what running has taught me…

finally i ran my fourth half marathon Sunday morning via the National Geographic’s Earth Day Run 2015. the event was successful, at least for me, i finished without injuries and though didn’t beat my PR, i am happy i made it and for the first time in my birth country, the Philippines, for that matter.


it was so humid that even in the first 20 minutes from start line i was profusely perspiring already… total opposite of my runs in cool cool Vancouver.. and to think that gunstart was at 3 a.m. my goodness! but it was good though, lots of victims of heatstroke in this country at this time of year and with thousands of participants, organizers perhaps made sure runners will be comfortable, except for maybe lack of sleep for some..


my niece, with my sister midst the crowd

this was the struggle that went on in my mind while running:
-at 10kms, i thought i should have signed up for 10 instead of 21kms, so I conceded that I was
tired, began to slow down, walked a little, jogged a little,,,

+but,,, no, i’m in it so i have to finish with my best effort…

-but,,, i started imagining my shin pain, my ankle pain, my whatever pain,,

+but,,, i remembered all the hours i put in for training,, i mustn’t slowdown..

-but,,, i lack sleep, i have a good reason for a mediocre performance..

+-+-+- but.. but… i was battling my demons,, in the end, sheer determination and mind over matter prevailed… God has sustained me, i finished not beating my PR but beating my demons..

did you know that the devil attacks you at your most vulnerable state? had i been the same person i was before i met the Lord, i would be buried by now, probably killed myself or buried under my cloud of negativity and hopelessness.. but thank God He revealed Himself to me, yes, i was given choices before, but now, i can choose better because i have Him as my guide…

my dear friend and run mentor, Allyn also joined the run, though I wished we ran together, we weren’t able to find each other amidst the 20,000 participants, to look for her is like needle in haystack…. but I am truly grateful that she participated and we had our souvenir “finish” line photo again after 5 or so years…


Me and Allyn – seems like old times.. 🙂


so what has running taught me? I realized that I am (we all are) the easy targets of the devil, the bible says “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” ~1 Peter 5:8 especially during our darkest and trying times, in our tiredness, he is just waiting to victimize us.

But take heart!! God is our victor! He lifts us up and helps us finish our race, through heat and blisters, from hopelessness to encouragement, all we need to be is faithful and trust in His Sovereignty… then we’ll cross the finish line defeating our demons.. God triumphs!


the day after…

it is finally over!!

the only unwelcoming difference from the scenes posted on the BMO RunVan sites was the absence of the sunshine… 😦

rain rain go away
rain rain go away

it was a rainy event. i had on, the BMO bright yellow tech shirt, on top of another dri-fit shirt, on top of a long sleeved run shirt, and my favorite pink cap, and wore my capri running pants. running shoes was not rain proof so,, i got them wet, socks and all… weather was light rain, i.e. more than a drizzle but less than a rain but run under it for 2 hours will leave one soaking wet in the end.. temp was cold 9 to 10 degrees, overcast day… we didnt have a big garbage bag to use as “ponchos” so i said, que sera sera, there’ll be thousands others running in the rain anyways.. it’ll be fun!

so we were given a pair of running gloves which i decided to wear around the 16th km mark when my fingers were going stiff frozen from the cold brrrrrrr… i was trying to snap some photos but i couldn’t even press the button of my phone ha ha…

i promised myself i will follow the 2:15 pace bunny unlike last year when i was overconfident and thought i can do it myself.. but from the pink corral where i was, i didn’t or couldn’t see the pace bunnies, not until we reached the 13th km mark, on a turn around route did i see her on the opposite side ahead of me, a distance gap of prob’ly a kilometre???? from there, i knew i may not be able to beat my targeted 2:15 finish.. okay, so i thought, if i cant beat it, at least i should do better than my previous times…


guess what… i didn’t beat my time, but only for a second ha ha… in 2012 i finished 2:26:11, my PR so far,, yesterday, basing on my chip time, i finished 2:26:12… it’s okay i crossed the finish line with a big smile… happy happy…

here are some highlights of my run yesterday, taken under the rain…

as i crossed the start line yesterday, i can’t help but feel grateful thinking i am so blessed with so much in life, and that i tread along the streets of Vancouver running a half marathon race, which i never had the chance to do in Manila, Philippines… i thought this would not be possible if God have not sent me a beautiful being, whom He named Evelyn.. or Blynn, my self created nickname for her… 🙂 she is the “Allyn” counterpart for me here in Canada… apparently God takes care of me… Blynn was my running buddy since i moved here to Canada and for that, i am so fortunate having known her. she almost beat her dream of a sub 5 hours for her full marathon finishing 4 minutes longer.. so proud of her… way to go, Blynn and thank YOU!!

