The Bestie is Back

Wednesday, 28 July 2010  |  Bullish Insights

Whenever Annie is visiting Manila from Singapore where she’s based, we make the most out of the little time we have together.  For some women, that would mean countless hours of spa dates, shopping sprees, and long chats over coffee.  Not for Annie and I.

We spend our time running as much as we can.


Last Monday, we ran under the intense heat of the 9 a.m. sun at our favorite playground running our usual course.


Just like the good ol’ days, we warmed up with a short walk that extended to 1km without our knowing because of our endless chatting and laughing.  We ran the course paying no attention to pace since there were more stories to catch up on.  How’s life in Singapore? How much are local races nowadays?  Remember when we were both 5 to 10lbs lighter?  In between talking and laughing, as I ran with my bestest running buddy, I was glad to know that it was as if she never left.

After our run, we didn’t make plans for breakfast or meet ups.  We only set the date for our next run: Ultra on Wednesday.  That’s the way we are with Annie.  We don’t chat on the phone nor do we text each other often, but we always show up for our running dates.  And when we see each other, we have the best time sweating it out together.


This morning, we met Coach Rio and friends Jay and Jun at Ultra track oval.

Annie and I reminisced about the summer of 2008 when we trained together under Coach Jo-Ar.  How he made us do intervals  with Coach Lydia de Vega and her highschool track team.  There we were, two women twice the age of these long-legged sprinters attempting to match their pace.  Or how Coach would make us run up the stairs with Annie reaching the top so quickly as I always struggled to run the last 3 steps.  Aaah we were much fitter then.

Coach Rio asked us to run a 1-miler, 800, 400, and 200 earlier today.  As usual, I chased Annie from behind; she’s always been the stronger runner.  With both of us not being at our fittest, we huffed and puffed all throughout the run.  Just like before, we would complain about what we had to do, but deep inside, we both knew we loved the speed.

– with Coach Rio, Chino Trinidad, Noy Jopson, Jun Bisnar, Jun Cruz, Mart Miranda, and Annie-

– Annie in serious conversation with our good friend, Jun. I bet they’re talking about injuries or insoles –

– sandwiched between two super celeb athletes, top triathlete Noy Jopson and Coach Rio de la Cruz. Starstruck ako, guys! –


Annie will be here until next week.  Needless to say, there will be more runs to come.  Hill training, maybe another track workout, and definitely Rexona Run where we’re registered for 21k.  Aaah, runs are going to be fun in the days to come!  Isn’t this what running buddies are for?!

The Good Ol’ Days

Wednesday, 9 June 2010  |  Bullish Insights

Once upon a time, in 2007 to be exact, there were only several hundred runners joining races, which were more like mini weekly reunions.  There were no timing chips, lootbags, or even clean water to drink sometimes, but, for some reason, everyone always came home happy and fulfilled.

Once upon a time, all runners were friends.  If you didn’t know one’s name, you at least knew them by face…or by their shoes.  You saw the same runners at every race.  You would get chased down by the same guy who attempted to outrun you the last time, and again, you would cross the finish line first and give him a charming smile as consolation. Haha!

Once upon a time, there was only a small group of running bloggers.  And, we spent hours each day, exchanging stories on our newest adventures and commenting on each others’ posts, while building strong friendships along the way.  The closest virtual friends I had at that time were Banggi, HitMe, and U.S. based ultramarathoner, E-rod.

Recently, E-rod came home to visit.  For the first time, we met face-to-face and, not surprisingly, it felt like seeing an old friend.

– with E-rod (Habang Tumatakbo) –

– with my favorite Happy Feet people (L to R): Joms, E-rod, Banggi, me, Smith, Mon, and Renz –

E-rod was the guy who started our Virtual Runs, where running-bloggers from all over the world—from Newport Beach to Quezon City—would run together all at the same time.  I remember waking up at 4 a.m. just to run solo but with all of them at the same time.  E-rod was also the guy who teased us with his beautiful photos of his runs in the U.S…and all the super-sized food he’d eat after.  Of course, I’ll always remember him for his bird’s-eye view shots of his running shoes wherever he was in the world.

Meeting E-rod that evening was a nice way to reminisce about the good ol’ days.  Good thing, all these good ol’ friends are always just a blog post away.

