Running Log: Nike Running Clinic @Fort; 30Jan

Day 2 of recovery week.
One big loop for warm up
Stretching and drills
Four big loops (a little less than 5k, I think)

I tried to run the pace of Isa, one of the younger, faster girls. No wonder my legs feel sore now and I'm just so spent. I am no spring chicken.



I finally told my boss tonight. Took me the whole day (make that the whole week) to muster the courage to tell her I'm resigning.

It was a tough thing to do and I don't think I've ever had a resignation that was as painful as this. This is all I'm going to say about this right now.

Running Log: Nike Running Clinic @Ultra, 27Jan

Recovery week for us so we just did 3k warm-up and lots and lots of drills AND... excruciating core exercises! Hahaha! Oh and we were taught a stretching-with-a-buddy routine.

The drills and core exercises still got us sweating and complaining. I prefer those though to the sprints. Any day. Haha. But yeah, the drills made us more mindful of our form. And the core exercises... well, summer will be upon us soon so aside from improving our running form, they will also hopefully get us ready for the beach. Hehe. The stretching routine was such a treat. Close enough to a mini-massage.

It was very warm last night. Kinda missing the nippy weather we had a few weeks ago.

I was surprised to find my legs a bit sore this morning. My abs though only started to ache tonight. It's a happy soreness.

Can't wait for Friday's clinic!


Running Log: Happy Run, The Fort 25 Jan

Happy Run: Fort Bonifacio, Taguig 25 January

Time -- 28:15
11th place, women's category
great weather! well-organized race.
i felt i ran well. good steady pace. but after the halfway mark, i felt a bit "discouraged" and had to really push myself. is that what you call hitting a wall? i'm worried now about stepping up to 10k. running 5k is definitely not a breeze for me. is this normal?

Gaining Some, Losing Some

Ran in the Happy Run today at The Fort. I loved the weather. It was still dark when we started and the sun wasn't so high yet and the air was still dawn-cool when I crossed the finish line. This race was organized by RunRio so as expected (at least from my limited experience with road races), it was very well-organized and made a lot of people... Happy! Hehe. There were route markers, good traffic marshalls and the race timers were very visible.

I think I ran well today. Saw a lot of our coaches from Nike Running Clinic along the race route and it felt really good to be high-fived and cheered on. I placed 11th. :) With a time of 28:15. I'm grateful for the improvement and really acknowledge that the run clinic does us a whole lot of good.

Tried something new too today. Instead of our usual cereal pre-race breakfast, we had a banana and yogurt smoothie, as suggested by a friend. Seemed to work for me. Also for C who ran in the 15k. Although I felt full, I didn't have the sensation of liquid swishing around in my tummy.

After getting a bottle of water from the freebie booth, I walked to the car and got the cam. Took shots of the beautiful sky and walked to just before the finish line to wait for C and the rest of our little running gang.

Joined other people who were cheering on the first few finishers of the 15k. That's something I've never done in previous races and I'd like to do that now in all the races I'll be joining. Felt good also to clap for the Nike Running Clinic guys. Nice to appreciate all the hardwork they've put in.

I feel so elated that I've been improving steadily in my runs. It's nice to see progress. It serves as inspiration to endure the interval trainings I so dread. Haha.

My joy with my running gains though is tempered by the things I have to face at work soon. As in tomorrow-soon. I have decided to let go of my part-time work in retail. Tomorrow I will have to tell my boss. I've realized that my place is really in doing my own quiet little thing, with the belts and the other things I had to put on hold so I could focus on the retail job.

I miss having my own schedule and doing most things in the house. The long drive to Makati, although only thrice a week, is something I don't want to have to do anymore . I miss being in close contact with my customers -- many of whom have become friends.

I've prayed about it for quite some time now and I know that this is the right thing to do. I have peace in my heart. Today's church sermon confirmed my decision. The cheque I got this afternoon from the store where I sell my stuff from seals the deal. Haha.

Feels awfully sad too to say goodbye to a job I've been doing for a little over a year. I've come to love my boss and a group of people I have lunch with in the office. But I know I have to move on now. Gotta lose some to gain some.


