Monday, March 14, 2016

Sweat, blood, tears-- RUN!

"It's only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything."  Chuck Pahlaniuk from the book, Fight Club.

I just finished reading this book recommended by a dear friend. It contributed vastly to my already eventful weekend soaked in blood, sweat and tears. It was a simple yet profound statement that posed many points of reflection.

I seriously considered the idea of taking a time off from racing; from joining any running event except the Milo Marathon which I do not want to miss. I thought of being out of runners’ sight. Not that I am famous but I thought it should merit an announcement because the kind of hiatus I had in mind would include distance from a few set of friends. It was one of those wild ideas to help me deal with hypothyroidism; part of changing my lifestyle that might aid my hormones going hay wire. The doctor did not suggest it. It could’ve been, in short, an act of desperation.
I was so close to drastically slowing down and turning my back from the sport that changed my life in an amazing, unexpected, and a wonderful way and from the community that made a big, happy, significant difference in me.

Until I stood in front of the sea of runners and was given the task of leading a pack that wanted to have a 60-min 10Km finish. While running, I could hear a nagging voice in between heart beats asking if I could really let go of the high, the sense of fulfillment, the satisfaction, the challenge; of running. In that quick run good memories flashed before me and crying was the best response I could give. When I crossed the finish line my decision changed in an instant. I told myself, I could not leave running, not running.

For some this may be a recurring chapter and an annoying ranting. I’ve probably talked about my journey against the creeping consequence of hypothyroidism more than I should. The rationale behind had been to convey the possibility of hope and the fact that the illusion of having another choice than facing it head on is a grand fallacy. The roller coaster ride of a competitive runner gaining weight, palpitating at an easy pace and body’s refusal to respond to any work out is real, seems constant and never ending. But I knew that the escape plan was bound to fail, there was no eject button at my disposal and to completely abandon this battle was simply synonymous to death. If pain is one of the evidences of existence then I am most alive than any time ever.

I had another series of blood tests last weekend and they showed no sign of improvement despite consistent medication. My condition remains a puzzle to my doctors just like how this not so delightful humor of destiny shakes my soul. I cannot count the times when I accused the vacuum of reason the crime of treason.

There were good days and there were bad. There were seasons when I thought I was slowly going back to the rhythm but then waking up to a fall in another.

I mustered all courage to embrace this thorn of the flesh even if it leaves me bleeding. It’s a huge ego bruiser. I receive the punches, savor the wounds and feel the traces of my agony. I’ve been dancing with chances and hunches; with needles and apparatuses; with hopes and frustrations; with dreams and reality.

Running, my fantasy world has been redefined by this sickness. It almost splashed defeat to the walls of my well of joy and satisfaction but I will not let it smash my haven into pieces and do nothing while destruction unfolds before me.

The thing harmed by my condition is also one of the few things seeing me through therefore I’d stay and would keep running.

I've lost a lot, maybe almost everything about my old running life but that opened the door to be better and I'm getting in. Now I am free to do anything and I will. I will show up in races whether I am big or small; fast or slow; weak or strong. I will win or lose but will never be defeated.

So please bear with me, I just chose to fight. I chose to be happy :)



Sunday, February 14, 2016

My healthy love affair

I am having an affair with an Australian.
I divorced rice and fell in love with oatmeal. We’ve been in this happy, healthy relationship for more than five years now. I spend the most important meal of the day with it, every morning, every day; the most romantic and intimate meal for me; the only meal that I take seriously. Oatmeal never disappointed me in my quest to lose weight despite my Hashimoto's syndrome, a condition that killed my metabolism. More and more, each day, oatmeal makes me realize that letting go of rice was worth it.

My oatmeal and I have been through good and bad times. I run to it for comfort  after a work out and look forward to it after a long run.
It inspires me to run faster and endure a race as I imagine having it after I cross the finish line together with Nutella or peanut butter, banana and coffee.
It’s the kind of bond that has stood the test of time and change of seasons. I have it during summer when I cook it dry with almonds that goes well with my iced coffee.  I enjoy it during rainy days too like a champorado when I cook it with a little more water and melted dark chocolate or just plain oatmeal with spicy sardines and.. coffee.

