendar and made a note to prepare for that day. This is a ‘family’ run with the aim of providing a venue for parents and their child(ren) to have quality time.

The weather forecast was rains and some thunderstorms, but I just prayed for good weather and hoped for the best. God must have heard me and many parents and children running that day for even though it was a little cloudy there was not rain in sight, and even the wind was not gusty. Hurray!

The 5km run was already on the way when we arrived, so we quickly settled down and got ready to run. Knowing that the company sponsoring the event is a reputable group, I had the chance to even get my younger brother, and my boss to join-in on the run.

Gun start was on time and this being a family run, there were children everywhere! So one had to be careful in the first 100 to 400m from the starting line as even children as young as 4 years old were running beside their parents.

All my 4 kids ran that day and even though my 2 older children were supposed to run in the 5km, we just decided to run as one big family and ran the 3km event. Hydration along the way was enough to satisfy the different hydration requirement of parents and children alike so this is definitely a +1 star on my rating for the organizer and host.

The experience of the run really put a smile to my face. There were different families running, parents who encouraged their kids to run faster or improve their form, kids who kept encouraging their parents to ‘hurry up’ and just families running and walking the course. In my humble opinion, the best venue for running is Mall of Asia grounds as there are long straight roads, little traffic, but still with competent traffic enforcers (another +1 star rating on my rating scale).

Another set of factors to add to a new +1 star rating is a combination of marshalls (which were sufficient to guide the runners), loot bags with cool Alaska products, and the cream of the crop is the Finisher’s shirt which I thought was a cotton shirt, but it was really a dri-fit shirt (how cool and unexpected was that!) which I believe made lots of the people excited because almost all the kids and their parents wore the finisher shirts. This is the first time I’ve seen so many people wearing the finisher’s shirt…and of course we couldn’t stop ourselves from wearing them as well.

picture! picture!

strike a pose on the podium with our finisher shirts on!

Finally, the last +1 1/2 star rating I’m rating this run goes to the post race activities. Since this is a family run, it would not be complete without the usual parlor games for kids (which they all had a blast playing that they did the different games at least twice!) There was pan-de-sal with Alaska condensada, and Alaska milk, Halo-halo, and my respite…coffee! Because I didn’t get my caffeine fix that morning. And the latest trend, PHOTOVENDO!

So, if you’ve kept track of the rating I’m about 1/2 a star rating shy. This is primarily because the only downside I can say about this event is the difference of the race distance with the actual distance. (3km just registered 2.83kms on my Nike sportsband). I noticed that this can be attributed to the start/finish arc being moved to a different area. From what I heard, the technical team for the Justin Bieber concert were already busy setting up their equipment and the Alaska organizers had to move to the nearest open space to set up their tents (which was the parking space beside the IMAX theater causing a reduction in race distance.)

This is the first race I’ve given a 4 1/2 star rating…so here is hoping for another Alaska Family Run in the near future…who knows I might even look into the Ironkids and Triathlon events they are organizing!

The family with the Alaska logo

The family with the Alaska logo

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2011 in Blogs on Running

 

[Part 2]: My Review of Bodivance-Thermogenic accelerator

This is finally the day when I get to see if Bodivance really does work for me. Read on friends!

The Event: Run with the Masters 2011
The Sched: April 17, 2011 (5:30AM gun start)
The Race distance: 21KM

I didn’t have time to train for this as my expected 21km run was in May 15 (Goldilocks 45th Anniv run in BGC). But a fellow runner who had to skip the event (Run with the Masters) asked through a runners forum I frequent takbo.ph (http://www.takbo.ph) if there were anyone interested and fortunately I was able to get his race kit (Thanks again Sir Jerome!).

So here I am again getting ready for a 21km run that I had almost no training at all (unless you count the 2 short 15min jog I did during the week prior to the run). Was I nervous? Not really, and it gives me a good excuse to test Bodivance again. And like was suggested I applied a layer of it on my quads and calves being careful not to rub it into my skin, but rather just having a thin layer on them.

