Saturday, October 31, 2009

What's For Breakfast?

It was raining hard outside and so I prepared something easy and filling. I was a little disappointed that my designated long run this morning was hampered by Typhoon Santi. Worst of all, electricity was cut off for a good 5 hours at least. Sigh! Anyway, here's to share a picture of my pretty breakfast...

And since I am still nursing a cold, I munched on some fruit candies too...

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I Made A Quick and Easy Dinner

Making a decent meal when you just got out of bed feeling a little dizzy still is no easy feat. But I think I should. I have a very long night at work tonight and I needed some fuel to get me going. Else I will all be stressed out and relapse into the sick bed again. I checked out the pantry and all I saw were energy bars and pasta and granola bars, oatmeal and stuff. I looked at the back part of the pantry and there were few boxes of couscous standing proud as if begging for some attention. LOL! It got me all confused as to what I should choose so I enlisted the help of my dear little purple bear. And so I chose the Couscous Wild Forest Mushroom Flavor.

The couscous was cooked by boiling two cups of water with two tablespoons extra virgin olive oil. Once mixed, removed from heat and covered, allow the couscous to soak in all the flavors (about five minutes) and then fluff with a fork and serve. I did not fluff it anymore. Instead I filled in a small ceramic bowl and put it in a big plate.

I then opened a can of lite tuna and a can of pineapple and now it all looked so inviting and it seems all of a sudden I got my appetite back. I just drained the water from the tuna can and then pour all the contents around the couscous. I did the same with the pineapple slices. It was really quick and easy.

What do you whip up when you don't seem to like any food and you don't have any craving for anything?


OMG! I gave in to...FASTFOOD!

I had been sick for three days with colds and I kept on running after my nose (if you know what I mean). Yesterday was the worst part because I felt dizzy and it felt like I have muscle pains all over. I have been without exercise for three days already (including today) and I miss seeing sweat buds run over my cheek, my shoulders, my arms, all over. I miss seeing my sweat-soaked gym garb.

I did not have any appetite for anything these past few days that all I could eat were banana, apple slices and some Gatorade and of course water. I did not even have a bite of the food they served when I attended a fashion collection launch. Poor little me! And I could not whip up a decent meal for my dear life. First, I am too lazy to get up, get washed up and go to the grocery to pick up some essentials. And so I grabbed my phone, dialed 87000 and asked that they deliver 2-pc burger steak, pineapple juice and palabok fiesta and oh some fries. Arrrrgh! I did not take pictures. I am too guilty to be doing it. It was yummy though...

Anyhow, yesterday was without exercise but with healthy food intake. I was in bed practically most of the time. I had to give in to my body's calling. I think I have been abusing it since I started the running regimen. And Monday saw the abuse too. I ran three miles on the treadmill and then rested for a bit and then headed to the swimming pool and completed a total of 350meters. For a non-swimmer, that was I think a feat armed with only a bottle of pink lemonade.

Later today, I will be turning in my registration form for the Timex Run. As soon as I hand over that letter, I think this is it. THIS.IS.IT! No turning back anymore...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ready For Another Run?

I haven't even joined the first run (Timex) yet but I am now very eager to join another. I saw an ad about the upcoming Del Monte Fit and Right Fun Run and I guess I might join (well, if I get another vacation leave, because sadly it falls on a Sunday again). I am quite familiar of the race area as I work in Mall of Asia and I run by the bay sometimes. Click the picture for more details.

Del Monte's Dare to be Fit 'n Right campaign will culminate in the Dare to be Fit 'n Right Fun Run 2009 which will take place on November 22, 2009. Registration fee is P300 inclusive of singlet, race bib, and Del Monte products. You can register at:
  1. CEMG Office – Unit 3A Vernida I Bldg., Amorsolo St., Legaspi Village, Makati City - look for Marianne Tapales (892-5842 / 0915-5498282);
  2. Dare to be Fit ‘n Right booths at Bonifacio High Street and SM Hypermarket in Mall of Asia, Sucat, Pasig, and North EDSA
  3. Fitness First branches on November 16, 2009

Part of the proceeds will go to the victims of typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng, so not only will you be helping yourself become healthier, you'll also be helping others get back on their feet. Aside from cash prizes up for grabs for race winners, everyone who runs will be entered in a raffle for a Lenovo laptop.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Running = Routine

This article reposted from About.Com

Here's how you can make running a priority in your life:
  • Run in the morning. Morning runners are more consistent than those who run at other times of the day. When you run first thing in the morning, you won't have to worry about putting off your run because something else comes up during the day or you're too exhausted in the evening to run.
  • Turn off the television. You can fit in a 30-minute run just by giving up one sitcom -- especially if it's a rerun. You'll definitely feel a lot better and you probably won't feel like you're missing out.
  • Run with buddies. The social aspect of running is one of the key reasons people start, and stick, with it. Find a local running club or recruit some friends to run with you.
  • If you have kids and have little time to run, schedule your runs and get your spouse on board so you get help with some of the child-care responsibilities. And get creative and take advantage of opportunities to run. For example, if you're watching your kid's soccer game, run some laps around the field before or even during the game. Or, see if you can find a gym that offers baby-sitting so that you can run on the treadmill while someone is watching your kids. Think of the extra expense as an investment in your physical and mental health.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

What Can I Say?

Sorry for the lack of posts these past few days. I have meant to blog about something and save this in my drafts but I accidentally deleted everything. Ahhh! Sometimes I need to be very careful with my hands (no pun intended). Anyway, main reason why I haven't updated for a good three days is that I have been catching up on sleep and workout and work stuff. I juggle them all considering that I work the graveyard shift and a gym session averages at least three hours everyday (inclusive of shower and sauna and all that) so I barely have time to squeeze in some quality sleep, although I am supposed to slumber like a baby. And now I am down with the flu so I have decided to be a lot kinder to my body among others and give it some well-deserved rest.

