Archive for May, 2009

TNF 100 – A race to remember

Our family made the trip to Clark on Saturday at 11am hoping not to get caught up in the afternoon traffic.  Well, we still did.  Anyway, we checked in at the Holiday Inn and after depositing our things in the room immediately proceeded to the pool area for the kids’ promised swim.  What a joy to watch them having fun!  The feeling was just matchless as Mikka proudly shows us her underwater stunts.  “Mom, Dad, did you see me?” 😉   My waterbabies immensely enjoyed the pool even when it was unusually crowded until we pulled them out at around 4:45pm when we saw the very dark clouds fast approaching and the rains started to come.  Our  “Time’s up.  Let’s go kids!” of course was met with long  “aaaaah!!”.  Anyways, they know it’s times up when it’s times up except for little Mikka who needs a little more training in this respect.

We were in the room preparing for dinner out with our running friends when Jaymie called updating us that disaster struck the race and it might have to be stopped/canceled.  It turned out that that very dark cloud with lightning that we saw in the horizon at around 5pm brought with it a tornado  which indeed hit the starting/finish line site.   I was surprised at the news as I even visited the site briefly that afternoon before the rains came and all was still well.  Later that night, during dinner, Jay, who visited the site after the hit,  gave us more update and showed us pictures of the fallen structures holding the timer, tents and banners at the starting line site.

What a sad site!

We were concerned about Coach Rio and Vince.  We feel for them knowing how much effort their team put into this.  We also felt for North Face but lauded their good intentions to put the runners’ safety first when they were considering stopping the race.

Our group became apprehensive about the race but we had fun creating possible disastrous but funny scenarios mindlessly torturing ourselves with the ideas:

“What if a tornado hits during the race, what do we do?”  asked Jaymie.

“Hold on to a tree!” came Jun’s quick reply.

“Ha ha ha ha”  everybody chorused

Jun:  “They say if it rains tonight, the ankle deep river we will be crossing will be waist-deep.”

Jay:  “With the rains this afternoon, knee high water became neck-deep.”

All:    “woh!”  tugug . . . tugug . . .  tugug. . .

Jun receives a text message from Rio:  ” Jun, tuloy ang race tomorrow ha”

“Of course!”  again came Jun’s quick text reply.

“Rain or Shine!”  he added for our benefit.

Aba, aba, aba!

I then whispered to Angel, who was not running the race  “If we’re ever hit by a tornado, our kids are at room 321 ha?”  Wink wink

Miguel then asked, “So why are we doing this again?”

No answer.  he he  😉

Conversation moved to tamer scenarios:

Jaymie:  “The course will be muddy daw.  Vince said if we’re worried about scratches, it would be better to wear long   bottoms.”

Mariel:  “I brought both long and 3/4 tights.”

Jaymie:  “Ako din!!!  ha ha ha  I brought also long socks.”

Mariel:  “hahaha  Bahala na what I will wear tomorrow. Basta, I’m bringing my camera!”

Jaymie:  “Yeah, me too!  Easy pace naman di ba?”

Mariel:  “Yeah,  we’ll stop for photo ops.  he he”

So, after a good dinner of pizza and pasta at the famous C Italian Restaurant, we said our goodnights and all went back to the hotel to get that much needed sleep.

Good food, good friends, clean fun!

Race Day

Thank heavens it wasn’t raining!!!  That was a good sign.

I am Ninoy advocates at the starting line

Jaymie, Charmaine, Taki, Dindo, Bards, Ting and Mesh

Jaymie, Charmaine, Taki, Dindo, Bards, Ting and Mesh

We left at 5:10am, passed Jay doing his warm-up run from the hotel to the race site, and arrived with still much time before the race.  Mariel and I did just a little stretching beside the car as the Fitness First instructor started leading the warm-up exercises.  Before long, Jaymie and Miguel arrived and we all positioned ourselves at the starting line with the other runners.  Of course, this also signaled the start of the photo ops.

