Goodbye 2011

Friday, 30 December 2011  |  Bullish Insights

2011 was one hell of a roller coaster ride for me complete with double loops and hair-raising moments. But, it was definitely a year with bountiful blessings that I’m thankful for.  Here’s what made 2011 a great year for running for me:

(1) Races of all shapes and sizes.  There were huge, well-organized, near perfect races as well as small fun runs that I had the pleasure of participating in.  I thank all the race organizers and the people who work behind each race to make it memorable and safe for all of us runners.  It’s no joke to stage an event and I do believe each runner should be grateful for each experience.  If there’s a flaw or a mishap, then raise the issues with respect and in the proper forum.  My personal favorites were: Condura Skyway MarathonRun United, adidas King of the Road, and Mommy Milkshake Fun Run.

– with Alvin after running my fastest half marathon at RU 1 –

(2) TBR Dream Marathon 2011.  TBR Dream Marathon will always be one of the biggest highlights of each year for me. It’s a fave race that I’ll never get to run, but one where I have the great fortune of witnessing first- and second-time marathoners achieve their dreams.  Most of TBR Dream alumni go on to become my good friends in running, too.  Just one of the many gifts from TBR Dream that’s worth all the sweat and tears that comes into organizing it. Looking forward to see our 3rd batch cross that 42km finish line!

(3) Meeting celebs and legends!  I had the pleasure of meeting legendary runner Jeff Galloway, getting international star Apl .de. Ap of Black Eyed Peas to grace TBR Magazine cover, rubbing elbows with Coach Erik Spoelstra, and last but not the least, speaking with Congressman Manny Pacquiao!

– Super Pinoy star Apl. de. Ap –

– Starstruck over Manny while he browses through TBR Magazine –

(4) Traveling! Oh boy, the runs and the travels!  Thanks to Women’s Health for taking me to Boracay for Beauty and the Beach for it’s 2nd Anniversary. Thanks to Mitch Felipe, Armand Mendoza, and Misibis Bay for inviting me to the Misibis Bay Fitness Escape.  Thanks to Francis Velasquez and Jeffrey Ang of Circle Productions for taking us to Cagayan de Oro and Bukidnon. I flew to Bohol with the family too. Thanks to Guam Visitors Bureau and EON for taking me to Guam for the awesome Guam Koko Road race.

– Boracay with Lara Parpan and Christine Ong of Women’s Health, Summit –

– with Francis Velasquez at the trails of Cdo-Dahilayan Ultramarathon –

– with friends from the Guam Visitors Bureau before the race start –

Special thanks to Gatorade for flying me off to New York to participate in my 2nd ING New York City Marathon. I ended the year with a wonderful trip to San Francisco and Sacramento for the California International Marathon, too.

– After the NYC Marathon 2011 –

– During the California International Marathon –

(5) Trying to Tri. So, I got my feet wet (a bit) and found out that I could seriously enjoy the triathlon world. Thanks to The Next Step Tri Camp for allowing me to be saling pusa in their camp. I had a blast there bonding with Team Hammer friends. I also got a swim coach with teammates Adel, Bic, and Jake and learned to love the water.  Running and marathons got in the way this 2011 (as they always do because it’s pretty evident that running is my love!), but I hope to get more into triathlon this coming year.


(6) Humble running achievements such as breaking my half marathon PR at Run United 1 with the help of running buddy, Alvin, and finishing a total of 7 marathons by the end of this year.  There’s still so many goals to reach, so many roads to cover, and oh so many marathons to run!

(7) Partnering with Sun Broadband and Cherifer Premium.  Thank you to Sun and Cherifer for the trust and the support in helping me get more people to run!  Thanks also to Hammer Nutrition, Oakley, and Gatorade for the support!

There’s only one thing I’d like to happily bid goodbye to this 2011.  Good riddance to Morton’s Neuroma which hit me in May and practically bugged me for the rest of the year.  Boo to you for making me missing Phuket Marathon!  I look forward to not seeing you this 2012!

May the coming year bring you lots of joy, laughter, bliss, and good health as you cover more kilometers on the road!  Hope to bump into you soon!


Slowing Down

Thursday, 29 December 2011  |  Bullish Insights

Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can’t hear, and not bothering.

– Pooh’s Little Instruction Book, inspired by A.A. Milne

– Lunch with running buddies Jun and Annie. We had banana-carrot cake in UCC for dessert. Aaah, yummy! Definitely not as good as Leona’s carrot cake from Cebu though! –

After two consecutive marathons and non-stop work, I gave myself the entire December to run easier, work less, eat more dessert, and just do nothing (which is something I hadn’t done for so long!)  Yes, sometimes, this Bull believes that she’s gotta slow down too.

The past two weeks have been incredibly refreshing.  I’ve spent more time lunching with friends (strictly following the dessert rule!), playing with the kids, cleaning up their rooms (which was a workout in itself!), redecorating my home office, and eating more dessert (have I said that already?) rather than facing my Mac which is usually right in front of my face all day, everyday.

