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.

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

 

 

One, Two, Three, Exhale

Hello friends!  I hope you had a wonderful day in spite of the scorching summer heat.  As for me, I had a very busy day but I am glad that I was able to find time to cook real food and to run.  Yay!

For breakfast I made frico cheese with egg.  I should have used a hard cheese like parmesan but I didn’t have any so I used quickmelt here.  It didn’t have that lace effect but it was still yummy.  I really love cheese. Hmmm!

frico cheese with egg

Lunch was a bit late today because I had to go to market, National Bookstore, LBC, and Photoline.  When I got home, it was already 3 pm.  The fried chicken and the banana and cucumber salad tasted so good!  Perhaps because I was already very hungry.

fried chicken

Before dinner, I went out for a run.  My goal was to practice breathing.  Joy, who also trains under Coach Jomac, taught me her breathing technique.  One, two, three, exhale. One, two, three, exhale.  I counted for six kilometers.  There were times when my mind would wander but then I would miss a count so I was forced to concentrate. The counting helped me stay focused, which was good, I guess.

mileage

Dinner was a quick and easy grilled pork strips with lettuce and tomato salad.
pork

Fresh buco juice to finish off a lovely meal.  Yummy!
buco juice

A New Beginning

Happy Resurrection Sunday!

I have a confession to make.  I have been slacking off  my training for the NatGeo half marathon.  Even worse, I have been eating poorly! I gained back most of the weight I lost few months ago. Boo!

I am aware that rough patches happen in training that is why I need to refocus. When I visited my parents last week, I was glad that my siblings were also there. My Kuya J-Cip, who trains under Coach Jomac, taught us ladder drills and balance exercises.

balance

ladder drills

ladder drills

ladder drills

ladder drills

sisters

That workout was motivating. It felt great and got my blood running again. That is why I have resolved to give it another go. I will workout and eat real food  because I realized that nobody will do it for me.  I will have to look out for my own health.

I decided to begin today, Resurrection Sunday.  It’s a perfect day to start over, to make a new beginning.

To help me stay engaged on not only on the goal but also the progress, I will journal my food and my workout here in my blog. I’m thinking that if I have to post my food, I will have to eat real and whole food.  I may have slip ups along the way but it’s ok, right?  If you have any suggestions, do please comment on how I can improve my diet.

This morning for breakfast I made button mushroom omelette.

button mushroom

Sauté mushroom in butter until tender. Set aside.

Scramble two eggs

Scramble two eggs

Place mushroom on top.

Place mushroom on top.

Fold egg and flip onto plate. Season with salt and pepper and top with chives.

Fold egg and flip onto plate. Season with salt and pepper and top with chives.

Hmmm, toasty! Just the way I like my omelette.

For lunch, I had pork adobo without white rice and it wasn’t too bad.

Pork adobo and Peppa Pig.

Pork adobo and Peppa Pig family.

Then this afternoon while watching House of DVF, I used my elliptical machine for an hour. Whew! I was sweating buckets.

elliptical

Dinner was a bowl of pork sinigang.

sinigang

 

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? with Dick Beardsley

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.