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Monday, December 31, 2012

Seasons Of Love

Like our previous New Year's celebrations, we are welcoming 2013 quietly as a family. I was never fond of fireworks and firecrackers so it's always just been torotots for our little miss and watching fireworks from afar for us. Luckily, we live within an area where firework-loving people reside so the kid isn't really deprived of the fun of watching the dance of lights in the sky when the New Year strikes.

The previous years, the husband and I would always wait for 12 midnight before partaking the food that I've prepared for Media Noche but this year, well probably due travel fatigue (as we came from the long commute from Pampanga), we decided to forego midnight eating and decided to devour everything at breakfast instead. It still felt like media noche, sans the wine since we had to replace that with strong coffee.

As we were waiting to be lulled to sleep just right after midnight, I asked the husband how he would assess 2012 to have been for our family. And the response was simple. 2012 was GOOD year for us. I paused and thought. 

Well, despite this year still having it's share of Ups and Downs, it's been mostly Ups for us. And I think that makes it safe for us to say that YES 2012 has been a GOOD year indeed. Since we got married, I can say that every year we do see some growth in our family. That should be good enough. There is after all no exact measure for things like this. I mean, what is the standard anyways? I am reminded of this song every time I ask myself that question. 

And it only echoes back one answer for me. Happiness is the gauge. And with happiness being of the intagible kind, so how do you measure really? Whatever, however you measure your happiness is entirely up to you, I say. In my book, happiness comes with peace of mind and a heart full of contentment. I couldn't claim it's always that everyday, but most days, surprisingly it is. And again, that is enough for me.

I wish you a wonderful 2013. May it always be a year of love and happiness for you!

Thursday, December 20, 2012


I tried to wait for it since I came home late from our company Christmas party anyways. But 8 minutes before midnight, my body just gave in to sleep. 

I woke up at 5:50am on 12.21.12 and thought, sh*t I am going to miss my morning run again today. 

My sister calls it RESET. But it's been going around since the beginning of the year. The world is ending on 12.21.12. Yet, we are still here. I never read up on it and somebody probably posted an answer to this question already but I just can't shake it off my head so I'm just gonna throw it anyways: "Which timezone was it based on anyways?"

If you're on reflection mode today, this post is a perfect starter for you. I on the otherhand have to deal with huge paper pile in front of me so I'm reserving reflection time to this weekend. 

Have a great Friday (and weekend too) everyone!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Holiday Rush

Exactly a week to go before Christmas day and how's everything been so far?

From my side of the world (or country or town), things are starting to mellow down. Work is still pretty crazy as we're nearing the year end closing. But things that were unclear to me at the beginning of the month (most especially) are starting to take some form of certainty, and well, sense. Comforting thought although the deluge of new challenges ahead still makes me a little nervous. But nervous (just a little pinch of it) is always good news for me. That means I am taking the commitment to heart. And that I will pour blood and sweat over it. Good news really for my bosses most especially :)

Moving on, I am missing blogging so much. But of late, I found myself running out of things to write about. I don't know if it's the crazy schedule that I've been having or finally embracing the fact of my kid sort of detaching from being the baby to a fully-grown preschooler therefore signalling that I stop documenting the nitty-gritty happenings of her young life. I don't know really. Whatever it was, I just didn't feel the need to vent or talk anymore. Come to think of it, despite the craziness, I felt contentment. 

Or maybe I should thank my husband. He's probably been more available to talk to these past weeks and maybe just maybe that explains the peace. (Good job husband!)

Funny you think, how I would put all my holiday happiness card on
one boring looking cabinet set But this cabinet set was long awaited (like about 4 years)
*i know that top molding is kinda off* (but it's the husband's project so I have to respect his taste)
Also, I am also beyond happy at finally seeing our cabinets installed. The minute I saw them hang over the wall, I blurted out: "Wow, the house now feels more like a real house". That solicited a glare from the husband though. When the carpenters left, he asked me: "how exactly does a cabinet turn a house a real house?". (men are indeed from Mars - or at least in this particular situation)

Well for one, the house looks more organized now. And having these hanging cabinets enabled us to move items that used to occupy the floor. Now we have more room to move. Not exactly a lot, but at least we have MORE room. And that's a good thing, right?

I'm not exactly sure how we can push through with the repainting project now that my schedule has changed (I need to come to work a few days after Christmas, bummer eh). We might end up pushing that project to next summer but at least it's in the pipe line already. 

I just have a couple more Christmas parties lined up (the difficult ones are now over, whew) and I can finally look forward to a little rest. As you know I'm really not fond of parties but they are a requisite to the merriment of this season so I'm just going with the flow. I am really in no position to retort as I am now seeing how the kid LOVES joining parties. So yes, I'm all for the fun of parties if it makes my kid happy. 

