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Rockin' Rainin'

Just yesterday after the sunset, I raced an unexpected run. I did not register, but I'm not also a bandit. I ran for a friend who registered but was not able to run because of the call of duty, yeah, friend's schedule was really hectic, lol!

My plan was to arrive at the venue one hour earlier so that I could warm-up for 30 minutes on the route itself. But the traffic on my way to the race venue consumed my my warm-up time. And while on the taxi, the rain already started pouring heavily. Luckily I still arrived 10 minutes earlier before the gun-start. There were already a lot of runners along the establishments at the BHS (Bonifacio High Street), securing theirselves from the heavy rain.

With Timmy Dadia

Though not sure if the race will push through, I then decided to run from ROX towards the baggage area and was surprised at the starting line that the 10k race has just started. Then five minutes later, the gun-start for the 5k was also fired-off. We were all already wet due to rain, which added up more excitement to the runners.

As we traverse the route, the rain fall in our face was like a dermatological effect -- it felt like our face was being pricked. Coupled with some strong winds, we were either being pushed, or pulled. The sun-visor at this time, became a rain-visor which greatly helped to keep the rain from directing into my eyes. In contrast, the rain had helped me to keep my pacing. I was able to maintain a 5:00 min/km. pace from start to finish, and was glad to set a new 5k PR/PB of 25:08 despite of my lack of proper training due to plantar fasciitis.

aNR Ortigas buddies, Che and JB

Some of the things that happened after the race, and during the event's program were:
  1. "Naka-flashlight pa si kuya, akala ko may motor na paparating..." the marshall commented on my headlamp as I arrive at the finish line.
  2. Saw Coach Rio who ran for 10k doing his cool-down stretches. Wasn't able to got a photo collection with him though.
  3. Different rock-star-costumed runners appeared, aiming for the Php 20,000.00 prize for the best rock-star outfit contest. One of them was our co-runner at aNR Ortigas (I think it was Bong).
  4. Met Che Bello and JB, Timmy Dadia, Leo Manalaysay and some of his friends.
  5. Never met one of our officemate who should be running his first fun run.
  6. My cellphone and headlamp malfunctioned as the rain water got inside the circuits.
  7. There were no band who performed during and after the event (and they apologized for it).
  8. The loot bags have a Women's health magazine, one nutribar, and some leaflets.
  9. We've waited for the event's program until the end, hoping to win one of the raffle prizes of Canon Pixma Photo printer, Brooks running shoes, Canon DV Camcorder, and many others.
  10. Ms. Che Bello got a double knock-out luck for the night: raced a free run, and still won one of the major raffle prizes - a Canon Pixma photo printer.
  11. I was so hyped-up by the red bull drink given after the run, that I wasn't able to sleep until around 2:00 AM.
 Paeng and Jen Go

After the program, I was in front of ROX at the BHS waiting for a cab going home at around 9:30 to 9:45 PM. A gray car going southwards bearing plate number NOQ1xx driven by a bald guy (No, it wasn't the BaldRunner) around 28-30 years of age, passed in front of me asking "saan way mo?". Since I was the only one within the 5 meter radius where he was looking at, I was confused and was only dumb-staring at him trying to dig my memory if I knew him from somewhere. But my mind confirmed that I don't know him. Just after a few seconds, the car passed at me again now going northwards, the driver looked at me and pointed his finger ahead, and I read the gesture as if he was confirming if I was going that way.

Again I was confused if I really knew him, and being unresponsive, he drove straight, turning left at the 9th street. I checked my back, left and right side if there was someone else near me, but there was no one. Then a cab passed by in front of me, so I immediately hailed the cab. Gladly the taxi driver didn't refused me. Then just before the cab got off, I noticed that before the gray car reached 5th ave., he made a U-turn going back to 7th ave. where I was. Then what happened next, I have no idea!

It made me think if the guy was seeing a female ghost beside, around, or near me, whom he taught was his friend of some sort, lol!

