Subscribe via email

Enter your email address below to receive the latest tips for beginning runners:

Delivered by FeedBurner

If I was Kate Middleton and I’m a runner…

I had this crazy idea on my way home: What if Kate Middleton's a runner?

I know, I know. Everybody’s waiting for the Royal Wedding.

Even me.

Why not? Aside from it’s the news everywhere, my parents told me that I was few months old when Prince Charles and Princess Diana wed.

Sheesh, had they married a year earlier, the Prince and I would have been a good match (I like men to be older than me, but that’s another story).

But as I was journeying back home from work, I thought: What if I was Kate? What if during the course of my life, I found both my Prince AND running? What if I’m a runner AND a future princess?
If I was Kate Middleton and I’m a runner…

…Part of my morning ritual would be running at five ‘o clock in the morning – before I go to work (and once a princess, before I start my royal duties).

…I would not have tried any kind of diet – I’ll just lace up and run. Oh, I could eat anything my heart so desired.

…I would have requested that part of my royal staff is a running coach.

…I would ask Her Royal Majesty that my birthday be celebrated with a Royal Family Run (run my age, my Queen).

…I would have an official singlet, with the name “Mrs. William Arthur Philip Louis Mountbatten-Windsor” written on it (no need to collect singlets for me!).

…I would have volunteered to join the 2012 London Olympics as a marathon athlete, so that I could also scream “God save the Queen!” at the end of the 26.2 mile mark. I doubt if I would get a medal, though.

…But most of all, my love story would have been different.

It would have been a match made at the starting line.

He would have asked me, “Give me a very logical reason why you run,” and I would patiently tell it to him.

I would have long convinced my Prince to run.

He would have said a surrendering “yes” to my nth invitation to run in the fields.

And as he catches his breath for his first run, he would have given a gaze – with beaming eyes and naughty grin. With that I would have known – he has fallen in love with running, too.

We would have joined races that would benefit our causes – education and health.

We would have spent a combined distance of close to 143,000 miles, bought running shoes together, snatched each Runner’s World UK issue from each other, traveled the world to run (incognito), painstakingly did drills, and shared quiet weekends of long distance runs.

Maybe by now, he would have already run his first marathon; or run his age.

It would have been lovely to think that I watched him as he crossed every finish line.

But no, it would have been way better to pace him.

Then maybe, I could have asked him to run 10K in thirty minutes before I have given my hand for marriage (and put that ring on it, which I would have found very heavy when running, but he would have insisted for me to just wear it).

And on my wedding day, as the whole world gazed at my wedding dress, I would control my giggles, for nobody would know that underneath the glamour, I’m wearing a pair of the most sustainable and environment-friendly running shoes to date. It’s not new anymore; although I would have bought it a month ago, I would have done test runs with it (something old, something new).

Oh I would give up riding that carriage from Westminster Abbey to Buckingham Palace for my first run with my Prince to forever – it’s only 1.02K, anyway.

I’m sure Her Royal Majesty wouldn’t mind.

Look, mate! It's Aussie sand!

Aussie sand!

My friend, Ms. Having Vertical and Horizontal Issues, brought home a bag of beach sand from Perth, Australia. She spent her New Year 2011 there.

I remembered her telling me that it’s so hot in Perth, but the beach water is freezing cold. “I’ll bring sand for you,” she said during our Gmail chat.

Hhmm, looks like Santa sent me parts of the beach.

After four months, she was able to give to me. I was expecting just a tiny bit of sand, just like the souvenir items that are done and sold from Boracay Island in Aklan. Lo and behold, I saw the sand placed in a re-sealable plastic bag – all pure, all, well, sand.

I jumped for joy. Aussie sand! I could place it in a pot and I could say that I have been to Australia!

Okay, you may roll on the floor and laugh.

As an appreciation, my mother prepared a sanctuary for the sand. She poured the sand in an empty chocolate container. Then, she placed my collected shells one by one. I got the shells from Palawan, Boracay, and Cebu.


It was like summer (and the beach) came to our home.

The beach sanctuary’s not actually telling me to remove my running shoes and jump into the water.

As I felt the sand into my hands, it was as if it was telling me, “When will you run in Australia?”

Papa P and me – in Runner’s World

Hot summer! Blame him.

Since I’m subscribed to the Runner’s World Philippines Facebook page, I have been warned that their cover will make the summer hotter.

Blame Papa P.

But still, I almost jumped for love when I got my subscriber’s copy (my first for a sports mag!).

And not only was I looking forward to Papa P.

Writing blog posts or staring at him? Geesh, it's so hard to choose...

I was also excited to see the picture that I took in one of its pages (please see previous blog post).

Well, the picture that I took wasn’t there. Maybe it was part of the scrapped pages.

