For some people, sports are just a pastime. For others, they are a necessity.
Such is the case for The Bull Runner, Jaymie Pizarro, who is a Marketing Manager at Sun Life, the founder of thebullrunner.com and The Bull Runner Dream Marathon, and the Community Editor of Endurance Magazine. She has run marathons all over the world as the first Filipino to finish the World Marathon Majors. She’s also a graphic designer, the pioneer of baby sign language in the Philippines, and a hands-on mother of two.
Jaymie Pizarro, “The Bull Runner.” Credit: Xander Angeles
Such is also the case for Zyra Diama, who has been a runner since her college years and a triathlete since 2013. She finished at the prestigious Challenge Camsur and Tigasin Triathlon, as well as in the Cobra Ironman 70.3 twice, first on her own and then with a relay team just last year. She was a Marketing Associate in DHL, and is currently taking up her second degree for Accountancy in San Beda Mendiola.
Zyra Diama at the Regent 5150 finish line, June 2015. Photo from Zyra.
For both women, their sports have become such a big part of their lives that they couldn’t imagine living without them. Jaymie has been running for nine years and admits, “It’s [a habit] like brushing my teeth. I don’t even ask myself if I have time to run. I make the time no matter how busy I get.”
It isn’t always easy to manage your time between things you love. Zyra admits, “There are times that you have to let go [of some activities], because you have to know your priorities […] it’s all hard in the beginning, but eventually your body will adjust to it.”
Despite that, they acknowledge that the training actually boosts them for everything else. Zyra shares that ironically, putting pressure on herself during training is her stress-reliever, while Jaymie states that running gives her more energy and focus throughout the day for work.
Once they got the hang of it, time management became easier. Zyra is now able to train nearly every day, sometimes on her own and sometimes with her team, loading up prior to every competition and tapering as the races come close. Jaymie, too, runs 2-3 times a week on her treadmill, saving her long runs for the road on weekends.
Zyra stretching before a run. Photo from Zyra.
Of course, both women also regularly compete. Zyra makes it a point to compete once every quarter, whether in big triathlons or smaller races. Jaymie runs marathons at least twice a year abroad, and trains for these marathons by running local races. Other people might wonder where they find the time to do all this, but for Zyra and Jaymie, when there’s a will, there’s a way.
So what do these inspiring women have to say to others who are struggling to manage their time between work and sport?
Zyra stressed the importance of having a support system, and suggested that the best place to start would be with an organization that is into your sport. She shares that there’s always an off-season for every sport, and this helps because, “You have to at least stop and enjoy the other things in your life. Life is not all about triathlons or running; you have another life aside from training and competing."
Jaymie also gave her top tips on managing time: “Plot out your weekly training schedule at the start of each week. Give importance to your training as if it was a meeting with your boss. Make use of your workout time wisely. [And] always remember that by taking care of your health, you become […] a better version of yourself.”
Jaymie training at home. Credit: Ben Chan. Photo taken from thebullrunner.com.
Admittedly, it can be tough to prioritize. It can be tedious or upsetting to let go of certain activities and make room for bigger priorities in your life. But it can also be very fulfilling, rewarding and most of all, fun. Jaymie and Zyra prove that there’s nothing that can stop you from doing what you love – least of all a busy schedule.