An Afternoon With Neil Etheridge


…is just like any afternoon, except that, well…it’s with Neil Etheridge!

The international football player came face-to-face with some members of the media and selected bloggers during his official introduction as one of the elite members of the New POWERADE ION4 powerhouse cast of ambassadors.

For some very weird reason, the photos given to me won't load properly on WP so I had to make do with this amateur shot. So sorry!

Neil, who made a quick trip back to the Philippines for an upcoming game with the Philippine Azkals, was the perfect choice for the role of brand ambassador for POWERADE ION4 because of his talent, skills, and complete sportsmanship. If you guys have been following football, you would have heard that Neil made his historic debut at the Europa League recently – and if you haven’t, well, now you know.:)

Neil joins runner and coach, Rio Dela Cruz, top fitness maven Chinggay Andrada, champion basketball player David Semerad.

“It’s a pleasure to be selected by POWERADE ION4 to be one of its ambassadors with fellow Filipino athletes. It’s always important to keep getting better. You have to keep trying to improve and be complete. Every single time you step on the field you want to be your best so I always choose the best equipment; the best, complete hydration partner. Hopefully with POWERADE ION4, I get to be one of the world’s best,” says Neil in a press statement.

Okay, this is the part where I say 'Please don't judge me!' I really just wanted to see exactly how tall he is! Chos.:)

Fast facts on: What makes it the complete sports drink? While other sports drinks have two ions, new POWERADE ION4® helps replenish water and the four key electrolytes typically lost in sweat: sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium and provide carbohydrate fuel for your muscles. POWERADE ION4® encourages the body to absorb fluid and maintain fluid balance. Carbohydrates are replaced as well, supplying your working muscles with fuel, helping you sustain mental and physical performance as you exercise. To help you fight off dehydration, POWERADE ION4®doesn’t switch your thirst receptors off prematurely. It keeps you feeling thirsty until you’re properly rehydrated.

Powerade Ion4 is available in Mountain Blast, Orange Burst and Silver Charge in the new easy-grip 500mL bottles. The Mountain Blast and Silver Charge variants are also available in sports caps, perfect for rehydrating during exercise. Powerade is a trusted partner of many sports organizations in the country and the world. In fact, it is the official hydration partner of the 2012 Olympic athletes in London.  

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Almost BDM-ready.


So I guess this is it. The day of reckoning has come for me. Since I started developing deep passion for running, I knew I wanted to be an ultrarunner. Lucky for me, we have a very dynamic running community in the Philippines. As D-day nears, I am overwhelmed by excitement and trepidation. Do I have what it takes to complete 102 kilometers? Is my body up for some serious pummeling by the intense March sun? Knowing how highly competitive I am, I know I will fight tooth and nail to cross that finish line. True, I haven’t had the luxury of training for this but I have made this commitment and I will make sure I see it through to its end.

As I have mentioned in one of my previous entries, I am running BDM 102 in support of the Black Pencil Project’s advocacy program called Run For Pencils. I have already received pledges and it is such an incredible feeling making a difference this way and inspiring people to do the same. It doesn’t matter if you pledge a peso or five pesos for every kilometer I cover, that amount will certainly go a long, long way. I’ve heard it said before that one should give until it hurts – so please, I am encouraging you to share a little bit and let me worry about the hurting. I have my first aid kit and health card for that.:) The Mangyans and I will be eternally grateful for whatever support you can give.

My most heartfelt gratitude also goes to Reebok Philippines, Toby’s, RUNNR Philippines, CW-X, Smith Optics, Lightwater/VitaminBoost, FTW magazine and my support crew composed of Eric and Running Atom and Team UNGAS. To those who have given their pledges for the Mangyans, especially my Boss – THANK YOU ALL for your love , support, and prayers!

LET’S DO THIS!

Postwithoutatitle.


Today’s Facebook status message: Experiment with life – constantly. Do things other than your job and be fulfilled. Balance, you will soon learn, is a matter of logistics.

Places. Faces. Friends.

Race Event: Kick The Habit 2 (Run and Love A Healthy Lifestyle)


I used to smoke. In fact, I started quite early – just a few months after I started college. It was, plain and simple, peer pressure at work. I didn’t want to be left out and so I did what I thought was the wisest thing to do at that time – I conformed. Though I wouldn’t really consider myself a heavy smoker back in those days, I took the nasty nicotine habit with me until the time I started building my career.

