Monday, January 19, 2015

Racing Recap From January 17-18

In the last mile of Sunday's Waterfront 5K. 

Before sharing the Waterfront 5K and 10 Mile race, as always, congratulations to those running and racing over the weekend.

Among the races I followed on social media were the H.U.R.T. 100 miler in Hawaii, the 10 and 20 miler and the first Rizal 360* 60 kilometer.  The last two races were in the Philippines.  The two events went on despite the fact that the Pope was in the Philippines and that there was a major tropical storm that weekend.  There was also a trail race in the Santa Fe 18K (Philippines) and the Hong Kong 100 Miler.

Last Sunday ended up being a bonus race for me.  Because of our work hours being cut back, I had a chance to travel to Brisbane and Sierra Point Parkway for the Waterfront 5K and 10 Miler.  Several years ago, this race was moved from the San Francisco waterfront because of construction and traffic.  Though some people liked the old course, living in the city, like I do, going to a run on the Bay Trail with no vehicles is a welcome venue!  Also, the Dolphin South End fun runs are always fun for me.  It's always good to see runners that share some great running stories like the ones I heard yesterday.

Speaking of firsts, it would be the first time I would be running the Waterfront 5K after doing the Waterfront 10 for two straight years.  The previous week, I participated in the Fort Mason 5K for the second time and the first race of 2015. Finishing the event was okay but during the weekend, during workouts, I was wondering if the fire of competing was still there.

In the first mile of the Waterfront 5K.

Well, things were better on Sunday.  The start was very slow.  It got to the point after about 400 meters, a little kid with a blue shirt kept getting into my running path.  It was a little annoying because his parents were right next to him and were doing absolutely nothing.  I decided to go onto the grass to pass the family because they were too slow.  I blame it on myself because I shouldn't have been that far back to begin with.

Along with Bill Hamilton, Bill McCarty, Paul Mosel and Mark Pritchard.  Mark ran the 10 miler while the rest of us did the 5K.

The 5K course is an out-and-back trail course with several turns and mostly flat except for a couple of bumps.  Most of the course is pavement but there's some dirt. Always to the left side going out and to the right side coming back is San Francisco Bay.  Sunday was a different weather day than the previous two trips to Brisbane.  It was foggy and damp but good for the runners when you were running.  Otherwise, it was cold and damp when standing around!

The first mile was very slow again in 9:55 and reaching the 1.55 mile mark was a little better in 14:50.  Figuring it out, I knew that breaking 30 minutes was not only a vow to my friends outside the United States but would be a lock.

However, as I reached the two mile mark, I got one of the nastiest side stitches ever. It slowed me to a walk three times.  Yet, I was determined when reaching the final turn (see photo above and going the other way).

The last 300-plus yards is a straight-away and you can see the clock and finish. The stitch finally subsided and was able to stride it in.  Despite the walking, finishing in 28:54 (14:04 second half) was satisfying.  However, there's still a lot of work to do with the KP 5K, a running club sponsored race in two weeks.  I have goals in mind (better than the results from the last two races) so this week's training is important.

Next race:  DSE Rainbow Falls 5K on Sunday, January 25.  It's one of my favorite park runs.  Also, thank you to Diane, Paul and Johnny for the photos.         

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Racing Recap from January 10-11

The start area of Sunday morning's Fort Mason 5K.  The Fort Mason hill is in the background.

The second weekend of 2015 was definitely a successful one worldwide in running circles.  The Hot Chocolate 5K / 15K event in San Francisco drew over 12,500 finishers (4670 in the 5K, 7854 in the 15K).  The event sold out early and it reminds me of the days when Run To The Far Side 5K / 10K would attract that many runners. Congratulations to everyone who participated.

