Saturday, January 31, 2009

Polar RS800CX With G3 (GPS Sensor)


After a lengthy self-deliberation, I have today decided to retire my Polar RS200sd (with S1 foot pod). The said personal training computer unit is more or less the middle class of Running Computer Trainer by POLAR. I have used the said unit since July 2008 which was a birthday gift from my daughter Dawn who is a doctor at Riverside California. The RS200sd was performing as to its full specifications and has been helpful in my data analysis for the past months.

Why the decision to change? I have no better excuse than an analogy that it is just like driving any regular family car that provides you the means of transportation from one point to the next. However, this is also the same if you drive let’s say a PORSCHE you’ll just be able to travel the same distance, however, there will be other added extras which may or may not be necessary to others. But, what the heck that is why they have the Rolex, Louis Vuitton, etc. and other luxury items.

Polar RS800CX with G3(GPS Sensor) comes with the latest Polar Pro Trainer 5 which no longer requires you to download and store data via Polar Weblink to as the new software is now installed in your computer for ready access if and when needed.

For complete data and specifications you may check the link -

I hope the new personal training computer will be able to further motive my obsession in the sports. Sad to say you still need the strength and health to obtain your dream speed or mileage.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Curry, Sashimi, Hainanese Chicken Rice - Fusion of Friends

In the 58 years of my life I have met so many people of different nationalities, but, throughout all these years there have been three (3) foreign nationals (not counting of course my Filipino friends) who have been closed to me and my family whom I consider as friends in the very essence of the word. When the idea got into my mind to make a article in my blog about them, I was surprise to just find out that all of whom have one thing in common, they are individually a mixture of dual nationality. They are like a fusion of food which describes my favourite dishes.

The CURRY, Clinton De Souza, an Indian born of Australian nationality. Clinton and I go back so many years during the 1970’s the prime years of our youth when we were only in our mid-twenties. We have shared so many happy times even then when we were just starting our professional careers that although we have nothing much financially, but, had great youthful times together. Our family have spent together memorable times in the past as our children were of the same ages then. After quite a number of years, we have again reconnected and regularly see each other at least twice a year. I am so happy for my friend who was blessed lately with a wife by the name of JUM a Thai national who keeps him youthful these days.

The SASHIMI, Mike Naka, Japanese born of American nationality. I have known Mike since 1989 as a business contact in developing business ventures. Our transition to friendship was not as easy and has undergone so many love hate relationships in the early years. But, as they always say friendship is developed after undergoing the ups and downs of life. Mike has been very generous to me and my family that we are already his regular boarders in his house in Seattle and Las Vegas. Golf is what has bonded both of us and to this day I still look forward in playing with Mike, more so when I am in need of pocket money as he has been a great milking cow in the golf course.

The HAINANESE CHICKEN RICE, Chan Joo Huat, a Malaysian born of Singapore nationality. Chan was my principal’s representative in Manila and a very likable and friendly person so much so that when he was stationed in the Philippines sometime in 1994, all of my staff liked working with him. One thing that has challenged Chan during his stay in Manila was when he found out that my wife was picking up the Golf game then that she encourages him to be tutored under Joe Cantada’s Golf School. The guy was a natural and become addicted to the game that these days he has excelled in the game. I can no longer beat him and am now his regular milking cow. Their three (3)children are a duplicate of their father. If there is a similarity in our life it is our wives, Hermie (mine) and Joanna(Chan's) have the same CHARACTER. Now I leave you how to interpret the word. Chan and I no longer work together which in a way is much better as we have become more now as real friends than business associates.

So these are my favourite dishes Curry, Sashimi and Hainanese Chicken Rice. And my friends of confused nationalities.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Analysis - First 3 Days of Rehab Walk

As in any scenario of rehabilitation, the first few days is the most difficult and important to ensure that you do not overdo the physical activity so much so in my condition of which I have to allow the foreign body STENTS get used to my blood flow circulation system. The following is a recap of my first 3 days;

Date / Distance / Duration / Speed / Pace
27Jan09 / 2.7 km / 00h53m / 3.06km/hr / 19.60min/km
28Jan09 / 5.5 km / 01h17m / 4.26km/hr / 14.08min/km
29Jan09 / 7.9 km / 01h29m / 5.33km/hr / 11.26min/km

In my case, the greatest factor to fight is the TEMPTATION to increase the pace particularly during the period of walking as the mind dictates full capability but the body is silent and due respect should be considered. I would be happy to attain the 10.00min/km pace in the newxt few days and maintain the said pace for one week before any further experimentation in speed. I thanks God for my continued recovery.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Before and After - Why Do We Run?

Last Monday 26Jan09, I visited and came across the article "Before and After - Why Do We Run? See For Yourself" It was nice to see people who have decided to change their life style and have actually succeeded in the difficult world of losing weight. All of whom did it by means of "RUNNING" the cheapest and most effective way of losing weight and in the process gaining self confidence.

I wish to share my picture BEFORE when I was 200 lbs!

This time I wish to share my picture AFTER when I am now at 147lbs!

It was not an easy and instant process. But, it can be done. All you need is a pair of RUNNING SHOES.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Learning Back to Walk - Rehabilitation

Today 27Jan09 was my first day of trying to return my life to its normal daily routine schedule. After much discussion and long processes of negotiation with my wife, I was so thankful that she has understood my feelings and allowing me to slowly return to my daily work-out.

For the very first time HERMIE, accompanied me at the Ultra to make sure that I stick to my promise that no extra unnecessary effort will be exerted but instead just to walk and stretch the muscles by a simple walk around the oval. We arrive later than my usual time as it was already about 6:15am with so many usual runners already in the oval.

