Dec 31, 2010

Din: Happy New Year!

For the past month, I have been experiencing what I call the "blogging block." I find it difficult to even complete a single paragraph in my planned posts. As a result, I have these numerous drafts queued in Blogger. On the other hand, even with this "block" still hanging heavily in my head, I write this short note to everybody.

A Happy New Year To All!

May this be a year of more health, prosperity, success, happiness and most especially running events that we will join! (Talk about priorities! hahaha) Oh, and more blog posts too! Cheers!

Nov 26, 2010

Carrie: Early Christmas Gift

Its a surprise to receive my Christmas gift this early. I should be the one giving out gifts to friends and relatives but mine came so early unexpectedly. You see, I have been so busy with personal and business matters for the past 3-4 months now, coupled with running trainings I do within the week and a must during weekends, I did not think of achieving these results. I am always always a work in progress especially with running. I only became a runner because I said so. And now these....

October 24 - Adidas King of the Road (10km) - 1h:33m:18s
November 6 - HSBC 135 Run (10km) - 1h:27m:11s
November 20 - RunRio Leg 3 Run United (10km) - 1h:24m:23s

Now tell me who wouldn't be too merry this time of the year?

I'm fired up, geared up and so inspired to continue with my slow progress towards that healthy lifestyle, and I know running will get me there soon.

Happy Christmas!

Nov 3, 2010

Carrie: My 1st 10KM

I have been preparing for my first 10km for the past 2-3 months and by the looks of what happened in the recently concluded Adidas KOTR Race, I was not able to beat my practice training PR by about 3mins. Not bad! Not bad at all. Considering the madness that happened last October 24, from the unruly crowd to the different choke points to my enthusiasm to conquer the Kalayaan flyover, I got the best 10km baptism anyone could ever dream of.

Though I know I still have a lot to train for especially with hill training, the route was an awakening of sorts. I had the best time running until I reached the turn around point in Buendia going up to the sharp point of the flyover. I decided to take a walk break and took sips of water and braced myself for the challenge ahead. Mid point of the steep road, my heart was pounding fast, I was huffing and puffing, my mind was yelling at me to just walk the entire uphill route and just make it up in the next 10km race. I said "NO". I prepared for this, made a lot of sacrifices and dreamed of conquering this flyover. So, I pushed myself to continue, willed myself to go forward, made a mental note of finishing if not the entire race BUT JUST this particular uphill challenge alone...then a question came this what they call running with the heart when nothing is left anymore? Maybe yes. I got myself through the entire steep road and when I reached the top I immediately rewarded myself by doing a 200-meter walk break, got my groove back and run all the way to the finish line. I even had the strength to smile for a photo op!

Pictures courtesy of Greentennial Run

Official race time was 1h:31m:04s - really not bad at all. I guess going back to the hills of Alabang Hills and Hillsborough will help me improve my time and staying power. Race time is just the icing on the cake, I would rather improve on the journey towards longevity.

See you on my next 10km engagement!

Oct 25, 2010

Din: Hill Training and My First Half Mary

My favorite workout is hill training. Mind you I'm not a masochist hehehe =). I just love the challenge and the exhilarating feeling of being on top of a hill after a hard run. Thus, when I started my training for the half marathon, I immediately incorporated hill training in my workouts. In fact, I even incorporated it in my long slow and tempo runs. I firmly believed if I could be strong in running hills, I would be stronger in "flats."

This belief and training regimen was put to the test, successfully if I might say, in my first half marathon run last Sunday, October 17, when I joined the The Fort Running Festival. I was only aiming for a 7min 30sec / km pace. That's what I have trained for based on my 5K race pace using the FIRST Training program. During the race, even if I was already running at a 7min / km pace, I still felt strong thus I continued with this pace surprisingly until the end of the race with enough juice left so to speak.

A week after the Fort Running Festival race, I ran another 21K at the Adidas King of the Road race last October 24. I was able to get a new PR considering that the route was a lot more challenging and there were hydration challenges in the last 5 kilometers of the race. Good thing I have my Amphipod Hydration Belt which supplied me with enough juice during these last kilometers.

Pictures courtesy of Greentennial Run

Picture courtesy of Adidas Philippines

All these great results, I attribute mostly to hill training. As such, I am planning to incorporate hill training again to my marathon training plan that will start next month. It is my hope that  I will be able to replicate the same great results that I have in my first two 21km races to the TBR Dream Marathon next year.

For more information about hill training, I have listed below some links that helped me. I hope these will also help you out in learning and enjoying this great workout.

Hill Training articles from Runner's World
Hill Training from Runner's World UK
Hill Training from BrianMac

Oct 11, 2010

Carrie: The Hills are Alive with the Sound of My Footsteps

I have long been wondering why my running is not improving. Well, for one I'm overweight heehee, then I don't have a regular running schedule, then I do not exert more effort during runs (why?...Im afraid to have a heart rate more than 160bpm and feel light headed), then I still eat as much food as I want (bad ones included) and I do not cross train. Bad me maintaining these bad habits.

