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A Better Run for the Veterans - August 4, 2012

Too bad I didn't see this. I bet it would have been a proud moment for me - seeing veterans honor our flag (photo from God's Wind Events Facebook Page - Mar Espique)

I know. It's been close to two months since I ran in A Better Run for the Veterans. I have been busy so I was not able to post my thoughts on the run. But anyway, better late than never.

It was one of the running events where I came in late. I swear I left the house early because I was afraid that I might encounter some flooded areas and marketing people (people going to the market - it was a Saturday). Well, there were no flooded areas and I got to pass through marketing people with ease. What I did not expect was when the jeepney driver pass through a gasoline station. I wanted to go down and start my warm up.

The veterans (and their dependents) waving before the 1K gun start. Also in the picture are Coach Alvin and Joy Mendoza. (photo from God's Wind Events Facebook Page - TL Ponce)

When I arrived at the venue, the gun start for the 5K just happened. I contented myself with looking at the runners on my category. To cut the long embarrassing lateness story, I ended up running after the veterans have started their 1K race.

Running late - literally. :D (photo from God's Wind Events Facebook Page - Mar Espique)

But it seemed like it was meant to be that way. As I was starting my first few meters, I passed through veterans and their family members. Yes, they are old, but their brave spirits are still within them. It was inspiring to see them run or walk.

The 1K participants on their way. (photo from God's Wind Events Facebook Page - Mar Espique)

photo from God's Wind Events Facebook Page - Mar Espique

photo from God's Wind Events Facebook Page - Mar Espique

photo from God's Wind Events Facebook Page - Mar Espique

 It may have been six decades since our veterans fought a war that they did not want to join. Running (and walking) with them is also hoping that they will enjoy the rest of their lives; and for us to never forget the scars that they bore.

As for me, running lessons are ever lingering: one, never run a 5K without training. Two, never arrive late in a running event.

Or rather, tell the jeepney driver to fill in the tank after I have gone down from the vehicle.

photo from God's Wind Events Facebook Page - TL Ponce

photo from God's Wind Events Facebook Page - TL Ponce

I made it! (photo from God's Wind Events Facebook Page - TL Ponce)

Rexona Run 2012: undoubtedly my best run ever!

Me and the Rexona ball in my hands!

I have been running for the past two years, but I have never been so glad about Rexona Run 2012.

Well, all the elements of Runrio events are there: booths, entertainment, big tents for baggages, finishers' kits, and finishers' shirts (for 21K), many water stations, great security, many portalets, and Rio himself doing his rounds on a bike (I couldn't keep my eyes off from his flowing Afro hair).

I was glad about myself.

For the first time since I started running, I had the following:

1. I had 7 hours of sleep the night before the race. It was the first time it happened. Before, I was so stressed out counting the remaining hours of my sleep.

2. I arrived in the venue way very early for the gun start. I used to arrive 15 minutes to gun start (worse, I was late). I was able to check out the booths and had my photo booth picture with my brother (he came with me to try if he would see some celebrities).

I think I surpassed myself by arriving early! Hooray!

Stretching it out before the gun start!

3. I experienced (and savored) my 5K warm up! Stretching, jog in place, knee high, butt kicks - name it, I got to do it!

4. I got to see runner friends after crossing the finish line. I know it was impossible to see my friends in a big running event. But I guess it was meant for us to cross paths.

Nice to see Vinny Tongson of Team Century Tuna. He was my classmate in Education Units (and he's my future marathon coach - I told him that!)

The idea of Outrun, Defy, and Surpass Yourself from this guy and his team - and he happened to be my college classmate/friend. Glad to know Roman Carlo Olivarez is now running, too!

5. I envisioned myself enjoying my run. No rushing on creating records. I have learned my lessons on the past two runs. And enjoyed the run I did!

I may not have defied myself in cutting my 5K record, but Rexona Run 2012 is undoubtedly my best run ever!

