Archive for February, 2010

Century Tuna Super Bods Run – Great run, Great race!

This is such a happy day for the blue sole!

After a great finish at the Condura full two Sundays ago, he got his secret wish and did a sub 2 during this mornings 21k at the Century Tuna Super Bods Run.  Great run powered by Prometheus Cometh!

Oh but i’m so excited for him, i’m getting ahead of the story.  I’ll get him to sit down and write now.  Give me a minute…

Hahaha Yes!!.  Couldn’t believe it happened today without much thought about doing it in this run. Since I just finished a full marathon two weeks ago, I just thought of running this race easy. As Forrest Gump said “I just felt like running”.  I joined a lot of 21k races last year but all are part of my long runs in prep for my full and all are far from my previous PR. I remember the last time I had a decent 21k time was last Dec 2008 which is 2:04. This run was just supposed to be one of those relaxed run.

Armed with just 3 hours sleep due to the previous night’s important family affair, Mariel and I arrived at the race venue 30 minutes before the supposed gun-time.  After a little stretching and a restroom break, we proceeded straight to the starting line where a lot of runners are already gathered.  The atmosphere was festive.  While waiting for gun start,  I saw Jay alone and called him to join us. He was on the taper mode already for his BDM stint on March 6. He asked what will be my pace and i told him i will just do an easy and comfortable run. And that is just what he wanted to do.

the sole mates sharing a 21k starting line for the first time

Jun and Jay waiting for gunstart

Just before gunstart, bidded Mariel to take is slow and easy knowing her leg discomfort.  As soon as the race started, Jay and I went off with no plan and no talk of targets.  We just let the race take its natural course while we talk about some other things (chika pace).

By the time we reached the 8km mark,  Jay looked at his Garmin and told me if we can maintain our current pace, a sub-2 is possible. Told him “Hmm, havent done any sub-2s. That will be nice.  Ok, sige let’s try.”  So, with an unplanned but new-found target we ran on with Jay dictating the pace.  He was really one fine pacer egging me on, pushing me to speed up when needed and take it easy at the hilly parts.  We started overtaking a lot of runners. On our way back from Bayani Road to Lawton Avenue, we increased our pace and  Jay stayed in front of me  making sure i was just at his back all the time. After passing by American Cementery,  I was having doubts already that we will  be able to make our target.  We continued to push on and increase our pace more all the way down to 5th Avenue.  Jay was at my side  telling me that “we’re almost there, we are just 1 km away, reminded me its just like few more rounds in the oval, thinking about our ultra speed workout.  I was  getting tired and did talk anymore to save more energy and making sure that i still have some energy left for the 100 meter push. At the last turn, its now time to sprint as Jay cheering all out  and shouting go go go for your PR and that lead me to a victorious 1.58.34 (Garmin time) PR finish! Yooohoooo!!!

Great run that was! My plan was just to improved my previous best time before the year ends. I never thought that it will come this early and it will be a sub-2.  Thanks Prometheus Cometh for sharing your fire!

two-thumbs-up for a great race and a PR run

You're the man, Jay!

No doubt he was in cloud 9 smiling while looking outdoors that he didn’t hear me as I called him to write his race account.  Haaaay, starry, starry-eyed!

I wish I could chronicle a PR run as well but that is not to be had for now. As for me, very tight hamstrings was to be my challenge for this race plus my can’t-seem-to-avoid restroom breaks since I started doing 21k’s.  This is my 3rd now and each time, I always had to go.  Hmmm, need a little more mealtime adjustments here, i suppose.

As for the hamstrings, I joined the Unilab run clinic this week with 3 of my officemates.  Breaking them into the running scene, i decided to join them in the program where i was made to do intervals on Tuesday and tempo on thursday.  Originally, i just wanted to log in mileage and do at least a 15k LSD having had no chance to run after my 21k Condura 2 Sundays ago.  The intervals left me with very tight and painful hamstrings on both legs the following day.  I think this was because arriving late,  we had to forgo stretching and went straight to the drills.  Hah! Paid much for that!

