Hooked on LSDs

Monday, 15 October 2007  |  Running + Triathlon

Should I try it or not? I knew it was dangerously addictive. I had heard of so many innocent, naive people in the past who simply experimented with this and, after experiencing the proverbial high, they could never let it go; they were forever hooked.

I stood there in the middle of the road, my mind racing. I took a deep breath and did it. I gave the LSD a try.

For non-runners or newbies, LSD in the running world is this: LONG, SLOW DISTANCE. As Jeff Galloway emphasizes in his book: “They are the single most important element in your program.” Here are some of the benefits one can derive from a long, slow distance run:

  1. strengthens your heart
  2. increases endurance
  3. trains your muscles to burn fat more efficiently
  4. increases number and size of mitochondria
  5. increases capillary growth into muscle fibers
  6. increases myoglobin concentration in muscle fibers
  7. increases aerobic efficiency
  8. increase in maximum VO2
  9. builds your mental toughness

Yes, I survived the very first LSD I did alone last Saturday! (Hey ultramarathoners, don’t laugh, 20 km is long for me!)

Nike Oct 13 2007

The greatest thing about this is that I thoroughly enjoyed it! At first I thought I would succumb to exhaustion or boredom, but it was quite the opposite. I was excited to see the outcome of this challenge I put out for myself. Could I do it? 30 minutes into the run, I felt strong. I wondered, could adding Back Street Boys to my playlist have helped in giving me that extra energy today?

1 hour in and I still felt strong, but I was getting a bit worried about hydration. So, I headed back to my headquarters (read: my in-laws house) and played the part of a trail runner. You see, before the run, I surreptitiously hid half a bottle of gatorade in their garage (just as trail runners plant their snacks and drinks in the bushes). Excitedly, I snuck into the garage, inhaled the gatorade in a second, and headed out again for the 2nd part of my run full revitalized.

Somewhere after the 1st hour, I felt slight knee pain. Wary of my meniscus problem, I varied the pace (I know, I know, I should’ve been going a little bit slower) and I added a few walking breaks. I initially planned on getting just 18 km in, but due to my lack of navigational skills, I miscalculated my distance and found myself closing in on 20 km when my car was still nowhere in sight. Fortunately, I survived without having to scrape myself off the road. After several minutes, Lance Armstrong announced I had ran the farthest distance in my record. Woohoo!

After such a fantastic experience, I wondered how anyone who’s ever tried LSD resist not to do this long, run at least once every two weeks (as prescribed by Jeff)? I can only expect to crave for this very, very often. I am hooked on LSD, I tell you.

Reference: Dr. Stephen M. Pribut

Time Trials at Mizuno Run Club

Friday, 12 October 2007  |  Running + Triathlon

“Time trials!” Coach Ige declared loudly as he arrived at the Mizuno Run Club. Chatting away with Marga and a new blogging-running friend, Taki, we almost fell off our seats when we heard this. I glanced at the other lady runners across me—two long and lean sisters who were half my age and another runner who looked like a track-and-field athlete—and I knew Marga and I were the only intermediate women runners there. I wanted to hug her and condole with her for our upcoming demise.


Coach Ige comforted us by saying this was all in the spirit of fun. (No, they wouldn’t post a list in front of the Mizuno Store for the viewing public to laugh at our time way down at the bottom.) We were running against ourselves and no one else. Weeks from now we would time ourselves again and astound ourselves with our improvements. Okay, I was up for it.

We were to run 3 laps around High Street, six runners at a time. Men were going first. As we watched the first group of runners speed away, I laughed nervously. I needed a warm up.

We asked Coach if we could run along with the other group for a warm up and he says to go ahead and time ourselves already. Oh okay, this was going to be it. I ran with Gelo, a regular run club participant, and Marga. We started off slow then gradually found our own pace and separated.

I ran the 3 laps (4.10 km) at 20.19 minutes with a 4:57 min/km pace. Not my fastest as I didn’t hear Lance congratulating me on my nano, but it was still a good time for me. I ran another two laps at a slower pace just to get a little bit more mileage in for the day.

After the run, I saw Jujet de Asis and asked his time; it was 11 minutes. Then, I met other athletes, Liza Yambao, who won the Milo Marathon at age 21 and held its record for a while, and Barz, another young athlete, who both enthusiastically shared their tips on training for a marathon. We all agreed to meet up one time for a training run in the future. Little ol’ me running with these super athletes?! I was bewildered, amused, and oh so excited!

Running with elite runners could significantly improve my runs. I look forward to learning the technical aspects of running and other aspects that should help me modify my training program and show some results. But, more than that, I’m looking forward to just being around people who love running as much as I do (or perhaps a little bit more!) They’re energy alone is intoxicating.

For starters, Jujet shared a little tip that can help ease pre-race jitters: Drink a bottle of beer before hitting the sack. Hmmm… I’m not sure if that’s one tip that will work for me, but I’m pretty sure some of you guys are looking forward to trying that out.

