Sleep, Where Art Thou

Toy ear muffs for a good sleep.

One obvious downside of working night shifts is that the body eventually adopts to the weird sleeping pattern. Often times my body no longer recognizes my timezone. Physically I’m in Asia but my system believes it’s somewhere in California. I would love to see the day that both are in sync again.

For several weekends already I find it hard to get a normal night sleep which sucks because I would be on and off in the morning instead of being awake to spend time with Marcus. I know he looks forward to weekends so we can play his games together longer. We could have explored Terraria more, and finished a hardened Wet Work mode in Call of Duty yesterday had I stopped snoozing off.

The irregular sleeping pattern has also become a challenge in my runs. I pick up slow and I struggle to maintain a good pace. My return to 10K on Sunday after a couple of months hiatus, no thanks to tropical weather, was a drag. I can’t be like this with running activities coming soon. I think it’s about time I get back to Sleepasil.

Frankly, though, I don’t like the effect of Sleepasil. This sleeping pill works quickly after intake but it also wears off fast, at least in my case. For a couple of weeks I took Sleepasil on Saturdays expecting uninterrupted sleep but I would always be up in the wee hours of Sunday morning craving for something to eat. My body’s priority exposed?

By nature, my wife knows that I can’t resist the call of the couch. I would easily fall asleep as soon as my body senses the soft cushioning of a sofa. Wait, I even would even fall for hard wood benches. No distinction. But still I long for days when normal night sleep isn’t hard to come by. The last time I slept through the night was in F1 Hotel back in June. I would appreciate it if same sound sleep happens soon, preferably just at home but no complaints if in a hotel once more.

***

Another fast MV registration renewal at San Pablo office but it could have been better if emission test and insurance application are done within the compound like in Dasma, Cavite.

**”

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Blame the Starbucks music for the sleepy post.)

Fight For PWD Access

It’s another payday weekend, malls would be packed once more, and when this happens parking becomes more challenging than usual. No big deal if you think about it as sooner or later, a slot frees up and it could be yours. Its proximity to the mall doesn’t matter. We could just walk.

Sadly, not everyone has this luxury to just walk. Not everyone could just park their car somewhere, take a hike to the mall, and on rainy days like today, make a dash to the nearest covered area. Not everyone.

Image by Robert Mark Santos as posted on Facebook.

If you still don’t know it yet guys, people with disabilities (PWDs), specifically those in wheelchairs exist. Young and old alike, whether they can wheel themselves on their own or not, they exist. And if you still aren’t aware of it–by ignorance, poor upbringing, or plain insensitivity–PWD parking slots exist and should be respected.

PWD parking spaces are supposed to be reserved for folks who lack mobility. These slots are specially marked, wider than the regular ones, and are normally located close to PWD access ramps. While not all PWD parking spaces are “intelligently” designed, being aware that these are made to serve a specific purpose–and therefore must be used only by its intended patrons–is already a good start in showing that we are sensitive to others who need the PWD parking spots the most.

Not all PWD access look like easy access but don’t block it anyway. (Credit to owner.)

So if today you plan to enjoy your weekend, be sensitive and kind. At least before you enter the crowded mall. Don’t be that guy who parks in PWD slots just because you find it available when you arrived at the parking area or just because you figured your compact car or motorcycle fits the spot. People in wheelchairs will appreciate it a lot if you make their life less stressful by giving them the access that they deserve.

***

The struggle to get a PWD parking slot is real and to understand why people who seem fit and abled continue to use it.

Whenever I see a party of abled individuals getting out of a car parked in a PWD slot I couldn’t help but wonder if either one of them qualifies as PWD. Someone once disputed that definition of disability is broad which makes it hard to judge if a person who appears fit should be allowed to use the PWD spot.

Pregnant women, elderly, and those who lack mobility are apparently the ones who need to be prioritized in using the PWD slots. But what about those with other conditions that aren’t obvious physical disability?

