Sante Fitness Lab Brings in the #BetterNormal for your Workouts

Fitness does not have to take a back seat during the times of COVID 19. Instead, we should find safer ways to work out and just in that line of thought, Sante Fitness Lab has updated their facilities to comply with the safety standards during the pandemic.

Sante Fitness Lab

If there’s a time that personal space is important, it’s now during the COVID 19 Pandemic. We should find our safe spaces as the world struggles to find a cure or vaccine. Sante Fitness Lab located at Vermosa Compound in Imus, Cavite has been up to the challenge in giving you that safe work out space for your training and fitness needs. It’s now more than ever when it comes to taking care of our overall health and well being, especially in the “new normal.”

Due to the need for social distancing and isolation, companies across various industries have adopted flexible working setups so their employees can work remotely or at home. These changes, however, led to unexpected mental and physical health problems, such as anxiety, demotivation, body aches and pains, weight gain, sedentary lifestyle, and even overworking, to name a few.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the feeling of anxiety—fear, worry, and stress—are common responses to perceived or real threats, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Faced with new realities of working remotely, as well as the lack of physical contact with other family members, friends, and colleagues, we must ensure that we look after everyone’s mental and physical health. 

For Santé, a provider of premier organic health and wellness products and services, ensuring a #BetterNormal is important for companies to ensure the health and wellbeing of their employees. 

“Santé has always been dedicated to provide health and wellness products and services to help inspire people to live more and do more. Amid the current pandemic, we want to help companies to ensure #BetterNormal for their teams through our Santé Wellness program,” said Joey Marcelo, chief executive officer of Santé. 

That is why through its Santé Fitness Lab (SFL), a premier fitness & sports performance training center that offers a wide spectrum of services from fitness coaching, physical therapy and nutrition services for south-based communities, the company introduces the Santé Workplace Wellness programs, a set of online and onsite solutions, tailor-fitted to the needs of your team.  

Nutritional Solution

The Santé Workplace Wellness programs aim to provide potent nutritional support to keep your team healthy for stronger immunity. This nutritional solution includes providing supplements, such as Vitamin C and barley grass to level up their health. 

Santé has been a household name in providing world-class nutritional supplements, such as its Santé Pure Barley and Daily C. 

Santé Pure Barley is a pure organic barley grass powdered drink. Blended with one of nature’s most potent sweeteners, Stevia, this product is best taken before meals. It also easily dissolves in water and contains A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, C, and E (per serving). 

Daily C, on the other hand, is Santé’s non-acidic vitamin C, which contains 568mg of Sodium Ascorbate in vegetable capsules. Its non-acidic form makes it gentler on the stomach and safer for daily use. When taken daily, this vitamin C supplement can be your immune system aide.

Wellness Solution

To keep your team engaged and informed on maintaining fitness and wellness amid the new normal, SFL provides evidence-based fitness, movement, health and nutrition programs that can be tailor-fitted to any organization’s needs.

With SFL’s expertise, you can engage employees with relatable online wellness coaching and talks, workplace fitness programs with a choice of online or onsite delivery of their innovative training system, movement and nutritional consultation sessions—all these are now the latest adaptations that companies can subscribe to and make available for employees.

The SFL is composed of a synergistic team of fitness specialists, sports physiotherapists and a sports nutritionist.

The Santé Workplace Wellness program is among the new offerings of Santé and its official fitness arm, SFL, which resumed operations to serve fitness enthusiasts in Cavite starting October 5. 

Living up to its tagline, “Home of Champions,” SFL has always been providing fitness programs that help everyone achieve their best-fit selves. As part of its #BetterNormal practices, the facility adheres to the safety protocols, including social distancing, checking of temperature, providing alcohol and hand sanitizers, among others, as set by the authorities.

This fitness center is at par with the country’s premium fitness brands with its complete top of the line and Olympic-graded equipment for cardio, strength, speed, and agility. Unlike any other gyms, SFL boasts of its expert programming and coaching, as well as their innovative recovery and rehabilitation facilities.

With SFL’s distinct programming system, where baseline assessment and progress monitoring are critical, and scientific principles and methods are applied by coaches, you can ensure that you will achieve your goals safely and effectively as everything is well thought of and planned for, whether it’s for jumpstarting your fitness, weight loss, recovering from an injury or training for your sports.

Follow Sante Fitness Lab

To know more about Santé Fitness Lab, visit its official Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/Santéfitnesslab/ or its website, https://santefitnesslab.com/

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Unleash the Wild Side With Nike Wildhorse 6

I got curious when I saw Nike with a trail shoe on the shelf and ended up buying one and testing it on the trails. Surprisingly, I enjoyed the feel of Nike Wildhorse 6 on the trail and looking forward to more muddy miles with it.

Nike Shoes

The last time I wore Nike Shoes on a race last January 2011.

