Junk That Junk Food!

It’s merienda time and the food cart is making its way to your desk. Will you pick up a sweet cupcake, a salty bag of chips, a cheesy white bread sandwich?

How about none of the above?

Junk That Junk Food!

There’s a reason it’s called junk food: though they might be tasty, they don’t usually have any redeeming nutritional value. The amount of processing their ingredients undergo strips them of naturally-occurring flavor, vitamins and minerals. In order for junk food to be palatable, manufacturers use a lot of fat, salt, sugar, and artificial flavorings. (Imagine eating unsalted corn chips or unfrosted, unflavored cereal. Cardboard, anyone?) You may end up consuming a lot of empty calories that contribute to your girth rather than your health.

If you’re making a conscious effort to eat healthier but can’t stop making the habitual raid on the supermarket junk food aisle, here’s how you can change your ways. Continue reading “Junk That Junk Food!”

Road to Vietnam, Week #2: Not All There

So first, the good news: my passport issues have been solved. But I’ve learned a big lesson, and that is Renew your passport a year in advance! At the very least you’ll save yourself a headache by always having a useable passport (one that has more than six months’ validity when you want to travel).

Road to Vietnam, Week 2
at least the bike Aki doesn’t need a passport or a visa to travel!

Now the bad news. After every big race I experience a huge dip in motivation, as well as a period of lethargy. I may be able to stay on the peak of fitness and race hard for a few weeks, but then my body crashes and burns and I’m taken out for weeks by illness. (This is what happened to me post-Challenge Philippines 2014.) Continue reading “Road to Vietnam, Week #2: Not All There”

Kikay Reviews: Under Armour Pure Stretch Underwear

Apparently it was “No Panty Day” on Wednesday this week. The commemoration of this fake holiday drew a snicker from me, but called to mind the function of underwear when training.

It’s hard to find underwear that won’t chafe or bunch up when you sweat in them — I can actually count on one hand the pairs of panties I liked using when using tights. But wearing tights without underwear made me feel exposed, especially if the tights went sheer in the bum area.

I’ve been wearing running shorts with built-in liners, but due to marathon training I had to start wearing compression tights again.

That’s when I discovered the Under Armour Pure Stretch seamless underwear.

Under Armour Seamless Underwear

This is underwear made for athletes, with sweat-wicking material that keeps your intimate areas dry and flat seams that stretch and move with you.

I got my hands on a pair after an Under Armour event, and once I’d tried them I quickly snapped up a few more pairs so I could have one for every day of the week!

There are many cute training and workout shorts on the market I’ve avoided buying because they didn’t have inner lining, but now I have more choices because I can wear the UA Pure Stretch underwear under them. Hurray for the end of unintentional full moons!

Under Armour Seamless Underwear

The one-size-fits-athletes sizing scheme made me hesitant at first, but the cheeky bikini style hugged my 36-inch hips, gave enough coverage for my bottom, and didn’t result in the dreaded Visible Panty Line. In fact they are so comfortable I’ve taken to wearing them even when I’m not breaking a sweat. And because they dry so fast, I’ve taken them on my travels so when I do laundry my delicates don’t need to hang around too long on a clothesline.

(The underwear also comes in a thong variant, and in more than half a dozen colors and patterns. Under Armour also makes the Boxerjock for men.)

They’re not an inexpensive indulgence, though, at around P450 a pair. I lucked out because I snapped most of mine up during an outlet sale and on underarmour.com.ph.

Try a pair and see for yourself why “you’ll never wear regular underwear again!”

P.S. NEVER wear underpants under cycling and tri shorts.

Road to Vietnam, Week #1: Sunblock and Roadblock

With only 12 weeks to go until Challenge Vietnam, I have been trying to stick to my triathlon training plan from MaccaX. Last week I ran into a few roadblocks.

I hadn’t looked at my bike since I packed it after the Bintan Triathlon. After a week of lazing about I decided to put it back together. I’m starting to get the hang of bike packing by myself but I always build my bike with bated breath. Who knows what airport baggage handling may have done to it?

