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!

To Pee or Not To PR

Friday, 17 October 2008  |  Bullish Insights

To pee or not to PR, yes, that is my question.  

As I mentioned in a previous post, in the much too green November 2008 issue of Runner’s World (page 44 for those of you who have a copy), they said that “one or two cups of coffee or tea an hour before a hard workout or race” can lead to faster times.

With that in mind, I drank a cup of brewed Starbucks coffee one hour before Hope in Motion Race last October 5 hoping it would give me even just 1/8 of the speed of Usain Bolt. Sure I felt stronger and meaner (raaawr!) especially climbing up Country Club Drive.  But, I could have missed the start of that race with the seemingly unending pre-race visits to the little girls’ room. My bladder was uncontrollable.

Thinking that the first race was a fluke, I drank yet another cup of my brewed coffee before Adidas KOTR last week as added assistance to reach my sub-55 hour goal. Yes, I did achieve my goal, but I intentionally left out one little detail when I shared my race report: I went to the comfort room twice before the race, and just as the race was about to begin, I felt the urge AGAIN!  There was no time so I ran through the entire 10k praying to God that I could hold it in without doing a Paula Radcliffe in London Marathon 2005.

{ For late comers, I decided to remove the video clip from this blog in respect of the great Paula Radcliffe.  As others have said below, I think she chose to do whatever she had to do to achieve her goal of winning the marathon—I commend her for that. Some people have been poking fun at the video so I thought it best to remove it from this blog. }

So, the question I place before you is this: Would you drink a cup of coffee to boost your chances of breaking your PR in a race (or even just to improve your time) risking the constant visits to the bathroom, or worse, peeing in your pants?

For tomorrow’s Takbo May Yabang race, I know my answer already. No coffee for me, dear. I’ll stick to a cold bottle of Rush for breakfast and my three graham crackers.

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

I Missed You!

Tuesday, 16 September 2008  |  Bullish Insights

I worked till 11 or 12 last night. The hubby arrived from a meeting shortly after. We were both exhausted. But, before heading off to sleep, I started packing my bags for an early morning run. Hubby asked if I’d be able to wake up at 5 am. I replied “I have no idea but I know I just have to run. I HAVE TO.”

Well, I did wake up this morning eager to get my feet on the road again. And, due to raucous I made searching for my new Nike running shorts in the closet, I unintentionally (or maybe not) woke the hubby who said “Now that I’m awake, I might as well run with you.” 

So off we went to run at our favorite running route. We ran 5k together at around 6:15 min/km until we parted ways at the fork of the road. I took the longer route to reach 10k, while he followed our 7k route back to our starting point.

On my own, I promised myself I’d run at a steady, relaxed pace. I thought I was running at 6:15 since I wasn’t even panting, but I learned that I was hitting 5:45. I purposely slowed down only to find myself hitting 5:45 again after a while. I felt strong all the way until the end of my 10k run, which is a big surprise since I hadn’t reached that level ever since I got injured. Could this be a direct result of my cross training? I believe so. Now I know that all the water I drank at the pool was well worth it.

Aaaah, I ended the run with a smile on my face.  I didn’t know how much I missed it. I just knew my body was calling for it and, if I didn’t listen, I would have been an angry bull all day.

When I got home, I checked my running journal and learned that it had been 9 long days since my last road run (not counting the short run at the tri). I spent most of last week training on the bike and in the pool or, due to the rains, at home on the treadmill. Boy did I miss the sweat, the pain on my legs, my ipod, the concrete road (that I used to detest), the heat, and oh the sweat (did I mention that already?) Oh running, I’ll make sure I never abandon you that way again!