Happy Hour

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?

Cheers!!

Last race for the year:  UPLB NAGT

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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.

Cheers!

Next:  Powerade Duathlon Final Leg

November 19, 2009

Asian Duathlon Championships

Filed under: Races — levyang @ 8:38 am

It was the week after WRT and while reason dictates that I should be resting this one out, I guess I’m just a sucker for races 🙂  But seriously, I consider it real blessing to be able to do this sport and I try to get as many races under my belt for the experience and because one never knows what will happen in the future.  Tomorrow or the week after that, my body might just give up on me and then…..

Kap and I got to Subic Saturday afternoon just in time for the race briefing.  I was amazed with the number of foreigners milling about.  Talk about International Colors of Bennetton 🙂  As Coach Rick said in his email, the top duathletes of the world were present and we’re gonna do the same race as them.  How cool is that?  All of us were treated to a dinner buffet and probably the only damper was the news that the bike route was modified the last minute for safety reasons.  Instead of the usual hilly route past the airport, the participants are just going to do 2 20K loops of flat terrain.  Initially, I was disappointed with this development because I’ve always looked forward to climbing the hills at Subic.  But then, a flat and fast course would be an opportunity to set a personal best 🙂

Run 1: 46:58 (10K)

The athletes were sent out in waves with the age-groupers sent out last at around 6:15 am.  It felt cool that morning as everybody sprinted out of the starting line.  This first run consisted of 2 loops around the Events Convention Center.  I was able to settle in a good rhythm from the get-go but I was really astonished at the speed of my fellow racers.  I knew I was doing a sub-5/km pace but it felt really slow compared to the others.  People were passing me left and right 🙂  Soon enough, I found myself pacing behind Rune Stroem – only because he was out of shape 🙂  Later, it was Joyette Jopson who ran past me as another lady runner (Belle Grandinetti) and I took turns setting the pace.  As it turned out, whatever pace we set was enough for me to churn out my first-ever official sub-50 10K time.  Woohoo!  One lesson I’ve learned is always to run your own race.  Don’t mind the others even as they speed up and run past you.  Sometimes, this is easier said than done because ego does get in the way — especially when getting chicked 🙂  Check that ego at the door.  Makes for a fun and a more satisfying race 🙂

Transition 1: 1:35

I ran past my bike.  Must be the adrenalin of that sub-50.

Bike: 1:09:56 (40K)

The bike route was flat and fast.  As I mentioned earlier, the route consisted of 2 20K loops.  First turnaround was the road just before Subic International Hotel and the 2nd turnaround point was at the Building that used to house FedEX before it moved to China.  I concentrated on maintaining a fast cadence of around 90 rpm.  Did I mention that the route was flat and fast?  Getting a sip from my Gatorade was such a chore and I was only able to drink during the turnarounds.  Otherwise, I tried my best to maintain a tucked aero position throughout.  Averaged around 33km/hr  for the duration of the bike leg.

Transition 2:  1:07

Wasn’t lost this time 🙂  Racked the bike, put on the visor, drank Gatorade, then off to run.

Run 2:  26:04

Just tried to maintain the same rhythm during the first run.  Other age groupers were too far ahead I guess because I hardly saw anyone throughout the 2nd run.  In fact, the leaders were probably finished by the time I began my 2nd run 🙂  Yeah, I remember them announcing George Vilog’s name as I exited T2.  My run off-the-bike in this race is pretty much consistent with the pace set at previous races.  Somewhere along the 5:05 to 5:10/km range.  Still a work in progress.  But I take solace in that, at least, it’s been consistent.  Eventually finished with a total time of 2:25:40, a personal best for standard-distance duathlon.  Now, I have a benchmark for the duathlon this December at Quirino Grandstand.  Another race which promises to be fast and furious as well.  I just hope I’ll be able to keep up 🙂

Just want to congratulate my team for a solid showing at the DU last Sunday.  To Kap for finishing first in our age group; To Tina for finishing first in hers; To Jupiter for finishing first in his age group as well.  To Monica for bouncing back from a disappointing Powerman Malaysia to a 3rd place finish at ADC (2nd among Asians).  Thank you to Gerard for sharing his home at Subic.  Congratulations to TRAP for another memorable race.

