Tuesday, October 18, 2011

100-year-old Runner Finishes Toronto Race!

When my son observed that I was having difficulty caring for my father, he remarked: "I'm glad I won't be taking care of you the way that you're taking care of Lolo, because I'm sure you'll still be running 'til you're age 100".

Then this morning, I read this article from a newspaper that an Indian national named Fauja Singh crossed the finish line at the Toronto marathon last Sunday.  Though he did it in over 8 hours, it was his accomplishment that elevated him to the Guinness Book of World Records.

I said to myself:  "Gio has a point after all.  If this runner can do it, then I can do it."

This thought brought me back to my first marathon, when I ran wearing an ankle support because of a tragic accident that happened 5 days prior to the first ever TBRDM (The Bull Runner Dream Marathon).

It took me 7 hrs. and 38 minutes to cross the finish line.

What if I ran without the injury?

Could my time be less then 7 hrs.?  Or less than 6 hrs.?

Well, wonder no more.

Because this March 18, 2012, I will attempt to break my time at the TBRDM in Sta. Rosa, Nuvali.

Wish me luck!

It's still a loooong way 'til I reach 100 but if by God's grace I'm still alive, I promise I will run (or walk or crawl if I may haha...) the marathon.

Then this blog will no longer be "Life Begins at 50" but "Life Begins at 100"! 


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Happy to Run the OctobeRun!

Yup!  This is one run that I truly enjoyed.

Nope, I didn't break PR.

Nope, I didn't win in my age category.

But why am I grinning?

The night before the race, it was raining cats and dogs.  I told myself::  Hmmm.... maybe I'll just skip this race.  But in the darkness of my closed eyes, I could see clearly the finisher's shirt.  I couldn't get it out of my mind.  I know if I didn't run, I'm gonna regret it for the rest of my life.  So I promised myself -- rain or storm, I'll run and finish the race.  The shirt that awaits is simply irresistible.

I'm soooh happy I joined this race.  I just love this shirt!

When we arrived at the Fort, I looked for familiar faces but couldn't find one.  (Actually, I found 1 familiar face but unfortunately, he didn't recognize me). 

So it's just me and Ate Ella in the picture.

But not far from us, I saw a foreign-looking lady whom I thought was as young as me.  I introduced myself to her and I learned that she's Stephanie.

Tall and jolly Stephanie is Mexican-American and yes, she's gonna be 53 like me in 2 weeks (Happy Birthday in advance Steph!)

Steph and I doing the very short warm-up exercise and off we went.

Stephanie and I started together but in a blink of an eye, she disappeared from my sight.

I have run 3 half-marathons this year and none of these resulted in a sub-3-hr mark.  Maybe it's because of lack in training or excess in weight or ascending age or all of the above.  How in the world did I pull off  a 2:37:29 time last year?

As I proceeded with my snail race pace, I noticed that we passed by Concepcion Industries.  I thought of Patrick and felt a sudden longing for this wonderful guy.

Just as I turned right to Buendia Ave., there was Patrick right before my very eyes!  I called his name out loud and he called my name as well.  That was enough reason for me to be happy.  Never mind if I don't finish in less than 3 hrs.  Better luck next time hah hah . . .

When I turned around in Buendia, I started counting the runners who are yet to make the turn-around.  And I add or subtract whenever I pass a runner or a runner passed by me.  My goal was to be ahead of at least 40 runners (simple lang naman kaligayahan ko).

I was preoccupied with my counting when out of the blue, Rico appeared!  We exchanged greetings (she addressed me as Golden Girl -- a name I'm happy to hear in the race, aside from Tita, Ma'am, Mommy., Ms. Nora, Tweety.  But as usual, meron pa ding tumawag sa akin ng "Nanay".  Ouch!

When I reached the 11-km mark, I set my stopwatch back to 0, hoping that it would psychologically tell me that I will just run 10 km.  This way, I won't be overwhelmed with the 21km distance.

Then I saw a table with bananas and chocolates!  The marshals laughed at my shrieking voice.  I remembered in RU 2, there were no more bananas left for me.  I was happy I didn't bother anymore to bring a banana from home.  With this, I give the OctobeRun 5 stars!

I had a chance to talk with other runners and this was my favorite:
SHE:   Ilang taon na ho kayo?

ME:  53.  Ikaw?

SHE:  45 po.  Kayo ho yong may pangalan sa harap ng singlet sa Unilab?  Pinilit ko pong lampasan kayo pero nauna pa din kayo sa akin.

