Friday, October 28, 2005

more runbu-goddess pix

Thanks to Runbu-Goddess Cici for sharing her pix from the Nike Women's Half Marathon. Enjoy!

Monday, October 24, 2005

why run like a girl when you can runbutan like a goddess.

Like I said, yesterday was the Nike Women's Marathon/Half Marathon, which I ran with some other Runbu-goddesses. It's a great event and if any of you are ever interested in running, I highly recommend it. It's well organized (which is much more than I can say for Maui) and the goodies at the end are awesome. The finisher's medal is made by Tiffany & Co. Since I can't rely on anyone to have enough sense to actually get me a goodie from Tiffany & Co., I decided that my best chance of actually getting something from there would be to earn it myself. You also get a dri-fit finisher's shirt (which is perfect because real runners don't use cotton), a Jamba Juice card and green tea shots, luna bars, bananas, a massage (if you have the patience to wait for one) and some other goodies I'm blanking out on. The important one is of course, the necklace. Oh! and you get Ghirardelli chocolate (chocolate caramel, my favorite!) at one of the stops. Yummy!

I didn't train much for this run because I knew I was walking it (with CiCi and Angie who is eight months pregnant). Also, I haven't mentally recovered from Maui and have been avoiding training out of pure fear and damage. Ricky and Lovella also joined in and other Runbu-goddesses ran the course that day as well. In preparing for this half marathon, I realized how scarred I was by Maui because I kept having anxieties about conking out and not finishing. I also learned that I have absolutely no desire to run another full marathon. I've run two in my life (Maui and the trial for Maui) and that's all I need to know. Luckily, I didn't conk out. We all crossed (and we all got our necklaces:)

However, there were points during the course where I was secretly freaking out. Into the course, we kept falling farther and farther behind, which I was expecting because the theme of the day was: "It's not about the time. It's not about the distance. It's about making sure Angie gets to the finish safe and sound." However, when we were walking with Fiona (the sweeper) and watching the cones and barricades get picked up, I kept getting flashbacks from Maui. I thought to myself, "Here we go again. No cones, no music, no cheering section, no time clock, no finish line banner, no love." What made it worse was when we were at the Luna Bar/Cliff Shot stop, we were going through a box picking up Luna Bar samples (I can't take Cliff Shots because they make my blood sugars go way too high) and one of the volunteers tried to stop us from getting food by saying "No wait! This box belongs to someone!" (Apparently, the volunteers got to take home the leftovers, and called dibs on the goods before we made it to that stop.) Cici gave the volunteer a dirty look and told her that we're part of the race and that we needed food. The volunteer surrendered and we rummaged through someone's box. That episode irritated me and made me feel like this was Maui all over again.

But still. We traveled on through the toughest part of the course which had some major hills and major drops. (I have to mention the handsome toffee-tanned man with salt-and-pepper hair that was running up the hill as we were running down it. He was older, totally fit and gliding through the hill like a surfer riding a wave on the North Shore. Such a delicious treat after being snubbed at the Luna Bar/Cliff Shot stop. DAMN!)

Seeing the cones go up and finding myself and my team at the very end of the line made me second guess my desire to run. Psychologically, I don't think I can take being last anymore... not with the amount of work that I put in to training. It's not that there's something wrong with being last. In fact, I can tell you from personal experience that there is more pride in being last because it means that you made it - even when everyone else would have given up, you crossed that finish line when everyone thought you would never pull through. Taking in the glory that comes from being first place is easy. Toughing it out to last place takes real courage.

For me, and at that point, I was feeling like training wasn't paying off and that maybe I just wasn't meant to be anything other than last place (this is in reference to Maui, not San Francisco). Sometimes I play Maui over and over in my head and I ask myself what I did and where the training went wrong. A month later I still don't have the answers. I figured that yesterday would be my last race and that I needed to find a new sport.

Obviously, these feelings weren't things I was going to share with folks at that moment. Besides, spirits were high, Angie was pulling through like a champ, Ricky was taking good care of her, and we were all having a great time chatting it up. Between the pope germs, hearing Fiona's triathalon adventures, and poking fun at Lovella's love connections, we were having a great time. It was also entertaining watching people react to Angie's belly. My favorite comment was, "Look at how pregnant that girl is!"