One day as I am so frustrated running and so envious of what Din had already achieved, I made a promise to myself to train as hard as he does, to eat the right food, to cross train 2x per week and most of all to have a positive attitude. That was when I discovered the hills at Alabang Hills and at Hillsborough. The first time I made an attempt to run at Tirona St. going to Alabang Hills (June 2010), I literally died. My heart rate was at 170bpm, I felt lightheaded, my hands were cold clammy and my knees trembled. I vowed not to run there anymore. But after two days of rest I found myself attempting the street again. This time with more determination and hoped that in due time I might be friends with the street. Thank God, luck was on my side. After 3 more months, as I run the street of Ramona Tirona, entering Alabang Hills all the way to Hillsborough, I can proudly say that I have made a very big improvement from an average pace of 9:45min/km to 8:49min/km. Yipee!

With the improved pace came my gradual weight loss, came the unflinching desire to conquer more hills (no, Corregidor is not for me.....yet), came the determination to run 10km. On October 24, at Adidas KOTR, I will attempt to run my first 10km hoping that my training at the hills of Alabang hills and Hillsborough will not fail me. Indeed, the hills are alive with the sound of my steady and determined footsteps!

Oct 3, 2010

Din: #5

I was registrant #5 in the recently concluded registration period for the TBR Dream Marathon 2011.  Talk about being excited!

Kudos to TJ who enthusiastically and patiently answered all my questions when he was processing my registration. It was fast and efficient. The photo-session was also a blast.

Now that the 2nd half of the process has been completed, the real fun begins! Time to put on the shoes and hit the road!

Sep 29, 2010

Din: 1,000 Mile Shoes

Ever since I reached my 40km+ / week mileage, one of the things that I started to worry about is my shoes. Based on what I have read so far, running shoes need to be replaced once they reach the 600 to 800km marker.

Unfortunately, I am just your average runner who spends for his shoes. Once I reach my planned 50 to 60km+ / week mileage in preparation for my first marathon, this means that I need to replace my shoes every 4 months! This is an expensive proposition considering that a good pair of running shoes costs at least Php 5,000 (around US$ 110).

What is the solution then to this predicament? Well, last week, I just read that there is such a thing as a 1,000 miles shoe. I told myself, if this is indeed true, I think this is the immediate solution to my problem. Imagine, that's 1,600 kilometers!  With a mileage of 60 km per week, this pair of shoes will last at least 7 months!

I have listed below some of the highlights about this pair of shoes.
  • 8 years in development in collaboration with the Army Physical Training Corps. 
  • Awarded with the rights to bear the British Army's famous crossed swords insignia.
  • Costs around 95 pounds which is roughly 6,600 pesos.
  • Click here for more information.

I find it a very appealing pair of shoes because of its style and dark colors. Now, my biggest problem is, how can I get one?

Sep 19, 2010

Din: TBR Dream Marathon 2011

When The Bull Runner announced last August the date for the TBR Dream Marathon 2011, I started asking myself, am I ready? Can I already make that leap of faith?

Frankly, doubts started to creep in my mind and I thought, perhaps it was not yet time. I'll enjoy first half-mary races next year and then start preparing for a full mary around 3rd or 4th quarter.

And then I saw another update from The Bull Runner last September 9. I again asked the same 2 questions, am I ready? Can I already make that leap of faith? After thinking about it again for a day, I still came with the same conclusion, perhaps it was not yet time and left the questions behind.

Last Friday morning, September 17, I was checking my Facebook account when I saw Jaymie's wall post that the TBR Dream Marathon reservation was open. Suddenly the 2 questions came rushing back like a flash flood in my mind. I read through The Bull Runner's announcement and the 15 reasons why I should join the TBR Dream Marathon not just once but 3 times.

I think I can do this! This started as a small voice in my head which slowly but surely started to get louder and louder until I cannot take it no more. I clicked the Reserve For TBR Dream Marathon 2011 link, filled up the form as fast as I can and clicked submit. I immediately whipped out my mobile phone and sent an SMS to Carrie and told her, "I made the leap. I registered in the TBR Dream Marathon!"

The next 24 hours were mostly focused on one thing, clicking the refresh button in my browser waiting for the latest update from The Bull Runner!

Saturday, September 18, in the middle of lunch at the Alabang Town Center, I whipped out my mobile phone, opened Opera Mobile and checked (ah, the wonders of mobile technology). I immediately told Carrie, there was a new post and it was about the reserved runner list, what I had been waiting for for the past 24 hours. The next 5 minutes were pure agony due to the horrendous speed of my mobile connection (GPRS-like speed in an EDGE connection!). Voila, the PDF file opened! Immediately realizing that the list was alphabetically arranged, I immediately scrolled to C to check if I was included.

