SPEED Magazine: Wanna get FIT? There’s an app for that!


Like a lot of people who have crossed the 30-year mark and are beginning to experience increasingly slowing metabolism, I am under a lot of pressure to keep fit – both for aesthetics and health reasons. But when you have a job that requires you to work beyond 9 hours and travel frequently abroad, not to mention, one or two extra curricular activities you dabble in outside of work, it becomes a major challenge to slot-in a sustainable fitness regimen.

But thanks to great discoveries in fitness technology, people like me who barely have time to visit fitness clubs (I enrolled for a one-year program at 360 and have only visited the club less than 10 times in four months), now have access to games such as Xbox 360 Kinect add-on or Nintendo Wii Fit and do workout at home instead. I don’t own either of these two but what I do have and I must say I am quite hooked on these days are mobile apps that let me share my accomplishments with online friends and fellow fitness freaks.  The latest crop of fitness technology –pumped up with gaming and social networking features – certainly add a deeper level of fun to the usual sweat and burn.

Currently, there is an onslaught of apps that are downloadable for free or for a minimal download fee. When it comes to health and fitness, here are some of the ones that I have on my iPad, which I try to update as often as my schedule permits me.

1. MyFitnessPal. Before getting started with this program, make sure to key in basic information about your current weight, height, activity level, goal weight etc. MyFitnessPal app allows you to set goals for yourself make suggestions on how much calories you should be consuming everyday in order to reach your goal according to the timeline you have set. You can log in the food you eat and this app will tell you how many calories that food contains. Furthermore, it also helps you monitor and keep track of your exercise and the amount of calories you burn for each workout session. The app shows your weight loss over time in a graph format, which you can share with your friends anytime.

2. Fitness Pro. With Fitness pro you can easily create your own workout plan. It has 450+ exercise photos of real people that help you find the right exercise routines for you. Fitness Pro 2.0 contains an advanced logging system that can assist you in tracking your progress. Just start logging your exercises during training so you can track your progress in detail.

3. LoseIt. Get closer to success when it comes to weight loss with LoseIt! Set goals and establish a daily calorie budget that enables you to meet them. Stay on track each day by recording your food and exercise and being conscious of your allowable calorie consumption. This app has a track record of helping the average active Lose It! lose more than 12lbs .  Now who needs lipsosuction when you have this app to help you shed excess weight?

To ensure that you keep to your health and fitness goals as the year continues to get busier for you, here are simple ways you can follow:

1. Make your goals visible.

I’m sure you’re just as tired of making resolutions that don’t get fulfilled just like the next person but probably one of the reasons why you have a hard time seeing your goals through is because they are not visible. I recommend that you put “I WILL…” and your resolution on the homepage of your computer, your mobile device, and your monitor at work so that your goals are in your face every time you power up your machine, make a phone call, or check your email.

2. Go on social media.

Self-pandering or not, you gotta admit that social media is a great tool to help support your resolution. Start out by announcing a measurable, attainable goal with a deadline (ideally the first quarter of 2012) and invite your Facebook and Twitter friends who can help support your initiative by training with you, sharing healthy recipes, providing you with extra motivation at work, or simply not tempting you with treats along the way.

3. Keep track of your performance.

Use an online workout tracker like Dailymile or download mobile device apps such as MyFitnessPal to help you keep track of your performance and identify trends to help you better succeed. Core Performance tracking and reporting tools allow you to track your weight, energy levels, quality of sleep, pain and soreness, productivity, overall mood, impact on others, and willingness to train. Fill in your trackers daily and see your progress charted over time in your Reports section.

CURVES Promo: Beat holiday weight with no monthly fees until January 2012


Keeping in shape in the season of noche buena and media noche is a tough feat to achieve. Ask anyone who bears the same fondness for food and festivities as you and I probably are, and they will tell you the same thing. Firsthand observation: there are fewer people frequenting fitness clubs during Christmas season and why not? It’s holiday season, our once-a-year-waived-strict-fitness-observance period and there are parties to attend and loads of gastronomic delights to consume! And we haven’t even touched on alcohol yet. I mean for those of you who are rather fond of the bitter and those salt-lined rim drinks.:)

Still, some of us think that calling a two-week truce with fitness is probably too much of a slack. Take me, for example. I wouldn’t be so bold as to completely shun working out during this period because I have a figure to watch (and a reputation to uphold, haha). When you’ve worked hard at something for, say, 11 months, you wouldn’t just lay your efforts down to waste by gaining the excess weight you’ve kept at bay for so long.

