Full Trail Marathon Unlocked

mapawa elevation profile 2274m

You guys know that I am so into strength/weights training because it brought me to this fitness level that I am in today. I never thought that putting in finishing a half marathon for this year in my bucket list could escalate like this that quick. My 21k or half marathon ambition was ticked off my bucket list then it led to another goal in the field of running. I shared about my first 21K trail marathon two months ago and I am not sure if I actually mentioned that the trail is a series composed of 3 legs scheduled 2 months apart each leg (21KM, 42KM, 50KM).

mapawa elevation profile 2274m
The 42K route

After completing the first leg (21km) last May, me and my team (RunFree CDO) made up our minds already to join the 2nd leg two months after. Having the Full Trail Marathon in mind, twice the hell-ish route we’ve experienced on the first leg, we did our best to prepare for it. We had our regular Sunday long runs taking routes which we thought would help us prepare for what’s to come on the race day, aside from our individual strength training at the gym or short weekdays run. And then! determined as we were to prepare for the marathon. we took our training a bit further by going farther! I meant literally farther from the city. We joined the Siargao International Marathon barely 3 weeks before the 2nd leg of the trail series. I’m actually glad we did because hard and technical as that Siargao route was, that definitely prepared our legs for the uphill climbs and downhill route at the trail.

Team RunFree CDO with Johanns (first placer in the women’s category) and Kenn

Race Day!

So finally, it was trail day! Being the first timer full trail marathoner as I was, I was honestly nervous before the gun. I looked around and realized probably I wasn’t the only one who felt high-strung. I knew these people prepared for this day but you know, nerves can get in the way. At the gun shot, I decided to take it slow, start slow because I know I have a long way to go. Of course keeping in mind the 12-hours cut-off time.

Ready or not, the race had to start!

at my 21st Kilometer…exhausted but we still have 21 more kilometers to finish!

That was definitely a very challenging trail. We started past 4AM so it was still a bit dark. The single-tracked muddy, slippery, and narrow trail path welcomed us as we made our entrance to the forest. I felt my headlamp’s light was not enough to light the path I was walking into. Thankfully I brought with me extra flashlight. I was thankful also to the company of my teammate Neil for staying with me for the most part of that trail. He wasn’t a newbie to trail running as he already ran the full marathon last year.

Check out video below to have a glimpse of what we went through during the trail/race.

There were number of technical downhills which I took very very carefully because downhills are my weakness, due to my right knee injury (self diagnosed 😀 :D). Apart from that, I have fear of heights, so looking from the top the downhill I have to conquer was nerve wracking! The unavoidable boulders and the oxygen draining peaks made the trail extra challenging! The hardest part of the race for me was when my right legs cramped while I was climbing one of the peaks. It was seriously painful but I know I cannot stop and end my race. I had to stretch my legs slowly while also also climbing the peak. Prayed all throughout the race to God for me to just finish it on or before the time. The cramps went away before I reached the peak. Thank God!

We just have to! We’ve been walking/running/climbing/crawling under the heat of the sun!

Each kilometer completed was a relief knowing that I am closer to the finish line each time my runkeeper application would give an update. I’ve endured running and climbing peaks under the heat of the sun and suffered from blisters pain on my last 10 kilometers. Although that was a hard trail, the beautiful view was a relief and a great reward especially the times where I reached the peak and get to see the beautiful scenery  from where I was. It made all the effort so worth it! And oh! The cold streams we passed through were lifesavers! We indulged ourselves in dipping into the cold water for few minutes before proceeding.

The last 4 kilometers felt like forever! I was feeling the blisters pain in both feet already that I thought the easiest and fastest way to get it all over with is to run my last 4 kilometers which I did! hahaha! crazy but yes! after 10 hours and 40 minutes I got to the finish line in one piece! The prayer never stopped really. I arrived 6th (women’s cat).

