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2012 - It's all about never ceasing to DREAM (and to RUN!)

I got one of these gifts last Christmas. It's not a tech dry shirt, but the message will serve as an inspiration that hey, I'm about to be given 365 days to go for my dreams!

I decided to post it because it I'm hoping that like me, it will give hope to every one who has loved running:

This 2012, RUN for your dreams! :)

For those who have ran many races this 2011, may you find time to give back to the sport in any good way possible.

For those who got injured during the year (just like me), here's to wishing you dump all your regrets and instead 1) learn from the experience and 2) look forward to your healing!

For those who are thinking of giving a running a try, may 2012 be the year that you will say "I started running and since then, I was not the same!"

Happy New Year!

Road ID link is now available in my blog!

You can have you own Road ID! Just click on the link on top of my posts! :)
Finally, after 24 hours of unceasing running with the use of my knees (okay, that's not really true), I got an approval from to have a link in my site! What a fantastic way to end 2011!

I have been wearing my Road ID even in my non-running days. Every time I looked at it, I found myself smiling.

I want it to happen to you, too.

You don't have to be an athlete to have one, really. I am for every body's safety.

So if you have decided to have a Road ID with you, just click the link on top of my posts. It will lead you to the Road ID's website.

Hope to see you wearing a Road ID soon!

Your 2011 Training Log in Review

by Meghan G. Loftus

Whether you run to stay fit or to compete for age-group laurels, you have a training tool you can use right now to improve next year: your log. Analyzing information you recorded—such as time, distance, weather, terrain, perceived effort, nutrition, results—can help you discover patterns in your running and racing. And if you don't take notes on your training, resolve to change that. "People who don't keep a log run the risk of making the same mistakes over and over," says Greg McMillan, M.S., an exercise physiologist and running coach in Flagstaff, Arizona. Here's how to interpret what you did—or didn't do—in 2011, to prepare for a fitter, faster New Year.

"Any time you're looking at mileage, you're just trying to see, did it affect my performance positively, and did it run any injury risk?" McMillan says. Compare your average mileage in 2011 to your average mileage in 2010, and how successful you were in each year relative to your goals. Did you run consistently throughout the year? Race well? Stay injury-free? Achieve what you wanted?

If you increased your mileage in 2011 and your performance dwindled, scale back in 2012, McMillan says. If you increased mileage in 2011 and had a successful year, you can continue at the same level or build on it. Lower-mileage runners can increase their yearly average by a greater percentage than higher-mileage runners.

To evaluate your performance in a race, look not only at how well you nailed (or missed) your time goals but also at the key workouts (speedwork, tempo runs, and long runs) you did during the six weeks leading up to the event, McMillan says. Variables like sleep, life stress, and nutrition also affect race success. Before you judge your training, however, you need to ask yourself whether your goals were realistic, says Janet Hamilton, M.S., an exercise physiologist and running coach in Atlanta. A three-percent improvement is about the maximum an experienced runner can expect from race to race under ideal conditions.

If you hit your 2011 goal times in key events, repeat the workouts that led you to success. If you failed to meet your goals, look closely at key workouts. "Some people may see those stressful days are too close together, or some people may say, 'I don't have enough of them,'" says McMillan.

If you raced in 2011, your log should reveal strategically placed high-and low-mileage weeks indicating a proper race build-up and recovery period relative to the events you competed in. Marathoners and half-marathoners should have built up as their target event drew near, while 5-K runners may have done their highest mileage in the base-building phase, McMillan says. Fitness runners, however, might not see any peaks and valleys.

If you're new to running or running simply to maintain fitness, it's fine to hit the same totals week after week, says Hamilton. Marathoners and half-marathoners should build mileage over 10 to 20 weeks to their target event. Injury-prone runners should schedule a step-back week every two to four weeks. All runners should dial down for two to six weeks between key events.

Look back eight to 10 weeks before the injury struck, and focus on changes in your training volume and intensity. "The two issues I usually see are ramping up mileage too quickly or not allowing enough time to recover from hard workouts," says John Martinez, M.D., a Kaiser Permanente sports-medicine physician in San Diego. Also look at your nonrunning activity. For example, did you jump into a new fitness class? "Runners want to be at the front of the pack," Hamilton says. "The fact that we've never done yoga before doesn't seem to enter our minds."

