Friday, December 17, 2010

Running around the village with Around The Horn

It's fun to be running again. Finally. Friends who are just as determined to run regularly and get in shape (best effort) are helping me stay focused. My goal is to join the Condura Skyway Marathon, 10k category, in February 2011. Based on the official event countdown, I have 50 days, 1 hour and 20 plus minutes to prepare for it.

I'm not a running junkie - you know, the type who has the high-tech shoes, the gadgets, the dri-fit everything. I don't plan on being one. But who knows? As of now, it's stick to the basics. Next to a dependable running shoe (I once ran around Bonifacio High Street wearing low-cut basketball shoes -- will never do it again hehe), the next most important equipment I run with is my iPod Shuffle. I can't run without it.

I can't believe I used to run without the benefit of "sounds". Today, choosing what I'll listen to during a weekday morning run comprises a big part of the fun. I look at running as part reflection, part cardio. Many of my ideas for a column/blog, I thought about while running. I consider it a double work-out; one for the brain, one for the body. Hence, it's important I run with the proper soundtrack.

My running sounds are divided into two categories - music and talk. My taste in music is so eclectic, it's useless to share a playlist that makes sense. If you can create a song category that lists Kings of Leon, Bruce Springsteen, Kjwan, John Williams' Imperial March from Empire Strikes Back, Foals, Stevie Wonder, Snow Patrol and Up Dharma Down, let me know.

If I'm not listening to music, I will listen to podcasts. I used to listen to audiobooks but I eventually found it too tedious, just not as thrilling as reading an actuall book. But podcasts, especially sports podcasts are fun to listen to. I hardly notice a brisk 45-minute run around the subdivision if I'm listening to The B.S. Report with Bill Simmons, Open Mike with Mike Tirico or ESPN's raucous round-table discussion show Around the Horn.

Just this morning, I ran with the NBA Hang Time podcast in my ear. NBA TV's Sekou Smith, SLAM Magazine's Lang Whitaker and Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski (turns out Sekou Smith is a huge "Woj" fan....well, so am I) argued over where Melo should go and made listeners choose between Robert Horry or Charles Barkley. Who would you rather be -- Big Shot Bob with 7 NBA championship rings or Chuck the Hall of Famer with a fantastic television career?

Thanks to podcasts, my mind gets a nice morning jolt plus I can divert my senses away from the smell of tocino or longganisa wafting from neighbors' kitchen windows. Sports podcasts, likewise, keep me updated and can actually give me some column ideas I can develop later on.

So far, so good. I'm back to running 40-60 minutes every other day. Before you say "wow", consider that I run at a very chillax pace. Daig pa ako ng baby na naka-stroller I think. But I just got back into running so I figured, why rush? My friends are all training for the 16k. I've started what has so far been a vague plan to conquer the 10k.

It's all very basic: run whenever I can and listen to what will make running a little less tiresome and lot more exciting. MH

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