Posts Tagged ‘C5

02
Oct
13

Back on the Road: Running Commonwealth Avenue and C5 (Again)

It’s been ages since I last run on the road outside of races and I’m glad I finally did!  I didn’t join any races for the month of September but I’m glad that something came along to motivate me out of my bed.

Don’t you just love Sunday morning traffic? 😀

Continue reading ‘Back on the Road: Running Commonwealth Avenue and C5 (Again)’

31
May
13

Running about in Metro Manila’s Roads: Cramming for RU2

Time flies when you’re having fun, and also when you’re quite busy.  Being a one man team at work made me forgot all about the rest of the world and before I noticed it, it was just a week before it’s time for my first 32K of the year, Run United 2 (due this Sunday!).

Long time no see, BGC

[ More… ]

11
Sep
09

Run Free—Like Crazy?!

Have you ever thought of running like you used to when you were a child—no schedules, no pace, no distance, no pressure—just pure clean fun?  I was lucky enough to have a chance at that last night at Bonifacio Global City (BGC) during my long run.  I was pretty bored of the typical Bonifacio High Street (BHS) route and out of nowhere I just thought of running wherever!  No defined routes and distance, just being spontaneous.  The only rule I followed was to run wherever in BGC I haven’t been to and hopefully not get lost—and I didn’t, so here’s what happened:

Click for more details

Is this route crazy or what? (Click for more details)

At about 4K into my run I received an SMS from a friend that they’d be running towards McKinley Hill. I was at the time already in Market! Market! and taking the usual route to McKinley Hill would take some time. I really was planning on going to McKinley Hill for some hill training and that’s when I thought of joining my friends—by taking C5 to get there.

I was dismayed when I found out how near McKinley Hill was from Market! Market!  I’ve never been to that section of C5 before so I had no idea it was that close.  After some time I finally met up with my friends along Lawton Ave. and crazy as I am I joined them in their run instead of heading back despite already covering 8K at that time.  For some weird reason I was able to convince them to head back to Market! Market! the same way I did going to McKinley—via C5.  Like earlier stated it was short but from McKinley it was not easy as it was a very long uphill run on the flyover!  From there we had some interesting route going back to BHS and for me ending with a total of 12.92K for the night (including the 1.21K warmup run I had around BHS).

One Million Meters

Upon tallying up my runs since I started August last year I just found out that I already covered 1,000K distance!  With this last run I currently have 1,007K under my feet and counting towards my first 1,000K for the year which currently stands at 885K.  it was truly a rewarding night since not only did I cover areas of BHS I’ve never been to, I was also able to break 1,000K.

22
Aug
09

A Year Into Running: The Secret to an Ultramarathon

When it comes to running, the last thing on my mind was an ultramarathon—I had an idea how far a marathon is by looking at the route taken by the Milo Marathon which is “just” about 42K, but an ultra, especially 100K, was unimaginable.  In fact the first time I’ve heard of the term “ultramarathon” was when I heard the stories of the Pinoy Ultra Runners—I was like a child being told a fairy tale that I didn’t know for the first time—my eyes were probably gleaming while a dream was being shaped—a dream I didn’t realize I can accomplish before my first running anniversary.  How was it possible for a mere mortal to go from zero to an ultramarathon in less than a year?  Endurance.

Everyone has their own endurance level.  Unless you’ve won the genetic lottery a normal person should train himself to be able to endure very long distances.  Of course improving your endurance doesn’t come overnight—it is built one day at a time, like races are completed one step at a time.  The best way to achieve this endurance believe it or not is really simple—long runs.  Endurance training doesn’t really focus much on the speed but more on the time you give to your run.  Long Slow Distance (LSD) runs are best because for starters it is slow so anyone can do it at their own pace, but the key here is the long part—normally it is long distance but of course the distance you cover is also relative to how long the time you give for each run.  Like I’ve mentioned earlier the focus here is not speed so naturally the longer (time-wise) you run regardless of your speed, the longer the distance you cover.

