Thoughts on (hopefully) Running on On-Running

When it comes to running and nearly everything fitness-related, I have to give loads of credit to a certain friend of mine for getting me started – and pretty much hooked – on it. Though the ‘hooked’ part is really more of a personal conviction, something I am determined to keep on the up and up for as long as my body can take the pain, he was the one who introduced running to me – right from my first pair of legit running shoes, Mizuno Wave Creation 10 in bright orange (around this time, I haven’t gotten into the habit of naming my shoes yet but for easy recall, let me now call my first pair, Wanda. She breathed her last in Phuket  where I have decided to leave her degraded body – but Wanda served me well. Very well, in fact.) which he gave me as birthday present two years ago; Phoenix, my NF trail running shoes who carried my weight and busted shins all the way to the finish line of my first trail run – the Men’s Health All-Terrain Race in Sta. Elena; my prized Zara the Zoot which I would wear to my first (and only) full marathon, the Condura Run for the Dolphins in 2010 in which I crossed the finish line in less than five hours. Far from a Kikayrunner finish, obviously, but not too shabby either. Zara the Zoot were given to me as Christmas present so I was actually one of the few who would be wearing the pair before it was formally brought into the country by the local distributor. Zara came in patriot pink, by the way, which happens to be one of my favorite colors. And I got another pair of Mizuno Wave Rider, which I named Blu, as my 2011 New Year’s present. All these serve as constant reminder for me to work hard in making my fitness resolutions stick because I have been known to run my mouth on this and that and end up not achieving the end-goal I desire because I would get bored halfway through it and move on to do something else. It’s like the early signs of ADHD, I tell you.

Enter Reebok…and suddenly, my fitness goals have taken a whole new dimension. Just before I joined a bunch of cool runners as brand ambassador for Reebok Running, I thought my running mojo had decided to go on an extended vacation – indefinitely. At that time, I have not been logging decent mileage per week, so much so that I have already placed my running shoes back in their boxes, which resulted to my pants getting a bit tight around the waist again. Uh-oh. Danger alert!

Now what I like most about Reebok is its versatility. So far, the shoes and apparel that I have worn to so many running events and also at home when I do my Insanity workout (which reminds me, I gotta start Insanity Asylum soon!) have all given me my main prerequisites: Comfort, Performance, and Style. It fits perfectly with the very active lifestyle I maintain. I have Bruno, Basia, Purple Pippa, and Terra of the ZigTech family, and all of which have seen some hardcore action on and off-road. As luck – combined with hard work, determination and a whole lot of prayers for safety and deliverance from major injuries, if I may say so – would have it, I have also bagged a few podium finish. Recently though, I swallowed my prescribed dosage of this bitter pill called DNF and it did not taste heavenly at all, but it taught me a lot of things which I really ought to apply in my next ultra run happening in August. It’s 60k, if I’m not mistaken. Oh but before that, there’s MILO marathon happening end of the month for which I am hoping to log a new PR. I will attempt to shave off at least half an hour from my first marathon record of 4:56:00. Reebok Teammate Titanium Runner is egging me to pick up the gauntlet and throw in my bid to go sub-4 just like him and Sam the Running Ninja but I don’t know yet. I think it would be too tall an order for me. But who knows? Barring unpleasantries, I think I have enough fire power in me to achieve my marathon goal.

So now I think it seems pretty clear that I am a fitness enthusiast who loves shoes! I don’t know with you guys but it just seems very logical to me to come armed to the teeth when I am about to embark on some fitness activity – especially running. And by that I mean, I have to make sure my feet, knees, shins, etc. are insulated from injuries – especially the lingering kind. Nothing hurts a runner more than not being able to run.

