Thursday, September 23, 2010

Goodbye Blogger!

Don't fret! I'm not quitting this amazing world of blogging.

I'm just moving my blog to:

I just have to say that it's quite better there, and very much user-friendly. I'm no writer so micro-blogging my random, short thoughts is more appropriate for me.

See you guys on the other side!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

my army half marathon 2010 experience

Yay! I'm so proud of myself.

I broke my previous half-marathon (13.1 miles or 21 km) personal record of 1 hour, 55 minutes, and 56 seconds to 1:52:59 this Army Half-marathon 2010 held last September 12, 2010.

Organized by the Singapore Armed Forces Reservist Association (SAFRA), this annual half marathon event is attended by thousands of newly recruited NS boys (Singaporean males who reached a certain age are to take part of the National Service for two and a half years), army delegates from neighboring Asian countries, and the general public. This year tens of thousands gathered at the Padang (where the National Day Parade 2010 was recently staged) and waited for the 5:15AM flag-off for Half-Marathoners.

The Run

It was hot and humid! I woke up at the witching hour of 3 to prepare myself for the race. I had a quick shower and had some hot Milo and some white bread. I quickly slipped into my Adidas Techfit compression pants (gave my quads and glutes that much needed lift!) and white Nike singlet. I plastered key areas of my feet and toes with bandage to avoid the painful discovery and development of blisters during the middle of the race.

I arrived at the venue at 4:20 am. Thanks to the shuttle service from SAFRA Yishun Club. What usually takes a drive or commute to the city in 40 minutes to an hour, that shuttle bus took us in 20 minutes! I barely closed my eyes for a quick nap, then we were at the venue. Amazing!

Anyway, I searched for the baggage deposit and found it easily. I praise the logistics as it was arranged by gender-and-category, then by bib number. I easily found the pen manned by two army boys and hand over my bag. They quickly wrapped my stuff in a large, clear trash bag and secure it with a plastic lock. They hung my bag along the railings arranged chronologically according to the pen's bib number range. So ingenious. I was very impressed.

When I arrived at the flag-off area, there was heavy build-up of runners. Those who can't wait for slow-movers attempted to scale the walls and squeezed in. It was quickly managed and resolved. Again, I was very impressed.

It was REALLY hot and humid. I was huffing and puffing in the first couple of miles. The first uphill was at the Helix bridge. This is the bridge that connects Raffles Avenue to the Marina Bay Sands complex. Along the Marina Bay Sands complex, 21Km runners was greeted with a congestion of private cars coming home from the casino. Around the 3rd mile, I was climbing with a steady pace towards the East Coast Parkway Skyway. This went on and on for another mile or so. I was seeing the Singapore Flyer and the Singapore Skyline so high up! And I was on foot! That was a very unique experience. Though my breathing was still deep and heavy, I felt strong and steady in the uphill. Many thanks to the weekly hills training!

By mile 6, we were at the unending stretch of East Coast Park. Did you know that the ECP stretches for over 9 miles (or 15-16 kilometers?) An army boy handed me a banana -- a real fruit *wink* -- from one of the water stations. At a 9-minute per mile pace, it was quite difficult to bite and chew...

When I saw the 15th kilometer mark (or aroud 9-miles done), I glanced at my watch. 1 hour and 23 minutes. I was thinking -- at 5:00/kilometer pace or faster, I'd be able to reach the finish line a little after 1:50. And I'd be able to beat my PR, I said to myself. I ran as fast as I could. I hurriedly passed through water stations, even the mile markers. I even breezed way past our Dragonboat Team Captain, Jon! How surreal!

And just like that, I was nearing the finish line. I saw cheerers and greeters! They shouted "jia-yo" (or Chinese: 加油; pinyin: jiāyoú), which means be stronger! When it is used for sports, it encourages the athletes to do better, demonstrated at the 2008 Beijing Olympics by the Chinese.

I think I did it. I was STRONGER!

My bib and a great looking finisher's medal

Click below for a RARE photo of me wearing my medal. (Yes, only my medal.) j/k!

