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Monday, May 28, 2012

After 5: 10k in less than a month! (Cortal SQR Run and Fly Away From Pain)


May 26, 7PM
My friend told me he can't run in Cortal because he was invited to a going-away party that night.
I said, well, I'll run, sayang naman ang race kit.
And then I realized, he runs 10k and I run 5k.

Flash forward to a few hours later, with barely an hour of sleep in my lids, I am stretching my fat limbs in Quirino Grandstand, eyeing my co-runners and trying to see if they can hear the tub-thumping of my heart.

WHAT WAS I THINKING?????

I just did a 5k this month, my first! And it took me 50minutes to finish it!

And now, barely a few weeks later... I am running 10k? Alone!

Oh well. I can't back out.

I just managed my expectations. I was going to take it easy. I will not do any sprints. At every water station, I will stop and walk for 60seconds before running again. If I ever feel the need to walk, I will indulge in my 60second break.

So the gun was off and my 10k groupies soon went on ahead and I was running in my own pace, as in on my own, like there was a big space before and after me.

Some of the mamaw 5k participants were already speeding past me. But I wasn't about to let pride take over me just to have me limp the rest of the kilometers. Hold back. That was the key to survival.

I saw a lot of runners with polio or atrophied leg muscles.  
They were stronger runners than I am. I thank my decision for not trying to gun it and try to do a speedy gonzales in the first half only to limp and die in the second.

I paced with two of the organizers who were also running. They were checking the route as we went along. On my part I could not help but pick up a few cups who have been discarded by other runners. It wasn't that difficult to hold cups while running, I am sorely disappointed.

CCP was quite a sight. It was like a human conveyor belt,  people were running up and down the ramp in a hypnotic parade. There were also families having a picnic.

The sea smelled like almost rotten fish. But it was tolerable.

I clocked at 1hr 2mins in at the last 2k mark. But then I was
so afraid that I would conk out if I tried to speed up. So I maintained my slow as snail pace until I caught up with a guy wearing compression tights and I just ran with him all the way to the finish.

I did let myself loose on the final 50m and did a little sprint.

Too bad my PEx Running Club buddies weren't there at the finish line. It would have made my first 10k much more memorable.

Funny how before, my feet used to ache after training where I just run 6k. Perhaps I have
 become stronger.

I started to marvel at my body. This body that I hate because it has gotten so big and huge and fat and disfigured. But after that first 10k, you could've gotten a welt in your body had you told me I'm fat.

I let myself become a fat-assed girl. I settled for all the wrong relationships. I was so in a hurry to settle down, to reach the finish line in life. I only ended up unhappy with myself and in the process perhaps I have also made some people unhappy. I am never proud of that.

Running has made me realize that the more you pace yourself, the more you hold back, the more you keep that potential energy in your legs, the better and faster your race will be.

I finished my first 10k in 1 hour 26 minutes and 10 seconds. I heard that that wasn't such a bad time. Although I dream of one day running at 4 minutes per kilometer, my 8 minute pace was a big improvement from my 10 minute pace just a few weeks ago with Feet2Run where I ran 5k.

One of my friends asked me how I can run such long distances. I said you just have to keep running. it doesn't mean that you can't stop to catch your breath and to walk, as long as you pick yourself up and run again. It's rather like the chances we are given in life. Every time we falter, every time we stop in the race, we are given a chance. It is up to us to use that chance to stop altogether and accept failure or to use it to start again and continue with the race.

I have always chosen to continue. In life and in my runs, I have encountered numerous stumbling blocks, but I have always chosen to keep running. God knows how I started, with barely a 50m jog and I die gasping for breath. That was just this March. And now I have ran my first 10k.

I am a long way from my far-fetched dream of becoming an ultramarathoner. But what really matters is that  you don't stop running. That is the only difference between us mortals who run short distances and them who run hundreds of kilometers. They simply continue with the race.

My life is on restart right now. But I am hopeful that the next decisions that I will make will reflect the kind of runner I have become. I may not be fast but I have a dogged tenacity to finish the race and to conquer the distance.

I am a minimalist runner!
Hopefully, in my life, unlike in this Cortal race, I will have someone to share the run and the finish line with.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

New Balance Minimus Trail


Top Excuses Why I Bought an NB Minimus Trail:

1. My Speedo Pool Runner is showing signs of wear and tear especially on the soles.

2. I am (finally!) beginning to cover quite a distance in my training runs and I need shoes if I want to run in the streets of this country.

3. I dream of becoming a barefoot ultramarathoner and I can't betray my barefoot training with stability and motion control shoes.

