Happy Memory

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

October 26, 2010

I woke up early yesterday to avoid long queues in the basketball court, which was the designated polling place for our village.

I did pretty much the same thing on the last Monday of October, three years ago, when we had the last Barangay elections.

Do you remember where you were 3 years ago? While I generally have grown more and more forgetful of names and birthdays, I surprisingly have vivid Kodak photos in my head of that long weekend. How my friends and I drank before the liquor ban and listened to videoke singing that Saturday night. How much I panted while trying to run the day after. On the road, along Katipunan Extension, listening to Colbie Caillat singing Bubbly. Lunch with Divine. QCMC - with its bubbles and bicycles. Nanette's burrito.

I decided to relive a happy memory by trying to learn how to ride a bike again.

One bicycle swap and 40 minutes later, I still was at square 1. But I remembered happy, and I just smiled to myself. I would have wanted to stay and linger in the park, or even try biking some more. But I promised Jed and Karlo I'd take them to Yeu, and I didn't want to be late. (Esp. since the last time I saw Jed was 13 years ago.)

I'd go back, do the bike thing again. Soon. After all, the unlikely triathlete will still be one someday. Soon.


PT Sessions

I met Anne last Sunday. That was for my 1st PT session, which consisted mostly of lying on my tummy for a good 30 minutes or so, with hot compress and ultrasound being applied to my feet.

I would have fallen asleep if not for the questionnaire she was required to go through with me. I think she was one of the more senior therapists, and I immediately warmed up to her because of her cheery disposition. I had her laughing when she asked me for any heart conditions and I replied "broken". ;p

The rest of the session included feet stretching and exercises using rubber tubing. I also had to crumple a towel using my toes. The finale was 20 minutes on a stationary bike. I did 3+km (And applying Coach Ige's math, that would mean effort equivalent to a 1km jog for my legs)


PT session # 2 this morning was with Anna. More soft-spoken and gentle.

I basically did the same routine as with last Sunday. Anna just recommended though that I do some of the exercises at home. I could look for the rubber tube (she calls it Theratube.) in the sporting goods shops.

I've been recommended to avoid flats without proper support, and to use my rubber shoes as much as possible when walking...

The non-runner really misses running...


On a happier note, I found myself thinking that Medical City would be a nice place to practice medicine in. Something about its design and scale makes it feel more homey and humane. I guess I'd be able to articulate it better in the next few days.



Monday, October 25, 2010

I haven't been able to make time to write the last few days. Been busy. It's actually been a rich 3-day weekend. The kind you want to share about. Maybe that's why I was a bit reluctant to muster the strength and find the time to write. I would have loved to talk more.


I'd have to put off the writing for tonight or tomorrow though. Still a busy day. JCG meeting in and 2 1/2 hours, and I just came in 30 minutes ago after my PT. Time to work some magic. :)

Yeah, I'd still write so that I'd remember, for that time when we can talk already about it.

For now though, it's time to lose myself in my work, in my music.

Flo Rida's been in my head the last few days. Happy, in-the-zone music. Can't wait to be able to run again. This would feel good in my playlist.

Watchin' you watchin' me, I go all out...


Friday, October 22, 2010

long day. far from being over.

i am so ready to look for running shoes and run tonight.


I Don't Know How to Name this Blog Post

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I don't know the best title for this most, mainly because I don't know how to articulate what I'm feeling right now.

I got home 30 minutes ago. And I'm ready to hit the sack. But I need to articulate what I feel, so I'm trying to muster the strength to write.

It feels like a long day, even if I didn't go to work. I practically spent the whole afternoon and some part of the evening at the hospital -- talking to doctors, but mostly waiting. I was able to tuck in some work and business stuff, but with all the walking around from clinic to clinic, that's actually not that much. I'm grateful at least that Medical City, being (still) fairly new was a comfy enough hospital to hang out in.

I was also lucky to have found my HMO card in one of the envelopes in my room. The checkups wouldn't have to be so costly this way. Picking out the doctors though is a lot like digging in a bag of jelly beans -- you're not quite sure how good the one you got is.

Another lucky strike for me -- it turns out that Dr. Asedillo is an Orthopedic Surgeon who specialized in joint problems. I overheard that he also taught in med school, and his inclination for teaching was quite evident in how he explained my condition, diagrams and all.

