Happy Hour

December 30, 2009

Rizal Day Run

Filed under: Races — levyang @ 6:04 pm

30 December.  30 kilometers.  Done in 2:45:06.   Lechon – gone in 5 minutes.  Beautiful, rolling 4-loop course inside Camp Aguinaldo.  Beer.  Ice Cream.  Back to Basics, No Frills Race done the Bald Runner way.   Jose Rizal would have been proud.



December 28, 2009

Going Long

Filed under: Uncategorized — levyang @ 2:21 am

If I can describe this past year in one phrase, it would be the year for “going long”.  Running-wise, it meant joining 21K races on a regular basis.  Triathlon-wise, it meant training that revolved around peaking for Camsur and Whiterock.  Cycling-wise, it meant hitting the century during training rides.  Here’s a recap of the races I joined this past year (although there’s still one race left – Rizal Day Run):

February 7 – MILO Subic 21k – 1:52:53

March 22 – Condura Half- Marathon – 1:45:57

March 28 – MOA Duathlon (7k-30k-4k) – 1:50:59

April 5 – TLBF Standard Distance Triathlon – 2:53:19

April 19 – Greenfield City Run 21k – 1:52:13

May 17 – SUBIT – 2:49:02

May 31 – Microsoft IE8 Run 8 miles – 1:13:27

June 7 – Mizuno Infinity Run 15k – 1:16:27

June 14 – Animo Sprint Triathlon – 1:53:29

June 28 – MOA Duathlon – 1:49:26

July 19 – Globe Run for Home 21k – 1:50:17

August 15 – Kenny Urbanite Run 15K – 1:20:20

August 23 – Ironman 70.3 Camsur – 6:11:51

August 29 – UPLB Costume Tri (400m – 15k – 3k) – 53:53

August 30 – UP Law Invitational Sprint Triathlon – 1:25:07

September 13 – Ecodash 21k – 1:50:14

September 20 – MOA Duathlon – 1:49:07

October 18 – Alabang NAGT – 1:50:48

October 25 – Adidas KOTR 21k – 1:49:57

November 7 – WRT Long-Distance Triathlon (1.5k – 91k – 20k) – 5:24:38

November 15 – Asian Duathlon Championships Standard Distance – 2:25:40

November 29 – New Balance Run 21k – 1:48:16

December 13 – Powerade Standard Distance Duathlon – 2:21:20

December 19 – UPLB NAGT – 1:41:58

December 20 – Philstar Celebrity Run 21k – 2:06:01

December 30 – Rizal Day Run 30k – 2:45:06

Quite a busy year, but I’m not as tired at this point as I was last year 🙂  Happy to note incremental improvements in triathlon times but running times leave much to be desired.  Condura time seemed like an aberration really 🙂  If 2009 was the year for ‘going long’, I guess 2010 would be one for ‘going longer’.  I will go for the full mary on February 7 at Condura.  Don’t worry, I’ll stop there.  I know I’m not ready to try the full Ironman distance just yet….maybe in 2011 perhaps 🙂

Cheers!  See you in 2010.  Subic NAGT on January 17.

December 21, 2009

UPLB NAGT/Celebrity Run

Filed under: Races — levyang @ 4:54 am

It really must be December now since I can hardly fit in my trisuit.  Love handles are bulging out at the seams.  Good thing there were races this past weekend to hold the fatness at bay for a few hours at least 🙂

The UPLB NAGT which was originally scheduled on October 3 finally pushed through last Saturday with an 8:30am gunstart, instead of the usual 2pm in previous years.  Course was still the same as last year’s version which was good – it’s always nice to see if I can improve on last year’s time.  My wave started at 10:30am.

Swim – 15:44

8 loops, 4 x 25 meter/loop.  Jumping back to the pool after each 100m loop pretty much guarantees that it will be virtual washing machine throughout.  Was ecstatic climbing out after the first loop and seeing Leo Oracion diving for his second one 🙂  Twas the last time I saw him during the swim though.  The challenge in ‘multi-loops’ racing is making sure that I do the required number of loops so I won’t get disqualified.  I mean it’s ok to go overboard just like I did at the MOA duathlon last June but to get DQ’d just because I did not do enough loops….I’d rather not think about it.  So, that was all I thought about during the swim: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8.  I was happy to see that I improved upon my last year’s time by a minute 🙂

Transition 1 – 1:22

Lately, I’ve had my shoes on and just clipping them before I begin my ride because I have a hard time putting my feet inside the shoes during the actual ride itself.  I know it will make for a faster transition time.  Something to ponder and work on for next year.