The first 5k was especially difficult.  My legs felt verrry heavy.  This early in the race I had doubts I could  finish it.  I brushed-off that thought quickly aside and just ran on slowly.  It was frustrating! Everyone seems to be over-taking me.  At the first turn-around at 4k, I timed 38 minutes.  Woh, way, way slower than usual. Vener (Run Unlimited) who was running a 10k saw me at this point and ran with me a while when I told him about my tight hamstrings. He was of course his usual encouraging self.  Thanks Vener!

What I didn’t tell him was that apart from that heaviness, I had to contend early on with that nagging need to visit a restroom again.  Found a respite at Jollibee around 5k into the race.  Lost more than 9 minutes there. 😦

That restroom break did me good though as I found renewed energy going out on the road again and started running a little faster.  The legs though still heavy, seems to be cooperating little by little.  I was amidst 10k runners and wanted to go catch-up with the 21k participants.  While I set aside slicing my 21k PR,  I was thinking I should at least finish this race I started.  My goal starting at km 6 was upgraded to finishing it below 3 hours still.  I found myself from this time on overtaking a couple of runners, then a few, then a few more.

The best part of the run for me was inside Heritage Park.  It was my first time there.  It was so serene I just had to take some pictures. 🙂

Going out of there was a different story though as I had to contend with an uphill climb out the gate.  Hah, so much for serenity!

Once out, I went into race mode hoping to salvage lost time.

At the 17km mark, i pushed the pedal.  4kms more to go… speeding up…

At km 19km, last 2 kms and i still felt great.  heartrate check, legscheck…  full speed ahead!…

Reached the finishline at 2.45 (garmin time)  smiling happily with energy to spare!  An added bonus was my name being announced twice as I sprinted towards the finish and as soon as I crossed it.  Wow!!!  That definitely added some spring in my strides!

Good enough ending to a very challenging beginning. 🙂

that's me crossing the finish line with Jun right there waiting! (thanks for this precious pic Vener)

As for the race itself, what can we say except BRAVO to Century Tuna and the RunRio team lead by of course, Coach Rio dela Cruz, star and organizer of The Century Tuna Super Bods Run 2010!!!  Great job!!!]

We give this 5 blue and pink sole stamps of excellence!!!


Unilab Run for Wellness Launch and Run Clinic

Whatever our reason is for running, be it for weight-loss, supplementary cross-training, continuing thirst  for that runner’s high, great camaraderie among running friends, or maybe just plain joining the band-wagon, one thing is pretty sure —  running, if done with some regularity, will lead to wellness.

We have reaped the benefits of running that is  why i am passionately endorsing this activity to friends and anyone who cares to listen.  We continue to encourage our kids, too, and have stored fun memories of our family runs.  I am just glad that with the recent running boom, more and more companies are taking notice and have started to support the sport incorporating it in their wellness campaigns.

Last Saturday, Unilab invited not just runner-bloggers but lifestyle and food bloggers as well at the Cafe Juanita at the Fort to launch the Unilab’s Run-For-Wellness  on March 7, 2010.  Unilab is teaming-up with Finishline to give us a good opportunity to get everyone to take up the sport towards a life of wellness.  Coach Rio of Finishline and Alex of Unilab were on hand to talk about the up-coming event.

First time runners, newbies and veteran runners are enjoined to participate in the runs different events — 500 meter kids dash, 3k, 5k, 10k and 21k.  The event has something new to offer, too.  There will be a Wellness Village where runners can go to age-specific tents after their run and get special wellness expert advise.  Here’s free consultation

So bring the whole family and join the fun!!! Sign up now.

Runners and their families can register online at or through in-store registration at Runnr store at Bonifacio High Street, New Balance branches at Shangri-La and Glorietta, Planetsports outlets in Trinoma, Alabang Town Center, and Rockwell from Jan 30 to Feb. 21. From Feb. 22 to 28, registration is only at Planetsports Trinoma and Runnr store at Bonifacio High Street,Taguig.

