Cardimax Clark Ultramarathon 2016

Saturday, September 17, 2016

It's been two weeks since I reached another milestone in running. Last September 3 to 4, I ran my first ever 100km race at the Cardimax Clark Ultramarathon.

When I registered for it, I knew what I was signing up for. I did my best to prepare for the event, while being cautious about over-training. From my 80km race in April and 50km race in May, I had about three months to prepare in which I deliberately avoided any more ultra-marathon events because I was scared that my injury would return. I did some mileage runs, but I mostly relied on strength and conditioning workouts as advised by a teammate, who's also an experienced ultra-runner.

Come race day, I was feeling nervous, which was really normal. I mean, who wouldn't be nervous at the idea of running a hundred kilometers, right? I had a game plan and I promised myself that I will stick to it no matter what. I had my provisions ready: energy gels, Saltsticks, anti-pain meds, petroleum jelly, band aids, food like gummy candies and fresh fruits, and a change of shoes, shirt, socks, and head wear. I came from my shift, which meant that I had zero sleep the night before. I tried my best to catch some zzzs while on the way to the venue and a couple of hours before the race, but to no avail because I am a light sleeper. So I bought a bottle of energy drink to wake myself up.
at the starting line
with my Ayala Triads family
Photo Credit: Don of Active Pinas

The gun start was at 6pm. During the first half of the race, I was feeling fine. I was excited, even. However, I tried to suppress my excitement and did my best to just take it easy. I stuck to my 4:1 run-walk plan. Around the 15th km mark, a fellow runner asked if he could join me. I agreed since most ultra runs are better if you have someone to chitchat with. We had more than 80km to go and that's still a looong way. 
just passed the 21km mark
Photo Credit: Don of Active Pinas

It was around the third U-turn that I started to feel my feet getting tired. My socks were kinda thick and I figured I needed to change them, but when we arrived at the drop-bag area, my drop-bag was nowhere to be found. The marshals said they might have misplaced it and left it at the starting line. I felt panicky, and I was on the verge of crying. I was also very hungry at the time and I couldn't bring myself to eat the lugaw that they provided at that station. It was something that I was not used to eating during races, and I didn't want to risk anything by trying something new. After a few minutes of pleading with the marshals, they finally decided to do something about my "misplaced" drop-bag and told me that they will contact someone at the starting line. I realized that I already wasted too much time for something that I had absolutely no control over, so I decided to proceed to the fourth U-turn. I told the marshals that I expected that my drop-bag would be there once I pass their station again. What came next was the longest bridge followed the longest rolling hills I've ever encountered in my entire life. When I returned to the aid station, my drop-bag was finally there. I changed into thinner socks and grabbed the fruits that I brought. Unfortunately, the guy who was pacing with me couldn't go on because of an injury, so he decided to be left behind. I continued, eating an apple while running. The rest of the first loop went by uneventful and I finally reached the transition area.

Upon reaching the transition area, I made a quick hydration stop and immediately started on the second loop. I got lost for a bit past the first 500m because I forgot where I was supposed to turn left. I was able to find my way back to the route when I saw one of my team mates who has also just started on the second loop. Several more minutes passed, I started feeling sleepy to the point that I felt my eyes closing even when I was running. Too dangerous. So I decided to do all sorts of things to wake myself up. I started talking to myself, and no, I wasn't going crazy. LOL. Then I started singing. Quite loudly, which actually worked as it helped cure my sleepiness and boredom. I reached the first U-turn, had a pinch of salt, and grinned widely at the camera. 
at the aid station at the Clark Main Gate
Photo Credit: sir Eric of Active Pinas