I remember making one or two attempts in the past to kick the habit and I may have succeeded for maybe a couple of months before I would get lured back in. Until the day I turned 28 and decided it was time for me to chuck the stick and embrace a healthier, fitter lifestyle – so I went cold turkey. Now it has been almost five years since and I am proud to say that I have never snuck a single puff. Neither do I intend to sneak one – EVER.

In fact, I did more than just kick the smoking habit; I also turned my back on alcohol – now only limiting myself to just a glass or two of wine with my fiance, and only when we are celebrating certain occasions.

Shorty after going cold turkey on both nicotine and alcohol, I took up running. When I did my first 5k race, incidentally my first race ever, I realized just how badly I had compromised my lung’s health condition with all those years of unhealthy lifestyle – compounded by poor diet, lack of sleep, and smoking/drinking. Though I finished the 5k course in 30 minutes and a few seconds, I was gasping for breath and in a very bad way by the time I crossed the finish line.

So now, I am an anti-smoking advocate. It is for this reason that I am giving my all-out support to the upcoming race event called KICK THE HABIT, which is now on its second year. Ask the people behind this advocacy and they will tell you this:

Stop smoking and start running.

I kicked the habit five years ago. Don't you think it's time you do so, too?

Kick the Habit fun run was started in November 14, 2010 at the Newport City in Pasay where Department of Health’s Dr. Eric Tayag, celebrities Arnel Ignacio and Bearwin Meily led 1,200 anti- smoking advocates and running enthusiasts in the first-ever anti-smoking campaign thru running.

Because of the success of the first Kick The Habit fun run, bigger groups have pitched-in, realizing the potential of the project as a continuing program and advocacy for future generations.

This time, non- smoking advocates, lead by actor/director Cesar Montano, stage actress/ singer Jamie Rivera, PBA/NBA star player Billy Ray Bates, actor /host Alvin Anson, actress/singer/endorser Roxanne Barcelo, dancer/ singer Young JV, social enterpreneur, Jay Lizarondo, lay missionary, Clarke Nebrao, actor and TV personality Victor Aliwalas, businessman Alven Torres, multiple car racer winner Alvin Ng, model Ariane Esperas, celebrity endorser Lana Roi, songwriter Jojo Toledo and civic club officer Ely Fenger in cooperation with the Pasig and Mandaluyong City government, Philippine Sports Commission, MMDA, Healthway Medical, Chris Sports and GWorld Inc., have joined efforts in putting up the 2nd “Kick the Habit Campaign: Run & Love a Healthy Lifestyle” on February 26, 2012 5:00a.m. at the ULTRA, Pasig City.

Runner-Bloggers against Smoking

Now bigger, the Fun Run with distances of 1K, 3K, 5K and 10K aims to gather 2,000 to 5,000 participants (mostly students who are next in line to carry the campaign) who shall continually embrace “the Healthy and Active Lifestyle.”

Proceeds of the project will go to the Helping Overcome Poverty Thru Education (HOP- E Foundation).

Other activities the Kick the Habit team has lined up are concerts, health seminars, running clinics and various events in Visayas, Mindanao and overseas.

***

Interested parties can register at any Healthway Medical and Chris Sports clinics within Metro Manila or they can contact GWorld Inc. at 719-0184, 215-0512 or email: gworldeventspecialists@gmail.com  and Visions in Action Enterprises, Inc.at 740-7074 or email: runproudpinoy@yahoo.com.

Black Pencil Project: Run For Pencils


On March 3 to 4 (Saturday-Sunday), I will be among the 200 or so runners participating in the legendary Bataan Death March (BDM) 102 race. Since my heart was won over by ultrarunning, it has been my dream to run and complete the 102-kilometer course. In large part because of pride (bragging rights, feather in my cap, etc) and honor, and also because I consider BDM to be the mother of ultras – locally, at least, and something that i still consider to be well within the range of my intestinal fortitude.

But as much as I am a proud woman, I am also in possession of a heart that is as soft as marshmallow. That statement, by the way, does not pertain to romantic feelings because let me tell you now, I don’t do romantic. Okay, maybe only in small portions. What I’ve always had is compassion, to a fault sometimes. Although maybe that is somewhat of a paradox because I believe one cannot be too compassionate. Goodheartedness simply does not go out of style.

