Dec 30, 2010

Daily thoughts - gear time

I received a package from my husband today. Among the items inside is a book about a blind cat, cat toys, special cat food, ant bait, chocolates, dvd and other food that I love! Im really excited to start reading the book so this post will be short.

box of goodies!

I cant wait to read this

Goodie box contents!
I was planning to write a review about the fitness tracker I bought last December 9 2010. But Ill have to put that off another day. Just a quick run down. I had an old beat up Timex watch I bought in Singapore 3 years ago. It has fallen apart and I needed to have the strap replaced. I brought it to be fixed at the Timex service center at Megamall but they didnt have any strap at that time. I saw this fitness tracker instead and decided to get it as a Christmas and Birthday gift to myself. I havent bought anything extravagant for the year because I spent most of my money for my Dad who was very sick.

This watch also sort of reinforces me to keep running. On days I feel lazy, I remind myself that I splurged on this so I might as well use it. Its still cheaper compared to other types of watches. But since Im very stingy, for me this is already expensive and I want to make the most out of this investment by really using it.

The watch and tracker cost 5490PHP (125USD) and it came with a free lady's watch. I checked the actual rate online and its cheaper if you get it overseas, its like half of the amount I paid. But I would admit that I really like this watch. Ive been using it for my workouts the past few days and Im very pleased. I will have to key in more details on the review next time. Some photos of my new running gear and also my favorite old timex.

old strapless timex

fitness tracker and free watch

sleek watch
Here is a video on how to calibrate the watch:

I honestly find the calibration process a little confusing. I followed the instruction manual but I should have looked up this information online instead. The video gives a simpler description.

Dec 29, 2010

Daily thoughts - lotslotsa cats and lotsakids

A few days ago I wrote a post about how three of the cats in the house were "discarded" somewhere. I found the two cats the same day. I almost gave up on Squid but yesterday I was lucky. Thank God I found him!

I was supposed to throw a little party today to celebrate Thumper's birthday and also because I found Squid. But I was really tired due to lack of sleep. So I just promised the kids next door that Id make them hotcakes tomorrow.

Im especially fond of one of the kids because he really likes cats. He adopted two cats from the house. One is Buco Melon and the other one is Coco.He is also very polite everytime he buys from the store. He is also fond of books. He in fact wants to borrow my cats for dummies book. He also helped me look for the cats on the first day they went missing. I plan to give him some of my books and toys when I move overseas next year. I think he earned it.

I took some photos also today of the cats and my little "sukis"

L-R: Gabby, Bembem, Tenten, Marcus

cats L-R: Maki, Squid, Coco, Enchong. Pretty is the one in front

Pretty (gray one) and Gibor

Pretty and Gibor

Pretty, Squid, Marcus holding Enchong, Tenten, Bembem and Gabby

In front of the store

so many cats

Marcus holding Enchong, Bembem looking and Tenten holding Coco

Marcus and Enchong

Baby Gibor




Maki taking a dump. hahaha

I had a great time chatting with these boys today. Also, Im happy that Squid is home.
These boys really make me smile everyday. Although there are times they drive me crazy. One of them would press the doorbell of the store and flee. Its actually very annoying. Id be coming down from my room (from the 2nd floor) to discover that noone is there. They pull this prank thinking I wouldnt find out. Well, someone always rats on the culprit because I have the power to bribe with treats from the store. Hehe.

Dec 27, 2010

Daily thoughts - Thumper's special day

Today is my baby girl Thumper's birthday. We didn't do anything special though. I was planning to make some pasta and a cake but I lacked sleep coz I got up around 9am. I slept past 4 am yesterday. I still want to make her a small "party" within the week. I also got her 2 tiny cans of fancy feast as a birthday gift and I also made a special video for her.

The rest of the day was routine. I tended the store, ran for 30minutes and now Im gettting ready to hop in the shower and then cap off my day with a new read. I have to sleep for at least 8 hours so I ll have the energy to make preparations for Thumper's little party. It will just be me, the other cats and some kids that frequent my store. Just pasta, soda and some cake. I just like the idea that Im celebrating my sweet girl's 2nd birthday. Last year my husband discouraged me to get her a cake. He said" I know you love her but she is just a cat." Well, she is more than a cat darling, she is my baby girl! And now since you are million miles away, I will do what I want to amuse myself and there is nothing you can do about it. haha except shake your head and say wtf.
Happy Birthday sweetie girl! Mommy and Daddy love you very much!

Dec 25, 2010

Daily thoughts - Happy Holidays!

I was looking forward to this Christmas last year. I was planning to really be home and have plenty of gifts for everyone. I was hoping that I would celebrate it with my family, especially my Dad. I was excited for my husband to experience the holidays in my country.

Unfortunately, things did not turn out the way I wanted it to. Two deaths in the family have made it impossible for me and my husband to be together this year. He had to go home to attend a funeral, and I had to stay here to attend my Dad's funeral. I also decided that I have to maximize my stay here in the country since it would be a few years before I can come home again. It will take some time for me to get settled overseas and while Im here, I prefer to spend as much quality time with my family.