The rest I should say was history and I gave a high five to Carrie!

I understand that this is just half of the process. I still need to go to the official registration. But boy, this is just the reservation process and I already experienced this kind of excitement! What more during the training and the race itself on March 20, 2011!

To my future TBR Dream Marathon 2011 co-participants, here's to us for making that leap of faith, for being unafraid in going out of our comfort zones and for dreaming and believing in ourselves that we can do this! To Jaymie, many thanks for giving us this huge opportunity and privilege! Kudos to you and your team.

Now time to put on that running shoes and start training! =) 

Video: 120 Pound Journey

"I can call myself a marathoner
and even an Ironman
but best of all
I can call myself happy."

Inspiring words of wisdom from Ben.

Din: Zen Moment

Multi-tasking is the rule in my line of work. Our moniker here is "wearing several hats." Even outside work this is still the case. For example, I check my emails, check my Facebook account, visit my favorite mailing lists, all at the same time. Most often than not, I have at least 10 tabs open in my browser.

I reckon for you my kind readers, this is also the norm rather than the exception.

This is the reason why I am drawn to running. It is a respite to the chaotic and frantic world brought about by multi-tasking. It is the only activity that forces me to focus on only one task, that is to run.

How good is that!

It forces my mind to go into what I call a Zen moment, when body and mind are one and working in unison. The physical component where I constantly check the status of my legs, knees, muscles, breathing and heart rate. The psychological component where I decide if I slow down or go faster. These two are directly intertwined that the output from one serves as the input for the other.

In a world full of Blackberry's chirping for the latest email, back to back 2-hour meetings, nightly conference calls with foreign counterparts, running is like an oasis in the middle of an unforgiving desert.

These were actually the same thoughts I shared to friends when we had our belated get-together lunch. I was using these metaphors to explain why I am "addicted" to running.

These were also the answers I recently got to the same question I asked myself way way back. Actually, my gut tells me that I already knew the answer and leave it like that but my curious logical / rational self always, always would like to objectify any unexplained experiences that I am going through.

And now that the answers were "crystal clear," I was able to "ran like there was no tomorrow" during the Fort Striders Run were I joined the 16K race. I did not win any prizes though even if I ran like crazy. In fact, I only posted a decent time and was just at the top 60%. Then why I am so proud?

Let me share you this Zen story:

Once upon a time in ancient Japan, a young man was studying martial arts under a famous teacher. Every day the young man would practice in a courtyard along with the other students. One day, as the master watched, he could see that the other students were consistently interfering with the young man's technique. Sensing the student's frustration, the master approached the student and tapped him on the shoulder. "What is wrong?" inquired the teacher. "I cannot execute my technique and I do not understand why," replied the student. "This is because you do not understand harmony. Please follow me," said the master. Leaving the practice hall, the master and student walked a short distance into the woods until they came upon a stream. After standing silently beside the streambed for a few minutes, the master spoke. "Look at the water," he instructed. "It does not slam into the rocks and stop out of frustration, but instead flows around them and continues down the stream. Become like the water and you will understand harmony."

Aug 25, 2010

Din: 500km

How far is 500 kilometers?

Assuming you are coming from the Rizal Monument which is Kilometer 0, I have listed below some well-known locations in the Philippines with estimated proximity to the 500 kilometer mark.

  • Batac, Ilocos Norte - Add approximately 30 kilometers to make it 500.
  • Tuguegarao, Cagayan - Add approximately 17 kilometers to make it 500.
  • Naga City - Add approximately 50 kilometers to make it 500.
  • Baguio City - Roundtrip and add approximately 20 kilometers more.

Why the sudden penchant for 500 kilometers? Well, today I have clocked 500 kilometers in my running odometer. This was the result of running 7 5K races, 6 10K races, 1 15K race and countless number of fartleks, tempo runs, interval runs, hill workouts and my favorite, long runs.

Here's the screenshot of the summary from my Endomondo account which I started using when I ran my first 5K race, RunRio Leg 1 Century Tuna.

I know I still have lots of room for improvement for my personal bests but I am taking my sweet time in achieving these. As of this time, I am enjoying the training and the progress I am seeing in my fitness level allowing me to join longer distances. Here's to more kilometers... and the honor of wearing the 1,000km Finisher's shirt from Bald Runner. =D

Aug 23, 2010

Din: Level Up

After running six 10k races, I thought it was time to move on to the next race category, the 15 or 16K. Well, as luck turned out, the next race in our calendar was the Run To Read Race with a 15K category. Perfect opportunity as well to run a longer distance than 10K at The Fort which included the infamous route to the Heritage Park. Time to test if my hill workouts were enough for me to survive the undulating paths of the Bayani Road.

