Archive for October, 2007

Christmas on Halloween

October 31, 2007

On All Hallow’s Eve, Christmas is foremost on my mind. Why so? My Santa Claus (aka Husband) has delivered his special gifts for me in advance!

So, as I took the kids trick or treating this afternoon, I was eager to get home and play with my new Christmas loot:

( 1 ) GARMIN FORERUNNER 305. Yes, I am a proud owner of a Garmin! Can you believe it?! I feel like I won the lottery! Uh well, not really, because had I won the lottery, I would have a million Garmins in my hand. Or, I would’ve dressed a full-time personal running coach with a Garmin and hired him to train with me while an assistant spritzes my sweaty face with Evian and feeds me orange slices whenever I purse my lips. Okay, my point is I am ecstatic (ecstatic! aaah!) over the Garmin. I almost burst into tears when I held this new baby in my arms. I was dreaming about the Polar RS 200 for the longest time but after getting a consensus from veteran runners (most especially from Patrick C.), I decided that the Garmin was a better choice. Oh Garmin, I am in love!

Garmin

( 2 ) AMPHIPOD RUNLITE 4. Again, I was eyeing something else, the Nathan water bottle carrier, for months but after noting the better features of Ben‘s Amphipod (it’s customizeable—you can tip the bottles horizontally or vertically and you can choose the number of bottles to carry), I went for the Amphipod instead. I’m still not sure if I’ll be comfortable running with this belt around my waist, but I’m sure glad that I don’t have to carry water bottles when I start racing 21k’s.

Amphipod

How was your Halloween? I hope it was as “merry” as mine.

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Adidas Run for Love – GK Bayani Marathon Report

October 29, 2007

This was undoubtedly an Adidas race. It was deja vu for me as little race details brought back memories of the Adidas KOTR—from the previously well-received red race singlets (only with a Run For Love stamp at the back) to the banners and streamers that lined the start/finish line. Perhaps the glaring difference was the significantly smaller number of participants who waited for the race to start. This was understandable though as this was not a “race” but a fun run for the benefit of Gawad Kalinga. Had I not seen other runners wearing their race bibs, I would’ve thought I mistakenly stumbled upon a fair as booths, a huge stage, and even a kiddie area was set up for the Gawad Kalinga expo.

GK Stage

Run For Love Start

I lined up at the starting line chatting with other Happy Feet members—Chai, Roselle, and Renz—and other new runner friends, Lala and Ina. Before we knew it, the run had started in an almost calm, happy send off. No firing of the gun to jolt our bodies and awaken the competitive spirit within us. Is that a good thing? I don’t know.

This was a run I strategized over the day before. My goal was 47 mins. (I wanted to break my 46:57 PR at Run To Bring Hope, which technically should be around 48-49 mins since distance was below 10k.) So, to achieve this, I needed to reach an average pace of 4:42. Of course, I planned on negative splits so I was aiming for a pace between 5 to 5:30 in the first 2km, then up it to 4:50 km (a pace I knew I would be comfortable in) and speed up to 4:40 near the end. Being a newbie with competitive racing, I wasn’t sure if this was the right thing to do or if this would really allow me to break my PR, but it sounded like a good plan (hah!) so that’s what I kept in mind as I ran through the course.

I started out slow trying my best not to compete with the faster paced runners around. My legs were a little bit stiff so I didn’t have much choice anyway. By around 2km, as I found my rhythm, I increased the pace and started enjoying the run. I focused on my form applying lessons from my recent training with Ige Lopez and even a few tips from Jujet de Asis during last Thursday’s Mizuno Run Club. Boy, did their tips make a significant difference! I felt stronger and more confident. I was pretty sure I could follow through with my strategy for this race.

As I passed the 5km mark, I checked my watch to find my time at 25 mins. so I knew I had to go a little bit faster to reach my goal. Then, a race personnel shouted out at me “Pangatlo ka!” (You’re third!) which hit me like a much-needed shot of adrenaline. Inspired, I pushed harder with a smile since this was the first time I had ever gone this close to the front.

