Two weeks tour of duty in Cebu..

Since August this year, I am on a 2-week tour of duty every month here in the Queen City of the South. One of the biggest challenge when I am working away from home is the possibility of gaining “significant” weight. During my August tour of duty, I gained around 5-6 lbs.

I was completely denying the fact that I gained those additional body mass in my belly area.  I even thought (and trying to justify to my wife) that I feel bloated and gas was building up my gut. A visit to the gastro was next in my list upon arriving Manila.  Medicines were given and a possibility of colonoscopy was in the horizon.

In doubt, I tried to increased my mileage.

After a few weeks on the road, it seems that it was not just a bloated feeling.  I gained weight!

So, this September, I made sure that my two-week tour of duty in Cebu will be filled with morning runs and “conscious eating”.

Last week, this was one of the route that I ran.  I passed by the Carmelite Monastery Chapel and the Mabolo Church.

Mini Vista Iglesia run

Mini Vista Iglesia run

The Carmelite Monastery Chapel

The Carmelite Monastery Chapel

IMG_5301

Mabolo Church (St. Joseph)

This week, I am gradually increasing my mileage.

Increasing my mileage

Increasing my mileage

Maybe next week, when I’m back in Manila, I can run 10 kms again.

My personal achievement: getting over 2,000kms

I’ve been inactive in road racing since September of 2010.  But I still continued my regular running together with my wifey, Emilee.  In December of 2010, I have calculated that my running mileage (since Feb 2008) was around 1,800 kms.

January was supposed to be another full month for me, in preparation for the Condura 2011.  But as fate would have its way, we DNS’d the Condura 2011 (too bad!).

January to February was a measly 90+kms for me.  A lot of changes in schedules and locations pulled my mileage down.

My moral obligation to push our runners for the TBR DM 2011, increased my running mileage.  In the last week of March, I logged-in 70+ kms.  Just enough to get over the 2,000kms mark.

After 3 years of running and 50 lbs off my weight, logging 2,000kms is a wonderful achievement!

Meet the new marathoners of Team Atlas Copco Philippines

March 20, 2011 – five (5) runners from Team Atlas Copco Philippines took the challenge in October 0f 2010 to apply for the 2011 The Bull Runner Dream Marathon.  They were anxious at first.  But before the deadline for the application ended, they confirmed their intention to join.

Months have passed, all of them busy at work to deliver their Key Performance Indicators.  Some of them have been taking their trainings seriously – I think there was only one runner who took it seriously.  It was during the Christmas break when they felt to log in more mileage as the race get near.

In February, during the longest training run of the program, two (2) of them had a painful experience – literally.  It was the first time that Mon and Mark ran for more than 10kms.  Their intention was just to complete the first loop (10kms).  But, as they approach the Solenad area, fellow runner Jonnie (our GM), challenged them for another loop – completing the whole 28kms.

During the last four weeks before the big day, I decided to have a “cramming” training for Mark and Mon.  I even included a heat training in their last 3 weeks of training.  Just in case they end up walking the last 10kms, at least they are used to the heat of the 8am to 10am sun.

I remember that my last minute instruction to the team a week before race day were: (1) get at least 7 hours of sleep starting Tuesday, and (2) avoid taking soda and meals that is something new for you – this is not the right time to experiment =)

Lights out at 8pm.  But everyone was excited the night before the race.  Gun start came but I wasn’t there to wish them good luck.  I came to the venue at half past five in the morning.  Just in time to see Roel and Romel cross the 20km loop.

By six in the morning I was out in the field taking pictures of the runners, when in just a matter of hours or even minutes they will be called marathoners.  I ran along the route to check Team Atlas Copco.  I first saw our GM who still looks strong at km. 34

Boss Jonnie - looking strong at km. 34

From the rate that he is going, he can finish the race in sub- 6 hours.  We exchange few words and cheered him that it’s only 8 kms more to the finish line.  Then I moved on to search for the four.

Between km 33 and 34, I saw Mark and Mon who decided to be pace buddies.  I guess they just can’t keep pace with our boss.  Still in high spirits with their “poste – poste” program – run for 4 lamp posts then walk the next lamp post.  The only challenge to this program was when they reached the areas without the lamp posts.

Mark (L) and Mon (R)

With three (3) runners on their last 8 kms, I went on to search the last two members of Team Atlas Copco Philippines.  I spotted them at the crossing of km.33.  Trying to hide the pain that they are feeling.

Roel (L) and Romel (R)

Now, at this point I have to run back to the finish line and meet our first finisher.  It was already 5:30hrs from gun start and I feel that our first runner (Jonnie) will be crossing the finish line anytime.  Half way thru my run, I phone fellow marathoner (from TBR DM batch 1) Leo to meet our first runner at the finish line since I am still 4-5kms away.  Boss Jonnie finished his very first marathon in 6hrs, 11 minutes, and 20.9 seconds.

