Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Sweet Fun at aNR 5th Sunday Run

I started running religiously September of last year and I committed myself to running by joining adiNation of Runners. It was by that time I feel that I am now ready to take this running thing to the next level, and since then I continue to progress, from being a couch potato to now, running 10K races...

I found out about this run group at the advertisement ticker found on the side of the website. I got curious so I clicked it. A perfect timing since I am already losing interest in running since I am just doing it alone. I think training with other people will be much motivating and fun, and I was not mistaken. I secured an aNR Passport at RUNNR and I joined aNR BHS since its the closest to my place.

Since then I never missed any aNR sessions. I feel that my training is never complete without it. I met new friends every meetings and I also get to meet the running superstars like Kikay Runner and the Powerpuff Boys. I am always looking forward to Thursday evenings to be with all of them. I treat them as my family.

One time I was going over my aNR Passport and noticed an icon of a runner dated January 30. When I handed it out to Coach Carina I asked her what is it. She told me that all the aNR groups will meet on that day for a fun run and a competition. I got excited since I already knew some runners who belongs to other aNR goups, and I also want to meet the others as well.

Two weeks before the big day I am already registered. I got a bib number 004. I will join the fun run!

But four days before the race day an incident happened to me. Our house was intruded by thieves and they took all my gadgets: laptop, cellphones, ipod, the money that I was keeping for school payments and my budget for my insulin supplies. I was so depressed that time. I haven't even touched food for a day when it all sinked in to me. I feel so helpless that moment. Gladly, some good spirited people offered help to us. I never realized that though there are lots of bad people nowadays, there are also good people who are willing to lend a helping hand in times of need. The police inspector told us that we are lucky no one woke up during the incident, or else the thieves might kill us all. That gave me a boost. I thought the incident left us with nothing but I realized we still have our lives. I appreciate my family more than ever now. When we lost everything, we found each other. And being alive and together is indeed a reason to say that we are still blessed.

My aNR BHS family was so happy to see me present at the training day. They gave me a pat on the back, saying everythings gonna be fine. They told me that I am a strong person, that despite what happened I can still train, chat and laugh out with them. Ofcourse I do warn them about the modus. I don't want anyone to suffer the same turmoil that we have undergone.

I conditioned myself the day before the run. I eat well but I had difficulty sleeping because of the trauma. But still I managed to wake up early on, prepared and went to BHS to wait for Ate Che Anne, Ate Iris and Gerald because we will go to the venue together but only Gerald came so we decided we will go to the venue without the two girls because we don't want to get late.

We arrived at the venue in less than 15 minutes. Before we decided to ride with Gerald we even planned to do an LSD run from BHS to Newport City. I plotted it to a GPS and it actually measures around 7K plus. So 7K LSD plus 5K race is equals to 12K, a pretty much decent mileage to compensate for the other week that I wasn't able to do an LSD run but sadly it didn't materialize. Oh well, at least we are fresh when we arrive at the venue.

It's my first time to be at Newport City. It's a very nice place, almost like Eastwood City, but ofcourse Bonifacio Global City is better (bias! lol! ^_^). The venue where the race is located is good as well. Banners of different adiNation groups were posted. The stage were accented. Baggage counters are ready. Sound system is good and the start/finish line is already waiting for the runners to stand on it.

Before the run, ofcourse we took some pictures! It's never complete without it. ^_^

My aNR BHS Family! ^_^

So, we had a small meeting to get our contestants ready for the competition. A few more minutes and were already at the starting line. I am so excited. This is a new route for me, and running with my aNR BHS family and our relatives (other aNR groups) is giving me a feeling of hype. When I hear the gunshot, I know the fun has only just begun!

The race route is good, though I don't really enjoyed the part where we need to pass at the highway. The hydration stations are placed at the right position but they only have water. They only offer energy drinks at the last hydration point. The weather is very forgiving as well but for me, having this cold breeze is a disadvantage. I feel it's cooling me up so I'm having a hard time warming myself up. I had a difficult run. Maybe the problem is in me, I haven't got a decent sleep before the event. But despite that, I even established a new Personal Record (PR). From 5K at 40 minutes, I am now at 35 minutes! That's merely 5 minutes slashed off the previous one. I am so happy!

After the race the competition started immediately. Starting from the 5K race, then the women and mens 5K relay race. I was watching at the side and cheering for my aNR BHS family. I shout for them and I couldn't care less if I am noisy. All I know is that I am so hyped up in cheering for them, and I need to get it off my system!