Ms. Roxanne Barcelo?? the program host, with Republikha rep. and Mr. Toby of Toby's Sports

Che with her new printer
- now accepting photo printing for only Php 5.00 per copy

I am thankful for the person who let me run this race, and also thankful that your call of duty was more important than running (lol). If not for your generosity, I could've missed this wonderful experience in running under the rain. I hope there'll be more of this next time, Cheers!

Race Profile:
Distance: 5 km.
Official Time: 0:25:18
Official Ranking: 41st out of 804 5k Finishers

Race Info:
When: Jun. 19, 2010.
Where: Bonifacio, Global City, Taguig
Event: Rock and Run

Race Results are available here.
Read more ...

Running For The Trees

I am proud that I have joined this event, I am proud that I was able to contribute one tree for the Ipo Dam in Norzagaray, Bulacan.

Congratulations Coach Rio

Words are not enough for me to describe how successful was the turn-out of the event. Very organized, and one of the best race ever. The booths and tents are very well strategically located to prevent the bottle necks at the finish line. Claiming of loot bags for all the race distance categories was also a breeze.

Be fast, or get burned

RunningShield is such a strong negative-splitter


I was able to beat my record on my first half-marathon at the Greenfield city, cutting-off 3 minutes of my previous time.

Though upon reaching the finish line, I thought I'd collapse and ran out of breath. My head was spinning, my chest was constricting, a few deep breathe and sudden air release comforted me enough. Another good thing was the loot bags for the 21k is just near the finish line, I was able to re-hydrate immediately. The haagen-dasz free ice cream for the 21k finishers was also superb!

Getting out of breath!

Getting near.... to collapse

At the finish line, I came across Coach Rio and he pat me on my shoulder and congratulated me. I was still somewhat "zombie" back then, and can only reply back with "Thanks Coach!". I wasn't also able to take a photo with him, since I don't have a camera with me, and my mind was really floating.

After a few moments, having rested and regained my lungs, I realized that I should have congratulated him back for having staged such a very successful and nature-minded event.

One runner = one tree

The tree planting activity is tentatively set to stage on July 3 for the first batch. I think Coach Rio will be posting an announcement on his blog when the schedule has been finalized. So for all the runners who also wants to volunteer as a tree-planter, keep posted, get involved once again, let us join the tree-planting activity, and be proud that we have been a part of Coach Rio's re-greening movement for Ipo Dam, together with Nature Valley and the DENR.

Courtesy of RunPix

Race Profile:
Distance: 21 km.
Official Time: 1:59:24
Official Ranking: 158th out of 1,547 overall finishers

Race Info:
When: May 30, 2010.
Where: Bonifacio, Global City, Taguig
Event: RunRio Trilogy Leg 2 (Nature Valley Run)

You may download the official race results here.
Read more ...

I.T. of Life

by: Allan Cartagenas

Life is like a software
And your physical body is the hardware
Sometimes you're a freeware
And sometimes a shareware

We may tend to be an open source
In which we share the resource
Sometimes we tend to be proprietary
Thus protecting ourselves from piracy

Our lives undergo programming
Along the way we do debugging
With error detection & correction
To avoid run-time corruption

Sometimes we are not feeling well
Due to some viruses that dwell
Sometimes we experience general protection fault
And we tend to stop and HALT

Our relationship to others is like networking
Families, relatives, friends & colleagues interconnecting
Pictures, letters & cards we are sharing
But most of the times, communicating

Lifes' cherished moments must be captured
Lifes' frustrations, success & accomplishments should be recorded
Unlike a computer that can be rebooted,
Life can neither be rebooted nor restarted.
Read more ...

Reevu MSX1 Helmet

One of the limitations of driving a motorcycle is of having a blind spot of who's behind you. For the four-wheeled or vehicles, this limitation was somehow superseded with a rear-view mirror which allows the driver to see who's behind while driving.

