Archive for April, 2008

Global City Run Results

April 30, 2008

Thanks to Bald Runner, the Global City Run results are out. Finally! Click here to view it.

The wait was well worth it. I got the surprise of my life when I saw my time for 5k: 26.13 mins. 22nd for females and 162nd overall.

This isn’t a great time compared to all the other faster runners out there. But, I am ecstatic over it because I wasn’t even in race mode! I arrived at the run with the mindset that I would absolutely not run race pace, just 80% effort. While waiting for the gun to fire, I even stayed at the back with hubby without a strategy in mind nor a target time. All I was concerned about was running a wee bit faster to satisfy my race craving.

Oooh, these are exciting times for The Bull Runner…

BUT… and this is a big BUT…I do have my concerns over the accuracy of the results.

I checked out the time of my friend, Annie, who according to race results finished at 18.38 mins. Passing the finish line, Annie recounts that she trailed Jenny Guerrero by a few seconds. My question is: Why are the times of Jenny G. (#30), Annie A. (#31), and Ma. Alice de la Cruz (#32) all the same at 18.38? Race organizers awarded them correctly—Jenny won 3rd place while Annie won 4th—but still the time recorded was inaccurate. How do they time us anyway? Can we trust the next results that come out?

Secret Training Exposed

April 29, 2008

What have I been doing the past month? Had you looked closely, I rarely discussed my training sessions nor did I complain about my evil knee. Truth be told, I found little time to write here as running had taken over a large chunk of my idle time leaving me with the rest of the day for work and family.

A couple of running friends have dubbed my past month as “Secret Training.” You see, it’s been a month since I signed up with a new running coach, Jo-Ar, to begin rehab training for my knee yet there was no mention (just a hint) of him in this blog.

Well, now the “secret” is out. And, I’m proud to say that this has been the best month of running ever since I started.

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– Me with Annie and Coach Jo-Ar after he made us do intervals that made me want to barf. –

Coach Jo-Ar has been my guide/boss/friend on this slippery road to recovery. In the beginning, it was a bit frustrating as he asked me to slow down when I felt like I could go faster or to rest for a full day when I was eager to run on the road.

After a couple of weeks, however, I had little to complain about as things got more exciting at the track. With my knee and quads a bit stronger, Coach Jo-Ar would push me to run 5 more hills…or 10 more steps…or 3 more laps…and, as I struggled to catch my breath or control my wobbly legs, I would think “Please, no more!” yet find myself achieving what seemed impossible. At the end of each session, I felt I was improving, getting stronger and fitter, and taking a step farther away from my poor injured self.

Last week, for the first time in my life, I ran everyday for six consecutive days. And, on Sunday, I was able to run 8k, my longest ever since I got injured in January. It was a tough, tiring, and challenging week (or month, actually) but it’s the most fun I’ve ever had. Salamat Coach Jo-Ar!

Running PR

April 28, 2008

Did you read the papers yesterday? Running was featured in two major dailies—Philippine Star and Inquirer. Running PR isn’t just about Personal Records anymore, but also Press Release!

This is good news to all of us Pinoy Runners (hey that’s another PR?!) who can only benefit from the growing popularity of running in the country.

Here’s the article on Star featuring Global City Run…

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Then another article on running by Tanya Lara…

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and another on Inquirer featuring Condura Race…

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In the column of Tanya Lara, she features a friend, Mon Domingo, one of the forces behind Happy Feet running group of which I am a part of, together with Eduardo Padilla, the barefoot runner. I’ve known “Master Mon” for almost a year now but only learned through this article that he’s ran 19 marathons with a 3:50 PR in 2004. Congratulations Master Mon! Pa-autograph naman ng singlet sa next race!

For more info about Happy Feet, click here.

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Right on Track

April 24, 2008

Most of my runs the past fortnight have been on the track. Aaaah, the track. What can I say? How can one oval bring so much joy and the same amount of pain at one time?

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– My brand spankin’ new Mizuno Wave Precision and I on the first day we set foot on the track. Don’t laugh at the shimmering legs…I got carried away with the sunblock –

I love training on the track. Early in the morning, when half the city is asleep, there are extraordinary people who gather in this little oval to unleash their potential…and I simply feel fortunate to be among them. It’s awesome to be surrounded by athletes who are ten times stronger and a hundred times more dedicated than I am. The energy in the air is palpable and sometimes I secretly hope that their power is contagious.

When I run here, I am more focused. And, I train harder. (Or is it because I’m surrounded by generous coaches?)

Then, at the same time, I experience the pain. It’s the good kind of pain though, the kind that tells you you’re pushing your body to the limits and you’ll come out stronger after. The drills make me gasp for air. 20 to 25 sets of stair climbs make my quads tight and get me wobbling like a duck. And, the sprints…oh the sprints just leave me feeling utterly depleted, like a balloon that’s lost its air.

I leave each training session feeling exhausted but happy. I’m always relieved to know that I’ve worked hard yet my knee isn’t complaining. I seriously think that (knock on wood) I’m heading out of the danger zone with regards to my knee injury. Two full weeks of running, swimming, and gym without the slightest hint of the evil runner’s knee! Looks like I’m right on track (no pun intended) for full recovery.