I usually have it for breakfast after a run before I head to work. I like it with my basted egg dashed with black pepper and basil leaves then I mix them like your rice bowl meals. I pair with cold buko juice and my newspaper.

Like looking for a partner or for a running shoes, finding the brand of oatmeal that would satisfy you is also important so you get what you deserve and what you exactly need. As an oatmeal lover, I must confess that I’ve tasted several brands already but ended up happily with Australian Harvest especially their rolled oats.

I like that it’s crunchy and fresh all the time. It doesn’t have that odd taste that people hate, that “cardboard” taste that turn others off.  It’s affordable and available in almost all the supermarkets around so it's there when you need it most.

Whether forever exists or not, this affair shall go on and on- joyfully.

Yes, I’ve settled down and married to an Australian… Harvest Oatmeal! J







Monday, January 4, 2016

Living my 3rd life from last year

I almost died twice last year and many times figuratively while doing the things I love- running and advocacy.

What a way to start the year?

Since we’re at it. I looked back at my 2015 and realized how blessed I had been. I received countless blessings in many ways- the loyalty and love of old friends; and the acceptance and care of new ones. A new job where I get to do what I’ve always loved doing which is development work and advocacy with the bonus of being surrounded by intellectually stimulating and inspiring people. I was able to get back to running and joining races despite my Hashimoto Syndrome with the add on of winning an ultra marathon, being with the Powerpuff Boys in team races, qualifying for the Milo Marathon and an ultra- trail race.
I also got the chance to revive my former life of writing poetry, blogging and being in touch with music. My family of course has always been my anchor and my source of proper perspective, support and unconditional love.

With all those, I’d like to zero in on I guess one of the biggest blessings one could receive- the chance to continue exploring this journey that is life and escaping death.

In retrospect I realized that I’ve had two near-death experiences and many of the sort in a figurative sense or close to it like being hit by a wild car while running or falling off the cliff while doing a trail run, choking, heart break, hopelessness.



Before the APEC summit, I had to go to General Santos for an official assignment and I thought that I had the good opportunity to miss the deadly traffic in Manila but little did I know that I’d be brought closer to a real kind of dying.

The first bad sign which was less unusual was my flight being delayed for hours. It was a sigh of relief when I finally got on the plane until after 30 minutes when the old lady sitting next to me grabbed my hand and cried loudly out of fear after we felt like hitting a gigantic wall and our plane drastically descended.
I could hear screams, cries, prayers and exasperation from the passengers. It was like the longest five minutes. I pretended to be strong for the woman who seemed depending on me for confidence but deep inside I was dying in fear. I stopped myself from crying even if I was overwhelmed with anxiety and surrender. In those few minutes I uttered probably one of the most meaningful prayers I’ve made. I asked the Lord for forgiveness, thanked him for everything and prayed for my family and friends. My mind wandered as fast as my heartbeat. I imagined how it would be if I go, of who would take care of my family and the Christmases I’d miss. I realized that fear and sadness were a dangerous concoction. It’s like a bitter cup of coffee brewing inside my chest that coursed through my veins. When the chaos had settled, I heard a cry again, the woman beside me telling me that she didn’t want to die for the sake of her grandchildren… then I cried.


The second wave at death one was the Dead Man’s Trail race. I should've taken the name of the event as a warning. Let me clarify that the organizer was not in any way at fault with what happened to me. They’ve organized the race very well and made sure that all of us would be safe. It was all me. I was an irresponsible runner. I brought a head lamp without checking its batteries, wore a pair of shoes that I knew wasn’t designed for a trail run and didn’t get any sleep the night before.
It was a spur of the moment decision to join the race. A friend of mine who was registered got injured one week before the race and asked me to join instead. I got excited and said yes. I thought I could take my time and enjoy the race; that I’ve done other ultra-trail runs anyway so I should be fine.