Friday, September 17, 2010

PowerSong: Goldfrapp's Alive (plus a surprise!)

I'm starting a new category in my blog called PowerSong!


Just like in Nike+ (how original!) are PowerSongs are songs that "helps you kick it up a notch whenever you need a burst of motivation."

So what are my PowerSongs? For the sake of content of this blog, RainbowRunner's PowerSongs are tracks that I've recently encountered and enjoyed. These songs are my personal recommendations for a run. They can be used as warm-up songs to wake-up those sleepy muscles, or jolt your system and pick-up your pace.

And so, for this week's PowerSong, I'm enjoying:

      Alive by Goldfrapp!!      

Check out the video, MP3 link and my thoughts on why this is my PowerSong for the week after the jump...

Monday, September 13, 2010

Day 18: time trial (1 of 3)

I did my first time trial last Thursday, 9 September.

I started my time trial quite late as I had a client surprised me with additional work that afternoon. :-/ Asar. Anyway, I rushed myself to the tracks of Bukit Timah Campus of the National University of Singapore (NUS).

From the Runner's World training plan that we are following now:
A one-mile time trial can help you track your fitness and set realistic race goals. Go to a local 400-meter track or any one-mile stretch of road. After 10 minutes of walking and jogging, run one mile, or four times around the track. Over the course of training, your fitness gains will be reflected in your time trials.

My results are shown below:

1 mile = 7 mins:17 seconds 36 milliseconds
Lap 1 = 1:50.30
Lap 2 = 1:51.12
Lap 3 = 1:46.98
Lap 4 = 1:48.96

Narnian said that our target one miler is 6 minutes. Will we be able to achieve that?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Army Half-Marathon this Sunday!

I'm running another Half-Marathon race this Sunday, 12 september 2010.

I'm joining the SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon.
This annual mass running event is the largest in Singapore and jointly organised by SAFRA and The Army. The event comprises both the competitive 21-km half-marathon and 10-km routes. The social runners can participate in the non-competitive 5/6-km Fun Run as well. 

The event aims to promote healthy lifestyle and reinforce SAFRA and the SAF’s emphasis on physical fitness. Over the years, participation has grown from 15,000 when it first started in 1992 to about 70,000 last year.

This year, we'll start at the Esplanade where the Merlion is nearby. We're also passing along the iconic Fullerton and the now infamous Marina Bay Sands. Parts of the 21-km route also includes the Singapore Flyer, the Formula One racing track (the F1 GP Night Race in Singapore is on Sept 24-26, 2010!), the long, unending stretch of East Coast Park and Shears Bridge.

Below is a detailed route map
21-km route map. Higher resolution map here from the SAFRA website

I will be running longer than my scheduled 10-mile training run.

Big good luck to me! :-)

p.s. I wasn't able to snap photos of handsome army boys behind the race pack collection when I got mine. Tsk tsk.

(crazy) Day 15: staggered 12-mile long run [part 1]

I knew it was going to be a crazy day when I learned that I'm running 12 miles. And that I have a fun run on the same day. And that we're having our dragonboat training NOT on our usual place.

And it was crazier when I woke up and heard thunder rumbling. I peered out through my window, and I saw a couple flashes. Lightning. Eeek! Not a good omen.
Day 15 was my 12-mile run, or 19.32 kilometers, in our sub 4-hour training plan for the upcoming SCMS 2010.

The (not-so-fun) Fun Run

We hauled our asses to Expo MRT Station where we queued up for a free shuttle to the starting line. It was already 7:45 when the bus started rolling. 

And then, more bad luck. The bus captain, I think, took the wrong exit. We were heading towards the city. I didn't understand his conversation as it was in Chinese. But we made a U-turn somewhere at the East Coast Parkway, some 15 kilometers away from the venue, and headed back. We arrived at the venue around 8:20. The flag-off time for the 6-km Fun Run was 8:15. Sigh, we were late.

