Happy Hour

August 25, 2010

Dear Levy

Filed under: Races,Ramblings — levyang @ 3:07 am

I wrote the following letter to a friend of mine who was disappointed with his time at the recently-concluded IM 70.3 at Camsur. Reading through the letter again, I realized that I might as well have written it to myself instead.  (Edited some portions to capture moments that were reflective of my race last Sunday)

Dear Levy,
Why the long face?  I thought I saw you smiling at the finish.  I guess now that the crowds are gone, you can be perfectly honest with yourself and assess what happened out there.  Anyways, I’m gonna tell it you straight. Go ahead wallow in disappointment. Feel its bitter aftertaste. I feel you. After all the training and the hours you’ve put in, the results just doesn’t sit well right?  Cayetano and Zobel kicked your butt two years in a row.  “On your left” was ringing in your ears throughout the bike course.  And is that what you call a run?  Damn right you should feel bad.  Kasi kung ok lang ito sa iyo, I would really be pissed because that would only mean that you don’t even care at all in the first place.

But after giving yourself some grieving time, please don’t hang your head Levy. Remember WRT 2006 when you joined the relay?  How can I forget your screaming red Dolce Gabbana trunks.  And that you were the only participant who swam without goggles.  Yeah, you were still a greenhorn then.  You’ve fumbled through some of your initial races at Lakeshore and Subit.  But look at you now, you’ve come a long, long way.  From your initial goal of simply checking triathlon off the bucket list, you are now competing in some of them races.  Heck, there were even times you dared to even gate crash the podium list.  (So long as the resident ‘monsters’ of the sport don’t show up)

Levy, races aren’t about setting PB’s all the time. There are more valuable lessons to be learned if you fail, only if you care to listen.  Had you succeeded in reaching your targets last Sunday, would you have realized that you:  1.  violated a cardinal rule on nutrition by experimenting on race day?  2.  failed to account for the extreme heat at Camsur and just conveniently left of f salt tabs among the nutrition which you should bring, etc.

Still, let me say that I am proud of the way you raced last Sunday.  While the times you posted may seem like nothing has changed since last year, they tell a different story altogether.  For one, you yourself admitted that last year you checked out mentally from the race remember?  You said somewhere in the middle of those hills during the run, “Ah, fuck this race.  I’m just going to enjoy the view.  Mamamasyal na lang ako.”  Hence, the friendship that was forged with your fellow-walkers like Makoy and Carlo.  This time though, there was no such thing.  While cramping on the bike, you were already preparing on how to manage the run.  There was a plan in place and you stuck with it.  “Run between aid stations and walk the hills.”  Yes, it was nothing great.  But you were on survival mode already and soldiered on even though the hammies and calves were about to lock up throughout the second loop.   I don’t know but it takes a bit of mental fortitude to do that.  If only for that, you should be proud of your race.  Also, you didn’t draft off any of the participants.  Only because your puny GTS wouldn’t have been able to keep up with the machines of the other racers.  (Hehe, just had to stick that in there.  Theme of the weekend huh)

But seriously Levy, hold your chin up because nothing is ever wasted. While the most recent result may not reflect the hard work and training that you’ve logged in, you certainly cannot deny that what you are now in 2010 is no longer the same Levy in 2009.  (Yes even that Levy from WRT 2009).  You are much more stronger mentally, athletically,….well, you get the picture.

Remember, you’re in this journey for the long haul. Years from now, IM 70.3 2010 Philippines will just be a blip in the radar. You’ve got what it takes Levy.  I believe in you.

So there.  The letter to my friend which was, in reality, a letter to myself.  Didn’t want to be a party-pooper last Sunday so I had the look of a ‘happy camper’.  But in all honesty, the preceding letter was how I felt.  But I’m ok now.  Someone inside of me believes in me.

Cheers!

July 31, 2009

St. Ignatius Day

Filed under: Ramblings — levyang @ 6:34 am

On this feast day of St. Ignatius of Loyola, I just want to say that I miss Happy Hour.

If Michael did it, Lance did it, Magic did it, I guess I can do it too 🙂  Well, at least in the blogosphere world.

I’m unretiring my blog.

Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam.

Magis.

Cheers…..I think 🙂

November 5, 2008

Obama

Filed under: Ramblings — levyang @ 5:24 am

America, you did it right this time.  Yes, We Can.  

Philippines? What say you.