I got in the race area floating due to lack of sleep. Since we were a bit late and I still had to get my race kit, I wasn’t able to listen to the instructions and reminders. For someone who has no sense of direction, it was the best formula for a disaster.

The race started. I was running at a steady pace with my flickering headlamp. The road was rough but was manageable until Km. 10 when I couldn’t see anything anymore. I had to wait for some friends who might be willing to adapt me and share their light with me until the sun shows up. I found Benj Termulo, Bong Bernadez and company. They were kind enough to run with a parasite runner. They helped me survive that ordeal.

So there was morning. I kept on running. I’d meet and run with a few runners in some parts of the route but practically ran all by myself most of the time. I was doing ok until I got lost the first in countless times in the entire race, the major one was making a four-km loop! J I still remember the reaction of the marshal being so surprised seeing me twice in that same part of the race.

The race was very unpredictable. It would get really hot or would rain, ridges were slippery, I fell badly on a rock while crossing the hundredth river J (felt that way), could not eat anymore due to acidity but I continued. I was determined to finish until it was dark and it snatched all visibility and courage I could muster. It happened when I was going through an unbelievable slope with nothing you could hold on to for support. I was sliding. I’d use my old Nokia phone’s light to check the route ahead of me and move, stop and check again and move and so on and so forth until I decided to stop somewhere and wait for friends who were still behind me.

It was pitch black, the silence was creeping and the thought of dangers that could possibly happen was lethal. I could die there, I knew it. If I made a wrong move and fell off the cliff, I’d be gone or it could be of dehydration since I already ran out of water and had to get from the river I wasn’t even sure was clean or the river with the water level rising and current intensifying could just sweep me away.

It was a moment when you could not cry because you’re too afraid and focused on how to get out of being stuck. Worry was an understatement. Maybe that’s only applicable to the breakfast meeting with our Country Director no less the following day and my presentation needing some revisions.

I met my friends and felt relieved but we got lost too because of darkness and because some of the ribbons that should have served as our guide were taken by some locals. When I saw the organizers along the way, I cried. It was the only time I did because I knew I already could.

Tears can be suspended I realized. Fear and sadness can be expressed in various ways that are not necessarily harmful.

These two instances made me love life even more and live it to the fullest; to be the best version of me, to know what would truly make me happy, pursue and fight for it; to value what’s given me no matter how big or small; and to treat everyone with respect.

I became more grateful of the gift of running; of people around me; of the job I have; of the chance to help others through my job; of the freedom I enjoy; of the gifts I was granted; and of life itself. 

The way to stay alive is to never lose hope and that strong determination to fight despite the difficulties and pain we face on a daily basis. The uncertainty that existence offers can be our source of anxiety or a reason to be ecstatic and see the unpredictability as something exciting. We rise and fall. It's about taking calculated risks.

Life is short and random therefore I try to make each moment count so that if anything happens anytime, I’d have no regrets.

Let there be more “oh wells” than “what ifs.”

Happy New Year! YOLO!




Friday, January 1, 2016

Fangay's Confession, Rebel's Reflections

It’s been almost seven months since I became a Rebel; since I became a fan girl; since many things have changed; since I transformed to someone I never realized I’d be. Today I took time to reflect on how the experience has been and realized many things which I thought I could summarize in a few words. Being a rebel has proven how life can be full of delightful surprises; that life can be random and there is no template to being happy or dealing with a difficult situation. It had given me a breath of fresh air and led me to discover the other side of me that I never knew existed but I loved.
It started when my Mama asked me about The Rich Man’s Daughter over family lunch. She said it’s a good show and I should see it. That promotion was brought up in between talks about heartbreaks and moving on. It registered but I wasn’t so excited but checked it as soon as I got home.

