Category Archives: running

Whoops! It’s been awhile

Wow! It has almost been two months since my last post. I guess I have been really neglecting my blog. In all honesty, I knew I had been doing this. That makes the past two months of non-posting sound even worse, I know. It’s not like I have not been keeping up with my exercise or anything. I have been keeping very strict on my “resolutions”. I have been doing a lot more weight training and have kept up with my running. In addition, in the last two months I have come to fall in love with the joys of cooking.

I’ve always read countless articles stating that your body is made anywhere from 70-90% in the kitchen. So many people were saying it that I thought I would give this a try. It started out with small things like pasta, jambalaya, and other simple-ish meals. I’ve swapped out white flour with whole wheat and have really increased the amount of vegetables in my diet. One very minor but very important change that I have made was to start eating breakfast. Oatmeal, eggs, fruit, yogurt, milk, orange and apple juice have all become my early morning friends. For many breakfast comes with a cup of joe. I used to be one of those people who only had a cup or two to fuel my pre lunch stomach. I found that I would be so hungry and out of energy by the afternoon and would eat anything that was near me-Dangerous! Eating breakfast has really kick started my metabolism, curbed my hunger, and has kept me sated for a much longer time. Recently I also tried switching to decaffeinated coffee. One thing I have noticed is that I get to bed earlier than when I used to drink regular coffee. My energy levels have not really dwindled but I will keep on experimenting between caffeinated and decaffeinated in the next few weeks/months to see the overall effect on my body. Three weeks in and decaf doesn’t seem too bad.

With these tweaks in my lifestyle I have come to see that I have generally more energy, better sleep, and an overall more positive attitude with everything life throws at me.

Onward and upward!

PS I am going to try to blog more haha. Should have been part of my resolutions from the start

Not the brightest

Hey all!

In the past few weeks I’ve been slowly raising my mileage up again after quite a dip in my running. The past few months I have limited my runs to warm ups and cool downs after weight training sessions. Prior to September I was doing a few 10km runs per week and since then, I have yet to log a 10km run.

I am unsure as to why I haven’t thought about this sooner but I think I have been “lazy” as of late with my running because I have not really set out a goal. For August, my goal was to cut weight for the wedding. I trained hard and reached my goal of 175lbs the day prior to the wedding. Since then I haven’t really been taking my training too seriously. How could I? There was nothing to really keep me too motivated. I hadn’t set a goal.

Well, that changed pretty drastically about a month ago when I was on my ass sitting and watching television with my wife. To say that we watch a lot of television is the understatement of the century. We really use television to unwind after our work week. To think of it, it’s somewhat surprising that we aren’t more unhealthy. When I say a lot of television, I’m talking like we follow 10+ shows-PVR is the bane of a gym member’s life.

Anyways, back to the story. While watching television it is inevitable that we will come across a set of bulging biceps, washboard abs, and broad shoulders. While watching a new superhero television show, lo and behold, there they were. Mountainous biceps that had death defying peaks and valleys. Shoulders that could put Atlas to shame. Rippling abs that could do a whole months worth of laundry and then some. I wasn’t really awe inspired by this-I have seen such physiques before. Quite frankly, I think I’ve almost been desensitized by recent filmography like 300, Immortals, and the countless superhero remakes. But, there lies my problem. I have become desensitized. Sure I admire those guys work ethic and I can appreciate a super toned and ripped body, but that’s where it stops. Admiration but not envy. Well, that was until my wife’s face lit up each time one of these muscle robots popped up on the screen. I thought to myself, why can’t I be like that.

Jealousy and selfishness are not in and of themselves bad, in this case. Those two things can drive you to have that killer instinct. It constantly causes you to ponder the question, “Why not me?”. And that single question is what I need to play and repeat in my head over and over again to motivate me. To fuel me.

I know that upping my mileage is only the first step. I kicked up the mileage about two weeks back and this past week I decided to do something kind of stupid. After a few training days of back, biceps, and triceps, my upper body was blasted. Naturally, I moved on to another body part-doing any more upper body work would have rendered me as useless the next day at work. So, I decided that my workout for the day would consist of a run followed by leg work (squats, single-leg leg presses, calf raises, etc.). Mile one passed, and I felt ok. I decided to pick up the pace and finish off a 5km run. My legs were sore and a bit tight-so I stretched. Then I moved on to the squat rack. I dropped to a weight a bit lower than my usual as I haven’t done much leg work prior. I kept my form prestine and completed my desired rep and set count. I did this for the rest of my exercises. I really pushed myself quite hard because of that one little motivational question, “Why not me?”.

