"…if I can't run, I can't eat…"

My life suck ( and I’m fat ) without you.

When I was on the early stage of my runner’s high addiction, I was so enamored with running to a point where I couldn’t stop thinking about it. Hence, how this blog came about. I think about it a lot that I see the need to write my thoughts, if only to keep me from going crazy, I suppose. At that time, there was really no one to tell when I get so elated after every run.

Then everything changed and my running became sporadic and eventually petered out. I came up with  a lot of excuses. For a while, I used an injured foot as an excuse to not go for a run. Well, it could have been worse if I persisted to run despite the injury.  But still.

Gradually, my body shows the effects of not running for the past two years. Don’t get me wrong, I am not vain when it comes to my appearance or body, but it’s hard not to notice when my clothes doesn’t fit me anymore. I’m like, this is insane. The once loose-fitting boyfriend jeans that was my favorite to wear now feels like a too tight ( for my comfort ) skinny jeans. I could barely pull them up. And it doesn’t help that since I started living with my sister, my eating changed. One day, I went to a nearby trail and did some sort of a run/walk interval. Halfway through it, I could feel some bouncing somewhere in my body and I thought, did I wear my hydration belt? Then I realized it was my flabby midsection jostling as I ran.

That feeling after I walk up a steep hill. 😦

Aside from the unfavorable physical effects of not running, there’s also the part of my brain not functioning at par. I wrote about how running clears my head and allows me to view things in perspective. Not running makes me lethargic. Each day went by, with me just going through the motions. I miss the feeling of runner’s high. And I don’t do well with the crossword puzzle anymore, as before.

Tentatively, I started to go for a run, and I was disappointed. My fault actually, because I expected the same outcome I had, two years ago. Before, I got sidelined and everything. I guess I shouldn’t be so hard on myself. The main thing is I  tried. I had a week when I was able to run thrice. It was a big deal for me. And the feeling of being out there is priceless.

With a new year coming up, hopefully, I’d be able to muster enough resolve to get back on track and get “high” again. Let’s see. 🙂

Wobble on Panda. 😀


Westwood Lake, revisited.

I got introduced to Westwood Lake a few months after I first arrived in Canada. Being that it was closer to where I used to live. I made tentative attempts to walk around the lake, all by myself, to no avail. I was just too scared. Until one day, I did managed to go for a run on the trail ( and this was after I went for a walk with my sister and aunt ) and had a great time. I twisted my ankle in the process but I was too happy to be  concerned about it. It was no big deal.

Over the course of five years, I moved around and lived in different places outside of Nanaimo. Westwood Lake was forgotten, except for the occasional news I read on the paper or watched on TV, about it. Mostly I ran on the road. Then a few months ago, I found myself relocated back to Nanaimo. And its just a few minutes drive to the lake. One day, out of the blue, I got a phone call from my aunt. She’s at the lake with my cousins and asked me if I wanted to join them. I gladly said yes. I’m amazed at how beautiful it is. There were lots of people that day. But I didn’t go for a walk  because I worry about getting lost and all.

“In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

I have been back to the lake a few times since then. One day, I asked my friend, Rhea, to go with me. We took our time and enjoyed the scenery around us. Later on, she told me that it was the first time she walked around the lake. I was worried  but she assured me that she’s fine and she had a great time. On another occasion, I asked my sister to join me. She agreed but not without a few comments, as we huffed and puffed along the way. She told me that she’d rather walk around the mall than be on the trail. I looked at her and smiled, while I wiped off the sweat on my forehead and mumbled “Yeah, right.”

I went back a couple of times, alone. I thought about asking my two willing companions but decided against it. I’d like to run most part of the trail and it would be unfair to them to tag along because I know they’d rather  walk. I think its rude to ask them to join me and then ditch them when we get to the trail. Anyway, I did alright.  I was scared half of the time, especially when I saw the sign posted on the start of the trail about  a cougar sighted in the vicinity. The thing is I kind of love the feeling of being scared. Adds more to the excitement of being out and about on the trail.

Signs like this one, scares me. Sort of. 🙂

I haven’t been running for the past two years. The oft chance that I get to go for a run was sporadic. And its not so much because for lack of time or anything, I just fall off the wagon. Running seemed to lost its appeal  until that day I went back to the lake. ( I’m sure my sister would roll her eyes over this statement. ) I like the feeling that I’m  in my own world when I’m out there, with only the sound of my breathing, for company. Sometimes, there’s the occasional sound of rustling leaves or something snapping that never fail to stop me on my tracks, to briefly look behind me.

