Running Freebies

June 27, 2009 at 5:28 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Most runners enjoy not only the run but also the freebies that come along with the race. We usually get a shirt or a running jersey and a sportsdrink at the finish line. The sponsors hand out samples at the races and in my last ran in US, I brought home a whole load of GU. In my last triathlon there was a free meal. In last years Buddy Run we brought home a bag of goodies. In the Long island half-marathon they gave away free wind breakers. You sometimes get free pictures which really help make the race memorable.

One of the coolest freebies I ever got was the Coolpix at the Singapore marathon. It’s a graphical presentation of your race result and it really is a statisticians dream. You can check out the features here. Just type the surname of a friend who ran the event and the check the features. If you don’t know anyone who ran the 2008 Singapore marathon or half marathon then just type any chinese surname and check the features.

Runpix1

You can easily find out your overall ranking, ranking within your age group, or within your gender, average pace, number of competitors you overtook after the halfway point, location in the course when the 1st place crossed the finish line are some of the features of Coolpix

For Coolpix alone I would recommend that your consider running the ” RUN FOR HOME” brought to you by Globe-Ayala Land. I can assure you that the sponsors are definitely subsidizing this run.

Go to their website or at any GLobe Business Center in Metro Manila, Fitness First and at RNNR store at High Street to register.

See you at the starting line.

Cops & Robbers

June 25, 2009 at 9:08 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments

As kids you sometimes play Cops and Robbers. It’s actually nothing more than a modified version of “tag” or “agawan base”. It’s pure fun and some kids are cops and others join the other team the robbers. Well in real life some people actually go and become robbers. Most of us make an honest living and because the stress is too much we actually find time to play during the weekend. We play golf or join runs or some other sport. We go out of our comfort zone and put our bodies to the test. Running the seemingly unconquerable 5K and like mountain climber we continue to scale higher peaks or in our case longer races. We look for new race routes to keep our enthusiasm for the sport fresh.

Unfortunately our brethren who have decided to become robbers take advantage of our weaknesses. They know that our vehicles will always be left in the parking lot for a specific time while we run. They also know that there are never enough security guards. The guards will be roaming the place to cover more ground but giving them that window of opportunity to take our valuables.

The odds favor the robbers in this real life game of Cops & Robbers. They can wait for the right time to strike, they can pick the newbies as victims, they will have cohorts as lookouts. Some races likes Mens Health are held in isolated areas which usually works in their favour. The races are Sunday early morning when foot traffic is light as most people are either keeping the Lord’s day holy or they are sleeping in to get ready for another week in the salt mines.

What can we do to protect ourselves. Most robbers will go for cash or high valued good which they can turn into cash quickly.

1) Do not bring too much cash. Bulging wallets attract attention.

2) Do not bring all your cards and ID’s. You will probably just need your ATM and your drivers license and some cash for breakfast.

3) Hide your bags at the boot or under the seats. Bags bulging with valuable equipment like cellphones or cameras left on the car seat usually attract the crooks. It is better to keep them in the boot.

4) Bring as little as possible to the race. I usually just bring some money, drivers license and my phone. This allows me to keep the essentials with me when I run and not left in the car.

5) Bring all your valuables with you on your run. I use a belt bag when I keep my phone, some money and ID’s. All they can find in my car are clothes.

6) If you cannot bring your valuables then keep them locked in the glove compartment.

Please add on to the list if you have your own advice to help avoid becoming a victim.

See you at the starting line.

Light Weight Trainers

June 24, 2009 at 10:34 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments

Upgrades, that is one of luxuries of life. You start a hobby or a sport and as you get better or more involved you begin to look for ways of upgrading your equipment. Running is no different. One starts out with a pair of sneakers and then you buy running shoes for training, as you get better you either buy racing flats or light weight trainers.

My very first light weight trainers were the Nike Terra T/C. T/C basically stood for Training/Competion. Nike had incorporated the new Phylon midsole technology which was lighter than polyurethane and more durable than EVA. On top of that it’s outsole was made of blown rubber which was very light.

