Friday, December 31, 2010

the last run for 2010

ok. so i lied. THIS, instead, will be my last post for the year... that is until i decide, maybe, i may have more things to say before 2010 comes to a close.

kuya and i decided last night that we would run this morning. he and i registered for the Condura marathon this coming february, my second full marathon and his second half-marathon, and felt that it was ABOUT time we take our training seriously since 1 month of conditioning isn't really considered as appropriate. ANYWAY, as i had somehow anticipated, as my alarm started shrieking at around 445am, kuya was snoring like a hibernating bear, while i, i was staring at dark ceiling, wondering whether or not i would succumb again to my laziness or REALLY, REALLY get my (toned) butt off my bed and into my running shorts. after a few more minutes of procrastinating, i eventually opted for the later... kuya was still vocalizing in his sleep.

luneta was full or runners when i arrived, sun not yet rising. round and round they go, like planets around an extinguished sun. i wonder sometimes how these runners felt when the hostage crisis was happening, not too many months ago.

tying my laces, i began feeling the slow surge of adrenaline course through my body. my heart thudded in my chest, from fear? maybe. luneta always gets my blood flowing, muscle memory i guess from those countless revolutions i also did, like the runners i was now with, from those many training runs long ago. i still recall the pain, the panting, and all that sweat as i slowly increased my milage, not willing to give up just yet, accepting that a bit of discomfort was a price i should be willing to pay to achieve my goals. back then, it was just to run a full 5K without stopping. now... well, now is different, but in a way, still the same.

i began with 2 warmup laps around quirino grand stand, about 2ish kilometers. the holiday running hiatus made my ankles stiff and managing the first few meters were excruciatingly painful. i tried to focus on my form, and tried to avoid speeding up as i would often do when in pain. my feet struck the ground oddly as well. my foot would supinate overtly, which would cause my pinkey toe to roll in. i tried to relax my ankles a bit more but i could already sense my shin stiffening. if i kept this up, for sure, i would begin developing pre-tibial soreness, which i did not want. i increased my cadence, taking smaller steps. it relieved the soreness by a bit, hopefully, i thought, enough till my legs grew accustomed again to the pounding i was subjecting them too.

by the 2nd kilometer, my legs felt ok. i then headed toward the long stretch of roxas blvd., running towards CCP. i decided not to run on the asphalt this time, but instead ran on the brick-tiled baywalk. i wanted to try running of uneven terrain this time since i would like to train my feet when i decide to run this route barefoot, one of these days. the air was nippy but it did nothing from me still sweating buckets. by the time i reached CCP, i was drenched to my socks. i kept it up, slowing down to walk just so not to force myself too much. i try not to compete anymore, as i want to relearn the love i had for running again. i used to love running as a kid. i don't know what happened and why i lost it...

CCP complex now has a 7km route dedicated to runners and bikers. it courses thru the compound, all the way to the back of sofitel. i got myself near the old manila film center and marveled at the beauty of this slowly decaying building... my eyes then fell on this man who looks like he was touching himself while oogling at the joggers who passed him by. i took a second, closer look and it doesn't seem that the hand in his pocket was looking for a handkerchief. geeez... what a sleeze. i then noticed the odd number of cars parked at the film center. it was barely 6am and there was JUST too many cars, parked idly there, engines still on. my imagination began to run... like me. LOL. i best got myself out of there since it was too early to think unsavory thoughts. as i pulled away from the area, from the corner of my eye, i saw the man still "looking for his handkerchief".

the CCP runner's route ends at the ramp of CCP. runners and, well, cruisers, park themselves along the embankment, some resting, others, like vultures perusing on an stream of meat that pass them by. up you go on the steep ramp, then down again. i often use this as my U-Turn as i go back to luneta. i would run up the ramp, and use the momentum of the downhill run to slingshot me back to roxas, on my way back. i did it again this time. i however was no longer able to run back to luneta. i could no longer keep proper form during this leg of my run, my heel now striking the pavement. i decided to call it a good run day and walked back the rest of the distance. overall, i ran about 10km that morning.

