36th Milo Marathon Kick-Off

Let’s just get this out of the way. I LOVE MILO! I’m not just talking about the choco-malt energy drink that I’ve grown up with. Ever since I can remember, the Milo brand has associated itself with Philippine athletics. When I was young, I thought I needed to be a gymnast or a basketball player or a judoka to get involved in Milo sports programs. I hadn’t yet heard of the Milo Marathon (Ha! Imagine that; I must have been a sheltered kid).

I’ve participated in the Milo Marathon in some way over the last two years (did the marathon in 2010, was in the commercial for a millisecond and helped man a support station in 2011) and I’ve always been struck by how Pinoy the Milo Marathon is, despite Milo being a multinational brand.

So it was a big honor to be invited to the 36th Milo Marathon press kick-off last week. I live-tweeted the event and broke some big news. Continue reading “36th Milo Marathon Kick-Off”

Fila Schools Run for School Rooms on July 7

It’s back-to-school season; we in Metro Manila take having school buildings for granted. But for students in Iligan City, there are no schools to return to because the flood waters and landslides caused by Typhoon Sendong last December wiped out schools entirely.

The Fila School Run for School Rooms on July 7 at BGC aims to gather 20,000 participants from schools, youth organizations, and yes, even you, fellow running enthusiasts, to raise funds to rehabilitate and construct classrooms in Iligan. Race organizer Athletes in Action is partnering with the GMA Kapuso Foundation (which will facilitate classroom rehabilitation) and iCare Foundation.

Registration fees are P350 for 3K, P450 for 5K, and P550 for 10K. You can register at SM Tickets and SM Cinemas, or online.

Race: Fila Schools Run for School Rooms
Date: July 7, 2012
Venue: Bonifacio Global City
Reg Fee: P350 (3K), P450 (5K), P550 (10K)
Registration Sites: SM Tickets, SM Cinemas, online
More Information: call 661-6049 or email athletesinaction [at] huperinternational [dot] com

Kelloggs Special K Run on July 22

I am trying, desperately trying to lose 10 pounds and even though I’ve stepped up the workouts, nothing seems to be budging. It must be my diet, then.

Drop a jeans size? Really?

Kelloggs Special K cereal has been marketed for the past years as a healthy way to lose weight with proper exercise and balanced diet, and it has also featured U.S. Olympians every Olympic year.

After sponsoring different race events in the Philippines (don’t tell me you don’t notice what’s in the loot bag), Kelloggs has finally stepped out and created its own fun run. The Special K Run for a Healthy Filipina on July 22 at McKinley Hill aims to raise women’s awareness of living a healthy lifestyle and will partner with Senator Pia Cayetano’s Pinay In Action program to advocate women’s health.

There are still too few women running; you’ll find that in every race only 30% of the participants are women. To encourage more women to run (and hopefully adopt it as part of a healthy lifestyle), registration will have a “Bring a Gal Promo”; all women will have P50 off the registration fees at the Kelloggs Run. If a woman accompanies a man and they both register, they will both receive the P50 discount.

Registration fees are P400 for 3K/5K, P500 for 10K, and P650 for 16K. Don’t forget to subtract P50 if you’re a woman, or a man registering with a woman! Each race kit will contain a singlet, bib, and barcode. Finishers will receive a lootbag, and 16K finishers will receive finisher medals.

Registration is ongoing at Toby’s (Shangri-La, Glorietta 4, SM MOA) and RUNNR (Trinoma, BHS). There’s a registration promo ongoing (free cereal and cereal bowls!), so do try to register as early as possible.

I’m excited about running in McKinley Hill again. It’s been such a long time. Ladies (and gents), takbo na!

Race: Kelloggs Special K Run for a Healthy Filipina
Date: July 22, 2012
Venue: McKinley Hill
Reg Fee: P400 (3K/5K), P500 (10K), P650 (16K); discount available
Registration Sites: Toby’s (Shangri-La, Glorietta 4, SM MOA); RUNNR (Trinoma, BHS)

WWF Reverse Run on July 22

Have you ever tried running backwards? It’s a different experience from regular running since the muscles in your body are made to fire in reverse order. It’s a little bit of brain gym that feels like play but can be used as crosstraining with its own physical benefits.

the British Backward Running Championships

While I prefer to keep my eyes ahead of me while running (I’m accident-prone, haha), the World Wildlife Fund’s Reverse Run asks you to backpedal for a cause. It’s to “reverse the bad” which we humans are doing by consuming approximately 50% more than what the planet can provide over the long-term, contributing to waste build-up, scarcity of resources, and overall degradation of the environment. Yikes!

