Easy To Go Sandwich Spreads: McCormick Bread Spreads

In an ideal world, you’d love to sit down comfortably while enjoying a complete breakfast meal of eggs, sausages, bread or rice, coffee or fruit-juice and some fresh fruits to refuel yourself after your morning run just before going to work.

In the real world however, a hectic work schedule or leaving home early to beat the morning traffic leaves you with very little time to prepare or cook breakfast. Most often than not, we just grab a pandesal, spread it with whatever is available, take some sips of coffee and head out the door.

I’m not much of a breakfast eater so a piece or two of pandesal bread that i spread with either peanut butter, cheese whiz or butter plus a banana with my usual cup of coffee will sustain me for the whole morning.

Last week at a product launch of which i had been invited, i was introduced to a new bread spread in 3 flavors contained in squeeze tubes, the McCormick Bread Spreads. I was first intrigued by the containers which was similar to those of a tooth paste, shampoo, ointments or creams.

McCormick Bread Spreads

McCormick Bread Spreads in three (3) flavors

The bread spreads come in three delicious flavors: the Herb Parmesan (cheese), Pesto and Garlic. These are zero trans-fat spreads which you can just press off in a no mess squeezable tube. The Herb Parmesan is a great cheese flavored spread made with parmesan cheese, soybeans and other blend of spices and herbs. It’s great as a cheese-flavored dip for snack items such as crackers, potato chips and corn tortilla chips but i still like it as a bread spread with my hot pandesal!

The garlic spread tastes great too. I used it in combination with corned tuna and you have a very satisfying and filling sandwich. It’s good as a stand-alone spread too but if you have to use it often, you’ll have to stop talking to me after breakfast! The Pesto flavor has a very strong taste so i suggest taking it easy with it by spreading just enough in your slices of bread.

The bread spreads can also be used to enhance the flavor of dishes like this Carbonara

Comes in tubes

During the launch of these products, we were made to sample foods where these spreads were used and they tasted great on Carbonara, Chicken, Salads and many other pastas.

Sample dishes where spreads can also be used

The tubes are very handy, you can take them to the office and spread them on your bread or crackers for snacks and merienda. It costs about P75.00 per tube in your favorite supermarkets. A good idea for runners on the go!

So You Took Expired Vitamin Supplements? Is It Safe?

I’ve been popping up vitamin supplements ever since i can remember, more so religiously when i got active into running. Like many other athletes, i take these supplements to aid in improving my health, ward-off potential diseases and to get those vital nutrients that may be lacking in my regular diet, which is often the case.

My supplements ranges from multivitamins, Vitamin-E, B-Complex, Omega-3, Fiber capsules, Ascorbic Acid, Iron to Malunggay and other herbal supplements. I know i have dietary deficiencies so i try to compensate by taking specific supplements like Omega-3 (we rarely eat fish at home) and B-Complex to combat the hang-overs once in a while.:-)  On others days, i just take a multivitamin.

Last week, while browsing on pieces of these supplements contained in their aluminum foil-like packaging, i noticed the date that was embossed at the back cover which read: E-May 2012 which meant that the pill had expired last May! Ugh! I had been taking this supplement since last year and i didn’t notice that it has expired 2 months ago.

So, is it safe to take expired vitamins? The answers seem to be on the affirmative side. Taking expired multivitamins may not cause any harm, however as vitamins expire, they lose potency making them less effective. I asked my doctor brother who has been giving me samples of multivitamin supplements if it was safe and he himself admitted that has been taking them regularly only to find out they they have already expired.

Here’s what Doctors at the livestrong website has to say about expired vitamins:

The expiration date on vitamins, supplements and drugs covers the amount of time that the manufacturer can guarantee the product’s safety and full potency, according to the Harvard Medical School Family Health Guide. Such dates are determined very conservatively so that vitamins and other products do not automatically become unsafe or lose their effect when the designated date passes. Often they remain good to use for months or even years after expiration, although there is no quick way for a consumer to judge their potency.

