Nike+ Human Race – Part 1

Monday, 1 September 2008  |  Race Reports

Together with the rest of the world, over 200 runners showed up at McKinley Hill to take part in the Pinoy version of the Nike+ Human Race. This local race, as I’ve been told, was Nike’s “gift” to all users of the Nike+ ipod SportsKit and SportsBands. It didn’t matter if one was a loyal user or one of those who scrambled to purchase (or win—haha) a kit a few days before the race; as long as you registered and wore the Nike+ on your arm or wrist, you were in.

IMG_0176  – Nike Team headed by Country Director, Coco Mauricio wearing No. 1 Race Bib (of course!) and Neville Manaois of Pinoy Ultra Runners (No. 83) –

The atmosphere was light, fun, and festive—so unlike the larger major races that can get overcrowded and messy. Parking was easy, restrooms were clean (almost hotelish, if you get what I mean), and most runners were running loops around the assembly area to warm up. By 5:30am, my good friend Annie climbed up onstage to lead some light exercises and stretching to get everyone race ready. I decided to go for a jog and some light stretching instead, I’m anti-social that way.

 IMG_0177 – Fun fun fun! –

I felt strong and ready for this race. My upper body was slightly sore from a 600m swim the day before, but apart from that, I was raring to go. I switched on my ipod shuffle to hear my favorite song for the month, Cold Play’s Viva La Vida, as the 1st song on shuffle mode—just what I needed to climb the steep uphill we were about to face. At exactly 6 a.m., we were off.

It felt like a slow mountain trek up that hill, but we all survived. (Thank you for your prayers!) In the middle of the climb, I saw Foreign Runner speeding down the opposite side of the road (Philip, ang bilis mo!) followed by Annie. Yes, I just saw two people at that time, the rest of the runners were a blur.

Before I knew it, I too had gone downhill, up again, and out of McKinley Hill towards Lawton Avenue. I maintained a pace of 5:30 thereabouts from Lawton to Bayani road, which left me feeling tired and thirsty. I believe I took advantage of every single water station available, and believe me, there were a lot of them. (Great job, Coach Rio and Jo-Ar!) One cup to drink, another cup to wash my face. That second cup of cold water did wonders, I tell you.

As in our reconnaisance mission last week, the run inside the flat roads of Heritage Park was a welcome treat. I think it was the only long stretch of road that allowed me to breathe again. It was during this time that my bull horns started popping up. I saw a few male runner friends (who shall not be named) ahead of me and thought “I sure could outrun them” but then, I controlled myself by repeating my new mantra “Complete, not compete.” over and over and over…

It worked—for half a kilometer or so. As we exited Heritage Park and made our way up Bayani Road, the same guys were still within my vision, just a few meters ahead of me. I still maintained my pace and felt like I got my second wind somewhat. I maintained my pace, enjoyed my music, and didn’t focus on racing. Then, climbing up the last hill before making a right towards Lawton, I felt my bullhorns growing out of my head (you didn’t see them because they were concealed by my cap); I felt strong and I started increasing my pace during the ascent. One by one, I outpaced the guys that were once ahead of me. By the time I made a right turn, I was ahead of them. I increased my pace even more, striding through the flat roads knowing I was nearing the finish.

I only slowed down in the steep downhill close to the finish (my shin splints are aggravated by running downhill) and, unfortunately, that’s where Guy #1 outpaced me. Then, as I closed in on the finish line, Guy #2 ran ahead of me too. I think Guy #3 & 4 were still behind me when I crossed the finish. 

These guys are my friends and I know they detest getting “chicked,” but hey it was all fun and friendly competition. Right, girls?

According to my Garmin, I finished 10.4 km at 59.11 minutes. I reached my conservative goal of finishing my first “comeback” 10k race below 1 hour. I was satisfied with my performance considering it was such a tough course.

IMG_0175 – Finishers immediately upload their runs on laptops available onsite. How cool is that? –


First thing I did after the race was to search for Annie. I expected her to have placed 1st. She was nowhere in sight. I chatted with friends first thinking Annie was probably changing until I bumped into Drew A. who brought some bad news: Annie had collapsed.

Annie was 1.5km away from the finish line. She was the first among all women. Her closest competitor was a far 600m behind. She was definitely going to win this. But, little did she know that she was dehydrated already (she didn’t have time to drink water after her warm up onstage and went straight towards the race start.) Her vision started blurring while she was running, but she disregarded this and went full blast. She wanted to win this for her daughter who was celebrating her 14th birthday. The prize, P16,000 worth of Nike GCs, was going to be a surprise gift for her daughter. She wanted it badly but her body couldn’t take it. She blacked out. 

