Category Archives: road running

Corregidor Marathon Training, 21 December 2014

It was not only after four years after that l had the chance to run the Corregidor lnternational Half  Marathon (CIHM) event since its inception in 2010.  Proud to be invited by a high performance Corregidor International Half Marathon team to test run the route a few years back. Note: Both the Corregidor Marathon (CM) and CIHM events, however, were rescheduled to January 11 and 12 respectively instead of December last year to give way to relief operations in areas affected by typhoon Yolanda.

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                                                             El Lobo supports Corregidor marathon training

Yes, running races back to back, a full marathon on a Saturday and a half marathon on a Sunday of the same weekend in January 2015, is slightly nutty and a new challenge which l haven’t tried before. To prepare myself on this, last Sunday, l joined the last batch of participants  who went to Corregidor Island to train with them and run portion of the race route. Training started with a three-part warm up exercises led by the CIHM founder, Edward Kho. For our main training, we did seven repeats up a hill, increasing effort each time until we were confident enough to continuously run the hill.  So glad to have come and learned new ways to tackle it. Training ended with cool-down stretch exercises.   This is it! No more backing out! 

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Corregidor Marathon and CIHM participants and soon-to-be-soon-to-be Corregidor brave warriors

Super duper thanks to El Lobo Energy Drink through Sir Willy and Sun Cruises for the warm support.   Also, kudos to one of the lady Philippine Masters athletes who assisted Edward and took beautiful photos during the training session.  It was also nice to meet newfound friends.  See you at the starting line!

Urbanathlete Diva 3/e

MH URB 2014, Nuvali, Santa Rosa, Laguna 

Yours truly has been an urbanathlete since. I started out with a 10K distance sometime in 2010.  [Related: Urbanathlete Diva 2010, please click here]  Well, I did miss joining this race for two years in a row as I was into ultra distance then and had a hiatus from racing.  In 2013, instead of signing up for the 21K race, I opted to do a 5K only courtesy of Men’s Health Philippines, and skipped the following obstacles: climbing a net over a bus, climbing a rope, monkey bars, and the dreaded eight-foot wall. [Related: Urbanathlete Diva, second edition or 2/e, please click here]

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Urbanathlete Vicente Blue about to tackle the monkey bars. (Photo by Leadpack)

I wasn’t able to attend the Men’s Health Urbanathlon (MH URB) media event two months ago being out of town at the time of its launch yet so lucky still to have been invited to be part of the MH URB race this year in Nuvali, Santa Rosa, Laguna.  Many thanks to fellow bloggers, Queenie of Lifeofque.com and Jinoe of Takbo.ph for the complimentary kit that they gave not only to me but also to a fellow ultramarathon runner, Norvs.

I think I’ve messed up in the last few weeks before the big race that it became a race week summed up as a stressful stretch days. I had to strike a balance between work life and social life. A bit sleep-deprived getting into the groove of consistent nighttime workouts (running and swimming), weekend racing, attending media events, and updating this blog. Not that I’m complaining on all of these.  In those moments where I am so challenged by these activities, I am thankful for the love,  opportunity, and support of my family and friends.  

Men's Health Urbanathlon 2014
Yours truly, Jinoe of Takbo.ph, and Norvs of Team Soleus at the activity area. Vibrant shirt colors make us look  so Christmassy. (Photo by Leadpack)

I found the route a new experience for a 21k for MH URB being used to running this event on the roads of Metro Manila. The first 15 kilometers included gradual uphills and the latter part, which to my surprise, included a route of two or three kilometers of the trail reminiscent of the last few kilometers of the Soleus Valley 30-kilometer Trail Challenge in June this year.  There was one obstacle to tackle before the turnaround point at approximately KM10 or 11.  Water and energy drink stations were set up in just the right areas  to keep us hydrated, and with very friendly and courteous staff.  Both the road and trail route marshals cheered on urbanathletes as they passed them on their way to the next obstacle challenge, and they are just as courteous as the water station staff.  Medic Rescue is on standby the day of the race.