So what’s the point i’m making? One might ask. Let me get right down to it then as I know we are all busy, career-driven people here.

For my BDM 102 quest, I volunteered to run for a cause, supporting Black Pencil Project’s (BPP) cause-oriented initiative called RUN FOR PENCILS. Under this project, donors can pledge a corresponding amount for each kilometer that the volunteer runner is able to complete. I believe there is a minimum amount of P10.00 (10 pesos) set, per kilometer. The money to be raised will be pooled together and utilized to buy school supplies and other learning facilities for the school children among the indigenous tribe of the Mangyans in the Philippines.

Vicky Ras is running for pencils.

I intend to finish all 102 kilometers and if all of you will support me, imagine how much money we will be able to raise to uplift the educational level and experience of our Mangyan children who, otherwise, will not be able to gain access to proper education! I will let you do the math because, uhrrrm, numbers and I are such strange bedfellows.

Kindly visit this site for details and also to make your pledges under my name.

http://www.blackpencilproject.org/201201/bpp-runners-2012/

If you ask me, I am a ball of agitated nerves right now, with barely two weeks left until D-day and never having the time for  proper training and all because I had been traveling and working like a dog. Two things I like very much, by the way, so I don’t really mind the long hours and late nights.  So aside from the money you will be donating, I also ask that you pray for my safety as I bravely attempt to cover 102kms within the cut-off period of 18 hours.

Thanking all of you (and your generous hearts) in advance!

 

xoxoxo

-Vicky-

Race Event: PDA Pilipinas Darating Ako Run, and a short quip on an almost-‘plane accident’ and Sunday’s Run For The Orphans


Hello Loves! It’s been a mad, mad several weeks of hectic work schedule occasionally punctuated by a little bit more work and one or two running event if I happen to be in town. I had been away for two weeks on business travel to Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta and my tiny frame has barely recovered from exhaustion and the almost-plane crash on our flight back to Manila Saturday night – which I will share with you later on if I’m still feeling prolific, when I jumped right into a 10k race at Camp Crame yesterday and almost snatched a podium finish. On hindsight, you could say it had been a weekend of ‘almosts’. Oh but perhaps I exaggerate with the almost plane crash, but let me tell you the story and you be the judge as I don’t want to sound overly dramatic about it. After all, I’m still alive and fighting to die another day, right?

So our flight was at 5:30pm via MH805. Boarding and time of departure were followed almost to the letter. I was sitting between Davoud and a nun. I watched a bit of Entourage on my laptop and I tried to move the screen away from the nun’s direct line of vision as I really didn’t want to offend her with the somewhat explicit scenes in the series. Somewhere in the middle of the episode, I started to feel sleepy so I folded the screen and drifted off to a deep slumber. I woke up to Davoud shaking my arm a little bit vigorously. Still half asleep, I asked him what it was and he said that an announcement came on the inflight speakers saying we will reverse our course and head back down to KLIA because ‘the plane is experiencing technical problems’. I only caught ‘technical problems’ and I immediately went on high alert mode, like how your dog’s or cat’s ears would perk when sensing trouble or danger. We had only been up in the air for about an hour or so. Imagine how the words ‘plane technical problems’ wrought every imaginable horror/disaster in my head!  I tried not to appear too scared but the involuntary shaking of my hands, the slight quiver in my lower lip, and the expression on my face I’m pretty sure showed otherwise.

I kept looking down and seeing only the jungles of Malaysia which only fueled my agitation. By this time, I was already conjuring fiery images of our plane crashing down and it bursting into wild flames – including us, the passengers. I mean, really, what do people usually think of in such situations? So uncool but I was too terrified to care about coolness. Anyway, we managed to land safely back in KLIA and we didn’t even have to wait for ages for the next plane to come and take us on a flight back to Manila, finally.

Whatever the technical problems were, I guess it’s rather wise of the MH pilot to make that decision to turn back instead of risking our lives. Of course, one can always argue that the plane should have been thoroughly inspected and should not have been cleared for take-off in the first place, but we’re safe now and that’s what matters. I don’t know if you guys have had the same experience but let me tell you just the same that it ain’t pretty. Nothing messes up your mind more radically than the thought of having to die in such a violent way and you’re just sitting there waiting for the inevitable to explode in your face. Literally.