4. My client (finally!) paid.

5. I lost 9lbs in one week.

Why Did I Chose NB Minimus Trail Over Other Zero-Drop Shoes?

1. A woman, running along Edsa, in Vibrams? I haven't gathered enough guts for that yet.

2. Merrell had a pretty good zero drop, all terrain shoe but it's Vibram sole was not as flexible as I wanted it to be. It felt like wearing motion control shoes.

3. I didn't find the Adidas Vibram rip-off.

4. Fila Skeletoes was too cushy.

5. ZEM 360 Ninja was too socky.

6. And, well, the NB sales people at Trinoma seem to really know what the heck the shoe and the barefoot revolution was  about. They answered all my questions, even the tricky ones.

Consequences on Buying an NB Minimus Trail:

1. I will probably not have food money for the next 30 days.

2. I will probably wake up screaming for not buying the Merrell Road Glove which was 1k cheaper.

3. My non-running friends will probably be happy for me since I don't shell out money for non-tech purchases. (Read: I dress dorky)

4. I will probably run more events to get the heck out of the cost of this shoe.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Feet2Run Rants and Raves

Feet2Run was a fun run held for the benefit of the barefoot children of the metro. It was organized by the   good guys inside Crame.

Pre-event feedback:
1. Registration was ok. The locations were fairly spread out and even the people in QC had little difficulty. I registered at Secondwind Maginhawa and maginhawa talaga that I didn't have to go to BGC or ARC to register.
2. Registration fee and race kit were a steal. At 500pesos you got a drifit shirt and a B&D race belt.
3. The cause was simple yet heartwarming. Runners spend thousands of pesos on shoes and running gadgets, allowing them to give slippers to barefoot children struck a chord.

Event feedback:
1. We were given 5am as the time. There was no set gunstart times for the 3,5 and 10k races. We started the race at about 6-6:30.
2. The baggage counter opened well AFTER 5am. The baggages were placed on the grass since there were no tables inside the counter.
3. There was a program but it it was a hodgepodge of the voice over reprimanding people, asking for more patience, etc. etc.
4. There were no race route markers. No one knew exactly just how many rounds the 3,5 and 10k runners were supposed to make. We were given "bracelets" to indicate how many rounds we have made.
5. Thank you Pocari Sweat for the hydration. You were efficient. And the runners were conscientious enough not to throw the cups on the ground. All those garbage containers also helped. Good job on this one!
6. Thank you to, oh dear I forgot his name, he was a member of PEx Running Team and he was also helping out on the race course by spraying us with cool water! Yey! Good job on this. I couldn't tell how many times I wished I could throw water on my head.
7. This is not the fault of the organizers but: please give Crame additional budget to fix their tartan track!
8. There was no timing chip but there was a Timex, uhm timing board? I dunno what that is called. At least I got to see how slow I was.
9. I thought that at the end of the race we would get to hand out the slippers to the children. Well. Didn't happen.

Post-event feedback:
1. Tagal ng photos. Haha.

Feedback on SELF:
1. My god was I ever so slow. I clocked in at 50mins for a 5k race which gives me 10minutes per kilometer pace. ansaveh?
2. I had to run in regular shoes because I was having a bad case of peroneal tendonitis. Too bad because a gazillion people were running barefoot including Jan Marini's husband Gerard Pizzaras!
3. I didn't research on the proper way to hydrate during a race. I practically guzzled down the Pocari Sweat on the hydration stations.

But still. Congratulations are in order. Feet2Run organizers, its ok. There's next year. And next year, ask for volunteers. We are very willing to help, you can even ask us to work until the wee hours, just get the hot pandesal and coffee ready.

And... congratulations to myself! It might be a bad time, but hey! I passed by a lot of runners, I ran through bad tendons, I made it to the finish line with energy left to smile for a picture.

All in all, it was a day well spent. I was about to walk for a few meters when I saw a few street children smiling like it was Christmas while they opened their tsinelas. Their smiles helped me pick up my pace and run with a smile on my face too. And for that, thank you Feet2Run.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Milo APEX Running Clinic Day 3

Day 3 is officially a Long Run day.

This is the day we either love or hate. I am still in between, vacillating from one emotion to the other depending on the soreness of my peroneal tendons at the end or if I am terribly unlucky, in the middle of my run.

Coach shepherded us all to UP Diliman. The 5k group were given directions to run 4 rounds around the Acad Oval for a total of 8.8k, running 300m and walking for 50m. The 10k, 21 and 42k groups ran the crazy hilly routes within UP.

