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!