For the Love of the Woods

Posted: April 18, 2012 in Random
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If a man walks in the woods for the love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer. But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.”

– Henry David Thoreau, 1853

I’m a big fan of the fantastic weekly Marathon Talk podcast hosted by Tom Williams and Martin Yelling of UK. In their latest, Episode 118, Tony Audenshaw recited a marathon prayer in his segment, Tony’s Trials. It was simply right on point. In Tagalog slang, swak na swak, or as a friend would put it, pasok sa banga.

I was looking for the complete text online but I couldn’t find it, so I took the liberty of transcribing the whole “prayer”. It had me laughing my socks off and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Kudos to Tony for making such a brilliant piece. 😉

Please join me in the marathon prayer.

May the taper not have left you feeling fat and lethargic, and the sniffles and niggles not develop into illness or injury. On marathon eve, may your friends and family not text you good luck messages after 9pm.

If staying in a hotel, may it be clear of stag and hen parties, and may your room be some distance from any noisy airconditioning units, nightclubs, or someone who has just be let out of prison, or returned from active service, and on that night been reunited with their loving partner.

If perchance you do sleep, may you dream of forgetting your number or race kit, or of not being able to find the start of the race, or oversleeping and missing it completely, in order that on the day itself, you will wake up, remember your number and race kit, and find your way to the start on time.

May you eat breakfast familiar to your digestive system. May your transport be on time and free from catastrophic mechanical malfunction. May the portaloos have few people queuing outside, and plentiful toilet tissue inside.

May your GPS unit and heart rate monitor be fully charged, and may it find sattelites immediately and link seamlessly with your chest strap… and not someone else’s.

May you not be held back by runners slower than you starting too far forward and, in turn, may you not spoil the race for others. May you not set off too fast, and remember that if you feel you are running too slow, you are still running too fast.

Let the weather be 11-degree Centigrade during the race, with a light flowing breeze, and perhaps a hint of drizzle in the last 6 miles. And then, after the race, may the clouds disperse and reveal 20-degree sunshine.

May your timing chip remain attached, your shoes laces stay tied, and may you avoid tripping over discarded water bottles or slipping on gel sachets.

May you not suffer a visit from the Gingerbread Man, or run directly behind someone who is.

May you not be impeded by idiots wearing personal headphones, passed by runners in fancy dress, athletes over the age of 80, your clubmates, your partner, or anyone off the telly.

May you see your supporters on the course, and may your supporters see you. And then, when the race is over, may they meet you at a prearranged location, and not change their plans and leave you thirsty, ravenous, and shivering as they struggle with the overloaded mobile phone network.

May your nipples and sensitive areas be free from chaffing, and in the final few miles, may you avoid hitting the wall, resist adopting a run-walk strategy, and find the strength to f@#% up your legs. And on crossing the line, may you wipe the phlegm from your cheeks and the crystalized salt from around your mouth, and find the energy to smile for the cameras.

And then, whatever your time or your achievement, be it a personal best or absolute unmitigated disaster, remember that your loved ones have tolerated your persistent absence, your challenging moods, and narcoleptic tendencies for months on end, so wear your medal or t-shirt with pride.

Celebrate being one of the 0.1% of the population who have trained for and completed a 26.2-mile race, and enjoy a few days of being treated like the hero you are, walking like a cowboy with hemorrhoids, and not having to run a step.

Amen.

To listen to the prayer being read by Tony himself, click here or here. Go on, give it a listen!

[Apr15 5am update: Argh, just found the official complete text!]

Meet and Greet: Iker Carrera

Posted: April 13, 2012 in Events

Here’s an extraordinary chance for trail enthusiasts in the Philippines. The highly successful Salomon Racing Team’s Iker Carrera is going to compete in TNF100 Baguio but before that, he’ll be making a stop at ROX for a brief talk. Iker has been tearing up the tracks in Europe and elsewhere for quite some time, though being the newbie that I am, I only learned about him after he placed 2nd in the 2011 UTMB right behind Kilian Jornet. His other notable achievements in trail racing are as follows:

What a treat from Salomon Pilipinas! I hope this event is only the beginning and that they’ll invite other legends like Anna Frost and of course, THE Kilian himself. Maybe TNF Philippines will follow suit and invite their athletes Dean Karnazes, Sebastien Chaigneau, and Lizzy Hawker. Meeting Lizzy would be like winning the lottery, and running with her would even be better. Ah, dreams! Here’s a video of the UTMB finish that features Iker and my other ultra idols:

 

I’m excited! See you at ROX on Tuesday! 😉

I Would Run to You

Posted: April 6, 2012 in Random
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I love this ad. Totally relating to it because I always sing when I run, 1) because it forces me to slow down at the start when I need to conserve my energy, and 2) because it’s fun! The songs depend on my mood, my target pace, and my LSS of the day. Lately it’s been “A Little Respect” by Erasure. I blame it all on Lucy Diamond.

