4:49:48 Hours @ 2008 Pasig River Marathon

24 February 2008 (4:00 AM-8:49 AM)

Yes, I finished the 2008 Pasig River Marathon in 4:49:48 hours (unofficial time) without any injury or any problems. Surprisingly, I did not have any coughing along the way, from start to finish!

The following data were taken from my GF 305:

Distance—42.6 kilometers           Average Pace—6:48 minutes/kilometer

Average Speed—8.8 km/hr         Maximum Speed—13.6 km/hr

Average HR—155 bpm                Maximum HR—165 bpm

Calories—3,016                             Total Ascent—1,265 meters

More stories and pictures on my next posts. Guys, I need some rest!

Congratulations to all the 42K runners and finishers!!!

D-3 Day: 2008 Pasig River Marathon

21 February 2008

My short running along the Iloilo City Sports Complex Oval Track where I was exposed to rains made my body weak. On this day, I arrived in Jamindan early in the morning and I started to experience coughing. I did not mind it and I joined my officers, men and civilian employees for our regular taebo and 2-mile run physical conditioning activity which is usually done on Tuesday & Thursday afternons.

The taebo exercises lasted for 35 minutes and I had a 4-mile slow run as my last physical activity before the marathon race. However, my coughing started to be intermittent on the evening. I slept at 10:00 PM hoping that my body needed more rest and let my coughing pass away.

It was a big mistake on my part to have exposed myself to the rains during my oval track run last Wednesday evening. But my coughing will not prevent me from joining and finishing the 2008 Pasig River Heritage Marathon this Sunday morning.

I am wishing myself…Good Luck!

Route: 2008 Pasig River Marathon

Finally, I got hold of my race packet for the Pasig River Heritage Marathon. But the organizers changed the name of the race into “International Philippine Marathon”. I guess, this is the fourth time that they changed the name of the race and the first time that they changed the route of the race. I hope the picture below will be clear for my co-runners and readers to see.


I haven’t seen the actual route but I will try to visualize the route as I recall passing through these roads in the past. The race starts at Riverbank Marikina and runners go south along E. Rodriguez Jr. Avenue–right at Ortigas Avenue (uphill)–left at Meralco Avenue–left at Julia Varga (downhill)–right at C-5 (uphill at the Bridge before Kalayaan & at Market!Market! & McKinley Hill)–right at Bayani Road (my “Heritage Mile” & uphill to Gate 3 Ft Bonifacio)–pass by along Phil Army Golf Course–right at Lawton Avenue–passing through The Fort and exit at the old Gate 1 of Fort Bonifacio all the way to JP Rizal Avenue Makati–runners cross the Pasig River along a bridge towards Coronado (I am not sure if this is the bridge that connects Makati Avenue) & JP Rizal Mandaluyong–turn left at New Panadero–right at Pedro Gil–right at Carreon–left towards Plaza Dilao–turn-around & go towards Valenzuela and back along Pandacan, Sta Mesa–right at Laura–right to Nagtahan Bridge (uphill)–left to Legarda–pass along Ayala Avenue–and Finish infront of the Quirino Grandstand.

Approximate Locations of the following Kilometer Markings: 

5K—along Ortigas Avenue

10K—along C-5 (near Toyota)

15K–along C-5 (squatters area)

20K—back of HPA Grandstand along Lawton Avenue

25K—crossing with the street leading to the old Gate 1 of Fort Bonifacio & JP Rizal Makati

30K—New Panadero

35K—Pandacan, Sta Mesa


42K—Quirino Grandstand

Tips During the Marathon Race

The following are the tips for runners while running their first marathon race:

1.  Drink plenty of water or fluids. Take at least 2-3 “gulps” of water every 3 -4 kilometers. If you don’t have any water or hydration belt, don’t miss every water station to drink. If the weather is hot and warm, you can pour water over your head or body.

2.   Start at the middle or back of the pack. Run slowly (within your ability and training) and be conservative on your average pace. To be safe, a 3o-second slower time with your average pace for a kilometer or mile is acceptable. But if you feel you can pick-up the pace on the last 10 kilometers, slowly increase your pace and observe any pain that comes out from your legs or body.

