Appreciate What You’ve Done!

31 07 2009

Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams. Ashley Smith

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Yesterday, I was so surprised when I’ve got mail and a comment from a Legendary Man. Let me post his exact words…

Hi Ronnie,

I wish to thank you for the wonderful job you did with the story of my “ocean oddysseys” on your blog “RUNNER FOR CHRIST”. Truthfully, I was surprised, agreeably that is. Rest assured that I will not forget and will remain grateful to you.

In turn, I want you to kow that I much admire you, not only for your running spirit, but also for your faith in God and your main goal too: sharing the gospel with all the people.

You have my best wishes of success, Ronnie, for whatever you undertake. May your blog prosper and may God bless you. I will stay plugged.

Warm regards,

Yvon Le Caer

Well, If in case you haven’t  read  my post yet, “Challenger of Limits”, I am encouraging you to do so. You will know the Life story of this great guy or visit his website http://www.yvonlecaer.com

Thank you Sir Yvon for that message. I am going to add your website in my blogroll!

God bless you.

LIFE IN A NUTSHELL: Sometimes we reap kindness because we sowed a little of it. I like the way one poet put it this way.

“I have wept in the night for the shortness of sight,

That to somebody’s need made me blind;

But I never have yet felt a twinge of regret,

for being a little too kind.”

DR. Harry Evans of Trinity College, Deerfield Illinois has a sign in his office that reads, “Kindness Spoken Here.”

THE LIGHTER SIDE: One evening after a sumptuous meal in the palace, a mother, a father, 2 sons, a sister in-law and a brother in-law members of congress got ushered in a room full of mirrors. After sipping Hennessy XO cognac, the mother suddenly stood up and started asking: mirror…..mirror…on the wall.. who is the crooked of us all? Finally after several minutes, one of the mirrors replied….darn…madam…it’s a toss up!

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Running As A Form Of Self-Defense?

30 07 2009

I only direct in self-defense. -Mel Brooks

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My  running friend, Henry de Castro, who tried his first ever Milo 42k last June 28, 2009, was qualified with a time of 3 hours and 45 minutes, told me his unforgettable story while running couple of months ago.

He was running alone at around 4am somewhere in the dark alley of the Main Road, Pacita San Pedro Laguna when he was taken by surprise by two  hold-up men. A knife was pointed on his chest and they forced him to give them whatever amount he has. He said he had nothing because he was not carrying any cash at that time. While those two  talked silently among themselves, Henry smelled something fishy out there, he sensed a great danger!

He cannot win for sure against these 2 men, for both of them have knives.

And since he doesn’t have any cash, what if those two men forced him to undress?  His shoes, singlet and running pants can be an enticing  alternatives as what had  happened to a jogger a year ago in Binan Laguna, leaving that unfortunate jogger totally naked in the middle of the street.

Henry thought for a while and without further ado, he ran as fast as he could. Those two culprits chased him continuously for 2-3 minutes, but Henry, a natural sprinter, outrun them with ease. As Henry got farther, those two men suddenly stopped, gasped their breaths and yelled cursing words at him.

Henry was all smile when he relayed this story to me and I too, cannot control myself into bursting with laughter. Not unless they have guns, we can always outrun them.

The moral lesson of the story? Well, always bring some cash while running. Of course, this is not for those hold-up men, but for buying an ice cream or fresh buco juice or ice cold orange juice at convenience store when you have a good run.

Thank God because we are runners…we have an advantage over those crooked men. But what if those hold-up men are runners too? God forbid! (lol)

God be Praised!

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Henry de Castro, at the finish line of Milo 42k.

LIFE IN A NUTSHELL:  If you are humble, don’t write the book on how humble you are, with twelve life-sized pictures in it. –Humorous Incidents and Quips.

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Running Still, Running Strong!