The days were dark when I started watching TRMD. Post-arguments, I’d settle in one corner, watch the show that opened the door to my escape from the excruciating daily struggle to hold on which in no time had to go. Before I could wallow in depression and count the tears I shed, I found myself pre- occupied with enjoying TRMD and RaStro. It represented the agony I was experiencing and somehow turned my eyes to looking at the beauty of love rather than focus on the pain which was part of loving but I didn’t have to be lethal as how I’d usually handle it. It stole the chance for me to embrace sadness.
I remember my family and friends who were so worried about how I was dealing with that huge change and were so surprised with how I’d be all smiling. Some of them either doubted my sincerity in the relationship, the truth in the rumors or thought I was just pretending to be happy.

I couldn’t blame them. I didn’t expect that quick recovery as well and I could not attribute it to anything else but the fandom. The show of course started it all and had been a huge factor in the moving on journey but it eventually became more about the fandom – the kind of deep and shallow conversations; the fun, the talent, the solidarity that I witnessed and proud to be part of.

I was able to brush aside negative text messages and posts because I was busy participating in the twitter party that my Daddy initially thought was a real party that I do every night to overcome sadness. He called, was worried of me going out every night since my Mama told him I was in a party regularly.
I had to explain it was just a twitter party of the fandom J 

I never felt being alone even if somebody left and something was gone.

I never realized I’d be so drawn to celebrities and to a show or that I’d spend so much time and enjoy being in a fandom. It’s something that never occurred to me; a strange thing that I was glad unfolded.

Being a Rebel was fresh. I used to be skeptical about meeting people online, more, that these virtual encounters could lead to meaningful friendships but the fandom proved me wrong.
I’ve met Rebels, comfortably talked to them online even if I haven’t seen them yet considering that their DPs didn’t show their faces. It was natural and when we met in person, the bond just got deeper. It may sound weird to others but in the fandom, there is connection in the way we rejoice and mourn over the same thing; how we’d argue but also unite when necessary. It’s real. We had the same dreams and that dream transcend differences in age, social status, political views, etc.

Thank you Team Bahay for the logo

If we were a nation, we’d probably one of the most developed ones because we look at the same direction, work towards the same goal and are willing to disregard conflict, offer and share our gifts and talents; laugh when necessary and just do anything we can for the sake of the goal, RaStro and the fandom.

I can go on and on talking about this wonderful experience of being a fangirl but to cap this off, I’d say, I like myself better now and a bug part of it is being in the fandom.

Thank you RaStro, thank you Rebels! J




Sunday, December 27, 2015

Running with Hashimoto

So I’m back to blogging. I’ve been busy writing but poems this time. The expression is different and the interaction is more with the soul and the universe rather than the present and the tangible. I enjoy transcending to a world only imagination can reach and wild one can possibly grasp. It’s overwhelming thus the break from a narrative that’s more spontaneous which is no less exciting and satisfying. The busy schedule got in the way too.

But whether I change the ink of my pen, I have the same story. I’ve got Hashimoto’s syndrome, an auto immune disease that causes my hypothyroidism that causes my metabolism to slow down up to nothing that causes weight gain among other symptoms of this random joke of destiny.

It’s beyond my control. The best that I can do to at least delay or minimize its impact is to regularly take medicines. If there’s anything that would certainly remain for a lifetime, it’s me and my daily dose of my pills otherwise I’d suffer more terribly.
Sounds exciting, right? It is. Dealing with this kind of illness is no fun at all but it doesn’t lead you to a dead end. It still poses choices on how you can live with it. There is no escaping. I’ve been mustering all courage to manage and live normally. It’s a reality that crushes me every now and then and could take me so conveniently to a land of depression if I don’t fight.
But letting it draw the boundaries in my life is a non-existent possibility. I’d rather be happy and embrace the fact that there’s little I can do believing that no matter how weak my strength is, it makes a huge difference; it’s a dent that can turn my world upside down.

