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.

6 Weird Things About Me

Thursday, 7 June 2007  |  Bullish Insights

I got tagged by Hitme64: “Each player of this game starts with 6 weird things about himself or herself. People who get tagged need to write a blog entry of their own as well as state the rule clearly. In the end, you need to tag 6 people as well and list their names. Don’t forget to let them know they’ve been tagged!”

Now, as The Bull Runner only discusses all things running in this blog, the six quirks below are only those that appear in her life as a runner: (Don’t you think it’s weird already that I use third-person when I have to discuss something negative about myself?!)

{ 1 } Listening to awesome music while running gets me all teary-eyed. Seriously. The first time this occurred was while I was running solo in Alabang to U2’s “It’s a Beautiful Day.” Aaaaw, it was truly a beautiful Sunday. The sun was just about to set, the sky was purplish blue, and I had a new outfit on (Ack, I’m such a girl!) When the song started, I was so ecstatic I wanted to burst into tears. Then, while running at 6am in Camp John Hay, Baguio, it happened again when I heard New Radicals’ “Gotta Stay High.” There was even a time when I got dramatic while cooling down to Coldplay’s “Fix You”!

{ 2 } I carry an Astring-o-sol bottle filled with water during my runs. I’ve seen the New Balance Waterbottle Carrier at their stores, but I think it’s just way too big and ostentatious for anything less than a full marathon. Thanks to my resourcefulness (and yeah, frugality) I thought of using a mouthwash bottle! During the initial phases of my “product development”, I planned on getting the Listerine 80ml (I’m a Listerine girl! I used to handle that brand during my marketing days) but the mouth was too small to manage a drink on the run, so I forced myself to get what I still unbelievably perceive to be my competitor, Astring-o-Sol.

On a side note, I would drop the Astring-O-Sol bottle anytime, if I got this as a 2nd gift for Christmas. (Someone please tell my husband to read this):

Nathan Speed One

– I want a Nathan Speed One Water Bottle Carrier –

{ 3 } I am an obsessive-compulsive shoelace tier. You won’t believe this, but I must tie my laces around 6 to 8 times before going on a run. Most of the time, I lace up when I wear the shoes, before I leave, when I arrive at our meet up place, before I warm up, after the warm up, and right before running. Sometimes, I stop in the middle of the run to get that comfortable fit! For some reason, I want both shoes to be equally, perfectly tight. If anyone knows the name to this disease, do tell me.

{ 4 } I am a journal freak. Since I started running in December, I’ve religously tracked the date, distance, calories, and time of my runs in a simple orange King Jim notebook, which you’ll be seeing pretty soon when I write about it in a separate post. Now, aside from my running journal, I own the following: a moleskine (Oooh, I just love moleskines!) for personal entries and drawings, a Franklin Covey filofax as a planner and addressbook, a plain ol’ sketchpad for illustrations, another large hardbound sketch pad to store creative inspirations, and a large hardbound journal as another personal diary.

{ 5 } Again, my thriftiness results in another quirk: I only buy old issues of Runner’s World. I was just telling my husband that RW is my favorite magazine of all time as I can read it from start to finish without skipping any article—sooo unlike the fashion magazines I buy (I guess I’m just not the fahionista-type), yet I cannot shell out a mere P399 for it.

{ 6 } Save for a couple of times (I think Christmas and New Year!), I haven’t had my hair down since I started running. What’s strange with that? Uhm, during my pre-running life, I was obsessed with having my hair long and straight. I spent a bundle on hair rebonding, which I went through every 6 months. You would rarely catch me with my hair in a ponytail. Oh, how running changes lives even in the most mundane of things!

