Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: The Start of My Fitness Journey

Year 2009 indeed was a very memorable and active year for me both in my professional and personal life. I am happy about the outcome as this year has given me a sense of accomplishment in both worlds. This year, I can say that I managed to balance work and play. I was able to focus in achieving some of my key goals and objectives. As a result, I got two promotions at work and I was able to finish a full marathon this year, and I lost 11 lbs.

In 2008, I was not able to focus on my fitness activity, I was on and off in the gym and don’t have a clear focus and discipline to pursue it. This year, I was able to focus on two activities – biking and running. I started to ride again in February and used that as my main fitness activity. In March, I joined the Condura Run, which was my first official race doing a 10k run. From then on I enjoyed running and included that in my fitness regimen. I run at least 4 times a week, and rode every Saturday. My total mileage for running was 646.21 km and 1035.30 km for biking. Too many injuries for me this year and both knees had it. I have learned from my mistakes, and hopefully, I stay injury free next year.

A lot of “My First” this year, that was joining the following distances in running: 10k, 21k, 42k, and joining one MTB race. Together with my friends, we created the Gone Running Club, we thought of putting up one so that we can all motivate each other to continue what we started. We ended the year with a total mileage of 10,178.73 km.

I am grateful with all the friends I met in running, I was surprised to learn that it was a big community already here in the Philippines. Thanks to people who were very supportive to all of us who were new to running. I learned a lot from their experiences which they have written in their blogs and that also encouraged me to create my own blog site. I was able to make friends with some of their members, and hopefully I meet more of them in the future runs. Thanks again.

For next year, I have set my goals already here they are:

1. To achieve a sub 50 for a 10k run.
2. To achieve a sub 2 hrs for a 21k run.
3. To achieve a sub 4:30 hours for a 42k run.
4. To do my first duathlon.
5. To lose 16 lbs.
6. and to stay injury-free.

Most of this are aggressive goals for me, I just hope I can keep up with it.

This year was a start of my fitness journey and both running and biking has become a way of life. I hope to continue this and that I may be able to share my experiences to everyone and encourage others to start living a healthy life. Happy New Year to all and God Bless you!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Keep on Running

Last week was a no run week for me as I opted to give my left leg more rest. Problem was, last week was filled with Christmas parties and I had more calories stored that were unused and I ended up gaining 4 lbs (that was fast!). This week, I started to run again, I ran a slow 5k last Monday at 7:01 min/km pace finishing at 35 min. Still have some pain on my inner left knee and a muscle tear on my hamstring. I got this injury after my marathon in BKK last November. Wednesday, I ran 6k with an improved pace of 6:22 min/km, I felt good in this run, there was slight pain but manageable. I was surprised that I was able to maintain a good pace. In the past, I have been running at 7:00 to 7:30. I got motivated, but mindful not to rush as I am just recuperating and don’t want the injury to come back.

Today (Thursday), I went for an afternoon run after visiting my sister’s house. My brother in law prepared an Ethiopian coffee and had one prior to my run. I went to UPLB campus and as I parked, I saw Dante, a batch mate since grade school who is a triathlete and a member of the UP Trantados. He joined me in my run and as we took off, we saw his friend (Anthony – “Tonio”) who was training for the Condura Run in February, he will be running a 42km. Our pace was between 6:00 – 6:40 and it was a conversation pace for them while for me, I focused on my breathing in order to last the planned 8k route at a maintained pace. At the 7th km, Dante and Tonio started to pick up the pace and saw Dante sprinting his last 300m while Tonio maintained his pace as he planned to run 24km. As for me, I ended up completing a 9km run at an average pace of 6:33 finishing in 59 min. No major pains, and I was happy with the result.

It’s Christmas Season and a lot of parties, a lot of calories to burn. Let us keep on running and stay fit! Merry Christmas to Everyone!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Gone Running in Makiling

Two weeks ago, I invited the GRC group to join the Makiling Nature Run in UP Los Banos in Dec 13, 2009. We have decided to join this event since some of us missed the Makiling Challenge ’09 in September. The race started a bit late, If I recall it right the 16k runners started 15 minutes late from the planned start time at 6:00 am, followed by the 10k runners and 5 k runners with an interval of 15 minutes. The course was challenging since the route will go up to Jamboree Road, Pook ni Maria Makiling, and National Art Center. On the way back, though you expect all downhill, there was a last uphill climb going to forestry with turnaround after the Infirmary hospital going down to women’s dormitory.

I was not supposed to run since I declined 3 days before the event due to my muscle tear in my left calf. I intended to just provide morale support to the group. However, when I got to the site Sunday morning, I felt the urge to join and do a 10km. I was just so stubborn to ignore the pain and didn’t mind what will happen at the end of the race. After the 1st km, I was seriously thinking of stopping and getting out of the race due to the pain on my left calf and shin and that it might aggravate it further. I took a walk break to shake it off on the first uphill climb at Kanluran Road, after a while the pain has become bearable so I decided to continue.

The event was not as big in terms of participants as compared to the races at the Fort, but I must say that the organizers has done a good job in carrying out their task during the event.

Some of the good points were:

1. Sufficient water aid stations,.
2. Marshalls were assigned on designated area to guide runners on the right direction.
3. Marshalls on bike were there to monitor runners and provide support as needed.
4. The route was good since runners get to run at Mt Makiling. 16k runners were able to go to National Arts Center.
5. Distribution of singlets were orderly, sorted per sizes.

Negative points

1. Late start
2. No km markers
3. The distance was short of 1km for 10k, and around 1.5km for the 16k runners.
4. Race bib was made of oslo paper/thick bond paper. It easily tear off as it gets wet. At the finish line, the runners need to shout their number as the time recorder manually record the result.

The event was good, I think attendance reached around 1,000 runners or less. The weather was good and everybody seem to enjoy their run. I hope more races are held in UPLB and try different routes.

Some Photos during the event.

