Tuesday, December 23, 2008

How Running Affects our Christmas 2008

HO! HO! HO! is now HUFF! HUFF! HUFF!

It seems running has taken a new form for me and Per. It isn't just a form of exercise that you do to burn off some of the calories you've collected from drinking and eating different kind of non-healthy food.

Running is more than that. It has become a fun and competitive sport. Fun in that it is always great to discuss and share your running experiences with friends and family who had the same experiences. Fun in that you meet new friends who have different jobs but you all share the same interests in running. Competitive in that you go against yourself in beating your old records in terms of faster finish time and longer distance ran.

Now, running in all its pain and glory has spread to our Christmas but not in the way you think. No, there are no Christmas Fun Runs this year nor are there any New Year's Day Fun Runs. At least, not this year! :) No, we aren't going to do any long runs, drills, tempo runs, etc. this holiday season.

So how does Running affect our Christmas?

Through the gifts of course!

So far, I've gotten a Garmin case to put in my Garmin Watch and Charger from my sister Carolyn. Perfect for out of town trips when I feel the need to run there!

From Per's older sister, I have received a Runner's Diary 2009 so I can log in my runs here, put in the number of km done for the day and total for the week and has a lot of tips and stories about running that I can relate to. Definitely handy!

For Per's gift to herself, she bought her very own Garmin Watch. Just in time for PSE Bull Run in January, her first race in 2009! Cool !!!!

For my gift to myself, I bought a copy of "SPIRIT OF MARATHON" DVD so we can watch it together to get the motivation we need for our Singapore Race in May 2008.

And as part of my Christmas gift to Per, I have ordered online via PHOTOVENDO.PH some photos from our UP Race as it was our final race for 2008. Her two photos I will just insert in her Christmas Card. Very efficient services by the way and the photos are really really nice !!!!


Since this is our first year of running, this is also the first time some of the gifts we've given and received is related to our love of running.

What about you? What are some of the running related things you've given / received this Holiday Season? And what are the other ways Running affects your Christmas for 2008?


Friday, December 19, 2008

Adidas Sundown Marathon 2009 (Singapore)

Just typing down 42k for the labels of this entry brought fear and goosebumps to me. Why oh why am I doing this? Why am I not satisfied to finishing a 25km and just stick to 10km races? I still don't know the answer but I guess it's the challenge of completing a full marathon and seeing if you can do it and not (fingers crossed) getting disqualified for not finishing it. It is every runner's dream after all...
So for my first ever 42km, I have chosen this event to do it. I want it to be outside Philippines so I can get the full effect of the sceneries of a foreign land as will be running for 5-7 hours so want everything that I see to be new. Hong Kong in February 2009 is too near and Singapore in December 2009 is too far so this one in May 2009 will be just right!

Some good things of joining this race:
1. The very long cut-off time of 11 hours! One way or another, I think this will be achievable. Since this will be my first marathon, finish time isn't important. Only that I finish it! Of course, will still put a goal which for me is at a very conservative 6 to 6.5 hours.
2. It will be starting at midnight! No waking up early at 2AM! No blistering heat from the sun till about 7 hours later when it is already morning! But it will still be humid as this is Singapore after all and not sure yet how I can sleep during the day to be refreshed when the gun is fired.


3. This race is on its 2nd year. I am always hesitant on doing a long race on its pioneer year of organizing one as there can still be some mistakes and things forgotten due to lack of experience. Still 2nd year is a short track record but I'm sure there will still be some improvements from the race last year (not that there was anything wrong from last year's race!).

4. Goodies Bag! Included with the race kit is an Adidas Event singlet and all Finishers will receive an Adidas Sundown Marathon Finisher Visor and a Finisher's medal.

5. On personal note, I won't be doing this alone. Well, so far I am alone in the full marathon (hu hu) but I have two friends who registered for the 10k race, which is open to female runners only (wonder why that race isn't open to male runners?). So it will still be a fun trip among running friends for this. Not sure though if I can shop after race given how tired I will be.

I have registered for this so no turning back anymore. Now, I need to log in more miles with training starting January 2009!

