TBR Sun Life Dream Marathon 2019: Application opens on July 21

Wednesday, 18 July 2018  |  Race Announcements

So, you’ve decided to take the big leap and run your first marathon?!  Online application opens on JULY 21, 2018 AT 12:01PM on the link below!  Be there on time because the 1,000 slots go by fast!  We hope to have you run with us!!!



Save the Date: TBR Sun Life Dream Marathon (10th Anniversary)

Monday, 4 June 2018  |  Race Announcements

Dreaming of your first marathon? Aching to push yourself to the limits? Waiting for that one opportunity to prove to yourself just how strong you truly are? (more…)

I Can See Clearly Now! Thanks to my Kids and Contacts!

Sunday, 27 May 2018  |  Gear + Gadgets

Li’l Miss TBR wearing contacts during a football tournament last year

I had 20/20 vision my entire life until a month before I turned 40.  I took it as a sign of aging.  I was hesitant to wear glasses and, even if it’s been two years now, I’m still inconvenienced by wearing glasses all the time.  Ugh.

On the other hand, my kids, both in their teens, have been wearing glasses early in their childhood.  Last year, it was Li’l Miss TBR that insisted on switching to contacts for her football.  At 13, I was hesitant at starting at such an early age.  We dropped by the mall to consult with an optometrist at an optical shop and they refused to give her contacts.  My daughter left frustrated walking away while showing me an article on google that allowed teens to wear contacts.  With her prodding, I consulted two opthalmologist friends who gave the go signal as long as she was taught proper hygiene in handling the contact lenses and that she only use quality brands.

She got her contacts!  And, soon after, TBR Jr. got his contacts too.  After seeing them free from the glasses, I started to get jealous over their freedom from their glasses! Hah!  It was perfect timing then that Alcon Dailies invited me to know more about their contact lenses which are perfect for people who lead an active life, like their endorser Gretchen Ho, and also active teens, such as the daughter of host Dimples Romana, Callie.

Dimples and Callie Romano and Gretchen Ho

At the event, they taught me how to put contacts on and remove them.  In fact, I wore my first lenses ever during the event!  I didn’t even feel like I was wearing contacts.  It was so comfortable!  Getchen Ho said that she used them during her volleyball tournaments, so I was excited to try mine while running and biking.  (OMG, I can finally see the road clearly while biking!  LOL.)  I didn’t know why I hadn’t done this any sooner, really.  You know what makes the Alcon Dailies even better?  They’re disposable.  Open them in the morning and throw them away at night.  No need to bring a big bottle of solution and eye drops in my office or gym bag.  No need to bring a contact lens case when I travel.  Just bring the packs of Dailies and I’m all set.

TBR Jr. wearing contacts at his first gym session at Fitness First with his Mama Coach lol

As for my teens, there’s a UK study that was discussed during the event that only confirmed what I saw at home.  The study compared teenagers who wore Alcon Dailies contact lenses to those that wore eyeglasses. It showed that Alcon Dailies contact lenses were easy for teenagers to learn to use, even if they have not handled contacts before. After wearing Alcon Dailies contact lenses, teenagers felt safe and comfortable wearing it. Also, teenagers wearing Alcon Dailies contact lenses believed that it was a good way to see well. Authors concluded that aside from improved overall quality of life, the study also showed that Alcon Dailies contact lenses provided several additional advantages for teen first-time wearers.  Aside from considering the move to contact lenses as a rite of passage, teenagers want contact lenses because they want to be free from eyeglasses for social media platforms like Snapchat and Instagram. They can also benefit from wearing contact lenses for special occasions and activities.

So now, all three of us at home wear contacts and we’re loving it.  If you want to try it too, a 30-piece pack of Alcon Dailies retails for only P1,495.00. It is available at leading optical shops nationwide. If you print the coupon below, you get 20% off two boxes of Alcon Dailies!

Missing the Yamanakako Half Marathon (and Being Fine with It)

Sunday, 27 May 2018  |  Bullish Insights, Family

I was supposed to be running the Yamanakako Half Marathon today. But, the past couple of months, life (plus chronic hip tightness) got in the way so I decided to turn the booked Tokyo trip from a racecation into pure vacation with my son. Three days into the trip and I have no regrets.

Years ago, I would’ve been devastated by this. I always needed a goal race to feel like I was a serious competitive runner.  Having a race provided a target to aim for and gave order to my days with a training program to adhere to.  Without a race, I felt lost. But, I realize now (after over a decade of this lol) that this was so wrong.

Now that I see myself as a lifelong runner, I know that all runners go through the ebbs and flows of running. Sometimes, we focus on a PR race.  Other times, we bump up our running by adding swimming and biking into the mix for a triathlon.  And, other times, we’re just happy to be running 3 to 4 10ks a week along with complementing cross training workouts like weights and yoga (which I where I am right now.) 

Running, and not racing, doesn’t diminish our love for running. This doesn’t make us less competitive. This only proves that we are not defined by running or racing or our PRs.

Be the runner who is passionate about running, but has other interests outside of running.  Be the runner who can talk about running, but can also discuss family, current events, work, and pop culture.  Be the runner who isn’t known as just the runner, but the person (insert name here) who happens to be a runner.