Waiting for gun start: Ronald (16k), Greg (10k), Jun (10k), Raymond (10k), Jay (16k)

About to start

Jun (finishing 10th) and Greg (finishing 5th)

Raymond Canta

Knight Runner

Jay Chavez

Ronald Valdez

What an inspiration! Nothing is impossible with strong will and determination. This man finished his 10k run. At the last 25m stretch, he hopped until he reaches the finish line.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Work and Play

It was an early morning ride from Manila to Baguio for our 2010 strategic planning which was held at Baguio Country Club in Dec 2-5, 2009. We had a late lunch as soon as we arrived and immediately after we proceeded to the conference room to start the planning session. It was an outright presentation of objectives and directions to guide everyone on the proceedings of the session. It was an activity full of interaction and I myself have engaged in some discussions related to Sales and Marketing, when I am in fact in the field of Supply Chain. Well, that was the point of it all, to be engaged in the discussions and plans of other Business Unit (BU) as it was not intended for BU heads to present their plans only but to engage themselves in the different strategies of different BUs for alignment.

First day was a long day, but Me and Mike D. (the Transformer) planned for a morning run in the cold and beautiful city of Baguio. Given the busy schedule, we took a time off to go out and do our morning runs. We slept around 12 mn the and woke up at 5:00 am, got up and geared up and took off at 5:30am. We did a very slow pace (conversational pace) and have talked about a lot of stuff (work, life, insights, and even personal stuff). It was a recovery run for me since I just finished another half marathon (21km) last Nov. 29 and my legs were a bit stiff, that after finishing my full marathon a week before (Nov. 22).

We finished a good 6 km jog enough to energize ourselves for the day’s activity. We took our breakfast, cleaned up, and got ready in time for Day 2’s session. The morning run felt good and it kept us energized for the day’s activity. We were active the whole day and stayed engaged the whole time. The meeting lasted a bit later around 9pm and had late dinner, but the long hours didn’t matter to us as we came prepared both physically and mentally.

A long day indeed, but I was programmed to run the following day. Me and Mike planned for a 10km run this time and invited some of the guys to join us (those who failed to join the first day run). Same routine, woke up at 5am, and took off at 5:30 am. I used a different route, we started at Camp John Hay and went around in some portions of the City. I was measuring the distance in such a way that we will be back in the club at exactly 10km. I texted Ric (EHS Manager-Sales & Distribution) before we took off, and asked if they will join, but He replied to me when we were 2km away already. Good thing, they still continued with their run. He was with Jomel (EHS Manager-Factory). It was a non conversational run supposedly for me and Mike so that we can run our pace, the first 3km was uphill and was difficult really to set a faster pace. I just took it lightly as my hamstring was feeling some pain so I just did a gradual pace and took some walk breaks. It was not intended to be a tempo run or a race pace, enough to keep the mileage.

As we were heading back, I saw Gilbert (Service Manager) doing his own morning walk, I was glad that at least there were 5 of us awake in the early morning doing our exercise. Moving on, I figured that we were short by 800 m reaching the club house. So I immediately told Mike and told him that we were short, and that we have to complete it. So off we went for an extra km and met up with Ric, Jomel, and Gilbert. It was a good feeling to see more of us running, I then took the opportunity to indoctrinate the 3 (Ric, Jomel, and Gilbert) that they are now part of the official runners of CCAC (Concepcion Carrier Airconditioning Company). They have the challenge to run the 10k in the Condura Run in February 2010. Let’s see their progress by then. We did have fun and off we went to face Day 3 activities.

Some Key Learnings:

1. It can be done – most of us think that time is a problem to start any fitness activity because of work, priority, and other activities. By accepting the fact that a healthy living entails some fitness activities, then you will make time for it. A 30 min or an hour of your time each day will not hurt. Try it, you may find yourself permanently putting fitness into your daily schedule.

2. A healthy body, a healthy mind – starting the day with a good exercise provides an extra kick in the day ahead. Have you experienced feeling ready to take the day’s challenges because you are energized? You become attentive, mentally stimulated and engaged the whole day and not letting any problem pass unresolved.

3. Running friends – it surely motivates a person to engage in fitness activities especially if you have friends to train or exercise with. Find a group or a friend to run or exercise with. You need a boost once in a while. Keep track of your progress as well it will help you to become conscious of your fitness program.
4. Work, Life, Balance – for us professionals and busy bodies, we are sometimes caught up with the busy schedule at work, but this should not stop us to make time for our personal activities. Don’t be a slave of your work, but instead, try to find time to stay fit and healthy. At the end of the day this will help you perform better at work.

Knight Runner leading the way..

Downhill with Jomel, Mike, and Gilbert

Fun moment with Jomel, Ric, and Gilbert.

Ready for the day's activities. With Mike, Gilbert, Jomel, and Ric.

Friday, December 4, 2009

How I Finished my First Marathon

To me it was such an achievement to have completed my first Marathon. Looking back (as I engage in being active again in my fitness activities), there were times that I struggled in every event that I took such as my first Mountain Bike Trail, my first 10km and my first half marathon. Struggled in the sense that I have felt so stressed out that I “hit the wall”, gasped for air, and the numerous knee and leg pains after each event. I knew that as a beginner, I was bound to experience those pains since my body needed to adjust to the level of physical activities that I am getting into. Plus of course the lack of understanding on how to prepare for such event. As I learn new things in every event that I joined, I had my own share on the pie of those athletes who gets injured due to improper training, and running too fast too soon, and among other things.

Preparation and proper training is key in every event. Especially in joining a full marathon, it is important that you gain enough mileage and follow a sound training plan to help you finish your goal. However in some cases, there are certain constraints (injury, illness, time to train, weather, lack of motivation, etc..) that hinders you from following your training plan to the letter. Most of the time people would just stop and forego their plans to proceed on what they intended to do in the first place. But how can you overcome these constraints and maintain focus in achieving your goal? Here are some thoughts that helped me overcome my own problems prior to my first Marathon.

