The Barbizon Mommy Milkshake Marathon

Saturday, 4 August 2007  |  Race Reports

In celebration of World Breastfeeding Month, Barbizon together with Mommy Matters, Best Friends in Breastfeeding, and Phil. Association of Childbirth Educators, held its first ever Barbizon Mommy Milkshake Marathon today at Fort Bonifacio. More than a hundred participants—nursing mothers and their families, breastfeeding advocates, and runners—showed up to give their full support for the advocacy of breastfeeding by walking/running 2km around Bonifacio Global City.

Now, this was not a race for The Bull Runner. It was a race for the mother in me. (Aaaw, sniff sniff. Pass the tissue, please.) As a mother who breastfed my two kids, breastfeeding is a cause that I support because of the gift of good health it has given to my children. It was also, without a doubt, one of the best bonding experiences I had with both kids.

Anton & Nia

– My two kiddors (breastfed my little girl for 15 mos. and my boy for 6 mos.) –

This 2k run was also more like my son’s run. He was looking forward to this for the past two weeks and, as he woke up this morning with a bad cough, I promised him I would just run by his side and forget about racing today. (Forced tapering for tomorrow’s race, huh?)

So, with two children plus a yaya in tow, we headed for the Fort at 7:30 am despite the heavy rains. Upon registration, I was delighted to receive a pink shirt which all runners were asked to wear for the run. With a quick wardrobe change, I became one among the many pink runners lined up behind the starting line. Thankfully, by then, the rain had gone and the weather was cloudy and cool.

MMM Start

MMM Start Run

The course began from Gourdo’s restaurant and headed out towards the main streets of Bonifacio Global City. It was a delight for me to run with my son and his cousin. At first I thought I would just brisk walk while they would run by my side, but much to my surprise I found myself running (close to race pace at times!) just to keep up with them.

MMM Zach and Anton

– Cousins on the run –

I was enjoying the run when I saw Tessa Prieto-Valdes wearing what Ben said was my dream Nathan water carrier. MY Nathan?! How could that be? Someone else got to him before I did?! I took a shot and heaved a sigh of relief as I saw that hers was pink when My Nathan is yellow. Still, I was envious. Patience, I say to myself, patience. One day, my Nathan shall arrive.

MMM Tessa

– Tessa Valdes wearing My Nathan –

We passed Senendra and Bonifacio High Street and, before we knew it, we were nearing the finish line. The organizers pulled out their pink ribbon for us to run through but I learned a little bit too late (like when I was an inch away from the ribbon) that they did this for the kids—not me! Oops, I guess Mommy got too excited about feeling like a first placer!

MMM Finish

– I know, I know, I look preggy here. –

Before we left, we were given bags and bags of freebies from the sponsors. My oh my, Barbizon sure knows how to give us runners the spoiling that we so rightfully deserve! I took home a sandwich and water, Avent items, Prolacta samples, and—now this is my favorite—a free set of underwear which fits me perfectly! Woohoo, this sure beats hard boiled eggs!

They said this was going to be a “fun run” and that is certainly what we got—a grand time running with friends and family! Barbizon, how about a “fun” 10k next year?

MMM Happy Feet

– We got H@ppy Feet! –

To H@ppy Feet: Mon, Ben (and Missy), Joms, Smith, and Tisha, it was nice to see you again. Ang saya!

To Banggi, (you’re much taller than I thought), Roselle (nice to hear your soul voice live) and Anton (you are such a pleasant guy!), I was so glad to finally meet you outside of cyberspace.

To Anna Price: It was quite difficult to chat while running haha. Wish we had more time to talk and get Colin and Nia to play together!

To Tricia, congratulations for winning first place! Are you sure that wasn’t just your first race?

To  Janice, my sister who organized the race, congratulations!  When are you joining?

Thanks to Erwin Nolido for my finish line and Happy Feet shots.

