Panda Girl on the Run

"…if I can't run, I can't eat…"

Running and I.

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Not going through with the Scotiabank Vancouver Half-marathon as planned, is I think, the ultimate test of my resolve ( and stubbornness ) to continue running, despite the lingering foot issue. Although, It’s hard for me to do. When I think about it now, I realized that I made the right decision. Running and I is on a hiatus at the moment. I can’t say I like it because I’d rather be out there. I miss it. Whenever I see someone running, I feel bad and I wish I’m running too.

After much thought and consideration, I finally arrive with the decision to go and seek professional help. My foot still bothers me. I think it’s the sensible thing to do and it’s about time. After the physiotherapist made the initial assessment, it’s confirmed that I have plantar faasciitis. Later on, I had a couple of treatments – shock wave therapy on my left foot and IMS on the back of my leg.

I am told not to run for awhile, until such time, my foot is healed. I have no explanation as to why it took me that long to have my foot look at. I figured if there’s nothing broken, then there’s no need to fix it. But as the days go by and the miles add up, my foot didn’t get any better and the discomfort lingered on.

Hard to admit it, I am fully to blame for my predicament right now. I mean, I was so engrossed with getting “high” and all, I forgot to take care of my body. Running is lot more than just putting one foot in front of the other. I don’t always stretch when I know I should. And most of all, I ignore the signs when my body tries to tell me to back off a bit, even if I feel fine. I overdid it. It’s all my fault and it sucks big time.

So now, I have no other choice but to wait it out. At times, I’m tempted to sing along with the Guns N’ Roses’ song “Patience”. I need all the patience I can muster to get over this seemingly forever bump with my running. I have scheduled a few more appointments with the physiotherapist and until he gives me the “thumbs up” sign to run again, I’ll stay put, try to do other stuff and think of happy thoughts.


Wobble on Panda. :)


The downtrodden feeling of not being able to run in an event ( which I have all the intent and desire to do so, when I signed up for it, six months ago ) has finally abated. It would have been more fun and exciting to write about my experience in it. Unfortunately, for me, this is not the case. Instead, I’m going to bore you with the minutiae that transpired during the days leading to the said event and the days after it.

When I signed up for this year’s Scotiabank Vancouver Half-marathon, I had no inkling of the changes in my life that I have to deal with again. In more ways than one, I run less often.

Then a few days before said race, I suffered a fall. Nothing serious except for a sprained foot. The day started out the same way as they always do. I had coffee and mentally go over the things that I’d be doing that day. The fall was unexpected. It happened so fast. When I realized what happen, the first thing that came to my mind was, ___ ! what about the run on Sunday? I didn’t even think about my foot then, that started to throb in pain. Good thing I wore my runners or else it would have been worse. Later on, as I limped back up the stairs, it finally dawned on me that I may not be able to run after all. I was proven right.

I berated myself for being clumsy. I’ve never felt so angry at myself. I was so annoyed that I even thought about banging my foot against something hard, perhaps to punish myself, for not paying attention to where I’m going. But I realized that it’ll just make things worse, not to mention painful. In the end, common sense prevailed.

I trade my runners for hiking shoes, in the mean time.

Sunday came and went. And I’m still here. The sprained foot is healing, although I haven’t been on the road yet. I am disappointed. I look forward to adding a finisher’s medal to my collection. Sometimes, I think that it wasn’t meant to be. It sounds weird though, that I had to have a fall, to keep me from running another half-marathon.

I love running to a fault ( for lack of a better word ) but I’m not as crazy as some people think I am. When necessary, I know when to step back and let go. Sure, I’ve reach a point ( a few times, I think ) when I purposely numb myself to any discomfort and pain, just so I can finish a run. But I know that this time, I can’t pull this trick, not with a sprained foot.  And if I do insist, I’d only make it worse. Surprisingly, it didn’t take me long to acquiesce.

For now, I patiently count the days till I can run again. Without it, I feel out of sorts. I can’t even finish the crossword puzzle anymore. And  I miss my “happy place”.