He confirmed that I did have bone spurs, but corrected the notion that these were causing the pain. He explained that I could have had some torn tissue and that caused the bone to cement itself, or add protection, thus the outgrowth.

He said that I had 2 concerns -- plantar fasciitis and peroneal tendonitis. Several reasons could be aggravating my condition: using the wrong shoes, my weight and being a heel striker. All 3 of course could be corrected, but would likely take time. In the interim though, I was advised to take some meds, go for PT 3x a week for the next 2 weeks, and to lay off the running. :(

I was such a nerd that I brought my rubber shoes during my consult. I got the biggest surprise when he told me, by looking at the wear pattern of my soles that I had the tendency to underpronate/supinate. Damn. I've been wearing rubber shoes specifically designed for people who overpronate for the last 9 or 10 months. I even remember the time I took the running test to check for my gait. Urg.

Doc said that I could run again after the PT. I breathed a sigh of relief.

That didn't last long though. The rehab med doctor I saw after wasn't as comforting. He told me that the spurs would never go away and that at best, they could strengthen my feet through therapy, which hopefully will minimize the pain. I could try running after the PT, once the pain goes away. But if it returns, it might be best for me to lay off running all together. :(

He also said that I had a quite high arch, which was contrary to what the running machines said. Howell. I guess it's best to trust the doctors.

I might really have been wearing the wrong pair all along. Hay. I should have learned more of the theory last year when I was starting.

While I know that there is definitely a silver lining somewhere (being forced to learn how to bike and swim for instance), I feel... bad? sad? It might seem weird for a non-athlete to feel this kind of a loss. (I can only imagine how devastated real athletes feel when they're sidelined.)

It feels stupid to have signed up for all these races and not be able to run. (I wonder if I can change distances. Ang yabang kasi e.)

Running is good pain medication. It's been the me-time I could have under my own terms. It's indulgence I could justify and not feel guilty about. Howell. Damn. I just have to be a big kid and hold out for now while I can't have it.

How I wish the anchor wasn't so far away. Would have been comforting to talk this out. Eyes blinking furiously now.

Howell. I hope all goes well. Maybe this is just God's way of telling me that I now have the chance to learn how to run properly.

I'm going to sleep this off. I'd be better in the morning. With everything that's going on, the earliest time for my 1st PT session is next Sunday, first thing in the morning.

I was reminded to take note of my therapist's name when I show up this weekend -- Anne. Ok then. :)


Yesterday's Running Misadventure

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I gave in to my body last night and decided to have my feet checked. I was actually fine after my quick exercise yesterday. But, as the day progressed, the pain went along with it.

So it was hospital tripping for me at 9:30, after everything I had to finish for the night. In a span of a month or so, I have seen the insides of Capitol Med, St. Luke's at the Fort, and the fairly new Makati Med. Not the kind of record I want to hold, I must say.
The doctor said that they saw bone spurs on both feet. (Both feet! Akalain mo nga naman! Mana sa amo ang dalawang paa ko, hindi marunong pareho magpatalo! Hay.)
What are bone spurs? According to the doctor and my research, they're basically excess growth / projections along the edge of the bone. According to Doc Che, there is no single isolated cause for this and it happens to many people. The xray technician though was saying that it might be due to my running since it's a high-impact sport.

They bandaged my foot to alleviate the pain. While it looks goofy having both your feet wrapped up, I must say that I'm glad they did. The extra support is actually helpful.

I was very lucky to be wearing my Accel slippers last night. They're the kind that you can adjust so it was actually able to accommodate my bulky bandaged feet, still allowing me to drive home. Over a year after I got them, I realized that it was really fortuitous that they were given to me. (Just goes to show that maybe things really do happen in our lives for a reason.)

Extreme cases require surgery for treatment. I don't want to have to go through that route. (Lilihain daw ang buto para matanggal. Urg.) Doc Che says that I can still run, but I just might be advised to wear some sort of heel pads to cushion impact.

For someone who doesn't like going to get checked, I easily decided to go on leave today. More than the bothersome pain, the prospect of not being able to run is enough for me to go get help. ('Twas just uncomfy and difficult to have to explain at work that I'm going on SL, AGAIN.)

