Monday, June 28

Taking the next step in this love affair

When I first met her, I didn't even know if we were meant to be. I still gave it a try though. We usually meet every morning at the same place, at the same time. But, as time grew more of a constraint, we would have to make do with spontaneous moments we could find. Still, we made it work. Through thick and thin we were together, and that is what I believe has kept us going. Everyday she pushes me to work harder and I'm thankful for that. I have become a better man because of it.

Marking today, it has been a total of ten months since we've been together and  I believe I am ready. I'm ready to give it to her and take our relationship to the next step. I know this won't be a mistake and I'm ready to take all the sacrifices to make this happen. Oh Runi I'm ready to do it. 

I'm ready to run my first Marathon

But, just like the movies I want it to be special. I want it to be in a scenic route where I can always look back at and say, I ran that! I want memories of experiences through out the run to be embedded in my brain. I want it to be purely magical. 

I'm not in that much of a hurry. But I need to know which marathon I will be joining next year so that I can make preparations. As of now, I'm internally debating between two events. These are Condura 2011 and the The Bull Runner Dream Marathon. If I could I would join both, but I need to set realistic goals. They both have good things to offer and I don't know which one to choose. Here are my thoughts on each one:

Condura 2011
  • its the skyway! Come on!! Need I say more? 
  • the event is to die for, my first 10k was here and they had the best pre-race opening ever
  • the organizer Mr. Concepcion aka Running Shield is a runner himself, so I'm pretty sure most of the things runners have problems with are covered
  • again, its the SKYWAY!!!!
The Bull Runner Dream Marathon
  • I heard the dreamers here were pampered, really pampered!
  • I saw that they had great support and also there were seminars on attacking your first marathon
  • My turn off for this one is the route, it isn't as great
I actually don't have the full details on each one but I would really love to get your ideas and feedbacks on which would be the best event to have your first marathon in.

Please vote using the polls that I have attached or if you have other suggestions of better races, please do feel free to leave your comments. Thanks! =)
Disclaimer: Runi is a non-realistic, fictional character and I am not dating anyone. So yes girls, please do leave your cell-numbers at the comment box bellow. Thank you. =)

Monday, June 21

Down and Dirty at the New Balance Trail Run

I remember celebrating Valentine's day here at Nuvali earlier this year, and here I was back again on Father's day running the trails once more. 

This would be my second time doing a trail run and I have never been more excited. The idea of running through a forest of trees, methodically maneuvering through slippery rocks, and of course running through a river is my kind of FUN.

Coming into the race, I was very eager to get it started. I think I was excited being back with nature again. It's very different running the trails. The pavement is softer, the air is cleaner, the environment cooler, it kinda makes me think why we don't run here more often? 

While warming up I noticed a few personalities in the crowd. One of them was the "afro man" himself (although I think he's been trimming it lately, not as poofy as it used to be) coach Rio, there were also a few kenyans who go into it (kenyans on trail runs too?? Wuhow!) and of course the ANR Alabang peeps. 

As the race started, we were shocked cause all of us were facing north when the race route was actually to the south! It was the funniest thing ever since people started running one way and we were in awe that it was starting already.

The route we had was a very enjoyable one to say the least. It was filled with dirt tracks, steep descents, river crossings, and grass lands. If trail was what you wanted, trail is what you get! I even slipped on the descent to the river, but none the less I made sure I slipped in the "coolest" way possible. "Para astig parin, diba?" lol

Overall I would say that the experience of this race was a big 5/5. But in terms of event management I felt that a few other things should have been taken cared of:

  • colder post race refreshments
  • at least one more water station (they only had 2 all through out the 15km route)
  • lack of ample size of finisher shirts
But hey why let that ruin your day right? I was still all good vibes after the race cause the endorphins kept kicking my brain cells into overdrive. So thanks again to New Balance and Nuvali for providing us with such a great event!

Oh and here's a shout to all the gaurds and race marshals through out the trail, the nicest people I have ever met! Almost everyone of them greets you a gooooood morning!!

Wednesday, June 16

A breath of inspiration, the Animo Sprint Triathlon

My eyes blew open as we entered the De La Salle Santiago Zobel swimming area last Sunday. Maybe it was just me, but I never saw a pool this wide and big, added to the fact that there were a lot of tri-athletes doing warm ups, my heart just blew open with excitement (which eventually led me to forget I was hungry).