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With Yael Yuzon, vocalist and guitarist of the band Sponge Cola, also a MH URB finisher. (Photo by Running Photographers for Leadpack)

It was also nice to see long-time friends Michelle and Craig Logan, and had the chance to pace with them albeit a short one before they ran past me.  Good to also see familiar faces among the gathering crowd at the finishline. Thank you Bave DC and fab Vicente Blue for the cheer as l crossed the finish line. Pretty much appreciated. Thanks also to Norvs for the support.  A shout-out to Running Photographers, especially,  to Reggie Cruz and  RJ Knight Runner for the nice photos.

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Urbanathlete Michelle Logan looking so fit and about to try the monkey bars. (Photo by Leadpack)

To sum it up, yeah, I enjoyed the MH URB so much! Out of nine obstacles, I only skipped the monkey bars. That I had to climb over the van with the net twice and the dreaded eight-foot wall, I successfully redeemed myself.   Super thanks to the attending marshals including Coach Joar who assisted me to complete the obstacle challenge.  

Congratulations to Men’s Health Philippines,  Doc Lyndon of Leadpack Race Organizer, their media partners, sponsors, and to all finishers and winners for a job well done.  By far the best Urbanathlon race l have had experienced! Looking forward to the next one!

Press Release: Filipinos Unite in Arms against Breast Cancer in AVON’s Pink WAR

Thousands Sound Battlecry against One of the Leading Causes of Death Among Women, Led by Ambassador Solenn Heussaff

The SM Mall of Asia Open Grounds bled pink as thousands of supporters joined global beauty brand AVON in all-out war against breast cancer in this year’s AVON  Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer (KGBC) Pink Walk and Run (WAR) events.

Marking the cause’s 12th year in the Philippines, the AVON Pink WAR against Breast Cancer renewed and strengthened AVON’s unwavering commitment to fight the disease, which remains the number one killer of women around the world. As the company for women, AVON is more determined than ever to raise awareness on how early detection and regular self-breast checks can help win the war against breast cancer.

The  war was waged via the walk and 5K and 10K run events, with families, friends, and people from of all ages joining AVON’s KGBC ambassador Solenn Heussaff in the battle.  Also on the battlefield were the company for women’s executives d associates led by AVON Philippines Acting General Manager Emie Nierves, Kapuso stars and advocates Kris Bernal and Rocco Nacino, AVON brand ambassadors Anne Curtis and Isabelle Daza, and celebrity supporters Erwan Heussaff and Rovilson Fernandez.

Prepping the crowd for battle was TV host and dancer Regine Tolentino, who led the pre-walk exercises.   She also taught the crowd the Dibdiban Dance, a catchy and easy-to-do dance that teaches women how to do self-breast exams.  Solenn Heussaff talked about the AVON  Check Yourself video, performed by American artist Paula Abdul, which  highlighted the importance of doing self-breast exams.

Uniting with AVON in combat are the Philippine Cancer Society, GMA Network, Inc., SM Supermalls, and Ford Philippines. Proceeds from the Pink WAR will go to the Philippine General Hospital Breast Care Center and selected provincial hospitals.

Filipinos may also continue contributing to the cause by purchasing its limited edition Skin-So-Soft Lotion (P300 each), proceeds from the sale of which will be earmarked towards the same beneficiaries.PhotoGrid_1413210791346

Nierves expressed her gratitude for the overwhelming support in AVON’s Pink WAR. “You have all made the best choice because your being here makes our stand against breast cancer stronger and more powerful.  We have to remember why we are all here today. We are  at war against a terrible disease.”

Men’s Health (MH) Urbanathlon, 16 Nov. 2014

Over 3,000  participants are expected to join this year’s MH Urbanathlon in any of the three race categories: 5K (P850), 10K (P900), and 21K (P950), which will be happening on November 16 in Santa Rosa, Nuvali, Laguna.  This event is a signature event of MH worldwide which combines endurance run, and strategically placed obstacles along the way. Participants have to run, climb, crawl, and jump through the barriers.   These barriers includes a tire field, the scaffold maze, a container van, the low crawl, monkey bars, the military up and under, the network, rope, and the 8-foot wall.