Gotta get this fixed. I don't want to give up on my running and weight loss goals for the last quarter just yet.

Next task: find my health card, find a doctor. I just might visit the gastro while I'm at it. The past weeks' #2s don't look too healthy either.


30 Minutes

Monday, October 18, 2010

I was hoping I could squeeze in a quick jog last night, but I ended up having a 9pm meeting, so me-time was bumped off to this morning. It's ok though - last night's meeting was another win, another item added to my list of "winning in small doses".

I did a 15min walk, and then a 30min run-walk which is a 1 min walk for every 5 minutes of running. (thanks coach!)

I'm feeling some pain in my right ankle again though :( Going down the gym stairs wasn't exactly the happiest thing to do this morning. Howell.

Hope this subsides soon.


Yesterday's Running Adventure

Yesterday's running adventure did not include a run. ;)

I was supposed to have my (ambitious) first 15k yesterday at McKinley Hill. I know God heard all my prayers the night before, but I guess He said "Not now, my child", because I woke up at 3am and felt slight pain in my ankles. I decided to skip the run and go back to bed. Better to swallow my pride (and let 500 bucks go down the drain, urg), let my feet get better, and do proper training, than to risk getting a serious injury. [Goal reset to November 21. For real.]

Later in the day, I decided to sneak in a visit to A Runner's Circle in between errands and meetings. (This is one of those because-TBR-said-so things, hehe.)

I got myself a Foot Wheel to alleviate the pain in my soles, plus a new pair of running socks, and a whole lot of inputs from their friendly owners & staff -- Robin, Perkins, Sue and John. Perkins checked for my gait (and validated that I did have the tendency to overpronate). He also let me take the Aertex foot scan, which showed that I had the tendency to shift my weight to my left side. (So I have to consciously pull it back a little to my correct center.)

I loved the fact that they plan to revive the spirit of running in Manila (e.g. running along Roxas Blvd) and that they would be open as early as 8 or 9am on weekends. (This could just be a good reason to change running venues on weekends. I've always have a soft spot for quaint Manila anyway. Wouldn't it be nice to do a run by the bay, buy a new pair of socks to treat yourself every now and then, and get breakfast at Pancake House or Aristocrat? Sweet!)

It looks like I've found a new happy place too. :)

Check out A Runner's Circle at Aloha Hotel, 2150 Roxas Blvd.cor.Quirino Ave. Malate, Manila.



Saturday, October 16, 2010

My foot discomfort, which shuttles back and forth from serious to minor pain, now has me researching things like plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis. They seem to be the closest descriptions to what I feel. I haven't been able to figure out though what the pain on top of my foot (well, closer to the sides actually, closer to the ankle) is.

Patrick keeps on chiding me to have it checked. As usual, I'm buying time, hoping it goes away soon.

Damn it. I so badly want to run tomorrow. I want to finish October strong, so that November is a silver month. And I want to clear my head to prepare myself for the next big push. Running should help. Damn, I want to run. I don't care if it's slow. I don't care if I'm last in the pack. I just want to run.

Tomorrow is my deadline. If I ain't ok yet, then doctor's clinic it is.

Funny how I've been scaring myself with thoughts that I won't be able to run anymore. Haha, as if I were an elite athlete. But the thought of never being able to experience the fullness of running scares me.

I should lose weight faster. This should ease up the discomfort I feel.

Maybe I should take swimming lessons already. Or make the learning-how-to-ride-a-bike thing work. And then get a bike. Haha. But then I go back to my ultimate dilemma of time and money.

I really need to fix this. Getting strong and fit I mean. So I can run more. I am already so envious of Toto and Manong doing their 3x a week training with the Milo clinic.

Haha. I am so rambling here.

I just want to be good enough to run again. Running here and now gives my heart hope. Like a lifesaver, I think it is the only one thing left that ties me back to my coach. I know, I know -- that's a very loose (bordering on stupid) connection to make. But that's how I feel. For my sanity's sake, I need to believe that things will get better someday.

Enough with the rambling. Time to go to bed. This won't let me have anywhere near 6 hours of sleep. And I will be dead tired in the afternoon.