3.   Maintain a good running form. “Shuffle” and don’t sprint. Use a short, economical stride, bringing the knees up just enough to move your legs. Use the heel-ball footstrike. Maintain a comfortable breathing rythym. Relax your shoulders and arms. Arms should be swinging not higher than the nipple level and going down on the side of your running shorts. Remember the “talk-test” while running (you should be comfortable talking while running). 

4.   If you are injured or feeling sick or ill—walk! If the symptom remains and the pain increases, ask for medical assistance. Leave the race! Don’t be a hero for continuing, but you will be considered a fool for insisting. Many people had died already in marathon races.

5.   If you have cramps and feel you have reached the “wall”, start to walk and “listen to your body”. Drink more water/liquids, take in your sports gel and walk briskly. It would be better for you to alternate brisk walking and jogging/running and think of finishing the race.

6.   Nobody has ever said that running a marathon is a “walk in the park”. If you have trained properly and don’t feel any sickness and have no injury during the race, then you should be able to finish the marathon race. Running the last 6 miles or 10 kilometers is all “mental or an exercise of positive attitude”. Get the support of other runners around you. Find a group of runners whom you can run with during the race and help one another through period of weakness. Keep moving, take one step at a time, one kilometer marker at a time, and show that “big smile” when you cross the finish line!

7.   Lastly, do not cheat! Don’t be tempted to ride on a vehicle running/passing along the route. Do not make any shortcuts!

Breaking 10K Hits

21 February 2008

Before 10:00 AM this morning, my blog registered 10,000+ hits in barely four (4) months since I started this blog.

I would like to express my thanks and gratitude to my visitors/readers/friends and to the runners who inspired me to tell my stories about running and other physical activities I’ve been into.

My thanks also goes to the members of my family, my son and daughter, who admire my running and physical abilities and to my wife who is always there to give me the “technical” support.

To Matt & Jovelle, thanks for transforming my blog to a website and for “fixing” my notebook.

To John, thanks also for being a good running partner during your visits in the Philippines.


D-4 Day: 2008 Pasig River Heritage Marathon

20 February 2008

At 5:30 AM, I was already on my way to Dauin, Zamboanguita and Siaton, Negros Oriental after staying overnight in Dumaguete City. After one hour, I was able to reach Siaton where one of my Battalions had deployed three days ago after coming from Bohol. I was able to talk to the men of this Battalion and informed them of the prevailing situation in the area and their specific mission in their new place of assignment.

I was informed by my Battalion Commander that the Municipal Mayor of Siaton does not like the Philippine Army to be deployed in his town/municipality. This is an indication that the “insurgents” are in the area and the Mayor is afraid of them. I gave specific instructions to my Battalion Commander on how to deal with the uncooperative Municipal Mayor and maintain his position to stay in the said town.

From Siaton, we have to go back to Dumaguete City and proceeded to Bacolod City, passing through Mabinay, Negros Occidental. We had our lunch in Kabankalan City with their famous Mang Inasal Chicken & Pork Sisig and lots of free rice! Our trip was a slow one and we were able to reach Bacolod City at 2:30 PM and had more time to buy the Negros famous Piaya and Dried Mangoes.

I took the 3:30 PM trip back to Iloilo aboard a fastcraft. At 5:30 PM, I was already at the Iloilo City Sports Complex Oval Track for a short run. I was surprised to see a lot of people playing basketball, volleyball, soccer/football, and runners/joggers on the oval track. Almost all the lanes at the oval track were occupied with people of various ages and sizes (man & women).

The following were the data taken from my GF 305 on every lap it registered:

