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Thursday, January 5, 2017

Remember Mr. DHS, my friendly neighborhood picker-upper?

Back in August when I was training for my 42k, I would often bump into someone who was such a blessing to me. Although we didn't interact, I'd see him picking up someone else's trash in the park, and that made such an impact on me.

I told myself (and you guys, for accountability) that  I'd tell him so the next time I saw him.

Well, the first time I saw him again, I lost my nerve and didn't push through with it. What a chicken! Bukbukkuk! So the next time, I thought I had to get over myself and fulfill a promise.

I finally did. He said that when he blesses someone, he asks that person to pass it on! So here I am, not knowing how but letting you guys know that the baton is with me. 

What are your suggestions? Should I pick up someone elses' trash too? Volunteer to help someone out? Make a raw veg meal for someone with cancer? Or something else? Let me know! I'll make a decision a month from today: February 6.

Click here for the survey


Thursday, July 7, 2016

A lonely road...not!

Hey all.

If you've been following the blog for a while, or if you know me personally, you know that I have these weird health issues that keep me from participating at all-you-can-eat buffets.

You know from the blogger profile that I often bring my own baon even when the catered food is free.

Some of you know that towards my last few years living in Seattle (the birthplace of Starbucks) I could no longer drink coffee (a mortal sin)!

When I trained for my first full marathon held last February, I couldn't drink the free sports drinks.

I'm not even able to partake of the Lord's Supper!

In a culture where pakisama and being a cowgirl are extremely admirable social traits, I would take the road less-traveled to be attuned to a sensitive body with special needs, which often comes with its share of eye-rolling, ridicule, and exclusion.

My joyful discovery? I don't necessarily have to be lonely.

How is this possible?

I'd like to invite you to discover this!


Discounts for early birds until July 15 :) !

If you're unable to make it for whatever reason (you're married! you don't make the cutoff! you can't file a VL! you're broke! you're cheap! you're introverted!) but still are interested to know the story, please let me know still. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Eye Scream!

I don’t believe this. I can’t even explain it. I had an eye check up yesterday, part of my yearly eye checkup over at American Eye Centre.

When I had LASIK more than ten years ago, I was told that one eye was 20/20 and the other eye was 20/15 (meaning, even better than 20/20).  Then years later, I’m back and have been told that both eyes have improved! I can’t contain my excitement.

I was taught that my eyesight would deteriorate over time, either through abuse, aging, or changes in my cornea when I hit sixty and I would need reading glasses. But I was never told they would ever improve! This calls for a celebration :D


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

My First 42.195-Kilometer Marathon!

If you told me six years ago I would run a full 42km marathon someday I would have called you crazy. 
I was in the US, with a then-undiagnosed health concern, searching for answers. My heart desperately longed for solutions and in true Frannie-melodramatic fashion I asked God if that was it. I asked my family for prayers and a sudden turn of events unrelated to the health concern brought me back home. 
I didn't inform friends because I was too run down to want them to see me and I knew I couldn't have taken what would have been pity.
Praise God who has since allowed me to discover a non-drug way of healing (it turned out that I had an autoimmune disease) which involved changing my eating and sleeping habits and continuing on a path of daily exercise which was imposed on me since my scoliosis, discovered when I was six, suddenly became so severe the doctor said I needed surgery at age fourteen. (We never went through the surgery because my mom knew the risks. So a brace worn 23/7 and daily exercise and a shower for the extra hour without the brace was my only recourse) Even though I still have health concerns, God enabled me, through the new healthy lifestyle, healing from insomnia (2010), migraines (2010), dry, bloodshot eyes (2010), and anemia (2013). 
Approaching my fifth anniversary of natural healing, I wanted to do something special. My friend and D12 sister, Mich Bastasa, having completed TBR Dream Marathon in 2014, encouraged me to run a marathon shortly after she finished hers. She even suggested I read a certain marathon book. I didn't read it right away though. I wasn't sure I wanted to do one at the time because my longest run had only been 7 kilometers. But the idea came again when the marathon sign-ups approached and I realized they were going to officially open in August 2015, my anniversary for healing!

Applying for The Bull Runner Dream Marathon was an event itself! Hearing that slots got filled within 30 minutes of the announcement of registration, I set my alarm to remind me to wait by my laptop before it happened. It was such an adrenaline rush because my internet was particularly slow that day. I entered
my admissions essay (!) and hoped to get picked. It would take another week before I heard from them, and then there was another round of submissions and a different time slot. 
It sure was exhilarating to see my name in the official list of runners! 

My initial shock after learning how much the fee was was replaced with an appreciation for the kind and amount of support available to us for the full 22 weeks we were to undergo training.

