Posts Tagged ‘Quezon Ave.

03
Aug
10

Double Millionaire

If meters were currency I would’ve been double a millionaire as I’ve earned my two millionth meter last night, or 2,000 kilometers, since I started running almost two years ago.

So many obstacles hampered this long sought after but very much delayed milestone of mine, mostly for reasons of injuries, but as I gradually recover, so did the kilometers.  And finally on the month that I started running two years ago I finally reached that target.

I really wanted to hit my first 2,000K by the end of July, but failed!  Then it was moved on August 1, and finally was able to do it last night, August 2, after one of those dreaded days at the office.  I think I had too much stress then that late in the afternoon my eyesight blurred for a few minutes, then replaced by a headache.  Add to that an hour of overtime!  Man, I almost thought that I had to postpone my run!

(Continue reading…)

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!

01
Jul
09

runningpinoy’s 2009 Midyear Report

2009 is my first full year of running and with the first half completed its time to have a look back at some of my highlights for the first six months of the year.

January

The year started with “bi-polar” races: one was well praised and the other went in infamy.  Of course I’m referring to TNF Thrill of the Trail in Nasugbu, Batangas and PSE Bull Run in Bonifacio Global City, respectively.  While people can’t stop being enthusiastic about their wonderful experience with the trails of Batulao and the race overall (including myself), it was the complete opposite on the other side of the track—I’ve never heard of so much complaints about a race and it probably had the record of the longest queue at the finish.

Thrill of the Trail, Nasugbu, Batangas

The following weekend race was probably redemption for a lot of runners with the Happy Run—another RunRio event that was one of the most organized and fun race of the year thus far.

With some happy runners

It was also during this month that I acquired my Garmin 405—just a day before we were off for Batangas for the TNF Thrill of the Trails where it had an excellent stage for a debut.  Also having a debut on this race was my first trail shoes, New Balance 811.

Garmin Forerunner® 405

Garmin Forerunner® 405

February

February was the first month since I started running that I had zero races.  This was the first of two months that I was in Ohio, USA and in spite of being race-less I was not run-less: the below freezing temperature wasn’t enough to stop me from running outdoors—an experience that I suggest everyone try at least once in their lives.  While I was “chilling” on the other side of the world the race scene in the Philippines ensued the love month.  There wasn’t much high-profile races for this month making my craving for races more bearable.

My winter gear: a runner’s beanie, windbreaker with regular white cotton t-shirt, pair of gloves, thermal tights, cushioned socks, and trail running shoes

My winter gear: a runner’s beanie, windbreaker with regular white cotton t-shirt, pair of gloves, thermal tights, cushioned socks, and trail running shoes

Before leaving for the US I managed to have my first LSD (Long Slow Distance) run along one of the dreaded routes in the Metro—EDSA, from North Ave. all the way to the SM Mall of Asia grounds.

After finishing my EDSA LSD

After finishing my EDSA LSD

March

By the time race season was starting in the US due to the arrival of spring I was unfortunate enough to be packing my bags for home thereby missing the opportunity to participate in races stateside, but on the bright side I was back for one of the most anticipated races of the year—Condura Run.  This race was one of the rare opportunities to run on the SkyWay and was also my first half-marathon and first race medal.  Also first for this event was the Carbo-Loading Party of takbo.ph which they say was a first for a half-marathon race.

Running with friends at the SkyWay

Running with friends at the SkyWay

April

This was the month of LSDs for me as there were only a handful of races set.  Among these routes were Commonwealth Ave. to Bonifacio High Street via C5; Commonwealth Ave. to SM Mall of Asia via Quezon Ave., España Ave., and Roxas Blvd.; and my first LSD on trails in Montalban.

View from the summit of Montalban

View from the summit of Montalban

Arguably the highlight race of this month was the Greenfield City Run in Sta. Rosa, Laguna.  With its free shuttle service many runners were given chance to run outside Metro Manila and experience the fresh landscape of the rural areas.

Another finishers medal courtesy of Greenfield City Run

Another finisher’s medal courtesy of Greenfield City Run

May

May boasts the longest and one of the most difficult races in the country, The North Face 100 (or simply TNF100).  Many underestimated the trails of Sacobia, Clark before they even embarked on it so it was a shock for many, even seasoned ultramarathoners, on how difficult this race was this year resulting in only a select few proud finishers.  This was my first attempt at an ultramarathon and I am very proud to be one of the few finishers of this race.  It was also my longest distance-wise at 100K, and time-wise at 30 hours (raw time that includes eating, resting, and some dozing off).

Sunrise during TNF100

Sunrise during TNF100

May also sparked my return to trekking with our initial climb to the summit of Mt. Maculot in Cuenca, Batangas.  This became a “team-building” activity for me and my takbo.ph friends and because we had taken an unexpectedly difficult trail it also served as my training for TNF100 that followed two weeks after.

