Tag Archives: running in manila


Lately, I’ve been fearing something that is hard to admit, but heck, might as well get it out there.

For the last couple of months (more?) I’ve been afraid of running.

Yes, running.

I can’t even explain why.  Afraid of something hurting?  For sure.  But mostly, afraid of failing.

It’s hard to look back at who I was not much longer than a year ago, when I would do 10 miles for fun, and I actually enjoyed my 20 milers back when I was training for the Chicago Marathon.  Sure, they were tough, but they were pleasant.  And now?  I know I can’t even run 3 miles without taking a break – and even then, I will be a lot slower than before.  And before?  I was already a slow runner, so it’s not like I ever thought I could get any worse.

So you read me babbling about lifting weights at the gym, or muay thai, and all this time, no peep about running.  And now you know why.  I’m afraid I can’t run anymore.  Not that my body is incapable – no, that’s not it – it’s all in my head.  It will be hard and I will hate it, and I will give up.

The worst part of it?  I actually MISS running.  I miss it dearly.  I daydream about it, I think about it every.single.day.  I just don’t actually, you know, RUN. 

Running in Manila still doesn’t excite me.  I don’t want to deal with the traffic noise, the pollution, the crowded sidewalks, crossing streets where pedestrians don’t have the right of way even when the pedestrian light is on, dealing with badly maintained sidewalks, just waiting for the next sprained ankle, dealing with running alone.  So when I run here, I usually take the treadmill, because it’s easier, more convenient, and I don’t have outside factors making it unpleasant.  But I never enjoyed the treadmill, so then, I just don’t run at all.

At the end of last year, I even trained for a 10k (a big deal around these parts lately), and then when that got canceled, I just pretty much lost my motivation.  All of it.  Dealing with foot and now hip pain no long after didn’t help, and sunk me into a deeper hole.

But yesterday?  I went to the gym to do my hour of lifting weights, got back home and jumped on the treadmill.  My goal was for a mile (because small goals are all I can handle now), and I got tired quick, had to walk before the mile was even over (but I knew that was coming) but it didn’t hurt anywhere.  I hopped out after a mile and a half, having done some walking in the midst, but mostly running.  Who knew I could still put my foot in front of the other?  My endurance is still not there, and I might not get it back until I’m back in DC running with the best running buddies DC has to offer, but I can get back there, even if my time in Manila is meant to be spent on 3 milers only.

I’m still afraid.  I’m afraid it’s going to be hard, that it will never get easy again (was it ever easy?).  But now I’m hoping that each time after weightlifting I can hop on the treadmill, even if only a mile, because I have to start somewhere, but I won’t get anywhere if I don’t at least TRY.


Filed under Runs

Garmin: FAIL! Again. *sigh*

Back in DC, for the most part, my Garmin worked pretty well.  I could count on it.  As long as I wasn’t running in downtown DC (where this happened), I knew it was fairly accurate.

But Garmin first started giving me problems when it switched from Google Maps (LOVE!) to Bing Maps (HATE!).  My runs in Rio went from being charted, to having no map at all.  AT ALL.  Not even a red line on white background, nothing, the mileage got counted, but since it takes a while to get signal there, it’s nice to know what part didn’t get counted so I can  manually adjust the mileage.  (WTF Bing?  And WTF Garmin for making this change?  It’s been a year, I thought they would go back to google by now.)

Then runs in Manila show up as if I have the ability to walk on water (what supposedly is Manila Bay in the map below is actually EDSA, a pretty major highway here, and Mall of Asia):

Garmin 1

But at least Garmin was still doing something, right?  I mean, once it got signal it was tracking the distance fairly accurately.

Where I live now it takes forever to get a signal.  FOREVER.  I usually give up and start up without waiting for the Garmin.  But yesterday, while waiting for Mai Mai for our run, Garmin actually got a signal!  I was excited!!!  My first run in Makati that would be accurate!

Or so I thought…

I knew there was something wrong when every time I looked at my pace I was running 6 min/miles.  (Hahahaha, yeah, that’s accurate!)

Then I got home, hooked it up to Garmin Connect, and right away I knew something was wrong…  Because, I still don’t have the ability to walk through walls.  But Garmin still believes I’m a super-woman.


Here’s a closer look…


The worst part is that the map above is SO inaccurate (that big loop at the bottom?  Never happened, not even close), that I can’t even attempt to remap it on google maps.  I tried putting it side by side, but all those little circles I apparently ran? I have no idea what it’s meant to be!  Plus the “hybrid” option looks exactly like the aerial view – without street names it makes it even tougher…  The fact that we ran a variety of loops, doesn’t help remembering it either.