We had Bull Circles discussing training tips, fueling, hydration, sponsor products to try, and also testimonials from TBR alums. A memorable one was from Ernest Carual, who ran with one short leg due to osteomyelitis. When he discovered and fell in love with running, he and his wife Che decided to invest in it rather than nights out and parties and material goods in order to stay healthy to be able to see their son Cody grow up. 

We also had Bull Sessions which were long slow distance runs in BGC and Nuvali that were open to our friends. One Bull Session I'll never forget was on Saturday, December 19. We ran for 2 hours and 40 minutes. In. The. Cold. December. Non-stop. Rain. At 4 a.m.!  

In addition to the circles and sessions, we had an active FB community where we encouraged one another, invited ourselves and others to long slow distance runs, and where I met my Makati-BGC carpool mates Raizza Videña, Jappy Villareal and Jona De La Cruz (in picture: Abi Domingo Bautista also!) 

We thought of ways to prepare ourselves for uphill runs, and we got to meet Team Bulalo members Abby Pacquing and Anne Orquiza for a run in BGC/McKinley. 

We also eventually ran with TBR alum and second-timer Walter de Jesus in UP, 

and other Team Bulalo, TBR 2016, and MARS NFFs. That was memorable too because it was our first run where we yawned as we ran. 
As Sunday, February 21 drew near, I asked family and friends to pray for specific things for the marathon:
Proper hydration and fueling prior to, during and post-marathon
For guidance as to whether I needed a pacer or not
No cramps, no injuries
For God alone to be glorified 
God is super amazing. I was made to feel love beyond measure. I received more than what was prayed for:
  • Before we were allowed to run, I needed to get an ECG, blood test and physical exam. Ever since I started eating healthy, I've been getting good results, but the results I got this year have been my best results thus far!

  • I didn't get any unhealthy cravings. My appetite was for only healthy food beginning January 2016. I mostly followed Kristina Carillo Bucaram's meal planning advice. 
  • My chiropractor gave me such good news it deserves its own blog post (maybe soon when I have more information) 
  • My ultra marathoner cousin Pavel Miranda (known in ultra marathon circles as Simon) recommended a pacer, ultra marathoner Sheryll “She” Quimosing, who interviewed me on send-off party night regarding my fueling/hydration strategy. I recounted to her that during my previous 34km, I drank buko juice before and after the run but only drank water for the duration of the race (and ate three bananas) because I couldn't drink Gatorade. She advised me to bring small bottles of buko juice to be distributed throughout the course (!) I felt so psyched! (For the 42.195km, I also had two bananas and a small amount of sea salt.) 
     She also recommended for me to bring an extra shirt, comb and lipstick for kikay time before crossing the finish line. On marathon day, I changed my shirt in her friend Smiley Foods' car and checked my reflection on her sun glasses as I applied lipstick :)
    -that's my friend Nikki who is also part of my Dgroup who rode her bike into the course and found She and I at around 39 km. From time to time she would update the rest of the gang near the finish line how far we were. Aside from being one of my prayer partners, she was also assigned to remind me to return my timing chip and to stretch after the run. I didn't want to get caught up celebrating and forget. When She overheard this, she volunteered to stretch me. Mich and the gang provided me a shawl. And She did her magic! 

-even though I felt pain in my feet at 30km, I didn't experience cramps. I also didn't have any injuries. For the pain, God helped me remember that foam rollers were available. Thinking that foam rollers were soft and comforting, I asked She if I could try one. We found one of the dream volunteers and he had me brace my legs as he rolled the foam roller on my calves. Sudden realization: those things are painful!!!! And are not soft!!! I wasn't ready for even more pain!!!! After all the yelling though, (I yelled “no” after the volunteer offered to roll the front part of the legs) I found myself able to run again! :)

-by the time we got to the end, seeing Tita Pynky Magsino, Tita Monsy Gomez, Tita Pinky Marilao, Ria Villanueva, Mich Bastasa and NFF Celine Gencianos twice on the road gave me an extra surge of energy to run faster towards the line :) 

Thanks to the D12 for your balloons! 

