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7 Days To Register For Adidas KOTR

Monday, 25 June 2007  |  Race Announcements

I registered for Adidas King of the Road 10k yesterday morning! If you haven’t signed up yet, drop by the RACE booth at the Vasquez Madrigal Building in Annapolis Street—quick. There is no deadline for registration, but slots may be filled up if you wait till race day. (See my List of Races for more info)

Oooh, the bold red singlet alone makes me jump up with excitement. It’s the first singlet that actually fits me (finally!) and, even better, it is actually wearable in a race—so unlike all my other singlets that have been unofficially tagged “pambahay” (house clothes).

Adidas KOTR

Adidas KOTR Singlet

- More views of the singlet that everyone is going gaga over. Mine is not for sale. On second thought, it is. Bidding starts at P10,000. –

Enclosed in the race packet is the route map with the start and finish line at the Quirino Grandstand.  That’s reason number two why I’m all revved up for this race. All my other races were at The Fort. I think I can run the roads of Fort Bonifacio backwards already, blindfolded, with my shoelaces tied together while eating a peanut butter sandwich! Okay, if I pulled that stunt over there, I’d definitely end up in the city morgue…but seriously races in that area can get a bit predictable even for race-crazy runaholics like me.

Adidas KOTR Route Map

The only thing that’s making me a bit queasy about this race is the thought of my business trip the day before. I’m going on an 8-hour round-trip to and from Pangasinan on the 30th. Gulp. Will I be able to rest well during the long drive? Will I feel strong enough when I wake up early for the race? Or, most importantly, will I even wake up? I’ll know the answers to those questions soon enough.

See you at the Adidas King of The Road on July 1! Who’s coming?

Music on the Run

Friday, 22 June 2007  |  Gear + Gadgets

When the running gets tough, the tough listen to power music. The tunes you put into your ipod or mp3 player play a vital part in motivating you to run longer in training run, faster in a race, or simply keep you from hanging in the towel before you even break a sweat. Conversely, choosing the wrong songs (think “How Deep Is Your Love”) may make you fall in love with your fellow runner (make sure you’re running alongside one of the opposite sex then) but it may slow you down to a screeching halt long before you reach the 1km mark. So, people, take the time out to plan, prepare, edit, and re-edit your playlist before going on a run, moreso if it’s a serious race.

During my early days as a runner, all I had to carry my tunes was my hubby’s ipod video. Oh, I pity myself for what I used to put myself through. There were three tedious steps before a run: First, make sure ipod is firmly in place in its case. Second, grip ipod tightly with one hand (my husband’s parting words: “Care for it as you would my heart.”) Third, wrap it’s long cords thrice around my wrist. Now, if I needed to adjust the volume (which was almost every other song), I would have to go back to step one through three again, which would only be easy if I was doing all this with my feet up on a lazyboy at home—not running on a busy street! There was a time when I literally bumped a parked car while making the music louder! I repeat, I was the one who bumped a non-moving car, not the other way around.

So, on my birthday almost two months ago, I received a scintillating new blue ipod Shuffle with matching Marware arm/wristband from the hubby.

ipod Shuffle

- Meet my best friend during solo runs -

Had I received this during my pre-running days, I would’ve bartered the ipod for a small wacom tablet, but as you’ve seen how running has changed me, I accepted the gift with open arms—err ears. The ipod became my new best friend on solo runs egging me to run just a bit longer for the most frivolous reasons like “So you can hear the end of this song” or “So you can hear the next song” or “So you can hear even more songs.” Well, who cares if I was fooled by my ipod, at least I got the miles in.

Since I only use my ipod for running, I only loaded workout songs. For others, that would mean ear-piercing, sweat-inducing, heart-pumping beats that keep your blood pressure way above normal during the entire run. My definition of workout songs are those that keep me happy and energetic throughout the entire session. You can listen to a preview of my top favorites over here.

I’m all for little surprises during my runs, so instead of listening to a particular playlist, I keep the shuffle button on and enjoy bits of hed kandi music that pops up every so often to speed up my tempo. I also loaded a few tunes from Fitpod, which is great because it provides the beats per minute of the song to match your workout intensity. My entire shuffle is filled with power music except for two cool down songs: “Fix You” by Cold Play and “Indigo Daisies” by Desiree. Aaah, I’m feeling relaxed already.

So, what are you waiting for? Load up on workout music and get running. Oh, one last thing, please resist the urge to do a karaoke run (TBR definition: singing out loud while running). While it may be good for the lungs, it will definitely kill your social life in the running world.

Attack of the Sniffles

Tuesday, 19 June 2007  |  Bullish Insights

Here goes the SMS conversation I had with my coach this morning:

Me: Hi Coach, do you think I can run today if I have cough and colds?

Coach: Mam, no. Take lots of liquid, medicine, and rest. Pls advise when we can continue our run. Tnx and get well.

Me: Oh, I was hoping ud say otherwise cos I wanted to run alone later. Okay I’ll take your advise. I hope am better by tomorrow so we can run in Alabang.

My thoughts: Grrr…I shouldn’t have asked! I should’ve just run!

Sniff Sniff

Five minutes later…

Coach: Mam, sorry I mistook you for another mom who does recreational running. Anyway, if the cold and cough are bad, no running. If mild, just run for maintenance of fitness, light session will do.

Me: Yey! Okay! I’ll do an easy run on the treadmill later. I hope I’m feeling better tomorrow.

My thoughts: Maybe I should speed it up later and drain the virus out of my system through sweat? Would that work? I hate being sick. Sniff sniff.

