Part 1: Hey 2012, You Suck…NOT!

Monday, 31 December 2012  |  Bullish Insights

Top of mind, this is what I wanted to tell the year that passed: Hey 2012, you suck!

Then, I browsed through my iphoto library for over a couple of hours and discovered a treasure trove of fond memories of the past 364 days. Instantly, I recalled what one of my dearest friends repeatedly told me: You’ve been blessed.  He’s right.  I am blessed—despite the hiccups, bumps, and bruises along the way—and I am truly grateful.

And so, dearest 2012, forgive me for being melodramatic.  Allow me to thank you for the wonderful, meaningful, and unforgettable experiences this year. You took me on great adventures from Cebu to Berlin, gave me new running and tri-obsessed friends, and took me from the edge of fear to building my confidence and mental toughness in a way I never thought possible.

Here are the highlights of my running life for 2012. There are so many that this is a two part series! Oh, and if you wanna read more about it, just click on the titles to read the full blogpost…

TBR Dream Marathon 2012: Last March 22, 483 marathoners were born. It was our 3rd TBR Dream Marathon, but it always feels like the first.  TBR Dream Marathon, where everyone who crosses the finish line is a winner. Sweet!


Tri United 1 & 2: The shorter distance of Tri United 1 and 2 at Laiya, Batangas prepared me for Ironman 70.3, not just physically but mentally. Bonus that these were well-organized and fun!

Click on these links to read more about my Tri United 1 and Tri United 2 experience.

– Tri United 1 with my teammates from Unilab Active Health –

– Racing during Tri United 2: swim 2k, bike 60k, and run 15k –

– with Jun and Coach Norman. Photo: Team Norman –

– with teammates Bic, Drew, and Augusto Benedicto, who would later on be the 1st Pinoy to finish Ironman 70.3 Cebu –

Ironman 70.3 Cebu: It was this race that I worked oh-so hard for during the first 7 months of 2012.  Training for it was challenging and, as Coach Andy likes to say, character-building. This race made me tougher, stronger, and even more bullheaded. Is that a good thing?

– The best portion of Ironman 70.3 Cebu. Photo: Lloyd Joseph Lawas –

Jaymie and Andy
– with my Coach, Andy Leuterio, who made me suffer in training so I could perform on race day –

– with good friend Ton Gatmaitan. We signed up for this race together unsure of what we were getting ourselves into LOL. What a ride! –

– with training buddy Jun Cruz aka Tatang and our good friend Philip Leroux –

Berlin Marathon: My 8th marathon. After the rigors of triathlon training, I gave myself the chance to enjoy myself with my first love, running.  I had a blast running Berlin with my best running buddies.  Truly one of the most memorable experiences. Thank you to Unilab Active Health for sponsoring my Berlin adventure.

– Got our race packs at the Berlin Marathon expo! –

– Our pre-marathon workout: tour of Berlin on segway! Crayzeee, but fun! –

– Freezing before the race start –

– Cheers! (That’s non-alcoholic beer by the way) –

– Showing off our medals with the Brandenburg Gate behind us –

Running in Prague: After Berlin, we spent two days in the beautiful city of Prague. We “ran” a recovery run…to McDonalds.

– We toured Prague after Berlin –

– We ran…a bit…there too! –

TBR Dream Team Run: Half the distance but thrice the fun!  This was our first TRBDM alumni run.  It was a team run for 3 runners running 21k together.  One of the most fun 21k races ever!

TBR1 175

TBR2 846

– Boys Night Out hosted the event –

Laguna Phuket International Marathon: I was lucky enough to be invited by Laguna Phuket to join their fantastic and scenic event. My hotel, Hotel Angsana, was the best too!

– The course was so scenic! –

– Finished the 10k even if I had diarrhea! Waah! –

Angkor Wat Half Marathon: A flat and fast run through the ancient temples of Angkor Wat!  I was speechless as I ran through the sites.  Truly moving and astounding. Thank you to Unilab Active Health for sending me.



Wait…there’s more…

Next: Part 2: Hey 2012, You Suck…NOT!