-the weather was great. Sheryll told me that the previous year's weather was warmer 

I also want to thank everyone who prayed for me, before the day: Shai Bermudez-Hizon, Tasha Lee, Nikki Baqueriza, Mansh Baxani, Patmai de Vera, AC Oca, Auntie Vickie Bunye, Carlo Benavidez, Richard Takechi, Tita Didit Reyes, Rhea Castro, Juliet Santillan, Winnie Mariano Bustamante, Wenn Laohoo, Kate Caparros, Karinna Bim Mauricio, Lucci Javier, Jane Cutab, Rigel de los Santos-Jocson, Punsala Hettiarachchige, Jo Barotilla, Faye Matriano, Jaye Matriano,  Mary Espiritu, Jo Tan, Wendy Casuga, Nica Rodriguez, Patty Rodriguez, and Jen Alimon, and those who kept vigil from 2am-9am. I want to make a particular shoutout to Tito Raul Tapia (ultra marathoner also!) and Mich Bastasa from the Philippines who weren't required to pray at 2am but volunteered to wake up then to pray for me. Everyone else who prayed at 2am were from Australia: Mia Batac and Seattle: Diane Simons, Kim Unrau, Carolyn Besana, and Richard Takechi. 
3am: Suki Wilmot, Tin Latta and Zelda Keckler (PST Seattle Feb 20 11am)
4am: Tin Latta, Tita Anna May Gonzalez, Barbie Mamuyac, and Pia Clarin-Jingco
5am: Regina Bunye (Feb 20 1pm PST Los Angeles) Berni Bague (Feb 20 4pm EST Boston) Ichu Ferguson (Feb 21 10am NZST Auckland) Shenna Aludino-Malinao, Lani Lao, Barbie Mamuyac
5:30 Abi Bantatua 
6am: Ruth Batay-an, Leslie Evangelista, Bernie Bague, Iya Garcia, Kat Carpio
7am: Tito Benj Magsino, Tita Pynky Magsino, Jo Ruñez, Jems Legaspi Alentajan, Ysa Trinidad, AJ Navalta, Ces Ilagan
8am: Tita Monsy Gomez, Auntie Elyza Rivera, Ria Villanueva, Jamie Bayoneta, Pia Clarin-Jingco, Hannah Urbanozo
9am Yolie Cayetano (Feb 20 8pm EST New Jersey) Pia Clarin-Jingco, Dimple Alcantara, Ruth Ramayla, Lindsay Isenhower (Feb 20 5pm Seattle)
9:30am Susan Elizabeth Dudley Turner (Feb 20 8:30pm EST Florida) 
Thanks to Barbie Mamuyac for praying for my recovery! I have since done one recovery brisk walk/sort of jog on Tuesday, February 22, and by Wednesday night, February 23, the tightness in the calves was gone. 
A special thank you to my college roommate Mi Pe-Co who got me into running, and college friend Roma Atabug who ran with me for my first 3k buddy run

Thank you to fruitarian marathoner Tim van Orden of, my ultramarathoner cousin Pavel Miranda and ultramarathoner Sharone Rodriguez from Bangko Sentral who gave me such good advice and encouragement. Thank you to Matthew Frazier of No Meat Athlete for the advice in his book. Thank you to Dennis Gamaya of Team Roadrunners and Banana Runners from Bangko Sentral and the rest of the Banana Runners for training with me for my first 5k and 6k! 
To Ruth Ramayla who lent me her hydration belt and went running shoe/shirt/shorts shopping with me, and educated the salespeople over at New Balance about pronation, thank you! 
To Jaymie Pizarro, Jim Lafferty, Lit Onrubia, Francis Diano, Macel and Mike Janeo, all the organizers! Congratulations!
To Sheryll, for going beyond the call of duty! You were not just pacing me (you knew when to push me and when to hold back) but making sure the experience was memorable! 
Thank you also to all those who assisted Sheryll and I in getting the buko juice to the different hydration stations: Smiley Foods, Allan Enriquez, James Rosca, Japo Ignacio, Gammy Tayao, and Eda Maningat.
To Sheryll's boyfriend Tong Pascua whom She assigned to keep my headlights after sunrise so that I didn't have to have anything heavy on my forehead after 6am. Thank you. 
Thank you also to Smiley Foods for allowing me to change in your car! 
To TBR volunteers who provided sponges and ice water especially for those still running after sunrise, thank you! 
I also want to thank Pa for the encouragement, hydration, fueling and letting me borrow your headlights. Love you and Ma! 
To God, for giving me my health reboot in 2010 and my spiritual reboot in 2006 (woohoo celebrating ten years in October 2016!!!); for allowing me to run 42.195 kilometers despite scoliosis, a slightly longer left leg, an autoimmune disease, and only 7km being my longest distance prior to signing up for the marathon. Thank You for helping me through difficult times such as having to postpone badminton games for six months to avoid injury, to having to say no to hanging out in Boracay in November, and instead sleeping early to run early. 

To You alone be all the glory, and honor and praise! 
Thank You also for my cute chip time: 07:42:07 Jesus' two number 7s sandwiching my 42 :) 

and my gun time: 07:43 'love you' and :34 'you love' for my gun time. I love You because You first loved me, my mathematical God! 