When I spoke to Annie over the phone, she was already in a hospital in Bonifacio and was hooked up to a dextrose. She was in tears over her daughter’s “lost” birthday gift—and so was I. Annie is a strong woman—one of the strongest I know—but, like any other mother, she just turns into a marshmallow when it comes to her children. Annie is now fine; she’s going to teach a yoga class today. To all those who sent SMS and expressed concern for Annie, my partner-in-running-crime, thank you!


So, I was home, sitting on the floor near our bed telling my hubby about the awesome experience of running a 10k again as I munched on my banana and peanut butter combo when I receive an SMS from a friend. She told me that it was too bad we didn’t see each other in the race and, she adds almost in passing, that I won. I sent a message back asking “Won what?!” I seriously thought I won the cruise to Coron that I was pining over for the past few weeks (but Armand won that one, congrats!). Then she says that I won top finisher in my age category! What a surprise! The Bull Runner—complete with bullhorns plus P3,000 worth of GC’s from Nike—is back!

Next post: More race photos…This post was just way too long wasn’t it?

Mommy Milkshake Marathon Yr2

Sunday, 10 August 2008  |  Race Reports

“What do you call breastfeeding moms running together?  Mommy Milkshake!”  Get it?

– with my sister (no, we don’t usually wear matching outfits!) –

Janice Villanueva, co-owner of Mommy Matters Nursingwear and director of Creative Juice Communications (who also happens to be my sister), heard this joke on the radio a couple of years ago and almost instantly the idea for a fun run for nursing moms was born.


– I’ll be in one of these in the next race.  PR, baby! –

Today was the 2nd year for Mommy Milkshake Marathon.  Along with 300 other moms and their families as well as serious runners who joined in on the fun, I showed up at Bonifacio High Street along with my hubby and son for a short 2k fun run (which turned out to be 2.6km as advised by organizers prior to the race).  

Knowing full well that my son would walk more than run, hubby and I arrived early for our usual training run.  I ran 6k with fartleks inserted somewhere in there.  Oooh, I felt strong and pain-free the entire time; it was a marvelous experience.  But, I’m trying my best not to get too excited about it.  I’m taming my inner bull, chewing on my fingernails, and repeating this line over and over “Endurance, endurance, endurance.  Forget about speed for now.”

After our pre-race run, there was just enough time for a quick costume change (we were advised to wear pink, remember?) and, after a brief speech by my sister and her partners, we were off.



– 3…2…1… –

Under the sweltering 8 a.m. heat, we ran along with moms and strollers, dads with babies in slings, a preggy woman and a pup, and other faces one doesn’t quite expect in a run.  Of course, we also saw veteran runners and serious runners, plus other runner bloggers like RunMD and Bards, enjoying the easy run.  My son was soaked in sweat yet he plodded on trying to keep his pace.  


– Cool preggy mommy-to-be with her pooch and friend –


– Daddy and baby runners –


– Mommy Lennie and her daughter –


– Bards and RunMD squeezed MMM into their long run –


– Happy Feet Joms and Abbey.  Aaaw, you should’ve signed up at Buddy Wellness Run –

We ran 1.6km, a full loop around Bonifacio High Street, when we went ahead towards the finish.  We decided against taking the 2nd loop as the heat was too intense for my little boy who looked absolutely exhausted.  As we neared the finish line, however, he saw his cousins and sprinted towards the end.  Strong finish, I must say.  (We might’ve fooled a lot of folks there!)


– My two boys –

– with Happy Feet girls, Vimz, Roselle, and Gigi and kids –


– Girl Power! –

One La Salle, One Wet & Wild Race

Monday, 14 July 2008  |  Race Reports

Despite the gloomy weather, over 5,000 runners showed up for the One La Salle run at The Fort yesterday. As I viewed the sea of green before me, I wondered if I had registered for a race or unwittingly signed up for one big La Salle family day.


– A sea of green –


– One brave soul.  Runmd proudly wears his Ateneo singlet –

Just as hubby and I found our way to the crowded assembly area, it started to drizzle and then pour. Runners huddled under tents while others allowed the rain to drench them from head to toe. We were part of the latter group; why shield ourselves from the rain when we were definitely going to get wet anyway?

Soon after the 16k and 3k runners started, we 5k runners were off. (Yes, all of us 5,000 runners started practically at the same time.) I bid my husband goodbye and went ahead not in an effort to break a PR but more to find some room to breathe. This was, after all, a training run for me; my first 5k after the shin splints.

