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Race Review: Globe-Ayala Run For Home, March 20

This is my “welcome-back-to-Manila” race. It may have taken more than a month to come up with this race review, but it’s better late than never. =)

I never really intended to join this race to begin with, since I didn’t have the time and since my wallet that time was telling me not to join. =P I let it go – until 2 weeks before the event, during the running core’s bowling finals (yes, you read it right, BOWLING FINALS – we also do multisport sessions, hehehe). Almost everyone I know was going to participate in this event. Knowing how much I wouldn’t want to miss out on things (especially running events), I tried to look for ways to get myself included in the race. If I couldn’t get through after exhausting all efforts, then I’m running bandit.

Days before the race I received a message from Doc Pinky, a friend of mine who was going to run 21K.

docpnx: Gusto mo hiramin race bib ko? Hindi kasi ako makakatakbo sa Globe.
Me: Anong nangyari sa iyo?
docpnx: Injured ako. Gusto mo hiramin? Pero dapat sub-2 ang finish time mo kasi ayaw ko masira record ko!
Me: WHAT??? SUB-2??? Hirap na hirap nga ako makatapos ng sub-2:15 sa 21K e! Sub-2:30 pwede pa.
docpnx: Joke lang yun sa sub-2. Sige, papahiram ko sa iyo.
Me: Yey! Salamat salamat!
docpnx: Anytime. Balita ko HHWRPSSP ka na raw a…

Alright, that’s pretty much enough of the conversation, I’ll cut it there. =P

Race day. When I got to the race site, I got the race kit from Mac. When I got the bib number, I was surprised at my race number – 10. Now it makes sense why Doc Pinky wanted a sub-2 finish – because her number belongs to that of the elites, hahaha! But without a doubt, she’s really a fast runner. At that time I felt like an elite, but I couldn’t push myself to have the standards of an elite runner, since I didn’t have that much runs weeks before the event. My main target was simply to finish the race strong and without injuries.

The race started at the Makati Stock Exchange, then it took runners to Paseo de Roxas, the underpass at Glorietta 5, the Greenbelt driveway leading to Makati Avenue, Makati Avenue itself, up the Kalayaan flyover, then to Lawton Avenue, Bayani Road, the insides of Heritage Park, Bonifacio High Street, and finally back to the finish line at Paseo de Roxas via Makati Avenue. I felt uneasy upon reaching the cemetery because I had to take a ‘dump’, if you know what I mean. I felt disappointed that the portalets placed along the routes were locked up, but thankfully there was an available comfort room along the way, so I took a few minutes off the race to get some relief. From there, it was a smiling finish all the way to the finish line.

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The route was hard, and was overshot by a full kilometer. What’s surprising was that I still had a 6:30 mpk overall pace, with no cramp attacks. =) If it were 21K flat, I would have finished under 2:20, but running 22K in 2:24 is not bad in itself.

As an additional report, this was the first race where I’ve seen bouncers. Really, what were they for?

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Ah, feels good to be running with you guys again.

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Here were racers 1 to 10. Too unfortunate we weren’t able to find out who #9 was. Ley was runner #2, but he was out somewhere when this picture was taken.

Here’s the route

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And my split analysis.

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The Weekend Where Everyone Is Out Running

…in Metro Manila, at least. =P

This coming weekend will be loaded with runs across the metro. By far, this is the “busiest” weekend in terms of running schedule. Check out the listing of events below (sourced from takbo.ph):

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Whether you’ll be going up north or headed down south, and whatever distance you’re joining, remember to:
– get proper rest;
– attain necessary hydration;
– say a short prayer (it really helps); and
– simply put, HAVE FUN. Enjoy the experience. =)

I’ll be part of the VSO Kabahagi Run this coming Sunday. How about you, what race will you be joining? Or will you do a separate run of your own? Share your thoughts.

Thanks to Doc Marvs for coming up with the title for this post. =)

Cebu Run Route # 15: “The Cebu Farewell Run”

March 13 marked my third to the last day of stay in Cebu. What better way to bid farewell to my running playground (for nearly an entire year!) than with a farewell run.

