Archive for January, 2008

A New Gameplan

January 30, 2008

I was planning to pay the doctor a visit yesterday but I decided otherwise. You see, I was simply planning to bombard the doctor with all the unanswered questions in my head such as “What am I going to do now? I’m gaining weight by the second!” or “Why did you tell me to run when I ended up limping after Clark?” But, after Monday’s therapy session, I pretty much got my enlightenment from the gracious therapist who answered all my queries.

This is what I learned about my injury from my therapist:

– My doctor did not stop me from running since, like I said, I only need strengthening and stretching exercises. But, since the pain seems to worsen after a run or even a treadmill walk, the therapist told me to resist the temptation until we’re sure I am fully recovered. As a mature, disciplined woman I nodded in agreement (but that’s after I dreamed of slapping her in the face. Kidding!)

– Those 5-minute bike warm-ups at the gym aggravated the injury (so that’s why I would limp my way out of the locker room everytime! Duh!) I was advsied to do none of the cardio machines at the gym: treadmill, stationary bike, elliptical. I can take that. They kinda bore me to death anyway.

– The only cardio I’m allowed to indulge in is (drum roll please): swimming.

Somehow, that last therapy session helped pull me out of the confused, injured state I was in and gave me a clearer vision of what I should be doing to get out of this rut. I’m a lot more hopeful now. Plus, I’m feeling great since I have felt no pain for the past couple of days.

Yesterday, I pretty much laid out my game plan for the month to help me stay fit despite the injury.

CARDIO: Swimming (4x a week)
STRENGTH: Weights at the gym (2x a week)
STRETCHING: Yogilates at home (2x a week), Squats plus other exercises ordered by PT (daily)

If this doesn’t work, I don’t know what will. Here’s to a wet and wild month ahead!

On Missing The Bull Run

January 28, 2008

The race was named after me (at least that’s what I’d like to think) so it was unfortunate that I missed it. How did you all do in “The Bull Run: Takbo Para sa Ekonomiya”?

Ah, there were so many reasons why I wanted to be at this race:

1) It’s my namesake.

2) My first job was as a research analyst at the stockmarket. This was my chance to be a part of it again in some way.

3) “Takbo Para sa Ekonomiya”…Oh sure, I am more than willing to contribute to the growth of our economy. If running could somehow help propel the stockmarket (where I’m losing money as we speak) then that would have been a win-win situation for me.

4) I love races. Big or small. Organized or chaotic. I’m in.

Too bad then that my injury is showing little signs of improvement. The past two weeks, I have run 0 kilometers and biked a depressing 20 mins (total of all my warm ups) and yet there is still some soreness in the knee and tightness in the muscles. I’ve been strength training, stretching, praying and whining yet nothing seems to work. Worst of all, I feel bloated and cranky. It irks me that I have to eat so much less now and still my jeans feel a bit too snug. I just have to have my cardio soon or my kids will see me as their favorite dessert: jello.

Tomorrow I hope to visit the doctor again and beg him to give me a magic antidote to this way too long injury. If he does have one, I’ll let you know. I’ll probably sell it for a million a piece.

Everything But A Run

January 23, 2008

It’s been 10 miserable days since Clark—the race that ended with me limping my way back to the hotel. I initially thought the pain would go away by itself, like all the other times I pushed my body beyond its limits and found myself on the road again just a couple of days after, but I was sorely mistaken.

The right side of my right knee has been a major pain—literally and figuratively. On good days, the injury is just bothersome. But, on most days, I am “Erap”—the name my hubby affably gave me when I was a preggy woman who wobbled instead of walked—as I limp my way from point to point, especially through flights of stairs. It’s especially painful for me when I step out of the car or get out of bed in the morning. I even had two consecutive sleepless nights wherein I was in agonizing pain as I could barely straighten my leg.

These 10 days have been the longest I’ve ever gone without a run. My doctor gave me the go-signal to run, but after a mere 40-min walk on the treadmill left me in utter pain, I decided otherwise.

Unhappy

It’s been tough—a bad mix of frustration, boredom, and intense, gut-wrenching pain—but I’m coping. The past days, it seems that I’ve been doing anything and everything I can to get back into running again…except to actually do the deed itself:

THERAPY

Strengthening Exercises. I’ve been in therapy for over two weeks now. I’ve been a very good girl. As therapists ordered, I obediently do my exercises to strengthen my VMO, the weak part of my quadriceps which is causing my ITB to pull my knee caps outward. No matter how slow those 20 seconds go by as I do those oh so boring squats (yawn), I push myself (yawn) to finish them if it would mean it will let me run sooner.

