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Courage: Doing it Afraid

A smile (with a dimple!) is underneath! I can't wait to show it to the world!

What really, is courage? Is it facing a battle for others to feel safe again? Is it standing up for what is right? Is it facing the music? Is it jumping off a 50-foot cliff, or diving the deep ocean? Or is it reaching the highest peak despite not having enough supplies and tired feet?

It has been a month and 5 days since my total thyroidectomy operation. It was an overwhelming experience, yet I could not seem to find a time to sit down and write the story. But then, I told God I was ready to become a miracle worker.

This, my family and friends, is my own story of courage.

For those who knew my medical condition, you may remember that I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism since 2008, with additional nodules inside (for those who didn’t, well, now you know why this voracious eater was not getting fat). It started with one nodule at the right thyroid lobe. Last summer, the ultrasound scan showed there were 7 nodules in both right and left lobes of my thyroid. It seems the visitors were not oriented much of the Reproductive Health Bill. My endocrinologist suggested for a biopsy of the biggest nodule (measuring one centimeter), which I obliged.

The pathologist said he could not commit whether it the overstaying nodules are good or bad. Based on the shape of the specimen (as seen in the microscope), he cannot clearly say if it is just a normal nodule (which is still bad because it might grow bigger and choke me. Oh geesh, small is really terrible!) or papillary carcinoma.

Upon seeing the results, my endocrinologist gave the verdict: the best option is a thyroid operation. My thyroid will be removed.

The next four months, I asked five doctors to see my biopsy results. Who knows? I may get a different answer. But I also prepared for the inevitable. I signed up for a health maintenance organization (HMO) that my company provided for its employees. A friend, whose spouse underwent a thyroid surgery, selflessly gave me tips on what to prepare (from the hospital to the schedule of operation to post-operation must-dos). I prepared a checklist of what to prepare.

All along, I was praying for a twist of verdicts. But all the doctors said the same thing: stop taking care of most likely “unwanted visitors.”

I again sat down and rethought of what took place in the last few months. Then I saw myself writing this in my prayer journal:

“I’m done dilly-dallying. Scared as I am, I am ready to have a smile on my neck. I am not worrying anymore, which was surprising even to me. 

Send me and lead me to the best doctors and nurses, to the clean and best equipment, to the best medicines, and to a comforting bed with all those I love and respect surrounding me.

I promise to follow. I want to become a miracle worker.

Today, I am surrendering my ailing thyroid to protect the rest of me. You know better than I.”

This was where grace entered and the blessings just kept pouring.

The surgeon, recommended by my endocrinologist, was suddenly listed as one of the accredited surgeons of my HMO. A few months ago, his name was not included in the list. During our first meeting, he saw the possibility that the nodules are only colloids, so he could save some parts of my thyroid.

I targeted my office clearance (I had to do this because I will be out for a month) to be finished within a week. It was all signed in six days.

A week before the operation, I wrote this in my prayer journal:

“The next Monday, by the time I write this, I am in my hospital bed, part of my thyroid gone, resting from the operation. I don’t know if I am already thick-skinned in these kinds of situations (I never had a surgery before), but I just feel that everything’s going to be great. I feel that someone has to think that not all that others heard or experienced will happen to me. If somebody has to think that I am going to get through this, it should be ME.”

Then, the day of the operation came. It was Monday, the 23rd of September. It was raining hard outside the hospital.

Hours before the operation, I read the Day 23 Faith Declaration written in Bo Sanchez’s book, How Your Words Can Change Your World: “I trust in God completely even when things do not go as I expect. By waiting and by calm I shall be saved, in quiet and in trust my strength lies. In Jesus’ name.”

Somehow, I could not seem to swallow the words: I trust in God completely even when things do not go as I expect.

My surgeon’s initial diagnosis was that the nodules in my thyroid were colloids, so it is possible that a part of the organ will be left behind. That’s what I wanted.

What if God has another way?

I breathed deeply. I calmed myself by reading the faith declaration again.

Then I whispered, “God, I am here because I trust You. Let us get this party started.”

Then, my stretcher arrived. I was wheeled to where the party begins.

It took close to four hours before the start of my operation, as my surgeon was still finding his way to the heavy rains that day. I remembered being so asleep due to the injected medicine for relaxation, but I always woke up without the groggy feeling. During those times, I ushered prayers and songs (and I asked for linen each time because it was freezing cold).

My surgeon and anesthesiologist talked me out on my next run when they arrived. Then, as the anesthesia was about to be injected in my dextrose, I closed my eyes.

I woke up. It was freezing cold again. I was in a different room.

“Nurse, ang ginaw!”

Wait a minute. Oh gosh. Did I just hear my voice?

It was a bit hoarse, like someone held it. But it felt that nothing has changed.

The nurse placed linen on me when I said, “May boses ako.”

