Men’s Health September 2011: WIN THE DATING GAME


It is a shame that most men don’t know a single thing when it comes to approaching women properly, because it is so easy if done in the right frame of mind – and with a great game plan as a follow-through. The approach should be an enjoyable experience for you and the girl that you are going to meet. Unfortunately, few men have the ability to give women that thrill and excitement that they’re looking for whether at a club, the cinema, sports event, or on the beach.  Much more often, women get approached by guys who make them feel uncomfortable and cause their “force fields” to rise up and palms ready to connect with the face of the next obnoxious guy.

Full story on page 86.

Let’s face it guys, most of you need to get seriously clued-in when it comes to the art of seducing women.  And so, with the help of some of my friends, let me walk you through the proper ways of approaching women in select places. But first, let’s get one thing clear: Do not get sucked into thinking that you can only find girls to date when you’re out at a party or at the bar. They’re on the street, in a store, in class, the cinemas, and nearly everywhere you go. All you have to do is play close attention and get your game on.

Awww, thanks Peejo!:)

***To read the full story, grab a copy of this month’s issue of Men’s Health magazine with Phil Younghusband on the cover.

Not Really A Blogpost


Aside from running 16.61k in 1:31:38 this morning – in lieu of 21k at Earth Run which I had had to beg off from due to lingering migraine when I woke up at 3:30am – my life during the past few days has been pretty uneventful. Painfully vapid. Blah. Oh but perhaps I exaggerate, because it’s really not entirely boring, you know.  There have been some great moments worth mentioning, such as:

  • Davoud and I recently went on a business trip to Singapore to attend a workshop/conference on SEO/SEM optimization facilitated by Kevin Ryan. It was a two-day workshop which taught us a great deal of tricks we will soon be applying on our corporate website. On the last day of training, we dared to volunteer our website to be dissected by Kevin and the rest of the participants and much to our delight, we got rave reviews for it! He mentioned a few things we need to work which shouldn’t be that hard to do, given how skillful oure respective teams are. Davoud’s team handles the technical side of the website, whereas mine, handles the content. It feels great to get validation from an unbiased third party for something we painstakingly worked months and months for.  I’m sure you know exactly how lovely that feels, don’t you?

Davoud's quite enamored by Google maps in Singapore. Helped him loads in getting around the city though it's only his first visit. Me? I'm forever geographically-challenged!

It was also Davoud’s first time to visit Singapore and although our schedule did not exactly permit us to go out and do the usual touristy things, we did have a fantastic time. Met a few nice people, too, especially the fun X-Mi guys who were at the conference as well. Not only did Anette and Max give us a tour of their Google-ish office (with a badass pool table, PS3, massage chair, and endless supply of cold beer), they also gifted us (Kevin, Davoud, and I) with an X-mini stereo!

At the X-Mi office in Singapore.

Darling Chris also took us to this club called Altitude which sits atop (63rd floor) of this building whose name escapes me at the moment. What did I tell you? I have the memory of a dying goldfish! At Altitude, you get a spectacular 360-degree view of Singapore! Drinks are, as expected, a bit pricey but I suppose you do have to shell out a wee bit more for the view. But then again, inexpensive Singapore is most certainly NOT! Ugh.

*kilig*

  • FTW. I cannot tell you more about this lil’ mega-project (little and mega in a phrase: how’s that for an intriguing paradox, eh?) except that it has truly been wonderful working with Kassy, Marga, and Chad.  Three of the hardest-working people I know. These guys don’t know the meaning of the word ‘rest’. One of the few things we share in common. For The Win, indeed. See it for yourself in September! Oh but perhaps I can share this photo?

