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Runner’s Diet?

Take this: papaya, mango, and calamansi (juice). Yum.
I have been eating fruits for dinner for the past month.

Okay, I only eat papaya, pineapple and bananas.

But that is way beyond different from my dinners before.

I used to eat rice even if it’s already eight in the evening.

Imagine the heaviness that my stomach still gets in the evening – and I don’t get to burn that anymore because the only things I do was to watch tube and sleep.

It was not easy changing my dinner eating habits.

I just realized one day that as an active individual, I need to be more conscious of what I put inside my body.

Also, the summer heat’s getting into my nerves. It’s hard to eat big on summer nights.

I don’t know if you can already call it runner’s diet.

You try, you decide.
With pineapple and mango (again!). Yum yum.

How to Get Started without Crying: Ask Coach Jenny

Tweet I am from South Africa and I'm having trouble getting started. I tried walking at first and after a few days of walking, I started picking up the pace and found that my feet, ankles and shins get stiff. I have to stop frequently. This is making me quite negative towards the sport. Are these just starting-out pains or am I doing something wrong? Thank you–Alex
Hi Alex!  It's great to hear from runners in South Africa (love the web world)! I can relate to your struggles. When I started to run, I kept making the same mistake over and over again. That is, I went out and ran as far as I could and it always ended up with me crying, saying a few colorful words (not my best moments in life) and tossing my shoes in the closet until I tried it again some time later.

What finally helped me break through was in learning to start from where I was (which at the time was 35 pounds overweight and out of shape) and progressing gradually from there. That meant walking for 15 minutes most days of the week. The missing link was in being able to finish a workout and still feel like I could go a little farther, and with a sense of accomplishment rather than defeat. When I did that, it left me wanting more and eventually that turned into a nice momentum of movement.

I built up to walking 30 minutes which led to being able to sprinkle in running intervals (30-60 seconds at first) every three to four minutes of walking. For example, I'd warm up walking five minutes, then run until I could hear my breath (about 45 seconds at that time) and then walk until I caught my breath (three to four minutes). I repeated this for 20 minutes and then finished with walking five minutes to cool down. I repeated this for two weeks and kept the total distance to no more than 30 minutes.

Over time my body adapted and so did my mind. Although my body could have adapted to a more rigorous program, my mind gradually made friends with running. I actually starting enjoying running because it didn't hurt. This joy lead to toeing the line of my first 5-K, which changed my life forever.

The key to getting started is to pack a lot of patience. It takes time to progress and the more fun you have with it, the more you'll want to do it again. I'm not suggesting that you need to walk 15 minutes, but I am recommending starting out with a more pleasant workout regimen. That could mean walking first or running with walking intervals. Either way, start from where you are now.

Thanks for posting your question.  I'm sure there are readers that can shed light on what helped them learn to run.

Happy Trails.

Ask Coach Jenny


This is a good read for those who would like to start running, and for those who are about to come back from a layoff (like me!).

Of High Heels and Running Shoes
(I wrote this last February 21, 2011.)

When I was a kid, I’d always sneaked into my mother’s shoe boxes and wore her heels.

It didn’t matter what color the shoes were: for me, the higher the heels, the better. Her shoes were the last I sought after wearing her makeup.

I loved the “tak-tak-tak” noise that the heels brought to my ears.

I felt tall on them.

I felt like a princess.

I longed for the day when I would have my own pair of high heels.

There was a tie when my mother bought me a pair of white shoes with heels for kids. I was so ecstatic! Finally, a heel of my own!

But then, we realized when I wore them that the other half was one size bigger than the other. Worse, my mother wouldn’t like to go back to the store for an exchange because she bought it from a sale.

Years after and the right age came. I finally got to own a few pairs of high-heeled shoes. I sashayed my way when I wore them. I wore them with projection; like a model in a runway.

But some good things never last: the work that I did entailed me to walk a lot from building to building, from one room to the other, from one boss’ office to another. Though walking was good, the heels took its toll on my feet.

I started experiencing numbness on my toes.

