Panda Girl on the Run

"…if I can't run, I can't eat…"

Browsing Posts tagged winter

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. :)

When I first realized that I had to move to another country far different from where I was born and grew up, I was both excited and reluctant to go. One of the things that concerned me at that time was, of course, my running. Especially during winter, I mean, how am I suppose to run when there’s snow and all. I just started running and I feared that my new-found passion would be lost amidst the shuffle and craziness of adjusting to a new country and life.

Three winters later, I found out that I worried for nothing. I live somewhere in Vancouver Island, British Columbia, where we only get snow from time to time, if we’re lucky. But not as much or as heavy compared to the other parts of Canada. It is rain that I have to contend with and sometimes, on a daily basis. I learned to like it somehow. I’d rather it’d be raining on any given day.

A day like this is more than welcome. :)

It’s winter and the fact that I still get to go out there and run, never fails to amaze me. I always thought that during this time of the year, it snows everyday and the sun is nowhere to be found. Imagine my surprise and wonder,  when I was proven wrong. I was like, this is cool. Sometimes, when it is a sunny day and I’m out, running, I slowed down, looked up at the skies, with eyes closed and basked in the warmth of the sun against my face. For awhile there, I thought I’m back home but then, my cold and numb hands tells me otherwise.

At first, I was keen on properly preparing myself for winter runs. Like screws for my runners ( for traction ); running mitts; toque; running tights—basically, to keep myself warm and dry. Turned out I was way over my head with worrying too much. I have yet to run on snow so I don’t need screws for my shoes. Although I’m fond of my running tights now. It helps keep the cold at bay. I use my running mitts when it’s really cold. I learned to dress in layers and have a bright-colored outer one for visibility. On a side note, a warm shower after a chilly jaunt on the road is heaven. ;)

“In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus

Where I’m at now, I’m glad that the climate is not that extreme. It’s cold and chilly most of the time but I adapted to it. There are days when I can go out without the need for a jacket or coat. As for the rain, well, it won’t go away.

So far, my running is doing good. I get the usual aches and pains but other than that, I’m okay. And since I signed up for a spring event, I need to get out there more often. But I feel lazy sometimes, that I’d rather “hibernate” ( it is winter, after all ) and read my book. Except for that one day, when a plate filled of chocolate chip cookies and brownies, made me change my mind and head out of the door. ;)

Wobble on Panda. :)

January blues

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I thought I started 2012 right off the bat. And January for that matter. I did a short run on January 1st and was happy to finally did a 5K in less than half an hour, by a margin. ( Well, 29 minutes or so is still less than 30 minutes right? Since when did I start to nitpick about the time, I have no idea. ) I had all the reasons to sleep in and dawdle in bed that day, instead I chose to drag myself out of slumber, along with my sister and aunt, brave the cold morning, and for what?– just to run. No big deal, I know.

I miss my runs like crazy. ( call me weird or whatever, I don’t care.) Three weeks is a long time to go without something you love doing and gives you “high”. It used to be that I don’t mind if I don’t get to be outside and run. Well, that was then. Back when I wasn’t “in love” yet. After the running bug got me, days are not the same anymore. I become restless, especially on those days when I like to run but can’t.

If it’s up to me, I’d rather be running everyday. But early on, I learned that the rigors of daily running does not bode well for me, so I’m content to run on my days off  and any day during my work week, which is kind of a ’spur of the moment’ thing. And I’m happy with that.

Hang for…. ;)

Then winter sets in. The snow that came in mid-January put a damper on my weekly routine. I can’t really do anything about it because that’s just the way how nature works. Snow and icy roads are part of the deal. I could have talk myself to do a ’snowy’ run if only to satisfy my curiosity but I held my ground. I don’t feel comfortable doing my run on an icy and slippery road. I can stand the cold ( after all this time, I’m slowly learning how to bundle myself appropriately ) It’s the risk of slipping on the ice that gnaws on me, like an itch, waiting to be scratch. And so, with a heavy heart, I decided to put off my runs.

