On the Heels of a Dream: One Run at a Time (Week 16)

Monday, 4 November 2013  |  Running + Triathlon

On The Heels of a Dream is a weekly column by guest writer Obbie Suguitan who is currently training for his first marathon, The Bull Runner Dream Marathon, on February 16, 2014.

Depleted. This is what I felt at the end of my 80 minute long weekend run. I never meant to be hard on myself but with so many of my batchmates joining 21K runs in a few weeks, I guess I’m entitled so some envy and a smidgen of doubt. I am, after all, human.

Even as I was busy deciding where to do my longest run yet, again my friend Joanne suddenly invited me to do the LSD with her in BGC. With no better plan, I said yes. A finisher of the previous Dream and a few 21Ks herself, she one of a handful of people I can expect realistic advise from and not doubt. If some time in the future, I am asked for advice, I would tell runners-to-be to have a running guardian angel.

By the way, earlier in the week, I did my two maintenance runs and one extra with a friend from work named Jino. Training is hard but I’ve developed a liking for it. Now I want my friend, who’s a Muay Thai fighter, to be in TBR Dream 2015. Online, I saw that numerous batchmates took advantage of the long holidays to go on vacays. Even away from home, quite a few still trained at the destination of choice. Among them was new friend Resty who still did his LSD up north, and Jah who ran from Lukban to Lucena. There’s also batchmate Catherine who ran in Nice, France! Im sure there were others in different places – Nothing stops a Dreamer!

– Batchmate Resty in Vigan! –

– Batchmate Jah ran from Lukban to Lucena –

Back to my weekender, I really wasn’t looking forward to finding out how hard an eighty minute run is – even partly walked. This is hard work. I know I was properly warned but still… Anyway, we were here for a reason and there wasn’t anything else to do but go run. So we did. I suppose it was a good thing we started a shade past 7 am because it would at least simulate the time of day of the real run. Again, the sun took its severely unwanted toll. For me, heat is a big enemy. But it was one to be conquered. We went left, right, straight – pretty much through most of the roads of BGC. My bud and I agreed to do 2:1 and at certain points she pushed, cajoled, clapped, and urged me on while I ran, jogged, walked, trudged, and zombied forward. She had the wisdom to set small destinations to push me, “Hanggang kanto, kaya mo yan”, “fast run hanggang kanto!” and various other methods.

Finally, after countless street corner turns, stretches of what seemed to me like a scorching sun, and thousands of heavy-legged steps, we were notified via watch that our 80 minutes was done. Taking a few cool down steps, to be perfectly honest, I was trying to recall WHY I WAS DOING THIS. What’s an out of shape, middle-aged Dad doing trying to run this? Right now, because my mind’s too tired to be rational, the answer seems simple: Because I still can. Quite frankly, I still can’t imagine being on my feet for 7 hours ( it’s not a sin to be optimistic). But, I’m willing to do it one run at a time. On to the next!

– I did it! –

On the Heels of a Dream: Bull Session 2…check!

Thursday, 31 October 2013  |  Running + Triathlon

On The Heels of a Dream is a weekly column by guest writer Obbie Suguitan who is currently training for his first marathon, The Bull Runner Dream Marathon, on February 16, 2014.

One month – this is how long the 2014 Batch of Dreamers have been ‘officially’ training marked by Bull Session 2. At this point, the training has been supposed to allow us to run-walk continuously for 70 minutes. After chatting with some of my batchmates and engaging them in some form, I found out that a lot of them have been running for years already. They’ve done 10Ks, 21Ks, and in-between distances. For a lot of them, this 70 minute run isn’t that much of a challenge. For me, it’s a big one. I’ve let my health degenerate over the years that being on my feet for 70 minutes under the sun is a feat. Those thirteen or so years of smoking 3 packs a day have taken their toll and I’m hard-pressed to reclaim what’s been taken away.


The two maintenance runs that preceded the Bull Session weren’t any different from the other maintenance runs but they were two more points on the board in scoring for consistency. It’s not that they were negligible but rather just doing them added a little bit of uniformity in the effort and keeping the calories burning and the muscles stretched and conditioned. A small variation was that I ran them on the road along a declined/inclined circuit in my neighborhood. My previous place – Capitol Commons – had become too short. Hah! Too short! I never thought I’d say that about any route I’d take! Even as the term maintenance sounds too perfunctory I’d like to think that each and every run adds confidence however small. When I coached basketball decades ago, I remember always telling my team that games are won in practice. This time I get to take my own advice.