It was raining, still. They gave out disposable raincoats while we were in line to hand our respective bags to the crew in mini-trucks. These mini-trucks serve as baggage check-ins. It was actually a cool idea, to have the start and finish points at different areas. No running around a looped route. 

Kadiri. Ang basa-basa na, ang itim-itim ko pa.

Click below to

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Day 5: 9 miles long run, under the sun (late post)

So this is already day 5 (22 Aug 2010) of my training. A 9-mile long run under the scorching, Singaporean sun.

Geographically, Singapore is hotter than manila. Singapore is nearer to the earth's equator. Thus, hotter. But this doesn't hold true as cities in the inner part of Manila like Mandaluyong, Makati and Quezon felt like I was inside a baker's oven in April 2010 when I was there.

Anyway, I wasn't able to get up early that morning, so I had to choose between running before or after, my dragon boat training for my Sunday long run. I obviously chose the former.

I started my run a little before one in the afternoon. The Bedok Reservoir Park has a 5-Kilometer loop around the fresh water reservoir. Perfect if you're doing a 9-mile run (14.48 kilometers), as you'll do 3 loops. My run started just fine as the route had a good amount of shade. The reservoir has its share of eye candy that weekend too. Some canoe-polo sports competition is being held in one part. At the middle of the 5km loop, there was the lack or absence of shade and trees. I was under the mercy of the scorching sun for at least a kilometer. Alas, I found a shaded area outside the loop, so I continued my run there instead. And since I diverted from the loop, I had to climb up this hill with a manageable 10-30° incline. It was manageable, but at noon time, my heart was racing at 60-90beats a minute. I felt like my heart was about to explode.

I finished the loop but I had to do it two more times. Thank God I managed to finished my run.

I had to hydrate regularly to avoid heatstroke. There were a few drinking fountains along the route. I gobbled up water every 20-30 minutes. I had to splash water on my body, my head and especially and my nape. As the insides of our body heat up while doing exercise, running under the heat of the sun is very dangerous.

Heatstroke can lead to death. As what happened to Remus Fuentes (RIP) last Milo Marathon in Manila. Even widely popular and well organized marathons like the recent Standard Chartered Marathon in Kuala Lumpur, another fellow runner met a tragic incident. Runners must remember to hydrate before, during and after a run, especially if one runs in hot, humid city like Manila or Singapore.

Tip: Did you know that running cool water on your wrist (where your pulse is) cools your body down faster?

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy Birthday @OutedNarnian

I suddenly woke up, very early Saturday morning. I couldn't get back to sleep. I wondered why... Then I remembered, it is:

Happy Birthday Guuurl!

I love you girl, and will be always rooting furr you, whereevur you urr! Heart-hugs!

Image editing apps thanks to Hello Kitty Camera and TuzkiSnap

Post script.

Narnian is my sorta-best friend forever already. I bet he doesn't know it. If that's the case, then it's a one-way BFF thing. More on that later.

When I went home to Manila last April, I asked him to join me in Body Pump class, a Les Mills fitness class I follow religiously. After the class we were to go for Kaya breakfast at the nearby Kopi Roti along Ayala corner Buendia in Makati. As we're about to take our shower (not together and scrub each other's back, silly!) I noticed that he was carrying a toilet-and-bath basket. This plastic basket is usually seen with kids staying at a student's dormitory. It was what you carry to a communal bathroom, with your products. It was packed to the brim with his pampaganda. I asked him if he brings it every day to the gym when taking a shower, and he said, "Yes, of course."

To make the story short, I knew I had to help Narnian. As his one-way BFF, it's my duty and responsibility for his to take care of what others perceive of him. My now 24-year old buddy shouldn't be seen with a T&B basket. So as a big Sizzzter, I bought him this.


Take a sec to decipher.

Click on the READ MORE to know what I got Narnian 

Sorry na!

...For being AWOL in my blogging duties. I'll be posting my older entries first so I can get back on track.

