Catch Me If You Can

“Nature at its simplest form is purely photogenic.”
As the summer heat hits this part of the world, you can’t help but be tempted in booking trips in the several islands we have and the nearby countries we can visit.  This is gonna be my super summer… a chance to unwind and explore and see things in its simplest sense that life is indeed beautiful and the backdrop at its simplest form is purely photogenic.
At times, I’m stuck choosing between weekend alternatives just hoping why we can’t have 5 days of weekend and just 2 days of work instead.  I guess, it’s when I’m busy chasing trips, running laps and making everything work out fine is the time I feel I’m fully alive. I have rediscovered the part of myself that loves traveling and this early during the year I already had 3 stops in Taiwan, a weekend in Coron, a drive to Calatagan and I’m just heating up.
The next few months would be a game of catch me if you can… from a weekend in Tarlac and a run in Baguio (am still hoping to fit it in) to another out of town adventure with cousins to Holy Week in Bora to a week in Singapore to a weekend in HK and Macau and to Bellaroca and the weekends in between will be spent in the various runs and training I’d be having.  The kid in me has taken over in gleeful anticipation of all those escapades.  The hard times are over and the good times is now running in slow motion.
Those trips should have me back to my fiery nature as I’ve been numb lately.  I guess, I am more in a state of gaiety and I know at the end of the trip I should map out a new direction.  The vicious cycles that has continued to revolve are already unfathomable.  Fighting the wrong system takes so much time, energy and resources and a fresh start maybe needed and that is something I need to assess with a clear mind.
It’s just good to have many diversions as it always balances things out from things beyond your control to things within your control.  Above all the material rewards, there is no price higher than peace of mind and if people don’t give too much of damn in doing the right thing and it might be time to cease my silence and inaction.  Every action or inaction deserves an appropriate reaction so if I just play numb, it just means I have a grander plan brewing… and it’s gonna be served hot of the platter soon.
There’s another of life’s simple rule to remember, you can’t have it all… so might as well look forward to fun under the tropical sun. =>

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Here, There and Everywhere

Time and energy is always a diminishing resource, don’t waste it on people and things that don’t matter”

I wonder how long can I go on with this lifestyle and to think vacation season has just set in. I’ve been stuck in a myriad of meetings and work requirements, travel and a very rigorous training program. It seems that I’m here, there and everywhere… rushing from one task to another and running on a very thin line. For one, Time is not something on my side but I’ll always have the will to keep going until all task to be complete.

I’m now in Taiwan racing against time and patience and looks like I’m getting the short end of the stick this time. To go on eight cycles of the annual report rush is beyond my imagination. I think I need a new career!!! It’s time for a drastic change and though I have so many avenues apart from the current responsibilities. I’m really caught wanting to change things up… New environment, new challenges, new goals and new beginnings. Please… Please… Please…

There’ll be a lot of challenges incoming, first with a long 15K race this Sunday and I feel it’ll be a tough one given I’m coming straight from the so cold weather of Taiwan and will be cramming to prepare for the race. I just hope I don’t get injured and be able to set new highs or records. It’ll be three racing weekends culminating with a high-altitude run in Baguio. My after-work life is quite exciting and busy… If only work was less demanding and more appreciating…
And then the travel bug takes its bite. I’m booked already for so many adventures in the next three months with a trip to Bora for the holy week, a work and play week in Singapore come end of next month, a breather in HK come May and a long weekend in Bellaroca in June and I’m still in the middle of planning two to three more escapades and my weekend races and maybe in between all the travel, I get to take on new chances. It’s just a consolation that I do get to look forward to a wonderful and legend-(wait for it)-dary summer as last year came and blew by so fast.

So I’m caught up in so many things at the moment and the tide has been turbulent with me struggling with time, patience and keeping my sanity in place. Well, if life doesn’t make you a bit crazy, why bother living it. I’m torn by my excitement and my current frustrations. Somehow, it’s fun to see the end is approaching but you know that the worst is yet to come. Oh well, work hard, play harder and everything will settle down in its due course.