Running Log: Baguio LSD

Baguio Long Slow Distance

Went to Baguio for C's birthday. Forced him to wake up early to run on Thursday morning (22 Jan). We started at Session Road heading for Camp John Hay. Our goal was to run for at least an hour.

Wanted to start at 6am but C said it was still too dark so we started at 7. Chilly morning air. It was thrilling to be running in Baguio. We had to contend with the morning traffic though and had to ask for directions a couple of times to get to the road to John Hay.

We just ran and ran. Despite the narrow sidewalks and the speeding vehicles that wooshed past us. Finally we found the John Hay gate.

We did some stretching just inside the gate and then ran again. At some point I wanted to scream at C because he chose a really steep uphill road. I felt like he was trying to prove that for all my seriousness with running, I was a sissy and couldn't take on hardcore stuff. Which is probably true. Haha.

We just ran and ran. We probably did a little bit more than an hour, combining the run to John Hay and the run inside. It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.

My legs and butt felt heavy. I don't know why. I felt I couldn't stride properly. I had no problem breathing (C did) but my lower body just seemed heavier than usual. Could it have been all the Mikasan Choco Flakes I ate the previous night? Haha. It was a surprise though that we actually had sweat running down our backs. In that chilly weather! How cool was that?!

We ran inside the residential areas in John Hay. C was trying to chat but even replying to questions on which route to take proved to be difficult for me. I was a crabby runner. Haha. I was really bothered by how heavy my legs felt. All I could muster were hand signals, dagger looks and rolling eyes. I was being such a bitch. I'm so glad C didn't lose his patience.

Finally we took the Baguio Country Club exit and ran on narrow pavements again until we reached a big intersection and found a taho vendor. What a reward! We then crossed to a park and did some stretching again before walking back to the hotel.

I'd like to go back and face John Hay again better informed and prepared.


Running Log: PSE Bull Run 2009; 18Jan

My oh my. What a horribly disorganized race. Yikes.

No route markers, not enough road marshalls and I don't know why but vehicles were weaving in and out of the runner's path, that part near McKinley Hill till the point where you u-turn.

And I don't know if it was just me but wasn't that such a long and obnoxious program? Did we start late?

And what a teeny weeny race clock!!! I only noticed it after the race. Darn.

AND the L I N E to submit your race stub!!! Ack!!! I hope that guy who was supposedly jotting our times was doing his job well. Otherwise there'd be a lot of errors in the participants' times.

I ran 5k. I didn't have a watch with me and couldn't, for the life of me, locate the race timer. The guy behind me had a friend behind us in the line who clocked at 28 something. The guy behind me assumes we did 27 something. I hope.

Can't wait for The Happy Run on the 25th. That one should be well organized.


a small life

Washing the dishes tonight while listening to Pippin, I got to thinking about the relevance of my life. Haha. Such deep thoughts while washing dishes. Baduy. Haha.

Comparing my life to those of some of my friends, I felt shallow.

I have a friend who is in public service. I've known him since grade school. Always have admired him and his choices. He loves this country so much and you can tell that by the way he lives his life. To me he is one of the coolest persons I know. Cooler than Brad Pitt. Haha.

One friend is an investment banker. I think that's what it's called. See, I can't even make sense of what she really does.

So what am I then? I live a very small life. (And I have many references to lines from You've Got Mail -- that last sentence and the title of this blog. But that's something to write about some other time.) I work in the fashion industry. I help out with some brands in a retail store. My own line is all about belts. And lately I've been thinking of making neckties and bow ties. I get giddy with fabric. Colors drive me wild. Pretty dresses make me woozy. My mouth waters at pretty shoes.

What's that compared to serving the country or managing millions? Sometimes I comfort myself by saying fashion is important too. That it inspires and also empowers. It can make people happy. It allows people to communicate. It can change someone slowly from the inside out. It can give courage. Courage to put out who they really are.

I really don't know how to end this entry. Maybe someday I will be able to say that I, too, live a life that's as substantial as my friend the patriot and my friend the finance whiz.

For now, I will have to be happy that I get thrilled at what I do and in knowing that I do it pretty well.

A Love Affair

I have a love affair.

