Archive for October, 2008

Drenched

October 29, 2008

The hubby and I started our run last night at exactly 7:46 p.m. At 7:47 p.m., just as we exited the gate of my in law’s home, it started to drizzle. Hubby asked “Rain or shine?” And, I replied with a smile “Yup!”  Before we even reached a full kilometer, it was pouring. Hubby offered his cap, but I declined wanting to feel the rain on my face. (How dramatic!)

Our first few kilometers was almost serene. We were talking in the beginning, but once the rain got stronger, we both fell into a comfortable silence. Sounds of the rain falling on rooftops, the croaking of frogs, and our shoes hitting the pavement was like a celebration of nature.

Never mind that I almost stepped on two bullfrogs and played patintero with a third, or that I had to squint to avoid the rain from hitting my eyes, or that both of us ran as if we were in an obstacle course avoiding puddles and holes.  Never mind if we ended with our shoes, socks, and insoles completely soaked and hubby worried that my wet top had already gone transparent (which it had but thank God for sports bras!)  

Who cares if I’m typing this now with a runny nose and an aching throat?  Last night’s 7k run was well worth it. It had the makings of a perfect run, or at least it would be up there on top of my list of favorites.  

Now let me just go get my Vitamin C + zinc and drink a dose of Berocca.

Running Aid for Women

October 28, 2008

Running Aid for Women

Mark your calendars: November 13, Thursday, 7 p.m. is the next date for Running Aid 3 at ROX, Bonifacio High Street.  This time, however, it will be for the ladies!  Guys are welcome to attend as long as they behave and pretend to be interested in girl talk.

Speakers will be: Elizabeth Siojo, founding member of Pinoy Ultra Runners, and The Bull Runner (who the hell is that?!)  Seriously, I will try to my best to give a comprehensive guide on everything women need for running and attempt to answer questions that I myself was afraid (or embarrassed) to ask a male running friend or coach.

It should be yet another informative and entertaining talk. If not, let’s all just go out to BHS and run…tsk tsk. See you there!

Run For Your Life – Mt. Pinatubo

October 28, 2008

Run For Your Life

The Pinoy Ultra Runners are at it again. This time, they’ll be running from Sta. Juliana, Pampanga up to the crater of Mt. Pinatubo and back for a total of 55km to raise funds for their favorite beneficiary, Kythe. The run will start at 5 a.m. and end after lunch.

Proceeds will go directly to giving Kythe children a Christmas party that they truly deserve after a tough year of battling their illnesses.

The team is still accepting sponsorships and donations. They are also selling limited edition Pinoy Ultra Runners lanyards for 100 pesos. Lanyards are available in R.O.X in fort Bonifacio High Street or you can order directly. All proceeds will help the run and the Christmas parties happen.  

If you are interested in helping, email pinoyultrarunners@yahoo.com or visit their websites:

Pinoy Ultra Runners site

ROX site 

NU

Neville and Marga of Pinoy Ultra Runners with NU 107.5 DJs. They were guests on the show last night to spread the word about the upcoming Mt. Pinatubo Run.  Thanks for the plug, guys!

PhotoVendo – For All Your Race Photo Needs

October 28, 2008

No need to drag your husband, wife, best friend, or driver to a race to take photos of you as you run.  Leave your camera at home and PhotoVendo will do the rest.

PhotoVendo is the brainchild of Ben Chan aka Photographer on the Run. He and his team of professional photographers will cover races within the Metro and point, shoot, and click at each and every single runner that crosses their path.

All photos will be available for download at the PhotoVendo website, which I love for its simple and user-friendly interface.  All you have to do is type in your race number and voila, your race photos pop out! (For Nike Human Race alone, I had more than a handful.)  

For a reasonable fee, they can print and deliver the photos right at your doorstep.  Soon, they’ll be offering soft copies of your photos as well.

Photovendo

Photos of Rush to Infinity Run and Nike Human Race are available for download now. Watch out for PhotoVendo at VSO Kabahagi Ako Run on November 9.  Don’t forget to put on your winning look if you catch a photographer near you!

Visit PhotoVendo now.

4th OctobeRun Festival

October 27, 2008

{ TRAINING RACE }

I had only two words in mind as I dressed for the race yesterday morning: TRAINING RUN. My “race mode” button was shut off that morning so that’s probably why I took my sweet time—even had time to touch up the pedicure on my dead toenail (yes, it’s dead again)—before I left for Bonifacio High Street.  

