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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Punching Bug

{Happy Yellow Handwraps Well-Spent}

I tried my hand at boxing, and I was hooked!

After a handful of good (long) runs gone bad, I finally admitted to myself that I really have to work more on my endurance, especially if I wanted to finish my first full marathon (early 2009?) in a decent time. So last week, I dropped by Megamall after work to buy my first boxing gear (P135 handwraps in Chris Sports). Then I headed to Elorde Boxing Gym in Tektite's Summit Wellness Center for a walk-in session (P300).

After stretching and a few jumping jacks (I haven't done that for years!), my trainer wrapped my hands for a round at the ring. I knew I was off to a good and (possibly) long term start as soon as I stepped into the ring. Just going through the rope and stepping on the padded floor gave me a thrill in itself.

We started off with the Punching Mitts and "1-2-3-Jab-Cross-Hooks". It was intense, it was tiring, it was exhilirating! Next drill was the Speed Bag (my waterloo), a hanging sac which required much skill in coordination and timing. Unfortunately, both skills I sorely lack. After a little snooping around, I found out that most people got the hang of it after 3-4 sessions anyway. The Double-End Ball was my favorite (and apparently, a natural at), probably because it's chest-height, and in the real world, like a big bully punching a kid. Not that I would, but if I had a choice, I wouldn't pick on the big one. haha.

The session ended with more floor exercises (crunches, rowing) and stretching by the trainer. I was feeling a bit pumped up, so I was still able to hit the treadmill for an easy 3K run. I was cross-training for my runs, after all.

Elorde Boxing Gym @ the Summit Wellness Center
4F West Tower Tektite Building, Ortigas, Pasig CIty
T 667.3065

Facilities and Features: Sauna, Free Parking, Locker Rooms, Hot/Cold Shower, Fully Airconditioned, Standard Sized Boxing Ring, Friendly Staff, Professional Trainers

Membership Fee: 750/year
Round 1- 200/session
Round 2- 1,500 (10 sessions/month)
Round 3- 2,500 (unlimited/month)

