T-Day is coming!

Posted: August 28, 2010 in Sprint
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Training for a marathon has its ups and downs. Imagine doing things you would not normally do for almost four months just for a half day event. How crazy is that right? A perfect example would be what I would be doing tomorrow morning. First, I would have to sleep early and make an excuse not to go to karaoke night with friends (not much of a secret now). Second, I would have to wake up early on a Sunday morning and mind you, I do not have a two day weekend job. Sunday is suppose to be my only rest day. Now, the second part can actually be enjoying especially if I would be waking up for a Runrio event but the thing is, tomorrow is actually one of my most dreaded days. Tomorrow is  T-Day. Haaaaay…

Ok for those with question marks on their foreheads, let me clear things up. T-Day was actually the day wherein you practiced with your piano when you were young. It was the day you studied accounting. It was the day you started saving up money. It was the day you paid for that first date. It was the day you started lifting weights. It was the day you stopped eating Chippy and Kit-kat (who am I kidding).  Not clear enough? Ok, to make things even more clearer (for those who are a little slow) T-Day is actually “Tomorrow Day”! Still not ringing a bell? (hey, maybe you should start reading Archie instead? That’s where I started). You know, the day you live for another day? The day you can actually call as an investment for an even bigger day? Now were on the same page!

So, that would actually be my day tomorrow. Boring huh? According to my slave driver (my garmin forerunner) I need to run 11 miles at a 6:00 min/km pace.  I know it sounds really easy but imagine doing it alone for about an hour and a half? Crazy right? So with a year of experience with long distance running, I have developed my own remedy to combat boredom.

First, recite the lyrics of puso in my head, over and over again. (I told you it’s my current theme). “Para san pa mga galos mo kung titiklop ka lang? Titiklop ka lang? How can you get tired of that line?

Second, recite the multiplication table. This one really takes my mind away from what I am doing. There was even this one time in a race wherein I was speaking to myself. Saying 8 times seven? Eight times seven and then this old guy beside me answered fifty-six! Thank God he answered! I was suppose to say forty two!

Third, when sprinting, lift your hands to your sides and imagine you are flying. Just be sure to do this alone though (actually, I do this even during races). Yes, it may seem stupid because not only would you look stupid while doing this, I also got this idea from a stupid person as well, Pheobe from friends! To run like a child, feel carefree and yes,  truly free is priceless.

Fourth, choose a color then count the cars and persons you see in that color. Just be sure not to do this in a race, then mistakenly choose the color of the official race singlet (that can be just plain st***d! Please go back to Archie. Maybe today is your T-Day as well?

Runners cross the Verrazano Narrows Bridge at the start of the ING New York City Marathon

Haaayy, tomorrow maybe T-Day but this would be my November 7, 2010.

Fifth, keep your goal in mind because one day all the T-Days may account to something and I think it would definitely be more than the sum of its parts.


Miles for Smiles

Posted: August 23, 2010 in Sprint
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After Gaile left for Manchester, I was clueless which race I should join. Since for the past few months she has been the one scheduling our Sunday races. So just like any other Filipino runner I checked the ever trusty takbo.ph race calendar then Boom! The perfect race for me! Miles for Smiles!

Now there are four reasons as to why this race cannot be more perfect.

First Reason: According to the marathon training program which I downloaded from Runner’s World UK, I am suppose to do a 11 mile slow run during that day. So that means I would only need to  add 1.6 kilometers after the race.  That is if ever I would register for the 16km race. Well, I guess everybody knows how hard it is to actually run the whole 11 miles alone. Even if I do have a world of my own while running, it does get boring sometimes.(To combat boredom I pften recite Spongecola’s puso in my head, especially during the last stretch)