When I started running, Nike was my first running shoes. To its credit, I was able to go at just 1 minute over my target sub 1 for the 10K distance last January 2011. At that time, Nike was more of a lifestyle shoes entering the running boom. I eventually shifted to several niche running shoes, which had better technology with softer soles and more energy returns. This was the time before I got shoe reviews, team shoe sponsorship and a lot of shoes to try out. Each having its own technology that’s more apt for running. I haven’t bought a single running shoes from Nike since then, up until NOW.

I chanced upon a Nike Wildhorse 6 at the store. White / Mint Green colorway, hard spokes for traction and added heel support with a tight knit fabric. It looks interesting. I’ve heard nice reviews for Nike Kiger but this is the first time I got to see a Nike Trail Specific Shoe. Also, Nike did offer Nike Trail branded items. Then I felt that Nike has probably seen something in the trail community that I’ve always believe in. It’s a growing and viable market. The next thing I did was the find the cheapest way to acquire it and it turns out that it’s 30% off at Tobys.com. I got it a few days, just in time for my short trail runs at nearby trail areas.

First impression is that its light color is not apt for trails but it does look nice and flashy. Let’s get dirty and think of the laundry later. It’s about 11 oz for my 9.5 shoe size. A bit heavy but it does make up for that soft cushy feel when you wear it. Just perfect for slow pokes like me. It also has a collar around the ankle that provides support and also as a way to minimize dirt entering the shoes. It has a mix of rubbery outsole that includes the side and the toe area with mesh fabric for breathability. Spoiler alertt. It’s the mesh part that’s hard to wash after the time with the dirt but mostly, the mud just washes of. It also has a wide toe area. I know this is a clincher for those with wider foot.

The biggest feature I look out on trail shoes is the traction. Hard outsole for soft surface is the usual mix though I have shoes that are have soft rubbery soles that have less traction on dirt but can have a better grip on paved and rocky surfaces. It’s always a pros and cons analysis depending on the route profile. So Nike Wildhorse 6 has hard spokes for traction. Since it’s rainy season, most of my runs are on wet, wild and muddy surfaces. I’m happy with the grip and traction over muddy and almost different trail surfaces. I also like that unlike other trail shoes, it’s not much of a mud grabber. The weakness probably of the wildhorse is on wet rocky and paved surfaces as it can be a bit slippery. I guess it’s just a small compromise as it has good grip on most surfaces.

On the average, I go for 10-12 easy kilometers on back to back days on weekends. I like that it feels soft on the feet. I feel less wear and tear because of the cushioning and foamy midsole support. I guess that’s the added weight compared to just 8 oz for Nike Kiger 6. Wildhorse 6 would be a good training shoes or even racing shoes for longer distance as it can really reduce wear and tear on you feet, legs and knees.

Overall, I’m impressed with the Wildhorse 6 as it’s something I’d feel comfortable with the grip over most surfaces. Though, I might opt for hybrid shoes on routes with more paved and rocky surfaces. How impressed I am with Nike Trail, I also got myself a Nike Terra Kiger 6, but that my friend is a story for some other time.

Coming Soon: Nike Terra Kiger 6

Note: This is not a sponsored post.

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My Daily Collagen Virtual Duathlon

The first time I crossed a duathlon finish line, I felt that the cost of my bike was well worth it already. Why? I never saw myself as a Duathlete nor even an athlete. My Daily Collage Duathlon reminded me of the few years I’ve actually been active in both running and cycling.

Duathlons

My First Ever Duathlon

When it comes to being an athlete, a duathlete or even a fitness enthusiast, I wasn’t born to be one. In fact, I spent my childhood as usually the “taya” on street games as I was among the slowest and the weakest. Well, I still am not the fastest or the strongest but I’ll always look back on the days that I tried to be a stronger version of myself. Every finish line, every medal and every little feat is a bonus to me as this hasn’t been my strong suit. Being passionate and smart has made me cross so many finish lines I was never meant to cross if I was not crazy enough to try.

Duathlon # 2

Peer pressure! That’s what led me to be a duathlete. As my running friends slowly evolved in multisports athlete, I ended up buying a bike and just go with the flow. My duathlon journey happened in 2012 and 2013 before my first marathon and before finding my comfort zone in the trails. One duathlon after another with each race showing improvements, which was surprising for me. It was a short career as when I started training for my first and second marathon, I had less and less of saddle time. My Daily Collagen was a chance to go back to those days of doing duathlons. I may not be as fast as I used to but I might as well give it a really good try, well, just for fun.

My Daily Collagen Duathlon had a unique concept of doing the duathlon virtually and the fun category allowed us to do each segment separately over a 3-day period. Well, I wanted to spend my weekend on trails so I did all 3 segments one after another on a Friday morning. I might as well feel the pain of a usual duathlon since I don’t do this frequently.