Since I haven’t traversed the airport route for a long time, I decided to go for it again for one last time, as it might take a long while before I get to run the Cebu twin bridges again. And I might as well disturb some of the people in the airport. =P

Here are some of the pictures I took along the way.

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The ascent to the new bridge. That’s a LONG ascent.

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The other bridge in the distance, which I’ll pass by later on.

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At the bridge’s apex. Though it was around 4PM in the afternoon, the wind proved to be really strong and comforting to the skin.

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I took a little side trip to see how the new bridge looks like from down under.

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I’m not officially saying goodbye yet…

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Hello, we meet again. =)

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Another side trip – this time at the airport’s arrival area.

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Time to head back to homebase – and get packing. =P

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Now at the old bridge…

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Gazing at the coastline before nightfall.

Good times, Cebu. GOOD TIMES. =D Thank you for hosting my training runs, whether short or otherwise. It has been indeed an experience running along your roads, partying at your clubs, and eating at your best restaurants/food joints. Without a doubt, mingaw man ako gyud sa imo. =)

God willing, I’ll see you on CCM 2011. SRP highway, you’re next on my list.

Here’s a map of the route
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Plus my splits. Definitely done at LSD pace.
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Race Review – Condura Run for the Dolphins, February 7

This is my second running event for this year – but what makes this event even more memorable is that this day marks my maiden 42K voyage. Many of those in the running core will also engage in their first full marathon on this day because for the first time, runners will be traveling the whole of the Skyway on foot. During last year’s Condura, some of us only got until the approach to the tollgate across Nichols. This time, 42K runners will complete the Skyway all the way until Bicutan. Long-distance runners couldn’t resist this one – if you think about it, when will you ever get to run the Skyway’s entirety in your life? You might as well take the opportunity because you’ll get to tell your future kids that you had the chance to run the Skyway.

I had to think more than twice before signing up for the 42K. First of all, I never had the chance to go beyond 21K since past experience dictates I end up wasted more often than not after a half-marathon. Second, I won’t have much time to train since I was quite busy with work and I was still in Cebu, and it was getting close to our client’s implementation week. But upon further thought, I told myself that I can’t stick doing 21K races all my life. I must be moving on to greater challenges somehow. Besides, one of my goals that I had set to myself ever since I got hooked on running was to finish AT LEAST one full marathon. Even just one would do for me. After that, I can carry on with the usual 5s, 10s, and 21s.

I made the big decision sometime in November of last year. This was my chance to break the wall once again – so I started training in the process, even during the Christmas season. At first it was hard since I had always set my eyes on the glorious number 21. But with a little push, some discipline, an “inspiration” – and the right kind of mix from the iPod Shuffle – accomplishing long runs became more bearable. I was racking in the kilometers whenever I can, resulting in the conceptualization of the Project Cuarenta hamster-training session and the completion of my longest training run by far – a 36.22K solo LSD in the Queen City of the South that took me to a lot of major roads in Cebu. Training commenced until the last week of January.

Along with these long runs come highly noticeable weight loss. So I’m very happy that even though I usually gorge a lot on the holidays – who wouldn’t, right? – I was able to maintain my weight. It was also good news since I decided to sign up for a second serving of the running group’s biggest loser challenge. Shedding off those pounds really did me well.

One week into the race, I had to strictly implement the following aside from the usual carbo-loading so that I can safely say that I’m ready for race day:
• Get enough sleep – there was a need to make it between 6 to 8 hours.
• Eat at least 2 bananas everyday – after suffering from cramps in a number of races, there was no way I’m going to let that rain on my parade. In a sense, I was also potassium loading.
• Prepare a loud playlist for the iPod Shuffle, and I mean LOUD – studies have shown that runners who listen to their favorite type of music before and during a run are psychologically motivated to do more. Hence, I grabbed my favorite hardcore rock songs utilizing double pedal bass beats as much as possible, both local and foreign, to match the mood.
• Lay off the alcohol – it really works.
• Get any more pending work done so that I won’t have to worry much on race weekend.
• Finally, taper on the distance – ‘nuff said!

