Archive for November, 2007

Bad, Bad Day

November 29, 2007

Whenever my 3-year-old daughter enters the car with me, this our dialogue:

Nia: “I need music, Mama.”
Me: “What song do you like?”
Nia: “Bad bad day. Number 18.”
Me: “Okay, You Had a Bad Day it is!”

Nia loves You Had a Bad Day by Daniel Powter.  My husband thinks the song is too negative, especially for a little girl to listen to on her way to preschool.  I like the melody so I never put much thought into it.  Until today…

Yup, I had a bad day indeed.

First, it took me two terribly long hours this morning to travel roughly a kilometer outside our village headed for my son’s school.  By that time, my son missed his school presentation and I was too pooped to complain.

Second, it’s been raining all day.  We have a trip planned for Subic tomorrow.  Will the weather have mercy on us and let the sun shine through?  Please.  Pretty please!

Last and definitely not the least, my knee is a bit sore again.  ARGH!  This time I am pissed.  In the beginning I was in panic.  Shortly after I was scared.  Now, I am just fuming.  (This bull is mad.)

Why am I not healed yet?!  I’ve been icing the injury thrice a day plus I got a massage last night.  I only ran an easy 5km all week.  (That’s a major sacrifice for me, you know?!)  I’ve been taking additional supplements that I’m hoping will help, but probably won’t make a difference such as calcium and vitamin B complex.  And, I’ve been religiously falling on my knees praying to the Saint-Who-Heals-All-Running-Injuries for a miracle.  Still, the meniscus irritablus knee problemus keeps on coming back like a nasty fly trying to land on your first post-race meal after a marathon.

So, next Tuesday, I have a date with my doctor to have this knee checked.  I’ll ask him if it’s actually feasible for me to run the marathon in February without asking for a wheelchair in the last 6 miles.  Pray for me, will ya?

For now, I shall continue to drown myself in my woes.  I shall continue to curse this wicked knee most especially for not allowing me to enjoy what would have been a beautiful long, slow run along the roads of Subic.  Sob sob.

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Sore No More—Really!

November 24, 2007

This time it’s for real… I am back! My 7-day forced abstinence from running is officially over. I am healed!

with Annie 112407

– Annie and I after our run. We look so poised! You wouldn’t believe that we were laughing like noisy high school girls before this shot. It was a happy happy day. –

I ran 7.7 km at Ayala Alabang today at a conservative 6.22 pace and there was absolutely no pain. None whatsoever! Not even a hint of a tiny popping sound from the smallest cartilage of my left knee.  Woohoo!

Good riddance knee injury! Don’t you dare come back!

Spoke Too Soon

November 23, 2007

I made it to the Mizuno Run Club last night. But, disappointingly, I wasn’t there to run.

Shortly after I published the previous post yesterday, I headed for SM to run errands. As I swept through the department store purchasing everything on my list in haste, I noticed my knee popping again. And again. And again.

Damn it. The meniscus irritablus annoyus problemus was back. I knew I wouldn’t be able to run in Mizuno.

Desperate to get as close to running as I could get, I asked the kids after dinner: “Who wants to go to Krispy Kreme?!” To my delight, both kids answered a resounding “Yes!” (In case you’re wondering, the hubby has been out all week on a business trip.) So, with the kids in tow, I headed over to Bonifacio High Street eager to get a whiff of—no, not donuts—but some running energy.

As we entered High Street, I spotted one runner, then two, then the entire group running along our usual route. Aaaw, I wish I was one of them, I thought. Then, I got all sentimental, anxious, envious, and frustrated. When can I run again? How long will this injury last? Do I have to start cross training to maintain my fitness level? I was on the brink of craziness and depression.  (Hey, you would be too after six days of no running!)

I passed by Mizuno to quickly chat with Chanda, one of the club organizers, Ige, the coach, and exchange a few words with other faithful attendees like Totoy, Pablo, Renz, Gelo and Mandy. Drenched in sweat, they were obviously done with their laps. I so wanted to be sticky and sweaty and tired like them, but nope, all I could do was watch and pray that in two weeks I would be able to join the run again.

As promised, I took the kids to Krispy Kreme and Starbucks. As we gobbled our treats in the car on the way home while singing to High School Musical 2 out loud, I realized that things weren’t so bad. Despite the evil injury, I had a great life. My family is great; I have good and healthy kids and a loving hubby who I’ll be seeing soon. I work from home—a set up that is perfect for a hands-on mommy and addicted runner like me. And, I’m alive! It’s just a matter of time before I can run again.

Boy, those Christmas peppermint brownies from Starbucks sure can turn a bad day into a good one.

