Archive for April, 2009

The Misadventures of the Pink Sole

When we said in our intro message on “about the solemates” that we will write about our adventures and misadventures, I didn’t imagine I would be writing about the latter this early in my running and/or blogging life.   I thought about whether or not  to share this episode but what the heck!  I want this blog to be as honest as possible.  So, here it is…

Sunday started out a pretty good day.  We all woke up at 6:30am, had breakfast and prepared to head out for Nueva Ecija for a little mother-side family reunion. 

Time really passes ever so slowly in the province.It was still quite early at 3:30pm when we all prepared to go home.  Now, I didn’t think we will go home this early so I already scratched all ideas that I will be able to run that day.   When we reached home,  I decided to run in the village instead of the oval  upon Jun’s  suggestion.  It was 6pm and I was racing to get a decent run before it gets dark and before the rains come.  With Jun’s plotted route inside the village of 2K per round,  I thought I will just do 3 rounds or 6K or a 45min run before it gets dark.  On my 2nd round though, Jun came up on his bike checking me out.   He seemed kinda surprised when I said I will just do 6K because it’s getting dark.  He nonchallantly said   “okay lang to continue as long as kaya mo pa” (you can continue as long as you’re not too tired) .   So, feeling strong after the 3rd round (6K), I continued on even if it was already dark intending to  do another 4K.

   The streetlights were a little far apart so some parts of the road were really dark.  I was just a few meters off our house and my 4th round when I ran on an unpainted hump located at an unlighted portion of the road.  Guess what happened next!  It happened 0h so quickly and at the same time ooooh so000 slowly.   It felt like a slow-mo movie and I found myself slowly flying over the hump, stretching my hands forward and praying I don’t hit my face on the rough cemented road.  Boy, that was the longest few seconds of my life.   I would have wanted to do a Supergirl and land with two feet on the ground (That would have been cool!)  …  or even a Cat woman and silently and gently land on all hands and feet (Exotic!).   Instead,  I did a pathetic imitation of  Stuntwoman in a stunt-gone-wrong  and have bruises and scratches on both hands and knees to show for it.  Hah!  You bet you can include bruised ego to that!

Dusting myself up,  I went up the pavement and thought for a second to continue my run (Is this a symptom of a budding running addict?).  Upon checking my knees though and seeing big bruises, I walked backed the house instead.  Heads up still amidst a couple of onlookers’ knowing side glances.

Reached home and was greeted by my kids’ sympathetic words and hugs.  Checking out my knees once again, I was disheartened to see big round wounds surrounded by plenty of small scratches.  In answer to my kids’ loving questions of “Is it painful, Mommy?”  I answered, “I can take the pain but I hate the wounds (and the eventual scar it will make)!”  Jun was looking on as I applied Betadine and managed a whispered “Nabutas ba tights mo?”  I wanted to shout, “Whaaaaat?”  On hindsight,  I forgive him.  I know he must have just been worried about my brand new Adidas tights I found  and excitedly bought 2 days ago.   He knew I’ve been scouting for a good pair for sometime now.

I slept fitfully that night.  I felt sick and feverish.  I can feel the tingling on my knees and palms.  The next day, I felt sore all over.  I had a stiff neck, stiff back and my hamstring at the right leg was bothering me.  No working for me that Monday. . . Took a much needed rest.

Two days after that misadventure,  I find that my wounds are really more of black and blue bruises and the scratches are superficial.  I have high hopes my knees wouldn’t look freaky when they finally heal.  Lord, pleeeeeaaaasssse!

Morale of the story?  Trust your instincts.  Sometimes,  the “Coach” doesn’t know best.  he he he  Love you, honey! 😉

Hey, hey hey…wait a minute…on second thought… sige na nga. Wawa ka naman eh..


I swim..I bike.. to run again!

I read from one issue of Runner’s World about some seasoned  runners who were forced to become swimmers, cyclists or mall walkers  as a result of heavy wear  and tear of their bodies from the constant running.  They shifted to another forms of sports not because it  is their second love nor born out of their desire to do a triathlon but because their bodies  couldn’t take the pounding anymore.   Would you want to end up like that?  From running to cycling or swimming? Forget the mall walking or shopping.  I think that will always be part of our lives as married men who have  no choice, errr.. have chosen to oblige to their wive’s desires and be good husbands.  (Maybe I should discuss  this as an alternative Cross Training module in another entry. Watch out for that!)