28 07 2009

“Today is mine to conquer…” -runnerforchrist

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Waking up at 4am this morning, was indeed a great blessing already. For I’m alive and well, ready to conquer another day full of many challenges. As I opened my eyes, I lifted both of my hands and I said ‘words of thanksgiving’ to my Maker. After that, I turned on the lamp shade on top of me, as I opened my Bible, ready for meditation. The One Year Bible stated that I must open Second Chronicles 21:1-23:21; Romans 11:13-36; Psalms 22:1-18 and Proverbs 20:7. I read it outloud just enough for me to hear it again so that its messages can still linger on my mind for a long time, as my tradition in reading the Scripture. After that, I bowed down my knees beside my bed, and I prayed deep within my heart. That lasted for 30 minutes.

After a quick shower, I took 2 pieces of wheat pandesal from Pan de Manila and a cup of Sencha Japanese green tea, while preparing for my today’s run. I wore my New Balance running short,  New Balance Power race Singlet, New Balance 800 shoes, Timex HRM, Spyder Sunglasses and my Northface cap. As I’m about to leave the house, I opened the fridge to get a small bottle of Pocari Sweat. The time on my watch was 4:50am.

Unlike in my previous workouts, I have no gameplan for today’s run. No specific route and time. I’ll just stop if there’s pain or tired already.

As I lifted my hands on the sky once more, I committed my life to God in complete surrender, for I don’t know what will happen to me during this practice.

After a 5 minute easy run, I paused for a while as I did my stretching.

The time now was 5:01 am. While majority of people were still sleeping, I’m here already at the roadside, ready to rumble! I’m so blessed to have this life, no vices, I slept  early so that I could start the day, early too!

My strides at first were easy and I’m at my comfortable pace, as i increased it, I saw that the  HRM reading was at the 150 bpm. I haven’t done this for a long, long time. I wanted to run like an animal before, but my body was still accustomed to that Ultramarathon training, making me slower, with legs still occasionally in pain.

‘But today, will be different’, I said to myself. I further increased the tempo and  ran as fast as I could, until reaching a 192 bpm. That remain for 3 to 5 minutes.

I’m sweating it out, Ohh wow! What a wonderful feeling! I do have a hard time breathing, but I don’t want to stop it.

At this position, I recalled the many ups and downs of my life, those victories and defeats and how I became an Ultra-runner. Not in my wildest dreams, but here am I now, running like crazy, running like an animal, running still-and running strong.

Some 4 years ago, as I drove somewhere in Manila, I’m caught in heavy traffic because there was this race going on, and runners were occupying half of the lane. I’m so mad and I yelled in one of them, saying, “All of you were Crazy!”

Now, I belonged to that ‘crazy group!’ Ohhh the cycle of life…

My feet brought me in San Lazaro Leisure Park in Carmona Cavite and as I turned around, I took a pebble as a memorabilia. This day was different, I told to myself.

As I returned home, I dropped by in a Mini Stop, and treated myself with a Hersheys Chocolate Ice Cream in cone. I deserved one today for a very nice work out running  in 1 hour and 48 minutes.

I’m so thankful for God’s protection today, and so happy for my little accomplishment.

And a chocolate ice cream was there as my reward.

God be Praised!

LIFE IN A NUTSHELL: The good life exists only when we stop wanting a better one. The itch for things is a virus draining the soul of contentment. -Charles Swindoll

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Challenger Of Limits!

28 07 2009

I never wanted to limit myself to just impressions. I wanted to branch out and develop other parts of my game. -Aries Spears

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Few days ago, I received a comment right there in my ‘About Me’ post and as I checked his website, it turned out  that the guy who made that comment was none other than the legend, Sir Yvon Le Caer!

And he’s that guy on the picture above.

Allow me to share something about this guy who has the monicker, “The Challenger Of Limits!”

In his earlier days Yvon Le Caer raced on the continent as a pro. Later he retired to America and took up the challenge of cycling on water. One challenge he successfully completed was to cycle across the English Channel from Cherbourg To Poole (75 miles as crow flies, 92miles in event. The crossing took 16 hours 42 minutes.

It’s certainly a great achievement. I can’t say I’ve heard of many who have cycled across the English channel. As well as the athletic challenge there are also the great logistical challenges – not least avoiding one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. His attempt gained him entry into the Guinness World Record book.

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A former Cyclist…

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…who later became an Ocean Cyclist!

