35th MILO Marathon: Redemption, Oh How Sweet You Taste In My Mouth!


I first joined MILO National Eliminations in 2009 when I debuted in the half-mary category. Unfortunately, I came up real short at that time because of my injured shins. At 2:47, MILO was my worst 21k record ever and if it weren’t for dear friends at Takbo.ph, I probably would have done worse – if not altogether quit the race.

But, it’s all behind me now because last Sunday, at the 35th MILO National Eliminations (Manila Leg), I had my shot at redemption; grabbed a hold; and sort of ran with it all the way through the tape – doing twice the distance as my first Milo appearance.

My second marathon after my debut at the Condura Skyway Marathon in 2009 certainly did not disappoint. Although I was hoping for a sub-4:30 finish, I am still grateful that I crossed the finish line with a sub-5 record; about 6 minutes faster than my Condura time.

'Great things start from small beginnings...'

I liked (my) MILO marathon experience for a lot of reasons.

First – although MILO had nothing to do with it at all – because of the rain. Like I told my Boss just minutes before gun start, I was looking forward to running 42 kilometers in the rain because it reminds me so much of my hooligan days in the province when I would would wait for the steady snoring of my Dad during siesta, escape through the backdoor and run around the plaza with friends. On one or two occasions that I got caught – soaked and mud-covered – I got some mild flogging; vaguely remembered being asked to kneel for a few minutes because I was caught playing by the river which had swelled all the way up to the hanging bridge because of the steady downpour which lasted several days; but that did not exactly deter me from escaping a few more times. Good memories.

Second, water stations aplenty. For someone with serious hydration problems, I totally loved the fact that MILO and the organizers did not scrimp on this one. I found myself making a pitstop at nearly every station not because I was parched but because the water-filled cups lined up like robots in TRON look so inviting I just had to get my hands on them!

Third, the runners. It was just awesome being in the company of runner friends and even those I only get to exchange ‘hi’ and ‘hello’ with on Twitter and Facebook. What’s even more awesome was seeing older people (men and women alike) who would just zoom past me and you can tell by their gait and that they were once among those lording it over in marathon circa 60s, 70s, and 80s even! I remember this lady who’s probably in her 50s who ran along side me somewhere in the Kalayaan flyover just before we hit KM31 or 32 and told me to push harder. I was already taking walk breaks at that time due to my cramped quads and left hamstring. She said ‘jog ka lang iha‘ and when she probably saw there is no way I could keep up with her, she said ‘Una na ako sa’yo ha‘. That moment was so cute I just had to smile!

Fourth, the support teams. Having people call out your name (though most of them I only recognize by face) with some words of encouragement can be very…encouraging.

Fifth, my ‘accidental’ pacers. Alex and Gab, you guys helped me get through the race – thank you! Gab, whom I’ve known for quite a while now – he was among the first runners I made friends with through Takbo and paddled with in Manila bay on maybe three occasions – would pace me on and off during the race. He even gave me a chocolate bar before we hit KM30 which helped me loads in the stored energy department. haha. Alex, my Reebok teammate, was my mainstay pacer. I would lose him a few times during the course because I tried to keep a steady pace at least before the cramps cramped my style, but he would no sooner find me and run/walk my pace. We took several walk breaks which was a pity because we were doing pretty well until we weren’t any more.

Sixth, I also liked the fact that my bag was kept safe at the baggage counter the whole time! At first, I was really apprehensive to leave my bag with money, phone, and camera inside (with no lock whatsoever!) because of the horror stories of some runners losing valuables at the races. Every now and then while I was running, I would worry about my bag so I told Alex that we should head down to the baggage counter soon as we cross the finish line. But my worrying was all for naught because MILO employed the best people to man the booth! Awesome!

Seventh, the speedy release of results! Just like everyone else who ran that day I suppose, I couldn’t wait to see the results – and gush about it.

Lastly, the photographers who took thousands of photos of the runners in various state of wetness and exhaustion. Special mention to KB Runner (who ran the whole course half-naked buti na lang he’s super lean, hihihi), A Runner’s Circle, Jojo Pauly, and Mediabetes Runner for the lovely photos I shamelessly grabbed and posted on my FB Milo album!