Reebok Girls

  • I have also been keeping to my bookworm-ing pursuits. I had just finished reading Michael Scott’s The Warlock, the fifth of the Immortal series which Noel got me super hooked on since he lent me the first book, The Alchemyst, last year. I remember it was one of the books I brought to Bali when Chris and I went to attend his friends’ wedding. Now that book five’s out of the way, I feel rather bitin because the last book is not due for release until next year, I think. In the meantime, I have started reading Song Yet Sung by James McBride. It’s a story revolving around colored slave-protagonist, Liz, and the cruel plight of the negro slaves in the 18th century. In that, it may seem reminiscent of Uncle Tom’s Cabin which I have read back in college – not to mention, cried many a night for – but I have only reached page 27 so far, so I really won’t be able to tell you guys more. One thing I can tell you though is that I am finding it quite hard to put the book down. Definitely one of the unputdownable reads I have come across so far. What are you feeding your mind with these days, Loves?

Bookworm Chronicles #2: STEALING WATER


What are you feeding your mind these days?

Just how lucky are we to have all these little comforts and excesses around us to enjoy on a whim? Regular trips to the cinema, expensive meals, ostentatious clothes and accessories, flashy cars – things that sometimes we tend to ignore because, well, we have never experienced deprivation. Or hunger. Or living in constant fear of being hunted down by creditors and loan sharks we are heavily indebted to.

But this guy, Tim Ecott, a one-time army brat, has had it rough in South Africa (where they moved from a middle-class living in Ireland) where and when his family experienced a mad reversal of fortunes and became so poor they had to literally resort to stealing water from their neighbors at one point.

To keep the family afloat, especially after being kicked out, very publicly, from their home, Tim’s enterprising Irish mother started selling junk from a small shop in an almost inconspicuous arcade in downtown Johannesburg. Meanwhile, his Welsh-English ex-army-officer father failed at everything he tried. This little junkshop is also the setting where some very interesting, colorful, and sometimes mental/criminal characters make regular trips to see and be seen. In fact, you will meet all of them at the beginning of the memoir.

Before moving to South Africa, Tim’s mother was drowning in the weight of domesticity and was described as oftentimes taking a cocktail of anti-depressants as her way of escaping the drudgery of life. But amazingly, in South Africa, she was transformed into a multitasking mom slash small-time trader who won’t stop at nothing to earn a little bit more for the family.

Reading the book I often had to stop and think if everything that Ecott was describing were ever real. Some of the scenes were pretty painful to remember, let alone write about – if I were in his shoes. Growing up and even until today, I have lived a very simple life – punctuated only occasionally by my colorful pairs of shoes, surpassed only by my superlatively colorful (mis)adventures.Sure I have had my moments of pained imaginings of a life that can only be described as rolling around in filthy money –  but that is just me feeling bad sometimes that I am not in any position to build homes for and feed the abandoned elderly and babies in the streets.

A few times I had to blink back fat tears threatening to spill over especially when Ecott’s being ever so descriptive of his mother, Pamela, who has a tendency to scorn fate and probability, all the while bravely carrying the full weight of her family’s string of misfortunes and debts on her shoulders. In a way, she kind of reminded me of my adoptive Mom.

How about you Loves? Anything interesting on your bedside table?

Road Test: Reebok EasyTone – Take the gym with you!


She came to me a few weeks ago when I needed a pair for our Team Reebok photo shoot. For someone who naturally gravitates toward anything pink, she struck me as somewhat of a toughie and less-cutesy in her carbon, silver, and black hues. But the minute I put her on, I was instantly sexified – something that’s hard to achieve when you’re not wearing dominatrix heels.

Matilda.

Her name is Matilda and she’s my new Reebok EasyTone pair.

What is EasyTone and what exactly does it do?

These balance pods induce instability while walking thus encouraging those key leg muscles to work harder.

Reebok EasyTone uses balance pods, located on the forefoot and the heel, built into the shoes to create a natural instability, which then encourages the three key areas of the leg–your hamstrings, gluteus maximus (or ze bum), and calves – to work harder and achieve that toned look and feel after walking in it for some time. And because it is three times softer than traditional foam-based shoes, it makes you feel a though you’re walking on sand, so there’s more effort exerted. It also has the SmoothFit leather and seam-free mesh upper to help prevent foot irritation.