Back to the Nike ad, the way they did it reminds me of the Buffy musical with the clever exchanges. Not as clever as Whedon, but still cute. Fat cat alert at 0:00:12. 😉

Team Rock & Road Logo Studies

Posted: March 23, 2012 in Personal

So the guys from the 1st Pico de Loro Climb thought it would be best to form our own subgroup within the Pinoy Fitness community. We needed a name and a logo that are suitable for runners-turned-mountaineers who may also dabble in other outdoor adventures in the future. The name chosen was “Team Rock & Road” (which hits the spot given the group’s obsession with ice cream). A call for logo entries was made with the prize being a marathon race kit worth P2,500 (which I’m hoping can be converted to a seed fund for trail shoes, LOL). Since I’ve missed tinkering with Adobe Illustrator, I joined this contest with glee. I don’t have any formal training and I’ve never made any submissions of my work so this was all for fun. Tons of fun, really. I came up with the following designs:

The Mountain Runner

The Minimalist Branding

The Big and the Bold

***

A total of 8 entries were up for consideration, and after a week of voting, the final winner is… my Logo Study #1! The Mountain Runner! The last time I won in a design contest was for a poster in grade school, almost 20 years ago. Haha. It’s nice to win again. Thank you to my teammates for choosing my work.

I have a feeling that t-shirts are coming soon. Look out for us on the roads. 😉

Oh, the Places You’ll Go!

Posted: March 12, 2012 in Random
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Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where to go.

You’ll look up and down streets. Look ’em over with care.
About some you will say, “I don’t choose to go there.”
With your head full of brains and your shoes full of feet,
you’re too smart to go down any not-so-good street.

And you may not find any
you’ll want to go down.
In that case, of course,
you’ll head straight out of town.

It’s opener there
in the wide open air.

Out there things can happen
and frequently do
to people as brainy
and footsy as you.

And when things start to happen,
don’t worry. Don’t stew.
Just go right along.
You’ll start happening too.

OH!
THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!

You’ll be on your way up!
You’ll be seeing great sights!
You’ll join the high fliers
who soar to high heights.

You won’t lag behind, because you’ll have the speed.
You’ll pass the whole gang and you’ll soon take the lead.
Wherever you fly, you’ll be the best of the best.
Wherever you go, you will top all the rest.

Except when you don’t
Because, sometimes, you won’t.

I’m sorry to say so
but, sadly, it’s true
and Hang-ups
can happen to you.

You can get all hung up
in a prickle-ly perch.
And your gang will fly on.
You’ll be left in a Lurch.

You’ll come down from the Lurch
with an unpleasant bump.
And the chances are, then,
that you’ll be in a Slump.

And when you’re in a Slump,
you’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.

You will come to a place where the streets are not marked.
Some windows are lighted. But mostly they’re darked.
A place you could sprain both your elbow and chin!
Do you dare to stay out? Do you dare to go in?
How much can you lose? How much can you win?

And IF you go in, should you turn left or right…
or right-and-three-quarters? Or, maybe, not quite?
Or go around back and sneak in from behind?
Simple it’s not, I’m afraid you will find,
for a mind-maker-upper to make up his mind.

You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…

…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.

Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.

NO!
That’s not for you!

Somehow you’ll escape
all that waiting and staying.
You’ll find the bright places
where Boom Bands are playing.

With banner flip-flapping,
once more you’ll ride high!
Ready for anything under the sky.
Ready because you’re that kind of a guy!

Oh, the places you’ll go! There is fun to be done!
There are points to be scored. there are games to be won.
And the magical things you can do with that ball
will make you the winning-est winner of all.
Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t.
Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

But on you will go
though the weather be foul
On you will go
though your enemies prowl
On you will go
though the Hakken-Kraks howl
Onward up many
a frightening creek,
though your arms may get sore
and your sneakers may leak.

On and on you will hike
and I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!

So…
be your name Buxbaum or Bixby or Bray
or Mordecai Ali Van Allen O’Shea,
you’re off to Great Places!
Today is your day!
Your mountain is waiting.
So…get on your way!