Category Archives: runners

The Five Stages of a Runner

My friend Ruth, told me that she borrowed two books about running from her boss. I thought it was merely to tell me that she’s back into running and is reading some materials about running.  Few weeks later, I learned that she borrowed that for me so I can read them. Thanks, Ruth for the thought. Deeply touched by the gesture. (“,)

Anyhow, since the books are now with its owner, I had no recourse but to look for it thru the Net. I love technology. It gets handy when one wants many hits about a particular search.

I am sure some of you, especially, those who are hardcore runners have heard of Jeff Galloway.  Mr. Galloway, based on my readings, was born on 12 July 1945. By this time, he’s only 63 years old and turning 64 years old come July 2009. He’s a lifetime runner.  Really?! I wish I could.

He was an All-American collegiate and a member of the 1972 US Olympic Team in the 10,000 meters.  To date, he remains a competitive athlete and has a continuing career in running by managing Galloway Productions, conducting training programs and events, owning running specialty stores and writing articles for Runner’s World magazine.  Amazing feat for an athlete!

OK, back to my story. After browsing the Net, I finally found one of the books Ruth showed me. And I wanted to share it with you, dear readers.  And I hope you don’t mind.

If you try Google search, it will also give you a glimpse of the pages and some chapters. However, you can’t download them because of copyright restrictions. Anyway, why I got so interested in his book? It was the Chapter on the Five Stages of a Runner. It really is interesting. Check it out yourself. And, whether you agree with the author or not, it doesn’t matter.


Brace yourself.

Here we go…!

The Five Stages of a Runner

Here is the second chapter from Galloway’s Book on Running, “The Five Stages of A Runner.” If you have been running for a while, you’ll probably be surprised (and amused) to read Jeff’s description of the stages we all go through.

“I STARTED RUNNING when I was 13. I was immediately intoxicated with a beginner’s enthusiasm: the very special thrill of exertion, and a feeling that my body had vast capabilities. Of course, I tried to maximize every jog and thrill on that first run and then had to hobble around for a week, almost too sore to move.

But once the soreness diminished I was back out there, running again. I was hooked. As in any skill or craft, there were various stages of involvement, competence and enjoyment. Now that I’ve been running for over 25 years, and have spent a great deal of time helping others weave running into their lives, I see a similar pattern of evolution in just about all runners.

Progress is a matter of learning, maturing and knowing yourself; one stage leads logically to the next. Not everyone has the same aspirations; all runners are not seeking Olympic gold. But understanding the experience common to most veteran runners — though you may not go through all five stages described here — will enable you to minimize the pitfalls and maximize the gains of your running future.”


Stage One: Making the Break

Every beginning is precarious. There you are, perched on the edge of starting something entirely new, yet there are distractions, even criticisms, that cause detours and dead ends. You want to be more healthy and fit, but you may not realize how secure you’ve become in an inactive world. Each time you go out for a run you encounter a new side of yourself — one that must somehow be integrated into your daily life.

There is usually a struggle within and without. The old lifestyle is there and offers security. When the energy of “beginning” wears off, it’s harder to motivate yourself to go out for that daily run. You’ll face a lot of obstacles at first. It’s all too easy to stop when the weather turns cold, when it rains or snows, or when you feel the aches and pains of starting. You haven’t had to deal with these things before and the temptation to quit is strong.

Your running may also be threatening to your less active friends. Eventually you — the beginner — and your non-running friends work it out. The transition period, however, can be unstable and uncomfortable for both. If you falter, the old world — comfortable in many ways — is waiting for you to slip back in. If you’re lucky enough to make new friends who share similar fitness goals, you’ll probably find refuge in the “fit” world while you gain your “running security.”

Social reinforcement makes it easier to establish the fitness habit. One good approach is to find a group that meets regularly. Or you can make a pact with a friend who drags you out on bad days and vice versa. Races and fun runs are great opportunities to meet people.

At times, you may not progress as fast as you expected. We Americans are traditionally hyperactive and impatient. When we plant a seed, we not only want it to grow, we want it to become a tree by next week. We want results. When you start, you want to see physical and psychological benefits. But if you push too hard, you can tire yourself out and end up quitting in frustration.

The seed of exercise — if you don’t crush it — will survive periods of moisture and drought. Just when it seems to be drying up, it will spring to life, rejuvenated, and propel you further down the road. Don’t be discouraged, even if you’ve stopped. Tomorrow is another day. Many beginners stop and start again 10 or 15 times before they get the habit established.

