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Christmas on Halloween

Wednesday, 31 October 2007  |  Gear + Gadgets

On All Hallow’s Eve, Christmas is foremost on my mind. Why so? My Santa Claus (aka Husband) has delivered his special gifts for me in advance!

So, as I took the kids trick or treating this afternoon, I was eager to get home and play with my new Christmas loot:

( 1 ) GARMIN FORERUNNER 305. Yes, I am a proud owner of a Garmin! Can you believe it?! I feel like I won the lottery! Uh well, not really, because had I won the lottery, I would have a million Garmins in my hand. Or, I would’ve dressed a full-time personal running coach with a Garmin and hired him to train with me while an assistant spritzes my sweaty face with Evian and feeds me orange slices whenever I purse my lips. Okay, my point is I am ecstatic (ecstatic! aaah!) over the Garmin. I almost burst into tears when I held this new baby in my arms. I was dreaming about the Polar RS 200 for the longest time but after getting a consensus from veteran runners (most especially from Patrick C.), I decided that the Garmin was a better choice. Oh Garmin, I am in love!

Garmin

( 2 ) AMPHIPOD RUNLITE 4. Again, I was eyeing something else, the Nathan water bottle carrier, for months but after noting the better features of Ben‘s Amphipod (it’s customizeable—you can tip the bottles horizontally or vertically and you can choose the number of bottles to carry), I went for the Amphipod instead. I’m still not sure if I’ll be comfortable running with this belt around my waist, but I’m sure glad that I don’t have to carry water bottles when I start racing 21k’s.

Amphipod

How was your Halloween? I hope it was as “merry” as mine.

Adidas Run for Love – GK Bayani Marathon Report

Monday, 29 October 2007  |  Race Reports

This was undoubtedly an Adidas race. It was deja vu for me as little race details brought back memories of the Adidas KOTR—from the previously well-received red race singlets (only with a Run For Love stamp at the back) to the banners and streamers that lined the start/finish line. Perhaps the glaring difference was the significantly smaller number of participants who waited for the race to start. This was understandable though as this was not a “race” but a fun run for the benefit of Gawad Kalinga. Had I not seen other runners wearing their race bibs, I would’ve thought I mistakenly stumbled upon a fair as booths, a huge stage, and even a kiddie area was set up for the Gawad Kalinga expo.

GK Stage

Run For Love Start

I lined up at the starting line chatting with other Happy Feet members—Chai, Roselle, and Renz—and other new runner friends, Lala and Ina. Before we knew it, the run had started in an almost calm, happy send off. No firing of the gun to jolt our bodies and awaken the competitive spirit within us. Is that a good thing? I don’t know.

This was a run I strategized over the day before. My goal was 47 mins. (I wanted to break my 46:57 PR at Run To Bring Hope, which technically should be around 48-49 mins since distance was below 10k.) So, to achieve this, I needed to reach an average pace of 4:42. Of course, I planned on negative splits so I was aiming for a pace between 5 to 5:30 in the first 2km, then up it to 4:50 km (a pace I knew I would be comfortable in) and speed up to 4:40 near the end. Being a newbie with competitive racing, I wasn’t sure if this was the right thing to do or if this would really allow me to break my PR, but it sounded like a good plan (hah!) so that’s what I kept in mind as I ran through the course.

I started out slow trying my best not to compete with the faster paced runners around. My legs were a little bit stiff so I didn’t have much choice anyway. By around 2km, as I found my rhythm, I increased the pace and started enjoying the run. I focused on my form applying lessons from my recent training with Ige Lopez and even a few tips from Jujet de Asis during last Thursday’s Mizuno Run Club. Boy, did their tips make a significant difference! I felt stronger and more confident. I was pretty sure I could follow through with my strategy for this race.

As I passed the 5km mark, I checked my watch to find my time at 25 mins. so I knew I had to go a little bit faster to reach my goal. Then, a race personnel shouted out at me “Pangatlo ka!” (You’re third!) which hit me like a much-needed shot of adrenaline. Inspired, I pushed harder with a smile since this was the first time I had ever gone this close to the front.

Okay, inspiration could only get me so far. By 7-8km, I was feeling exhausted. I was definitely running at a 5:00 pace below my 4:45 goal. So much for negative splits! All I could think of by this time was the end. I would be happy to just maintain this pace. Hang on, I thought. Just a little bit more now.