Not being able to do or enjoy what I love to do  because of injury is just frustrating.  My knee injury occurred early this year while I was  at the peak of my training for a full marathon.  Good thing it was postponed.  The postponement somehow lessened the negative impact on me.

So, what have I been doing in the sidelines?  When my doctor required me to do PT drills and cross training for leg strengthening,  thoughts about my other loves —  biking and swimming , which I had to give up before came flashing through. . .

. . . During my college years,  I used to swim 3 times a week at night together with my buddies.  We always get  the best lanes in the Olympic-sized pool at the Rodriguez Sports Center (now Marikina Sports Center) since the lifeguard was a good friend.   I normally did  1000-1200m of slow workout each day which I enjoyed tremendously and looked forward to doing it day after day.   I had to reluctantly end the daily swim due to the bothersome sinusitis.

Growing up as a schoolboy in Dagupan City  and as a teener in Marikina exposed me to the sport of cycling as bike enthusiasts would always converge in the two cities to either bike, train, compete or just plain watch.  It was after a few  years more, after  graduating from college, that I took up  biking seriously.  It was then that  I conquered the hills of Antipolo regularly biking with friends who also loved the sport.   I was no hard-core biker.  I was in it for the fun, the laughter and the adventure.  Our weekend biking sessions  were something I always  looked forward to. This went on for about two years.

But then I met my other love, teka… teka… let me correct myself… my one true love. Who else but my solemate! 

(O diba sipsip?)

I decided to give up biking then amidst her serious concerns on the safety of the sport.  Biking accidents were occurring one after another then since most rides were being done on the roads.  I relented…

Now I am going back to both!  A deep love for running and my desire to be fit again to enjoy it regularly has lead me to swim and bike again.  No talk of full marathons for me as of the moment.  I’ll  take a rain check.  I am now  focusing all my efforts  in strength training with the help of these 2 disciplines.  When my knees are ready, then I will start serious  training again.

We are blessed to be living just a stone’s throw away from  the village clubhouse so early morning trips to the pool is not an issue.  Here’s the bonus,  I get to swim for free! (the guard doesn’t charge me anymore as I only use the pool for only 40mins max). However,  with the village pool starting to seem smaller and smaller for me, I now go to a bigger pool to do my laps.  As for biking, Mariel & I reached a compromise so I can start riding again, too.   Her 2 conditions:  1)  I will not ride at a busy road but only ride at a safe place  and,  2) I will not hit the road alone but always with friends(of course!). Yahooo!!!  I’m back doing the 3 sports disciplines that i love!!!  I now do a 40-minute swimming workout, and just started biking to feel the road again.    I really pray I get to enjoy them all again.   Running though remains to be my one great love.

I swim . . . I bike . . . and if ready, I will be running  again.

3 in 1?  Try a Tri? . . . Hmmm. . .

Aba! Aba! Aba!

Let’s just be clear from the very start, okay?  Hanggang running lang ako ha?!?

I’m not into swimming nor am I into biking.  My talent in both is way too limited.  I prefer ballgames specifically tennis and volleyball.  My hand, feet and eye coordination is well developed.  I suppose that’s why I excel in shopping, too.  Ha ha ha  Eye on the ball, eye on the merchandise.  Get it? Ha ha ha ha

Late last year, I noticed I can feel my legs tire out during shopping sessions.  My friends would even comment, “kumukupas ka na yata!”.  It must be the excess weight.  So, I needed cross training, too.

I run. . . and I run. . . So I can walk again!  he he he

1st Greenfields City Run, 1st 10k

Sad to say but I had to pass up the Greenfields Run so as not to aggravate my knee injury but the excitement was still there since Mariel will be running her first 10k.  Woke up as early as 3am and did my regular routine in preparing for a race.  Took a shower, woke her up, ate breakfast and loaded everything in the car that i usually bring during a race. Except that . . .  all of the things I loaded was HER stuff.  The only thing I brought was my camera so I can take HER pictures as strictly instructed.  Likewise brought my wallet so we can buy HER reward! I’m not the one racing.  SHE is.  No, no, don’t get me wrong. I’m not bitter.  Grrrrr!