Beginners who don’t put pressure on themselves seem to have an easier time staying with it. If you simply walk/jog 30-40 minutes every other day, you’ll find yourself gently swept along in a pattern of relaxation and good feeling. Your workout starts to become a special time for you.

As you make progress you find within yourself the strength and security to keep going. At first you’re “just visiting” that special world when you go out for a run. But gradually you begin to change. You get used to the positive relaxed feeling. Your body starts cleaning itself up, establishing muscle tone, circulating blood and oxygen more vigorously. One day you find you’re addicted, and the beginner becomes a jogger.


Stage Two: Entering the New World

The jogger feels secure with running. It may be hard to start each day’s run but, unlike the beginner, you can identify with those who are addicted. You may be intimidated by the “high achievers” — competitors and marathoners — but you have begun to understand the benefits of fitness and made a significant break with the old, non-fit world. The jogger’s runs are satisfying in themselves. There is almost always a “glow” at the end of the run, a reward for the effort. If you miss a run you may feel guilty — a rare experience for the beginner. Beginners often complain that they’re bored while running, but joggers find this problem decreases and then disappears as their distances increase.

Rarely does a jogger have a plan or goal. Most run as a healthy diversion and don’t feel the need to get anything more out of it. They just get out there when they can and do what they can. Those who do feel they need a plan often think they don’t know enough to prepare one. They may pick up a few tips from a more experienced running friend or — ideas from a running magazine. Unfortunately this often ends in frustration or injury because such plans are not based upon the jogger’s own individual abilities and goals, but upon someone else’s.

At first you probably needed a group or at least another person for motivation and direction. As a jogger you are a bit more independent. You’ll prefer company to running alone, but you’ll pick and choose your group with care. Most beginners seek anonymity within a group while joggers often enjoy identification with a group.

As a beginner you may have attended a few fun runs or an occasional race. Joggers, however, mark the local 10Ks on their calendars. These are motivational stepping stones to keep the daily runs on track. There will often be one major race in the jogger’s schedule, like the Bay to Breakers, Peachtree Road Race or the Corporate Challenge. Although you’re not running competitively or for time improvement, a sense of competition may begin to develop. By piecing together a growing series of successful and non-threatening running experiences, you begin the transition into a more fit lifestyle.

There are always conditions — injury, a long stretch of bad weather, a partner dropping out — that may stop your running and force you to start over again as a beginner. When the year’s big race is over, you may lose the motivation to keep going. A jogger will sometimes give up running completely, but usually will start again after an extended layoff.


Stage Three: When Competition Is the Main Driving Force

There is a competitive streak, sometimes hidden, in all of us. As we continue to run, it will most likely surface. If kept under control, the competitive urge can be a great motivator, stimulating you to train well and to push yourself further than you might have otherwise. But with many runners, competition, rather than the many other benefits of running, becomes the goal.

You become a competitor when you start to plan your running around racing goals. It all starts innocently enough. After a few races you begin to wonder how fast you might run if you really trained. Before you know it you’re caught in a compulsive drive to run faster at the expense of running enjoyment.

Not all joggers enter this stage. Many simply remain joggers while a very few pass directly to the stage of “runner.” If you do find yourself becoming obsessed with competition, however, here are some things you might expect:

Initially the competitive spirit is exciting and rewarding. You’re running faster because of increased training. You read everything you can on training, stretching, nutrition, etc., and become somewhat of an expert on each. There are always new training techniques to try out and you give them all a whirl. (Only later do you realize that many of them are contradictory.)

But as the competitive drive grows, you start feeling insecure. You no longer value your daily runs for their own worth, but think only of how well they prepare you for races and better times. Missing a run seems to spell racing doom. You can almost feel the fat being deposited on your body and see the seconds you fought hard to erase ticking back on the clock. When you hear of a workout a friend has performed before achieving a personal record, you have to match it or die trying.

Occasionally you’ll run alone, but often you’ll seek out small groups of better runners to train with and find you’re making every workout a race; you’ll push the pace to “victory” or make others earn theirs. In the same way, every race becomes a challenge to a new personal record. You may begin to choose races for the ease of terrain and lack of quality competition.