Vitamin manufacturers tend to be very conservative when putting expiration dates on their products, so you may still get full potency for months, or even years, after your pills expire. Expiration dates take potential shipping and stocking delays into account, and some companies give their products extra potency to account for any loss that happens on the way to store shelves. Many vitamins retain their full strength for up to five years, although two years is generally a safe time frame for full potency.

http://www.livestrong.com/article/491718-is-it-okay-to-take-expired-vitamins/#ixzz211Zdq5Ly

And from the jigsawhealth website:

Uncovering the Mystery of Expiration Dates

First, let’s start by explaining what the expiration date actually is.

The expiration date is the last day an item will be at its highest level of potency. This means that the manufacturer can successfully guarantee the quality of a product up until the expiration date. A quality manufacturer will ensure that their vitamins are at the listed strength on the label at the time of expiration. If the manufacturer does not list an expiration date, then they are liable for the listed strength for the entire time the product is in circulation.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not require supplements to have expiration dates. However, quality manufacturers voluntarily list expiration dates because it is to their benefit. They test their vitamins rigorously to make sure they can successfully guarantee the label strength up until the expiration date.

So ultimately, just because a product reaches it’s expiration date, that doesn’t mean it’s no longer any good; it only means that label strength may be lost over time.

Expiration dates are extremely conservative. All vitamins start to break down the day they are manufactured. Vitamins deteriorate at different rates, so manufacturers will beef up the strength of some vitamins that tend to deteriorate faster, in order to hit the listed strength at the time of expiration.

If you were to purchase vitamins on the day they’re manufactured, in some cases you’re actually getting a higher strength than what’s listed on the label (to allow for deterioration over time). Many expiration dates are also padded to factor in such things as shelf time and shipping time.

Vitamin manufacturers expect that their vitamins will spend some time traveling to their warehouse destination, then spend some time on stores shelves, before arriving in the customer’s hands. Vitamin strength and expiration dates are carefully coordinated to guarantee the listed label strength up until the day of expiration.

Beyond the Expiration Date

Stored properly, vitamins can last four or five years, although the conservative recommendation is that they can easily last two years. Taking vitamins beyond their expiration date is generally safe. The only difference is that you may lose potency over time, so taking extremely old vitamins may not give you the desired results that you’re trying to achieve. But in case you have doubts, some vitamins have been known to last 10 years or longer without losing their label strength. (http://www.jigsawhealth.com/faqs/expired-supplements).

So there. Also, according to a 1981 New York Times article, if you store vitamins properly like a dark storage space, such as a closet where you store linens, towels and clothing, they’re usually good for between four and five years.

Personally, just to be on the safe side, i usually discard vitamins that have already expired specially those contained in bottles as condensation regularly occurs here. But those that are packaged in aluminum foils are generally safe to take even beyond their expiry dates.
So for my Unilab supplements that have expired 2 months ago?… you are safe!

A Week Before Race Day: Here’s What To Do

To those running the 36th Milo marathon and 21k distances for the first time, good luck on your race this coming July 29th! Milo is reputed to be the biggest and most prestigious foot race in the country and i’m sure many first time runners will aim to achieve a respectable time and hopefully qualify for the finals this December.

Many i know are beginning to feel antsy just a week away from this race and probably are feeling the butterflies hanging in their tummies. This is normal and it may be good as you’re taking the upcoming effort seriously and bodes well for the outcome. However, too much anxiety may also do the reverse for you and may result to sleepless nights coming into the race.  What’s to do then? By taking care of last- minute training preparations.

I’ve prepared some simple guide to do for the week before the race and this comes with my own and many other veteran runners’ experiences to keep you calm and focused.

