Christmas Party With The Fort Striders

When I am Not Running, I Must Be Talking to the Running Clubs & Groups!!!

After finishing the MILO National Finals Marathon at Luneta Park, I was approached by one of the officers of the Fort Striders Club, Inc and he invited me to their booth. The members were so kind enough to offer me drinks and sandwich which I accepted. During our conversation, Col Mandar (Ret), one of the founding fathers of the club, asked me if I could be their guest of honor and speaker for their Christmas Party and I immediately accepted their invitation. Last week, while I was running along the BHS loop, the Fort Striders runners called my attention and they handed me their official letter of invitation with the attached program of the party.

So, last Friday evening, 12 December, I attended their Christmas party which I was informed to be their fifth Christmas Party since they started holding such activity. The party was held at the Max’s Restaurant at the Starmall and scheduled to start at 6:30 PM. Through my knowledge and observation, this running club was created when the Global City/The Fort established its road network and the first few buildings had their occupants. I knew also that most of the members then were active officers and enlisted men of the Philippine Army and the Philippine Air Force. I am glad that most of the members now are still the same soldiers whom I personally knew and the members of their family. These soldiers were my runners when I led them as the Battalion Commander during the conduct of the AFP Battalion Run Competition (a group of 317 officers & men running in a battalion formation, in perfect alignment, running uniform, running in cadence with the proper chanting, from UP Balara to Camp Aguinaldo, a 7.5K distance) as we won the Championship in 1999. The Philippine Army won again in 2001 where I was the Team Manager and Coach. Unfortunately, this running competition event among the Major Services of the AFP, to include GHQ & PNP, as part of the AFP Anniversary every December, was scrapped in 2002. I will make a separate post about this event in the coming days.  

Having arrived early for the party, at least 30 minutes, before the scheduled start of the program, I was able to talk to the members who arrived early, who were mostly retired soldiers. Of course, our topic of conversation was about running—their members finishing the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon and the incoming races in Metro Manila. At this point, I was introduced to the members who arrived at the venue one at a time. To my surprise, my friend Kim and her husband, Patrick arrived at the party. Little did I know that Kim is an active member and supporter of the club. Kim, Patrick, Captain Espejo and I were seated in one table and we talked more about running in the Philippines. It was an appropriate time to personally convey my congratulations to Kim for successfully finishing the Singapore Marathon. Congratulations again, Kim!


Patrick, Kim, & Capt Espejo during our Dinner

While dinner was being served, the program started with the usual protocol—invocation, singing of the National Anthem, and Opening Remarks by one of the members. The highlights of the program was the awarding of plaques to the members who had supported the successful conduct of their Club’s sponsored & organized road race which was the 4th OctoberFest  Run at the Global City. The President of the Club, Engr Eric Ongkoy also presented the Annual Accomplishments of the Club, their attendance to this year’s road races, and their other outings/activities.


I officially inducted the new set of Officers of the Fort Striders Club


I was kindly introduced briefly by the President of the Club but I guess, the Biodata that I prepared and submitted to one of their members did not reach him. Anyway, I was glad he did not receive my Biodata because simply reading reading it might bore the audience. It was a long biodata! The brief introduction made me decide to have my speech longer!

Ever since I was a Commander, I never read my speeches but I usually compose my message and thoughts while running and try to deliver them extemporaneously to the audience. Delivering a speech is very easy and simple, most especially if the topic is very familiar to my heart and mind. My speech was a brief-collated version of my posts with the Bald Runner’s blog and I hope my readers in the audience were not bored and did not doze. The conclusion of my speech was a challenge to every member of the Fort Striders Club to encourage everybody to run and be the instrument to make the running community grow bigger. Running must be an “end” and “means” towards a healthy and strong nation where every citizen must nurture that Sports is a Source of National Pride.


While delivering my speech…


Received a Plaque of Appreciation from the Club

After my speech, the Club awarded me with a Plaque of Appreciation and it was my cue to also give my donation/support to the club.