But I found love and solace in a pan with olive oil and a heart-shaped sunny-side up. Good morning sunshine!!!
NOTE: You might be wondering why the date doesn't match what I wrote. I saved the drafts on the 24th but published this post only today, October 27. I've been on blog hiatus but not totally ditching the gym sessions. I will post updates tonight if I still have energy to spare after the Freeway National Artist Collector's Series Collection Launch at Glorietta 5. I received an invite and who am I to decline such an invite.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Just Get Up and Run

I wasn't able to go to work last night because of a rather bad menstrual cramps and so I stayed home and slept it off. Woke up around 330AM feeling better and ready to take on whatever the world has to offer. I stayed in bed waiting for someone to send me some hello's but got nothing. Anyway, I got up around 430AM to prepare my breakfast. I made oatmeal using one packet of Arrowhead Mills Instant Organic Oatmeal with Flax (140 calories) and threw in some grapes to complete the mix. It was yummy. I could have finished another packet but I was able to exercise enough self-control. Instead, I got me a wedge of Laughing Cow Cheese (50 calories). To complete my breakfast, I finished it all of with a hard-boiled egg. Armed with my iPod, a bottle of water, and a Health Valley Organics Blueberry Chewy Granola Bar (110 calories). It was all I needed to complete this morning's easy run. I did about 2 miles today covering several blocks in our neighborhood. I enjoyed the cool morning breeze, I liked it very much.

When I got home, I did some hip hop abs routine for about 15 minutes and did a few yoga poses for another 15 minutes. It felt like Bikram Yoga because it was too hot inside the house. I felt good after. It eased the cramps and I'm a happy camper.

I decided to cook something spicy for lunch. I made Spicy Noodles with Tuna Flakes and Veggies. Jonah liked it (she likes anything spicy hehehe). We talked about doing some more hip hop abs routine before going to work tonight.

I haven't made up my mind yet what to cook for dinner but I think I'll just be bringing food to work, some baby carrots and kiwi and maybe chicken with dijon mustard and pineapple sauce. Let's see what boils in the pot later.

6 Fat-Burning Techniques

Reposted from Women's Health Mag

Party season is fast approaching, which means you'll be clocking more time on the social circuit. And you're gonna want to look hot. To guarantee you head into the holidays looking your absolute sexiest, turbocharge your workouts with these easy—but intense—ideas. Warning: You may have to buy a new LBD one size smaller.


Most of the time your body needs a break between workouts (it's during those rest periods that big changes actually happen). But a few times a year, it's smart to put yourself through back-to-back boot-camp workouts. "Overloading your muscles will keep them guessing, helping you break through any plateau," says Tom Holland, M.S., an exercise physiologist in Darien, Connecticut. During this push, work every muscle three or four days in a row, performing sets with little or no rest in between.

Try it: Do our fast-paced circuit below. Complete 12 reps of each exercise (except for the plank—hold it for one 60-second set), going from one move to the next without rest. Repeat the entire circuit up to three times, resting for two minutes at the end of each circuit. (Find instructions for all of these exercises at

• Pushups
• Dumbbell Chest Press on Ball
• Crunches on Ball
• Plank (60 seconds)
• Dumbbell Front Raises
• Dumbbell Side Raises
• Dumbbell Bicep Curls
• Walking Lunges
• Squats with Dumbbells
• Box Jumps


Adjusting the tempo of an exercise stimulates the muscle differently, says Maren Piefer, a personal trainer and the owner of Fitnetic Fitness in Boca Raton, Florida. "The longer your muscles experience tension, the harder they work." During an exercise, count to two as you raise the weight, and count to four as you lower it. You'll spend more time in the lengthening phase of muscle contraction, which is more challenging and brings better results: a higher calorie burn during and after your workout.

Try it: During a chest press, count to two as you push the dumbbells toward the ceiling, and count to four as you lower them. During squats, count to four while lowering toward the floor, and then to two as you stand.


Do a full rep of an exercise, then do just half of it at the hardest part of the move. "You sneak in extra reps and increase muscle tension in virtually the same amount of time," Piefer says. "It also pumps lots of blood into the muscles, which is excellent for enhancing definition."

Try it: Grab a dumbbell in each hand, arms resting at your sides, palms facing forward. Without moving your upper arms, curl the weights toward your shoulders, then slowly lower them halfway down; stop and raise them back to your shoulders. Lower back to start. That's 1 rep.


Speedwork isn't good only in cardio. "Increasing speed during any exercise burns more calories," Piefer says. "It also boosts power, which helps improve athleticism."

Try it: To fully tax muscles, Piefer suggests doing fast reps of a bodyweight exercise after a version using weights. You'll recruit different muscles and break down more muscle fiber (which is good). For example, do a set of chest presses, then do 10 to 20 quick pushups; or perform 12 alternating lunges with dumbbells followed immediately by 10 to 20 body-weight squats.


Plyometrics—think leaping, jumping, or skipping—burns calories and builds lean muscle quickly. "Working against gravity increases the load, and jumping incorporates different muscle fibers, which makes your workout more intense," says Jeremy Cheung, owner of Twisted Twilight Personal Training in San Francisco.

Try it: Add plyo drills immediately after an exercise that works the same muscle group to power up your muscle fibers and help you squeeze out every last bit of juice you've got. (If you jump before exercising, your muscles will have less energy to perform the workout.) After a set of squats, do 10 squat jumps: Starting in the squat position, jump up and extend your arms overhead. Land softly with your knees bent and your arms swinging behind you.


Keep your heart pumping hard by combining your cardio and strength routines. "Doing cardio between sets of weighted exercises burns a higher percentage of calories from fat," Holland says.

Try it: Instead of resting after a strength exercise, do at least 30 seconds of intense cardio, such as jumping rope or high knee lifts. "If you do less intense cardio, like jogging in place, go for at least a minute," Holland says.

