Posted in Marathon Training, Runmania, Runmania PH, running, running event, trekking

34 x 34 (Resolution Run 2017)

Mountain hiking, cycling, and cardio workouts only complements marathon training. A long distance training run is still necessary to complete the marathon preparation. I do 5 to 8-kilometer runs on Wednesday and Friday mornings, and 10 to 15-kilometer training runs on Sundays, but I know that I have to run a longer distance if I want to get a respectable PR. And the reason I don’t go beyond 15 kilometers is because I get bored running the same route over and over again. When I found out about the 34k category of Resolution Run, it got me interested, but also hesitant to join because I was also trying to save money. Then two things convinced me to join, the chance to finally run the full distance of Resolution Run’s Nuvali and Casile route (I joined Resolution Run 2015’s 20k category and only reached the Marcos Mansion and a small part of Casile) and to run 34 kilometers at the age of 34. So, it’s 34 kilometers for a 34 year old runner. That sounds nice.

The last time I joined a Runmania event was December 2015 (PNPA Uphill Challenge) and I’m not surprised that the race started late as usual (it was suppose to start at 3:30 am, we started at 4 am).

Arrived at the event site around 2 am, but the race started 30 minutes late…
just continuing the organizer’s tradition of delayed start. Photo Credit: LagunaRun.Ph
All smiles at the start of the race, different story when you’re about to finish it. Photo Credit: LagunaRun.Ph

It was a cold morning and some parts of Nuvali are pitch-black. The organizer was able to properly lit some of the darkest parts of Nuvali, especially the road after Miriam College. They did it right compared to the organizer of the previous running event I joined last December (my first ultramarathon) who failed to provide proper lighting or safety markers in the dark areas of the race route.

The plan was to attempt a sub-4 hour 34k run and to keep the pace at 6 to 7 minutes per kilometer. This is to test my capability to maintain a consistent pace and the result is part of assessing myself to see if a Sub-5 hour marathon PR is doable. Nuvali main road has a lot of uphills, I was able to maintain the pace for 12 kilometers, and after that, the pace exceeds 7 minutes per kilometer, but also goes back to the target pace, depending on the terrain. The pace begins to shift to a crawl at the 24th kilometer when we start to ascend towards the Marcos Twin Mansion and Baranggay Casile.

The steep uphills start here. Going up to the Marcos Mansion (to the left is the Canlubang Golf and Country Club) and Baranggay Casile.
Fun Fact: The Marcos Twin Mansion is the setting of the 2015 local film, Haunted Mansion.

I am very familiar with the Marcos Twin Mansion part of the route because I’ve run the route twice. It’s okay to conserve energy and walk (which I did), even some cyclists get off their bikes and walk this part of the road. What I wasn’t prepared for was the very steep uphill segments of Baranggay Casile. I started to feel cramps on my thigh and calf, so I really had to walk a lot and be careful in shifting my pace. I caught up with fellow runner, Rick Frias (whom I met at the 40th Milo Marathon) somewhere between the 26th and 27th kilometer who was also walking at the time.

But, you have to love life at the bottom first.
This is the first steep uphill stretch of Baranggay Casile…..
and the second steep uphill feels like a small mountain and it made the first steep uphill look like an ant colony in comparison.

I paced with Rick as we reached the 34k U-turn and veteran runner, Iliquim also joined us back to Nuvali. It started to get hot at the time and some aid stations ran out of supplies and started packing up. I also noticed that the race distance will exceed 34 kilometers based on my GPS watch and smartphone app’s reading and my experience running in the area.

Run like there’s a police car on your tail… oh wait, there is! Photo Credit: Run S.A.
Smile like you just ran 34 kilometers and got 3 more kilometers for free! Photo Credit: Run S.A.

By the time we passed the Nuvali Roundabout, it was more than 34 kilometers and because we already know that a sub-4 PR is out of reach, the motivation to run or at least jog our way to the finish line faded. We walked a lot, alternating with short jogging until we reached East Nature Avenue. I still have some gas and started running when I finally saw the finish line from the distance.

I started speeding up in the last 400 meters. Photo from Runmania FB page.
a pinch of cramp was felt on my right calf. Photo from Runmania FB page
So, I eased up and kept moving at a constant speed. Photo from Runmania FB page
Kept running until I cross the finish line. Photo from Runmania FB page
Fake smiling to hide the pain and exhaustion. Photo from Runmania FB page

I finally crossed the finish line at 4 hours 41 minutes with a total distance of more than 37 kilometers. It was also good timing that I saw AHC Mentor Carly standing on the podium bagging 3rd place of the 8 km category. A congratulated her before entering the activity area to claim my entitlements and re-hydrate.

Time and Distance as recorded by my Soleus GPS watch.
04:41:17 my official time. Rank #81 out of 450 runners in the 34k category.
Smile of Survival (surviving uphells, cramps, and the heat). Photo Credit: Aquizzed Snaps Photography.
With the overall champion and fellow Team 7-Eleven Philippines (batch 2016), Argel Mendoza.
With fellow runners, Iliquim, and Rick.

The run isn’t exactly the 34 kilometers for a 34-year old runner that I had in mind. More than 3 kilometers is too much of an extra distance, so where did the additional kilometers come from? I think the actual route had something to do with it. As seen in the photo below, the original route layout posted on facebook illustrates that the runners are suppose to run on the road going to Republic Wake Park and then back to Nuvali main road. But, the actual route had us going back to Miriam College instead, adding the extra 3 kilometers in the total distance.

The change in route as illustrated in the original route layout versus the actual route recorded by Nike Run Club app. If they directed us to run towards the Republic Wake Park road then to Nuvali main road (shorter distance) instead of going back around to Miriam College (longer distance), the overall distance probably would’ve been around 34-35 kilometers.

The extra 3+ kilometers added challenge and it’s a good thing especially for those who joined the event as their marathon tune-up run and that is probably the reason why no one really complained about it.

I really enjoyed the run, sure the uphills of Casile was torture on the knees and food for the cramps, but I enjoyed the scenic views and fresh air. And I firmly believed that the challenge only made me stronger and physically prepared for my 3rd marathon on February 4.

The trophies for the podium finishers. Same trophy design from last year’s Cavite 2 Laguna (C2L) Ultramarathon.
Some nice post-race freebies, certificate of participation, the medal, and finisher shirt.



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