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Balancing act

Posted Oct 29 2012 9:26am
It’s been a while since my last post. The past months have been very busy for me. Although I am now slowly able to manage my time more efficiently, there are still a lot of things I haven’t picked up. For one, I missed going here to talk about my trail runs, races, and other random stuffs. 

I haven’t mentioned it, at least not in this blog, but early this year we were blessed with another addition to our family. I kept this topic out of discussion mainly because it’s not related to the subject of my blog. As much as I also wanted to keep it private, I can't deny the fact that this is the reason why I've been out of the loop for some time now.

Like any family experiencing the wonders of having a newborn. It is both difficult and sweet. What make ours different is that our baby was born extremely premature. Baby Kiko weighs less than two pounds at birth and needed to stay at the NICU for a very long time.

He's home with us right now. Although he's still on oxygen 24/7 and on NG tube feeding, generally he's doing well. I say this with optimism because he's been through a lot. From being intubated to series of blood transfusion to surgery. He really has made a lot of improvement. This I credit to the loving people at the NICU which also became our second home the whole time when Kiko was there for six months.

I refer to him sometimes as "baby ultra"


It was a difficult adjustment for our family but it helps that we're used to dividing tasks at home (at least we try). We don't have any help so between me and Janet, we alternated on “shifts” every three hours.

In terms of running, I resisted in the beginning to change my training schedule. I go to work with little or no sleep then hit the trails with the same mileage and intensity. There was completely zero recovery. As a result, I felt crappy the whole day, irritable at work, extremely stressed at home, and just overall, I felt like a person that I don’t want to be.

Running as a way of life has been one of the many tools that I use to give me a sense of direction. My current situation should not be an exemption. If I am to move forward and be the person that I wanted to be, I needed to find balance. That means giving up some things to make way for the others. If doing this means giving up my training plans and race schedules so I can have more time to enjoy the life of being a father again, I think it's a reasonable trade-off. 

This settled, I took two months off from work, stopped training and tried to straighten things out. Believe me it's been a lot easier since then.

I am back to work now and baby Kiko has improved a lot since then. Fingers crossed, we hope to wean him off the oxygen before the year ends. He's so far been cleared by different specialists and some we're still working on.

I still run, but I do it in no terms but simply because I have the time and I wanted to. Although I have more restrictions now. Like I cannot got to remote trails where there's no cell phone signal. So, I pretty much stay local. Regular run for me needs to be planned days ahead; long runs, weeks in advance. I also don't go "all-out" when running, I make sure to save my reserve at home just in case I needed to stay-up all night with Kiko. 

Looking back, I thought that I have to take extreme measures to begin this process. That I have to completely cut off myself from the things that I love like running. As it turned out, things have a way of resolving itself. It was hard in the beginning, sitting at home to watch summer pass by and the opportunity of heat training lost. I skipped couple of important races. My training log, pathetic. But things eventually settled down after a while enough that I am now able to run on a regular basis. 

I still have one distance race, 50 K trail, in the calendar before the year ends. With the way things are moving on, I am hopeful to attend it but I'll not push it if not possible. I'm planning to take a long break at distance events after this and most likely move to short distance races. I have serious competition at home anyway with my boy placing at local races. 

For now, I'm glad to just end each day hopeful on a lot of things especially with our baby Kiko. My stinky feet maybe a little restless for not going out often but I'm sure its thankful that we're at least able to move forward, a little less crappy, a little less stressed, both feet moving in sync, balanced (at least for now).    

Baby Kiko now at 9 months, w/ my other daughter, Gabriela, also a premie.

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