From Discouraged to Encouraged

*** Time Period: July to December 2010 ***

One Foot Forward

After my first fun run, I immediately started training, but only mild because it’s just once or twice a week, and aimed for the 10K category in the Run, Race and Reach: Pilipinas 25K International Marathon. My training ground is still at Asiatown IT Park.

By this time, I must say that I still don’t have the proper diet. I’m still eating unhealthy food and eating it a lot!

My faith goal remains the same: to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle. I already have a foot forward because I’m starting to improve on my runs – over time I increased my runs without walk breaks from about 2km to 3km to 4km until it reached 6km! My average pace, though, is at 8:00+/km. Good job, I guess! But I’m finding it hard to change my food choice and volume of food intake. To feel better, I psyched myself, “that’s why I run, so that I can eat whatever I want.”

Run, Race and Reach: Pilipinas 25K International Marathon 10K (Aug 2010)

In what could have been my most anticipated race turned out to be a “non-appearance” for me! I arrived at the starting line very late, at around 5:40 AM, when the elite runners for the 10K category are beginning to arrive at the finish line. I woke up at 5:00 AM, the gun start time! I felt so embarrassed that I didn’t go out of my car and just proceeded to go back home.

You see, the night before race day, I didn’t know that we have a homeowners meeting in our subdivision. I can’t say “no” because it would be my first time to attend such meeting. The gathering ended up at 12 midnight, and there’s still some chit-chat going on before I finally got to rest at 1:00 AM.

Lesson learned: Sleep early the night before race day and wake up early on race day!

Alarming Executive Check-Up Results

I didn’t join any race after my “boo-boo” experience not because of it, but because I got complacent and felt unmotivated. There were weeks that I got zero mileage in running. Add to that the fact that my diet is still uncontrolled, unbalanced and unhealthy. And we’re just a few weeks away from our annual executive check-up in the office. As compared to last year, I felt more confident I’ll get better results because I’m more active and hooked to running.

We were examined by one of the best hospital in Cebu and after a week the results came out. To my surprise, I got so many medical findings! Findings that are normally associated with no proper diet and no exercise lifestyle. I was so discouraged and disappointed I tried to find other options that will make me achieve my primary objective.

I prayed to GOD to give me wisdom to choose what to eat and bestow upon me self-discipline to control what I eat. I searched through HIM the motivation and encouragement that I need to remind me everyday that I will live only in accordance to HIS will – and being healthy is a part of it.

Answered Prayers

It was so timely that Espie and I will have a short vacation in Singapore with our closest friends last November 2010, a month after the executive check-up. I was able to unwind and relax and start all over again. And before our flight back to Cebu, I was blessed with an iPhone4, the phone I so desired since its release. Little did I know that it will play a big role in my running activities. Why? Because it has many downloadable applications that are related to running. My favorites are Adidas miCoach and Runmeter – both of which I am still using for my trainings until now.

short vacation in Singapore

And I found www.dailymile.com, a site for runners, cyclists, swimmers, athletes, etc. It is like a journal for my running workouts and it has features that keep track of my posted mileage and activities. Plus, I gained new friends from it – fellow runners from Cebu whom I haven’t met yet but are kind enough to give you motivations and advices online.

All these, I believe, are GOD’s answers to my prayers! And because of these, I feel like I am now ready to start anew. I can’t wait to begin a more serious training, a more focused running, a better motivated drive to have proper diet, and a much determined person to succeed.

My new found resolution jump started in December 2010. Amidst the parties that I attended, I must say that I controlled my appetite and ate only what is required. Ok, I lied! I ate a little bit more of “lechon”… but I found time to run a decent total of 40 kilometers for the month despite the very busy and hectic schedule. In the end I am happy because I got to start working for my faith goal again. Add to that was a little inspiration because when I weighed in at New Year’s Eve, I improved to 220 pounds. Not bad, I guess! At least, I improved from 230+ pounds 10 months ago. Thank You LORD!

New Year’s Eve @ Marco Polo Plaza Cebu

Lose Weight and Live Healthy

*** Time Period: January to June 2010 ***

The Beginning

Hi! My name is Dennis and my friends call me Shaw (pronounced as sho). I am happily married to Espie and we’re happily living together in Liloan, Cebu.

At the onset of the year 2010, one of my faith goal was to trim down and live a healthy lifestyle. I believe that staying healthy and fit is one way of honoring GOD with our body (1 Cor. 6:20). At that time, I’m at my heaviest – 230+ pounds – very much overweight for my 6’1″ frame! Feeling so unhealthy, I began to look for an exercise to complement proper diet and help me lose weight.

Feb 2010 @ 230+ pounds

I contemplated on playing basketball. But the problem with basketball is you need nine (9) other guys to play with, which at times, is hard to assemble especially with my friends having different work schedule as mine. Consistency would be an issue.

I considered enrolling at a fitness club. I tried two (2) sessions as a guest of my brother-in-law Christian in one of the better gym in Cebu City but decided that it’s too expensive for me. Well, maybe later, but not for a start.

Then I tried running. I don’t know anything about running then – I called it jogging, just like anybody else. I used to jog consistently before (high school and college days) because of basketball. Somehow, I felt that this will be my exercise. I can do it even if I’m alone and I don’t need to spend too much money. All I need is my iPod Classic, a shirt, a pair of short pants and my basketball shoes.

And so I started running. I ran once or twice a week around Asiatown IT Park, sometimes with Christian. When I started, I could hardly finish two (2) loops (about 2 kilometers). It stayed that way for about two (2) months until I bumped into college friend Homer. He himself has started running and has progressed already, he is training for a 10K event that time. He told me that I can never be comfortable running with basketball shoes, and that I should get a nice pair of running shoes if I want to see progress in my workouts. He also discussed about proper diet, speed and pace, fun runs and that a nice goal would be to finish 10 kilometers in an hour.

I got so curious that I started researching the internet about running and running shoes and running gears and fun runs and trainings, etc. From what I’ve read, I thought I made the right choice of exercise because I’ve now become so interested and so excited to run. I also believe this will really help me meet my objectives of trimming down and living a healthy lifestyle.

What happens next is my wife surprised me with a pair of Mizuno Wave Inspire 6 (I’m so blessed with Espie!), I aimed for improvement in my runs at IT Park, and I registered for my very first race – Rundaue 2010 5K category! Espie also joined for the 3K run.

Rundaue 2010 5K (May 2010)

Our very first race was all new for us! We didn’t know what to expect! It’s just excitement and fun all throughout! We were grateful to experience a fun run for the first time, and a fun run as big as 2,000+ people running!

At that time, it was my longest distance so far and I am thrilled to finish it! The 5K race started at the Parkmall. I managed to run up to the turning point in Total (gas station), then after that, it’s jog-walk already. I took a lot of walk breaks heading back to the Parkmall. The sun was already up and its scorching heat took the air out of me. By the time I reached the finish line, I consumed 00:46:20. Espie finished the 3K route at around 30 minutes.

Still, a big victory for us! We started and finished the race! I hoped, back then, that this will only be the first of many fun runs. Thank You LORD!

3K & 5K Finishers @ Rundaue 2010

Fight the good fight. Finish the race. Keep the faith.