Sweat Sessions and Sleep

Exercise will help improve the quality of your sleep—if you time it right. Working out late in the day can actually leave you staring at the ceiling in bed, since it can take three to four hours for your body to cool itself afterward. "When your core body temperature is too high and your heart rate is too fast, it can keep you awake," Ojile says. It's better to exercise at least four hours before bedtime. Better yet, hit the gym in the morning or at lunch—you'll feel the energy-boosting effects for hours.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pushing My Limits

Wow! Today was crazy...looking back at what I have done. I ran about 7 miles (6.99042591267 miles to be exact --- I get nerdy like that). I could not believe myself. A friend I talked to after the outdoor run commented I was starting to be a machine already. I still felt like I had so much energy stored that I could still run for another decent distance. I rested for a good 20 minutes or so and then decided to row using the rowing machine. But I changed my mind and decided to just run in the treadmill again, after all I am building my endurance. I however ended up not running anymore because a Physical Therapist approached me and so we just talked while I brisk-walked. I did a 2% incline 5 speed walk for 40 minutes. I registered another 1.8 mile. What fueled me up this morning? Let's see:

  • 1/2 cup Nestle Fitness and Fruit
  • 1/2 cup skimmed milk
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 500mL Pink Gatorade
  • Clif Bar Chocolate Almond Fudge
  • 500mL H2O

All those fuel plus a very good sleep last night caused me to run like I have never run ALL MY LIFE!

After working out, I did some stretching and then stayed in the sauna for 15 minutes or so. I had a little talk with Anna (the PT) and then headed for home. I felt hungry again so I cooked some of the vegetables I bought the other day. I rubbed the chicken slices with marjoram and rosemary and coated them with garlic powder. I knew it was going to be a hit. I then cut up some tomatoes, bell pepper, cabbage, and a granny smith apple for some sweetness. I mixed 'em all up and then tossed in the bean sprouts and I got me a healthy and filling lunch shared with Joyce and Uncle Don. Delish!

As advised by my Nurse Little Sister, I am typing this while my legs are elevated. Hmmm, I think it's doing wonders. It felt like jello earlier but now they're so much better. Thanks Lil Sis, I owe you one!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

When You Can’t Go 100% Organic

By Natalya Podgorny, Yoga+
Even if you can’t afford to buy everything local and organic, the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a watchdog and research nonprofit, has identified the “dirty dozen”–those fruits and veggies that contain the highest amounts of pesticides. For these, it might be worth paying for the organic versions. Among conventionally grown, try sticking to the “cleanest 12.” The produce ranking was developed by EWG analysts based on the results of nearly 51,000 tests for pesticides on produce collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration between 2000 and 2005. An EWG simulation of thousands of consumers eating high and low pesticide diets showed that people can lower their pesticide exposure by almost 90% by avoiding the top 12 most contaminated fruits and vegetables and eating the least contaminated instead.

DIRTY DOZEN(Buy These Organic)
1. Peaches
2. Apples
3. Sweet Bell Peppers
4. Celery
5. Nectarines
6. Strawberries
7. Cherries
8. Lettuce
9. Grapes
10. Pears
11. Spinach
12. Potatoes

CLEANEST 12(Lowest in Pesticides)
1. Onions
2. Avocado
3. Sweet Corn (frozen)
4. Pineapples
5. Mango
6. Sweet Peas (frozen)
7. Asparagus
8. Kiwi
9. Bananas
10. Cabbage
11. Broccoli
12. Eggplant
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Before I Head Out The Door

I wasn't able to go to the gym this morning because I dozed off while listening to Lucky (Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat)over and over. Ha! Great! LOL! Anyway, I think I can safely conclude that love can make one sluggish. Even then, I'd still choose to be in-love right now. And yes, I am not complaining. The day is long and I have lots of time to spare.

I had cereals this morning. I had Health Valley Organic Golden Flax Cereal, about a handful (1/2 cup almost) with half a cup of skimmed milk and seedless grapes. Health Valley's Organic Golden Flax Cereal is the first cereal that is high in Omega-3 fatty acids and lignans. Omega-3 fatty acids are a type of "good" fat that is essential to good health. What makes these fats unique is that our bodies cannot manufacture them - we need to get them from food. Unfortunately, studies have shown that most diets do not provide enough of these essential fatty acids. Flax seeds are nature's best plant source of Omega-3 fatty acids, as well as a special type of protective fiber called lignans. In fact, flax seeds contain 20% Omega-3 by weight.

I slept until it was almost lunch again. Since I am going to the gym this afternoon, I decided to cook something healthy. I prepared spiced chicken with stir-fried broccoli and bell pepper. I was amused that the chicken was heart-shaped. I also played on my new cookie cutter to cut the cucumber. See for yourself:
  • Chicken breast
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sun-dried tomato pesto
  • salt and pepper to taste

    I am bringing a bar of granola with me to the gym just in case I need some energy boost. I'll keep y'all posted when I get back to my blog nook.

Progress Report

I am on my second week of working out (with some occasional rest and rather longer one because of the little injury) as well as watching what I eat and I am happy to announce that I have lost 6.6 lbs. I am super-pleased. I couldn't be any happier. My goal is to lose 10 lbs in one month and I guess if I continue what I've started (same pace and dedication), I would for sure meet the target come November 10. Second week isn't even over yet. Here's a picture of me from one of my work-outs, all smiles and sweaty. LOL!

I feel happy when my coworkers tell me that my efforts are paying off. I like it when they tell me that the weight loss is noticeable and that I should not stop. Ahhh those compliments are much-appreciated, gives me some more reason to push the bar higher. Even then, getting fit and living a healthier lifestyle are just my main goals. I've gotten a few messages telling me that I have inspired them as well to get their lazy asses to running and lose the extra pounds. That for me is an achievement already. Big smiles.

More progress reports to come soon. I wish I had taken a "before" picture though. Well, anyway, I'll probably just pick from the bunch of albums saved in this computer soon.

Week 2 Playlist

I'm running to a new playlist this week and I'd like to share it to everyone. I've been working out with this and this is a little faster (140BPM++ except the first and last song) than the Week 1 Playlist. So, here goes: (these are just the 30-second previews by the way)

If you want to listen to the complete playlist, click HERE.

I also made dinner and my oh my it was uber yummy. It was filling too. Just right to give me energy for the rest of the night and part tomorrow morning if I don't use it all up. Here is a picture of my fusilli pasta with sun-dried tomato pesto and spinach.
  • 1/2 cup fusilli pasta (also called spiralli)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp sun-dried tomato pesto
  • 1cup spinach
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • seasoning to taste (pepper, garlic powder, salt)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Marathon Training Day 10

I woke up a little too early today because well I slept a little early too. I wasn't even able to watch the evening news anymore. I did not report to work last night because I was on compensatory time off and so I stayed home and brainstormed for this week's meal plan. As of this writing, I haven't laid down the plan yet but I already have a few goodies from Healthy Options (yes, I eat organic!) as well as the supermarket (fruits and all).