Most of the first place awards were won by aNR UP group but at least our group is still a placer. I salute this group for being very competitive, but when it comes to beau and sexiness, it's aNR BHS who will win the championship award! ^_^

Btw, aNR BHS runner won the grand prize of 1 year free membership at Gold's Gym and the P10,000 shopping spree at Adidas stores. I hope they can share their blessings to us. lol!

So now, everytime you purchase an Adidas item, bear in mind that the proceeds of it were spent for the adiNation of Runners Group. Would you still settle for any brand? I hope not.

Some photos from the event: Photo credits to Coach Marvin Opulencia and Sir KB Runner...

aNR BHS Family, the champion in the noisiest group category! ^_^

While cheering for our contestants

Look! We got a loot bag! Wee!

I Lurve these boys! (Team Powerpuff Boys)
I'm the most beautiful, because all of them are handsome. lol! ^_^

I would like to congratulate the organizers, Sir Jinoe Gavan, all the adiNation of Runners Group who participated in the event, the great photographers who catches my sweet smiles on and off the road and ofcourse, to Adidas, for creating such run groups that made a way for us to get to know each other and train together. We didn't only gain running buddies, we gained good friends along the way and for that, we owe a lot to you! ^_^

I will always remember this event as a very memorable and happy one. See you guys again on May 29th at Eastwood City for the 2nd Leg of the adiNation of Runners event!

Good vibes to everyone! Sweet running! ^_^

Friday, January 28, 2011

Green Means Fun at the First Greentennial Run!

Green means go, but the Greentennial Run last January 23, 2011 gave it a new meaning. Now, green means fun!

The De La Salle University, one of the famous Universities here in the Philippines is celebrating its Centennial Anniversary, and as a part of this celebration, they have thought of organizing a fun run for the benefit of One La Salle Scholarship Foundation.

When I visit R.O.X. to do my "window shopping", I always see the Greentennial booth there and I see people continuously signing up for the run. One time, I saw the booth with a sample singlet hanging on the table. I approached the booth and take a look and feel of the singlet. I liked it. That's when I decided I'll save up and join the run.
But before I get to register, Nathan Sports Philippines created a new contest again as the second leg of the Run Free promo. The mechanics are simple, you just have to answer the question that Nathan will post, write it as a note and post it on your facebook profile. Tag at least five friends and don't forget to tag Nathan Sports Philippines as well then that's it! Cross your fingers and hope that your entry will win. For more information about the contest, Click here!

So you already have an idea what happened right? Yes! I won a free race kit courtesy of Nathan Sports Philippines, and it is my second time.
When I got to the registration booth I decided to take the 10K race category. As much as I want to get the 15K race kit, I just got out from sickness and I don't want to push myself to the limit. I know that this distance is just the right one for me as my comeback run after being sick for almost three days. But I must admit, that medal for the 15K category is very tempting!

My Singlet and Race Bib! 1922 for 10K here I come! ^_^

I got my race kit three days before the race and I trained afterwards with my aNR BHS Family. That was the busiest Thursday ever, I reported to the office for my OJT, I attended my class at school and training run afterwards. Despite that, I still managed to run without tearing myself down. I bought a pair of long green socks so to participate well in the color coded race.

The day before the race I rested and eaten well. I am ready for my second 10K race!

My trusty cellphone alarm did its job again. I prepped myself up and went to the venue. I wasn't aware of the gun start time that's why when I arrived at the starting point the 15K racers are already running. I run fast to the starting line to catch up with the 10K gun start. Glad I was able to get in. I wasn't able to warm up because I was a buzzer beater. I am a little nervous I might not hit my target PR for this race. I saw Ate Iris at the starting line and we had a little talk. A few stretches were led by a fitness instructor then after a few minutes, a gun shot was heard and were off!

I was surprised seeing a lot of photographers a few meters away from the starting point. Now I am getting the picture, this event will have tons of pictures in its leg!

Though I haven't warmed myself up for this race I surprised myself that I don't feel pain on my legs while running. I think I did a full 3K without stopping or slowing down. My endurance training is really showing me now that it really does work.

There were many runners on this race. From elite athletes to little children. I am so happy seeing familiar faces while running. Some marshalls are even my runner friends. It makes me feel comfortable seeing them. I am also happy that some people greeted me along the way, though I don't personally know them.

The route was a refresher for me. Having my training route at Mc Kinley and Lawton Avenue, I expected the route to be there but to my surprise it was different. I even get a taste of the EDSA Flyover, which is nice but the some cons there is that it was so dark the moment we pass by. I opened my blinker so that runners at my back will see that they are going the right way, I was also following the ipod light of a fellow runner infront of me so the run at the EDSA Flyover became a convoy of runners. I just had a hard time at the uphill of the route but the downhill was also perfect to have longer strides to compensate. The loop where the 5K runners will have to turn became congested since the three categories started to meet on that point.