Lap # 1

Distance—1,750 meters                 Time—9:52 minutes

Average Pace—5:30 mins/km      Calories—127

Average Speed—10.6 kms/hr       Maximum Speed—12.1 kms/hr

Average HR—139 bpm                   Maximum HR—150 bpm

Lap # 2

Distance—448.61 meters              Time—1:47 minutes

Average Pace—3:59 mins/km     Calories—28

Average Speed—15.0 kms/hr      Maximum Speed—16.3 kms/hr

Average HR—156 bpm                  Maximum HR—167 bpm

Lap # 3

Distance—891.03 meters             Time—4:04 minutes

Average Pace—4:34 mins/km     Calories—63

Average Speed—13.1 kms/hr      Maximum Speed—15.2 kms/hr

Average HR—162 bpm                 Maximum HR—167 bpm

Lap # 4

Distance—874.55 meters             Time—3:37 minutes

Average Pace—4:08 mins/km    Calories—60

Average Speed—14.5 kms/hr     Maximum Speed—16.9 kms/hr

Average HR—163 bpm                 Maximum HR—173

Lap # 5

Distance—886.63 meters             Time—4:32 minutes

Average Pace—5:07 mins/km     Calories—64

Average Speed—11.7 km/hr        Maximum Speed—15.2 km/hr

Average HR—160 bpm                 Maximum HR—167 bpm

Aside from the registered laps, I was able to run the following:

2 X 400 meters—Cool-Down Run

4 X 400 meters—Rest/Recovery Run in between laps

Total Distance Covered—7.5 kilometers or 4.68 miles

After dinner, I had my Sauna, Bath & Body Massage (one and a half hours) at Riviera Spa of Iloilo City at a promotional price of Two Hundred Pesos Only (P 200.00)! This is the cheapest Spa service I’ve experienced so far!

I slept at 10:30 PM.

D-5 Day: 2008 Pasig River Heritage Marathon

19 February 2008

For the past two days, I did not have any runs and took my time to rest, relax, and recover from the last long slow distance run I had last Saturday. I stayed two days in Jamindan with no chance of going out of my quarters and office for a brief walking and jogging because of the strong rains for the past days. I contented myself by doing stretching exercises and watching DVD movies of Rambo, First Blood Parts 1 & 2.

At this time, I am in Bacolod City with the Bishop of the Catholic Church, local government officials, members of the Philippine National Police, our soldiers, and the members of the media witnessing the demilitarization/destruction of confiscated, recovered, captured and surrendered firearms which is one of my advocacies in my Command. Hundreds of unregistered/loose firearms will be cut into pieces and burned this morning for the public to see.

From Bacolod City, I’ll be going around the Negros Island to visit my troops under my Command and assess the condition of our troops and their accomplishments. This is to ensure that our operations, programs and activities are being carried out as based from our unit’s mission in the island of Negros. Three hours after I’ve talked to our troops in Canlaon City, an armed encounter ensued in the mountains of Calatrava, Negros Occidental where a number of the insurgents were declared casualties. The location of the encounter was barely 5-6 kilometers away from the place where I visited our troops. As of this time, we got intelligence information that a lot of them were seriously wounded and they need immediate medical attention and supply of blood of different types. There are reports also that this insurgent group has at least five female members. Some of their backpacks and personal belongings were recovered by our troops as they were left behind by their fallen/wounded comrades when they fled to different directions from the encounter site.

I guess, I will not have much time to jog and walk around for the next two days. I will spend more time visiting and talking to my troops in Negros Island. Additionally, this will be the time to reflect on myself and the training preparations I’ve made for the past four months for the Pasig River Heritage Marathon. This is also the time to plan my “strategy” for the race.

I just got an information that my race packet and details of the route has arrived in my quarters. I was informed also that the organizers had changed the route of the marathon. This is what I hate with marathon organizers and executives who are supporting the race (who, most of them are not even runners/marathoners) and who change routes without any explanation at all! The Marathon Race will start in Marikina and ends up at Quirino Grandstand. As compared to the original route of starting from Intramuros area and finishing at The Fort, passing to all the bridges that cross the Pasig River and running along the roads beside the Pasig River. I have yet to see the route map and the actual route before I will make comment on this. I just hope that this race will be a better one than the race I joined in 2006. 

My plan for the Marathon Race? Be conservative with the pacing and make sure that I’ll have an average pacing of 6:00 minutes per kilometer, finishing the first 20 kilometers in 2 hours, 30 kilometers in 3 hours & 5 minutes, 40 kilometers in 4 hours & 10 minutes, and 42.165 kilometers in 4 hours & 30 minutes. Make sure that my “support team” will be giving regular water & energy drink supply & sports gel from Km. 25 up to the finish line.

