Wednesday, July 1, 2009 Support Group for the Botak 100K Ultra-Marathon

Prologue: This was way overdue but the month of July was just unbelievably busy. Haven't run in a month, haven't blog in ages, haven't gone out in... don't know when, it's all been work and work and women all month long (hehe, work is for real, women in my dreams :-)) Anyways, I had all these pics stolen-uploaded-tagged already, shame to waste it. So just dusted it a bit, added some nice, unboring, witty comment and voilĂ !, my blog post for the month! (I still have to check out - or steal) some pics from the Milo Marathon event, will try to do that tomorrow.

So... what's the best way to give back to the running community for all those loves and gravy's I've been getting. Yep, you guess it folks, join a support group! So hook-up with folks from and then went to UP last Sunday and do a supporting role for Botak ultra marathon runners. Since I wasn't running, I'll just post some of the pics taken at the event.

Hanging out with gang of runners!

With Vener, the lovely Marga and the alpha runner for 50k Ultra-Marathon run (Bro, I didn't catch your name, but see ya on the races).

"... wish ko lang, sana kasama din ako sa mga ultra-runners... pero di bale, bawi na lang ako sa palakpak at moral support!"

Hmm... I wonder what are we waiting for?

The elite 100K ultra-marathoners (seriously, that's hundred kilometers) .

All eyes on fearless dear leader of gang of runners! Mr. Jinoe!

Congrats bro! Mr. Main Man Luis with proud Dad and his faithful Tito Caloy. And this is a guy who haven't run his first marathon yet but already doing Ultra-Marathon.

At one of the pit-stop (Marikina River) for 100k. Now don't be shy boys, smile for the camera!

Contemplating life and why the pasture is always greener on the other side.

YEAH! dude. Hmm... Bro, you don't happen to be the long-lost brother of coach Rio, do you? My blood just run cold when I think some evil midwife with nefarious plan separated you two at birth. I swear to you, it would be my sworn duty in life to reunite the two of you and check who got the best 'do!

With the Man! The Baldrunner fresh from the States just a few days ago.

So where do you find all those wannabe ultra-marathoner? Why, in booth of course.

Marga honey, don't kill me OK? but love those handle babe :-)

Kudos to the organizer and sponsor for holding this event, you guys are truly deserving of all the good karma's heap upon you for getting this show/event on the road. Hope to see you guys again next year! And hopefully as one of the ultra-runner. Now for some constructive criticism (and I do hope you take it such). For an overwhelming feat of achievement, the finish line moment/s was seriously underwhelming. A little panache, a little more of drama perhaps, or just make it more lively/memorable, would go a long way. But overall, it was good event. A lot of the runners in community truly appreciate the work you guys did, you guys rock!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Checkout my Marathon shoes!

Boys and girls, check out my new running shoes for my mythical marathon run in October! Yeah baby, fame and glory awaits!

Now of course, if I had been steadfast and persevere in my training I would have been running in Milo marathon by now. But as is the case, life happens, and that boys and girls, is how we roll.

Btw, here's putting in a good word for the folks at Runnr shop at Bonifacio High St (BHS). I was there last Sunday when I saw their video-gait analysis treadmill and thought I'd rock up to the place and ask if they can do one for me. They did, and very thoroughly at that. So now I know I'm running close to how the Etheopians does it. Naks naman!

After that I made some cursory comments on one of the 'light' shoes I've been considering and wasn't really expecting a response beyond a light-hearted "This sir is stability shoes, we highly recommend it". So imagine my surprise when I suddenly found myself in discussion on the technical merits of this particular shoes and why he strongly recommend that I consider the two other shoes with similar features and attributes _based_ from his own experience of trying them on. Whoa... that gentle boys and gentle men is kind of advice you're looking for when buying shoes. Color me impress to find folks at the store who know their stuff.

Now, I'm dense... Normally I don't feel the slightest compunction or guilt going into some swanky shop, wasting time or needling staff, or just trying everything on display and then leaving the store without getting anything. As long as I can afford it, of course, and make it a vague point to come back when I do need it (confidence, kiddos, has to be rooted in something, otherwise you're just being obnoxious customer :-)). But this one of one of few time I felt bad not getting anything from a shop, simply because I had great time talking to their staff and their pre-sales service. But I did tell them upfront though, and this guy Jessie I was talking to, was still paragon of an exemplary customer service.