With an advice from the doctor, I sadly said goodbye to my high heels.

Thank God for flat shoes – or even the ones with one-inched heels.

On the other hand, I have always had pairs of rubber shoes since I was a kid. I think I already had all the colors the characters that I wanted for my shoes.

Every time I wore them, I felt like a heroine – I could jump, run, and dance. I could go anywhere my feet led me.

But my image of me in high heels made me forget the heroine feel of the rubber shoes – and boy, I forgot about it for a long time.

Until I got into running.

All of a sudden, my mind got pre-occupied with not just plain rubber shoes; but the correct running shoes. The right type, width and size (well, sometimes the color) now mattered to me, for I’m afraid of injuries.

It’s funny how high heels and running shoes have shaped my life. Both have served (and still serving my frustrations, imaginations, and aspirations.

I may be a model on one pair and a heroine on the other. But one thing’s for sure: as long as I have good pairs of high heels and running shoes plus the best attitude up close, I will get to each destination right on time.

Changing Strides video

I got this video link through Forward Lean Running of Running Coach Lit Onrubia. A never-ending reminder for runners to run efficiently to avoid injuries.

Cross Train Part 3

My third cross train fell during the Holy Week. My original plan was to run on Holy Monday and Wednesday.
But due to the knee sprain, I had to forego with the plan.

Honestly, it was in this week that I felt that I may not be able to continue – and finish – the Project: Comeback Run.

Geesh, talk about giving up on a Holy Week.

Good thing that at the start of the 2011, my mom and I decided that we are going home to the province – Macabebe, Pampanga, to be exact - for the Holy Week.

It was really a good thing: I forgot to be sad about my condition.

I haven’t gone back to the province since 2007. I never knew anything about running then.

Four years after, I looked at the roads differently.

Geesh, I realized I could run from the town of Apalit to Macabebe!

Here are some of the pictures that I took during my two-day stay for my cross train.

Going home has never been this good.

Going home - finally!

We found batches of motorcyclists along the road as they do Visita Iglesia (church-hopping)

The town plaza is soo near my grandparents' house - but I had to ride a tricycle every time because, well, I'm recuperating.

No need to run late for church - this chapel is in front of my grandparents' house.

They call this seafood "Ulang." Oh, if only I could borrow those legs...

With my cousin Almira. This girl has long legs, she could run faster than me...

If marathons have corrals, it is a must for houses to have corrals, too, especially if you have toddlers (they won't be able to get out of the house without you knowing).

PeñaRUNzi with her nephews and niece
This is the REAL cross.

A closer look at a Pabasa

PeñaRUNzi with her uncle and aunts - reunited after many years!

AKTV Live Active -

AKTV Live Active -

“You have not been running for two months.”

That’s what Michigan Runner sent through SMS.

Couldn't blame the guy. He has logged in two back-to-back 21K runs.

Me? I have not even made rounds in our village for a few minutes.

I want to clarify two things: one, it’s not exactly two months. Truth is I haven’t been running for a month and twenty-two days (I’m short of eight days).

Two, I know that I have not been running. I am aware of it.

And the second clarification makes me sad.

Summer has ended and I have not laced up to dash.

I guess this is one of the sacrifices that I need to do to make sure that I will be fully well – I CAN NOT RUN.

"There's always a way. When things look like there is no way, there is a way. To do the impossible, to survive the unsurvivable, there's always a way. We are inspired. In the face of the impossible, we are inspired. Today, if you are frightened, instead become inspired."

United States will be celebrating National Running Day on June 1.

I saw the website, with their feature on 10 Ways to Celebrate National Running Day (click here: ).

The Running Day is annually held every first Wednesday of June. It is sponsored by the different running associations in the US.

It made me think: why don't we have our own National Running Day as well, to solidify our love for the sport? Non-runners will say that this running boom isn't a craze - it's here to stay. Well, until there are roads.

Hah, as if the weekend runs everywhere aren't enough.

I gave another fun run slot - for the third time.

Goodbye, Greentennial.
I know. I promised myself that Greentennial Run will be my comeback run.