Monday, November 17, 2008

New Balance Power Race 2008

{Picture from official photographer/
delinquent running buddy, Kerv.}
I never really understood why some people would travel for hours just to run in the New Balance Power Race in Clark, Pampanga. Now I know why.
The mere fact that I was inhaling fresh, smog-free air was more than enough reasons for me. The postcard-worthy view of the lush greenery and mountains were just as delightful. It was fortunate that the sky was filled with clouds with a cool breeze to match. Perfect for that long 25-Km stretch ahead.
Day 1
A bunch of us arrived the day before the 10/25K races to cheer on our friends who would be running in the 5K run held Saturday afternoon. Most of them neophytes, some who have tried a run or two, and some seasoned athletes- who simply refuse to wake up at the crack of dawn! Reasons aside, we were all happy that the running bug took a nip at them- even for just one day.
Carbo-loading and reloading was a must after the race. We traversed to C' Italian Restaurant for their yummy pasta and Panizza (thinly sliced pizza rolled and eaten with alfalfa sprouts and arugula). Great food, I wish I could say the same for the service though. Dessert was healthy frozen yogurt in (surprise, surprise) Frozen Yogurt.
11 p.m. Lights out.
Running Fatboy: Isn't it nice that we're all bunking together (RFB, perper oven, janine+, jinides, kerv) before a run? It's more exciting. We all sleep at the same time, we all wake up at the same time. Walang lamangan (All is fair).
(Nice, Fatboy. And here I thought you wanted the sleepover for our indispensable wit and enjoyable humor. haha.)
Check out Running Fatboy's blog for more pictures on NB Power Race Day 1.
Day 2
This is it. Race day. 25 kilometer race day, at that. My longest and most ambitious run so far (I say ambitious since my last run/training was the 5Km Shake, Rattle and Run! 2 weeks back). I'm nervous- like the way an unprepared student entering an exam room would feel, yet excited- like a TV show contestant who is simply relying on stock knowledge and a whole lotta luck.
It was dark and drizzling when we assembled at the starting point. The excitement among runners was infectious. Everyone was buzzed and rarin' to go. When the starting shot rang out, I made sure I stomped extra hard on the mat for the benefit of the RFID timing chip attached to my ankle (although I'm not really sure that's how it worked). Whatever. Time to run.
I made sure I ran an easy pace. I have an unconscious habit of starting fast and burning out faster during long runs, so I wanted to make sure I'll last the whole shebang this time. I spot familiar red and white singlets in front of me. The Pinoy Ultra Runners. Do I dare leech one more time? I call out just for a quick Hi and keep pace.
Winding Roads and Pee-neries
The route was winding with subtle uphills. Once in a while you'd see people (yes, even the ladies!) emerging from the grasses and facing backwards doing what you thought they were doing. A novel sight for this city runner. Thank God, I didn't feel the need to pee throughout the race. I've had enough bites* for the week, and I'm not about to add SNAKE to the roster.
The route was picturesque and well-marked with catchy taglines to look forward to. I especially remembered the taglines Running is the original friend with benefits and Running knows when you've cheated on it from the LOVE/hate. This is the new balance campaign. It sure made me damn guilty. Sheesh.
Another point to the race organizers for ample water supply during the race. This is really one of the best and more organized races I've been to. The trip was well worth it. Keep up the great work!
Not so sweet 16K
A little after I passed the 15K mark, after a consistently good steady run (okay, with maybe a few seconds of walking), I instantly felt the pain spread through my body. First to go were my calves, which hardened like ice in a full-blast freezer. Then, as if in retaliation, the blisters on my insoles began to burn like cigarette butts stubbed over and over with every excruciating step. It's all in the mind... I kept repeating to myself. Soon enough, the pain subsided. But only to be replaced by a furious sting on my left shoulder and arms. (Can somebody please tell me why my arms and shoulders hurt? Is that even normal in running???) By that time, I finally give in to the shouts and just walk.
No sense in crying over spilled milk- or rather a good 10K time (Still... drat, drat, drat!!!). I decided to just recuperate for a while and enjoy the scenery- roadkill frogs not included. I take the remaining half of my breakfast peanut butter bar and refuel. Pretty trees, winding hills, white fluffy clouds that loomed closer and closer and closer, little boxes on the hillside, little boxes made of ticky-tacky... My wandering mind brought me back to suburban California, where I used to jog uphill and walk back home munching a newly purchased granola bar from the grocery. Except now, instead of the houses, my box was an invisible wall that seemed too high to overcome. I've hit The Wall, and I knew it.
It took a few pathetic attempts of running before I finally found my second wind at the 22nd mark (Tagal 'no? Argh). After that, it was somewhat smooth sailing from there. Only problem was that I've totally lost track of my time. It was almost 3 hours. My ideal sub-3 hour goal was moving out of reach. I picked up my pace and ran as fast as my body would let me. At the last water station, I spotted the familiar red and white singlet again. It was Hector, handing me a bottle of water. Thank God! Not so much for the sight of water, but for the realization that I was almost near the finish line.
Crossing the finish line was precisely that of a love/hate relationship for me. I loved the route, the scenery, the fresh air/I hated the roads that kept winding and turning into yet another road that never seemed to end. I loved meeting and greeting friends and fellow bloggers along the way/I hated seeing everyone pass me by. I loved the (leisurely) run despite not meeting my goal time/I hated leisurely running and not meeting my goal time.
But then, as all relationships go, it's a work in progress. And at the end of the day, I will always look back to this race with only happy thoughts and lessons learned.
More pictures of Day 2 at Running Fatboy's site.


...and Other Theories to Rhetorical Running
A Rush of Wheatgrass in the Head
Natural live energy- Natural active enzymes- Natural anti-bacterial- Detoxification agent- Washes out drug deposits in the body- Neutralizes toxins- Purifies liver- Improves blood sugar levels- Naturally improves strength and endurance- Improves sense of well-being- Prevents and fights cancer- Dissolves scars in lungs- Cures chronic sinusitis- Prevents tooth decay- Eases sore throat- Cures psoriasis- High in enzymes- Reduces high blood- Reassembles red blood cell molecules- Helps reduce the absorption of carcinogens- Helps eliminate bad breath

Knowing that my days in training was numbered (a dizzying work week had me choosing sleep over training runs), I headed off to Zing! (in Bonifacio High Street) for a dose of super wheatgrass. A shot of wheatgrass juice = 1.5kg of vegetables. It also has 5x more iron than spinach. I should've gone crazy-drunk with this for that "Popeye" moment. My endurance lasted up until the 16K mark, before all the juice squeezed out of me.
*Weredog Running
A few days before the race, I was bitten by my brother's dog. Twice. Nothing serious, except for maybe a transfer of dog-like abilities. haha. Hmm, if that were true, then maybe it would've been better if I was bitten by a bigger, stronger, and FASTER dog... Oddly enough, I did seem to want to go off and chase the cars that whizzed by during the race- if only to catch a few Kms in it!