Symbolic of the need to take a step back and assess the damage that has been done before moving forward to do what needs to be done to protect the environment, the Reverse Run will have participants running backwards for 200 meters, then run forward for the rest of their chosen distance category. Registration fees are P500 for the 3K and 6K, and P600 for the 12K (these are the signature Without Limits race categories). Registration has started at Chris Sports (SM MOA, SM Manila, Glorietta 3) and Skechers (Trinoma, Market-Market, Festival Mall Alabang).

The WWF’s Reverse the Bad student program aims to encourage high school and college students who become members of the program to commit more to protecting the environment. The program will be launched at the Reverse Run on July 22 at SM Mall of Asia and students who join the run are automatically signed up for membership to the program. Proceeds from the race will go to the Reverse the Bad Student Program and WWF’s other programs on environmental sustainability, biodiversity conservation, and climate change adaptation.

So, will you turn your back on abusing the environment and run towards a better world?

Race: WWF Reverse Run
Date: July 22, 2012
Venue: SM Mall of Asia
Reg Fee: P500 (3K/6K), P600 (12K)
Registration Sites: Chris Sports (SM MOA, SM Manila, Glorietta 3); Skechers (Trinoma, Market-Market, Festival Mall)
More Information: visit the WWF Philippines Reverse Run website or email wwfreverserun [at] gmail [dot] com

Regent Run on August 12

Health food buffs, please don’t kill me as I reveal one of my dirty little secrets: I LOVE CHIPS! Potato chips, corn chips, crisps, puffs, all that we call “tsitsirya” in Filipino. I’ve been doing a better job of staying away from them than I used to in my college years (when I’d have a two-serving bag everyday, yikes!) but on my cheat days, there’s nothing like a bag of cheesy chips to get the happy hormones flowing.

This weakness for junk food is what drove me toward fitness activities like running. So it isn’t a huge disconnect for a snack food company like Regent Foods Corporation to sponsor a race for their 24th anniversary this August. The Regent Run also raises funds for the Philippine Red Cross’ volunteer drive.

The Regent Run will be held on August 12 at Bonifacio Global City with the following distances: 100-meter dash (only for kids 0-12 years old), 3K, 5K, 10K, and 16K. Entry fees are P450 for 100m/3K, P550 for 5K/10K, and P700 for the 16K. Upon registration, you’ll receive a singlet, bib, and a special edition Fun Run Saver’s treat canister with 13 Regent products. Sorry, I don’t have a picture of the canister because I ate some of the contents before I could take a photo. But I do have a photo of the singlet and the 16K finisher’s shirt:

Regent Run 2012: Singlet and 16K Finisher's Shirt
Singlet and 16K Finisher’s Shirt

Aside from the finisher’s shirt, participants in the 16K category will also receive a finisher’s medal upon crossing the finish line.

I’m doing the 10K here; it’s happening the week after my bike relay at Cebu Ironman 70.3. Since I’m revving up my run training again, I hope to get my 10K time under 50 minutes for the first time in more than a year. Hope to see you there! (Let’s burn off the chips we’ve eaten, okay?)

Race: Regent Run 2012
Date: August 12, 2012
Venue: Bonifacio Global City
Registration Dates: June 22 – August 5, 2012
Reg Fee: P450 (100m/3K), P550 (5K/10K), P700 (16K)
Registration Sites: RUNNR (Bonifacio High Street); Robinson’s Supermarket (Galleria, Pioneer, Ermita, Timog, BF Homes)
More Information: 641-5688; Regent Foods official website and Facebook page

Animo Sprint Triathlon 2012

You will have good races. And then you will have bad races. Proper training should increase your chances of having a good race, but on the day itself you never know exactly what will happen. So you try to control what you can: nutrition, equipment, fitness, mental state. Of these, the most fragile is mental state, at least in my experience.

And on the day before my race at the Animo Sprint Triathlon, I knew my mind wasn’t all there. I know I’m in the proper frame of mind when I have a nightmare or two about the race (it means I’m taking the race seriously), but it was all pleasant dreams. Made me think I was deluded about how much or how little prepared I was about this triathlon, which I had done pretty well at last year.

