Why I Run: A Short, Possibly Pretentious and Creative, Narrative

My babies.

My babies.

It is safe to presume that every single individual that exists on this planet suffers from a plethora of psychological disorders, varying in degrees of severity. Due to their prevalence, I would almost refer to them as psychological characteristics. Or you know, what makes you you. Some people become depressed for macroscopic issues in which they are not personally involved; others wander off and forget from where they originally started (socially endeared as wanderlust, perhaps?). Some people just exhibit several personas with the use of one body (something I could personally attribute as a talent if I knew it wasn’t an actual health liability). I am a chronic runner. Not professional, not athletically trained, not an aspiring Olympian runner, maybe not even hardcore (if we dismiss relativity). Chronic, obsessive, dedicated, foolishly ardent.

Psychological disorders are commonly treated with words or narcotics. Call me self-indulgent, but I enjoy gratifying the itches of my need to run. My disorder doubles as my only cure. I find excuses to run, including the absence of an excuse. Whether it’s three slices of cake or beautiful weather, or new shoes, or a new route, or someone making me angry, if I dropped my food that afternoon, if it’s raining, if I rocked an exam, or my workout didn’t make me tired enough. Maybe I can’t sleep or I feel like crying. I run until it hurts, I run even if I’m not fully healed from injuries – past blog posts will attest to this with shameless veracity. I run because I want to be faster than others, I run because it’s the only thing that will preserve whatever levels of sanity I may have left. I run on days my ego has been pitifully debilitated. Maybe it keeps me from yelling at people who drive me crazy. Maybe. They all mean the same thing to me: I get to run.

There is a pounding against my feet that instantly replaces the pounding of headaches, both physical and emotional. Either the melodious rhythms of The Strokes vibrating into my ears, or the noise of cars on the road, or the innate buzzing of crickets and leaves rustling, quiets all other disorienting cacophonies in my mind. It becomes mentally and physically impossible to dwell on anything else once I enter some sort of physical nirvana-like state: my body comes into full awareness of engaging in challenging, constant motion that requires the fully concentrated cooperation of my mind, my lungs, my chest, my legs, my core. Suddenly I forget that I’m running. It is a therapeutic, and to an extent, painfully self-inflicted paralysis. I feel like I’m always my best when I’m running, because it is when I am constantly pushing my limits. Perhaps sometimes past the limits of sanity or safety. My disorder doubles as my only cure. Some people call me crazy. I think it’s the only thing that disqualifies me from being so.

WOTD: Full Body Circuit

Repeat this circuit three times as fast as possible with proper form. You will need a skiprope and light dumbbells (I used a pair of 4lbs).

  • 60s skiprope
  • 30 tricep leg lift pushups: get into a starting tricep pushup position. lift one leg off the floor. lower down into a pushup. as you lift your body back up, switch legs. repeat.
  • 60s mountain climbers
  • 30 dumbbell cross/jab sit-ups: lie with back flat on the mat, abs contracted, holding a dumbbell in each hand with palms facing in. as you get into a sit up, shoulder blades off the floor and feet grounded, cross your right arm powerfully across your torso then with your left as if doing a 1-2 cross-jab. sit back down. that’s one rep.
  • 60s high knees
  • 30 sumo squat to calf raise with shoulder press: start in a sumo squat position with legs wide, toes pointed slightly outwards and a dumbbell in each hand. elbows bent so that dumbbells are touching shoulders. lower into a deep squat. push off your heels, squeeze your glutes and raise your calves, simultaneously performing a shoulder press. that’s one rep.

WOTN + My New Crush

This is gonna be a short post with two elements: the workout I just finished and this new place that opened up in Katipunan I am absolutely obsessed with.

I’m still off running due to peroneal tendonitis so I’m trying to put more emphasis on leg strengthening with my HIIT workouts along with Pilates. I never thought I’d say this, but thank you to whoever invented burpees. They have made cardio feasible when I can’t run. And mountain climbers.

The workout is split into two parts – a ten minute HIIT cardio circuit and an AMRAP strength training circuit.

10 minute HIIT cardio: NO REST IN BETWEEN. 30s/30s x 10 rounds for a total of 10 minutes.

  • 30s burpees
  • 30s mountain climbers

AMRAP Challenge: Do as many rounds of this circuit with proper form within 15 minutes. I completed 3. I used a pair of 8lb dumbbells.

  • 10 single leg deadlift with reverse flyes, each leg
  • 15 elevated cross leg push-ups (Get into push-up position with feet perched on an elevated surface. Bring your right leg across your body as you lower into a push-up. Push up as you return your right leg to starting position and repeat on the other side with the left leg)
  • 20 alternating dragon lunges with bicep curls (Alternating backward lunges with bicep curls, but with the back leg lunging out to the side instead of directly behind)
  • 25 bridge lift to star crunch

I’ll come back with a proper gush post on my newest obsession:

Sweet Caroline salad: Romaine, sundried tomatoes, candied walnuts, parmesan cheese with honey balsamic dressing.