But due to the doctor's advice after my knee therapy ("No running yet."), I found myself sighing for the third time.

The next thing, I was again thinking to who should I give my race bib and would-have-been my first-ever technical shirt.

Don't get me wrong. I don't register and then give it to others. It's nice to give these for free, but I don't plan to give them away EVERY TIME.

It's just that I have to abide doctor's advices. No run is worth it if I get injured again.

I believe I can still run - running is for me. It just might take a little going back to basics (walking for 30 minutes until gradually inject running) and reviewing what I have learned from the clinics.

I'm still sad, though. I was thinking that I'll get the runner's high again after coming from my Hong Kong trip (more on this soon).

Maybe not yet.

Walk the world to end hunger.

On May 29, 2011, Walk the World 2011 will take place. If you want to walk (or run) for a good cause, you may want to register for this.

Why join this race? Let's see what the website has to say:

The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), along with its global humanitarian partners TNT, Unilever and DSM, will stage a global awareness and fundraising event called “End Hunger: Walk the World,” which shall occur in 24 time zones within 24 hours in 80 different countries, bringing awareness to the issue of child hunger and raising funds for school feeding activities of WFP. Funds raised from this event shall go directly to WFP's Emergency School Feeding Program in conflict-affected areas of Central Mindanao.
Let us all race against hunger!
Here are the categories and their fees:

2K walk - Php 250.00
5K run - Php 500.00 (Men's and Ladies' Division)
10K run for Group (10 members) - Php 10,000.00

To know more details or to register, click on the logo on top of my blog.

Our feet has never been able to make a difference until now. Let's all lace up, walk (or better yet, run) the world to end hunger.

Sitting is Killing You

I saw this infographic in Yahoo! website today.

I remember reading an article a few months ago about the dangers of sitting down most of the time. That's why I have become so conscious about it.

More than ever, we need to get moving.

Running could be one of them.

Let's run for health!

Sitting is Killing You
Via: Medical Billing And Coding

'Oldest' runner is tackling his 20th London Marathon

The oldest runner in the London Marathon has been training for his 20th race at the age of 86, organisers said.

Paul Freedman, from Essex, is running to raise money for the hospice where his wife died from cancer. So far, he has raised £50,000.

His time in his first marathon was four hours and 10 minutes. This time he said he would be happy to cross the finish line in under six hours.

'Oldest' runner is tackling his 20th London Marathon


Such an inspiration. :)

The truth about A Runner’s Circle

(I wrote this last February 20, 2011.)
If going from one running store to another is a sin, then I have committed a crime.

After many attempts, I got to visit A Runner’s Circle (Quirino Avenue, Manila).

A Runner’s Circle, owned by a Los Angeles-based Filipinos, opened its Manila store last October 2010. Its Los Angeles store is popular in the said US state because of their good service standards and their participation in the different running events.

I was assisted by the two ARC staff. I again underwent footwork scanning for the first procedure. My feet weren’t lying: they are really medium arched.

I was then asked to walk in a small and short walkway of the store (along the shoes).

Then, the ARC staffs asked me to lift my right foot to the back, without holding it. I was also instructed to not hold into anything near me. I obliged, and then I was asked to do the same to the left foot.

I slightly faltered to the left when I raised my left foot. The ARC staff told me: my right foot overpronates.

Huh?! They didn’t even use any machine to do that! I wanted to ask if they are mentalists, but before I slipped my tongue, they explained to me the complications of my right foot overpronating.

The ARC staff explained that overpronator feet needs a stability shoe. If not, it may cause feet injuries and lower back pain.

Now I know they’re not mentalists. They know their work well. It has solidified my theories of my lower back pain months ago.

Before they showed me their array of shoe brands, they assessed the size of my feet. The recommended that in looking for a stability shoe (for me), shoe size must be half-inch bigger than my feet size (I’m 7”, so I should wear 7 ½”).

I happily exited the store. Finally, after so many attempts, I got to visit A Runner’s Circle.

And since it’s near from my workplace, it will not be the last time I’ll be visiting it.

