Archive for August, 2007

The Mt. Kinabalu International Climbathon

August 31, 2007

Climbathon

– Poster image from Sabah Climbathon 2007

Congratulations to Merlita Arias, a Filipina runner, who won 9th place in the Women’s Open (4:25:23) of The Mt. Kinabalu International Climbathon held August 25-26, 2007. The course involved running up and down 21k of Mt. Kinabalu (4095.2 m), Malaysia’s First World Heritage Site. It’s no wonder why it’s called “The World’s Toughest Mountain Race.”

Other Filipino finishers include:

Ige Lopez, 40th Men’s Open (4:11:47)
Nina Dacanay – 22nd Women’s Open (6:22)
Mon Marchan – 26th Men’s Veterans (5:50)

Mabuhay ang Pilipinas—especially Pinoy runners!  Haha.

Click here to read a related article from Journal Online.

Thanks to King Bernas from Pinoy Runners E-group for the information.

Sales, Sales, More Sales!

August 30, 2007

Get out and run towards your nearest sports outlet. Almost all the major brands are on sale now. Just make sure you’ve got moolah in your pockets!

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MIZUNO

Paseo de Magallanes BMG building Roof Deck
August 28 to 31, 2007
Running Shoes go for P995 to P3,500

With the entire family in tow, I went to Mizuno on the very first day of its VIP sale. I only had one thing in mind: Mizuno Wave Creation 8. Were they going to put it on sale? I doubted it. But, optimistic ol’ me had high hopes that one size 9 pair of the said shoe would get mixed with the old stocks on sale and would instantly fall on my lap like manna from heaven. I sat there for minutes—alongside my two children as my hubby purchased new golf shoes and two gloves—waiting for those shoes to descend from the sky. Nope. Nada. No shoe.

God helps those who helps themselves. So, I tell hubby that I must “work” for the shoe. By this I meant that I had to travel one floor down via elevator towards Mizuno’s retail store in the same building. The elevator doors opened like heaven’s pearly white gates. Had I died and gone to running shoe heaven? There lay my Mizuno Wave Creation 8 in all its beauty (well, its price tag was shining brightly too!) I tried all three colors (green for women and black/red and orange for men) but I ended up liking the women’s the most. Did I buy it? Not yet. But I know it shall be mine. Oh la la la.

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NIKE

Nationwide sale from August 24 to Sept 14, 2007

Nike

No tackling for me at Nike Women, Greenbelt 3…although grappling over a sports bra with another woman (or her boyfriend) sounds like a great workout. After turning in my dying Nano and Nike+ kit for repair in Power Mac, I skipped on over to Nike while my good hubby distracted the kids at Powerbooks. When the kids are away, Mommy can shop in peace so I happily left the place with a nice top for only P870. Saved myself a cool 20%. Yeah.

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ADIDAS

Yup, they have a sale too, but I have yet to confirm if it’s open to the public. I shall post about this once I get the go signal from them. If not, I’ll just tell you about the new outfits I get from there. Haha.

In Memory of Gabriel

August 28, 2007

If you need even more reason to run (and bike or swim) then this should give you one. On Sept. 8, the Gabriel Symphony Foundation will hold its 5th Annual Multi Sport Celebration in Memory of Gabriel, the little boy of Atty. Butch Sebastian and Senator Pia Cayetano, who was born with a rare chromosomal disorder and passed away at nine months.

The idea is to get people to participate in a sports event of their choice for the purpose of raising funds for the foundation (while having fun and getting a good workout, of course!) The foundation supports children with disabilities, such as those in need of cleft-palate-lip operations, as well as blind and deaf children.

On Sept. 8, you can choose from the following activities: (as taken from the Gabriel Symphony website)

  • Individuals – they can do the regular run, walk or bike for any length of time and distance and target a specific beneficiary by donating a specific amount for every kilometer that they make.
  • Kids – there will be a Maxitoylab Super Kids Triathlon wherein kids will accomplish a triathlon with distances based on their age category.
  • Pinay In Action (PIA) Women’s Tri – this will be a buddy system triathlon wherein a seasoned triathlete is partnered with a first time or neophyte triathlete to guide them through a triathlon distance of 250m swim, 10km bike and 2.5km run.
  • Clubs – groups of friends belonging to a Club that will run or bike together for a cause and not just simply for a workout.
  • Corporations – employees of a corporation come together for a team building activity and get fit by doing a relay for 12 hours.