I went to the gym this morning and took advantage of the perfect weather. As planned I ran outside the gym, just by the bay. It was not chilly and the ocean breeze and the wind was super cooling to the face. I brisk-walked for 1 kilometer and then run back the same distance. There were a few people out there that early that I got distracted so I went back to the gym. I was able to run 3 miles today on the treadmill at 3% incline and average speed of 7. And I am super ecstatic to announce that after the little injury I had last week I was able to reach my goal of finishing a mile in 10 minutes. I had a big smile plastered on my face while I was nearing the 10 minute mark. I finished 1.04 mile in 10 minutes. So yes, I am getting myself the Nike Sportband! Yay to that!

After the run I squeezed in some exercises using the lat machine while I rested my tired legs. My arms kinda hurt right now but I think I'll be okay.

I have my new playlist to thank for reaching target...finally! The David Guetta remixes were kick ass (I liked I Wanna Go Crazy the most). I will write another post after I eat some lunch about the new playlist. In the meantime, I'll fix me some california maki. Yum-ohhh!

Not Enough to Dampen My Spirits

Oh sorry for the lack of update lately. I had a little injury and so I had to rest for two days. I think I pushed myself too hard to reach the goal. Anyway, I'll be doing an easy run today outdoors, yes outdoors, and then attend a yoga session too. I will keep everyone posted of the progress when I get home later.

I have also been very good with the diet except for the indulgence I had yesterday. I ate a serving of pork barbecue and hotdog. I couldn't resist the inviting smell. Other than that though, I have been on the fish and vegetables zone, bringing my bento-box lunch at work. I have also been practicing really chewing my food well. The fruits (pears and pineapple slices) were excellent snack food. I especially loved how the pineapple cleared the palate after every bite of the herbed fish I cooked. I also made a second version of the fish...I gave them a tomato sauce bath. Uncle Don and Joyce helped me finish the rest of the second dish after I put on just a slice on the last compartment of my lunch box. It was yum yum!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Reward for Myself: Nike+ Sportband

I have set a goal for my workout today. I will run a mile for 10 minutes max. If I will attain this goal, I will reward myself with a "Pink Nike+ Sportband". I initially want a Garmin Forerunner® 310XT but OMG it is so darn expensive and I don't know where to get it. It's a GPS-enabled personal trainer, has features such as heart rate-based calorie computation, automatic sync, multisport, high-sensitivity receiver, courses feature, advanced workouts and rechargeable lithium-ion battery. And yes, it is water-resistant. What cool features it has? I could only put it in my wishlist (hope Santa hears this). In the meantime, I could deal with this yet another pink baby...

I am currently on a fluctuating time still, around 11:00-11:15 and I am setting this goal coupled with a commitment that I would defy the odds but still listen to my body.

I think I can do this if I just set my mind to it. But I am still dreaming of a Garmin Forerunner® 310XT.

Photo Credits: Nike Website and Garmin Website
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Friday, October 16, 2009

Marathon Training Day 6

I rested today and I missed running. I was all along thinking about how far could I have gone if I went and do my run today. So yeah, no training today. When I woke up I prepared my "bento-box"-inspired lunch for midnight at work (go figure). Again, I work the graveyard shift. Hehe! I had tuna, whole wheat cereal, 2 servings of cheese, quail eggs and mango. Yum yum!

I'll keep you posted about the scheduled workout tomorrow. :-)

Walk Off 10 Pounds This Month

I am so happy to say to everyone that I have been getting comments that they have observed that I am losing weight. They can now see the contours of my face and all that. I guess it's safe to say goodbye to chubby cheeks huh? I have also lost another half a pound in the past two days so I am kinda ecstatic over that. I wish I could lose another 10 lbs in the next month or so. I have found an article over at Fitness Magazine and I'd like to share it with you all.

Time to put these walks to work! Drop 10 pounds this month when you follow our 4-week plan, which combines all three calorie-blasting walks with a super-sculpting strength-training routine.

Week 1

Monday: Super-Sculpting Strength Routine
Tuesday: 40-Minute Steady-Pace Walk
Wednesday: 30 minutes of cross-training (swimming, biking, yoga, or Super-Sculpting Strength Routine)
Thursday: 30-Minute Intervals Walk
Friday: Super-Sculpting Strength Routine
Saturday: Rest day
Sunday: 45-Minute Hills Walk

Week 2

Monday: Super-Sculpting Strength Routine
Tuesday: 45-Minute Steady-Pace Walk
Wednesday: 30 minutes of cross-training (swimming, biking, yoga, or Super-Sculpting Strength Routine)
Thursday: 30-Minute Intervals Walk
Friday: Super-Sculpting Strength Routine
Saturday: Rest day
Sunday: 45-Minute Hills Walk

Week 3

Monday: Super-Sculpting Strength Routine
Tuesday: 45-Minute Hills Walk
Wednesday: 30 minutes of cross-training (swimming, biking, yoga, or Super-Sculpting Strength Routine)
Thursday: 40-Minute Intervals Walk
Friday: Super-Sculpting Strength Routine
Saturday: 45-Minute Steady-Pace Walk
Sunday: 45-Minute Hills Walk

Week 4

Monday: Super-Sculpting Strength Routine
Tuesday: 40-Minute Intervals Walk
Wednesday: 30 minutes of cross-training (swimming, biking, yoga, or Super-Sculpting Strength Routine)
Thursday: 45-Minute Intervals Walk
Friday: Super-Sculpting Strength Routine
Saturday: 45-Minute Steady-Pace Walk
Sunday: 45-Minute Hills Walk

Photo Credit:
Originally published in FITNESS magazine, September 2008.