I continued talking, “Recovery room na ba ito?”

“Opo ma’m,” the nurse replied.

“Salamat po, Diyos ko,” I said as I tried to locate my rosary. I saw it taped a few inches away from my hand. I also felt a white set of gauze below my neck. The nurse also applied cold compress in my neck.

“Ano’ng oras na?” I again asked.

“Five o’ clock na po, ma’m.”

“Maulan pa din?”


After twelve hours, I was back in my hospital room. I was confident enough to say “Hi!” to my mother with a big wave. A few minutes later, my mother told me what happened: my thyroid was removed.

Everything in me felt silent. Then I breathed calmly and said, “Ok na ‘yun. Kung anuman ang nakita nila, natanggal na.”

I continued thinking of how I would look and feel like at my recovery. Still, the events that took place still amazed me.

I had none of possible post-operation complications. Two days after my operation, I was home.

A week after the operation, I was back in my endocrinologist’s clinic. She told me that the pathology report showed that my left lobe nodules are of the colloid type. But the right lobe with the biggest nodule has papillary carcinoma. This was the reason why the whole thyroid is removed. She added that she will get back to me within the week to confirm the report, as it stated that the papillary carcinoma is “microscopic.” She explained that if this is very small (hence, microscopic), there is no need for me to undergo a radioactive iodine (RAI) procedure.

Two days later, I received an SMS from my endocrinologist: “Hi Ann. No need for RAI. Please see me next week for your medicine.”

With this experience, I kept on thinking of what Bo Sanchez wrote about courage.

Courage is about surrendering everything to the Lord, even if you are scared.

Courage is telling God, “this is what I want,” yet adding, “Your will be done.”

Courage is holding on to God’s grace, yet taking one step forward.

Courage, indeed, means doing it afraid.

It is with hope that you found many lessons, cried, laughed, and above all, was amazed by God’s grace.


I'm out of the road races for the rest of the year. But I'm going back to training next month because I'm setting my sights to the Skyway! Woo pee!

Want to share your thoughts on this post? Post your comments or email me at
Hey, I can give you two smiles for that!

Pray for Boston: You can slow us down, but you can't stop us.

Terror mars Boston run. This is the banner headline of The Philippine Daily Inquirer today. Have you also seen the Philippine flag near the explosion site?

My Tuesday morning (Manila Time) text message from my mother came as a confusing shock: two explosions in Boston Marathon, many hurt, three dead.

I remembered Kara Goucher (Runner's World, Women's Running) tweeting a few days ago about her excitement about the Boston Marathon. Then, I thought of the Filipinos who qualified in the race.

Still confused and many thoughts in my mind. I ushered a prayer. God, please make them safe.

Slow as I am running my races now, it is my dream to run the Boston Marathon (well, second to New York Marathon, because NYC is my favorite city.). It is a fleeting fantasy for me to make it to the 3:20 qualifying time of the Mecca of Running. I am thinking of running with my mouth open the whole time because I am brushing shoulders and exchanging "Hi's" with the best marathoners in the world.

That is why just like any runner, I feel sad about what I heard, read, and seen in this year's Boston Marathon.

(Side note: In the first video released during the breaking news yesterday, I thought I saw three balloons went up in the air a few seconds after the first explosion. It was like one balloons for each of those who died. As of press time, FBI is putting the pieces of evidence of the bomb, with pressure cooker as one of its main materials.)

It is true - it is hard to have a hundred percent safety in a race, especially in the big events such as Boston, New York, or even London Marathon. A BBC report said it is hard to secure 26.2 miles of road - with spectators and possible bandits - and make it safe for runners.

I salute all the men and women who were in Boston Marathon to help. Policemen, doctors, nurses, paramedics, members of the Boston Athletic Association, and even the spectators and people in the area who helped those who were hurt. Post-marathon stories were clouded by stories of unity and selflessness.

I am also thankful that the most of the Filipino runners who joined have crossed the finish line before the explosion started. Arland Macasieb, on his interviews, said he's on the train going home when the explosion happened. He finished an hour earlier.

To whoever did this: I don't know what you're up to. But you will be caught soon. Boston Marathon, just like any running event, is a runner's heaven here on earth. You may have inflicted hurt now, but you will never get to do that again. We will not let fear stop us from our tracks.

You may have slow us down, but you can't stop us.

Got this from Paula Faye's Google+. Let's pray for our co-runners always. :)

Thank you from 2013 Condura Skyway Marathon

I saw this in my e-mail. I hope you got yours, too!

February 2, 2014 is now marked red in my calendar! I'll prepare more to run in the sky next year!

You're welcome, guys! Will you send us pictures of our mangroves?

Kenya's Kipruto wins Lake Biwa marathon

Kenya's Vincent Kipruto is pictured crossing the finish line at the Paris Marathon on April 5, 2009
Kenya's Vincent Kipruto is pictured crossing the finish line at the Paris Marathon on April 5, 2009. 

