Was away from blogging because something quite important and remarkable happened.

We got pregnant. Waaahhh!!! This DINK will no longer be that soon. If all things go well.

I write this with caution because this whole adventure didn't start out as smoothly and as joyfully as I would've wanted it to.

Flashback to last Monday, day after the Condura Run. I woke up at 630am to take a home pregnancy test because my period was delayed. The previous week I took two home tests which were both negative.

The test was negative again. I left the kit on the bathroom sink and went back to sleep. Around 10am I woke up and went to the bathroom to pee. From 630 to 10am, I had a really short but significant dream. In my dream, I saw two lines on the pregnancy kit. And I was so horrified I cursed "sh_t" under my breath.

At 10am, I check the strip and lo ang behold, there was a second faint but real line. Sh_t! Just as in my dream! Wow. I felt cold all over. I wasn't ready for that.

In the nine years we've been married, C and I have been very careful about not getting pregnant. We were planning to finally try next year. Why did we postpone for so long? It's difficult to explain. For one, we were happy just being a couple. We liked our routines, our activities. Next year was going to be the year we seriously consider having a baby. Next year.

So when I saw that faint second line, it felt like a wave had crashed over me. I felt I wasn't ready. I felt confused.

Some details are hazy now but I know one of the first things I did was google pregnancy tests and their accuracy and what a faint second line meant. I know that in the middle of all that panic I had told C who was extremely excited at the onset.

I bought another kit for using the next day. Tuesday morning, still the same result. Waaahhh!!! Tuesday afternoon, the same. Tuesday night I still went to the Nike Running Clinic in Ultra. But I told the coaches and was advised to take it easy. I did.

Wednesday afternoon I met up with my good friend who teaches English in Xavier. She was one of the first persons I had shared the news with. I knew she would understand how I felt because her first pregnancy also caught her by surprise and according to her, it was only in her fifth month when she finally grew to accept the situation.

My friend had a co-teacher who was also an Ob-Gyne so we decided to show him my collection of pregnancy kits. He said my results were ambivalent and the best way to really confirm was through a blood test or a beta hCG test.

I would've wanted to get the blood test done that very same day but chickened out and waited for C to be able to go with me for the test.

On Thursday we went to St. Luke's for the beta hCG test and my hCG level was above normal, meaning I was pregnant!

That evening we went for an ultrasound and they couldn't find anything. There was an existing myoma that I already knew of and an unknown mass outside the uterus which I had not been aware of till then. This got the doctors (and us) worried because they were dating my pregnancy to be at 7 weeks, based on the first day of my last menstrual period. By that time, they should be able to see the gestational sac in the uterus. Not finding anything in the uterus, and seeing that unknown mass outside the uterus, made them suspect I had an ectopic pregnancy (the embryo implanted in either the fallopian tube or cervix). Something they needed to operate on because no ectopic pregnancy could ever proceed normally.

It was such an emotional rollercoaster. We felt so bad. And we started worrying too about expenses. People were telling us that the surgery for ectopic pregnancies would cost more than what a birth by C-section would cost. How sad to spend so much and go home empty-handed.

By this time we had started telling our parents. We were trying to keep it to ourselves at first because we didn't want them to worry and we also didn't want to get "hysterical" reactions like frantic pray-overs. Don't get me wrong. I think pray-overs are good. Prayer is very important and we believe in prayer. I just don't like it when people become very emotional when praying over me. I prefer just simple, heartfelt and happy prayer. No gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair for me please. :)

Fortunately, there were no such hysterics from our families. They were all calm and just committed to praying with us during the wait.

Friday we went for another blood test in St. Luke's and then went to see a doctor in Cardinal. Recommended by my aunt who had a difficult pregnancy. My hCG level had doubled as expected if you are truly pregnant. They made me go through another ultrasound and they still couldn't find anything in the uterus.

You can't imagine the feeling of being poked around and being pricked by a needle so many times, and still have no idea what is wrong/or right with you. It was terrifying. I am so thankful that C was there beside me every step of the way. We'd laugh, we'd cry, we'd pray and eat our anxieties away. We had become fond of the pancit in St. Luke's Sweet Tomato Cafe. :)

The doctor in Cardinal told us to get another blood test and another ultrasound on Monday.

Monday, another blood test. Let me note that these blood tests are done at 630am so we can have my results by 11am, in time to see the doctor. We'd get up at 530am, wash up, get dressed, drive to St. Luke's, get the blood drawn and go home to get some more sleep before we headed back to the hospital again at 11am.

My hCG level had tripled, as expected still. The doctor in St. Luke's who was out of town when this whole thing had started was back. We set an appointment to meet her after I got my ultrasound results. At the ultrasound, the first doctor who examined me couldn't find anything again. This made me weepy but I bit my lip and held back the tears. She called a more serious doctor and I swear I want to go back and give that doctor in a yellow outfit a great big hug. She found something!!! She found a "gestational sac-like structure" in the uterus!!! :) Our first glimpse of our little one!

It's still too early to tell but when we met with our St. Luke's ob, she was quite confident that that was it. :) We will know for sure in two weeks because the embryo grows in millimeters only. But excited parents-to-be that we are, we are scheduled for another ultrasound this Saturday. We've become such veterans at this.

I forgot to mention, it was my birthday yesterday, Monday. My only prayer was to know. And God answered my prayer, even partly. It was such a special gift to see that gestational sac on my birthday. And to think the first doctor couldn't find anything at first. Our baby's a shy one, like her mom. :)

Will keep you posted as things progress. Keep us in your prayers.

