#itstartshere: 35 Years of Toby’s Sports

We tend to take things or people for granted when they’ve always been around. For me, Toby’s Sports has always been there whenever I needed anything for my sports endeavors. Whether it was new crosstrainers for Physical Education classes, sporty lifestyle clothing for hanging out in, or equipment for the various sports I tried to pick up through the years, I knew I could find something at a Toby’s Sports branch in my favorite malls.

This is because Toby’s Sports has been around longer than I’ve been alive. It’s been 35 years since its beginning as a small hobby toy store! In the retail world, that’s several lifetimes. Toby’s Sports’ longevity is definitely something the people behind it never took for granted. The best brands survive because they always find a way to reinvent themselves and stay relevant.

At Toby’s Sports’ 35th anniversary event two weeks ago, they launched their new store look, campaign, and brand ambassadors. Continue reading “#itstartshere: 35 Years of Toby’s Sports”

Should I Exercise When Sick?

After a week trying to dodge the flu that’s been going around among my co-workers at the gym, I have finally been hit. Thankfully, the symptoms aren’t too severe: runny nose, sore throat, and a slight fever yesterday which has gone now. But they still were enough to make me reconsider my usual Thursday morning tempo run and lunchtime bike trainer session.


It’s a big bummer because I’m preparing for a lot of racing in October. I have the Avon Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer Manila Run on the 13th, and Tri United 3 on the 27th. I’ve already had to skip run sessions due to work, so this kind of setback makes me feel like I’m missing out on the training and might not be fit enough for the races. These are typical obsessive training thoughts especially for exercise addicts like myself, and I have to make a conscious effort to dispel them.

What is the saying? “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Of course, it’s always better not to get sick, but once you do get sick you won’t lose fitness by taking a few days off. In fact, you can prevent being out for longer; your body can use all its resources to recover.

There’s a good rule of thumb when it comes to deciding whether or not to exercise if you’re feeling under the weather. Doctors, like Edward Laskowski of the Mayo Clinic, use the “above the neck/below the neck” rule. If your symptoms are all above the neck (runny nose, sneezing, nasal congestion, mild sore throat), it’s okay to exercise, although you should reduce the intensity and duration of your workout. If your symptoms are below the neck (difficulty breathing due to chest congestion, hacking cough, upset stomach, fever, full body aches), don’t exercise!

I’ve come across Facebook posts from fellow runners who recount how they accomplished this training session or that race even if they’re sick. Kudos to them for gutting it out, but there are some instances where that accomplishment comes at the price of making them even more ill.

Regular exercise helps boost the immune system, and that’s probably why I’m not plastered to my bed right now. Unfortunately, exercise over 90 minutes in duration can depress the immune system, which is why we’re more prone to coming down with something after a long-distance race. In my case, it was a three-hour BODYJAM dance marathon that did me in. I’m doing my best to rest so I can be back in action soonest.

Once you do get well, it’s important to ease back into your workout schedule to prevent relapses, which are often worse than the initial illness. If my recovery goes smoothly I might be able to do a bike trainer workout on Sunday at the earliest. I won’t force it if my body won’t let me, though.

What about you? Have you exercised while sick, and what happened? What did you do to get well? Tell me all about it in the comments section.

St. Peter Midnight Run on October 31

Yesterday, this happened:

So, this happened… #faceyourfears

A post shared by Noelle De Guzman (@kikayrunner) on

Not resting in peace, actually.

I attended the press launch for the St. Peter Midnight Run set for October 31, 10pm at Metrowalk in Ortigas. St. Peter Life Plan and Memorial Chapels has sponsored fun runs in the past two years, and this year they’ve partnered with Greentennial Run to become the title sponsor for the Midnight Run.