Kenya's Vincent Kipruto emerged victorious in a shoulder-to-shoulder battle against Tariku Jufar of Ethiopia in the last 200 metres to win the Lake Biwa marathon on Sunday.

Kipruto, running alone with Jufar after Japan-based Kenyan James Mwangi slowed down in the last two kilometres, spurted at the final corner to overtake Jufar before crossing the finishing line in two hours eight minutes 34 seconds.

Jufar was second in 2:08:37 and Mwangi, who will return to Kenya after the race, was third in 2:08:48. The best local runner was Masakazu Fujiwara in fourth place in 2:08:51.

"The race was very nice. I enjoyed it. It's just nice," said the 25-year-old Kenyan, the winner in Paris in 2009.

"I knew I needed to run faster in the last track race, because I knew Tariku was strong," he added.

Soon after the last pace-setters abandoned the race at the 30km mark, a front-running group of some 22 runners was reduced to seven, including Kipruto and Jufar, in the following three kilometres.

Kipruto and Jufar moved up the pace shortly before the 38km point to leave two Japanese runners behind. Mwangi also faded out leaving the rest of the race to Kipruto and Jufar.

Kenya's Kipruto wins Lake Biwa marathon


I wonder how beautiful Lake Biwa is for a marathon to be named after it. And no matter where in the world, Kenyans are really dominating the running races. It is my dream to finish a marathon in two hours!

How did I welcome Summer 2013?

Running by the Baywalk with the famous sunset. More fun in the Philippines. :)

Answer: Running at Manila's Baywalk, with the famous Manila Bay sunset.

It's official: Summer 2013 starts today. Boy, do I feel it!

Well, I did not only welcome Summer 2013 with a run. One of my dreams just came true today: running (and walking) by the Manila Bay.

My officemate, Ms. Corrie Tagra, and I prepared for our 2.8KM walk-run at KM 0 (Rizal Park) by doing some stretches. After five minutes, we were off walking. We started our conversational pace run just after passing by the U.S. Embassy.

Me and Ms. Corrie, with the Rizal Monument at the background.

It was so thrilling to be running by the Baywalk with some runners. The highlight of the run? The sun setting as we reach our destination.

We finished our run a few meters away from the Aliw Theater near CCP. 2.8KM conquered! Woopee!

Ms. Corrie and I plan to run again next Monday. Care to join us?

Here's my New Balance shoes with Xtenex shoe lace. Cool!

A Runner's Summer Retail Therapy

Geesh. I just realized a few days ago that my last run was a 5K in PhilHealth Run. That means I have not been running for almost a month!

I couldn't believe what I just realized. I asked myself why. I had to backtrack my days. I had three sets of two-day training sessions for the ISO certification preparation in my work. I also searched Google far and wide to find the best theory for my master's degree research. Wow, those activities made me sit (and eat) all the time!

I need inspiration, something to push myself to go out. I need to greet summer!

Good thing I saw this in my e-mail inbox:

Sale are also a girl's best friend. :)

I immediately told my mom about the garage sale of Toby's Sports and so she accompanied me.

It was new route for us, but we found our way in the Quorum Group Centre with ease. My mom and I arrived in the Toby's Sports Garage Sale thirty minutes after opening. And boy, it was a garale sale! Name it: apparel, shoes, tennis racquets, skateboards, volleyballs and basketballs, treadmills, aarrghh! I wanted to go crazy, but then I got my list of what I need to buy.

Here were the running stuff that I got myself:

Xtenex shoe lace, Moving Comfort sports bras, 2XU compression tights, 2 running shorts, and a Runnr shirt - all with discounts!

I was kind of disappointed for not being able to buy new pairs of running socks (sizes are large to extra large, which are too big for me) and hydration belt. Maybe that's for the next retail therapy session in a Runnr store somewhere in the metro.

But for now, the retail therapy has rejuvenated me.

Now I'm more inspired to start my second 10K training. Summer, here I come!

101-year-old marathon runner shines at last race

Athletics: 101-year-old marathon runner shines at last race
Crossing his last finish competitive finish line at 101: Fauja Singh at the recent Hong Kong Marathon.

A 101-year-old Sikh believed to be the world's oldest distance runner retired Sunday after ending his last race in Hong Kong on a high, describing it as one of the "happiest days" of his long life.

Fauja Singh, nicknamed the "Turbaned Tornado", finished the 10-kilometre (6 mile) run at the Hong Kong Marathon in one hour, 32 minutes and 28 seconds -- half a minute faster than at the same event last year.

"Today is one of my happiest days," the Indian-born British national, who only speaks Punjabi, said through his interpreter after he crossed the finishing line with a broad smile and waving the Hong Kong flag.

