Staying Fit while having Fun @ The 2nd Fit and Fun Buddy Run

We’ve been running together for more than a year already.  During our practice runs, I always run ahead of Ems and even finish the 1.5km loop stronger and wanting for more.  But during our weekend races, she ends up finishing ahead of me.

Last weekend, the mission was to reach the finishline at the same time.   And we did!

me and Ems before the gun start (photo courtesy of Edu Fabian)

me and Ems before the gun start (photo courtesy of Edu Fabian)

This was our first time to join the Buddy Run of Robinson’s Supermarket.  We signed up for the 10km event – though my running buddy thought of joining the 5k since it will be our recovery run after the Milo 21k.  (Me to Ems) Nah, i’m sure we can finish the race.  We’ll just have a full week rest after the Milo 21k, okay?  And, as they say, the rest was history!

Zooming to the race day!

We met up with the takbo.ph runners before the gun start.  Most of those who ran the Milo 21k will use this race as their recovery run.  The horn sounded!  Oops, it was for the 5k runners.  I thought I was in a basketball game.  Another three (3) minutes went by and the 10k runners were off! 

From the starting chute, the runners made a left at the 26th street towards the Market! Market! area.  Ems and I picked up our pace approaching the Market! Market! area.  Near the EDC bldg, The Gingerbreadman and his new running buddy overtook us.  They were pacing at 6:50mins/km.  At the first water station, The Gingerbreadman and his running buddy increased their pace.  We saw them again after the 2nd Turn around Point near Bayani road (Speeding up?!)

Warning! Warning! Left Shins are sending me signals – pain is increasing.  Buddy Emilee advised us to slow down reaching the first water station until the 1st Turn around Point. With only 7kms left, Buddy Eric was hoping that the shin pains will just disappear – same as the knee pains of Buddy Emilee.

The stretch of the 32nd street was a point of recovery – awaiting our second wind.  This is a downhill road that made it easier for us to “cruise” along.  The run along the 3rd avenue was faster (a negative split?) than our cruise along the 32nd.  This was in preparation for the uphill run along the 5th street.  At that point, my Timex watch reads 31minutes (km#5.5) – wow! that was a PR for a 5k!

But the uphill climb along the 5th street up to Lawton Ave took away our lead.  In this long stretch, me and my buddy were trying to get our rhythm back – there were times I walk while she runs and vice versa.  Buddy Emilee was already looking for the 2nd Turnaroud point when we reached the 3rd Water Station.  But it’s still way up the hill approaching Bayani Road.

Going back from the 2nd TP - one of the few times that I am running ahead of Emilee (photo courtesy of Edu Fabian)

Going back from the 2nd TP - one of the few times that I am running ahead of Emilee (photo courtesy of Edu Fabian)

On our way back from the 2nd TP, my watch reads 1:02:00.  It was still a good 2kms from that point.  Except for some slippery portions of the Old Lawton Ave, me and Ems picked up our pace.  In the last 700 meters, we met Doc Eric and Doc Pnx doing their “additional” work-out after their 5k run (by the way, they were in the top ten of the 5k race).

As we cross the finish line, it was nice to hear that they announce your names.  In my watch, we finished at 1 hour and 14 minutes (too bad, the official results showed 1 hour and 17 minutes – they did not removed the time variance between the 5k gun start and the 10k gun start).

After 10kms of having fun with my buddy Emilee, we had our hands full getting all those freebies and the LOOT bag from Robinson’s.  It was really A LOT!

Congratulations! (Hey, the lady at the finishline who said that sounds familiar)

Me and Emilee with the Takbo.ph runners before the gun start (photo courtesy of Edu Fabian)

Me and Emilee with the Takbo.ph runners before the gun start (photo courtesy of Edu Fabian)

(RBA: Thanks to Edu for the photos)

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i am a runner, i am running for a cause, i am a hero, i support iamninoy

With our advocacy to support worthy foundations and social organization thru our love for running, Ems and I signed up to become one (or two?) of those iamninoy runners.

We first noticed this “yellow” group of runners during the Condura Run 2009 last March.  I was able to view their website (www.iamninoy.com) and learned about their advocacy – supporting the 57-75 movement (that aims to reverse the education crisis). 