1. Defining your goals – This sets the foundation on why you want to train. It allows you to focus and get back to this goal whenever you are doubting yourself in your preparation. You must not only set a date on your first marathon but also come up with an objective on why you want to finish one. This will remind you later on during your run and will keep you motivated to complete your task.

2. Have your injury checked – one way or another you will end up getting an injury during your training probably due to lack of discipline or simply an accident. This will definitely stop you or slow you down in your training. I have been nursing my injury for almost two months prior to my first marathon, and as I mentioned in my other blog, I went to see a doctor specializing in sports medicine to get his professional opinion and to be guided on what to do for it to completely heal and recuperate. It is important that you attend to your injury for fast recovery. I underwent a physical therapy.

3. Cross training – if you can’t run due to an injury, do cross training on bike or swimming to keep you in good shape. In my case I did a bike cross train and rode an equivalent distance of my planned run. For every 1km of run, I was doing 3.5km of bike. Staying fit to improve endurance despite of an injury will help you finish that extra mile.

4. Mental preparation – it is equally important to prepare mentally for a marathon. With the injury, you would definitely lose a lot of running mileage which might lead you to think that you are not ready to conquer a full marathon. In my case, I had an on and off runs and my longest run was 21km. I have not reached a 1,000 km mileage and was really in doubt whether I can finish a full marathon. Based on what I read from magazines, blogs, and even experience of other runners, it is important to build mileage to help improve your foundation in long runs. With all this affecting your confidence, the arsenal that you can use is your mental ability to overcome all the obstructions that you had during your training. At the end of the day, mental focus is all that will matter.

5. Maintain focus in your objective – during my marathon, I only had one thing in my mind, to finish my first marathon without any injury. I accepted the fact that conquering it would be difficult and that I have to work hard for it and feel the pain if I really want to meet my objective. I have thought of all the reasons why I am doing it and that was all that matter to me. Even my doubts were all out, I did not bring it with me and made sure that it will not slow me down. I maintained my focus and it was effective.

6. Do not entertain negative thoughts - never entertain any negative thoughts during your run. For the whole week prior to the run, I stopped worrying about the lack of mileage and my injury. The moment you accept negative thoughts such as feeling the pain, or doubting if you can finish, and worry about any discomfort while you are running, you will lose the grip and would end up up quitting. So stay positive and BELIEVE that you can do it..

7. Enjoy the run – Simply enjoy and have fun. Meet new friends and enjoy the scenery and the environment.. You will be amazed that you will not even notice that you are almost near the finish line.

These are some of the key inputs that helped me finish my first marathon. There are a lot of experiences from other runners and I think some of you will agree to this. For non-runners, you may learn from this and apply to your daily life. It can be from your work, family, or anything that you are busy with right now. Set your goals, prepare, and believe that you can do it. It works!

Enjoy life, Enjoy Running!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Raising Hope for Cancer

The NB power race was an important race for me as it was a personal advocacy of mine to support any cause that raises hope for Cancer. This was supposed to be the race of my choice for this year (prior to the BKK marathon) and would have wanted to finish strong in this event and probably an improved 21km time. This event was postponed due to the typhoon Ondoy and was actually a blessing for me since I could have missed the event since I was injured at that time. I knew that this run will be more challenging since I was recovering from my first marathon a week prior to this event, and that the 21k course was very challenging as it will pass the Mckinley hill. But still, I thought of hitting a 2:30 finish as compared from my last run at QCIM where I finished at 2:48:11. Unfortunately, I struggled in this race which got me too exhausted after crossing the finish line.

Jay was also recovering from the BKK marathon and told me that he will pace with me and help me reach my target time. In the first 10km, we were still on target with our pace, but after that, I began to feel the stiffness in my left hamstring. It was hard for me to catch up with Jay as he was controlling the pace, I was practically slowing him down since I can’t keep up with the pace (to think that it was a slow pace). I was trying to psyche myself to avoid any negative thoughts during my run and focused on the advocacy for cancer patients. But “will power” is not enough if your physical strength is just not there. More walk breaks for me after the 13th km and found myself wondering why this was so difficult than the full marathon that I did. Was it fatigue? By this time, I was also feeling pain in my right hamstring. On uphills, I opted to walk as I don’t want to risk my ITB since it just got well after 2 months of healing. It was torture and I was just feeling so tired that I can’t motivate myself to move on. The only thing that was motivating me was to finish the race for the cause. If cancer patients can overcome the pain that they are going through, then this temporary hardship should not stop me from giving them hope. In km 19, I was beginning to have cramps in my right leg and can’t finish a whole km run. In the final stretch, I tried to jog until I reached the finish line and was limping already due to cramps. I finished at 2:47 together with Jay who decided to run along with me until the finish line.

I would also like to mention that this race was Kay’s (my fiancée) first official 3km run together with Tyrone. They finished the course in 27 min (unofficial time). Hopefully they get to run their first 5km in the Mizuno Run in January 2010.

Though I ended up exhausted in this race, I am glad to have been part of a cause that was meaningful to the beneficiaries of this event. May we all continue to bring hope to all cancer patients and that we become part of their healing process as they have become part of our strengths.

After this race, I will give myself a good rest in order to recover fast. I hope to get back on training in 2 weeks.

Some photos:

Jay, Me, and Kay

Won a t-shirt from the bring me contest, Tessa Prieto asked for a pair of NB shoes, luckily I was wearing one.

Kay, Me, and Noemi with coach Rio.

*photos by Tyrone Lombos

Monday, November 23, 2009

My First Marathon

It was 4 months ago, when Me and my friend Jay threw the idea of joining an International Marathon. It was 4 months after we joined the Condura Run. At that time, we were just joining 10k runs and starting to build mileage together with the rest of the Gone Running Club members. I immediately said Yes, and off we went and prepared our training plans. We have chosen the Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon held in Nov. 22, 2009.