After less than an hour, Mon and Mark, crossed the finish line in 6hrs, 53 minutes, and 29 seconds.  They are virgins no more!

And the last batch of Team Atlas Copco Philippines, Romel and Roel, clocked in 8:04hrs and 8:14hrs respectively.

With all those endorphins that they gained all throught the 42kms, these were how they look like…

Congratulations to you guys!  Welcome to the Marathoners club of Atlas Copco Philippines!!

Your fellow marathoners welcomes you!

TBR DM Batch 1 - (L-R) Dennis, Danny, Leo, Eric, and Emilee

See you in Camsur in September!

Missing the “new” 34th Milo Marathon – Manila Elims

Since 2008, Ems and I ran the 32nd and 33rd staging of the Milo Marathon.  The 32nd staging (Manila Elims), was our first taste of the 5k race.  It was also the first time we ran under the rain.  And it was fun!

After a year, we joined the 21k race.  This time it was our second 21k race (the first was at the Greenfield City).  It was another race were we experienced running on top of the fly-overs at Roxas Blvd (one at Buendia and one crossing EDSA). That was an experience that made our running life meaningful.  From there, we participated in almost all Sunday races. Our training runs became our bonding sessions – exchanging stories – with our busy corporate and family time.  Those races became our “dates”, a time to spend with each other.

This year, I embarked on another learning experience.  I enrolled in graduate studies to further hone my skills and expand my knowledge.  That keeps me busy the whole Saturday until 9:00pm.  So, I’ve been missing a lot of weekend road races since I started in March.  We’ve been choosing those races that we can join otherwise Ems will drag me off the bed every Sunday morning just to go to The Fort or the race venue.

These books are keeping me busy during weekends!!!


We are still doing our weekday trainings and weekend long runs.  But we just can’t get off the house in time for the gun start.  Now, our Sunday long runs starts at 6:00am – no pressures at all!

That means, we will be missing the 34th staging of the Milo Marathon – Manila Eliminations.  Maybe next year, I can join and get that (most) coveted Milo Marathon 42km Finisher’s Medal.

AC Philippines’ Fab Four!: Training for the TBR Dream Marathon

When I started my addiction to running way back in May 2008, I was a loner.  Though I go together with Emilee during our trainings and “leisure” races, I was the only runner in our company.  I was only running 3k’s and 5k’s then.

Some of my colleagues were even saying that doing a 3km run is unachievable for them.  That they may not even complete a 1 km walk.  In my previous posts, you will see that the tribe (of runners) from Atlas Copco Philippines has already increased.  Some of them graduated from one (1) distance to another in a span of one (1) year.  When the year 2009 ended, we almost have fifteen (15) 10k runners.  And before the 1st quarter of 2010 will end, ten (10) of those runners have tried either the 15km or even the half marathon.

For me, that is an achievement.  I always want to make a difference.  I may not be an expert running coach, but I am always open to learn from others.  Either having a casual chat with them or reading what they have researched thru their blogs.  A colleague of mine from AC MYS even told me that in our organization, I may be classified already as a running “expert”.  Since I have gained more experience compared to them.

So, whatever significant learnings I gained, I shared to my friends and colleagues.

Now, after completing my first Full Marathon at Condura 2010 (after learning a lot from a km 38 DNF at PIM) together with Ems, I have now four (4) runners who are determined to run and finish their first Full Marathon.

Marathoner Candidate no. 1:    Dennis D. 

Dennis D.  is a veteran of two (2) Half Mary’s this 2010.  He joined the Condura and Century Tuna’s 21k.  He also holds the fastest 10k and 21k records in our company at 53mins (Book Run) and 1:59:58hrs (Century Tuna) respectively.

See how focus he is?

Marathoner Candidate no. 2: Danny T.

Danny also started running together with Dennis.  Nope, they are not pace buddies.  But he is also a competitive runner.  He is also a veteran of two 21k races and numerous 10k and 5k races.  His fastest 21k was during the Century Tuna at 2:07:32hrs.  He also runs a sub-60 10k (I just can remeber if it was 55mins or 57mins).

A determined runner!

Marathoner Candidate no. 3: Dennis S.

This guy is another “convert”.  Yeah, previous to running, he is a certified basketball addict.  Now, aside from Basketball he trains thrice a week to improve his stamina.  He does not only run but he is also into biking (as his cross training).  Another veteran runner with a number of half mary’s, 10k’s and 5k’s under his (hydration) belt.  He may not be as fast as the two candidates above but he is also a competitive one.

