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Merry Christmas!

Monday, 24 December 2007  |  Bullish Insights

Merry Christmas to everyone! As my Christmas gift, I wrote this special song for all of you to enjoy:

RUNNING’S SWELL
(Sung to the tune of “Jingle Bells”)

Dashing through the road
With my ipod and running shoes
O’er the hills I go
Laughing all the way

Alerts on my Garmin ring
Making my spirit bright
What fun it is to run this long
Such a holiday delight!

Oh, running’s swell, running’s swell
Running all the way
Oh, what fun it is to run
With my ipod and running shoes

Oh, running’s swell, running’s swell
Running all the way
Oh, what fun it is to run
With my ipod and running shoes

ย [ Repeat the refrain a hundred times over or until you reach 10km---whichever comes first ]

 

Is Running A Sport?

Thursday, 20 December 2007  |  Bullish Insights

“The good runner thinks only of what is in front of him and, stretching his mind toward the finish line and putting his hope of victory in his feet, does not plot against the fellow next to him or even consider his competitors.”

- Lucian, author and philosopher, 170 A.D.

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When I picked up Anton, my 6-year-old son, from school a few days ago, he told me about a conversation he had with a classmate of his who claimed he knew everything:

Anton: If you know everything, then what is the sport of my mom?
Classmate: Basketball?
Anton: No.
Classmate: Soccer?
Anton: No.
Classmate: Baseball?
Anton: No.
Classmate: What is it?
Anton: Running.
Classmate: That’s not a sport. That’s just what you do in sports like basketball and soccer.

Unfortunately, my son didn’t know how to respond to that boy’s last remark. “Is running a sport, Mama?” he asked.

How could you blame Anton for doubting? Or how could one think that his classmate lacked in knowledge? The truth is so many adults still don’t see running as a sport or a competitive activity. I have a runner friend with officemates who can’t seem to comprehend anything about running yet they can grasp the beauty of the PBA. Another runner friend’s husband blatantly said that “Running is not a competitive sport.” in my eyes.

To many, running is only the means to end. It’s what one does to warm up before working out, to lose weight, or to train for another sport. No one in his right mind would run just to run.

So, my poor Anton had to sit through an entire car ride of me rattling on about what he should say to that classmate of his. “Tell him your Mama said running is a sport. Why are marathons in the olympics if it isn’t? And, why are runners called athletes if it’s not a sport? Tell him that and let’s see what he says.”ย  After silence from my son, I say again “Make sure you tell him that, okay?”ย  It was obvious Anton had regretted ever bringing up the topic with Mama Bull Runner.

If someone told you running is not a sport (which is almost like throwing a glass of wine to your face!), what would you have answered?

DND-AFP Gintong Pangarap Relay

Monday, 17 December 2007  |  Race Reports

Close to 200 participants showed up for the DND-AFP Gintong Pangarap Invitational Marathon at the Bonifacio Naval Grandstand yesterday morning. This was relatively a small race with majority of registrants coming from the military, but the level of excitement and trepidation among the teams of runners was palpable; it was akin to that of a major race. Perhaps one could say it was even a little bit more festive with a band belching out favorite tunes to ease the tension building up among runners.

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- The Marching Band. They also had another band onstage. This was one festive and lively race. Or was I just charged up with excitement? –

Certainly, this was not your typical small running event. It was a team relay race with each of the 3 members in one team—2 male and 1 female—covering 7 kms from Navy Village to the turnaround point inside Libingan ng mga Bayani to complete the total 21km course. Each runner wore his bib number ending in A, B, or C to identify him/her as the first, second, or third in his team.

Our team, Team Injured Fast Runners—composed of Happy Feet members Ben, Joms, and myself—was among the 94 teams that signed up for this event. Each of us wore battle scars due to obsessive running: Ben is recovering from shin splints, Joms from knee problems, and me…aahh do I have to tell you again? But, the three of us believed we could still outrun the civilian (read: not military) competition and yes, oh yes, we had a pretty good chance of winning.

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- Team Injured Fast Runners supports the fight against AIDS. Thanks to our sponsor Doc Oknoy! –

Assembly time started at 5 a.m. with the race starting at 6 a.m. Joms was our A runner, followed by me, while Ben would carry the heavy burden of being the last runner who would have to run as fast as light to bring our team to possible victory.

When I arrived, Joms was already in the starting line along with all the other A runners. Before I could even bid my team mate “Godspeed!”(literally), he was off. Together with the other B & C runners, Ben, Jo-Ar, his running coach, and I waited in anticipation for the A runners to come back, especially Joms of course!

We waited…and waited…and waited. I thought a relay could be pretty slow since there was a lot of waiting to be done before you could actually participate in the race. Then, things changed…

The first A runner was spotted from afar returning from his 7k journey. Wild cheering from the crowd filled the air! Everyone was charged up and raring to run! More and more A runners started coming back and the scene was an organized chaos where A runners would swiftly turnover the rope necklace to the B runners without a second to waste. Everything was going by so fast, one could hardly have time to breathe.

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- Relay team mates making the quick switch –

As for me, I morphed into a bundle of nerves. As I waited behind the starting line along with the other B runners, I felt worry, pressure, and anxiety creeping into my psyche. But, this was certainly overpowered by the thrill and excitement I was getting from this fast-paced race.

Suddenly, I could see Joms running downhill towards the finish line. Ack, it was my turn! I looked towards my right and saw Ben and Jo-Ar cheering with excitement. Oh yeah, I couldn’t wait to run!