No sobbing here. Because what I saw was the Runner’s World Running Clinic Group in SM Mall of Asia.

Hey, that was us!

I'm in a sports mag!
It put a smile on my face.

There were other running clinic groups in R.O.X. and Ultra. But it was our picture that was placed in the magazine.

I was still smiling when I closed the magazine.

I saw Papa P again.

Hhm, I don’t know, but I’m feeling we’re meant to be running side by side – soon?

I immediately remembered my brother when I saw this quote.

It doesn't matter what your age is, if you put the time in, you're going to get out what you put into it. I strongly believe that. I feel that good things will happen if you work hard. 
                    - Sheri Piers, who set her marathon best of 2:37:04 at age 37
During the first few days that my knee was aching, he approached me and said, "Ate, do you think you should have started running years earlier? I was thinking: maybe your body can't bear the impact that you're giving it."
I patiently told him that it's not in the age - it's just me, and how I'm still learning the ropes of running.
With this running quote in mind, I know I'll get through any injury - and any challenges.
(quote source:'s Daily Kick in the Butt)

I learned about DEDICATION and FOCUS last Easter Sunday from Triathlete, Drew Arellano.
I have been trying to follow Game!, the sports show in GMA News TV (trying because I still do forget what time it starts).

So last Sunday, while trying to condition myself that tomorrow is Monday (trying because I still don't want Monday to come - blame the long vacation), I switched on the remote and found the show.

They were interviewing Drew Arellano. Not as a celebrity, but as a triathlete.

He passionately talked about how he got into triathlon, how he feels about the training, his Ironman Australia experience, and how he manages his time.

He said that if one really loves what he's doing, one will not find time to do it. A person just has to DO it. An hour of free time on his taping day would mean an hour of running.

What struck me was when he said that ANYBODY can do Ironman. More than the low impact of the triathlon (biking and swimming parts), he said that DEDICATION and FOCUS will make one succeed.


Such empowering words on Easter Sunday.

Fresh start, new beginnings.

Cross Train – Part 1

Reading up for cross train? Not bad!

“Cross train by reading up,” that’ what our RunDAMENTALS Coach (and his caring wife) told me in an SMS after they learned that I might have hurt my left knee.

Since during those times, I feel the ache on my knee, I had no choice but to heed their advice.

Moreover, summer’s here. I realized that I need to re-charge the brain cells for two months.

The running gods answered me.

Number one: Runner’s World Philippines’ April to June 2011 issue (with Piolo Pascual on the cover) was delivered to our office. Being the first stand-alone issue, the magazine is thicker than ever.

Number two: back issues of Runner’s World Philippines’ January 2011 (Javy and Hannah Olives on the cover) and Women’s Health Philippines’ January 2011 (Congressman Lucy Torres-Gomez) also arrived after one week.

Wow! I got my cross train covered!

So far, I’m done with the two Runner’s World mags (back to back – okay, I passed the food and weight loss part). I’m beginning to read Women’s Health when I stumbled upon my e-mail; with a link on ChiRunning (then I also searched for Jeff Galloway and so on).

My running shoes may have been parked for a while (but not forevah!), but I’m having a grand time doing my cross training.

I didn't know running can have colours.

Until Adidas launched it's Colour Missions.

It's a site where you can download tracks to keep you on the running - and put color on it.

Go to and start adding color to your running.

Cross Train Part 2

Who said that cross training only meant exercising during non-running/rest days?

A few weeks ago, I met my running and non-running friends for an afternoon of stories, catching up, eating, laughs, and fun. I got to join them because I took a leave from work for my thyroid check up (News flash: the doctor gave positive news: my TSH level is still in its normal level, and she hopes that the nodules will get smaller and smaller until it’s gone!)

After the check up, I joined them for a late lunch. I planned to leave for home after, but Queen of the Road wanted us to stay for a bonding in dinnertime. Why not?

So few minutes before dinnertime, we were inside the car, speeding on a fine pace inside BF Homes. Aside from the Queen of the Road, Cheerful Fighter, Ms. New Med Coor, and Michigan Runner joined us (Michigan Runner was sporting a Nike Lunar Haze – too bad I forgot to take a picture of his new running buddy). Too bad Daddy Friend of Mine and Coach Kulit couldn’t join us – but they completed our afternoon chats and laughs.

One of the most unforgettable anecdotes on the road was when Ms. New Med Coor said she wanted to look for another place nearer for her work (she just got promoted). We advised her not to look for a new space anymore, but instead start running to and from her current place. Michigan Runner, who has long projected the miles from Ms. New Med Coor’s rented place to her area of work, said that it is just a total of 3K. I immediately blurted out, “Wow, that’s 3K in the morning and 3K in the afternoon. 6K of run every day’s not bad!”