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Registration is ongoing until  November 9 at Planet Sports Bonifacio Global City, Planet Sports Trinoma, Gold’s Gym Galleria, Gold’s Gym Glorietta 3, and Gold’s Gym Katipunan. Online registration is ongoing until October 31 via Takbo.ph Urbanathlon. Participants of the 21K will get a labeled race shirt and a special prize.

Grab a copy of of the September 2014 issue of MH magazine where a 60-day training plan is outlined to help you race ready. For updates, log on to Facebook.com/menshealthphilippines.

The MH Urbanathlon is co-presented by Gatorade and Avida with major sponsors Asics, Bridgestone, Gold’s Gym, Emperador Light and minor sponsor Planet Sports.  Nuvali is the official venue while Takbo.ph is the event’s media partner.

ROAD X TRAIL Postponed

This is to inform everyone that the InMotion: ROAD X TRAIL event will be moved next year to give some people a chance to register for this exciting event. Those who aren’t available this December, especially, during the holiday break, will now have a chance to engage themselves into this race to a fit and healthy body!

All registrations will still be deemed valid. Below is the new schedule:
Cycling
From December 11, 2010 to February 13, 2011, Sunday morning
Running
From December 18, 2010 to January 15, 2011, Saturday afternoon
Duathlon
From December 19, 2010 to January 16, 2011, Sunday morning

You may [also] check Finishline for more info of the new dates. [The organizer] sincerely apologize for this postponed event.

RUNNING DIVAs and the Running Skirt

It’s like a popular title of a book, “East Meets West.” Thanks to the power of technology we call Internet. It connects people from other parts of the world. It leads to people with common passion.

I’ve met other running divas, two of them, albeit virtually.

(Left photo: The Running Diva from Canada)

I can still remember the day when Pojie aka Forefoot Runner told me at Takbo.ph’s shout box that there’s another Running Diva.

If I remember right, I think I told him, “Yes, there are so many running divas out there.” When he gave me the link, betcha by golly wow, I was astonished by what this runner has achieved. She’s a pro! A word-class athlete! To top it off, she’s an opera singer.

This blog has a widget that shows links to followers. The first ever follower of this blog was Ms. Nora aka Life Begins at 50. “Thank you, Ms. Nora.But when I saw more and more followers, oh well, I decided to add it as one of the features of this blog.

(Right photo: Running Diva Mom from the US)

One day, I was surprised to see a follower whose moniker is Running Diva Mom. Wow! A diva mom. She can run fast. She has over three hundred followers. Awesome, right?! Her fave running gears are Bondi Bands and running skirts. In this photo, she’s wearing the animal print running skirt.

Running is my me time and it makes me a better mommy,” her blog says.

Music. Skirt. Training. Races. Blog. Personal Best. Diva. Running. These are some of the things that connect us as a running diva. I’m sure there are still other running divas out there. Imagine seeing divas on the run and in skirts…

Talking of running skirt, it’s so timely that I came across with an article about women who run in skirts. According to Runner’s World (RW), some people were thrilled about the idea but others think that women who wear running skirts are considered not-so-serious-athletes. Hhmm.

Anyhow, the pros and cons are discussed so well. But what sparked my interest was the author’s conclusion about the issue. And, I quote RW’s author, Kristin Armstrong:

I have to admit that I still love my shorts and my half-tights. But one of the best things about being a woman today is that we have so many options. Whether we are in the boardroom, on the home front, or on the starting line, we can bring it on like a man, but it doesn’t mean we have to look like one.”

Survey says

Have you ever run in a running skirt?

50% *No, and I never will
25% No, but I’d consider it
13% Yes, on occasion
11% Yes, I wear them all the time
1% Yes, but I won’t wear one again

*Poll not restricted to women; results may be skewed. Based on 1,492 votes at runnersworld.com. (Source: The Rise of Skirt Culture, by Kristin Armstrong, RW, published 28 Aug. 2008)

Comments about running skirts

22% Say skirts feel much better than shorts
18% Think women shouldn’t be so focused on their looks
17% Will never go back to running shorts
15% Love how they look in a skirt
15% Believe real runners don’t wear skirts
13% Wear skirts because they’re “thighly blessed
(Source: Running Commentary, RW, October 2008)

Is Singing Like Running?