Additional thanks to:
Ria Villanueva, Nikki Baqueriza, Raizza Videña, Vincent Hilario, Anne Orquiza, Walter de Jesus, Jaymie Pizarro for the photos :) 
Thank you to Sabby Ow, my TBR 2016 batchmate, for getting me in touch with Ernest Carual.
Thank you to Walter de Jesus for picking us up from our hotel to the marathon grounds, allowing us to park our stuff in his car, and carrying the ice chest of buko juice! Thank you to his cousin for the ride to Solenad! 

Thank you to #teamlegs for cracking me up the days following the marathon while we were recovering. Looking forward to wearing our medals at the victory party!

In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various [a]trials, so that the [b]proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which [c]is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

1 Peter 1:6-7 NASB 


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Claimed my race welcome kit!

I claimed my The Bull Runner 2016 Welcome Kit today! Very excited! The t-shirt is smaller than the size I ordered, but it's comfy. Good thing the gal at the desk insisted I try it and compare it to my original order :)


Friday, August 28, 2015

Picker Upper - updated!

Running has its many perks. You get to witness so much around you. Everyday things that you take for granted, you have more time to observe  as you catch your breath and wonder when your next water break is. 

One fine morning, I noticed a familiar sight in my route: an eldery, Caucasian male, in his gray US Department of Homeland Security shirt stopping to pick up other people’s trash and disposing of them in the trash bin. I’ve been seeing this for several days now. He does that on his regular walking route, which is along my run route.  I’m pretty sure he is as exasperated as others who see that the trash is just inches away from the bin. But unlike my usually self-righteous heart, which rants about it or sometimes even has the audacity to call the litterers on it, he just takes it upon himself set things right. No fanfare, no confrontations. Just humility. 

I discussed this over an extra rice lunch with my ultramarathoner cousin Pavel (who offered to run with me as I train for my first 42k - thank you!) after my first 10+k run in UP (such beautiful running weather in the mornings! I shall return!)

For a nation obsessed with basketball, you’d think we as a people would like to “shoot” our garbage in its proper place. But this is so not the case. Why do Pinoys litter anyway in the country when they  habitually keep their own bodies (twice a day showers!) and homes/cars clean? (I say they litter in the country because they don't do it when they're outside of it)

We've come to the following hypotheses:

 1). Pinoys do it because they assume someone would clean up after them (like in the movie theaters when the credits start rolling and the uniformed dudes start picking up popcorn and paper cups) 

2). This is learned behavior since you were a child when your yaya would clean up after you (as opposed to living abroad where something stays where it is unless you dispose of it) 

3). There are no consequences for littering (unless you live in Davao or Palawan). When one goes to the US, or any other foreign country, one doesn't want to run the risk of being deported or at the very least, ostracized, so s/he follows all the rules and tries to fit in as much as possible. (This is also probably the reason why Pinoy parents stop teaching their kids Tagalog or their other Filipino languages, but I digress) 

What are yours? I'm curious to know.

It’s a little out of my comfort zone but I think I’ll thank Mr. DHS the next time I see him, not just for picking up the trash, but for being a breath of fresh air and a picker upper of other people's days! 

Update: 1/5/2017: I got to talk to him! I thanked him for how he's made an impact on me! But he's also challenged me to pass it on. How should I? Answer the survey here!

How about you? What have you seen that blessed you in some way? Do you let those concerned know that they blessed you? Or how do you change your behavior as a result? 

Running update: 
161 days to go till my 42k! Woohoo!

Thank You God for helping me choose carefully what to eat, to sleep enough, and to exercise without injury! Most of all I thank You for surrounding me with friends who are encouragers! Thank You also for this ultra yummy watermelon, which I had when I got home :) 

(One watermelon, placed in the lowest setting of your blender, poured into mason jars)


Friday, August 14, 2015

5 years high raw!!! (Celebrations part 2: Signing up for a marathon!)

I love August! It has always been a time of new beginnings for me: new schoolyears, a new job in the US, and five years ago, a new lifestyle of healing through raw vegan food! 

For part two of celebrating my fifth anniversary of healthy living, I signed up for  The Bull Runner Dream Marathon, my first 42k! I'm super excited to run this marathon! Friends have volunteered to run with me on my practice runs. Even a cousin who runs ultramarathons (he's done the Bataan Death March ultramarathon) wants to help out! So exciting! I gave them my schedule for increasing my distance training so they could choose which distances to run with me :) A friend, Mich who has encouraged me to sign up for my first 42k recommended that I read running books and I found one plan that I like which suits me as a novice marathoner. Also raw vegan runner Tim Van Orden replied to one of my FB messages! So stoked! But I hope I do even better in the race that does matter! 

2 Timothy 4:7

Thank you God for the gift of raw vegan food, healing, and the love of friends and family 

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