Thursday, July 24, 2008

There's No Easy Way

July is one particular month of the year that brings me back in time with both sadness and joy in my heart. Let me share with you why.

July 23, 1999: My husband (let's call him T.) was unusually quiet during dinner. I could sense that his mind was far, far away. After eating I confronted him in our room and I couldn't believe what I was hearing. He tactlessly confessed that he impregnated M. (our Quality Controller) and he decided he'll be leaving me to be with her.

I felt a bomb has just been dropped. I closed my eyes, hoping that someone would wake me up from this terrible nightmare. I prayed "God, tell me this is not really happening. Tell me I am just having a bad dream. "

When I finally got the courage to open my eyes, T. was already putting his clothes in his travelling bag. I hurriedly got his clothes out of the bag and we started a tug of war with his clothes.

Then he told me--"Patawarin mo ako, Ma. Nagsinungaling ako sa iyo. Hindi talaga kita mahal. Naawa lang ako sa iyo kaya kita pinakasalan." (Forgive me, Ma. I lied to you. I didn't really love you. I only took pity on you, that's why I married you)

My whole body just went numb. I reminded him that he courted me for two years before I agreed to his marriage proposal, that he already brought the wedding rings when he came home from Saudi Arabia. And why should he pity me when I was having the fun of my life as an independent single woman?

He acted as someone who has just been injected with anesthesia. He told me he could have loved me, but not completely. I asked him if he really loved M. He answered not really, but nobody will take care of her. I then asked him what about Gio, our 2-year old son and the 5-month old baby in my womb--didn't they deserve a father's love? Why would he choose to be with his mistress and not us? He said I have my parents to take care of me while M. has no one to turn to.

When he was about to leave, I knelt before him, hugged his knees and begged him not to abandon us. (Looking back, I can honestly say neither Vilma Santos nor Maricel Soriano could match my tear-jerking performance that night.) I promised him I would find a comfortable place for M. and ensure that responsible people will take good care of her. After 3 hours of begging and crying, he decided to stay.

But in my mind, I said to myself "no man will ever abandon me and my children. When the right time comes, I will be the one to leave my husband."

The very next day I was with T. and Gio talking to the social worker in Haven, the Center for Unwed Mothers in Alabang. She asked me why her boyfriend cannot possibly marry her. With T. sitting right beside me, I answered her that M.'s boyfriend was a family man.

Fast forward to May 14,2002: True to my word, I left my husband after 3 years of preparing myself to live without a man in my life. With Ate Ella and my 2 children in tow, we boarded the Super Ferry and escaped to Cebu, my sanctuary when I was still single. If you want to know about the full story of our GETAWAY, you may go to my blog archive and click Aug. 12, 2007.

When T. arrived home at around 11:30 PM, his clothes and personal belongings were already waiting for him in the garage. After reading my farewell letter on top of his bag, he had no choice but to leave. He didn't even get the chance to enter the house because he had no key and I wasn't there to open the door for him. We were, at that time, living with my parents.

I formally filed my Petition for Marriage Annulment on Aug. 14, 2002. The Public Prosecutor thought it was too early to file, having been separated for only 3 months. I patiently explained to her that the whole decision-making process started on July 23, 1999. It took me 3 years to finally realize that enough is ENOUGH.

When is enough "ENOUGH"? Watch for it in one of my posts (heh heh heh...).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Training Tip # 1: The 10% Rule

Starting today, I will be sharing the training tips of David Styles, author of Marathon Bible. Please feel free to comment whether these tips worked for you or not. For us runners who are still wishing to eventually run a Marathon, I hope these tips help us realize our dream.

According to David Styles:

"One of the biggest killers to running a marathon is injury. You should aim to avoid injury at all costs because it can set your preparation back by weeks, if not months.

You should not increase your marathon training by more than 10% in any given week, especially in the early stages of your preparation.

The other trap to avoid is the 'I feel great, so I'll train more' syndrome.

You may find yourself at a stage in your preparation that you are finding your training sessions too easy. Just be aware that if you find yourself dropping into wanting to push more miles you will run the risk of injury.


Follow the system that has worked for hundreds of beginners and you too will find how satisfying running a marathon really can be."