So folks, next time you need a running shoes, check out their shop. You almost always want someone more experience and technical advising you on those not-so-cheap technical shoes without the baggage of being employed to promote one brand selection.

I didn't get the shoes at their store because they had 10% off at the NB shop at the Shang mall. I'm cheap, pero over five hundred box din yun, abah, laki din yun. But on my next shoes, I will.

Update 2009-06-22: Caught a nasty cold (nope, not that one) so had to skip training for a few days and had to take some medicine for quicker recovery. bummer.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mizuno 15K Race - Third Time is the Charm

Third time's the charm for Mizuno. After their last 2 disastrous race, things are finally looking for their race events!

But first off, a few nitpicks:

The race singlet was crappy piece of shirt, a far cry from the stylish and high-quality singlet they gave in previous races. I always associate cool singlets with Mizuno race. I'd even go as far as to say that that huge turnout could be accounted in part by expectation of another cool Mizuno singlets. Oh well, sponsors must be feeling the downturn and had to cut cost somewhere.

Also for the life of me, what's with the distributing singlets at the end of the race? It's not like it's something to die for. You would have thought that it was more logical to hand it out before the race (when you get your bib number). I'm sure they have their wonderful reason for doing it but next time though, it does make more sense to hand out singlets before the race, really, no joke. Some people like wearing the official singlet on race day, you know.

I love running in big races, but honestly, weaving through a huge crowd when got your game on and in the zone kinda spoil the mind-state for me. They had to merge 15k runners on their way back with the other shorter distance runners a few blocks from the Buendia interchange. Result? Well, a lot of the fast walkers in the race kinda constraint the 15k runners who by that time is already enjoying their endorphin shot and running on adrenalin.

Now that said, this is a very good and a well-organized race. Considering how the first two race ended up disastrously for the organizers (whether it was from the lack of water station or chaotic finish line) this race was a joy to run. Kudos to Mr Rudy Bischoco and his team!

I'm sure the guy have his share of horror stories and better-off forgotten races, but it must have been a long time since. All the races I've run that he's handle was nothing but! Even Mr Rudy's quirky habit of starting the race a few minutes early was kinda quaint :-) So sponsors and organizers, if you're having a string of bad luck in your races and you feel that the stars and feng shui are against you or perhaps you just don't want to leave anything to chance on race day, play it safe so to speak, call in the big guns.

Awkward quote of the day:

On my way back at the Buendia flyover, I pass these two pretty young lass chatting in their super-saucy, extra-loud and heavily-accented, collegiala Taglish (good lord! give me strength not pull these girls aside, and give them a well-deserved spanking for wilfully mangling two perfectly good languages). Girls, as cute as you are, drop the tone/accent/speak you acquired from your exclusive and sainted alma mater, I'm sure you wear it as badge of honor but it's pakking irritating.

Anyways, one of the girls suddenly blurted out, "Asan yung bib mo? Are you a bandit?". Heh, you could've heard a pin drop, fortunately for the other girl, she got her wits about, "Oh, they run out of registration for me at the store, I'm just joining you guys for my long run". You go, girl!

And stay classy, bandits!

By my watch, I clocked in 1:27:16 for the 15K run, that's 5.53/km pace for me. Officially though, I got 1:31:59 time. That's 4 mins gap but that's alright, since I came in late and all the runners have taken off when I got to the starting line. (a bit slow but w/o warming up I had to do 8.0/km pace first 3 kms).

After race pics:

While waiting for breakfast...

Yeah! As oily and as fatty as you can please!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Microsoft IE8 Run (8 Miles)

Wuhoo! Who's your daddee?!? Yeah baby, got my game on!

I couldn't believe how fast I run this race, 8 miles in 1:13:54 time, that's like 5.32/km pace, beyond my usual 6.10 pace for my long runs and still wasn't feeling any knee pains. I even place at the top 113 finisher! Wuhoo, agasim that!
(that's an Ilocano word, in case you care).