This will be held from 6:00AM to 6:00PM at the Polo Field of Alabang Country Club, Ayala Alabang Village, Muntinlupa. Food and drinks will be available for all participants. For more information, visit Gabriel Symphony, email blessings@gabrielsymphony.com or call Vib Marabut at 552-9003 or mobile number 0927-4045187.

Virtual Run No. 5 – A Horror Story

August 23, 2007

Can one DNF in a Virtual Training Run? If so then that was exactly what I did this morning.

I was in Alabang, my running ground, at exactly 4:30 am as agreed upon with my other Virtual Running buddies who were running at their own spots all around the world. I was so ready to run after missing two consecutive VR’s due to family duties and the bad weather.

Entering the village gates, I didn’t realize that the guards would be the last human beings I would see around the area until I parked my car at San Juanico Street. It would be a gross understatement to call the scene eerie, it was chilling, spine-tingling and downright frightening for an overly imaginative person like me. The entire village was asleep but I already had visions of vampires having just devoured all its inhabitants and leaving this village like a ghost town. The orange lights that illuminated the streets did nothing to appease my petrified soul. It just added to the whole spooky Halloween ambiance I found myself in. Oh, I smelled fear in the air and it was emanating from the nerves of only one petrified runner — ME!

Having driven all the way here and not wanting to disappoint my fellow running buddies, I conjured up the little courage I had left and parked my car across the dimly lit tennis courts. I remembered the carpenter that was found dead there last year, the crime left unsolved, and perhaps his soul still yearning for justice. What if he decided to pop up and ask me for help? Ack, I scrubbed that thought from my brain, yanked out my ipod, and jumped out of the car. I decided to brisk walk towards Madrigal Avenue, the main road where the guards were, while I fumbled with my entangled earphones. I desperately needed to hear music — or anything at all — just not the deafening silence on these streets! How could I possibly get my ipod to work when my hands were shaking in fright?! I stared at the empty road before me and knew instantly that I would not survive this run.

I ran back towards my car as fast as I could and headed back home. I spent more than half an hour driving to and from Alabang. Reaching my house at 5:05 am, I wasted no time in squeezing in a good run on my treadmill before I reported for work as Mommy. I ran 6 km for 35 min while watching Conan O’ Brien and HBO. It could’ve been better but I’m glad I still ran. Hitme said “a run is still a run even on a treadmill” and, after my treadmill run, I can still echo what Mary texted this a.m. “Ang sarap tumakbo!” (It feels great to run!)

Next week, can someone please remind me to bring a running buddy or meet up with Coach?

Reports from other Virtual Running buddies:

  1. E-rod
  2. Hitme
  3. Steph
  4. Ben
  5. Nora

Virtual Run No. 5

August 22, 2007

It’s time for Virtual Run No. 5! By now, you should know what this is all about. But, if you don’t, slap yourself on the head first, then do either of the following:

1) Go to my archives and read the past 4 weeks’ entries on Wednesday (VR Run Invites) and Thursdays (VR Run Reports).

2) Scroll down and read the brief definition.

3) Don’t read anything here and just make sure you run on Thursday (tomorrow) at 4:30 am Manila Time.

During the Virtual Run, a group of runners run “together” at the same time wherever they may be in the world. Anyone can join!

DATE: 23 August 2007, Thursday (Manila Time)
TIME: 4:30 A.M. (Manila Time)
DISTANCE: 10 km/ 6 miles (or whatever you wish)
RUNNERS/ COURSE: (I’ll update this as more people join up)

Previous runners have been:

  1. E-Rod – Newport Beach, USA
  2. HitMe – Quezon City, Philippines
  3. Banggi – Manila, Philippines
  4. Ben – Manila to Makati, Philippines
  5. Renz – Metro Manila, Philippines
  6. Marga – Parañaque, Philippines
  7. Caloy – Davao, Philippines
  8. TRF – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  9. Steph – San Diego, USA
  10. Gretchen – Truckee, USA
  11. Mary – Paranaque, Philippines
  12. Caloy – Davao, Philippines
  13. Chaia – Makati, Philippines
  14. Rick – San Francisco, USA
  15. Nora – England
  16. The Bull Runner – Parañaque, Philippines

Are you in?

Takbo Para Kay Ariel

August 19, 2007

At the very last minute (Thursday to be exact), I asked my friend Mon to register me for the Takbo Para Kay Ariel, a small race for the benefit of 2nd Lieutenant Ariel Toledo who had been diagnosed with cancer. I felt that I needed a real pick-me-upper to get me out of the minor rut I found myself in last week, so I thought of joining this 10k instead of training all by my lonesome in Alabang.

