How did I survive my first 25KM long distance run/walk?

Rose Buenconsejo shares her first 25 kilometer run with the Runnroo during the Tour de Cebu Stage 3.

Why I joined Runnroo’s Tour de Cebu?

As I mentioned in my ‘online diary,’ I joined Runnroo’s Tour de Cebu to get reconnected with my childhood kind of life. I was a barrio girl (I am still but only relocated to an urban place) who spent most of my days under the sun and with the wind going around the neighborhood, and ‘kasagbutan.’

And being a mother, wife, daughter, and whatnot for the last 5-7 years, I just want to do something just for the heck of doing it — no expectations and such.

So how did I survive my first 25-KM with Runnroo?

I’m not the sporty / athletic kind of person. I don’t have any running experience. Not to mention, I’m ‘chubby.’

My only claim-to-fame is that I grew up in a barriotic place (Badian, Cebu) where running / going around or simply being in the outdoor was life.

And, having undergone three cesarean sections — sliced and opened up, then stitched back three times — I’m quite experienced with ‘physical’ pain and pain management. Emphasis on ‘physical pain’ because, I feel, it’s totally different from emotional / mental pain.

So this is how it went — not exact details and distance ranges.

1KM – 5KM

Great leaders. Great sweeper. Great company.

Yes. I’m over-patronizing. But it’s true. Joseph and Sheilamie were very good in keeping the team in sync.

While, Paolo glued us together by staying in the last – the sweeper — until the team got a feel of each others’ pace.

And, Odina and Jean who were ready to fill in the different positions that needs filling — back-up / support / cheerleading crew.

Joseph Alquizola - barefoot runner in Cebu, Philippines

Joseph - The care-barefoot runner

runnroo running team of cebu, philippines

Runnroo team paused for Jean's poor knee

Lovely Sceneries

The lovely sceneries along the way just kept me going. The peaceful places along the way were hard to resist. You cannot help but run more — wondering what more scenes await to be discovered. Well, this is the main reason why I joined Tour de Cebu.

(Sorry. All pics are blurry. I was just using my cellphone.)

Fishpond somewhere in Dalaguete, Argao, Cebu, Philippines

Fishpond somewhere between Sibonga & Argao

Taloot -- fishermen foot bridge

Taloot, somewhere in Argao

Jean was limping and Odina was keeping her company. So both of them were ‘slow’ thus they were the easy targets for subjects.

Jean and Odina of runnroo - runners based in Cebu, Philippines

Odina & Jean

6KM – 10KM

This time, I started to fall out of the team’s pace. Uncomfortable feelings started to creep in. A little pain in my feet, a bit tired. But all in all, the discomforts were not something I cannot bear.

Hiphop / KPop Tunes

I know it’s not safe to be listening to music while running. But listening to the upbeat hiphop and kpop kept me jumping and hopping and moving forward. The music kept my mind away from the discomforts. Thank you, Mr. Steve Jobs.

My Pinkeroo

When I started to feel discomfort in my feet, that’s just when I got to appreciate my pink VivoBarefoot I named Pinkeroo (I don’t give any name to my personal belongings except for this – one of the ’emo’ things running can do to a person.).

By the way, I’m no barefoot running fan. I’m not even fully aware that there is a barefoot phenomenon. I decided to get this because I need something like my old-rotten Crocs which I used for my ‘training.’ Since the old style Crocs are no longer available, I took the chance on this.

But I guess what they’re saying about ‘barefoot’ running is true because I don’t experience any injury yet. You can read here about barefoot / minimalist shoes (which I got from Paolo Lim). With my experience, barefoot / minimalist footwear would let you feel the pavement / stones / rocks underneath. It can be a bit painful but you will be more cautious and careful on how you land your feet thus less abuse on your feet, legs, and body. Anyway, I’ll just probably save my whole blahblah about barefoot and such in another post.

For now, what I could say is that there’s no such thing as prescribed running shoes. For the reason that there is not one style of running. So for running, get a footwear that your feet are most used to. Or, check out Joseph’s ‘warat’ shoes.

my pink vivobarefoot running in argao, cebu

me and my pinkeroo. swiped from armie's

11KM – 15KM

I guess it was at this point that doubt of being able to run more started to surface. It was at this stage that the only thing that can keep me going is my self. It’s when the physical pain gets into you, and you have to look beyond your physical make-up to find something that can push you more.

Never underestimate the cave-woman genes in you.

At this point, I looked into myself, and try to find something in me that can push me more. Then, I realized that, ” Demmet, Lapu-lapu is my great grandfather. I evolved from the great cave-men runners.” In my mind, I was shouting to my ‘cave-woman’ instinct to show up, and don’t dare fail Lapu-lapu.

And, surprisingly, I just noticed myself coping up. I noticed a new and different breathing style surfaced — I was breathing from my mouth. And, it is something I never experienced before. It felt good, and it did help me through the end.

Then, my body just naturally pointed out to me how to save energy. So, really, never underestimate your hidden talents.

But then came the point when the cavewoman in me caved in.

Getting ’emo’

I still remember I was under the canopy of those big trees, giving the surrounding a gloomy feel, and I felt my tears starting to roll down my face. (Now I understand why runners can be so emotional) I was asking myself, “What the fuck I’m doing? It’s totally pointless.”

It just gets to the point that I no longer understand why I put myself into such pain and craziness. There are 101 different activities I can do without having to go thru this. A lot of questions were running through my head, questioning my sanity, my contentment in life. I was asking myself why I have to do this; I don’t have such a bad life. Being in that situation, I could not help but reflect.

Vicente Sotto patients

When you get to this point, one way to push yourself more is to try to give meaning to your craziness. And, that’s when I thought of dedicating this run to my mother’s health. And, it did the trick. I could not help but push my self more to run for the sake of my mother’s health.

But then after a few more stretch of running, doubt of finishing crossed my mind again. And, now I’s crying again thinking what would happen to my mother if I could not get to the finish line – morbid thoughts were flashing in my mind. And so I changed strategy. I dedicated my run instead to the Vicente Sotto patients. I knew it’s cowardly but I guess at that point, I just wanted to save myself from looking crazy — crying while running.

This was not the 'reflection' point but seeing this sign when you're about to give up can be timely

Getting emo can really be eekkky for me but that made my first experience with long-distance running sweet and magical. This is what I realized after my 2nd round of Runnroo’s Tour De Cebu.


There was this point that I could feel myself about to faint. And, I guess it was my body’s signal that it’s enough.


With Jean, I finished the 16km-25km by riding a multicab. Then, make ourselves comfy at this ‘lantay,’ waiting for the finishers to arrive.

Lantay at KM100 in Dalaguete, Cebu

Lantay at KM100 in Dalaguete, Cebu

So what do I realize after my 1st try of long-distance of running / walking?

Every thing is interesting. It just depends on how you view things. Even this mundane-looking boat is interesting.

boat docked on dry land sibonga, argao, dalaguete, cebu

Parked boat

In the same that each one’s way of pursuing life is interesting. I have no right to put down or question one’s goal or way of pursuing life — like how these 5 people are crazy to start Tour de Cebu.

runnroo runner team of cebu, philippines

Runnroo sharing quick stories in between

That after all the physical pain and sanity check-ups, I realized that the only reason I run is to move. I run to move — literally and figuratively.

And, so to not take it seriously, to take each moment as it is.

(More pics from my celphone for the runnroo’s Tour de Cebu Stage 3 – Sibonga, Argaoa, Dalaguete here.)


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