Death of a Loved One

Friday, 18 May 2007  |  Bullish Insights

This will be a short entry as I am inconsolable as I write this. Kindly say a prayer for the death of a beloved—my fourth toenail on my right foot.

Tombstone

His death came like a thief in the night. This morning, when I woke up for my early morning run, he was in the pink of health. As I slipped my socks past him, I sensed that something was not right. I checked my 2nd toe and, yes, I had wrapped it with micropore tape to protect it from blisters. So, what could be wrong? I was late so, with much hesitation, I put my shoes on and rushed out the door.

Being the last running session before the Champion Race, we kept it light and easy today. We ran around 7k at a comfortable pace before we called it a day. When I got home, I tossed my shoes and socks unto the hamper and got the shock of my life.

There he was—my badly bruised toenail gasping for his last breath and then fading away. He was gone.

The entire toenail is now black with bluish tints (must I get so graphic?) and it is slightly painful when touched. I doubt if it will trouble me during the race, but its sheer ugliness is bothersome for me. Oh, the sacrifices one must undertake as a runner!

As I type these words in grief, only one thought comes to mind: Will my feet still look good in Havaianas?

Yes, I am a Runaholic

Thursday, 17 May 2007  |  Bullish Insights

I was about to finish a logo I was working on last night when a friend sent me a message about the 1st Philmug Nike+ Challenge. I hopped on over to the site and I wanted to join the race…even if it seemed like only men had signed up, and I’ll be joining midway, and uh oh aaah, I don’t even own a Nike+ Kit or a Nano—and I don’t plan on purchasing either one. Forget it. I’m sticking with my Polar Dream.

So, temporarily abandoning my work (oh, the temptations of the web for a work-at-home designer), I further explore Nike’s Running site. Oooh, very cool intro and I love their tagline too: “I am a runaholic.” It’s obvious I can relate, isn’t it? The website takes quite a while to load though—did they not take into consideration that runners are addicted to speed? While waiting for what seemed like forever, my son tells me to shut off the sound; he can’t watch Nick Jr. with all the noise.

I go window shopping online and discover sportsbras made the way I like them (plain and simple, please—none of the laces, double spag straps, or triangular holes for other runners to peek through while you’re running ahead of them.) I wonder which branches these are actually available in though since I haven’t spotted any of those in the shops I’ve visited lately, and believe me, I’ve been to quite a few the past month searching for apparel.

I browse through their shoes with little excitement because I am a staunch lover of New Balance running shoes. My old Nikes were always rushed to Mr. Quickie for large doses of rugby on their soles—to think I wasn’t even running then. My 2-year old New Balance pair has never needed a shoe doctor or any kind of special attention. Their tough and dependable.

The running stories are a delight to read. The natural high you get from running cannot be put into words, but what the three runners say does come close. Surprisingly, I’ve met two out of the three of them (one while I was still in the stock market and the other in college) and I’m sure they don’t remember me anymore, but I want to give them a virtual high five and say “Hey brother, I know what you’re talking about!” Haha.

Now for the exciting part. I visit Nike’s pace calculator which, after punching in your record time, will compute your pace—and not just that, but also your predicted finishing time for a race. So, rubbing my hands together, I plug in my personal record during the Global City Run and eagerly await the predicted results of my 10k for this coming sunday’s Champion run. Whoa, at a pace of 6:03, I should finish at 1 hr 30 sec. Hey, for a novice runner, I think I would be pretty happy finishing at 1.30—although 1 hour would sound a lot cooler!

Nike Pace Calculator

Will I be able to sustain my 6:03 pace on Sunday? Gulp, I have no idea. Let’s wait and see. 3 more days to go…

Featured Runner: Grete Waitz

Wednesday, 16 May 2007  |  Bullish Insights

 

“God gave me a gift. I got the chance to use it.… I didn’t think I deserved what people were saying. My talent is just more visible than theirs.”

– Grete Waitz

Grete Andersen-Waitz

– Grete Andersen (before she married and changed her name to Waitz) at Bislette 1976 after she set a new world record in the 3000 meter event – (Photo: ScanPix)

I found this inspiring article (yes, you men will enjoy it too) about Waitz’s first marathon on marathonguide.com.

