Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Jaymie's Passion

Ever since I fantasized to run 5k on my 50th birthday, Jaymie has been my constant inspiration and mentor (via her blog and mine). While I run for me to enjoy tennis, Jaymie runs to enjoy herself. Below is an e-mail interview with this remarkable woman who is simply passionate with running. Introducing Jaymie, the bull runner.

1. You're 31. Right? How tall are you and how much do you weigh?

Yes, 31. I'm 5'5" tall. And, my weight on good days is 112 lbs. (that's like after a 10k race) and on bad days (like after an entire weekend of dining out) goes up to 116.

2. Aren't you underweight based on normal standards? Because in my case, my ideal weight is 99-122 lbs. for my height of almost 5'2". My desirable body weight is 110 lbs. which is actually my weight when I wake up in the morning but then shoots up to 116 lbs. before I go to sleep at night!

I don't really follow weight charts. I just base my goal weight on what I think I'll be comfortable at. I still have a few areas to work on, most especially my tummy after having two kids, so after losing a bit of weight through running I know I should focus more on toning up. I'll be happy to lose just a couple of pounds more but I don't obsess about it as much as I used to.

3. Do you follow a strict physical fitness program? What is a typical week for you?

Not rigid really. I run 4x a week. It's not like I pressure myself to do it. I just want to. If I don't, I'll feel awful. I'm planning on taking up either yoga or Pilate's for toning and strengthening but I still can't figure out how I'm going to squeeze it into my tight schedule. I guess that's why running works for me. It's very convenient and it's not very time consuming yet it yields quick results.

4. You call running 4x a week not pressuring yourself? You must be kidding me!!! I couldn't even run 1-2x a week. Where do you get the drive and the stamina?

That's truly not pressuring myself, Nora. I don't need to force myself to wake up at 4:30AM to run nor do I dread those 4 running days. I look forward to them and most of the time get excited about Saturdays when I know it's a long run with my coach and Annie. I still can't understand it when people tell me "Ang tiyaga mo naman" or "Ang sipag mo naman to exercise" because like I told you, I run because I just love it.

5. How about diet? Do you follow a specific diet? Kindly describe.

I don't eat rice. Beef and pork just occasionally. I love oatmeal, orange juice, mangoes, peanut butter and whole wheat bread. Unfortunately, I have a sweet tooth and I love junk food too so I'm still struggling with that part. The good thing with running is that it gave me a lot of freedom with food. I used to practically starve myself and still not get any results. When I started running, I found that I could eat more and pay less attention to the numbers on the scale.

6. Why are you not eating rice? Isn't that unhealthy because our body needs carbohydrates to give us energy? How can you still run 4x a week without carbo? This revelation really drives me crazy. I can't figure it out where you get your untiring energy.

I get my carbo from whole wheat bread, oatmeal, pasta, pizza. Before a race, I can gorge on pad thai or yellow cab pizza or tuna pasta like anything.

7. How long have you been running? When do you run and for how long?

I 'm still a newbie. I started in Dec. 2006. But ever since I did I've been very consistent and religious with my training. I run Tue, Thur, Sat, Sun. Tue and Thur usually on a treadmill at home for 45 minutes to 1 hour unless I have the time to drive myself to Alabang for a road run. Saturday long run of around 12k up with my Coach and Annie at 5:30AM. Sunday solo run in Alabang for over an hour.

That's simply amazing! You only started last December but you already managed to finish 6th in the 10k Run for P.E.A.C.E. last June. I don't think your achievement will qualify you as a newbie. You already made it to the top 10!

8. What were your physical activities in elementary, high school, college, and before you started running outdoors?

Hahaha practically nothing. That's why my family and friends are so surprised that I am so obsessed with running. Well, I was always going to the gym. I'd stop for a few years then go back again depending on how busy my life got at that point. I tried taekwondo and badminton but never fell in love with those as I have with running.

9. So you're telling me you don't have any other sports?

None, Nada, Zilch. I'd love to try duathlon or triathlon, but maybe when my 2-year old daughter is a little older.

10. I can't remember anymore who said "to explain the pleasure of running to someone who has never ran is like describing the colors red, green, and yellow to a blind person". Let's shed some light on this. I know you're a certified RUNAHOLIC. Will you please elaborate why you just love running?

Oooh, I completely agree with that statement so you must know how difficult it must be for me to find the words to describe my passion for running. Ack, how can I describe the feeling I get during a good run? It is simply bliss, euphoria, victory, and genuine happiness rolled into one! When I run, the world is literally at my feet and all for the taking. I feel like I have complete power not just over the course I'm going to take on that run but over everything else in my life. The stresses of the day just melt away. I feel fitter, healthier and stronger. I feel a sense of achievement when I run faster or longer. I pay more attention to the little things--like the wind blowing on my face, the sound of my shoe hitting the pavement, the sun rising--so it allows me to see more beauty in life too. How can one hour of running in a day make such a significant difference in one's life? I don't really know. It just does.

Now it's my turn to agree with you. Very well said. Bravo!!!

11. What is your advice for beginning runners?

Start gradually. Even it you want to go faster or farther and you think your body can cope with it, don't push it. That's probably the quickest way towards getting an injury. (That's what happened to me) Read, research, ask around and inform yourself about the proper way to start running before you begin.

Or they could just visit your blog: http://www.thebullrunner.com/ from time to time for your very useful running tips. That's what I do.

12. What is your ultimate goal in running?

To run until I am old and wrinkled. And also to run the New York marathon before I get old and wrinkled.

If only I could turn back the hands of time . . . too late to wish that now because I am now old and wrinkled hah hah hah.

13. Final question: I read before that a very old man (80, I think) finished a 42k Milo Marathon in Batangas. Do you think you'll still be running through 60 and beyond?

I certainly hope so!

There you are, friends. I hope after reading this interview you'll call, e-mail or text me to signify your intention of running with me 5k next year on my golden birthday celebration (tentatively set on June 7, 2008). As I've said before, proceeds of this run will benefit the DSAPI (Down Syndrome Assn. of the Phils., Inc.). Run with me and help my daughter Eia and the other children with Down Syndrome.

Thanks again, Jaymie! While I was about to give up this morning I just thought about you and I was energized to run some more. You, truly, are an inspiration to me. My only regret is that I could never run with you because you're already a 42k runner (you're running 42k in the upcoming Milo Marathon, right?) while I am still struggling to run 3k. How about a game of tennis?