Sana po talaga Lord, makatakbo ako bukas.


Walang Himala

Friday, October 15, 2010

Author's note: This post serves to retract the previous post made. ;)

Ok, enough said.
I found myself limping again last night after passing by the Pav. I may have judged too prematurely. Damn.

If my health card weren't MIA, I would swing by the ER later. Haha. Kuripot.


Isang Himala!

That's exactly what I wanted to shout earlier. Except that I was in the middle of a meeting when I thought of it. We were in the middle of discussing our PR plan this afternoon when I realized that my ankles and the soles of my feet weren't really hurting anymore.

To validate, I decided to pace back and forth our office hallway right after the meeting. (Jolainne started to laugh when I explained what I was doing!) I'd give my feet a grade of 90%, hehe. There's still a slight discomfort, but this is oh so much better than the past 4 days.

So what happened? Let me backtrack to last night.

Since Bengay was no longer as helpful, and since walking had become such a big punishment, I decided to get a foot massage after the BP. Yes, it was already 10:45pm and it would have been my 2nd foot rub in a week (which was already too indulgent), but I had to do something.
I figured that if that didn't help, then I would really have to go have a checkup. (Which was also something I was reluctant to do, considering that it's been less than a month since my last ER visit.)

I limped my way to Yeu Sole + Body Massage along Gamboa (behind AIM). It's been my favorite massage place this year for so many reasons -- the care with which the therapists apply the massage, the quaint room details that help you relax more, and the fact that the prices are fairly reasonable.

My "injury" gave me a reason to try their signature Yeu Sole to Sole massage, which was good for an hour. The treatment included a Vietnamese natural facial and a quick hand massage making my 450 payment more than worth it. I don't really know what Grace did exactly with my feet -- I was already knocked out after the facial and arm rub. :) Yeu by the way stands for "love" in Vietnamese. True to its name, the massage was a really good way to love myself last night.

I still felt pain though on my way home and when I got up this morning. I was already ready to call it quits and go back to the hospital. Up until my wonderful realization during the meeting earlier. :)

I hope this lasts. Can't have too many body parts hurting at the same time, right?

Can't wait to give my feet a test run. :)



Wednesday, October 13, 2010

After about a year of following her blog, I finally met her in person! Yes,her, the Bullrunner! :)

For a while, I was a little starstruck, hehe. I shook Jaym
ie Pizarro's hand and introduced myself. I was so happy that she remembered Run to Read and associated us with it. :)

Who wudda thunk that I would enjoy running so much that I'd find a couple of idols to look up to? :) I wanted to have my picture taken with her, but I was just too shy. I ended up requesting that I take her and hubby's photo instead.

Jaymie & Miguel Pizarro

I walked away from the experience remembering how real a person she is, and how she just kept on smiling throughout the whole session.


I was supposed to run yesterday morning, but I woke up late. So I just shoved my (puto bumbong) purple dri-fit and cutoffs in my bag and said I'd run before going home.

The talk probably inspired me enough to push through with the jog, even if I still felt discomfort in my right ankle. iPods are good for moments like this -- the music's beat, together with the cadence of your feet hitting the pavement, drowns out the sound of your body groaning.

I walked one round of Boni High to warm up and I lost myself counting 9-1 when I did 2 rounds of jogging after, that I temporarily forgot about the pain. I was brought back to reality though when I cooled down with another round of walking. The right ankle was cursing its master with every step. :(

Patrick didn't hear me correctly the other day when I asked him for the Filipino translation of ankle and had answered me "Tito". Haha. So we now fondly have named my ankles Tito Right and Tito Left. Sadly, Tito R and Tito L are both hurting now. I understand that Tito R's been having a fit since Sunday. What I don't get is why Tito L decided to join this morning. I hobbled from the parking basement to our building, trying not to wince as much. I really have to figure out what I'm doing wrong. Until then, the mantra is "Bengay is my friend."


Something to Look Forward to..

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Something I'm looking forward to.... :)
I'm both excited for and anxious about the obstacle course portion. I don't know what we'd be doing, but I know I need to prepare for activities which will likely require upper body strength (which I don't have much of!)

Here's to more firsts for 2010!



