Archive for December, 2008

Subic Seven

December 29, 2008

Just got back from Subic with the hubby, kids, and my side of the family.  We spent three full days of lounging around at the beach, eating to our stomach’s delight, and enjoying each other’s company.  

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{ 7 SIBLINGS }

With my Dad’s recent passing, we thought that the first Christmas without Dad would be most difficult for my Mom, so we decided to bring her out to Subic.  We are seven siblings—2 of whom are out of town—so the five of us from Manila packed our bags, along with our families or girlfriends, for some rest, relaxation, and a long-delayed family trip.

{ 7 KM }

Of course, hubby and I packed our running gear too.

We were like empty nesters on the first night as the kids chose to sleep over with their cousins.  This, however, gave us the opportunity to run together early the following morning without worrying about them.

At 6:15 a.m., we stepped out of our hotel, Subic Yacht Club, and faced the chilly breeze near the dock behind our hotel.  We warmed up with a light jog along the sidewalk of the main road, Rizal Highway, to avoid the few cars that were cruising on the roads.  In hindsight, I don’t know what would’ve been a better choice: running on the road and risking death, or having to run through that sidewalk comprised of slabs of concrete connected to each other with holes in between each one, which left us staring down at our feet throughout the run to avoid stepping into a hole.

After a few kilometers, we made a left on Binictican Drive towards Subic Homes where the rest of the family stayed.  Now, these asphalted roads had less traffic and were lined with trees on both sides.  I ran in front of hubby, both of us with our ipods on, in a leisurely 6:30 pace.  We practically owned the roads at that time so, like the queen of the road, I started singing aloud along with Beyonce.

When we reached 3.5km at the Subic Golf & Country Club’s driving range, we made a u-turn, ran through those dreaded sidewalks, and arrived at the hotel for a total of 7 km.  We could’ve gone farther, but we had to make it back in time for the beach.

{ 7 LBS. }

I think I was stuffing adobo into my mouth, dipping chips into salsa, or dropping Food for the Gods unto my tongue throughout the entire trip.  It was a food fest, I tell you.  And, despite that 7 km (or 405 calorie) run, I managed to gain a whopping 7 lbs. in three days…

S-E-V-E-N!  Can you believe that?!

I’m guessing three of those pounds is water weight, so that’ll be gone by tomorrow morning.  As for the four other pounds…oh boy, it’ll take more than a good night’s sleep to get rid of those, but I’m definitely not allowing them to join me in 2009.  Two days of discipline should take care of them…I hope.

S-E-V-E-N…sheesh.

‘Tis The Day Before Christmas

December 24, 2008

It’s the day before Christmas and I just love how slow and sleepy everything is until family and friends gather together for Christmas eve dinner and mass tonight.  

This morning was quite the opposite for me though.  It was filled with energy and laughter and food and chatter.

At 6:30 a.m., Annie, JunC and I met for our unofficial Christmas run along the roads of Ayala Alabang.  We had no goals—no target distance nor time—all we knew was that we would run at “kwento pace.”

Somewhere in the middle of the run, I parted ways with them as I decided to head back when my knee started bugging me again.  I finished 10km while they ran a fast and hilly 9.5km.  We met at the park where we had our little potluck picnic:  Annie brought skyflakes, dip, and pichi pichi, I brought bananas, sports drinks, and oreos, while Jun brought his favorite fig newtons.

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By 8:30 a.m., I was back on the road headed for Greenmeadows on the opposite side of the earth.  I was to meet my cousin from New York, Celine, at the clubhouse pool for a swim.  By the time I arrived, she was headed for home, so I swam an easy 500-meters at the crystal clear pool all by my lonesome.  I hadn’t swam for over two months since my Dad’s passing and I hadn’t realized how much I missed it; it was so calm, almost like a cleansing and purging before the New Year.  

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This afternoon is all about rest and relaxation before the long and merry night ahead.  Stop reading this already and take a quick nap.  I should be getting one soon too…

Christmas at Kim’s

December 23, 2008

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– Kim showing off her running profiles from Ben Chan to friends. More photos of Kim here

KIM O’ CONNELL: OUR NEW RUNNING MOMMY

First time I met Kim was at the Animo Run. We bumped into each other after the race and spoke briefly.  That was it, but I knew I would never forget her: She spoke with a unique accent, such a gentle voice, and a very pleasant and cheerful disposition.  Meeting her was like coming home to mom (and, by the way, my mom has a slight accent too.)