Photo Credits to

Friday, August 20, 2010

Day 03: another 4 easy miles + thoughts on treadmill running

If you know me as a friend or runner, or at least have followed my blog for some time, you might have realized that I don't like treadmills.

Hate it. Abhor it. Loathe it. Despise it... NOT really! *puppy eyes*

What I mean is I'm just the type of runner who doesn't want to run while staying on the same space for an extended period of time. I prefer the sunny (or sometimes cloudy, drizzling, or wet) outdoors. I don't know if you also do, but I feel this satisfying sensation when my feet pounds the pure asphalt on some roads. I just don't like monotony.

I don't enjoy watching TV shows while at the treadmill. I had an incident once, back in Manila, where I almost slid out of the conveyor belt! What happened was, my attention was caught in this show. I didn't know that I was slowly slipping backwards. I realized it as soon as my feet felt the roller at the end. Close call! And more recently, at FF-One George Street, I was hooked on this skateboarding challenge I was seeing on ESPN. The show is being televised to my left. Little did I know, I was also moving towards the left of the machine. In a split second, my left foot hit the immovable deck. I jerked for a bit, and (THANK GOD!) I didn't lose my footing. I regained my balance and composure. I acted as if nothing happened.

But deep inside, I felt so scared. I could have fallen down/off. I could have lost my pearly whites. Worse, I could have damaged this baby-face of mine. :-P

Recently, Mike Tyson's daughter died from a treadmill accident. Scary!

Yes, running on the treadmill is easier as there's no wind resistance to slow you down. The assistance of the belt propels you to move forward and just staying in place. You have a smoother run since there's no change in terrain, and no man/animal/car/building or inanimate object blocking your way. The treadmill is also good for overweight runners and those with knee issues, as the machine is padded and softer than the road.

One just has to beat the monotony on treadmill running. You and your friend can run side by side. Motivate each other, provide some distraction. If you're alone, try an interval workout. Warm up for 5 minutes and follow it with fast and easy segments. Increase your speed by 30-50 percent for two minutes, and then go back to your comfortable pace. Do this for 4-6 sets. If this isn't your thing, try circuit training. Again, warm up for 5 minutes. Step out of the treadmill and do some strength training general exercises for a set or two. Example, do push-ups and squats. Run again for another 5 minutes, followed by some lunges and crunches.

Anyway, the bottom line of this post is I ran for 4 miles at the treadmill today during lunch break 'coz I wasn't able to wake up early. And that has been my 3rd day of training today.

Enjoy your weekend folks!

Thanks Stock Photo for the image!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Day 02: 4 miles, hills around Nassim Road and Botanical Gardens

Every Wednesday, for the first half of the training, is devoted to training in hills. Yes, HILLS; not heels, as in the part of the human foot, or the back portion of women's footwear.

I remember when @MkSurf8 took me to Dempsey Hill for breakfast after the Timex Race, and there was lush greenery and rolling hills as we were heading to Jones the Grocer. Imagine Baguio Country Club and Camp John Hay in Singapore. Warmer of course and lots of joggers, even at noon time! That inspired me to do my hills training around the area. Thanks to Livestrong.COM, I also found a few routes around Singapore where there are hills to run around.

Let me also say that the routes I run are either, (a) near any branch of my gym – Fitness First, or (b) starts and ends at my place in Yishun. The former is a must so I can keep my things at my locker while I go out for a run.

So, I found and modified a 4-mile route that now starts at Orchard corner Grange Roads, where Paragon Shopping Center is, and where FF-Paragon at the 8th level is housed.

I went all the way down to Tanglin road from Orchard road. Starting from Shaw and Wheelock, I'd like to believe that this is the "old Orchard" shopping alley. Less-crowded malls and classy hotels are seen in this area. I then ran up a smooth incline along Nassim road, where I passed by the Philippine Embassy. Further up, I entered Cluny Gate of Botanical Gardens. It was getting a little dark so I had a difficult time navigating through the park. It was so serene inside. Lots of runners are training there too, but I was in awe of the never-ending hills that go up and down. I totally forgot about my quads that started to ache.