Queen of the Road said she was surprised – I’m a new person. “You don’t think about that before,” she added.


We ate at Countryside Steakhouse (Aguirre Avenue, BF Homes). Laughing never stopped because we ordered the same food and drinks. And who could ever forget Cheerful Fighter’s innocent take on our stories? (Really, “Bisaya” and “May sayad” may be a rhyme, but it doesn’t make any sense. And before others could react differently, it’s just that Cheerful Fighter didn’t hear the stories correctly.)

Same order for all - pork steak and lemonade. Happy is the waiter who served us...

A few minutes visit to the nearby church (Presentation of the Child Jesus Parish) and Panaderia Pantoja (food again?!) ended our bonding dinner.

One for the books! (from right) PeñaRUNzi, Ms. New Med Coor, Cheerful Fighter, Queen of the Road, and Michigan Runner smile before dinner..

We parted ways with one thing on our minds – that bonding was one for the books.

Cross training’s not just about drills (especially if you have knee sprain like me). It’s also about being thankful for the small miracles of life and strengthening the ties of friendship.

And lots of carbo loading (sheesh).

Not Counted

(PeñaRUNzi backtrack: I wrote this last January 19, 2011.)

PROLOGUE: I immediately signed up for the Runner’s World Running Clinic after seeing it in their Facebook page. I sent details through e-mail and by calling one branch of a store sponsor. Alas, I didn’t see my name on the list.

I received an e-mail from Runner’s World Philippines, informing me that I wasn’t accommodated as a participant for their upcoming weekend running clinic. According to the e-mail, slots have been filled.

It was an e-mail that I have been expecting for days.

But not that response.

I was not counted - and I am not ashamed to say that I felt bad.

Joining a running clinic is one of the goals that I listed down for this year. I felt I needed to attend one so that I could one, prevent more unnecessary injuries and two, go back from the layoff.

Not being counted means I will still on my own in my race – without anybody telling me if I’m on the right track – literally.

But then I realized: I have the Internet as my ally. I could immediately look for other running clinics.

Or better yet, I could look for exercises that could help me for my runs.

With self-learning (for now), I think I will be able to get over this disappoint fast – and still be on schedule for my running goals this year.

And so I will again rely on my constant ally, with a little help from courage and self-reliance, and little bit of research, I know I’d be able to do this on my own – until I get accommodated to the next running clinic schedule.

Hey, I wasn’t really not counted, after all.

EPILOGUE: A day after the scheduled running clinic, I got an SMS confirming my slot. I was surprised that I even called to make sure I made it. I attended the two-day running session.

It's Knee Sprain.
“I think it’s just knee sprain,” the doctor said after checking my left knee. My visit to the rehab doctor happened two weeks after my 5K trial run.

He gave me a pain reliever (that could only be taken if my knee still hurts) and four therapy sessions.

I had two conflicting feelings.

First feeling: Relief. It’s only knee sprain – not any major injury. Give me that four therapy sessions and I’ll be back in time for my target run – Greentennial.

Second feeling: Disappointment. Over myself and over my situation. Another injury again?

I know it’s Holy Week, but let me rant.

I have been a very good runner.

I follow the rules.

Never did I intend to be a bandit – not even in the future.

I treat other runners fairly – I pass them in a correct and proper manner. I run at the sides because I know I’m a slow runner, so as not to irate the fast runners in the road that are with me.

I do not stay at the finish line to have my pictures taken. I immediately get out of the way for other finishing runners.

When in line for the portalet, I wait for my turn.

I don't get lots of sports drinks or bottled water in the water stations (like, duh).


Why do I feel like I am always starting my race – and I don’t get to finish it?



Sometimes, venting out is good.

For now, Project: Comeback Run is temporarily suspended. But I know it won’t be that long.

I’m so blessed to have ONLY knee sprain.

Give me that therapy. I’m raving to lace up.

Project: Comeback Run halted

I was about to go out for my second day of training. I was so excited to update my RunKeeper log.

But then, my left knee still aching, so I had to put my project in a halt - again.

I’m so bothered that I placed it as a Facebook status.

Few people have replied with prayers and concern.

Thanks, peeps.

I know you feel this too after a run.

When I finish a run, every part of me is smiling.

- Jeff Galloway, Jeff Galloway's Training Journal

(Source:'s Daily Kick in the Butt)

Running to Live
(PeñaRUNzi backtrack: I wrote this last January 19, 2011.)

I got a lot of “come-and-join” please months ago, because of the Adidas King of the Road 2010.

The pleas’ marketing come-ons were the same: it is the biggest running event of the year, it has buffet breakfast, singlet is nice, and freebies are many.