Cheers!

Next Stop:  New Balance Power Run.

November 9, 2009

Whiterock 2009

Filed under: Races — levyang @ 7:09 am

Swim:

– Water was unbelievably buoyant.  Minimal effort to propel forward.

– 3 loops counter-clockwise.  Advantage for those who breathe on the left side like me.

– Difficulty in sighting on the way back to shore because of the sun.

– Course may have been short by about 400 meters at least.

Bike:

– Out and back route.

– Spin at 85-90 rpm throughout.

– Even as the others passed me, focused on holding back the urge to speed up.

– Nutrition was adequate.  Consumed 2 and a half cans of Ensure as well as 2 bottles of Gatorade.  Threw my old bottle at the turnaround.

–  It was a fast ride going out to the turnaround but had to fight headwind/crosswind coming back.  It was getting a bit hotter at this point as well.

– Felt good throughout the race.  Maintained speed of about 33.3km/hr.

Run:

– Baby steps at the beginning.

– Hills began at about the 3km mark.

– Was able to run at a decent pace upon reaching Subic.

– Adequate aid stations offering Coke, Gatorade, water, bananas.  I especially liked the ones where blocks of ice were also offered.  Did not resist putting some inside my jersey.

– Weather was not as hot as it was at Camsur.

– On the way back, Fiona passed me at heartbreak hills.  Gotta love that running form.

– Stride finally opened up on the downhills.  Didn’t let go anymore till I reached the finish.

– Finishing time not important.  Experience is what counts.

Next Stop:  Asian Duathlon Championships

Cheers!

 

October 26, 2009

KOTR Brick

Filed under: Training — levyang @ 4:09 am

It was a little before 3am and as a few drunks staggered on their way home from a night of revelry, I was setting up my trainer for a brick workout at the KOTR.  This was Norman’s idea and am glad the ULTRA buddies, PJ and Julian, were only too eager to join us in our training for WRT.  The plan was to simulate race conditions – nutrition-wise.  3 years into triathlon and I still take nutrition for granted. Kinda stupid really…especially when everyone knows that proper nutrition is crucial and spells the difference between finishing strong and bonking at a triathlon race.

Filled one bottle with 2 cans of Ensure and another with Gatorade and I was set to spin.  Also had 3 GU gels on the side to be consumed every hour henceforth.  One tends to sweat a lot more during stationary biking, thus, the cool breeze that morning was certainly welcome 🙂  Chopped up the 2 hours of spinning to 15 minutes warm-up and 7 sets of 10 mins hard/5mins easy.  2 hours on a trainer is less tedious with friends around and soon enough, we heard announcements calling the 21K participants to the starting gate.  Packed up my stuff and I still had one gel to be consumed one hour into the run.  Finished both the Ensure and Gatorade bottles during the spin 🙂

I had a simple strategy for the run.  Just run the whole way with a decent push-off for each step.  As far as pace was concerned, I was thinking of doing a 6min/km pace.  And just like it was at the track oval, I was eating Julian and Norman’s dust from the get-go.  They were kind enough to look back and encourage me to pace with them but as Sting said, if you love somebody, set them free 🙂  So I told them to go ahead and not worry about me.  Just wanted to stick to my strategy and I was running comfortably and in rhythm.  Took advantage of every hydration station that came my way and appreciated the numerous cheering squads along the route.  There were no kilometer markings early on which made calculating/predicting my pace difficult.  It wasn’t until the 12 kilometer mark inside Fort when I finally had some idea about my running pace.  Up until then, I knew I was doing better than a 6min/km pace.  BTW, I finally have a stopwatch this time and it read 1:04 and change at the 12km mark.  Made some mental calculations and figured that maintaining a 6min/km pace should take me to a sub-2 finish.  Felt quite good about that.  So I kept on running at the same steady pace I had from the beginning and see where it’d take me.