I was here in the event with my brother and a couple of friends from ANR Alabang to act as support for sir John. We even had a banner for him and all!

As the race started I couldn't help but watch the athletes like a preying vulture, looking and dissecting each movement in search for techniques they had in their arsenal. The first part was the swimming leg. I enjoyed this portion the most, not only because this is the discipline I'm working on now; but since this is the only part of the race you can see from start to finish.

There was one athlete that day at the 40 and above age group who's swimming speed amazed me! From the start of the whistle you see him zoom past his competition. At the end of lane 1 he must have already opened up about a 25 meter gap and it just kept growing from there. Man was he fast! I didn't get his time but when he finished, I ran out with him to the transition area where he was getting ready to get on his bike. I was so glued on to him I felt like a stalker. lol
Over at the transition area, it was a heavenly sight. So many tri-bikes, road bikes, and a few mountain bikes shinning (at least in my eyes) under the sun. Oh the beauty, haaay.. 

I even saw my dream bike that day!

It's the Argon E-114. 
(I hear angel's singing every time I see it)


Back on planet earth, the race was still going on and the bikers started the second leg of the race. We couldn't watch this part of the race so we hung around the finish line instead and snacked on the free hot dogs! (I'm sorry, I forgot the name of the company that sponsored them)

After a couple of hot dogs, well actually 5 hot dogs, the bikers started pouring in. And it was at this time that I learned the best way to stop a tri-athlete on his tracks. Here's the secret, you stand in front of him, bend your legs a little bit, raise up your arms in front of him and say:



I promise you, it works every time! lol 

After dismounting, it was the last leg. RUN RUN RUN RUN!! Although I didn't really get to watch this part anymore cause my body finally realized that it needed to sleep. I was already looming into the dark side of my head and finally I was on auto-pilot. In my last fight to stay up, I realized that sir John was coming and spirits finally came back up. We were on full cheer mode as he made his way to the finish line.

Overall I really enjoyed this triathlon event. It opened my eyes to the things that need to be done to achieve feats like what these people did that day. 

Some people call runners crazy for running such long distances, what are tri-athletes then? Lunatics? Well, if being a lunatic is what it takes, then lets get started! 

*A special thanks goes out to Ms. Nao and Ms. Samantha for the photos from the event =)

Monday, June 7

A Newbie helping out the Newbie

Questions, I think these are one of the things that we newbies have in common to the sport. Just like a four year old child, we are grasping all the concepts and ideas that running has to offer. Ideas that question everything ranging from shoes, running form, nutrition, and what not. I have been running for about 10 months and right about now, I would like to share some of my experiences so that they can be able to help out those who are just starting to get into the sport.

How do I start running?
You get out of your house and run! DOI! haha Kidding aside. The first step I believe is setting your mind right. Running is a very enjoyable sport, but I believe you should look to the future even before starting. A lot of people get caught up in what they call "Ningas Kugon" and this is what stops a jogger from becoming a runner. Running can be somewhat of a time and physically demanding sport, so you need something to hold on to while your out there. Imagine doing this three times a week every morning or after work, it can get pretty hard out there. So you need to have a deeper reason for this, cause if you will be running with no goals, it would be hard to see where you are going. 

Have a goal in mind, take a look at what you want to seek out. A few possible goals could be:
  • Run your first 5k race
  • Lose Weight
  • Quit Smoking
  • Do the Marathon in the future
  • Total Lifestyle Change
  • Look better than your EX haha
What ever your reason may be, make sure it is something you want to do. Your the one making the choice to run anyways so its best to find your own reason for all this.

Now its time to run!!!

Depending on your fitness level, you first have to create a base for running. When I started running, the idea of continously running for 15-20 minutes sounded like an eternity in which I would already be crawling by the end of it. What I suggest is getting down to the basics with walk/run intervals. It isn't as glamorous as the other runners in the track, but don't worry cause they too most likely started this way. 

Bellow I have put up a link on two different programs that are popularly used when starting out with your training.