A few days later, all the snow has finally melted and roads were cleared again. But as luck would have it, I was down with a cold. I was annoyed at myself and at the cold. I even thought of still going for a run but changed my mind, when someone told me that it’s not a good idea. That I might get pneumonia. Good thing, I listened to her. ( I can be stubborn at times.) I reached the point of rationalizing my decision to run that day and ignored what my body is telling me. I tried to do the ‘mind over matter’ thing, which is really not a bad idea, except that my body just needed a break. It was only when the grilled cheese sandwich ( which is my favorite ) I had for lunch, tasted like wet cardboard, that I realized I’m really sick. And the only sensible thing to do is to back down and rest.

Being sidelined with a cold has taught me something ( thank goodness it wasn’t all for naught ) I think it pays to listen to my body once in a while, especially during those times when I think ( or so I thought ) that it’s always “all systems go”. As someone, constantly reminds me, “You can’t afford to be sick, Crestina.” So, there it goes.

I’m amazed at how time flies so fast. I’ll try not think badly of January and will look forward to what February brings.  In the meantime, I’ll start to be mindful of what each new day has for me, as I ease slowly back into my runs, hopefully. :)

Wobble on Panda. ;)

A Sunday run like no other


Taking a break. :D

If I have more sense, I would have stayed indoors and be content to watch the rain came down in earnest and the trees nearby, swaying in the wind.

A week has pass since my last jaunt on the road. Roads covered in white stuff ( snow or ice ) meant no runs for me.  I know, it would be a new experience to try running on the snow but I was afraid to take the risk. I can’t afford to be injured and sit around.

Branches and pine cones littered the parking lot.

For the past few days, winter finally decided to show its “snowy white” head ( okay, I just made up this phrase ;) ) But I really can’t complain considering that some parts of BC are in  worse condition compared to where I’m at.  Snow and zero ( and sometimes below zero ) temperatures are inconveniences we have to face every year. There’s no skipping it, unless of course, you decide to leave town and hie off to warmer parts of the world.

Anyway, when I noticed that the rain has let up a bit, I decided to head out. I changed into my running clothes. I thought I could make use of the time while I wait for the dough to rise. I can’t wait to get out.

The closest thing I’d come to running in the snow, well, left-over snow, I should say. ;) Thanks to the rain.

I was surprised that it wasn’t that cold when it was somewhere between 5 C and 6 C. Or maybe I was just raring to go that I was oblivious to it. After being holed up in the house for a week, its nice to be outside again and smell the fresh, chilly air.

I started out slow. I revel in the exhilarating feeling of being out in the open. Sure, the wind added a resistance to an otherwise leisurely run around the field but for some reason like it.

I was careful on this part of the trail. I bet you, its no fun to fall flat on your ass or on your face.

I rarely run on Sundays but today was an exception, besides a chance presented itself. After 3 miles, I decided to head back to the house. Actually, I enjoyed the feel of my feet on the grass, covered with snow ( that was slowly melting) except for that part, where my shoes were soaked and my toes started to feel numb.

Post-run snack. :D

Running in the rain and wind is another awesome thing. ;)

Wobble on Panda. :)

“To know you are one with what you are doing, to know that you are a complete athlete, begins with believing you are a runner.” – George Sheehan

One day, someone asked me this, “You’re a runner, right?” It took me a long time to say “Yes.” I was like, where did that come from? Later on, that question kept coming back in my mind.

Started 2012 with a 5K. ( with my sister ) ;)

Yes, I love running and run a few times a week. But does that make me qualified to be called as one ( a runner, that is ) ? This particular question bugs me. I have this picture in my mind of what a runner should look like. And I hate to say this, I don’t come close to looking like one. Hence, my reluctance to call myself a “runner.”

Then I come across this quote….