I hope this would be a good start for me to rekindle my love for running. I’ll keep my fingers crossed. 🙂

Begin again. (I think I can. I know I can.)

Hello there, to no one in particular , except perhaps to those that occasionally visit my blog. I haven’t written another a post since the last one I did, which was like, six months ago. I’ve been busy these past few months, that even to sit still and think of something to write, is an ordeal for me. Besides, I haven’t been running, so.

“I learned, one, you shouldn’t ever quit. And I learned, two, you’ll never be able to explain it to anybody.” – Jim Ryun

Then I started going out for walks, at first. I always enjoy these times because it gives me the chance to think things over. Since I went back to school, I find that I need to walk more often. It helps me with stress, not to mention that it was a good excuse to walk  to the nearby Starbucks or Tim Horton’s, to get my caffeine fix. And I went from there. I started doing 3 miles run/walk in our neighborhood. After that first try, I realized that I miss running. I miss the “high”. I find that if I don’t think about it so much and make a big deal out of it, I manage to get outside and and just go.

I try not to get carried away with how I feel right now. I don’t want to get ahead of myself and ruin everything, again. So whenever I head out, I tell myself I’m just going for a walk then after a few minutes, I start to run. I don’t run all out. I stop when I have to.  Although sometimes, it’s tempting to just let go and continue on. Like this one time, when it was raining, I forgot that I only planned to do two loops of my go-to route but I felt good so I pushed on and ended doing another one. I knew then that it wasn’t the best move but I had a great time and it was raining. It was perfect. 🙂

One of the reasons, I like to run early in the morning. I have a thing for sunrise.

I’d like to think that the few months of no running just prove the point that its not the same without it. I am not myself without it. I run because I enjoy running. And because I don’t I have to. Then there’s the cheesecake. 😀

Let’s see how this go.

Wobble on Panda. 🙂

(Not) running hurts and changed me.

To those of you who occasionally read my blog, you probably think that I vanish from the face of the earth, never to be seen or heard from again. Just so you know, I’m still around. I haven’t been running so I see no point in writing about something I used to be insane about. I’ve become more and more like Pooh, every day. All those eating and not moving a muscle, except to walk to the fridge and back to the table  to eat some more, will do that to you.

As if being “temporarily” told not to run is hard enough, I have to frequent social media sites, like Twitter, to check updates on Runnersworld and people I followed, especially the runners. Sort of, rub it in my face–that I can’t run, not just yet. Or add salt to injury, as the saying goes. I have no idea why I do this, perhaps to make me feel worse than what I feel right now.

I feel bad about not being able to run. Sometimes, to the point of being angry at myself. I distract myself by doing other stuff, which is not much. I miss running and I’m miserable without it. It’s more than a workout for me. Someone suggested I try another activity. I could have if I want to. The thing is I don’t get the same feeling of wonder ( and kick-ass awesomeness ) that I get after every run. Not to mention post-run hunger. The months that I haven’t been running seemed ages to me. I hope that  I can be on the road again. I’ve been to the physiotherapist a few times. The last session was promising. I got the go-signal to start running again, although he advised me to start slow.

Fast forward to now. I have all the time to go for a run and follow the guidelines the physiotherapist told me about.  It’s been a  month after my last physiotherapy session but I haven’t done a thing yet. Of course, there was the short camping trip in between, then I had to go to Vancouver after that. But really, if I was that eager to get back to running I would have done it by now. But lately, I vacillate and procrastinate to the point that I don’t like to run anymore. Sure, I wax poetic about it so much so, as to have this blog. But I guess things has change. I have change.

Running to me, seems like a faint fragment of a different life—when running 6 miles is as effortless ( and oh so, freaking awesome ) as carefully devouring a slice of melt-in-your-mouth cheesecake. Runner’s high is now a distant memory. I look with feigned interest at my pair of runners that beg to be taken out for a short jaunt on the road. I used to feel envious when I see someone running but now, I don’t feel anything and really don’t care anymore.

I’m not sure if I’ll ever be motivated enough to start running again. Who knows. Or perhaps, be resigned to the fact that maybe my brief dalliance with runner’s high was just a one time thing–with only a handful of finisher’s medals to show for it.

Wobble on Panda.

Running and I.

