Monday, June 30, 2008

Additional Pictures from Mizuno Run

I was trying to add pictures in my other blog entry but it seem to have reached a limit. So, let me try and post another entry with the other pictures that Ting took.

At the starting line, in front of the giant Mizuno Running Shoe -- still fresh

Dante and I posing before the start of the race - others were warming up, we wanted to look good instead!!

Weary runners at the finish line -- all sweaty but happy!!

And the evidence of a completed run!

Mizuno Rush to Infinity Run - June 29

Finally, after the various ailments and a typhoon-wrecked race day, we got to run a race!!! It would be better if all of us were able to run but, unfortunately, Ting had to take a few weeks off recuperating for a hip injury. Thus, she became our "running mom" our version of the soccer mom or bus mother, except she doesn't drive a van for us -- maybe, we should get her to start ferrying all of us from home to race venue!!! he! he!

Anyway, it was a great day to run -- perfect weather! We had runners in all three events -- Dante and me in the 5K, Rico in the 10K and Ed in the 15K. It's Ed's first try at the 15K -- should have participated in the 21K Manila Half-Marathon race, but Frank ruined that.

This time, Ting became our official photographer. Unfortunately, I couldn't find my point-and-shoot digital camera in time, as such, she had to contend with her camera-phone. The sad thing about the photographer is that you are rarely in the shot!! Sorry Ting, next time, I'll take a few pictures with you in it.

This race had a huge crowd. They had to re-open registration for the 5K race, adding 700 new slots to the original 2000 open slots. I was surprised when I saw a number of people I know but I didn't know that they ran!! Jaja Suarez of ABS Interactive was there (she was joining the 5K) and she told me Carlo Katigbak, Managing Director of SkyCable, was there also to run in the 15K race. After the race, I bumped into Jajo Quintos, MD of IBM-Daksh. Ellen Cayanan, formerly of SAP Philippines was also there to support her boyfriend. Saw Tep Misa of Microsoft. Of course, my other running friends -- Jorge Buenaventura, Dave de Leon and Mike Navarette, were also there. I was also surprised to see Peter Coyiuto of First Life.

We decided to meet up around 5:30am. I was there around 5:15. The 15K race was supposed to start at 5:30 but all the races were delayed by 15 minutes. Good thing that happened as Ed came in the nick of time -- photo-finish for the start. Rico was next up on the 10K which got off around 6:00 while Dante and I finally got off around 6:15. Before the start of the race, Dante introduced me to the other runners of Team BayanTrade -- next time, we might become honorary members of the Team BayanTrade (ganda kasi ng shirts nila!!!).

Ed Franciso waiting to start his 15K race

Dante and I at the starting line for our 5K race

Getting ready to start our time for the run

Due to my gout, I lost around 1 and a half weeks of training. I tried to compensate last week, running 2 consecutive 5K runs Wednesday and Thursday, then resting the two days before the race. I thought I had enough fitness in to try and break 30 minutes this time. I was terribly wrong!!!

Dante and I started strong, weaving in and out of the pack to try and get into an open area. I started to groove with the pacing. I think I might have bitten off a bit too much when I tried to keep pace with Dante for the first Km. The first Km and a half was challenging as you start on an uphill run. By the time I reached Essensa, I was feeling the pain. I kept at it until we reached the turn near the road going towards Libingan ng mga Bayani.

I was still running okay at the turn, although I could feel my whole body working really hard -- not the same pacing I had during training runs. After McKinley Hill, it started getting tough. Mentally, I was trying to overcome the panic feeling by using interval goals -- each power pole became an intermediate goal to achieve, after each pole, a new goal was set up and so on and so forth.

In the previous run, I didn't feel the need to hydrate myself. This time, I knew I had made a mistake when I didn't drink up before the run -- I was thinking about it but my car was parked a bit back from the starting line -- got lazy. I could feel the thirst as I reached the watering station -- had to get a cup of Rush but I was panting so hard I had to slow down and walk to drink.

After that, it was a mental game and I couldn't help myself. In the last Km, I had to stop three times to walk. I finally reached the finish line and ended up in a queue for all finishers. I clocked myself in at 34:41 but by the time I reached the computer station, they had me at 37:41!!! 3 minutes in the queue!!

The finish line was chaotic -- the queue was terrible and the faster runners of the 10K and 15K races were all confused and disgusted with the finish line screw up. In fairness to the organizers, an apology note was immediately put up in I guess the addition of more runners really placed some pressure on the logistics. My personal view is that they need to lengthen the queue after the computer station prior to the final water stations -- that became a bottleneck which slowed down the processing.

I finished but look at the long queue to get an official time!!!

Here's Rica's (oops, Rico pala!) calves at the finished -- sorry, that's Ting's fault -- need a little bit more experience with the camera phone!!

And our Superman Ed with a strong kick to finish!!

Still, completing the race was all that matters. Dante hit 30 minutes -- he was likewise disappointed with not breaking 30 minutes this time.

Many of us agreed that it seemed like a really tough race. My friend, Jorge Buenaventura echoed the same sentiment -- tough race.

