I’M A SURVIVOR: My BDM 102 Story


Unlike many other decisions I have made impulsively over the years (some I regret having made but let’s not get into that), joining the Bataan Death March (BDM) 102 was a deliberate one. Except for the timeline, which was rather hard to ascertain because of the nature of my job. Will it be in 2012? 2013? I really couldn’t tell for sure at that time. Late last year, however, I had made my intentions to run BDM 102 known to my runners friends, and of course, Mr. Baldrunner himself, and the feedback were all positive. So when KB Runner signed me up on the last day of BDM 102 application and I eventually got accepted (Note: There are certain criteria to be met for one to get accepted as a BDM race participant), I was 50 percent sure I’d do it – the other half is obviously dependent on my work schedule.

Registered!

2011 ended and while nearly all of the 2012 BDM 102 runners were busy planning for the race and training properly by logging  precious mileage and incorporating heat training into it as well, I was busy working. And working some more. In fact, since 2012 started, I think I was only able to log a total of 40k running mileage and by ultramarathon standards, that is far from ideal. And then I was supposed to be somewhere for a company event on BDM 102 race dates so it didn’t occur to me to make time for some strength training at least. I was prepared to just cut losses and perhaps go at it next year. Next thing I know, our event was moved at a later date which leaves my March 3-4 weekend wide open for some ultrarunning action. By then, I only had three weeks to put together a game plan; look for kindhearted friends willing to be my support crew (whom I have found, praise God!); and psyche myself into BDM mode. Just to make sure my legs are still in good running condition, I joined two 10k races and carbo-loaded. I must say that was the best part of my preparation – EATING. I ate more than my usual amount of food intake, constantly reminding myself each time I would feel guilty that ‘Yeah, i’m going to burn all of it anyway come BDM 102!’ And so I ate like the buffet cart was going to run out soon.

The only time that the enormity of my decision to run BDM this year dawned on me fully was when I attended the Briefing Ceremony and Carbo Loading party two nights before the actual race. Seeing nearly all of the BDM 102 runners there and making a mental note of how strong and capable they all looked, I began to doubt myself. Seriously, what was I thinking?! It’s one thing to do 50k or even 65k and perhaps finish sterlingly (I did so with my two 50k races but DNF’d with my 65k race in Nuvali) BUT 102k is clearly something else! Reylynne and I would find ourselves staring blankly at the projector screen while BR was doing the briefing and clearly not able to put a finger to what it was that we were both feeling at that time. Nervous, unsure, excited, confident are only some of the decipherable emotions at play that night.

2012 BDM 102 Briefing and CLP at Camp Aguinaldo

BDM warriors with Sir Jovie aka Baldrunner, the brains and might behind Bataan Death March

Finally, it was the night before race day. I had been long done shopping maniacally for supplies (thanks, too, in large part to my brother who shared my BDM grocery expenses with me!) and I already have my Reebok gear, Lightwater and VitaminBoost, Smith Optics Pivlock shades, reflectorized vest with lamp from ARC Ph all locked-and-loaded. JJ of my running group Team UNGAS, also gave me some supplies for the race – all of which came in handy, especially the first aid kit. My amazing support crew which I’m sharing with Cris Dela Cruz, consisting of Eric Caramay, Running Atom, and Jennybave were likewise ready to rock and roll. I went to the salon for foot spa hoping it will relax my mind so that I would at least be able to clock-in some decent zzz time. Weirdly enough, I found myself tossing and turning until about 2:30am, playing scrabble on my iPad. It seemed my mind decided to race ahead of me because I would see snippets of various BDM scenarios being played out in my head! I woke up at 6:30am and even though gun start is not until 10:15pm, I couldn’t convince myself to sleep some more. Instead, I spent my time making cheese pimiento sandwiches, boiling eggs, and packing my running gear and accoutrements.

At 4pm, we were on the road to Mariveles, Bataan.

We made a short pitstop at NLEX to have lunch. In my nervousness, I forgot to eat something during the day. Funny story: Just as we were leaving HenLin, we were sandwiched by this small crowd of people having their photos taken with this guy who turned out to be friggin’ Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson and I didn’t get a chance to have my photo taken with him because he was quickly whisked away by his posse before I could even reach for my camera or BB! Nakakainis lang!

With my support crew and runner friends.