October 17, 2008

Gotta Du, Gotta Tri

Filed under: Ramblings — levyang @ 3:00 am

There’s a Duathlon scheduled this Sunday at Clark.  Truth be told, I find duathlons more difficult than triathlons.  In triathlons, I’ve got the battle plan down pat:  easy swim, pedal at a comfortable pace at the bike then go for broke on the run.  In duathlons, there’s a 10k run staring at me from the get go, I’m afraid I’ll already be out of breath as I switch on to the bike leg 😦  

Early this year, I joined 2 duathlons, both at Clark.  The cool weather helped me a lot with the first race and I was really happy with a time of 2:06.  In the second race, I bonked during the 2nd run, side stitch and all, and finished with a time of 2:16.  As you can see, duathlons are a different animal altogether.  

Ok, here’s the battle plan for this Sunday:  Easy first 5K to get the juices flowing then go a bit harder for the next 5K.  Rest up on the first and last loops of the bike leg (5 loops=40K).  Then, go hard for the final 5K run.  As far as times are concerned, I’ll aim for a 55 min 10K run, 1:25 for the 40K bike and a sub-28 for the last 5K.  If things go as planned, a sub 2:50 should be within reach.  Last year, I did a 3:06 for the standard distance.  So I’m really happy with anything under 3 hours.  Why the sub 2:50 goal then you might ask?  Blame Philip 🙂  

I’m really excited for Philip as he will race his first Duathlon.  I’m looking forward to see how Monica Torres will do as well as she has improved A LOT in her times from previous races.  Wow, can’t wait 🙂  Let’s see if I will be able to meet my pre-race goals, hehe.  

Cheers!

September 26, 2008

We Wuz Robbed

Filed under: Ramblings — levyang @ 1:55 am

They’ll probably gonna take back my Ateneo diploma after this.  But hear me out first.  I’ll go straight to the point:  WE WUZ ROBBED LAST NIGHT.  I’m talking about Game 2 of the Ateneo-La Salle basketball game.  All of you saw it last night.  In the middle of the third quarter when La Salle decided to show up and make it a game, one referee slapped a technical foul on Rico Maierhofer for allegedly giving the dirty finger to an Ateneo player.  Now, there’s an age-old adage in basketball.  You know it, I know it, the whole basketball world knows it.  So, let’s say it together now:  You don’t let the referees decide the outcome of a basketball game, let the players play it out.

Granted, this was not the last 2 minutes.  Still, you cannot take the fact that with that dumb call, La Salle lost the game right then and there.  Since this was the second technical foul that was slapped on Maierhofer, he was ejected from the game and thereby taking away the only inside presence of LaSalle against Ateneo’s behemoths.  Now, let me tell you why the call made on Maierhofer was dumb.

First of all, we have to understand the context when the call was made.  In basketball, one has to accept the fact that ‘stars’ do get special treatment from the refs.  For example, if Michael Jordan already has 5 fouls in the third quarter of a championship game, do you think a ref would call his sixth for slapping the wrist of an opposing player?  Hell no!! Outside a clear and blatant foul probably bordering on flagrant, you just don’t take a star player out of the ballgame like that.  JV Casio and Rico Maierhofer are the ‘star’ players for LaSalle.  At the time, Maierhofer already has a technical foul assessed to him earlier for taunting.  No argument there.  But the refs should have understood this when they called a 2nd technical foul on Rico.  Bottom line: As a ref, you don’t call a technical foul on Rico KNOWING that he already was slapped a technical earlier ESPECIALLY when you’re not even sure that he even made the objectionable act in the first place.  As I recalled it last night, the ref who made the call was at the bottom of the TV screen and was opposite from where Rico was standing and made the allegedly obscene gesture.  This already makes the call suspect because I doubt it if the ref really saw what he thought he saw.  In fact, succeeding replays were inconclusive if Rico did give the dirty finger.  And this is my point, as a star player, Rico should have been given the benefit of the doubt on that play.  Absent a CLEAR and INDISPUTABLE act showing that a foul has been committed, the ref should have just swallowed his whistle.  

As a result, WE WUZ ROBBED a championship game last night.  La Salle wuz robbed.  Even Ateneo wuz robbed given the hollow feeling I have right now even though a championship trophy now resides at the Loyola campus.  Don’t get me wrong.  Ateneo is the better team and totally deserves the championship.  I’m not in the habit of giving out predictions.  But in an earlier post, I did say that Ateneo WILL WIN the championship.  All season long Ateneo has shown that it’s the best team in the UAAP, bar none.  In fact, it seemed that Ateneo was in a league of their own at times.  In fact, I would even say that they could play a best of 10 what-have-you and Ateneo will sweep it.  I kid you not, this year’s Ateneo team is THAT good. BUT, with that call last night, it somehow took a lot of the satisfaction from what should have been TOTAL DOMINATION of our arch-rivals.  That’s what we get because the refs chose to play their game at center stage and not on the sidelines where they should be.  

