Archive for November, 2011

One Weekend, Three Races

Posted: November 28, 2011 in Events, Personal

It’s another one of those crazy weeks. Yes, I am on injury recovery mode but a series of events had me cramming 3 races in a span of two days. You see, I registered for the HSBC 136 Run simply for the nice singlet which fits me well, unlike all the others that required adjustment of some sort. Then I convinced my little sister to sponsor my dad’s 5K debut at Camp Run where I’d act as his pacer. Lastly, I won a free race kit for the Greenfinity Run from Pinoy Fitness. Who am I to say no to freebies? 😉

#1 – HSBC 136 @ SM Mall of Asia, 5am Saturday

Several things worked against me in this event:

  1. I did not get any sleep the night before. Tried to close my eyes but nada.
  2. Because I couldn’t sleep, I did my ITB strengthening exercise and felt tired afterwards.
  3. I was compelled to take the taxi which cost me P200 😦 (OK, so this one is more of an emotional blow).

I registered for 3K and took it easy to conserve energy for the next day. Coach Lit forbade us to run on back-to-back days so I did a power walk for cross-training. I went one loop around the MOA complex along with a curious mix of participants, sprinting only near the finish line. I managed to get an average pace of 8:26 which is pretty darn decent for a walk. However, despite my precautions, I felt my whole body aching from the cumulative toll. Well, lessons learned the hard way. I slept the whole day to make it up to my battered body.

Special shout out to the little girl in pink who won the 100-meter dash for kids 6yrs old and below. She made the boys eat dust and we were all cheering! Woot!

After the HSBC "Walk", me (in red visor) with Pinoy Fitness peeps, photo from Riz Damaso

#2 – Greenfinity Run @ Greenhills, 6am Sunday

After lots of sleep, stretching, and self-massage with Efficascent Oil, I was ready to take on the challenge of doing two consecutive runs at different venues. I went out the house at 5am and because there were no jeeps yet, I was forced to walk from Project 4 all the way to Greenhills, my first time to do so. It’s interesting. When you’re a runner, your perspective on distance truly changes.

I claimed my free race kit then and there. As I was trying the singlet on the sidelines, the Fitness First guy energetically led the participants in a warm-up routine. Gun start for the various categories soon followed in 5min intervals. Just before 6am, us 5K runners were off.

I ran at a steady though slightly faster pace than I wanted. The course was mostly flat along the length of Ortigas Avenue (which would really benefit from street sweepers) and uphill towards the back of the mall. There was a corner where one can either go straight ahead or turn right, and because I couldn’t understand the marshal, I opted to go straight (only for this route 😉 ). After I passed the U-turn, something felt odd. I was among the very few who were on the way back to the finish line, in the company of veteran runners. Uh-oh. When I got back to that corner, I talked to the marshal for clarification. I was right, I missed one loop, so I resolved to complete it before finishing the race. Getting a winner’s medal by mistake would have been horrible so I’m glad I was able to rectify the situation immediately. My GPS registered 5.79K in 0:40:21 for an average pace of 6:58, dangerously faster than my projected 7:50 LSD pace for the week. I hope my knees are okay.

Kudos to the organizers and (kulit) race marshals for a great event! I’m glad I ran this because I discovered a new and challenging route near my house for future training. I wish I could’ve stayed a while but there was absolutely no time to rest. I had to get back to EDSA and then to Camp Aguinaldo, quickly!

#3 – Camp Run @ Camp Aguinaldo, 7am Sunday

I entered the gates just in time to hear the countdown. “8… 7… 6…” Since the 5K gun start was scheduled at 7:15am, I thought these were the 10K runners. I leisurely watched them pass me by hoping to see my running buddies among the crowd, but I didn’t. So I proceeded to the starting line to look for my dad and to my surprise, no one was there. Then I realized that what I just saw were the 5K runners released early. I had to catch up with the pack and find my dad. Zoom!

It’s a good thing that I’m very familiar with the route here so I didn’t have any trouble sticking to it or pacing myself. My most pressing problem was hydration. I didn’t bring any water thinking I’d depend on what was being offered during the races, which worked fine with Greenfinity but I was technically a bandit here. Anyway, I reasoned that it’s a matter of life and death so I boldly got water from the drinking stations while apologizing inwardly (pasensya na po).

All the hills were getting to my knees and my dad was nowhere in sight. I did as best I could until I finally found him near the 4.5K mark on the last killer uphill (or UPHELL, as friends affectionately say). I didn’t get to pace him as planned but the fact that he was able to complete the run on his own means that, at least, I did my job as trainer well. He was so proud of his accomplishment, and happier still after he joined me and the Pinoy Fitness peeps for marathon picture-taking. One more running addict in the fold. 😉

Papa with his finisher's military dog tag - 60+ and running!

In front of the Grandstand. On regular days, this is where I do my speed work.

Feeling the runner's high atop a Simba Tank, photo by Antonio Baga


Here’s What It’s All About

Posted: November 24, 2011 in Random

Aha, this angle makes me look tall.

I’m not really the type who aspires for a magazine feature but I took a picture of myself to analyze my running form and the resulting image seemed like a good fit for a mock cover. Blank spaces aplenty.