I took a flight back home to Manila Friday night. Couldn’t help but feel excited because the race was in a few days. This was definitely going to be my moment and there was no way anything was going to stop me – except colds and signs of sore throat. I was blowing my nose frequently that day and I tried to contain my coughing as much as possible so that my throat wouldn’t be that aggravated. So there was a need to stock up on vitamin C, and pray that nothing bad happens on race day. Sure, it’s only colds and a sore throat, but it could still affect my concentration and my spirit. Thankfully, the following day, signs of sickness were kept at bay, but there was still no reason for me not to drink my vitamins and gargle full strength does of Bactidol.

Saturday came. Relaxed in the comfort of my own home and watch the tube. Tried to contain the excitement as much as possible, but to no avail. Sent greetings of good luck to all those who were going to participate in the race. Sustained my potassium loading to prevent the risk of getting cramps in the race. Prepared my equipment and my apparel for the race. Ate a lot – after a long while, I got to eat rice again and some “evil” food. Hehehe! Got to bed as early as 8PM to prevent myself from being groggy when I wake up.

Sunday was race day. I woke up at 2AM, got dressed, then headed to my favorite parking spot at The Fort. There I met up with the running core, who I haven’t seen and ran with for quite some time.

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(This is Team Tahanan Village. Too bad we couldn’t find Rachel this time.)

Knowing that we will be soaking ourselves under the sun for approximately 4 hours, I took the liberty of bringing in some sunblock. Yes, though I already have dark skin already, I was THAT scared of getting darker further. I passed that on to some of my friends.

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We got ourselves in the coral later on. Approximately 30 of us who will be doing the full marathon got ourselves conditioned as much as possible and warmed up completely. Our Garmins were set, our laces were tied, our hydration belts were tightly secured, and our spirits were anxious to get the race started already. A few minutes before the race, déjà vu – much like what happened at the Cebu City Marathon a while ago, we were greeted by fireworks. That sure provided more than enough boost for us. After giving ourselves pats on the backs and encouraging words of support, the final seconds had shown up on the race clock. 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… We were off!

I joined along with Team Galloway, headed by the running group’s proponent, Carina. The major point in this race was not about speed, but rather endurance. Since this was my first, I wouldn’t matter what time I finish, although I have to admit, I was aiming for a finish time under 5 hours and 30 minutes. If I implemented a Galloway approach to the race, I would have a better shot at finishing at my target time. But the main target of the race was TO FINISH at a strong state. No matter what time I cross the finish time, it will be a personal record for me, as long as I make the cut-off mark of 6 hours.

Team Galloway was doing constant 5:1 intervals, and for the first few kilometers, I discovered that it was really working! I told myself that this strategy was really going to do wonders for me! So I kept along with the pace of the team, making sure not to get ahead of them. We kept running along Bayani Road, the Kalayaan flyover, the aid station near the highway, and the approach to the Skyway while bike support (led by Z and Pepsi) was taking pictures of us. Thanks for the shots, ladies! =D

Nearly 6AM. We were now at the Skyway, still engaged in the Galloway approach. The sun was starting to show up and we couldn’t help ourselves but look at the sunrise from above. If I had only brought a camera small enough to fit in my hydration belt I would have done so and take pictures of it. But that would mean there would be no space for the e-pass =P

We continued on until reaching the turnaround point just across the Bicutan off-ramp. So far, so good – everything was going great. I wasn’t running out of breath just yet and my legs didn’t feel wasted yet. If I kept up with my existing pace then everything would be great even when I reach that high bridge leading to NAIA Terminal 3, dubbed as the “Condura Hill”. Unfortunately, the great feeling wasn’t to last that long. Just before reaching KM26, my left calf was starting to act up. Tracy was with me that time and asked me if I was doing okay. Initial shocks leading to cramps were imminent. Although they weren’t that painful at all, I was given no choice but to slow down, walk a bit, and do some stretching along the sides. Thankfully, one runner saw me and offered me a shot of cold cream to apply to legs. I accepted his offer and began applying the cold cream to my left calf, hoping that it would kill the jolt. As a token of gratitude, I offered to pace with him until the end of the race, along with Tracy. I met a new friend in the process and discovered later on that he was also part of the running group. His name is Mike, and he’s in the process of completing his full marathon as well.