Hydration stations are everywhere! The tables are so long runners don't have to line up just to get a cup. There are variety of different sports drink and water. Marshalls who handed loop necklaces were very alert in handling them to the runners. Route marshalls are very active in advising where to turn or to go straight ahead, a great way to make us understand why there's no map in the race kit.

I was so entertained with the water shower, the photography stints like the point and shoot and most especially, the jump shot were so enjoyable. I am so happy smiling at the photographers whenever I saw them, hoping to get my picture taken.

The last Kilometer I felt tired already. I don't want to stop. I need to beat my PR on the last 10K I did at the Westgate. I pushed myself further to get to the finish line as fast as I can.

When I saw the finish line I was all pumped up. I was shouting as I approach the finish line. I looked at the time and it was 1:11. Yes! I beat my PR! I was so happy I can't hide the happiness from my face.

After the race I stayed for a while to take some pictures and then I'm off to Alabang Country Club to join my Tri Team's (Team PDA) monthly meeting. I was so happy to announce to the group that I have beaten my PR by 10 minutes. The team were so happy for me. I was so proud of myself.

But after I got home when I checked the official result of the race here's what I found out...

I was heartbroken when I saw the result. I believe that I beat my PR but it ended up I looked at the wrong clock. That was the same time I had during my first 10K race and I have PMS then. I feel so very low. I am so embarrased. I already announced to the running community about my progress. I am very ashamed of myself.

I posted again on my social pages about the mistake. My runner friends were very supportive and comforting about it. I was relieved. Then a question popped out of my head "Why are you running anyway?" Then the tagline of my blog suddenly answered it "I run not to win over other runners, I run to win over Diabetes" and that's it! No more PR depressions for me! ^_^

Here are some of the pictures I got from the event. Though I haven't seen any of my pictures at the Greentennial Run FB Page album, I am still happy.

Run, Amanda, Run!

I so love this artificial rainshower!

Finished with a smile! ^_^

with my good friend, Ate Iris

A greentennial runner!

Overall, I can say that the first Greentennial Run was a huge success! I would like to congratulate the La Sallians for bringing us a very enjoyable race. I am looking forward to the second greentennial run next year, and I promise I'll be there again! ^_^

Special thanks to Nathan Sports Philippines for sponsoring another great race for me, and for providing a great hydration belt for runners who wants to get most out of their trainings.

Good vibes to everyone! Keep running sweetly and happily! ^_^

Monday, January 10, 2011

My first 10K Bloody but Sweet Race

I first heard about Run for Love, Run for Life through a Facebook account. I heard it is the first race of the year and that the proceeds will benefit the Hands of love Philippines. The tagline of the race is “To eradicate hunger and poverty”. I got interested in this race since the cause is good, but when I found out that the race is in Ayala, Alabang, I took a step backward. Makati to Alabang is more than an hour trip and the gun start is 6AM? I’ll give it a second thought first.

But just before the year ends, Nathan Sports Philippines, the makers of my favorite pink hydration belt (Yay!) opened an online contest and the prize is a free race kit for this event, I got excited. All that you have to do is answer the question, post it as a note on your Facebook profile and tag away 5 friends and Nathan Sports Philippines and hola! It’s a contest entry.

The question was “Who/What do you run for?”. I didn’t answer it immediately; I want to think about it first so I gave myself a day or two before I decided to post. Then on New Year’s Day, I got bored since I was just at home. I opened my laptop and answered away. I tagged some runner friends and some friends that I want to encourage in running. I crossed my fingers and I hope the entry will be chosen, and Nathan didn’t fail me. They announced the 3 winners last January 3 and I’m one of the lucky chosen ones...

I'm the first one in the roster of winners!

This is my racekit.

But a bad news came to me the day before the race. I had my period! I usually have irregular periods but I never realized that it will come at this time. I went ballistic. I don’t know what to do, and when I get into this kind of situations, I search for answers on blogs and websites. I also consulted runner friends about it. A friend told me it’s okay to run even if you have your monthly period, just make sure you are properly protected. She recommended I use tampons for much comfortable run.

Race day! I woke up earlier than what I expect myself to be. I am having menstrual cramps! It’s really very uncomfortable and painful. Despite the condition I still motivated myself that I can still run. I can do this!

