Online Gamer, Basketball Player, Mountaineer, Recreational Runner, Blogger, Weekend Warrior

Monday, November 26, 2012

How I Spent My Long (Thanksgiving) Weekend

Thanksgiving, or Thanksgiving Day, is a holiday celebrated in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November.
- From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

For employees like me who are working at an outsourcing company, the U.S. Holiday, Thanksgiving, is our only REAL "long" weekend (US holiday-wise, sans Vacation Leave, of course). Sure, there are other U.S. Holidays (which usually is being celebrated on Mondays) but this is different. Different in a sense that we (well, most of us) are actually off by Thursday and will return to work the following Monday. Most of my office mates went out of town and some out of country. I stay put and let the events unfold as my time off goes by.

Given this opportunity to actually go out and away from work (besides the usual running events and clinics that I have been regularly doing), I immediately grabbed every chance that came into may way this long weekend. So here is a review of what I went through this long weekend.

Friday, November 23, 2012:
Movie Time with a couple of running friends at Glorietta (Movie #1: Paranormal Activity 4) and at Greenbelt 3 (Movie #2: 24/7 In Love). The first movie was good, being familiar with the first three installments of the Paranormal Activity series, my expectations to be surprised while watching did not disappoint. It was also nice to hear other moviegoers inside the cinema scream (in harmony) in anticipation of what is going to happen next. After being surprised by Paranormal Activity, we grabbed some snacks and made a quick transition to the next movie.

Whats better than cheese? FIVE CHEESE!!! :)

Large cut fries with various dips? A wonderful movie experience =)

From Glorietta, we marched towards Greenbelt 3 for our next film. After the scare, it was a nice to see a feel-good movie. 24/7 In Love (Star Cinema's 20th Anniversary offering) is a film that makes us realize that love can take in any form and not always the romantic kind of some sort and we would never know how long we will stay here on earth so we should do what we always wanted to do and value the most important people in our lives. I am still wondering about the question that left me hanging that night - "What would you do if it was the end of the world?"

After seeing these films back to back, I got to register for a race on February 3, 2013 - The Condura Skyway Marathon. Thank you Yani and Cathy for a nice movie time and for accompanying me in my registration for next year's race. Catching a couple of movies was a nice way to start my weekend.

Getting the news that I won a consolation prize in a blogging contest and a pair of tickets from Brothers Burger for Exception Music Festival. I had to leave an announcement in my Facebook page to look for a companion for Saturday night's concert. Luckily, someone responded and it was all settled.

Saturday, November 24, 2012:
I didn't have any plans on this day other than to drop by at a nearby mall to window shop and maybe try a meal from a new restaurant. Everything changed with the recent winning of a pair of tickets for Exception Music Festival. Since someone agreed to join me, my afternoon was set.

The good news :)

The tickets for the event.

We were more concerned with the performers for the live stage. The other two were well, unfamiliar.
But it was a nice treat for a Saturday night though =)

Before enjoying the concert proper, I had a great time observing the side events happening at BGC Passionfest.



Seeing our local bands perform live really made my Saturday night. It was a nice feeling too to share this blessing with someone and actually made her happy in the process. It was great to be a blessing to another person.

Fooling around with the giant octopus :)

The best part of this was I finally got a chance to try to dine at Brothers Burger and enjoy the burger my office mates has been telling me about all along all these time. My Brothers burger experience was a delight. Thank you to Mheleth who joined me that night.

My first Brothers Burger experience was awesome!

Sunday, November 25, 2012:
After enjoying the festival, it was time to go out and run. I was registered for a 5k run with special tasks for Run BGC and had go leave after the event to catch up with my basketball game late in the morning.

HyperPeeps with Team Soleus at Run BGC.

After that, it was another quick trip at the mall to grab a couple of gifts for my nieces then took a late afternoon nap. I needed this rest badly as I was lacking sleep over the last two days because I had so much fun going out.

Well, it was a nice experience to go out the past days. I still wish I could have done more. So little time, so much to do. Anyways, the time I spent over this weekend was worth every second and I would not have done it differently. I like how things have happened and the variable changes that comes with it.