Hills training paid off.  Could really sense the difference in climbing up the Kalayaan Flyover and the hills inside Fort.  Was able to muster a bit of an attack for each incline.  Got an extra jolt of energy when I saw that the 16km turnaround point was nearer than where I expected it to be.  It wasn’t further down the road just before C-5 and we didn’t even reach Heritage Park.  Picked up the pace from then on and see if I can finish strong.

Saw Julian just before the turn towards the finish and I was surprised to see the timer counting 1:49 and change.  But as luck would have it, the timer  turned 1:50 as I crossed the finish.  My watch said 1:49:57 only because I pressed the start button once I crossed the line 🙂   What is it with 49:57? Last OctoberRun 2008, I had what I thought was my first sub-50 in a 10K when I finished at 49:57 only to realize that it was 50:02 when the official results came out.  Official results at the KOTR will show I finished 1:50:15 thereabouts. Oh well, I still am gratified that I was able to run better than expected 🙂

Nutrition and hydration were adequate.  But I wouldn’t put much stock in my run split here at KOTR. It certainly won’t be the same at WRT for a number of reasons:

–  run course at WRT is hilly.

– the run will start much later.  Thus, it will be hotter come race day.

– there won’t be a 25 minute lag time from the bike leg to the run.

But then, for whatever it’s worth, I’ll take every bit of good news/training day that comes my way between now and November 7.  I’ll need every bit of confidence at WRT.

Cheers!

October 23, 2009

Tri N Tri

Filed under: Races — levyang @ 6:05 am

Last Sunday found me on the starting block once again at Alabang for this year’s NAGT series.  It was a special day as it was my Dad’s birthday and it also marked the third year since my first race at good ‘ol Narra Street.  Judging by the number of participants that day, it certainly looked like triathlon is here to stay 🙂  Raced without a watch again, so the times posted here are based on TRAP’s official results.  Here’s my report:

Swim – 17:44

Swam with the usual big contingent comprising the 35-39 age groupers.  At the start, I positioned myself beside Alfred Racho who is a strong swimmer with the intention of drafting off of him.  I told him as much 🙂  Alfred, for his part, positioned himself right behind Jon Rufino and David Verlee.  So, good luck to us 🙂  It was a wild sprint after the starting horn sounded, all of us with the same intention to get ahead of the crowd.  Was able to keep up with Alfred for the first few laps and settled into a good rhythm.  Maybe it was the thrill of competing in a race  or the adrenalin rush, but I found myself swimming harder than planned. Probably a level or two below threshold.  Comfortably-hard pace, if there’s such a thing.

Bike – 57:20

For the past few races, I put on my cleats before getting on the bike.  No more of those “attached cleats before riding” thing that I was trying out before.  I’ve always had difficulty to put my feet inside the cleats while riding anyway so why bother riding like a pro, right? 🙂  Anyways, I pedaled with Coach Jomak’s admonition in mind:  Spin faster, lighter gear.  So the run won’t suffer.  Initially, I thought that spinning at a lighter gear might slow me down.  Jomak told me otherwise and said that in fact, it would help me run better.  Guess what?  Lesson No. 1:  ALWAYS LISTEN AND FOLLOW the advice coming from an ITU Coach 🙂  Using the previous bike times/speed as benchmark, I pretty much maintained the same speed as before.

5 kms into the bike leg. Jon Rufino overtook me and soon he was no longer in sight 🙂  Gotta love the sound of those disc wheels as he zoomed past me.  At this point, I was glad I still managed to get a sip from my water bottle before it jumped out of the bottle cage.  Probably as a result of the numerous humps throughout the bike course.  I tried getting the water cups from the aid stations on the fly but I found it difficult to balance with one arm extended to get the cups.  “Di bale na nga,” I told myself.  Thank God  this was a sprint distance race 🙂

Run – 35:44

Throat was parched as I got into T2.  Water bottle from the marshall saved the day for me 🙂  Headed out of T2 with the aim of establishing a good rhythm.  Nowadays, I consider a race successful if I’m able to get a decent run at at the end.  It’s not that I don’t value swimming or biking.  But the run will show if  I’ve managed myself well during the first 2 stages of a triathlon race.  Blowing up during the run usually means I fucked up earlier in the race.  Pardon the language 🙂  Either nutrition was not adequate or I might have pushed myself too hard on the swim/bike leg.

