Rush to Mizuno 2: The Perfect Ending?

The Rush to Mizuno Run, the second edition of the Mizuno Run held last March 30, was a very highly anticipated race. More than 2400 participants had registered for the 3 distances, 5 km, 10 km and 15 km. Many of us β€œrepeaters” signed up again to determine whether this race would be better than the 1st (in other words, there would be a lot of water for everyone!) and to see whether our finishing times would improve. A lot of us (15 km runners) were humbled by the Mckinley Hills – I had walked parts of the hill the last time -, so this repeat performance provided a chance to make up for that. And since the race was organized by Coach Rio, we were very optimistic that this race would be much improved. The day before the race, I looked at the GF data I had from the 1st run. The data is as follows:

  • Total time: 1:19:39
  • Distance: 14.66 km
  • Average pace: 5:26 min/km

As I further reviewed it, it turns out I had ran the 1st 5 km rather quickly (45 sec faster) as compared to the final 10 km. I got the following data:

  • 5km –> 24:41, pace 4:56 min/km
  • 9.66 km –> 54:58, pace 5:41 min/km

After analyzing my data, I formulated a new plan of attack for this race. I cut the race into two segments, a slower 1st 5 km at my long run pace, then a quicker 10 km. I would run the 1st 5 km as if it were a warm-up for a 10 km race πŸ˜€ While running the 1st 5 km, I had to control the itch to speed up even if other runners were already overtaking me. Adding to the difficulty of controlling my pace was that this part of the course was mostly downhill. Still, I wanted to stick to my plan, so if my pace increased, I’d slow it down, if I slowed down too much, that’s when I picked it up a bit. As I approached 5 km, I was already excitingly counting down the kilometers, I was really itching to crank it up and run at a faster pace. At the 5 km turn around point (tip of Bayani Road), a quick glance at my garmin showed that I had run it at an average pace of 5:23 min/km, giving me a time of 27:04. It was a relatively comfortable run for me up to this point.

After having a quick sip of water at the water station (this I think was already the 3rd or 4th station from the start), I increased my pace to 4:50 min/km. I was able to maintain this through the 2.73 km Heritage Park loop (mostly flat). This is the part where I was beginning to gain some ground on the other runners who had overtaken me at the start. Before exiting the park, I was able to grab an ensaymada, which was being handed out, pocketed it and saved it for my after run snack. πŸ˜€ I ran Heritage Park with a time of 13 min at a pace of 4:46 min/km.

From the exit of Heritage up to exiting Mckinley Hills (mostly uphill), I was able to cover 5.32 km in 27:32, giving me a pace of 5:11 min/km. I was supposed to press the lap button of my garmin upon entering Mckinley but I forgot. πŸ™‚ Surprisingly, I was able to run the whole length of Mckinley Hills! YIPEE! πŸ˜€

Upon re-entering Lawton Ave, I began to feel some micro cramps in my legs. I’d be running then suddenly, a part of my leg muscle would noticeably stiffen, but it would resolve immediately. With my loony logic, instead of slowing down my pace, I reasoned that I had to further pick up the pace so that I’d end the race quicker, so I would be able to rest sooner. This plan worked out nicely until about 184 meters before the finish line, when my left leg fully cramped up! It was really painful so I had no choice but to stop and stretch my left gastrocnemius muscle. I was a bit disappointed since at this point, I was at pace for a <1 hour, 19 minute finish (PR for this race distance). I ran 1.74 km (until I got my cramp) in 27:32, with a pace of 5:16 min/km. It took me 1:15 to cover the final 184 meters. My unofficial time was 1:19:29 (still a PR!) for the 15.32 km race. My average pace was 5:11 min/km. Breaking it down further, I got the following data:

  • 5 km –> 27:04, pace 5:23/km
  • 10.32 km –> 52:25. pace 5:05 min/km.

I was able to follow my plan to the letter. I was able to do negative splits, by controlling my pace initially, I prevented myself from being burned out early giving me enough energy to run faster in the latter parts of the course πŸ™‚ The goal now is to improve and train further so that I can decrease my long run pace, eventually giving me better times πŸ˜€

What’s great about the race:

  1. running weather –> the skies were overcast giving runners great shade from the sun.
  2. great route! –> Mizuno should copyright this course so it would be forever known as the Mizuno course! The first half of the race is easier since its mostly downhill and flat. The next half is so much tougher because there are a lot of uphills, highlighted by the Mckinley Hills. However, its not just Mckinley, much of Bayani and Lawton are uphills! Before you enter Mckinley, there is this long stretch of Bayani road where its just an upward incline. It may not have the slope of Mckinley, but it is a long stretch. Its a good energy sapper prior to Mckinley. Even after leaving Mckinley, the uphills don’t end, because Lawton has its own share of tough upward inclines! What I’ve noted though is that I love hills! I’ve observed that running them is becoming one of my strenghts. As other runners slow down at the hills, I’m able to maintain my present pace, or if I slow down, I don’t slow down by much, thus I’m able to catch up other runners.
  3. there were a lot of water stations –> I can’t remember how many there were but there were a lot. They were giving away both water and rush fitness water.
  4. there were a lot of marshals –> all the intersections had marshals directing the runners. There was just no way you were getting lost. Although familiarity of the course helped πŸ™‚