It was only this week that we have finally registered and joined the iamninoy runners .  We read from The Bull Runner’s blog site that there will be a lot of activities and events this year that will support the 57-75 movement. Ems and I joined because we believe that our little contribution will support the activities to correct (or reverse) the education crisis.  Reversing the education crisis can make a difference to our society and the future of our country (nope, not what you think. this is not a politcal movement)

We got the shirts yesterday at Rudy Project – Bonifacio High Street. We tried it out this morning during our 3k speed training around the biggest mall in Las Pinas.  Too bad that we don’t have photos while we were running due to the light drizzle (mmm, we love to run while raining) – only our post-run photos.

Post-run stretching

Post-run stretching

  
Core Training

Core Training

My core training with the new running shirt

My core training with the new running shirt

 
Note: it’s unfortunate that we cannot join the iamninoy runners this Sunday during the Mizuno Infinity Run due to conflicting commitments. Grrr!

Road Racing and Running after 365 days

Three hundred sixty-five days have passed since we (Ems and I) started to become one of the weekend warriors.  We lost count on how many kilometers of road we ran in the last 365 days.  But the experience and benefits that we gained (plus learning how to cope and nurse those injuries) will definitely remain.

Yap! We started our – ehem – “career” in road racing last May 25, 2008.  Me and Ems joined the 3k of the 1st GCCI Fun Run at the CCP grounds.  We finished the 3k race at 24 mins.  It was a good start for us, Ems had a podium finish when she came in 2nd – how’s that for a start.

A podium finish for Ems - finishing 2nd place in the 3k category (age category na rin)

A podium finish for Ems - finishing 2nd place in the 3k category (age category na rin)

And because of that podium finish, Ems searched the web on anything about running.  The first blog that she got hooked on was The Bull Runner’s (TBR)blog where she saw the race schedules.  Later on, we learned about Takbo.Ph (the forum of the Filipino Running Community).  And the rest was history.

After the our first run, we joined the 3k of the 2nd JAL Fun Run in June ’08.  It was followed by another 3k at the OROFOLS run in July. Then, we had a shift from 3k to 5k when we joined the 32nd Milo Marathon – Manila Eliminations in August.

In the last quarter of 2008, we joined the 5k race of the Fortstriders -OctobeRun (October), Unicef’s Walk on the Child side in November. Then we ended the year by joining the Yakult’s 10-miler race – but we joined only the 5k category.

In 2008, we had at least one (1) weekend race per month.  On weekdays, we spend our time running (and walking) around the perimeter of the biggest mall in Las Pinas (1 lap was measured at 1.53 kms).  This place has been our training grounds in the last 365 days.

After all those knee-pounding and lung busting runs, you might ask: “what did we gained from it?”  Below are our personal experience:

1. Reduced our lipids and  other internal “indicators” profile to the normal levels – have you experienced getting your lab results with an elevated Cholesterol, LDL, Triglycerides, Glucose, and SGPT? 

2. Reduced our weight – as for me, I was classified as Obese II before I started running.  Now, during my last “weigh-in”, I’m only classified as Overweight! Aha! Just a little more miles (read: 625 miles more), i’ll be crossing the next line.

3. Positive outlook – it has helped us both in our personal and professional lives.  “A healthy body and a healthy mind”.  If you are in the lead role, quick decisions has to be made in the most stressful situation.  Running helps prepare both the mind and the body in these situations.

4. Patience – really is a virtue. We didn’t start running.  Like a baby, we first started to crawl.  We did crawl the inclined manual treadmill that we have.  Then we shifted to walking around that mall in Las Pinas – every morning (starting at 5:00am until 5:45am during school days and up to 6:30am during weekends).  We did not risked getting an injury because of our “heavy” weight.  Patience really pays off.

5. Discipline – though we are not one of those runners who can maintain a pace of 5:30mins/km or less, we may have not made it this far if we always let down our guards.  Of course, for one to enjoy running (and get the most benefits), there should be discipline.  I remember, my Gastroenterologist told me: “Do not eat more than what you can burn”. 

Make sense right?  You see a lot of people think that if they start running, they will lose those unwanted pounds.  Certainly NOT!  Remember that our (body) system is not 100% efficient.  The inefficiencies will store those “extra food intake” and convert them to the unwanted pounds.

But, don’t get us wrong.  We still eat the “normal” way.  I mean, we don’t skip meals.  We just select the type of food (and the way it was cooked)  and we have reduced the portions of our meals.   It may be hard during the first few days, weeks, and months.  But, it will be worth the effort

Note:

We celebrated our 1st Road Running anniversay with an easy 5km jog around the Filinvest Corporate City in Alabang.

This was how we looked before we pounded the pavement, 365 days ago:

For me, this was 45+ pounds ago.  For Ems, this was 15 pounds ago.

