The Day Before the New York City Marathon 2011

Sunday, 6 November 2011  |  Gear + Gadgets, Healthy Food + Recipes

My cousin, Celine and I woke up to a slow and sleepy Saturday morning and set out for a half day of shopping ahead.  Of course, shopping had to be brief because I didn’t want to stay on my feet all day.

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– We shopped around the midtown area and hunted for my Canon S100 which was out of stock everywhere. Sob sob. –

I dropped by Jack Rabbit, a running store on Lexington Ave. between 83rd and 84th, to buy my Gatorade pre-race fuel and a cool new shirt. I chose to wear my race day shoes already, KSwiss Kwicky Blade Light, because my poor little toes have been getting a beating from walking in the wrong shoes the past few days…

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We had a late lunch at an italian restaurant with Jet, NY-based member of Adobo Run Club who is also running NYCM for the 2nd time and a good friend of Celine’s. Celine carbo-loaded along with us. Haha!

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– Loved this caprese! –

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– with Jet and Cel –

Jet and I bought bagels at H&H for our breakfast during the long pre-race wait at the race. I’ll be spreading peanut butter on my whole wheat bagel and I’ll down it with Gatorade probably at the ferry headed towards Staten Island tomorrow.  Oh, just mentioning my beloved peanut butter gets me drooling. Oink.

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– with Jet –

As soon as Cel and I arrived home and after oohing and aahing over our shopping finds, I laid out all my gear for the big day.

On one side of the room, I set all my gear to wear for the race tomorrow: three layers of Nike tops, 2XU compression tights, Nathan hydration belt, Asics gloves and Oakley shades.

Check out that bib. Looks so simple, but it gives so much info about each runner:
– Name
– Color: Green. This means I’m in the green Village. Others are in orange and blue. This tells me which start line I’ll be crossing and what village I should wait in before the race.
– Wave No. 2. This indicates my start time of 10:10 am. Others start at 9:40 and 10:40.
– First two numbers: 37. This tells me I’m in Corral 37 within Wave 2.

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Then, I set my PRE-RACE clothes that I’ll be wearing in the morning heading to the race, but not during the race. (Complicated huh?)  Weather is expected at 57F which is awesome! But, I’m still bringing my fleece jacket, throwaway clothes, and tear away gear to be safe.

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I packed a lot into my check in bag this time, a lesson I learned from last year’s race. I placed two sets of clothes for changing post-race just in case I head straight for post-race celebrations with other Pinoy runners. I also brought a blanket, trash bags, food, medicine, and toiletries for pre and post race. Depositing and claiming of the bags are quick and efficient at NYCM despite the huge number of runners.

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I prepared my pre-race nutrition. I’ve been drinking Gatorade today to ensure I’m hydrated and I’ll take the Gatorade pre-race fuel tomorrow. Results of my Gatorade sweat test indicate I should drink 125mL every 15 minutes.  I’ll also take Hammer Gel 30 minutes before the race and at 10k, 20k, and 30k.

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Phew. It took me close to an hour to pack. That doesn’t even include all the brainwork on planning how to get to the Staten Island Ferry Terminal and more importantly how to get home to Celine’s apartment which is not a joke when you’re a tourist in New York!  Despite all this, the New York City Marathon is worth all the troubles for me…even the second time around.

I’m all set for the race. Even my toenails say so! NY, here we go…

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– Just like Dara Torres, I painted my toenails as part of pre-race preps. I wanted to put NYC 42K but they wouldn’t fit into my tiny toenails! Those Phiten circular stickers are supposed to help circulation around my tired toes. I hope they work! –

Wish me luck tomorrow!

Gatorade Sweat Test for NYCM

Tuesday, 25 October 2011  |  Healthy Food + Recipes, Running + Triathlon

In preparation for New York City Marathon, Gatorade invited Anthony Pangilinan and I for a Gatorade Sweat Test, a test conducted by the Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI) more commonly to elite athletes from Philippines National Teams to the Azkals. They’ve also done the test for the Polo Tri Team.

The Gatorade Sweat Test basically analyzes an athlete’s sweat rate and provides an adequate hydration program to ensure that the athlete performs at his/her best.  For Anthony and I, Gatorade offered to conduct the test to help us plan our hydration for NYC Marathon on November 6.

