Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tough Trails

As if running is not taxing enough, I contemplated (and did!) trail running.  But wonders...I immensely enjoyed it with all the dirt (including carabao's poops), thorny cogons, killer uphils and an awesome nature feel of the place.

I'm talking about the Nature's Trail Discovery Run 2nL held at Tanay Adventure Camp, Tanay, Rizal.

It was  actually our first time to travel to Tanay.  Since we did not opt to camp at the site the night before the race, we left Sta. Rosa at a very early Sunday dawn (before 2AM!).  Armed with only a printed google map and my iphone GPS, we traveled from Sta. Rosa then C6 (our first time to pass this highway!) then the very long Manila East Road until we found the camp.  It actually took us a little less than 3-hour drive!

Race started on time with those running the 21k (including hubby) going off first.  After 15 minutes, the 10K runners (including moi) ran off.  We were greeted at once by a muddy downhill and uphill.  Picture this!

Well, that's only inside the camp.  Then off to the paved roads then un-paved roads.  I was actually not so challenged much and thought - so this is trail running!  I didn't know there are worse trails to come in a few minutes.

The challenge started with another muddy trail - downhills and uphills.  There was actually no way to avoid the muds so you just have to embrace them - yes, literally as I did on my way back.  It was such a relief when we did the river-crossing.  Afterall, my shoes (which I just borrowed from hubby!) became heavier and heavier every step of the way trail.  See....

When I reached the U-turn site way above the hill, I asked the marshall if I can rest for a while as I could really hear the strong beating of my heart.  I'm sure I exceeded my maximum allowable heart rate and could have a  cardiac arrest anytime !  After resting for about 5 minutes and watching some runners take turns in taking pictures, I decided to start the task at hand - running the muddy downhills.  Thinking about it, saying muddy was like cursing when I was doing the trail run (hehehe).

As mentioned earlier, I literally embraced the mud.  Oh yes, I did it when my one of my shoes got stuck in the mud and I got off balance.  Why did it get stuck?  Well, because the shoes are actually bigger than my feet size , maybe an inch bigger!  I was so muddy all over - my legs, shorts, shirt and my two hands!  Even my hydration bottle.  How can I drink now??  Glad there's a small house on the way back and I have to ask some water from their big drum using Pocari bottle as the tabo.  According to marshall, some runner borrowed the tabo and he didn't know where it was put back!

Finally, the finish line.  I was this dirrrttyyyyy!

So, will I sign up again for a trail run?  Your guess is as good as mine.

I just bought my first trail running shoes.  See you at Mt. Pinatubo trail run - I'm running 25K!

Monday, August 27, 2012

I Shall Return

These three (3) famous words of Gen. MacArthur had brought me back to Tacloban City.  But with a different scenario of course.  I came back to join an ultramarathon (albeit, the relay division) organized by frontrunner aka Jonel Mendoza.
Revisiting UP Tacloban Campus

Decades ago, I came to Tacloban to take the UP College Admission Test (UP-CAT).  I passed the examination but sadly, I didn't make it to the quota at UP-Diliman for the BS Accountancy course.  I had the choice of pursuing the course but in Tacloban campus.  Though near my hometown (Catarman, Samar), i didn't know anyone there (in short, wala akong matitirhan!) unlike in Manila where I have a sister and her family.  So, my benefactor (aka big sis) decided to proceed in sending me to Manila but in a different school.  I became a Red Warrior instead!

Fast  forward to August 2012, hubby and I flew the first flight to Tacloban via Cebu Pacific.  The schedule of this race nicely coincided with the very long weekend - Monday is end of Ramadan and Tuesday is the Ninoy Aquino day.  Our first day in Tacloban was spent exploring the city (on foot!).

Then, we had fun at the pre-race briefing and carbo-loading party!  We met the famous BR (Bald Runner, veteran of ultra-marathon races in the Philippines).

Left my comb in Manila thus the wind-blown hair :)
The longest distance I ran before joining this race was a little over 21K.  But, I was confident that I could run  the 25K - my supposed part of the 50K relay that we registered for.  We met a lot of new faces during the pre-race briefing but by their looks, I knew they are already experienced runners.  C'mon, who would spend some fortune to fly to Tacloban to run 50K?? Of course, only serious runners!

