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Nota Bene




Sometimes you climb out of bed and you think, I’m not going to make it, but you laugh inside – remembering all the times you’ve felt that way.

(Charles Bukowski)




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via Silvia Castaneda on Pinterest


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50 ways to tell you’re a runner

50 ways to tell you’re a runner


Thank God for Internet. I stumbled upon this video a while ago, finding myself saying yeap, yeap, yeap and more yeaps as I watch the vid went on. Though some are just exaggerations of the nature, I bet you can call yourself a runner if you agree with more than 20 of these items:



1. You have chafing in strange, unimaginable places
2. All of your socks are either stained or torn
3. You use the phrase “10 mile” and “easy run” in the same breath
4. You can eat your weight in pasta
5. You spend more money on training clothes than school clothes
6. Your Saturday mornings for the rest of your life are RUINED
7. You often foam at the mouth
8. (If you’re a guy) You try to impress girls by saying you’re a faster finisher
9. You consider school/work a break between runs
10. You own spandex in more than one color
Continue reading 50 ways to tell you’re a runner

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16 powerful girly songs that keeps you strong and going



I know, I know – judging from the headline, call me girly-girl all you want.

In my defense, I’m a jobless twenty-something girl who doesn’t have everything all figured out yet in life (and this is a totally different topic, something I might frequently touch upon in the near future).

After all, I’ve only achieved one out of the five milestones sociologists consider as becoming an adult: Completing school, leaving home, becoming financially independent, marrying, and having a child.

Equipped with our tech-savviness, multitasking skills, innovative ideas, and a “fresher” perspective, modern society perceives Millennials as the new breed that will replace Gens X and Y in the workforce. Other twenty-somethings go back to their hometowns after college and live in their parents’ backyard, falling behind from the employed population.

That would be me.

I’m scared, and I’m confused about the future. But I know one thing’s for sure: I am not alone.

Being alone in this changing times is frightening, especially when you feel like no one understands your situation and there’s no one to talk to about this dilemma. I myself have experienced suicidal episodes during my junior year in college. Just the thought of life after graduation frightened me so much that I considered ending my life was the only solution.

Well, unless you’re stupid, it’s not. Because there’s more to life than just the pursuit of happiness.

Happiness in itself is readily attainable, but as human beings, I believe each one of us has our own unique life purpose to live by, and therefore hold the responsibility to ensue the purpose. Some will die for love, while others will suffer for the welfare of others.

But before I get too philosophical about the nuts of bolts of living the twenty-something life, or just life, let me stop and say that in a few scrolls away, I’ll be sharing with you my inspiration to keep moving forward no matter what life brings me ahead – good music.

Music moves people. Good music moves people to do positive actions. Katy Perry wrote Firework for a reason. She wanted to inspire the people who are labelled by society as “different”, or “weird”, or “disabled”, to never give up in spite of rejects. She dedicated the music video to the It Gets Better Project, a national movement in America responsible for suicide prevention and encouraging self-esteem within the LGBT community.

I’ll let Katy Perry herself explain the purpose of her song, courtesy of MTV:


“People are coming back and almost adopting it as their own anthem, and it’s hard, I think, to write an anthem that’s not cheesy. And I hope that this could be something in that category. I hope this could be one of those things where it’s like, ‘Yeah, I want to put my fist up and feel proud and feel strong.’


So I guess the following songs are my anthems?

What I know is that these tunes give me a sense of power. That I still matter. That for as long as I’m still alive, God still has a plan for me, an important job for me to do.

Some of these I’ve listened for more than a decade, while others are top-charters from recent times. Some you might recognize because they’re featured on my fitness journal, others you might hear them when you were way younger – that is, if you’re a fellow ’90s kid.

For every song on this list, I plucked the most meaningful words and phrases from the lyrics. Aside from my weekly Power Words, I always find myself mutter these phrases under my breath whenever I need an extra oomph to push forward during my runs.

My hope is for you, whether you’re a twenty-something, thirty-something, or just someone who needs a power tune-up, to get inspired by these anthems and share your life’s meaning by living out your purpose … starting today.