Also, congratulations to all the participants who ran in the Philippines this past weekend.  There were four events.  The Egg Power Run (3K, 5K, 10K and 21K) was being held in Fort Bonafacio (Metro Manila area).  The Resolution Run (1K, 3K, 10K, 20K and 32K) was held in Nuvali.  The Tarak Ridge Trail 25K (or TR25) was being run in Mt. Mariveles (Bataan) and the Cebu City Marathon and Half Marathon went on in Cebu City.  I saw many of the posts and responded to a few of them.  I haven't seen the full results of any of the races yet but they'll be out soon, hopefully!  To this runner-blogger, there's no question that running is doing well in the Philippines!

I ended up running in a low key event that was put on by the Dolphin South End Runners.  It was my first DSE event since last April and it was great seeing a few familiar faces.  The event was called the Fort Mason 5K.  It was an out-and-back course taking the runners from the Dolphin Club.  We would run west over the Fort Mason Hill to the Marina Green and harbor and back.  The race is in its second year and, according to many Garmins, it's a pretty accurate 5K.

One of the nice things about this run is the scenary.  The runners didn't see this on a gray and overcast morning today.  I went back out after breakfast and took several photos.

According to May My Run dot com, the course has an ascent of 164.49 feet with a maximum elevation of 108.01 feet.  This is the start of the hill going east and back to the Dolphin Club.  In races such as this one and the Across The Bay 12K race, I've often used this hill to my advantage to catch runners, especially on the down hill portion.

Sunday was only my second race since last July 4th.  I've been getting the mileage in but hardly any speed work.  And it really showed today!  I decided to go out slowly with my teammate Bill.  Honestly, it was actually fun running from the back of the pack.  You see what a lot of runners are doing.  Though they may not be fast, as far as speed, they are still runners going out and reaching whatever goals they might have.

The hill going out was okay and I felt good, maybe too good.  I wasn't feeling tired from two successive 50 mile weeks running.  When reaching the bottom of the hill, I mentioned to Bill that I would go up and check how Paul, another teammate was doing.

The first mile was a snail's pace (for me) at 11:31.  Something reminded me that this could be my slowest 5K ever.  Doing 203 of them prior to this, I didn't want to start 2015 with what could be a negative mark.

I caught up with Paul and he was looking good and continued on just to see how the conditioning was.  After the turnaround a little past Divisadero Street, reaching mile two in 21:21 (9:50 second mile) was a definite improvement. There was a little more bounce in the stride and not the shuffle in the first two miles. The third mile on this course is likely the most difficult.  There's a slight incline up to the Safeway store right before the Fort Mason Hill.

I felt a slight twinge in the left calf (cramp only) as we hit the hill and was able to walk it off.  The effort was definitely better than mile two.  Up and over we went and the Dolphin Club was in sight.

Reaching mile three in 29:54 (8:33 for the third mile), I was actually able to stride it in almost alone.  Usually, the last .11 is around 35-36 seconds with today being 43 seconds.  Unofficially, the finish was in 30:37 and avoided a worst 5K ever.

Yesterday, I received the bib and chip for the Kaiser Permanente 5K on Super Bowl Sunday.  It will be only the second time running the 5K in this event but it will be certified for the first time.  Three weeks is not that far away and my goal is to break 25 minutes.  Don't bet against it!

Career race #1107 is now history!        


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Running Experiences In The Philippines

With Mon and Oknoy a few hours after arriving in Manila 

Happy New Year 2015 everyone!

In November 2008, a long and overdue vacation took place.  It was a week and a half vacation to the Philippines.  The experiences will always be one that I'll remember. The only problem, like all vacations, is that it didn't last long enough.

Arriving on Saturday, November 8, 2008 from San Francisco, the flight on Philippines Airlines was superb!  My good friend, Gene picked me up at the airport and off to Makati and the Tower Inn where I would be staying for the next 10 days.

Ironically, I left work for the airport and left my digital camera at the store. Thanks to the wonderful camera shop close to the hotel, I was able to get a camera that cost roughly $90......inexpensive!  Eventually without any sleep, I met up with Mon and Oknoy (pictured above) for lunch and dinner in the downtown Manila area.

