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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

21K, Here I Come!

It's just 4 more days until I finally set foot on the Skyway to run my first half-marathon. It is going to be one thing off my bucket list and I'm glad I was able to do it on schedule.

Am I really ready to conquer the Skyway? Well, I did try to stick to my training plan. I wasn't able to make the 12 mile long run but I'm hoping the hardwork that Tibs and I had put in the last 3 months would still be enough to get me to the finish line (and I'm still aiming to finish at 2h 30mins). This is going to be Tibs' fourth 21k race but it's my first so he's going to pace with me and probably just run ahead to make a better PR once I'm past the 16k mark (which was the longest length that I've ever ran in a race).

Here's the route that I am going to run through on Sunday. It's about two-thirds of the entire length of the Skyway and I'm just soooooo excited! I'm already putting a wonderful playlist together of new and old favorites. I'm just so overwhelmed by the thought!

Grabbed from The Condura Skyway Marathon FB page
Wish me luck! I'm not really fond of race medals but in all honesty, I can't wait to get my hands on this thing because it will be a symbol of one of my greatest achievements!
Grabbed from The Condura Skyway Marathon FB page
If you're interested to join this race, troop over to the nearest registration center because they are still open till FRIDAY - Feb 3! Here are the race details (from Condura Skyway Marathon website)

Condura Skyway Marathon 2012February 5, 2012
Filinvest, Alabang 
3K, 5K, 10K, 16K, 21K, 42K
Gun Start Time
42K – 12:00 am
21K – 3:30 am
16K – 4:00 am
10K – 5:30 am
5K – 6:30 am
3K – 7:10 am
42K – 1,300 Php
21K – 1,200 Php
16K – 1,100 Php
10K – 950 Php
5K – 750 Php
3K – 550 Php
All fees are inclusive of a finisher’s medal, dri fit shirt, and d-tag timing.
Registration Deadline
  1. The Condura Skyway Marathon Registration Centers are open from 20 December 2011 up to 29 January 2012.
  2. ONLINE registration is open from 20 December 2011 up to 22 January 2012.  Race kits of online registrants will be picked-up at Riovana Bonifacio Global City from January 29 to February 04, 2012
Registration Centers
  1. Riovana BGC – 28th St. cor. 9th Ave., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
    Mon-Thurs : 11am to 10pm
    Fri-Sun : 10am to 11pm
  2. Riovana Katipunan – Unit 305 Regis Center, 327 Katipunan Ave., Quezon City
    Mon-Sun : 10am to 8pm
  3. Condura Skyway Marathon Registration Center – 2L Main Entrance, Festival Supermall Alabang, Muntinlupa City
    Store hours : 10am to 8pm

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Recipe: Pork Cutlets, Broccoli and Carrots in Oyster Sauce

I had something better planned for our CNY dinner menu (soup, main dish and dessert) but I wasn't up to cooking anything elaborate anymore after the unfortunate events that took place that morning so I decided to just do the pork version of this recipe.

Prep time: 1-2 hours (that includes the marinating time)
Cooking time: 30-45 mins

What I used for this recipe were:
  • 1/2 kilo lean pork pigue (better if I used tenderloin or lomo), cut in 1/2 x 1 inch strips
  • 2 cups of Broccoli florets
  • 1 medium carrot, cut in strips (about the same size as the pork)
  • 1 med white onion, sliced in strips 
  • 1 cup button mushrooms (we had leftovers of the canned one), cut in half
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 1/8 cup oil (I used palm oil for this one)
  • 1 tsp rice wine
  • 3 tbsps oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp light soy sauce
  • 1/2 muscovado sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup water
Marinade (for the pork):
  • 6 pcs calamansi (yes I like it sour and citrus-y)
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • 1/4 cup light soy sauce
How I did it:

1. Combined the marinade ingredients and added the pork and massaged it for a few minutes to help tenderize it. I put it back in the fridge to marinate for about 2 hours (yes I really wanted the meat to absorb the flavor of the marinade)

2. I blanched the broccoli florets and carrot strips in boiling water for about 2 mins, drained it and set it aside.

3. About an hour before dinner time, I started sauteeing - onion and garlic - in smoking hot oil. I added the pork and stir-fried it till it turned brown-ish. I added the mushrooms and then I pour the marinade over the meat, covered it and let it boil till it was almost dry (this process took about 20mins)

4. Mix all the sauce ingredients and pour over the meat. Let simmer till you get your desired sauce consistency/thickness.

