The Elusive 100km

Saturday, 16 June 2012  |  Running + Triathlon

I should’ve done my 100k bike ride last May. But, something always got in the way: a family trip, fever, ITB, and intestinal flu.

Today, everything fell into place.

– Jun and I after our 100k bike ride at NUVALI –

Who would’ve thought I could ever ride 100km? Just goes to show that with a little perseverance, a whole lot of commitment, a dash of stubbornness, and a wee bit of craziness, everything is possible. Yes, even for imbalanced, squeamish, and accident-prone runners like me.

Road to IM 70.3: 9 Weeks to Go

Monday, 4 June 2012  |  Running + Triathlon

It’s June! Gasp. By tomorrow, I only have exactly two months of training left before Ironman 70.3 Cebu.  It’s crunch time, but, I’ll have to be honest with you, it’s also beginning to get a little more exciting.

Coach Andy tells me that, beginning this week, we start focusing on speed.  We built the mileage the past few weeks, but now it’s time to push harder and go faster.  It almost feels like I’m on a roller coaster ride, climbing steadily and slowly up toward the peak.  I’m not quite there yet, but just a few more weeks and I’ll be ready to free fall.  Weeeee!


I swam my longest last Tuesday: 2.7km, swam easy 1.5k Thursday, then swam 2.4k with friends on Friday. I could use a lot more speed, but hey, at least, I know I won’t drown in Cebu.  Unless, of course, a humongous jelly fish swallows me up.  Okay, okay. Delete the last line. Positive thoughts only.


My nemesis has returned: ITBS.  He’s bugged me ever since I started running.  Last Thursday, after a short but fast run, I suddenly felt knee pain (a sure sign that my tight ITBS was tugging at my knee cap already).  Grrrrr!

ITBS is a recurring injury for us runners.  Once you get it, it lays dormant when you rest or train less, but once mileage increases, he starts rearing his ugly head once again.  Double grrrrr.  This time, when ITBS showed up, I told myself that I wouldn’t let him win. Thankfully, after “bringing out the big guns” to get rid of him all week, he did go away!  (Full post on exactly what I did to fight ITBS in a few days)  By Tuesday, I ran a 12k and another 10k on Thursday.  No ITBS!  Wooohooo!

Come Sunday, I had the pleasure of running 22k under near perfect cool and cloudy weather with friends, Lit, Jun and Leana. We bumped into Peter Coyuito too who ran with us for a bit.  It was a relaxed run that capped my stress-filled week because of ITB.


> Tuesday, Coach Andy and I met in Daang Hari for my Power Meter test.  I was to bike for 1 minute and then 20 minutes as fast as I could.  All the while, we monitored the distance and my heart rate.  Aaaack, it was the l-o-n-g-e-s-t 20 minutes of my life.

After all the suffering, Coach Andy emailed me a file providing me with the recommended power and heart rate training zones for the various workouts I’ll be doing.  I’ll be trying them out this week!

> I dropped by Starting Line at West Gate Center, Filinvest Corporate City to finally get a Speedfill bottle for hydration.  I still have a hard time grabbing the bottle (As I said before, don’t laugh!) so I thought this would solve the problem.  I was right!  (Thanks to Raoul Floresca of Starting Line for the help!)

– Still a work in progress. I wanna pull this lower to make it look cleaner –

> Last Saturday, Jun, Ton, and Unilab ActiveHealth teammates, Mike, Jake, Backy, and Coaches Ani and Dan Brown, and myself set out to ride 100k in NUVALI.  (Is it obvious that I was pretty determined about making up for the missed long ride due to ITBS last week?!)

The weather was cool, even chilly at some points, and cloudy almost the entire ride.  I was a bit nervous, as I always am, at the start about all the things I have to consider—mounting, dismounting, aero position, drinking while riding, and more—but, as the hours passed, I got comfortable with the Shiv.  Maybe even too comfy because I didn’t pull as hard on the brakes anymore, stopped over analyzing my movements when I rode in aero, and—oh boy, I’m embarrassed to admit it—but, I really do think I’m falling in love with my Shiv!  If I start talking to him while I ride, then maybe I should have myself checked (although I do know a couple of triathletes who do that.)