I grabbed the rope from Joms, put it around my neck, and headed out towards the start of my 7km run. At that point, all pacing and negative split ideas were erased from my memory. The adrenaline rush must’ve gotten the better of me. In a couple of minutes, I checked my Garmin to discover I was running at my fastest pace ever: 3:46 min/km. Crazy!

After climbing uphill out of Navy Village, I slowed my pace to a 4:45 to 5 and maintained it at that level until the 3km mark. By the time I reached the Libingan ng Bayani turnaround point, I was exhausted. Normally, I would have slacked off a bit and ease up on the pace since I only have myself to answer to. But, I couldn’t just slow down at this point. I owed it to my team mates to give it my best shot.

So, tired and weary, I pushed myself further. It certainly didn’t help that the way back was mostly uphill climbs, but once I passed that, the last 2km were a lot more manageable. It also helped that Joms and Jo-Ar ran alongside me for support. As I neared the finish line, I spotted Ben and quickly handed him the 2 ropes with barely any time to wish him luck.

I ended my 7k run at 35.28 mins. I was a little bit disappointed with my time, but Joms was quick to remind me that everyone’s time had slowed due to the rolling hills.

After some waiting, Ben came in to complete our relay race. He suffered stomach cramps as early as 5k into the course but forced himself to run despite the pain. Ouch!

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- Ben in pain as he nears the finish line –

The final results? Team Injured Fast Runners won 3rd place in the civilian category!!! We were the 23rd team among 94 teams. Go, Team Injured Fast Runners! Hopefully next year we can scrap “injured” from our name already!

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– Accepting our medal as 3rd place winners -

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– Posing with Jujet de Asis (he and his team mates were the champions for Army category) and other runners -

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- Happy Feet pose. If only Joms didn’t wear his Mommy Milkshake shirt! –

Timing Chip is Here!

Thursday, 13 December 2007  |  Race Announcements

Goodbye to inaccurate times at local races! Rudy Biscocho will soon be using chip timing systems at his running events. All I can say is: finally! We are no longer third world when it comes to races!

Click here for full article at inquirer.net.

Yakult Race

Monday, 10 December 2007  |  Race Reports

The Yakult 10-miler. A must-run race for me. As early as May, I had set my eyes on this 16km race as the best distance for me to challenge my body before aiming for a half-marathon. I was going to join this. I had to partake of this. Unfortunately, due to my moody knee (one day he’s fine, the next his injured) my one chance to join Yakult this year was shattered. Unwilling to pass up this race, I registered for the 5km instead.

I arrived at the CCP Complex at 5:10 a.m., way too early for a 6 a.m. run and a 5km at that. Frankly, I wasn’t too enthusiastic about this 5km run, but after skipping Milo and Animo, I desperately needed to feed my hunger for a road race.

So, there I was, half awake (or half asleep) chatting with friends from Happy Feet, Mon, Ben, Joms, and Aljo, and meeting Oknoy and Jan for the first time. I was definitely keeping an eye out for Monica who had registered for me. (Thanks again, Monica!) Wait a minute, where were all the Happy Feet women anyway?

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- Renz, Ben, Coach Rio, and Joms –

By the time I found Monica and received my race packet, I only had 10 minutes before the gun was fired. It was only a few minutes before we started running that friends pointed out I had a 16km bib on. Oh no, please no. Yes, they agreed in chorus. After two past races where I was listed as MALE in the final results due to registration errors, I was pretty much resigned to the fact that this would be the third race where I would again not be officially listed correctly. Oh well, at least I would definitely be 1st place for 16km with a time below 30 minutes. Hah!

Once we started, I went out too fast. I remember glancing at my pace and seeing a number 4 as the first digit, so after making a left along Roxas Boulevard, I came to my senses and slowed down a wee bit. I ran a hard yet comfy 5 to 5:15 min/km pace which I was sure I could maintain all throughout with enough energy to perhaps speed up the last few meters.

At around 2 km, I found myself running behind a tall, medium-built man who stood out from the crowd despite the low profile he tried to keep. At first I thought he was a foreigner. Then, it hit me like a thunderbolt…or more like a blessing from the god of all things running. By golly, it was no other than Fernando Zobel in the flesh! Little ol’ me was running behind my highschool (or more like working girl) crush of all crushes!

Mind you, I am a happily married woman who is fiercely loyal to the hubby, but a dash of wholesome infatuation over Fernando on the side makes life more meaningful, right? Now, I’m not one of those girls who shrieks and sighs over her crushes. That is way too childish for The Bull Runner. I simply let out a little “Oh my god! It’s him!” deep inside, blushed a little bit, then proceeded to attempt to outrun this crush of mine. I failed miserably. This man stayed fast and focused and would not let me “chick” him. Way to go, Fernando!

To be honest with you, that encounter was the highlight of my run. When Fernando left me behind after the 2.5 km turnaround, I basically maintained a steady pace with an almost tipsy smile on my face. My knee didn’t bother me at all, probably due to the distraction or inspiration that Fernando so generously provided.

I ended the run at 26.04 mins. According to the official results which I received just now (thanks Patrick!), I actually came in 5th! This calls for two Yahoos! One “Yahoo!” for 5th place. Another “Yahoo!” for Yakult actually counting me in despite my wrong race bib. Oh, one “Yeeehah” for running alongside Fernando.

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