About a kilometer or two into the run, I was overtaken by Fernando Ferrer of Sunkist Tri-Hard.  Looking at him run, I knew I couldn’t keep up with his easy gait and long strides 🙂  But I was quite happy with the pace I have set although there was no Javy Olives to run with this time around 🙂  Another comfortably-hard pace again just like the swim up until the hilly portion beside the Country Club when I suddenly heard footsteps behind me.  Did not bother looking behind as I increased my pace.  But the footsteps were still there.  I think this went on for a good kilometer at least.  I remember thinking, “Oh no! This is now a race and somebody is gunning for me.”  What if he came up beside me?  I don’t know if I can match him stride for stride.  I just took comfort in the thought that whatever happens, I’ll just do my best 🙂  Pretty soon, a few hundred meters before the turns toward the finish, the footsteps were gone.  Tried to muster a snappy salute to my teammates from Team PMI who were kind enough to wait for me as I crossed the finish line.

Overall time: 1:50:48

Yup, Coach Jomak was right.  Ever since I followed his advice from the debacle that was Camsur, I was able to run better off the bike.  Run splits from the races that I joined since Camsur show that with faster/lighter spinning, I managed to maintain a 5:06 km/pace for a 3.5, 5 and now 7 km distance.  Probably, a loser pace for most triathletes out there.  But for me, anything close to 5 min/km pace off the bike is a winner in my book 🙂  Now, if only I can maintain something like that for a standard distance race, I can die a happy man 🙂  I’m really happy with this race only because as it turned out, my times improved across-the-board from similar races at the same venue.  That it happened on the day of my Dad’s birthday and my third year anniversary as a triathlete only made it more special.

This one’s for you Dad!

Cheers!

P.S.  Congratulations to Rachel Manglicmot (First Lady of Team PMI) for a solid showing in her first triathlon.  (Flat pa yan sa bike sa lagay na yan ha) 🙂

Next up:  Adidas KOTR

September 29, 2009

Heroes in our midst

Filed under: Uncategorized — levyang @ 7:04 am

September 26, 2009 will forever live in infamy in our collective memories.  This was the day Metro Manila experienced its worst flooding in 40 years.  Practically, 80 percent of the roads were impassable and I’m sure now by now, through the help of facebook and the internet, all of you have seen the various images Typhoon Ondoy has left us with.  Yes, it was a tragedy.  But tragedies have this habit of bringing out the best in the Filipinos.  For this post, I would just like to salute two individuals for showing me what bravery and courage is all about:  Carol Ong and Rayzon Galdonez.

