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.

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

– 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)


“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).

– 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.

– Drew, L.A., and Coach Rio –

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

– 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!


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! C’mon, let’s do this!


[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.



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

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

– 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.

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

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

– 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:


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.

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

– Even LA Tenorio is amazed! –

– with Pinoy Jerwin Ngo of Nike Singapore –


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.



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


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.

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

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

– 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.


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.

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

– 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+ 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 to access all their data – including lifetime NikeFuel points accumulated from all Nike+ devices – creating a globally connected community of sport.

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

– 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.

Road to IM 70.3: 6:49

Thursday, 26 July 2012  |  Bullish Insights

6:49. That’s the target time set by Specialized for me to finish Ironman 70.3. If I finish before then, I own the handsomest bike I have ever set my eyes on, the Specialized Shiv, that was loaned to me during the past few months. If I don’t, then I’ll have to purchase the Shiv if I want to keep him.


My thoughts:

1) Holy #@%*#! What did I get myself into?! I am dead!

2) It’s a fair target time. It’s achievable, but it’s not going to be a walk in the park too. I can do this! I will do this! I will own that Shiv!

3) Holy #@%*#! I can’t ride that fast! I’d rather pay for the bike then kill myself on the road! (Wait. I take that back. I think my husband will kill me first if I have to pay for that bike!)

4) I’ve done the work. I am physically and mentally ready for Ironman 70.3. Move over Pete Jacobs!

5) Holy #@%*#! I have to run that fast under intense heat after swimming and biking?!

6) 6:49? Pffft. I’ll finish 10 minutes before then with time to spare to kiss the Shiv, hug my coaches, and high five my teammates.

7) Uhm. Why am I doing this again?

Like many other triathletes signed up for Ironman 70.3 Cebu, I’m experiencing a wild mix of emotions—fear, excitement, anxiety, restlessness, doubt, confidence, and more—in the last two weeks leading up to the race.  In short, I’m going nuts!  (This target time is pushing me even closer to the edge, ya know!)

No one knows how our race will go. All we know now is what we did in the past months to prepare our bodies, our minds, and our hearts to endure whatever is out there in the water and on the road.

Target time or not, I’ll be giving my best come August 5 anyway. We probably all will. So, I’m heading into the race giving everything I’ve got, hoping for the best, and I’ll just swim, ride, and run strong heeding my coach’s last orders: GIVE THEM HELL!

Wish me luck. And, if you have time, please say a short prayer for me.

Road to IM70.3: 3 Weeks To Go

Tuesday, 17 July 2012  |  Bullish Insights

I don’t know how I survived the past week.  Really.

With three weeks to go, my program last week was heavy.  As in, ton of BRICKS heavy. (No pun intended.)  Total number of hours I worked out last week was 14 hours.  Longest I’ve ever trained!  (Imagine, I could’ve flown from Manila to LA with all that time and with much less sweat!)


I swam my longest ever, 3km, on Friday, rode my farthest distance, 110km in Nuvali on my Shiv Saturday, then ran 24k with friends on Sunday.  If the workouts weren’t long, they were intense; those are what I did on the other days that week.

Except for the run (don’t be surprised), I wanted to quit each workout that week.  While swimming laps with Coach Martin, at the 6th out of 24 repeats, I was thinking I could just pretend to drown, which was not very far from how I looked at that point.  During my bike trainer sessions at home, the cushy bed upstairs seemed to be calling out my name every 5 minutes; I replied “No thanks!” with all my might in between groveling and gasping for air.  As for the run, nearing the end of the 24th kilometer, I felt like I could do more, but, um, the smell of breakfast beckoned so I knew it was time to stop.


Surprise surprise, I did accomplish every single workout the past week.  There was a lot of groaning and whining, but, at the same time, there was a lot of laughter, pride, and high fives along the way.

I am completely amazed at what my body can do now compared to a few months back.  (I am equally astonished at how much weight I’ve lost despite all the food I’m eating!)  I am also equally aware of how—through months of training this body at specific skills—I’ve also inevitably trained the mind to become stronger and more focused.  And, the latter, my friends, is what I think matters most and is, so far, the biggest gift this journey has blessed me with.


This coming week is all about back-to-back twice a day workouts.  (Say what?!  Coach Andy, I never heard of such punishment!)  Man, these triathletes have been putting themselves through these grueling workouts probably for years now and I’m the new runner who’s foolish enough to try it. Hah!

So, let’s see how I fare this week.  I expect a lot of suffering and a lot of fun! (Yes, I’ve learned the past few months that the two can actually co-exist.)