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Into the Now

Thursday, 28 March 2013  |  Bullish Insights

Holy Week in Manila is the time when the city falls silent, life slows down, and people take the time out to commemorate the week in the manner in which they know best.

I love the silence.  The stillness.  The peacefulness.  It’s not just about being more spiritual this week.  It’s also about feeling more alive. It’s about slowing down enough to find the beauty in everything…and nothing.

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Before dawn, I left the house for a run while the hubby and the kids lay asleep. The city may prefer a slower pace, but I didn’t. I ran fast.

It was the perfect run. The kind that invigorates, refreshes, and makes you smile. The kind of run that exhausts your body but makes you feel more energized. The kind of run you do alone, but leaves you feeling more connected to the world…and to life.

I needed that.

Cosmo
- Cosmo welcomes me home after the run, while the kids still lay fast asleep –

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“Just as in running, in meditation we leave behind our daily concerns–the daydreaming, stress, and planning. We become very present. We enter into the now. By doing that, our mind builds strength. Our nervous system begins to relax. We develop appreciation and awareness. Our intelligence and memory becomes sharper. We are able to see the world from more than one perspective.”

Quote taken from Running with the Mind of Meditation by Sakyong Mipham. It’s a book I picked up at Runnr months ago and I finally get to read this week.

Book

Have a blessed Holy Week, everyone!

MARATHON STORY: FERNANDO FALLS…BUT FINISHES

Thursday, 28 March 2013  |  Bullish Insights, Race Reports

As is the tradition of TBR Dream Marathon, after the race, I post anecdotes about the marathon that I receive in my Inbox from our new marathoners. My inbox gets inundated with stories of triumph, love, gratitude, passion, and empowerment that it’s too much of a waste if only I read it. Through this series of stories (one every week for the next couple of months), may you all be inspired to run a marathon or dream big in your own lives.

I’d like to share with you Fernando’s letter to me.  It teaches us that we can try our best to prepare for a marathon, but we never really know what will happen at any point before we cross that finish line.  A lot of things can go wrong and a lot of things can go right.  What matters most is how we choose to react to the situation and how we let it affect us.  Good thing Fernando decided to run even after he stumbled.

TBR DREAMERS 2013: Fernando Hernandez
Bib Nos. 334

Hi Jaymie,

You can’t imagine, how thankful I am to be a part of this great experience. I actually came very close to not showing up last Sunday.

About a week before the marathon, during my daughter’s sportsfest, I took a bad fall during one of the events. I joined a relay race and ended up with two very large wounds on my knees – as in kneecaps.

INJURY

Looking back it might not have been very prudent of me to join the sportsfest in the first place, but I entered the marathon with the mindset that it would never interfere with family activities. Anyway, my daughter asked me to join the relay race and I didn’t want to disappoint.

So there I was, the day before the race with two very large wounds on my knees. I thought long and hard about how I was going to do the 42K with injuries to both legs.  The thought of even just the salt on the wounds was just as painful as the thought of the knees bending every time I’d take a step forward. Anyway, the defining moment was when I just accepted the fact that the pain was going to be there from the start and it would be a matter of me being able to grin and bear it. I kept “fooling myself” that my left leg was fine and that I could just drag my right leg towards the finish. The added incentive was the fact that I knew I would be miserable waiting for an entire year to have the chance to do The Bull Runner Dream Marathon again and all that training just being thrown out the window.

FERNANDO1

No doubt the pain was there, but the encouragement I had from my co-TBR Dreamers (alot of them I don’t know personally but they could tell I was in pain) and Dream Chasers really helped. I really wish I could thank each of them personally because, they really helped me carry on even when I was in a lot of pain and quite miserable during the whole ordeal.

FERNANDO3

Anyway, through sheer will, (I can’t even call it skill, I just grit my teeth) I managed (somehow) to cross the line at around 7:30, really far off from the sub six / sub 5:30 goal that I really wanted but it was an even sweeter win for me nonetheless, that I managed to even show up and finish this race.

FERNANDO2

Thanks again Jaymie for doing this. I’m sure you hear it alot but this event has really showed me how deep inside myself I can dig and just what I am capable of. When I first signed up for this race, I did it because I needed a win for my 40th birthday. I didn’t realize how big a win it was until I crossed that finish line last Sunday.

Run.ph: The Game Changer for the Philippines’ Online Running Community

Monday, 25 March 2013  |  News + Promos, Race Announcements

I’ve been blogging about running for almost six years now and, through the years, I’ve been witness to some great things in running.  How the community has grown from a couple thousands to tens of thousands.  How races grew in number from once a month to every weekend or even more.  How almost everyone is a runner now or knows a runner.   How the online community grew from blogs, forums, websites, social media sites, and more.  It is still growing…and evolving.

Today, I met Raymond Racaza, the founder of a new running website: Run.ph.

I will tell you now that I predict this to be the new and primary source of running information for the local running community.  I visited the site and it is everything—and more—of what majority of the runners now need and want. Myself included.

RUNPH
- Screenshot of Run.ph –

Here’s what you can expect:

1) Simple and easy to navigate.  The website is clean and simple.  From the home page, one can see upcoming races.  One click and you get the basic info.  Another click and you get all the race information you need.

2) Convenient online race registration.  If the race organizer allows for online registration through Run.ph, you can join the race through the site.  If you had already created an account in the Run.ph, all information will be stored and you will never need to input your information again.

3) My Run.ph Page.  You can have your own page enlisting the races you wish to join.  After the race, you can post notes on your thoughts about the race.

4) Share to Facebook and Twitter.  You can sign in via Facebook.  From your My Run.ph page, you can click on a race and with one click you can share to your friends on Facebook that you’ll be joining the race.

