First 10K Race (in a really long while)

Tomorrow I will be joining my first 10K. DocFit at UP, organized by RUNRIO. I'm excited!

It's not really my first, first. I ran my first 10K in high school, the San Miguel 10K Classic. The route was very simple. It was just along Roxas Boulevard. I have a picture but I'm too lazy to scan and post it. I was wearing the UPIS Track Team singlet over a shirt and light blue Adidas running shoes. :) My dad took that picture just as I exited the finish line chute.

It's amazing how better prepared I am for tomorrow's run than I was that time I ran in high school. I don't think I was running 10K in my training then. I think I just joined that race just because I wanted to challenge myself. Hahaha!

I wonder how things will go tomorrow. My goal is just to finish happy and with breath left to talk.

Running Log: Nike Running Clinic @Fort; 27 Feb

What is it about running that really thrills me to the bones?! Despite the near death feelings during a particularly hard run? What is it about it that makes you will yourself to go beyond what you know is your absolute physical limit? Why does one feel silly giddy after a tortuous run? How can one smile, laugh and want some more? It's just pure insanity. :) :)

Today was still supposed to be part of recovery week. We did 1.2K warm-up, stretching and drills. C decided to skip gym and join our run instead. It was nice to have him there tonight. :)

Those of us who've been in the clinic for a longer time were assigned to do 8x1.2K or 9.6K, the others were assigned to do 6x800m or 4x800m.

So okay... should be a slow, easy run. Takbong mayaman, is what Coach Jo Ar calls it. I was the only girl in the 8x1.2K group. The stronger girls were absent. But I was fine with it. At first C said he'll run with me. But when the faster guys started breaking away from our group, I told him to go on ahead and run with the faster group.

I was running with several guys and Coach Jo Ar. I was determined to keep my own pace, and not feel pressured to speed up or keep up with the boys. But boy oh boy... Coach had other plans.

After maybe two laps, I felt that our pace wasn't easy at all. I was having a hard time keeping my breath even and slow. But I was still okay. AND... when I tried to slow down so that Coach would go on ahead, he would slow down too. Because he kept pace with me, I also unconsciously started keeping pace with him.

When I run, I constantly evaluate how I'm feeling. If my legs are tired, if I'm running out of breath. With the pace that Coach was taking, I did struggle to breathe calmly but my legs weren't giving out on me so I kept to his pace while just mentally telling myself to breathe properly and efficiently. Harder said than done but I took it as an opportunity to practice mental strength. Naks!

By this time we were a nice little pack of runners. Maybe five. After the fourth lap, we picked up two more boys who had left the leading pack. It felt good to be running in a pack! My first time to do so. And I felt smug that I was running and keeping up with boys. It was nice too to be a big enough group to warrant the parting of the Friday night crowds milling about our route in High Street. Yabang!

But torture!!! I found it sooo tough to keep to that pace! Although I know (and confirmed post-run) that the boys were also struggling to keep to the pace that Coach set. Being in a group really pushes you to go a level up on the self-torture scale.

For the boys, they felt they couldn't stop and walk because the girl in front wasn't stopping and walking. The girl in front wasn't about to let any boy say: ay babae kasi...

The winner in all this was Coach Jo Ar, who must've been snickering the whole 8 laps. Hahaha. But seriously, he was such an encouragement to us. We hardly even noticed that we were increasing speed. And he would joke and egg us on. On the last 200m, he was pushing me to do 400m more so I can do a complete 10K but I chickened out. I told him I want to conserve what energy I had left for my first 10K on Sunday. Chicken. Haha.

It was a really damn good run! And I'm so proud that C ran so well too! He was with the really fast group! Naks!

Time to sleep and recharge my batteries now. :)


The Post About Nothing Really

Suddenly everything is moving in slow motion. Just because I'm in recovery week. I had the sniffles this morning and C had some irritation in his eye so we went to see his brother who's a doctor. (As I typed that last phrase, Scout, our beagle, popped her head in and just looked at me for a few seconds and, gauging that nothing exciting was happening in this room, turned around and went to C who's in the other room watching TV. Our dogs are adorable. One day I will write a proper post about them.)

So we just basically took a day off today. I didn't even work on my assignments for fashion class. Uh-oh. Cram time tomorrow.

My aunt in Canada sent me a training guide for half and full marathon. I haven't gone through the entire thing yet but it seems quite... (what's the word)... daunting. But first I have to ask her if the mileage is in miles or kilometers.

My aunt is in her 50s (ooops, not polite to mention a woman's age) but she is so fit and really looks so great. I hope I have those genes too. She runs regularly and does trail runs I think. I will ask her for running stories. I want to be running like her when I reach that age.

Speaking of running goals, I have been closely following the 102K Ultramarathon event that commemorates the Bataan Death March. Coach Jo Ar is training this woman in her 60s who's joining that run. I plan to be there at the finish line to cheer for them. I hope my schedule (and C) allows me to do that. I just want to support them even in a small way. Someday, I hope I'll be strong (and gutsy) enough to run 102K.

Scout popped in again. I think she's getting curious why I'm not there with them watching TV. I should go. The bag of potato chips await. :)

Tomorrow is another running day. I'm excited. :)

P.S. Since this post isn't about anything in particular, I am going to throw this quote in (aside from running and fashion and writing, I also love pictures):

"A photographic portrait is a picture of someone who knows he's being photographed and what he does with this knowledge is as much a part of the photograph as what he's wearing or how he looks. He's implicated in what's happening and he has a certain real power over the result." -- Richard Avedon

This is my portrait of C.

And this is C's portrait of me.

Taken at Starbucks John Hay last January.


Recovery Week

I'm learning not to underestimate Recovery Week.

Today I got to know muscles I never thought I had. I am sore all over. Going up and down the stairs is a challenge. Who knew how lethal all those moving lunges, spiderman steps, russian twists (among others) could be!

I decided to take it easy and not run today. I think there's wisdom in taking recovery week seriously. :)

My "Pretend Me" For The Week

That's my "pretend me" -- third girl from the left. In those perfect jeans. I'd take you with me to an out of the way al fresco coffee place (I'll replace the jacket of course with a slim striped tank as it'll be too warm in this weather) and we'd talk about people passing by and make up stories about them. Now where does one go to for leg extensions? Hahaha!

Photo borrowed from Jak & Jil.


Running Log: Nike Running Clinic @Ultra; 24 Feb

Recovery week so we just did 5x400m warm-up and a whole lot of drills and core and back exercises.

I kinda felt bitin afterwards. Not used to not feeling spent after a run clinic. I saw too late that some of the boys were doing a cool down run. By the time I saw them I had already scarfed down a big pan de sal that was given for free by Casa Marcos (our clinic's so cool, not only do we have free water and Rush, we now even have free pan de sal!).