bonding times with Blynn:

what’s next for me? sure will still keep on running, race or no race… but won’t think about that for now,, my next project is my first major trip to the U.S. to reunite with my family.. it’s happening soon… 2014,, indeed, my year of JOY..   i love you dear Lord Jesus.. 🙂

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” ~James 1-17


looking for signs…

done with my 14th week of 16-week train plan. 19 days to go ’til race day! i followed a 16-week training plan i got from Runkeeper, but wondering why there’s one more extra week actually… but i’ll just stick to the schedule.. 

19 days

Saturdays are LSD days.. last Saturday, i almost was not able to do my last long run before taper time, if not for my habit of looking for signs to help me decide on a lot of trivial things..

i had chores to do on that day that I was considering running my LSD on Sunday. But to make it easier for me, I asked for a sign. Walking on my way home from lunching with friends, it was about 3 p.m., I told myself, if a lady runner ever crosses my path, then I will do it today.

in the past, I honestly rarely see lady runners in our area, so I was already looking forward to taking my nap when I get home or watch my recorded tv programs, when halfway through my walk, there she appears ‘round the corner in a bright pink shirt, a lady runner who I wished (at first) would never show up..

but, I’m glad she did. i had a great 18 km run, started at 4:07 p.m. and finished 2 hours and 3 minutes later. whew!! i was alone again, naturally.. had stitches @ 14kms but I recovered. i was able to tackle the uphill Queensborough Bridge and towards the Canada Way (in Burnaby) that has an elevation of 128 meters, good for my leg workout. done!

saturday run

i have often asked God for signs before i step into something i am unsure of, but, i need the Holy Spirit’s guide to lead me to where God will be pleased. let me warn you though that not all signs may be God’s will for you. then how do you know if the sign is from God?  if what you asked for is in accordance with His words, and it’s when circumstances facing you will make the decision easy to accomplish. i believe God always sends something that will make me think again, and re assess the situation.. however, despite these “system checks”, I still failed many times but my failures were the very experiences that helped me grow in faith and rely more on Him.  

do you ever ask for signs from God?  do it fervently, and with a trusting heart… remember that God will never fail you, He is always up to something good… 🙂

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;   I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” ~Psalm 32:8


second chances….

it’s my 13th week of 16-week train plan for a half marathon.. 33 days to go…

last Saturday, i was happy to do long run with my run buddy, Blynn. we were supposed to finish 16kms per my run training schedule for my 12th week. before we met up, it was raining but it did not dampen our spirits, which was good because as we hit the road… the sun just came peeping from the clouds..

our starting point was already from the elevated area, so it was definite that we will be treading this “up-hell” route on our way back.. it was not a good idea, for me, i.e. because by 13th / 14th km mark, i was so exhausted, almost hitting the wall kind of thing, but i wouldn’t call it that, it’s so embarrassing, i felt i wanted to walk through the last 2 kilometers, feeling sore here and there… all in the mind i know. since Blynn was almost a kilometer ahead of me, i decided to just freeze my Runkeeper and complete my run at 13.61 kms. short of a measly 2.4 kms to complete the run… not good! i think i am low on carbs intake, trying to lose weight but this is what happens, my body is confused as i am ha ha..

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so, today, seeing the sun was so up, i can even wear lighter gear (capri running pants) and no rain gears, i decided to run 10 kms instead of just 6.5 per my 13th week run sched. i had a very disappointing run last Saturday that i thought i needed to go back to that route, but this time, my starting point was the opposite, from lower elevation, then up the Queensborough Bridge (the ‘up-hell’) then back to my homebase.. i think it’s better to start with the difficult part then end with the easy part, than doing it the other way around.

i am happy with my finish. it upped my confidence level once again, since i only have a month to go to really see how i will fare this time. this is going to be my third half marathon only, it’s nothing compared with my peers who ran countless full marathons and still going great,, but still, i am excited and can’t wait for the results.

life is all about second chances,,, if at first we don’t succeed, we have to try again. if we fail the first time, try doing better the second time,  it is always worse giving up without even trying, don’t you think so?


i give up easily sometimes, i am not perfect,  i hurt others, or others may hurt me,  but you know what, my faith gives me second chances and pushes me to just keep going on and to always remember that God is with me all the way and all the time as i run in my race of life, He never gives up on me when others may do. Thank You Dear God, and i give You back all the Glory and Praises…