For me, this was 45+ pounds ago. For Ems, this was 15 pounds ago.

 

This was the result after 365 days:

After more than 100kms of road racing (and a 100kms or more of road running)

After more than 100kms of road racing (and a 100kms or more of road running)

On shin splints and running the ATC Southern Race

May 3, 2009 – This is my first race after my doctor told me to rest from “competitive” running for one month. What?!  I can’t believe that she advised me to rest.  After months of having the on and off pain in my shin, my doctor finally confirmed that I was having Shin Splints.  It was a choice between resting for a month so I can continue running again or just continue running until the injury worsens and retire early from running. Now, minutes after I walked out of her clinic, I was telling myself: “did I made the right decision to go for a check-up?”

Yes, it was a good decision to see my doctor and hear her advise.  But, the challenge was how I will adjust to her advise.  Since Thursday evening, I was prescribed to take Naproxen – it was not in my thoughts that I will be taking that med earlier than expected.  Emilee and I had some exchange of thoughts (some of our friends got involved too) on what to do (because, I was reasoning, I might be so depressed of being sidelined that I am tempted to munch and munch again… he he he, good argument).

So, the plan were (1) continue running but I should be slower than my (slow) average pace of 6:00 – 6:30 mins/km, (2) if I will be doing my easy jogs, I should be running on asphalted roads, and lastly (3) we shall be decreasing our easy jogs and the Sunday races that we will join.

Fast forward to the ATC Southern race:

We were expecting a good race course today knowing that the route will pass thru the Ayala Alabang Village.  It will be a challenging one since there are plenty uphill and downhill roads inside the village.  Though the race start a bit late to accomodate the on-site registrants, it didn’t bother the runners since it was cloudy and the race routes were shady – courtesy of those decades old Acacia Trees.

Runners of the ATC Southern Race

Runners of the ATC Southern Race

On to the race, we had a fast start.  I felt I was doing less than 6:00mins/km.  I only realized that I was going fast when some of the seasoned runners are starting to overtake me when I slowed down.  At the km#5 hydration station, I saw that my time was 27minutes+.  It was at this point that I decided to really slowdown, worried that the microfractures (as the doctor told me) would aggravate.  My target was to have a pace between 7:00-7:30mins/km (and not faster).

With my pride starting to win the mental battle of speeding up or slowing down, I managed to finish the race at 1hour, 11minutes, and 20 seconds as my official time (hey, when I crossed the finish line, the timer read 1hour, 10 minutes, and 43 seconds).  It was a good finish for me who’s been advised to take it slowly (I think, I did not).

The official race results were out already as early as 7:30am

The official race results were out already as early as 7:30am

Overall, the race course was well planned.  The marshalls were helpful.  The hydration stations, well, they were helpful except for the last station where they ran out of plastic cups – still they were very apologetic.  Hey, the weather cooperated too!  By the way, this was the first race where the results were published before the program ended (this was super fast) – it was pinned on those lamp post.

For the benefit of the SOS Children's Village

For the benefit of the SOS Children's Village

Running for a good cause

Running for a good cause

Of course, running for a very good cause is a milestone for me and Emilee.  From what I know, the registration fee of PhP 150.00 goes directly to the SOS Children’s Village.  Kudos to Alabang Town Center (the major sponsor and organizer of this run)!

Me and Emilee

Me and Emilee

Hopefully, I will be able to recover in time for the 10-miler of the Market!Market! Power Miler Run on May 17.

The PR stepped up at STEP UP for a Cause

April 26, 2009 – it was a cool Sunday morning at the Bonifacio Global City.  Thanks to the heavy downpour the previous day.  It was a great day for the  1,500 runners (approx) who will be running the 5k and the 10k race.  Emilee and I will be running the 10k race course.  This will be our recovery run after the 21k run last Sunday.

 

see, the weather was good for running

see, the weather was good for running

The “amazing” race started promptly at 6:00am for the two events.   We positioned ourselves at the end of the pack as we expect to have a slow start since we did not have our usual training after the Greenfield Half Marathon.

It has been a while since I ran the BGC race course.  It was also the first time for me to take the route going to the EDC/DOE area.  From my opinion, the race route was very good and challenging.  It was a combination of flat and inclined roads that will challenge every runner.

