KaRUNungan 2010: Run For Knowledge

On November 28, 2010, Sunday, I’d like to invite you to join the KaRUNungan 2010: Run for Knowledge. This run event being led by The Knowledge Channel to “generate awareness and support for the cause of Philippine education, particularly in bridging the continuous resource and learning gaps present in our educational system.”

Here are the race details:

When: November 28, 2010

Where: Meralco Compound, Ortigas

Assembly Time: 4:00 am to 5:00 am

Distance Categories and Race Start: 15K – 5:30 am | 10K – 5:45 am | 5K – 6:00 am | 3K – 6:15am

Race Fees: 15K & 10K – Php 600 | 5K & 3K – Php 400

Race Maps: Please click HERE

 

Registration areas:

Knowledge Channel Foundation, Inc. – 5/F Benpres Building,
Exchange Road Corner Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig

Chris Sports
– Ever Gotesco Commonwealth, Upper Ground Floor
– SM North EDSA, F-104 Ground Floor
– Market! Market!, 439-440 4/F
– Glorietta 3, 2nd Floor
– Festival Mall, 3rd Level
– SM Megamall, Building B, Lower Ground Floor
– SM Fairview, Ground Floor

R.O.X.
– Bonifacio High Street, Building B1, G/F

Second Wind
– Ortigas Home Depot
– #88c Maginhawa Street, Teachers Village, Quezon City

 

I am looking forward to this event. One is it’s for a very worthy cause. Two, it presents a new route which I know is a very challenging one as I work near the area. So, what are you waiting for. Sign-up now and let’s support The Knowledge Channel’s worthy cause! Registration is on-going.

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TBR Dream Marathon: Congratulations and Thank You

Still on a high after me and Suzanne (my wife) successfully finished our first marathon at the TBR Dream Marathon last Saturday at Nuvali, Laguna. So many ideas and stories running through our minds right now that we don’t even know where to begin. It may even take several entries to recount the wonderful experience of our ‘”BestEST First Marathon.”

But one thing that’s very clear to us is how overwhelmed we are by the event and how thankful we are for having been a part of it. So, let me start by expressing our sincerest thanks and congratulations to all who made the event possible.

Many Congratulations and Many Thanks to:

  • Jaymie, The Bull Runner, for conceptualizing and staging the Dream Marathon. I had planned to run my first marathon December 2010, but the Dream Marathon enticed me to deviate from my plan. There are times when my stubbornness leads to me trouble but the beginner’s marathon you put together was just perfect! The Dream Marathon was a marathon that treated beginners as VIPs; you provided us everything that we need and more – bull circles with the best of the best, bull sessions with the Second Wind team, Coach Jim’s beginner’s program, dream chasers and pacers and a safe and memorable event. Congratulations once again!
  • Coach Jim Lafferty for developing a fantastic beginner’s program and for endlessly motivating all dream marathoners. Your optimism and energy was contagious!
  • Dream Chasers, Pacers and Second Wind team for the encouragement and motivation. You call our names and tell us we’re doing okay – wow, hearing one’s name being cheered on is indeed a great boost! You endlessly tell us we’re doing a good job no matter how tired we are. You all lifted our spirits and helped us cross the finish line. (Our special thanks to my good friend and officemate Eric for cheering us on complete with banners – thanks man! And also to Ms. Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan for never failing to cheer runners whenever she passed by – in fact, I noticed Suzanne running faster whenever you cheered us on)
  • Takbo.ph for the cheers and support. You are such a fantastic group. We wanted to personally thank all of you but did not have the chance to. Hopefully, we get the chance to do that in future races and events. We hope to finally be a part of the Takbo.ph ‘class picture’ after a race.
  • Fellow Dream Marathoners for being very friendly and supportive. Everyone was supportive of each other – a friendly ‘good morning’ here and there, a warm ‘good luck’ here and there and countless bright smiles all over. Congratulations as well to all of you!
  • Hydration Station Support teams all volunteers for your unwavering support in ensuring that we are hydrated. Add the fact that you also cheered for us and motivated us to complete the marathon.
  • Co-Presenters and Sponsors for all the goodies you gave us. You really spoiled and pampered us! Thank you also for making the event a success.

