Saturday, March 21, 2009

Condura Run Tommorrow! I am Ninoy Runners, And More Second Wind News!

Who Hoo!!! First Half Marathon of the Year! I hope I can get my PR! 

Moreover though, tomorrow I and around 50 other runners will be donning the I am Ninoy Singlets to officially inaugurate the I am Ninoy Running Club.

Ms. Mayi Lopa had this to say about the movement in an email.
In summary, I Am Ninoy is not a political movement.  It is an endeavor to bring out the hero in the Filipino.  There is so much poverty and one way to eliminate this is providing education to the less privileged.  We have talked to a group called "5775 Reverse the Education Crisis" to help us facilitate this objective. This group is composed of a number of large corporations that provide funding and technical support. You may be wondering why they call themselves 5775--in a survey done nationwide, it was learned that the average grade of a student is 57% while the passing grade is 75%--thus 5775 to signify the gap that needs to be reveresed in the counry's educational crisis.  They have developed assistance packages in their program to address what they've identified to be the most critical needs.  These include the following:

Nutrition through in-school feeding programs (it was found out that the students were performing bad because of lack of nutrition)

Materials through providing reading, math and science workbooks 

Infrastructure -- building classrooms/buildings 

Everyone can be a hero in his/her own little way. 
So tommorrow, we will not only run for the whale sharks but for the children too. So many causes so little kms to run them all!

In other news, I was at the shop again earlier.

Guess what arrived...

Boxes and boxes of Optic Nerve!!

I've been using the Optic Nerve Savant for sometime now, in fact I'll be using it tom, and I can tell you its very good. Great for running, it's light, great lenses and its surprisingly affordable!



(Yes, its that good, I have to say it twice!)

ASICS are now in!!!

Finally I may get to try Asics soon!

Check some of these out! Gel Nimbus 9 and Gel Kayano

So Beeeyotiful! I want those Gel Nimbus! Matches the offical PUR uniform!

Ones last thing... a little bird told me...

The will be very, very good discounts on all these Asics shoes when the store opens!

You didn't hear that from me.

Friday, March 20, 2009

What's New at Second Wind?

The New Balance Stocks are in!!!

Check out some of this stuff.

Water Bottle with Pouch and Holder.

Those who don't like to wear lumbar belts or simply like to hold thier bottles like my friend Neville will enjoy this, to be a bit different it has a pouch you can carry a few things like change and car keys.

Lightweight New Balance Shoes

I forgot the number, but I think I am looking at my next running shoe. I've been a fan of New Balance since I got my first running shoe a NB 1060.  I know NBs to usually be very comfortable on the feet, which is a primary concern to me, moreso than outright speed.

Though, a little extra speed always helps, so I am looking for a lightweight shoe to complete my arsenal.

Looking at it, its definitely very light and looks fast. I hope to get a pair to test soon. (Right? Hector?)

Track Shoes!!!

Though I probably wouldn't use these often. I'd love to get a pair to play with sometime. Just to get a different feel. Hehe.

Comes with spikes!

New Balance 909

For those planning to take on the TNF100, this shoe has been very well reviewed.

BTW Second Wind has a new landline: # 799-2089 and is still on track to open on March 28!

Running Batanes Part 1

For me, the islands of Batanes is a must visit for every Pinoy Nature Lover. The scenery that you will encounter there is probably like nothing you have ever seen before here in our country. I know this is cliche, but in a away it reminded me of Lord of the Rings!

Being there recently for work, I couldn't help but also getting some running in. 

So what is it like running in Batanes.

Firstly, pack accordingly. In the three days I was there, the 1st two had searing heat and blinding sunlight, only suddenly turn without warning to turn to a light drizzle with gale force winds! Very very Cold! The locals say such tempermental weather is the norm for the area.

What kind of shoes?

If you choose to run the town proper of Basco, all you would encounter is asphalted or concrete roads. So road shoes are ok. But I really urge you to get out of town and experience the beautiful views as you run. 

For this you may need trail shoes as the roads can alternate between paved and unpaved. However I used a highly cushioned road shoe with little trouble, so long as you're careful. 

But I suggested you bring trails shoes like I also did if only to experience the vast single track network that Batanes has to offer.

Which at one point, took me to what I call "my lonely little spot at the edge of the world."

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Blog Redux: Makiling Challenge 7 Report

Since, I've been ridiculously busy with my MGMT8504 Paper and of course, my work. I haven't really had time to sit down and finish my blog post about Batanes. In the meantime, I ported an old entry from my previous blog just to keep things moving. Enjoy


Lesson: Never assume. 

When I first heard about the Makiling Challenge, I thought that since it was going up a mountain, it would be a trail run. Unfortunately, I had pretty much written off my trail shoes at the end of the TNF100. I didn't believe that my Adidas could handle another off road race especially one is which I was determined to do well in. Of course, I didn't let a minor issue like no shoes deter me. So, I pestered Neville to no end to get me some good North Face shoes! Thankfully, through the kindness of the team, R.O.X., and North Face, I got me a good deal on some new Rucky Chuckys! I was set to race!

Except for one minor detail. When I got to UPLB, I discovered that while the race would go up a mountain (and what a mountain is was, more on that later), it was completely on asphalt! Ok, I thought, fine, I normally keep spare shoes in the car. But in this case my spare shoe was my Adidas trail shoes because my last run was a trail run to prepare for what i thought would be a trail race! Hay yay yay. Well, I'll run in the Rucky Chuckys then.