The weekend is over (too bad T_T). Now it's time to go back to business.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Triple D: The Down 'n Dirty Dash

"Are you ready to get down and dirty?"


This is not your usual event. You red the tagline right. It's time to literally "get down and dirty" and at the same time help promote a cause spearheaded by Project Pink, a support group that aims to promote breast cancer awareness among Filipina women (who are most prone to the disease, compared to most Asian women). One big step to prevention is proper education and information dissemination about this type of disease.


Forget the time and the competition!
Here's a race where you can just have pure, clean dirty fun!


Ladies, it’s time you forget your usual fun run routine. Hang up your singlets and unlace your trainers as we bring you The Down and Dirty Dash, the first all-women mud run happening on December 1, Saturday, in Nuvali, Sta. Rosa.

The Down and Dirty Dash (or Triple D as we love to call it) is a three-kilometer fun run through a muddy obstacle course (Ladies are going to get down and dirty by going through 5 muddy challenges in order to attain special prizes), shying away from the usual fun run by adding its own distinct female flavor: dirty women. And no, we don’t mean the vulgar type!



Inspired by Go Dirty Girl, a mud run pioneered in the United States, Triple D aims to promote Confidence, Camaraderie, and Empowerment. It is an event for women, made by women - a day where women can simply have fun, hang out with their girl friends and let their hair down.

Forget the meek and weak stereotype. Triple D is a testament to the strong, independent Filipina. She is the modern Maria Clara who’s out to prove that just like any guy, she knows how to get down and dirty – and she’s not afraid to show it.

More importantly, Triple D shows that beneath the modern Filipina’s strength and confidence awaits a compassionate heart. Triple D gives every Filipina not only a day of pure, dirty fun but also the chance to stand up in the fight against breast cancer. Now, isn’t that a cause worth getting down and dirty for?


Here is a short clip as a teaser for the event:




For women of all ages and from all walks of life, get ready for a day of mud, sweat, and un-clean fun! It’s a dirty experience you’ll never forget. Because hey… sometimes it’s okay to run like a girl.

Convinced? Then go to the nearest registration site as shown in the photo below (just click to enlarge). This is one good way to start the so-called "Christmas Month". Remember, registration ends on November 24, so hurry up!



But wait, there's more! An all-exclusive MALE ONLY wave (by popular demand! - you guys are just resilient and won't give up, do you?) dubbed as "Run for you Girl" is also opened for our male population (limited slots only). The girls who had their guys run for them sure are lucky :)



The Down and Dirty Dash is produced by Event Horizon Productions. Find out more about the event by logging on to their official site: www.thedownanddirtydash.com. You may also like them on Facebook: facebook.com/thedownanddirtydash

 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Rexona Run 2012 “Outrun Yourself”


Photo from RunRio.com

out·run (out-rn)
tr.v. out·ran (-rn), out·run, out·run·ning, out·runs
1.
a. To run faster, farther, or better than;
b. To escape from by or as if by running;
2. To go beyond; exceed;

When I heard about this event, I knew right from the beginning that this is going to be a special event. It's not so often that an event challenges their participants (and reward them at the finish line for successfully completing that said challenge) to outrun themselves. What made this event more interesting is that the RunRio and Rexona Men didn't just issue a challenge, they actually provided enough support so that participants who really wanted to outrun themselves and get the Rexona Run Commemorative Key Chain.

How does an application (downloadable free via the Rexona Men Facebook page) that would help runners set a target time for the category of their choice courtesy of a running playlist and an occasional voice over as their time check (the application will automatically customize a running playlist in sync with a the user's target finishing time), which they can listen to while training sound? The best part of it, this application can be used on the actual run to set the pace therefore giving more chances to finish within the cut-off time. That's technology maximized.

Photo from Imageshack

How about some tips here and there from the race director himself? Rio's Running Reminders was also seen appearing in Facebook pages from time to time until race day. It provided helpful tips for runners who seriously are gunning to outrun themselves come race day.

