Part 1: Berlin Marathon – The Race Expo

Saturday, 29 September 2012  |  Bullish Insights

After a flight that felt like forever (10 hour layover in Doha, baby!), Team Berlin from the Philippines—that’s Lit, Ton, Angel, Miriam, and myself—arrived in Berlin last Thursday. As soon as we landed, we checked into our hotel, washed up, and headed straight for the Berlin Marathon expo to claim our race packs.

– Lost in the subway with the boys hauling our luggage. Thanks Ton and Lit! –

– Bromance in Berlin. Roomies Ton and Lit –

– Outside the race expo at Flughafen Tempelholf (say what?!) –

– Balloons (and German boys) to welcome runners! –

– Friendly staff welcomed me as I claimed my kit –

– We’re all in for Berlin! Ton, Lit, me, Angel, and Miriam. Behind us is the 42k course we run on Sunday! Woohoo! –

– That is exactly how the race will look on Sep. 30 with the assembly at Brandenburg Gate! Of course, I’ll be in running clothes and lost in the huge crowd of 40,000 runners –

The Berlin Marathon Expo was huge with booths of most running brands represented. There were a lot of official marathon merchandise from adidas, but I couldn’t find anything that interested me. Absent as well from the expo were the brands that I usually go crazy over: Cliff Blocks, Gatorade for pre-race fuel, GU or Hammer gels, and other items that I don’t normally find in Manila.

I ended up buying only one thing: Phiten discs which work very well for me to alleviate minor aches and pains. (Some friends used to make fun of me over this, but they freaked themselves out when, after trying, it worked for them too!) I usually buy the plain ones, but there were limited edition Berlin discs this time! Cool!

– Limited edition Berlin phiten discs. Pretzels and beer on my toes!  (Yes, I know my bunions are big!)

When we got home, I checked out all the loot in the bag.  First thing I always do is keep the important race items safe and secure.

– My check in bag, reusable BMW timing chip (It’s that tiny BMW chip on the left of the bib. So sosyal!), and personalized race bib –

– Official Finisher’s Shirt of the Berlin Marathon. Love it! –

– Most of the items in the kit. A box of pasta, Powerbar sample, chocolate. Most of these were marathon flyers I collected as well during the expo –

– adidas provided a mi time wristband which you can engrave with your finish time after the race –

– Anyone who trains and finishes a marathon has every right to receive this in the race kit. Yum! –

Next article: Our pre-race run through Berlin roads

Thank you to Unilab Active Health for sponsoring my Berlin Marathon adventure!

TBR Dream Marathon 2013 Announcements

Monday, 24 September 2012  |  Bullish Insights

To all TBR Dream Marathon 2013 Participants:

Most of our announcements and news for the race will be posted on our website:  Please check that often for upcoming events or information pertaining to the site.  NOT all race info will be posted here on so as not to bore all other readers hah!


Just to let you know:

Over the weekend, we posted the following:

1) Final list of registrants for TBR Dream Marathon 2013

2) List of TBR DM Weight Management Program participants.  For those on the list, please attend your first TBRDM Weight Management Session at 7 tonight in Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Bar, 3/F Gap Building, BHS (on top of Gap and Muji). Thank you to Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf Bar for hosting!

Flach, Schnell Und Unvergesslich

Sunday, 23 September 2012  |  Bullish Insights

Say what?! Don’t ask me to verbalize that. It took me a while to just type it!

It’s how the organizers of the Berlin Marathon describe their race. It means: “flat, fast and unforgettable.”

– Map of Berlin Marathon on my bulletin board –

In seven days, I, along with four of my running buddies, will be running those flat and fast roads of Berlin, the fastest marathon course in the world.  WOW!  To say I am excited would be an understatement.

Earlier this morning, some of us in Team Berlin (yes, that’s what we’ve been calling ourselves for the past months.  I told you we were excited about this race!) ran our last weekend run together.  Looking back, I told a friend I felt like we breezed through those long runs together.  We ran consecutive Sundays hitting 21k, 24k, 28k, then 35k until we tapered off.  Today, we capped off our marathon training with a 12k run.