  • Cramming on your training at the last week–we all know that this is counter-productive and pushing for more intensity on your last few runs will only result on more stress and exhaustion come race day. Proper tapering is key specially for those doing the marathon. Running during this week should be mostly EASY and should include some light cross-training and even walking for the last few days.
  • If you’re going to do some speed work, i suggest doing some short strides of 100 to 300 meters at 70% of full speed with a lot of easy running in between. It helps to maintain your form and leg turn-over that you developed during your training. But this should be done sparingly and with caution.
  • Nourish, hydrate and carbo-load. Loading with complex-carbohydrates 2-3 days before race day will provide you fuel on race day and will fend-off feelings of fatigue. Stay hydrated the week before, alternating water with sports and other nutritional drinks. Avoid drinking alcohol a few days before the race as it will just cause dehydration specially if the weather will be hot.
  • Many will be familiar with the Milo route already so try to make strategies for some segments of the race course like “this is where i’ll step-up the pace” or ‘ i’ll walk when i reach the uphill of this bridge and zoom past it on my way back” etc.
  • Try to run segments of the route for familiarity. Before i did the T2N 50K Ultra last May, me and my team-mates ran the first 32k in practice just to get the feel of it and strategize what parts of the route we would slow down and where we would pick-up the pace.
  • Prepare your gear 2 nights before race day. This will give you ample time to decide what to wear, what energy gels and bars to bring on the starting line. Don’t wear anything new on race day.
  • Seek the comfort of others, your teammates, runner friends who will be doing the same race. Run with them during the last few days and offer support and encouragement.
  • Try to have a good night’s sleep on Friday night as you may have trouble sleeping the night before the early Sunday morning race. Stay calm and relaxed. Watch some TV or read a book.
  • On the race itself, pace yourself! Hold back in the beginning (wag mang gigil!) and don’t get carried away by the others who are going out too fast! Go out on a slower pace than you plan to run the whole race. This will give you more chances of improving on the second half of the race thus increasing your chances of finishing strongly.

There are many other ways to prepare yourself and this is just some of what i have learned in the past.

Good luck to all MILO runners and i hope you sleep well the night before the race!

7-Eleven 800 Run 2012 : The CAVITEX Run (Jan. 20, 2013*)

UPDATES as of January 19, 2013:

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:

On-Site Race Kit Claiming
-if you haven’t received your race kit by race day, you may do so at the venue

1. arrive 30 minutes before assembly time
2. just go to the Race Kit Claiming Tent
3. fall in line according to your category
4. for regular registrants, show your valid ID and receipt (if receipt isn’t lost / damaged)
5. for sponsor contest winners, show your valid ID

On-Site Singlet Size Exchange
-if you want to exchange your singlet to a smaller or bigger size, you may do so at the venue on race day
1. just go to the General Information booth
2. bring your singlet and show a valid ID

See you on Sunday (Jan 20)! Good luck to all runners! 🙂

=================================================

The inaugural running of the 7-Eleven 800 Run takes place on January 20, 2013 and offers runners the opportunity to set foot along the newly opened, 7-kilometer Manila-Cavite Expressway or better known as Cavitex. It’s a dual two lane, North and South bound expressway traversing Bacoor Bay, built over water, and a combination of reclamation and viaduct works stretching from Bacoor to Kawit, Cavite.

Runners will surely enjoy the new scenery of running in an expressway above the Manila and Bacoor Bays. I just registered and i’m getting my race packet on August 13 in a 7-Eleven Store near home! Can’t wait to experience this new route and the early morning scene at Manila Bay!

Details and Press Release below:

7-Eleven Run Representative detailing mechanics of the race

Race Singlets on display at the launch

PRESS RELEASE:

After Tour 700, the Philippines’ biggest bike race event held at the SCTEX last May 13, 2012, 7-Eleven now celebrates the opening of its 800th store with RUN 800 on October 14, 2012 along the CAVITEX, more known as the Coastal Road, with assembly at the Aseana City in Parañaque.

