Life’s a Beach

Sunday, 22 April 2012  |  Bullish Insights

Everything has been fast paced for me lately, so a family trip to the beach was more than welcome.

The hubby couldn’t make it due to work, but the new BF and the trainer surely couldn’t be left behind. (Bulls suffer heavily from separation anxiety especially when it comes to new training gear.) Plan was to ride 40km on the trainer on Friday evening and Saturday morning.

As we loaded the car, I realized the bike wouldn’t fit. I also packed my running clothes, Nike Frees, goggles, and swim cap for my swim. Aaack I had to prioritize the items we were taking with us! So, I chose to bring a smaller electric fan and left one pillow behind. I wondered how my mom would fit into the car when we picked her up later in the day, but, hey, anything to ensure training continues through a vacation, right?

We made it to the beach only for me to find out that I left the skewer for the bike to fit into the trainer. Aaaargh! I wasn’t able to bike, but I did have a good morning run by the shore before everyone woke up on Saturday. Right after, I had a comfy 1km open water swim with my older brother.

– 7am. After my relaxing run by the shore –

What a great way to spend a not-so-lazy weekend at the beach! As for my date with the Shiv, we’ll catch up tonight and tomorrow.

– with the kiddos –

Lunch with the Foreign Runner

Tuesday, 17 April 2012  |  Bullish Insights

It’s always nice to catch up with old running blogger friends.  So, when we found out Philip and his wife Vina were back in town, we had to call for a get together.  Of course, talk was about running, marathons, and triathlons over sinigang na corned beef and crispy pata.

– Jay, Vina, Philip, me, Jun, and Levy –

Several years ago, Philip, who hails from South Africa, would tease us about running Comrades Marathon.  Now, looking fit in his Ironman 70.3 shirt, he bugged us about joining Ironman in his hometown 3 years from now. We’ll see, Philip, we’ll see.

Read their old running blogs here: (Guys, can you please update them? I miss reading these!)

> Jay – Prometheus Cometh
> Levy – Happy Hour
> Philip – Foreign Runner
> Jun – The Solemates

Pre-Race Prayer of a Beginner Triathlete

Friday, 13 April 2012  |  Bullish Insights, Running + Triathlon

Dear Lord,

Tomorrow is the big day: Tri United 1 at Laiya, Batangas. It feels like my first triathlon since I’ve really only done two mini sprints way back in 2008 and 2009.

Oh God, this is the first time I’m joining a triathlon in open water, first time I’m going out of town for a triathlon, and the first time I’m going to swim and bike for what seems like such a long distance! Last year, I would never have dreamed of swimming and biking this much!

If you sense the panic in my voice, please take pity on me and, should you have a short recess from solving the more weighty problems of the world, perhaps you could accede to one or more of my humble requests:

  1. Please don’t let any sea creatures sting me — be it jellyfish or sea ticks. It will be quite difficult for me to employ my own TBR swim-scratch-gasp-swim(R) technique during a race.
  2. Please help me make sure I prepare everything properly in the transition area. You know how often I’ve forgotten underwear, toiletries, or even my own surname after receiving epidural for two kids. Just this once, help me leave nothing behind.
  3. Keep me and all other participants safe during the bike ride. Yes, needless to say, you may also keep them safe from me and my not-so-perfect biking skills.
  4. Guide me as I attempt to drink from the bottle during the ride. I know, I know, you only help those who’ve helped themselves. Promise, I’ve practiced this the past couple of weeks, but I’ve come to the sad conclusion that I must’ve been absent when you blessed humanity with balance and maneuvering skills.
  5. Please spare me from any technical difficulties on the bike. I’ve watched so many youtube videos on “how to change a flat tire” but unless my repair kit has a magical caucasian genie triathlete that pops out and does everything for me, I don’t think I’m ready to change it myself yet. I promise to learn before Ironman 70.3.
  6. Brick? Oh boy, I didn’t have any brick training during my past 3 weeks of mishmash triathlon training. Please Lord, don’t make me wobble like a duck when I hop out of the bike and attempt to run.
  7. Allow me to have a strong and safe run since, this time, it comes after a 1km swim and 30km bike ride. You know I haven’t done anything like this in my entire life, so send some angels to make things a bit easier. If they’re busy doing some good in the world, then second or third or fourth wind would be much appreciated if and when I tire out.
  8. Last but not the least, please let me have fun even if none of the prayers above are answered. Remind me that the first race is always about enjoying the experience. I can worry about time and a better performance at the next race, right?

Yours Truly,


TBR DM Story: Candice Belza, Bib No. 065

Wednesday, 11 April 2012  |  Bullish Insights

I’m a sucker for love stories. Toss in a bit of marathoning to the mix and I’m hooked.

Here’s a great running love story from TBR Dream Marathoner Candice Belza, Bib No. 065…


Teamwork. Commitment.That’s what my first marathon is all about.