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– with GSSI Consultant and Gatorade Sweat Test Director, Nino Sinco –

Gatorade Sweat Test director and consultant of GSSI, Nino Sinco, a 3:20 marathoner, mind you, gave us a briefing. Here’s what I learned about hydration:

  1. For every 2% below proper hydration level, you experience a 20% reduction in performance. For us runners, this could mean months of training flushed down the drain just because we failed to drink properly before or during a race!
  2. Our sweat rate does not change whether in hot or cold weather. This means that regardless of the amount of sweat you feel, you should make sure you are hydrating properly because you sweat the same amount whether you’re running in Manila heat or New York winter. In cold weather, you’re just less soaked because the sweat evaporates quickly.
  3. Most athletes—including you, dear runner—start a workout dehydrated without even knowing it. I plead guilty.

PRE-TEST PREPS

A week before the test, we were informed that GSSI would simulate race conditions for New York City Marathon. What did this mean? They booked a function room at Mandarin hotel, brought two treadmills in, and reduced temperature to 55 degrees. Only a limited number of people were allowed in the room to keep the temps low. The kicker: two fans were placed on each side of the treadmills to simulate wind chill! Brrrrr. My Li’l Miss Bull Runner must’ve felt the cold because she asked: Is it also going to snow in here?

Before I got into full NYCM Gear, GSSI took my weight and urine sample. Once done, I was not allowed to eat or drink anything but water or Gatorade.

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Nino then placed two patches on my body: one on my forehead and another on my forearm. This would collect my sweat and would be removed until it was fully saturated. They did the same with Anthony.

Set
– Putting on those patches –

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– I heard these sweat patches cost a bundle! –

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– with Angel of Gatorade. Her first marathon was at TBR Dream. Her 2nd will be NYCM –

We were handed 1 bottle of Gatorade and 1 bottle of mineral water and we could drink as much as we wished. Our heart rates were taken and would be monitored every 10 minutes or so during the entire run.

BREAKING A SWEAT

Anthony and I hopped on our treadmills ready for the long and cold run ahead. We were instructed to run for 1 hour and 30 minutes at any pace we desired.

Ooh boy. I love to run, BUT not on a treadmill. It is dreadfully boring for both the legs and mind and I do it only as a last resort. I was thankful that Anthony was there as company.  (Gatorade, I only do this for you!)

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– Running with Anthony P. –

We agreed to keep our pace at 4. But, when Anthony wasn’t looking, I increased mine to 4.5 haha. When GSSI staff checked on us, I learned he had increased his speed to 4.6 and proudly announced to them that he was faster. So, of course, I hiked mine up to 4.7! Yes, Mr. Pangilinan, you were 0.1 faster than me for uhm 5 seconds hah!

We talked about New York preps, running, triathlon and more as the X-Men DVD prepared by GSSI staff for our entertainment played on. We talked about how we were slaving away like hamsters while GSSI and Gatorade people were probably dining at a buffet in the warmer room next door. Once in a while, Anthony would sprint or run sideways like a dancer. It may have been out of boredom, but it may also have been an attempt to distract me from finishing the run. I suspect it was the latter!

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– Talk, laugh, drink, run. Anything to keep the boredom at bay –

During the last 20 minutes, Nino removed my patches because they were saturated with sweat already. I then began my countdown to the finish. I would yell: 19 minutes to go…10 minutes to go…5 minutes…1 minute. It was around this time when I recall Anthony saying: Ang kulit mo pala! Poor guy. The Gatorade Sweat Test must have also been a test of his patience and tolerance with The Bull Runner tsk tsk.

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– Every minute counts! –

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– Nino removes the patches on the forehead and then the arm –

WE DID IT!

We both ran all 1 hours and 30 minutes.  It was the longest I had ever gone on a freakin’ treadmill. Wow, I felt like a winner when I finished.

Once we were done, we had another weigh in to check fluids lost. Anthony then proceeded for the post-test interview first and I followed.

AND THE WINNER IS…

Even before the Sweat Test ended, GSSI had confirmed that I was dehydrated when I started the run. Scary how I felt completely fine and I was completely oblivious to the risks I was putting on my body!