Okay, inspiration could only get me so far. By 7-8km, I was feeling exhausted. I was definitely running at a 5:00 pace below my 4:45 goal. So much for negative splits! All I could think of by this time was the end. I would be happy to just maintain this pace. Hang on, I thought. Just a little bit more now.

Boy, was I wrong. At 10km, I was surprised to find myself still running. As I ran closer to what I thought was the finish line, I was shocked to discover that we had to run past it and make a u-turn to reach it. Nooooooo! I didn’t know how much more energy I had left in me to maintain my pace.

I glanced at the man beside me and was surprised to see a familiar face; it was the same guy at Adidas KOTR who, at the finish line, shook my hand and said he was chasing me down because he would not let a woman ran past him. I then replied in spite (but with a charming smile) “Well, I would not let a man ran past me either.” Hah!

In between breaths, I told him in tagalog “Hey, it’s you again. This is such a long race.” He replied, without giving in to my negativity, “Tapusin mo! Tapusin mo!” with as much gusto as Freddy Roach coaching Manny Pacquiao. I gathered the little energy I had left to put more power into my legs and pick up the pace. I crossed the finish line at exactly 55 minutes. The distance was 11.2 km.

Run For Love Finish Line

– Runners line up at the finish –

I asked the race person what place I came in at and he said he didn’t know. Duh. I didn’t recall any female passing me after the 5km mark, so I could only surmise I kept my place at 3rd. Of course, it’s nothing official until the results are released. This was a fun run, so there were no awards at the end. We all just parted ways in peace after a gruelling (but absolutely fun) run.

At exactly 10km, my time would have been around 49 mins. Placing in a suspected 3rd was just a bonus. I didn’t break my PR, but I’m still happy with my time. I gave it a good fight and that is something to smile about.

Run For Love Happy Feet

– with Happy Feet –

Adidas Run for Love – GK Bayani Marathon

October 26, 2007

Last call to those who would want to join the Run For Love Marathon on October 27, 2007, Saturday (tomorrow) at SM Mall of Asia grounds. Registration has been extended! (If you’re itching for another Adidas KOTR singlet, this is your chance to get one. It’s the same singlet with Run For Love printed at the back.)

Registration through Ms. Thelma Biscocho, G/F Vasquez Madrigal Building, Greenhills, San Juan will be open until October 26, Friday, in the afternoon.

On site registration will close by 5:30am (October 27, Saturday).

See you there!

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Early this year, leading sports brand Adidas called on all running enthusiasts to gear up for their run and to go the distance— to experience the sheer pleasure of challenging themselves. Apart from the Test Run 28 promo, where individuals were matched with the right Adidas running shoe, Adidas has also launched the King of The Road (KOTR) marathon series to encourage people to keep running.

Now with the first ever Adidas Run for Love GK Bayani Marathon, Adidas once again invites all runners to hit the pavement but this time to exercise advocacy as well.

Commencing on October 27 at the SM Mall of Asia, the Adidas Run for Love marathon will surely be another huge success as participants will not only race to stay fit and healthy but are running to benefit those in need. Made for both 5 and 10k runners, all proceeds from the Adidas Run for Love – GK Bayani Marathon will go to Gawad Kalinga foundation.

The Adidas Run for Love marathon is also a great way for companies and organizations to promote team building. Companies are encouraged to join the marathon to be part of an activity that will foster camaraderie and will benefit a good cause at the same time. Interested parties may contact Thelma Biscocho at 727.99.87 or visit G/F Madrigal Bldg. Annapolis St. Greenhills San Juan.

Those who’ve picked up the running pace with Adidas confess that with all these fit fests and more, running has never been more accessible or exciting. The adidas Run for Love GK Bayani Marathon, adidas is perfect for all health buffs that believe in a good cause. So be sure to mark your calendars for the adidas Run for Love GK Bayani Marathon on October 27 and be a part of the momentous event!

* As posted by Michelle Maskarino.

Marathon Mommies

October 25, 2007

Two running working mothers. One marathon: 24 February 2008.

Training begins NOW.

