Life in the Fast Lane


Running To Destress

By 3:21 PM , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

August hasn't been a very kind month to the Philippines so far.

A few days into the month, Metro Manila and its neighboring provinces had to hurdle intense rainfall and flooding, resulting in several deaths, damaged homes and properties, and displaced families. For a week or so, all anyone could think about was helping out in any way they could.

And then there were other issues that emerged: an MMDA officer who was beaten up by a civilian, the ongoing Republic Health Bill debates (leading to two incidents: Senator Sotto's act of plagiarism and the CBCP attacking the Ateneo teachers who are pro-RH Bill).

Just this weekend, the Philippines suffered a great loss with the tragic death of DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo, whose plane had crashed last Saturday and whose body was found and recovered just yesterday. The two co-pilots of the plane have yet to be retrieved within the fuselage, which is 180 meters underwater.

Sec. Robredo, who was once the mayor of Naga, helped the city in countless ways. Same goes for his contributions to the government at large. He is known to be a man of integrity, transparency, and passion. He loved this country and he was well-loved by his colleagues in the government. But more importantly, he was a family man. He was there for his kids' every awarding ceremony, competition, and the like. Actually, he was rushing home last Saturday because it was a long weekend; then this tragedy had to happen.

With all of these things going on around me, as well as the many projects on my plate at work, I honestly look forward to my alone time. Aside from prayer/devotion reading, "alone time" usually happens when I'm exercising: in the pool, on my bike, or when I'm running.

Lately, though, I've been running more than I have been biking or swimming. Swimming has been out of the picture, unfortunately, these past few weeks (what with the on-and-off rainfall). Biking, I try to include at least once a week.

I've been realistic about my triathlon training and have decided to focus on being a better runner nowadays. Since running zaps my energy (while I've improved, I've got a long way to go before I can consider myself an efficient runner, no thanks to my asthma), I'll work on that first this year. Hopefully by early next year, when I'm a stronger runner, I'll be able to finally train (as in, incorporate swimming, biking, and running) for my first triathlon.

In the meantime, though, I've finally come to a point where I enjoy running. I look forward to it after a long day in the office and I'm addicted to working on my speed and running for longer distances. Right now, I've got my sights set on a 5K run for Adidas King of the Road (I never imagined I'd go beyond 3K, but I'm doing just that, surprisingly!) and I'm excited.

Here are the things I use when I go out running, which I'd like to share with you all:

(1) My New Balance WR730LS trainers. They're what I use everyday since they give me great cushioning (my feet have relatively high arches) and they're not too heavy.

(2) My New Balance visors. Only for morning runs, which don't happen all too often.

(3) Sportswatch. I don't really use it to time myself (my iPod does that for me), but I keep track of the time with it, i.e. should I be heading back home already.

(4) Spyder sports optics. I had these customized to accommodate my eye grade, which is awesome. I can see everything clearly while running (or biking).

(5) iPod Touch. I use the Nike+ Running app, so I can monitor my distance and time while listening to my favorite songs.

(6) Adidas Climacools. They're so easy to run with (they're my lightest running shoes to date), but I don't feel that my arches suffer while running. I use these when I want to experiment on my speed. They're definitely what I'll be using for races; at least for now.

Praying that I continue to improve on my running. My little victories give me hope.

But more than that, I pray that things look up for this country. I know we could all use some time away from the drama that's been befalling us almost day in and day out these days. Everyone is in my prayers, and my thoughts go out to the families of Sec. Robredo as well as the two pilots.

God bless us all.

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