Run

3K Run

When I was doing duathlons in 2012, the run part was always intense. At that time, multisport is just starting to blossom and most people are competitive withe barely any recreational duathletes. I usually run the first leg at around 6 – 6:30 minutes per kilometer pace and I’d still end up laging behind the pack. MDC uses a different format with a 3K run, 20K bike and 5K run. It’s usually the longer run segment that starts the race. Since it was late, I tried to do it as fast as I can on my usual 1-kilometer neighborhood loop. I left my water bottle at the lobby so I can do a quick sip after every kilometer. I ended up finishing the first run leg at 21 minutes.

Bike

Short as my duathlon career was, I had a lot of funny memories in the bike leg. From my first time feel of being overwhelmed by a pack of riders on my first race to struggling on the first 6 kilometers of the bike leg in ASTC duathlon because the brake was on on the metal part of the wheel. Those mishaps made each race memorable. I was always conservative on the bike but for this one since I had to do it using Zwift, I knew I could do better. I opted for the flattest route I knew, Tempus Fugit at Watopia. I just tried to maintain a 30 kph and I finished it at 41 minutes. Oh yes, my room is in the 4th floor so I had to add 4 floors on the climb to my transition.

Run

The first time I transitioned from the bike to run on my first duathlon race, my legs were literally on brick mode as it was really stiff and can barely move. It improved after I made my first few steps. Out of my excitement, I accidentally entered the finish line instead of the transition area beside it. Despite the stiff legs, I was able to have good times on my run legs in my races. Transitioning back to the run leg reminded me of the struggle on the transition. I started the first of my 5 loops just to feel out my legs and slowly adding speed on the succeeding loops. Pre-race plan was just to walk it off so I was surprised that I was able to run most parts with just recovery walks in between. I still consider a 4o minute 5K of the transition a decent finish.

I finished everything at 1:42:59, 4th in my age group; which was good enough since I was expecting to finish last. It was a brief duathlon race but its was nice to go back to the fun and crazy days racing duathlons. I’m glad I still have enough legs for another back to back days on the trails for the weekend. Thanks My Daily Collagen for coming up with a first-of-its-kind virtual race and letting me experience the fun and the pain of doing duathlons once again.

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Take a Break from the City at Blackwood in Tanay

Blackwood
Blackwood: Your sanctuary in the middle of nature

“A Villa, a Pool, a Waterfall and a trail at the heart of nature in Tanay, That’s Blackwood in a Nutshell.  Enjoy a hidden gem in Blackwood, where you can spend a family friendly intimate commune with nature, away from the hustle and bustle of the City.”

Blackwood

A villa by the poolside.

Wake up in the middle of nowhere surrounded by the lush-green forests of Tanay with your family or your select friends.  That would define a perfect getaway now-a-days with people putting premium on intimate gatherings over the overcrowded places.  Blackwood, is located just 700 meters from the renowned Sierra Madre Hotel, and surrounded by the calming view of nature.  It has its own pool just within the Villa and a trail that gives you an overlooking view of Blackwood and the mountain ranges and a really visually-delightful waterfalls just within a few hundred meters from the villa.  Imagine enjoying all of this exclusively with your friends and family.  Well, you can stop imagining and start making that dream getaway by booking it exclusively for you and your loved ones with the Airbnb link below:

A Weekend at Blackwood

Surrounded by the scenic Sierra Madre Mountain Range

Tanay for me has been a common trail retreat for me with my first few trail races both as a runner and an event organizer mounted on the scenic Tanay landscape.  There’s an unlimited view of the Sierra Madre Mountain Range along so many scenic areas, established local and mountain trails and a haven for several waterfalls and mountain peaks.  Any day in Tanay is a fit day for me.  My last visit to Blackwood was priceless as it was full of fitness activity, commune with nature and a breather from the toxic City life.

Its trees and greens all over Tanay.

While the rest of the group went straight to Blackwood, I got a chance to run from San Andres Area, Mysawa area until Fresno Agro Forestry Reserve and back to the main road heading to Sierra Madre Hotel. It was an easy 11 kilometer run with a lot of overlooking views of the mountain range. 

Clean and comfortable rooms

The rest of the day was spent bonding by the villa and by the pool while appreciating the isolation and the calming view of nature.

Blackwood is such a nice place to chill.

The next day, we had a tour of the trails within Blackwood.  The trail has also the different stations of the cross, which can get popular during holy week.  It was raw and highly forested trail, which leads to a view deck, where you get to see Blackwood as it’s the lone villa in the area surrounded by nature’s greens. 

Blackwood is a lone villa in the middle of nature.

At the lower end of the trail was its very own water falls, which is just a few hundred meters away from the villa.  After the visit in the falls, we had fresh buko juice waiting for us.  It rained in the afternoon and so I did what a kid would naturally do in the rain.  That’s playing in the rain and enjoying a dip in the pool after.  After that, we had a chill afternoon and night bonding and got to eat out at a local restaurant within the area.