Milo APEX Running Clinic 2012 QC 5k Group
Milo APEX Running Clinic 2012 QC Coaches


In truth, the 5k group ran a good 2 rounds around the oval and a dead-man-walking tour on the 3rd round. We didn't even get to do the 4th round. Everyone just agreed without even a word that we would stop and all pretend we got through all 4 rounds.

Bad idea. Now coach is telling us she will add on to the next runs because we could all do it anyway. HOMAYGAD.

I will add photos to this post but forgive me for now, I need to ice my peroneal tendons and I have to get ready for a 5am 5k race: Feet2Run.

Wish me a miracle tomorrow. So sleepy.



Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Milo APEX Running Clinic Day 2

Day 1 wasn't exactly day 1.

I know it's a very affordable clinic but still. Coming from an events agency, I know how much effort was given on that first day. There was technically zero set-up. No Milo tent, no Milo branding anywhere, no hydration. No sound system, the speaker had to shout at the top of his lungs to get heard by the number who turned out ready and raring to go.

It was the coaches that saved the day. These are the guys who literally run hundreds of kilometers. They hail from different provinces and speak the lousiest of English but they have every right to be proud because these guys are champions, they are the real thing. If not for them, I would've died on that first day. My previous boss would've had a heart attack with that kind of event.

Anyway,  so Day 2 finally saw some organization going on: stage branding, tents, hydration booth, decent sound system with microphones, thank thee heavens, chairs and finally, a lecture on stretching. Ok. I will now say a few words about the lecture. I think there was little preparation for it. Like someone just grabbed somebody by the arm and gave her a mic and that was that. In fairness to the speaker she gave it a good shot, it was just so obvious that someone else was expected to do that and she was just put there to fill the gap. Someone like, oh say, Coach Jim Sarret? He came in after we have all had our recovery run and was about to leave. He came in for the picture-picture part.

Maybe I'm going to regret having ranted about this and that Coach Jim will prove to be the wonderful coach that he is on TV. I hope that indeed I will be proven wrong.

You see, coaches are expected to do two things, physically and mentally prepare an athlete for the sport. The physical aspect of the Milo Apex Running Clinic was already taken care of by the other coaches, the ones who ride buses from their provinces just to teach us, the ones  who can't speak English but can speak the language of the sport very well. So is it so bad for us to expect a little speech from Coach Jim? Something to boost morale? After all it was the official opening day of the clinic. I really thought we deserved as much.

Running is a very mind-driven sport. I push myself farther every time I go out there and run because I know that my body can, it is just my mind that is telling me to stop because it finds that there is no reason to run, no danger. Given that a velociraptor is hard and fast on my heels I bet I can outrun any Kenyan  then.

Anyway. It was still all good. We ran around 1.8 km that night. I ran an additional 1 km. I used to run 6.6 km every time I go out, so I need to work on my mileage.

I hope to  report better things next time.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Running with a pack.

Humans, or our hunter ancestors, used to run in packs.

Men, women with suckling children, young and old would run after animals for food. There weren't any fancy bows and arrows back then, for a thousand years, and so the pack of humans simply ran the animals down. Ran them down until the animals are out of breath and die of heart attack. Then they feast on the protein.

Until they developed tools, that was the way to hunt. Running in pack was a form of survival, a lifestyle, and it also created a social bond within the community.

I used to run alone. Even back in college.

Quite recently though, perhaps to salvage my sanity, perhaps to make my barefoot running experience a little bit closer to the actual thing, I joined a running club called PRC or PEx Running Club.

And since I joined them, I went full-speed ahead and found myself signing up with a bunch of other members (me for a 5k, them for much grander distances), for the Feet2Run race happening on May 13, 2012 in Camp Crame.
Then I signed up for the Milo Apex Running Clinic because one of our members was going too.
Then, last night, perhaps out of sheer folly, I found that a lot of the PRC members will be running in the Merrell Adventure Run 2012 in June 2 so now I am thinking of signing up for the 10k.

If I continued running alone, I wouldn'tve gotten the gall to sign up for so many running events and my training would definitely stagnate.

Now, please kick me in the head, because I am dreaming of one day becoming an ultramarathoner.

Run like the effin' Tarahumara! Ayiyiyiyiyiyiyiyiyieeeaaahh!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Oh dear. Taking my cue from Lit Onrubia. Or: How to cram for a 5k run.

I love Runner's World Philippines. If they become a monthly glossy instead of quarterly, heck I'd buy it every month. If they become a daily paper, I'd... I'd get weirded out? Haha.

Nah, not with Noy Jopson, Noelle Q. de Jesus and, as I've discovered recently, Lit Onrubia.

