In my younger years, I’m always bounded with my pencil and paper drawing houses and princesses while my older sister is too busy training for track and field. I was not able to run then due to asthma and allergies. Never in my younger years thought that would I be a runner.
This started way back October 2011 when my new co-worker then Mark Montilla asked me to join Milo Marathon 5K category in December 2011. Aside from that being my first run, it was memorable to me as I looked ridiculously funny then. I was out of breath and thought that I would die… hahaha… But nevertheless, I did enjoy the run and promised to myself that it would never happen again. So to make story short, I did continue to run and since then, I never had any asthma attacks and the occurrences of skin rashes lessen. I ran five 5Ks and then upgraded to my first 10K in Hyundai Run. My friend teased me that I am lame running only 10K. I ignore them and keep on training on my own. Then I saw the poster of Run United Philippine Marathon and I decided to run my first 21K. I was so nervous that 1 week before the race I got feverish and sleepless with fear that I would not be able to survive and kidding my friends to ready the wheelchair that I will use after the race. My friend Darill Jara told me to bring my phone so I can call them in case of emergency. On race day, I was with Darill as he also running for 21K but he’s fast so I was left behind. Alone running, I just make myself busy watching other runners and enjoying my playlist. At the last 200 meters of the race, I called Darill. He answered “asan ka na?” (Where are you?), sounding so worried and I answered “hehehe… lapit na sa finish line, ready mo na yung wheelchair” (near the finish line, get ready with the wheelchair). I finished the race without injury but then again they still call me lame.
Early this year around August 2013, I met madder Rikki Suarez who introduced me to her team “The Fabulous Running Divas” and invited me to join “Wednesday Group of Runners” training. She introduced me to coach Mherlz Lumagbas who until now inspires me. I did learn a lot from them up until now. Then there I together with my FRD sisters, Red, Lawrence, Angie, Mary Ann and her son Deniel decided to sign up for our first 42K in Run United Philippine Marathon last October 6 2013. I was so blessed to have met the Divas who supported me all the way namely madder Rikki, Oni and Blue who gave time to pace me during my LSDs, giving me advice. Also I am very thankful to the WGR coaches (coach Mherlz Lumagpas, coach Ryan Moral, coach Ryan Maranan and coach Bob) for giving me advice and tips. Two days before the race, I was sleepless and restless. And on race day, so worried that I only had 1 hour sleep and had to run for 42 km but I am confident because we had Blue Zapanta running with us and I know we are in good hands. Along the route I got to ran side by side with a friend of Mary ann, Ino Lao, who has been my coach that day, guided me, gave me tips, gels and salt sticks and helped me to go through the long and winding road of the route. By the last 8 km, my pace slow down and let my friend to get to his own pace. Running alone at my last 5 km with my favorite playlist on my ears (Nothing is impossible by planetshakers), I prayed “Lord, give me more strength, push me more.” Then, I saw madder Rikki Suarez running towards me and ask me if I am okay and told me that I can walk but I said no, I want to finish the race in pure running. Keeping in my running form, I saw one runner walking and told me “ang lakas mo ate, pwedeng pa-picture” (you’re strong, can I take pictures with you) and I told him, “tara, kaya mo yan… last 1 km na lang” (come on, you can do this… last 1 km to go). When I saw the finish line, I felt “goosebumps”. In the last 100 meters, I heard my running friends shouting my name and cheering for me; my FRD family, WGR family, friends from other teams. I felt tears running down my cheeks and said “Lord, we did it!”
Now that I’m 44 years old, I realized that I wish I’ve done this in my 20’s because it’s so much fun and it felt so good. No more asthma attacks. No more allergies. I feel stronger, younger and healthier now. And I can say “LAME NO MORE, GOOD JOB RIGOR!” Next adventure, Condura Marathon!
My first 5K
Running adventures with my kiddos, Mark Montilla and Cliff Mondarte.
My first 42K adventure
My 42K finishing moment… priceless!