Once the competitive spirit has taken over you tend to lose sight of your limitations. If a small mileage increase brought about a small improvement, you’ll try large mileage increases to gain a large improvement. Although you’ve read many times about the need for rest, you feel that yours is a special case — you don’t need as much recovery time as other mortals. For weeks you may feel tired most of the time, yet have trouble sleeping at night. You become irritable and make life difficult for your family and friends. Finally you push too far and break down with injury, sickness or fatigue, and you either can’t or don’t want to run.

At this point you may feel betrayed by your body. Here you are trying to mold it into greatness and it won’t respond. You fail to realize the improvements you’ve made during the past months or year and only visualize your fitness slipping away, your goals going down the drain. Thinking that your body is tricking you (or that an injury layoff is a sign of weakness) you get back into training too soon. Trying to run through the problems only makes them worse and leads to new injuries, and you miss the very races you’ve pushed yourself so hard for.

Still, when the frustration has passed (and the pounds have settled back on) you’ll probably start running again. Hopefully you’ll have learned a lesson. You’ll “recycle” and work your way up the ladder again. When you’ve put competition into perspective you’ll pass into the stage of “athlete,” or even “runner.”

There are some very positive lessons to be learned from competition and fortunately not all competitors have to go to such extremes to learn them. Pushing through tiredness and discomfort in a race to a new personal record is not only rewarding in itself, but gives you an idea of what you can do in other areas of your life.

Strengths we have never used lie buried in each of us. Being challenged to our limits through competition helps these surface. Competition can be the path-finding mission which allows us to map our inner resources. At the same time, experiencing some frustration and pain can help us realize our limitations. By struggling we discover a bit more about the person inside us; we can learn from our mistakes and move on to new heights.


Stage Four: Being the Best You Can Be

As an athlete, you find more meaning in the drive to fulfill your potential than in compulsively collecting times and trophies. You’ve finally got a handle on competition, and it’s not the only motivation. Being an athlete is a state of mind which is not bound by age, performance or place in the running pack.

For a competitor, victory and defeat are tied to performance. Times, flat courses, ideal conditions are all important. For the athlete, victory lies in the quality of effort. When you run close to your potential on a given day, it’s a victory. You internalize competition and transcend it, knowing your limits and capabilities. You understand what’s important and what you must do to accomplish it. As you compete, you breathe in the race, vaporize it, absorb what you need and exhale the rest. Running becomes your own work of art.

Competitors search for races they can win. Athletes look for competition, but are not intent on a higher ranking or better performance (from a flat, fast course, etc.). They thrive on a challenging competition that is run in the best way possible — from the inside out — and they are, not incidentally, rewarded in the long run by faster times. Nevertheless, athletes are also found in the back of the pack, or they may choose smaller races over the big media events because they don’t want to feel lost in the sea of humanity.

Gradual progress is more important to the athlete than a fast time in a given race. You now have an internal concept of what you can do. When progress slows or is blocked, you revise. With every run, your internal training computer is fed with good data that gives you a new readout of possibilities. You know when to disregard a bad run and not get depressed.

Though you once may have been a competitor who read everything and tried most of it, as an athlete you now read only what has practical value. When problems arise you look for literature on the subject by authors you trust. Your reading ties into an overall plan. You’re no longer sampling everyone’s tips and tricks like treats out of the cookie jar.

Planning is important. Although you’re flexible, you plot goals and races 6-9 months in advance. The athlete is capable of continuous re-evaluation, and may change goals from week to week. Plans are not always written; some athletes are so in tune with their bodies they can work from a mental notebook. Whether your plan is written or “programmed” you know where you’re going. You may not know the exact vehicle you’ll take, but you know you will arrive.

Like other humans, athletes are not perfectly consistent. Sometimes you’ll slip back and become a competitor. After a series of successes, you may become dissatisfied with performances that fall short of your goals. Rather than evaluating, analyzing and readjusting, you may dwell upon the bad day, the slump, or the poor showing, and feel a sense of failure.

Great athletes at any level realize that “success” is in the eye of the performer. There can be success in every experience. If you can seize upon the positive aspect of each experience you can string together a series of successes that form a pattern of progress.

Some athletes reach a level of achievement or satisfaction and retire from competition; a few even quit running entirely. Many choose a reduced level of activity, others maintain a fairly high yet sensible level. Many continue to grow and move into the final and most rewarding stage, the runner.