5. Add in the blanched veggies and stir till the veggies are coated with the sauce.

6. Serve with hot, steamed rice. Enjoy!!!!

This recipe was able to feed 6 hungry stomachs. Went a long way didn't it? (I guess it was the sauce who did it)

I was half-expecting it to be a disaster but it turned out to be pretty good.
Now making a mental note to buy a stir-fry wok so I can experiment more on Chinese dishes.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Oatmeal Lovin'

In line with my goal to emerge as a BETTER ME by the end of 2012, I've started a snack regimen of a full cup of cooked rolled oats mixed that I mixed with about 1/3 teaspoon of muscovado rocks.

I've been doing this for two days in a row now and surprisingly, I'm starting to love it. Will I sustain it? I really hope I would. Wish me luck!

Gone by the time my coffee break is over. Nice!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Recipe: Freezer Leftovers Pasta with Quezo De Bola

Yes, I made this pasta out of all the leftovers we had from the holidays. Two weeks past and we still have some stuff in the freezer. Good thing when we got home last Sunday, I was really starving so I was able to come up with a tasty pasta dish out of all the leftovers that I was close to throwing away.

What I used for this recipe:

about 400g of cooked spaghetti
3 pcs med tomatoes, diced
1 med red onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped finely
about 150g of frozen, cooked tahong (mussels)
4 slabs honeycured bacon, chopped and cooked (to render fat)
2 pcs spanish sardines (a leftover from our pantry, technically not from the freezer), deboned and mashed
grated quezo de bola
a handful of fresh basil (torn into small pieces)
1/4 cup olive oil

How I did it:

1. Saute onion, garlic and tomatoes (till the skin peels off from the tomato and the onion translucent. make sure you don't burn nor brown the garlic) in olive oil (using half of the olive oil)
2. add in the mussels, bacon and sardines.
3. pour the remaining olive oil, add fresh basil and toss over cooked pasta until it is fully coated.
4. garnish with grated quezo de bola.
5. enjoy!!!!

This recipe can feed about 5-6 hungry stomachs.

Closer look. :-)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Beating My 5k and 10k PRs In One Day

"E sarili mo lang pala kalaban mo eh"

That was what my husband told me last night after finishing our 12k training run at the Ayala Triangle. I left him eating my dust on the 3k mark and went to finish our distance goal for last night 10mins ahead of him. 

I literally felt like I was flying instead of running during the first 30mins that I ran last night. The route was very flat when compared to the terrain that we would pound on during our weekend runs (along Daang Hari and in our hilly subdivision) so I guess that contributed so much to my speed improvement. I've also been squeezing in some Fartlek training during my weekday runs and it seems to be working well for me. My phone GPS calculated me to be running an average of 5.40mins/kilometer on that first 30mins. When I checked my phone when I was about to cross the 5k mark, it appeared I ran my fastest 5k last night. And when I was done after an hour and saw that I registered 10.42km in 1:03:20, I was just so ecstatic. I felt really proud of myself. Even with a faulty GPS tracker (I was using Runkeeper) I can tell by the pace that I was running that it definitely was my fastest so far. 

Faulty tracker or not, this definitely raised my confidence level  5x over!
After that training run last night, I am now confident that I could finish my first half marathon with lesser injury (not like my first 16k where a toenail died and my knees were so painful I can barely walk a day after the race). I'd probably still be begging to rest a day after the race but I'm sure I won't have any trouble recovering from the run itself. (Talk of being optimistic eh. I'm currently overflowing with positivism I hope it rubs on everyone!)