Your very own waterfalls just a few hundred meters from the Villa

For our last day, we had a short run around Tanay going to the lower end of Cuyambay area and going back to the main road for our breakfast.  Eat and run activities always entice me.  Aside from the usual Sierra Madre backdrop, we also got to see some of the inner trails within the area before playing around with the hanging bridge and obstacles at Sierra Madre Hotel before heading back to Blackwood.  Sierra Madre Hotel is impressive on its own with offering different vantage points of Tanay and a lot of fun and challenging obstacles. That’s another 10-kilometer run to wrap up the weekend.  

Enjoying the obstacle course at Sierra Madre Mountain Resort

After making Blackwood our home for 3 days, it was time to head home.  The weekend went by so fast but it was such a nice breather and something I can confidently say, that anyone can enjoy an intimate time with family and friends at Blackwood.

Active Fun at Blackwood and Sierra Madre Resort

But, don’t take my word for it, experience it yourself!

Peace and serenity awaits at Blackwood

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Coros Vertix Unlocked

I remember the days of me rushing to finish my first marathon within 6 hours just to make sure my watch makes it to the finish line in 2014. 2 years later with an upgraded watch, my watch barely managed to cross me to the finish line in 14 hours for the 50K distance. Chasing times because of watch battery is now a thing of the past with Coros Vertix battery life of 60 hours at full GPX.

Coros Vertix

Let me start first stating the the Coros Vertix is a test unit and the views here are based on my personal thoughts and experience on the product.

It’s been a long way how sports watches has evolved. I just had a stop watch when I was doing 5 kilometers. I upgraded then to an entry level GPS watch when I was chasing sub 1 10K several years ago. After that, I switched to GPS watches with multisport capabilities after doing a few duathlons and chasing my first marathon. I then switched to watch with 14 hours battery life chasing my first and only ultra distance race and international hikes. The thing is, I had different watches at different phases of my running and multisport life over the past decade and it did help me in my athletic goals. I’m a numbers guy by profession and I can be as geeky as I can get when it comes to watches.

I did settle with a full range GPS watch focusing on battery life over the fancier, lighter and higher powered ones because I had all what I needed. Then came, Coros APEX, which I got at a good price and a longer battery life of 35 hours at full GPS. So that’s the selling point of a Coros, it’s a lot cost-effective being new in the market yet its packed with the same features of higher end watches.

Full Review of Coros Apex here: A Closer Look at Coros Apex

Getting Started

I never get to read manuals on how to use GPS watches because that’s my way of testing how user friendly watches are. Coros has its own Coros App I downloaded for my Iphone and it’s easy customizing the watch. Here’s my views and why I choose to set it up that way.

  • Page 1: I try to view as much as I can on a single screen with distance, pace, work out time and time of day as my regular. I also usually check on my heart rate for need to manage my efforts and the elevation for climbs.
  • Page 2: This is for situations that the distance is crawling slowly because of the technical nature of the trail. I would usually shift to focusing on elevation with me counting down the remaining meters of elevation needed rather than distance. Climbs can keep that heart beat pumping faster so I keep the heart rate to manage my efforts.
  • Page 3: This is if I want to focus one lap at a time.
  • Page 4: This is when I just want to watch my heart rate.
  • Page 5: I usually checked on the gradients on steeper climbs and slow down on steeper section. This is how I manage climbs be conserving energy on steeper parts to be fresher when the gradients are lower.

Coros App

The Coros App is your link between your watch and your phone. It’s where you can customize your views and training plan. You can also upload routes of your run into your watch, which you could use as a navigation feature. I’ve tried preloading maps into my watch and it will really tell you when you are off the course and how many meters you are away. The Coros App also allows you to send your data (automatically or manually) to Strava or other GPS apps. It’s fast to transfer data as you can send it via bluetooth to your computer.

The only drawback I can see is that it does not have a platform for Coros users to upload data online. Other watch brands have their own community platform where there are leaderboards, route maps or even a chance to create routes. To offset this shortcomings, I do my maps with plotaroute or strava and track my progress on challenges in strava. Well, Coros is a new player but this is something that they can really improve especially with a growing community of Coros Users.

Coros Apex vs Coros Vertix

As you can see, Vertix is a muscular version of the Apex with a bigger built and has a Titanium Bezel and Cover. Both watches uses Sapphire Glass. While Vertix is a lot more durable, Apex is a is lighter by about 20 grams though both watches are lightweight with Vertix at 76 grams. Of course, the biggest deviation would be in battery life with Vertix having a 60 hours at Full GPS vs 35 hours for Apex. I haven’t charged my Vertix since I got it 3 weeks ago and that’s about 70-80 kilometers of distance over that stretch already.