Sore No More

November 22, 2007

By the power vested in me by the Holy Spirit, I command you evil injury to depart from this poor woman’s knee!” Nope, my attempts at exorcising the soreness out of my knee proved to be futile. So, over the past few days—FOUR long non-running days to be exact—I resorted to more sane alternatives such as ice, ice, ice, more ice, and rest.

During the first couple of days, there was still slight soreness in my knee whenever I walked. By Wednesday morning (yesterday), the pain was gone so I cleared my schedule for the grandest event of the week: my first easy 5km on the treadmill that afternoon (pathetic, I know!) As luck would have it, clients emailed in a heapload of work that left me glued to my laptop saying “This is unfair!” in the same exact tone as my 6-year-old would say it when I ask him to finish his dinner before dessert.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, my 2nd dying toenail decides to “go towards the light” which, in his case, is any place as long as he is no longer attached to my toe. So, now my right foot is a gruesome sight with two nail-less toes. (Excuse me while I vomit.) I look forward to the day when, just like Rick, I will look down at my calloused and bruised feet and love them unconditionally. For now, I continue to flinch my eyes in utter disgust. Hopefully, strangers don’t do the same when they see me in my havaianas.

Thankfully, today is the complete opposite of yesterday; it is an awesome day to run. No pain in my knee. Work has been finalized and delivered. And, it is a Mizuno Run Club night. So, tonight, I shall make my way to Bonifacio High Street with two prayer requests in mind: 1) Holy Spirit, please protect me from that devil of an injury and 2) Lord God, please don’t let it rain!

Missed Milo—Again!

November 18, 2007

Race bib…CHECK
Brand spanking new mizuno outfit…CHECK
Fully charged garmin…CHECK
Packed bag with extra clothing…CHECK
Gatorade and banana…CHECK

Milo Nationals

As early as friday evening, I was all set to run 10k at the Milo race that was held this sunday morning. To say that I was excited about this race would be an understatement. I had missed the Milo Metro Manila eliminations last July due to a fainting spell, so this was my chance to finally experience one of the biggest races in the country. Surprise surprise, I failed to make it…AGAIN!

The reason: sheer stupidity and stubborness. (I don’t call myself THE BULL-headed RUNNER for nothing.)

I heard about the importance of tapering a hundred times over from Coach B to Higdon and Galloway’s books. But, due to my obstinateness, over-enthusiasm, and plain addiction to running, I couldn’t quite resist the urge to run the day before the race. I’m almost embarassed to admit it: 10km close to race pace on the eve of race day. Yes, that’s what I did. Yes, you may slap me on the head. Yes, I know I will suffer the dire consequences of breaking the golden rule of tapering.

Soon after that training run (or more like midway through it), I felt a pinch in the most vulnerable part of my body: my left knee which suffers from discoid lateral meniscus. This knee tells me when I’m overtraining. When it starts aching, it practically commands me to rest the next couple of days and gradually ease back into my training or else…or else…I don’t even want to go there. So, when I felt that slight discomfort around 5km into the run, my first thought was “No, it can’t be” (denial), then “No no no, I can’t miss Milo!” (panic) and within the next few minutes, “I shouldn’t have run! I’m so stupid.” (guilt).

By that evening, after a mid-afternoon massage that I hoped would magically heal my meniscus problem, I was in agony over the decision I had to make. Every inch of my body wanted to run. Weeks of LSDs and speedwork prepared me for this race. (In hindsight, I’m thinking the past few weeks’ training may have slowly built up this injury as well.) But, rationally, I knew I had to bite the bullet; I had to sacrifice the Milo race if I wanted to make it to my first marathon in February next year. Sob sob, goodbye Milo.

This coming week will be all about rest and recovery for me. I’m hoping against all hope that Santa comes down our chimney tonight delivering an advanced Christmas gift for me: instant mending of my broken knee. But, since that is most unlikely (they say Santa doesn’t exist, plus we don’t have a chimney), I’ll just try to be a good girl and patiently wait for this knee to heal.

To all those who joined the race, especially the finalists, congratulations! I hope to see you next year…barring any unforeseen circumstances that may strike a third time from keeping me from Milo races.

Tri-Clinic For Newbies

November 16, 2007

Found this in my inbox from Ige Lopez…

Tri Invite

The clinic is open to anyone who wants to try a TRIATHLON (swim, bike and run). Hey, that’s me! Very, very tempting.   What should I do next Saturday: long run or tri-clinic?  Decisions decisions!