It’s how I hoped to end this crazy, busy year and exactly how I wanted to start 2012.  *Note to self: pencil in more “do nothing” weeks for 2012.

What is a Christmas Run and Should You have One?

Saturday, 24 December 2011  |  Bullish Insights

Question: How do runners celebrate the holidays?

Answer: We have our own Christmas Run, of course!

– After our Christmas Run this morning, me, Annie, Jun, Ton, Trixie, Angel, Miriam, Jun, Lit at Sentro –

What’s a Christmas Run?

A Christmas Run is defined as any activity done by an individual or group moving at a speed faster than a walk that is executed anytime during the period of December 20 to 30.

The run can be done at any location, at any time, and at any distance but early morning—4:30 AM to 6:30 AM—is highly recommended for participants to 1) feel the cool Christmas air and 2) possibly partake of Puto Bumbong from Simbang Gabi.

Pace must strictly be easy, non-competitive, and preferably one that allows the runner to laugh at senseless jokes the entire time.  Stupid jokes that are associated with Frosty the Snowman or Rudolp the Reindeer, although relevant for the season, are strictly prohibited.

Who Can Join a Christmas Run?

It is recommended but not required that all participants have been running together for over 6 months and have accumulated a total of 300 kilometers together.

It is a non-negotiable that all runners sincerely enjoy each others’ company.  If there’s one rotten egg in the bunch (e.g., no sense of humor, makes too frequent stops at the restroom, too pacute, the list goes on and on) then the runner may be expelled from the group after a consensus is reached (preferably before the Christmas Run invitation/SMS has been released).

Why Consider a Christmas Run?

TBR highly recommends a Christmas Run among your best running buddies.  It’s the one time of the year that you do exactly the same thing you’ve been doing with your running group: you wake up the same time, meet at the same place to see the usual faces, run more or less the same distance, and have breakfast at the same restaurant to order the same ol’ breakfast meals, but without cheesy words exchanged and just by showing up on this special weekend, you essentially tell each other that running together has been one of the greatest gifts you could’ve received this year.

Merry Christmas to everyone! Enjoy the Holidays!

TBR DM 2012: Bull Session 3 @ NUVALI

Saturday, 17 December 2011  |  Bullish Insights

It was the perfect setting for our 3rd Bull Session this morning. Our TBR Dream Marathoners ran long for 1 hour and 45 mins. in the cool and nippy holiday air at NUVALI. I won’t say much in this post since these photos will effectively show you how much fun we had this morning.

Congratulations to our TBR Dream Marathoners for running strong today!

– Class pic: Runners during today’s 3rd Bull Session at NUVALI –

– Pace group led by TBR DM alumni Mark Terrado before we started –

– Pace group led by TBR DM alumni Miriam Valero, Angel Motomal, and “Kots Mike” Janeo –

– Bull Session’s lead coach Lit Onrubia, NUVALI GM, Jun Bisnar, and Ripple 100 and TBR DM runner Andre Yap –

– Off they go! Love these NUVALI roads! –

– TBR DM alumni and current batch run together –

– TBR DM alumni Craig Logan (far left) paces his group –

– These Snail Runners sure know how to hop and jump too –

– Here they go again. Jump! –

– TBR DM is a beginner’s marathon, but our course is challenging enough for any serious runner. Our marathoners are toughies! –

– Group led by TBR Dream Team Jun Cruz –

– What comes up must come down –

– We couldn’t help it. Here’s another class pic –

Huge thank you to our TBR DM alumni who paced our marathoners, NUVALI for the full support, GATORADE for hydration, and everyone else who always go out of their way to make each run or talk special for our TBR DM runners.

TBR DREAM MARATHON 2012 is co-presented by SUN BROADBAND and RUNRIO. EVENT PARTNER – NUVALI. MAJOR SPONSORS – Gatorade, New Balance, Oakley, and Otterbox. MINOR SPONSORS – Timex, Nutribar, Secondwind, Nathan, Chris Sports, ROX, BGC. DONORS: Neat Feat. MEDIA PARTNERS – Multisport, Ripple 100.  LOGISTICS PARTNER: Creative Juice.

Runner’s Interview: Dan Brown

Friday, 16 December 2011  |  Interviews + Features

There was a time when I would interview runners regularly for this blog (click HERE to read past interviews). Recently, I decided to start doing them again.  We all can learn a thing or two from the experience of other runners and draw inspiration from their achievements.

This week, I interviewed 15-time Ironman and 8th place Ultraman World Champ Dan Brown.  Read on…

dan queenstown

Name: Dan Brown
Age: 35
Years running: My whole life. Competitive running for 12 years
Years into triathlon: 10 years
Accomplishments: 15x Ironman Triathlon, 8th place Ultraman World Championships (Swim 10k, Bike 476k Run 84.4k), Australian Half Ironman (70.3) Champion

How and when did you get into running? Triathlon?
I have always had a passion for running. I love how free it makes you feel and how your body feels when you run. When I was young my grandpa called me the ‘running machine’. For triathlon I was particularly impressed by how ‘fit’ a few of my friends seemed who did tri’s and when I found out about the distances of 3.8k swim, 180k bike and 42.2k run I was like ‘thats crazy! But at the same time I was thinking ‘I want to do it!’ From there my training got a bit more serious and then it got a LOT more serious! haha.