Since I would be running a 15K race, I decided to use the Amphipod instead of my trusty handheld Nathan water bottle. Just in case, you can find my reviews of the Nathan here and the Amphipod here.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I take hydration quite seriously. I do not depend on the race organizers in providing me with enough hydration even if it is their responsibility. Again, I repeat, I do not put my safety in the hands of others. This is actually based on experiences from previous races that Carrie and I joined. To further elaborate, imagine a spectrum, on the right are organizers who really care for the runners' well-being and ensure that the runners can even swim on  the huge volume of water and sports drink available. On the left are organizers who, either because of cluelessness (or downright stupidity) or worst, irresponsibility, do not care about the runners' plight and only care for their own pockets resulting to stations without the water most especially for longer distances.

In the middle of this spectrum are the organizers hit by Murphy's law. To those who are unfamiliar with this law, it states that, "If something is bound to go wrong, it will."

In the case of the Run To Read Race, I could classify it in the middle of the spectrum, especially for those who ran the 15K race. Unfortunately, the water stations ran out of cups even if there were still ample amounts of water. This was actually still a good case for those who brought their own hydration kits. Bad for those who didn't. I was actually able to refill my Amphipod bottles twice thus I have enough water and Pocari drinks to sustain me until the end of the race. The moral of the story, believe in Murphy, bring your own bottle!

Gear Review: Amphipod Runlite 4 Hydration Belt

In my last post about the Nathan Quickdraw Plus, I mentioned that I started searching again for higher capacity hydration pack since I decided to take on longer distances already. This decision was actually motivated by my plan to join the 21K category of the Adidas King of the Road Race 2010 on October 24.

Besides handheld hydration bottles, the next kits I saw were the hydration belts. I thought before that these belts were overkill since I was only running 5K and 10K races. On the other hand, now that I am moving to the 15K marker and beyond, I have started looking into these belts again.

I was able to found 2 of the popular hydration belts locally. These are the Speed 4R from Nathan and the Helium 4-Bottle Belt from Fuel Belt. Unfortunately, these two belts did not appeal to my form and function standards. Don't get me wrong, these belts get the job done but I just don't find the "it" factor in these belts.

One day, Carrie showed me a picture of the Amphipod hydration belt and from then on, I knew I found my hydration belt.

Luckily I was able to find a local seller of the Amphipod. Here's his Multiply account for those who are also looking for one. What I bought was the Run Lite 4, the one pictured above. I already made sure that I have enough even up to when I decide to run my first marathon.

What endeared me to the Amphipod is the simplicity of its design via the quick-click access to the bottles and the versatility of the bottle locations depending on your needs and/or preferences.

I have used my Amphipod once in a 15K race and 3 times during training and I am all thumbs up for this product. Comfort and usability are all top-notched. The bottles themselves are all well-made and leak-free since my current configuration is the bottles are placed horizontally along the belt.

I do have some words of caution though which I listed below.

1. Make sure that you hear a click when you snap the bottle back to its holder. I read several stories in the Web that, for whatever reasons, they were not able to put the bottle back properly, the bottle popped off from its holder and got lost. With this in mind, I normally get my bottle during my walk breaks. I tried getting and or returning the bottle while I was running and it was a bit more challenging and admittedly more prone to error.

2.  Make sure that the cap of the bottle is fully closed when you return it to its holder. This is most applicable if your bottles are placed horizontally along the belt. When the cap is not properly closed, the liquid inside the bottle will leak when you run. Of course, this is not a design problem for the bottle but rather a user problem.

Aug 22, 2010

Gear Review: Nathan Quickdraw Plus

Ever since I started running, I immediately took the topic of hydration seriously having read through the dangers of dehydration and heat stroke. Even if I was joining 5K and 10K races before, I made sure that I understood the inherent risks of the sport and made sure that I brought with me my own hydration pack. Of course, race organizers are obliged to provide hydration to runners during races, some organizers took this seriously while the others were, if I might, irresponsible. On the other hand, it has been my policy ever since, even outside running, that I do not put my safety in the hands of others. I made sure that I can control what I can control.

With these thoughts in mind, I searched for the right hydration kit that suited my needs. After going to several sports shops, I found what I needed at the Toby's Sports branch in SM Megamall in the form of the Nathan Quickdraw Plus.

It is a 650ml handheld hydration bottle which is more than enough to hold a bottle of Gatorade or Pocari or just plain water. When you screw its cover, the fit is tight thus you are assured that whatever liquid is inside the bottle will not spill while you are running. When you open its cap by pulling up the yellow rubber stopper, you just need to apply a small amount of force and liquid will come out immediately to quench your thirst.

It takes getting use to though in carrying the hydration bottle while running since it is a bit heavy when fully filled. You can also hear the liquid sloshing inside the bottle while you are running. On the other hand, this is a small sacrifice to pay in ensuring proper hydration during races. By the way, a plus factor for this hydration bottle is the pocket where I am able to fit car keys, identification cards and paper bills.