I’m stuck here, there and everywhere and it’s not an easy time but I’d rather be here than to be stuck.. NOWHERE
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33

“You create the perfect not by planning its every detail but by letting it run its regular course and just let the surprises make the difference.”

Different was how this birthday turned out to be. For one, I wasn’t playing the role of an expectant child that I usually do every year counting down the days towards my big day. I am no longer that person and somehow I have joined the bandwagon of just having to spend a regular day as it is… No plans… No parties… No whatsoever…

Zero expectations for the day means everything is a bonus and the response was really overwhelming. I used to plan every detail of how my day would end up well but this year, I just left the room for surprise open. I have over a hundred wall posts, messages, emails, calls and the little acts of kindness you get on your birthday. Well, appreciated really. Thanks!!!

A lot has changed a year ago and as time has progressed, I get to realize that things happen for a reason and from the time I thought I’d be shifting a year older but won’t be moving on by a single step, I’m probably about 700 kilometers away from that idea. It pays to be occupied with so many things… work, travel, run, friends, family and everything under the yellow sun. I don’t have all the free time in the world now but I’m still glad to fit in the necessities.

I think one of worst part of my persona is that I’m always around that I get to be stale. I no longer am. In fact, I’m grasping for time trying to be in one place to another so will just have to make do with the limited time and resources I have. Somehow, I’m now less needy and more independent. Not as reliable but more balanced.

Before the week came in, I did have a creepy scare with my sister having a dream of me getting hit by the water current upon crossing the bridge and getting lost by the river and it happened just as I was to hit the waters of Coron then I got a cryptic comment that my Sub60 blog seemed like a farewell letter. Of course, those are just signs which you can choose to ignore but it somehow made me think for a time and take necessary precaution (e.g. Tying my last vest 3 times before hitting the waters… hahaha). I guess, I’m out of the woods for now as I’m out of the waters and I’ve just turned 33.

I’m now glad to look forward to:
– the difficult times ahead as we try to beat time again to finish the annual report
– the never-ending challenge of catching a better pace as I’ll be racing again in a few weeks and go for longer distance.
– the future travels I’ll be taking as my weekends is being packed by the moment.
– and all the surprises just waiting to happen.

Just bring it!!!

Excess Inkblogs: Ok, I just superseded my supposed to be farewell letter by clicking the publish button on this blog.

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Sub 60: The Story of My Run


“Sometimes you have to get lost to find a better way.”

Running came to me at a time when everything was going on a downward spiral and my confidence was at an all time low. I’ve never been the athletic or sporty kind and never had the consistency to maintain a regular physical activity but I guess when you want to break a trend, you just have to do something different.

I was entered into my first two fun runs more as a favor to my friends rather than at my own will. It was literally a 3 kilometer walk. Running even just a hundred meter is such a chore. The third one was a charm as we run with the raindrops falling hard on us. I still tried to join runs at least once per month… no goals… no training… no pressure… This is getting to be fun!

After a while it became a habit. I now tried to train on my own and spending a few week nights just completing 5K distance and there was some improvement though I still have my habitual walks in between. With the small gains, I came to realize that I can do better and that was enough to have me pushing myself further into the next level.

I now shifted to a structured training and I was asked of a goal I want to achieve. At first since I was running 5K, I was thinking to just go for sub 30 or finish 5K in less than 30 minutes but I eventually decided to just copy my friend’s goal of sub 60 or finish 10K in less than 60 minutes. That would be a tough goal considering I’ve never run a distance outside 5K and I’m such an undisciplined runner to go on a structured training but maybe, I’ll just count this in as a leap of fate.

After just a few weeks of training, I entered my first 10K and finished a miserable 1 hour and 18 minutes and I now feel that my sub 60 goal were light years away and this considering that my second 10K run had me finishing just a minute faster. The third one was once again a charm as I managed to shave off a full 6 minutes of my 10K time and from then on I continued to progress towards sub 60 and was even able to complete a 10K uphill run that measured 12K at a decent pace. The training was working. By the end of the year, I was just 6 minutes shy of a sub 60 time.