One example of a tip from Coach Rio - photo from HERE

Then, you also have another innovation - The Volunteer Pacers. They are runner-pacers will be deployed for each race category so that they can help ensure that each participant keeps within their target finishing time. What more help participants get! It doesn't get any better than this! Full support to all runners so that they increase the odds of outrunning themselves.

Source: RunRio.com

All was set into place accordingly. The only thing left to do really is to outrun ourselves. The movement of the race (originally August 12, 2012) was a blessing in disguise as participants got another full month to get back on their feet (after the non-stop downpour and flash floods that affected a lot of people in Luzon) and train some more. It was also a classy move by RunRio and Rexona and they were very sensitive about the situation that some of the people in Luzon are in at that time. Some didn't like the idea while others are okay with the postponement. As always, you can't please everyone. Anyway, I think the move was for the greater good of the greater many.

I was one of those who were delighted about the move. For one, I was able to officially register as I failed to do so during the original registration period so I was one of the lucky ones who capitalized on the second chance :)


Needless to say, I signed up for a 5k run and will be attempting to duplicate my best time of 30 minutes and get that Rexona Run Commemorative Key Chain. The original idea is to participate and do some sort of late recovery run after completing a half-marathon for Run United 3 2012. However, after realizing that this opportunity comes but once, I decided to go for it!

The afternoon before that, we had a light workout with our HyperSports Philippines, Inc. Coach and Olympian Rene Herrera at Bonifacio Global City. Working out and having a training session with the country's best truly gave me a boost in morale to outrun myself a few hours going to the race.


Race day came. Still feeling the effects of the Saturday afternoon light workout, I still wanted to perform and outrun myself. The mood was festive at the starting line. I was more inspired when I saw Coach Rene at the starting line which made me more eager to go out and get that reward.


At around 5:50am, 5k runners were released! I had a good start at the first two kilometers maintaining a pace of 6min/km, just right for a 30 minute finish. At around the 1.5km mark, I was delighted to see Coach Rene already going back to finish the race and is currently trying to outrun two more Kenyan runners (he went on to finish 3rd place that morning, he did outrun one Kenyan in a close footrace to secure a podium finish) and I was cheering him on to go all out! Just shows us that athletes train for months, even years and wins or loses in seconds.

Going back, it was unfortunate that I slowed down going to the 3rd kilometer as I made a mistake of asking for a refill at one of the hydration stations. I clocked at 20 minutes on the 3rd kilometer and reducing my chances of a 30 minute finish. I mean, 10 minutes to cover 2 kilometers is doable but I totally had to take a step back when my time showed 28 minutes over four kilometers. That is when I enjoyed the last kilometer of this short run.

I was not able to get that Rexona Run Commemorative Key Chain.That's okay. I was still able to outrun (see definition 1b at the beginning of this entryanother episode of me being hypertensive and obese class 1. When I run, I don't feel that I have been hypertensive my whole life, I feel great! I feel that I am a different person and possibilities are endless when I am on the road running (plus, they say that distance makes the heart stronger). There are going to be other chances to hit that 30 minute finish time but to outrun my hypertension, it means more than a commemorative key chain and a step forward to a fitter body.

Of course, Rexona was also generous enough with the loot bags. The best loot bag of the year for its usefulness. I mean everything in the loot bag is going to be of use for every member of the family. I can only imagine if a few family members joined at this event :)

The population at our house will not outrun the supply of bath and body care anytime over the next two months or so.

I didn't outrun my best time for 5k but I managed to outrun a more important condition in my life - hypertension. That makes me one of the winners, just like all of the participants who decided to show up at the starting line and tried to go for the reward. 

It was a good event, overall the challenge made runners strive harder to outrun themselves. It would be nice if next year the theme for Rexona Run 2013 would be similar, if not even better. I can't wait for next year's installment and I will make sure that I will register early.