Singing the national anthem at the recently held Takbo.ph Runfest Fun Run last Sunday was no easy task, especially, if one has to sing it a cappella. I tell you why. (Photo courtesy of Takbo.ph)

I only learned about it just two days before the event.

The first thing that I did was get in touch with previous musical maestros for tips.

You see, aside from the usual things that a performer had to contend with, like nervousness, butterflies in the stomach, thoughts on forgetting the lyrics, missing a note, not hitting the right pitch, and the list goes on and on, one had to consider also the proper way of singing the anthem as prescribed by the National Historical Institute.

However, with practice, these dilemmas are either minimized or totally eliminated.

Anyway, two out of three of the maestros were not available. I took the last resort, Youtube.

On Saturday, even while doing the usual house chores, I sang the anthem from time to time. I eventually stopped when I heard my voice started to sound croaky.

The dreaded day finally came. While I was on my way to the venue, I hummed and did the “kika, kika” “azo” “mona” vocalization. I did this while inside the taxi. It was a good thing that the driver allowed me to and even shared his advice on how to sing properly. O, yeah!

With few minutes to go before the moment, I saw Craig of Team Logan walking back and forth near the stage. I asked him what was bothering him. He told me that he gets nervous every time he speaks before a crowd.

Oh, la la! I felt relieved to discover that I was not alone in this.

So when Craig learned that I was nervous, too, he suddenly put his arm on my shoulder and prayed for me. I didn’t know how to explain it but somehow it helped appease my nervousness and somehow I felt alright afterwards.

As far as singing is concerned, how one can be so lucky?

Well, I consider myself as such.

Two years ago, I had a short stint performing with a choral group and working with one of the country’s best musical directors and composers. From him, I learned new stuff such as how to properly project when performing, the dynamics of voice and choral singing, and the HOW TOs of reading musical notes.

The climax of this experience was when our group performed with other well known choirs in the metro during the Madz* World Music Festival held at Philamlife Theater and when we did a concert.

In running, warm up exercises and stretching are equally important prior to a race.

Same goes with singing. Vocalization is like doing warm up exercises. Without this, the voice will just not come out. Singing early in the morning and hitting a high note would be difficult.

In running, one needs to train to be more strong. In singing, one needs to train by practicing regularly.

In my experience, while I was still a member of the choir, I had to practice five times a week. And prior to a big concert, I had to learn more than sixteen songs and memorize choreography at the same time.

This simply means that even if running and singing are two different disciplines, there is at least some commonalities. One of which is that regular practice or training helps.

There are times when one doesn’t have any good training at all prior to a race. But somehow ends running it the best way he can. Same goes with singing. Sometimes one is asked to sing and belt it out the best way he can.

So, is singing like running after all?

*Madz a nickname given to Philippine Madrigal Singers

Newbie 101: Too Much, Too Soon

It feels good to finish a 3K. Or may be a 5K. How much more if it’s a 10K. Or, other distances. I know. I’ve been there. I was once a newbie, too. So I know how it feels. What I’ve achieved didn’t happen overnight. It took me quite sometime to do a 21K even after finishing quite a number of 10Ks. It suffices to say that I was conservative to moving up from one level to another for health reasons.

Over time, you’ll know it once you’re ready. One day you’ll just find yourself signing up for a 15K. A 16K. A 21K. More 21Ks. A full marathon or may be a multisport. Wow! Amazing, right?

Gunning for a faster time can be addictive. We do have that streak of competitiveness in us. That’s why some go fast and take a shortcut. For what? Bragging rights. Being proud. Feeling good. Pressure from friends. Hello?!

And, ended up sidelined for days, weeks or months due to an injury.

