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."