Wednesday, 29 October 2008  |  Running + Triathlon

The hubby and I started our run last night at exactly 7:46 p.m. At 7:47 p.m., just as we exited the gate of my in law’s home, it started to drizzle. Hubby asked “Rain or shine?” And, I replied with a smile “Yup!”  Before we even reached a full kilometer, it was pouring. Hubby offered his cap, but I declined wanting to feel the rain on my face. (How dramatic!)

Our first few kilometers was almost serene. We were talking in the beginning, but once the rain got stronger, we both fell into a comfortable silence. Sounds of the rain falling on rooftops, the croaking of frogs, and our shoes hitting the pavement was like a celebration of nature.

Never mind that I almost stepped on two bullfrogs and played patintero with a third, or that I had to squint to avoid the rain from hitting my eyes, or that both of us ran as if we were in an obstacle course avoiding puddles and holes.  Never mind if we ended with our shoes, socks, and insoles completely soaked and hubby worried that my wet top had already gone transparent (which it had but thank God for sports bras!)  

Who cares if I’m typing this now with a runny nose and an aching throat?  Last night’s 7k run was well worth it. It had the makings of a perfect run, or at least it would be up there on top of my list of favorites.  

Now let me just go get my Vitamin C + zinc and drink a dose of Berocca.

Double Training Day

Thursday, 23 October 2008  |  Running + Triathlon

As corny as it sounds, the greatest gift this blog has given me was the opportunity to meet people who share the same passion for running as I do. Yesterday, I realized that I started and ended the day with some of these people with whom I have had the good fortune of training (and talking and laughing) with:


When Mary Anne first commented on this blog, I couldn’t help but reply immediately.  We had too many things in common: both in love with running, in our 30’s, and with 2 kids.  When I met her, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that we also had the same NB 1222’s (that we’ve now gotten rid of) and we live in the same area.  Then, last month, we bumped into each other and discovered that we both signed up for our first tri at Animo; she instantly became one of my text mates for pre-tri anxieties over wardrobe and gear.

Yesterday, Me-Anne and I met up for a quick swim at 7 a.m.  I usually swim on my own and, most of the time, that’s the way I like it; there’s something about swimming alone in an olympic-sized pool early in the morning that allows me to reconnect with myself, feel completely at peace, almost like I’m a step closer to heaven even if half my body is submerged under water.  Yesterday, however, I was glad to have some company. 

Me-Anne and I are both newbies at swimming but we’re trying our best to improve with hopes of doing better at our next tri (don’t ask me when that’ll be). We spent perhaps half of the time talking in between laps, but I’d like to think we got some exercise in that morning. I swam just 500m but Me-Anne probably did more. Let’s meet up again soon, Me-Anne!


I met up with Marga, Hector, Neville, and Don (Jeremy, where were you?!) at ROX, Bonifacio High Street for a quick run around BHS. It took us forever to start (too much conversation going on) but, hey, once we started, we ran a good steady pace all the way (not surprising when you run with these ultra runners). 

Sometime during the run, Neville talks about the first time I emailed him requesting for an interview for this blog. Wow, it seemed like ages ago! Then, I remembered how I met Marga via email when we promised to meet each other at Milo last year. And, when I first saw Hector as he talked about the Nike Lunar during the test run months ago. As for Don, I finally got to meet him recently after hearing so much about him from Marga.

So, there I was running around BHS realizing how much shorter these loops seemed when you talk with friends rather than run solo with an ipod.  Neville even spiced things up a bit when, for one loop, we did what he called “Indian Running” wherein we all ran in a line with the leader setting the pace.  The last man in the line then heads towards the front to take leader position and the cycle goes on until everyone collapses (I’m kidding about the last part.)  We ended our run alive and breathing at 7.5km for around 50mins. drinking to Neville’s stash of electrolyte drinks in the BHS parking lot.

Double training day was doubly fun with friends. I would do this again in a heartbeat.  If only I had all the time in the world!

Playing Catch-Up

Thursday, 2 October 2008  |  Running + Triathlon

Hospital duties left me feeling bloated and cranky. I missed days of running, consumed every little thing in sight due to sheer boredom (from Boy Bawang to butong pakwan), and temporarily lost the ability to sweat within the four walls of that tiny air-conditioned room.

The only training I got this week was a measly 30 min run on the treadmill (which I abhor) last Tuesday. So, today I woke up with a mission: to get the most out of my training during the little time I had this morning—the time between dropping the two kids at school until my little girl got out.

There was no time for dilly-dallying; I was not willing to waste even a minute of travel time that could be used for running instead, so I parked my car at a convenient location, Festival Mall. For the first time, I explored new territory crossing the main road towards Palms Country Club.