Cafe Scientifique: Pastarrifique

WHAT: Pasta Scientifique
WHEN: 22 November 2008 (3 pm)
3rd Level (Near Power Mac), Trinoma Mall Q.C.

Find out the science secrets behind food mysteries like the best way to handle garlic, make the best pesto sauce, why salt is added to pasta water, and many more!

This event is FREE and OPEN to the public. For inquiries/RSVP, please e-mail


I would love to go to this one. I'm a big fan of the whole Cibo concept. Unfortunately, I've a prior engagement eating crickets (Mmm, protein-loading!) on the same day. Shucks!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

If Bags Could Talk...

If bags could talk, mine would have been sighing exhaustedly (the happy kind though) from all those out-of-town trips it has been and would be going off to for the rest of the year. I'm sorry I had to stuff guyabanos and spill salad dressing on you. But it was a great weekend anyway. Oh, and get ready for another load of pasalubong soon. I'll make sure the crickets are fried to a crisp and not jumping around, of course!

If bags could talk, mine would have been profusely complaining on how it has been underutilized as a gym bag. 'I miss the dark, humid lockers,' it would say. It's been months since I've diligently hit the gym. So, after 3++ years of an on/off relationship with the gym, me and Nike B. (as in Nike Brown Bag- from the same thought process where I christened my Mac, Macky) have finally signed the papers and is calling it quits. It's hard to let go... ~sigh~

If bags could talk, mine would have to be jabbering excitedly on the prospect of a new job description. I'm giving boxing another shot. So, Nike B., when you hear me say 'I'm hitting the bag today', don't worry, it's not going to be you.

{Nike B.- Gathering dust and dog...}
{Imp's such an angel when he's asleep.}

{Props to you! Me and Nike B. in one of our many "misadventures". Read post here.}

Monday, November 10, 2008

Rhetorical Running

As I sit here OC-ing on a project for tomorrow's deadline, I wonder:

How can you train for a 25K without actually running?


(I have 5 days to cram for the New Balance Power Race in Clark. Yikes.)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Shake, Rattle and Run!

On Hallow's Eve, what came afoot?
A Shake. A Rattle. A Run to boot.
They came in droves, they came enrobed
They came like maniacs exposed.

A fight to be the first, you see
Is why they all succumb to be
Amidst all creatures big and small
A yearning to be one, that's all.

So to the dark they snarl and snivel
A thirst so deep, yet will not grovel;
To pass the sacred line and see
What time has come, did I break thee?


I love halloween. I love running. So when I first heard about Isuzu's Shake, Rattle and Run (The first night fun run in Manila), I could hardly wait for October 31st to arrive.

First things first, what's my costume going to be??!! (Okay, so my priorities for this race wasn't exactly a record breaking PR. Hey, I did say I loved halloween first! See opening sentence.) Obviously, it had to be fun, yet practical enough to run in on. So, short and not hot (There goes the Paris Hilton idea ;). And cheap! I meant the monetary kind, of course. So, found objects in the house it is! I decided to go as "Clean & Green". Clean because I just finished taking a bath, and green because I'm using a tabo, thus saving water. Also because, I'm literally garbed in the color green. Less complicated version. (Note: I was dubbed "Shower Girl" during the race, which was the exact opposite of my cause. I didn't even bother to explain, even when I had the chance to. Darn it.)

When we got to the R.O.X at the Fort, it was eye candy galore! A lot of runners were in full, kinareer, kick-ass costumes. How they managed to run in enormous wings and props were just amazing. There was even one runner dressed as a fairy who zipped in and out of the crowd, waving his magic wand chanting 'Get out of my way'. Funny guy. It was just too cool. Too freaky-cool. I love it. I'm saying it again. I love halloween!