Went home feeling kinda blue. After a while you get used to running hard. I'm surprised at how I miss long runs. Wow. I'm really so attached to this sport. That's nice, isn't it?

Maybe I should run tomorrow. Just a bit. I asked some of the coaches is this is okay since I'm running my first 10K on Sunday. They said I can. Just an easy run of 5K would do. Will probably do that if my schedule permits.

I feel kinda sluggish and sad. Weird. I should probably just hit the sack and run tomorrow morning. Good night y'all!

Sound Trip #2

Ennio Morricone is one of my favorite composers. Sharing with you Gabriel's Oboe, from the OST of The Mission. I know it's a bit dramatic but I always always always get weepy when I listen to this.

This one I think is meant for listening while being still.

For the first video, try to just listen. Don't watch the screen. The drums really go: HEAR ME! I AM HERE! Which version to do you like? And please don't say the short one. Haha!

Mr. Morricone is one of the persons I want to meet someday and shake hands with. There was a news report a few years ago of a riot outside one of his concerts in Chile. People were fighting one another to get in. Can you imagine that? :)



Sharing with you this PostSecret. PostSecret is an ongoing community art project where people mail in their secrets anonymously on one side of a postcard.

Have a great week, everyone! Challenging times ahead but there are always plenty of reasons to smile. We just need to sift through the clutter to find what really matters.


(UPDATED) Running Log: RUNew 5k @McKinley Hill; 22 Feb

News fresh off the track, legs still throbbing. Haha.

I loved this race. I still had a difficult time sleeping last night but I woke up this morning feeling happy and ready for the race.

The dreaded McKinley Hill. Coach Rio kept teasing/scaring us in the running clinic that we'll have moments in the run where our knees will be hitting our faces, due to impossible inclines.

Good to prepare mentally for such things. I was really prepared for serious hills and was very calm in tackling each uphill (and downhill) part. Calm for the uphill and not overzealous with the downhill parts.

I was very conservative in this race. Just kept to an even pace and just aimed for a happy run and relaxed finish. I don't think this will yield my new PR but what I like about this race is the realization (finally) that I am ready to tackle 10k.

I remember my first 5k and how tough it was. This wasn't exactly a breeze for me but I've proven to myself that I can keep to my pace despite the temptation to run after faster runners. I know for sure that I've improved since that first 5k and it's a good time to try 10k. I can always go back to 5k if that proves to be too much.

Major insight from this race: one of the best things after a race (aside from a good breakfast) is changing into dry clothes. :) Heaven.

Just sharing... I just realized that I forgot my wet run clothes in Jollibee at The Fort and we now have to go back and retrieve them. Nakakahiya!!!

Good, well-organized race. Congrats yet again to RUNRIO!

UPDATE: The results are out. Clocked 28:51 (not my PR) but I'm still happy because I didn't lose wind. LOVED today's run. Except someone stole my sweaty sports bra!!! How weird is that?! The guys from Jollibee found my running clothes in the washroom. Everything except the sports bra! Crazy!


Summer Stories

Summer is here. C is napping topless and although the AC is on high, I still feel beads of perspiration on my back. "Parang hininga" ang lamig ng AC sa araw na ito.

Would be nice to hit the beach with old friends, sip super cold Coke under a huge umbrella, munch on chips and exchange stories about years gone by.

That's just my way of introducing a little story I'm writing. Haha.

I was recently reminded of this guy I dated very briefly in college. He's in a rock band, and although I haven't seen him for a very long time, I catch glimpses of him and his life on tv and in newspaper features.

Although nothing came out of our little dating game, I think it makes for an interesting slice-of-life story.

I don't know if you saw that Twilight Zone episode where this man discovers that he can keep his aging mother alive by telling her bedtime stories that he cuts at the climax, only to reveal to her the ending the following night, before he starts on another story that gets continued the following night. Well, this is how I'm going to tell this story. (Gina, if you're reading this, feel free to correct my punctuation. I am getting confused! Haha.)

I don't know how long it'll take to tell. I won't tell you when it'll resume. I don't even know when I'll be in the mood to write about it again. The next installment will just appear one day on this blog. So you'll have to keep checking, if you want to see how the story ends. :)

Here's The Telling of The Story of S

It was in my sophomore year when I met S. I was walking down the steps of AS that lead to FC. There were a couple of fraternities that hung out along the ledge of those steps. S belonged to one of those frats.

I can’t even remember now my classmate who was S’ brod. What I do remember is that my friend stopped me to say hi and introduced S to me.

This is what S said:

“Uy, brown ang eyes niya!”

Now how weird is that, right? From that alone I knew he was a weird one. I don’t remember how I responded to what he said. Knowing me, I had probably just giggled nervously and lowered my eyes. In short, nagpa-cute ako. Hahaha.

I am telling this story because I think it’s something worth sharing. I also want to write it down now while I can still remember a lot of things about that time. Someday I'm sure the details won't be as vivid.

I look back to this memory with fondness and feel that it is one of the moments in my college life that best reflects that time – how we were, how silly and clumsy I was (I still am!) and how I should’ve paid more attention, jotted notes and kept memorabilia. Haha.

...to be continued...


Running Log: Nike Running Clinic @Fort; 20 Feb

Tired. :) Happy tired. Not because of the run but because it's late. I want to hit the sack already. Right after this.

We just took it easy today because Coach Rio knows that most of us will be joining RUNew this Sunday. I'm doing 5k.

So today, it was just 1.2k warm-up and 8x800m or 6.4k for the main run. Easy pace. Coach Jo-Ar kept reminding me to go slower. I think I get affected by the runners in front of me. I kinda get pulled to follow the same pace. Bad for me because I was right behind the group 1 boys, the fastest guys in the clinic. Ack. They even overtook me on their last round. Haha.

The nice thing too about today's clinic is that Sandy and I got to chat with Coach Jo-Ar about the running careers of our coaches. I got to High Street early so I had time to just sit around and chat while waiting for people to arrive.

We are privileged to be trained by bemedalled runners. Most of them were national record holders in their time. Wow. That's why I cringe when some of the new people in the clinic make fun of the Visayan accents of some of the coaches. We haven't earned the right (and will probably not ever) to poke fun at these guys. Anyway. That's just how I feel about that.

We had a good run but you can really feel that summer is upon us. My shirt was so heavy with sweat. Haha.

After the clinic, I bumped into my friend Grace while I was waiting for C and the three of us ended up at Brothers Burger. I had their chicken fajita burger. YUMMY!!! And after that, I tried the frozen yogurt at Hobbes. Super YUMMY again!!! I will be back for that next week.

For now, need to sleep. Need to get good rest for Sunday's run. Sharing with you a picture of the sunset sky at The Fort. Took this just before I changed into running gear. Don't you just love sunset skies?

Sound Trip #1

I think I'm starting to develop "departments" in my blog. It's nice to see it evolve and develop some sort of structure.

