Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Hello 2010!

Hello Blog Fans!

You're probably wondering where I've been the past few months.

Well to be honest, its been a pretty busy, hectic, and tiring couple of months. Not just physically but also emotionally and mentally and all that.

Not to say I wasn't completely out of the running scene. I did a few triathlons and BDM 102, so at least this years bucket list has a few check marks.

But, I had some family concerns and work overload, which unfortunately meant that training, racing and this blog was on the place on the back burner.

Hopefully now I can manage to do this on a semi-regular basis because I always found this to be one of the more fun things that I do.

So. there, thats it for now.

I'll post something in a couple of days.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Countdown to Condura 2010: The Shoes

The great thing about working in a running store, especially one like ours with its own kick-ass treadmill, is that I get to try on different pairs of running shoes to get a feel for them. This is very important to me because I can give realistic up-to-date feedback to customers and of course, I can be very sure about which shoe to purchase next.

My next shoe purchase has to have a very specific purpose, that is to get me through my 1st real marathon in over a year!

My plan is to run the Condura 42k next year in under 4 hours, shaving at least 30 mins off my personal best time at the 2008 Pasig Marathon.

To do that, I need a shoe to "carry" me through the distance.

Give you you some idea, my shoe for 10 to 21k is my trusty and favorite NB 827s. However at a lightweight 260 grams, I am unsure if I want to use them for a full mary, having not used them for anything farther than a half!

So I need a new neutral shoe with cushioning and of course a great price!

So in the end, my choices come to this...

The trusted outgoing Asics Nimbus 9, which is on sale right now or the Tubes 100, by the new kids on the block, K-Swiss.

Price-wise, factoring in the discount for the Ascis, it only comes out around 750 pesos more than the K-Swiss.

Looking at the Nimbus 9 first, there really is not much to say that hasn't been said about this shoe.

Being currently on its 11th generation, the shoe is renown for its cushioned and comfortable ride. One, which I can seriously attest to after putting a pair through its paces on the treadmill.

Having used lightweight shoes almost exclusively this year, the comfortable padded feeling has definitely something new for me.

And a big plus factor for me is that I personally think it looks really cool with the silver and red!

The downside though is I think its a bit heavy at 320 grams...

Another thing people should be aware of when buying marked down shoes is that they are usually of older stock, meaning they have been sitting in a store or warehouse for a year or more. This can be a concern because after a certain period, the glues and other materials in the shoe will begin to degrade, meaning that an "old" new shoe may not last as long as a "new" new shoe.

However, since I intend to put alot of miles on this quickly and then discard it after the BDM 102, its not a pressing concern to me.

Next up is the tubes 100.

For me, this definitely is a unique shoe. Hector and I both agree that it rides like no other shoe we've tried. Very soft and pliant in heel and fore foot area. As you can see there are "flex grooves" on the forefoot area, making it very pliant. In fact, this was the 1st thing I noticed with the shoe. The Nimbus 9 is definitely stiffer, however "ride" wise, while the Tubes is very soft, the Nimbus feels more stable and plush.

A good friend of mine says it feels abit like the Adidas bounce. Which I haven't tried yet.

A genuine cause of concern to me though is the aforementioned unique ride. On a few Ks in the treadmill, it worked fine, it was comfortable and really felt alot faster than the "leaden" feeling i get with the Nimbus. However, I believe the Nimbus will stay comfortable and consistent for 42K, will the Tubes? Or am I headed for a world of hurt?

Looks wise it comes in many colorways as you can see above, however I believe that the Asics looks "racier" while the K-Swiss looks alot better in jeans than CW-X, hehe. Porma-wise, Clubbing-wise, panalo to.

It also helps this shoe that is 20 grams lighter. I like that alot.

For me it comes down to this.

The Nimbus = comfy, and reliable.

The Tubes = lighter, faster, but unknown long run performance.


What you guys think?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Bargain Bike on Ebay!

Looking for bargain bike/bike parts on, I saw a complete Tri Bike for only P 11,000!

Check it out...

May sound system pa!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Race Report: Asian Duathlon Championship

I know. Another way late race report.

What can I say? To many things on my plate, not enough time to eat!