Right this moment, both of us looking forward to next year’s TBR Dream Marathon. We are expressing our intent to help in any way we can. Count us in!

In conclusion, let me just say that it’s true what everybody says – that you’ll never forget your first marathon. And all of you made it possible for me and Suzanne. We are sincerely appreciative and grateful for all your help. Thank you for positively changing our lives.

The “M” Word

Gulp?! Dare I say it? I get tense, jittery, edgy and anxious with just the thought of it. You can even collate all the words synonymous to being nervous and it may not be enough to describe how I feel. Yikes!

Gulp?! Am I really doing this? Being the planner and sometimes obsessive-compulsive individual, I get the feeling that I’m rushing this.

Gulp?! So, this is it! The Marathon beckons!

The Initial Plan

Running a marathon is one of my goals for this year. But the plan was to do it second half of the year. I’m looking at QCIM or, if there’s an opportunity, the Singapore Standard Chartered Marathon. Like a slow warming diesel engine, I figured I should spend at least 6 months training for it. My injuries have been well chronicled in this blog and I am wary that forcing the issue might not be a good idea.

Opportunity Knocks

Then again, this flat foot runner can be quite stubborn. I may adhere to a conservative plan, but my thought bubble is already filled with aggressive plan B’s and C’s. It’s the kind of thing that sometimes gets me in trouble. But I can’t resist the opportunity that came knocking. It’s too good and too enticing to pass up.

My First Marathon

As such, I took the plunge. Come May 22, I’ll be running my first marathon. I have signed-up for The Bull Runner Dream Marathon at Nuvali, Laguna. It’s a marathon conceptualized, of course, by TBR and it’s targeted mainly to first-time marathon runners – like me!

I’ve always read and heard that a runner will always remember his or her first marathon. Somehow, I’m starting to understand better what they mean. The journey to the marathon is just as important as running it. And I’m in the journey now…lovin’ and enjoyin’ every minute of it. Quite soon, I’ll complete this journey and I can’t wait to tell my story.

Condura Run 2010: FlatFoot’s Continuing Cramps Debacle

Five 21K races, five cases of leg cramps! That is the sorry and sad tale that yours truly has experienced in each of his 21K races. A little refresher:

  • QCIM – cramps at KM 20 (21K debut)
  • Adidas KOTR – cramps at KM 18
  • Timex Run – Cramps at KM 18
  • Philstar Run – Cramps at KM 17
  • Condura Run – Cramps at about KM 18

A five-for-five batting average is good for most sports, but not in a case like this. Time and again, I’ve been humbled – and embarrassed – by cramps. One minute, I’m running a pretty good pace; the next minute, I’m wobbling and agonizing in pain. I can’t seem to complete a 21K without yielding to cramps. The frustration just keeps building up.

I was running at a comfortable and good pace. At the 16K marker, I had it at 1 hour 33 minutes. I felt I was on-course to finish within 2hours 5 minutes. Then, at about the KM 18 mark, cramps suddenly got in the way and it completely caught me off-guard. My previous cramps started with a bit of a ‘warning’ – some muscle tightening and fatigue. This time around, it just happened!

My leg cramps at the recently concluded Condura Run 2010 was the bitterest pill to swallow – physically and emotionally – as I trained well and hard for it (or so I thought?!). Physically, it was so painful that it seemed I didn’t train at all. Emotionally, it left a psychological trauma that bothered me for so many days. “Why, oh why?” was the only question I had.

As frustrating and depressing as it is, I know that I’m back to the drawing board. I need to go back and see what I did wrong in training. Already, I think Natz (i2runner) has a very good point – that I run ‘on-pace’ in my long runs. That is, instead of doing an LSD, I should train to run long within my 21K pace and not in a slow pace. He may be right as I can complete a 21K LSD without cramping.

