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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:


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