Boy, was I wrong. At 10km, I was surprised to find myself still running. As I ran closer to what I thought was the finish line, I was shocked to discover that we had to run past it and make a u-turn to reach it. Nooooooo! I didn’t know how much more energy I had left in me to maintain my pace.

I glanced at the man beside me and was surprised to see a familiar face; it was the same guy at Adidas KOTR who, at the finish line, shook my hand and said he was chasing me down because he would not let a woman ran past him. I then replied in spite (but with a charming smile) “Well, I would not let a man ran past me either.” Hah!

In between breaths, I told him in tagalog “Hey, it’s you again. This is such a long race.” He replied, without giving in to my negativity, “Tapusin mo! Tapusin mo!” with as much gusto as Freddy Roach coaching Manny Pacquiao. I gathered the little energy I had left to put more power into my legs and pick up the pace. I crossed the finish line at exactly 55 minutes. The distance was 11.2 km.

Run For Love Finish Line

- Runners line up at the finish –

I asked the race person what place I came in at and he said he didn’t know. Duh. I didn’t recall any female passing me after the 5km mark, so I could only surmise I kept my place at 3rd. Of course, it’s nothing official until the results are released. This was a fun run, so there were no awards at the end. We all just parted ways in peace after a gruelling (but absolutely fun) run.

At exactly 10km, my time would have been around 49 mins. Placing in a suspected 3rd was just a bonus. I didn’t break my PR, but I’m still happy with my time. I gave it a good fight and that is something to smile about.

Run For Love Happy Feet

– with Happy Feet -

Adidas Run for Love – GK Bayani Marathon

Friday, 26 October 2007  |  Race Reports

Last call to those who would want to join the Run For Love Marathon on October 27, 2007, Saturday (tomorrow) at SM Mall of Asia grounds. Registration has been extended! (If you’re itching for another Adidas KOTR singlet, this is your chance to get one. It’s the same singlet with Run For Love printed at the back.)

Registration through Ms. Thelma Biscocho, G/F Vasquez Madrigal Building, Greenhills, San Juan will be open until October 26, Friday, in the afternoon.

On site registration will close by 5:30am (October 27, Saturday).

See you there!

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Early this year, leading sports brand Adidas called on all running enthusiasts to gear up for their run and to go the distance— to experience the sheer pleasure of challenging themselves. Apart from the Test Run 28 promo, where individuals were matched with the right Adidas running shoe, Adidas has also launched the King of The Road (KOTR) marathon series to encourage people to keep running.

Now with the first ever Adidas Run for Love GK Bayani Marathon, Adidas once again invites all runners to hit the pavement but this time to exercise advocacy as well.

Commencing on October 27 at the SM Mall of Asia, the Adidas Run for Love marathon will surely be another huge success as participants will not only race to stay fit and healthy but are running to benefit those in need. Made for both 5 and 10k runners, all proceeds from the Adidas Run for Love – GK Bayani Marathon will go to Gawad Kalinga foundation.

The Adidas Run for Love marathon is also a great way for companies and organizations to promote team building. Companies are encouraged to join the marathon to be part of an activity that will foster camaraderie and will benefit a good cause at the same time. Interested parties may contact Thelma Biscocho at 727.99.87 or visit G/F Madrigal Bldg. Annapolis St. Greenhills San Juan.

Those who’ve picked up the running pace with Adidas confess that with all these fit fests and more, running has never been more accessible or exciting. The adidas Run for Love GK Bayani Marathon, adidas is perfect for all health buffs that believe in a good cause. So be sure to mark your calendars for the adidas Run for Love GK Bayani Marathon on October 27 and be a part of the momentous event!

* As posted by Michelle Maskarino.

Marathon Mommies

Thursday, 25 October 2007  |  Bullish Insights, Running + Triathlon

Two running working mothers. One marathon: 24 February 2008.

Training begins NOW.

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Every Friday afternoon, Annie and I exchange the routinary SMS message: “Run tomorrow? Same time, same place?” And, almost always, the other will send a customary reply of “Yes. See ya!”

For the past six months, Annie and I have been enjoying our Saturday runs together. Saturday mornings is reserved exclusively for our long runs; it is the time where we can run without distractions from work or family. Children have no school nor homework. And, at least for me, the hubby is out longer than I am playing golf.