We arrived at Paseo, Sta Rosa 5:15am and went navigating for a good parking. Seeing people prepping themselves up at the race site made me sigh again, how i wish i was one of them . . .  Again, let me just make it clear that I am not bitter nor am I sad.  hahaha

And so she went and was able to conquer her first 10k today finishing in high spirits. This time it was I in the sidelines supporting her and bearing witness to her feat.  Really happy because I was there  for Mariel as her running coach.  Happy to report that she was a good trainee willingly submitting to my instructions.  Naks, feeling coach daw o!  I wonder,  had I really been a good coach to you, hon?

Hmmm . . . let me think.  Joke!  Of course, you were!  Couldn’t have logged in a decent newbie time without you! Naks!

Honestly,  Jun’s directions and support truly made a difference. Since  he  couldn’t run the race, himself, I think he focused his efforts in coaching me instead.  I just hope he overcomes this injury soon enough.   He tells me how depressing it is not to be able to run when you desperately so want to.  I think I can somehow understand for I think I’ll feel really, really bad if, for some reason or another I will be unable to run at this point.   They say you can’t really relate to injury and the corresponding crippling feeling of inability and incapacity when you have not undergone any.  That may be true.  I just hope I’ll be more sensitive to its effect on Jun and be more supportive of him just as he has been supportive of me and my running.  He really carried me through this as I felt he even becomes apprehensive himself  knowing I was a little nervous.  A little?  Who am I kidding?  I was soooo nervous about not finishing that I had diarrhea the whole day yesterday until the wee hours this morning!  It was a blessing though that I felt okay at race time.

Sensing my apprehensions about not being strong for the race today, Jun gave me a pack of GU gel.  I asked him if I should really be taking that as I remember him telling me before that I should try not to be dependent on energy gels especially during short races.  He said that I can just take it for emergency use if I feel weak during the last couple of kilometers.  I obediently tried to push the pack into my running tights’ very small pocket but it wouldn’t fit.  So, we agreed I shouldn’t  bring it.  I brought my lip gloss instead . . . Couldn’t run with parched lips, can I? 🙂

Haaay, Kikay talaga!

After some stretching exercises and 2 visits to the portalets, the race finally started.  I ran slowly maintaining an easy pace as strictly instructed by my “coach” during the first 5k.  I was happy to note that there were distance markers and water stations were located at strategic distances.  Plenty of marshals were visible all throughout the race guiding the runners.  Kudos to Finish Line team! When I passed the 6k  mark and I still felt good, I knew I will be able to make it.  It was all fun for me from then on with the new-found confidence.  I even found strength to sprint twice as we were about to cross the main road not wanting to be stopped even just a while to give way to the motorists.  At 8k, Sen. Pia Cayetano came walking towards us, clapping and shouting encouraging words. “Let’s go, let’s go.  Konti na lang. You’re almost there!”  Cool !!!  At about 8.5k, came the long gradual incline which extended I think for almost a kilometer.  That was a long one which saw a lot of runners, walking their way uphill.  Still I tried to run continuously and maintain my pace. Anyway, it wasn’t long after that I heard the marching band playing and the finish line was in sight.  Made it at 1:14.37mins (unofficial) with energy to spare!

Jun, of course, was on hand to capture my finish and was able to take pictures of friends finishing as well.  Look on…

At the finish line

At the finish line

Levy, Dindo at 21k and Nana Mayen, kaye at 10k

Levy, Dindo at 21k and Nana Mayen, kaye at 10k

As usual, off we went for breakfast with the Pizarro’s.  Jay and Dindo who were supposed to join us chose to continue the run and add more mileage.  Haaay, nainggit na naman si Jun and Jaymie