Runners joining the 10k,15k or 21k half-marathon will enjoy this course set along the coastal road – CAVITEX, wherein some of its lanes will be closed just for this race. Those joining in the 3k and 5k categories can look forward to an organized race course along Macapagal Ave.

Coastal Road connecting to Cavitex (credit to Byaherosnapshots.com)

This is made possible with 7-Eleven’s system of allowing SELF-SELECTED WAVE STARTS, enabling them to run with people with the same skill or speed (or with friends!). To make this run more exciting, the top 3 per age category will receive medals. Top 3 Filipino males and females in the 21k will be sponsored to join the Macau International Marathon on December 2012.

To join, register on-line at www.run711.com and pay reg fees at any of the 750 7-Eleven stores in the country. Registration fees are as follows:

Registration Fees:
3K – Php 350
5K –    Php 450.00
10K – Php 550.00
16K – Php 650.00
21K – Php 750.00

To complete registration, runners can pay reg fees at the 7-Eleven nearest them. Take note of the 7-Connect number and pay at any 7-Eleven store within 24 hours. Race Kits can be claimed on the date indicated on the receipt, and from the same store where payment has been made. Runners can expect in their race kits the following:

RACE KIT

KIT CONTENTS: (1) Singlet, (2) Race Bib with Built-in Timing chip, (3) Stubs for Drink, Bag, and Finisher’s Shirt (on the Race Bib) **Singlet size availability is on a first-come, first-served basis. No replacement for lost or change size accepted.

  1. Claim Race Kits at the same store where they paid. Claim date is indicated on the receipt
  2. Receipts must be presented in claiming the Race Kits or bring a valid ID with picture.
  3. No claiming of Race Kits at the venue.

SINGLET:

  1. Color and design is by race category
  2. Sizes are available but subject to availability

run-800-2012-711-singlet

run-800-2012-711-finisher-shirt

WHO CAN JOIN?

  1. Any age of any nationality
  2. Below 18 years of age on race date (August 26) must be accompanied by a parent. They will receive race kits with parent’s consent form to be signed by legal guardian or parent. Race Kits will not be released without a signed consent form

PRIZES

  • Top 3 of each category will receive cash prizes (mixed top 3 males and top 3 females)
  • Top 3 Filipino males and females of the 21k half marathon will also win a slot in the Macau International Marathon in December 2012, which includes airfare and accomodations.
  • Top 3 of all age groups across all categories will be awarded a medal. Age categories will be announced after registration period.

IMPORTANT REMINDERS:

  1. No ON-SITE Registration. Registration is solely online thru www.run711.com
  2. Registration is only completed upon payment of Reg Fee within 24 hours.
  3. To pay the Reg Fee, take note of the 7-Connect number shown after online registration and pay at any 7-Eleven store.

REGISTRATION TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

  1. Registrations are non-refundable and non-transferrable.
  2. Once reg fees are paid, changes in the registration shall not be accepted. Downgrade or upgrade of category is not permitted.

With the usual suspects, the running bloggers at the launch

Run For Light: July 21, 2012

If you haven’t registered yet for the RUN FOR LIGHT this Saturday, here’s your chance to get listed and join in this advocacy run! Join the 3k, 5k or 10k races on Saturday, July 21, 2012 at a new starting line– the Mind Museum, The Fort. Gunstart at 5:30 am.

Best of all, you will be running for a good cause! The Stiftung Solarenergie Foundation is launching this benefit run to bring lighting solutions to low-income communities nationwide.

Check out this site for more details: http://www.stiftung-solarenergie.org.ph/ and the poster for details. Please spread the word!

Run For Light
July 21, 2012 @ 5:30AM
The Mind Museum, Bonifacio Global City
3K / 5K / 10K

Registration Fees:
3K – PHP 400.00
5K – PHP 500.00
10K – PHP 600.00

IMPORTANT REMINDER! We want this event to be the greenest race in the country. In order to stay committed to this environmental advocacy, we strongly encourage you to bring your own hydration equipment (e.g. water bottles). Cups will not be provided, but there will be water stations where you can fill up your hydration equipment.