And so, after feeling down a few days, my resolve is as strong as ever. I’m confident I can get this monkey off my back. Time to train again and time to train more wisely and effectively.

By the way, FlatFoot’s Better Late than Never Condura Run 2010 Review

OVERALL RATING

I’ll be using a scale of 1 to 5 defined as: 1-Poor, 2-Fair, 3-Good, 4-Very Good, 5-Excellent.

I would rate this run event as a 4.5/5 – Almost Excellent! Congratulations to Mr. Ton and Mr. Patrick Concepcion for staging a successful 2010 Condura Run. Here’s me wishing that we all get to run along Skyway again next year.

THE HIGHS

Organized race kit distribution. It wasn’t perfect but it was a remarkable improvement from last year’s race kit redemption mishaps. There were many tents manned by friendly and accommodating volunteers. The tents were also labeled accordingly to direct runners where to claim their kits.

The Skyway experience. It is the only running event that takes 21K and 42K runners to the Skyway.

Race started early and on time. With fireworks at that too! With the heat, I’m sure glad the race started that early.

Adequate water stations with abundant supply. Water and 100Plus sports drinks were properly segregated. There were also people handing out cups of water to make it easier for runners.

Finisher’s Medals for all distance categories. Most races only give medals to 21K or 42K finishers.

Safety and Security of runners were ensured. There were enough traffic aides and marshals along the race route.

Presence of KM markers. I don’t have a way of telling its accuracy, but it’s greatly welcome that the markers were there.

Runners helping runners. When I succumbed to cramps during the last 3 kms., there were some runners who asked if I was okay and some even offered to run with me and pace me to the finish. I wasn’t able to get their names but I owe them big time! Thank you!

Other positives: Many portalets in the start/finish area and some along the race route; Cold sponges; Water tanks to spray cool water to runners; Bananas being given to runners; Motivators and bands along the route; Nice commemorative T-Shirts; Philippine Star Condura Run supplement section; Lots of freebies (ice cream, beer, MH & WH back issues); Race results for 10K/21K/42K were released within 12 hours.

THE LOWS

Missing bar codes for 21K & 42K race bibs. It was highly commendable, though, that it was addressed immediately. The organizers sent information via email, blogs and SMS on what to do.

Unlit areas along Kalayaan flyover and Skyway. I almost tripped in a pothole along Kalayaan flyover.

Not all received the finisher’s medals. From the Condura Run website, it is said that there was “an attempt to take the box containing several medals.” As such, if you registered on or before Jan. 24 and you didn’t receive the finisher’s medal, just send an email to: secretariat@condura.com

See you all at next year’s Condura Run. Cheers and Happy Running!

A Busy February

A busy February running month awaits all of us. Several big runs are scheduled every weekend of February. The kind of ‘big runs’ that are much anticipated with the hype and the well-known corporate sponsors. I sure am excited and raring to go!

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The Condura Run 2010 – Run For the Dolphins 

Condura Run 2010

When: February 7, 2010, Sunday 

Where: Fort Bonifacio 

Distance: 3K/5K/10K/21K/42K; 21K & 42K will run through Skyway 

Status: Registered (21K)  

I’ve been looking forward to this race since last year. I wallowed in the hospital as the first race to run through the Skyway was being held. I fervently hoped for another opportunity to run through Skyway. And thanks to Condura, I’ll get to run there for the first time.  

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The North Face (TNF) Thrill of the Trail – Nuvali 

 

When: February 14, 2010, Sunday 

Where: Nuvali, Laguna 

Distance: 11K/22K/11K Couples 

Status: Registered (11K couples run with Suzanne, my wife) 

It is officially our Valentine’s Day date. The first race where we’ll run side by side up to the finish. It will be my third trail run and Suzanne’s first. 

