Tuesday, June 9, 2009

51 to Inifinity and Beyond

I'm sooh easy to please. On my 51st birthday I only had 3 wishes:

First, that I could have a birthday cake to plant these candles (numbers 5 and 1) that I'm holding so I could make a wish before I blow hah hah . . .

God is good. Before night time came, my first wish was granted!

The candles 5 and 1 are now planted on a rocky road cake, courtesy of my son's godfather.

As for my second wish, I asked God for good weather the following day during the Mizuno Infinity Run where I would attempt to finish a 10k race even without the proper training. I've only done 3 short runs during the past 5 months!

I must be crazy to even think of running 10k that included the Kalayaan flyover--a route I've never dared before. My first 10k race and the only race I've run this 2009 was the PSE Bull Run last Jan. 18. It was an easy, almost flat route with a few uphills which took me 70 minutes to finish. No sweat.

The fact that Quennie (Jinoe's beloved wife) pledged to accompany me during the race gave me the much-needed confidence that I won't certainly get lost and I won't definitely be the only one to arrive last heh heh . . .

Jenny, my official photographer couldn't make it so I asked Romy, my mother's driver to accompany me.

Unlike in my first 10k race where I was nervous to the bone, this time I felt so light yet excited to be back on the road again and meet some runner friends whom I already missed so much.

After forcing myself to eat a slice of toasted bread with peanut butter and 1 pc. of banana latundan followed by my favorite hot chocolate drink, off we went to Bonifacio Global City.

We arrived just in time to watch the pack of 15k runners go.

I easily spotted Quennie among the crowd and she introduced me to some takbo.ph members.

Yes, my double chin is back-- one of the many reasons why I should run again. Yes, I gained 6 lbs. during the 5 months that I didn't run but I know I'll revert to my ideal weight soon, now that I'm back in the groove again.

My friend Agnes and her husband Boy came to send me off. I was hoping they would be running with me but not this time. Romy was nowhere to be found so I had no photo with them.

After a short stretching exercise lead by Fitness First, the gun was fired at exactly 6AM.

Quennie advised me to take it slow and I followed her advice, not having any choice anyway since my legs were stiff as steel. Oh, the pains of not running enough.

Running the first 5k was a breeze. I didn't notice how long we were running 'coz Quennie and I were talking and greeting some runner friends who were on their way back. We saw Vener, Bards, Mark, Jinoe closely behind Sen. Pia, Christy, Vimz, Rico.

I glanced at my watch at the U-turn slot and it read 38:27. So far so good. This was almost my 5k time during my first 10k race.

But running back to the Fort was a different story. Quennie sensed that I was already struggling so she advised me to drink water and I did.

By the time that we reached the peak of Kalayaan flyover, the sun was up and brutally bright. I couldn't complain 'coz didn't I pray for a good weather? Deep inside, I was silently telling myself that I should have prayed for a rainy (but not stormy) weather instead.

I asked Quennie what could be our estimated finishing time and she informed me @1:20. That's when I told her to go ahead since I previously learned from her that her time in Baguio was 1:05. She's forced to slow down because of me. What a sacrifice!

Quennie stayed with me through and through. When I could no longer force my legs to go on, she proposed that we could just walk or jog then run fast at the last corner to the finish line.

I could no longer feel my legs touching the ground, only my body brushing against the wind.

At the last turnaround, Quennie and I flew towards the finish line!

Powered by Quennie's loyalty and dedication, I made it!

I survived the Kalayaan flyover without any injury.

Never mind my time. At my age, to finish this race at 1:20 without training for 5 months is enough to make me happy. Thank you, thank you Quennie. I wouldn't be savoring this victory without you by my side.

And meeting some of my runner friends even made me happier. Nice to see you again Jinoe, Vener & Christy, Roselle!

With the growing takbo.ph members. Hope to know everybody in person.

Together again: Quennie, Roselle (the Running Diva), me (once the golden girl--now 51) and Vener's better half, Christy.

Now, what could be my third birthday wish?

Simple. Just for Roger Federer to win the elusive French Open, the only Grand Slam that he has yet to win for him to be acknowledged as the 'greatest player of all time'.

With all my 3 birthday wishes granted, I couldn't ask for more--except for Alaxan to ease the pains in my aching body!


  1. Happy belated birthday Nora! Wow, congratulations on the 10K.

    All the wishes came true as well. That was neat being with the family, Quennie wanting to run with you and Roger Federer winning the French Open.

    Great to see you back out there! Take care. - Wayne

  2. Happy Birthday and welcome back!

  3. Thank you, Wayne! Yes, all my 3 birthday wishes came true. I finished the 10k race in the morning and before the day ended, Roger Federer was awarded the French Open champion. I couldn't help but cry with my tennis idol.

  4. Jay! I haven't been in touch 'coz my phonebook was corrupted. Please e-mail me your cel # OK?

    Thanks! It's great to be back. Hope to see you soon.

  5. Wilbert! Thanks! How are you? Haven't been blog hopping lately due to chaotic schedule. Take care.

  6. Hi Nora,

    I remember we suffered together when Roger lost in the Australian Open. Now this victory at Rolan Garros is much more important to his career than the loss in January. Now all pressure is off his shoulders.