Stage Five: The Best of All Stages

The final stage of the running journey blends the best elements of all the previous stages. The runner balances the elements of fitness, competition, training and social life and blends running with the rest of his or her life. There may be times when the runner reverts to earlier stages — mature people in any field have this problem — but these are only passing bouts that are assimilated into the overall harmony. The runner is a happy person.

As a runner, the primary focus of your life is not running. It may be family, friends, work, and is often a blend of many things. Running is now a natural part of your daily program — as is eating, sleeping or talking. You know you’ll get in that daily run although you may not know when. When you do miss a run you aren’t in agony. In fact, you don’t miss many days over the span of a year.

If scientists announced tomorrow that running was harmful, you’d read the news with interest and go out on your daily run. You know about the positive effects of exercise, but that alone doesn’t get you out on the roads. You get so much satisfaction from the experience itself that running has become a necessary and stable part of your active lifestyle.

As a runner, you’ll enjoy the companionship of running with others, but most of your running will be done alone. You appreciate the peace and inner reflection provided by the solitary run more than you did in the earlier stages.

Great satisfaction comes from being able to mold your body into form, and there is an art in combining just the right amounts of strength, endurance, form and performance training. A race can be the opportunity to pull out deep hidden strengths. Once you’ve learned these things, the joy lies not in the race, but in the running.

Even though you may plan for occasional competition with the same care as a competitor, there is none of that fixated intensity. The race isn’t sacred. If stresses or problems arise there are always other races.

Occasionally the runner is injured. This is usually due to reverting to one of the earlier stages in a workout or race. Now — through experience — you’ll know the difference between a common ache and a problem and you’ll back off at the first sign of the latter. You’ll sacrifice workouts, races and time goals to heal an injury early and get back to 100% as soon as possible.

As a runner you experience the enjoyment of each stage and retain the best of each of them. You can relive the beginner’s excitement in discovery, appreciate the jogger’s balance of fitness and enthusiasm, share the competitor’s ambition, and internalize the athlete’s quest. Having consolidated and balanced all these stages, you appreciate the creative and positive aspects of each and let them enrich your running life.

(From Galloway’s Book on Running, ©2002 by Jeff Galloway. Shelter Publications, Inc., Bolinas, Calif. Distributed in bookstores by Publishers Group West)

Back to reality. Too long for an article, eh? If you’ve reached this far, I admire you for your interest and patience. So, what kind of a runner are you then? What stage are you in right now? Whatever it is, be patient. After all, to be a runner, is a lifetime goal.


The Galloway’s Book on Running

Planning: Where to Start

The Running Revolution

Run Injury Free

Marathon: You Can Do It!

Adidas King of the Road, 11 October , 2008

Impossible is Nothing …

I Run for Fun …

Run for Your Heart …

These are just but some of the runners’ personal battle cries I’ve seen on runners’ race bibs…

Three years have passed since the first time I ran the Adidas King of the Road race. This time it will be for the half marathon event. Probably accidental. Perhaps a mistake. Or destiny. I only intended to run the 10k event, however, singlets as well as race bibs ran out and the only events available are 5k and 21k. Betcha by golly wow!! I registered for 21k. Bahala na…

Weeks before the event, I couldn’t sleep. Asking myself many times over and over whether I did the right thing or am I ready to run that distance. No answer. Bahala na…

Three days before the race, I experienced hyper acidity. A condition in the stomach which I usually experience when I am worried. Almost backed out from this race.

The day before the race received a sad news back home. An aunt, my mother’s elder sister, died. I debated whether to run or not to run. I finally decided that I am going to run, finish the race and dedicate it to my Aunt.

Race day…

Arrived at the Fort right on time. Did some stretching exercises with the help of Coach John. Thanks to him for telling me, “just treat the run as one of your practice runs and enjoy it.” No pressure. Just enjoy it! After he said it, I felt fine.

Wilbert, a fellow Happy Feet and a choirmate, arrived later. Just in the nick of time to do some stretching exercises before the race. Just like me it will be his first half marathon. At the starting line, saw some familiar faces… Rivka, John Ting, Bobby, and two runners whom I’ve met during the Run for Hope at Rockwell. I also had the chance of meeting the “farmer” (I forgot his name!) winner of the North Face 100k Trail Run this year.