Not going through with the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-marathon as planned, is I think, the ultimate test of my resolve ( and stubbornness ) to continue running, despite the lingering foot issue. Although, It’s hard for me to do. When I think about it now, I realized that I made the right decision. Running and I is on a hiatus at the moment. I can’t say I like it because I’d rather be out there. I miss it. Whenever I see someone running, I feel bad and I wish I’m running too.

After much thought and consideration, I finally arrive with the decision to go and seek professional help. My foot still bothers me. I think it’s the sensible thing to do and it’s about time. After the physiotherapist made the initial assessment, it’s confirmed that I have plantar faasciitis. Later on, I had a couple of treatments – shock wave therapy on my left foot and IMS on the back of my leg.

I am told not to run for awhile, until such time, my foot is healed. I have no explanation as to why it took me that long to have my foot look at. I figured if there’s nothing broken, then there’s no need to fix it. But as the days go by and the miles add up, my foot didn’t get any better and the discomfort lingered on.

Hard to admit it, I am fully to blame for my predicament right now. I mean, I was so engrossed with getting “high” and all, I forgot to take care of my body. Running is lot more than just putting one foot in front of the other. I don’t always stretch when I know I should. And most of all, I ignore the signs when my body tries to tell me to back off a bit, even if I feel fine. I overdid it. It’s all my fault and it sucks big time.

So now, I have no other choice but to wait it out. At times, I’m tempted to sing along with the Guns N’ Roses’ song “Patience”. I need all the patience I can muster to get over this seemingly forever bump with my running. I have scheduled a few more appointments with the physiotherapist and until he gives me the “thumbs up” sign to run again, I’ll stay put, try to do other stuff and think of happy thoughts.

Wobble on Panda. 🙂

The “half” that got away.

The downtrodden feeling of not being able to run in an event ( which I have all the intent and desire to do so, when I signed up for it, six months ago ) has finally abated. It would have been more fun and exciting to write about my experience in it. Unfortunately, for me, this is not the case. Instead, I’m going to bore you with the minutiae that transpired during the days leading to the said event and the days after it.

When I signed up for this year’s Scotiabank Vancouver Half-marathon, I had no inkling of the changes in my life that I have to deal with again. In more ways than one, I run less often.

Then a few days before said race, I suffered a fall. Nothing serious except for a sprained foot. The day started out the same way as they always do. I had coffee and mentally go over the things that I’d be doing that day. The fall was unexpected. It happened so fast. When I realized what happen, the first thing that came to my mind was, ___ ! what about the run on Sunday? I didn’t even think about my foot then, that started to throb in pain. Good thing I wore my runners or else it would have been worse. Later on, as I limped back up the stairs, it finally dawned on me that I may not be able to run after all. I was proven right.

I berated myself for being clumsy. I’ve never felt so angry at myself. I was so annoyed that I even thought about banging my foot against something hard, perhaps to punish myself, for not paying attention to where I’m going. But I realized that it’ll just make things worse, not to mention painful. In the end, common sense prevailed.

I trade my runners for hiking shoes, in the mean time.

Sunday came and went. And I’m still here. The sprained foot is healing, although I haven’t been on the road yet. I am disappointed. I look forward to adding a finisher’s medal to my collection. Sometimes, I think that it wasn’t meant to be. It sounds weird though, that I had to have a fall, to keep me from running another half-marathon.

I love running to a fault ( for lack of a better word ) but I’m not as crazy as some people think I am. When necessary, I know when to step back and let go. Sure, I’ve reach a point ( a few times, I think ) when I purposely numb myself to any discomfort and pain, just so I can finish a run. But I know that this time, I can’t pull this trick, not with a sprained foot.  And if I do insist, I’d only make it worse. Surprisingly, it didn’t take me long to acquiesce.

For now, I patiently count the days till I can run again. Without it, I feel out of sorts. I can’t even finish the crossword puzzle anymore. And  I miss my “happy place”.

Wobble on Panda. 🙂

Carry on and be okay.

So I rambled on and on about my foot,  that I sound like a broken record.  I think I wrote a few posts about it. And I realized that perhaps, to a few of you out there, who read my blog, I may come across as a whining or  crazy person. To set the record straight, I don’t complain about pain or discomfort, especially if its a consequence of something I do. And I have a blast while at it.

The past few months had been less than ideal when it comes to my running. Not that I’m sick or anything, or seriously injured. Lately, I find it increasingly difficult to motivate and convince myself to head out of the door. Sometimes, I think that I used my foot issue as an excuse not to run. Don’t get me wrong, I still love running. And I still have that burning desire to run to my heart’s content.

