Done: Tokyo Marathon 2014!

Monday, 24 February 2014  |  Bullish Insights

You may have been wondering where I’ve been. After TBR ULAH Dream Marathon last week, I rushed work to meet all my deadlines, stayed up all night packing, and flew off to Tokyo by Thursday to realize my own dream: to run my 4th World Marathon Major and my 10th marathon, the Tokyo Marathon! Wooohooo!

I’m still in Tokyo now to enjoy more of the sights and most especially the food! But, let me leave you with my Tokyo Marathon finish line photo from yesterday. I finished at 4:37. Not a time I’m happy about, I was expecting better—a lot better especially with how well I was doing at the first half—but, as with all marathons, you can’t really predict how things will go until you cross the finish line.

More on this in the next few days. For now, I hope you’ve had a great week just as I have here in this beautiful city.

For more photos, you can follow me on Instagram.

Tokyo Marathon Training: Back to Back Training with St. Luke’s Run for Wellness

Friday, 13 December 2013  |  Running + Triathlon

This begins a series of posts about my training for my 10th marathon, Tokyo Marathon on February 23, 2014.  My goal is to run the World Marathon Majors and, so far, I’ve run 3 of them (New York twice, Berlin, and London).  Tokyo should be the 4th Marathon Major.  

To say that I’m excited about Tokyo Marathon is an understatement.

For one thing, I’ve been wanting to visit Tokyo for years.  I’ve always been fascinated by Japan.  I took up Japanese as my foreign language in college and immensely loved learning it.  I most especially enjoyed our final exam held in Furusato along EDSA where my classmates and I dined over tempura, sukiyaki, and fried rice while toasting to sake with our Professor.  (Um, yup, that was pretty much the “final exam.”)  Speaking of Japanese cuisine, it’s my favorite.  I can feast on sushi, sashimi, and ramen for an entire year.  For as long as I can remember, I’ve just always been fascinated by Japan from Hello Kitty to cherry blossoms to Haruki Murakami.  I tell you, I was probably a Japanese in my past life.

As for the Tokyo Marathon, friends have told me that it’s one of the best marathons in the world.  I never doubted it as Japan is a running city.  They say that spectators even line the streets with chocolates in hand for the marathoners!  Last year, when the World Marathon Majors announced that Tokyo would be included as the 6th marathon major, I was even more convinced (on top of the free chocolate incentive) that I just had to do it.

So, I signed up for the lottery, got in, and here I am now, all set to start training for Tokyo, baby!


Training for Tokyo officially started this week.  By “official,” I mean that I went through my marathon program last week, assessed if it was the right one to help me achieve my goals, printed it out, then posted it on my home office bulletin board.  Yup, that’s as official as I can get!

Even if I’ve been “off-season” since Ironman 70.3 Cebu last August and I haven’t had a major race in the latter part of this year, I really haven’t stopped training.  In fact, I’ve been working out 6 days a week juggling run, swim, and bike along with the rest of my life.  It’s been awesome. Just really living an active lifestyle and enjoying every minute without the pressures of hitting a specific distance or speed.  This is THE life!

The best thing about this is that, now that marathon training begins, I’m not really starting from scratch.  Truth is, I’m starting at a level where I can run 21k comfortably.  Now, that’s a good thing.


So, last Saturday, I joined the St. Lukes Run for Wellness.  Plan was to run a total of 21k that day.  I ran 5k before the race, 10k during the race, and 6k after the race to reach the goal distance all within Bonifacio Global City.

– with good friends Jun, Lit, Gene (Thanks for the race kits, Gene!), Anthony of Otterbox, and Cliff –

It was great to see such a huge turnout, around 5,000 runners, show up for the 3k, 5k, and 10k distance of St. Lukes Run for Wellness.  I had absolutely no plans as to how I would run the race.  When the gun went off, I wanted to test my fitness level so, without glancing at my watch, I ran based all the way based on feel.  Goal was to maintain a comfortably hard pace.

For the first few kilometers, I ran along with good friends from Alabang, Atty. Joey and Elaine, my swim classmates.  I had a chance to say hi to friends Lara Parpan of Women’s Health and TBRDM Alum Jonathan from Ayala Land.  Near the end of the race, I heard someone from behind yelling: “Operation Bull Runner, achieved!” It was Ernie Lopez talking to his son who was by his side on a bike.  As he passed me saying hi, he told his son: “On to the next target!” and off they went disappearing ahead of me.

