Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Mga Kapatid!

Wishing you all Happy Holidays. May you have a joyous and meaningful celebration.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Everyone!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Get-Together with Running Friends/Bloggers

Last Monday was the get-together of the many runner-friends-blogger folks at Italianni's. Great food, great conversations, great fun, and great people! Since pictures can speak for themselves, here are the pics (mostly stolen from Wilbert, thanks bro! :-).

Vimz, Jaymie, Doray, Tiffin, Jaimie, Abby, Gigi, Que, Rio, Jun, Jinoe, Hector, Vener, Taki, Vince, Gene, Dingdong, Ben, Jay, Dindo, Bard, Philip, Vina, Bro J, Mark, Wilbert, Mesh, Mikey, Aljo

With Mesh, Gigi, Jinoe, Que and Taki

Two of the lovely ladies at the dinner party.

With Taki.

With Philip and his wife.

I'm a Ninja, I'm there somewhere.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fun Run for Cancer Warriors

Running dudes and dudettes, a bit last minute but if you're looking for race with a cause to run, check out this race.

Name: Rotary Club of Quezon City Circle Fun Run
Distance: 15kms and 7kms
Venue: SM Fairview (until San Jose, Bulacan)
Date and Time: 14th Dec (Sunday) at 6am
Registration starts at 5am, Race starts at 6am
(there is on-site registration, registration fee is P15o)

Prizes for 15kms:
  • First: Php 10,000 and all-expense paid to Taiwan Full Marathon
  • Second: Php 7,000
  • Third: Php 5,000
Prizes for 7kms:
  • First: Php 7,000
  • Second: Php 5,000
  • Third: Php 3,000
For inquiries, please contact Mr. Bing Quite at 09289698028 or 09165122208

Friday, December 5, 2008

32nd Milo Marathon Finals (10Kms)

First some few words: Good luck to all those running in Singapore this Sunday! Go get 'em folks!

As usual, should have done this earlier in the week but didn't so this is post is already getting dated. I'll make it short :-)

First off, I went in to this race to do my recovery run. I haven't run since the New Balance Power Race 2 weeks ago. I tried to a week after, but my knees were still giving me some problems so I thought it prudent to rest it for another week. With plan marathon on February 2009, I'm a bit paranoid on getting waylaid by a training injury. Better slightly under-prepared but a bundle of energy than over train and an injury waiting to happen.

Aniways, almost missed this one, because of late registration on my part. The same lady handling the registration is still in her same agitated self :-) but that's ok Ma'am, with so many people trying to register at the last minute and in our usual Pinoy makulit fashion, I would be too. In any case, the 32nd Milo Marathon is well organized and well handled, kudos to Mr. Rudy Biscocho and his team of organizers. I'll have to chalk this up to my OK race, not as memorable as the last Milo race but still ok.

The plan going into the race was to run slow and steady and let my legs acclimatize back to it's running form. My concern going in was the two weeks of non-running might have some dire impact on my running. During the race I did feel sluggish for the first 5 kilometers but the dull pain in my knees wasn't as noticeable. After 6th kms, hardly notice it. It was a good race, not the most eventful but that's Ok. Well, except for that brief moment of _eliteness_ when the leading marathoner pass me. Hehe, standing on the shoulder of giants so to speak :-) as soon as he was beside me I tried to run with him. The idea was to run with him until the Finish Line and then wave to the adoring crowd, it's evil I know, but that was the plan :-) Or at least until the support crew wise-up and tried to shout discouragement my way. Heh, since the I didn't show the slightest care to whatever they're shouting themselves hoarse, I wonder what they would have done. Ahh... but that was before my knees betrayed me :-( It was 42.2kms run and the lead guy is still doing 4.20ish pace/km and I can only keep up for 600 meters or so... lame ... very ... I know. Dude, I'll race you next lifetime!

It's probably the tail-end of the racing season, I'll see if any of the December races will caught my attention, if not, will probably be my last race for the year. After this race, I'll just take a few days rest then go full blast to marathon training.

By my watch, I clocked the following time:

Distance: 10.26 kms
Time: 1:04:31
Pace: 6:17/km

Here are some of the pics at the race:

With my two posse (left) CJ, the mean-eating Ben 10 and Paolo, the Mystic Force Overdrive Ranger #1

Family pic of my gorgeous Ading, with hubby and two kids.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

#3 Todo Stuff Before Getting Married

[Note: This was mentioned by a couple of readers but haven't really took note of it until now. Apparently, if you're using Windows/Internet Explorer, the pics in my blog only shows up as microscopic thumbnail (you have to squint to see it) as opposed to smaller size picture that are still reasonably viewable. I use Linux/Firefox combo so haven't really notice it. In any case, just point your mouse on the picture and click on it. This should enlarge it. 'hope this helps.]

I've been really slack in posting stuff on my blog. That's because it takes me a while to post a single article. A normal post/article for me takes at least 4 hours. An hour to scribe the idea, an hour to make it into some coherent, readable article, and then at least 2 hours to finalize it (I always get bog down on whether I'm supposed to use "in" instead of "on" or incorrectly using past/present tense, etc). It ain't easy boys and girls. My Ading (Ading is an Ilocano word for younger sibling) keep telling that I should at least proof-read my articles before posting it (unfortunately, critiquing your own work is easier said than done since errors, syntax or otherwise is not as obvious).

Aniweys, I thought I'd post a quickie article that doesn't take too much brain cells. My list of TODO stuff before I tie-the-knot, settle down, and live blissfully ever after and into the wonderful world matrimony and monogamous relationship. Number 3 (but in no particular order) in my list TODO stuff before getting married is rock climbing! Wuhoo!

This was something I was into before I got into running. It's physically and mentally demanding, but serious kickass! After work, I'd hop into my bicycle and head over to Kangaroo Point with a couple of guys at work and hit the rocks and the fräuleins and mademoiselles that hang out at the scene (Hehe, joking :-))

Hey Spidey baby, this is how you do it.

First, No Fear.

Then, look cool.