Externally it looked fine: none of the levers, gears, hangers, and frame had been damaged. However, the expander bolt on the fork just wouldn’t tighten and sit properly. Hence I had to bring the bike to Primo Cycles for a major tune-up and checking over. That meant leaving it over the weekend and missing any long ride planned. (Not that I had planned one.)

Road to Vietnam, week 1

Meanwhile, I’ve been doing more of my training sessions indoors. While attending two Olay Regenerist events over the past few weeks, I discovered the skin on my face is worse than 70% of women my age and skin type. Oh, no! I love having a tan… I just do not want to end up looking old with a leathery face. Going out into the elements without sunblock and moisturizer can do that.

So I’ve been up to some heavy-duty intervention: staying out of the sun, sleeping early, and using the Olay Regenerist youth serum and sculpting cream. Thank God for indoor pools, even though 25 yards still isn’t the same as 25 meters. Treadmills and spin bikes, while effective, are not as fun as running and cycling outdoors.

(My face is already looking more youthful and dewy, though. *wink*)

The biggest roadblock isn’t a training one, but an immigration one. I scheduled my flights out to Ho Chi Minh and Nha Trang for the 8th of September; the race is on the 11th. That’s exactly six months before passport expiry on the 8th of March next year. Right at the check-in counter the airlines aren’t likely to let me through due to immigration regulations — Filipino tourists need to have at least six months’ validity on their passport to be allowed to exit the country.

Here’s the crazy part: trying to book a passport renewal appointment. On average it’s a 45-day wait between booking and appointment, but in my case it’s more like 60 days! So now I’ve asked for some help and hopefully I get an earlier schedule. Please pray for me. I really want to race in Vietnam in September!

Otherwise I’m going to have to look for another race. Challenge Nusajaya sounds good. However, the logistics from Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, or Penang are a little complicated (and expensive as a solo traveler!). It’s also earlier, which means I will be underdone.

Challenge Kanchanaburi in October is the next best option, but I’d rather travel to another country aside from Thailand this year. (Again, the racing is just an excuse to see the world!)

It reminds me of the interminable wait for my visa to Germany to race Challenge Roth back in 2014. I had no idea if Germany would grant the visa. In faith I continued as if I would be departing on schedule.

At the very least, getting back into the habit will keep me in shape. Haha :)

Road to Vietnam, week 1

Ask Kikay Runner: Dealing with Catcalling

Mcsy Jugo asks: Hi I know this may sound odd but you see my daughter has taken running as well and she does her regular training and mileage run in our place in Cainta and she runs all the up to Sta. Lucia Mall and back.

Along the way she couldn’t help getting catcalled and whistled at every time she runs that route. Sometimes I run with her, well of course no one would dare do it when I’m around her running as well.

I would appreciate it very much if you can take it up in your blog on how to deal with those kinds of situations: the how to’s during, avoiding, and preventing.

I’m so disappointed right now since our would-be president seems to encourage it as well!

Some people say, “What’s the big deal? Take it as a compliment!”

Um, no. Being on the receiving end of catcalls is annoying at best, terrifying at worst. Some women feel validated and flattered, but those women are in the minority. The rest of us feel vulnerable, and when you’re out on the streets just on your own two feet there’s not a lot you can do.

Dispatch 11: Better Together

Continue reading “Ask Kikay Runner: Dealing with Catcalling”

The Road Ahead to Challenge Vietnam

Even though there’s only a one-hour time difference between Manila and Phuket, I always come back home feeling like I need to get back up to speed. And so that’s what I’ve been up to the past week and a half: catching up with work, sleep, and some fun with family and friends before I buckle down for my next race, Challenge Vietnam.

On a Break
very motivated for Challenge Vietnam

But I knew I needed that break physically and mentally. Continue reading “The Road Ahead to Challenge Vietnam”

Laguna Phuket International Marathon

For my first destination marathon, the Laguna Phuket International Marathon was supposed to be a cushy experience. Having been to Phuket and the Laguna area at least three times a year for the last three years, I had a very good idea what to expect and could prepare well for it. It would be like racing at a home away from home.

Laguna Phuket Marathon

But as I’ve learned from every marathon I’ve done, nothing is certain until the last kilometer is run. I guess that’s what makes for good stories, right?
Continue reading “Laguna Phuket International Marathon”