We reached KM0 in Mariveles, Bataan at around 8:30pm and as much as we wanted to cram sleep, we opted to prepare for the race. Jennybave took pains in taping my feet, especially my toes which are all blister-prone. I had wanted to use my Reebok Zigtech but after the layers of Leukoplast on both feet, the shoes were already a bit tight for me ( I must remember to get a bigger size next time!) and so I wore Claudia instead which was a good size bigger and has had an ultramarathon experience at last year’s 2nd PAU T2N 50k. It’s important that I give my feet some room to breathe given that it’s inevitable that feet will expand due to constant battering during the race. With my running gear all in place, I looked just about ready to head out to war.

‘Ultra Vicky’ says my ARC Ph shirt.:)

At the KM0 marker, ultrarunners gathered and chatted away. Photos were being taken, as well. In just a few minutes, Baldrunner would call everyone to order and he appointed some runners to sing the US, Japan, and Philippine national anthems. And then we were told to move to the starting line for the prayer and gun start.

Dear God, we pray for safety, strength, perseverance, and courage as we conquer Mariveles, Bataan all the way to San Fernando, Pampanga…

At 10:15pm, we were off like a marauding colony of worker ants. Destination: KM 102 marker at San Fernando, Pampanga. Cris, my BDM partner, and I started off strong. Even while taking it very easy in the first 6kms which was a steep uphill climb, we managed to clock-in sub-6 for the first 42km. And just as I was feeling somewhat invincible, I was brought down to earth when I heard my left knee give off a loud click followed by a very sharp pain I had to cry out. It reminded me so much of my trail run in Nuvali where my knees locked and I couldn’t move and I had to be carried back to the start/finish line on a stretcher, bereft of pride. Hello, deja vu. We immediately called on our suport crew to assist me. Bave put cold compress on injured knee and gave my legs a good rubdown. I put my knee support back on and continued running. Just a few kilometers after, my right knee gave a similar jolt. That’s when I got scared and slowly see my BDM 102 dreams fall apart piece by piece. Knee injury at any race is never a good thing. I decided to take Arcoxia to manage the pain. Cris, too, at around the same time, twisted his right ankle. And so it came to be that we were both limping even before we reached KM50.

Oh my knees! (Subtitled: Parang mag-gi-gym ka lang ah!)

At KM48, I was starting to feel very sleepy I felt like a somnambulist. I told Cris that I would need a 10-minute nap once we reach the pitstop if I am to perform well in the second half of the race. And so we both cat-napped and our support crew woke us up in time for us to see the sunlight slowly peeking out of the night skies. To feel better and refreshed, I brushed my teeth, washed my face with Physio Radiance (yes, plugging!), and brushed my hair. JJ also forced me to eat puto and drink coffee to send me on my way. My knees were feeling better but there was no telling when both will go bust again. We knew it was going to be a very sunny morning/afternoon going into Dinalupihan and all the way to San Fernando so I made sure to protect my eyes with Smith Optics Pivlock V90 Max.

Good morning sunshine! With my Reebok cap, play-dri top and shorts, you can always tell I mean some serious running business!

Just when I thought my painful knees were all that I had to manage, my left shoulder also caved-in due to the pressure of swinging my arms for a long period of time. It got so painful I had to beg RA to administer makeshift arm sling just so I can keep it stable and not moving to and fro much which only aggravates the pain. So with my knees and left arm now all in pain, I couldn’t possibly suffer more, right? I mean, Murphy could not possibly be that cruel, surely? WRONG. Because when the sun finally came out, the heat emanating from that cosmically-gargantuan ball of fire nearly burned everything on terra firma, including my skin. I thought all those years of sunbathing in the beaches of Boracay, Phuket, Davao and Bali will give me some advantage but NOTHING could have prepared me for the kind of heat that confronted us from Dinalupihan all the way to KM83 where I nearly passed out – hungry, dehydrated, and burning up!

Check out my cool arm sling!

It was then that I seriously considered throwing in the towel and calling myself a loser. I was too weak and in so much pain to even consider going further. I wanted to quit and probably never show my face at races anymore. I prayed hard for God to give me one last boost and as a testament to just how faithful HE is to his promise of keeping us safe under his care, my boost came in the form of my support crew and running group friends JJ, Leya, and Ambo. They refused to hear my protestations and declaration of surrender and instead, pushed me to give it one more go. In between force-feeding me with fruits, making me drink Oresol, and wrapping my burning skin with very cold towels, they would encourage me to get up and run the remaining distance and lay claim on my BDM 102 trophy. My support crew realized that I have not exactly been eating all this while. I would have a slice of apple, orange, watermelon, and a piece of banana and nothing more. My hydration, also, left a lot to be desired. I would only take a few sips of Lightwater, VitaminBoost, and Pocari and feel as though I’m drowning in my own skin. So weird! At KM83, my apparel were soaked and the heavy fabric of my top and shorts were weighing down on me so I changed into fresh top and running bottoms. I also discarded my knee support and patella band because at that point, the contraptions were impeding blood circulation.

