A new challenge, a new road, the road to Cairns 70.3

During the Challenge Philippines inaugural race, as I waited for my husband and friends to cross the finish line, I took the chance to try riding my bike again, on the road, no longer on the trainer. Together with some of my classmates in the triathlon coaching group Fit + Academy, with some fear and flashback of my crash haunting me, I mounted and clipped on my pedals. We rode the bike course of Tri United 1 slowly and very carefully. It was a very big achievement for me when we arrived at the parking lot of All Hands Beach!


So, since I was successful on the easy bike ride, I confidently told myself, I can do the sprint race at Tri United 1! So I tried to find a slot and luckily found one. With two weeks of training, I finished, a minute over my finish time in 2013 (but the transition I swear was longer this year)! Coach Kaye said it wasn’t bad for someone who is recovering from an accident. Actually, finishing it was more than good enough for me. Should there be an award for “The Happiest Triathlete”, I should have been 1st on the podium.


Since I have done Cobra 70.3 twice, it has been part of the plan to try joining a 70.3 in another destination. So for 2014, my A racecation will be an unfamiliar venue. Furthermore, my Marine Corps Marathon group have decide to do a full Ironman. But since I can not do the full, well in fact it has never crossed my mind to do the full, we all agreed that they register for Ironman Cairns where a 70.3 event is held on the same day. Due to the accident, I doubted myself and procrastinated. The registration closed before I knew it. Luckily, I was able to sign up thru a travel agency, a little more expensive though but with a guaranteed hotel booking 200 meters from the finish line. The full participants immediately agreed on the hotel booking for one reason – they can crawl back to the hotel when they cross the finish line.

However, yes there is a “however”, after my husband bought me a wetsuit (the wetsuit was bought prior to registration ha ha) and I committed to sign up, I read the unbelievable cut off – 1:00 swim, 4:30 bike from wave start and 7:30 run. The bike course is making me most nervous! According to a friend who joined last year, the course isn’t flat at all and is similar to the terrain of Subic, Philippines, specifically the hill of Ocean Adventure! This calls for some major training plus I have began calling all the angels and saints to be with me from now on!

So, join me for another challenge, another journey, my journey to Cairns 70.3!


Posted in Family, Motivation, Race, Training, Travel, Triathlon, Women, Work | 2 Comments

Atleta Ako – for the active she

Shopping for the right training gear, outfits especially, have been frustrating for me on several instances. Oftentimes, my girly requirements will not meet my expectations on what’s available in our malls. There are just very few items to choose from! But when I look over the men’s section, the shelves are well stocked! So, I always end up hopping from one store to another until I get the item I need. Sometimes, shopping is not victorious. Most often I have to settle for something less 🙁

So, during my agony in one of those store hopping incidences, I told myself – Why not set my own sport store for the active and very busy female huh? Of course with all the considerations and female needs in mind – I imagined and began dreaming. Thus the birth of ..


Yup! That’s my stores name! There are finalization of details for the stores launch mid of 2014 but I’m too excited that’s why it will be launching in Tripalooza with the brand – Running Skirts from California!


These are what you can expect from
Running Skirts – different models of running skirts –



And the cutest and sexiest running shorts!


Oh and the coolest compression socks


With its popular heart design that is irresistibly cute!


There are too many items and designs from Running Skirts! Infact, there are four out of eight types of running skirts and colorful sports bras for the Tripalooza launch. So visit Atleta Ako this weekend, February 8 and 9 at the Venice Piazza of McKinley Hill! We’re ready for shopping from 9 am till 9 pm!

See you there! Happy running!

Posted in Motivation, Personal, Run, Training, Training Gadgets, Women | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Survival, recovery and scars


“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”
Kahlil Gibran

It’s been four weeks since my bike accident in Bagac and maybe those who have read about my Challenge recon crash are wondering if I’m back to 1 piece or if I’m still in one piece.

The body is not a machine that recovers immediately

Honestly, it has been frustrating during the first few days after the incident. Having been very active for several years and suddenly ordered to stay at home for two weeks for faster healing and recovery was initially crazy! But every part of my body was very painful so I had no choice actually. It was a penitence dealing with all the aches! Every time my wounds were dressed was a time for sacrifice. So for two weeks I was on very strong pain relievers.