Second Reason: I need to do a long run since I am eager to test drive my new nike vomero and during that time I believe Miles for Smiles has the longest race route, which is 16km. I tell you guys, I think me and my vomero are meant for each other. If only I saw her  during my early racing days, my feet and knees would not have endured so much pain. The only thought that’s bothering me right now is her lifespan. After about 18kms of running I can see degradation already. Nike, why do you do this to me? Making me love a shoe then taking it back right away? hehe.. (see? living in my own world yet again.)
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0AThird Reason: I have an older brother who died when he was just three years old. He was born a blue baby and has a cleft lip and palate. The least I can do for him is to join this event, which can give chances for those like him, to live a normal life. I think we Filipinos are part of the few who misjudge and mistreat people according to their appearances. Having and being a part of this race against cleft lip and palate can raise awareness about things that we can do something about. (and who said having these races for a cause is but a profitable opportunity? Guilty as charged)

Fourth Reason: (Warning: please skip, mushiness approaching) This actually is my first race without Gaile, so maybe, just maybe if I run for miles as fast as I could, I could end up having a smile on my face. (ok, kill me now. haha)

I finished the 16km race with 1:21:39. (not yet sure of my ranking since official results are not yet out) Way faster than my target and a personal best. I guess I was right, there will always be a reason to smile for. Wink, wink.

Update: Finish Time: 1:21:30, Ranking: 32nd out of 482 16k runners

One may think that all I do is run, well that may partially be true. Ever since I have started training for the New York City Marathon, I have been forcing myself literally to just keep running. Sometimes I even feel like I am Dory (the fish from finding Nemo?) because she keeps on saying “just keep swimming, just keep swimming”. So every time my stupid alarm starts to ring, with enough sleep or no sleep, rested or tired, rain or shine, I try to keep on going.  Actually, these past few days I am always hoping for rain, even just a drizzle every time I would do my early runs. I guess for some people like me it’s better to get wet rather than get cooked.

Although it seems like all I talk about is running, well its just part of me. A big part though, since running nowadays in the country is more of a chosen lifestyle rather than a hobby. I don’t believe that there is a hobby that entails more sacrifices than running. In running you need to spend at least 1 hour a day to make the run worth it. You need to sleep early just so you can finish your run before the sun comes out. You need to buy running shoes which lasts about 4 months and mind you these shoes are not cheap at all. You need to give up all vices like smoking and drinking (although I don’t do both) and of course throw in the body pains as well! However, just like yin and yang, day and night, Arroyo and Aquino everything should be balanced. So in honor of the swine in me let, me talk about eating, one of the biggest perk of running, specifically through my current favorite restaurant, Aubergine.

Even before I visited Aubergine, I knew it was going to be great since it was part of Asia’s Top 20 restaurants by the Miele guide 2009/2010. It actually got the 18th spot while Antonio’s, another favorite of mine in Tagaytay got the 17th place. These 2 restaurants were the only ones who made it from the Philippines. Most of the other restaurants came from Singapore or Hong kong. If you would ask me which one is better Antonio’s or Aubergine my firm answer would be depending on the day and the cause of celebration. Antonio’s, since it is partially outdoors, has this sense of warmth and comfort ( they replant their massive gardens almost every month) that can bring you at ease but still regal enough to impress anyone due to its monochromatic interiors and manicured gardens. I think Antonio’s would be best for family lunches or romantic dinners for couples. While Aubergine, has this modern and formal atmosphere. Once you walk in, you would not fail to notice its glass enclosed kitchen. The first time I went there with Gaile, we were even invited to roam around the kitchen and see how our food was being prepared. Props to its owner (whose name is too hard to pronounce and remember) who made sure we enjoy every minute in his resto. I tell you they must have close to 20 chefs in that kitchen, truly impressive. Aubergine for me would be perfect for dating couples and business meetings, however, I think it would be too stiff for family dinners.

Now, when in Aubergine I always make it a point to order their set menu since it is the only way for me to eat and taste as much as possible. The portions may look small at first but after your 7th course, you would barely have enough space for coffee and mind you it’s coming from me, a self-confessed swine.