Speaking of shoes, I have recently come across this brand which I heard will soon be making an appearance in the local running scene (courtesy of CHRIS Sports) — On-Running. Have any of you guys seen this on the road? I read Titanium Runner and JazzRunner‘s blog posts and I must say my curiosity got piqued. In a colossal way! It’s supposed to be the fastest running shoes in the world and it’s got nearly all of the world’s elite athletes raving about it. I took a peek at On-Running’s official website to learn a wee bit more about their patented CloudTec™ 3D cushioning system and found myself daydreaming about it for quite a bit. I mean, it’s rather hard not to when shoe performance is talked about glowingly like that. I have no illusions of one day running neck-and-neck with the gazelle-like Kenyans but I am mighty curious to know just how much faster I can still run. I don’t think I have reached my maximum speed yet. I mean, I may be 32 but I think my body’s built to constantly morph and improve. I wonder how it feels like wearing them? How exactly does this CloudTec system work? Will it really make me more agile and run faster and longer?

I suppose there is only one way to find out.

What are you running ON?

Uhrmmm, by the way, my birthday is less than 24 hours away. I’m just saying.

I Am 32 Flavors…and then some.

So here’s the deal.

I have tried to delay it for as long as I could but with only two days left, I’m better off embracing the inevitable. At the stroke of midnight on the 21st, I would have officially abandoned the calendar age. Andy, one of the superstars in my department, said 32 is the new 23. I say, that’s exactly what someone who obviously would rather stop ticking her age off a calendar, bingo card, or lotto ticket would say. So, let’s see. I am 32 and at this point, really, there aren’t a lot out there that would thrill me still. At least, not the ones I would consider to be well within the bounds of reason. I mean, yeah sure, a Ferrari (only because of Fernando Alonso, otherwise, an Audi or Mercedes would be just as nifty) would cause me to pass out for half a second but is that something I can afford? Na-uh. Sure, an impromptu month-long adventure to the wondrous Galapagos Island would cause me to pass out half a second longer but again, something I cannot afford. Not yet. So, no, I am not going to do a birthday wish list as I had gotten used to in the past. I don’t get all my wishes anyway – but that’s not the point.

The point is, I think this time, I will do a Birthday’s Resolution. I already have a few off the top of my head so let’s get right down to it, ya?

1. Read one book per week and it starts right about now. I won’t set parameters on genre. It can be anything from serious lit to chicklit. I have been wanting to read Shakespeare and Homer but have always seriously feared I would be proven intellectually inept. But this time, I will not let my silly doubts get in the way. I have always loved books and there was a time (and this kind of stretched for a long period) when I would literally forego eating or showering on weekends because I just got to the good part and once there, of course, I’d want to read it all the way through until the very last page. FYI, I do not stink. Yes, not even with those missed showers in the past.

So I guess I will have to start with this. I’ve had this book since December of 2008. Quite a trip that month and year was. Oh but anyway, for some reason, I couldn’t seem to get past the ‘Natural Philosophers’ which was somewhere only in the second chapter. Not that I’m dimwitted or anything like that – well, I pretend to be sometimes when I’m really annoyed by the person talking- it’s just that I have this habit of reading 2 or 3 books at the same time. Not simultaneously, of course, but I normally would have a bedtime book, a bathroom book, and one that I read in the office or when I’m traveling. And usually, one would be more interesting than the other and I would end up finishing that one first. And then I would sorta forget where I was in the other book so I would go all the way back to page one and then I will maybe pick up another book and, well, it goes on and on like that.

Bookworm Chronicles Week 1

2. Turn myself into a fat-burning machine. I think I have made some good progress in this department so far and it’s now really more of just having a sustainable game plan to make sure I stay a size zero until I pop one – or two – out in the future. With that, I think it goes without saying that I will be blogging ‘Insanity this, Insanity that‘ or ‘Running an ultra here, running an ultra there‘ or ‘Testing this treadmill and all sorts of workout equipment‘ more than I have ever said so in the past. Don’t ask me why I am doing all these things, I do not have a profound answer. I just want to look good. Extremely good.