September 26 began quite innocently enough.  The Grade 3 pupils of San Agustin were going to have their Outreach program at Intramuros.  Having checked the PAGASA website the night before, I knew there was a storm that was going to hit land that day.  But then, when I woke up at around 5:30am, there were just intermittent showers.  Thus, Ellet and I woke up our son, Matthew, and prepared ourselves to go to Intramuros.  We arrived at the San Agustin Church at around 8am.  Soon, the school bus arrived bringing along Matthew’s schoolmates.  When the outreach program began, the rain began to pour more heavily and steadily as well.  In fact, it was enough to knock out the electricity and sound system at certain points during the program.  But, the show did and must go on.  The program ended at around 11am and this was when the ordeal began.  Most of the students rode on the school bus.  Our family brought our own vehicle.  Ms. Ong did as well.  On our way back home, we could already see that portions of Roxas Boulevard were already flooded but still passable.  It wasn’t until we reached Macapagal Boulevard intersecting EDSA ext. that traffic grounded to an absolute halt.  Our family decided right then to make a U-Turn while we still can and stay at MOA until the flooding subsides. Through SMS exchanges with Matt’s teacher, we were updated as to the status of the school bus as they made their way home that day.  Now, the stretch from Macapagal Boulevard to CSA Makati is about 2 to 3 kilometers.  Even with the usual traffic at the Taft Avenue interesection, one can reach the destination in 15 to 20 minutes.  However, September 26 is a different story altogether.  As it turned out, the CSA School Bus finally reached the school at around 9:45 pm.  It spent a total of 10-11 hours covering a 2-3 kilometer distance.  Remember Ms. Carol Ong?  Ah yes, the subject of this post, I almost forgot.  Picture this.  It was nearing lunch time already and there is this school bus with at least 40 9 year olds and their stomachs grumbling.  Well, instead of whiling her time at the mall like the Angs, Ms. Carol Ong parked her car somewhere dry and did what according to her “any parent will do given the situation.”  She bought take-out food and waded through waist-high waters to bring the food to the hungry schoolchildren.  Instead of signing off with her good deed for the day,  she then stayed on the bus and assisted the teachers in feeding the children and making sure that all of them were safe and comfortable.  Later, perhaps sensing that the school bus might not make it through the floods, Ms. Ong then hired a bigger bus to ferry the children. Hours passed and as the bus inched its way to the school, it did not take long before the children were hungry again.  By then, most of the food outlets on the streets were already closed.  It was practically Waterworld at EDSA.  But I guess when the going gets tough, Ms. Ong gets tougher.  Once again, she waded through the floods, knocked at a closed Jollibee outlet and forced management to open and prepare take-out dinner for the CSA students.  It wasn’t until the time that the bus had finally reached the school that Ms. Ong finally called it a day.  She only went back for her car the next day.

According to Ms. Ong, she did nothing extraordinary.  She did “what any parent would do given the situation.”  To a certain degree, she’s right.  What she did, the parents among us wouldn’t think twice and also do for OUR children.  But what separates Ms. Ong from you and me is that she went the extra mile.  Like the Angs, she had her own transportation and could have lounged around the mall with her son and nobody will have blamed her for that.  After all, looking after one’s safety and that of the child’s is the primary concern of every parent.  But Ms. Ong chose to make the 40 CSA students (and the 4 CSA teachers) her children as well and that has made all the difference in the world.

Rayzon Galdonez was a professional cyclist.  He is a fun-loving friend who can do different magic tricks and make impossible contortions of his body.  He is also a soldier of the Philippine Army.  Soldiers are quite busy nowadays since they are called upon to assist in the relief and rescue operation.  Rayzon is part of the group assigned to the relief and rescue operation in Cainta, Rizal, one of the hardest-hit areas of Typhoon Ondoy.  Part and parcel of his job as a soldier.  Nothing extraordinary about that.

Rayzon Galdonez hails from Marikina City.  His parents live there.  Only now, he has no way of knowing for sure if they are still alive.  He lost contact with them after Ondoy’s fury last Saturday.  And all this time, he is busy relieving and rescuing the people in Cainta while his heart and mind is somewhere in Marikina… Yup, all in a day’s job for a soldier.

I’m sure there are a lot more stories out there about ordinary people doing extraordinary things.  Ms. Carol Ong and Rayzon Galdonez are just two shining examples of such heroes in our midst.

Cheers!!

September 22, 2009

The DU at MOA

Filed under: Races — levyang @ 4:39 am

Sunday was the 3rd leg of the Powerade Duathlon series organized by Thumbie and Popo Remigio.  I was there for the first two legs, so I just had to be there to complete the threesome 🙂  Got my race pack the day before at Bike King so I didn’t have to be at the race venue before the sun rises.  My wife and I got to the race venue at around 6am and I noticed that the number of participants were not as big as before 😦  The course for the 3rd leg is pretty much the same as the one that was used for the 2nd leg.  First Run consisted of 2 loops of 3.5km each making a total of 7K.  The bike leg was 6 loops with each loop measuring around 5 kilometers and change. 2nd Run is just one loop measuring 3.5K.  The course was flat, race is going to be fast and furious 🙂

