Saturday, February 23, 2008

Melbourne, Part One

Just a quick update on how my Melbourne leg is going so far.

Enjoying myself, meeting people and seeing a whole lot of sights. The hostel where I'm staying at is fine. Location is GREAT! It's at Flinders Lane and Swanston, so central to everything! But my bed is a bit lumpy (what can I expect from AU$30/nite). I have 3 roommates, a girl from Japan, Korea and an Australian from Perth. They're all so sweet and helpful.

So, here's what I've done so far...

Day One:
Melbourne Aquarium
Melbourne River Cruise - Up River
City Highlights & Dandenong Ranges Tour
Melbourne 360 Observation Deck

Day Two:
Running around the Tan Track, Royal Botanic Garden
Fitzroy Gardens: Cook's Cottage
St. Patricks Cathedral
Melbourne Museum
Lygon St. (Little Italy)
Old Melbourne Gaol
QVB / Myer / David Jones
Free outdoor opera by the Melbourne Symphony

No wonder my legs are so tired... Just looking at the above list, I wonder how I was able to fit all these in.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Travel planning: Australia

Been busy the past few weeks preparing for my trip to Australia. From scheduling my itinerary, finalizing trip details, to ripping movies/tv shows for my iPod. Boy, you should see my travel calendar, each day is packed with both sightseeing and some kind of activity, whether it be surfing, skywalking, hiking, and of course, running.

Also starting to think about what to take along... Packing is such a science, you want to be prepared for all situations, but yet you also want to travel light. Do I bring the laptop and/or the Touch, the Garmin and/or the Nano, hiking boots and/or running shoes, which camera, argh, the list goes on! Anyways, I still have a few more days before I leave, I'm sure I'll figure it all out.

I'm over the roof about this trip, but at the same time I'm a bit anxious as it's been years since I've travelled by myself. However, I've done it before (the worrying and traveling solo) and each time was wonderful. And I'm sure this trip won't be any different.

Well, I hope to post little trip snippets here and there, but if I'm not able to, I'll tell you about it in three weeks. Ciao for now.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Running recap: week ending Feb 17

After several weeks of light running, I did much better this week. All because I received a challenge from a runner, who is in the Top 5 in Nike+ Philippines overall distance. Just what I needed! So here is this week's data:

MON ::-
TUE ::5.76mi8:40pa
WED ::-
THU ::4.8mi9:22pa
FRI ::6.0mi*10:01pa
SAT ::-
SUN ::7.5mi*10.01pa
TOTAL ::24.06mi*

*Approximate miles only. Having Issues in regards to inserting Nike+ sensor inside Nike Vomero shoes.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

An inspired run

I had an awesome interval run on the treadmill this afternoon. I ran hard and fast, because I was inspired by the music.

I usually listen to my workout playlist or the latest Fdip podcast. Today I set my mp3 to shuffle mode and the songs it spewed out were awesome. Songs I haven't heard in a long while.

Not even 5 minutes into my warmup, I heard Pictures by Systems of a Down. That got me running fast and I even played it twice! Then Van Halen's Dancing In the Street came on, followed by a classic Tom Petty song and a chirpy Ben Lee song. When it was time to cool down, it was Mariah Carey and Joni Mitchell, what perfect timing!

Ahh, it's time to create a new playlist...

Miles ::5.76
Pace ::8:40
Time ::50:02

Day tripping: Clark, Angeles City

Went to Clark Air Force Base in the early hours of Saturday to watch hot air balloons take flight during the Phil Int'l Hot Air Balloon Fiesta.

Legs in running shorts and shoes! :-D

It was unfortunate that the winds were too strong that day. Balloons can't take flight on a windy day, something to do with not being able to fill up a balloon... There wasn't much the organizers, balloonists and spectators can do but wait for the the wind to die down... but no. We did see a couple of balloons partially inflated via "cold inflate," but the wind would just push the air back out.

So although we didn't get to see the balloons in action, there was plenty to keep us entertained. Overhead, there were jumpers, kites and plane aerobatics. On ground, it was people watching and snapping tons of pictures.

Nayong Pilipino
We visited the nearby Nayong Pilipino. It was so-so... a nice attempt in recreating several colonial/heritage types structures, but ehh. We heard one staffer say that they were expecting 5000 people that day, wow! Several busloads of people did come in as we were leaving. A better representation of a heritage village is Sitio Remedios in Currimao, Ilocos.