Best Time to Start

I was very lucky when I started doing my long runs because I started during the one of the coolest months of the year, February (2009).  The later sunrises and earlier sunsets plus the much lower temperature mean more opportunity to run (although less sunlight).  I started doing my long runs (LSDs) not really to train for an ultra since I had no plans to do one then, but instead to improve my endurance to be able to run longer.  By the end of 2008 my longest run was at 16K (10mi) and I was aiming for my first half-marathon which is anything but short.  LSDs, how seemingly less effort you put into it, when done regularly would benefit everyone regardless of the distance you want to train for.  Best of all you don’t have to do it several times a week—an LSD a week is enough so better dedicate good amount of time for each.  If you train from December to February you may start as late as 7AM but in any case you should avoid running beyond 9AM outdoors.  During other months it’s better have the least exposure time with the sun so you must start as early as possible, and if the absence of sunlight isn’t an issue for you running at night also works.

Routes

Like I mentioned earlier the LSDs I had were not originally intended for ultramarathon training.  These routes were made because I really find it boring to run at the same place many times, add a sense of adventure to my runs, and seek new places.  Admittedly I wouldn’t have been encouraged to do these without my Garmin Forerunner 405 to track my time and distance (among others).  Tracking the distance you covered and time is important in doing LSDs because you need to track your progress and you may use many sites on the web to measure the distances of the routes you want to cover.  I encourage you to measure the distance of your route first so that you may approximate how long you’d take to finish it (and adjust your course accordingly).

Without further adieu here are some of my notable LSDs:

February 01, 2009: North Ave. to SM Mall of Asia via EDSA

North Ave. - SM Mall of Asia

Also known as my “MRT Tour” this one started from the Northern tip of the MRT, running along EDSA, until reaching the SM Mall of Asia compound and includes the bayside path to complete the target distance of at least 21K.

Actual distance: 21.11K.

February 08, 2009: Boni Ave. to Global City

More or less a simulation of typical 21K route within Global City that includes a pass through McKinley Hill and Heritage and finishing at Bonifacio High Street (BHS).

Actual distance: 21.70K.

March 15, 2009: Commonwealth Run

After about a month of being away from the Philippines I returned to doing LSDs and that time closer to home: Commonwealth Market to Quezon Memorial Circle (QMC) returning back and ending in Regalado Ave.—the northernmost route I’ve done to date.  Who would’ve known that I covered half of the route of the Quezon City International Marathon with this route? This also served as my last run before completing my first 21K later on, the Condura Run.

Actual distance: 22.32K.

April 09, 2009: Commonwealth Ave. to BHS via Kalayaan Ave. and C5

With the excitement I got from LSDs it’s almost automatic for me to have one whenever I am not running any races.  With the thought of doing my first ultra looming I also had to gradually step up my LSDs.

Actual distance: 23.03K.

April 12, 2009: Commonwealth Ave. to MoA via Quezon Ave., España Blvd., and Roxas Blvd.

One of the most picturesque routes and easily one of my favorites, it passes through the historic city of Manila.  Don’t take this route if you don’t have your camera and is not willing to stop to enjoy the sights.

Actual distance: 27.50K.

May 03, 2009: Manila to Tagaytay

To date my longest non-race run—so long I had my marathon and ultramarathon distance debut with this run!  With about 20 days to go before my first ultramarathon race, TNF100, it’s a must that I do a serious LSD to prepare my body for the grueling 100K.  I highly recommend this route to those planning to do their first ultramarathon.

Actual distance: 56.60K.

I actually had a repeat of this route last August 02, 2009 (but was a few meters shorter at 56.00K) with more friends adding to the community of ultra-runners.  I encourage ultra-runners-to-be to take this route because of its challenge (generally uphill) and distance which is even longer than some ultramarathon races.

Metro Manila routes for my first year of running

Metro Manila routes for my first year of running

For the past year I did a lot of LSDs covering nice distances and interesting routes both within and outside Metro Manila.  Recently though I’ve yet done a 20K+ route but despite that I still benefit from the endurance I gained with these LSDs (click here to see the complete list of my runs) and was even able to complete my first marathon, still within my first year of running.  As you may notice I wasn’t as consistent with my LSDs as I’ve wanted but it still works!  What’s important is the honest dedication and effort to practice, and in the end you reap what you sow.  You may not be planning for an ultramarathon but this “secret” is proven to help anyone willing to improve themselves.  As you can see training need not be imposing—all you need are some sense of adventure, an open mind, and a willing body.  Better yet grab along some crazy buddies with you to share the fun!  Just don’t forget to bring along your common sense on your exploit!

See you on the road, and have a safe run!