Let's see... this is your usual weekend race, except for light drizzle the whole time, there isn't really much to tell. Uhmm, let see... nothing still beat a girl in black short shorts on top of flawlessly white long legs for that eu naturalle look. Hands down, best running form all female runner should strive for. Nothing against those who wear compression pants, baggy shorts or whatnot, but some things are inherently more pleasing to the eyes.

Hmm, what else... oh yeah, kudos to the organizers for well-organized race! And special mention goes to all the police and race marshalls who directed traffic (or rather, who bravely stop traffic at the intersections) while runners pass by. You're my heroes! Not easy to act coolly while drivers impatiently honk their horns at you. Next time though, just walk to nearest offending driver, tap on his window and just ask kindly and super nicely that he stop pressing his horns. Actually, better to just to walk to the driver, tap his window, move back a few paces, pull out your gun and yell... RACE MARSHALLS!! YOU TALKIN TO ME!

Hehe, joking :-)

That's it for my race recap folks. Just one thing though, I really got to workout some system where I get to pee a few minutes before the race, as it is, I was still queuing at the portalet when the staring gun went off. Nope, don't want to cut-off or lessen my water intake before the race, since that means stopping at one of the water stations to re-hydrate.

Pics stolen from meekrunner's blog :-)

Catching up with Ms Anna and lakay Jun after the race.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Market!Market Power Miler Run (10 Miles)

After my disastrous 21k run at the Condura last March, haven't done much races, haven't had the heart for it really. But we all have to make our comeback sometimes, and so this is my getting back into the running scene!

Actually, wouldn't really missed this race for senti reason, this was my first race where I really got into running races, so this is sort of my anniversary run :-) And so I registered and made sure I got enough sleep going a few days before. So on race day, I felt strong, well-rested and rarin' to go.

Started slow at 8.0/km pace for the first two kilometer. This has been my strategy last few races, mostly because I almost always come late to the race and haven't have enough time to do warm-up/stretching so I compensate by starting slow and easy. Hay buhay, how things have change for me, it was just last year that I wouldn't be caught dead at rear-end of the race, but nowadays I mostly find myself bringing up the rear with one or two guys and it's all good.

Now, I don't mind bringing up the rear first few kilometers but I also don't want to finish dead last :-) So at 3Km, I gradually build up speed until I caught with the main body. At 10km, I had a breakthrough in my running. Normally, my knees would start to give in at 10th kilometer, I'd get this uncomfortably throbbing ache in my patellar tendon, not painfully so but enough to force me to a walk. But by Jove! I was still running strong at 10th kilometer. Wuhoo! Who's your daddy!?!?

And where do I attribute this newly-found, enhance running performance? Well, last 2 months, I've been slowly incorporating leg exercise in my gym routine. I hit the gym 2-3x a week but before I'd mostly do upper-body workout and skip any lower-body workout, reason being (which I thought sensible at the time) was that my running already serve as lower-body exercise. Hah! sometimes I pakking couldn't believe how I can be so nonsensical about my running. Yeah, well... experience being your best teacher and knowledge being your most powerful tool, I change my routine. So nowadays, I'd alternate between squat/leg extension/leg press before I hit the bench. I swear kumapal ang femoro-patellar tendon ko!

Anyways, for 10 Mile (16K) I clocked a respectable 1:32:43, so that's 5.47/km pace. And those are hilly terrain too, and no walking baby! Wuhoo! Who is your daddy!?!?


Runners are social animals and hell is keeping up with other people's pace, except of course when you run with the loveliest people. At km 11, I found myself running with Vener while doing the supportive-and-loving-hubby duty (ie. waterboy, cameraboy, moral-support all rolled into one) and his lovely better-half and marathon-in-training, Ms. Christy. One of the rare times I caught-up with Vener :-)

Overall, great race. Kudos to sponsors and organizers for a well-organized, well-provisioned (water) race. But best yet, I felt strong and pump during and after the race with nary a knee pain... at all.

Wuhoo! It's Bulls on Parade for the Running Barracuda!

Pics at the race:

Sis and Jessa

Sis and Apollo

Running with the divine Ms Christy.

Uh-uh, check out the third guy from behind. I think his life is flashing right before his eyes :-( See you in heaven sir!