St. Peter Midnight Run on October 31, 2013
St. Peter Midnight Run on October 31, 2013

The Midnight Run is a fun commemoration of All Saints’ and All Souls’ Days and will be held in celebration of the annual St. Peter DeathCare Week commencing on October 27 until November 2. There are 3K, 5K, 7K, and 10K categories all at the flat registration fee of P600. Only 1,500 slots are available for this non-timed run. To receive a finisher’s shirt, a participant must complete the assigned task in each of the four zones — Haunted House, Ghostly Cemetery, Greentennial Hunks, and Kiss-of-Divas.

The costume contest is paramount in this fun run. There are so many categories to compete in, with big prizes for the winners! The categories are:

  • Runner in Pink Casket
  • Best Run Team/Company Costume (4 members or more)
  • Cutest
  • Sexiest
  • Best Partner Costume
  • Best Trio Costume
  • Best Super Hero
  • Best in Filipiniana
  • Best Iconic
  • Best Retro
  • Most Colorful
  • Parent-Child
  • Best Family Costume
  • Most Frightening
  • Most Controversial
  • Most Resourceful
  • Most Extravagant
  • Mr. & Ms. St. Peter Midnight Run 2013

Registration is ongoing at A Runner’s Circle (Roxas Blvd.), Yonex SM Megamall, Secondwind Running Store (Ortigas Home Depot, Teachers Village, and Greenhills G-Strip), Juego (Trinoma, Market Market, and Greenbelt 4), and Li-Ning (Mall of Asia and Alabang Town Center). For more information, check out St. Peter Life Plan and St. Peter Chapels Facebook page, the St. Peter website and the Greentennial Run Facebook page.

I had a lot of fun at the Midnight Run last year, so I’ll definitely join this one. Now, what do I wear?

Not any of these costumes. Too freaky!

Race: St. Peter Midnight Run
Date: October 31, 2013
Assembly Time: 10pm
Venue: Metrowalk, Ortigas
Reg Fee: P600 (3K/5K/7K/10K)
Registration Sites: A Runner’s Circle (Roxas Blvd.), Yonex SM Megamall, Secondwind Running Store (Ortigas Home Depot, Teachers Village, and Greenhills G-Strip), Juego (Trinoma, Market Market, Greenbelt 4), and Li-Ning (Mall of Asia, Alabang Town Center)
Registration Dates: ongoing
More Information: St. Peter Life Plan and St. Peter Chapels Facebook page, St. Peter website and the Greentennial Run Facebook page

Raw Elements Eco Formula and Eco Tint Sunscreen

I believe I’m solar-powered to some extent; I get up with the sunrise — I’m a morning person and can’t sleep in! — and don’t really have issues training in the heat. I also love getting a tan, which is why this outdoor lifestyle I lead is such a good fit for me.

Unfortunately, sun exposure wreaks havoc due to ultraviolet radiation. Effects include skin cancer, cataracts, suppression of the immune system, and premature aging of the skin. (cue horrified scream) This is why I never go out under the sun without sunscreen. Of course you then hear stories about how awful and not eco-safe the chemicals in most sunscreens are. In particular, there are four chemicals found in most sunscreens that were shown to cause damage to coral reefs: oxybenzone, butylparaben, octinoxate, and 4-methylbenzylidene camphor (check out the study here). Not only do I swim in the ocean for triathlons and training, but after every workout I bathe, and bathwater eventually drains into the ocean.

There are effective sunscreens without these ingredients, though. I pick water-resistant sunscreens with zinc oxide as the active ingredient because this mineral does not get absorbed by the body, and when it washes off it doesn’t react with the environment.

Right before my trip to Cebu, Rebecca from Cutieverse sent me a good-luck care package containing samples of Raw Elements Eco Formula and Raw Elements Eco Tint.

Thank you @cutieverse for the raw/eco-friendly sunscreen I tried out in Cebu! Review on my blog soon. #kikayrunner

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“Wishing you best of luck in Cebu Ironman 70.3”

The great thing about raw-ingredient products (like this Hurraw! lip balm I reviewed previously) is they are less processed. Raw Elements products are also made with USDA certified organic ingredients. Since sunscreen goes directly onto skin, the body’s largest organ, I’d want the least amount of artificial or harmful chemicals in it.