Stretching. I’ve been stretching those tight ITB’s too. On two occassions, I even allowed those masochistic therapists (I’m just kidding…I love these people) to release my ITB, something I thought would be akin to a gentle massage but turned out to be quite the opposite: the pain brought back memories of the time I spent in the delivery room helplessly feeling the intense contractions while screaming for an epidural.

GYM

Weights. I started going to Gold’s Gym already. I’ve had an aversion to the gym the past few years due to my traumatic experience at another gym, but I figured I had to bite the bullet since strengthening exercises is the prescribed antidote to this nightmarish injury.

Cross Training. Aside from weight training, I now have the opportunity to join spinning classes, use the elliptical and stationary bikes, and try out Yogilates. It’s quite exciting actually. A whole new world of exercises is before me and it’s all for the taking. At the same time though, seeing all those treadmills with people using them makes me cry out in envy. Running is still my first love and I’m only at the gym to supplement my running.

I’m trying my darndest best to remain positive. Hoping against all hope that it won’t be long until I can just get out of bed, put on my running shoes, run to my heart’s content and end that run thinking about breakfast rather than my knees. Oh God, please don’t let me wait too long…

Pinoy on Runner’s World

January 21, 2008

Runner's World FEB 2008

Last Dec 2007, Patrick Concepcion, one of the most dedicated and generous runners I know, visited Boracay and enjoyed a beautiful run in its shores. A friend took his photo, which Patrick then sent to Runner’s World U.S.A and Australia. To his pleasant surprise, the Editor of Runner’s World Australia featured his photo and a brief article on Boracay under the “Rave Run” section of its Feb 2008 edition. Way to go, Patrick!

Runner'World RAVE RUN 1

By the way, don’t miss Patrick’s CONDURA RUN on March 2, 2008.  The race will be organized by Mr. Rudy Biscocho.

– Photos courtesy of Patrick Concepcion

Run For Your Life Ultramarathon

January 21, 2008

After the success of their first 100km ultramarathon coinciding with the Milo marathon last year, they are at it again! I do hope you can support this honorable, strong, and fearless group of runners who are running from Banaue to Sagada (phew!) for the benefit of chronically-ill children of the Kythe Foundation.

Click here and here to read about last year’s ultramarathon.

run for your life (email flyer 1)

How to donate:

1) Pledge P500 for every kilometer that the team runs.  Funds will go directly to Kythe Foundation.

2) Donate directly to Kythe Foundation at these receiving areas:

– “Kythe Inc.” BPI Family Bank, east avenue branch, account number 6031-0529-02

– visit any North Face store and donate through Share the Passion Campaign

Who’s Going to Subic?

January 19, 2008

To all those joining the Subic Marathon this weekend, I bid you farewell.  May the spirit of the running gods be with and carry you on his wings to make you run, nay soar, like an eagle in flight.  I shant be with you but I shall keep you in my prayers.  Let you not stumble on a rock, fall prey to faster runners, or worse suffer in pain from an evil injury.

So much drama.  I was just carried away by the excitement of this all even if I can’t make it to Subic.  All I wanted to say was GOOD LUCK!  Looking forward to hearing stories from you all.

Asics Running Shoes

January 17, 2008

Your feet aching for a new pair of running shoes? This was posted by Princess…

For runners who are using Asics running shoes and who are interested in buying a new pair of Asics, I know someone who sells running shoes (kinsei, kayano, Gt 2120, kanbarra, gel strike etc) for only P2,500 but sizes are only 7 for women and 9 for men. 1 pair per design only. Let me know if you’re interested.

Email princess at stephvcs@yahoo.com.  Click here to view samples.

Kinesio Tape to the Rescue

January 16, 2008

Who would have thought that an inch-thick tape would create so much buzz among sports doctors, therapists, and athletes all over the world?

According to http://www.kinesiotaping.com, Kinesio Taping has become “the gold standard for therapeutic rehabilitative taping.” Invented by a Japanese doctor almost three decades ago, the elastic tape “corrects muscle function, improves circulation of blood and lymph, repositions the joint and relieves pain.” Woaah, tall order for a tape that initially came in only funky colors like hot pink and blue colors (now there’s beige and black), but as world-class athletes such as Lance Armstrong, Tiger Woods and David Beckham swore by the tape, more athletes and sports enthusiasts have become believers.

I got taped myself before the Clark race. My therapist said it would help my weak leg muscles and provide support 24 hours a day. I could keep it on for up to 5 days—bathe, swim, or run with it without restricting movement. It felt comfortable, like second skin, really. Plus, I felt cool knowing Lance and I finally have something in common!

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Clark International Marathon

January 14, 2008

This was a welcome change. Billeted at the Holiday Inn, which was a stone’s throw away from the assembly area of the Clark marathon, all I had to do was do my usual 5-10 minute brisk walk/light jog warm up and I already found myself right smack in front of the starting grid as early as 5:15 a.m.