Who is Grete Waitz? She is one of the most acclaimed long-distance female runners of the century. She set world records in the 3,000 meter event (1975, 1976) and became the world women’s marathon champion in 1983. Waitz won the women’s silver medal in the marathon at the 1984 Olympic Games. In 1978-1988, she won the New York marathon nine times (I repeat, NINE!) and was the first woman to finish that race in under 2.5 hours. Beat that.

Waitz and Armstrong

– Grete Waitz gives Lance Armstrong some last minute tips before the ING New York City Marathon 2006. Waitz, who is battling cancer, thanked Armstrong for his support since her diagnosis in 2005. – (Photo: ING New York City Marathon)

Sources: “Grete Waitz.” Britannica Concise Encyclopedia. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 2006, “Grete Waitz.” Quotations. Quotations Book, 2005. Answers.com 15 May. 2007.

Losing The Baby Weight

Sunday, 13 May 2007  |  Bullish Insights

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommies out there!  Motherhood is the most fulfilling experience in the world, but at times it can also be the most arduous, pull-your-hair-out-in-frustration, maddening act yet.  One hug from our little ones though and all the difficulties simply melt away. If only baby fat could evaporate as quickly…

After giving birth to my second child in 2004 and breastfeeding her for 15 months, I set on the task of losing weight. My goal was to get back to my pre-wedding weight—wishful thinking I thought but it was worth a try. So there I was walking at least 3x a week on my treadmill, eating the least amount of food I could (when I had enough self-control to stay away from my waterloo: Munchies and Stick-Os), and doing 2 sets of crunches and leg lifts 3x a week. By my daughter’s first birthday, I managed to lose a fair amount of weight, but I was stuck with the oh so popular last five pounds. Well, mine was actually 8. I owned this weight for more than a year—then I picked up running.

By the first 6 months running, I lost 2 of those dreadully stubborn pounds, but it was such a major effort on my part. One weekend of partying and bingeing would pull my weight back up instantly. I constantly had to watch what I was putting in my mouth or else all my exercise would go to waste.

Everything changed when I started training more seriously with Coach B. It’s just been 2 weeks and I’ve already lost 4 more pounds. In fact, the weightloss is too quick for me that I now have to increase my food intake—woohoo! Coach B says that, to prepare for our 10k run this coming Sunday, we have to carbo load. So in my mind I already have a list of the pizza and pasta places we just have to visit this week (On top of the list is Bravo for Chef Tiziano pizza and salmon penne.) After years of dieting and starving, “forced” eating to maintain my weight is certainly a welcome change!

Me, Coach B, & Annie

– Me, Coach B, & Annie after our Super Heavy Run yesterday. I think I lost 2 lbs. after that! –

Mad About Running

Saturday, 5 May 2007  |  Bullish Insights, Favorite Posts

Runners

It’s the greatest high ever. To hear my feet beating down on the pavement in a drumlike, almost hypnotizing rhythm. To feel the wind brush against my face and smell its fresh breath kissing my cheeks. To reunite with Strength and Freedom, formidable friends I hope to encounter more often in life rather on these brief yet thrilling breakaways. To rediscover myself time and time again with only Bono’s voice crying out in the background “It’s a beautiful day, don’t let it get away…”

That said, you know now that I can get really dramatic when I talk about running. My first attempt at running non-stop for a measly 5 minutes was on the first week of December 2006 (yes, it was my version of a mad rush to burn calories before Noche Buena season arrived). By New Year’s eve, I knew I was insanely hooked.

I would talk endlessly about it with my Hubby—my record time, calories I burned, or new programs I discovered online—and I still do, but I know he’s getting sorely tired of this. My three best friends are happy for me but one is in New York, the other is pregnant, and another has just given birth. And my sister has willing ears but she doesn’t exercise so she cannot relate.

So who do I share this passion with? Who can I encourage to run (because, cliche as it sounds, it truly is the best way to get fit without spending a cent—or just a bit for great shoes)? And how else can I meet other runners (without having to manage a shy smile at the very few ones that I occassionally bump into while training)? With the click of a mouse, I realized I could reach anyone with a blog. So here I am.

Hope you can run with me (even just vicariously at this moment in time) and learn, together with me, about this fascinating world of running.