It came as no surprise then that I arrived just 5 mins. before the race start. When I arrived at the assembly area, I was in no mood to socialize (except to wish Cougcat good luck in his 3k and congratulate Carolyn on her Nike Women’s Half in SF) while I let out quite a number of yawns as I waited for the babbling host to just let the race begin. Fortunately, just after the Philippine National Anthem was played, JunC and Jay—my training partners that day—appeared and we had a few minutes to chat before the race started at 6:15 a.m. (thanks to the super talkative host).

Our plan was to run at 6:15 pace during the 10k race plus an additional 10k thereafter at 6:15 to 6:30 pace to complete 20k for me while Jun and Jay, who ran before the race, would reach a total of 25k.  

This was the first time I ran with a training group during a race and I’m sure glad I did. Our steady and relaxed pace allowed us to chat during the entire length of the race, yell out words of encouragement to runner friends who made their way back ahead of us (and maybe whisper “I’ll get you next time!” to a few others), and even stop at some water stations to splash some cold water on our faces. We even “recruited” Dra. Doray to run with us for a few kilometers before we parted ways.

The Fort Striders Club did a great job organizing this race. We went through the challenging Lawton-Bayani Road route without a hitch. There was an abundant supply of mineral water (not balde system as in Adidas KOTR) and marshalls were so helpful that they even poured this on our heads or faces as if they were personal coaches. I wished they had started at exactly 6 a.m. but hey that’s a minor inconvenience.  Congratulations to Fort Striders, especially my friends Taki and Glenn, for a successful race.

We crossed the finish line—agreeing to meet in 5 minutes for the next 10k—at 58:21 mins with an average pace of 5:54.  Total distance was 9.9k on my Garmin, pretty accurate measurement for organizers. We ran a little bit faster than our planned pace, but it left me feeling strong enough for the next half of our goal.

{ NEXT 10KM }

After a 5 minute break where I changed my top, munched on half a ClifBar, and found myself sharing an almost empty parking lot with Fernando Zobel, I met Jay and Jun at ROX to run our next 10k.

We were an indecisive bunch not knowing which route to take that would give us the most shade from the 7:30 a.m. sun. We decided to run loops around Market!Market! where more than half of the route was shaded and, as I requested, the roads were flat.

The next 10k was light and easy and filled with good conversation. Sometime during the run, I had what I’d like to call a “running epiphany” where I realized that I enjoyed this slow and steady type of run vs. a race; I would give up a 10k podium finish (and even cash prize!) anytime for an easy half marathon distance with friends. I could’ve screamed “I love to ruuuuuun!” right there and then, but I thought of Jun and Jay who didn’t have brown bags with them to shield them from embarassment.

We ended our 10k with an average pace of 6:55km to complete a full 20km for me. This was the farthest distance I had ever run.  Wooohooo!  And, as I ended without any hint of injury, I took it as a sign that I was ready for NB 25k.  Double wooohooo with cartwheels (if only I could do them)!  See you at Clark!

Nike Women’s Marathon Ends in a Mess

October 23, 2008

There’s a lot of raucous going around in the other side of the world right now over the way the Nike Women’s Marathon at San Francisco ended last weekend.

Turns out that Arien O’ Connell, a fifth grade teacher from New York City who ran the fastest time of 2:55:11, was not immediately recognized as winner even if she beat the elite first placer who finished at 3:06 mainly because O’ Connell did not run with the elite group which got a 20-minute head start. That sucks.

As of today, Nike announced that O’ Connell will be recognized as one of the winners but still not as THE winner. Still sucks. 

Read more articles on Nike Women’s Marathon:

Marathon “a” winner; Nike a loser (SF Gate)

Award the real winner. Just do it, Nike (SF Gate)

In SF, fastest time doesnt win (Runner’s World)

Thanks to Neville for the news.

Double Training Day

October 23, 2008

As corny as it sounds, the greatest gift this blog has given me was the opportunity to meet people who share the same passion for running as I do. Yesterday, I realized that I started and ended the day with some of these people with whom I have had the good fortune of training (and talking and laughing) with:

{ SWIMMING WITH ME-ANNE, 7 a.m. }

When Mary Anne first commented on this blog, I couldn’t help but reply immediately.  We had too many things in common: both in love with running, in our 30’s, and with 2 kids.  When I met her, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that we also had the same NB 1222’s (that we’ve now gotten rid of) and we live in the same area.  Then, last month, we bumped into each other and discovered that we both signed up for our first tri at Animo; she instantly became one of my text mates for pre-tri anxieties over wardrobe and gear.