He received galore of awards:

Particular distinctions
Recipient of “President Reagan’s personal commendation” [Nov 21, 1985]
– Awarded the “Médaille de la ville de Cherbourg” [Sept 12, 1985]
– Named “Honorary Citizen” of the town of Cherbourg [Sept 30, 1985]
– 1985 Crossing of the Western English Channel was sanctioned as a “Guinness World Record”

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However, on August 23, 1986, a tragic training accident – I was badly struck by a hit-and-run driver – on the road from Miami to Key Biscayne in Florida, abruptly marked the end of all my cycling activities, and caused as well the collapse of all plans I had at this time, and other hopes I was still nourishing.”

BTW, a great quote from his website.

“The world is a better place to live in because it
contains people who will give up ease and security
to do what they themselves believe worth doing.
They do the useless, brave, noble, the divinely foolish
and the very wisest things that are done by man.
And what they prove to themselves and to others is that man is no mere creature of his habits, no mere automaton in his routine, but that in the dust in which he is made, there is also fire lighted now and then by great winds from the sky.” -Quote [Author unknown] sent to Yvon by an American enthusiast
in the context of “Operation Gulf Stream.”

Visit his site http://www.yvonlecaer.com

Thank you very much Sir for visiting my site, you will remain as an inspiration not only for me but also to thousands of people who were touched by your living testimony.

God be Praised!

LIFE IN A NUTSHELL: Man is born with his hands clenched; he dies with them wide open. Entering life, he desires to grasp everything; leaving the world , all he possessed has slipped away! -Jewish Talmud

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Top 10 Movies To Watch As A Runner!(Last Part)

27 07 2009

running-brave

6. Running Brave is a 1983 wonderful film. It sends out strong, positive, messages of life, and pursuing goals. As a Cross-Country and Track runner, Running Brave gave me the inspiration to continue to work hard and focus to be the best out there (like the Prefontaine movies did). Billy Mills did not let the stereotypical attitude towards his origins bring him down, it just fuelled him even more to showcase his talents.

The last segment of the 10,000 meter final is filmed exceptionally well.

–If your a runner, then Running Brave is for you. If your a person that likes inspirational, good-hearted films, I highly recommend this movie. *** stars out of 4

endurance

7. Endurance is a true to life story of Haile!This movie brings back so many memories. You truly can get a feel for the country in watching it. I can almost smell the smoke and the spicy plants. So many things are perfect, but I guess that is to be expected since it was filmed in Ethiopia. A friend asked why Haile was making a hiccuping sound when he was talking to the coach for the first time. That means he was listening intently and eagerly. The food his mother was cooking in the beginning is “injeria” which a kind of sourdough pancake/bread made from the grassy grain “tef”. ! A must see for anyone preparing for a trip there and also for those who love track and field sports.

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8. THE LONG RUN -The previous commentator who rated this film “1” based on seeing the last 10 minutes is laughable and irresponsible. This is a sensitive and will-developed film about a lonely old failed-runner turned coach who lives for running and finds a promising young woman refugee whom he wants to train for this grueling race. She is an illegal refugee from Namibia who runs to forget her troubles — not into racing — and he rescues her from deportation and takes over her life in order to train her. Eventually she rebels and leaves because she is young and wants a life of her own, but returns to running and works with him and his bunch of male runners as her group support. The cinematography is excellent and the music — using local native bands and songs of prominence — first rate. If the film were such a travesty on racing, why would the sponsoring organization of this grueling race cooperate with and allow the movie to be shot as an exemplar of the race. How many American runners have run 90k? With a good part of the race toward the end a steep uphill? This is a fine movie, a heart-warming story, unlike the vast majority of sock-em, kill-em, torture-em or gen-x mixed-up kids seeking their identity.