Map of the 21k Route

It was me, Wilbert, John Ting and Bobby who were pacing from start up to the first turn around point near Buendia railway South Expressway. Nearing Makati Avenue, John Ting started a running game where one takes turn to run ahead of the other runner. Bobby gamely refused to join. Then Sensei John Ting and Bobby decided to breakaway. Wilbert followed after the Buendia flyover. That left me on my own now.

Running towards Heritage Park, I just psyched myself that it is only a practice run. Saw some runners coming out from that route and I thought it’s pretty near. I huge mistake. It was a bit far from Lawton. And there was no more water available at the corner of Lawton. What left were blocks of ice. Desperately, done with the second turn around point, upon reaching the waterless station, one of the runners threw a big block of the ice on the sidewalk so that some of us can get a piece to cool ourselves. The sun was really burning hot! Then off I go, wiping my face with the ice I was holding while running. Then I saw one of the coaches, Ruel, who gave me some water. He urged me to run faster. Slave driver! (I thought with a smile…)

What kept me going until finish line is due to the support of our coaches Rio (power gel), Jo-ar (Gatorade), Ruel (water, Gatorade, bike), Jessie (presence), John (stretching exercises), Sard and Jessie (their presence)and that nagging thought that this run is for my Aunt and family back home. With the remaining strength in me, I sprinted the last few meters towards the finish line.

I made it!

I did my first half marathon King of the Road race with no walking and no injury!

Our Coach Rio

Happy Feet Finishers

With the Winners, HF Ka Totoy and Coach Jessie

Oops! One more pose…

Photo ops with Happy Feeters and coaches followed and we celebrated the feat with buffet breakfast at Paul Calvin’s Deli.

As an afterthought, I hail those who have made it in this run particularly the Happy Feet fellas.

Visit runningDATcom for race results (5k, 10k, 21k) and cool stats interpretation!

Mamang Pulis Subic Legacy Run featuring a Happy Feet’s late evening marathon experience, 7 September 2008

For the second time around, I ran Subic Legacy Run. This time with a different atmosphere as most of the runners were from our very own Philippine National Police force. I learned that there were over a thousand runners who participated the run, including PCSupt. Samson R. Tucay, Race Director and who retired last September 8, 2008. What a way to spend retirement day!

Here’s our story (my version)…

The HF group met at Velasquez Park, Salcedo Village at around 9AM. However, we left Makati City a bit later due to some errands of some of the HF runners including me. I wanted to thank Aljo and Mon for their patience. In the car, I saw Ipe, Sensei John Ting, Totoy, and Mayen.

It was an awesome experience for me to see and traverse, for the first time, the newly completed highway going to Subic which made the trip shorter than expected. Almost everyone in the car couldn’t stop admiring the view, especially, the almost endless road which was a sight to behold. We arrived at past 12 noon and after leaving our stuff at Subic Homes apartment (courtesy of Aljo), we looked for a good place to eat and headed back to the apartment to rest.

Other HF runners, Zimm, Cecil, Tin, Lito and his wife, arrived later in the afternoon while Mon and Sir Ipe went out to have a beer session with the HF Lost Command camp whose apartment is just further down the road.

That night we had dinner at Aristocrat’s. Doc Oknoy, a 42km runner, joined us at dinner time. After carbo loading, we headed back to the apartment for guitar and singing session. It was really fun! To top it off, we enjoyed posing before the camera. Tin’s great idea, of course!

Anyway, there are other HF people whom I wanted to feature also in my blog. HF group, as you well know, is composed of diversed people and very talented too. It just suddenly dawned on me, why not post their best moment after finishing a run? I believe they’re very inspiring, especially, to runners like me or to runners out there. I did ask him through SMS or text if it’s OK. I had the GO signal. He has his way with words. He could have been a writer other than being a doctor.

This is Doc’s own story …

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms. Marie Caesarea (marie@cargosafeway) and Ms. Gay Maddela of RUNCPI for allowing me to run the unforgettable Subic Legacy Marathon last 7 September. The run was supposed to be by invitation only, but I wanted to be part of the legacy of a great officer and a gentleman in General Samson Tucay. This man leads by example, Gen, Tucay was able to reform and transform the rotten eggs in the police force into men of valor and he was able to mold new police officers who carried his ideals. The midnight marathon was his graduation run. I wanted to be part of his legacy not only because I firmly believe in the man and what he stands for, but also, I want to be reformed too. I have talked this over with my colleague, Dr. Gigi and we agreed that this run will be my Rubicon, crossing that line of no turning back.

