Thursday, December 30, 2010

As I Look Back With Pride at 2010

I admit  that I have somehow grown a bit tired of blogging.  I still regularly visit other running blogs to keep abreast of what's going on in the local running scene, and I still constantly update some pages of Life is a Highway (i.e., Race Log, Marathon Log, Personal Bests, Mileage), but I just could not find the energy to blog regularly (or even post comments in the sites that I frequent). The spirit is still very much willing, but the flesh is just too damn lazy.  Guess which one wins out on a regular basis.

Still, it just would not feel right if I didn't close the year with one last post.  After all, 2010 has been a great year for me.  The past year has given me and my family a lot to be thankful for, and I know of no better way to celebrate these blessing than to look back in tribute at the year that was, Highway-style.

Allow me to start off with the trivial stuff (which unfortunately is the central theme of this site) - running.  In 2010, I accomplished a lot of feats that I never would have thought were within my abilities to accomplish. Thanks to Garmin Connect, I can proudly rattle off a few statistics:

In 2010, I did a total of 142 runs, inclusive of races, training, and "fitness" runs.  I ran for a total of 240:32:51 (hrs:mins:secs), covered a total distance of 1,980.14 kms, and burned a total of 169,326 calories.  Each run lasted an average of 1:41:58, spanned an average distance of 13.94 kms, and was done at an average speed of 8.2 kph. My longest single run covered 42.57 kms and lasted for 5:42:06 seconds.

Over the last 12 months, I ran and finished a total of 14 races, consisting of four full marathons (including my first on foreign soil!), two 32k runs, seven half-marathons, and one 15k run.

From a debut 15k time of 1:53:24 on 15 August 2009 (KR Urbanite - my very first race!), I recorded a personal best time of 1:26:20 on 11 April 2010 (Mizuno). From a debut half-marathon time of 2:23:10 on 25 October 2009 (Subic), I recorded a HM personal best time of 2:03:52 on 24 October 2010 (KOTR).  From a debut marathon time of 5:42:37 on 7 February 2010 (Condura), I recorded a marathon personal best time of 4:56:42 on 5 December 2010 (Singapore).

These are all very modest numbers that the most hardened runners and speedsters would probably scoff and sneer at, but from my humble personal perspective, these statistics glow like gold.  Who would have ever thought that a former heavy-smoking, binge-drinking, overweight non-athlete would one day be capable of churning out these figures? Certainly not me (or my wife!). For this alone, I will always look back at 2010 with pride. I don't know how long my health and my body would allow me to keep this up, but I do know this:  I will give it my best shot and most valiant effort ALWAYS.

But as hard as it might be to believe, the "running" part was merely the cherry on the sundae, the icing on the cake, the gravy on the turkey - WHATEVER. I could have logged zero runs and zero kilometers in 2010, and the year would still not be a tad less remarkable. For me, 2010 drew its sheen and shimmer from the things that really matter: Family. Togetherness. Life. Health. Stability. Change. Opportunities. Possibilities.

As we usher in 2010, I say a silent prayer of thanks, and make a simple wish that the coming year would be even better and kinder to us all.  Happy New Year, everyone. Here's to the long road ahead, and to the endless miles that we all will be running in 2011!

Sunday, December 5, 2010


After four tries, I finally nailed my first sub-5 marathon.  I finished the 2010 Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore in 4:56:42, with a gun time of 4:58:40.  My previous personal best for a marathon was 5:18, set at CamSur last September.  Details to follow in a separate post.

No time to let up - the Cebu Marathon is just a little over four weeks away.

Thank you, Singapore!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Here We Go

Here's to good weather, an enjoyable, safe and injury-free run,
and giving it everything you've got!

Are We There Yet?

My first day in Singapore. Not my first time to visit this city state, but my first time to come here for a race - my fourth marathon and my first-ever on foreign soil. Wifey and I are staying at the Mandarin Orchard Singapore - about a hundred meters away from the Full Marathon starting line. It doesn't get any more convenient than this.

After a nice brunch and settling into our hotel room, we headed to Marina Bay to pick up my race entry pack.  The entire process was a breeze - a computerized database of registered runners, countless volunteers to man the booths, very spacious venue.  No long queues at all because today and tomorrow are devoted to foreign runners who have yet to pick up their race packs.

Outside the race pack collection venue

No sweat!
Asics singlet and the personalized bib - nice!
Game on!

One more full day of R&R before the big race. Best of luck to all my fellow Pinoy marathoners who will be pounding the streets of Singapore on Sunday.  Here's hoping that everything would turn out well for all of us, so that, come Sunday night, the brewskie would taste juuuust a little bit better!