Even if you can't pinpoint the precise reason for your injury, says McMillan, "At least you know, 'I can't replicate what I did here.'" Avoid reinjury by scheduling a step-back week every three to six weeks in which you decrease mileage by 10 to 20 percent.

Year in Review

Never regret what you have done this year in terms of running. Take it as lesson learned. Strive to do better in 2012. Whatever happens, the bottomline of running must be FUN all the years ahead! Happy 2012, runners!

Top Ten Best Running Tips

by Yishane Lee

The best piece of advice he ever got was almost an insult, says Joe Calderon, a new RW reader stationed in Basra, Iraq. "'Dude, you running with those shoes?' a friend said. 'No wonder your knees, back, and shins hurt. Go to (insert running store here) and get yourself measured for a good pair of shoes!'" Tips can come from unlikely sources. "A nonrunning coworker told me, 'You know, you really ought to get fitted for good running shoes,' after I was told I needed to be operated on due to running," says Allison Tully of Falls Church, Virginia (reader for five years). "One fitting and six pairs later, I'm surgery-free."

"Runner's World taught me how to lace without using double knots, so they don't come undone," says Andy Poon of Vancouver (20+ years). Stacey from Chicago got the tip from her sibling: "My little brother told me to tuck my laces into the tops of my shoes to make sure they can't come undone." Says Kim Tantlinger of Waltham, Massachusetts (11 years), "Square knots are better than granny knots and eliminate the need for double-knotting." For lace-tying video, go to

Some runners find success giving up shoes. "After two decades running shod, the freedom and lightness experienced running barefoot is indescribable," says Tymen Bast of Amsterdam, Netherlands (one year). Says Brian Fuerst of Venice, California (six years), "An orthopedic surgeon told me that I shouldn't run and that I didn't have biomechanics good enough to ever run a marathon. Since then I abandoned the field of podiatry, started running barefoot, and have completed two marathons in 3:26 and 3:12."

"Listen to your body telling you that it needs a day of rest," says Laura McElduff, a reader in Northvale, New Jersey. "Otherwise you'll end up burned out, overtrained, or injured." Says Becca Dougherty of Flemington, New Jersey (15 years): "It is better to go into a race undertrained than overtrained." Jaylyn Bergner of Asheville, North Carolina (15+ years), uses legs-up-the-wall for recovery. "My coach in high school would have us elevate our legs for 10 minutes." Angie Shoe of Jacksonville, Florida, relies on pills: "An elderly gentleman said to take fish-oil pills daily. He promised that my joints will thank me later."

"During sprint workouts my coach used to say, 'Dig deep. You can do anything for 30 seconds.' And if you keep repeating the mantra through the workout, you can get through it," says Cortney Bloomer of Carson City, Nevada. Kristen Marhaver of Merced, California (14 years), got go-fast advice from her dad. "The world's most law-abiding citizen would say, 'Run like you stole something.'"

"I heard that 80 to 90 percent of runners run their easy runs too fast, so I slowed my easy runs to whatever felt comfortable that day," says Jeff Donahue of Melrose, Massachusetts (10 years). Coach Demetrio Cabanillas, who ran with Bill Rodgers and Alberto Salazar, offered this advice to Kim Cowart of West Jordan, Utah (four years). "He would remind me before I'd tackle my weekend long run that I'd already done my speedwork during the week and to do long runs slower. The purpose of the long run was to condition the legs to run long, and if I pushed the pace, I was essentially racing, which was counterproductive." Ealowes agrees: "The best advice I received for marathon training was to run my weekly long runs slow—much slower than I thought I should."

"When I was trying to reel someone in but hating the race, I began repeating 'Run your own race' and everything came together," says Brian Fay of Syracuse, New York (11 years). Sandra Henriques of Cincinnati says not to think ahead: "Be present in the mile you are in. Don't worry about mile 18." Tracy of Portland, Oregon, quotes Alice in Wonderland: "Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop."