How about you? Has the holiday rush been good to you?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

On Runner's Nutrition and More Insights From My Marathon Training

My husband ran out of fuel, 15 kilometers into what was to be a 20-kilometer long run this morning. Although I was feeling great and was running like I was just a few minutes into the run, I immediately empathized with him. I have been in that situation several times already. And the worst part of that usually is your knees start to wobble and exhaustion starts to creep in, even half a kilometer would feel like forever. 

I had no intention of stopping since we normally don't really allow ourselves to get distracted with each other's pains and discomforts (unless it's a life-threatening situation of course). Being competitive with each other during training pushes us beyond our comfort zone and is usually a test of endurance for us both so being left behind was never an issue. This morning though, I heard him shout for me from far behind. Turns out, he was asking if I had some power gels left. I unfortunately only packed enough for myself. When it comes to things like this, I come more prepared than him. 

All that was left with me then was half a container of Gatorade. I handed it to him and plodded on. I only had about 2.5kms more to go so I kept at it. I wanted to maintain my pace at 7min/km as much as possible because I also wanted to see if the dreaded cramps would still come back to haunt me. I went past 17kms and I still felt great. I now feel validated and ready for the big challenge we are to face in the coming days. It was also at this point when my thoughts started flying again. I thought of how significant the role of good nourishment is for people like us. And how the husband has been taking that for granted lately. I thought, maybe as a sort of reminder, I better write down my current pre and post training go foods. And maybe, as a reminder to the husband too. (hehe)

Let me just reiterate that I am no nutritionist and that I'm just listing what works for me currently. This might change as we go on with our marathon training.

Pre-training/race favorites:
  • Pasta - I usually try to whip out any one of our solid, household favorites a day before a race or a long run so we can load up on carbs and since I'm trying to avoid being tempted and ending up over-consuming on rice, pasta is my next best thing. 
  • Water - I make sure I consume at least 3 liters daily, a week before a race or a long run to stay hydrated. 
  • Bananas - whenever I crave for sweets, I force myself to gobble up a piece. Works well!
  • PB Sandwich - wheat bread and a generous amount of peanut butter. Yum!
  • Muesli + Soya Milk - my go-to breakfast on the go!
Post-training favorites:
  • Chocolate milk - Chuckie is a big favorite. We try to drink up at least 30 mins after finishing our run.
  • A cup of yogurt or soya milk
  • Bananas - this morning, we came home to freshly cooked plantains (boiled). Instant energy boost.
  • Protein-loaded breakfast and coffee - ahhh there's nothing like eating your favorites right after finishing a race or a long run. No guilt whatsoever. (but sometimes, I get tempted to count the calories right after. i really just love to inflict pain on myself)
Nutrition is indeed a big part of a runner's (oh yeah, I've been dodging the use of the term but I ran out of terms now) training regimen. But since I also do meal planning at home, I try to just incorporate what we need into our daily meals. Luckily for us, most of our meals are eaten at home (and I pack baon as much as I can). I just make sure I eat my meals on time because again, especially when your muscles are recovering it's important to have the proper amount of protein in your diet (it doesn't give you an excuse to eat a bucket full of Chicken Joy though no matter how tempting).

Now let me just send a link of this post to my husband so he remembers to eat lunch today.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Throwback Thursday - UP Diliman Lagoon

Top photo: from an engagement photoshot from 5 years ago. This was taken around September, if I remember correctly; Bottom photo: taken just last Sunday, we stopped by to rest while walking around the UP Academic Oval after brunch. We came back to sit on the exact same tree this time as a family . 

This same tree witnessed several super typhoons already. Still it's there providing a resting place for the weary. You can never underestimate nature's gifts. That's why we always need to remember to take good care of them. I hope when Maia comes back to **hopefully** study here, this same tree still remains.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Hello December!

Are you done with your Christmas shopping already?

I am far from over. In fact, I don't think I will get to finish everything in time. I am secretly hoping that we can still squeeze in a visit to Uniwide or Dapitan Arcade this weekend or the next so I can cross everything out on my list (which list? oh yes, that list that I'm supposed to complete by now).


If I am to flush out all of my bad traits, this cramming thing of mine is probably going to be the last one to go. I just can't seem to rid of it. I try my hardest. I swear, I do.

Oh oh. It's the Christmas season. It's supposed to be the reason to be jolly. So yes, enough with the hard-beating of thyself. Let's focus on the happy, brighter side of this season.

Presents. Santa Claus. R&Rs. Reunions. Parties. Christmas Packages. Christmas Bonuses. Such a happy time, indeed!