3. Say Thank you and I’m sorry more. I am not an ungrateful witch and I certainly know how to say Thank You and mean it but I feel I’m not doing it enough. Not verbally, at least. At times I assume a grateful smile or hug would be enough but having those two words uttered in your direction – especially when complemented with a smile and a good hug – is still quite something. Ditto with ‘I’m Sorry’. In fact, this is something I fail to do more than expressing my gratitude. I don’t know but I find it too difficult to acknowledge and own up to my mistakes sometimes. It’s pride in its most evil context at work here, I know. Hence, the birthday resolution.

4. Stay out of trouble. Especially the kind that cause others hurt and despair, even unknowingly. And especially, never maliciously. This also goes so (or should it be ‘as’? Oh grammar, please be a pal!) far as me finally activating my filter. So far, I think I have been practicing restraint in the things that I say and write about but I can maybe do a wee bit more. Let’s see, because usually, when I am angry, I spew vitriol. And more of same for a good long while. I can seriously keep at it until I’m exhausted. NOT. GOOD. AT. ALL

5. Avoid eating four-legged animals and especially not the exotic ones. I don’t think I will ever become a full-fledged vegetarian but I will now only eat just fish and chicken. I was never a beef-eater anyway so it’s really just pork that I am turning my back on – for eternity. Besides that, I can’t think of any as I am not really that adventurous when it comes to meat. I have tried a sliver of crocodile meat maybe two years ago in Boracay when my friend coaxed me into trying it and I didn’t think it was anything special. And last year, my boyfriend got me to try lamb for my birthday dinner and I didn’t think it was all that either. No offense, but I’m just that daring when it comes to food. I am pretty basic. No fuss, no frills kind of girl. Kind of a major dreamboat, really. hahaha. Anyway, to those whom I shall be sharing meals with from here on in, never – I repeat, NEVER – cajole me into eating anything other than those two. Unless, of course, you fancy the thought of having them hurled at your face. No, not really. Vegetables and fruits? Bring it on!

6. Learn how to swim. I know I keep saying this to the point that even I am getting sick and tired of hearing myself say it BUT I am going to learn how to swim before 2011 is up. Just you wait and see.

7. Take care of my skin more. Which means, more sunblock for me even when not going to the beach. Now might also be a good time for me to start picking up (my) slack in the facials department. It’s not cute for someone my age to still be sporting a zit or two on days when looking pretty and fresh-faced would have actually served me better. Not that the opposite of pretty was ever an alternative, but whatever, you do get what I mean ya? I was just never the facials kind of a girl. In fact, I have not exactly been meticulous with facial care that I’m paying for it now. I mean, hello, crow’s feet and wrinkles?!?

8. Ahhh, Bataan Death March 102 in 2012. Now this should be very interesting. I mean, after all the long runs I have participated in, this is what it will come down to – One hundred and two kilometers under extremely hot weather conditions. I have already enlisted some of my friends’ support on this one. I just need to enlist my knees and shins, too, while I’m at it. These two seem to have taken quite a beating these past two years that I have been attacking roads and trails, albeit, on and off.

9. Be a little less impatient and intolerant of things and people I cannot change. Ahhh, the cause of my eternal downfall if I don’t do something about it. Like now. I used to be able to stretch my patience and tolerance a little bit farther before but lately, I have been failing miserably. One word and I blow my top. One look and I lose it. Wrong spelling? Mispronunciation? P&F, V&B syndrome? Ugly shirt? Oh you are gonna get it from me! And it’s usually the smallest things that tick me off. Big time. Could be it age-related? Or have I simply lost my sense of humor somewhere between 20 and 30? And if so, I would really like to get it back. I remember, not too long ago, I used to be funny. You know, like tickle-me-silly-Elmo kind of funny. Now, I am just dripping with sarcasm and condescension. And I’m not proud of it – at least not all the time, no, but I do get a perverse sense of satisfaction out of it! That’s really not funny, isn’t it? I’m sorry.

10. Resolve to get all those nine things listed above DONE! Need I say more? Not a peep required, right? Good. It seems common sense is still fairly common – contrary to popular belief.

Aaaand on that note I say, Happy birthday you silly woman, you!