In writing this entry, I took a nap twice and ate a big plate of fresh pineapples. I am thankful that so far I show no signs of the horrible morning sickness associated with the early stages of pregnancy. I am hoping I'm one of the fortunate ones who breeze through pregnancy. I rarely had menstrual cramps and I attributed it to eating healthy and exercising regularly. I hope that helps too in keeping morning sickness away.

Except for the more frequent (and severe) hunger pangs, bouts of sleepiness and really full boobs (hahaha!), I am perfectly fine. Thank God! It's wonderful having someone "tag along" in everything I do. I'm excited and no longer fearful of having kids.

Will leave now for Ultra for a really slow jog. C is very protective and insists that I just walk. But so many articles I've read say that if a pregnant woman has been running way long before she got pregnant, she can continue doing so (just not to the point of exhaustion) for as long as it is comfortable for her. And heck, I ran 10K before I knew I was pregnant!

I don't want to stop exercising. I think it will benefit me and the baby if I continue. I want my baby to fall in love with running too, when the time comes. :)

That's all for now from this preggers! Thanks for reading!


Condura Run Race Results

The results are out. Check them out here.

I just find it strange that my time is better in the race results list (56:58) than what I clocked when I was under the race clock (57:40). When do they record our times, when we cross the finish or when we enter the chute? Weird too that one of my run mates is lower on the list than me, when I saw her cross the finish ahead of me. Hmmm... I hope the race organizers correct the list before they publish on Sunday.

I'm just elated to be in the top 200 overall for 10K. Wow, never in my wildest dreams... :-)


Condura Run

I will never look at the Buendia flyover the same way again after today. Wow, dear flyover... you are somethin' else!

Did 10K (my second so far) and crossed the finish line at 57:40 on the race clock.

This is the hardest I've ever worked on a race, I think. And this is the first run where I've actually thought of walking, or worse, stopping. Several times. Several, several, several times.

C went for his first 21K and did it in 1:59:16. Woohoo! Congratulations!


The 10K for me started out quite calmly. I was around five rows from the front of the pack, patiently waiting for gun start. Bumped into Charlie and was happily yapping about our friends who were in the 21K, when out of nowhere Coach Sarge appeared beside me and said, "sabayan kita".

"Naku wag po!" was my very worried reply. I don't like running alongside a coach because they tend to push you to death. I just wanted a happy run. I didn't want to work so hard, knowing I still have my very tight ITB to deal with.

But Coach was running bandit and had nothing better to do than hound me. So I agreed but told him I'd run at a really relaxed pace.

Then came gun start. Coach sprinted ahead of me and I was hoping I'd lose him. But no! He jogged back to where I was and told me to speed it up. This was how it was going to be the entire race. Coach sprinting ahead, chatting with the faster runners who were already on their way back in the opposite lane, and Coach slowing down to a jog to wait for me.

I'm proud to say that I only succumbed to the pressure from Coach at the first 1K. The rest of the way, I ran at my own, huffing-puffing pace. Because I knew I wasn't going to finish the race if I followed his very fast pace. At the finish, I was relieved for Coach's company and the pressure he exerted but more relieved that I stuck to my own pace despite the pressure.

I was terrified of the flyover. Going up for the first time, and descending on Buendia, I was already imagining the excruciating way back up after the 5K turnabout. To say that the way back on the flyover from Buendia was a killer is a major understatement. It took all of my willpower just to trudge on and not walk. Weird though was how the urge to walk would overcome me after I had reached the top of the incline. Why is that? Anyway.

When we reached the bottom of the flyover, Coach kept pushing me to speed it up as we were already in the last few kilometers. No matter how I wanted to follow, I just had no reserves left. I just kept to a slow and steady pace and kept telling myself to keep at it.

At the last 2K, I felt like walking again but just pushed some more. It's difficult to describe all the emotions and thoughts that went through me at the last stretch. I cannot understand how one can think of quitting when the finish was within view. But that was how I felt. I was so spent and really gasping for air.

It was only at the final 200m when I managed to double my pace, just to make sure I would finish before the clock hit 58. Phew.

That was the most difficult race I've ever joined. I don't know if I'll ever join another 10K involving the flyover. C says he's sure I'll be back. Maybe. For sweet revenge. Haha.

I'm so proud of C. It was tough for him too as his supply of Hammer Gel didn't make it to the race. He had no carbs to boost his energy when he hit the wall at 16K. When he crossed the finish line, his lips were pale. Haha. But still, finishing 21K is no joke. Congrats, C!


Good race, overall. A devil of a race! Haha! The best part for me was the military brass band that played at the bottom of the flyover. And the water tank spraying water on runners who wanted to cool off after the race.

Now I think I deserve a tub of Double Dutch ice cream and a big bag of Kettle Chips New York Cheddar. :)


Kettle Chips

Hello my darlings!

That is what I whisper to the bags of Kettle Chips lined up in the grocery store whenever it's time to get my weekly ration.

I don't know where it started. I don't know when I tasted my first chip. Too bad. If I knew, that day would be celebrated like a family member's birthday.

Recession (and cellulite) not withstanding, I MUST HAVE (insert ferocious roar here) at least one large bag of Kettle Chips every week. I will scrimp on coffee, on pedicures, on main meals, but not on my weekly one bag of bliss. No way.