Prior to the Marathon day, I only managed to build 498km in mileage due to the series of injuries that I was struggling with. The 16 weeks training period was dwindling down so fast and I have yet to do a consistent long run. I was still nursing my injury and it has given me a lot of pressure since I have declared that I will do my first marathon on that day. I have committed to do this task as scheduled and there was no turning back for me. I honestly am having doubts a week before the event if I can really make it. Good thing my knee were getting better as I have been attending my Physical Therapy as mentioned in my last blog.

My goal was to finish my first marathon without injury. I have planned to do a run-walk strategy (9 min jog @ 7:30 min/km and 1 min walk @ 10 min/km). This would make me finish at 5:22. Though I wanted to finish with a good time, it was least of my priority. My only wish at that time was to finish below 6 hours without any injury.

Jay and myself at the site around 1:30 a.m.

There were two race starts for the full marathon. One is at 2:00 a.m. for those finishing between 5-7 hours and for female age group between 60-64 and male 65 and above. (No wonder I was running alongside a lot of elder who were really fit and fast, I admire them). The 2nd start time was at 3:30 a.m for those finishing within 5 hours. However, for the 1st start time, a lot of runners finishing below 5 hours have joined the 1st group.

During my first 12km, I was consistently following my 9-1 strategy but I was going fast since my virtual partner in my garmin was showing that I was ahead by 8 min. You just can't resist when you feel strong and that no pain is occuring on your past injury. But I had to control myself and conserve my energy. I was focused with my 9-1 strategy and before I knew it, I was done with my 21st km. The next km after that was my farthest run so far. I began to pray that the Lord will give me the strength and the will power to finish the marathon. At this point I began to become nervous and concerned that my Injury will come out anytime.

At km 22, I started to monitor my pace every km and forgot the 9-1 strategy. At km 25, my legs were so stiff and my ITB had slight pains but were manageable. It was good that there were free massage at selected aid stations, did some stretching and off I go again. I had to take my hammer gel every 30 min for the first 2 hours. I stopped at all hydration station and made sure to drink water and gatorade in order not to "hit the wall".

I was eager to reach the 30th km since I will use that as my motivation that the remaining 12km should be manageable since my body is aware that I can finish 12km without any trouble (crazy motivation huh?). But it worked for me, as soon as I reached the 3oth km, I again hydrated myself, did some stretching and conditioned myself that I will start to run a 12km race. But the next 12 km was so hard, I had more walk breaks but I still focused.

I intended to take more photos to highlight the race, but I was so stressed out and just remained focused to finish. At km 36, I needed to pee, I can't find an open establishment where I can go. Luckily there was a gas station and I took a detour went to look for the toilet. Then I went back and started to jog. At km 37, the 10km runners who came out from another street finally joined the group and they were all so fast and too many. The crowd became lively again, before they came the marathoners were all far apart. The 10k runners though made it appear that I was too slow (yes I was) and that I am being left alone as I was running too slow.

Then it was down to 5km, I was excited and at the same time struggling. But the elders motivated me, I even saw lady on her 60's whose pace were faster than mine in some point. The elders both men and women were just so amazing. How I wish that we can all be as fit as them someday. At km 39, I happen to run beside a local thai maybe on his late 50's. He talked to me in local thai and I just said, "I don't speak thai", he continued to converse with me and looked at his garmin and made a sign language "3 ", meaning 3km left. We then ran side by side, there was a time he had to walk and I continue to jog and vice versa. At the last km, we ran side by side and he demonstrated again that its 1km left. From then on we run together and finished at the same time. We shook hands at finish line and he said "Thank you, Thank you" and so did I. We both finished at 5:43:16 (unofficial time).

This experience for me was really amazing. I have learned that anything is possible if you only put your commitment and dedication to it. Believing in your own capability and the ability to find ways to resolve the constraints that might stop you from proceeding is a key indicator for your success. This is an achievement that I will treasure as I was able to accomplish it the way I wanted it to happen.

The event was well organized. Here are some observations:

1. There was a defined schedule for the start time per category. At the finish line, the marathoners, 10km, 5km runners were arriving almost at the same time. There was a dedicated lane for the finishers for 5k runners, 10k runners, and marathoners. In below photo, the right side is for the finish line of full marathon, and on the left is for the 5km and 10km.

2. Sufficient water aid station.

3. Mobile Toilets (I was not able to take a photo).

4. Massage on selected aid station.

5. Fresh banana on selected aid station.

6. Volunteers from a community prepared drinks and fresh watermelons. Very nice gesture. At the same time they were cheering the runners.

7. Some students cheered the runners as we passed by in front of their school.

8. Flags of participating countries were raised. The night before, Jay and his nephew went to the place for an ocular, (I was resting then). He saw our flag raised with the red color on top, he immediately called the officer in charge and told him the meaning of red color on top (which means in war). The organizer immediately apologized and change the orientation.

9. Eye catcher runners.. Batman here finishing his marathon.

10. There were medical support team after the race. Free massages, medical attention, ambulance in place both at the finish line and at the selected aid stations.

11. Timing Chip

12. Announcement of names as you approach the finish line.

13. Video live feed.

14. As soon as the race ended, the crew immediately take off the main signages. Very well organized and disciplined.

14. Nice finisher t-shirt.

Some more photos:

Jay making his new marathon PR, finishing at 4:41

Noemi finishing her quarter marathon at 1:18

Gone Running in Bangkok!


Friday, November 20, 2009

Ready for Marathon

Ready for the marathon on Sunday, we got our singlets today. The booth was nice and appears to be organized as it was arranged in such a way that different events (distance, age category, online registrants, and time start) were assigned a specific booth. Feeling was good as excitement steps in. Jay, Noemi, and I refused to talk about negative thoughts and focused on racing on sunday. We are kinda tired as we really need to get some sleep. Well, I should be sleeping by now. Here are some photos taken during our claiming of race kits.

This is it!

