Cosmo the Dog Who Hates Running

Tuesday, 21 August 2012  |  Bullish Insights

He seemed so innocent when he arrived at our home as a puppy…

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We took him in and treated him like family…

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We even took him with us to participate in races…

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I had the impression that he loved running too. But, as you see here, when he requested to be carried by Little Miss Bull Runner during the Southridge Run, it might have been his way of boycotting running…

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I believe we’ve got an anti-running hound in the house. Cosmo is cuddly and cute, he looks harmless, and, yes, we love him to pieces. But, two days ago, much to my horror, I discovered my Nike Free 7.0 all chewed up, its laces torn into three.

This was my Chosen Shoe: the shoe I used for Ironman 70.3 Cebu and the one I was planning to wear for Berlin Marathon among all my other running shoes.  They’re irreplaceable because they’re an old model that isn’t available locally anymore.  Double sigh.

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The culprit for such a heinous crime?

No other than Cosmo, the anti-running dog. This was how he looked when I confronted him. Looks guilty eh?!

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It Takes a Village to Raise a Triathlete – The Coaches Who Trained Me

Monday, 20 August 2012  |  Bullish Insights

Sure you can train for and finish a triathlon on your own, but, it definitely makes life easier when you learn basic techniques and skills from experts who are not only experienced in their field, but are also well-equipped to train athletes like you.

It took quite a number of supportive people in the running and triathlon community—yes, as huge as a village—to guide me through my Ironman 70.3 Cebu journey.

Here’s a list of the coaches I worked with, even if there were many more friends, acquaintances, and even strangers who gave their much appreciated advice on how to do well for my first Ironman 70.3:

1) COACH ANDY LEUTERIO

When I was choosing a coach for triathlon, Coach Andy came to mind. I asked a friend about him and here’s how the conversation went:

Me: How’s Andy as a coach?

Friend: Andy will work you to death. Then, he’ll spit on you. Then, he’ll work you to death even more.

Me thinking: Oooh, I like him already.

With that, I signed up with Coach Andy as my primary coach for triathlon, with more focus on cycling.  Andy also works with Specialized, the guys that set me up with the Shiv, so he basically played two roles: the guy who trained me to reach my target time and, umm, the guy who set that specific target time for me to win the Shiv!

Andy set my training program composed of 9 workouts for 6 days of training per week. He emailed this to me every Monday while I filled it in with what I had accomplished and sent it back to him every Sunday. With this info, he could adjust each week’s program according to my schedule (e.g., travel, heavy workload, or kids’ exam week) and my progress.

Particularly in cycling, Coach Andy monitored my improvement through a Power Meter test and provided me with a comprehensive assessment of how I could train and race efficiently using my heart rate. He also accompanied me to Edmund Mangaser’s bike shop, All Terra, for bike fitting.

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– 6 weeks before Ironman 70.3 Cebu. Power meter test at All Terra with Coach Andy. I remember asking Andy: “Coach, is it okay to do a Power Meter test after my swim training?” hoping he’d postpone it because I’d be tired. He replied: “Oh, that’s perfect. Bring running shoes too so you can run after.” Gasp. I didn’t call him the King of Suffering for nothing. –

Coach Andy is perfect for competitive athletes who want to improve their performance and constantly want to push their bodies to the limits. He regularly holds swim, bike, and run group sessions with his students, but, in my case, we were one-on-one or I’d do my homework on my own. He has an e-group to communicate with all students. He’s also a prolific writer so he occasionally sends out an inspiring letter or a technical article via this e-group.

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– with Coach Andy after finishing Ironman 70.3 Cebu. Photo: Andy Leuterio –

Andy practices “tough love;” he won’t pamper you nor will he mince words to tell you exactly how hard you have to train for race day. He will prepare you for a race by killing you in training so that when race day arrives, it will be a walk in the park…or at least one with less suffering.

Training: Triathlon
Area: Alabang, Pasig
Phone: 0917-864-1014
Email: alpha_tri@yahoo.com

2) PATRICK JOSON

Coach Patrick Joson trained me for a few weeks on my roadie when I started biking in February 2012. He taught me proper mounting and dismounting, how to spin properly, and—the greatest fear of most newbie cyclists including myself— how to ride with cleats!  He was incredibly patient with me and gave me the assurance that he wouldn’t let me crash. I pitied him when he had to chase me all around the parking lot as I attempted my first ride with cleats.

Coach Patrick is great for beginners and serious athletes, especially those who enjoy training in groups. He enjoys dishing out new learnings in the world of running, cycling, nutrition, and triathlon, especially from the Maffetone and Pose Methods which he espouses. He trains runners and cyclists in Alabang.