I have ran 5k last July 6. If I religiously follow this tip and then allowing a slight probability of delay due to my golden age, I could run 10K in the New Balance Power Race this Nov. 16,2008!

I guess Johnny Sy was right after all that I have enough time to prepare for this event.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Eia's First Training Day

Something very wonderful happened yesterday. After some prodding (and bribing), I was able to convince my 8-year old daughter with Down Syndrome to run with me inside the park. Of course I had to promise her that she could play in the playground after she completed 1 round (approximately 600 m.). But first, I had to buy her a new pair of rubber shoes exclusively for running. So off we went to Star Mall.

For someone who simply loved shopping like Eia, I cannot aptly describe how happy she was while trying out different brands and styles of rubber shoes. She was ecstatic! Finally, after a series of trial and error, we found something that was light enough for running. We then walked to the fruits stand to buy bananas and mangoes while she merrily wore her new pair of shoes.

We left the car inside the village so walking back was an excellent break-in for Eia's new shoes. Eia didn't mind the long walk. When we passed by the security guard, she made her usual hand salute but this time, she extended her legs and proudly announced "look at my new shoes!".

Before embarking on our maiden journey together, I advised Eia to drink water first but she insisted on drinking her favorite lemonade. While walking towards our starting point, I instructed Eia not to run very fast but to just follow my pace. She readily agreed.

We started very slow but I noticed that Eia's hands were stretched way above her head when she runs. I told her to control her hands, watch how mine moved and try to follow them. Eia was so obedient that when Gio's godmother passed by, she commented that Eia was in proper form.

But after a short run, Eia already complained of being tired. I told her that she could walk but will run again later. After a few steps I urged her to run again, advised her to look straight up the trees, and follow the movement of my feet. Again, she complied. And we went through this run/walk routine until we completed one round. After that, she happily went inside the playground with Ate Ella while I ran 3 more rounds.

I couldn't wait for tomorrow--Eia's second day of training. Hmm . . . Let's see. Does anyone know when is the next Special Olympics?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Proud to be an Addict!

Yes, you're not hallucinating . . . I did say I'm proud to be an addict!

And I'm not all ashamed to shout at the top of my voice (cover your ears): I AM A RUNNING ADDICT! (What did you think???)

The new New Balance Philippines Ad says it all. (I hope SFrunner reads this)

"New Balance Philippines launched yesterday its new brand campaign which highlights running as the heart of all sports and spotlights the complex love/hate relationship of people with running.

The new ad campaign brings out the challenges and obstacles of people with running, through the personification of running, and showcases how New Balance can help the relationship between a runner and running to decrease the hate and to tip more to love...

The love/hate campaign was formulated through a global study of different runners of different nationalities. The study revealed that runners all have the same sentiments when it comes to running; they feel euphoric when running but they need to get past the struggles before they feel good about it..."
----Philippine Star, July 16, 2008

Now I know what Jaymie has been raving about. I have actually experienced how it is to be a "runaholic". And I couldn't be one if not for my NB running shoes. Truly, my pair of NB shoes helped me love running in a way I couldn't possibly imagine.

Before, when I was still wearing different brands, I only run once a week. Twice the most. When I learned from TBR (The Bull Runner) that there's a sale of NB shoes at Festival Mall, I immediately purchased one pair (I should have bought 2 pairs . . . sigh).

My life changed after that.

From a once-a-week run, I now run 3-4X a week! And there are times that I run 2X a day! I run whenever I don't play tennis--rain or shine. If it's raining (wearing my other brand to preserve my NB shoes), I run inside the basketball court. But if there are players, I run under the rain (something I never dreamed I would be doing!)

When I was still blindly and madly in love with my boyfriend, I used to think about him before I go to sleep and his name was the first word I utter when I wake up the following morning. (I'd say I love you, _________!)

Now, I think about my running agenda before I go to sleep and wake up in the morning still thinking about it . . .

I'm hooked. I'm in love with running. And unlike my marriage, I wish to celebrate my golden anniversary with it--on May 14, 2057! You are all invited!

Monday, July 7, 2008


June 22, 2008: I was all set to run my first 5k but "Frank" crushed the country, leaving the organizers no choice but to reschedule the Manila Half Marathon Challenge to July 6, 2008.

