Being the first road race of the new year, 2009, I really intended to join this road race irrespective who the race organizer was. After almost one month of no road race, I was excited to find out if my preparations during the Holidays in terms of my mileage and speed workouts will produce positive results in my finish time. Those past three weeks of training were full of mileages and kilometers covered that I reached my record of 127 kilometers per week run a week before the road race. The six days before the race were made as recovery days as I reduced my mileage by one-third and saw to it that I did a speed run covering 75% of the distance for race day with my race effort last Friday evening (two days before the race). I was able to run 7.74 kilometers in 35:58 minutes with an average pace of 4:38 minutes/km. On the following morning, I did a 30-minute run with 70% race effort but I need one more thing to do before the race. I got my massage after lunch on that day and completely rested the whole night.
Few weeks before the race day, I had the dilemma on what to choose to do—to personally meet my arriving son, John Paul, from Los Angeles at the Centennial airport or choose to run the first road race of the year in order to test the results of my training preparations. Choosing what to do last Sunday needed a lot of brainstorming on my part. In the end, I chose to join the road race and instructed my staff to meet my son at the airport and bring him to the Finish Area. My son’s plane arrived on the same time that the road race started! The moment I saw my son after I finished the race at the vicinity of the Project Donate A Shoe booth, he said, “The Bald Runner must run the 1st road race of the year and he must not miss it”. Thanks, John!
I woke up at 4:30 AM last Sunday and prepared for the run—shaved, took a bath, relieved myself from any toxic/waste matters in my big intestines, finished my coffee, ate cereals, and toasted bread with sandwich spread. I was brought to The Fort with the same vehicle that will meet my son and I was already at the Starting Area at 5:20 AM. At the starting area, I was surprised to be greeted by the Officers and Enlisted Personnel of the Philippine Army who were assembled doing their warm-up exercises. Even the Generals around were there to greet me. I was happy to see these guys whom I’ve been with during my military career. After locating the elite members of Team Bald Runner and Maj Espejo, I immediately had my warm-up jog on those vacant streets of The Fort where I saw Mari Javier, a student of the “speed” training, also doing his warm-up jog. We greeted each other and prepped him that he should break his best time in 10K in this race. Mari was my running buddy last Friday’s speed run and on the previous day for the “active recovery” run of 30 minutes with 70% effort at the ULTRA Oval Track. After 20 minutes of warm-up and stretching, I knew I was ready for the race and proceeded to the corral area.
The lady Senator Pia Cayetano in pink infront of all the runners at the 10K race starting line.
I was talking with the foreigner-runner with a stroller and his handicapped kid before the start of the 10K race.
In the corral area, I saw Amado aka Reinier6666 and his family, Jay aka Prometheus and saw and greeted other runner-bloggers, I was greeted by Mark from Nottingham, England who later donated 16 pairs of “used” running shoes from his running club in England, but I had a nice time talking to a foreigner-runner whom I saw in last year’s Subic Marathon pushing his “special/handicapped” kid in a special stroller while running the race. The foreigner lives in Baguio City and the kid had grown bigger, making the runner push a heavier kid this time! I was too near the stage and to those powerful big sound speakers that I could hardly understand what the other runners were saying to me. I just prayed that the program would end immediately and have the emcee shout the word, “GO”. This emcee even made a mistake of mentioning the race as the “2008 PSE Bull Run”. Well, as soon as I heard the word, GO, I started my GF 305 and took my short stride making sure not to step on others shoes and legs.
I was approaching the Bayani Road intersection towards the Gate of the Libingan ng mga Bayani.
I hope the Race Organizer would be able to see this picture where runners were “sandwiched” with all types of vehicle along the Bayani Road. Where are the Road Marshalls?
I immediately placed myself within my running-comfort space after almost 100 meters from the starting area and I felt relaxed with my pace. Little did I know that I was running a 4:33 minute/km pace on the 1st kilometer which was much faster than the average pace I had during my last Friday’s pace and the terrain was uphill! Once I hit Lawton Avenue, I was running an average pace of 4:24 minute/km pace for the 2nd kilometer! However, I became faster on the 3rd kilometer where I timed in 4:13 minutes! I knew at this point that I was committing a grave mistake of not being conservative on my average pace for the 1st two kilometers. I planned to be faster in my pace after hitting the halfway mark as I wanted have a “negative split” on this race. On the 4th kilometer, I slowed down to 4:40 minute/km pace but on the way down towards the Heritage Park, I got a time of 4:38 minutes. On my way back to the Finish Line, I got the following time in every kilometer. My sixth kilometer was timed at 4:40 minutes but I slowed down when I was running that last uphill portion before reaching Gate 3 of Fort Bonifacio which is near the St Michael Chapel. My 7th klometer was timed at 4:57 minutes. However, a runner from the Fairview Running Club ran with me along the Bayani Road and I was able to increase my pace, finishing my 8th kilometer in 4:48 minutes. On the 9th kilometer, the runner from Fairview slowly went ahead of me while Coach Salazar, my official photographer on this race, was constantly shouting at me “to lift my knees some more and be light on my footstrike”. Those reminders made me finish the 9th kilometer in 4:44 minutes. Although I was overtaken by a young triathlete on the last 500 meters, I still managed to finish the last/10th kilometer in 4:31 minutes.
