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First Run, First Medal

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One activity during the 50th PPS Annual Convention was a fun run with the them “Takbo Para Sa Mga Batang Pinoy.” Since I was already having my treadmill runs for about a month already, I highly considered joining the activity, just for the fun of it.

There were 4 categories, 500m dash for kids, 500m dash for adults, 3K and 6K runs. ambitious as I was, I chose to enrol in the 6K category. As I was already doing 10K runs in the treadmill at 47mins, I though I would be able to run it in a shorter time as well. But then again, I never did my runs outdoors; all were indoors. Still I was determined to join and be in that category.

When the actual run came, I was surprised that from my chapter, I was the only on who will be doing 6K while most of my colleagues will be doing 3K and some 500m dash. I got nervous. I prepared for it I guess. I brought and charged my ipad which would help me determine my pacing. But at the field however, I forgot to bring the ipad, nor a watch to help guide my run. I think I did not have sufficient warm-up as well as shown by my quality of run later on.

The fun run was also scheduled in the dusk. the air was warm and humid. It was suffocating.

Gun start. I began with a regular pace. But as I was running some distance I came to realize that it was indeed different from running on the treadmill. I was slowing down. At the first water station, I had to gulp water while when in Baguio, I could finish a 10K with just few sips. After the first kilometer, I was feeling tired on my ankle forcing me to walk a few meters then resuming run again. This went on.

After four kilometers, I was already feeling tired. I was thinking maybe I can stop now. But then I came to remind myself, that my run is a statement. A statement where I wanted to say, “just because a person underwent by-pass surgery that he should be resting, babied, under the watch of a caregiver constantly. I came here to show that even just a few months after surgery, once can be fit to run.”

I just went on, still with that reminder in my mind… Alas! I did not win. I was not even at the top 10 runners. By 45’44” I was able to reach the finish line, earning myself a medal, but most of all the determination to finish what seemed to be a herculean task, on my very first outdoor run. Honestly I was disappointed as it was not a good finish. But this is my first run ever… A record I will be beating soon in my future runs.

Will I do this again? Hell… YES!

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(With colleagues from PPS – Northern Luzon)

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Posted by on April 18, 2013 in Fitness

 

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My Journey To Strength

Dec 8, 2012 will be one of my most memorable date as it was on this very date when I expired from a massive heart attack. I just lucky to be revived and hence, now I am back.

While I was still in the hospital, on my 2nd week after the surgery, I was already referred to the Physiatrist for the start of my cardiac rehab. Unfortunately, while having my rehab activities, I was having some blood pressure shoot ups, such that my cardiologist had to defer my activities. Twelve days after my by-pass operation, I was sent home.

On the next day, I was eager to resume my cardiac rehabilitation but then my cardiologist wanted me to rest first until my follow-up visit. At home, everyone wants me to rest, do nothing, eat, sleep. But I am not this kind of person. I needed to do something. Thus, I started helping babysit my nephew who was 9 months at that time, except that I am so weak I can’t carry him. Then, to continue doing some exercises, I bought a 500mL water bottle that I used as weights for my brief and simple workouts.

Six weeks after my surgery, I had my first stress test. At 10 mets (maximum exercise), I had some signs of arrhythmia in the form of premature ventricular contractions, not only in singles, but in quadruplets. My cardiologist had to stop the test and then she prescribed me to only do exercises between 6-7 mets. The only thing I liked doing in that prescriptions was “walking for 5.5 km” or “biking for 16km.” I was then prescribed also an anti-arrhythmic amiodarone. I had to submit to the prescribed exercises. I was on the treadmill most often, checking on my heart rate every now and then and avoiding it to reach more than 150 beats per minute. But the stubbornness in me started to pop out after just few days. From an initial slow run of 5.5mi/hr, I increased it to 6.0mi/hr, then to 6.5mi/hr within a week.

At about 2 months post-surgery, I was already able to do 7 to 7.5mi/hr, still without informing my cardiologist. But she told me I can only do 6 mi/hr because that was the speed during my stress test when I started to have cardiac arrhythmias. Unknown to her, I was still increasing my speed. Until I decided to do some long distance running with the aid of ipod/iphone Nike+ Running app. I know this might not be exact but it was something I could work out on while still on the road to recovery.

I started first with a 5K run, initially finishing it in 30 minutes, until slowly increasing my speed and as of now, my fastest is at 27 minutes. I further increased it to 10K which I initially clocked at 1 hr 5’38”. I kept on trying to outdo myself, until I was able to finish a 10K run at 56’50”. All of this on a treadmill. I know this still needs a lot of improvement and soon, hope I will be able to achieve this. I also hope that I can do an actual road run but I am not in a hurry. Aside from this, I have also started lifting weights, initially smaller weights, until I am able to life almost the weights I did before my surgery. The only limit I am as far as weight lifting is my fear of my sternotomy to crack open if I keep increasing my loads.

People get surprised when they see me running on treadmill. They always keep on asking “kaya mo na ba,” “okay ka lang,” “may clearance ka na ba sa doctor mo” and other similar questions. Of course I know they are concerned but I can not allow myself to be babied forever. If I wont push beyond the set limits, I will not be able to be at my present status now. While there may be some advantages/disadvantages of being a person with disability at some times, I want to strive, to live as normal as possible.

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My latest runs

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2013 in Fitness, Personal, Weight Loss

 

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