Merry Christmas! Live, Laugh, and Slow Down…for Today!

Tuesday, 25 December 2012  |  Bullish Insights

How have you been celebrating the holidays?  For me, there was a whole lot of love, laughter, and…suffering the past few days!


I’m talking about the kind of suffering you’re probably familiar with, one that you probably enjoyed yourself over the past few days. Hey, we all felt compelled to burn off all the calories from feasting, plus the long weekends allowed for more time to just “play,” right?

I ran a fast 18k with my favorite running buddies: Ton, Jun, and Lit last Sunday. Aaah!  It was almost perfect.  We finally got to experience cool weather with a bonus light drizzle during the run!

The only bummer was when a bunch of the Polo Tri athletes passed my car as I was changing inside!  Que horror!  Of course, in a few minutes, I managed to get dressed, come out of the car poised acting as if nothing had happened! (These things can only happen to me!)

– All sweaty after our run –

– Lovin’ the shirts too! –

Just before mass and Noche Buena, I hopped on my bike trainer for an hour’s worth of Sufferfest! Woah, I never felt so strong on the bike before. Could it be due to the majestic ham?



After the suffering, there was always the reward of good food, laughter, and fun with friends and family.

My best running buddy, Annie, who I’ve missed terribly is back from Singapore for the holidays. Jun and I had breakfast with her.

– Laughter over sausages, crepes and coffee –

Team Berlin enjoyed our Christmas breakfast at Chelsea after our long run.

– with Lit, Angel, Miriam, and Jun. Missing in photo: Ton! –

We celebrated Christmas eve with my side of the family. I’m still dreaming about that salad dressing that my sis-in-law, Tonette of Mama L’Oca, promised to make for me!

– with my sister, Janice, sis in law, Tonette, and the kiddos –

– with my siblings: Jons, Janice, and Tan, and mom in the middle –

– What’s new? Janice and I always have goofy moments shot on cam! –

IMG_0064 - Version 2
– My loves! –


Before I go and have the kids open their gifts from Santa, I’d like to share with you a quote I found in the book Simple Abundance:

If, as Herod, we fill our lives with things, and again with things; if we consider ourselves so unimportant that we must fill every moment of our lives with action, when will we have the time to make the long, slow journey across the desert as did the Magi?  Or sit and watch the stars as did the shepherds?  Or brood over the coming of the child as did Mary?  For each one of us, there is a desert to travel.  A star to discover.  And a being within ourselves to bring to life.

– Author Unknown

There’s a time to rest, a time to suffer, a time to laugh and cry, a time to speed up and slow down. Today, for the first time, I ask you to slow down as I will too (against my own will heehee.) Rub that big belly and don’t worry about the extra weight. Lie on that couch all day and allow your legs to rest. Savor the special moments with your loved ones because, at the end of the day, that’s what matters most.

Merry Christmas everyone!


Order Amid the Christmas Chaos

Wednesday, 19 December 2012  |  Bullish Insights

Who’s going crazy like me over the multitude of things to do nearing Christmas?  There are Christmas programs to watch, gifts to buy, potluck parties to prepare for, and, to top it all off, looming deadlines for work!  It doesn’t help that you can hardly get anywhere on time anymore with the awful traffic.  Bah humbug!

I must admit I’m starting to sound like Scrooge and, worse, I’m starting to look like The Grinch on bad days.  But, ironically, despite the hectic schedule, I found that as long as I stick to my training program, I find some semblance of peace and order in my day.  It’s actually what has gotten me through the past weeks!

Here’s how my homemade training program looks:

  • Monday: Bikram yoga or rest
  • Tuesday: Run
  • Wednesday: Bike
  • Thursday: Run
  • Friday: Bikram yoga
  • Saturday: Bike
  • Sunday: Long run

I’m currently on off-season mode (Waah! Did I just say that? I’m starting to sound like them triathletes!), so my program isn’t too serious at all.  But, I have been sticking to it fairly well because it keeps me sane while I try to survive in this crazy world of mine.