On the ride home I could really tell that the lactic acid mob had really decided to attack my legs. They held my muscles hostage an were merciless with their stranglehold on oxygen. The shower didn’t help. My trees felt like a gummy mess. Getting out of the raised tub was difficult! The next day was worse. Quads and hamstrings were screaming out angrily at me telling me that I was an idiot.

Now it is the third day after my workout and I am just beginning to heal. I did a recovery 5k the day after the workout, which I think helped a bit.

My conclusion, it’s fine to reach for the stars but remember stars (of the hollywood type) are manufactured…over a period of time.

Push yourself but train smart.

Rome was not built in a day.

Onward and upward!!!

Sopping Wet

Hello again!

The world has been thrown a huge curveball. Weather has always been a conundrum- I think I remember hearing that meteorologists are only correct 60% of the time. Well, fall is in full swing and winter is just around the corner here in Vancouver. I realize that our weather is fairly mind and is definitely more desirable than what is going on in the eastcoast, but I can never get used to this Vancouver weather.

I mean I am used to seeing it, but I am not used to living in it. Most of my interaction with the weather during the fall and winter months occurs with the ever-friendly shield of the glass on my windshield and cozy warmth of my car’s heater. However, this year I have ventured out more due to my interest in running. Let me tell you, a small drizzle in your face for 30 minutes straight is not that pleasant haha. I know there is a lot of technology put into training gear but I always end up sopping wet! I don’t mind it so much on my clothing but after this one run it seemed as if I was surely to develop a case of trench foot! My runners are quite breathable and as you know breathability does not really translate much to protection from the elements. My shoes are great don’t get me wrong but are there any solutions other than striding over huge puddles?

I hate being sopping wet.

Onward and upward!

Back in black

Wow! I’ve been inactive for over two months- atleast in the blogosphere. Don’t worry I’ve been running still. However, it’s been kind of rough as of late.

My last post was pre-wedding. My last run before the wedding was my fastest 10k to date. Running free into a life of happiness. I was “running” to the altar!

Since then I’ve been a bit more lazy. After the wedding came the honeymoon. We were in Hawaii and it was great. Unfortunately, I only ran once in the two weeks that we were there. Needless to say, I gained some lbs back.

I had hit my goal of 175 the day before the wedding; it took me almost 3 months to shed those 10 lbs but only took two weeks to gain half of that back. Oh the joys of life.

I wouldn’t say that I’m back to my previous intensity however I’m back in black!

The color black signifies nothingness, sorrow, mourning. Odd words to put in a health blog, I know. But let’s put it this way, I’m back in black because there is nothing to lose. I have sorrow for tomorrow because I am going to attack it with all that I have. And I am mourning the loss of my current self because my future self will only become better than it was the day before.

With marriage comes responsibility. With marriage comes a new life.

I have a responsibility now not only to be better for myself but also to be better for my wife and our future family.

My new life is here and I’m excited to see how I will grow.

Onward and upward!!!

Running to the Altar

I don’t remember stating this but I am getting married on August 12-yes, that’s in a very short time! Part of me started running for health but my upcoming nuptials was one of the major factors for me starting to run again.

In just a few short days I am going to be marrying my very best friend in the world. She is my world and I can not wait to marry her.

Initially, like most people, getting healthier and more fit was more of an aesthetic need. However, as time wears on, it is becoming more of a way of life for me. I have come to realize that I want to spend as much time with my wife as I can. Naturally, if i become healthier and keep fit, I will have more time to be with my sweetheart and (fingers crossed) own family.

I want to say that I am excited for the wedding, but I am more than excited. Heck, I think I am even more than ecstatic! I am just…overly, completely and utterly HYPED!

Because of this I will be running to the altar and nothing will make me look back.

Onward and Upward.

File this under “problem”? Or part of the territory?

It’s been about 2 months since I started running. I used to just incorporate it into my gym routines but now find that I am running about the same amount as I weight train.  The more runs I do, the stronger I get. My endurance grows and so does my speed. I mean, I have always had speed-I used to run sprints in high school but the endurance has caught me by surprise. I am seeing more of my city. I am learning more about myself. All great things just from simply placing one foot in front of the other.

I mentioned before that I was somewhat of a perfectionist and a borderline OCD type when it comes to an activity that I am serious about. In high school it was Basketball. Wake up-think about basketball. At school-think about playing basketball. After school-basketball practice. At home-watch basketball and research about all things basketball. Now, as of late I have turned to running and fitness. I am always looking up on the internet ways to better myself as a runner. Looking at new technology, new training tips, and new gear in hopes of getting faster and more fit.