I am a runner. I used to be a competitive one. Weight matters. That is not an exaggeration and I realized that more in my recent runs when I felt like dragging several pieces of myself in every step until I cross the finish line. It’s frustrating; it’s excruciating but I live, I push, I still run because I’m grateful that I still live, I can still push and can still run.
What comforts me now is knowing that I do the best I can to maximize those that are within my control. If I could confidently tell myself that I maintained the discipline required to live a healthy lifestyle then that’s enough. This condition also taught me to take a break from stressing too much over diet and excessive work out. I realized that life is too short to spend on counting calories and depriving myself of the food that I used to enjoy which are not really unhealthy to begin with.

There are good days and there are bad. There are times when I feel that my body’s responding to my activities and my hormones are stable. I celebrate those moments and do everything to maintain whatever progress I achieve. I mourn during bad days when I feel like all my efforts are going nowhere.

It’s a roller coaster ride that I choose to enjoy. It won’t defeat me! I am resolved!
I can be one of the heavy and slow runners around but I am certainly one of the toughest and I respect all runners no matter what distance you're running or how fast you are because you have your own story and maybe a more difficult battle than mine.
So to everyone who's fighting their own battles- WE CAN DO IT! FIGHT!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


I am a 34- year old development worker. I’ve been in several non-government organizations that worked on various issues such as good governance and anti-corruption; human rights; political and electoral reforms; humanitarian; and disaster risk reduction and management, among others. I’ve had talks and written various pieces on these issues and on theology too. I’m an activist and had taken a lot of risks to fight for what I believe in.  I also run a lot; had once been a competitive one.

My life sounds serious and profound. Seems like I spend my days on important matters alone. The closest to being fun that I could probably think of is being a consistent listener of a radio show, "The Morning Rush" for years now; I am a rusher at heart.

I don’t brag any of those. I just want to offer a context to what happened recently when I heard an acquaintance called me immature and cheap; that I am not being myself after they learned that I spend so much time tweeting and actively participating in a fandom; about how engrossed I’ve been in watching a teleserye when it was still airing and even watching its previous episodes after. They could not believe how it shapes me, sustains me and saves me.

I don’t mind being judged for being a fanatic, an addict, an avid, a rabbid, active member of a fandom called RaStro Rebels- those who admire, follow and love (yes, love!) Rhian Ramos and Glaiza De Castro as the lead actors of The Rich Man’s Daughter. TRMD was a prime time teleserye that courageously presented issues that lesbians/ gays face. For me it’s revolutionary; it’s as relevant as the advocacies I fight for. We can sit down and argue about it if you wish to. I have all the ammunitions to build my case even if I don't think I owe that to anyone.

It’s so easy for people to accuse fans like us and tag us like we’re just a bunch of crazy, empty individuals without even understanding where we’re coming from.

The fandom I belong to is a world of its own as much as it is universal. We have our own jargon and inside jokes but our stories are as real as everybody else.

The fandom is one of the most intelligent societies I’ve ever been to. Our conversations can be just pure fun but can also be as deep; the wit is exceptional; the creativity’s superb; the connection’s amazing.

It’s a world where equality is lived out. Our experiences and admiration, call it addiction, towards RaStro bind us regardless of social status, age, preferences and even nationality- because there is Team International (Ehem! Proud!). We trascend demographics and borders better than political coalitions and religious groups I know.

I’ve not seen a community that so willingly supports the people they look up to and would exert so much effort to show it. Rhian and Glaiza are kind too; they see us as people and not inanimate objects in their careers.

It’s a family where people seem to care for each other as if we’ve known everyone in person ever since. We don’t feel alone in whatever struggle we go through and in dealing with the rejection that some of us may be facing for being who we are; it’s as much an escape as it is a reality check.

It’s a space where we can come as we are and breathe and simply have fun. We have our own moments, face issues, argue but we're able to settle them in ways that only us understand. Most times these "fights" are set aside when we need to unite for RaStro or for a concern that matters to all of us.