Vertix has an altitude acclimatization index, which I hope to test when I go on hikes above 2000-3000 meters of elevation. Basically, once you’re that high, you need some time to acclimatize and be familiar with the thinner air; else, you can have altitude sickness. I’ve been to several summits above 3000 meters and fortunately, I never encountered altitude sickness

Coros Vertix is Your Ultimate Adventure Watch

Why does battery life matter? I’ve been in multi day hikes. I remember I had to bring my powerbanks before just to charge between hikes. Mount Fuji and Kota Kinabalu were 2-3 days hike and I was charging everyday. Last year at Snow Mountain in Taiwan, I didn’t even bring a charger the whole 6 days I was in Taiwan with 4 of those days I’ve been hiking. It’s a perfect watch for major hikes or those who are into the longer ultra marathon distance.

When it comes to my runs, trails or hikes, it’s always experiential. I love going back to the elevation profiles of each adventure, thinking of ways how to strategize each climb. I’m never a fast runner but I’m always a strategic one. I actually have a motto, “pag di handa, daanin sa math.” True enough, I have the elevation profile and target pace for each section of each of my race. You can have that pre-loaded in the watch.

It’s your everyday watch that can keep track of your workouts, your steps and even your sleep. I’m just glad that even during these times, I was able to somehow rediscover my passion for running and as such you can see a recap of my training for the past few months. I usually run around Zapote, South Ave up until The Rise Makati and Buendia. Coros also gives you a peek at your training load and gives suggestions on spacing your workouts for full recovery as part of the daily recap at Coros App.

It uses a digital knob to start, pause and end an activity and it’s not touch screen. You have to press it a few seconds to activate the digital knob, I guess this is so you won’t accidentally pause or end a workout. It has fast GPS detection. Once you start your activity, it detects GPS and heart rate before you can proceed. This takes just a few seconds. Post run, I usually compare the map generated by Coros with the actual maps and there are no significant deviations. I have a set 5K and 3K maps and it’s practically the same measurement each work out. I’m saying this because Makati sometimes have glitches in the GPS because of the high-rise buildings. So far so good.

I don’t usually do long runs. I actually completed a 75K virtual challenge by just doing 5 kilometers everyday. I’m glad I did it that way because it became a habit. It’s also safer to keep runs short at this time for less exposure outdoors to the virus. I did do a longer 10K and 21K distance this month just to establish longer-term endurance. It’s nice to have Coros to measure that progress as even if I started at an easy pace, I’ve been able to improve pace at the latter part of the challenge.

Coros Vertix has an SRP of P34,000, while Coros Apex has an SRP of P20,250 for 46mm and P17,500 for 42mm at ActivGears.Com. Personally, I’m high on Coros brand being a user for over a year now. It’s not cheap but it’s not as pricey as other brands and you get most of the features you’ll need on your run, hike, bike or adventure. Coros Vertix is perfect for endurance athletes or hikers on multi day hike and those who want would login a lot of mileage. Coros Apex can be a perfect watch for both recreational and experienced runners engaged in both long and short distances.

Categories: My Thoughts | Tags: , , | 2 Comments

Incoming: My Daily Collagen Virtual Triathlon

Even if we’re living in a world of COVID 19, Fitness does not have to take a back seat. My Daily Collagen, which is another essential source of nutrients, brings its own Virtual Triathlon, a first-of-its-kind, on September 25-27, 2020. #bepartofhistory #mydailycollagentriathlon

My Daily Collagen Triathlon

If we rewind things a bit last March before our racing calendars have been turned upside down by COVID19, My Daily Collagen was all set to have its traithlon event at Subic. The rest as we all know is history as the Global Pandemic gave everybody and all events a pause button. We may have to hit the play button once again as My Daily Collagen goes Virtual on September 25-27, 2020.

In a new normal world, a virtual triathlon might just what we need to keep our body and mind healthy. Fitness has always been key towards keeping us away from sickness and also helping us in our mental health. My Daily Collagen is also a perfect ally during the pandemic with its Vitamin C to boost immune system, protein for healthy and radiant skin and collagen for muscle and bone health.

All participants of My Daily Collagen Triathlon is automatically entered in a first-of-its-kind, virtual triathlon with 5150 distance (1.5K Swim, 40K Bike and 10K Run) and a Sprint Distance (750 meters swim, 20K Bike and 5K Run). It also a Virtual Duathlon with a long distance of 5K Run, 40K Bike and 10K Run and a sprint distance of 3K Run, 20K Bike and 5K Run. As this is a competitive event, GPS trackers must be set in Triathlon or Duathlon mode and the run and bike legs are to done outdoors.

The event is also open for those who just want to have fun with the 5150 format in Triathlon and the Long distance format in duathlon. These events can both be done indoors or outdoors. In short, it’s for everybody of all fitness level.

Follow My Daily Collagen Triathlon

For My Daily Collagen Triathlon Participants, you will receive an email notification on your registration.

For those who want to inquire about the event, please send a message to their Facebook Page: My Daily Collagen Triathlon.

