Saturday, November 3, 2012

21K at Run United Philippine Marathon 2012

My wife and I became part of history last weekend (October 28) by joining the first Run United Philippine Marathon! OK, maybe just partly because we only did 21K. :)

The 21K route was the same one as Run United 2 which we had also completed last June. The experience was practically the same for us, although I did improve by almost 3 minutes at 2:49. [My wife? She slashed more than 20 minutes from her Run United 2 finish with a time of 2:54 (previously 3:17).]

One thing I'd like to highlight was that near the finish line, Coach Rio himself was manning the traffic. He was also shouting, "Less than a kilometer! Bawal na maglakad!" giving the exhausted runners a well-needed motivation and sudden burst of energy.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

One Small Step for Man : Organizing the HP Fun Run 2012

"That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind."
- Neil Armstrong, 1930-2012

August 26, 2012, McKinley Hill. There's always a first time. Human history is marked by many such firsts like the first steam engine, HP's first oscillator, or man's first step on the moon.

This morning marked a new milestone for me because it was my first time to have a major role in organizing a race. While the preparations have been going on for months, today was our D-Day - the moment we finally saw the realization of our vision. And if it had crossed my mind even for a second that "seeing it happen" meant watching on the sidelines, I still would've had been infinitely wrong.

We were already at The Venice Piazza at 2AM to get ready for our big day, but I had been awake since 7 PM of Saturday because of a mixture of emotions that range from serene hopefulness to anxiety to turmoil. Our Race Director Eugene Yasay had asked me to co-head Programs and Safety and I made sure I was at the site very early to secure the items that we had planned for, particularly for Safety.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Fila Schools Run 2012 - Early Runs 10K

Last Saturday, July 7, my wife and I ran 10K in the Fila Schools Run. Being a teacher, I liked that the proceeds of the run would be used for the rebuilding of school rooms in Iligan that was largely devastated by a recent typhoon.

It was nice of Tey's company to support this cause by giving its employees an incentive of 50% registration discount! The core team of their company org "Sykes Runners" did a good job in promoting this event within their organization. It not only helped build rooms but also advocated wellness among its employees.

Sykes Runners Core Team
Sleeves for Runners

Fila Run Review

I'm not very particular with goodie bags or the program at the run village of any race. After all, it is a run, not a concert. However, if I were to rate the safety precautions of the run, I'd probably give it a pasang-awa grade.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Unilab Run United 2 2012 : Back on the Road!

Cramps with less than a kilometer to go.

It's the first time for me to experience severe cramping during a race. I looked at my watch to see 2:48. It still was not twitterably fast but nonetheless it's a new PR for me in the making. If I could only get myself to run.

I've had never felt like not being able to physically continue before but the pain was unbearable. It probably showed on my face, if not my limp, because a couple of friendly runners/strangers even stopped for me and advised me to stretch for a while. "Lapit na yan, pre." and "You can do it." were some of the encouraging words tossed at me. One even joked, "5 kilometers na lang" and let out a friendly chuckle.

I gave in and stretched my aching left quadriceps, trying to summon all the energy I had left. As I was squeezing and talking to my tight muscles, the previous 5 hours of my Sunday morning flashed before my eyes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Places to Visit in Baguio

June 12, 2012. My wife and I spent the last weekend in the cold city of Baguio. While the occasional rain added even more to the icy feel, it was indeed a very warm welcome for us!

Believe it or not, it was Tey's first time in the city of Pines and so everything was new for her - from the cold breeze that hit her upon stepping out of the bus to the pervading smell of horse dung that filled our lungs when we ran uphill to Wright Park.

To be honest even for me everything felt new. The awesome places we visited were by themselves enchanting, but my joy was compounded infinitely because I spent every second of the vacation with my beautiful wife.

Let me share with you some of the places we visited in Baguio. If you're a first timer, I recommend that you give these places a shot so that you get an authentic I-was-from-Baguio experience. If you're a veteran, you can look at these places from a different lens, perhaps from the perspective of enjoying it with a loved one.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Race Kit Claimed! Run United 2 Race Expo

I feel the excitement all over again now that I finally have my newest race kit! Run United 2 - Are you ready for me? :D

I thought the the race kit claiming area was well organized. Although it might be too early to tell because it is only the first day after all, it appears they have sufficient counters to serve the running public. :P

The 21K race kit as promised included a belt bag which I'm sure many will want to use on race day. I myself am considering it because the start point and end point are different. [See the logic?]

