A girl was running – finding her way calmly on the sidewalk one fine morning. She looked so relax, like she owned the world at that moment.
Watching her felt like I was watching a live Nike advertisement from the comfort inside a vehicle on our morning commute. Sitting idly inside the car, I cannot help but felt so envious!
Then I saw her again on the following day, and in the many coming days along the road on our way to driving our kids to school.
She became a permanent fixture of our daily commute. As if some higher Divine is sponsoring this real-life advertisement to remind us to go out and move because outdoors are so much fun than to be trapped inside a car.
It got me thinking why can she be running every morning alone. It’s usual to see boys running alone. But it’s rare to catch girls running on their own alone.
I thought maybe she’s training for a race, which would lead me to feel guilty how lousy I was with my own training. Thus, every time I would see her making her way on the streets, I could not help but go out and run when I got home. This live advertisement was / is definitely a very effective one.
Part of the mystery was solved when one day, I saw her at my kids’ school. From there, I made the connection that running from school after dropping her kids was her daily routine.
Then, it felt surreal when I saw her at South Road Properties (SRP), on Cebu City Marathon (CCM) 2013’s route. She was one of the CCM 2013 participants! So she really was indeed training for a marathon.
That day, she was running in a marathon.She was not running from school after dropping her kids. She was RACING!
And, she nailed it — finishing her 1st marathon below 5 hours!
One fine morning after the marathon, I met up with her. And, finally, I got to ask her why she runs.
Finding new home: from runway to highway
Her story of how she started running can be typical . She said she used to be a model in her younger days. She gained weight after giving birth twice. Thus, when she received an invitation from her older sister to run, she grabbed it in the hope to lose weight.
But then running did not only gave her back her old fit body. It also gives her a new home. She said that she can be too old for the runway. Thus, she finds her new home in the highway.
From being such a conscious newbie fun run participant because of her height which would make her standout of the crowd, she slowly became so at home in running — from 33-minute finisher of 3KMs to 2:15 finisher of 21KM, and to a sub-5 hours marathon finish. Quite an impressive performance for a mom who just sneaks in her training in between taking care of 2 school-grader kids.
In a lot of ways, running became the home where she finds refuge when things go rough in her life. When relationships got a bit chaotic, she found peace in long runs and come back tougher. Running becomes her rock to lean on. Then, it showed her that she has the strength to stand on her own, and move on.
And, now running is also her savings bank. She said that the main reason she runs from school is to save on transportation fee. She was probably just joking, but with how she performed in her first marathon — saving her transportation fee was a great investment!
The mom who runs from school to train is Ernani Tapulado. She will be joining the All Women Ultra Marathon 2013. You can check the other races she’ll be joining at her aktib.ph account >>. She is open to accepting race sponsors. =) (Learn how to create your own race calendar here >>.)
For those interested with her training program for her marathon, following was her simple scheme:
Monday – 45min run
Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday – 1hr run
Friday – rest
Saturday – 25-30KM long run