Sweet Caroline salad: Romaine, sundried tomatoes, candied walnuts, parmesan cheese with honey balsamic dressing.

Go Salads in Katipunan. I don’t know where to begin with my ardent affection for this wonderful little haven.

We Had A Bad Run

The worst part about running is, well, a bad run.

A bad run can be from anything to lousy pace, bad breathing, untimely stitches, hurting limbs, being unreasonably stiff, etc. I don’t know what happened yesterday but even after logging in a solid 8 hours of sleep and having a clean dinner (salad) to fuel for the morning, I had the lousiest run I’ve had in the past 5 weeks. Instead of doing my 8.4km I ended up at 4.5. I couldn’t find my pace – I was either too slow or too fast – and everything was hurting. And too early. My runner’s knee, my left shin, my hips were stiff. And yes, I did warm up. So I decided to kill the run early and did a short ab workout afterwards, instead.

SPLITS

KILOMETER TIME CHANGE AVG PACE
1
6:52 6’52″/km
2
13:29 - 0:16 (3%) 6’36″/km
3
*Fastest
20:02 - 0:02 (0%) 6’33″/km
4
26:47 + 0:11 (-3%) 6’44″/km

I want to punch someone.

My only consolation was having breakfast with my two favorite people afterwards, which may or may not have involved waffles and book shopping. Again. All I ever spend my money on these days are food and books. I’m not sure if that’s something to complain about or to rejoice over?

B gave me one of my, hands down, favorite gifts up to date. It is unbelievable that in this lifetime God can give me at least one person who knows me so well..

So perf omg I can’t even

I am drinking coffee from it now as I type. My morning allergies, which are congesting my nose, could almost emulate Darth’s heavy, ventilated breathing. Almost.

Btw here’s Thursday’s workout – I was pressed for time so I did a short one, but kick up the intensity with proper form and you’ll be in pain. As usual. :)

3 rounds (I used 8lb weights):

  • 30s mountain climbers
  • 10 lunge press to flyback
  • 20 crab curl to press
  • 30s side v-ups with leg kicks (left)
  • 30s side v-ups with leg kicks (right)
  • 30s forward and backward bounds
  • END OF LAST ROUND: 30 second plank

And if anybody’s interested in my staple salad, it’s an elementary rendition of a mango kani salad. My favorite so far is from PeanutButter Company (strange, right?) because it comes with crabsticks and wonton noodles.

Ingredients:

  • Romaine lettuce
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Ripe mango
  • Clara Ole Sesame Mucho salad dressing (no hydrogenated oils, suspicious syrups, etc., and tates pretty phenomenal for its price – BUY LOCAL!)
  • Canned tuna or bangus (I use Century Tuna in calamansi or Light, and sprinkle it with lime; or I use the Bangus Gourmet TInapa or Spanish Style)

So. Good.

Plank Workout

5 minutes skip rope
30s plank/30s specified exercise x 8 rounds for a total of 8 minutes

  • Side plank jack knife, left
  • Side plank jack knife, right
  • Reptile push-ups
  • Plank to downward dog
  • V sit-ups
  • Side plank rotation, left
  • Side plank rotation, right
  • Mountain climbers

Things I did today:

Hid from humanity in the safe confines of a comforter.

Left the indoors to stay indoors in another place. 1/2 a white chocolate pb sandwich with orange slices, sans cream cheese. And coffee.

I am obsessed with PeanutButter Company. If only I could have my own place on a remote island near the Mediterranean sea.

.. if nobody else existed and I were queen of the world, maybe.

Read/studied: The War of the Worlds + What Einstein Told His Cook (Kitchen Science)

One small piece of dark mint chocolate and a small banana for dessert.

I’m starting to really get stressed about my whole transferring/going back to school this semester. The university is giving me a hard time since they won’t even accept my application for evaluation until I get a transcript with a grade for a summer class I took for college credit. And that school is giving me a tough time to access those records, too.

For the past week I have been feeling incredibly homesick for Purdue, missing everything and everyone about it, including the crowded loneliness. I miss the snow, Greyhouse, long hours in red brick libraries, long hallways, always having just $20 in my wallet, rain boots, peacoats, jeans and sweatshirt outfits, Windsor’s falafels, the basketball games, the smell of fall inside our old tiny apartment. I just want to go back to school.

Tomorrow Dad is taking me up to Los Banos to see the UP campus there and hopefully send in an application, too. Let’s hope I wake up early enough to squeeze in my 8.4km tomorrow, but let’s just see how far I can go in about 45 minutes. Let’s make this my first time challenge since I started training for distance. ;)

Counting Blessings: Faith in Humanity Restored

I slept in my running clothes last night so I could spare an extra 10 or 11 minutes to warm up for my 8.4km run yesterday morning. It was another 10% increase from last week and I didn’t want to take any risks.