Me applying Bodivance 10 minutes before the run

Applying Bodivance before my run

I’ve already run 2 different 21km run (excluding this run), and my main challenge has been cramps in my quads and calves (particularly on my left leg). All throughout the run, I did not feel any discomfort, heat build up on my legs, and although I did feel a slight pull in my muscle indicating that a cramp is about to set in, lo and behold I finished my 21km (20.56km on my Nike sportsband) without any cramp at all and I still was able to sprint to the finishline!

Sprinting to the Finishline!

Sprinting to the Finishline!

So Bodivance did make a difference in my run today. Just imagine if I included more serious training into my schedule? It brings up a lot of new excitement in my training and race runs! I’m definitely adding Bodivance as part of my checklist every time I run!

 
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Posted by on April 17, 2011 in My Reviews

 

My Review of Bodivance – Thermogenic accelerator

I first encountered Bodivance when I applied a sachet from a friend during my 21km run at Unilab’s Run United 1- 2011. I was in the last 7km or so when I experienced cramps in my calves and quads (on both legs at that!), my friend Eric pulled out a sachet and applied it on my legs (salamat my friend!). At first I though I was going to wince all the way to the finish line. Lo and behold! I was pleasantly surprised that my cramps subsided (with a healthy dose of calf and quad streching of course), and was able to do an easy pace run until the finish. At the last 2kms I though I would run into another episode with cramps, but again to my surpise the cramps didn’t flare up again. I thought I didn’t make my PR, but was again surprised when I finished almost 15 minutes faster than my previous 21km run at Condura Skyway Marathon.

Race time comparison

Race time comparison

To really test it out if it was a fluke or not, I applied bodivance about 10 minutes before my 10 mile run at Yakult 10 Mile run. I take a mandatory 8 to 10 minute warm up session as my muscles (for some reason) take time to warm up before a run every time. When my wife applied it on my calves and quads I felt a little awkward with the sticky feeling of the gel. But since I’m testing how effective this is for me, logic dictates I follow the directions to the dot. And I’m glad I did!

My wife applying bodivance on my calves

My wife applying bodivance on my calves

All throughout my 16km run I monitored how my legs felt, and I was amazed that there wasn’t even a hint of a cramp from start to finish. And when I checked my quads and calves, there was still a layer of Bodivance on my legs.

thumbs up at the finish

Thumbs up at the finish line!

At last! Just crossed the finish line! And I didn’t experience any cramps during this run! And to top it all off, I got a new Personal Record (PR) of 1:59:18 from my 2:10:41 finish at the PSE-Megaworld Bull run 2011. Was it because I already have two(2) 21km runs under my belt? Or was it with the help of Bodivance?…What I do know is I finished my 16km run with no training in the last 3 weeks and didn’t run into cramps. I’ll hold onto my bottle and will definitely be using this in all my upcoming runs! Because my 21kms aside, Bodivance did make a difference in my run today.

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2011 in My Reviews

 

Rogin-E Last Man Running 2011

When I first got news of this run, I thought to myself…”hmm interesting! Basically its free registration since the Rogin-E bottle you’ll be buying is for your consumption anyway. BUT I don’t take Rogin-E and I don’t have the extra budget to buy a bottle.

God must have known that deep inside I really wanted to run in this race, so he answered my prayer through Raymund of Everybody Loves Raymund. He raffled off some race kits and fortunate for me I got picked and got not just 1 but 2 racekits! Thanks again Sir Raymund!

We woke up early and hurried to McKinley hill (our first time to run there so we don’t know how to get there by car). Fortunately, we got there with just enough time to do a quick warm-up, last minute visit to the portalet, and give our kisses and hugs to the kids.

Kudos to Coach Edward Kho for thinking of this Last man running idea. It’s the first time I’ve encountered this kind of format. Although I didn’t run this race category, it was a memorable run as its my wife’s first 10km run and I’m just as excited being able to pace and support her all the way.