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Marathon Training Day 5

There was an event at the gym today so I really did not enjoy my workout. The gym was brimming full with people who attended the 2nd anniversary of the branch (Fitness First Mall of Asia) but I was still able to squeeze in 10 minutes of stair stepper and 10 minutes of wave machine as well as a quick 15-minute run. I will try to work harder tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Marathon Training Day 4

Wow! Wow! Wow! = is all I can say. I impressed myself today. I stayed in and out of the gym running with occasional breaks for 4 hours. Yes, four hours. :-) Before the workout, I saw an ad about the Nike Human Race Run and I immediately took the opportunity to sign up and take advantage of the training programs. I got me an online coach and the training started yesterday. I was tasked to run 3.21KM and I can proudly say that I did it and a little bit more.

I've also seen some improvement in my time in reaching a kilometer. I am still relatively slow but I am proud of my couch to running experience. I can now finish a kilometer for 11 minutes using interval workout. It's a big improvement from 13.35 minutes. I am just on my second week and I am positive I would be able to improve this speed as we near the Timex Run.

I ran for 3KM indoors and then went out to run by the bay for a good 30 minutes so yay to that. I ran more than my target today and I still have more energy to spare. I got back inside the gym when it started raining and did 100 reps of ab exercises, 100 reps each of adductor and abductor machine, 5 minutes on the stair stepper machine (roughly equivalent to climbing 17 floors), and another 5 minutes using the wave exercise machine. Of course, I did not forget all the stretching pre and post workout. After taking the needed rest, I stayed in the sauna and steam room for a good 15 minutes each. It was all too relaxing.

The rest of the afternoon was spent looking for "the" shoes I am planning to buy on payday. I am torn between the Nike Air Pegasus and Nike Air Max but I am leaning to the Nike Zoom Victory. I still have five days to decide. I picked up a pair of training gloves and a Nike Distance Long Airborne Women's Tank Top in Blue.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Marathon Training Day 3

I decided to move my rest day today because I was too sleepy to be able to muster a few kilometers and run. I will resume full interval workout tomorrow early in the morning. I will just be dropping my gym bag in my locker at the gym and then head straight beside the bay to have some outdoor running session.

I was actually discussing with someone earlier today that I think I needed an outdoor environment to simulate what I am going to encounter for the real day. I can't always be inside the gym running on the treadmill. I plan to run at least 5K tomorrow outdoors and then run for another 5K max indoors if I could still cut it. Or just simply replace the indoor run with the following depending on my energy level tomorrow:

The Perfect 20-Minute Workout Plan

*2 minutes March in place (or from locker room to weight bench).
*2 minutes Squat (butt, legs): Hold a dumbbell in each hand, arms by sides, and squat. Do 20 reps. Rest for 30 seconds.
*2 minutes Full or modified push-up (arms, chest, core): Do 25 reps.
*2 minutes Alternating lunge (butt, legs): Hold dumbbells, arms by sides, and lunge, alternating legs each time. Do 20 reps on each side
*2 minutes Jog in place.
*2 minutes Deadlift (back, butt, hamstrings): Hold dumbbells with palms facing thighs, knees slightly bent and back straight. Bend forward from hips. Stand up, pushing through hips. Do 20 reps.
*2 minutes Dumbbell press (shoulders): Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, back straight, dumbbells at shoulders, palms forward. Push arms overhead; lower. Do 15 reps
*2 minutes Jumping jacks
*2 minutes Bent-over row (shoulders, back): Hold dumbbells, palms facing in. Bend knees slightly and hinge forward from hips, back straight. Pull elbows up to ribs, keeping arms close to sides; lower. Do 20 reps.
*2 minutes Basic crunch (abs): Do 25 reps.

Quick Tip

Run with a friend. If she's slower than you, focus on perfecting your stride by landing lightly on your heels, then rolling forward to push off on your toes. If she's faster, pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone one or two days per week will help you get stronger. Either way, distraction and conversation will help the miles fly by.

***If anyone out there is interested to be my running buddy, let me know.

Tomorrow will be shopping time for some running gear and a pink workout gloves. Shopping by the way, is another form of exercise. :-)

6 Smart Snacks for After Your Workout

Replenish your energy after your workout with these smart protein and carb snack combos.

By Lisa Kovalovich Whitmore

Whether you work up a sweat in the morning or evening, chances are you grab a little bite before you hit the gym. A snack before you work out helps give you energy and stamina to go the distance. But did you know that eating a snack after you work out is even more important? "You want to make sure you feed your body to help repair muscle tissues and replenish glycogen stores [which are depleted after a strenuous workout]," says Kristin Reisinger, MS, RD, a sports nutritionist and competitive figure athlete based in New Jersey. Here, six top snacks to fuel your body post workout (Reisinger recommends chasing each of these snacks with 8-12 ounces of water).

Protein Shake with Banana

"After a workout, you want ample protein combined with a carbohydrate," says Reisinger. A protein shake made from whey protein, water, and half a banana is a great choice, since your body quickly turns it into energy.

Recommended Serving Size: 2 scoops of whey protein powder combined with water and 1/2 banana, 250 calories

Peanut Butter & Banana on Rice Cakes

If you're craving something more substantial after a workout, a healthy peanut butter and banana sandwich will fit the bill. Instead of bread, smooth your peanut butter onto two brown rice cakes for extra fiber (without empty carbs). And while you may usually avoid bananas because they're too full of sugar, eating one after a workout is just fine. "This is one of the only times I recommend a high-glycemic carbohydrate source such as banana, because the uptake will be rapid," says Reisinger. Translation: It'll replenish your energy quickly.

Recommended Serving Size: 1/2 banana, 1 tbsp. peanut butter, and 2 brown rice cakes, 215 calories

Hummus and Pita

Another great carb/protein combo: Hummus and whole wheat pita. Hummus, a dip made from pureed chickpeas, gives you both carbs and protein. Coupled with the slow-release energy from the whole wheat pita, it makes for a snack that'll keep you fueled for hours.

Recommended Serving Size: 1/4 cup hummus with 1 whole wheat pita, 275 calories

Yogurt and Fresh Berries

Protein makes sense after a workout, since it contains amino acids that help build muscle. "Your muscles are depleted of amino acids after a workout, so you need an adequate supply of protein to help build them up," says Reisinger. Low-fat yogurt can pack nearly 15 grams of protein; add some berries for carbohydrate-driven energy.