Towards my last kilometer of the race. The runner in gray on my right finally passed me on the last 500 meters from the Finish Line.
I finished my 1st road race (10K) in a PR best time of 46:17 minutes with an average pace of 4:37 minutes/kilometer. My race effort was best described on how my heart functioned where I had an average HR of 163 bpm and a maximum HR at 168. I could have exerted more effort as I was not able to reach my fastest speed training workout with a Max HR of 172 bpm. Neither did I reach the supposed target goal of 110% of my race effort which translates to a 4:21 minute/kilometer pace. On hindsight, I could have targetted finishing the race in 45+ minutes had I exerted an extra effort. Well, I think the presence of “walkers” from the end of Bayani Road towards Lawton Avenue all the way to the Finish Line had contributed for my being slow for the last 2 kilometers.
My son came directly from the Airport to see the Bald Runner.
BR, my son John Paul, my brother General Samuel Narcise and Pam Castro (back shown)
1) It’s “harvest time”—The “speed training” at the ULTRA Oval Track and my shift to “speed-endurance” training on the oval track are starting to show its results.
2) Familiarity of the Route—Generally, I am familiar with the route but with my almost daily workouts at the ULTRA Oval Track, I lacked some actual practice sessions on the actual route.
3) More hills, hills, hills training—My trainng this week is geared towards more hill training as my body tend to slow down on the uphill portions of the route. The same route will be expected on this Sunday’s Happy Run 15K Race.
4) Sticking to a Planned Race Strategy—My excitement to produce a PR time on this 1st road race of the year (plus the hatred to the Emcee since I heard him in last month’s Patakbo Sa Kabundukan! yes, he was the same guy!) had made me out of focus to my pre-planned strategy.
5) (New) Newton Racing Shoes—For the first time, I used my Newton Racing Shoe in a road race which I bought when I visited USA last August 2008. Not only did it make me almost fall (forward) on my face to the ground but it gave me that consistent midfoot and light footstrike throughout the race. Somebody asked me if it could be used for running a marathon distance. My answer was “yes’ as it was used by the 2008 Champion of the Kona IRONMAN World Championship Triathlon, Australia’s Craig Alexander.
My running legs and Newton Racer Shoes
6) Less Weight, Faster Time—Many of my friends who have never seen me for months were surprised of my thinner and leaner body. Well, I just told them that I am now a “professional masters runner” who keeps on improving my finish time in every road race where I compete. Yes, it’s a proven fact, the lesser your weight is, the faster your finish time in a road race. I guess, I don’t need to explain further.
7) More exercises to my Core Muscles—The high mileage I did for the past weeks made me forget to strengthen my core muscles as I experienced “side stitches” during my last speed run last Friday.
8) Massage—The one and half hour massage with a professional masseur last Saturday made my muscles relaxed and pliable during the race. I did not feel any soreness or any pain in any muscle of my legs after the race.
9) Fashion Statement—I always prepare well with my running attire for road races because it is through my “looks” where I could send the message that I always mean business, to compete with myself and with the digital clock. So, for those younger runners who would like to beat me during road races, please remember that I am about 57 years old and I just run to bring back my glory days in the early 80’s and find out if I can still run a 42-minute 10K race. So, if you are in your 30s or 40s, you should be there running kilometers ahead of me and not trying to stalk or follow right behind me and try to wait for the chance or opportunity to overtake me. Ha! Ha! Ha!
“Ladies, Kids, & Children”, see you on this Sunday’s 15K run!!!
Lastly, congratulations to the members of Team Bald Runner and to the students of the “speed” training” (which means, you have not paid yet your membership fees! he! he! he!) for their “smiles” on their faces. Be proud of your accomplishments because you worked hard to follow your respective program. Wishing you for more PR best times in the road races to come.