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!

Letter of Apology From Champion Management

Thursday, 31 May 2007  |  Race Announcements

I should check my spam box more often. This is what I found there!

Below is an open letter from SportsConnection, the company behind Champion brand, apologizing for the lack of organization during the Champion Run. I don’t know about you, but running brings so much positive energy into my life that I refuse to taint it with any unpleasant thoughts or harbour ill feelings towards anyone.

All I can say to the management of SportsConnections is this: please learn from your mistakes and make sure that in next year’s run (if there is any) you will: 1) have more water, 2) more marshalls, 3) start on time, 4) provide water at the end of the finish line, and 5) coordinate closely with your race organizer (When you put your name on it, it is your race. Its success or failure becomes yours too.) Peace—I have forgiven and forgotten! I don’t know about the rest.

To other runners of the Champion Race, feel free to post tactful comments and suggestions for SportsConnection to realize areas of improvement.

————————————————————————————————-

Warm Greetings!

On behalf of SportsConnection, we would like to thank everybody who joined the Champion Run. We appreciate your participation in our first run event.

We would like to take this opportunity to apologize to those who have been inconvenienced by lack of water in the hydration stations set up by Fort Striders, the group we commissioned to be our race organizer.

We have distributed (personally handed) to the runners more than 2,800 bottles of mineral water and soft drinks together with some snacks and the certificates.

Please note that as soon as our president, Adi delos Reyes, found out that the stations have run out of water, he immediately instructed our staff to go get more water for the runners.

The problems you mentioned (water and not enough marshals) were supposed to be taken cared of by the race organizer. It clearly states in the contract we signed with them that they will provide water in the hydration stations, take care of the race technical aspects as well as the sound system to which we have also heard several complaints. Their shortcomings had boomerang on SportsConnection especially our brand, Champion.

We do not mean to point fingers at anybody. We take responsibility for the problems in our event but have trusted that our race organizer would take care of these aspects.

Please be assured that we only want the best for the runners as well as the sport. It is our vision to help and support PSC athletes and Gawad Kalinga.

We hope that you understand SportsConnections’ side because we too have been a victim here. All these we have taken note of and we assure you that this will definitely not happen again.

Boycotting our future events and our products is most unfair. We appeal for your kind understanding.

Thank you.

15 Tips For Buying Running Shoes

Wednesday, 30 May 2007  |  Gear + Gadgets

Out with the old and in with the New. New Balance, that is.

A few days ago, I was still too enamored with my NB 807’s to even think of letting them go. I loved their fit and design. Deep inside though, I knew that our relationship had been slowly turning sour since last year. Around December, due to my constant abuse, I noticed small tears on its sides near the laces. In March, as I was staring at it lovingly, I suddenly became aware of how it had gotten older than its years. My love remained unconditional though. Decrepit and dirty as my shoes were, I could not find a suitable replacement despite the many many times I shopped and surfed for other shoes (well, mainly because my 807s have a B width while local New Balance stores only sell D width.)

Then, over the past weekend, heaven intervened (perhaps our relationship wasn’t good for either of us?) Heading towards the cinemas, I decided to pass by New Balance, Festival Mall to take a quick peek. Hallelujah, they were on sale! Before entering, I hesitated as I remembered my 807s, but I felt that it was the right time to move on and let them go. I thought the sale was a sign and God was whispering in my ear saying “Come in, child. It is time for you to buy new running shoes.” When God speaks, I certainly listen. So, I went on in and came out with a new sleek pair of 1222’s.

- My new running buddy -

– My new running buddy –

The following day, as I was reading my favorite running book, I learn that there must be a thumb-width gap between my toe and the shoe. You know that feeling when you just ran about 2k and realize you’ve forgotten to wear your underwear? Oh, you don’t, do you? Well, neither do I so let’s just get back to the story. Anyway, sirens were ringing in my ears. I knew the tips of my toes touched the end of the shoe. Oh god, I was cringeing at the thought of more blisters and more dead toenails. Immediately, I call New Balance and ask if I can get a bigger shoe size. I fly to the store and get the shoe that fits me perfectly well. End of story.