I asked my brother to give me a ride to the venue of the race. Since I didn’t get the chance to buy tampons, I’ll just buy from convenience stores along the way but to my surprise, for those 6 stores we stopped and inquired (7-11, Mercury Drug and Mini Stop), no one is selling tampons. What to do? Well, back to the old sanitary pads. But this time, I bought the thin and long ones, for overnight use.

I arrived at the race venue around 5:05am. I immediately went to the portalet to change my sanitary pad. They only have 2 portalets, one for males and one for females so there’s a line before you can use the facility.

Since I’m a hard starter, I started stretching and warming myself up 30 minutes before the program starts. As I was doing warm up runs, the pain on my abdomen is acting up. I put some liniment on it and wore my Nathan Speed 2 Hydration Belt to give it compression. The pain was alleviated, but I can still feel it. Very uncomfortable indeed!

My Nathan Hydration belt didn't only serve as a thirst quencher that day, it also served as an abdominal compressor, and it did wonders for my cramps! ^_^

Before the run starts, a pastor led the prayer. I nod my head and say a little prayer; especially in my condition I was a bit feverish because of the menstrual pain. A few activation stretches was led by the run coach and then were off to the starting line.

The pain is still not lowering down. I wore my walkman and turned the volume up. I heard the faint gun start, and then the people started running, I did to.

As expected, it was really a difficult start for me. The pain is now all over. I still managed to push myself to run and if I feel like I can’t run anymore, I walk. I don’t care if other runners run pass by me. All that’s in my head right now is to finish this race... by hook or by crook!

The first 5 kilometers was the killer for me but after that, I broke my fever off and then I feel much better. The compression that my hydration belt did to my abdomen is now working, keeping the liniment’s effect longer. I feel the warmth it brings. The pain is slowly going down. I just found myself going on a faster pace.

Westgate is a great place to run. The route was so refreshing. There were almost no vehicles passing by. There were huge trees and different colored flowers at the center island of the road. It’s like a nature trip for me. There are times when I turn off my walkman and I heard the birds chirping. That was the best tune I heard. So revitalizing! Another nice thing about the route is that it is a combination of uphills, downhills and curvy roads, a good training place if you want to strengthen your calf muscles.

I was enjoying the last 5 kilometers of my run. The most uncomfortable feeling is that the sanitary pad is somewhat reminding me of it’s presence, and the sudden rush of fluid from me that makes me a bit nervous. At the last loop from the course, I feel something is wrong. I put my hands at the back of my running short and guess what, there’s blood!

I need to finish this race fast so I can change. Glad I wore a black running short so the stain is not visible. So to get it over and done with, I added effort on my run, took longer strides and before I knew it, I was at the finish line. I didn’t see the timer clearly so I have no idea of my time but as I look at my phone I guess I finished the race at around 1 hour and 20 minutes. Pretty much good for a 10K run with fever and menstrual cramps right?

As expected, Kenyan’s, Elite Athletes and Military People won the race. Well, I don’t dream of winning anyway.

Those three loop necklaces were more than just ordinary strings for me. I treat them as my medals. I may not be a podium finisher but I am proud that despite being sick and in pain, I finished my race happy and smiling, and for that I am a winner!

I’m so happy that I finished my 10K race. Another running milestone of my sweet life!

Special thanks to Nathan Sports Philippines for sponsoring this race for me and for making a great hydration belt that is very versatile, it’s not only for hydration, it could also be used as compressor for abdominal cramps caused by menstruation.

There’s no stopping a runner from running... not even a period!

Good vibes to everyone! ^_^

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Sweet Life Runner meets The Sweet Potatoes...

I received an invitation through my Facebook events calendar before Christmas, a TKR (Team Kamote Runners) LSD Run in preparation for the Condura Skyway Marathon. I was thrilled when I found out that they are going to run to Tagaytay but when I get into the details of the invite, I was shocked because they will start at Luneta, the famous Kilometer Zero...

According to them, Tagaytay is 56K. OMG! 56K? I can’t even do half of that. So I decided I will decline the invitation but before I do so, I ask them first about the run.

I posted some questions and to my surprise they were all so prompt and fast in answering my queries. They told me it is not a requirement to run the whole course, you just need to run according to the race that you’ve joined in the Condura Skyway Marathon and then you’re off to transport yourself to Tagaytay. This made my eyes roll. So it means I can only conquer the 16K point since I joined the 10 mile race and then I’m good.

The day before the race I am still thinking about joining or not. Then I remembered my condition, I am diabetic, and this route is new and far. The time start is 12 o’clock in the morning so it’s dark. I remember I experienced having a series of hypoglycaemic attacks just last week after my long runs. I don’t want to give them a hard time.

