Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Run for Bebe: Letting the Heart run

Someone in my network said that when your legs hurt from running, you run with your heart. I have always been a believer of this adage, practicing and applying it in countless occasions. Until one day, until that early Sunday morning of June 26th, until that event for Bebe. On this day, I ran with my heart from start to finish. It was for a good cause and it was worth it!

I liked the lightness of it all. No one seemed to be worried about anything. The setting was intimate. It was a gathering of friends, colleagues and families – all joined together for Bebe to support her battle against nasopharyngeal cancer. In this part of the earth, the sun did not shine its brightest but the natural goodness in everyone did.

One of the neat things about running is meeting new friends. This event did not disappoint. As I cooled down, a handshake and a huge smile greeted me. It was Ling Abella, a fellow blogger, in person (above photo). What followed was a lengthy sharing of good and bad accounts while racing. The running veterinarian had a lot to say. Good things do come on Any Given Sunday – that’s the title of her blog.

Overall, it was a fine run. Simple, yet inspiring. To all the participants - Mabuhay kayong lahat! To Bebe – Keep hanging on. To the Code Blue Running Club and Runcheck - Kudos for a well-organized event. May races of this kind dominate the roads of Cebu, the Philippines, the World!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's the grass season...

Change of season. Change of surface. In tennis, that is. This week, the All England Club welcomes the world to the 2010 edition of The Championships, more commonly known as the Wimbledon.  Of the year's four grand slams, it is the oldest and is still being played in the original surface - grass.  This sports tradition began in 1877 and today, it is regarded as the most prestigious, most neat (all players dressed in white) and the most rainy.  But no worries, with the recent innovation on the tournament's prized structure, the show must go on on the Center Court come rain or bloody weather.

Defending champs Roger Federer and Serena Williams are the top seeds in Men's and Women's draw.  Following Roger is current World No. 1, Rafael Nadal so expect another Swiss-Spaniard showdown in the final.  Third to fifth spots are occupied by Serbia's top player Novak Djokovic, Britain's brightest hope Andy Murray and last year's finalist American Andy Roddick who desperately thirsts for one more major title before he finally hangs his racquet.

In the women's side, an All Williams Club is looming in the finals, a repeat of last year's, as older sister Venus is seeded second.  Venus, at 30, is the most experienced female player in the draw.  The Sisters may face tough challenges from Denmark's rising star, Caroline Wozniacki seeded 3rd, former World No. 1 from Serbia, Jelena Jankovic seeded 4th, and the reigning queen of Roland Garros, Francesca Schiavone from Italy, seeded 5th.

Segue. Besides the hand skills, tennis demands a great deal of foot work. This is where running becomes a key element of the game. Whether you're chasing overhead or drop shots, cross-court or down the line, you run after the ball.  Noticed how Nadal and Clijsters do those sprints? I think more than half the time, your moves in the court from side to side, back and forth are done with those fast, quick strides.  Simply put, you're running all the time. 

These days, it's the roads I am exploring instead of the courts.  But to be cheesy about it, tennis remains my first love (at least I have the balls to admit it).  Hopefully, I can return when the hard court season begins.  I miss my running forehand (the two really together, see).  And by then, I would have run my first ever half-mary (fingers-crossed, hand and toe). Wish me luck.

Meanwhile, enjoy all the action from London!

photo credits: zimbio.com, samaw.com, shumii.wordpress, telegraph.co.uk, dailymail.co.uk, seattletimes.nwsourse, halohalo.ph, abc.net.au, braden.com, topnews.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Run To Make A Difference

Just when did you last run for a cause?  Heard of Fr. Robert Reyes, the running priest?  He runs to force  issues in the hope of bringing change.  Hollywood A-listers Edward Norton and Alanis Morissette ran the NY marathon for a wilderness conservation.  How about the countless others whose idea of running is helping other people?  Can you be in the same boat one day?  The answer is plain and simple - Yes!

Running for various causes and advocacies is a selfless act. When you think less of yourself and more of others, sharing comes easy. And you don't have to be big, moneyed or popular to make that sensible contribution.  Oftentimes, it's the ordinary people that do extraordinary things.  And it's the little things put together that means a lot.

On June 26, we will run for a cause.  We will RUN for BEBE.   We will join her fight against nasopharyngeal cancer.  On this day, we will rally behind her.  We will show her the indomitable Filipino spirit to keep living and loving. I'm sure it will be worth each and every stride. 

Mark the date!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

10 DYAB 15Y = 15K

It’s not a mathematical expression. Rather, it’s a neat way of saving space on the title line. So let’s decode. DYAB 1512 Cebu is a news and public service station owned by ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation, the country’s largest media network. It’s on its 15th year and to celebrate this milestone in AM radio broadcasting, a 1.6K, 7K and 15K runs was launched via the 10th DYAB Kapamilya Run last June 13 at the Asiatown IT Park.  

