Reminder: No Bull Circle Tonight (Jan 26)

Wednesday, 26 January 2011  |  Bullish Insights

Reminder guys!

As announced, Bull Circle 4 tonight was postponed to Feb 9, Wednesday, 7PM at ROX.  Coach Jim Saret will speak on balance, core, and conditioning for marathoners.  Not to be missed!  See you then!

Marathon Revelations

Monday, 24 January 2011  |  Bullish Insights

Do you want to know who a person really is?  What makes him tick?  Have him sign up for a marathon and his true self will be revealed.

After observing hundreds of runners toil away for months on end while training for their first marathon, I have enjoyed what marathon training offers: a glimpse into a person’s psychology and psyche.

If running is a metaphor for life, then marathon training is a window into the runner’s soul.

How a runner trains for a marathon uncovers vital information about her life beyond running.  It speaks volumes of who the person truly is: her character, beliefs, values, and even taste—in running and in the real world.

Note: The personalities detailed below are fictitious.  If you feel you are being described below, you are completely paranoid.

A leader will always find himself in front of the training group, perhaps set the pace or plan the course for each run.  He knows his stuff about running and shares this with the newbies. After a run, he rushes home to lead his business enterprise which he set up at the tender age of 20.

A follower will intentionally lag behind and ask questions: What distance do we run today? Where do we run? Are we joining the race next week?  Do you think I should wear the white or black underwear on race day?  A follower always has a coach, a leader, or anyone who can give him decent answers during a run.

The cheater signed up for TBR Dream Marathon knowing full well that it is only for first or second timers.  No worries, no one will ever know that she finished QC Int’l Marathon last year and is registered for Condura 42k on Feb.  She doesn’t care if she took the slot of a first-time marathoner who deserves the experience more than she does.  She HAS to run TBR Dream because her boyfriend will be there to cheer her on!  Just don’t tell her husband about it.

A planner will have her marathon training program printed out and displayed on every nook and cranny of the house. It is followed to a tee.  Marathon day is two months away but she knows her food, hydration, supplements, and outfit already.  She even has a post marathon training program ready.  All this has been neatly encoded into her ipad, a reward she bought for herself after her 3rd promotion this year.

The faker signed up for the marathon and posted about it on his blog.  He says he’s training seriously, but barely finds time to train since he’s too busy tending to his farm on facebook. He’s deeply worried about marathon day, but finds comfort in knowing that he can quit at 21k and simply tell his clueless friends that he finished the full.

This happy-go-lucky runner got lucky!  He heard about the race, impulsively registered, and found out he got the last slot.  Everyone is training heavily for the race, but he has no worries.  After all, he finished a 21k last year—note: half drunk and without any sleep—without collapsing.

A complainer always finds something wrong with herself and everything else: her yaya didn’t boil the eggs properly, her running shoe lacks cushioning, the pacer at the clinic ran too fast while her running buddies were too slow, the road had potholes, and the weather!  Oh boy, she asked God to make it cloudy that morning, but the sun appeared!  Arrgh!

The optimist is injured but knows that with some massage and cross training, the doctor will allow him to continue training next week.  He joins the running talks and observes at clinics eager to learn more about his newfound love for running.  He can’t believe he can run for 2 hours already, to think he only started running last year after he was declared cancer-free!

I could go on and on, but you get the point.  Each runner who signs up for a marathon will have his own tale to tell—not just after the marathon, but while training for it, not just through his words, but by his actions, and not just about his run, but his life and how he lives it. Make sure YOUR story is a GOOD one.

Running McKinley

Friday, 21 January 2011  |  Bullish Insights

I used to dread McKinley Hill.  If there was a race that included McKinley in its route I would think twice about registering.  I vividly recall the first time I ran 15k at the VSO Bahaginan Race in November 2008.  It was the longest ever run for me and, after 10k, I was exhausted.  I will never forget standing at the foot of the steep ascent towards the exit of McKinley Hill and seeing the kilometer marker with the huge words “13” on them. Perfect number for such a hellish climb!

How things have changed since then.  Now, I choose to run at McKinley Hill when I want a more challenging hill workout.  Those hills upon entering and exiting the area and oh those hills inside are roads that I still want to run away from (literally!), but they definitely strengthen my quads and calves and build my confidence for an upcoming race.  When the going gets tough at a race, I just think: If I survived McKinley, I can surely finish this one!