The lady guard greeted me and gave her two tickets and signed the logbook. To my wife’s surprise and unsolicited comments/jokes after, the guard told me to better get my senior citizen’s ID so that I need not be paying always the P29.00 entry fee. I just smiled, deliberating with myself if I should correct the lady guard, but, in the end decided against it and instead just wish her a great morning. While going down the oval, my wife started her jokes and comments regarding the incident. In reality I am just 58 years old, I still have 2 years before my senior citizenship! Well I guess that’s what you get when you have less hair to show on top of your head.

My wife and I agreed that in as much that this will be my first try at the oval again, I will just WALK in the real sense of the word. Off we started. Before we could complete a single round, Mjr. Espejo approached us as he was already busy doing the warm up for the elite runners of the Bald Team. Mjr. Espejo, Michael, my wife and I did a couple of round while having small talk until both guys need to finish their instructional work with the elite bald team that required them to drop off. Less than 200 meters after, my wife have to sit it out as she really does not enjoy walking and the sun was already getting high. Then I am back to my own self, the SOLITUDE AND JOY OF WALKING.

It was then that I was approached and met Ms. KIM whom BR has highly spoken to me about. I was quite surprised and glad that she asked of my health and wishes me well for a speedy recovery. Thank you Ms. Kim.

After 00h 53m 21sec I had to stop as my wife’s facial expression where clearly asking me without even words being uttered that it was time to go home. To my great disappointment, I looked at my Polaris that it just registered 2.7km for the duration of the walk time. However, we earlier had two rounds in the oval (800 meters) that was when I forgot to switch on the foot pod of my Polaris. Even so if I sum up both walk it was only a miserable total of 3.5km for about 01h 07m 00s it was not just walking, but more so like CRAWLING like a snail. I knew I could do better, but, with my wife’s watchful eyes I need to be patient as I need more time until my blood gets used to circulate in my arteries with its foreign bodies.

Overall, it was a great feeling to start walking again. Give me time guys! I am just like a child learning to walk again. Thank you, to my wife for your understanding.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Before and After Angioplasty with Stents

The pictures shows in detail the LEFT ANTERIOR DESCENDING ARTERY as well as the LEFT CIRCUMFLEX ARTERY both of which clearly showing between 70-80% blockage which necessitated for intervention by BALLOONING and insertion/implant of Two (2) STENTS to allow clear passage of blood.

The picture now shows a CLEAR artery after the implant of two (2) STENT overlapping one another.

The picture above shows the RIGHT CORONARY ARTERY with the location of the blockage.

After the STENTING (1 pc) it is quite clear that the RIGHT CORONARY ARTERY has clear blood passage.

This will be my last posting with respect to my angioplasty and by Monday I should be released from the hospital and slowly go back to my daily routine. I can not wait to put on my running shoes, however, it will be a slow process until I could be in my competitive self. I need patience at this stage and not over do my self.

I wish to take this opportunity thank my wife (HERMIE) who has patiently put up with my demand and tantrums but in spite of all has taken good care of me, my children, my Apos, my family and relatives, my doctors, members of CFC, my friends here and abroad, the Bald Running Team, my office staff and even those that I barely know but have in their own special way offered their silent prayer for my recovery. TO ALL OF YOU ..... THANK YOU and I should and will definitely be back on my usual running blog by next week. I hope I still have sufficient time for training for my LA Marathon on 25May09. I LOVE YOU ALL.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

God is Good! All The Time!

22Jan09 0500 hrs- I was awaken by the duty nurse for my pre-procedure medication. I was thankful that I had a generally a restful night before thanks to sedative tablets given to me. Against the advice of the nurses, I stood up with IV fluid stand dragging the same to the toilet for a much needed toothbrush, sponge bath and facial shave. I better do all my hygiene with all those doctors and nurses to attend to me today that I wish to be clean and smell good.

At 7am the hospital attendants about four big guys was ready to fetch me, but first they have to check if I had a proper shave down under. Upon inspection, the shave wish I did yesterday on my own did not pass their standard so they have to redo matters. All along I though a female nurse will do the honour, but, it were these four burly bouncer look alike attendants, beggar can’t be choosers as they say. An hour after I was already wheeled to the CAT Lab of the hospital where the procedure was to de done which was followed so many final preparation and sedation that I could not fully remember as I was feeling floating in air although am awake.The angiogram was started at about 8:30 with my right groin numbed by a local anaesthesia that was injected. Then the doctor placed a SHEATH which was inserted in the groin followed by a GUIDE WIRE push through inside the SHEATH travelling all the way to the coronary artery to the surface of the heart. At this stage a contrasting DYE was injected through the main artery at the same time CT scan was taken to determine if there is a blockage, if there is a blockage, how many, where are the location and the gravity of the blockage. Prior to the operation, the doctor advised me that anything over that 70% will require a definite intervention.

Then we were faced by reality, I will require CORONARY ANGIOPLASTY on three (3) locations (1) Left Anterior Descending Artery (2) Left Circumflex Artery (3) Right Coronary Artery. As agreed prior the procedure, we have to go ahead with ANGIOPLASTY WITH STENTING upon evaluation. Difficult as it was to accept, we are still thankful to God that a Coronary Bay-Pass was not necessary. By 10:30 am the intervention procedure was already completed and I was transferred to the recovery area. I found the procedure without much pain only to find out that the post-procedure is what was difficult. From 10:30 to 3:30 I was asked not to move and just lay down straight without moving. What a difficult task to do, good I was able to ask for my iPod. At 3:30pm the procedure to remove the STEATH was done. This is the most painful stage as the doctors did manual pressing in my groin to the maximum for about 40 minutes to ensure that blood does not squirt. This exercise allowed blood clot to close the wound by itself then this is followed by placing sand bag in your groin.