Hehe, enough with the excuses.

One week removed from WRT and still will tired legs, I found myself on a starting line again. This time for a far shorter race, the Adult Sprint at the Asian Duathlon Championships.

I was in Subic primarily to support my friends and 1st time duathletes, Chin, Paolo(Jazz), and Carlos(Engineer), they were all regular customers of the shop who became regular run mates and friends.

But, because I didn't want to spend the whole time in the sidelines, I decided to participate in one of the shorter "side" events so at least I did something to get the blood moving that weekend.

Which is how I found myself in the aforementioned start line with a surprisingly small number of participants for the sprint, I could have counted everyone who participated with my fingers and toes! And thats for the guys and girls!

Anyways, fearing the same sudden energy loss which plagued me during last weekend's half-ironman, I decided to take some GU gel right before the start, resolving to get my energy from pure GU alone if needed!

1st first run when fine enough, a couple of guys decided to start off quick and, I guess I was feeling the effects of the GU, so I decided to join them. At one point, I was a couple of seconds ahead of those guys, but I guess I misunderstood the directions the marshals gave me so I lost time back to the group. Apparently, "Left" means "make a U-TURN towards the left!"Haayyy!

A highlight of the run though was getting overtaken by the ITU pro duathletes, watching them running in a pack with their long strides and fast turnover made me realize just how much more training I had to do!

Anyways, around 22 mins later we were into transition which is my weakest point and after a rather lengthy time there I was on my way on the bike. I took some GU again, just in case, and spend the next 41 mins or so by myself on the bike, with only 1 small detour as I misunderstood a sign and ended up facing a locked gate. Must have lost around 30 second on that one... hay, oh well.

Back to transition!

As I headed out I saw the Jazz on the way out for his 40km bike ride! I wanted to tell him that it was gonna be a quick 1 as the course was very favorable!

Into the transition area, I really began to hustle, the maths in my head said that we may have a chance for a podium finish today, which would have been a really nice bonus!

In fact, I hustled so much, I ended up missing my rack and had to turn back! Hay naku, I seemed determined to throw this away.

I started the last run leg slowly, as I apt to do, so afraid am I of the "ick" feeling which follows a bike-run!

Well, I told myself it was a short 2.5k run so I thought might be worth to push it a bit so I started to speed up. Feeling good about the run, my next worry was trying to catch the guy in front and not be caught by the guy behind me.

Unfortunately and fortunately, the guy in front was too far and to fast and the guy behind me wasn't! So luckily I managed to hold on to my place which I lated found out was good for Second!

Wow! I finally won my 1st medal since Grade School!

And with Chin winning 3rd in her division and Ugi, Pao's friend winning second in his, it turn out to be a very very good trip for us!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Ironman Highlights

Check out this cool video of last weekend's IM 70.3 Championship.

And just in case you didn't get enough, here's a recap of Kona.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Christmas Wish and then some...

With the launch of our Secondwind Christmas Registry, I had got to thinking about what I would like to receive for Christmas.

Being a huge fan of fast and light shoes, I decided to check out the shoes of the top 15 finishers of Kona to see if there was anything interesting.

Off the bat a few things caught my eye...

There was the Asics Gel Hyperspeed 3 of Chris McCormack...
The Saucony Grid Type 2 of Dirk Bockel...

The Asics Speedstar of Matias Hecht...
But my personal favorite of all the shoes was the K-Swiss K-Ruuz of Andreas Raelert....

6.5OZ!!! Lighter than a Ronin!

Unfortunately, none of these are available locally... yet...

So until then, I guess I can comfort my feet with these...

K-Swiss K-ona Ironman Edition!!!

Yes, I have been good this year!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Race Report: WRT 09

Finally! After spending most of last week after the preparing for our shop opening on Saturday then racing in Subic on Sunday (more on that in a following post), plus my regular work and MBA studies, this is a only free time I find to myself to buckle down and write this post!

Along with all of the other athletes, the White Rock Triathlon for me the night before. That's when we arrived at the venue for the race briefing, last minute bike checks and check in, plus of course, preparing all the stuff the goes into a transition bag for a half-ironman.

