Dispatch #8: F.O.M.O.

Last week was the first marathon training-specific week I’ve done, and it involved some great running, mostly indoors! One of the things I missed about being a group exercise instructor for a large fitness chain was the easy access to treadmills, but then again when I was in that line of work I didn’t actually use any of the equipment. I’ve since signed up for much cheaper gym access near my home, but the smaller pocket gym only has two treadmills, two bikes, and two elliptical trainers. Guess what? Only one machine of each kind works. *sad trombone*

Dispatch 8
I still get dressed properly for the gym, even if it’s close to home.

People have been asking me lately if I’m signed up for any of the three back-to-back-to-back triathlons (NAGT Subic, Tri United 1, Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay). Continue reading “Dispatch #8: F.O.M.O.”

Ask Kikay Runner: What is your typical training week?

This year’s first Ask Kikay Runner is about the structure of my training week.

Aldrin Galang asks: In a nutshell how does ur week training goes [sic]? Pwede pashare (Can you share it)? Hehe. Ilang araw rest day at what day usually (How many days do you rest and which day usually)?

I think I’ve answered this several different times before, but keep getting variations on the same question. You know what the answer is?

It depends.

typical training week includes track

Continue reading “Ask Kikay Runner: What is your typical training week?”

Kikay Reviews: Amanzi Swimwear High Summer Collection

The last time I shopped for swimwear was in 2014, when I was building into my first ironman and started swimming a lot more. While my suits have served me well, every good thing comes to an end and I found myself in need of new suits. I turned to Amanzi Swimwear, an Australian swimwear brand that has made a bigger push into the Philippine market the past two years.

Amanzi Swimwear

The chlorine-resistant SPF50 Amanzi Armor fabric is a big draw for me. I do almost all of my swimming in chlorinated pools, and I’ve had poor experience with high-profile swimwear brands whose suits either turn into sticky rubbery messes within a year, or shred when the fabric turns crispy. One of my Endure teammates Hanna Sanchez teaches swimming and is also a marathon swimmer; she swears by her Amanzi swimsuits. My friend Brooke Langereis-Hammond is an “Amanzi girl”, a pro triathlete featured on all their PR materials. She practically lives in Amanzi swimwear — and races all her triathlons in them!

I inquired on the Amanzi PH Facebook page about their latest High Summer collection catalogue, and the brand manager Pinky Lim was kind enough to send me one of their one-piece suits to try out! Cue the excitement… Continue reading “Kikay Reviews: Amanzi Swimwear High Summer Collection”

Dispatch #7: Keep on Keeping On

I found myself feeling a little lost this past week. For the last two years this particular week has been occupied by the lead-up to Challenge Philippines. I had decided last year I wouldn’t be racing this early to give myself a longer adjustment period into racing season, but when the race was cancelled the hole in my calendar felt that much bigger and emptier.

Most of my training is done solo. I prefer it that way; I’m more likely to over-extend myself when training with someone else. I can achieve a more gradual progression that sticks when I’m able to work at my own pace, whether fast or slow.

Dispatch 7
Long solo runs how I like them, just me and the open road.

Still, I appreciate when I do have company. I love catching up with my tri friends and chatting about what we’ve got lined up. Even if we’ve got different abilities and reasons for engaging in the sport and most of triathlon is a solo endeavor, it is the wonderful community at training and races that I enjoy being around again and again.

Dispatch 7
Sometimes you’ve got to sit up and just enjoy.

Speaking of triathlons, I’m heading to Subic in two weeks’ time to cover the Century Tuna Ironman 70.3 Subic Bay race for Witsup.com. Continue reading “Dispatch #7: Keep on Keeping On”

Kikay Reviews: adidas PureBOOST X

This week I put the adidas PureBOOST X through its paces. The latest among adidas’ BOOST line, it’s a neutral shoe targeted at women. In fact, adidas is releasing both a regular BOOST line and a Stella McCartney BOOST line, hoping that its funky colors and innovative floating arch will draw more women into the active lifestyle (and of course buy their shoes).

adidas PureBOOSTX launch
The adidas PureBOOST X (check out that floating arch!)

adidas PureBOOSTX launch
also available in floral motif and black and green Continue reading “Kikay Reviews: adidas PureBOOST X”

Dispatch #6: Hard Yards

Last week was a bit of a rollercoaster for training. I’d shaken off most of the effects of the flu virus and was able to complete some harder workouts. It is true, I’ve bounced back even stronger now and my body was just raring to hit everything with more intensity.