Not to say that I also would shun eating, and believe me I won’t, because I love food far too much to deprive myself of it. The beauty of the rigid discipline I have instilled in me as far as fitness is concerned is that, I no longer bother counting calories. I eat whatever I want to eat, knowing full well that my body needs all the energy it can store and spare due to the maniacal workout I do several times a week. Ultrarunning, Insanity, Pole dancing, Power yoga, STC, Circuit training – all these things keep me physically fit and strong. Add to that the amount of thinking, strategizing, and concentration that I also plow into my work and other activities, then you can more or less deduce just how badly I need sustenance.

This kind of healthy behavior – well-balanced eating coupled with a healthy dose of workout in an all-exclusive, fun environment – is exactly what CURVES BGC has in mind. Curves wants us, women, to get a head start on our New Year’s resolutions and evade holiday weight gain by slimming and sculpting.

How? The club is waiving the monthly fees until 2012 for new members who join between 1 November and 31 December! Can you believe that?!?

“There’s no better way to finish the year strong than getting in shape and looking and feeling amazing,” says Fe Abrihan of the Bonifacio Global City Curves. “Just 30 minutes, 3 times a week at Curves can lift your spirits and help you enter the New Year with confidence and style.”

Studies have shown that women gain an average of 0.8-1.5 kg over the festive season. With the proven Curves 30-minute circuit, women can work every major muscle group and burn up to 2,000 kilojoules in a single workout to combat excess fat. Current members praise the benefits of the circuit, including muscle toning, weight and inch loss, increased energy and stamina, and a strong community of peers.

“This program is just the push you’ve been looking for to let you fit into that little black dress or enjoy your holiday treats to the fullest,” says Abrihan.  “The sooner that new members join, the more money they will save. The benefits won’t last just for the festive season, but all year long.”

For more information, please contact Fe Abrihan at (02) 8280208 or visit the Curves at 2F Serendra, McKinley Parkway, BGC, Taguig City.

Oh it’s a beautiful day, I’m looking for something dumb to do…


…and since there’s no one around at 6AM whom I can ask to marry me, I did 15k race pace and capped it with INSANITY Maximum Interval Plyo! Don’t tell anyone but while I was running, I actually toyed with the idea of dissing work and going on a solo full marathon of sorts. Or I don’t know how far my feet will take me but I was feeling so good about nearly everything this morning that I thought I could go on running for five hours.

But of course I did no such thing. I am such a freak that I feel extremely guilty when I would so much as clock in five minutes late for work. Worse, even when I’m sick and practically burning up with fever, I still feel guilty about not being there in my office, working like a maniac behind the desk. No, really.

So 15k race pace done and I still have a universe of energy to spare so I decided to take on Insanity. God knows what Day I am on now because it’s already Round 2 and my body- sucker for physical torture that it is – already feels somewhat desensitized from circuit-workout type of pain. In fact, yesterday, when I shared this with my resurrected friend, he said I need to try something new. I need to shock my body, he added. But what else is out there to shock me? Insanity ASYLUM is one, but I won’t get my hands on the workout dvd until gorgeous Abby burns me a copy – and hopefully soon. But really, what else is there to try? S&M? Absolutely NOT. *ROTFLMNSSAO*

Quite interesting that morning run. Like I said, my body refused to quit. Obviously, I have some serious issues and running has become, for me, the penultimate catharsis. Or escape. I think it goes so much deeper than just running from stuff but then again, what do I know? My college diploma says AB Journalism and not some fancy degree in advanced Psychology or Psychiatry. Now before we go psychoanalyzing  my convoluted mind (it’s a dark and dangerous place, i’m telling you) there’s one other interesting thing that happened during my morning run.  While running along Garnet Road, I saw this old couple suffering from osteoporosis so bad that they’re both bent over from the waist. I took one look at the old man assisting his old wife and trying very hard to put umbrella over both their heads and just like that, I cried. There’s something about old people that turns me into a puddle of tears and this coming from a girl who prides herself to be an emotional eunuch. Most of the time. I don’t do sentimental love. My boyfriend whom I love dearly would attest to my emotional frigidity. Not all the time, no. But I have always been like that. Too pragmatic and too much of a realist. To break me is very difficult. But show me old people and I am stripped away of the glacier covering that organ called the heart. In an instant. I had already passed the couple a few yards when I decided to turn back, still Weepy Weeperson, opened my belt bag and saw my breakfast money and some loose change. It was a choice between my 5-peso coin and my Egg McMuffin+brewed coffee+hashbrown+pancake money (hey, I was very hungry!). It was an easy choice. That was probably the best fully-loaded breakfast money I had ever spent and not for my own gastronomic satisfaction. I know I’ve said this before but I’m going to say it again, one day when I am disgustingly rich, I will blow all my cosmetic surgery money on helping old, poor, and abandoned elderly. Maybe all the attention and discipline I plow into health and fitness will actually allow me to live long and still look youthful and vibrant even when old and wrinkly and I won’t ever feel the need to waxify my gorgeous face with Botox and what-not. Kamusta naman daw at may gorgeous pang nalalaman si bruha. Now how do I translate that into English?