At 5pm I was returned to my room, again with instruction not to move my right leg and I am still connected to a catheter for urination and IV fluid. Hopefully by tomorrow things will be on the brighter side.

I wish to end this blog to thank all of you out there who have offered prayers for my safety and recovery. THANK YOU. May these simple words justify the real meaning of sincere appreciation of no word I can find justification. GOD IS GOOD........ ALL THE TIME!!!!!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Day Before

As what was expected basically 21Jan09 was spent in meeting with the different doctors who will be part of the team either in preparation stage or actual procedure itself. The usual mode of the meeting is that the doctor specialist explains to you his or her part and why his/her particular services is needed and this is normally followed by a question and answer portion. I learned today quite a volume of medical terms, details and information that I feel I need more time to digest before the facts to sink in. I guess this is now the norm in medicine keeping the patient well informed.

Again, my Team of doctors is composed of Dr. Rodelio De Sagun – Cardiologist and attending physician, Dr.Wilson Tan de Guzman - Interventional Cardiologist, Dr. Lansang – Endocrinologist, Dra. Roasa - Nephrologists and Dra.Jamora – Anaesthesiologist.

Although the above seems a busy day for me, it was quite the contrary as I found myself doing nothing and finding ways and means to fill up my time to avoid getting bored. Just imagine laying in bed with IV in your arms which restrict you to your mobility. By 3pm my back was already aching that I wanted to walk around on to be frustrated.

I have to be thankful of my weRoam broadband wireless connection otherwise I would not have any internet connection. So mostly I spent my time surfing the web and reading emails with TV programs every now and then. With what my day was today, the more now I am determined to overcome my medical condition as I just could not imagine a life of immobility. I need to RUN , RACE WALK and PLAY GOLF!!!!!!

What was nice of today were the phone calls (voip) from my daughter Dawn which were a number of times and were like fillers on the gaps of events today giving me the opportunity to consult her professional opinion being a doctor herself at Riverside California.

Schedule for tonight, no more solid intake from midnight onwards and by 5am I should have that shave down under followed by mild sedation. The Coronary Angiogram procedure is set between 7-9am tomorrow 22Jan09. I will now try to get some sleep (hopefully) to be able to be ready and strong by early morning. Will keep you posted!!!!

Preparatory Works

My blog for the coming days will not be dealing with RUNNING or RACE WALKING which I hope that the running community will excuse me. I would like to share instead the experience of undergoing a coronary angiogram procedure for others to know and for my own therapy to reduce the anxiety and nervousness within me.

Checked-in at the hospital at 5pm on 20Jan09 to allow ample time to prepare my other body organs to be receptive to the procedure. Normally an overnight preparation will be sufficient enough, however, in my case, in as much that I have kidney problem history and a diabetic, a more rigid preparation is required.

I have been hospitalized before but it is only this time that I have been given a room at the Cardio Vascular Unit (CVU). The scenery is too gloomy and serious for my liking unlike the normal wards. Only the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) I think has a gloomier atmosphere in a hospital. Before entering my room I was able to sneak glance on the rooms that I passed by and got the scare of my life. Most if not all are old and you could feel sickness and pain in the air. Calm down, calm down.

Then as ever, the routine check-in procedure is performed, you are subjected to the WHATs and WHYs of your being there - the duty nurse comes in ask you questions, the interns comes in ask you the same questions, the resident doctors comes in ask you the same question, even the others have the same questions! Being used to this experience, I have done better now to prepare photocopies of my test results and medical history with complete bio data sheet that I compile on a clear book folder so that I just present it to whoever comes for their information.

After having settled for a couple of hours, test procedures were started, chest x-ray, blood chemistry, urine test, blood sugar, ECG, and others that makes you feel helpless like a guinea pig for all. Just when you think that all is over and its already close to midnight and about to sleep, here comes the duty nurse telling you that they need to place you on Intra Venous (IV) and that my creatinine was high and potassium low. What is Low must be brought up and High to be lowered to facilitate the procedure.

Early today 21Jan09, I have to prepare myself for I know my attending doctors will be seeing me, Dr. Rodelio De Sagun / Cardiologist, Dr.Wilson Tan de Guzman / Interventional Cardiologist, Dr. Lansang / Endocrinologist and Dr. Roasa / Nephrologists. This will be a very busy day. Will keep you posted on later developments and actual procedure. Just in case it may interst you click on the link herewith for a VIDEO to see how the procedure is actually done

P.S. found out that they are giving a SHAVE tonight, that’s a shave down under!!!!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Let's Get It Over With - Coronary Angiogram

20Jan09 Ultra Pasig – My intention today was to tire myself so that when I do check-in at the hospital I would have reduced if not eliminated the anxiety of a coronary angiogram procedure.

I arrived Ultra Oval at my usual time of 5am and surprisingly Coach Salazar was already in one dark corner of the track. After two laps he joined me and asked if I would like certain pointers with respect to race walking, which of course I did say yes. For today we concentrated on the STEP SIT STYLE as against the DRAGGING STYLE of Race Walking. After a short demonstration and explanation of the benefits of the Step Sit Style, we proceeded for actual race walk gradually picking up speed as I have gotten the rhythm of the style. After 5Km Coach Salazar dropped off to conduct his coaching with other walkers while I proceeded on my own.

My intention was to complete 20km, however, I misread the reading from my Polar RS200sd (as I was not wearing any glasses) and started to cool down at 18.3km thinking it was already 20.3km. I promised myself to bring my reading glasses next time.