Wobble on Panda. :)



Carry on and be okay.

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So I rambled on and on about my foot,  that I sound like a broken record.  I think I wrote a few posts about it. And I realized that perhaps, to a few of you out there, who read my blog, I may come across as a whining or  crazy person. To set the record straight, I don’t complain about pain or discomfort, especially if its a consequence of something I do. And I have a blast while at it.

The past few months had been less than ideal when it comes to my running. Not that I’m sick or anything, or seriously injured. Lately, I find it increasingly difficult to motivate and convince myself to head out of the door. Sometimes, I think that I used my foot issue as an excuse not to run. Don’t get me wrong, I still love running. And I still have that burning desire to run to my heart’s content.

Not being able to run because of an injury is a bummer. The thing is, I can’t even admit it to myself that I’m injured. I mean, I don’t hobble around or in some debilitating pain. My foot is just sore. The word “injured” just doesn’t seem to fit in what I feel right now. Besides, my understanding of the word is far worse than what it really implies.

I did get injured way back, like ten years ago. At that time I dabbled in kickboxing. During a routine session, while executing a punch and kick combination, I fell and landed on my left foot. Needless to say that I didn’t get to kickboxing class for weeks after that. My foot was swollen to the point that I couldn’t even slip on a shoe and walk like a normal person. I was in pain. That to me was what being injured is all about. And I wasn’t even running back then.

What I have is some sort of ache or discomfort; I don’t even know what to call it. I can’t even find the exact word to describe it. But per my research, I think I have plantar fasciitis. I stopped running for more than two months. I went to see a chiropractor and have someone checked my foot. I iced it, even soaked my feet in a bucket of water, filled with ice cubes. I tell you it’s not something I really like to do, but will probably do so again, for recovery’s sake. I tried doing other stuff, aside from running.

Hard for me to say this, but I think ( or to say it more appropriately, feel ) that my body is breaking down, gradually. I’m fond of saying that I’m getting old, whenever I feel sore. Like everyone else, I’m not immune to aches and pains.

The thought of not running ever again is something I don’t dwell upon, especially since I have a half coming up. So, one Friday morning, I decided to hit the road. After Andrew and I went for a short walk, I went for a short run. What I like particularly about that day was the light rain so it wasn’t that hot. I think it was the deciding factor that made me actually want to get going. I’m partial to colder temperatures, not that I don’t like  a sunny day. It was great to feel the rain on my face. Besides, I didn’t mind getting soaked. But most of all, I relished the feeling of being able to move my legs again, the catch in my breath and just being out there.

I long for the time when I’m running, with not a care in the world, except for oncoming traffic or dogs that suddenly appear from nowhere and bark at me like crazy. I’m amazed at the stretch of road ahead of me, ( with the visible yellow line in the middle and in some cases, faded ), not really thinking that I have to run past through it before I can reach home. Running gives me time to think. And more. Hopefully, I get to do it often. :)


Wobble on Panda. :)

In less than a month I will be doing something—a half marathon ( there I spell it out for all to read). I’d be lying if I say I’m not afraid. I’m always scared whenever I have a race coming up. Much more so with my situation now. I haven’t been running lately. And I still have issues with my foot. I try not to think about it too much but sometimes, especially in the mornings, it’s hard to ignore the fact that things are not at par.

The Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon in 2011 was my first ever long-distance race. I think 21 kilometers is long but not long enough for me so I dabbled in marathons too. The moment I started running, there’s no turning back. And I have no regrets whatsoever. Besides, I have a few finisher’s medals to show for it. Not that I’m bragging or anything.

Everything was going well with my running six months ago, when I signed up for this year’s Scotiabank Vancouver Half Marathon. And it’s made more exciting when my cousin, Mark, signed up too. It will be his first half marathon. It’s kind of neat to actually know someone running in the same race with me.