What made the Christmas Party more enjoyable and exciting was the activity after my speech. One of the officers of the Club conducted an “auction” of road race/marathon souvenirs bought from Australia and Singapore and the proceeds go to the fund of the Club. A head visor was auctioned at P30.00. A beautiful finisher’s singlet from a Marathon Race in Australia was auctioned at P200.00. Kim O’Connell got one singlet for the price of P300.00 but I was surprised that she donated the brand-new shirt to my Project Donate A Shirt! Thanks, Kim for the gesture of support! A Finisher’s Medal for the 2008 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon was also auctioned to the members for less than P500.00. There were other items which were auctioned where all the members were interested.

After the auction, I realized that the night was getting late and I asked the officers, members of the Club, Kim and Patrick for me to go ahead of them as I knew they still had some activities to do as part of their Christmas Party.

As I left the place of the party, I got an idea of taking the initiative of “reaching out” to the different running groups and clubs to impart the advocacy of the Bald Runner and also encourage communities to form/organize their respective running clubs or groups.

The year 2009 will be a busy year for the Bald Runner!

Long live and three cheers for the Fort Striders Club, Inc…hep..hep..hurray (3X)!!!

Another 39 Seconds Improvement

UP ICTUS Centennial 10K Run @ UP Diliman–14 December 2008

I did not run last Thursday and Friday because of the rains and Friday afternoon was supposed to be my scheduled running workout with the Team Bald Runner’s “speed” session but I had to attend to a Christmas Party of the Fort Striders Club, Inc as their Guest of Honor and Speaker. I will post a separate story about this party with a well-established running club in Metro Manila. The rainy situation of Thursday gave me the chance to go back to the gym for the second time this week and another gym workout last Saturday early evening. My gym workout this week was my way of coming back to strengthen my core and upper chest muscles after almost three months of not going to the gym.

Without any running workouts for the past 3 days, I felt I was sluggish since last night after my gym workout. I woke up at 4:15 AM and did my pre-race preparations before proceeding to the UP Campus in Diliman, Quezon City for the UP ICTUS Centennial 10K Run. I arrived at the Assembly Area at 5:20 AM where my staff, Captain Espejo, handed my race bib. After a brief warm-up run and stretching, I could hardly perspire (maybe, because of the cold weather) but it took me two times to pee before I entered the starting area. Before the race started, I saw some of the student-runners of Team Bald Runner’s “speed” training and I knew this road race was their “evaluation” run for them to find out if their training is really working.

Maintaining his good reputation of starting his races promptly on the scheduled time for the race to start, Coach Rio fired the starting gun at exacly 6:00 AM for the 10K run. As compared to last week’s 25th RUNNEX 10K run, I started my run slowly making sure not to pass over or slower than my 100% effort (4:51 mins/km pace) and be able to have a “negative” split time for this race.

After running for the first 100 meters and trailing about 20 runners infront of me, the road marshall stationed infront of the Oblation directed us towards the Entrance Gate of the Campus while the rest of the runners ahead of us just continued to follow the road towards Roxas Road, missing the distance of about 200 meters! This incident slowed me down but I kept on my relaxed pace although I was already cursing in my mind why Coach Rio would change the route on the race day which was totally different from the race route published on a paper enclosed with the race packet and the same race route published in his website. Sometimes, it derails the strategy of a runner if a sudden change in the route is implemented few hours before the start of the race. However, this was a minor problem as I kept my pace faster than my 100% effort.


My pictures were all “blurred” because I was too fast for the automatic shutter speed of my digital camera!


I hope PhotoVendo has better pictures of me running this race.

Except for the jeepneys and other vehicles passing along Quirino Road and along the road in-between Palma Hall & College of Education and lots of joggers and slow “walkers” along the Academic Oval Road that slowed down most of the runners, the race was orderly, well-managed, and filled with the required water stations along the race route. Going around the 5K-loop for the second time was never a problem as I could see the students in our “speed” sessions were gaining distance on me and I was happy that they were running faster this time!