Runners get their first taste of the wet trail

When the race started, the sky was cloudy but mercifully rainless — a perfect race weather!  The runners were in high spirits.  Mariel and I, together with Miguel and Jaymie, Taki and Charmine were teasing, laughing and even taking pictures as we were running the 1km towards the start of the narrow trail that leads to Sacobia River.   Since we started at the back of the pack, we waited a while for our turn to go down the narrow trail going towards the river.  We felt excitement as we were viewing fellow runners maneuvering on the lahar trail crossing the river.  As we reached the Sacobia river, the lahar floor was wet.  I guess the rains the afternoon before was a blessing since it made the sand  firmer.  Of course, puddles of water were still present. We were tip- toeing trying to avoid water getting inside our shoes but we were successful doing this only for the first water crossing.  On the second river crossing, there was no more escaping getting  feet wet as the  flowing brown water  mixed with lahar and small rocks was already ankle-deep.  After crossing the river, was the start of a short uphill climb.  We hit the barangay road which was very muddy.  After 5k, Mariel felt something inside her shoes that bothered her.  When we reached the main road she decided to stop to take a look inside her shoe. It was not a stone or sand, but a blister. From then on, I stayed beside her and run along with her, encouraging her that we’re almost near the finish line.  We enjoyed the trails alright, experiencing it for the first time together and finishing it at the same time somehow made it more special.  There were times when we had to walk  — while trekking the narrow and tricky trails and of course during photo ops. It was all fun. A different experience. Something we can enjoy remembering and talking about for a long time.  It wasn’t tiring at all  so we still had a lot of  energy to spare to enjoy more time with our kids after the race.

Mariel running on wet lahar. This part was soooo much fun!

Soaked from the chocolate brown ankle-deep water

Jun, Miguel and Jaymie walking after the soaking. Shoes must have been heavy with water.

Follow the Leader at the No Over-Taking Zone.

We made it girls!!!

This run marked my 3rd month running anniversary and what a way to celebrate it!  This was definitely a different experience.  The different terrains were  fun to tackle — from the familiar flat road, to the downward sliding dirt trail, to the long stretch of mildly wet lahar, to the grassy trail with occasional grass blades poking your face, arms and legs, to the ankle-deep dark brown flowing river, to the narrow forest trail, to the long, black, sticky, muddy trail, to the short but slightly steep uphill dirt climb, to the breezy trail of grass and stones and onto the paved roads leading to the finish line.  (hah, that was long!) It was a run to remember.

Our group ran one after another for most of the race which made it really enjoyable for me as we would occasionally exchange notes and comments and of course, would frequently stop for some photo-ops.  My left foot bothered me though at around the 5k when I felt sand inside my socks rubbing onto my wet feet.  After another kilometer, the rubbing seemed to have turned into poking and the  quantity of sand seemed to increase.  Going into the flat roads at the last 3k, I tried dislodging what I thought was sand by inserting a finger inside my socks to no avail.  I continued running again, albeit, increasing discomfort.  Jun was egging me on all that time encouraging me that we’re almost there.  After a few steps though I told him I want to stop and remove my shoes and socks so I can take out what now felt like a small sharp stone rubbing and poking my left foot’s arch.  Jun nodded immediately and I sat on the pavement and he immediately helped me take off my shoes and socks as runners passed us.  We noted there was no stone but we found a small blister instead.  He helped me put on my socks and shoes again and tied my shoelace.  All these we did together in one fluid motion.  I was amazed that our hurried movements seemed to be in sync.  No fumbling whatsoever.  It felt rehearsed.  Galing!  Well, with that settled, we went on our way.  Jun kept very close all throughout often slowing down, running in place, even back-tracking to let me catch-up with him.  Nearing the finish line, I was already running with all left toes curled to curve my arch further and avoid pressure on it.   As planned, Jun and I finished the race together.  Woohoo!

Blisters considered, I still think of this as my best race experience so far!

Thanks North Face!  Thanks Finishline!