15
May
09

Night Run with an Instant EB

Runners could sometimes be too predictable—you’d have some idea where you may find them.  Sometimes too predictable that you need not send each other messages to meet—just go where your feet takes you and chances are they are also there.  That’s exactly what happened last night at BHS after my usual night run.

The Night Run: Ortigas to BHS

It was the typical night run for me, from Ortigas to BHS without any “side trips.”  I’m currently on my taper period so I avoid strenuous long runs so this would be my last (promise) run during this period until my next race which would be TNF100 on May 23, 2009.

My route

My route

The majority of the route spans C5, Eulogio Rodriguez Jr. Ave. from Pasig City’s perspective.  Although I’ve passed this route several times before I still find it difficult to run in these areas because of sidewalk obstructions—it seemed like pedestrians aren’t allowed to walk alongside C5 in Pasig.  I hope the proper authorities do something about this.

Obstructions!  I think this sidewalk was made for this plant.

Obstructions! I think this sidewalk was made for this plant conveniently placed right in the middle.

I’m really starting to hate Carlos P. Garcia Ave.—that’s the name of C5 with Taguig City.  For the second time I stepped again on dirt, this time around on some wet and still soft concrete conveniently dumped on a side walk (or what looks like it) near one of those unsightly elevated U-turn slots.  It seems that the only developed part of Taguig City really is just Bonifacio Global City—a private property.  Elsewhere you go (at least along C5) you can’t even ask the city for a decent walking space, which is a basic right of the people.  The city can only give you a gutter as a side walk—it may be too much to ask for more.

It’s always a pleasure to run on Global City because of its well designed urban plan (that’s the advantage of being a private property).  Since I’m on a taper, from Market! Market! I quickly headed off towards Bonifacio High Street finishing just a few meters off ROX, total distance of 7.51K.

Instant EB

Mizuno Running Clinic is held every Thursday nights around BHS and some of my acquaintances are members of this clinic.  It was inevitable of course that I’d bump into them along with some of my friends doing their LSDs or night runs in the area as well.  The result is an instant “eye-ball” or meeting including old friends I haven’t seen in a while, and new ones.  I think to some extent runners think alike.  And what’s a good thing to do after running?  Eating!

While waiting for the others...

While waiting for the others...

いただきます!

いただきます! Time to eat!

It was very nice to see you guys last night, it surely beats the boredom of finishing your run, alone.

16
Apr
09

Night Run: Ortigas – McKinley Hill – BHS via C5

Summer in Metro Manila is anything but pleasing for running—it’s hot and humid.  Not only do you need to worry about your run you also have to think of protecting yourself from the sun so here comes running extra early, putting on sunblocks, wearing protective clothing like visors or caps, sunglasses, etc.  I personally don’t like putting on sunblocks because I tan very easily, so to make summer running simpler I decided to try running at night.

For my first night road run I decided to do it starting from the office towards BHS via C5—route that I took a few days ago.  Time for me was very limited for this run so I had to pick a route that would be both pleasing and would fit the time constraints so BHS was the perfect “target” for me.  I’ve never tried running on the road at night so it’s another adventure run for me.

Night run route

Night run route: Julia Vargas Ave. - C5 - McKinley Hill - BHS

Running at night poses a lot of potential dangers, primarily because it’s dark.  You can’t really see much at night so you have to be very wary of the surface you’re running onto.  A quick reflex and awareness of the surrounding environment is a need.  My first challenges were actually the trees that line up Julia Vargas Ave.—their branches lie low so you have to duck, a lot.  Along C5 you’d have to carefully watch where you step because there are a lot of wet slippery areas here, not to mention zigzagging through the obstacles keeping in mind that you’re running alongside a road filled with vehicles.

One of the most difficult parts of running at night was the crazy volume of vehicles on the road.  In fact traffic was very slow along C5 that my running pace was actually faster than that of the traffic (how many times do you get to overtake cars while running?).  Health-wise this too is dangerous—the level of smog was just unbearable.  Mind you, I was keeping my heart-rate and pace at a level that I don’t need to breathe through my mouth the whole time I was running J. Vargas Ave. and C5.

I originally planned on running C5 up until SLEX but the smog was just unbearable—a breath-taking route indeed, so when I arrived at Market! Market! I just had to enter Bonifacio Global City where this was no longer an issue.

Running within Global City felt like an oasis from the smog.  It’s always nice to run here, day or night, and chances are you’d bump into some fellow runners en route.  I just noticed that many traffic lights don’t work properly so once again it’s up to your judgment call when to cross the street.