I was devastated to say the least.

First, I missed the PIA (Pinay in Action) Race last March 9, 2008 because of my sick daughter.

Three weeks later, I missed the Mizuno Infinity Run because I was still recuperating from a one-week illness.

And now this??? I was beginning to question God whether He'd like me to run or not. Could it be that He's trying to send me a message that I shouldn't run? Morbid scenarios started to form in my deranged mind.

June 23- July 5, 2008: Thanks to the Wimbledon Open, the exciting tennis matches brought me back my sanity. Seeing my idol Roger Federer play again on grass took my mind off my interrupted 5k run.

The bad weather prevented me to run for one whole week. I only had the chance to run 3X before the race. But that wasn't a problem for me because my goal was only to finish, not to win over the other female runners who were probably more than half my age.

July 6, 2008 at 1:30 AM: I was awaken by the drizzling sound of rain showers outside our window. Eia got up, looked outside and asked "is it raining, Mama?" She knew that she had to be left behind if it's raining when it's time for me to go. I told her that yes, it's raining but not that hard. Then I silently prayed that the rain would stop so I could bring my children with me. I wanted my first 5k run to be really memorable, to be witnessed by my two darling children.

This time, God granted me my wish. At 4:00 AM, I got up at the first sound of my celfone's alarm. I rushed to the bathroom, took a shower and put on my running attire (I already pinned my #4437 race bib on my shirt 2 weeks ago). At 4:30 AM, me and my entourage (Gio, Eia, Ate Ella, T. Jenny, Romy, Wendel, Ronald and Chari) left Philamlife Village and headed for Manila.

At 5:15 AM, we were already parked beside Luneta Grandstand. Good! There's still time to take pictures.

We're supposed to be five but unfortunately, my cousin Jun Muego wasn't feeling so well. With me are Ronald, Chari and Wendel.

Then we noticed that only a few runners were around the area. We learned from a fellow runner that the starting point was not Luneta Grandstand but in front of Rizal monument along Roxas Blvd. Oh, no! We already missed the start of the Half Marathon. I was hoping to see Patrick Concepcion and pose with him. When we got there, it was being announced that the 3k, 5k and 10k runners should now position themselves inside the starting line. We went inside the crowd and listened to more announcements, while my son Gio started taking pictures.

We were informed that there will be a slight delay because Mayor Lim will be coming to address the runners. After his very short speech, we were off.

The four of us started side by side, happily talking to each other. Then the 3 of them stopped at the first water station and caught up with me. I got the shock of my life when I didn't see any U-turn sign at Quirino Ave. Since the time I got my race kit, I was already imagining myself turning at Quirino Ave. as indicated in the race map. I couldn't believe that we were almost in front of Central Bank before turning around! I said to myself "Ok lang Nora. Kaya mo yan."

After Pedro Gil, I passed by a group of young runners who were walking. One of them commented "bay, daig tayo ng babae. takbo pa siya, tayo lakad na lang." I said to myself--I didn't train for 14 months for nothing!

When we were nearing Luneta, I got another shock of my life. "I thought we'll turn left at Kalaw Ave. then right turn to Luneta Grandstand", I told my cousin Wendel. One runner who overheard our conversation informed me that we will go straight ahead then turn left around the block then left to Luneta Grandstand.

Oh, no! Hindi ko na kaya. But I kept on running, gathering the last strength in my aching body.

Yes!!! We're almost there . . . Later I found out that my cousin Ronald experienced stomach cramps so he and his girlfriend Chari had to walk back to Luneta Grandstand.

Suddenly, I was on top of the world when I finally got my first Race Certificate. I was sooh happy that I wasn't the last to finish. I did it! I actually did it!

After we got our free t-shirts and bottled water, I told them we'll have breakfast at Max's Restaurant Roxas Blvd. But before that, one last picture.

The whole entourage: Thank you Eia, Gio, Jenny, Ate Ella, Wendel, Ronald, Chari (and Romy who took this picture) for sacrificing your sleep to give me your much-needed support.

Lastly, thank you Jaymie. For without you, this exhilarating experience wouldn't have been possible.