One of the Scariest Experiences of my Life

Thursday, 21 July 2011  |  Bullish Insights

How many times have you received forwarded emails about the new modus operandi of some gang in the metro?  Most of the time, you remind yourself to practice caution but you never even think that it could happen to you.

It happened to me in broad daylight earlier this morning.

After an easy run and weights at the gym, I headed towards my car in the parking lot.  I dumped my gym bag in the trunk and took a moment to search for my wallet.  As I was doing this, around four people surrounded me and the car.  Before I could even think anything of it, a lady approached me almost frantically asking: Nasaan ang chinese restaurant dito? (Where is the chinese restaurant here?) I found it extremely odd because there was no Chinese restaurant near the area (and why would one look for one at around 9am) plus she was acting extremely nervous.  This was all happening within a matter of seconds, but alarm bells already started ringing in my ear.

I answered her: Hindi ko alam (I don’t know) then headed towards the door of the driver’s seat. She blocked me and asked the same question over and over. By that time, I was pretty scared so I yelled at her: Hindi ko alam!!! and headed for the door again. When I looked ahead, a man had already opened the door of the passenger seat. I yelled at him: Hoy!!! He was taken aback, apologized (yes he did!), and shut the door. I rushed into the driver’s seat, locked all doors, checked if all my valuables were complete (they were thank God!) and drove away in haste.  As I passed the parking lot, these people were nowhere in sight.  I then called the security guard and reported the incident.

Wow. I was captivated in fear for the next few minutes. But, after I calmed down, I was ultimately thankful that no harm was done.  It could have been a lot worse for me.  In a split second, my life could’ve changed…or ended.

I write this to remind you about a number of things:

  1. to be careful out there—especially when you are running alone,
  2. to listen to your instincts.  If you sense that something is amiss, then you’re probably right
  3. to be a bitch (pardon my French) or a bull or both if you feel you have to defend yourself (although if they’re just asking for your wallet just give in and let them go. No amount of money is worth your life), and lastly
  4. to be thankful for the blessings—big or small—that come your way.  I’d like to think there was Someone watching over me earlier this morning.

Note: I won’t be sharing any details about exactly where this happened for security reasons, but I did report the incident and shared my story with others who frequent this area.

Think Yourself Strong

Wednesday, 20 July 2011  |  Bullish Insights

Every night, just as we climb into bed and get ready for sleep, Little Miss Bull Runner will look at me with her puppy dog eyes and whimper: “scared.” And, every single time, I’ll reassure her I’m right by her side, switch off the lights, and hug her until she dozes off into la la land.

We all have our fears. Little Miss TBR is afraid of having nightmares. My son is petrified of the dark. I sometimes worry about the future and my children’s future. Bottom line: many of us fear the unknown.

– Running at Corregidor with hubby and Edward Kho. Photo by Levi Lakandula –

For runners, the unknown could churn out the following questions in our minds and keep us mortified for weeks on end: Can I finish 5k? Will I be able to do a 3:50 at Milo Marathon? Was my 50k long run enough to finish 102km at BDM? Will I come in last?

No one really knows the answer until you do cross that finish line and that terrifying unknown becomes reality. In the meantime, there’s nothing left to do but run.

Run your heart out in training. Climb those hills, give your all in that last lap on the track, and yes, hold up that plank position for the longest 10 seconds of your life. Remind yourself that running isn’t entirely about running; it includes cross training, proper nutrition, stretching, and rest. Do your homework…and then some. Be consistent. Stay committed to your dream.

The key is really to take hold of your fears, hide it beneath the soles of your running shoes, and take a leap of faith. Then, when judgement day comes, stand at the starting line with confidence in your work, pray that all things run smoothly from the weather to the water stations, and allow your body and mind to accomplish what they were trained to do.

Amby Burfoot said: “When it comes to staying motivated, running is a mind game.” If you start your training or your race telling yourself how scared you are, so you will be. But, if you think yourself strong, fast, and invincible, then you’ll cross that finish with arms raised high winning over your fears.

As my second husband, Lance Armstrong, always says: Livestrong. Truly, it is the only way to go whether you are running a race or living your life.

Inspired by Hope

Monday, 18 July 2011  |  Bullish Insights

I ran 15k yesterday, the longest distance I’ve covered the past couple of months since Morton Schmorton Neuroma attacked my little toes.

Wow. I was over the moon about hitting the road once again in such pristine weather conditions and among a fantastic group of running friends. Friends would often ask throughout the run: How’s the foot doing? And, I would reply with a smile: Good. Doing fine.

To be honest though, I carried a bit of weight while we were running. Uhm, yes, I still haven’t lost the extra weight I’m lugging around (grrr). But, there was a heavy burden upon my shoulders that my friends weren’t privy to (until now.)

I was a bit worried. Okay, that’s not being honest. I was awfully pissed.

While I could run easy, I was still frustrated that I could’t run exactly the way I wanted to, the way I used to in the past. There was still slight discomfort and my legs didn’t feel like they were back in full fighting form. I know, I know. I should be patient. Things won’t change overnight. But, still, frustration did set in. In my head, I thought: Why can’t I run the pace I want to yet? When will I be able to do so? How much longer must I wait? Aack, the bull in me was raging.

Good thing I stumbled upon this video of Hope Solo, the goalie of the US Women’s Soccer team (who lost to Japan a few hours ago. Sob sob!). In the video, she talks about her shoulder injury: I was nowhere close to where I needed to be…Could I handle the pain? Could I forget about the pain and get through training? Wow, I could completely relate. And, watching her nurse herself back from injury and get back into the game again just gave me…hope! (Pun intended)

What Do You Take for Granted?

Monday, 11 July 2011  |  Bullish Insights

– In Corregidor. Photo courtesy of Levi Lakandula –

It could be the sun on your face
The beauty of a dawning day
The birds taking flight
Or your dog happily wagging his tail.

It could be the shoes on your feet
The gas in your tank
The warm water in the tub
Or the last bite to eat that you dumped in the trash.

It could be your partner’s smile
His driving you to work this early
Her packing you a turkey sandwich
Or the kiss goodbye.

It could be the opportunity to run
The pounding of your feet on the road
The feeling of power and serenity at once
Or the chance to connect with your best self.

It could be the freedom to race
The adrenaline rush
The mingling of sweat and tears
Or the fulfillment of crossing the finish.

Don’t wait…
For the rain to keep the sun from shining
For hunger to attack
For loved ones to leave
Or for injuries to arise.

Take nothing for granted.
Take notice. Now.

Ingredients for a Perfect Comeback Run

Saturday, 9 July 2011  |  Bullish Insights

Here’s my homemade recipe for a perfect comeback run from injury as successfully produced this morning at 5:30 AM:


1 old CD of Brand New Heavies (Brother Sister) enroute to meeting area
1 cup pre-run Lavazza coffee
1 pre-run banana with Skippy’s peanut butter
2 best running buddies
6 kilometers at easy 6:40 pace on flat roads with 10:1 min intervals of run:walk
drizzle of rain
dash of humor
0 pain


Whip this all up together to get a perfect comeback run leading to full recovery.

That’s what I successfully cooked up this morning! Yup, Morton Shmorton Neuroma is out of this house after 1.5 months as uninvited house guest.  Woohoo, it feels great to be back!  See you on the road, guys!