My Running Schedule Gone Amuck

Monday, 18 June 2007  |  Bullish Insights

I recall my perfect running schedule from May till mid-June and—with Whitney Houston singing “Didn’t We Almost Have It All?” in the background—I plunge into a deep dark hole of melancholy and sorrow for all that was—and what could have been.

Perfect. That would be the only way to describe a schedule that flowed so smoothly into my daily itinerary that finding the time to run was effortless and uncomplicated. Early mornings were MY time. I would leave while the entire house (even the sun!) slept and I’d return before the hubby and kids awoke for breakfast. No one would even notice my absence (mind you, for a mother of two children below 6 that is a rare occasion!) I loved my running schedule with Coach B and Annie during the past summer:

Monday: Medium 5:30 am

Wednseday: Heavy 5:30 am

Friday: Light 5:30 am

Saturday: Super Heavy 5:30 am

But, as they say, all good things must come to an end. With the start of school, my entire sched has gone haywire. Goodbye to morning runs as Annie and I have to get our kids ready for school, while Coach B must attend to coaching duties in school.

Temporarily, I have settled with a new sched that keeps me running four times a week—three are solo runs while the fourth run is on Saturdays with Coach B and Annie.

So, last Saturday, Coach B and Annie met for the first time since school started, but this time at a new venue—Alabang Country Club.

Alabang Country Club

- Me with Annie and Coach B before our long run –

Coach B must have missed us during the entire week because he surprised us with a host of new drills that we practiced in the wide open field of the club. (Ooh, running on grass—loved it!) And, let me tell you, I missed our group so much that when Coach B asked me how long we were going to run, I blurted out 1 hour 10 minutes. Was I sure about that? Naaah! But what the hell, let’s go for it, I thought. And so we did.

12k all over Ayala Alabang with running buddies who keep you on your feet—literally. How else could I describe that morning? Perfect.

My Training Diary

Wednesday, 13 June 2007  |  Running + Triathlon

In running, or any other sport for that matter, a training diary can be an athlete’s best friend. Real friends don’t fool you; they don’t lie; and they encourage you to do the best you can. A training diary will do that and more for a runner. Provided of course that you religiously record important information about each run, your diary will allow you to track your progress (look Ma I can now run a 10k with ease!), motivate you to reach your goal, help you determine the cause of an injury, fatigue, or explain how in the hell you ran so fast on a particular training day.

What information do you put into your training diary? Below is a basic list I’ve made, but feel free to add (like “Who did I date the night before I broke my PR?”) or omit data as you wish:

  1. Date and Day
  2. Distance
  3. Time
  4. Calories
  5. Comments (e.g., weather, feelings—physical and emotional, new accesories used, etc.)
  6. Companions, if any
  7. Pulse
  8. Weight before the run
  9. Diet (You may opt to have a separate Food Diary, so you may simply note if you’ve been “Good” or “Bad”)
  10. Goals (i.e., lose 5 lbs., run a full marathon by December, zip up those tight jeans so I don’t have to wear my shirt untucked all the time)
  11. Training Program
  12. Races joined and your time

Now, what diary do you use? There are available books in the market that are designed as training diaries for runners. I saw this NYRR Road Runners Running & Fitness Log in A Different Bookstore, Bonifacio High Street last month. I was so tempted to buy it, but as you very well know, I am a frugal shopper so I decided otherwise.

NYRR Training Log

- New York Road Runners Running & Fitness Log 2007 by New York Road Runners (Available at A Different Bookstore and Amazon) -

There are a host of other running diaries available in Amazon, but I am unsure of their availability locally. You may ask your favorite bookstore to bring them in for you or for a kind soul to carry them home from the U.S. For now, just surf and drool…

2 Diaries

- LEFT: The Runner’s Training Diary: For Fitness Runners and Competitive Racers by Bob and Shelly-Lyn Florence Glover, Amazon. RIGHT: The Running Log by April Powers, Amazon -

If you’re a techie, my friend E-Rod recommends breakingthetape.com, an online diary for runners and other athletes. Google other online or PC/mac-based applications and you’ll discover several programs that can go beyond the role of a logbook. Some will provide you with high-tech looking charts and graphs that you’ll run the risk of turning into a analytical geek instead of an athletic runner.

And, still there are those lucky people who use the programs that came along with their Nike+, Polar, Garmin and any other HRM or sports accessory that will practically do everything for you. It won’t be long till I shall become one of them. It won’t be long. It won’t be long. It won’t be long. Hmmm…do you think chanting that over and over will help me get my Polar sooner?

As for my own training diary, the creative and resourceful side of me popped up once again to save the day. I got myself a simple orange notebook (King Jim because it has tiny lines at the top and bottom to guide alignment of columns) and plotted my way through a personalized logbook.

During the early days of my running, when I was just working my way up to running a full 30 minutes through the RW Beginners’ Program, this is how my journal looked:

My Diary - Old

In hindsight, the layout is simply confusing and crowded. Just looking at the five pages I have of that layout gets me more exhausted than all the runs I recorded on them.

So, I recently changed the layout into this simple grid pattern which I tap myself on the back for everytime I leaf through it. (No, I am not self-absorbed, I just like boosting my own confidence every now and then.) Just one look and I can determine how my training program is going and where adjustments should be made.

Training Diary - new

At this instant, I find it glaringly obvious—and perhaps you do too—that I should cross-train on Tuesdays and Thursdays…if only to make use of the wasted paper space on the right.