Easy 15K Run

6:35 AM 07 June 2008 In Barangay Dibua, Laoag City

After running 26 kilometers last week and another 30 kilometers last Thursday, it seems everything becomes easy, not withstanding the early rise of the sun and my further exposure to the heat of the sun. My runner’s cap, sunglasses, and Nathan Water Belt had been very helpful in my long runs for the past weeks.

I made sure to eat some food (cereals & 2 pieces of banana) and drink a bottle of Propel before leaving the house as I decided to take another route for my 15K run. Instead of going south from the house of my sister and retracing my “nostalgic run” route, I set my eyes on the road that took me towards the north direction.

The road goes to the center of Barangay Dibua North until it reaches Barangay Sangil of Bacarra, the next town north of Laoag City. After running for 3 kilometers going north, the road leads to the direction towards the east and I was running parallel along the Bacarra River but I was nearer to a irrigation canal. My one-way direction ended at the road crossing with Bacarra Road (Laoag to Pagudpud Road) where my GF 305 registered 7.43 kilometers. I made my turn-around and retraced the road I had taken but I made an extra 200 meters towards the west direction before going back to the road leading to Barangay Dibua North.

About 2/3 of the road is paved with cement and the rest of the road is gravel/dirt road. The gravel road made my pace slower as I try to select where my foot would land  due to the presence of small stones/gravel along the way. But I had to regain and increase my pace whenever I reached the paved road. About half of the distance of 7.43 kilometers is shaded with trees on both sides of the road and the other half is exposed to the heat of the sun.

I had to increase my pace whenever I was running along the unshaded parts of my route and sip water when I was in the shaded areas. I did not have any stop-over/pit stops along the way. I saw to it that the water in my Nathan Water jug was enough for my 15K run. I took a sip of water at Km-6; Km-11; and Km-14.

I finished the run in 1:28: 36 hours and here were the data I gathered from my GF 305:

Distance—15.0 kms             Time—1:28:36 hrs

Average Pace—5:54 mins/km      Average Speed—10.2 kms/hr

Maximum Speed—13.0 kms/hr    Total Calories—1,106 cal

Average HR—151 bpm                  Maximum HR—163 bpm

Total Ascent—520 meters            Total Descent—503 meters

Runner’s Kit—Adidas shorts; white sando (cotton) from Fairways & Bluewater Golf; Penshoppe Runner’s Cap; & Maui Sunglass

Running Shoes—ASICS Gel-Cumulus 8

Music—Beatles One; Bee Gees (One Night Only:Live)

My sister told me that there is a running/mountain bike trail along the hills in Barangay Dibua and neighboring barangays that she came to know from doctors and social action workers who usually hike along these trails to reach the far-flung barangays located north & northwest of the city and the said trail end up at the Provincial Athletic Grounds or at the Mariano Marcos State University Campus. I hope to see this trail in the coming days.

After running on these trails, maybe, next time I will try to run along the famous “sand dunes” of Laoag City and Paoay. Wish me luck! 

Shoe Review: ASICS Gel-1120

Buying this pair of running shoes is a result of “impulsive shopping” on my part. After donating all my old running shoes which are not ASICS, only one remained which is the ASICS Gel-Cumulus 8. I needed another alternate running shoes which I can bring with me to Jamindan and my other shoes to stay in my quarters in Fort Bonifacio.

While browsing some of the running shoes at the Royal Sports Store, I found this particular shoes as the lightest and better cushioned among the other ASICS model available in the store. It was marked down to 20% less its original price and I was enticed to buy the said item.


After using it in the mountains of Jamindan, I found it to be light, very stable, and very comfortable to my heels. My heels are well-snugged with the heel counter area and I don’t feel any instability with my heels while running uphill and downhill. I tend to strike the ground with my forefoot but I had observed that the shoes has the tendency to roll more towards the outside motion, instead of being flat or neutral. I could feel that the thickness of the heel and sole is thicker on the inner side of the shoes by a few millimeters.