This was my trusty water bottle that accompanied me in my 5K and 10K races and trainings. Unfortunately though, I needed to upgrade my hydration pack for the longer distances that I planned to cover thus my quest for my next hydration pack started again.

Din: Personal Victory

August 25 and September 1 will go down as two of the best milestones, Eureka moments if I may say, in my running history. I joined the Runfest last August 25 and the Rexona Run 2010 last September 1. In both of these events, I was able to run non-stop from stop to finish!

Well for some this might be a small thing but for me, it was a huge deal. When I started running, in order to cope with the training and increasing distance, I immediately implemented walk breaks based on the Galloway method. This actually made me "survive" my training program, get past the injuries I incurred and eventually made me a stronger and better runner eventually.

I didn't know what occurred in these 2 race events but I just felt great. I planned to have my walk breaks every mile (1.61 kilometers) but when I reached the first mile, I still felt strong and decided to push on. When I reached the 4th mile (almost 6.5 kilometers), I told myself, why not try running non-stop since I am already two-thirds the way. Well, the rest was history.

Even if my pace is still slow and still needs improvement, this milestone is a huge reinforcement that my training is working and it is making me a stronger and better runner. With this milestone, I decided to move on to the next level. Well, that deserves a separate story. =)

Aug 16, 2010

Carrie: Lifeline Foundation's Run 4 Life - UPDATE

As I have promised in my last post, I would like to give an update regarding my discussions with regarding what I deem to be a discrepancy in my race results. After several emails (4 emails from me and 2 emails from them and a lot of patience for waiting for about a month for an update) I have yet to receive any response from I have provided them with the necessary answers to their questions and likewise, gave them access to my Garmin online account for evaluation, I think it is best to say that I will not be hearing anything from them anymore. Why? Well, there are only a handful of theories I could think of and I have listed them below.
  • could not resolve their problem with my race results nor would they admit that maybe there was something wrong with the timing device that was on the race bib.
  • Maybe since I am not a seasoned runner, they ignored to give me an update after I have answered all of their questions. Again, their reasons were not transparent with me.
  • Maybe since they are an outsourced entity by Lifeline Foundation to conduct the race result of the event, may have thought that it is Lifeline Foundation's responsibility to act on my request. Unfortunately, even though I have included Lifeline Foundation in my emails, I have also not received any response or acknowledgement.
  • How do you suppose I feel about this? Actually, it would have been great if they provided me with an update, whether or not there was no problem with their system and the results would be the same or there was a problem but they could not change the results anymore. Either way, it is still an update and that is all what I want to receive to provide closure to this issue. As in every situation, transparency is always a critical key.
So the question now is, will I still continue running? HELL YES!!!! But I would not admit that I would be running for 01:26:12 for a 5km race. I have been joining races since January of this year and I can very much say that the longest time it took me to finish a 5km was at Pinay In Action with a time of 46:53s. Now I would be very happy if the result provided was for a 10km race which I intend to join and finish at Adidas KOTR on 24 October 2010.

Jul 13, 2010

Carrie: Lifeline Foundation's Run 4 Life

Kudos to the team behind Lifeline Foundation for organizing such a successful event. Din and I had a grand time. Below are the factors we observed in contributing to the event's success.
  • the weather was fair considering that it was already the rainy season
  • great venue and challenging race route
  • visible and energetic marshals
  • water stations strategically placed
  • ambulances were available and were there until the end of the race
  • on the spot race results
  • 350 registration fee was all worth it
As always there is a big room for improvement.
  • late gun start
  • no visible portalet
  • no kilometer markers
  • longer 5km route
  • shorter 10km route
  • inaccurate race result from -- I received an email and sms regarding my race result only to find out that they have a different result compared with what I have with my Garmin 305. We are still in the process of discovering what went wrong. Will update regarding this matter soon.
Again, kudos to Lifeline Foundation and race director Edwin Tobias for a job well done. May the Foundation's missions help save more lives.

Jun 18, 2010

Carrie: Calm after the Storm

When I woke up last Sunday, I hoped that Din and I will be able to have a different experience with our run for The Bottle School Project. And true enough we were not disappointed.

The race was spearheaded by Mr. Iliac Diaz of My Shelter together with the Department of Education, the City of Taguig, Cecon and The Insular Life. The event was mainly to empower people and communities to spread the word that we have the solution to build schools using soda PET bottles as hollow blocks. The run aims to collect bottles for the construction of the first school in Taguig City.

The event gathered a small crowd of people who run for a cause. Before the race started Mr Diaz gave a small pep talk about the projects of Bottle School and about how "we" as runners can spread the word about how this project will help less fortunate people especially children to experience having their own classrooms that will help foster an environment for education.