“If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.” – John Bingham

Now, I see the light ( no, not that kind of light ) I may not be built like the fast runners, but the thing is I get out there and run. I may huff and puff halfway through a 3-miler but that doesn’t make me less of a runner. I know, my midsection still resembles that of Po’s ( remember the Dragon Warrior ;) ) and not like that of _____ ( feel free to fill in the blank ) but then, who cares. :D All I need to do is run and I did ( and still do )

Fortunately, it did not take me a lifetime to figure it out. I realized that there’s no use pitting myself against the ‘fast ones’. Fact is, I can never be one ( and I’m cool with that). But it doesn’t mean that I can’t run at my own pace.

“I often hear someone say I’m not a real runner. We are all runners, some just run faster than others. I never met a fake runner.” – Bart Yasso

Now, let’s get going and run… :D

Wobble on Panda. ;)

3-in-a-row for November

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There’s nothing like a good lunch post-run. ;)

Now that fall is here I had to brace myself for colder temperatures. The likes of which that goes single digit and leads to cold and frosty mornings. Sure, the fall colors will always be an awesome sight to behold, can’t complain with that.

Two days, after my second 21K race, I managed to sneak in a short run, midweek. And it wasn’t a run entirely because I get to do some errands on the side. It turned out okay, except, when the brown paper bag was torn and I had to carefully hold it in such a way that its contents won’t spill out.  Picture that, with me running ( or should I say, plodding along ) Fortunately, it’s only a mile away from the house so I managed.

I rarely run two days in a row except on my days off. It’s only during that time that I get to run to my heart’s content, without worrying about time and all. And if I have my way, I’d run the whole day. :D ( okay, just kidding ) So as much as possible, I try to run on these particular days, unless, something unavoidable comes up.  Thankfully, aside from the occasional soreness, I don’t feel anything out of the ordinary after  a day’s jaunt on the road. Except being tired and hungry. Other than that, I feel fine.

My ‘playground’ when I don’t hit the road.

I used to run almost everyday when I was still back in the Philippines and I found out later, that it didn’t do me much good. I ended up hurting my leg. I was in constant pain. Besides, I was still overweight at that time.

So, this past weekend, after doing back-to-back runs on Friday ( which I cut short because I don’t trust myself running on the slippery road ) and Saturday, I decided to do a short one last Sunday. And it was great. The field was empty and beckoned me to come and run around it. ;) And so I went and checked if I can do some ‘intervals’ on a flat section of the road. I haven’t measured the exact distance  and I thought I just do it four times.  I was spent afterward. I gasped for breath and felt like  crawling back to the house. The odd thing happened though, because I like it ( not the gasping for breath part anyway ) I like the feel of my legs, working out on its own. :D I didn’t know that it felt great to go out fast once in a while and in repetitions ( hence the “speed interval” part of training ) but since I don’t seriously train, I miss out on this.

Anyway, I don’t have access to an oval track or something that resembles one but I think the nearby field will do. Definitely need to build some speed, I think.

I hate to say this but winter is just around the corner so I’ll try to get in more runs before it gets too cold. And before I go into “hibernation” mode.

Let’s keep running, though. ;)

Wobble on Panda. :)

Since arriving here, I’ve been dreading the time when winter comes. Though, I have to say, I look forward to it, because for someone  coming from a tropical country, seeing snow for the first time, is I think , awesome and exciting. Yet, after that particular week in November of last year, I changed my mind about snow. I’d rather have rain if it’s up to me.

So, anyway, I have been keeping my runs pretty consistent. I tried to sneak in short runs, as possible as I can and as long as weather permits. I have been watching the weather forecast on the evening news everyday so I can pretty much tell what will it be like, the next day. All I can say is that their forecast here is accurate, most of the time.

My idea of winter is somewhat unfounded, then I realized that I don’t need to worry myself about it. There’s no use getting myself all work up about something I really don’t have control of ( like the season, for one ) Besides, my last month’s Christmas wish-list did not amount to anything except for the toque and mitts ( that I got from my sister ) :D

Frost-covered leaf I chanced upon along the road.

On a sunny day, the grass is partly covered with frost.