The Couch-to-5K Running Plan                        Training for your first 5-K

If you want to start with something lighter, here is the most basic program I could find. I took it off Workouts should be done, three times a week.
Stage One

Takes you from ground zero to running 45 minutes using a one minute walk, 10 minute run program. 
WeekWalk MinutesRun MinutesRepetitionsTotal Minutes

Stage Two

Gradually weans you off walk breaks so you can comfortably run 60 minutes without stopping. 
WeekWalk MinutesRun MinutesRepetitionsTotal Minutes
7walk 1, run 40, walk 1, run 18 (total=60 minutes)
8walk 1, run 45, walk 1, run 13 (total=60 minutes)
9walk 1, run 50, walk 1, run 8 (total=60 minutes)
10run 60 minutes continuously!

What sort of gear do I need in running?
It's a little confusing and honestly quite tempting (especially if you've been bitten by the running bug) to go out and get all these different running gear being sold in the market today.

There is a wide range of choices like singlets, shorts, skins, caps, heart rate monitors, gps tracking watches, energy belts, shades, etc. WOW!! Ease up on there. Here is my general rule, if you can run without it and it doesn't affect your training efficiency in any way, think twice before buying it. 

Although, there is one gear you MUST get before running, these would be running shoes. I highly recommend on investing on running shoes before you start the sport. For one it will help motivate you to keep running, but the more important benefit here is how much more you will be able to enjoy and stay injury free through out the sport. Running can take its tole on your muscles and especially your knees. Having proper shoes for the sport can help lessen the chances of injury.

What sort of running shoes do I need?
Typically speaking there are three types of shoes. These are trail running shoes, your "normal" running shoe, and racing flats.

For simplicity sake I will focus on the "normal" running shoe in this entry. There are three sub types of shoes which are neutral, cushioning, and stability shoes. Which one you will be using will highly depend on what type of pronator you are. 

While we run, our feet land differently from each other and that causes us to have varying "needs" when it comes to running.

Neutral = Neutral Shoes

Overpronator = Motion Control or Stability Shoes

Underpronator = Cushioning Shoes

To find out which type you are, you will need to get your gait checked. There are two stores in the metro that can do that for you. These are RUNR and Second Wind. Here they well let you run on their treadmill, then a video analysis will help check the angle of your landing and from there they can easily advice you on what type of runner you are.

After knowing your gait, you can now browse that certain type of shoe and then buy your first pair of running shoes. YAY!!!!

What is the proper running form?
Now in this issue there is a lot of debate going on from Chi Running, Barefoot Running, and what not. So there is basically a mix of different running techniques right about now. Here though is a video that I found, which has the basics of each running style and which I believe is at least the fundamentals of running forms.

What should I be eating before my runs?
Most people, especially those who want to lose weight think that not eating before your run is the fastest way to lose that gut. That is actually a false myth which will leave you with adverse effects more than anything. Eating before any workout is a must (especially in the morning) since you will be expending energy. How can you finish your workouts if you have no energy to use? Pretty much makes sense right?

Next question is, what should we eat? Well after watching the seminar "The Science of Traithlon" I learned two things. 

1. We should be eating 200-300 calories two hours before working out. The food should generally be low in fiber since the fiber leads to that pain in our stomach while we exercise. In the last hour before our workout, it should only be water.

2. We should be eating high-glycemic food about 10 minutes before working out. Generally this would be "sugary" things so that it will help send a spike through out our body and give us an energy boost. 

What should I do if something begins to hurt in my body?
When something hurts, generally that means that a certain muscle is being overworked or it could be due to improper form. The medication I usually do for this is ice, stretch, and rest. What I like to do is visit the Runner's Body over at Runner's World and I try to find out what muscle hurts. From there I research on how to stretch and strengthen that certain muscle.

What sort of warm up should I do and what stretches?
I preach the warm up before stretching routine. I like to do dynamic stretches before a workout. Examples of these are doing lunges, squats, arm circles, push ups, or what not. These are all done with no weights. Why is that? Well, I remember reading how static stretching is used to relax our muscles and help it loosen its stiffness. It's kinda like the "off" button somehow in terms of our muscle. Doing the dynamics stretches on the other hand gets it ready to do more. The dynamic stretch is somehow the prequel to the main workout. So in short I do dynamic stretches at the start of the workout and static stretches at the end.

I hope I covered most of the questions you would have had. I am not saying that these are the right and only way of doing things but, this is what has worked for me and I hope they could help you too.