Never mind the whopping Php 850.00 payment. It’s a must-be-there event. All the who’s who of running will be present.

But I only got one answer to all the invitations: October 24, 2010, the date of KOTR, is my dad’s birthday.

Weeks prior to his big day, my family had already planned that we will bring him to the SM Mall of Asia to view a Marian Exhibit.

Sorry, running buddies.

As much as I wanted to feel another runner’s high, I already see myself holding my dad’s hand while we gaze at the different images of Jesus’ mom (which gave me another different kind of high).

Boy, he had fun. It was not only his first time in MOA; he also got to have pictures with the image of Peñafrancia, the patroness of his hometown.

Few weeks ago, I have read in The Bull Runner’s blog about dropping scheduled runs for what matters most – family (or friends).

I go by the same mantra.

I run to live. I believe that every step I make will let me live one more day. I run because I want to live longer for myself, my family, and friends.

But if my family (or a friend) needs me, I will not take any chances. I can hang on my singlet for the meantime.

Like what TBR said, I run to live – not the other way around. just released their Top Ten Stores for Running Gear.

I am happy to know that I have gone to some of the stores that were included in the list. And I must say, the stores have everything running in them.

Now we know where to run (literally).

Who, Me? A Running Addict?

(PeñaRUNzi backtrack: I wrote this last January 19, 2011.)
 “You’re a running addict,” my nurf (non-running friend, let’s call her Ms. Having Vertical and Horizontal Issues) told me once.

I couldn’t blame her – for the first few minutes after she asked how I am, I told her how ecstatic I am in the next running events that I’ll be joining.

I can’t say that I already eat and breathe running.

I’m not a sports hoarder, too. I am not the type who checks the entire latest running gadget my eyes could lay upon (but I confess to imagining myself having my OWN sports store).

I just want to continue to be in this new state of being – there’s something new in me that I’m always excited to tell the world.

For the first time in my life, I am moving.

So this is to confirm the rumors: I am not a running addict.

As if my knee sprain is not enough, I'm about to have colds as well.

I am looking forward for a fruitful weekend before the Holy Week - I agreed to join the medical mission of my friends (the invitation immediately came when I can no longer join the RWTL Marshals Team).

I am to attend my first therapy session for my knee sprain.

Then squeeze myself to meet and greet fashion peeps Nigel Barker and J Alexander.

Then, I felt my nose silently hosting colds - today.

Little by little, I am feeling that I am again in the same situation few months ago: I want to lay down on my bed, put many pillows on top of each other, my nose trying to take in any oxygen that it can, and sleep.

It's official: I am not feeling well.

It's the time in my life when I want to say "Darn it!It's here again." But it's not me. Also, saying that won't do much to make me better.

It is in these days when I really miss running.

I'm thinking that had I not been slightly injured (just a sprain, thank God!), I would have been running for all I care.

And the viruses won't be keeping up with me.

But then again, I am not feeling well.

What changes have you seen in you since you started running?

There are few experiences in life in which my physical and psychological abilities are as sharply defined as they are during marathon training and racing...The training and racing experiences have shown me sides of myself that I never knew existed. I've found perseverance, an ability to focus, stubbornness, compulsiveness, bravery, organization, a sense of humor, and a capacity for unbridled joy.
- Gordon Bakoulis Bloch, How to Train for and Run Your Best Marathon

(source:'s Daily Kick in the Butt)

Going back to square one

Running takes me back to square one. It gives me a basic measure of accomplishment from which all other challenges take relevance.

- Brian McIlrath, Danbury, CT

(source:'s Daily Kick in the Butt)

The good news about running.

Running tells us the good news about ourselves!
 - George Sheehan in Heroes and Sparrows: A Celebration of Running

(source:' Daily Kick in the Butt)

Happy Running Feet
 (PeñaRUNzi backtrack: I wrote this last January 11, 2011.)

I’m not brand-conscious.

I am the type who sees Divisoria (a shopping heaven in Manila) a sanctuary for shoppers with tight budget.

I love bargains.

I actually find Php 350 jeans too expensive if I didn’t buy it in a mall (and it hurts when I buy in a mall).

I have always believed that dressing up depends on how you project and think of yourself. If a person feels good about himself, it shows on how he walks, talks, and the way he dresses.

Spoken in true fashion, right?

But then, I was advised by the doctor to wear special type of shoes. My feet felt numbness that I had to take Vitamin B capsules.

Special shoes – it meant the kinds of Aerosole, Florsheim (for men), Naturalizer.

They’re brands.

I’m actually not resolved to what the doctor said. A special shoe, such as Naturalizer, costs an arm and a leg. It would take at least my month’s salary to buy such pair of shoes.