Registered participants can get 20% off on New Balance items. Top finishers can win cash prizes, Unilab gift packs, and New Balance gift certificates worth P5,000. Finishers in the 21 km category will receive a finisher’s medal. The first1,000 finishers in the 21K can also bring home a finisher’s shirt.


Alex of Unilab shares his initiation into running and Unilab's wellness campaign

Coach Rio takes centerstage as he explains the race details

Bobby(Cruise Control), Jay(Prometheus Cometh), Que ( and me

the solemates with Coach Rio & Jay and a mix of other food and lifestyle bloggers


In line with the race, Unilab and Finishline is running a 10-session run clinic at the Ultra Oval, Pasig, every tuesdays and thursdays which started Feb 9.

I have joined 2 sessions and really enjoying it.  Coaches Allan, John and Joar leads the clinic making sure we are having fun learning the drills.  I tell you it is fun!  A little hard at first but a whole lot of fun especially when you’re doing it with friends.   Got to bring along 3 of my officemates and we’re all having a blast! The balancing drills especially got us laughing at ourselves.  HAHAHA (I was having such a good time I didn’t want to lose time getting my camera phone to take pictures.  Maybe next time. 😉 )

Thanks to run clinics like this which educates and equips us to run injury-free and beautifully! It’s FREE! What more can we ask for?

Thanks Unilab! Thanks to all the Coaches!

For those interested, it’s not too late to join.  The run clinic will run until March 4 (Tuesday and Thursdays only), 6-8pm.

Have a blast with us at the oval!  🙂

The Amazing Kidney Race

The Philippine Society of Nephrology (kidney doctors) presents ” The Amazing Kidney Race” on March 7 in UP Diliman.

The Amazing Kidney Race will have four event categories. There is the 15K relay race limited only to 50 teams. Each team shall be composed of 5 members who will correspondingly complete the 1k-2k-3k-4k-5k race distances to complete a total of 15 kilometers. Adding twist to this race category are the baton passing and challenges that must be met by the relay runners in the handover zones to complete transition.
Then there is the heart-warming 2.2K Parent-Child Tandem Run especially allocated for Mom/Dad-Child team-ups. During the race, participants and spectators will get a touching sight of a parent egging on and encouraging her/his child who is determined to give his/her all.
There is also the 5K UP FLCD Circle Challenge, a banner event of event-partner UP FLCD Circle, particularly catered to beginner runners or veteran racers who have the need for speed.
And finally there is the centerpiece event, the 15K Eliminator Pursuit, where race participants will get an adrenalin rush as they negotiate UP Diliman campus’ best kept running course secret – the Heartbreak Route. 15K racers will get to know first-hand why it is called as such. And as if the route is still not inviting, all participants who meet the 45-minute half-way mark or 1h45m finish point cut-off times will receive a Finisher’s medal.

Both 15K and 5K solo race events will have MD and Open categories and subsequent male and female divisions. Top three individual and group finishers in all events and categories will be awarded with medals and certificates of achievement.The Amazing Kidney Race” is presented with the support of Activelink, in cooperation with event partners RunRadio @ NU107 FM, RunnerSpeak @ QTV11, Second Wind Running Store, ROX, and media partner,  Proceeds of the race reg fee will be used for the operation of underprivileged kidney patients.

Condura 2010: From Blunders to Wonders

We all know the Condura Race, the much-awaited, respected organized race,  did not turn out to be  perfect.  There were miscues and basic booboos.

I was one of those affected on 3 counts  –my race packet had the wrong name (had to email secretariat to correct it), my bib had a missing barcode  and  they ran out of  finisher’s medals when i came to claim mine.

Why then do I still feel so good about this race?  It is really the way they pulled themselves together and corrected the errors.  Let me share my experience…

1.  Wrong Name –  I was encoded as Maribel Cruz instead of Mariel Cruz

Petty ey?  Not when it concerns your name.  Anyway, it was not really a big deal but I just wanted to run under my own, correct name this being a special anniversary race for me.  I just emailed the secretariat and was promptly given a reply with a notice that the error has been corrected.  Good!