Plus, it estimates I had 699ft elevation gain, plus 708ft elevation loss.  Meanwhile the run was on completely flat surface.  Maybe it thought I took the stairs up those buildings I supposedly crossed?

So our 32:48 minute run?  I’m calling it at 3 miles flat, because what else can I do?

I can’t even imagine training for a marathon here and being dependent on my Garmin…  Long runs would be impossible to gauge!


Filed under Runs

3 GLORIOUS miles!

No, really.

So the treadmill is growing on me (I know, who IS this person?), but to get rid of some stress and clear my head, there’s nothing like an outdoor run.

I had to go to the diving shop to look at wetsuits (I was unsuccessful in my search), so figured if I’m going to go, might as well run there.  And run I did.  It was 86 degrees, sunny and muggy.  But it was one of those runs that the more I ran, the better I felt.  You know how sometimes you have runs where everything just *clicks*?  Today, it clicked.

Maybe because my mom’s box finally arrived and I was fueled by this…


Hmmmm…  Strong Brazilian coffee…


Or maybe it was all the head-clearing “make me sane and loving life again” sweat. 

But it wasn’t even a very scenic run, except when I passed by a couple of parks…


And don’t let the shade fool you, I was actually in the sun most of the time.  (Oh, see the sign behind me?  Another park that doesn’t allow pets.  SUCH A STUPID MANILA RULE!!!  Enforce people to clean up after their pets, instead of enforcing for pets to stay away, and you solve the problem!)


But, I digress…   The run was tough, my heart rate was high, but at no point did I think “I can’t do this” or “I need to walk.”  Heck, my Garmin didn’t even pick up a signal for the first mile of the run, and I didn’t let that get me down. 

By the end of the run, the sun had disappeared and the air was gloomy…  I even extended my run to make sure I got 3 miles in (turns out once I mapped it at home that it worked out perfectly, as I finished just short of a 5k).


And I was a sweaty drippy red mess…


But this was by far the best run I’ve had since landing in Manila.  It made me believe that I can run outside again.  Maybe all that treadmill work is helping out!

I got home, drank a banana protein powder + fresh papaya + chia seeds smoothie (crap, I may even have chia seeds stuck on my teeth in the picture below…) and got my dreams of laying by the pool shattered by a storm outside.


But even a storm in Manila sometimes brings out the rainbows!  So by the time we were ready to start our scuba diving class, we were faced with this:


It was the first day we actually did stuff in our diving class and spent 4 hours on a pool.  I can’t wait to get to the FUN part of diving…


Karl did look like a super hero, however, so it was all worth it at the end 🙂


This weekend?  Off to Batangas for our first dive.  The weather better hold up!  It will also be our first car trip outside of Manila.  Let’s hope we don’t get lost!


Filed under Manila, Non-Running Stuff, Pictures, Runs

Outdoor Run! Finally!

The weather in Manila has been keeping me away from outdoor runs.  It’s not just that here it rains here, it pours.  No, really.  Recently, we’ve had thunderstorms daily, and the one that started around 7pm last night, has yet to stop (it’s 11:30am here now).  And even when the rain take breaks, the sidewalks are already filled with water, deep puddles everywhere.

And if you’ve been reading here for a while, you know I’m a wimp when it comes to running in the rain!  (I really need to get over that one…  Specially since the few times I’ve run in the rain, it wasn’t that bad and I actually liked it!)

But it was time to get my eyebrows done again, and I couldn’t imagine walking over to Greenbelt carrying an umbrella and dodging puddles the whole way.  But for some reason running there seemed ok.  I’d be there in less than 10 minutes!

I asked Cath if she would join me, and after she almost bailed (she is a wimp with the rain too), we made our way out there and ran over to Greenbelt (she also got her brows threaded for the first time, and loves it!). 

As luck would have it, the rain stopped by the time we started, and as I was huffing and puffing in the humidity, I actually hoped for some rain. 

All in all, we didn’t run much – it came just short of two miles.  But we got back and headed straight to the gym, for my 4th workout of the New Rules of Lifting for Women (and Cath’s first workout with it).

Today, the thunderstorm might keep me indoors, but heck if I’m not using my treadmill, if only for a little bit.  Have I mentioned how it was a great decision to buy the thing?


Filed under Manila, Runs