Jay, me, Jun, Jaymie & Dindo

Jay, me, Jun, Jaymie & Dindo

The Solemates

The Sole Mates

Greener Fields of Running from a Newbie

I’ve joined the Nike Clinic since then though attending mostly  the Tuesday sessions at the Ultra.  Coach Rio and Coach Jo-Ar have probably heard me comment how it was  so tiring or asking in jest  if there is a malling pace.  Honestly? I was having fun!!!! Yes, even when I realized during the first session I attended that the 5 laps they made me run was just for warm-up. Yes, even after they made me do a timed run of 800m, 400m, and 200m one after another with just short recovery breaks.  It’s challenging and I’m loving it!  I’ve never done this kind of running before.  It kinda gave me a feeling of pleasure back when I was playing with my childhood friends.  Last I could remember running this fast was during high school playing our usual “agawan base” at lunchtime at the school’s cemented tennis court using the two steel poles as our bases.  Boy,  did I run a lot faster then even jumping over the well-manicured  flower bushes lining the beautiful grounds of my high school alma mater.   Those were the days . . . Around 40lbs.  ago (bu hu hu).

With the whole week off from work,  the Holy week afforded Jun and I the opportunity to do significant things together.  Wednesday gave us a chance to go on a serious “talking” date where we talked about running and what it means to us as individuals, how it affects our relationship and our family.  I think it was really during this long,  serious but nice talk. with the sunset for our background overlooking the Metropolis, did we really understand how this passion called running which invaded our household has changed the landscape of our married life and how it can enhance our relationship and family.  We realized it was not a burden but a gift we can enjoy together.

By the way, that nice descriptive phrase about the sunset overlooking the Metropolis?  Jun thinks it’s mushy and wants to take it out!!!  Well, men!  They’re really so … I overruled him by pointing out “See that pink sole? I’m the one talking here, you know”…  and that settled it.  hmmp!

But of course,  didn’t let the chance pass to get a daily running work-out!  This one-week hiatus from work gave me a chance to discover the joy of running outdoors.  With gym and oval closed, I had no choice but to run outdoors.  Jun and I headed to UP academic oval early Friday  for a morning run.  We did one warm up round together before we split up. I stayed on the regular oval while he met up with our friend, Jay, and took the 10k route.  (This was to be his test run to see if his knee is recovering well.)  I loved the whole experience!  The lush greenery provided a refreshing departure from the usual TV screen I see during my usual treadmill runs.  I felt sooo relaxed.   The gentle wind against my face was refreshing providing no chance for perspiration to trickle down my temple.  Runners, joggers, walkers and even bikers all shared the same lane with such respect for each one’s space.  The lane was full but not too much.  Just enough for an interesting gathering of the fit and wanna-be fit.  Loving the scene!  Amazing How I was able to finish 5 rounds (11k), hydrating only after the 4th round.  Couldn’t believe I ran that much!  is it really 2.2k per round?  Jun assured me so.  I amaze myself!

Saturday  found me running in UP early morning again with Jun giving his road bike a trial run.  Jun had a good ride (You looked like a professional cyclist there, hon! 🙂 ).  The garage trial ride seemed to have worked albeit some premature minor accidents. (Ooops!)  As for me, can’t say it was as much fun as the previous day’s run  as I walked the 4th round when I experienced unusual and persistent pain in my right calf.  Must be the lack of sleep.  No worries, a 3-hour make-up sleep right after,  a full day’s rest for the calves capped by a Sunday night oval run with very good friends did the trick.  All is well . . . No escaping the Greenfields Run.  Greenfields,  here I come!

Oh no . . .  here’s another running addict in the making!

Pinay In Action Run, Our Family Run

“Whaaat???  Another race after just a week?  Are you sure I can do this?  Baka naman masobrahan ako nyan.  Isn’t the Greenfield race coming soon, too?  Won’t I get injured like you?”  This was how Mariel first reacted to the idea.

Inspite of the initial apprehensions though, we decided we will run this race (I mean, they will run this race).  We decided to join PIA fun run and make it a family affair.  So we registered our 2 younger daughters, Sofia and Mikka for the 1.6k and Mariel for the 5k.  The plan was for our eldest daughter, Bea and myself to run with the 2 kids.

Since this is Pinay in Action Run, I will let the woman do the telling:

She said:

We arrived in MOA early, found a perfect parking spot, and had much time kidding around with the kids.  We did practice runs which Mikka really enjoys a lot before proceeding to the starting line.  Her laughter and shrieks of delight just brought smiles to our faces. We still had much time left before the start of the race and we had plenty of time to just people-watch and take some pictures.  Jun was the family’s official photographer as always and wasted no time clicking away.