Running back to the house I kept thinking: that right there could be the elusive true love. You should see how the old man looked after his wife, letting her weak frame lean on his body, while clumsily trying to open the tattered umbrella to put over their heads. She was wearing a tattered shirt with ‘Ramones’ printed at the back which made me smile through the tears. But what really pained me was the damage osteoporosis wrought on their wrinkled frame. Every step they make seemed very painful to me. Perhaps if they had access to better nutrition in their youth, things would have been vastly different. But hey, they were holding each other up, taking each step together, no matter the pain. I think next time my boyfriend tells me he adores and loves me, I should ask him if he’d look after me like that when I’m old and traces of my youthful beauty are long gone. Equally, I should want to do the same for him (as well).

Okay, that’s it. Mushfest over. I told you I can’t do sentimental the way it’s supposed to be done. But trust me on this one: I have a good heart.

And a rockin’ body with INSANE abs. You knew that was coming, didn’t you? Oh you know me all too well! Seriously, I do. And the only reason why I’m such a braggadocio when it comes to my finer attributes is because I worked freakin’ hard to get this body. Ask Shaun T. He knows. And now, you would know, too, with these photos.

Let's give that flab the one-two punch.

Side Suicide Drills for that nasty obliques!

Stay strong, keep the abs tight!

Push-up Balance.

CURVES: Circuit Workout for Women, by Women


So finally today, I was able to check out CURVES in Serendra and boy was I pleasantly surprised! When Reebok teammate Kassy Pajarillo first told me about Curves, I thought it was an interesting workout and the timing really could not have been more impeccable because I am already at that stage where the usual workout routine no longer holds any form of appeal to me. Thanks to INSANITY, my body has gotten so used to high-impact, high-intensity circuit training type of workout that pain and maximum heart rate have now become my benchmark for a good workout. No pain, no gain.

And I also happen to have such short attention span (I suppose I need to have myself checked one of these days as I seriously suspect I may have ADHD. No, really.) that I cannot stay committed to just one type of workout. And especially not for long stretches of time. I need intense movements. I need variations. I need constant and fast transitions. And if possible, I want to cry and scream bloody murder at the end of each workout; swear never to do it again, only to do another round of it the day after…and the day after that…and so goes the cycle of pain. And why would I mind the pain, really, when it gave me this as a result?

This kind of 'INSANITY' comes highly recommended. Believe you me.

Now as much as I enjoy annihilating my own body within the four corners of my tiny home doing Insanity, I still am a social creature who sometimes wishes I have workout bodies. But since the usual gym setting no longer appeals to me and I have somehow gotten quite tired of  being scrutinized like a fly under a microscope maybe because my workout outfit tend to look a bit risque on me sometimes, I have decided to look for an alternative. I must because I will die – seriously die – if I don’t get to workout at least five times a week, and that already includes running of course.

Vicky and Kassy lead the pack of fit and active modern-day multitasking women professionals (yes, best in caption award!)

Enter CURVES. The minute I saw the purple logo and the purple and pink-themed interior, I fell in love. The place itself gives you that warm fuzzy feeling but there is nothing in there that will put you to sleep! Curves’ General Manager Ms. Fe Abrihan was there last night and Joi, the amiable marketing assistant, took me around the center for a quick tour and it was all I needed to write my name down as a member. This is exactly what I was looking for – a circuit training fitness program that will look after the unique needs of my body (a woman’s body, generally, is unique and beautiful) and tone it in a way that I will look neither emaciated or too macho for a girl.

Being interviewed by Annie regarding my fitness & medical history

Ann took my fitness and medical history along with my measurements and I found out that ohmydotingdaddy, I still have 5lbs in excess of my target weight! Although she said that my weight may be such (in the neighborhood of 100lbs) because of the muscles that have already been formed due to my intense workout and so we decided to just focus on my ‘problem’ areas – arms and thighs. Although my arms and thighs are so much better now than when I was lugging around more fat, I still see some jiggle when I run, for example. The sagging and jiggle have to go.

Getting my body fat measured.