The usual suspects were there:  Robeno Javier, August Benedicto for the men while Monica Torres and Mirasol Abad for the women.  Was glad to see Makoy DU-ing his first DU along with Mrs. Olives 🙂  (In the multisport world, Hannah the erstwhile rock star and vocalist of the band Session Road will always be known as Javy’s wife) 🙂

I thought I should mention that when I did the 2nd leg of the Powerade Duathlon, I did an extra loop of the bike leg.  Although I’m Chinese and am supposed to be good at math, I never liked counting loops.  Thus, when my cyclometer read 26kms after doing 5 loops then, I did another loop to reach the mandated 30kms.  It’s all good in any case because at least now I have a benchmark for this race when we’re really doing 6 loops of the bike leg 🙂

First Run

Before the race, I saw ULTRA training buddies, Norman and Julian, and we agreed to pace each other for the first run 🙂  It was really kind of them to accommodate me considering that I’m racing without a watch again.  Kinda like taking the bar exams without a pen 🙂   The starting gun was fired before 7am and we were off.  Norman and Julian set a pretty good pace.  These guys kill me at the track so I was quite ecstatic just to be able to keep up with them off the bat 🙂  As for Javy  (my supposed pacer for the 2nd leg), while I missed him this race, he’s in another league altogether 🙂  I was just drafting behind Norman and Julian the whole way and they didn’t miss a beat even while partaking of liquid refreshments at the aid stations.  As for me, I did not bother to drink anymore after the first aid station lest I lose any more ground to these greyhounds 🙂  Pretty soon, we were at T1.  I asked Julian what our time was for the first run and he blurted out 33-something.  Nice 🙂

Bike Leg

After the Camsur debacle, I’ve taken Coach Jomak’s advice to heart.  No more of those mashing the smallest rear cog, except during trainings 🙂  I was worried though that I might go slower using the 3rd from the smallest cog but as it turned out, power output was pretty much the same 🙂  No, I don’t have a power meter on my bike.  Just describing how I felt 🙂  Faster spin with less effort.  Was hanging with teammate, Ernan, during the first 2 loops of the bike.  One good thing about biking multiple loops is that you’re bound to see them pros/elite athletes up close once they lap you.  Right about the 3rd or 4th loop, it was such a thrill to see the likes of Jeff Valdez and George Vilog up close as they passed me 🙂  Got to T2 with my timer at the bike showing 55 minutes and change.  I was really happy to maintain close to 35km/hr. for the duration of the bike leg 🙂

2nd Run

This is the part that spells either success or failure for me during races – the run off the bike.  At sprint distances such as this one, the book says that it should be threshold effort throughout from the get go.  But, I still have a loving wife and 4 kids who are in elementary school.  Bottom line, I still want to live a bit longer 🙂  Yeah, I know, I’m making excuses 🙂  I have to work on this a bit.  A good effort would be to maintain a pace below 5min/km.  Watch or no watch, I know I didn’t meet the standard by the time I crossed the finish.  The effort was similar to the run at the UP Law Triathlon which was a little over 5min/km pace.

Ellet informed me that she timed my whole race at 1:49:06.  As it turned out, it was a second off the official results which had me finishing at 1:49:07.  My official splits were:  33:53 for the first run; 56:51 for the bike; and 18:22 for the run.  I’m happy that my second run was an improvement from the 2nd leg where I posted a time of 19:11.  Still, a work in progress nonetheless.  But I take consolation in that it appears I’m moving in the right direction 🙂

Didn’t stay long for the awarding.  But I would like to send my biggest to cheers to the following:  Solid performances for the first timers like Makoy and Julian and even a podium finish for Mrs. Olives, Javy’s wife 🙂 Hats Off to August for placing 2nd overall (Men) and Monica for bagging first overall (Women).  High Fives to Kap for placing 2nd in his age group and Ernan for placing 3rd in his and also to Junie for topping her age group while Tina Reyes placed 2nd in her age group.  GO TEAM PMI!!!

Cheers!!! On to New Balance.

September 15, 2009

Whiterock 2009

Filed under: Races — levyang @ 6:30 am

It’s Rock and Roll time.

Visit http://www.extribe.com.ph

Registration is now open!!!