The race kit collection booth. Very well organized.

Our timing chip were registered in their system. (Me and Jay). Our start time on Sunday is 2:00 a.m.

Ready for Marathon! Noemi is hoping to PR on her 10k Run.

Marathon Challenge.. Let's do it!

It's been a month since my last blog as It was a busy month with all the preparations on our upcoming strategic planning in early December. After the QCIM, I have mentioned that my ITBS came back and suspected that a shin splints is developing. Obviously I was so frustrated as injury keeps on coming at me. A day after the QCIM, my best friend Jay gave me a call just to tell me that I can still do the full marathon (given that I had an on and off training). The call was just to remind me to stay focused and believe that I can still make it (maybe he sensed that I was in the brink of giving up the Marathon). Yup, you read it right, a Full Marathon, crazy huh? I will be participating in the 2009 Standard Chartered Bangkok Marathon in Nov. 22. Will write about this later.

Meanwhile, for the past month, I have been nursing my injury, went to a sports doctor and had my knee and leg checked. Three injury hit me, ITBS, shin splints, and a pulled hamstring. I was advised to undergo Physical Therapy with the following procedures; Electrical simulation, deep ultrasound, stretching, hot compress and strength training. In between my therapy, I am doing a cross training using my bike to keep me fit and catch up with the lost run training. I am using a ratio of 1:3.5 (1 km run = 3.5 km ride), to still get the mileage in terms of cardio fitness. I was determined to get well so I strictly followed the procedure and even do the stretching and strength training at home. Pressure was heating up as the marathon date is coming near. But I just simply focused and believed that I will get better. Two weeks after, I did a test run and luckily I finished 8km without much pain. It got me motivated to and stayed focus on the healing process. Then on the same week, I did a 16km long run injury free! Still went on with the therapy and hopefully I can conquer the marathon challenge. Given that I did not earn much mileage in my run, I was hoping that the cross training would help in terms of endurance. Confidence and a strong will is keeping me focused, I hope this can compensate with my physical weakness. Let see what happens next..

Sunday, October 18, 2009

QCIM: A learning experience

I finished my 2nd half marathon yesterday (Sunday) at QCIM. The goal was just to finish as I have been in sick bay for the past 3 weeks. As some readers might be aware, I have been nursing my ITBS injury which I got after my 1st half marathon at the Ayala Eco Dash. I have been contemplating days before the event if I should quit this event or continue and finish what I aimed for. I have registered for this event 2-3 weeks ago and was hoping that my injury would get better. Indeed I was feeling better last saturday, but was having second thoughts since I have not gained enough mileage. however, I have all the positive forces within me so it was a go for me!

At the starting line, I saw pacers with balloons from group. It was cool as it would make the race exciting since these groups will help boost the morale of runners. I saw Neil (crashnburn) a friend from, who was pacing for 2:45 and told myself that I should at least end up with his group at finish line. I am running with fellow Gone Running members, Cherry (her first official 21k race) and Kuya Ernie, but told them that they can go ahead as I would be on a test mode and will run very slow. As soon as I said it, they took off just like that and left me running alone. Suddenly, I saw a familiar face (a co-blogger) who was running at my side, it was Argonaut, I introduced myself and he asked me of my target time, I simply said, “I just wanted to finish this with no injury”. He was catching up with the 2:30 pace group and invited me to join. At km 4, I catched up with the group and hanged in there for awhile. I met Gab, Marian, and Ebong (or Edong).

The whole time, my focus was my knee, was conscious that pain will start to come out anytime soon. I was comfortably pacing with the 2:30 group and did not even notice the distance as I keep on worrying about my knee. At km 8, I was feeling small pains already and got worried that I might not finish the race. Though being an optimist, I knew that reality would step in and I will have to struggle anytime soon. At km 10, met up with Argo again and told him that my knee was starting to hurt, he advised me to slow down and take it easy. By this time, the pacers were already far beyond my reach, it was difficult for me to catch up and decided to ran my own pace so that I can finish the race. At km 15, I started to slow down, was stretching my legs and felt embarassed since I knew that I will be walking anytime soon which I did at km 16. From then on, I figured that the 2:45 pacers (Neil's group) will catch up with me in no time. I had to motivate myself and targeted to at least finish with Neil's group. At km 19, I tried to jog but pain was unbearable and forced me to still walk. At km 20, the 2:45 pacers were slowly catching up on me, tried to jog, for 200m, walk another 200, and by this time, the group catched up on me. Neil gave me a push and told me that we will finish soon. I got motivated and started to jog and surprisingly I was able to reach the finish line not walking (at least it saves me from further embarassment). The group went ahead of me and I finished at 2:46:11 (unofficial time), 12 minutes slower than my previous 21k.

I know, it was foolish of me to even try to run knowing that I was not fully recovered from my ITBS injury. I felt that I was better and ready to take on this challenge. I had no worries on my cardio as I was doing my cross training using my bike and was confident that I can make it. Looking back, aside from running with less mileage and coming from an injury, there were some things that I did wrong.

1. Lost Focus - my goal was just to finish with no injury and beating my first 21k was out of the equation. I told myself that I will ran at 7:30-8:00/km and hopefully finish without an injury. But I ended up averaging at 7:05/km in the last 13km and I even ran at 6:35 at km 13. I got motivated by the 2:30 pacers and for awhile there I thought I can PR in this race. Patience really is key and never be tempted everytime you feel that you can make it. Stick to the plan.

2. Long stride - I normally have a long stride, I learned that having a shorter stride and faster cadence is better (isnt it?). Longer stride creates more impact and shins and knee are at risk of getting injured.

Well, I have to learn from this again. This will not stop me from getting better next time. I continue to log my running experience and hopefully I get to write a more dignified story about my run. Oh! by the way, I think what I have now is shin splints and not ITBS.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dare to be Fit 'n Right

Posting an invite from Delmonte's Dare to be Fit 'n Right promo for blogger-runners.