Things To Do Before The Marathon

The following tips are recommended for the first time runners joining a marathon race. These tips are recommended to be done or followed at least one week and immediately before D-Day of the Marathon.

1.  Eat carbohydrates during the last three or four days before the Marathon.

2.  Get your race packet early and prepare your running attire.

3.  Select your running attire you are going to use for the marathon. Use the running shoes you’ve been using to prepare for this marathon. Wear light shorts and singlet. Your running socks should be comfortable to your feet and it should not cause blisters.

4.  Apply foot powder on your feet to prevent blisters. Apply “baby oil” or virgin coconut oil (VCO) on your crotch and inner thighs; on your upper forearms (below your armpits); and on your nipples to prevent rubbing and chafing with your shorts and singlets.

5.  Apply sunscreen lotion to parts of the body exposed to the sun except for the face. Sunscreen lotion mixed with your sweat will create a problem if it goes to your eyes.

6. Use a runner’s cap and sunglass to protect the face and eyes from sunlight.

7.  Don’t get excited. Stay calm and relaxed. Think of the race as one of your weekend races or long slow distance runs.

8.  Two days, or on the day before the marathon, take a short and easy jog.

9.  Don’t forget your last body massage before D-Day. Experience wise, I prefer to have my massage two days before the race.

10. Full 8-hour sleep is a must on the 2 nights before D-Day. Just to be in the safe side, no sex on these days.

11. Wake up at least 2-3 hours before the race. You should be able to take a shower, take your “crap” for the last time, and take a light meal before leaving the house.

12.  Try to conduct a “reconnaissance” or see the actual route and ride through it. Locate uphill terrain along the route and visualize your “strategy”. I don’t expect that kilometer markings will be available along the route, you should be able to estimate the distance from a certain point through your vehicle’s pedometer.

13.  Wear your hydration/water belt, if you have any. In my experience running full marathons in the Philippines, nobody have ever perfected the location and needs of every water station.

14.  Prepare to bring with you sports “gel” and sports “energy drinks”. If not, request your friends or members of your family to act as your “support team” and position themselves along the route to provide you with water, sports “gel/energy drinks”, food, and the much-needed “cheers and words of encouragements”.

15.  Drink water or any fluids 10-15 minutes before the start of the race.

16.  Stretch, warm-up, walk and jog at least 30 minutes before the start of the race near the starting line.

17.  Be sure that your running equipment (digital watch/Garmin/Polar/Sunto/Ipod) are fully operational and with battery charged.

18.  Come up with your strategy or plan in finishing the marathon race. Listen to your body and from your training workouts, you could determine your goal/objective in finishing the race. Since it is your first time, be contented of finishing the race without any serious injuries and this will serve as your experience to excel some more in your next marathon. Your time of finishing the race is only secondary to your primary aim of finishing the race. 

19.  Always think positive. If there is still enough time before the race, talk to other runners and be friendly to them. Remember, your opponent is yourself and the route, not the other runners.

20.  Remove your fears. Think that you are not the last runner to reach the finish line.

21. Pray and give thanks to the Lord that you had undergone a hard training without any injuries or accidents and for you to be able to join and experience your first Marathon Race of your life.

Training Journal (11-17 Feb 2008)

11 Feb 2008—Boracay Beach–7 kilometers or 4.375 miles

12 Feb 2008—Evening Run in Jamindan—10.91 kilometers or 6.8 miles

13 Feb 2008—Iloilo City Oval Track Run—6.8 kilometers or 4.25 miles

14 Feb 2008—Rest/Trip To Baguio City

15 Feb 2008—PMA Gidaya Trail & Baguio City Run—8 kilometers or 5 miles

16 Feb 2008—Long Slow Distance Run—32 kilometers or 20 miles

17 Feb 2008—Rest/No Runs

Total Distance Covered—64.71 kilometers or 36.175 miles

32K @ 3:15:48 Hours

16 February 2008 (7:50-11:10 AM)

Having arrived from Baguio City on the early evening of 15th February, I decided to have my last long slow distance run seven days before the Pasig River Heritage Marathon. I slept at least 8 hours on the night before the long run plus my sleep on my way back to Manila. I felt I was fully rested and know I could run a very slow run just to experience how my body reacts to a straight running/jogging for three hours.