Would like to share with you today two versions of one of my favorite pieces: Pachelbel's Canon. I'm sure you've all heard it. It's a favorite wedding piece. The version I have of it in my iPod is by Bond.

I give you first the rock n' roll version (keep an open mind; give it a chance; new experiences are good; appreciate the love that went into it):

Wonderful take on this classic. I rarely hear rock versions of classical music and I was quite pleased with this rendition.

Now listen to the version by the London Symphony Orchestra (same bits of advice and encouragement as with the rock version; I don't know what type music you like).

Please pay attention to the horns at the end. Beautiful, isn't it?

I love both versions; they serve different purposes. The rock version to me is something I'd listen to when driving in an open road. The orchestra version is something I'd like to listen to alone in a quiet place where I can close my eyes and just let the music envelop me. Cue tears here. Hehe.

Hope you enjoyed this little side trip!


Coffee Chat #1

This is my favorite coffee mug. It's happy, scruffy and caffeine-worn, much like me. :)

Every morning, I make a mug of coffee, open our bedroom door and the door to our veranda to let the air in. Ginger and Scout wander in and out freely (shhhh... don't tell C! he doesn't like this because he thinks our room will have a doggy smell) as I sip coffee, read and type out something.

Today, I'd like to share with you the music of Mishka. Just saw him on Jimmy Kimmel Live and I think I like his music. I'm kinda in this laid back, reggae, hippie mood right now. Been listening to a lot of Joni Mitchell, Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz (wow, all Js!). C is learning the guitar and I'm fortunate to fall asleep on some nights to his guitar playing. No matter what he's playing, I fall asleep. Haha.

So here's Mishka. Enjoy!


Running Log: LSD @UP; 18 Feb

I had to haul myself to UP. Super tinatamad earlier and it was so warm this afternoon.

But I'm trying to really follow the training plan. How else will I be able to run 10k in March if I don't?

Here's what I did:

2.2k warm-up
5x2.2k or 11k in 1hr 11mins.

It was tough at various points. I ran alone and with no music so it was kinda challenging to keep focused and entertained. :) And my legs weren't fully recovered yet from yesterday's intervals. My shins are still painful. And boy did I feel like walking at some points. But I just pushed and pushed. Played my own coach and told myself: "it's okay, you can slow down..." or "it's okay, we'll get some new legs when we reach the front of FC..." or "it's okay, just two more..." and it worked. My favorite "coaching" words were "we'll get some new legs when we reach FC or the Engineering building". Haha. Crazy, aren't I?

But yep, I'm happy I stuck to the program.

The only thing that's worrying me is that I don't stop for water breaks on my long runs. I find it too much of a hassle to go to the car for water. I have to resolve this soon. I'm up for 10k on March 1.

But overall, I had a good, happy run tonight. :)

Eats, Shoots and Leaves (and the importance of Silent Laughter)

So yesterday I went to the doctor. I don't know about you but when I'm waiting for my turn, I need to entertain myself. Sometimes I'd play a word game on my phone but that makes me dizzy and incoherent when it's finally my turn at the doc's office. So lately I've been reading during the wait.

I read a couple of books at a given time. Right now I'm interchanging The Mossad: Israel's Secret Intelligence Service by Dennis Eisenberg, Uri Dan and Eli Landau, Heat by Bill Buford (on his stint as an apprentice in Mario Batali's kitchen) and Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss. If you put all those three together, you'd have a kitchen secrets spy who sidelines as hitman targeting those who err perennially with their punctuation.

So it came about that my companion yesterday was Ms. Truss' punctuation book. You'd have to read it to understand the full context of the next paragraph.

It started with a little suppressed giggle. I'd bite my lip and cover my face with the book as I regained composure. I'd read on... bite my lip again and wipe my now-watery eyes. Soon enough the bottled in laughter just couldn't be held back and I just couldn't help but laugh full on, but without any sound. Still, my shoulders were shaking violently (even more violently because I was trying to control it) and I hid behind the hardbound book. There was no way to hide from my seatmates that I had gone bonkers. Here I was all alone, reading a book with two innocent-looking pandas on the cover, and I'm laughing my brains out soundlessly. It was embarrassing. But fun.

It was such a delicious time of silent laughter that I wanted to write Ms. Truss and send her a hug.

Here's an excerpt; where she gives examples of the misuse of the apostrophe:

Singular possessive instead of plural possessive:
Pupil's entrance (on a very selective school, presumably)
Adult Learner's Week (lucky him)
Nude Reader's Wives (intending "Readers' Nude Wives", of course, but conjuring up an interesting picture of polygamous nude reader attended by middle-aged women in housecoats and fluffy slippers)

I know... what a nerdy thing to read right? But it's a fun read and a great way to learn about punctuation. After all, what a confusing time we'd all have if we didn't have apostrophes, commas, full stops, etc. My oh my. Okay... that was nerdy.

Running Log: Nike Running Clinic @Ultra; 17 Feb

Woohoo! Woohoo! This was a good training day for me (and I hope, also for the other girls in my group).

I was beginning to worry that every week, as Tuesday drew near, I would be filled with dread and stepping onto the Ultra track I would feel clammy and scared. I am so not fond of the interval trainings, obviously. But it's an important part of the curriculum and I have no choice but to deal with it.

I finally asked for help and begged Coach Rio for one of the coaches to be our pacer, like the group 1 boys (the fastest group) had their pacer. I was thinking it would probably help us if someone would mind the pace, someone who knew each of our capacities and someone who'd be strict but also kind. Hehe.

Fortunately, Coach Rio gave in to our request and assigned Coach Willy to our group. Super great because he was the one who coached us when we were just doing 200s and 400s. He knew very well what each of us was capable of.

It felt so great to just run alongside Coach Willy. We were slow at first but at least we weren't spent and dying after each 800. And we managed to improve our times at each run.

1st 800m - 4:34
2nd 800m - 4:13
3rd 800m - 4:03
4th 800m - 3:49

These times are definitely slower than our times on our very first week with the 4x800 but I think this is the way to do it. Better we keep improving, slowly but surely and finish with a "win" (we improved, we didn't collapse, we finished the four sets) than if we run "blindly" and pressure ourselves too much and end feeling defeated and scared of our next encounter with the intervals. I remember C telling me that when you train a dog, you have to end with a win for the dog. Don't end with a command he/she didn't follow well, so that the last feeling the dog associates with the training is good, something he/she will want to come back to again. Haha. Sorry for the comparison with dog training, but we ARE in training and I think that psychology can also be applied to humans. Anyway... haha.

I think having a pacer also pushes us a group and unites us. Without a pacer, maybe the faster ones feel "lost" not knowing if their speed is just right and the slower ones feel discouraged, seeing others speeding away.