With barely 2 hours left ’til the 18-hour cut-off and still 12kms away, I regained some of my strength and my stride went from power walking to what my support crew surmised to be almost 6:30 pace all the way to the finish line. I took back the lead some of the guys snatched away from me when we were forced to just walk from KM70 because of our injuries and soon after, managed to squeak-in a strong finish with more than half and hour to spare.

Nearly there…

KM 102, come to Mama!

Seeing the FINISH LINE tarpaulin and the runners who crossed way ahead of me, including all the support groups, standing just behind the arch waiting to welcome the finishers was INCREDIBLE! That 500-meter stretch to KM102 was for me the best 500 meters I would ever cross – except maybe when I get married and have to do the same ceremonial crossing, only this time, down the flower-decked aisle and preferably with the feel of powder-soft sand beneath my sandaled feet. *ahem. ahem.*

I FRIGGIN’ MADE IT TO THE FINISH LINE!!!

And here she comes barreling through the odds stacked up against her…Vicky, FTW!!!

It was such an emotional moment for me that I couldn’t contain my tears. I cried and Bave cried with me. I have wanted that BDM 102 trophy and medal since the first time I tried ultrarunning at Mr. Pinatubo and now it’s mine! And I have a laundry list of friends and sponsors to thank for making my BDM 102 dream a reality. Thank you so, so, sooo much! You guys know who you are.:)

Oh, and one more thing. If you ask me what else would I write down as great BDM moment for me, I would have to say — and you gotta keep your mind open about this and your sense of humor ready just in case — those times where I would no longer care where and how I pee. Honest truth! Bear in mind that I was competing against a lot of runners and this is where being a lady is sometimes a disadvantage – but I learned to adjust, adopt, and accommodate. Grassy patch, behind the car, in between car doors, in a dried-out canal, inside a held-out malong — name it, I’ve done it all! But only during night time when it was dark and there were hardly any people around. During the day, I would knock at people’s homes and gasoline stations and beg them to allow me the use of their bathrooms. Those times, I was never without my wet wipes which I would now declare to be among the essentials a female ultrarunner must have when running an all-nighter.

BDM 102 now officially crossed-out of my bucket list! BDM 160 na ba?;)

Pains and killer heat aside, I would say my BDM 102 experience is something I will never EVER forget. On the 3rd of March 2012, I went berserk and made true my dreams of doing the ultimate ultra – not for cash or freebies BUT for pride, honor, glory, and that little kilometer marker trophy I have always wanted to have. I am no longer just a road warrior dreaming dreams of pushing myself the limits, I am a survivor – A BDM SURVIVOR! 

My BDM 102 story.

Thank you REEBOK, ARC Ph, Lightwater and VitaminBoost by Suncoast, Smith Optics, Toby’s, CW-X, Chris Sports, FTW magazine, Team Reebok, Team UNGAS, my fellow BDM-initiate and partner Cris and my amazing support crew! To those who prayed for me and wished me well on my BDM journey, my deepest gratitude as well. We’re all made of WIN!

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Made of WIN, are YOU?


So you know that I lead a very boring kind of life… on days that I’m not near-drunk with life’s awesomeness, of course. But the past months have really been exceedingly grand in oh-so-many fronts – work, romance, fitness…even my reading has picked up! I had just finished reading Game of Thrones and A Clash of Kings and am now almost a third of a way through A Storm of Swords, thanks in large part to Gailey who shared her books on Kindle with me when I couldn’t find book two in some of the bookstores I checked some days back. Well it seems half of the Philippine population have decided to pick up the Game of Thrones novel series after watching the show and learning that season two is not due for release until early next year. I don’t know about you guys but when I started watching, I just had to pause everything momentarily – including running – and didn’t feel an iota of guilt afterwards. No, not even after learning I gained a pound or two doing the damned GOT marathon. Just so you know how hooked I am on George Martin’s obra these days, I locked myself up in the house this weekend just so I could finish Clash of Kings. The usual number of three showers I take on a daily basis was drastically cut into just one shower and I took it just before bedtime because I literally could not peel my eyes off Wilhelmina (my Mac, y’all)!