Registration Venue:
R.O.X.
B3, Bonifacio High Street
11th Avenue, Bonifacio Global City
and at

ALL TERRA, Sports Loop, 3rd floor, Robinsons Galleria

The starting point of the race will be at the Mind Museum, JY Campos Park, 3rd Avenue, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
https://i0.wp.com/farm9.staticflickr.com/8167/7554606906_7ec45d6946_b.jpg
With the lovely Ms. Chinie Canivel of  Solar Energy Foundation and co-Race Director Edmund Mangaser
With Congressman Remulla and co-Race Director, Iggy Lopez
…and with co-bloggers, Jham and CJ

3 Online Tools To Create Big Savings for Small Companies

If you are running a small business or are just starting out, you may feel that the competition is just a tad too overwhelming. More established players may seem to have better resources and access to tools to efficiently manage their businesses. But you, too, can come up with hefty savings while working towards expanding your business with the three online tools below:

1. http://pickydomains.com

Creating an excellent business name, domain or company slogan can be a big step towards owning your space in the marketplace. It is also crucial for an effective marketing campaign. Even without flashy advertisements, a resounding brand name can attract customers. At the same time, it easily sticks to the public’s memory.

If you find the services of branding agencies out of reach at the moment, mainly because of price, then, PickyDomains.com can offer you a much more affordable solution. Using crowdsourcing, PickyDomains allows you access to ideas from thousands of contributors (more than 50,000, as a matter of fact) who can come up with original and creative names for your company from which you can choose from. The service is substantially more economically viable, with only $50 as a downpayment for company or domain names and $75 for company slogans. All you need to do is sign up as a client and submit a list of your naming preferences. The service comes with a money-back guarantee, meaning, if you like none of the suggestions you receive, you get your money back.

2. http://bitrix24.com

 

How would it feel like to manage your business through a social network platform? Sounds fun? This is the interface Bitrix24.com gives you, making managing your business seem like less work and more fun. But don’t be fooled as application gives you tools that are geared towards creating a more efficient business and workplace.

Bitrix24 offers a whole host of free functionality that can help you with things such as file and document sharing, task and project collaboration, CRM, a calendar and a whole lot more. Information is also stored in the cloud and is conveniently accessible via mobile. Privacy options ensure that you get to control the flow and use of information. For startups consisting of 12 or less people, the service is offered for free. If you are already expanding and have more people in your roster, an upgrade of only $99 a month is available, giving you access as well to other features.

3. http://jetradar.com

 

For airlines and travel agencies, JetRadar.com eliminates the tedious work involved in going from one website to the next when booking your next flight. Time-constrained business people, in general, will appreciate the service offered by this meta search engine that makes information from 728 airlines and hundreds of travel websites available with just a click, and all in a single portal. Prices in the listings are final. As well, you don’t need to pay a dime to use the service. No longer will you have to pay for the services of agencies to do the searching for you. Just enter your destination and the information will be made available to you almost in an instant, definitely a service that will save you both time and money.

(This is a guest posting by sponsors)

Mizuno Run Academy at BHS

While having a break after trying to scramble a series of difficult burpees,  crunches and squats during the early series of the FILFIT Camp with Jim Saret 3 Mondays ago at BHS, i  was able to squeeze myself in at the Mizuno Run Academy which was being held simultaneously on the other end of the sprawling High Street where Coach Patrick Joson was lecturing on the POSE Running method.

Lectures inside the Mizuno Store at BHS

Coach Patrick Joson

The Mizuno Run Academy is actually a beginners course on the science of running called “Discovering the Key to High Endurance” but its main attraction is learning the basics of POSE Running.  I’ve been to lectures of the Chi Running method conducted by Coach Lit Onrubia and i’ve always been intrigued how it compared to the POSE method and found varying similarities and differences within them.