by the time i got back to luneta, it was now bustling with activity. the oldies were engrossed in their rather lude aerobics regimen, conducted by a rather enthusiastic instructor who, i must say, looked hot with all his hip thrusting. i wonder if the lolos and lolas know what they're doing?

as i made my way back to my car, two things i noticed. one, a pair of bubble butt cheeks, owned by who i presume is a sprinter, since he was all alone on the opposite side of the street doing his drills. i spotted him, rather, his behind, from a MILE away. second, a pair of wings, tattooed onto the back of a very chiseled man. same distance of buttman. unlike buttman however, the tattoo caught my attention since they looked familiar to me. true enough, when the guy turned around in his shirtless glory, i knew him. a few friendly banters on how we were BOTH trying to make room in our bodies for the gluttony tonight, i hurriedly made my way to my car before i find myself drool in front of him.

fatigue, many pardons to my wholesome friends, disinhibits me. just ask my BF. LOL!!!

happy new year!!!!

Thursday, December 30, 2010


this will be my last post for this year.

i have toyed with the idea of maybe, this could also be the last post for me, for this blog, for this chapter in my life. time to maybe, turn a new leaf in the story of my life, and maybe, in the closing of that chapter, so too also my need to chronicle my thoughts.

but i will give myself more time to ponder on that thought. the season has been bad for me, both body and mind (but more BODY) so to make decisions during these rather troubling times would certainly be unwise. what would be wise is to try to summate this year, 2010, and in my retrospect, count my blessings. pardon if i don't mention them in chronological order or in accordance to level of importance, as i have said, the season has been bad for me, body and mind :)

this year was a year of many firsts, first full marathon, first road trip, first relationship. despite the fact that there really shouldn't be anything special about trying new things, for me, all these "first" also entailed that i step out of my comfort zone and face my fears, more importantly, the fear of failing.

this year was a year for friends. in the span of this year, i am glad to say that my kinship had grown deeper roots with a few people, some deeper than others in surprising ways. i would choose not to mention them, but you know who you are. thank you for letting me into your lives. it matters a lot that you would trust me, even if often, as i had been exposed of my own imperfections, i don't trust myself. i hope i would not disappoint you.

this year was also a year of weeding. yes, weeding, and pruning as well. Outednarnian put it well when he once said, he has all the friends he needs. i guess, i do too. no need to spread myself thinly anymore. time to nurture first the bonds i have now than to keep making new ones.

this year was a year of self-discovery. i learned that i am mean; that i am intimidating; that i am a control-freak; that i am weak; that i am severe; that i am impatient; that i am judgmental.

this year was a year of yearning, to be a better son, to be a better christian, to be a better worker, to be a better leader.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

because i overspelt

i have to say, i REALLY am loving the holidays. no work, no pressure, no nothing! just pure, mindless, purposeless bliss. it's only been two days so far and i can see myself living like this, well, forever!!!!

well, not really...

either that, or i'm slowly turning insane. slowly feeling restless now, actually. not having anything to do, though, theoretically, it sounded like complete and utter joy, in reality, is causing me, strangely, stress. i tried doing things that i normally didnt have much time for before on normal occasions (like SERIOUSLY train for my run) but i guess i'm such a routinize nutjob that not having any schedule is making it a bit more difficult for me to actually do anything. i programed my phone to ring at 4am. it did. i turned it to snooze. it rang every 5 minutes thereafter, all the way till it FINALLY gave up on me. it's now 7am, and if kept to the original plan, i would probably be somewhere in luneta na, dripping in sweat, shivering maybe, and trying to find a good place to pee... but instead, i'm home, in my boxers, sitting, blogging about the utter FAILURE of my supposedly active morning. i am now contemplating on running on the treadmill, here at home. it's only a few steps away from where i am seated as of the moment, but even doing that is proving to be harder than expected.

day 2 and i have turned myself into a victim of my own inertia.