Then see if you can pull those Asthanga moves from master Yoda teaching yoga.

Is the Force with you?

Yes? No? Just take a deep breath...

Then shout for help. Saklolo!

Hmm... you ok up there junior?

The rock walls (man-made) at Kangaroo Point.

At the local wall climbing gym, but not too often though since it's Besides, wall climbing at the gym is very much like running on treadmills at the gym (a poor second choice).

Hey, tomorrow's going to be the Milo Finals, one the major running events in Manila. I'll be running in 10K category, my recovery run (and my first run since the NB race two weeks ago). See you all there people!

Monday, November 17, 2008

New Balance Power Race 25Km

25Kms of hard running, some crawling but no walking!

The much anticipated out-of-town race of the year is the New Balance Power Race 25km in Clark. Everyone seems to have ticked off this event in their race calendar and rightly so, as this one of the really great races of the year. The venue was well-chosen and well-provision, weather-perfect and organizers up to par. As this is my first 25K and my longest run so far, it easily qualify as one of my great races.

The race was in Clark which is a new race venue for me, since I'd hate to drive there and find my way on race day I booked a hotel accommodation inside Clark Zone. On Saturday, I picked up Wayne from Makati and then hook-up with Mon Domingo and other members of Happy Feet (hehe, I managed to get myself invited to a pre-race party). We did a convoy, with me was Wilbert and Wayne (great conversation guys!). In Tarlac, we meet up with Jinoe/Queenie ( before heading to Tanya's place for one great pre-race party.

At Tanya's place, there was heaps of food, so much to eat, very little time. A special treat for me was the buro-lite and the stuff frogs, yummy bear! I haven't had those in years. Hehe, I got an invite to stay the night (with other Happy Feet) but I've already booked the hotel accommodation sayang (Tanya pretty please, can I get an invite again next year? :-)). After the party, we head back to Clark. Since I'm pretty clueless in this place, I just tailgated Rosselle and her friend Willy back to Clark. We had to circle SCTEX a couple of times to find our way, so a bit late when we got to the hotel.

Woke at up 3:40am, as this is my longest race to date, I kept to my my pre-run rituals. Over-hydrate (so I don't have to make a pit stop during the race), yoga/asana stretch, quickie download at the toilet, pre-race banana-load before heading out to the registration area. Saw a number of blogger-runner folks so took it as opportunity for photo-ops. Now this is where it always gets dicey. Over-hydrating means I gotta take a leak a couple of times before the race, normally I'd just find a wall and drill a hole in it with my superpowers (if no handy portalet or there's long queue). But today's race venue is closer to nature, a wide swath of greenery and foliage around us, down-to-earth so to speak. So walked further up, and under the cover of darkness, I took out my weapon of choice and gave Mother nature the shower of love.

After which, I headed to the starting area with the rest of the runners. There was a few minutes delay but that's alright, they're probably calibrating the RFID timing chips. Then we're off to a slow jog before runners found their own pace at the first kilometer. Prior to the race, I was thinking of using my old Timex watch for one last race, but I don't want to risk bonking out like at the last KOTR 21k so chuck it instead for spanking new Garmin 405. Yeah bebe! (Actually I wasn't too keen to use it since I haven't had the chance to tinker it - just enough to use it but not enough to be comfortable in it). First few kilometers was uneventful so I settled down to my race pace.

At kilometer 9th, I saw dyosa ng kagandahan and her sporting bib# 218x run past me. This was the very same super-chick who I run in to at the Adidas KOTR 21k and still looking divine in those very short shorts. For the next 6 kms or so, I tried to keep pace, run by her side, sometimes ahead but mostly just draft behind her. So there we are, couple of guys behind, thanking our lucky star for this flash of encouragement and inspiration. (But Honey baby, you gotta stop fiddling with your hair, you're driving us crazy, you're hot enough as it is). Soon she tired out of her blistering pace and had to slow down. Sayonara dyosa mia, next time, I'll slow down for you.

At kilometer 18th to 21st, I was running behind troika of Doralicious, Coach Rio and Bullrunner. Now this is the part where we had to run 4kms of straight but gradual ascent, grabe, ang lakas ng dalawang girls na ito. Killer looks na, killer legs pa. I thought I'd crawl up those supposedly 'manageable' uphills, barely kept up with the girls (actually they left me behind). Thankfully, there was the downhill after, where I manage redeem myself since these girls are still keeping up the same pace. Of course once the terrain flatten out, they run past me again. And to rub salt to my wounded pride, that super-chick with legs na nakakasilaw I thought left behind in kilometer 16th, effortlessly zing pass me... (Honey, we gotta stop meeting like this).

On the last 2 kilometers, I caught up with girls. Man! it was the last 2 kms, as lovely as these ladies are, no way I'm gonna get _chick_ to the finish line. A man's gotta have his pride. And so with my quads bursting, knees wobbling, and cramps about to kill me, I gave it my one last bestest shot, the HE-MAN finishing run!


By my watch, I clocked the following:
Distance: 25.07Kms
Time: 2:33:38
Pace: 6:08 km

Pheidippides my brother, hear me and rejoice, soon I will be with thee in spirit, for I WILL BE RUNNING MARATHON!

Memorable Moments:
- Running the whole 25Km race. F**king Awesome Experience!
- Meeting new folks from the running/blogging community. Johnny (Johnny's Run), Baldrunner, Levy (Happy Hour), Philip (ForeignRunner), Vener (Run Unltd), Jinoe/Queenie (, Wilbert (vballrunner), Jerry (HighAltitude), BugoBugo, Annie (the perennial age category winner), Mon Domingo, Tanya, Roselle and other folks from Happy Feet. Actually, there's more but I don't recall
(my bad) all their names. Very Nice! Some of the supermoms I was hoping to meet but didn't the chance was Annalenemb (meekrunner), Nora and MJ (but I think they skip this race).