Go ahead, take the gym with you.

Of course, EasyTone was not spared from speculation when it debuted in the market. Does it really tone the leg muscles and firm up the butt like it claims it does? Or is it no more than just smoke and mirrors? As an avid runner and Insanity disciple, I think I already have the calorie-burning side of things covered and sealed to near-perfection. So the booty-goodness that Matilda brings to the table is really just a welcome add-on.

Soon as I got over the initial weird feeling of balancing on those pods, I actually found myself enjoying each step. These days, it is not uncommon to see me walking around on my EasyTone pair – especially on weekends when I give my feet some respite from all the strutting around I do every single day of the week wearing my standard four-inch heeled stilettos.

Taken at the EasyTone photo shoot with Nikki Gil (not in photo), who's been tapped by Reebok Phils. as the face of the EasyTone line.

I have yet to see if it really does the job of toning my gluteus maximus, but once I have some concrete proof, I will let you know.

***Photos taken by Noel Abelardo.

NIKON Run 2011 (Subtitled: Oh hello there, pet peeves!)


This is officially the second time dear friend and soon-to-be business partner (fingers-crossed!) Noel aka Atche and I have joined a road race together. The first one was in April at the AACE Good Run where he did 3k and I did 9k (if my memory serves me right). This morning, however, Noel braved 4k and finished the course in 31 minutes wearing his color wheel of a running pair – which I find curiously pretty because it’s such an attention-grabber!

Photo by Ralph Gulapa.

Meanwhile, I ran 11k with a disappointing record of 1 hour and 1 minute – give or take  a few seconds. I was feeling out of sorts even before the race started but was happy nonetheless to have managed to get my cardio workout done for the day.

Fashionably yours...Vicky

BODY by REEBOK. (Subtitled: Yun oh!) Photo by Noel Abelardo.

The race was quite small in attendance but I was surprised to see some elite runners in the 4k and 11k categories. And why wouldn’t there be? They awarded digicams, tripods, and what-not to the winners. Last week’s Team Reebok ZigTech Fun Run 5k male winner Eluid Kering, a Kenyan, also bagged the top spot in the 4k category this morning. Hindi na masama, brand new Reebok shoes and camera + accessories in a span of two weeks!

Partners in some of the most heinous crimes...of love. LOL.

In my category, there were four female elites in the lead pack. I have yet to see the official results but I think I was fifth. Looking at the bright side of things, I realized I am consistently landing in the top 10 of nearly all the short-distance races I join. Not too shabby, eh?

Met another Reebok-sponsored runner, Coach Janet.

But this morning sort of tested my tolerance and indulgent understanding of the female species. Yes, my kind. You see, there was this youngling, no more than 22 in my estimation, who joined the race with her face made up like a tart in heat. I’m talking about serious kohl eyeliner, eyeshadow, the reddest of red blush-on, and maybe two coats of lipgloss. At one point, her eye make-up smudged unflatteringly because of her sweat, making her look like a raccoon. And I wondered, was she perhaps looking to seduce a man who is sexually aroused by the sight of a strolling (she wasn’t running, by the way) raccoon? Meaning, a bestial?

We made a deal today: On our next run, Noel will refrain from smoking a week before the race.

And what about these girls who think it is cute to jog while holding hands, hop-skip giddily, and get in the way of the runners? First of all, it is not cute. It is downright stupid. We may not be constantly obsessing about PRs but some of us do take getting a good cardio workout while at the races quite seriously. And I, for one, do not appreciate having my momentum interrupted because some non-runners thought it might be cute to inconvenience others by holding hands and giggling while at a race. Seriously, go home, read books, and smarten up a little.

When we're not running...we're 'running our mouth'.:p

Finally, these runners who come armed to the teeth with all the running contraptions they can get their hands on – compression tights, compression socks, hydration belts, etc. – and do less than 10k. Really? Like, WHY? I seriously don’t get it.

