Monday, September 13, 2010

Sneaking a Post on the Blog

Okay! Okay! Okay! -- I admit -- I'm delinquent with my Blog. I guess it's true what my other runner-blogger friends tell me, it's getting harder and harder to write about my running journey. More so with the fact that I'm purposely lessening my participation in races -- not because I don't want to run or join anymore. I don't join as many races now because I'm concentrating on my training!! Especially since November is just around the corner -- November 7 specifically!! That's when I'll attempt my first ever 42K full marathon at the Big Apple -- yep, it's the New York Marathon!

Over the last few months, I've been so frustrated because of a recurring knee ailment. I would run -- and everything would seem to go right -- but the next day or 2 days later, I would have this agonizing pain in my left knee. It came to a point where I was contemplating on not joining the race. In some consultations with doctors, we tried to pin down my recovery process. I tried a number of stretchings and post-run recovery strategies but it still didn't help. It was only later when we started questioning my icing methods that we determined the cause of the ailment -- I was over-icing my knee!!

I bought these Pro-Tec Hot/Cold Theraphy Wraps that allow me to just wrap the ice gels around my knee and secure them with velco straps, and they really are godsend as they keep the packs in place while I go on with my normal activities. Unfortunately, they became too comfy that I keep them on for up to an hour!! And that's not good!! I should be icing the affected area no longer than 15-20 minutes at a time, with a 15-20 minute rest period before re-applying. By keeping the ice pack on up to an hour, I'm actually injuring the affected area more!!!

Since discovering this piece of information, I've been regulating the icing to 15-20 minutes and miraculously, the pain in my knee disappeared!! It's been frustrating that not knowing this small piece of information has affected my ability to train for over 4 months!! I could have ran my first marathon in July as originally scheduled!!! Instead, I'm coping to catch up with my training plan.

And that leads me to what's keeping me busy the last few months -- honest-to-goodness training, piling on the kilometers, week-in and week-out. This month is crucial, I need to make sure I'm able to handle running over 30Kms during my long runs. So far so good and I do hope to go beyond 21Kms by next weekend.

Wish me luck!!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

2010 SF Marathon -- Other Finishers

One of the great benefits of blogging is the meeting of new friends and running enthusiasts through this virtual world. After posting my congratulations to my friend Dante on his completion of the 2010 San Francisco Marathon, other finishers came out of the woodwork -- all whom I've not met before.

The following is the list of 2010 SF Marathon finishers from the Philippines that I'm now privileged to know:

The Scientist Runner (
Arthur Laforteza (
Rafael Tomacruz
Art Laforteza
Dante Briones

Congratulations to everyone for completing a challenging but beautiful race!!! I'm envious of your feat and I hope to do the same one of these days!! Mabuhay!!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dante Briones -- SF Marathon Finisher

I would like to congratulate my good friend Dante Briones, President of Bayantrade, for his latest accomplishment -- participating and finishing in the San Francisco Marathon!!! The SF Marathon is one of my dream races because you get a chance to run across the fabled Golden Gate Bridge. Two other friends of mine, Dave de Leon and Jorge Buenaventura, accomplished the same feat last year!! This is definitely one of those races I'll try to join soon, maybe next year. As for now, my congratulations again to Dante!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

One Run, One Family, One La Salle 2 (OROFOLS 2) Race Results

We are pleased to announce that race results have already been posted onto the DLSAA web site. Please go to and click on the OROFOLS 2 Race Results Banner.

Many thanks to all those who participated and supported the event. An1mo to all of you!!!

We would also like to express our gratitude to all the non-Lasallian runners who participated in the event and express our apologies for missing out on acknowledging you during the festivities. We assure you this will be corrected in future events. Our humble thanks for your generous donation to the One Million Trees program and to helping our environment with your participation!!! Mabuhay kayong lahat!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

One Run, One Family, One La Salle 2 (OROFOLS 2) Race Packet Distribution Info

Dear Friends in Running,

By now, many of you are already voicing your disappointments over the delay in the delivery of the race packets and singlets for the La Salle (OROFOLS2) run on Sunday. Humbly, we apologize for this and pray for your continued patience.

We have tried to organize this event to the best of our abilities, but as in the best laid plans, Murphy seems to always be lurking around the corner.
Admittedly, we had some delays in the securing of sponsorships for the event. We are very fortunate that Reebok has gladly stepped in to help with the supply of the singlets.