At the Bull Session, this one was markedly different from the first one in that the air was lot warmer, friendlier, more festive. Batchmates who’ve kept in touch online got to chat face-to-face and establish an actual connection to the faces. Even with my bad eyesight, I got to respond to several greets. A lot of the batchmates I’d met only digitally even volunteered in person to pace me.

For this session, I was in Group 6 – the second 2:1 group. After the pack As I am wont to do, I fell back in the pack but didn’t stop at any point. I got to meet and chat during the run with several people – two of whom were a 6-ft tall Luis Manzano look-alike named Chal, and a fellow named Arvin. They were the sweepers of the group who provided a lot of cheerful encouragement. At some point I lost my running buddy Joanne but there were Ms. Jo and Jojo – lovely ladies who distracted me with chat – enough to keep my mind off the minutes that lay ahead. There was also Mr. Evan who people referred to as Smiley and Ms. Macel who kept pace with everyone on her trusty Segway so she could visit with virtually all the groups.

– Joanne and I –

– with Joanne, Chal, and Arvin –

After what seemed to me longer than 70 minutes, the pack was herded by our sweepers back towards where we started. Surprisingly, it was over. Ms. Jo chatted me into the home stretch and we found ourselves putting our 2nd Bull session behind us. Chalk one up for persistence. After post-run hydrating, the whole group went through a pictorial where everyone was in very high spirits. The mood was still in high energy – as if most still wanted to do another 70 minutes. Maybe next time. Bull Session no.2 – check. Two sessions down, three more to go.


On the Heels of a Dream: After the 1st Bull Session

Thursday, 24 October 2013  |  Running + Triathlon

On The Heels of a Dream is a weekly column by guest writer Obbie Suguitan who is currently training for his first marathon, The Bull Runner Dream Marathon, on February 16, 2014.  

October 6, 2013 – The First Bull Session

It’s the day after the first Bull Session – the first of several long, increasing runs that I, along with the other participants of The Dream Marathon batch 2014, need to run as part of training. After a few weeks of training from scratch (I have never trained for any running activity in my life), yesterday was my first experience of running in an organized group. With my tireless running patron Joanne, I got to the site with almost no expectations other than to learn even more things about training. What greeted me was a sea of blue as most everyone there had the official training shirt on. My own training shirt, even as I already got the 2XL size, did not fit as I had hoped, so my purple shirt had me standing out like a sore thumb. I see this as a good thing as it gave me an additional goal – to fit into the training shirt between now and Christmas.

Everyone and his brother were busy in various stages of stretching, meeting and greeting each other, and general merry making. My brain was failing. I couldn’t recognize anyone I had met online because my mind was processing so much information. As if it hadn’t sunk in that I was doing this – not just this one training run but the entire Marathon. As daunted as I occasionally am, the great thing was that everyone was as friendly in person as they are online. Could it be true that running united these people? Apparently so. Strangers greeted me with words of encouragement.





The run itself was thankfully uneventful – by uneventful I mean nothing untoward happened to me by way of cramps, breathlessness, or such. My 2:1 pack had all but left me behind but, aside from my run-bud, there were two guys who stayed back with me egging me on: “Power walk ha!”. Thank you. I had pre-decided to just do 1:1 on account of my weight and hypertension so hanging back was fine save for a few bouts of guilt that I might hold some back. Having been training mostly in the evenings, running in the sun was also somewhat new to me. Still hard for me but I welcomed the experience. Saying my prayers, training as I’m told, and eating as I should, are the things that carry me forward.

I came in ‘alive last’ (the complete opposite of dead last!) I believe but it was very good for me to go through it. ‘Complete don’t compete’, ‘As long as you finish’, ‘Run at your comfortable pace’, and similar words of encouragement in various friendly voices kept echoing in my mind. Just the same, I look forward to run-walking more pounds off and logging on more mileage. This time, I really am thankful for all the Bull.


Rip:60 Master Coach Tim Church Coming to Manila. Rip:60 for Triathlon, Anyone?