Is it just me or do you also find these silliness, well, silly – if not altogether comical?

All in all, I still think it was an okay race considering it was the Nikon Club of the Philippines’ maiden foray into an open-to-the- public  activity such as running. They also raffled off exciting prizes from sponsors which neither Noel and I won a single thing of. I have always been lucky at raffle draws but today, luck seemed to have taken an extended nap in my bed.

Ika nga ni Romy: I'm feeling so fly like a 'cheeztick'. Ohmygad Romy, that parody wont stop playing in my head!

Lastly, took some really fancy shots of my new Reebok Easytone shoes which I am currently testing. It’s a sample pair which i’m told will not be sold here. So yey, I’m a standout again! The whole Easytone line will be launched next month and we have some very exciting events and surprises for all of you Reebok lovers – and soon-to-be converts, because you know, we heart you.

Matilda and I.

One thing I can tell you about my Easytone shoes which I have given the name MATILDA, is that it is so comfortable and works effectively in toning my calf, leg, and bum muscles.  In fact, these days, I am more than happy to trade my favorite ALDOs for MATILDA when walking around. With MATILDA, who knows, maybe I won’t need to have  a bum job after all. *wink*

So, tell me loves, how’s your weekend (looking like) so far?

Today


This is an old post I recycled from my old blog. Some of the things I found, much to my liking, no longer applies to me and the current state of contentment and bliss (in some areas) – but perhaps you, my dear readers, may find relevant still.

***

Today is the day that I make a 180 degree turn and change a lot of things in my life.
The funky black ALDO booties I bought recently would be my last. No more indulgent shoe fetish in the next six months, I said to myself, while I allow thoughts of more pairs of shoes in various shapes and colors to go swimmingly in my head.

Today I will swear off on carbohydrates and excessive calories. But first let me finish my slice of chocolate cake and iced coffee I cajoled Davoud into buying me – not too long after I had my fill of Thai food and kaya toast.

Today ‘I will be more patient, more considerate’ I vowed, while silently cursing the cab driver who didn’t want to take me all the way to Makati because he’s on his way to the taxi garage in Quezon City.

Today I will exercise more, and no longer for vanity but for health reasons. And then I got up from my bed, walked barefoot to the full-length mirror, and said ‘Heck, I think i’m losing considerable weight even without exercise.’ I’ll start tomorrow.

I will start making concrete plans to set up my own business, I said to myself upon waking up. Perhaps I should wait a little bit until I am braver to take chances. Or until I have added a bit more to my savings.

I will take good care of my skin, I decide. And then I fall asleep with my eyeshadow and lipstick on.

I closed my weary eyes for a moment and tomorrow becomes today.

And i’m still having this conversation with myself.

TEAM REEBOK ZigTech Fun Run


Last Saturday, 6th of August, Team REEBOK celebrated friendship, fitness, and the active lifestyle with the ZigTech Fun Run held at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) grounds. Sadly for me, I didn’t get to run on this one because I had been feeling sick the night before and thought it would not be wise to get my heart rate up considering.

Happy runners at the TEAM REEBOK ZigTech Fun Run

Can't run, joined the stretching exercises instead

The race didn’t start on time and although it got some of the runners making caustic remarks about it, everyone soon started to loosen up and have fun – especially when more and more runners started arriving. Kassy and I hosted the programme while Alex, another Reebok Team member opted out of the race as well to take photos. Only Beep took to the roads and did 10k.  The Curves ladies led the pre-race stretching exercises and shortly after that, the 10k gunstart was sounded off and the runners led by one Kenyan sprinter, crossed the starting line.

Kassy and Vicky sorting the medals for the winners

Hosting duties for Kassy and Vicky

It rained heavily within minutes after the first batch of runners were released and it would continue to rain long after the event concluded and prizes were handed out. And it was lovely to see most of the runners staying on, oblivious to the rains and the cold draft.