My Terra T/C was treated like royalty. it had a special place in my shoe closet. It was cleaned thoroughly whenever it got dirty. It was used only for special occasions like races and for training would only be used when I would run on the track or over grass. It was super light and the wrinkles on the phylon midsole actually gave it character. It was a classic shoe.

I eventually went back to buying training shoes. I had different versions of the Nike Pegasus which became a regular in my foot closet. However I still longed for that special feeling that Nike Terra T/C gave me. I even bought the Nike Air Zoom Elite which was a good racer/trainer but somehow it lacked the X-factor.

Last Saturday I received a Nike Lunar Glide. My thought immediately went to the the clunky feel of the earlier Nike Lunar Trainers. The shoes uppers had a soft feel to it. The material used was definitely an upgrade from the earlier version. The midsole had groove which should improve the flexibility of the shoe unlike the earlier version. The outsole was also a major upgrade with Carbon rubber covering most of the sole.

Lunar  Glide +

Lunar Glide +

The shoe certainly had the X-factor but it still had to go through a test run. I put the shoes on and my feet felt comfortable. I took it for a walk and then run and I could feel the cushioning. It was soft and flexible. It was a pleasant surprise.

It has the X-factor and I would recommend the shoe for neutral runners. This early it has shown sign of becoming a classic shoe. It only has to pass the durability test.

See you at the starting line. I will probably be using the Nike Glide if it’s not raining. Otherwise they will be safely tucked in my closet safe from the dirt and rain. (old habits are hard to break)

Don’t be a Bold Star

June 22, 2009 at 9:54 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
Running with sporadic rainshowers. Luckily no white shorts here! (Leo, Joms, TBR, Jombet, Tiffin, Ben)

Running with sporadic rainshowers. Luckily no white shorts here! (Leo, Joms, TBR, Jombet, Tiffin, Ben)

The rainy season has began and we usually end up drenched during training or when we are racing. As youngsters we were told to seek shelter whenever it starts raining. I remember growing up in the province and you can actually see the rain slowly moving towards you as the rain clouds move with the wind. We would run towards the nearest shelter. We would all be huddling under the roof of the guardhouse, bus stop, an umbrella or even under the banana leaves when it starts to drizzle.

There would be some days when with a slightly guilty feeling we would play in the rain. Usually when no one is around or if we conveniently got caught in the rain and since we were already wet, we would go and play in the rain.

Today, we are old enough to decide whether we want to play (run) in the rain or not. I guess as adults, we have to think of all the other consequences of running in the rain. Do you have a waterproof container for your cellphone or the car’s remote control? Do I have extra shoes so I don’t have to wear wet shoes going home? Do I have extra shoes for the next days run? We also have to deal with all the little things that come with running in the rain. You have to wear a cap so the rain does not drip into your eyes. You have to get used to running with heavier and squishier shoes. Your wet clothes and socks will stick to you and sometimes cause some chafing and even blisters.

Safety is a major concern. Rain tends to reduce visibility for everyone. Runners should wear bright colored clothes so they are visible to drivers. Puddles tend to hide uneven surfaces or even open manholes. Runners should always run regular routes which they know well. It is not the time to explore new routes. One should always have a fallback route in case the weather turns for the worse whether its a windstorm or thunder and lightning.

The other major concern is too much visibility. If you wear the wrong clothes you may end up exposing more than you want to and inadverdently become a running “Bold Star”. Some white tanktops or shorts may turn transparent when wet and people will get to see your Mickey Mouse underwear. Or you can have people ogling and taking your picture or video and selling them in VCD’s and you end up like Hayden and Katrina. We would not want any runner to end up in a Senate hearing on proper clothing for running in the rain.

When the rain clouds gather and it’s about to pour, you can either head for the gym or suit up properly and enjoy a run in the rain.

See you at the starting line and hopefully you’re not wearing your white running shorts because we are right smack in rainy season.

