Archive for February, 2009


The Story of My First Winter Run

Finally after several days of running abstinence I was able to get back to running, despite the sub-zero (°C) temperature.  It’s still winter here in Ohio and although we don’t have several inches of snow on the ground we barely break 0°C during daytime, in fact the warmest temperature we’ve had these past few days was 2°C and the coldest was -14°C.  We usually have flurries at night but a lot of it melts during daytime when temperatures exceed 0°C so we don’t have much buildup, but if you walk around you’d see a lot of ice deposits.  There are also a lot of man-made ponds here and most of which are frozen (a few inches thick) but they usually don’t allow people to skate on it.

My running trail: notice the frozen pond behind.

My running trail within my hotel’s premises: notice the frozen pond behind (and my bottled water on the bench).

During my early days here I was frustrated to run—I don’t have any thermal clothes that I can use to run outdoors and it took me several days before I was able to get one.  Unlike in the Philippines you really need a car to get to the stores and malls so visiting a sports shop that caters thermal pants can be difficult.  Finding one was also a challenge since stores are transitioning from winter collections to spring so I really have to travel more than 50 miles to get my gear.

Here’s my complete winter gear: a runner’s beanie (or bonnet) as headgear, a normal t-shirt and windbreaker as top, a pair of windproof gloves as hand protection, Under Armour thermal tights as bottoms, regular Nike Dri-Fit socks and New Balance 811 trail running shoes as footwear.

My winter gear: a runner’s beanie, windbreaker with regular white cotton t-shirt, pair of gloves, thermal tights, cushioned socks, and trail running shoes

My winter gear: a runner’s beanie, a windbreaker on regular white cotton tee, a pair of wind-proofed gloves, thermal tights, cushioned socks, and trail running shoes.

I started my winter run on a treadmill in the hotel before I got my thermal pants.  You may use your denim jeans when running but wearing one isn’t really ideal so I settled for a treadmill for the time being.  When I got my thermal tights things started looking up—the “barriers” that hindered my outdoor run were no longer issues.

Winter Gear Explained
Let’s start from top to bottom.  Exposing yourself in freezing and windy air for sometime hurts your ear so a beanie is a need.  I think it differs from a bonnet that the latter is normally loose and big while a beanie is more fitting and sporty.  I got a thermal one so even if it’s almost an exact fit it’s very warm.

When I started running outdoors for the first time I was wearing a t-shirt, a fleece jacket, and a windbreaker as top.  Outside temperature then was -3°C so I was still testing my tolerance limit.  This was later reduced (a few minutes after I got warmed up) to just the tee and windbreaker as you really get warm and even start to sweat despite the freezing temperature.  A windbreaker is needed because of wind-chill—it tends to feel colder than it actually is because of the wind (e.g. it could feel like -14°C but in actuality it’s only -6°C because of the wind), and where I’m at it’s very windy, most of the time.

A water-repelling wind-resistant pair of gloves are useful to prevent your fingers from getting numb.  It’s not as comfortable and convenient as a free hand but in cold weather it’ s a necessity.

For the bottom I was wearing thermal pants and my regular running shorts (a Nike football short to be precise) but that was more for aesthetic purposes and later during that initial run I also removed it to test if it was warm enough, and it was.  Note that the tights that I got is thermal—it is specifically designed for use in temperatures below 55°F so it’s warm enough that you don’t need extra layers especially since your legs also get warmer when running.  It keeps you warm without sacrificing weight and performance so tights were the perfect solution for running in the midst of winter outdoors.

Any socks may be used in cold weather; it just depends on how warm you’d like to be.  For me a regular Nike Dri-Fit cushioned socks is warm enough and the NB 811 is not as “meshy” as other running shoes, plus since it’s for trail running it’s extra useful when running on ice which are especially slippery.  There’s a thing they call “black ice” that is the same color as the pavement (especially asphalt) so you don’t see it—you’d just slip on it, so the extra traction that trail running shoes provide is really useful.

I had planned on sharing this experience for several days now but it’s only recently that I got the chance.  As of press time I had already ran at least 20K outdoors, normally in the afternoon and on -3°C temperature.  The warmest run I’ve had was earlier this afternoon, 5.25K on 1°C.