Enjoy the tunes!


1. Spice Girls – Stop



Slow it down, read the sign,
so you know just where you are going


2. Hoku – Perfect Day



People say
They say that it’s just a phase
They tell me to act my age
… Well I am.


3. Lea Salonga – Reflection



Why is my reflection someone I don’t know?


4. Girls’ Generation – Stay Girls




wanna be wanna be 素敵な
gonna be gonna be 大人に
なれるように居たい でも …



I wonder … how much I have changed?
I can’t see it myself, but
Have I become closer to the person that I long to become?

Wanna be, wanna be, I want
Gonna be, gonna be, to become
A wonderful woman, however …


5. Fergie – Big Girls Don’t Cry (Personal)



It’s time to be a big girl now
And big girls don’t cry


6. Britney Spears – Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman



But if you look at me closely
You will see it in my eyes
This girl will always find her way


7. Celine Dion – Because You Love Me



You gave me faith ’cause You believe
I’m everything I am
Because You love me


8. Pink – F**kin Perfect



You’re so mean when you talk
About yourself, you are wrong
Change the voices in your head
Make them like you instead


9. Avril Lavigne – My World



And think to myself,
Where do I belong forever,
In whose arms, the time and place?


10. Michelle Branch – You Set Me Free



There’s a will
There’s a way
Sometimes words just can’t explain
This is real
I’m afraid
I guess this time there’s just no hiding, fighting


11. Kelly Clarkson – Breakaway



Maybe I don’t know where they’ll take me but
Gotta keep moving on, moving on
Fly away, breakaway …


12. Katy Perry – Firework



Maybe the reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road


13. Mariah Carey and Whitney Houston – When You Believe



A small but still, resilient voice
Says hope is very near


14. The Voice Within – Christina Aguilera



You’ll make it
You’ll make it
Just don’t go forsaking yourself


15. Only Hope – Mandy Moore



When it feels like my dreams are so far
Sing to me of the plans that You have for me over again


16. Lee Ann Womack – I Hope You Dance

My heart is really close to this song. So, … I included every word from the lyrics.



I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
You get your fill to eat but always keep that hunger
May you never take one single breath for granted
God forbid love ever leave you empty handed
I hope you still feel small when you stand beside the ocean
Whenever one door closes I hope one more opens
Promise me that you’ll give faith a fighting chance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance … I hope you dance

I hope you never fear those mountains in the distance
Never settle for the path of least resistance
Livin’ might mean takin’ chances but they’re worth takin’
Lovin’ might be a mistake but it’s worth makin’
Don’t let some hell bent heart leave you bitter
When you come close to sellin’ out reconsider
Give the heavens above more than just a passing glance
And when you get the choice to sit it out or dance

I hope you dance … I hope you dance

(Time is a wheel in constant motion always rolling us along
Tell me who wants to look back on their years and wonder where those years have gone)



Consider today who you are and what you’re worth.

Do you want to look back to this day and wonder where all the moments have gone?




via Sailor Moon Fansite on Weebly


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Don’t Quit


Here on The Classics, I curate timeless texts that continually inspire my writing and, at the same time, provide perspective to the meaning of life. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.


When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow –
You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out –
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far,
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit –
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.


– Author unknown


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Fitness Journal: Perfectionism is not part of the essential traits of a runner



Total mileage:  12.32 miles
Target mileage of the week:  12.7 miles



Power words through the week:
“Let it go.”




