We Ran…Nike Run Manila 2012

nikeIt was my first time to run at a Nike Running event and I was excited.

I came to register early and claim my race packet on the first day of distribution so I didn’t have any problem with the registration nor the claiming of race packets.  It pays to be an early bird.  However, come race day, I was not that early for the race.

I did not have any problem with the baggage deposit.  RunRio alloted more than enough baggage counters as well as people manning each counter.

The race started about 10 minutes late.  However, since there were so many runners, almost 14,000 all in all, and since my friend and I joined the pack just in time for the supposed to be gun time, we were forced to stay at the back of the pack to join the second wave of runners.   We were able to run 15 minutes after the first wave kicked off.

I was aiming for a sub-60; however, with the huge crowd ahead of me, runners and walkers everywhere, it was hard for me to run at my planned pace.  Some runners still do not know the proper etiquette of running.  They just run wherever they want, stop whenever they like either to pose for a picture or to recover without regard to runners behind them.  I tried to stay on the fast lane, that is, the right lane; however, fast and slow runners occupied the whole lane.  I was actually frustrated; however, with running along people of all fitness, abilities and training, I said to myself, I might just run and have fun, never mind the PR…and so I ran…and walked some.  (I wonder if in the future they could place a fast lane and a slow lane along the route?)

Water and Powerade were aplenty, so I was well hydrated throughout the race.

The route was familiar as I ran in this route once, a relatively flat course though not my favorite, but it was okay.  I just noticed that there were few kilometer markers along the route.

The weather was fine.  It looked like it was going to rain, but it didn’t.

Good to know that there were few if not zero bandits who ran during the race.  The Macapagal road became an ocean of black.

I finished strong…clocked 1:14 (unofficially) despite my trip to the loo to pee and frequent unplanned walk breaks.

I took me about 10 seconds to get my finisher’s shirt, which I love.  They gave me my correct size so I’m happy.

Baggage claim? Hassle-free.

Overall, I had a great time even if it looked like I was doing a 10-k long fartlek.

Congratulations, Coach Rio, for another well-organized event.

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Happiness is Swimming

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I have been in a running hiatus for more than a year now and when I was already starting to get back on running again, I sustained an herniated disk after I slipped and fell onto a curb one stormy night on my way to work.  The accident rendered me temporarily debilitated, unable to walk for about 2 weeks. Thanks to rigorous physical therapy and aqua therapy, I was able to get back on my feet again only 2 weeks after the accident.

One month since the accident, I am now pain-free and able to walk…and run, at least for short distances for brief periods.  As I could not go back to running yet, I switched to swimming.  Initially, the purpose was just therapy until I decided that I would make swimming as my cross-training while I still could not go back to running.  So far since I started swimming more than 2 weeks ago, I have improved significantly in terms of endurance. Now I can at least swim freestyle for 30 minutes with just about 15 seconds rest in between laps.

As of this time, I am focusing more on my breathing and form and not so much on speed yet.  Slowly as I build my endurance, hopefully, I can do speed training in a few days. Being able to do some laps is already an achievement for me. Initially, when I started swimming, I could barely swim 10 meters without getting out of breath.  Not surprising as I don’t really swim regularly.  It took me more than 10 years and an accident to get me into swimming again.

I intend to participate in an aquathlon hopefully next year.  In the meantime, I need to swim regularly to improve my endurance and then go back to running again before the end of September.

Just like running, swimming is one way of loading up on endorphins.  Swimming every day provides me with my daily dose of happy hormones.

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My Milo Marathon Experience…Then and Now.

My Milo Marathon Experience…Then and Now.

More than 2 weeks had passed since the 35th Milo Marathon where I ran 21k in the rain. For some people, the experience was a dream come true due to the fact that the Milo Marathon was deemed “the marathon.” Before running became popular here in the Philippines, it was a race that used to be only for the elite runners, hence the ultimate race for the Filipino runner. However, now that running became a very popular sport and an alternative way to a healthy lifestyle, more and more people are running in races. In fact, I am one of those people who is present in almost every running event there is. Running for me now has gone beyond being just leisure and as part of a healhty lifestyle but more of a test of my physical as well as mental ability and strength.