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9. THE JERICHO MILE– I’ve never given a movie a ten out of ten before but this is the closest I have ever come (I gave it a 9). There are very few movies that I truly love, this however is one of them. With it’s gritty realism, fantastic on-site locationing, and it’s great soundtrack it literally blew my young mind when I first saw it in 1979. At that point I didn’t know about prisons, violence, racial tensions, or the struggle to survive & live free. I doubt that anyone who is an adult, or for that matter anyone who is growing up in todays world could be impacted by this film in the same way I was all those years ago, but I will say this: “if you haven’t seen this movie I envy you”; this is because you have the chance to see this great film for the frist time. For each of us they’re different, but here’s to the rarest movies of them all: the ones we actually love…

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And here comes the best movie of all times…

10. FIRE ON THE TRACT-I suspect a lot of track and field afficionados haven’t seen Fire on theTrack. (Fire on the Track was only in 4th place after our first round of voting when viewers could vote for their 4 favorite movies). However, this movie apparently is a must see, as those that have seen it, love it as it came out on top in the final rounds when it was pitted head to head versus the advancing running movies which were more widely seen by voters. Fire on the Track came out on top over an Academy Award winning film, Chariots of Fire in the semi-finals, and in the finals triumphed over Without Limits, the Steve Prefontaine movie that had big screen publicity and Tom Cruise as a producer.

And Fire on the Track’s triumph over more widely publicized films is exactly why we wanted our viewers to settle the issue of what the best running movie of all-time was. We did not care what Hollywood or the Academy thought. We wanted to know what our hard core running viewers thought was the best running movie of all-time. And now we know. Fire on the Track is a documentary on Steve Prefontaine, America’s top distance runner in the 1970’s whose front running style, brashness, and American records from 2,000m to 10,000m captivated the American track public like no other distance runner. He narrowly missed an Olympic medal in 1972 and then his life was tragically cut short in a car accident. Fire on the Track is excellently produced, has in depth footage of the 1972 Olympic 5k final, with comments from Prefontaine’s competitors.






Top 10 Movies To Watch As A Runner!(Part 1)

27 07 2009

I don’t like to watch my own movies – I fall asleep in my own movies. Robert de Niro (American Actor, Producer and Film Director. b.1943,New York, New York, USA)

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Watching a good movie be it in a theater house or in cable is one of my favorite past times. Some of my all time favorites are Braveheart, Gladiator, Legends of the Fall, Scent of a Woman, With Honor…among others.

When I became a runner, I’m hooked again in seeing movies pertaining to ‘running.’ And may I share with you my Top 10 in this category.

Here it goes:

breaking away

1. BREAKING AWAY- is a 1979 coming of age film that tells the story of four teenagers in Bloomington, Indiana who have graduated from high school and are not sure what they want to do with their lives, other than hang out and go swimming in an abandoned limestone quarry. It stars Dennis Christopher, Dennis Quaid, Daniel Stern (his first film role), Jackie Earle Haley, Barbara Barrie and Paul Dooley.

It won the 1979 Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for Steve Tesich, and was nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Barbara Barrie), Best Director, Best Music, Original Song Score and Its Adaptation or Best Adaptation Score and Best Picture.

The film is 8th on the List of America’s 100 Most Inspiring Movies compiled by The American Film Institute in 2006. In June 2008, AFI revealed its “Ten top Ten”—the best ten films in ten “classic” American film genres—after polling over 1,500 people from the creative community. Breaking Away was acknowledged as the eighth best film in the sports genre.[1][2]

In 1980, a television series prequel, also titled Breaking Away was released.

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2. Chariots of Fire is a 1981 British film loosely based on historical events surrounding the British athletic team before and during the 1924 Summer Olympics in Paris. The story follows Harold Abrahams, a Jew out to overcome prejudice, and Eric Liddell, a devout missionary running for the glory of God.

The film, which was written by Colin Welland and directed by Hugh Hudson, was nominated for seven Academy Awards and won four, including Best Picture.

The title is a reference to the line, “Bring me my chariot of fire,” from the William Blake poem adapted into the hymn Jerusalem. The Blake poem was influenced by several Bible verses, most notably 2nd Kings 2:11 regarding Elijah being taken to heaven in a chariot of fire. The film’s working title was “Running” until Welland saw the scene with the singing of the hymn and decided to change the title.[1]

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3. Personal Best is a 1982 movie centered on a group of women who are trying to qualify for the Olympic Games track-and-field team.

The movie starred Mariel Hemingway and real-life track star Patrice Donnelly, along with Scott Glenn as the coach of the track team. It was directed by Robert Towne.