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– This is what was parked in the Assembly Area. Sure way to beat your PR! –

At 6:00 a.m., I arrived at the assembly area in Villamor Airbase with the mindset that I was absolutely NOT going to race; I was going to run at a moderate pace and enjoy watching other runners huff and puff around me. I got the shock of my life when I learned that the 10k was called off. We were all running a 5k! Okay, what could I do then but employ Plan B…which was… uhm… to run as fast as I could.

By 6:15 a.m. I found myself doing—do not laugh—morning exercises alongside Anton and all the other runners at the grandstand. After jumping jacks, stretches, and jumping jacks again, we lined up at the starting line and we were off by 6:30 a.m.

Wow, I got off to a way too quick start. I was panting by 0.3 km… how pathetic! Less than a half kilometer into the run, Lance Armstrong tells me that my pace was 4.37 min/km—a pace that I knew I could not maintain unless I hitched a ride on a tricycle on the way back. I slowed down a wee bit to 4.50 min/km and maintained this pace except for times when I climbed hills (ooh, these were challenging little hills that I will be cursing until I hit the sack tonight!) and when I tried to leave competition behind.

The entire time, I set my eyes on chasing down one woman before me. Let’s call her Dark Horse because she ran with her hair down donning an all black outfit (No no no, she didn’t look like a horse! Such evil minds!) I knew there were just a handful of us women in the front pack but I had no high hopes of making it as first (perhaps only in my dreams) so my sole mission was to have this woman eat my dust. After seemingly endless attempts to catch up with her, I finally succeed and leave her behind. Aah, the sweet taste of victory! Before I can even raise my arms up in triumph, she blows in with a vengeance. Gosh, I must have made her terribly mad. She runs at breakneck speed like a raging bull… er that’s me… so perhaps like a zipping zebra or charging cheetah or… you get the point. I never ever catch up with her again.

I reach the finish line a few steps behind Dark Horse at 32.55 min. A very reliable source tells me (okay, it’s just my Nike+) that the distance was not 5k but around 6.8 km! (I don’t have the exact distance because I forgot to end my workout.) I came in at 5th place in the Women’s Category.

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– Top 10 Men and Women. We all look so ecstatic, don’t you think? –

Before the awarding, I congratulate Dark Horse and learn that she has been running for 10 years. She says she’s much better at 42 kms. Oooh god, I won’t even go there. I learn too that she has a more approachable name, Daisy.

I leave the race with more than when I arrived. On one arm, I carry my prizes (a Petron bag and Unilever products) and, on the other, my free food (bread, water, banana, and a hard-boiled egg). I gained a few more running friends (Hi Odie, it was nice to meet you!) And, I carry a renewed sense of peace and calmness. I am not overly excited about my placing 5th nor am I glum about it. I was just happy to be running. Period.

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– Happy day for Happy Feet. All women won: Me 5th, Chaia 9th (not in pic), Roselle 17th (2nd from left). From Right: Anton, Ben, and his friend –

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– After the race, runners enjoy the free snacks –

From Hell To High Heaven

August 17, 2007

[ HELL: 16 Aug, 6 am to 6 pm ]

Hellish. Hellacious. Infernal. Whatever you want to call it, I just knew it was going to be a dreadful day. The numbers on the wall (er, scale) said it. I had gained a whopping 5 lbs. since my fainting incident 26 days ago. I was close to gaining back all the weight I lost through running! For the past month, I had stuffed myself silly with every salty meal that crossed my path—and that would mean quite an amount because I had intentionally stopped at every grocery to plunder their junkfood aisle—in an effort to increase my abnormally low blood pressure and avoid another fainting episode. As I stared at the scale over my protruding belly, I felt a little woozy about those horrible numbers and I thought “Has all my running been put to waste?”

Me and my bloated self sulked all throughout the stormy day. I had even missed my Virtual Run No. 4 earlier in the morning so I had nothing to pull some running inspiration from. I planned on running on my home treadmill but I could barely put my shoes on. “What for?” I thought.

For the first time since I started my love affair with running, I had serious doubts about him. With James Ingram playing in the background (okay, I’m kidding), I wondered if he could still give me what I needed from this relationship. Was I giving too much without getting back anything in return? Despite the pain from my broken heart, I pushed myself to overcome the disappointment and climbed unto the treadmill for the longest 5k of my life.

[ HEAVEN: 16 Aug, 6 pm onwards ]

The Mizuno Run Club was going to start at 7 pm. By 6 pm, I still couldn’t decide if I should drive all the way to Bonifacio High Street for what I thought would be a mere 3k run. At that point, I was still in a demoralized/lethargic state. “What the hell, I’ll go anyway. It beats watching the evening news.” I thought.