On October 23, Friday 7 pm, Del Monte Fit ‘n Right will launch its newest campaign Dare to be Fit ‘N Right in Taste Asia at the SM Mall of Asia. The Dare to be Fit ‘N Right launch will be a bloggers event that features the revolutionary F.I.T workout by sports scientist and Master Coach Jim Saret. Coach Saret obtained his MS Sports Science degree from Brigham Young University in the US. He is a core training expert and a sports and fitness writer and lecturer. Currently, he is the Sports Program Head of the Ateneo de Manila University and the Strength and Conditioning Coach of the PBA, POC, and the PSC.

The F.I.T Workout or the Fast Interval Training is a four-minute workout that makes you burn at least 400 calories and continues to burn even when you’re done with the workout! Plus, you don’t have to be a gym buff to enjoy the workout. It doesn’t require much space and equipment. It’s scientific, very visual, designed for non-athletes, with measurable results and it’s easy!

And, if you partner your F.I.T workout with your Fit ‘n Right fruit juice drink, you’ll see faster results for Del Monte Fit ‘N Right contains the breakthrough L-Carnitine that helps burn fat and B Vitamis 1, 6, 12 that help speed up metabolism.

L-Carnitine is a natural substance that is occurring in the body but can be supplemented for optimal health. It transports the fatty acids into the mitochondria, the “cell’s powerhouse” where they are burned into energy needed for a healthy heart, important body functions and physical activities. Supplementary L-Carnitine contributes to optimal fat oxidation, and along with a proper diet and regular exercise, promotes healthy body weight.

A clinical study done by the University of the Philippines through Dra. Leonora Panlasigui and company has proven the effectiveness of Fit ‘n Right. In that study, it was found that one can lose as such as 16.7% body fat in just 6 weeks with regular consumption of Fit ‘n Right, diet and exercise. There are studies that indicate that 1000mg per day is ideal in helping you lose weight along with proper diet and regular exercise. Each Fit ‘n Right bottle contains 300mg and the recommended daily intake is at least 3 bottles, at least 2 hours before exercise or physical activity to maximize the fat-burning benefit.

B Vitamins 1, 6 and 12 are known as energy boosters and they help reduce fatigue and increase endurance by facilitating conversion of carbohydrates, protein and fat into energy. With L-Carnitine, B Vitamins can optimize metabolization of carbohydrates, protein and fat into energy.

Now, who says you can’t have fun while working out and losing all those calories and unwanted fats? Who says you can’t have a refreshing way to burn?

Dare to be the first to try the F.I.T Workout. Dare to be the first to know about it. Dare to be fit. Dare to be right.

Fun Run
But, the F.I.T. Workout is only the beginning. Running is arguably the popular sport these days. Every week, marathons and fun runs are organized with thousands of loyal runners joining. Some do it for the run-induced high, others for a social cause they support but ultimately runners do it because it’s fun and a good total body workout!

Del Monte Fit ‘N Right continues its commitment in promoting a healthy lifestyle with the Dare to be Fit ‘n Right culmination fun run on November 22 in SM Mall of Asia. Official race call time is at 4 am in front of SM MOA Music Hall.

The 3K/5K/10K Men’s and Women’s Open will benefit the victims of typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng, among others, through the SM Foundation.

For a registration fee of P300, runners can get their race packet with the Dare to Fit ‘n Right Fun Run singlet, race bib, Fit ‘N Right products, etc. Interested participants can register at the following areas:

· CEMG Office – Unit 3A Vernida I Bldg., Amorsolo St., Legaspi Village, Makati City/ Look for Marianne Tapales (892.5842/09155498282)

· Dare to be Fit ‘n Right booths in selected SM Hypermarkets: Mall of Asia, Sucat, Pasig, and North EDSA.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Here I Go Again

It has been a very frustrating and depressing week for all as we experience the wrath of Typhoon Ondoy and Pepeng. We have in our own little way contributed in supporting the victims through donations, volunteerism, and setting up of fund raising events. No matter how big or small your contributions are, it is well appreciated by our brothers and sisters. Let us be thankful that we are blessed as we have become a blessing to others.

On the running side of things, it has been frustrating for me as here I am about to tell you that I have been logging slow mileage in the past two weeks (12km a week after Ayala Eco Dash, and 10.8 km last week). And why? it's because of an ITBS on my left knee. Again?!? Yes, again, I had this on my right knee and now its my left knee's turn. After the Ayala Eco Dash event, I was hoping that the pain will not continue, but unfortunately, I felt the pain to aggravate when I did my easy run 2 days after the event. I had to cut short my run and did not push thru with my training plan. Hoping that it was better last week, I tried to do a very slow pace at 8:10 min/km but I can feel that my knee is not ready as I can feel pain starting to build up as I reach the 4 km mark. Rested on Wednesday and Thursday last week and did a slow pace again on a Friday, but same thing, knees are not ready. Rested last Saturday and did a cross training on my bike Sunday, and no success at all since I can feel pain in my hips down to my knee. I had again to cut short my ride and joined my running buddies for breakfast at Paseo Sta Rosa since they just finished the scheduled LSD run that day.

I can chose not to post this as it becomes so embarassing on my part already. But I guess I just have to post it so that I can be reminded again of this experience, and that other newbies learn from this. The following are potential causes of my injury (then again, could be the real causes of it).

1. Running too long /fast too soon - yes I was guilty of this, in the beginning, I was so hyped and impatient that I had to increase my mileage and speed sooner than required. I actually tried to increase my mileage more than 1o% per week.

2. After being on sick bay for a week with no base run, I joined a race (Mizuno Run) and I did run too fast too soon (at least for my pace).

3. I was an overpronator as checked in Runnr store where I had it analyzed. I was advised to buy a stability shoes, and so did I.

4. Running downhill too fast I thought was a good idea, but when you are coming from a no run week, refrain from doing it as you become more prone to injury.