“…that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” ~ Philippians 1:6


healing my heel…

it’s week 7 of 16 week training for half marathon. 72 days to go.

race goal

last boxing day (December 26th), i bought two pairs running shoes from Adidas outlet store (everything was 50%). one was Kanadia tr 5 GTX for trail running and the other was Lite pacer women’s. i have been experiencing slight heel pains late last year, i suspect it was a worn out running shoes so it was about time i bought a new pair.


trail running shoes is bit heavier but it gives me comfort and stability. the second pair is sooo light, that i can’t wait to run with it. since January when i began my 16 week train plan, i only tried the Lite pacer once, and sad to say, it hurt the ball of my foot. so i have been running with the trail shoes.

luckily, i got myself a good pair of orthotic insoles (store bought), triple-zone protection they called it (for the forefoot, arch, and heel support)…. guess what happens? i never thought i can reach my race pace without feeling exhausted really! i was so thrilled!! but downside of it.. the heel pain kinda persisted.

mon wed run

i have read about P.F. (Plantar Fasciitis) and i think what i am having is not it, fingers crossed. like right now, i feel okay, as if nothing is going on. but of course i cannot be so sure that it won’t lead to that, or any other heel/foot injury. I HOPE NOT!!! i had better start preventive measures rather than aggravate it and that would be really sad news. you know me, i believe in our bodies’ capacity to self heal, as long as we do what we ought to do with it.

if you visit our small apartment, you will find golf balls under my worktable, they are my best ball-friends from my golfer friend, Phil, he he,, i use them after every run, or even as i type my blog,, for my foot massage, and it feels so good. it was also my therapy for my frozen shoulder. i place the ball under my left shoulder blades while lying on my firm bed and to knead, i rotate my arm and adjust where it gives me a good massage and it works really well! plus of course with icing and stretching for my foot and the heat pad for my now almost cured frozen shoulder :)…

so now, the question is, how much should i run with this pain or should i just continue with the icing and the stretching and golf balling?? i plan to run my long run this weekend, then i will decide from there. if it will be necessary for me to rest from running for a while, i will.

Also, i would keep in mind what my friend, Allyn told me this morning, ‘go for support shoe than light shoe’, that was a good advice. thank you my dear friend.

let you know what happens next. will my heel heal?

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” ~Philippians 4:13 (Thank You, Lord,,, )


pluses of running…

i am aiming to get a sub 2:15 finish for my third attempt to run the half in May, which means my average pace should at least be 6:23 minutes/km (10.18 min/mile).  this was my plan too last year hahaha  but i finished even slower than my very first run in 2012.

i always want to fast track things because i want results right away.  that’s why instant coffee, instant noodles, instant everything were invented, those are for people like me.   but just like in running, i will need two P’s, PERSEVERANCE and PATIENCE to get there. 

P & P

to have Perseverance one needs Patience and Patience is developed in Perseverance.  (you have to pause there to really absorb it…) sounds easy no? wait ’til they both be more complicated if i have dashes of two D’s, Discipline and Discouragement. 

i have not achieved that pace yet in my practice runs, it was never faster than 6:30~6:50 which is my average  most of the time.  i am taking my time (PATIENCE)  and not losing hope (DISCOURAGEMENT)  i still have lots of time to practice (PERSEVERANCE)… and to lose some weight hopefully (DISCIPLINE).  it’s good thing Richmond weather has been behaving well the past week, so i have no reason not to lace up and go out for a run.  but i do enjoy it really.

all this i keep in mind, not only when running.  in my everyday affairs, i need to watch out for discouragements and the discipline i need. and it is fine to set a goal for myself, i will always turn out a winner whatever the outcome is, and that is because, i know will have developed not only my 2 P’s, but also, O’s, J’s, L’s, C’s, H’s……  (Optimism, Joy, Love, Contentment, Hope), and of course,, P’s… (PEACE) in my heart 🙂

finally, let me share a video from my favorite site, http://www.values.com, simply created but so positive…  


Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” ~James 1:12



building confidence…

the other night, or should i say, wee hours of the morning, trying to get to sleep, i watched “Spirit of the Marathon” on youtube.

it is a very inspiring hour and a half documentary about people who are training for the marathon, either for the first time or nth time, as well as those rooting for a place in the Olympics. i heard a LOT different reasons as to why they run the marathon, and here were some of what they have to say:

> “i feel i can do something others cannot….”
> “running the marathon makes me able to go through any obstacles in my life, like my recent divorce, it is a mental thing…”
> “i  need to outdo myself each time i finish one race….”
> “when i started running, i realized that i can accomplish things that i thought i couldn’t…”

and so many other reasons that make one feel good about him/herself.

running for me came a bit too late, but like one runner in the docu film i mentioned, he started running only when he was 65 years old, isn’t that amazing? there is nothing impossible if one’s heart is into it.

this week is my second week of 16-week train plan for half marathon. so far so good, i’ve been running slow, working on my endurance first then speed later. i kinda lost it when i started working (blame the job ha ha ha ha )… i know i was lazy to do any workouts and you see, i get what i deserve.. i gained weight and add to that my frozen shoulder (i got lots to blame ha ha ha) that i felt i needed the “rest” from my workout routines….

The Weight Loss Benefits of Being Lazy
The Weight Loss Benefits of Being Lazy

what is the reason that i run? i think it’s that same thing, i feel i can do something others cannot… though i only do half of the distance, it’s still the same when i tell people that “yes, i am a runner” that i feel good about myself.

if you are a runner, why do you run? if you aren’t, what do you do to build up your confidence in yourself? let me encourage you to do what you have been wanting to do but think you cannot. it’s fear that deters you from doing it, and fear is all in the mind…. go for it!!

Hebrews 10:35-36 “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”


Good Pagod!

Pagod = (pah-god’ as in short ‘o’) Philippine word for “tired”

i am feeling good pagod tonight (good exhaustion) … one thing that i was looking forward to about my trip here was running again with my Team Msp Runners (Marikina Sports Park), and this is happening as i expected.

MSP june 28 2013

Photo: courtesy of Ms. Tina Cunanan, Team MSP member, thank you, Ms. Tins..:)

despite that it is the start of our rainy months, this week has been good “running” weather condition for us that we get to meet every late afternoons at the track and do almost an hour’s run. i was able to join last Tuesday’s and yesterday’s run sessions, tonight’s weather forecast was that chances of rain is looming in the cloudy skies.. lo and behold, about 3 minutes into the run, it began to rain.. me and my running partner, Laila decided to just continue our run and finished almost 8kms in 50 minutes, at least that was what my runkeeper registered because the GPS may not be getting the correct log due to the cloudy weather. i was so in the mood to run, i loved running in the rain, i guess the drizzle boosted my energy, i have gotten used to running in winter and spring time.. running in the tropical weather really has become gruelling for me.

my haywired run route at the oval due to the rains..
my haywired run route at the oval due to the rains..

i was hoping to join the 16.8 km run with the Adidas King of the Road Philippines (July 7th), but blame my procrastination, was not able to register sooner 😦 and then comes the Takbo.ph runfest for a half marathon (July 14th), i failed to register as well,, dang!!! soon i will be flying back to B.C. (husband went ahead, i begged for 3 more weeks extension) with no souvenir from home 😦 i guess it was not meant to be. (NOTE: TAKBO – “run” in Philippine language)

oh well, not that i am unproductive, i am well busy with things i needed to catch up with, since my stay here is for a limited time only, meeting friends, helping around the house, and i am happy anyway with my running round and round the oval with my team MSP like cute little hamsters in their cage he he. it is when i get tired but i call it a “good tired” thing that makes me feel good and joyful inside. thus i call it “good pagod” 🙂


at the end of the day, i lie down and think of what God has given me. sometimes, there are things i wish for but are not granted, and there are things i never asked for but were given to me… God indeed is a marvelous God, He always knows better… and for that, it is really really good to thank Him everyday.. God is simply Awesome! To Him Be All Glory!!

“…that I might sing praises to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever!” ~Psalm 30:12


Runner’s High…

Psalm 28:7 
“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. 
My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.”

whew!! i did it! i finished my second half marathon here in Vancouver via the BMO Vancouver International Marathon.  though i was not able to beat my last year’s time, it was okay. i am happy i didn’t feel pain at all, thank God for that, just got tired too early. i think i was overconfident and not to mention the heat, i guess i have gotten used to running late afternoons and cooler weather..

anyway, just looking at the brighter side of everything, i am glad i conquered 13.1 miles, everyone was cheerful and most important thing of all, we all went home whole and happy and got together with our loved ones.. also, since Dersky was working and he’ll be done by 10 a.m. i didn’t expect him to be there by the time i crossed the finish line!!! i was soooo happy to see him.. i have here my photos with captions and let them tell you what i experienced along the race course.