As I was doing my cool down lap, I was approached by Major Espejo who offered to assist me on stretching techniques before ending for the day. To the my great surprise and enjoyment not only did I have a great stretching but Major Espejo was so kind to apply even some massage and physical therapy right in the full view of all while I lay down at lane no.8 in direct contact of the oval tartan. Wow, what a great feeling after a long walk. Thank you Major Espejo.

Deep in my mind I still cannot comprehend how a person like me without feeling any chest pain, who can run/walk for 80+km/week will need a coronary angiogram procedure. This is all because I had a negative and abnormal result from a thallium Stress Test last November which was of this year integrated with my yearly physical examination. Such doubts can only be verified by a coronary angiogram procedure as recommended by my doctor. Anyways, let’s get it over with!!! Will keep you all posted. Prayers please….

Monday, January 19, 2009

Race Walking Report Card - 11 to 17Jan09

As with the previous week, I herewith provide my Race Walking Training Log covering the period January 11-17, 2009 (7 days).


11Jan / BonHS / 10.25km / 01h14m15s / 8.282km/hr
12Jan / Ultra / 11.35km / 01h18m57s / 8.625km/hr
13Jan / Ultra / 10.93km / 01h15m44s / 8.659km/hr
14Jan / Ultra / 15.95km / 01h56m41s / 8.201km/hr
15Jan / Ultra / 15.08km / 01h49m20s / 8.275km/hr
16Jan / Ultra / 21.06km / 02h36m31s / 8.073km/hr
17Jan / Rest Day
Totals (7day) 84.62km / 10h11m26s / 8.303km/hr

comparative from previous week

Distance = 73.68 km to 84.62 km = +10.94km
Time = 8h38m45s to 10h11m26s = +01h32m41s
Speed = 8.520km/hr to 8.303km/hr = - 0.217km/hr

-introduced mid distance and long speed walks

-used one day for REST/RECOVERY (Saturday)decided to RUN 10K at PSE Bull Run on 18Jan09 with target to log sub 60minutes with no race walking application.

- Thank you to Major Espejo for correcting my walking form, Coach Salazar for speed and hand coordination, Michael for pacing me during my long run, and Geraldine of UP Team for regular 2k pacing prior her morning training schedule.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Failure to Deliver - Organizers PSE Bull Run 2009

The first race of the calendar year BULL RUN 2009 “Takbo para sa ekonomiya” was a GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT in the manner the event was handled by the organizers of the event for PSE.

Even before the starting BELL for the run was sounded, all probable symptoms for a possible mishandling of the event was already manifested in the manner the distribution of race kit was done. Being the first race of the year, the community was all excited for the run to return to their usual race fitness after a long hiatus during the holiday season. So many registered early only to be disappointed and be told to return daily to get their kit and in the end to be told to get their kit on the race day itself. Some have spent even 5 times more than the registration fee for actual cost of fuel and parking to keep on returning to get their race kit. There were even mix-up and/or shortage of bibs that you find runners sporting different bibs as to the race they were entered into.

At 5:30am the announcer asked all 10K participants to check-in which was good , however, the said announcer was more like a carnival MC saying things that I felt was a trying hard entertainer rather than an MC to give order and information prior to a race. Worst, all 10K runners were barricaded at the starting line near a FULL BLAST sound system that has kept everybody placing their hands on their ears to avoid eardrum injury.

Bell was sounded and race started. The shortfalls did not end there it was just starting. At an intersection about 400 meters from the starting line with a great number of runners still packed together, a crazy bike rider crossed the mass of runners IN FULL VIEW of at least six marshals who instead of going after the crazy rider just watched him crossed the line. Adding insult to injury, runners shouted on the motorcycle driver who got back with a dirty finger to all, again, marshals just watched and enjoyed the scene. All along the route there was no management of the traffic that runners were competing for the right of the road. The only positive thing I could mention here is the adequacy of the water stations. Even down to the finish line chaos was the name of the game, there were not enough marshals to man the chute that mix up for 5K and 10k runners occurred. Worst the line was about 50 meters long which I do not understand why they cannot get the numbers as fast as the runners were coming in to end the race.

I have great sympathy to my dear personal friend Atty. Francis Lim who is the President of PSE who has all the good intentions and the event cost PSE quite a sum only to be short changed by the organizers whom they have deployed.

I hope the 1st race of the year is not a sign of what the other races of the year will come. To the organizers, do justice to your sponsors who have spent a sizeable amount to built up their corporate image and for their love of the sport and for the joy of the running community.

CFC Tekton Guild Household

Life consists of so many compartments that interconnects and eventually spells out how we generally lived and faired in this world. There is our corporate/business life, family life, social life, sport and recreation life to name a few, but one very important component is our spiritual life.

For the past five years, my Couples For Christ (CFC) Tekton Guild Household has been annually having a reunion. This year, as in the past, the event was held at the residence of Charlie/Fe Aquino last Saturday 17Jan09. The household consist of the following couples- Lito/Linda Tayag, Chito/Chichi Magsajo, Tito/Baby Santos, Ric/Baby Dela Torre, Lito/Vida Legaspi, Mon/Pen De Leon, Boy/Vibs Alburo, Charlie/Fe Aquino and Amado/Hermie Castro.

If in running you have an elite group who are normal podium finishers, then this household belongs to this category, not only has each and every member is an accomplished person in his field of profession/business/corporate world but their Christian values, dedication and service to the community is beyond doubt. As always the evening was of great fun and laughter. Breaking bread as one family and as in any reunion, the tune of the night is remembering the good old days the group has shared for past so many years. A new innovation this year was the "gift game" which was a classic fun and strategy "gift bring home" for the night.