But Reevu found a way to help motorcycle riders get a glimpse of their behinds - a helmet with a rear view mirror. It was way back 2004 when they first had an interesting concept of this kind of safety feature, and this year the brains behind the Reevu MSX1 helmet has finally let loose of this great helmet technology.

Rear-view comparison of using and without the Reevu helmet.

Click on the link below to read more about the review from webBikeWorld, or visit Reevu's homepage.

Source: WebBikeWorld
Read more ...

A Dreamer No More

"When you stop chasing dreams, your future goes behind you." - Anonymous

I couldn't describe easier how much my running life has changed me since my College days. But it was running that first brought me out of my asthmatic state. I definitely don't know where I will be right now if I am still as feeble as I was back in my non-running age. Running has rebuilt my lungs, renewed my strength, and has always given me a new height of achievement each time that I cross a finish line.

TBR-DM Participants

May 22, Saturday, marked another history in my running career, it has once again left another great experience and treasurable memories for me and for the almost 300 first and second time Marathoners.

Read on below as I fit in to words the experience that has transpired before, during, and after The Bull Runner Dream Marathon 2010.

6.25 Mile Comforted Runner

I've been into a number of occasional runs ever since I started the sport back in my College days. Although, my race mileage since August 1997 until December 2009 only totaled around 178 kilometers (111.25 miles).

All the training runs that I had ranges only from 5 kilometers to not more than 13 kilometers, and the races that I have joined into are mostly 10 kilometers, or 6.25 miles. I once tried to conquer a 21k race, but I failed between the 17k and 18k mark. Since that day, I never dreamed of joining another race that's beyond my comfort zone of 6.25 miles.

I was happy and contented running 6.25 miles

January 2010, when I brought my very first expensive pair of running shoes. I remember the sales assistant advising me that I should not use that shoe in longer distance races more than 21 kilometers. But instead of worrying, I just gladly answered the sales man with "oh that's ok, never in my life will I run races beyond 10 kilometers (paused and thought for a while...) or not yet this year."

Becoming a Dreamer

It was around February 2010 when I first knew about the Dream Marathon from Ms. Jaymie's blog. I was hesitant to entertain the "Marathon" idea in my mind. But knowing the fact that Ms. Jaymie designed the event for the first-time Marathoners, and free trainings (bull session), seminars or talks (bull circle) will also be provided for the participants and non-participants alike, in just a few days, I finally became excited to join and register.

So obviously, I registered, even though noone from my running buddies wanted to join with me. Then, another history was made.

Bull Sessions, great time to train and meet friends

Our (TBR Dream Marathoners) summer long run in Nuvali was my very first long run lasting around three hours, and the very first time that I ran up to exhaustion due to the extreme heat of the sun; for the first time also in my hometown vacation in Baguio, I was able to conquer the highways of Naguillian Road from La Chesa, Irisan ALL going up to Quezon Hill; did my very first long run from our house towards Burnham park, Camp John Hay, Loakan, U-turn from Epza, returning to Loakan road and heading straight to North Drive, Outlook Drive, Mansion, Mines View, Wright Park, Botanical Garden, Teacher's Camp, then going back to Burnham park. I finished injury-free when I got home after three hours and thirty minutes. (Soon to blog more about this!)

My trainings did not end up there. In just less than three months time, I was able to outpace my comfort zone: I conquered my very first 15k race last March; and that was immediately followed by another 15k race in just a few weeks; had my first short trail run in April finishing 7th place; then came my time to conquer my fear with the 21k distance at the Greenfield City.

Inside Camp John Hay

This period have not only made me a Marathon dreamer, but my dedication with running have also reached a new level which I have not thought of experiencing and doing before.

