36th Milo Marathon: Citius, Altius, Fortius

36th Milo Marathon: My Olympic Outfit
Milo green and split shorts

Forgive the quality of the photo, but this was taken at 3:30am as I headed sleepily to Mall of Asia for the 36th Milo Marathon. Having stayed in all day Saturday just watching the Olympic opening ceremonies on TV, my head was still full of the Olympic motto citius, altius, fortius — faster, higher, stronger. That Milo and Mizuno are the Philippines’ Olympics sponsors wasn’t lost on me either.

It wasn’t without some trepidation (what we know in Filipino as kaba) that I made my way to the starting line of the 10K race. I had never participated in Milo Marathon outside of the 42K’s I did during the 34th Milo Marathon eliminations and finals in 2010. What would the shorter distances be like? With 38,000 runners across the distance categories, I was positive the 10K would be a brawl like I’d never before seen. Continue reading “36th Milo Marathon: Citius, Altius, Fortius”

BMAP Great Bank Fun Run was GREAT!

As the rain clouds rolled in last week, there were serious doubts whether any of the scheduled races on Sunday would push through. I went to Nuvali on Saturday for a scheduled bike ride and got drenched within the first five minutes of my ride. (I did, however, keep going for two hours before packing up and leaving for a taping.) Saturday afternoon I received news that the Kelloggs and WFF races were postponed. However, the BMAP Great Bank Fun Run was pushing through — I’d even been recruited to lead the warm-up.

Early Sunday morning I woke up at 2:30am to the sound of torrential rain. I fell asleep again, intending to wake up at 3:30 so I could be at Filinvest, Alabang by 5am.

I woke up at 4:30am (!!!), rolled out of bed and into my running clothes, and rushed out of the house. Thankfully, BMAP and Without Limits had decided to postpone the gun start for 10K to 6:30am to allow the weather to clear. I made it to the venue by 5am. I normally don’t warm up (I know, it’s bad!) but I really felt the need for it that morning as I led the runners in the warm-up; while it was no longer raining, the damp air allowed the cold to seep through my thin running gear right into my bones. BRRRRR!

The start was prompt, and soon enough the 10K runners were leading the first assault on the rolling terrain. We needed to do two loops of a 5K course to complete the distance. I had forgotten to charge my Garmin and hadn’t even brought my regular Timex watch, so I ran the race purely on feel (I feel cold, let’s take it easy, I feel good, let’s overtake this runner, I feel great, let’s run this motha…).

BMAP Great Bank Fun Run: Around the Corner
trying to shave seconds off by running the tangents

Not only were there hills in the mix, but the curves on the course could add time spent running if you didn’t know how to run them right. I’ve mentioned running tangents before; the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, and each race course is measured on the shortest possible route. If you follow each road curve exactly, you take a few more additional steps compared to cutting close to the curve on a turn and making a beeline directly to the next curve. This meant crossing the road diagonally in some parts as a right curve would be followed by a left curve. That would have been trouble if there were cars on the road, but since the course was closed to most vehicles it was safe to run the tangents.

This strategy helped me overtake quite a few runners who were at my pace but were following the road curves too much. By the time we were on our second lap, I had put some distance between myself and other female runners. I was unexpectedly in second place!

It was here when the uphills became tougher as I started to fatigue. I relied on a few techniques I’d picked up from Pose (pick up my feet instead of pushing off) and Chi Running (short and upward arm swings on an uphill for additional momentum) and ran the hills strong. It also helped that coaches Ani and Dan had made us do hill repeats at the last Next Step Tri Camp I attended early in the month, conditioning my legs.

To cross that finish line and see the race clock ticking just past 49 minutes made me ecstatic. This was my first sub-50 minute 10K in more than a year. I was truly happy to be back in the game.

I forgot to mention that I bumped into Patrick Concepcion before the race started. He had taken advantage of onsite registration at the BMAP run because his scheduled run at the Kelloggs race had been canceled. If you want to get bitten by the running bug hard, read his blog! He’s super passionate about the sport lifestyle.

BMAP Great Bank Fun Run: with Pat Concepcion (AKA Running Shield)
Kikay Runner and the Running Shield

So I guess it’s safe to say I have been reunited with my first love, running. Triathlon is still part of what I do and I will be competing as a relay biker in two weeks at Ironman 70.3 Cebu, but I know where my heart truly is.

Race in Review

  • Route: The uphills were moderately challenging, but the downhills gave me enough time to recover so I could run the flattish sections strong. It was nice to have kilometer markers especially since I didn’t have a Garmin. I confirmed though with GPS watch users that the course was the correct distance.
  • Traffic Management: Loved that the course had very little vehicular traffic (except for cars entering and exiting Palms Country Club). Each turn had a large marker, and marshals were positioned to keep runners going in the right direction. The late gunstart meant that we encountered buses exiting their parking on the Filinvest hills at 7am. No big deal as the bus drivers were very careful maneuvering around the runners.
  • Hydration: Plentiful water and bananas on the course, spaced every 1.5 to 2 kilometers. I also saw the hydration marshals cleaning up scattered plastic cups every time I passed them. Good job!
  • Package: Every finisher received a commemorative EDSA 1984 coin. If you got one, don’t lose it. It’s a collector’s item and is no longer in production!
  • Freebies: I was extremely thankful to find a small towel in the loot bag, and there were also some items for freshening up, such as a bar of soap, toothpaste, and shampoo. Now, if only there were shower rooms, haha! Runners and friends could also avail free Tully’s coffee and Big Chill fruit shakes. Yum!