McKinley hill is not new to me as I passed by this area during my 16km run during PSE-Bull run 2011. So the hills didn’t pose any problems to our knees and muscles as I knew when (for us) is the best time to recover and walk the high inclines. The race route only had three (3) rants, 1). the traffic along Lawton Ave. is terrible, I almost got hit by a scooter trying to shortcut the traffic. 2). the construction work along the same road really made my eyes teary and had trouble breathing for a short time. 3). the turn around at heritage was confusing with different people jogging, kids playing, and just lots of people roaming around. Different runners aside from myself had to keep asking where the turnaround was (from other runners on the way back). But after the more than 1 hour run we had…finally we arrived at the finish line! As I posted in a recent poll of what matters most for me as a runner is the experience, and although we went through some rough patches along the way. The sights, sounds, and experience of running in McKinley hills in the Rogin-E Last Man Running 2011 is one for the books. And for the first time I splashed water over my head and was surprised that I got photographed!

Thanks to the race organizer, Raymund, Runners runner (Raya Lopez)..this pic is one of the best running related pictures I have!

– theflatfootedrunner –

 
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Posted by on February 28, 2011 in Blogs on Running

 

Running gear review – Nathan Speed 2 Energy Belt

In preparation for my goal of running 21km at the Condura Skyway Marathon 2011. I decided to upgrade my running gear to include a hydration belt. I drink a lot of water even on days when I don’t run so I said to myself “It’s logical for me to get a hydration belt” as 21km is a hard race to be stuck feeling dehydrated.

What kind of hydration belt to get?
First, I made a mental note during the last 3 to 4 runs on what kind of hydration belt people were using. And I noticed that a lot of people preferred using Nathan (various models). Even some of my running buddies at Adidas Nation of Runners – MOA were using these. So armed with this information I went on to the next question of what particular model to choose from? I was looking at either the 2R or 4R…I finally settled on the 2R or 2 bottled version because when I tested the 4R version, I somehow felt off balanced.

I apologize for the pic, I rotated it to have a vertical orientation

Race day!
Finally, I filled up my flasks with cold water and gatorade, made sure the pocket of the Speed 2R had my energy gels, cellphone, and omega pain killer, and headed out the door. Condura Skyway Marathon here I come! At first I had a hard time with the belt bouncing during the first 5 minutes of the race, but finally found the “sweet spot” and the rest of the run was uneventful and I didn’t really notice any problems along the way. It took some getting use to…drinking while running and consuming energy gels while jogging, but I really found that the belt really did its job and helped me finish my 21km.

This mighty handy running gear should be on every runner's list! Well, maybe not every runner...

After the Race
When I removed the belt, I noticed that it wasn’t as wet as I was expecting…moisture wicking is a real cool feature and should be on every running gear we use! Clean up of the bottles was fast and easy, and at the end of the day they are happily tucked away until the next race beckons!

RANT and Suggestions
The only things I hope they would improve on is the addition of an option to adjust the flask holders, being able to adjust whether at the back or in front is an important feature for some runners (like me). Another is that I wish this could hold my race bib. I had to get a race belt just to clip the race bib on. Finally, just like its competitor Amphipod, I wish there would be accessories that we could add such as an additional pouch for cellphone, ipod or something else.

So what are you waiting for! Save up and go out and buy one! Thanks to A Runner’s Circle Ph where I got my Nathan. Guys were always ready to answer any questions and would provide suggestions and inputs that helped me decide what to get.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2011 in My Reviews

 

Condura Skyway Marathon – My first 21km experience

When I first read about the Condura Skyway marathon (called Condura Run last 2010). I immediately read posts from differnt running enthusiast’s blogs and the consensus was that this was an event that many would not want to miss and promises to be a big event for runners. And I was right, from day 1 of registration until the end of the race, the different sights, sounds, experience is truly one that one will never forget.

For me this was a really big event because I had a lot of firsts in this run. Today, I’ll focus on my experience before, during, and after the run.

1 Day before the run (February 5, 2011)

SIGH…is what I would describe this day. Work on a saturday, spending time with the kids, preparing for my run tomorrow, all the while eating properly, drinking lots of fluids, and sneaking as much sleep as I can (though technically they were just short naps), and what do you know…its already the end of saturday SIGH!