As I passed the finish line, I pressed the Stop button of my GF 305 and it registered a time of 48:28 minutes but the distance registered 10.39 kilometers. It is almost one lap of the Oval Track extra distance for the 10K race. Last week’s 10K race had an extra distance of about 240 meters with a finish time of 48:32 minutes with an average pace of 4:44 mins/km. For today’s race, my average pace is 4:39 mins/km. From my computation, I could have finished today’s 10K in 46:45 mins which is an improvement of 39 seconds from my adjusted time in last week’s 25th RUNNEX 10K Run.


A surprise PR finish time of Jonel aka Bugobugo85 for this race! The “speed” sessions really work and produce postive results.

I was surprised to hear the voice of Jonel aka Bugobugo85 on my back as I tried to mingle with the other finishers barely few seconds after passing the finish line. He said that his “speed” program is really working and he personally thanked Captain Ferdie Espejo for his “quantum leap” of improving his finish time for the 10K race. Congratulations, Jonel!


Philip aka Foreign Runner, BR & Capt Ferdie Espejo during the awarding of the “1,000-Km Club” Finisher’s T-Shirt

Philip aka The Foreign Runner, another student of the “speed” session, improved again his finish time and won the Championship Overall Category for the 10K Race. I also awarded him his much-delayed and well-deserved “1,000-Km Club” Finisher’s T-shirt.

I went home happy because of my improvement but I could had been happier if there had been awards for the Age Category which I was hoping to get another podium finish. Well, there are more road races to come!


Hardcore Group/Team Bald Runner Members


Bald Runner with Dingdong “Sergio” Dantes after the 10K Run

Philippine Sports Stakeholders Conference

Due to my daily running workouts at the ULTRA Oval Track, I was informed that an important conference about Philippine Sports was scheduled to be conducted within the middle of this week. After my confirmation that the said conference was open to the public, I decided to attend this one as an observer even if I will be missing my daily running workout.

The conference was some sort of a public seminar/lecture to all the stakeholders of Philippine Sports—School’s Physical Education Teachers, School’s Sports Coaches, Heads and members of the different National Sports Federations, Athletes, National Coaches, Sports Administrators in the Local Government Units from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, Members of the Media, Sports Volunteers, Sports Instructors, PNP, AFP, and the Public. The seminar/conference was held at the ULTRA Sports Arena for the whole day last 10 December 2008.


The conference started with an opening program where the Guest of Honor and Speaker was Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan II, the Chairman on the Senate’s Sub-Committee on Sports Competitiveness. In his speech, he stressed that the main problems in Philippine Sports are: the lack of sports infrastructure and the lack of financial support. To drive his point, he made comparison of the cost of one daily breakfast-food for an Olympic Champion Michael Phelps to the prevailing financial support to a Filipino athlete. It seems that Phelps’ breakfast for two days is equivalent to one month allowance for a Filipino athlete. He stressed also that there should be a long-term program for sports and its development on the “grassroot” level which needs the overall collaboration of every citizen and institutions of the government and the private sector. 

During the Plenary Session, the following speakers presented their respective lecture:

Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez of the Philippine Sports Commission—“Lessons Learned From PSC: Successes and Failures

Mr Manuel Pangilinan, Chairman of PLDT—“Sports Development and Private Individual Patnership: A Model For Success”

Hon. Ronaldo Puno, Secretary of the Department of Interior & Local Government—“Building A Sporting Nation Through Sports For All”

Hon. Jesli Lapuz, Secretary of the Department of Education—“Investing In The Future of Sports Through Grassroots Development”

Chairman Emmanuel Angeles of the Commission On Higher Education—“Professional Preparation In Pursuit of Excellence In Sport”

Hon. Jose Cojuangco, Jr, President of the Philippine Olympic Committee—“Working Towards The Olympic Dream: call For Partnership”


PSC Chairman Butch Ramirez and his 3 Commissioners with Capt Espejo & BR

The Plenary Session ended with the signing of: Sports Commitment Of Unity and Support for the Philippine Sports Insitute.