If you get to read his article titled, The Mother of Dumb Ideas (Runner's World Philippines April-June, pp 38-39), you'd get what I'm saying. Lit has quite a few marys under his belt but preparing for one takes a lot of training and in his article, he writes, no laments, about him deciding to cram for a marathon as a sort of don't-try-this-at-home caveat to runners.

It was the Condura Marathon no less. The Skyway, that sinuous piece of concrete and metal with, apparently, killer uphills. Anyway, he survived, albeit sans a more than welcome slice of cheesecake or bar of Snickers, and he got to bring home a mala-platitong finisher's medal to show off.

So. I recently joined PRC or Pex Running Club, a group that calls a highly (in)famous internet forum pinoyexchange.com home. And. I caught on with the pack's excitement and ended up registering 5k for Feet2Run.

I registered yesterday, May 4. The race is on May 13.

I just started running regularly last March. The farthest I ever ran was 6.6k and I didn't even bother to time myself, needless to say it was not in an actual run (what do you call it? race, run, fun run? grrr). The last run I joined was last year at the Rexona Run 2012 and that was only because we were part of the organizers. I ran 3k and don't event think what time I got. To top it all off, I just recovered from a slight top of foot pain.

Nevertheless. Feet2Run sounds very irresistible to me. Yes more so than a Magnum, ladies and gents. For one, at the end of the run, finishers will be given a pair of tsinelas (huaraches? haha) to hand out to a barefoot street child on a line. As a newbie barefoot runner, HOW COOL IS THAT? That will rip my heart up to shreds. Let us also not forget to mention that for 500pesos registration fee, you get a dri-fit shirt, a B&D race belt and a raffle coupon.

Ok, there is no backing out of this. Like Lit Onrubia, I have decided to write up my objective, goal, and plans A and B:

The Objective: Run barefoot and get to hand out a tsinelas to a smiling barefoot street child at the end of the race.
The Goal: Finish the 5k at least within viewing distance of my PRC teammates' backs.
Plan A: Run 3 songs, walk 1 song. When I hit the wall, run 1 song, walk 1 song. (Sorry, I can't count in minutes or seconds. Mathematically-challenged runner here!)
Plan B: Like Lit, I would just like to get one foot in front of the other. Keep hustling, keep shuffling. Pretend I'm a runner til I actually become one.

5k 7-day Crammathon Training Plan:
7 days before race (TODAY!): run 10k on Heartbreak Hill
6 days before race: swim 1k, run 5k
5 days before race: run 10k on Heartbreak Hill
4 days before race: swim 1k, run 5k
3 days before: race: run 5k on Heartbreak Hill or if I'm lucky, run barefoot within Camp Crame (actual venue)
2 days before: swim 2k
1 day before race: REST!

I will let you know if I survive my training plan and the race.

For now, I will get some shut-eye.

Damn you Lit Onrubia. :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Going back to my first love: Swimming!

If you've read my previous post, you'll know that I'm down with extensor tendonitis. It's my fourth day today of not running and reading the new April-June issue of Runner's World magazine (though it has precious bits about resting and weight loss) has made me want to hit the road and run.

But, I don't want to worsen my injury so I tied myself to the bed with psychic chains and for two days I kept my left feet in relative peace.

But I skimped on resting last Sunday and went into a search frenzy for nearby public swimming pools and got the list below:


Facility NameAddressTypeRatesSchedule
Pasay City Sports
Center
Derham St., corner F.B. Harrison Pasay
City.

Tel. No. 831-4792
Indoor pool, 25m.
Free use of locker, just bring your
padlock.
Pasay Resident
Php 40.00/head Adult 
Php 25.00/head – Children

Php 32.00/head – Senoir Citizen
Non-Pasay Resident
Php 50.00/head – Adult 

Php 35.00/head – Children
Closes 4:30pm
YWCA Manila1144 Gen Luna St cor UN Ave, Ermita

Tel 58-78-49, 59-76-36, 59-69-78
50x20m, 4-9ftPhp 100.00Mon-Sun 8:00am-7:00pm
Makati Aqua Sports
Arena
beside Makati Park and Garden along
J.P. Rizal Extension, West Rembo, Makati City.