But then I thought: buying a Naturalizer pair is better than trips to the doctor. More so, since I’m running, I really need to take care of my feet.

And so after so many realizations (I really had to convince myself many times), I found myself inside a Naturalizer store for the first time. I actually went to two different stalks of Naturalizer in two different shopping malls in a span of a week (talk about being a new convert).

Have I become a shopping convert? Not really.

In fact, I made sure that the two pairs I bought were on sale (you should see the glitter in my eyes when I saw the 70% tag). To be sure, I took down their phone numbers to keep track of their bargain schedule.

For me, I concluded that if I need to take care of myself, I may have to go beyond the tag price.

I have been wearing the two pairs of shoes alternately since I bought them last January.

I hear my feet say “Thank you.”

I recommend that you let JLo. sing to you while you're running.

Add "On the Floor" to your running playlist (that is, if you play music while running).

This new track is so danceable, you might catch yourself swinging while doing slow pace.

Barefoot Faith

(PeñaRUNzi backtrack: I wrote this blog post last January 11, 2011.)

Barefoot faith. I got to take this shot in Light Railway Transit (LRT). They were allowed to ride that day - even without shoes.
Takbo Manileño. I took note of this before the start of the Mass.
Berso sa Tren posted on LRT trains.

If you’re a runner, you have heard about barefoot running.

But barefoot faith?

I was a witness to this last January 9, 2011.

I heard my mother’s plan to go to Quiapo Church, since the flock of people will be in the Quirino Grandstand for the Feast of the Black Nazarene. Since she wasn’t feeling well, I volunteered to accompany her.

After agreeing on the wake up time, it dawned on me: This is the one of the most anticipated feasts of Catholics in the Philippines.

I almost forgot that Christmas season won’t be complete without this.

I have always watched the Feast of Black Nazarene on the tube. In spite of this, it never failed to give me goose bumps.

But being there, live on the church where it’s kept, I was in awe.

I saw flock of people full of hope.

I saw most of them with no sandals or shoes, but full of faith.

For others, it is faith that makes them do it every year – and probably, up until their last breath. Some look at it at fanaticism; too much of everything. Why take the risk of rushing to an icon, touching it, and jumping on a mosh pit of people you don’t even know?

It’s something that I never (and will never) try to explain for now.

But one thing’s for sure – it made me look at how I live my faith.

I have been thinking about trying barefoot running. I want to take risks.

But am I willing to go barefoot for what I believe in?

Meet my new friend, Bengay.

Due to the ache that I'm still feeling on my left knee, I was advised by Michigan Runner and another friend (let's call her Nice Maldita) to buy it.

I wanted not to, because it's expensive.

And to top that, I had a crazy time buying it.

When I went to a drugstore to purchase one, it took me a total of 20 minutes before I got it.

The drugstore does not have a system on getting the purchases of its customers. Imagine, I got there first among some, but the personnel got their orders first!

I wanted to really give up on Bengay.

But then, as I stood up waiting for my turn, I felt my knees aching again, as if telling me to be patient.

And so I got my Bengay. I asked my mom to apply it starting from my back up to legs. I applied on my knees.

Man, it was so cool!

All of a sudden, I forgot how long it took me to buy it.

And even though I still have a bad feeling about my knee (I'm sensing it could actually be another injury), I'm happy I found a new friend.

It's going to stick with me - grease-less and ultra strength.

The truth about breaking your PR

Let's roar for the girls! The girls of the Saturday group of RunDAMENTALS (photo courtesy of God's Wind Events)
I just broke my 5K PR record during my third session attendance in the RunDAMENTALS Running Clinic.

In consideration of the nurfs (non-running friends), PR means personal record.

My 5K record is a very humble and lllooooonnngggggg 50:42 (okay, I hear elite runners rolling on the floor laughing).

That day, I timed in 40:17 (my Timex IronMan watch said it’s 40:14, but I’m not going to contest anymore. Maybe it’s really biased because I’m the owner).

We were asked to do 5 laps at the back of Richville Tower, a few meters away from the Alabang Town Center.

I did not know that we were going to do a trial run that day. What I was expecting was a lesson on another drill – an addition to knee high, butt kick, scissors, karaoke, and knee jump.

More so, I was not able to do follow-up runs the week prior to the trial run (okay kids, that's bad).

I arrived late for the clinic, so after the walk from ATC to the running area, I was given one full minute to prepare myself for the, uh, unexpected anguish.

Or so I thought.

I started to run with a newbie and our coach’s wife (she's so friendly and accommodating). With our feet doing the talking pace, we laughed our first lap as we shared stories.

By the second lap, I was on my own. That was when I realized that I have been running for eight minutes.
I remembered the run-walk method that Jeff Galloway taught.