The participants were invited to the Philippine Sports Institute for the Blessing and Inauguration of the Philippine Sports Intsitute’s Facilities with Mr Manny Pangilinan as the Guest of Honor.

Personally, I’ve enjoyed listening to these speakers’ lectures and insights on Philippine Sports in order to find out what is really the prevailing situation and future plans in our quest for excellence in sports. This activity/event was an opportunity for me to meet old friends in the sports world and also to be able to “network” with other sports practitioners and supporters.

I would say, there is “hope” for us to excel in sports and bring us towards that elusive first Gold Medal in the Olympic Games if only we “cooperate and support” each other.

“It Seems I am Running Slower”

I am on my third week of my “speed” training with the Team Bald Runner and it seems that I feel that I am running slower but after uploading the data from my GF 305, I am surprised that I am getting faster every time I have my running workout!

I have received some comments from the readers of this blog that what I am writing are very “technical” in nature. Well, for a runner to improve his finish time, he or she has to be aware of his time down to the last seconds and also on the precision of distances being run during training as well as in road races. Running is a very technical sport and that is the reason why we compare ourselves with other runners through our finish times within a certain road race distance. The finish time is the “bottomline” in road racing. It is not how much pain you feel during and after the race; it is not the amount of water, bottles of sports drinks and packets of GUs and sports bars you consumed; it is not the number of pounds or kilos you shed off from your weight after running a race; it is not about your running kit and shoes; it is not how many runners you passed by/overtaken during the race or vice-versa; it is not who and how many runner-bloggers you saw before, during, and after the race; it is not about your injuries; it is not about knowing other runners during races; it is not about meeting your running friends;  it is not the number of miles/kilometers you run to prepare a road race, and lastly, it is not about those food you ate along the way and those “breakfast” after the race. Remember, a competitive runner is being  judged and evaluated by his finish time in a certain road race distance. 

After last Sunday’s 25th RUNNEX Executive Classic 10K Run at the UP Campus, I had my “active recovery” run at the ULTRA Oval Track last Monday morning for 30 minutes with 70% effort where I should be running a pace of at least 6:56 mins/km, almost 7:00 mins/km pace. Instead, I was running comfortably within my 80%-85% effort (5:42 mins/km) and I thought I was running slow!

On Tuesday morning, I arrived very early at the ULTRA for my easy endurance run but I was warned by the Security Guards that the Oval Track was closed for the whole morning because of an official activity in the area. I guess, the President was scheduled to speak to a group of government officials on Anti-Corruption. From the ULTRA Oval Track, I had to go to the Bonifacio High Street/The Fort for my workout. From the BHS loop, I went running along the streets of Global City until I reached McKinley Hill up to the C-5 Highway entrance and went around the roads of the said area before going back to the BHS. I was able to cover a distance of 12 kilometers. I thought I would have an average pace of 6:30 mins/km for the said run considering the terrain of Global City and McKinley Hill. But I was surprised to see the data from my GF 305 that I ran an average pace of 5:54 mins/km which is within my 80-85% effort.

On Tuesday evening during our “speed” session at the ULTRA, my “speed-group” was directd by Coach Ferdie Espejo to run a “pyramid” interval run consisting of running 3K-2K-1K-2K-3K, with a recovery jog/walk of 1 -1:30 minutes in between distances. We were asked to run within our 80-85% effort. The result was that our group had an average pace within our 90% effort and higher for the whole “pyramid” workout and we were still smiling after the workout!

Last Wednesday evening during our “speed” session again at the ULTRA, my “speed-group” was directed to run 5 X 400 meters within our 100% effort with 1:30 minutes as recovery jog/walk but it turned out to be enough time for us for our “water breaks” and brief runs to the CR. The average pace of our group was faster than our pegged “speed limit” and went beyond and faster than our 110% effort. We were running an average time of 1:40 minutes  per lap! After finishing such interval run and resting for 5 minutes, we had to do another 30-minute run within our 80-85% effort but we finished with an average effort of 90-95%.