I miss my Dad and the holidays when he was around. I didnt expect that 2006 would be the last
Christmas I would ever spend with him. If I did, I would have given him anything he asked for (that my money can buy). But life is like that. YOu wont really know. Thats why its always ideal to give your best to the people you love.

My Christmas may not be perfect like I planned and hoped it would be, but there are things to be grateful for. I am blessed to have a wonderful husband waiting for me. I am happy also to celebrate the holidays with my 3 nephews and niece. And I thank God for the internet! free gmail calls in the US! phonelines are congested right now but at least I get to greet my friends and family a Merry Christmas.

Here is a song for the people I cant share Christmas with right now. Mushy but oh so apt.

Merry Christmas Everyone!
Funny Dancing Santa Animation provided by

Funny Christmas Graphics hosted at

Dec 23, 2010

Daily thoughts - The Hal Higdon Marathon Project

17 years ago, I joined the varsity track and field team in my school. Our training was Monday to Friday and we had road runs on Sundays. Sometimes we would also compete during organized races on Saturdays at the Rizal Track and Field Stadium. It was called PATAFA (Philippine amateur track and field association) weekly meet.

Fortunately, I never got injured in college. Although we sometimes trained 2x a day, I never really got burned out. There were times though I would just be lazy and not train at all. Not that I got tired but I just liked to sleep a lot when I was younger. But everytime I did run I never really pushed myself to the limit. I loved running but I just did it because I had fun being in the team and also enjoyed the perks that came with it (scholarship, free shoes, jersey and jacket, bags etc).

I never read any magazines back then about running. In fact I never questioned the type of training we had, whether there is any scientific approach to it. I didnt know whether my training was for endurance or to make me faster. I just did as I was told. Going up and down the bleachers was among the workout we had. It was hard on my knees but I never really cared. Back then it didnt seem to matter.

Now that Im older and with the advent of internet and more information about running, I began wondering whether I couldve done better had I known the things to focus on during training. Also I ask myself whether the knee issues IM having now has something to do with the kind of workout we had back then.Not that I doubt the strategy of my coach. I just think if I had more knowledge about how to pace oneself, the benefits of tempo runs, uphill runs, enough rest and hydration, I would have done better. I would have pushed myself to my limit instead of being complacent and content with my time. After graduation, I became busy with finding a job and also making money to support myself. Also, I discovered the "joys" of drinking and partying. I didnt drink nor smoked in college because my friends or teammates didnt. It was just unimaginable given the kind of rigid training we had.

I still continued running each year but never did I consider that I would be as passionate as I am now. Now that Im older (not old). I also found out that there are different types of shoes for different types of runners. I remember that back in college, I just wore whatever was issued to us. My first spikes shoes in fact was a beat up asics that was probably 4 years old. I wore it anyway and luckily never tripped or got injured. I had a Lady Boston Adidas that was only 10USD back then. It was a gift from my mother who didnt even know I was in the varsity team.

Its been a long time since I last ran competitively. Recently Ive gone back to running even participated in two fun runs. I plan to keep joining races until I leave for the USA next year. My ultimate goal is to join a marathon, hopefully the NYC Marathon. If not next year, maybe in 2012.

I dont know how Ill do it though. 10k is achievable. 16k, did it when I was a teenager. 21K hopefully in a few months. but a marathon..hmm is something else. Although I do know friends who have done it and have told me "if we can do it, you can do it too! youre a runner!" Im still not that confident. Ive heard of runners who DIE during a marathon.

But I dont want to wonder for the rest of my life so yes Im taking the plunge and am now preparing for my first marathon. Ive asked people who have ran marathons on what kind of training they had. They have all told me that they follow a program. My friend Joy who used to be a varsity player for Tae Kwon Do, never expected she would love running. Also she started running only when she moved to the USA after graduation. She has joined a full marathon and also a triathlon. She has inspired me to try it too and she always motivates me to follow through with the training and just do it. She sent me a program through email. I did check online for other programs that may are also simple and with descriptions on the kind of workout I should do in a day.

I found the Hal Higdon Link very useful. The instructions are really simple and also the program seem lighter for a beginner like me. I may have been running for many years but Ive never gone the distance. The farthest I think Ive tried in the last couple of years was 12K. I remember being lightheaded and that I had goosebumps after running for what seemed like an eternity.

I hope this time I can build up the mileage before going for the kill. Right now Im on my 3rd week on this schedule. Ive been consistenly running for almost 2 months though I had to relax the previous week because of a flu.

My feedback on the training is that it is true that after a few weeks, my endurance has gotten better. I used to get tired by the first ten minutes but now I can keep running up to 20 minutes. The other day my pedometer just didnt work right away and I thought I was still on the 1mile mark and wondered why I was getting tired when I havent even reached ten minutes yet (normally it takes me 9minutes to finish a mile). I realized the tracker was off and I have been running for 23 minutes.