The man-made pond within hotel premises.  It’s ice is a few inches thick and the white things on top of it are snow.

The man-made pond within hotel premises. It’s ice is a few inches thick and the white things on top of it are snow.

I look forward to more runs while winter is still here.  Pretty soon it would be spring and even before that my US trip would come to an end.  Don’t let some obstacles hinder your plans to run.  If you really will it, you can.  I was born and raised in the warm tropics (and spent most of my life between 17°C-35°C) and here I am running outdoors in USA in the middle of winter.  If there’s a will, there’s always a way, otherwise all you got are excuses.  Takbo hangga’t may lupa, kahit pa nagyeyelo!


Featured Race: The Condura Run ‘09

Finally the details for this highly anticipated race is out.  The first time I got news that it would have a 21K race and would pass through the Skyway I knew this race should be my first half marathon.  Not only that this would be another first for me, it’s also a rare opportunity that may never happen in a long time.  How many times to they allow races to be held on a major road?

Race Particulars
When: Sunday, March 22, 2009
Where: 28th Street, Bonifacio Global Open Grounds, Taguig City (near NBC Tent)
Race Start and Fee:

  • 21K Half-Marathon – 5:30 AM – P500
  • 10K Challenge – 6:00 AM – P300
  • 5K Discovery Run – 6:00 AM – P300
  • 3K Fun Run – 6:00 AM – P300

A Condura Run for the Whale Sharks T-Shirt is included with your race packet upon registration.  You may register at the following locations:

  • Makati
    Concepcion Industries Inc. Bldg. (beside Zuellig across Ospital ng Makati) 308 Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City
    Tel: (02) 391-0980
    Fax: (02) 818-3078
    Mobile: 0928-5207066
    Look for Vic, Mich or Alex.
  • Greenhills
    51 Annapolis Street, Greenhills, San Juan (near National Bookstore)
    Fax: 727-9987
    Mobile: 0918-9158536
    Look for Rudy Biscocho.
  • Nike Stores
    • Bonifacio High Street, Bonifacio Global City
    • Glorietta 4
    • Greenbelt 3
    • Trinoma
    • Robinson’s Ermita
    • Festival Mall Alabang

You can download the registration form from

Running for the Whale Sharks
From the race organizers: By joining the Condura run you are helping raise funds to protect the Whale Sharks and promoting responsible eco-tourism in Donsol.

Aside from the beneficiary of the race and self-gratuity, the finishers of the race also get a loot bag with products from sponsors and those braving the 21K would have a finisher’s medal.  There would also be an expo during the event featuring products from the sponsors on sale.

For more information about this race you may visit


runningpinoy OFW?

The longest travel time I’ve ever had to endure, after more than 17 hours, 4 airports, 2 plane types, and an International Date Line crossing, I finally arrived at my destination: Columbus, Ohio.  I’ll be spending sometime here for business, and for leisure I intend to continue running, even if it’s still winter, especially now that I find the climate here was within my tolerance limits (so far).

I arrived in the US via Detroit, MI with 30F temperature and just about everything was covered in snow.  That temperature was below the freezing point (of water) and that caused us some delays—all airplanes leaving had to go through a deicing procedure before flying.  Less than an hour later (via plane) in Columbus it was 35F, just above freezing but warm enough not to cause a build up of snow (although there were very little amounts of it) so it was a stark contrast—it almost looked like autumn here.  Because of the modest snow fall here I was only able to experience snow falling on my hands but not play on it (unlike in Detroit where it’s everywhere!).

A tram right inside Detroit International

A tram right inside Detroit International

Deicing a plane

Deicing a plane

Even if the temperature here just plays around 32F and no snow and ice on the road, wind-chill is still a factor to consider so running is really challenging.  We arrived late in the afternoon so I wasn’t able to buy thermal clothes I can use for running.  I plan on running real soon and don’t be surprised if I posted a picture running in jeans!