The three of us walked Condura Hill and later on resumed running at a much more comfortable pace. Tracy went on ahead of us after going downhill. But the effect of the cold cream eventually wore off and the jolt was making itself felt once again on the way to the Skyway exit. Mike didn’t refuse to lend his cold cream for me to apply on my left leg again. Since I didn’t want to have any cramps – who would want cramps during a race, right – I proposed the idea of implementing a reverse Galloway approach until the end of the race. Mike and I wanted a strong finish, so the idea was well accepted. This was going to be the strategy for KM32 onwards. However, it was sad to know that even with reverse Galloway, my left calf didn’t behave itself, and that left me completely frustrated. Did that mean I would have to walk it out until the finish line? After doing some quick computations, I discovered that even if I walked until the final kilometers of the race, I would still make it to the cut-off time. In the end, I had myself walking from Buendia all the way to The Fort via the Kalayaan flyover. Disappointing, I must agree. But the point was to have a strong finish. Later on, Mike handed me his tube of cold cream in case I might need it, and went on ahead.

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(Thanks again, Mike!)

Upon reaching the Kalayaan flyover endpoint, I tried to resume doing reverse Galloway, and so far it was working until the point that I reached the University Parkway. But it was no good as the jolt was there once again. Oh well, that meant more walking for me. Pepsi later on came in to the rescue and handed over some Gatorade. Also, the LSD team (composed of Neil, Pojie, Jet, and newcomer Timmy, who also joined Team Galloway earlier on) caught up with me. We were going to finish the race together somehow, since we were walking for the most part anyway.

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With one kilometer left before the race, it was time to give the final push. I’ve been walking for quite some time now and maybe I should give my running pace another shot, making sure to avoid the full effect of cramps. 350 meters before the finish line, Tracy went back for me and paced me until the end. Thanks for providing power to the final push despite the jolts!

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I crossed the finish line in 5 hours and 57 minutes. Not bad for a first timer indeed, although I could have done better. =)

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(Rico and Selle, thanks for greeting me. Mac, thanks for carrying my banner!)

At the finish line, I was in for a surprise – one of my really close friends who ran a 10K at this event was waiting for me at the finish line! That really warmed my heart. I presumed that she had waited approximately 2 hours for me just to see that I would cross the finish line safe and sound. There was no other form of gratitude but to hug her and thank her for waiting for me and being there at the race’s final stretch. I really appreciate the effort and the thought, and that was nothing short of priceless.

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(Caren, thank you so much. Your presence really meant a lot and I couldn’t be any more happier. =D)

Later on I met up with the other members of the running core and got my medal. I DID IT!!! I’M NOW OFFICIALLY A MARATHONER!!! =D

I was supposed to wear the Condura freebie shirt, and it didn’t fit me that well. Too bad for me, it had a good design. But I didn’t fret. I looked to where Team Bald Runner is and met up with Sir Jovie. Earlier, I had informed him that I had accumulated more than 1000K in my running endeavors. As a result, I end up with the following…

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I’ve been officially inducted into his 1000K club. Other inductees were Doc Marvs and Doc T. Thanks loads, Mr. Bald Runner! =D

And I couldn’t help but wear it for the whole world to see…

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There were definitely lessons learned after the completion of this race:
• Sacrifice = victory.
• Perseverance goes a long way.
• Long runs really help. Now I’m not scared to venture beyond 21K.
• I may need a pair of compression socks sometime soon to provide further support to my calves.
• Respect the distance. Running a 42K is no laughing matter at all.
• Finally, I have come to realization that I CAN DO IT. =D

So now that the marathon is finished, what’s next? Ultra runs spanning 50K or 102K over unforgiving heat, perhaps? Maybe, if I eventually go insane, but not for now. I have to improve my 42K time first, and live in the moment of relishing in the victory of accomplishing a feat not many can do. =) Congratulations to all those who had accomplished their first full marathon! Now I await the time when the running core will be doing this once again. Let’s resume training soon once I’m fully recovered!