I used to be a very sedentary person who was a little overweight. Running helped me lose the excess weight and maintained my health and fitness. From the moment I got into running, I have ran in several races since then. In fact, I ran at least 4 half marathons before I ran in the most recent Milo Marathon. However, I still could not say I am an elite runner nor a marathoner yet. I am just a runner (or a “jogger”compared to the speed of the more serious and elite runners) who is yet to prove my ability and strength in a full marathon. As every marathoner knows, marathon is not about speed, but of stamina to finish the race.

Milo Marathon then. The 35th Milo Marathon was not my first Milo Marathon race. My friends and I had participated last year at the 34th Milo Marathon which turned out to be a disaster. There was total disorder in the race route (especially in the shorter distances, 3k, 5k and 10k). There was not enough room, or road.  There was shortage of water in the hydration stations, and the allotted baggage areas, which were few, were short-staffed so that there was not only disorder at the baggage counter but chaos when runners started to come in to pick up their bags. Some lost their bags, other just had to suffer the long wait under the scorching heat of the sun just to get their belongings. We had fight our way in to the crowd just to be near the baggage counter and finally got our stuff after 4 hours of waiting. Feeling bad about all that was nothing compared to feeling totally freaked out when we learned that a runner passed out while attempting to finish 21k and eventuallly died at the hospital due to dehydration.

I feel that, overall, the 34th Milo Marathon was far from being a success. It was a total failure and a total disaster. We learned later on that it was not the first time that a runner died during a Milo Marathon. There were others who died due to dehydration on prior races, but nothing came out in the news about them apparently. We also found out that the organizers of the 34th Milo Marathon had a bad reputation from prior running events. Because of what happened, my friends and I decided that we will not run again at another Milo Marathon unless it’s organized by another group with a good track record for running events.

Milo Marathon now. I personally did not look forward to running in the Milo Marathon again after what happened last year. However, I had a change of heart when I learned that the 35th Milo Marathon will be handled by RunRio. After all, only a change in the organizer was our only condition to run again at the Milo Marathon.

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Lean and Fit Penchie

Lean and Fit Penchie

Taken after finishing 21k last July 2011.

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35th Milo Marathon Finals: To Run or Not to Run?

To run or not to run in the 35th Milo Marathon Finals, that is the question.

I have had a quite long hiatus from running. I used to regularly run at least 20k a week either alone or with some friends. However, just last August, I slowed down from my training. Well, I actually stopped altogether. My excuse was, as usual, work schedule.

Last week, I went back to running again. Well, it was not purely running. I ran and walked with 2 of my dear friends, Ash and Sol. We have not seen each other in quite a long while so it was an opportune time for us to catch up with each other (and catch our breaths too!). We managed to cover at least 7k in almost an hour’s time. Not that bad considering that we walked though briskly most of the distance. The 3 of us are running enthusiasts, but due to our work schedules, running has been put aside. I know, I know. There should be no excuse for not training if one intends to run in a race. Being untrained is a recipe for injury, whether one is running a marathon, a half marathon or even a 3k.

As I go back to running again and prepare to run my 5th 21k for this year, I asked myself whether it will be sane for me to run a half marathon with more less than 3 weeks of training? Although I have been a runner for at least 2 years, considering the hiatus of at least 3 months of not running, will I be prepared enough to run such a long distance? That question will be answered when I cross the finish line come December 11.

And so for the question to run or not to run…the answer is: To Run!

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DEATH IS A BUTTERFLY

By Penchie Limbo

Is death to fear or not?
Is it the end or the beginning?
How could we fear something that is inevitable
And beautiful such as death.

I know it sounds so morbid
To even think of death
But death is really like a butterfly.
I know you’ll ask me why.

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Books

Original Composition by Penchie Limbo

Books,
On the makeshift bookshelf on my top deck bed,
Arranged not randomly but neatly, according to author and subject.
I must have too many or was my space just too tiny?
Some of them are lying on the cold, white tiled floor
In neat piles though, now just arranged according to size.

Books,
Most of them I’ve read and enjoyed,
But some remained yet to be explored.
Where did I get them, you might ask.
I picked them from all over
From bookstores far and wide.
Few of them are presents
And some of them are borrowed.

Books,
Some of my few possessions,
Some things that I couldn’t go without.
Books provide with me many things:
Company when I feel alone,
Inspiration when I feel down,
Wisdom and knowledge when I needed one, or
Joy when I feel sad.

Books,
Open the world to me,
Give me insight into myself,
Take me to an adventure without having to leave my place,
Ah…just too many more to write…
I  love my books too much.
My silly book affair.

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