There were a few hiccups, though. On Tuesday my condo pool was closed because Monday (the usual maintenance day) had been the Chinese New Year holiday. It’s weird because I don’t consider myself someone who loves swimming, but I felt so bad at having to miss my swim that day. Then the next day I arrived at the ULTRA/Philsports Arena track for my usual Wednesday track session, only to discover it was closed due to “emergency repairs”. If only the closure announcement had been posted somewhere else other than just at the ticket booth… :(

In lieu of my harder run workouts last week I just raced a 10K yesterday as a sort of time trial to see where I’m at. I actually came in as first female overall, if the race had bothered to award women separately (read more about that issue here: Run for Life was Unfair to Women). Considering I came off a big-gear bike ride on Saturday, all the hard yards the past few weeks are paying off.

Dispatch 6: Hard Yards

My triathlon training plan has been geared toward a race this coming weekend, but I didn’t end up registering for the NAGT. I may be doing one or two Olympic distance triathlons in the next three months, but haven’t confirmed that yet. At this point I’m using the triathlon training to build aerobic fitness (with swimming and cycling) and will layer in the run speed and endurance in preparation for my marathon.

Speaking of running, I was invited to the launch of the adidas PureBOOSTX training shoe last Thursday at Track 30th, Bonifacio Global City. Continue reading “Dispatch #6: Hard Yards”

Run for Life was Unfair to Women

Today I crossed the finish line first female overall at Run for Life: A Love Run, clocking in at 50 minutes 30 seconds.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t good enough for De La Salle University’s ENGLICOM organization. They had decided not to have separate men’s and women’s categories. And so out of the nine podium finishers in the 3K, 5K, and 10K distances, there was only one woman. Not me, but a marvelously fast female track athlete in the 3K who beat all but one male. By rights, she should have won first place female.

Run for Life: A Love Run on February 14, 2016

There are reasons why men and women compete separately in physical activities and sports. The primary reason is biology: due to the testosterone that circulates in male bodies starting from the first week after conception, male humans develop with more muscle and bone mass, larger hearts and lungs, more oxygen-bearing red blood cells, longer limbs, and less body fat than female humans on average. If you think cyclists shooting up with additional testosterone in the doping scandals was unfair to the non-dopers, men have been doping with testosterone since even before birth, compared to women.

Among the best of the world’s best, the physical advantage of male elite athletes is also apparent. Across dozens of sports, women’s world speed records fall 10% short of the men’s records. In sports where speed and strength determine the win, this trend remains even as more women have begun to compete.

(Granted, in ultra-distance competitions, the men’s advantage diminishes due to women’s higher pain threshold and endurance on average, plus the higher amount of fat in women’s bodies. But here we’re talking about a 10-kilometer race.)

To make men and women compete against each other when the men have an obvious physical advantage is unfair and contributes even further to discrimination against women. The way to ensure equality and a level playing field, then, is to make men compete with other men, and women compete with other women, and offer the male and female winners the same prize money/items.

It was such a lovely day and I felt awesome from start to finish. From the technical side, Pep Squad Events/Pinoy Fitness did a really great job manning the course and hydration. I was just bothered by the fact that only the men’s leaders had a motorized escort — that should have been my clue that not was all was right with the world.

So it was such a downer that all the good stuff was overshadowed by Run for Life and ENGLICOM’s gender insensitivity. Furthermore, they didn’t even disclose on any of their publicity materials that they were only awarding top three overall regardless of sex. To add insult to injury, this was supposed to be a Valentine’s Day run and anyone would have thought they’d give as much importance to women as men.

I approached the people from Run for Life and ENGLICOM post-race and gave them a piece of my mind. I told them not having a women’s podium was disrespectful to the women athletes, and that I was disappointed in what they had done. (I can’t even imagine why the women in that organizing committee thought this was in any way a good idea!) It is my hope that ENGLICOM and other race organizers take note and not make this same mistake in future races.

Run for Life: A Love Run
Thanks to Lightwater, T***, and Salice Eyewear Philippines for their support in my training and racing.

I’m sorry, I really wanted to like this race and have a great race report for you to read.Β Who was given awards may not have mattered to anyone but the fastest women across the three distances, so I suppose they thought they wouldn’t be offending too many people with this policy. Unfortunately, I stand for empowering women toward pursuing an active lifestyle. I believe a level playing field for all is key. Had I known, I would not have recommended this race to my readers at all.