The North Face 100…Ultras & Trails, anyone?

April 21, 2008

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Boy oh boy, I can hardly contain my excitement. Trail running and ultramarathoning is finally hitting our shores! Are you up for this?

Venue and other details are still being finalized for The North Face 100, but it is definitely pushing through.

The Team Pinoy Ultra Runners will be training for this event. The team will be organizing an ultramarathon training program which will start around May and they are inviting anyone interested to join them. For inquiries, please email Neville Manaois directly at pinoyultrarunners@yahoo.com.

As for me, I’m eager to join the 10k trail runs. No more drooling over Rick and E-rod’s scenic courses. We’re finally having our fair share of trail runs in the country. Finally!

4th Bonifacio Global City Run

April 20, 2008

Surprise surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed the Bonifacio Global City Run this morning. As I said in a previous post, I was NOT looking forward to this race at all, but it turned out that this was the best among all other 5ks I’ve joined the past couple of weeks.

Here’s why:

[ POSITIVES ]
1. Race started on time – 6 a.m. on the dot. Thank God my alarm clock rang this time…and my back up cellphone too!
2. Water was overflowing – In my 5k run, I passed three water stations. Three! Now that’s how to treat us hardworking runners. Pour on the agua!
3. Lots of marshals – There were marshals at every turn. If you lost your way here, you would have no one else to blame but yourself for drinking too much last night.
4. Clean restrooms – No need for those sucky, yucky, stinky, and hell on earth portalets. Bonifacio High Street’s restrooms were free to use…without the long lines too.
5. Food was being served – I didn’t line up for this, but hey I’m sure a lot of those runners who skipped breakfast appreciated it.
6. “Entertainment” – A number of celebrities showed up to run for charity…even more than the Kapuso race!

PLUS:
7. Hubby and I arrived a good 30 minutes in advance. I had enough time to warm up, stretch, and run to the restroom.
8. My best running buddy, Annie, claimed 4th place overall and 1st place in her age category. Congrats again Annie!
9. Hubby boasted of a faster time too.
10. As for me, I ran at a faster pace with much more confidence and less paranoia over my knee. It felt great to once again try to outpace some men (heehee) and break away from the walking crowd. I still didn’t go full blast; in fact, I kind of burned out at 4km due to my lack of training but oh it was awesome. I fell in love with races again! As for my time, errr was it around 29 minutes? Or 27? I’m afraid I’ll have to wait for the official results for that. Now, you must be scratching your head asking “Hmm…didn’t TBR time herself?” which leads me then to this…

The only bad experience of the Global City Run for me was…

[ NEGATIVE ]

Someone here forgot to charge her Garmin! (Ah, that’s me by the way.) Argh! It died on me while waiting for the starting gun to fire! The race was this close to being perfect were it not for my little booboo. No worries. The positives far outweighed the negative.

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– Celebrities who ran for charity took centerstage. Hats off to them! –

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– Athletes and hosts Drew Arellano (nice seeing you again, Drew!) and Paolo Abrera –

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– Jackie Castillejo and popular fashion models ran too…or did they really? I’m not so sure since, again, there’s not an ounce of sweat on them. Plus, I can’t imagine running with my hair down and bangs covering my eyes! –

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– Me with Annie, Jenny (another fast runner) and her sis. Next time, please remind me to lose 10 lbs before posing with athletes like these. I look huge beside them! –

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– Patrick C. and Annie A. –

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– I wish I had taken more photos of real runners like these cool guys above. Next time I promise…less celebrities, more runners –

5 Reasons Why Runners Should Strength Train

April 17, 2008

The jury is still out on whether a runner should lift weights or not.

I’ve interviewed several runners asking whether they pay regular visits to the gym or do strength training exercises at home and I’ve received different responses. Elite runner A only uses free weights on his arms to mimic the vigorous arm motion while running. Serious runner B lifts weights 3 to 4x a week. She increased weight training on both upper and lower body a few months before a marathon for strengthening and only decreased this a few weeks prior to her marathon. It worked for her as she finished her first marathon in tip top shape. Serious runner C is against any kind of weight training for runners. He believes one can perform strengthening exercises through drills and running hills.

Almost all running books I’ve read recommends strength training twice a week as a good cross training option for off-running days. Why even Paula Radcliffe believes it’s beneficial to runners.

I guess there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to weights and running. I say just do what works for you. If strength training can improve your performance in running (and gives you a svelte and toned body as a bonus), then why not right?

Here are TBR’s top 5 reasons why you should lift weights:

1) builds and strengthens muscle

2) prevents injury

3) improves performance

4) speeds up metabolism which leads to burning more calories

5) gives you a chance to spot Aga Muhlach* in the flesh! I just saw him at my gym two days ago!

* Note to men: kindly replace Aga Muhlach with your favorite female celebrity.

Global City Run & Big Blue Run

April 15, 2008

There are two races coming up this weekend…the 4th Global City Fun Run and the Ateneo Big Blue Run (Go Blue Eagles!)