***Edited to add this: Needless to say I was (and still am) mighty pleased with my race results. Like I said, I managed to shave around 6 minutes from my first marathon time in 2009. Not only that, I was ranked 497th overall out of 1,053 runners; and 6th out of 9 in my age category. I am 32 years old, so yah, you could say I am quite mature. hihihi.

Having said that, CONGRATULATIONS MILO and RUNRIO for staging one of the best races I have ever joined!

Now let’s take a look at some of my priceless 35th MILO Marathon moments. But first, here’s a look back at my MILO moment in 2009…

Thank you Argo for this photo.:)

I’m such a naturally happy person that even when beset by injuries aplenty, one would rarely catch me in a frown. It doesn’t show in the photo but at that time, my shins were crying bloody murder and would swell up in a freaky way Dinzobear refused to look at it when we had dinner/movie shortly after that 2009 race.

And now, say hello to the two-time sub-5 marathoner. Wooot!

Thank you, ARC!

Now that's a happy runner!

I did it!

Oooops, by the way, I would like to thank Kassy for lending me her Garmin which I totally forgot to set in my haste! We arrived at the starting line just seconds before gunstart and of course, I scampered just like everyone else when the countdown ended. Garmin turned out to be just a fashion accessory, hahaha. But you gotta admit, it made me look even more legit! Thank you Kas for being the wonderful supergirl that you are!

Much love to REEBOK for the support! Bruno was awesome on the flooded roads! I did not get blisters this time around but I went home with two dead toenails which is kind of a normal thing for me when I do long distance runs. Dead toenails = sooo un-girly-girl! hahaha.

My quads are burning!

MILO...MILO everyday!

Thank you Alex for pacing me!

Thank you Kassy for being awesome!

Up next: MIM

Advertisements

Swagga Like Ours


So Team Reebok has been quite busy these past days preparing for The TEAM REEBOK ZigTech Fun Run happening on the 6th of August at the CCP Complex. Incidentally, the 6th of August is also Kassy’s birthday, so all of you out there say holla! to the birthday girl!

I hope you guys have already registered for the Fun Run because the Team has prepared tons – and I mean TONS – of wildly fun stuff for you. Yes, dahlinks, you will not only be pounding the CCP grounds running on your ZigTech-clad feet BUT you will also have a chance to do some Zumba with us. So f I were you, I would totally brush up on my dancing and bust some serious moves when we Zumba!

And tomorrow, on our special Bloggers’ Night, we have  invited some friends and Facebook followers to join us for some food and revelry because well, you know, no one on the corner has swagga like ours. *wink. wink.*

***

Takbo.ph RUNFEST 2011

Last Sunday, 24th of July, Takbo.ph celebrated its 3rd anniversary with RUNFEST 2011 which had a good turnout of runners – mostly loyal friends of Takbo.ph and its founder, the amiable Jinoe Gavan. I became a member of Takbo.ph in 2009, when my friend referred me to the site for upcoming race events, reviews and what-not. Since then I have met and made friends with some good people and it is always, always a pleasant treat to see them at the races. Funnily enough, this was the first Runfest I have ever joined. The past two Runfests, I was always somewhere else.

Team Reebok with the legendary BaldRunner. Photo by A Runners' Circle.

At the Starting Line. Photo by KB Runner.

Finally made it to KB Runner's Hit List. hahaha.

It was lovely to see Sir Jovie aka Baldrunner and Patrick ‘The Running Shield‘ Concepcion, two of the very few people I admire in the running community and of course, those that I have been friends with since I joined. I had just arrived the night before and barely had time to unpack and rest before I had to shower and gear up for the 16k race we had signed up for. I haven’t had much time to run when I was away, save for those four short runs with my, uhrrrm, fiance, and my left knee has really been bugging me some bit the past several days (some lingering memento of the Nuvali trail run sometime back) so I thought I’d play it safe on this one. After all, we have the 35th MILO Marathon to prepare for this coming Sunday. This will be my second full marathon and barring unpleasant surprises, I think I just might be able to log a new PR. We’ll see, we’ll see…

Photo by Greentenial Runner.

Girl on the run. Photo by KB Runner.

By the way, I did well at the RUNFEST. With a time of 1:32:something seconds, I placed 6th in the Female category. The McKinley and Bayani part of the race route was quite painful to those of us who are not exactly used to cardiac hills but it was fun to see the pained look on nearly everyone’s faces. Hindi ka nag-iisa, Vicky.  hahaha.