Difficult to explain these things but I'm just sharing how happy I am with our training tonight. I'm thankful for the coaches who are very patient with us and I feel a real bond with my group mates. I want us all to run better.

Also, I'm happy that I won't feel so scared of Tuesdays now. :)

Just to illustrate how terrified I am of intervals, as I was changing into my running gear, I prayed for strength to finish the sets. Haha. I don't like praying for "trivial" things so that little prayer was really a big cry for help. And God answered my prayer! :)

I am really falling in love with running. I don't think I've ever loved a sport this way. :)


My "Pretend Me" For The Week

Although I am immersed in fashion everyday, it is seldom that I see something that I love so much it makes me want to throw up. It's just literally my gut reaction to something I can relate to so much. Yeah, yeah I know... It's just fashion. It's just a pretty outfit. So much drama, no? Haha. Sorry.

Anyway... here's one such ensemble from Boy by Band of Outsiders. I LOVE THEIR WHOLE FALL 09 RTW COLLECTION!!! Style.com writes that this collection is "inspired by the chic French student revolutionaries in Godard's La Chinoise" and features "straightforward basics with a twist".

If I could have one look for myself, and all the nice fabric and creativity to put things together, I would dress myself up this way, every single day.

I would go up to you in my fitted but comfortable navy jacket and grey cropped tailored pants and yellow peep-toe, spectator-ish lace-ups, shake your hand and invite you for tea. With milk and muscovado. Haha.

I'm sooo happy today. Just because I saw this collection. Ahhh... Pure joy.

Click here for the entire collection. I am really nauseated. Ack!

Photo by Don Ashby, borrowed from Style.com


Training For A Marathon

One of my running goals is to run a full marathon before I'm 40. Another is to run in a race outside the Philippines.

Here's a video that gives me inspiration for both goals. I'm sure it'll inspire you too.

McDonald's Days

I don't know about you but I have days when there's nothing I'd like most but a large order of fresh-off-the-fryer McDonald's fries. No matter what's been said about them, to me they are one of the best things in life. Haha.

photo borrowed from the web


Running Log: LSD @High Street; 15 Feb

C and I decided to run at High Street tonight instead of UP. I like High Street because the pavements are even (UP Acad has a banking pavement, cause of a shins problem I had before, according to one of the coaches), although I miss the trees and the earth-smelling air of UP. Ah well, we can't have it all.

Did one big loop (1.2k) for warm-up. Stretched. Did 8 laps around the big loop and one lap of the small loop. Total 10.4k (if I have my measurements right). We finished in less than an hour. I really don't know now if the measurements are right and if we counted our loops correctly. But who cares. The run was well-paced and we really felt so good afterwards.

The only thing that bothered me was the swoosh-swooshing in my tummy. Hungry C had banana-cue before we left the house and I had two bites. Bad. I don't usually have anything solid 3 hours before. Ah well.

We split salad and pasta at Stock Market afterwards. And my FAVORITE key lime pie. YUMMY!

So happy with my last two runs. I hope I really get to enjoy my first 10k race in March. Don't know which to join yet. But right before my birthday would be good. :)

Well, time to ice my shins now! Good night and a good running week ahead to us all!


A Funny Valentine

Just had to share this. Funny, real and "awwwww"-inspiring. Makes you wanna buy the book too! Haha. We don't really celebrate Valentine's Day but we cheer those who do. Hooray for love!

Fashion I Love

I mentioned a few entries ago that I am awaiting samples from the sewer. They finally came a few days ago and though they aren't good for production samples yet, they came out really nice and I must say, I am truly impressed at my sewer's skills and willingness to make things really well.

The first set of samples she gave were a bit rough and I wasn't too happy with the stitching. So when I returned those samples, I gave feedback on quality, as well as gave instructions on refining the design.

The last batch of samples would've been good to sell already, had they not needed any more tweaking, in terms of fit and sizing. But things are proceeding well and soon we will be able to show the new stuff to customers. And hopefully they will like (and buy) them.

I am not sure if this is of any interest to anyone reading this blog. But I just thought I'd share how it is to be in this industry. The business of making what people wear. Fashion isn't all glam. The magazines, the fashion shows and photo shoots are all part of it but a huge and often unappreciated part of it is the long design and production process.

I have been in this business since 2006. I quit a really comfortable and well-paying job at an international development organization to pursue something I was keenly interested in. I didn't know if I would be good at it (most times I still don't know if I am). I just knew I wanted to give it a shot. And I wasn't about to just grow old behind a desk, wondering what could've been.

Last year, I found myself working for a designer I so greatly admire. It just happened. I didn't seek out the opportunity. Things just fell into place. After a year working with her, I felt I had to go back to what I had started. My place wasn't in a big, fast-paced operation, but in my little home office, doing things at a much slower pace.

I've learned so much since 2006. From choosing fabric to taking care of trusted suppliers; from costing out products to finding efficient ways of keeping inventory; from customer relations to press relations.

Right now I am taking a short fashion course. I am learning about the technical aspects of design. Silhouette, lines, seams, cuts, etc.

I had a summer dress made last year. I loved the fabric and people would compliment me when I wore it. A TV host even asked me to make one for her. But I didn't. Something about the dress bothered me to bits. I alone noticed it. But I didn't want to make a copy of that dress till I had figured out and fixed what was wrong with it. The flaw in that dress haunted me for a long, long time.

Lying in bed at night, I'd sometimes "see" that dress, hanging at the very end of my closet and I would examine it in my mind, inspecting all its parts, figuring it out.

Last week, I must've dreamt about it or maybe it was in that in between stage of sleeping and waking. I realized that I needed to add a seam on the shoulders of the dress! That was it! As simple as a shoulder seam and the pattern of that dress would be perfect.

What I realize and still am realizing is that we often take for granted how things are made. We rarely pause to consider how something we bought became what it is.

Imagine the two samples the sewer sent me. I dreamt up these new products last year. Last year. Three sets of samples and the product is still not ready. Because it's not as simple as dreaming up something. You have to figure out how to make it. And when it is made, you have to decide whether it looks good enough for someone else to buy and enjoy. Even that decision is so difficult to make. Should you go through with it or just shelf the idea? A designer risks being rejected. What if no one agrees with the vision you have for that product/design? If that happens, you go broke. Sad designer.

To a consumer (as I too am), it is a simple dress we pick off the rack. It's pretty. We try it on, we feel good in it. We see ourselves walking around at a party wearing it. We buy it. We enjoy it hopefully for a very long time. But imagine all the torment, the passion, the love and attention that went into making that one dress. Well of course I am assuming we are talking about an "original" design. I put quotation marks on that word because I think we all agree that there is no truly original idea. Almost always there is inspiration taken from something else. But that is for another discussion.

