Think Yourself Strong

Wednesday, 20 July 2011  |  Bullish Insights

Every night, just as we climb into bed and get ready for sleep, Little Miss Bull Runner will look at me with her puppy dog eyes and whimper: “scared.” And, every single time, I’ll reassure her I’m right by her side, switch off the lights, and hug her until she dozes off into la la land.

We all have our fears. Little Miss TBR is afraid of having nightmares. My son is petrified of the dark. I sometimes worry about the future and my children’s future. Bottom line: many of us fear the unknown.

– Running at Corregidor with hubby and Edward Kho. Photo by Levi Lakandula –

For runners, the unknown could churn out the following questions in our minds and keep us mortified for weeks on end: Can I finish 5k? Will I be able to do a 3:50 at Milo Marathon? Was my 50k long run enough to finish 102km at BDM? Will I come in last?

No one really knows the answer until you do cross that finish line and that terrifying unknown becomes reality. In the meantime, there’s nothing left to do but run.

Run your heart out in training. Climb those hills, give your all in that last lap on the track, and yes, hold up that plank position for the longest 10 seconds of your life. Remind yourself that running isn’t entirely about running; it includes cross training, proper nutrition, stretching, and rest. Do your homework…and then some. Be consistent. Stay committed to your dream.

The key is really to take hold of your fears, hide it beneath the soles of your running shoes, and take a leap of faith. Then, when judgement day comes, stand at the starting line with confidence in your work, pray that all things run smoothly from the weather to the water stations, and allow your body and mind to accomplish what they were trained to do.

Amby Burfoot said: “When it comes to staying motivated, running is a mind game.” If you start your training or your race telling yourself how scared you are, so you will be. But, if you think yourself strong, fast, and invincible, then you’ll cross that finish with arms raised high winning over your fears.

As my second husband, Lance Armstrong, always says: Livestrong. Truly, it is the only way to go whether you are running a race or living your life.

Inspired by Hope

Monday, 18 July 2011  |  Bullish Insights

I ran 15k yesterday, the longest distance I’ve covered the past couple of months since Morton Schmorton Neuroma attacked my little toes.

Wow. I was over the moon about hitting the road once again in such pristine weather conditions and among a fantastic group of running friends. Friends would often ask throughout the run: How’s the foot doing? And, I would reply with a smile: Good. Doing fine.

To be honest though, I carried a bit of weight while we were running. Uhm, yes, I still haven’t lost the extra weight I’m lugging around (grrr). But, there was a heavy burden upon my shoulders that my friends weren’t privy to (until now.)

I was a bit worried. Okay, that’s not being honest. I was awfully pissed.

While I could run easy, I was still frustrated that I could’t run exactly the way I wanted to, the way I used to in the past. There was still slight discomfort and my legs didn’t feel like they were back in full fighting form. I know, I know. I should be patient. Things won’t change overnight. But, still, frustration did set in. In my head, I thought: Why can’t I run the pace I want to yet? When will I be able to do so? How much longer must I wait? Aack, the bull in me was raging.

Good thing I stumbled upon this video of Hope Solo, the goalie of the US Women’s Soccer team (who lost to Japan a few hours ago. Sob sob!). In the video, she talks about her shoulder injury: I was nowhere close to where I needed to be…Could I handle the pain? Could I forget about the pain and get through training? Wow, I could completely relate. And, watching her nurse herself back from injury and get back into the game again just gave me…hope! (Pun intended)

Avon Run to 125,000 Kisses

Monday, 18 July 2011  |  Race Announcements

I’m helping Avon gather runners together to race against breast cancer. The annual Avon fun run is always a friendly and fun race that I participate in. This year’s race will be on October 2, 2011 at SM Mall of Asia, but Avon is starting early and just opened registration for 5k and 10k events. Hope to see you there!


Here’s Avon’s Press Release for its race:

Join Avon’s Race to 125,000 Kisses for Breast Cancer
Early registration for the Manila Run Event begins on July 16

With thousands of women succumbing to breast cancer every year, it is no surprise that the condition remains to be the top killer of Filipino women. Anyone can easily fall prey to this deadly disease—making it every individual’s responsibility to support the fight against breast cancer.

Avon, the foremost corporate advocate of this disease, continues to invite everyone to be a positive part of the fight to save women’s lives with its annual Kiss Goodbye to Breast Cancer (KGBC) fundraising event. Since its Philippine launch in 2002, it has been Avon KGBC’s mission to help provide access to care and support to medically under-served women.

In celebration of its 125th anniversary, the company for women brings more excitement to its annual walk and run events with its campaign Race to 125,000 Kisses. For 2011, Avon is inviting everyone to work together to build the giant pink ribbon through their “Kisses of Support”.

Participation in the annual event translates into a Kiss donation for all breast cancer victims. Your Kiss via a Kiss Card, which will be included in the race kit for the run participants, will be numbered and counted to fulfill the 125,000 target.

The Race to 125,000 Kisses Run, consisting of the 5K and 10K events, encourages the growing community of runners in the Philippines to actively show their commitment for the cause. For a registration fee of P500.00 and P650.00 respectively, individuals will receive the Avon KGBC Race Kit, which already includes a singlet, race number and giveaway. Proceeds from the event, which will be held at the SM Mall of Asia Open Grounds, will go to PGH Breast Care Center and selected provincial hospitals.

Registration begins July 16, 2011 (except R.O.X) via Avon KGBC’s official website

Individuals may also sign up for the run event at participating Avon locations: Taft (contact 516-8005), Shaw (contact 571-8930), and Avon Makati Head Office (contact 864-2954). Participants can also sign up at the following establishments: Reebok Megamall (U/G Floor, 914-0344), The Shoe Shop Rockwell (2nd Level, Power Plant Mall, 898-1297), and R.O.X. Bonifacio High Street (856-4639) starting September 4-26, 2011 only.

Get on your mark, and get ready to Race to 125,000 Kisses. Through your participation, you can make a significant contribution to the fight against breast cancer.

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!


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 OR follow her on twitter @mitchfelipe for more tips and daily fitness and weight management updates

Bull’s Eye: Nike Lunar Glide+ 3

Tuesday, 12 July 2011  |  Gear + Gadgets

What shoe did I use for all my five marathons? Just one model: Nike Lunar Glide. I was obsessed with that shoe and I hoarded pairs of them like crazy and eventually used them all to retirement.

Nike then “upgraded” my favorite shoe to Nike Lunar Glide+ 2 which, uhm, to put it bluntly sucked big time.

Then, a little birdie told me that the next Lunar Glide would be more like the 1st release.  So, for months, I patiently waited for its arrival.  Who would’ve thought that a text from Nike this morning would signal the end of my long wait?!

Introducing: Nike Lunar Glide+ 3 fresh out of the box!





What a beauty, eh?!  Tomorrow, I am all set to run my first weekday run post-injury.  Isn’t it perfect timing that I get to road test this brand spankin’ new pair of Nike Lunar Glide+ 3 as well?!  As Tony of Nike said: “It’s fate!”

Check this blog for a more complete review after a week.