"I felt so fresh and so good. I felt I'm full of power today.

"I will remember this day and I will miss it, but I will not stop running for charity," added Singh, who was mobbed by supporters when he completed his final competitive event, weeks before he turns 102 on April 1.

The centenarian, a farmer in his home state of Punjab before settling in England, became an international sensation and made headlines worldwide after he took up the sport at the ripe age of 89.

He has since completed nine 42-kilometre (26 mile) marathons in London, Toronto and New York. His best time was in Toronto, where he clocked five hours, 40 minutes and four seconds.

The great-great-grandfather has said that while he is quitting competitive events, he will not stop running for personal fitness.

In Hong Kong Sunday he ran with 100 supporters from a community group "Sikhs in the City", forming a group of 101 to mark his age.

Group member Karamjit Singh said the runner was in top form throughout on a breezy and slightly overcast morning in the southern Chinese city.

"Apart from a toilet break at about 6 km into the run and at one point he nearly slipped due to wet ground, he did not stop, he just kept on going," Karamjit, a nurse who lives in Hong Kong, told AFP.

"It's amazing. We're always proud of him."

The 101-year-old, who has attributed his longevity to a positive attitude and simple lifestyle, was in high spirits and cracked jokes with journalists several times after finishing the race.

"Actually I was expecting a much faster (finishing time)," he laughed.

"When I reached mid-point, people reminded me that it was halfway already, though I thought it was only one-third of it," said Singh, whose name Fauja means "soldier".

He was one of the top fund raisers at the event, after raising HK$160,000 ($20,630) for a charity to help disabled athletes in Hong Kong.

Singh was inspired to take up marathons after he saw television coverage of one 12 years ago. It was not long after the death of his wife and a son, at a time when he said he needed a new focus in life.

Although widely regarded as the world's oldest marathon runner, Guinness World Records has not certified him since Singh cannot prove his birth date.

He has said there were no birth certificates available when he was born under British colonial rule.

But Singh has won widespread accolades.

He was a torchbearer for the 2004 Athens games and last year's London Olympics, and appeared in advertisement for a major sports brand several years ago alongside the likes of David Beckham and Muhammad Ali.

His trainer has said Singh will continue his routine of running 16 kilometres a day even after retirement from competitive events.


Fauja Singh has taught us that one, one is never too young or too old to start running, and two, running does not know any age. If Fauja Singh can run at 101, what's our excuse?

Latest Study: Barefoot running may not be better for your back

For advocates of barefoot or minimalist running, part of the theory is that landing on your forefoot when you strike the ground could lessen your risk of back pain. But a new scientific study finds that this may not be the case.

Enlisting 43 runners in a treadmill experiment, researchers from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, set out to determine whether or not changing from rearfooting (landing on your heel) to forefooting (landing on the ball of your foot) could decrease lumbar lordosis, a common trigger in back pain.

Forefooting "did not make a difference in the amount of flexion or extension in which the lumbar spine was positioned," the researchers wrote.

The results are published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise.

However, landing on the heel did produce more shock throughout the body, which Runner's World says could be connected to the long stride often used in rearfoot runners.

Still, people who naturally landed on their heels when running reported feeling more comfortable this way than switching to the balls of their feet. As Runner's World says, "what you're accustomed to almost always feels more comfortable than something new."

Barefoot running may not be better for your back: study


If barefoot running is not good for the back, how come a lot of runners are still embracing barefoot running? 

Say Bye, Bye to your Belly on Your Next Run

by FitSugar | Healthy Living

You've been eating right and exercising for a while, but that stubborn belly fat just won't budge! Along with including these foods that fight fat in your diet, here are some ways to burn that pooch away while you are out on a run.

1. Switch up your pace

Intervals are proven to reduce belly fat and rev up metabolism; instead of running at the same pace for the entire workout, try alternating between periods of pushing your body to the max and periods of recovery.

2. Go a little longer

Unfortunately you can't spot treat when it comes to weight loss, which is one reason why solely doing crunches won't whittle your waistline. The key is to decrease overall body fat, and the one way to do that is to burn calories. Lengthening your workout will do just that. Every five minutes of running at a 10-minute-per-mile pace burns about 45 calories. Think about that on your next run, and it'll motivate you to keep going!

3. High knees

You're working hard to diminish your overall body weight, which will slim down your belly, so you can reveal toned abs underneath. Here's one way to strengthen your core. Do one-minute intervals in which you run with high knees. Concentrate on using your abs rather than your leg muscles to kick your knees up as high as you can.

4. Try this killer treadmill move

Here's another core killer if you're using a treadmill. Set the pace to 1.0 mph. Place your feet on a Plyo Box that's set up about two feet behind the back of the treadmill. Come into plank position with your hands straddling the treadmill belt. Step your hands on the belt and start walking, keeping your torso in one straight line. Do this for one minute, pulling your belly in toward your spine.