What I'm saying here is that I am amazed at how something as "frivolous" as fashion can actually be so precise and exacting. There is of course the emotional part of it. The inspiration, the creative process. But then come the measurements, the pattern. The decision to put seams, darts at certain parts. Make one mistake (half an inch can make a huge difference) and you have a lousy fit. I won't even try to discuss the choices one has to make on details like where the buttons go, what buttons to use, what zipper to use. Hidden or shown? Plastic or metal? What stitch to use? What color? Ahhhhh... it drives me nuts just to think about all these things.

But it is a good process. I love the contemplative part of it. The careful consideration of details. The questions one asks: does it look nice? does it fit well? does it make the heart skip a beat? where will one use it? will it still be wanted next year? etc etc.

I am deeply grateful to be in this industry. I am deeply grateful for the things I am learning. About fashion, about people, about life. I am thankful for C and his tremendous patience with me as I figure out this business. I am thankful for the times he pretends to understand fashion-y questions I ask. And even more thankful when he pretends to have answers. Haha.

I hope that in my sharing you will have greater appreciation for that top or jeans you are wearing. I'm quite sure it took a long, tedious and loving journey to get to you.

I'm off to fashion school now! Happy V-Day! Heeha!


Running Log: Nike Running Clinic @Fort; 13 Feb

This was a good day for me. :)

Warm-up 1.2K

For the main event, had a choice between 8 rounds of the small loop which is around 5k or 7 rounds of the big loop which is 8.4k.

At the last moment before the 5k group was about to start, I decided to do the 8.4k. I was the last of the pack as they started earlier than the 5k group but I didn't mind. I love running alone and at my own pace.

Coach Jo-ar encouraged me to go for the big loop and I'm glad I did. This time I ran with my shuffle. I think the music really helps for long runs.

Coach Jo-ar was at the drink station and kept on cheering me on. I think I paced myself well because on my last round, upon Coach's prodding, I did an extra small loop, or 800m more, putting my total to 9.2k. And I wasn't dying at the end! Woohoo!!!

I'm so happy. I thoroughly enjoyed this run and couldn't help but grin at some parts of the run because I was just so giddy. Finally I was running for the sheer pleasure of it.

I think I'm ready to finally move to 10k in the races. I think my dream of going for 10k in March will come true. :)

Oh! A happy valentine's day to you all! Hahaha! We don't really celebrate valentine's day but we're happy for those who do! L'amour c'est bon!

First Swim

Yesterday was my first day at the pool this year. I don't think I've gone swimming since October.

I felt I was in no shape to do laps and told my friend I'll just dip and enjoy the sun. The air was humid but the sun kept hidden most of the time. It only came out as my friend and I were standing thigh deep in the water, psyching ourselves for the icy plunge. It was as if the sun was coaxing us, warming us up, convincing us to go for it.

Finally dove in (more like splashed clumsily in actually. hehe.) and wow, it was like diving into ice water. Really. Nothing else to do but swim. Or freeze. So I made my first lap across the pool. Felt nice. Hit the other end and went for another lap. I didn't stop. I couldn't. I didn't even count how many laps. I just swam and swam and swam and swam. It was exhilarating to be in the water! To breathe in and out, much like running but in a different way.

At first my strokes were heavy. I was adjusting to the water. Soon after I felt light and wasn't fighting the water but letting it carry me, just minding my strokes, feeling light as a feather as my arms and legs propelled me lightly but swiftly forward. It was pure bliss and I couldn't help but smile in the water. Yes, I do smile in the water when I do my laps. It just happens. It's not something cheesy. It's just realizing how easy it is to move forward, being carried throughout the length of the pool. Like a princess. Princess of the water. I'm sure you understand what I mean. And yes, this blogger is a bit loony. Hehe.

Had to stop at some point because had to get home before 3pm.

There is a village mini mart near the pool. They sell fish balls and squid balls with really yummy sweet and spicy sauce. After rinsing and changing into dry clothes, my friend and I headed for the fish balls stand. Glutton that I am, I had an order of fish balls and an order of squid balls. Swimming in sweet, spicy sauce. YUMMY!

Bought some mangoes for the house and went home happy as can be. Next week, we will try running after the swim.


Hope (and a terrific fashion sense)

Just had to share this wonderful article by Andre Leon Talley on US First Lady Michelle Obama.

I got weepy in some parts. I guess we've all waited for so long for something genuinely good to happen. And I'm not talking about just the White House outfits. Haha. Here's to HOPE!

photo by Annie Leibovitz in Vogue March 09, taken from Style.com

Fashion Bit

I make it a point to check some fashion sites regularly, to see what's new and to find inspiration. It's a once or twice a week thing as I can't stand too much fashiony stuff on a daily basis. I don't know why. It just overwhelms me and makes me look at fashion as a job, not something I truly love and will do even if I don't earn from it. Shhhh... don't tell my husband. :)

I was looking at some Fall 09 trends in Style.com and came upon this sketch by designer Bibhu Mohapatra:

Beautiful in its simplicity, isn't it? I think it's a great silhouette and depending on what fabric is used, it can be worn in all types of weather. And I love pockets. I think, if possible, all clothes should have pockets. :)


Viva La Rock Style!

I'm not so much of a Cold Play fan (I think C is) but when I saw these jackets in one of their videos and then again at the 09 Grammy Awards, their cool factor went up a notch. I'm just not thrilled that they all had to match. Haha. But that's fine. Apparently the outfits were handmade by one of the band members, Guy Berryman. Mr. Berryman, you are a strange fellow and I mean that in a very good way.

I am crazy about these jackets now.
I wish I could make one. I have a military/band-style jacket but in black and I can't wear it now except maybe to a really freezing movie theater.

But yes, these jackets are mighty fine. I hope I get to find inspiration to make something in the same feel.

Oh... can you take a look at those pants too! Ack! I wish I were cool enough to make something like that AND wear them too! Maybe I should make some rock outfits for C! Hmmm...


Running Log: Nike Running Clinic @Ultra; 10 Feb

My first DNF. :( (That's did not finish, for any non-runners reading this blog.)

Maybe it's mental but the moment I stepped on the Ultra track I knew this wasn't going to be an easy training day for me. I slept at almost 3am last night/this morning. And from experience, I know how important sleep is to a workout. I remember when I still went to a gym, the trainor would tell us that if we didn't have enough sleep the previous night, we shouldn't even attempt to workout the following day.

But I had already missed the Friday run at The Fort. So I still went to Ultra. I wanted to give it a shot.

So anyway... we did our 2k warm-up. I was still fine doing that. Then came stretching and the drills. I was out of breath at some of the drills. Bad sign.

Then came the 4x800m sets.

1st 800m - 3:45 (for the first time since I resumed running last year, I felt my throat dry up and get warm. uh-oh.)
2nd 800m - 4:05
3rd 800m - I didn't even hear what the coach shouted out. I was too spent and just knew I couldn't do the last 800m.