Then there’s also inconsistency in implementing Republic Act 10070 which protects the welfare of PWDs. There are still establishments that lack PWD access and there are places wherein nobody regularly checks if a person using the PWD parking space is indeed a PWD or with one who needs assistance.

There’s still so much room for improvement in dealing with PWDs. We just can hope and pray the day would come when more, if not all, people recognize and respect the needs of people with disabilities.

***

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Internet drags.)

Let’s Bring in the Bomb

The close quarter battle is ongoing. The enemy stays tough and puts up a good fight. So far weapons I’ve used weren’t effective. The hardwares barely able to deliver.

I’ve deployed the Bangalore to breach the barriers but looks like it only works in Saving Private Ryan. Sometimes it pushes the enemy back but these guys are just hardened villains. They hardly budge. It takes time to flush them out. Yesterday was one of those days.

Time to change tactics. Time to bring in the bombs. Drop everything and rig the stuff was today’s priority. The ingredients were mixed carefully and are now set to be tested. I can’t wait to send these brown armies to the bottom of the earth. These bad guys are in for a big surprise. I hope.

I have high expectations on these baking soda toilet bombs.

***

Mood: 1/10 Honks! (Kiddo needs way more fiber.)

Blog Mileage

Update here, dump there, good posts, bad posts, anything goes. That’s what I’ve been doing regularly lately. There would be days I get stuck correcting or revising archives before I repost and there would be days I just copy and paste the article on its original timeline.

You see I’ve been busy. Running, working out, and writing have been fighting to get their own share of my time. For now I continue to focus on my goal to repost and will just worry about them later, hopefully ahead of grammar Nazis or just before Grammarly starts to force me to get its premium service. I just can’t let years worth of posts stay on my backup Word document which I saved prior to me messing up my site few years back when I wiped out several posts just because I forgot to pay attention to what I was clicking. Lesson learned: back up, back up, back up.

Today I reposted a couple more and I received a prompt from WordPress that I just hit 500 posts. Wow. And to think I’m just about to finish year 2008.

Another WordPress achievement.

***

There are things that just can’t be part of my conscious effort to embrace minimalism. Writing is one as I now have drafts and doodling all over my phone, laptop, paper notebook, and some hang on in my head. This is one of those few cases wherein clutter is probably good.

Then there’s material stuffs. This week I gave wifey the approval to buy the TV she’s been wanting to have and been saving for. The least I could do on Valentine’s week is to give a nod. There’s now a giant Ultra HD Devant TV in the middle of our small house which made me realize 50-inch is the biggest we can get unless we hang the TV across the kitchen and view it from the living room. So far the Call of Duty and Fallout 4 games of our 9-year old son have been more gory.

***

Claimed our free Starbucks cake. Free always tastes better.

Wifey also got me a pair of new jeans while in SM San Pablo last Monday. This one is for the books as the last time I purchased a pair was almost five years ago. My existing pants are either tattered not by design but due to wear and tear and all of them, FYI, are a couple of inches loose already. I need a new belt next.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Cold Valentine’s Day weather.)

Bite-Size Happiness

It’s hard to measure happiness more so identify where it comes from or what really triggers it. Everyone’s stimuli just differ from the others. Happiness could also stem from unexpected sources.

Believe it or not, mine came after a bite from a burger. Well, two bites to be exact.

According to wifey the last time we had a burger was in 8 Cuts Megamall way back in November. That burger wasn’t really expensive so price was not the reason we’ve been burger sober for that long. What deters me though from buying and eating anything that would be detrimental to my daily calorie goal was my ongoing MyFitnessPal entry. That strict. I rarely had cheat days but one happened yesterday.

Spaghetti for Marcus. I usually end up eating the meatballs.

I took Marcus out to see the world outside his Minecraft and Xbox games. He said he wants to visit his kois in Nuvali so we did it after lunch. It was a quick stroll and was on our way home before 4 PM. We brought home a Burger King Whopper Jr. for his mommy.