I really appreciate what the coaches of Team Bald Runner are doing to the participants of this “speed” training. The coaches are exposing us to our lactate threshold through our interval runs and at the same time improving our endurance capability with those endurance runs with our 80-85% effort. As a result, all of us are improving in our finish times and our bodies are slowly adapting to our endurance limits in every speed session. I told Coach Ferdie Espejo about my “feeling” of running slower but such feeling is contrary to what the numbers say—a faster time results on my GF 305. He was laughing as he asked me and my “speed-group” to have another “diagnostic test” by next week.

My classmates at the “speed” sessions are just silent but they are smiling and happy from the results they are getting from their speed workouts. I know from their smiling faces and remarks that running, afterall, is fun!

Yes, running as a competitive sports is very technical…and it is fun!

Update: Donate A Shoe (Dec ’08)

A British National visiting the country for the 3rd time and a runner, Ian Hardie Darlington, donated one (1) NIKE Air running shoes last Sunday before the 25th RUNNEX Executive Classic 10K run started in UP Diliman Campus.


Mr Dalington with Coach Ferdie Espejo, Jr & BR at the UP Campus

Cathy Bacosa, one of the runners of Team Bald Runner’s “Speed” Training at the ULTRA Oval Track, donated one (1) pair of ADIDAS running shoes last Friday after her oval track workout.


Cathy donating her shoes after her speed workout at the ULTRA Oval Track.

Ting Pascua aka Running Ma, a regular runner at the ULTRA Oval Track, donated one (1) pair of ADIDAS running shoes and 10 pieces of Finisher’s T-shirts and singlets last Monday morning.


Ting aka Running Ma had to take a break during her regular morning workout at the ULTRA Oval Track to donate her shoes and Finisher’s t-shirts & singlets.

Amado Castro, Jr of Reinier Pacific, a runner and race walker, donated (again!) three (3) pairs of NIKE shoes; one (1) MERRELL shoes; one (1) MIZUNO running shoes; and one (1) NEW BALANCE shoes. The shoes were given last Monday afternoon.


In a span of two weeks, Amado Castro Jr of Reinier Pacific had already donated six (6) pairs of running shoes

As of this date, the Project Donate A Shoe was able to receive a total of one hundred one (101) pairs of running shoes from runner-donors and was able to give a total of ninety-two (92) pairs of these donated shoes to those runners with “old” running shoes. Nine (9) shoes will be available for distribution during the incoming weekend road races.

To the donors, thanks for your support!

Marathon Finish Time Challenge

Is there anybody from the Pinoy Runners who ran the Singapore Marathon who was able to beat my MILO National Finals finish time of 3:48:32 hours? Please leave a comment and your Team Bald Runner T-Shirt and 2009 Wall Calendar will be given to you.

Open For Membership #2

After I have opened the membership of Team Bald Runner to everybody, I received positive feedback and application for membership from runners in the team’s blogsite at My staff was able to make a list of the applicants and their respective e-mail address.

As I met and talked to some members of the Hardcore Group and friends for the past days, I got good comments and possibilities for new “ideas” and “services to offer” by Team Bald Runner.

As response to such feedbacks, I have added “Pages” to the site and for us to answer some of the concerns of the applicants. Please find time to check them and leave your comment/s.

A Walk To The Podium (Again!)

Race Report: 25th RUNNEX Executive Classic 10K Run @ UP Campus

This famous race among professionals and executives was my second race last year after resuming my running career after years of not joining road races and running long distances. It was my first time then to run inside the UP Campus and I planned to improve my time from the 2007 Animo Run held at Mall of Asia with a time of 55+ minutes for the 10K race. In last year’s RUNNEX Executive 10K Run, my Casio Watch registered a time of 52:07 minutes and placed No. 22 overall. I did not win any award or raffle gift after the race.

Last month, I requested my staff to register me for this year’s 25th RUNNEX Executive 10K Run with the thought of improving my last year’s finish time for the 10K distance and at least, have a chance to be called to the stage for the podium honors. After those “progression” runs and speed runs at the ULTRA Oval Track, I know I could attain my objectives for this race. I wanted also to surpass my 100% effort (as a result of my speed’s “diagnostic” test run) which is translated to 4:51 mins/km pace in this road race.