I apologized to the coach and he just made me do a slow 5x400m. He said my time had drastically declined for two sets already and doing the last 800m would not do me any good. The 5x400m option seemed a better deal to me. Long, slow than short, fast. But going through the 5x400m, I felt like kicking myself. I should've just pushed myself some more and just finished the last 800m, no matter how slow I was. Ah well. The 5x400m was really a good way to cap the night. Soothing, not stressful.

I have learned my lesson well. If I want to stay long in this sport AND improve, I have to be disciplined in all aspects of my life, including sleep and diet. Lately I have been sleeping so late and eating so much sugar and empty carbs. Just havin' a hell of a good time. Now I'm feeling the effects.

It's good though to go through this I guess. Learned my lesson.

For Some More Mush, Read Here

Adele won Best New Artist at the 2009 Grammy Awards. Best Performance by a Female Artist too, I think.

By now everyone must know (and like) her "Chasing Pavements" song. I like that song too but I think my favorite song of hers is "Make You Feel My Love".

Yeah, what can I say, I'm a sucker for love. The true kind. One that's there for you, no matter how nasty you get or how old and wrinkly you get... or when things are just generally bad. If and when you find that kind of love, you'd be crazy to let it go.

(Waaahhhh!!! Hormones!!! What else can explain all this mushiness?! I'm beginning to sound like a Radio Romance dj!!! You remember that radio station, don't you? Are they still around? But yeah... enough of the mush already please!!! Sorry!!! Hahaha!)

(I love her eye makeup!)

Featured Today: My Wind Chime

This is my wind chime.

It hangs in our veranda, my favorite place in our house.

I've always loved wind chimes. A long time ago, when we weren't married yet, C gave me a ceramic wind chime with colorful pieces of sun, moon and stars. The tinkle of that chime was wonderful. Happy and deep. That chime kept me company in the room I was renting when I was still single. It moved with me to this house when we got married. I nearly cried when it crashed to the ground and broke during a terrible typhoon. By that time its bright, happy colors had faded and it had become grimy and weather-worn. It was time for it to retire, I guess.

It took a while for me to find a replacement chime. I'm very picky. I don't like the garden variety metal chimes they sell at almost every home store. They all look and sound the same.

I found this little beauty in Muji in Hong Kong early last year. I fell in love with it the first time I held it up and listened to its tinkle. I wish I can let you hear the sound it makes when the wind blows through our veranda. It's deep and yet full of joy. It's not chirpy like my old wind chime. This one is more grown up, more settled, with a deep joy bubbling from deep inside. Usually it makes just one tinkle. Then a pause. Then another soft tinkle. Softly announcing: the wind is here. The wind is playing in the veranda, come out!


Miss Clumsy's Funny Face

I met up with a friend today for some bonding over prune walnut cake and side-by-side pedicures. I got to the coffee shop first and alas, it was closed. I was sooo hungry from not having lunch so I zeroed in on some Selecta Chocolate Cornetto at the mini grocer beside the salon, which is also beside the coffee shop. As my friend was parking, I was finishing off the ice cream. She was starving too so we went back to the grocery store to buy some stuff to munch on while having our pedis.

In the salon, I ran into an acquaintance who was getting a hot oil treatment. I felt self-conscious because she's the type of girl who's always well-groomed and poised. I, on the other hand, am clumsy (dropped my bag of chips on the floor and scattered Oishi prawn crackers all over) and terribly shy. I felt particularly more self-conscious today because I had fixed my hair differently. I just usually have my hair down and loose or in a ponytail or in a loose, messy bun. Yes, I like looking messy, or, as my bestfriend calls it, (hair that is) strategically out of place.

Today, I felt creative (happens when I've just had caffeine) and added a bow to my usual messy bun. I placed a dark green checkered ribbon around my head and tied it into an uneven bow at the very top. So it's like a headband with a ribbon on top. Kinda going for an updated 60s vibe.

So anyway... I was feeling self-conscious about the bow. But soon enough I forgot about it. Had a nice time chatting with my friend, drove home, checked email, ate some chips, set the alarm for the total lunar eclipse happening tonight, went to the bathroom to wash my hands after eating chips, and ACK!!!! ACK!!!

I am not in the habit of checking myself in the mirror often as some girls do. So imagine my shock when I saw just now that I have
dried up chocolate ice cream framing my mouth!!! From the ice cream I ate before I met my friend and before I ran into Miss Pretty and Poised. Four long hours ago as I write this!!! ACK!!! ACK!!! Hahahaha! How embarassing!!! And I was trying to appear relaxed and confident while chatting with Miss P&P! No wonder she looked like she was supressing a laugh (or a snicker, perhaps?) as we were catching up. Ayayay! Woe is me. Hahahaha!

This sort of thing happens to me. A lot.

There was one time, a loooong time ago, fresh out of college. C and I were having dinner at this pizza place (we made that pizza place rich because we'd eat there at every pay day! haha). The thing then with lipstick was matte and dark. Shades like raisin, plum, etc. You get the picture. So anyway... I had lipstick on that night. After gorging on pizza (yes, there is a pattern here... I eat a lot and then embarass myself), I asked C if I still had lipstick left. He said yes. So cool. That saves me from going to the washroom and elbowing out the girls in front of the mirror.

I don't know where we went after having pizza but it was a Friday night for sure and we might have met up with some friends. It was a full night. I get home and, for the first time that night, see myself in the mirror. ACK!!! ACK!!! Oh yes I do have lipstick on! But only on the outline of my lips!!! Imagine dark, raisin lipstick lining pale lips. I felt (and probably looked) like Joker!!!

Ordinary Days

Since I became more regular in posting on this blog, it kinda feels like having to produce a daily paper. Haha. Sometimes I feel bad if I have nothing to post. But there are just days when there is absolutely nothing interesting going on. Not that I'm saying that all the things I talk about here are interesting. Haha.

So anyway... I was feeling kinda blue over the weekend. It started with missing the Friday running clinic. I hate missing clinic days. I'm a creature of habit and I love being part of a training schedule.

Just stayed home Saturday and sulked. I usually sulk when I feel I haven't accomplished anything. Aside from not going to the running clinic, I am also waiting for the sewer to send me samples of the new stuff we are releasing soon. The wait for these samples usually puts me on edge. I can't wait to see the new stuff and also feel anxious if the sewer will get it right or if we'll have to rework again. So sulking Saturday it was. Usually sulking leads to pigging out. I dragged C to 7-Eleven at almost 11pm, where I got Selecta Coffee Crumble (the one they are advertising now on TV -- I am also a sucker for food TV ads) and a bag of Jack N Jill (did I spell that right? is it 'N' or '&'?) Potato Chips (I am crazy about potato chips).

So there I was scarfing down ice cream and potato chips late, late at night in front of the TV. Temporary relief. C promised we'd run the next day. Just not early morning.