Oh by the way, they say it wasn’t my trail shoes which caused the blisters but my socks.  I ‘m inclined to agree as I had a last minute change and did not use my race socks.  So, I’m letting you off the hook Asics.  I still plan to use you in my next trail run.

So, guess what I did about the socks? I hoarded a pile of my fave Nike socks when we passed by the Nike Outlet store at the NLEX. 😉

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Thrill and Trail at Camp John Hay

Since we decided to join  the TNF 10k trail run, a lot has happened.  Jun found a good and reasonably priced Asics trail running shoes for me and I liked it.

Now, now… never ever run a race in a new pair of shoes.  So, off to Baguio we went for some R&R with the family and some shoes break-in running session over the weekend.

The family had a super great time!!!  We started our trip at 5am so the kids after a light breakfast continued sleeping  in the car and woke up when we were already in Tarlac.   After having some sandwiches, the fun began….  the laughter seemed  endless as the children kidded and teased one another.  Jun and I couldn’t help but laugh ourselves. The laughter was contagious as Mikka, our 5 year old, provided most of the comic relief.  They were pleasantly exhausted from laughing when we finally reached  Baguio City.   What a great way to start our vacation!!! 🙂

Our comic, Mikka, providing entertainment as we wait for lunch.

The kids' fave: Jumping shot!

We were able to do everything we planned out to do and more!!!  First stop after unloading our stuff at the resthouse (courtesy of a very good friend) was lunch at Cafe Picarre then off to Camp John Hay for a round of mini-golf which Bea won and which I barely beat Mikka for the last place.  Hah!  When have these kids begun beating me at anything?  Well, they had fun making fun of me.  Providing the comic relief this time is just fine with me.  ha ha ha  Next was horseback riding with me braving the horse-ride with Mikka up and down the sloppy forest trail.  It was a good thing Jun didn’t do this.  It would have aggravated his knee pain.  Mine was painful for a while after that.  After that, we just passed by The Mansion where the kids clowned around for some pictures.  Shakey’s was the kids choice for dinner so off we went to SM for early dinner of pizzas, chicken and mojos and of course, a strawberry shake for Mikka.  It was early sign-off for us as we were all tired from the excitement of the day.  Any thoughts of running the following morning vanished as I knew I wouldn’t be able to get up early.

Serious daw oh! Mom, ang tagaaaaal!

Weeeeeeh!!! Higher Mommy!!!

All hope is not lost though.  As we were preparing to go out the following day,  a great plan was hatched!  Mikka so badly wanted to go mini-golfing again that we decided she can do just that.  But first, we went to find The Strawberry Farm in La Trinidad. No, we weren’t able to pick strawberries but we had  our fill of some unique and tasty  strawberry taho right in the middle of the farm.  After shopping for some pasalubong and some fresh veggies, we went on our way then stopped for some very special lunch — what else, but the kids’ choice —  McDonald’s!  Then off to Camp John Hay again where the kids went mini-golfing while Jun and I sneaked off for a 5k run.  woohoo!  Early dinner at Carlo’s Pizza and desserts of sundaes and splits at Strawberries & Ice Cream (would you believe while it was raining?) capped a great vacation!  Can’t wait for the next one! 🙂

Faster, faster! Gotta get back before the kids finish mini-golfing!

So, did we get some R&R?  You bet!!!  Some shoes break-in sessions?  If you count horse-back riding, mini-golfing and of course, running, then make that 3 yeses!  😉

TNF – Brave enough for a trail run?

I salute those brave souls who will be running the 100k trail challenge!  Can’t imagine what you will be going through.  For us, just looking for a little more challenge of  manageable levels, the 10k trail is more than enough.