These are my favorites (arranged according to preference):

The good thing is they're healthy chips (yeah right!) and the Kettle Foods guys write good copy:

All Natural, No Stuff
No trans fats, no MSG, no artiļ¬cial whatchamacallits. Who needs it when our obsession for potato perfection results in award-winning chips, naturally. Chips you’ll still respect in the morning.

Chips you'll still respect in the morning. I love that! :)

I took their What's Your Flavor Quiz and got this result:
New York Cheddar

I am Bold, Grown-up Cheese.

I'm a bold, big city person. Museums, theater, fine dining and cool shops... I can even appreciate performance art. I've got grown-up tastes but I'm not stuffy or stiff. I know how to have fun and I'm just as comfortable at a white linen-laid table as I am at the hot dog cart. I've got style. An individualist who isn't afraid to show my true colors or to stand out in a crowd.

Hehe. Cute. Kinda uncannily, potato chippy correct too! (Insert Twilight Zone music here)

this is not a paid advertisement! haha!


Running On

I don't know if that title sounds right. It's like a runny nose or a run-on sentence. Haha.

I've not been posting running logs lately. I haven't stopped running nor training. It's just that I've become less concerned with the numbers but more concerned with the quality of my runs and making sure I keep any injuries at bay.

I've been running since November last year and it feels much longer than that. My stiff knees in the morning when I go down the stairs are testament to how I've put my heart and soul into this. I know I'm hooked. For life.

I still keep a notebook running log just to record my mileage but I will stop blogging about each training day. Will save the online running log for race days and other milestones.

I think it's a fitting thing to do also because the Nike Running Clinic will be ending in April. There are talks of making us an official club but they haven't announced anything yet. Honestly I wish they'll organize us into a club or if they won't, I hope the guys I've been training with since November will want to continue meeting as a group so that we can train together. It's definitely much better to be in a group.

Next race for me is the Condura Run on Sunday. Doing 10K. C's doing his first half-marathon! Woohoo!


Recession Obsession

Do you think we are in recession?

I don't really know but since it's the current buzz word, I'm taking it seriously and adjusting my priorities, just in case. :)

I'm not sure if I'm a high-maintenance kind of girl. I like to think I'm not. C would probably say I am.

But I've always been a trouper and I can scale down when needed. A few weeks ago I even told C we can start a vegetable garden and eat our harvest! Haha. Okay... that's a bit too far out, I should say.

So anyway... early this year (and especially when I quit my part-time job), I decided to cut down on some of my spending:

1. Clothes -- When I was still working for this retail store, I couldn't resist the urge to buy the stuff we made. A friend even commented that we were like drug pushers buying our own drugs. Haha. Now if I want to update my wardrobe, I buy fabric and ask my sewer to make something for me. Not only do I save, I also get to test designs on myself and figure out if something is worth selling or not.

I have a closet (technically two closets as some of my clothes are in C's closet and others still are in another closet in the spare room) bursting with clothes, some of which I've had for years. I have two Rhett Eala pieces that are at least 10 years old! These are the stuff that have survived countless garage sales. They are my treasure pieces.

To update the pieces, I'd sometimes add little things like buttons or ribbons. Take this tank top that's enjoying its second summer with me.

It's kinda scooped too low and I used to fold and pin the shoulders straps so that it doesn't reveal too much cleavage. That got kinda boring so I decided to add thin, red grosgrain ribbons that serve to shorten the straps and also add a pop of color.

2. Grooming -- I believe in pedicures. Manicures, I don't need. They are a waste of money on me as a few minutes after leaving the salon, the polish on my fingers get chipped from too much fidgeting. But pedicures are a must, especially in summer when it's not only pretty to bare one's tootsies but also more comfortable!!

I used to have my pedicures done by just one girl whose name is Girlie (insert smile here). I would follow her to whichever salon she'd move to because most of the other pedicuristas I've tried were very sloppy or worse, did the pedicures oh so painfully. But those pedicures with Girlie would cost around P350. Add the P100 tip, that's almost P1,000 a month if I do it twice a month (the minimum).

Fortunately I found a small salon in one of the villages near Ultra that does decent and pain-free pedicures for only P100! And P50 tips are very much de rigueur. Whew!

3. Fitness -- I must say that running is one of the cheapest sports I've ever tried. One just needs to invest in a good pair of running shoes, a good sports bra for girls and running shorts. I choose to wear the free race singlets I've collected from races I've joined. I actually prefer them to dri-fit shirts.

What else have I cut down on? Hmmm... The fact that I'm finding it hard to continue the list means I'm either low maintenance or that I haven't really been cutting down! Hahaha!

5. Races -- I've been joining races with C since November last year and it came to a point where we'd be joining a race every Sunday. This year we decided to choose our races and limit them to only two per month. Not only do we save on race fees and the breakfast splurge post-race, we also get to do other stuff on Sundays, like sleep in!

6. Movies -- Like choosing races, we've also become choosy with the movies we watch on the big screen. If we don't think a particular film will really impact our lives, we won't watch it at all or maybe just wait till it comes out on DVD.

Six items! I think that's not a bad number. :) Six things I've learned to live without or have scaled down on. Six minor changes that will hopefully make us a bit more recession-resilient. :)

What do YOU cut down on?

an interesting follow-up post would be what don't i want to cut down on.... hahaha!

Eye Candy and Wise Decisions

Did I tell you we're looking at houses?

We are. Nothing serious yet but we are considering/hoping/dreaming of moving to a new home this year or next. We need to move closer to C's place of work and we've been in this house for a little over nine years. Would be nice to have a change.

