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I’m Back!

Monday, 30 July 2007  |  Bullish Insights

Aaaaw, it was a scene straight out of the movies…or maybe just a postcard. I parked my car at the soccer field of Alabang Country Club yesterday morning and paused for a few minutes to appreciate the spectacle before me: the sun was about to rise. How I missed seeing the early morning sun! On this occassion—unlike so many others in the past (wherein I was just probably PMSing at that time)—I had every right to be melodramatic about this run.

I had been through Runner’s Hell and back the past week. (“Runner’s Hell” because only my running life was in turmoil. Apart from my kid’s yaya going on an emergency 2-week leave, life was pretty much happy. Hubby has a job and no mistress. My preschoolers do not take drugs.) My running life was threatened because of my fainting incident two Saturdays ago. At a time when I should’ve been running the Milo 10k, I was at home downing bottles of Gatorade to forget the missed race. While I was supposed to be training for Run to Bring Hope, I was wasting away at clinics begging doctors to allow me to run again. I thought the week would never end. But, as my equally sentimental friend Rico once told me, “After the rain, comes the rainbow.” In my case, the rainbow came straight out of my doctor’s mouth last Saturday. After evaluating my results from my Treadmill Test, he announces “There’s nothing wrong with your heart. Go ahead and run.”

Rainbow

The Bull Runner wastes no time. The day after, which was yesterday, I met with Coach B at 5:15 am for my first road run in two long-drawn-out weeks. Against the backdrop of the rising sun, I felt like I was starting anew. Goodbye to talks of fanting spells and failed runs, I thought. It’s time to get back into the groove of things.

We set out for a 15km run in my favorite playground, Ayala Alabang. Coach B labelled this our “Recovery Run” since he was still recovering from Milo’s 42k (Congrats again, Coach!) and I from my brief running break. In the beginning, my feet felt like they were anchored to the road. They were so unbelievably stiff and heavy. Gradually, at around 2k, I found my rhythm and felt at ease. Aaah, I missed this even more than the rising sun! Our pace was slower than usual (5’26″/km to be exact) but it was alright. Man, it was great! I was just glad to be running again. I would’ve stopped to kiss the road but decided otherwise for fear it would look like I was fainting again.

That run was unforgettable. It was my first 15k. Yeah! But, even beyond the new record, it was unlike any other run I’ve had in the past because of what I’d been through. I came so close to losing running forever. And, after saying the phrase “I will die if I don’t run” so many times the past week, I felt so alive to be given the chance to just run again. So, after our 1 hr and 22 mins of pure bliss on the road, before we parted ways with Coach, I just had to say it “I’m back!” Oh yes, The Bull Runner is back!

Run To Bring Hope moved to Aug 5

Friday, 27 July 2007  |  Race Reports

Run To Bring Hope slated for July 29 (this Sunday) has been moved to August 5. Turns out that the race area will hold the ASEAN Summit on the same day and Malacanang wants the roads to be clear. I think our government has to rethink its priorities. Kidding.

So, runners, you have until August 1 (Wednesday) to sign up for Run To Bring Hope if you missed out on registration (just like me since I was planning to register on site if I passed my treadmill test the day before!) Register at One Heart, G/F Aurellio Building, 9th Ave. cor Rizal Ave. Caloocan City. Fee is P160. Look for Abigail.

See you there!

Thanks to Mon of H@ppy Feet for the SMS alert!

Vasovagal Syncope Won’t Keep Me From Running

Friday, 27 July 2007  |  Therapy + Injury

I’ve been to three doctors in three different clinics within three days to determine the cause of my first ever fainting episode last Saturday. Here’s a brief summary of what occurred in all of my consultations:

[ Doctor No. 1: General Practitioner ]

Doctor’s Diagnosis: VASOSPASM – narrowing of the blood vessels which restricts the amount of blood flowing through that vessel

Me: So, can I run a race this Sunday?

Doc: No, you’ll be under observation for 6 months.

Me: 6 months? No way. I will DIE if I don’t run. (I kid you not. This is exactly what I told the doctor.)

Doc: Go see a cardiologist to undergo more tests.

My reaction (read aloud in a wailing tone to achieve similar dramatic effect): 6 months?! Unbelievable! If I was crippled for 6 months, then I would accept the fact that I couldn’t run. But, no doctor forbids me to run only because she doesn’t know if I’ll collapse or not! 6 months?!

ECG


[ Doctor No. 2: Cardiologist ]

Diagnosis: VASOVAGAL SYNCOPE – an abnormal reflex towards a stimulus (coughing, sight of blood, dehydration, bowel movement, etc.) that results in a drop in blood flow to the brain which leads to fainting. Not serious nor life threatening. Treatment is uneccessary in most cases.