As we were approaching the Cliff House, we could see Alex, Rex and Herb in the distance carrying signs of love and support. Call it fate or good timing, but I really needed to see them at that point. Something about seeing the words "PINAY POWER" in the distance really energized me (and seeing Herb's version of Polynesian dancing just cracked me up!). I was really touched that people woke up, battled with the traffic and parking just to see us cross the finish. (I was also touched that Alex had blisters from cheering so much. But just so you know, my blisters are still bigger than yours:) I was suddenly reminded of why I run to begin with. It's not about the race, the time, or the distance. Runbutan running is about finishing as a team, under our own terms, regardless of whether the finish line is there or not. I remembered what I said the night after the Maui marathon - for Filipinos, for people of color, there is no finish line because the challenges we face never have an end. We don't have that luxury.

The final leg of the course was tough and although we all knew Angie was going to make it, we were still concerned and playing it extra safe. During the Golden Gate Park portion of the course, Alex, Rex and Herb joined in following through on the day's theme: "It's about making sure Angie gets to the finish safe and sound." Because it was late in the day, they re-routed people, so we took a slightly different course than earlier half marathoners. Luckily, they saved chocolate and water for us:)

Approaching the finish was everything I imagined a finish would be. Hundreds of people were lined up screaming and cheering. The banner was up and in bold orange colors, I could see the words "FINISH LINE." Below it was the time clock. As we stepped on the first sensor, the announcer declared our finish by reciting our names.

I crossed my first official finish line.

It was great seeing Angie cross and an honor to cross beside her. When I think about it, we were there for Angie, Ricky and little bean-bean because the Niervas were there for the team. From the Pixar incentive to the cooking in Maui, they really pulled through for our us, which is why they were followed by an entourage of support. Also, many of us are runbutans because we have a love and concern for future Runbu-runners (including bean-bean and Gani). It was a beautiful sight and I'm glad I did it.

I would like to give special recognition to other Runbu-goddesses who conquered yesterday's course including: Gail and Helen's sister Leina who ran the full marathon; and April, Celisse, Cici, Cheryl, Lea, Patrice, Tiffany and of course, Mama Angie who finished the half marathon. Additionally, a very special THANK YOU to those of you who came out and showed your love and support: Nerinna, Herb, Alex, Rex, Kimmy and Gani, Ryan, and all the other folks whose names I'm blanking out on. You all ROCK!

Finally, I had a great time at the Hukilau for our post-race meal, and I look forward to more gatherings where we get to discuss horiscopes, palm reading, and dental floss dates. I'll see you all at Zebulon on Wednesday!

While walking through Golden Gate Park, I told Alex that my goal is to run (actually run) a race and not see the cones go up. I also declared that I would be back next year to run the Nike Women's Half Marathon. I will finish in my own time, under my own terms. With crowds cheering, a time clock, and an actual finish line (that has no end).

Note: A very special thanks to Runbu-goddess nerinna for sharing her photos.

pope germs

Yesterday I walked the Nike Women's Half Marathon with Angie, Cici, Ricky, and Lovella. Although this was not an official Runbutan event, a group of Runbu-goddesses decided to participate in the event. After six hours of the conquering the course, we crossed the finish line with Mama Angie and Papa Ricky.

Of course, some stories have to be told so here it goes... While we were walking through the Sea Cliff (a fancy residential area), there weren't any bathrooms around. Angie found a port-o-pottie, opened the door and closed it right back up (ugh! there needs to be a better way to make port-o-potties). Luckily, a nice lady named Sue saw this from her home. She approached Angie and asked if she needed to use the bathroom, Angie said yes and Sue offered her home. I accompanied Angie to Sue's house (partly because I needed to use the bathroom and refuse to use a port-o-pottie, and partly because I wanted to "do my business" in a rich person's house - a desire Angie and I expressed in whispers). Of course, her house was beautiful. We walked up these stone steps and Angie noticed that they had model ships in their window.

