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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Long Way Round (a.k.a. The Real Urbanathlon)

I'm happy to say that I capped 2009 with my longest run ever.

From Second Wind Running Store in Teachers Village down to Katipunan Ave. to White Plains to the People's Power Monument in EDSA to Ortigas Extension to C5 and back.


Just typing it all down brought back all those kilometers spent- 27.5 or 28, depending on who's keeping track.

(I know I'm supposed to be doing at least 30-32 km for my longest run before my marathon, but I'm hoping this will do. Any last minute gifts, I mean TIPS, would be greatly appreciated!)

Strangers in the Night
When I told my friend, Hector, that I would be doing the Cebu Marathon on 01-10-10, he gamely invited me to join him and other runners for a long run. Most of the people in the group were training for their own full marys too. Some in Cebu, one in Tokyo (wow!), some would be training to beat their marathon PRs in the upcoming Condura Race this February, while some would be marching to their own deadly beats in the Bataan Death March 102K on March.

So, last Sunday, at 4:45 a.m. (it was still so dark and chilly. I love running in December!) a bunch of running strangers, were cooped up in Second Wind, busily applying sunblock, buying last minute paraphernalia (it is a running store and technically still the Christmas rush, after all), and looking forward to a long way ahead.

Katipunan Go-Under
This being my first real long road run, I was pretty psyched and, well, a bit paranoid. I made sure I wore brights, since there wouldn't be marshalls to barricade the traffic. Besides, it's party season, and there will be people who would be on their way home from a bubbly (the drink) celebration. A bright, traffic cone orange singlet and lime green shorts sounds clashing, but it was a sure-fire way of not getting run over (And like hell would I be run over before I can even conquer my first marathon!).

The group divided into 2 groups. There were the seasoned marathoners and the newbie and "healing" marathoners. I'd be running with a very, very stubborn friend, the injured Ting, who yet again, exceeded her limits. ;)

Katipunan Ave. was surprisingly a joy to run in on an early morning. No flyover running here. We took the foot route and ran up the pedestrian walkway to cross it. Now this, we joked, was the real urbanathlon experience. Real people, real traffic, real obstacles, real risks.

White Plains
9 km, and surprisingly still an easy run. If you think about it, the route, even by car, was already somewhat far. I think I'm kinda liking this long run...

A Moment in the Monument
The People's Power Monument now holds a new meaning for me.

Still feeling strong and free from negative thoughts.

Ortigas Extending
I think it was about 13 km now. I didn't get to eat breakfast. So, at this point, I was just really, really, really hungry. Everything seems so long when you're starving. I guess I should've wished for a water station with bananas on my running Christmas list.

Fueling Up at C5
We all met up once again in Shell Gas Station along C5. A sugary cereal bar never tasted so good as it did now. Lemon Square Vanilla Cereal Bar, I love you.

Halfway done, and a lot of high-five's later, we started out running back to base.

Long Way Walking Round
I'm tired... and it sucks that I've been injecting a lot of walking already. Probably just over 15 km, but the traffic along c5 is growing. And it is getting smoggier. I'm trying not to breathe in now. Yech. Not to mention weaving in and out of the sidewalk was a feat. I was really paranoid about running in the road and getting sideswiped. I kept staying on the sidewalk, and hoping not to trip on cracks, tree roots, or slip on mossy puddles.

Ateneo Under Trees
After trudging along half the route back, we finally reach Katipunan. One more stretch, and we're home free! Problem is, now it's hot, super sunny, and the pollution is still killing me. So, I pleaded to my (remaining) running mate, Dave, to go off the route and pass through Ateneo instead. I was thinking more trees, more clean air.

For this green alumnus, I had to grudgingly admit, Ateneo was a respite. Passing throught their little zen garden was the right move (plus, added an extra distance, I think). And I even had a sight-seeing session- their new library is so nice!

Second Wind
Back to homebase. I was tired, but this feeling of accomplishment was awesome. I knew that I could've pushed myself more as I wasn't that exhausted yet, but I was afraid of getting injured. In any case, I'm saving that extra push for the marathon day itself. For now, I'm just concentrating on logging on the miles.

P.S. The other runners ran up to U.P. to log in 35 km, I think.