Something to look forward to. :)

Then things change and running was put on hold. I failed to listen to what my body was telling me. The damage was done when I realized that I’m doing everything wrong. Well, I think the word “damage” is too strong a word to use. I can still walk. I don’t hobble around in pain or pop pills in my mouth ( which I don’t really like to do ) to ease any ache or discomfort. I can still run. And I will.

So come June 22nd I’ll think of happy thoughts. Sure, I’d be scared as hell that day to the point of feeling nauseated  but I won’t let it mar my excitement to run on some streets of Vancouver again. I  like to think I’m brave or maybe, I’m just plain crazy. Let’s see how it goes.

Wobble on Panda. :)


I wrote “lessons learned from Po” at the time when I just started running. Four years ago, the running bug bit me and I was forever changed. And it was also around this time when I first watched the movie “Kung Fu Panda”, which I enjoyed a lot. I liked the movie so much, it inspired me to write a post in relation to my running. And I wouldn’t mind watching it again when I get the chance.

Lately, I’ve been slacking off with my running that it’s not fun anymore. ( And it was made worse, when one day I looked at myself in the mirror, I noticed that I started to look like Po, not that I have something against him.) So I thought I’d pay this post a visit to draw inspiration and relearn the lessons I’ve had four years ago. ( Just so you know, I still don’t wear shorts when I go for a run. )

Nothing’s changed.

  • Food is not the enemy.

And it will never be. To be able to have the energy to run and sustain my body to tackle the mileage, I need food. It’s not rocket science, I know. But here’s the thing though, just because we slog it out there ( like crazy ), doesn’t mean we have the right to stuff ourselves crazy too. I admit it, I’m guilty of this ( especially when it comes to cheesecake ). There’s no way I can go through a diet. I love food too much, to do so. I’d rather “eat carefully”.

  • A real warrior never quits.

I’ve never stop halfway through a run and go back. I always make it a point to finish what I set out to do, even if  it means, I have to endure pain and be sore afterward. Running has taken me on a ride and I have no plans of getting off,  yet. Through out my journey, I realized that holding back ( especially when the body doesn’t feel quite right ), does not necessarily mean, that I’m throwing in the towel and that I’ve had enough. Holding back helps me to  look at things in a different way and come out of it, a better runner and a better person. Hopefully. :)

  • It pays to dream and when you do, dream big.

I’ve watched the documentary “Spirit of the Marathon” more than a few times. And I still get goosebumps every time. Back then, when a 5K run or even a shorter distance seemed like the proverbial Mt. Everest, to “run a marathon” was something I’ve always dream about. I like how the word “marathoner” sound. May of 2012 was one of the most memorable time of my life because it was when I ran in my first marathon in Vancouver. Words were not enough to describe how I felt when I crossed the finish line. It was amazing. I didn’t cry though. I was so happy and over the moon to even shed tears. I didn’t even think about how sore my legs were or  that I could barely walk. I was “high” until I heard my sister asking me, “Where have you been? What took you so long?” ( She had no idea where I’ve been. I was so glad to see her, that I ignored her question and could have give her a hug. ) The bubble burst and I was brought back to reality. So much for getting high.

Enough said.

  • Believe.

Even before I run in my first marathon, I was bold enough and perhaps, insane to do  an ultra-marathon. At that time, I didn’t really think about what lies ahead of me, all I know was that I’d like to “try” it. And I did.

I know that when I set my mind to do something ( like run a marathon perhaps ), I’d do everything to see through it till the end. The more I’m told ” You’re crazy.” or “Why?”, the more it appeals to me and the more I’m determined to do it. Of course, I’m not saying I don’t have doubts or  fears. I do.  I get scared a lot that sometimes, I feel nauseous. But I found out that the mind is a powerful thing, it can make you do wonders, even if your body says, “No way!”

  • There are no accidents.

When I think about it now, I realized that running would be a part of my life all along. It’s not an accident whenever I decide to get out there and go for a run. And it sure was no accident, when I finally had the courage to ask someone to run with me. I don’t usually ask anyone.