Now looking at my fitness goals and objectives, Curves is just perfect because it works every major muscle group with a complete 30-minute workout that combines strength training and sustained cardiovascular activity through safe and effective hydraulic resistance. If you ask me, I’m already happy with this but no, Curves also has these benefits to offer women —  weight loss, gain muscle strength and aerobic capacity, and raise metabolism with its groundbreaking, scientifically proven method that ends the need for perpetual dieting.

But don’t just take my word for it. Why don’t you come and drop by one of these days and find out what Curves can do for your body?

Get the curves you want at CURVES!

Oh and by the way, Zumba® Fitness classes have recently been added to Curves® Circuit in Bonifacio Global City – much to the delight of women, young and old alike. During the 30-minute class, participants work out on each Curves strength machine for one minute, alternating upper, lower and core muscles. After one minute, the music cues the participant to change stations on the circuit, and she moves to an area between machines to do Zumba® moves, which tone and sculpt the body while burning fat. Licensed Zumba® instructors from the Zumba® Instructor Network (ZIN), Via Bonoan and Rowena Jose, teach simple, modified Zumba® moves from the center of the circuit.

Kassy tries Zumba with Ms. Via

In Which I Cry A Little…and Smile More…


… Because I won’t make it home in time for the REEBOK ZigTech Run after all. It’s happening this coming Sunday and I will only be back sometime next week. Dejected is what I am but all (hope) is not lost as I still have several races lined up – at least two of them fall into the long distance category. I can imagine my REEBOK teammates not feeling so good about this piece of news, especially since we were supposed to have another team photo shoot at BGC tonight.  And so on Sunday, I will be at the race but only in spirit. I am pretty confident the Team is going to do extremely well. I can’t wait to see the photos!

In related news, Bruno was ubiquitous at V-Malaysia and if I may say so, quite a number of people were smitten by him. If he weren’t mine, I would have been so jealous of the attention he was getting! Seriously, I just love how Reebok sexifies me!

Running around is FUN because of Reebok!

Now I'm a BELIEVER!

Working Girl.

… This time in sheer delight because for the first time in my life, I actually bought a point-and-shoot digital camera which I have aptly christened LUMI the Lumix. Yes, I am creative like that. Lumi comes in Rose Pink and is fully HD video-capable and you wanna know the best part? *cover your ears, Lumi!* She’s so cheap you won’t believe how much I got her for! I have already taken some photos with her but I have yet to transfer them to my laptop. Andy and Claire also picked up the same brand and model and they both swear by the amazing photo quality. Uhrrrrm, truth is, they were the ones who planned on buying a camera. Envy got the better of me, ergo… So anyway, this morning, while I was doing my Insanity workout, I happened to look out of my hotel room window – which gave me the best view of the pool. And there, at 8 in the morning, were six guys with some of the nicest abs I have ever seen, clocking-in some swim time – perhaps, as part of their workout. I was so tempted to take Lumi out for some paparazzi mission but I was petrified they’d catch me sneaking some shots by the window. The photos I would have taken were not for my viewing purpose, but for Noel’s. Because, you know, these days, I only have eyes for the boyfriend. Ahem. And well, he did commit to embrace cardio the way I have. After all, we gotta look fierce on beaches we have yet to explore together.

And why shouldn’t I have eyes for him alone, really, when he’s all sweet and adorable like this?

'Nighttime' by Noel Abelardo.

'Touch' by Noel Abelardo.

'Exhausted' by Noel Abelardo.

BREAKING NEWS:

Kassy Pajarillo and Vicky Ras have just been named local ambassadors of Curves® . Curves works every major muscle group with a complete 30-minute workout that combines strength training and sustained cardiovascular activity through safe and effective hydraulic resistance. Curves also works to help women lose weight, gain muscle strength and aerobic capacity, and raise metabolism with its groundbreaking, scientifically proven method that ends the need for perpetual dieting. Founders Gary and Diane Heavin are considered the innovators of the express fitness phenomenon that has made exercise available to millions of women globally, many of whom are in the gym for the first time.

Recently, Zumba® Fitness classes have been added to Curves® Circuit in Bonifacio Global City – much to the delight of women, young and old alike. During the 30-minute class, participants work out on each Curves strength machine for one minute, alternating upper, lower and core muscles. After one minute, the music cues the participant to change stations on the circuit, and she moves to an area between machines to do Zumba® moves, which tone and sculpt the body while burning fat. Licensed Zumba® instructors from the Zumba® Instructor Network (ZIN), Dina Grieve and Rowena Jose, teach simple, modified Zumba® moves from the center of the circuit.

