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 acceleration index, which is the peak acceleration 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…drum roll 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.


I must confess I miss my running friends. I miss joining races. I miss waking up at dawn 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!


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 I attended the first Bull Circle, the early morning runs in BGC and Nuvali, the Nuvali hills, 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.

bib sandi_LI.jpg

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.  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 body washes and shampoos don’t have to crowd with his 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 first have to run 42 kilometers.”

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 essential in getting me to race day. Every time he would come home from a trip, he’d bring me back running books and magazines. He’d buy me running apparels and sports watches. He’d give me fresh coconuts so I could replenish lost electrolytes.  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.

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



I Ran with Dick Beardsley

I heard about him, read about him… duel in the sun

watched his 1982 Boston Marathon race on YouTube, and then one fine morning in February 2015 I actually ran with him. Yes, me! I ran with Dick Beardsley, a 2:08:53 marathoner. How often do you get to do that?

He even signed my shirt! Woohoo! dick bearsley

Dick Beardsley, a farm boy from Minnesota, was neck-and-neck against the world record holder Alberto Salazar,  during the 1982 Boston Marathon, a race now known in running history as the “Duel in the Sun”.  Both broke the American and Boston Marathon records that day, with Dick clocking in his personal record of 2:08:53, just TWO SECONDS behind Alberto.

Watch this 9-minute video of the race:

That was exciting, wasn’t it? Ok, now, would you like to hear the story behind it from the man himself? Please don’t fail to watch the video below recorded by my good friend Louie Cruz. This was taken after the run session with Dick in Alabang. It’s powerful and inspiring.

I am happy that Coach Jim Lafferty invited Dick Beardsley to the Philippines.  And I am thrilled that Dick agreed to an initial 11-week contract with the Philippine Amateur Track and Field Association (PATAFA) through the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC). He is now helping our athletes prepare for the upcoming SEA Games in Singapore.

What a great and humble man.

Thank you Dick for sharing your wealth of experience as a distance runner to us. I am inspired.

TBRDM 2015 Done!

The marathon is so much more than a race. So much more than 42.2 kilometers or 26.2 miles. It’s a triumph of the human spirit. A life changing endeavor. A molder of champions.
– Coach Jim Lafferty             

Congratulations to Joy and Pinky for finishing The Bull Runner Dream Marathon last Sunday! I am so proud of you.

tbrdm 2015

Before gun start.

tbrdm 2015

Few minutes before 2am. I was glad that I wasn’t running. 🙂

Go, go, go!

tbrdm 2015

tbrdm 2015

tbrdm 2015

Pinky cuts the tape!

Joy crosses the finish line

Joy crosses the finish line

tbrdm 2015

happy marathoners

tbrdm 2015

tbrdm 2015

tbrdm 2015

tbrdm 2015

Congratulations! All your hard work paid off and you inspire me. How can this not make me want to lace on my shoes and run? 

My Condura Skyway Marathon Story

The Skyway will forever and always be more than just another highway for me.

Running the Condura Skyway Marathon Run for a Hero 2015 was an unbelievable experience – it’s something I will always remember. I had an incredible time and ran a strong race, never once stopping to believe that I will finish, no matter how difficult things got.

Let’s recap.

CSM runners

Joy, Rex, and I stayed in Jehan’s house because it is near the race venue.  We slept the whole afternoon and by 9 o’clock, everybody started to get ready but for whatever reason, we lost track of the time.  By the time we all got in the car, it was already 11:30 pm, just 30 minutes away from gun start and traffic was a nightmare! The only consolation we had was we were assigned to Wave I.  That means we will start around 12:30 am.

Anyway, we made it to Filinvest, parked, then made a quick stop at the portalets. After that I heard the race host say, “Three minutes left before 12 o’clock.” We hurriedly found our corral and heaved a sigh of relief.  We made it.

csm runners

At 12:30, our wave was released.  Unlike other races where runners cheered at the start line, this race had an emotional start.  The Philippine Navy band was playing and standing on the left side of the road were 44 uniformed men holding 44 photos of the fallen heroes of Mamasapano.  The runners gave them a long salute. It was heartbreaking because it was a long line. It gave us a palpable image of how many actually died.  Some cried, others stopped to look at the photos.

csm 2015

condura marathon


Holding back the tears.