***

I arrived in Manila at past midnight Sunday and reached home just after 1am. Didn’t bother sleeping anymore as I had to go to Camp Crame for a 10k run organized by RUNdezvous called Run For The Orphans, a benefit run for the children of deceased military men and women. Sir Rene aka Jazzrunner gave Team Reebok free race kits and my teammate Beep Beep picked me up around 4:30am. Still a bit shaken from the plane scare and obviously groggy from zero sleep, I manned-up nonetheless and ran as best as I could.

Thank you XtopherProject for this photo. I said on FB that I look like Flash here. Gabriel 'Flash' Elorde nga lang. hihihi.

I crossed the finish line at 57 minutes or so. No surprise there given what I had been through and of course the lack of running and workout whatsoever the past two weeks that I was traveling. I heard my name called and they told me I finished third – yey! – and then Mish, the pretty host and KB Runner’s commander, told me that I had been bumped-off from the podium because super fast Reylynne who was the consistent female leader at the race apparently got lost and ended up doing one more extra loop. Ayyy. hahaha. So ya, I was third for exactly 5 minutes which is still good – yey again!

Thank you Team USB for this photo.:)

I liked Run For The Orphans for a lot of sentimental reasons. The vibe was easy, fun, we were all like one big family there – just like old times. No bad vibes, just a bunch of running enthusiasts pledging support for a disenfranchised group of orphaned kids. I’m glad to be part of this cause and I’m certainly looking forward to seeing more of my old-time runner friends and the ones that I’ve met for the first time that day.

Team Reebok and Team Diadora

***

Now if you’re a runner who, like me, is quite passionate about social responsibility and getting actively involved in helping those in need of care and nurturing, there is a racing event you can check out this coming Sunday: PDA Pilipinas Darating Ako Run. PDA is a fun run in celebration of the 8th Dental Health Month happening on the 19th of February at the Cuneta Astrodome starting at 4:30am. Apart from promoting dental health, PDA also seeks to gain support for its BINHI (Bawat Isa Nangangako Habangbuhay Iingatan) Reforestation Program – for which they declare: One Runner, One Seedling. Now don’t you agree that our environment also needs a lot of care? And wouldn’t you want to be among those who are bravely taking steps to restore Mother Nature – with great vigilance? I hope you will answer YES to both.:)

This race has been organized by Without Limits, also one of my favorite organizers in today’s running industry.

For details, check below.

Total Fitness: GOTTA GO WITH YOUR GUT


Scenario: You had a niggling feeling you ought to go a different way home from work and found you avoided a major accident, or bumped in to a long lost friend, or found a shop selling something you had been looking for.

These feelings of knowing something without any logical basis to it is called intuition or gut feel, to others. It is when you are aware of things that you consciously could not have been aware of and they are often triggered by something you see, hear or feel, or just happen without any prompting at all.

While some people do not subscribe to the concept of intuition, Laura Day, American author of Practical Intuition, tells us that these feelings should not be ignored because they can actually lead you to a more rewarding life.

Anyone can develop their intuition through some simple exercises and a little bit of effort. Some people are born very highly attuned to their intuition, while others need to develop those skills.

In some cases, people who are not that intuitive have taught themselves to drown out their intuitive voice. All they need to do is to start listening to it more. Try these simple steps and see how intuitive you can get after:

  • Listen; don’t be quick to dismiss that feeling! Whenever you start to fret about something, like a relationship or financial matter, pay attention, Day advises. That hunch may pay off: “Out of the blue, I started to worry about the stock market a few years ago, and I sold everything,” Day says. “I avoided a financial crisis.”
  •  Let go. If you worry or over analyze your intuitive feelings then you will block them, thereby making it harder for you to hear your intuition.
  •  Be more attuned with your senses. Intuition is said to be an extension of your senses—so paying attention to the things you smell, hear, taste, touch, and see throughout the day can sharpen your intuitive skills. You’ll pick up info that could feed your intuition and lead you in new directions.
  •  First impressions DO matter. Quite often, people will try to talk themselves out of their first impressions of anything or anyone, that is, their intuition. Intuition is those first impressions you get, so when you feel them trust them.
  •  Reality check. Not every thought that pops up is worth following. Think about what else could be at work. Maybe you’re feeling down on your new job just because you skipped breakfast and your blood sugar is low. Also, know if you are reacting to a phobia, rather than your intuition.