ME:  Okay lang yon.  Ang mahalaga, natapos mo ang race na walang injury.  At nag-enjoy ka.

SHE:  Oo nga po.  Ang importante, nakapag-exercise kahit mabagal.

When I was wondering how many kilometers left to the finish line, a foreigner was running towards me and cheering me that there were only 3 kms to go.

I looked at my watch and figured that if I run for 25 minutes, I could still make it to the sub-3-hr mark.

And so I did.  I did it!  I just found out a while ago that my official time is 2:57:36.

After claiming my finisher's kit, I looked for Stephanie and thank God, I found her and  had photos with her.


After giving Stephanie my calling card, we headed for the rest room to change.  But before that, one last picture.

As we were walking to Market, Market to meet my friend Majel, I was munching my free champorrado flavored pop rice bar.  I sooh love OctobeRun!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Who (or What) Comes First?

Mother. Caregiver.  Breadwinner.  Homemaker.  Runner.  Who (or what) comes first?

First and foremost, I am the only daughter of my dear parents.

If and when my services are needed by my father and my children at the same time, my role as a hands-on mom takes the back seat.

My kids know that their grandfather is almost 87, and they understand my predicament. 

One time, Gio saw how I devoted my time in assisting his Lolo that he remarked:  "Lolo is becoming helpless every day.  I'm happy I won't be taking care of you, the way you're taking care of Lolo.  Because  I'm sure you'll still be running 'til you're 100." (Well, I just hope he's right!)

I'm a single parent.  Naturally, I should be earning enough to send my children to school and provide for their needs. 

When my husband and I separated, I asked my mother if she could resign from her job and take care of her grandchildren for me to work full-time.  She was 68 at that time.  Gio was almost 5, Eia was only 2 1/2.

Without even giving it a serious thought, my mother impulsively answered:  "Ako na lang ang magtrabaho.  Ikaw na lang ang mag-alaga sa mga anak mo, pati na sa tatay mo."

Yup.  That was the arrangement.  In theory, at least. 

I couldn't just let my mother carry all the financial burden in our family so I took the licensure examinations in Life and Non-Life insurance and thank God I passed.  I also put up a small business to augment the family income but had to close early this year because I simply couldn't be in 4 places at the same time.

Sometimes it drives me nuts to balance everything that I need to do.  I want to help more people plan their future. I want to keep the house clean and tidy,  I want to be always around to fulfill my father's needs,  I want to be there when my children need me.  I want to inspire more people to run.  I want to be a catechist and teach young children about Jesus, hopefully molding them to work for the common good.  I want to train and run the marathon again.  I want to be an active member of CFC's Handmaids of the Lord, providing comfort and solace to single mothers like me. 

How about you?  Are you torn between 2 or 3 or even 4 roles that you have to fulfill?  How do you cope with the dilemma?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


November is fast approaching.  Would you believe my father and my only daughter share the same birthday?

Tatay will be 87 this Nov. 11 while Eia will be turning 12.  Their difference in age is exactly 75 years!

And this year, they will celebrate their natal days on 11-11-11.  Last year, I was thinking of doing something really great for this once-in-a-lifetime event but up to this writing, I haven't finalized any plan yet.  I must be getting old.  I just refuse to admit it.

My original plan was to execute Eia's first major major concert.  I was even excited to announce it last year to some friends and relatives to mark their calendars.  I dunno what hit me (menopausal drama I guess) but I suddenly lost the passion to pursue Eia's dream for her.  Someday I definitely will.  But not this coming 11-11-11 (I'm so sorry Coach...)

I believe in my heart that my daughter's dream will be magically fulfilled but it simply has to wait.

In God's time, not mine.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Run United 2: My Favorite Son's First 5K!

2 days before the Aug.21,2011 Unilab Run, a miracle happened.  My cousin Titin sent me a free race packet for 5K.  Her son Joshua was registered for 5K but nobody in the de Ala Clan was available to accompany him.  I asked Gio if he could run with Josh and much to my surprise, he said YES!

And so last Sunday, I excitedly woke up at 3AM and did my early morning ritual before finally waking up Gio. My son was moving slower than a zombie pace, which was understandable because it was a Sunday morning and he was supposed to be somewhere in dreamland during that unholy hour. 

It was almost 5AM when we got to the Fort and I was hoping I didn't have to visit the restroom anymore but I dunno why and how my stomach developed this nasty habit of "revolting" 15 to 30 mins. before a race.