2011 had me breathing down the neck of a sub 60 time with an hour and a minute mark at Subic. I also started to beat the sub 30 mark for 5K. I knew that sub 60 now was just a matter of time but it was then that I realized that something was wrong with my system. I had a nagging pain in my heel tendon. That had me worried with my goal so close and having the time of my life running my heart’s out, I may now have to stop running. I took additional precaution and had anklets and insoles as protection and I also started to pace myself better and somehow, I was able to manage the injury and continue running. I was able to complete a 15K run at a respectable time and each 10K race thereafter were all close to the sub 60 mark until the last week of February.

It was an improbable feat and something I wasn’t expecting as I’ve been sleep-deprived, stress-ridden and in-and-out of sickbay. As the gun start fired, I went at it at a very face paced and was able to sustain the pace for a few more kilometers before I ran at a steadier pace in the middle kilometers but I was still on my way to a sub 60 time. At kilometer 8, I started feeling some tightness in my right lower calve muscle and despite that I still went at it at full level. In the last stretch towards the finish line, I saw that I still have time to catch up sub 60 and thus the child in me took over as I sprinted towards the finish line and the time was 59 minutes and 54 seconds. Sub 60, Finally!!!

Six seconds, that’s the fraction of time that I almost didn’t hit sub 60, and that’s probably just a few inhales and exhales away but I’ll take what I can as sub 60 is sub 60. Of course, I’ll aim for a more convincing sub 60s in the future and try to do this consistently. I have reached my goal, but I guess the story does not really end here as this is just a beginning of a new story and I’m calling the next chapter, Half-Mary. How I’ll do it? I don’t know as that is a story set to be told at another time.

The story of my run starts with a downward spiral and at the end of it, I not only found my confidence back, I did find or create a better person – fitter, trimmer, stronger, feistier, tougher and faster. I’ve had so many preconceived limits when I started and slowly, each of those limitations are becoming a thing of the past all owing to training hard and training smart.
Excess Inkblogs: Thanks to my running and training partners Mascy, Jeff & Gryf, Total Fitness for all of my sponsored runs, to Coach Andy and his Alpha Training System, to Eunice for entering me in my first fun run and running with me in the rain, to Mike for continuously pestering me to run at your level, to my Garmin for letting me run faster with your ever so stingy ways, to my trusty lunar glide for giving me speed and to the ever growing running phenomenon in the country that had so many of us hooked in you web of acceleration.

The story of my races at http://franc-a-holic.blogspot.com.

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Stuck in Stressville

It’s not as if my life was not in the fast lane and now, I’m stuck in Stressville with a few days going to the board meeting, I still have issues to resolve and clueless on how things will end up. The surprises that came in were beyond expectations. Makes you think, what’s the use of all the preparation when in just a flick of the hand, you’re back to square one. That’s what you get when you don’t get the right people in the right places. Oh well, it’s now a game of reaction. I’ll just see it through that we get pass this even if I know the efforts would go on unappreciated.

It just seem the flavor of the season but I don’t work to get appreciated or to get rewards but to get the job done. It’s just de-motivating to know that people get rewarded for grabbing credit for other people’s hard work. The tough days are not done but it is always glad to look forward to those better days and I’m booked for those warm summer days starting in a few weeks.

My schedules is as full as ever with work + training and soon vacation would be added to the equation. I’m back to back weekend runs this week and next, then Coron the week after. With all that’s happening, I forgot that I’ll be turning a year older though I’m not as upbeat with that fact this time for a change. It just seems nice to see those wonderful time if I only I could survive the next three days.

My brain is all maxed up… my body is all beat up… have coughs and colds… and I have still to find a way to get things done. It’s quite interesting to note that I’ve been consistently sick in all the previous board meetings. I need to find better things to do but for now I have to find a way to get past Stressville.

