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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Safeguard 2XU Half Marathon - My comeback race.....NOT!

I'm back!

After a long haitus from blogging and from multi-sports, I am attempting to stage a comeback of sorts. Not that I was really ever "there" in terms of excellence in the sport. I guess I could be considered as among the more active athletes in the circuit.

After my dismal performance in the Cebu Ironman 70.3, I had planned on taking a week off from training. The week extended into two weeks, then into a month and before I knew it, my travel schedule (for work), my workload and overall laziness had me taking it very easy for at least 4 months. I quickly gained 15 pounds that to this day, I have yet to completely shed off (the last 5 pounds are usually the toughest). I was logging in 5 hours a week of training or less versus the average of 10 to 12 hours during the regular season. More importantly, I used the time to catch up with work and to put this as a top priority.

Career muna bago pag-ibig (hehehe, triathlon). At a coffee shop in
San Francisco.

(Serious) training resumed sometime in January to cram for the Condura Marathon. This was a mistake. Jumping into a full marathon without serious mileage only made the experience very painful and resulted in a foot injury that sidelined me for another 3 weeks. I practically limped to the finish with a time of 4:20++ or something like that.
That's me in front of Raoul Floresca - being fat and anxious
at the starting line of the Condura Marathon.

After somewhat recovering from the marathon and the injury it gave me as a souvenir, I crammed again to try to fit into my tri suit and signed up for the Tri United 1 standard distance tri in Subic. Despite bursting out of my tri suit, I was able to do a decent swim and bike and a good run. Finished in 2:42. This inspired me to try to lose weight (to fit the tri suit next time) and to put a little more in training.

Fat and overheating at the Tri United 1 in Subic.
Bilbil power...ran a 0:50++ min 10k during Tri U 1.

So, I did put in some serious training the past 6 weeks or so. I've been doing the mandated long rides on Sundays (minimum of 80k) and at least one ride during the week. One long run, one tempo and one interval run session a week plus around 3 swim sessions. From time to time, I did twice a day training by spending some time on the bike trainer plus a bit of easy evening runs. I was encouraged by being noticeably slimmer and feeling lighter on my feet or the bike. Thus, I was expecting to run at my usual pace during the Safeguard 2XU Half Marathon.

Congratulations to Coach Rio for once again organizing a great race. This time, though - there is a very serious effort to reduce trash and mess that run races leave as a consequential aftermath. The Runrio group decided not to field plastic cups and sponges through the race course and mandated that runners bring their own bottles which could be refilled along the race course. It does take getting used to. I needed to stop to do refills and it is tough to carry a bottle throughout a 21k run. But overall, it was manageable.

Assembly time might have been called too early though. We were there by 3pm and had to get up by 2am to get ready and drive to Bonifacio. It was so early that the night party crowd was still in full force at the top venues in the BGC. Runners intermingled with party people.

Registration was limited to 1,200 and this was a good number for a 21k. The race start wasn't too crowded and traffic was easier to manage.

Security was extra tight due to the bombing at the Boston Marathon.

10 pounds less than Condura Marathon but 5 pounds short of my target weight.
As the gun when off, I found myself running hard to avoid the pushing and shoving that happens at the start line. There are still a lot of slow runners and newbies who position themselves at the front before the start and this leads to some congestion. I guess they want to be part of the photo when the gun goes off.

It was still pitch black but the course was mostly well lit and the road markers clear and visible. Ran a 0:47mins for the first 10k. This is my usual pace enroute to a 1:38 to 1:40 hours run for 21k. But, unfortunately, I may still be paying for the long lay off. I could only sustain the pace another 2 kilometers before having to slow down and decide to pace myself to the finish. Total time was 1:50 hours. Way off my target of 1:40 hours.

So, it wasn't much of a comeback. More of a diagnostic effort to see what I need to work on for the rest of the run and tri season. But, nevertheless, it's good to be racing again.

I'm a bit apprehensive about my coming tri this Sunday. My only serious weapon in tri is my run. But, we'll see. I think I may be able to pull off a surprise in the bike and unleash a kick ass run.

It's good to be back.

Wish me the best of luck.



  1. Career muna bago pag-ibig ???!!! you sure about that man :-) congratulations . you are fast nice to see in the race

  2. Ako rin Idol Greg. Tri Career bago pag-ibig haha - Don V.