Tuesday, May 29, 2007

7 Boring Things About Me...

So I've been double-tagged! Here goes...

Rules: Each player starts with 7 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write on their own blog about their seven things, as well as these rules. You need to choose 7 people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them that they have been tagged and to read your blog!

Random Facts:

1) I've only been drunk 3 times. I hate the feeling of being drunk so I try to avoid it at all cost. Also, I get drunk easily and I go from being sober to puking just like that!

2) I was sickly when I was a kid. I was anemic, had low BP, etc. I remember being house-bound one summer because I got tired and weak easily.

3) When I was a kid, my friends and I used to go caroling around Christmas time. This is a common practice in the Philippines. You just go from house to house, sing Christmas carols, and then the homeowners give you money. We usually just get spare change, but it was a big deal to us back then.

4) I got lucky when I went for my driving test. I hit the cone when I parallel parked, and the tester gave me a second chance. Plus I was speeding at one point. The tester made a comment that it was obvious I was nervous and surprisingly, I passed the test! Don't worry, I'm a much responsible driver now. :) Still can't parallel park though, LOL.

5) I've never driven into the cities. I've driven passed them, but not in them. I usually take the train, or someone else drives. The aggressive drivers makes me nervous, all the one-way streets confuse me, and did I mention I can't parallel park?

6) I just realized that I'm a reality show junkie! In addition to the more popular reality shows, I find myself watching off-beat shows like Girls Next Door, Little People Big World, Ace of Cakes, Ghost Hunters, etc. Don't worry, I haven't gone crazy yet and started watching Paris Hilton's show. ;0

7) I want Samantha Brown's job!


Since I'm late in writing this, I'm guessing almost everyone has been tagged? Donna? Melissa? Connie? Julie? Irene? Anyways, I tag whoever hasn't been tagged yet. :0

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Scenes from my 8-mile run this morning....

After living in my house for over three years now, I finally went to the trail nearby. Actually, I checked it out once a couple of years ago and walked a quarter of a mile then back to my car. That was when I thought walking half a mile was a workout. LOL. Anyways, here are some pictures I took with my camera phone.

Notice the small blob in the middle of the bridge above? Horse poop! There were actually people horseback riding in the trail! And guess who stepped on the friggin poop!?!

I ran a total of 8.21 miles for 1:32:42 and average pace of 11:17 min/mile. Kinda slow, but I stopped a lot to take pictures and to wait for traffic lights to change (some areas crossed busy streets). Mile 2 was also super hilly since it was heading towards the small ski resort nearby. I also tried my hydration belt for the first time and it took a while to get the proper adjustment around my waist. AND, I had to stop go to the side and try to rub off the horse poop from my shoes, LOL.

All in all, it was a very pleasant run, poop and all. ;-)

Hope everybody's having a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Post-race pix

This was taken after my 10-mile race...

I'm happy coz I finished and I was still standing! LOL. I don't think it's too noticeable that my shirt's backwards. ;-)

Hmm...gotta work on those runner's legs!

What else have I been up to? I started taking yoga again. I used to take it religiously over 3 years ago when I was still living in NJ. Then I bought my house and there really wasn't any yoga place nearby at the time. One opened up a couple of years ago, but just never got to it. I finally decided to check it out last week. Took my first class, a level 1 since I'm new to it again. Well, I guess I must have instinctively retained the knowledge coz I was the most advanced there! Or I just have better flexibility, who knows! So yesterday, I took level 2 which is more my pace. They suggested that you do at least three level 2 classes before advancing to level 3, which is what I intend to do. Level 3 is 1.5 hours and levels 1 & 2 are only 1 hour, but all for the same price. I figured you get more out for the buck at level 3. ;-) Anyhoo, that's the plan...take at least 1 yoga class a week and work my way up to level 3.

Hope everyone is well!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Philadelphia Race for the Cure 5K (Race Report)

So, are you sick of reading my race reports yet? Well, that's just too bad coz here's another one! LOL.

I did the Race for the Cure this morning, which raised money for breast cancer research. I have good friends that were affected by the disease so this race and the fund raising that went with it are near and dear to my heart.This was supposed to be a fun race, primarily to raise money for a great cause.

I also heard that there are thousands and thousands of participants (~40,000) that you don't really get to "race" at these event. So I made my goal for the race just to have fun and enjoy the atmosphere.

The weather started out really nice, with a slight chill in the air. I stayed at my parents this weekend for Mother's Day and they're only about a 15 minutes drive to Philly, but we decided to take the train instead. My friend picked me up at 6:15 am, then drove to the train station. The train was SLOW and it took us about 45 minutes to get to the city. The bus was filled to capacity with Race for the Cure runners/walkers so the atmosphere was great!