I was so slow that I would’ve spent the entire day biking just to reach 100k!  So, we called it a day at 82k and I promised myself I’d reach 100k soon.  Um, to be exact, the next attempt is this Thursday.  As Coach Andy always tells me: You Will Do It!

Total training hours last week: 12 hours.


5 Tips for Runners Considering Triathlon (and Win Enervon HP Products)

Thursday, 31 May 2012  |  Running + Triathlon

Here are learnings I’ve gathered during my past triathlons and during my tri training the past months. Just a few tips from this humble runner hoping to finish Ironman 70.3 alive (You may say a silent prayer for me now):

1. SET A GOAL RACE. Choose a triathlon event, preferably a short distance such as mini sprint or sprint (so as not to cause too much unnecessary stress because wearing a trisuit puts enough strain on your heart), and give yourself reasonable time to train for it.

My Experience: In 2008, I chose Animo Mini Sprint to jumpstart my tri training. This motivated me to take Total Immersion lessons with Nonoy Basa and, um, ride around the village in my husband’s mountain bike. (Phew remind me never to try that stunt again.) In 2009, I signed up for the same race just to get me to start swimming and biking again since I slacked off in 2008. You see, I realized that, at least for runner like me, the only time I really swam and rode my bike was when I had a triathlon event coming up. Otherwise, I could go out daily and just do the one thing that I truly love: running.

– at Animo Triathlon 2009. 2nd Place female overall. Boy was I lucky! haha –

2. GET A COACH. Triathlon requires training in three different disciplines (duh) all throughout the week. To make the most efficient use of your time training, get a coach who can customize your program according to your fitness level, personality, and lifestyle.

My Experience: Triathlon training is no joke. If you’re a busy working mom like me, every single minute of your training counts because that’s time away from the kids and work. I work with Coach Andy Leuterio who sets my program for the week. He gives me 9 sessions from Tuesday to Sunday with Monday as rest day. 4 out of the 9 sessions are key sessions meaning they cannot be missed. The rest are flexible depending on all the other things that go on in my life.

3. ASK ALL THE DUMB QUESTIONS YOU WANT. Sure, you know everything about running already. But, when you get into swimming, there are so many things to learn about technique. Oh, and don’t get me started with bike parts!

My Experience: You can pore over triathlon books, magazines, and websites as long as you want (as you well should), but it’ll save you time (and money) if you just meet triathletes and coaches in the community who can easily and generously share practical tips and information about the sport. What ring should I use: big or small?  Do you wear underwear beneath that trisuit?  When does my butt stop hurting?  Yes, I’ve asked all of those questions. I’m sure you can think of more dumb questions too!

4. REST AND RECOVER. For most enthusiastic beginners, it’s easy to swim, bike, and run as much as you want. But, you do need at least a day of rest (even if you feel great) and give your body time to recover for a quality workout the following day.

My Experience: As a runner, I’m used to feeling like my body, especially my legs, have gone through a pounding after a long run or speedwork. But, after a swim or ride, I would be exhausted but my body would feel fresh again after a nap or a couple of hours rest. I had to remind myself that the workout was enough and that it was better to rest than tire myself out. Besides, “No pain, No gain” is so 80’s, dontcha think?

Another thing: With running, I could get away with munching on junk or eating too little after a workout. With triathlon, what you eat, especially after a workout, affects the quality of your workout the following day. The first few weeks of tri training, I was often spent at the beginning of a workout. I would often beg my swim coach: “Take it easy on me, Coach, I ran 10k last night!” But, when I started drinking my recovery drink, Enervon HP  (since it’s low in fat, provides lots of protein, and tastes like my favorite chocolate milk unlike the crappy recovery drinks I’ve tried), I felt a huge difference the following day. Huge! Now, there’s no day when I don’t take Enervon HP after a workout.

5. LEARN TO SAY: “SO WHAT?!” It’s easy to get intimidated by lean and fast triathletes with their shiny bikes and sockless running shoes. But, it’s important to just take your time learning each new skill, giving your best, and going at your own pace. Sooner or later (hopefully sooner), you can add the word “triathlon” next to “running” in your list of sports.