While Coach Lit is a US Certified Chi Running instructor, we’re fortunate enough to also have the first Filipino US Certified Pose Method instructor in Coach Patrick who is also a certified International Triathlon Union Level 2 coach.

Although the basics is geared on the Pose Running method, the Mizuno Run academy also emphasizes on another training method of a low-stress fitness running program which can be tailored based on each individual needs. This is a holistic approach to racing and training and its basis is the aerobic system.  This system is called the Maffetone Training method which improves the aerobic system at using fat for fuel in the most efficient way.

The Maffetone tries to manage your stress, find the ideal nutrition and optimize your potentials by evaluating your strengths and weaknesses for improved performance. Easier said than done but based on the lectures and initial drills conducted by Coach Patrick, the concept here is building a foundation of aerobic fitness via Long Slow Distance runs and build slowly upwards in doing anaerobic and racing while being injury free.

Reminds me a lot of our old running clinic days at Runnex during the 80’s when we were doing the Arthur Lydiard way of training based mostly on controlled phases of running like base building/aerobic training, speed or hill training, sharpening and rest/tapering.

I’m not going into explaining about the differences/similarities of the POSE and Chi methods (there’s a lot of them on-line) but from the first impressions about the POSE, here’s what i surmised:

  • Your strides should be kept short, staccato-like with your leading foot under your body, not ahead or before  it.
  • Using the hamstrings more when raising your ankle straight up positioning underneath your hip.
  • Head, shoulders, hips, and ankles are kept in vertical alignment
  • Pull up, don’t push off the ground
  • With shorter strides, you should land on the ball of your foot and not your heels.
  • Mimic what Coach Patrick does (and ask how he does it, after!)

So there! We’re still on the learning stages of the POSE running method and the Maffetone Training method and i’ll be back again to report more on these after i do more body twisters at the FILFIT Camp! See you!

Running mates at the Academy

Rexona Run 2012: On September 23* at MOA!

*(Re-scheduled to September 23, 2012)

Recently, i was thinking about races organized by Runrio which had a great impact on runners in terms of enjoyment, after race festivities and the active support and participation of its main sponsor. Outside of the Unilab Run United Series, the race that comes to mind is the Rexona Run, sponsored by Unilever.

21k, hot sizzling route, it’s always an event to look forward to plus you get to bring home all of their underarm deodorants in all variants after the race! The race was often accompanied by some kind of post-race contests of adventure trips locally and abroad.

Well, this year’s race set this coming September 23, 2012 at the MOA will see another attraction when they present the 21k relay wherein 2 runners (both male or female or mixed) will run about 10.5kms each and vie for the 1st Rexona relay championship and win fabulous prizes.

Also, Pacers will be deployed to help runners achieve their running goals for the 21k Individual Category, 21k Relay and the 5KM race. For more of the pacer details or those who would like to volunteer to act as Pacers, check out the Runrio site on Facebook, here: http://runrio.com/2012/07/wanted-rexona-run-2012-volunteer-pacers/ or Vima Mendoza’s Kulit on the Run blog.

This will be another memorable race, one Unilever will undoubtedly put its all-out support and make all runners happy and sweet-smelling!

Here are the details of the race:

The launching of the Rexona 2012 Run with Coach Rio (Race Director) and Anne Remulla of Unilever

Rexona Run 2012 challenges you to outrun yourself

Prepare to push yourself to the limits when Rexona Run 2012 unfolds on September 23 at the SM Mall of Asia grounds.  Presented by Rexona Men, the much-anticipated event promises to raise the bar even higher.  With a new category, more prizes and exciting features that will surely test the mettle of even the most seasoned runners.

Participants can choose from among three race categories: 5K, 21K Solo and for the first time ever, the 21K Relay.  The new category is designed to inspire 5K and 10K runners to raise their level by taking part in the more challenging 21K race, where a team of 2 runners will run a relay for them to finish the 21K distance.