Having breakfast on the summit of Mt. Maculot

Having breakfast on the summit of Mt. Maculot

The month was ended by a rivalry of two high-profile races: The Earth Run at McKinley Hill and Microsoft’s IE8 Run at Bonifacio Global City.  It was a difficult time for runners on which “side” to choose but in the end The Earth Run came out with being more competitive and having more attendance.

Medal from the Earth Run

Medal from the Earth Run

June

The month kicked off with another high-profile and highly anticipated race, the Mizuno Infinity Run.  Coming from a popular footwear brand, this race has a good set of followers which were not disappointed with the race outcome as it became the first race to have a “Time Challenge.”  This year’s participants had their finish time recorded for next year’s race where they can challenge their previous record for a chance of a prize.

Kicking off June with Mizuno Infinity Run

Kicking off June with Mizuno Infinity Run

The second week of June was the Independence Week with the 12th of the month being the Independence Day of the Philippines.  For a change I left my running shoes home and put on my trail running shoes for the first Freedom Climb—40 summits nationwide simultaneously having flag raising ceremonies to commemorate the occasion.  It was the first official climb of our takbo.ph offshoot group, the RunHikers as a group, in Pico de Loro, Cavite.

On our way to Pico de Loro during Freedom Climb

On our way to Pico de Loro during Freedom Climb

If May brags of an ultra-trail race, June is not far with an ultra and trails.  More like a month-wide split of the TNF100, June had an ultramarathon road race: Botak 100, and two trail run (and bike) races: King of the Mountain (KOM) in Timberland and Men’s Health All Terrain in Sta. Elena, Laguna.

Sunrise over Sta. Elena, Laguna during Mens Health All Terrain

Sunrise over Sta. Elena, Laguna during Men’s Health All Terrain

The All Terrain race was a good race overall especially for introducing trail runs for beginners.  The race was well-organized flawed only by the fact that the trails were a little dull.  This was salvation for Men’s Health reputation from their abysmal past races.

Finally to close the first half of the year was Botak 100—the first ultramarathon road race in Mega Manila.  Despite Botak’s attempt to salvage their reputation from the last race that plagued them, it was “A” (H1N1) viral issue that hampers their efforts.  That issue led them to postpone the side events of this race to the dismay of some runners (myself included).  Fortunately enough the ultramarathon road race pulled their reputation forward that Botak could be proud to say that they “pulled it off.”  Surely there were still a lot of shortcomings but as an “active spectator” all these issues were negligible.  Welcome back, Botak!

Pacer at Botak 100

Pacer at Botak 100 (courtesy Marvin)

Truly it was a roller-coaster ride for the first half—events fell on either side of the poles.  From the best to the worst these races and other side events really made the first half of 2009 quite remarkable.  Now that the second half is about to begin, will it be able to outshine the half that was?  Or will the race organizers sit on their laurels and stop innovation?  I guess we’ll all find out soon enough.

12
Apr
09

Easter LSD: Commonwealth to MoA via Quezon Ave. – Roxas Blvd.

For my Easter LSD I decided to take another one of my dream route—Commonwealth Ave. to the Mall of Asia via Quezon Ave., España Blvd., and Roxas Blvd.—from the top of the Metro to seaside.  I’ve planned to take this route for some time now originally just ending in Rizal Park (KM 0) but for the sake of having an LSD longer than my previous I decided to take it longer to the Mall of Asia compound.

Like in regular races I still hate waking up early for an LSD but since it’s already summer I have no choice but to do likewise, and likewise I still started later than planned: 5:24AM.  By that time the sky was just starting to light up.

It was very nice to see the sky gradually changing colors as I run southwards and by the time I got to UP-Ayala Land Techno Hub the sun’s rays started reaching ground—the Easter sunrise.

The first landmark I passed with this route was the Quezon Memorial—the proud symbol of Quezon City.  Nearby are the City Hall and Parks and Wildlife.  This also marks the start of Quezon Ave., one of the nicest roads in the Metro.

Quezon City’s proud symbol

Quezon City’s proud symbol

Upon crossing EDSA I was surprised and a bit disappointed. Surprised that the road was wider, but disappointed because those precious trees lining the road that I really love were gone!  These trees have been around much longer than I do and were part of the road’s distinct features, and now they’re gone.  Do we always sacrifice nature for progress?

Surprise, surprise… but there’s something missing

Surprise, surprise… but there’s something missing

Not all trees were cut down (for now).  These trees are next.  Sigh.

Not all trees were cut down (for now). These trees are next. Sigh.

In fairness to MMDA they’re planting new ones in place of the removed trees.  I’d just like to appeal to Mr. Bayani Fernando of MMDA for them to just put back the old trees in places that are ready instead of planting new ones.  We certainly would appreciate it if we know that the trees we grew to love along Quezon Ave. are not killed and just made fuel for cooking.  Besides these new plants will take years to restore the look of Quezon Ave. we used to enjoy.