To the group, my wife (Hermie) and I are blessed to be part of you where we have experienced the love and concern by all. May the Lord continuously cover his mantle of protection to you all and your family. Thank you for the praying over for my schedule angiogram.

And as always, Charlie and Fe Aquino will not allow us to go home without his famous "longanisa".How about of Alaskan Cruise?

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Walk the Talk - Practicum in Running

January 15, 2009 4-6:30 pm Ultra Oval Pasig – The 2nd Module of the RUNNING CLINIC for Reinier Pacific Staff was conducted by The Bald Running Team. It was time to put into practise the theoretical part of the program which was conducted a week before.

What better way to describe what transpired during the practicum session but by pictures, as each snap shot is equivalent to a thousand words.

Words can not express our sincere gratitude to Gen.Jovinal Narcise (aka-Bald Runner) for going out of his way to prove to us his passion and advocacy in running. He "Walk the Talk". Also, to Major Ferdinand Espejo and Coach Satur Salazar who have in their own capacity been very effective in the actual coaching job during the theoretical and practical sessions of the Running Clinic. Not to forget, members of Bald Runners Elite Team for their assistance during the practicum. To you guys, THANK YOU for the knowledge, the fun and even for the muscle pain that I am sure will be experienced by the Reinier Staff for the next few days to come. Salamat Po.

The Training Plan - LA Marathon

On 13Jan09 I received by email my Training Plan in preparation for the LA Marathon (Race Walker Division) scheduled for May 25, 2009 as prepared by Major Ferdinand Espejo

The Training Plan is comprehensive and detailed that I wish to share to all for possible reference should they be planning to do a full marathon (run instead of walk for your purpose). It covers a period of 18 weeks of training with the 1st week logging a mileage of 77K and eventually by the 18th week just before the marathon day you should have logged 1602 kilometers! It covers at what intensity to run for each mileage as required for the specific day and relays with interval of recovery period and FARTLEK method hard and easy runs. I have converted the Training Plan which was in XL Matrix to Jpeg so that I will be able to post it here which I hope will do justice although it may not be that clear it will give the readers and overview of the TP.

To Major Espejo thank you for the TP. I guess it is all up to me to follow what is written.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

1000 Km Membership

Two person that I could easily site to have been inspiration in my daily endeavour in Running /Walk Racing are Gen. Jovinal Narcise (aka Bald Runner) and Major Ferdinand Espejo of the Bald Runner Team.

Bald Runner as the local running community is aware of has this “ 1000 km club” that he has been propagating in his blog site Complete mechanics and purpose why he has been advocating runners to logged as much mileage can be found at it is open to all running enthusiasts.

Sometime early this month both gentlemen presented me with the “Finishers T-Shirt” and membership to “The 1000 km Club”. As of End December 2008 I have already logged 4,716.04km which I started counting from 27Apr07. The reward as what Bald Runner suggests is to treat yourself to a spa, massage, or anything that will make your continued running as comfortable as possible. The catch is “at your own expenses”. Anyways, inspirational idea like this with small memorabilia like a T-Shirt, a small recognition speaks a thousand words and is like a fuel that inspires you to run which money cannot buy. I do treasure that T-shirt which has a special place in my closet.

Thank you Bald Runner.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Picasso At The Ultra

Today 12Jan09 at 5am was a bit chilly comparative to recent days as my thermometer was registering 19C. In the past 8 months I have not experienced Ultra Oval to have so many athletes doing their respective training all the same time. As early as 6am there should be no less than a hundred people at the oval primarily members of the different UAAP athletic teams.

Given this scenario, please do not be mistaken that I am complaining of the crowd. However, it was because of this crowd that has gotten my attention the beauty of what was transpiring before my eyes as I was doing my own speed walk training. Different UAAP teams, runners, joggers, walkers and group into specialized training were clustered all over the oval not to forget there was even a PBL basketball team at the bleachers getting ready for their warm up.

You have sprinters, mid-distance runners, long distance runners, race walkers, javelin thrower and other atheletics disciplines either doing their warm up or already into their actual training. But with all this things happening at the same time you might expect CHAOS but what will strike you is the SILENCE all over. This silence was broken once in a while only by whistle sounds or inspirational shouts from the coaches. But what is very evident is the silent sound of each stride, the burst of breath, drops of sweat and pain of muscles that each individual athlete was expressing in his/her face and body language. If only the Oval can amplify and document the thoughts that were on each athlete mind I am sure a thousand stories can be told. Determination and the drive to push can be seen in each person at the oval for whatever their purpose and goal is.

They have a saying that when you are running it is that particular time you have a one on one with yourself where your mind has no limits to discuss with you. Without knowing it and overtaken by the beauty of what was around me, it has been already 01h19m45s when I started and have already logged 11.35km.

Ultra Oval was like a painter’s canvas with so many colours of the different athletes. Picasso will have difficulty to equal this raw beauty of a picture as painted by sports. What an inspiration way to start the week.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Facing the Reality of Numbers

With the purpose of monitoring my speed race walk training in preparation for the LA Marathon (race walker division) I have the following figures logged covering January 4-10 2009 for a 7 day duration;

Date / Place / Distance / Time / Speed

04Jan09/Bonifacio High Street/10.37km/01:09:59/8.88km/hr
05Jan09/Ultra Oval/11.29km/01:17:00/8.70km/hr
06Jan09/Ultra Oval/10.24km/01:12:56/8.45km/hr
07Jan09/Ultra Oval/10.14km/01:13:42/8.26km/hr
08Jan09/Ultra Oval/10.23km/01:13:15/8.38km/hr
09Jan09/Ultra Oval/10.36km/01:14:00/8.40km/hr
10Jan09/Ultra Oval/11.05km/01:17:53/8.51km/hr
7days / 73.68km / 08:38:45 / 8.52km/hr

Accordingly, these initial figures shall be my foundation for the development of my speed walk training . Hoping that my medical procedure on 22Jan09 will not require anything of significant nature of intervention and allowing myself to recuperate to resume training by middle of February 2009, I hope to attain my magical goal of 9.00km/hr race walking average for the marathon distance.

