Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My First OctobeRUN

Oct. 26, 2008: I was on stage with Ate Ella and my cousin Junjun Muego. It was a once-a-lifetime event, where the three of us received our medals for finishing first in our respective age categories:

1. My 63-year-old aunt Ate Ella for the 60 and above group
2. my cousin Jun for the 30-39 age category
3. myself for the 50-59 age group

It was a thrilling experience for us and the whole de Ala clan, having won all at the same.

Then out of nowhere we heard this alarming sound.

I was jolted out of my pleasant sleep by the alarm of my cellphone. It was then that I realized I was only dreaming. And sadly, it would remain that way--only a dream.

It was 4:00 AM. I should be hitting the showers then eat banana, drink water, grab my running bag and leave for the Fort with Ate Ella. But this wouldn't be the picture on this particular day.

Instead, I caressingly whispered my daughter's name to wake her up then gave her Tempra Forte and Immunosin for her fever and chicken pox.

I was all set to join my first OctobeRUN but had to miss it because of my special "special child".

For all the runner bloggers who patiently searched for me before, during and after the race--I am truly very sorry.

Hope to see you all in the VSO Run this Nov. 9!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Christmas in October with Kapuso Stars

I woke up early this morning but not to run or play tennis.

Yesterday, I was advised by the DSAPI (Down Syndrome Association of the Phils. Inc.) to bring Eia to GMA-7. She was picked as one of the 25 children with DS to participate in a special shooting with some Kapuso stars.

Naturally, I was thrilled to the bone. It would be a whole new experience for my daughter (plus the fact that I'll get the chance to rub elbows with some TV personalities heh heh . . . ).

Eia's not used to eating breakfast early so we just dropped by McDo's Drive Thru and ordered 1 pc. chicken with rice for her. We also ordered fillet-o-fish for Ate Ella and me but unfortunately, it's not yet available. It's good we brought with us Sky Flakes crackers and a cooler filled with 2 cans of Coke Light and 2 Mango Juice. But when lunchtime came, GMA was kind enough to provide sumptuous meal for every parent, caregiver, and child.

I knew passing EDSA was the shorter route but it's been years since I've travelled that far. I couldn't picture in my mind how I can transfer to the left side since we would be at the right side of EDSA, coming from Las PiƱas City. I decided to take the longer route instead, via Quiapo.

Then I received a text message from Adette, our DSAPI administrator, that the shooting would be held at the 3rd floor of the new building, the GMA Studio Network. She told me its not along EDSA but on the first street right after GMA. To make a long story short, we made it on time, arriving earlier than the Kapuso stars.

Kuya Glen assisting the kids with their coloring activities while waiting for the Kapuso stars.

That's my daughter Eia grinning at me.

When Dingdong Dantes entered the studio, shrieking mothers rushed unto him dragging their bewildered children for picture taking. I was almost tempted to join the bandwagon but was able to control my overwhelming desire with superhuman strength.

My daughter Eia had the chance to stay close to Dingdong but chose not to. She's faithful to her "boyfriend" Roger Federer.

Hmmm . . . how come Eia sat beside Wendell Ramos and not with Dingdong Dantes?

Eia with very beautiful faces Yasmien Kurdi, Gelli de Belen and Camille Prats.

On stage during the gift giving of GMA Kapuso bags. At the background is Lovi Poe.

Kyla with Eia above and with me, below. Do you think if I don't stop running my figure will go back to it's former form just like Kyla's??? How I wish!

The GMA loot bag with its contents: When Eia opened her bag and saw what's inside, what she said simply melted my heart--"Wow! So many! I will give Kuya!"

One last picture: Eia curious why the gifts around the giant christmas tree were not distributed among the children. I explained to her that the gifts intended for them were inside the GMA loot bag.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Postscript to KOTR 2008

After writing 4 posts about the highly acclaimed ADIDAS King Of The Road, this will be my last blog about it. Promise!!

Ngek! Nasayang naman ang pose ko . . . Excuse me sir. You're blocking the view. (Noticed the changing hues across the horizon? Ganda pala ng sunrise sa The Fort!)