Recommended Serving Size: 1 8-ounce container of plain, low-fat yogurt with 1/2 cup berries, 180 calories

Tuna on Whole Wheat

What could be more filling after a workout than half a sandwich? And when you choose its filling wisely, you'll be building muscle while you eat, too! "Research shows that carbs and protein together have a better response to post-workout recovery," says Reisinger. Tuna drizzled with a little lemon juice and olive oil spread over a slice of whole wheat bread is an ideal protein/carb mini-meal.

Recommended Serving Size: 4 ounces water-packed tuna and 1 slice whole wheat bread, 220 calories

Turkey and Cheese with Apple Slices

If you're not in the mood for a sandwich, skip the bread and eat the fillings on their own! Spread a soft-cheese wedge over two or three slices of lean deli turkey, then roll up for a quick, high-protein, eat-on-the-go snack. Add a sliced apple for some energy-boosting (and glycogen-replenishing) carbs.

Recommended Serving Size: 4 ounces deli turkey, 1 soft cheese wedge, and 1 apple, 240 calories

Monday, October 12, 2009

Running 101: A Beginner's Guide

By Erin Strout

How fast should I run? How will it feel? What should I eat? Could I do a race? Trying a new activity like running can bring a certain level of anxiety. But relax! Running is a great activity for anyone to try, regardless of age or fitness level. We answer your questions -- and tell you how to get started.

How do I get started on a running plan?

First, plan your schedule so that you're sure to set aside time to devote to your new running routine. You can reap fitness rewards with just 30 minutes a day, three to five times per week.

When you start running, don't plan to go too far or too fast right away -- doing so is the number-one cause of injury among runners. Start by running for 20 minutes at a time, three times per week. Gradually increase the amount of time you're running and the number of days you run, but do not increase either until you feel comfortable completing your current level of training. If 20 minutes is too much, don't be afraid to take walking breaks. Perhaps begin by running for 4 minutes and walking for 1 minute, until you complete the 20 minutes. As you get stronger, begin eliminating the walk breaks.

When you're a beginner, it's not necessary to worry about how many miles you are running. Focus on the number of minutes instead. Gradually you'll begin to cover more ground in the same amount of time, and that's when you'll want to increase the duration of your workout.

What equipment do I need?

One advantage of the sport of running is that so little gear is required. But the most important investment runners should make is in a good pair of running shoes -- not cross-training, walking, or tennis shoes. Running shoes are best purchased at specialty running stores, where employees can recommend models based on your ability and goals. Many will also watch you run, to make sure the shoes you buy complement the way your foot strikes the ground.

You should also have a quality, well-fitted sports bra, preferably made of wicking material to keep you cooler and drier. A digital sports watch is also helpful. As you advance in your running and set new goals, a heart-rate monitor is nice to have, to make sure you keep your effort level where it should be.

How sore should I expect to get?

Your legs will be sore in the beginning, but if you keep up the routine, the leg soreness will subside relatively quickly. If you feel acute pain anywhere, stop running for a few days and let your legs recover, to prevent injuries. Shin splints are the most common injury, usually incurred when you overdo your training or wear improper shoes. Be aware of the difference between being tired and being injured, and make sure you're not encouraging overuse injuries.

Marathon Training Day 2

Today is the second day of my preparation for the Timex Marathon.

I initially planned to just run for 2 miles but I ended up finishing 6K of interval workout and some rowing and ab exercises on the side. Guess you can tell I am really serious now. No more going to the gym for show or just because I am meeting a friend to chitchat with.

You might ask if I am really joining the full marathon. No, I am not joining it just yet. I will just join the 5K leg. I am training now to avoid any untoward injuries and I might not last and finish the run if I slack off. I will try so hard not to miss any scheduled run and try to up the ante everyday and challenge myself and surprise every muscle I use when running. I am hell-bent on putting this motivation to good use.

I promised to share my Week 1 playlist yesterday to you and so here goes:

1. Can't Fight It (Ne-yo) 3:36 - this should be good for some stretching and waking up my sleepy nerves (oh yes, I come from a graveyard shift and then head straight to the gym)

2. I Know You Want Me (Pitbull) 4:00 - this I listened to while alternating between brisk walking and running, 3 incline 5 speed for 2 minutes, 2 incline and 10 speed for 1 minute and 4 incline and 5 speed for another minute

3. Right Round (Flo Rida feat Keisha) 3:26 - this is a happy song. I loved it while running. 5 incline 5 speed for the entire duration of the song

4. Boom Boom Pow (Black Eyed Peas) 4:13 - some more interval madness. 3 incline 5 speed for 2 minutes, 2 incline and 10 speed for 1 minute and 4 incline and 5 speed until the song fades

5. I Gotta Feeling (Black Eyed Peas) 4:07 - by this time your endorphins don't want you to stop anymore and you feel so pumped up you just wanna go on and on. 3 incline 5 speed for 2 minutes, 2 incline and 10 speed for 1 minute and 4 incline and 5 speed until the song fades

6. Go Girl (Pitbull and Trina) 3:52 - easy brisk walking for the entire duration of the song

7. Bojangles Remix (Pitbull with Lil Jon) 4:35 - 3 incline 5 speed for 2 minutes, 2 incline and 10 speed for 1 minute and 4 incline and 5 speed until the song fades

8. Spotlight (Ne-yo) 4:05 - time to go easy and just brisk walk 5 incline 5 speed for the entire duration of the song

9. Whoop D Whoop (Pitbull) 2:32 - one last hurrah 2 incline 7 speed for the whole duration of the song

10. Stay With Me (Ne-yo) 3:53 - walk slow as you cool down and do some more stretching

I will update my playlist on week 2 of training. I will for sure increase the intensity and choose faster songs.

An interval workout, which alternates between moderate and fast speeds, not only blasts fat, it also keeps the burn going. You'll knock off 9 percent more calories for up to 14 hours after 30 minutes of high-intensity exercise (Florida State University study).

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Stretching 101

Let's pay attention to the basics of stretching this time:

Static Stretching
This is the most commonly used technique. A stretch position is gently assumed and held for 20 to 60 seconds. There is no bouncing or rapid movement. Do not stretch to the point of pain. You should feel a slight pull, but no discomfort. Keep all joints in alignment. Do not twist joints into unnatural positions. The stretch should be felt in the belly of the muscle and not in the joints. This type of stretch works best after your workout rather than before.