As expected, the queue for the portalet was loooong.  I had to run to BHS and looked for a restroom with a shorter queue.  Thank God for runners who let me go ahead because they saw that I was wearing a yellow race bib.  Otherwise, I wouldn't have made it in time.

I went back to the baggage area where I left Ate Ella and Gio, deposited my bag and headed to the starting area.  There were lots of runner friends I wanted to see but with the large number of people present that day.  I lost hope that I could meet any of them.

There was still time for a quick picture taking but when we turned around, Gio was GONE!  And before I could even go back to look for him, the countdown for 21K already began.

How I wanted to have kissed and hugged Gio to wish him good luck for his first 5K but I had to start walking or I'll be crushed by the overwhelming crowd.

My heart and mind were not on my race but on my son.  I couldn't help but think that maybe, he decided not to run anymore.

I was still submerged in deep thoughts when somebody called my name and realized it was Anna!  My, oh, my, she was FAST!  There's no way I could catch up with her.  Suddenly, I felt so old haha...

I was on top of the Kalayaan Flyover when my cousin Titin called.  She and Josh were looking for Ate Ella and Gio.  My heart sank for I knew that the 2 boys won't be running the race together as planned.  There's a very slim chance that they will see each other with the tremendous number of 5K runners.

Later, I found out that Ate Ella saw Josh and was able to take a shot before gun off.

Along Buendia, Alfred (RunningAtom) spotted me and called out "Tita Nora!"  I was sooh happy to see him even just for a brief moment.  That man flies!

A few minutes later, Bro J and her darling swhrt were in front of me.  I wanted to hug Baby but that would take long so we just kissed.  After not seeing this dynamic duo for a long, long, time, I told myself it didn't matter even if I don't do a sub 3hr. I'm completely happy.!  Compared to a meal, I am overly satisfied with the main dish.

But wait!  There's still dessert.  There was Cath (www.cathletic.wordpress.com) flashing her beautiful smile while calling my name.  Ang saya saya ko!. 

I was sooh happy that even if I missed the banana that I wanted so much, I didn't get THAT frustrated.  Ordinarily, I would be pissed.  I was asking for a banana and they told me there's not one left because some runners took 3 bananas.  In my mind, why would they give 3 bananas to 1 runner if the allocation is only 1 banana per runner?  And how could 1 consume all 3 bananas in a race?  Were the bananas that small?

Enough.  Next race, I'll bring my own banana just to make sure.

Then my phone rang.  It was Ate Ella, She couldn't wait to tell me that Gio just crossed the finish line!  I congratulated my son and wished I was there with him.  I told him they could eat ahead of me for I knew he was very hungry already (he was asking for food as soon as we arrived at the Fort).

Congratulations anak!  I'm so proud of you.  You made it, without training and without me by your side.  I hope this is the beginning of your beautiful relationship with running.  Keep it up!

Kawawa naman anak ko.  Gutom na gutom na talaga!

As I was descending Kalayaan Flyover, Gio called to tell me they haven't eaten yet and were waiting for me before the finish line.  I thought there was only 2kms left but when I asked the marshal, 3 kms pa pala!

Runners were cheering "Go, tweety, go" becoz of my "tweety" hat.  Next time, I'll put my name in front so they will know it's me -- Nora.

As I approached the finish line, I looked up and saw 3:11.  RunningAtom documented this in FB but unfortunately, I don't know how to transfer it here.

After I got the gorgeous medal, I proceeded to the 21K booth  to claim my kit and shirt.

Soon after, I was reunited with my "lost" son Gio.

With my cousin Titin who sponsored Gio's first 5K, my favorite son with his cousin Josh and my ever faithful cheerer/photographer Ate Ella.

One last picture before we go home.  I hope Titin will be inspired to run by her son Josh.  Like Gio, he's also 13 yrs old but will soon be 14.

We said goodbye to Titin and Josh then I just changed and walked back to the car.  But guess what?

I saw Cathy again!  I learned that she's preparing to run her first marathon in CAMSUR and even invited me to go there!  Hmmm . . . will that fall during the semestral break?

When we got home, we just took a bath, rested for a while, then attended the birthday celebration of Nanay Nene, our 89-year old family friend.

Gio was too tired to go.  Eia was all-smiles for she really enjoyed the food.  My stomach's so big I honestly think I ate more than the calories burned in my 21K run!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

A Different Kind of Exercise

My friend Majel sent me this text that I'd like to share with you:

"Today, let's try a different exercise.