Monday, October 11, 2010

The much awaited day finally came. And I joined thousands of other Filipinos who wanted to put the country back on the Guinness' map, as I said I would.

I ran (my usual slow run) past the 8k mark. It actually suprised me that I lasted that long considering my it's been quite a long time since my last long run. I ended up walking the last 2km since the heat got to me, and I got confused with the lack of directionals.

Lucky to have been started late for this race, because at least the crowd eased up bit at the end. I missed out on getting the souvenir band though.

A day after, my right ankle still feels sore, despite having gotten the foot rub yesterday. (Last week it was the left. Now it's the right.) I wonder how I'd manage next weekend...



Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Initially negotiated with my alarm clock.
Excitedly got out of bed after realizing it was a gym day.
Walked. Ran. My 3.5k.

The scale read 156lbs by the way.
We're going down, down, down.
Mental note: Day 7. the General Motors thing seems to have worked. my insides feel better. and no terrible hyperacidity attack yet.

Business meeting over lunch. Another item checked off for the work list.
Not bad.

It must be the running. It's in the winning in small doses, I guess.

Just one last hump -- the stillness of 6pm. Fingers crossed.



Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tomorrow. I promise. I will.


Reason to Run # 16 -- I run because....they're waiting for me at the finish line

Your friends. Your family.
Your future.

They're waiting for you at the finish line.

Or perhaps someone.
You love.
Who loves you.
Believes in you.
Patiently waiting for you, slowpoke you.

At the finish line.


Good to Go

Monday, October 4, 2010

While I have always been reluctant to get a checkup, the prospect of not running was enough to get me to the doctor.

The resident found my left foot to be slightly swollen so I was rolled up to Radiology for some xrays.

40 minutes later, I was told that there was nothing broken. Nothing dislocated. Nothing in my ankle at least.

Just a little more warm compress and I should be good to go.



Thursday, September 30, 2010

Well, Humpty Dumpty had a great fall today.

It could have been caused by the pavement, still wet from this Friday's morning rains, or the freshly mopped floor of our building. Maybe. All i know is that I buckled while walking, twisted my left ankle, and everything came tumbling down after.

My foot hurt, but I think it was my ego which got a little more bruised. I ended up laughing myself eventually though. I'm thinking that this should be a good thing -- let's get the embarrassment out of the way early on in the month, so I can make room for bigger things. When I lose fear of falling or failing, I can thereafter move a step towards winning.

Anyway, back to my foot. I can walk fine I suppose, but there's a slight discomfort when I bend or rotate my left ankle. I normally wouldn't mind, but I'd been intent on running this weekend and I don't know if I can or should. While I can push back running to next week if I wanted to, I do miss it
already. Miss it enough to write about it again. (Ha! My old self, the version that dates 4 years back, would have never seen running as a treat to look forward to.)


Let's see...


Back to Square One

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

So we're back to square one again after a long hiatus. 162 lbs again.

Just 1 km this morning. Baby steps.


Run to Read

Friday, June 11, 2010

I will always remember 2010 as a year of "1sts" for fitness, and for winning.

First 3k at a full run.

First 5k at a full run.

First 10k. A full run, at that.

This is also our first time to mount a race. :)

Run to Read is my friend Anne's "baby". Funding the building of libraries for school kids is her way of making the country and the world a better place. What started out as getting pledges for every kilometer run, will now end up as an effort engaging thousands of Filipinos to run side by side to promote literacy.

In the last few weeks, the time I've spent working on the project, and even just thinking about it, has led to some of the brightest spots of my day. Gradually growing on me, the race has become my "baby" too.

I've actually been trying to figure out why I have so much heart for the project, considering that I've only been running for a few months. I've always been a reader, so yes, I do understand why reading and literacy are important. But there are probably many other ways to help the cause. What I wanted to understand is why running had to fit in the equation. Why does it matter to me?

In his acceptance speech in the 2005 Kid's Choice Awards, Will Smith repeatedly said, "The key to life is running and reading."

I agree with what he says. After mulling about this for days now, I also have my thoughts about it too.


I've always loved this BPI ad. About how they promise to take us farther. Running and reading take us farther.

In reading, every page flipped could be a journey to a brand new idea, a beautiful what-could-be. And when we act on these ideas, when we take the next step of turning what-could-be into a reality, whether or not they work out, we take ourselves to plane higher than where we started.