Passive Stretching
This basic technique is the same as static stretching. The muscles are kept relaxed and a gentle stretch is maintained for 20 to 60 seconds. The difference with a passive stretch is that a helper actually provides the force of the stretch. In a static stretch, you get your body into position and supply the force for the stretch with other muscle groups and using body weight. With passive stretching you relax your entire body, while a helper provides the force to stretch your muscles. The same rules apply here. There should be no bouncing or rapid movement. Do not stretch to the point of pain.

Dynamic Stretching
A current popular buzzword among athletes is functional training. That basically means training that mimics the activity you are training for. Dynamic stretching could be also be called functional stretching. A dynamic stretch is one in which your limbs are moving through their full range of motion. For example, walking with high knees is a dynamic flexibility exercise that stretches your glutes, quadriceps and lower back. These stretching exercises are best performed after a warm up and before you begin your activity.

Ballistic Stretching
Ballistic stretching is a rapid bouncing up and down motion. This type of stretching applies more than twice the tension as a passive or ballistic stretch. Ballistic stretching is appropriate only for a very limited number of athletes. The rapid bouncing can cause more damage than flexibility. It can be used for some highly conditioned athletes that need to prepare for a volatile, high-speed activity. It is not an appropriate technique for a beginning runner.

Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF)
Proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF) was originally developed by physical therapists for rehabilitation purposes. This type of stretch is accomplished by maximally contracting the muscle to be stretched for 5 to 10 seconds. This is followed by a slow passive stretch. This is repeated several times. By contracting the muscle and then stretching, you overcome a tendency for the muscle to resist the stretch, which results in a higher degree of flexibility.

Active isolated stretching
Active isolated (AI) stretching is the latest development is flexibility. AI stretching involves contracting the opposing muscle while the target muscle is stretched. The theory is that as one muscle is contracted, the opposing muscle will relax. An example of opposing muscles are the hamstrings on the back of the thigh and the quadriceps muscles on the front of the thigh. By contracting the quadriceps as you stretch the hamstrings, the hamstrings will relax to a greater degree, resulting in a better stretch. Many dynamic stretches are a form of AI stretching.

With all of these choices, which is the best way to stretch? The recommended methods are dynamic stretching before your training run and either static or AI stretching after your workout. The dynamic stretches do a good job of preparing your muscles for your workout or race without decreasing the energy return potential of your muscles. Ballistic and PNF stretching have been shown to be a high-risk type of stretch. Studies show that AI stretching provides more flexibility than either passive or static stretching. However, all of the stretches, with the exception of ballistic stretching, are appropriate for beginning runners. You should stay away from ballistic stretching, which is reserved for more highly trained athletes.

Marathon Training Day 1 (My First 5K)

I am starting my full-on documented training today. I'm going to kick-start it with a 3KM interval workout using the latest playlist I have created. I will post the list in another article when I get home. And yes by the way, I was able to convince two friends to run with me on November 15 and we are more than stoked to join the marathon. We will be registering tomorrow and will try to as much as possible train together as well. In the meantime though, I'm all set to do my training today and I am amazed at how pumped up I am. I have never been this motivated ever.

I told JSL about this and I think I got his support. :-) We just have to wait until the 13-marathon on air is done on that one fine day in March. While that is still high up in the air, lemme go pick my gym bag up and head to the gym and sweat this excitement away.

Here's my plan for the week though: Run For Distance = Test the Endurance and Stamina

Week 1

Saturday - Rest. Rest is an important part of any training program.
Sunday - Run 1 mile easy. Run at an easy "conversational" pace. If you cannot talk clearly, you are running too hard.
Monday - Run 2 miles easy. Run at an easy pace.
Tuesday - Rest or cross train. Rest or engage in a non-running activity.
Wednesday - Run 2 miles easy.
Thursday - Run 2 miles easy. All of these easy runs are performed at the "conversational" pace.
Friday - Run 2 miles easy.
This program will allow me to comfortably finish a 5K. It is not intended to run a fast 5K or to improve my speed. The next few weeks will be more rigorous but yeah I won't torture myself...

Is Marathon For You?

Training for a marathon is no small matter. With an official distance of 26.21875 miles or 42.165 kilometers a marathon is not a race to undertake if you are unprepared. That said, people have been running marathons for more than one hundred years, and the marathon has roots in greek history, where it is said that after the Persians had been defeated at the Battle of Marathon, Pheidippides, a greek soldier ran all the way to Athens to announce the victory, and then promptly expired. These days people no longer die while running a marathon, but it is still quite an accomplishment to complete a marathon, let alone be competitive while doing so. The current world record time for completeing a full marathon is a scant 2 hours 4 minutes and 55 seconds, held by Paul Tergat in 2003, but most people are generally happy finishing in a more reasonable five hours or so.

Marathons are becoming more and more popular these days. Marathons in large cities around the United States have started lotteries to pick the participants because of overwhelming registrations.

Proper Running Shoes
The most important decision you can make is proper running shoes for the biomechanics (way your foot moves) of your feet. The number one cause of injuries while training is improper shoes. There are three types of running shoes: stability, cushion, and motion control. Stability shoes are designed for those that have neutral to slight pronation (rolling your foot inward) during running. Cushion shoes are designed for people with high arches, and motion control shoes are designed for people that over pronate or roll their feet too far inward. Find a running shoe store that can test your biomechanics and recommend proper shoes for you.

Eat carbs
We don't need to over eat carbs, just make them 60% of your daily diet. Carbs don't make you fat, they are actually your major source of energy. Often people running marathons for weight loss don't eat enough total calories for the amount of exercise they are doing. This puts them into an exercise starvation mode that shuts their bodies' fat burning properties off and people actually store more fat. If you are not losing weight with your marathon there is a good chance you are not eating enough. Use a heart rate monitor to measure your calories you are burning and add every calorie burned over 500 back into your diet.