The organizers were able to get the results up quickly today. Here are the results for the group:

For the 5K race:

Dante Briones, 0:30:18, pace of 6:04
Johnny Sy, 0:37:41, pace of 7:32

For the 10K race:

Rico Ibana, 0:50:38, pace of 5:04 -- he actually won in his age group -- except that he was considered a woman!!! Guess it was because he asked his secretary to register and they thought she was running!! Way to go, Rica!! he! he!

and for the 15K race:

Ed Francisco, 1:42:20 pace of 6:49

Another race day completed -- the best part was having breakfast at Dayrit's -- we run so that we can indulge in all the "forbidden pleasures of life" -- longanisa, tapa, corned beef and dessert -- apple pie and brownies!! Next week, instead of the City of Manila Half Marathon, we're joining Tik-Takbo: Oras nang Tumakbo, at U.P. Should be interesting as it will be a 6K and 18K race!! Gets tougher every time!!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Manila Race Rained Out by Frank

I was excited Thursday when Ting gave me my race packet for the Manila Half-Marathon Challenge scheduled for Sunday, June 22. This was gonna be my 2nd 5k race. I was given the number 4445! Actually not a bad number -- better than 4444 -- ha! ha! Supposedly bad Fengshui.

I set my alarm to 4:00am so that I could be at the Quirino Grandstand by 5:00am for the registration. I knew the storm was upon us -- we had named it Frank (internationally known as Fengshen -- hmmm, quite coincidentally closed to Fengshui!!). We were already experiencing heavy rains but I had hoped that it would clear up enough for race morning. In fact, when Tina phoned them, they said the race would go on -- rain or shine, typhoon or not!! Brave words!!!

At 3:30am, Ting started texting everyone and Rico Ibana said that winds were already 55kph and getting stronger and that it was really not running weather. We all agreed that it wasn't worth the risk and we all decided not to get up and just sleep in. Good thing we did as the typhoon lashed onshore that whole morning -- the organizers had to eat their words and cancel the event. Later on, we found out the race was moved to July 6.

Given that my training was derailed by my gout, this was actually godsend. I have a bit more time to get some running time in before this Sunday's Rush to Mizuno Infinity Run (June 29). Maybe it's good since that means I'll be running the two Sundays prior to the July 13 Lasalle run. Hopefully, I stay healthy enough to get through these events.

Bouts of Gout

Seems like reaching 50 also means getting a dose of physical ailments rarely seen when younger -- this was my painful experience -- GOUT!!! Over the first 2 weekends of June, I had gout attacks that left me painfully disabled -- my left foot was swollen and I experienced enough pain that forced me to stop working out and even caused me to skip work for a few days because I just couldn't walk!!

While I had attacks before, it wasn't as debilitating as these attacks were -- just a few doses of Naproxen and I was back in action. This time, I had to take stronger medicines for the pain -- Colchicine. I could stand a few days of this medicine but after 2 days, my stomach just couldn't handle it, I had to stop. I had to start maintenance medicines also for uric acid -- Allopurinol. This will help bring my uric acid levels down. During my last exam, my uric acid level was slightly above normal but it wasn't too bad. When I mentioned this to my friend, Dr. Elis Maghirang (a member of the DLSAA Board), he said that I should actually take a look at my diet.

So, I tried to examine what went through the two weeks diet-wise that could have caused these attacks. I know that I was already cutting back on peanuts (my favorite snack) and alcohol (have been dry for quite a few weeks). It only dawned on me later that crustaceans and mollusks are also high in purines. I then realized that the eating binges I went through because of my birthday celebrations were high in shrimps, prawns, oysters, crabs and mussels -- those could be the primary causes of this affliction.

So, last week, I went on purine-less diet -- no shrimps, peanuts, alcohol or innards. I was worried that my weekend golf also contributed to the problem as the two previous weekend attacks always followed my golf!!! Thank God this weekend was the first without any attack -- I was ready for my race on June 22 -- the Manila Half-Marathon Challenge. Alas, this was derailed by a storm called Frank. But, that's another post.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

One Run One Family One La Salle

Preparations for the La Salle Cares fun run, dubbed One Run, One Family, One La Salle, is moving along nicely. The website is now up and PR/Advertising barrages are about to start. This is the race that I've been preparing for. Hopefully, come July 13 - race day, I'll be better prepared with all these races I'm gonna run in and with the workouts I've been going through -- barring any more injuries.

For those who are interested, the website is Here's the race poster:

I've also seen the singlets they are going to give out to all participants -- actually very nice. Here's a sample:

I'm looking forward to running this race with my friends -- Ed Francisco, Dante Briones and Ting Pascual. I promised Ed that I'll pay his registration fees and treat everyone to breakfast at Gloria Maris if he runs -- and he agreed!!! You see, my good friend Ed is a die-hard true-blue Atenean and he didn't want to run in a La Salle race -- but, the fact that I'll treat everyone to breakfast was a huge incentive he could not refuse. Now, if only I can get him to wear the singlet!!! he! he!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Additional June Race

Ting just advised me that there will be a Mizuno-Rush to Infinity Run on Sunday, June 29. This is great as it is a build-up to the July 13 One La Salle Run. Unfortunately, my achilles tendonitis is acting up again and I've had pain since Saturday evening. I'm hoping I'd get better by this weekend so that I would at least have one more week to prepare for the Manila Half-Marathon Challenge on the 22nd. Anyway, I'm submitting my application form for the Mizuno run. Let's pray my injuries subside enough for me to run.