With DJ Chloe and Argo, the hosts of RUNFEST

Evian sooo cool!

After crossing the finish line, I spent some time chatting with runner friends I only see at the races. It was also the first time I saw Jinoe and Que’s baby boy, Gab the cutie. I would’ve carried the future marathoner if I weren’t in such a sweaty state. I had a nice chat with CHRIS Sports’ Marketing Manager, Arleen Lindo, who presented me with very nice *surprise* for me to review. Watch out for it!

Waiting for Kassy and Trickoy.

Aaaaand that about sums it up for me and the eventful past few days, so far.

Oh wait. Last Monday, Team Reebok had a fun photo shoot at CURVES Serendra for the Fun Run promotional stuff and also for CURVES itself. The very good-looking Ena Terol took the photos and we all just couldn’t wait to see the shots!

Aaaaaand that’s all folks. For reals.

Oh it’s a beautiful day, I’m looking for something dumb to do…


…and since there’s no one around at 6AM whom I can ask to marry me, I did 15k race pace and capped it with INSANITY Maximum Interval Plyo! Don’t tell anyone but while I was running, I actually toyed with the idea of dissing work and going on a solo full marathon of sorts. Or I don’t know how far my feet will take me but I was feeling so good about nearly everything this morning that I thought I could go on running for five hours.

But of course I did no such thing. I am such a freak that I feel extremely guilty when I would so much as clock in five minutes late for work. Worse, even when I’m sick and practically burning up with fever, I still feel guilty about not being there in my office, working like a maniac behind the desk. No, really.

So 15k race pace done and I still have a universe of energy to spare so I decided to take on Insanity. God knows what Day I am on now because it’s already Round 2 and my body- sucker for physical torture that it is – already feels somewhat desensitized from circuit-workout type of pain. In fact, yesterday, when I shared this with my resurrected friend, he said I need to try something new. I need to shock my body, he added. But what else is out there to shock me? Insanity ASYLUM is one, but I won’t get my hands on the workout dvd until gorgeous Abby burns me a copy – and hopefully soon. But really, what else is there to try? S&M? Absolutely NOT. *ROTFLMNSSAO*

Quite interesting that morning run. Like I said, my body refused to quit. Obviously, I have some serious issues and running has become, for me, the penultimate catharsis. Or escape. I think it goes so much deeper than just running from stuff but then again, what do I know? My college diploma says AB Journalism and not some fancy degree in advanced Psychology or Psychiatry. Now before we go psychoanalyzing  my convoluted mind (it’s a dark and dangerous place, i’m telling you) there’s one other interesting thing that happened during my morning run.  While running along Garnet Road, I saw this old couple suffering from osteoporosis so bad that they’re both bent over from the waist. I took one look at the old man assisting his old wife and trying very hard to put umbrella over both their heads and just like that, I cried. There’s something about old people that turns me into a puddle of tears and this coming from a girl who prides herself to be an emotional eunuch. Most of the time. I don’t do sentimental love. My boyfriend whom I love dearly would attest to my emotional frigidity. Not all the time, no. But I have always been like that. Too pragmatic and too much of a realist. To break me is very difficult. But show me old people and I am stripped away of the glacier covering that organ called the heart. In an instant. I had already passed the couple a few yards when I decided to turn back, still Weepy Weeperson, opened my belt bag and saw my breakfast money and some loose change. It was a choice between my 5-peso coin and my Egg McMuffin+brewed coffee+hashbrown+pancake money (hey, I was very hungry!). It was an easy choice. That was probably the best fully-loaded breakfast money I had ever spent and not for my own gastronomic satisfaction. I know I’ve said this before but I’m going to say it again, one day when I am disgustingly rich, I will blow all my cosmetic surgery money on helping old, poor, and abandoned elderly. Maybe all the attention and discipline I plow into health and fitness will actually allow me to live long and still look youthful and vibrant even when old and wrinkly and I won’t ever feel the need to waxify my gorgeous face with Botox and what-not. Kamusta naman daw at may gorgeous pang nalalaman si bruha. Now how do I translate that into English?