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Every Friday afternoon, Annie and I exchange the routinary SMS message: “Run tomorrow? Same time, same place?” And, almost always, the other will send a customary reply of “Yes. See ya!”

For the past six months, Annie and I have been enjoying our Saturday runs together. Saturday mornings is reserved exclusively for our long runs; it is the time where we can run without distractions from work or family. Children have no school nor homework. And, at least for me, the hubby is out longer than I am playing golf.

Alabang with Annie and Coach

– Training in Alabang with Annie and Coach B (June 2007) –

Ours is a friendship built on running. I met Annie after I invited an acquaintance to join Coach B’s running clinic; that friend took Annie along. When the running clinic ended, it was only Annie and I who found ourselves committed to continue training on our own.

Annie, a mother of two girls, is a Fitness First and stotts pilates instructor. Between the two of us, she is by far the stronger, faster, and more experienced runner. She has been running for over three years and has joined more races than I can count. During our runs, we can talk about a wide range of topics ranging from motherhood to shopping, but our discussion will always, always go back to running. It is what binds us together.

Adidas with Annie

– Adidas KOTR with Annie and her friend (July 2007) –

So, it came as no surprise that when I told Annie about my plans of joining the Pasig Marathon, she instantly decided to join too. When we got over our initial excitement (which lasted for over five minutes), we informally discussed our strategy. She suggested using Hal Higdon’s marathon program while I recommended Jeff Galloway’s (She won here. I’m now using Higdon’s Novice II program while she’s using Intermediate I). We also agreed, quite happily, that we would transform our 10 to 15k Saturday runs into our once-a-week long runs. “Annie,” I begged her, “we seriously have to slow down from now on” because, as I’ve experienced many a times, Annie does not know the meaning of slow or tired. “Yes,” she adds, “we also have to force ourselves to take walking breaks now” something we always fought against in the past.

As I write this, I am building a mental checklist of other things I must discuss with Annie as we try to add more science and strategy to our runs. These have something to do with 1) starting earlier so the sun doesn’t beat down on us, 2) stock piling on power gels since water won’t do for us anymore, and 3) planning the races we intend to join so that they can work seamlessly with our program.

Suddenly, my personal goal has turned into a dream I can share with a friend. While running a marathon is still an individual conquest, I take comfort in knowing that I can share the same hardships and triumphs, pains and joys, and hills and troughs with someone who doesn’t need to stop and ask me “Why must you put yourself through this?” She just gets it. And, should the time come during the marathon that my legs turn to lead and I want to give up at 30 km, I know that Annie will be there pushing and urging me to move forward…just as I will do for her.

Good luck to us Annie!

Metro Manila Races For Oct/Nov 2007

October 18, 2007

For those of you who do not frequent my ever-changing, constantly-being-updated List of Races for the year, here are the races for October/November within Metro Manila only. I decided to post this here because there are so many races lately, I’m getting confused about which ones to join!

Oct 21 Sunday: Raising Hope, Powerplant Mall. This is a fund-raising activitiy of Planet Sports for the Carewell Community Foundation which supports cancer patients. It is a fun run from 6 am to 8 am with no prescribed distance. Course will be the inner lane of Power Plant Mall. Call Maan of Planet Sports (898.1933) for details. Registration onsite only. Click here to download registration form.

Racing Hope

Oct 21 Sunday: 4th BaRUNgay Fun Run, Concepcion Uno Marikina City. Run will be from 5 am to 6 am. Registration fee P100. Call Boy Francisco/Poly Guadamar (948.6454).

Oct 27 Saturday: Run For Love, The Gawad Kalinga Marathon Philippines. Adidas will donate all funds to the planned local Adi Dassler development projects with Gawad Kalinga. Race is 5k/10k near SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City. Registration fee P250. Registration forms will be available in GK offices, selected Adidas concept shops and with RACE c/o Thelma Biscocho (727.9987)

Run For Love

Nov 11 Sunday: New Balance Power Race 10k/25k, Clark Freeport Zone. Registration fee P300. Call Mr. Biscocho (727.9987). Registration has been extended to Oct. 21, Sunday. Interested participants may register at Planet Sports Rockwell branch or on Raising Hope race day on October 21, 2007.