The race was 5K-worth of runs around Bonifacio High Street. Probably the only downside to this event, as it was a little confusing (or maybe I just wasn't paying attention) and a little boring after a while. It even came to a point wherein I'd slow down and speed up at the exact same spot I did the lap before to pace myself. Bad, because I'd do that whether or not I felt like resting. Boo- and I don't mean the Halloween kind. Although, I was pretty pleased with myself when on the third round of the water station, I got to use my trusty tabo when the plastic cups ran out. haha. See, practical.

But the best TREAT of the night: Winning 3rd place!

Okay, fine... in the Best in Costume category. Pardon the misleading intro, I wanted to bask in there for a moment. It's probably the only time I'd get to step up the magic 3 podium in a legit running event. haha. But then again, who knows, maybe next time the trick's on me!

Happy Halloween!

{Super Sunburned Beach Bum}

{Cupid Rio and Pocahontas}

{Black Devil Woman, Running Fairy, Crimebuster Chick, 300 (A-woo!), Shower Girl, Mukhang Cheerleader, Doctor Hector}

{Paulie and Juno}

{With triathletes, Ting as the Flower Girl and Carolyn as a bandit runner. hehe}

{Super Sunburned Beach Bum turned Zombie after the run.}
{Shower Girl looking fresh and bagong ligo ang pakiramdam.}

{Shower Girl meets Shower Boy}

{Flower Girl, Black Devil Woman, Shower Girl, Cupid Rio, Auto Review's Ron- who reflected the camera's light away??}

{Host Dracula with Cow & Chicken- who ran and finished together. Aww.}

{Runaway Corpse Brides}

{Best in Costume- Or in their case, lack thereof.}

{Chicken & Cow, Varga! and Shower Girl}

{No tricks in the swag bag}
Kudos to Isuzu for a sure-fire running Halloween tradition! I can't wait for next year!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Baguio Bound and Running with A Gutless Chicken

The day before I left for a weekend in Baguio, I received a text from my friend telling me to 'bring ur gym stuf'. Too late, I thought. It's already been packed!

Usually the lone early riser, I was all set to run around the area by myself while I wait for friends to wake up for breakfast. Little did I know that they were one step ahead of me and had already anticipated squeezing in a workout or two in our Baguio getaway.

Unfortunately, what we didn't anticipate was a tiring road trip, an inuman & isaw-fest at Nevada Square, and a non-ringing alarm clock. Oh yes, and how could I forget, the seductive pull of vacation mode.

Fortunately for me, my roomies were persistent enough to shake me out of that hypnotic state and shame me- me, the supposed runner, into gearing up and lacing up my running shoes.

It was 9 a.m. when we finally hit the track. One hour short of my the-sun-is-bad-at-this-time excuse for not running. After paying the P35 fee to use the track in Teacher's Camp, we proceeded to burn the round of beer winnings from cabin fever Black Jack and the isaw (barbequed chicken intestines) calories away.

The air was cool with hints of pine wafting about. It was great! Although I'm not quite sure if it was the thinner Baguio air or that one last stick of isaw that had me breathing harder than usual... I do wish that we had woken up earlier to have been able to run more without the sun beating down on us. Still, it was a great workout. The next time I go back there, I'm literally aiming higher and hitting the uphills!

{Mid-morning run in scenic Teacher's Camp, Baguio.}

{Baguio-bound Running Buddies: Miguel, Bem, Tootsie}

{Treated ourselves to FRESH strawberry taho for good behavior. Yum!}

{2nd Breakfast}
{Purple Oven's Cinnamon Rolls (baon from Manila) are best popped in the toaster and browned to cream cheese perfection. Mmm...}

Monday, October 20, 2008

Troopin' at the Botak Run

{photo from Schlagger. Thanks again!}

I'm sick, so I'm keeping this post-Botak Run post short and bittersweet.

It was hot.

The feeling was a deja vu of an infamous, infinite 15K Run when upon reaching the halfway mark, water was still non-existent. It was nice running into familiar faces during the race, although I wasn't quite sure if they were real or just a mirage... It was scorching hot. Was it just me or were there Stormtroopers marching alongside runners? Hmm...