I don’t run just for the heck of it. Or just so I can say  “I’m a runner”. I run because I know I can and it makes me feel good about myself, which spills out to the way how I see and relate to people, in general.

  • There is no secret ingredient.

My running has evolved. A lot has happened in four years. I ingest gels ( especially during races ) and drink Gatorade. A generous friend gave me a Garmin watch as a present and I always used it during my runs. I have more than a few pairs of running shoes and have no qualms of buying a new pair whenever the “need” arises. That same friend also gave me a pair of compression socks, which I haven’t used yet. I used an mp3 player because I prefer to run with music on.

You see, all the above-mentioned things don’t mean a thing. There’s no amount of technology or outside forces, that will make me want to run, unless  I really, really want to. It all boils down to me. My reasons for running comes from within. Sure, I still want to have rock-hard abs, but I don’t run enough and eat a lot of cheesecake, so go figures. :)

Not running for three months give me plenty of time to think things over. But it never occur to me to stop running altogether. Quite the opposite. I diligently try to do all the things that I’m supposed to do ( like iced and stretched my foot ). And I did a few shorter runs just to see how things are.

This much I can say, my foot will probably stay sore forever or get better, I don’t know. But I don’t think I’d stop running just because of that. Unless if it comes to the point when I can’t do it anymore ( God forbid ), then I’d still go out there and run. And perhaps, be more mindful this time. Then, I’m not getting any younger too, so there’s that. The aches and pains will always be there, no matter what. I just have to suck it up and deal with it. Besides, Po didn’t stop doing Kung Fu and be the Dragon Warrior, just because he’s a panda, right?

Wobble on Panda. :)



It’s funny how I try to put the blame on my seemingly indifference to do anything physically exhausting on the more than 10 hours flight that I did more than a month ago. Actually, it’s not funny. I’m being irresponsible.

I haven’t been running lately. And it’s not because I don’t like running anymore. Or because I finally came to my senses and realize that running is not good for me. I still like to run. It’s something I think about when my mind is not preoccupied with “if only” or “I shouldn’t have…”

Someone I know and cared about passed away. I tried to downplay the fact that I’m affected. Nancy pointed it out to me that since I run, then I’m a runner. ( When I myself don’t want to admit it. ) She gets that I like to run and gave me time to do it. She worried about me when I run all by myself, especially when I told her that I think about bears when I’m on the road. So she suggested that I’d asked her physiotherapist, Heidi, to run with me. Heidi and I become friends and went out for runs more than a couple of times.

Whenever I go for a run, Nancy always tells me to be careful, try not to get lost and come back. Of which I always did. She made sure that I changed into dry clothes when I came home one day, dripping wet, from running in the rain. And always, she reminds me to eat. I do miss her.

On the other hand, I still have issues with my left foot. It’s mainly the reason I stop running for awhile. But I’m getting fed up with it. The weird thing is, it doesn’t bother me when I do run but only after.

So maybe I’ll just go ahead and run anyway. Besides I need to. A “half” is looming ahead. Barring unforeseen circumstances, I still want to go ahead with it. Crazy, I know.

Wobble on Panda. :)


Running has been good for me, I didn’t realize that I’m overdoing it until my body tells me something is amiss. I’m not one to shy away from running-related pain and discomfort. I mean, it’s all part of running. But for once, I heed someone’s advice to lay off from it until things settle down. A trip back to my home country for a short visit came in handy as a distraction. Although I brought along running clothes, with the hope that I might be able to sneak in a short run. Unfortunately, I find that the hot and humid climate doesn’t agree with me anymore. Needless to say, I didn’t get to run.

Upon my return here, I’m determined to run again. But I kept putting it off. One day, I finally put my foot down and decided to just get on with it. I went for a run. I opted to go down the bay. I figured it’s not that far and I can always go back. But I forgot the uphill part of the road. I was in for a surprise. It felt like I wasn’t moving at all. My legs didn’t seem to move, the way they used to. My breath came in gasps. So, this is how it feels like to start from scratch, again. Terrible. Something tells me I’m way out of shape. My chest seemed to explode with every labored breath I took. I can feel my thighs rubbed against each other, as I walked the last few meters back to the house. I feel nauseated. This is bad.