What awaits us in this 10k trail run at the TNF Sacobia Race in Clark?  Let’s list the pros and cons. ( I’ll start with the cons as these were the ones I thought about first and hard) 😉

Cons:

1.  Dirty, in all probability, muddy shoes

2.  Wet, sandy shoes and socks scraping wet, sandy feet

3.  Wet clothes if it rains;  dusty and sticky if it doesn’t

4.  Scratched arms, legs, neck, face (no, not there!)

5.  Sore feet, sore muscles

Pros:

1.  Different kind of adventure we can tell our kids and grand kids about

2.  New sense of accomplishment (that is… should we ever finish the race 😉 )

3.  Fun and laughter with friends (hopefully!)

4.  Test of strength and balance (hon, should we bring the umbrella, picnic mat and basket, camera,  change of socks/shoes?)

5.  Test of marital endurance and/or commitment?  ( Will Jun be willing to carry me across the river so I don’t get sand inside my shoes? Teka, baka magwalk-out na ito! he he he)  Is this a pro or con? . . . I guess it can go both ways! . . .  oh ooh!

The first cons, #1-3,   are really more mine than Jun’s and pros#4-5 are not really pros but cons to Jun.  Haaay honey, do I really have to explain this pa?  Let’s just say this is all mine, okay Ako talaga ang maraming baka, baka, baka . . .  Kaya ko ba???

After more than a week of thinking,  we’ve finally decided we’re joining!  The pros over-ruled the cons (of Mariel) eventually so here’s …

The Plan:

1.  Bring the whole family to Clark.

2.  Get Mariel a suitable (the least expensive if I have my way) trail running shoes.

3.  Travel light.  Run light.

4.  Easy pace .

5.  Run together.  Finish together.  If initial plans doesn’t change, run and finish with running friends,  Jaymie  and Miguel, Tiffin and Marga.

Thought Balloon:

I hope we’ll have fun … I hope it’s not too rough … I’m excited and  jittery at the same time.  Much like how I felt when Jun and I and 2 other couple friends tried climbing Mt. Pulag last year.  Wait . . . didn’t I get traumatized with the uphill climbs that time and feared stairs and any incline for a couple of weeks after that?  Wasn’t I sooo sore all over that I couldn’t get up the whole day after?  What am I getting myself into?  I can always stop and not finish … I don’t want DNF!

Friend Annie, warned us against doing this . . . It may not be good for somebody who’s recovering from  injury . . . Mariel is prone to ankle sprains . . . However,  both of us are  fitter now than  when we did Pulag . . . There might be hope!

So, with much hope and prayers,  on to TNF!!!

Botak Run Recap: Missteps Capped with a Good Run

There were already a lot of talk about expected hullabaloos at the Botak Race weeks before but we decided to register anyway.  As somebody quite new in the running scene, the only attraction for me was running on the Kalayaan-Buendia flyover and the fact that Jun, reeling from a knee injury, feels good enough to join a race again.

The Sole Mates

As you will find out throughout this recap, it wasn’t only the Botak Run organizers who had missteps.  The Sole Mates, in fact, started it.  he he he  Here goes…

True to form, we arrived early at the Fort at 5am.  There was already a healthy bustle of crowd that time.  Mariel     and I did some stretching,  put our race bibs in place and  finished our trips to the restroom.  A good 15 minutes before the race, we did our warm-up run around the parking lot fronting the starting line.  Runners were already at the corral but we were not worried.  After one round,  I asked Mariel for the time and she advised that it was 5:47am.  “One more round”,  I said.  We were doing our 2nd round when we heard the “last call”.  This is where the missteps begin…

Instead of going straight to the corral, Jun hurriedly advised me he needed to make his final visit to the john.  Again? … Now? … The race is about to start!!!  (Those were thoughts verbalized only after the race when we could already laugh about it. ) All I managed at that time was a worried look.   Dutifully followed him and waited outside the men’s room uncomfortably listening to the emcee’s last countdown.  Oh no, no no!!!