More than just literally going from point A to point B, running allows us to go beyond ourselves. When you get up and run in spite of it being a rainy morning or a weary evening. When you slam against the wall in the race but you push on to finish it. When your heart and mind carry your legs all the way to the finish line, you finish in a different place, as a different person. More of a winner each time.


I've also realized that I've found so much calm and stillness in running and reading. Even with the ambient noise of people around you, or the music in your iPod, when you run or read, you are alone with your thoughts most of the time. And in this day and age where people have difficulty turning themselves off, much solace can be found in that brief respite from the confusion.

I heard this question before, "Are you happy with the company that you keep when you are alone?" Happy or not, I think people love running and reading because these moments of stillness are the times when you can dig deep in your soul to discover who you really are. You may not always like what you find out, but at least there is peace in being true.

Some random thoughts. I just needed to write so that I could understand my heart better. They say people should do what they are passionate about. If I could figure out why the project mattered so much, I might figure out what to do with my life. Because I'm just a few months' shy of my quarter- or mid-life eval. ;)

To learn more about Run to Read, do visit our Facebook page.


Force the Issue

Thursday, June 10, 2010

June 8, 2010

I had 3 options for this morning. My body wanted to go back to sleep since I just tossed and turned for most part of the night before. My head's logic wanted to just go straight to the office and get a headstart on the day's work. My heart though wanted to run. I've wanted to run since the day before. And I had meant to do go on the promise I made myself.

My abdomen and bowel had their own ideas -- they instigated a rebellion early in the morning. I groaned as I got up, feeling weak.

"No, this will get done," I said in my head.

I decided to force the issue. I needed to overcome the stubborn desires of laziness and procrastination. I figured that if I overcame my head and my body, I could do the same with the bullies I had to face during the day.

I showered. Dressed up. Pulled my hair back into a ponytail. And then without really being so conscious of it, I reached that tipping point, when the silence of one's resolve deafens the static of all the "no's" and "cannot's".

My mind and my body eventually realized that we were going for a run. And the pain subsided on its own.

An hour or so later, I had the happy reward of a hot shower. I had just finished a short run, a little less than 3k on the treadmill, at Pumba-pace (read: slow. Well, that's at least how it's defined now). Coming from a household where water heaters have become unheard of, a warm bath is such pure joy.

I bent my head and pressed the top of it against the shower wall. I let the water beat down on my nape and shoulders. It felt good. As the warm water trickled on my back, I reveled in the joy that I had won over myself. That felt even better.


Run towards Time

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I agree when people say it's more interesting to run outdoors than on a treadmill. I find indoor running useful though since I'm able to keep track of how much I've ran and how long. (Haha, my Nike's still terribly off with the calibration so it's not really reliable.)

Aaron, my trainer, taught me fartlek and used to crank up the speed during workouts. I found that difficult and tough on my lungs. So I just focus on the timer, and run until I hit the 1 or 2 minute mark he sets, eager to slow down.

I've started to think of it as "running towards time".

So much has been written and sung about time healing all wounds. About how things get better in time.

Well, sometimes, time is a goddamn slow burn. I know it's good to be present and all. But damn it, not when you're in pain.

There are days which I'd want to be like my treadmill runs. When I can just run, run towards time. Run past that invisible line and then suddenly forget what used to ache. Run to a happy finish line.

Wishful thinking, I know.



Definitely what I'm not.

Consistent, that is.

I've ran several races. Walk-run for some. Slow, slow run for others. I've joined last year's Timex, Big Blue Run and Philstar. I've joined this year's Bull Run, Run for Home, Mizuno, Run Rio 1 and 2. I've even tried a trail run. But I haven't really been able to stick to a weekly sched.

I even signed up for the gym and had a great 2 - 3 week workout stint. Heck, I even lost weight. But I've been in a hiatus again.

Tomorrow will be a week since I laced up. I've found different reasons to stop me.

This is bad, bad, bad.

Consistency. Yes I know I haven't learned it yet. That and discipline. I've also been told that I'm bad at things related to being time-bound. Plus the fact that I carry with me a big baggage of drama.

I need an overhaul.

And yes, I know I need to learn to be consistent.