This will be my biggest challenge yet! As the ad says, DO THE IMPOSSIBLE! But can this Running FatBaoy do it???????? And for those of you who have done a full marathon and doesn't see the challenge anymore, well, they also have an ULTRA-MARATHON run with diance of 84km !
For more details including registration (right now, it's early bird promo of SG$80 for Ultra, SG$60 for full and SG$40 for 10km until January 31), go to: http://www.sundownmarathon.com/

The Route Map for 42km. 84km is two loops here!

Singlet sample for Men's 42km raceSinglet sample for Women's 10km race

DO THE IMPOSSIBLE! And do it with me! hehe.. :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

UP ICTUS 2008 - Our Year-Ender Run

As our final race for 2008, Per and I have decided to make this blog special by having a HE SAID/ SHE SAID portion. My race experience shall be in BLUE while Per, doing her first Blog entry, will be in RED.



Okay, maybe my ego was getting to me. After getting a very good P.R. in previous week's run at Yakult 10miler, a good back-to-back run and breaking a couple P.R. with Per, I was quite confident that I will breeze easily through this run. Not so!

It may have been the high level of alcohol still in my blood from two consecutive nights of getting drunk (ahem...) on various mixed hard drinks, beer and red & white wine (and not in that order). It may have been the restless sleep I had the night before this race where I finally fell asleep at 2AM, only to be woken up by the alarm two hours later. Or it could have been the very heavy dinner we had at Galleria before watching the movie. Or it's neither of these things at all...

On Sunday morning, we were early for this race, arriving at the venue at 5:40AM. With me is my sister Natalie and my fiancee Per, all going for the 10km race and all having personal goals in this race. Rio was announcing the last few minutes till race start so after I did a two minute warm up run, I went to the starting line to stretch and felt a little pain on my left leg. Race started at 6:00AM with the 5km race starting a few minutes after us.

I sped right off as have target time of 5:30/km to finish at 55 minutes if attainable. Almost immediately, there were some confusion among runners as a few ran straight when in fact we had to turn right for the U-Turn area. Still running according to plan and almost immediately there was already a water station in front of me. Then something happened...
At 1KM mark, my left ankle was in really bad pain. I cannot believe it! I had to slow down my pace but it was still painful. With no choice, I had to walk slowly. I ran again but pain was still there. Man, this was very disappointing. I had to run- walk this early in the race, which I haven't done for quite some time now. Nothing to do though. I just kept thinking to myself that I do not want to quit! So my goal of getting a new PR went away the more walk breaks I had. Pretty soon, even the 1 hour goal went away too. It really took an effect with me as wasn't really tired but my legs were just in pain (at this point, even my right calf had its own problems). My walks became limp and there was one point I stopped in the middle of the road to stretch my ankle. Looking at my Garmin, I saw that it was just 3.5km. Oh man! Time really moved slow for me but I was determined to finish this race no matter what and so I started jogging again but still stopped at every water station to drink as figured it could be dehydration and might be getting cramps on my legs.

By 5km, the pain subsided so sped a little to catch up the big time I've lost. By this time, it was already 34 minutes in the course, my slowest so far. My goal was reduced to finishing the race and good thing the pain was gone for the next 3km so I was able to run a little bit more. But after 8km, the pain was back and I had to walk again. This was incredibly frustrating! In the end, I saw the final stretch and ran to the finish line to cross it at a time of 1:08:36. At least I beat my easy goal of under 1:12 and more importantly, I was able to finish the race no matter how hard it took me. This was a humbling experience and one that I can learn from: that I have to train smart by eating the right food, getting enough rest and not training too hard. For this week, I will not do a single exercise so will give my body enough recovery time.
It's kinda ironic that my first run this year in UP (January 2008) got me my worst finish time of 1 hour, 12 minutes. After one year of running, my final race for 2008, also at UP, got me my 2nd worst finish time for a 10km! Oh well, at least the journey was fun!

On the race itself: it was nice that it started on time and there was no sun when race started. Lots and lots of water although no sports drink this time around (which I really needed). The km markers were something new as featured the Krispy Kreme donuts on it and some witty sayings on that product but since we had to do multiple loops, the km markers became confusing with 3km and 7km near each other, a blue sign and green sign which represents 5km and 10km runners. Moreover, near start of course, there were some confusion as to which way to go due to signs pointing to two different directions. Good thing there were some marshals to help us but even they weren't able to stop some runners going straight on the road instead of taking the longer route that we all did. The course was more than 10km, ending at 10.43km. Results came out quickly at www.runrio.com and got a donut at finish line plus Rush Drink as well.

