When The Going Gets Tough

Wednesday, 3 October 2007  |  Bullish Insights

Tough times will always come. The level of difficulty, however, is relative for different kinds of people and at varying periods in their lives. No matter the size of the problem, it is one’s ability to confront these trials that is vital to one’s survival on this rocky road of life.

Running, or any other sport that challenges your strengths and pushes you beyond your limitations, builds your endurance physically but more importantly, mentally. When faced with a seemingly insurmountable task, a mountain climber can recall conquering Mt. Everest and think “If I can climb the highest mountain in the world, what else can I not do?” When life throws too many problems at a runner, she can remind herself of her last marathon and think “Hang on. The finish line will soon be in sight.”

The past few weeks have been a roller coaster ride for me. On a scale of 1 to 10, I would say most days were 2’s but there were quite a number of days that peaked at 10 in terms of fear and stress. Twice this month, I had to take my boy for a blood test to check for dengue. With a low fever that persisted for days, he wasn’t eating and could barely stand on his own. During the hours that we’d wait with bated breath for the test results, I feared to even think of what we would do had the tests proven positive. Thankfully, after almost two weeks with fever, he is now fully recovered.

Right now, I am seated in my daughter’s dental office, waiting and waiting and waiting during these three long hours that they sedated her to work on over 10 cavities. The procedure, as we’ve been told, is not entirely fool-proof so, as much as we trust the anesthesiologist and dentist who are caring for her, I am still extremely anxious and worried until I can hold her safely in my arms.

Coupled with these worries is the task of juggling my load of work. I am struggling to make my deadlines for projects that have come at me all at the same time. Are there enough hours in a day for me to get all these done?

My fears are nothing compared to others, but there is nothing that makes a mother more anxious than to see her child in pain. Work issues can be set aside, but no, not my children.

During these times, I recall seeing the flyover ahead of me during the Adidas KOTR. It was an uphill climb that, I thought, would be utterly tiring and difficult. Ugh, I muttered. But, after plodding my way up, I found it to be surprisingly easy and effortless. It was all in the mind, really.

Last night, I literally ran my stress away. Most of you will agree that it is truly a great pain reliever. I ran 10k on my treadmill at full speed leaving my worries behind. That hour of running gave me strength to face this day. It hasn’t completely alleviated the anxiety, but it has helped me gain a more positive outlook. Even if the weather is gloomy outside, the sun shines brighter on my front. Everything is gonna be alright.

Prayers for Ariel

Thursday, 6 September 2007  |  Bullish Insights

It is with great sadness that I share the news of 2nd Lt. Ariel M. Toledo’s passing last night at 6:20 p.m. Lt. Toledo was from the Philippine Airforce, Phil. Military Academy Class of 2006 – MANDALA’s Magna Cum Laude and Valedictorian, 27 years old. He had been orphaned and diagnosed later in life with Cancer of the Bile Duct. His story was featured in ABS-CBN’s “Maalala Mo Kaya.”

I never met Lt. Toledo nor had I heard of him until I learned of the run, Takbo Para Kay Ariel, organized by his friends and family to raise funds for his support. For people around him to rise up and campaign for him this way, one is certain he was a good man who deserved all the love and concern.

According to Anne Marie Carillo, his wake will be at the Villamor Airbase before they bring it to Ilocos. They will still pursue their fund raising activities. The proceeds will go to the bills accounted and to the Mandala class as well. Should you wish to help, you may email Anne at galfwendz_annie@yahoo.com.

My condolences to Lt. Toledo’s family and friends. He will be in our prayers.

When Life Gets In The Way

Tuesday, 4 September 2007  |  Bullish Insights

How can one find the time to run when you are neck-deep in life’s oh so many demands such as: over a hundred pages to layout, a press kit to finalize, an upcoming workshop to give, a 2 year-old requiring “comprehensive rehabilitation” of her milk teeth, a 6 year-old who’s preparing for a little performance at school, two PTA meetings, three birthdays gifts to purchase, and so so many more?