Couple of things strikes me at this race:
- One thing about the local races these days is that they're _all_ kickass, well-organized, well-provision race. If you backtrack the last 10 races or so, you'd be hard-pressed to find a race that didn't deliver. Man, woe on the future race organizers who can't keep up and deliver on race day.
- One of the off-shoot of the running boom community is parallel boom in runner blogger community. If you check, most of the rockstar running blogs made their debut last year, with the rest following suit this year. Probably safe to say that one of the many tell-tale tipping point in today's running boom is the number of runners blogging it.
- Since it always good to see and bump into a familiar face (even if it's virtual) at the races, there's an air festivities (I suppose all those after-race endorphin rush) among runners. Really, weekend races are more like catching up, beso-beso, after-race run with other runners and breakfast. All fine by me.
- Maybe it's just me, but _most_ of the runner-bloggers seem to be more or less on the same level of running (except for some like baldrunner). A lot of them got serious about their running this year and run their first long 10k race, then proceeded to their milestone run of 21k and 25k this year (a few will be will running their first marathon late this year or a number of us early next year). Give or take a few minutes difference in their run time for a given distance.

Here are some of the pics for the New Balance Power Race at Clark:

What can I say? I got an uncanny talent for getting invited to the coolest parties :-) Wayne with Happy Feet.

Yummy Pics:
1. Smörgåsbord of Filipino delicacies, plenty more that wasn't shown on the pic.

2. Tanya said these are called Ben10 (or something). Basically, these are little frogs that you skin and deep fry with some stuffing. Supposed to taste like chicken but really tasted more like a pork. We have something similar in Pangasinan, but we cooked it Adobo-style but I like this better though. I had 3 or 4, would have come back for more, kaya lang after my 4th round, na shy naman ako, (pero ganuon talaga ako, mahiyain kung minsan).

3. That's my first round plate. There's grilled hito, ben10, paella, buro-lite with mustasa leafs, plenty of green salad. Veggie load before the race, carbo load after the race. The buro-lite was a really nice touch, I thought that was a delicacy peculiar among Ilocanos/Pangasinan. The version that we have in Pangasinan is a bit stronger, more oily and leave a weird aftertaste (heads-up though, those buro we have in Pangasinan is an acquired taste, its not as lite or cosmopolitan as those served by Tanya. Really, this is the first time I've seen it served in cold hors d'oeuvres with mustasa leafs and a bottled of wine- in Pangasinan we normally eat it with rice, viands, sabaw and softdrinks). Love your cooking Tanya! Merci pour le soir enchanteur.

4. Happy Feet digging in. Galit-galit mo na.

Woot! Woot! Ms Tanya Lara! The very lovely and gracious host of Happy Feet party. 'missed your cooking already! Alam mo, na shy naman ako when you ask me if I wanted to bring home some pabaon from your very sumptuous handaan. But if you ask me twice, mawawala din yun. Muchos gracias for the take home bananas, baguettes, driving us back to SCTEX and for the invite!

With Roselle, the Running Diva. I loving singing too, kaya lang I sing mostly when I'm in church, where people are more forgiving.

Philip (ForeignRunner) and his lovely friend from the Missionary (I think), *sigh* ... just as well Lord. But Philip my good man, that was one mean running, not too many of us runner-bloggers can catch up with you. And to think you used to have weight problems.

Roselle, Johnny, Wayne, yours truly, Dindo and his signature bandana. Hey Johnny, just to let you know, meron din akong konting naitatagong acting talent (I won a couple of acting awards when I was in Grade 2 school), baka lang kailangan ng Star Cinema ng mga kontrabida, pede tayo duon.

Whoa! Doralicious, you look luscious :-) And looking hot in those singlet! Where did all those Crispa Pata and extra rice go?

Loved this pic (stolen from Doralicious' blog). That's me, a true-to-life pic while I was about to cross the finish line. Behind me was Coach Rio, Doralicious, unnamed runner, Jaymie (Bullrunner).

Happy people of Happy Feet! It was great hanging out with you guys.

See those dreadlocks? Ito ang tunay lalaki na may tunay na dreadlocks. Sing bangis ng mga Habigis! (iconic singing group in the 70's)
Don't mess with this dude, this is one mean hombre. Hehe, ser Edwin kita uli sa next race :-)

See that small watch on my left wrist? Garmin 405, yan ang sikreto ng mga gwapo, hindi skin whitener! Gagandang lalaki ka pag yan suot mo.

One of the icons in Manila's running scene. Paglaki ko gagayahin ko si Baldrunner! (pero actually may edad na ko eh).

Santa baby, I've been a good boy this year, can I have these two sweetheart for Christmas? Promise, no spanking unless they've been naughty and bad. And Santa, is it OK not to share?

After race breakfast with Wilbert, Dindo, and Wayne.

Mga kapatid, see you all at the next race!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dinner out with other runner bloggers

Clockwise: Jaymie (Bullrunner), Dindo (RunningDATcom), Wayne (SFrunner), Doray (Doralicious), yours truly, Erik (Run4Change), Bards (BananaRunning), Jay (Prometheus Cometh)

Clockwise: Marga (Changeling Child) Jaymie (Bullrunner), Dindo (RunningDATcom), Wayne (SFrunner), Doray (Doralicious), Jay (Prometheus Cometh), yours truly, Erik (Run4Change), Bards (BananaRunning)

This was last Monday night, dinner out with Wayne (who's visiting Manila) and other runner bloggers at Centro restaurant in Greenbelt 4. Great time to swap stories with other bloggers, even got to talked to one of the local running scene's icon, The Bullrunner (or at least for the whole 12 seconds for us to say hi and hello's :-)). Except for Bards, first time to meet everyone and like Wayne said, great group of people. Food was also great, except for the vivacious Doralicious and I, everyone kinda restraint themselves from the mouth-watering and sinfully delicious but smokin hot deadly Crispy Pata. Hey Ms Doray, next time extra serving tayo plus sizzling pork at chicharon! No SURRENDER! Matira matibay at walang hypertensions!