Unfortunately, the schedule for the production of the singlets was very tight and couple this with the arrival of typhoon Basyang and the power outages, the supplier of the singlets could not deliver the items at the right time.

We are now in the process of organizing redemption booths on Sunday to help with the singlet distribution. We might be able to start distribution of race packets with singlets Saturday evening at both the DLSAA office at DLSU, Manila and ROX, however, some of the race packs might be released without the singlets. As such, we ask you to run with the race bibs and retrieve your singlets after the race. While we would have liked to see a sea of Green and White on race day, this might not be possible given the supply situation.

We again humbly ask for your indulgence and patience. We will endeavor to give you a fantastic race-day experience. Hopefully, this singlet hiccup does not affect your overall run experience.

Have a great race on Sunday and I’m sure the wait for the Reebok OROFOLS2 Singlet will not be in vain.

Thank you and Animo to all of you!!

Live Jesus in Our Hearts!!!

OROFOLS2 Chairman

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Quick Baguio Trip and a 4:30am Run at UP

Over the weekend, I had to do a quick trip to our City of Pines, Baguio. I was hoping I could do a run there but I felt I needed to rest my knee a bit more given the hilly route I would have taken in Camp John Hay and around the Baguio Country Club area. It would have been a great workout but I wanted to play it safe given my sore knee.

So, I guess you're wondering why I'm inserting Baguio into this post -- I discovered a new route that allowed me to reach Baguio in around 4 and 1/2 hours and I just wanted to share this!! Those who've traveled to Baguio recently have already discovered the benefits of the SCTEX -- Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway. Admittedly, I'm grateful for Pres. GMA in completing this much-anticipated tollway which dramatically cuts travel time between Pampanga and Tarlac.

I'm sure, though, that most travelers would have swung back into Tarlac City from the SCTEX exit and resume the trip to Baguio via the old MacArthur Highway.

This time, I decided to be adventurous and instead of turning left towards Tarlac City, I turned right towards Victoria. I was a bit worried about getting lost but there were adequate road signs most of the way -- especially those of Directory Philippines Corp. (Directory Yellow Pages) and Jollibee.

This route took me all the towards Guimba, Nueva Ecija. I made a wrong turn somewhere near Guimba and instead of turning left towards Rosales, Pangasinan, I did end up in Guimba. Fortunately, I had a sneaky suspicion I was on the wrong track since most of the directional signs to Baguio seemed to have disappeared. I stopped by a gasoline station and was redirected back by a helpful attendant. Otherwise, I would have gone straight towards Cabanatuan City.

I found out that this route connects me towards the Magilas Trail from Rosales to Pozorrubio, Pangasinan. I was already familiar with the Magilas Trail and this took most of my worries away -- especially since it was starting to get dark.

This route allowed me to speed up since I was driving through roads along rice fields. Fortunately, it's summer and school's out -- otherwise, I would be hitting so many public schools along the way -- that would have slowed me down a bit. I took the same route going back and, thankfully, no mistakes on the way back. I would recommend this path to anyone except when you're driving in the evening -- kinda hard asking for help in the middle of nowhere at dark.

Okay -- that's a quick side trip -- now, for the running post. On Sunday, I was really planning on running at U.P. -- I didn't sign up for the NatGeo run since I wasn't sure how my knee would hold up. Then, may daughter told me she needed to be in Ateneo at 4am to be part of the Company of Ateneo Dancers (CADS) contingent to the GMA7 Party Pilipinas event in Dagupan.

So, I was up at 3:15am and brought my daughter to Ateneo before 4am. Since I didn't want to go back home to sleep for only an hour before heading back to U.P., I ended up there at 4:30am to start my run.

It was eerie -- although the U.P. Oval was well lighted -- there were probably 4 of us people that I could make out at that time. I started my run and decided to extend the route into University Avenue until I reached the traffic light at the C. P. Garcia intersection. I was threading carefully because of my knee -- as such, I did only 5K for the day.

Fortunately, the lights were still on when I started -- lights went out at 5am!! But, since dawn was breaking, it slowly lightened up. Good thing I was too concentrated on running to have any negative thoughts -- especially since I just finished a marathon session with The Vampire Diaries!! he! he!