P.S. I’ll post more pictures real soon! 😀


Nike Run Clinic Session 25

Last night was another “Just do it” session, being somewhat similar to the previous session at Ultra.  We thought that it was an “unloading” or recovery session based on what was listed on the Nike Run Clinic site.  We started with some new routines so we thought that it was the course of the session but afterwards we were grouped again for the intervals.  Here are my stats:

Distance Time Pace
Warm-up  400M 1:35 3:59
Intervals  800M
2000M 9:48 4:54
Total: 6400M

I guess we went a little overboard with our times which were much better than last week’s.   I think I even reached my 80-100% maximum heart rate (MHR) during one of the intervals.

Tuesday nights at Ultra

There was a large turnout of people again at Ultra last night (like in the previous weeks).

There was a large turnout of people again at Ultra last night (like in the previous weeks). This was just one view of the track.

Please keep inner lanes clear for faster runners

I have a strong hunch on who might’ve placed this sign.

Insider Scoop

Due to the still increasing popularity of running in the country Nike Philippines may extend the duration of the Run Clinic.  I’m not sure if I have the liberty of telling how long this “extension” is so it’s better to ask Coach Rio himself.

Like I mentioned on my blog last week, Nike Clinic was indeed featured on TV last Saturday on the show of Jessica Soho.  Too bad that I missed it but I’ve heard it was just a short segment (so chances are our shots were edited out).

Nike still has some surprises up its sleeve—what it is remains a surprise even to myself (we weren’t able to coax Coach Rio to spill the beans) but if you’re itching to find out (like myself) better attend this Friday’s session at Nike Park BHS.  If my flight wasn’t a few hours later I’d most likely be there.

That about rounds up my last Nike Run Clinic session at Ultra (for now).  To my classmates whom I just got the chance to talk with last night, I’m pleased to meet you all!

Before I leave I’d like to thank Nike Philippines for this wonderful initiative we call the “Run Clinic” and of course all the coaches that bear with us every session, headed of course by Coach RioThank you very much! I’ll surely miss this activity while I’m away.


LSD with

Last Sunday being my last weekend here in the Philippines (for February at least) I decided to do an LSD one last time, before finally heading off to Ohio, USA.  I’m uncertain if I can do my regular weekend runs there being winter and all so just to play safe in increasing my mileage I decided to replicate my last week’s 21K.  Thankfully this time I don’t have to do it alone—I joined the wacky troops from (which doubled as another eyeball) when I arrived in Bonifacio High Street (BHS).

View of MRT (top) and EDSA (middle) as I start my LSD

View of MRT (top) and EDSA (middle) as I start my LSD

I always try to keep my LSDs interesting so I started from Boni Ave. Station of MRT and run alongside Pasig River, a first for me.  Unfortunately it was only a couple of hundred meters before I had to break that route and head for Fort Bonifacio.

A park alongside Pasig River (sorry for the blurry shot)

A park alongside Pasig River (sorry for the blurry shot)

I followed the jeepney’s route coming to Fort Bonifacio.  My street run suddenly turned into a trail run because of the unpaved road leading to Global City (development is still on-going so it’s acceptable).  And because it was still early there weren’t many vehicles on the road so I didn’t encounter “dust storms.”  Just a few kilometers from my starting point I’m already at BHS.

Trails going to Bonifacio Global City

Trails going to Bonifacio Global City

Some more trails

Some more trails

Finally, some signs of civilization

Finally, some signs of civilization

Running in the middle of the road

Running in the middle of the road

spacious sidewalks

What I love about Bonifacio Global City: spacious sidewalks

There are a lot of runners/joggers in BHS so even if you don't have company you won't feel alone

There are a lot of runners/joggers in BHS so even if you don't have company you won't feel alone

Nike Park BHS where Nike Run Clinic sessions are held every Friday nights

Nike Park BHS where Nike Run Clinic sessions are held every Friday nights

I was waiting for some other company when I arrived at BHS so I took a few rounds around it, alternating an oval lap and a figure-8 lap, and that’s when I met up with gang.  The U-turn on my route in BHS was the time I joined the gang’s LSD.

Starting our LSD

Starting our LSD

From BHS we took off to McKinley Hill, and after a few minutes of rest (and eating) we headed off to Heritage Park.  Too bad that Heritage Park isn’t open to the public nonetheless it was another opportunity for some class pictures.  The final leg of our LSD is returning to BHS, about 14K for the guys who started there, and 21.7K for me.