The hydration of the runners were well provided. The guys manning the stations were proactive by extending the water to the runners.  It was observed that the runners were given (I think) a 500mL mineral water bottle.  I think that this is one area for improvement for future race organizers – not to give the whole bottle to the runners.   Most of the time, runners only take a gulp or two then they leave the bottles on the sidewalks – still half full.

A simple but a well organized race!

A simple but a well organized race!

In summary, the race was simple but well organized.  They have provided more than enough to re-hydrate the runners.  Kilometer markers are visible to runners – Hey, I was at km#8 with a time of 52 minutes.  It was easy for the runners to adjust their strategies and game plan with these kilometer markers.  The road marshals were able to provide the security and safety of the runners.

By the way, this is the first race event that I have witnessed the organizer turned over all the proceeds from the Registration (entry fee) to their Beneficiary – the Dr. Fe Del Mundo Medical Center Foundation.  They turned over a total of PhP 196,950.00 to the beneficiary – and that was really AMAZING!  Kudos to QTV11 and Chances Are!!!

Paolo Abrera (R) and the "amazing" Albert (L) turning over the (symbolic) check

Paolo Abrera (R) and the "amazing" Albert (L) turning over the (symbolic) check

This donation will fuel the Little Clinic of the FDMMC to their outreach projects to help the needy.

The Mother Teresa Little Clinic

The Mother Teresa Little Clinic

It was really a honor for me and Emilee to join running events with beneficiary foundations.  It’s our own little way of sharing whatever we have to the community who needs it the most.

With all the logistics and donations, still QTV11 and Chances Are were able to make this event memorable to the runners with the STEP UP finishers t-shirt (it is made of good quality and material!).

As of this writing, the official race results have not been published yet.  But I heard that they are in the final stages of consolidating the results.  Still, I am very happy to share that my 10k PR was “un” officially broken.  My new 10k PR is now 1 hour and 6 minutes!!!

Emilee’s has also a new PR for the 10k run at 1 hour and 3 minutes!!! Congratulations Mom!

She has a new 10k PR at 1 hour and 3 minutes!

She has a new 10k PR at 1 hour and 3 minutes!

This was the cool STEP UP finisher’s shirt.  I got two shirts since they ran out of the mesh bag – it was also a Step up decision coming from the organizers. 

Finisher's Shirt

Finisher's Shirt

I enjoyed the view, I enjoyed my run at Greenfield City’s 21k Run

This is our first and definitely not our last!

A wake-up call at 3:00 in the morning!  Something unusual for me since I started to join the weekend road races last year.  3:00am was my wake-up call whenever I need to catch a flight going to Visayas or Mindanao.

Me and Emilee were excited to join our very first half marathon last Sunday, 19 April 2009.  Of course, we were also nervous if we can finish the race injury-free.  After the Airspeed Run, we had a short preparation for this race.  We had a combination of easy jog and power walking for a minimum of 2 hours using a two-day training, one-day rest program.  Then, 3 days before the big day, we took our rest from our “rigid” training.

Can our legs already take the challenge of a long distance run?

Me and Emilee with our 21k Finisher's Medal

Me and Emilee with our 21k Finisher's Medal

Emilee finished ahead of me with her official time of 2 hours and 36 minutes.  It was a strong finish for a first time half marathoner.  On the otherhand, I finished 16 minutes after her at 2 hours and 52 minutes (my official time).

As first timers, it was clear to our minds that we shall be enjoying our first half marathon.  The race started on time at 5:00am.  We positioned ourselves at the back of the pack to give way to the hardcore runners.  At the km#1, my pace was 6:15mins/km.  I was able to maintain that steady pace until after km#3 when we entered Pramana.  At this point, I started to feel the pain in my shins – oh no! not this time.

Going to km#4, I struggled with the pains.  I tried a different foot strike and running form (the ones that I learned from the Nike Running Clinic) thinking that the pain will go away – and it did.  I was able to increase my pace again from km#5 to km#10.  I reached km#10 in 1 hour, 10 minutes (faster than my 10k run PR – considering that I had a “long” stop of 10-15 seconds in 4 hydration and “cooling” stations).

By the way, between km#5 and km#7 I met coach Joar with Ms. Kim.  Afterwhich, I met coach Rio cheering the 21k runners and checking if the race was doing well (that’s a hands-on Race Director!)

The sun was also there to watch us run.  Every runner can already feel the increase in the temperature at the km#10 – km#21.  I still find the ambient temperature okay since the winds are blowing moderately across the rice fields and banana plantation.  Yes, part of the race route was a road between a rice field and some banana trees!