It was a tough trail and I almost resigned to the thought of not going to the last leg! But as expected my teammates are as brave, persistent, and determined! so yes! that won’t be my last hell-ish trail marathon! We are going to finish strong with the Ultra Trail Marathon (50K).

Continue Reading

Ops I Did It Again


So yes, another 21km completed last 23rd. I can’t believe I actually did it again because I remember completing a half marathon for this year is just a bucket list for 2017 and I’ve already ticked it off my list after the Mapawa Trail Run last May. But I am stuck with runner friends who fell in love with marathons and pushing themselves to their limit when it comes to running. What can I do? I started all this, dragged them into joining the Trail Run and now they’re dragging me to continue running! Well, it’s actually good, I am just amazed how far we have come and these guys does not intend to stop anytime soon as the marathons schedules for the team is already plotted.

Photo before the race while waiting for it to start. It was pouring outside since the night before the marathon.

Suweeettt! Finish line with my beautiful finisher’s medal! I definitely earned it 🙂

So anyway, yes I did it again! I finished a half marathon this time in Siargao Island – an amazingly beautiful island surrounded by gorgeous beaches and islands. To me, joining the Siargao International Marathon is a good excuse to visit Siargao again :D. But back to the marathon, it was one of a kind and an unforgettable race. I was aiming to finish it within 2 hrs and 30 mins but I was 10 minutes short after the race. Well, it was challenging because the route was very technical (as what our ironman competitor friends call it). Perhaps 75% of the route were composed of uphill and downhill. And then it was raining half of the race. We were soaked in the rain while running forcing us to run on wet shoes and socks adding to the thrill and challenge of the race. And then personally, this throbbing left ankle limited my running especially when I am going uphill. I felt it on my 14th km run that I had to change pace and slowed down a bit. There were times I had to recover and walked for a while to ensure that I do not end up DNF. I was praying throughout the race asking for God’s strength and protection because I have been feeling this ankle throb a week before the Siargao International Marathon. Thankfully I finished the race in 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Shoe groufie before the race. These shoes are made for running! #Underarmour #Adidas #NorthFace #Nike

My Mapawa Trail Run buddies Elena and Glenn

Cheers and kudos to my RunFree CDO team for finishing the race too! There were 5 of us who ran and we all made it to the finish line in one piece. While we all had our individual struggles running the race, we are all thankful for the wonderful finish making individual PRs.

The team! RunFree CDO all the way from Cagayan de Oro to Siargao Island for the love of running! 🙂

Guess what? This is not the last one! Truth is, the Siargao Marathon was just part of our training for the upcoming Mapawa Full Trail Run (42km Trail Run). See? I told you, my friends are so into this whole running thing and I am gladly indulging them. Rested for a couple of days and we are back to training for the Full Trail Run.

Continue Reading

Fitness : Half Marathon Goal Unlocked

21k mapawa trail run

When the year 2017 opened, I made some goals for myself to accomplish within the year. In my Fitness goals list is finishing a 21 kilometers run or a half-marathon run. So January I started cross training, from just doing strength/weights training at the gym, I included running at least twice a week. I normally do road runs with friends and late afternoon long runs at the sports complex.

mapawa trail run 2017

So finally on May 28th, that goal to finish a half marathon is ticked off my goal list for the year! I joined the Mapawa Trail Run along with my fitness buddies Elena and Glen. I was honestly hesitant to join at first because I didn’t think I’ll be able to endure it! My longest run so far was 11km and those were done on flat surfaces. But this one? hey! we are talking about trail run here and it’s a half marathon trail run!

Trail running is a sport which consists of running and hiking over trails. In the United Kingdom and Ireland it is called mountain or fell running. … Runners often cite less impact stress compared to road running, as well as the landscape and non-urban environment, as primary reasons for preferring trail running.