In just a few days, Kas and I will have a photoshoot for Curves with the great Jar Consengco of Campfire Media. Now that is something to look forward to after 17 days of toiling away in sunshiny Kuala Lumpur!

But wait, where are my Zumba shoes?!? *hint, hint*

 

Race Event: REEBOK ZigTech Run on June 5 & Zambales Fun Run on June12


It seems I am not going to be left out in the cold when Team Reebok goes to Zambales for the 400th municipality anniversary fun run after all.  Just learned from Kassy that it has been postponed to June 12 and I would already be back in Manila by then and that could only mean one thing, tadaaaaah, one more race for me before the Nuvali 50k Trail Challenge on the 18th! June is going to be absolutely insane for me on the road race front and I can only hope I would still be standing by the time July comes and I celebrate my 32nd  birthday. Oh my. When did I get so old?!?

Go vertical with Team Reebok!

Now tell me Loves,  are you all pumped-up and ready to rock n’ roll at the Reebok Zig Tech Run on the 5th of June? Registration ends on May 31 so you better make your way to the Reebok store nearest you – or you can also visit Royal Sporting House in Ali Mall and Robinson’s Place Ermita, as well as, The Shoe Shop in Rockwell and Alabang Town Center. The ZigTech Run is a combination of road and vertical races, so if you are on the lookout for something different but equally challenging, this is the run for you! Choose from 5k, 10, and 15k and make sure you are in fabulous condition for the race. Remember to eat healthy and on time, hydrate as much as your body requires, and if you’re planning to get yourself a new pair of running shoes, may I suggest a pair of ZigTech?

INSANITY with Bruno

On a somewhat related note, just to prove to you that I wasn’t just running my mouth like I’m known to do sometimes, haha, when I said I will try to keep my Insanity workout right on track despite the crazy-ass schedule we have here, I did Insanity on the double this morning. Although it’s supposed to be my off day, based on my Insanity workout calendar, I decided to forgo rest knowing that beginning tomorrow, we will be clocking in a minimum of 15 hours each day until the event officially ends on the 1st of June.

So, how about we form that TeamBeachBody club now?

Now if only there’s an official Team Beach Body club in the Philippines, Abby and I would most certainly file our membership application in a blink of an eye and make Shaun T. extremely proud! I mean, why wouldn’t he?

***

In less than 6 hours, Fernando ‘the greatest love of my life’ Alonso (of course, Chris is my one true love so there’s really no conflict there. I swear, I cleared it with him. hahaha) will be slugging it out with the Red Bull and MacLaren drivers – who claimed P1 to P3 in yesterday’s qualifying race. The Spanish Grand Prix is home race for Alonso being a (hot) Spaniard himself and I’m confident he will finish the race somewhere in the top three. Vettel’s winning streak has got to end at one point, right? I think maybe this is it. So Fernando My Love, go forth and bring that GP trophy home to Momma. Yes, Me, not that woman Racquel. *ROTFL*

Because I’m Fit and Flexible Like That


These days, I am — wait, am I allowed to be crass and wee bit disgusting here? *lip biting* — shitting bricks and boulders, figuratively that is, because of work deadlines and our upcoming MAJOR MAJOR event in Malaysia, 15 days from now to be exact. Though we have everything pretty much under control (do we, really? *big grin*), it’s still somewhat stressful dealing with little irritants that crop up at the last minute. But hey, we’re one tough cookie and it’ll take a lot more than the small things to get us completely off-track. Yes naman.

Oh so, anyway, given the crazy-ass work schedule that we keep these days (and I don’t see the trend easing up a bit until after June, maybe) I have become more obsessed with getting fit. Almost to the point of running myself down to the ground. I officially wrapped-up INSANITY last Friday buuuuut instead of taking a week off to recover from the madness, I sprinted my way to a podium finish at the Fuego Sunset Run the day after (Saturday last week) and immediately embarked on INSANITY Round 2 just this Monday – posting incredible results in my Fit Test!

Insanity Round 1, Day 58

                                        Round 1         Round 2

Date                               5-Mar               9-May

Move                            Fit Test 1          Fit Test 1

Switch Kicks              70                      136

Power Jacks              25                      60

Power Knees             80                      95

Power Jumps            10                      60

Globe Jumps                9                      13

Suicide Jumps          10                     20

Push-Up Jacks          15                     40

Low Plank Oblique  30                    74

To say that I am mighty pleased with the results of my workout is putting it mildly. I AM STOKED!  But now, I’m starting to get bored again so the offer to take basic diving lessons could not have come at a better time. Yes, my sweethearts, I AM GOING DIVING!  Never mind that I don’t know how to swim. Which, by the way, is giving me the chills but I’m sure I will be just fine. The diving instructor is there, as well as, a handful of other students. And if something does happen – knock on wood! – I’m sure one of them would jump right in and save me. Right? Please say yes. YES!

