Archive for July, 2007

I’m Back!

July 30, 2007

Aaaaw, it was a scene straight out of the movies…or maybe just a postcard. I parked my car at the soccer field of Alabang Country Club yesterday morning and paused for a few minutes to appreciate the spectacle before me: the sun was about to rise. How I missed seeing the early morning sun! On this occassion—unlike so many others in the past (wherein I was just probably PMSing at that time)—I had every right to be melodramatic about this run.

I had been through Runner’s Hell and back the past week. (“Runner’s Hell” because only my running life was in turmoil. Apart from my kid’s yaya going on an emergency 2-week leave, life was pretty much happy. Hubby has a job and no mistress. My preschoolers do not take drugs.) My running life was threatened because of my fainting incident two Saturdays ago. At a time when I should’ve been running the Milo 10k, I was at home downing bottles of Gatorade to forget the missed race. While I was supposed to be training for Run to Bring Hope, I was wasting away at clinics begging doctors to allow me to run again. I thought the week would never end. But, as my equally sentimental friend Rico once told me, “After the rain, comes the rainbow.” In my case, the rainbow came straight out of my doctor’s mouth last Saturday. After evaluating my results from my Treadmill Test, he announces “There’s nothing wrong with your heart. Go ahead and run.”

Rainbow

The Bull Runner wastes no time. The day after, which was yesterday, I met with Coach B at 5:15 am for my first road run in two long-drawn-out weeks. Against the backdrop of the rising sun, I felt like I was starting anew. Goodbye to talks of fanting spells and failed runs, I thought. It’s time to get back into the groove of things.

We set out for a 15km run in my favorite playground, Ayala Alabang. Coach B labelled this our “Recovery Run” since he was still recovering from Milo’s 42k (Congrats again, Coach!) and I from my brief running break. In the beginning, my feet felt like they were anchored to the road. They were so unbelievably stiff and heavy. Gradually, at around 2k, I found my rhythm and felt at ease. Aaah, I missed this even more than the rising sun! Our pace was slower than usual (5’26″/km to be exact) but it was alright. Man, it was great! I was just glad to be running again. I would’ve stopped to kiss the road but decided otherwise for fear it would look like I was fainting again.

That run was unforgettable. It was my first 15k. Yeah! But, even beyond the new record, it was unlike any other run I’ve had in the past because of what I’d been through. I came so close to losing running forever. And, after saying the phrase “I will die if I don’t run” so many times the past week, I felt so alive to be given the chance to just run again. So, after our 1 hr and 22 mins of pure bliss on the road, before we parted ways with Coach, I just had to say it “I’m back!” Oh yes, The Bull Runner is back!

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Run To Bring Hope moved to Aug 5

July 27, 2007

Run To Bring Hope slated for July 29 (this Sunday) has been moved to August 5. Turns out that the race area will hold the ASEAN Summit on the same day and Malacanang wants the roads to be clear. I think our government has to rethink its priorities. Kidding.

So, runners, you have until August 1 (Wednesday) to sign up for Run To Bring Hope if you missed out on registration (just like me since I was planning to register on site if I passed my treadmill test the day before!) Register at One Heart, G/F Aurellio Building, 9th Ave. cor Rizal Ave. Caloocan City. Fee is P160. Look for Abigail.

See you there!

Thanks to Mon of H@ppy Feet for the SMS alert!

Vasovagal Syncope Won’t Keep Me From Running

July 27, 2007

I’ve been to three doctors in three different clinics within three days to determine the cause of my first ever fainting episode last Saturday. Here’s a brief summary of what occurred in all of my consultations:

[ Doctor No. 1: General Practitioner ]

Doctor’s Diagnosis: VASOSPASM – narrowing of the blood vessels which restricts the amount of blood flowing through that vessel

Me: So, can I run a race this Sunday?

Doc: No, you’ll be under observation for 6 months.

Me: 6 months? No way. I will DIE if I don’t run. (I kid you not. This is exactly what I told the doctor.)