Prior to this event we also participated in the Philippine Independence Day Half Marathon as part of our back to back weekend run but unfortunately the PIDM was to say the least our most forgettable disorganized run. The Bottle School Project run didn't disappoint us at all. Though there were a lot of technicalities that needs to be improved the event was way way above the standards of PIDM. We commend, Mr Diaz together the sponsors and the volunteers for a job well done. The event had a calming effect on us after a day of fiasco called PIDM.

Jun 14, 2010

Din: Disorganized Chaos

Philippine Independence Day Run @ The Fort, June 12, 2010

There was always indeed a first time. I had been through races which had several rooms for improvement but in the end, looking at the law of averages, the plus points outweighed the negatives. On the other hand, with the recently held Philippine Independence Day Run last June 12, unfortunately the negatives overwhelmed the positives. It would have been a race with a great potential that we could look forward to every year but unfortunately it got mired with disorganization resulting to the most chaotic race I ever attended so far.

1. This was my first race that 10K, 15K and 21K runners all started at the same time. The moment I heard this, I already had that uh-oh feeling

2. We could hardly hear the speakers from the runners' corral. As a result, I think there was a miscommunication when one of the speakers was simulating the countdown and unfortunately the runners in front thought it was already the start. Well, I think most of the runners were already fidgety since the race was already about 10 minutes late.

3. Some areas of the route (especially along Lawton Avenue) were lacking in Race Marshalls. As a result, the runners fended for themselves against irate drivers. Thank goodness for the security personnel of some areas and buildings who helped out in managing the traffic chaos. Unfortunately, I  heard that one runner fell victim to a hit and run incident.

4. The only positive aspect of the race were the water stations which gave out Pocari Sweat drinks but unfortunately these also got mired with problems such as the short tables and small number of volunteers.

I ran the 10K and I already have this list of complaints. Imagine how long would it be for the 21K runners? Well, here was a blog post from Life is a Highway who ran the 21K.

On a personal note, amids these challenges, I was able to get a new PR for 10K which was 5 minutes faster than my old one. Yahoo! Next target will be a sub 1:10 time. =)

To show you how much we "appreciated" this race, we only had 3 pictures, 2 of which were taken at home.

Jun 12, 2010

Din: Nature Valley Runrio Leg 2

Kudos to Coach Rio for another great and very organized running event. From the pre-race activities, to the race itself and the water stations (this was the race with the most number and longest water stations I had ever seen so far) up to the post-race activities, everything screamed of organized with a capital O!

This race was supposed to be my first 10K run but I decided otherwise since I was able to make it to the registration for the Runnex Executive Classic 10K run a week before this event. Based on the lessons learned I gathered from the Runnex run, I made sure that I ran on my own pace that was sustainable even if I would be at the tail end of the 10K participants. I am proud to say this strategy paid off. Even if my finish time was 1 hour 22 minutes, I was very proud to say that I was not spent and I did not experience any adverse effects from pushing myself. I was even able to do a recovery run a day after the race.

As for my running partner, this was her second 5K run in the Runrio Trilogy. Even if the route was more difficult as compared to the Leg 1 (well as per my assessment since the 5K and 10K routes shared some parts), she was able to better her previous finish time by more than 1 minute. She is now gunning for the 10K  in the last leg of the Runrio Trilogy. Way to go! :D

Jun 8, 2010

Din: Runnex 10K Executive Classic Run 2010

I was scrolling aimlessly through the list of races for 2010 when I chanced upon the Runnex 10K Executive Classic Run. I immediately thought, this would be a great opportunity for me to run again a 10K race after almost 20 years. I thought I was ready, emphasis on thought.

When race day came (this was May 23 in UP Diliman), I immediately included this event to my growing list of must-run-race-events-every-year. Even if the participants were few (well compared to the bigger commercial races) and the props for the events were simple yet effective, you could feel the energy among the crowd because you were surrounded by people who love the sport and run for the sake of running. You could feel this passion permeating the atmosphere.

And truth be told, this was my biggest mistake. I thought I could already run with the big boys. Well I did, for the first 30 seconds. It was quite a rude and humbling awakening. On the 6km mark, I was already struggling and running out of juice. Imagine that! Well, to show you how passionate these guys were, the top 30 finishers timed below 1 hour. To top it all, some of them were at least 20 years older than me! Talk about passion!

This race was a big lessons learned about pacing, foundation-building and most especially passion. Most of the participants did not have the latest running gears but what I saw was something more important. I saw passion, commitment, focus and determination. All the pains I experienced in this race made me a better person and I hope a better runner. To quote Dean Karnazes, in his book, Ultramarathon Man, "Pain is the body's way of ridding itself of weakness."

I almost crawled to the finish line. =D

Look at that time! Strong runners would have already done a 15K (or even a 21K) in this time! hehehe =p

Proud moment! Goodies all worth it! =)

May 25, 2010

Carrie: Two Thumbs Up for the Meek Runner

Din and I would like to congratulate our first runner friend Anna Bautista of The Meek Runner and her family for finishing The Bull Runner Dream Marathon last May 22. Congratulations Anna! You and your family are truly an inspiration!

