Rule #1: Cardio

If zombies were to chase me, I only have a 300-meter chance to run for my life. Anything farther than that does not guarantee my survival.

Because I hate to admit this, I AM NO LONGER FIT AS I WAS BEFORE.
Rule#1: Cardio
How do you survive a zombie apocalypse?

I used to be so physically active until I got derailed from my fitness goals because of a minor knee injury. I took a break but I never thought I would take a long one. Weeks quickly turned to months and before I knew it, two years had passed and I already made every damn excuse not to workout at all.

The struggle to gracefully juggle the demands of life — marriage, motherhood, work, household chores, and everything in between — definitely made exercise the last thing on my to-do list. It did not help that I work at home. I have my butt glued on my chair for eight hours daily and I got so used to having zero physical activity (if laundry, dishes, and walking to the toilet do not count).
See? I barely make 500 steps in a day.
And since being skinny does not seem to pose any threat to my health and self-esteem, I find no reason to exercise and I do not mind being idle at all. Until I was confronted with my lack of interest in attending social events because I tire easily. I also suffer from insomnia, inability to focus, and crankiness—all of which I have tried so valiantly to ignore the past two years and simply blamed everything to work and aging.

Turns out, I lack that much needed endorphins. I need to get high on it again.

I thought of going back to Muay Thai but with the traffic getting worse, a trip to the dojo would take an hour or two (I cannot afford to lose that much time). I considered yoga classes and even zumba parties but my non-negotiable schedule does not agree. I also tried signing up for marathons but I am reluctant to shell out at least Php1000 for a SINGLE run. The same amount can already get me a month's worth of gym membership which is not an option for me since I have this habit of not showing up after a session or two (the level of intimidation is pretty high there). Yes, I am still brilliant in making excuses.

Then I was introduced to Virtual Runs—something I didn't know exist. It is like any other run, but way more flexible. You can choose the day, the time, the route, and the distance that's most convenient and suitable for you. Perfect for my busy and unpredictable lifestyle! So when a fellow blogger, John, asked me to join Sun Life's first Virtual Run, of course, I hesitated. I knew I am too unfit to run 5k, let alone 50k.

But I did it anyway.
My virtual race bib.
I started out with baby steps. My first attempt was an easy 3k distance. To you, and maybe to myself today, that is nothing, but during that time, it was the hardest 3k of my life and I didn't even reach 3k! I saw death coming two minutes in. I was gasping for air and almost puked my lungs out. I was obviously in a terrible shape.
My first day.
But my momma did not raise a quitter so on the days that followed, I pressed on.

I tracked my performance and was happy to see that I eventually got better even though it still felt like I was using a spoon to dig a tunnel. But hey! Small progress is still progress.

Strava Run

It was not easy. It never is. But a hundred and one snoozed alarms, 22 daily battles-with-the-little-demon-inside-my-head-who-constantly-tells-me-that-running-is-not-really-worth-getting-out-of-bed-for, and 12 angry-mutters-to-myself-for-choosing-exhaustion-over-sleep later, I completed the 50k  challenge.

Sun Life Virtual Run Finisher

It was not as glorious as finishing an actual race but I am immensely proud of myself.

Sun Life Virtual Run 50k Finisher

I wouldn't say I have fell in love with running. To be honest, I still hate it. But no matter how much you hear me whine about how boring, how painful, or how exhausting it is, you will still find me hitting the road on my Brooks because I know I am only 3kms away from feeling good.


Running has definitely proven beneficial to my physical, emotional, and mental well-being. It is the perfect antidote for my laziness. It energizes me to get me going the whole day. My mood has significantly improved (that's probably because when you're too tired from running nothing can stress you out anymore. Haha). I am now more focused and more productive at work. And best of all, I am already getting enough sleep—something I did not have in a very long time.

Yes, the virtual run challenge has already ended, but my journey to living a healthier life has just begun.

And in this world where technology is ruling over us and we are starting to inadvertently normalize sedentary lifestyle, I am so grateful to Sun Life Philippines for giving me that kick in the butt I needed to get me off my lazy couch and start with that baby step toward a victorious leap to a healthy life.
Good  job, self!
Well, what else can I say? With this 180-degree turn, I know I would live long enough to see a zombie apocalypse. And this time for sure, I will be able to survive one.

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