    Congratulations on your run last Sunday. I had a great run as well.


  7. Happy birthday Nora, good to see you again last sunday. I haven't recognized you during the race until after it, my apologies (malabo na yata ang mata ko).

    Hope to see you again, take care.

  8. Welcome back to blogging and running, Nora! And what a birthday run that was!:-)

  9. Dear Nora,

    Belated Happy Birthday. Welcome back to the Road of fitness. Age is only numbers and each year is a proof of contineous blessing from our creator and you would not want that blessing to stop do you? Keep on counting!

  10. Hi Nora. It was nice to see you running again. Congratulations for conquering the Kalayaan flyover, and happy birthday :-)

  11. I'm so happy for you, Nora! :-) Very well done. I only wish I could have been there with you... But there are lots of future races we can still run together, so no sweat. Belated Happy Birthday!

  12. Hey Ms Nora! Uy congrats on your 10K run! And belated happy b-day! As usual, I missed you again at the Mizuno run :-(

  13. Happy Birthday. May all your dreams come true. You did not invite my wife and i in your birthday party :-(. just kidding.
    regards to the family.
    Patrick Concepcion / runningshield

  14. Mel! You were also at Mizuno? Sayang di tayo nagkita. Next time, approach mo naman ako if you happen to see me OK? It would be great meeting a runner who's also a Roger Federer fan. Let's pray that our dear Rog reclaim his Wimbledon crown this July.

  15. Hahah Vener, kaya di mo ako nakita kasi you didn't recognize me because of the extra weight I was carrying.

    Good to see you and Christy again. See you July 12 at the Robinsons Run!

  16. Thank you, Rene. Hope to see you in person soon. Maybe this July 12?

  17. Thanks for the thought, Amado. Yes, age is just a number. Feeling ko nga, 31 lang ako heh heh

  18. Congrats din Rico! Nice to see familiar faces once again. Kita kits uli tayo sa July 12 ha. Sinong partner mo?

  19. Thanks, MJ! Texted you yesterday but didn't receive any reply from you. Takbo kayo ng hubby mo sa Robinson's Run ha. See you there!

  20. Ngek! hindi na naman tayo nagkita Gene. 2 years na akong blogger, 1 year ng racer, di pa rin tayo pinagtagpo ng tadhana? How about Robinson's Run? Will you be there? Sinong partner mo?

  21. Hi Nora, wow! Great run! Nice to see you back in road races again. Too bad we didn't see each other. Hope to see you in future races!

    Happy Birthday too!

  22. nice to see you back on the road again! yes, age really is just numbers...your finish time can still beat those younger ones! there's this saying that as we grow older we are getting stronger! belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  23. Hey Nora! It's great to see you, the personification of this - :) back to running and blogging again. Belated happy b-day and wishing you happiness, peace and a pair of healthy, strong running feet and legs for years and years to come. I've been visiting your old posts over and over again, now you have to make up for it by writing posts more often. :)

  24. I wonder why we didn't see each other Bro J . . . you probably ran 15k, that's why. Di bale, I'm joining Robinson's Run. See you and Baby July 12!

  25. Thank you again Mae. Sana nga, as we grow older, we become stronger heh heh . . . even without the help of Alaxan!

  26. My ever loyal friend Bong, thank you for those heartwarming birthday wishes. I'm sorry I haven't been visible lately but I'll try to make it up to you. Hopefully soon. Thank you for visiting my blog during my M.I.A. days. Take care always.

  27. belated happy birthday nora! good to see you running an blogging again. ;)

  28. Nice to see you again during the race, Vimz! Thanks!

  29. Hi Nora, sent you an email, not sure if you receive it though, since I keep messing up your email address :-)

  30. hi there! jumped from gigi's site! i find your site to be so engrossing! i love the fact that you have run marathons! so inspiring because i too have been long contemplating of running marathons.

    anyway, i'm happy for you that you got all your birthday wishes. one in particular made me smile. i'm also a federer fan, and no need to say that I was also sooo happy he finally won the french open. i saw your post on the australian open. i was not able to watch it because i vowed not to watch tennis again since he lost wimbeldon lsat year. but now that he's won, i'll be watching him again. i also had the courage to watch the australian open in youtube recently. had he not won the french, my heart would be broken. he! he! what fanatics we are.

    i had fun reading your posts! hopefully, i also gather enough courage to run next time.

    happy 50th birthday!

  31. sorry, i mean happy 51st birthday! :)

  32. Thank you, kg! I'm happy to know you're also a Roger Federer fan. Since our dear Rog lost his no. 1 crown last year, I somehow managed to control my mind over my heart. Whenever I watch him play, I tell myself "Win or Lose, I will always be a Federer fan." That way, I don't get heartbroken anymore if and when his opponent wins.

    Hope to see you in future races, kg. If I can do it, the more that you can do it!

  33. Hah hah . . . Patrick, there was no bday party. The whole family just gathered around the dining table to have a commemorative shot. Maybe when I reach 60, I'll have a grand bday celebration and all runner friends will be invited. Hope to see you at the Robinson's Run!