1.  Stretch your patience.

2.  Bend in humility with your knees in prayer.

3.  Inhale peace, love, patience and laughter.

4.  Exhale anger, pride and hatred.

5.  Wiggle away from temptations.

6.  Twist away from suspicions.

7.  Finally, bend backward, look up to heavens & praise God always.

Have a great and joyful day!"

Friday, August 12, 2011

Ang Makulay na Daigdig ni Nora (Part 1)

My journey through life has never been "normal".  Weird to some, funny to others.  Yes, I had my share of ups and downs but everything I went through only made me stronger.  Join me down memory lane as I recall the "weird" stuff about me.  Laugh and cry with me as I open the pages of my colorful life story.

1.  My mother has 9 siblings and my father has 7 but could someone please tell me why I'm  the only biological child?

2.  Tatay is a native of Cavite and my mother a pure bloodied Kapampangan but their only daughter is an Ilongga!   Their paths unexpectedly crossed in Marbel, South Cotabato where I was eventually born.

3.  Nanay delivered the youngest child of her mother, being the Rural Health Midwife of Marbel during that time.  I thought I could enlist her in the Guinness Book of Records as the only woman who delivered  both the baby of her mother and the baby of her daughter but unfortunately, I had to be under Caesarian Section so my plan didn't materialize.  Sayang!

4.  In my father's side, my grandfather died at age 96 and after 1 week, my grandmother followed. She was 98.  In their 77 years of marriage, not once did they live apart from each other. They used to eat together in 1 huge plate.

5.  In my mother's side, her grandmother passed away at the very young age of 103.  Maybe because she was a meat lover to the very end, begging for pork adobo before she finally left.  I could still vividly remember her last moment on her death bed.  Nanay was whispering in her ear that she shouldn't worry about the family she's leaving behind.  But this really made me laugh:  "Ima, kung sinusundo ka na nina Apo, etc., sumama ka na para masaya na kayo lahat sa langit."  (Grandma, if you're being fetched by your husband and relatives, why don't you go with them so all of you will be happy together in heaven?)  My great grandmother gently nodded her head, heaved a sigh of relief, and she was gone.

To be continued . . .

Saturday, August 6, 2011

From Pink to Blue

As you have noticed, my blog layout is now changed including the colors.

Wala lang.  Feel ko lang na it's about time to change. 

Thanks to my 13-year old son Gio who was more than willing to help me reinvent my blog.

I have deleted the "Comments" portion beginning 2011 but due to insistent public demand, I will put it back starting today hah hah . . .

Enjoy your weekend everyone! 

Like A Child Again

It was raining when I woke up this morning but since Ate Ella and I go to the wet market every Saturday come rain or shine, we left the house @ 6AM.

I wore a waterproof vest on top of a sleeveless shirt partnered with knee length shorts and my favorite bakya (wooden slippers) with matching wide-brim military hat.

Whenever a bayong (native basket specifically used for marketing) is already full, I walk to the parking area and place it inside the car then go back to the market to buy more (we normally fill 4 baskets).

In my 2nd trip to the car, I found it difficult to walk because of my wet bakya.  So I did the most sensible thing to do when going back to the market -- I ran barefoot through the heavy rains, carrying my "precious" bakya!

Suddenly, flashbacks of my childhood memories came to life and brought a nostalgic smile on my face.  I was like a child again, running barefoot in the rain but enjoying every moment of it.

I was still grinning ear to ear when I caught sight of my long lost kumare whom I haven't seen in ages!

Despite the chill of the cold weather, her spur-of-the-moment compliment warmed my heart and fired up my soul.   She blurted out: "Nors, di ka man lang tumanda!  Wala ka man lang wrinkles!"

Hmmm . . . maybe I should run barefoot in the rain more often heheh . . .

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thank You, Running Atom!

My fellow TBR marathoner and good friend Alfredo A. Vedarozaga posted this beautiful message in FaceBook that I would like to share with you.  It is his comment to my blogpost "Choose to be Happy Now" which I published last October 17, 2010.  Pido is otherwise known as the Running Atom, being the genius behind the awesome blog http://www.runningatom.blogspot.com/.

"Hi Tita Nora, I was touched by your blog post about being happy now!  

You always make my heart melt and I so adore you for being strong despite those trials and adversities in your life.  Though we don't know what lies ahead of us, I'm sure God is so happy for you both for being a good child, and a very loving parent at the same time.

Your positive thoughts and spirit surely vibrates among your blog readers, friends, and colleagues.

I believe that we chose who will be our parents before we came down and experience earth life.  So whoever our parents are, we really have to love them and give them our due respect.

Keep on inspiring us Tita Nora, and be strong always.