Both Mon and Oknoy were great tour guides.  I knew some history about the Manila area thanks to what my dad shared with me when I was much younger. Manila is a pretty good sized city with a population by itself around 1.6 million (per the 2010 census).  The Metro Manila area has an overall population of around 12 million. Manila, undoubtedly, is likely the most densely populated area of the world.

There were several places we visited from the Intramuros to the Malacanang Palace and of course, Manila Bay.  It was a great history lesson for me.  I got a chance to talk with some of the residents in the Metro Manila area and learned some of the culture, something that I knew some of already.

After a good night's sleep, the next morning, Sunday, November 9th would be my first ever road race at Global City.  My good friend, Rio de la Cruz put on a race known as the VSO Bahaginan 15K that took the runners through the southern portion of the Metro Manila area.  The morning was nice with scattered clouds and humid.

It was fun prior to the race as there were many photo-ops from the Filipino Running Community.  At about 5:00 a.m., we were off and running.

Finishing the VSO Bahaginan 15K.

It was a great run that was put on by Coach Rio.  Roughly 1200 runners participated in three separate races (5K, 10K and 15K).  I finished in mid pack with a time of 1:35:11.  It was hot out there with hardly any shade but the humidity affected me a little bit more.

Afterwards, I was invited to breakfast with a number of runners in the Makati area. The food was delicious and kept me filled until late afternoon when I had dinner in Manila.

About 6K into the New Balance Power Race 10K.  

The following Sunday, I ran a 10K at the former Clark Air Force Base.  The race was known as the New Balance Power Race.  There were two distances, the 10K and the 30K.  I chose the shorter race because of the possible humidity factor. Fortunately for a number of runners, the day was a bit cloudy but very little humidity at all.

Photo-op with Sir Jovie Narcise.

I finished in a little over 42 minutes (42:09) and was in the top four in my age bracket. Afterwards, breakfast again in the Clark area as well as photo-ops with a number of the runners in the area.

The first time visiting the Philippines, the running boom was on the rise.  It had continued on the second visit in 2010.  Today, it has really blossomed.  There are more road races, trail races and ultra races than ever.  I'm looking forward to the next visit to the Philippines, hopefully later this year! 


Saturday, December 27, 2014

Final Post Of 2014

Admittedly, the last month of 2014 was the best month this year running wise.  I did race a 5K which was by accident due to a friend of mine not being able to participate. However, the training has gone well with no injuries nor any aches and pains.

On Christmas Day, I did a training run to the top of Twin Peaks and back.  Then after breakfast, it was a decision, and a good one, to go back up there again and take some spectacular photos.  Twin Peaks is one of my favorite semi long runs (10 miles).  I have some fond memories of this area because I've won a couple of low key fun runs on this course back in the 1970s.  If anyone has never viewed this or plans to take a vacation, I recommend going up to the highest peaks in San Francisco (roughly 925 feet).  

Both peaks have names.  The northern (right) peak is called the Eureka Peak and the southern peak (left) is called the Noe Peak.

Also, despite of work and some rain that this area badly needed, I did have a chance to run a little bit over in the Marin Headlands.  As all of you noticed, getting away from the downtown area as well as the city has its advantages for runners, hikers cyclists and walkers.  The Golden Gate Bridge on a clear, and even a cloudy Sunday is spectacular.

Certainly, this runner-blogger has made running plans for 2015 already! However, it's one day at a time and one workout at a time.  To all of you who read this, a happy and safe 2015 and as always, keep on running!  

Sunday, December 21, 2014

2014 In Review

The 2014 running season for this runner-blogger was, in other words, was a total disappointment.  There were a couple of good races such as the Marin Memorial 10K and the Fourth Of July Five Miler.  The times in the two races were better than what I've done in several years.  However, there were some other races that is not worth talking about.

For some runners, they would be happy with the type of year that I had. However, I expected a lot.  Yet, very little was accomplished.

The plans for 2015 have long begun and hopefully, things will be better. 

Instead of going on and on, this segment is dedicated to a great moment in running for 2014.  Happy Holidays everyone and a safe and prosperous 2015. Keep on running!  The video is below.