McKinley Hill

McKinley Hill

U-turn spot at McKinley Hill

U-turn spot at McKinley Hill

Going to Heritage Park

Going to Heritage Park

Class picture at Heritage Park

Class picture at Heritage Park

Bonifacio High Street, the finish area of this LSD

Bonifacio High Street, the finish area of this LSD

One of the good things about running is having license to eat a lot, and one of the good things about running in Global City is Market! Market!—lots of food choices. Our LSD ended on BHS, but our meeting concluded in Market! Market!  It was so nice to meet you guys again; I can’t wait to join you again next time when I return to the Philippines.  Until then, I hope you guys enjoy all the upcoming races, and run safe!

LSD Route

You may view my Garmin Connect data here: and the complete set of photos from my LSD via flickr:


RP’s Last Weekend in RP

This weekend would be my last weekend here in the Philippines, temporarily at least.  I’ll be off for the USA for some business trip and be away for almost a month, thereby missing a lot of good races.  It should be interesting since it would be my first time in another continent, add to the fact that it would be my first winter experience—it should make for some remarkable running experience, don’t you think?

My biggest concern is of course, winter.  I’ve no experience dealing with such low temperatures, specifically below 0C (32F).  I refuse to be tied to a treadmill during my trip. I’ve always been a fan of the great outdoors so running outside during winter (which I wouldn’t experience in the Philippines) would be exciting, almost like a dream, but I have no idea how I’d deal with the weather.  As tough as winter may seem I still refuse to let it stop me from running.  Like what I always say, “takbo hangga’t may lupa” (run while there’s still ground), this time I can add to it “…kahit nagyeyelo” (even if it’s freezing).  I just don’t know what to wear to be able to do my winter run… care for any suggestions?


Nike Run Clinic Session 23

“If you think running is difficult, stop thinking.” I could probably describe last night’s session with this quote.  Just thinking about doing 5x800M with a pace of 3:45/800M ±15 seconds was tiring enough, so I just said to myself, “Just do it!”  (Now I think I understand where Nike got this slogan.)

Together with some pace mates, I skipped the usual warm up easy run—we immediately joined the warm up routines, this time headed by Coach Rio himself.  Curiously there was a video camera covering last night’s session and I’m not certain if it would really be shown on TV as Coach Rio declared (I don’t know if Coach was kidding when he said it would be shown on TV on Saturday).  Thankfully we didn’t do the routines that probably won’t look pleasing on video, but for the first time we did running backwards—like in one of the training videos seen on the Nike Run Clinic website.

After the warm up routines we were segregated into groups: the newbies, intermediate, and the seniors (those that have stood the ages).  About a third of the attendees were newbies—those that just joined quite recently.  The seniors were actually those that have been with the Clinic for a while and those not really aiming for goals that the seniors (or advanced group) set were just grouped as intermediate.  Only a difference of 1-lap (and a surprise 5-lap run) separates the intermediate from the advanced group.

The intermediate group did 4x800M while the advanced did 5x800M (800M is 2-laps).  Our target time as I mentioned earlier was 3:45/800M ±15 seconds but since our group included running addicts our pace was considerably faster, especially during the first few rounds:

Round Time

*approximately, I wasn’t able to record our time due to some “technical problems.”

We thought that after 5-rounds our activities are through so we took our time doing a lap of cool down walk but Coach Rio said we still have one task to do—surprise, surprise!  We’re not done yet.  A 2K (5-lap) run with a pace of 5:00-5:15/km (target time of about 10:00-10:30) completed our list of activities.  Some in our group went way beyond the target time (8:30) while me and my pace mate finished at 9:52.

Total activity run: 6K

All groups were merged for the core exercises and stretching routines to end the session. Because of the lesser number of routines we had to do we actually finished the session at 8:55PM, a record.

Expect the coming sessions to be more intense. Personally I think it’s better not to know what’s in store for the next session: not thinking about it shuns the chance of skipping a session because of fear or laziness. Don’t think about it, just do it!

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