Hey Greenbelt is really nice, last time I was there was like 3 or 4 years ago, now I barely recognized the place. It's really setup more like the malls in States and Australia, where it's more open air and outdoorsy. Very saucy, very posh, hardly any traces hoi polloi-ness (definitely not place to rub elbows with tiange at pawisin crowd, I'm super-jologs talaga PERO DI BALE, takbo naman ako bukas sa New Balance 25K race hehe :-) See you there people!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

OctobeRun and some tough lovin!

Better late and dead than never!

So got tied-up at work and didn't have time to post an article about the last OctobeRun a few weeks ago at the Fort. Almost two week late so this post is getting a bit dated but will try to make it up.

OctobeRun was organized by Fort Striders (one of the local elite - really serious about their running group, hope to join you guys after my first ultramarathon :-)). It was a good race, well organized and well provision. The route was the usual Lawton/Heritage route that seems to be favored by race organizers. Considering that it was not hosted by corporate big names, it was well attended. Big kudos to race organizers!

Prior to the race, I was in downtime and wasn't really in racing form. It looks like the sneezing 'cold' season is in full swing, everybody seems to have it, at work people take turn in spreading some 'cold' loving and I've been dodging bullets and laway sprays. Wasn't really in shape for race, but this one is bit special (and I don't mean just the race), no way am I gonna miss it!

So woke up early and head to the Fort to meet the gorgeous girls of T2 (Mesh, Vicky, Bards), Dingdong, Jay. A quarter before the race, we head out for warm-up jog (precursor of things to come). Then head back to the starting line for the race. Hey gentle boys and girls, here's something interesting, it did happen and I kid you not. Saw a couple of high society icons there. I saw Fernando Zobel and other society-page folks. I've seen the man couple of times but normally from a distance, the guy is already running close to elite level so out of my league. So pray what's different or interesting about this one? Well stranger things have happen but because of our shared passion in running, would you believe na naging mag-close kami ni Fernando Zobel? That's right mga kapatid, I was standing just a few feet away from the man :-) Good, no?

Anyways, no time to rub elbows with famous people, at the pop of the gun, runners were off. For the first 5km, it was steady as she goes, since my legs were pretty fresh, the ascent at the Heritage wasn't really a big deal. It was the ascent going back that was pure purgatory. I've been meaning to train in rolling hills to build better endurance, but never got around to it, so come race day I always ended up ruing it :-( There is no lamer sight than a guy walking at the race while some chicks run by. But as always I console myself with a resolute "next time".

50 meters from the finish line some dude tried to race me, was already wasted from those ascent but real men don't use skin whitener and they don't take kindly to manhood challenges, so I gave it my best run and resoundingly and unequivocally beat the guy to the finish line. I turn around and was about tell the guy "who's your Daddee?" but turns out the guy's bigger and wider, so I told him "Man! that was good run" and shook his hand for good measure.

By my watch, I clocked 0:55:02 for the 10Km race.

After the race, met up with guys. Every one had their post-race-run plan out, I didn't have one so I thought tagged along with Mesh and Dingdong. Hindsight being 20/20, I now realize why discretion is the better part of valor (Mesh is on full-on marathon training and Dingdong is a sub-50 10K guy - but had to fade because of cramps). Up until this time, I've gotten by on my sunny disposition and "can do" spirit but once we turn at McKinley hills, the route where few runners few runner have gone before, all bets were off. I know Mesh the running machine is not trying to run me to death, but by Jove! almost died there and become an angel scaling those darn hills! All I kept repeating to myself was "Lord, wag mo muna akong kunin". But I'm game, bring it on and I'll chugged along!

And so it came to pass that yours truly, the intrepid runner from the block, have scaled the hills of McKinley... whew! Then it's a run to well-deserve breakfast buffet at Paul Calvin's.

Here are the pics!

Dingdong and the T2 girls!

Didn't realized at the time, but this is the only pic I'm in of the OctobeRUN.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Gettin Garmin

Mga Kapatid,
(Brothers and sisters in running)

I've been grappling with some hard choices, share naman your love, thoughts and 2 cents.

After my run at Adidas KOTR, I've finally decided to splurge on those GPS gadgets for a well-earned, well-deserved Garmin. My Timex Ironman watch has served me well for the longest time but after my 21K, just doesn't cut it anymore :-( So I've done my Garmin homework, checked specs and the reviews and have narrowed down my choices to either Garmin 305 or 405.

Garmin Forerunner 305 gets the job done for what I need in GPS, namely, track my long distance run, and as importantly, it's within my budget. That said, Garmin 305 is pretty much at the end of it's product life cycle (it's a great product mind you, but in dire need of an upgrade in both form and function). This is a GPS watch that in a year or so would probably sport the 'retro' look (it does now, but hey, it's just me :-)). But since it covers my two major checkpoints, it does make sense to choose to 305.

Garmin Forerunner 405? How the heck do people afford this watch? It's retail price is effin ridiculous! If I ever buy this watch I'd be sorely piss if I don't look suave or gwapo wearing it (hehe kidding!) at very least my running karma should be huge if I ever get this one! Ironshoes mentioned something about 405 acting up when used in the rain, so I can't even use it at the pool like my trusty old Timex. But it does have it's points and this baby absolutely rock! Or as Borat would say, "Beri nice!"

So now I'm in impasse, the wise thing to do is get the 305, no fuss, no muss. Garmin 405? Well, I could try holding up a bank, or go into politics or sell my soul... or just forget about it and just die each day longing, every time some babe with with 405 and great legs in short shorts pass me on the road.

I have to finalize it soon, mga kapatid, 'appreciate it if you can share naman your love, affection, and thoughts on Garmin. Something I could mull over and tossed in my brain while on the run ... if only those ridiculously expensive 405 comes with those gorgeous salesladies, life choices wouldn't be so difficult.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Adidas KOTR Race - First 21K

It another weekend of blockbuster race at the Metro. Half Marathon... CHECK! 21K is the new 10K!

