Thursday, December 11, 2014

Two Weekends, Three Races

November was a busy one in terms of running for me. As I have decided that I will run 42K the following month in Davao City, I have only this month to train for the full marathon distance. As part of my preparation, I joined three races on two weekends:

November 9, 2014 - 38th Milo Marathon Cagayan de Oro

I prepared for this race for about two months in hope of finally improving my 21K PR of 2:13:30 which was set three years ago during Unilab's Run United also in CDO. It has been an endless 21K heartbreaks for me since then as, due to lack of consistent training, I failed to improve my time in the succeeding half-marathons that I've joined. For this year's Milo Marathon, I still wasn't able to train consistently. My longest long run was only up to 18K and I wasn't able to run two weeks before the race because Malou and I went to Palawan to celebrate our wedding anniversary. But since I was able to do some speed and hill works and tempo runs during weekdays, I think I was better prepared for this one than the previous years.

Running happy in the streets of CDO City

The race started at Rodelsa Circle, a deviation from the usual Milo starting line near the Provincial Capitol. However, it was still the same pancake flat route where we traversed Velez Street and turned right upon reaching the CM Recto highway.  Turning point is before reaching Nestle Drive in Brngy, Agusan then back to the finish line.

Malou and I with our Finisher's Medals

My run started fairly well as I hit sub-1 hour at the 10K mark, then 1:03 at 10.55. However, I started to slow down during the second half. I attributed this to my lack of mileage during my long runs. I took more walk breaks upon going back to the finish. Upon reaching Velez Street, running straight became more difficult due to the huge crowd of runners from the 3K and 5K categories. I also felt my calves starting to cramp as I am nearing the finish line. However, I managed to summoned my last remaining strength and reached the finish line at 2:12:51. Thankfully, I was able to improve my PR by 39 seconds (hehehe!). As a bonus, Malou also scored her own 21K PR at 2:20:18.

November 15, 2014 - Kisolon Fiesta Run Year 4; Kisolon Sumilao, Bukidnon

For the 4th straight year, I joined this run organized by my good friend George Jeremy "Jim" Baula, Municipal Councilor of Sumilao, Bukidnon. For this year's race, Jim extended the race's longest distance to 16K or 10 miles. Previous editions of this race was only up to 10K. Finisher's medals also await all 16K finishers.

KFR has one of the best trail route among all races in Bukidnon. It started in front of the Municipal Hall then followed the dirt roads going to FCI Plantation. We passed by pineapple fields and banana plantation and also enjoyed the majestic views of Mount Kitanglad Range and Palaopao Hills. However, the first half of the route was also very tough as it was all uphill in going to the 16K turning point then more easier upon going back downhill to the finish.

As I have an upcoming race the next day and owing to the tough route, I opted to run easy. I also took photos of the scenery and fellow runners I met along the way. After enduring the hills and the heat, I managed to reach the finish line at 1 hour and 43 minutes plus.
(More photos of Kisolon Fiesta Run 2014 in this LINK)

November 16, 2014 - LIONS Club Run for the Hungy; Maramag, Bukidnon

Having ran 16K the day before, I wonder how would I fare on the 10K distance of this race. This is the first time I joined two races in two days and I am a bit worried if my still sore legs could take on another pounding on the pavement.

The night before the race, Malou and I checked in at Villa Estela which is only a few hundred meters away from the Municipal Hall will the race will start and finish. A good night sleep made my legs well rested and thankfully it wasn't that sore anymore on race day.

First half of the route going to Brngy. Camp 1 was mostly downhill and flat so I was able to amp my pace. I reached the turning point a little over 27 minutes. I got a good feeling that I would be able to score a 10K PR here, so I quicken my pace once again upon returning to the finish line. However, I slowed down at the last 2K as it was all uphill from here up to about 500 meters before the finish. I took some walk breaks along the way before finally sprinting when I could finally see the finish line arc. Despite a slow second half, I was happy that I was able to finish with a 10K PR time of 56:55. Malou also finished at 59 minutes plus, her first time to score a sub-1 hour 10K. Needless to say, we went home both happy and satisfied with our respective run.

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