As I secretly wished anticipated, wifey shared the small burger. What I didn’t expect that such small portion would make my day. If my expertise serves me right I barely had 50g but it was like I’ve eaten a whole Whopper burger with its flavor overwhelming my taste buds. It was almost euphoria.

This doesn’t mean I’d be driving thru that Burger King again soon. MyFitnessPal shows the junior burger is 340 calories with 510mg sodium and that is something I avoid. But maybe yes I would heed wifey’s advise to have my cheat days at least once a month. I heard lately she mentioned Japanese buffet…

***

Mood:2/10 Honks! (Oatmeal for breakfast, please.)

I, Runner

“However you run, as long as you run, you are a runner.” Words of wisdom from an online article but whether the writer behind it was just meeting word count quota or an avid runner who knows what (s)he’s really talking about, I would like to believe that I deserve the title now. Even just for a day.

This morning I conquered what I’ve been preparing for. I’ve been running several 10Ks lately as tracked by my Garmin but haven’t joined any organized event to test myself how I would perform against others. So when I learned last December about Run 711 2018 I willingly let go of my precious 700 pesos to register.

A week of preparation, diet, cross-training, and mind conditioning paid off. The day prior to the race was most critical as I followed my plan based on tips I’ve read. I had carbo intake (thanks to wifey’s tuna pasta), performed light bodyweight exercises, and drank just enough coffee. I missed my weekend Fail Army viewing session with Marcus as I hit the sack earlier than usual.

A good luck letter from my fans.

I was in Alabang about an hour before the start of the race. Early morning was cold and I was a bit dizzy but the moment I heard go at 4:45 I ran along with the pack and surprisingly picked up the pace. My Vivoactive HR shows 1 hour 7 minutes when I crossed the finish line–a minute less than my fastest record on Garmin Connect. It made me feel like the race winner.

Run 711 2018 10K route.

***

I am about to conclude that Run 711 is more organized than the Nat Geo Earth Day Run I attended seven years ago–yes, seven. Well, almost organized not until I realized that I was supposed to have a finisher shirt and a finisher medal. Pictures online and the race packet show that all finishers get one. All I got was a free paper fan, a Red Bull, and a Pocari Sweat. I bet the medal’s plastic anyway.

I didn’t have any picture except for this race tracker.

***

Official race time isn’t available as of this writing. Already had my Sunday nap but myruntime.com/connect still does not show my result. Nat Geo Run had its race result faster. By the way, I finished my Earth Day Run 5K after 41 minutes but I now cover 5K at an average of 32 minutes. Next goals: sub 30 5K and sub 1 10K.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Heartbreaking news and overeating.)

Ten Years, 10K

WordPress says my blog turns 10 this month. Must be the domain marcuscanblog.com itself but actually I’m not so sure. Why? Two things do not add up. Firstly, my archive dates back 2006 while Marcus arrived November 2008. Either way I accept the nice achievement badge.

My WordPress laurel.

***

Run711.com now shows the respective routes of next week’s race. Personally, race is a strong word though in a sense may be correct if by racing it means beating nobody’s record but my own. We’ll see. Here’s the road to my first official 10K.

Image from run711.com

***

Mood: 5/10 Honks! (No run weather.)

Run the Talk

The time to run the talk is closing in. Last night I got my race kit and I’m excited seeing myself crossing the finish line. Last time I joined an official event was the NatGeo Earth Day run about four seven years ago and that was for a 5K distance. This year I’m in for my first 10K race.

Some bit of a challenge though as it looks like I have to cut more weight as singlet is a bit tight. The past days I was in the midst of free pizza and pasta served during a two-day planning session but I was able to resist the urge to eat. I took some bites just so I don’t appear as a snob.

Surprisingly I lost about two more pounds during this period. The absence of taking Swiss Miss and bananas must have helped plus me sneaking out to answer the call of my Garmin to move.

My singlet and bib.