First, some of the challenges:
Woke up early and did my pre-run stretch and warm-ups. Since it's the weekend and still early in the morning and race starts at 5:30am, I thought I'd head out at exactly five... bad idea :-( By the time I got at the Fort it was already 5:15am, should still be plenty of time but parking was horrendous. Once parked, I did quick sprint to the starting area which is good 200m away, was bit winded when I got there. I then tried to slide in unobtrusively at the back... only to find out that this is 10K category and that the 21K has already been off a few minutes ago! Watta! Did the race just started ahead of time?

At the Race:
So off I ran after the main group, all that well-thought off strategies just went haywire. Prior to the race, my elaborate master plan was to run my usual pace, slow and easy until Finish Line is within sight then make a break for it. But life happens so you just make the best of it. It was a good 14 minutes before I caught up with the main body. After that I settled into my running rhythm. At Buendia avenue, it was steady as she goes. Also at Buendia, there was traffic congestions at various intersections, drivers honking impatiently. Tried to alleviate their frustration by cheerily waving at all the honky drivers.

The grueling climb at Buendia flyover (twice) wasn't so bad, I even sprint at the 26th ave, what killed me was the inclined at the Bayani/Heritage route. My training runs has mostly been on even pavement, so by the time I reached Heritage I was trying not to die. At the final turnaround I had stop at water station, my will is strong but finally had to give in to the voice. After my pit stop, I had to walk-rest for a few kilometers, 1 hour and 30 minutes is the longest I've run and was about to call it quits. But after getting back my breathing, and in a more proper frame of mind, I tried to soldiered on and just concentrate on my steps and breathing. And before I knew it, it was light at the end of the tunnel. Hallelujah! I've finished my 21k. <THE CROWD GOES WILD, CLAP, CLAP, CLAP>

Things that could have improved my run:
- For long distance running, a Garmin is a necessity, you need to gauge your distance. For most part of the race, I was pretty much guessing my distance so couldn't really make the appropriate adjustment in my pace. On the way back from Buendia and climbing the EDSA flyover, I thought the finish line was just a 'few' kilometers away so went into my strong-run-finishing-mode, only to sputter and choke at the 5th avenue when race marshals directed 21k runner to turn right going to Heritage. Moral? If you don't have garmin, check the next best thing... a race map.

- Prior to the race, I was debating if I need to get a water/fuel belt for 21K, but in the end decided against it. I was concerned with changing my game mid-stride (even as slight as carrying additional water belt) than getting dehydrated.

Sayang Moments:
- I was looking forward to meeting some of the runner bloggers, but didn't get the chance to meet one :-( I was especially keen to meet Nora and the lady blogger na may pinakamatibay na sapatos sa balat ng lupa! Next time, I guess :-)

So I just did the next best thing... head back to the nearby gym for a long hot shower, chat with fellow runners and swap stories of our running adventures. There's something understatedly kick-ass about sharing anecdotes with other runners and someone asking "Hey, what distance did you run?" and in your most modest, humblest self... "Oh, I did 21K". Rock-on beybe!

Pet Peeve:
- So many super chicks (and this is 21k) with killer legs (as in steady legs all through out hehe) at the race! I was pacing with one (with 30X bib) before she pulled ahead at the final turn-around. Caught up with her at the last kilometer but then this dude with Chihuahua dog pulled up and run interference ahead, cutting off my line of sight. Was gonna say hello at the finish line until this same dude pulled off his kung-fu boyfriend-move. Dude, crashing in on 21k race is uncool (and I'm not just saying that because I didn't get the chance to chat with your significant other and ask her number).

To wrap things up:
The route for the KOTR was pretty good (it was my first time to race beyond the Fort and UP). And as with Milo and other races, this race was a blast and I had rockin good time. Kudos to Adidas King of the Road and Mr. Biscocho for bringing out another kickass and well-organized race! As Borat would say, Beri Nice! Next stop 25K New Balance Power Race.

By my watch I clocked in 2:08:14 for my first 21k run. Timex Ironman, my beloved and trusty old watch of many years, you've served me well... but it's time to get you a GPS buddy. A well-deserved Garmin!

And now for some obligatory pics,

Post-race Addendum: 21K must have taken me a lot of energy more than what I've bargain on. When I got back home, I promptly slept for 2 hours and then had a early night at 9pm. And I have been on a food binge on my last 4 meals. But I did woke up feeling like a champ :-)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Things that work for my running

Gentile readers beware, this a long post! Making up for almost 3 weeks of hiatus. Here's to being back and proud in the blogging scene!

So been tied-up last few weeks, life happens and life-interrupted, so to speak :-) You know how it is, between life, work, running and blogging, something has to give. If only time-management is one of my strong suit, life would be a well-ordered bliss. But life being what it is, I'll just pine for a genie who'll magically solve all my personal challenges, help me see the light in spending time in Quadrant II (as defined to be important but not urgent activities) be time-management savvy guy and make me into a brooding-chick-magnet-rich-guy-who-ran-marathon-on-weekends (and superhero too if it's not too much to ask).

Anyways, being that I'm out for a while, thought I'd post long one. So I'm about to go for my first 21k race, and after 7 races and 6 months of semi-consistent running, I reckon I must be doing something right to consider it and make the attempt. So I thought I'd write down some of the things (and whatnot) that works for me and races I've been. Some of it are well-documented in other publications, some I've garnered in the course of my running. Obviously, it's not a one-size-fits-all list unless of course, you're my long lost twin.

That said, here's some of things in my list.

- Stretching before and after my run. This is something I'm fanatical about, especially on my long runs. If there's one thing I can credit for my being injury-free, it's being resolute in my warm-ups and cool-downs. And this is where all those asanas from my Ashtanga and Bikram days paid off. Incorporating those pose in my stretches made me into a more fluid, flexible, caring, thoughtful, loving, considerate runner that I am.

- Cross-training. I only run 3x a week at most. The rest of week I either go to the gym or go to the pool. Probably should go back to yoga (Ashtanga or Bikram) but not not those yoga-lite they have at the gym. I prefer Bikram but in Manila where it's already humid, might be an overkill. (I probably should post this separately but I wonder what women here in Manila wear in Bikram sessions, you know, conservative society that we are. I swear, you gotta be gay or saint or just someone of pure mind and heart not to check out those ladies 'sportswear' and still think yoga. Yep, I always wear my "sophisticated, world-weary, been there, done that, seen those, kunwari deadma" mien to those sessions.