Ay salamat. Nakatiempo din si Ate Ella (our official photographer for this race). Have you noticed the similarity of my New Balance shoes with the giant Adidas shoe at the back?

Where art thou Ate Ella when I was about to cross the finish line? Why did you have to wait until I get my finisher's certificate?

Taken right after my cousin Jun and I were reunited. I promised to run side by side with him but he's just too fast for me. He ran again this morning at Botak Paabilisan with an incredible finish of 27:27 mins. Great race for a second timer, don't you think? He started his blog after his run at the KOTR. You can check it out at

Oh, the sweet fruits of my training: P500 cash, P2,000 worth of ADIDAS items and medal (which I didn't receive on stage because we left early after the race).

No use crying why I left early and missed my chance of a short moment of fame. Here's a better picture heh heh . . . Hope to see you all at the OctobeRUN Festival!

Monday, October 13, 2008

My First KOTR: Impossible is Nothing

The ADIDAS King Of The Road last Saturday, Oct. 11, 2008 is a record of firsts for me:

1. It's my first race inside the Fort.

2. It's my first time to finally meet Johnny Sy.

3. It's my first time to win in the 5k race (in my age category)

Sure, I know where the Fort is. You just enter Forbes Park and you'll end up there.

Problem is, I've been there 5 times, and for the 5x I went to the Fort, I got lost 10x!

Even though I had with me the race map (courtesy of Jinoe), I still couldn't figure out where the starting line was. I had to ask a couple of guards for directions where in the world was KOTR.

Ate Ella and I arrived at the Fort @5:10AM. I was confident we had enough time to meet the 21k runners and have our pictures taken. I was wrong. We were following a snake-like queue of cars trying to get inside the parking lot. By the time we positioned the car, it was already 5:35AM. I almost broke into tears to have missed the 21k runner bloggers.

My cousin Jun Muego whom I convinced to run with me was already at the 5k entrance when we got there. We managed to sneak a picture in spite of the many runners around the area

After the picture taking, I decided to join the line of female runners for the use of the portalet. Then out of nowhere, I suddenly heard someone mention my lovely name and there in front of me stood a tall, gorgeous kind of guy who introduced himself as Johnny. I screamed "Johnny?" but he was in a hurry to go to his car. Told me he'll catch with me later.

When I learned that there's a different entrance for the 10k runners, my heart sank (again). That meant I will miss Jaymie, the Happy Feet and the other 10k runner bloggers. My primary purpose for joining the KOTR was to meet you guys.

I also didn't see any 5k runner blogger but Johnny Sy and I were meant to meet that day. When I saw Johnny again with Dante and Mama Ting, I requested Ate Ella to take our picture. She's quite far and didn't know how to use the Zoom so here's the memorable pose:

Then I said good luck to Johnny and reminded him that our priority was to run injury-free.

As in other races, one cannot really run at the sound of the gun. It took a while before we could normally pace ourselves. I was behind Johnny all along but he wasn't aware of it. It's my first time to run in the Fort and I didn't know where to turn right or left. I just followed Johnny.

Unlike in the Manila Half Marathon Challenge where markers were visible, there were no markers in the KOTR. I absolutely had no idea whether we already ran 1k or 2k. And I wasn't sure whether I was running too fast or too slow. That's when I ran beside Johnny and asked him if he knew our pace. He told me he didn't know. His only goal was to finish the race.

I wanted very much to run with Johnny but had to catch up with my cousin who joined the race for the first time. Promised him I'll run side by side with him.

It's so ironic that I didn't get thirsty during the Manila Half Marathon Challenge but there was overflowing water anywhere and everywhere. Whereas in the KOTR, my throat dried up during the race but there was not a single water station in sight!

When I was given the pink straw in one of the turns, I presumed it was the 2.5k mark. I looked at my watch and learned I was already running for 20 mins. Oh no! I had to run faster! Otherwise, I'll finish the race at a horrifying time of 40 mins.

I ran faster--though very difficult because my throat was craving for water. I saw an old man ahead of me. That inspired me to run even faster. I asked him how old he was. He told me he was 71! That's it. Surely, I could run faster than a 71-year old man . . . I'm only 50!