But because my friends were so persistent, we registered anyway — one week before the event! crazy right? Well, we are all constantly working out so I guess the strength is already there. I just had to battle that self-doubt and start believing in myself. It was our first time to join a half marathon trail run and given the short time, we could only do so much to prepare. So one week before the trail run, we did a “test ourselves” run on a route me and Elena didn’t run before (thanks to Glen for leading). We ran a total of 18.75km in 2 hours and 20 minutes on a bit challenging route. So since we actually made it, we were confident we’d be able to conquer the trail run.


Continue Reading

Gym Makeup Tips


I have a little fitness secret to tell you. I wear makeup at the gym when I workout. Shhh… Okay, okay, before you go ahead jump and judge me, let me tell you why! Well I just don’t like going out there bare faced considering that I have to be travelling at least 30 minutes going to the gym. I do commute so you’d understand that I would want to look at least presentable with people around while I am just sitting there with my earphones on listening to my music list. And hey! The gym is a room full of mirrors, who doesn’t want to look good? Haha!

Anyway, I don’t really go heavy on makeup when I workout because the last thing I want to have are breakouts. Sweat mixed with makeup is not good as it can clog pores causing breakouts. That is why it is not really advisable to wear makeup during workout, but if you MUST (like me) be out there a little made up, make sure you use the right products. I personally just to simply touch up my face with my few makeup must haves. Here’s my list below:

Water based moisturizer – I love to keep it lightweight. Water based moisturizer is just refreshing to the skin while it does its job in controlling skin’s oil and shine.

Continue Reading

Fitness: Chest and Back Workout

gym chest and back workout

In my almost two years in this fitness journey I have come to know my body more, its weakness and its strength. While it is very rewarding to see progress and how each body parts have developed muscles and get toned, seeing some parts of your body slowly (like seriously slowly catching up with the rest) can be very frustrating at the same time. In my case, it’s my back part! I don’t know, perhaps it’s just how it goes, the front part pretty much responded to the workout and diet then all the excess fats seemed to have camped out at my back and found it very comfortable to stay in. lol! Not for long buddies!

So this year, coach and I will be devoting a lot of effort on my back part because most of my fats seems to be loving it there as mentioned! hahaha! I know it’s not gonna be an easy journey but I have more patience to combat them stubborn back flabs! :D.

Anyway, I’m sharing with you ladies some of the routines I did to work on my chest and back on one of my sessions. My coach wasn’t around this time so I had to do my own set of routines for the day.

Continue Reading

Fitness: Monday Full Body Workout

ladysoda fitness

Hello everyone! I mentioned in my first fitness journey blog post that I will be sharing my journey on this blog to keep you guys posted on how I am doing so far. So today I will be sharing my routines from yesterday (Monday) after being absent from the gym for 5 days including the weekend. That’s my longest absence by the way except that time when Coach Moy had me rest for a week. I kinda feel a little bloated because I let go of myself last week! Like I literally ate ANYTHING I wanted to eat! I was on a trip and of course, I made an agreement to myself (yeah I do that sometimes 😀 ) that I will let myself go and just enjoy the week. So there I successfully fed myself with salty, sweets, meat (pork), soda, and everything else I would not normally eat on my regular days. My friends even asked me if I was stressed out because I was eating “abnormally” hahaha! I wasn’t stressed out actually, I just decided to let myself go. I lived a little :).

ladysoda fitness

So back to Monday, and back to my normal conscious self. I missed the gym so much that I was so excited to be there and workout! Glad to see my coach again too! We did a Full Body workout on a Monday and I couldn’t feel much better afterwards! Full body workout means, working on every part of my body (legs, glutes, arms, shoulders, chest, back, core). Since I just got back from a 5-day break, I decided to take it easy on weights. Here’s a short video on SOME of my routines.