- Over-hydrate a few hours before the race. Downside of course is that I had to pee like a horse before the race, but over-hydration has work wonders for me and more than made up for the downside. I get more mileage in my runs because [1] I don't have to stop at water station and [2] thirst being energy sponge, staying hydrated longer gives you additional boost. (I think I can still get away without water/fuel belt on my 21k).

- Carbo loading a day or two before the race. Conventional wisdom says it's a good thing. But this doesn't really work for me. Carbo loading before the race day actually makes feel bloated, bulging and sluggish on race day. I found out that eating light a day or two before the race and go slightly hungry (empty stomach really) on race day works better for me. During the race, I just wait for the adrenalin-rush to kick-in to sustain my run. All those endorphin in the brain makes you impervious to small inconvenience. Besides, slight hunger pangs never killed anyone (as far as I'm aware of). This is not to say I don't carbo load or pig out, I do but after. Bear in mind that there's downside to it and I do think it's generally not a good thing, but since I normally have light breakfast anyways (just tea and toast normally) it's not really a stretch for me to have light dinner and skip breakfast altogether before the race (except for bananas).

- Jostle for a position at the starting line. This doesn't really serve you unless got a decent shot at finishing in top 10. Last few races I've been into, I'm always jostling for position in front... yeah well a lot it did good to me. The difference in time between me and the top 10 runner is still a good 30 minutes away. So I don't know why I even try to elbow my way up front. The only thing I succeeded doing when jostling for a position is to force runners behind me expend precious energy to go around me and overtake and that seems unsportsman-like. If you're not running professionally or competitively, give way to others.

- Running sans any Ipod/mp3/listening paraphernalia. This works for me. I'm sure music strap on your ears have its benefits, I just don't get the same kick out of them. I like running free and eu naturelle and don't need the background music to enhance the experience. Strapping your ipod, your reason being for running just isn't apparent. Besides, it's a good time to spend some (quality) time with your self and psyche. It's the closest thing to meditation for me, I don't wish to mar with it with some pop or rock music piped-in to my head. I'd feel like running zombie if I have those to power my runs.

A wise man once said, "I am runner because I know what effort feels like...", among the many things he meant, I think this one of them. If not, well... life. Hehe, of course it's just me :-) I had to put that in so I sound deeply profound and philosophical, so what follows doesn't sound too inane... I have this really crazy idea (something that came to me while running) that a runner who couldn't run for 30 minutes or so without his ipod, couldn't or wouldn't be able to stand himself for a company. I'm crazy, I know :-)

- Running in treadmill or inside a village. Yeah, this doesn't work for me. For treadmill, I think this is true for every runner. For running inside the village, it beats running in treadmill of course... but barely. Running in a place that's devoid of trees or foliage just feel claustrophobic. Just my hyper imagination of course :-) but I would rather drive 15-20 minutes to the Fort than do my runs in a green-less, maze-like concrete-fence enclosure we call villages (that is if I weren't so doggone lazy to drive).

- Going barefoot when doing my cool down. Now this is fun! This was something I've picked up while I was in Australia, where it wasn't uncommon to see barefoot runners in race events. First time I saw it, I thought they were loco, but after a quick google, found out that there's some sense in it (for one thing, I'm stronger runner for it) and that it's not some loco, extreme sport. So tried it, felt good and so now am convert to the cause. Hallelujah beybe! So now after my long runs and it still not too late in the morning and I don't look too conspicuous (medyo mahiyain din naman tayo eh), I'll take off my shoes and do a 1k trot. It's not as crazy as it sounds (google it), but it's still hard core, so it's not for the faint of heart. And if you have one those feet that sweat profusely or gave off those sickly sweet smell, you'll be thankful that you tried it.

So if you ever bump into some Abebe Bikila-wannabe, coco-loco dude running barefoot early morning at the Fort trying not to look to conspicuous, that's me and my iron blisters :-)

Actually, there's still a couple on my list but they're the more mundane things, and this post is already way too long and I already spent half-day writing it :-)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

People You Meet While Running

Heads-up! Shameless plug below :-)

I was cooling down after my run at the Fort yesterday when this fine old gentleman flag me and said 'Hello'. Normally, I'd be the first to say "morning" or nod if I happen to catch the eye of the other runner before going on with my run. But this gentlemen, for whatever reason walks up to me and very friendly, very nicely said (in Tagalog) "It's a fine day, and looks like you had your good run for today young man". Hehehe, of course I got a kick out of that one. I feel young, yes. I'm young at heart, yes. Boyish perhaps. But middle age and 36 years of age, I'm hardly a young man :-) But bless his heart.

Then we got to talking for a while. It turns out that this fine old gentlemen is a 75 years old retired Captain A. Bajar of Philippine National Police. At 75, Sir Bajar is still strong for his age, full of zest (he did approach a total strange to strike a conversation) and still of sharp mind. We got to talking about running, and how at his age he is diligent with his exercise and other stuff that now escape me. But one thing he was keen to tell me was his house at Bonifacio. He happen to mentioned that he has 237 sqm house and lot with a clean title that he is trying to sell. Since I'm pretty clueless on real states, I just responded with what seem appropriate for the occasion "Good luck Sir! and hope you find buyer for your house". Now if you're wondering if this is some sort of civic service, it is :-)

So if you're curious about Retired Capt A. Bajar, you can contact him at +63 2 881 0312. And if you happen to know this fine gentlemen, tell him I said 'Hello!', hope to bump into him again in the future.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Eraserhead Live!

It's the Eraserhead's Reunion concert at the Fort. In the oft chance you haven't heard of this band, Eraserhead is the iconic Filipino rock band during the 90's (think Beatles). The band that made alternative rock (as in never heard nor cared about music genre) wildly popular and cultural phenom in Manila and the local music scene. This is the band where you would be hard-pressed to find anyone during the 90's who hasn't in one form or another been a fan. This reunion concert have been the most anticipated concert and had they're fans dizzy with expectation. The concert was "The Concert" of year and the 10,000 crowd agreed.