If it were up to me and if I had the budget, I would get this Tord Boontje garland light and hang it in our new living room. It would be the first new thing I'd buy for the would-be new house.

I've been lusting for it since last year. I might even have reserved one in a shop somewhere. Hehe. But at almost 5K, C couldn't be convinced to buy it, practical guy that he is. I should just make one, he said. Haha. I wish I could!

I first saw it when my former boss and I were looking for accessories to decorate our new store space with. The garland light was hanging in a corner of the decor store and seeing it made my heart skip a beat.

Checking the price, I told her C would probably frown upon such purchase. She said it's like buying art. It's something you'll love for a long time, a well thought of piece, and not just some mass produced copy.

In these challenging times, buying a flimsy, whimsy light like this would be impractical. But wouldn't buying something cheap and fleeting be equally bad as well?

Personally, I've limited my shopping to almost zero*, choosing to having stuff made and wearing what I sell. If I do buy anything, it has to be something I know I will use for many years, fad-proof and well-made. I think that's a good guide.

Which brings me back to the Tord Boontje light. :)

*yes, this is correct! the only luxury i allow myself now are bags of Kettle Chips. :)


In A Rut

I'm having a dry spell.

Nothing exciting seems to be happening lately and when I start to write about something, I am the first to roll my eyes at what I've written. BORING.

Maybe it's partly because my work is also sort of on hold. I'm having my work website redesigned and until it's done, I cannot launch my summer stuff.

I am so attached to my work. Not just because it helps pay the bills, but because it is something I absolutely love doing. There is nothing quite like the joy of receiving an email or text message from a customer saying they've just received their order and they love it to bits. The monetary rewards are really secondary. Really.

I hope the website gets up and running soon.


I got a message from my fairy godmother yesterday. She's a well-respected magazine editor and she's going to be moving to an online cityguide soon. She said I should write some articles for them.

She has always had more faith in me than I have in myself.

It's not that I'm insecure... I don't think I am. I'm just awfully shy.

In my work, I've been fortunate enough to appear on tv and in some fashion magazines. Those things always, always, always terrify me. To a point where I've decided to be more private and no longer show my face on tv nor print. Heck I can't even muster the courage to show my face in my own blog!

My fairy godmother always tells me that being shy is not becoming of an old fogie like me. That I should be more confident and if it helps, have a public persona that I can whip out when needed.

I've tried to follow her advise and have succeeded maybe a couple of times but I've slid back to old habits and feel so much better being unknown. Ah well.

Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life. Well, not small, but valuable. And sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it, or because I haven't been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn't it be the other way around? I don't really want an answer. I just want to send this cosmic question out into the void. So good night, dear void.
-- Kathleen Kelly on You've Got Mail

I know it's cheesy and so unoriginal but I can totally relate to those lines. Ah well, again.


Sound Trip #6

Just one frame for visuals so it's perfect for playing in the background. To be enjoyed with a tall glass of really really cold pandan iced tea.


Running Log: Nike Running Clinic @Ultra; 10 March


Just ran easy tonight.

2K Warm-up
stretching and drills
15x400m main run

Didn't do the scheduled intervals as advised by Coach Rio. Been feeling on-off pain on the outer side of my right knee, thigh and butt since Wednesday's intervals.

Although I didn't feel any pain on the knee and thigh tonight, the pain in my right butt cheek persisted till today.

Good thing I told Coach Jo Ar. He recommended I get a sports massage from Coach Salazar of Team Baldrunner.

Coach is a guy. Gulp. But so what. I'm macho. And if The Bull Runner was okay having her sports massage done by a guy, then I should be fine too.

So after the 15x400m run, I placed my tight leg muscles under the masterful hands of Coach Salazar. Yeouch!!! Super yeouch!!! I was screaming in pain as Coach kneaded the tight knee, thigh and glute muscles. Ack!!! Masakit talaga! No kidding at all. My shins were also very painful. Ack again!

Afterwards though, I felt like my leg muscles were not as tight. Coach suggested a stretching exercise for the glutes. He says this kind of pain is usually caused by one leg striding longer on the curves of a track oval. As for the shins, I may not be hitting the ground with the balls of my feet. Need to correct that.

Another running clinic guy was next on the mat with Coach Salazar. I stayed around to wait for him to yell in pain. Hahaha!

I hope this works. I really don't want to get sidelined by an injury.

Next week is recovery week, to prep us for Condura Run. Come April, we will be graduating from the running clinic. Hopefully the plans of making us an official Nike Club pushes through. :)

Need to RICE now.


Been a busy day. And now I'm all wired up and can't sleep.

Went to the fabric store and left swatches of my choices. I hope all of them are still available. I can't wait to see them as belts, skirts and shirts. Sooo excited.

I saw one of the contestants of Project Runway Philippines in the store. I can't remember his/her name. The gay guy who looks like a girl. She/he was very nice. We smiled at each other. I wish I were skilled in the art of small talk. Hindi talaga. Sayang. Alangan naman I throw her an essay (here, read this! see my wit!)?! (Conversation with self: What wit?! Nasaan?!)

Got groceries too as we are starting to subsist on pan de sal and taho. Hahaha! Not that those aren't good. We just are a rice-eating household. We get tantrums when we don't eat rice. :)

Been talking to my friend who's setting up my business website and I'm hoping he'll soon find the time to do it. The wait is killing me. But I know there is a perfect time for everything.

Meanwhile, I am dreaming of the beach. Here's a picture of C and me in Boracay two years ago.