Read archived posts of my Virtual Runs:

Virtual Run No. 5 – A Horror Story
Virtual Run No. 2

We’ve Got Happy Feet

Tuesday, 11 September 2007  |  Running + Triathlon

The Happy Feet is a diverse group of runners who share a common love for running. We take our running very seriously… but (and this is a big BUT… although none of our butts are big) we never take it TOO seriously. We are all for beating PRs, chasing down the competition, and improving our training, but none of these should be undertaken without bouts of laughter, a couple of jokes, or great conversation among friends.

Since joining Happy Feet, I have never gone to a race alone. We register together, agree to meet near the baggage counter of every race, and end the race with anecdotes of our own race experiences. Oh, of course, we take our requisite Happy Feet photo before parting ways. Most of the Happy Feet (usually the single ones which are the majority) share their post-race meals together after each run. I have yet to join an after-run gimmick as the mommy in me holds Sundays as sacred family days for just me, my hubby, and the kids.

Here are photos of our fast-growing Happy Feet group from the recently held Fil-Mus Run For Peace. The photos are courtesy of Ben, Photographer on The Run, who is our official photographer and stylist (yeah, we need one especially after a long, sweat-inducing race!) By the way, Ben has a new 10k PR of 43:01 min. Congratulations again, Ben!

Fil Mus1

Fil Mus2

If you wish to join Happy Feet, you must meet the following conditions:

  1. You must have an obsessive love for running.
  2. You must post as many senseless messages in our e-group as you possibly can.
  3. You must be willing to read many a senseless message in your inbox — without deleting them.
  4. You must laugh at all of Mon’s jokes… you will meet him later on if you sign in.
  5. You must agree to pose for each photo op as required by Photographer Ben and put on a happy face despite the fatigue from a long run.

Should you be interested in joining Happy Feet, just click here.

If you need more incentive to join us (aside from my lovely speech above), check out our soon-to-arrive uniforms…(Oh, we will just look so cool in them, don’t you think?)

HappyFeet Uniform

Run For P.E.A.C.E.

Monday, 11 June 2007  |  Race Reports

This being my 4th race we—my hubby, son, and I—have got our pre-race preparation down pat. For a 6 am race like yesterday’s Run For P.E.A.C.E., we planned on arriving at 5:30 am, which meant that I would wake up at 4:30 am, followed by hubby at 4:40, then son at 5:00. We would be out of the house by 5:15 to arrive at the venue on time. As expected, that is exactly what took place yesterday morning.

The gods must have been bored to death by our predictability though because, as soon as the race started, there were a few surprises—pleasant and err not so pleasant—that were thrown my way.

(1) The route was changed! I signed up for the 10k, despite coming from a Batangas business trip the day before, on the premise that the route would be easy and flat as the race organizers had initially presented in their map. It was deja vu for me then when, after running around Libingan ng mga Bayani we were led to make a right turn towards C5. A right?! No way, I thought, because that would lead us all down the hill towards C5, which would have meant that we would take a u-turn and climb back up again! It was the Champion Race all over again—aaaaah!

(2) I’ve made a lot of running friends. I still remember my very first race vividly. I forced (uhm, I think “persuaded” sounds much better) my husband to accompany me for fear of looking like a lonesome loser waiting for the race to start. Fast forward to yesterday and I was pleasantly surprised to meet a few runners I’ve been in touch with online—Mon, Smith, Joms, and Tisha of H@ppy Feet Runners, Hitme64, and Renz. Of course, familiar faces like Mayi and Jamike—the coolest athletic couple ever who I have the pleasure to train with every now and then—were there too.

With The Lopas

– with Jamike and Mayi (who finished 10th) –

For the first time, I ran side by side with someone all throughout the race. Joms kept me entertained for a full hour with whatever he could dish out about anything under the sun. Well, there was certainly a lot for us to chat about since this was the first time we had ever really met (excluding the quick photo op in the Champion Race.)

(3) No pain! After struggling through a week of knee pain, I was paranoid about hurting my knee all over again. In fact, I was 80% sure that I would hear my knee clicking again after the race. But, nope—I felt no soreness, no pain, no snapping, no nothing—could it be that I’m getting stronger? Hmmm…it’s probably because I didn’t push too hard during this race.

(4) I broke my PR. Yup, I came in at 1:00:24, 33 seconds faster than my previous 10k. What surprises me though is that I broke it at all. I certainly did not give this race my best. For some reason, my mind wasn’t all that into it. I think I got turned off with the start of the race when we had to literally walk/jog our way out of the mass of runners in the narrow road leading to the cemetery.