When did you start coaching athletes? Can you tell us about your background as a coach?
I worked as a P.E teacher in a school for 3 years and did a lot of athletics with children. I began coaching them at track and for cross country. I studied level 2 middle distance running and also did my Cert 3 strength and conditioning study and began working with athletes in the gym also (Yes I used to have a bigger upper body than I do now!). Later on when I got into tri’s I started my own studio called ‘The next step running and endurance coaching’ and worked with adult athletes doing running technique analysis on treadmills and also altitude training simulation. Around this time I started doing online coaching and programming for running and triathlon which I still continue today.

If I were to hire you as my running coach, how would you train me for a marathon?
I look to look into the way an athlete lives, their business commitments, sleep hours, family time, goals, etc and try to work out the best way to remove certain barriers they may have to success. If someone is under a lot of stress etc they will likely not absorb the training as effectively as someone else due to poorer recovery so they may need need less volume and more quality in their weekly programming.

I like to look at nutrition also. Often a big factor inhibiting growth as an athlete is poor nutrition. This often sabotages good running intentions and consistency.

In terms of training distances I generally don’t like really long runs and prefer more quality workouts in the week as opposed to covering extreme distances. No one says you have to run 35k before a marathon in order to run successfully. In Ironman triathlon you don’t go out and do a 9-16 hour training day just to prove to yourself that you can, save that for race day!

Often these long runs can lead to injury. The longer you run the more your form and position will fall apart and the more prone you are to injury. Also, if you train slow, then train slow, then train slow then you will race slow! In general I prefer more consistent, frequent quality runs to make up the volume required to excel.

I coach athletes primarily through online coaching and usually try to meet with each athlete or do a session with them every week or couple of weeks wherever possible. The programmes are specific to each individual as outlined above and change regularly depending on goal races etc. My athletes regularly email me questions, talk on the phone, or skype also to get the most out of it. From Jan, I will do a regular track session or road run each week.

You were based in Australia, what were the events that led you to making Manila now your home? How are you liking the running and triathlon community here?
I had been travelling a lot and competing in Asia and Europe in triathlon races and returned home to Australia to a very serious back injury which I carried for a long time. I tore the L5 S1 disk in my back and for the first 4 weeks I couldn’t walk, lie down and was being assisted even to the CR! At this time I realized I needed a change. I have travelled a lot to Asia and thought I may try getting a job as a national coach of a triathlon team. Things moved fast and I ended up as coach of the Philippine team for 2010 and 2011. The endurance sport community is growing fast here and it is exciting to be involved in coaching, competing, events and elite sport development at the moment.

Kenting 70.3
– Dan on the bike during Kenting 70.3 –

While a lot of people know you are into triathlon, not too many know that you are into marathons and into ultramarathons. What is it that you love about marathons? Ultramarathons?
My first love is running, as I outlined above before so I really love all forms and distances. I ran an 84k ultramarathon on day 3 of the Ultraman race in Hawaii and loved it. I ran the first the marathon in 3.08 and ran the same pace for the next 10k before my ITB tore and I had to do a lot of walking/suffering for the last section! At the end my left quad was twice as big as my right! Anyway despite that I loved the experience, felt great throughout (the running part) and will likely move into doing some events like that in the next couple of years. The Ultramarathon is one of the toughest events mentally you can do and that is probably why I will be drawn to it further as time goes on.

ultraman run
– Dan during the run at Ultraman race in Hawaii –

Can you give us a glimpse of your weekly training schedule?
I will race as a professional in triathlon events in 2012 so I am already preparing my body for my first race of the season which is Ironman 70.3 Sri Lanka on Feb 18. My weekly training hours are usually between 22-32 hours. It could be more or less depending on the distance I am preparing for.

Without giving too much away a basic week may look like.

  • Mon-AM easy bike PM easy swim
  • Tues-AM Long run PM focus Swim
  • Wed-Long Bike/Interval run off bike, PM gym
  • Thurs-Off
  • Fri-AM Interval bike PM Swim
  • Sat-Long bike/run off bike PM short run
  • Sun Long run/interval PM rec swim

How’s married life with Ironwoman Ani de Leon and life as a new father to Dash?
I feel so lucky to come to this country and meet Ani. She is an amazing lady in so many ways! She and I just knew immediately that we were meant for each other so subsequently things have moved fast and now we have a beautiful little boy Dash Daniel Brown born on Nov 29, 2011.

dan and ani pre race du
– with wife, Ironwoman Ani de Leon –

Mobile 09159537980
Email danielgbrown(at)
Facebook- Dan Brown
Twitter- nextsteptri