November Races in Metro Manila

November 15, 2007

I love the month of November. This is the month we dust the ol’ Christmas tree and dress him up for the Holidays. Bazaars start popping up all over the metro, but people are not in a wild Christmas frenzy; they shop unhurriedly for a gift list that isn’t quiet final yet. And, when you hear a Christmas tune in a mall or an elevator this early, it’s a special moment. One thinks “Christmas is coming.” and a warm, fuzzy feeling takes over.

Who knew that November was this good in the running world too? The races this month were/are spectacular. During the 1st half of the month, Milo Baguio and New Balance races were held (I still can’t stop hitting myself on the head for missing NB…Grrr). But, the upcoming races for the rest of the month are worth joining too:

Nov 18: Milo National Finals. Call Mr. Biscocho (727.9987).  I’ll see you at this one!

Nov 18: Men’s Health Urbanathlon & Festival, Bonifacio Global City, P300 (Individual)/ P1,200 (Team). Visit site.

Nov 25: 5th Animo Run 5k/10k, SM Mall of Asia, IMAX Parking Grounds, 5k P180, 10k P200. Call Edmar (0917.6191821) or visit site. Registration is ongoing until Nov. 23 at the Sports Complex of DLSU Manila, Mon-Fri 10am-6pm. For online registration, click here. 4 Roundtrip tickets to Boracay will be raffled off.

Nov. 25: Healthway Medical’s Run a Life of Wellness, Bonifacio Global City, P200. Part of the proceeds will go to Citizenship by Good Example Foundation.  For details, visit site or call 751-hway (4929).  You may also visit any Healthway Medical clinic (SM the Block, Shangrila Mall, Market Market, Robinsons Manila, Alabang Town Center and Festival Mall.

Garmin vs Nike+: A Test of Accuracy

November 12, 2007

[ OBSERVATION ]

NOV. 3, SATURDAY. This was the first time I used my Garmin on a long run. Our goal with Annie, my running buddy, was 15 km around Ayala Alabang. We agreed on taking our usual 12 km route and just let our feet carry us an additional 3 km anywhere from that point. Boy, were we in for a surprise.

At the 12 km mark (according to Nike+ in the past), the Garmin recorded a distance of 9.5 km. “9.5?!” Annie shrieked in disbelief. I was likewise stunned at the awfully large discrepancy. At the very least, I was expecting to hit over 10 km by then.

Which gadget was telling the truth? Had I been logging less kilometers than I actually ran for the past 5 months? Should I have followed Nike’s directions and calibrated the kit before using it? All these questions were floating about in my mind as Annie and I plodded on with an unxepected 5.5 more kilometers to run.

[ TEST ]

NOV. 10, SATURDAY. At the risk of looking like Inspector Gadget, I wore both the Garmin and Nike+ on my next long run last Saturday.  Our goal this time was 18 km.  Again, we ran the same initial 12 km route then ran halfway through that same route making our way back to the starting point.

At the onset, both gadgets recorded the same distance.  At least, that’s how it was at 2 km.  But, as we increased our distance, the discrepancy increased as well.

For the pace, there was a significant 30 second difference too; the Nike+ giving me a faster pace than the Garmin.

At the same 12 km mark (based on the Nike+ in the past), the Garmin, much to my delight, registered the exact distance as the past week’s run: 9.5 km.  I pretty much knew which gadget was more accurate at that point.  And, sadly, our once favorite 12 km route needed an immediate name downgrade to “10 km route.”

[ RESULTS ]

Here are the actual data from both the Garmin Forerunner 305 and uncalibrated Nike+:

GARMIN: Time 2:01:15/ Distance 18.2 km/ Ave pace 6:4/ Calories 1028
NIKE+: Time 2:00:08/ Distance 20.5 km/ Ave pace 5:5/ Calories 1148

I get goosebumps thinking of what could have happened had I used the Nike+ to train for my upcoming marathon.  I would’ve been led to believe that I trained at my maximum 32 km when it might have been only 30 km or less.  Scary isn’t it?

* Note: At 8 km, I accidentally ended the Nike+ workout when we paused for a water break.  I started a new workout and added data from both workouts.

[ PREDICTION ]

I predict my Garmin Forerunner 305 will be my new best friend.

I predict my Nike+ will gather dust at home.

I predict I’ll get death threats from Nike+ fanatics who are running 2 kms less than they actually are.  (Please don’t kill the messenger.)

Roadtesting The Garmin Forerunner 305

November 10, 2007

I took my brand spanking new Garmin Forerunner 305 out for a spin at the Mizuno Run Club and boy did it impress me yet again. I’ve used it a couple of times already, but it was only during this run that I had the opportunity to utilize its lap feature.

For this run, I used the default lap screen of the Garmin and pressed the lap button at every round. There was one lap where I forgot to press the button (darn it!), so it’s good to know there’s an autolap button screaming “Try me! Try me!” for my next run.