Chillax Runner - but he can pull off a sub-60 10k

Marathoner Candidate no.4: Leo B.

I have seen great progress with Leo.  He has joined a number of 10k races already – maybe 10 and counting.  And in recent race events, he adds up mileages after completing the route.   He maybe a “leisure” runner like me but he can run through those kilometer markers until he reaches the 42nd.  And I heard that he is doing a secret training in the east side of Metro Manila in preparation for his Dream Marathon.

See, he is still ahead of the other runners!

These Fab Four ACP runners or should I say marathoner “candidates” are now in the middle of their preparations for the forthcoming TheBullRunner Dream Marathon on May 22, 2010.

We wish them well in their preparations! 

Ems and I will always be with them from the start of their preparations until they reach the 42.195kms Finish line.  We’ll make sure that it will be a happy full marathon experience for them (aside from the fact that TBR has assured all runners that it will be a fun Full Marathon under the summer Sun).

Condura 2010: My First 42!

(A post written by Ems) 

Feb 07, 2010 marks a milestone for me as a runner.  Being able to finish a full marathon was indeed a great experience. Initially, I had the apprehension of registering for the Condura Run 2010 for a full marathon but Eric was convinced that we can do it.

It was also great to see people (even you don’t personally know them) cheering and encouraging you to take that extra mile to be able to reach the finish line. While running we got the chance to chat with fellow runners who are also 1st time to join a full marathon and even exchange jokes that this would be the last…. “di na ma-uulit“.

Our friend, Vener (Rununltd), shared with us that  running side by side has been a tried and tested strategy….and it really helps.  I know Eric can make it before the cut-off time but he decided to stay with me throughout the race. The last 2 kilometers was the longest kilometer ever.  The heat and the pain forces you to quit.  But why stop when you were able to ran the 1st 40 kilometers. Eric pushed me when he knew when I’m tired and gave me the strength to make it to the finishline.

“Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.” – Lance Armstrong

Another unforgettable experience is that I was able to conquer the Skyway…. Along the route, you would see inspirational quotes. But this is the quotation that I struck me the most:

“The miracle isn’t that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start.”  – John Bingham

We conquered!

I was not able to hit the cut-off time (over of 8 minutes). But there are a LOT of things to be thankful for…. friends to encourage/cheer you to run more, finished the race injury-free and having a husband who is very supportive. Most importantly being grateful to our Creator for the gift of life and strength to continue to believe that there is always hope.

Reaching the Finish Line

While on my way to work, it made me think …. Would this be my 1st and last marathon? I guess for the year …. And I am still open to give it a chance and give my best the next time around.

“Don’t dwell on what went wrong.  Instead, focus on what to do next.  Spend your energies on moving forward toward finding the answer. “  – Denis Waitley

Until the next Marathon!

 

photos courtesy of Edu and Pepsi of Takbo.ph

The Condura 2010: The Oops! and the Ahhh! of the missing barcode

The Condura 2010… Oops!

Just when I thought that the registration down to the distrubution of the race packet went well, some forgot to put the barcodes on my race bib.  I immediately checked with my colleagues who will be running the 21k.  Same as mine, their barcode were not there either.

The Condura 2010… Ahh!

Cramming with tons of work this week, I immediately sent an e-mail to the secretariat that my barcode was missing.  Then, I read from the takbo.ph forums on Condura that other runners who claimed their kits on 04 Feb that their barcode too were missing.

Within twenty (20) minutes from sending my email to the secretariat, I immediately received an e-mail from Ton Concepcion that (1) he knew of the situation, and (2) that he apologizes for that lapse in preparation.

Before the hour stikes, I already read from the takbo.ph forum that they already gave an instruction on how to resolve the missing barcode.  By 1100H, everything has been settled.  I sent an e-mail back to Ton C. to inform him that instructions has been received.

Around 1700H, I received an SMS from the Condura Secretariat with the same instruction that I saw from the forums, takbo.ph site, facebook accounts, and the Condura 2010 website.  As stated in the SMS, I sent an e-mail confirming the receipt of their instruction.

And today, much to my surprise, we received calls from the secretariat just to confirm if we received the instructions on the missing barcode.  We were out when they called the house.  Maybe they tried to call back during lunchtime.  But since we went out again with the kids, they tried to reach us through my mobile phone.

The Condura 2010 team, headed by Mr. Ton and Patrick Concepcion, used all forms of communication just to reach all those registered runners for the 42k and 21k who claimed their kits during the 4th of Feb.  Maybe it was a big lapse on their part to miss that barcode on our race bibs.  But, these Captains really exerted the extra effort, did the extra mile just to make sure that their runners – their V.I.P’s come race day – were properly informed on the corrections to be done.

This is a great case of Customer Satisfaction!  Congratulations!