At km#16, my watch reads 1hour and 40 minutes.  With 5 kms to go, I felt that I can have a sub-2:30 time to finish this race.  But to my surprise, at km#17, I started to feel a strong pain just above my ankles but below my calf muscles whenever I start to increase my pace.  I feared that this might be a start of leg cramps – but the signs were different and something new to me.

I had three attempts to increase my pace.  But after 10 meters, there will be a quick pain strike.  Since I decided to finish strong (read: running to the finish line), I had to do power walking between km#19 – km#20.

On the last stretch to the finish, I met Mr. Felipe Dumpit (aka Kinderdorf).  We had a short chat on the “challenges” we had during the race.

When I crossed the finish line, the clock read 2 hours, 52 minutes, and 12 seconds.   Maybe it was not a strong finish after all, but it will be a treasured experience!

All the aches and pains of running were gone once you get this 21km finishers medal

All the aches and pains of running were gone once you get this 21km finishers medal

Emilee and I haven’t celebrated our first year of joining road races.  Completing this 21k race is a fulfillment for us when we celebrate our 1st year of “competitive” running next month.

Still fresh after 21kms!

Still fresh after 21kms!

She enjoyed the race (with her I-pod, she can run a full marathon)!

She enjoyed the race (with her I-pod, she can run a full marathon)!

This was the 21km route!

This was the 21km route!

Emilee conquered this route!

Emilee conquered this route!

All of this will not happen without the blessings from the Almighty and the prayers and support (cheers) of our friends (Good news! Most of them are now into running!).

See you on the next road race!

My woman, my girl, and my friend: A Pinay In Action

March 29 was a big day for the women running community.  This day was the staging of the Pinay In Action – An All Women Run at the Mall of Asia grounds in Pasay City.

Initially, the plan was just to let my wife Emilee to join this event – since it was initially reported to be an all Women Run.  But as the amiable Senator Pia mentioned during her short remark (before the starting gun was fired), “… they also need the men to empower the women..”  So, that’s why I signed up for this event.

Start and Finish Line

Start and Finish Line

My wife and I signed up for the 10k category.  This shall be our 2nd 10k race for the year. And the second Sunday in a row.  This race was all part of our triple weekend 10k race culminating on April 5 at the AIRSPEED run.  Prior to the start of the race, all you can see are ladies in Pink.  And after a few remarks from the Senator Pia, the starting gun was off.  The 10k and the 5k runners have the same start.

Halfway thru the first lap, my wife pulled away from me already since I was experiencing shin splints again (oh no!).  Oh well, since this was an All Women run, I just let her enjoy the run.  Passing thru the first lap of 2.5km, I assume that Emilee crossed it in less than 12 minutes (since I crossed it at the 14 minute mark).  Still feeling the pain on my shins, together with the side stitches, I started to slow down to finish the second lap (5kms) at 36 minutes.

On my third lap, the (ambient) surrounding temperature has been steadily increasing.  This is one of those times that I enjoy splashing (on my head) the (cold) water at the hydration stations – it was a big relief!  Now wait! Nearing the finish of my 3rd lap, I was on a “wait and see” mode.  Hoping that the Lady Air Runner a.k.a. Emilee was already behind me to finish her fourth and final lap.

My second wind has arrived, pushing myself to increase my speed to exceed my PR at Condura last week.  With all the pains (shin splints) and side stitches, I still finished with a decent 1 hour and 18 minutes.  And i’m very proud to say that my Emilee finished the race way ahead of me at 1 hour and 10 minutes – she was able to maintain her PR during the Condura race last week.

My hats off to my wife (my woman, my girl, and my friend) for having a good run last Sunday – and she had a great time too running (and pacing up) with Senator Pia until the 1st lap.

Some photos after the race:

Emilee on the far left (with glasses)

Emilee on the far left (with glasses)

Still fresh and smiling after 10,000 meters of running

Still fresh and smiling after 10,000 meters of running

4 laps and the finish line

4 laps and the finish line

Photo Op

Photo Op

I finished this race too!

I finished this race too!

She’s not only my woman, my girl, and my friend.  She’s also my lovely wife and my running buddy!  And the best of all, she’s a PINAY IN ACTION!

(Editor’s Note: Pinay In Action, now on its fourth year, is inviting women to join the annual advocacy run which aims to continuously empower women by promoting their rights and health. Get more info at www.pinayinaction.com)

Post note: Next week, my Super Pinay In Action Emilee will be running the AIRSPEED Run together with the super kids who will be joining the 3k race.