Archive for December, 2008

28
Dec
08

My 2009 Running Goals or Resolutions

This was one of the topics in Takbo.ph forums and is quite timely since the New Year is just around the corner.  I didn’t want to rush answering this question, and upon pondering about if for a few minutes (I didn’t hurry but I sure came up with something quick hehe) here’s what I got (Warning: this is more elaborate than my forum post 🙂 ):

  1. Run my first half-marathon
    After running my first 16K a few weeks ago (Yakult 10-Miler) I figured that I am ready to push the boundary some more.  A 6K increase in distance from 10K to 16K is no joke for me since I’d be increasing my run distance by more than half (60% more to be exact) and since I am still a “newbie” at this sport I didn’t know if I can, but definitely it’s worth trying.  Now that it’s history I’d like to push it some more, after all a half marathon (approximately 21K) is “just” another 5K.  Who knows maybe I can do a full-marathon before the next year ends.
  2. Gain some weight
    Some people think I’m crazy with this notion.  I’ve always wanted to gain some more weight (more muscle mass, less body fat, although the latter is not a problem in my situation) that’s why I enrolled in a gym but when I discovered running that’s when things got more difficult.  Running burns calories which I so badly need to gain mass.  There were times I wished that I was fat so I have a lot of spare calories to burn.  A weight management coach even asked me which path I’d like to choose: build up mass (gym) or stay as is (running).  I chose both.  I won’t give up running for as long as I can, and I won’t give up my goal of improving my weight.  It’s difficult but it’s not impossible—so now I have to eat a lot!
  3. Run outside Metro Manila and hopefully abroad on International Races
    This is one of the most feasible of the goals I’ve set.  I registered for the TNF Trail Run in Batangas so running outside the Metro isn’t really an issue.  The real deal here is running abroad.  I’d really love to join next year’s Singapore Marathon (to take the half) and hopefully I’ll have the resources I need to fulfill this one.  Of course a local international race should come first before the latter.
  4. Set new PRs: 5K (below 20min) 10K (below 50min)
    Pressure!  Pressure! With constant practice I should be able to break these since my current PRs for these distances were only a few minutes off.  And 2009 ends in December so I still have time to improve. 🙂
  5. Stay injury-free!
    If you follow my blogs you know that I’ve been injured and I really hated that downtime: you can’t run as fast as you wanted, as long as you wanted, and to summarize, it really sucks! Things happen and hopefully it doesn’t occur that often, or be as minimal as possible.
  6. Run not only on weekends but also on weekdays (and log it)
    I started running in 2008 but I only counted my races in my logs.  Starting 2009 I plan to run more (even just on treadmills) as practice and log the distances.  Hopefully with constant running my feet would be more resilient against injuries and eventually help improve my performance.  Now I really have to add some more food on my diet!
  7. Get a Garmin?
    I just love those Garmin watches with GPS—my only problem: budget.  In my running hierarchy of needs it wasn’t really at the top so I have to make extra effort to make this into reality.  Training would be more fun with these watches since you can monitor a lot of stuff, more like technical ways of improving your run.  Sharing your runs would also be more interesting since you can actual show where you ran.

Well those seven should be enough, I don’t want to make a long list and not accomplish a lot of it.  I could always add some more when I completed them all.  It’s nice to think about these things, it gives us a target and be more focused in achieving our goals.  This are just my running related goals, there of course are more, but that’s a different topic altogether.

Writing your goals or resolutions and sharing it makes it more concrete—plus you’ll have witnesses to help (or coerce) you to fulfill those goals or resolutions.  I’d love to hear what you have in mind; feel free to share it with the community, and maybe we all could help each other attain our goals.  So, have you made your goals or resolutions yet?

25
Dec
08

0 to 100K: My 2008 Chronicles

Surely 2008 was a memorable year for many of us.  It was the year me and many of my friends started running, and it definitely changed our lives.

August 08, 2008 (08/08/08): it was the night of the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games, and it was the day of my first race ever: Men’s Health Miracle Run.  Little did we know that that 5K would change our lives for good.

After our first race we still weren’t that active with running.  Although we enjoyed it a lot we just waited for races to come our way—we didn’t really lift a finger to seek races.  At that time we didn’t know yet where to get information on races.  Little by little we were exposed to fellow runners’ blog site until eventually we found out about thebullrunner and takbo.ph: sites that really helped us a lot (and still do).  These sites eventually inspired me to put up a running blog site of my own to also help fellow newbies like myself.