Training: Triathlon
Area: Alabang
Phone: 0917-527-7141
Email: patrickjoson@gmail.com

3) NORMAN PASCUAL

I joined Coach Norman Pascual for 3 to 4 sessions of bike skills at SM Mall of Asia when I got the Shiv. Shifting from a roadie to a TT bike in April, just 5 months before Ironman 70.3 Cebu, caused much anxiety as I felt like I had to learn how to ride again.

Coach Norman taught me specific bike skills: bike handling, balance, riding on aero, drinking while riding, and proper mounting and dismounting. He even taught me how to refill my Speedfill as I was biking!  These sessions were a key factor in building my confidence on the bike.

I was a witness also to how he helped other friends go from zero to finishing the Ironman 70.3 Cebu.  I heard how he helped cyclists atop the Marcelo Fernan bridge and witnessed him pace one student in the run with complete disregard for his own performance.  Coach Norman is one coach who will go all out to care for each of his students.

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– Coach Norman teaches me how to change a flat –

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Coach Norman is a great coach for beginners, especially those who want to get into triathlon, as well as serious athletes who want to become more competitive. He coaches in groups and teaches you everything from swim, bike, run, and everything in between like transitions, drinking at stations, and other the little details that you don’t really find in books.

Training: Triathlon
Area: QC, Bonifacio Global City
Phone: 0917-862-6224

4) ANI DE LEON

Coach Ani is a friend and my teammate at Unilab Active Health. She offered to guide me in training for Cebu and would regularly email me a program as well. We didn’t get to train together regularly due to conflicts in schedule, but it was her training camp, The Next Step Tri Camp, last year that planted the seed in my mind that I could actually finish a medium distance triathlon.  Oh, this Iron mommy’s words of encouragement during smaller triathlons: “Go Jaymie!” as she gunned for first place certainly gave me that extra push to make it to the finish!

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– Next Step Tri Camp 2011: with Coaches Ani and Dan Brown in Subic. This was my first open water swim –

Training: Triathlon
Area: Alabang, NUVALI
Phone: 0915-444-0290
Blog: My Strength is My Strength
Website: The Next Step Tri

5) MARTIN CARANDANG

I started training with Coach Martin in the summer of 2011. When injuries prevented me from running, I got into swimming as an alternative means to maintain my fitness and provide me with another goal while waiting to recover. True enough, my progress in swimming kept me happily distracted. From panting and pausing at every lap, I could swim 1.5k with, um, a lot less breaks during the summer of 2011.

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– 2011 Swim squad photo. Just when I was just starting to get my feet wet…literally. L to R: Jake, Adel, Bic, Coach Martin, and myself –

When it was time to train seriously for Cebu this 2012, I had grasped the basic techniques and had a mileage base that Coach Martin said we could build on. Coach Martin started adding speed a month or two before Cebu. He got me swimming 2k at Tri United 2 with confidence and more speed, such a big improvement from my past triathlons. His practical tips before Tri United races and Ironman 70.3 Cebu also kept me calm and focused.

Training: Swimming
Area: Pasig
Phone: 0917-838-7967

6) NONOY BASA

Nonoy Basa didn’t train me for Ironman 70.3, but I had to include him in this list because it was my knowledge from my sessions 4 years ago that gave me the foundation for the swim. Nonoy is a Total Immersion swimming coach and I turned to him when I needed help for my mini-sprint triathlon way back in 2008. I highly recommend Total Immersion for anyone  who wishes to learn how to swim more efficiently.

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– 2008 Total Immersion Sessions with my only classmate Dondi Gaston and Nonoy Basa –

Training: Swimming
Area: Alabang
Phone: 0917-350-6383

7) LIT ONRUBIA

Lit is one of the friends that I run with regularly especially for long runs. Luckily, he is also the first certified Chi Running coach in the country.

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– 2009 Chi Running Session with my classmates and instructor, Lit Onrubia, on the far right –

While I can be stubborn when it comes to my running (no one can really tell me what I should do anymore or how slow or fast I should go!), I still get nuggets of running information from Lit every now and then.

During the run at Ironman 70.3 Cebu, the last and, undoubtedly the most critical portion of the race for me, I remembered to lean forward, keep my shoulders relaxed, tighten my core, and just let gravity do the work for me.

Training: Chi Running
Phone: For more info on the next Chi Running workshop, call or text 0915-638-5801
Website: Forward Lean Running

To the coaches mentioned above, thank you once again from the bottom of this Bull’s heart. I couldn’t have done it without you!  May you continue to spread the love for running and triathlon!

Road to IM 70.3: Off to Cebu!

Friday, 3 August 2012  |  Bullish Insights

Two more days until the big day!

I actually have an hour to go before I leave for the airport and fly off to Cebu. This may be the last time I’ll post before I race on Sunday as I expect to be caught in the whirl of activities that surrounds Ironman 70.3 Cebu.

