December 24, 2008

A Christmas Wish

Let's light our way this holidays and the coming year ahead. 
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

December 13, 2008

Three Thirty Six Forty One

First the story
Second the countdown.
Third the race.
Now, the results.

The series of my Milo Marathon story for 2008 will culminate in this way. It started by out running the sub 4:00:00 clock during the eliminations thus giving the opportunity to run with the elites. Next the countdown began by having the feast with friends and qualifiers for the finals. Then the race itself showcasing the best effort molded from rigorous training. Outpacing the time to achieve a better finish, be proud of the accomplishment and took the dream of having three medals from three full marathons. And the verdict:

I am satisfied with the outcome of my race, a feat I will cherish for long. I am happy that my effort and perseverance paid off. I did my race fair and square. I did not cheat to gain this rank. I can walk with my head up.

pics with this year's champions

December 12, 2008

The Nike Warehouse Sale

I received an invite from Nike Phils. regarding their warehouse sale for the year. It is located at the Agility Center, a logistics hub at Paranaque City. Since I'm a fan of nike aparrels, we went there to shop and buy gifts for the coming christmas and to find something as my reward for finishing the Milo Marathon Finals. Upon reaching the site, long queue of people waiting for the opening of the sale greeted us. After about 30mins of waiting in line we were instructed to enter the premises and were given each a number id and a huge plastic bag, as big as a sack of rice as if anyone can fill it to the fullest.

The items here are of good take since nike is giving off up to 70% discount from their regular price. I met newbie runners, having fun buying their own running apparels. On the first day, new models are sold already, from the limitless, frees, vomeros, air spans and shox running shoes to basketball, training and casual shoes. Everything here is exciting and is worth the visit, we managed to get a 50% discount of all we bought. Panalo!

Beforehand be sure to take your meal upon entering since no meals are allowed inside and long queue at the counters will be encountered. Go to the site as early as 10am so you could be at the line early. This sale is reminiscent of the nike sales before, wherein flock of people are rubbing elbows with each other just to have their big savings. We're not a true blooded pinoy if we pass on this once every year sale.

queue of people waiting to get inside

December 9, 2008

The Yakult 10-Miler : A Different Story

It's quite odd-looking to see your buddies run as you watch them from the sideline. This was my role during the Yakult 10-Miler run last sunday at the CCP, a spectator. Being on the structured recovery mode after running the Milo Marathon Finals a week ago, I did not join the race. It is on my running agenda not to run for two weeks after my full. In lieu of this I decided to bring my camera instead to document the event and feel as if I am inside running too. But what came out was a different story, a story towards a dream.

It's a little under two weeks after I registered X'ty at RACE events for this race. She was contemplating a month ago if she will increase her mileage by joining the Milo 10K and subsequently the Yakult 10-Miler. She was motivated and eager, so last sunday she ran her first 10-mile race.

Before this she had completed seven 10K races. She trained for weeks at the Amoranto Sports Complex running in circles for 10K distances. I was a little apprehensive because I cannot run with her alltroughout the race, but she insisted that she could do it, even on her own. I believe in her. She had ran so many races on her own, from the roads of Subic and Clark to the mountains of Timberland, and she outdid all of these. From day one of my running adventures, it was she who motivated me. After staying behind the finish line for so many times of my races, she decide to run too and that was the beginning of her journey. We embraced the sport and dedicated ourselves into it. We developed the passion by running and setting goals together. It was not a difficult decision because my trust and support is with her.

After 1:41:36 clocking, she completed her first 10-miler, a feat she will treasure for long. With pride and honor she sets her eyes on the full.

December 1, 2008

Race For The Third: The Milo Marathon Finals

Dorothy: luck comes in threes
Jinoe: 3rd medal on the wall, 3-peat
Taki: bag the gold, 3 marathons in a year
Wayne: three times is a charm, enjoy the experience
Bards: race hard, have fun, finish fierce
Dindo: make us proud
Rico: savor every kilometer of this opportunity

These were the words echoing in my mind as I run the National Milo Marathon Finals, 32nd Edition. 