Since my route was unintentionally cut short I had to find a route that would make up for it but at the same time keep it interesting so I decided to once again challenge McKinley Hill.  This area was where I made my fastest pace (03:04 min/km) because of the downhill and some of my slowest pace because of the uphill.  It’s always fun for me to challenge this area because I always feel like I have a score to settle here, hehe.

Because of my time constraints I headed off towards BHS after McKinley Hill but as expected I was a bit short of my target of at least 16K for this run I had to make one and a half outer loop run on BHS ending just across R.O.X. with a final distance of 16.51K.

Two sides of the road aren’t equal

Oftentimes when running along a road you have to pick which side is best for you to run.  Many would say counter-flow is best but for my experiences with roads so far I’d say it depends.  The two sides of the road often differ, sometimes worlds apart, like C5.  In the area that crosses the Pasig River, the south-bound sidewalk took me under the bridge so I had to climb a very high staircase just to get back to the bridge, whereas the north-bound sidewalk has direct access to the bridge.  As a recommendation, find a side you’re most familiar or feel more comfortable with.  If you’re running on a side with ample space to run it wouldn’t matter whether you’re run along or against traffic.  Just keep in mind that here in the Philippines pedestrians give way to motorists (not the other way around as it should be) so always watch out for those intersections.

Running at night surely is a different experience.  The good part is that you don’t have to worry about sunburn and the temperature tends to cool down as the night progress.  The bad part is that it’s much more dangerous to run at night due to the volume of people and vehicles on the road.  There are times that you’re running blind because an area is a bit dark, or if you’re running against traffic because of the headlights of incoming vehicles.  If you’re running along with traffic there’s also the risk of not being seen by fast moving vehicles especially if you don’t have those blinkers that bikers usually carry at night.  Then there’s also the ridiculous amount of smog.  I can’t really say that running at night is better or worse than running during daytime—it’s for me to know and for you to find out!

10
Apr
09

LSD: Commonwealth to BHS via Katipunan – C5

My first LSD on a weekday and on a double holiday (Maundy Thursday and Araw ng Kagitingan), this route is basically an alternate way for me from home to work, and also towards the place where I fell in love with running—Bonifacio Global City.  This is my first time to run this route so it adds to its sense of adventure.

My LSD route

My LSD route

I started across Commonwealth Market and ran along Commonwealth Ave., turned left towards Katipunan Ave., traced my way towards C5, and eventually reached Bonifacio Global City.

Panoramic view of Katipunan Ave.

Panoramic view of Katipunan Ave.

Commonwealth Ave. in general has good sidewalk spaces. Katipunan Ave. on the other hand varies, some areas have excellent sidewalks, some are uneven, some are wet with a lot of loose rocks, and some have occasional obstructions but in general is adequate.  C5 Pasig area has useless sidewalks—it looked like sidewalks were made for plants that nobody seemed to care for.  The only good sidewalks of C5 in Pasig were those around Tiendesitas and near Pasig River.  Across the river is Taguig City where sidewalks were surprisingly better.  It just gradually looses width until it virtually disappears as you near Fort Bonifacio.  It was only within the Global City where sidewalks are generous.  I hope that the proper authorities address this issue to encourage everyone to walk to a healthier lifestyle.

A section of Katipunan Ave.

A section of Katipunan Ave.

This was my pit stop before heading off to C5

This was my pit stop before heading off to C5

My thoughts exactly

My thoughts exactly

One of the elevated U-turns along C5

One of the elevated U-turns along C5

Bonifacio High Street was a good place to end this LSD.  It was where I started running so it’s always a pleasure for me to go there.  Being a Maundy Thursday, BHS was virtually empty—you get to see it in “maintenance mode,” most stores was closed, and there are hardly any people around—peace and quiet.

Km 20 for this LSD

Km 20 for this LSD

This is how a sidewalk should be

This is how a sidewalk should be

Km 23—the end for this LSD

Km 23—the end for this LSD

I surely wanted to run a bit longer but unfortunately I started later than planned so by the time I was in BHS it was too warm.  It’s already summer in the Philippines so prolonged sun exposure is a concern, so running later than 8AM is not advisable.  In the end I managed to complete 23K for this LSD.

BHS—a good place to end an LSD

BHS—a good place to end an LSD

Street markers—new installations around BHS

Street markers—new installations around BHS




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