Running back to the house I kept thinking: that right there could be the elusive true love. You should see how the old man looked after his wife, letting her weak frame lean on his body, while clumsily trying to open the tattered umbrella to put over their heads. She was wearing a tattered shirt with ‘Ramones’ printed at the back which made me smile through the tears. But what really pained me was the damage osteoporosis wrought on their wrinkled frame. Every step they make seemed very painful to me. Perhaps if they had access to better nutrition in their youth, things would have been vastly different. But hey, they were holding each other up, taking each step together, no matter the pain. I think next time my boyfriend tells me he adores and loves me, I should ask him if he’d look after me like that when I’m old and traces of my youthful beauty are long gone. Equally, I should want to do the same for him (as well).

Okay, that’s it. Mushfest over. I told you I can’t do sentimental the way it’s supposed to be done. But trust me on this one: I have a good heart.

And a rockin’ body with INSANE abs. You knew that was coming, didn’t you? Oh you know me all too well! Seriously, I do. And the only reason why I’m such a braggadocio when it comes to my finer attributes is because I worked freakin’ hard to get this body. Ask Shaun T. He knows. And now, you would know, too, with these photos.

Let's give that flab the one-two punch.

Side Suicide Drills for that nasty obliques!

Stay strong, keep the abs tight!

Push-up Balance.

Because I’m Fit and Flexible Like That


These days, I am — wait, am I allowed to be crass and wee bit disgusting here? *lip biting* — shitting bricks and boulders, figuratively that is, because of work deadlines and our upcoming MAJOR MAJOR event in Malaysia, 15 days from now to be exact. Though we have everything pretty much under control (do we, really? *big grin*), it’s still somewhat stressful dealing with little irritants that crop up at the last minute. But hey, we’re one tough cookie and it’ll take a lot more than the small things to get us completely off-track. Yes naman.

Oh so, anyway, given the crazy-ass work schedule that we keep these days (and I don’t see the trend easing up a bit until after June, maybe) I have become more obsessed with getting fit. Almost to the point of running myself down to the ground. I officially wrapped-up INSANITY last Friday buuuuut instead of taking a week off to recover from the madness, I sprinted my way to a podium finish at the Fuego Sunset Run the day after (Saturday last week) and immediately embarked on INSANITY Round 2 just this Monday – posting incredible results in my Fit Test!

Insanity Round 1, Day 58

                                        Round 1         Round 2

Date                               5-Mar               9-May

Move                            Fit Test 1          Fit Test 1

Switch Kicks              70                      136

Power Jacks              25                      60

Power Knees             80                      95

Power Jumps            10                      60

Globe Jumps                9                      13

Suicide Jumps          10                     20

Push-Up Jacks          15                     40

Low Plank Oblique  30                    74

To say that I am mighty pleased with the results of my workout is putting it mildly. I AM STOKED!  But now, I’m starting to get bored again so the offer to take basic diving lessons could not have come at a better time. Yes, my sweethearts, I AM GOING DIVING!  Never mind that I don’t know how to swim. Which, by the way, is giving me the chills but I’m sure I will be just fine. The diving instructor is there, as well as, a handful of other students. And if something does happen – knock on wood! – I’m sure one of them would jump right in and save me. Right? Please say yes. YES!

So, diving it is.

But, running is still my thing and thanks to Reebok and its all-out support to the Team, I am kept right on track with the sport. I have been logging PRs and even managed to snag a podium finish here and there and these little achievements admittedly do incredible things to my health and general well-being.

Here are two photos taken by Estan Cabigas at the Fuego Sunset Run. I just look totally legit as a runner, don’t I?

I Run, therefore, I'm A Runner. Teehee.

Reaching high but keeping feet planted firmly on the ground.

Yes, I run on swimsuit too.

Run like the wind...

Now that's a HAPPY RUN!

But this one takes the cake out of any other happy runs. Ang saya lang, oh!

Vignettes from (the) Holy Week.


At KM0 with Team U Runners.

I.  VISITA IGLESIA Run

I just had an incredibly good Holy Week. So good, in fact, I feel as though I’m still traipsing along the happy alley in my fuchsia pink flats. Growing up in our little hometown in Bicol, I have some vague recollection of how  we used to spend Holy Week there – usually with several trips to the parish church and endless stream of prayers. But it’s been nearly two decades since I left my hometown, so maybe things have changed a little, if not drastically. One thing I never got to do while still in Bicol is Visita Iglesia or church visits, which, apparently, is a Filipino Roman Catholic tradition (is it really exclusive to us Pinoys?) of visiting 14 churches in commemoration of the 14 stations of the cross. So when I saw in our running yahoogroup that some people are planning to do a Visita Iglesia run, I immediately signed up. You see, I have not really been making the trips to churches since I became a Christian sometime back.  I backslid a few times, I readily admit, but I always find my way back somehow.