So I pestered Ms. Marie, Ms. Gay and Mon Sunday (Domingo) for me to get into this race and for that I am so grateful. I haven’t been running so I know that I was in no shape for this run, the only thing running in my mind was Perfecto De Castro’s 10-string guitar rendition of the Leopoldo Silos and the great Levi Celerio’s classic, “Dahil sa Isang Bulaklak” (Because of a Flower), with that and the majestic sunset at Manila Bay, I was trying to take Dr. Gigi one afternoon but she was buried with her books. It was splendid and after the sun was gone, it rained. But like the crazy man that I am, I welcomed it with a smile and went home drenched.

I would also like to thank Ms. Rivka for cheering me on, and a fast running friend egging me to run. Hopefully I will be able to chase this friend in future runs………means a lot to me what you did.

I intended to do this run alone, so I deliberately did not join the group (I hope you understand by now folks), arrived in Subic and watched “For the First Time” to kill time. Eto na naman. Seeing KC, last time I saw her was in her Mamita’s (Madame Elaine Cuneta) room trying to choose what to play in her big laser disc player. KC has grown. Naiyak ako (I cried). I must admit……ang bigat sa dibdib (with a heavy heart). Naiyak ako sa inggit………buwisit na Richard yan ang sweet sweet, ang presko-presko… ang sarap gulpihin!

Anyway, I knew Mon will be worried, and I miss the gang too. After seeing For the First Time. Boy, you don’t want to be alone anymore. So I called and met up with the group at Aristocrat and we had fun and went back to Subic Homes, bonded with the guitar, covered two chordbooks full of songs from the 60‘s to the 90’s…. Roselle was the diva that she is. Then Lito, Mon and Mikey sent Ka Totoy and me off to the marathon.

It was exciting. I think it was the first midnight 42k marathon in the country, the intended 50 runners swelled to 61 then 72 and we were about 100 I the starting line. Me up with Don who was in a full race mode wearing his tri-team shirt.

General Tucay gave his valedictory and we went off. My plan was to stick with Gen Tucay’s group so that the sound of the stampede will hopefully scare away the wild animals along the route, and of course, the support was there for runners, figured out it will be impossible to support all 100 of us running when we are on the road……. The agreement was, we will all run with Gen Tucay as a pack until the 30km mark and then the rest can sprint away (the 30km mark is from the airport to the Remy track field, the idea was we stick together in the forest and breakaway when there are lights present in the streets to the finish) But runners as we are……we tend to be excited…our adrenalines are bursting. So what the pack did was they broke away when we reached the airport at the first 8km mark. We were scattered. So this will be a nightmare for the limited support staff for the marathon.

My plan sticks, stay with the general or be lost in the woods…………….stay I did , but struggled…obviously, the General lives and breathes in Subic, he was in great shape, because he was talking all throughout the run…….giving instructions, concerned with the welfare of all the runners in his race. He was not thinking about himself, but the people who were around him! It was 90 percent uphill in the first 21k and I tried my best to stay with the pack, near the turn I met up with ka Totoy then, Don Ubaldo who was with some elite runners and he had his sweet wife as back-up, driving the car, lighting their way. Reminded me of Richard and KC and how they cared for each other.

I was lagging behind from the pack by the 25th kilometer and I realized I got what I wanted for in the first place………………………. I was alone in the dark……………. No one was with me……. I have to change my plan………. Run slow at the lighted portions of the mountain road…and run as fast as I can in the dark stages….where wild boars, naughty macaques, hungry bats, big boa constrictors and the deadly Philippine cobra might be in the middle of the street lurking…. (I remembered how the
tiger from the nearby Zoobic safari fell victim to the bite of the cobra……the tiger became a Smithsonian skeleton display in that park). I don’t have the strength and the agility of a tiger…. So I sensed that I am no match to the Philippine cobra which was my main concern never mind the slow boa falling out of a tree. It did not help that I saw a dead snake in the middle of the road on the way up…… they are for real…

I deliberately left my water container half empty, for me to have some left in the race with the hope that the noise from the jiggling water and my galloping run will scare away the beasts in my mind. In effect I was doing a fartlek, intervals while I was running the marathon. Along the dark downhill bend, I tripped and fell had a sprain but had to carry on like a wounded Rambo….. by the time I reached the airport…..I was a goner……………the legs were not there anymore ……I was dead tired, I have no other way but to finish the course, I remembered singing this song with Mikey and Roselle when we jammed (thanks guys, this kept me up)