With Amado aka reineir6666, the Race Walker who is slated to compete in a 12-Hour Race Walking Event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia this coming 13-14 December 2008. His training included daily 2-hour intense race walking at the ULTRA Oval Track and weekend road races in Metro Manila. Good luck, Amado! 

I arrived at the UP Campus at 5:35AM and I started to have my warm-up and stretching. A group of runners from the Fairview Running Club called my attention and requested some photo-ops with me while I was having my warm-up. It was nice to see these runners who had been serious in their training and always present in almost all the races in and outside Metro Manila. I also had a chance to meet, chat, and have some photo-ops with Amado, the Race Walker; Annalene aka The Meek Runner and her husband. After some announcements and information about the UP Campus and about the route of the race, the National Anthem was played and we were warned that the race would start in 5 minutes.


At the Start Area, I was beside Totoy Santos who was one of the top 10 finishers of the 10K race.

As scheduled, the 10K race started at 6:30AM and the other lesser distance runs started later after few minutes. As soon as the gun went off, I immediately took my running space and started to maintain my 100% effort pace only to find out that my GF 305 was registering a faster pace. My pace became faster at 4:28 mins/km on the 2nd kilometer and I felt comfortable. Runners who overtook me on the 1st kilometer slowed down and I just maintained my pace with the thought of not slowing down less than my 100% effort speed. My 100% effort is pegged at 4:51 mins/km and I don’t want to be slower than this pace during the race.


I was about to finish the 1st 5-K loop at this point with a pace of 4:29 mins/km

As the race progresses and the 10K runners would run twice in a 5K-loop, my GF 305 registered a time of 23:00+ after the 1st loop and I was confident that I could improve my 10K finish time and maintain a pace faster than my 100% effort. Two runners from the 34-44 yrs old age category passed me before the Km-6 mark and I tried to keep pace with them up to the finish.


This picture was blurred as my pace was faster than the shutter of the camera!

A day before the race, I went to the UP Campus to run one loop of the race and I was surprised to see my GF 305 registered a distance of 5.12 kms and from there I expected that the distance of 10K race would be longer. True enough, I finished the race in 48:27 minutes for the distance of  10.24 kms (GF 305 data) and placed No. 15 overall. However, after deducting my time in running the excess of 240 meters, I could have finished with a time of 47:19 minutes! Comparing from my last year’s results—finish time of 52:07 and placing No. 22 overall—this road race resulted to a faster time, shaving my time by 3:40 minutes and placing among the top 20 overall finisher.

Looking at the data registered by my GF 305, I finished the race with an average pace of 4:44 mins/km which had surpassed my 100% speed effort of 4:51 mins/km and minimum/maximum Heart Rate of 158/170 bpm. I think Coach Ferdie should give me another “diagnostic speed test” for a new finish time goal. 


A pose at the stage/podium as Champion in my age category with Mr Disini, the President of the RUNNEX Club

To top it all, I won as the Champion (again!) in my age category and earned another walk to the stage for the podium honors and a Champion’s Medal.

To Pinoy Runners In Singapore: Recovery Begins After Crossing The Finish Line

I am sure you will be doing some of these predictable actions once you cross the finish line of your marathon race:

Crying. You will be crying because of the pain and soreness of your legs; you are crying because that is how you express happiness for finishing the marathon after months of training and your tears are the “tears of joy”; or you are crying because you could have done the race at a faster time; or you are crying because you survived and finished the race.

Drinking anything, from water to sports drinks to beer!

Eating anything you can see after the finish line.