Watch the above shredmill move in action:

Bye, Bye, Belly: Lose that Pooch on Your Next Run


I can't wait for my next run to lose my belly! Have you lost your belly because of running? Do you think running is enough to lose your belly? Let me know your thoughts in the comments section!

5 Mistakes Every Runner Must Take Note

                                                                 Source: via Ann on Pinterest

Mistake # 1: You don’t know what type of runner you are
People run for different reasons and want to get different things out of their sessions. Not knowing what type of runner you are means that you won’t know what you want from your training and therefore you cannot tailor your run to your needs and your goals.

How runners can get it right: To work out what type of runner you are look at the below and try to identify with the runner that best suits you. Once you’ve identified a runner you relate to you will be able to tailor your sessions to suit you.

- The competitor: You constantly strive to beat your last PB and are obsessed with times. If you meet another runner the first thing you ask them is how fast they can run a mile in.
- The health-conscious runner: You run to keep healthy and enter races to keep you motivated. You care about your time, but keeping your body in tip-top shape is your main concern.
- The running lover: You run because you enjoy it and love the sense of freedom it gives you. You don’t tend to time yourself and don’t particularly enjoy competition.

Mistake # 2: You sprint at the end of a run
Sprinting at the end of a run can leave you feeling like you’ve given your all in the session, yet it’s not very good for our bodies. After a run your muscles are tired and therefore pushing yourself extra hard in the final 100 metres or so means that you’ll lose your running form and it will increase your chances of giving yourself a nasty injury.

How runners can get it right: The best way to avoid finishing on a sprint is to just stop. If you miss going up a gear and giving your legs a big challenge, then try to incorporate some speed sessions into your training.

Mistake # 3: You’re too big or too small
Many of us start to run in order to shed weight, but once you get to the stage when you refer to yourself as a ‘serious’ runner you might start to think about weight a little differently. If you carry too much weight your heart and lungs have to work harder, which negatively affects your efficiency and makes you slower. Yet remember losing too much weight can mean you lose strength and good health, which again can have a negative effect on your running.

How runners can get it right: Bob and Shelly Glover, the authors of The Competitive Runner’s Handbook, give a formula that can help competitive, serious runners work out their optimum weight:
- Men: To work out how much you should weigh as a serious male runner Bob and Shelly Glover suggest you measure your height in inches and times that figure by two, before adding 10 per cent.
- Women: To work out how much you should weigh as a serious female runner Bob and Shelly Glover suggest you should weight around 120lbs (54kg) if you are five foot six inches. For every inch above this height add 3lbs (1.3kg) and for every inch less than this height subtract 3lbs.

Remember though that these are not exact figures and are only for the very serious runner. The authors of The Competitive Runner’s Handbook also suggest that there is leeway within these weights of 10 to 15lbs (4.5-6.5kg).

Mistake # 4: You have terrible posture when running
Some of us like to plod, others like to shimmy, but whatever your running style there should be no place for poor posture in your running style. A poor posture can make you slower, can cause injuries and can make you a far less efficient runner than you could be.

How runners can get it right: Your posture is something you have to work at to improve and you should consciously think about it whenever you put on your running shoes and head out. Here are a few tips to help you improve your running posture:
- Release the tension in your shoulders by stretching this area of your body or doing a few shoulder shrugs. When running make sure your shoulders are level and not too tight.
- Keep your arms and legs moving in straight lines and don’t twist or run from side to side. Imagine that you are holding onto two straight, taut ropes when running to help you maintain this running posture.
- Try to be as tall as possible when running and run with your shoulders back and with a straight spine. Your chin should also be level with the floor.

Mistake # 5: You don’t eat for speed
You may eat healthily, but do you eat for speed? Certain foods can help you run better and faster and if you want to run well these foods should definitely be on your shopping list.

How runners can get it right: Eat some of the following foods regularly and see if you’re running is improved:
- Salmon: Salmon’s high levels of protein and Omega 3 fatty acids means that it’s great for your heart and your lungs, which in turn means salmon is great for your running speed.
- Oatmeal porridge: Oatmeal porridge provides you with the optimum mix of protein, fiber and slow-release energy.
- Sweet potatoes: Sweet potatoes are full of carbs that will power your run, plus their high levels of dietary fiber will help to maintain your blood sugar levels and ensure your energy doesn’t dip during your run.

5 things every runner gets wrong


Have you made any of the running mistakes above? Tell us what you did to make it right!

On Finisher's Medals

This is me after the 2013 Condura Skyway Marathon.
Here's my take on finisher's medals.
I chanced upon a tweet from @kulitrunner a few weeks ago about runners asking for finisher's medal on races.

Well honestly, I only got my first-ever finisher's medal when I finished my first 6K during the 2013 Condura Skyway Marathon. Boy, I cherished the finisher's medal liked a kid, it doesn't matter that I did not run a marathon that day!

