Happy Hour

October 30, 2008


Filed under: Races — levyang @ 6:49 am

Guess I celebrated too soon.  According to the results released by Fort Striders, my finishing time was 50:02.  Oh well, sub-50 will have to wait till next year.  



October 27, 2008


Filed under: Races — levyang @ 2:45 am

Normally, I register for races way ahead of time but running at Fort Striders’ OctobeRun was a last-minute decision.  For those of you who bother reading this blog, you might have surmised from my previous posts that I’ve been wanting to do a sub-50 10K run for the longest time.  Yes, I did register 48:55 at the Clark Du, but it didn’t feel like a sub-50.  Twas was a very fast course at Clark, I’m guessing around 1.5K of the 2.5K loop was flat and downhill.  So, there’s still that itch of doing a sub-50 that needs to be scratched.  Hence, this last-minute decision.  

As luck would have it, I was at the Fort area Saturday night for a dinner with the family and was surprised to learn that ROX was still accepting registration for next day’s OctobeRun.  Was glad to see Jay (Prometheus Cometh) who was registering as well and Coach Rio.  I also registered the family for the UNICEF run this November 🙂  Really looking forward to this Fun Run.

I was at the NBC tent at 5:15am.  Did some warm-ups and then proceeded to the starting line.  The course is a familiar one.  It is the same Mizuno 15K course minus Heritage Park and McKinley Hill.  Even without the dreaded McKinley Hill, the course presents quite a challenge with its rolling terrain.  My plan for this race was to try and keep a steady cadence of 90 footstrikes for each leg and try to attack the hills.  When I saw Philip at the start, I sought his advice about my strategy.  He told me to go easy on the first 5K so that I’ll have enough energy coming back as there are a lot of uphills on the way back.  Saw Jay and wished him luck at the start.  

Race finally started at around 6:15am.  In order to establish some semblance of a rhythm, I kept counting to myself “1-2-3/1-2-3” (3 footstrikes per second) and maintained a pace of about 5 min/km at the start as I reminded myself to take it easy as per Philip’s advice.  Saw Philip making his way back at the front of Heritage Park.  At the turnaround, I glanced at my watch and saw that I did 24:28 for the first 5K.  

On the way back, I saw Gerard (Team PMI) and decided to pace behind Don Fernando.  I was observing the runners beside me and was really envious of the way they make running seem effortless.  Even Don Fernando was not employing the recommended 180 footstrikes per minute. Must be an easy run for everyone else except me 😦  My version of attacking the hills meant just trying to keep my pace steady even as the terrain sloped uphill 🙂  And then recover on the descents.  Don Fernando was surging ahead but his stops at the water stations would enable me to catch up to him until the turn from Bayani back to Lawton when his shoe laces must have come loose and I was able to overtake him 🙂  

At this point, I began to cough.  You know, the cough that usually precedes the vomit 🙂  So, I eased up a bit and shuffled my way towards McKinley Hill.  I just wanted to get that one last remaining hill after Essensa over with.  I was already laboring at that last hill.  Checking my HR at this point was pointless because the HRM slipped down to my stomach right after the turnaround 🙂  It was already 44 to 45 minutes at this point and while I knew gravity can help me run faster after the McKinley Ave. intersection, I was wondering if I still have one last burst within me.   In fact, I was no longer checking my watch  as I was a resigned to a time of 50 and change at this point.  As I made my turn at Pier One, I was wishing very hard that the first intersection would be the last left turn to the finish.  But Nooooo, that first intersection was still 7th Street. Upon making the last turn towards the finish, I saw that the official timer was at 49:50 and counting.  Oh My!!!! Sub-50 was still within reach after all.  So, I made one last dash to the finish and finally pressed the stop button on my watch at 49:57.92 🙂  (2nd 5K split: 25:29)  

So there you have it:  my sub-50 story 🙂  Afterwards, I was so happy to see Philip to share the good news.  And was equally thrilled that both of us achieved our goals that morning.  Philip did a 43 for his 10K run.  Joe (LoonyRunner) with his trusted backpack also showed up and said, “O, bakit parang pagod na pagod ka?”  🙂 Oh man, if you only knew.  So sorry guys I couldn’t join you as you made your way to Baldrunner’s spot.  I was that TIRED and had to go home for family obligations as this race really was a last-minute thing and I didn’t want to abuse wifey’s graciousness in allowing me to join.    