I took only a few seconds as there was nobody in the men’s room.  As soon as I came out the door, we heard  “Get set, GO”  so we ran towards the starting line.  The 10k and 21k  runners were already off.  The 5k runners were left waiting for their turn so we had to squeeze our way in amidst a sea of 5k runners to get to the starting line.  Whew, finally broke out of the 5k crowd and the marshal motioned for us to follow the pack ” Habol pa, habol pa!” We tried catching up . . .  Saw Mariel running faster than usual and motioned for her to slow down.  Seeing her nod, I went on ahead.  I tried to maintain my planned pace for the 1st 2k if there was no pain.  I saw Miguel & Jaymie at the 1st kilometer and told them that for the first time, we were late, hahaha.  After exchanging a few pleasantries,  I went ahead as they also have their planned pace for the race.

I really enjoy running at the  flyover all the way to Buendia which always reminds me of my 1st run.  After the U-turn  I increased my pace again which I tried to maintain up to the last kilometer.  I tried not to think of my injury, whether the pain will resurface or not.  I didn’t want my injury to control me.  I’m happy I was able to maintain my pace just like last week’s run.  Again,  with no knee pain during the entire run.  Yoohooo!  Crossed the finish line with unofficial time of 55:10 (Garmin) with 5:28 average pace, distance of 10.16km.   Slowly and hopefully,  surely getting back to form.

Of course, I had to run faster.  I was at the tail end of the runners!  Slowly, I inched my way pass runners and maintained a comfortable pace.

The Fly-over Run. Turning left towards the flyover got me excited.  Here it is!  I was happy the climb up was at the first kilometer of the race when I wasn’t tired yet and can fully enjoy running there.  I was happy to note there was a water station after the first uphill climb at the flyover but decided to pass up when I saw that there were no ready cups of water and would have to wait to get one.  There seems to be no activity at the table with only 1 attendant who wasn’t busy at all.  Not sure but I think they already ran out of cups. (1st downer).  Not that thirsty anyway so no big deal to me really but what about the other runners behind me?  Anyways,  the next water stations were okay.  Some offered both water and Gatorade.  I opted for the Gatorade whenever I see one available.  I seem to be running stronger than usual and felt good about it.  But where oh where are the distance markers?  (2nd downer)

Buendia. Faster runners were already on the way back and I was trying to spot Jun but didn’t see him.  I reached the turn-around point uneventfully, still feeling good.  Hydrating in one of the stations though, I saw an attendant holding the cups by the mouth.  Eeeeww!  Must have dipped his fingers in some of the liquid there! I wonder if that included my cup.  double eeeww!  (3rd downer).  Going back, with the long line of runners crossing Makati Ave., a few irrate motorists honked their horns so hard and loud, you can almost hear the driver yelling.   One even screeched his tires to show everybody his displeasure.    I don’t know how the traffic aides dealt with them but just can’t let that ruin our run, right?  As one male runner beside me commented, “Siya kaya ang tumakbo at tayo ang mag-drive!”  Well said man.  Well said. 😉

Going back the Fly-over. After that, it was all well.  I can see a lot of runners tiring out with the sweltering heat.  The uphill climb at the fly-over has now become a bit of a chore. Vener,  calling out a  “Hello Mariel!” was a welcome greeting.   It’s always nice to see a familiar face amidst the crowd when running.  A water shower at the end of the fly-over awaited the runners.  I wanted to avoid it but I’m glad now there was no way to.  By this time, the temperature was already up and the shower provided some relief.

Finish Line at Last! I was glad the finish line was  getting nearer.  It was getting hot!  I pushed myself to run faster to escape the head-on heat of the sun going towards Market-Market and into the finish.  Too bad Jun wasn’t able to get a running finishing pic.   Had a PR finish of 1:12:05 (unofficial – from time I actually started).