5) Run.ph Mobile App.  Soon, there will a Run.ph app for smartphones.

6) Results via text.  For some races, runners may sign up for text alerts regarding the release of the official results.

7) Directory — SOON.  The site will have a complete list of coaches, running stores, and more.

8) Articles — SOON.  Interesting articles from various contributors will be posted.

9) No ads.  Raymond was clear about this.  He will not be posting ads on the website for two reasons: first, he prefers a clean look with no “billboards” screaming at his readers and, secondly, the site is an advocacy; he doesn’t plan to make money out of it.  (Hurrah for you, Raymond!)

And, last but not the least…

10) Borne out of passion for running.  Through the years, I’ve seen it all.  Bloggers, organizers, and events that were fueled by the opportunity to make a quick buck from the running boom and how quickly they disappeared or, if they stayed, how the product simply fell or still falls below everyone’s standards.  But, I’ve also seen people—visionaries, dreamers, achievers—who are driven by their passion for running who wished for nothing more than to give back to the sport that gave them so much.  Today, I saw that in Raymond.

Raymond started running after his wife gave birth.  His weight had ballooned to 180 lbs as he ate along with their new baby.  He got into running as a means to drop back to his regular 140 lbs.  In 2008, he bought the domain name Run.ph.

This dream of his took him a full five years to create.  It is obvious that a lot of thought went into creating a website that is so simple and easy to navigate.  It is equally obvious that this is a passion project for him.  He doesn’t want to earn from it.  He doesn’t want to be popular through it.  In his words “I just want to give back to running because it changed my life.”

And, with that, Raymond and Run.ph get my full support.  Visit Run.ph now.

Otterbox Armor for iphone 5: Toughest Case Ever Built

Monday, 25 March 2013  |  Gear + Gadgets

They say the Otterbox Armor series is the “toughest case ever built.” When I received mine last week and held it in my hand, I didn’t doubt it at all.

Armor

The Otterbox Armor series is waterproof, dustproof, crushproof, and drop proof. Here’s the following info on the box:

– Waterproof up to 6.6 ft/ 2m 30min
– Drop proof up to 10ft / 3m
– Dust proof, zero dust
– Crush proof up to 2 tons / 1.8 tonnes

My kids couldn’t wait to submerge my iphone in its Armor case and throw it against the wall. Waaah!  Fortunately, I hadn’t tested the case yet so I had a good excuse to hold them off. Watch this video to learn how to test your Otterbox Armor if or when you do have your own…

I’m so looking forward to using my new case! I couldn’t have received it at a better time. I’m at the peak of training and I bring my iphone everywhere—when I run, when I ride, when I swim, and also when I travel. With Holy Week break drawing near, I expect longer hours outdoors too.

Visit tenkiebox.ph for more info on Otterbox Armor Series.

ROAD TO LONDON MARATHON: FORCED REST

Saturday, 23 March 2013  |  Bullish Insights, Running + Triathlon

This is a weekly post on my training for Virgin London Marathon on April 21, 2013. Like I always say: The marathon is the icing on the cake; it’s the journey leading up to the race that I absolutely love. Thank you to Unilab Active Health for the trip and to Timex Philippines and UK for the slot.

NO. OF WEEKS TO LONDON MARATHON: 5 WEEKS

After I ran my required 32km LSD last Sunday during Run United 1, I woke up on Monday feeling all revved up for the week of training to come.  Raaawr!  Give me more, Coach.  Give me more!

Monday is a rest day (wherein I do Bikram Yoga because Coach says that doesn’t count heehee), but I always check my program online at Training Peaks to mentally prepare for the workouts and to plan my schedule for the rest of the week.  I looked through the week’s workload and, for the first time since January, it was empty.  Coach Andy didn’t fill it in.

The Coach, who is one of the most OC people I know, rarely ever fails to punch in my program for the week.  Either this crazy Coach of mine impulsively decided to bike for 48 hours and skipped all his work over the weekend OR he accidentally missed working on my program because of his rising clientele of athletes who wish to suffer under him (Naks!)   Immediately, I sent him an SMS reminding him to fill it in.

His reply: “Relax…”

What the?!!  What is that supposed to mean?!!  How does one relax when I have no clue what my body and I are up against for the rest of the week?!  There’s no time to relax!  London is a mere 5 weeks away!

Then, another text message came in: “This is a recovery week.  Eat your greens and get a lot of sleep.  Gradual build up by Friday  to Sunday. 21k hill repeats.”

Oh.  There’s the punchline.  Almost like an epiphany, everything made sense.  He was saving my legs for the tough workouts at the end of the week.

With that, I popped the cork off of a wine bottle I’d been saving for years, toasted to three long days of forced rest, and danced like there’s no tomorrow…NOT!  In truth, I spent the next three days meeting work deadlines, tutoring my daughter for exams, rushing off to meetings, squeezing in a secret swim on Tuesday (ssshhh!), and endlessly complaining why I felt even weaker than days when I kill myself during workouts.  (I know, I know, I’ve completely gone nuts just like all you other triathletes reading this!)

By Thursday, my calendar had been filled in with run and bike workouts.  I was back to training and, somewhere around my 3rd set of pushups and catching my breath, I wondered why I was even whining about rest days.  I may be screaming for more rest by next week when the Coach increases my mileage.  Gulp.

“You’ve got to have the mental toughness and confidence in yourself where you believe that you can take those days off and you can recover and you can run great. A lot of what we see in athletes that just train all the time and never give themselves adequate recovery is often portrayed as toughness. What I’ve realized over the years is it really is a weakness. It’s an insecurity that you’re not good enough to recover like other athletes: I’m not good enough to do that; I need to keep training; I can’t take time off; I can’t take easy days.”

-Alberto Salazar