Wednesday, 7 November 2012

4.43 mi run in 30:31 min (pace: 9’17″ / mi)




Thursday, 8 November 2012

4.04 mi run in 39:18 min (pace: 9’44″ / mi)




Saturday, 10 November 2012

Argh! When I stepped on the treadmill to set my target distance and play my power songs, my nano won’t switch on – AT ALL! The Apple logo won’t even appear. That’s when I realized… it ran out of battery, and I’m already at the gym, and I cannot look back… but can only run. I wasn’t impressed with the idea of going home and skipping my workout this morning just because I was so forgetful about little things like these. #WhatMadeMyDay The miracle was that I could run for an hour on the treadmill – sans TV, sans music. Remember, people: Numbers on the treadmill are not to be trusted. Read on to find out why…




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Fitness Journal: Failures to win



Total mileage: 11.94 miles
Target mileage of the week: 11 miles




Power song through the week:
ATB feat. Aruna – My Saving Grace




Tuesday, 23 October 2012

0.67 mi run in 7:41 min (pace: 11’33″ / mi)

1.68 mi run in 16:54 min (pace: 10’02″ / mi)




Wednesday, 24 October 2012

2.96 mi run in 29:00 min (pace: 9’47″ / mi)




Thursday, 25 October 2012

2.27 mi run in 23:04 min (pace: 10’08″ / mi)




Saturday, 27 October 2012

4.36 mi run in 45:52 min (pace: 10’29″ / mi)




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Target mileage for next week, and some crabs

I have reached my goal distance for the week, though I haven’t run the Jakarta Race (it’s tomorrow). the 10.5 miles goal was supposed to include the 3.1 miles for the race.

But hell yeah! I did it again!

I worked out 4 times this week, and all 4 of them are longer than the usual distances I go for.

4.01 + 3.51 + 3.76 + 3.65 = 14.93 miles

OMG! And that does not even include the distance I will cover tomorrow morning!!

For the sake of convenience (and tomorrow I won’t have to babble about how I enjoyed my run :p), I’ll just include the 3.1 miles now to see my progress:



Week 1: 1.52 mi
Week 2: 3.79 mi
Week 3: 5.86 mi
Week 4: 6.93 mi
Week 5: 13.28 mi
Week 6: 7.34 mi
Week 7: 7.54 mi
Week 8: 9.79 mi
Week 9: 10.31 mi
Week 10: 18.03 mi




OMG!!! That’s quite a lot (I know it’s annoying when I say OMG! But … OMG!!!). I’m so happy with the progressive success!!!



In any case, I’ll set my target mileage for next week right now:



I want to run 11 miles next week, and I will do it.




I know I will have to recover after a sudden raise in my weekly mileage from the previous week, pretty much like how i recovered after my 10k race on Week 5. So that’s why I’ll just keep the bar low for my goal next week.

In other news…

My daddy was back in the country this past Tuesday after a business trip.

He brought back home FIFTEEN live crabs! He knows how much I love seafood, particularly fleshy, oozy, juicy crabs.

I’m really grateful for that – knowing my father knows me well, even though he doesn’t know anything about my day-to-day life. #WhatMadeMyDay





These are just my portion. We still have lots of it back in the kitchen, and they’re ALIVE!

Speaking of family, I mentioned I was planning a fancy dinner this weekend, i.e. for my mom, dad, Stanley, and me to dine together.

Turns out my mother will not be able to make it.

So we rescheduled for next week.

In the meantime, I won’t say anything more. What I can say is, as long as I remain adamant about what I’m going to do and what I’m not going to do in the working life, I believe all the broken pieces can finally come together.













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Next week’s mileage goal, including the Jakarta Race

I have accomplished another goal of mine this past week. I set a goal to run 10 miles, and I own the miles again within just 3 workouts.

3.51 + 3.03 = 10.31 miles

The satisfaction of reaching a goal, by itself, fills my heart and mind and soul with contentment.

Okay that just sounds cheesy, but it’s true.

As usual, let’s take a quick recap on my weekly progress:

Week 1: 1.52 mi
Week 2: 3.79 mi
Week 3: 5.86 mi
Week 4: 6.93 mi
Week 5: 13.28 mi
Week 6: 7.34 mi
Week 7: 7.54 mi
Week 8: 9.79 mi
Week 9: 10.31 mi

As I will be running 3.1 miles for the Jakarta Race next Sunday, I’m including those miles in my mileage goal for the coming week:

I want to run 10.5 miles next week, and I will do it.