i seriously have to make mental note of how easy it is for me to be paralyzed by inactivity. funny, this after i made a pact with myself of becoming more active and trying to trim myself even more for 2011. so far, what i've done in relation to this goal had been all counterproductive. i haven't been working out, i bought THREE bags of chicharon LAMAN yesterday, and i have gluttonous meals lined up until the year-end. kuya once told me, the moment you make a decision, the universe will immediately challenge you on it.... SEE my steadfastness on mine.

on another topic totally unrelated to my failure to be active this holiday season....

can somebody EXPLAIN to me why people say and use the word STUFFS? yes, with an S in the end, pluralizing the already compound, thus already plural noun, STUFF. i swear, every time i hear or read this on either twitter or facebook or in the middle of a conversation, my slits-for-eyes widen to actually show eyeballs!!!

i once thought that it's because a lot of pinoys suffer from a lazy tongue, hence the often pronunciation and grammatical errors, but STUFFS? you know how hard it is to articulate the F and S sounds together? effort siya ha!!! and yet, people say it, WITH CONVICTION PA!!! stuffS, stuffS, oh my gad... STUFFS??? because STUFF isn't enough?

yun lang p0wh. jejejejejejeje

Friday, December 17, 2010

to you

it was in your unmistakable awkwardness that made you, initially, stand out for me; how in your tight, quiet, tensed movements, you tried to hide your ineptitude, but sorely, yet so beautifully failed. you took your glasses off to listen to people's conversation, as if to remove them was also to remove a veil that could frustrate you from a more honest experience. your eyes fixed on an unmarked point as you focused your energies to open you ears, your mind, maybe even your heart, i could not yet see, for i did not yet know you. despite this, the mystery of your person enchanted me, even if i still have difficulty admitting it. your anxious, discomforted stillness, this volatile flux you were in while in the company of strangers made you the sole object of my undivided attention.

you then turned to me.

you were slowly fracturing then. you bravely tried to pull yourself together, keep yourself together, but pieces kept falling off still. then i saw you. i felt you first for i too knew what it was like to also crumble. i then saw you for the first time, for who you are and i was captivated instantly. you are a puttering star, a young star struggling to glow. people could not behold you for your time was not yet, and your glory could not yet be manifested. but you still burn, slowly glowing from within, with white-hot embers radiating your life force in cosmic waves that only a few can detect. you were a beaming beacon of supreme invisible light. even in your silence, even in your awkwardness, even in your gentle fragility, your strength was palpable.

you became the silent lull before the storm, the charge before the clapping of thunder, the tension before final impact. you hold immense, unspeakable power, and no one knows of it except for those who have seen the rare displays of your great potential. that is why you are unique. that is why you are special.

i, i believe, am only but a spectator, in the greater, grander scheme of things, and i cannot help but feel more honored to bear witness to the celestial spectacle that you will soon become.

thank you. thank you so very much.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

the lost joys

arika dum samech lifundra lipek, duruum spahet aushecken lamech.
sachrach hajen, limphoro hikseth-thomech maleoro shajem.
ishlamel lundrom hafetshi joh-eth, hish romel landruum akira lipek?
lando hiketh semporro scarem, ethrefan tomshoot morehii sen.

i wonder where it is, that my imaginations have gone, as my mind slowly fills of the cold hard truths that being an adult requires? i miss those days when people would fly, when i would will feathers out of my skin and beams of light would shoot out of my fingers. i miss those days when the wind would follow my beckoning, and the sun and the moon would heed to my every call. i miss those days when i could speak a thousand languages, of ancient words that only the great ancients could understand. i miss those days when my mind would connect with the cosmos, when it communes uninterrupted to the unlimited wisdom reposed in the universe.

fleeting are those days, the glorious days of my childhood, the willingness to believe in the unlimited possibilities of how everything unreal can be realized by just believing.

i would sometimes find myself stroking the air in front of me, feeling it like water and visualizing ripples caused by my disturbance. i would see eddy currents form, echos of my finger-strokes, slicing through its invisibility. it's a beautiful sight, like oil paisleys floating in water. i wished i could gather them, touch them, and then have other people also see, the beauty of my creating, the sight of seeing the unseen.