The truth about Runnr

(I wrote this last February 14, 2011.)

Gait analysis (like this one in Runnr) helps a runner determine his foot type  and foot strike.  (source:
I finally got inside Runnr (BHS).

Being one of the only two stores in the country (the other one’s in Cebu), I find this specialty store elusive.

It was a dream came true – I felt so blessed for accomplishing a lot in the first one and a half month of the year.

I felt like I am now more ready to face all terrains once I got inside.

The one thing that I have been waiting happened – undergoing footwork scanning and gait analysis.

Footwork scanning guides a runner to identify his feet type, while gait analysis would be able to check how he really runs – and eventually would aid in choosing the right shoe.

With some assistance from one of the Runnr staffs, I stepped on a big pair of feet beside the treadmill for the footwork scanning. I was asked to stay there for thirty seconds (barefoot).

First surprise: my foot is medium arched. I thought I was flat footed.

Second surprise came during the gait analysis.

I was asked to run for fifteen seconds (thank goodness that it was only for a short time, as I don’t fancy running in mills). As I ran, a computer recorded the movement of my feet.

Second surprise: when I watched the replay, I saw my right foot – it was overpronated! To the max!

Aarrgh! It was like watching a nightmare.

All smiles. Finally!

You should have seen my right foot (darn how I wished I got to take a shot of it). It looked like it was broken. I realized that’s how it looks like every time I run!

I’m thankful that my left foot do not overpronate much.

But the nightmare has been etched on my mind. I can now say that the lower back pain that I had months ago could be blamed on this. It has to be corrected.

As a medium- arched cutie (sorry I had to add that; I need to move on from the nightmare), I should be wearing stability shoes. When the Runnr staff checked my Avia shoes, I realized that I have been wearing motion control.

And so I decided to check some stability shoes. The Runnr staff politely gave me some recommended shoes, with two models that I got to try while running on the treadmill. I hope to go back for my chosen pair soon.

It was really one nightmare after the other (and it was high noon!). But visiting Runnr helped me realize that if I’m going to do this running for the, err, long run, I need to go for the correct running shoe, run with them, and be happy running.

Dear May Fifteen,
People may look at you as pay day because you’re the fifteenth of the month. Others may also look at you as a day to remember for parents and students – they need to enroll, or even buy school supplies.

But I have always looked at you differently.

I remember you as the fifth day after my birthday. It is always in your day when well-wishers are still given the benefit of the doubt if they just greeted me. Friends who forget beyond you will be succumbed to eternal abomination (just kidding, I just remembered Lilo).

But then, since I started running, and you’re a Sunday this year, I could say that I look forward to the runs that will take place.

And boy, what races you have on your day. It would be a nightmare of sorts if a runner is not even counted on one of them (schedules from

1.    Highlands Mizuno Fun Run Challenge

2.    Run 4 Life 2011

3.    Goldilocks 45th Anniversary Run
       Bonifacio Global City

4.    CUMC Kidney Run 2011
       Cagayan de Oro City

5.    Intramuros Heritage Run 2011

Well, I guess for non-runners, it is the day they will get stuck in traffic.

For runners, it is the day when they will lace up in an ungodly hour – and maybe, beat their records.

But no matter what, it doesn’t matter to me if you have many races scheduled on that day.

Hopefully, I’ll be dancing with Mickey Mouse on your day (okay, maybe invite him to run around Disneyland. I wonder what type of shoes he would wear…).

You’ll always be the fifth day after my birthday.

In the age of everything digital, I came up with a Running album.

Yes it is - it's a photo album of Runner Me!

This is the short introduction that I placed inside.

Happy reading - and Happy Easter, too!

“Why running?”

This is the usual question that I get from people once they find out that I am a runner.

Runners have different reasons why they run.

Others run because their friends or colleagues run.

Still, others find a sense of achievement in running.

Some others run to break records and defy their limits.

For me, I believe that running will make me live one more day. I want to live longer for my family, friends, and community. I believe that at each foot strike, I can make a difference.