And so I did my run-walk. I decided to walk for two full minutes before running again.

Since then, I inserted walks during my run, doing either one minute or two minutes. I did a full run on my last lap.

To remind myself of running again, I looked for trees where I can re-start my engine as soon as got into its spot.

Or that road, wherein after crossing it, I’d start running again.

And I felt good.

I never thought this was possible again – running a 5K, and more surprisingly, beating my previous time.
Part of me is still scared to go full running again because of the lower back pain injury and the vertigo bout that I had.

I felt so happy. I thought of all the clinics, seminars, researches, and readings that I have done. I think they are finally starting to pay off.

On the other hand, it made me realize that in life, you don’t have to worry about what happened in the past.
Or sometimes, you don’t even have to know what you’re about to face today.

You don’t have to fully understand the heck of it all.

All you have to do is go with the flow.

Run ‘til the clock stops.

To the SEED Class of 2011: A Toast to Your Bright Future

I am stopping by the pavement to re-lace and to give way to my graduation message to the batch 2011 of SEED Foundation Academy, a TESDA-accredited night school. This batch were the last to see me before I left Southville International School and Colleges a year ago. It was there where they do their on-the-job training by day and school at night.

Nope, I am not the guest speaker on your special night (although I do wish that someday, I would get invited). But since you are the last batch of SEED students that I got to interact with, I somehow find the urge to give you a graduation message. It is not going to be downright serious. I am going to be the same me – as if talking to you face to face.

Zarah, Shiela, Candy, Liza, Lea, April – these are the names of the SEED students that helped me survive my five years and seven months of training and development work in SISC. Some of you may know them. They are the faces that for me, gave light to who a SEED student is – vibrant, dependable, inquisitive, go-getter. Because of them, I was able to put everything in order in my work.

Their vibrant attitude made me never forget to smile amidst the work that, sometimes, got taller than me.

They were very dependable – there were days when I needed to be out of the office but the work I gave them were superb – as what I have expected.

They were inquisitive – they may be shy to approach the speakers that I invited, but they always took the chance to ask me questions. They were also fast in finding the best possible solutions. They were a bright sunshine when I thought nothing could be done.

They were go-getters – I do not say “right here, right now,” as Ms. Marj is the only one who can say that (although everyone in SISC say that, too, nothing could be compared to her) to my SEED students. But having known how I worked, they never stopped until they get what I wanted for the work to be done.

Yes, SEED students – you are vibrant, dependable, inquisitive, and go-getters – and I guess I am speaking for the rest of the community that we are grateful for everything.

Because of you, everything was all in a day’s work.

Because of you, we had less sleepless nights.

Because of you, we were able to know if we are doing the right thing on our jobs.

Because of you, we continue to thrive for the best.


I believe that their future - like their smiles - is going to be bright.
I hope that you keep these same qualities as you go on your next phase in life.

I am going to tell you that it will not be easy, as not every place is like your home or SISC.

You may get somewhere tougher.

Others very laid back that it’s so boring.

Moreover, you will get somewhere where you will say, “I need to learn more so that I can achieve more.”

Still, you may also get somewhere where you will ask yourself, “Why did I get ever in here?”

Hey, I told you it’s not going to be easy.

But whatever you will go after this, always remember your qualities.

Continue to be vibrant. Be a breath of fresh air. Be innovative.

Continue to be dependable. Work and learn as if it is the last day of the world. Be trustworthy even when most of the people aren’t.

Continue to be inquisitive. Don’t stop because the others said so. Never cease to learn – life is all about lessons. But when you do learn, please pass it on.

Continue to be go-getters. Know the rules and respect them. But in some cases, do not be afraid to defy them. In case there may be a time when you have to step on your brakes, do not let your dreams die.

As I finish my would-have-been commencement address, I also whisper a prayer for you, so that the Divine Providence will continue to bless the work of your hands.

So that aside from holding on to the qualities that you have, you will never forget the people that helped you get through this phase (fantastic job, SEED Faculty!).

And as you climb the ladder of success, you will never forget to share what you will have. I believe it will be abundant.

The future is bright, SEED Class of 2011. Be ready to walk the path (or even run on it).


This is bad - my left knee hurts.

In spite of all the cold and hot compresses - add to that the exercises - it still tingles.

This started one day after the trial run last Saturday.

I think it is another case of too much too soon.

Again, I am a role model for you not to do what I did.

The moment I started to feel something in my knee, I immediately searched for possible problems.

Hay, should I feel proud that I'm having these kinds of pushing-the-limits problems because I'm runner?

God, please don't make this problem too big that I won't be able to run...

I have watched the movie Cars twice.