In the aftermath, I should say though that in boycotting the awarding ceremonies that followed, La Salle displayed poor sportsmanship.  At the time, I suspected La Salle was thinking of placing the game under protest and their position may be compromised should they accept the runner-up trophy.  But then again, we’re thinking of the bigger picture here.  Millions were glued to their TV sets where the protagonists are educational institutions which supposedly produced the creme de la creme of Philippine society.  What kind of example did it show our students and the public?  I don’t know maybe age has a way of diluting my passions because for me, at the end of the day, it is just basketball.

I guess this is the reason why I just do triathlons nowadays.  

Cheers!

September 10, 2008

Lance and Kobe

Filed under: Lakers,Ramblings,Uncategorized — levyang @ 3:26 am

Thought I dedicate today’s post to two sports icons who made announcements that baffled me this morning.

First:  Kobe

Those of you who follow basketball and the Lakers in particular would surely know that Kobe played through an injured pinkie towards the latter part of the NBA season including the playoffs.  Even then, the doctors were already recommending surgery but being the competitor that he is, Kobe postponed the date with the surgeon until after the Beijing Olympics.  I remember admiring his competitive spirit then and I could understand the reasons why he decided to postpone the surgery.  The doctors stated that recovery would take around 2-3 months and Kobe didn’t want to miss out on what turned out to be a good run to the NBA Finals.  Participating in Beijing was also a no-brainer, Kobe wanted so bad to be part of ‘Redeem Team’ and as it turned out, he also played a big role in the gold medal game against Spain.  

NBA Training Camp opens in 3 weeks and the season itself would start the end of October.  Pretty good time to get that surgery don’t you think?  But I guess this is the reason why Kobe is Kobe and we are who we are….. Kobe just decided that he will not have surgery at all…….He said that the 12-week recovery period was just too much sacrifice and he wanted to use the training camp as a time to bond with his teammates, etc.  I don’t know, but I’m not sure I’m with Kobe on this one.  I mean his shooting hand is one good slap away from a total fracture and what will happen to the Lakers then?  PLEASE KOBE, GO GET THAT FREAKING SURGERY DONE AND LET’S LOOK FORWARD TO A WORRY-FREE NBA CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON FOR THE LAKERS, MAN!!!!!!!  

Next:  Lance

Lance Armstrong just announced that he’s coming out of retirement to do the Tour de France in 2009.  I guess running marathons just isn’t the same, huh?  7 Tour de France victories are not enough, huh? Hanging out with Kate Hudson is not enough, huh?  I guess this is the reason why Lance is Lance and we are who we are.  I have mixed feelings on this one.  Sure, I’m happy for Lance and want to see him climb the Pyrenees once again but then he was already at the pinnacle of the cycling world when he retired.    Just don’t want to see another Michael Jordan who just didn’t know when to quit.  

So there you go…. 2 bull-headed competitors throwing caution to the wind….This calls for Cheers! I guess?

But, what the heck, the 2008-2009 NBA season and 2009 Tour de France couldn’t start soon enough 🙂

August 26, 2008

On the 31st of August…..Just Do It

Filed under: Races,Ramblings,Running — levyang @ 4:22 am

Ok, this will be my last post on the Nike Human Race.  I’d like to share with you an email/comment that was posted by The Bullrunner on the reasons behind the staging of the Human Race in Manila:

Hey levy, I think this is what Nike was afraid of in organizing a local race. They didn’t want the Pinoys to feel that they were locking out all those who didn’t have Nike+ kits. That’s why Coach Rio kept reiterating the fact that this Nike physical race in Manila was not an official race but more of a gathering for all the Pinoys who signed up for the virtual worldwide run. Since all these Pinoy virtual runners would be running their own 10km anyway, they thought of just gathering them together in one place.

I’m not a Nike endorser. And I do agree running should be open to everyone. I do know Nike didn’t want all the others to feel left out too that’s why they gave those discount coupons and free sportsbands. That’s also why I thought it was a good idea to allow people to win the kits and give them a chance to join. It’s more of a service to the readers.

Don’t you think it’s about time I make my peace with Nike?  In light of the Bullrunner’s explanation, I wish to extend my apologies to all those who may have been offended/slighted with my “The Outsider and Nike” post earlier.  But I hope you do understand where I was coming from.  In any case, I think Coach Rio should be commended for organizing a race to bring together all the Nike users even though Manila wasn’t selected an official city.  I mean can you name me another non-official city where they’re gonna organize something that Coach Rio is doing?…..  That’s what I thought.  Bottom line, I think what unites us all is our common love and passion for running and I think that should transcend anything and everything.  I mean, iilan lang tayo sa running community mag-aaway away pa tayo?   In the movie “Field of Dreams”, a line there goes “if you build it, they will come…”  Well, guys and gals, Coach Rio has built it.  So, on the 31st of August, go out and JUST DO IT!!!