When I got home, my whole family had a lot of fun looking at the finisher's medal. I also couldn't stop looking at my post-race pictures with a finisher's medal hanging in my neck.

The day after, I saw my finisher's medal hanging around a portrait of a friendship quote that I got many birthdays back. I smiled at the sight of it.

Two days after, I almost never noticed it.

Fast forward to two weeks later,  the finisher's medal is now a part of my room decor.

Now, this is my opinion on finisher's medals: it's cool to have one. But it would be very very special to get a finisher's medal when a runner finishes a full marathon.

On the other hand, I also understand what other runners want: a memorabilia of their run. The 2013 Condura Skyway Marathon finisher's medal will always make me remember the first time I set foot in the Skyway. But guess what? I think even if the Concepcions did not give finisher's medals to 6K runners, it would be okay with me.

Sure, a finisher's medal would say everything about what you did last weekend. But asking for a finisher's medal on every race that you join?

A few days before the PhilHealth Run (I ran 5K), I was telling a group of office mates about the organizers giving only the finisher's medal to 18K runners. I told them that 10K run is long enough for a medal. But at the end of the day, I thought: does a finisher's medal really matter to me, that I'd skip running that day because there would be nothing hanging in my neck after the smoke clears?

We might just start asking ourselves why are we getting up in the morning to lace up.

Get challenged with From Fat to Fab on April 14, 2013

Ready to be transformed from fat to fab?

God's Wind Events is coming up with another run-slash-obstacle course event in April in preparation for the First Taba Congress this year. What's more, you will be able to get down and dirty (literally) for a cause. Sounds exciting!

Here's the press release from God's Wind Events:

Studies shows that obesity is one of the leading physical conditions of Filipinos. It is because of our culture. Filipinos loves to feast!

In line with this statistic, Contours Advance Face and Body Sculpting Institute are coming up with an obstacle race entitled From Fat to Fabulous on April 14, 2013 at the World Trade Center, Pasay City.

From Fat to Fab This will be a fusion of Crossfit and Men’s Health Urbanathlon. We will create an obstacle course with physical challenges that are both fun and challenging. We will make them realize that fitness is fun and that fitness is a life style. Proceeds from the Fat Run will go to Child Haus Foundation.

From Fat to Fab aims to jump start yet another major event, the first-ever TABA Congress, from July 26 to 28, 2013 at the World Trade Center Pasay City.

God's Wind Events and Contours Advance Face and Body Sculpting Institute are cordially inviting you and your company/running group participate in the said obstacle race. You can choose a WAVE for your company.

For other details, Coach Alvin and Ms. Joy Mendoza @ 0917-3140220. You may also check their Facebook page here.

Love this tech shirt!

My First 10K Training Post-Training Analysis

So, how did I fare after taking a few more kilometers?

So, it's been three months since I started sighing in front of my first 10K training calendar. How did I fare?

Well, let's see. There were weeks where I wasn't able to run, and those weeks made me nervous.

There were days when all I wanted to do was to run - nothing else. Happiness was there in the road. I never wanted to stop.

There were days when I wanted to stay in bed for a few more minutes and miss my run.

I couldn't forget the week of my first 10K. That was the week when I realized what I had done - signing up for 10K. I almost wanted to tell myself, "What did I get myself into?" Add to that my mom's question, "Can you really do 10K?" Well, I don't know what happened, but when I told her, "I can. If I don't do it now, when will I do it?" everything just went on just fine up to the race day.

The first two months of the year brought me to new race routes - Coastal Road and Skyway.

So, what's my analysis? For a grade, I'm going to give myself an F for Fair.

I plan to start my training for my next 10K next week. I already have my sights on the better things that I wasn't able to do the last time.

And this time, there is no sighing in front of my 10K training calendar.

Just a wide smile.

Adidas bets on high-tech running shoe to catch up to rivals

Adidas hopes to lead the running sports gear area with their new high-tech running shoe. (image source:

by Phil Wahba

Adidas AG on Wednesday introduced a running shoe with technical features it says could eventually make it a leader in an area of sports gear where it has lagged competitors.

At a splashy event in New York that included an appearance by four-time Berlin marathon winner Haile Gebrselassie, Adidas launched a running shoe with cushioning it calls Boost. The cushioning was developed with BASF SE and Adidas claims it gives runners a better bounce, lasts longer than the cushioning used in 95 percent of running shoes and is better able to withstand extreme weather.

The product is aimed squarely at serious runners, a market currently dominated by brands like Brooks, a unit of Berkshire Hathaway, New Balance and Asics, rather than people who just wear running shoes to get around.

Other companies also pushing hard to get a bigger foothold in the specialty running shoe market include VF Corp's The North Face and Under Armour.