Gathering Statistical figures is never easy but there is no other alternative method in monitoring trainig/development in whatever sport your into. In the end, you will realize that shaving minute/seconds in your run does not come that easy as we face the reality of numbers resultant of the time and effort we have invested.

Friday, January 9, 2009

God! Am I Scared

There are two people in this world that I always end up short changed in any discussion. First is my dentist Dra. Aure Santos, she’s good, pretty and very opinionated. However, she has the habit of asking me questions and/or giving me her mind while she has my mouth opened and with her hands/tools busy with whatever teeth I still have. Then she asks me “what can you say?” It’s a one way discussion I tell you!

And the other one is my cardiologist Dr. Rodelio De Sagun. Today 09Jan09, I and my wife had an appointment with him for the pre-operation conference with regards to my cardio angiogram. He is a very good doctor and takes time and effort to explain to you in details his diagnosis and provides you options, consequences and finally his recommendations. Very professional to the point that it is so scary to butt in while he does his lecture complete with a model heart and PDA with slides showing the heart and the blood vessels. I was not afraid before the conference but after all the explanation, God am I scared!

I will check-in for the procedure on 20Jan09 as they need to work up and prepare me as I am as well a diabetic and prepare my kidney to avoid complication. On 22Jan09 at 7am I am schedule for the cardio angiogram which could result into (a) nothing unusual (b) insignificant blockage not to warrant any intervention (c) manageable number of blockage that an angioplasty can be performed (d) to much blockage that intervention will only be by by-pass operation.

I had second thoughts if I should blog this subject but finally decided to as I think it is one way for me to release the scare and the WHAT IFS in my mind. So, to those of you who are well connected ABOVE, I do ask with humility for your prayers of intercession.

On the lighter side, I still have 11 days to run and play golf. I have already registered for the PSE Bull Run 2009 - Takbo para sa Ekonomiya on 18Jan09. See you guys!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Walk the Talk - The Gospel of Running

Sometime December 2008, I sought the assistance of Bald Runners Team for last minute pointers and tips for the 12 Hour Walk at Putrajaya Malaysia. As a side topic discussed then was the advocacy of Bald Runner (Jovie Narcise) in getting more people into the sport of running with special emphasis on correct orientation and introduction to the sport. With him then were Major Ferdinand Espejo and Coach Satur Salazar. I brought a very abstract idea to the Team in offering my staff from Reinier Pacific as the subject group. Collective ideas were hatched right there with a Running Clinic to be given by the Bald Runner Team.

The Running Clinic Module shall consist of two sessions a classroom session and an actual running session. The classroom session shall focus on Introductory/Theoretical/Inspiration/Basics/Equipments on running which will be about 3 hours. The actual running session to be at Ultra Oval were participants will actually do warm-ups, stretching and actual running wherein the session shall be also 3 hours duration.

They say “walk the talk” and this The Bald Runner Team has demonstrated today 08Jan09. They have completed the 1st phase of the Running Clinic which was conducted at the offices of Reinier Pacific from 2-5pm. I take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to the Bald Runner Team of a well prepared presentation. Special thanks to the presentation of Bald Runner (Jovie) for the manner of delivery which was strong and awakening.

Next week Thursday 15Jan09 we shall conduct the 2nd part of the module at Ultra Oval for the actual running and as early as now I could already see the sparkle in the eyes of my staff to do their supervised/coached running at an oval which I honestly believe not a single one of them had the opportunity to do so being not exposed to sports in general.

If any of you guys are of the same advocacy in spreading the Gospel of Running, contact the Bald Runner Team who very capable to work hand on hand with you or your group.

Thank you Bald Runner Team!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Race Walking and My Heart Problem

I started my running craze last April 27, 2007 with the primary goal of losing weight (I weight 198 lbs then) and lowering my blood sugar(I inject 10units of insuline glargine a day plus 1500mg of Hydrocloride tablet) which I continued until August of 2008 in which I attained a weight of 148 lbs (-50 lbs) and my sugar count was "controlled" with medication reduced to minimum with NO insuline injecion required. Full details of my distance run can be seen on my 1st blogged subject.

With things settling down to a boring regularity, a much needed drive was needed to pursue the vigor in running. Sometime around end of August 2008, on a Saturday morning while I was doing my daily run/walk at the Ultra Oval and just when I was completing my run, Capt. Ferdinand Espejo approached me and asked if by any chance I am interested in getting serious in what I have been doing and concentrate on Race Walking as he has noticed my regularity at the Ultra Oval then. In his mild and convincing manner he explained to me in detail what is Race Walking and brought out a crazy idea of a 12 Hour race Walk at Putrajaya Kuala Lumpur Malaysia scheduled for 13-14Dec08. We exchanged email addresses and I told him let me think about it.

A week past by and after long solitary thought in my sleeps, I told myself, why not? However, before I do dare to send an email message to Capt. Espejo, I first did my homework to get as much information as possible with regards to Race Walking. This I found in the Internet at by Jeff Savage which provides you with all detailed aspect of Race Walking from basic technique, rules, warm up, cool down, equipment, how to race, training, strength, and others. To those who wish to get into this sport I recommend you visit this website it is complete and detailed to the T.