Running a 21K then was quite daunting. There were not too many 21K races back then. In fact, the longest was either a ten-miler (16K) by Yakult or the 25K by New Balance. Lately, I’ve noticed that the number of runners has grown considerably. Mostly are into 5Ks and 10Ks. Or, even 21Ks. At the recently staged Milo Marathon there was also a good showing of 42K runners. This is good news.

OK, going back to running short distances like 3K, 5K, etc. Many runners, especially, those who are new to running commit one of the running mistakes, doing too much, too soon. It means doing too much mileage so soon thinking that more mileage is better. A mistake buddy. I wouldn’t be surprised if you suddenly experience pains or injuries like runner’s knee, illiotibial band syndrome commonly known to most runners as ITB, and shin splint.

If you love running, then learn to listen to your body. Be conservative with your mileage. Increase of weekly mileage shouldn’t be more than 10%. You need to remember that every runner is different. Some are really fast. Some are slow but eventually improve in due time with proper training.

Training means following a good program which includes base mileage, speed work, hill training, long slow distance or commonly known as long run, drills, core exercises, and many more. Basically, it’s also good if you take time out to read literature about running. Attend running clinics. Be a member of a running club. Or, better yet, hire a running coach.

Do you wonder why elite runners run so fast? It all boils down to religiously following a training program, being disciplined, and putting one’s heart into the sport.

It’s important to think of a goal. Goals may change. When you’re done with your first, think of another one. And the process goes on and on. In this way, you’ll be motivated and you learn to love running more. But there are limitations. Employ a day to rest within your weekly training program. If you know how to break in your body, then learn also to rest. It is something that most runners forget.

I chanced upon a book on running which says, “it takes ten years for one to become good in running.”

The road is long. Just enjoy the run and have fun.

So, why hurry?

RUN TO READ Fun Run, August 15

Finally! Here’s one run I consider close to my heart (and in what I do). I’ll tell you why.

Last Friday, July 9, I attended the launching of the RUN TO READ, a fundraising activity which aims to build libraries for school children. It is purely a personal advocacy, fueled and driven all by heart, and is not backed by major corporate sponsor.

The proponent of this fundraising run is currently out of the country so she wasn’t around for its launch but she made her presence known through a video presentation where she shared to the group her love for reading. Work temporarily put her physical activities on hold, being an athlete in her student days, but is now on the road to getting back in shape through running.

She considered herself fortunate to be introduced to reading books at an early age, a privilege not all many children in the country could have. This is the main reason why she wanted to have a fun run that will help build libraries so that these children would have access to books and libraries.

Before I’ll proceed to the meat of this fun run, allow me to share with you a quick glance of the current status of Philippine public libraries.

Background

I came across with an online resource which says, “In an article published in the Feb. 21, 2010 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, the Dioso Library’s Founder & Executive Director wrote the Inquirer a letter, entitled, “Recipe to make our kids regular readers: More reading programs plus more public libraries.”

In the letter, it pointed out two important issues: promoting reading programs that will make children readers for life and access to books and reading materials. Reading programs like read-a-longs can help spark a child’s interest in books and reading.

However, the main problem lies not with the programs but with the availability of libraries in the country. Our country doesn’t have enough public libraries to meet the need of our fast growing population. This problem is further aggravated by the fact that quite a significant number of existing public libraries have insufficient personnel and funds, inadequately equipped, and terribly not in good physical condition.

There are currently 688 public libraries in the country, of all types: 4 congressional, 52 provincial, 97 city, and 535 municipal. (Source: National Library)

Furthermore, Republic Act 7743, enacted June 17, 1994, mandates the creation and operation of a public library in every congressional district, city and municipality throughout the country.

With RA 7743 as basis, there should have been a total of 1,851 libraries, one for each of the country’s 220 congressional districts, 136 cities, and 1,495 municipalities.

This affects some 40% of the population or nearly 40 million Filipinos as it unacceptably deprives our children of a resource that could spell a difference for their future.

This is where the National Bookstore’s Buklat Aklat program comes in. With its RUN TO READ fun run, created to raise funds to build Leave-Behind public libraries, not only for rural and urban areas but also for the disadvantaged sector of the society as well.