Soon enough I should show my face here already. What's the point of all this secrecy anyway? I don't know. Haha.

I just noticed... C's calves look smaller than mine! Ack! Hahaha!

I should get some sleep. It's past 1am.


Sound Trip #5 and Happy Monday!

Some years ago, a trumpet player friend sent me a track that was meant to cheer me up and satiate my craving for trumpets and more trumpets.

A few months after I received that track, I was browsing in Tower Records and met the band responsible for that track! One of the band members came up to me (a cool, burly, jazzy, African American guy) and said hi. I got the band to autograph my copy of their CD. They kept calling me "sugah". Hahaha. I wish I were cool enough to sound cool saying "sugah".

C and I ended up to be the youngest folk to watch them at PICC the following night. Hahaha! The things C puts up with for my music tastes. I won't tell you about that time he watched/sulked at/slept through Ronan Keating's concert. Hahaha!

So anyway... that track is called Grazin' In The Grass and I give you the Friends of Distinction version (they're the band I met at Tower Records) as well as the original by Hugh Masekela. Enjoy and happy Monday!!!

"... the sun beaming down between the leaves..."

Can you dig it, baby? :)


Choosing Wisely

The fabric supplier gave me a big bundle of new swatches. Fresh off the boat.

This is my messy table right now.

I hyperventilate and get nauseous in the presence of fabric. I get both a high and a bout of depression when I go through the swatches and pick out those I plan to use.

I giggle alone and take frequent deep breaths when I come across a pretty swatch. I actually hear them singing to me. Yes! Like an American Idol audition!

But I get sad when, out of the thick bundle, I have to choose maybe just 50. And still out of the 50 I have to narrow it down to those that I absolutely cannot live without. Right now I have 25 to 30. And how I wish I won't have to adjust the number again. But depends really on the budget and how many of these babies are still available come Monday. Yes, there is always a mad dash for fabric. Somewhere out there, another girl or gay (hehe) is on her table right now sorting and ooohhing and aaahhhing.

Come Monday the ooohhing and aaahhhing will be replaced by weeping and gnashing of teeth, when the fabric store says: ay wala na po...

Take a look at the many kinds of pinstripes I had to choose from!

Soon some of these guys will be part of belts, cuffs, skirts, shirts and shoes. :) Maybe you might be wearing some of them someday! :)


Running Log: Nike Running Clinic @Fort; 6 March

Rush post; need to hit the sack so I can make it to class early tomorrow. We're doing watercolors! :) I have new school supplies. :)

1.2K warm-up
stretching and drills
8x1.2K or 9.6K

Was a good run!!! I'm happy I'm not so out of breath and can actually speed up the last 1K. And no need to ice my shins anymore. Oh dear Lord, no injury please. :) I will do my part by being careful and patient.

What I'm happy about too is that my friends K and Ch joined us tonight. I hope they'll learn to love running too.

Soooo loved the chicken spinach lasagna and froyo afterwards. YUMMY!!!

Good night!

Sound Trip #4

I checked the calendar and couldn't believe it's already Friday today. This week went by so fast.

Sharing with you the main theme from Il Postino, composed by Luis Bacalov. I love the piano and harpsichord (that's what it is, right?) combo. Beautiful. Update: It's an accordion. :)

Perfect for a lazy summer day. Have a good weekend!


Countdown To The Thick of Summer

It's really game on for Mister Sun.

Met up with Ch at this village pool. Another one of my quiet places. Went for some laps and laughs (yikes, how corny! haha!) and took her measurements. She's having a top made. My first mto client. Yippee!

After our swim we had merienda. Ginataang halo-halo, fish balls and squid balls. Brought home itlog na pula for breakfast tomorrow (with chopped tomatoes and onions!). And a cup of the ginataan for C. :) Ang sarap ng summer!

My Pretend Me For The Week

Took a while for me to find my inspiration for the week so I've been going about my business in my jammies. Hehe. :)

Here's the look I'm going to go for this week.

I am IN LOVE with the skirt. Who cares about my humongous calves?! Incidentally I wore a mini dress yesterday and got so much teasing from Coach Rio after training. May date daw ako. 'Kasi lagi lang running shorts and singlets nakikita niyo' is what the Ally McBeal in me wanted to say. In reality though I only managed a sheepish grin and a 'hindi no' that only my sandals heard. Sadly, I have no talent for repartee.

photo borrowed from garancedore.fr
j'adore garance.


Running Log (and some downtime): Nike Running Clinic @Ultra; 4 March

Before tonight's running clinic I met up with a friend at this small neighborhood cafe where I go to be alone or have quiet conversations over cake and coffee.

My friend was late and I got there early so I had a good hour to spend alone. This is what I had:

I love that place. It's very simple, quiet, old fashioned and sunny. The food is like something your tita or lola would make for you, with recipes handed down from generation to generation. Being there reminds me of Bacolod in my younger days. I don't know why. Maybe the way the sun falls on that place and the many trees around the cafe.

Got to Ultra early and decided to start on the training ahead of the others so I could leave early. Had family dinner tonight.

As expected after recovery week, they increased the distance for our intervals. From 3x800, we're now at 4x1200. Ack.

Sometimes I feel the coaches are conspiring against me. It's like 'torture (insert my name here) day' sometimes. This is one such day.

Coach Rio said target time for the 1200 was 6min. The first set, no one timed me (and Sandy who decided to do early training too) so it was okay. Still tough but okay.

Sandy had to sit it out after the first lap because she was feeling pain in her lower leg.