Speaking of Christmas bonuses, starting this year, Tibs and I planned to set aside a portion for home improvement. Our home is going to look like a chop-chop of the old and new but just the same, an improvement is always a welcomed idea in my book. This year, we've finally scouted for an affordable cabinet maker and we're getting those customized cabinets that we've been planning to get done for years now. And yes, our minimal budget didn't stop me from starting a new board of kitchen makeover inspirations at Pinterest. I can't help but drool over the things I see. I can already picture myself busying myself in that kitchen. It's always nice to daydream. I love to daydream!

After Christmas, when my visiting family leaves, we'll start with the repainting job. We will have to play refugees for a couple of days at my tita's place probably since our small family is allergic to the smell of paint and well, it's really not healthy for everyone to be sleeping along with the dust mites and paint fumes. But since we have a tiny place, we're hoping we'd be done with the repainting in 3 days tops. We'll be welcoming the new year with a newly painted interior. Happy. Happy.

So it's just two major to-dos this month for us. The rest of the month, we'll dedicate to reuniting with family and friends, enjoying the parties and good festive food (and the grease haha), AND keeping up with our marathon training. This month is going to be the toughest month since we're required to render one 32km long run. That's going to be our first time to run that far and I hope we can nail that so we'll have the confidence to make it through our first marathon.

This is the most exciting month of the year! Happy holidays to you, and you, and yes to you!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Racing Towards My Half-marathon PR

When I race, I hardly ever focus. Although I do try to concentrate on the race, my mind always fly thousands of eons away. Today, as I was racing to make my unexpected personal best record for a half-marathon I am suddenly bombarded by thoughts regarding lessons learned while running a half-marathon.

The QCIM race is my 3rd attempt at finishing a halfmarathon. Although I did finish the last 2 half-maries that I  last participated in, today was definitely the finish that made me feel like I can finally call myself a legit half-marathon finisher. Why, you ask? Isn't reaching the finish line enough ticket to the claim? Well, technically yes. But those last 2 races gave me the worst cramps ever, they ended making me feel like I didn't prepare well for the race. There's probably a lot of truth to that which also was another reason why I feel I don't deserve to claim the finisher title yet. But today, yes today made me feel very, very proud of myself.

So what led me to a 'personal' strong finish? Well, I can list several things.

1. I followed my training schedule to the T. I religiously plotted the mileage requirements for the week and worked hard to reach them. I may fall a mile behind on some days, but I try to make up for the deficit on other days. And I guess, that helped a lot with building my endurance.

2. I listened to my body. I used to challenge myself and believed that all the pain just comes from my mind. And if I control my mind and psyche it hard enough to push my body to just run and not stop for a walk break, I will get a strong finish. But after 2 failures, I finally decided to listen to my body. After the 10th kilometer, I modified my strategy and chose to run in 6/1, 5/1 and 4/1 intervals instead depending on the terrain difficulty (4/1 if it requires me to climb and 6/1 if it's flat all the way). This helped tremendously. And when my GPS tracker announced I'm at the 20th km, I feel like jumping in glee. But I restrained myself, I had to save up all of my remaining energy for the last kilometer to the finish line.

3. The night before the race, I was beyond my head with panic having realized I left our power gels at home. But then, Tibs assured me I can finish it without the gels (because in our last race, he didn't feel the need to take one and yet finished it) so I resigned and just pocketed 3 pcs of menthol candies in case I do run out of energy. A bit of sugar can go a long way. 

4. We warmed up for a good 10-15 minutes. We stayed in QC for the night so we were just 5 minutes away from the starting line. We didn't have to rush and we had ample time to do stretches and sweat up a bit before gunstart. The point I'm trying to drive at here is that IT PAYS TO COME ON TIME.

5. Proper hydration is also key, I guess. The entire week before the race, I wasn't feeling well. In fact, I had a major asthma attack last Tuesday I had to call in sick for fear that I would fall extremely ill come race day. In order to hasten my recovery, I had to drink up liters and liters of water (average of 4 liters a day). That probably helped a lot as I didn't feel the need to stop for water at the first 5km. I also loaded up on carbs on Friday (it wasn't really a lot but it was more than my usual carb intake). I should remember to do that again at every long run.

So yes, I wasn't in my best form this morning (with the asthma attack still hovering over me). And yesterday, when I went to see my doctor to sort of ask permission if I can go on with the race she gave me a disapproving nod. But seeing how determined (and stubborn) I looked, she relented and just prescribed several meds to help me get through the day. And I tell ya, maybe it's my positive spirit today or maybe it's the meds (I really cannot tell at this point) but I feel better now. And the entire length of the race, I never felt the need to puff on my inhaler. As if it was a validation for me to finally say - SEE I TOLD YA, I HAVE STRONG LUNGS! haha. 

Today has been a very good day. And yes, to God be the glory. I finished the race safely. And I am now more determined that ever to train harder for my first marathon finish. 
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