5. I guess this time I had the same mistake as I was guilty of item 2. I only had 6km a week before the race and there I was conquering my first half marathon. I did finish and most runners that commented said that it was a good finish for my first try.

6. Impatience - this is one thing that newbie runners are prone to (maybe not).

7. Lack of stretching exercises - there were times that I come to a race just in a nick of time and find myself not stretching properly.

8. Weight - I am currently 16lbs heavier based on my height. I used to be 26lbs heavier before I started running in March. This has a factor right?

This is my 3rd week and I hope I can start running again, Im doing my ITB stretching exercises and also went to the unconventional solution (hilot) as described by i2runner. I hope I can recuperate fast as I am getting so frustrated and depressed already. Feel free to suggest and a bit of motivation will surely help.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Let us Lend a Helping Hand

By this time a lot of us have been shocked by the fury that typhoon Ondoy (International name: Ketsana) has brought the to country. The casualties has risen to 100 and damage to infrastructure and crops estimated at P109M (inq7 report). In times like this it is best to lend a helping hand to those victims that were greatly affected by this tragedy. In our own small way, we can all contribute and donate be it in cash or in kind. Below are some venue where you can extend your donations.

SMS: text RED to 2899 (Globe) and 4483 (Smart)G-Cash: text DONATEAMOUNT4-digit M-PINREDCROSS to Paypal, Smart Money (5577-5144-1866-7103), G-Cash (0917-9751092)

Red Cross Load Donations – send donation via mobile phone load. The Red Cross Rescue and Relief Operations. To donate, text RED and send to 2899 (Globe) or 4483 (Smart). You can donate 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 300 pesos.

Ateneo de Manila University – cooked or ready-to-eat food, clothes, medicine, blankets, water. Donations may be dropped off at the MVP, University Dorm, or Cervini lobbies. Also needed: volunteers for relief operations today, Sept. 27. Bring boots, shovels, large vehicles or small watercraft. For donations/inquiries, please contact (0908) 887-7166.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My First 21km Run

I finally completed my first 21k run in the Ayala Eco Dash event (held in Sept 13). It was the farthest that I have ran so far since I officially run in March. I have been slowed down by series of injuries and sickness which held me to keep up with my training plan. I was actually looking at the NB Power Race as my first 21k, but since I have a long run scheduled on this date so I decided to do it then.

A week of raining has been a major factor in slowing most of the runners to complete their weekly runs I myself was limited to 6k a week before the Ayala Eco Dash event. Was thinking of doing a 10k instead but I was already registered. I had a scheduled early morning runs during the week and every time I wake up at 3am, the rain was pouring hard and obviously I have skipped all those running days. Saturday night, it was still raining and said to myself, if it still rains when I wake up, I will not go to the event and instead run in near my area if the rain would stop. At 3am, went outside the house and seems like it’s going to rain, texted Jay and said that we’ll just check at the Fort if its raining. I figured, we will all run rain or shine.

On the way to the fort, it was raining hard at SLEX but as per Jay who was at the venue earlier said that there was no rain. Honestly, I was a bit hesitant because I will be running 21k and felt that I was not that prepared since I missed some mileage during the week. I was a bit late and the scheduled gun start was at 5am, however, it was moved to 5:30am, seems like I was really destined to finish my 21k. As soon as I arrived at the Fort and saw runners getting ready, my determination came back and was psyched to do my 21k. But since it was an LSD run for me, I will have to “jog” slow at 7:30min/km. Since I had my hesitation in the beginning, I found myself not prepared for the race. I was late, I was not able to do proper stretching, my race bib was not yet attached. There were 2 race bibs, one for the front and the other at the back, and since I was rushing, I did not put the bib at the back. I can feel the stress since it was not a good way to start a run. But this has become a lesson learned for me. Hopefully in the next races I will be more prepared.

At the starting line, I was with Jay, Val, and Kuya Erning and moments later Junrox (tigerboy) came in and joined us. Told Junrox that this was my first 21k and will be running slow, he gave some motivational words as he is an experienced runner already. I saw Bald Runner at the starting line and introduced myself and the rest of the guys. Nice meeting you Mr. Jovie. Jay and Val said that they will pace with me and will run along until the finish line, had a sigh of relief as for sure I will struggle if I will be running alone. So off we all went as soon as the gun start was fired. We had an easy cruise and was enjoying the comfortable pace. As we were going up the kalayaan bridge, I suddenly realized that everyone who joined the race were all run addicts. Imagine everyone waking up early on a cool Sunday morning and expecting a heavy rain anytime of the race. While a lot of people were asleep, here we are all awake and ready to conquer a beautiful rainy morning. Then suddenly rain poured down upon us and had me figured that I can finish this race since it will be a good weather and no sun will show up before I reach the finish line.

While we were all joking around during our run and was talking about a lot of stuff, I was surprised that we just completed the 10k mark. It was an easy run and I immediately psyched myself and think about the next 11k. As soon as I reached the 17th km, I immediately told Jay and Val that it was the farthest that I ran and doing the math I only have 4km remaining. But the last 4km was the most difficult part for me. I began to feel the pounding of my feet in the pavement and felt a heating sensation on my left knee.. I had to stop and stretch as I fear that I will again suffer from ITBS (I just recovered from an ITBS on my right knee). Continued running but I started to feel the numbness on my arms. My legs were tired and as I saw runners who began to walk, I was thinking of doing the same. But good thing that Jay and Val was pushing me to keep on going and advised me to just slow down if I feel tired. But there were moments that I had to walk and they will also walk.