"My coach said, 'Have fun! The hard work was the training. The race is the party!'" says Jill Mitsch of Cupertino, California. "Even if today's run was what you would consider a failure, it is a bridge to your next good run," says Sarah Wiederkehr of Arlington, Virginia. "This thought keeps me from fretting about lack of progress." Any run is cause for joy, says Jen Harder of Waldheim, Saskatchewan. "There's no such thing as a bad run!"

"I started saying this mantra, 'Run for those who can't,' after a friend was paralyzed and I realized how lucky I am to be able to run," says Heidi Tanakatsubo of New York City (three years). Says Jim Austin of Wylie, Texas, "My big sister told me, 'Running is your gift. You can do it any time you want, for as long as you want.' She was born with cerebral palsy and told me that her favorite dreams are the ones where she dreams that she can run. I've never taken a run for granted since."

"'RUN, it's not math!' my dad said when my sister and I were calculating what pace we would need to run to meet our goals," says Emily Condon of Scranton, Pennsylvania. Go even if you're tired, says Frank Young in Sapporo, Japan (25 years). "The run is never as (adjective of choice) as you thought." The words of 50-K champ Josh Cox ring true to Daniele Lile of Elkton, Kentucky. "'Remember, your worst run is always 100 percent better than the person who never tries.'" As Tom Scudder of Albany, New York, points out: "You'll never regret going for a run, but you'll always regret not going."

Your Best Running Tips

The Most Beautiful 26.2 Miles

The lake view of the Jungfrau Marathon. Geesh, I might stare at the whole thing and forget running!

I am still in the dreaming stage of my first marathon. But for those who have done many, here's something for you: Runner's World recently featured what they call the "most beautiful marathon." It's the Jungfrau Marathon, and it's located in the Swiss Alps. The said marathon is scheduled every fall.

See for yourself and check the rest of the pictures here.

Renowned Runner's Christmas Wish Lists

It's still the holidays. But what is surprising is that famous from around the world still do have holiday lists (I thought they're okay with winning and beating their PRs). You may check their lists (and see if you have the same wishes) here.

I may not be a renowned runner, but here's my Christmas Wish List:

1. Another pair of running shoes
2. A visit to the new Runnr store in Alabang Town Center (woopee!)
3. iPod classic
4. CW-X Conditioning Stabilyx Tights
5. Nathan Reflective Belt
6. Another whole year subscription of Runner's World Philippines
7. A 10-K run in 2012 (it will happen!)
8. A Road ID (I got this! Yehey!)
9. Attendance to Chi Running workshop
10. Injury-free year!

4 Start Up Exercises for Recovering Runners

If you got injured this year just like me, I know that you felt like you're not gonna get back to running again.

Then all of a sudden, you realized it's so back to think that way because you are now healed.

Here's 4 exercises to get you ready after a layoff.

My Pre-Christmas Walk

I got sick again this time of the year. Sheesh, just when I was planning to start logging miles again after the Rain4Africa (and fight the urge to stay in bed this cold month), I started to sniff.

A few days ago, the doctor said I got acute respiratory tract infection (we Muggles call it colds). I had to rest two to three days to be better. Oh well, goodbye cold morning runs.

I surrendered to the fact that I needed to rest. Aside from I really wanting to get rid of colds (we’re not really the best of friends), I am to supervise an activity in our parish. Oh well, hello bed.

But despite this unplanned sickness, I am still grateful. The same time last year, I couldn’t even get up from the bed due to the fantastic combination of cough, colds (it likes me), and dehydration. Aside from ending up in an emergency room for the third, I also had tons of medicines to swallow, and an aching body due to almost unending bed rests (if not for the Christmas Mass I had to attend, I would not be going out of the bed.

With that in mind, I really surrendered to the fact that I needed to rest.

But two days before Christmas, I came up with a bright idea. I may not do full morning runs this month, but I can do walking. And since our church activity scheduled a practice on the morning of December 24, I decided to do something different: a walk from my house to the church.

So on the cold morning of December 24, wearing a jacket and tech dry running pants; I packed an energy bar and a bottle of water and placed them on my race belt bag. I laced up and after some few of minutes of stretching, I started my pre-Christmas walk.