Yesterday, Me-Anne and I met up for a quick swim at 7 a.m.  I usually swim on my own and, most of the time, that’s the way I like it; there’s something about swimming alone in an olympic-sized pool early in the morning that allows me to reconnect with myself, feel completely at peace, almost like I’m a step closer to heaven even if half my body is submerged under water.  Yesterday, however, I was glad to have some company. 

Me-Anne and I are both newbies at swimming but we’re trying our best to improve with hopes of doing better at our next tri (don’t ask me when that’ll be). We spent perhaps half of the time talking in between laps, but I’d like to think we got some exercise in that morning. I swam just 500m but Me-Anne probably did more. Let’s meet up again soon, Me-Anne!

{ RUNNING WITH PINOY ULTRA PEEPS + DON, 7 p.m. }

I met up with Marga, Hector, Neville, and Don (Jeremy, where were you?!) at ROX, Bonifacio High Street for a quick run around BHS. It took us forever to start (too much conversation going on) but, hey, once we started, we ran a good steady pace all the way (not surprising when you run with these ultra runners). 

Sometime during the run, Neville talks about the first time I emailed him requesting for an interview for this blog. Wow, it seemed like ages ago! Then, I remembered how I met Marga via email when we promised to meet each other at Milo last year. And, when I first saw Hector as he talked about the Nike Lunar during the test run months ago. As for Don, I finally got to meet him recently after hearing so much about him from Marga.

So, there I was running around BHS realizing how much shorter these loops seemed when you talk with friends rather than run solo with an ipod.  Neville even spiced things up a bit when, for one loop, we did what he called “Indian Running” wherein we all ran in a line with the leader setting the pace.  The last man in the line then heads towards the front to take leader position and the cycle goes on until everyone collapses (I’m kidding about the last part.)  We ended our run alive and breathing at 7.5km for around 50mins. drinking to Neville’s stash of electrolyte drinks in the BHS parking lot.

Double training day was doubly fun with friends. I would do this again in a heartbeat.  If only I had all the time in the world!

1st Mayon Trail Run on Inquirer

October 20, 2008

I read the morning papers, er, just this afternoon and I was glad to see photos of the 1st Mayon Trail Run on the frontpage of Phil. Daily Inquirer.  The run helped to promote awareness for climate change.

Oh boy, it looked like an awfully challenging and tiring race but I’m sure the over 150 runners who participated crossed the finish line with smiles on their faces despite the mud on their shoes.

According to Inquirer, the winners of the 18k trail run were:

MALE:

1st: Elmer Sabal (1:09:30)

2nd: Allan Ballester (1:10:08)

3rd: Cresenciano Sabal (1:10:35)

FEMALE:

1st: Leszl Gitarueles (1:32:26)

2nd: Merlita Arias (1:45:07)

3rd: Ellen Tolentino (1:49:08)

Congratulations to the winners and all the finishers!

Click here for the Inquirer article.

Takbong May Yabang

October 19, 2008

Having slept close to midnight the previous night, I desperately needed my morning brew to get me up and about yesterday morning. So, despite the coffee ban I declared for myself in the previous post, I had half a cup of instant coffee with graham crackers for breakfast. (So much for all the planning!)

I arrived at the race venue, Cuenca Park at Ayala Alabang, a little after 6 a.m. frantic over my tardiness as I still had to register onsite. As I lined up at the registration booth, I was met by Coach Patrick Joson, the race organizer, who welcomed me with a smile, personally handing out my race packet even if I wasn’t sure he remembered me at all when I met him at Mizuno Run Club ages ago.  Turns out, I had enough time to claim my free Yabang Pinoy mug and band, put this back in the car, run to bathroom (twice!) before heading out for the assembly area.

This was a relatively small race in a relaxed, light, and fun atmosphere.  It was great to chat with running friends at the starting line almost forgetting at times that we were at a race, not a cocktail party.  No worries from me as this was going to be a training run; my goal was to run an easy 6:00 min/km pace for the race and run additional miles at 6:30-7 to reach my total of 18.5 km for the day.  The race started without fanfare, someone just yelled and we were off.