So, diving it is.

But, running is still my thing and thanks to Reebok and its all-out support to the Team, I am kept right on track with the sport. I have been logging PRs and even managed to snag a podium finish here and there and these little achievements admittedly do incredible things to my health and general well-being.

Here are two photos taken by Estan Cabigas at the Fuego Sunset Run. I just look totally legit as a runner, don’t I?

I Run, therefore, I'm A Runner. Teehee.

Reaching high but keeping feet planted firmly on the ground.

Yes, I run on swimsuit too.

Run like the wind...

Now that's a HAPPY RUN!

But this one takes the cake out of any other happy runs. Ang saya lang, oh!

On Reebok Zig Tech, Fun Runs, and Anniversaries


My Zig Tech has finally arrived! She’s pretty in pink and super comfortable, I was grinning from ear-to-ear while I was trying her on yesterday. And since she and Bruno (remember him, my black Zig Nano?) came just days apart – practically fraternal twins, ahem – I have decided to name her Basia.

Baby Basia

Since Bruno came into my life about two weeks ago, I have actually been ignoring Blu (my Mizuno) and Zara (my Zoot) and though I feel bad for behaving so unfaithfully, I must say Bruno is doing a very great job of hogging my attention. He knows exactly what I want and serves it up to me supersized! Even though the only running action Bruno had ever seen (as of writing) was the 5k break-in run I did the day after we met, I have been wearing him down on a daily basis – with INSANITY. And if you ask me, I think Bruno is having the time of his life being abused the way I do him.

Big brother Bruno

Enter Basia.

I picked up Basia at lunchtime yesterday with the intention of breaking her in at the Fun Run organised by the company for our very dear friend Abie who was diagnosed with Stage 2B breast cancer late last year and had since been undergoing chemotherapy sessions to eradicate the cancel cells completely. The fun run, aptly named Abie There For You, was held last night at the Meralco oval. And since only a handful of us in the company are actually into sports and cardio training, we only did a maximum of 10 loops around the 200-meter oval – for a total of 2k.

I walked from my condo to the race venue but I got there a good hour before the event would actually start. I got bored just by thinking of the number of minutes I would have to wait for the others, so I decided to take Basia for a sprint around the compound. Want to know how she performed? Read on…

Well, for one, Reebok was totally not talking nonsense when it boldly declared that Zig Tech is the brand’s most technically-advanced running and training shoe. It’s like an energy drink for your feet – with the way the shoe is designed to conserve and return energy to the athlete for a soft and springy ride.  In its launch press release, Reebok was all about the one-of-a-kind ZigTech bottom unit which features innovative, lightweight foam that is engineered into a dramatic, geometric, zig-zag shape. This unique zig-shaped sole absorbs the impact of heel strike and sends a wave of energy along the length of the shoe to help propel the athlete forward with each step.

Far too techie an explanation for me, because as most of you know, I hardly ever concern myself with the engineering details and what-not. I just like to run fast, long, hard, and almost nonstop – if I can sustain it. And because of that, I put comfort – by way of good cushioning – above all else. And because I’m still a girly-girl (contrary to what my abs, biceps, and powerful shoulders might tell you – teehee!), looks and how it complements the rest of my running gear come second. Performance is, of course, a non-negotiable for me especially since I’m also into ultra running and cross-training.

Much to my surprise and utter delight, Basia the Zig Tech, actually satisfied all three of my basic requirements with a little extra added to my running performance! At first, I was afraid I’d experience pain and discomfort because it was so soft interior-wise, it couldn’t possibly hold its own against the pressure of the feet-hitting-the-groundhard impact, right? But it did and believe you me; it felt as though I was running on cotton clouds last night!

Speaking of cotton, I really like the pink zig-zag foam sole of my Zig Tech. It reminds me so much of pink sugar cotton candy which I couldn’t seem to get enough of when I was little. But that is, of course, my aesthetics view on the matter. Those zig-zags, in fact, have far more useful return than just looking cotton candy-ish. What they do, according to Reebok’s Head of Advanced Innovation Bill McInnis, is transfer energy horizontally along the zigs so the athlete gets that energy back in the forefoot.

