4 Pounds after 4 Marathons

Friday, 12 March 2010  |  Bullish Insights


That was my reaction as I viewed the numbers on the scale the evening we arrived from Hong Kong a few days after the marathon.


I had gained a whopping 6 pounds in 4 days. Even my husband was shocked as he noted that I didn’t indulge so much during the trip. (Of course, he wasn’t with me during New Balance’s eat-all-you-can buffet where I had three whole lobsters. Still, that’s seafood so it doesn’t count!) Even if I had binged in one meal, I ran a marathon for God’s sake (plus I ran 3 more during the past months), so I should at the very least maintain my weight, right? Well, not this body of mine! Grrrr…

So, I moaned, and groaned, and complained, and whined about it all.

Now, almost 2 weeks after, I lost 2 of the 6 pounds but I’m still heavier than ever. Thus, I am still complaining and whining.

What’s the cause? After much analysis, here’s my bullish theory (for all you experts out there, correct me if I am wrong, but then again this is my body so I should know it best):

  1. Reduced mileage. I cut my mileage after Condura (recovery) and before Hong Kong (taper) thus reducing my calorie burn. (Can I just tell you that I absolutely hated this period?! Remind me never to do anything as crazy as this again.)
  2. Reduced activity. So I got busy with work and kids like a lot of you, and I stuck to my one love: running when I was pressed for time.  All the other stuff I used to do on a weekly basis: gym, spinning, swimming, and yoga were put on the back burner for the entire February.
  3. My body is used to running. I’ve been running since 2006 and I’m guessing that my body needs something new to get excited about for weight loss (or even just maintenance please!)  Triathlon world is that you calling once again?
  4. I’m eating more than I know. So, I cut back on meat, but I’ve been bingeing on fruit shakes (Sexy Chef, Stabucks, Frutas…you name it, I drink it!), yoghurt ice cream (Golden Spoon is love!), and more which is still too much for my reduced mileage.

The good news: I lose weight as fast as I gain.  So, as I told my gym instructor this morning—while we were both staring at my protruding belly and bulging arms in front of the mirror—“I’ll be back on track come Monday and I’ll lose those 4 pounds fast.”  This bull works hard for what she wants, and she usually gets it.

2nd Bull Circle with Coach Jim Saret

Friday, 12 March 2010  |  Bullish Insights

Our 2nd Bull Circle packed the corner of R.O.X. again last March 10 as over 150 runners arrived for Coach Jim Saret’s talk on “Getting the Body Marathon Ready.”

– One leg up! Coach Jim teaches runners some balance exercises –

– We were honored to have one armed super runner Isidro Vildosola… –

– Wonder tri mom Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan… –

– and Jun Bisnar, GM of Nuvali who celebrated his birthday that evening, and his wife Ofel in the audience –

Our 1-hour session extended to over 2 hours as Coach Jim caught the runners’ interest with his interactive discussion and demonstration on balance and core training for runners.

What I learned in this session:

  • BALANCE is important for runners!  With each step, one foot is on the ground and another in the air. One leg is at work to carry your body weight and keep you balanced. If you lack balance, one leg will have to work harder just to keep you balanced.
  • HOW TO DEVELOP BALANCE: single leg stabilization drills

  • – Why is balance important for runners? Click on the video to find out –

  • Runners should focus on strengthening the CORE. Focus on doing more core training rather than crunches, weight training, or plyometrics.
  • HOW TO ACTIVATE THE CORE: suck your belly button in!
  • HOW TO STRENGTHEN THE CORE: stability ball exercises, balance disc, planks

– with Coach Jim Saret –

– with Sid and Coach Jim –

* Thanks to Armie for some of the photos!

For those who missed the very informative talk, we have more videos coming up on youtube. Search for The Bull Runner.

Bull Session No. 1

Tuesday, 9 March 2010  |  Bullish Insights, News + Promos

March 6, Saturday, was the day of our first ever Bull Session, a run clinic where runners can run at conversation pace enjoying each other’s company.

– “Class Pic” of the 1st Bull Session runners –

The Bull Session was a dream project of mine for years, long before TBR Dream Marathon was conceptualized. I always envisioned my dream run clinic to be one where people just gather together to run for fun; no pressures to reach a specific time, perform certain drills, or cover a number of loops for the session. I wanted a clinic where all types of runners, even non-runners, would simply experience the joy of running. Hence, the Bull Session was born.

When I arrived at our meeting area, R.O.X. Bonifacio High Street, I was pleasantly surprised to find close to 100 runners awaiting the start.

Before the run, Coach Rio first gave us a brief talk on basic running form and technique.

– Coach Rio shows us the perfect form –

– Runners listen intently –

Then, we ran 1 hour and 15 minutes around Bonifacio Global City led by Team Secondwind.