2.  No Bib Barcode – both Jun and my bibs didn’t have any barcodes.

The organizers acted swiftly and sincerely to correct the slip-up sending individual text messages and emails to affected runners.  We received both text and email messages. No short cuts. I believe this is a sincere way of making-up for the mistakes. Great!

3. Medal Run-out

I emailed the secretariat again and received a prompt reply asking me for mailing details so they can send me my medal.  They were thoughtful enough not to ask runners to go back and claim them.

Furthermore, Ton Concepcion’s short but  individualized  apology for not having received my medal on race day was commendable. He just didn’t leave it to the organizers to apologize.  He went the extra mile and that was really good.

This is one fine example of how not so perfect races can still feel perfect.  Sincerity will always shine through  and will always be appreciated.

Kudos to Pat & Ton Concepcion, Rudy Biscocho and to Team Condura!

We’re happy to have the Condura Race as our First Official Race and we’re hoping to be running more anniversaries here!  🙂

Till next year….

Update:   My medal just came in via courier with Mr. Ton Concepcion’s personal letter.  A copy of the Phil. Star’s Feb 8 issue with the Condura Race in the front page was also included and I was just thinking how I can get hold of one.

I am one delighted runner! 🙂

Nike Lunar Glide+ Colors: Batch 3

This is the 3rd edition and I truly hope I’d be able to do a 4th, 5th, 6th and so on.  That’s how satisfied I am with the Lunar Glide+ that i am hoping against hope that Nike will come out with more exciting colors.

Here goes Batch 3 …

This is such a great way to tone down the very girly pink color!  Not that I mind but I know others do.  The color combination cleverly satisfies the girlish taste without overwelming the not so girly ones.  Dark gray being the dominant color still gives this model  a strong feel with a feminine hint to it.  The silver swoosh is great, too!  Had they made it pink, it would have become too corny.  This one’s just right!  One I would like to have.  Hon, I hope you’re paying attention…

Another model that’s cool to the eyes!  Dominantly white, this model is perfectly trimmed with gray to break the all-too-white color scheme.  With lemon yellow as the contrast color, the effect is both striking and cool.  Love this one, too.  Oh, if only it wouldn’t be too much to get this one, too, I will.  Meantime, my white and orange model from batch 1 will have to do.

For the Men, here are the new ones:

The Nike Lunar Glide   Color Collection BAtch 3 did not fail to satisfy my craving.  The color combinations are still great!

Run on now and take your pick.  Available at Nike Park BHS and Runnr Store BHS at P5,450.00.

How sweet it is! – Condura, My 2nd Full Marathon

Just like what I said in my previous post, Condura run 2010 will be special for me and the pink sole. First, it will be our anniversary run,  her 1st and my 2nd year anniversary. Second, it will be our first race for the year and it will be the pink sole’s 2nd 21k run, my 2nd full marathon after our first try for the same distance events last December at the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon.

After having a not so satisfying experience with my first full, i am hoping that maybe this time i will be able to redeem myself and answer my millon dollar question, can i run a full marathon one more time without cramping? That question was answered yesterday after i crossed the finish line.

My goal for this race was the same i had in Singapore — finish within my target time of 4:30-4:40 and accomplish this without any injury or another episode of cramps.

We arrived early and had enough time to stretch and clear my bladder. I told Mariel that it might be a hot day since there wasn’t any cold breeze that morning.  I went to the starting line and saw good friend Annie who always times her vacation to join a big race here.  Saw many familiar faces — Kim, Jonel, Randy, Charlie,  Mikey, Raymund, Dindo who will also be doing his 2nd full  and  Bro J who will be doing his first.

It was a big crowd for a 42k.  Around 700 registered runners were in the corral, proof of the sport’s increasing popularity. I psyched myself to go slow, start conservatively and remember everything I planned to do including what i should do if there is any sign of muscle cramps. For the first few kilometers, I let my natural stride and pace carry me through and intentionally didn’t look at my Garmin to check my pace.  I just tried to feel my body take me through an easy, comfortable pace.  Saw a lot of running friends who went ahead of me.   After crossing the 10k mark, i took a peek at my time which is 1:02:42. Ooops! I was way too fast from my target time so,  I slowed down.