By the time we got to our stop, we were both in need of a bathroom break. We started walking towards the Art Museum (the starting area) and passed by a Starbucks. We went in, but couldn't find a bathroom. We asked one of the employees and he led us into this other restaurant inside the same building. The restaurant was still closed, but he let us use the bathroom anyways. That was really nice of him! :)

We got to the start area and had to walk a bit to actually get into the crowd of starters since they blocked the sidewalk for quite some distance. We found an opening then started to weave our way towards the middle of the pack so we're not too far back. By this time it was 8:10 am, and the race started at around 8:15 am. I had barely turned on my Garmin and connected to the satellite when we started moving forward. Didn't hear a gun go off or anything. I saw a large banner above, which I THINK is the starting line so I started my Garmin when I crossed it.

My friend said that he would run with me. We didn't think we would really be able to run with all the hordes of people. But right from the start, we were already running at a good pace. I then heard him say "Okay, I guess I'll just meet you at the finish line" and I just took off. ;)

I did a lot of weaving for the first mile, which tired me a lot. It was tough since they didn't arrange us by pace and there were still walkers there even though they were supposed to start 15 minutes AFTER the runners. There were also groups of people who lined up together so trying to get around them took some effort.

Around the the first mile, I heard someone fall all the way to left. I quickly glanced back to that direction and saw people already helping her up. By this time, the crowd was really thick and running fast so I was basically swept forward and couldn't really help her. I said a quick prayer that she was okay.

I tried to embrace the moment. It was really touching running this race. You see tons of people with signs at the back of their shirts saying that they're running for so and so. Seeing the signs for survivors were empowering. But it broke my heart reading the signs of those who lost their battle to cancer. The whole experience was humbling to say the least.

My throat was dry by mile 2 so I slowed down to a walk to grab a drink of water. I really wasn't thirsty but I just needed something to wet my throat. So I took one swallow of water and ended up wearing the rest on my shirt. We got to the art museum area and heard my Garmin beep indicating that I have already reached the 3.1 miles. However, the finish line was nowhere in site! So I kept on running.

After a while, I decided to slow down. I stopped my Garmin and walked for a bit, but then saw the finish line up ahead. So I re-started my Garmin and ran ahead. I was so surprised as I neared the finish line and the clock time was still approaching 30 minutes! Are you kidding me? I've passed 3.1 mile a while ago (as per Garmin)!

I waited for my friend for a bit, then called him on the cell. He had just crossed the finish line at this time. We met by the medical tent and he told me he crossed the finish line at around 31 minutes. I honestly thought he was going to be ahead of me since he told me a couple of weeks ago that he got his 5K time on the the treadmill down to 26 minutes. My 5K PR was only 28:50.

We walked around, got tons of free food, then headed home.

I downloaded my Garmin data to the computer and was surprised at the results! Sportstrack said that I ran 3.53 miles in 29:43. Training Center said I ran 3.31 miles in 29:43. Now, remember that I stopped and re-started just before the finish line.

BUT, I reached 3.11 miles in 25:47! That's like 3 minutes below my previous PR! My official clock result would probably be a little over 30 minutes. But if my Garmin is correct, we ran a lot more than 3.1 miles.

I'm still in SHOCK by this result. There's a small part of me that's a little disappointed. I'm used to beating my PRs at every race, but 25:47 for a 5K is a tall order, at least for me. I know, I'm wierd!

Now, if I could only run that fast during my practice runs, then everything would be hunky dory! ;)

That's it! Thanks for reading!

Edit: I heard from reputable authorities that Garmin might be off today. So I wouldn't hold too much stock on 25:47. Which is good in a way. That means I don't have to kill myself trying to get to 25 minutes for my next 5K, LOL. 28:50 is definitely a lot more doable and much preferred to beat! ;-) The most important thing is I raised some money for a great cause and I had fun! =)

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

The Secret to Running a 10-Mile Race - Broad Street RR

Thanks Irene for the reminder! LOL

Short version:

I came, I saw, I conquered!!!!

Clock time: 1:48:23
Chip time: 1:41:43
Ave speed: 10.10 min/mile


Long version:

I was really petrified going into this race. First, I have never ran a race this big. Second, it's my longest race to date.

A couple of days before, I actually bought "The Secret" CD and has been listening to it in my car, LMAO! I actually thought it made sense. The real gist of it is "like attracts like" and you are basically a magnet. So if you want something really bad, you have to want and feel it, take the negative out of your thinking, visualize, act like you already have it, and you will get it. It actually helped me relax before my race. I tried to think about crossing that finish line and finishing the race strong. I have more opinions of "The Secret", both positives & negatives, but I'll talk about that another time

Anyhoo, back to the race...

My dad at first was just going to drop me off by the sports complex subway station, then just pick me up after the race. But, my parents decided to watch the race instead. Anyways, I THOUGHT I got to the subway station at a good time. I didn't realize the ride would take that long! I think I actually got a nice nap during the ride. LOL.