A few months after, I learned that Kim was being coached by my coach, Coach Jo-Ar.  Still, we rarely saw each other.

Come November, when Annie and I were searching for a hotel to stay in for the Singapore Marathon, Coach Jo-Ar informed us that he had told Kim about us and before we knew it, Kim had helped us book a hotel room!  By the time we arrived in Singapore, Kim was like our 2nd mommy: dropping by our room to check on us, giving us MRT cards, hosting a pre-race carbo loading party, and making sure we were all set before we left.

Kim arrived in Manila only last January and it comes as no surprise that, in such a short time, she has amassed such a large number of friends.  She’s such a delightful person to be with.

KIM’S CHRISTMAS DINNER 

Kim and her husband, Patrick, invited us into their beautiful home last Sunday for a wonderful Christmas dinner among, as Patrick cheerfully revealed, around 45 of Kim’s running friends and only 5 of his colleagues.  

Kim and Patrick, who I met for the first time that evening, were gracious hosts throughout the evening.  The dinner was scrumptious…and sinful (so the thought of dieting in my mind was immediately replaced with super crispy lechon on my plate), live vocals from Nino Alejandro was outstanding (for a while there I thought David Cook was serenading me) and, of course, the company of running friends made the evening even more delightful—and interesting.

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I had the pleasure of dining with Patrick, Bald Runner, Capt. Espejo, Melvin from Fort Striders, Coach Rio, Coach Jo-Ar, and my hubby.  One doesn’t need to wonder what we talked about for the most part of the evening.  Running and everything about it: marathons, ultras, competitive running, recreational, road races, track, PATAFA—you name it, we talked about it.  

After that evening, I realized that, as much as runners are bound by a common love for running, we are still very different in so many aspects: how we allow it to affect our lives, how we train, who we train with, our running goals, our vision for the sport in the country, and so many more.  

If I could just add one more thing to my Christmas Wish List right now, it would be this: For all of us runners—especially the movers and shakers of the running community now—to work as one to make 2009 a bigger and brighter year for running.  Collaboration is the key, not competition.

To Patrick and Kim, thank you once again for inviting us.  To Kim—the most kind-hearted, generous, and caring runner around—I feel fortunate to have met you.  You look soft on the outside, but you are one tough and courageous woman!  Go for your Ultra!


2009 Marathon Schedule Updates

December 19, 2008

If you’re confused with the changes in full marathon schedules, you are not alone.  Here is the updated marathon schedules for 2009:

  • Philippine Marathon: moved from Feb 22 to March 8
  • Quezon City Marathon: moved from Feb to October 18
  • Clark Marathon: initially planned for Feb, but now set for December 5 (tentative)

Will Milo Marathon be in August?  Will there still be a Subic Marathon?  Is there any other marathon that you know of that’s not listed above?

For now, that’s the list of marathons for next year.  Take your pick and start training…uhm, maybe after Noche Buena.

Who Wants to Run on the Skyway?

December 19, 2008

I do!  

Running on the Skyway—it’s wide, paved, elevated roads overlooking the metro and just a touch away from the clouds—has been my dream for the longest time.  No one is ever allowed to walk on this road, much less run on it.  But, thanks to Condura, we’ll all have the chance to do so!

Get ready for CONDURA RACE on March 22, 2009, where the Half Marathon route will partially pass the South Luzon Skyway coming from Bonifacio Global City.  Woohoo!  There will also be a 3k/ 5k/ 10k race.

Patrick

– Patrick Concepcion, Ton Concepcion, Mr. Borromeo (President – Skyway), Mr. Nepomuceno (Skyway – VP for Operations) at the MOA signing for Condura Skyway Run last night –

Thank you in advance to Condura Durables, Inc. headed by running brothers, Patrick and Ton Concepcion, for raising the bar when it comes to local races!

Further details on early registration for Condura Skyway Run will be available soon.  I’ll keep you posted.

Visit Patrick’s blog here.

My Christmas Wish List

December 18, 2008

Where is it: My Christmas Wish List?  I’ve been so busy with work, the kids, dinners, workouts and shopping that I’ve realized just now that I haven’t sat down to think about what I want for Christmas, which is only a week away! (Gasp!)  So, here I go, typing as I think about everything I wish to receive:  (Listen up, hubby!)