But for now, I want to run...

.... away.


This isn't really my first time...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ok, so this isn't really my first attempt at running.

I tried it in November 2007. Joined a race. Decided the night before. No prep, no nothing. I was just in dire need to clear my head and run away. Pure pain after. But I lived to write about it. Haha.

Joined a few more races, but never really ran in between.

And then I stopped.

I have no plans now of stopping again though.

Animo Run 2007. November 25, 2007. 5.40am. Mall of Asia (I am making so many memories in this place, I must say.)

It was one of my obsessive-compulsive moments, something which would not give me my peace until I get it done. (I occasionally have these moments, and whenever I do, I rarely share about them before getting it done. I just run off and disappear, well as long as I have no prior commitments. Stuff I just need to do for myself. Yes, this can also be considered as low EQ I know. My way of being spontaneous, I suppose.)

So there, because the storm didn't hit Manila, and because the organizers allowed registration on race day itself, I found myself at the MOA parking lot this morning. Never mind that I am not a real runner, or at least, not yet one. Never mind that I only fell asleep around 3am or that I have been dog-tired the last few days. Never mind that it's been a while since I last jogged or exercised, and that this seems to be a "first" race. Never mind that I was alone. I didn't even bother bringing an extra shirt because I didn't have anybody to leave it with. I just left everything at the office, I was going back here anyway to work. Never mind that I just "snuck out" of my OT schedule for a couple of hours, which I will probably pay for dearly tonight, considering everything that should have been finished last Friday. Never mind that it was a long debate with myself on how else I could use the time productively for the other things I needed to get done, aside from work.

I just had to run. Haha, probably in the same way that Forrest Gump had to run to deal with the stuff he had to deal with. Maybe I've been reading too much of Kristin Armstrong's blogs, I don't know. I just had to run.

It was just one blob of green at the starting line, with almost everyone wearing the dark green DLSU Manila running club singlets. Looking at the people more intently though, you'd see a pretty interesting variety - from the hard-core racers to the trying-to-get-fit-crowd (like me). There were couples, parents and kids, grandparents and grandkids. Infants being carried, toddlers being led. People from running clubs and college students who seemed to be just trying to fulfill their version of PE 101 requirements. As Rivka beautifully describes it in her article, people have their own reasons for running.

I had mine too.
I wanted so badly to run this morning to clear my head. To take away the weariness in my soul. I was hoping that I could breathe in deep and exhale everything out in the process. I was hoping to break into a sweat instead so that whatever it was inside of me would just stop coming out as tears. I wanted to run to forget what I was running away from and to run towards finding myself. I wanted to run to regain the footing I had lost, and I knew I couldn't do that by standing still. I wanted to run to be by and with myself. And I wanted to run because I missed my kutsch and my runningmate. I wanted to run to let my coach know that I was going to be fine. I wanted to run so that I could actually believe that. I wanted to run to find a reason to be proud of myself again. I just wanted to be whole again.

When you're not a real runner, 5K actually hurts, esp when you didn't really prepare for it, except for the morning stretching. (Haha, seasoned runners would frown on everything I did wrong earlier. I am not even going to go there.) 5K hurts your legs, and it hurts your ego too, when you see that you're at the end of the pack.

Right before reaching the 2K mark, I decided to stop looking back, no use being unforgiving of myself I figured. Up until this time, whenever I had my moments of cynicism, I used to think that whatever adidas and nike had to say sounded good, but more often than not bordered on hokum. But then, that angry side of me discovered it to be true this morning. That I really am running my own race, at the pace I decide on. That there was something healing with having the wind against your face, and with your feet pounding the pavement. That side by side with the faces becoming familiar, as they lagged behind with me, I was not alone, even if I was running my own race. That it was uplifting to say a silent prayer for these fellows beside me, so they wouldn't give up on running and whatever it was they were running for.

I started counting lampposts, running from point to point, just as coach taught me. From one lamppost to the next. It was the only way I could get through. Then I started counting in 2's, stretching myself further, asking myself to be patient enough to wait until I reached the 2nd marker to walk in between. I found myself thinking that if I could reach the next one, then I would be ok. That if kept my promise of not stopping until the next one, I could actually keep the bigger promises I've made in my life, and the even bigger ones I should and will be making.