Thank you (Gail's) Kindle for Mac for this!

And last night, while waiting for Team Perfect aka FTW team at Serendra, I decided to pop in at Powerbooks (used to be A Different Kind of Bookstore) and saw some awesome titles on sale at dirt cheap prices! To cut the long bull short, I left with these two books in tow:

I have always been fascinated by this larger-than-life superwoman.

I was torn between this and Frank McCourt's 'Tis and having remembered how melancholic Angela's Ashes made me, I picked up Rex.

And then Kassy, bless her heart, gave me a copy of You Are an Ironman which she got from the book publisher themselves – now isn’t that just fabulous?!? Ikaw na Kassy! I remember sms-ing her one morning when I saw one of the featured athletes in book making a guest appearance on the Today Show and he told his amazing Ironman story. He had a serious health problem/disability, if i’m not mistaken (I have to read the book to get the details), but instead of wasting away and wallowing in self-pity, he conquered his disability and became an Ironman! And I remember feeling so inspired while watching that short interview, so much so that I have decided I am seriously going to be an Ironman before I turn 35. It’s either that or run the New York marathon. Better if I can do both. Okay, done, I will.

Thank you Kassy!

So there you go…three books + an eBook to keep me intellectually and creatively stimulated in the next few days and even as we prepare for FTW magazine’s second issue with Mr. Awesomeness personified on the cover (we’ll let you make a few guesses on our fanpage very soon).

Speaking of FTW, have you guys seen our maiden issue? I’ll be very upset if you say NO! Seriously you guys, we have a number of distribution channels you ought to visit – preferably right after you read this post.

Your primer for everything made of WIN

  • Reebok stores in festival Mall and Eastwood
  • Plana Forma
  • Curves
  • Nav Thai
  • Wellness Studio by Sport Fit at Power Plant Mall
  • Wicked Kitchen
  • Chris Sports

And a few other places we’ll be announcing soon. And oh, we are also expanding our roster of advertisers and partners so if you or your company would like to be one of the great ones, get in touch with any one from FTW on Facebook here. Or send me an email at vicky@ftw-magazine.com. We’re launching our website soon, as well, so watch out for it!

Oh, just before I go, may I introduce the FTW Team of Kassy Pajarillo, Marga Deona, Chad Villarmino, Erwin Feliciano, and Lawrz Libo-on. Lawrz and Erwin joined the team after maiden issue was launched so their names will appear in the year-end issue. 🙂

Team Made of Win

Lastly, and I promise I’m clicking ‘publish’ on my blog na after this, FTW is FREE! That’s right, F. R. E. E! Do you know how many great things there still out there that come with zero cost to you readers?! Not a whole darn lot, that’s for sure! Even your crush may not at all be that great and free — but FTW? It’s FREE AWESOMENESS duuuuuude! And that right there is called subtlety at its finest. *wink*

So tell me loves, what are YOU made of?

2nd PAU 50k T2N: A lot like Love, Ultramarathon podium finish is always sweeter the second time around


What can I say about the UltraRunners except that they are a great bunch of people to run with?

At the starting line.

With KB Runner, who just promised to train me for BDM 102 next year.

People with good hearts, most of them. I lost my support somewhere after KM12 and for a while there I thought I was going to collapse due to dehydration (my Lightwater only had about a sip left) when I saw this other support crew up ahead and they graciously offered me water and a banana. The kind gesture would be repeated several times after that, by many other support teams.

Lightwater and no other.

With my pacer, Lao of Fairview Runners

Thinking about it now actually makes me smile and teary-eyed at the same time. Lovely people you guys are! I don’t know some of you but I hope you know how much you guys have helped me get through the race and all the way to a podium finish – and for that, I am truly, sincerely grateful. I survived all 50km with just 3 bananas + 2 slices of apple + 5 refills of water – all coming from various support teams, some of them stranger to me. That and a whole lot of heart, courage, and pride. I keep telling myself I will not DNF, never again.

Crossed the finish line in 5:45:50.

To Chaddy, who drove all the way to Nasugbu to trail me and have lunch and Mochiko with me post-race, you are one sweet angel! To the Fairview runners, especially the guy who paced me – Lao Ogerio (I’m so sorry I forgot your name! I’m really really really bad with names, I swear! Good thing you tagged yourself in one of the photos.) in the dying 12km stretch of the race, thank you! Your pananakot na may babae na runner sa likod ko who might be a threat to my bid for a 2nd place finish (kahit malayong-malayo naman pala!) actually made me forget about my tired feet and burned skin and soldier on with renewed spring in each stride. Ayoko kase ng nauunahan pa, especially when I know I have earned my spot and earned it well. That’s how wildly competitve I can be. Dennis Ravanzo knows that about me. Right, Dhenz?