I'm torn between a little bored and a little relieved that the 10K route was looped. On one hand, you know just how many more steps you'd be running 'til you reach paradise. On the other hand, it's a Been There-Done That deal.

Surprisingly, crossing the finish line with pants and gasps that would rival Darth Vader's, finish with a satisfying time, I did! (Did I get the Yoda-speak right?)

{My running buds are back!}

{Meeting new friends. Vener of Run Unltd.}

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Attack of the Half Marathon Virgin

After getting over the initial nervousness of almost not getting a race kit, I converted my energy into half marathon race jitters. With training runs of below 16K under my belt, I felt unsure if this half marathon attempt was way over my head. I mean, I knew I'd eventually finish whether by running or walking, but to actually finish in a decent time? Now that was the question.

I finished my first half marathon with a whole 2 minutes shaved off my estimated 2 1/2 hours! Not too shabby for a first timer, I think.

It was the perfect weather to run. The sun was bright, but thankfully not burning. The breeze was cool and a welcome running companion.

I had a good run (if I do say so myself) on the first half. Largely because I latched on to the training Pinoy Ultra Runners like a leech. I am so thankful they took me under their wing (Thanks again- Hector, Neville, Jeremy, Kiko... did I miss anyone?). Hopefully I get to multi-task (run/breathe/laugh/talk/blood-suck) in the future. Baby steps.

Around the halfway mark, I had to loosen my suckers and look for a new host. Luckily, I spotted a familiar head in the crowd and stealthily kept pace with Coach Rio. After a few kilometers though, I had to let go again. I'm afraid they were just too fast for me.

The last few miles were steady and calculated. Teeth unbared and claws retracted. It wasn't a defeat, but merely a recovery of sorts. I'm a little bit learned and hungry for more. Until the next half marathon (That would be the New Balance 25K in Clark).

{They come out at the crack of dawn.}
{The battle is almost over.}

{The last kilometer was the hardest!}

{Fierce Contender, Blogger Schlagger}
{Jinides literally sitting this run out as the 10K race kits were quickly usurped.}

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Sitting Pretty— in Pink!

I'm not really a big pink person, but I'm loving these chairs! They're being auctioned off online, and the proceeds will go to a charity dedicated to fighting the Big C.

No plans of bidding— I'm not so sure what I'm going to do if I actually win! haha. I'll stick to supporting the cause by running. Meantime, I can always have my wishlist!

{images from DWR}
{Designer Chairs- Fight Against Breast Cancer}
{L-R: Eames Chair, Wassily Chair, Saarinen Tulip Stool, Heritage Rocker, Swan Chair}

{Eames® Management Chair Designed by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller.}

{Swan Chair Designed by Arne Jacobsen for Fritz Hansen.}

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Pink Ribbon Running (The Anniversary Run)

Running at the Takbo! Breast Friends 2008 run in Ultra last Sunday felt like deja vu. I remember passing landmarks and thinking the same motivational Kaya mo pa yan! thoughts. Unlike last year's run though, I have thoughtfully paced myself to last the 10K uphill route (I learn from my mistakes. See older post, An Ode to October Running).

I did a 5K for my first run last year, so naturally, I graduated to a 10K this year. I breezed through the first 5K with a nice, steady pace that it was so tempting to just run straight to the finish line and not continue the full 10K. I felt really good about my performance so far. I'm thinking it was probably a record breaking (personal) record.

I probably spoke too soon, because right around the 6.5Km mark, I felt my legs and shoulder blades start to burn. I pushed myself to ignore the pain and sudden exhaustion, but it was pretty persistent. Sad to say, I walked a few times, mostly on the uphill area (which was really steep). At one point, I even saw a PNP running uphill in a squatted, duck-walk position. It looked effortless, albeit kind of ridiculous. If I wasn't too tired, I would've tried doing it his way as well. haha. Maybe next time.

I finished the run in an okay time for an uphill route. It's just a little annoying that I can't seem to get out of the 10K-1 hour and 5-10 minute rut I've noticed I've been having for the past few runs...

Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable run. As much as I complain about uphill routes, I really do like how it challenges and varies my pace and perspective. Although I don't have the numbers to back it up now, I'm fairly certain I've improved a lot as a runner since last year.