Anna and I became friends through her blog, the meek runner. I was so inspired from her running experiences that I wanted to meet her the soonest. Luckily there was a coming run later in the weeks that we were corresponding through her blog and it paved the way for our meeting. I was so happy to meet Anna and her husband. Though the meeting was brief, I immediately sensed that Anna will be a great inspiration to my running adventures. Anna's first advice was to take it slowly and to make sure not to have injuries.

Din and I hope to run with Anna and her family soon. I bet we will have a blast exchanging running stories!

May 3, 2010

Din: RUNew 2010

The race results for the RUNew 2010 by the Asian Hospital and Medical Center are now out. You can download the results from the links below.

3K Results
5K Results
10K Results
16K Results

We joined the 5K race and frankly, this was the most difficult route that we ran so far. We were already anticipating this when we saw the race map since parts of it were our regular route to the Festival Mall and Alabang Town Center. There were several uphill parts in the route that were a lot steeper and longer than previous race routes that we joined. It was a tough route but heck, for runners like us looking for the next challenge, it was helluva fun!

Carrie: Takbo para sa PGH

Another charity event we joined was the Takbo para sa PGH. This was for the benefit of charity patients medical fund. As a member of the health care system I was very happy to be part of this event.It was PGH's first charity run and I hope they will continue this yearly.

I joined the 5km run for the nth time but that time the feeling was very different. I felt stronger, I felt good, I felt something changing...I felt that for every stride I made equals one life saved. As I get near the finish line my strides became more determined, something I never felt before. That was a first for me and maybe it happened to Din too. Being able to help others through running was a lot different that giving out money. Through running we are not only in battle with ourselves but we are also in battle to make it for other people's benefit. The feeling was was awesome.

Carrie: NatGeo Earth Day Run 2010

We were glad to be part of an event which inspires people to care about our dear Mother Earth. This was National Geographic Channel's first earth day run in celebration of the 40th earth day anniversary. All proceeds will be for the benefit of DATE (Design Against The Elements).

The event went well despite of the humid atmosphre. Everyone was proudly wearing their NatGeo technical shirt. To add more spice to our shirt the organizers gave each runner a complimentary green bandana. Every stride dedicated to our Mother earth. Every stride determined to make a difference.

Apr 17, 2010

Din: Dynamic Stretching

Ever since we started running, I am in the constant lookout for tips and tricks to improve our run, slowly but surely, and at the same time to prevent any potential injuries. In this regard, the first thing that I investigated on was how to further improve our stretching exercises. As it has always been said, stretching is suppose to be essential before and after a strenuous activity to improve performance and reduce injuries.

Further research on this topic led me to dynamic stretching which was admittedly a new concept for us. After using it for about 2 months now, all I can say is we find it more effective compared to the regular static stretching. I embedded below a video which is the source of the dynamic stretching routines we are currently using. I hope this will help you in your quest to learn more about dynamic stretching.

Apr 12, 2010

Carrie: Mizuno Infinity Run

We were very lucky to be able to join the first Mizuno Infinity Race at the Fort yesterday. To our surprise the event was not that all hyped up (whew!). The crowd was on a decent number. People were not packed like sardines when we entered the race ground, this is true most especially with the 5k category (we have experienced being packed like one during our first ever run). Let me share with you some of my reviews.
  • The race started on time.
  • There was ample parking for those who came with their own ride.
  • There were enough water stations though its just so sad to see people throwing their empty plastic cups around and not have the decency to practice proper waste disposal. As runners, I believe that if we can discipline ourselves to perfect our sport then we can also make a habit to do proper disposal especially during races.
  • There was a water truck with a sprinkler to cool our bodies. the weather was so hot yesterday.
  • There was a bit of chaos with the line formation to claim freebies and other stuff.
  • The 5k race route was not the same as what the organizer posted in their site. Good thing was we finished :)
  • Overall, Mizuno Infinity Race was a good race. Training was worth it!

Mizuno's challenge to runners is to "Beat Your Own Time"- we got the message and we did! I did my 5k with a 38min 51sec time. A 7 min improvement from my last race. I was in high spirits and cant complain. My training paid off. Now who says the street where my Grandma and my Aunt lives is steep?

Apr 10, 2010

Din: Running Events for April 2010

It will be a busy month for the running duo since every weekend, we have a running event. You can find these events below where we will be running 5K.

Mizuno Infinity Run 2010

NatGeo Earth Day Run 2010

Takbo Para sa PGH 2010

Mar 16, 2010

Carrie: Pinay in Action

Last Saturday was our first time to join the yearly running event of Senator Pia Cayetano, Pinay In Action For the last 5 years Senator Pia together with the Filipino women celebrate the yearly event with a run to commemorate the month of March as Women's month. This event aims to provide women different channels for a healthy lifestyle and guidelines for a better future.

