Me and Running: a Personal History

My running background is like almost every newbie runner in the world. One day a three-kilometer run for a cause by a non-governmental organization was organized and that was it. I was hooked, started training on my own and never realized that I would be seeing myself joining races almost every Sunday of the week, and as long my schedule will allow me to … I will. I was inspired to run when I saw a friend, a 57-year old guy, running the 10k event. Wow! I said to myself, “if he can do it, I can too!” Honestly, easier said than done.

Looking back at the history of road running, the Marathon is probably the most popular. Despite its popularity, so I’ve learned from our Happy Feet e-group and through my own research that, women were officially allowed to run only in 1972 and in the 1984 Olympics. I was only one year old then in 1972 and just graduated from grade school in 1984. Surely, time flies so fast, eh? I thought, this incident wouldn’t happen again. But I was wrong. Recently, a race in Metro Manila, Philippines, excluded women from running a 21k event for reasons that really baffled me. According to Tanya, a fellow HF runner, I quote,”I thought it was an affront to all women around the world, not just runners.” I couldn’t agree more with her opinions stated in the recent Sunday lifestyle article. Thanks Tanya for that superb article and for featuring the Happy Feet group. I’ve kept a copy of that article as memento.

Let’s talk about the Happy Feet. As far as I can remember, this group, also known as impromptu runners usually register on race day itself. I’ve seen it. I’ve witnessed it during the Nike+ Fun Run in April 2007 when Ben a.k.a. Photographer on the Run and Chester (whom I haven’t seen since then) registered on-site. This was a very memorable run for me because each runner was given a free red shirt where one can write a power song. I chose We are the Champions by Queen. I can still vividly remember seeing one of the runners wearing the Nike shirt with a power song Moon River emblazoned on it. That was cool! This was my comeback after a one year plus hiatus. Oh, no injury or other reasons. Just simply lazy then. My award? I finished the 5k run horribly.

It was also in this run that I’ve met Mon Domingo known also as Marimon, Jedi Master, Monski, Monsky, Chito, etc. I became a member of impromptu running group after almost two months (and not three weeks as previously posted). There was never a dull moment during the members’ e-group exchanges even if we were still few then. Thanks to Mon, Smith and Joms’ funny antics. One of the funny experiences I had with the group was when I came across with the acronym TBR and I thought this must be one of those running terms. I was wrong. TBR simply stands for The Bull Runner. With that name, came an imagination of a large, strong and aggressive person. I was wrong again. Then there was Ben. The Ben whom I thought one of the photographers that offer photo services in Luneta. Mon’s humor insinuated that Ben’s like that—you know, the big, fat, old kind of guy. I was wrong, wrong again. Ben’s a very talented lensman. He has his blog to prove it. It was also because of TBR and Ben that I got hooked to blogging. Yes, folks, for 48 straight long hours, I tried to understand the nitty-gritty of blogging. Voila! Running Diva was born after two days.

So, why use the moniker, Running Diva?

I gave the credit to Pia, a fellow VSO volunteer who is now currently on assignment in Zambia, Africa. She gave that moniker to describe my hobbies—running and singing.

Then on July 1, 2007, after the Adidas King of the Road run, I’ve met another batch of impromptu runners–Michelle, the creator of impromptu runners site and Michelle’s special friend; Joms, Doc Brent, Tisha, and Ben. See my older post. You’ll find a photo of us. The members just keep on growing, growing-Smith, Chaia, Banggi, Doc Oknoy, Lost Command, Tisha, Aljo-are just but some of the HF members I’ve met. Some of my friends who, at one time or another, decided to join HF group are Judah, Ana, Ruth, April, Wilbert and Thelma. Some members of the group, however, remained lurkers or are just simply too shy. The run in July 2007 was followed by one race after another. Once you’re in the e-group, you just can’t miss each race. Below is the partial list of marathons, fun runs and other races where I joined (and never joined):