Bike – 56:10

4 loops of around 8kms per loop.  Did not bother counting loops this time because of the odometer 🙂  The course is pretty much flat with gradual and hardly noticeable inclines in certain segments.  The weather was cool although it was probably almost noon at this point.  In fact, it was even drizzling at certain stages.  Encountered headwind each time after the rotonda on the way back.  There were a couple of times when momentum was lost on account of traffic build-up where I had to slow down and bide my time in passing the jeep/tricycle for safety reasons but other than that, I tried to keep a solid pace, spinning the cranks with the right amount of effort that would not build up lactic in the quads.  For the bike leg, I was slower by 6 seconds from last year 😦

Transition 2 – 1:10

Coach Rick shouted that it was, in fact, lunch time.  Good thing the sun was hiding behind the clouds 🙂  And it was December, so that helped also.  Made sure to tighten the laces this time around which was probably the reason transition time was over a minute in this race.

Run – 27:30

One thing I’ve learned is that the different distances in triathlon races present different challenges.  Short distances are not easy and longer distances does not necessarily mean harder.  In fact, some would say that sprint distances are the toughest just because one races at threshold pace throughout the supposedly ‘short’ distance.  Such was the case for me in this race.  Was already huffing and puffing even as I began my first loop.  Of course, that incline out of transition didn’t help matters.  But the downhill section after that gave me the opportunity to coast and reload until the incline shows up again.  Running at a steady pace and reflecting on the year that has gone by.  Last multisport race of the year has gotten me nostalgic 🙂  Soon enough, I got to the finish line and finished at 1:41:58 by my watch.  Run was slower by 9 seconds from last year, but overall result was faster by a minute.  I’ll take that 🙂

Celebrity Run

Didn’t plan on running this race when it was originally scheduled sometime in October I think.  But then, in the midst of discussing preparations for the long distance races next year, I forced Javy to include me for this one since he wanted to do a 30K run in his preparation for Langkawi.  Alas, Javy got sick in the wee hours of Sunday morning 😦

Remember when I said that the New Balance Run was the toughest 21K yet?  Well, that title didn’t last long because of this one.  It’s the same New Balance route except that instead of going to the International School area, the first few kms were spent going to the Makati Business District which meant the Kalayaan flyover on the way back.  Also, while McKinley Hill was a constant in the 2 races, the runners for this race had to run all the way to the C5 turnaround point which meant cresting that short but very steep hill on the way back.  A challenging course for sure and it’s just too bad I was in no condition to race this one.  I barely slept Saturday night after watching Avatar in 3D 🙂  Thus, for this race the goals were simply to maintain good form throughout, establish consistent cadence and NEVER walk ’em hills.

I was busy chatting with Hector and Bobby at the barriers when suddenly the race started at around 5:40am.  It was a cool morning and drizzling just as it was at Los Banos the day before.  Took advantage of every water station nonetheless.  One advantage of running at a pace below race effort is that I was able to notice/appreciate the surroundings a bit more – just like that rainbow that appeared when I was inside McKinley Hill  🙂

I finished at 2:06:01 by my watch.  From what I’ve gathered in reading the other blogs, it appears that the course was longer than 21K.  The Garmin users who ran the race said that the course measured 22.2k.  Sayang, sub-2 sana 🙂

As far as initial goals were concerned, I think I was only able to achieve the third one 🙂  There were certain points where I knew my form suffered together with the cadence as a necessary consequence.  But all in all, I was still satisfied with my effort in this race.  After all, it was about putting the mileage in as I am about the begin the running block in my training.

No rest for the weary this holiday season.  Next up: Rizal Day 32K Run.


December 14, 2009

Duathlon at Roxas Boulevard

Filed under: Races — levyang @ 4:35 am

The final leg of the Powerade Duathlon series was a standard distance race held at the Quirino Grandstand.  I’ve always wondered what it would be like to have a multisport race at Roxas Boulevard.  In fact, in a previous post and in an ideal world, I thought it would be perfect to hold an Ironman event at Manila Bay.  But I guess the duathlon yesterday would be the closest thing to such a reality taking place.

The race started late at around 7am because the officials had a hard time closing the south-bound lane of Roxas Boulevard.  I pretty much expected this problem considering it was a Sunday and there’d be a lot of strollers at Baywalk and Luneta.  But I didn’t know the magnitude of the problem until much later during the bike portion.

First Run – 44:41

Javy and I tried to agree on a pace for the first run.  I said, “4:45?” to which Javy countered with, “Bahala na…”  And right then, I knew I was gonna run alone once again 🙂  True enough, once we started, I was only able to keep up with Javy for a good 10 meters – and only because we had to negotiate our way past some runners during the initial stages of the race.  Soon, I spotted Belle once again and I knew I’m running with the right amount of effort.  Maybe, I should talk to Belle instead of Javy 🙂  Anyway, the first run consisted of 2 loops from Quirino Grandstand to Quirino Avenue and back.  Just maintained a steady rhythm until I reached transition 1 after 44 minutes.