There were about 300 qualifiers and guests who participated in this 42km full marathon run of the longest-running foot race event in the country that started in kilometer zero at Luneta through an out and back course finishing at the Quirino Grandstand. The weather is fine as I left home but just like the milo way we were treated to a drizzle as I reached the venue, thankfully it did not develop to a downpour. I arrived as early as 3:30am and people are still at a minimum. We waited for a while and reviewed my plan during this race and have a chat with fellow runners. I went to warm-up, stretching and jogging around when I met Baldrunner jogging through the assembly area. I didn't know that the HCs were already at the corners of Kalaw St. and Roxas Blvd. then. 

After a while the runners arrived and we were called inside the assembly area, it was 4:00am. Inside the starting line I met fellow runners and guests and have a brief chat and photo-ops as we waited for the start. Suddenly the shot was fired and off we went. In the same Biscocho trademark, the race started 3mins before 4:30am, and the runners scamper ahead to assume pole position. These are qualifiers, so are they elites. I stayed behind and met Jonel and the group before Kalaw St. After hi's and hello's we went on our own, Philip and Jerry leading the pack, behind us were the group of Jonel, Jay, Joe, George, Nico and Lester. Slightly ahead of us was Sir Jovie. He had a good start that brought him the bacon, a new PR. Everybody set a new record. 

I stayed to a relax easy pace with my friend Rod as we paced each other savoring every kilometer of this opportunity. I have been running alone mostly all of my long distance runs, its just lately that I realized that its good to run with someone and exchange stories along the way. After two kilometers, at the foot of Buendia flyover, we made a move and left the HCs behind. We maintained this pace althroughout as we exited Kalayaan flyover, pounding on the course and having fun as we aim for the gold. Stride after stride, Rod and I realized that we are setting a new PR with this run, as we are having negative splits and we are running at a pace better than our eliminations run.

As we approached Paseo de Roxas, I increased my pace leaving Rod just behind. After a few blocks I told him I'll make a move and he politely told me to go ahead uttering he will maintain his pace, maybe he's spent. I went my own taking over runner after runner until I crossed South Super-hiway. Ahead was a billboard with a "huge" message. With my eyes looking at the horizon, right hand raised up high with my index finger pointing straight up, I talked to Him. With my body weakened, I gained strength as if somebody is pushing me. I was inspired as if someone is telling me to run strong. Amidst the cheers of jolly people, I continued my stride. With a few kilometers left, I gave my all and spend my reserves, this time increasing my pace even more. Race hard, finish fierce as I recall what Bards says.

I prepared for this race for I want to accomplish something to close out my 2008 running year. I had ran a total of 1,563.40km before this event for this year, including two full marathons, four half marathons and lot of short-distance races. I met tons of friends inside and outside of running. I trained hard, run hard, and woke-up early in the morning just to run. I just love to run. I wanted to be proud of my effort so that many would be inspired too. I will still be running and continue what I had started.

After reaching Roxas Boulevard, I felt a sigh of relief. Malapit na. Staring frequently at my watch I knew I could make it in time. I enjoyed the scenery and the road full of green-clad people to relax my weary body, Milo, I'm on my way back. Running alone I made it to kilometer zero, 300 meters to Quirino grandstand, people cheering and runners greeting. Here my enthusiasm gained more as I saw the finish line and the clock dangling atop. Leaving exhaustion behind I dashed to the end finishing intense and strong. Its true luck comes in threes as I stared at the clock and crossed the tape. I finished my Milo Marathon Finals. All the fatigue were out as I exited the chute proud. I raced my hands jubilant. This is for everyone. Thank you for the inspiration. I conquered my third as another Milo Marathon story unfolds.

triumph & jubilation

three peat

with Christy

with Rod

with Andrew & Willie

November 28, 2008

Three days to Milo Marathon Finals

Your name is on the list, you are cordially invited.

What: Carbo-loading
Where: Club North Greenhills, San Juan City
When: November 27, 2008 at 4:30pm

This would be my second pasta party in eight months. This is the start wherein I should concentrate on eating carbohydrate-rich foods such as pasta, bread, fruit, low-fat milk and sports drinks. It's the carbs, after all, not fat or protein, that will fuel me on race day. One rule here is that what's important is increasing the percentage of my calories that come from carbs, not simply eating more of everything. Since I'll be tapering and expending fewer calories, I don't have to consume a great deal more food than usual.