  1. A bike:  It seems that my months of hinting have fallen on deaf ears as I still don’t see a bike in the garage, so here I am spelling it out for the dearest hubby to read.  I want a B-I-K-E.  If it doesn’t fit into the budget this December, then I will patiently wait.  Do not get me jewelry, clothes, shoes, or a bag because I will wrap them up and give them to relatives next year.  This bull will only accept a bike for Christmas.
  2. An injury-free holiday.  Christmas break—just like sem break and summer—is a mommy-driver’s time off!  It’s the season for full-blast, no holds barred, elite-level, wow-look-at-my-toned-legs type of training.  I’m hoping that when school ends for my kids this Friday, my knees are ready for the long runs I’ve been dreaming of.
  3. Lots of massage.  Isn’t this long holiday break heaven?  I plan to spend every waking minute of this break at home getting a full body massage with extra loving care on my tight ITBs. Massage from my acupuncturist would be great too.
  4. Secret project success.  So, I’ve been head-over-heels busy because I’ve been cooking up a project that has everything to do with running.  My wish is that when I launch in January 2009, it comes out as I had envisioned it—or better.  (Sorry, I can’t divulge any details as of the moment.  If I do, I would have to burn your running shoes and kill you.)  

Such a short list!  I thought it would be so much longer.  Well, it doesn’t take too much to make this bull happy.

Runners’ Christmas Get Together

December 16, 2008

When there are no more races to attend for the rest of the year and Christmas is just a blink away, what do runners do so they don’t miss each other too much?  They plan for a Runner’s Christmas Get Together so that they have a reason to meet again and chat about…what else?…running and races.

Last night, a big bunch of us left our running gear at home and dressed up for dinner at Italiannis, Bonifacio High Street.  It was an evening of non-stop eating, talking, laughing, and posing for photos.  Yes, runners do know how to have fun beyond the road, too!

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– Class Picture –

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– Bards (Banana Running), Coach Rio, Dingdong (RunMD), Dindo (RunningDATcom), and Mesh (MyIronShoes) –

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– Vince, Vimz, Ben, BroJ (JRunning), Coach Rio, and Vener (Run Unltd.) –

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– Vina, Doray (Doralicious), Mark, Mikey, Tiffin, Vimz (KulitRunner), Aljo, Philip (Foreign Runner) –

Thank God It’s Monday!

December 15, 2008

I’m so relieved the weekend is over.  

To make a long, dreary, dreadful weekend story short, I learned—during what should have been an easy 5k run at Nike Run Clinic last Friday—that my knee still needs more time to recover.  (Note that I do not use the word “injury” as I’m fairly optimistic that I’ll be out and running again after a few days.  Crossing my fingers!  Cross yours for me too.  And, I hope my acupuncturist is doing the same.)

So, I had to pass on the Mizuno-Fuego Sunset race last Saturday.  Boo hoo.  And, the entire family took a trip to the mall instead where my little girl kept saying “I thought we were going to play in the sand today.” while the other one complained “So, I bought a whole can of Pringles last week for nothing?!”

As if I didn’t have enough reason to feel depressed, nature plays a cruel joke on me.  What’s the worst thing you can do to a woman when she’s down?  You make her feel fat and ugly.  I got my monthly period accompanied by stomach pains that Saturday.  So, as much as I tried to find comfort in Christmas shopping, I felt weak and tired all throughout the weekend.

Aaah, I’m glad it’s Monday already; it’s a fresh start.  I looked in the mirror this morning and I’d like to believe I don’t look like the evil witch that I was last Saturday.  As of this morning, I’m not brooding over the injury nor the missed runs anymore; at least, I’m trying my best not to do so.  I’m fairly optimistic that I’ll recover from this brief setback in no time as I’m a veteran when it comes to my runner’s knee; I pretty much know what my body needs to get back on track asap.  

Hope you have a great week.  Mine will definitely be better than the weekend.

Singapore Marathon: Post Race

December 11, 2008

Aaah, I felt exhilarated as I passed through the 21km finishing chute.  An overwhelming feeling of pride, a strong sense of achievement, and a warm fuzzy feeling of relief swept over me.  I was limping, but I didn’t feel injured nor broken inside.  