Sue's husband finally answers the door and we enter a marble-covered vestibule where we had to wipe our feet... twice. As Angie described, the house looked like it came out of Architectural Digest - complete with fresh flowers, Persian rugs, regal furniture. I don't know what Angie's bathroom looked like, but the one I was in was attached to a bedroom. Again, everything was marble and antique. I tried to "finish" as fast as I could, but couldn't help but think, "I'm doing my business in the nicest bathroom I've ever been in."

When Angie came out of the bathroom, Sue said that she just remembered who the last person was that used the same bathroom Angie used. The bathroom was last used on Friday by the pope...

...the Armenian pope.

Apparently, Sue and her family had a gathering that Friday and the Armenian pope just happened to pop (and poop) on by. Sue said that since the pope used the bathroom, no one else used it. (That is, until Angie made her stop.) Sue then said that Angie and bean are now blessed.

As we were sharing the story with the group, we laughed because Angie is not only blessed... she now has pope germs on her butt:) (Angie, I think you should tell this to your local priest!)

Monday, October 17, 2005

9 B-days: A Celebration of Life, Love, & Community

Okay, so I'm celebrating the big 3-0 this year and am lucky enough to share a birthday bash with eight other people. Here are the details. Hope to see you there:)


9 B-days: A Celebration of Life, Love, & Community
Host: Rex de Guia, Alex de Guia, and Herb Digs
Location: Zebulon; 83 Natoma Street (cross 2nd St.), San Francisco, CA View Map
When: Saturday, November 12, 9:00pm
Phone: (415) 975-5705
This is a celebration for 9 wonderful individuals born in the month of November and December.

Have any of these 9 people touched your lives? Let us honor and celebrate them!

Ronnie Bautista (12/7)
Alex de Guia (12/4)
Rex de Guia (12/4)
Herb Felina (11/12)
Ryan Leano (12/3)
Rod Magbual (11/1)
Jeff Ponferrada (11/19)
Joanne Rondilla (12/10)
Allyson Tintiangco-Cubales (11/26)

Whether you know any of them as family, friend, student, teacher, mentor, mentee, running partner, just met them in passing, or would like to get to know one of the celebrants, then you've gotta come to this mega-birthday celebration. Yes. . . it's time to CELEBRATE LIFE, LOVE, and COMMUNITY. Let's all come together and dance the night away.

Cover of sliding $5 and up will benefit victims of the Earthquake in South Asia.

Doors open at 9:00 pm.

21 and over, Lots of parking in adjacent lots

On the 1s and 2s - DJs Rx (special birthday debut set), Herb Digs, and more to be announced.

Please feel free to bring as many folks as you'd like. The more the merrier.

Scorpios, Sagittarians, and the world of friends unite in positivity, hope, and love!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

not related to running

Okay, so I'm not just a runner. I'm a grad student too. After Hawai`i I had to go to our nation's capital for a conference and wanted to share some photos from that trip, so here it goes...

This was taken during my last night in DC. Mind you, this was very late at night after dinner and dancing, so I look a bit off. Okay. I look very off. Left to right are: me, Scott, Anesu, Edrik, Petra, Rudy and Genelle. Regardless, I had a blast. The people at the conference were so friendly and kind. It's nice to be in an academic space where people are supportive - not competitive and trying to size you up. It was refreshing and a great way to get back to my school life.

We tried to gather up all the Filipinos at the conference for a picture (because well, Filipinos like taking pictures together). Unfortunately, some folks were missing (Rudy, where were you?). So left to right we are: Ronaldo, Genelle, Steve, Pearlie, (UGH! Why am I blanking on her name?!), me and Rhacel. (Alex, I know what you're thinking and I'm thinking it too.) It was great being around good company. I can't wait for the conference next year.

Friday, October 14, 2005

the first eight miles

I know the marathon is over. However, as the cliche goes, the experience will stay in my mind forever. Last night I went to Zebulon for Ricky and Angie's surprise baby shower. It's been a few weeks since I've seen everyone. Although I know we needed the space, it was so great seeing everyone again. It's rough because we spent thirty weeks together (the equivalent of two straight semesters) and now we're lucky to see each other in passing. I realized how much I missed everyone last night. Also, if you are looking for a cool place to hang out in SF, Zebulon is definitely a great find. It's in the financial district and is walking distance from BART. Plus, there was plenty of parking.

