About Me

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I am a Bicolano by birth and choice. By any standards, I am a slow runner but I like it that way. I look at running as a healthy and exciting way to make a difference. Together with my fellow runners from our family, school, office and the community, we use running to give back..

January 3, 2016


Day 1 of the New Year 2016 had me running early in the morning inside a famed cemetery with a fabled runner. The place was foggy and soon it was drizzling.  But this did not stop us. We relish the run and for me, an early morning run is an appetizing venue for some introspective thinking. Many a run like this has produced some great or crazy (or both) ideas for me.

This morning run was no different.  After 50 minutes of run - walk thru parts of the storied "wall to wall" route of the Manila Memorial Park, I have already sewed up my 2016 New Year's running resolutions. It is a list of 5 targets for accomplishment in 2016 that are running-related.

Resolution#1:  Go down to 69 kgs.

In 2015, my weight ranged from 71 kgs to 76 kgs. When the past year ended, the Bicolano Penguin was at 74 kgs.  At these levels, I am borderline "overweight" and "obese" in terms of Asian Body Mass Index (BMI) standards.

Any way you look at it, the excess weight is putting a strain on my body. We are reminded of one of the aphorisms in the book Running is Flying:  "Running is weightlifting.  In a marathon, an average runner takes about 35,000 steps, so an extra pound means lifting an extra 17 1/2 tons over the course of 26.2 miles." 

But it is never easy to loss weight and sustain the reduced weight.  God knows how hard I have tried to loss weight from running 21-km LSD every weekend to running an ultra marathon almost every month.  These schemes failed for me to break achieve a normal BMI.  But I have to start somewhere with a target number. How about dropping from 74 kgs to 69 kgs in 2016?  69 sounds sexy and the reduction in kgs is a manageable 5 kgs, or 11 pounds.

How do I loss weight to 69kgs?  That is where the next 4 resolutions come in.        

Resolution#2:  Soda-less except on Sundays

"Want to Lose Weight Fast? Cut Out Soda from Your Diet"- this is the title of a FitDay article and to me this sounds like a good and practical idea.  Consider the following:

1.  High in calories, soda has no nutritional value. They contribute to obesity, as well as diabetes, tooth decay and weakend bones.

2.   Consuming soda has a profound effect on the taste buds.  Some research suggests that soda, even diet soda, can actually make you feel hungrier given the artificial sweeteners that signal the brain tp crave extra food. This can make losing weight a lot more difficult.

3.    Estimates show that two cans of soda per day adds approximately 24 to 35 pounds of fat per year, depending on body size, age, habits, etc.  Some people (weighing in at 140 pounds) have reported that by giving up two cans of per day, they lost 20 pounds in six months.

Given all these data, I now resolved that in 2016 I will  not drink softdrinks on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.  Since God rested on the 7th day of Creation, my Sundays will be cheat days - a time to partake of some Mountain Dew sweetness.

Resolution#3:  Cross-Train

Cross training is broadly defined to include all forms of resistance training, stretching and non-impact endurance training activities like cycling and  swimming.  Despite its many benefits of cross training (Runner's World lists 8 benefits), the Bicolano Penguin has been reluctant to dip its feet in cross training. In 2016, that is about to change. Swimming or boxing or cycling are in my crosshairs.

Among these benefits, the one  that interests me the most is greater aerobic fitness. Matt Fitzgerald of running.competitor.com has this to say - "Due to the pounding running inflicts, even the most gifted runners can handle no more than 15 hours of running per week whereas athletes in non-impact endurance sports such as swimming and cycling routinely perform twice this amount of training. By adding non-impact cardio workouts  to your running schedule, you gain a little extra aerobic fitness without increasing your injury risk."      

Many times in the past year, I had to cancel some long runs due to some pain I feel in some running muscles.  My muscles were fatigued and the fatigue could have been avoided if I did some swimming in the pool instead of pounding the concrete road with my altras.

So for more Nirvana instead of Hades for the penguin's body, I resolved to add swimming or cycling or boxing in my active exercise lifestyle this 2016.      

Resolution#4:  Finish an Ultra Series

In 2014 and 2015, the BP was not deliberate in choosing the ultra marathon it would join.  For 2016, the penguin will choose an ultra marathon series that it will persevere to finish in the course of one year.

There are options to choose from.  In the last couple of years, established  organizers like Bald Runner, frontRUNNER, Run Mania, Prince Multisports, iRunner and Runn' Active have bundled together a handful of ultra events and given some sort of grand slam award(s) for those intrepid runners who are able to finish or survive all of the events in the series.