I'm still worried about my knee since every time I finish a run, it would be sore after -- so, I'm hoping to see a doctor this week. I've started using braces for support -- it helps during the run and I don't feel any pain while moving. It's when I finish a few hours later and the tendon becomes tender. I'm frustrated since I want to focus on my training for my first 42K. I guess the doctor will have to help. Wish me luck!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Racing Comeback - Globe Ayala Land Run for Home '10

I tried to update this blog last week but due to the ongoing dispute between Google and China, even Blogger was unaccessible while I was in Beijing. Oh well -- some tech stuff just can't be overcome. So, here's my delayed post. -- Johnny

It's been a slow climb back -- more than 5 months since I joined any race!! And to think my registration for this race was done on the last day of registration!! I'm glad I did it and I'm glad I'm back.

I've missed the running, the crowds, the friends and the healthy benefits. Over the last 6 months or so, my training has been erratic. For one reason or another, I could never get my training into a consistent groove -- very frustrating and very unhealthy. My weight ballooned closed to 210 lbs.

In early Feb., my colleague Jerry Bennett, our head for the Regional Network Group, and I entered a pact -- we'll help each other out through our wellness training program to achieve our individual goals -- our own "Biggest Loser" program. But, because of our weight difference, we decided to use personal objectives as targets and not percentage weight loss. This has helped us both jumpstart our path to good health.

The Globe Run was a test -- a test of whether my training program has been on track. My goal was just to finish the race close to 2 hours. The run up to the race was frustrating as my business commitments prevented me from running my target 3 training days over the weekdays and a long run on weekends. As such, I was not as confident about even finishing the race but the show must go on.

In this race, I made a number of new runner friends from work. There was a group of newbies who wanted to test the waters in their first 10K event -- I guess they were fitter and more aggressive than I was when I started.
Scenes from the Starting Line -- Fitness First, as usual, provided the warm ups before the start of each race.

I was actually running my first 15K -- I've done two 21Ks last year and the many times I tried running a 15K, I was unable to start for one reason for another. Thus, I had no benchmark for what I would do for a 15K, except that I'll try to keep it as close to 2 hours as possible.

The route was different -- running through the Makati CBD through Greenbelt before heading towards the Fort. Encountering the Kalayaan flyover early in the race was actually good -- at least I was still strong enough to handle the incline. In all my previous races, the return path through Kalayaan flyover was always a torture.

The dreaded Kalayaan Flyover coming from Buendia

The route through the Fort midway through the race was another challenge -- this time you had to rely on mental toughness as you traverse a familiar path but done midway through the race -- we usually do this at the start. Somehow this race route really took advantage of the different hills along the way -- if you don't train on hills, you'll definitely have a rough time.

Each time I checked my Garmin, I was surprised that I was doing better than my training pace. But, I was also frustrated that my Garmin was showing I was running farther than the race distance markers along the route!! Looks like the route is going to be a bit longer than 15K.

The last challenge was the return bout with the Kalayaan Flyover. Somehow the flyover seemed much longer than usual on the finishing run. I knew it was going to be a mental challenge -- I just had to grit it and use every tool in my arsenal to help keep the mind in focus.

I discovered that if I stop at the water station and walked to take my drink, it helped refreshed my legs and mind enough that I could restart the run at a better pace -- that's probably how I was able to sustained a better than normal cadence.

As I rounded Makati Avenue I knew that it was almost over -- I picked the pace a bit but just before I turned the corner to Paseo de Roxas I felt a twitch in my calves -- panic moment -- I thought I was going to cramp up!! I slowed down a bit and prayed that the muscles wouldn't spasm -- just a few more meters to go!! It was such a relief crossing the Finish Line without cramping!! Finally -- a completed 15K. My Garmin showed 1:58:13 at 15.5Kms!! Barely beating my 2 hour goal but I'm happy about the result.

Post race pictures as we were going back to our cars -- that's Jun Martinez and Tere Ibanez of ABS-CBN also -- newbie runners.

The next goal is to try for a 21K again on the way to my first 42K -- hopefully, a first attempt before my birthday in June!

After the race, my newfound friends and I had our rustic Filipino breakfast fare at Rufu's -- it's been awhile since I ate at the joint. My friends even decided to celebrate their run with beers -- a bit too early for me, though!!

Breakfast at Rufu's -- some even had beer!!
Hopefully, I can sustain this progress. And I hope I can sustain the blogging as well -- I miss all of this but I'm glad I'm back. Now, I need to catch up with Ting and the gang -- all full-fledged 42K Marathoners already. I'll catch up soon, gang!!