I resentfully told them I will not join because of my condition but one of them offered himself as my close in running buddy at the event. I was so flattered that they are doing all these just to make me join the training. So that’s when I hit the “I’m Attending” button and committed myself to join the run.

I went to the meeting place 30 minutes earlier and some of them are already there. I really made sure I won’t be late. I also made sure that I am pre-conditioned to run longer distances, I slept 3 hours that afternoon, I took in multivitamins, I relaxed and eat well. After a few minutes the other team members arrived. I felt at ease when I saw that there are 4 girls in the team. When they are complete we headed out to the famous Kilometer 0 mark.

We did the usual stretching. A few poses on the Kilometer 0 post and then the run begins!

As usual, I was the slowest. I’m so glad that Kuya Brian and Kuya Zaldy was very much willing to keep their paces slow just for me. The whole team were so supportive. I saw how much they care for their fellows, and most especially with me, since I told them beforehand that I am diabetic.

It was really hard running at wee hours of the morning but I still pushed myself so to at least keep the group close. We have stops at convenience stores and some places in which they wait for us when we are so behind them.

At KFC Sucat, the first Pitstop, were still "okay" ^_^

The Team Kamote Runners loves picture taking. They always take pictures on the way. Most of them have cameras ready to shoot at any nice places and Kilometer posts they see. I enjoyed posing with them during the takes.

After the 10K run I felt that the run is taking its toll on my legs. Every step is becoming harder and harder. I am still keeping up, I don’t want to slow down my running pacemates too much. Despite the hard time running I still managed to finish my 16K race but I still feel I can do more. So I asked for more mileage and they agree. After about 2K, I asked for 2 more. While going at it we saw Jerome along the way. He is complaining of knee pain and really can’t run further. So Kuya Zaldy brought out his “Dora’s Backpack” (almost everything we need is there! No joke!) and aided Jerome. We went to the Kilometer 19 post and then we rode the jeepney to Robinsons Dasma to meet up with the next finishers.

Still all smiles though super tired already...

Bacoor, Cavite! Seeing this sign is already an achievement for me! ^_^

While waiting at a 7-11 store in Dasma, Cavite, We found out from Ate Lori and Ate She that Ate Jhing got injured during their run. It took some time for the other teammates to accompany her to where we are. When we arrived we saw her left foot was so swollen. They attended to her immediately. I also met Kuya Bee Yen and Kuya Carl at this pitstop. They were supposed to run with us but because of conflict in work schedule, they didn’t make it. They went there just for support and I find it so sweet!

At the 7-11 Store in Dasma, Cavite with Kuya Bee Yen, Ate Jhing and Papa O

When everyone was in the pitstop, all decided to stop and head to Tagaytay through transportation. Only Kuya Meljohn decided to finish the route. Kuya Brian and Kuya Zaldy will ride to Silang and then run until they reach Tagaytay. Ate She and Mama O will ride also and start 8K to Tagaytay.

We stayed outside Jollibee Tagaytay and waited for those who were still running. Everyone looks very filthy. That route was filled with vehicles since many people are early leaving their places or going to the marketplace to prepare for the New Year’s Eve Dinner. We cleaned off and changed clothes. Then at around 11:30am everyone was already in the place. We are now ready to take our “Bulalo Lunch”! ^_^

Team Bulalo Runners... oopps! correction, It’s Team Kamote Runners! ^_^

Everyone enjoyed the lunch, not mainly because of the bulalo but moreover, it’s because of the finished run and the bonding moment with special friends.

After the lunch, we took pictures and then were off to go home so we could catch up with our own family celebration of New Year.

The "Bulalo Ba?" facial expression!

I really did enjoy this LSD Luneta to Tagaytay Run with the Team Kamote Runners. I’m glad I took their offer to join. Those 19 Kilometers were the best distance I did so far. I appreciate their hospitality, friendship and the laughters they shared with me. I never felt out casted, they treat me like a teammate, like a family... This run will be a really memorable one for me.

They said they will do LSD Run on Antipolo sometime in January to train again for the Condura Skyway Marathon. Would I pass up a chance to train with them? Ofcourse not! I’m in! Those Sweet Potatoes were the sweetest thing that I will never get tired of, I hope they won’t get tired of me too.

I would like to thank the Team Kamote Runners from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to have a taste of their sweetest hospitality, and for sure I won’t go hyperglycaemic with them! (lol!) More power to you guys and I just want you to know that the Sweet Life Runner is your number 1 fan!

Let’s continue running... with sweet friends!

Good vibes to everyone!