Saturday, March 21, 2009 Carbo Loading Party and stuff

One of the most anticipated and well-attended party of the year, the Carboloading Party! Lots of freebies, plenty of food (help yourself to second serving if you're so inclined), great crowd and familiar faces. Here's putting in a good word for all crew. Jinoe and the rest of the team did a great job organizing this affair, well-done guys! Couldn't ask for more :-)

Well... except for one thing really...

What I was really hoping for in this event was seeing the's gorgeous website models doing an inspirational song-and-dance number, to something like a "Eye of the Tiger" that'll get us pump for the 21K race. That my friends would have been pakking awesome! (Actually, "Total Eclipsed of the Heart" would have more awesomer, but that's just me. And in case you're wondering whatever happen to that banner pic, the admin has since replace it).

Anyways, what we got was pretty boy Mark Nelson gracing the event (but san his dynamic duo, hmmm... you think something going on with those two?) Oh well, can't have them 'em all y'know. Hey Jinoe, next time... maybe...?

On the bright side, my running idol, the man himself, the Baldrunner! was there to give a speech. Boys and girls, when I'm older and wiser 50 years from now, I'd also want to look this cool in a casual body-hugging, hip long-sleeve shirt and jeans. People, this ain't the the grandpa of your Mom and Dad's generation.

Of course, this is same man who stole my date a few weeks ago (yes people, he just happen to ask the same girl out, easy as you please, while I sweat blood to fit in to her schedule). Not that I'm complaining really, since I got the most caring and ever so thoughtful "... let's do it another time gene..." evar!


Yes, my gentle, caring anonymous dear readers, in the perfect world of boy-meets-girl-and-date-happily-ever-after, some poor boy got his heart broken and carved into pieces and dating has never been the same.

Have fun and see you all in the race!

Pics from the party (taken from meekrunner's blog, mucho gracias!)

Finally, meeting the lovely Ms Anna and her better-half plus another fellow runner. Lakay, nu maminsan manin! kita-kits at the race.

Some of the loveliest running wives! Now Craig, if you don't mind, you're in the pic.

With the other runner-bloggers.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pic of Day!

Saw this shop in Pasig near my place. Hmmm, apparently they specialized in seat make-over, I thought it was the funniest hehe. Grammar nazis beware!

So if you have one of those love seats tucked in your bedroom that has seen some serious action and want to jazz it up a bit, you know what to do. And it look likes you could get a could deal too, better check if that leather comes with a whip.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Disney and Ocean Park Trip

So I've got all these witty and insightful blog draft up but never got around to finishing. Yeah, haven't been blogging for a while. Nope I wasn't that super busy, just lazy. Procrastinating, boys and girls, is the bane of a productive man. Luckily, something fun came up last weekend, so consider this my slowly getting-back-to-blogging-world post!

It was my nephew Paolo's 7th birthday. For his birthday present, Mom and Dad brought him and his kid brother to HK to see Disney and Ocean Park. Since I've always wanted to hang-out with all those wickedly cool and ravishing evil step-moms in Disney stories, I tagged along for the ride :-)

Ocean Park was nice but not sure what exactly is the kind of experience will you get out of the visiting the place. The rides are too 'tame', the sea aquarium needs to be 'upsize' to be on the same class as Monterey Bay. And there's an 'different' feel to it, since half of the people visiting there seems to be senior citizens. But the pandas and the dolphins are cute and the view from above is just spectacular! (I think it was in the Lonely Planet's 1001 place to visit). So all in all, it was still nice.

Disney is definitely better if you ask me, the rides were also ho-hum (that's alright, I already had my share of crazy, stupid death-defying rides) but the shows are all world-class! I also got an appreciation how Filipino artist have become so ubiquitous in the Asean entertainment circuit. In some of the show like HS Musical, they got leading role, in some they work on the background. But either way, you can spot them among the cast.

The only bummer is I didn't get to meet any of the super hot evil step-Mom. I've seen plenty of princessess but those are lost cause :-( I mean I'm not prince charming, and no way I could possibly compete with those dwarves that kept the princess warm and fuzzy in those long and lonely nights waiting for their knights to marry them.

So if you're going to HK other than to shop, visit Disney, they got the nicest shows!

Pics or it didn't happen, right? :-)

The whole gang at the harbor.