For those interested in the Mizuno fun, visit Registration starts on June 6 (for online) and June 16 for regular registration until June 20. See you at the races and wish me quick healing!!!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

June Races

My friend Ting just sent me a registration form for the Manila Half-Marathon Challenge. This will be held on June 22 at Km. 0, Roxas Boulevard. Looks like this is organized by the City of Manila. I'm contemplating on joining the 5K although Ting will now upgrade herself and join the 10K race.

I also encountered another race while perusing the latest issue of Men's Health Magazine this afternoon at The Spa. It's a one of a kind race where you get to compete in a rough terrain location at Timberland Hills in San Mateo, Rizal. It's supposed to be 12K race through gravel, sand, rough roads, some cemented portions and plenty of hills. Now, that looks like a challenge. But, it's on June 15 -- might be too close for my fitness level. So, I'm still contemplating on whether to take up the challenge or not. I've sent the information to my Ting and Dante and see whether they'll rise up to the challenge. If so, that's two consecutive race days!!! Hmmm ... very interesting!!! For those who are interested, check out the Men's Health Magazine site --

Turning 50

Yesterday, June 3, 2008, was a huge milestone in my life -- I turned half a century!! I'm still having a hard time grasping the significance of this event. Normally, people reaching this point in their life actually have a grand celebration. I've been contemplating about whether to actually celebrate or not for the last few months. Somehow, given all the things that have happened to me in my life -- I'm not sure whether there is anything to celebrate.

My friend Jorge did say we should always celebrate life. I received a text message yesterday that got me thinking -- this came from two friends, both Lasallians -- Gerry Achacoso and Noli Acosta (Lasallian and Rotarian friend) -- Birthdays remind us of God's goodness in the past and His promise of more blessings in the future.

What should I celebrate about? First a celebration of friendships -- without my friends, life would be more difficult than it is. My friends from High School are really dear -- they always remember -- and it was fortituous that we had a grand reunion last May 24-25 at Canyon Woods. Saw many of my friends who I rarely see -- it was good reminiscing about the good ole past -- makes you forget your age and feel young again.

My Lasallian friends -- both old and new -- Somehow my Lasallian world keeps getting bigger -- old friends become stronger buddies and new friends bring in a whole new world. I even got featured in Animo Magazine.

My Rotary friends -- especially my classmates -- the Dream Presidents. We are all practicing our song number for the Inaguration of our Classmate -- Ed Limon -- as the new District Governor of R.I. D3830. Somehow, the singing and practices brought many of us closer together -- even if it was such a long time ago when we were presidents.

My ABS-CBN and Lopez Group friends -- colleagues of course but also friends. That's the beauty of working in the Philippines -- we not only work together, we end up as friends.

Of course, the best blessing I have is my family. That's whom I spent this precious day with.

I spent most of the day in bed -- I guess recuperating from golfing Saturday and Monday. I tried to wake up for a workout at the gym at 5:30am but my body just refused to budge. I did make up today at the gym. And also, I swam around 50 laps in our small 20-meter pool in the afternoon. I knew I had to burn some calories because of the feast we will partake that evening.

We had decided that afternoon that the family was gonna celebrate my birthday with dinner at a new place I recently discovered. The Spiral at Sofitel Philippine Plaza. My wife and I knew Philippine Plaza when it was still the Westin Philippine Plaza -- we should know, we had our wedding reception there Jan. 11, 1985. We actually showed our kids the poolside where the reception was held -- they were in awe because it was a breathtaking place for a wedding reception -- it just happened to have another party ongoing that night -- they could actually picture how it was set up 23 years ago.

Dinner was sumptuous -- because the buffet was mind boggling -- just tons and tons of food and choices. On the way in, I bumped into a good friend -- Mike Navarette and his wife Gina. They were there as part of the ongoing despedidas they were having prior to leaving the Philippines for good for Canadian shores (Halifax in particular). Lo and behold, their hosts included Nimfa Bautista, who is the Reservations Manager for the place!!! And Mike, the good friend that he is, actually remembered it was my birthday -- as such Nimfa found out and made arrangements for a cake to brought in together with a grand singing of the Birthday tune by the waiters and waitresses -- what an embarrassing moment -- in front of everyone eating there!!

We finished the night taking pictures by the pool side. Stephanie, ever the artist, found the light beams from the tower lamp were great mood enhancers for the pictures. The results you can see when I finish posting the photos.

I guess it wasn't a bad day after all -- you contemplate the blessings God gave you and you celebrate it with your family in a place that actually help started the family!! Sometimes life's poetry just need to be experience -- when you do, that's what God's gifts are all about.