Before turning left to Estacion street, caught up with friend, Philip, a seasoned triathlete who’s doing his first full. As we went up the skyway toll gate, he went ahead while I continued to  maintain my running pace. At 20k, time logged-in at 2:06:45 was again too fast from my target time.  Ooops. ooops!.  I was feeling good and continued my pace. I needed to make sure I have  reserved energy before reaching the condura hill.  Slowly but surely conquered the hill. A few minutes after, l felt a little tightness in my inner thigh.  Suddenly, my Singapore experience flashed-back.  I had to slow down and changed my strides from time to time to make my other muscles work and let the others rest.  After a few kilometers, the pain went away.  After crossing all 30k and all under my target time, I was already thinking that I might be able to hit my target if I will have that reserve energy.  The cheering and bananas being distributed at the and Reinier Pacific volunteer Aid Station really provided  relief. Thank you,  guys!.

I was very tired already and it seems Buendia avenue was way too long that day. Vener (Run Unlimited) caught up with me and gave me some encouraging words just the way he also did during our  long runs at UP and BDM.  He told me to  give more effort in the last few kilometers. We are getting nearer and nearer.  After a few more minutes, saw the 40k mark which gave me a big boost knowing that its just 2k to go. I went to speed up little by little looking for the last two turns. And there it was, such a glorious sight the finish line was!  Yes, i did it!!!

How sweet it is conquering my 2nd full without cramping, hitting below 5hours target time. I remember telling Vener few weeks before the race, I will be happy even with a 4:44:44 time. But this one is much better, 4:34:44 ( My garmin time).

Not only is it  sweet, it surely is  one of the best races around.  Looking forward to celebrating our next running anniversary at next year’s condura.

Congrats again to Patrick and Ton   Concepcion!!!  Thanks for a great race!

Nearing the Finish line

with Coach Rio

With Mariel and Annie

Thanks for the push Vener

Exchanging stories with Annie, Vince and Jay

Jun and I agreed we will have no stressful activities day before what is a very important race for us — our anniversary race.  That we tried to do.  After waking up very early still (my body clock won’t let me over-sleep), and a good breakfast with the family, i surprisingly dozed-off.  My body probably caught on the the planned slow day and decided to  give way to much-needed rest.  I woke up in time for lunch?!?  That was a sweet dreamless sleep.  So on to the table again  for lunch with the whole family where conversation revolved around our schedule for the afternoon.  That would be a quick trip to the supermarket with my 2 younger kids and back to the house for a DVD marathon — our idea of a relaxing time with the family.

I was so relaxed I got momentarily worried about not being nervous about our Big race.  I shook all cares and just totally relaxed with the family.  So relaxed, I munched on our fave Soft Batch chocolate chip cookies again and asked for a glass of Coke Zero which was immediately shifted to a bottle of Gatorade when Jun heard me.  Hahaha  the kids and I had a good laugh!

On race day, we were characteristically early at the race site.  While Jun was stretching and preparing his gear, I sat in the front seat yawning away.  Oh my, I was really still so very sleepy having only had 3 hours sleep.  I guess my long after-breakfast sleep Saturday wrecked havoc on my body clock this time.  Good thing I was still able to get up very early and didn’t stress the blue sole. 😉

My first anniversary  race turned out to be pleasant one for me.  I accidentally got myself a running buddy in the person of good friend, Melody (also Jun’s BelieveStrong teammate) who was reluctantly running her first 21k having been shut out from the 10k event.  Flying in straight from Vancouver, she didn’t plan much less train for a 21k.  Anyway, we ran together, pacing each other through long CR breaks (mine actually), water breaks and skyway picture-taking breaks.  It made my run more fun. Thanks Melody!