Virtual Training Run Report

Thursday, 2 August 2007  |  Running + Triathlon

I woke up in the dead of the night—or more like early morning—committed to making it in time for my 4:45 am run with my virtual running buddies spanning the globe: E-rod, Hitme, Ben, Renz, Marga, Steph, Gretchen, and TRF, and of course Coach B who agreed to accompany me for the run. Driving through South Superhighway at 4:30 am, I wondered if running this early was such a good idea. Thoughts of a headless man clad in a barong in the backseat or a white lady drifting by pervaded my mind. But, for the love of running and to honor my promise to my 8 virtual running buddies, I cranked up the radio volume, stepped on the gas, and prayed to God I would get to Alabang Country Club the soonest possible time.

We started warming up at exactly 4:55 am. As we did our usual active-dynamic routine, I was imagining the other runners in Manila closing in on their 5k even before the sun rose. Hitme would have Paula Radcliffe whispering in his ear. Shirtless Ben would probably have a shirt on this time lest he catch a cold before Sunday’s race. Renz would be running the streets of Makati quietly and swiftly. Marga would be running Paranaque with a smile on her face thinking of how many pancakes she’d down for breakfast. And, on the other side of the earth, I was guessing E-rod was conquering the Back Bay dirt trails with relaxing music as company while Steph and Gretchen, E-rod’s friends, and TRF from Kuala Lumpur were enjoying their runs in their own timezones as well. The thought that we were all running at the same time for the same reason—simply because we love to run—was just amazing and motivating.

As for my run, Coach B and I were compelled to run fast since I had to make it back home by 6:15 am to get my son ready for school (oh the life of a running mommy!) So, our target was to run 10k at the fastest possible time. Off we went in the dark rushing through the main roads where street lamps could light our way and keep us from getting killed by speeding cars. I had never ran this early before so my body took a while to warm up (literally) to the idea. I felt like a marshmallow held up by a stick! My legs wouldn’t follow and my arms swung awkwardly like a pendulum from my shoulder. After the 1st kilometer though, we picked up the pace and it was all good for me from then on. Oooh la la, our pace was fast…but I felt strong. Coach tells me that this was my practice run for Sunday. As long as I can sustain that pace all throughout, I could definitely break my PR. Break my PR?! He said the magic words. That kept me going strong until the end.

Aug 2 Nike Plus

We had to end the run at an unusual time of 48 mins at an odd distance of 9.33 km (Boooo! We didn’t have time for 10k) and a frustrating 499 calorie count (499! Just one more to hit the big 5! Forgive me, I can get obssesive at times) but it was a great run. The big surprise came when I saw my pace of 5’09/km. Nice. I hadn’t gone that fast before for such a distance so I’m thinking Sunday is going to be one exciting race for me.

I drove home under the light of the morning sun glad that I overcame my silly fears (Well, maybe not so silly. Hitme once ran with a white lady, you know?!) and wondering again about my 8 virtual running buddies. I hear that the others have posted reports on their blogs already. So, excuse me for a while as I hear from the new friends I have made in these two wonderful worlds of running and blogging.

Read other virtual runners’ reports here:

  1. E-rod
  2. Hitme
  3. Steph
  4. Ben
  5. The Running Freeman (TRF)

Virtual Training Run

Wednesday, 1 August 2007  |  Running + Triathlon

Virtual Training Run

You are cordially invited to join an international (well, sorta international) group of runners who shall lace up, run the same distance (somewhat) at the same time (okay, that’s one thing we’re sure of) wherever they may be in the world.

DATE: 2 August 2007, Thursday

TIME: 4:30 A.M. (Manila Time)

DISTANCE: 10 km/ 6 miles (or whatever you wish)

RUNNERS/ COURSE:

  1. E-Rod – Back Bay dirt trail, Newport Beach, USA
  2. HitMe – Quezon City, Philippines
  3. Photographer On The Run – Manila to Makati, Philippines
  4. o.O – Makati, Philippines
  5. Marga – Paranaque, Philippines**
  6. Steph – Balboa Park, San Diego California, USA**
  7. Gretchen – Sammamish River bike path, Seattle, USA**
  8. TRF – Kuala Lumpur***
  9. The Bull Runner (that’s me!) – Alabang, Philippines

Boy, oh boy, this is going to be fun! Will you come and join us?

