A Test of Fitness at Run United 1

Last Friday, I received a tweet from @PaulThePRGuy:

I’d deliberated on registering for Run United 1 when registration was opened earlier this year, but kept putting it off. Unfortunately registration to the 21K filled up very quickly. But Paul, who works with race sponsor Adidas Body Care, had some complimentary kits to spare. Spur of the moment, I signed up!

Run United 1
photo from Redg Plopinio

Until last year I had been basing my 21K race pace on a previous average pace of 5:15 to 5:20 per kilometer. At the Aerotropolis Half-Marathon in January, I’d found I could do an average pace of 5:02 per km. For Run United, I decided I’d go out at a sub-5 minute pace and see how long I could sustain it — or if I couldn’t, how badly my pace would drop off so I would have some idea of at what point I could blow up in that distance.

On race morning, I missed the gun start for the first wave of 21K runners because I still had to pick up my kit from Paul, and he’d gotten delayed. It didn’t matter, really. There was a timing chip which would help log my race time, and I wasn’t aiming for a podium finish (the top places are chosen based on gun time, not chip time).

Despite my lack of run-specific mileage — my last “long run” was the 21K run leg at Challenge Philippines — I had been keeping my “engine” turning over with bike, swim, and short run sessions. I was curious about where that fitness base would take me. I just wanted to see how far I could push my body. Continue reading “A Test of Fitness at Run United 1”

Run United 2

With all my focus on training for triathlon, I didn’t realize I’d already gone a month without a pure run race. Although I’ve got the TAKBO.ph Runfest and adidas King of the Road on my schedule, those are happening next month. So what’s a Kikay Runner to do?

I was supposed to be out of town this Sunday at Team Endure‘s tri camp, but had to abandon that plan due to work. A friend who bought a few too many race kits for his company offered me a 10K race kit for Run United 2. Although the name on the kit wouldn’t be mine (it was registered to a man!), I jumped on the opportunity to do a 10K time trial. The last time I ran 10K was at Rip The Road 3 but I honestly felt I could have run that faster if I were just carrying a little less, uh, junk in the trunk. That was in April; I’m now several pounds lighter thanks to a more sensible diet and increased training volume. Could this translate into a faster time?

Run United 2
photo by Tong Pascua

I toed the starting line with thousands of 10K runners, many of whom Continue reading “Run United 2”

Run United: Three’s the Charm

Finally, the 2011 Run United trilogy (also known as the RunRio Trilogy, hehe) is complete, capping off a great year of running events in Manila for the Unilab Active Health team. This was definitely their biggest event yet, with six distance categories held in one day. Like I’ve taken to saying, bonggang-bongga!

But I guess what makes this special for me is that this was my legitimate 21K comeback, after a modicum of proper training. And also, this happened:

Run United 3: Dream Come True
Dreams can come true, they can happen to you…

Continue reading “Run United: Three’s the Charm”

Men’s Health Urbanathlon or Run United 3? Choose Your Own Adventure

Men's Health Urbanathlon 2011

Unilab Run United 3

With all the races held these days, runners are spoiled for choice. Usually there are two or three per weekend; maybe one big race and one smaller race.

But come November 13, two of my favorite races from last year will commence on the same morning: Men’s Health Urbanathlon and Unilab Run United 3. This really tears me apart because I’m defending 10K (with obstacles) champion at the Urbanathlon, but I also want to complete the Unilab/RunRio trilogy. It’s like asking a parent which is their favorite child.

You might also have this same dilemma. Both are great races, each with their own challenges. So, to help you make your decision, I’m breaking down both races in one post. It’s Choose Your Own Adventure time! Continue reading “Men’s Health Urbanathlon or Run United 3? Choose Your Own Adventure”

Run United 2 / Runrio Trilogy 2

In my quest to do all three Runrio Trilogy events this year, I asked my mom to register me for the 10K at Run United 2 last August 21. I knew I wasn’t in the best condition to run fast, coming off my weekend in Camsur and with no training whatsoever. I figured why not just enjoy a nice one-hour aerobic run workout with no pressure whatsoever?

Try running “with no pressure whatsoever” in race conditions, and you’ll see it’s quite impossible, especially for people with a competitive streak. Continue reading “Run United 2 / Runrio Trilogy 2”

Fun at Run United 1

I almost didn’t make it to my 10K at Run United 1. Given my enthusiasm for my upcoming SuBIT triathlon, I fell prey to the worst thing to happen to an athlete aside from injury: overtraining. After a nasty headache, a running nose, a low-grade fever, and fatigue leading up to Sunday, I was glad I’d only signed up for 10K. And since I still wasn’t feeling 100 percent, I downgraded my ambitious goal from “set a new PR” to “finish under 50 minutes”. It took the pressure off and set me up for a fun time on the race course.

Run United 1: Happy to Finish
I was just happy to be there.

Continue reading “Fun at Run United 1”

The Distance Dilemma at Run United 1

Last January I received a complimentary race kit to participate in Run United 1, the first leg of the RunRio Trilogy. I chose to compete in the 10K category. To my surprise a lot of people wondered why I’d go for a shorter distance when I already have half- and full marathons under my belt.

Unilab Run United: Today's Achievements
Run United 2010’s 10K achievements

The answer lies in why I started running the longer distances in the first place. Continue reading “The Distance Dilemma at Run United 1”