With my cast iron skillet.

Having no househelp has its benefits.

Having the kitchen to myself is one.

On the rare times when I have the time and inspiration to prepare a proper meal, I thrill at the opportunity to use my cast iron skillet.

It's a heavy pan. Heavy enough to use as a weapon.

I love the weight of it in my hand. Or rather, on two hands. I love how it heats up slowly but surely. I love how it cooks evenly. Love the ssssss ssssss sound the turner makes on its surface as I tease browning garlic or mess up some eggs.

When it's time to wash it, I love its smooth and rough surfaces. The unique grooves only this skillet (my skillet) has. The patches that make maps all over. The sheen it gives off when I wipe off water with a paper a towel. As if it's winking at me, saying, see you soon, sweetheart!

Running Log: 16 January, Nike Running Clinic @Fort

2k warm-up
no stretching because i was late
5k run with runmate Eric (not sure about his name) because we were both late.
not sure about the time because we were late but i think we ran at a good pace. faster for me because i felt a bit pressured running with a guy. good and bad. bad because i almost ran out of breath and it wasn't as enjoyable as usual. i also couldn't enjoy my run music like i usually do. good because it pushed me and the run became more serious, not ladida.
had a stitch at some points. because i was talking. not good.
it was also quite cold. you almost didn't break out in sweat. and there's a part of the route where you're running against the wind. a bit tough.

need to rest today and sleep early to prepare for tomorrow's PSE Bull Run. will run 5k.

the soundtrack of your life

It's a cool afternoon as I write this from our dining table. There's a soft, brisk breeze blowing through the window shades.

The dogs are snoring away. So is Carlo.

I am listening to Celtic Christmas II.
I love this album, even though I don't understand most of the songs. Take a look at the album cover. That's just how all the songs feel. Cold but in a heartwarming way. Welcoming but also letting you go.

This album is my soundtrack to a lot of my alone times. It's uplifting, involving but not dominating. So I can still hear my thoughts and enjoy the quiet.

Do you also have certain songs that make up the soundtrack to your life?

When I'm preparing meals, what works for me is Stand By Me for breakfast or lunch. Something about the simple happy lyrics and beats that just inspire hearty scrambled eggs or snap-crackling veggies.

For dinnertime, I find inspiration in Miles Davis or Frank Sinatra. Makes even reheating leftovers seem glamorous. Haha.

I have playlists for alone times, beach hangovers, barefoot days, driving, running, brainstorming, lazy afternoons, days I'm celebrating love and even for days I'm angry with love. All sorts of songs to define and enhance moments.

Right now, the track I'm listening to from the Celtic Christmas album is all about a happy fiddle. Reminds me I have to start clearing up the lunch table and wash the dishes. Haha.


Alone Times

I had good alone time today. Went down late and placed the girls in the garage so I could clean up their mess in peace.

I get into a zen state when I clean up. I don't know why. I don't enjoy dog poo and pee but for some reason, I get into a zone and my mind's just so focused on the task and I feel completely at peace. Not at all irritated nor frustrated. Hmmm...

After cleaning up, I made myself some "single woman" brunch. Brewed some coffee (tried corn coffee from Cary and Grace), made toast and laid out butter and strawberry jam on the table. With the soundtrack of Stand By Me playing in the background.

I once again stared at the bottle of marmalade from Spain. It's sooo pretty and I don't have the heart to open it yet. For some other day.

As I was finishing off my coffee, I just got so into the music and started swaying and dancing in my seat. At times I would even close my eyes. It was just a nice moment and I wanted to cherish it. Being alone, being content and full. And I imagined I was a single woman in my own apartment. Like Amelie. Except Amelie had a cat. There's always a reality check when you're daydreaming. Haha.

I wish we could bottle certain moments in our lives. Usually those moments aren't even about a significant event. It's usually the quiet, ordinary moments that really make you say to yourself: "hey, I'm so happy right now!".

Here's to more quiet treasures like today.


Fashion School

Tomorrow (today, technically as it's 12:45am as I type this), I start a basic fashion design course. It'll cover fashion design principles, textiles and textures, color, figure analysis in aid of designing, drawing, and preparing a portfolio.