I finished in 53’27″ with a pace of 6’21″/km. I’m incredibly happy it was well below an hour, but I’m disappointed I don’t seem to be running at a faster pace. That’s almost a 10 minute mile and I want to be able to maintain at least a 9. I’m exactly a mile away from doing my goal of 10km. I thought about pushing it but going too ahead of myself has never done me any good. I speak from experience on all aspects of life.. har har. I’ve set a new goal to run 75km within the next 3 weeks.

SPLITS

KILOMETER TIME CHANGE AVG PACE
1
7:10 7’10″/km
2
13:29 - 0:50 (11%) 6’19″/km
3
19:48 - 0:00 (0%) 6’19″/km
4
*Fastest
25:55 - 0:12 (3%) 6’06″/km
5
32:15 + 0:13 (-4%) 6’19″/km
6
38:33 - 0:01 (0%) 6’18″/km
7
44:54 + 0:02 (-1%) 6’21″/km
8
51:06 - 0:09 (2%) 6’11″/km

Post-run breakfast: Whole grain blueberry cereal, sliced banana topped with mango yogurt.

I love you, carbs. I’ve noticed my pattern. I seem to only post pictures of my breakfasts. Maybe because I’m subconsciously aware they may be the only meals that have an aesthetically pleasing presentation. I swear I eat other meals, though. Including chocolate.

Dad treated me to dessert at Xocolat after dinner because I was ready to punch someone.

Thank you Lord for putting people in my life who know exactly how to pacify me. And thank you Lord, for cacao.

Blessings I experienced in about two hours of being awake:

  • My change fell all over the grass while I was stretching after my run, and I couldn’t find one of the coins, making me short one peso. So I was screwed with no way home and I was in a hurry to dress up so I could make it to the university registrar on time to submit my papers. I asked the guy on the bench if he had an extra peso for my jeep fare. He fished around his backpack for a minute or two and had none, but he handed me a 20 peso bill. I tried to give him my own change but he dismissed it. My. Goodness. The generosity.
  • Because of my 20, I had enough change to take a tricycle home so I didn’t have to walk anymore. When I got off the jeep to find a tricycle, turns out our old driver (formerly a tricycle driver as well) was there. He gave me a ride home for free.

And throughout the rest of the day:

  • I got lost on the UP Ikot and had to ride it twice all the way around campus, and the driver was nice enough to drop me off there the second time we passed by where I needed to go.
  • NO LONG LINES.
  • Psalm 121.
  • A dad who knows that only two things will pacify me when I hate the rest of the world: shopping and dark chocolate anything.
  • The book I’ve ordered from Fully Booked for over a week and a half finally arrived at the store yesterday and I was able to take it home. I saved about 500 bucks ordering the paperback version.

Faith in humanity restored, faith in the Lord augmented.

Oasis

Logged another 7.7km run early yesterday morning and shaved a solid 80 seconds off! I still consider my pace a little slow, but I just need to focus on getting to 10km first and then I can start training for speed. :)

khkuh kjgjg

It was the best run this week since I felt a steady push towards the later half of the run, and   I went much faster during the last half. This is probably the run with the best splits I’ve had since I’ve started and I’m so happy! UP Diliman has a pulchritude that is too inadequately appreciated during early mornings. It has a loveliness that isn’t displayed in any other hour of any day except at early dawn. After my run I walked back home, which was probably around 3km? Now if only I had run that I would already be at my 10k goal. :p

And I had the absolute biggest craving for something citrusy after my run, pineapple in particular, but I didn’t have any. So. Breakfast.

Sliced banana, mandarin orange and natural coffee flavored peanut butter on whole wheat.

A good girlfriend decided to lavish me with a treat to a lazy poolside afternoon at Shang, and we literally did laze around there til 3pm and we didn’t leave until 9. The pool was beautiful, and the view, and my first time in both a sauna and a steam room were unbelievably memorable. I didn’t last long in the sauna, but the steam room was much more bearable and edifying.

My girl leaves for Europe this Sunday and she won’t be back until June, so I’m glad we got to spend such a tranquil afternoon together doing nothing and talking about everything. You know. Things females do best.

Enough chat! Here’s my WOTD (focus on lower body):

  • 25 mountain climbers
  • 20 dumbbell swings (I used 13 lbs)
  • 20 jump lunges
  • 20 v-sit kickouts
  • 10 dumbbell deadlifts (13 lbs)

Complete 5 rounds as fast as possible – my time was  16:59. Let me know if you beat me! 

What are you looking forward to next week? I’ll be submitting my transfer application to UP Diliman this Monday! I am both nervous and excited. Anyway, I’m off to enjoy my Saturday! And buy new lenses for my new frames. :)