October marked the start of joining consecutive races.  The most interesting races I joined for the month were the adidas King of the Road, my first 10K and the Halloween race Isuzu Shake Rattle and Run.

November, my birth month, was the most packed month I’ve had with five consecutive weekend races: VSO Bahaginan Run, my birthday run, just two days after my birthday, my first sub-25 minutes 5K (self-timed) and sub-55 minutes 10K; Men’s Health Urbanathon, a mix of almost 10K run and obstacles; Race for Life and Unicef Walk on the Child’s Side, my first back-to-back; and the 32nd National Milo Marathon, the largest race I’ve joined so far and the first one with a full Marathon.  This was also the month I formally launched this site, runningpinoy.

December was a very leisurely month compared with the previous month, only three races but with another back-to-back: Nokia Recycle your Phone and Run, my first absolutely free race and my first race with sub-5:00/km pace; and Yakult 10-Miler, my longest race so far and first beyond 10K; and the UP ICTUS Centennial Run, the run that finally completed my 100K.  It was unexpected for me that I reached this mark before the year ended and I was thankful that I was able to.

Another good thing that happened to local running this year were the free running clinics: those offered by Bald Runner, and Nike Philippines, both held at the Ultra, Pasig and the latter having an extra session at Bonifacio High Street.  Being a participant of Nike Running Clinic I could attest that it really helped a lot especially for beginners to improve our runs.

Injuries—one of the things nobody wants to suffer but is a part of life.  Despite being a great downer it could also be educational and helpful if you learn from it.  But it’s probably better not to learn about it the hard way.  I did have my fair share of injuries, in fact I almost didn’t complete my 100K because of it, and hopefully I learned enough to minimize it in the future.

12 races, 100K, some injuries, free running clinics, a blog site, many new friends, and tons of memories—these are some of the things that this year gave to me, and hopefully this year was worthwhile for all of you as well.  I had fun sharing my running experiences and other “miscellaneous” accounts with everyone, and I hope you did as well.  Merry Christmas everyone! Run Safe and have a more fruitful New Year ahead!

23
Dec
08

Another Marathon: Movie Marathon?!

It’s a very long weekend here in the Philippines, December 25, 2008 to January 02, 2009 being a series of legal and special holidays—that’s eight days of no work to think about!  There are no more races left the year and the yuletide mood seems to direct us to parties and eating, so what activities can we do that’s close to running?  A movie marathon!

I don’t really have a long lineup of must see movies prepared but I do have two movie suggestions for watching at home.  The first one is a 2005 Korean movie entitled “Marathon (말아톤).”  It was recommended by fellow runners so I’m really eager to see it.  It was inspired by a true story of a boy with autism and love for running.  I haven’t seen this movie yet but it may help motivate those who aspire to run a marathon (myself included).

Marathon (말아톤) theatrical poster (2005), courtesy Wikipedia.org

If English subtitles aren’t your thing here’s a documentary movie I could also suggest: “Bigger Stronger Faster.”  This one is about steroids and its use (illegally?) on sports.  I got interested in this topic when I had an injury and my doctor told me of a possibility of being injected by one on my knee.

Bigger Stronger Faster (2008)

Bigger Stronger Faster theatrical release poster (2008), courtesy Wikipedia.org

I’m sure there are tons of running-related movies out there I still am not aware of so feel free to give me a shout out.  I’ve already seen the latter and I plan to see the first one during my break.  Then maybe I could squeeze in a few trips to the gym for some treadmill-calls.

22
Dec
08

The Bests of 2008

2008 was a pretty short year for me running-wise since I started on the third quarter already, but despite the relative short span I do have my favorites for the year:

Best 5K Race: Nokia Recycle your Phone and Run
First it was free, it had a very good cause, very well organized, and had more freebies.

Best 10K Race: adidas King of the Road
This was my first 10K and was very memorable because of its very nice race course, also was my first race over a fly-over.

Best Race Singlet: adidas King of the Road
The official KOTR singlet was so good I used it several times more on subsequent races; even my tan lines follow the singlet’s edges!