I lost my appetite because of the numerous medications probably. So, there was some decrease in weight and sadly, loss of muscles too. Since I just stayed home, I had proper meals which contributed I guess to the weight loss. But, since there had been no sun exposure, my skin cleared though my tan was lost.

As I mentioned on my precious post, my vision was affected. It had been very hard to use my laptop because of the glare, thus it took awhile to finish an article for this blog The only gadget I can use was my cellphone since it had the slightest glare! So, it was my best friend until I got tired liking a hundred status and photos in Facebook and Instagram. Eventually, after having to sit down almost like forever in our TV room with my 8 year old son and listen to Cartoon Network (I can’t watch TV cause my eyes couldn’t take the glare too) I got accustomed to the relaxed lifestyle and started to enjoy it!


2 Sundays after the crash, I was advised by my doctor (my husband) to start being active in moderation. So, still bruised and black eyed, I headed to Fitness First Fort Bonifacio to do my walk jog on the treadmill. It was my slowest and most painful 3k – 30 minutes. But I had to start somewhere. (A week after this was my slowest and most painful 4k.)

Baby I can drive my car

A few mornings after, I was able to drive under low sun and enjoyed bringing my kids and carpool girls to school! Night driving is still difficult because of the flashing of lights but I know soon I will be able to do it. I wear my sunglasses at night.

Present status: it’s complicated

There had been too many complications as a result of the crash
– lumbar spine issues, effects on the ulnar nerve, pt sessions, etc. Often, frustration would wander back and hit my scoured feelings. Luckily, since my doctor is just a tap and a whisper away, always on call for me, I get first aid immediately. I am on my way to recovery… Slowly…


Are you biking again? – this is the question I have been asked most frequently recently. Yes I will, even if the last few seconds of my crash would forever haunt me. My priorities might have changed since I was given a second life but my two dozen scars will not stop me from being active!

See you on the road … soon!

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When a Challenge Philippines Recon Ride Takes a Wrong Turn: My Accident in Bataan Offers New Challenges

A few months ago, my friends Hazel and Amor convinced me to register as their biker for the Challenge Philippines all-female relay category. It was mentioned to be a tough course because of the uphills described on the Challenge Philippines website article The Seven Hills of Bataan.

So every weekend since then, both Saturday and Sunday, I would train in Nuvali. I even managed to conquer Amadeo once! I would also do the bike drills specified by Coach Kaye, and do RPM at Fitness First when I can. Last Saturday, December 29, together with the other students of Coach Kaye, I braved the recon ride of Challenge Philippines bike course.


These hills of Nuvali will make you stronger!


Riding those hills and the crazy downhills

Coming from Ocean Adventure, I encountered some hills (Ilanin area) before entering Anvaya. Then after that, there were some really rough roads in the Anvaya area. Some of these are very rough downhills, which were quite tricky. What’s worse is that it was difficult to see some of the potholes and uneven path because of the trees’ shadows covering the road! These are the reasons why those who have tried the course recommended aluminum wheels – but choose your lightest aluminum wheels so you won’t struggle with the climb.

 Taken from the FB page of Coach Arland Macasieb

Taken from the FB page of Coach Arland Macasieb


Honestly, I felt the hills were manageable. If you’ve trained in Amadeo, and have done hill repeats (Saturday before the recon, my program called for 8 hill repeats at race pace.) in Nuvali then you can do the course.

But, unfortunately, at the last downhill before the turnaround, my right hand cramped. I couldn’t squeeze my breaks and I went downhill really fast on the zigzag road. As I swerved to the other side of the road, I saw an approaching vehicle coming. My Garmin recorded 80.5 kph on this part!

I managed to crash on a grassy part on the right side of my body. I blacked out! The first thing I saw when I gained consciousness were Coach Kaye and our sags driver beside me.

My first realizations – those that I can remember

Blood was everywhere. Quickly, I checked if my vision was okay – it was, but my right eye felt different. I then checked if anything was broken, and luckily I was able to move everything. But then I saw deep lacerations on my right arm, plus my tri suit was torn on at the right side of my hip. They gave me cold water, which I thought was for me to drink. Coach then said, “Wash your face!” That’s the only time I realized that there was blood coming from my forehead. Immediately, our other companions were contacted. Coach removed my helmet (she hid it so I won’t panic because it was wrecked on the right side with pieces torn out). My bike was packed, and we met the rest of the group a few hundred meters away at the turn-around.