Jehan and I ran together. Our strategy was to break 42.195 kilometers into shorter segments so that we will not be overwhelmed.  Alabang, Sucat, Bicutan, Nichols, Magallanes, Don Bosco, and Buendia.

csm 2015

condura marathon

For me, the toughest part of the course was the Magallanes bridge and we ran through it four times. There were runners sitting on the curb and medics were attending to them.

Every now and then Jehan would say something to cheer us up. “We’re strong.” And I’d reply, “Yes. Light and tall.” It was also nice to see JN on the course.

At 26 kilometers, my right foot numbed. Then it became very painful, like it was cut by a scalpel and then somebody squeezed calamansi into the wound. Then both feet hurt like crazy.  I told Jehan to go ahead.  I did not want to ruin her race because I was slowing down.  But she said, “It’s ok.  I’ll stay with you.” Then she gave me her bottle of water with hydrite. I was so grateful to her because I needed her for me to stay positive.  She is 10 years younger than me but she is more mature and emotionally stable and I am embarrassed to admit it.

At 28 kilometers, both of us were quiet, both absorbed in our own thoughts.  I listened to my breath going in and out, to my heart beating, and to my shoes pounding the asphalt. I glanced at Jehan and was surprised to see tears freely flowing from her eyes.

“Are you crying?”

She nodded.


“I’m tired.”

“Do you need tissue?”

She shook her head and wiped the tears with her shirt. We slowed down but we never stopped.

I remembered the fallen heroes. I thought, “These men gave their lives for the country.  Who am I to complain because of my aching feet?”  I also recalled what Wayne Cordeiro said, “This is the moment you’ve been training for, the time when you’re ready to quit.”  I started reciting out loud the words that I wrote down on my hand:  “Strong. Finish. Strong. Finish.” 

It took a lot of effort to let my mind focus back on the race.

“Let’s bring it home,” I told her.

We started overtaking some runners.  In my mind I imagined I was PacMan.  Every runner I passed was a power pellet that gave me a boost.

Sucat. Just one more exit and then the finish line.  “Konting tiis na lang.  I think we’re going to PR!” We high-fived each other.

We exited the Skyway then sprinted towards the finish line and after we felt the timing mat under our feet, we hugged.  And then the tears, happy tears fell automatically.  Oh wow, we did it. Five minutes shaved off my PR and an incredible 15 minutes off for Jehan. We were ecstatic. Yay!

That morning, we conquered the Skyway and ran 42.195 kilometers for our heroes.

Appropriately, an army soldier gave us our medals. Thank you Sir for your service.
csm 2015

Sweet victory.

csm 2015

We met Rex who finished earlier, and Joy who ran the 21 km race at the Condura Village. Everybody had a great race, thank God.
csm 2015


csm 2015

After three marathons, I can actually say that I love the marathon distance. It’s the perfect distance to test both the body and the mind. It’s tough but I learn so much not only during the race but in the training leading to it. One of the most important things I learned is that long distance running is a mental game. Negativity has no place in this sport. I went into this race with a positive outlook and won in the end.

I thank God for giving me the strength to finish. It was an incredible journey which started months ago. But back then I have decided that this will be my third and last marathon. I told my siblings I will retire after Condura.

Back in Jehan’s house, we were relaxing and I was reading a copy of Multisport magazine. I came across a CW-X ad and said, “If we push through with our trip to Bangkok, I will buy this. It’s cheaper there.”

Joy didn’t answer.

“Oh wait, that’s right I’m already retired!” I totally forgot. LOL.

So, when’s the next race?

Run for a Hero

Today, January 30, 2015 is the National Day of Mourning for the 44 members of the Philippine National Police Special Action Force that fell during an armed encounter in Maguindanao last Sunday. 



Read about the heartbreaking story HERE and HERE.

Allow me to quote my friend Jet Arbis. He said,

On midnight of this Saturday, I will be running a full marathon — my 3rd in a year.

This Condura Skyway Marathon aims to benefit the Heroes Foundation whose mission is “to provide educational assistance in the form of stipends to children and dependent siblings of Filipino soldiers killed in action (KIA) or totally incapacitated while in line of duty.”

On this date, I commit to run a kilometer for each fallen hero of Mamasapano. With each kilometer, I will say a silent prayer — for my sympathies for their families, for the Hero Foundation to include dependents of PNP officers, for sobriety among all Filipinos whether Christian or Muslim, for the powers that be to keep in mind that an ambiguous peace is still better than certain war.

I hope to cross the finish line by dawn and lift all my prayers to the heavens together with the rising sun. So help me, God.


I could not have said it any better.

Run for a Hero