For the first half, I ran at a comfortable 6:00 min/km pace, intentionally slowing down when I found myself reaching 5:00 to 5:30. No way was I going to reinjure myself for this race! It felt awesome to race under the rain, something I’ve never done. I didn’t feel as tired and I felt like I could go on to the finish line without ever taking a sip from my amphipod. Boy was I wrong.

As I closed in on the 3km mark, I suddenly felt depleted. I knew that there were two things to blame for this pathetic scenario: 1) staying up late the night before to read books with my daughter (that’s the life of a running mommy!), and 2) lack of training (my longest run was a 5k during my past 1.5 month imprisonment in shin splint hell.)

I swallowed my pride. I began to walk (argh…a mortal sin in the TBR world because no one has ever caught me walking in a race—much less a 5k!) and, in an attempt to appear strong and cool, I made it look as if I was just taking a water break.

It turned out to be a futile strategy since a runner suddenly appeared beside me, almost like an angel from the sky. How I wished that he looked like Gabriel with long blonde hair, unblemished skin, with his chiseled chest shining through his white robes staring at me with his blue eyes saying “Be strong. I shall run with you.” But, this man was old, dark, chubby, and short and he said to me in the gentlest manner “Maganda ang pace mo. Ituloy mo lang yan. Sasabayan kita.” And, with those words, despite his non-angelic features he became a blessing to me. We ran together.

God, all that drama. You’d think I was running marathon. Or, at least, you’d think that the man ran with me the next two kilometers to finish the 5k race. Soon after he uttered those words, we made a left on the road along with the rest of the 5k pack to discover that we were at the finish line. Whaaat?!  According to my Garmin, the 5km race had ended at 3.3km. Was the route inaccurately measured?  Did all of us make a wrong turn?  Did they miss a sign along the route?  Did they lack marshalls (I didn’t see any!) to point us in the right direction?  I don’t know.  All I knew was that it was the shortest 5k of my life. 

We were in for an even bigger surprise: a long line for us to pass through the finish line. I bet we were lined up even longer than the time it took us to run the race. I apologize for being sarcastic. But, my sarcasm was a lot lighter than the complaints from the crowd. One veteran runner repeated himself like a broken record as he waited in line “Terrible. Another badly organized race. Terrible. Terrible.”


– Runners waited in line to claim race giveaways being distributed from a truck. The scene reminded me of a NFA rice allocation. –

After my 5k-run-that-was-actually-a-3k, my hubby and I met up with my nephew (who I, unfortunately, didn’t see before or during the entire run) and my three bodyguards, uhm, actually they are my three kuyas, who just came to watch.  We chatted for a while, took a few photos, then called it a family day.

Thank God for the drops of water from heaven.  Running in the rain was perhaps one of the few, if not the only, positive experience I gained from this race.


– TBR’s biggest fans: my hubby, my nephew (center), my three brothers –

– Big smile from Mr. Mike Enriquez of GMA7. He looks so friendly but don’t be fooled. He’s scary. –

– with Rorie, Joy, and Cat from Binan, Laguna.  I bet they feast on putos before every race. Lucky them! –

– Paparazzi shot of Nina Huang and Fernando Zobel. –

– Finally get to meet Jhamfrens –

– Active achiever Vince and his cousin –

– Bumped into Okaido (am I right?) who reminded my husband about how lucky he is to have me (thanks! I owe you one haha) and her friend –

– Great-looking couple, Gelo and Cris –

– Mark P. of Happy Feet is all smiles after his 16k.  Goodbye injuries, hello long runs! –

Doc Fit – Takbo Para sa Puso

Sunday, 25 May 2008  |  Race Reports

Allow me to start at the end of the race because that’s where all the excitement was—at least for me. Here’s the loot I took home from my 5k run at Takbo Para sa Puso in U.P. Diliman this morning…


Do you see the medal right smack at the center of the photo? Yes, that’s mine—woohoo! I won 10th place in the non-MD Women’s Category for 5k. My official time was 29.03 mins.


– Top 10 winners for Women’s 5k. Check out the 3 winners behind me…they could be my kids! –

I took home the drawstring bag and singlet they gave to all runners, plus P1,000 cash and other freebies from sponsors. What a pleasant surprise for me!

You see, I arrived at the assembly area a little bit concerned about the pain in my left shin. I did my warm-ups and stretching with Annie then set my negative thoughts aside. I forced myself to think that I would survive a short 5k run with this slight discomfort. No pain, no prize, right?

As soon as the gun went off, I had little time to think at all. I ran at a steady pace of 5 min/km thereabouts from Km 1 to 3. At the 4th km, my lack of endurance finally showed as I slowed to an average pace of around 5:30. The uphill climb in that portion made things a little bit more difficult, but images of our hill training with Coach Jo-Ar came to mind and when I applied the techniques he taught me, they just worked like magic! I ran the last kilometers again at a steady 5 min/km pace.