Oh yeah, victory is sweet when you work hard for it. =)

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As parting words, I would like to thank the following:
• The Concepcion brothers, Pat and Ton, for conceptualizing this splendid race;
• The takbo.ph and Reinier Pacific support group;
• Z and Pepsi for the bike support;
Carina for showing the Gallo-way;
• Mike for the cold cream;
Tracy for the pace at the last few meters;
Sir Jovie for the 1000KM Club shirt;
Rico, Mac, Selle – for the greet at the endpoint; and
• Caren for being there at the finish line. =)

Here’s a map of the route…

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And my VERY positive splits. Never mind the slow pace – what matters is I finished it. =)

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Until the next 42K voyage, folks! See you at the starting line!!!

(Credits go to Bryan, Que, Carmen, Brando, and Pao for some of the pictures.)

ATTENTION, CONDURA RUNNERS!

Got this from the Condura 2010 secretariat. Please read on, be informed, and pass to anyone you know who will be running the race.

To All Condura Run Registered Runners,

Please be informed that Race Kit redemption has been transferred to a new venue at the parking lot along 7th avenue in front of R.O.X Bonifacio High Street. Over 20 tents will be set up for your convenience.

Race Kit redemption schedule is as follows:

Thursday, Feb 4 – 3pm to 8pm

Friday, Feb 5 – 11am to 10pm

Saturday, Feb 6 – 11am – 6pm

There will be NO RACE KIT REDEMPTION after 6pm of Saturday and during the race day.

Cebu Run Route # 14: “The Cebu Food Run”

WARNING: THIS POST HAS THE POSSIBILITY OF MAKING YOU DROOL. =P

If ever you’re in Cebu and consider yourself to be a hardcore glutton (don’t be afraid to admit it, everyone is in their own little way) – then this post is most definitely for you. =)

2 days ago I decided to make up something creative for my usual Sunday long run. In the end, it resulted to me making a route that will pass through all the best edible treats one can have while staying in Cebu. This route was simulated and completed today, January 24.

It would be too good to miss out the following restaurants/food chains that I will mention successively in this post. Wear your shoes and tights, folks, and load up on the petroleum jelly where it’s needed – because we’re running 28.02K worth of concrete, asphalt, hills, and food joints. I’ll be your tour guide for this run, so please hold all questions until the end of the run. Don’t worry, we’re accomplishing this at an easy pace. And we start off at strictly 430AM!

We’ll be starting off first at Sarrosa hotel, heading towards Hernan Cortes, then we go south to M.J. Cuenco. We’ll go straight all the way until Imus Avenue, so watch out for dark spots and small potholes! Upon reaching Maxilom, we’ll make a right, then go up the hills. We’ll be stopping first at Mango Square, though; your first not-to-miss restaurant is in here.

KM5.78: Sunburst Chicken
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PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Get the Sunduo Ribkeel (chicken breast) and Drumstick. Order extra coleslaw and have lots of catsup in hand. Their chicken has a distinct taste from that of Jollibee, McDonald’s, or even Max’s.
OTHER BRANCHES? Definitely. There’s one in SM, Ayala, and A.S. Fortuna.

After this we go down to F. Ramos and enjoy for ourselves a downhill ride until we arrive at Imus Avenue again. The Central Bank of the Philippines at the downtown intersection indicates that we must make a right. Again, we’ll be stopping before we reach the Fuente Osmena rotonda.

KM8.43: Crown Regency Hotel
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For those of you who have been to Cebu before, you might recognize this hotel for possessing the world’s first Skywalk and Edge Coaster. But there’s more to that! If memory serves me right, there is a restaurant on the 36th floor aptly named “Cafe 36”. You’ll be greeted by a glorious, sinful smorgasboard of Western and Asian cuisine, desserts include. This buffet is usually packaged with the Skywalk adventure, but if you just want to pig out with class, then this is a good place to do so.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Go for the Western section. Their servings of fish are outstanding. Oh, and load up on the sushi, salmon, yang chow fried rice, and desserts. If you’re lucky, you might even see a chocolate fondue fountain.
OTHER BRANCHES? Sorry, this is the only one.

We go straight down Osmena Boulevard, passing by the rotonda. Watch out for cars. Head straight to the capitol and make a left to M. Velez. Slow down upon reaching the V. Rama intersection. As we’ll be making a right here. We’ll go run the gradual uphill until we reach the northern endpoint of the road – and say a little prayer.