Raffle prizes galore were raffled off

The representatives of each of the three beneficiaries of the race: LIFELINE Foundation, JEEPneED, and VISAYAN Forum all went on stage to give a brief introduction about their organizations and the causes they espouse. As you know, the proceeds of the Fun Run will go to these institutions and their beneficiaries.

Raffle! Raffle! Raffle!

Finally, a group photo of Team Reebok (minus Titanium Runner)

We raffled off a lot of gift certificates from Plana Forma, Flow Yoga, Yadu bags, and one special package from Misibis Bay.

The whole event was covered via live streaming by iXOmsoft TV . See the video HERE.

I’d like to give special mention to Without Limits of the Father-and-Son tandem of Daddy and Ian Alacar. I always enjoy seeing these two at any bloggers’ event or races. Daddy Alacar especially for his irrepressible passion for running which I heard he has craftily inculcated in their dogs’ psyche as well. If you wanna see a sexy and fit chow-chow, just ask Ian to show you a photo of Furvert.

Oh, by the way, the race was also some sort of a birthday celebration for the indefatigable Kassy Pajarillo. Love you gurl!

Thank you once again to all the sponsors, especially our mother ship REEBOK — we are eternally grateful for the love ad support!

***

Congratulations again to the following winners and to all the runners who celebrated with us last rainy Saturday – Mabuhay kayong lahat!

3k Female category  —  Ruz Bueno   ;   3k Male category — Mibert Nabuab

5k Female category  —   Kate Orange  ;  5k Make category — Michael Bacung

10k Female category — Seevee Lastimoso  ;  10k Male category — Eluid Kering

***ALL photos (except for the one of Kassy and I sorting the medals) were taken by NOEL ABELARDO.

For more photos, check out KB Runner‘s Reebok album here. While you’re at it, make sure to ‘LIKE’ his page so he reaches 5,000 fans in no time!

Team Reebok at work -- by KB Runner

Friends of Reebok

Girls of Reebok

A Runner’s Circle Ph (ARC) was also there to capture great running and awarding moments and you can check out the photos here.

United colors of Takbo.ph

Team Reebok

Road Test: ON Running Cloudsurfer


It is true what they say: Once you have embraced running as a sport, you would not be able to resist the temptation to try out many different brands until you find one or two that fit you perfectly. It’s a lot like love when you think about it. Sometimes you go through some bad apples before you get your pick of the prime kind. I have tried a handful of running shoes out there and though I may have already found the answer to my running essentials in a particular brand, my curiosity got piqued when I heard through the grapevine that there is a new kid on the running block about to make an explosive debut in September this year — ON Running.

With CHRIS Sports Marketing Manager Arleen Lindo

Avansa Over-all award at the ISPO Brand New 2010 Awards for Innovation in Sports, ON Running is a product of Swiss technology, although manufactured in China – just like nearly everything out there.

Says our condo guard when I asked him to snap this photo: 'Ms. Vicky ang gaganda po lahat ng mga shoes nyo pero eto po pinakagusto ko.'

Although ON Running is only going to be made available in the local market in September, I was fortunate to have been among the first few runners to test the pair. And because I was so excited to see what the rave was all about (hey, it has the best and the brightest of athletes endorsing the brand), I took my pair on a spin right after my 16k race at the recently-concluded Takbo.ph RUNFEST, and two more short runs after that.

Ladies and gents, meet CLAUDIA the Cloudsurfer.

LOOK and FEEL: Aesthetically speaking, ON Running Cloudsurfer is far from offensively garish. It’s two-color combination (mine’s black and lime green) gives it a classy and easily recognizable look. It is very lightweight at approximately 10oz so you don’t feel like you’re lugging around a block of wood when running. The tongue and ankle padding is very comfortable and I also find the wide forefoot a lot to my liking because it gives my weirdly shaped feet some room for breathing.