I know it was a crazy idea to be running for three hours under the heat of the sun but I need to do it in order to see for myself how my body would react after almost four months of preparing for the Pasig River Heritage Marathon. I prepared properly for this long run, wearing the lightest and most comfortable running attire and shoes, using my Nathan Water Belt, my sunglasses, my runner’s cap, and GF 305. I was not particular of the route to take but I depended much on my GF 305 for the distance and duration of my run.

dsc00407.jpg                 dsc00406.jpg

These were  my pictures taken inside my quarters before my long run, equipped with my GF 305, Nathan Water Belt, Maui Titanium Sunglasses, Accel Cap, New Balance shorts, GIG Run singlet, and ASICS Gel-Cumulus running shoes.

At 7:50 AM, I started from my quarters and proceeded to the Libingan ng mga Bayani and took the outermost roads inside, went out of the Libingan ng mga Bayani’s Gate and turned right towards Heritage Park up to C-5 Road and then back to the Libingan’s Gate. That loop registered a distance of 6 kilometers and I did the said loop for two times. From the Libingan, I proceeded to The Fort passing through Gates 3 & 1 of Fort Bonifacio and proceeded to Serendra and to the Bonifacio High Street (BHS) Loop. I did one round of the BHS Loop before stopping at two female runners who were doing some stretching exercise infront of the R.O.X. Store.

I asked these two female runners ( one was chubby and the other one has a body of a runner) where I could ask for free drinking water and they told me that Starbucks Coffee offers such water. I really appreciate the warmth and friendly attitude of the Starbucks Coffee lady staff (chinky-eyed, smiling-face, and with fair complexion) who willingly got my plastic water jug and filled it with water. She even asked if I needed a cold water but I told her to fill it with a plain water. I was happy to see such positive manner and willingness to provide water to people who are in need. One of these days, I’ll visit this famous coffee shop at BHS soon.

Supplied with enough water, I did another round of the BHS Loop and proceeded to the street that goes to the International School all the way to the road that leads to the old Gate 1 of Fort Bonifacio. From there, I retraced my way back towards Market! Market! but I turned right going to the back portion of the DILG’s Public Safety School. From there I went back to the road that goes to MC Home Depot and stopped at the McDonald’s near Price Smart for a re-supply of water.

From the McDonald’s, I passed by Jollibee and the Shell Gas Station and proceeded to the Kalayaan Flyover reaching up to the other end at Gil Puyat Avenue and going back to the Flyover to Jollibee. It was an experience running at the Kalayaan Flyover against the traffic at 10:00 AM and staying alert with the incoming cars and trucks. I managed to make some signals with my hands for the vehicles to slow down once I saw each one of them coming nearer to me. I was glad all the drivers heed to my hand signals.

From Jollibee, I jogged all the way to the old McDonald’s, then to One McKinley Building, to Essensa and back to Lawton Avenue. I reached Bayani Road and entered the Phil Army Golf Course and ran around the jogging lane at the Parade Grounds of the Phil Army Grandstand. From the Grandstand, I proceeded back to my quarters running along Fajardo Road (main street inside the camp).

I finished my long run in 3:15:48 hours and I was able to run a distance of 32 kilometers or 20 miles. My average pace was 6:08 minutes per kilometer or 9:47 minutes per mile. My Average HR was 149 bpm and my Maximum HR was 159 bpm which I still considered as 90-96% effort. I was able to burn at least 2,272 calories. My arms, shoulders, neck, nape and legs were “sunburned”!

I did not feel any injury or muscle cramps to any part of my body during the run. There was no heaviness in breathing and I felt I was “floating on air” while I was running under the heat of the sun. I guess, my Baguio/PMA run the day before gave me more strength and more “oxygen” to my blood due to my maximum effort and high altitude running even if it was very brief.

I did a longer post stretching and drank almost 2 liters of water and 3 bottles of Gatorade after the run. Later in the afternoon, I treated myself to a pasta dish with vegetables, one whole pizza with salmon, cheese, olives & salted fish eggs, and 3 cups of peppermint hot tea at CIBO! 

Finishing this run, I could feel that I could finish the next weekend’s marathon without any problems.