On the 18th km, Jay mentioned that we can still finish in 2:30 if we maintain the 6:30/km pace, I had a few kicks left in some point but just ended up slowing down as I really felt tired. Had it been that we planned earlier about the time we could have finished it in 2:30. We ended up finishing 2:34, not bad I guess, what was important for me was to finish a 21k run. I was happy with the result of this race obviously as I was able to complete this task and it was another milestone for me. Hope to get a repeat on the NB power race as this race means a lot to me.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Sunday with No Run

It was a good week for me as I was able to do my training plan for 2 consecutive weeks now free from any injury. Today was supposed to be my 21k run but unfortunately bad weather stepped in and it was raining hard. I woke up ahead of the alarm because of the strong rain. The group (Gone Running Club) were all scheduled to go to UP Los Banos to do our runs, but we decided to cancel and do it tomorrow. I went back to bed, slept and found myself waking up at 8am! Cool weather had me sleeping like a baby.

Prior to today, I was carbo loading and was preparing my self for a long run. Had to mentally condition myself as well since the farthest that I ran was only 16km. But I am focused in my training plan since I only have 12 weeks left for my first Marathon. I skipped a lot of training weeks due to my past injuries and I hope I am able to get ready before the race day.

As of this writing it is still raining here. I went to my hometown in Los Banos, Laguna and had lunch with my parents. Feasted with "Lapu-Lapu" and "Laing" and had my favorite coffee crumble ice cream for dessert. I now smell my sister cooking spaghetti.. Too tempting, I should really run tomorrow otherwise I will just gain more weight with all the carbs that i I have been taking. Since this morning, my body was too eager to do some exercise to burn up some fat.. I might be hitting the gym tonight instead. Meanwhile, will enjoy time with family. Cool weather..

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Do you own your dream?

I happen to attend a leadership seminar a month ago called Maximum Impact Simulcast held at Rockwell Cinema in July 31, 2009. It was composed of distinguished speakers such as John Maxwell, Tony Blair, Al Weiss, Jack Nicklaus and among others. Everyone had a good sharing about leadership and one topic that was interesting was from John Maxwell where he asked the question "Do you own your dream?" The first response that comes to mind would be "YES", who else will own your dream but you. However, having a dream is something that is also binded by reality. Sometimes the gap between expectation and reality results to disappointment. In order to achieve your dream, you should be able to depend on factors that are within your control. Say you want to join your first 10k, a marathon, or a triathlon, the basic thing that you will do is to follow religiously your training plan and will do anything to stick to that plan because you know that it is instrumental in realizing it. If you dream of being promoted at work, will you be intimidated by people that are aspiring the same position as you do? or will you create an opportunity for you to come closer in attaining your goal? Nothing should stop you from achieving your dream especially when you have control over the things that will help you make it happen. You have to believe it and you have to own it.

Sometimes it all goes back to our attitude, if we believe in ourselves and our capabilities, we should be able to challenge all hindrances that will come our way. If we dream, we should not wait for it to be handed over to us, we have to work on it and own it, because the journey towards achieving it would be very challenging and it is never free. As what John Maxwell said, "the more valid reasons to achieve your dream, the more odds there is in achieving it." So, own your dream and make it happen, it is in your hands.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Fun Run and Politics, Not a good match..

The running craze has been all over the place as we see races every sunday. Most of the run events are tied up with a worthy cause which was nice to see since we are able to help and contribute and at the same time enjoy running.

Today's event was unique as it was sponsored by one of the biggest TV network and a bit political as it was tied up with the Election of 2010. The theme of the event was "Hamon para sa kaayusan ng Pilipinas" (Challenge for a better Philippines). I have my apprehensions in joining this event from the start since I felt that it will all be just for publicity of the aspiring candidates for President and Vice president in the coming 2010 election. However, since our advocacy is to Run Against Corruption we decided to run in this event to advocate our cause. And also, as in any race, I intend to enjoy my run and hopefully get a better performance this time.

About the Race

There were more or less 5,000 in attendance and it appeared to be too crowded since aside from runners, there were also spectators in the area to view their favorite celebrities and politicians. I had to squeeze my way to go near the starting line and saw still a lot of runners trying to register 30 minutes before the race. At the starting line, runners were all ready to go and excited to run. Gun start was fired at 6:00am and both 5k and 10k had to start all at the same time. I was paced by Runnermhel and told him that I would be lucky if I hit sub-60 this time. Even in my practice runs, I was not able to hit sub-60 for a 10k run. I told him that he can go ahead if he gets bored with me because I have a very slow pace (6:30/min-7:30/min). He said it was ok, but his garmin was set to 5:45/min. Of course, it was expected that mhel will try to make me improve my run and so off we go. It was suprising that my 1st km pace was at 5:49/km. Mhel was definitely had a plan and I just kept on following him, on our way to our 2nd km, Mhel was ahead of me and was running side by side with i2runner (natz) as I approached them, I finally met Natz personally, we shook hands but no time to chat as I still have to chase Mhel who ran faster again the moment I was beside him already. I was able to hit 30 min for my first 5k split, I was definitely better than my usual time, but at this point I was tired already and not sure if I can keep up with Mhel. I was below my 6:30/km pace for the first 6k, and it started to go over it from 7th km down to the finish line. I ended up finishing 59:23.00 but at 9.38km only. The route was short by 0.62km based on my garmin. Most likely in a complete 10k, I might have finished it at 63 min. Still not meeting sub-60 but im satisfied with the result. Mhel was such a good pacer, he patiently and unselfishly waited for me everytime I slowed down and ran beside me until we reached the finish line. Thanks Mhel!

The race was too crowded, others stopped in the middle of the road to take their pictures. This event was not an ideal race obviously as it appeared to be just a segment of a TV show. In a real race event you dont see the crowd blocking the way of runners approaching the finish line. This was how it looked like at the finish line.

The Unity Walk

For non-runners, they find this so amusing to see these political hopefuls and even hear people chanting, ERAP! ERAP! That's why you see ERAP smiling to the crowd as they chant his name. Im not sure if they even walk a 100m on this one. They even pledged to have a clean and honest election. Whatever their cause maybe, I just hope that they were true to their word. You will obviously see questionable faces in here, as well as doubtful candidates.

Some photos after the race

Total Run Against Corruption for this event is 155 km.