I'm running my first 21K this weekend (Adidas KOTR). Here's hoping my first attempt would be just as fun to drive me to go for a full marathon next!

{Happy 1st Anniversary!}

{Jinides and PerperOven}

{With Coach Rio and Running Fatboy)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Egg Tart'd!

{Poor little Imp's got egg in his eye.}

Some custard squirted onto Imp as I was eating a Lord Stowe's Egg Tart. He never knew what hit him. Must be super frustrating though— like trying to lick your elbow frustrating. He was pretty much Mr. Popularity with our other dogs afterwards. =)

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Elusive Adidas KOTR

{A Collector's Item ???}

Just when I was ready to say "Hit the road, Das!", I finally managed to get a King of the Road race kit. I've been hearing about how this race had been selling like hotcakes, but I wasn't expecting how hard it was to get one. I imagine the amount of effort in getting this kit is probably at par with snagging tickets to the LaSalle-Ateneo finals. And to think it wasn't even a last minute thing for me. The (10K) race kits and ladies' singlets were just always out-of-stock, thus the delay in actually registering weeks ago.

Four malls and a number of "consolation" purchases after, I managed to get my hands on the last 21K race kit in MOA (Mall of Asia). I was initially deliberating between my usual 10K or going for my first half marathon, but I wasn't quite sure if I was ready to go beyond my farthest 16K run. This was probably a blessing in disguise, as this draught forced me to make a painless decision. No choice is the best choice. hahaha. I guess it was meant to be.

A fellow runner, who was also supposed to run in the KOTR (his first "public" appearance after years of running solo) and I had a few theories as to why it ran out so fast (pardon the pun):
  • It was said to have been heavily promoted at the UAAP games (I really wouldn't know, I only watch the last quarter of the LaSalle/Ateneo games). So, there will be a lot of newbies who will probably join. Fresh meat for the running bug to bite into!
  • The singlets, which are really nice, that normally retails at around P500, can be acquired for only P300 if registered.
  • Another friend, who doesn't run (or even want to), was "encouraged" by her employer to partake in the company sports activity. In which her ultimate plan was to just walk and chika lang. The big, bad company probably got a big, fat corporate discount. Hey, I'm all for non-runners to give marathons a shot, but what about us "real" (I'm using this term loosely, okay?) runners who actually enjoy and crave for it? You can keep the singlet, but can I please have the race number?!!
  • The running bug has started the infestation!
See you at the KOTR. =)

Friday, October 03, 2008

Retro Running (I love the 80's)

A blast from the past. Some 20 years ago...

From the time I entered kindergarten until I graduated from high school, the annual Family Fun Run was an event we've always enjoyed and looked forward to. My family literally grew up running around in circles. We initially ran as a family with our parents until we graduated to individual running categories. After, we'd bond over runs talking about PR's, raffle prizes and whatnots over a Jollibee or McDonald's breakfast. Pretty much the same things we enjoy at present. Oh, and waking up at the crack of dawn now is still just as difficult as it was back then. Some good things never change.

{Middle Child Syndrome}

A constant running companion now, my sister probably sat this one out since she wasn't wearing a finisher shirt (???)

I am so glad I didn't get my mom's hair!

Ooh, I think I got my dad's sexy, sexy, toned (muscular?!!) legs. hahaha.

I used to tower over my brother. Guess who grew an extra head in a span of 20 years! (Check out link for present (circa 2008) photo / blog entry.)

Note: Youngest brother came in 2 years after this photo was taken. Incidentally, he likes running too, and on occasion, had even stepped up a podium to bag a medal or two. He has the potential. Convincing him to wake up early is another story though.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

An Ode to October Running

I started running for a cause. Now, I run just because.

It’s official. A year has gone by and I’m still up —in what I still deem an ungodly hour— and running marathons. Who would’ve thought that a passing "trip lang" to a childhood activity would lead to hundreds of kilometers and endless hours of anything and everything running. A big thank you to my sister, who (probably) initially just ran to humor me, more than looking at it as a competitive venue on physical and mental prowess (not to mention the promise of a Heaven 'N Eggs breakfast after the race). To date, she has recently graduated to 10K runs and is currently co-founding their company running club(?!) Naks!; To the converted- It's absolutely, positively adddictive, right?; To my non-runner friends who have endured my constant chatter on races, paces, Km’s, uphills, yadda-yadda-yadda… And yes, I am on a perpetual vigil to steer more people to the Light Side. Post-run early mornings in Tiananmen are definitely more fun (guiltless calories!) than post-gimmick early mornings. ;) Hahaha.