Thoughtless Thoughts: One of the best comfort you can give yourself is to be secure with what you have.

Excess Inkblogs: The start of my run unfolds at run-a-holic.

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Bad Banana

I was coasting at a very good time earlier covering the first 5K of a 10K run until I got thwarted by of all things… Eating a banana… Instead of the energy boost I expected I suddenly had a heavy stomach so had to struggle in the next 3K until I got my second wind at the 8K mark but was still able to finish at a decent time of 1:03. Oh well, wasn’t able to get a new PR and my sub 60 goal… Oh well, will have to take it at another time. I’ll have to take the comfort that I did push myself even on a suddenly heavy stomach. Bad Banana…

From a bad banana, I’ve been wondering until when can I maintain my good and no-whine personality at the office. Imagine I’ve been sent to Taipei on such short notice twice, been on the loop of some opportunistic people taking credit and reward for what I’ve done and still a lot of things unresolved in the yearend closing and yet I’m veering away from my hard headed ways. Maybe I have made up my mind on what direction to take and I’m getting numb already with this dysfunctional system. It’s gonna be a difficult week to come as we do need to finalize everything before the upcoming board meeting this month.
The summer is heating up and I’m on a vacation booking spree. I’ve booked 2 already (Coron and Boracay) and I’m looking forward to booking several more. I have expiring miles to waste. It seems that I’ve booked my weekends already ’till the end of summer with all the runs and all the travel I have to take. It gets exciting by the minute and I guess that’s how I’d like to go forward from this point on… No holding back and living life to the brim.
As things heat up at work, I get a rare chance to cool down my injuries this week. Off the tracks for the meantime but I’ll be back on training a week after as there are minutes to shave off and a lot more runs to conquer and maybe next time, there won’t be a bad banana to thwart me this time. =>
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Extended

Second trip to Taipei and this year isn’t even a month old. Oh well, I’m trying to be a good person this year so I won’t let my hard headed ways get in the way of these surprise trips. You just have to make do with what life throws at you. On the bright side, it did give us a big leap in this year’s closing cycle. Finishing touches next week.

Running training is really something I never expected that would yield such wonderful results given my mild-mannered ways. A few months ago, I just took the leap and entered a program and now I’m close to my sub-60 goal, finished a 15K run at a decent pace and has been nearing my ideal weight. Even if there has been some nagging injuries as of late, I’ll be extending my training for another 3 months. I always thought that there are some limitations at what I can do in terms of physical activities but I’m being surprised by the day. It’s a difficult path I choose but I love the active lifestyle.

Had to chance to run at Taipei Botanical Garden to do my weekend run. It was a slow 5K but a damn challenging one. Shifting terrains, cold weather, three-layers heavy of clothes and low gps signal because of the cloudy athmosphere. I felt my GPS watch was still translating the street signs that it felt like I’m being timed slower. It was a cool experience and appreciate the lake-side view and being able to even past the walkway in the middle of the lake as part of the run. It’s good to survive the cold weather as I’m no longer built for the cold weather.

I wonder how long I can pursue this fast-paced lifestyle. Being here, there and everywhere but I’d like to see it more as a challenge. I want to do well at work and at the same time be able to do the run training and when there is more time go back to travel and even boxing. Being busy must be a nice therapy as it gives you whine about life’s complication. This is how I choose to be – having a difficult time making all ends meet yet still having the time of my life. Work hard and play hard at its finest.

I’d be glad to be in the Manila heat shortly. I have to get back for race preps as it would be another major race next week. It will be an easier time at work with less distractions as some powers that be would be enjoying their Chinese New Year and I’ll be enjoying some peace and a chance to finish of the yearend issues and then I’ll be ready for finer times once again and a chance to plot out the next course of action.

I always want to think about the next step to take as soon as the smokes of battle clears out. It would be easier to move on when everything is all settled. No need to look back and say what if. Once I get to my comfort zone, it would be a better time to take the leap of fate. There would be a time for that but as of now, my time of living life in the has and busy lane has been extended.

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