I continued with my run-walk and it was towards the 67th kilometer that I miscalculated a step and twisted my right ankle. I felt a sharp pain in that area. I tried to ignore it but I couldn't, so when I saw an ambulance, I asked for pain reliever. It worked so I was able to continue running. When I reached the next U-turn, I saw Don sitting on the sidewalk. He ran to meet me and then walked with me to the aid station. He told me to sit for a while and so I did. He then handed me a slice of bread with peanut butter, and proceeded to give me a pep talk while wiping my legs and face with a small towel drenched in cold water. Before the U-turn, I was already entertaining the idea of quitting but the pep talk helped. I resumed my run feeling hopeful, but it didn't last long because the effect of the pain reliever wore off quickly. Either that or my ankle's condition was worse than I thought. And so I brisk walked my way to the next aid station where I changed shirts, shoes, and head gear. It was also where a runner from Team Marupok gave me a strong medicine for pain (thank you, kuya) before I continued. When I reached the third U-turn, I hydrated very quickly. 
approaching the aid station at the SCTEX gate
Photo Credits: sir Ronald of Active Pinas

I then made my way back to the aid station and grabbed the banana that I brought. Then I was back on the longest-bridge-ever followed by the longest-rolling-hills-ever, and for some reason, I finished that part of the route faster than when I did it the first time. I had about twelve kilometers to go when it started to rain really hard. That moment, I wanted nothing more than just to finish the race and get some sleep. I was soaked, I was freezing cold, and my ankle was in so much pain. I felt like crying. 

I planned to walk for the rest of the race, but when I reached the last kilometer and I saw that I had less than ten minutes to go, I started to quicken my pace. My ankle was throbbing and I ignored it. Last 500m to go, and I saw Del running towards me and then she started pacing me. That was when I started to run faster. I heard the countdown to the cut-off and I sprinted towards the finish line. I crossed the line with several seconds past the cut-off. It was done. I finished it. I was beyond the cut-off, and still what mattered is that I finished it. I ran a hundred kilometers plus two.
with Del, who was telling me to just go on
final stretch
Photo Credit: Don of Active Pinas

At this point, I want to thank everyone who has been a part of my race experience. I already gave credits in my post-race Facebook post but I want to do it again here. First, thank you to the Cardimax Clark Ultramarathon organizing team for the race experience, and most especially to Ms. Tin Ferrera, for the race kit. Thank you to the marshals, medics, and volunteers who spend their weekend taking care of us, runners. Thank you to my fellow runners whom I saw at the race, for encouraging me, as we going through the crazy route. Thank you to Ms. Daphne Codilla for your inspirational message before the race and after. I will remember them by heart. Thank you to my Ayala Triads family for the moral support before, during, and after the race. Lastly, thank you to my Active Pinas family for being my main support system and for being our all-too-awesome photographers (special mention: Sai, sir Ronald, sir Eric, and Don) during the race. Thank you, Del, for pacing with me and for giving me that extra push that I needed during the last stretch.

I was expecting an emotional finish. I expected that I would cry at the finish line but surprisingly, I didn't. Instead, I found myself asking for medics because the pain in my ankle was almost unbearable. No tears, nothing. I didn't cry until the next day when I was chatting with one of my running idols who gave me words of comfort and motivation. That was when all my emotions poured out and I was bawling over at the breakfast table at home. I remembered how I felt as I was approaching the finish line: physical pain, panic, exhaustion, desperation, disappointment, and then finally, relief. It was so overwhelming to feel all those emotions at once. I guess I don't need to explain the physical pain and exhaustion... Panic and desperation for wanting to finish before the cut-off, and disappointment because of my finish time. And then relief that the ordeal was over. 

I had a lot of what-ifs. What if I didn't pee twice during the entire race? What if I didn't take too long with the drop-bag mishap? What if I didn't get lost? What if I didn't sit down to rest at the second U-turn? What if... But enough of that. In the end, I am just thankful to have finished the race safely. I am thankful for the experience and for the lessons that it taught me along the way, which are worth waayyy more than any medal or trophy than the running world has to offer.

Apple & Nike launch the Perfect Running Partner: Apple Watch Nike+

Monday, September 12, 2016

 

Media Release: 

On September 8, Apple® and Nike introduced Apple Watch® Nike+, the latest result of a long-standing partnership. 

Apple Watch Nike+ is the ultimate tool for anyone who runs, pairing exclusive Nike Sport Bands with Apple Watch Series 2, which features GPS, a two-times-brighter display, water resistance 50 meters,* a powerful dual-core processor and watchOS® 3. 