Our full results will be released early next week before we leave for NYC Marathon and I’ll post them up here.  I’m pretty excited because the info will surely be useful in planning our hydration for the race and all other future races. They will be able to tell us exactly how much fluids we should be taking during the race and how often. How cool is that?!

As for my running buddy (or was it fierce competitor?), he texted me that evening: I won Part 1!

What Part 1?!  Why didn’t anyone tell me this was a race?!  And how exactly did he win it?!  Apparently, Mr. Pangilinan’s basis for the win was that he accomplished the urine test + actual run + interview faster than I did!  Much to my hesitation, I conceded. After all, he did leave hotel premises earlier. And, the Gatorade Sweat Test was just that – a test.

Too bad Mr. Pangilinan didn’t know that Part 2 was the Adidas KOTR 21k the following day.  I ran the 21k while he stayed in bed to rest and recover.  As soon as I crossed the finish line that day, I declared myself the winner of Part 2!

As for Part 3, let’s see who crosses the finish line first at the NYC Marathon!  Care to place any bets?

Thanks to Anthony for keeping me sane during the run.  I couldn’t have thought of a more hilarious and entertaining treadmill running partner for the day.  See you in NYC Marathon and carry that flag for us with pride!  Thanks to Gatorade for giving me the opportunity to undergo this test. You can make me your guinea pig or hamster anytime and I’ll willingly run another long and boring treadmill run just for you.  No sweat! And, no pun intended!

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– with Ton of GroupM and Oz of Gatorade –

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– with Gatorade and GSSI team. Thanks guys! I know I said it was boring, but it was as fun as we could possible make it! –

TBR 30: Eat Right Challenge Continues…

Tuesday, 2 August 2011  |  Healthy Food + Recipes

Day31

So our 30 day challenge ended two days ago. How did you fare?

As for my 30 days, I was eating properly probably 90% of the time. Admittedly, there were times when I couldn’t resist temptation or I just completely forgot about my commitment to eat properly.  Whoops. (Apologies for failing to remind you too since life got busy busy busy. I know you know that this was a commitment to yourself that you were responsible for anyway!) But, I also remembered not to be too hard on myself. That 90% of the time I was being good and that already made a huge difference in my health. That life also was meant to be lived and celebrated and that included tasting—not fully indulging—in some of the not so healthy stuff every once in a while.

While I congratulate all of us for reaching 30 days—did you?!—I also would like to remind you that the 30 days was only the beginning. Shouldn’t we all live healthier lives, uhm, forever?

Let’s try the TBR 30 again next time.  Maybe closer to Christmas.  By this time, I’ll try to get more support and help from friends.  Until then!

TBR 30: Q&A with Mitch Felipe-Mendoza

Wednesday, 13 July 2011  |  Healthy Food + Recipes

Hi TBR 30 Challenger: it’s Day 13 of our commitment to eat right for 30 days!  How have you been doing?  So far, we are over 100 runners strong and counting!

Day13

To help us stick with the program and learn more about proper nutrition, I’ve interviewed Mitch Felipe-Mendoza, one of my favorite nutritionists to bug about my food and weight concerns.  Here it goes:

1. What are the top 10 healthy foods you would recommend for us runners to keep in our pantry?

  • Fruits
  • Whole grain bread
  • Eggs
  • Wheat pasta noodles
  • Low-fat milk
  • Oatmeal
  • Wheat cereals
  • Low-fat, low-sugar granola bars
  • Canned tuna, salmon or sardines, beans and veggies
  • Low-fat, low-sugar spreads

2. What are the top 10 bad foods we should not even buy?

You can still have some but in moderation:

  • Processed foods like meatloaf, sausage, ham and hotdog
  • Fatty viands like bacon, fatty cuts of pork and beef, longganisa
  • Chips
  • Chocolates and cookies
  • Pork rind or Chicharon
  • Ice cream and cake
  • Cream cheese
  • Alcohol
  • Regular mayonnaise
  • Flavored drinks

3. Can you give us a sample of an ideal lunch or dinner meal for a runner?

  • Rice or pasta (choose brown rice and whole wheat pasta to get more fiber)
  • Veggies (go for fresh, green leafy veggies and fresh red tomatoes)
  • Protein (Choose fish, chicken and if you are trying to lose weight, eat meat 3 to 4 servings per week and choose grilled, boiled, steamed)
  • Fruit (always have a fruit for dessert as substitute for pastries or you can have a fresh fruit juice)
  • More water (avoid sodas or powdered juices)