Just want to thank the running gods for blessing me yesterday and giving me the opportunity to do this. Sub-50 has become a barrier of sorts and it really felt good to break it by 2.08 seconds 🙂  While reports have it that the course was off by 100 meters, I’ll take it 🙂 Baka di na kasi maulit ito.  A loose shoe lace here or a momentary stop at the intersections to let the cars pass and I most certainly would not have made it. One thing’s for sure, after yesterday’s race, I won’t take anything for granted anymore.  Cliche as it may sound.  Every second counts 🙂  


October 21, 2008

The Du Run Run Run, Da Du Run Run (A Recap)

Filed under: Races — levyang @ 10:02 am

Here’s my recap of the Duathlon that was held last Sunday at Clark, Pampanga:

  • Fewer participants than the duathlons that were held early this year.  In fact, Coach Rick was kind of disappointed with the low turnout (i.e. around 70 participants for the standard distance).  I just told him it may be because of the schedule where  A LOT of races were scheduled every weekend this past month.  Coach Rick then informed me that they already cancelled the duathlon scheduled this December.  TRAP will just convene for its year-end evaluation in the hopes of coming out with a better schedule next year.  So, the Anvaya Invitational Triathlon on November 22 and 23 will be the last TRAP race for this year.  Extribe will still have its Off-Road Tri in December for all you TRI junkies out there 🙂    
  • Got to the venue with Philip at around 5am.  Race briefing at 6:15 am.  Actual race started at around 20 minutes before 7am.  
  • Saw Michael Pua, teammate of Leo Oracion, who travelled all the way from Quezon to join the morning’s race.  Yan ang dedication 🙂  
  • Halimaw-Watch:  Members of the National Team were there.  Arland Macasieb, Tayags of TRI Clark, Aussie Coach Rob Pickard, George Vilog, etc.
  • Fewer stuff in the transition area 🙂  
  • Run course is the very same course used for the duathlons early this year.  Should make for very fast times 🙂  Told my fellow participants to expect as much as we lined up at the start. 

First Run 10K (48:55)

  • Participants were required to do 4 loops around the parade grounds.  The 2.5k loop consisted of a very gradual incline of around 1K and the rest is flat and downhill.  
  • I posted earlier that I was aiming for a 55min 10K only because I wasn’t sure that we’re gonna run the same course as before based on the map sent by Coach Rick in the egroups.  
  • The battle plan was easy first 5K then hard last 5K.  After the first loop, I glanced at my watch and saw that I was doing an 11:30 – 12:00 split.  I just decided right then and there to scrap my battle plan and just maintain a steady pace throughout the race 🙂 
  •  Reason for steady pace: If I push it early on, I don’t know if I’ll make it to the end.  If I go any slower, I will be at the tail end of the pack.  I kid you not, the course is that fast.  Hence, the compromise of a steady pace.  
  • Was glad to have at least 2 participants pace with me:  Josh and Javy.
  • Sub-50 time for a 10K.  But take it with a grain of salt.  Doubts as to whether the course really measured 10K and like I said earlier, long downhills in every loop.            

Transition One (1:18)

  • I usually take 1 GU gel for a sprint triathlon.  For standard distances (duathlon or triathlons), I prepare 2 GU gels.  
  • I ate my first gel at this point.  

Bike (1:18:14)

  • 5 loops.  First 4K of each loop alternated between a gradual and steep incline towards the ruins.  Last 4K – hold on to the drops and pray for no potholes 🙂  
  • Participants were required to slow down each time we pass the transition area.  Good thing there were no accidents.  
  • Multiple loops pretty much guarantee that the elites will pass you at a certain point in the race.  It was a thrill to see the how the likes of George Vilog attack the climbs.  Also saw Rayzon Galdonez, Abe Tayag and Jojo Macalintal zoom past me.  Tried also to keep up with Monica Torres as she negotiated her way around the ruins only to be left behind a mere 20 seconds after 🙂
  • I felt good during the bike leg, stayed with the big ring throughout the course, but I did notice myself tiring a bit on the last loop.
  • Based on my odometer, course measured 38.71 kms.  Average Speed: 29.6 km/hr.
  • Ate the 2nd gel with 10K to go before the end of the bike leg.

Transition 2 (1:47)

  •  Finally, got to remove my feet from the cleats even before dismounting 🙂  
  • Once again, taking my sweet time here only because I knew I will meet my goal of doing a sub 2:50 🙂  

Run 2 (27:03)

  •  It was already around 9am at this point.  While the course did offer a lot of shade, there were still certain points that one cannot escape the sun.  
  • Shoe laces came loose early in the first loop.
  • Was glad to see Philip waiting towards the end of the first loop, egging me on to attack the inclines and finish strong.  (It turned out that Philip had a flat tire right on his first loop)  Don’t worry Philip, Duathlon world better be ready for you next year 🙂  
  • All this time, I was just telling Philip that I was going to enjoy this.  Last race for the year, I knew pre-race goals will be met.  I’m already happy, I don’t want to kill myself 🙂
  • Truth be told, I just didn’t want to admit that I was really getting tired by the time the 2nd loop began.  And again, there was Philip waiting around the bend to shepherd me towards the finish line.  I really appreciate this gesture by the Foreign Runner, always telling me to do my best under any circumstance.  
  • So, I tried to muster whatever little energy I have left to make a sprint for the finish line with a time of 2:37:18.  