Cheers!

August 12, 2008

Ironman Manila Bay

Filed under: Ramblings — levyang @ 2:16 am

On my way to and from work, I always pass by Roxas Boulevard.  During those idle times when my mind wanders as I gaze at the sunset on my way home, I wonder wouldn’t it be great if our very own Manila Bay gets to host one of the Ironman races?  Picture it.  Swim leg would be an out and back from the shores of Manila Bay while Baywalk can serve as the transition area.  The 180km bike leg would then take the racers to scenic Tagaytay via Aguinaldo Hi-way, turnaround at Batangas and then back to Roxas Boulevard where the 42K run is done on the very same route used for the Milo Marathon.  At the finish, there’ll be fireworks at Quirino Grandstand and all-night partying in front of the Rizal Monument.  If the race starts at 7am, the elites will probably finish right about sunset time.  Running towards the finish with the famous Manila Bay sunset as the backdrop….:)  

But I guess it’ll never happen huh?  Only because Manila Bay is so darn polluted that ITU wouldn’t even dare sanction a race there.  But then, I do see children swimming in the Bay especially during summer time 🙂  I don’t know….Every triathlete dreams of doing an Ironman and I just thought wouldn’t it be great if one were to do his/her very first one right in his/her own backyard?  The closest thing that we have here is Whiterock and Subic O3.  And I do remember having read somewhere that the Philippines did hold an Ironman distance race before (in Matabungkay i think).  But I’m not sure if it was part of the Ironman series held around the world.  And I’m sure it wasn’t at Manila Bay.  Oh well, I can still dream can’t I?

Cheers!

July 31, 2008

Training Blues

Filed under: Ramblings,Training — levyang @ 4:03 am

Seems like everyone coming down with something these days.  Each of my children together with the wifey had their own bouts with the flu.  Even the bloggers I frequent had their own ‘flu’ stories to tell.  I guess it’s just a matter of time that I’ll have my own story to share.  Well, lo and behold, I finally did get sick the other day. It’s nothing major really.  Always prided myself being ‘kalabaw’ (beast of burden which never gets sick). But I did experience diarrhea and the occasional urge to vomit every now and then.  I don’t know what caused it.  I doubt if it’s from something I ate because the family would have suffered the same fate as well. Well, I don’t know maybe I got sick by osmosis.  Being around sick people and reading about sickness in the blogs,  I just had to be sick myself.  Needless to say, it did affect my run yesterday.  Instead of doing the mandated 8 sets, I just did 6 of those dreaded 4 x 200m at 5 seconds slower than my regular pace 😦  Does not augur well for Subic, huh?  But then, I did read in loonyrunner’s blog about ‘Bad Runs’ where there are really no bad or good runs, it’s just our attitude that makes a run/race good or bad.  

I know it’s a big weekend for most of us out there.  To Baldrunner, SFRunner, Johnny and those running in the SF Marathon.  To those participating in the Milo Marathon.  To those doing 03, 01 and the relays in Subic,  I send my biggest and loudest cheers to you all.  I’m sure all of us will harken to loonyrunner’s advice and race a GOOD one this weekend.  

Now, excuse me while I go to the ‘john’ once again…….

July 25, 2008

The Outsiders and Nike

Filed under: Ramblings — levyang @ 7:32 am

I’m sure by now, you’ve heard about the Nike Human Race that is going to be held simultaneously in 25 cities around the world on 31 August 2008.  While Manila was not selected as an official city, there are plans to organize a run here so that runners in this part of the world can also join and be part of the Human Race. However, in Bullrunner’s blog, I was disappointed to read Coach Rio’s post that only those with Nike Ipod and/or Sportsband can join the run 😦  Hmmmm, is it just me but suddenly, I felt like I was back in grade school where there’s this bunch of kids who had this new toy/shirt and all of them were playing/wearing it and I was left out.  Remember the book “The Outsiders” by S.E. Hinton?  I felt like I was part of the group called the “Greasers” who didn’t belong 😦 I don’t know…maybe because all this time I thought running was supposed to be about bringing people together who share a common passion.  That anyone can run even sans the latest gear or what have you.  In fact, you don’t even need running shoes as evidenced by those children racing barefoot in some of the races.  It’s just sad because when I first heard about the Human Race, I thought it was such a terrific concept.  But this “you can’t join if you don’t have Nike Ipod/Sportband” thing only unmasks this run as nothing more than a marketing ploy for us to buy more Nike gears/stuff.  Sorry, but I don’t buy that and I won’t buy Nike.  This “greaser” will much rather run Mizuno 1 (without water) and Mizuno 2 (without finishing times) any day over Nike and its so-called Human Race.

No cheers.

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