Race morning seemed to take forever to come, as Hector and I both agreed that our excitement could not allow us to get a fitful sleep and we tossed and turned all night!

After a early breakfast, Hec and I filled up the water bottles on our bikes and preparing to wait for the start.

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Chatting near the back, we were caught unaware during the start and became one of the last people to enter the water.

However, I think this worked in our favor as we managed to avoid most of the "washing machine" effect at the start and I quickly got a rhythm at the start.

On the second of the three 320 meter loops I found myself in the middle of a swim pack and with no where to go or maneuver I just settled in to swim with them until the finish.

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Getting out of the water 32 minutes later, I thought I had posted a very good time only to see to my dismay that most of the pack, including my nemesis Hector got out of the water ahead of me. Later I would discover that due to some late night technical difficulties the swim leg was around 4 to 500 meters short!

In transition, I realized that I made my 1st rookie error and that I had forgotten to start my Timex! Oh well. Can't do anything but go on! I took my second GU of the race, hydrated with some Gatorade, then wore my helmet and shoes and started on what would be one of the longest bike rides of my life.

I knew this would be the weak point of my race, as the recent disasters which befell the country and the rehabilitation efforts I participated in seriously affected my much needed saddle time and I reckoned I was under-whelmingly prepared!

A few minutes into the ride, I realized something was wrong when my cyclometer wouldn't work! In what seemed to be a race long mantra, I thought to myself; "Oh well, just go on!" Later I found out that my magnet had moved on the drive over to White Rock and I failed to check it the night before!

The lack of kind of pace information meant I decided to just go on gut feel and started of quite quick! In the matter of a few kilometers I managed to sight the running man on the back of Hector's trisuit and decided to pour on the gas to catch up with him.

In what would be an 1 and a half long battle, I passed him, only for him to pass me back a couple of k's later when I slowed to take some GU. This would go on all the way to the 45k turn around and I started to realize that I didn't bring enough GU, only strapping three on to the bike when I needed to take at least twice that to maintain any kind of decent pace as I was gulping and burning the GU as fast as I could eat them!

After the turn around, I slowed down for good and Hec zoomed off into the distance. I settled in to make the best of what I can do. Reserving my last GU for the time on the return leg when I felt I would really need it, relying instead on the peanut MnMs I thoughtfully stuffed into my trisuit.

After what seemed like an eternity.... 3 hours and 9 minutes to be exact. I found myself back into transition. Where I must have looked like a desert refugee, because the race director worriedly asked if I was ok!

After some salt solution and banana though, I was as fine as I would ever be coming from a 2k swim and 90k bike, so I set of in the chase of the Secondwind bragging rights.

I have to admit, the 1st couple of kms were disheartening, as the 1st people I saw were the lead pack on the way back!

I must be so far behind I thought to myself! In fact, I didn't see or pass a fellow competitor until I got into SBMA, a good4 or 5kms into the 20km run!

My bike really did me in!

And then I saw Hector, on the way back and I still had a long way to go until the turn around! It was then when I conceded this particular race to him and refocused myself on just beating 6 hours!

It was a hot and brutal run! I stopped on every aid station for water, ice, and sponges! Fortunately, these conditions affected everyone and I managed to pass quite a few struggling runners on the way back!

With less than 5 k to go and right after the killer hills, my right calf started to twitch and I thought "oh no! this is it!"

I was gonna be a close finish to sub-6 hour finish and this maybe my undoing! But with no choice but to bear it, I just ran the best I could on the longest, flat 4k of my life.

I tell you, I was never as happy to see a Total station as I was to see that one right outside White Rock, it must have given me some extra energy, as I managed to summon up some of my last, last, bottom of the barrel reserves and I tried to sprint my way to a 5 hour 55 minute finish!

Sub 6 accomplished! Unbelievable! Much harder than my 30 hour 100km trail race last year! Though unfortunately, while it was good enough for 4th in my age group... it wasn't good enough to beat THE Hector! Bring on next year!

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I tell you, I have so much respect to all the finishers of this race. I had never done a half before and I really didn't realize how hard and how long it would be!

Here are the finishes of my friends Hec and TJ, as captured by the number 1 ranked support crew/race team photographer Mike Bob!

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