I missed you

I miss running.

I have a lot of excuses for not running for sure, the primary one is that my heart’s accelaration index, which is the peak accelaration of blood flow in the aorta was abnormally low. They also discovered that both of my kidneys were inflamed, causing   my erratic blood pressure. I am still undergoing treatment but my cardiologist has already given me the go signal.  He said I can run again starting March and today is…drumroll please, the first day of March!  Yahooo!

Just this Saturday, February 27, I wore my running shoes, shorts, and shirt, and went out for a five-kilometer walk (no running yet). It took me an hour to finish! I was afraid I’d feel dizzy or run out of breath but surprisingly, that one hour spent walking and breaking a sweat felt really good.

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I must confess I miss my running friends. I miss joining races. I miss waking up at 3 am for a long run. I miss wearing my running shoes. I miss training. I miss the DOMS. I miss the black toenails (not!) I miss everything about running!

So yes, I’m excited to be back.  I will take it slow but I will bear in mind what Shifu said,

If you only do what you can do, you’ll never be better than what you are. (Kung Fu Panda 3)

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I’m on the right track.

See you on the road!

Bibs

You know you’re a runner when you hear the word “bib” you think of race numbers not babies and Gerber food.

Yesterday when I was organizing my bookshelf, something fell from one of my books: a race bib, which I used as a bookmark. It was the bib from my first marathon, the 2013 Bull Runner Dream Marathon. A flood of memories rushed through my mind…the excitement when Jehan and I attended the first Bull Circle (run talks) at Fully Booked, the early morning Bull Sessions (run clinics) in BGC and Nuvali, the Nuvali hills (ouch!), and then of course the race day. I stared at my bib for a long time thinking, “Did I actually run this?” Unbelievable. It seemed so long ago.

tbrdm 2013

And then there was my 2015 Condura Skyway Marathon bib from my last marathon. Ah, I always get the chills everytime I’d pass by Magallanes on my way to Pasig.  I’d look at THAT bridge, that intimidating Magallanes bridge that we ran four times one fine morning in February. Funny thing is I want to run it again.

CSM bib

Still in the teal green Metrowide Courier plastic pouch was my Milo 21k bib. The race will be this Sunday, July 26 at 4:30 in the morning. Sadly, I will not run it. Ok, I’m all for pushing it, for going out on a run even when I’m tired or had only a few hours of sleep. But for several weeks now my blood pressure had been erratic.   You know, sometimes I think I’m superwoman but I learned the hard way that I couldn’t do it all.  I’ve already missed several weeks of training and it would be unwise for me to run this race.

I had a training program that I started to follow for Milo but there were personal circumstances – my unstable blood pressure, building a new home in Pasig for my son and helping him move in – things that played havoc in my training schedule. For sure, life isn’t always smooth sailing that is why I have accepted that it’s ok not to race Milo. I must remember that it is important to keep things in perspective and balance.

I know I’ll be back in proper training soon but for now I have to get enough rest without feeling guilty.  I won’t make training another stress to add to my life.  Running shouldn’t be an added pressure.  Running should make me feel better and healthier.
Milo bib

Finisher’s Towel

My husband and I do not share bathrooms.  He likes to use my sons’ bathroom because he says it’s bigger.  It worked well for us, I like that my feminine scented body washes and shampoos don’t have to crowd with his “manly” soaps, and that we don’t share towels.

Last week, my jaw literally dropped when I saw him using my towel – my 2014 TBR Dream Marathon Finisher’s towel. “How dare you.  You don’t have the right to use that,” I thought.  “You have to run 42 kilometers to earn that.”

gatorade towel

Then it hit me. Yes, I ran 42.195 kilometers with my own two feet but let’s face it, my husband’s support throughout my training was important indispensable in getting me to race day. Every time he would come home from a trip, he would bring me back running books and magazines. He would buy me running apparels and Timex Ironman watches. He would give me fresh coconuts so I could replenish lost electrolytes after a run.  He was the one who paid for my marathon race fee and all the other shorter races leading to the marathon. He didn’t complain that sometimes I would spend the night over at Jehan’s house so that she and I could go to Nuvali very early the next day. His sleep was often disturbed when I had to get up at dawn for a long run.  My husband is not a runner but he definitely changed his schedule to accommodate mine and I appreciate him for that.

So yes, my dear husband, you too deserve it.  Go ahead and use that towel.  In fact, you can have it.

Isa Para Kay Pacman

Everyday he is in the evening news.  Everyday he is in the front page of newspapers. You see him on tv commercials.  You see him on billboards on the highway. People talk about him in social media.  Even my laptop has his sticker! MP – Manny Pacquiao, one of the greatest boxers of all time.

Manny Pacquiao

While waiting for a meeting, I had the chance to walk around Robinson’s Galleria in Ortigas last Thursday. Much to my delight, I found the Team Pacquiao store inside the sports loop of the mall. There were many shoppers, but there were only a few items for sale because according to the shop attendant, Pacquiao-Mayweather items were selling like hotcakes.

 

I bought a Pacquiao-Mayweather cap and the event poster signed by the man himself – Manny Pacquiao!  How cool is that?