Finish Line

– Running towards the finish line –

With Anton

– My little boy and I after the race. He’s pooped after his 3k –

(5) I placed 6th! Honestly, I don’t know if this is a surprise or a joke! Me, 6th place? 10 minutes after the race, as I was chatting away and taking photos, my hubby asks me about the piece of paper in my hand. I tell him it’s nothing—a man handed it over to me when I reached the finish line. When I take a look at it closely it says “6th Female.” Wooohooo! My time wasn’t all that great, but hey it feels awesome to discover that I was the 6th fastest woman in the 10k. Now, that was a surprise for you too, wasn’t it?

6th Place

– Who would have thought an index card could bring me so much joy? –

6 Weird Things About Me

Thursday, 7 June 2007  |  Bullish Insights

I got tagged by Hitme64: “Each player of this game starts with 6 weird things about himself or herself. People who get tagged need to write a blog entry of their own as well as state the rule clearly. In the end, you need to tag 6 people as well and list their names. Don’t forget to let them know they’ve been tagged!”

Now, as The Bull Runner only discusses all things running in this blog, the six quirks below are only those that appear in her life as a runner: (Don’t you think it’s weird already that I use third-person when I have to discuss something negative about myself?!)

{ 1 } Listening to awesome music while running gets me all teary-eyed. Seriously. The first time this occurred was while I was running solo in Alabang to U2’s “It’s a Beautiful Day.” Aaaaw, it was truly a beautiful Sunday. The sun was just about to set, the sky was purplish blue, and I had a new outfit on (Ack, I’m such a girl!) When the song started, I was so ecstatic I wanted to burst into tears. Then, while running at 6am in Camp John Hay, Baguio, it happened again when I heard New Radicals’ “Gotta Stay High.” There was even a time when I got dramatic while cooling down to Coldplay’s “Fix You”!

{ 2 } I carry an Astring-o-sol bottle filled with water during my runs. I’ve seen the New Balance Waterbottle Carrier at their stores, but I think it’s just way too big and ostentatious for anything less than a full marathon. Thanks to my resourcefulness (and yeah, frugality) I thought of using a mouthwash bottle! During the initial phases of my “product development”, I planned on getting the Listerine 80ml (I’m a Listerine girl! I used to handle that brand during my marketing days) but the mouth was too small to manage a drink on the run, so I forced myself to get what I still unbelievably perceive to be my competitor, Astring-o-Sol.

On a side note, I would drop the Astring-O-Sol bottle anytime, if I got this as a 2nd gift for Christmas. (Someone please tell my husband to read this):

Nathan Speed One

– I want a Nathan Speed One Water Bottle Carrier –

{ 3 } I am an obsessive-compulsive shoelace tier. You won’t believe this, but I must tie my laces around 6 to 8 times before going on a run. Most of the time, I lace up when I wear the shoes, before I leave, when I arrive at our meet up place, before I warm up, after the warm up, and right before running. Sometimes, I stop in the middle of the run to get that comfortable fit! For some reason, I want both shoes to be equally, perfectly tight. If anyone knows the name to this disease, do tell me.

{ 4 } I am a journal freak. Since I started running in December, I’ve religously tracked the date, distance, calories, and time of my runs in a simple orange King Jim notebook, which you’ll be seeing pretty soon when I write about it in a separate post. Now, aside from my running journal, I own the following: a moleskine (Oooh, I just love moleskines!) for personal entries and drawings, a Franklin Covey filofax as a planner and addressbook, a plain ol’ sketchpad for illustrations, another large hardbound sketch pad to store creative inspirations, and a large hardbound journal as another personal diary.

{ 5 } Again, my thriftiness results in another quirk: I only buy old issues of Runner’s World. I was just telling my husband that RW is my favorite magazine of all time as I can read it from start to finish without skipping any article—sooo unlike the fashion magazines I buy (I guess I’m just not the fahionista-type), yet I cannot shell out a mere P399 for it.

{ 6 } Save for a couple of times (I think Christmas and New Year!), I haven’t had my hair down since I started running. What’s strange with that? Uhm, during my pre-running life, I was obsessed with having my hair long and straight. I spent a bundle on hair rebonding, which I went through every 6 months. You would rarely catch me with my hair in a ponytail. Oh, how running changes lives even in the most mundane of things!

Now, I tag E-Rod, Banggigay, Ben, Windowshopper, Michelle, MrsPartyGirl