Cheers!!!

September 14, 2009

Running Blind (Also Wet) at Eco Dash

Filed under: Races,Running — levyang @ 6:45 am

Incessant rains at the Metro this past week.  Still, I was looking forward to the Eco Dash, if only to escape the monotony of my usual long-run routes.  Got to the race venue at around 4:30am since the race pack stated that the half-marathon was supposed to begin at 5am.  But an announcement was made that the start of the race will be pushed to 5:30 given the inclement weather.  No worries.  It was a cold morning and the sun was not about to make any appearance that day.

At the starting line, I saw Gerard and Norman and we talked about the latest re: Whiterock.  Also saw quite a number of the Polo Tri peeps who were racing that morning.  I did notice however that there wasn’t the usual crowd of runners at the venue.  Perhaps on account of another race at MOA or maybe the rains discouraged some participants.  At any rate, I was still conversing with Gerard and Norman when the starting gun suddenly went off.  And off we go…

I don’t know if I had mentioned before that I do not wear my HRM anymore during trainings and/or races – and I found it liberating.  I’m no longer a slave to numbers and a gadget telling me whether I’m giving enough of an effort 🙂  Recently, the stopwatch I had been using this past year and a half got damaged.  So, I borrowed my son’s stopwatch.  Guess what happened next?  That watch too conked out.  The sporting gods must be telling me something….So, for the Eco Dash Run, I ran naked 🙂  Well, blind actually.  No HRM to tell me what zone I am in and no stopwatch to tell my time.  And as it turned out, the race did not have the usual kilometer markings to inform the runners about the distance covered at a particular point.  If the whole point about of ecology and saving Mother Earth is simplicity and going back to basics, it might as well apply to running as well 🙂

A few kilometers into the race, I found myself pacing with my former relay teammate at Whiterock, Dionne.  Actually, I didn’t realize it was her until we were making our way to Glorietta.  Too bad she got her Ipod with her, would have wanted to chat and catch up on what’s been happening with her since Whiterock.  I don’t know, I just tend to be wary of people who wear Ipods, it’s like flashing a “Do Not Disturb” sign to us friendly dudes 🙂  Uy, friendly daw o, hahaha….

Anyway, my plan for this race was to try to maintain proper running form and technique as taught by Coach Jomak.  So, I was consciously telling my body throughout the race to push the knee forward while trying to imagine a tiny hurdle in front of me so as to incorporate a bit of a skip in every stride.  Also, the rolling terrain at the Fort is all too familiar by now, so the plan was to conserve enough energy to attack the hills and coast during the downhill portions.  Yup, no shuffling this time 🙂

Well, I don’t know if I maintained the proper form but I was quite happy with the effort I gave at every incline 🙂  Weather was just perfect, even with the occasional downpour.  I won’t be surprised if a number of runners set a personal best at Eco Dash.  There were ample gatorade/water stations throughout the route.  Remember my initial observation about the low turnout for this race?  I’m glad I was wrong about that one when I saw a huge pack of 10 and 5K runners as I made my way back to the Fort and onto Bayani Road 🙂  It was quite a good turnout after all considering the weather.  I hope it banishes the myth that one gets sick running in the rain 🙂

Norman tapped my behind and zoomed past me just before the McKinley intersection.  I tried to psych him out by sprinting past him immediately 🙂  But Norman was running a strong and solid pace and soon enough, he was out of sight.  I decided to pick up the pace after the McKinley intersection and held whatever pace I was on till the finish 🙂  Didn’t see any big clock/timer on display at the finish, so it really was a blind run from the start 🙂 Thus, I don’t know what my finishing time was.  I was informed later on that there indeed was a timer at the right side of the finish line banner.  Oh well….

There wasn’t much of a queue for the Gatorade drink at the finish and I was thankful for that.  Didn’t bother to line up anymore for the freebies.  I was just so happy to run the entire distance again after the disappointing walk/stroll at Camsur.  Eco Dash Run was a no frills race that lived up to its billing.  Simple, back-to-basics run invigorated with a shower from the heavens.

Cheers!

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