Running In The Rain, LA Style & Annual National Running Day

The lyrics of a song say that “it never rain in Southern California” but at the start of summer season here, I am surprised that the weather had been cloudy and overcast for the past days (since the LA Marathon). It is an ideal weather for running at the middle of the day as I am lazy to wake up early and dread the cooler temperature in the early morning. But the weather yesterday was different. After coming from my doctor’s appointment, it started to rain. I was surprised!

While at home, waiting for the rain/drizzle to stop, I decided to run after two days of rest and recovery. I have observed that after running easy long runs back-to-back (Saturday & Sunday) during the weekend, I need at least two days to rest and recover. It was my time do some stretching and upper-core body exercises. I wore my Nike Compression Shorts, TNF Shirt, Nike Lunaracer, Running Cap and my “cheap” arm warmers which I bought from a walking vendor along Lawton Avenue at 35 pesos a pair as compared to the more expensive Moeben arm sleeves! By the way, I got 3 pairs for the price of One Hundred Pesos Only. This is the same arm sleeves that those motorcylists and tricycle drivers use in Metro Manila.

After doing a brief stretching exercises inside the house, I went out of the house with a slow run. After running almost 3 blocks, I started to pick-up my pace and proceeded to the Echo Park running route. As I was about to reach the Park, it started to rain and I temporarily went inside a shade at the side of the street. There was this (white) guy with a road race bike (who looks like a messenger in his early 20s) who was also inside the bus stop shade and busy scanning his folded road map of LA. And the guy asked me for some directions as to where he could reach the Downtown Area. I gave him the details on what street he has to take and warn him to be careful riding on his bike as the road was slippery. When the rain temporarily stopped, the bike rider and I left the shade and I went to the Echo Park Loop.

After running for about 500 meters, I started my tempo run for about 30 minutes with an average pace of 4:48-5:00 minutes per kilometer. Three-fourths of the loop is plain and there is a slight uphill for the rest of the loop. There were not much runners/joggers at the Park because of the rains. I tried my best to maintain my pace and there are portions along the route that I could pick-up my pace up to 4:18-4:25 minutes per kilometers. I was doing some “fartlek” along the way as I counted my strides up to 90, making sure that I was running at 180 steps in every minute.

What is good when I run at Echo Park or at Silverlake Reservoir or Elysian Park trails, there are water sources or “water fountains” (I am not sure of the correct term or words) along the route where anybody could press the button and drink from it with potable water! With these permanent fixtures on the Parks here, there is no need for me to bring my hydration belt. Instead, I just bring with me some cash in case I need to buy Gatorade in one of the nearby grocery stores. So, every time I finish 3 loops of the Park, I always see to it that I hydrate myself with these water fountains! Well, in the Philippines, we are better off in terms of our “water fountains”. We can simply get inside the Starbucks Coffee or Jollibee or McDonalds and ask for an Ice-Cold Water with the proper drinking glass!!! hahaha! But we are simply lacking and poor in terms of coming up with parks where we could run. Yes, we have parks but they are Memorial Parks and Cemeteries! Very sad, indeed!

After a tempo run of 30 minutes, I slowed down my pace to 5:15-5:30 minutes per kilometer and ran another 30 minutes. It was still raining and at the same time I was sweating hard. I could hardly feel the cold temperature in the air as my body’s heat was trying to balance my body temperature and with the help of those “cheap” arm sleeves that I was wearing. Finally, I finished my run at the Park with a distance of 13.2 kilometers with a time of 1:11:06 hours, with an average pace of 5:23 mins/km. It is a matter of time that I can reach and run comfortablywith an average pace of 11.5 kms/hour, my target pace for the MILO Marathon Eliminations. For this run, I was able to register an average pace of 11.1 kms/hr.

After taking my last sip of water at the Park, I made another loop at the Park and proceeded to my favorite uphill climb along the Beverly Blvd, fronting the Belmont High School. As I crossed towards the Beverly Blvd, I saw the guy who asked for directions 1 1/2 hours earlier, waiting for the red street/traffic lights to turn into green. I asked him if he was able to reach his destination and he said, “Yes, thanks! How was your run?” I replied to him, “Perfect run” as I passed him and went to his opposite direction.

The distance from the Park to the lowest part of this particular uphill climb is 1.2 kms. From the lowest portion up to the peak of the climb has a distance of 178 meters and I can estimate that it has a uphill grade of about 6-7 (just imagine that you have a setting of 6 or 7 incline on your treadmill machine). I did 5 X 178 meters where I slowly jogged going back to where I started. These were the results of my hill speed repeats taken from my average pace per run and its corresponding average HR:

1)  5:20 mins/km—153 bpm

2)  4:51 mins/km—150 bpm

3)  4:34 mins/km—153 bpm

4)  4:34 mins/km—155 bpm

5)  4:19 mins/km—155bpm

As my cool-down run, I jogged for about 1 km around the streets/blocks near my place before doing my post-stretching exercises. When I entered the house, my son was already home and just arrived from his work and he told me that I am “crazy” running in the rain!