When I finally reached the Tanglin gate, I checked my Nike+ Sportsband and I did 3+ miles already! And my run was nowhere done! I exited the park, and went up the incline along Tanglin road, back to Orchard road. I passed by people going home from the office or catching dinner, al fresco.

Check out my route HERE.

I finished my run after a little after the 5th mile. This must be because I got lost inside Botanical Gardens, which I don't mind at all! I loved it there and I won't get bored running in that area. 'til next week, I'm increasing my mileage to 5-miles.

How about you, do you have routes that you like?

P.S. I miss McKinley Hills, near Venezia. Killer "hi(e)lls" around that area :-)

Photo Credit to user: Saucy Pan 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Day 01: 4 miles, easy run + thoughts on Miles vs Kilometers

So it has begun.

Today's the first day of the 16-week Sub 4-hour training from Runners World.

Instead of waking up at 5:00 am, I took my lunch break from work at the gym. I checked-in at FF-OUB. This is one of the most accessible gyms from where I work. It's a couple of stations away (Bugis -> City Hall -> Raffles Place) right above Raffles Place MRT.

I ran at the treadmill for 38+ minutes. I warmed-up for a mile for about 10 minutes, followed by the 10:04/mile pace for another 3 miles.

I am having a difficult time converting my whole sense of pacing from Metric to English system. When I warm up, I usually do a 6:30/km pace, but when I'm in the zone I run between 5:30 to 6:00/km pace. The fastest pace I can manage for a race is between 4:30 to 5:00/km. But you see, finishing a marathon of 26.2 miles sounds way easier than 42.165 kilometers. I remember my friend said that it's easier to digest that you're doing three 10-K races plus one 7-K warm up and one 5-K cool down for a marathon. And that's in Metric terms. How do I break down in the miles?

Here are some English<=>Metric conversions that I know by heart:

  • 1 mile = 1.6 kilometers
  • 1 kilogram = 2.2 pounds
  • 1 inch = 2.54 centimeters
Now that I've listed them down, it doesn't seem much.

Oooh! I know the currency conversions for Philippine Peso, US Dollar, Singapore Dollar and Malaysian Ringgit too! (Hmmmm... that sounds lame)

UPDATE: I consider myself lucky to stay with my sister and bro-in-law in one flat. I'm lucky that they cook so I get to eat at home. But not in the past couple of days. :-( Last night, I had calamares! And now, I just finished some leftover sisig. Yes, I'm lucky I get to be with them. Sigh

Monday, August 16, 2010


Tomorrow I'm starting my training for the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2010. I'll be embarking on a 16-week program from Runner's World. It'll take 5 days a week (and even a week or two with 6!) of non-stop running. The objective of this 80-day training is to finish a full marathon in four hours or less. It'll hopefully increase my endurance and stamina and strengthen my muscles more. As this is my first full marathon (that's 42.195 kilometers or 26.2 miles), I am indeed aiming high with a sub 4-hour goal.

The training involves early hill work. Some speed and intervals towards the end. A bunch of active recovery runs are scheduled during the week, with at least 3-5 miles per run. Once in a while, a time trial is also scheduled for me to realistically adjust my goals. And yes, long runs on Sundays! So I'm saying good-bye to late nights for now and say hello to early morning weekends! Boo hoo!

I'm doing this program as recommended by my friend Outed Narnian. Jamie Da Vinci will do it too. One of my running idols will do it too, Jaymie Pizzaro aka, The Bull Runner.

I'll do my best to jot down the 80 days of this training. They say that once you write down your thoughts, it'll be easier to achieve the goals you've set.

So dear friends and fellow runners, a big good luck to moi. You're prayers and well-wishes are appreciated.

p.s. If you want a copy of the training plan, let me know so I can share it with you. Just post a comment here or send me an @reply thru my Twitter account, and I'll share it with you soonest.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Feeling good, doing good!

Ola mi amigos!

I have been busy with work. (Yeah, right!) And I haven’t written a post in ages. 