Alabang with Annie and Coach

- Training in Alabang with Annie and Coach B (June 2007) -

Ours is a friendship built on running. I met Annie after I invited an acquaintance to join Coach B’s running clinic; that friend took Annie along. When the running clinic ended, it was only Annie and I who found ourselves committed to continue training on our own.

Annie, a mother of two girls, is a Fitness First and stotts pilates instructor. Between the two of us, she is by far the stronger, faster, and more experienced runner. She has been running for over three years and has joined more races than I can count. During our runs, we can talk about a wide range of topics ranging from motherhood to shopping, but our discussion will always, always go back to running. It is what binds us together.

Adidas with Annie

- Adidas KOTR with Annie and her friend (July 2007) -

So, it came as no surprise that when I told Annie about my plans of joining the Pasig Marathon, she instantly decided to join too. When we got over our initial excitement (which lasted for over five minutes), we informally discussed our strategy. She suggested using Hal Higdon’s marathon program while I recommended Jeff Galloway’s (She won here. I’m now using Higdon’s Novice II program while she’s using Intermediate I). We also agreed, quite happily, that we would transform our 10 to 15k Saturday runs into our once-a-week long runs. “Annie,” I begged her, “we seriously have to slow down from now on” because, as I’ve experienced many a times, Annie does not know the meaning of slow or tired. “Yes,” she adds, “we also have to force ourselves to take walking breaks now” something we always fought against in the past.

As I write this, I am building a mental checklist of other things I must discuss with Annie as we try to add more science and strategy to our runs. These have something to do with 1) starting earlier so the sun doesn’t beat down on us, 2) stock piling on power gels since water won’t do for us anymore, and 3) planning the races we intend to join so that they can work seamlessly with our program.

Suddenly, my personal goal has turned into a dream I can share with a friend. While running a marathon is still an individual conquest, I take comfort in knowing that I can share the same hardships and triumphs, pains and joys, and hills and troughs with someone who doesn’t need to stop and ask me “Why must you put yourself through this?” She just gets it. And, should the time come during the marathon that my legs turn to lead and I want to give up at 30 km, I know that Annie will be there pushing and urging me to move forward…just as I will do for her.

Good luck to us Annie!

Metro Manila Races For Oct/Nov 2007

Thursday, 18 October 2007  |  Race Announcements

For those of you who do not frequent my ever-changing, constantly-being-updated List of Races for the year, here are the races for October/November within Metro Manila only. I decided to post this here because there are so many races lately, I’m getting confused about which ones to join!

Oct 21 Sunday: Raising Hope, Powerplant Mall. This is a fund-raising activitiy of Planet Sports for the Carewell Community Foundation which supports cancer patients. It is a fun run from 6 am to 8 am with no prescribed distance. Course will be the inner lane of Power Plant Mall. Call Maan of Planet Sports (898.1933) for details. Registration onsite only. Click here to download registration form.

Racing Hope

Oct 21 Sunday: 4th BaRUNgay Fun Run, Concepcion Uno Marikina City. Run will be from 5 am to 6 am. Registration fee P100. Call Boy Francisco/Poly Guadamar (948.6454).

Oct 27 Saturday: Run For Love, The Gawad Kalinga Marathon Philippines. Adidas will donate all funds to the planned local Adi Dassler development projects with Gawad Kalinga. Race is 5k/10k near SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City. Registration fee P250. Registration forms will be available in GK offices, selected Adidas concept shops and with RACE c/o Thelma Biscocho (727.9987)

Run For Love

Nov 11 Sunday: New Balance Power Race 10k/25k, Clark Freeport Zone. Registration fee P300. Call Mr. Biscocho (727.9987). Registration has been extended to Oct. 21, Sunday. Interested participants may register at Planet Sports Rockwell branch or on Raising Hope race day on October 21, 2007.

Nov 18 Sunday: Milo National Finals. Call Mr. Biscocho (727.9987)

Nov 25 Sunday: 5th Animo Run 5k/10k, IMAX Parking Area of SM Mall of Asia. 10k P200. Proceeds will go to the Red Cross. Registration starts October 21, 2007 and will end 5:30 am race day. Participants can register at G/F Enrique Razon Sports Complex of DLSU, Vito Cruz, Manila or online. For info, call Edmar (0917.6191821) or visit this.