I’m all set. I’ve packed my bags.

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– Can you find my peanut butter and jelly, bagels, and gummy worms in there? –

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– Awesome bike bag lent by Joey of Dan’s Bike Shop to keep the boyfriend Shiv safe and comfy –

Along with the luggage, I’ll be bringing along a whole lot of mental toughness, focus, and some sense of humor for the race. (Hey, I can’t start crying now about jellyfish, waves, and crosswind right? So, um, I figured I might as well just laugh about it! Hah!)

It’s a little over an hour’s trip to Cebu.  But, the journey to get to Ironman 70.3 has taken months of sweat, sacrifices, crashes, and tears.  It’s also been the most fulfilling months for me when I learned about my own mental and physical strength and where I truly pushed myself to the limits despite my fears.  I’ve been fortunate enough to receive  guidance from the best coaches around (who I’ll thank in a post next week) and from family, teammates, friends, and even you readers who’ve always been supportive of me.  I couldn’t have done this alone!  But, at the end of the day, the Ironman 70.3 is a solo journey.  As with everything in life, you are truly on your own out there facing your own demons and winning your own battles.

It’s been a long, challenging road just to get here, and, I’ll see how it all ends—or shall I say how a whole chapter of my life begins—after Ironman 70.3 Cebu on Sunday. Until then!

Part 2: Nike+ Innovation Space in Singapore – Game On, World!

Monday, 30 July 2012  |  Bullish Insights

Aside from checking out the latest products from Nike, we also witnessed representatives from various countries take part in “Game On, World.”  (#gameonworld)

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“Game On, World” is Nike’s global activation where visitors can run to log the most miles for one’s city by running at the innovation space. Involving Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia, the challenge pit country against country in the total miles clocked via Nike+ Running apps (available on iPhone and Android).

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– On the NikePlus rankings, Philippines is SECOND to Singapore!  This can’t be!  We have to win this guys! –

For the Philippines, our athletes were Coach Rio de la Cruz, Drew Arellano, and L.A. Tenorio who teamed up with Ms. Indonesia. They were to run on a treadmill for 5 minutes against representatives from Thailand and Singapore. Highest total kilometers would be the winner.

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– Drew, L.A., and Coach Rio –

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– Our Pinoy athletes with actress/beauty queen/runner, Agni Pratistha –

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– Day of popular band Thaithanium, Freddy of South Side, competitive racing cyclist Loh Sea Keong, and competitive marathoner Vivian Tang –

Drew and I had run around the roads of Singapore earlier that morning. In fact, we ran loops around the start/finish area of the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. So, um, I did my part to contribute to the kilometers on Nike Plus and I was glad to just be a witness to this treader event. See ’em sweat below…hah!

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The winning team was Thailand/Singapore, but we all still have a chance of winning. Like I said, right now, the Philippines is second to Singapore online. Seriously now, how many are we Pinoys compared to Singaporeans? By our sheer number we can win this by a landslide.  All you have to do is log in your kilometers after each run on nikeplus.com! C’mon, let’s do this!

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[CORTEZ 40/40]

In celebration of Nike Cortez 40th anniversary, 40 interpretations of the iconic Nike Cortez from 40 artists, designers and personalities from Southeast Asia are on display. The Cortez 40/40 is a showcase unique to the region.

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It was so cool to see designs from our very own Pinoy personalities!

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– Lovin’ the purple shoes by Laureen Uy of Break My Style

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– Work of art by AJ Dimacurot. Big fan of his googoogaga line for babies/kids –

Other Pinoy designs featured were shoes by Eunice Alera, JP Cuison, Miggy Chavez, and Anton Lopez.

The Nike+ innovation space ends on 12 August 2012, and is located at 180 Orchard Road, Peranakan Place Level 2. It is open daily from 11am – 10pm. Admission is free.

Previous Post: Part 1: Nike+ Innovation Space – Nike’s New Products

* Full Disclosure: TBR was sent to Singapore by Nike to cover the Nike+ Innovation space event. TBR did not receive cash compensation for this post.

Part 1: Nike+ Innovation Space in Singapore – Nike’s New Products

Monday, 30 July 2012  |  Bullish Insights

In celebration of sport, youth and human potential, Nike showcased the best in product innovations and digital sport at the Nike+ innovation space in Orchard Road, Singapore. I was fortunate enough to be invited along with other Filipino athletes and media to check out Nike’s newest and most revolutionary performance innovations.