Pacquiao Mayweather

I, Sandi, join the whole nation in supporting Manny “PACMAN” Paquiao as he faces Floyd Mayweather Jr. today, May 2, 2015, in what is dubbed as “The Fight of the Century”. Go Pacman!Pacquiao Mayweather

Pacquiao

NatGeo 2015 Half Marathon Race Report

DNF the NatGeo half marathon at 10km – that was my plan.

You see, earlier that week my blood pressure shot up to 160/100.  Was it because of something I ate or was I too tired from spinning on Monday?  Or maybe it was because of the scorching heat of summer? I honestly do not know.

By Saturday it was down to 140/90 and at 1 am on Sunday it was a normal 120/80.  I decided to go with a plan to take it easy and to stop at 10km or anytime I would feel something is not right. You might think it was a bad idea but three of my siblings were running too and I didn’t want to miss out on the fun.

natgeo 2015

At around 3:10 our wave was released.  Joy, Jehan, and I ran together.  After a few minutes, somebody tapped my arm – it was my dermatologist. So we chatted while running and after a few meters, I realized that I have lost my sisters.  “Ok then, I will have to do this on my own,” I thought.  I had no GPS devise with me which didn’t really matter.

“One, two, three, exhale, one, two, three, exhale,” I counted for five kilometers then I didn’t have to count anymore.  I knew how to breathe like clockwork.

I slowly cruised along the course, relying only on the mileage markers. At 4 a.m. it was hot and humid.  Some runners, wearing black singlets with yellow rectangles on their chests, huffed and puffed. Good thing the hydration stations overflowed with iced water, sponges, bananas, and Pocari Sweat.

I felt fine except for the big toe on my right foot hurt like crazy and I knew I have lost my toenail.  I was sad for a while but the grieving for my black toenail was cut short when I saw a mileage marker: 11 Km. “Eleven! I was supposed to DNF at ten! Might as well finish this race,” I thought.  I kept remembering what Paul Tergat said, “Ask yourself: ‘Can I give more?’. The answer is usually: ‘Yes’.”

At 19km, a lot of runners were already walking and I was pleased that I was still strong.  Slow but strong. Does that make sense?

Again, I made a mistake of not checking the race course and I thought that coming from Macapagal we would go straight to the finish line. But to my dismay, we had to run around MOA. Those turns really tested my will to finish.

I don’t know with you but something magical happens to me when I see the finish line.  There’s always a surge of energy as if I wasn’t tired or have not run at all. I finished at 3:18:23.  My slowest, my Personal Worst record.  Haha.

NatGeo 2015

When we got back to the car, Joy again took my blood pressure. “Hay naku, 120/70, mas mababa pa. You’re healed,” she declared. Thank God. 🙂

It’s supposed to be hard. The hard is what makes it great. ~ Jimmy Dugan

National Geographic half-marathon, check!

NatGeo 2015

We all finished. Yay!

We all finished. Yay!

Post-run celebration

Post-run celebration

 

 

The Finisher

It does not matter how long you live, but how well you do it. – Martin Luther King

My father-in-law and John’s father-in-law were good buddies having worked together as officers in the Philippine Air Force. I never met John but even in his death he became a blessing not only to me, but to many. As a matter of fact, last night in his wake, the whole church auditorium was filled with people who loved him.

The Pastor briefly spoke about three things:

  • It’s not how long, but how well you lived that counts.
  • It’s not how you start, but how you finish that counts.
  • It’s not how much you’ve accumulated for yourself but how much of yourself you’ve invested in others that counts.

He also quoted verses from the Bible:

2 Timothy 4:7-8
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.

1 Peter 5:10
And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.

John’s cause of death hit me really hard.  You see, I too had a tumor in my adrenal gland.  Big difference was mine was benign and his was malignant.

There’s something different and special when a Christian dies. You could see that there was acceptance, peace, and hope in the hearts of his family, especially Chinky, his widow. John was an Ironman, a triathlete. He would have turned fifty-one this year. Gone too soon? Maybe. But the family understood that it was God’s will for him to cross his final finish line into the arms of his Coach in heaven.

ITRI4John

ITRI4John

Allow me to reblog a post from Meetamorphosis about John Jacob.

meetamorphosis

JohnJLighthouseHello, dear reader.  The Tick Tock has stopped for our dear friend, John Jacob.  Days are grey and tears abound. Yet, in the midst of the dark days ahead, we have an assurance that our Ironman, the Finisher, is enjoying Heaven, post-race.  I want to thank everyone who encouraged, rallied, cheered and cheerfully gave their resources to his family.  May God”s blessings pour upon you a thousandfold for your generosity!

 As a tribute to John, I am sharing this piece written by Binoy Sadia in 2010.  It was originally published in an anniversary issue publication of Lighthouse Christian Community.

♥♥♥

“Finisher”
Testimony of John Jacob
By: Binoy Sadia

     The sun was high as the competitors were all geared up at the starting line and John was there with the other 750 Ironman aspirants, waiting for the “bang” of the race gun that would signal the start of the…

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