Landing a podium finish at an ultra marathon is always lovelier the second time around...

Sir Jovie aka BaldRunner said I look so much different from the Vicky who DNF'd at the BDM Test Run last year.

Before the race, I was aiming for a sub-8 finish. I crossed the Finish Line in 5:45:50! And the best part about it is that I suffered nary an injury or discomfort – not even a dead toenail, which, by the way, I am known to collect after a long run. Alam na alam yan ng pedicurista ko who’d often tease me for having un-sexy feet because of the weird bone protruding on my right foot, and the mainstay dead toenail. Just tired legs which disappeared when I woke up after 12 hours of sleep – the tiredness on my legs, I mean. I still have my ultralegs intact, haha. ‘Claudia’ did a fantastic job of protecting me from running injuries while giving me that awesome spring in my stride. Having said that, thank you again to all of you.

I'mYourAverageEverydaySaintPsychoUltraRunnerSupergoddess.

Official results placed me 2nd among female runners and 39th out of 202 runners!

This would be the second time I landed a podium finish in an ultramarathon. The first one was at the 1st PAU Mt. Pinatubo 50k Trail Challenge, my ultra debut incidentally, where I also finished second but got my cherry popped in a somewhat violent way. I remember coming down with fever when reached home after the race, sporting two dead toenails for weeks, and nursing a limp for the next two days. But what I like most about Bald Runner’s ultra marathons, is how they are all about courage and pride sans the glitter of cash prizes that seduce most runners these days. In this case, it’s just you and the long stretch of road ahead and how tough your gut is. This T2N  race for example was made even more exciting by the myriad of close calls I miraculously survived! I think this was the only race where I prayed the hardest, while pounding the road, from start to finish. I was nearly sideswiped by a bus and a truck  somewhere between Tagaytay and Nasugbu and got chased after by stray dogs, as well.

Running on Clouds

Unlike my Mt. Pinatubo debut, I sort of trained for T2N by running an average of 15k every morning, Monday to Friday, and at least 20k on Saturday for two weeks prior to the big race. Though my training got interrupted for a few days when I went on a business trip to Singapore, I made sure to pick up the slack soon as I got back. I was also able to slot-in two Insanity sessions for added core power.

With Chinggay Andrada

The week leading up to the race also found me getting actively involved in the Reebok EasyTone and FTW launch – both turned out to be a superlative success – and I also dropped by Skechers ProSpeed Bloggers’ event the night before the race, where I met Coach Chinggay Andrada of the Pinoy Biggest Loser fame. She’s so petite and lovely, I’m even more inspired to get fitter and stronger – looking hotter would just be an added bonus.:)

Thank you, too, Reebok, Bodivance, Lightwater, Chris Sports, and FTW magazine for your support. I am indebted and in awe.:)

And Lord God, you are awesome beyond words. Every single moment of the day.:)

Mabuhay tayong lahat na Ultra Runners! TAYO NA TALAGA!

 

***Photo credits to the following: Carlo Serrano, A Runner’s Circle, Mayor Alfaro, Bave dela Cruz, Sir Jovie, The Curious Runner, Team Boring, and Team CB

REEBOK EasyTone Footwear and Apparel: YOUR Secret Advantage


With the incredible success of EasyTone in the United States, Canada, and other major markets, Reebok is finally bringing the EasyTone footwear and apparel to the Philippine shores.

On September 14, Reebok Philippines and FTW Magazine gave selected bloggers a sneak preview of what the EasyTone line is all about – at the famous Wicked Kitchen by Chef Kooch. It was an intimate gathering of friends with everyone bringing home a little something – tokens and GCs from partners, which were raffled off or given away as game prizes.

Team FTW before the Bloggers' Preview

With Blogger friends

EasyTone was launched via a mega event at the Trinoma Activity Center last September 15 with Reebok Running Ambassadors Kassy Pajarillo and Vicky Ras (uhrmmm, that would be me – in case you’re wondering) as hosts. EasyTone features Reebok’s resistance technology. The unique placement and tightness of resistance technology hugs the back and thighs. EasyTone apparel makes you look and feel good as you get moving.