Now, I tag E-Rod, Banggigay, Ben, Windowshopper, Michelle, MrsPartyGirl

When It Rains, It Pours

Friday, 1 June 2007  |  Bullish Insights

To say this week was slow would be an understatement. It was a dreadfully long-drawn-out and nasty five days for me:

  • Sunday: 45 minute easy run in Ayala Alabang
  • Monday: I skip my 5:30am run with Coach B and Annie due to soreness on my left knee. Coach B tells me to rest for two days. When the pain miraculously disappears in the afternoon, I hop on the treadmill and run 6k. Shhh…don’t tell Coach B! (Yeah yeah yeah, I can be bullheaded at times…or most of the time)
  • Tuesday: Soreness on the knee is back, but worse. I’m convinced my meniscus problem is back—no use denying it, my knee snaps everytime I bend it. Ugh. Depression sets in: Will I ever be able to run again? How do I train for Run for PEACE? Does this mean I can’t eat like a slob anymore lest I gain weight? And, when oh when will I be able to take my new running shoes for a road test?
  • Wednesday: Again, I am forced to skip my 5:30am run! I am in panic mode. I am turning into an evil monster. If I don’t run soon, I will devour anything that has feet.
  • Thursday: My knees still snap…but I make myself believe that it slightly improves by evening. I commit to run the following day.
  • Friday (today): I wake up at 4:30am thanking the high heavens for a painless knee. Woohoo!

So, I met Coach B at our usual meeting place this morning for an easy run. Just 45 mins. on the flat roads of Ayala Alabang. We ran at a slow, steady pace to avoid further injuries to my knee and kept it that way all throughout the run. Oooh, it felt so good to be back. I was comfortable, at ease, and happy. I thought things couldn’t get better than that, but much to my surprise, it did. It started to rain! It was my first time to run in the rain—and it was fun! As we ran drenched in sweat and raindrops, I couldn’t help but smile to myself. I was just in pure bliss. If Coach B had glanced my way, he must’ve thought I was crazy—but then again, as a fellow runner, I’m sure he knew exactly how I felt.

Rain Rain

Now sing with me: I’m running in the rain, I’m running in the rain. What a beautiful feeling. I’m most definitely happy again!

The Hunt For Dead Frogs

Sunday, 27 May 2007  |  Bullish Insights

“The sound of frogs croaking brings good luck!” That’s what my mother-in-law happily told me last night as we listened to the orchestra of more than a dozen bullfrogs screaming out their ribbits in her frontyard. Ironically, I learned this morning that if there is any creature on this earth that needs luck the most, it would be the poor bullfrog himself.

I ran solo in Ayala Alabang at 5:30 this morning. After a little over a month of running with Coach B and Annie four times a week, I welcomed the thought of running on my own again. I missed the silence, the clarity of thought, the freedom, the effortlessness, and last but not the least, the ipod (with newly uploaded old hed kandi music to boot!) Let me tell you though, I did have my apprehensions: Would I be able to run the distance without dying of boredom? (I think I had told myself all the funny anecdotes I knew!) and would I be able to motivate myself to “Bull run, run, run!” whenever I feel like I want to walk, walk, walk?

Before I could think any further, I tightened my laces and ran at a comfortable pace. Ooooh, I loved it. The day was perfect: the sun’s rays were kind this morning, the roads were clear, and my music selection was excellent. Yeah, this is the reason why I started running in the first place, I thought. With a smile on my face I continued to run when—WHOOPS—my state of runner’s euphoria was rudely disrupted as I skipped over a dead bullfrog! It was lying on the road with its insides spilling out of its tummy. I jumped over the poor frog only to discover its close cousin butchered to death in the same manner. Eeeew, it was a dreadful sight. Instantly, I remembered my mother-in-law’s words the night before and laughed at the thought of bad luck killing the bearer of good tidings. Thus, my run became a “hunt for the dead frogs.”

As I ran further, I saw more victims. They were ambushed in varying manners: a few were were squished in one area with guts leaking out, others were completely flattened, while the very unlucky few could no longer be identified. They could pass as black spots of paint on the road had I not possesed a discerning eye for dead frogs. At the end of my run, I had counted exactly 13 dead bullfrogs along the roads of Ayala Alabang. 13! Can you believe that?!

Frog
– 1 of the unlucky 13 squashed frogs along my route –

I had been so busy looking out for these frogs that, when I returned to the start of my route, I had timed in at 50 minutes and probably covered around 8k (more than enough for what should have been a light run!) No time for fatigue or boredom for me! It turns out that these frogs—croaking or not—can bring some luck (or more like distractive entertainment) after all!