All pumped-up and after gathering much confidence I finally sent my email intentions to Capt. Espejo whom I found was very encouraging and supportive to an old guy like me trying to get into the field of sport. He gave me the details of Khoo Chong Beng the Director for Race Walkers Association of Malaysia for the necessary entry form and race rules that I started communicating from then on.

With all formalities in place, I now was faced with training to ensure that I would be able to come up with a respectable finish after a 12 Hour Race Walk. It was about the middle of September that I started a daily dedicated race walk at the Ultra. In the beginning for a 5 km the to 10 km and then 15 km per session augmented with 10km entry on road races in Metro Manila allowing myself to run for the first 5 km then do the race walk technique for the final 5 km. In the initial stage I did not dare to attain speed but instead get used to the race walking technique particularly making sure that my forward leg is straight as it hits the ground until my next stride. This was the most difficult pace of the preparation, but, after sometime getting used to the manner of walking, it was then I applied the technique in developing the speed aspect of the sport, the sway of the arms and hips in tempo with the stride of the leg. At the peak of my preparation I could easily logged 105 kilometers a week.

As the 12 Hour Walk in Putrajaya was nearing sometime December 4, 2008 it coincided to my yearly medical check-up at UST Hospital which I readily did and as recommended by my doctor Dr. Rodelio De Sagun who is a relative advised me to include a Thallium Stress Test of which I readily went through the procedure. On December 8, 2008 I received a text message from my doctor’s secretary that Dr. De Sagun wishes to talk to me due to an abnormal finding from my Thallium Stress Test. I saw my doctor and he explained to me that not enough blood was being pumped to my heart than normally should be which gives a suspected blocked blood vessel/s as such he suggested that although of no urgency, I need to subject myself to an angiogram which would confirm the diagnosis and if warranted to undergo an angioplasty with a worst scenario of a by-pass heart procedure. Wow! Shocking and to think my mind is all set for 12 Hour Walk and a total disbelief and doubt was playing in my mind considering I was doing 15 km a day and not feeling anything unusual from my body. What do I do? I talked to Dr. De Sagun and with his wife Dra Rose De Sagun asked them that my only request is that they do not tell my wife, otherwise, she won’t allow me to go to Malaysia for the event. With heavy heart they just have to say yes to me I think as I was the patient and reminded me that my doctor does not have blessing for me to do the 12 Hour Walk but leave matters to my better judgment. I was determine to go ahead as plan. For last minute morale boosting, I asked the assistance of Bald Runner Team headed by Gen. Jovinal Narcise, Capt. Ferdinand Espejo and Coach Salazar for last minute pointers and advise. And the night before I left Manila I was given Physical Therapy by Coach Salazar.

On December 12, 2008 I departed as planned to KL Malaysia and proceeded to the billeted racers designated hotel at Kajang. On the day of the race, December 13, 2008 I left the hotel at 5pm giving enough time to reach Putrajaya before the schedule 8pm start.

Upon reaching Putrajaya, I experience the orderliness and efficiency of the organizers handling over 500 participants male and female of all ages. How I wish this could be the same here in the Philippines. Race bib and computer chips were provided and then at 7:30 pm a general announcement of the rules and regulation was given to all participants.

At 8pm exactly the start of the race was sounded. I initially kept myself on the middle of the pack but after 500meters or so the pace was a little slow for me so I started overtaking people. The first loop (1km) was more or less a getting used to the circuit. After 2 hours, the announcer sounded that participant should they wish can check how much they have already logged for the first 2 hours. I checked mine to be 16km. I continued until I have attained 25km and it was about just past midnight and I decided to enter the cockpit for some leg rest and change of shoes and shirt. I allowed 30 minutes to past by and continued my walk until I logged 35km and it was about 1:30am. Again, I entered the cockpit for a pit stop again allowing myself 30 minutes for rest and change of attire. By 3:00am I have already logged 44km and I now was feeling sore, sleepy and tired. I told myself I need to finish the 50km mark as my initial target which I officially finished in 7h39m37sec wherein I place 10th out of 22 participants officially entered in the 50 km distance. Having completed my 50 km I decided to take matters easy and do not push the issue to much considering my medical findings of which I then took my time for the rest of the 12 hour and finally completing 12 Hour Walk with a distance of 62 kilometers landing 45th place in the men’s division out of 263 finishers and landing 59th place overall out of 438 finishers and 508 starters. Praise God! It was a very respectable finish for a 1st timer and with no pit stop support. Complete details of the race and official results can be seen at if you have time visit the website. And for pictures of the events, this can be seen at They have a saying pictures expresses more than words which I might have not done justice in my writing.

My story does not end here as I still have to inform my wife of my medical findings. On 15Dec08, I arrived Manila and my wife fetch me from the airport at about 6pm and I asked her for a dinner and we went straight to Bonifacio High Street. After placing our order, I told her I have something to confess and ask her not to get angry. I gave her the complete run down of the doctor’s findings and the related story as to the question of WHY. Afterwards she asked me to promise her NEVER to tell a lie again. In all honesty, I did not tell a lie to her, it’s just that I did not volunteer information. As they say there was technicality on the matter which even the Supreme Court can consider.

This is my story on how I got hooked on Race Walking and this coming May 25, 2009 I have already registered myself for LA Marathon under the Race Walker Division. This however, will be subject to my medical procedure which is scheduled sometime last week of January. So all of you out there, I seek your prayers for my health.