* Thanks to E-Rod and Hitme for getting this started!

** Added Aug 1, 3:14 pm Manila Time

*** Added Aug 2

I’m Back!

Monday, 30 July 2007  |  Bullish Insights

Aaaaw, it was a scene straight out of the movies…or maybe just a postcard. I parked my car at the soccer field of Alabang Country Club yesterday morning and paused for a few minutes to appreciate the spectacle before me: the sun was about to rise. How I missed seeing the early morning sun! On this occassion—unlike so many others in the past (wherein I was just probably PMSing at that time)—I had every right to be melodramatic about this run.

I had been through Runner’s Hell and back the past week. (“Runner’s Hell” because only my running life was in turmoil. Apart from my kid’s yaya going on an emergency 2-week leave, life was pretty much happy. Hubby has a job and no mistress. My preschoolers do not take drugs.) My running life was threatened because of my fainting incident two Saturdays ago. At a time when I should’ve been running the Milo 10k, I was at home downing bottles of Gatorade to forget the missed race. While I was supposed to be training for Run to Bring Hope, I was wasting away at clinics begging doctors to allow me to run again. I thought the week would never end. But, as my equally sentimental friend Rico once told me, “After the rain, comes the rainbow.” In my case, the rainbow came straight out of my doctor’s mouth last Saturday. After evaluating my results from my Treadmill Test, he announces “There’s nothing wrong with your heart. Go ahead and run.”

Rainbow

The Bull Runner wastes no time. The day after, which was yesterday, I met with Coach B at 5:15 am for my first road run in two long-drawn-out weeks. Against the backdrop of the rising sun, I felt like I was starting anew. Goodbye to talks of fanting spells and failed runs, I thought. It’s time to get back into the groove of things.

We set out for a 15km run in my favorite playground, Ayala Alabang. Coach B labelled this our “Recovery Run” since he was still recovering from Milo’s 42k (Congrats again, Coach!) and I from my brief running break. In the beginning, my feet felt like they were anchored to the road. They were so unbelievably stiff and heavy. Gradually, at around 2k, I found my rhythm and felt at ease. Aaah, I missed this even more than the rising sun! Our pace was slower than usual (5’26″/km to be exact) but it was alright. Man, it was great! I was just glad to be running again. I would’ve stopped to kiss the road but decided otherwise for fear it would look like I was fainting again.

That run was unforgettable. It was my first 15k. Yeah! But, even beyond the new record, it was unlike any other run I’ve had in the past because of what I’d been through. I came so close to losing running forever. And, after saying the phrase “I will die if I don’t run” so many times the past week, I felt so alive to be given the chance to just run again. So, after our 1 hr and 22 mins of pure bliss on the road, before we parted ways with Coach, I just had to say it “I’m back!” Oh yes, The Bull Runner is back!

Run To Bring Hope moved to Aug 5

Friday, 27 July 2007  |  Race Reports

Run To Bring Hope slated for July 29 (this Sunday) has been moved to August 5. Turns out that the race area will hold the ASEAN Summit on the same day and Malacanang wants the roads to be clear. I think our government has to rethink its priorities. Kidding.

So, runners, you have until August 1 (Wednesday) to sign up for Run To Bring Hope if you missed out on registration (just like me since I was planning to register on site if I passed my treadmill test the day before!) Register at One Heart, G/F Aurellio Building, 9th Ave. cor Rizal Ave. Caloocan City. Fee is P160. Look for Abigail.

See you there!

Thanks to Mon of H@ppy Feet for the SMS alert!