Nov 18 Sunday: Milo National Finals. Call Mr. Biscocho (727.9987)

Nov 25 Sunday: 5th Animo Run 5k/10k, IMAX Parking Area of SM Mall of Asia. 10k P200. Proceeds will go to the Red Cross. Registration starts October 21, 2007 and will end 5:30 am race day. Participants can register at G/F Enrique Razon Sports Complex of DLSU, Vito Cruz, Manila or online. For info, call Edmar (0917.6191821) or visit this.

Marathon on My Mind

October 17, 2007

Ever since I posted about the Subic Marathon I’ve been toying with the idea of going for the full 42, but probably in the Pasig Marathon on Feb 2008. Am I ready? Is it feasible considering I’ve been running for less than a year? Can I really put myself through the rigors of a marathon training program? Am I disciplined enough to run through the chaos and mayhem of the Holiday season?

Index Card


My mind says Yes, Yes, Yes, and Yes. But, of course, being the wise runner that I am (ehem) I decided to consult with the more knowledgeable and experienced runners around. I decided to sign up for a one-on-one trial session with Ige Lopez. In the running/ triathlon/ adventure racing world, Ige is known by many as a passionate athlete and a credible coach. I met him for the first time during the Mizuno Run Club and I was very much impressed with his style of coaching: straight-forward, frank, and aggressive. This guy definitely knows his stuff when it comes to running, so I surmised he could determine my readiness for a marathon.

Ige and I met last Monday at The Fort for a 1-hour session. We started promptly at 4 p.m. with a 30-minute progressive run. It was during the run that he interviewed me about my running experience and goals. I particularly liked the fact that, in between chatting and running, he also observed my form and told me what I was doing wrong and how to correct them. (Boy, did I need a lot of correcting!) Oh, we also bumped into Pastor Emata, one of the members of the First Philippine Mt. Everest Expedition Team, who ran along with us for several minutes.

After the short run, Ige proceeded to torture—er, I mean, teach me how to go about training. He put me through speedwork (I have never been forced to run so fast) and a couple of drills that would help me run faster and make me more flexible. We then ran for another 10 minutes. God, I was out of breath and tired. I definitely felt my age at this point. I wanted to scream “I’m a 31 year old mother of two children for God’s sake! Please have pity on me!” But, the runner in me was enjoying every second of this tough kind of training. First of all, Ige was very generous with his tips. In fact, I wish I had taken a notebook with me to jot down every single word that escaped his mouth! Secondly, I knew this was what I needed to improve; someone to drag me out of my comfort zone and squeeze every ounce of energy in me to make me a more powerful, faster runner.

Before the session ended (time flies when you’re running fast), I asked Ige if he thought I was ready for a marathon. He answered that no one could determine this except me. Rules can be broken. Limits can be exceeded. It was all up to me if I was committed and willing.

So, yes, the marathon is still on my mind. I am, in fact, currently training for it using Jeff Galloway’s basic marathon training program. But, I haven’t fully made up my mind yet. The thought of running 42 km sends shivers up my spine—10% from fear but 90% excitement.

Hooked on LSDs

October 15, 2007

Should I try it or not? I knew it was dangerously addictive. I had heard of so many innocent, naive people in the past who simply experimented with this and, after experiencing the proverbial high, they could never let it go; they were forever hooked.

I stood there in the middle of the road, my mind racing. I took a deep breath and did it. I gave the LSD a try.

For non-runners or newbies, LSD in the running world is this: LONG, SLOW DISTANCE. As Jeff Galloway emphasizes in his book: “They are the single most important element in your program.” Here are some of the benefits one can derive from a long, slow distance run:

  1. strengthens your heart
  2. increases endurance
  3. trains your muscles to burn fat more efficiently
  4. increases number and size of mitochondria
  5. increases capillary growth into muscle fibers
  6. increases myoglobin concentration in muscle fibers
  7. increases aerobic efficiency
  8. increase in maximum VO2
  9. builds your mental toughness

Yes, I survived the very first LSD I did alone last Saturday! (Hey ultramarathoners, don’t laugh, 20 km is long for me!)