1st stop: crab meat salad with avocado, tuna and scallop

The first course was a little weak for me. I didn’t even realize there were scallops there until I read the menu again today! I think they can do better with this one. Their salad before, was way better than this, however, on the upside, it looks impressive when it first came in, kinda gives you an idea what you are getting your self into. 6 out of 10

2nd stop: chicken essence with duck ravioli

Clear soup for a change! I enjoyed this one, thank God! It was really light and simple. I literally drank the whole thing! The ravioli was brilliant since it provided full contrast to the lightness of the broth. Hmm.. presentation can be a little better though. (only being critical since the place is pricey) From this picture alone it looks like left over sago gulaman. 8 out of 10 for the sago gulaman!

Stop# 3: Duck Foie Gras on Mousseline

I think the guys in Aubergine has perfected cooking liver! This dish is hands down insane! I tried it before on top of a mixture of tuna and watermelon and both dishes are perfect! To think I was even able to see how foie gras are made! I saw a video in youtube wherein they force feed that ducks with wine everyday just so their livers would be enlarged and suitable enough to make such a nice and delicate dish! How ingenious humans can be, right? 9 out of 10 for the half cooked liver! Cheers!

Stop#4: Champagne Sorbet

Nice right? They placed dry ice on the kettle to make it smoke. I have to say that the sorbet requires an acquired taste especially for liquor which I apparently don’t have. It’s basically champagne that has been frozen and mixed with citrus. I won’t be rating this one since it would not be fair. (3 out of 10! wink. haha. what if a kid orders the set menu?)

Stop #5: Lamb and beef tenderloin or sea bass, salmon and lobster tail medley

I didn’t order this one since these past few days all lamb and steaks seem to taste the same for me. Its tender and tasty like any good steak should be. Nothing outstanding though. Although I do think it was a nice idea to combine 2 sets of meat. I only took a photo from a stranger right next to our seat and then they offered me a bite. (kiddin)

My Main Course

Now this one is something. I think all the components blend well. I do not know what that yellow thing is but it sure does taste great!! There is one flaw in this dish though and that is you may never get enough of it plus the lobster tail is way too small! They should actually call it a shrimp instead. I bet you guys can’t even see it from the picture!! 10 out of 10 for this one since I finished it within 3 minutes! haha..

Stop#6 : dessert

Yeah it looks nice but once you try to dig in, it will topple because of its hard candy like top. Inside it has some sort of ice cream, cream and a sponge chocolate cake. Am a big fan of chocolate and desserts, if you have those 2, I think it would be impossible to miss but sadly this one has been made for pictures only. haha. On your way back home make sure get a chocolate heaven cake from red ribbon! yum! 5 out of 10 for this one.

Stop#7 Pralines and Macaroons

No pictures since I forgot to take one. hehe. Too full to even bother. Macaroons are great though!

It took us almost 2 hours to go through the whole meal or maybe even more. The other set menu I got before this one was actually better. Now am thinking how many calories we just ate but didn’t bother calculating since there is no point running kilometers if you can’t be a swine the next day! Balance ladies and gentlemen! Balance! (truth: I only ate this much since I came from the run to read 15km race early that morning)

Hmm, now that I am thinking about it, the title does seem like I am quitting running. Well, I am not. To clear things up (with an imperial Rome tone), I sprinting swine, here by announce that it was my shoe who have given up on me and not vice versa. So i guess lady luck is truly on my side with this one. First day of training right after my first blog entry and there it was, my shoe sole just went awol on me.

How it happened  was actually one of the most embarrassing moments in my life although it would not reach my top 10. Definitely not. Let’s just say I have been through unimaginable cases. Jumping straight into a clear glass wall in a hotel and fainting right after would probably be at the tail end. Oh another one would be helping a girl, a complete stranger mind you, park her car and end up crashing it to another car.