Get electrolytes
Drinking water is good enough. Electrolytes we eat and drink absorb water to keep us hydrated. Especially running in heat people sweat out tons of electrolytes and without replenishing them stay dehydrated even if they drink water. Electrolytes are found in salty food, sports drinks, and many of the running gels you can purchase.

Interval Training
Most marathon training programs only put interval training into the advanced programs. Interval training is actually great for people at every level. Interval training is workouts where you repeat short durations of high intensity followed by short durations of low intensity running. Interval training is the most efficient way to increase your speed and your body's ability to produce more energy. With proper heart rate training any person can do optimal interval training.

One Long Day
You actually only need to do one long run a week. If you can do it once you can do it for your race. Most people do too many long runs each week, which puts too much extra toll on your body. This extra toll causes so many of the marathon training related injuries. Most injuries occur from people doing too many miles, not running to fast.

Plenty of Sleep
Your body needs the rest from all of your training. The best way to have a poor race is not to give your body adequate amounts of sleep. Getting rest the week before your race isn't good enough. To be in peak shape for your marathon you need to get a good night sleep for the entire training program. One night of bad sleep isn't going to do anything though consistent lack of sleep will greatly damper your results.

Train with a Heart Rate Monitor
The best way to train at the correct pace for you is using a heart rate monitor. Training each week at different heart rate zones optimizes your speed and your body's ability to produce energy., an online personal trainer and dietician website, customizes your heart rate zones for optimal marathon race results. Secondly, noticing changes in your heart rate from day to day can tell you if you are overtraining, not getting enough sleep, or you are dehydrated.

Training Partner
To run your best marathon it is good to get a training partner. A person that will help you be accountable to your training program and get out of bed on some of those tough days. If you are unable to find a training partner on a regular basis, find a person you can do interval training workouts with to push you and challenge you to become faster.

You want to be in peak shape for your marathon race day. A good taper for a month before you race is ideal. A taper is a slow decrease in the mileage each week allowing your body to recover. You are not going to make any training improvements that will matter for your race, so give your body the rest and run the fastest race for you.

Finally, go easy on yourself. We all want to start fast and look good at the start of the race. Most people take off too fast and burn a high percentage of their stored energy in the first mile. Taking off to fast will drastically slow down your pace for the whole marathon. To run a fast time start even slower than you think and gradually pick up your pace until you get to a good pace for you. Starting slower will give you energy to go at a fast pace for the entire race and even go faster at the end. The greatest way to run a poor time is to be slowing down the whole second half of the marathon.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Timex IronMan

When: November 15, 2009
Where: Bonifacio Global City (beside NBC Tent)
Categories: 3K/5K/10K/21K (download race maps here)

Regular Registration is from Oct 4 - Nov 1, 2009

* Selected Timex Shops: SM North Edsa, SM Megamall, SM Mall of Asia (MOA), SM Southmall, Glorietta 3
* Nike Bonifacio High Street
* The Trion Towers (Site Showroom): Mckinley Parkway cor. 8th Ave, Bonifacio Global City
* Grand Showroom: Robinsons Land Corporation, Robinsons Galleria
* AmiSa Showroom: Robinsons Place Manila (ground floor)
* Online registration via - Click JOIN NOW
Note: Corresponding delivery and online processing fees will be applicable for online registrants. See pricing matrix here. All online registrants (local residents only) will automatically have their race kits delivered.

Late registration is from Nov 2 - Nov 9, 2009

* Timex Shop SM North Edsa, The Trion Towers (Site Showroom)

Important Reminders:

* Singlets will be given to the first 3000 registrants only. There will be no singlets for late registration.
* Disposable timing chips will be used by all participants during the race.
* Medals will be given to all 21KM finishers.
* All finishers will be given free loot bags courtesy of Nature Valley.

Part of the proceeds will go to the Timex-Unicef school in Masbate.

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Get Fitter and Stronger --- Fast

This is a repost from an article written by Jeff Galloway.
PUBLISHED 05/03/2007

Running faster than you usually run can be very motivating. it can also take your fitness to another level. So if you've never done a speed workout before, or you haven't run one in more than a year, add some quicker running to your schedule once you've been logging at least three runs per week (at least 20 minutes per run) for four weeks or longer. To get started, go to a track, find some smooth trails, or head to any running area that is relatively flat and offers stable footing. Then try this introduction to speedwork:

First Workout: 15 Fast Seconds
Warm up by walking for three minutes, then running easy for eight minutes.

Run comfortably for 10 seconds, increase your speed for 10 more seconds, and speed up again for five seconds. At no point should you be running all out. Walk for two minutes. Repeat the series two more times.

Cool down by running easy for eight minutes, then walking for three.

Second Workout: (four to six days later) Two Sets
Do the same warmup and cooldown as in the first workout.

Do the same acceleration drill followed by two minutes of walking, but instead of doing the series three times, do it four times.

Then run comfortably for 10 seconds, increase your speed for 10 seconds, then speed up again for 10 seconds. Walk for two minutes. Repeat the series two more times.

Third Workout: Two Sets and More
Do the same warmup and cooldown.

Once a week, repeat the second workout, adding two repeats to the first set of accelerations (work up to 12 repeats) and adding five seconds (work up to 30 seconds) to the length of the last segment in the second set of accelerations. Example: Week three you'd run six accelerations in the first set and extend the last segment of the accelerations in the second set to 15 seconds.

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Get Set Go!

I have long been wanting to be in shape. And now I am not making any excuses anymore. I am tired sulking over why a size 6 won't fit me anymore. I do not have lofty dreams, I just want to be fit and well-proportioned. This might be ambitious considering how sedentary my job is but I am taking matters into my own hands and I am going to start today and not tomorrow. I am responsible to stay in shape and be healthy in every way possible. I decided to create this blog to motivate myself a little more.

This blog will chronicle my progress as often as possible or I'll incorporate some worthwhile read online and many other sources. I will post as many pictures as I can as well as running playlists, workout tips and the like. This blog will be an online repository of maybe even the bumps along the way (although I am not hoping for one).

I am tired making excuses of why I gained so much weight through these years and it is time to up the ante, I am making an ode to myself to get back to the body I once had. This is going to be a feat and I am more than motivated to get what I want.

I am ready.

Get set go!!!