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April 13, 2009

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Condura Race 2009 – Part 1

March 22, 2009

TBR RACE REVIEW: CONDURA RACE 2009

Organizer: Rudy Biscocho
Overall Rating (10 highest): 8

THUMBS UP!
– Skyway Run: You dreamed it and you pulled it off!  Hats off to Condura for creating a race like no other.  
– Medals for Half Marathon finishers: Everyone loves a medal.  Even better that someone placed it around our necks.
– Race marshals were effective especially in blocking off traffic:  We even witnessed a fight between a race marshal and a disgruntled driver.  Our bet was on the race marshall, of course.
– Abundant supply of water at stations.
– Sports Beans and sponges near or on the skyway.
– Portalets along the route.
– Pacers for 10k and 21k.
– Rocky theme song playing as 21k runners neared the finish.
– Bands playing along the route.  I didn’t see nor hear them though.  Hubby did.
– Inspirational signs to keep runners motivated (or distracted from the pain!)
– Race results to be published in Phil. Star.  Hope to see it soon!

GOOD JOB!
– Water sprinkling from the firetruck: Great that there was water to cool us down at the start/end of the skyway. I just hope that next time we have the option to get wet or not. I personally don’t like getting my shoes soaked but the water showered over the entire road, so most of us had to squeeze ourselves on the right side of the truck, climb on that way too high edge of the skyway just to avoid getting drenched. (Did I tell you I’m afraid of heights?)
– Fairly accurate distance.  21.07 for 21km and 9.8 for 10k.  
– Medical assistance was readily available.
– Booths and Nike sale at the expo area.

BETTER JOB NEXT TIME
– Crowded assembly area:  The assembly was filled with runners squeezing through the tiny entry way.  I heard some runners only entered when space was freed up after the gun start.
– Balde System: Runners have raised hell over the unsanitary balde system that’s been used in previous races. I heard that the people giving cups were now wearing gloves, but that doesn’t make much of a difference. When will we see an end to this?  UPDATE: Ton Concepcion clarified that all water provided was MINERAL WATER.  See comment below.  Thanks Ton!
– Water from a tank?  A friend told me that drinking water was taken from a Manila Water tank parked along the 5k turnaround.  Please don’t tell me this is true.  UPDATE: Again, this was not used as drinking water.  See comment below.
– Lack of mile markers.  With my Garmin conking out, I had to rely on mile markers.  The markers were few and far between.  

————————————————————-

Wow.  I am in a state of disbelief.  How did I possibly finish the Condura Half without any sign of injury (yes, not the slightest hint of pain) all throughout the race considering I was in pain even at rest for the past weeks?  How did I finish with a time of 2:24 (unofficial)—far cry from 2:08 at Singapore but I’m not complaining—when I expected to crawl through the finish at around 3 hours?  And, how did I manage to run through the finish when I was convinced I’d  be limping my way to the end just like Singapore Half? 

It could be due to my last-minute prep for the race: dry needling (Thur), deep massage (Tue & Fri), and ashtanga yoga (Sat) combined with strengthening exercises and stretches.  Or, as I’d like to think, it was simply a miracle.  God’s way of blessing me for being a good girl despite all the hell that I’ve been through with this injury perhaps? Hah!

Whatever the reason, I know I should be extremely grateful for the chance to run Condura Race.  Here are the highlights of my race:

Go Team Injured Skins!  It was JunC, Vince, and I who ran together for the first few kilometers of the race.  The three of us were in uniform: our iamninoy runners group shirt (more about this in a later post) and skins compression tights.  Aside from the common attire, all three of us had barely run the past two weeks and had knee injuries.  We shared the same mindset: this run was going to be a slow, safe, and steady run; no racing nor breaking PRs.  Along Buendia, Jake of Team Super joined us.  Until the end of the run, we were stuck together like glue.  It was fun running with you, guys!

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Hubby (10k) and I with JunC and wife Mariel (5k). Vince fell asleep in his booth soon after crossing the finish. Jake, where did you go? –

Glenn, the best pacesetter ever.  Early in the race, we stayed close to the 7min/km pace group led by Glenn of Fort Striders.  Glenn is a friend and he has always been sociable and funny.  Little did I know he had the ability to entertain runners with his witty remarks (e.g. “Prepare exact change, runners” as we climbed the skyway) which kept a large group of us runners guffawing throughout the race. 

Boo to my Garmin, Yey to “blind” running.  I hadn’t used my Garmin in over 3 weeks and, today, it decided to go on strike…twice.  It conked out at 2.5km and again at 7km even if it was fully charged.  At first, I was cursing.  But, later on, I realized it was a blessing that I couldn’t check on my pace or distance.  Running like a blind runner allowed me to enjoy the run even more.