Apart from cash prizes and medals for the top finishers, commemorative key chains will also be awarded to finishers who manage to beat the recommended finishing time for a challenge.  To qualify, 5K runners must cross the finish line 30 minutes after gun start at 6:20am, and all 21K participants need to finish within 2 hours at 7:00am.

To ensure that each participant keeps within their target finishing time, pacers shall be deployed for each race category.

Helping runners train and commit to a faster finishing time, Rexona Run 2012 has created the Rexona Run Outrun Yourself App, which can be downloaded for free via the Rexona Men Facebook page.  The app will help runners set a target time for the category to be run courtesy of a running playlist and occasional voice over as their time check, which they can listen to while training.  During the actual run, the app can also be used to help runners set their pace.

More than just promoting wellness through running, Rexona also strongly espouses the responsible running.  For Rexona Run 2012, trash bins will be placed in strategic locations so runners can properly discard used water bottles, sponges and other trash.  This gives runners a cleaner and more pleasant race route, now and in succeeding editions of Rexona Run.

“Each year, Rexona manages to raise the bar and this year will be no different.  We not only made this year’s race fun, exciting and safe, but we’re also introducing new developments that will surely inspire running enthusiasts, both professional and recreational types, to strive to outrun themselves,” says Rexona brand manager Anne Remulla.

Prizes for the top three finishers in the 21K Solo include Php 7,000 for first, 5,500 second and 4,000 for third, while the podium finishers in the 21K Relay take home Php 5,000 for first, 4,000 for second and 3,000 for third for each member of the team.  Top three finishers in the 5K category go home with Php 4,000, 3,000 and 2,000 for first, second and third placers, respectively

Registration is ongoing until July 29 at Riovana stores in Bonifacio Global City and Katipunan and Toby’s branches in Trinoma and SM Mall of Asia.  Online registrations are also accepted at http://www.runrio.com from now until 12 midnight of July 22.

So this September, get ready to challenge and outrun yourself only at the Rexona Run 2012.

For more details, check out the Rexona Men Facebook page, visit www. runrio.com or call/text the race hotline at +63927-347-7700 (Globe), +63929-717-8164 (Smart) or +632-887-6194 . (Press Release).

With the bloggers at the launch

Great Service Center For My Soleus GPS Watch!

I’ve been using my SOLEUS GPS 1.0 for the past 7 months now and i’m very satisfied with its performance. I got the watch from Soleus Philippines to review its features for this blog as an alternative of the Garmin GPS watches i had previously been using.

The Soleus is easy to use, very reliable with fast GPS connectivity and it delivers the features that are essential to me, the distance traveled, time covered and the pace details.

Two weeks ago however, i was having trouble pressing the start/lap button on the upper right side portion of the watch as when you begin your run and after pressing the start, the timer wouldn’t move or start. This had me worried for a while as i didn’t have any idea if there was any repair service for the Soleus GPS watch locally.

Then by co-incidence, i bumped into Judith Staples, Sales & Marketing Manager of True Gears Marketing  (distributors of the Soleus GPS watch) at the World Vision Half-Marathon two Sundays ago where she also ran the half. I asked if there was a service repair shop for the Soleus here in Metro Manila. Surprised that i didn’t know, she pointed me out to the TIMECHECK Service Center, Soleus’ official service center located at Ground Floor of the 6750 Building in Ayala Avenue, Makati.

The Timecheck Service Center at the G/F, 6750 Ayala Avenue, Makati City

I went there two days after, got entertained by a very gracious lady who told me to wait while my watch was being fixed inside. In less than 15 minutes of waiting, my watch arrived and the lady rep told me that the problem was caused by a dis-alignment of the button so they just had it re-aligned and cleaned. The watch is as good as new!

I didn’t pay any cent as the Soleus was still under warranty (1 year).

