Bye Treadmill

I’m now 30 lbs lighter, he’s 3 years older, the treadmill’s a goner. 

I have gotten rid of the treadmill after a finding a buyer online. About three  weeks ago, the initial purpose of the sale was just to free up some space as this exercise machine is just starting to gather dust, but things have changed…

***

Mood: 5/10 Honks! (Happy to get wifey back home.)

I Survived My First 5K Run

I was among the NatGeo Earth Day runners who flocked to The Fort, Taguig during the wee hours of Sunday morning. Light-headed, due to lack of sleep, and filled with anxiety, I was overwhelmed by the view of thousands of people mostly wearing either gray or yellow Earth Day Run shirts. Each color signifies registered race distance: gray is for 10K and up, yellow is for 3K and 5K.

Excited and determined to join my first ever official 5K event, I found myself in the middle of yellow runners getting ready and warming up along with the stretching exercises led by the race host—one of them is weatherman/celebrity Kim Atienza. And in the same manner as the 21K and 10K races were started, the 5K countdown came.

As soon as the big bright red digital timer hits 0:00:00, a chorus of “go” from the eager crowd and with the accompanying fireworks display (with the sun already peeking out of the horizon), runners begin crossing the start line on the 7th avenue. The cadence each pair of running shoes make, and the huffs and puffs of runners around me were infectious—somehow intimidating but most times encouraging. Every sight of the distance markers (1-km increment) and water stations also made me to keep on running.

Less than 40 minutes later, the finish line becomes visible after the last turn on the 9th avenue. (I realized that it must be every runner’s happiest moment to see the capital letters F, I, N, I, S, H up ahead while trying to summon whatever strength is left.) Handing over the race bar code capped the race for me. Thank you lord for good health, treadmill and a sneaky and supportive wife—everything made me survive my first official 5K run.

***

Based on the figures from natgeorun.com, there were a total of 8,337 finishers in all four (4) races. 2782 finished the 5K race and I was the 1039th placer with an official time of 41 minutes. Not bad.

***

Trivia: April 10, 1996, or exactly 15 years ago, I was rigging TCP equipment with wifey.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (I’ll definitely participate in more 5Ks.)

Will Burn Calories and Gas

About 10 hours from now will be a day about burning calories and gas. Weeks on the treadmill and just a day on the road (to pace myself) will prove its worth during tomorrow’s NatGeo Earth Day run. It will be my first official 5K and I am already excited to see how it will end up. Of course, I’d like to see myself finish in less than an hour—as my wife indicated on the online form when she secretly registered me for this race.

Immediately after I burn calories in The Fort, Taguig, I will be on my way back south to join my wife, kiddo and my in-laws for our annual summer outing which was scheduled just last week during their town fiesta celebration. It was supposed to happen next month but for several reasons they decided to have it tomorrow instead. And this is the reason I have to get back home in Cavite alone from a week of vacation in Batangas so that I can get my NatGeo race kit, be with hundreds of runners tomorrow, and then drive around 100 kilometers back to meet everyone at the resort. Burn baby, burn. Wish me luck.

***

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (I cannot recall the last time I was home alone. Silence.)

Surprise! You’re Running

The explanation why my wife has been interviewing me while I kill my Sunday time in front of the TV has come. She asked me a couple of seemingly unrelated questions: “what is your favorite program?” and “how soon are you going to finish a 5K run?” The query happened as I watch a NatGeo special about the Nazis. And last night, like a perfectly organized Schutzstaffel plan, she told me to check my email in the morning.

True enough, in the middle of the Jobstreet, JobsDB, oDesks notifications and spams on my inbox is an unfamiliar subject: National Geographic Channel Earth Day Run – Completed Registration. Details of the email confirmed my suspicion – I’m running on April 10, 2011.

I checked today’s date and it’s just the 7th of March. I still have a month to prepare to make it to the finish line. Yes, I have to or else the P700 pesos that was charged to wifey’s credit card would be put to waste and she won’t like it. Come April 10, I should be able to cross the line in less than an hour or wifey might execute another SS-like plan.

But I think I have a good chance. During my recent treadmill sessions, I have clocked 30 minutes while on a sweat suit. Distance travelled indicates around 2.2 km and based on the last fun run I made, the treadmill has an approximate error of 50% which means I can actually do twice the distance at the same time–especially if I lose weight.

Wish me luck.

***

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Already a week without an oDesk job.)

Running for Adoption Consciousness

Today is quite a significant day for me and my family. I have been thinking about this day since last year when I started doing my strategic management paper. The months I spent knowing about domestic adoption made me realize the importance of this week’s event. Eventually, the critical call did come—a sign that I have been waiting for. The call from our social worker asking if I can give a testimonial was unexpected and quick. Before I can think of last minute alibis, something in me made me say a crisp ‘yes.’ After the phone conversation, I already knew that today is going to be one of those killing-two-birds-with-one-stone moments.

So around 4 o’clock this morning, I woke up minutes ahead of my alarm clock. I was that excited. After quick preparations of breakfast-to-go –coffee, bananas, pan de sal – and placing Marcus’ bike in the trunk, we were on our way to SM Mall of Asia. The early morning traffic was smooth so we arrived at the venue just less than an hour later.