You will see the race expo easily because it is the corner of 26th and 9th (and because you were most probably given a map when you registered). They had not finished setting up yet when I claimed my kit but I bet it will be swarming tomorrow with various running showcases and enthusiasts, so you better be there! :D

Anyway, it feels so great to be back! Aside from its being my come-back race, it is also my wife's first run as Mrs. Hugo! Oh, the goosebumps I had when the assistant handed me Tey's envelope labeled [Her Name] Hugo.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Race Shopping 2012

Now that I'm back on the road, I'm also back on one of my favorite pastimes -- shopping for races!!!

And where else to look but in! :P

If you want to see me on the road for some reason :P, here's a list of the races I plan to join this year and why:

June 17 - Unilab Run United 2 2012 RU2 21K (SM MOA) - For the 3rd straight year, I am joining the Unilab Run 2. I guess I'm just a big fan of Unilab (2). :P

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Back on My Feet - Run United 2 - 21K

My first registered race after my wedding is a 21K!

A few days after our wedding, my wife and I registered for Run United 2.

Although frankly the registration assistant at Toby's MOA was not very nice, it felt so good to be back that I shrugged it off immediately and started getting ready for my come-back race!

EARL: Very happy to be back | TEY: Happy as well, but a bit annoyed, when she had almost been registered for 10K.

My last race had been the Nike Run on October 15, a day before I proposed marriage to my then-girlfriend, now-wife Tey. :D

But anyway, here I am again! After a long "downtime", I'm nervous about this decision to go 21K. It sure feels like my first time again. Maybe I'll try the training I did for my first 21K.

I'll see you guys on the road again! But where's my watch?!

My Race Results in 2011

Here's a summary of my race results for 2011.

PSE Bull Run 16k - 2:12:44
Condura Run 21k - 3:08:31
Unilab Run United 1 10K- 1:10:43
Hyundai Run 10K - 1:12:ss
Takbo.PH Night Fest 10K - 1:15:ss
Goldilocks Fun Run 21K - 2:52:08
Takbo.PH Run Fest 16K - 2:45:30 (lost info)
Unilab Run United 2 3K - 22:30:ss (lost info)
Nike Run Manila 10K - 

I was slower and my mileage was lower in 2011 as compared to my 2010 performance. Hopefully 2012 will be better. :D

Monday, May 21, 2012

My Wedding Experience - A Message of Thanks

The Lord has been truly amazing to me this year in many inexplicable ways and I am just thankful that He even blessed me with a wonderful wedding! As clichĂ© as it may sound, the words I know are not enough to describe how grateful I am right now. The ceremony has been fun, and now I'm praying that the marriage will even be more fantastic!

I thank my wife Tey for standing, sitting, running, other-verb-ing, with me all throughout our six years (plus almost 7 months of preparations) together. My eyes still sparkle when I call her my "wife". Finally.

I intend to extend my gratitude to everyone who helped out in making our momentous dream day come true. I'm truly sorry if I miss to single out anyone but I hope you would understand that I'm still walking on air, awestruck by God's blessing.

It is easier for me to list down the important people without regard to form and parallelism. :) Please forgive me if I don't dot the i's and cross the t's. It would look something like this: dot the |'s and cross the |'s.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

My Final Blog

This is my short final blog -- but not, like, ever. Silly you. :D

At least it's my last as Mr. Civil Status: Single.

In a few hours, I will be officially married to the woman of my dreams!

You know it has been said that if you want your dreams to come true, you should first wake up.

But in order to wake up, you must first sleep. :P So I think that's what I should do soon. :D

Good night! And goodbye to being single!


Before I go to sleep, allow me to sing this jingle:

♪♬  I'm getting married, getting married. Oh boy what a day it's gonna be! ♫♩♯

Oops, sorry I was a bit sharp there. :D

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Unleash the Animal in You : Hunger Games and Leopard Prints

A couple of weeks back, my fiancée Tey and I (and my ever-chaperoning brother) watched Hunger Games. For that occasion Tey had chosen to overload on animal prints, as if she herself would be camouflaging too in the forest of the Games.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Eugene's Road to the 2012 BDM 102

In a couple of days, my good friend Eugene Yasay will run his first Ultramarathon. It's not 43, 44, or 50. No sir. Not even 80 km.

