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!

Nike+ Spoof

Thursday, 24 May 2007  |  Bullish Insights

Check out the Nike+ Ad…

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHDw5uQvK5Y]

Now, here’s a spoof. You have to see this. So hilarious!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmOOAgNfE5U]

Courtesy of Russel G. Mills

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.