Tel. 728-0381 to 83
Olympic Size. 8 lanes.
with locker (10Pesos). 
For Makati Residents: 50PHP
For Non-Makati Residents: 150PHP
Tuesdays to Sundays, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.,
with an hour’s lunch break at 12 noon.
Pope Pius XII Catholic
Center
1175 UN Avenue , Ermita , Manila
Tel 57-38-06, 59-04-84
50x20m, 4-12ft;Php 50 for members
Php 80 for non-members
Tue-Sun 8:30am-11:30am
1:30pm-4:30pm
Camp Aguinaldo9116001 loc 85024 lanes
25 meter
Php 50 for non-members
open 6am-9pm
Dapitan Sports CenterDapitan St, Sampaloc
Tel 741-23-98
25x15m, 4-6ftMon-Sun 9:00-18:00
Rizal Memorial Sports
Complex
Vito Cruz, Malate

Tel. No. 525 2171
50m x 20m, 4f – 8f depth, outdoorsTue-Fri: Php 40.00
Sat-Sun: Php 55.00
Tuesday – Sunday 8:30 A.M. – 11:30
A.M. and 1:30 P.M. – 4:30 P.M.

The pool is closed on Mondays
ULTRA/Philippine Sports
Commission Pool
Augustin 1 Building ,Meralco Avenue
Pasig

Tel. 635-0102
50m x 20m, 10 lanes, 4f – 8f depth,
outdoors
Php 43.00Except for holidays and special events,
hours are 8 A.M. – 4:30 P.M. Tuesday through Sunday, with a break from
noon to 1 P.M.

Ateneo UniversityDiliman, Quezon City
Tel. No. 4266001
25m x 15m, 3½f – 5f depth, outdoorsPhp 40.009 – 11:30 A.M., 1:30 – 4 P.M. and 4
– 6:30 P.M

The pool is open to the public on weekends
only
Amoranto Sports ComplexRoces Avenue , Quezon City
Tel. No. (02) 374-25-24 or 374-25-86
or 374-25-87 or 374-25-93
50m, 8 lanes, outdoor
Php 50.009:00am-8:00pm
The pool is closed Mondays for cleaning.
Marikina Sports ParkSumulong Highway corner McDonald's
Avenue , Marikina City

Tel. Nos (02) 646-1635
50m x 25m, 9 lanes, 4f – 5f depth,
indoor/outdoor
Php 40.008 – 11:30 A.M. and 1 – 4:30 P.M. daily,
except for Mondays
Century Park Hotel599 P. Ocampo St. , Malate , Manila
Tel. Nos. (02) 528-8888 (main line)
or 528-2424 (swimming facilities).
25m x 9m, 3 lanes, competition striped,
outdoors, heated
PHP 400, includes towel and locker
The Peninsula ManilaCorner of Ayala and Makati Avenues
, Makati

Tel. Nos. (02) 810 3456 or 812 3456.
Reservations: (800) 323-7500.
23m x 9.5m, rectangular, outdoors,
unheated
Php 500.00
Southeastern College
Junior Olympic Swimming Pool
College Road , Taft Avenue , Pasay
City

Tel. Nos. 8318484 or 5515693 or 8345052
25y, 4 lanes, outdoorsPhp 75.00
YMCA MakatiSacred Heart Plaza, San Antonio Village,
1203 Makati City

Tel: +63-2-899-6380, 6381, 6382, 6101,
6103, 6105
Php. 80.00


Marikina Sports Park Swimming Pool
Marikina Sports Park Swimming Pool


I chose Marikina Sports Park because I've been there before and it was clean and most importantly, they have night swimming on summer. 6 to 9pm for 60 pesos. Lockers for 10pesos but you have to bring your own lock.

Swimming is the best cross training and therapy for injured runners. And you bet that my injury was the best excuse for me to replace my runs with swims especially in the overactive sun seemingly wanting to barbecue us all mortals to a burnt crisp.

So until I can run, meaning no more pain in my left foot, I will have to burn my calories and build my muscles in the pool. Totally not complaining.



Here's my sort-of training:

1. Flutter kicks alternate with front crawl stroke, 6 laps
2. Underwater 100 ups, 5 reps
2. Front crawl, 12 laps
3. Breast stroke, 4 laps
4. a lot of underwater yoga poses to stretch out my legs and arms

I used the 25m width since there was too much traffic if I try to cross the 50m length. Whew. There are a lot of serious swimmers in that pool.

I am quite surprised that running has actually dramatically improved my swimming form and endurance. The last time I ever did laps was back in February when I haven't gone back to running and it was terrible. I was out of breath all the time. So last Sunday, I was able to dive and hold my breath for 12m. Hee, happy kid. Plus, did you see that training log above? Couple of months back I wouldn't, even if my dinner depended on it, do all those laps in one training day.

So, on days that you can't run like the Tarahumara because you did not heed everyone who has been telling you to slow down, you can always hit the pool.