To the amazing runners I met during this run. Thank you, thank you, thank you for letting me run with you, and for the moral support. It was a terrific experience worth doing again. Oh, in fact, I think I just might. Hector/Second Wind is organizing another casual long run again this week. If anyone else is up to it, I'm sure they're more than willing to take on more runners. Just holler, I guess. Everyone's supposed to be tapering off, so it'll just be a half marathon this time.

To my readers who shared all the ups and downs and running around in 2009 with me- Happy New Year!!! ;)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Merry 1-Day After Christmas

Laptop on sofa, butt on floor, coffee and grapes (healthy!) on hand, and Imp climbing and jumping on all furniture surfaces. Today I blog and surf. Tomorrow, I take on my longest training run ever. From Second Wind U.P. to Fort and back.
Merry 1-Day after Christmas, everyone! ;)

Monday, December 21, 2009

Celebratin' (Celebrity Run 2009)

{J9 is just happy to run.}

With a very leading title- Celebrity Run, one would think that you'd be running into or alongside actual celebrities during the race. Not that I was hoping to run into anyone in particular (I already have a happy photo op with one of my favorite celebrities), but I found myself craning my neck for the usual half marathon celebrities, like a certain senator PC, tycoon FZA, or the colorful host TP-V, just to be able to say I spotted one. No such sights. For starters, I got to the end of the starting line just as the 21K registrants went running off, so no time to dawdle and sight-see. On the other hand, I guess I was just too busy psyching myself up for the extra kilometers I have to log for my marathon training (Yes, I finally signed up for one. More on that soon). I did see an afro-ed coach zooming behind the Kenyan runner though. With CR's huge billboard with PP plastered in EDSA, I'm sure that counts as celebrity status.

The Run
December's cool Christmas-y air was just perfect for a long run. The surprise shower that greeted us on the first few kilometers was a welcome omen of a cloudy route ahead. Just before turning the corner, I spotted my running buddies, fellow blogger RFB (who just finished running 10K before the race) and DD a.k.a. KD (who will also be logging on extra miles after the race). We climb up the Kalayaan Flyover, which was surprisingly a breeze and quite enjoyable, unlike in my previous flyover runs.
Along the way, I saw the Ultra Marathoners- good friend, HY, included. As always, it would be the road back to Lawton Avenue that would slow me down. As would the killer McKinley Hills. Here, in this infamous "hot spot", I espied JG of running back as I was, unfortunately, wearing down. McKH, sooner or later, I WILL beat you. Or die before walking.
I crossed the finish line without breaking a personal record. My time was decent, but it wasn't the best. Good news is, I was still set to go beyond the 21K. As PPO, RFB's significant other, would say, "You don't look tired at all". (But my feet would fully negate that thought, as only a few kilometers of extra running after, had rendered those dangling things beyond my waist useless anyway). Still, it was a great boost to my full mary training goal.
Let's Do Brunch
Of course, after every good long run comes an even better meal. My sister, having broken a 10K PR (and PPO did too!), and I (having run extra) decided to treat ourselves to an "I'm so hungry, I deserve to splurge" brunch at McKH Pancake House.
I wasn't able to get paparazzi shots of her meal, but I think mine deserved a breakfast "Do" in the photo gallery.
{Project Veggie: Mushroom Omelette and the staple Cappuccino}

{PH's luscious Lemon Pancakes with Cream Cheese}
{The lightest, fluffiest, most refreshing pancake ever!
Just looking at it takes me back to a dreamy state.}

12-21 and A Lucky Streak (The YugaTech Great Gadget Giveaway)

What is it with today and winning? Just this morning alone, I was lucky enough to be greeted by a CONGRATULATIONS! You won... header on my inbox. Then, just before lunch, I get another one. No kidding! So, as of today, I managed to get two early Christmas gifts: A cleaver (Yes, an honest to goodness, serial killer cleaver. hahaha) and a Schutzen notebook (it's like a Moleskine, indirectly mentioned here).
So, here I am, spreading the good cheer, and hopefully my lucky streak too!
YugaTech Great Gadget Giveaway
All you need to win Modu phones, Globe Tattoo kits, Globe Prepaid Cards is just a tweet, a blog, a comment away.
Did I mention that (2) MSI Netbooks are up for grabs as well? Ho, ho, ho.