With all the strength left inside my almost dehydrated body, I headed for the finish line with the crowd as my guide. I glanced at the time on top and it read 31:45. Was that good or bad? I didn't know for sure.

Joe, the loonyrunner answered my troubled question. He posted a comment in my previous blog that he heard my name being called as winner in my age category! It's a pity Ate Ella and I left right after the race because of family obligations. It was my chance to experience a moment of fame and I missed it. But as the saying goes, family comes first.

I talked with Mr. B this morning and he confirmed that I did win in my age category. Tomorrow, I'll take a trip to Greenhills and claim my prize.

Impossible is indeed nothing.

One last picture with Ate Ella and Jun. You're looking at the future 5k winner in the 60 - above age category. Yes folks, Ate Ella will be joining the OctobeRun Festival this Oct. 26. And Jun, my cousin who ran for the first time finished at 29:27. Most likely to win in future races.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Problem Solved!

I finally got hold of the much-desired KOTR singlet but here's the catch:

1. The neckline squeezes my neck with the near possibility of choking myself to death.

2. The armhole is too large which could still accommodate 2 arms of another runner.

3. The bottom part is extremely tight which is actually not a problem if you're Angelina Jolie.

The moment I got home, I tried several shirts (13 to be exact) that I could wear as undershirt for the lovable singlet.

The upper part will do. I only have to get rid of the white piping around the neckline so I could have room to breath.

As for the lower part, I could just cut it crosswise right below my breast so I can breath and run freely.

Then I read Dasher's comment that she was given a male singlet. Hmm . . . why didn't I think of that? It may not be too late. With just one phone call, I learned that I could exchange my singlet for a male singlet. Wasting no time, I rushed back to MOA and did just that.

I am ecstatic because all I have to do now is wear a shirt under my new singlet.

Problem solved.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

If the Singlet Fits

I spent every minute of my free time yesterday calling the ADIDAS outlets near our place to check if the new batch of KOTR registration forms/bibs/singlets has already arrived.

The guy from RACE Office informed me that at 11:00 AM, he already dispatched the delivery of KOTR materials to Trinoma, Gateway, Megamall and MOA. Sorry, Festival Mall was not included. But when I called MOA, delivery didn't reach them yet. Jaja was kind enough to ask my name so she could reserve a race bib and singlet for me. I assured her that I would definitely go there after I bring my children home from school.

But things don't always happen as planned.

When I fetched Gio, he requested that I bring him back to KUMON to resume his Mathematics tutorial. I wanted to fly to MOA but I couldn't refuse my child--my favorite son.

We just dropped Ate Ella and Eia at home and off we went to KUMON Center at Pamplona Road.

By the time we left for MOA, we were both starved. Decided to eat at Blue Wave to satisfy our hunger. We ordered one P99 combo meal at Pizza Hut. He took care of the spaghetti and root beer while I enjoyed the Caesar's salad with fresh ground pepper. It was our shortest meal time ever. Gio pointed out that it was 7:11 when we left Blue Wave.

Parked the car beside SMX Convention Center. Ran to Adidas Outlet. Looked for Jaja but she already left. But she managed to reserve a KOTR race bib and singlet for me.

After 4 days of wondering and wandering , I am now officially entered as 5k runner with race bib # 9721! The long wait is finally over.

Never mind if I don't have a race map inside my kit. I'll just go around the Fort and go where the crowd is and follow the signs where I should run. This is my very first race in this area and I don't have the faintest idea what road goes where.

But I was given a complimentary running magazine which is really awesome!

And the singlet. Aaahhh . . . The singlet of my dreams--if only it would fit my svelte figure as Gene Ordanza aptly described it hah hah ...

With the singlet hanging loose on top and hugging uncomfortably at the bottom, the question now remain: Will I or will I not wear my KOTR singlet on race day?

Of course I will.

I only need to add 1 inch of flesh on my breast, discard 2 inches of flab around my waist and trim 3 inches off my pear-shaped hips. And I still have 10 days to do all these!

No prob. (Sigh)

How about you? Will you be wearing your precious singlet on race day?