KM11.85: Guadalupe Church
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Once we’re done, we make a u-turn back to V. Rama. Peel your eyes for the next stop!

KM12.53: CnT Lechon
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Words cannot describe how scrumptious this lechon is. You can eat it even without any sauce! No wonder people from Manila take home kilos and kilos of this delicacy back home. This is by far the best one I’m ever tasted. Should you decide to try this one, don’t consume more than 2 kilos per week, lest you want your arteries to clog. =P
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Order 2 kilos of lechon, stock up on rice, and order a bowl of boiled oysters plus the cold bottle of Saint Michael. Make sure the oysters are boiled though, or you might end up in a hospital, like what happened to me before!
OTHER BRANCHES? There’s a small stall in SM and a big resto down at CIFC. It’s across SM. I prefer the latter because they never seem to run out of lechon there, unlike when you’re in the mall.

We’ll continue down V. Rama. Take note that we’ll be making a left at the second intersection with a stoplight – that’s B. Rodriguez street. We’ll run all the way to Fuente Osmena, but make another stop shortly before reaching it to get ourselves a little snack. =)

KM14.95: Alberto’s Pizza
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Pizza lovers, you are bound to like this one for sure. The size of their pizzas are not as big as the ones you usually have in Pizza Hut, Shakey’s, Don Henrico’s, or Yellow Cab. What separates this pizza from the others is its distinct taste. It’s quite hard to describe it, honestly. But suffice it to say that you must try it out for yourself. With regards to toppings, they’re quite generous with it – in fact, it’s OVERFLOWING with toppings. =)
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Get their best-selling variant with lots of onions, ground beef, and mozzarella cheese (I forgot what it’s called). You won’t regret it.
OTHER BRANCHES? Definitely. Alberto’s is sporadically placed in Cebu. Ask them for the one nearest you.

We’ll go back to Fuente Osmena, make a left at Osmena Boulevard, and have another meet-and-greet with the capitol again. Make a right at Escario and enjoy the rolling path leading to Gorordo. Once we get there we’ll make a left at go uphill, so save your strength. Turn right at JY Square and start speeding, because it’s purehill from this point. Do stop when you see Cebu Northwinds, because 2 restaurants will be there for the taking.

KM19.23: Chika-an sa Cebu
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They’re well-noted for all-Filipino food, but with a twist. Some of the viands here are quite spicy and have a tinge of coconut milk, which makes it all the more delicious. =9
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Crispy pata, baked scallops, mongo soup with coconut milk, and kinilaw na tuna. Feel the need for more rice? Don’t worry, it’s unlimited! =D
OTHER BRANCHES? This is the only one.

Just a little after that is its sister.

KM19.26: Golden Cowrie
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The said restaurant offers almost the same menu as Chika-an, so if by chance it’s full, you can always drop by here.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Crispy pata and grilled fish. Not sure if the rice is unlimited also.
OTHER BRANCHES? If you need to eat before leaving Cebu, their other branch is located along the airport road.

We’ll go straight down until we make a left at the IT Park. We’ll be stopping frequently here as most of the good food finds are located on this very place. =)

KM19.88: Casa Verde
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Literally translating to “green house”, this restaurant offers big servings of Western food at a VERY reasonable price. If it’s your first time in Cebu, you have to try this out.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Bryan’s Ribs. For Php188 you get a huge – and I mean HUGE – plate of barbecued ribs that can be good for 2-3 people, or just 1 if you’re really THAT hungry. =P
OTHER BRANCHES? The other branch I know of is in the 3rd floor of Ayala Center Cebu.

KM19.97: Mooon Cafe (take note, that’s 3 O’s.)
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Located at the entrance of The Walk, Mooon Cafe is well-known for its Mexican delicacies. It attracts much people especially during the nighttime because of the al fresco dining experience – and the barrels of beer they offer.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Get some chimichangas and mojitos. Don’t worry about getting wasted. The mojitos are not as treacherous as you think.
OTHER BRANCHES? I think this has only one branch.

KM20.53: Patio Ecila
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PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: After having a party at Loft (a club located right behind it), stay here for a few more rounds and meet new friends. The ambiance is great. Worry not, the beer ain’t expensive.
OTHER BRANCHES? Its sister resto, Bistro Ecila, is located at Ayala Center Cebu, right next to Casa Verde.