{Get a chance to win some of these prizes here.}


1) Follow @abeolandres and @talk2globe on Twitter.
2) Post a tweet “Just entered to win a Modu Phone. Quick! Go follow @abeolandres and @talk2globe and retweet: #thanks2yugatech”


1) Blog about the “YugaTech Great Gadget Giveaway”. Include the photo posted here and link to the contest page.
2) Don’t forget to include in your post the mechanics for the Twitter contest above.
3) Leave a comment at Yugatech's blog with the URL of your entry.


1) Leave a comment on Yugatech's contest page with the answer to this question — “If you’re stuck in an island with a phone and only have one call left, who would you call and why?“

(Ten wittiest or most creative answers will each win Php500 worth of prepaid load cards from Globe.)

Check out Yugatech's blog for more details.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Every Day Should Be Sunday

Today is Saturday.

I'm excited.

After days of only squeezing in brisk walking into my "training plan" during weekdays (Saturdays now included in weekday category), I can finally count the hours -using just my fingers and a few toes- to my next run.

Tomorrow is Sunday.

And it's sheer coincidence that it rhymes with Run Day.

{See you all at the PhilStar's Celebrity Run.}

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I don't even get to run my errands. How am I supposed to run a marathon at this rate? =/ Hmm...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Monday, December 07, 2009

One Caffeinated Christmas Wishlist

I have to make a wishlist for a Yuletide Ball Kris Kringle this weekend. That being said, I was also asked what my New Year's resolution would be. It got me thinking back to the sacrifice I did for lent. Give up coffee for 40 days and 40 nights. And since I've been so well-behaved then (that excludes being little miss crankypants, by the way), it's only fair that I ask for a few caffeine-infused gifts on my wishlist, dontchathink? ;)

1. The One At The Office Canteen

Is it so weird that I want one of these beside my bed? You know, like a personal fridge? My 2 week old discovery-- the Nescafe vendo machine. I'm absolutely addicted to it. For a vending machine spit-out, the cappuccino and latte are surprisingly good. And unlike that other coin-eating machine, you'll always leave the slots with a perk!

2. The One That Looks Like An Apple

My friend, Bernie*, has one. It's so cool. The coffee comes in easy-to-use single serve pods which makes it so convenient and economical. I want one on my work table. Besides, it matches my Mac already.

Step 1: Open lid
Step 2: Insert pod
Step 3: Pour H2O
Step 4: Push BREW
(Wait 3 minutes)
Step 5: Experience pure bliss...

3. The One That Makes Me Go Ooooh~

I am irrevocably in love, love, love with this. I've decided I want mine in mosaic (there's a shiny black one). I press my nose up to Alessi's window every time I walk by. Sometimes, when no one is looking, I even drool.

4. The One That Isn't A Knock-Off

I've been using the regular almond essence (that comes in that tiny green bottle) to flavor my coffee, and it works just fine. Still, it's nice to indulge in authentic barista mode every now and then. One soy latte with almond, please!

Orgeat (OHR-ZHAT) is an old English word related to the Italian "orzata", meaning almond.
And last but not the least...

5. The One With Good Times With F.R.I.E.N.D.S.
A daily dose that keeps me sane. Good friends, good times.
* The one as the Caramel Macchiato with whipped cream on top (See #2).
I hope everyone gets to cross something off their Christmas lists. Happy holidays, readers!
P.S. Here's hoping I win in next year's costume party (just like I did Halloween 2008). In the meantime, winning a Starbucks treat from would be an awesome filler.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Snippets (Urbanathlon + New Balance Run 2009)

I may not have been the most consistent blogger lately (PLDT DSL, boo.), but I'm happy to say that I've been running races back to back to back. And I have pictures to prove it! =)

Men's Health Urbanathlon 2009

{With Rovilson of Game Plan/Amazing Race Asia.}

{Jay Em flanked by knights on the morning shift.}
{The gang with rockstar Rio!}

Since the 10K run was interspersed with various obstacles, it felt like starting a new run after every challenge zone. I barely felt the distance (Yay!). I DID feel the burn by the 5th floor on the vertical run. Challenging and fun!
To sum it up:
New Balance Power Run 2009: Raising Hope

McKinley Hills is nothing compared to McKinley Desert.
Was it just me, or did the route -with its white reflective surface- seem like one endless sandbox? Still, it was great running off those stubborn calories!

{Reminiscing K2}

{With Hector. Visit Second Wind Running Store's 2nd branch at Ortigas Home Depot.}
P.S. Corregidor, I'll be conquering YOU tomorrow!


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