App To Speed

I posted last week that I am now using a running app to help me prepare and train for my half-marathon. It gave me a renewed interest in running.

Before I was just estimating and calculating my distance and pace in my head, but now I’m doing it accurately and scientifically. Though to be honest, my estimation of the distance I covered before is pretty close to actual, as if I’m off it’s only 0.1 mile or less. I think I could work as a surveyor.

My pace last week was 11:16 minutes per mile when I did a 3.1 (5K) run. This week, I was challenged to run the same distance, but push myself a bit and see if I can run in a pace of less than 11 minutes per mile.

And I did!

This make me think that if I was able to shave a whole minute per mile in my pace in less than a week, with the aid of this app and if I really push myself, maybe next week I can run a 9-minute mile. And in 10 weeks, I should be running 1-minute mile. I would be Flash!

In case you believed or was caught up on my drift, I was really talking non-sense. The fastest 1 mile done by a human is 3 minutes, and 43.13 seconds. Even if Usain Bolt can run at his top speed of 27.44 miles/hour and sustain it for a mile, which is humanly impossible by the way, he would still take 2.19 minutes to cover that mile.

Maybe this app is only good for giving me crazy ideas. I’m not sure this app will turn me into Flash, but one thing for sure, this earned me bragging rights.

(*background photo taken during my run)

Turkey Trot

By now, you already know that I like to run. No, not running from responsibilities, but running as in road races. But I missed the annual Des Moines Marathon this fall, in where I usually run the half-marathon. It was because I was in New York during that event.

To scratch that itch to run, this Thanksgiving, I decided to join the Des Moines Turkey Trot. In this event you can either do a 5K or a 5-mile run. I did the 5 miles.

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You may say, I was crazy to run on a Thanksgiving Holiday, where one should just be resting and relaxing. But as you can see with my photo below, I was not the only crazy one.

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I was surprised on how many runners join this event. According to the official results, there were about 3,000 finishers. I’m not sure if there’s more that started but were not able to finish the race.

The event was more of a family affair, as I saw many parents with their young kids who participated in the run. Unlike in the marathon or half-marathon events, which definitely were longer runs, there were more “serious” runners or even elite athletes joining those runs. I’m not saying that I am a serious or an elite runner. Far from it.

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The course took us through downtown Des Moines. The most difficult part was the uphill climb around the Capitol building. Good thing it was in the first mile.

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After going around the Capitol, it was mostly downhill from there, or at least no more climbs.

I was slow, but I was not the slowest. See, I was already heading downhill while others are still going uphill (photo below). On second thought, maybe they were released much later, as runners were released in waves, and I was just among the first wave of runners to start, giving me my imagined advantage.

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I finished the 5-mile run under an hour which was my goal. However, when I checked the official results, I was indeed one of the slowest finishers. There were runners in the 5K and 5-mile that finished with a pace of 5-minute mile! I was wrong in thinking that there were no serious or elite runners joining that race.

At the end of the race, it really does not matter if we were slow or fast. We were all finishers, and that is what’s important. As in all other endeavors we participate in.

One thing for sure, running this event gave me a reason, or more of an excuse, to gobble (gobble, gobble!) more food. It was Thanksgiving after all!

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Me and the turkey (hindi kami bati)

(*photos taken with an iPhone)

 

Conference Run

For the past 3 consecutive years I ran in the Des Moines Marathon, an event held in October every year. Before you faint in amazement, I want to clarify that I did not run the marathon course itself. For in that event, there was also the 5K run, the half marathon (21K), and the full marathon (42K).

During my first year of joining, I ran the 5K. It was actually my first ever road race. Though I run for exercise since I was very young, I never ran long distances before. Maybe 2 to 3 kilometer tops. I was more on doing sprint in my younger days. But after that run, I admit, I got hooked.

So on the following year, I did the half marathon. It took me a few months to train for it, but I did it. And I finished it with a respectable time (that means it did not take the whole day!) too.

Last year, I repeated theĀ feat and ran the half marathon again. This built enough confidence that I wanted more. I felt then that I was ready to try the full marathon next time.

But not this year.

In fact, I did not even join the Des Moines Marathon event at all this time. I learned early this year, as I was planning my year-long schedule that I would not be able to join the run. There is an out-of-state annual physician’s conference this autumn that I just cannot pass, for the reason of where it is being held this year.

So to stay motivated and maintain shape and in good running condition, I did the next best thing. I joined a race in the city where I attended my conference. Though it was not a marathon nor even a half marathon.

I joined a 5K run in Honolulu. Yeah baby, in Hawaii!

Looks like Roxas Blvd, right? But's that's Honolulu harbor.

Here we go! To inhale the salted air. Do you notice the name of the run was “One Breath”? I think “Out of Breath,” at least for me, is more appropriate.

I'm somewhere in the back. I'm giving the other racers the head start.

If running has always this stunning view (I mean the ocean, not the lady doing the stretching), I really can get used to this.

The runner and the ocean.

What’s next? Boston marathon? I don’t think so. How about Boracay marathon (if ever there is such event)? That’s more like it.