KM20.78: Tara’s Cafe and Restaurant
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This is the ONLY restaurant I know of that serves a 24-hour buffet. That’s right, their buffet tables are heating up food ’round the clock. If you think Crown Regency is too far for you, then this is your other option. Breakfast buffet is at 179, lunch and dinner buffet go for 249. Not bad, right? Oh, if you plan on going on here soon, make sure you just came from a hunger strike. =P
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Eat EVERYTHING presented to you with a glass of juice. If you don’t end up full after this experience, something’s wrong with you. =P
OTHER BRANCHES? Sorry, this is the sole branch.

KM20.80: Ila Puti
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This quaint little restaurant offers a hefty serving of Asian fusion cuisine. Although it does take time to cook some of their treats, it’s worth the wait.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: For starters, mushroom soup with curry and chicken fingers. Then you can either match it with a BIG breakfast that is sure to beat McDonald’s or beef stroganoff pasta. Drink it all down with a glass of semi-sweet calamansi juice.
OTHER BRANCHES? I’m not really sure.

KM21.01: Abuhan Tres
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PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Pochero. That equates to “bulalo” in Manila terms. =)
OTHER BRANCHES? One is in F. Ramos, aptly named Abuhan Uno. As to the location of Abuhan Dos, I have no idea where it is.

Whew, that was a whole lot in the IT Park, right? We’re not done yet, though. We still have a few more to cover! Let’s exit the IT Park and make a left to Salinas drive. When you see a flyover in the distance, turn left. We’ll be tackling M. J. Cuenco, the final stretch of this run. We’ll head east-bound first to The Crossroads and stop for the following:

KM21.64: La Marea
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Primarily a dessert place, this cafe responds to the inner sweet tooth inside our mouths. Upon entry, one can’t help but look at and eventually crave for what they have to offer!
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Brownie cups. Nuff said.
OTHER BRANCHES? None, sorry.

KM21.74: Olio
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This is one of the few restaurants that is recommeneded by the Department of Tourism. You’ll know why when your gorge in their fares. It’s quite pricey, though, but if you’re after the experience, go for it.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Try out any pasta variant with a glass of wine.
OTHER BRANCHES? None as well.

Let’s exit The Crossroads and head eastbound again. Upon seeing Banilad Town Center, make a right and look for this:

KM23.32: Spice Fusion
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Much like Ila Puti, they also specialize in Asian fusion cuisine. As a confession, my officemates and I would default to this place when we can’t think of anywhere else to eat – it’s also good to try out this one.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Clam chowder, black pepper udon, stir fried radish cake, and pork belly. Get a roti as an appetizer.
OTHER BRANCHES? There’s another branch at the north wing of SM.

Now we exit Banilad Town Center and head left to A. S. Fortuna. Just deal with the little uphill path going to the following:

KM23.91: Giuseppe
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This restaurant offers a real taste of Italy. It can’t be seen easily, but when you do visit this place, you’ll be wanting to savor their pasta, pizza, and gelato.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Carbonara, pasta marinara, quattro formaggio pizza and baked fish fillet. Truly sumptuous! =9
OTHER BRANCHES? There’s only one of them.

KM23.92: Hola Espana!
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Craving for something Spanish? You’ve come to the right place. This restaurant offers nothing short of Spanish cuisine, from paellas to tapas – and even the best wines from select countries. =)
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Get a black paella with extra mayonnaise, roasted pata, and some chorizos roasted in olive oil and garlic. Match that with your drink of choice – preferably a beer. The Spanish love to drink beer, so you might as well yourself. Hehehe!
OTHER BRANCHES? A more suitable location can be found in The Terraces of Ayala Center Cebu.

Let’s go down a little bit to find this baby right here.

KM24.06: The Gustavian
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When you want to define class and distinction, this restaurant has got it all. From foreign cuisine to imported alcoholic drinks from all over the world, this one is sure to amplify your dining experience. Of course, such class and distinction does come with a price, so make sure you’re financially armed before entering. =)
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Go for the alcohol and taste their beers and alcohol mixes. You will end up drunk, though, but the memories will be all worth it.
OTHER BRANCHES? Yes! Should you need a shot before boarding your plane back home, there’s one before you reach the airport.