Pre-race Jitters

Friday morning, a day before the race, I was already on vacation leave from work. I spent enough sleep for my mind and body to recover from the two weeks of work stress. Upon waking up, I did my final set of crunches, lunges, squats, and balancing; ate my breakfast; packed-up my things and my race essentials. When I carried my bag, it was so heavy, I realized that I was over-packing and I ended up re-planning and re-arranging the things that I have to bring. I wasn't just over-packing, but I thought I was also panicking.

My body, though it felt relaxed, I was panicking mentally and emotionally! My mind was out of focus, random thoughts are coming all over. I was feeling nervous and excited at the same time. So I just decided to take a few minutes of meditation, seated at my room's floor, eyes closed, trying to empty my mind and relax my nerves and senses. When I almost fell down as I felt sleepy, I was able to re-compose myself and took a cold bath. At around 3:00 PM, I was already off going to Sta. Rosa, Laguna.

A night before the race, I was with Kassy, having our snooze at El Cielito Hotel where we opt to stay until after the event. At around 10:00 PM, MinnieRunner, and her cousin Irish arrived to support us. From work, they went straight to Sta. Rosa to be our support friends and cheerer (let's call them "Dream Enforcers", *sweet*). It was great that they came, and I feel blessed having two friends who were there and very much willing to sacrifice some of their precious time just to support us in one of the greatest day in our running career :)

The Dream Enforcers ;)

The Dream Race

One hour before the judgment, we were off to the race venue courtesy of the hotel's free shuttle service. The venue was homey and relaxing, I have not felt indifferent at all. There I saw the people whom I get to know during the bull sessions and bull circles. I wanted to take some photo with them but I was so shy to approach them without my own camera (yeah, where's our camera men?).

Ready for the Judgment

Exactly 2:00 AM, still dark, the bull runners were released. My head felt like exploding for the sudden burst of my adrenaline, 'twas good that I have learned how to be in control of the adrenaline push at the beginning of the race. I was planning to pace with the 9:1 galloway group (which I think is being led by Mr. Lit Onrubia) but it seems to me that they were running fast enough to make me lose my fuel even before I reach the half-point. So I just decided to run on my own pace. The route at the starting line was just a short-distanced loop from the starting to a few meters towards the finish line, thus, giving us a sweet glimpse of our goal.

There were a lot of people at the starting line, cheering their respective friends, relatives, and families as the runners pass through them. I can't deny but to get affected with the joy and happiness of everyone as I hear them cheering for their runner(s). As we passed beyond the cheering zone, the race started to become silent. All you can hear are footsteps, breathing, and a little bit of conversations around. Many of the runners are already ahead of me, and the fight against boredom, distance, time, and will-power becomes closer and closer at each step. And before I fall deeply on my emotions, a runner opened up a short conversation with me. And I was amazed that it was the RunningScientist whom I never thought would also join the event. After our short conversation, he went ahead of me. He really look strong so I decided not to pace with him yet.

Team Logan

It was on the 7th or 8th kilometer when I got surprised by the route - around 1 - 1.75 kilometers of trail running towards the Bird sanctuary. Luckily I have decided not to use my Adizero Boston running shoe, else I might have tripped or out-balanced on the long and dark stretch of the route. When I finally went out from the bird sanctuary entrance on my way again to the flat road, my lower back and legs started to feel some pain. So I texted our "dream enforcers" to get ready with the salonpas, a slice of bread, and gatorade refill.

When I finished the first loop (21k) at around 2:30 hours, there were still a lot of Cheerers on the cheering zone. My salonpas, bread, and gatorade request was also immediately handed to me by our two lovely dream enforcers. As I apply salonpas on almost half of my back, my legs, and achilles heel, I was also analyzing myself if how much longer can I still go on, and if I could still stand the remaining distance, with much more physical torture waiting ahead of me (trying to scare myself).