You see, my feet are a bit of a freak. My left foot has the bone connecting my toe to the foot itself jutting out like, well, a freak. And because i still insist on wearing pointy heels that push the bone out some more, I need a wide forefoot for my running shoes in order for me to be able to run for a period of time without feeling pain in that area of my foot. I mean, I would love to show you my freakazoid of a foot but I won’t be responsible for the nightmares that would haunt you in your sleep!

But forget about my freak foot obsession and how the Cloudsurfer sorts all that out for me because really, ON Running’s greatest advantage is the innovative ‘Cloud-Tec’ feature which are basically those 13 cutesy rubber lugs on the soles whose main function is to improve shock absorption on landing.

Looking forward to more running time with Claudia

ROAD TEST: I have only tried ON Running on the road for about 20kms including yesterday morning’s 5k run (thank God the sun finally decided to grace us with its elusive presence!), give or take, but I can vouch for the greatly reduced impact on landing. There is definitely the feel of real cushioning but without the weight and loss of propulsion, hence, I was able to do a relatively long run without the usual stress on my body and the expected long recovery period. Since I have been running long distance races often, my lower legs, shins, and calves have suffered quite a lot which makes me quite picky when it comes to the trainers I wear.

The second time I ran outdoors with ON Running, it rained quite a bit so the road was damp and I noticed that the sole grip was not as incredible as it was on dry road.

Walking on sunshine, Running on clouds.

On dry road, the Cloudsurfer is quite something. I felt it even more yesterday morning when I did another 5k around Ortigas. I don’t know about other users and their experience but my gait certainly feels different. There’s also an unmistakable spring in my run. It’s almost as though those rubber thingies at the sole are pushing me forward so that I am covering more distance with each step.

I did, however, notice that my pristine white socks got stained by what I suspect could be the black mesh fabric of the shoes. But then again, that is nearly inconsequential when pitted against ON Running’s stellar qualities. Stain versus improved speed and lesser injuries? That’s not even an argument right there.

Channeling my 'inner Kenyan'

PRICE: ON Running will be available at all CHRIS Sports stores beginning September 2011 and is priced almost similarly as Newton and Zoot, so it may be a bit pricey for those who impose a ceiling on how much money they shell out for a pair of running shoes. But if you are just as particular with benefits and performance, you will find this pair to be worth every peso. I am not yet sure about the shelf life as I have only had it for a few days, neither am I sure about its performance on trails as I have yet to test them there, but I am hoping for the best in these areas too.

Bookworm Chronicles #1: JAILBIRD


If you remember on my birthday some weeks back, one of the resolutions I made was to read one book per week. I must admit, it was not an altogether original thought because I was, in fact, inspired by this blogger whose chronicles I enjoy reading immensely. I love reading and if you come by the house, you will see only two things piled up in the cramped space of my apartment, which I totally refuse to part with no matter how many times I move houses – books and shoes. Sadly, for the past year or so, I have been negligent in the reading department that I am now feeling the backlash. On most days I just feel so dumb and inadequate and though I am probably just being too hard on myself (again) by saying that…but it’s true. There is much to learn and I am beginning to hate myself for not absorbing as much!

On the day that I resolved to go bookworming again, I started with Sophie’s World because that was the book I brought along when I upped and spent time with my fiance. But once I got back, I found this book by Kurt Vonnegut which I must have had since college because the pages were all yellow and slightly brittle to the touch and I even saw a College classmate’s home number which I wrote on the last page of the book! Surreal, isn’t it? Intrigued, because I don’t really remember reading it over a decade ago, I gingerly opened the book — and I was hooked.

***

I finished Jailbird yesterday while I was having footspa treatment for my marathon-tortured feet.

“You can’t just eat good food. You’ve got to talk about it too. And you’ve got to talk about it to somebody who understands that kind of food.” — Kurt Vonnegut, Jailbird

I am not sure but I think this may be the first Kurt Vonnegut novel I have ever read and I’m glad I did. It is full of dark, dead pan humor, as apparently only Kurt Vonnegut can write.