Just before the start of the 5k and 10k race, we saw Miguel.  Shortly after, we positioned ourselves at the race start. We’re running the more serious races while Jun and Jaymie, the more seasoned runners ran the 1.6K with our respective kids. 🙂 The alarm sounded and off we went which left Mikka crying for Mommy.  I think we failed to brief Mikka that Mommy will be running a different race.  She might have expected to run with me the same way we did during the Unicef Run.  Seeing me go off without her probably surprised her to tears.  My poor baby!  I wanted to go back and comfort her.  Lesson learned there.  Better briefing and emotional preparation for the little one next time.

As soon as I began running I knew I didn’t feel as strong.  I felt I will easily tire out.  The previous day’s activities of treadmill running and shopping in my wedge shoes seem to have exhausted me.  Wedge shoes while shopping?  Big mistake!  How can a veteran shopper like me not know that? I thought they would be comfortable enough for shopping. Duh!  I was actually planning to accompany Jun to his meeting but decided otherwise at the last minute and suggested that he just drop me off Glorietta thus, the inappropriate shoes.  There you go…

Anway, I was still able to finish  without walking.  I was more exhausted this time but felt good that I still finished under 40mins.  Still couldn’t forget that tisoy’s goal which I made mine as well..  That’s a good enough achievement for a month-old runner like me.  Or so I would like to believe…

Thanks to Jun who was there at the finish line to take picture and record my finish.

The kids’ race started a few minutes after we took off. Thankfully, it didn’t take too long for Mikka to calm down. Once the race started, it fun time.  The kids enjoyed what is actually our 2nd Family Fun Run.

Clowning with Coach Rio and Kaye

Clowning with Coach Rio and Kaye

We hang around with friends, Miguel and Jaymie, Coach Rio and Kay, Coach Jo-Ar a few meters from the finish line taking some post-race pictures. The kids are already clamoring for food and off we went to McDo Bluewave with the Pizarro family to get the kids’ happy meal rewards.

Condura – 1st Run and Anniversary Run

With the Condura Race already a month old, I know you have read much about the great race.  You’ve probably seen pictures of me in some of the blogs and have read about some of my race experiences in my good friends’ Jaymie, Jay,  or Vima‘s blogs. Bear with me though for this time, I’m sharing my experience first hand.  It’s giving me a kick just thinking I’d be able to chronicle my running experiences and probably get a couple of you out there to be interested in partaking of what I have to share.

The condura is one race we will definitely remember with special fondness.  It was my and Mariel’s first race – mine in 2008 and Mariel’s in 2009.  So, while I was celebrating my 1st year anniversary traversing the 21k skyway route, Mariel was running her first ever serious race at 5k.

Still nursing a knee injury, I am forced to take it easy and just enjoy the skyway experience.  My condura running buddies, Jaymie, Vince and Jake who joined us after the 1st quarter, all had one goal — run at kwento pace and finish without injury.  The four of us surely enjoyed the seemingly strolling and relaxed pace.  Conversation and laughter abound during the first half.  The chatter was kept to a minimum from about 5-12k and finally halted at 14k.  Each one kept to himself and concentrated all energy on running.  The experience was something else.  I felt good all throughout the race except for some moments when way too many are running past me.  Tsk, tsk, tsk.  You guessed that well Jaymie.  It piqued me sometimes seeing them run past us when i know we can do better than our current pace.  Anyway, I got to run in a unique route, had fun with my friends and finished strong without aggravating my injury.  I felt really strong at the end of the race feeling I could still run some more.  Feeling that way, I was able to give attention about how my runningmates were doing, who by that time were definitely in no mood for any form of conversation anymore. I had the chance to play good Samaritan offering Jaymie my last GU gel and Vince my last hydraform bottle of Gatorade.

Best of all, I was happy knowing that Mariel wasn’t just in the sidelines giving me moral support.  She too, was experiencing this race. While I was just praying that Mariel will understand my passion for running and fully support me in this new endeavor, God had better plans.  He made her run as well.