That's the salonpas, the sponge, the hammer gel

24th kilometer, it was already 5:00AM, I only have one and a half hour left to reach my target time, and I was already getting tired and bored. I guess it was at this point that I took my second walk break. So I seized the moment for me to be able to get in touch with my facebook account (lol), luckily, the signal's still good at the area. When I passed by at one of the dream chasers tent, I made some conversation with the Chasers just to freshen up my getting-sticky-saliva:
Me: Kuya, puwede na po bang mag-collapse?
Kuya: Mamaya na, sa 30 kilometer!
30th kilometer, catching a glimpse on my watch, I know it was already impossible for me to reach the finish line in just 45 minutes or less. I was starting to feel heavy, so I just set myself with a record goal to finish the remaining 12.195 distance for another 1:15 hours or less (for a sub-5). In contrast of the physical aches that I'm starting to endure, my lungs doesn't feel beaten as compared to when I was running shorter distances. It feels "wide" and full with oxygen supply. Thinking about oxygen, I remember Mr. Kenley's question to me on my blog if it is alright to "utot" while running, well, Sir Kenley, at this point where we really need fresh supply of oxygen, making "utot" is really not advisable. So let's control our "exhaust tubes" when running, lol!

Around 34th or 35th kilometer, elapsed time of 4:20 hours. I thought there's the wall already, but... what wall? There isn't a runner's wall at all. It was ALL WALLS -- RUNNER WALLSSsss!!! (Dang!) My energy have depleted. From the time I reached the major turnaround, I kept myself much more hydrated, two cups of gatorade, a cup of cold water for my head, and a change of cold sponge on each hydration stations, but it seems that my body's being cooked in hell. My legs started to feel stiff. I realized that of all the things that I have packed in my bag, I should've also brought two extra spare of legs (lol!). From this moment on, I've been stopping and having walk breaks, leg stretchings, and a few seconds rest in every 200 meters of distance that I could manage. I was totally worned-out. My shirt, shorts, and shoe is already soaked in sweat and water.

The Matador, waiting for the Bull runners

At the last bridge going back, I saw Mark Dave while I was down on the side street holding my two knees in a semi-squat position. We were previously two or three kilometers apart, but now I was thankful that there was someone whom I could talk to and share each others pain that we're going through. I tried hard to pace with him but my knees are holding me back. So I told him to just go on as he can.

The Marathoner

Towards the 41st kilometer, I spent almost 50 minutes traversing the 6,000 meter distance from the 35th mark. It seemed that it was toooooo long that I could no longer wait to give my whole back a rest, put my butt on a soft chair, and hang my legs upward.

A trick I learned to lighten my burden, go topless!

Gladly though at the remaining 1.195 kilometers, as my eyes could already visualize the pack of people, gatorade balloon, the lake, the buildings near our goal, and also, MinnieRunner who was under the sun waiting for me for I think more than 30 minutes already, I felt some burst of energy. I know it would be the lastest of the strength that I could get so I went on and forced myself to run the remaining distance. And there I was, taking the full capacity of my remaining strength and will-power that I have, dashing out towards the finish line, putting back some smile on my face for having seen clearly what every TBR participants are aiming at - the sweetest and the happiest spot - the Marathon finish line.

Wasted but happy

After the race, while I was taking a rest near the stage, I realized that the podium finish isn't really necessary at all to gain such priceless achievement. It was indeed the experience, the "career" high, and yeah, James is right, it was the journey indeed that gives you a lot of unmeasurable, treasurable, and priceless moments. I have learned many things from the bull circle; I have also learned from my experiences during those training runs/bull sessions; and, most important of all, I have gained some good friends along the way.

The Dreamers, now Marathoners

The Bull's proof!

Race Profile:
Distance: 42.195 km.
Official Time: 5:16:28
Official Ranking: 72nd out of 240 overall Dreamers

Race Info:
When: May 22, 2010.
Where: Nuvali, Sta. Rosa, Laguna
Event: 1st TBR Dream Marathon 2010

Jul. 6, 2010 Update: PDI Article from a TBRDM Finisher himself.
Read more ...

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