So last night we ran in UP. Did one round for warm-up, stretched, then ran 4 rounds. Not bad. Although I had a watch with me, I didn't mind the time. I just wanted to run and enjoy the cool, earthy-smelling night air. Loved looking at the shadows in the trees above us. Loved recognizing the potholes and knowing which path to avoid and how to properly run over a particular hump. Some humps are higher than the others and it can be jarring to the knees so it's good to pay attention.

I usually just run 5k and last night was 11k, counting the warm-up. It felt good to be able to run that distance and not be dying at the end. I plan to run my first 10k in March so I really need to get more comfortable with running for a longer time and running longer distances. I need to figure out too what pace will be comfortable for me. The pace that won't make me feel I'm not pushing it, but also the pace that will let me finish without walking. That is my most basic running goal: to run without stopping nor walking.

While running last night, I got to thinking about hydration during long runs. Since I only run 5k in races, I don't usually stop at water stations. I used to but found it just ruined my pace. But now that I'm going to try 10k, I'm thinking if I should really stop at the water station to hydrate or is it okay to still do without it? I have friends who have that hydration belt bag. The one with several small bottles all around. I can't imagine running with that thing. Seems distracting. I have yet to figure out my hydration solutions and I need to do so soon.

So anyway... that's what happened to me over the weekend. Nothing truly exciting. Just a bout with the blues, a junkfood rescue and a rewarding run in the end.

Looking forward to this week. My samples are arriving tomorrow (oh please!!) and there's run clinic too! Yippee!


I Heart Coffee

Here's a really cool article about the LOVE OF MY LIFE... good old fashioned, no holds barred, kick-ass caffeine in a cup, mug, paper cup, demitasse or teaspoon. What will I do without you, my dear coffee?

Illustration above is by the illustrator who wrote the article, Christoph Niemann.


Running Log: 6 Feb

In a runner's life, there are bound to be days like this. I missed the running clinic. Because of monstrous EDSA southbound traffic.

I was on the road, on my butt, for almost three hours, counting the less than 30 minutes it took me to get home after making a u-turn under the Ortigas flyover.

It was so frustrating seeing the minutes tick by, imagining my runmates going through the High Street loops. It was sheer agony and I had to really steel myself for the decision of turning back. For a while I was considering still going to High Street and just running on my own, but I realized it would be so hilarious if I got there at 9.

So I just turned back, went home and worked on my fashion class assignment. That made me feel a bit better. Sometimes we don't know why we miss certain things. But I believe that God puts us where we're supposed to be at a certain time. Maybe I just wasn't meant to run today. To give my body more time to recover.

Must run on Sunday.

Pushing The Fashion Envelope

I was looking at Style.com's "Oscar Dresses They Hated, But We Loved" and was very happy to find in their list the Lanvin animal print dress that Maggie Gyllenhaal wore to the '09 Golden Globes. The first time I saw this picture, I fell in love with the dress... and with Maggie.

I never quite liked her. Found her too weird and too "bad", with her boobies bouncing around in almost every movie I've seen her in. Girl, there is such a thing as a bra. Also, I just couldn't spell her last name. Haha. But she kinda grows on you. Seeing her in that dress just sealed the deal for me. She's an independent thinker and she certainly seems she doesn't give a hoot if we approve of her or not. At least that's how I view her now.

One of the best things I learned from my boss in the just-ended retail job is to be courageous in my fashion choices. Many designs don't get immediate market approval. Sometimes it takes people a whole lot of time to get used to certain ideas. It's nice to push the envelope once in a while. And the pay off can be big. You just gotta have faith in your idea. And faith that some people out there will be able to relate to it, appreciate it... and buy it!

Photo from Style.com


Truly Exciting Home Concerns (Heehee)

Now that I am back to working from home, I have more time to attend to household stuff. Right now I am cleaning up my work space and sifting through a year's worth of clutter. Ack! Unbelievable all the junk we bring home from work or from the mall. Receipts, flyers, printouts, clever mailers, toiletry samples... even pens we inadvertently pocketed after signing something (come on, I'm sure that happens to you too!).

I found a ziploc containing two tea bags I must've brought to work at one time. I was delirious with joy when I brewed one and it turned out to be my favorite, orange-y flavored tea. The tea bag is nude and unlabeled and I had thought initially that it's called orange pekoe but upon checking wiki, I learned that orange pekoe refers to the grade of the tea leaves and not the flavor. Now I don't know what flavor tea it is. And I have no way of knowing (unless I can find someone who can sniff the last tea bag and tell me).

Sorry for the long intro. I have said in a previous post that I am part Russian in that I love long stories. Haha.

So anyway... aside from cleaning up my work space, I have also been thinking about our daily meals. The only meal we definitely have at home is breakfast. We don't eat beef nor pork. We have fish often and chicken occasionally. We eat a lot of veggies and fruits.

Breakfast is my main concern. I've noticed that it usually consists of something fried -- dried squid, danggit, daing na bangus -- all fried, including the eggs (scrambled, sunny side up, omelette). Although we only use coconut oil (that we make from scratch, and which is known to be good for the heart), it's making me uncomfortable that we are so dependent on frying to make our breakfasts. The only time we don't have fried breakfasts is when we have bread, but then we slather on the butter!

I will scour the net now for breakfast ideas that don't require frying. Will share with you my finds. If you have any suggestions, they are most welcome.


Running Log: UP Academic Oval; 4 Feb

I decided last night that I would try to follow all the prescribed training activities of the Nike Running Clinic. Click here to check it out.

Part of the week's schedule is an easy jog on Wednesdays of 7K to 12K, depending on your level. Since the start of the clinic last year, I haven't followed this schedule. I did try to run or swim on Thursdays but couldn't stick to that either.

Now that I can manage my schedule again, I decided I could give the other training activities a shot. I started with the Wednesday run-on-your-own.

Woke up 5am, was in UP by around 5:20. Did one round for warm-up, stretched and started my main run, being careful to take it really slow. I wasn't sure if my form was right. I felt clumsy and heavy going slow and also still feeling stiff after last night's training.

I had ambitioned to run 5 rounds or 11K but I realized after 2 rounds that I just couldn't hack it. Too big a jump from my usual 5K and occasional (once a month at most) 10K. So I settled for just 3 rounds or 6.6K. That didn't feel so bad and I was even able to double my pace on my last 200m. My time for 6.6K -- 43min. Really slow. Hopefully next Wednesday I can add another round.

UP is so beautiful that early in the morning. And I don't know what today's activity is but going into the campus, I saw several calesas. I can just imagine going around the campus in calesas. That'd be fun! They should do that for Valentine's day! Haha.

What I Think About When I'm Running

When I started running, someone lent me an iPod Shuffle. It proved very beneficial on long runs (especially on our clinic runs in High Street at The Fort). My running playlist consisted of songs by U2, Kings of Leon, Eraserheads and other pick-me-up songs.