All photos courtesy of Marc Raphael A. Peñaredondo

I did not realize that Rexona Run 2012's blue theme will match my brace rubbers. What a coincidence!

CSC R.A.C.E. to Serve Fun Run II - September 8, 2012

R.A.C.E. to Serve II brought together runners from the government service.

This race has its fair share of pros and cons, but what surprised me was that I got to beat my personal record! Well, more on this later.


1. The staff in-charge of baggage had a hard time getting our bags since their only vehicle (an L300 pick up) was already filled with bags. But they were reassuring that another vehicle is coming to get our bags. Also, they made sure that some participants get to have straw ropes for us to tie our baggage stuff to our bags. By the finish line, the baggage staff were very strict in giving bags. They were only few but it seemed like they worked as if they were many. Kudos to those guys!

2. Visible ambulances. We saw them almost every kilometer.

3. The people giving away certificates of participation. And there's a lot of certificates for everybody!

Thank goodness I got to finally pass the 1.5K mark. I saw the road with less runners! Here I go!


1. Cars were parked beside the starting line, also along the road in front of The Manila Hotel! There was even one car who was almost allowed to go inside the running area, a few meters from the finish line!

2. I only saw ONE water station along Roxas Boulevard, a few meters before the turnaround for the 3K run. I can't speak for the 10K route since I ran 5K. I do hope there were water stations available there.

3. Some 3K runners went to the other side of the road to run, because the people in front of them kept on walking. This happened in front of the United States Embassy. Policemen guarding the area just looked at what had happened. Since the policemen did not do anything, I also followed the runners. I know it's bad. I learned a lesson right there: do not join the 3K gun start when you're late.

Despite and in spite of all of these, I was surprised to see that I managed to finish my 5K in 46 minutes. I had a good feeling I'm topping my current record when I crossed the 1.5K mark. Unfortunately, I got too excited in finishing my run faster that I felt tired along the way. My lungs and legs felt heavy, I would have opened myself and take out my lungs and muscles if I could. I also felt my right knee aching along the way, so I walked for a few minutes. I finally finished the race with an unofficial time of 46:33.

Honestly, I was glad the race was over but I was not really happy with how I performed.

Oh well, life has its share of pros and cons.

All smiles even if the right knee's aching!

Get Moving!

Tadaaahhh! If this will not push me to do my runs, then I don't know what else.

I was so proud of my accomplishment on the first day of September: I made a collage of few pictures and posted them in front of my room table.

I know, I am so traditional, cutting and pasting and posting something that may look like an output of a grade one. Some of you may have been shouting, "You have a Pinterest!"

Honestly, I don't see my Pinterest boards every minute. Moreover, I am not for the look of my work of art. I am for it's warning: GET MOVING.

Get moving towards taking one step at a time - literally.

Get moving towards taking action of my dreams.

Get moving towards better health.

And so, I am proud of my work of art.

But I look forward to what my work of art will do to push me to my limits.

Barefoot running attracts men and youngsters, survey finds


Who is most likely to jump on the barefoot running bandwagon? According to a new survey, men, younger runners, and runners who think of themselves as elite athletes are most willing to kick off the sneakers and give it a go.

For a survey published in the latest edition of The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, more than 6,000 runners responded to questions about their barefoot or minimalist habits, or lack thereof.

Of those who responded, 75.7 percent said they were at least somewhat interested in minimalist or barefoot running, 21.9 percent had tried barefoot running, and 30.4 percent had tried running in minimalist shoes.

For those who had tried minimalist or barefoot running, 34.3 percent chalked up their motivation to preventing injuries, while advice from friends accounted for another 24.5 percent. Interestingly, of those who hadn't tried it, 54 percent said they hadn't out of fear of injuries. "Sounds about right," adds Runners World of the new survey.

Learn more about barefoot running:

Barefoot running attracts men and youngsters, survey finds


This is interesting. A lot of runners are getting interested in barefoot running. But I always remember what Olympian Jeff Galloway said. According to him, barefoot running fad has come and gone. Do you think barefoot running is still a fad, or here to stay?