Here's to a great 2008 and here's to a more exciting, more challenging 2009!



It was 4:30 in the morning and my phone was ringing…it’s my wake up call, Dennis, making sure that I am awake, getting ready for my last run of the year! Good thing he called since I was still in R.E.M. :)

Getting to U.P. was quick, so we got there 30 minutes before the race starts. Dennis decided to do a warm up run, I decided to conserve my energy and just stretch while waiting for him.

Three, two, one… bang! The race starts.

Everyone was running their hearts out. I got excited and ran my heart out as well. My goal was to get to 5k at 30 minutes for me to reach a personal best of at least 1:13 on the 10k mark.

First kilometer…. I felt good and motivated. Second kilometer…5k in 30 minutes? NOT impossible. Another kilometer…(this is where the story changes!) 5k in 30 minutes? IMPOSSIBLE! My knee started to hurt like hell. There’s this sharp pain every step I take. I see signs -- arrows-- left for 5k runners, right for 10k runners. Turning left was very tempting. Having to endure the pain in my knee for another 6 kilometers was out of the question. Suddenly, it hit me! Last run for the year and I sure am not going to quit this one. So I walked, I ran, and walked some more. Then I saw THE Krispy Kreme sign… “ 9k …. Can you smell it? ” Yes, I can smell the finish line. I looked at my watched and the time is 1hr 16 minutes. I felt disappointed. 3 minutes over my goal and I still have another kilometer left. But then a familiar face catches my eye… It’s Natalie (Dennis’ Sister) cheering for me…”Go Per! You can finish under 1 hr and 22 minutes!” She decided to run with me for the last 30 seconds until I reached the finish line… and I did it. I finished at 1 hr and 21 minutes.

As I am writing my first ever blog I realize – finishing this run with my bad time of 1 hr and 21 minutes and my bad left knee is a bad ending to my first running year. But then again, looking back at the year that was for me… I never would’ve imagined that me, the Per that I used to be, could even finish a 10 kilometer run.(ask my high school friends :) ) So here’s to another year of having a love/hate relationship with running. (I love the new balance).

Special Note: Photo credits to marathoner Vener, who was there to support his wife Christy for her 10km race. She got a new personal Record! Congrats!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Final Race for 2008! - UP ICTUS Centennial Run

Yesterday at Yakult 10 miler, Per and I saw booth for above race and thought about joining it. Details are as follows:

A 5km and 10km marathon for the benefit of the UP ICTUS scholars and apostolates. A part of the year-ender celebration of the UP Centennial Anniversary

Date: December 14, 2008. Sunday.
Venue: UP Academic Oval
Race Start: 6:00AM
On-site Reg Fee: P500 / P250 (Early Reg Fee)
Registration can be done at the following:UP ICTUS Tambayan in the Parish of the HOly Sacrifice Compoundor at R.O.X. Bonifacio High Street, Taguig

Website: http://www.runrio.com

Hmmm, so tempting!!! With Per's on-off knee injuries and me wanting to wake up on a Sunday at a time that is NOT 4AM, we had to think twice about it but in the end, we decided to do this as a final race for 2008.

Since this race will be done by Coach Rio, there won't be any worries on delay with race results, lack of water, etc. so that's one more reason to join this race.

Upon checking my records, I've noticed that the very first race I did this year which was waaaaayyy back in January 18 was the UP Century Run with a finish time of 1 hour 12 minutes. How cool will it be to start 2008 with UP Century Run and end 2008 with UP Centennial Run???? A full circle in terms of racing venues! Awesome!

My goals for this race is as follows (arranged from easiest to most difficult):

1. Beat my UP Century Run finish time of 1 hour 12 minutes - to see how much I've improved since then
2. Finish Race in less than 1 hour.
3. Beat Personal Best Time by going under 58 minutes.

The 10km course will be just two 5km loops and both of us will be going for the longer race.
And for those who are also having 2nd thoughts on joining this race, I only have this to say:
"Don't think, just ______ !" (Answer on picture above)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Yakult 10-miler Race

This was my 3rd consecutive race in Roxas Blvd. after doing the Animo Run (Nov 23) and Milo Finals 10k (Nov 30) and I have grown to like running here for its relative flat course.