What didn’t work for the race:

  1. though there were a lot of water stations, some of them were unprepared –> there were two water stations I had approached and I had to wait a few seconds for them to pour me a cup of water. It would have been ok if there were a lot of runners at the stations but there were just only 5 of us
  2. lack of kilometer markers –> each km should have a mark. This would allow runners without garmins/foot pods to monitor their kilometer splits if they wanted to do.
  3. 1 chute for all finishers? –> this was the biggest problem the race had. When I was approaching the finish line, I noticed that there was this long line to my left. As it turns out, there was only 1 chute for all the finishers! It was a really long line so I decided to just not line up and just chat with other runners/bloggers near the finish. Though I wouldn’t have an official finish time, I’d still have a finish time based on my watch. After sometime, since I didn’t want a “did not finish” across my name, I entered the chute and submitted my tag. Though I think this matter wouldn’t rattle many of the veteran runners (most have watches), I think this would suck for many of the new runners who were hoping to have their 1st official 5/10/15 km finish runs.

Runners I got to meet:

  • JunC –> I saw him before he was going to warm-up at the start
  • Marga –> who I met briefly at the baggage counter and at the end of the race
  • Joms –> saw him at the starting line
  • Levy –> who introduced himself while we were running up Bayani Road
  • Prometheus
  • DATC
  • high altitude –> an Indonesian studying here in the Philippines who came all the way from Silang, Cavite
  • BaldRunner –> had a nice chat at the finish with these four guys, about what else… running!
  • Bards and Mesh –> met them at BR’s Donate a shoe booth. I got to see their cool Newton’s up close!
  • Passion Runner –> he was with some UP Diliman SC members who were involved with Project CHK (the plan to improve the locker rooms of the College of Human Kinetics Gym at UP Dil)
  • Taki –> saw him at Mckinley Hills, he didn’t see me though.

All in all, the race was a good one. It would have been great, almost perfectr if it weren’t for that fiasco in the end. I wouldn’t mind running again in future Mizuno races, especially if they’re organized by Coach Rio πŸ˜€ I’ve checked Coach Rio’s website, my official listed time is 2:11:08. Way off my GF time hehehe πŸ˜€

(Coach Rio has already issued an apology through his blog – click here – )

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22 thoughts on “Rush to Mizuno 2: The Perfect Ending?

  1. its ok taki. I was just wearing the Mizuno singlet. Bilis mo! I saw you at Mckinley, paakyat ka na pabalik, pababa pa lang ako πŸ˜€

  2. Congratulations Joe. Great negative splits!

    I’ve seen a lot of the posts and it appears that the runners had good weather. BR and PR’s photos were neat and it made one feel like they were there!

    I’ve decided that it will be November (probably November 8 or 9-17) for vacation. I’ll share more of it with you through e-mail. December was canceled because I’m going to be best man at my friend’s wedding here in SF.

    Please take care and have a good week ahead. Half marathon for you this coming Sunday!

  3. It was nice to meet you during and after the race. I first commented on your blog re: DVA-Forbes run although i’ve been reading your posts for a while now. Thanks to your detailed analysis of the race, it appears that the first mizuno run was short by about 300 meters. Maybe this was the reason why the race organizers modified the route a bit inside Heritage park to make the course reach 15k. Galing ng plan mo, in almost all of the literature that i’ve come across so far, negative splits is the way to go (although di ko magawa dahil forever constant running pace ginagawa ko). Tried hill-bounding during the uphill portions, nakakapagod pala yon so didn’t even attempt to do it once i reached mckinley hills. Yup, great race, perfect weather, and like i mentioned in BR’s blog, it was an honor for me to have run alongside my blog idols during yesterday’s race. Here’s to Mizuno 3

  4. thanks for the quick comments! πŸ˜€

    wayne… thanks again! See you on November… I’ll be resting this week to allow enough recovery for the half marathon on Sunday. Have a good week! πŸ˜€

    levy… thanks for visiting this blog! πŸ˜€ Yeah, I remember you commenting on that post, thanks!

    Ok lang naman running at a constant pace, it improves your long run pace. So if you do some speed/tempo runs, you’ll eventually be running faster.