God bless you po always =)"


Sunday, July 31, 2011

YES! I'm Back With My Newest Recruit: T. CHINKY

Yes, I know.  I have been "lazy" for the longest time now and would have been hibernating for eternity if not for the much-needed Divine Intervention sending T. Chinky to drive me out of my newly found comfort zone.

T. Chinky is Eia's lovely new SPED teacher.  For those reading this blog for the first time, Eia is my 11-year old daughter with Down Syndrome who is at present studying in IMAI (Integrated Movement Academy Inc.).

In the middle of our Parent-Teacher Conference, they suggested that Eia should be encouraged to engage in sports.  I told them (T. Chinky and T. Lily, the Principal) that Eia joins 3K races and plays tennis.  That's when T. Chinky expressed her desire to join the Milo 5K Fun Run.  I told her she's quite lucky because Runrio opened additional slots for 5K.  

And so the following day, Saturday, I dropped by Toby's MOA before proceeding to my appointment in Makati to register T. Chinky, Ate Ella, Gio, Eia and myself.  But to my frustration, the lady informed me that the 200 additional slots that came Friday were filled-up in just one hour.  In her own words: "Dinumog po kami dito."

Oh well, better luck next time.

Or so I thought.

Thursday, July 21, I went to BGC to pick up my takbo.ph runfest kit.  I first went to Runnr to register for Unilab Run.  It caught my attention that people were carrying Milo 5K race kits so I inquired if there were still slots and when the ladies said yes, I excitedly asked for 5 registration forms!

It took me one whole year to train for my first 5K race and only 1 week to train T. Chinky!  Whew!  What a challenge!  I had to read and reread my Runnersworld complete book on women's running.

T. Chinky was able to convince T. Ellaine (Eia's former SPED teacher) to train with her and I said to myself: "Good.  The more, the merrier."

Monday, July 25:  We walked 1 km for 10:26 mins. This eased T. Chinky's apprehension of not finishing within 1 hr.  Surely, she would arrive in less than 1 hour even if she'll just walk.
We then followed 1:1 sequence (1 min. run, 1 min. walk) completing 1 km
We then followed 2:1 sequence (2 mins. run, 1 min walk) completing 1 km
We then cooled down by walking 1 km for 14 mins.

Wednesday, July 27:  Classes were suspended due to Juaning.  We trained for 45 minutes inside the covered court in our village with varying sequence.

Friday, July 29:  We skip training due to hectic schedules

Saturday, July 30:  We skip training due to emerging cough and cold of T. Chinky

Sunday, July 31:  RACE DAY      

3:30 AM: I called T. Chinky 'coz I was having second thoughts.  The weather wasn't cooperative. And she wasn't feeling well due to lack of sleep and slight cough and cold.  But I could sense that she really wanted to go.  So I decided to leave my kids with Ate Ella and meet her just outside Philamlife Village. Luck was still with her for her brother Matthew consented to accompany her.  It wasn't safe to travel alone early in the morning.

Due to bad weather, T. Chinky and her brother Matthew arrived quite late at our meeting place.  But MOA was just near so I had no doubt that we'll arrive before 5:30 AM.

It was the first time that the MILO Marathon was held in MOA.  I didn't anticipate that Diosdado Macapagal Ave. would be closed.  We had to drive back to MIA Road to make a U-turn to Roxas Blvd. then right turn to Edsa and make another U-turn to go to MOA.

We were still looking for parking space when the first wave of 5K runners went through.  We successfully squeezed ourselves to join the 4th wave and we were off.

As expected, we just walked for the first 4 minutes.  After that, we executed the 2:1 sequence: 2 mins run, 1 min walk, stopping at every water station.  I promised T. Chinky that I would be with her up to the Finish Line.  And so her brother.

T. Chinky, very much alive and jubilant (and wet) with her first 5K and her brother Matthew who's wearing Gio's singlet (hussh . . . pls don't tell Coach Rio). 

The trainer and the trainee:  Congratulations, T. Chinky!  Out of the 6,937 5K runners, only 5,332 finished within the 1-hour cut-off time.  You ranked 2,375 with an official time of 45:32.  Would you believe you're ahead of 4,562 runners?  Galing galing!  Let's start training for your first 10K heh heh . . .

Eia in her Milo singlet.  Next time, I will bring her to run with me -- rain or shine.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Saying Goodbye Thrice

Tuesday, March 29, 2011:  I said goodbye to my helper of almost 8 years.

Sadness tried to stop me from letting her go but I had to set her free.