I haven’t been running for the past two months. I’ve been sidelined with what I think to be plantar faasciitis. I’ve been to see a chiropractor, whom told me my back is out of whack. I did stop running, for all the good it did to me, which is not much. My foot is still sore and I’m miserable.

Anyway, I decided it is high time, I get on with running again. I “baby” my foot long enough, I’m afraid it will eventually become a lame excuse not to get out there. Besides, I miss being on the road. I miss the high that running gives me. And not to mention the “half” that is fast approaching.


Wobble on Panda. :)


Let it go.

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I should have been more mindful of what my body was telling me a few weeks ago. As always, I ignored any sign of discomfort or pain. I attributed it to just being part of running. But as of late, I’ve noticed that it’s not just my left foot that bothers me when I run. My left hip started to bother me too.  I never have problems with this part of my body except for that time I ran a half-marathon but it went away after a few days rest.

Since I started doing more miles every week, my body send out signals for me to back down a bit. But I’m having none of it. I’m on a roll. I mean, I feel fine and all. I’m having a grand time. Besides, its not like I’m training for something or running everyday. An occasional ache or pain is expected. Unfortunately, I was wrong.

Someone told me to stop running until things settle down. “Stop running” is not something I’d like to hear. And so against my better judgment, I went for a run last Monday. I could tell that something was off. I did 5 miles and I had enough. I told myself that I should stop running. Wednesday came and I went for a run again. I did the “loop” because I had plenty of time to stay out longer. After a mile into the run, I had that feeling again, that something was off. This time it was more profound. I could not just ignore it. At one point, I thought about going back to the house and cut my run short. But I was more concern about not embarrassing myself and not finishing what I started, so I plodded on. I could feel that something is not right. I had this weird feeling of my left leg being longer than the right one. And my hip joint being unhinged. I did more walking than running. Eventually, I got back to the house, tired and frustrated. Later on, I had to take Ibuprofen to ease off the pain ( which I think is not really pain, per se ). I’m not too keen about taking medication, unless I have to. The sensation on my left foot is more of,  like a dull ache–something that’s just below the surface and flares up when I start to move my foot, after being still for a certain period. The mornings is another story. I can’t remember anymore when was the last time I jump out of bed, without slipping into my runners first, and pain-free. ( I imagine my sister, rolling her eyes and telling me, “See, I told you so. Running is not good for you.”)

In between icing my foot and stretching it, I’ve decided to stop running for awhile. A decision that was hard to come by. But it’s something I have to do, if I want to run again. I’m almost to my sixth day sans running and I can tell that it doesn’t sit well with me. And what makes it worse is that I have no choice but to wait it out. I know that it’s not the end of the world if I can’t run for a few days or weeks. And I won’t die, physically, that is. But it still makes me angry, especially at myself. Few people, if any, knows the real reason why I run. And it’s not just about so I can eat anything I want. I’m way past that.

For the mean time, I’ll try not to feel envious when I see someone, running down the road. Or look with longing and a bit of guilt, at the pairs of runners, gathering dust on a corner. Or think about what it feels like to be, out there, on the road, alone. ( Except for that time when a huge dog, just appeared from nowhere and barked at me like crazy. )


Wobble on Panda. :)



December came to an end, which meant that another year has pass and a new one has just began. Time to get going and move on. I find it fitting to take stock of all the things I did last year in relation to running. I’ve been fortunate to have the time and the means, not to mention the “craziness” to get out there on my own and run to my heart’s content.

I don’t necessarily call the runs I do as “training”, especially when I have a race coming up. I don’t race anyway, I just run. I learned early on that for me to continue running, I should enjoy it as much as I can. And most of all, have fun.