The movie was praised by critics for providing a realistic look at the world of women’s athletics and for exploring the complex relationships that can exist among teammates and their coach.

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4. Vision Quest is a 1985 coming of age drama starring Matthew Modine, Linda Fiorentino and Ronny Cox. It is based on the novel of the same name by author Terry Davis. In some countries it was released as Crazy For You to market on Madonna’s emerging fame and the popularity of the song. The movie was filmed in Spokane, Washington, in 1984.

Modine plays a Spokane high school wrestler who falls in love with an older woman, an aspiring artist from New Jersey on her way to San Francisco. The film includes an appearance by Madonna, her first in a major motion picture, playing a singer at a local bar/restaurant (filmed at the Big Foot Tavern on North Division in Spokane), where she performs the songs “Crazy for You” and “Gambler“.

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5. Rocky is a 1976 film written by and starring Sylvester Stallone and directed by John G. Avildsen. It tells the rags-to-riches American Dream story of Rocky Balboa, an uneducated but good-hearted debt collector for a loan shark in Philadelphia. Balboa is also a club fighter who gets a shot at the world heavyweight championship when the scheduled contender breaks his hand. Also starring in Rocky are Talia Shire as Adrian, Burt Young as Adrian’s brother Paulie, Burgess Meredith as Rocky’s trainer Mickey Goldmill, and Carl Weathers as the champion, Apollo Creed.

The film, made for only $1.1 million,[1] and shot relatively fast in 28 days, was a sleeper hit; it made over US$117.2 million,[2] and won three Oscars, including Best Picture. The film received many positive reviews and turned Stallone into a major star.[3] It spawned five sequels: Rocky II, III, IV, V and Rocky Balboa.

(source: http://www.wikipedia.org)

Some of those movies were not related to ‘running’, but it will motivate us to continue and persevere.

I still have 5 more left to share.

God be Praised!

LIFE IN A NUTSHELL: A gentleman is one who considers the rights of others before his own rights…. You should care more about your character than your reputation. Your character is what you really are. Your reputation is only what people think about you. -John Wooten, They call Me Coach

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What A Sweaty Saturday!

26 07 2009

Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success Napoleon Hill (American author, 18831970)

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My yesterday’s  workout was indeed too sweaty!

From 5am until 7am, I biked a 60 kms route…

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then, from 7:30am until 9am, I ran an easy 12 kms pace…

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And from 4pm until 6:30pm, I lifted in a nearby local gym…

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What a nice feeling to finish my training program yesterday and I did that without any injury.

Needless to say, there’s this great fulfillment and satisfaction as our bodies perspire.

But what happens to our body during perspiration?

According to associatedcontent.com, There are  few things that occur when we sweat, and these common reactions can be exaggerated during different situations. Perspiration is a natural process our brain initiates most often to cool itself or regulate body temperature. Saline fluids, composed mostly of water but also of minerals and a small amount of waste product, are excreted through the sweat glands and the pores in our skin. This process pulls blood away from the body’s core and toward the surface of the skin, and then the sweat evaporates. This transfer from liquid to vapor requires heat energy, which is drawn from the surrounding atmosphere, namely the body. Heat is pulled out of the blood and skin, thus cooling the body.

Deep sweating helps the body cleanse itself and replace older dead cells. Sweat clears bacteria out of surface layers of the skin and from the sweat ducts. The process of sweating also helps improve circulation from the blood vessels dilating, and gives the skin a fresh look and feel. It also helps to remove a small amount of toxins from our body, such as urea, nickel, excess zinc, ammonia, and other minerals and chemicals our body might have absorbed from the environment or from food or drink we’ve ingested. Sweat does not have an offensive odor until it is released from the body and gets a chance to react with bacteria on the surface and in the air.

If I could only store up all of my sweats  since I became an athlete and put that in a container… I think that’s a great memorabilia, and a unique one too (lol).

Furthermore, let’s continue sweating and helping one another!

God be Praised!

LIFE IN A NUTSHELL: A man speaking on integrity in the marketplace said Christians are often like the world in their lack of excellence. You need to:

-pay your bills,

-respect your boss,

-watch your mouth,

-value your people,

-know your limits,

-do your best.

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