Remember the feeling of breaking it off with the person you really love, but you have to end the relationship because it isn't right?  You initiated the break-up but it still hurts just the same.

It was my decision to terminate my helper's services but for some unexplainable reason, I still felt a slight stab in my heart.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011:  I said goodbye to DELANOR Health Products Trading.

My business technically ended last Feb. 15, 2011 when I decided not to renew my contract with Starmall Las Piñas.  However, I didn't apply for closure right away  because I still had to establish "closure" to the very core of my being.

As I was sitting in the Treasurer's Office of our City Hall waiting for my turn, I still couldn't believe that I was about to say goodbye to a dream I once had -- a dream I thought I could turn into a reality which would last forever.

But the feeling of emptiness didn't last long.
I just told myself: " If I could say goodbye to my dear husband, I could say goodbye to anyone or anything."

Thursday, March 31, 2011:  I said goodbye to STI, my son's second home for 4 years (from Grade 4 to HS 1)

Dec. 15, 2010 . . . as I utter these words in opening my speech during the final recognition day of STI, I could already see tears flowing down the cheeks of my audience.
Dec. 15, 2010 was the day STI informed everybody that it will close its basic education program.  I don't know how and why I was chosen to give the inspirational talk in the culminating activity of my son's school but I'm happy I did it.

Last Wednesday, however, as I was driving from home to STI to get Gio's Form 137 and Certificate of Good Moral Character, it dawned on me that this was the very last time that I will set foot on this school. Suddenly, my heart hardened and I found it difficult to breath. It wasn't just a stab that I felt.  It was more of an elephant leg crushing my chest.  Sure, there are a lot of schools in Las Piñas but it was already inputted in my CPU that my son would finish high school in STI.

After I got the 2 envelopes, I said goodbye to the staff and teachers who were playing cards in the lobby trying to amuse themselves.  I wanted to tell them that "everything is for the best" but opted not to.

As I walked back to the car, I said a prayer for everybody.  My heart grieved for them and for a while, I forgot my own problems that were choking me for the past 3 days.


Monday, March 21, 2011

A Quick Update

Hello everyone!  Before you think that something bad happened to me, here's a quick update of what transpired during the past 5 months that I was invisible.

1.  Tested myself if I could finish 32k without the proper training.  And the verdict is . . . YES, I can!  I joined RunRio Trilogy 3 last Nov. 21, 2010 and thanks to my cousin Jun Muego who went back for me, I survived the 32K.  Coach Rio knows that runners hit the "wall" on the 32nd km and that's exactly what happened to me.  Thank God after the 32nd km, it's the Finish line already!

What I vividly remembered about this race was the different ways my name was called.  My favorites were of course "Nora" and "Ms. Nora".  Some called me "Ma'am, Tita, Ate, Mommy" and I don't really mind being addressed as these.  But when runners and marshals ask me "Nanay, kaya nyo pa ba?"  I was almost tempted to challenge them to run 42k with me haha . . .

2.  December passed in a jiffy and I just woke up one day realizing that it was already 2011.  I thought I could hide the 10 lbs. that I gained during the holidays but anywhere I go, people would ask me "Ma'am, tumaba ho ba kayo?"

3.  In desperation to lose weight fast, I registered online for the the Condura Skyway Marathon, only to back out at the last minute when I learned that there's a 6-hr cut-off time.  With my extra 10 lbs., there's no way I could finish 42k in less than 6 hours.  So I did the most sensible thing to do:  I signed up for the half-marathon instead.  21k is my comfort zone.  It's a distance I'm confident to finish, with or without training.

This is one memorable race for out of nowhere, Bong (Pagong) Ortiz greeted me!  I couldn't believe at first because I knew that Bong lives in Canada.  I was sooh happy to finally see Bong, who's very instrumental in my humble pursuits.

4.  Last year, I wasn't able to join the RunRio Trilogy 1 because it coincided with the Happy Walk of the Down Syndrome Assn. of the Phils.  This year, there was a registration booth at the Condura Race so without thinking, I registered for 21k.

I almost decided not to go through with this race because Eia's recital was also scheduled on March 6, 2011. But the runner in me prevailed.  I ran 21k, then proceeded to the 21k booth, then ran to the car and immediately went home even without changing clothes and having breakfast.

5.  I am happy to announce that I'm back training and playing tennis.  And I have a new-found love:  Tai-Chi every Tue. and Fri.  Oh, and I have a fantastic running buddy, Pam.

See you at the takbo.ph nightfest this April 9!