I enjoy trail runs. I enjoy the scenery and the fresh air. I don’t worry about setting a PR; I don’t even mind the time. When I joined last year’s TNF Thrill of the Trail at Nasugbu, Batangas, I was even carrying a digital camera to capture every moment of my first trail run. This year will not be an exception – we’ll be on a chillax and picture-taking pace.  

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Century Superbods Run 2010 (RunRio Trilogy Leg 1) 

 

When: February 21, 2010, Sunday 

Where: Fort Bonifacio 

Distance: 3K/5K/10K/21K 

Status: Not Registered Yet (Will register for 21K) 

If there’s a 21K category, I’ll most likely join that race. It’s my favorite distance category nowadays. I figure it will help me a lot in my weight-loss goal. Plus, I need to consistently log miles as I start preparing for a full marathon this year. 

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There you have it. Some great runs we can look forward to. Good luck and Happy Running!

2010 Running Goals

“All My Life, I’ve had one dream…To Achieve My Many Goals!” — Homer Simpson

The quote above sounds good enough…I guess? Well, it’s Homer — our favorite hilarious, beer-chugging dad. Somehow, he manages to say some really relevant things. 

A belated Happy New Year to all of you. I’m sure glad that I’m back to blogging. My goodness, it’s been about a month since my last blog entry! I have been consumed with a lot of things that I haven’t found time to write. All that will change now.

First things first – PLAN & SET GOALS. For this year, I aim to accomplish the following:

  • Lose 15 more pounds. This goal is very essential in my quest to finish a full marathon. When I started running 21K, the more I felt the disadvantage of being heavy. It felt like I’m carrying dumbbells while running. I’m making this my number 1 priority at the moment!
  • Run a full marathon (42K) regardless of the time. This is it! The thought of it scares and excites me. But running a full marathon is what most, if not all, of us aim for. Furthermore, finishing a 42K opens up an opportunity for me to move forward and train for an ultramarathon on 2011.
  • Run a sub-2 hour 21K. Last year, it was ‘almost but not quite.’ I got close to a sub-2 hour finish time during the Adidas KOTR but cramps got in the way. This year, I’m hopeful I’d be able to achieve it.
  • Run a sub-50 minute 10K. I was not able to accomplish this goal last year. After the 2-month layoff, I just concentrated on getting back in running shape and making sure I remained injury-free.
  • Run a 5K in 20 to 24 minutes. Similar to my 10K, this was another goal I failed to accomplish last year. This year, I’d attempt to finally accomplish it.
  • Consistently integrate core exercises, cross-training and leg strengthening into my training. The operative word here is ‘consistently.’ Last year, I just didn’t give much importance to these 3 important exercises. I sure got lucky as I remained injury-free towards the second half of 2009. But I can’t leave anything to chance.
  • Consistently update my blog. I may have just won the ‘worst blog’ award. I feel bad for not updating my blog for a week, what more for a month. Like I said, all that will change.

Well, that’s all for now. This is it! The clock is ticking! Good luck to all runners! Cheers and Happy Running!

My Second Wind by Eric Rivas

FlatFoot’s Note: Last November 1, 2009, Eric, my officemate and friend, successfully and proudly finished the “2009 ING New York City Marathon.” He is among the 42,000 runners who mustered enough courage and determination to run in one of the most celebrated and toughest marathons in the world. Here, he chronicles his triumph that will leave us inspired and determined to finish our own marathon. To Eric, many congratulations once again and thank you for agreeing to have your story be published in this blog. Cheers and Happy Running to more marathons and, perhaps, another round of NYCM!
——————–
My Second Wind   

 42 @ 40       

A hundred meters or so from the bright blue arch, I almost burst into tears as I choked on my emotions. But my body was too tired so I had to do without the drama. My legs would get whatever strength I had left for the purpose of bringing me across the finish line and when I did, raising my arms would burn whatever few calories I had left in my system.       

