Life Happens

Tuesday, 28 September 2010  |  Running + Triathlon

While the rest of the world was at Camsur Marathon over the weekend, Hubby and I rushed Little Miss TBR into the E.R., watched a mascot go naked before our eyes, and showed up 30 minutes late for our regular Sunday long run with friends over the weekend.


Little Miss TBR counted the days until her 6th Birthday.  She was to have a Disney Princess Party at McDonalds with her friends.  On the first hour of her birthday, at exactly 1 a.m., she woke up in the middle of the night screaming in pain.  Her ear was hurting.

We rushed her to the E.R. to find out she had an ear infection brought about by her cough.  The doctor dropped antibiotics into her ear and advised us to stay longer at the hospital to observe our daughter.

We waited and waited and waited. At 5 a.m., as I leaned my head against the hospital wall trying to get some sleep, my cellphone alarm rang to wake me. Crap, there goes my Saturday run.


We arrived home at 5 a.m. Caught some shut eye. Woke up at 9 a.m. and rushed off to celebrate the big day.

Little Miss TBR is such a fighter. She played and laughed, ate and ran at her Disney Princess McDonald’s Party.  It was as if nothing had happened just hours before. Everything went smoothly…well, except for Birdie, the mascot, and her suspenders falling apart during her dance number with Ronald and Grimace.  The kids, especially my little one, had a blast.

This was the reason why we passed up the chance to go to Camsur for the marathon. It was well worth it, if you ask me.



So, I missed my Saturday easy run, but I wasn’t hard on myself.  Anyway, I had a 32k long run on Sunday.  Thing is, the birthday girl suddenly had fever come night time.

Double crap. There goes my long run.  I told Hubby to push through with his plans to run with our friends.  After all, there only had to be one person to administer the paracetamol every 4 hours.

When hubby woke up for the run at 4 a.m., I checked on Li’l Miss TBR and discovered that she was completely fine.  Hallelujah. I asked hubby to wait for me and decided to push through with the run.


We showed up 30 minutes late, which meant that I would be under the intense sun longer.  Could I finish the full 32k?  I was tired from the hectic Saturday too. I gave it a try, but I thought I wouldn’t push too hard. If my body couldn’t cope, then I still had a 32k the following week to make up for it.

I ran the first 16k with our run group.  As it is with friends, we run slow because we’re chatting.  We have a lot of walk breaks.  We enjoy each others’ company.  Time flies this way, but training isn’t as serious.  Our average pace was 6:40/km.

The next 9k I ran alone.  It was here that I felt I was really training. My average pace was 5:55/km yet I felt strong. Ironically, I thought that if I could run longer, I would be able to rid my body of all the stress and exhaustion the past week.  But, it was getting hot and it was getting late, I wanted to check on the little one at home.


I quit at 25k.  At first I felt guilty about missing 7k. But, after a while, when I took a step back at my life that week, I said to myself “It’s just 7k. It’s not the end of the world.”

Running is a huge part of my life.  And, the New York Marathon is a goal I’m taking seriously.  But, it’s not everything in life.

And so, after my 25k, hubby and I called the house to learn that Little Miss TBR was up and about having donuts with her Kuya for breakfast.  With nothing to worry about, and a lot to be thankful for, we headed over to Sentro for a post-run breakfast of sinangag and bangus.  Aaah, that’s life.


Monday, 3 May 2010  |  Running + Triathlon

So, the TBR Dream Marathoners should have run their most crucial long run yesterday.  Many of us ran at NUVALI together (click HERE to view how much fun we had there),  but the heat was so intense by 7 a.m. that some runners fell short of their goal distance or time.

We all know they shouldn’t run that distance next week, two weeks to marathon day, when they should be tapering already.  What do they do now?  Or, what about runners who, due to some unforeseen circumstance such as illness or an event, missed out on their long run?

I called Coach Jim Lafferty last night to get some expert advice.  And, he sent me a file to email to our exclusive TBR DREAM MARATHONERS Group.  For this one, however, I thought it best to share with all of you since it may help you with training.

The letter is all about BACK TO BACK HARD DAYS, which as Coach Jim says is “a training technique created for the Comrades Marathon in South Africa (89 Kilometers, and frankly I believe the hardest race in the world as it has a 12 hour time limit and crosses 4 major climbs)” and developed by Dr. Tim Noakes.

This makes for a great read.  Download the PDF file by clicking on this link: TBR_MISSED YOUR LONG RUN.