My husband immediately contacted doctors he knew from the area. He decided to bring me to Baypointe Hospital in Subic. Together with our sag and friend Nino, we traveled as quickly as possible to the hospital.

That’s when I felt the pain. Each small move I made was excruciating! CT scan and X-rays were done. And then my forehead and elbow were stitched! I am not the type who will post gory pictures. Let me just say that the lacerations were nasty, really nasty!

 I only saw my helmet a day after the accident.  Coach hid it from so I will not panic.  She was right!

I only saw my helmet a day after the accident. Coach hid it from so I will not panic. She was right!


The morning after

So how am I doing after my hospital ordeal? Let me say I look like I lost over Manny Pacquiao.  I had stitches on my forehead and right eye, a lot of stitches. I am just lucky that my husband is a surgeon and was able to fix my lacerations immediately.  My numerous battle wounds from shoulder, back and hips are still frightening to look at. Of course the terrible pain and suffering is still there, giving me difficulty in walking, climbing the stairs and even coughing. My vision has been affected too, temporarily hopefully, but requiring me a trip to an ophthalmologist tomorrow. Last night, Wednesday, my arm had to undergo a minor operation. The best description of this bike crash – giving birth thrice had been so easier and less painful compared to this accident!

Until now, I don’t have an idea what caused the cramp. Maybe I’ve used my right hand too much in the previous downhills. The route was difficult – not for a beginner or the faint-hearted like me. I am just very thankful that I am alive, which is why I am sharing this with you.

There was also a bike crash in the same area during the Saturday recon ride. She was rushed to the same hospital. The staff said I was luckier.

So for all those joining Challenge Philippines, please do a recon ride before the race. It is nothing compared to the flatness of Cobra 70.3 course, or the tiny hills of Tarlac in 5i50. People who rode the course say this is the hardest 90K they’ve done.

I will still be there on race day to support my husband and friends. Coach Kaye will be replacing me in the relay. But as of now, I am officially off for the season. Situations like this really make us think of life, the people in our lives, the actions we take each day, and the impact we have on others.

There is no perfect way to describe how grateful I am to be alive. So I will see this as my second chance – and a new Challenge – in life!



Found this on my bed when I got home from Bataan. I’m so lucky to have the sweetest children!


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Fitness First – let’s get personal!

Before I left for my marathon in DC, I got an invite from Fitness First to assist them in their latest project – Lets Get Personal. Since I have been member of FF for a couple of years now, and I have been very truly satisfied with their service, I gave my commitment!

Recovered with a few (not really but actually a couple…. okay a lot actually) pounds, I headed to the Fort Bonfacio branch to meet Personal Trainor DJ Marcelino, whom I got matched with online thru this link – Let’s Get Personal. Since DJ is not the trainor that has handled me for the last two years, he had to do an assessment of my present body type, strength and workout capabilities.  We discussed also my goals for the next six months, weaknesses, future races, and injuries I’ve had.

I know most have gone to the gym and have not trained with a Personal Trainor, but why do I train with one for the past two years? Let me enumerate why….


FF first step is to assess the body mass!
Really now? There must be something wrong with this hi-tech weighing scale! Haha!


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Donation Centers for the Yolanda/Haiyan Victims in the Philippines


The strongest typhoon in world history caused a major catastrophe in the Philippines especially the islands of Visayas last week. Typhoon Yolanda, with the international name Haiyan brought winds as fast as 315 kph and strong rains which caused millions, probably even billions of pesos in damages. Currently, it is estimated that 10,000+ lives have been lost. Homes, schools, and business establishments have been flattened by the winds and flooding.

I appeal to the readers of this blog to please send donations to credible agencies. I will be listing centers, organizations and agencies that will make sure your donations get to the typhoon victims. Below is a partial list which I will update every so often:

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38th Marine Corps Marathon accomplished

Late post but I’m proud to announce that I have finished my second marathon and I have beaten my time by 20 minutes! It was such a hilly race that scared my knees on the downhills! I’m very thankful that I have been trained by Coach Kaye to finish those hill trainings that took my breath away!

Off season officially starts now!


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