Now, out of my good heart, I’ve decided to compile running shoe tips to save you from committing the same stupid silly mistakes I did:

Running Shoe Tips:

  1. Buy new running shoes every 3 to 6 months regardless of its use. Your shoe will lose its shock absorbing qualities in about 80 to 1000 kilometers of running.
  2. Do your research. Search for the best running shoes online, read reviews about a particular shoe you’ve been eyeing, and ask your running friends about what they recommend. (Although a shoe may not fit as well on you as it does for a friend.)
  3. Choose a running shoe based on your needs: do you need stability? or motion control? or cushioning? (perhaps a drink before you go insane with all these choices?) If you are unsure, select a more stable shoe rather than a more cushioned one.
  4. Evaluate the wear on the sole of your old shoe and ask your shoe dealer what brand or model they would recommend that would last better and longer for you.
  5. Do not buy lightweight shoes for training; these should only be used for races.
  6. Consider buying two pairs of shoes if you expect to get one wet and dirty under the rain. Buy the 2nd pair only after you’ve tested the first…and when you know you’ve got the extra money.
  7. When buying shoes, make sure you leave a gap as wide as your thumb between your big toe and the end of the shoe. You should be able to wiggle your toes up there. Remember: your feet expand while running.
  8. Make sure the shape of your foot (long and narrow or short and wide) matches the shape of the shoe.
  9. If one foot is larger than the other, fit the shoe on the larger foot.
  10. Shop for shoes in the afternoon or evening when your feet are bigger than it was in the morning.
  11. Bring your favorite socks.
  12. Run inside the store if you must. Just don’t bump into the glass door.
  13. You don’t have to buy the top-of-the-line shoe but do not buy the cheapest non-running shoe either.
  14. Wait for a sale. Running shoes can burn a hole in your pocket. Be patient and eventually your favorite shoe store will have to place some of its stocks on sale. (Now this is one tip I followed!)
  15. After buying the shoe, use them for walking first. It is not advisable to train in them immediately. Ditto for races.

Oh, are you wondering how my 807’s reacted to my new 1222’s? They took it well. I told them they would never be replaced in my heart. First love never dies, right? Naah, maybe that holds true only in the shoe world.

NB shoes

– the old and the new happily co-exist –

Reference: Gloria Averbuch, New York Road Runners Complete Book of Running and Fitness, 4th Edition, New York, Random House, 2004

 

Witnessing The Masters 10k Run

Monday, 28 May 2007  |  Race Reports

During my solo run/frog hunt yesterday, I went up against a sea of runners who were part of the Masters, Executive, and Corporate 10k Run. I secretly wished I could have joined the race (since I ran almost the same distance during training), but I quickly realized that this was the one race I was glad I didn’t qualify for—women are required to be over 35 years old. Well, I only have a few more years…gulp.

The race drew 80 runners and was organized by the Triathlon Association of the Philippines (TRAP).

Masters1

Masters3
– I had to take this. I liked her running skirt –

Masters2

LIST OF WINNERS:
Men
1st Place – Rogelio Adenig 38:31
2nd Place – Joseph Rosete 39.28
3rd Place – Edgardo Pedregosa 39.55
Women
1st Place – Daisy Castillan 51:55
2nd Place – Rizzo Tangan 53:41
3rd Place – Doray Ellis 53:56
Men’s Executive
1st Place – Graciano Santos 45:58
2nd Place – Danilo Burdeos 45:59
3rd Place – Mark Ellis 46:50
Women’s Executive
1st Place – Doray Ellis 53:56
2nd Place – Ruby Dawn Allas 1:09:20
3rd Place – Chay Saputil 1:13:56
Male Residents
1st Place – Jose Mari Banzon 47:03
Female Residents
1st Place – Susan Lafferty 56:31

Source: The Philippine Star (May 28, 2007)

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!