Runnex @ 25 Executive Classic Run, 10k, 7 Dec. 2008, 1:07.22
UNICEF Run, 10k, 23 Nov. 2008, 1:03.38
New Balance Power Race, Clark, 25k, 16 Nov. 2008, 3:00.29
VSO Kabahagi Ako Fundraising Run, 15k, 9 Nov. 2008, 1:45.57
United Nations Paabilisan Road Race Series in Cooperation with Botak, 10k, 19 Oct. 2008, 1:04.12
Adidas King of the Road, 21k, 11 Oct. 2008, 2:33.42
Hope in Motion 3, 10k, October 2008, no race results (a fun run/walk for the benefit of SOS Philippines)
Raising Hope 2 Fun Run of New Balance, September 2008, no specific distance (an annual fundraising activity of New Balance for Carewell Community where one can run, walk or jog as way of helping people affected with cancer)
Mamang Pulis Subic Marathon Legacy Run, 2/e, 10k, September 2008, 1:12.16 (unofficial race results)
Mommy Milkshake Marathon, Year 2, 2.6k, no race results
Feati Blue and Gold Fun Run, 10k (8.9km+), August 2008, 1:03:06
32nd National Milo Marathon, 10k, August 2008, 1:14:24
Fit & Fun Buddy Run, 5k, July 2008, 0:36.52
One Run. One Family. One La Salle, 5k, July 2008 0:30.29
PSE Bull Run, 10k, January 2008(Missed it for not waking up early; too tired)
Takbo Para sa Kalikasan Year 9, 10k, February 2008 no race results
Pinay in Action, 10k, March 2008 (couldn’t find my name in the list)
Soroptimist Takbo! Breast Friends, 10k (Missed it for not waking up early)
New Balance, 10k, (Didn’t run due to a conflict in schedule. It’s matter of choosing CLASS or RUNNING.)
Condura “I Ran for Tubbataha”, 10k, March 2008, 1:08:19
Subic Marathon: Live the Dream, 10k, January 2008, 1:16:24 (Originally registered for 5k but decided to run under April’s 10k race bib
GK Bayani Marathon/Adidas Run for Love, 10k, October 2007, 1:18:23
Go Marino, Go!: 2nd F.A.M.E. Fun Run for a Healthy Body and Mind, 10k, September 2007 (no race results)
Fil-Mus Run for Peace, 10k, September 2007, no results
Media Sports Club Open, 10k, August 2007, no race results
Takbo Para Kay Ariel Fun Run, 5k, August 2007, no race results
UP Great Run, 10k, August 2007, 1:02:36
Runnex Pharmaton 5k/10k Executive Classic, 10k, December 2007, 1:10:05
Yakult 10 Miler, 16k, December 2007, 1:55:56
Animo! Run, 10k, November 2007 (Didn’t run due to a conflict in schedule. It’s matter of choosing CLASS or RUNNING.)
31st Milo Marathon Finals, 10k, no race results
31st Milo Marathon Elimination, 10k, July 2007, 1:15:26
Mommy Milkshake Marathon, 3k, August 2007, no race results
Adidas King of the Road Finals, 10k, July 2007, 1:04:26
Nike+ Fun Run, 5k, April 2007, no race results
Adidas King of the Road, 10k, October 2005, no race results

Why do I run?

Running

It’s painful, tedious and most of all, exhausting. It goes beyond the physical benefits. The intense exhilaration and euphoria that comes after finishing a run is what motivates me most. My practice runs gave me a wonderful and rewarding experience.

I have continued to run, recreationally and competitively, and have even won some awards including a cash award for winning first place. It’s not much but I was happy with it. Thanks to the constant prodding and encouragement of John Ting, fondly called, Sensei which means “teacher” in Japanese. I believe, running is not about who can run the farthest and the fastest. I’ve known some of HF runners who are seriously on training. I congratulate them for their dedication and for their passion for it. Some have set a quite impressive personal record (PR). Good for them! As for me, I will run for the sake of keeping in shape. Running is still, as what my blog says, a quest for self mastery.