– with Coach Jo-Ar. Salamat Coach para sa lahat ng hirap! haha –


– with my training buddies, Annie and Zorro (Yes, I’m kidding!) –

The race was as smooth as it could be for me. No negatives, all positives: (See what a thousand bucks can do to my mood!)

  • My pace was steady. I think next time I should throw more sprints in there, but maybe when I’m a little bit stronger already.
  • The pain subsided for the most part of the race and only returned (with a vengeance if I may say so) around lunchtime today.
  • The race was very well-organized by Coach Rio once again. I especially liked the fact that Coach Rio is the emcee of his own races. At the finish line, he could easily identify the elite runners and share their resume with all of us less talented runners! Hah!
  • Bonus: Mark P. of Happy Feet shared his secret restroom with me. (Sorry I’m not telling!)
  • I met a lot of readers from the blog. Finally, they aren’t only names, but runners with faces! It was a pleasure to meet you!


– with Jujet de Asis, 1st place 5k Men’s Category (17.38 mins). Jujet and I share the same birthdate. Do you think we’ll have the same finishing time in the future too? –


– Marieton Pacheco reads TBR! How cool is that?! Here I am with Marieton, her hubby and friends –


– with good friend Marga (Transition Zero) and her friend Jenna –


– Finally! A photo with Eric (Run For Change)


– with Skinhead81 –


– with Coach Rio, Councilor Dorothy (1st place 10k Women’s MD Category), and real “Doc Fit” runners. Dr. Yong Larrazabal (3rd from right) and Dr. Peter Mancao (rightmost) joined NYC Marathon last year and are eyeing the Chicago Marathon this year. Go docs! –

For official race results of Takbo Para sa Puso, click here.

4th Bonifacio Global City Run

Sunday, 20 April 2008  |  Race Reports

Surprise surprise, I thoroughly enjoyed the Bonifacio Global City Run this morning. As I said in a previous post, I was NOT looking forward to this race at all, but it turned out that this was the best among all other 5ks I’ve joined the past couple of weeks.

Here’s why:

1. Race started on time – 6 a.m. on the dot. Thank God my alarm clock rang this time…and my back up cellphone too!
2. Water was overflowing – In my 5k run, I passed three water stations. Three! Now that’s how to treat us hardworking runners. Pour on the agua!
3. Lots of marshals – There were marshals at every turn. If you lost your way here, you would have no one else to blame but yourself for drinking too much last night.
4. Clean restrooms – No need for those sucky, yucky, stinky, and hell on earth portalets. Bonifacio High Street’s restrooms were free to use…without the long lines too.
5. Food was being served – I didn’t line up for this, but hey I’m sure a lot of those runners who skipped breakfast appreciated it.
6. “Entertainment” – A number of celebrities showed up to run for charity…even more than the Kapuso race!

7. Hubby and I arrived a good 30 minutes in advance. I had enough time to warm up, stretch, and run to the restroom.
8. My best running buddy, Annie, claimed 4th place overall and 1st place in her age category. Congrats again Annie!
9. Hubby boasted of a faster time too.
10. As for me, I ran at a faster pace with much more confidence and less paranoia over my knee. It felt great to once again try to outpace some men (heehee) and break away from the walking crowd. I still didn’t go full blast; in fact, I kind of burned out at 4km due to my lack of training but oh it was awesome. I fell in love with races again! As for my time, errr was it around 29 minutes? Or 27? I’m afraid I’ll have to wait for the official results for that. Now, you must be scratching your head asking “Hmm…didn’t TBR time herself?” which leads me then to this…

The only bad experience of the Global City Run for me was…


Someone here forgot to charge her Garmin! (Ah, that’s me by the way.) Argh! It died on me while waiting for the starting gun to fire! The race was this close to being perfect were it not for my little booboo. No worries. The positives far outweighed the negative.


– Celebrities who ran for charity took centerstage. Hats off to them! –


– Athletes and hosts Drew Arellano (nice seeing you again, Drew!) and Paolo Abrera –


– Jackie Castillejo and popular fashion models ran too…or did they really? I’m not so sure since, again, there’s not an ounce of sweat on them. Plus, I can’t imagine running with my hair down and bangs covering my eyes! –


– Me with Annie, Jenny (another fast runner) and her sis. Next time, please remind me to lose 10 lbs before posing with athletes like these. I look huge beside them! –


– Patrick C. and Annie A. –


– I wish I had taken more photos of real runners like these cool guys above. Next time I promise…less celebrities, more runners –