Happy, happy Friday! 
Next week I'll do 12 laps in here and I will be fine. :)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Next Attraction: A Better Me In 2012

Like probably majority of people who make resolutions, I was never good at keeping them. I don't even get past January and I break them. But every time a year comes to a close, I always feel giddy. It's probably the anticipation of what new things, new opportunities, new challenges the coming year could bring that makes me feel that way.

This year I didn't make any resolutions again. But vowed one thing - 2012 will definitely end with a better ME. Since I became a mother and a wife, my world mostly evolved around keeping the hubby, the kid and the house. I gave the least priority to me. But now that the kid is growing up and is soon stepping into the world of preschoolers, I realized it's probably the best time for me to now focus on ME. After all, if the ME is happy everything else should follow. 

So for starters, I've started doing three things that I think would be easiest for me to sustain. They are:

1 - Finding a skincare regimen that is easy to do and easy on the pocket. Last year, I can give myself a five already since I've learned to moisturize already. But this year, I wanted to trump that one and up the scale a few points more. I promised to exfoliate, tone and put sunblock as well. And Human Heart Nature is going to help me make that happen. I've now stocked up and is so far successful for the last 3 days. I just need to make a habit out of this (it takes 21 days right?) and I'll be breezing through this like a pro. Here's what I've been doing so far:

Wash using Celeteque facial wash and apply Myra VitaGlow Tinted Facial Moisturizer before I leave for work. I only use the moisturizer sparingly though because my face tends to get very oily. When I don't leave the house, I apply a drop of Human Heart Nature's Sunflower Oil instead. (I'm replacing this soon with Human Heart Nature's Day Fluid. Just waiting for them to restock)

Wash with Celeteque facial wash again, tone using Human Heart Nature's Hydrating Toner and apply Human Heart Nature's 100% Natural Moisturizing Night Cream with Plant Collagen. 

I've been using Human Heart Nature products for almost 2 years now and I really like them (well mostly because they're all natural and budget-friendly). They don't feel harsh at all and I'm really loving how the night cream makes my skin feel hydrated. I exfoliate at least 3x a week using Celeteque exfoliating wash (the one with the beads). I am optimistic that I could turn this one into a habit. I have soft, glowing skin clipped on my vision board for added inspiration. Hehe.

currently loving these products. they're all natural and very budget-friendly!

2 - Read and ACTUALLY finish at least one book every month (my friend Raizza has been doing this and I think it's a great idea). 
I used to really love reading. But that has since taken the back seat. This year, I'm rekindling that passion for reading to influence my daughter and to keep her interested in books. I don't want to pressure her into reading really but I'm hoping that when she sees me enjoying it, she might just think it's really something good to do :) Right now I've started reading One Day by David Nicholls. I initially planned on reading this before I saw the movie but I didn't make the time last year. 

I cried buckets in the movie. and I'm probably going to cry more reading this book

3 - Minimize hours spent on computer games and blog more often instead. 
I've been most successful with this one. I hope though that I get to sustain this the most since I do tend to be easily addicted once I start with a certain game. So what I try do right now is just to totally avoid clicking whatever request I get in Facebook most especially since that's where I usually spend most gaming hours in.

So there, three little tiny steps at a time and I sure am on my way to a better me in 2012. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Home Sick

Maia's first summer vacation. Smell of freshly crush sugarcane abound!
I am suddenly terrible missing this place. And my family in Antique. Sigh. Post-holiday blues and probably due to lack of sleep of stress plus the stress of tending to a sick toddler.

I keep reminding myself that this is just but a small hump that will most likely pass in a couple of days but my mind eventually wandered to different things. And now it's craving for every thing that my home town offers - breathtaking view, fresh air, fresh food most especially.

It's a place that feeds my lazy bones really well. And would be the best cure for my overly exhausted body. 

When they were still signing, non-verbal little beings.

Afternoon fun interacting with cows and goats

Watch the sun set perfectly in our own version of The Shire
View so breath-taking.
There's always a place to feed and let your imagination run wild.

I cannot wait for summer vacation. But I'm pretty sure when that time comes I'd be first to say - HOW TIME FLIES, IT'S ALREADY SUMMER!
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