On Running, Biking and Everything in Between

I would like to claim that I have the most fit body and that I do almost everything to keep it that way - but I don't. And the worst is that I don't want to do any physical activity or any conscious effort to stay in shape. I am that lazy. But these past few months, I found myself doing what others were raving about for quite sometime - running and biking. Welcome to the bandwagon. 
October 15, 2011 (Taguig City) - My friend asked me to join him at the The Fort for the 2011 Nike We Run Manila event. It was a 10km night run and the fees were; 750 pesos for individuals under 25 years old, 1,000 pesos for individuals 25 years old and above and 1,300 if you signed up with a run buddy (2 persons/all ages). I really don't get the point of paying a thousand bucks for a "run" (tell that to a runner and get ready to be punched anytime). My thinking was, I can run for free around UP if being healthy is the ultimate goal. With this in mind, I didn't sign up for this run. I told him that I am not yet ready for a 10km thing - and not even a 500-meter dash for that matter. But my friend signed up and I supported him. He got a race kit which had an orange Nike "Dri-Fit Race Tee".

I was positioned exactly like him
palit tayo ng camera kuya bilis!
I will call that day the "Ponkan Day", it was a sea of orange because everyone was wearing their orange tees. They were all excited and can't wait to start the race. I cannot get inside the Nike Village so I settled on the streets (literally) with my camera to have a good view of what's going to happen. Few minutes before 5:00 p.m. and the countdown began. I heard the loud cheers from the racers and right after the gun start, it was chaos. Almost 8,000 runners were on their way to the race. Adrenaline-rush and heart-pumping actions were everywhere.

lumipat ako sa sidewalk
yaya A and baby Josh

I strategically positioned myself in an intersection so that I could easily spot my friends but to no luck I didn't get to take a photo of them running. Too bad. But my friend finished the whole thing. It was his first 10km run and he didn't give up. I'm proud of all the finishers. They were so happy and I felt it. There was also a mini-concert right after the run. It featured local bands like Chicosci, Sandwich, Parokay ni Edgar and other bands.

It was fun seeing them having fun with what they were doing. They were all sweaty and they looked tired but happy. People were cheering as someone makes it to the finish line. As for the winners? They don't have the most incredible and eye-catching shoes and other gadgets. They don't have earphones stuck in their ears. They don't have the water thingy on a belt but they won. They just ran. Pure running at its finest. 34 minutes for the men's division and 38 minutes for the women's. I computed it on my mind and that would be 17 to 19 km/hr. Wow! That was so fast. 

the winner - 34 minutes ba-by!
women's pride - 38 minutes.
The only not-so-good thing I noticed was some runners hurriedly went for some nicotine fix after finishing the race. I was like, "Oh come on, smoking RIGHT AFTER the race?!". Tsk tsk tsk.

10k finisher woot! - pagod?!
November 7, 2011 (Cabangan, Zambales) - Me and my family needed to go to our province to visit the oldies. I asked my friend again to join us. No plans or whatever, we woke up and found ourselves riding a bike - thanks to my cousins who were bike enthusiasts who lent us our ride for that day. 

I was thinking of going to the cemetery to visit my cousin who died last year - the cemetery was on a mountain by the way. After that, we will cross a hill to go to a secluded beach in our town. And then go back to our barrio. I asked my friend if my "plan" was ok. He said he doesn't even know what to expect so anything will do. Perfect! 

Zambales National Road
It was ages since I embarked on a biking trip like this one. This was when I was younger. I spent every summer vacation I had in this town and learned how to ride a bike, how to "fall" and how to ride again - but that was more than two decades ago. Now, I need to re-learn how the left and right brakes work and how to use the gears on different situations. Armed with our bikes, flowers and candles, my camera phone, and some chips/drinks we went on with our journey. We didn't put on sunblock because we don't have one - good luck sa sunburn. 

tired yet?

It was 8:30 a.m. when we decided to go on with the "plan". On our way to the cemetery, we crossed all types of roads you could imagine. Good thing was that our bikes were so ready for it.

Going up the hill was the hardest part and you need to exhaust all your energy to reach to the top. You can't even stop because you will kill the momentum and you have to carry your bike up. We stayed at my cousin's tomb for half an hour while enjoying the view of the South China Sea from the mountain.  

my doctor-cousin who died at 28 years old
Going down was a different story. It was so much F-U-N. You need not to pedal just hold on to the grip and the brakes. I was screaming and laughing at the same time. I felt like a kid again. Next was the beach. We need to cross a hill to get to a secluded beach in our town and getting there was no joke. It was around 10:20 a.m. that time and we were not stopping at any moment.

the Zambales range as backdrop
sa likod niyan ang Pinatubo

We reached the beach all in one piece. We were glad and fulfilled at the same time. It was such an experience and I love biking. I realized how blissful (first time to use this term in a post) these moments were. We didn't spent a cent but the fulfillment was priceless.

my beach - full of memories since I was a kid
I love my camera phone
December 4, 2011 (Manila City) - Technically, this was my first ever run - that I paid for. This was the Red Cross Million Volunteer Run. The fun run promotes volunteerism and also to celebrate the International Year of Volunteers which was declared by the United Nations this 2011.