Laughing or Smiling for the Cameras (courtesy of Marathon Photos)

Lying down and taking a nap as if you want to be brought to the hospital immediately

Promise to yourself never run again a marathon distance

Throwing Up

Removing your wet shoes and socks to find out if you have blisters

Exchange stories to your running mates while your sweat is dripping

Text your friends and relatives in the Philippines

Look for running mates and friends for photo-ops with the Finish Line as the background

Go back to the Hotel Room to Post Your Race Report in Your Blog

Go back to your hotel room, take a shower and sleep

Meet with running mates and friends in a restaurant and eat as if it is your last meal.

To have a faster and better recovery, the following are the recommended things to do after crossing the Finish Line:

1) Walk as soon as you cross the Finish Line. Get your medal and/or certificate of finish; grab some bottled water and sports drinks and GU sports gel.

2) Rehydrate immediately by drinking as much water and sports drinks as you can. Your gauge or indicator of how much would you drink is approximately the loss of body weight after the race. If the color of your urine is yellowish, it means you need more water. Continue rehydrating until such time that your urine is almost colorless. Continue moving or walking while rehydrating.

3) Refuel immediately by eating food rich in carbohydrate like bagel, bread, fresh fruits, chocolates, bananas, pretzels, and other foods available after the finish line. You can take also some GU sports gel for your muscle recovery. Continue moving or walking while refueling or eating. Such walking should last from 15-20 minutes.

4) Change your wet running kit to warm clothes to prevent your wet attire from drying with your body.

5) Remove your shoes and socks and check for blisters and toenails. Have your blisters or any foot injury treated immediately by medical personnel at the finish area. Use a more comfortable sandals to relieve your feet from your running shoes. Still keep on moving and walking.

6) Do some stretching to loosen your leg muscles and body. If there is free massage at the finish line area, take advantage of this offer in order to loosen some more of your tired muscles. After stretching and massage, look for your friends and hang around with them and celebrate. You can now txt or call your friends while stretching or talking to your friends. If you plan to meet with your running mates and friends in one of the restaurants to have more refueling and rehydrating, you can do it immediately after your stretching and/or massage

7) Once you reach your hotel room or home, force yourself to have a shower. Experience-wise, a cold shower or bath would be better than a hot shower. Studies show that a cold shower will prevent/control “bleeding caused by micro-tears” in our muscles after heavy workouts/strenuous activities  like running a marathon distance. After a cold shower, wrap your body with the hotel’s bathrobe or wear something that is made of cotton.

8) Elevate your legs if you decide to take a nap or sleep after your shower. While blogging (if you are using your laptop or notebook or blackberry), you can still elevate your legs.

9) After 4-6 hours of sleep or rest, you can do a “shake-out run/shake-out walk” which is a short run/walk that you take the afternoon or evening after a morning race. Run or walk anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes and no more than that.

10) Continue refueling and rehydrating during your dinner. Sleep at least 8 hours on the night after the marathon race. If you have a hard time getting to sleep, get the services of a professional masseur.

11) On the following day after the marathon, jog at least 30 minutes for your “active recovery”. This will accelerate the time of recovery for your tired leg muscles.

12) If you are presently undergoing the “speed training” of Team Bald Runner at the ULTRA Oval Track, report to your coaches for next Tuesday’s speed workout.

Note: If you decide to run your next marathon race in the future and want to improve your finish time, please visit and register your name, age, and e-mail address in the comments section to become a member of Team Bald Runner and our coaches will provide you with your next marathon training program.

My Stories About Singapore

Singapore: The Most Honest & Disciplined Country In The World

Sometime in November 1999, Ernie B, Jun, E and I had a chance to visit Brunei and Singapore on official capacity. We were part of an Official Delegation of the Philippine Army to attend the ASEAN Armies Rifle Meet in Brunei. On our way back to Manila, we dropped by Singapore for two days on the invitation of one of our classmates who was then the Defense Attache of the Philippines to Singapore.

On our second day, our host invited us to play a round of golf at the Sembawang Golf Course which is a military golf course run by the Singapore Air Force. The golf course is very accessible from the city and main thoroughfares. We were in one golf flight and started playing after lunch. I can still recall that the golf course was clean and well-maintained. After playing five holes, the siren or horn sounded off at the golf course which served as warning that plays should be stopped due to thunderstorm and lightning. It started to rain and we had to go immediately to the clubhouse.