Well, what happened earlier was weak compared to some of my cases, although I bet some people might even cringe with the thought of it. So there I was, smack in the middle treadmill of Fitness First Gym (Fact: I always stay in the middle for people to notice how long I have been running, even though the sweat in my shirt more than makes up for it. Like what I said before, a little audience can pressure you to do things you would not normally do) back to the story, so there I was, pumping myself up with puso by sponge cola which is my current power song. I then hit the treadmill quick start button with my ipod playing “matalo kung matalo, wag ka sanang magkakamaling sumuko nalang wooho” right on que. With this mantra in my head, how can I run a slow warm up? Right there and then I switched it from a slow jog to a full sprint and I was really feeling it. (By now, I knew the person beside me is trying to glance at my speed.) Today is actually one of those days wherein running does not feel like a chore at all. So all hyped up, I even tried to sing-along for a bit “para san pa mga galos mo kung titiklop ka lang, titiklop ka lang? (not too loud of course) Then boom! Right in front of me is a black UFO flying just in the right trajectory to hit the person running in front. Touchdown!!!

After explaining and giving out even more awkward remarks, I was running through high street. Not really running away because of embarrassment but more of looking for a new shoe. What was I suppose to do? I was all hyped up! This moment may never come back. “Para san pa mga galos ko kung titiklop lang?” So I ended up buying a nike vomero, which literally feels like running on marshmallows. So I guess I was really lucky today since I hated my old shoe plus I now have a great new shoe which I bought on sale! Right on my way back to gym I went on a detour to eat a croissant in starbucks with my current addiction, the dark coffee jelly frap, not because I was hungry but only because I had to make sure my treadmill neighbors were all gone.

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Kilometer 0

Posted: August 17, 2010 in Sprint
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So I was thinking of something witty for my title. Something that would describe my hobby which is running of course and at the same time be not too generic. While doing so, Rome, the HBO mini series and my current addiction is playing in the background and they were talking about swines for no reason. I am tempted to say that that was my eureka moment but actually it was not. Not at all. So I kept on thinking more while eating my kit-kat (after finishing 4 pieces of krispy kreme original glaze of course.. hmm.. sooo goood..) in bed and then there it was, the moment I felt like a pig and as if in synchrony I heard the word swine yet again. I am not even sure what they were talking about during that episode however I knew the word swine should be in my title, and thus the sprinting swine was born. Good thing those two words though completely opposite actually rhymes.

So being a sprinting swine, you can say that I am not the fastest runner out there. True. I have been running for a year and a half and the farthest I have ran is a full marathon. Luckily I was able to finish the Singapore Marathon 2009 for my first year anniversary as a runner although it was waaaay below my target. Hey I even saw the bullrunner, finish way ahead of me. I hated the feeling of running during that time not because of the route since Singapore isthe best city there is but simply because I knew I was not prepared for it. Right after my 10th km I was already  feeling fatigued and there was this clicking sound on my right knee (irritating) which could nothing be but bad news. So during the marathon I promised myself not to let poor me endure that pain again. Hell I was wrong, right after crossing the finish line while limping of course, I told myself that I would outdo 2009.

crazy people in singapore 2009

So as a protest against the sport that inflicted me with unbearable pain and disappointment I stopped running for almost 2 months. Boy was the swine in me really happy during that time. But that was until the lottery results for the best marathon in the world, the New York City Marathon came out. Yes! I was accepted with my first try. I guess that was the universe telling me to keep on running and stop eating kit-kat and so I did, run that is, after all, its the concrete jungle where dreams are made of. Today is actually my third week in training so far I feel good not fast nor strong but good enough.

So I am actually writing this blog just to keep myself on track with my training. Being a natural swine makes it hard to stay far from sweets like my dear kit-kat but having a blog somehow  makes training a little bit easier especially if you are trying to show off. So, I will be posting my daily runs here if anything special happens and of course my almost weekly weekend races. Let’s see how far this sprinting swine can go. Oh I forgot, I am aiming for a sub 4-hours. So I really need all the luck I can get. Swine swinging out. (rhymes yet again)