After 3 months of using it, I could feel that my footstrike is becoming more towards the outside/farther or outward portion of the shoes. The shoes have semi-curved last, the only shoes that I have with such construction. I thought of making a research about the shoes with ASICS website and I found out that shoes is made for pronators, runners who have the tendency to roll their feet towards the inner part of the shoes resulting to the inner portions of the heel to be consumed first due to wear and tear. Since I am not a pronator but a supinator, I could feel that my footstrike towards the outside portion of my shoes is more exaggerated making my run uneven with the ground. Although, I feel that my supination is more exaggerated, I did not feel any pain or uneasiness with my leg muscles with this running shoes.

The shoes is light and comfortable but the cushioning is very basic as you could “feel the ground” with your feet. The shoes is not noisy when it hits the ground and it has nice traction and you could feel immediate response from the shoes when you try to increase your pace. This is a responsive shoes, whether you are forefoot or heel striker.  

This shoes is well-recommended to pronators. This is one of the mid-priced running shoes of ASICS between P 4,500 to P 5, 500.00. This shoes could be used for longer distances like half-marathon and marathon races.

This is my ASICS Gel-1120 which appeared in the RW Magazine’s Shoe Review on the later part of 2006. I suggest you don’t buy your ASICS shoes at the Royal Sports Store or at Toby’s because they are selling the older models. Try getting/buying later models of ASICS at The Athlete’s Foot Store at Glorietta.

Runnex @ 25 10K Race

6:00 AM 04 May 2008 at UP Diliman Campus

I arrived at the Parking Area, far away from the Assembly Area, and started to have my stretching and warm-up about 30 minutes before the scheduled start time of 6:00 AM. I put on my GF 305 while standing still doing my body stretch. I tried to put on also my MP3 but later decided not to use it on the last minute before the start. After my stretching, I immediately had a slow-jog of about 100 yards and repeatedly jogged that distance for about 10 minutes just to be able for my body to start sweating.

After my slow jogging, I started to briskly walk to the Assembly area and I was surprised to see a lot of runners who had already checked-in for the 10K, 5K & 3K distance runs. It was already 3 minutes before the start time and I was able to see some of the visitors of this blog raring to go for the race. The 5K race was scheduled to start 2 minutes after the 10K runners had started and another interval of 2 minutes for the 3k runners to start after the 5K runners had left the starting area.

The 10K race started on time with so many runners infront of me as I was positioned at the middle of the pack before the start of the race. I slowly started my run and had to pass through the slower runner for the first 100 meters. At the 400-meter mark, I slowly passed some of the runners and I was able to get my position and my comfortable pace. I was glad I did not had anybody on my sides or immediately on my front and I just maintained my position up to the first ascent portion of the route. The elite 5K runners started to pass by and overtook me at the 600-meter mark and they were really fast! But I just concentrated on my pace and was not affected with their blistering pace. 

I was using a new Nike Zoom racing shoes which I think is the lightest running shoes that I bought lately which is my “gift” to myself for finishing another 100 kilometers in my “1,000 Km Club”. I was concentrating on my new shoes and praising it on my mind for it appears that it is very comfortable to my feet and I am forced to have a “ball-toe” footstrike on the ground. I was happy for having a positive thoughts on my new shoes for the 2-3 kilometers. I was having a good time “shuffling” and sprinting with my new Nike Zoom shoes! I was also happy that the shoes responded well on the curves on the road most especially on the turn-around points. The sole of the shoes really grabbed the ground and made my feet stable.

At the 5-km point, I tried to look at my GF 305 for the first time and I was able to see 25+ minutes and my mind registered to a “panic” mode thinking that I might finish the race in 50 minutes or more. I made a comment to Mark last night that the goal for this race should be sub-50 minutes after informing me that the course is more than 10 K, to be exact, 10.89 K and this was also the observation of “the loony runner”. Mark was 10-15 meters infront of me on the 1st 5K but he started to increase his pace on the last 5K and he is really making a lot of improvements. Hey, Mark, you are really the most improved runner!