I mentioned before that I was a  shoe fanatic. And, “unfortunately”, this has only grown worse with running. There is a plethora of information out there regarding best running shoes and best running styles. I have recently jumped on the minimalist shoe bandwagon-I started with the Saucony Hattori’s and recently purchased a pair of Kinvara 2’s. Before that I had Vomero 6’s and Nimbus 11’s that I rotated for the past year and a half; remember I mainly ran as a warm up for my weight training sessions. Those shoes have no been relegated to my work shoes. My experience with the Nimbus 11’s were good so I picked up two pairs of Nimbus 12’s and for the hell of it decided to try Saucony Triumph 8’s. What can I say they were on for such a great deal at my running retailer I could not resist.

So, here’s a breakdown. Hattori’s-Love. Kinvara-Love. Nimbus 12 (x2)-Love. Triumph’s-Love. What can I say? I now know and have decided that specific shoes will play different roles in my training. Hattori and Kinvara for speed work. Then the more traditional cushioning shoes (Nimbus and Triumph) will be for my long runs. And get this…I just ordered Brooks PureFlow’s and Nike LunarSwift 2+ online. That’s 7 pairs of shoes in the last 3 or so months!!! Granted they were all way below MSRP, but still. This is a problem right?

What do you guys think? Should I settle with one or two go to pairs of shoes? I definitely think for speed work I will use minimalist shoes and for long runs I will stick to more cushioned shoes. I am a neutral runner who strikes mid-forefoot, BTW. Do you think I am still in the “trial and error” period?-I think that is the answer as I am very “green” as a runner.

So here is the question…

File this under “problem”? Or part of the territory?

Can’t wait to hear what you all have to say.

Onward and Upward!!!

Running is H.A.T.E.

Running is HATE. No, I do not hate running and running is not another word for hate. Rather, running to me is now Honoured As The Experience.

As my endurance and speed grows I am now better able to enjoy my beautiful city much more than in the past. Vancouver is full of great majestic landscapes and quite often I, like many Vancouverites, take our own backyard for granted. We go in vacations to warmer destinations that offer beautiful beaches- my counter is Kits beach, Lacarno, English Bay, or Spanish Banks. And what happens when you look due east? You see our beautiful skyline.

You go to places like Los Angeles to experience shopping and a chance to gaze at stars. The bad side of this is that infamous LA smog. My counter is Robson Street, Main street, or 4th Avenue. Considerably less smog here. That means cleaner air and more desirable “hot” weather.

Vancouver is so beautiful that you just get spoiled over time. You drive to work over the downtown bridges and you forget to really take in the majesty and complexed beauty around you. It’s the perfect mix of nature and metropolis. Yin and yang.

I usually on really fall in love with our city during big events or when I return from a vacation. When you go away you become used to the same flat beaches, palm trees and hot climates of the tropics. When you return to Vancouver you see huge mountains, breathe fresh air, and feel “just” right in our dynamic weather. You are immersed in many diverse cultures, eat such different foods, and are engulfed by our eclectic landscape. But, since I started running around my fine city, I have begun to fall in love with it more and more each day. Running has allowed me to reconnect with myself and reconnect with my environment. It is starting to enable me to truly take in and experience my amazing city.

Running is Honoured As The Experience.

Onward and Upward.

…and another one

So after my very first 10k long run I decided to go to the gym. Fair enough. I wasn’t sore post run, nor was a sore after the gym. That included a 2 mile cool down run. I guess I thought I was Superman because I decided to do yet another 10k the following day. Felt fine still. My time even improved slightly from the day prior.

But man, oh man! My calves felt like they were going to explode the next day after that. Needless to say I had to rest up because I think I over did it.

One day’s rest and I’m back to the gym. I’ve been feeling as if I had to catch up as I missed a whole week a few weeks back due to sickness. I was doing a few two-a-days a few times a week. My body was generally ok but my calves were shot. That rest day really helped as my calves feel happy now.

Lesson learned. Don’t be a rock star!!!

Onward and upward.

The Decision. To enter, or not to enter, that is the question.

To enter, or not to enter, that is the question.

This isn’t as big of a decision as Lebron James’ melodrama from two summers ago. And unfortunately, this decision does not come with a lucrative multi-million dollar contract. I am not even taking my talents to South Beach. I am staying right here in Vancouver.