She said:

Haha! Run I did…

I’ve been hearing Jun and his running buddies excitedly talk about the Condura Race for sometime now and after a while you get caught up in their animated conversations.  It caught my interest enough to even think about joining a race when i wasn’t even running yet at that time.  Having no experience in serious runs, I was quite apprehensive about participating.  Barely a month before though, as Jun was registering at Nike Park BHS, I asked him “Do you think I can finish the 5k if I start running now? Will it be okay to walk?”  To which he replied an encouranging “Yes you still have time to train and oo naman, you can walk.” I threw all caution in the wind and decided to register as well.  That fateful Sunday, with kids in tow, we looked for a suitable training attire for me. We spent the whole afternoon finding that “perfect” attire (meaning, something that actually fits?)  Uuurgh, must be God’s way of telling me I really have to get some exercise, NOW!  Hah, Jun must have been really happy I am joining for I didn’t hear a word of complaint.  It wasn’t the same for the kids though especially for Mikka, 5 and Sofia, 9, who were already tired from running around all the stores we went to.  So by early evening we headed home so the kids can rest.  Miracle of all miracles, Jun still asked me if I wanted to head to Megamall to pick-up the attire the salesperson in Mizuno-Club 650 branch reserved for me at Mizuno-Megamall. That blew me away!  Of course, I said yes and went to pick up my brand new running outfit.

Training for me involved digging up my rusty but almost unused Slimmer’s World membership card. I barely used the facilities after I signed up as a lifetime member after my first pregnancy 14 years ago.  Like a lot of people I know, I often think it will always be there when I need it.  lifetime nga eh!  Things are quite different now.  I started using it that week I registered for the race and I’m building a beautiful love relationship with the treadmill since then.  The oval is but 2nd love at this point as I get to run there only when Jun is around.

Race day: Excited and simultaneously nervous, Jun and I headed out to BHS at 4:30am and was promptly at the site by 5am. Jun did his usual stretching and warm-up run while I stayed in the car unsure and feeling awkward about stretching and holding those poses for all to see (see what a novice I was?).  My s0-called warm-up came as a few seconds  jog from the ladies room to the parking lot.  I meant to jog all the way to the starting line but Miguel, TBR’s hubby, who was preparing to run the 10k called out and we walked to the starting line musing about how we did not do any warm-ups.  Ha ha ha  We bid each other well and went to our starting corrals.

Being by my lonesome self, waiting for the race to start amidst a sea of runners, proved to have some benefit, too.  I was able to drink in the sights and sounds of the race.  The chatter around me was interesting.  One particularly caught my attention — a late thirtyish or early fortyish tisoy guy behind me was updating his friends on his personal record which he said was currently at 38 minutes for a 5k run.  His friend encouragingly told him that it was a pretty good record and added that breaking the 40min. timeline is already a pretty good accomplishment for a 5k beginner.  Ting!!! Why don’t I make that my goal today?, I thought to myself.  Is that possible?  My shortest 5k run in the treadmill was 47 minutes. Maybe If  I don’t walk . . . Hmm . . . no harm trying.  Tried hard I did.  Except for a short water break, I did not stop nor walk to rest!  Now that was a first!!! I was feeling really good.  Negotiating the bend at the Market/Serendra and thinking the finish line is near, I glanced at my stop watch (take note honey, I’m already dreaming of my garmin) to find the time at just past 30 minutes.   Wow, hitting my borrowed goal just  might be possible after all.  This pushed a button and I increased the pace and clocked-in at 36.22mins.  Good enough for a newbie, they say.  Well, thats encouraging!  It was a natural high and kidded Jun later on that I’m ready for another 5k.

After a while, I positioned myself near the finish line making sure I get a picture of Jun and company finishing the race. I think I got hooked even more as I saw exhausted bodies but triumphant faces crossing the finish line.  One man was even limping his way to the finish… agony etched on his sweat-drenched face…mustering what energy he had left to finish the race.  Wow, that was an electrifying scene for me!

After the race, we, together with Miguel and Jaymie proceeded to Pancake House McKinley Hill for some well-deserved breakfast.

Here’s a bonus for me — later that night, Jun and I with our eldest daughter Bea, went to Galleria to get me my reward —  another perfect running shirt. =)

Getting hooked… definitely.

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