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.)

Magic 10

It’s a great day despite the overcast skies. Just had a 500-calorie breakfast after my usual second run of the week which is the routine I’ve tried to stick to for months already. You see I have never been committed to running, not to mention waking up early, in my entire life. Now I hit 5 km on average and this week I broke my personal time by clocking below 35 minutes and with a best pace of 5.5. 

I hit plateau in August and since then I decided to take actions. It was a personal challenge I took seriously just to test if everything I read about losing weight while staying fit is one that I can also achieve. So I jumped into the fitness bandwagon–extra weight in tow.

Measurement is key. Everything almost done by the numbers. In fact, I’ve caught myself doing things just so I would know the calories I take. I’ve called waiters to ask how many grams my serving has. I used the kitchen weighing scale more often than before–and was worried when the ones seven segment display broke. I would take time reading nutritional labels at the grocery isle. And I would log on my MyFitnessPal app, if not scan the barcode of any food packaging,  any food I consume every meal. It’s a strict routine but fortunately not in vain.

On this tenth month of 2017 I now hover close to the magic number. I just stepped on the bathroom scale and it shows I’m 0.6 away from being exactly 10 pounds lighter than when I first started my calorie watch regimen and trend shows that it’s a matter of days when I breach 140. 

Controlled descent.

It doesn’t end here though. According to basal metabolic calculator–my age, weight, height all factored in–my ideal weight is 4 pounds farther. That means more restrictions ahead but I know I would hit it soon anyway. MyFitnessPal predicts five weeks which is just a couple before my birthday.  I think that by then I would have earned the right to celebrate it with my favorite 200-calorie Krispy Kreme.

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Running light.)

160-pound Run in Pictures

So I got tagged on Facebook during the recent 3K fun run. 

I could use some weight loss. (Image from Facebook)
Smile, it’s a fun run. (Image from Facebook)
Two laps around the scenic Nuvali lake. 
Not gold but feels like one.

Credit for the first two image goes to those who shot it during the event. Thanks!

***

Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Taking a dip with the in-laws today.)

Green and Go

So apparently the continuing number of clueless drivers falling victim to the Nuvali trap, plus maybe the accompanying rude honking from those queueing behind, has gotten the attention of whoever are in charge of its traffic management systems. The other night I noticed that they modified the traffic light configuration that would now allow a stress-free drive to the famous Nuvali lake.

Drivers turning left from Nuvali Boulevard to  Evozone Avenue now face a green light instead of the previous red which in effect eliminates countless moments of embarrassment for those stuck confused in the middle of the channelization islands. Good job. Problem solved, yes? Not quite. 

The ‘should I stay or should I go’ dilemma now has new owners. This time the unfortunate drivers are those exiting the Solenad 2 area as they would be looking up at one red light and a green light at the same time at some point of the traffic signal sequence. These lights were once in synced but in an attempt to resolve the original Nuvali trap the traffic admin inadvertently caused another. So how to go about this? That closest light in front of you is your signal. Pay attention to it if you’re the first at the intersection and please be considerate if you are behind one confused guy. Don’t honk if you can help it.

Those red lights spell trouble. This is from the perspective of those coming from Solenade 2.

***

After more than five years of observing people sweat it out in Nuvali, I finally got the chance to run in here. This Friday I found myself in a 3K fun run around the Nuvali lake as our company kicks off its annual sports activities. It was a run against all odds but it was one good run. This event made me realize that I could actually run coming from a night shift and while nursing a leg injury which I got from my last run in February.  If or when my leg improves, I would surely do another post  graveyard shift run soon.

My first Kinesio tape was worth it.

***

Mood: 3/10 Honks! (Survived my 2nd Saturday at work.)

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.)