I'm excited. To learn. To start from almost zero.

Like a school kid, I bought supplies on my lunch break: a clearbook, intermediate pad, pencil, ballpen, eraser, sharpener, ruler, and even a new tape measure. :-)

Running Log

Starting today I will log all my runs, to see how I'm doing and to plot my running goals.

6 January -- Nike Running Clinic @Ultra
2k warm-up
Stretching, drills
3(3x300) fastest time for 300m -- 1:08; worst -- 1:18

9 January -- Nike Running Clinic @Fort
2k warm-up (not sure about distance... could've been shorter)
Stretching, drills
4x800 or 3.2k
time -- 28:41

13 January -- Nike Running Clinic @Ultra
2k warm-up
Stretching, drills
3(3x300) fastest time for 300m -- 1:07; worst -- 1:17
felt stronger doing these sets but it was still tough. my shins hurt during the last two 300m. i also had stitches on those last two and i think it's because i tried breathing through the mouth at the last 100m. bad idea.
coaches said my form has improved. yipee!


Not Quitting

Tuesdays are my least favorite running days. Those are the days we run at the track oval and we do interval or speed training.

Last year we did 2k warm-up, stretching, drills then 3 sets of 3x200m. I still remember the first time we did the 3x200m sets. I would end most of the sprints saying "shit". Haha. And I don't like saying that word. I'm a sissy, I know. But just me. I don't like cussing.

Oh but those sprints really took a lot from me and I had no other words to say at the finish line but "shit". I apologize to anyone who might be offended but I there really was no other way to release the emotion I felt after almost dying from running those sprints.

So Tuesday was the first run clinic day. And they increased our sprints to 3 sets of 3x300m. Ack!

And this was my first run for the year. AND I only ran twice during the entire Christmas break. Ack! Ack!

And during the break, we got home way past midnight every single night. Our schedule was haywire. Sleeping at an early 2am to as late as 4am. And getting up at 11am to 1pm. I was in terrible shape for the run. I knew it. I felt it.

After the 2k warm up, I felt woozy and was wondering if I should chicken out and tell the coaches I wasn't feeling well. But I didn't want to voluntarily quit. So I spoke to all the coaches who would care to listen. Complaining that I had little sleep and that I didn't run during the break... But no one bit the bait. Each one of them said it'll be okay.

And I wasn't going to chicken out. So ran I did. Ack!

It took a lot for me not to quit after the first set of 300m sprints. I really wanted to give up already. But I knew I would only feel bad if I did. So I pushed myself and pushed myself again. Till finally it was the last 300m. I survived after all. Although I could've sworn I was close to collapsing in a lot of those sets. Haha.

I feel so much better that I finished those sprints. Sometimes it's good to feel embarrassed about quitting. Even if the only person watching is yourself.


Running Start

Tonight will be my first run for the year. The last time I ran was on the evening of December 30. I think. It's so far away I don't even remember if I ran in the morning or evening. Haha.

We are supposed to run 3k warm-up and 3 sets of 3x300m tonight. Up from our old 2k warm-up and 3 sets of 3x200m last year. Oh dear. 

Right now I feel a cold coming on. My throat is a bit sore and I feel a bit woozy. Oh no.

But I know I have to run tonight. And I have to try and finish all the sets. Or else I will feel terrible the whole week for not finishing. 

I read this: "Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually, it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever." Lance Armstrong.

That is so true. But oh so bad too. I have been injured many many times in running, in boxing, in badminton and again in running because I chose to ignore pain in order to finish a round, a game or a run. I just can't quit. 

I remember the first time I went wall climbing. I am terribly afraid of heights. I can't even step out on an open balcony to appreciate the view. But wall climb I did. 3/4 to the top of the wall, I looked down and felt woozy. My legs were about to give. I was sooo scared. But I just couldn't stop at 3/4. It was so easy to ask to be belayed but I didn't. I talked to my legs (as I often do when I run) and pushed myself up to the top. Then I threw up. Kidding!

So yup, tonight, I will have to face the new run assignment and try to come out of it alive. So much like everything in life. Oh yeah.