Archive for January, 2012

The Glass is Half-full

Posted: January 29, 2012 in Random

Don’t pants your poop!

Posted: January 9, 2012 in Random

I saw this on Kara Goucher and Dean Karnazes’ walls so I thought I’d share. I’m so glad I’m not a guy because nipple chafing just seems nasty. Sino ang nakaka-relate?

I know I’m guilty of:

      • singing (whatever is LSS of the day)
      • reciting poems (Desiderata! Don’t Quit! If!)
      • counting my steps to get a rhythm going
      • worrying about my tummy
      • worrying about my bladder
      • worrying about my period
      • imagining the size of my blisters
      • hoping clouds cover the sun
      • fussing about my knee strap
      • flashing back to totally unrelated memories
      • thinking about the medal
      • thinking ahead to my next races
      • calculating my finish time
      • repeating my mantra to block the pain
      • cursing my knees
      • observing different running forms
      • reflecting about my life
      • enjoying the scenery
      • and, enjoying the scenery

I’m sure I’m forgetting to add a lot of things in this list. How about you? What do YOU think about when you run?

Top 7 Running Highlights of 2011

Posted: January 5, 2012 in Personal

So 2011 has ended. It’s time to look back with a smile at a fulfilling year through my running exploits. Cheers to the solitary training runs when I fought my demons, the hellish races that tested my character, and the new friends I gained along the way – may we share more adventures in the future! 😉

Just before dawn, runners filled the Skyway. Feb 2011.

7. Condura Skyway Marathon

In a lot of ways, the experience of running my second 21K on the Skyway last February should be considered a low point. I suffered from water intoxication leading to hyponatremia even before I got to the 2K mark. My guts wanted to spill out, I was disoriented, and I could barely walk straight, often stopping to catch my breath at the side lines. For the first time, I thought of quitting a race and was having delusions of jumping off the Skyway just to get it over with. Once you’re on the Skyway, you can’t go down until you reach the exits which are miles apart, so if anything goes wrong you’re doomed. Being a newbie, I did not anticipate that.

I didn’t know how long I would last but I resolved to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and walk as much as I have to in the hope that I’ll get better. Eventually, I did, though my time was ruined and I gassed out due to lack of training during the last 5K. However, I still managed to get a sub-3hr finish time and a new PR though not by much. The most important thing is that I did not quit the race and somehow pulled it off by using every last ounce of energy. I swear that the mental toughness I gained through running has helped me in all aspects of my life. It’s amazing!

Let's play "spot the Scoutie"! Picture taken March 2011.

6. Run United 1

After the disappointing time at Condura, I made several changes to my training regimen. I became more conscious of my hydration, being strict about when I’ll be drinking water and how much of it I should consume. I was also very consistent in following my training schedule, racking up a lot of mileage to build my endurance. During my month-long training for this event, I kept breaking my PR for all distances nearly every week. I felt like I was flying! My hard work paid off when I got a 2:30 finish time for Run United 1, almost 30mins faster than my previous record!

After the QCIM, proudly showing off his racing outfit.

5. Papa’s 5Ks

I think it started when I found stories of seniors running marathons, especially Reylynne’s blog post about a local ultra grandma and the 100-year old Fauja Singh who must have knees of steel. I showed the pictures to my Mama and Papa, both coming away impressed. Papa started joining me during my training on his days off. At first, he could only manage a slow walk, then he got quicker bit by bit. I was careful to build his base gradually to avoid injuries. By the time he ran his first 5K, he was able to finish a tough hilly course in about 40mins. The following week, he did another 5K at QCIM in 34mins. He was telling me about younger guys coming up to him because he was faster than they were. Naks! Now if only I could get my Mama to do the same!

White water rafting with instant new friends. CDO River, August 2011.

Seafood galore at Agua Restaurant. Highly recommended. CDO, Aug 2011.

4. Kagay-an Festival Run

My close friend Carlo and I planned to join a half marathon in CDO. However, by the time we got there, I was recovering from my Milo injuries and our tight schedule made 21K an impossible fit (since we’re not Kenyan-fast). In the end I joined the 2K walk (yes! that’s called prudence and maturity!) and he did the 5K run. It was my first event in Mindanao and I was happy to see the sport’s strong following among the locals. There was truly a fiesta atmosphere with banderitas everywhere and a marching band along the course. Despite settling for shorter distances, we had a lot of fun during this adventure-filled vacation. There was the thrilling white water rafting, zip lines, zorb ball, treetop obstacle course, and many more. The food was absolutely delicious, too! Don’t forget to drop by the Agua Restaurant and Missy Bon Bon if you go there. Lastly, kudos to our kuyas, the super kulit rafting guides, for their heroism in rescuing victims of Sendong. High five!

Senator Pia and her eager listeners at ROX. Dec 2011.

Joyce during our fan girl moment at the book signing. I didn't get to take a pic with Sen Pia. Someday, maybe?

3. The Bull Runner Dream Marathon Training

Joining TBR Dream is really one of the best decisions I made last year. We’re just about halfway done with training and it has already been so memorable. I met new friends and rediscovered old ones (a former officemate and a Math Olympiad competitor in grade school!). These are my first LSD group runs. It’s nice to be able to go on the road with other people but feel no pressure to perform unlike actual races. I’m excited for my batch to hit 42K in March.

I’ve been learning a lot from Coach Lit during our clinics. His philosophy of safety first, no injury running is exactly what I need. And, man, the last Bull Circle was awesome! Coach Jim Saret (Biggest Loser) taught us eye-opening stability drills and my favorite Senator Pia Cayetano dropped by to talk about her personal marathon experiences. I was *this* close to her during the book signing session (fan girl mode, who knew I had it in me?).

The Pinoy Fitness Family Xmas Party. SM MOA, Dec 2011.

2. Meeting PF Peeps

Save for a few exceptions, I trained and attended races alone. This didn’t bother me since I’m pretty independent and, in a lot of ways, I had to fight inner demons by myself. But there were times when I secretly envied groups of runners who were always together. They seemed to be having lots of fun on and off the road. After a run, their friends would be there at the finish line to congratulate them with hugs and pictures. I typically went straight home, feeling dead tired, but highly accomplished.

Finally, after a solitary year, I met people from Pinoy Fitness and some of them turned out to be my batchmates in TBR Dream. Now we all go out for group runs together and have our own running team for future races. We’re also branching out into mountaineering this year and I’m sooo excited to try that out. Psyched! It feels great to be among people who share your passions and may even be just a little bit crazier than you are.

1. Milo Marathon

This is both the best and worst thing that happened to me in 2011. I have never experienced that degree of physical pain in my life, struggling to get to the finish line with multiple injuries. The marathon forces you to dig deep and resort to all manner of mental trickery just to convince yourself that, yes, you can do this, limping be damned.

After you’ve made it through something that horrendously difficult, previously unthinkable tasks begin to look possible, if only you could train as hard and be as focused. I guess that’s what they mean when they say a marathon changes your life. However, I don’t think it’s that singular event alone and neither is the specific distance so important. For me, the remarkable thing is the whole journey from being someone who used to have panic attacks walking a few blocks to someone who can will herself to run across 4 cities in one day. It’s the gradual transformation from weak to strong, from self-doubt to unrelenting hope, from crippling grief to overwhelming joy.

Every time you lace up your shoes, you leave your old self behind just a little bit further. Let’s run!