My Experience: When I tried on my first trisuit in 2008, I looked in the mirror and the post-2-kids belly staring back at me and said: “So what?!” When I had to pause after each 50meter lap just to catch my breath (and occasionally attempt to cough out the chlorinated water I swallowed) at my first triathlon, I said “So what?!” When I crashed in the intersection at Madrigal Avenue and had what I felt were a million eyes staring at me, I said “So what?!” Point is: Give 100% and more of what you’ve got to give at each and every sport. (This doesn’t make it 300% does it?) Get fast, and strong, and sturdy emotionally and physically as you train longer and farther. And, last but not the least, have fun while you’re doing so. That’s all that matters.

– Animo Triathlon 2009. Photo courtesy of –


Since you’ve read this far, I’ve got a surprise contest for you.  Get a chance to win Enervon HP products!


1) Like Unilab Active Health on FB
2) Like The Bull Runner on FB
3) Post a comment below with this: (1 to 2 sentences only)

1 tip or lesson you’ve learned about running or triathlon that you would like to share with someone who wants to get into running or triathlon.

Include the following info:
– Your complete name
– Your username on FB

1) Deadline for submission of entries: FRIDAY, JUNE 1, 2012 at 11:59 A.M.
2) TBR will choose the best answer among the first 20 submissions.  The winner will win the following:
– 1 Enervon HP 700g
– 1 Enervon HP sports bottle
– 1 Enervon HP running bandana
– 2 Enervon HP shoe reflector tags
3) Winners must comply with contest rules providing complete information within the contest period.
4) Only one entry per runner. Submission of more than one entry leads to disqualification.
5) Submission of entries above 2 sentences will be disqualified.
6) All entries will be moderated and will be approved upon closing of the contest.
7) Winner will be notified via email on how to claim the prize.

UPDATE: Congratulations to Jonard Aries Gamboa for winning! Please expect an email from me!

Road to IM 70.3: The First of Many

Monday, 28 May 2012  |  Running + Triathlon

This begins a series of posts about my many adventures (and misadventures) as I train for Ironman Cebu 70.3 on August 5, 2012.  “ROAD TO IM 70.3” will be posted every Monday, but, if I have more to share, I may post another within the week.  This will be a countdown of sorts to race day.  A journal of my training…and all my whining (I’m not sure if you’ll want to hear this), bragging (hey, who else do I share my little achievements with?!), and learnings.

If you are a runner completely uninterested in triathlon, just sit back and enjoy.  You may pick up a thing or two to help your running or you may be inspired to try swimming or cycling or both.  At the very least, you may be entertained with the craziness of triathlon training.

If you are a triathlete, this could be a walk down memory lane as you recall the days when you were once a clueless, unbalanced, inflexible, yelping newbie like me.  Please stop yourself from laughing about my little mishaps or, worse, major idiotic moves.  If you can’t, then run to the bathroom, shut the door, let out a big guffaw, then come back to read more.  Oh, it would be great if you could drop a tip or two for myself and other readers, too.

Now, if you are a runner contemplating on getting into triathlon or hastily signed up for Ironman 70.3 like me, you’ve come to the right place!  Take this journey with me. It’s definitely merrier with more newbie triathletes thinking in unison:  “What the hell did I get myself into?!!”



10 more weeks to Ironman 70.3 Cebu. 5 more weeks to Tri United 2.  My coach, Andy Leuterio, reminded me about this early last week when he emailed me my program. Distances, particularly for the swim and bike, would substantially increase to build up for race day.  I swear my index finger was shaking when I clicked on the mouse to open Coach Andy’s file (which we’ve been tossing back and forth every week as he sends me the program on Monday and I return it filled up every Sunday) entitled: “Jaymie Pizarro’s Battle Plan.”  Total hours of training: 14 hours.