Honestly, I was going to cut the organizers some slack due to the weather conditions, but they didn’t need it. Rain or shine, the BMAP run was an excellent race. FIVE KIKAY PINKIE FINGERS out of FIVE!

photos by Jhun-B (Running Photographers)

Kikay Reviews: Garmin Forerunner 110

It was only a day before I left for my trip to Singapore last month that I finally received one of Garmin’s newest GPS watch products for review. (I had been promised one many months ago.) So there it was. Sleek, lightweight, and actually looked like a wristwatch, not a computer on my wrist.

Meet the Forerunner 110:

Garmin Forerunner 110
Garmin Forerunner 110

I have pretty small forearms, so the smaller watchface compared to my Forerunner 305 was definitely appealing.

That wasn’t the only difference. The 110 also ships with a different connector-slash-charging cable. While the 305’s was a cradle, this connector has a jawlike appearance, complete with teeth.

Garmin Forerunner 110
Om nom nom

The teeth “bite” into the contact points under the watch. The 305’s contact points were on the surface of the watch underside, in direct contact with sweaty skin which caused unwanted corrosion (I’d have to scrape mine every few months to get a proper connection to the charger). The 110’s contact points are depressed, making it harder for sweat and moisture to get to them.

While the 305 had multisport capabilities (I could use it for both bike and run activities), the 110 was primarily a running watch. And while the 305 could display current pace, the 110 only displays average pace per lap. It still records current pace to memory so I can download the workout file and see exactly how fast I was going while negotiating that steep descent down Mount Faber. While I couldn’t look at my wrist to see exactly how fast I was going at present, seeing the average pace is still useful. As long as your average pace doesn’t drop below the pace you need to hit your target time, you’re gonna make it.

The display isn’t customizable either; you get only time elapsed, average pace per lap, and distance covered. But the 110 locks onto Garmin’s satellite signal much faster than the 305 due to a better internal antenna, and doesn’t lose signal as easily. It also has a long standby life so it can double as a watch; if I don’t use the GPS, it easily lasts two weeks. There is, however, no “Off” button to help conserve power more. Once you charge it up, it’s going to remain On until the battery runs down.

While not as full-featured as the 305, one thing is still very attractive about the 110: its price. At a $130-178 range (I looked at prices online), it’s half the 305’s $299 price tag. As a starter running GPS watch with Garmin’s unparalleled GPS capabilities (having a dedicated GPS satellite still has its perks!), it’s a great deal.

#BeatCoachRio by Safeguard Active

Because of work, I always miss the running-related events at BGC on Tuesday nights. One of those was the Beat Coach Rio event by Safeguard Active, which I followed on Twitter with the hashtag #BeatCoachRio. I wondered who could actually do it; although I have a healthy respect for Rio’s speed (not only that he can beat a plane during takeoff, but also that he’s able to hold a sub-4 minute pace over an entire marathon!), I know a few runners who aren’t too shabby when it comes to sprints.

During the #BeatCoachRio event, runners attempted to exceed their athletic limitations by racing 20 meters against an LED billboard version of Coach Rio running at his best 20-meter time of 2.3 seconds. The five fastest runners who beat the LED then went on to race the same 20 meters all at once against Rio, this time in the flesh.

When the post-event video came out I was happy to see so many of my speedy running friends there, including former Ateneo track star The Chickzilla Ally Lim (girl is lightning fast in a dash!). Who made it, and did anyone beat Coach Rio? Check it out!

#BeatCoachRio: who did?

Everyone at the event looks like they worked up a sweat, which is great — except when that sweat dries and you can smell body odor. One way of avoiding B.O. is to bathe before a sweat session, which is what I suggested in a past post about running courtesy. (Little hint: women are more fastidious about how they smell. Can’t say the same for some men. Sorry, guys!)

Not everyone has the luxury of a bath before their evening run, though; most runners like myself go straight from work to our favorite running grounds. Thankfully, using Safeguard Active Body Wash (the Beat Coach Rio event sponsor) first thing in the morning protects against evening post-run B.O. with its 12-hour odor protection. Try it out for yourself and see if you can beat B.O. — even if you can’t beat Coach Rio.

*This is a sponsored post for Safeguard Active. View my disclosure policy.

I Wanted Abs (My Sexy Solutions Experience)

Summer is over, so I haven’t needed to display my abs in a bikini in a while. However, there are still situations that require a bare midsection, such as my photoshoot with Xander Angeles forΒ Lightwater last week.

I Wanted Abs: Lightwater Shoot
photo by @DrinkLightwater

That photoshoot was quite unexpected, but I went in with some confidence because the previous week, I’d undergone a waist-slimming session with Sexy Solutions. Many thanks to Nuffnang for getting me a slot so I could experience the non-surgical procedures first-hand.Β  Continue reading “I Wanted Abs (My Sexy Solutions Experience)”