Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Race Recap: Nike Run Manila 2011

Twenty Three.  My plan was to cover 23 kilometers last Saturday as part of my base building program to prepare for my upcoming Afroman distance in RU3 2011.  So I got up from our couch and arrived in BGC by 3:35PM.  This gives me more an hour and a half to cover 13 kilometers before I head to the assembly area.  Unfortunately, there were no clouds in sight and it was scorching hot.  I waited and waited, hoping that a herd of clouds would cover me from the heat. 

Rizal Drive.  An hour later and the situation did not change a bit.  There I was in the parking area of BGC thinking what else can I do.  Decided to check out Rizal Drive wishing that the tall buildings would provide sufficient shade for a 30-minute run.  Five minutes later.  I was ecstatic, almost jumped in joy, when I saw that my assumption was correct.  Without a second to waste, I strapped my heart rate monitor on and immediately ran

Heart Rate.  Since I bought my Timex watch more than a year ago, I wasn't able to fully utilize it as a training tool.  Being new to the sport, an HRM watch was too much too handle.  A total waste of money if I may say.  I toyed with it for a couple of months but without a program to follow, I just gave up the idea and just used it to record my race times. 

Knee Injury.  Because of my recurring knee injury, I couldn't pursue my original training plan (speedwork on Tuesdays, tempo on Thursdays, and long runs on weekends).  The moment I start hitting a sub-5 minutes per kilometer pace, my right knee begins to hurt.  With that, I had to find an alternative that would enable me to increase my mileage without hurting myself in the process.  And I found one

Zone 3.  I thought running between 72-78% of my maximum heart rate would be easy.  I was wrong!  It was hard, really hard.  This translates to running between 2-3 minutes slower than my usual.  I am not used to this speed when I train, so my first kilometer was a mess.  My heart rate would jump up to 85% and I had to take walk breaks just to lower it down.  There are also since instances that it got too low (67%) which forces me to crank it a notch.  Finding the sweet spot was a hit and miss as the allowed range was only 10 heart beats per minute

Note: Fast and dirty way to calculate your maximum heart rate is (220 - age)

5:20PM.  Nike's official gun start is at 5PM and had a 20 minutes leeway.  That meant I had a total of 50 minutes.  Since I don't want to push my luck, I just gave myself 40 minutes and managed to cover at least 5 kilometers.  By the time I got in the assembly area, most of runners already flooded the streets of BGC.  It felt surreal and exclusive when I crossed the start/finish arc alone.  It was like the road ahead is all for me for the taking.

Eight Thousand.  With the huge turnout, I only expected the worst.  Surprisingly the crowd was sufficiently managed and there was enough water to hydrate everyone.  I have to admit there are still some room for improvements but the one who needs to improve are the runners themselves.  I noticed that most runners needs to brush up about running etiquette or at least spent a few minutes to read the race info sheet that was provided.

Killed By Boredom.  Since I was limited to run within Zone 3, the long flat road stretched endlessly.  I was tempted several times to run a bit faster so I can already cross the finish arc and head home.  Right there and then, I understood how hard it is going to be in the coming months.  Running hard and fast is difficult already but running slow is even more tougher.  This type of training requires a lot of patience, determination and a slather of sun screen. Finished the race in (unofficial) 1 hour 20 minutes

We Run Manila 2011. This is my first night race and a very memorable one.  The singlet is really nice and very well made.  The bag that came with, my mom loved it.  I am no big fan of posters but what the heck at least I will always remember this international event everytime I'd see it.  The 2GB USB is comin' on our way and I can't wait the day it arrives.  They even got portalets along the route.  Kudos to Nike, RunRio, and all participants!


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