On TV.
It was, yes, another cartoon movie from Pixar (for those who really know me, you know that I prefer watching cartoon movies than watch Filipino romantic movies. No offense...)

I don't know how to drive. It's still considered as one of my goals in life. But I love the cars in the car races. Case in point: I have a collection of Ferrari key chain cars in the house (no kid has ever touched them or they will be banished and be thrown to Neverland.)

Beyond the cuteness of the movie, I fell in love with its theme -family and friendship.

Famous Lightning McQueen, all of a sudden in a once-known stopover Radiator Springs, got stucked in repaving the road.

Through repaving the road, he got to meet new friends, and eventually, a family.

Ever since I started running (and even before), my family and friends have always been there for anything and everything under the sun. They are the ones who have supported and got me through happiness, trials, and some shenanigans.

And I know that they do smile on every mile that I log in - and will be as joyful as I sprint to the end.

They are, undeniably, the most important thing in the world - aside from the laps, splits, and yes, crossing that finish line.
"Well, there's a lot more to racing than winning." (Cars, 2006)

Paulo Coelho has this take on following your dreams - whether in running or in other facets of our life.

It only took me ten seconds to read it - but I was blown away.

5K for 30 minutes. Can I do it?
 I was pondering on the RunKeeper site (I recently signed up) when I saw this 5K training program.

5K for 30 minutes.

Geesh. That's my current time for 3K.

I started to ask myself the mind-boggling, universe-conspired question: CAN I DO IT?

It's a big commitment to embrace.

It's more than just finishing a 5K. And it is something that I have never done before.

I have fears. If I will commit myself to training to meet 30 minutes, it's going to be tough.

I thought about the training days and hours that I need to have.

It IS going to be tough.

On the other hand, what if I will just finish my 5K?

There's nothing wrong with just finishing it anyway. Besides, should I not really push myself because I just came from a lower back injury and vertigo?

Still with apprehensive thoughts, my Facebook wall asked me: "What's on your mind?"

I posted this: 5K for 30 minutes. Can I do it?

A few hours later, a friend answered, "Sure, sure."


Project: Comeback Run starts today.

At least 99 percent of running is just showing up, getting out there and putting one foot in front of the other. - John Hanc, The Essential Runner
I am calling it Project: Comeback Run.

This time, I do not only want to finish my third 5K run. I challenged myself to finish it under 30 minutes.

It got me thinking a few days ago: with the lower back pain injury that I had before, isn't it too much to push myself immediately?

But then I told myself, "If I will only finish my third 5K, then there's nothing special about it."

I will subject myself to an eight-week training to push myself to another level.

I believe that if I will be able to reach my goal, I will again believe that I can do other things.

I will be able to reach a goal of running my first 10K.

Then a 16K.

Or maybe jump at 21K.

Then finally, my first marathon (at least in my lifetime).

Then, I would be able to put running and travel together.

Camarines Sur, Boracay, Cebu, Singapore, Boston, New York, Athens.

Wow. That's a wonderful vision.

I'm excited to start.

I met Jeff Galloway! Pinch me.

The Olympian and the beginner runner.
I did not know anything about Jeff Galloway before this.

It was a blessing that I am still trying to return from a layoff that I got to come across the Running Guru.

It's been two months since The Jeff Galloway Method seminar, but until now, I'm still blown away about his passion for running.

I am amazed at how he gave advices to us participants; how he answered our questions.

I am humbled by the experience of meeting him. I'm in heaven.

I learned a lot from him and it made me really commit myself to coming back to the roads.

And even if my comeback run was again delayed, it's okay with me.

As long as I have my sights to the finish line, I'd get there soon.

And I'm not dreaming.

Runner's World asked permission from me to use a picture I took during the Runner's World Running Clinic.

I took the picture after the two-day clinic (it was fun!)

In the picture were two of my new runner friends (let's call them the Sprint Sisters). No, they aren't really sisters; they both work in the same office.

And just like me, they were happy to have a running clinic in SM Mall of Asia, which is nearer for us than any other running place.

At the center is Runner's World Phils EIC Marie Calica. She's very friendly and accommodating. I remembered she was so happy when we told her that we were thankful for the running clinic (hope there's another one!).

So, let's go back to the real story.

When I opened my Facebook, Runner's World Managing Editor Angel asked permission for the picture to be  included in the April 2011 issue of RW Phils.

I was ecstatic! It would be cool to have my shot in the mag; it would be heaven to share the fun that I experienced.

So I said "Yes." As long as they will acknowledge the owner.

Permission granted. :)

I can't wait for the April 2011 issue. So excited I signed up for a one-year subscription.

Hay, running...

Wo-oh. I think I just created my first ever blog mistake.