Nike Oct 13 2007

The greatest thing about this is that I thoroughly enjoyed it! At first I thought I would succumb to exhaustion or boredom, but it was quite the opposite. I was excited to see the outcome of this challenge I put out for myself. Could I do it? 30 minutes into the run, I felt strong. I wondered, could adding Back Street Boys to my playlist have helped in giving me that extra energy today?

1 hour in and I still felt strong, but I was getting a bit worried about hydration. So, I headed back to my headquarters (read: my in-laws house) and played the part of a trail runner. You see, before the run, I surreptitiously hid half a bottle of gatorade in their garage (just as trail runners plant their snacks and drinks in the bushes). Excitedly, I snuck into the garage, inhaled the gatorade in a second, and headed out again for the 2nd part of my run full revitalized.

Somewhere after the 1st hour, I felt slight knee pain. Wary of my meniscus problem, I varied the pace (I know, I know, I should’ve been going a little bit slower) and I added a few walking breaks. I initially planned on getting just 18 km in, but due to my lack of navigational skills, I miscalculated my distance and found myself closing in on 20 km when my car was still nowhere in sight. Fortunately, I survived without having to scrape myself off the road. After several minutes, Lance Armstrong announced I had ran the farthest distance in my record. Woohoo!

After such a fantastic experience, I wondered how anyone who’s ever tried LSD resist not to do this long, run at least once every two weeks (as prescribed by Jeff)? I can only expect to crave for this very, very often. I am hooked on LSD, I tell you.

Reference: Dr. Stephen M. Pribut

Tag: I am a Runner…

October 14, 2007

Inspired by John Bingham’s RW column No Need for Speed, Hitme came up with this new tagging game which he entitled, “I am a Runner”.

Hitme wrote: To hear it from Bingham quote the late Dr. George Sheehan, beloved Runner’s World columnist, who once wrote that the difference between a runner and a jogger was a signature on a race application. As succinct as Dr. Sheehan’s definition was, it made the point. If you are motivated enough to train for and participate in an organized running event, then you are a runner. Anyone willing to risk public failure in order to be part of the running community – no matter what his or her pace per mile might be – was a runner. Period. (NNFS, 2007)

To Bingham, though, such definitions are meaningless, since those who call themselves runners already know why they call themselves runners.

So, as promised to Hitme, these are the reasons why “I am a runner”:

I AM A RUNNER because I give importance to my training schedule. There is so much more in my life aside from running—my husband, children, parents and siblings, friends, graphic design, baby sign language, art, household, blogging, etc.—each of which requires special attention from time to time, or in some cases, all the time. But, should some aspects demand more from me or if my load becomes overwhelming, running is never set aside; it has its own slot of time in my crazy, busy life.

I AM A RUNNER because I am in it for the long haul. I’ve enrolled in countless gyms during my lifetime—Shape, Clark Hatch, Slimmers World, Fitness First—and never thought, for once, that I could sustain the monotonous act of going in and out of those gyms for over a year.  I signed up for badminton and golf excited over the initial sessions, but my interest waned for these sports quicker than I could say the sentence “This is not for me.” Running is different. I fell into a whirlwind romance with running, was completely infatuated with it, still love it for all its flaws and challenges, and I’m fully committed to it in good times and in bad (my hubby comes first, of course). I can see myself running until I am old and gray.

I AM A RUNNER because, whenever we are on the road travelling around Metro Manila, all I ever look at is the ground: “Hey, it is asphalted here, this would be a good running route.”

I AM A RUNNER because I have blindly spent all my hard-earned money on anything and everything that can improve my running. When was the last time I purchased a good pair of shoes or a fancy handbag? Maybe the same day that asteroid killed off all the dinosaurs. I can tell you though that I have happily shelled out cash for my treadmill, running shoes, sports bras, tops and shorts, ipod, nike kit, thorlo socks, no-slip headbands, cases of Gatorade, and so many more.