It has my certificates... least two to three pictures of the event ...

...details of the event, who I was with...

Moreover, running made me realize that I can do really something good for myself – without any pressure from people. Running taught me two things – discipline and patience – something that I thought I already lost while battling the real world.

... and even my bib numbers!

With these in mind, I decided to create a photo album for the running events that I joined. In the time when all photos are kept in CDs, USBs or in My Pictures of our computers, I painstakingly put together some shots every run. I want to see myself happily posing after every finish line because I never want to forget the feeling that I had. I also want to remember the people I was with because they made my run fun.

I chose to document my runs because, well, I’m in it for the long run.

I had to post this picture taken with the Futures of Running.

My aching left knee brought my spirits down (more of what really happened in the next blog).

Well, not really low. I remember a tear strolling down my right cheek. I’m really at my lowest if both cheeks are wet (that’s how fine actresses are trained, blink blink).

It got me telling myself that I’m always starting to run – I never get to finish my training program because I’m getting sidelined all the time.

That was when I saw these kids.

They are the children of runners that I have met. They, too, have already shared their passion for running.

They are so vibrant and energetic, it was contagious.
I felt my spirits were lifted up!

It doesn’t matter to me if they will leave me behind a race soon (I will be well, I believe!).

What matters is that we’ll see each other at the finish line.

Cover Girl

(Running Note: Everything written here were all figments of my imagination, inspired by my picture below. I wrote this last January 26, 2011.)

Who knows? This might be larger than life in the near future...

I arrived at the office one hour before the scheduled shoot. I have parked my Ford Mustang by the basement. Just as I gently slammed the car door, I heard the security informed somebody of my arrival.

By the time the elevator opened, two staffs from the Office of the Editor In-Chief greeted me in the welcome lounge. They accompanied me to another lift that would lead to The Room.

“I can't thank you many times for accepting our invitation and I won’t get tired saying it,” Editor In-Chief Marie Calica said after giving me a hug. “I won’t get tired saying that ‘the honor is mine.’ You’re welcome,” I said. She introduced me to the staffs that were present in The Room. She said that the photographer will be arriving in a few minutes. So while waiting, the EIC asked me if I would like to see the pictures that the other photographer took of me days ago in Ultra. I excitedly agreed and she left.

I stood at the center of The Room – on one side, an array of running shoes, shorts, compression tights, watches, and caps were neatly arranged. Beside them was a sequence list of today’s activity. On the other side was an area for the dressing room, hair and makeup (do they really put on makeup?)

On another side were cameras and computer monitors. In front of it was a big background wall, its blue color extended up to the floor.

I shook my head in awe – I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I was actually inside The Room of Runner’s World, waiting for the cameras to click and lights to capture my smile (and my run).

I smiled in disbelief – I am just an ordinary person who loves running; now about to be in the next issue of Runner’s World.

I’m a cover girl.

After a few minutes, I was into full battle running gear – except that this time, I was wearing makeup.

Also, I wasn’t really prepping for a race. Instead, the photographer (who is my long-time friend) and EIC Marie were briefing me on what would we want to achieve for today’s photo shoot: Running is for everyone.

After the briefing, I stood in front of the big background wall. Lights were in full blast, like the sun smiling. I saw the camera a few feet away from me: its eyes about to capture my every move. I heard my photographer-friend say, “Okay, fun starts right now!” 

Automatically, I grinned and I started to pose.

I heard the click of the camera and the blast of the lights.

I woke up. The sunlight outside my window has touched my face.

It’s six o’ clock in the morning. It’s Saturday.

I smiled.

Gotta run.

I’m turning 30 in 5 days.

Has is been that long? I am about to reach the final stage of my spring.

I thought it would be symbolic to run my age, but then, I’m not yet prepared for that really long stretch (still have knee sprain to recuperate from).

I remembered years back when I was about to turn nineteen.

During that time, I never envisioned myself going beyond eighteen.

I thought of these silly ideas:

    Will I graduate?

    Will I have work after graduation?

    What if I will never be what I wanted to be?