As we headed out towards Cuenca, I knew that my pacing plan—just like my coffee ban plan—had flown out the window. I was running at around 5:15, even reached a high of 4:27 during the first kilometer. I couldn’t help it. This was much too fun. 

After a few kilometers, I was running 3rd behind two fast women runners. I don’t recall how long we were running in one straight line, but time flew here as I just tried my best to keep up with them.  When the 2nd woman slowed down to drink, I crept up behind her to grab 2nd place.  Before I could yell “Wooohooo!” in my mind, I realized I had made a terrible mistake. Now, I knew she would be breathing down my neck the entire time and I had to push harder. Argh!

Pretty soon, this strong lady runner swept past me and I placed 3rd again. For the rest of the race, I ran close behind her running at around 5:20 to 5:30.  It was pretty much like this all throughout the race. Phoooey.

As we neared the finish, I recalled that Patrick had run the route the previous weekend and informed me early on that it was short of 10km, 8.8km to be exact.  So, around 8km, I slowly increased my pace to chase after the 2nd woman. Unfortunately, she did the same. As we neared St. James Church, we both managed to outpace the 1st woman.

We were soon sprinting towards the finish and, judging by her good form, I knew I wouldn’t be able to catch up with her. I crossed the finish line with an official time of 46:43 mins. for 8.6 km (even shorter than Patrick’s measurement) with an average pace of 5:26 min/km.  

Woah, by far, this was the most competitive race I had ever run.  Quite ironic, since this was probably the smallest race I had ever joined. I never got the name of that fast woman runner, but I did congratulate her after the run. It was so much fun!

She won 1st place, while I grabbed 2nd.  Wooohooo! 

Instead of waiting for the awarding, I met up with JunC (who won 4th place…Congrats!) and Dindo for yet another 2 loops of the race course for our long run. We ran an additional 10km at an easy 7:15 average pace which allowed for great conversation about running and family life.

I ended the morning in high spirits. The 2nd place finish was great, but it was the long run sans injury that made me jump up for joy!  Singapore here I come!

P.S. Sorry no photos. My long run was a priority that day.

Congrats to Patrick Joson for a great race!  Water was overflowing. Next year, hopefully we can make it exactly 10k. 🙂

Congrats to Mark Parco for placing 3rd (?) and bringing home a ricecooker! Me-Anne, glad your back into running. Nice seeing you Tiffin, Joe, and Eric. Patrick, sana you joined!  Idnod, it was nice to meet you even if I had to force your name out of you! To JunC and Dindo, long run again!

To Pee or Not To PR

October 17, 2008

To pee or not to PR, yes, that is my question.  

As I mentioned in a previous post, in the much too green November 2008 issue of Runner’s World (page 44 for those of you who have a copy), they said that “one or two cups of coffee or tea an hour before a hard workout or race” can lead to faster times.

With that in mind, I drank a cup of brewed Starbucks coffee one hour before Hope in Motion Race last October 5 hoping it would give me even just 1/8 of the speed of Usain Bolt. Sure I felt stronger and meaner (raaawr!) especially climbing up Country Club Drive.  But, I could have missed the start of that race with the seemingly unending pre-race visits to the little girls’ room. My bladder was uncontrollable.

Thinking that the first race was a fluke, I drank yet another cup of my brewed coffee before Adidas KOTR last week as added assistance to reach my sub-55 hour goal. Yes, I did achieve my goal, but I intentionally left out one little detail when I shared my race report: I went to the comfort room twice before the race, and just as the race was about to begin, I felt the urge AGAIN!  There was no time so I ran through the entire 10k praying to God that I could hold it in without doing a Paula Radcliffe in London Marathon 2005.

{ For late comers, I decided to remove the video clip from this blog in respect of the great Paula Radcliffe.  As others have said below, I think she chose to do whatever she had to do to achieve her goal of winning the marathon—I commend her for that. Some people have been poking fun at the video so I thought it best to remove it from this blog. }

So, the question I place before you is this: Would you drink a cup of coffee to boost your chances of breaking your PR in a race (or even just to improve your time) risking the constant visits to the bathroom, or worse, peeing in your pants?

For tomorrow’s Takbo May Yabang race, I know my answer already. No coffee for me, dear. I’ll stick to a cold bottle of Rush for breakfast and my three graham crackers.