But Adidas is betting that technology will help it win over runners notorious for their brand loyalty.

"We have a lot of really good running shoes but we haven't had that thing that really moves the needle," Patrick Nilsson, president of Adidas America told Reuters at the launch, estimating that Adidas was fourth or fifth in the U.S. specialty running shoes market.

"With this, we have a chance to go to the top over time."

Adidas is beginning the launch by introducing the shoes at its own stores, online and 100 specialty running stores such as Urban Athletics and Paragon in New York, staffing each on the weekend with an Adidas employee, before a broader roll-out.

The shoes will sell for $150 a pair, making them more expensive than rivals', but Nilsson said the technology warranted what he called a "premium" price.

Adidas bets on high-tech running shoe to catch up to rivals


What do you think of the latest high-tech running shoes of Adidas? Will you buy this latest Adidas running shoes? Let us know by commenting!

Skyway Sunday

Courage, pace me.

Running in the Skyway have always lingered in my mind since I started running three years ago. The only time Skyway is open to humans (not in their car seat) happens only once a year, so why not grab the chance? Moreover, who would not want to run in the sky?

So in the middle of everything busyness last Christmas, I clicked on the 6K slot of the 2013 Condura Skyway Marathon website. I thought it was about time to experience running in the sky.

Two weeks before the 2013 Condura Skyway Marathon, I ran my first 10K. I thought I would only get to rest for three days. But then, it seems that I got too much running for a day (naumay in local term), I extended my rest for a week! A Zumba workout and 20-minute Thursday run last week made my running mojo back.

As always, I planned to finish the race safe and lucid. Although my 6K run in the 2013 Condura Skyway Marathon is lesser than my 10K run two weeks ago, I never took it less seriously. After all, running the Skyway is like running a hill.

I was just feeling great as I stepped on towards the Skyway for my 6K run. I never really pass this way every day, but I appreciated its beauty. The road is very flat on the 6K route. It could be one of those runs that you think that you're not in the sky - until you realized that the billboards nearer and the buildings are half its usual size.

To the Skyway, we charge!

The view from the sky.

I took this a few minutes before going to the 6K turn around.
Geesh, I need to pay the toll for the second time. :D

Being a part of the premier marathon event in the country, the Condura Skyway Marathon, was a great experience. The Condura Marathon village was very organized. Portalets were available in many areas (even in the Skyway!), many race officials and were ready to help especially in the Skyway, and water stations were at every 1.5 KM.

The smile of the Skyway conqueror. :)

What makes me feel better are the beneficiaries of my 6K run: Liter of Light, Bikes for the Philippines, I Can Serve Foundation, and Hero Foundation. Plus, I got 3 mangroves to be planted in Zamboanga Sibugay!

Finally, I can officially brag: I ran on the Skyway!

Me and my brother (who took all of my amazing photos today).
Thanks for waking up early, bro!

The Skyway Angels. So happy to see friends Dra. Madel Bugaoan  (center) and Brigette Javier  (right) .
They  ran 10K  today. Congrats!

Geesh, nobody told me the medal was not edible (LOL).

(Photos except in the Skyway were taken by Marc Raphael A. Peñaredondo.)

10K: Conquered!

"Right there, immortality! Take it, it's yours!" I remember Brad Pitt saying that in the movie Troy, as I made my way to the starting line.

After all the jitters and excitement, I MADE IT! 

But I'm jumping into what happened, right?

My mom and I were on our way to Aseana Blvd. by 4:30 AM today for my first 10K run at the 7-11 Run 800. Before we reached the Coastal Tollway, we saw the a Kenyan runner making his way for his 21K (I wondered if he paid a toll. Nah, just kidding). Followed closely by two more Kenyans. I had to remember that I need to close my mouth from a slight shock. My calculations that the first Kenyan runner will finish as soon as I started came true. They're just amazing.

Kikay Runner did the warm up for my 10K Advanced Wave. At 5:40 AM, we're off.

Running pass off the 5K mark was like freedom from the comfort zone. This was the first time that I never turned around on that mark.

Passing my way to the 5K U-turn. Not for me, this time. :)

On my way to Cavitex!

"Hark, daughters of the great Saint Paul!" I couldn't believe I'm looking at my high school alma mater at this view -  and I'm not in a vehicle!

I have traveled coastal road every day when I was in high school, then now since 2010 to and from my work in Manila. It was a great experience to run-walk in it.

Coastal Tollway 1K ahead!

Uh, wait a minute, these are way too far... :D

Coastal Tollway behind me. Another 5K to go!

I did walking most of the time, but I also followed a 30:30 run-walk interval, just like what I do during my training. No iPods for me, though! I enjoyed the morning breeze of the coastal road (it also included the smell of fish by the fisherman's wharf).