Melody at the Skyway

With Tiffin

got caught fixing my hydration belt which was forever turning

The race proper was handled very well  in my opinion.  I enjoyed it a lot except during the first  Buendia flyover run early morning when it was still very, very dark.  Furthermore, the headlights of on-coming vehicles at the other lane was blinding us.  Not comfortable with night-time runs, I kinda worried I might lose my footing over uneven roads.  None of that happened though and we were able to traverse the flyover unscathed.

Going down Buendia Ave., the portalets beckoned.  Good thing Melody was up for a breather and patiently waited for me.  I pity those who lined-up after me.  I kinda took a long time in there.  After that I felt better and enjoyed the run even more especially my first skyway run.  I was running the skyway while the sunlight was slowly inching its way out of the horizon. The sun cooperated and didn’t rear it’s hot head all the way out such that the runners were treated to a comfortable almost sunless skyway run most of the way.  Great day for a skyway run!  It was fun seeing friends Tiffin and Jonel on the skyway!

Exiting the skyway, i felt Melody breathing heavily and told her to just slow down.  I was still pacing her. Going down the skyway, I checked out the time and thought I won’t be able to slash time-off my Singapore time.  At about the same time,  Melody wanted to take a breather and really go slow and told to me to go on ahead.

The rest of the Buendia run was uneventful.  I was still having fun with just a slight heaviness at the back of my thighs.   Trouble awaits though at the Buendia flyover … I felt my legs getting numb and felt my knees turning liquid.  Is this the dreaded cramps? I tried to remain calm and scanned my options … walk?  tried a few steps while hydrating with gatorade and decided against it as walking seemed to aggravate the situation.  I ran on again albeit with slow, small steps and started praying that the Lord pull me through this.  I was already at the last 2 kilometers of the race.  I can’t stop now!  I found some singing space and connected with the Source of all strength.

All that I am, all that I have

I lay them down before you, oh Lord.

All my regrets and all my acclaim

The joy and the PAIN, I’m making them Yours.

Lord, I offer my life to you everything I’ve been through

Use it for your glory

Lord, I offer my days to you lifting my praise to you

As a living sacrifice

Lord I offer you my life.

What a joy to have a living God who hears us and answers our pleas for help. Going down the flyover and towards the last kilometer, I felt well.  My legs gained strength and my spirits soared.  I gained speed, reached out to well-meaning cheerers along the way for mid-fives and sprinted towards the finish.  What a race and what a testament of God’s goodness!

What a great anniversary run …  from a 5k last year to my 2nd 21k in this year’s Condura Race.  Not bad, not bad at all. 🙂

Best of all, I’m very happy Jun had a very  good run.  All the preparation paid-off at last!

With God, all things are possible.  Thank you, Lord!

Running and loving it! 🙂

Melody, me, Jun, Tiffin, Marc and Vince

With Raymund, Jun and Patrick after the race

Leo Valdez and Me. Ya think I can pass-off as Kim? 😉

The Solemates -- Happy Running Anniversary to us!!!

Announcement: Condura run 21k and 42k runners

Got an important text message from Patrick Concepcion.  Read on…

Dear Condura 21km and 42km runners,

Greetings.  There was an error committed in printing out the race bibs.  Some race bibs have a bar code and some do not have one.

Do not worry as you will still be able to run your event and you will still be timed accurately.

We have corrected this situation already with race bibs that have not yet been issued out.

For the race bibs that have been issued with no barcode, may we kindly request you to do the following:

1. Write down your bib number on the perforated stub located at the lower left side portion of your bib.
The portion that says: “Give to finish official at the end of the race”. “Do not pin spindle hole”.

For example. If your bib number is 123, please write the number 123 on the perforated stub.

2. Please write clearly, legibly and accurately. (Please write the number 1, 5 and 7 clearly)

3. Please use a PERMANENT marker. Color black. Be sure that it does not smear when wet as this will be exposed to water and sweat. Do not use a pencil, ball pen, or white board marker. Only use a BLACK PERMANENT marker. (water proof if possible)

We are very sorry for this basic error. We are sorry for the inconvenience this has caused you. We are hoping for your kind understanding.

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