Went straight to the car to get my camera so I can take Mariel’s picture at the finish line.  I was in position, camera on hand,  expecting her to cross the finish line at 1:14 or a little later since this is a longer route than last week.  But I underestimated her as she finished a couple of minutes earlier.  Almost missed her had she not called me as she passed.  grrr.. Sorry hon. 😦

Yes, folks, he did it again!  I was happy to see Jun already waiting as I sprinted towards the finish line.  But surprise of all surprises, he didn’t see me and was still looking far off the incoming runners when I ran pass him and into the finish line.  I could still see  the stunned look on his face when he finally saw me.  For that look alone,  I forgive you.  🙂

After crossing the finish line


 

Traditional post-race breakfast with the Pizarros

After our usual post-race breakfast with friends Jaymie & Miguel

"The Finish line" (taken at 9:15am)

Missteps and all, we had a good run and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.  That’s what really counts.  Don’t you agree?

Till the next race . . .

Botak Run Prep

After running the Southern Race’ s 10K with Jun just last Sunday, I didn’t think we would be running again so soon.  Seems like “the blue sole”  is at it again.  Yesterday,  he registered us both in Botak Race’s 10k event.

Tuesday:  I was quite half-hearted about doing the 10k when we registered since I was not able to do any long runs after last Sunday’s race.  I attended the Nike clinic Tuesday night and we were made to do a 2k warm-up run, some drills and a 800m x 4.    Super-fast Coach Annie, paced the pack.  When the go signal to start was given, Coach Annie charged and we ran after her huffing and puffing (atleast us, 3 forty something moms who bravely joined the intermediate instead of the beginners’ run).  Woh, that taxed our hearts and lungs, alright! 

At the last 800m, the 3 of us were laughing as we started running.  “Ang bilis-bilis naman nitong Annieng ito.  Bakit ba tayo pinahihirapan nitong batang ito?  ha ha ha… huff huff huff…  ha ha… puff puff puff…  ha… huff huff huff… silence…………HAR HAR HAR

Cheers to you, Thelma and friend (sorry, I’m so bad with names)!  The mind is willing but the heart and lungs are not . . . Well, not yet anyway. . . We’ll get there, don’t yah worry . . .  See yah!

Thursday:   This was gym day where I got carried away doing a full-body work-out and did just a 5k treadmill run.  Tired … gotta get up early for an office meeting Friday.

Saturday:  This is make-up day.  Jun & I headed out at 6:30am and run inside the village.  We ran the first 2k together and of course he accelerated after.    Thinking I am falling short of mileage this week, I secretly wished I would have the strength to do more. 

Yup! Found the strength and finished a 10k much to the “coach’s” chagrin. . .  Sermon to come. . .

We planned a short easy run of around 5-6k.  Despite going home late Saturday night and still experiencing bad back pains (dont know where it’s coming from), we got up early, and after some light breakfast went off for our planned run. 

Ended my run as planned (needed to bring daughters Bea and Sofia to their Dance and Choir practice, respectively).  Stretched and rested and after some time went out the gate and looked out for Mariel expecting her to end her run, too.  Lo and behold, she did not stop and just shouted out, “One more round!  I’m doing 10k!”  Haaay,  eh ano pa bang magagawa ko? 

I got it from him when I came in. 

“You over-did it, you know?    I saw you.  Nag-over ka pa until the tennis court.  You should reserve your energy for tomorrow.”  

What can I say?  Mea Culpa.  😉  

           Uuuy, smile naman  diyan!  🙂                      

           Let’s go Mikka, time for the dentist!  😉

           See you at the Botak Run tomorrow!!!

                  

Happy birthday, Annie and Jaymie!

Two of my very closest friends are celebrating their birthdays this month– Annie (May4) and Jaymie (May 5).  So, what a better time to pay tribute to them than now.

Our friendship started with what else but our love for running.  You see, these two running addicts have been very good friends for quite sometime now until I got to join them and had a chance to run with them.  We enjoyed talking while running — about our kids, our spouses and how our family relates with our passion for running.  We also talked of other things such as races that we joined, setting goals and targets we hope to conquer, our plans for our families and  even the little seemingly mundane things.  We learned a lot from one another.