After registration, the organizer gave me my assigned race packet number and my over-all singlet. Every qualifier here is given a singlet and a running short as what runners called "overalls". Surprisingly, all men are categorized to sizes medium to extra large, only females were allowed small sizes, and I'm expecting that medium size would be too big for me. Maybe the organizers did not realized that runners are all lean-framed especially those who run at a sub-4:00 hour marathon. Buti na lang, the small size was neither, I have the privilege to wear my designated wear for this race. Pero sayang, I intended sana to use the qualifier's singlet for the race because I did not have it during my last years of running this event as I was only at the 5 and 10k events. 

the venue

The program started with a short prayer followed by the singing of the national anthem. As the speakers were introduced, I was awed by a man who claimed that he had ran a whooping 610 marathons. Whaaaat! This guy's amazing. And this Milo Finals will be his 611th. He is Andy Kotulski. I can't believe I met this man in person. I'd like to know more about Mr. Kotulski as I searched for his profile after getting home and found out this story.

with Mr. Andy Kotulski

The lecture was given by Mr. Jim Saret, MSAT as guest speaker. He is the president of the Scientific Sports & Fitness Council and currently the strength and conditioning coach of the Rain or Shine Elastomasters team at the PBA. Additionally, he travels to US every now and then to attend trainings and conduct coaching sessions with US athletes. His lecture goes with this:

How to carbo-load?
1. Decrease carbo 7 days before the race.
2. Decrease training 3-4 days before the race.
3. High carbo diet 3 days before the race.

Pre-marathon meal.
1. Eat a high carbo meal 2-3 hours before the race.
2. Eat a carbo snack at least 30 mins before the race.
3. Drink hydrite/electrolyte drink. Eat bananas.

Tips during the marathon.
1. Sip water if you are not thirsty.
2. Drink hydrite to prevent cramping.
3. Maintain your own calculated pace.
4. Find a pace-mate.

After the lectures, we were treated to the sumptuous buffet of high-carbo foods. Just like the filipino way, we were lined up as we take our parts. Queue of runners dashed onto the buffet table. The food was great and excellent, runners were treated to a full meal. Everybody went home satisfied. After the meal, chats and photo-ops with fellow runners and the organizers, its time to call it a day. I headed home pleased and ready for my "full".

a platter full (eat all you can style)

Milo Marathon Finals qualifiers

with Mr. Rudy Biscocho

with friends from ARC

with fellow runners from Laoag

the site at night

November 19, 2008

My Milo Marathon story

The finals of the Milo Marathon is fast approaching. With about 10 days to go, all qualifiers from both provincial and manila legs will converge at the "kalabaw" to run this event. What makes it truly anticipated is that all the elite runners of the country will vie for the highest awards.

This run is three years in the making for me. I joined the 2006 edition running the 5k and the 2007 edition by donning the 10k. This is all I could get the past two years.

The Metro Manila eliminations last August, 2008 gave me a challenge by joining in the 42k event. After running the Pasig Heritage Marathon in February, 2008 I look for this as my next full. I intended to run just two fulls this year and it was the best time to run the second because it was six months in between. But, surprisingly, I finished inside the qualifying time. And the reward for that was I'm qualified to run the finals. I'll have my third. So be it; on November 30 at 4:30am I'll be running with the elites.

Read my story here.

I had mine, you must have yours.

going for number 3

November 17, 2008

NB power pace

After a year running the NB powerrace 07, here I am again joining the next edition. All roads lead to clark on this sunday morning. Every runner is head-on to experience a one of a kind route outside the metropolis. This is a repeat of the beautiful and scenic route that treated runners to a smog-free, well-paved and tree-lined roads in clark. As expected countless runners and friends journeyed to clark to join and enjoy this event.