For the year 2016, I endeavor to finish an ultra marathon series.  The one being offered by the Prince looks to be the more bite-sizel for me:  a 60km ultra this Feb, then an 80km in Aug and the finale will be a 100km in November.

Resolution#5:  Pace Forward 

The 5th resolution is my favorite as it appeals more to my ignation roots - being a "man for others".

On the road that is.  What better way to be of help on the road than to pace a fellow runner finish a fun run the  distance of which is far longer than any running event he or she has done. A cute hybrid of paying forward and pacing.

This is a great way to stoke the fire of running among my fellow human beings.  Thus, for 2016, I resolve to pace  first-time finisher(s)  for a  5km,  10km,  half marathon,  full marathon and an ultra marathon.  For anyone out there, especially a fellow back-of-the-pack (as in slow) runner(s), in need of a pacer, let me know.  Just like running, my pacing is free.  Got already an aspiring runner each for the full marathon (42ms)  and ultra marathon (80 kms).

So there we have it, my New Year's Running Resolutions for 2016. How about you?  What are yours? Let us dare to dream and run more this 2016.

P.S.  The words are mine. The work on the posters for the 5 resolutions were patiently done by my son. Quite fulfilling to be working with my son on stuff I like doing.             


  1. I am welcoming the new year with the exuberance of a child waiting excitedly for all the surprises that this year may bring.Definitely my top goal is fitness which includes running and biking(my cross training and my first love).When I embraced running and dedicated my time to this way of life,I made a lot of changes that are evident on how I look,how I feel and how I view things.oh not to mention no "singaw attack" for years.This 2016 i'm dreaming my first full Mary and hopefully I can join BP on his birthday run and how I wish it's a Sunday to reward myself a bottle of Soda which I can't live without.Maybe next year that's my new year resolution.hahaha!Kidding aside,let's all try to be conscious about our health for longevity.Aesthetics is just a bonus.

  2. I choose 1, 2 and 4 from your resolutions BP. Matipid kasi hahaha. Maintain the 65kg weight, no soda except on Sundays(beer pwede hehe) and run at least 1 marathon or ultra every month. Nice posters from Marcel :) Happy new Runs! Happy new Year!

  3. "Exuberance of a child." Love those words. On my 50th birthday come Sep 11, we will celebrate that exuberance and like a child we will race thru the 50 kms in no time. hahaha...Thank you Bem.

  4. Wow Ernie. Taller than me, you are 65 kgs and I am 74 kgs and I am much shorter than you. That explains the great disparity in our marathon finish time(s). hahaha....Happy New Runs indeed for us in this Happy New Year of 2016.

  5. Inspired writing, I must say, and a bit naughty at times. Good luck on the 69. *wink. I personally try not to focus much on BMI, just on how my body feels and functions. On the other hand, soda-less should be a breeze. I myself have been, for two years now--meatless and soda-less. Hohum. For cross-training, YOGA it is for me for 2016, sir Yoda. Haha.

    Nevertheless, I'm going for #4 and #5. Finish an ultra-marathon series, and, yes, pace forward. And guess who it will be? The HUBBY on his first 21K!

    Cheers to the new year!

  6. Awesome G. You impress and inspire us with your successful meatless and soda-less discipline. And now you are gunning for yoga. And the icing on the cake is that you are pacing your hubby on his first half marathon. Love is in the air. Being a trying hard Yoda of Love, I can't help but smile.

  7. Hihi. Now, that's a giddy laugh. I realized that the older one gets, the easier and more effortless it is to love. Teeheehee.

    By the way, aside from running, I will give some time to planting and growing herbs and vegetables, and do some baking.

  8. still have the same goal year after year, to cut down my weight. i was 85kgs way back 2011 wherein to run isn't in the pigment of my imagination. then 2012, i was bitten by this bug, from 85 to 75 from size 35in to 32in todate. still in my wishing for 70kgs, a soda less and 1cup rice diet, but it takes an audacious discipline to attained such wishlists.

  9. still have the same goal year after year, to cut down my weight. i was 85kgs way back 2011 wherein to run isn't in the pigment of my imagination. then 2012, i was bitten by this bug, from 85kgs to 75kgs from size 35in to 32in todate.
    still aiming for 70kgs, a soda less and 1cup rice diet, but it takes an audacious discipline to attained such wishlists.