I got to the starting area and decided to make my port-a-potty stop. Holy cow, the lines were crazy! I also noticed how cold and windy it was. I was wearing my running skirt under my pants and I was actually contemplating changing into a pair of shorts that I brought with me. However, I ended up waiting for the port-a-potty in like FOREVER!

I did meet some nice people in the line. I met a couple of guys who were there running the race for the first time. They were by themselves also which made me feel better since it seemed like everyone knew someone there. I also met a woman there who ran it in 2003 and finished at around 2 hours. She was only walking it this year. She assured us that if she can do it, anybody can. She also told us that many people wear their iPods and never got in trouble.

When I got done with the PtP, there was only 10 minutes left and I have yet to check in my gear. Needless to say, I decided to keep my running skirt on due to lack of time and space in the PtP.

I checked in my gear at the designated bus, which was luckily near the 10 min/mile pace line. I quickly lined up with some time to spare. I ended up chatting with a guy who was in Philly to help his daughter move out of her dorm at Temple U., so he decided to run the race also.

I don't remember hearing gun go off. I guess I was too far back, LOL. Next thing I knew, we were all moving forward. It took forever to get to the start line. We were off running and I remember looking ahead and seeing this big sea of runners and the site of City Hall so far ahead! I was totally in awe of the number of participants! Surprisingly, my nervousness was gone and all I felt was exhiliration and gratefulness that I was actually there participating at such a great event!

When we reached the 1-mile mark, I looked at the clock and it said 16-something. WTH! I couldn't have been running that slow. I quickly glanced at my Garmin and noted that it was only around 10 minutes and I then remembered that it took a while to get to the start line.

Around miles 1-5, I remember passing & getting passed by a guy wearing cotton t-shirt & jean shorts. I was just like, what the heck was he thinking? But he eventually passed me for good so he must have been doing something right, LOL. I also remember getting passed by a shirtless guy, guts hanging to infinity. I eventually passed him around mile 4 for good.

I reached City Hall which was just an awesome experience. It felt like such relief to finally reach it after looking at it for approximately 6 miles. I remember my parents saying they would try to be around that area. Surprisingly, I found them at around mile 6.1 and gave my dad a big high-five. Seeing them gave me a big boost.

A little while later, I saw Gov. Ed Rendell giving runners high-fives. The 2 guys right next to me were able to give him high-fives. I guess I was too far away, even though I was only literally a couple of feet from him, LOL.

I reached mile 7 and that's when it hit me that I was actually going to finish and finish strong! My earphones were bothering me at this point so I took it off.

I got to mile 8 and started feeling some cramping in my calves. It wasn't too bad, but I just tried to ignore it. They started playing the Rocky theme which totally pumped me up. At this point, we were around the sports complex and nearing the Navy Yard (finish). The crowd was thick and was just boisterous in cheering us on! When I got to mile 9, I just decided to lay it all out and started passing people.

Finally, THE FINISH!!! WOOHOO!!! I was very happy with my time since my goal was just to finish, and hopefully run it in under 2 hours. The best I've done in practice is 1:47:something, so this was quite an improvement. I felt surprisingly strong after the finish. I honestly could have run another 3.1 miles to make it a half-marathon. Philadelphia Distance Run in September is definite ON!

After the race, I got my food & water. At this point, I was freezing my a$$ off! And it took me forever to find the gear buses. After asking a couple of people, I finally figured it out. I had my cell phone in my bag so I immediately called my parents to find out where they were. Turned out that they decided to wait in the car by the sports complex, so I just took the shuttle to there

Overall, it was an awesome experience! The crowd was just amazing throughout the course - you couldn't ask anymore than that! Honestly, I probably didn't need my iPod after all! Great volunteers too and I highly commend the organizers for keeping everything in order.

Also, I am completely sold on the running skirt! It was flattering, comfy, and stayed down, inspite of the blustery wind. I especially LOVE the 2 big pockets on the sides. More running skirts is definitely in my future!

The only downside was when I got home, I realized my shirt was on BACKWARDS! (LMAO) We got a really good chuckle out of it, but it really wasn't that noticeable. I'm dreading looking at the race photos when they come out. They're going to be my first race photos too!

On a sad note, I just read today that a runner died at the race. Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers.


Next up - Komen Race for the Cure this Sunday (Mother's Day). I'm just running this for fun and for a good cause. =)

Till my next race report! ;-)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

More pictures from the wedding

Mom and Dad

Me & partner, marching in church. (I'm too short!)

Hmmm...Gotta tone the arms (LOL).

Exchange of vows.

Finally married! :-)
Making my entrance at the reception.

Those are the highlights. =)

My next update will most likely be another race report. This time will be of my 10 mile race. Please pray that I survive this. I'm actually thinking of watching "The Secret". I need to believe that I WILL FINISH in one piece!