Yesterday I ran for an hour and I still felt some energy left after my run was over. I hope I can improve on my endurance in the next few weeks.

Anyway, I will track my progress on this blog. I hope I can achieve this dream even if it takes longer than the proposed timetable. Maybe one day I can also share the experience with someone planning to try their first marathon.

This is it. No turning back.

Dec 22, 2010

Daily thoughts - kindness, animals, miracle

I got up this morning and I felt great. I ran the previous night and I slept in for 9 hours. I opened the store and I was in a cheerful mode until I realized that 3 of the mainstay cats were missing. Normally when I call them for feeding time, without fail, they would show up. Maki and Squid especially. Eversince I moved here 6 months ago, Ive been feeding these cats and also cleaning up after them because they are not familiar with litter boxes. I have also been taking care of 4 kittens that were born around September. Out of the 4 kittens, there was one left, Enchong. His sibling Coco was adopted. The other two werent too fortunate. Dingdong and Piolo both died. Recently also one of the cats here, Elmo, was ran over by a car. We dont know who did it but Im sure God does. Ill let the Lord deal with that asshole. So from the 13 cats Ive been taking care of, this is the latest list: Glory, Gibor, Coleman, Enchong, Maki, Pretty, Boomer and my own 2 cats Dapper and Thumper.

This morning I got the shock of my life when I couldnt find Maki, Squid and Enchong. I knew there was something wrong. I was certain someone got rid of them. It was just too obvious. I was really very upset the entire day. I did the laundry and tended the store but I couldnt stop thinking of the 3 cats. Around 530PM I decided to go for a run. My sister in law suggested I run around the neighborhood and I might find the cats. I prayed. I normally dont run around the neighborhood after 530PM. I just run up and down our street. But this time I had a goal. I want to prove that the cats didnt just run away. Someone threw them somewhere and was hoping they would get killed or just get lost.

I was near the chapel when I spotted a black thing moving. My heart leapt. I told myself, if God helps me find the cats, I promise Ill take good care of them and not neglect them again. I saw Maki and Enchong. It was a miracle that the kitten was not run over by a car. I even talked to a lady telling me that they saw the cats earlier and were surprised at how sweet and friendly they were, especially Enchong.

I scooped Enchong in my arms and brought him to my brother's store. I told them Ill come back after I get the other cat Maki. I wasnt lucky to find Squid though. It took awhile to coax Maki to come out of the bushes. Once he did, I was able to pick him up and convince him he will be safe with me. I carried him to the store and I was glad I ran into Marcus ( a kid who adopted Enchong's sibling Coco) and he took Enchong and we headed home.  Both cats were purring when we carried them! They seem really happy to be going home. Im not sure if they were aware but Makmak responds to his name. And when I called them earlier at the chapel, they knew who I was.

I dont know why I feel like this about animals. If some people get excited over new shoes, new electronics, new expensive stuff, I dont hold it against them. To each his own. But for me, making one animal happy truly makes me happy as well. Tomorrow, Ill have to go out and look for Squid. Then I can say, I will have a perfect Christmas.

Thank you Lord for such a miraculous day. I appreciate the kindness of some people and also your generosity.

Dec 21, 2010

Daily thoughts - toys for the little ones

It's 4 days before Christmas. I am excited especially because Ill be celebrating it for the first time with my 2 nephews. I still feel sad that my Dad will not be around. I spent the last 3 Christmas in Singapore and although the decorations were beautiful over there, its not the same. It is still best to celebrate Christmas with family. 2008 and 2009 were exceptionally great however since I was able to spend it with my husband and our cats. This time around though it will just be me, my cats and my family. Still I dont want to ruin it just because I cant have what I want for Christmas. Ill have to make do with what he have.

For starters, I bought my nephew a race track toy which didnt really cost me a fortune like I was expecting. I havent given him anything for the past 3 years when I was overseas. I was planning to give him a Transformer toy but when we went to the mall last night, we found this neat race track instead. The bummer was, it just arrived and the guys at the store had to assemble it first for us to test whether its working.

It started out with two guys trying to put the whole thing together. We got there around 920PM and the store closes at 10PM. When the store was about to close, more people from the shop joined in to help.

We left the store around 1030PM. I had to apologize to the counter although it wasnt really my fault. They should have had an assembled sample on the floor in case people were interested to check it out. Besides, one of the store clerks suggested the toy to me. I first saw a small version, then a medium sized one. Then he excitedly told me they had one with an elevator! So I had to see it!

The good news is, my nephew loved it. His dad (my brother) had to reassemble some pieces. Some of the tracks have been incorrectly connected, no wonder the whole thing was wobbly (the guys brought the assembled piece in the car by the way).

my nephew amused with the other toys

medium sized race track
I was about to walk away from the store but I realized I didnt have anything for my baby birls Thumper and Dapper. So I got them the medium sized race track and one additional car!

Thumper inspecting

Thumper excited!

Thumper sniffing one of the lampposts
The baby girls loved it! Thumper even was dozing off but still watching till one of the car's battery died. I am so happy I got them this special treat.