He will be out there this weekend to conquer the BDM 102 KM!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

January 2012 : Slowly but Surely

Back to basics.

This what I told myself at the start of the year. I was careless in my 2011 runs. I was so eager to increase my mileage and my speed - which is not bad in itself - but I wasn't training properly like I used to in 2010.

When I was just starting, I liked doing different kinds of training routines, like interval training, hill sprints, some sort of pyramid interval, etc. I even have training solely for my breathing.Then later on I guess I got lazy on doing these rudiments, you know, and I just ran, ran, and ran without regard to form. Some races, I did not even warm-up anymore - so focused on getting that new PR but missing on the important foundations of running.

Anyway, this year, I'm starting slowly again but I'm learning to appreciate little improvements. I get ecstatic even on mere seconds of improvement on a lap, for example. :)

I can relate this nugget of wisdom that was shared to us by one of the leads in the company I'm working at:
Focus on your job - not on your career.
I guess I agree with this statement, basing on the context. I believe that long-term career development is important, mind you, but if you focused too much on where you want to be 10 years from now for example, you missed the important tasks that you need to do right here, right now - and these are the tasks that determine your Career (t0+10), if you know what on earth I meant with that.

In running, focusing on your target is important - like say a new PR. But that new PR will not be yours just by running from Start to Finish (although that's part of it, of course). I have started and finished a lot of races, but many of these were started and finished lousily.

Preparation is equally important. Proper execution of your training, the form, is just as crucial. Nutrition, hydration, rest - these are factors as well. There's more to running a race than just legs and loot bags. And that's why I love running.

Finishing a race is one of the most spine-tingling accomplishments one can have (especially with a new PR obviously). However, I daresay that the journey to get to that finish line is just as marvelous!

Enjoy every moment of it.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Goal! Discovering My Pace in 2012

It's that time of the year again when many people start setting targets for their next 12 months. I find it amazing how the coming of a new year - that tiny change in the calendar that results to a number of date typo errors - can kindle feelings of renewal or rebirth, just as a little match stick can ignite fireworks that signal the beginning of the festivities with a BANG!

I thank God for my 2011 and the important lessons I learned from that year. This year, if I'll do something different, it would be to sharpen the proverbial saw. Take my time. Reflect. Find my pace. Then reach my goal!

It is very critical for a runner to know his pace, not exclusively, but especially for long-distance races.

  • You go out too slow >> you get left behind, you bore yourself senseless, you regret not pushing a little bit more.
  • You start out too fast >> you burn out, you faint, you finish lazily (if you finish at all).

These, I must admit, have happened to me more than they should have. Many times I tend to have "Low EQ" in running. When I feel I have energy, I run so hard I have tears in my eyes, but then I get cramps and I have to walk-slow run the rest of the distance (and I am only 1/3 of the way through).

It is important to know what pace you can keep : some runners like maintaining it at constant high-speed (between 4 to 5 min/km, this is high for me), some like it dynamic like run-walk. Whatever your case, you should determine that during training.

I'm slowly building up on my mileage and pace again this year. I figured I could do at least 10K per week, so maybe I'll target 520K for the year. :D It's not as big time as I hoped 2 years ago it would be, but I need to learn to adapt to my current situation (e.g. being ~25 lbs heavier. Why oh why?).

I'm aiming to discover and maintain my pace not only in running but also in other aspects of my well-being. In my career, for example. Am I moving too slowly and missing good opportunities? Or am I going so fast that I stumble on the littlest things and fall hard? How about my relationships? My growth?

Anything. I pray that I'm given an enlightenment on what my pace should be in my life. Fast or slow, it doesn't matter. I'm determined to finish this year with my hands up in the air and a smile across my face.


Let me share with you some of goals for this 2011...I mean 2012:
  1. Get married to the girl of my dreams, obviously. :))
  2. Read 32 books
  3. Run 520 km (total distance, including training and registered races)
  4. Complete at least one 10K and one 21K (registered)
  5. Learn one new classical piano piece
  6. Lose 10 lbs :)) [current weight: 170 freaking lbs]
This is a declaration. A challenge to myself. Some sort of accountability to you, dear reader. If the Lord wills it, let's all see by the end of the year how well I did on these goals.

Quotable quote of the day: "Run with your friends and pace your peers!" - Earl Royce