Day 1:
It was the kids and 5k participants who ran before the setting of the sun. Christy had her fantastic run and finished 4th overall amongst the distaff side. She's really a runner. Most of our friends joined the 5k run and I was fortunate to be a spectator this time (feeling relaxed though). I met Ibanrunner, Bards, Janine and Dennis with his group and had a brief chat with them.

with Christy, Dino & Marlene

Christy on the run

Ryan, Christy, Dino & two friends

Day 2:
I finished a disappointing time last year on this event and I vowed that I set a new mark for this run. But since I'm in preparation for the Milo 42K in two weeks time, I decided to run in my easy long distance pace, keeping in mind that I should still finish in a decent time. No race, just pace.

Before the race I had a brief chat with Doc Tommy of the Fairview Runners and few of my running buddies. I also had a chance to meet Rene of Runnex, a member of forum. It was with Runnex where I started my training and serious running. It was drizzling and a bit cold and I'm feeling that this would be a good moment for a PR. But not to; stick to your plan.

with Jun, Doc Art & Ritchie

with Wayne, Jinoe, Rene & Ritchie

As I entered the chute, fellow running bloggers were in. I had the opportunity to meet Jaymie and introduced myself. I met also Drew & Javy inside before the start. I was having my pre race stretches at the rear when I heard the sound signaling the start of the race.

I ran with Jay (Prometheus Cometh) at the initial stage until he sped-up, maybe he's on a mission. I was left running with Dindo, Wilbert, Jaymie and co. We ran and chat at a pretty comfortable pace for about 2Km. After 10 mins of running to what Dindo & Wilbert described as a warm-up mode, I made my move ahead of them and caught up with Jay. Pace don't race as the ghost in me reminded me of. I stuck with Jay's pace and ran along with him until the turn around. Jonel joined us and we ran altogether as we exchanged stories and leads. After the turn around we increased our pace and ran the sloping terrain until I went ahead of Jay. Pushing ahead I intended to draft him, but maybe he's on a reserve mode for the latter part of the course. The latter portion of the route is where the dreaded ruins are, a series of uphill and downhill passage. This was the portion where I took my walk of fame (shame) last year. I've had a bad beating then.

I ran by myself for the remainder of the route and finished the race in 2:14:37. I did my plan and outdid my previous time. Today, it's not how fast I finished the race, but how strong I did. I crossed the line satisfied and proud.

at the finish line

with the medallists, Dindo, RJ, Jay, Wilbert, JunC & Jaymie

with RJ, Wilbert, Bards & Dindo

with Jon, the Ultramarathoner

November 14, 2008

Cheetah girls

Talent is defined as a natural aptitude, caused by nature and not made by humankind. A personal gift or skill being with someone after birth. 

I am inspired to write about this women who not only took running as a sport but became winners. They aspire, they conquer, they achieve and they inspire. Winning competitions is a tough nut to crack, but they show their best to attain it. What make them win are because of their natural talent in running. Maybe someone have to had super training to beat winners, but someone with a talent can do it handily. Surely training can improve you, but talent will make you win. I run a lot but I don't win. I train a lot but I don't get podiums. Maybe I don't have the talent.

Here are women who run really fast. Here are women who run and win. Here are women I know are winners in their own right. They may not be singing, but they're running.

Jaymie - Adidas King of the Road

Nora - Adidas King of the Road
Dorothy - Champion Run 2

Helen - VSO Bahaginan

Michelle - every Race (a natural born winner)
and Christy - Red Cross & Exodus Run

November 10, 2008

VSO: a reason to run

After being a spectator at the recent Isuzu Shake, Rattle 'n Run, I made it to the VSO Race. This race is very much anticipated primarily because it is a runrio event. Secondly, it would be a semi long run for me on a sunday morning and I could add some speed session because it is a race. Moreover, many of the running bloggers are expecting this run, awaiting for the moment to meet with SFRunner. I was so excited so is my wife, Christy who will run the 5k event. With much excitement, I trained three times last week doing three speed sessions unmindful that I was already on the taper mode. I did my last long run at UPD the sunday before in preparation for the Milo Marathon Finals. The result; muscle pain on both my inner thighs. Additionally, lifting weight the week before add its toll on my upper body too. Gosh! Am I pushing myself beyond limits? Anyway I still have my Friday and Saturday rest.