Per and I got here around 5:30AM (can't miss the huge Yakult bottle) and we parked right next to my sister's car who arrived the same time as we did! We looked for a registration area for Per but didn't find any. Rather than running bandit for 5KM, Per opted instead to stay on the sideline today and be the photographer for this race. Since it will be a 10 miler (16KM) race, I told Per to just wait in the car and come out after 1 hour 30 minutes since I don't expect to finish after at least 1 hour 36 minutes. Good enough for her to catch some ZZZ's as we got home late last night. She did join me for some 5-minute warm up jog around the area to which I did some stretching and proceeded to the starting line.

My target for this race is to run at a pace of 5:45 to 6:00 minutes per KM and I plan to keep looking at my Garmin to assess my speed. If I am going too fast, I will slow down to reach target level. If I go too slow, which would definitely happen often, I will pick up my steps and try to run faster. My goal for this race was to get a Personal Best. Having done only one 16km race so far at the La Salle Race in Fort Bonifacio and finishing at 1 hour 38 minutes 10 seconds, I hope to beat this record... hopefully. Of course, the longer distance will determine if I have the endurance to maintain this pace or not.

Entering the starting line, the gun was fired and we were off. While running, I heard somebody call out my name and turning around, I saw it was Christy. Bro J was right behind me too and Jinoe was right next to us! Pretty awesome having all the running bloggers start together and not even know about it. Vener, having just finished his marathon last week, came running ahead of us to stop... and take our photo !!! Haha. That was hilarious and a good fun start to this race.
Pretty soon we each went off to our own individual pace and I got back to checking my Garmin. Seems I'm going a little too fast from my target so slowed down a little bit as didn't want to burn out so early in the race. We reached the first flyover soon, went over it and kept on running to a second flyover. I also spotted Ige Lopez running fast, then stopping somewhere and just wait around so I'm guessing he is running with somebody.

The water stations were ample and I stopped at every single one of them to have a quick drink before running off again. I was quite happy in that I didn't walk going up the flyovers and wasn't that tired yet. The nice weather helped a lot as no sun came out while we were running.
Pretty soon it was the turning point where we got a straw from the marshals and came running back to the two flyovers, past the CCP area (where we started from) and past Luneta Park for the 2nd turn around point (and 2nd straw). By this point, I was feeling the fatigue and craved for water at the stations. But after getting big gulps from the plastic cup, it was enough to keep me running all the way to the finish line where Per was waiting for me. Naks! Hehe.

My final time according to my Garmin was at 1:36:23 ! A new Personal Best! Yahoo! My pace was at 6:01 min/ km so I was right on target pace. Not only that but upon checking all three 15km races I've done this year, this 16km even beat them all (my fastest 15km race was 1:36:46) !!! Double Yahoo! That was a very nice surprise for me! So so so happy for it. Hehe :)
For me, this was a very organized race with results coming out a day after. Aside from singlet that comes with race pack, we were also given a Yakult bottle and a shirt at the finish line. Distance according to my Garmin was at 16.02 KM which was very very accurate for this race.
Aside from the runners I met at start of race, I also met some more at the finish of the race: Gigi, Rico, Patrick, Wilbert, Que. My sisters and bro-in-laws and some friends also took part in the 10-miler race so there were a lot of familar faces here.

What oh what can make this Sunday better? Well, there's......



And then there's also...

La Salle Green Archers JV Casio getting the ball and scoring 2pts 6.6 seconds before the final buzzer giving La Salle a 1-point win over San Beda for the Philippine Collegiate Championships Finals vs Ateneo. Very exciting game that was.... Too bad I didn't watch the Finals where La Salle won over Ateneo :)

At the starting line.
Philippine's version of Cloverfield in the form of a huge Yakult monster! GRRRRR!!!!

Race photo taken by RunUnlimited

Carolyn with friend nearing finish line

RFB at last leg of race

Edwin & Stella nearing finish line

Gigay still in a good mood

Dave in his first 16km race! Congrats!

A very well organized race. It deserves THREE THUMBS UP! Haha!

me, Christy & Vener

Dave, Nat, me, Stella

Photo care of RunningShield. Que, Jinoe, Me, Patrick


SIGURADO KA TIYAAAAANNNNN!!!! And a very FAT tummy from Running FAT BOY

Meeting Ms China (town) ?? HAHA!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

22 hours all over Metro Manila..