What I have prayed for the night before came true: there were fewer vehicles, yet more lights and few visible people along the way. I am confident that I am seen from a few meters – my cap, running shoes, and Road ID bracelet have reflectors. But what I did not expect was the cold breeze. If not for my eyeglasses and running cap, the wind would have directly gone into my eyes. But I managed.

In the few meters that I walked (the church is not that far from where I live), there was only one man who also started his pre-Christmas walk.

After ten minutes, I made it to our parish church – smiling and more grateful.

I don’t know if I’ll be able to do another one before the year ends (I need to be fully well first!) But one thing’s for sure: that walk made me feel better.

May this season bring us runners not only on Christmas wishes, but the courage to log in more miles in spite the call of the Noche Buena tables everywhere (especially true in the Philippines).

Merry Christmas!

My Road ID

Got my Road Id parcel - finally!

Merry Christmas, runners!

Last month, I decided to buy myself a Road ID bracelet. I have been contemplating on buying this product for almost the whole year. Thanks to the December bonuses (ehem), I finally got to devote time to purchase my Road ID.

The Road ID was created by the team of Wimmer father and son. The father’s (Mike) bright idea of having an immediate identification for a bearer started when Edward (the son) was almost hit by a truck as he was preparing for a marathon years ago.

It was like Santa came alive again when I got a parcel notice from the local post office. It really came on time. It took me a few days to get it from the post and finally ripped the package with my own hands. Geesh, when I saw pictures of the star athletes who have Road ID bracelet, I felt I’m one of them!

Here it is!

Road ID has helped many triathletes from all over. Having one does not mean one is attracting accidents. A Road ID is just making sure that he or she is properly aided in case the inevitable happens.

Road ID has a reflective strap. It is also available in bright colors. Moreover, they offer other products aside from the bracelet.

I'm good to go! :)

Road ID is the best Christmas gift for your friends, whether they are runners or not (I’m planning to purchase one for my dad who, at 74, still loves to go out to do errands every now and then). I checked my package and they are giving me $ 1.00 off on my next purchase! Cool!

Go have your own Road ID and have peace of mind. You may check it out at

Interesting Ways on How to Target New Goals and Transform Race-Day Experiences into Future Success

by Jessica Girdwain

Becky Brudwick met her goals and then some in her second marathon, in 2010, clocking 3:29, her personal "fall-on-your-knees-at-the-finish-line-and-cry" time. Then the teacher's motivation faded. "I felt like, Well, I've spent all this time working toward one goal, and it's over," she says.

"Now what do I do? I needed something else to get excited about." So Brudwick, 45, of North Mankato, Minnesota, decided to try trail running. The twists and turns of the off-road gave her the jolt she was looking for, and she upped the stakes again: In May, she'll run the Ice Age Trail 50 ultramarathon.

Whether it's after your first race or your 25th, you may experience postrace blues. The finish line comes down, the crowds go home, the adrenaline high disappears, and you might feel down afterward, like Christmas is over. "It's totally normal," says Cindra Kamphoff, Ph.D., owner of The Runner's Edge, a runner-focused sports psychology practice in Mankato. "You had this clearly defined goal and made it a priority. Maybe you ran the race of your lifetime, or maybe you were disappointed. Either way, you wake up the next day and don't have the goal to work toward or the training you've become accustomed to, and you may feel a little depressed."

Avoid a postrace slump by borrowing one or more of these motivation strategies.

You finished your first 5-K, which you entered on a whim. You're eager to race again—the sooner, the better.

YOUR NEXT MOVE: Find a structured training plan and set a new goal.
WHY IT WORKS: Crossing a finish line for the first time leaves many race newbies starstruck by the enormous sense of accomplishment. Challenging yourself with new goals can boost your running. But in a rush to hold on to that feeling of pride, don't make the mistake of aiming too high (I'm ready for a marathon!), too soon (Next month!). Overextending yourself invites injury and disappointment, says Jennifer Burningham, a running coach in Portland, Oregon. She suggests hiring a coach who will develop a personalized training plan and guide you to your goals safely without injury.

While you usually run alone, last Sunday's half-marathon sure felt...long (and lonely, despite the other participants).