Doc: Go see a cardiologist to undergo more tests.

My reaction (read aloud in a wailing tone to achieve similar dramatic effect): 6 months?! Unbelievable! If I was crippled for 6 months, then I would accept the fact that I couldn’t run. But, no doctor forbids me to run only because she doesn’t know if I’ll collapse or not! 6 months?!

ECG


[ Doctor No. 2: Cardiologist ]

Diagnosis: VASOVAGAL SYNCOPE – an abnormal reflex towards a stimulus (coughing, sight of blood, dehydration, bowel movement, etc.) that results in a drop in blood flow to the brain which leads to fainting. Not serious nor life threatening. Treatment is uneccessary in most cases.

Me: So, can I run a race this Sunday?

Doc: Based on the ECG, you have an athlete’s heart, it’s very healthy (applause please!) But, just to make sure, get these tests done—Treadmill Exercise Test, 2D Echocardiogram-Doppler, and 24 hr Holter Monitoring—and let’s wait for the results. I also have homework for you. You must increase your salt intake. Eat chips and any other tasty dishes.

My reaction: I love this doctor. He’s probably right about Vasovagal Syncope…and the required potato chips intake. Before heading home, I run into a gas station and buy myself a large pack of Lay’s Salt & Vinegar chips. (Yes, I take my doctor’s orders very seriously.)

[ Doctor No. 3: Cardiologist ] Note to the curious: I went for a 3rd consultation because my husband’s HMO will only pay for my three tests if their own doctor prescribes the same tests

Diagnosis: VASOVAGAL SYNCOPE – (For those with lazy index fingers, no need to scroll up. Yes, it’s the same diagnosis as Doctor No. 2)

Me: So, can I run a race this Sunday?

Doc: You run?

Me: Yes, that’s the only reason why I went for this consultation. I need clearance to run this Sunday. I don’t want to faint in the middle of a race.

Doc: Ano ka ba—addict? (What are you—an addict?)

Me: Uhm…yes. So, can I run?

Doc: Get a treadmill test done and show me the results on Saturday. If you pass it—which I’m pretty sure you will—then you may run on Sunday.

My reaction: Oh yeah, I feel it in my guts—I’m gonna make it to the Race for HOPE on Sunday. Now, about that treadmill test, how long and how fast do you think they want me to go?

Run For Your Life Part 3

July 26, 2007

Can you imagine running 100km from evening till a little after lunch the following day? These photos will give you a glimpse of how the Run For Your Life team accomplished such a feat conquering exhaustion, thirst, cramps, blisters, and more (ouch!) with the power of the heart and spirit (yeah!)

Congratulations to Neville, Kiko, Danny, Chichi, Olive and Beth for running 100km for the benefit of Kythe Foundation!

33 am

July 21, 9:33 pm: Hector and Neville with Romi at the Ortigas/E. Rodriguez Interchange

08pm

10:08 pm: Beth and Olive at the flyover towards Pasig. (Go girls! I love this pic. I want to be just like Beth and Olive when I grow up!)

50 pm

11:50 pm: Robert stretching at the People Power Monument

31 am

July 22, 4:31 am: Beth and Olive join the Milo Marathoners

24 am

6:24 am: Back on the road after a brief rest stop

56 am

9:56 am: Danny in front of RCBC Tower, Ayala Avenue

19 am

10:19 am: Along Roxas Blvd.

37 pm

1:37 pm: Neville finishes 100km

For more information and photos, go to Run For Your Life, IsaDalawaTatlo and UP Mountaineers.

Photos courtesy of Nards Coll with permission from Neville Manaois.

I Gotta Run!

July 24, 2007

As I write this, it has been exactly 4,302 minutes since my last run. You know how long that is for an addicted runner like me? Just about as long as your wait when you are the 15th in line for the toilet and you got one minute before the race starts.