EasyTone footwear has built-in balance pods featuring Moving Air Technology that transfers air in response to your stride, creating micro-instability with each step.

Kassy

“I have a confession to make: I fell in love with walking all the more when I started wearing my pair of Reebok Easytone which I also refer to as my silver bullet. When I was told to lessen my runs (mileage), walking has never felt this better. By the end of the day, you’ll feel how much it worked your leg muscles and I think it actually gave my thighs a workout, too! The balance pods boost you up, try standing on one leg, move with it, ah! That’s an instant balance (core) workout. “ – Kassy Pajarillo

Vicky

“I started wearing Matilda, my EasyTone sneakers, a month ago and have worn her several times since, especially on weekends after my long runs (using Bruno my Reebok ZigNano) when I’m out to run errands or just walk around the mall. The first time I wore Matilda, there was the awkward slightly off-balance feel caused by the balance pods which I eventually got accustomed to. I learned that these balance pods are actually built into the sole of the shoes to create instability. The inside of the shoes are actually very comfortable, with the forefoot slightly wider, to accommodate the slight expansion of the feet after prolonged walking. I did notice though that at the end of my long walks, my hamstrings feel heavy and stretched like how they normally feel when I give them a good workout.” – Vicky Ras

Both EasyTone footwear and apparel combine function and style that’s fashionable enough for everyday wear, yet is signed to help provide toning benefits as you move.

To reinforce EasyTone’s message of fit and active lifestyle without compromising fashion and intelligent style, Reebok has tapped empowered Filipinas to represent the brand: Bow Valdez, Rowena Aquino, Pearl Managuelod, Kassy Pajarillo, Nikki Gil, Nina Terol-Zialcita, Betty Romero, Vicky Ras, Ana Santos, Nikka Sarthou, and Darlene Anderson.

The Women of Reebok

Introducing, the WOMEN of REEBOK…

Bow Valdez

Bow. Bow is a certified Yogi and Co-owner of FLOW YOGA CENTER ALABANG. She believes that challenges build a person’s character, whether you are on or off the mat.  So expect equal parts of challenge and ease as the usual recipe in her flow class together with Reebok.

Betty Romero

Betty. An educator for the last 21 years, Betty embraces education, empowerment and enlightenment as her advocacy and passion. She is the Deputy Director of Lifeline Foundation Support Team Inc, as well as Principal of Lifeline Foundation South City Central School, a Kinder level to Secondary School in BF Paranaque.

Anna Santos

Ana. A merry mix of contradictions that would probably make a good cocktail. Part single girl and part mother. Ana was once a banker, and is now a journalist and sexual health advocate. Apart from being co-founder of Writer’s Block Philippines, she is Associate Editor of Illustrado Magazine and editorial director of Sex and Sensibilities.com which promotes positive sexuality and informed choice. She may wear many  hats, but she only needs one pair of trainers–Reebok Easytone to make sure she stays on track.

Nina Terol-Zialcita

Nina. Aside from being a co-founder of Writer’s Block Philippines, she is editor-in-chief of AsianTraveler Magazine and author of numerous blogs, opinion columns, and books. She is also a new media social entrepreneur who uses social media for social good. When she is not writing, blogging, or traveling, she is organizing projects and advocating causes. Thanks to Reebok’s EasyTone, Niña can stay on the go and keep up her tight balancing act.

Rowena Aquino

Rowena. Zumba Fitness Instructor. The 50’s won’t stop her from surprising herself. She aims to make every woman dance, and dance some more or get back into the groove they once possessed. Together with Reebok Easytone, she feels younger and is able to move even better. 50, she says, is the new 30.

Nikka Sarthou

Nikka. When she’s not wearing her writer’s hat, Nikka Sarthou indulges in her passion for traveling. Sometimes, she gets to combine the two when she travels for writing assignments. Reebok’s EasyTone line helps her keep up with her hectic yet flexible lifestyle and manage her work as Co-founder of Writer’s Block Philippines, Contributing Editor for Smile, Content Manager for OfficiallyPhilippines.com, and a Manila correspondent for FilipinoStar News – Michigan edition.

Darlene Anderson

Darlene. Not your ordinary Model/Actress, Darlene has a degree in Theater Arts from Central Saint Martins in London. She spends most of her time doing castings, helping street children by hosting charity events and whips vegan cakes for a living.  At a young age 19, Darlene is poised to conquer the world with her own brand of style, talent and passion for kids and animals. She is kept right on track by the EasyTone apparel she loves to wear.