Running for Robredo


(Note: I wrote this blog post a few hours before the cremation of Philippine's Department and Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Jesse Robredo.)

I do not know the guy personally (honestly, majority of the Filipinos only knew about him and his accomplishments when he died from a plane crash last week). I think the only connections that I could have with him (if it can be considered) were my father and St. John Baptist de la Salle. Though born in Camarines Sur, my father grew up in Naga. His service to his relatives and Jesuit priests led him to getting a degree in Ateneo de Naga, where, years later, Robredo will get his secondary education. On the other hand, St. John Baptist de la Salle, is the founder of De La Salle University, were Robredo spent his tertiary years. Years later, it was my time.

Yet, just like any Filipino right now, I feel the loss. I now realized that my country lost a good, no, a great man. Robredo was a servant of others; he would always think of what would be better for his people before serving himself. He was so unpretentious; he would go out riding a bicycle without guards (an unusual sight for a Philippine government official). Most of all, a family man, who always look forward to weekends so his family could have him on their own 100% of the time.

On Saturday, I am scheduled to run the Civil Service Commission’s Fun Run for a Cause II with my office mates. I have been thinking of foregoing the event, as the rains never allowed me to train well for 5K course of the run. But then, I thought, why not dedicate the run for the man? Anyway, the fun run is an opening activity for the month-long celebration of Civil Service. Robredo was undoubtedly a 100% proof of a great civil servant.

So I really pondered on the thought, why not go running for Robredo?

So here I am. I know I am not 100% trained (I got a minor problem with my right foot two weeks ago. The muscles in my right foot ached while walking. It has improved since last week, which is good news. But then, I just started my morning walking sessions this week.). Nevertheless, I am focused on one goal: dedicating my run (or walk the whole time) for a true civil servant.

But what is there to fret, anyway? Sure he was a loss. But I think there are already Robredos around. It’s just that like him, they are not show-offs. Who knows, they might be joining me in the run.

And they are running for Robredo, too.

CSC's R.A.C.E. to Serve Fun Run II is on 8 September 2012. Check out the details here.

Men's Health Urbanathlon and Festival 2012 is on 14 October 2012


The country's first obstacle laden race is back with its most challenging course yet. Men's Health Urbanathlon and Festival 2012 takes place in SM Mall of Asia on 14 October 2012.

Some of us are prepared to run, but if you want to join this race, make sure you're prepared for lots and lots of hurdles!

5 strategies to becoming a better runner

While running is a relatively simple sport, requiring little more than a pair of running shoes, it takes both practice and dedication to get right. If Olympic fever has you dusting off your running shoes, here are a few strategies to hone your skills, as per fitness blog FitSugar this week.

1. Be consistent: If you're just getting back into running after a break or are hoping to ramp up your routine, be sure to stay consistent to build up your conditioning. One way to stay on track is to sign up for a race and start a dedicated training program.

2. Learn proper form: While it takes a little time to find your flow, running with a misaligned form not only eats up energy you could use to tack on distance but can increase your risk of injury. Try to keep your head stacked over your spine, relax the shoulders, and engage your abs. Watch:

3. Dress properly: You won't need to spend a lot of money, but a good pair of shoes can make "the difference between feeling sluggish and being light on your feet, and it can also help prevent injuries," writes FitSugar. Not sure what kind of shoe is best for you?
For sport bra tips, watch:

4. Fuel right: A few hours before your run, eat a small snack containing carbs and protein for sustained energy. But if you skipped your snack and need a quick fix before heading out, grab something with easily digestible carbs, such as a slice of white bread.

5. Vary your running surfaces: To become a better runner, you'll need to mix up your surfaces -- from treadmill to sidewalk to sand. Running outside rather than on a treadmill also strengthens your muscles to help increase speed and endurance, writes FitSugar. Also, add some high-intensity intervals, such as sprints and hill training, into your program.

Five strategies to becoming a better runner


Simple yet very helpful strategies for running!