Thursday, 3 October 2013  |  Running + Triathlon

I’ve heard about Rip:60 before and I’ve always wanted to try it.  Here are 3 good reasons for me to do so now:

1) Master Coach Tim Church is coming to Manila,
2) He’s holding classes at Gold’s Gym where I work out, and, last but not the least,
3) There’s actually a Rip:60 Workshop especially for Triathletes!

RIP 60 Poster Lowres

Gold’s Gym Philippines is bringing to the country RIP: 60 along with world-renowned FreeMotion Fitness Master Coach Tim Church. On October 14-16, fitness practitioners, triathletes, sports enthusiasts, and even non-gym-goers will unite as Tim Church conducts certification and sampler classes for RIP:60, the newest trend in body weight and suspension training.

What is Rip:60?

The newest fitness craze in the US that guarantees you the body you’ve always wanted in less than 60 minutes in 60 days has finally arrived here in the Philippines. RIP:60 is the recent innovation in suspension training that makes use of gravity, your body weight, plus the system’s revolutionary rotating straps to engage the core at all times with every move, in a progressive and varying set of exercises.

This new training system has made it big all over the world with globally-recognized names in the industry attesting to it. Among these are Mixed Martial Arts World Champion Georges St. Pierre and world-famous TV trainer of The Biggest Loser, Jillian Michaels.

In a series of progressive workouts week by week, RIP:60 can get anyone ripped in 60 days. Some of its key benefits include losing body fat, gaining lean muscle, and improving strength, all in the fastest time.
Another good thing about it is that it’s doable for anyone who wants to improve the way their body looks, feels, and moves, as it is adjustable as to whether you’re a beginner or advanced already. It promises a total-body transformation from where you are today to the best shape of your life.

Just three months ago, FreeMotion Fitness certified and trained 200 of Gold’s Gym’s fitness professionals for RIP:60, along with cable equipment and RAPIDfit.

Who is Tim Church?

Tim Church is an established fitness expert from South Carolina USA with over 13 years of experience. He has appeared in local fitness TV shows and specializes on developing and coaching personal trainers in their training styles, client development, and retention.

“I see the trainers applying the knowledge and ideas he passed on in their workouts with their clients, as well as within their own workouts… The trainers’ time was very well-spent in training with him,” says Karen Mock, a gym owner in the US. Tim Church will be speaking this month in Bangkok for AsiaFit 2013, presenting RIP:60 for MMA and RIP:60 for Triathlon training.

To find out more about RIP:60, you may check out their website here, or this demonstration video by Body Power Sports.

On the Heels of a Dream: Obbie’s Journey Towards his First Marathon

Monday, 30 September 2013  |  Running + Triathlon

On this week, September 30 to October 6, 2013, our TBR-ULAH Dream Marathoners begin their formal marathon training based on our Dream Marathon Program. It’s the beginning of their journey towards their first marathon.

Week 20

This is the 5th time that we’ve staged the event, yet, every single time we begin training for the marathon with our runners, I’m taken back to my first time as well. I feel the same level of excitement and trepidation as if I was a first-timer myself.

I thought I wanted all of you readers to share in this experience. The best way for me to do this was not through my own words (because all my experiences are easily accessible already in the archives of this blog such as my first accidental marathon in QCIM, Oct 2009), but through a first timers own eyes.

I invited Chris Ibanez Suguitan or “Obbie”, a registered participant of TBR-ULAH Dream Marathon 2014 who I have yet to personally meet, to write about his own experiences as he goes on his journey towards his first marathon.  Expect Obbie’s weekly column called “On the Heels of a Dream” here at TBR starting next week.

For now, let’s meet Obbie.


TBR: Tell us about yourself.
Obbie: I’m 44 years old, over 200 pounds (how much over I’m not too proud of hehehe), I’m a writer by profession with a day job at a publishing company as the one who handles Client Relations and Special Sales.

TBR: Why did you join TBR-ULAH Dream Marathon?
Obbie: I decided to join because I heard about it from high school friends and my co-parents at my son’s school and decided that it’s about time for me to get thin(ner), more fit, and that this would be a great way to show my boys how their overweight Dad can be disciplined beyond the lack of time and money to accomplish something significant. I was a full scholar from high school to college but it was such a long time ago that they can’t relate to it to well. I thought a marathon right now can inspire them.

I’ll end with that short introduction and allow you to get to know Obbie in the weeks to come.  Welcome to TBR, Obbie!