Be part of history and virtual challenge and fun for My Daily Collagen Virtual Triathlon. This is the pioneer in virtual triathlon races in the country.

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5 Challenging Trail Racing Moments

After finishing my 2nd full marathon in 2015, it was mostly trail runs for me. The trail never goes old as each time you step in the mud, it’s bound to be a whole new experience. Here’s a collection of those challenging moments that tested my will on the trail.

The Trail is My Playground

A sequel to my post: 5 Most Memorable Racing Moments in 2015

The Trail has been my playground, my passion, my therapy and my advocacy. From being a runner, a media and even a race organizer, I’ve gone a long way in appreciating and promoting the trails. I’ve gone from short distances to long distances. I was able to surpass a lot of challenging times of digging deep and finding a lot of “It’s a Trap” moments. But, great rewards comes with great challenges. In fact, it’s those challenging moments that still lingers to this day. Here’s a collection of some of the challenging racing moments on the trails.

Salomon XTrail 2015

Read about: Salomon XTrail 2015

I was now on the final leg at the beach front of Anvaya Cove on a scorching hot day with each step sinking in the white sands. I also almost picked up a floating jelly fish by the shore thinking it was Ice. I must have been too exhausted after surpassing the long-climb to Mount Natib. The soft sand was heavy on the feet and a really challenge with clock ticking chasing the tough cut-off that Salomon XTrail has been known for.

Salomon XTrail has always been a race I love to hate but still do it for the love of the trails. That’s what makes Salomon Xtrail special. It’s a character building race that will have you feeling accomplished once you’ve reached the finish line. The 2015 version was in Anvaya Cove and had us climbing to a magnificent Mount Natib viewpoint on a scorching hot day. It was a steady effort throughout managing my time all race. It was good that I had enough time to go over the beachfront stretch and was able to finish the cut-off for the 24K. I also was able to finish the race again within the dreaded cut-off the year after.

Mount Marami Silyang Bato 21K FKT Challenge 2015

Read About: Mount Marami Silyang Bato 21K FKT Challenge

In 2015, Mount Marami was a total mudfest so after the drag that came of the first 8 kilometers on rolling terrains, we were on the ascent. Well, this was not an ordinary ascent as it was raining. Midway during the climb, we had the option to go back as it was raining real hard already but as my adventurous would say, “Laban.” The next was finding twigs, trunks, rocks and leaves to hang on as each step also was a slide down before the rocky ascent to the summit.

Mount Marami was probably the craziest thing I have done especially with the typhoon ongoing. Months before the race, we did the full course recon on a hot day and ended up short on hydration on the descent. The race was a totally different challenge with the mud being a drag on the rain and the climb being a slidefest. We’ve reached the summit and being among the part who were allowed to summit for safety reasons. The descent was even tougher as we were on steep ravines. We had to figure a way of descending without slipping on the ravines. Slowly but surely, we’ve made our descent and hitting the lower end was such a relief. We’ve managed to reach the finish line in 10 hours (Yes, 10 hours, that’s not a typo). It was a total adventure.

Mount Sembrano Mountain Run 2016

Read About: Mount Sembrano Mountain Run 2016

Whenever I’m in a tough spot, I always try to go back to a difficult trail memory I’ve overcame and drain strength from there. Mount Sembrano may have reset that threshold as the first 5K was a combination of a steep, technical and long climb with 750 meters worth of climbing for that stretch. It was a struggle and a new mental test. That’s where we coined the, “It’s a Trap” phrase.

I’ve done Mount Sembrano several times and that first 5K stretch never felt easy especially during the first time. The distance was slowly advancing on the ascent so I switched my watch to the altitude portion. I ended up counting down the climbing altitude left. Slowly but surely I made my way forgetting that this was a 15K race, I just need to get past the first 5K. As I was able to go to the open areas of the trail, I felt that the end of the long climb is near and got refreshed. The view at the top was majestic with a view of Laguna Bay along the ridges. Since the first 5K was so difficult, the next 10K felt really easy and the view was really rewarding.

Miyamit Falls 26K 2016

Read About: Miyamit Falls Trail Marathon

I was running with a sprained ankle and it was fully taped already. I tested if I could run on the flat soft lahar surface at the start of the race and I still felt some pain on the ankle. It was time to switch to a different strategy. I had to be consistent and do a lot of brisk walk while reducing the impact of each stride with the trekking pole. Miyamit Falls is a tough man’s race with over 1,000 meters of elevation gain. I had to admit I wasn’t prepared for this one and I had a heavily taped sprained ankle so I promised myself that I just need to find a way to survive this race and I’ll give my body a rest.