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– At the entrance of Nike+ Innovation space on Orchard Road, Singapore –

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– with our Pinoy representative for the Game On, World challenge, Coach Rio de la Cruz and Drew Arellano. Naks! –

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– Upper left: Reyna, Nike Communications Manager, welcomes us to the event. Middle right: Matt Nordstrom, Senior Designer/Apparel Innovation showcases the new products –

Matt Nordstrom, Nike’s Senior Designer for Apparel Innovation, flew into Singapore to present the new revolutionary products to us:

[NIKE LUNARLON]

The Nike Lunarlon foam technology, 30% lighter than standard phylon foam, was introduced four years ago. It spreads force out more evenly across the foot, providing ultra-­lightweight springy cushioning. It also protects the foot, while improving stability and comfort for an enhanced running and workout experience.

The Lunarlon technology can be found in this season’s Nike LunarGlide+ 4 (which I wrote about HERE). It is combined with firmer carrier foam, and helps move and support the runner from soft to stable as the heel lands and the foot flexes down.

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– That Nike Lunar Glide 4 is so light it’s floating! –

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– Even LA Tenorio is amazed! –

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– with Pinoy Jerwin Ngo of Nike Singapore –

[NIKE ZOOM SPIKES]

Nike debuted the ultra-­‐light Nike Zoom Superfly R4 and Nike Zoom Victory Elite spikes. Uniting superior fit, protection and Nike’s dynamic Flywire technology that loosens or tightens with the natural motion of the foot to help provide support and stability, these cutting-­‐edge shoes help prepare athletes for their greatest performance ever with a focus on speed.

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[NIKE FLYKNIT]

Matt said that the Nike FlyKnit is “the best marathon shoe ever made.”

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Nike Flyknit revolutionizes running by rethinking shoe construction from the ground up informed by athlete insights and employing a new proprietary technology. Yarns and fabric variations are precisely engineered only where they are needed for a featherweight, formfitting and virtually seamless upper.

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– with Andrea of Nike and the new Nike FlyKnit Racer. It looks like a knitted shoe that will fit like a sock! –

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– Drew is mesmerized. I’m dumbfounded by the material for this new shoe! –

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– See the thread the spools of thread on both sides behind Andrea as well as the words spelled out behind her?  That’s the same material they used to construct the Nike Flyknit –

With all the structure and support knitted in, the Nike Flyknit Racer’s upper and tongue weigh just 34 grams (1.2 ounces). The whole shoe weighs a mere 160g (5.6 ounces) for a size 9, 19% lighter than the Nike Zoom Streak 3, a shoe worn by first, second and third place athletes in the men’s marathon at the 2011 World Championships.

Nike Flyknit upper is also engineered for precision fit, creating a feeling of a second skin. NIKE has created an everyday running shoe, the Nike Flyknit Trainer+, which at 220 grams or 7.7 ounces, will bring the weight and fit benefits of Nike Flyknit to runners of all levels.

[NIKE PRO TURBOSPEED]

The Nike Pro TurboSpeed suit is the lightest, fastest track uniform Nike has ever built. Based on wind tunnel data, it is up to 0.023 seconds faster over 100m than our previous track uniform. For the past 12 years, incorporating more than 1,000 hours of wind tunnel testing, Nike’s Project Swift has evolved and refined superior Nike AeroSwift technology, working towards maximum velocity for elite athletes.

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– Matt shows us the Nike Pro TurboSpeed. Its dotted texture was inspired by a golf ball –

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– with Coach Rio, Drew, and Matt –

The technology will also be used by athletes from the USA, Russia, Germany, and China for international team competition. It’s nice to know that Nike Pro TurboSpeed collection use an average of 82% recycled polyester fabric and up to an average of 13 recycled plastic bottles.  Cool!

[NIKE ECOSYSTEM]

Nike+ has expanded into a multi-­sport ecosystem that includes Nike+ Basketball, Nike+ Training and Nike+ Kinect Training. Athletes of every level can find a variety of devices including a new range of colors in the Nike+ SportWatch GPS Powered by TomTom, and the Nike+ FuelBand, Nike+ Sportband, Nike+ Running Apps and iPod nano with NIKE+. Multi-­sport users can visit the single-­‐destination nikeplus.com to access all their data – including lifetime NikeFuel points accumulated from all Nike+ devices – creating a globally connected community of sport.

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– You can use your iPhone or Android device to track your runs and upload to nikeplus.com –

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– I don’t recall what I was eyeing here. Surely one of those Nike gadgets on the table haha! –

The Nike+ innovation space ends on 12 August 2012, and is located at 180 Orchard Road, Peranakan Place Level 2. It is open daily from 11am – 10pm. Admission is free.

Next: Part 2: Nike+ Innovation Space in Singapore – Game On, World!

* Full Disclosure: TBR was sent to Singapore by Nike to cover the Nike+ Innovation space event. TBR did not receive cash compensation for this post.