Uhm…one tries to wake up earlier to squeeze in a quick workout.

And, when one fails at that attempt (i.e., one wakes up 15 minutes before alarm clock rings only to reset it to the usual waking hour), the only recourse would be to abandon—albeit temporarily—all of these demands and run without thinking. Run as quick and hard as you possibly can with the goal of getting a quality workout at the least possible time.

That’s what I’m about to do. Just wanted to let you in on my busy, busy life right now. Wish me a good run. I’m off.

Pooped…and Loving It!

Saturday, 1 September 2007  |  Bullish Insights

I am pooped.

Annie, Mary Anne, and I ran an estimated 18k for 1 1/2 hours at Alabang early this morning. That’s the farthest I’ve gone ever. Close to the end of the run, my big toe started hurting (I cringed at the thought of another dead toenail), my calves felt sore, and I was slightly exhausted…but, boy oh boy, did it feel awesome.

Now I know what Rick, my new blogger friend, meant when he wrote “My legs stiffened up quickly after I stopped running, a good sign that they got a good workout. Just an overall pain and stiffness from hard effort, nothing indicating injury.”

I read Rick’s blog just last night and thought little of the post, but after this morning’s run, I completely got it (as I’m sure all of you other running masochists do!) Eureka, I thought!

Last summer, when I had started building up to a 10k, each training day challenged my body to its fullest. I would arrive home feeling like a truck ran over me yet my mind would be racing with excitement over the next run. Nowadays, I’ve been religiously running at an easy to medium intensity 4x a week but I knew something was missing. On good days, I would run 10k nonchalantly. On bad days, I wouldn’t wake up for a scheduled run and force myself to make up for it later on the treadmill. Either way I’d end the run feeling like I didn’t even workout at all.  Yup, I was still running but I felt like my body was bored.

Now I know the reason: it wasn’t challenging for me anymore!

So, today I declare that, every Saturday henceforth, my runs shall be long, intense, heart-wrenching, leg-numbing, belly-shrinking, toenail-blackening workout days. I shall challenge myself to run longer every other week (as best friend Jeff Galloway advised) and welcome, if not conquer, sore muscles and aching feet. I shall focus more on my time, not my speed nor my distance.  And, I should arrive home saying only these five words: “I’m pooped…but I’m happy.”

Bring on the pain, brother!

Virtual Run No. 5

Wednesday, 22 August 2007  |  Bullish Insights, Running + Triathlon

It’s time for Virtual Run No. 5! By now, you should know what this is all about. But, if you don’t, slap yourself on the head first, then do either of the following:

1) Go to my archives and read the past 4 weeks’ entries on Wednesday (VR Run Invites) and Thursdays (VR Run Reports).

2) Scroll down and read the brief definition.

3) Don’t read anything here and just make sure you run on Thursday (tomorrow) at 4:30 am Manila Time.

During the Virtual Run, a group of runners run “together” at the same time wherever they may be in the world. Anyone can join!

DATE: 23 August 2007, Thursday (Manila Time)
TIME: 4:30 A.M. (Manila Time)
DISTANCE: 10 km/ 6 miles (or whatever you wish)
RUNNERS/ COURSE: (I’ll update this as more people join up)

Previous runners have been:

  1. E-Rod – Newport Beach, USA
  2. HitMe – Quezon City, Philippines
  3. Banggi – Manila, Philippines
  4. Ben – Manila to Makati, Philippines
  5. Renz – Metro Manila, Philippines
  6. Marga – Parañaque, Philippines
  7. Caloy – Davao, Philippines
  8. TRF – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  9. Steph – San Diego, USA
  10. Gretchen – Truckee, USA
  11. Mary – Paranaque, Philippines
  12. Caloy – Davao, Philippines
  13. Chaia – Makati, Philippines
  14. Rick – San Francisco, USA
  15. Nora – England
  16. The Bull Runner – Parañaque, Philippines

Are you in?