The flyover was worth it.  Do you know that I decided to downgrade to 10k yesterday due to major anxieties over the injury?  But, thanks to friend/ ITBS adviser, Alvin, who told me that I should run the skyway even if I had to bike the first 10k, I decided to just go for it.  Upon climbing up the skyway, the sun was on our left and one could see all the runners ahead and behind marching like little soldiers.  It was a great sight.  Even nicer to think that no other runners had ever ran a race up there.

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– Alvin! I cannot thank you enough! Thanks for putting up with my bullheadedness, indecisiveness, and incessant whining over the injury! –

Test of the will.  I was fine throughout the race.  I actually found fulfillment running the slow 6:30 to 7 min/km even as other runners passed us by.  I refused to succumb to the temptation to run faster and risk injury.  But, on the way back, as we climbed the Buendia flyover, the heat and, I have to admit, the lack of training caught up with me.  I started feeling dehydrated and weak.  From the flyover to the finish line, it was all will that carried me through.

– Annie is back!  My dearest running buddy, Annie, flew in from Singapore for a 5-day break.  We saw each other before the race, hugged, spoke briefly, and off she went to run her 21k leaving us all in the dust.  What’s new?  At least I know she hasn’t changed one bit. Missed you Annie girl!

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– Annie showing off her photo in TBR Mag’s inner back cover. She says she’s willing to autograph your magazines anytime!-

Launch of TBR Magazine. I think this went fairly well.  I saw my banners up, the magazines were distributed after the race, and I didn’t faint onstage (I had just arrived from my 21k when they called me up there).  I was overwhelmed to hear the positive response from the runners I met.  Hope you liked it!

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To all runners, congratulations!  To Condura Durables Inc, especially Ton, Patrick, Michelle, and Alex, great race!  Hope to see you again on the skyway next year.

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– with good friends Dindo, Banggi, Joms, Ben, Hubby, and Renz –

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– with Dindo, Carmen, Tiffin, Jeremy, Mark, Marga –

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– with the hubby, my support and photographer for the day –

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– with i am ninoy runners group launched at Condura.  Congrats to Jamike and Mayi! –

More photos to follow…

Sick Leave

January 20, 2009

Just when I thought I could start training again, I was struck by a slight fever, achy bones, and a tummy ache yesterday.  I spent the entire day in bed consumed by an overall feeling of blahness, thinking about 1) the near perfect weather for swimming, 2) missed gym visit that day, 3) downgrading my 15k Happy Run registration to a 5k (arggh, I hate the idea, but I think a sick, recently-injured runner like me has got to bite the bullet and accept her sad fate), and last but not the least, 4) how Rustom (or Bebe Gandanghari) was able to gain his/her new waif-like figure in three months time through Pilates!

Yes, I know, I had too much idle time on my hands yesterday.  Thanks to Tylenol, I’m feeling much better now.  Today is still rest/ recovery day.  Hopefully, I’m strong enough for a short run and yoga tomorrow.

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) –

TBR Race No. 5

August 20, 2008

 5TBRrace

Surprise surprise! Here’s your last chance to win the Nike+ SportsBand!  

Be among the first 20 commenters in this post and get a chance to win 1 Nike+ SportsBand from TBR. Give me an answer that will make me laugh, cry, or furious and you increase your chances of winning. If you’re a newbie to the TBR Race, click here for detailed race rules.  

A few reminders:

  • Please refrain from revising your posted answer by sending a new entry.  Once you press submit, that’s it!  
  • Your comment won’t appear instantly since I moderate them. Fret not, I promise not to delete any.

Here we go…

Fill in the blanks and post in the comments section below.  Please limit answer to ONE SENTENCE.

I deserve the last Nike+ SportsBand because _________________________.

It’s Just Kinesio!

August 15, 2008

I chanced upon an article on Yahoo a few minutes ago entitled “The Mystery of the Black Stuff on Kerri Walsh’s Shoulder.”

So much for the mystery game. I instantly knew what the “black stuff” was and why it was on her shoulder. Suddenly, memories of my Clark Marathon came flashing back; I had the same stuff on my leg only mine came in shocking pink and bright blue. Those “stuff” were my best friends at that time, the only reason why I even managed to finish a 10km with my runner’s knee.

It was kinesio tape, which I wrote about a few month’s back here. Definitely an injured athlete’s best friend.

Nike+ Human Race Details

August 15, 2008

home_human_race

All over the world, millions of runners will virtually run together on 08.31.08.  In major cities chosen by Nike, such as L.A., Tokyo and London, there will be Nike+ Human Races where runners can join an official Nike race and run together.  Manila is not one of those cities.

However, Nike Philippines will organize a special race on 08.31.08 to gather all the virtual runners together so they can, in fact, run the full 10k as one.  This will not be an official Nike+ Human Race, therefore one should not expect the same Nike+ Human Race singlets and giveaways given in races across the globe, but it will be a real race, made more exciting and extravagant by Nike Philippines.  