I have yet to run on a snow-covered street or road. A few days ago, a portion of the path around the football field was covered with frost and that’s about it. The grass on the field has turned into a color of gray or white.

The “dreaded” winter has finally come and I think, I was overreacting to it before. I’m glad I’m still able to run. It’s cold most of the day considering it’s already winter but I managed so far. Except for the runny nose that I always got halfway through my run, I’m doing good.

Thought of going barefoot on the grass but had second thoughts. Besides, don’t want to end with frozen toes.

I find that sticking to my runs is just a matter of keeping myself motivated ( but not so much of the outside kind) Weather will always change no matter what. I realize that it’s up to me to keep on running. Winter will come and go. And I hope running will stay with me, if not forever then  for a very long time… :)

Wobble on Panda. :D

….Dear Santa revisited…

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“Please, Santa, read my list.” :)

It is this time of the year once again wherein anyone ( if not all)  is prompted to think of those things they “badly” want then put it in paper for dear old Santa to take note of. Actually, it’s just for kids. But then the holiday season always brings us good cheer and everything nice to look forward to. So there’s no reason why I can’t have my “wish list” too. :D

I made one last year, with description and all ( including photos). Suffice it to say, that I did receive them but not on the actual Christmas Day. We’re talking months, later, to be exact. Wait, except for one though, I got my first ever spanking new pair of Mizuno Wave Inspire 3, days after I wrote that post. Which was cool, by the way.

While going over my older posts, I’m once again egged on to write another “wish list” for this year. And I will be totally cool with it, even if it will take months again or perhaps years, for them to be realized. There’s no harm in waiting.

I surmised Santa is kind of busy now and he would give first priority to the children. No matter, I’m still writing my list.

So, Santa if you’re reading this, you know….. Please. ;)

North Face Single Track

I tried this shoe on before I decided to buy the Mizuno Wave Fortis 3. I have to say, I was smitten by it. Since I run mostly on the roads then I reluctantly took it off and put it back on the shelf. (I have ran on trails more than thrice only but probably I’ll be back again when it will be spring or summer again. ) Besides the lady from the store was right when she suggested the Wave Fortis 3 for me. Still, I have my sight sets on the Single Track.

Layers ( No, I’m not talking about cakes ;) )

I’m all for covering my body. Heck, I even donned on a jacket even if it was hot during summer. At this time, it’s not hot anymore. Temperatures hover now between 10 C or lower. And I hear talk of snow coming in the next few days or weeks. I’m looking forward to winter since it will be my first time to experience it but the thought of not being able to go out and run put a damper on everything. Whenever I head out, I just had a shirt on and my ever reliable jacket and sometimes I feel cold. I’m still not sure if I will be able to run come wintertime but it’s better to be prepared, right Santa? ;)

Running Toque and Mitts

I’m not planning a bank heist or something. :D I just realized that my Nike running cap is not suitable anymore for running at this time of the year. Though I’m not sure what it feels like wearing a toque, while running. The mitts are quite useful though at first, I really don’t feel like using it. But I had a change of heart when I ventured out for a short run and when I came back, I could not barely feel my hands because it got so cold and numb. Since then, I’ve been using the mitts my sister gave me but even so, my hands still get so cold and clammy ( and that’s why I need a new pair ;) )

Running Tights

Since arriving here, I’ve always ran on my trusted Adidas running pants. I have no complaints about it during summer but now, it’s another story. The thin material could not hold off the cold anymore and it felt like running with a full-blast of air from an AC unit on my legs. Fortunately, I still managed to get by. But if I’m thinking to sneak out for short runs or so around this time till March, then I guess I should think of having this one too. Imagine a panda wearing tights. :-?

New pair of running shoes :D

Okay, don’t think I’m way over my head here. I’m just showing Santa the choices of running shoes that I would like to have as an alternate pair for the ones I have at the moment. But it wouldn’t be a bad idea if I get to have them three. :D ( wishful thinking)

“Ask and it shall be given unto you.”

Enough said.

Wobble on Panda. :)