Annie, being a fitness instructor, takes on the role of our fitness guru  and gladly shares all of her flexing  techniques but does not forget to share her jokes and funny moves, too.  Her deep-toned laughter is very distinct and quite contagious.  (mwaaahahaha!)  I can almost hear her laugh now.  Her energy’s so infectious that it seems to latch on to you, too.  There’s never a dull moment with her around.  At ang galing mang-asar!  After running a speed workout,  she’d often shout out to me ” Kaya mo yun?  MWAAAAAHAHAHAH !”   Asar talaga!

Jaymie, on the other hand, being the more experienced runner than I am shares the  latest running info,  gears, training drills for our kind of injury.  Being both flat-footed, we basically have the same shoe-type requirement that we exchange notes on this.  She would also share funny stories but would most often be laughing her heart out on stories and jokes that Annie and I would be sharing.  Don’t be fooled though, malakas din mang-asar  ito!

The 3 of us have lot of things in common, same interest, likes and dislikes (sorry can’t reveal it without approval of the two).  Okay, okay, maybe I can share one.  One of them is our “kakuriputan” (thriftiness).  Our wallets are so heavy that they are seldom brought out except for running gears and accessories.  Hahaha.  As Jaymie said, “How we all wish that our children will be “kuripots” like us so we can retire early and run more”.  We concurred.

This two ladies are like spoiled little sisters to me.  To my misfortune, I am always out-voted whenever we set a date and place for our runs and get-togethers.  I always end up conceding to their plan just like an older brother who always gives in to the request of his little sisters.  It’s  all worth it though since we had lots of fun and laughter.  There were serious talks, too, and sentimental moments especially when Annie was about to leave for Singapore.  In the relatively short time that we’ve known one another, we bonded together alright.  These two have been very good friends to me.  I am honored and feel blessed to be sharing this special bond with them.

Our friendship which began in running is being anchored by many little but significant things we share as runners, buddies, parents and partners to our respective spouses.  Looking forward to a long run with you…

Happy birthday, Annie and Jaymie!

Real, true friends don’t come by everyday.  So, true friendship, when found, must be nurtured and protected.   I am happy Jun found true friends in you both and I am grateful for the friendship extended to me, too.

Our birthday wish?  Good health, happy family and God’s abundant blessings more than you’d ever expect!

Wishing you both long, blissful running years you can enjoy with your hubbies and kids!

Cheers to you, Annie and Jaymie!!!  We’re both glad to have known you and your families.

Have a fabulous birthday!!! 🙂

ATC Southern Race

Last Tuesday, while we were yet unsure about running  the 10k because of Mariel’s accident last Sunday and my still tentative confidence for a comeback race,  we decided to register for the Southern Run’s 10k.  In the event that either one of us changes our mind, the plan was  just to downgrade  to 5k depending on how we feel by race day.

I did my first test run Friday in  UP just to have a feel of the road again.  I still experienced on and off pain on my right knee during the run and ITB tightness followed after and  lasted until Saturday evening.  Though still a bit anxious, I’ve decided that day to run the 10K.  I will just have to treat this run as yet another test run.

We arrived at  the Alabang Town Center around 5:15am.  By that time , there was already a long queue of cars towards the lone  parking lot entrance.  We saw Miguel and Jaymie at the parking lot and joined them  walking  to the starting line.  Once there,  we saw good friends  Ben, Dindo, Kim and Dindong who will all be running the 10k. Ben and I agreed to run together and just maintain 6min/km.  pace since I’m still recovering  from injury while Ben has not  done any training run since Condura ( i just don’t  know  if he has a secret training).  Based on this plan, I would have been happy to hit 1hr.

As the race start  was announced,  we all took off and tackled a short incline going up from ATC  towards the main road leading to the AAV gate.  Ben and I paced each other as planned. Upon reaching  Madrigal Ave., we already broke the plan and were running at a faster rate of 5.45 pace being pulled by gravity since it  was downhill.  I did not expect it but this was to be  our running pace for the next 3k.  There were times when we  reminded ourselves to slow down and  just maintain our planned pace.  However, the invigorating feeling of running again just gets the better of us and we again discard the plan and run faster than planned.