This is a much simpler and is a more low-key decision that was only a private matter, until now. I have decided to train for my first 10 K run. I have not formally signed up for the run, but I think committing mentally is a huge step. I do not plan on starting my actual 10 k training until mid-August. The race is on October 13 here in my hometown of Vancouver. It has an entrance fee and additional donations/pledges go to a good cause (Starlight Foundation Canada). Here is the official link to the 10K race: http://www.runningroom.com/energizer-night-race/vancouver/.

As my interest in running has grown, I have began to take it more and more seriously. It began with my shoe fetish. Like my fellow Filipino, Imelda Marcos, and many Filipino’s alike, I have a weakness for shoes. The look, the smell, the feel, and the shear knowledge that my feet are being pampered makes me feel great. Before getting into running, I did my research on the “best shoes” for running. Once that phase ended, I started doing intense research about how to improve my running; I looked at proper form, proper breathing, and training schedules. Then, I started with simple mile runs and just last week I finally broke the 5 mile plateau. Now I am looking at doing a 10K. Am I crazy? This whole process happened relatively also. I only just started my mile runs back in mid-May.

Needless to say, I am excited and pretty nervous with prospect of doing this 10K. I am both hesitant and eager. Worried and confident. A real mish-mash of feelings. I am more leaning towards entering but am wary because I have never done something like this. I think part of my anxiety comes from the fact that I currently have no training partner. I have asked a friend of mine to try to train with me for the 10K but he wasn’t having it-I will nag him in the upcoming weeks. I have other co-workers and friends in mind who I think would definitely join me. In short, I really need a training buddy to do this run with. Sure, internal motivation should hold enough driving force and should able you to muster up the confidence to do anything. But, let’s be honest…did you cross the street for the first time all by yourself? No, you had a hand to hold. The first time you went out on a date, did you just wing it? No, you probably asked for advice from friends or family. Even if you have all the confidence in the world, the only reason you reached that level of confidence is because you have proper supports around you.

Don’t get me wrong, I told my fiancee about my interest in doing this 10K and she was all for it. She’s my rock and makes me who I am. Unfortunately, she has borderline arthritis in both knees and has problems with her patella so something as intense as training for a 10K is almost out of the question.

So I ask again: to enter, or not to enter? I really think I can do it and don’t know why I am even questioning my abilities to do it. It’s just a 10K, right? I think it goes back to what I said earlier about “hand-holding”. Anyways, if for some reason I chicken out, I will at the very least do the 8 week training program. But hopefully I go through with it because I believe that it will give me more confidence to continue my pursuit of fitness.

Cheers! Wish me luck!

Onward and Upward!

The morning after

I know what you may think-and no, this isn’t about the morning after a bender, nor is it the morning after an irresponsible “one night stand”. Speaking to the latter, I’m very happily engaged to my soon to be wife, Kristyna. This isn’t a post about any of that, it’s about the morning after my long run.

It may have been only a 5 mile run, but hey, it was my longest run to date. Again I woke up today to drop my fiancée off at work. I made coffee for the pair of us and strapped on my running shoes for an early morning workout. I felt good this morning; I wasn’t sore at all from last night. This was encouraging. After I dropped off my fiancée I made the trek to the gym.

I’m still on my second phase of my 12 week workout. I busted out a warm up on the bike to loosen me up. I then did my weight training. I was contemplating not running after it but something inside me said, ” Why not?”

I log my workouts on my phone and quite often type in what I’m going to do for my activity beforehand so as to give me a goal. I aimed for a 15 minute wind down run at a slow pace. 15 minutes came and went and my body was still yearning for more exercise. So, I went ahead and finished another 15 minutes. I don’t know if I’m rushing into things-I read somewhere that you should only increase your mileage about 10% a week. Lately, my mileage has seen an exponential increase. This may be attributed to my change in form and new focus on breathing. But I don’t think that’s it.

Unlike the aforementioned “morning after” scenarios, this “morning after” brought on no guilt at all. In fact, it brought more will and enthusiasm. I’m coming to realize that this healthy lifestyle thing has a snowball effect. My want and might I dare say “need” to be more fit and healthy has evolved from a tiny nugget of hope that I will look better into an avalanche of knowing that health is my life.

This blog has been helpful to me as well. It puts my words out to the public. And I find it an obligation now to follow through and be active and be a better person internally and externally. Journaling has always interested me and I suppose I’m striving for a better sense of myself. Hence, my entry into the blogosphere and new found commitment to health.

Onward and upward!!!