Oh, The Places I’ve Run This Year!

In my part of the world, the year 2016 has been… well, let’s just call it interesting, like the Chinese curse that says “May you live in interesting times.”

This year has been unlike all the years previous to it. It’s been the rogue one (pun intended for this season, wink wink) that has involved the less spectacular side of being a recreational endurance athlete. Endless weeks of training only to miss a new personal record, illness and overtraining syndrome, work stress…

Yet it would be unfair to paint this year as entirely negative. I ran a destination marathon, did two out of three legs in a half-ironman, and traveled! I didn’t really set too many goals for this year, but I definitely got out of my groove and comfort zone and was amply rewarded with new memories, great friendships, and so much joy.

Here’s a look back at the year that was. Continue reading “Oh, The Places I’ve Run This Year!”

Kikay Reviews: Lemongrass House

As much as I love training and being outdoors, I also balance this out by relaxing and resting at home in a sanctuary I make for myself. I discovered Lemongrass House last year during one of my many trips to Phuket and have not gone a day without using one of its products since!

Lemongrass House recently opened its second branch here in the Philippines, which means I no longer have to fly to Phuket to get the essential oils, sprays, and creams I use to pamper and take care of myself. All of its spa products are handcrafted in small batches with natural plant-based ingredients, ensuring freshness and sustainability for the environment — at pocket-friendly prices. <3 Continue reading “Kikay Reviews: Lemongrass House”

Road to HCMC, Week 2: Christmas Rush

The thing with signing up for a race that takes place early in the year is you always end up training over Christmas time. That isn’t such a bad thing because you can hold off some of the expected weight gain. However, the heavy holiday traffic can make the logistics of getting to your training venues more difficult.

Thankfully, I’m not training for a triathlon, so no need to hie off to Nuvali for long rides. Running is significantly easier to manage, especially when you’ve got access to a treadmill. Still there is nothing like the sheer joy of running on the open road and it makes the required mileage pass a little quicker in your mind because the scenery changes.

Last week I got out onto my regular stomping grounds for what seems like the first time in ages. The BGC Greenway has been open for a while, but this was the first time I had ever set foot in it.Β  Continue reading “Road to HCMC, Week 2: Christmas Rush”

Grab Life by the Medicine Ball

Tossing balls back and forth may not be your idea of a great workout, but they have been part of athletes’ training as far back as the ancient Olympics in Greece.

Offering a wide range of movement and versatility of exercises, medicine balls work your muscles in compound exercises rather than isolating them. Medicine ball exercises engage your core in order to stabilize your body as you move.

Medicine balls can also be used for both cardiovascular and strength conditioning; use a heavier ball and go with slow reps to build strength, or a lighter ball with plenty of reps for more focus on getting your heart rate up.

If you’ve seen them in the gym but don’t quite know how to use them, here are some exercises to get you started.Β  Continue reading “Grab Life by the Medicine Ball”

Road to HCMC, Week 1: Inspiration

It’s been eight years since I ran my first race, and seven years since I ran my first half-marathon on the way to my first marathon. These days I feel like I’m running for the first time, at paces I used to laugh at. But everyone’s got to start somewhere. It’s time to pick up the pace, go a little longer and harder, and get this body ready for another big adventure. Continue reading “Road to HCMC, Week 1: Inspiration”

Fit to Stand Up

I know that we runners are privileged. I always do a little self-check whether I am still sympathetic to the plight and causes of my fellow countrymen, or if I’ve grown callous and self-absorbed. There are many more Filipinos who don’t even have calories to spare to get through the day, let alone to run. I am able to run to fulfill my own need for self-actualization — I don’t have to run to earn enough for fare to get home and feed my family. And so whenever I am tempted to whine about getting stuck in traffic or going through long security lines at an airport, or any of the myriad other “inconveniences” I can go through as I pursue my own personal goals, I have to pinch myself and remind myself to be thankful.

At the same time, I am not just a runner. I am a citizen of this country and thus share a common destiny and burden with the Filipino people: to uplift the nation in what we do, to change what is in our power to change, to love and defend this country God placed us in by virtue of birth. Regardless of political color or affiliation, I do believe Filipinos love this country and want to see her rise.

So, last Wednesday, I used the fitness I have painstakingly wrought for myself to walk out onto the streets and cry out for justice for this country that has been plundered, shamed, and left destitute by the architect of Martial Law, the disgraced dictator Ferdinand Marcos. His secret re-burial with full military honors at the Libingan ng mga Bayani (Heroes’ Cemetery) was done without due process and without shame, using taxpayer money. It enraged freedom-loving Filipinos all over the country.

November 30
(photo by Monica Macasaet)

Continue reading “Fit to Stand Up”