Apple Watch Nike+ also includes exclusive Siri® commands and iconic Nike watch faces along with deep integration with the new Nike+ Run Club app for unrivaled motivation to go for a run, coaching plans that adapt to your unique schedule and progress, and guidance from the world’s best coaches and athletes. Apple Watch Nike+ is the ultimate companion for those with a passion for running, whether they’re emerging runners or marathon veterans. 

“Apple Watch is the ultimate device for a healthy life and we wanted to push it further to create the best smartwatch in the world for runners and athletes,” said Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer. “Apple Watch Nike+ takes performance tracking to a whole new level and we can’t wait to bring it to the world’s largest community of runners.” 

“We know runners – and we know many are looking for a device that gives them an easy, fun way to start running,” said Trevor Edwards, president of the Nike Brand. “The market is full of complex, hard-to-read devices that focus on your data. This focuses on your life. It’s a powerful device with a simple solution – your perfect running partner.” 

Features 

Apple Watch Nike+, like all Apple Watch Series 2 models, features built-in GPS to track pace, distance and route, so users can run without an iPhone®. With the brightest display Apple has ever made, metrics are easy to read, no matter the sun’s glare, and if users decide to take a post-run dip in the pool, Apple Watch Nike+ is water resistant 50 meters, for swimming. 

The Nike Sport band is crafted from the same strong, flexible fluoroelastomer as the original Apple Watch Sport™ Band, but now it’s perforated for even better ventilation and sweat management. The lightweight band is available in four vibrant, two-tone color combinations that are unique to the collection. Apple Watch Nike+ features two exclusive watch faces inspired by Nike’s iconic style that can be easily personalized with useful apps like Activity Rings, Heart Rate, Stopwatch and Weather, helping runners stay informed at a glance. 


Nike+ Run Club 

Apple Watch Nike+ takes advantage of the unique capabilities of Apple Watch Series 2 and the Nike+ Run Club app to be the perfect running partner on your wrist. The app experience is seamlessly built into Apple Watch Nike+ and easily accessed right from the watch face, so users can get going with a quick tap. The Nike+ Run Club app offers daily motivation through smart run reminders, challenges from friends and even alerts informing when the weather is right to get outside. Training data, including pace, distance and heart rate are available at a glance, and through shared run summaries, the app promotes friendly competition, even allowing users to send fist bumps to each other right from the wrist.


Pricing & Availability
  •  Apple Watch Nike+ will be available in two different aluminum case sizes, 38 mm and 42 mm and pairs with four exclusive Nike Sport Band color combinations including Black/Volt, Black/Cool Gray, Flat Silver/White and Flat Silver/Volt. 
  • Apple Watch Nike+ will be available in 38 mm at $369 (US) and in 42mm at $399 (US) from Apple.com, Nike.com, Apple Stores, select Nike retail stores, select Apple Authorized Resellers and select specialty stores and department stores. 
  • Apple Watch Nike+ will be available to order on Apple.com beginning Friday, September 9, with availability in late October, in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, UAE, the UK and the US. 
  • Apple Watch Nike+ will be available to order on Apple.com beginning Friday, September 23, with availability in late October, in Czech Republic, Greece, Hungary, Macau, Poland, Qatar, Russia and Saudi Arabia. 
  •  Nike Sport Bands are available exclusively with Apple Watch Nike+ models and not sold separately. 
  •  Apple Watch Series 2 requires iPhone 5 or later running iOS 10 or later. watchOS 3 and iOS 10 will be available beginning Tuesday, September 13 as a free software update. Some features are not available in all regions or all languages. 
  • Every customer who buys Apple Watch Nike+ from Apple will be offered free Personal Setup, in-store or online,** to help set up and personalize their new Apple Watch with calendars, notifications, apps and more. 
  • Anyone who wants to learn more about Apple Watch Nike+ or watchOS 3 can register for the free workshops offered at every Apple Store®. 


*Apple Watch Series 2 has a water resistance rating of 50 meters under ISO standard 22810:2010. This means that it may be used for shallow-water activities like swimming in a pool or ocean. However, Apple Watch Series 2 should not be used for scuba diving, waterskiing or other activities involving high-velocity water or submersion below shallow depth. Stainless steel and leather bands are not water resistant. 

**In most countries.