That week is over and I only hit 10 training hours.  Life got in the way you see!  That’s not to say that the week was not filled with things to be proud of or happy about.  Here are many firsts that made this week fantastic for me:

1) First time to ride alone…and I hit 65k!  (I was supposed to ride 100k that day in JalaJala with friends, but my ITBS started acting up. Aaargh!)

2) First time to drink from the internal bladder on the Shiv. (Don’t laugh. I’ve had the Shiv for over a month now, but it’s taken us (me and him) quite some time to get familiar with each other.)

– This is the straw for the Shiv’s internal bladder which makes it accessible while riding –

– Shiv’s internal bladder in the pink circle –

Special thanks to Coach Norman Pascual who allowed me to be saling pusa for a day in his bike skills session at SM MOA. We spent 2 hours going around in circles just to get me and another student, Patty, to get to drink while riding!  While I can drink from the straw, I still need to learn how to drink from the bottle!  Need more bike skill sessions!


– with Coach Norman Pascual, Jun, Rex, Monching, Patty, Tina, Dennis, Weng, and Ruben –

3) First time to attach my Garmin 310XT to the Shiv!  Got myself the Garmin bicycle mount kit (which I’ll be changing to the Quick Release Kit) and the Garmin Speed/Cadence Sensor.

– Garmin 310XT will be for the Shiv now.   I’m using the Garmin Bicycle Mount kit here, but I’ll be changing it to the Quick Release Kit

– Attached Garmin Speed/Cadence Sensor’s three components: GSC 10, pedal magnet, and spoke magnet –

– Close up of pedal magnet –

Garmin Speed/Cadence Sensor: P3,550
Garmin Bicycle Mount Kit: P1,750

Where to buy:
Navco, 3/F Millennium Place, Meralco Ave. cor J. Vargas Ave. Ortigas Center, Pasig.
Phone: 782-5913 / 571-6716

4) First time to swim this far: 2.5k!  Woot woot!  Don’t ask me to clap though because my arms were extremely exhausted the day after.

5) First time to post on my Road to Ironman 70.3 series!  Here’s to 10 more to go before the big day!


Touchdown Singapore!

Friday, 18 May 2012  |  Running + Triathlon

The hubby, kids, and I are in Singapore right now for a much needed, and may I say, well-deserved vacation. I’m looking forward to 4 full days of rest, relaxation, and shopping. (Honestly, the only item on my list are bike jerseys!) We arrived this morning and headed straight for Universal Studios.

– Soaked after Jurassic Park ride. Will this count for my swim today? –

– We’re having a great time. First time of the kids here. Last time the hubby and I were here was when we ran Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon in 2009. I had not so fond memories of the marathon passing by East Coast Park earlier this morning! –


There’s a place for me here in Sentosa…


We’re having a great time, but training doesn’t stop while I’m here. I plan to run and swim tomorrow.

Coach Andy had me do extra workouts before leaving Manila. For example, he had me bike for three consecutive days: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Oooh, wait, gotta tell you about Thursday. Coach Andy called it the “CBW”. I innocently asked what the three initials meant thinking it was some technical term in biking. Ya know, like Yasso 800 or Tempo run. My knees buckled when I later learned that CBW stands for: “Character Building Workout.” YIKES.  After two hours on the bike trainer grunting and groveling staring down at a pool of sweat by my feet as if I had dunked myself with a bucket of water, I sure felt like, um, a woman of character.

Andy also had me swim twice and, not surprisingly, I ended both sessions feeling like I had walked a marathon using my arms and hands!  I only ran once the past week and that was after a bike ride. Andy must know me well because he saved the best (and my favorite workout) for last…and for this trip!

Like I always say, I love traveling. And, I love running even more. To combine both of my passions always makes me insanely happy. So, for tomorrow, my program requires me to run 15k around Sentosa. The pace? As commanded by the Coach, he says: “Run like you stole something.” He’s hilarious isn’t he?  He makes me want to laugh and cry every time he sends me his program for the week!

Anyway, robber pace or not, humid or cool, tired or well-rested, I’m looking forward to running around Sentosa tomorrow, then jumping into the pool for a swim.  Hey, a vacation just isn’t complete with some sort of training, right?

Enjoy the weekend guys. I surely will!