I was spent. But I was happy. Extremely happy. For there I was in beautiful Central Park in the middle of autumn. I had completed the New York City Marathon in less than five and a half hours and no one can keep me from claiming my prize, the finisher’s medal.       

What started out as a simple game of chance, a minor gamble if you will, has paid off big time. Early 2009, Valee and I were planning to celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary in New York. We decided to do it in November so I can also celebrate my big ‘four-oh’ in style. Two of my very good friends (and bros), Jam Mariquit & Jay Tambunting, were joining the 40th running of the NYC Marathon around the same time and the suggestion for me to run with them was hatched. I had been running for about a year but never going beyond 5kms (or roughly 3 miles). Running a full marathon (42.195 kilometers) was just not in my to-do-before-I-die list. Or so I thought.       

To join the run, one had to participate in a lottery. What the heck, I had nothing to lose. I thought back then that I probably wouldn’t get chosen anyway. My application was sent second week of April. A month later, the running gods would smile upon me and I was accepted. Out of the 58 applicants from the Philippines, 52 were accepted. I dreaded getting the congratulatory email, but welcomed the challenge (I had no choice!) set before me. First order of business, find a running coach and commence training.       

The Preparation       

What followed were weeks of active training, doing drills, perfecting my form, strengthening the core, building endurance and participating in organized runs. Twice a week, I would don my running shoes and head off to the track in ULTRA or the perimeter of High Street. Investments were made on gear and supplements. New friends were won in the running community. Sundays were reserved for long runs around the Fort and the villages straddling it. There are days I just wanted to give up and get a massage instead but the discipline was slowly growing within me and I started looking forward to pushing my physical boundaries. One perk was the continued weight loss despite the endless binges. For the most part, getting started was more than half the battle and looking back, I can honestly say that those days spent in training gave me great joy.       

Pre-race ‘Jitters’       

Four and a half months later (and more than 10 pounds lighter), I was filled with so much hope going into New York that I can finish this race. I had never done the full distance during training and the farthest ‘long run’ I have done was 32kms. But I knew I was ready. I had a week to overcome jet lag and acclimatize. It was just too cold in NY and I got tired of converting Fahrenheit to Celsius watching the weather forecasts. Bottom-line, we runners from warm, sunny Manila would be freezing our asses off come race day. One pre-race highlight was the Expo. It was like Disneyland for runners. A mecca for fun-runners, weekend warriors and sub-elite runners alike. Anything and everything related to running was there. If you couldn’t find it in the Expo, it probably doesn’t exist. After claiming my race kit and getting a souvenir shirt, I was ready for one last condition run prior to the marathon. Central Park beckoned.       

Running ‘Saints’ From All Nations       

The night before the run, we attended the Mass at St Patrick’s Cathedral. It was packed. My guess was that a lot of the would-be-marathoners were there with their friends and families. The priest’s sermon centered on the celebration of All Saints’ Day and he talked about how in the book of revelation, 144,000 saints from all corners of the world would converge and stand with Jesus. We had runners from all corners of the world in attendance and it was more than enough reason to celebrate. A special blessing before the run would be nice, I thought to myself.       

The wish would be granted as the priest called on all the runners to come to the sanctuary for the final blessing. People started to flood the aisles and it didn’t take long before the altar was crowded with runners in every shape and form. It gave me goose bumps as I imagined myself in medieval times gathering with other soldiers before the bishop for a final sprinkling of holy water prior to going into battle. Reality was way better so I snapped out of my fantasy and marveled at the moment unfolding before my eyes. Then as a final word, the priest cited my guiding verse from the second book of Timothy. Wow.       

Race Day       

It would be an early start at 5:30 as we boarded the bus that would bring us to the starting line. We had a few hours more before gun start so after coffee and a bagel, it was time to find our spot inside the runners’ tent and catch a nap. We would then share stories with other runners as we waited for the call to proceed to the designated corral. As expected, it was freezing and the wind chill added to the ‘suffering’. Excitement was building and before we knew it, the starting gun (or cannon more like it) signaled the start of the first wave of runners… then the second wave… and finally, our group, the third and final wave.       