I arrive at the scene to see the same group of elite runners that were present last week. Where were the other beginners? It was just me, Tricia, my college friend and fellow H@ppy Feet member, and Mandy, a boxer/runner I met that evening who were relatively the only beginners present. Oh, did I mention we were the only women too?

Hey, wazzup wazzup?! It was a pleasant surprise to finally meet Unang Hirit host Drew Arellano who is a runner and aspiring triathlete himself. I slapped myself on the head for leaving my camera at home that day. (Drew, if you’re reading this, could you please just send me a photo with your autograph on it? You could also send me some handgel because I haven’t watched the hand that you shook last night. Haha.)

Before the run, the fellows at Mizuno happily lent me the Wave Creation 8 that they recommended for my normal/high arch foot. Boy oh boy, as I dipped my feet into this shoe, I thought it fit my feet perfectly well. It was snug but not too tight, it was light, and it looked like a kick-ass racing shoe. I’ve been a New Balance fan for the longest time and, quite honestly, with Mizuno’s knowledgeable salesmen and outstanding shoe (sure beat my wide, bulky, heavy NB 1222’s), I was being converted. I was eager to test this shoe’s performance during the run. (Nope, this is not a paid endorsement!)

Mizuno Wave Creation 8

– Mizuno Wave Creation 8. You shall be mine. –

Coach Ige Lopez announces our route plan in which I hear the magic words “5k” (Woohoo, it’s a bit longer than I expected!) and “walang iwanan” (No one gets left behind. Thank God because the elite runners run twice my speed) and then we’re off. At first, the three of us are such girls—we chat, we laugh, and even scream as we cross the street amid fast-paced cars in the dark of the night. Then, as the gap increases between us and the other runners, we stop talking and start ruuuunnniiing. Before I know it, around 15 minutes into the run, I am running at race pace (or faster) in an effort to keep up with the last male runners before me. I have no idea where Tricia and Mandy are. Finally, I run along with the male runners and I’m pleasantly surprised to discover it is Jujet de Asis, the 3rd fastest runner in the country. Little ol’ me running along with Jujet! Oh, I must’ve looked crazy smiling from ear to ear.

We’re back at Mizuno in around 30 minutes. That one run gives me the much needed inspiration I was yearning for all day. I feel fitter, stronger, and last but not the least, lighter. (Rightfully so after two 5k runs that day!) Of course, I think that my showbiz encounter and run with Jujet added to the excitement.

I chat briefly with Coach Ige before leaving and he gives me two important tips:

1) It’s better to run on asphalt than concrete which can be hard on the knees and feet. He tells me that Alabang’s roads are made of concrete so I better start searching for a new playground. Gulp.

2) After asking Coach Ige if I should focus on increasing my 10k speed or increasing my distance to prepare for an eventual marathon, he advises me to focus on distance. He says that by building endurance with long runs, the speed for shorter distances will naturally follow.

Back home, I make a pact with myself to forget those nightmarish numbers on the scale. I’ll just scrap the junk (so so difficult for me) and eat properly. In my mind, I imagine myself on white, puffy clouds back in the arms of my beloved running! I am happy again. Aw, pure heaven.

Virtual Run No. 4

August 15, 2007

If you’ve been a regular reader of TBR, you must know by now that there’s always something special happening on Thursdays. What?! Nope, I don’t give out free training shoes (although I’m open to receiving ’em.) No, I don’t break my PR every Thursday either (how I wish!)

Every Thursday, for the past couple of weeks, I’ve joined a group of runners all over the world who have agreed to run a certain distance at the same time no matter where we are located in the world. It’s what we call our Virtual Training Run.

The Virtual Training Run is open to runners of every age, nationality, size, weight, or fitness level. So, you—yes you!—may just leave a note below to tell me that you’re running with us tomorrow and you’ll be a part of our growing Virtual Running group. C’mon, join us and we assure you that you’ll have a lot of fun!

DATE: 16 August 2007, Thursday (Manila Time)/ 15 August 2007, Wednesday (US Pacific Time)
TIME: 4:30 A.M. (Manila Time)/ 1:30 P.M. (US Pacific Time)
DISTANCE: 10 km/ 6 miles (or whatever you wish)
RUNNERS/ COURSE: (I’ll update this as more people join up)

  1. HitMe – Quezon City, Philippines
  2. Banggi – Manila, Philippines
  3. Ben – Manila to Makati, Philippines
  4. Renz – Metro Manila, Philippines
  5. Marga – Paranaque, Philippines
  6. TRF – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  7. Steph – San Diego, USA
  8. Gretchen – Truckee, USA
  9. E-Rod – Newport Beach, USA
  10. Jaymie – Alabang, Philippines

To Manila Runners, I hope we can run tomorrow despite the gloomy weather. Click here for PAGASA’s Real-Time weather forecast.