Paolo and CJ with Mom and Dad at the hotel lobby. Mulan is that you?

Watching an outdoor show.

With my gorgeous sis.

On quest to save the wickedly hot evil step-Mom from the clutches of a clueless and beautifully boring princess.

Yummy! But for HK$120 two-piece, special chicken adobo meal, they'd better be! Or Mickey mouse blood will flow!
Boys and girls, take the time to find the food court.

View from the cable car ride at the Ocean Park. C'est Magnifique!

At the Ocean Park, watching fish turn into fresh tuna, serve hot!

Bruce Li meets Gene Li!

Fireworks at Disney! (still can't get the music out of my head)

Hey, did you know that Hong Kong have the highest luxury/sport car ratio per per capita in the world? You couldn't missed it when you walk in HK. Yeah well... Manila have the highest ratio of Orthodontic braces per capita in the whole world naman if you ask me.

Btw, small world, you know who I bumped into at Disney? It's Dindo, the RunningDATCom with his family. Bro, good to see some familiar faces from the running community :-)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Customizing the Layout of Your Blog Page

Missed the Happy Run last Sunday, so I thought I'd write something useful (or something I found useful at least). This is a bit techie and not for the faint of heart but if this is something you've been meaning to do but never got around to doing because it's just so morbidly tedious, and could never figure out were to start, you're in luck my gentle readers and casual passersby, here's a step-by-step procedure on how to do it.

First a bit of background. You know how blog pages seem to be divided into 3 column? The middle column being your blog/widgets/bling-bling and the two other column besides it that are just gaping wasted empty space? Yeah, well, it's been bothering me of late. It makes my post look longer and imposing than it actually is. So I thought I'd dig in and click my way through into changing the layout of my blog. Surprise! surprise! Turns out the changing blog layout is a lot more complicated than it looks. And it ain't pretty boys and girls.

So if you're using Blogspot and wanted to change it, here's how you would do it. As soon as you log in to your account.
  1. Click on the 'Customize' link on the upper-right corner of your blog.
  2. There are 3 tabs there (Posting, Settings and Layout).
  3. Click the Layout tab. Under the Layout tab, there 4 sub-tabs there (Page Elements, Fonts and Colors, Edit HTML, and Pick New Template).
  4. Click "Edit HTML" tab, and you should now see the "Edit Template" and right below is the code for your blog web page.
Now this is where it gets nasty. Gone are the days when you simply edit HTML tags. Nowadays, you gotta know some serious CSS kung-fu if you want to get some loving out of non-trivial web pages like Blogspot. Now, I may not know enough CSS kung-fu but I'm a Ninja! "If there was a problem yo I'll solve it. Check out the 'hood while my DJ revolves it! Ice Ice Bebe.." Yo! Y'know what I'm saying Bro?!

Now CSS file might be beloved among web developers and can pass off as your regular, ordinary config file but it's not. It's a bane for normal people trying to take ownership of web pages freely hosted somewhere in the wholly wild world of Internet (hehe, define irony). It's cryptic, indecipherable and perilous to go near them. Fortunately, we only need to change a couple of the settings and not create one from scratch. So here's the basic format to keep in mind when changing the settings:

Selector { Properties: Values; }

The Selector is an identifier to certain part of your web page. The Properties are a way to control those certain part of your web page. The Values is of course the actual settings you change.

Below are the basic settings you need to change. The highlighted text is the modification you need to make. Your mileage might vary of course but so does our aesthetic taste :-) so play around till you get the right layout for you.

#header-wrapper {
width: 990px;
margin:0 auto 10px;
border:1px solid $bordercolor;

#outer-wrapper {
width: 1000px;
margin:0 auto;
font: $bodyfont;

#main-wrapper {
width: 700px;
float: $startSide;
word-wrap: break-word;
overflow: hidden;

Change, save, refresh and voilĂ ! Your newly customize layout, just the way you wanted it.

And now here's before and after pic. Happy Hacking mga kapatid!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

PSE Bull Run (10K)

First race of the year and almost missed it :-) In my usual jologs fashion, I went to registered at PSE in Ortigas at the last minute (uhm... actually an hour before they close shop). As this is the first race to be held in the metro for this year, you can imagine the pent-up demand for this race (think New Year's Resolution meet first opportunity). At the PSE office, they told me that they've already run out of registration form. Bummer... but never fear they're still accommodating runners who hasn't officially register for the race event. Bless they're heart! For runners who missed out the registration, they can still join the PSE Fun Run but sans any bib/singlets/office race time. Ok na rin yun.