Yeah bebe, the buzz live up to it's expectation! For songs that was so last century, it's still packing it in!

See this pic?

Yeah, that's right, that's my backstage pass at the concert. S-w-e-e-t! For die-hard fans, die harder bebe! Maybe next lifetime :-)

And pray how did I get such a loot? If I told you I'll have to kill you. Hehe, actually it's one of those manna from heaven :-) A friend of mine who shall remain nameless here (to protect the guilty) is a crew for a production company that among other things is the support group for the Eraserhead concert. Being the intrepid runner that I am, I asked for a backstage pass. Imagine my surprise when he said "My good man, come in early at 6pm, meet me backstage and I'll give you your pass". Watta! You mean I don't have to sell my soul to hang out backstage on the hottest concert of the year with most iconic Filipino band in recent memory? Woohoo! I thank my lucky star for whatever good deed I've done lately. And for the benevolent deities smiling upon thee :-)

And so it came to pass... I was rockin' in Eraserhead concert, rubbing elbows and feeling
conio, eating hors d'oeuvre and checking out the chicks at VIP section and singing Toyang, Kailan, Ligaya with Ely, Buddy, Marcus, Raymund and 10,000 people.

Here are the pics!
It was pitch dark backstage, but these guys are wearing shades, rock star talaga!

Whoa! and who's this hot little minx, posing deliciously for the camera? :-)

So you reckon that's about 2-3 meters,
moi away from stage?

Some tepid fireworks at display.

That's how pack it was at the concert and these is only the front section behind VIP area. Hmm... wonder much my free backstage pass would fetch?

Raymund, Buddy, Marcus, sorry to hear about Ely, pero di bale naki-pray over din naman ako during the 1-minute moment of silence.

And to wrap things up, good deed should never go unpunished, I wonder what can I get my friend for getting me that backstage pass?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Nike+ Human Race

Warning: The post below are toxic. If you're the type to get indigestions from caustic bloggers, move on, this post might give you ulcer. You have better things to do with your time than read someone else rant. But if you're a big boy/girl and up to it, then read with care and a cup of tea, it'll help you calm down. And just so you know, no happy endings on this particular post.

Nike is holding an event called Nike+ Human Race. It's a 10K run at the Bonifacio Global City to be held simultaneously in different parts of the world. This race have one of the most innovative concept and have the ambitious goal of being the world's biggest one-day running event. And checking out other running blogs, this race have caught on and is well anticipated. All well and good.

But there's a catch to join this event. You need to purchase expensive Nike accessories to join the race otherwise you're excluded from joining the event. And there in lies my issues with Nike and it's organizers.

Like most runners, I love running and running in events/races are something I'm passionate about. Running in races are more than just about PRs and clocking 3/10/21/42K on your Sunday run. Running races are community events and it is a way for you to connect to that community of runners that you have a strong sense of affiliation. It galls me to see sponsors and organizers turn an open community event into a exclusive party for people with the coolest toys, promoting a not-so-subtle theme of "others who don't have shiny new baubles from sponsors - need not join". And in the context of this 'exclusivity', I find it patronizing that sponsors are 'generous' with their gifts that 'lucky' runners may have the privilege of joining the party.

Lest my post be misconstrued, I don't have anything against runners joining the event. A good run is a good run whether it's run at Takbo Bayani or Nike+ Human Race. And let me state it clearly, I don't have anything against sponsors promoting their fancy whiz-bang gadgets and holding run events. What I do mind and feel strongly against are sponsors and organizers excluding runners from participating in a community events that is first and foremost about runners.

Considering the popularity of Nike+ Human Race and how it caught on with other runners, there goes my pogi points, say goodbye to getting freebies and invites. Such is life :-) But sometimes, it's better to speak up on things your feel strongly about and to say your piece (clearly and distinctly that people know where you stand), and hold your peace. And these are what I have to say.

So for those running on Sunday, I bid you well and good luck, have a great run (no sarcasms or voodoo chants). For sponsors and organizers... I hope that your next event are open for general public.

So... are there any happy endings in this affair? Sadly in this post, no. There's a number of good post about Nike+ Human Race but this is not one of them.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A Very Special Love (review)

Hey, before I forget, just gotta rave this funniest movie I've seen.

Last weekend, we're supposed to see "Don't Mess With Zohan" but apparently they're no longer showing it at the theaters so we ended up watching Pinoy chick-flick instead. "A Very Special Love" featuring Sarah Geronimo and John Lloyd Cruz. Woohoo!

The short story of it is that there this cheeky executive PA (Sarah) and this mean, heartless and over-bearing big boss (Lloyd). In the course of their working together, they fell in love. And that's the best I can describe it. This movie was the usual cheesy Pinoy chick-flick movie, just heck funnier than usual.

I haven't really seen any of Sarah's movies or shows but this one, LOVED it! She's funny, bubbly and endearing and so kikay, you cannot not love her in this one. She's not über-babe that can grace FHM (she's really more like your sister) but her sheer verve and funny antics more than made up for it. I was just laughing loud!

And you gotta check out the rain dance routine, that is probably the coolest dance routine of the year. If that doesn't crack you up, you're a robot (go buy an emotion at 7-11).

Of course, there was a couple of mushy-mushy scenes like where the lead guy John Lloyd was belting out some love song under pouring rain (get this: it was pouring rain but it doesn't seem to touch him). But I suppose, it can't be help, it is a romantic comedy.

So dear readers, if you're at the mall this weekend and wanna go easy on those gimiks, check it out, it's a great date movie. A bit cheesy as most Pinoy movies are but fresh and rib-tickling funny, you'll have fun watching it.

Too bad we don't have Filipino subtitled movies here, otherwise I would bring the SFrunner when he comes over to visit Manila. That's as Pinoy experience as eating balot!