My 3-4x a week attendance of BodyPump classes and weekends of Dragon Boat training has paid off pretty well! Our team bagged Silver and Bronze medals in a recent Dragon Boat race. Yay! 

I was the drummer here!

Woot! Two medals!

I've also been following a training calendar for running too! I run 3-4x a week as well. Long runs are reserved for weekends. Weekdays are my recovery runs, interval/tempo runs and strides. I tell you, these are really beneficial for runners. I've always thought they were fancy training but it really helped me a lot. Take your interval runs, seriously. And for endurance or long-distance runners, be sure not to skip the long runs. 

I just recently completed a Half-Marathon race organized by Tri-Factor. The race was the Timex TRI-Run 2010, and it's part of a series of races which will conclude with a TriAthlon race this October. I don't think I'm ready for that yet.

I finished the race in a record 1:55:31! I'm so happy!

Fellow blogger/Twitter fanatic, @MkSurf8, also ran. He joined the 10K race and finished the run before the 1-hour mark! Congratulations to you, Sis! :-D And thanks, @MkSurf8 for bringing me to Dempsey Hill. I had a great filling brunch there!

Very yummy filling Classic English breakfast for only $20! 
(And oh, they got yummy servers too!)

'Till next time!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Hay nako, Haiku!

Tayo'y tahimik
Sakay sa tren, nagbabasa
Ingat mahal.

My attempt to post a Tagalog Haiku on-the-go kasi na-inspire ako...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Today I was a good citizen

For my morning runs, I usually wake up at 4:40am. My phone's alarm is already programmed on days when I have training. But on this particular morning, something else woke me up. I had already hit the "disable" button when I heard a faint ringing sound of a bell.

It seemed distant at first, but it had a particular pitch that alarmed me. It sounded like that of a fire alarm drill. I quickly jumped out of bed, and opened my room's window. The ringing grew louder. I stuck my head out. I didn't see any smoke nor fire nor people scrambling out of neighboring buildings. My heart started to race.

Still the ringing continued. I went out of my room, and went to the kitchen. I usually drink a cup of Milo before I run, so I prepared the pot to boil water. Still, the ringing. I peered out of the kitchen window, I see now the two adjacent flats. The ringing grew louder, it seems it's coming from one of them. No smoke, fire or panicking people, still. Thank God.

I wasn't sure if I should be scared of seeing nothing at all, or seeing thick, dark smoke coming from one of the buildings.

The pot whistled, so I poured the freshly boiled water into my mug. I went back to my room hot drink in hand, I opened my computer. I quickly Google-ed "fire department". I clicked on the first local result. Skimming through the site, there was no useful info. No number which I can call. The site takes pride in it's awards and national service program, but stupid of them not to publish contact numbers for emergency! That should be at least in the homepage!

I Google-ed again, and I found 911. I didn't know 911's applicable here in Singapore. I think 911 should be worldwide. Governments must set up 911 as their emergency hotline.

After a couple of phone rings, someone picked up. I told the the guy in the other line of ringing. I said I didn't see smoke nor fire nor people scrambling out. Just that alarming ring, usually heard from fire drills. I gave him my address. I told him the ringing comes from the neighboring buildings. Then he said he'll have a police squad come ove and investigate.

Still a bit nervous, I finished my Milo. I changed into my running shorts and top. Slipped into my shoes. Maybe 5 minutes had passed, then the ringing stopped. Thank God!

I think it was because of me. A faint smile crept to my face. I am proud of myself. Today I was a good citizen. Not of the Philippines though, sadly. But a good citizen indeed.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, February 5, 2010

If given a drag name, what would it be?

Allota Fagina! :-) Haha! That's a character from Austin Powers, if I remember it correctly. It was my handle in CounterStrike and Diablo2 as well. :-)

Ask me anything

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

If you could rid the world of one thing, what would it be?

Loneliness. Loneliness leads to a lot of life's tragedies and misfortunes.

Ask me anything

Tanungin nyo ako nang kahit ano...

run with me some more!

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