Forgetful Jones

Tuesday, 28 July 2009  |  Bullish Insights

My sister and i often joke about how forgetful we’ve become ever since we were injected with anesthesia during our children’s births. We forget a story midway through a conversation, we leave one or two items more often than we would like to admit, and we even forget about our own age sometimes!

Years ago, I labelled my sister as “Forgetful Jones,” that brown-haired cowboy in Sesame Street who can’t remember a thing. But, this morning, I would have to admit that I deserved that name more than she does.

I thought I was all set for my 9 a.m. run this morning. But, on the way to my run, I realized I left my hydration belt and heart rate strap at home. No worries, I thought. When I reached my starting point, I wanted to take a couple of sips of Gatorade as I always do before proceeding to run, but I realized it was left in the freezer to chill. No water bottle either! So, I took a small sip from my little girl’s sippy cup instead.  I searched my bag for my ipod but I realized that I left the earphones stuck to my laptop since I used it to listen to Run Radio’s podcast last night. Luckily, the hubby had just returned from his run, so I borrowed his earphones. As I proceeded to run, my ipod failed to start because I forgot to charge it. I turned on my Garmin and discovered it was low batt as well. I completely forgot to recharge it after I rebooted it to fix its problems last night.

I seriously thought these were ominous signs. Was God telling me not to proceed with the run? That I may possibly trip over a rock, sprain my ankle, or get struck by lightning?  I set these gloomy thoughts aside, said a short prayer, and went off to run.

My program said I should run an easy 5k at 7 min/km pace, so that’s what I planned on doing. Like a purist runner, I ran through the roads soaking in every sight and sound sans the ipod and Garmin to distract me from the beauty of my surroundings. With the pace much slower than even my usual slow runs, I felt more relaxed as I fully let go of all the concerns of the day and allowed my mind to wander aimlessly.  Initially, I was off to a bad start with all the gear I left behind, but ironically, this was one of the best runs I’d had in months.

For the first time in weeks, I was able to enjoy a run the way it was meant to be savoured, like a glass of wine or a first kiss. Completely lost in my running revelry, this Forgetful Jones started remembering how it was to run in the early days. I recalled how I ran with just P100 shorts from SM, a cotton shirt, and a bottle of Astring-o-Sol filled with water for hydration without a care in the world about all my gear, when all I followed was the time and a 1-hour run was worthy of a big celebration, when the running community was so small and almost everyone was a friend. Everything was so plain and simple then.  How things had changed. How I missed those good ol’ days—and how I missed these kinds of runs.

By the time I made my way back, I had finished 7k at an easy 7 min/km pace according to my Nike+ Sportsband. I’m not superstitious, but those two coincidental 7’s, plus an awesome, invigorating run like that, made me feel like I could take on the world.

Upcoming Kid-Friendly Races

Wednesday, 22 July 2009  |  Bullish Insights

Little Miss TBR crept up on me while I was working on the laptop, “Mama, when will we run?” Confused, I ask her what run she was talking about. She replied that I told her and Kuya about a race we were all going to join together, that I said it was that day, and that she wanted to wear her new running shirt already (the one I bought on the 1st day that Runnr opened, an excellent local athletic brand for kids called Equipe). All this she blurts out in a whiny tone, like she was ready to burst into tears out of exasperation with her seemingly forgetful mother.

“Oh, the Mommy Milkshake Marathon?” I did recall telling her about this in passing a week or so ago. The MMM is an annual fun run my sister organizes, not a major race, but an advocacy run for breastfeeding mommies and families. The past two years, I ran along with my son and nephew. (Click here for Year 1 and Year 2)  This year, I told Little Miss Bull Runner last week that she could join us already. She cheered “Yes!” complete with the elbow into the stomach action, like she clinched a deal.

Well, I explained to her very slowly, “It’s still in September. You have to sleep many more times before we run.” But to Little Miss Bull Runner, “next month” and “later” or “tomorrow” or “next century” are pretty much synonymous. So, she starts to make her awa face, the one that gets her Papa all the time, the same face that’s about to let out a loud shriek due to anger.

To save me from another tantrum, I excitedly asked her “Do you want to just wear your running shirt and then I’ll take your picture?” This got her. She smiled and agreed with enthusiasm. She chose her bottom (a floral skirt!), asked me to pull her hair up into a ponytail, and searched for Lucy (her partner-in-crime puppy who never gets left behind) then she hammed it up in front of the cam.


Here are upcoming child-friendly races that you can run with your children:

AUGUST 30: Looney Tunes Active Fun Run, SM Mall of Asia, 3k/ 5k. Reg fee: P300/ P500 for 3k+5k until Aug. 15; P350 until Aug 16; P500 onsite. Register at Nike Bonifacio High Street.  Visit LOONEY TUNES ACTIVE RUN WEBSITE.  (I heard even their directional signs at the race will be moving Looney Tunes characters!)

SEPTEMBER 5 (moved from Aug. 9): Mommy Milkshake Marathon, a fun run for breastfeeding, Bonifacio Global City.  Call 780-9898.  More details to follow.

‘Tis The Day Before Christmas

Wednesday, 24 December 2008  |  Bullish Insights

It’s the day before Christmas and I just love how slow and sleepy everything is until family and friends gather together for Christmas eve dinner and mass tonight.  

This morning was quite the opposite for me though.  It was filled with energy and laughter and food and chatter.

At 6:30 a.m., Annie, JunC and I met for our unofficial Christmas run along the roads of Ayala Alabang.  We had no goals—no target distance nor time—all we knew was that we would run at “kwento pace.”

Somewhere in the middle of the run, I parted ways with them as I decided to head back when my knee started bugging me again.  I finished 10km while they ran a fast and hilly 9.5km.  We met at the park where we had our little potluck picnic:  Annie brought skyflakes, dip, and pichi pichi, I brought bananas, sports drinks, and oreos, while Jun brought his favorite fig newtons.


By 8:30 a.m., I was back on the road headed for Greenmeadows on the opposite side of the earth.  I was to meet my cousin from New York, Celine, at the clubhouse pool for a swim.  By the time I arrived, she was headed for home, so I swam an easy 500-meters at the crystal clear pool all by my lonesome.  I hadn’t swam for over two months since my Dad’s passing and I hadn’t realized how much I missed it; it was so calm, almost like a cleansing and purging before the New Year.  


This afternoon is all about rest and relaxation before the long and merry night ahead.  Stop reading this already and take a quick nap.  I should be getting one soon too…

The North Face 100 Update

Saturday, 26 July 2008  |  Race Announcements

I texted Neville Manaois of Pinoy Ultra Runners last night wishing him a great run for tomorrow’s TNF (which I am still moping over since I forbade myself from joining due to the risk of re-injury).  He replied from Batangas with this SMS:

“Raining hard here. River rising daw. Winds picking up.  And temperature dropping.  This will be fun.”

Followed an hour or so after with this update:

“River is rising really fast.  Really cold.  Good luck to us. hehe.”

Neville added that there are 90 runners joining the 100km (that’s a lot eh?), 100+ for 21km, and 210 for 10km.  It sure sounds like these 400+ runners are going to have the time of their lives tomorrow.  Good luck to you if you’re running at TNF…especially my friends Annie, Coach Jo-Ar, Taki, and highschool buddies Bau and Tin.  (Who else is joining?)  Stay safe!

As for me, I’ll be at light, easy and wholesome Robinsons Wellness Buddy run with the hubby with thoughts of TNF on my mind.

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! –