A lot of runners overtook  us at first  but I decided early on not to be affected and reserve some energy for the coming uphill climbs.  I just comforted myself with the thought that I am still a recovering injured runner.    We gradually increased our pace at the start of countryclub drive and started passing other runners. That made us feel good. At the last 1.5 kilometer,   Ben  increased his pace and went ahead of me (sabi ko na may secret training ito eh!).

Finishing the race with no pain, having a negative split and a time of 54:15 (9:87km) with an average 5:30min/km pace,    I could consider this a very good day for me. Even though its not a PR for me, I am very happy to be back and ran my 1st 10k of the year after crossing some ups and downs in my running life… I hope progress will be on my side…

Last Friday or 5 days after that fateful Sunday night when I officially became a member of the Semplang Club, I was in high spirits.  First, because the bruising has subsided considerably;  second, because  after 4 non-running days, I was able to resume  running on the treadmill(Thurs) finishing a 10k and at BHS Nike Clinic (Fri)  finishing a 5k run and third, I decided at this point that I will not downgrade and run the 10k on Sunday’s Southern Race.  Woohoo!

Saturday was reserved for the kids’ activities as our 10-year old Sofia passed the auditions for our church’s kids choir and we had to attend the first members’ assembly.  Good job, Sofia!  Sing your heart out to the Lord!  Hmmm… kanino kaya nagmana?  (We’ll tackle that some other time) 🙂  Anyway, the rest of the day was spent just relaxing at home enjoying time with the 2 younger kids while the eldest is out for a 3-day HS Summer Camp.

Come Sunday, race day, I think Jun and I left the house quite nervous.  We quietly drove to Alabang most of the way exchanging only a few words.  He wanted to leave earlier and had to remind me we already need to leave.  As if I am not aware of that but I just had to use the restroom again.  I surely didn’t want to stress him and be stressed about being late myself.

Anyway, we arrived with pleanty of time to spare.  Enough time to find a parking slot (it was a little far from the starting line though), a trip to the restroom (again) and pleanty of time for some pre-race catch-up talk with running friends.

This is to be my 2nd 10k venture.  After my first 10k at the Greenfields Run, I felt my hamstrings were really tight and quite sore.  I felt this about 5 hours after the race  upon reaching home  alighting from the car.  This soreness persisted until Thursday this week or almost 2 weeks.  Thank God, 2 days before race day, almost all my painful body parts (neck, shoulders, back, bruised knees and hamstrings) cooperated.  I felt better and ready to run.  For  the first time in my running life (as if matagal na noh? ;)), I had a full-body massage with concentrated effort on my very sore back and shoulders, iced my hamstrings and did Jun’s hamstring stretches.  I think, this combination of activities really helped put me back in a decent running shape.

As soon as the race started, I was off on my own. ( Eh nasaan ba itong mga  injured na kasama ko at bakit ang bibilis pa rin?!?)  Anyway, i ran by myself as always.  I was thrown off  negotiating the early incline off the starting line but found relief at the downhill Madrigal Ave.  The cloudy sky was heavenly but the hilly course was something I am not used to.  Following the runners ahead of me, we criss-crossed the wide roads atleast 5 times.  I loved the course though with  AAV’s majestic and graceful trees providing a refreshing scenery.  I’ve always liked this place but I’m seeing it now from a different perspective.  I appreciated the  strategically spaced water stations.  It was too bad though that cups ran out at the last station but I miss the distance markers (Wala pa kasing Garmin eh!).  I maintained an easy, steady pace speeding it up only when I finally got out of the AAV gate running towards the finish line at 1:14.33.  No finish pic this time.  My official photographer is running again and that’s just fine with me.   Jun’s happy he’s running again.  So am I!

Marc, Dindo, Jun, Ben, Miguel, Jaymie, me, Tiffin (photo courtesy of TBR))

After the run, off we went to Pancake House for Jaymie’s birthday breakfast treat.


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