Note: You must have a Nike+ Sportskit or SportsBand to join the race.  You have to log a total of 10km on your Nike+ on 08.31.08.  If it comes out less than 10k, you will not be counted as a finisher.

DATE: August 31, 2008

TIME: Assembly 5:30 A.M., Start 6:00 A.M.

VENUE: McKinley Hill, Bonifacio Global City

DISTANCE:  10km

MAXIMUM PARTICIPANTS: 1,000 runners

WEBSITE:  http://www.runrio.com, http://www.nikeplus.com.ph

EMAIL: rio@runrio.com

CONTACT NUMBER: 0906 314 3807 / 0918 985 9211 / (02) 3965170

CONTACT PERSON: Coach Rio de la Cruz

REGISTRATION DETAILS:

  1. Log on to www.nikeplus.com.ph
  2. Register for the Nike+ Virtual Human Race.  Join TEAM PHILIPPINES.  You may also create your own sub-group under Team Philippines (e.g., Team Ateneo, Team LaSalle, etc.)
  3. Register for the physical race by signing up at Nike Park, Bonifacio High Street.  Claim race kit here.  Registration open from Aug. 18  to 30, 4pm to 9pm only.  Free registration.

FREEBIES: 

  • All finishers will receive Nike Drifit Socks
  • All finishers will receive free photo (1 photographic print 4x6in by Photovendo after the race
  • Exclusive for Nike+ Sport Kit and Nike+ SportsBand users: Sync your run immediately after the race.  Laptops and wifi available.
  • Raffle prizes include a cruise to Palawan.
  • Drinks and food will be served.

PRIZES:

TOP FINISHERS:

  • 1st Place for Male and Female Category: 15,000 Nike GC
  • 2nd Place for Male and Female Category: 10,000 Nike GC
  • 3rd Place for Male and Female Category: 7,000 Nike GC

AGE CATEGORY (1 PER CATEGORY)

  • 18 yrs old and below (Male and Female): 3,000 Nike GC
  • 19 – 29 yrs old: 3,000 Nike GC
  • 30 – 39 yrs old: 3,000 Nike GC
  • 40 – 49 yrs old: 3,000 Nike GC
  • 50 above: 3,000 Nike GC

SPECIAL PRIZE: Biggest school delegation: 5,000 Nike GC

Mommy Milkshake Marathon Yr2

August 10, 2008

“What do you call breastfeeding moms running together?  Mommy Milkshake!”  Get it?

MMMJanice
– with my sister (no, we don’t usually wear matching outfits!) –

Janice Villanueva, co-owner of Mommy Matters Nursingwear and director of Creative Juice Communications (who also happens to be my sister), heard this joke on the radio a couple of years ago and almost instantly the idea for a fun run for nursing moms was born.

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– I’ll be in one of these in the next race.  PR, baby! –

Today was the 2nd year for Mommy Milkshake Marathon.  Along with 300 other moms and their families as well as serious runners who joined in on the fun, I showed up at Bonifacio High Street along with my hubby and son for a short 2k fun run (which turned out to be 2.6km as advised by organizers prior to the race).  

Knowing full well that my son would walk more than run, hubby and I arrived early for our usual training run.  I ran 6k with fartleks inserted somewhere in there.  Oooh, I felt strong and pain-free the entire time; it was a marvelous experience.  But, I’m trying my best not to get too excited about it.  I’m taming my inner bull, chewing on my fingernails, and repeating this line over and over “Endurance, endurance, endurance.  Forget about speed for now.”

After our pre-race run, there was just enough time for a quick costume change (we were advised to wear pink, remember?) and, after a brief speech by my sister and her partners, we were off.

 

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– 3…2…1… –

Under the sweltering 8 a.m. heat, we ran along with moms and strollers, dads with babies in slings, a preggy woman and a pup, and other faces one doesn’t quite expect in a run.  Of course, we also saw veteran runners and serious runners, plus other runner bloggers like RunMD and Bards, enjoying the easy run.  My son was soaked in sweat yet he plodded on trying to keep his pace.  

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– Cool preggy mommy-to-be with her pooch and friend –

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– Daddy and baby runners –

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– Mommy Lennie and her daughter –

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– Bards and RunMD squeezed MMM into their long run –

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– Happy Feet Joms and Abbey.  Aaaw, you should’ve signed up at Buddy Wellness Run –

We ran 1.6km, a full loop around Bonifacio High Street, when we went ahead towards the finish.  We decided against taking the 2nd loop as the heat was too intense for my little boy who looked absolutely exhausted.  As we neared the finish line, however, he saw his cousins and sprinted towards the end.  Strong finish, I must say.  (We might’ve fooled a lot of folks there!)