    What’s going to happen to me?

    Will I die soon?

Now, as I remembered that time, I want to roll on the floor and laugh.

Yes, those were really silly questions. But it made sense to me then.

Because I was trying to prepare for my own path.

Looking back now, I see that the path I have created wasn't straight.

There were times the path was smooth, sometimes stony.

Even sometimes, it felt like a dessert.

There were times in my path where I crawled, I walked, I jumped, I did a handstand.

But I love the times when I ran.

If the would-be 30-year-old me will speak to the 19-year-old me, the former will tell the latter:
    Yes, you graduated; you’re even struggling to finish a master’s degree.

    Yes, you had work right after graduation, and you worked diligently every single day.

    Well, you never became a broadcast journalist. But you found love in human resources through training.

    Oh well, you became a teacher, too (a licensed teacher to be exact).

    And you became a runner. You didn’t think of that before (you only thought you will only be a sports fans forever).

    You were what you wanted – and more.

I'm excited for the longer paths that the 30-year old me will brace.

Oh, I can't wait to run it.

Knee Therapy: Session 1

I really hope it was surreal, but it’s not.

A month ago, I was looking forward to blogging about my Project: Comeback Run training. The days I log in, the kilometers I’ll record, and how I feel about each training day.

But then, I’m showing you the first session of my knee therapy.

I wanted to laugh.

Such is life.

But I am positive that every session I attend, the closer I am to getting better.

Since I have been treated from carpal tunnel and lower back pain last year, the procedure was not new to me.

My left knee after the cold gel has been wiped out.

The machine that would hopefully bring my knee to life (err, not to mean have its own
Heat (and a li'l bit of electricity) for 15 minutes. Reading Donald Trump's book while my left knee was covered.

I was asked to pedal and do walking for ten minutes each. The physical therapist told me
to inform him if my knees would hurt. It didn’t.

Huh! Headless! (kidding.)
May I ask you a favor?

If you’re reading this now, if it’s not too much, would you please whisper a little prayer for me?

I believe such whispers, no matter how quiet, will reach the doors of heaven.

And I will be well.


The truth about how I envy Manny Pacquiao.
In this moment of crunch time, I envy boxing champion Manny Pacquiao.

Err, no, I’m not planning to be a boxer (although months ago, I tried looking for boxing gyms as I contemplated on taking it for cross train).

You see, as I am writing this, he’s already in Las Vegas to acclimatize – a week before his fight with Shane Mosley.

Let’s flash back to a month ago.

I was raving to go back on the road after my vertigo bout. When I heard the Pacquiao was in Baguio for the start of his training (he did running and drills!), I thought, “Hey, I could calendar my Project: Comeback Run (5K in 30 minutes), too. As he adds more hours in his training, I’ll be logging in more miles on mine. It’s like training side by side with the world’s greatest!”

What a cool motivation.

And so I pinned my training schedule on my bulletin board. And on my dream board, a declaration: Greentennial Run – 5K in 30 minutes.


But then, a day after the 5K trial run that I did, my knees hurt.

It ached when I went up the stairs.


Then, it was confirmed: knee sprain equals four therapy sessions.


A month ago, I was picturing myself: I’m in good condition for a 5K trial run (I thought of joining a fun run), as Pacquiao is in the peak of his training.

And so there was Pacquiao – getting unstoppable as ever in his training; and here I am, scheduled to undergo my first therapy session.

Such is life.

But I’m not declaring a knock out yet.

It’s true: Pacquiao has logged in training hours more than I could manage, but I know that I will be well – sooner or later.

I will be attending all my therapy sessions.

I will listen to what my knees are saying.

I will be better.

If boxing has taught Pacquiao to be resilient and disciplined, running has taught me that, too – plus patience.

So as I hear his fight over the radio on Sunday (We don’t subscribe to cable TV; we also don’t watch his fights live in the cinemas. See, that’s patience), I’ll be lying on my bed with my knees (and legs) up.

Pacquaio and I may be on different boats. But one thing’s for sure: we will NEVER SAY NEVER.