{Last year's Takbo! Breast Friends 2007-
The race that launched a thousand steps.}

October 2007 I rekindled my relationship with running marathons (or rather 3K Fun Runs from grade school until high school) after feeling the monotony of hitting the gym. It just wasn't enough for me anymore. Semi-retired from football (I do miss it though), and not quite as addicted to badminton, I just wanted to see if I still had that fight left in me. A quick search in the internet (Thanks to The Bull Runner's List of Races) led me to the Soroptomists' (Ortigas) Takbo! Breast Friends (2007) run. It was a 5 Km run, but what drew me to it was that it was also a fund raiser for a good cause. My sister was easy enough to convince. Breakfast jokes aside, we both really felt good that we were contributing to charity.

The 5 Km Ultra-C5 route was challenging alright. In a word: Uphill. Ugh. I wasn't expecting much, I just wanted to see how far I could push myself. And push I did. The concept of pacing was alien to me. I ran my lungs out. As soon as I reached the finished line, I really, really, really wanted to vomit. As I had my much needed glass of water at the finish line, I still really, really, really wanted to vomit. As I lined up for the complimentary Milo and Spanish Bread, I still really, really, really wanted to vomit. I didn't, by the way. But it was
as if I wanted to throw up the extreme exhaustion that I felt. Thus my light bulb moment in the importance of pacing. (Ya think??!!)

Really, I wasn't expecting much, so it was quite the pleasant surprise to learn that I had managed to squeeze into the 10th place of the Women's Division. That was more than enough of a boost to make me check the schedule for the next run, and the next run, and the next... Oh, and besides, I really, really, really did have a lot of fun!

October 2008 Nowhere to go but Half and up, up, up!!! Another running milestone on October, my first shot at a half marathon. (Good luck to us, RFB. May we live to have breakfast with the rest of our running gang. hahaha. You being in the Kota chapter though.)

Breast Cancer Run 2008

(Yay! It's my anniversary run.)

WHAT: Takbo! Breast Friends (5Km/10Km)
WHEN: 5 October 2008 (6 am)
Ultra, Pasig City

Entry fee is P200. For more details, contact Emeline at 0922-8948728 or check out:

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Endorphin Effect

After almost two weeks of not lacing up my running shoes, I finally got the chance to burn those pent up (or more aptly, spent) energy at the gym last weekend. I was only able to log 8 Kms, a small feat, considering I should be training for longer runs in time for KOTR or New Balance's half marathon. For now, I'm still undecided if it's a 10 or 21 Km in the Adidas run. Nevertheless, this was one of my enjoyable runs. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

I started with an easy pace then proceeded with bursts of 1-minute speed intervals, during which I probably hit my peak, or as some would say, the runner's high*. So, what usually happens during a runner's high anyway?

I guess the feeling differs for every person. Me? I may just have this teeny, tiny tendency of smiling myself silly while running alone, as was recently discovered when a total stranger, just a few machines away from me, smiled and waved back. Okaaaay, wha-? Oh God, did he just think I was hitting on him?!! In which I was suddenly aware that I did feel the corners of my mouth curve into a nice, big smile beforehand. Come to think of it, I vaguely remember a semi-laugh escape my lips as I exhaled. I couldn't help it, it just came naturally. As if my face wasn't red enough from the run— How em-ba-ras-sing!

Blame it on the rush of endorphins to my head, which was magnified by the Samba-themed playlist plugged into my ears; which made me think of lazy afternoons by the beach; which made me think of tanning oils and beads of sweat; which made me think of luscious, icy mango margaritas... You get the drift.