Woooah, it was like discovering a new track behind my backyard. I know a lot of runners and bikers who frequent the area, but I never felt the need to run here as I was quite satisfied with my regular running route. Now, I know I can try this route once in a while to spice my training up a bit.

This area has wide, clear roads lined with trees to shade you from the sun. Traffic is low with some roads impassable to cars where one can actually run on the middle of the entire street. It isn’t as secure as running inside a village, but there are security guards all over the place. Most roads are flat so you can practice speedwork here or run easy, but if you’re craving for hill training, just run towards Palms Country Club for a long, challenging uphill climb that’ll leave you feeling exhausted.

I ran around this area for a satisfying 10k with a time of 57.40 at an average pace of 5:46 min/km. Then, this runner-on-a-mission dropped by SOS Village to register for the Hope in Motion 10k race this Sunday. I jumped in the car and proceeded to the village pool where I managed to squeeze in a quick 400m swim in 14 mins before showering and picking up the little girl.

Mission accomplished. Now for my next goal: a massage. That should be a whole lot easier to achieve.

Saturday Long Runs

Sunday, 21 September 2008  |  Bullish Insights, Running + Triathlon

After months of slowly building my mileage to 10k, I finally feel strong enough to restart my weekly ritual of Saturday long runs with Annie. FINALLY!

Yesterday, Annie and I ran 13k at an average pace of 6:18 min/km around the village. Every week—barring weekend work, a race, or the recurrence of shin splints (knock on wood)—I’ll add a conservative 1km to my long runs in preparation for my half marathon. Don’t get me started with half-marathon programs; I don’t intend to strictly adhere to any (maybe just an amalgamation of all my readings on Galloway, Higdon, and First). This half-marathon training is going to be all about fun, fun, fun. Long runs here I come! 


– After our long run –

To everyone that I saw yesterday, it was nice seeing you all: Patrick, Me-Anne and hubby, bikers Foreign Runner (sorry didn’t recognize you at first with the helmet), Virginia, and Marga

10 Easy Ways to Get Injured

Tuesday, 5 August 2008  |  Running + Triathlon

A friend once recommended that I write about injury prevention in running.  Was he talking to me?  Little Miss perennially injured Bullheaded Runner?  I thought that I could easily dictate the ways to do the opposite—how to get injured—because of all the mistakes I committed in my brief running experience.

Here are 10 easy ways to find yourself in the doctor’s clinic:  

  1. Buy a running shoe based on its color and look.  A doctor once asked me why I did not purchase the shoe he had recommended months ago for my flat feet, I replied “Because it didn’t look good.”  His response “Vanity thy name is injury!”
  2. Live in denial.  Your shins are sore.  Your knee is throbbing.  You’ve been feeling exhausted and tired.  Yet, you tell yourself that nothing is wrong and you lace up your shoes for yet another run or race.  Listen to your body and take a few days off if you must.
  3. Don’t stretch.  There’s still an ongoing debate over the importance of stretching.  However, I personally think that stretching after a warm up, such as a 5-minute walk, and after a run will help loosen up any tightness in the legs.
  4. Don’t do anything else but run.  Again, some runners may not agree with this.  But, I do believe in the importance of strength and cross training to work the muscles that aren’t used in running.  It is important to strengthen your core, quads, and shins to prevent injury.
  5. Increase mileage drastically.  You doubled your mileage from last week?  Hey, that’s great—if you want to get injured.  You should increase mileage only by 10% every week.  If you feel you can do more, don’t.  Stay on the conservative side.
  6. Go fast.  For beginners, some experts do not recommend that you focus on speed immediately. (I know, some of you may not agree!)  I believe it’s important to build your base through LSD (long slow distance) before you attempt to win races.  Boy, am I guilty of this one and have I suffered for it.  I was humbled when I read this great article about adult-onset athletes, I think it was written with the old, naive, and overzealous me in mind.  (Thanks Idnod for sharing!) 
  7. Join all races.  Have you noticed the popularity of races around the metro lately?  There’s a race almost every week!  Do not attempt to break your PR in every single race.  Choose specific races and train for them well.  If you must join every single race, then run some of them at training pace.
  8. Drink only when you’re thirsty.  Never underestimate the power of liquids in running.  It can make or break your run.  Make sure you are well-hydrated at all times.  If your weight drops drastically after a run, drink more liquids to compensate that water weight loss.
  9. Lessen your food intake.  Some people fall into running as a means to lose weight.  As the pounds drop, the greater the desire to speed up the weight loss by decreasing food intake.  As a runner, you will need to fuel your body with the right foods to ensure that your body can cope with the intense activities.  Eat up, I promise you that running will burn them calories!
  10. Think you are invincible.  Most people don’t give a damn about injuries—until it happens to them. Be aware of ways to prevent injuries (and practice them) in order to enjoy a fun-filled, non-stop, and pain-free running life.