Last week was the first time that I ran just twice in a week—both of which were unchallenging, mediocre treadmill runs. My training log is cursing me for leaving him an orphan. My ipod is gathering dust. My tummy has morphed into a blob of jello. And, my feet—ah my feet—they are smooth, blister-free, and relaxed. Just the way non-runners like them.

Needless to say, I am grouchy, bloated, and whiny. If you see me, do not say hi. You must run for your life, especially if you are in red running gear, for The Bull Runner shall attack.

Charging Bull

Okay, I’m exaggerating again as I always do. Despite the foul mood, I manage a little smile every hour or so, but these are reserved only for my husband and children—and myself whenever I open a block of Choc-nut in between my bouts of depression.

I’m saving just one wide thankful grin for my doctor later this afternoon though. I got a blood test this morning and, as soon as I get the results, I’ll go for a check up. I’m pretty sure nothing is wrong. My guess is that I’m anemic or I should be eating more nutritious foods, but nothing serious. (Nope, I am not pregnant. I’m 100% sure!)  I shall ask my doctor, “So, doc, can I start running again tonight? And, can I join the Run for HOPE on Sunday?” To which he will most definitely reply, “By all means, go ahead and run.” And, with that, I shall instantly return to my normal happy self again with a wide grin to show for it.

The Milo Manila Marathon

July 22, 2007

All I see is green. Among the mass of 10,000 runners clad in green, I find my way towards the clear roads of Roxas Boulevard. I am running, no flying. Other runners stare in disbelief as they fall like bowling pins knocked out by a speeding ball. I run the streets as if it is mine. I see nothing and feel nothing. I am running faster than I have ever had in my life. In the blink of an eye, the race is over. Crowds cheer. I look around to realize I am the first one to cross the finish line. I am the winner!

I wake up at exactly 5:58 this morning with that wonderful dream. (Yes, boys and girls it was a dream. What did you think?) My only thought upon waking was: two more minutes to the start of the race—and I missed it. I lay in bed watching the clock. One minute more. 30 seconds. 10. 3…2…1…and they are off. Me too—but I am headed towards the bathroom. This sucks.

Why did I miss the race? Because of my “little” incident last night:

After dinner in Teriyaki Boy, we—my hubby, son, daughter, and I—hop over to our favorite weekend haunt: Timezone in Alabang Town Center. In about 10 minutes, my stomach starts acting up. I ask my hubby to watch the kids while I walk in haste towards the nearest restroom. It’s a short walk, but not to me. As I wobble through the corridor towards the comfort room, my tummy starts churning, my vision becomes hazy, and I suddenly feel like I’ve been possessed by a drunk Britney Spears. When I reach the door to the comfort room, a woman holds me up and asks “Are you okay?” to which I can barely find the strength to reply a simple yes. I clumsily find my way to a cubicle and enter.

Bathroom Sign

There are women chatting and I am watching them from afar. I walk towards one of them. I am about to tap her in the shoulder when…

I open my eyes to hear voices “Miss, wake up. Wake up.” in tagalog. I was just dreaming. I look around to discover that I am lying on the floor of the comfort room in the arms of two janitresses who apparently caught my fall. God, I fainted. For the first time in my entire life, I fainted?!

Three security guards help locate my husband and kids and—even if I feel alright after a couple of visits to the toilet—they insist on taking me to nearby Asian Hospital. I hesitate, but relent. Before we know it, I am whisked away in a wheelchair towards the gates of the mall. God, this is so embarassing, I think. When we reach the exit, there is a large crowd curious to see who shall enter the ambulance that awaits. OMG, this is even more humiliating. I wish I had a brown bag to cover my head. I will die if I see anyone I know. I stand up, smile at everyone, and ride the ambulance towards Asian Hospital.

By the time we get home it is around 9 pm. I ask my hubby about the Milo race and he curtly replies “Don’t even think about it.” I pretend not to hear it and send SMS messages to my sister Janice and two other runner friends Mayi and Annie about the incident. All of them advise the same thing: “Don’t run.” Being the bull-headed runner (er, I mean The Bull Runner) that I am, I refuse to even think of skipping the race, but I don’t have a choice. It would be crazy to risk my health for a race. Besides, I think that fainting in a marathon is a hundred times worse than doing so in a bathroom with a handful of people as an audience.