So this is where the ‘energy drink for your feet’ analogy comes into play. And after my experience last night, I am actually inclined to agree. There definitely was less pressure on my legs and I was able to sustain my race pace for the duration of the 2kms fun run, even after running on the same pace for nearly 6kms while waiting for the event to start. I even paced Randy, one of our colleagues, for four loops around the oval after I had alre4ady completed my 10.

Having said that, I give Bruno and especially Basia, two thumbs up. Good job, Reebok!

***

Noel, Vicky, and Abie.

Now back to Abie There For You. Last night was a SUPER fun run, with nearly 60 employees showing up and participating in the activity. I led the group in the stretching exercise and thanks to Shaun T and his Insanity workout, it seemed as though I actually know what I was doing! Abie, who hours before the event was actually still feeling faint from the chemo session she had two days prior, came with her beautiful daughter Bianca – who was also very sweet giving her Tita Vicky a kiss on the cheek even when I was sweating like a piglet! Abie has only been working in the company for a year but she has definitely endeared herself to everyone because of her sweet and caring ways. And while it breaks our heart to see and know of her condition, we are hands-up in awe of her strength, courage, and positivism. She truly makes all the drama in my life seem inconsequential and unimportant.

So to you Abie, thank you for the gift of awareness of our own strengths and your beautiful smile that never leaves your face despite the pain of it all. Keep getting better and we’d love to have you back in the office again very soon!

(L-R) Andy, Vicky, Alcy, Silyah. (Top) Mar. Yes, top. hihihi.

I Heart Reebok!

Bong, Gil, Peewee, and Vicky.

Runners gone wild!

The Balingkinitan Files: Noel, Andy, and Vicky

Ang (mga) babae sa loob ng kulungan made out of chicken wire.

Podium finish, kuno.:)

With Amar, hosting the event.

***

Today, 20th of March, marks the 730th day of a beautiful relationship with C. You have shown me love, respect, devotion, care, commitment and a great deal of understanding and tolerance (and not a lot of people can do that) all this time. For that and a few more good things I won’t mention anymore because I am limited by time and blog space, I,too, love you. Enormement.

HAML.

Woman, high maintenance is thy maiden name.


32 flavors and then some. That’s how old I am turning in July. Apart from the wrinkles and crow’s feet which are now starting to become more visible on my face caused by the combination of sun exposure and (the) occasional stress, I don’t feel old. In fact, and I keep telling myself this every morning when I face the mirror, I have never looked as good as I do now back when I was in my 20’s. I am healthier, fitter, more flexible and agile than most people my age – or even younger – and I always have random strangers telling me that I don’t look a day over 25! If you ask me, I think my skin has a lot to do with it.  This is the part where I suppose I have to give credit where credit is due. Mom, wherever you are, thank you! I have such an elastic and supple skin that you would never find even the faintest stretch mark on me even when I have gone as heavy as 120lbs and dropped down to 98lbs at one point. To say that I am mad for body moisturizers and beauty products is an understatement. I don’t patronize ridiculously expensive brands because, well, I can’t afford them. In fact, when it comes to body butter and moisturizers, the one brand that I love above all else is Boots – which I can only find in Thailand. It’s very reasonably priced but superlatively effective in making my skin look, feel, and smell deliciously soft and sexy.

But the wrinkles on my forehead and the now visible crow’s feet really get to me sometimes. Scrap that: All the time! I hate it especially when they show on photos and no amount of striking accessories can draw attention away from them. It’s not the thought of aging that scares me, because we are all going to get old and wrinkly at some point anyway. It is the thought of aging prematurely that causes me to do a double-take and seriously contemplate the use of anti-aging creams and beauty products. Any career-driven woman would tell you how important looks are in a cutthroat corporate jungle. Not that it is an absolute necessity for us to look ‘manufactured‘ by science, but more often, just being able to cover the basics – i.e. great skin, winning smile, manner of dressing, a 23-inch waistline, etc. – is enough to get us through the door.

Sooo, yes, ‘anti-aging’ anything is what I first look for when I go shopping for body butter, make-up, and demmit even body soaps! Not that I am attempting to defy (a)natural progression such as aging – I am merely trying to (super) slow down the process.  I have tried a few products and some of them I have grown a certain fondness for such as the Olay Age Defying series. But us girls being girls, we cannot resist the urge to try out other products – and there’s always something new that’s packaged as better in terms of performance and benefits.  And we always get hoodwinked into making mindless purchases, don’t we? But it’s okay. We’re girls and sometimes that’s explanation enough. *wink wink*

Today, I had an opportunity to try two new products from a beauty brand that’s been known and trusted for several decades now, Mary Kay. The anti-aging line is called TimeWise® and the two revolutionary products recently introduced in the Philippine market are TimeWise® Moisture Renewing™ Gel Mask and the TimeWise® Liquid Foundations.