National Bookstore, being the largest books and supplies store, has provided the consumers affordable educational commodities. One of its core values is to help disadvantaged children. Thus, in 2004 National Book Store Foundation, Inc. (NBSFI) was established to implement NBS’ efforts to uplift the lives of the disadvantaged children through education empowerment.

NBSFI’s vision is to see a future where all children are educated and are in schools and its mission is to provide every child access to quality education.

Guided by this vision and mission, NBSFI has implemented the Buklat Aklat Mobile Library, a project that introduces a wide range of outstanding children’s literature, both fiction and non-fiction, to students from grades one to six.


Its collection consists of 500 volumes of carefully chosen children’s books, which covers subjects in science, literature, and Philippine culture and values suited to children with ages ranging from three to twelve years old. Seventy percent of the collections are bilingual and published in the Philippines.

The mobile library visits public elementary schools and daycare centers all over the Philippines.

Reading and story telling sessions, book talks, workshops for teachers and parents, employee involvement, and stakeholders’ participation are some of the foundation’s activities.

Another project of NBSFI is the Buklat Aklat Leave Behind Library, an offshoot of the mobile library project consisting of similar collection but has more reading materials. Unlike the mobile library, the Buklat Aklat Leave Behind Library is donated to a chosen institution so that children can have access to good quality reading materials.

On top of this, NBSFI intensified its fundraising efforts through different projects like the NBSFI Coin Bank, Handog Ko, Aklat Mo also known as Project Aklat, Project Aral, field trips, donations of school supplies, textbooks, and references, and Balik Paaralan Project among others.

If you wish to take part in any of the efforts towards the improvement of education, please do not hesitate to contact NBSFI at (632) 631.8061 to 66 or (632) 634.0876 or email at nbsfi@nationalbookstore.com.ph.

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RUN TO READ Fun Run Details

RUN TO READ Fun Run
15 August 15 2010
Bonifacio Global City
500-meter dash for kids with their Moms or Dads, 3KM, 5KM, 10KM, 15KM categories

Run to Read Running Clinic

An informative Sports Running Clinic for new runners will be held on July 28th on the basics of running, healthy living and the great cause behind the RUN TO READ Fun Run.

Singlet and Bib Number Colors

Bib numbers are color-coded. For the singlet, however, you can choose from any of the available colors below. Cool, isn’t it?


Registration Centers

Secondwind Store QC
88 Maginhawa Street
Teachers Village
Diliman Quezon City

Secondwind Store Ortigas
Ortigas Home Depot
1 Dona Julia Vargas Avenue
Ortigas, Mandaluyong City

All Terra Cyclery
Club 650
Libis, Quezon City

BrandWorX, Inc Head Office
Penthouse Eurovilla 2 Building
V.A. Rufino Street, Makati City

Runnr Store
B3, Bonifacio High Street
Taguig City

Reebok Branches at Festival Supermall, SM Megamall, and TriNoma

Royal Sporting House Branches at AliMall, Glorietta 4, and Robinson’s Place Ermita

Registration may also be done online through runnersrunner.com. Early registrants registering from July 1-15, get a Php 50.00 off the registration fee.

Registration for RUN TO READ Fun Run is from July 1 to August 8.

Fees to participate in the run are from P350 to P500 depending on the distance.

Prizes like Sony Ericsson phones, duffle bags, $250 electronic credit voucher, Monterey products like watches, gift certificates, umbrellas, reusable bags, ballpens as well as T-shirts will be raffled.

RUN TO READ is an effort in participation with National Bookstore, Bonifacio Global City, The Philippine Star, Sony Ericsson, MomsToday, Health Today, Pocari Sweat, Toby’s Sports, Delta Airlines, Tapa King, Yellow Cab, Reebok, and Drypers Wee Wee DRY diapers.

Be up to date with RUN TO READ, visit run4change/runtoread and Facebook/runtoread. For inquiries, email read@run4change.com.


SEE YOU AT THE STARTING LINE!