So, there goes my Milo Manila Marathon story, which was certainly not the Milo Marathon race report you probably anticipated. To all those who crossed the finish line, congratulations! Annie, Coach, Mayi, Jamike, and Happy Feet: sayang, I didn’t get to see you there! To those who pledged through me for Kythe: I ran 0km but if you still wish to commit to your pledge I can still donate it directly to Kythe—or you may wait for my next race. Banggigay, Marga, Roselle, and Neville: shucks, I missed meeting you for the first time! Not to worry, there will be more races…like next week’s Run for Hope? haha.

Oh, and for those who have lingering questions about the cause of my fainting, here are the answers:

  • Nope, I’m not pregnant. At least I don’t think so.
  • Yes, I eat. I am not anorexic.
  • No, I will not be suing Teriyaki Boy. I’ve ruled out food poisoning because my family ate the same thing I did.
  • Yes, I’ll get myself checked.
  • Yes, I will still continue running.
  • No, I will not give you my Milo singlet!

Thank you to Alabang Town Center for taking very good care of me—specifically the two janitresses, three security guards, ambulance driver and his companion. I regret that I didn’t get their names, but I’ll surely be writing you to let you know of the wonderful people you have in your team.

Where Are You in Adidas KOTR?

July 20, 2007

I had a good laugh early this morning when, upon checking my Inbox, I find an email entitled: “Guess Who I Saw!” from Odette of Adidas. It was more of a shameful, hide-myself-behind-a-race-bib kind of giggle because of what I decided to wear that day: a navy blue Nike top with matching shorts. Despite my loud and proud proclamation of love for the Adidas KOTR singlet, I decided against wearing it in an effort to stand out against a sea of runners in red. Check out the photo and you’ll see that my mission was definitely accomplished! Haha!

Can you find yourself here? Let me know if you do!

Adidas KOTR

– Adidas King of The Road 2007…woohoo! –

Thanks to Odette Velarde for the photo.  Odette, as mentioned, I promise to wear my Adidas singlet at the Milo Marathon! haha

Blogger’s Marathon-For-A-Cause

July 20, 2007

On July 22, 2007, the day of the Milo Marathon, I’ve decided to run and help raise funds for Kythe, a non-stock, non-profit organization that helps uplift the spirits of sick children with chronic illnesses such as cancer. I was inspired by other runners who have done the same like Sen. Pia Cayetano in the past, Anton and Ben for this coming Milo race, and Neville with his 100km Ultramarathon.

I am running a 10k for this race and I hope to collect pledges from you—my family and friends—for each kilometer that I run. For instance, you may pledge P50 per kilometer thereby contributing P500 to help a child with cancer.  Any amount—whether it is P5 or P5,000—will go a long way to putting a smile on a child’s face.

If you wish to pledge, you may post a comment here or email me directly.  All the funds I collect will be donated directly to the Kythe Foundation.

Thank you in advance!

Milo, Get Set, Go!

July 18, 2007

I received my Milo 10k race packet today together with my son’s and husband’s 3k packets. Thank you Mayi for signing us all up!

Milo Singlets

– Singlets of all shapes and sizes for the three of us: my hubby, son, and I –

Phooeey! Staring at the documents enclosed, I start to break a sweat when I read the following:

  1. a whopping 10,000 runners are expected. As Mayi mentioned, my knees will tire not from the run, but from pushing and shoving against all the other runners.
  2. the 42k race route. I’m just running a 10k for this one, but man oh man, 42k plotted out on the map freaks me out.
  3. the traffic re-routing plan. After the Adidas KOTR, I was starving to death while stuck in post-race traffic. I hope traffic won’t be bad here, but I’m not taking any risks—I’m packing breakfast for the entire family!