Are you all familiar with Charlie Brown from Charles Schulz‘s comic strip Peanuts? Then you would know what a Charlie Brown moment/day is. It is when you set out with all the best intentions, putting your best foot forward and making the best impression, only to have things go an entirely different direction at the last second? Sounds familiar? I’m sure, because we’ve all had our Charlie Brown moments, one way or the other. But the protagonist in Jailbird, Mr. Walter F. Starbuck, is painted as someone who seemed to have lived a Charlie Brown life. Not a moment or a day, but life. After a long intro in which WFS and his consequent plight – a lifetime of underachievement and inadequacy, the death of his wife, his estrangement from his son, being sentenced to prison because of his ‘involvement’ in the Watergate scandal – are slowly revealed, the story now focuses on the two days following his release from prison for his unremarkable (and almost completelely coincidental) role in the biggest scandal of US President Richard Nixon’s time. His rebirth into society becomes a frame for the story of his life and how he came to be in prison, through rambling – and sometimes hysterical – flashbacks. The running theme of his life? Well, let’s just say that it would be something Charlie Brown would sum up best as “Good grief!”

What I like most about this novel, although people say it is among the least ‘humorous’ work Vonnegut has ever penned, is that you get a sense of the author’s humanism and his compassion for mankind and its flaws. I could be wrong on so many levels but the way I read it, Jailbird’s underlying theme is the importance of fundamental kindness. Even when the situation is at its most negative, there still lies a flicker of conviction that compassion and generosity would be enough to set things right.  Though Jailbird is replete with biting cynicism, you would feel that it is never completely disheartening to read because of that glimpse of childlike hope that we really could learn to forgive and be kind to one another.

This definitely won’t be the last Vonnegut novel I would read.

What are you feeding your mind these days?

35th MILO Marathon: Redemption, Oh How Sweet You Taste In My Mouth!


I first joined MILO National Eliminations in 2009 when I debuted in the half-mary category. Unfortunately, I came up real short at that time because of my injured shins. At 2:47, MILO was my worst 21k record ever and if it weren’t for dear friends at Takbo.ph, I probably would have done worse – if not altogether quit the race.

But, it’s all behind me now because last Sunday, at the 35th MILO National Eliminations (Manila Leg), I had my shot at redemption; grabbed a hold; and sort of ran with it all the way through the tape – doing twice the distance as my first Milo appearance.

My second marathon after my debut at the Condura Skyway Marathon in 2009 certainly did not disappoint. Although I was hoping for a sub-4:30 finish, I am still grateful that I crossed the finish line with a sub-5 record; about 6 minutes faster than my Condura time.

'Great things start from small beginnings...'

I liked (my) MILO marathon experience for a lot of reasons.

First – although MILO had nothing to do with it at all – because of the rain. Like I told my Boss just minutes before gun start, I was looking forward to running 42 kilometers in the rain because it reminds me so much of my hooligan days in the province when I would would wait for the steady snoring of my Dad during siesta, escape through the backdoor and run around the plaza with friends. On one or two occasions that I got caught – soaked and mud-covered – I got some mild flogging; vaguely remembered being asked to kneel for a few minutes because I was caught playing by the river which had swelled all the way up to the hanging bridge because of the steady downpour which lasted several days; but that did not exactly deter me from escaping a few more times. Good memories.

Second, water stations aplenty. For someone with serious hydration problems, I totally loved the fact that MILO and the organizers did not scrimp on this one. I found myself making a pitstop at nearly every station not because I was parched but because the water-filled cups lined up like robots in TRON look so inviting I just had to get my hands on them!