While the event marked a feat, it likewise served as a good venue for me and other passionate runners to accomplish a mission – complete our first 15K, and slowly inch our way into the next task in a newbie runner’s list, the first half-marathon. I liked how a fellow blogger termed it – “half-mary” ('tol, pahiram ha).

As usual, the first 20-30 minutes of running was the most excruciating part. The uphill-downhill Banawa terrain sure did bring some spice. I had to brisk walk the last uphill course. Onto V. Rama, I thought this avenue would not end. Past the 3rd turning point along Jones Avenue and we’re back to a familiar territory. The remaining 5K or so had been a lot bearable from then.

Except for one 4K run two nights prior, I did not prepare physically for my first 15K. With 10 races under my belt, what I felt that needed a work-out was my brain. Train the mind and everything would follow. That simple strategy worked. Performance-wise, I could have done better but what’s the rush? I’m taking it one step at a time. I’m just ecstatic to be over it.

So, 15K. A Big Check!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

URun - The Event

June 05, my alarm went off at 03:50am. With barely three hours of sleep, I got up and prepped for my 10th race.  Still carrying the weight of being awake for more than forty hours days ago, I tracked the Opal Rd en route to UnionBank Plaza - the start/finish point for the 1st UnionBank Run or URun. 

I met up with friends and former colleagues from the bank moments before the race.  Lots of firsts.  Fresh from the well-attended Nature Valley Run, Rodel and Nora ran their first 5K.  For Taselle and most of the rest, it was the first attempt at running (or walking) the 3K, 5K and 10K categories.  As for myself, it's my first outside the Cebu circuit.

The best thing to note about the run was it started on time and although it wasn't a huge crowd, gun for 10K was fired 10 minutes earlier.  Route began at Onyx Rd, turned right to Sapphire Rd, left to Ruby Rd, another left to Julia Vargas Ave, left to F. Ortigas Rd then right turn to Garnet and then left to Onyx Rd.  We made four rounds (lesser rounds for shorter runs) amidst stares from peeps who thought they're seeing "tellers on the loose".  Ha ha ha! 

I am not used to running with a small 10K group.  I am comfortable trailing the lead pack, finding my own rhythm and catching up at mid-point.  But with less than fifty runners in our category, I had to pace differently. As a result, I think I broke my PR with 1:03 (fingers-crossed).

The crowd in attendance was not in the usual hundreds and thousands but with all things considered, organizers called the turnout a success. We'd give it to them. Congratulations, guys!  And again, thanks to my UBP friends.  I'd await the invite for the next.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


When I wrote this entry, I was sitting on my butt on the tidy floors of NAIA T3, still awaiting boarding announcement. I checked in at the airline counter at 4:00pm for the 5:45pm flight. It was a quarter 'til 7, but here I was, still playing the Richard Marx game (Right Here Waiting). I was resigned to the fact that there's nothing I could do. Pak!   
Earlier in the day, I was in between chores - attended a meeting in Alabang, rounded out a few essentials in Makati, scoured Market! Market! for a car magazine and back to our home in Taguig for the last minute packing.  Everything was well timed, even my quick tour to the shower.  If it were my PR I was chasing, I would have a done an excellent job.  Pak! 

Hit the road early.  It just rained so weather's nice.  Traffic was not bad either.  The Nichols interchange, unlike in yester-years, no longer spells hassles for motorists.  Signs of the times, di ba Ate Glo?  I had anticipated the trip to T3  to be smooth.  It was.  But as the saying goes, always expect the unexpected, especially when you're in the airport.   Pak!

So I grabbed my favorite hot choco drink (pinoy brands are sometimes better than the fancy expensive lattes) and walked towards Gate 120.  I was a few steps from reaching the gate's designated steel chairs when the marvelous news came "Flight 5J-571 bound for Cebu will be delayed. Your estimated time of departure will be at 8PM". Pak! 

In the previous eight flights I took with the same airline, three were delayed so that's a batting average of 62.5%. Pak! And their ad says "it's on time 99% of the time". Paaak! 

If only airplanes in the night sky are like shooting stars, I would wish... 

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Will I Run sa URun?

First, I got invited (kung gusto ko daw sumali sa takbo tutal nasa Maynila naman ako nun). I got overly excited (sabi ko sige, masaya yan!). Then the invite got cancelled (eksklusibo daw, pam-pamilya at serbis probayders lang daw, pati ang mga dating nanilbihan sa bangko ay di rin pwede). I haggled (sige singlet na lang kung di ako makakasali, ganda kasi, kulay puti at ponkan). Then the good samaritan came (drinamahan si organayser, nais raw lumahok ng kasintahan sa takbuhan, may na-goodtaym!).   To make the long story short, I'm in (pero may kapalit...).  Let's call this The Alchemist effect (wag nang itanong kung bakit, basta yon na yon!).

Thanks to T, A and R (ayan, konti na lang utang ko sa inyo ha).