I asked Coach Willy to pace me and he said yes. It always works better for me when someone paces me. Second set, we clocked 6:15. Coach Willy wasn't happy. I was just glad to have made it through the second set.

Third set, he really almost killed me. The times I'd refuse to pick up my pace, he'd run in front of me and unconsciously, I'd gain speed. Ack. At one point I felt I was going to dream of the back and calves of Coach Willy. Hahaha!

We finished the third set at 5:55. Kainis! I was whining now and saying 'ayoko na!' because I was really out of breath and my legs were starting to feel really tired. Not painful, just really tired.

Finally, I decided to ask Coach Rio again what the target range was and hello, it was between 6-7min pala!!! Ano ba!

This buoyed my spirits and gave me strength to do the last set. This time at a no longer death-defying 6:20. But the coaches kept teasing me na 'kaya mo naman eh'.

It's good to be pushed because it most often leads to improvement. But sometimes I also feel I have to put my foot down and say I can't do what's being asked of me. After all, it's my body and I know what it can and cannot take.

I have a tendency to follow and quietly endure pain. Long ago in boxing I suffered a fracture in my forearm because the coach told me to hit harder. I hit harder and felt a sharp pain run through my arm. I kept on hitting the mits because the coach said so. Then came the second shot of pain. I only stopped when the bell rang. By then I knew I had broken something. I had to wear a cast and go through therapy. I haven't gone boxing since then.

It wasn't the coach's fault. I should've stopped when I felt the first shot of pain.

My goal is to be in this for the long haul. That's why I'm being more careful now. I don't want to push too hard to the point of injury. That is my personal responsibility and I have to learn to follow only to the point that I can handle.

Enough drama.

I am thankful though for the push. I know I've improved. Nagbunga and pagod ng coaches. Like this mango tree I saw outside the cafe. Go ahead, click on the picture. Summer is truly here. :)

Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy

Sharing with you this clip. What a breath of fresh air. Louis C.K. is an Emmy Award-winning American stand-up comedian, writer, actor, producer and director.

P.S. I still remember having a black rotary phone. I'd try to help it along by trying to push the dial back so it'd go faster. But I realized that the connecting was what was really slow. Even when you've pushed the dial back, you still hear the tic-tic-tic of the connection traveling to wherever it's supposed to go. Haha. And do you remember having a party-line? We had one!!! "Party line, pwedeng paki-baba?" Insane!!! Hahaha!


Running Log: LSD; 3 March

Nike Running Clinic was moved to tomorrow. Ultra not available today.

Decided to run on my own tonight. Dapat this morning but when I was heading out our door it started to rain. Sooner or later I'll have to face the rain but I wasn't ready for it today. Soon!

So tonight this is what I did:

2.2K warm-up
11K slow jog (1hr 11mins) with 3 water breaks spread out

I'm happy with tonight's run. It's still not a breeze doing 11K but it's certainly not as tortuous as before. Slowly but surely, and hopefully injury-free.

Nice to see so many runners. Iba-iba ang style. And I notice the guys really take pains to splash on some perfume or cologne. Minsan sobrang lakas ng amoy. Sorry... Hahaha! But really, some people need to tone it down because it kinda distracts. Gag-inducing na. :)

But it's definitely a good time for running. So many people getting hooked! Hooray!

Memories... light the corners of my mind...

Are you on Facebook? I recently reconnected with my very first bestfriend in grade school. She’s a doctor now and is based in the UK. She has a baby boy. Cute. Getting in touch with her brought on a flood of memories.

The night before DocFit when I couldn’t sleep, I decided to indulge in a little trip down memory lane. Here are some of the things I remembered from certain times in my childhood. Kinda really makes the age obvious:

Pre-school/play school (what is daycare now) – went to Infant Jesus on Mahusay St., UP Village. It was just around the corner from our house but it seemed very far. One time, our helper forgot to pick me up and I was the only one left in school. I asked the security guard to walk me home. One of the things my parents taught me was to memorize their names, our address and our telephone number. My parents were so pleased that I handled that little ‘crisis’ well.

Nursery – went to UP Child Development Center (sounded so serious before and I remember relatives repeatedly asking me to recite the name of my school; just for kicks – kainis!). My bestfriend was Jay Fajardo. I don’t remember his face but I remember he was plump. I envied this kid named Vincent because he said he could play the piano, and he drew himself playing the piano, AND he drew well too. Overachiever! Haha!

We learned to distinguish different tastes here (salty, sweet, etc.). I remember my teacher told my mom that I had difficulty telling salty from sour. My mom conducted her own taste lesson at home and we found out that I was confused because in Ilonggo, maasin is salty, which I would confuse with the Tagalog maasim.

There was that day we learned to mix fruit salad.

I loved the song that went: ‘Kung ang ulan ay puro tsokolate, o kay sarap ng ulan!’ I still think of that song when it rains.

Our teachers were progressive and taught us Carpenters songs. 'Sing, sing a song... sing out loud, sing out strong...'

One recess time I was on the seesaw, an older kid named Kristine was bullying me to get off the seesaw. When I wouldn’t budge (you know how difficult it is to stake your claim on a playground ride!), she bit my hand. I hated her till high school. And I remain afraid of her memory up to now.

Kindergarten – I went to UPIS. I had a classmate named Michael who could dance like John Travolta.

My favorite teacher was Ms. Magno. She genuinely cared. She was very strict but would hug us and hear us out when we had sama ng loob with our parents. She died some years back. I met her daughter at a bazaar. I hugged her and thanked her and told her how her mom made such a huge impact on my life.