Not being able to run because of an injury is a bummer. The thing is, I can’t even admit it to myself that I’m injured. I mean, I don’t hobble around or in some debilitating pain. My foot is just sore. The word “injured” just doesn’t seem to fit in what I feel right now. Besides, my understanding of the word is far worse than what it really implies.

I did get injured way back, like ten years ago. At that time I dabbled in kickboxing. During a routine session, while executing a punch and kick combination, I fell and landed on my left foot. Needless to say that I didn’t get to kickboxing class for weeks after that. My foot was swollen to the point that I couldn’t even slip on a shoe and walk like a normal person. I was in pain. That to me was what being injured is all about. And I wasn’t even running back then.

What I have is some sort of ache or discomfort; I don’t even know what to call it. I can’t even find the exact word to describe it. But per my research, I think I have plantar fasciitis. I stopped running for more than two months. I went to see a chiropractor and have someone checked my foot. I iced it, even soaked my feet in a bucket of water, filled with ice cubes. I tell you it’s not something I really like to do, but will probably do so again, for recovery’s sake. I tried doing other stuff, aside from running.

Hard for me to say this, but I think ( or to say it more appropriately, feel ) that my body is breaking down, gradually. I’m fond of saying that I’m getting old, whenever I feel sore. Like everyone else, I’m not immune to aches and pains.

The thought of not running ever again is something I don’t dwell upon, especially since I have a half coming up. So, one Friday morning, I decided to hit the road. After Andrew and I went for a short walk, I went for a short run. What I like particularly about that day was the light rain so it wasn’t that hot. I think it was the deciding factor that made me actually want to get going. I’m partial to colder temperatures, not that I don’t like  a sunny day. It was great to feel the rain on my face. Besides, I didn’t mind getting soaked. But most of all, I relished the feeling of being able to move my legs again, the catch in my breath and just being out there.

I long for the time when I’m running, with not a care in the world, except for oncoming traffic or dogs that suddenly appear from nowhere and bark at me like crazy. I’m amazed at the stretch of road ahead of me, ( with the visible yellow line in the middle and in some cases, faded ), not really thinking that I have to run past through it before I can reach home. Running gives me time to think. And more. Hopefully, I get to do it often. 🙂

Wobble on Panda. 🙂

I like to think I’m brave.

In less than a month I will be doing something—a half marathon ( there I spell it out for all to read). I’d be lying if I say I’m not afraid. I’m always scared whenever I have a race coming up. Much more so with my situation now. I haven’t been running lately. And I still have issues with my foot. I try not to think about it too much but sometimes, especially in the mornings, it’s hard to ignore the fact that things are not at par.

The Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon in 2011 was my first ever long-distance race. I think 21 kilometers is long but not long enough for me so I dabbled in marathons too. The moment I started running, there’s no turning back. And I have no regrets whatsoever. Besides, I have a few finisher’s medals to show for it. Not that I’m bragging or anything.

Everything was going well with my running six months ago, when I signed up for this year’s Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon. And it’s made more exciting when my cousin, Mark, signed up too. It will be his first half marathon. It’s kind of neat to actually know someone running in the same race with me.

Something to look forward to. 🙂

Then things change and running was put on hold. I failed to listen to what my body was telling me. The damage was done when I realized that I’m doing everything wrong. Well, I think the word “damage” is too strong a word to use. I can still walk. I don’t hobble around in pain or pop pills in my mouth ( which I don’t really like to do ) to ease any ache or discomfort. I can still run. And I will.

So come June 22nd I’ll think of happy thoughts. Sure, I’d be scared as hell that day to the point of feeling nauseated  but I won’t let it mar my excitement to run on some streets of Vancouver again. I  like to think I’m brave or maybe, I’m just plain crazy. Let’s see how it goes.

Wobble on Panda. 🙂

lessons learned from Po, revisited.

I wrote “lessons learned from Po” at the time when I just started running. Four years ago, the running bug bit me and I was forever changed. And it was also around this time when I first watched the movie “Kung Fu Panda”, which I enjoyed a lot. I liked the movie so much, it inspired me to write a post in relation to my running. And I wouldn’t mind watching it again when I get the chance.

Lately, I’ve been slacking off with my running that it’s not fun anymore. ( And it was made worse, when one day I looked at myself in the mirror, I noticed that I started to look like Po, not that I have something against him.) So I thought I’d pay this post a visit to draw inspiration and relearn the lessons I’ve had four years ago. ( Just so you know, I still don’t wear shorts when I go for a run. )

Nothing’s changed.