What a busy Sunday (November 30th) for me. My schedule that day were as follows:

3:50AM - Alarm of cell phone goes off. Time to wake up! But very hard. Sluggish!

4:00AM - Call Per and wake her up too.

4:45AM - Picked up Per in Pasig City. Drive to Luneta Park for Milo 10k Race. Pass through Pasay City instead of Buendia to get there as last time we went through Buendia for Milo race, they closed off most of the road and had us going in different detours, which made us arrive late for the run.

5:30AM - Arrived in Luneta Park with no problems getting here. Only problem is the parking. Lots and lots of runners already lining up at the starting line.

5:40AM - Found our secret parking spot only to be shooed away by security guard. Ended up parking elsewhere. Walked to starting line where it had started to drizzle a bit.

5:50AM - Went to 10k starting point and had ourselves checked in. Very tight area and hoping race starts already!

6:00AM - Mayor Alfredo Lim fires off the gun, signaling start of race. Per and I run together in our 2nd 10k race together. Our target is personal couple best with ultimate target of 1:10. We only stopped at the water stations which caught me by surprise as expected Per to do some walk breaks in-between. She wasn't tired yet so we just kept on running at a comfortable pace. There were times when I was doing the walking myself while she was still running and I just caught up with her again. Pain in my shin but kept it to myself as really wanted Per to keep on running and won't let myself be reason for her to walk. There were some bands here which gave us some entertainment. Race route is just along Roxas Blvd. Lots of water stations. Heading back, there was a siren of police bikes and cars as series of 42km runners were coming back already! Wow, pretty cool seeing them there!

7:20AM - We finished race at a time of 1 hour, 16 minutes and 21 seconds. We didn't reach our ultimate goal although it was still our Couple Best and also Per's Personal Best, which was a pretty good finale for her final race for 2008! Will try again next year to improve on our time by increasing pace. Our average pace was 07:31 minutes/ km but total distance according to my garmin was at 10.16 km. Per's knees were in pain so rest of the year will be rest and recovery for her muscles. Headed immediately to Milo stands for chocolate drinks after which I went back to my car to fetch my camera.

8:00AM - Left Luneta to eat breakfast. Since Roxas Blvd was still closed for marathon finishers, we went to Ongpin instead to look for chinese restaurants but with no parking, we left place again and headed to Taft Avenue to head out of Manila area.

8:30AM - Arrived in Magallanes and ate at Pancake House. Saw three guys eating there with two of them wearing their Milo Shirts. Was wearing mine as well. Haha. Had heavy but oh so yummy breakfast of pancakes with bacon and egg.

9:30AM - Dropped off Per at her house, and head on home for quick shower. Brother and mom went with me to Megamall for Sunday service. Lunch at Megamall with family.

2:00PM - Picked up Per again. Brought mom and brother home and Per and I went to Commonwealth, Quezon City for Christening of Godson

2:30 - 3:20PM - Super heavy traffic along EDSA. Cars not moving! Refusing to accept it but nothing to do. Found out that a car accident was causing the traffic. Finally got out of jam and drove fast to make it just in time for the ceremony. PHEW!

4:30PM - drive to QC Sports Club for birthday party of Friend's daughter. Ate a lot: Kare-kare, lechon, chicken, etc. Met some college buddies there.

6:00PM - went to Shakey's, a 10 minute drive from QC Sports Club for another birthday party. Ate again! Pizza, chicken, mojos, spaghetti !!! Dizzy from eating already! But can't resist the food smell. Yum!

8:30PM - 10:00PM - hang out in Per's house.

10:30PM - 12:30AM- Watched Twilight with friends at Shangri-La Mall. Theatre packed!

1:00AM - 2:00AM - drank beer at JJ's near Metrowalk. The rest ordered food there. Couldn't eat anymore today.

2:30AM - Home Sweet home! So glad no work the next day... so so tired.... ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!

Very cool 0 Km marker. I wonder how may km I drove today? Good thing gas prices got low again!!

Per got a new PR for her 10k! Woo hoo!

Played some games using my camera. For example: here's me, trying to imitate the runner in the photo...

And here's Per playing game of Where's Waldo?

Where In the World is Per?
My version from our first Milo run was a little bit harder. Click on this link: WHERE'S RFB