I had put in a lot of time in the pool the entire month after SuBIT trying to drill proper form and increase my swim endurance. In particular, I was overrotating on my breathing side, throwing my body out of aquadynamic alignment and slowing me down. I had practiced keeping one goggle under the water while breathing, had learned how to breathe bilaterally to fix the rotation problem, had gone into the pool with a plan — which all went out the window when the starting horn blew and I got my goggles kicked off my face.

With everyone surging ahead of me, I hung onto the buoy line, refitted my goggles, and tried to catch up. When under stress, habit takes over and apparently I hadn’t drilled my bad habits out.

Animo Sprint Triathlon 2012: Swim
Ugh, two goggles out.

Additionally, being stuck behind swimmers with slower paces also meant I either had to expend energy to overtake them (and there was a lot of jostling and maneuvering going on to prevent that from happening), or swim at their pace. I was halfway through my first round in the pool — we had to do three — when my mind said, “Let’s quit!” It took all the willpower I could muster to keep going.

Animo Sprint Triathlon 2012: to Transition 1
hightailing it to Transition 1

By the time I clambered onto my bike, I just didn’t feel like a race frontrunner. The killer instinct I had in SuBIT which had me overtaking the women I encountered on the course just wasn’t there that day. And I had to face the fact that there were a few other women who wanted it more that day; they overtook me on the second of four laps of the bike leg.

Animo Sprint Triathlon 2012: Bike
Legs, Y U NO WORK?

Finally on the run I was able to get a little of my competitive fire going again. I overtook two of the women who had outbiked me. Unfortunately, I couldn’t catch the eventual 4th placer who did very well on the bike and crossed the finish line five minutes ahead of me.

Animo Sprint Triathlon 2012: Run
strong finish, at least (photo by Joy Vargas)

Looking at my splits, I did consistently worse at everything this year compared to last. I know I did well against the field of competitors this year, but when your expectations are set high by previous experience, it’s hard to make your mind and emotions understand that you can’t win them all, especially on only six hours total of triathlon-specific training a week.

I kind of miss the time I was just a runner and not a triathlete. I didn’t have to worry about how much training I did per discipline; I only had to lace up my running shoes and take off. I miss feeling well-prepared during run races, consistently knocking off sub-50 minute 10K’s.

I may be preparing for the bike leg of a Cebu Ironman 70.3 relay team, but I think this was a wake-up call to rededicate focus to something I really excel at.

See you at the run races again, soon.

Play Hard. Play Fast. Play On.

Ladies, imagine waking up on the morning for an important training session, only to find your monthly visitor has arrived. What would you do?

Having my period makes me feel more drained and emotional than usual but doesn’t really affect my energy levels. “Maybe I can just put it off ’til next time,” I say.

Of course, when it’s a once-a-year race like the 7-Eleven Tour 700, I can’t just put it off. It’s a century ride (100 kilometers) on the SCTEX, which is normally closed to bicycles and pedestrian traffic. It would be a great experience with my team, and it would be a relatively safer environment than trying to do 100 kilometers on the open roads of Jala-Jala or Bugarin in Rizal, a favorite playground for cyclists.

Still stubborn, I start to make excuses because it’s such a hassle to deal with the mess of napkins and stains. Then I realize, I don’t have an excuse. I have Playtex tampons.

Playtex Gentle Glide in Super and Regular Absorbency
Super Absorbency and Regular Absorbency

One of my teammates Karen also did the ride while on her period, but she opted for a sanitary napkin because she’d never used a tampon before. How do they go in? How do they stay in? How do you take them out? were some of her questions. My other teammate Hanna was a varsity swimmer in her college days and is accustomed to using tampons, so between Hanna and myself we did our best to help Karen understand how tampons work and why they’re so great for sporty women like us.

What I love about Playtex Glide are their plastic applicators, which make tampon use so much easier. I’ve used other brands before which had cardboard applicators, and some with no applicators. With the Playtex Glide, the applicator slides quite easily, placing the tampon in the correct position to stay in place and absorb menstrual flow. To replace the tampon, you gently pull on the string so that the tampon slides out of your body. For more information, check out the Playtex Tampons Philippines website and Facebook page. You can also sign up for a free sample box there, too!

So yes, that day I did my first century ride, I had my period. I had a great time, did really well, and finished feeling good that I didn’t let my period get in the way of my training. (And look, Ma, no stains!)

When it comes to my active lifestyle, Playtex Tampons helps me keep playing on.

*This is a sponsored post for Playtex Tampons. View my disclosure policy.