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– My two boys –

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– with Happy Feet girls, Vimz, Roselle, and Gigi and kids –

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– Girl Power! –

Running in Love

July 7, 2008

I know.  The title is so cheesy it makes you want to puke in your running shoes.  I almost did after I typed that in.  But, how else can I write about the positive impact running has had on my marriage without getting all sentimental and baduy?!

Loyal readers know that I had, for the longest time, been praying that the hubby join me in my running crusade.  I had never planned for an all-out offensive with him.  My strategy was to inundate him with interesting and exciting running stories, show off my well-toned arms and legs (which haven’t revealed themselves to me at the moment), and simply wait and see if he would take up the sport on his own.

Lo and behold, he did!  Slowly but surely, he worked his way up to 5ks, first on the treadmill then the road over the past few months.  He then joined his 1st 5k race, the Mizuno Infinity Run, and a couple more after that.  On days when he doesn’t play golf (his great love—second to me, of course), he runs instead.  A month ago, he purchased his Garmin 405 (which was technically my birthday gift to him) and last week, he got a mountain bike (which is way cooler than my hand-me-down).  The hubby is getting serious about this—and I can only sit back and admire the new running/ biking obsessed fiend I’ve created…kidding!

Who would’ve known that—aside from the many health benefits of running and biking—we would receive another bonus: a happier marriage.  It’s not like we weren’t happy to begin with.  But, running certainly has added more color and excitement to our married life and has given us yet another passion to share.  

It’s fine if we don’t go on dinner dates often.  And he doesn’t give me flowers on Valentine’s Day.  And he doesn’t call me every waking minute to say he loves me (I wouldn’t want that anyway!)

I’m much happier with the fact that, last weekend, we ran an easy 5k together and had breakfast before the kids woke up.

I love it when I ask the hubby “What was your pace?” and he’ll answer with a number, not a blank stare. That we can pore over our own Garmins for minutes (it’s not just me anymore) and share the same amazement at these wonderfully crafted little watches (although my 305 is still better than his).  That we enter a sports store together equally ecstatic over our greatest active wear finds.

Our next date?  A bike trip to the gas station to put air in our tires—I’d choose that over dinner at Greenbelt, anytime!

Desperate Runner

June 23, 2008

Xray

– My xray results.  No fractures here. –

“Are you desperate?”  This was the question that my good ol’ doctor posed before me soon after he reviewed the tibia xray I submitted to him last Thursday.  After visiting him regularly (perhaps “way too often” is a better description) the past weeks, he ruled out a fracture and was definite that my injury was a muscle problem that could only be cured by strengthening exercises that would take, as he said, at least 6 weeks to have some effect.  

“Desperate? Me?” I thought.  Then, without hesitation, I replied “YES.  Super desperate, doc. I need to run again asap.”  And, that’s when he told me to meet him at Moro Lorenzo Sports Center on this day.

This afternoon, I found myself at Moro Lorenzo with the good doctor before me surrounded by a dozen athletes who were probably still in their mothers’ womb while I was already riding my pink BMX outdoors. (Never had I felt so old and decrepit—injured and bloated na, matanda pa!)  My doctor introduces me to Kristine, the head physiotherapist, who I met last year when Adidas gave me a foot assessment.  Then, Kristine introduces me to the therapist who will take care of me.  The guy looked like a younger Robert Downey, Jr. with the charm and brains of Dr. McDreamy.  Oh, I thought it was embarrassing to have to show him my feet, but what the hell, he was probably a decade younger than me too.

He interviewed me for a long 15-20 minutes, asking every detail of my injury and jotting this down on a sheet.  He stared at my feet for the longest time that my toes almost blushed.  He checked how I walk, gave me a range test, taped my foot, and so on and so forth.  Needless to say, it was the most comprehensive assessment I had ever been through.

Basically, he had the same evaluation as my doctor.  Overpronation is the main culprit.  My left foot overpronates which causes too much strain on my shin muscles.  He taught me strengthening exercises then saved the best part for last… acupuncture.

It was my first time to get—how shall I say it—acupunctured?  It was definitely a new experience—the bite of an ant followed by an inner squeezing, twisting, and burning of muscles, sometimes highlighted by an explosive pain when the muscles suddenly twitches.  Ooooh, not an experience that I particularly enjoyed.  However, if I had to choose between “releasing” of muscles through massage or acupuncture, I would, without a second thought, go for the latter.  It was just more bearable.

I ended the session with my leg looking like a mummy.  I had kinesio tape wrapped over my shin and tape all around my foot.  Then, before I left, I asked my favorite question “So, when can I run again?”  Dr. Robert Downey replied “Not this week.”  So much for the Rush to Mizuno Run that I was hoping to join (I even registered for it last Friday).  This Bull Runner didn’t even put up a fight.  I accepted his answer and limped my way out of the clinic.  Looks like I’m getting better at dealing with life’s little injuries.