Hehe, deep down in my heart, super jologs talaga ko :-)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Blogger vs Wordpress

When I first setup shop for my blog two months ago, the idea is to blog all the things I find interesting. Running, life, stuff (stuff as in technical stuff I do). But as popular cliché goes, life happens. This blog more or less evolved into a running-theme blog with sprinkling of various musing, rambling and whatnots. And my technical blog was put on hold. Mmm... actually, I was just procrastinating (as is my wont) doing my techie blog just doesn't seem that interesting. But better late and dead than never.

Which brings me to Blogger vs Wordpress death match. (I've briefly considered LiveJournal and but those are too Web 2.0ish and too teenager-y for me). At the time I started blogging, I was already hook to google suite of services (ie. Calendar, Notebook, Reader, Picassa, iGoogle). And so it was a natural progression to use their blogging tool. I didn't bother checking the competition, my experience was such that I'm content to stick it out as is with Google service despite all the whiz-bang widgets and popularity of Wordpress/Multiply/LiveJournal.

All good in paradise until I noticed that all the blogs I subscribe to are overwhelmingly in favor of Wordpress (for both web service user or hosting their own domain), hmm... what am I missing here? So for my techie blog, I thought I'd head over to Wordpress, give it a spin and see what new features I can use for better blogging experience. So after few hours of fiddling, here's what I found out:

- There are plenty of themes and widgets to choose from. All nicey and cutesy.
- Built-in visitor stat which is very convenient. No drama or tinkering with 3rd-party applets, just turn it on and off you go.
- Contact form which I can't seem to find in blogspot. As it is, my reader would have to use the comment section and make a note that this is personal message and not for public consumption.
- Wordpress automatically include the IP address of readers who left a comment. Useful for tracing rogue commenter.
- Folder-like tabs for different section of your blog. So let's say you want to have 'About' info in another section of your blog that doesn't clutter your home page, it's a cinch and elegant in Wordpress , kludgey and ugly in Blogspot.

Wordpress do have their plus points.

That said, most of these features are really skin-deep (unless you're using -- more on that below). Some of their (critical) behind-the-scene components are so rudimentary as to be outright useless or just not available. You wanna track the minutiae location of your readers (or at least by the city) or perhaps where you're getting your traffic from? Or compare your new visitors against those returning? good luck! Wordpress doesn't believe in web analytics. You want to extend those theme with a few lines of html/css code? Javascript? forget it! Widgets you say? Well, compare that to 44,000+ gadgets you can used in blogspot. Adsense? They seem to have something against it, no easy does it button for you.

Think of Wordpress/LiveJournal/Multiply as glamour chick you'd like to be seen with at the mall, all nice and glittery. Think of Blogspot as girl-next-door chick you would normally hang out with. Not the beauty queen of Web2.0 just the basics but flexible and more fun to work with.

Of course, it would have been a different story if I opted for my own domain and use web hosting for my blog software of choice. Then I'd definitely go for which provides more customization. But as it is, I don't particularly like the idea of administering my own blog (ie. filtering spam, fiddling with third-party apps, etc) when it's done more efficiently by Google nor paying for the privilege when it's already gratis (well, the latter is not strictly true just a compelling one).

So in the end (or at least for the moment) I'm opting for which is just exactly what I need for my next blog.

PS: My other blog focuses on Linux and open source software, mostly setup and configuration I did. Nothing there at the moment, but if Linux and open source are your thing, come back in few weeks time, and see if you find it relevant or useful.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Men's Health 10,000Km Miracle Run

As far as registration fees goes, this is one of the more expensive races at Php 350.00. But I'm a sucker for a good cause and this one is for the benefit of GMA Kapuso Foundation. And it's always good to know that your running is helping in some small ways. Good karma na, pogi points pa.

But other than that, no drama really . The race was well organized as can be expected (as well as it should be and come to think of it, this is the second consecutive well-organized races, hmm organizers getting more organize?). A number of of race marshal at different juncture, plenty of water and Gatorade along the route, the sun is out which is always good (much as I had great time running in the rain at Milo event, twice is too much already). It was held at The Fort, which seems to be a favorite venue among race organizers. And the route for the race was the well-trodden route I used on my Saturday run.

As for turnout, it's quite decent I suppose (I was in front jostling for position so I didn't get a good look at the crowd of runners). Since a couple of races was held today, one at UP and one at Markina, it probably explain why it wasn't a blockbuster race event.

Minor pet peeve:
- No free parking :-( there was plenty of wide space, grassy field and road space around the race area, but guards are asking drivers to use pay parking.
- People wasting resources (ie. Gatorade) just because there's plenty to go around. When getting freebies, the least you could do is finish half of it. Don't sip and throw, that's bad manners (so ok, this is not a minor pet peeve :-))

Race bonus points: Plenty of eye-candies at the race. Most of the chika-babes crowd seems to have favored this race which is a bit surprising, I thought they'd all troop to Takbo Bayani run, girl power and all about that sexist faux pas by the organizer of excluding female runners in 21K event.

And the highlight of race event? After a long, hard race a photo ops with Sen Pia Cayetano! Man, she is the bomb! Saw her at the starting line but wasn't sure. And she probably put on her face sun block a tad too much, she was glistening even before the race started (I'm gawking I know, but I was star-struck :-)). Saw her again at the finish line, I clocked at 0:52:00 and was few seconds ahead of her (I ate dust at the last Mizuno race). I was gonna ask her kung pede pa-picture. Kaya lang na-shy talaga ako, pero nilakasan ko ang loob ko, sabi ko sa sarili ko what will Manny Pacquio do? At saka, naalala ko rin na maganda linya ng mga bituin kagabi, at may bagong buwan pa nuong makalawa oh makatlo. Kaya sabi ko nalang hala bira, bahala na! At ayun, pinagpala naman.

And here's the obligatory after-race picture:

"Sige pre, sama ka narin picture."

Claim to fame! with Sen. Pia Cayetano.

Posing at the finish line, si Manong naman nag-excuse na nga, ayaw pa rin tumabi :-)

See you all on the next race, Adidas Run for Love 10Km run.