Last Wednesday, hubby, Jun (The Solemates) and I ran a 10k from Bonifacio High Street to McKinley Hill and back.  It wasn’t the ideal set up for a run: we started a bit too late at 7PM, the rain had stopped but the street was littered with tiny puddles, and I was getting a bit hungry (hah!).  But, I was eager to road test my new KSwiss Kwicky Blade Light (which I’ll write about it in the next post) so nothing could stand in the way of getting a good run in for that evening.  With vehicles passing us by, we ran in single file at a strong, steady pace in silence (except for the time we stuck our heads into Brick to say hi to Leroy and we stopped for a water break at the convenience store.)  It was a serious run for a serious route…and I loved it!

I ended the run completely spent, soaked in sweat, and super famished.  But, hey, that’s what I always get when I run McKinley…and I’m not complaining!

When Runners Wed

Monday, 17 January 2011  |  Bullish Insights

When runners wed, they don’t just send out typical formal invitations. They make you feel like you’ve been registered for a special race.



When runners wed, all runner guests scrap their morning training runs for the wedding (or at least they postpone it for later in the day.)


When runners wed, they share their vows for all running friends and guests to hear with even more passion than when they ran their first marathon.


When runners wed, “something new” is a new pair of Asics GT-2160’s for the groom…


…and New Balance 760’s for the new couple at the reception.


When runners wed, guests are advised to toss their formal shoes away and lace up into running shoes for a more comfortable  reception.


When runners wed, they’re in it for the long run.


To my dearest friends Hector and Mayen, I feel blessed and fortunate to have been a witness to your love—from the moment I saw you together at Secondwind, to training for TBR Dream Marathon, until you both walked out of the chapel hand-in-hand last Friday.  May you have many more years of laughter, love, and kilometers to run together.

Hec, I told you you would end up with a runner!

* Some photos courtesy of Migs Castro

Fat Jeans

Thursday, 13 January 2011  |  Bullish Insights

I bought my pair of “fat jeans” in Gap in the U.S. after I realized that wearing my regular jeans from Manila might 1) cut my blood circulation, 2) have my jeans rip apart as I sat on the subway, 3) not allow me to eat any morsel of NYC food, or 4) all of the above.  Ironically, I made the purchase the day after the New York Marathon.  It was evident that the 2,000+ calorie burn from running 42k fell short of all the bagels and pizza I was devouring during the trip.  (Told you runners don’t have the license to eat all we want!)  For what it’s worth, I loved “Fat Jeans” and the freedom it gave me. It allowed me to eat with comfort…and with a little less guilt.

It was back to reality when I arrived in Manila.  I realized that aside from my old pair of jeans, I couldn’t fit into anything in my wardrobe. From running shorts to casual tops, I so badly wanted to believe that everything had shrank!  (We all know the sad truth, don’t we?)  So, Fat Jeans came to my immediate rescue!


I wore my Fat Jeans all through the holidays and as I welcomed the New Year with a plateful of food and a cup of hot chocolate (a better alternative to fire crackers, right?)  My Fat Jeans was my best friend for quite some time until I realized it was time to let it go and get serious.  Since the year started, I have made an extra effort to lose the extra weight from the trip.  I am proud to report that out of the 8 lbs. I gained, I only have a miniscule 2 lbs. to go.  Phew.

This morning, I thought it was time to try fitting my old pair of jeans again. I took a deep breath and nervously yanked one pant leg after another.  It fit!  A little bit too tight on the thighs, but as long as I got in, right?

Beaming with pride, I stepped out of the bathroom with glee and announced to the kids:  “I can fit into my old pair of jeans again!”  Then TBR Jr. replies “It looks like thin jeans!” as Little Miss TBR stared with a wry smile. I asked cheerfully: “Do you mean to say, I look thin in it?”  He answers: “No, I mean it looks too thin for you.  It looks tight…”

Without saying a word, I headed back into the bathroom in search of my old friend to change.  Fat Jeans came to my rescue yet again.

Aaah, 2 more pounds to go to get back to my old weight.  When that happens, I’ll be ready to bid goodbye to Fat Jeans forever.  As the old saying goes: “If you love him, set him free.  If he comes back to you, then you must not be running enough.”