Sunday, March 8, 2020

To the Stars, Through Adversities

When I signed up for my first ever marathon - The Bull Run Dream Marathon 2020, little did I expect that it will be riddled with challenges beyond the mere training itself.

My daughter went through a spine surgery 10 months ago and I took a leave of absence (LOA).  I am grateful that my leaders, my QA team and colleagues supported my need to take time off.  Everything, including my training, took a back seat as far as priorities were concerned because caring for her recovery was a 24/7 commitment.  My life during the LOA period was never a vacation of sort.

I returned to work in time for a major external audit and life as I know it came back in full-force. There is the reality of returning to the daily grind and keeping peak engagement for work.  At home, my husband and I had to manage our yaya-less household and looking after Kyla's therapy, all the while pursuing my own training was truly a test of discipline and balancing priorities. Our children and I also had a bout with an illness and had to shelve my running once again for several weeks until I fully regained my strength.

Training for a marathon meant waking up as early as 2:00 AM for the weekend long distance runs, even when your mind and body is already weary after a full day and week's worth of work.  And after the long run, household chores and weekend errands still awaits. It is also true that there is a respite in running during wee hours of the morning and enjoying the solitariness. I find that it helps clear up my mind. And then, Taal happened and we had to run with N95 masks on as we head towards the peak distances as race day draws near (24/27/32 KM in succession).

Fast forward to one week before the race day, I experienced pain at my left tendon that had me limping around the office.  Attempting to run at my usual pace hurt and I was deeply worried that race day is around the corner.  My husband who acted as my coach-pacer had to revise our race day strategy and had to trigger last minute healing tactics in order to increase my chances of making it to the race day and finish it without an injury. Suffice it say that it was very tempting to accept the organizer’s offer for free deferment to 2021 for those who raised concerns due to ash fall and COVID-19 scare.  After all, I had a good reason to postpone it until when I am better prepared to race and pushing through might have me ending up a DNF (did not finish).

The rigorous hours of training taught me that running for a marathon is all about conquering the distance, and that voice inside you that wanted to quit. It was test of mental resilience and grit. I also had to trust the many long hours and sacrifices I gave for the training. A marathoner comes with heart and soul that roars back to say, “I shall not be defeated by this!”

There is also a spiritual element into this experience. I had to trust and keep faith in God’s grace that He will run beside me in this marathon, just as He has always done so, in the race called life.

Fueled by this inspiration, I finally resolved that I shall face the starting line and give everything I got to finish the race. As I approached the final 200 meters to the finish line, there was overflowing relief and gratitude- I finished the race without an injury or pain!  

The memories came rushing back to me - never to fear any starting lines in race and as in life; never to be defeated by life’s crucibles without giving a good fight and to dig deep into that place inside you where courage is mastery over adversities!

I dedicate this run to my forever partner in this marathon called life - my better half Alvin who chose to run with me until the finish line and to our beloved children Kevin and Kyla -- our inspiration to continue aspiring to be the better version of ourselves!

To God be the Glory!

And... it is done!

At the first 10K loop.
Photo credit: CN Creatives

At the 40KM Mark.
Photo credit: Bicolano Runners

Basking in the afterglow of a marathon finish!

I am a Marathoner!
The epic TBR Dream Marathon 2020 at Clark Parade Grounds, Pampanga

The Hero behind all these triumph is none other than my better-half / coach/ pacer
Alvin who ran his 2nd (back to back) TBR Dream Marathon

To God be the Glory for this safe finish!

1 comment:

  1. Armie!!!

    I guess you will not have the access to your email anymore so I am writing you here..

    Really surprised to see your note….. Whatever happened, I am sure it is for a very good reason that you and family have really thought through.

    HAPPY GRADUATION Armie! THANK YOU for all you have done for every single person you have touched in the last 24 years, especially for me personally! I know it was tough for you but I need to tell you that working with you when you were in Singapore was the best stint I had in the company, with the BEST TEAM ever (incl. Darul, PeiYing, Sirion, Andreas)! Will always miss that time!!

    I wish you ALL THE VERY BEST in your new beginning and excited to hear the story from you personally! Please stay in touch and catch up whenever you are in Singapore or if I am travelling to the Philippines. Take care Armie! God bless you and family!!


    P.S. You forgot to put our team photo in the collage ��