Time for a new goal: Osaka Yodogawa Marathon

Monday, July 18, 2016 0 Permalink

I think I will never stop running. There will be days that I will be lazy, days when I wouldN't want to lace up my running shoes, days that injuries will prevent me from pounding the road, but I will never stop running. Barely five weeks after the very challenging Torshavn Marathon, here I am, with my husband, signing up for yet another 42,195 kilometres of unknown roads. We've planned our trip to Japan for the Autumn holiday already last year. But those plans did not include running a marathon in Japan. Because Robin got so inspired by Jurgen, the 75-year German ...

Ramadan in Morocco

Tuesday, July 5, 2016 0 Permalink

In that big square, we are just spectators, spectators of a grand display of faith by thousands of Moroccans, garbed in black or white robes, praying intently, oblivious to the noise created by tourism in Marrakech. I stand in awe, my ears follow the rhythm of the chants recited by the Imam from the great, unfamiliar Koran.  My eyes get hypnotized by the faint glow of the Khoutobia. My mind tries to process the mesmerizing image of men and women bowing, praying and kissing the grand in unison. Rarely do I find peace in a noisy, public place but my soul was touched by an unexplainable serenity as ...

Second chances: Mevrouw Meijer

Saturday, July 2, 2016 0 Permalink

I'm very glad I gave Mevrouw Meijer, a tiny French bistro in Rotterdam Noord, a second chance. My first visit was a disappointment. The black pudding with figs was served un-appetizingly in a purple plate on a bed of pale salad, the duck's skin wasn't crispy enough and the fish disappeared under the garnish of greens and tomatoes. The only thing that save that dinner from a becoming a total disaster was a pretty plate of Bretagne oysters, which I ate for dessert. "Lin and Tess were wrong," I thought then, remembering the Dutch bloggers who raved about Mevrouw Meijer. There was a ...

Faroe Islands: Dinner at KOKS

Saturday, June 11, 2016 0 Permalink

I came to Faroe Islands for three reasons - to run Torshavn Marathon, to eat at KOKS and to see a magical place I never knew existed. Yes, in that order. So after we booked our flights, I reserved a table right away. Much have been written about KOKS but theirs is not exactly an original concept. KOKS follows the foraging movement made popular by two-star Michelin restaurant NOMA. Accolades-wise and price-wise, KOKS is in the same category but they don't have a star (yet). I thought that the tasting menu consisted of 20 dishes but there were only 17, each came ...

Race report: Torshavn Marathon 2016

Tuesday, June 7, 2016 0 Permalink

Four months. When I look back on all those weeks of training, I could not believe the effort I've put into it. "You must change your life for a marathon." Said this German runner we chatted with at the airport in Vagar.  He was absolutely right. Since February, my life was all about Torshavn Marathon. When it was finally race time, those relentless months of training carried me to the finish line. Taper week We spent week 13-15 of tapering, running only twice a week because our schedules got busier. On week 13, a 10km and a 21km and on week 14 a 10km and 14km. ...

Road to Faroe: 8 weeks to go

Monday, May 16, 2016 0 Permalink

The third month of a marathon training is usually the most intensive. Enndurance runs climb to 25-32 kilometers, sometimes even between 35-37 for the fanatics. This is also the time when a runner must be very careful with injuries or sickness because missing on training could mean missing the race entirely (in extreme injury or sickness of course). My third month of training was a combination of highs and lows. It saw me running four times a week doing very challenging interval and hill trainings and punishing endurance runs. It is also when I met the man with the hammer, which ...

Road to Faroe: 11 weeks to go

Sunday, April 24, 2016 0 Permalink

This should have been written two weeks ago but I got so caught up in the heat of the presidential election in the Philippines, debating with some voters about their choices. It had been exhausting, discussing the affairs of my former country. My views and rebuttal even threatened "friendship" with some. But that's a topic for another post. At the time of publishing, we have only six weeks left to train for Torshavn Marathon. This is suppose to be the toughest period in the training. In the meantime, let me tell you about how the second four weeks of my training ...

Drink and dine: 6x Surrey

Monday, April 11, 2016 2 Permalink

Who knew that I would have quite the dining experience in Surrey? The English are not exactly known for their culinary skills but it certainly helps to have friends who know the right addresses. From burgers to cakes and the best cocktails in town, here's some hotspots to check if you ever wind up in Surrey. Guildford Turtle Bay This Carribean food and drinks joint is unassumingly located beside the American bar giant Hardrock Cafe. What makes it stand out though are its blue facade and bright lights, exuding the the island of the Carribean. We came an hour before happy hour ends, ...

A most beautiful sunset date

Monday, April 4, 2016 2 Permalink

Everything was arranged when we came back to the lodge after a full day of tracking lions and leopards. We were tired but happily tired, the kind of tiredness you get after swimming in an open sea. After a quick hot shower at the tent, the manager led us to our reserved corner in the bush. Two wooden chairs and a table covered in white cloth were set up under a bush tree. Several lamps hang on the branches. Shortly after we were seated, Atanas, a jolly camp personnel, came with the wine list. We chose a bottle of Stellenbosch Pinotage, ...

Road to Faroe: 15 weeks to go

Monday, April 4, 2016 0 Permalink

How do you train for a marathon? This question has always confused me. If I dig into all the knowledge online and follow them all, I might as well stopped living and just train. Or stop training altogether. I didn't change my eating patterns (I still eat loads of rice), I hardly do interval trainings, I skip trainings (too often as well) and I lost my bike's keys (which means I can't do cross training either). Last year for the Rotterdam Marathon, I trained like a running fanatic. We would run five times a week and several long distance runs above the ...