The first 10K was purely ascent so I went on a consistent brisk walking pace on the climb. The trekking pole was a big help and the first few kilometers climbing was on paved roads. On the upper part of the climb was muddy surfaces until the intersection heading to the falls. The falls was a technical descent and I still went on cautious and consistent. I’ve reached the falls and took a sustained effort on climbing the 3 kilometers of technical ascent to the intersection. It was purely downhill from there. It also rained at this time. I started picking up the pace but still made sure to protect the ankle. It was a steady effort until the finish line to finish with a lot to spare within the cutoff.

Cordillera Mountain Ultra 2017

Read About: Cordillera Mountain Ultra 2017

Around Kilometer 14 at 3:30 into the race, I had to decide If I have to go on in the town of Oling. That’s still within 30 minutes within the cutoff for that stretch. Once I go past this point, I have to finish the race or else I would have to be bailed out in another town with no daily means of transportation. Should I go or not?

Cordillera Mountain Ultra was a journey doing 11K in Mount Pulag in 2015, 21K at Itogon in 2016 and this time I’m in the 50K distance for the first time ever. Every year, I would conquer my distance and ending up outside looking in other people’s ultra journey through the whole course. So might as well, try it out. The thing was, of all the 3 race, this was the time I was least prepared. It was also my busy season at work with my longest run just being 17K. Being on km 14, quitting was really an option but I was stubborn and decided to go. Up next was a steady 10 kilometer climb to Mount Ugo. It was a scenic delight all throughout the climb. I still was able to hit the summit within my target time. The thing is my legs felt exhausted already on the descent and with my quads cramping on the last 10K. I went on to finish the race at 14 hours but unfortunately this was the year that the cut-off was reduced to 13 hours. Going back, the goal was always to fully experienced the race and I was glad to complete 50 freakin’ kilometers and live to tell about it on my birthday coming the next 2 days.

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On Virtual Runs and Covid19

Trying to be fit in the times of COVID19 has been a riddle. Gone are the usual weekly races and outdoor adventures. Then there’s the next best thing, Virtual Races.

The World Before COVID19

This was pretty much how I ended 2019. Taking a back seat from event organization and focusing on my personal goals. The thing is, while I’ve been advocating fitness, I wasn’t at my fittest. Races has been purely recreational for the past few years. The plan was to pursue my own A-Race with adequate training, preparation and mindset. That was the plan until COVID19 turned the whole world upside down. From the planned out-of-the-country hikes and races to being stuck at home. Funny, how you wanted to take a breather and the whole world joins you on the sidelines.

Virtual Races

There’s always another way. For the first parts of the ECQ, it was stairs workout as we’re not allowed outdoors. While not part of the initial plan, I joined STAR WARS Virtual Run SEA 2020 just because their trophy looked so cool and it’s STAR WARS. When running outdoors was allowed, it was a trial and error process from the finding a comfortable pace with mask to finding a mask that I am comfortable with. By mid-June, I started logging in the miles.

At the same time, I was registered at World Vision Run for the 50K distance. World Vision is another advocacy I supported being a sponsor for several years now. I would usually go one to two runs a week on weekdays and a longer run on weekend. Before the month was over, I’m about done with my virtual runs. I had to keep runs short and slow as I was adjusting to running with masks and I still am, to this date.

STAR WARS and World Vision Virtual Runs were my way for a little bit of normalcy amid the stresses of the pandemic. It was a struggle to get started but slowly but surely I was logging in the mileage for the virtual runs.

3K and 5K were the norm and whenever I felt tired, I would walked it off or take a breather. It was just me trying to log in the mileage as much as I can. I was doing the same 1K loop around the neighborhood or try BGC or nearby areas wherein I could add in some elevation. I think one thing the community quarantine gave us is mental toughness. I could do the small loop all over again, which was already a luxury compared to doing 5 kilometers on purely stairs before.

I started enjoying the process of doing virtual runs. I always had this notion for anything to be sustainable, we should appreciate and enjoy the process. Then I had to look for new races going forward. I stumbled upon UTMB Run for the Planet that’s 50 kilometers with 2500 meters of elevation gain from the last week of July to the end of August.

50K would be doable in the time frame but 2500 meters is very difficult to complete on the flatter routes. So the plan was to do five 10 kilometer runs with about 500 meters of gain on weekends. I was able to log in the first 10K with elevation and then MECQ happened.

I was about to give up on the challenge as I still have to meet an additional 2000 meters of elevation gain. I then went back to the rules. As it turns out, when you can’t meet the elevation gain, you just have to add 1 kilometer of distance for every 100 meters of elevation. If I could complete around 70-75K, I can still meet the challenge.

Entering the month of August, I would have to cover around 60 kilometers of distance. My personal preference was to keep my runs within the 5 kilometer limit per run, which is within my comfort zone. In hindsight, it does look like a sound plan as it’s faster to recover on short distance runs and could easily fit in the schedule.

It’s also at this time that I was in my half-year result rush preparing for my board meeting mid-August. No matter how busy I get, I would reserve 5 pm as my run time doing the same loop all over again. I’m trying to get back to my no shit, no excuses-blue-collar mentality when it comes to running. I barely even noticed that I was already running 5 kilometers everyday.