In front of Manila Cathedral.

Malate Church.

Channeling my inner Kenyan by running Totoy's pace - for about 10ft, haha.

Mother or Perpetual Help Parish in Baclaran.

So anyway, we had set the run date for Maundy Thursday at KM0, fronting Luneta Park. But because I didn’t know how to make my way to Luneta, one of the runners picked me up. Thank you, JJ! Not to play damsel in distress or anything like that, but I am totally hopeless when it comes to directions! When we reached our meeting spot, the group was nearly complete. Apart from Totoy and Ronel, both of whom I would see in the few races I would join when not gallivanting elsewhere, the rest of the runners were strangers to me. But obviously, not anymore after the perfunctory introductions and running side by side with them for several hours. After snapping a few group photos, we slowly made our way to church no. 1, the majestic Manila Cathedral. From there, we went to San Agustin Church which is practically right next door to the cathedral, and on to 11 more churches before we capped our visita iglesia run at Santuario de San Antonio. We started at 6:30am and by the time we covered all 14 churches; distance totaled 30 kilometers according to Totoy’s garmin; and it was lunch time already and the sun’s rays were already a bit harsh on the skin. Too bad some of our runner friends did not finish the whole stretch with us, because when we ended, there were only five of us left – happily wolfing down unhealthy stuff at McDonalds! But hey, if you just ran 30kms under the heat of the sun, don’t you think you deserve that Oreo McFlurry? Thought so too.

Somewhere in EDSA.

Huli si Manong! Ang intense naman ng tingin sakin.:p

Don Bosco Parish.

I wore Bruno my ZigNano and once again, I was mightily pleased by his performance. Not even once in those 30kms we ran did I feel any pain or discomfort. Usually, even with my other running shoes the performance of which I can likewise swear by, I would already get blisters or feel as though my toes are being crushed. But Bruno cradled my feet, so I was nice and comfy all throughout.

Heat training for BDM102 next year?:)

Never sacrifice form according to Shaun T.:D

On Good Friday and Black Saturday, I pretty much kept to myself – eating very little and watching Season 2 of this new-ish series I’m completely wild about: Lie To Me. Tim Roth is such a character, don’t you think so? And that accent, my oh my.

***

Photowalling. After all, photos or it didn't happen, right?:)

II. KAOS the Musical

Then came Sunday and it was better than most of the good Sundays I can trace back to my youth! First, Ro and I attended the Easter Sunday service at The Fort and I could not have asked for a better way to celebrate Christ’s resurrection. Though it was still early by the time Church service ended, I decided to go straight to Newport City so I can have a leisurely lunch and get us tickets to the 3pm showing of KAOS. I used some of my ResortsWorld credits to purchase 3 tickets and it’s nice to finally be able to put to good use the points ResortsWorldManila awarded me when I placed second at The Grand Fiesta run sometime in October. One of those races where I majorly lucked out because the elite runners decided to sleep in.

KAOS is a musical extravaganza showcasing some fine points of Broadway and marrying that with what one usually sees in Las Vegas. And no, I’m not talking about exotic performers here. I meant, the extravagance! The glittery lights! The breathtaking daredevil stunts! The fancy costumes!

While waiting for Cris to arrive...

With Princess Flora. My face is swollen because I dared to watch THE CURE the night before and shed copious tears!

Eric cozying up to one of the desperate sisters.

With some members of Kaos cast.

We were very impressed with the production and while sitting on the plush and ultra-comfortable seats at the upper balcony of the 1,500-seat theater – which also boast of the largest LED wall ever build in the Philippines, as well as state-of-the art lights and sounds technology – we couldn’t help but wonder how much was spent in bringing KAOS here. But whatever that is, we can collectively say that the show was worth every bit of the one thousand ++ you pay at the ticket counter.

The girl who played the role of the heroine, Martha Joy, certainly has vocal prowess that on some scenes, her powerful voice would just drown out Gian Magdangal’s. Gian played the role of the Prince who was out to look for that ‘somebody to love’. Oh, incidentally, Martha Joy is half-Pinay and was the youngest to make it to Top 8 of Canadian Idol.