The annual DSWD event started with a fun run just along SMB’s strip facing the Manila Bay. Several groups of people led by DSWD employees gathered to join the 3K run. I was in the middle of the pack at the starting line and the different t-shirt prints—DSWD, ICAB, CWC, etc.—of most runners around made me recall how immersed I was for months in the field of social welfare, specifically adoption, wherein I got acquainted to these organizations and some of its key employees.

The fun run started past 6:30 AM. Although I started cold, I began to pick up the pace by the first quarter of the course. I finished the 3K route in just around 20 minutes, not bad considering that it’s my first running event. A month of regular treadmill runs at home paid off.

After every runner has finished, the adoption consciousness week program proper followed. This year’s theme is ”Bata ay Huwag Abandonahin! Legal na Pagpapa-ampon ang Gawin.” Different personalities coming from DSWD and its partner agencies joined the program with some children from different child-caring agencies are also present and are part of the intermission numbers. Among the highlights of the kick-off program are the testimonials from two adoptive families—we’re one of them.

Despite having a prepared speech–I spent several hours to prepare just the night before, I decided to do an impromptu speech. It was brief but I think that I was able to bring my message across. One key message I mentioned is that hopefully domestic adoption will soon be embraced by more Filipinos because the latest statistics isn’t enough: there are only about 5,000 children adopted locally and around 3,000 internationally since 2006. Something has to be done to improve the current figures since the number of children waiting adoption is just overwhelming.

The adoption consciousness week will be until February 11, 2011. DSWD and child-placement agencies (KBF and NORFIL) have setup help desks in some SM malls to cater to anyone who is interested in the legal domestic adoption process. According to DSWD, they will have booths in SM North, Fairview and MOA. Please come and visit them.

***

I was able to talk to the founder of the Adoptive Families Foundation and I learned that he had difficulty convincing other adoptive parents to give a testimonial. This is not surprising. One of the surveys I did in this group received only a 12% response. It just shows that most adoptive parents are  still not privy when it comes to talking about it in public (or even online) and this is also one of the reasons why there are still hesitation and resistance from most Filipinos towards legal adoption. Optimistically, the efforts of DSWD and related NGOs will keep on saving more innocent lives from being wasted and deprived of a permanent and loving family.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Glad to finally reach the decision.)

Run Barefoot, Anyone?

I’m taking a break from a whole day of typing in my desperate (yet educational) dash to finish a research paper which is due for presentation this Thursday. So while checking my Twitter for updates, I stumbled upon this @TIME ‘s post: “Is running barefoot better for you?”

Out of curiosity if I’ll see the same post that was about how the Africans can run effectively and fast without any footwear, the one I saw was different but just as interesting. It is barefoot alright, but technically it’s not.

I don’t know when this Five-Finger will become a trend and make the current Nike shoes obsolete and cheap (to my delight), but right now I have mixed feelings about it. One part of me is excited to see it upfront while another part of me doubts that this is just another marketing ploy. It is just one of those things like when they’d like to sell green tea, they say that coffee is bad; when they’d like to sell a new coffee bean brand, they’d say that drinking coffee is good for one’s health. Well, make up your mind folks.

Anyway, my rant is a hopeless rant. It has worked time and again, despite having a poor product, businesses usually become better than ever. And so I know that this Vibram FiveFingers shoe will also pick up soon. It’s just all about good marketing and identifying gullible consumers who will get hooked to it like persistent leeches.

***

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Last stretch of my research paper and I’ll be running the treadmill soon…using my Nike shoes. Not barefoot. Yet)

Guilt-free traffic

 

Bacolod – Just got back home from a crazy early morning traffic jam. The lane was packed – if I can recall it right there were six lanes one way. Others in front of me were moving slow. On my left and right were drivers just merrily chatting with the other drivers of the nearby vehicles – all moving at the same pace as if there’s 48 hours in a day. Others were fast. Some drivers have parked aimlessly on the shoulder letting off some steam. While some others continue to crisscross like speed racers. My driver, so unlikely of him, didn’t mind though. He never touched the horn.

 

Instead, he followed just like others did. He overtook some; weaved from left to right without even caring to switch on the correct turn signal lamp. He even had a near miss with some. And if I’m not mistaken he even brushed with several others along the way. But despite all these, not one bad finger sign got out of someone else’s window. Neither was a swear word shouted nor was a hint of road rage shown. This is crazy.

 

Ah. This is how it feels to be a pair of running shoes. Tomorrow, I heard from my driver, in between puffs, that he’s taking another trip with us once again. Today, he did at least 20 km – from home to lagoon and back. That’s fair, considering that he hasn’t do road runs in years; and to mention that he’s now ten pounds heavier than last year. Shhh. Let’s see how he’ll do tomorrow.

This shoes are made for running, and thats just what theyll do - at least during this vacation.

These shoes are made for running, and that's just what they'll do - at least during this vacation.

 

 

Mood: 2/10 Honks!

 postscript: too much running drains oxygen from the brain. I apologize for the “exhausted” grammar. I think I got all of them already. *LOL*