Best Race Course 5K: Unicef Walk on the Child’s Side
It was the most interesting 5K route I’ve seen so far and it even looked like 10K from the race map.

Best Race Course 10K: adidas King of the Road
This was a very tough choice to make but I picked adidas KOTR: running on Buendia fly-over over EDSA—that’s a feat that’s not easy to beat.

Best Race Organizer: Coach Rio (Runrio.com)
Anyone who’s ever joined races organized by Coach Rio would definitely agree on this: ample portalets, great race courses, punctual, good sets of freebies, quick and pretty accurate race results, consistent high quality races, and so on—not to mention that Coach Rio’s always very accommodating.  His races may not be the largest in terms of attendance but it’s always fun.  Keep it up Coach!

Most Organized Race: Unicef Walk on the Child’s Side
Except for parking issues with the venue, just about everything in this race was great: course, singlet, freebies, cause, etc.  As expected from Coach Rio of course.

Most Interesting Race: Isuzu Shake Rattle and Run
It was held on a Friday night, a Halloween, and even includes a “Best in Costume” category.  You’d hardly think you’re in a race but in a costume party!

I would’ve liked to pick a lone “Favorite Race” but it was very difficult to pick just one, so I just picked three of my favorite races for the year (in no particular order):

Favorite Races:

  • adidas King of the Road
    My pick for Best 10K Race, Best Race Course 10K, and Best Race Singlet, it was also my first 10K among others (see my blog on “Firsts”).
  • Unicef Walk on the Child’s Side
    My pick for Best Race Course 5K (runner-up for my Best Race Course 10K) and Most Organized Race, it was one of the most fun races I’ve had for 2008.
  • Nokia Recycle your Phone and Run
    My pick for Best 5K Race, I had fun joining this race: from collecting hazardous wastes for registration to the free items.  I strongly support any initiative for the environment so that’s another plus, and personally this was the first race I ran with a consistent pace of sub 5 minutes per kilometer.

The Best Thing About 2008
I was introduced to running this year so this one tops the list.  I’ve had so many experiences, both good and bad, and I’ve met so many people in the process.  It was also very educational and expanded my view on fitness in general: no longer am I stuck in the gym thinking it’s the only thing that can keep me fit.

It’s sad that 2008 is almost over, but I’m glad that 2008 was a year I could call, a great start.

21
Dec
08

Christmas Wish List

Christmas is just around the corner, the season of gift-giving and sharing; and of course receiving gifts especially unexpected ones are really pleasing.  Who wouldn’t want to receive gifts this season?  If you were to ask me what I want for Christmas here’s my wish list:

Garmin Forerunner® 405
Number one in my wish list, this is also one of the most expensive one and one of my most needed and wanted.  I need this to measure accurately the distance I cover during my training and practice runs outdoors, and I want this because having one makes you feel and look like a pro.  If you start seeing satellite maps of my runs on my blog site you’ll know I had this wish fulfilled.

Forerunner® 405, courtesy Garmin

Shoes
A pair of alternate running shoes, training shoes, and trail-running shoes to be precise.  These are also on my “need” list but I can’t exactly get it all at once (even if I wanted to).  The most needed one would be the trail shoes due to an upcoming trail run this January.

Nike Lunar Trainer

Nike Lunar Trainer, courtesy Nike Philippines

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic
I’m not discontented with my current phone (Nokia 6120 classic) but I sure would like to experience those touch screen-based phones, and I really need its Wi-Fi capabilities to reduce the need to bring along my laptop.  Plus it really looks cool.

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, courtesy GSMArena.com

UMPC
Stands for Ultra-Mobile Personal Computer, this item reveal the geek in me and my interests in gadgets.  My current one, an Asus Eee PC 701 is defective (and even under warranty, after sales support are a nightmare so I don’t see this being resolved) and my demands are starting to surpass its capabilities so I could really use an upgrade.

VAIO UX - VGN-UX37GN/L (Courtesy Sony Philippines)

VAIO UX - VGN-UX37GN/L, courtesy Sony Philippines

Nike Pro Gears
I just love those Nike Pro items, namely those compression shorts.  It’s Nike and it’s “pro,” what’s not to love?

Run Long Socks
I have good running socks but I don’t have a pair yet for long distance runs.  Definitely a must before my half-marathon next year.