So after over a month of slacking off, I'm running my first race of the year. The PSE Bull Run. The race was held at The Fort, a favorite among race organizers. The route used for the 10K run was an old and familiar nemesis of mine, the slopping terrain of McKinley Hills. The weather perfect for running and everyone at the starting line was in festive mood.

At the race, I started slow at 8.20 pace (that's practically crawling) for first two kilometers, then gradually pick speed to catch up with main body. For my next few races (and non-major races) I'll stick to this routine. The idea being to finish a slow/strong race (albeit slower than my usual race time) but recuperate faster. A normal race for me where I try to push it will take me 3 to 4 days to recuperate before I can hit the road again (I'm getting old, I know). But with this strategy I can hit the pool or gym/rpm the next day and run the day after and dispense with 3 to 4 days of rest. Good, no?

By my watch, I finished 1:00:12 for the 10K run at 6.04 pace. Also, by my watch 10K distance was 9.91km but what's a few meters between friends :-)

There's a couple of constructive criticism to be said about this race, but it wouldn't be my place to say so considering that they let me run for free and not be an ignominious bandit. So I'll leave the constructive criticism to others far more articulate than I and those that shelled out their money to join the race. Though I'd like to emphasize some of the good things they did at this race.

1. A separate Fun Run with no entry fee in parallel with the real PSE Bull Run (running in the same route). Now this is fairly new among the races I've joined. Normally, you'd be considered as a running bandit if you didn't pay for the registration fee, so the Fun Run but san any bib/singlet/official time, is definitely a good thing.

Just a few thoughts though. First, bear in mind that the vast majority of runners in race events are more than happy to pay for the registration fee, considering how very reasonable the registration fees are. _BUT_ what's reasonable to others might not be for others who's economic prospect is not as fortunate. It was a fluke that I got to run in the unofficial PSE Bull Run, it was ok but I'm not keen for a repeat in future races. I like the bib, having my name in the finisher list (even some of the tacky singlet) too much :-) Though it would be a great gesture from race organizers if they could implement something similar.

Kudos to the PSE Bull Run organizer for having this option!

2. Professional entertainers at the stage after the race. Far too often they have race organizers also acting as the entertainers, uhm... yeah. At PSE, they had this one dude name Lucas, he was at the stage working the crowd and then belting out some tacky Pinoy jingles. At first, I thought his comedy spiel was grating to the nerves, so it took me a while to warm up to the guy and realize that ... it's a jolog brother! Definitely in the mold of my old idol. The most awesome of awesome... Ang kilabot ng mga kababaihan Filipina... April Boy Regino! The Man! Anyways, the point being, leave serious entertainment to those who hone their craft :-)

Over all, there were some valid concerns that should be address by the organizer, that said, I'm fan of the sponsors/organizers of this race for their great gesture of lettings runner who weren't able to register to still run (unofficially) at the race. May your tribe thrive! Kudos to the folks that push this "public service", looking forward to next year's PSE Bull Run!

No pic for this race yet, I didn't have my camera with me but couple of the guys there did, so what's a jologs to do? Hehe, why ask of them of course :-) So as soon as Wilbert or Gigi post their race recap, I'll ask them.

... and so I've ask! Shout out to Wilbert and Gigi for letting me swipe their pics. Danke! :-)

Clockwise: Vener, Sir Ipe, Bobby, Gene, Jay (hidden), Wilbert's back. After-race at the Finish line.