D-Day (February 6, 2011)

THIS IS IT!…2:30AM – quick shower, wake up the family (of course everyone should come along, I need all the morale boost I can get), and off we go to Ayala. My wife just dropped me off as she needs to head for BGC to prepare for her 5km run as well. I had a lot of time so took my time to visit the portable and warm-up.

(My kids) The cheering squad is dressed up and ready!

When I finally went to the wave C corral, Lo-and-behold I saw my former boss who is into triathlon and he’s running 21k with his tri team mates. He introduced me to his team mates and we all agreed to pace together.
We just chatted away to kill time (its the first time I met Macky eversince I moved to another company). Some interesting tidbits while I was waiting, was I saw Jaime Zobel de Ayala jogging about…not sure if he’s running in Condura though as I didn’t see him wearing any racebib, and saw literally lots of runners who are obviously triathletes (Tessa-Prieto Valdez being one of them). Which got me pumped up, as I’m surrounded by REAL RUNNERS…it’s not a simple thing to run 21km as I was about to experience first-hand when the gun starts.

Off we go! (February 6, 2011)

And it begins! Right from the gunstart I mentally conditioned myself to “slow down” take an easy pace…there’s still a long way to go. I took this to heart everytime I start my runs as I’m a cautious person by nature…no need to burn too much energy now as this is the farthest run you’ve ever done to date. I was eventually left behind by Macky and his team mates as we began our upward climb to skyway. I already knew it would happen so no qualms there at all, I knew that this challenge was between my physical and mental limitations and the road. And was it a challenge! I felt good during the first 8km part of the race, but as I neared the 11km mark I started to feel hungry and it was then I thought…time to replenish with some energy gel and it really does work! 5 minutes later I was energized and felt I could continue chugging along with no problem all the way until the U-turn. When I thought things were looking up, I suddenly realized how lonely I felt on the road, how small I felt with me running along that wide road that is the skyway. As my mind started to wonder, I saw NeverRunAlone chugging along the skyway toward their marathon route, and I said to myself I had a purpose just like them! I want to reach the finish line to my wife and kids patiently waiting for my arrival. And so I push forward!

Off we go! Part 2: There is light at the end of the tunnel.

As I was about to exit the skyway, I patiently paced along and consumed my third pack of energy gel but out of the blue, I started to feel cramps creeping in both in my left leg mucles (quads and calf). It slowed me down and I had to kiss my target of 2 hour 45 minutes goodbye. I started getting depressed again, constantly cursing my body’s limitation. Then I saw the takbo.ph aid station with everyone cheering all runners on shouting “1.5 kilometers nalang!” So after eating the banana they handed out, bit my lips and pushed for a 1 minute jog and 1 minute walk all the way through Kalayaan and into BGC. Finally the finish line! When saw the arch all I could think of was, “finally I can see an end to this challenge!” And at the end…my first 21km clocked in at 3 hours 18 minutes with my legs all wobbly and cramps still nearby waiting for the chance to bite my legs. And funny thing is that I still had the energy to paint some dolphins, drink some beer, take a couple of jump shot pics and finally its homeward bound we go.

I still had energy to do jump shots?

At the end of race day: Fulfillment! When all is said and done, I went out and did what I set out to do. Run 21km safe and sound with no injury whatsoever (well, except for aching mucles and calves). So until next year Condura Skyway Marathon…I’ll make sure to keep my eye on you when you schedule the next run  in 2012, because I’ll be back! Thanks to number 1 goes to our Lord up high who gave all runners such a great weather for running, my wife Zhon, my kids Kelly, Kate, Kervin, and Kenneth (your smiles and cheers kept me inspired all the way), Coach Mar and my running friends for all the training tips, and everyone from organizers, marshals, sweepers, traffic aids, and others too numerous to list. You just made this day one for the books!

 

This one is for the books!…my journal (book) that is

theflatfooted runner

 
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Posted by on February 9, 2011 in Blogs on Running

 
 
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