So came race day. We headed early to FB and arrived at 4:45am. After our change-up I went for a warm up run to loosen my thighs. I'm still feeling uncomfortable at the moment. Good enough there was Rolly from ARC who ran with me. As we did our circles I saw PC, Jonel and JunC having their roundabout. Later I spotted and greet Bro. J. Soon afterwards, I saw Wilbert chatting with a group. I went to a halt and joined them and surprisingly met Wayne, Jinoe, Que and the RunningDiva and have had a photo opp. Shortly after I left and proceeded to the starting line and had my stretches. I met Taki and the BaldRunner before the run. Little I know that Taki and Wayne would pace each other. I intentionally positioned myself in front contemplating about my second reason, I will race. I promised myself that I will do my best here.

with Bro.J, Wayne, Roselle, Wilbert & Que

Soon after, the gun fired and off we go. I started a little slower than my 10K pace running all throughout the Heritage Park. I was feeling comfortable here, the breathing was easy and the timing was perfect. I kinda run a bit faster down hills. I love running here at Heritage, the path is clear and so quiet, mga patay kasi ang andito. As I was about to exit the park I slowed down at the water station, took my gel and drunk a couple of cups of water. It was then that I felt fatigue on my thighs, mabuti pa siguro di ako tumigil. I continued my run where my pacing went slower. As I slowed down, runners behind me begun their move and zoom passed ahead of me. I saw HighAltitude running high up and ForeignRunner too. These are speed runners. Thinking on my commitment I pushed myself. Shortly thereafter, I found again myself inching on HA and FR. Sorry guys, I made you as my gauge, pasensiya na po. Running back at McKinley I saw BaldRunner, running strong, IbanRunner, BugoBugo, running buddies JunM and Doc Art. After negotiating the dreaded McKinley Hills, I took my last reserve and ran strongly to the finish line. Sidestepping the "higads", I made it to the tape in 1:10:23. I did break my record from Mizuno by 6mins. Good run, good enough. At least my sacrifices paid off.

This was a great race. The result was overwhelming. I would like to congratulate runrio events; the management, the staff, the sponsors and all the runners. And also to photovendo, I hope I had great shots, Ben. We made it happen, we will make it happen again. 

After the race is the usual running bloggers rendezvous. Meeting with friends and exchanging hi's and hello's at the finish line. I Finally met for the first time Maclan (IbanRunner), Nora (The Golden Girl), Dorothy (Doralicious), Sir Jovie (The BaldRunner), Jerry (HighAltitude), Jinoe (Manokan Express), Wayne (SFRunner), Jay (PaulCalvin's), atbp. It was a great day indeed, its great meeting you guys. See you again on the road.

with IbanRunner

with RunningFatboy & Nora, The Golden Girl

with BaldRunner, Aldz & HighAltitude

with Jay, HighAltitude, RunningDATCom & Manokan Express

October 29, 2008

Running up north

I missed the Octoberun 08 last Sunday because of the recent road trip up north. We left Manila early Saturday morning and headed far north. After six provinces, we reached Ilocos Norte at 9:00pm. Laoag City. Just had a brief stroll around town with my family and immediately went to bed. Tomorrow is a Sunday and I should be running. As planned before, I will take my running with me wherever I go, so run I went that morning. I run towards the Marcos Stadium about 1km from our hotel and planned to do my intervals there but it was closed for renovation. Heading back, my feet brought me to the famous Laoag bridge, the entrance to the city. The view here is magnificent and there were about five joggers that I saw. The weather is good and the wind is cool. After running back and forth, I run back to the city and explore its clear streets. I saw number of people jogging maybe preparing for fun runs that the city is organizing. Good to know that running and fitness at our countryside is also flourishing.

After about 5km, I call it a day. I went back to the hotel, relaxed and prepared for another 100km journey up north. Another Sunday run. Virtually I had my Octoberun in faraway north.

the entrance of the Marcos Stadium
obviously fun runs are organized here

a thrilling view of the Laoag river

the famous arch gateway

a view from the hotel window

Laoag bridge with the river at the backdrop

a short run at Pagudpud in the afternoon