Milo Race Route 3k/ 5k/ 10k/ 42k
– Race Route for Milo Marathon 3k/ 5k/ 10k/ 42k –

As with any race, however, my excitement over the following compensates for my worries:

  1. It’s my 1st Milo Race. A Milo race is a Milo race. It is one of the biggest and most popular races in the country. I just had to join it.
  2. Plain and simple route. To others (such as my good friend Annie), a race without hills is stale and boring. For me, it’s glorious! No surprises nor wrong turns. (I know, I sound like a sissy, but at least I’m honest!) Plus, it gives me a bigger chance of beating my PR hah!
  3. My son and hubby are joining again. My 6-year-old who joined me in almost all my races turned his back on the Adidas KOTR after he announced that “Running is not my sport. I’m into baseball and soccer now.” So, with sadness, I simply let him be. When I invited him to join me for the Milo race, it was with great delight that he replied “Okay, i’ll join. Running is not my sport, but I’ll run to build my muscles in my legs.” He then leaves the rooms singing “Milo e-v-e-ry-daaaaay!” Wow, what media can do!
  4. The Nestle Food Stub. As I’ve said, I’ve never been to a Milo race, so the tiny blue stub attached to the upper corner of the race materials definitely aroused my curiousity. Food huh?! What kind of food? Nestle Honey Stars with their low-fat milk? Yeah, I love those. Throw in a iced Nescafe after the run and, as frivolous and cheap as I may sound, I will be a happy camper.

So, have you signed up for the Milo Manila Marathon? The 3k/5k/10k/42k starts at Kilometer 0 along Roxas Blvd. Luneta Park in Manila on July 22, 2007.

Registration is ongoing and ends on July 20. Register at Vasquez Madrigal Bldg. 51 Annapolis St. Greenhills. For more information, call Mr. Biscocho at 727.9987. Bring a 300g wrapper of Milo to register.

My First Nike+ Challenge

July 17, 2007

Thanks to Hitme, I got invited by Peter_ob (from Philmug) to my first Nike+ Challenge a couple of days before I even tried out the nifty little gadget on the road. I had no idea how these challenges work, but anything that could give me more reason to run faster and longer sounded like good news to me!

The Manila Miles 25 Days Challenge was to begin on a most auspicious date: 07/07/07. (I felt luck would be by my side throughout the race, but I’m sure so did all the other 40+ runners!) So, I did register and crossed my fingers hoping that I would win the race to the most distance in 25 days without obssessing about it to the point that it took over my life (as running has obviously done!) I looked through the profiles of the other contenders on the board, evaluated their pace and distance, and developed my winning strategy. Okay, I’m kidding about the last two phrases!

It’s been a little over a week since the challenge started and fortunately it has not consumed me. Phew, thank God for that! I’ve stuck to my regular running program—which basically covers 40 to 45 km a week—and I just upload this to the Nike+ site and pray a silent prayer that the other runners experienced one of the following to shorten their distance: 1) heavier workload, 2) diarrhea during a long run, or 3) stolen rubber shoes. Hey, I’m kidding…again! This challenge is all about friendly competition, just to get all of us runners more motivated and excited about running further than we usually would.

During the early parts of the challenge, this is how the board looked…

July 10 Challenge

– Manila Miles Challenge: July 10, 2007. A bull run run run, a bull run run! –

Oh, my son was just so proud of me! When he saw this, he screamed “Yes mama, you are the winner!” with both hands jubilantly raised up in the air. I almost burst into tears with joy about my son’s reaction when he suddenly pauses and asks “Wait a minute. You are the bullrunner, right?”

Last night, I rechecked the board to see the changes that occurred in a mere week’s time. Ack. I don’t think I can match up to njrunner_fred’s distance. I concede! Njrunner_fred is apparently training to qualify for the Boston Marathon so go go go njrunner_fred! I am right behind you…literally!

July 16 Challenge

– Manila Miles Challenge: July 16, 2007. A bull run gone gone, a bull run gone –