Confessions of a Reluctant Racer

The first line is what always stumps me so I’ll just ignore it altogether and rush right into the middle of this paragraph. It’s what i do best. Bust right into some space, find sufficient wiggle room, and make myself comfortable. This blog will involve some running but its not going to be purely about running. My friend, Batgirl (aka bananarunning, aka baliwrunning, aka siya ang bahala!) and her blog already talks about our running life. I say ours in a loose sense. It’s really her blog about her runs and her training! But there’s a gang of us who share the program and have plotted out the same races for the year. Some of us may be working with more and others with less mileage but we all have the same end goal… a marathon before this year is over… or maybe next year? 😉 It all depends on whether we find one in this country or we have to make a trip elsewhere to get to one.

Batgirl and I run the same routes and follow quite similar training schedules. Ours is probably the closest in the group. I’m usually in the same races she’s in. Often just a couple of paces behind and a few worlds away! Her program is just a wee bit more hardcore. And It’s definitely far better thought out. Prior to THE PLAN, my plan for most runs, especially races, fell more in the line of running-this-pace-will-allow-me-to-finish-with-enough-time-and-energy-so-I-can-join-the-gang-for-breakfast! Other times it was simply to run after the one with the best looking butt!

While Batgirl and I do the same runs, I’ve realized that we don’t always run for the same reasons. She’s goal driven. She’s focused. She knows what she wants from every run. Even when she’s having fun, she knows that’s the plan from the get-go. I, on the other hand, would usually just figure it out when I already find myself huffing and puffing in the middle of my run. That’s how we differ. I typically will just broadcast my wants to the universe and then just dive headlong into the activity with a lot of enthusiasm and bravado verging on the insane. I’d have the semblance of a plan but the details are often left blurry. Which is probably the reason why I seemed to have been programmed to have a great tolerance for pain and suffering. Someone up there knew that, left to my own devices, I would need it!

Soon after I returned from a yet another trip with yet another body part wrapped in bandage, Batgirl informs me about HER PLAN. This is before THE PLAN. Batgirl then takes the time to sit down, plot things out, strategize, consult with the gods in the department of world domination and then she calls everyone to a gathering. She presents the plan, gets everyone’s consensus (all physically and mentally present plus all the imaginary entities in our heads) and carves out our agreements in stone! Or on something just as hard to erase. We’ve finally reached the point of no return. Once it’s agreed upon then you stick to it. Or all hell and the relentless wave of the Batgirl’s power will descend upon you. NY marathon 2010? Game! Milo half in August? In Cebu? Why not! Mizuno 15K? Great! We have THE PLAN!!! Now we have fun! This is my saving grace. I’ve always been blessed with friends who have the skills and the necessary alpha roar to jolt me out of my doodeedoo jet-lagged stupor!

I started running because it was the easiest program to stick to given all the trips I needed to do in a year. The goal was not to run races. At least, I didn’t think it was. Batgirl sneaked that one in on me. I do remember mentioning a marathon but all that was all in the abstract. Something I planned on doing when I grew up. Like when I turned a hundred! Running was really just the easiest way to keep fit. To not lose out on all the work I did in the gym while I was in Manila. Not that I did a lot of work back then. Weighing scales would snicker every time I got near them… Anyway, my main problem then was that treadmills bored the hell out of me… So I decided to run outside. But running solo bored me to tears that gushed into other levels of Dante’s hell too so I decided to find a friend. I begged, cajoled, bullied, annoyed Batgirl into joining me. (One of the rare times my bullying actually worked!) and the rest is well- a couple of knee and hip pains, some shin pain and lots of laughter and fun and running mileage- history!

So why do I run? I run for many reasons. Yes, I run with the end goal of eventually joining and finishing a marathon. And yes, i run to keep fit. Sometimes it’s to make a sneaky getaway from my chaotic schedule or my ho-hum of a day. And occasionally, i do race. But oftentimes I just run because i like losing myself in the moment/minutes/hours/ of pure effort, sometimes pain,often bliss. You name the pain, I’ve probably made friends with it while running. The highs I get from running definitely overwhelm the lows. The highs make all the grunts and ouches and the odd outbursts worth it! There are days when i would run just because I could and then there are days I run simply because I promised I would. For whatever reason, I choose to run! And most of the time I enjoy it. And on the days that I don’t then I just focus on the meal that will be shared after with a gang of friends–a group that loves running in much the same way I do. And I get ready to savor the stories…

June 26, 2008

  1. highaltitude says:

    when the world ask Edmund Hillary why he climb everest, the answer was simple, “because its just there”…

    when people ask me why i run, my answer is because the road is just there =)

  2. myironshoes says:

    Haha! Until about a year ago, my main trigger for running would be closer to… Look!! MAN WITH BIG KNIFE behind you! or Big dog with nasty bite!
    Some of us need the slow dance to fall in love. This whole year was all about that for me.

  3. eduardo dos remedios says:

    Hi there, Thanks for your comments on my blog – I have been reading yours and it put a smile on my face. It sounds like you have a great group of friends and quite a few interesting stories of your own to tell.

    I’ve added a link to your blog on my site.

    Take care,


    Hi Eduardo! I love your blog. I’m glad I stumbled into it. You are already in my favorites list!

  4. Jay says:


    I ill be visiting Manila dec 20 through Jan 7. Are there any 5 or 10 k races or good internet sources to find races? Thanks

    Hi Jay! Go to http://www.takbo.ph 🙂 It’s a great resource for all things running in Manila.

  5. valive says:


    Thanks for the link! 😉 Will definitely check it out.

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