It was my second 5km run and I really enjoyed myself. With hubby beside me painstakingly enduring my running pace - yep he supported me all the way! Though the fun run started a bit late the women and our men supporters were eager to hear words of encouragement from the Senator.

The run was light and easy but I still have a lot to improve. At 46mins 50+ seconds I finished and was greeted at the finish line by hubby and new found friends The Meek Runner [Anna] and her hubby. We were all smiling and happy to have finished. Anna and her hubby have to leave early to attend to a previous engagement, hubby and I stayed on to the mini program and awarding of winners. Over all, the event was a success.

I hope to do this event yearly. I hope to become a Pinay In Action woman.

With Anna (the meek runner).

Finishing the race. Look at the time! Hahaha! It doesnt matter though. I did it! I had fun! I supported a very good cause.

With Senator Pia Cayetano.

Mar 10, 2010

Carrie: Pacing = Patience

When I run with hubby last Monday I decided to follow his lead. His pace was a bit slower than mine so I adjusted mine and shared with him the road, the cool-hot morning air, blue skies, the overall morning atmosphere in our village. As we were running I noticed that I had this urge to run ahead and do my own pace. Fortunately, I kept on with him and was surprised to discover that I had covered almost 2kms non stop. For somebody like me that was an achievement.

You see, when I start a hobby or a sport I usually end up doing all the wrong moves, why? because I want my cake right away. I always fall on the category of being impatient. Thus, since I started running my left heel always hurts, my whole body ache, and I ran out of breath. For 7 weeks now I have been running on and off and still haven't learned anything about pacing, endurance, strength, breathing and form.

Last Monday was the turning point. Because I waited, because I paced properly, I was able to achieve something I will never do on my own. Its never too late to start learning and the first thing I should learn is to be patient to understand pacing more.

Mar 8, 2010

Carrie: Running is to Dancing

Ever since I could remember I was a dancer. I love dancing especially with my late Papa. Papa introduced me to disco dancing, disco music, disco balls and John Travolta. Yes, I was that kid roaming around in parties trying my best to make the perfect imitation of John Travolta's signature move in Saturday Night Fever. Dancing before was associated with quality time with my Father then going to parties during college days and eventually as a means to my never ending quest to lose weight.

I have been through a lot of weight loss routines. Some work but others dont. Most of the time I end up eating more since I get so tired doing the routine that I felt I needed more to sustain energy. For days I would stick to a single routine only to end up disappointed. Then I discovered Tae Bo. Tae Bo gave a new meaning to my weight loss problems. It worked and I got results. Then I found myself longing to have someone to do Tae Bo with. My hubby Din was all willing to help and be my exercise buddy but he soon discovered that not all people could do Tae Bo. He told me the main reason he couldn't do Tae Bo is because he doesn't know how to dance. What!

Din my ever optimistic hubby suggested that I try running instead. At first I was skeptical, I couldn't do what he could. I can't even run around the compound. Then one day I tried and was surprised that I liked it. It was not an easy task...I was quitting every minute but I persevered and I was able to do it. It was like dancing to me...I had what they call runner's high but what I had was my dancer's high....a step with every beat, a move with every breath, a step towards loving running as I have loved dancing.

Mar 6, 2010

Din: Time to Run... Again!

Image from Dori's Shiny Blog.

When I was in college, during one of the summer sessions, out of curiosity, I took the Running for Fitness PE class. I told myself, this would be a run in the park (pun intended). Immediately after our first day, I realized I could not be more wrong. My leg muscles and feet were aching so much that walking was an ordeal. I thought, I should have taken table tennis instead.

I could have quit right there but for whatever reason, I stuck to my guns and continued with the class, painstakingly though, on the first week. Remarkably, during the second week, the muscle aches lessened and I was beginning to like running. Being an introvert, I was realizing that running was a very individual and contemplative activity. Four weeks later, as our final exam, we ran a 10km race sponsored by Coca-Cola. It was quite a memorable experience since I finished the race in less than one hour. Because of this accomplishment, I was hooked and continued running for more than a year... and then I stopped running.

Fast forward to the present, almost 20 years after, 10 inches more on my waistline and 25 pounds overweight. I do not know what hit me but suddenly I have the urge to start exercising again. Unfortunately, I do not know where to start. I looked at various exercise regimens such as Tae Bo and boxing but nothing piqued my interest. And then, just like the exercise urge, I have another realization, why not running!

As a result, here I am again, experiencing the same aches and pains 20 years ago but with a huge difference. I am no longer doing this to pass a class or even pass the time. I am doing this for myself! I may not be able to regain my previous waistline or get that killer abs, but putting myself back to the health lane through running is more than enough reward for me.