Me: So, can I run a race this Sunday?

Doc: Based on the ECG, you have an athlete’s heart, it’s very healthy (applause please!) But, just to make sure, get these tests done—Treadmill Exercise Test, 2D Echocardiogram-Doppler, and 24 hr Holter Monitoring—and let’s wait for the results. I also have homework for you. You must increase your salt intake. Eat chips and any other tasty dishes.

My reaction: I love this doctor. He’s probably right about Vasovagal Syncope…and the required potato chips intake. Before heading home, I run into a gas station and buy myself a large pack of Lay’s Salt & Vinegar chips. (Yes, I take my doctor’s orders very seriously.)

[ Doctor No. 3: Cardiologist ] Note to the curious: I went for a 3rd consultation because my husband’s HMO will only pay for my three tests if their own doctor prescribes the same tests

Diagnosis: VASOVAGAL SYNCOPE – (For those with lazy index fingers, no need to scroll up. Yes, it’s the same diagnosis as Doctor No. 2)

Me: So, can I run a race this Sunday?

Doc: You run?

Me: Yes, that’s the only reason why I went for this consultation. I need clearance to run this Sunday. I don’t want to faint in the middle of a race.

Doc: Ano ka ba—addict? (What are you—an addict?)

Me: Uhm…yes. So, can I run?

Doc: Get a treadmill test done and show me the results on Saturday. If you pass it—which I’m pretty sure you will—then you may run on Sunday.

My reaction: Oh yeah, I feel it in my guts—I’m gonna make it to the Race for HOPE on Sunday. Now, about that treadmill test, how long and how fast do you think they want me to go?

Run For Your Life Part 3

Thursday, 26 July 2007  |  News + Promos

Can you imagine running 100km from evening till a little after lunch the following day? These photos will give you a glimpse of how the Run For Your Life team accomplished such a feat conquering exhaustion, thirst, cramps, blisters, and more (ouch!) with the power of the heart and spirit (yeah!)

Congratulations to Neville, Kiko, Danny, Chichi, Olive and Beth for running 100km for the benefit of Kythe Foundation!

33 am

July 21, 9:33 pm: Hector and Neville with Romi at the Ortigas/E. Rodriguez Interchange

08pm

10:08 pm: Beth and Olive at the flyover towards Pasig. (Go girls! I love this pic. I want to be just like Beth and Olive when I grow up!)

50 pm

11:50 pm: Robert stretching at the People Power Monument

31 am

July 22, 4:31 am: Beth and Olive join the Milo Marathoners

24 am

6:24 am: Back on the road after a brief rest stop

56 am

9:56 am: Danny in front of RCBC Tower, Ayala Avenue

19 am

10:19 am: Along Roxas Blvd.

37 pm

1:37 pm: Neville finishes 100km

For more information and photos, go to Run For Your Life, IsaDalawaTatlo and UP Mountaineers.

Photos courtesy of Nards Coll with permission from Neville Manaois.

I Gotta Run!

Tuesday, 24 July 2007  |  Bullish Insights

As I write this, it has been exactly 4,302 minutes since my last run. You know how long that is for an addicted runner like me? Just about as long as your wait when you are the 15th in line for the toilet and you got one minute before the race starts.

Last week was the first time that I ran just twice in a week—both of which were unchallenging, mediocre treadmill runs. My training log is cursing me for leaving him an orphan. My ipod is gathering dust. My tummy has morphed into a blob of jello. And, my feet—ah my feet—they are smooth, blister-free, and relaxed. Just the way non-runners like them.

Needless to say, I am grouchy, bloated, and whiny. If you see me, do not say hi. You must run for your life, especially if you are in red running gear, for The Bull Runner shall attack.

Charging Bull

Okay, I’m exaggerating again as I always do. Despite the foul mood, I manage a little smile every hour or so, but these are reserved only for my husband and children—and myself whenever I open a block of Choc-nut in between my bouts of depression.

I’m saving just one wide thankful grin for my doctor later this afternoon though. I got a blood test this morning and, as soon as I get the results, I’ll go for a check up. I’m pretty sure nothing is wrong. My guess is that I’m anemic or I should be eating more nutritious foods, but nothing serious. (Nope, I am not pregnant. I’m 100% sure!)ย  I shall ask my doctor, “So, doc, can I start running again tonight? And, can I join the Run for HOPE on Sunday?” To which he will most definitely reply, “By all means, go ahead and run.” And, with that, I shall instantly return to my normal happy self again with a wide grin to show for it.