Nikki Gil

Nikki. Nikki Gil is beauty and brains combined. Actress, VJ, model, singer and host, she first captivated the hearts of the Filipino audience and showbiz followers when she appeared in a Coca Cola ad in 2005. Since then, she has recorded several albums, acted in movies and musical plays and appeared countless in print and tv commercials, as well as magazine covers. For Nikki, living healthy and being fit are non-negotiable. So even when juggling projects, she still finds time to do some workout – wearing her favorite Reebok EasyTone tops, pants, and shoes.

Kassy Pajarillo

Kassy. More than just another Reebok face and a certified fitness enthusiast, Kassy’s love is beyond Reebok apparel, style and effective shoes. She juggles mindboggling opportunities from managing FTW Magazine and other business ventures, hence, her often-busy schedule. Losing weight is the bonus. Kassy Manages to keep up a healthy lifestyle by surrounding herself with positive people, getting into a lot of activities and always wearing her EasyTone apparel and shoes.

Vicky Ras

Vicky. Vicky Ras is a 30-something chronicler of life as experienced in supersized measures of beauty, pain, victories, failures and passions. She is a writer, PR and Communications practitioner, ultra runner, and a force of nature with a chronic case of the ‘elsewheres’. Her work takes her to a lot of places, strange some of them, and she balances life, work, athletic pursuits and the intricate web of events in between by following a disciplined fitness regimen where EasyTone proves to be a great ally.

Pearl Managuelod

Pearl. Yoga is the dance of her life. Running, swimming, and nature tripping are among the many things that keep her active, in addition to being a yogi and an entrepreneur. Pearl is also a full-time single mom who makes sure that her children have got everything they need. From teaching a yoga class, running a yoga studio, and taking care of her kids, she balances her lifestyle in comfort of Reebok flip-flops. That’s why, amidst all the sweat of joy from the yoga positions she teaches; keeping her yoga studio operating smoothly; carrying on with her life’s interests; and driving her kids to and from school, she still manages a graceful youth and an effervescent look.

***

Thank you for the lovely photos above Teacher Cheryl Golangco! Follow her blog here.

Aside from the EasyTone launch, that night was also the unveiling of sorts of the newest freebie magazine in the city — FTW! If you’re on Facebook, you may ‘like’ the page here and gain access to everything that’s MADE OF WIN!

FTW magazine maiden issue

For our maiden issue, we have Reebok EasyTone brand ambassador Nikki Gil on the cover, who was such a delight to work with at the video/photoshoot. In the cover story, he talks about her uber active lifestyle and how Reebok EasyTone footwear and apparel just synchs in perfectly with it.

Those who were at Trinoma during the launch were given copies of FTW magazine and they have all gotten back to us with great reviews! We can’t wait for the rest of you to check it out! Please keep visiting the FTW fanpage on Facebook for updates on WHERE you can get your own copy of FTW – which, as I have mentioned earlier, is ALL for FREE!  Only because we love you that much!

Check out some more photos of the uber fun REEBOK Traintone Experience below:

The stage is set...

Vicky with the EasyTone usherettes

FTW's Creative Director Chad Villarmino and Business Manager Kassy Pajarillo

FTW is born!

FTW Events Coordinator Cher Tanchingco and Managing Editor Marga Deona

FTW Editor-in-Chief Vicky Ras with the usherettes

Team FTW celebrates with friends post-event

Are YOU ready for the REEBOK Traintone Experience?


Yup, that’s algae alright.


I was intently peering inside my favorite Aqua Lock & Lock water bottle (it says ‘We make your table more elegance with our design water bottle’ on the sticker-on product label, so guess where it was manufactured from?) because I had been feeling unsettled by the yellowish discoloration at the inside bottom of the bottle which I had been drinking from for several days already — when Laj walked into the office pantry.

Me: Laj, tingnan mo nga ‘to. Why is the color yellow-ish at the bottom? I think it’s moss.

Laj: Na-a-arawan ba siya on your table? I think that’s algae.

Me: Well, yah, ‘coz I leave it on top of my table lang naman and when the sun is high and mighty, it gets exposed to heat.

Laj: Yup, that’s algae alright.

Can you believe that? It turned out I had been drinking algae with my water for several days already and I didn’t even bother to investigate at the first sighting of the yellowish thingy inside my water bottle! I’m surprised all this while that I had been inadvertently snacking on algae I did not grow gills or whatever these fish that feed off on algae have. Took a quick glance on my skin just now and I didn’t see scales – yey, I’m safe!