Few posts ago, I showed my new - and correct - running shoes.

Oops, my mistake. This is New Balance 870, not 760 as I have previously posted.
It's not New Balance 760, but New Balance 870.

Forgive me for that.

Blame the numbers. Since I don't really love since I was a kid, I get to confuse and rumble them sometimes.

So let me correct myself again - mine is NB 870 (to see review for this shoe, click here,,s6-240-325-329-0-0-0-0-1928,00.html ).

Where in heavens did I get 760?

Oh I remember!

I was reading the Jan-Feb 2011 issue of The BullRunner magazine and I spotted one of the shoes featured in a page.

It got my eyes because it's colorful.

When I read it, it was New Balance 760 Night Race Rainbow Park Edition, a stability shoe and is best worn if runs are done during the night (check it out here

I wanted to have that at first because it was fun to look at (sheesh, the woman in me...).

But then I found out that it was a bit expensive than NB 870.

So I told myself I'll buy it next time.

But I hope not to do an erratum of myself the next time.

To prove to you how crazy I am about running, I have bookmarked these websites.
They make my heart pound every time there is something new in their sites.

No, they’re not boys (although my heart do pound for them, too).

These are the sites about running that I have glued on for the past months since I have been introduced to running.

I don’t miss a beat every time I click on either Mozilla, Chrome, Opera, and Internet Explorer icons.

And I could say that they have made my running life easier.

Here they are in random order:

1. – I got surprised with the website title the first time I heard it, because it’s… well, the Filipino word for “run.” I have to say, I owe a lot to this site for knowing where and when to run. I also realized that it is really possible to have eight running events in different areas in the country in one day – thanks to this site.

2. – I heard of Rio because of last year’s The Rexona Run, where I did my first 5K. Since then, I started checking out this website. The logo of the Afroman is enough to keep me hooked – no wonder even kids run with a wig.

3. – I really thought the owner was a guy – a ‘matador.’ Not only I learned that she’s  a SHE; I learned more running terms as well (and I got to meet her too!)

4. Runner’s – the bible to runners. I thank the running gods that I get to learn everything about running in the website without me spending US $1 for every issue. In this site, I have discovered exercises for cross training, the different types of gait, and even how to tie my knots.

5. – another site to check if you want more in-depth details of races. I get here images of the singlet designs (which is a contributing factor for me joining a race. C’mon, I’m a woman; I need to make sure I look good in that shirt) and race maps.

Think my feet are the only ones doing the runs? Think again.

The truth about music and running
I used to play music during running.

Actually, because of my new found passion, I remembered that my brother and I have an mp3 player. I got disappointed when I borrowed it from him – it is only 128MB. I forgot about that, too.

But I still used it and placed dance music. Better have the 128MB than never.

In a matter of weeks, I was able to compile my running playlist.

I had to listen to all of them carefully to hear if they would jive with my foot strike.

Or if it will make me faster.

Name it, I had the who’s who of foreign music in my list – Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Katy Perry, Jennifer Lopez, and yes, even Justin Bieber.

I also had to get my CDs and rip off tunes of Justin Timberlake, Pussycat Dolls, and yes, even Paris Hilton.

I enjoyed singing along with my playlist – but not that loud.

But even if I do most of my runs inside our village, I kept my mp3 player volume low.

You see, that is also the time when I get to greet our neighbors.

I loved the combination of music and running, I made sure my mp3 player is in my belt bag during races.

You could say that I am a runner with covered ears during runs.

There has been a continuous debate on whether to listen to music or not while running. Others do not recommend it because a number of runners met accidents because they did not hear danger coming.

On the other hand, others say it’s better to hear the music brought by nature. A runner with no music at his ears will be more attuned to his surroundings.

Both have points.

But I think, whether or not you love to combine music and running, you are still the one responsible for what you do.

For now, since getting back from a layoff, I have not brought the mp3 player with me. I do counting by myself for my run-walk.

During my last 5K race, I have also tried listening to an audiobook that lasted me up to the finish line.

It did not only keep me going; I also learned a lot while running.

This is where my comeback run will happen.

My sights are in for Greentennial Run. No, not the 21K (not yet)...

I have started my training, thanks to the RunDAMENTALS Running Clinic in Alabang Town Center.

My body again is feeling the pain of training.

Hey, no pain, no gain, right?

Anyway, I chose this event to have my comeback run for two reasons.

One, this is the running event after my Hong Kong trip.

I promised to focus myself on my out-of-the-country trip first before going back to the roads.

Second, I am a LaSallian. I graduated in DLSU-D.

Being a LaSallian, I support its advocacy to educate youth.

Proceeds to this run will go to OneLaSalle Scholarship.

I got eight weeks to prepare.

No more turning back.