The total amount and calories will depend on your activity level, weight, gender and goals but the standard serving is a cup of rice, ½ to 1 cup veggies, 1 to 2 servings (size of your palm- 1 serving if you are trying to lose/maintain weight) protein and a piece of fruit

4. What would you recommend as healthy snacks for runners?

  • Whole grain breads with low-fat, low-sugar spreads or tuna and veggies
  • Whole fruits or fresh fruit shakes (like banana, apple, mango)
  • Snack bars (low-fat, low-sugar energy snack bars)
  • Low-fat milk or chocolate drinks
  • Yogurt
  • Cereals with skim milk (choose cereals with less sugar, go for wheat)
  • Boiled eggs (lessen the egg yolk)
  • Saging na saba (without syrup)
  • Corn (with less butter, use reduced fat butter)
  • Fresh vegetable lumpia (with less nuts, meat and sweet sauce)

5. Can you advise us how to manage cravings?

  • Never skip breakfast (or your first meal upon waking up) to avoid cravings that usually set in after lunch or late night.
  • Stay away from low-carb diets to avoid sweet cravings like ice cream, pastries, and chocolates
  • Make sure that you get a sound sleep of not less than 6 hours per day
  • Stay away from craving foods (salty and sweet) during PMS
  • Ask the support of friend or your spouse to distract you whenever you crave for extra foods.
  • Drink more water instead of flavored drinks
  • Rest well, manage stressors and your emotions

6. What tips can you give to us runners on the TBR 30 Challenge?

  • Eat according to your goals and program. If you are running three times a week plus other physical activities like weights and cycling to maintain your fitness level, then stick to a healthy and balanced diet. If you are training for a marathon, increase percentage of carbohydrates. If you want to lose weight, avoid fatty foods and eat meat in moderation
  • Avoid overdoing your workout (too high intensity or too long) so you won’t experience too much stress, burnout and/or injuries. Start and progress gradually.
  • Log your experiences and progress. Choose the best self-monitoring tool that you can realistically complete – either a journal notebook, simple notebook with blank pages or you can log everything in a computer file or lifestyle applications.
  • Create a support system by asking participation of your family and friends. Get help of professionals.
  • Avoid eating out as much as possible and make an effort to prepare and cook your meals and snacks, to save calories …and money.
  • Having a healthy lifestyle is a life-long effort. Your 30-day journey can be a great jumpstart to eat healthier foods, to reduce stress and to improve your fitness level. Then it is your choice to step up to the next level.

Mitch Felipe-Mendoza is a lifestyle & weight management coach, fitness trainer and runner who has helped her clients manage weight and improve running performance by combining her background in psychology, exercise, nutrition, and injury prevention.  She is a contributor to The Bull Runner Magazine and is also a regular wellness contributor of Philippine Daily Inquirer and a weight loss columnist for Women’s Health Philippines.  If you have comments or questions, email her at mitchfelipe@gmail.com OR follow her on twitter @mitchfelipe for more tips and daily fitness and weight management updates

Day 6: TBR 30 Eat Right Challenge

Wednesday, 6 July 2011  |  Healthy Food + Recipes

Wow. I had humble expectations for this group. I wasn’t sure how many of you were willing to eat right with me for a full month. But, it turns out that a lot of us—99 as of the moment (including myself and the “shy” TBR 30 participants who emailed or texted me about the participation instead of posting)—really want to eat healthy, but we just need something or someone to jumpstart it for us.

I realized many of us WANT to do it but still need some guidance on HOW to eat properly. So, I’ll try to interview nutritionists and experts and post them here. First interviewee will be the one I bug about my eating the most: MITCH FELIPE-MENDOZA. Expect that in a few days.

So, how have you all been doing the past 6 days? I hope you’ve been sticking to a super healthy and wholesome eating regimen. If you’ve slipped (like I did two days ago) then don’t be too hard on yourself (food is good after all!) and just do better in the next meal.

Here’s something I’d like us all to remember. It’s said so often but we need constant reminding especially when treats and junk are staring us in the face…

Day5

So, who’s the reader out there who wants to be the 100th participant of TBR 30? You can still sign in and join us.

Happy and healthy eating to all!