At that time, we were using golf carts and we did not had any caddies. We had to carry our selected clubs in approaching the putting green. On the last hole that we played before the rain and thunsderstorm, I carried my putter and my pitching wedge towards the green. I just finished putting my ball to the hole when the horn/siren sounded. I immediately ran towards the golf cart as the rainfall became stronger. We proceeded to the Clubhouse to wait for the rain to stop.

For almost one hour, the rains and lightning did not stop and we just waited and spent time at the clubhouse resting and talking with one another over a glass of beer. We finally decided not to pursue with our game and went back to our hotel. On the following day, we were on our way back to Manila.

After a few days in Manila, I played a round of golf with Ernie E and to my surprise my pitching wedge was missing from my golf bag. I immediately tried to recall the last time I used my golf set and it came to my mind that I left my pitching wedge at the fifth hole at Sembawang Golf Course in Singapore.

With the hope of recovering my Hirohomna Pitching Wege from Singapore, I called my classmate in Singapore telling him that I left my pitching wedge at the golf course where we played when we were there. After a day, he gave me a positive feedback that he was able to recover my “lost” pitching wedge.

I finally got back my pitching wedge when the Commanding General of the Phlippine Army and his Party visited Singapore in an official visit three months after I played golf in Singapore. The Aide-de-Camp of the Commanding General hand-carried my pitching wedge during the plane flight from Singapore to Manila.

This is an experience to prove that the Singaporean are the most honest people in the world. I was very thankful to my classmate who was then the Defense Attache in Singapore. Military officers who were assigned and took their military “schooling” in Singapore would attest to the honesty and discipline of the Singaporeans. How I wish Filipinos are as disciplined and honest as the Singaporeans.

My Insights About Running In Singapore 

The population of Singapore is approximately 5 Million (to be exact 4.85 Million) which is almost the same population of Metro Manila but let us leave such comparison up to that point.

Are you wondering why the 2008 Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon  has a record-breaking  48,000 runners to include the lesser distance routes as compared to the Philippines Marathon Races (like Pasig River Heritage & Milo Marathon Elimination Race) which each race can only muster a maximum of 5,000 runners for the marathon? Talking about population, the Philippines has a population of almost 85 Million while Singapore has a population as big as Metro Manila of about 5 Million. How come that the Philippines’ biggest marathon event could only muster a maximum of 5,000 runners to include foreign runners?

The safest answer to this question is because we are a poor country and Manila’s majority population belongs to the poor and these people could not afford to buy running shoes and other running needs. But then again, if you think of Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia and other African countries, Manila and Philippine economy and living conditions are far better off than these countries. And these African countries have better runners and most of them had garnered numerous Gold Medals in the Olympics.

So, what seems to be the problem why we could not entice the populace to run? It seems that the MILO running program, the government’s program “Sports For All”, and other Physical Fitness Programs of the Government and Corporate world are not enough to increase the number of runners?

Please leave your comment/s  or idea why Singapore could muster a bigger crowd of runners than the Philippines in a single marathon race?

My Last Trip To Singapore

On my official visit to Indonesia in 2004, Singapore’s Changi Airport was our “jumped-off” point after coming from Manila bound to Jakarta. It was a short wait at the airport for our flight to Jakarta. However, on our way back to Manila after coming from Jakarta, our party had an 8-hour waiting time for our connecting flight back to Manila.

It was a time to visit and shop at Orchard Road. I bought DVDs and CDs not available in Manila in the biggest video/audio store I’ve ever seen and books about military history and books written by former Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew in one of the biggest bookstores in Singapore.

We ate lunch in one of the Chinese Restaurants along the Orchard Road and bought some Ashworth Golf shirts in one of the department stores.

Singapore is clean and orderly. Smoking in public is strictly prohibited. Vehicular traffic is no problem and and everybody is following the traffic rules and signs. Their main streets have wide sidewalks where you could not find any vendors.

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