People constantly ask why I’m so serious and competitive about running when I’m only a recreational runner. Even Stanley is now motivated to get serious about his performance and improve his health when he used to always say, “Baby, why are you so serious? It’s just running.”

Well, to me nothing is just something, especially when you enjoy doing it, when you’re passionate about it, when you feel it rewards you so much that you feel responsible to protect it from those who disagree with your stance.

There is no one reason for why I keep myself disciplined by using my running life as a vehicle to improve other aspects of my life – my daily habits, my work ethics, my relationships. It’s just the way it is – the further, faster, and longer I run, the more I’m motivated by the activity itself – the learning process itself – rather than the end-goals.



From Rather Be Running via Facebook.


With a sound mind comes a sound body. Every obstacle along the way gets easier to endure as my mental and physical stamina just keeps building up.

That’s the magic of running long and running strong.

Get your old shoes out, now. Tie those laces and storm out of the door. Spend some time for yourself, sweat a little bit more, and you’ll come back with the best feeling you’ve ever had in a long, long time.


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Some announcements and mileage goal for the week ahead

This post is just one of those self-affirming words I tell myself to improve my current state, sort of a motivation I give myself but hopefully it motivates you to take a step further too. 




The announcements:


  • I’m bringing down my GOALS & DREAMS and CHALLENGES pages starting from today. They will still be up, but I will no longer edit or update them. I will put down the link to these pages from my main menu, but you are still able to view them from several internal links throughout my site.



  • Also, I’m done with my mileage this week. This means I’ve ran a total of:



3.51 + 3.51 + 2.77 = 9.79 miles

As usual, let’s review my weekly progress so far:

Week 1: 1.52 mi
Week 2: 3.79 mi
Week 3: 5.86 mi
Week 4: 6.93 mi
Week 5: 13.28 mi
Week 6: 7.34 mi
Week 7: 7.54 mi
Week 8: 9.79 mi

Great improvement, better stamina. I am actually still able to make a good run today, but life planning takes a lot of time indeed :) So I skipped my workout today. Here’s my target for the coming week:

My target mileage this week is 10 miles.



When I set up for such little improvement last week, I ended up doing so much more. Let’s see how I’ll do in the coming week, now that I’m setting an attainable yet equally challenging goal.








Why am I doing all this?

Allow me to explain.

Basically, I don’t want my goals in life to be superficial anymore. I think the world doesn’t need to know what you’re up to, and you don’t need to tell them in order to have the motivation to achieve them. I once learned that what you practice in private comes through in public, and so far good results are slowly coming through in my life, after all the things I’m practicing in private.

Also, plans change. They always do. There’s a reason why deals are best made on written paper. All parties involved can always refer back to their stated agreement if they need to clarify their deals or to re-negotiate offerings. That’s because words are materialized, and the only thing that’s left to do is to execute what’s been said on paper.

In this case, things have not been materialized. It looks to me more and more like a to-do list if I continue to keep it public, instead of executing my intentions to bring up the quality of my life. Just as any business requires a solid marketing plan for long-term success, when it’s too strategic and you’re too attached on the written words, your goals start to become the actual profits from your total revenue instead of the simple joy to be able to make a living with your passion.

It’s also a personal life, that’s the key word. That means it should stay just like that – personal. I don’t want to encourage you and the rest of my readers to fulfill everybody else’s expectations of yourself, because I believe what each and every one of us must do is the exact opposite: Make your own expectations to fulfill your dreams. This is the essence of why I no longer want to keep a public list of things to do before I die.

I want to be able to learn how to:


  1. trust my own intuition and
  2. tell between the things I truly want and things I just want to satisfy another person’s expectations.


Both of these are the two things most people find difficult to do, and I hope all the contents I produce from now on collectively reflects the principles I will keep on practicing in private.

Let’s be in it for the long haul.

As you go your own journey, always keep Aristotle’s words in mind:




Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

Life summarized in 4 bottles.

From an unsolicited post on Facebook.



Will be keeping my promise to browse the site easier!