Let’s go back to the starting line and finish this run, shall we? But first, we’ll pause to check out this other place.

KM25.75: Cafe Georg
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Providing a ‘homey’ feel, this restaurant serves a lot of people every single day. Their salads, pastas, rice meals and desserts are sure to provide a wonderful taste to the palates.
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: As an appetizer, have the mozzarella dip with spinach. Your main course can either be Singaporean-style steamed fish, carbonara, or Hungarian sausage with a small notch of salad on the side. For your dessert, make sure to get a slice of chocolate decadence. It was awarded as one of the best desserts in Cebu. Imagine a small slice of semi-fudgy chococake cake with whipped cream on top. Yummy, right? =9
OTHER BRANCHES? Only one I know of. It’s offshoot, ‘Oh Georg!’, can be found inside Ayala Center Cebu, near Metro Department Store.

After all that, let’s run back to where we started. At the intersection, make a left to Juan Luna, another left at F. Cabahug, and head back to the condominium. But wait, it ain’t over yet. There’s one more restaurant we haven’t seen!

KM28.02: Abaseria
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Also providing a ‘homey’ feel, this restaurant is managed by a family, and primarily caters Filipino food to village residents living near it. Sometimes it does get closed down for special occasions, but when it’s open, it’s worth your time to visit it. =)
PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION: Order their monggo, grilled squid, and a plate of bangus. That should be enough to keep your belly satisfied.
OTHER BRANCHES? None. This is the only one.

Congratulations, we have just completed the Cebu Food Run! Now keep in mind the restaurants I have mentioned the next time you go back to the Queen City of the South. I hope I had stimulated your appetite! But alas, I cannot really chow down on these as much as I want to, for I am engaged with my running group’s Biggest Loser Challenge. As such, I have no choice to default to this:

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As parting words, I leave you with the following: Bakit masarap ang bawal? Kasi masarap talaga siya! =P

Here’s a map of the route

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And my splits. I’m quite surprised that I ran this one at a fast pace. =O

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‘Til Devastation – The FINAL Long Run Before Condura 2010

Matira matibay.

These were the two words lingering on my mind before doing this final major run for Condura 2010. After performing Project Cuarenta back in December there was still a need to extend the mileage so that somehow I’m close to simulating a full marathon. Usually, I would do long runs on a Sunday, but I did this one early Saturday morning instead. The Sunday that came after this run was the Sinulog parade – and I couldn’t afford to miss that one. =)

The night before the run it was raining heavily. In fact, it had been raining several times last week. I wanted to do this run immediately since I should be tapering for the remaining Sundays before the marathon. However, I became paranoid, as I was putting myself at risk of getting high fever, or worse – pneumonia. I had to get a lot of second opinions from my running buddies. The big question on my mind was if it was safe to run long on possibly stormy weather. Half of them said yes, while the remaining told me to keep myself safe. They had good points. But after several minutes of reconsideration, I skipped my after-work activites last Friday and headed back to the sack to get some early shut-eye. I will do this run no matter what.

Thankfully, when I woke up Saturday morning, it was only drizzling. It wasn’t raining as hard as I was expecting it to be. After 5 hours of frequent hydration, hardcore music, and running in tights, I ended up having this route, which took me from west to east and back. Total distance ran on foot – 36.22K, accomplished 16 January 2010.

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Unfortunately, upon hitting KM32 I was more than exhausted. That led me to walking the entire stretch of KM35. But I soon as I got passed that, my second wind suddenly knocked on my door and I ended up reaching the finish line with a smile. Overall, my splits were still favorable. =)

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My legs were tired my shoes were beyond dirty after completing this run. But at least there was no chaffing and more importantly, no injuries. I was feeling good in the end that the next day, I couldn’t help but party at the Sinulog festival. =)

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Now I seriously have to taper in the coming days. Sunday will still be long run day, but I won’t go beyond 30K.

For those joining Condura, I hope you have accomplished your farthest run. Let’s save our legs for the race and good luck to all of us! =)