As Coach Rick confirmed during the awarding ceremonies, duathlons are indeed more difficult than triathlons.  Yup, duathlons are a whole different animal altogether.  Requires a different strategy/preparation.  And I guess that’s what makes this multi-sports thing so much fun.  No course/race is ever the same even though one may have raced the same route before 🙂  

Congratulations to the overall winner: Neil Catiil.  And I should also mention the fact that the top 5 finishers, all did sub-2 hours 🙂  Kudos to TRAP for another well-organized race.  It’s been an honor and a privilege to toe the starting line in the TRAP races this year and race alongside multi-sport junkies who’ve become my friends along the way.  I send my biggest and loudest cheers to all of you.  See you next year.

It’s back to BASE-ics for Happy Hour 🙂

October 18, 2008

Hard Rate

Filed under: Training — levyang @ 12:19 am

This should dispel the myth that the Chinese are inherently good in math.  Ever since I started out working with a Heart Rate Monitor (HRM), I pegged my maximum heart rate at 193.  For those of you who use the standard formula in determining the appropriate heart rate for one’s age (220 – age = maximum heart rate), the setting of 193 means that I am 27 years of age.  Well, that was 10 summers ago.  I am now a 37 year old daddy 🙂

I found out about it while I was glossing through statistics of NBA players.  Going through the myriad of numbers got me thinking about heart rates and the number 220.  Subtract two and two together and voila – I should be training using the mid-180’s as my base!  This must be the reason why I never hit 90% capacity that Philip was talking about.  Also, might be the reason why I’m getting a bit tired lately.  

Oh well, good thing I found out about this before off-season training.  Will still use the old settings for tomorrow’s race though.   Look at is as hard rate’s final hurrah 🙂


October 17, 2008

Gotta Du, Gotta Tri

Filed under: Ramblings — levyang @ 3:00 am

There’s a Duathlon scheduled this Sunday at Clark.  Truth be told, I find duathlons more difficult than triathlons.  In triathlons, I’ve got the battle plan down pat:  easy swim, pedal at a comfortable pace at the bike then go for broke on the run.  In duathlons, there’s a 10k run staring at me from the get go, I’m afraid I’ll already be out of breath as I switch on to the bike leg 😦  

Early this year, I joined 2 duathlons, both at Clark.  The cool weather helped me a lot with the first race and I was really happy with a time of 2:06.  In the second race, I bonked during the 2nd run, side stitch and all, and finished with a time of 2:16.  As you can see, duathlons are a different animal altogether.  

Ok, here’s the battle plan for this Sunday:  Easy first 5K to get the juices flowing then go a bit harder for the next 5K.  Rest up on the first and last loops of the bike leg (5 loops=40K).  Then, go hard for the final 5K run.  As far as times are concerned, I’ll aim for a 55 min 10K run, 1:25 for the 40K bike and a sub-28 for the last 5K.  If things go as planned, a sub 2:50 should be within reach.  Last year, I did a 3:06 for the standard distance.  So I’m really happy with anything under 3 hours.  Why the sub 2:50 goal then you might ask?  Blame Philip 🙂  

I’m really excited for Philip as he will race his first Duathlon.  I’m looking forward to see how Monica Torres will do as well as she has improved A LOT in her times from previous races.  Wow, can’t wait 🙂  Let’s see if I will be able to meet my pre-race goals, hehe.  


October 14, 2008

Alabang Tri Recap

Filed under: Races — levyang @ 8:15 am
General Observations:
  • Got to the venue around 5am and while it was still dark, TRAP was already on hand to welcome the early birds in the transition area.  
  • Noticed subtle changes like the numbers on the bike racks were laminated instead of the usual masking tapes.  
  • It appeared that Coach Rick was dead serious in making amends from the unfortunate experience at ANIMO Tri where half of the participants got disqualified because of the confusion re: bike course. He did the race briefing right in the middle of the transition area at exactly 5:45am as announced.  
  • Saw fellow bloggers like Javy (Tri’in Hard) in his brand-new Cervelo, Joma (Groundhog Dude) and of course Philip (Foreign Runner).  
  • Was glad to see Suzi as well who did her first triathlon.  As it turned out, she finished first in her age group 🙂  What a debut!!  Also saw Gelo Arellano who did his 2nd tri.  Congrats!!
  • I observed though that there were not as many participants in last weekend’s race.  Must be because WRT was held just the week before and there’s the Dua on the 19th.  Not to mention the Adidas KOTR the day before.  But that didn’t stop true Ironmen like Joma and Fiona Ottiger from participating 🙂  

Swim:  950m (21:13)

  •  Started out at lane 2 in order to avoid getting kicked around at the start 🙂 
  • Around 3/4 of the way, I went back to lane 1 because the strong swimmers were already coming my way 🙂  
  • For a good part of the swim, I drafted off a participant just to see if it really makes it easier.  I don’t know if I drafted properly because I didn’t notice any difference.
  • Before our wave started, I told Alfred Racho that I’ve come to accept the fact my swim is what it is.  Going for a sub-20 while ideal is just going to take a lot out of me.  