    I was also thinking about that, when we made a right turn along Heritage, I don’t remember passing through that part the last time. I think you’re right that was the additional distance for this version of the race. It ended up a bit over though πŸ˜€

    Will there be a mizuno 3? Hopefully there’ll be a lot of Mizuno runs over the years! hehehe πŸ˜€

  5. Hi looneyrunner,

    It was nice to see you again. I noticed you at the first 3k. hmmm parang mabagal yata si looney. ano kayang strategy niya?. Thats why pala. galing mo!!. I had a great race for my first 15k. I even broke my 10k PR. Valid ba yun saka napabilis yata ako sa first 10k.

    Congrats and see you on the next race (July 13 for me).

  6. strategy! didnt have one for this race. i was just too excited to run it again. i was only thinking of hitting the race pace i set for myself (i was aiming for 6:18 at least. this was my pace last time around) and of course i forgot to factor in that i will be slowing down sa hills. hay! can’t wait for the next race πŸ˜›

  7. hi there!

    junC… congrats on running a good race! That was pretty good running if you were able to break your PR for a 10k in a 15k run. see you sa One La Salle Run πŸ˜€ Ano kayang gagamitin nilang course? Walang route map na kasama yung kit nila e. Pero ganda ng singlet, it has the feel of the Mizuno singlet.

    bards… finally got to try negative splits! Medyo mahirap din to control the competitiveness at adrenaline rush sa start. The good thing is with my strategy, I still got to have a better time than the last. And aside from me cramping up, I felt not as exhausted as the 1st time. When’s your next race? Nice to have finally met you πŸ˜€

  8. Thanks looneyrunner. Route map for the one la Salle run is already available at http://lasallecares.org/orofols. just have to figure it out pa the flow of the route. Also texted them if the start of 16K race is 6:00am and not 5:30am. It’s really 6:00 but they will bring it to the board if they can adjust it to 5:30 para di maiinit.

  9. check out la salle route at lasallecares.org/orofol

    i was the one who called out to you at the mckinley area.as usual,all the blogger-runners i see on the net finish ahead kaya i am not able to catch up and meet you guys after the race.have to run faster this coming sunday and during la salle’s.good luck and hope to see you lakay and all.

  10. hello!

    JunC… thanks for the link. Checked it out, and nakakalito nga kasi walang direction to follow. But it looks like to be an interesting route. It will be flatter though than the Mizuno route. Suwerte na lang natin kung cloudy ulit that day para di mainit πŸ˜€

    bugobugo85… ikaw pala yun. I was actually surprised when you called me out πŸ˜€ Thanks for the link also… it would be nice to run faster, just don’t overdo it too soon πŸ™‚ see you sa Sunday. Will probably lounge around BR’s booth after the race.

  11. ok bro.btw,la salle will update route later.walang landmarks.counter clockwise daw as of this morning’s meeting.

  12. Hey doc it was great meeting you.

    Good strategy and great race! For 10k, half and full marathon strategies you might want to check out the new york road runners resources section. They may help you if you are running those races in the future.

    Any reason why you suddenly cramped up? For my future longer races (naks) that is one of my worries.

    Good luck on your next races!

  13. hi joe, another PR! congrats! i was unable to join the mizuno 2 race due to work, sayang. will try to run outdoors this week to prepare for my 2nd half-m. see you on sunday.

  14. Cramps can be caused by a lot of things Joe. Every once in awhile I’ll get a side stitch and won’t even know where it came from even though one is running relaxed. The NYRR resources section is very good. I look at it a lot for various things.

    As always, great blogs. I have a recent blog entry that might interest you. Please check it out!

  15. My first time to drop by your blog. This means I have another blogger/runner to look for during the races. πŸ˜€ Mizuno wasnt a perfect race but I love the route and I would run with it again.

  16. Hi!

    marga… next time πŸ™‚

    bugobugo85… mukhang yun nga pinaka plausible na ikot nung takbo. Thanks!

    prometheuscometh… nice meeting you too! Congratulations on your race too…

    There are a lot of theories why cramps happen… there could be a genetic component, it could be due to an imbalance of electrolytes, dehydration, fatigue… though from what I’ve read, one of the best ways to prevent it from happening is to really devote time doing stretching before and after a run. (This I haven’t been really doing much…) thanks for the info, will look it up πŸ˜€

    runMD… see you on Sunday! thanks

    SFrunner… congratulations on your upcoming 900th race πŸ˜€ Read your blog, great posts! πŸ˜€

    jinoe… thanks for dropping by! Yup, it is one of the best routes I’ve ran too. See you in the next races πŸ˜€

  17. bro, updated na lasalle 10 mile route. 2 loops around the fort.check it out.see you luneta sunday if the weather permits.

  18. thanks bugobugo85! Hopefully mapasara nila yung buong daan, mukhang madami tatakbo. Tsaka baka magsalubong yung mga tatakbo sa turn around points. See you sa Luneta πŸ˜€

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