My pacer who became a marathoner in the recent Condura Skyway race got sick (sorethroat, diarrhea and fever) 2 days before the TBR Dream marathon day. Since I had cramps in the St. Luke’s EYE Run a week before, I was scared of 42k. Even dreaded it more because my pacer was sick and I might not make it without him. But he promised to run for me and with me. After all, we had been training for March 18, 2012 for 5 months.

Race day came and we had a strong start. We were pacing it right. No sign of fatigue during the first half. However, at 24km, my pacer felt bloated and started to feel the urge to make a potty break. We had to make long walks and short runs. Finally, the potty break at the top of the hill. He asked me if I was going to wait. Of course I was going to wait for him. I waited and while the runners were passing by… I felt that everyone else was ahead and that my pacer was taking too long. I was disappointed and I was in a hurry. There was a little voice that told me to go ahead. I felt strong and could make a sub 5. My pacer even suggested that I go ahead. But I could not leave him behind. He was there for me all throughout my long runs in the 5 months of training and never left me even if he thought I was a pain in the ass. I chose to run with him notwithstanding the little competitive voice that told me to go for a strong finish and hug the spotlight.

We ran together. Walked together. I didn’t complain.  At 32 km, he paced himself and admitted to me that he was getting tired. While I reminded him of why we were running, I felt very strong during the race. I didn’t hit a wall. I made sure that my pacer and I would cross the finish line together. And we did finish strong at 5:52 for all our 3 children to see! I believe I became tough on race day because I had to support my husband. And that is what it is all about.

Marathoning brings out the best in you just like in a Marriage. It’s teamwork for those who are committed to succeed.  Happy anniversary, honey!

TBR DM Story: Mikey Villanueva, Bib No. 583

Sunday, 1 April 2012  |  Bullish Insights

I always say that the marathon brings out the true character of a person. After observing three batches of runners on training for the marathon, we’ve learned that 99% of the time, we see the good in people: their tenacity, determination, generosity, humility, and more. After the runner crosses the finish line, there’s almost an instant awareness of all these good qualities inside that just want to shine through and take effect in one’s life. That’s just part of the magic of the marathon.

TBR Dream Marathoner Mikey shares a similar view and his thoughts on training and finishing his first marathon at TBR Dream…


Name: Mikey Villanueva
Finish time: 6:43:43

I’ve always been a fan of Douglas Adams. His humor is not for everyone but his illogical, off tangent manner of thinking brought him a cult following.  Imagine a trilogy – of five books!  Or that the restaurant at the end of the universe is actually not a place but a point in time.

Out of all that he has written, his place in geekdom and in the universe is for giving his readers the “Ultimate Meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything!” which is forty-two.  How does forty two answer anything? Six times seven is forty-two.  Aaaand it is significant because????  To be correct, according to fans, it is six times nine equals forty-two.  In base 13.  Google it if you’re lost by now.  Anyway, forty-two has been the butt of jokes and rightly so because Douglas Adams chose it as he found it funny.  Dry British humor, I guess.

Last year, I signed up for The Bullrunner Dream Marathon (TBRDM) organized by Ms Jaymie Pizarro for first & second time marathon runners.  It is the only marathon in the world where everyone is given enough support and encouragement to cross the finish line.  It even includes a 22-week training program that assumes you have zero experience in running! Imagine that – zero to marathon in 22 weeks!  How cool is that?  Amazing!

All that is required is to run three times a week, one hour during weekdays and long runs during the weekend.  The weekend runs increase in duration and distance.  Aye, there’s the rub!  This is where commitment, determination, and dedication come in.  It is not easy to get up on Saturday or Sunday morning and run increasingly longer and longer distances.  During the first week, it is only for an hour.  By the time week 19 comes around, we were running 32km in about 5 hours!  It becomes easier because we get the chance to do it with fellow runners who have the same dream.

Forty-two kilometers.  That’s the goal.  But running it brings something out of runners.  Running that distance for the first time not only taxes the body but also the mind.  Runners dread “The Wall”, the point in the run where they begin to question things- “Why am I doing this?” “There’s a reason bikes and cars were invented…” “My heart is going to explode!” “My legs are cursing me and want to go on strike!” “I wanna go home to mama! Waaaah!”  It is in conquering the wall that separates the marathoner from the fun runner.  It is a mental battle.  Runners have mantras for it “Pain is temporary, Quitting is forever” “What Wall?” “Endure” “Marathoner!!!”

It is in facing the wall that Forty-Two will give you the meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything. It makes you push your limits.  It makes you discover what you can do.  Makes you assess what you want in life.  It teaches you to plan on how to make things happen.  It digs deep and calls your soul.  It brings out your true character.  It makes you search internally for the meaning of YOUR life!

I guess Douglas Adams’ fans couldn’t figure out forty-two because most of them are not interested in running.  Now I understand.

Thank you Jaymie and The Bullrunner Team!