My favorite tracks were Seasons of Love with Stevie Wonder (not a fast song but its 'celebrate life' feel would inspire me and make me want to push myself some more), Ligaya by Eraserheads (I don't know why... the tempo feels like my running pace and it's a generally happy song; Ligaya nga eh) and Ray of Light by Madonna. The last one... I love the line, "...and I feel, like I just got home...". That song always made me want to raise my arms up in the air and smile widely. I was running and it felt like home. But I didn't raise my hands and smile. Lest the motorists passing me by think I had gone bonkers. But in my mind and in my heart, I would rejoice and be thankful for the chance and the ability to run.

I got carried away there. Sorry. Now back to the topic at hand.

Recently I have been weaning myself from running with music. I've started thinking that running with music feels like watching TV. It reduces running to a brainless activity. There must be some benefit to running with music but I am just testing out my own theories here.

I want not just the physical benefits of running. I also want the mental benefits. The benefit of focusing on the rhythm of my body, the breath and the form. Usually, I focus on those three at the start of a long run. But at some point, probably when I've reached a comfortable pace, my mind starts to wander to other thoughts.

Most of the time I think of what I would like to eat after the run. Haha. That's normal, I guess. Food has always been a motivation for me. When I was still deeply into yoga, I would tell myself in the middle of a really difficult pose: "di bale, magma-Max's ka na mamaya", referring to the Max's Restaurant near the yoga center. And it would work.

When I'm not thinking of food, I think of designs. We sometimes run by the window of the Gap store in High Street and I like looking at design details in the clothes on their huge store billboard. I also look at what people are wearing and try to think of nice things to make later on.

On some days I remember old friends and wonder how they are.

On other days I try to dissect a problem and figure out a way around or through it. I also think of decisions I have to make and weigh the pros and cons.

Sometimes I look at the cars in line for parking and wonder who's driving. Driver/chauffeur or owner? I don't know why. I guess I wonder at how patient car owners are with lining up for parking on a Friday night. Or do they leave the agony of waiting to their drivers?

We pass by a few restos and some bars and I also like peeking at the people inside. I wonder what they're eating and wonder too if they see me and the other runners huffing and puffing around the block. I wonder if they feel envious that we are out working out (whilst they are inside pigging out) or if they are laughing at us for punishing ourselves on a fine Friday night.

After a while, I have to go back to focusing on the next step and the next breath. I have to get back to "coaching" myself and telling myself I have to pickup the pace or just keep at it, no matter how tired I felt.

It's nice to have silence too during runs. The absence of music allows me to think of "real" things. Whether it be as simple as keeping my breathing at a steady rhythm or as profound as what accent color would go well with a b&w polka dot dress. Haha. Kidding.

What do YOU think of when you run?

P.S. I should write about this again maybe after three months. I wonder what my running thoughts would be then.

P.P.S. I decided on cream for the accent color. Hehe. In case you were curious.


Running Log: Nike Running Clinic @Ultra; 3 Feb

Coach said last week (our recovery week) that we were going to be dead meat this week. He was right. Anticipating the punishing routine he had in store for us, I took rest really seriously last week. I only ran twice and really ate and ate. Haha. Yeah, I know, I just used this an excuse to eat again. What's a super takaw girl to do?

So anyway... tonight we did 2K warm-up, stretching and drills. Then hello there 4x800! Waahhh... Thank God for the 3-minute breaks in between 800s.

I have to admit that each 800, I would constantly stop the urge to just stop, walk and walk-out. Haha. Really tiring, despite my promise to myself to just take it easy and just go at an easy pace.

Here are my times:
1st 800m - 3:55
2nd 800m - 3:50
3rd 800m - 3:50
4th 800m - 3:50

On my second 800, I couldn't believe I had shaved off five seconds. And after doing all four, I couldn't believe I kept a steady time. Despite feeling more tired after each set. I could swear my time would go down. Hmmm... Does this mean my body's really adapting faster? Wow! I hope.

What I'm sure of is that I recover faster now. Last year, I wouldn't have the energy to watch TV or have a decent conversation with C when I got home after a night in ULTRA. Now, not only can I converse and be funny, I can actually consider running early morning right after ULTRA. Amazing! Thank You Lord!

So there. That's my run for today. Hope you had a good run too today and will have good runs throughout the week!

All Hail The Runners' Calves

Most families have an outstanding physical feature. Some have big butts (hehe), some have great eyes, some have Boticelli-like faces. My family... we have big calves.

I used to hate my legs. I ran in high school and as a consequence, my already predisposed calves grew to their full potential. They shrank a bit when I got to college because I had stopped running. When I got married and got a bit older, I learned to accept my body and all its imperfections. I threw caution to the wind and reveled in shorts, mini skirts and dresses.

But at the back of my mind, I knew my legs were not as nice as I'd hoped they were. They would always be muscular. When I'd ask C about them, he'd say, "Well... let's just say they aren't your best assets". Gee, thanks for the vote of confidence! Haha.

Now that I've started running again, my calves have happily and steadily adapted. Oh, adapted they truly have! They are now back to their full glory. One of the coaches even told me that "konti nalang legs na ng runner talaga yan". Hay. As if that were something I'd be happy to hear.

I have to accept that my calves will always be well-defined. It's still not shorts season so I don't know how confident I'd be in them with these calves. And what about those cute short skirts? Drool... Ah well. But what I do know is that when I run, I rarely think of how my calves look. Heck, I am seldom aware of how I look (there have been many times when I'd reach the washroom after a run and my hair would be so messed up it looked like a nest). I'm just so into the run and the feeling and the sensation in my legs and chest as I push some more.

After a run, I'm quite sure my calves look humongous. All that exertion and blood pumping into those muscles. But who cares, right? I don't. All I care about at that moment is that I finished and I used everything that I've got in me to finish well. Big calves included!

P.S. Kate Moss has big calves. Heehee.



Going through a rough patch right now. So I'm trying to go back to the basics, the simple things that make me happy. Like having ice cream, taco dinners and staying up late just because.

Came across this video while searching for a peg for this website I'm designing.

It brings back many happy memories.

I remember the day our first TV set was delivered. I can't remember how old I was. I was in pre-school. My mom and I were home. The delivery man setup the black and white TV with brown wood panels and explained its functions to my mom. He switched it on and turned the channel to... Sesame Street! I was hooked.

I learned so much from Sesame Street: how to break down new words into syllables or letters so I could learn to pronounce them (C-O-FFF-EEE); what it means to love a friend (Big Bird and Snuffy); that grouches are cool too; how to count backwards; that pinball machines are colorful and awesome; if you can't sleep, count sheep; and how to ask for water in Spanish. Hahaha.

So from the little kid in me to the little kid in you... "Sunny day, sweeping the clouds away...on my way to where the air is sweet... Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street?"