From the initial plan of completing the challenge by the end of the month, I was in range to finishing it on the 15th of August with less than 9 kilometers left. It was raining that day so the plan was just to run the around 4 kilometers and leave the 5 kilometers for the next day. It was so fun running in the rain that after I hit the kilometer 4 distance, I wanted to run more and eventually finished more than 9 kilometers of distance to wrap up the challenge.

While I started the virtual runs as just a way to pass the time and for the loot, I rediscovered my love and passion for running. I also saw some progress as the start of the challenge had me just walking some of the distance and I had more solid runs on the latter part of the challenge. I’m still a work in progress but I’d like to say, Progress is PROGRESS.

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Incoming: World Vision Virtual Run 2020

I’ve been a World Vision sponsor since 2013. You can be part of that advocacy too by sponsoring a child or joining World Vision Virtual Run which is open from June 15 – July 31, 2020.

World Vision Virtual Run

If there’s one thing we’ve learned during this pandemic is that one good deed can go a long way. World Vision provides an advocacy that supports kids for their education and needs through various sponsors and fund-raising events. There’s so many ways to help like sponsoring a child, donating or even just joining the World Vision Virtual Run.

That support goes along way in giving less privileged kids a better tomorrow. Get that warm feel good feeling in being able to help make a difference while getting a healthy and fit lifestyle that’s gonna keep us more resilient with the times.

Run an accumulated distance of 21K, 50K, 100K and 200K from June 15-July 31, 2020 and earn your medal and finisher shirt along the way of uplifting someone’s life through supporting the advocacy.

Registration is extended until June 30, 2020.

Race Details

Date: June 15 – July 31, 2020

Distances: 21K, 50K, 100K, 200K (accumulated distance)

Fees and Inclusions

  • I RUN FOR EDUCATION (STANDARD – 1,050): Microfiber Polyester (Drifit) Fabric and Finisher’s Medal, e-Certificate, inclusive of delivery within the Philippines
  • I RUN FOR HEALTH & NUTRITION (PREMIUM (1,350): Closed Mesh Full-Sublimation Shirt with Fine Details and Stitch, Finisher’s Medal, e-Certificate, inclusive of delivery within the Philippines
  • BUNDLE PACK (1,650): I Run for Education Shirt + I Run for Health & Nutrition Shirt, Finisher’s Medal, e-Certificate, inclusive of delivery within the Philippines

Registration

  • Online: Takbo.Ph
  • Registration Procedure:
    • Login to create an account via Takbo.PH
    • Pay for the registration fee
      • BDO Savings Account
        • Account Name: Runningpeak Events Management & Services
        • Account Number: 0024-7801-7914
      • BPI Savings Account
        • Account Name: Takboph Web Marketing Services
        • Account Number: 3740-0036-57
      • Via Paypal
    • Upload payment slip and update profile via Takbo.Ph
      • Full Name
      • Shipping Address
      • Mobile Number
      • Race details: Category | Shirt size | Payment method
    • Track and Record your run sessions
    • Upload your run sessions

Race Updates:

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Health in a Cup with D2X Coffee

There’s nothing like starting a day with a healthy cup of coffee. D2X Coffee is packed with 5 natural boosters in an easy to mix pack with a natural Stevia sweetener.

D2X Coffee

I came to know of D2X coffee a few months ago and it’s been a part of my daily routine. There are actually two variants of their coffee, which is Coffee Mangosteen and Coffee Kreme with Mangosteen. The former is a bolder flavor designed to perk you up to start your day while the latter is a much more feel good flavor with a tinge of cream in each cup. I feel a lot sharper starting my day with D2X coffee.

The Coffee Mangosteen is perfect to start up your day with its stronger flavor. It’s a great way to jump start your system for a long day ahead. Coffee Kreme Mangosteen is for those who prefer a richer creamy taste in coffee. This for me is my perfect post meal coffee as I usually like to have that rich taste as a counter to my regular meal and it also helps starts the process of lightening up after a heavy meal.

Compared to other coffee, I feel a lot lighter (not bloated) after each cup. That’s probably because of the Mangosteen in their coffee and a natural sweetener in Stevia. Mangosteen is low in calories and rich in nutrients like vitamins, minerals and fibers. At the same time, it’s also an anti-oxidant that helps cleanse your body. I had a better digestion process with D2X coffee and helps in easing toxins in the system.

It also helps that it goes with a Stevia Natural Sweetener with much lower calories than regular sugar. Stevia has also been known to help people manage the sugar in their system.

Mangosteen and a lot more

https://web.facebook.com/d2xph/videos/1697338620410879/

D2X is an excellent alternative especially at times like this as it does not stop just being your regular dose of caffeine but it also helps boost immune system with its nutrients and the anti-oxidant properties.

Follow D2X Coffee

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