For me, it was bittersweet.  While I was glad to have ended training, I do have to admit that I’ll miss those long runs, the company of friends, and the sumptuous breakfast after.  I can’t help it.  I’m just one of those people who love both the journey and the destination when it comes to marathons.  I just live for long runs!  (Hey, I can make  t-shirts with that line!)

For the next few days, I plan to just do one more run, one Bikram yoga session, and one bike trainer session.  That’s on top of trying to finish work, tutoring the kids for exams, and packing.  Waah!  After all that, I fly out on the 26th for what I’m sure will be a flach, schnell und unvergesslich marathon on September 30!

* Wish us all Pinoy runners luck!  We’re around 40 from Manila.

** Piolo (yes, Papa P) was supposed to join us, but he had to back out because of work. Boo! (Funny side story: He personally told me this in the Shangrila Cebu elevator.  I entered.  He was inside and called me by name.  Me?!  My jaw dropped.  He spoke matter of factly about not making it to Berlin and I managed to listen without drooling or fainting.  Hay life is good!)

Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number

Friday, 21 September 2012  |  Bullish Insights

My daughter asked me: “Mama, how old are you again?”  I replied with my age.  Then, she gazed back at me with a half-amused, half-shocked expression and exclaimed “You’re even older than my school!” (which is celebrating their 35th year.)  Great. I am now older than concrete structures that seemed like they’ve been there before my Lolo was born.

Earlier this week, I was invited to an Olay Regenerist event at Tessa Valdes’ home. As soon as I arrived, a dashing young male model/usher (hence I couldn’t say no!) led me to the Visia computer which, upon placing my chin into a tiny little dome with an 18 megapixel camera, snapped close up images of my face, fed the info into a computer, and analyzed the condition of my skin.

I always thought my main problem was dryness and over exposure to the sun because of running, swimming, and biking.  The good news was that my skin had proper moisture, it was well protected by my sunblock (Neutrogena 100SPF), and pores were good too.  Now for the bad news.  And this was baaaaad.  I had wrinkles!  Huwat?  Me?  Wrinkles?!  Apparently, they’re all over my forehead and around my eyes.  My next thought: Thank God my camera only has 12mp!

Sigh. I’m getting old.  On top of those invisible wrinkles, I feel those flabs in the arms flapping away whenever I do a Ms. Universe wave (good thing I don’t try that stunt too often) and I need to have my white hair dyed every other month.  It would be easy for me to spend an entire day sulking about this while bingeing on comfort food (Cheetos and Mountain Dew Slurpee please!), but I’ll surely end up feeling bloated and even more depressed after.

The thing is, when I lace up my shoes, head out the door, and run my vanity issues away, there’s only one thing that happens: They disappear.  There’s something about feeling how strong or fast I can go that reminds me about the power I have as a woman with a rich history to draw motivation from.  With each foot stomping hard on the ground, I think more about how far I can go with my own two feet. It’s all me.  The older, wiser, stronger me—with all my wrinkles, age spots, and flab—that can choose to go longer, farther, faster than I did yesterday.

I started running at the late age of 30, ran my first marathon at 33, and I’ll run my 8th this coming September 30.  The long term plan is to run one or two marathons a year for the rest of my life.  Oh, I also have a not-so-secret dream of qualifying for Boston Marathon with a sub-4 when I hit 50 years old.

Aaah running, it’s a sport that I can definitely grow old with and I’m looking forward to our many more years of blissfulness together…with or without those wrinkles.

Bull Circle 1: The Marathon Dream on 19 September 2012

Monday, 17 September 2012  |  Bullish Insights

Congratulations to all registered participants of TBR Dream Marathon 2013! See you all on Wednesday for our 1st Bull Circle in Fully Booked!


For a complete Calendar of Activities for TBR Dream Marathon 2013, please click HERE.