Nike Run Long Cushioned Quarter Sock

Nike Run Long Cushioned Quarter Sock

“Real” Running Shorts
I don’t have a problem using my football shorts for running but it can get a bit hot during long distance races.  Naturally I’d prefer the longer ones, probably even consider tights, over the really short ones.

A Digital SLR Camera
A digital camera in general was one of the first items I wanted to buy after graduating from college and a few years hence I still haven’t satisfied this one, perhaps because it was more of a hobby than a need (my mobile phone’s camera fulfills the need, although falls short that of desired).  Although my “want” for this has changed from point-and-shoot to entry-level SLR (Single-Lens Reflex) cameras, running has definitely taken much of the limelight away from photography, although I’d like to pursue this in the near future.  Any digital camera now would definitely give this hobby a much needed boost!

Canon EOS 1000D (Courtesy Canon Philippines)

Canon EOS 1000D, courtesy Canon Philippines

Of course my wish list isn’t all about material things; my more important wishes are good health for my family and myself, more blessings, and of course, world peace!  (I am serious about the last one however clichéd it may have been)

Let us not forget what this season is all about, and it’s not about a fat guy in Red suit: it’s all about giving.  After all this season was made for us to remember the birth of His Ultimate Gift to mankind—that’s the Christ in Christmas.

19
Dec
08

Running in the Sky (Way)

Something to look forward to running next year: the Condura run on March 22, 2009.  RunningShield has announced plans for this race and the 21K route will pass through the South Luzon Skyway.  This may be our only chance to run on the Skyway and it definitely makes the route very interesting and exciting.

From RunningShield:

A Race in the SKY WAY?.. NO WAY!…

Believe it or NOT… The 21k event of the CONDURA RACE will partially pass the SOUTH LUZON SKYWAY: This is so exciting for us, CONCEPCION DURABLES, INC: makers of CONDURA and KELVINATOR REFRIGERATOR as this is the FIRST in the Philippines, where a Running Race will pass by a major highway, where NO persons are ALLOWED to walk on.

There will also be a 3k/5k/10k event. So be fit, rack in those training mileage, and get ready to take the challenge!! Don’t miss this once in a lifetime opportunity to run on the SKYWAY. And of course, I will definitely be there as there’s NO WAY that I will miss this in my life!  So Mark your calendar on March 22, 2009.

Pls. wait for further announcements on the Condura – Skyway website, early reservation to run in the Skyway, and other details.

South Luzon Skyway

The Skyway’s Makati CBD and Buendia exits (courtesy Wikipedia.org)

I definitely won’t miss this rare opportunity, and by the way, this would be my first half-marathon!  An exciting year awaits us in 2009!

18
Dec
08

PhotoVendo Moment

Each race is unique and memorable and capturing those moments are made easier by PhotoVendo, the brainchild of Ben M. Chan (photographer on the run).  You can’t always bring someone along to take your photos and not everyone has an SLR camera, and it’s definitely difficult to bring a camera along in-race and take photos along the way, but just about every runner wants to have a photo of themselves while running—this is where this service comes in handy.

PhotoVendo has been around several races already and is quickly becoming part of the norm.  The previously concluded UP ICTUS Run gave more runners an opportunity to enjoy their services by giving free prints of photos taken on their area.  This was my first race photo printed from PhotoVendo and it definitely won’t be the last.  I sure would love to order the high-resolution copy of that photo but it wasn’t available on their site (hope they would, our group photo from Unicef Run wasn’t available either).  There was this photo from PhotoVendo that I really liked:

Struggle

Struggle

This race was a struggle for me as I was running with an injury at the time, and I think you can see that from this photo.

Thank you PhotoVendo for your services, although I’m not paying a customer yet, I’m definitely sold!  I just have a few “requests” or “unsolicited suggestions:”

  • Be able to order photos from different races.  I like it better to order many items at one time since I won’t be using a credit card for my purchases.
  • Be able to order our group photos.  I tried searching for our group photo last Unicef Run using all the race numbers of everyone in the photo but I didn’t locate it.
  • Probably have an account system so we could just log in and not type our delivery address every time we place an order or make alterations to our orders.

Sorry for being a demanding (but non-profitable) client, I’ll be one soon (promise!).  I look forward to more great photos from you guys.  Keep up the good work!




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The MIRACLE isn’t that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the COURAGE to START
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