Biking Bravado

Tuesday, 1 July 2008  |  Bullish Insights, Running + Triathlon

We were to meet at 6:30 am on that fine Saturday morning.  I was a little bit excited over my first bike trip with my two girlfriends, Annie and Marga, but it certainly did not compare with the usual over-the-moon feeling I have over each and every morning run.  Put it this way, for a run, I am Manny Pacquiao…fight!  For any other sport, such as biking, swimming, or the gym, I give it a good fight like Diaz but there’s just something missing.  There’s no umph.

I arrived at our meeting place to find Annie in complete biking attire, something I have never seen her in since we met as running buddies over a year ago.  She was standing over her driver who was fiddling over the tight chains of her road bike.  Where was Marga?  Probably somewhere in between Bicutan and Sucat.  She biked all the way from her place, and unknown to us at that time, she actually had to walk through parts of the West Service Road as it was under construction.


– Annie testing her bike.  I want a road bike like hers or Margas! –

By the time Marga arrived, at around 7 a.m., Annie had declared that she couldn’t join us because her bike chains needed oil.  As for me, I had lost all enthusiasm for biking under the intense heat.  How could so many things go wrong that early in the morning?!  At that point, there was one thing that could turn things around: McDo!

We decided to bike out of the village for a good meal at nearby McDonalds.  It was to be my first ever bike trip on public roads and I was nervous.  As we biked our way towards the exit gate nearing the first intersection, I yelled out at Marga: “How do bikers stop at the traffic light?”  (Yes, you can kick me for such a dumb question)  I couldn’t quite hear her response and, as much as I wanted to just close my eyes and teleport my way to McDo, I knew that on a bike I would probably find myself at the hospital instead.  Luckily, the light turned green and we just biked along with the cars.  After crossing the street, Annie who should’ve been behind me was unusually quiet (Annie is never ever quiet!) so I had to yell out at Marga again: “Where’s Annie?  Can you check?”  That’s because I can’t even look behind while on a bike, much less scratch my face, fix my helmet, bike in between that narrow strip of flat road between a hump and the sidewalk, nor stand on my pedals to avoid the pain that comes from passing over a hump.  Gosh, I’m such a newbie.

A little over a kilometer later, we were happily chatting about running, boys (to my hubby, I was actually just listening!), and races over our meals.  We biked our way back to the village and, surprisingly, the super short bike trip gave me a lot more confidence already.  It was definitely a more relaxing ride on the way back—I could actually manage a smile!  Yeah, I finally found the courage to explore more roads on the bike.  Give me a month and I’ll be fast and fearless…I hope haha.

The Good, The Bad, and The Not-So-Ugly

Monday, 30 June 2008  |  Bullish Insights


For the first time in 5 weeks, I attempted a pain-free 3k run yesterday and I am all too happy to report that it was a success!  Finaaaaallly, I can run again.  Sure, it was slow and short.  And, the entire time, I was focused on keeping my left foot from overpronating, but hey beggars can’t be choosers.  I was just ecstatic over the fact that I was running (and sweating) again!

I can attribute my recovery to one thing: acupuncture.  Last Monday’s acupuncture session brought instant relief to three weeks of stubborn shin splints. (Thanks to my good friend Kung Fu Panda for recommending it.) I actually felt strong enough to join Mizuno already but held back due to my PT’s orders.


Sure, I was an obedient little patient but that’s not to say that I didn’t feel awful, angry, and frustrated about missing the Mizuno-Rush to Infinity Run.  I tried my best not to talk, blog, nor think about it to keep negativism at bay, which to a certain extent, helped to keep me sane.


So, who in the running world hasn’t heard about the long queu that awaited runners at the finish line of the Mizuno-Rush to Infinity Run?  Certainly, it was an incident that no one expected nor hoped for—especially the race organizers.  I don’t have the right to comment since I was not there.  But, I do take my hat off to Coach Rio who handled the incident like a man.  On the same day, he apologized for the mishap and took full responsibility.  



To Coach Rio, hey I know you did your best.  You always do.  Mistakes happen and, from these accidents, lessons are learned.  I hope you continue to wow us with your well-organized and innovative races.  If there’s a Mizuno Rush to Infinity Part 3, I’m guessing it’ll be perfect!  Remember, three’s a charm!

Congratulations to my dear friend Annie who placed 2nd overall in Women’s 15k.  Her Garmin registered a time of 1:06.  I believe many of the runners there are scratching their heads thinking that she should have been 1st. But, again, I’m not one to comment since I wasn’t there. At the moment, I just can’t figure out why Annie isn’t listed in the results.  

Click here to view official race results.