At the 7K point, I had the chance to run beside Dr. Tan of the Farview Runners and he is really a strong runner at his age but he slowly reduced his pace later when we were about to go uphill. At the 8k point & turn-around while I was drinking from my bottled water, the loony runner passed by with a consistent fast pace with a water container on his hand and another bottle of water on his “small on the back” tucked in his running shorts. I tried to pick-up my pace for the next 400 meters and made some “speed play” on the last 2 kilometers. After running for almost 800 meters on a “sprint” mode, I started to feel as if I was going to “throw-up”. That was a “warning sign” for my body to slow down and I just relaxed my speed and concentrated on my running form and be able to finish the pace.

At the last turn, I looked again at my GF 305 and I was able to glance that it just registered 46:00 minutes. Looking at a distance with the finish line on sight, I started to pick-up my pace combining my “shuffling” and “high knee” running. I had to count 1 to 10 repeatedly to maintain a fast rythym and concentrate on my running form towards the finish line.

I finished the 10K race in 48:48 minutes as registered in my GF 305. My watch also registered a distance of 9.90 kilometers. I registered a “negative split” on this race, finishing the 1st 5K in 25+ minutes and the last 5K in 23+ minutes.

Well, I did not register a better time from my previous 10K race two weeks ago but I am still happy that I was able to improve my time from my previous RUNNEX race last 02 December 2007 on the roads of UP Campus where I registered a time of 52:07 minutes.

It was a nice run. I am going to add another P 500.00 to my Charity Fund for finishing this road race.

Thanks again to those who donated their used/old running shoes to the Project Donate A Shoe. My special mention goes to Cecil/Miraclecello who removed his running shoes after the race and donated them to our project. Mabuhay ka, Cecil!

Pam Reed: The Ultramarathon Woman

I bought a book at National Book Store entitled “The Extra Mile” by Pam Reed. This is the story of Pam Reed, a runner, wife, and a mother who started to bring awareness to the public through the media on ultramarathon races. Long before Dean Karnazes became popular as the Ultramarathon Man, Pam Reed was already making a name in ultramarathons when she won the Badwater Ultramarathon in 2002 and 2003. Dean Karnazes initially participated in the Badwater Ultramarathon on 2003 but he was defeated by Pam Reed by 25 minutes. Of course, Dean K won the next year’s event in 2004.

As I was reading the book, I could imagine the place and the distance where the Badwater Ultramarathon is done annually during the middle of the month of July. One time, my family and I visited Las Vegas during the month of July and while on the road going to Las Vegas, I could see along the Death Valley desert the giant Thermometer with the reading of 120 degrees Fahrenheit and this is the place where the ultramarathon starts. Badwater Ultrmarathon is considered as the “most challenging and hardest” route for an ultramarathon event. The race starts at an elevation of 282 feet below sea level (Badwater at Death Valley Desert) and finishes at Mount Whitney with an elevation of 8,360 feet. The race covers a distance of 135 miles or 216 kilometers and each runner should be able to finish the race in 60 hours.

The flat distance of 216 kilometers is from Manila to Damortis, La Union or from Laoag City to Balaoan, La Union or running along the North Luzon Expressway three times (up to Mabalacat Exit). But if you consider the terrain and the heat of the sun/temperature in this event, this event becomes even harder. Pam Reed still holds the women’s record of finishing this event in 27 hours and 56 minutes and covering the distance with an average speed of 7.7 kilometers per hour.

These are the tips I got from the book:

1. Ultramarathoners train as marathoners.

2. Run conservatively slow and the goal is to be able to Finish the race.

3. You must have a “handler” and a crew who will support you along the way.

4. The first “17 miles” of the race must be ran without any support or crew. After the 17th mile, your crew can pace, spray you with water, give you water and food, and accompany you along the route.

5. Divide the distance in segments and finish each segment one at a time. The distance may vary from 5 miles or 1 mile per segment. Ultramarathon requires “extreme” patience and mental toughness.

6. Take a break but keep on moving your legs.   

7. Drink Plenty of Fluids. Ensure, Red Bull, Gatorade, and Water are the favorite drinks of Pam Reed. She finished 40 cans of Ensure during her fourth Badwater Ultra.

8. Eat and store calories or put additional pounds of body weight within 3 weeks before the race. These calories and extra pounds will be needed on the last half distance of the race. 

This is a nice book to read, most especally to runners. The book is very inspiring as Pam Reed balances her training, work, family, health and the races she joined. I am higly recommending this book.