Enjoying It

The run was just surreal. Going through the five boroughs of NY with thousands of other runners and thousands more on the sidelines cheering you on, it was simply thrilling. My end-goal was simple; to finish the race. This was broken down further into bite-sized strategies so I don’t feel overwhelmed;        

  1. Dedicate the first 10 kilometers to my wife, Valee – something that proved relatively simple and joyful as I savored and loved the experience. A lot like our ten years’ worth of togetherness and married bliss.
  2. Dedicate kilometers 11 to 20 to Raine, our 8 year old daughter – again quite enjoyable with moments of minor discomfort as my muscles started to show signs of tiring. She’s a good kid, I thought to myself and as my muscles strained, I recalled the challenges Valee and I went through as first time parents.
  3. Dedicate kilometers 21 – 30 to our 14 month old son, Raco – whew, this is the part where things started getting complicated (perhaps a preview of things to come with my energetic and strong-willed boy?). Call of nature, fatigue, wind chill, cramps in my upper thighs and side stitches. This can’t be happening to me. I had barely gone past the halfway point. Luckily, Valee was waiting just after the 27km mark and she was a sight for sore eyes (and aching muscles!). After giving her a kiss, I get a boost and I was off to the last stage.
  4. Final 12 kilometers would be my run time with God – I whispered, “Lord, this is it, just You and me”. I was certain He’d bring me home, but this turned out to be the most difficult portion of the run. Constant cramps in my thighs, bloating from too much fluid intake, my body salt depleted, and exhaustion creeping in. Every mile marker seemed farther and farther away. Walk, run, stop, stretch, run, walk, stop, stretch… Are we there yet?!!

Entering Central Park

And then finally, it was over…       

Running the Race       

The back of my race shirt bore the text from 2 Timothy 4 verse 7, “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race. I have kept the faith.”. Runners behind me may have read the verse but all I needed was one (out of the more than forty two thousand who participated) to acknowledge it and my goal to be His messenger would be complete. A young lady came from behind and ran alongside of me and uttered four simple words, “I like your shirt.”. I smiled at her. Mission accomplished.       

From what I observed, people who joined the marathon ran for different reasons. Some dedicated the run to departed loved ones while others to promote or support a cause. There were those who came in silly costumes and those who proudly wore the colors of their country’s flag. I also saw men and women who conquered their disabilities and to them goes my utmost admiration. As for myself, the actual run was the crowning glory to the weeks and months of preparation I had committed to realizing this goal. It was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life and it wouldn’t have been possible had it not been for;          

–          the torment of bringing my heart close to bursting during speed workouts         

–          the difficulty of waking up ridiculously early on Sunday mornings         

–          the misery of going up the flight of steps when I do stairs training         

–          the agony of the last crunch doing sit-ups for my core         

–          the exhaustion and dehydration while doing long runs    

But it wasn’t all pain and suffering. I could always count on my loving wife and supportive family and friends to provide the encouragement and cheer. There were others who trained with me and helped make the experience lighter. There was also a coach who gave me guidance and pushed me when I doubted myself. The pre and post run carbo-loads were always a treat. The physical transformation and the feeling of being healthy were just priceless.      

Twelve months ago, the notion of finishing a marathon would have been unthinkable. And I can’t help but reflect on this Christian journey I find myself on with the goal of reaching heaven as my finish line. I realize now that God has set for me a mission that is not impossible. But there is a need to prepare and train hard for it; to love people in our lives with all our heart, to make sacrifices when things seem to go beyond our control, to look up to Him and persevere as difficulties challenge us, to be prepared to get hurt for reasons we may not immediately understand, to carry on in times of spiritual dryness and to fix our eyes on the reward that awaits those who choose to run the race.      

At the Finish

I feel immense happiness in having been able to finish this marathon. Imagine the great joy in store for those who finish HIS …