Perfect Saturday Run

Tuesday, 4 August 2009  |  Bullish Insights

Last Saturday, Hubby and I woke up early in the morning eager to get dressed for our date. That’s a date for a long, slow run with running friends, that is.

Plan was to meet our good friend, Kim, at Forbes Park together with our other running friends, Jun & Mariel (The Solemates), Ben Chan (Photographer on the Run), and Vince of Finish Line.

The rain was pouring outside, but a quick text to everyone confirmed what I had known even before I got out of bed. Rain or shine, this run was pushing through. We were all crazy running addicts who would not let the rain stop us from getting our fix. Secretly, I bet half of us were looking forward to getting our feet wet (no pun intended).

By 6:45 a.m., we were all at Kim’s place ready to go. Jonel (Bugobugo) had decided to join us at the last minute. He had actually ran all the way to Kim’s place!

We started running without a plan which, in hindsight, made the run more enjoyable. There was no target pace nor distance. Most of us didn’t know where we were headed as Kim would only yell left or right to those who led the group.

We ran at a slow pace, around 7 min/km, all the way. Under the cool, cloudy weather, we ran out of South Forbes and into North Forbes then entered Dasmarinas and headed back to South Forbes again. There was a lot of talk and laughter, the kind that makes you go on and on without realizing how far or how long you’ve been running. We stopped once to hydrate with Gatorade, take in some Hammer gels, run to the little ladies’ room, and went off to run again.  True enough, when we ended the run, we clocked in at 1 hour 53 minutes for a 15km long, slow run.

– with my running idol and host, Kim – 

As we cooled down and stretched on the road near our cars, Kim welcomed us into her home. She took us straight from the garage into her swimming pool and invited us in. One by one, still in our running apparel, we entered the pool—some hesitating (such as my hubby) while others were easier to persuade (such as Ben who dove right in). We stretched in the pool, allowed our tired muscles to recover from the run, and laughed and talked some more.

– Best cool down ever! –

Several minutes later and after hot showers for each one of us, a runners’ breakfast greeted us in the dining area. Crisp bacon, omelets and fried eggs, whole wheat bread and rice, plus hot brewed coffee were laid out for us to devour. We enjoyed the meal over more conversation, so much so that by the time we left, it was lunch time already!


What a great way to spend a Saturday. Thank you Kim for our little runners’ get together. Until the next time!

What’s in Your Bag?

Wednesday, 29 July 2009  |  Gear + Gadgets

Having left a ton of stuff before yesterday‘s run, I thought I’d prepare a Running Checklist to avoid little mishaps in the future and to help newbie runners determine what to dump (or remove) from their bags before a workout. Below is a detailed list of what I personally have in my gym bag. Feel free to customize as you deem fit (especially the men hehe):

  1. ipod shuffle
  2. sports watch (my husband’s Timex or Nike+ Sportsband). Garmin Forerunner 305 is worn on my wrist already.
  3. Amphipod hydration belt with 1 to 3 bottles depending on the distance.  1-2 bottles filled with Gatorade, 1 bottle water.
  4. Garmin heart rate monitor chest strap
  5. cap (if I’m not wearing one yet)
  6. Body Glide to prevent chafing
  7. bottle of water
  8. Gatorade (currently loving Tiger which has 25% more electrolytes)
  9. 2 Hammer espresso or chocolate gels
  10. 1 pack Nature Valley granola bar – peanut butter or plain
  11. 1 pack Sports Beans
  12. 1 pack Skyflakes/ Graham crackers
  13. 2 sets of sports wear (shirt/ singlet, shorts/ leggings)
  14. 2 sports bras
  15. 1 pair of socks (Nike, Runnr, or Burlington. Stopped wearing Thorlos a few months ago after it gave me terrible blisters)
  16. 1 set of casual attire (if necessary)
  17. Betula slippers (better than flipflops since it has the same technology as Birkenstocks. Good arch support)
  18. Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, Block & White deodorant powder which is the best thing after a run, panty shields, etc.)
  19. Band aid
  20. Hair brush, extra Goody no slip ponytail holder, headband, gel
  21. 1 medium towel, 1 face towel (After a run, I soak the face towel with water and use it on my entire body. Use the medium towel to dry up.)
  22. 1 small pack tissue
  23. Gold’s Gym membership card, gym schedule
  24. P200 cash for emergencies
  25. Camera (for a race)
  26. Cellphone
  27. couple of TBR magazines in case I bump into a friend/ fellow runner
  28. Runner’s World magazine

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.