These things always happen to me. There were times before when I would take a swig off a Yakult bottle or have a sip of milk only to realize after several gulps and the initial sour taste lingered, that those were actually expired stuff in my fridge! Seriously, who does that?!? The problem with me is that I go crazy when doing grocery shopping. I buy so much stuff, mostly perishables, leave them in the fridge for several days without bothering to eat them because I often feel full already from the meals I had taken during work hours. By the time I remember I still have them stored somewhere, they’re expired. Moments like this, I can almost hear Kassy say ‘Gumu-gujab ka na naman!

Patayin sa algae si Becky!

***

This week is war week at work for all of us. Our Boss is in town and we have so much ground to cover in terms of projects pending, and those that will be launched in the near offing. Good news: the first VOYAGER mock-up is ready to be presented to the Boss later. I am really proud of my VOYAGER Team! Call it great talent or serious pursuit of perfection finally paying-off but we are really coming up with great issues one after the other. The last issue which was distributed to our convention participants in Malaysia last May was already pretty nifty and it got great reviews from the readers – and then I saw the first mock-up of the latest issue and it definitely stood head and shoulders above any of the past issues!

Not only that, we have gone online as well. Wanna see it? It’s right here. You can browse through Issue no. 7, no. 6, and no. 5 and see what fun and informative stuff we have put together all these months and years.

***

FTW Magazine is now on its final stages of editing and proofreading and will be hitting the printing press in no time! This one is exceptionally special for the FTW Team (Kassy, Marga and Chad) and our growing roster of supporters and sponsors because this is something we put together with only our ideas and daring in our limited arsenal. After weeks of putting together this piece of wonder and talking to so many sponsors and partners, we are inching closer  and closer to actually touching and smelling the printed pages of the magazine. Yey for us! Not to be yabang or anything but I am pretty sure you would all agree when you see this mini magazine that we have just outdone awesome.

***

Thank you Ena Terol for this photo!

By the way, please don’t forget to drop by TRINOMA Activity Center on the 15th of September, from 5:30 to 8:30pm, for the REEBOK EasyTone Launch and FanCon. We have tons of surprises in store for all of you Reebok fans and converts and you would loathe to miss all of it! For details, check Team Reebok Running page on Facebook regularly.

SEE YOU THERE!

***

On the running front, I must say I am mighty proud of myself for logging decent mileage during the past weeks. Just before I left for Singapore nearly two weeks ago for a workshop, I accumulated a whopping 100.5k mileage in seven days! Unfortunately, Chris and I were only able to run twice while I was in Singapore and did not immediately jump into running when I got back. But after a few days, I was back on the road and have been running an average of 15k every morning – with the longest distance of 25.38k in 2:32:30 last Saturday. I had wanted to do a full marathon distance, LSD pace, with KB Runner that time but he had prior running commitment with some runners down south. I had to settle for nearly 26k, all by myself. I would have gone on to cover a bit more distance than that but I had FTW meeting + family dinner + hangout with the becky’s on the same day.

The past three days, however, I had to take a break from running as I had been waking up lightheaded – which I now attribute to the damned algae on my water bottle! hahaha. But last night, I started to feel the excess weight and the sluggishness that come with it so I committed to start running again when I wake up in the morning. I’m telling you, I am no longer used to not doing cardio everyday. I get cranky, impatient, and I feel bloated even when I’m not. Since I got all maniacal and obsessive about this whole fitness thing, I even feel guilt-stricken having to eat food when I know I haven’t worked out previously.

So anyway, this morning, I did 15.35k in 1:35:30. I was slower than usual, I know, but I think it was because of the fact that my legs went on vacation for three days. Ang tatamad ng mga hitang ‘to! hahaha.

Oh, and I have also been using Claudia for most of my training and she’s awesome! She’s the perfect combination of superb performance and ultra comfort.

I have two major races coming up: One is the PAU 50k from Tagaytay to Nasugbu and Manila Marathon (i’m doing full mary here) back-to-back in September.

This will be my second PAU ultra race, the first one being the memorable Mt. Pinatubo 50k trail race last year which I kind of aced. Last Saturday, the trail runners took to the crater and back again with the 2nd Mt. Pinatubo race but I didn’t join because I am not feeling so confident. I don’t want another DNF on my record, no siree!

Aaaaand that’s all folks! Tune in again in a few days when I post a fresh update. Meanwhile, go and get yourself some good vibes and give back loads as well. Cheers Loves!

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?