The Negative Split

Much has been spoken, written and blogged about the subject that I told mayself today, 07Jan09 I will try to put matter into practise and find out for myself the difference. I started my race walk at Ultra at 5:20am and as required, I made an easy start completing the 1st km at 7m 57sec and at about this time it started to drizzle light to heavy. Distance and time logged were 2km=7m34s 3km=7m27s 4km=7m23s 5km=7m22s. At about this time I needed somehing to push me harder or happen and by luck Geraldine of the UP track team joined me for her warm up jogged giving me reason to increase my pace to catch-up with her. Resultant was 6km=6m59s 7km=6m53s at this stage Geraldine stopped her warm-up which resulted to a slower 8km=7m06s 9km=7m03s and finally 10km=7m00s. Negative Split was attained with the 1st half to be 37m43s and the 2nd half to be 35m01s for the 10km=01h12m44s. I did not break my PR of 01h10m35s but by theory this is how a run should be done a Negative Split and hopefully a Positive Result.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Getting to the Rythm

Today, 06Jan09 was not as cold as the previous mornings and I saw it registered 22C at 5:10am when I left the condominium. As I arrived ULTRA there were already about 5 runners doing their run/walk and wishing to finish early, I went straight without warm-up with a target time of 1h 08m for the 10k speed walk distance.

The first 5 km was within my target. At this stage I already noticed that the elite group of the Bald Runners Team has already arrived and with them was Capt./Coach Espejo, greeted him and continued on my own thing. At about the same time, the oval was getting crowded as the UP / JRU / and FEU runners were already starting their warm up. I guess all these UAAP track teams are now dead serious in their training as the scheduled competition will be on Feb 6-8, 2009. Hopefully, I will be able to see the race walk and other track competition as I promised to cheer for the UP track team whom I have shared the oval for the past 8 months or so and whose faces has been familiar to me although not knowing their names.

I completed the 10.7 km at a slower speed of 01h 14m which I attribute to the crowded oval and lost of concentration on the later stage of the distance. Have to improve on the next run.

After my cool down I took the opportunity for a little chit chat with Bald Runner and Capt. Espejo to finalize our dry run planning for the Running Clinic to be given to staff of Reinier Pacific on Thursday 08Jan09 at 2-5pm.

All refreshed and pumped-up I was once again ready to start my business day at 7:15am and headed home....

Christmas Reunion with CFC Unit Household

Christmas time they say is for family and friends. And what better way to celebrate the season but to have a reunion with my Couples For Christ Unit Household of 2000. As usual it was Cindy who orchestrated the whole thing and after much ado it was set for December 28th at 1200 am at Paragon Plaza unit 1204. The following were there Herman/Remy Vargas, Junnie/Gigi De la Cruz, Gerry/Malyn Alonzo, Dante/Lina Rimando, Pol/Aida Roy, Abet/Cindy Alvarez, Leo/Josie Cabasis, Demy/Sylvia Chavez. Definite present was the Holy Spirit for the reunion was full of fun, laughter and love. It was a gathering of the different factions of CFC showing unity whichever they belong now. Missed during the occasion was of course our unit head then Don/Gin Lee.The food was LATE however, I think it was really meant to be so that an impromtu presentation can be given by the group and each individual couple was given the stage to provide update as to their lives and family. After all the laughter and old stories have been recalled and shared, what better way to end but a WORSHIP and PRAYER just like the good old days. It was a very touching one for me having to lead the prayers being with your friends and praying to the Lord I can not help but feel tear drops fall from my cheeks. I praise and thank you Lord for my Christian friends.

Ultra Oval Track Opened

Today, Ultra Oval Track was re-opened to the general public. I arrived the oval with at 5:15am with already six runners doing their regular thing. I immediately proceeded to do my usual 10km daily exercise and actually completed the distance of 11.3 km in 01H 17M. Took the opportunity to greet the regulars a Happy New Year. Talked to Capt. Espejo to finalize my membership with PATAFA which required of me in order to join a USATF Master's event which I hope to complete within the week. Nice run to open a busy week ahead.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Bonifacio High Street Runs

Today will be the last day of vacation after a very long and unusual one which started last 24th December. Since January 1-4 I have been doing my daily morning race walking at Bonifacio High Street instead of the ULTRA Ovals as it has been closed since the beginning of the holidays and will only be reopened to the general public tomorrow. I have logged in 10.2 km daily at a speed of 01h 08m which I hope I could improve or the the coming months.

Tomorrow, its back to ULTRA and hopefully be able to joining the Speed Diagnostics of the the Bald Runner Team.

Los Angeles Marathon - Race Walker Division

Today, January 3, 2009 I have registered myself to the LOS ANGELES MARATHON for RACE WALKER DIVISION which is scheduled for May 25, 2009. I shall also take the opportunity to join the Riverside CA USATF 15km Masters Race Walk Championship scheduled for May 17, 2009.

This will keep me busy for the next months to come to prepare for these two events. I am looking forward to these dates but most of all I shall be able to visit my daughter MARY DAWN who is a doctor at Riverside CA.

However, the plan is subject to my medicals as I am scheduled to undergo a angiogram which could lead to an angioplasty. Well pray pray pray and plans will not be derailed.

Friday, January 2, 2009

My Running Log as End 2008

2007 - Distance in Kilometers

April = 32.53
May = 161.06
June = 182.01
July = 125.24
August = 119.26
September = 187.69
October = 195.65
November = 210.63
December = 207.19
Total = 1,421.26

January = 232.86
February = 215.33
March = 206.85
April = 212.89
May = 180.86
June = 190.69
July = 374.70
August = 326.70
September = 352.50
October = 353.80
November = 292.60
December = 355.00
Total for Year 2008 = 3,294.78 km
Grand Total End 2008= 4,716.04 km