The year 2013 has been great. I get to do two marathons, a half-marathon and a 27 K scenic route around Shawnigan Lake. Then for the first time, I get to run with someone. To me, it was such a big deal because I’ve always run on my own. I didn’t realize how fun it is to run with a buddy. ( Although, I’m not sure if we are running buddies already, because we just ran for like three times and we haven’t sat down yet and agreed on some sort of schedule. It’s more of like a spur-of-the-moment thing. So, let’s just see. But, it sure is nice if it’d be a regular thing. ) Then I get to run in the dark ( like, it was pitch black and all ) for the first time too and it was awesome. I’m hoping to do it again.

“Some amazing things are in faraway places, some are down the road, and sometimes, the amazing thing is just the road itself.” – Marc Parent

Running has become such a big deal to me since I started doing it. My reasons have changed though. Now, it’s more of being outside and just be in the moment.

I have no way of knowing what this new year holds for me. The sensible thing to do is to continue running and enjoy it.

Here’s to more awesome runs to come. :)

Wobble on Panda. :)

To paraphrase a quote from the movie, “Chariots of Fire”, I believe God made me for a reason or a purpose and He also made me love running. When I run, I imagined Him saying “Go on Crestina and don’t think about how slow you are, just run.” I’m not being religious or anything but this is what I feel every time I go for  a run. And today was no different and was even made more special. Perhaps to some, running on Christmas morning is an overkill, especially to those who don’t run. But for me, it’s my way of saying thanks and not only because its Christmas. I run because I can. To be able to do so and love it as much , is I think one of the best Christmas present I ever had. And I’m grateful. Sure, like everybody else, I want things too, but then, that’s another story.

Today is my first time to run on Christmas morning. I had the chance so I grabbed it. Fortunately, I had a decent sleep last night, although I tried to stay up late to wait for  Santa, but it didn’t happen.  And I didn’t binge on food and drinks so I’m good to go the next morning. After two cups of coffee and a gel, I’m off.

I ran on Christmas morning and I liked it! ;)

I decided to do  the “loop” because I have plenty of time to stay out longer. And so I did that. Practically, I’m the only person on the road, except for an occasional car or two. At one point, I saw a dog, on the other side of the road, ambled towards me. I slowed down to a walk. There’s usually a person walking  the dog and it is rare for one to just wander on the road. In cases like this, I am wary and extra-careful. The dog continued on its way and so I continued on mine. A few times I looked behind me, just to make sure it’s not there.

People who know me would think that I love running so much because I don’t want to get fat or I want to lose weight. I sure do want to lose weight because I know I can run faster when I’m lighter. But if that’s the only reason that I like to run ( I mean, just to lose weight and all. ), I don’t think I’d be running as much as I do now and enjoy it.

I love running for reasons that I can’t articulate enough  and that goes beyond the physical aspect of it. And it doesn’t really matter because I don’t need to explain why. I find that running is an antidote for despair, discontent and any other negative feelings. I read a quote somewhere that says there’s nothing that a long run can’t cure ( or something like that ). I’m not saying that I always have to run a certain X miles for a certain length of time on any given day. To me, running just because, is enough. I run for fun and the “high” it gives me. Hence, my dislike of the word “training”. When I have a race or en event coming up, I don’t “train”,  I run. Quite a few times, I’ve been told I’m crazy but I’m not sure if they meant it as a compliment. Although I wonder how telling someone they’re crazy can be construed as a compliment, I’m curious.

Anyway, I’m so happy that I get to go for a run on Christmas day. I’m way beyond stoked. My left foot is sore and all. You have no idea how tiring a run can be. But then, I never feel so happy and alive when I’m out there on the road, that a little discomfort fails in comparison to the  ”high”, running gives me. Not to mention the wonders it does to my brain.

Running is and will always be awesome, especially the ones you do on Christmas day. I am forever thankful of this gift.

Merry Christmas!!!!


Wobble on Panda. :)