YOUR NEXT MOVE: Join a club.
WHY IT WORKS: "A group can introduce you to different training techniques, mental tricks, or persuade you to try races or distances you hadn't considered," says Kamphoff. What's more, "running with others pushes us to go harder and faster in workouts, which will naturally help you improve come race time," she says. But don't just stick with one or two buds; branch out and talk to a variety of members who will offer a wide range of experience and advice. The enthusiasm of the group will rub off on you.

You crossed the marathon off your bucket list and now want something different to light your fire.

YOUR NEXT MOVE: Change your routine, routes, and races.
WHY IT WORKS: The appeal of trying something different can make running feel fresh and prevent burnout. And as much as runners love a good routine, if you get bored with the day-to-day, you're more apt to skip a workout, says Heather Hausenblas, Ph.D., an associate professor at the University of Florida and exercise psychologist. Add excitement to your week by signing up for adventure events (like a muddy obstacle race) or unusual distances (say, a seven-miler--bonus: a new PR), or scouting out unfamiliar routes or trails to run. Kamphoff, for example, once spent a summer running every street in her hometown.

Now What?


These are very helpful for all runners, whether one has crossed his or her first run or 50th. I need to start doing this after doing 2 more 3Ks.

My Rain 4 Africa Time

I saw this on my e-mail days after the run. Well, thank you, too!

Here is the official time during the Rain 4 Africa Run. Okay, if you are someone who no longer run 3Ks, I know you will laugh out loud with my time.

Ok, honestly, I'm hearing you really laugh out loud. :D

But like I said, I wasn't for the time. I was happy to have joined because it meant that I'm back (now can I do the laugh?)

I planned to join a run last December 4. But I realized that with the many events, I decided to stay at home. I think it was somehow a blessing because it rained all day (I hope the December 4 runners - whichever race you joined - will not get colds!)

Cheers to more personal records, beating them, or who cares?

Happy running!

Five Awesome Fit Facts that could Undeniably Work for You
by Frank Claps, M.Ed., C.S.C.S.

Think Positive
Your mind can improve your exercise results, says two recent studies. Researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign found that women who believed they had a high tolerance for muscle pain reported less discomfort during cycling tests than women who claimed a low threshold.

In a Harvard University study, when hotel maids were told their work met the Surgeon General's recommendations for an active lifestyle, the women experienced decreases in blood pressure, body fat, waist-to-hip ratio and body mass index a month later. But the control group, who didn't receive the information, saw no such health improvements.

Running Helps You Walk Better
Running may make you walk better, now and into old age. Researchers who analyzed the walking dynamics of older and younger adults found that runners and former-runners walked more efficiently, putting less stress on muscles and tendons, than non-runners.

Economize Your Exercise
Wonder why that gazelle in your running group seems to stride along effortlessly while you struggle to keep pace? Well, she may simply run more economically than you.

Running economy refers to how much oxygen relative to body weight you need to run--even if you're the same height and weight as your running partner, your oxygen needs may be different. Many factors may contribute to running economy, from body size and leg length to the ratio of fast-twitch muscle fibers (responsible for speed/power) to slow-twitch (endurance) fibers you have. This may help explain why the lightweight, long-legged, fast-twitch-gifted East Africans continue to rack up wins, says researcher Carl Foster of the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse.

There's nothing you can do about your genetics, but the way you train can make a difference. Foster says performing speed intervals once or twice a week (but no more) is one of the best ways to improve running economy. Strength training may also help because it builds better muscle control. Stronger muscles coupled with interval training can increase your stride power and foot turnover, thereby minimizing the amount of time you stay on the ground. The less contact time with the surface, the less energy wasted.

Sprint to Learn
A few tough track intervals may power your brain as well as your body. Researchers in Germany found that vocabulary learning was faster and retention better following a session of high-intensity sprints than after low-intensity jogging or rest.

Try This: Standing Hip Abductor and Knee Flexor Stretch
Stand near a bench or table that is close to your hip-height. Balance your weight on your left leg and raise the right leg out to the side so that your ankle and foot rests on the bench. Bend at the hip as far as you can, keeping your knees straight. As you bend, reach between your knees and place your hands behind your thighs. For a more difficult stretch, increase the height of the bench.

Fit Facts: Think Positive

Wow! Small facts with big benefits! These are definitely helpful for us runners!