  • Food is not the enemy.

And it will never be. To be able to have the energy to run and sustain my body to tackle the mileage, I need food. It’s not rocket science, I know. But here’s the thing though, just because we slog it out there ( like crazy ), doesn’t mean we have the right to stuff ourselves crazy too. I admit it, I’m guilty of this ( especially when it comes to cheesecake ). There’s no way I can go through a diet. I love food too much, to do so. I’d rather “eat carefully”.

  • A real warrior never quits.

I’ve never stop halfway through a run and go back. I always make it a point to finish what I set out to do, even if  it means, I have to endure pain and be sore afterward. Running has taken me on a ride and I have no plans of getting off,  yet. Through out my journey, I realized that holding back ( especially when the body doesn’t feel quite right ), does not necessarily mean, that I’m throwing in the towel and that I’ve had enough. Holding back helps me to  look at things in a different way and come out of it, a better runner and a better person. Hopefully. 🙂

  • It pays to dream and when you do, dream big.

I’ve watched the documentary “Spirit of the Marathon” more than a few times. And I still get goosebumps every time. Back then, when a 5K run or even a shorter distance seemed like the proverbial Mt. Everest, to “run a marathon” was something I’ve always dream about. I like how the word “marathoner” sound. May of 2012 was one of the most memorable time of my life because it was when I ran in my first marathon in Vancouver. Words were not enough to describe how I felt when I crossed the finish line. It was amazing. I didn’t cry though. I was so happy and over the moon to even shed tears. I didn’t even think about how sore my legs were or  that I could barely walk. I was “high” until I heard my sister asking me, “Where have you been? What took you so long?” ( She had no idea where I’ve been. I was so glad to see her, that I ignored her question and could have give her a hug. ) The bubble burst and I was brought back to reality. So much for getting high.

Enough said.

  • Believe.

Even before I run in my first marathon, I was bold enough and perhaps, insane to do  an ultra-marathon. At that time, I didn’t really think about what lies ahead of me, all I know was that I’d like to “try” it. And I did.

I know that when I set my mind to do something ( like run a marathon perhaps ), I’d do everything to see through it till the end. The more I’m told ” You’re crazy.” or “Why?”, the more it appeals to me and the more I’m determined to do it. Of course, I’m not saying I don’t have doubts or  fears. I do.  I get scared a lot that sometimes, I feel nauseous. But I found out that the mind is a powerful thing, it can make you do wonders, even if your body says, “No way!”

  • There are no accidents.

When I think about it now, I realized that running would be a part of my life all along. It’s not an accident whenever I decide to get out there and go for a run. And it sure was no accident, when I finally had the courage to ask someone to run with me. I don’t usually ask anyone.

I don’t run just for the heck of it. Or just so I can say  “I’m a runner”. I run because I know I can and it makes me feel good about myself, which spills out to the way how I see and relate to people, in general.

  • There is no secret ingredient.

My running has evolved. A lot has happened in four years. I ingest gels ( especially during races ) and drink Gatorade. A generous friend gave me a Garmin watch as a present and I always used it during my runs. I have more than a few pairs of running shoes and have no qualms of buying a new pair whenever the “need” arises. That same friend also gave me a pair of compression socks, which I haven’t used yet. I used an mp3 player because I prefer to run with music on.

You see, all the above-mentioned things don’t mean a thing. There’s no amount of technology or outside forces, that will make me want to run, unless  I really, really want to. It all boils down to me. My reasons for running comes from within. Sure, I still want to have rock-hard abs, but I don’t run enough and eat a lot of cheesecake, so go figures. 🙂

Not running for three months give me plenty of time to think things over. But it never occur to me to stop running altogether. Quite the opposite. I diligently try to do all the things that I’m supposed to do ( like iced and stretched my foot ). And I did a few shorter runs just to see how things are.

This much I can say, my foot will probably stay sore forever or get better, I don’t know. But I don’t think I’d stop running just because of that. Unless if it comes to the point when I can’t do it anymore ( God forbid ), then I’d still go out there and run. And perhaps, be more mindful this time. Then, I’m not getting any younger too, so there’s that. The aches and pains will always be there, no matter what. I just have to suck it up and deal with it. Besides, Po didn’t stop doing Kung Fu and be the Dragon Warrior, just because he’s a panda, right?

Wobble on Panda. 🙂

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