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As much as I love my alma mater, the hubby and I registered for the Global Run during On Your Mark last Sunday. (Ateneo is just way too far for me.) We received our singlets and race bibs for Global Run. But, there was no route map.

Thanks to Genevieve for emailing! (Thanks too to those of you who offered to send it.)

Global 10k Route

Global 5k Route

I am not that excited about this race. This is the 3rd one I’m joining as I recover from my injury (I don’t think I’m completely out of the woods just yet) and now that the thrill of racing again is slowly dying down, running a 5k at an imposed slow pace is turning out to be a bittersweet experience. On the one hand, I’m happy to run without the pain, but at the same time it’s also difficult (even painful) to stop myself from going all out. Half the time during a race I’m wishing I could just run without worries again.

Okay, I’ll stop with all this negativity; if I stay in this realm any longer my bull horns might start popping out.

See you at Global Run! Assembly is in front of Anta store at High Street.

On Your Mark

April 13, 2008

“Mama, I want my blanket.” she murmured.

“Uh huh…” I replied in my sleep.

“Mama, I want my blanket!” my daughter screamed.

I opened my eyes, peeked at the alarm clock that failed to wake us, and yelled to the hubby “Get up! We’re late!” followed by a few curse words that you yourself would have said in the same situation.

It was 5:40 a.m. A mere 20 minutes to the start of On Your Mark at NBC Tent where the hubby and I were registered for 5k. I ran towards the bathroom, ran back to the bed to pull the blanket over my daughter, and sprinted again back to the bathroom to get dressed in breakneck speed.

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We arrived at the race at 6:07 a.m., 7 minutes after around 1,600 registered runners left for the 5k and 10k races. The hubby and I decided to continue with the race sans the race bibs. He made it his mission to search for his two colleagues who I had registered for and, as a result of my loser alarm clock, were forced to run without their numbers.

We ran side by side at a s–l–o–w 7 min/km pace. It was a bonding experience for us, but I wished we could move just a wee bit faster. The hubby, you see, doesn’t care about his time and I respect him for that. It’s good that he keeps me “grounded” as I teeter on the edge of obsessiveness over my running time all the time. He runs with me for fun and remains to be passionate about nothing else but golf. So, for the first few kilometers, we ran together at this relaxed, easy pace.

By the time we reached 2km and met the 10k runners near Market! Market!, I was feeling antsy. Fernando Zobel ran past me at full speed. (By the way, may I just say he is no longer my crush as I have noticed too many a women runners going gaga over him. My crush should belong to me and only me. Hence, I shall revert back to the hubby for now! hah!) Then, Lala Calma and Mark B. flashed by. And a little later on, Bald Runner flew by me too looking all cool in his slimmer physique. I couldn’t take it! I suddenly missed running 10k at a more challenging pace.

A few minutes later, I gave in and asked hubby if I could run ahead. “Go ahead” he replied in his usual laidback manner. “Okay, meet you in a few seconds!” So, we had around 4 or 5 rounds of that mini interval training for me where I would run ahead, slow to a walk and wait for hubby, then run fast again.

Nearing the end, I didn’t even bother to cross the finish line. I ended the run at around 35 mins. barely evaluating the results from my Garmin. Yet again, this was not a real race for me. I was just grateful to be spared of any pain or discomfort in the knee. Well, that at least deserves a little Yey! from me.

Where was Rufa Mae? Dingdong Dantes? Nowhere to be seen. Dang, I would’ve ran GK had I known there was no juicy showbiz chismis over here. (Kidding!) Oh well, at least they gave out great loot: a shoe bag which contained a shirt, wristband and sticker.

To friends Jujet and Lala, congratulations for coming in 1st and 3rd respectively in your categories!
To Happy Feet, I missed you! Ang lungkot pala kapag wala kayo!
To the hubby, congrats on your 2nd race!

Trail Running for Newbies

April 12, 2008

I was at R.O.X. Bonifacio High Street this afternoon drooling over the bikes with the hubby and kids when I chanced upon this flyer by the counter:

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TRAIL RUN 101
An Introductory Clinic to Trail Running

April 16, 7 to 9pm
Clinic at R.O.X.

April 19, 6am to 1pm
Run at La Mesa EcoPark

Learn the science of Trail Running and discover a new world of running outdoors!

P800/pax
Includes:
– clinic fee
– transportation
– breakfast
– park fee

Instructor:
Ige Lopez

For more info:
http://www.roxphilippines.multiply.com

Register now at R.O.X.
Tel. no. 856-4638 to 39

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I was never interested in trail running. I disliked my first and perhaps last experience with mountain climbing a decade ago (my, am I that old?)—the mud, rocks, and bugs just didn’t catch my fancy. And, I don’t like getting my running shoes dirty. But, for some reason, I’m actually open to giving Trail Running a shot (my guess is it has something to do with my running on the field more often than the road nowadays). I may not join during this coming R.O.X. clinic but some time in the future. Maybe when hubby is willing to accompany me…and when the sun isn’t this intense.

Maybe you would like to try this out. The lady at the counter said 7 runners have registered so far. They are only accepting a maximum of 40. Go for it why don’t you? It sounds like a lot of fun!