If you haven’t seen KAOS yet or are not planning to, then maybe these treats will make you reconsider:

  • Seasoned acrobats from China and the Power Duo, a world renowned act from Belarus test the limits of physical endurance with their riveting performances and complete muscle control.
  • 5 stunt motorcyclists from Spain defy gravity in the astounding Cycle of Life that later on SPLIT in the middle
  • Wheel of death from Columbia, where one of the guys suddenly decide to jumprope while balancing on the turning wheel!
  • Human Time Machine performers from South America showcase superb balance and synchronization
  • Hip Hop dance champions Philippine All Stars energize the show with their awesome moves
  • Versatile veteran performer Joel Trinidad plays the scheming adviser
  • Live music performed by the Manila Symphony Orchestra
  • Live animals namely Kaos, the white lion; Sito, the white tiger; and Betty, the yellow tiger along with Spanish master illusionist and trainer, Enrique Polo.
So what are you waiting for? Head down to Newport City and treat your family to KAOS! Trust me, it’s just the kind of chaos you will like.
Oh, but before I let you sweet munchkins off the hook, here are some more photos of our KAOS-tic Easter Sunday – which, by the way, ended somewhere in Baclaran. Teeehee.

Photo by Mark Montalban.

I'm too sexy...but only on days ending in Y.:p

I just love this photo by Mark!

Cris liked the menu book so much he was all smiles...until food arrived.

Waiting...waiting...waiting...Our orders took eternity and a day to arrive. And even then, they weren't anything to rave about. Epic fail.

Clearly, one of those wala lang moments.

At least si Eric, may ina-achieve dito sa photo.

One last shot before we go to our final stop.;)

***

Emperor Eric and the GAG-O cast are at it again!

It all started with this music video.

And then it became a gag show ushered in by a successful pilot run; followed by the second episode which was aired just seven days after.

Here’s the fun part. The day before Emperor Eric, Aldz, and I were to fly to Shanghai with Cris who has yet to grace the set with his presence, we showed up at the studio to shoot the exercise video, Galaw-Galaw. I had just arrived from Malaysia on that day and did what any professional youtube actor would do – dumped my luggage at home; grabbed my costume changes; and met up with the rest of the cast. Ganyan talaga pag pro! Good thing, what initially started as a no-budget production seems to have now come to a little bit of money. Why? Aba nung taping, may KFC bucket and soda na sa set! So kahit straight from the flight and no food in the stomach ang lola nyo, I made it through the very complicated exercise and dance moves – choreographed, of course, by the Emperor himself! So maybe one day Emperor Eric will just surprise us with our TFs and maybe a even a hefty bonus!  Oh how I love surprises! *ROTFL*

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you…GALAW-GALAW!

Weekend Chronicles Part II


Right. So where was I? A lot of things are happening in Vickyville, dahlinks. And I mean A LOT. As shared with you yesterday, I took home a medal and bag of weird assemblage of home cleaning stuff, body pain liniment, Circulan, and some gift checks from SM when I landed top spot at the BDO Race for Life held last Saturday at the Mall of Asia.

The following day, Sunday, I joined another race – the AACE’s The G.O.O.D Run, organised by the indefatigable Rio Dela Cruz, known to many as Coach Rio. Now this particular race was extra special for me not only because I finished 6th out of 741 runners *wooot* but because I managed to convince a very dear friend of mine, Noel, to run 3k. As most of you know, Noel has been trying on and off to kick his nicotine habit to the curb but so far, he’s been unsuccessful. He would often ask me how I pulled-off going cold turkey on (both) smoking and alcohol binging and I’d tell him running has helped greatly. More than that, running has also opened up for me a whole new dimension of health and hardcore fitness.

I remember the time he accompanied me to my very first race event, the 2009 SLIMMERUN, held at The Fort. He was there to lend moral support, as well as, take photos. And while everyone was running around, he would take long drags from the stick of Marlboro lights lodged between his lips.  It never occurred to him that very early morning in April that he will one day be joining the army of runners and find the experience quite to his liking.

And so it came to be that on the 3rd of April, Noel completed his first 3k run in a little over 21 minutes. I say, not a bad start for someone who’s been smoking for many years. And it seems he got infected by what people call runner’s high because he told me he spent the whole day being uppity-up, happy, and decidedly in anticipation of his next race event. I’m one very proud hot mama because of this!