i’ve mentioned that i got tired too soon. actually i never left the 2:15 pace bunny, since i was trying to beat this finish time.. but being the impatient being that i am, i thought, “she’s a bit too slow for me”, so i went ahead and used up all my energy, until such time that i couldn’t find her anymore, hmmm bad move.  i wasn‘t sure if she was ahead of me or not because i have been pausing every so often to take photos he he.. , and next thing i knew i was trailing the 2:20 pace bunny… hmm, good enough i told myself.. but… really didn’t know what happened, just took my time and finished the race… at 2:38 official time, chip time 2:31… 

special thanks to my cousin Ate Nita, and her sweet daughter, Jacqui, for accommodating me last night, their place is nearer the train station.. thanks Ate Nita.. 🙂

enjoy! (please hover over the photos to be clearer)

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banana leaf


so you want to start running?

first of all, i am not a running expert to be giving advice, but maybe sharing what i have learned will help, the most basic things a runner wannabee needs to know, based on my 5 year love affair with running.

yesterday, i ran 8 kms. with a friend whom i want to consider my couch to 5k candidate.. i was surprised to get a call from him and invited me for a road run.. it was going to be his very first road run, and since i know that he has been working out at the gym regularly and running the treadmill, perhaps he can do the distance, which he did, albeit almost walked on the way back..(he is a bit on the heavy side)

we agreed to meet at the park nearby early afternoon and set off right away to my regular 10km route. but, i noticed he was not properly attired for running.. this is not to criticize my friend, but i am using it as an example to share some whys and whats if you want to start running seriously.. although i know my friend may not be inclined to be one..

1. first, never wear cotton shirt. i know you would think cotton will be comfortable.. yes, especially when sleeping, for me i.e. but never when you are sweating. you see, cotton absorbs wetness we all know that, and doesn’t this irritate you? with new discoveries in fabrics that repel perspiration from the skin, it made running a “no-sweat” kind of thing… check out any sports goods store, you’ll be able to find good ones..

2. headphones are okay, but not when you need to keep adjusting them. yesterday i noticed his headphones slipping down his sweaty head quite a few times.. so, use something like the earbuds or sports earphones that you can hook around your ears.. and make sure you don’t use the kinds that shut off the noise around you especially the traffic, or other pedestrians because it is not safe not to hear what’s going on especially on the road. 


3. hydration is best!! i think it is bodily instinct that if we all feel exhausted, especially under the heat, we ask for water… what more if we are running. it is not “uncool” to carry water when running, for me, i.e. even if i will just do 5km run, i use a small hydration bottle that fits in my running belt bag which my dear friend and running coach gave me. then for longer runs, i have a 2 bottle hydration belt.. since i rarely run long distances, what i have for now is good for me. my dude friend brought his camelbak water backpack.. hmmmm, how much water to carry depends on how far you will be running or how long your work out will be. to avoid inconveniences, like bringing too much or too little, plan ahead and hydrate yourself properly…


4. my friend was wearing a very loose surf shorts or something like it.. this is a no no for running most especially long distance runs, like more than an hour of running or maybe 10kms. or more. wearing loose garments causes chafing and this is really nasty. in fact, even wearing my sports undergarment which i think is snug enough still caused me blisters and eventually left marks on my skin. i have many other chafing experiences but now, thanks to anti-blister sticks you can get from running stores. wear a more tight fitting but comfortable shorts, or capri pants for ladies, and you’ll go a long way.


5. lastly, and not the least important, invest in a really good pair of running shoes. my dude friend was wearing basketball shoes to run.. i always say this to my friends who think they want to begin running.. well, i’ve experienced the same surprise finding out that not any shoes with rubber soles are good for running.. yes, you would wonder why is it that going to the sports goods store you will see an array of rubber shoes with different styles, shapes, types, etc.. each one of those is made especially for a particular sport and just so you know, there are high arched feet, flat feet, pronated, over pronated, etc etc.. . better yet, i suggest for you to go to a running goods store. sometimes sales people from department stores cannot give good advice about what shoes for what type of feet. you don’t really need to be so particular for now until you get serious about it, for as long as you know there is good cushioning, good support, and it’s for running, then that’s the one for you! remember what happens to your feet affects the whole body, believe it or not.

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so there, i have too much to say for too few tips… but we all learn by trial and error, hopefully not a serious error… but what i have shared are just the basics.. i still have lots to learn.. for now,, just go do it, running is a fun sport and learn more about it as you go. run happy!