Clockwise: That's me, Jay, Gigi, Bobby, Sir Ipe, Wilbert. Breakfast at Mcdo.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Fav Tools For A Richer Blogging Experience

[Note: If you're having problems viewing the pictures, just point your mouse at the pic and click. If you're still having problems, leave a note and I'll check it out]

I've been using this Web 2.0ish online journal called Daily Mile to log my running and fitness regimen. Very nifty tool. First saw reference to it from runningdatc's blog. I thought I'd also share some of blogging tools I find indispensable or at least those I couldn't live without. It's always good to share something that other people might find useful, good karma points. So here it is boys and girls, 'hope you find it as useful as I do.
  1. Web Analytics
  2. News Aggregator
  3. Google Alert
1. Web Analytics. These are tools that allows you to collate, measure and analyze data or 'hits' on your web pages. There's plenty of them around but I use Google's own analytic tool since it plays well with other Google apps. Here's snapshot:

Wordpress have a built-in but limited web analytics tools but for a richer set of data that you can slice and dice, go with a real web analytic tools. I had 3,589 page view for the last 7 months, using web analytics it allows me to mine my stats for some really interesting tidbits.

Example: One-third of my visitors came from outside Philippines (ie. US, UK, Singapore, Germany) and these are repeat visitors! (I didn't bore them to tears :-)) Of course I have to quantify that by saying that most of these visits abroad was source from other blogs, so a lot of it was referral. So for instance, half of readers from US were initially reading SFrunner's blog before heading to my site. Mucho gracias Wayne! Now for readers outside US, it's been mostly organic (via Google/Blogspot/direct). They somehow came upon my blog and came back for more (aw shucks). Now here is an interesting part, based from their network location/Internet gateway a lot of them are reading my blog at work! Hehe, how cool is that? :-)

Web analytics is good tool, use it track your traffic and get some really interesting perspective.

2. News Aggregators/RSS Readers. This topic came up briefly at the last Christmas dinner with runner bloggers/friends. From the looks of it, hardly anyone uses these tools (except for one or two guys), everyone either manually check blog updates or go to sites or blogs that have this small newsreel app that display brief headlines/updates of other blogs that the author follows. This is where news aggregrators comes in, it enables you to follow news sites, blogs and other RSS/Atom-enabled websites without using your web browser to check for updates.

Let me put it in perspective: When I started blogging I only keep track a small number of bloggers. Must read in my list are the rock stars (The Bull, The Bald, and Bards) plus a few other blogs, so that's a total of 7 or 8 blogs that I manually visit a week. Not bad. Fast forward a few months, a running boom and parallel jump in the number of people blogging their running experience. So now I keep track of close to 30 blogs. Now imagine keeping track this number of blogs manually... yeah not good. And that's where aggregators shines. It aggregates blog updates and pull them to your news reader to be read at your convenience. Really, this is more of a productivity tool than anything else although I'd hardly call keeping track of various blogs productive :-)

(Hmm... I'm starting to feel like I'm pontificating or something) Now, in case it hasn't sunk in how incredibly useful this tool is. Check this snap shot carefully.

Notice anything special? Yep, a single repository for all your favorite blogs. Blue means number of unread articles. Red means new post based on chronological order. How's that for productivity? :-) I use Akregator from KDE. For Windows check here. For Mac check here. Or just use Google Reader. Bonus points: you also avoid those bling-bling that bloggers are so fond of.

3. Google Alerts. These are alerts sent to you based on the search items that you've defined. Technically, this is not really a blogging tool, mostly just one of those tool you keep handy for some nefarious end (kidding :-)). So let's say you want to keep track of particular topic or update from any of the web sites, news, blogs or mailing lists (even video sites), this tool will track it for you. If any of these sites posted your "search items" an email notification is sent to you. I use it as personal tracker for any mentioned of my name in the web, you'd be surprise the things it can track and come up with. The little tool that could. So... wanna track your High School principal? Yep, this tool is badass.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year and Resolution!

Ho ho ho! 2009 is here, time for your fav wish list/new year's resolution. As usual, I have accumulated quite a list (most of them being freshly recycled from last years' old resolutions) hmm... pero teka teka the problem with starting with a bang is that you're most likely to end up with a thud. So what I'll do is just list down the most 'manageable' resolution, nothing fancy or overly imaginative and just stick to it come hell or high tide.
  • Run 3x a week using the FIRST method
  • Do a marathon in 2009 (two if I can do the above consistently)
  • Blog more (5 or more post a month)
  • 2009 is flat out going to rock!
There, it shouldn't be that difficult for a serial procrastinator jologs from the block like myself.

Happy New Year and Happy Running Everyone! See you all at the races!