i would feel its weight in my hand as i clasp tightly on the hilt, its mirror blade dragging across the asphalt, as i walk home every morning from my jog. people would watch me closely as my right hand drops on my side, my wrist pointing down as i try to tuck it in, beyond anyone passing by for surely, it would be strange that they would stumble over an invisible sword. i feel the texture of the hide tightly wound on its grip, the bejeweled pommel and the star trapped within. he was a shooting star caught many eons ago, now dwelling inside my sword, powering its magic.

you loose something, the older you get. i think i am just realizing now that i may just have lost too much.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

lahing pugita

my last day in singapore was bitter-sweet. sweet since i would soon be in the immediate vicinity (since it wouldn't be till a few days later till we see each other) again with my "irog". bitter, since i could only imagine the status of my desk once i get back to work. true enough, my desk was just as i expected it... a fire hazard. one spark is all it takes to turn my desk into a miniature scenario of the californian forest fire.

my inbox was to the point of overflowing... and i have THREE of them, considering! all stuffed with backlogged paperwork, none of which budged since no one else can proxy for me in the office. not a single one. and so begins my hike up to calvary. sheet after sheet, i computed, recomputed, sorted, encoded, and filed. little by little, addressing the voluminous heap that had taken over my work space, mocking me and the vacation i took not too many days ago. added to my backlogged work in the office, my client from my OTHER job (which is completely WHOLESOME i might add), knowing that i was already back, started her sweet barraging of little requests. follow-up on this, follow-up on that, i like this, can we change it to that, so on and so forth....i so wanted to have myself xeroxed just so i could have more of me to work. unfortunately, i was a glutton in singapore and could no longer fit myself into the scanner without seriously causing the machine much damage. so i trudged on. i endured. i just finished a FULL marathon and SURVIVED, dammit, surely THIS is nothing compared to that feat, or so i thought.

did i mention i also had to attend to errands from home? yes. i had to run errands for home as well, since, well, no one else can do it. dad cant do it. mom cant do it, kuya can't either.... so that leaves me... unless i can train our old shi-tzu to call a towing company and haul our car to the shop, fill up forms and follow-up on agents.

all of that started last tuesday... and as of today, tuesday, the week later, i am happy to say... all of that mess is finally FINISHED!!!!!

my inboxes are empty! all THREE of them! i can blog now! i can watch TV!!! i can sleep SOUNDLY. i can taste my food!!!! :) o happy happy joy joy....

yun lang. masaya lang talaga ako.

Friday, December 10, 2010

the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore 2010

the anxiety never left me fully, not with the fatigue of incessant walking, not with the joys of meeting familiar faces, not with being overwhelmed with the energies of a bustling city. it just stayed there, steadfast in its place, weighing me down, cutting short all my desires of reprieve. the day is slowly coming, it reminds me again and again. the day is coming...

race day felt otherworldly. i would be doing this alone, i told myself. i would be alone, even if i had friends running with me, they cannot run this for me, nor do i think they will run and wait for me. i guess that's the reality of running and why i do run. even if i had gained so many new friends and have built bonds with them, it is, in a way, a lonely sport. be it may, it strengthens one's mind and teaches one focus and determination, for surely, by the nth kilometer when all your body screams to stop, it's only the stubbornness of your mind that pushes you to go on.

i did my morning race ritual and sat inside a tub full of warm water and watched my legs turn pink. the heat should do me good, i said. as i felt the water begin to run cold, i got up and began the slow change from sleepy tourist to readied runner. orchard road was beginning to show new activity at 230 that morning of december 5, not even finished yet with the excesses of the night prior. singapore was stirring. i donned my tights, my singlet. i made sure my bib was secure, and that my phone was well locked inside my armband. i bid my sleeping kuya farewell and went down to finally, finally rid myself of this anxiety that had been plaguing me for the past 7 months.

