Return to Endurance, Week 2

It was an inspired week of swimming, cycling, and running for me, just in time to see the awesome Southeast Asian Games results from the marathon and triathlon.

Mary Joy Tabal won the women’s marathon and the Philippines’ first gold medal at the Games, leading by over seven minutes by the finish. She topped her 2015 silver medal finish and marathon time, going under the 3-hour mark at 2:48. I recall the drama a few months back when she was dropped from the SEAG roster because PATAFA disapproved of her training overseas with her own coach rather than in Manila or Baguio with a national team coach. (Cue my rolling eyes.) Happily they came to a compromise, and hopefully now PATAFA realizes there was wisdom in Mary Joy’s investment in herself and supports that.

I was busy writing this post when the results from the SEAG triathlon races came in, with Nikko Huelgas and John Chicano for the men and Kim Mangrobang and Claire Adorna for the women taking gold and silver respectively. Knowing how these athletes have been in development at training camps in Portugal, Australia, and Thailand for the past two years it was great to see that investment paying off in medals. It will be interesting to see when the other nations catch on and start funding their own athletes’ training…

Obviously I’m not one to be in contention for SEA Games; I wear the “age grouper” and “recreational athlete” label proudly! But it’s nice to see my country excelling regionally in the sports I love. Meanwhile, I put in the work for my own development. Continue reading “Return to Endurance, Week 2”

“Kaya ng Pinay” – About the First Filipina Norseman Finisher

I wrote a little last year about Omar Paredes, the first Filipino to have won a slot in the Norseman Triathlon lottery who then went on to finish and grab a Black Shirt (given only to the first 160 finishers). This year, Laarni Paredes became the first Filipina Norseman finisher! Laarni and Omar are one of the Philippines’ preeminent tri-couples and this makes them the first Filipino couple to finish Norseman. (Does anyone want to use the hashtag #couplegoals?) The two are co-captains of the Herbalife Triathlon Team and were supported by Herbalife during both their Norseman campaigns.

Laarni Paredes, first Filipina Norseman finisher
during the grueling marathon after a rainy, chilly swim and a mountainous bike ride

The Norseman is the world’s most famous extreme full-distance triathlon. If you think the full distance of 3.8 kilometers swimming, 180 kilometers biking, and 42 kilometers running is hardcore, an extreme triathlon takes this to a whole new level. The Norseman swim is done in a fjord where temperatures rarely rise above 13 degrees Celsius — you jump off a barge and swim to shore. The bike ride includes five mountain passes with a total elevation gain of a little more than 3,000 meters. The marathon, depending on whether you finish on top of the mountain with a Black Shirt, or around the mountain with a White shirt, has an elevation gain of 750-1500 meters including the infamous Zombie Hill, so steep few can run up it. From thousands of applicants, only 250 people receive slots during the annual Norseman lottery. Continue reading ““Kaya ng Pinay” – About the First Filipina Norseman Finisher”

Athleticism and Artistry with Ballet Manila’s 22nd Season

I’ve always been fascinated by ballet. While the sum total of my formal ballet training is one summer in my childhood, it changed my posture and fixed my pigeon-toed walk, while revealing how much of the effortless grace I saw on stage was backed up by years of hard work and practice. Ballet dancers are as much full-time athletes as artists. Whenever I have the opportunity to take in a ballet I do so not just to appreciate the beauty of the dancing and the music, but also to marvel at how the dancers are able to command their bodies to do their will.

Ballet Manila recently previewed their upcoming 22nd performance season, titled “Flights of Fantasy”. Featuring four ballets including two new all-original works, the country’s premier classical dance company aims to appeal to a wider audience and to “bring ballet to the people.”

Ballet Manila 22nd season
Q&A after the season preview

Continue reading “Athleticism and Artistry with Ballet Manila’s 22nd Season”

Return to Endurance, Week 1

Well, folks, last week was an interesting experiment in reintegrating swim, bike, and run into my workout routine and I wasn’t any worse at the end of it. In fact, I noticed a reduction in the bloat around my midsection as well as an uptick in my general mood. There’s nothing like the endorphin hit an endurance-based workout gives me and I’m glad to have it back in my life.

So, am I back? I suppose so; being a triathlete and runner means swimming, biking, and running is part of the lifestyle regardless of whether I’ve got a target race. I might have two in mind, but that depends on whether I can string together more than a week of training sessions without breaking down. Continue reading “Return to Endurance, Week 1”

Kikay Reviews: Raw Bites Healthy Snacks Box

Subscription boxes seem to be the new “in” thing these days, from beauty and make-up products to food! Last month I received a Raw Bites Box for review and since I am definitely trying to eat more healthy foods, this was a great way to discover some new products and tastes.

Raw Bites Box is the first healthy snack subscription box in the Philippines, and they only send you products that meet two or more of their #rawvolution rules:

  • gluten-free;
  • organic;
  • natural sugars;
  • vegan; or
  • no preservatives

Continue reading “Kikay Reviews: Raw Bites Healthy Snacks Box”

A Week in the Life #13

I’ve started to get a little stir-crazy within this Nike Training Club program, especially now that an old love is calling to me…

Of course I’m talking triathlon. A few things happened last week that make me want to start training again, even if just for short distances. For one thing, registration for the Ironman Philippines opened last Tuesday and it really, really sucked not to be within striking distance of fitness to be able to sign up for it. Continue reading “A Week in the Life #13”

New Playlist Alert: “Push It”

Can I just say, I love Spotify? It is my constant companion during my workout and training sessions these days. Songs playing in my ears (thanks to my Under Armour JBL Bluetooth earphones) help me either tune out the boredom or focus on pushing harder.

While I have my own go-to custom playlists depending on what kind of training session I’m doing, it’s always refreshing to come up with a new mix. This latest one I’ve created on Spotify is called “Push It” and is one of my most eclectic playlists to date. Continue reading “New Playlist Alert: “Push It””