Since I am a teacher and a Red Cross member/blood donor, I need not pay the amount of 1,000 pesos for the run. I only paid 100 pesos which came with a shirt and other stuff. I also let my friend join the said event.

We were at Roxas Blvd. (Quirino Avenue) at around 5:00 a.m. Supposedly, the fun run would start at around 6:00 a.m. but because of the "celebrities" who were "running", we were delayed for an hour. Excitement turned into desperation as many people were shouting for the gun start to proceed. To add insult to the injury, our race coincided with De La Salle University's 'Animo Run' and we needed to make way for the runners. Fault-finding followed as people got very mad on what was happening.

So after waiting for another hour, Vice President Jejomar Binay did the gun start and everyone was so ecstatic. We waited for a few minutes for us to move on because of the volume of the people. And then we ran. It was my first time to REALLY run. 

I kept on looking for my friend as to not lose him but I did lose him. After that, all I could hear on my head was him shouting to not breathe through my mouth. And just when I was about to reach the finish line, I saw him again. And then I saw ex-Senator Richard Gordon - the Philippine Red Cross Chairman. I approached him and cheered on his running. My friend suggested to take a photo of us. I winked at Dick Gordon and whispered that my roots are from Zambales - he smiled.

I was so excited to reach the finish line and then the rain poured. There was a program to culminate the activity but we chose to go home afterwards. I finished the race but I wasn't happy afterwards. I was mad on how other people could manage to jog or run without even stopping to rest or walk. I did that many times and I wasn't proud of myself. I want to just run like a little kid on the loose. Maybe because it was just my first time. Or maybe because I breathed through my mouth. Or maybe because I don't like what I'm doing which is the saddest part.

Overall, I really enjoyed biking. With regard to running?! Na-a. I don't see myself in it for the next few years. When I'm teaching Badminton to my students, I am happy. Sepak Takraw, I am happy. Philippine Games (patintero, kadang-kadang, tatching, tumbang preso), I am happy. Playing chinese garter and 10-20 with my students, I am happy. But running? I am not happy.  That's it. But who knows, tomorrow I might join a 3km run. 

How about you? What do you enjoy doing fitness-wise?


  1. I hate running too! Weirdly, I've joined a lot of races. I think it was the bandwagon that got into me and now that races are too expensive, I no longer join.

    Pero gusto ko yung biking part mo! Panalo talaga ang Zambales!

  2. wow, glad you're into fitness run too! ako hindi! hehehe.. lazy i am!
    anyway, believe it or not, i registered for penang bridge marathon fun run (10k) last 2010--ayaw ni Lord kasi walang bus akong nasakayan on the morning of the marathon; ang ending, namaluktot na lang ako sa kama noon, sabay tulog--sarap! :)

    my cousin also runs, as in buhay na nya ang pagsali sa mga ganito. 2 of my best friends back in premed who ended up being together, also run. i think this is the same event that tina's sister along with their colleagues who are all clinical instructors also participated in. kami lang ata ni tina ang hindi pa.

    hats off for that photo op with gordon. he's the man! kaya lang kulang sa popularity, sayang.

  3. parang ang saya nung biking!

    di ko pa nasubukan mag bike sa probinsya, you just gave me an idea pagbalik ko ng province sa january :)

  4. hi josiah - expensive talaga nung ibang runs noh? ang OA... ganda talaga sa Zambales!

    hi docgelo! feeling ko last na yung takbo ko na yun... im lazy as a cat... haha... lapit na uwi mo dito ah!

    hi christian - try mo din bilis! masaya ang biking pramis.

  5. My cousin invited me to a fun run 3 times already but I never join. Now that Fun run is getting popular now a days, I think I need to give it a try. I like to try biking too.

  6. Haven't joined a race either coz like you, I don't feel like paying a hefty fee just to run. Maybe I would for a good cause, but that's still a maybe. Haha! I miss biking :(

  7. i know that photographer on the first picture! That guy holding the canon 7d. I stumbled upon your website looking for la mesa eco park and i read through your entries because I am a teacher too. yun lang :)

  8. hi henry - yeah! try biking. i love it more than running.

    hi gay! miking is really F-U-N

    hi ms. diana, thanks for dropping by... mabuhay ang mga guro! :)


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