Call me shallow, call me cheap. If shallow means standing up against discrimination in our own way; if cheap means offering a new paradigm against the current understanding of norms; then I am. I don’t care how you see us because we don’t need anyone’s approval, thus our name.

I am an activist and now a Rebel as well and I will always be happy and proud of it.


Thursday, September 3, 2015

Notes from an ultra runner.. My QUMAR story

I am no expert. I don’t claim to be the best in the community. I've had countless failures and mistakes. Maybe these are the reasons why I attempted to share lessons learned so that others would have a better experience than I had and that they would enjoy the benefits of the few right things I was able to do.

You can take what you think would be helpful and throw away those that wouldn’t. Whichever, I hope you enjoy the read! :)


I have this tendency. I easily get excited and go along the adrenalin rush. During the first few kilometers, I usually sprint to release the anxiety I'd have before the race. That’s my way of shaking the tension off. That should be ok except that sometimes I don’t realize I’ve been doing it for quite a while to the point of losing my energy for the remaining distance.
Ultra marathon involves a lot of calculation. We need to know how much energy there is compared to the distance that we need to complete. 

In the first 10 kilometers of the race, I decided I’d run with my “boys” and keep a steady pace of 6min/Km. It was a bit faster than planned but it was enough to release the fear and slow enough not to get wasted early. It was also because it was still ark so we thought it would be safe for me to run with them.
Everytime I felt like I was running faster than I had to, I’d slow down. I didn’t want to be exhausted even I could still speed up. I didn’t mind being passed by other runners even if it was an ego bruiser. I kept telling myself that it was still early in the game and I should focus on my own race. I think that it's a sign of maturity not to be driven by excitement and be mindful of your own capacity rather than get insecure being left behind.

Many times I have been asked whether I don’t get scared running alone in the dark and I always say no. I cant think of any ultra marathon where I got afraid that I was alone in the long stretch of roads with only my headlamp on. I’ve always felt secured that nothing would happen to me but that doesn’t mean I’ve not been extra careful. When I find myself alone, I heighten my senses and become more aware of my surroundings. While I focus on the run, I also make sure no one was around to hurt me and that I am running in a safe place. I become more careful with the vehicles going so fast in the highway. I don’t care if I slow down to go to the side and give way as long as I am safe.
From Km. 10 until Km. 20, I was alone. Although most parts of the road were well lit, there were sections that weren’t. It takes courage to be willing to pass by those areas but more than that it takes greater sensitivity of your surroundings. No race is worth your life or safety. Go slow if necessary. If you can take with you some weapons to protect yourself in case an attacker comes, do so even if it adds weight on you. I must say though that the organizers are responsible enough not to place us in dangerous situations but still better be careful than sorry.


It’s not all the time that we get the chance to run in the provinces with trees, rice fields, mountains, clean air but sometimes because we get too pre occupied with finishing the race with a good time, we lose the chance of savoring that moment; that gift.
I reached Km. 21 before 6:00 am when the sun was just beginning to show up and its rays were slowly kissing the rice fields welcomed by the birds chirping and flying around. It was green. It was beautiful. And then I felt the cool breeze touching my face as if telling me that everything would be fine. While lingering in that moment, I was greeted by early risers- farmers, children smiling at me and cheering me on. Some of them were riding in carabaos, some of them were just walking barefoot. Then I began to smell fresh pandesal,  tuyo and sinangag; tinapa, corn, COFFEEEE!!!! J
I made sure I was there to have those images in my mind vivid and savor the smell, the view, the moment.