I found myself asking midway, "what the hell am i doing here?" and there was a part of me that just wanted to cop out. But there was this one phone call, and I passed by the church, and I just had to keep on going. I guess His love, and the love of the people around you are more than enough to get you through.

The DLSU babble band started hitting the drums. Sounded like UAAP, only that it was off-season. The beat in my head made me think that just as coach was cheering for me, rooting for me, that I should actually love myself enough to be my biggest fan. Because when you lose what you love and what you dream of, you got to love yourself enough to have good reason not to throw your life away.

Finally hit the 4K mark. All heart from there. Almost home. Tried running past more lampposts at a time. Running as far as my aching legs would carry me. Ran until the drums grew louder. I wanted to finish strong, to reach the finish line running. Because that was the Pat I wanted to become, the only version of myself that I could live with. One who would never give up. One who would give of herself completely, over and over again, in spite of the pain. Screw the pain. It will hopefully go away before I know it.
And so I ran.

After everything, I lingered for a while. Made a few more memories in my head. Silently cheered for the 10K finishers. Stretched. And hoped that I could actually stretch the same way for my life. Mustered enough courage to talk with Mang Pablo and his little boy Uriel "Bookcoycoy", because they were my favorites in the race. Mang Pablo said something that made me smile, that you could make friends in marathons. Making new friends. I guess that's what people do when they decide and try to live again. Make friends.

One race isn't enough to heal you. I need a couple more for that, to be whole again. I've decided to be forgiving of my pace. It will take time. But I will get there.
It was a good morning for a run. It was a good morning to live again.


Reason to Run # 116 -- I Run because.... it keeps me present

After a few days of walking, I started my running program by doing my 1-2 exercise. I did 1 minute of running and 2 minutes of walking, for 30 minutes. Going level-up after meant doing 2-1, 2 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking. (I still maintain that "doubling" the effort that time still feels like the most difficult thing I've done in my running career. Haha.)

Even now, running is still a "painful" activity for me. It still takes so much of me to do it. While some people get their best ideas when they run, I can only afford to think about reaching the next lamp post, or finishing the next minute at the treadmill.

More often than not, I hate this pathetic state of health and stamina of mine.

But then, I realized that I am blessed that way. Running is one of the very few instances that I am fully present. When I don't worry about schedules or things to do. The inability to do high-level processing (and worrying) allows me to focus on the simple things. The sunlight on my face. The wind on my back. The sweat on my forehead. The tufts of white in the blue sky. The cadence of feet pounding on the asphalt. The joy of the finish line.

I'd try to be more forgiving of myself. Huffin' and puffin' at turtle pace is still a blessing in disguise.


What's in a Name?

I know the blog name sounds ambitious. (Haha, "mayabang" would be probably be more apt.)
So i feel the need to explain. :)

It all started with two friends messing with each other. I was telling my friend I'd get good at this (running) someday. I jokingly said, "Watch me run!" And laugh she did. Well, we both knew that I had a long way to go before I ever got there. So long that it ever happening may sound like a joke.

But who cares, right? I've still decided to run, and keep on running. Even at turtle pace.

I run because I believe I can reinvent myself into someone I was really meant to become.

And there is so much hope in that. So yeah, go watch me run...



The thought of a non-runner writing about running sounds like a pretentious idea, I would suppose.

In my case, the idea of running to begin with, already sounds pretentious, given that I've never been athletic my whole life. I used to fancy myself as active or sporty growing up, but whether it was due to my parents being too protective or because I was just plain "lampa", that idea remained as a figment of my imagination. And as I began to pack on the pounds as a young adult, that whole daydream got farther and farther from my reality.

Thing is, it was probably this whole weight issue too that got me started on running. I just got pissed at how I looked like in front of the mirror. And I got scared that my flab would take a toll on my health already. With a little coaching and encouragement from a buddy (no, a whole lot, actually), I took the first step (literally).

That was end 2009. Fast forward to today, the 2nd of June, 2010. I still don't run as frequently or consistently as I want. I'm still a turtle. And I still think of myself as a "non-runner". But so far, I've found that there is something to running. Enough to let the writing catch up with it.

So this is my story.


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