Masahista Quiz

Saturday, 20 June 2009  |  Bullish Insights

What happens when The Bull Runner’s masahista gets sick and she is forced to avail of the services of the neighborhood home service spa?

A. New masseuse’s ultra light touch does little to loosen up any of TBR’s muscles

B. New masseuse is taught by TBR how to massage the ITB

C. New masseuse’s foul breath (especially more potent as she massages the face) makes TBR feel more ill

D. TBR wishes she just saved her P250 for Starbucks and pastries

E. All of the above

If you chose LETTER E, you are correct in guessing what happened to me last night.  

YOUR PRIZE: Free home service massage from the new masseuse.  Wish you the best of luck!

Day 1: 5 to 5/5 – Win a Free Massage from Cocoon

Friday, 1 May 2009  |  News + Promos


This is DAY ONE of TBR’s 5 Days to 5/5 Anniversary Contest.  For more info, click here.

WHAT CAN I WIN? Coupon for one hour of Swedish/Shiatsu massage from Cocoon Spa & Salon, Pasig City

HOW MANY WINNERS? 20 winners

Cocoon GC Free Massage


  1. Inspired by Magic 89.9’s lamest answers contest, I would like to hear your lamest, silliest, funniest answers to this question: WHY DO YOU NEED A MASSAGE NOW?  (Of course, it would be better if you could tie it in to running.) Example: Because I can’t afford a massage anymore after I purchased my first running shoe.
  2. Submit your answer as a comment on this post.
  3. You may submit several posts with DIFFERENT answers, but you may only win 1 massage coupon.  
  4. TBR and family will choose the 20 lamest and funniest answers.
  5. Day One contest closes on Monday, May 4, 2009 at 12:00 noon.
  6. Winners will be published on this blog and will be advised how to claim their prizes.

Good luck!

COCOON SPA & SALON is located at L/G area, Alexandria Condominium Clubhouse, Meralco Avenue, Ortigas Center, Pasig City.  Perfect location for those who train at Ultra, don’t you think?  For inquiries, call 910.7145 or 0922.572.4234.

Thank you to Cocoon Spa’s Gelo Arellano, kuya of triathlete/celeb host Drew, for the prizes.

Best Day Ever

Sunday, 26 April 2009  |  Bullish Insights

For the past week, the kids have been singing (or more like screaming) Spongebob’s Best Day Ever song in the car.  I have been fortunate enough to play a mini part in their duet as the background singer.  On cue, I must sing “best day ever” whenever my son points at me.  Disappointingly, I have been told by our very own Simon Cowell that, many a times, I am out of tune.

Whether I am a good singer or not, I think the positive vibe of the song has spilled on over to my running.  Yesterday morning’s run with the hubby at Filinvest, near Palm’s Country Club, was one of the best days ever in my running life this year.  Finally, I got to run 5k on the road without any hint of pain.  I’m definitely on the road to full recovery.

Two things I believe that contributed to the injure-free run: 

1. Regular deep tissue massage – I’ve been getting deep tissue massages at least twice a week for over two months now.  If my muscles feel tight, I’ll have an extra session.  Yes, it’s a hellish kind of experience; I sweat with the mere thought of my muscles being squeezed like clay, but it’s the main reason why my ITB disappeared completely since Condura Race.

2. Midfoot landing – I’ve been focusing on my form lately, making sure I land on my midfoot and leaning a little forward.  A reader from this blog and Boston Marathon finisher, Raffy, also noticed that I may be overstriding and I think he’s absolutely right.  I’ve watched the Chi Running video and that’s what I’ve been trying to practice. (Note to self: watch the video again!) This Newton video also helped a lot. (Thanks to Toby and Alvin who both, by sheer coincidence, mentioned this video last week. I had seen it months ago and completely forgot about it.)

Next step: Gradually build mileage again. It won’t hurt to run an easy 5k at The Southern Run too, right?

Masahista from Heaven

Thursday, 5 February 2009  |  Therapy + Injury

She didn’t look like an angel when she arrived.  Clothed in the generic pristine, white uniforms of massage therapists, her outfit was perhaps the only thing angelic about her in my eyes.  She was a heavy, dark woman with boy’s cut hair, almost as big as Eddie Murphy in the movie Norbit…okay, maybe not that big.

This was the first time I had tried out this home service massage agency and, with one look at the masahista before me, I knew I hit the jackpot.  I asked her in the vernacular “So, can you give me a super super super strong massage, especially on my thighs?”  She nodded shyly, but even if she had said otherwise, I wouldn’t have believed her.  This girl was going to squeeze out all the tightness from my poor legs.

While other masahistas would give equal attention to every part of the body, this one took extra care of my legs.  Or, shall we say, she gave it some hard pounding and beating due to its misbehavior over the past few weeks.  Aaah, it was so painful but it was just what I needed.  All the while, as I lay in bed, I had my eyes shut tight in pain but I was thanking the high heavens for sending me a masahista who knew how to loosen up my tight muscles.  Yes, there is a God!

Massage For Runners

Tuesday, 22 May 2007  |  Therapy + Injury

Did you know that you can significantly improve your runs while lying down? Yes, experts say that you can run better, faster, and longer if you lie down and…get a massage, that is. The benefits of a massage for runners are numerous:

  1. increases blood flow to your muscles (in simple language, it “heats” the blood just like a warm-up would do)
  2. soothes and relaxes your muscles
  3. relieves cramps and muscle tension
  4. improves flexibility which will result in more power and better performance
  5. prevents injury
  6. reduces tension (if you’re stressed about an upcoming race)
  7. lessens soreness (especially after a heavy training day or a race)
  8. aids in eliminating lactic acid build up
  9. makes you feel better (not as good as a tough run though!)

It comes as no surprise then that some experts recommend massage to be a regular part of a runner’s training schedule. At the NYC Marathon, they deploy 100 massage therapists to serve the 34,000 runners before and after the race. Wow. Here in the Philippines, we don’t even get water in our water stations (tsk tsk).


I have a love-hate-love relationship with massages. I used to love them, then after a nightmarish experience with a masseuse I boycotted them for three years, and now that I’m into running I am completely utterly dependent on them. After a super heavy run, it’s a must for me to get a massage if I want to walk properly (and not look like I have a stick up my butt) the following morning. If I feel sluggish during the day, my masseuse will definitely be called upon that evening.

Last Friday, two nights before the Champion Race, I thought of treating my body to a massage (perhaps the best way to prepare it for the torture it was about to endure…some sort of yin & yang in the bullrunner’s world.) With my favorite masseuse unavailable, I bravely asked them to send me the strongest woman in the house. This was no time for a namby-pamby body rub; I wanted fierce and fiesty karate-chop-type of physical therapy.

Boy did I make a big mistake. When the masseuse (let’s call her Masseuse X to protect her identity) started massaging my legs, I felt pain, not relief! Masseuse X had power alright, but her strokes were quick, rough, and amateurish. Her fingers were pushing into my skin. She even pulled on my blister and my dead toenail—such monstrosity! Not once, not twice, but thrice I asked her to decrease the pressure, but she didn’t heed my request. Ack, I gritted my teeth thinking of the hundreds of seconds I had to endure under that pain.

Since I am writing now, you know that I did survive that horrifying experience. I went to the Champion Run with a rejuvenated body, but with bruises on my shins and arms because of the pounding. Lesson learned: Thou shalt not experiment with a new masseuse before a race. If possible, have husband serve as guinea pig first.


Gloria Averbuch, New York Road Runners Complete Book of Running and Fitness, 4th Edition, New York, Random House, 2004

Claudia Piepenberg, Massage For Runners, How To Be