I like my new minimalist road “uniform” consisting of the HSBC Fun Run singlet and comfy no-brand shorts. The tan lines on my leg from the Milo Marathon are still noticeable as is my vein-y hand. Oh well. I didn’t edit much except for slapping on the texts. No need to airbrush my scars and other imperfections. Badges of honor, right? *winks*

I used to be oblivious to my physical condition, preferring to engage in intellectual pursuits. In short, I was a nerd. Running has made me aware of and appreciate my body. So what if it has flaws? It’s a fantastic machine! It’s also the only one I’ll ever have, so I’m learning to be at peace with it and trying to take care of it as best I can. I’d like to test its limits and see all the amazing things it can do.

All in all, this turned out to be a fun exercise. As for my running form, well, my posture needs some tweaking but I’m working on it. 😉

This is LOVE. This is FAMILY.

Posted: November 15, 2011 in Articles, People

The Inspirations: Jamie and Lynn Parks
Ride along with this couple as they show you what family is really about.
By Gail Kislevitz
Published 12/07/2007

After she was nearly killed in a car crash in 1987, doctors doubted Lynn Mcgovern would walk again. But Mcgovern, whose brain stem had been damaged, endured seven years of rehabilitation to learn how to walk a short distance–namely, down the aisle to marry Jamie Parks in 1994.

Since then, she has continued to defy expectations by completing more than 170 road races, thanks to her devoted husband, who would rather push Lynn in her wheelchair than run alone.

“I am so lucky Jamie has given me this gift,” Lynn says. The 45-year-olds have covered more than 13,000 miles together. Their personal bests, including a 17:35 5-k and a 2:57 marathon, are remarkable, given Jamie’s workload (Lynn and the chair weigh 170 pounds).

Jamie, who met Lynn in 1985, started pushing her in races in 1991. “She faces so many challenges, but never complains,” says Jamie, a mail carrier in Tinley Park, Illinois. “It makes it hard for me to complain about anything.”

At a half-marathon in August, one of the chair’s wheels fell off at mile 12. Jamie pushed Lynn on a single wheel for the final mile, finishing in 1:32:11. “We were mad, but then you move on,” Jamie says. “We don’t take things so seriously as other folks might. Our big picture is much bigger.”



After their recognition in 2007 has RW Heroes, this speedy couple caught the attention of A Step Ahead Prosthetics and Orthotics who offered to design and create a racing chair for Lynn. Aided by the upgraded wheels, the pair competed the 2008 Boston Marathon. Their pre-Beantown preparation and debut was filmed for a documentary featuring Lynn and Jamie called “Marathon Love,” which has won several film festival awards. In 2009 and 2010, the pair has spoken at race expos in the U.S. After celebrating the 20-year anniversary of their first race together in July, the couple has run 222 races and covered nearly 18,000 miles.

(Article from Runner’s World Magazine)

Coach Lit Onrubia talking about the proper way to do long runs, photo from Jaymie Pizarro

I was a bit late this Saturday morning, getting there in the middle of Coach Lit’s reminders about how we should spend our weekend runs. Here are some of the things he said:

  • The 75-25 Rule. Run the first 75% of the intended time/distance at a conservative pace. If you’re still feeling strong after that, feel free to pick up the tempo for the last 25%.
  • Run slower than marathon pace. If you have a projected time for finishing the 42K, compute for the corresponding pace and do the long runs at a pace that’s slower by a minute or so.
  • Relax and enjoy. There should be no pressure to get a PR every week. The most important thing is to finish strong, injury-free, and still smiling. There will be a time for hard runs.
  • Walk early, walk often. Rather than running all the way at the beginning and resorting to walk breaks in the latter half, the other way around is preferred. Walking early is equivalent to depositing energy for the crucial stages.
  • Rest and recover. Don’t run the day before to rest and have fresh legs. Don’t run the day after to give your body enough time to recover. However, it’s possible to cross-train as long as you don’t tire out your legs (swimming, cycling, walking, etc).

Apparently, he also showed some books for marathon beginners. I saw the covers later and recognized the authors: Hal Hidgon, Jeff Galloway, and John Bingham. Fortunately, I’m already familiar with their methods and philosophies. The curious can look up their articles on running which are posted all over the Internet or click on their names to go to their websites.

Pace groups and their designated times, photo by Joyce Negapatan

Next, we were divided into four pace groups, each led by a part of the coaching staff and Dream Chasers. I wanted soooo bad to go to Group 1 led by Reylynne but I couldn’t risk my still-recovering injury. Prudence prevailed, albeit with a heavy heart. *sniff* 😥

TBR DM Batch 3 running strong, photo from Jaymie Pizarro

Joyce and I joined Group 4 instead, led by Jaymie herself. This was the “chika pace” or tortoise group consisting of uber-newbies, injured runners, and those taking it easy because they had a race the next day. We went for a very relaxed run while talking about so many things. Before we knew it, we were back at Boni High Street and the training run was over. The GPS tracked approximately 7K in under an 1hr (our training plan called for a 55min run that weekend). My knees didn’t hurt at all even after tackling hills and it was a great relief. Patience paid off.

Joyce, Gabe, Allan, and myself after the session

I got pulled into this picture somehow and right after the shot, Gabe went into director mode and asked us for an interview. Being sneaky-small helped me here as I quickly maneuvered my way to a safe distance. Joyce and Allan were put on the spot and I can’t wait to see their video on 😀