Thank you Timecheck for the fast and efficient service and to Mam Judith for supporting us Soleus users!

All Thrills At The 2nd Valley Trail Challenge

Well, i would have to say that this has got to be one of the best and most challenging trail races ever. The no frills, all thrills tag put up by RD Jonel Mendoza, well-describes this event and i’m just amazed at the high-level of enthusiasm and support this race has generated.

All ears on RD Jonel (not in photo) for last minute instructions before the 25k start. Among the instructions, “Don’t disturb the cows!”

What was surprising too was the high turn-out of runners who came to run either the 25k and 50k distances. When June and i arrived at the Fields Clubhouse in Nuvali at about 4:30am, there was already a crowd lining-up to get their race packets and the large parking lot beside the building was slowly being filled-up. The collection of packets went smoothly, donned our hydration belts and we were about ready after the 50k runners were sent off.

The route began along a pave road then immediately turned left into a grassy trail. Here, the muddy paths began,  and we knew the course will be downright soggy from the intermittent strong rains that started 3 days before. Running on the sides was the norm and that persisted from start to finish.

The trails had everything it had to offer; mostly single track paths inside forest enclaves, sweeping open vistas, gently rolling hills, secluded barangay communities, portions of the main highways, cows that grazed in open fields and the great runners that i ran along with.

Regardless of where we were, there was going to be an obstacle on how to get pass the thick mud as some parts were really soft that your shoe sinks-in below you, down to your ankles that made your shoes a kilo heavier.

There was even a short 3 meter incline,  so slippery that as soon as i got to the middle, i would slid down as fast before i could even  make the next step! Good thing this guy (in blue) who got past over buy jumping literally to the top of the edge offered help by pulling us all up. Part of the fun of trail running!

There was this stunning scenery of green rolling hills that looked like pastureland minus the black and white Holstein cows. There was no shortage of the Bakpin cows, though. And yes, we left them alone to graze.

I was wearing my FILA Volcro Trail shoe for the first time in a trail. During the first 5 kms, i was feeling the all too familiar nagging ache on my plantar, similar to what i felt during the Salomon trail race where i DNF’ed while wearing a new Mizuno shoe. Luckily, the pain subsided and was running pain-free from the 8th km onwards.

The last 10k was ran in scorching heat! One stretch we were on trails then we exit along an open private road then we’re back to the trails again, all under the open. I experienced cramps on my left hamstrings and had to stop several times to stretch it. Good thing there were refreshments and food available at some of the stations and we were able to re-fill our water bottles and even carry Pocari Drinks during the last stretch.

I finished the race in 5 hours flat that measured 29.7 kms on my Soleus GPS.

After finishing the run, my legs felt as though someone had beat them with a sledge hammer. I haven’t experienced this soreness in a trail run before, but even with this discomfort and pain, i wouldn’t trade this for the experience in running on these trails!

The organizers have done a tremendous job in putting up this race! Lunch was open to all finishers, the freebies were more than you could ask for although i think the medal and finisher’s shirt were tops already. This is one of the races you want to promote and be part of and i can honestly say that this race is a poster event of trail running!

Congratulations to all finishers and to Jonel of Front Runner Magazine! Job well done!:-)

With my aNR UP Heartbreakers Team

With ultra-vets Chito and Mel (Team 90%)

Just one of dozens of muddy parts of the route

A short respite from the ragged trails

On a paved road. The smiling won’t last forever. (Thanks to Gey Enriquez for the photo)

The setting inside Nuvali

One of the shaded parts of the trail

This is just at the 7km mark

Mt. Makiling gazes beyond

At the Pastureland (Gey Enriquez)

Runners were seen far ahead and behind..part of the “Pastureland” stretch

A long way to the top

Time-out for these two to savor the views

Near the finish line wondering where it was only to find out that it was just a few meters at our left (Photo by Dianne Salonga/Justin)

With June, JR and his friends

Photo