In fairness to MMDA they’re planting new ones in place of the removed trees. I’d just like to appeal to Mr. Bayani Fernando of MMDA for them to just put back the old trees in places that are ready instead of planting new ones. We certainly would appreciate it if we know that the trees we grew to love along Quezon Ave. are not killed and just made fuel for cooking. Besides these new plants will take years to restore the look of Quezon Ave. we used to enjoy.

Also because of the road widening the nice sidewalks that Quezon Ave. had were also gone.  The road widening is still incomplete so I hope that by the time MMDA is done with the road they’d be generous enough to return those missing sidewalks.

Before leaving Quezon City for the City of Manila you’d come across another landmark, the Mabuhay Rotunda (used to be called Welcome Rotunda or “Rotonda” in Filipino)—a welcoming monument to those entering Quezon City from Manila.  It was translated from “Welcome” to “Mabuhay” years ago to promote usage of Filipino.  This marks the border between two cities and the start of España Blvd.

Mabuhay!

Mabuhay!

España Blvd. is infamous during rainy season because of flooding, and during the dry days this is one of the nicest roads to walk, but not to run.  It’s nice to walk here because it was designed to have sidewalks, but unfortunately for running it’s very strenuous on your knees as the sidewalks are very high, wheelchair access is still unheard of in these parts of Manila, not to mention that streets cross this road every few meters (part of Spanish-era urban planning) so running here is like running on hurdles.

University of Santo Tomas (1611), the Philippines’ oldest University is located here and running on its sidewalk is very nice because of the trees, except for the occasional uneven surface.  This was probably the best place to run along España.

Further on is Recto and Quiapo.  Since it’s Easter there were a lot of people around Quiapo church so it was better just to walk (Long Super-Slow Distance?).  After the church is arguably one of the most beautiful bridges that cross Pasig River—Quezon Bridge.  Upon crossing the Pasig River you get to reach the “old” Manila—the historical, government, and tourist sites.  In a way this part of my LSD became a “tour.”  The sites: Metropolitan Theater, Manila Post Office, Liwasang Bonifacio, Intramuros, Manila City Hall, National Museum, Rizal Park, Manila Hotel, Museong Pambata, US Embassy, and Baywalk. These are only some of the sights you can visit within this area alone.

Arguably one of the best looking bridge to cross Pasig River—Quezon bridge

Arguably one of the best looking bridge to cross Pasig River—the Quezon bridge

The dilapidated but historic Metropolitan Theater

The dilapidated but historic Metropolitan Theater

Liwasang Bonifacio with the Manila Post Office building in the background

Liwasang Bonifacio with the Manila Post Office building in the background

Manila City Hall and its clock tower

Manila City Hall and its clock tower

KM 1 in across National Museum

KM 1 across National Museum

Rizal Monument (KM 0)

Rizal Monument (KM 0)

Roxas Blvd. is a popular site for races including the country’s largest in terms of attendance, the Milo Marathon.  It used to be a seaside road but due to reclamation it’s now inland starting CCP Complex southwards.  Part of this reclamation site is the country’s largest mall, the SM Mall of Asia.  Turning right from Roxas Blvd. towards the mall is definitely not fun as there aren’t many trees to shelter you from the blazing sun.

This is not Puerto Galera!  This is Manila’s Baywalk, Easter 2009, and yes there are people swimming in Manila Bay (a lot of them as a matter of fact).

This is not Puerto Galera! This is Manila’s Baywalk, Easter 2009, and yes there are people swimming in Manila Bay (a lot of them as a matter of fact).

Finally after arriving at the mall grounds I decided pass by the Shrine of Jesus near SMX to see if I can get in later, and then headed off towards Sunset Ave. to complete 27.5K, just before One E-Com Center.

Shrine of Jesus, originally my intended LSD end point

Shrine of Jesus, originally my intended LSD end point

One E-Com Center, the end point of this LSD after a last minute decision

One E-Com Center, the end point of this LSD after a last minute decision

Being an LSD done during Easter this route was really nice because I got to pass by several parishes and churches: Kristong Hari Parish, St. Peter Parish, Sto. Domingo Church, Quiapo Church, Malate Church, and Shrine of Jesus.  Being an LSD in general it was very pleasing because of all the sights I passed on this route, the fact that I exceeded my original goal of 25K for this run and was still able to shop around the mall afterwards proves that this was one of the best LSD routes I had.

My Easter run route, currently my longest in terms of time and distance

My Easter run route, currently my longest in terms of time and distance

In the end I didn’t get to visit any of the churches I mentioned above, but I was able to nonetheless in Baclaran Church.  The latter was still some distance away but a visit to the church was the best way to cap this Easter adventure.




Follow runningpinoy on WordPress.com

🌏 Visits

  • 1,253,553 and counting!
Flag Counter
Thank you for visiting!
🇵🇭
The MIRACLE isn’t that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the COURAGE to START
– John “The Penguin Runner” Bingham
Try Audible and Get Two Free Audiobooks Shop Amazon - Give the Gift of Amazon Prime Amazon Prime - Give the Gift of Prime

%d bloggers like this: