Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

Happy One Month Zero Runniversary to Me

April 2, 2009


It was time to flip the family calendar last night from one month to the next, an event that my kiddos look forward to every month as they get to choose which stickers to apply for upcoming activities. They have stickers for family trips, haircut, sleepovers, and more while I just pull out a thick, black pentel pen, search for the Sundays, and scribble the races I’m joining on that month.

Last night, as I was about to turn the page to April, I got the shock of my life. On March 1, exactly a month ago, I wrote down the two words every runner in the world dreads: STOP RUNNING. And, only then did I realize that it’s been a full month since I had completely stopped running due to my injuries.

I yelled in horror to the hubby, “Aaah, I’ve had zero runs for one full month!” He replied nonchalantly “What about Condura Half?” Oh yeah, forgot about that. Perhaps I should’ve said “I’ve had zero training runs for the entire month of March.”

Training runs are the runs I live for. While I have goal races, such as dream half or full marathons here and abroad, I believe it’s the regular runs—those solo 10k runs on the road or speedwork at Ultra—that keep me happy. I never could relate to runners who cringe at another long run or those who run to get the program over with so they can reach their marathon goal. I run because I just want to. If I don’t, I am incomplete.

Hopefully, I don’t reach my 2nd month Zero Runniversary. After all, I registered for Greenfield City Run this April 19.


TBR on Good Times with Mo

April 1, 2009

I was driving home this morning from a long morning at the pool with TI instructor, Nonoy, and classmate, Dondi, and as always I was listening to my favorite morning habit on 89.9, “Good Times with Mo” with Mo Twister, Mojo, and Grace Lee.  

There is not a weekday (except Fridays when they’re not on) that I don’t listen to this trio on the radio.  They’re discussions are thought-provoking and intellectually stimulating, but most importantly, they are downright funny.  I can’t count how many times I’ve laughed out loud alone in the car after taking the kids to school or coming home from a training run.  Needless to say, I am a huge fan.  Huge! 

This morning, it was not a surprise that Sen. Pia Cayetano was on the show.  She was a guest last week and a couple of days ago she was a guest on Mo Twister’s TV show as well to discuss current issues, promote her advocacies, and of course, touch on her personal life as well (which, fortunately for us, includes running.)  But, what surprised me was this: Mojo Jojo mentioning The Bull Runner Magazine!  Yes, he did!

So, TBR was NOT actually on the show (as written on the title of this post which was made only to fool you into reading this), but TBR Magazine was there, in the hands of Mojo, to be exact.  He basically asked Sen. Pia about her training program and mentioned that he was reading about it in The Bull Runner Magazine.  Woohooo…what a pleasant surprise!  Good Times with Mo, you just made my day!

Thanks to Sen. Pia for bringing your copy of TBR Magazine!

What Would You Do for Love?

February 14, 2009

I would run a marathon for you. 

That’s what Tank Turner (Dane Cook) told Alexis (Kate Hudson) in the movie “My Best Friend’s Girl.”  It wasn’t a great movie, but I loved that line.  Well, I kinda fall for anything that’s associated with running.


So, how far would you run to prove your love for your partner?  How much pain are you willing to endure?  How many pieces of chocolate are you willing to give up for your beloved (and for your waistline, too)?

For me, I would tell my husband this:  I would skip a marathon for you.  Now that, my friends, is the ultimate sacrifice.

Happy Valentine’s Day to all!

What Are You Doing this Valentine’s?

February 12, 2009

So, what are you doing this Valentine’s Day?  

Please don’t tell me about your candlelit dinner by the bay nor the meal you plan to whip up for your partner;  I don’t care for that (although you could tell the hubby so he’d get some ideas.)  I’m more curious to find out how active, adventurous couples plan to spend Valentine’s Day, which lands perfectly on a Saturday—the best day for a romantic long run before the sun rises…aaaah, if only I could run long!

Last week, I got an email about Valentine’s Yoga Classes at Yoga Manila.  I thought it would be fun, doing pretzel poses and head stands with the hubby, so I enthusiastically asked him “Hey, you wanna do this?”  He barked back “No way!”  Well, it was worth a try.

A long run together would’ve been ideal, but I can’t run over 5k just yet.  Swimming is not a good idea too as hubby doesn’t enjoy it as much as I do.  We’ll probably end up biking as scheduled in my program.

After that, I’m thinking we could go to Clark to watch the Philippine Hot Air Balloon fiesta.  (Thanks to my siblings for the idea.)  No workout for us and I’m sure I’ll be drooling when I see the roads of Clark, but it should be fun.  Anyway, those balloons may serve as a perfect distraction to the long runs I’m missing.

I’ll Miss You, Annie

January 31, 2009

This evening, my bestest running buddy, Annie, will be on a flight to Singapore to start a new job there.  As much as I want to be happy for her, I can’t help but feel otherwise.  My running soulmate and partner-in-crime is leaving.  And, I am completely devastated.  

We met way back in the summer of 2007.  Two young mothers who had a deep interest in running.  We would run every other day, no fail, rain or shine.  More often than not, we would run side by side, but there were times when she would run ahead of me (as she was much stronger) while I slowly improved trying my best to keep up with her. We had great fun talking and laughing during runs, but during tough climbs or tempo runs, we would be serious training partners, pushing each other to perform better.  By the time summer ended and our Coach had deserted us, we had already forged a bond built around—what turned out to be—not just an interest, but an obsession for running.  


October came and we decided to train for our first marathon together: Pasig Marathon 2008.  We ran our Saturday long runs together, but they didn’t feel long at all;  two hours would fly by so fast.  We learned more about each other, how we were alike in so many ways: that our birthdays are only a day apart, that our husbands are so extraordinarily patient and supportive, that running is not just a hobby for us, but a huge part of our lives.  We talked about our marathon dream and we could completely relate with each other.  Unfortunately, I got injured while Annie went on to finish Pasig Marathon at 4:07 in February 2008. 

In the summer of 2008, we signed up with another coach, Coach Jo-Ar, and started training in Ultra together.  From the roads, we moved to the track and, together, we had even more fun climbing up those stairs, racing up the hills with kids half our age, or hanging out with the legendary Elma Muros.  Still, we continued our regular Saturday long runs on the road as if it was a sacred tradition, a special day that we both looked forward to at the end of each hectic week.

By mid-year, we both decided to embark on our craziest running adventure yet: Singapore Marathon in December 2008, just the two of us pursuing our dream to run abroad for the first time.  We prepared for this together, and we did it.  Annie ran a 3:59 marathon, while I finished 2:08 for my half.  It was an amazing, unforgettable event that we were only too glad to have experienced together.


Finding the perfect running buddy is like finding a needle in a haystack.  It’s finding that partner that you have a certain chemistry with: one you can talk to for hours to make you forget about the distance or the pain in your legs, one who will adjust his/her pace according to the needs of the day, one you can trust to be there for you when the going gets tough in a run…or in life.  That was Annie for me.  And, I’d like to think I was the same for her.

Now, the sad reality.  She’s leaving tonight.  I am losing a running buddy, a sister, a dear friend.  I burst into tears just thinking about our laughable conversations about thongs, tampons, or men who waved at us on the road.  I worry who will be there to remind me to take it easy when I’m injured or to accompany me when I embark on a new cross training activity.  And, worst of all, I choke at the thought of Saturday long runs and Sunday races without her. With Annie’s departure, running for me will never ever be the same.

Sick Leave

January 20, 2009

Just when I thought I could start training again, I was struck by a slight fever, achy bones, and a tummy ache yesterday.  I spent the entire day in bed consumed by an overall feeling of blahness, thinking about 1) the near perfect weather for swimming, 2) missed gym visit that day, 3) downgrading my 15k Happy Run registration to a 5k (arggh, I hate the idea, but I think a sick, recently-injured runner like me has got to bite the bullet and accept her sad fate), and last but not the least, 4) how Rustom (or Bebe Gandanghari) was able to gain his/her new waif-like figure in three months time through Pilates!

Yes, I know, I had too much idle time on my hands yesterday.  Thanks to Tylenol, I’m feeling much better now.  Today is still rest/ recovery day.  Hopefully, I’m strong enough for a short run and yoga tomorrow.

The Bull RAN

January 19, 2009

It was The Bull Run yesterday and this bull missed it.  

No whining nor complaining from me though.  This 2009, the brand new bull is choosing her races wisely.  And, this Bull Run, despite winning best race name in my book (heehee), was one that I knew I could skip with a smile.  

You see, by now, I already know that there are only two types of races in the country:

  1. Races you absolutely cannot miss such as Adidas King of the Road or New Balance
  2. Typical, garden variety road races that you can pass up because they’ll have the exact type of race next weekend, only in a different name  

For me, The Bull Run fell under Category 2.  With news of inconvenient registration procedures, I could barely muster up the energy to pick up a pen and fill in a reg form.  Besides, my knee and I decided to rest and strengthen instead in hopes that I can run an easy 15k at next week’s Happy Run.

So, while most runners were at the not-so-very-well-organized PSE Bull Run (little birdies told me), I was out in the polo field running easy on oooh-la-la soft, green grass.  My knees loved it so much that they didn’t complain at all, not a whimper.  It was the first time I ran completely pain-free since Singapore Half!  Woohoo!  Now, that’s what I call a great Bull Run!

Meeting Mike: Fastest Pinoy at NYC Marathon

January 14, 2009

Not too many people knew that, during the Nike Clinic at Ultra last night, the fastest Pinoy runner at the recently held NYC Marathon was in their midst. No surprise, because this guy silently arrived with just a couple of his friends, clad in the most unassuming attire one could choose: a white shirt and black shorts, and disappeared into the small crowd of runners.

His name is Mike Mesina and I interviewed him via email soon after he ran his 3:12 NYC Marathon, missing the Boston qualifications by just a minute and a half. (Click here for full interview.)  And, last night, I had the pleasure of finally meeting him as he chose to run in Ultra before leaving for NY the following day.