Third, the runners. It was just awesome being in the company of runner friends and even those I only get to exchange ‘hi’ and ‘hello’ with on Twitter and Facebook. What’s even more awesome was seeing older people (men and women alike) who would just zoom past me and you can tell by their gait and that they were once among those lording it over in marathon circa 60s, 70s, and 80s even! I remember this lady who’s probably in her 50s who ran along side me somewhere in the Kalayaan flyover just before we hit KM31 or 32 and told me to push harder. I was already taking walk breaks at that time due to my cramped quads and left hamstring. She said ‘jog ka lang iha‘ and when she probably saw there is no way I could keep up with her, she said ‘Una na ako sa’yo ha‘. That moment was so cute I just had to smile!

Fourth, the support teams. Having people call out your name (though most of them I only recognize by face) with some words of encouragement can be very…encouraging.

Fifth, my ‘accidental’ pacers. Alex and Gab, you guys helped me get through the race – thank you! Gab, whom I’ve known for quite a while now – he was among the first runners I made friends with through Takbo and paddled with in Manila bay on maybe three occasions – would pace me on and off during the race. He even gave me a chocolate bar before we hit KM30 which helped me loads in the stored energy department. haha. Alex, my Reebok teammate, was my mainstay pacer. I would lose him a few times during the course because I tried to keep a steady pace at least before the cramps cramped my style, but he would no sooner find me and run/walk my pace. We took several walk breaks which was a pity because we were doing pretty well until we weren’t any more.

Sixth, I also liked the fact that my bag was kept safe at the baggage counter the whole time! At first, I was really apprehensive to leave my bag with money, phone, and camera inside (with no lock whatsoever!) because of the horror stories of some runners losing valuables at the races. Every now and then while I was running, I would worry about my bag so I told Alex that we should head down to the baggage counter soon as we cross the finish line. But my worrying was all for naught because MILO employed the best people to man the booth! Awesome!

Seventh, the speedy release of results! Just like everyone else who ran that day I suppose, I couldn’t wait to see the results – and gush about it.

Lastly, the photographers who took thousands of photos of the runners in various state of wetness and exhaustion. Special mention to KB Runner (who ran the whole course half-naked buti na lang he’s super lean, hihihi), A Runner’s Circle, Jojo Pauly, and Mediabetes Runner for the lovely photos I shamelessly grabbed and posted on my FB Milo album!

***Edited to add this: Needless to say I was (and still am) mighty pleased with my race results. Like I said, I managed to shave around 6 minutes from my first marathon time in 2009. Not only that, I was ranked 497th overall out of 1,053 runners; and 6th out of 9 in my age category. I am 32 years old, so yah, you could say I am quite mature. hihihi.

Having said that, CONGRATULATIONS MILO and RUNRIO for staging one of the best races I have ever joined!

Now let’s take a look at some of my priceless 35th MILO Marathon moments. But first, here’s a look back at my MILO moment in 2009…

Thank you Argo for this photo.:)

I’m such a naturally happy person that even when beset by injuries aplenty, one would rarely catch me in a frown. It doesn’t show in the photo but at that time, my shins were crying bloody murder and would swell up in a freaky way Dinzobear refused to look at it when we had dinner/movie shortly after that 2009 race.

And now, say hello to the two-time sub-5 marathoner. Wooot!

Thank you, ARC!

Now that's a happy runner!

I did it!

Oooops, by the way, I would like to thank Kassy for lending me her Garmin which I totally forgot to set in my haste! We arrived at the starting line just seconds before gunstart and of course, I scampered just like everyone else when the countdown ended. Garmin turned out to be just a fashion accessory, hahaha. But you gotta admit, it made me look even more legit! Thank you Kas for being the wonderful supergirl that you are!

Much love to REEBOK for the support! Bruno was awesome on the flooded roads! I did not get blisters this time around but I went home with two dead toenails which is kind of a normal thing for me when I do long distance runs. Dead toenails = sooo un-girly-girl! hahaha.

My quads are burning!

MILO...MILO everyday!

Thank you Alex for pacing me!

Thank you Kassy for being awesome!

Up next: MIM