Tapering And Other Musings Before RUPM

Months ago, i had commited to complete the Runrio Trilogy for this year, just like i did last year (2012)  so i registered for the final race, the Run United Philippine Marathon which is happening in less than 3 weeks time. At this moment, I have now entered the homestretch and the tapering has just started after doing copious distances of 32k+ LSDs on weekends.

The 80-90kms of weekly mileage (a modest sum to more serious marathoners) will now ease to 50-60kms for the next 3 weeks and i really look forward to taking a little breather although a quality 21k run with my running buddies, (Leo, Sylvia, Betty, Tonet, Chito, Majonie and Gemma) will still be in order in the next few days just to keep the legs and lungs sharp.

The last long run last Saturday was a blast! We did a lot of goofy things during our 32k run and we were like kids trying to out-run, out-wit and out-hustle those who were naturally running faster than we were. Leo and i were sneaking out to really make fast bursts of speed from the group to give us an advantage to finish the run ahead of the rest. We did this while they were busy buying from some vendors or were taking a break.

I was laughing out loud when looking at my back, Sylvia and Betty who were the faster runners in the group realized what we were up to and tried to play catch-up. They were trying to bridge the gap with so much effort when i suddenly froze on a pedestrian stop light and waited for about 2 minutes. Sheesh, that 2 minutes translated like about 600 meters of fast running so by the time i was able to cross the road at the junction of Santolan and Katipunan Roads, they were now a few steps away at my back!

So, imagine the ribbing i got from these ladies when they nagged about us trying to pull a stunt on them! Hahah…

After the run, we decided to proceed to Betty’s place and have breakfast, with the customary wine and brandy to go with the food and banter. We were in stitches trying to recall the random madness of trying to outran each other and each one of us had a story to tell. We were so hungry, but thirsty as well and we had these:

Breakfast!?!

Liempo! Thanks to Andok’s outlets

Good ol crispy chicken

In other running news, i had an easy 10k run in pouring rain the following Monday at the Greenhills Shopping Center grounds with trail running buddy Iris who lives nearby. I ran from my house to her place which is about 4 kms away and the rains were really blasting when we both started together.

The run around the Greenhills shopping center was a bit jarring as we had to run on the pedestrian walkway which was tiled and kind of slippery when wet. It’s a 1.1 km loop and we were like running around in circles, trying to dodge joggers and walkers whom we were sharing the pavement with.

Iris is coming back from a hip and itbs injury which was aggravated when she slipped on some wet rocks during a trail run at Miyamit in Porac , Pampanga a month ago. This was going to be her first come-back run after that incident and although her injury hasn’t completely healed, she burned the lanes as if a bird was set free from her cage, setting on for a tempo-like session.

We did a total of just 6 kms and i persuaded her not to push it too far or hard as it might only aggravate her still tender injury which she complained was still bugging her after the run. She plans to run the Miyamit CM42 Half-Marathon Trail race this coming Sunday but have my doubts if she’ll be 100% fit to run this hilly course.

I have still maintained my 80kms/weekly training and this, as i mentioned should come down considerably in the next 3 weeks as i taper. The Run United Marathon looms on October 6 which will be my come-back marathon after that disastrous Milo Marathon 2 months ago where i bonked due to Hyperacidity and diarrhea.

I’m still concerned with my acid-reflux and have been taking meds this last few weeks while training. I am aware of this condition and just hope for the best that it improves come race day. I just need to suck it this last few weeks and see. I’ll be doing a 21-25k run tomorrow with my team hoping to add some finishing touches to the taper. This will be a crucial “simulator” run even if this is only a training run.

See you later…

Labor Day Antipolo Adventure Run

It’s been a while since i took a long run of more than 21k so yesterday presented the chance to do so. It was Labor Day here, a public holiday so what better way to make use of my free day than by getting those miles in and hang-out with the team! It was going to be a group run, so me and my team mates (Team 90%) would start of at the usual meeting place, McDonalds at Silver City, Tiendesitas.

McDonald's Silver City Mall Julia Vargas Ave.

McDonald’s Silver City Mall Julia Vargas Ave.

A group run for us would always start early and as agreed, i’m dreading the 3:00am start which means getting up at about 1:45am, doing the usual morning routine while waiting for Leo and Sylvia to fetch me by 2:40am on our way to Tiende. We had planned a route all of us will be doing for the first time and that is to scale up the route going to Antipolo church and nail around 25-30kms.

Antipolo Church

So all 7 of us took off and began our run at about 3:15am and were headed out to C-5 towards Eastwood.  All went out on a very fast clip, no slower than 5-6 mins/ km and figured if i was going to sustain this pace up until Antipolo, i was nowhere of getting the mileage as i was sure to bunk out even before reaching our destination.

So i cut loose, did a steady pace of 7:00-7:30 easy and i was so glad i did so. Immediately, i found them way ahead of me and with the still dark C-5 Road, i lost them when i reached Eastwood City.

I was now running alone with just the silent passing of a few cars and trucks as company and with the few dim lights that illuminated the road. I forgot to bring my headlamp nor any reflective material that would warn motorist of this lone runner invading their turf so i was extra careful, confining myself to the sidewalks that were relatively safe.

I felt a sense of liberation running alone as it’s one of those rare times when i get to contemplate, on unfamiliar territory with my mind set to reach Antipolo on my own. I reached Marcos Highway, passing by SM Marikina and one thing great about this stretch is the presence of bike lanes on the eastern side which kept me safe through out this highway.

I stopped by a vendor who was cooking pancakes for P5.00 a piece, got me one and later stopped by a 7-Eleven Store nearby for a Cobra Energy Drink to wash down the pancake. Burp! After a few more kilometers, i reached Masinag then would turn right to Sumulong Highway, the main road towards Antipolo  Church and the dreaded uphills that leads to the church.

The Valley Golf and Country Cub landmark along Sumulong Highway

Surprisingly, the uphills were very manageable, slowly taking it one at a time except when they were long and steep that i had to take walk breaks for about a minute or two. Here, you get to share the road with cyclists making their way to and from Antipolo. Saw some cycling friends including ultramarathoner Romy Doctolero. I finally reached Antipolo Church in about 3:20 (hrs) which is exactly 21kms from Tiendesitas.

Arriving at the jam-packed Antipolo Church

All sweaty but still rarin’ to go!

I tried to look for my teammates who were to visit the  Church but they were nowhere to be found. Learned later that they arrived 20 minutes earlier and were at the back entrance of the church and most of them had changed to drier clothes which was probably the reason i didn’t get to see them. I would also learn that they would not continue their run anymore after the church visit and just drive back to Tiende on Leo’s  SUV who asked his driver to pick them up at the church. They managed the one-way route of 21k.

After taking in a bowl of sotanghon soup with egg and re-filling my Camelbak hydration pack with water, i continued my run and re-traced the route i took, back to Sumulong and Marcos Highways. After a few uphill stretches, it was now all downhill going back to Masinag and before reaching SM Masinag, i saw couple Leo and Sylvia suddenly in their vehicle, stopped beside me and both surprised that i was still running!

The rest of the group had all gone home and since my bags were with the couple and they were on their way home, i decided to end the run, got in the car as they invited me to take breakfast in their home.

I was able to cover a distance of 32.64 kms. in almost 5 hrs, stops included.

This was definitely one of the best runs i had, one great experience of running to Antipolo all by myself and a great way to unwind with running friends. Thanks to Leo and Sylvia for the hearty breakfast and your never-ending hospitality!

Till next adventure run!