Cardio (treadmill) – 15 minutes
Squats (Smith Machine) – 20×2, 15×2 (44lbs weight)
Leg Press – 20×2, 15×2 (143lbs)
Deadlift – 15×4 (60lbs – 30lbs each hand)
Lat pulldown (back & front) – 10×4 (back) 10×4 (front) @ (50lbs)
Side lateral raise – 10lbs dumbbells each hand (15 reps each side x 4sets), 5lbs dumbbells each hand (20 reps each side x 4sets)
Shoulder Press – 15×4 (44lbs)
Weighted curl-ups – 20×4 (10lbs weight)
Push-ups with oblique twist – (15×3) (I just added this routine)

I definitely felt better after my workout. I was feeling a little weak (it’s normal when you just got back for a few days absence) but I didn’t allow that to stop me from pushing myself :). And may I just mention that I had a long run 2 days before. My first 15km run which left me a little exhausted. I have my light and comfy running backpack to thank for for sustaining me the entire run.

Had oatmeal for dinner and greentea before hitting the sheets!

Today is another day and I am looking forward to tonight’s routines again! I hope it’s going to be legs!

Continue Reading

The Start of My Fitness Journey

then and now fitness

I recently posted a Then and Now photo of me on a weight loss supplement page in Social Media and I have received tons of questions on how I managed to get to where I am now. Well actually I have been receiving questions eversince people noticed the weight loss.

then and now fitness

Well, where do I start? Okay, often I get questions like, What’s your secret? How did you it? Do you go to the gym? What weight loss product are you using? Or even Nag Herbalife ka? And all sorts of questions relating to it. Thank you guys for all the questions, it led me to write another blog post so I can answer the questions and of course share my fitness journey because I really really want to inspire you ladies and even gents out there to be at your healthiest and most fit self.

So how big was I? I started to bloat 2008, I was in the call center industry. It didn’t really bother me that much so I did not notice that I actually got bigger as the years progressed. Now looking back at my photos from 2009-2011, I can’t believe how I let myself go like that! I knew I gained weight but I did not think of myself as FAT. No one pointed it out to me, or probably they’re too scared of the maldita me? Hahaha! Back then, cakes, pizza, ice cream, frappucinos, humba, coke, and rice means life to me! I would unmindfully eat those kind of foods ANYTIME of the day, even at midnight!

I am this lady who loves to dress up! I love fashion, I am kikay as they call it and I don’t know, my weight didn’t seem to bother me. But then later on, shopping for clothes became frustrating because I could not fit into the ones I really love! I felt so fashionably limited, I find it hard to breathe, I felt heavy and so unhealthy!  Finally I got so aware of my weight problem and told myself I need to do something!

fitness workout from home

Working out from home

So I started to battle the weight gain. Ugh! It wasn’t easy! It’s was like a roller coaster ride! I have been battling with losing weight since 2011. Then I went through an emotional turmoil too so that also kind of fueled my eagerness to re-create myself. So I started getting into the workout wagon early 2012. I started going for morning runs, and doing all these home workouts, intermittently! I worked out from home mostly by following videos from youtube. Dance workout, Pilates, Yoga sometimes, and finally those HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workout by Jillian Michaels and there’s this insanely Insanity by Shaun T that kills me each time I get into it! Yes, I tried them all and I would always feel great everytime I finish a routine. To be honest, I am quite surprised of my stamina despite my big self. I even did the Insanity challenge but on my 6th week I had to stop because I developed vertigo in doing such intense workout and not having enough sleep (my fault actually). I also did join a Nutrition club weight loss challenge but didn’t last until the end. I would join fun runs, Zumba classes, and swim occasionally. All of these things I tried, I had little success. I succeeded in losing a few pounds but I would always end up gaining them back or even more. I was INCONSISTENT and wasn’t paying attention to my DIET!


You think I stopped? No I didn’t! See? I was that determined but I was CLUELESS. Thankfully I was introduced to my coach last March of 2015. Coach Moy as we call him, pretty much explained a lot of things to me, especially the Nutrition part. He introduced me to strength training, which means, working out would include lifting weights, and lots of it.  I wasn’t really looking into going to the gym that time. My issues were;


Continue Reading