I made it to the finish line, safe and lucid, at an unofficial time of 1:45:07. Hey, not that bad! I made it! Woohoo!

A finisher! Woohoo! Here's the summary of what I ran. :)

The 7-11 Run 800 was very organized, with lots of water stations and friendly staff. It was definitely worth the wait after postponing the event twice last year (it was trash mayhem by the booth site, though).

It was so elating to finish a race that you worked hard for (a massive thank you to everyone who prayed for me!). One 10K down, four to go this year (or maybe 6?)!

Here's to another 10K - super soon!

10K jitters

"Can you really do 10K?"

That was my mom asking me a question a few hours ago after I handed the 7-11 Run 800 race kit that I got from the 7-11 store in Kalaw Street, Manila today.

Got my 7-11 Run 800 race kit today! Will I see you on Sunday?

As I write this, I only have a few days to go before my very first 10K run.

I immediately told her, "I can, I can, I can."
I don't know if what I said worked for me. Because one word comes to mind now: JITTERS.

I wasn't really joking: when I saw this part of the envelope kit, I got nervous. I'm really running 10K on Sunday! Aaaaahhhh!

I don't know if the jitters that I am having is the same as when I did my first 5K. But one thing's for sure: it's present again.

My training was not perfect. I lost a total of three weeks of runs. I think this is the main reason why I'm getting the jitters.

Well, I could always walk my runs. I am already telling myself that as always, I'm not going to rush. I'm going to enjoy my first 10K. I'm going to laugh at myself for bracing the cold of a January Sunday just to cross a part of Coastal Road.

Okay, that made me nervous again.

I think in every first that we do, we get nervous. No one is exempted. This is what I am feeling right now.

If you have a message for me on my last training week, do let me know. I'd love to hear from you.

Why Running and Marriage, I think, are the same

Sealed with a kiss. My friend (the bride) re-affirms her love with her husband a few days before 2013. I was so happy to have witnessed it. (photo by Roman Carlo D. Olivarez via Facebook)

You may think it is weird, but I realized that running and marriage are the same a few minutes after leaving my friend’s wedding a few days ago.

But before I explain why, let me first give a disclaimer: I’m not a marriage expert. I’m not even sure if my one true love is also a runner, just waiting for me to get tripped by the road so he could run fast enough to save me from an embarrassing fall (I’m also very happy to tell you that I was not chosen to get the bouquet on the singles game. Getting that bunch of flowers was the most embarrassing that happened to me; I’d rather get tripped while running.)

With that, let me tell you what happened on the day I got that idea.

My bride friend (she's one of my friends whom I met on the first day of our college years) went back in the country from the United States to re-affirm her vows with her husband. I was glad to see her on one of her important life events because I have not seen her for 8 years. My friend (who’s also a runner) persevered for eight years of being away from her one true love (the husband went to the US to work). My bride friend’s mom shared a bit on how she has spent time in front of the computer, using either Skype of instant messaging to keep in touch with her future hubby (I heard some snippets of stories from her just before we lost touch). I have heard a lot about the pros and cons of a long distance relationship, but I think no one could ever explain it like her. Seeing her walk down the aisle with so much happiness put a smile on my face (the smile immediately turned into laughter and banter when I finally got to hug her, because she was still the same bubbly and girly friend that she was).

Now, what does marriage has the same with running?

Time and commitment.

They say marriage is not only the wedding; it’s the next day, and the days after that, that matters. Race day is not grand day of running; it was the eating the right food, sacrificing TV or parties the night before, and the break-of-dawn waking up that matters. How marriage and running works may be reverse, but if one does not know how to commit, the passion and the love dies.

In marriage, one gives time to his or her spouse. No matter what happens, a committed married person takes out his or her spouse (even kids) to spend time at least once a week. It does not matter if it’s an out-of-the-country couple vacation or having dinner under the night stars by the front yard – what matters is the time. In running, one squeezes time to hit the road. Doing the runs may be three to four times a week, and depends on the training; one can spend more than an hour to run. Time is of essence for marriage and running. Lost time has consequences – a possible break-up in marriage, and possible injuries for running. Both are not good if you ask me.

So does this mean that I feel like I’m married to running?

Well, I couldn't say; running is not the only thing that I do in life. But I have also heard and read that 10K run is for serious runners; training for it is like saying I’m preparing for my “marriage” to running (if that’s true, then I consider my newly-bought New Balance 870 V2 my colored “wedding” shoes).

If Running is my groom, then this is my wedding shoes. I just realized I bought the 2nd version of my New Balance 870. Talk about match made in heaven. 

What I do know is that once a person finds that one love, he or she invests time and commits to make it work.

And works for the love every day not until he or she is tired, but until he or she feels it’s not work anymore.

To my dear friend: I hope to run with you soon. Keep marrying your husband every day.

As for me, I’ll keep running (and staying away from the bouquet throws).