Transition 1 – 1:22

I ran past my bike but not much.  Scampered back and put on the cycling stuff while a cameraman was taking a video of the proceedings.  Wonder where they’re gonna show this, if at all – I must have looked silly 🙂

Bike – 1:10:48

Ah, this was the highlight of the race by far.  I guess a flat and fast course would be quite boring so dodging the pedestrians along the way proved to be quite a challenge.  Had to be mentally alert throughout and spot potential risk-takers who’d  dare cross the street and shout “Bike! Bike!” early on to avoid accidents.  It was really dangerous especially when the vehicles along Kalaw Street took matters into their own hands and began crossing the intersection. If not for the spectators who yelled for me to stop, I would have surely crashed for sure 😦  In a flat course such as this one, I can usually spin at an optimum cadence using the 3rd or 2nd to the smallest cog.  But I noticed that I used the middle cogs for pretty much the entire 40K distance in this race. Wonder where the drag came from because it wasn’t windy yesterday.  Hmmmmm…

Transition 2 – 0:52

Fastest transition time for me 🙂  In my rush, I didn’t tighten the laces properly.  Had to get by with “loose” shoes for the second run 😮

Second Run – 23:35

Spent the first few minutes getting my bearings and then settled into a good rhythm.  Of course, it certainly helped that I know whatever suffering I felt at that point would soon be over in half an hour.  At this point of the race, I usually try to mark whoever is in front of me as targets – that is, if I can gauge from their pace that they can be caught.  However, for this race, whoever was ahead of me is too far along for me to even contemplate picking up the pace.  I know, what a loser right?  Whatever happened to mustering your best effort in every race regardless of the circumstances?  Crossed the finish at 2:21:18 by my watch.

I was glad to be able to improve on my time at Subic by about 4 minutes 🙂  Finally able to manage sub 5 min/km pace for a run off the bike as well 🙂  The key now would be to see if I can hold that pace for a longer distance such as 10k.

I don’t know if I should mention this but I’m thinking of a signature pose at the finish 🙂  Javy’s got his headstand going.  For this race, I did a genuflect as I put my head to the ground.  (originally wanted to kiss the ground, but body was hurting and only managed to put my head down)  I know, OA to the max 🙂  Any better suggestions?


Last race for the year:  UPLB NAGT

December 3, 2009

New Balance Racing Hope

Filed under: Races — levyang @ 5:24 am

Well, that was the toughest 21K yet.

Originally, this New Balance run was supposed to serve as a tune-up race for WRT.  But then, Ondoy visited our country.  Thus, Extribe had to reschedule the race to November 29.  Coming off a good run at the KOTR, I wanted to see if I could maintain a consistent performance at a half-marathon distance.

I positioned myself out in front and before I knew it the bugle horn sounded signaling the start of the race.  My personal best for a 21k was 1:45:57 that was set early this year at Condura.  I guess it must have been a dream of some sort or an aberration because I can’t seem to muster the same effort/success in the succeeding races.  At the outset, I knew it would be difficult to set a new PB in this race considering the hilly terrain.  But then, will never know unless I give it a try, right? 🙂

For the initial kilometers into the International School area, I was maintaining a 5 min/km pace.  It was dark when we started and it was pretty cool which certainly helped in maintaining the pace.  The route towards the IS area was a new one and I welcomed the new sights around the Fort. Pretty soon, I found myself pacing with a familiar participant, Belle Grandinetti. During the last duathlon at Subic, we ran pretty much the same pace for the first run.

There were markings for every kilometer that we passed and it helped me gauge my pace throughout the race.  I felt a good rhythm and tried to maintain it through the rolling terrain at Lawton Avenue.  Jumbo and Bombee of Tri Clark passed me right after Essensa as we made our way towards Bayani Road.  In the past, the marshals would have the participants turn left once we hit Bayani Road.  In this race, however, we had to go on straight and make a U-Turn further down Lawton Avenue before coming back and making a right turn at Bayani Road.  The next turnaround point would be just before C-5.  And I guess these little bit of changes in the usual Fort route took its toll on me as I found myself slowing down as I entered McKinley Hill.  It was at this point where the race became a mental challenge for me.

After going down the initial hill, the participants had to turn right and ran on cemented roads.  Didn’t like the pounding it gave me.  In fact, I was really hoping that the marshals would point left going back to the Fort when I made my way back to the main road.  I was already running to a crawl at this point dreading that killer hill at the C-5 turnaround.  It was a good thing though that the turnaround came much earlier than I expected – just before the Korean School.  It was all the push I needed to get me over the last hill back to Lawton Avenue.

By this time, I was probably doing 5:30 min/km pace and I was just hoping that the race be over and done with.  Training buddy Norman came up beside me just before Essensa and I told him to go ahead because I was already spent.  When I saw the 20km marker, I tried my best to muster a sprint finish.  Well, at least to me it felt like a sprint.  But I knew I was just lugging my ass towards the finish.  Finally finished at 1:48:16 by my watch.

Congrats to Extribe for a well-organized race.  Challenging 21k course inside the Fort.  Unique set-up of 2 start/finish banners for better crowd control.  Looking forward to going back to Clark next year to take on the 25k challenge once again.


Next:  Powerade Duathlon Final Leg

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