Race is on February 4 and start time is at 4 AM. Fingers and blackened toenails crossed.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Marcus’ first therapy this year. Last one was before Christmas.)

Daylight Runs

I seem to start liking the idea of running when and while the sun is up. For almost a year I have preferred doing my runs very early morning while it’s still dark and cold outside and when there are still few curious onlookers along the way. The lesser people, the better was among my motivations.

Things have changed lately however. I began to realize that I couldn’t take vitamin D supplements forever to compensate the lack of exposure to sunlight. My wife seems to have also accepted that we can’t wake Marcus up early to attend Sunday mass (and expect neither me nor him not to be grumpy in the church) thus leaving her doing it on our behalf. She goes to church, I stay in bed and look after Marcus until he wakes up. So there goes my dark weekend runs.

Besides dealing with more people, pros of running in daylight does outweigh its cons. Visibility for one is a big plus. I now have lesser chances of stepping into animal poop, tripping over invisible potholes and uneven road segments, getting side swiped by sleepy/drunk drivers, and being chased and bitten by rabid stray dogs just to name a few.

More running options have also become available. Like this morning my wish to try going uphill close to the foot of Mt. Makiling materialized. I soon discovered that it was tougher than I first thought. Few months ago I was with Marcus pushing him in his wheelchair but it was more of a leisurely walk. This time I was running, albeit stopping every now and then, and I had my nose flaring, my throat drying up halfway of my run.

How high did I get? Well, my Garmin says that in about 15 minutes I achieved the equivalent of 26 floors. On average, I do 10 floors a day spread over 8 hours.

First time I got this high.

Going downhill also posed another challenge. If I were on a bike would have been all fun but running was different. I stayed focused and controlled my strides so that I don’t become the old version of Jack ‘n Jill. It was tempting to go fast but it would have been a stupid idea. Nursing a fresh black toenail didn’t help either as the negative slope means that I need to land on the ball of my feet thus putting more pressure on my toes.

This new route was short yet not easy. But would I do it again? Definitely. As the the mantra goes “Know the whys so that you could endure the hows.” Next time again Makiling once the sun is up.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Ready for work?!)

Black Toenails

Ugly. That’s for sure the answer if you ask most people how they find black toenails. I had the same impression myself, of course, until I populated my social media feed this year with more stuffs about running (and fitness).

I read from several articles that black toenails would normally occur, at some point, to those who run. Either due to bad sneakers, bad fall, bad form, fungus included (ok, this is gross) or due to longer runs. It just could happen.

Last December I registered for my first run in 2018 but no thanks to a bad bug that made its way past our door (despite our extra consciousness not to expose Marcus to the common flu) I had to lay off practice runs while I and Marcus spent our last week of the year blowing our noses. This month, my patience paid off and a week ago I saw myself in running form once more. I made 10K on my first run against strong cold winds especially originating from Mt. Makiling.

This weekend was warm and run started as a struggle. All of a sudden I would rather have either strong headwind or tailwind regardless of drag. But I picked up the pace and soon I was looking at my Garmin showing another 10K finished in an hour and some minutes. Not bad except for one thing. Toes hurt.

Removing my running shoes confirmed my suspicion. A black toenail–runner’s woe . I wasn’t alarmed though. In fact, its sight got me excited–I’m becoming weirder, am I? I might, however, need to minimize wearing flip flops in public in the next few days unless I want to wear it proud like a trophy as I’ve read other runners would do. Cheers to black toenails, yes?

***

A year ago was when I started running outdoors with a Garmin Vivoactive HR. I racked up 5K on my first day even if I was about 160 lbs fresh from vacation. I credit my endurance to the regular treadmill sessions which usually happened after we raid my sister’s pantry. I’m now 135, FYI.

Only gym I’ve used that needs a room heater.

***

How do you become better at running? You run more. Writing? You write more.

Now let’s see if the time I set aside my regular Netflix session so I could write would see itself posted on WordPress.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (My turn to watch after Marcus in his room. Air-conditioning is extra perk.)