Raw Elements Eco Formula goes on white, but spreads well on skin until it blends out. I used it on the Friday test ride, which was quite hot and sweaty. I loved that even when sweat dripped from my forehead, the sunscreen didn’t come off with it and sting my eyes. It’s also not sticky, so after my ride I was comfortable enough to attend the Meet the Pros conference.

Raw Elements Eco Tint is a tinted sunscreen in stick form. I used it on my face when I marshalled the IronKids triathlon. The color blended well with my tan and brightened my complexion so I looked well-rested and fresh. It’s great to wear under makeup as a replacement for foundation base.

If you live an active lifestyle and have a passion for saving the environment, these Raw Elements products are something you should look into.

Raw Elements Eco Formula and Eco Tint Sunscreen are available online at Cutieverse.com.

Challenge Philippines Update: Are You Ready to Roth?

Today I attended a roundtable discussion with Challenge Philippines race chairman Dave Voth and media partners, and we got the lowdown on the half-iron distance triathlon happening on February 22, 2014 (check out my previous Challenge Philippines post).

Challenge Philippines roundtable
the Challenge Philippines team with members of the media

Dave gave us three major updates about Challenge Philippines. The first one, which I had already hinted at, is Continue reading “Challenge Philippines Update: Are You Ready to Roth?”

Partyology: The Chronicles of Dance on September 21

Running puts a premium on forward motion; the shortest distance from start to finish is a straight line, and the fastest person to the finish line wins. But as seen in this article by sports rehab specialist James Dunne, just because we move in straight lines doesn’t mean we shouldn’t train other movements as well.

So what happens when we train predominantly the muscles which work to produce straight line, sagittal plane movements? They become the ones which get worked hardest and develop strongest, leaving the muscles which get loaded more effectively through rotation and lateral movement (yet are responsible for providing stability as we run and cycle) to remain weak and [d]econditioned.

I strongly believe dancing is good for everybody, and it’s so much fun I don’t even realize it’s a workout. I have an old video here of myself and a group of other BODYJAM instructors performing. I’m the one on the left with hair in a pouf. :)

BODYJAM is the ultimate dance party workout; I’ve written about BODYJAM before and the benefits I derive from teaching and doing it (see my posts about my marathon training and how I train).

Partyology on September 21
Partyology on September 21

This Saturday, I’m so glad to be up onstage dancing again at PARTYOLOGY: The Chronicles of Dance happening on September 21, 5-8pm at Republiq Club. It’s a BODYJAM dance marathon open to all dance and fitness fanatics! Tickets are available at all Fitness First branches and at Republiq gates.

It’s time to party!

Subic Invitational Triathlon — Win a Free Race Kit

I’m very excited to partner with the Subic Fitness Festival, especially for the Subic Invitational Triathlon on November 17. We’d love to give people a chance to experience doing this race, which will be held on parts of the Challenge Philippines course. So, I’m holding a contest — a free kit to the Subic Invitational Triathlon is up for grabs!

The contest theme is Triathlon Fun. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Get dressed in a funny outfit. Make sure it has big visual impact!
  2. Get your photo taken wearing that outfit doing one of the three disciplines of triathlon: swimming, cycling, or running. Have fun with this photo! ;)
  3. Post your photo to my Facebook Page wall with this caption: Triathlon is fun! Join me at the Subic Invitational Triathlon on November 17 in Subic Bay. http://www.subicfitnessfestival.com
  4. Get your friends, family, strangers on the bus, etc. to like your photo. The photo with the most Likes by September 30 wins the kit.

Easy, right? So get cracking. Contest starts today!

Subic Invitational Triathlon on November 17
Subic Invitational Triathlon on November 17