Monday, October 29, 2012

RunRio: Run United Philippine Marathon 2012

October 28, 2012
Accomplices: HyperSports Reserved Energy Team and I AMdatex Happy Runner
Venue: (Bonifacio Global City going to) SM Mall of Asia

"I’m a distance runner; I’ve been trained to keep going, even when it’s hard. When it hurts. When it sucks. When I don’t want to. Call it what you want; stubbornness, endurance, guts, determination. But deep down, I don’t know how to give up. And it’s always worth it in the end."

The event most of us runners are waiting for! We all want to be part of history and that was what we did! By joining our respective running distances, we made sure that we are part of the first-ever Run United Philippine Marathon 2012. Since majority of us are running 21k, we have decided to run with our HyperSports training shirts to join in celebration of this first-ever.

Days before this event, there were a lot of worries that the weather could be the same (more or less) as Run United 3 2012 last September 16, 2012. It was as if the weather gave us runners the scare but did cooperate come Sunday morning. The weather was perfect for a long run. The gun start for the 42k and 21k categories are just right.

We were early at the starting line and had a chance to have a quick photo-op while waiting for the gun start of the 42k event. It was nice meeting running friends at the event.

Between marathoners and HyperSports mainstays - Jose Ramizares and John Paul Lipardo

With the guys at the office - I AMdatex Happy Runner

Since one of us is running a full marathon, I was very fortunate enough to become a spectator while waiting for my gun time at 4:00am. I got to see off John Paul with his 42k journey.


After that, I finally met with the other mainstays of HyperSports. As we all have agreed, we will try to do the 3-1 (3 minutes run and 1 minute walk) intervals as part of our training for our own marathon on February 24, 2013. While waiting for our gun start a group picture is in order.


The 21k participants were set off by Philippine basketball legends Benjie "The Tower of Power" Paras and Ronnie "Point Lauriat" Magsanoc. Too bad we were on the outer part of the starting line and was not able to see these two up close.

The eager 21k runners :)

Just a little more and we will be off...

And finally, we were set off almost exactly at 4:00am. From that moment on, we have employed the 3-1 interval. This was my first time to apply the said technique and I was surprised with the result. Lack of training over the past week did me in but for the first 10 kilometers, I was okay. In my previous half-marathon attempts, I was almost spent on my 10th kilometer and had to walk most of the time on my second half.


I was way ahead by more than 15-30 minutes of my target finish time until my legs start to cramp up so I walked most of the last 3 kilometers going to the finish line. It didn't matter though. I was happy to cross the finish line together with my friends at HyperSports. The time is still over 3 hours but finished 7 or 8 minutes earlier. I need to train my bladder more, precious time was spent using two portalets along the way. I also stopped at every hydration station during this race. If those can be minimized, I think my time would be better. Room for improvement :)

With first time half-marathoners, Angel and Tiffany.

Though we finished the race, we had to wait for one of our friend who suffered an injury along the route but was determined enough not to quit and finish the race. In doing so, she made us all proud and earned high respect as a runner. If that would have happen to an ordinary individual, they may take the easy way out and quit. Not this runner. Congratulations HyperModel Jonah May Trapal!

There she is! Own own HyperModel Jonah :)

Teary-eyed and all (SINONG NAGPAIYAK KAY JONAH? ^_^), Jonah finished her 21k run running with her heart when her legs almost gave up on her. Athlete fact: The amount of pain we can endure defines us.

We are proud of you! (You can cry now; tears of joy I presume )

I had to wait for another friend who ran a full marathon. By around 9:30am, he crossed the finish line and was awarded by the finisher's medal by Coach Rio Dela Cruz himself no less. Congratulations Hyper John Paul Lipardo.



While waiting for these guys to cross the finish line, I took a chance to sneak in at the Alaxan booth to have a photo taken with our very own "Pambansang Kamao" and two pretty ring girls :)

Kasama pala namin si Benjie Paras :D

After it was all said and done, all that is left is to have the moment immortalized. Another photo-op is in order before having our breakfast!

"We don't remember days. We remember moments."



This is one unforgettable event and we are part of history! Just the thought of that means a lot for us participants. Well, what can I say? The event was well-attended and well-rounded in terms of everything. There are still flaws (loyalty shirt verification and claiming, lack of hydration stations for the 42k runners I heard) which the organizers should be learning from on a go-forward basis and is due for an improvement.