Funny that when first saw each other it was like seeing an old friend.  He’s a simple, friendly, down-to-earth, and painfully modest guy considering his speedy legs.  Upon meeting him, one would even think he’s a newbie runner.  He didn’t brag about his time nor his runs abroad, and  neither did I see him show off his talent for speed at the track. In fact, when Coach Jo-Ar told him he’d be in Group A (the fastest of the bunch), he even seemed embarrassed.

I hoped we could run together (with me probably crawling and panting meters behind him) but, with my knee pain, I thought I’d bore him death with my ultra slow pace.  I sure hope he enjoyed last night’s clinic and his brief time with the Pinoy runners.

Mike, keep in touch.  As I said, I hope we can run again in the future—whether it’s in New York or Manila—even for just a few minutes before you leave me eating your dust 🙂

Thanks to Wilbert for the photo!

Bad Run

January 10, 2009

This morning’s run with the hubby in Bonifacio Global City was a BAD one on so many counts:

1) Attack of the Mountain Bikers. Where did they all come from? There were over 50 mountain bikers circling the BHS loop when we arrived. There were double the usual number of runners, but we were still outnumbered by the biking peeps. Hubby and I decided to leave the loop and run the roads behind S&R, near British School instead.

2) Early Breakfast. Early into the run, I was chatting with hubby when something—was it a baby fly or a tiny rock?—flew into my mouth and slid down my throat! I attempted to cough it out, but to no avail. Took a big gulp of water to flush it down. Eew.

3) The Bratty Knee. The dry needling last Thursday completely healed my minor shin splints. But, as expected, the Runner’s Knee continued to rear its ugly head. My PT had told me that the knee would only recover through my own efforts (read: strengthening exercises) and with time. So, at 8km, I slowed down and eventually stopped.

4) No Sweat. No, I don’t mean the run was easy. I literally mean, I didn’t sweat at all! It was so cool and breezy this morning that my sweat glands kicked up their feet and slept through the run. I felt like I didn’t even work out.

5) PMS. Nothing is ever fine nor positive for a woman who is PMS-ing. To tell you the truth, I may be exaggerating with Nos. 1 to 4 because my hubby seemed completely satisfied with his run (although that may be due to the fact that he didn’t swallow a rock nor suffer any injuries.)

Good thing I found this video on youtube to cheer me up.  It’s called THE DAY AFTER THE MARATHON, a commercial from the Flora London Marathon…

2009 Goals

January 4, 2009

“Consider goals as launching pads to something far greater.”

– Cyndi Laurin

Ever since I came across those aforementioned words in 2007, I stopped making resolutions and marked each New Year with GOALS instead.  Here goes…

ONE-DAY GOAL: To start eating properly tomorrow—as in the way normal human beings do without gorging on ridiculous amounts of dessert.

FIVE-DAY GOAL: To stick to my “7-Day Self-Imposed Running Ban.”  Oh, I didn’t tell you about this yet.  Since Singapore, I’ve had a lingering knee pain that won’t go away due to my non-stop running.  So, on January 1— yes, the first day of the year—I reluctantly promised myself I would stop running for 7 long days (ouch!) to give my knee time to heal. (To tell you frankly, I’m just on the 4th day and I think I’m gonna break soon.)

2-WEEK GOAL: To run The Bull Run 10k without any pain.  (The Bull’s gotta run The Bull Run, right?)  And, to decide by this time, if I’m foolish enough to join the Philippine Marathon on March 8 even with these nagging pains.


– To run a full marathon faster than Katie Holmes (5:29:58).  If not on March 8, then maybe New York which is even better timing for me.  Hey, a running girl can dream can’t she?

– To run a sub-2 hour half marathon.  

– To beat my 10k PR of 46.57 by the latter part of the year.

– To enjoy every run and race regardless of my time.  (Easier said than done, but I promise to work at it.)

– To say goodbye to Runner’s Knee and shin splints forever.  

– To remain consistent with cross-training activities that keep injuries at bay, such as biking, swimming, bikram yoga, and strength training.  (Hate to admit it, but since October, I focused solely on running as work and family obligations limited my training time.)

– To stop talking about Lance Armstrong too often with hubby.  When a 7-time tour de france champion and 2-time marathoner is all you rave about, then your husband may do one of two things: 1) wonder if you’re having an affair with Lance (yeah right!) or 2) realize that you’re no Kate Hudson.  Either way, I lose.

– To do another triathlon after my first marathon.

– To find a way to give back to others through running.  (I’m still brainstorming but I’m certain that I want to use running—and this blog—to make a positive change in this world.)

– To continue to love running as I do now and as I’ve done since the day I started in 2006.  Some people have a love-hate relationship with running, but mine is all love, baby. (Never could relate to New Balance’s love-hate marketing campaign since I haven’t had a day that I dreaded nor detested it.)  And, I only hope that running will love me back just the same by allowing me to run longer and faster for the rest of 2009.

Have a great 2009 to all of you!