San Guillermo Church
We still had lots of time to kill before our lunch reservations at C's, so we drove over to Bacolor to check out San Guillermo Parish church. This church was buried in half with lahar from the Mt. Pinatubo eruption. It felt weird walking inside this church, like I was disproportionally huge inside a miniature church.

Those three doors used to be windows!

A source of light

C's Italian Restaurant
Afterwards, it was a fantastic lunch at C's Italian Restaurant. Ordered the same thing again, their panizza with parma ham & asparagus, two other gorgonzola dishes and a nice bottle of pinot noir from New Zealand. Yum!! Disappointing though was their tiramisu. I like mine sopping wet with espresso, their version is the dry cakey type.

Cold Spoon
Follow up dessert at Cold Spoon. Oh my gad, they seriously have some good yogurt, the best I've tasted in the Philippines! It was creamy with the right amount of tang. I had mine topped with almond clusters. It is Korean owned and is available for franchising. So to anyone with the extra funds, please bring it to Manila!

Running recap: week ending Feb 10

Not a whole lot of running activity done last week. Pretty embarrassing actually. But I did get a new Nike+ sports kit, and the numbers look about right.

MON ::-
TUE ::-
WED ::3.5mi*11:26pa
THU ::6.66mi9:00pa
FRI ::3.31mi9:03pa
SAT ::-
SUN ::-
TOTAL ::13.47mi
* Data from old Nike+ Sports Kit

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Apartment 1B

I had lunch with a couple of friends at Apartment 1B today. It was my first time there. I liked the food, I had the french onion soup and crab cakes, and they were both good. But somehow, being there was bittersweet...

You see, before it was Apartment 1B, the place used to be con fusion, a neighborhood restaurant/bar owned by a very dear cousin. Prior to moving back to Manila, for seven years, I made sure to visit con fusion during my almost, if not yearly, vacations.

I have great memories of the place. It was where I hung out with my cousins, our meeting place. I've also made good friends there. The place reminds me of Cheers, the neighborhood bar, where everyone knows your name.

Apartment 1B
One Lafayette Square
132 L.P. Leviste Corner Sedeno St
Salcedo Village, Makati
Tel: 843-4075

New Nike+ Sports Kit

Used a new Nike+ sports kit on my run tonight, and the numbers are looking good. Too good for a hill workout on the treadmill. Need to get it calibrated this Sunday!

Miles ::6.66
Pace ::9.0
Time ::1:00:02

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

A weekend that wasn't meant to be

Early morning in Taal Lake

Last weekends' highlight was supposed to be sailing around Taal Lake with friends. Upon arrival early Sunday morning, a very tasty breakfast was prepared for us by G+H. We lingered over the breakfast table, soaking up the view, in the company of good friends. After a couple of drinks, I was in a happy state I decided to forego my turn in the hobie cat. In my book, sailing and alcohol doesn't mix, especially as I'm prone to seasickness. No regrets though, since the entertainment and merriment continued on land.

Back to my friends G+H. I was around when they first met months back. Last weekend marked the first time they called each other boyfriend and girlfriend, a big step for them! Congratulations!

At the end of a long enjoyable day, all I wanted was a shower and getting myself to bed. But no! I discovered my bathroom rendered unusable caused by major renovations from the unit above. Argh! So, I'll be sharing my parents bathroom until I don't know when.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Running recap: week ending Feb 3

Last week was a super light week for running, logging approximately 16 miles only. My love for the Nike Vomero shoes continues and grows more and more with each step. It is so light and cushiony I feel like I am flying.

Unfortunately, the Nike+ Sports Kit doesn't work too well with the Vomeros. The distance readings are so off. Could it be that the lush cushioning of the shoe prevents the sensor from registering each step? Anyway, it's not the sensor's battery that's at fault because it works with the NB 1061's. So I guess I'll have to use Marware's pocket when using the Vomero.

MON ::rest
TUE ::3.32 mi*14:43 pa
WED ::4.88 mi**10:14 pa
THU ::rest
FRI ::3.03 mi*13:12 pa
SAT ::02.73 mi*10:58 pa
SUN ::rest
TOTAL ::??? mi
* Vomeros; ** NB

Saturday, February 02, 2008

I did it!

I registered for my first marathon! No, not the Philippine Marathon, but the San Francisco Marathon in August. Yeah I know, it's a long time away, but I needed a real goal, not just a plan, to get me moving.

Next thing to do is plan a training schedule, which should start the beginning of April. In the meantime, I'll continue building my base, running approximately 20-25mi per week.

Did you know that San Francisco was voted "#1 Running City in America" by the readers of Runner's World? :-D Ooh, I can't wait!