On to race day, perfect race weather, despite the threat of rain the night before, the sizable crowd which massed at Baker Hall was greeted by clear skies and sunny weather. In fact, if anything, it looked to be a hot race!

Right of the bat, my race was off to a bad start. Since I was with alot of my friends, I had started near the back of the field. As everyone knows, starting from the back, or near the back will end up costing you time as a "bottleneck" of runners will prevent you from running your own pace.

For some reason it seemed particularly crowded in the start of this race and I had a hard time passing slower runners. It wasn't until the course started to go uphill after the bridge that the field began to build some separation and I was able to run my own pace. By this time, I was sure I had lost a bucketful of time.

Tip for the next race: I will definitely start in the middle front. Not to far forward that I will be goaded by faster runners into an unsustainable pace. But forward enough that I am with serious enough runners that I can run my own pace. I especially recommend staying ahead of the high school and grade school students in their PE uniforms who seem to be there in every race, probably because they are required by their school, they usually don't run and instead walk 3 or 4 abreast, making them very hard to pass.

The 1st 2 kms or so of uphill was a gradual slope, so while my legs felt the uphill, I was still feeling good and confident about doing well. The trees shading the route also helped alot as it really prevented the race from becoming overly hot.

The race route took us into the Boy Scouts of the Philippines complex, a place I haven't been in since I was a Boy Scout over a decade ago and we wasted 2 bottles of lighter fluid trying create a bonfire with wood which we later learn to be too wet to work!

A bit after the welcome arch of the BSP was the rotunda where the 5k runners would turn around and where the 1st water station was located. As I already had a good pace I didn't want to slow down too much so I just grabbed one of the plastic bags of water, bit it, drank a little and then followed the marshal's directions to continue on our route... straight down or should I say up to Hell!

Honest to god, the aburt change in the slope from gradual to killer took alot out of me. At first I tried to keep some semblance of my former pace, but as the mountain kept rising with no apparent end in sight, I followed the lead of the runners around me and began to walk. The slope was such that walking seemed more efficient than running because I really could not make up alot of distance running and fighting gravity at the same time!

Walking with occasional bursts of running. The uphill seemed to the Arts Camp Housing seemed to go on forever and I really felt like I was over heating. It's a good thing the front of the team jersey could be opened. By the time I reached the top, the zipper had reached the bottom!

I was so relived to reach the top, only to realize that there were runners coming from the other side of the mountain. This was not yet the turn around! We still had to make our way to the Arts Amphitheater!

Despite it not being the turn around, there was a small moment of rejoicing when I realized that there was a water station up top. The 1st one we saw since the start of the climb!

After grabbing 2 waters, one to drink and one to douse myself with. I quickly ran down, practically coasting past other runs, trying to make gravity my friend instead of my enemy. I guess this is where the superb grip of the Rucky Chuckys came to fore, as I passed many other runners who seemed unsure of themselves going down quickly, while I was sure footed with every step.

Because it was mostly downhill, I reached the turn around point, we were had to go around the amphitheater. This is where we got the 1st straw loop and some marshal mentioned that I was 72nd at this point. From the very top of the mountain, we were almost at lake level! I remember thinking to myself: "Uh Oh, no we have to climb what we ran down."

No sense delaying the inevitable, so I started to make my way up. Again utilizing my run and hike technique. I also alleviated by pain and suffering my pulling up on an imaginary rope! Haha, anything to keep me going!

I also saw my friend Euan going down to the turn around, but as he looked totally wasted and I was in no mode to do anything, we merely acknowledged each other with a glance. That's it!

The top seemed to come quickly enough. I guess it's because I go so used to it. 

After getting 2 waters again, I ran down the long long uphill we climbed earlier. In fact, it was during this run down that I realized how high we had climbed, because running down seemed to take forever. In fact, I believe I was running down so fast and for so long, I felt that the soles of my feet were heating up from moving around in the shoe! In fact, there was a point I slowed down because I thought the heat/friction would burn a hole through my thin Nike socks!

Eventually, I did reach the bottom and after the trials and tribulations of the mountains, it was smooth coasting from here to the finish line. I just keep a quick but steady cadence from here and at one point even got into step with with PNP runners just for the heck of it.

Crossing the bridge I knew there was less than 1 km to go, so I decided to pick up the pace and semi sprint to the finish. Upon reaching the finish line, I saw someone I knew and forgot to push the stop button on my watch, but I am guessing I did the 10k, which was closer to 12k according to Euan's pedometer, in a little more than a minute. 

So not too shabby if I must say so myself. I mean considering the elevation change, which I estimate to be around 3 and a half Mt. Apos high, and the extra 2 km, I'm pretty pleased with my time. Of course, now I'm excited to go back and beat my time next year!

Thanks to Sonny for the Pictures
Route Map c/o MACRUNNERS site.

Monday, March 16, 2009

TNF100 Registration is Now Open!

Registration for the TNF 100 Trail Run is now Open!

The TNF 100 is 10, 20, 100 Kilometer Solo or Relay Trail run on May 23 to 24 in Sacobia, Clark.

Register today at The North Face in Megamall, MOA, Glorietta 3, Shangri La Mall, SM Cebu and SM Davao. Plus at everybody's favorite outdoor shop R.O.X.

For more information about the race and fees go to: 

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Race Bibs

Can you guess which ones are mine?