We ate a late breakfast and I went straight home to rest. Here is my loot for this historical day: Run Loyalty Shirt (for actively participating on all four legs of this series including this historic event), 21k Finisher Shirt, 21k Finisher Medal, Finisher Bag and add-on from our distance sponsor - Alaxan FR Sunvisor and Alaxan FR drawstring bag.







Until next year! Hoping to see the minor flaws improved and a better running experience for all of us. Until the next event. Train hard, run happy!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Men’s Health Philippines Urbanathlon and Festival 2012

October 14, 2012
Accomplices: John Paul Lipardo, Liezel Hermedilla, Catherine Mariano, Arriane Custodio, Jobert Dela Victoria, Jennifer Bayani, Catherine Manuel, Hector Viado Padrigo, Running Atom
Venue: SM Mall of Asia

With the recent postponement of 7-Eleven Run 800, we had to take the opportunity to join this year's Men’s Health Philippines Urbanathlon 2012. I missed this event last year because it was held the very same day with Run United 3 last November 13, 2011.

This time, we will not let the opportunity pass. Got our kits and prepared. Won a couple of free kits which was passed on to friends which made this event more memorable. Most of my friends and regular running buddies signed up for 10k run with obstacles. This should be interesting and challenging.


Getting ready...

Let us revisit some highlights of the event shall we? It was a little dark at the beginning...


Photo Credit: John Paul Lipardo

The 21k gunstart was a bit late but the 10k was just right on time. We started at the end of the pack but immediately caught up with the rest because of the first obstacle - the Vertical Climb! We were very fortunate to have our photos taken by photographers who covered the event. Here are some:




Next off to the second obstacle - going over the Container Van! As expected, the queue of people is starting to build up. That gave us some opportunity for a quick photo-op.


Running friends while waiting for our turn to go over the container van.

The long queue I stated earlier!


After completing the second obstacle, we immediately ran a few more to reach the third obstacle which has two parts - the Parallel Bars and Monkey Bars. There we were greeted with another challenging task.





Afterwards, we went up front at mall of Asia for the fourth obstacle, the Steeple Chase wherein we needed to go over four hurdles to get through.


It was challenging but doable :)





Then, it was all running going to Macapagal Boulevard to Coastal Mall route then back to SM Mall of Asia, it was a long run so to speak but was just right to prepare us for the fifth obstacle, the Quantum Leap. It got a little crowded but it was okay. Here are some pictures while we are waiting for our turn to try the obstacle:







Last two! That was our battle cry after completing the Quantum Leap. Next up was the Scaffolding Maze. Same thing with the Quantum Leap, we needed to go over and under the bars alternately. This time, the obstacle was not crowded because...






After that, it was the last kilometer and obstacle. Most runners were held up here because of the tough challenge of going over a couple of high walls (hence called Wall Climb). Save the best for last as they say!


Photo Credit: John Paul Lipardo

Photo Credit: John Paul Lipardo 


Finally, after completing all seven obstacles, it was a mad sprint towards the finish line. Photographers were strategically situated all over the course and we were very fortunate to have a photo taken with the MoA Eye as our background while running towards the finish line. Here is that glorious moment:




The rewards of completing our respective courses:







What can I say? Overall, the event was good. The hosting of Rovilson Fernandez was superb, celebrity sightings were abundant. There was that competitive spirit and the most important element, we enjoyed this event. The organizers did a good job though there are still some points for improvement like most events do. Anyways, If I would rate this event and for a first timer, out of 5 starts and 5 being the highest, this would be rated as 4 of 5.



Until next year! I hope this event would not be held simultaneously with another big event. That would make my decision-making hard XD

Until then, train hard, rest well and don't forget to have fun!

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Online Gamer, Basketball Player, Mountaineer, Recreational Runner, Blogger, Comedian, Weekend Warrior, part-time TriAthlete (Kain, Tulog, Gala)