Last night I realized that I never really wrote about the actual marathon. I talked about the beginning and the end, but never the middle. I guess it's because before I even did the marathon, I could only envision the start and the finish. I had no idea what the middle would be like. I still don't know how to describe the actual journey. However, I'll do my best starting now. Here is the first eight miles.

The wake-up call was early - about 2am. I had to make sure I got up because I had to eat and prep for the marathon (my ritual is long and exhausting and is detailed somewhere in another entry here). We had to be at the buses by 3:30 to get us to the start line in time for us to have a briefing. The bus ride was long, quiet and nerve-wracking. It didn't help that somewhere in the middle we hit a huge bump. As we got off the bus, I decided to use the port-o-potties while they were still semi-clean. That would be my last bathroom trip (because I am physically incapable of answering nature's call in nature's settings or in port-o-potties that are set out in the Maui heat).

The briefing was nice. Throughout the whole thing, I kept thinking, "This is it. This is our last team briefing." It was sad, but it was also exciting because all that training came down to that day. I couldn't believe that thirty weeks had passed by so fast. Everything was so serious that there was no room for my quirky dedication to our hopeful Filipino rockstar. Oh well, sometimes humor just isn't appropriate. While waiting, we took photos, stretched out... I tried my best to calm my nerves.

After waiting with the crowd, the race finally started. It was exciting because I had no idea what to expect. Bullet X fell behind, but for us, it was important to pace ourselves. For me, as long as I could see at least one other team, things were fine. The weather was decent, although even within the first hour, the sweat was pouring because that humidity was killer! I don't remember much except hoping the darkness would stay a little longer, seeing teams Tung Yee and Wahat not too far from us, and of course, the shared experience of the team bush:)

There were three locals we met - Diana, Mele and Sama (who switched off between his slippers and shoes in order to conquer the course). It was Mele's birthday. Although she didn't finish, she did make it to the half way mark in order to celebrate her 40th birthday. The terrible person in me noticed the non-running shoes, cotton socks and missing dryfit. They were very kind and told us that our teams were in great shape. I wasn't sure the two would make it, but they ended up finishing way before we did. See? Never underestimate how people conquer the course. Everyone has their own method to the madness.

I didn't realize how much the heat was killing me until we reached the first coach's stop at about 8 miles. I changed socks and realized that my shoulders were tight. I'm not sure why they felt that way. My form was solid and I got proper rest and hydration. Looking back, I feel like some unspeakable force, some spirit was following me and squeezing my back and shoulders, which made them hurt and hard to breathe. Cici and Angie were rubbing my back trying to loosen up some of the tension and even they noticed how tight the muscles were. I was also feeling a little off because my blood sugars were higher than usual (in the 160s).

So here I was trying to avoid my chronic blisters (which were fine at that point), loosen my shoulders which I think spirits were crunching, and battling the blood sugars. Up ahead was the most difficult part of the course: the rolling hills.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

too lazy

I've been gone for about two weeks for the marathon and conference. This week was the first full week I've had back in Cali and I am B-E-A-T. I really need to step up my training for the Nike women's half, but my body just won't cooperate. UGH! Thank God I'm walking!

Anyway, as promised, here are some photos. I'd write more, but I'm just too damn lazy! UGH! Enjoy!

Carbo Load: Coach Alex prepares the delicious food for the team. (Have you seen so much pasta in your life? Atkins fans would have died!)

Chef Coach Angie hard at work feeding the team.

Smile while you can. Before the race, Coach Angie joins Bullet X for one last photo. (Enjoy the goodness while it lasts because the course ends up killing us!)

The Infamous Team Bush. When nature called, the Runbutans answered in this bush.

The 18 mile drums. Right when I was ready to throw in the towel, we hit the 18 mile mark and were greeted by this group of drummers. They summoned the gods to give us the strength to make it to the end.