Once again, let us pray for Egay to leave us by tomorrow. After your prayer, chant this 20 times while lifting your arms up and down, eating a banana, and running in a small circle slightly below race pace (preferably when your boss is not looking):

Egay Egay, go away

Come again on a non-running day

Virtual Runners want to play.

One Stormy Week

August 14, 2007

3 out of 4 runs only on a treadmill
(Sore knees were all I got from pushing too far on a treadmill. I was yearning to run on the road all week.)

+

2 vomiting kids
(Were germs this wicked during our time?)

+

1 missed virtual run
(due to 2 vomiting kids)

+

2 strong storms
(Good riddance to Chedeng and Dodong! I will never forgive you for ruining my runs…but then again I am grateful for increasing our depressingly low water supply. Egay, don’t you even think of visiting my running route this week!)

=

1 Sick Bull Runner

 

That encapsulates the week that was for me. And, as I… [sneeze]

write this, I am still afflicted with the… [cough]

common cold as almost everyone… [ehem]

here in Manila is. [wipe nose]

I would love to chat but… [drop strepsils into mouth]

I would rather conserve energy for… [achoo]

a good run—yes, I still run despite the cold… [move strepsils to left cheek]

rather than waste it on…[move strepsils to the right]

typing out letters on the keyboard. [sniffle]

[ REST ]

Mizuno Run Club

August 10, 2007

Rumors were rife about an upcoming Mizuno Race and, like a good reporter ready to investigate a new story, I asked my sources to verify the information.

GOOD NEWS: Mizuno will have a 5k/10k/15k race tentatively set for December at SM Mall of Asia.

BETTER NEWS: Mizuno has a running clinic every other Thursday, 7 P.M. at Bonifacio High Street.

You know me, I don’t say no to running events…unless it’s too far, too early, or too idiotic. So, I found myself at Mizuno last night ready to see what this running clinic was about.

Mizuno Run Club

The Mizuno Run Club is headed by triathlete coach Miguel “Ige” Lopez. It is open to runners of all shapes, sizes, and fitness levels. Last night was its 3rd clinic and a good number of runners showed up. Perhaps half of them were serious (even elite) runners (you know just by looking at their lean physiques and short shorts) and the other half were beginners to intermediate runners. The former was led by Miguel while the latter was guided by Paolo, Mizuno brand manager. They ran a short 3k around the area, which should steadily increase as the runners improve over time.

Mizuno Runners

– Look at them runners! 3k is a yawn for them –

While the runners (including Ben and Tricia of Happy Feet) reveled in their short run, I sat in the booth with Renz and KC, Mizuno marketing associate, sulking. Why did I leave my running attire behind? Had I not known that, despite a good 10k run earlier that afternoon, I would not be strong enough to resist the temptation of seeing other runners leaving me behind?

Fortunately, there were a lot of things to distract me from my petty problem. I met a simple and unassuming guy, Jujet De Asis, who turned out to be the 3rd fastest runner of 5k and 10k in the country. His PR is 16.43 minutes for 5k and 28.41 minutes for 10k. Gosh, his 10k PR is better than my 5k PR! Renz and I bombarded him with questions: How often does he train (6x a week), Where (at the Ultra oval), and Is Buenavista his friend or enemy (competitor during a race but friend at all other times).

Jujet De Asis

– Me and Jujet De Asis (Do you think speed is contagious? I certainly hope so!) –

Soon after, the runners had returned and we started an informal Q&A with Miguel Lopez. He was open to all our questions—from proper form to good nutrition—and generously provided all the information we so eagerly and quickly absorbed.

Mizuno Stretch

– Runners stretch. Ben (left) and Tricia (the only one with her arms down haha) of Happy Feet –

Miguel Lopez Q&A

– Miguel Lopez shows us the proper running form –

The Mizuno Running Club’s next session is on August 16, 2007, Thursday, 7 p.m. after which sessions will be held every other Thursday. During the next clinic, they will allow runners to test their running shoes during the run. After 5 consecutive attendance in the clinic, runners get a free Mizuno shirt. After 10 consecutive attendance, one gets a discount on Mizuno products. Registration is free.