Runner’s High

June 15, 2009 at 2:35 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments
Running high when the endorphins kick in!

Running high when the endorphins kick in!

We see friends running (hobbling) even when they are injured. We see them running in the rain. We see them doubling their mileage and and we call that runner an”Addict”. Yes, they are all certified running addicts. They can’t seem to get enough of running. Anything that gets in the way of running is seen as public enemy number one. Unfortunately sometimes our spouses get the brunt of our grouchiness when we miss our runs. My wife took the easy way out. She started running as well.

What is going on? Are runners really addicted. In a way I guess it is true. Runners get a high from running. it’s the endorphin rush which we all look for. Our bodies release painkillers, endorphins after prolonged levels of moderate to hard physical exercise. The endorphins are natural morphine like chemicals and they are absolutely free except for the cost of running shoes and the time spent running.

I recall reading an article that says it takes 30-40 minutes for the endorphins to kick in. Some people call it their second wind when they suddenly feel less pain and are able to run stonger and smoother. I recommend that you keep in mind the 30 minute lag when you are exercising. You might stop running just before the endorphins kick into your system.

I took a vow to take it easy on my racing but I’ve run the TNF, IE8 and Mizuno on succesive weekends and I have registered for the Animo Tri and the Men’s health trail run in the next two weeks. I will try not to race but just enjoy the events like a true running addict.

Enjoy your runner’s high and see you all the starting line!

Good Morning Good Morning!

June 4, 2009 at 4:38 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
This scene greets me as I get ready to run.

This scene greets me as I get ready to run.

I open my eyes and instinctively reach for my handphone. No major concerns in the office. Working in a 24/7 world is a bummer but we have to pay the bills. I naturally check the time to see if I can still put in a run. The kids are not stirring and honeybunch is still in dreamland. It is still dark outside and nothing stirs except for the slight rustle of the leaves.

I gather my running gear and pick a light coloured running jersey from one of the old races.

I go down and drink some water and chew on a ripe banana. I mentally go through my pre-run checklist. Watch, have I done my morning rituals, hydrate, walk around to warm up the muscles and check if anything hurts, do I have an appointment and see how much time I have to run. It’s a light morning and I can actually be at work as late as 8:00 am. That should give me enough time to complete a 10 or 12Km.

I slowly stretch my muscles as I put on my socks and shoes. As I step outside I feel the cool breeze push against my skin. It was raining last night and the air is cool. The roads are damp but not slippery and I slowly look for the crack on the road in front of the house that marks the start of all my runs.

I push off and start my trusty old timex. I say a quick prayer as my body gains some momentum. I can feel every bone in my body creak and my plantar fascia is screaming with pain begging me to stop running. I ignore the pain and slowly try to get a smooth stride. In less than a minute I hit a short steep incline which reminds me that I live in the bottom of a hill and all my routes start with an uphill slog. I soldier on and get some respite after 50 yards. But I know I will hit a longer hill in while. The first 2kilometers are net uphill and the only consolation is the return leg will be net downhill.

The light from the sun slowly peeps out as I proceed with my run. I hear only my huffing, puffin and shuffling of my feet. I try not to bounce too much and after 8-10 minutes I reach my warmup lamp post. I stop to stretch and pay special attention to my calves, hamstrings and I try to stretch my plantar fascia. I am sweating heavily by the time I am done with my stretching routine.

I slowly start to run again and everything is so much better. Most if not all of the pain is gone and I have smooth stride. I enjoy the view and continue on with my run.

In the past I was an afternoon runner. I feel I have a much smoother run in the afternoon since almost all my muslce are awake and warmed up. I started running in the morning when I graduated and got a job. Morning was the best time to get my workout done on a regular basis. I kept missing my daily runs in the afternoon/evening because of overtime, I was too tired or some important chore had to be done. I slowly learned to love running in the morning.

Today I alternate running between the morning and the evening. It really all depends on my schedule for the day.

See you at the starting line.

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