 

Go Atche!

As for me, I couldn’t ask for a better way to spend last weekend than doing (a) back-to-back short-distance run and getting great results from it! Placing 6th out of 741 runners is pretty gratifying. Breaking down the results some more, I was first in the age category I belong to – F30 to 39. I mean I’d love to say I’m in my late 20’s but I’m not. This girl is turning 32 in a few months. Yes, I know, I age gracefully. *ROTFL*

See more of the race results here.

For photos, see below.

 

The G.O.O.D runners

I'm a fangirl like that.

REEBOK here, there, and everywhere!

Running with Bruno my Zig Nano

Let's take it down to the floor, shall we?

With my favorite runner friend Dennis the Running Pinoy

Vicky and Noel

Some like it hard, spiny, and always down on all fours.

Yes, the obligatory jump shot.

More running

Thank you REEBOK and Bruno for a great back-to-back running weekend! I am soooooo back, beeechusss!

Total Fitness: ULTRA WOMAN


Total Fitness Magazine January - February 2011 cover

‘How did you prepare for your first Ultra run?’ My friends asked one night when we saw each other at at a bloggers’ event sometime in October. It was exactly six days after I fought my way to a well-deserved podium finish in my maiden foray into the crazy world of UltraRunning (to the uninitiated, Ultra Running is going beyond the 42km marathon) and yet apart from the unsightly tan line – which, at that time, was already starting to peel making it even more unappealing but I was not minding it much because I must admit that weird-looking tan line has become a blockbuster hit of a conversation starter – I was feeling great! Not to say I didn’t suffer the brunt of Mt. Pinatubo’s unforgiving heat, rocks, sand, and what-not because damn it I DID, but I bounced back from the unpleasant aftermath quite fast. Yes, I’m some kind of an android like that.

And no, I did not train for it. Not even for a day. Because up until two days prior to the race when Dennis the Running Pinoy told me that he signed me up for the race and got me my own first aid kit from Watson’s, I was not sure I would even do it. I was in Malaysia at that time and would only return to Manila at 6PM the day before the actual race. I did NOT even get to enjoy the luxury of sleep because I had to gear up and pack my race essentials very quickly soon as I arrived home from the airport in order to meet up with fellow runners at midnight. The race venue is roughly three hours away from Manila and gun start is at 5AM. I only had time for a shower and a heartfelt prayer for safety and survival. Before braving the 1st PAU Mt. Pinatubo 50k Trail Challenge, my running resume consisted mainly of two 5k, four 10k, three 21k races, one full marathon, and sporadic solo runs here and there to try and keep my waistline looking steady and narrow at 23 inches. So you see, there isn’t  much there for anyone to be able to ascertain that I’d even make it. But I am, first and foremost, a lioness. If there’s one thing I have in abundance of (apart from the very obvious charms), that would be my nerves of steel. The minute I got Dennis’ email confirmation on my Mt. Pinatubo registration, I knew I had to finish it. The how’s, why’s, and what ifs were all a-jumble in my head at that point but all that didn’t matter. I was going to finish the race – strong.

Before gun start, my fellow racers and I were happily trading playful banters and taking photos. Every now and then we would confer with the support crew to reassure ourselves that they would be right where we need them to be stationed at any point during the gruelling 10-hour cut-off race.  Apart from very few people, I did not know anyone else there as I have not really been visible at any of the competitive races because of my work and travel.  Surprisingly, I was not at all nervous. Perhaps because at that point, I was still in the dark as to how the whole race will unfold. Had I even the slightest hint, I’m sure I would quake in my feet a little.

At exactly 5:00 am, Sir Jovie aka Bald Runner officially opened the race and the 60+ runners including myself confidently took to the half-paved road of Sta. Juliana in Capas, Tarlac at the base of Mt. Pinatubo. It was very dark and neither I nor Dennis had headlamps on so we had to rely on gut feel and chance to keep our feet off potholes which could lead us to unwanted injuries and what-not. The paved road did not even cover a kilometer in my estimation because even before my feet could get used to the uneven path, we were running on sand (far cry from the powder-soft sand of Boracay, mind you), crossing rivulets, and getting our feet very wet in the process.

**For full stories, grab a copy of Total Fitness January to February 2011 issue in bookstores and newsstands near you.