Sometime soon, I shall start training again.  But, for now, I’ll enjoy my short runs while balancing everything else in life.  And, life now is about exploring more of Tokyo and eating more sushi! Life is good!

New Gear: Fitbit Versa

Thursday, 10 May 2018  |  Gear + Gadgets

Fitbit recently launched its lightest smartwatch to date: Fitbit Versa.

Fitbit Versa makes your daily and weekly health and fitness data even more accessible on the go with a redesigned dashboard, which delivers action-oriented motivational messages, tips and tricks and support to help you stay on track to reach your goals.

It’s my first time to ever own a Fitbit smartwatch and I was thrilled to even just wear one on my wrist! I used it for a couple of weeks and here’s my take on it:


+ User-friendly dashboard and app: As a new Fitbit user, I’d say the Versa provides for easy and quick access to your most important health and fitness data. They say that some info previously on the app is now available on your wrist so that’s a good thing. On top of that, I love how easy to use and understand the app is!  Very simple compared to other fitness apps I’ve used.  The challenges and adventures are the best!  Virtual race in NYC?  I’m in!

+ Advanced health and fitness features: Versa has personalized workouts with Fitbit Coach, 15+ exercise modes including automatic SmartTrack™swim tracking, and automatic sleep stages tracking. Wow.

+ Personalize! You can choose your own clock face and apps from the ever-growing Fitbit App Gallery. Even more, you can also choose accessories that fit your style. There are classic straps in various colors that are swim-ready, leather straps, and even stainless steel for the office or special occasions.

+ Swim-ready: Versa is water-resistant up to 50 meters so you can wear it in the pool or open water swims. It tracks real-time laps, duration and calories burned.

+ Stores music: Versa can store and play over 300 songs from your personal music collection, download your favorite stations from Pandora, or your own curated playlists as well as Flow from Deezer. Just connect a pair of wireless headphones or Bluetooth speaker.

+ Monitor your heart rate: Versa’s PurePulse heart rate tracking allows you to see real-time heart rate zones, better measure calorie burn throughout the day, and view resting heart rate. PurePulse heart rate also powers other key features like Sleep Stages, Cardio Fitness Level (VO2Max), and Relax guided breathing sessions.

+ Notifications: Versa has app, calendar, call and text smartphone notifications so that you know when someone is trying to reach you even while you’re at the gym or running!

+ Good battery life. It lasts up to 4 days.

Starting this month of May, Fitbit will have the following new features:

+ Quick replies: Android mobile device users can respond to messages on the go using Fitbit Versa and Fitbit Ionic smartwatches. You can also create and send up to five custom pre-populated quick replies of 60 characters or less to text messages and messenger apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger.

And, last but not the least, calling all females…

+ Female health tracking: Fitbit can now track your menstrual cycle and symptoms. This makes it easier for us women to manage our cycle with a more complete picture of health and fitness data all in one place and not on a different app!


+ Wallet-free payments via Fitbit Pay, supported by more than 60 banks and card issuers in 15 countries… BUT this doesn’t include the Philippines. So it’s pretty useless.

+ Connects to GPS: To get a GPS connection, you must use your smartphone’s GPS so that you can track your pace, distance, and speed more precisely while running. When it comes to choosing a great running watch, GPS connection is a must. This is a deal breaker for me.

+ Quick replies are only for android. I’m an iphone user. Boo.


I love the sleek look, modern design, and smart features of the Fitbit Versa. I don’t mind using the Fitbit Versa at work, while lifting weights at the gym, or even on leisurely swims. The two things that standout for me are the user-friendly app and the new menstrual cycle tracker!  Love how innovative the company is and how in touch they are with the needs of their customers!

For running, however, I would absolutely not use this.  To be fair, I don’t think Fitbit intended this for runners anyway; they have the Fitbit Ionic with GPS, which I haven’t tried it.  Since running is my life, we have a problem here. Lol.

For a busy working mom like me who runs before work at least 4x a week and lifts weights, bikes, or does yoga on other days, I prefer to have just one watch for both workouts and work.  Just one watch to consolidate my steps, various workouts, calories burned, etc.  Since the Fitbit Versa can’t run with me, I’m happy to stick to my current running watch, which has GPS and can track the essential data I need for my day.

I recommend the Fitbit Versa for fitness enthusiasts who are into monitoring their health and enjoy a fun way to continue to motivate themselves on their health journey.  The Versa is one great looking active lifestyle smartwatch that functions well for both work and play.


+ Available at: Digital Walker, Globe, Liberty, Runnr, Lazada and on Fitbit.com

+ Colors: black with a black aluminum case, gray with a silver aluminum case, or peach with a rose gold aluminum case. Price: PHP13,890

+ Fitbit Versa Special Edition in a lavender woven band with rose gold aluminum case or charcoal woven band with graphite aluminum case, both with an extra black classic band. Price: + PHP15,590

+ Accessories: from PHP1,899 to PHP5,499


To help the whole family become active together, Fitbit will be releasing its first activity tracker for kids, Fitbit Ace™ in Q2 2018.