The Running Angel

Just because I don't have wings, doesn't mean I can't fly.

The Journey Begins


About two weeks ago, on September 24, I was driving to the first Bull Circle of The Bull Runner Dream Marathon. On my way to the venue in Fort Bonifacio, I got stuck in heavy traffic due to construction on the corner of C-5 and Pasig Boulevard. I had training early that morning so I was tired, sleepy, and irritable. Several times, I was tempted to just turn around and drive back home. “F*** this!” I voiced out loud to my equally frustrated husband. “I’d rather go home and sleep!”

But somehow, we trudged on until we finally got to the venue an hour late. Just as we sneaked into the back of the room, Coach Jim Lafferty started playing this video about Terry Fox, a Canadian athlete who did a cross-country run that spanned several months to raise awareness for cancer research—and he did it all on one leg.

Of course, I teared up while watching the video, because here I was complaining about traffic, when this guy just did something truly heroic.


When I started running almost 10 years ago, I never dreamed of doing a full marathon. I always had a lot of excuses: I’m too busy, it’s not really on my bucket list, I’m not at the peak of my fitness, etcetera. But at the heart of it lies all my fear and self-doubt. Can I really run 42 kilometers? Can I commit to the training? Do I have what it takes to go the distance?

By showing Terry’s video, Coach Jim wanted to tell us that if Terry could do it, anybody could do it. But according to Coach Lit Onrubia, we need to answer three questions first:

1. Why are you racing?

Two months ago, I decided I needed to climb out of the rut I was in and to stop living in fear. Running a marathon always seemed like this big, scary monster to me, and I thought it’s high time I conquered it. But more than that, it’s a way to remind myself that I can do whatever I set my mind to and that I am brave enough and strong enough to conquer other big, scary things in the future.

2. How much time do you have to spare?

As my work load decreases in the next few months, I have plenty of time to train. And this time, I’m committing at least three days a week to running. What I love about the TBR Dream program is that it allows you to incorporate running into your lifestyle—and not let it take over your whole life.

3. What are you prepared to sacrifice?

So far, I’ve sacrificed late nights in lieu of sleeping and waking up earlier and started spending significantly less time doing leisurely activities. I know I have to sacrifice sweets and other unhealthy food as well, but I have to admit, that part’s been a real struggle!

Aside from the TBR program and training sessions with my coach, another thing that’s been really helping me prepare for the marathon is The Runner’s World Big Book of Marathon and Half-Marathon Training. The training tips and practical advice are spot on, but what I really love are the inspiring stories of other runners who overcame various obstacles to finish their 42-K.


I truly believe that the journey is just as, or maybe even more important than the destination. Two months ago, I embarked on this journey by signing up for my first 42—or maybe it began when I first started running back in 2005. I know it won’t be easy, but I’m pretty sure it will be all kinds of awesome.

Other marathoners have said that the journey will change you… that you won’t be the same person you were once you cross that finish line. Who will I be after this journey ends?

I can’t wait to find out! —A


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Running Pegs

One of the things I love most about my job is being able to meet and write about some of the most inspiring, amazing individuals. On the cover of the July-September issue of Runner’s World Philippines, we featured eight exceptionally talented runners who can serve as our “life pegs”—people who motivate us to overcome obstacles, lead a healthy lifestyle, and be better runners.

rw july cover

Here are a few of their words of wisdom:

rw_july489 samThe Funnyman

“Fall in love with running. ‘Yung love kasi, laging nare-relate sa romantic sense. But running is exactly like love! If you see the beauty in the person and you love being with the person, then it’s love.” —Sam YG, DJ and marathoner



rw_july059 mary joyThe Marathon Queen

Hindi naman maiiwasang matalo, pero sa bawat talo ko, ‘dun ako natututo. Mas lalo kong pinagbubutihan ang training ko.” —Mary Joy Tabal, 2013 Milo Marathon winner



rw_july343 nikko The National Athlete

“Learn how to say no. If it takes you away from your goal, say no.” —Nikko Huelgas, Team Captain of the Philippine National Triathlon Team



rw_july542 sixto


The Pro Paralympian

Lahat naman merong destiny. Isipin mo lang kung saan mo nakikita ang sarili mong mag-excel at ‘yun ang pagtuunan mo ng pansin.” —Sixto Ducay, member of the WetSHOP Para Tri Team


rw_july141 keshia

The Ultrarunning Champ

“Train hard and set a goal. Don’t just finish—finish strong.” —Keshia Fule, 2012 Bataan Death March 160-K Ultramarathon winner



rw_july612 roel


The Community Coach

Kung ano ‘yung natutunan ko, gusto kong maituro din sa kanila para balang araw, malayo rin ang marating nila.—Roel Ano, RW Challenge Coach and founder of Run for Kids


rw_july407 sophiaThe Early Starter

“If you win, that’s amazing—but if you don’t, it’s okay too. You don’t lose as long as you finish.” —Sophia Almendral, triathlete since seven years old




IMG_7766 solennThe Fitspiration

“Running is the best workout. It’s the easiest way to lose weight if you do it regularly and at the right speed. The key to being fit is moving regularly and finding your own beat.” —Solenn Heussaff, celebrity runner (and my personal fitspiration! Can you believe she used to be overweight?)


So there you have it! Eight truly inspiring runners we can emulate and look up to. Read their full stories in the July-September 2014 issue of Runner’s World Philippines. (Buy it in bookstores and magazine stands nationwide or download a digital copy at

runnersworld_july042Kudos to my amazing team for helping organize this crazy cover shoot!

Photos by Jay Tablante

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