Anything can happen in a run especially in ultra marathons. Because of the long distance, there are more chances for surprises to arise. You can only prepare so much. We should be ready for whatever may come.
It was a girly run for me. An unexpected, unwanted visitor came before race day so I was running on my second day- the most painful and uncomfortable day for a woman. I knew I had it and tried so hard to prepare for it but after four hours of running in the rain, the situation had gone from bad to worse. I had to stop every now and then for the routine to keep myself clean and sane J 
It was painful and uncomfortable. A perfect combo for a potential DNF. Men may not understand it. Some women even. To those who’ve gone through that agony would know that it’s not a joke to have your period especially your 2nd day on race day and especially in an ultra marathon when you have to deal with it for almost the entire day.
Well, what could I do? I rolled with it. I did the stops as quickly as possible and tried to ignore it.
It was sweat, blood and tears for me. SORRY, TMI! J

Challenges can come in many other forms- cramps, side stitch, hyper acidity, a lost whatever, a vehicular failure of your support crew, etc. but keep in mind that it’s part of the adventure- deal with it, RUN!

At Km. 40, my legs were beginning to complain. Since my last ultra marathon was a year ago and my longest run before the race was the Milo Marathon, my body began to adjust to the distance and complained. The pain was here and there; my feet, my hips, my back, my shoulders, my motivation. When all these were calling my attention, I did not easily shrug them off. I paid attention to each of them and tried to identify which pain was just caused by irresponsible lack of training and arrogance and which were more serious, I should stop.
We are masochists, that’s a given. The fact that we’re willing to suffer for how many hours proves that we’re born to survive but we’re not reckless. We’re crazy and insane but not stupid and damn. There is a thin line. I find it noble and admirable that we break our boundaries and surpass the difficulties but I find it more respectful when we are willing to quit if it would mean long term injuries or our lives. We take calculated risk. It takes strength to beat the pain and go on but it takes wisdom and humility to know when to stop- for yourself and the ones you love.

It sounds crazy but I don’t mind admitting it. Everytime people learn that I do ultra marathons, one of the first questions I get is what goes on in my head while running for such a long time and I’d always say- random thoughts. Then they’d ask if it’s not boring especially after they learn that I don’t listen to any music so I can hear the vehicles coming or the people around. I’d tell them, I love running and it would be hard to get bored doing something you love plus I talk to myself. Then they’d laugh at me and call me crazy. To which I’d reply: I am! Haha!
From the beginning especially when I reached Km. 50 after overcoming the hills that seemed not to end, I’d talk and motivate myself. I argued with myself. I would remind myself of the reason why I was there; of how I was able do those kinds of runs before and would remind myself that I was strong and the finish line was close. I would remind myself of happy thoughts- friends and family, the fandom, the happy workplace, the blessings. I would get myself excited at what awaits me at the finish line- the comfortable slippers, the good cup of coffee, friends waiting, REST!
It’s helping me and I don’t know how you see it but it sustained me in all my races. Try it? ;)


The last stretch of a long distance race seems the longest. The closer you get to the finish line, the more you feel impatient and exhausted and you’d have the tendency to get grumpy and moody and bad. The tiredness would creep in and you’d find all excuses to justify a bad mood and take it out on your support crew. It’s unfair. I’ve always wondered how runners can get mad at their support crew when these people did nothing but help you in what makes you happy, in something that they didn’t force you to do. It’s not easy to lack sleep and rest, to cheer us up, give us what we need, etc.
Try to be nice. Try to be patient. Think of happy thoughts. Thank your crew instead when you are tempted to be angry, cry if you must than hurt them. It’s not fair. It’s not right.
Do not lose your virtues in the run. Hold on to it. The run should make us better people. Ultra marathon is a mental game but also a character test therefore we should not only keep our heads tough but our values and integrity intact.

You need to keep your core strong- the physcial core and core values.


You deserve a treat after that grueling journey so celebrate. Eat properly and what would give you comfort and joy. Stretch. Laugh. Enjoy the moment!
When I crossed the finish line, I saw my good friends waiting with open arms and teary eyed. They knew the life I had. They knew how much I wanted to finish that race and how afraid and doubtful I was. They knew that it meant so much to me. I cried, they did.
I could not utter any word but gratefulness and joy. The podium finish was a bonus. It was more than enough that I crossed the finish line injury free despite the di makataong route and weather.

Good luck! Have fun! Stay safe! Finish strong!