Yes, I am “crazy”. Wait till I start training for my first “100-Mile” Trail Endurance Run! Ha! Ha! Ha!

I was able to run a total distance of 16.2 kilometers (10 miles). I nice way to celebrate the annual “The National Running Day” (For the USA). Maybe, we can also recommend to our government officials (attention goes to our physically active and athletic Senators and Congressmen) to come up with our own version of an annual National Running Day in order to promote awareness on the benefits of running and develop among us an active physical lifestyle. This will be a nation-wide activity where local government units are directed to come up with running activities and lectures/seminars among their constituents. Would you imagine if you have a running club in every town/municipality in the country?

Well, if there is no positive reaction on this suggestion, then I firmly believe that the definition of “running” among our politicians and government’s elected officials, is “running” as candidates to an elective position!!! I can easily predict that a smart politician would say that there is no need for a National Running Day for the whole country because we already have our National & Local Election Day (yon nga lang, every 3 years)!!! Ha! Ha! Ha!

P. S. Good Luck & Best Wishes to Ben Gaetos, Rick Gaston, Carmela Layson and to the rest of the Pinoy Ultra Runners living in California who will be participating (as runners and crews/pacers) in the San Diego 100-Mile Endurance Run (SD 100) this coming Saturday!!!

Meals/Food for Yesterday (June 3, 2009)

Breakfast:  None (due to Medical Tests)

Lunch:  Steamed Rice; Left-Overs (Sinigang na Salmon Head & Pork Adobo); Fresh Mango & Banana

Snacks:  GNC’s AMP Amplified Muscle Meal with Banana (Blended with Water & Ice)

After The Run:  20 Fluid Ounces of Gatorade & Lots of Water

Dinner:  Steamed Rice; Sauteed Clam (Shell) Meat with Kangkong; Fish Chips; Ripe Fresh Mango & Banana

Before Going To Bed:  Vitamic C Tablet & 3 tablespoons of Organic Honey

Tempo Run In The Rain

Last Wednesday night, I had my running workout at the ULTRA Oval Track. Initially, I planned to have an endurance run for about 15 kilometers with an average pace of  5:30 minutes per kilometer but when I started running, I thought of finally doing a tempo run.

After a brief stretching exercises, I started running, using the farthest lane, Lane #8, of the oval track. My first 2 kilometers (5 laps) registered an average pace of 6:10 minutes per kilometer. After finishing 5 laps, I started to increase my pace, still using Lane 8, for the next 20 laps (8 kilometers) consistently increasing my pace up to 4:52 minutes per kilometer but ended up with an average pace of 5:20 minutes per kilometer.

On my last 2K as cool-down run, it started to rain and most of the runners at the oval took refuge at the shaded bleacher/grandstand. I kept on running as the rain started to keep on getting stronger just to be able to complete my last 5 laps around the oval. Initially, I was alone running at the oval with the strong rain but I found out later that other runners from the Team Bald Runner-Professional Group joined me in running into the rain. It was nice to hear positive comments from them that thei enjoyment of running in the rain. I finished my last 2-Km (5 laps) with an average pace of 6:05 minutes per kilometer.

Instead of doing a 15-km run, I ended doing a 12-km tempo run. I needed to stop because my shoes were becoming heavy and the oval track was already full of water but the other members of Team Bald Runner kept on running into the rain. These are hardcore runners!!! I immediately changed my wet clothes with my dry clothes and did some post-stretching exercises.

Due to running in the rain, my GF 305 was affected and it could not be opened/started for the past two days. It was only this morning that I was able to start it by simultaneously pressing the Lap Button with the other buttons of the watch. My last Wednesday’s night tempo run registered a distance of 12.2 kilometers with an average pace of 5:30 minutes per kilometer.

Yesterday, due to Typhoon Emong’s rains, I opted to rest and have a full body massage.

172 Days: ULTRA Tempo & Easy Runs

5:20 PM 14 October 2008

I did another tempo run at ULTRA Oval Track yesterday afternoon where I was able to cover a distance of 17.10 kilometers. After my stretching routine, I did 12 laps of warm-up run covering a distance of 5.08 kilometers with a time of 27:31 minutes. My average pace was 5:25 mins/km with an Average/Maximum Heart Rate of 142 bpm/151 bpm. I usually do my warm-up run at Lanes 7 & 8.