I ran 7 laps of what was supposed to be a progressive run around the inner circle of Bonifacio High Street along with other beginner/intermediate runners (such as Renz, Totoy, Tina, Mandy, Gelo, Pablo…hey guys!) while the elite, as always, left us eating their dust even if they ran the larger circle around the same area. There were quite a few friends who were itching to run but couldn’t, so they ran vicariously through us: Ben (injured), Tricia (colds), and Marga (smoked two sticks!)

After the run, I eagerly downloaded the data to my mac. For the first time in my life, I welcomed information overload with open arms! Clearly, I saw the time and pace at which I ran each of the 7 laps (Lap 2 to 7) and the consistent distance for each (Lap 2 is a combination of Lap 2 & 3). I was also thrilled to discover that when you click on a lap, it is automatically highlighted on the map below. So cool! (If you look close enough, you might even see Starbucks there!)

Well, now you all know that I also failed miserably at my attempts at a progressive run.

Garmin Data

Before I go, here’s what I love about my Garmin so far:

  1. Accuracy. I’m pretty confident about the accuracy of the Garmin. Garmin users I know can attest to it. Personally, I’m impressed with the accurate readings of the laps above. I’ve also taken it on two long runs and it registered the EXACT distance when I hit the 9.5 km mark (which the Nike+ recorded as a whopping 12 km! More on this in the next post.)
  2. No interruptions. There’s a lot of talk about satellite interruptions with the Garmin, but I never experienced any stalls/ glitches/ breakdowns so far. Well, I don’t really run in shaded areas anyway.
  3. Readable screen. It is easy to see my data while I’m running (just don’t let the sweat drip down into my eyes!) I particularly enjoy using the backlight during night runs. It just makes me feel cool. Hah!
  4. Lap feature. I am overjoyed that I finally get time and pace readings for my laps. The Nike+ will show pace for a certain distance in each run, but one couldn’t specify at what point you wanted a reading.
  5. So easy to use. I haven’t gone through the entire manual so I’m sure I’m not fully utilizing all the features of my new little toy. Despite this, I’ve been able to use the Garmin with ease during my past runs. It literally takes seconds for me to put the Garmin into its dock which I attach to my mac via USB and it automatically syncs with the Garmin Training Center.

What I don’t like about the Garmin:

  1. Comfort. The first time I used this, I got scared. It slid down my wrist and hit my bone almost every 10 minutes. I thought I made a big mistake buying it. Turns out, it takes some getting used to. It wasn’t comfortable for me at the onset but I’m slowly finding the perfect wrist adjustment for it. I think it must be Extra Tight.
  2. Useless indoors. The downside to a GPS unit is that you can’t use it on the treadmill. I run twice a week on the treadmill so I have to resort to my Nike+ to get a pace reading.
  3. Attracts too much attention. No one saw me that night. They only noticed my Garmin and befriended it. God, I thought they were my real friends! (I’m kidding, Happy Feet!)

Ben and Garmin

– Do you think Ben will trip me, stomp on my wrist, and grab the Garmin in the Milo race next week? –

Next post: Comparing the Garmin and Nike+ data during a long run. Who’s telling the truth?

It’s a Boy!

November 9, 2007

Welcome the new member of our family. Finally, my hubby has gotten what he’s wished for all these months. A new Boy… Lazy Boy, that is.

Lazy Boy

This fine piece of furniture transformed me, quite regretably, into a Lazy Girl Potato. Suddenly, I found all this free time to watch television—something I hadn’t done in months—and work, blogging, and running were left by the wayside. I had good excuses, mind you:

– There’s a new presidential decree that states: All women whose names begin with J and are born in the month of May may extend the Halloween/All Saints and Souls Day Holidays by another 7 working days. Now, what was my source again?
– I had a bothersome cough complimented by a scratchy throat that left me with little energy to do anything.
– I was in recovery phase from all the running I did during Trick or Treating.
– I suffered from a minor infection, which my doctor said wouldn’t stop me from running, but doctors aren’t 100% correct all the time, right?
– I surmised that a 1-week Lazy Girl week was important for my pre-marathon conditioning. Er, who of you coaches would like to agree with me?

Anyhow, I’m glad to report that my Lazy Girl week officially ended during the Mizuno Run Club last night. I am so glad I went. It literally pulled me out of the slump I was in and injected some much needed energy into my system. (More on this in my next post.)

As of the moment, the Lazy Boy beckons. But, I remind myself of what Juma Ikangaa, 1989 NYC Marathon winner once said, “The will to win means nothing if you haven’t the will to prepare.”

It’s off to work I go. And, tomorrow, my long run with Annie.