TimeWise® Moisture Renewing Gel Mask which provides intense hydration to nourish skin whose moisture has been depleted during the day. This mask is scientifically formulated with ingredients to help quench the skin’s thirst overnight. It is formulated to add and hold in every precious drop of moisture. The skin will feel firmer, softer, healthier, and appear plumped from within.

TimeWiseâ Liquid Foundations make it simple for any woman to find her perfect match, with four shades to choose from, a choice of finishes for different skin types and the bonus of age-fighting benefits.  The foundation features two finishes – Luminous-Wear™ and Matte-Wear™ – which cater to skin that is either normal to dry or combination to oily, and a formula packed with ingredients to help protect the skin from environmental aggressors that can contribute to the visible signs of aging.

TimeWise Renewing Gel Mask and TimeWise Liquid Foundation

These two products were introduced via a special pampering event hosted for the media and selected beauty and fashion bloggers. I am not a fashion and beauty blogger, that’s for sure. What I am is a beautiful blogger. At least that’s a compliment I got a lot of earlier when I dropped by the event. And since they’re all strangers to me, I am inclined to believe and you can bet I will take every single word to bed tonight. Gullible much, yes. Now where are those ROTFL emoticons when you need them?!?

Anyway, the event was fun! Not only did I get an overdose of pink which happens to be a favorite color of mine (strawberry chocolate truffles, pink juice, pink bread sticks, pink couches, etc…) and free manicure, I also met a lot of very interesting – not to mention, beautiful – people. I remember chatting up nearly everyone that I keep missing the opportunity to have my nails done!  I even saw Hannah of Flaircandy fame whom some of you would also recognize as one of the House of Vanita blogger-models during last year’s fashion show. I especially loved talking to Jase and the beautiful event host who said she instantly noticed me when I walked into the room. The Tetchie Agbayani aura, she said was too strong to be missed! As most of the old-schoolers here would know, Tetchie, during her time, was synonymous to overpowering sex appeal. Wala talagang kakupas-kupas ang alindog ng lola nyo! Weeet weeew! Now if I had a peso for each time I get compliments like that, I’d probably be driving around a Kia. Another plate of ROTFLs, please!

With my new friend Jase

With the beautiful host whom I had one of best conversations with at the event

Hannah of Flaircandy having her make-up session

Vicky supersizing it at the manicure area

With Jase and birthday girl

Of course, I didn’t let pass the opportunity of talking about running and preaching health and fitness to the people around me. And it’s NOT just because I am now officially a Reebok brand ambassador for running (respect, earthlings, respect!) but because I am really passionate about these things. Why do you think I quit smoking and drinking cold turkey and at the same time three years ago? Why do you think I quit red meat and embraced ultrarunning and circuit interval training workouts? It’s because I love this body I was born with and if I don’t take care of it, who else out there would?

Team REEBOK.

Anyway, enough digression. All I really wanted to share was how great a day this has been for me. I met some great people whom I hope I would meet again. I brought home two great products I couldn’t wait to try. I accomplished a lot at work. And lastly, I had a great sharing session with Ro and the rest of the Wednesday Victory group. The blessings just keep coming and it feels so good to be back!

Tuesday Group.

Let’s Get INSANE!


Caveat: Absolutely NOT for the weak of hearts.

Day 56.

Loads of credit due to fitness goddesses Abby Jocson and Kassy Pajarillo for getting me started and hooked on INSANITY.

Abby gave me the dvd sometime last year but I had been way too busy to get off my butt and give Shaun T’s workout regimen a try.

After noticing my steady weight gain at the beginning of this year, alarm bells won’t stop pealing! So finally on the 5th of March, after much dilly-dallying,  I have decided to get insane. I signed up for the 60-day challenge and what I initially thought was an easy-breezy workout – all the while thinking I’m hardcore enough – turned out to be something that would make me call out to the high heavens for some reprieve every single time!

Now why am I doing this? I’m INSANE, that’s why! You didn’t get the memo, I see. Truth is, I was already getting bored with just running and going to the gym. My body was looking for pain which i am no longer getting from the usual short races. And I needed something that will get my cardio running at an all-time high hoping that, as the days progress, I will find myself teetering on the brink of maniacal lunacy – in the fitness department, that is. So that when the the 60th day on the 6th of May dawns, RIPPED will be my last name.

Now tell me, how INSANE are you? Or better yet, Are you ready to go insane with me?