The scene was less populated than I initially expected but obviously I was among serious runners (like those who were willing to travel for a race instead of joining the more convenient Ictus Race at UP).

I had high expectations for this international race. Organizers announced early on that foreigners signified their participation at Clark. (I was eager to get a glimpse of them Kenyan ultra-fast runners.) The race packet also provided strict rules and regulations that were uncommon in other local races I joined, such as water stations every 2km and aid stations on the course that would provide water sponges (cool!). I was certainly looking forward to this.

At the same time, however, I had my worries. I felt no knee pain at that point, but for the past two weeks, running as little as 5k would leave me sore either on my left knee, right knee, or right shin. So, veering away from my usual pre-race thoughts of PR, PR and PR, I found myself fretting over one thought: Will I finish?

The race started on time. Actually, in my watch, the gun for 10k runners was fired at 5:51 a.m. In a snap, we were off. I bid Marga, a fellow Happy Feet runner, good luck as we parted ways among the sea of runners running against a beautiful dawn backdrop.

The start of the course was quite enjoyable; it was downhill! As much as I would’ve wanted to espouse the rule of negative splits, I quickly allowed gravity to pull me towards a fast pace of 4:45 thereabouts. As for conserving energy for the expected uphill climb heading back to the finish, I thought, I would just uhm cross that bridge when I got there.

My first 5k came swiftly for me. I ran it at race pace averaging below 5 and I was pleasantly surprised to find my legs holding up with that speed. I knew I could sustain this, but seriously worried if my legs felt the same way.

Then came the first water station, which was not at 2km as organizers promised, but at the 5k turnaround. I made the big mistake of slowing down to a walk to drink, which based on experience from my long runs is when the pain attacks from nowhere. I suddenly felt slight pain on my right knee.

Needless to say, the race was pretty much over for me then. At 5k to 7k, I slightly slowed down but managed to keep my pace at around 5 to 5:30 while worrying about the pain. But, after 8k, it was troublesome and tiring. I slowed to a 6 (my training pace!) and only hoped that I would still be able to finish. Er, those cold water sponges would have helped, by the way, but I saw none.

Thankfully, I finished with a respectable time of 52.26 minutes. Not my best time but, considering what I went through, I was just glad I made it to the end without crawling.

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– Me with a small group of Happy Feet runners. Others opted to join the Ictus run at U.P. –

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– Me with Mizuno Elite Runners –

I stayed until close to the end of the awarding—something I rarely do since I am always rushing to get home—and I’m glad I did. With a sad limp whenever I walked, I felt utterly depressed about not being able to “race” due to the injury. What a waste, I thought, since I couldn’t even run my best due to the knee.

However, after seeing other runners, like Jho-an Banayag placing first for females at 42k and Leo Oracion finishing his first marathon at around 3:30, my spirits were lifted. It was just awe inspiring to see these super athletes cross the finish line with so much passion in their eyes knowing all the pain they just went through. How could I even complain about my little knee then?

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– Leo Oracion, triathlete and first Filipino to reach Mt. Everest, talks to reporters about finishing his first marathon –

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– Jho-an Banayag finishes first for 42k –

I’m home now. In a few hours, I shall pay my therapist a visit for more strengthening and stretching exercises on my legs. As for my next race, let’s not even go there. Let me fix these broken knees first.

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– Top male finishers for 10k

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– Top female finishers 10k –

CLARK RESULTS:

MALE (42K)
1st: Hillary Lagat from Kenya 2:26:29
2nd: Cresenciano Sabal 2:26:48
3rd: Juniel Languido 2:29:05

FEMALE (42K)

1st: Jho-An Banayag 3:02.51
2nd: Cristabel Martes 3:07.36
3rd: Flordeliza Carreon 3:10:12

7th Bike For Hope

January 10, 2008

A lot of runners are into biking too.  So, in case you’re interested…

The 7th BIKE FOR HOPE, Bicol Region, will be held on February 2, 2008, Saturday.  This is an advocacy ride for health and the environment to be led by Sen. Pia Cayetano.

Bike Route: Naga City to Legazpi City

Starting Point: Naga City, Shell Station Magsaysay Avenue

Finish Line: Astrodome, Legazpi City

Registration Starts: 4:30 a.m.

Bike Ride Starts: 6:00 a.m.

Registration Fee: P300.00

You can register here or email bikeforhope@yahoo.com for inquiries.

* There will be drinking stations along the bike route and lunch will be served at the culminating event at the Astrodome, Legazpi City.
** The first 350 registrants will be entitled to a free jersey.