Transition One  (1:52)

Bike 30K (55:53)

  • Finally, did the correct sequence of the Ocho-Ocho route 🙂
  • Averaged 32.3 km/hr
  • Don’t believe Leo Oracion’s bike split.  He did an extra Cuenca Loop.  Too bad, he could have given Hiro Takei a great race to the finish.  
  • I just want to share this tidbit.  The day before the race I had my bike washed at Bike Town Cyclery.  Also got my back tire replaced.  Since budget is always a consideration I thought of getting a Michelin Dynamic (P500).  While talking with Kuya Jun, he tried to convince me to give Continental Grand Prix a shot.  I tend to tune out when bike talk gets too technical because all of the terms really sound greek to me.  Besides, I want to keep things simple and I tend to doubt how some bike parts/accessories can help one improve on his/her time.  Well, sa totoo lang, hindi ko lang afford kaya sourgraping ako 🙂  At any rate, I was hoodwinked into shelling out one grand for the Grand Prix tire.  Well, that one tire DID make a difference in my ride last weekend.  I noticed that it was less bumpy and I did have a smoother ride.  I really couldn’t believe one tire could make that big a difference.  Am I a convert?  Nah, still can’t afford to keep up with the Joneses 🙂  

Transition Two (1:41)

  • Have to work on letting my cleats remain on the bike when I remove my feet.  Maybe I’ll try this on the Dua this Sunday.  

Run 7K (36:05)

  • Familiarity with the course helped me preserve energy in order to attack the hills and go for a semi-sprint once the last hill was conquered and I was in the Country Club straightaway to the finish.  
  • Brought my HRM this time for the race because Philip told me to race at 88-90% capacity.  
  • But then, it was useless because my HRM was at my stomach at this point measuring how hungry I am 🙂  
  • I am sure I left it all out there though because Ellet remarked that I was no longer smiling at the finish and it took me quite a while to recover and breathe normally.  

Finish (1:56:45)

  • Achieved pre-race goals of trying to do a sub-2 and improving on my times in the run.  
  • Guess it was a redemption of sorts for both TRAP and myself.  No more DQ’s 🙂  (Based on the results, there were only 3 or 4 participants who didn’t follow the proper sequence)
  • Happy 2nd Anniversary to my fellow TRIplets: Joma and Butch.  This is where it all started for us in this wonderful world of triathlon 🙂  

Cheers!  Season will be winding up soon.  Next Race: Clark Dua on the 19th.

October 12, 2008

Ani in Kona, Little Angel Franchesca in Heaven

Filed under: Uncategorized — levyang @ 5:46 am

Ani competed in the Ironman World Championships in Kona and finished with a time of 12 hours and 7 minutes and 18 seconds.

Same time spent by Little Angel Franchesca Marie Bernardo in her very brief sojourn in this world.    

Life is a gift.

Life is precious.

Make it count.

Make it happen.  

Cheers Ani!  

Pray for us Little Angel Franchesca, you are home now.

October 6, 2008

Daddy Duties

Filed under: Training — levyang @ 3:53 am

While the whole triathlon community was at Whiterock last Saturday, I was at my son’s school for the yearly sportsfest.  Not quite the adrenalin rush found in a triathlon race, but it was fun just the same 🙂  For the first time, my son didn’t whine nor cry during the whole event (Yehey!!) even though it was quite hot that morning.  I heard conditions were quite difficult for the Whiterock participants as well 😦  I send my loudest cheers to those who finished WRT!! You guys rock!!

As for me, I did a 14K run last Saturday afternoon.  I tried to simulate the conditions at Whiterock by running at around 1:30pm.  Whew, it was hot.  After 5K, I already knew it was going to be a difficult run even though I was going at a snail’s pace, about 6:30 – 6:45 min/km.  Finished in 1 hour 34 minutes.  And judging from the color of my urine (dark yellow, almost brown) afterwards, I guess I was really dehydrated.

The following day, I did the Ocho-Ocho route again in Alabang.  Like I said in a previous post, training in Alabang is fun because you can start your workout any time of the day.  No traffic, shady trees.  I started to bike around 2:30pm and did 8 loops of the Ocho-Ocho.  Wrapped up the long bike ride in a little less than 3 hours 🙂  Good thing, I was able to squeeze in the workouts in between the intermittent rains over the weekend 🙂


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