i ran a few meters to warm up. i crisscrossed around people. ran up and down the sidewalk as music blared and echoed from the tall buildings that flanked orchard road. the full marathon of the 2010 standard chartered marathon singapore was about to begin. my friends ian and narnian eventually showed up, psyched and pump as i was, but i think i was more. ian was showing how he planned to time himself and narnian, who was running this, his second marathon, seemed to be handling this rather coolly. we all eventually made our way to our designated pens, the sub 5 hour runners, and waited for the flag off. the intensity was mounting, almost to a frenzy as the energies of 13,000 eager runners slowly condensed toward that final moment... the sounding of the blowhorn, heralding the start of the race. we all slowly trudged forward to the starting mat to activate our timing chips, then began what would be the longest run of my life.

ian and narnian took off ahead, still within sight of me, but too far for me to catch. i resisted to run after them since 42 kilometers is still a long way to go and i cannot risk exhausting myself in "playing" tag. i will keep to my level. i will not compete for i am my own competition, i told myself. my mantra calmed me and even at barely a kilometer, i knew i would finish this race. keep your shoulders low, keep your bouncing to a minimum, keep your strides tight and your cadence high, my inner trainer was talking to me every step of the way. drink for gastric emptying, take electrolytes to prevent cramping. respect the distance, enjoy the run. even in the dark, i could sense myself already smiling.

i eventually lost sight of my friends and found myself lost instead among kindered souls. they were runners like me, some fast, some slow, all running for different reasons, all driven by their personal goals. i felt comforted despite being in the company of strangers. i was alone but not really alone. i was feeding from their presence as well. running with them almost felt like talking to them, only the language was in the ways of effort, endurance, and determination. i began to hit the zones, that focus you get when your body begins to conserve its energies. the pain began to set it. the fatigue began to set in, and the voice in my head started to say that i stop. a few more, until the water station, i bargained. stop, it said again. stop, stop, stop... then my hip gave in.

my shoulders were sore, my hip was jabbing, and my abs began to spasm. i knew these pains too well. my last 32km run was a good lesson on poor preparation and what will happen if you don't listen to you body. i was reminded of this again now. so i stopped, and i walked, and i drank, and i rested, and began running again as i felt fit... just as i should do. i kept this routine, run-walk-stretch/rest-run for a good chunk of the race, trying my best to push just enough that i could regain a good running pace but not too much that my hip would hurt, as by now, the pain was beginning to build. soon, i found myself passing the 20km marker, the pulikat marker, as i call it since my legs would often cramp after this distance. surprisingly however, no such incident happened, much to my relief.

i eventually caught up with narnian around this time as well. he had slowed down markedly due to fatigue which eventually led to both of his hamstrings seizing. i stayed with him for a while, up until he could run-walk, and jogged beside him for a few meters, just till i was sure he will be ok. he had urged me to leave him and have me run to finish in good time, but only to be met by my surprising answer "it's only a race." i suddenly recalled barefoot runner, michael sandler, and how he said to listen to your body, and live to race another day. i eventually began running after about a kilometer with narnian, we were already at kilometer 30, and with 12 more to go, i could practically see the finish already. i bid narnian goodbye and began to jog faster. i could feel my toes being macerated in my shoes already, rubbing against my socks, skin soaked soft in my sweat. i could tell they were blistered and wounded already, but this much i already expected. there was nothing more i could do, run or walk, it was both painful, so might as well run and get things over with, and over with fast.

the sun was beginning to scorch as my sweat evaporated quickly. i tried to run in the shade but that did little help. i just hoped that the water station was near. thankfully so, it was and was under lots of trees. 5 more kilometers to go, and i could already hear the finishline and the cheering of hundreds of people. i'm almost there. i didn't know what my time was, but i really didnt care. i didnt care since i started running, i wouldnt care either after. i just wanted to finish. running over esplanade bridge was the final stretch, and i knew once i make the turn, i would see where it will all end.

that final turn was it, the final turn. i was there, at the finish, and just like that, my body allowed me to feel nothing and i made a dash for it. i crossed the finish at 4 hours and 38 mins. 4 hours of running, of testing my limits, of listening to my body, of respecting the value of effort, of remembering why i did this, of learning that running should be fun.

the organizers were right, this race was indeed unlike any other.