“It is the night. My body’s weak.
I’m on the run. No time to sleep.
I’ve got to ride.
Ride like the wind to be free again;
And I’ve got such a long way to go……………”

Finally met an officer in Rambo camouflage who showed me the well lit road back (the road crossing binictican and subic homes) I was tempted to call Mon to pick me up since they were nearby, I think friend Bro Aljo sensed this, for HE DID CALL ME…. But my fone as always was in silent mode so I did not see it…so I walked that lonely highway alone……with the strange slithering sounds prowling in the grass at the side of the road, I was too tired to be scared…. I just carried on………………. with a smile and a welcoming Ms. Gay at the finish line……. I did my sixth marathon….

From: oknoy poblete
Subject: SEptember races and Subic
Date: Tuesday, September 9, 2008, 3:03 PM


There you go… I decided to exclude his last two paragraphs. For me, they were too personal. May be… he might publish that reflection in his book someday.

So, back to our group’s story…

The full marathon started at 11 PM. So there went Mon, Lito and Sir Ipe to send off Doc Oknoy and Totoy for their run. Awesome! By the time we woke up prior to race, these two great guys
were already done with their full marathon! Amazing!

Race day, 5:30 AM …

Had to do some laps and stretching.

The race didn’t start on time as we waited for the last runners of the full marathon to reach the finish line. And when they did finally arrive, everyone cheered!

The race started after the sounding of the trumpet (seven times) and followed by the firing of the gun. There we go… 5k and 10k runners … both civilians and military alike… with one passion … RUNNING.

I was about to overtake Tisha (who was my target then) but she, who just recently did a 21k, overtook me. She was fast! In fact, I overheard some police personnel saying, “Grabe, ang lalakas nung babae, o!” (Wow, that lady is pretty strong!) It sure was a nice feeling, that while running, some of the police runners would say “Hi!” or “Go, Ma’am!”

I think most of us did well.
No injury.
New PR.

Fil-Mus Run for Peace, September 9

A 10-K fun run for peace along Roxas Blvd., Ermita, Manila, to welcome the holy month of Ramadan, when Islam believers abstain from food, drink, smoking, and sex from dawn to dusk.
Even before the race started, I already told Judah, a fellow runner, that I was not feeling well and even showed him my shaking hand. But this didn’t stop me from joining the run. I heard that Robin Padilla would be there. Cool! There were two laps required to complete the 10-K run which started from Rajah Sulayman monument along Roxas Boulevard to Kalaw then using the same route to Vito Cruz. On my first turn-around, I saw a group of runners slowly pacing with a guy in the center. It was a fair-complexioned movie actor, Robin Padilla. Of course, I wanted to stop but those happy feet of mine were already into the race and went on with the run. I never walk during races but I did this time for I was not really feeling well. Mon beat me by a few seconds.

Victory Lap, July 15

A 5k fun run dubbed as 911: Marathon for Life sponsored by e-PLDT Ortigas Branch, part of their Give-a-Life-Program. While waiting for the race to start, one experienced runner said to me, “You will win this race.” Of course, I was apprehensive. My focus zeroed in only on finishing the race. That’s it! A supposed practice run (for me) but a race that ended victorious! Bringing home the bacon seemed impossible. But I did! Indeed, the surprise of my life! Yes, I won first place in this race. My fastest record (10 minutes and 55 seconds)for a 5k run. Whooaaaah! Unbelievable! THINK! THINK! THINK! Almost 11 minutes for a 5k run? We deduced that with two complete turns, we only ran approximately two kilometers. After the race, my happy feet fellow runners urged me to ask who won for women division. I approached the race recorder and asked hesitantly, “who finished first?” He said, “Number 132.” Huh? That’s my number! That’s me! Wow! I went back to my group and announced gaily, “hey I finished first.” Went home that day with a big smile and happiness written all over my face. Do try to visit Photographer on the run’s account, “Winning Race” at (Photos courtesy of Ben)