So, while I try to help out Santa figure out how to get my daughter’s gift (She asked for a gift that isn’t available in stores anymore because “Santa can make everything!”), may I remind you not to forget your regular workout these coming weeks despite the holiday festivities.  It’s what’ll keep you happy, sane, and, most importantly, fit enough to welcome the coming year!

London Marathon, Here I Come!

Friday, 14 December 2012  |  Bullish Insights

Guess who just registered for Virgin London Marathon on April 21, 2013?!

I did!  I did!  Just five minutes ago!


Thank you again to Timex Philippines and UK for reserving a slot for little ol’ me in, what I’ve heard, is one of the toughest marathons in the world to get into.  I am beyond excited over this race.  It will be my 9th marathon.  It’ll be my first time in London.  And, this trip couldn’t have come at a better time for me.

As of now, I only know one other Pinoy who’s registered for the race.  Anyone else out there who’ll be running London Marathon too?


Good Choices

Monday, 10 December 2012  |  Bullish Insights

As the New Year draws near, it may be time to think about the good—and not-so-good—choices you’ve made in the past year. What did you do to become the runner that you are now? Are there improvements you can make to become a stronger one?

While I’m still a work in process, I do think I’ve corrected some mistakes this past year and made some good choices that have allowed me to enjoy running more this 2012. Here they go:

I CHOSE TO ROTATE SHOES FOR EVERY WORKOUT. When I found The Shoe for me (KSwiss Kwicky Blade Light), I favored it for every run, from a 5k to a marathon. My good friend Hector Yuzon from Secondwind Running Store advised me to rotate shoes for specific workouts to allow your foot to experience different shoes and stave off injury. I may have taken Hec’s advice a bit too far because, now, I use the Kwicky Blades for long runs and marathons, Nike Free Run 3 (I have pink and purple! Both of which I adore!) for speedwork on the treadmill, and New Balance 1090, Asics Gel Kayano 17, and Nike Pegasus 28 for runs below 15k.

I CHOSE MY RACES. Way back in 2007 to 2009, I would not allow myself to miss a single race. If I did, all hell would break loose at home! This year, I became more discerning when it comes to my racing. I chose events that were by reputable organizers and one’s that I felt were “must-runs” in my book.

I CHOSE TO GET INTO TRIATHLON. I needed a new challenge this year and it came in the form of Ironman Cebu 70.3. I learned how to swim and bike more efficiently, built mileage in both sports, and eventually found myself training and racing like a real triathlete! It’s a demanding life I tell you! But, it did give me a greater sense of achievement and, even better, it made me a stronger runner.  (I signed up for 2013 again!  Woohoo!)

– Run portion of Ironman 70.3 Cebu 2012 –

I CHOSE TO TAKE A BREATHER FROM SPEED WORK.  Aah, I love running fast.  But, the past couple of years, after just a month or two of intense speed work, I would get injured. It was frustrating and maddening.  So, I realized it was a choice between getting fast and injured or continuing to run a steady pace and enjoying it. At least for this year, I chose the latter. It allowed my feet to regain its strength and recover. It also gave me a breather from the stress of always chasing a PR. My goal is to run for the rest of my life so, I figured, taking a year off from chasing my time wouldn’t do me any harm. I was right. I learned to enjoy running in all its purity and simplicity in the company of friends, chitchat, and lots of laughter. Of course, now that 2012 is coming to an end, I’ve chosen to hike up my speed again hah!

– Ran and finished Berlin Marathon 2012 at “happy pace” –

I CHOSE TO RUN MY OWN RACE. At the ripe old age of 36, I’ve reached a point in my life where I don’t really care much about what people think of me because I’m pretty confident about myself and my abilities. Conversely, I am also aware of my own limitations since, really, I’m not a professional athlete and I’ve got a family to prioritize. So, I defined what running means to me (It’s my happy place!) and its role in my life (It enhances my life, but it’s not everything!) With that, I was happy knowing full well what I could give to running and what it could give back to me.  I chose to run my own race regardless of who is faster, stronger, or better than me as long as I know I gave it 110% effort.  Now, if I manage to come in first because of that good effort, then I wouldn’t mind at all!

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