We all brought lunch from school, in drawstring lunch sacks we ourselves made. Imagine that. Mine was blue with white drawstring and my first attempts at embroidery. It looked like crap. Haha.

Sometimes we’d have dessert treats like ice cream. I would always be crestfallen when I’d end up with the ube ice cream cup. I loved mocha most, and strawberry second. I was ambivalent towards mango.

It was in Kindergarten when I had my first crush: BR. Hahaha! He was in the morning class and I saw him at a school program where he was dressed as a tin soldier from The Nutcracker. I don’t know why my first crush was a guy wearing thick red blush.

Grade 1 – The daughter of our class adviser, who belonged to another class, was a spoiled brat who loved to torment scaredy cats like me. One time after school, she locked me and my friend in one of the rooms. After maybe an hour (maybe just 15 minutes, you know how kids are...) of screaming and pleading, she eventually took pity on us and let us out. Looking back on this now, I don’t know how she could’ve locked us in when the doors most certainly lock from the inside of the room. Hmmm… The power of suggestion.

There was a girl in my class with beautiful, thick, straight and eternally neat hair. She always wore a crochet headband that came in many colors. Her mom made them. All the girls coveted her hair and headbands.

I was seatmates with BR, my crush in Kindergarten. I discovered I didn’t like him after all because he was a nonstop talker. He kept regaling me with stories of bowling with his family and how he dropped a bowling ball on his foot. He always had a runny nose too. Haha.

Grade 2 – BM introduced us to a game called Cops and Robbers. BM was my new crush (a crush that would last till college!). He was smaller than most of the boys but he was the smartest. And I found it cute that when he got angry at how a game was turning out, he’d turn all red and the veins on his forehead looked like they were going to pop.

There was that time when someone crapped in his/her pants and the teacher helped the poor kid wash up and made him/her wear a manila paper wrapped around like a skirt.

Grade 3 – BM taught us the game Arrow Chase (two teams; team one runs ahead of team two, making arrow marks along the way; the goal is for team two to find team one by following the arrows) and Roots and Rocks (there was a huge Acacia tree in the school yard and in a modified tag game, one team gets to step only on the roots and the other team on the rocks; UPIS had very few playground facilities and we had to be creative).

We would eat our lunch on the benches outside school. That area was lined by bamboo and the sound of the rustling leaves was very soothing. BM taught us to whistle for the wind.

BM’s parents separated. It was the first time any of us became aware of the word and state of hiwalay.

Grade 4 – Bagets was all the rave then and us girls would sit for hours on the seesaw (again!) singing “Growing Up” or discussing who was handsomer, Aga or Raymond.

At home, I would sit in our living room imagining I was waiting for Aga to pick me up for a date. Hahaha!

BM loved inventing songs. He changed the lyrics of 12 Days of Christmas and made it a mean song with lines like 'On the first day of Christmas, my true love sent to me... a rotten banana in the trash can'.

A and M won against the older kids in a dance contest. They danced their hearts out to Telephone!

Grade 5 – I had a barkada of five girls. One of the girls was a born comedian. We couldn’t stop laughing when we were together. One time, on the Ikot jeep, she was telling a joke (bumabangka) and you could tell that the man sitting across her was having difficulty keeping a straight face. It came to a point where he couldn’t hold it in and he laughed out loud. We all fell quiet and looked at him. Embarrassed, he told the driver to stop and got off. Poor guy.

We had a dance number choreographed by Y. It was a 'modern dance' to Tears For Fears' Pale Shelter.

Grade Six -- The boys were becoming meanies. They were obsessed with Dungeons and Dragons and talking about boobs. They had code names for the girls in our batch who were, er, developed, and they found ways para manilip (I tried saying that in English but the playfulness gets lost in translation).

I rarely hung out with BM, we had drifted apart. I was now part of an all-girls barkada with a name and all. We often held bull sessions at the back of the school. While the boys were discovering new worlds in D&D and Choose Your Own Adventure, the girls were learning how to complicate their lives with non-issues and discovering the therapeutic benefits of gab fests. Hehe.

That’s as far as I got. Then I fell asleep. :)

Sound Trip #3

Before Bebe Gandanghari, we had Charing!!! From the guys of Hotdog! (That must sound horribly funny to a non-Filipino!)

Please, please... you just have to see this. PLEASE. It will make your day/week/month. I almost fell off my chair laughing.

Just so deliciously funny. And PLEASE WATCH IT TILL THE END. The last word from Joe Quirino is priceless. Tik-it-awee!


DocFit 10K -- details

Did something different before the DocFit 10K. I slept early. For some reason, C was zonked out even before 8pm. I finished some work and hit the sack shortly before 9pm. I was so sleepy, which isn't usual for a night owl like me. Maybe it was because of the Friday run, paced by Coach Jo Ar. I was beat.

Sadly though, a bit past 10 I was wide awake. Pre-race anxiety again. Same things I always worry about the night before a race: not waking up to the alarm and missing the run (and waking up to mid-morning sunlight, sitting up and screaming ala Macaulay Culkin in Home Alone), losing wind during the run or walking some parts of the run (I know there's no shame in walking... I have to tell myself that).

I thought of reading but didn't want to wake C with the reading lamp. Instead, I typed out some things I thought I'd write about in this blog. Mostly memories of grade school, brought about by a recent wave of nostalgia amongst my classmates who are my friends on Facebook.