31st Milo Marathon Run, 22 July

The 31st Milo Marathon kicked off at exactly six o’clock in the morning with over 10,000 participants gathered near Manila zero km marker. Invited to grace the event were Senator Pia Cayetano and Mayor Alfredo Lim. Both gave short inspirational messages. Mayor Lim fired the starting gun. This was my first Milo Marathon race and was too pooped after finishing the 10k run. Who wouldn’t? I slept late the night before. Doing what? Editing this blog plus recording some favorite songs over the Net. Woke up after a four-hour sleep. A bit groggy. Headed towards Kalayaan Avenue (Rockwell) to hail a taxi but too late to realize that the gate was still closed. Sigh… Blamed it for not wearing my “librarian” eyeglasses. Got no choice but to head back the same way and take the other exit, J.P. Rizal. Texted Chai that I was on my way to Roxas Boulevard. I arrived at the Start Line seeing the race participants at the same time hearing one official announcing “last call for 10k runners!”. I panicked a bit and asked one of the runners where I could possibly leave my bag. The guy pointed his index finger where the grandstand is, a good distance from where I was. Arrrgh! I panicked a bit more when I received a text from Chai asking me to look for her bib in Zaldy’s bag. OK… I looked at my watch and still had 15 more minutes to do it. I walked and ran toward the baggage area. The baggage area was, of course, a mountainful of backpacks, bags, etc. I texted Chai that getting the bib was quite a daunting task given the time and told her to hurry because the race was about to start. After I deposited my bag, I headed back to the Start Line and that was when I met Chai. She said she saw Mon. I did look for Mon but couldn’t see him. Blamed it for not wearing my “librarian” eyeglasses, again! I was lost in thoughts for a moment … walked to where the students are…and took a sudden turn around. “Why was I headed there in the first place?”, I asked my myself silently. So, I went back and noted I did the right thing. There, before me … “Entrance for 10k runners” posted above the zero marker and just so near the stage. Yoooohoooo! It was nice to see the race officials, guests, the senator, and the mayor, up-close. Didn’t beat my KOTR PR though. Well, one can’t have all the glories in running. May be I was a bit feeling so “toxic” with the many people milling around plus didn’t have much time left to at least stretch leg muscles before running. Good thing was, I did my run without walking or stopping. It was a slow run compared to what I did during the Adidas King of the Road (KOTR) race. In fact, Chai, a fellow Happy Feet runner, beat me by eleven minutes (based on the Overall 10k Results posted by Mon, an “astig” Happy Feet 10k runner). Funny thing was Chai phoned me while I was still running on my way back (near US Embassy then at that time). Still out of breath, I answered, “Chai, am still running! Call me later! Minutes ticked, still running … before my eyes … the much awaited moment … Finish Line … accepted the certificate … then, saw Chai waiting for me near the Medical Unit area. After the run, I did wonder how are they doing–Mon, Zaldy, Smith, Renz, etc., fully aware that three Happy Feet runners are still running in the 42k event–Ben, Joms and RC? Were they OK? Did they experience cramps while running? Chai and I decided to look for a place to eat and headed toward Max’s (at least, a-not-so-crowded-a-not-so-toxic-place) along Roxas Boulevard. It was a long walk after the 10k run. But it was ok, since we had a nice view of the remaining 42k runners–whizzing, pacing, walking–along Bay Walk on their way to the Finish Line. Nothing beats a sumptuous breakfast! Thank you Chai for the breakfast treat. After all, the best things in life are free! Indeed! (Photo Courtesy of Chai)

Adidas King of the Road, 1 July

The first time I met some of the members of the Happy Feet Runners after the race (except for Ben, wearing a yellow shirt, whom I’ve met during the Nike+ Fun Run last April 2007). KOTR run was an unforgettable experience. With just a few minutes left before the start of the race, I realized I forgot to bring my bib. I psyched myself, “relax… don’t panick…” It dawned on me that every second counts! I had no choice but to go back to my place and get the bib and risk missing the start of the race. Fortunately, I made it in the nick of time! Thanks to Tisha and Madelle for these nice photos. As you can see, we were all smiles. Who wouldn’t? This was the unofficial gathering of Happy Feet Runners a. k. a. Impromptu Runners, a group that is so diversed yet with a common passion–R… U…. N ….. N …… I …..N .. G ! I have finished my run in one hour and four minutes, beating my record in 2005 by fourteen minutes. Not bad, eh? This is my comeback after over a year of not running. Glad to be a HAPPY FEET! Whooah!