Around me, runners were walking about, lining up for mineral water, or busy untying their laces to remove the champion chip and claim their medals. Race marshalls were everywhere, clearing the area and directing runners towards the meeting area.  

I was alone in a sea of unfamiliar faces.  No hubby to welcome me with a bottle of water and a quick photo op nor friends to high-five or congratulate.  Why, I even missed the usual small talk with fellow Pinoy runners after a long race, where one usually shakes the other’s hand, says a quick “Ang lakas mo” and parts ways.  This only convinced me even more that my first marathon would not be abroad, but in Manila (or Clark?) where all out Pinoy support and camaraderie may be more important than a high-tech, well-officiated race.

I returned the chip, claimed my first half-marathon medal, and limped my way towards the exit in silence.  There, I was instantly greeted by the Pinoy support I was searching for.  Coach Rio stood right in front of me with the Philippine flag behind him.  CatA, a fellow runner who moved to Singapore a couple of months ago, cheerily greeted me with a hug and lots of talk.  More and more Pinoy runners started arriving from the race: some were familiar faces, such as pacemate Jun, Mark and Tiffin, and Dra. Doray, while others I had only met, like Dra. Laura.  There was non-stop talking, laughing, and…uhm…picture-taking (how Pinoy, diba?!)

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As the others chatted, Jun and I went around the booth area to claim free 100Plus, bananas, Nature Valley granola bars, inflatable balloons and whistles for the kids and a bunch of other treats.  We even witnessed the awarding of the top 3 winners of the Women’s Marathon and joined the crowd in cheering for these three strong and speedy ladies.  

Pretty soon, we headed back to the hotel where Annie would meet us after a few minutes.  It was a long, slow walk back as I was tired and limping; however, it was even longer for Annie who walked alone (and got lost for 30 minutes) after her full marathon!  Ayayay!

Annie and I spent the rest of the hours laughing and exchanging stories about the race as we lay in our beds, clad only in hotel robes, unable to move a single limb.  We missed the breakfast with Mark and Tiffin and only headed down for a meal at a late 2pm.  Soon after that, it was time to shop again!

We left Singapore early the following day with sore muscles, tired legs, and tons of stories to tell.  Running and racing abroad was an amazing, unforgettable experience; one that I hope to do every year from now on…if only I won the lotto.

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– Jun, Coach Rio, Aljo and Annie checking in for our flight back home –

* Photos courtesy of Coach Rio and Dra. Doray

Singapore Marathon: Pre Race

December 10, 2008

On December 5, Annie and I rushed to NAIA Terminal 3 amid the heavy Friday evening traffic to discover that we should’ve gone to Terminal 3 instead.  That incident, we laughed, was a sign of things to come for the entire Singapore trip.

We landed in Singapore a little past midnight on Saturday, Dec. 6. We were dead tired, but we were up and about that Saturday morning, along with pacemate, JunC, who volunteered to be our bodyguard, navigator, kargador, photographer, confidante, and friend, to:

1) Pick up our race packets (race bib, bag, champion chip, flyers and free samples) at the Expo Convention and Exhibition Center…

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which took less than 10 minutes due to excellent set up and organization…

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2) Shop around at the Sports & Fitness Expo at the exit of the registration area…

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where Annie bought 2XU calf guards and a race belt, Jun got a cap, and…

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poor TBR just browsed around and tested items…

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– TBR feigning interest in Newtons. I’m just too afraid to try these on my flat feet –

3) Shop at pre-determined areas such as IKEA, Nike, Asics, Adidas, and uhm…that’s about it. (Sorry, no pics available as our photographer, JunC, had his hands tied carrying two comforters I purchased for the kiddos)

4) Eat-and-Run Carbo loading dinner at Kim’s sister’s house near our favorite Paragon Mall. (Thank you again Kim!)

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We made the big mistake of tiring ourselves the day before the race. We were pooped—and we worried that it would affect our performance.

Fortunately for me, I dozed off by 9:30pm.  My roomie, Annie, hardly got any shuteye as she stressed over her marathon, but she ran sub-4. Poor JunC slept for only 3 hours and probably paid the price for it when he cramped during the race.  

Lesson learned: Next race abroad, arrive 2 or 3 days in advance.

Next post: Post Race