Big Birthday for a “Big Fan”

Wednesday, 18 June 2008  |  Bullish Insights

It had been two weeks since Michelle contacted me requesting for—of all things—my autograph.  Don’t laugh.  This is serious stuff.  It was to be a surprise birthday gift for her boss, Gen, who she said was a big fan of this blog.  Certainly, I was flattered.  But, more than that, I was in serious doubt that this boss of hers would appreciate such a present.  What would you do with a TBR autograph?  (I had never signed anything under this name and my hubby jokingly said “Tell Michelle to just sign for you.  No one will be able to tell it’s fake since there isn’t an original signature!”

After those two weeks of arranging our meeting, Michelle and I finally met during our Happy Feet Girls’ Night Out dinner last week.  Meek and shy, Michelle approached Marga and I and handed out a birthday card for me to sign for her dearest boss.  I happily obliged—yes, complete with “The Bull Runner” underneath my real name.  Then, she left us to say she’d be right back with her boss in tow for some photos.  Okay!

What happened next was a scene straight out of the movies.  It’s stuff that only celebrities and rock stars experience—and, quite honestly, something that I don’t dream of nor hope for.

Marga and I chatted away while enjoying our buffalo wings and mozzarella sticks when a girl popped up in front of us, her hands clasped in front of her mouth in a futile attempt to muffle her tiny screams of “Oh my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!” in between gasps for air.  Marga and I stared at each other in disbelief.  Looked back at the girl.  Glanced at each other again.  This must be Gen.  

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– with birthday girl, Gen –

Gen continued to shriek for several more minutes before I invited her and Michelle to sit down with us. “Breathe, Gen, breathe.  When you get to know us, you’ll realize we’re nothing to scream over.” I told her.

So, we talked with Gen and Michelle for more than an hour.  And, we learned a lot about Gen—her passion for running, her first race, her dedication to reading my posts (and the fact that she’s read through all the archives), her upcoming birthday, and more.  She openly called me her “Inspirunner,” a clever term she coined for the person who inspires her to plod on—how creative is that?!

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– with Gen, Marga, and Michelle –

It felt a little bit awkward to chat with someone who gushed every so often because she was such a big “fan.”  As Gen sat in disbelief over who she was talking to, I was probably as overwhelmed as she was over the fact that someone could ever react to my presence that way.  It was crazy, unbelievable, embarrassing, and awesome all at the same time.

To Gen, happy birthday again!  Thank you for allowing me to make a little difference in your life.  See you at the races.  And, oh, take care of your shins!

* Photos from Gen

Girls’ Night Out

Saturday, 14 June 2008  |  Bullish Insights

After a tiring, stressful week of rushing the kids to school, helping my daughter adjust to her first few days of nursery, beating work deadlines, dealing with new household help, and mourning the loss of yet another week’s run, I welcomed the thought of meeting Happy Feet girlfriends Marga and Banggi for a full night of chatting, eating, and pure fun last Thursday.


With these two high-spirited women, one has no time to yawn, complain or get bored. Both have the same zest for life and adventure that makes my life suddenly seem so mundane—not that it is! 

Banggi is constantly traveling the globe, meeting handsome men on plane trips (ehem), and exploring new cities and delicacies that once made locals in Hanoi yell out “You’re the rockstar!” after she “bravely” swallowed a chicken embryo (aka balot).   Marga is constantly on the go as a freelancer, entrepreneur, swimmer, biker, runner, skateboarder, yoga enthusiast, and more that one wonders how she possibly achieved and experienced this much at such a young age—she’s a full decade younger than me! Champion talaga!

Our lives are so different.  Our personalities on opposite poles.  If you had told me a year ago that I would be having dinner with these two girls, I would have answered “Oh sure…and that dinner would be followed by dessert with Bono and Lance soon after.”  But, thanks to running (and the world wide web), the three of us are no longer just running friends but real friends who run.

To all those running tomorrow—be it at Mizuno-Fuego, Men’s Health All Terrain, or DND—good luck, have fun, and stay safe!  I envy you!


Terrible Accident

Thursday, 5 June 2008  |  Bullish Insights

This photo jolted me out of my seat this morning. It has nothing to do with running, but it occurred during a race. This could have happened to runners. It could happen to anyone. So disturbing…and sickening.


The Associated Press (CNN) reported that a car plowed into a weekend bicycle race along a highway near the US-Mexico (MONTERREY) border, killing one and wounding 10 others, police said.

The 28-year-old driver was apparently drunk and fell asleep when he crashed in the race, said police investigator Jose Alfredo Rodriguez. A photo taken by an official of the city showed cyclists and equipment launched high into the air by the collision.

Rodriguez said Juan Campos was charged with murder Alejandro Alvarez, 37, of Monterrey. Authorities said the wreck happened 15 minutes in the 34 kilometers (21 miles) race Sunday along a road between Baghdad and Playa Matamoros, across from Brownsville, Texas.

Campos said he is a U.S. citizen living in Brownsville. The USA Consulate could not immediately confirm that.