I finished the 10k with an average pace of 5:45 at around 57 minutes.  It wasn’t that great.  I know I have a long way to go in terms of training if I want to do well in Tokyo, but hey it’s still early so I still have a lot of time to work on my training.

– Happiness as I run toward the finish line –

– with Trixie and Anne after the run. Congrats to Trixie for her first 5k! –


At the very last minute, we decided to run a back to back in preparation for Tokyo.  Back to back training helps to train us to run on tired legs.  So, yes, with tired legs from the day before, we set off to run another 15k on Sunday morning.  I decided to change my shoes from New Balance 890 to Asics Gel Kayano 19 (doing so keeps injuries at bay by providing varied midsole height and cushioning for your feet) and this definitely helped to keep my feet comfy despite a little blister development.

The weekend ended with my legs as sore as ever, but me being completely happy that I have a goal to work for (and even be slightly anxious over) again.  Tokyo, here we come!

Living in the Now

Thursday, 10 October 2013  |  Bullish Insights

Since I started running in 2006, I always had a goal race to train for. I was the veritable rabbit chasing after the carrot at the end of a stick, which never really ran out of carrots. From my first 5k, the next marathon, or a 70.3, I always needed a specific, tangible target in the long term to get me to swim, bike, or run every morning.

– Racing back in 2007 before the running boom of Manila hit. Check out my P100 shorts from SM! –

The past couple of months, things changed.

After Ironman 70.3 Cebu last August, I knew, without a doubt, that I needed a respite from racing. It wasn’t so much the physical aspect of training that I got tired of, but it was the mental part. After years of training for the next big race, I suddenly felt spent constantly chasing after a goal in the far future. I just wanted to live in the now.


Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t transformed into a couch potato. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. I still train like a triathlete. I swim, bike, or run six days a week as if I was training for a triathlon. On two of those days, I have double workouts. I also join runs such as the recent Run United Philippine Marathon 21k. But no race or workout is taken too seriously. I really just want to run free. (No pun intended.)

– Running with friends in the South –

Without a goal in mind, I get out there everyday eager to workout for no other reason but this: Because I love it. Gone are the days when I wake up in the morning dreading a 100km bike ride and wishing I were with my kids instead or running intervals on the track because I needed to break a PR for the next race.

Each day I train because I love pushing my body to perform and seeing my progress in a skill or in endurance. I train because it makes me feel fit, strong, and powerful and that spills out to all other aspects of my life. I train because, quite simply, I enjoy every freaking minute of it. No pressure, no negative thoughts. All passion. It’s really about living an active lifestyle, day in, day out.


This new frame of mind has given me more time to think, conceptualize, and create. While I let go of a racing goal, I set new goals for myself in other aspects of my life. It’s when I took a step back that I gained more focus on my entire life.

– Relaxing at Pico de Loro –

I’ve gone back to school studying to be a Health Coach. I’m setting up a new project, which I hope to launch by the start of the year. I’ve had more time to improve on existing projects. And, I’ve gone back to illustrating again.

Perhaps the best effect of this off-season for me is this: It’s given me a time to breathe. The past months, I’ve been able to slow down a bit and enjoy the little things.


Within the next few weeks, my training for Tokyo Marathon on February 23, 2014 shall commence. Yes, I’ll have a new running goal to target, but I’m taking it on with a renewed spirit.

I always knew that the goal-less phase in my life would be temporary because, well, I was just born kinda competitive and driven. But, I tell you; the past 2 to 3 months’ break is just what I needed to get hungry and excited again. I’m looking forward to training and running those LSD’s for Tokyo.

For now, allow me to enjoy the last few weeks of goal-less workouts. It’s the most fun I’ve had in ages.

Tokyo Marathon, Here I Come!

Sunday, 29 September 2013  |  Bullish Insights


There were 302,000 applications for 30,000 slots for Tokyo Marathon on February 23, 2014. The applicants were chosen via lottery system. As luck (or fate!) would have it, I was one of the runners selected!


Words can’t express how happy I am about this. Just one step closer to my dream of finishing the World Marathon Majors. Oh, and I can’t wait to load up on sashimi and ramen too!  Tokyo, here I come!