Sunday, January 16, 2011

Run like a girl (part 4)

One day, I will be able to call myself an intercontinental runner, running and eating in all the cities I will ever go to.

For now, I relish small victories, like yesterday when I won my first running medal.

That's right - I actually WON a race. I ranked
third in the 8KM/5mile Road x Trail Running event down south in Nuvali, so I got a ‘bronze’ thingy around my neck.

(My bronze WINNER medal + my FINISHER medal)

It was a smaller event but joined by serious road and trail runners nonetheless. The competition was not as tough as in the bigger 10,000-runner races, where I usually rank only 30+ in the female category. Still, it was a hard run on a new terrain against worthy opponents, and I ran my best 8km time — around 46 minutes (less than 6 minutes per kilometer).

(Road x Trail banner)

The boyfriend and I were supposed to run this together. We planned a weekend vacation around it, complete with a hotel and all. Sadly, he got the flu about three days before the event, so I cancelled the hotel. I nearly cancelled the run altogether, but because he’s supportive like always, he insisted I do it. He drove me to the south and cheered me on. You gotta love a self-assured man not intimated by an alpha female :)

The new terrain and its uphills was a shock to my system. But my new Nike Free Run served me well. I started strong, rested in the 3rd to the 5th kilometer, and then finished strong. Great shoes, greater will power.

(Me stretching in my new Nike Free Run)

It started to rain like hell halfway through the awarding ceremony, so I never got my 5 seconds of fame and pictorial on the medal stands. I was simply handed my medal thimagingy. That was okay, as it was getting dark and I was starting to shiver from the strong wind and rain. I grabbed my bronze and happily went back to the tent, where I was chatting with other runners who were also wet and cold. After a few minutes, the boyfriend and his car pulled up.

We intended on driving back to the metro, but the rain was pouring so hard and we could hardly see the road. We ended up staying in a hotel, after all. By this time we were both down with the sniffles. We figured a nice, hot shower and room service may save us from full-on fever.

TecnoPark hotel overcharged at around $130, even though they advertised a weekend promo that could have saved us $50 or so. Eh, what the hell. The booking guy probably sensed the desperation in my eyes (hot shower please!) and figured I would pay anything—ANYTHING to get me out of my wet clothes.

(The overpriced hotel room. My condo is better.)

I missed my place, my nice big bed, my 700-count Egyptian cotton sheets. I missed Conan O’Brien at 11pm. I missed home. But the hot shower was relaxing and the food delivered to the room was edible. I fell asleep on the weird bed, anyway. I was too tired to complain.

After a nice big breakfast the next morning, I went back up to the room and finally took a picture of myself with my medals. I forgot to put on a more decent outfit. (Yes, this is a big ratty shirt I sleep in).

And that was that.

I'm back home now. The adrenaline has dropped and I can feel the sniffles. Maybe I'll veg out all day, eat fruits, drink green tea. Oh, and I need to do "carbo loading" - a concept alien to dieters but very useful for runners like me who love to eat horrible, fattening things.

Tomorrow, it's back to work.

Victory is short. Deadlines loom.

Even champions have to face reality.



Thursday, January 13, 2011

buying freedom

Today I decide to be grateful for the biggest asset that web entrepreneurship gives me: time.

Unlike most people, I can:
  • go on impromptu vacations (I never have to "file a leave")
  • stay in bed way past 10am... or 2pm... or all day on a weekday
  • run whenever I feel like it
  • take lingering lunches uninterrupted by the Blackberry
  • do my groceries in the middle of the week (when fruits are on sale)
  • go to lunch and movies at 2pm... on a Monday
I am grateful.

Most people trade their time for money. They get paid to stay in an office at least 8 hours a day. That's 8 hours they could be using to travel, spend time with people they care about, take up classes that make them happy. That's 8 hours they can never get back. I know because I used to be a corporate slave, too. And when I was in "the grind," I didn't even realize how sickeningly disproportionate my work-life stats were.

Thankfully, I don't have to always have to trade time for money. Certain parts of the business make money even when I am not working. MSP and I are putting our energies into making this unit of the company grow. We're halfway there.

Don't get me wrong. It's not easy. Owning a company has its hectic days, and the pressures are even bigger than what most employees have to put up with. Money is unpredictable; dips in the market don't just mean cutting back on latte, but moving heaven and earth to keep afloat. The monetary rewards - when they do come - are not bad, but they're never easy to get. Of the millions that flow in and out of a company yearly, owners only get to save a small fraction, really.

So what the hell is my point?


I guess I have the time to write thesis-less post, when most people don't even have a few seconds to enjoy -- really enjoy -- a cup of coffee.

And for this, I thank the universe.

And I thank MSP, the business-minded, La-Salle bred (lol), technopreneur/geek who bullied me out of corporate slavery and taught me how to make money so I may live, not live to make money.

(We're almost there, punk. Don't walk now. )