I don't know what time I finally drifted to sleep but I finally did, only to wake up maybe three more times to check the alarm clock, thinking I had missed hearing it. Grabe ano?

Finally at 4:30am, the alarm sounded and I put it to snooze. Hahahaha! At 4:45 I got out of bed and nudged C.

We took so long in preparing (breakfast, bath, packing change of clothes) and I thought we'd be late for the start. Fortunately we live so near UP. We got there maybe 5:45, with some time left for a really quick warm-up jog and stretching.

Aside from my first 10K (in a long time), DocFit was also my first encounter with the portalet. Hahaha! I don't think I've ever been in one. But I just had to pee because I didn't want to be thinking of holding my pee during the race. And I don't think I could do a Paula Radcliffe.

It was in line at the portalets when I first spotted Ms. Pretty Singer/Actress who turned out to be one of my major motivational points during the run. She was in the line next to mine and she looked all perky and pretty, ready to beat the crap out of me. Just kidding. I have issues to deal with, I know. Hahaha!

When I got into the portalet, it felt like I was in an airplane toilet, only the lights wouldn't go on. I actually felt the wall of the portalet, hoping to find a light switch. Insane, I know. What's even more insane is that I spent a few moments actually looking for the flush lever! It was a strange experience and I hope I don't ever have to go through it again. It was so dark inside that thing, it's a marvel that people figure out where to aim!

So anyway... after getting that out of the way, we jogged a bit and stretched then checked into the starting area.

Then we were off. I was very conscious of my pace and really kept to it, despite the disheartening visual of hundreds of backs slowly gaining distance from me. I was bent on finishing this and not losing wind midway.

I knew I was very slow and felt that C was getting impatient. He'd speed up away from me and then slow down to let me catch up. I felt bad for him. I knew I was holding him back. But I couldn't imagine finishing this first 10K without him there. Having him close by made me feel I could ask for help should I feel too tired to continue. I know he'd push me to run some more if I got to the point of quitting.

The route isn't as difficult as McKinley but it has its share of inclines. On those parts I just took baby steps and patiently endured till the road became flat again.

I took advantage of the water stations. I think I slowed down at three of them. Took small sips just to get my mouth wet.

Since the route is kinda narrow with a lot of u-turns, you could keep track of the race leaders. Ms. P S/A had a very strong start. And she looked like she's been running awhile. I also saw one of the girls from the running clinic. I loved how she started at the back of the pack and slowly inched her way to the front. I yelled a 'go girl' to her twice!

At the last 2K mark, I noticed that Ms. P S/A was losing steam. Felt bad for her but also took it as an opportunity to push myself. My goal changed from finishing the race to finishing ahead of Ms. P S/A. Sorry!!! I'm so mean. I just feel it's not fair that they get to be pretty and talented AND also beat the crap out of us in running. I know... the issues I have to deal with. Humor me for now. :)

At the last 1K marker, I started to speed up, much to the delight of C who had already fallen asleep beside me. I just ran and ran and gave it all I've got, gasping at all the air I could get and hoping my legs wouldn't give.

It was such a surprise when we saw the race timer! I hadn't expected to finish under an hour. I was thinking more like 1:15 or 1:30 even. At some point I stopped caring about the time and just focused on finishing and finishing ahead of Ms. P S/A. So what a bonus it was that we finished at 57:07.

Highlights/Lessons Learned:

Camaraderie -- We did two laps of the route. The first lap, I was really struggling mentally with keeping to a pace while seeing everyone zoom past me. I was starting to feel disheartened when, at that bend going to University Avenue, I saw one of the guys from the running clinic. He was walking towards the starting line with his wife (he wasn't in running clothes so I knew he was there to just watch) and he saw me and said 'good morning' and 'run well'. That buoyed my spirits. It's always an encouragement to see a 'running comrade' during a race.

Home Court Support -- It was a huge blessing to have C running with me. We didn't really talk during the race as I couldn't, for the life of me, carry on a conversation, but it was a great comfort to know that I could ask him for help in case I felt I couldn't continue. Thanks, C!

Agua Is Our Friend -- In 5K races, I don't stop at water stations because I feel the slow down sets my pace off. But I've been advised by Anon, the resident run adviser in this blog, to take advantage of the water stations and I listened to that advise. Buti nalang. Those water breaks really refreshed and cooled me down.

Vitamin Zzzz -- I need to learn to relax the night before a race. It's important to get a good night's rest. How to do this, I don't know yet. :)

Don't Hate 'Em 'Cause They're Beautiful -- I need to stop competing with the celebs I see in the races! Hahaha! It's good when they take up a sport and excel in it. They set a good example for young folk.

So that's it, pancit. My first 10K. Happy I got through it, and looking forward to Condura 10K!


First 10K - fastbreak post

Just got back from DocFit. My first 10K. I'm so grateful for C who ran beside me and endured my slow pace and crankiness in the last stretch.

My goal was just to finish. I was hoping to finish in 58min or times two my 5K PR. But I wasn't so confident during the entire run.

Just really took it one stride at a time.

I knew I was really slow but I pushed it a bit in the last 1K because I didn't want to be beaten by this pretty young actress. Hahaha!

So when we were nearing the finish line (and I was gulping air like a mad woman), I was so surprised to hear C say that the timer said 56 something. So I tried again to sprint some more and I think we crossed the finish at 57:05. Whew. UPDATE: my official time is 57:07

Happy I finished the run. Thankful for C's patience. Will write some more about this later. Need to elevate legs. Right shin was a bit painful at the start of the run.