– Up the hill! –

– Like a mini rally! –

– I had a grand time meeting new runners during the clinic… –

-…even met this cute guy in white. Oh wait, that’s the hubby! 🙂 Running with him is Chi running instructor, Lit Onrubia. Both are TBR Dream Marathoners –

– Neville of Secondwind leads the cool down –

NEXT BULL SESSION (run clinic):

  • March 20, 2010, Saturday
  • Venue: TBA
  • Coach: Jim Lafferty to discuss training for the marathon (15 mins only)
  • Pacers: Team Secondwind
  • Duration: 1 hour 45 minutes (following TBR Dream Marathon training program)
  • Open to the public
  • Free of charge

    New Balance Asia Pacific Tech Summit

    Monday, 8 March 2010  |  Bullish Insights, Gear + Gadgets


    I felt like I was back in school again when I attended the New Balance Asia Pacific Tech Summit in Hong Kong, last March 1 & 2, 2010.  But, this time, we spent two full days on my favorite topic: RUNNING GEAR.  New Balance apparel and shoes, to be exact.


    New Balance is the No. 2 overall athletic footwear in the US. It is No. 3 running brand in the US. It’s actually the only athletic company still making shoes in the US.


    Shane Downey from New Balance U.S. gave us a background on the apparel of New Balance. Apparently, the New Balance apparel system varies from fabrication, construction and technology. Finally, I understood the meaning behind the various hangtags attached to NB apparel, such as X-static, Cocona, Icefil, and Lightning Dry, to name a few.

    I used to think that one should just make sure that apparel was moisture-wicking, but it’s good to check if your tops and bottoms are also: thermodynamic (keeps you cool when it’s hot and keeps you warm when it’s cold), hydrophobic (moisture-managing), anti-wind, anti-odor, UV-protection, and more. (Told you I learned a lot!)


    Kellie Pidgeon, the regional tech representative from New Balance Australia, who is also a podiatrist, discussed the Total Fit concept of New Balance. She taught us how to measure our feet using the Brannock device and determine the perfect shoe fit for a runner. (Coming soon: a post on all my learnings about shoes)

    Using me as an example, she also demonstrated how to do gait analysis using their software and also elaborated on the five common injuries for runners (a topic I was very familiar with!)

    This session was an eye-opener.  It educated me not just on the importance of choosing the right model, but also how to ensure that it’s the perfect fit.  A half size too loose or too tight can spell blisters, dead toe nails, or worse injury during a long run.  In running, where we take hundreds or thousands of steps per session, the role of the shoe in our performance is key!


    New Balance’s Compression +, NB’s new compression gear which can be comparable to the technology behind Skins and other leading brands for compression tights was also introduced. This will be available in Manila. Price TBA.

    As a believer in compression tights, I am very familiar with other popular brands. I noticed that NB compression tights is thinner and lighter than CW-X; material is as stretchable as 2XU. Colors so far are black with red lining and beige.  We were told that based on NB scientific research, the effectiveness of NB compression+ is similar, if not better, than Skins, considered to be the market leader.

    Here’s John, a cyclist and runner (a Comrades Marathon finisher), from NB South Africa who tested the NB Compression+ during the HK Marathon the day before. Beside him is Kelly…


    Shane, an obvious NB shoe and apparel expert, got all technical and discussed NB running shoes in more detail.

    Despite the variety of models, he emphasized one thing: NB offers runners “Total Fit”, which means:

    Proper size (NB like all other brands offers different shoe lengths)
    Proper width (NB provides various widths: 2A, B, D, 2E, 4E, 6E etc)
    Appropriate last (the foundation of the shoe which gives it volume and shape)

    = TOTAL FIT.


    • New Balance 760 – Go To Stability (moderate stability). Thinner, softer materials. Welding instead of seams. Better heel to toe transition. New toe cap which has been rounded off.
    • New Balance 1064 – High End Neutral cushioning shoe. Modernized upper and improved fit.
    • New Balance 1012 – The Master of Control. Very stable, maximum support.
    • New Balance 740 – Good priced stability shoe. Little brother of the NB 760.

    FALL 2010

    • New Balance 759 – Go to Neutral shoe. New toe cap. Softer materials, softer rubber bottom.
    • New Balance 1226 – Premium Stability. More stable than 1225. Excellent heel cushioning.
    • New Balance 870 (Q4 2010) – Lightweight Stability. Small medial post provides a little bit of guidance. Low to the ground.

    * Thank you to Anton Gonzales and Bing Buenaventura of New Balance/ Planet Sports for sponsoring the HK trip.

    TBR at the Philippine Online Chronicles

    Friday, 5 March 2010  |  Bullish Insights

    I was recently interviewed by Jane Uymatiao for the Philippine Online Chronicles. I think Jane captured, in so little words, how running changed my life. If this once-sedentary mom could do it, then anyone can.

    Click HERE to read the full article.

    Thanks Jane and POC!