After drinking water, I did a 12-minute run along Lanes 3 & 4 covering a distance of 2.67 kms (5+ laps) at an average pace of 4:36 mins/km. My Average/Maximum Heart Rate were 156 bpm/161 bpm. One lap of recovery run of about 3 minutes followed and a water break. Continue reading

Tempo Run (Sep 08-1) & Gym Workout

5:42 PM 03 September 2008 (1st Tempo Run For The Month)

I did a tempo run around the streets in the neighborhood where one loop of my pre-designated course has a distance of 2.73 kilometers. I did the 1st loop at an easy pace, averaging at 6:23 minutes per kilometer with a lap time of 17:28 minutes. For the 2nd and 3rd loop, I increased my pace with an average of 5:21 minutes per kilometer with a finish time of 29:24 minutes. I reduced my pace on the 4th & last loop with an average of 6:02 minutes per kilometer, finishing in 16:30 minutes. I ended my running workout with an additional 410 meters with a fast average pace of 4:48 minutes per kilometer.

I was able to run a total timed distance of 10.94 kilometers with a total time of 1:03:22 hours.

At 7:45 PM, my son and I went to Gold’s Gym for a 1 1/2-hour workout. I did core-strengthening exercises using the different abs and back muscle machines inside the gym. I was not able to count how many sets of 100 repetitions of abs exercises and back muscle extension exercises I did during the duration of our stay in the gym. I did some leg strengthening exercises for the knees and hamstrings with the Zero Machines before ending my workout.

Tempo Run At The Fort

5:50 AM 13 May 2008 @ The Fort

I treated myself with a tempo run early this morning after getting the information from my son, John, that I am officially registered to run The San Franciso Marathon which will be held on 03 August 2008.

My goal for this marathon is to finish sub-4 hours. This is a tall order to accomplish but with proper preparation and training, I know I could make it.

After stretching, I started my run with a slow pace covering a distance of 6 kms at an average pace of 6:00 mins per kilometer. For the next 6 kilometers,  I increased my pace but the ascending part at the International School area slowed me for a few seconds from my avarage pace. I finished the tempo run for 6 kilometers  with an average pace of 5:15 minutes per kilometer. In my cool-down run, I ran another 8.5 kilometers with an average pace of 6:45 minutes per kilometer. In total, I was able to run 20.5 kilometers this morning.

I used the 4th Global City 10K route, however, I extended my distance by covering the US Cemetery Circle to Robinson’s Condo at Lawton Avenue and did at least 4 times around the BHS big loop. I finished my run at my quarters inside Fort Bonifacio.

Today’s weather was nice for a long run because the rising sun was covered with clouds. It even had some showers during my last 2 kilometers of my cool-down run. 

Two-Mile Tempo Run

19 March 2008 (10:26-11:15 AM)

It’s Holy Week and I decided to stay inside the camp and be at peace with the clean air and silent environment in the mountains of Jamindan. This is the time to do more endurance runs, hill workouts, “fartleks” and tempo runs, even during noon time. 

Without any much to do after reading and acting on some administrative papers and matters in the morning, I decided to change to my running attire and planned to test how I fare in my 2-mile run along the hills of Jamindan. After stretching and warm-up jogging for about 500-600 meters, I started my first two-mile tempo run along the the 2-mile route inside the camp.

The following data were registered in my GF 305 for my first 2-mile run:

Distance—3.20 kms                       Time—16:20 mins (8:10 mins/mile)

Average Pace—5:06 mins/km              Average Speed—11.7 kms/hr

Maximum Speed—15.1 kms/hr           Total Calories—235 cal

Average HR—159 bpm                          Maximum HR—169 bpm

Total Ascent—247 meters                     Total Descent—238 meters

After drinking water and slowly jogging for about 3 minutes, I started my second 2-mile run where the sun’s heat was almost on top of my head. The following data were taken from my GF 305 for my second 2-mile run:

Distance—3.20 kms                        Time—16:40 mins (8:20 mins/mile)

Average Pace—5:12 mins/km               Average Speed—11.5 kms/hr

Maximum Speed—14.1 kms/hr             Total Calories—236 cal

Average HR—168 bpm                            Maximum HR—172 bpm

Total Ascent—172 meters                       Total Descent—168 meters

After completing the second set of my 2-mile run, I made a slow jog for about 500 meters cool-down. I had my post stretching for 20 minutes and walked briskly. It was too hot and I had to drink a lot of water.

My second round was slower because of the heat of the sun and the heat coming from the cement/road. However, it was a nice run.

Running Shoes—ASICS Gel-1120

Music—Bee Gees: “Live–One Night Only”

Total Distance Covered—7.50 kms or 4.68 miles.