My 4th Mizuno Run

Saturday, 29 September 2007  |  Running + Triathlon

I could not wait to run. Work had been weighing down on me for the past week or so (hence the lack of posts…and worse runs!) so I blocked Thursday evening as a “must run” on my planner. When the rain started pouring in the afternoon, I prayed to God He’d make it stop if only from 7 to 8 that evening. He heard me alright. It was clear skies by the time I arrived at Bonifacio High Street.

As always, Coach Ige briefed us before we sped off. The elite runners would run the larger laps around High Street, while beginners and intermediate runners would take the inner circle. Before I knew it, we were going our separate ways. Goodbye Elite Runners, I thought, I shall only see your dust from hereon!

Coach Ige led our group with Marga and I by his side. He announced the plan for that night: a progressive run of 8 laps; we would run at an easy pace for the first 2 laps, increase pace for the next 2 laps, and run race pace for the last 4 laps. Wooohooo! This was definitely my idea of fun!

During the first lap, Coach Ige corrected my form. He said I was moving my upper body too much. (That was a big surprise as I thought I only did that when I listened to Maroon 5 on my ipod!) Secondly, he said I should stick my pelvis out. “Huh? Like how,” I asked? He answered, “Just imagine you have a coin up your butt.” Oh, okay! If I had a P10 coin, I would’ve done it for real if only to get the perfect running form…NOT!

It was smooth running for the first 4 laps along with Coach Ige. Marga had slowed down after suffering from side stitches. Before the 2nd half of the run, Coach Ige bid me farewell with one last direction: “Remember: race pace. Do not slow down.” Yes, sir! Like a good little soldier, I took his commands to heart and went as fast as possible as I watched him speed up leaving me by my lonesome. Then, from out of nowhere, Renz appeared. I told him between breaths “You’re late. 8 laps. Last 4: race pace.” And, with that, we ran with barely any words between us.

I finished at 9 laps (8.3 km) in 46 mins at 5:34 min/km. Aaaw, a little bit slow but I forgave myself as I was still feeling the exhaustion from work and lack of sleep. After chatting with friends, Ben and Marga (Renz was still running), meeting Gelo and Cris anew (Drew where were you?), and meeting Raymond for the first time, I headed home and greeted my mac “I’m back. Where did we end?”

With Gelo and Cris
– with Gelo and Cris –

With Ben and Marga
– with Photographer Ben and Marga –

Mizuno Run Club 1

Mizuno Run Club 2
– All kinds of runners meet at Mizuno Run Club –

Nude Running, Anyone?

Monday, 17 September 2007  |  Running + Triathlon

On September 15, 2007, over a hundred runners wore their running shoes (and left all other apparel behind) to join the annual Patxi Ros nude 5,000 meter race at La Salvaje beach, near Sopelana, Spain. The race was started way back in 1999 when Patxi Ros, a naturist and sportsman, decided to combine his two favourite pastimes in a public event.

For those who intend to join this race next year (nope, not me!), you better start toning your gluteus maximus…and all other muscles for that matter!

Nudist Race 1

Nudist Race 2

Source: Random Citations

My 3rd Mizuno Run

Sunday, 16 September 2007  |  Running + Triathlon

It was a crazy, busy week; the kind of week where I had absolutely no time to even heave a sigh of relief and every hour or so the runner in me would delirously say to my working mom self: “You must run now or you will go insane.”

Seriously, had I not run the past few days, my hubby would be typing this for me as I would be strapped tight in a strait jacket dictating this from my bed in a mental institution. (Would you know if they have treadmills in there?)

On Tuesday, I ran easy for an hour on the treadmill which did little to alleviate my stress. So, come Thursday, I was like a raging bull determined to get large doses of running into my system.

I hopped unto my treadmill for a challenging 7 km. Then, after a brief rest, I showered to wear yet again another set of running clothes. Despite the cloudy skies, I headed out for the Mizuno Run Club slated for that evening. It was raining by the time I arrived at the scene but runners were persistent that it pushed through…and so it did.

Together with other runners that evening, I ran laps around Bonifacio High Street which, to me, was far better than the last Mizuno Run experience wherein I felt like I was playing dodgeball vs. speeding cars and jeepneys. This was a flat, safe course…which, I learned, is synonymous to fast in the running world. I ran 7 km at 5 min/km pace making my daily total for the day 14 km.

If there is one thing I love about the Mizuno Run Club it is the fact that I run alongside (or more like far behind) the elite runners. Yeah, I eat their dust and watch their long lean legs travel thrice the speed of mine but to simply witness them is a precious gift to a newbie runner like me. Throughout the entire run, it was Drew and I who ran at the same pace (perhaps he was slowing down for me?) so most of the time it felt like we lost the rest of the group. But, every now and then, we would hear quick, light footsteps from behind—almost like a herd of hyenas attacking little kittens like us—and it would be those elite runners in their short shorts (of course I notice those!) swiftly passing us by. Oh, it was awesome! Simply inspiring!

Mizuno Elite Runners

– When do I get legs as long, lithe, and lean as these? –

I headed home that night knowing full well I would be burning the midnight oil with the heaps of work I left behind. But, I was most definitely ready to attack it head on. I was energized and invigorated—and thank God—happy and sane!