Monday, November 29, 2010

Five Weeks In Review

I can't believe that it has already been over a month since my last post. An erratic schedule, work-related travel, and a much-needed vacation all played key roles in keeping me away from the blogosphere. That said, I'd be lying if don't admit that my extended silence was actually due to sheer laziness. For some reason, I simply haven't been able to squeeze enough juice to bring myself to compose even just a short post.  Blogging burn-out, perhaps? I definitely think so.

The fact that I haven't been blogging of late, however, does NOT mean that running has also taken a backseat. Quite the contrary, the past month has been loaded with a fair bit of running and other running-related activities.  What had I been up to during my blogging hiatus? Quite a lot, actually...

1.  I have been running, of course.  Work and other activities have kept me from consistently meeting my target weekly mileage of 90 to 100 kms, but I think I've been logging some fairly decent numbers. Despite my erratic schedule, I somehow managed to register 223.9 kms between 26 October and 27 November. My runs included a 32 km race, which I extended by another 6 kms to reach a total of 38 kms, a 30k LSD, a 21k LSD, six 15k tempo runs, a couple of 17k easy runs, and an 11k easy run.  As part of my preparation for BDM 102 in March, I have been doing longer runs.  After the Singapore Marathon on 5 December, I will resume doing back-to-back long runs on weekends, and once again ramp up my weekly mileage to the 90 to 100 km range.

2.  While I was in Milwaukee for work, I revisited one of my favorite running routes - the banks of the Lake Michigan - and did a leisurely 17k run.

3.  Before returning to Manila, I spent a few days with my brother and his wonderful family in Elk Grove, California.  To burn all the burritos (and my sis-in-law's awesome beef caldereta - thanks, Ate Jen!) and flush out the beer, I eagerly did a 20k LSD - my first time to run in my kuya's neck of the woods.

4.  I convinced wifey to get me a "belated birthday / advanced christmas" gift - a Garmin 310XT.  My trusty F305 (wifey's gift from last Christmas - I have an extremely supportive wife) is still working fine, but it doesn't have the battery life to withstand 18 hours of continuous running.  Simply put, I found the 310XT's supposed 20-hour battery life impossible to resist.  The latest handy excuse - I need it for BDM.  :)

5.  I did a bit of outlet shopping in Vacaville, CA. From the New Balance Factory Outlet, I picked up a long-sleeved New Balance running top in NB's Lightning Dry technical fabric.  The tag says it's UV Protective - perfect for running under the sun.  I also found a New Balance Reflective Safety Vest - which means I won't have to wear a MMDA-looking reflectorized chaleko come March.  From the Adidas Factory Outlet, I got an Adizero running cap and a Climawarm pull-over running sweater - which turned out to be made in the Philippines!  For NYC Marathon 2011? We'll see. And lastly, from the Nike Factory Outlet, I stocked up on Dri-Fit no-show running socks (in royal blue) and got this cool shirt:

6.  Last weekend, I ran the Unilab 32k Run - by far, the best-organized race I've ever ran in my almost two years of racing.  RunRio just seems to keep raising the bar for the quality of local races.  Here's hoping the bar would at least stay where it is, if not raised even higher.  I finished in 3:26:41, with an average pace of 6:27/km.  I was quite happy with my time - it showed that I'm gradually getting stronger.  After crossing the finish line, I ran an additional 6 kms to log 38 kms for the day.

7.  I finally satisfied myself that the Adidas Adizero Mana are GREAT racers.  I said in an older post that I'd come up with a review, but I never came around to doing it.  I've used the Mana in a couple of 15k tempo runs on a tartan track, a 25k LSD, a half-marathon, and a 32k race extended by an additional 6 kilometers, and I can't say enough good things about these babies. No need to wax technical here - the Mana are indeed heaven-sent and are a worthy successor to my greatly-revered but semi-retired Adidas Adizero Tempo. I will definitely run my next few marathons in them, starting with Singapore next week.

8.  This next one has got me REALLY excited.  I applied for the ING New York City Marathon 2011, to be held on 6 November 2011. I'm a first-time lottery hopeful, and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I would get drawn on the first try. It's just like the Bar Exams - you want to nail it on the first try.  NYC is one of my dream marathons, and to run it would be an absolute dream come true.  It would also be good to once again visit the city where wifey and I spent our honeymoon six years ago. :)

9.  And lastly, I have been waiting very anxiously for the 2010 Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore. It's just five days away - 5 December 2010.  Can't wait to run my fourth marathon and my first-ever outside the Philippines. Check out the video of the route below, and then tell me honestly how you can not get excited. The immediate goal remains the same - to finally nail a sub-5 finish.  The long-term goal is grander - to become stronger, better-prepared, and better-seasoned for the very long road that lies beyond the marathon distance.

And there you have it. Everything I could have possibly written about during the past five weeks (if only I had been a bit more diligent), capsulized in a single post. Here's hoping that it won't take me another five weeks to come up with the next one. It definitely feels good to be back, and perhaps the long hiatus was exactly what I needed to realize - and admit - that I did miss blogging, after all.