I AM A RUNNER because when I talk of travels abroad, all I ever think of is running. To a friend: “You went to Sydney, how did it feel to run there?” To my cousin: “You lived in a villa in Southern Italy? Wow, it would’ve been great to run there early in the morning!” To my Coach: “You’re back! How did it feel to run in Michigan?” To my husband: “Next time we go abroad, I’ll play golf with you and you can run a race with me. Wouldn’t that be romantic?”

I AM A RUNNER because my schedule revolves around races. When can we go up to Baguio? Am I free for dinner this Saturday evening? Wait…let me check if there’s a race on Sunday. I free up my entire week (or at least lighten my load) before a race because I know I have to train for this and be in tip-top shape.

I AM A RUNNER because I have my easy runs, fartlek, hill training, and LSD’s. I don’t churn out these technical terms for others to know I am aware of them. Hell, I don’t use them that often. I just run them.

I AM A RUNNER because I have to run. I must. If not, I feel awkward, incomplete, and unhappy. It is no longer about losing the last few pounds, burning excess calories from overindulging the night before, or keeping up with other runners. It is all about me and what I must do to feel alive.

Now I tag: Ben, Rick, E-rod and Crunchy ‘Nanas.

Runnex-RunCPI Running Clinic & Fellowship

October 12, 2007

Date: October 14, 2007, Sunday
Time: 5:30 am – 6:30 am
Place: QC Memorial Circle – Runnex Shed

The running clinic is open to the public and is free of charge. For this fellowship, participants are encouraged to bring food that can easily be distributed to fellow runners such as biscuits, sandwiches, boiled eggs, juice, etc.

For more information, call Marie Casareo at 716.5534/5537

Time Trials at Mizuno Run Club

October 12, 2007

“Time trials!” Coach Ige declared loudly as he arrived at the Mizuno Run Club. Chatting away with Marga and a new blogging-running friend, Taki, we almost fell off our seats when we heard this. I glanced at the other lady runners across me—two long and lean sisters who were half my age and another runner who looked like a track-and-field athlete—and I knew Marga and I were the only intermediate women runners there. I wanted to hug her and condole with her for our upcoming demise.

Stopwatch

Coach Ige comforted us by saying this was all in the spirit of fun. (No, they wouldn’t post a list in front of the Mizuno Store for the viewing public to laugh at our time way down at the bottom.) We were running against ourselves and no one else. Weeks from now we would time ourselves again and astound ourselves with our improvements. Okay, I was up for it.

We were to run 3 laps around High Street, six runners at a time. Men were going first. As we watched the first group of runners speed away, I laughed nervously. I needed a warm up.

We asked Coach if we could run along with the other group for a warm up and he says to go ahead and time ourselves already. Oh okay, this was going to be it. I ran with Gelo, a regular run club participant, and Marga. We started off slow then gradually found our own pace and separated.

I ran the 3 laps (4.10 km) at 20.19 minutes with a 4:57 min/km pace. Not my fastest as I didn’t hear Lance congratulating me on my nano, but it was still a good time for me. I ran another two laps at a slower pace just to get a little bit more mileage in for the day.

After the run, I saw Jujet de Asis and asked his time; it was 11 minutes. Then, I met other athletes, Liza Yambao, who won the Milo Marathon at age 21 and held its record for a while, and Barz, another young athlete, who both enthusiastically shared their tips on training for a marathon. We all agreed to meet up one time for a training run in the future. Little ol’ me running with these super athletes?! I was bewildered, amused, and oh so excited!

Running with elite runners could significantly improve my runs. I look forward to learning the technical aspects of running and other aspects that should help me modify my training program and show some results. But, more than that, I’m looking forward to just being around people who love running as much as I do (or perhaps a little bit more!) They’re energy alone is intoxicating.

For starters, Jujet shared a little tip that can help ease pre-race jitters: Drink a bottle of beer before hitting the sack. Hmmm… I’m not sure if that’s one tip that will work for me, but I’m pretty sure some of you guys are looking forward to trying that out.