At the end of the day, I'm simply ecstatic that I got to run AND learn that I had a few pick-up tricks hidden up my sleeve that might just actually work! ;)

*Runner's High. Said to resemble a feeling of intense euphoria, these biochemicals in the brain are released and could actually alter an athlete’s mood. These chemicals are called endorphins, the brain’s naturally occurring opiates.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Vacation in A Cup

What's the day going to be like when you...
  • wake up via the sound of howling winds and the promise of yet another wet, wet, wet day
  • are caught in the crossfire between a Golden Retriever, a Mini Dachschund and an Aspin (the politically correct Asong Pinoy formerly known as Askal/Crossbreed/Mutt)
  • drop, break a plate and splatter Bistek Tagalog all over yourself

If you, like me, have pretty much enough leaves to spare, you make a quick decision to forego a potentially disastrous day and take an impromptu vacation leave (assuming you don't have deadlines to meet. Thank God, I finished mine yesterday).

To those who can't, take the next best thing- A vacation in a cup!

Short of sounding like a Lipton walking advert, the milk + tea combination really does relax you. I should know, I just had one yesterday. I'm having another one today, thanks to this:

Check it out. Print it out. Step out (it's practically in every corner of the metro). And just simply zone out.

Have a blissful day, people!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Cafe Scientifique: Caffeine for the Cranium

{Beans are brewed in Cafe Scientifique}

Something good is brewing in Manila, and it doesn't smell like your usual coffee. If caffeine and conversations are your thing, then you should definitely try going to a Cafe Scientifique session. More like informal gatherings than school-like lectures, this movement started in cafes in UK, and are now being held in bars, restaurants, or any place outside the traditional four corners of the classroom. Intrigued by the featured topic, "Can Passion be Brewed?", I had my first taste of the forum at Kape Isla in Serendra yesterday.

I wasn't really sure what to expect when I got there, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that free coffee and snacks would be served upon registration. I've been to Kape Isla a few times before, and I've always liked their concept of featuring different coffee brands from around the Philippines. The cafe was just as cozy, albeit a little too dark for my taste. The seats were arranged ala lecture style to face the speaker.

The open forum started with Dr. Emi Liwag, a cognitive scientist, giving a short introduction on how we (people/Pinoys) perceive passion. Pretty soon, the audience were actively participating as well. Some pleasantly inquisitive (or as one commented, safe in a gray area) and some a little more passionately than others. The afternoon was spent listening to people of different personalities and professions contribute their tw0-cents worth. As Mitzi Borromeo, Cafe Scientifique's facilitator would say, "There's no such thing as a stupid question". A melting of the minds. It was interesting, enlightening, and clearly too engaging to fit into a mere 1-hour (maybe a bit more) session. Unfortunately, my question was posed too early in the program (it was to be tackled in the second part, until time eventually ran out), so it wasn't discussed as in-depth as I would've liked. Context clues were inferred from other viewpoints though. So, all good. More than enough insights to keep me awake at night. The other culprit would probably be Kape Isla's yummy and STRONG iced coffee (with a slight hint of chocolate)- just the way I like it.

Some of the passionate minds I met over coffee talk: Marge, an industrial designer who is involved in The Mind Museum. Coolness!; Eric, an architect with a secret passion. Don't worry, your secret is safe with me. But do remember us little people when you make it big; Ging, an events moderator who is passionate about teaching kids how to really, really read good (Sorry, I couldn't help injecting a little Zoolander humor... It's really, really amazing what she does though.)

Oh, and my two-centavo question: Where does passion stop and obsession begin?

Two cents, anyone?

Friday, September 05, 2008

Download Nike+ Sportmusic


As a reward to those who joined the Human Race, downloadable workout music and training programs are available in

My First 10K
Designed with new 10K runners in mind, this training mix combines some of the best Latin-Alternative music, including songs from the Pinker Tones, Ceu and Nortec Collective, with coaching by Jay Blahnik to get you ready to race.,10K

Treadmill Workout
This 30 minute mix specifically combats the monotony of running on a treadmill by mixing energetic music, world-class caoching by Jay Blahnik, challenging inclines and speed changes to keep you engaged while you continue to train for any 10K after the Nike+ Human Race.,treadmill

10K Quickrun
This training mix helps you prep for the Nike+ Human Race, or any 10K, on days you don't have time for a full workout. Spend 20 minutes with fitness trainer Jay Blahnik and give your legs and lungs an effective, energizing workout.,quickrun

Disclaimer: I have yet to try these workouts, so do check back after some time to see my review. OR if you happen to have tried these out, let me know how it went for you. So far, I'm loving the "My First 10K" Samba-licious playlist.


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