Though confident with the 25K, I was actually in for some last minute surprises.  First, the 50K became 51K.  And worse, the first runner will run 30k while the second runner will run 21K.  What?? 30K?? But, I only prepared for 25K!  Hubby told to just think that the additional 5K will just be the usual route we jog every morning at our village!  Yeah, right ! But after running 25K?  That seems not right anymore.  He lets me choose either to run the longer route or run under the heat??  Well of course, I'd choose the 30K.  Who wants to run from 9 to 11AM??

So at exactly 3:30 AM I, armed with 2 energy gels, Rudy sunglasses, head flashlight and most importantly self-confidence, lined up at the starting line (Tacloban Convention Center) with around 200 others.

Unlike the previous races I joined in which the focus is on the finish, this one is more on the journey.  I immensely enjoyed the first 20K especially the sights in Palo and going to the San Juanico bridge.  I passed by the Macarthur Landing very early in the morning so I wasn't able to stop by to have my picture taken (and I also didn't carry camera nor cellphone anyway!)

I got really really tired at 25K mark.  See, I only prepared myself for the 25K!  So I did run-walk strategy.  It was really a struggle since the sun is now up and humidity is really high!  It took me 4 hours and 20 min (more or less) to reach my destination.
Gotta reach the turnaround point.

 It was really fun at the finish line.  Jonel, another celebrity at ultra marathons, announced the names of each runner who arrives at the finish line!
Finish line!  Already bathed while hubby looked exhausted :)

The prizes!
 The following day, before we leave Tacloban, we invaded the mansion of the Marcoses and acted royalty :))

Si Maganda at  si Malakas!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Manila Bay

A long time ago, when me and my family still live in the congested Manila, one of our favorite places to while away time especially on a weekend afternoon was the Manila Bay sidewalk - more popularly known as The Baywalk.

You will see an assortment of people at Baywalk - from businessman to vagrants to students.  One time, hubby and I decided to try jogging around the CCP Complex.   I was lazy then so I chose to bike with some of my officemates.  Hubby ran alone and after some few kilometers he stopped.  The stop was so sudden (we were ignorant then!) that he lost consciousness.  Gladly, after few seconds and a seemingly lifetime of nervousness, he came back to life.

 We just laughed about that experience.  Alas, we didn't pursue running then.  Too bad because we were a lot younger then and much stronger!  We are not yet that old now but not so much stronger anymore.  There's that nagging wish that we should have started this running earlier.  Shoulda.  Coulda.  Still, better late than never.

Almost three weeks ago, we joined a race called the Manila Bay Clean Up Run sponsored by the Manila Broadcasting Company.  It turned out to be a family affair since we also registered the girls and Tita Dhel for the 5K.  Hubby and I joined the 15K race.

The gun time was delayed for some few precious minutes due to some politicos who wanted to share some thoughts about the run ;)


It was really refreshing running along Manila Bay side - so breezy.  Some runners treated their pets for a nice run!

The medal is just okay - an addition to my growing collection courtesy of my running career.

The best part though was the breakfast at Aristocrat - Boneless chicken barbecue with Java rice.  AWESOME!!!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Running Again

Yes, I'm running again after almost two months of hiatus!  My blogging break however was longer at 3 months .

So, what happened during the past 2-3 months?

During March, I joined my second half-marathon organized by Coach Rio - the leg 1 of the RunRio Trilogy/Run United Series (composed of 3 legs).   I was able to break my record by 20 seconds (hehe, i know I'm still a noob!).  My motivation is the medal/s cum puzzle.  The first medal is actually a part of a medal puzzle which can be completed if you run in all the three legs in the category 21k/21k/32k or 21k/21k/21k.

I also bought new running shoes with matching new running socks!  I bought the shoes on my hubby's birthday (mean right?  instead of buying him a gift i bought myself one!).

Bye K-Swiss, Hello Asics!!!

On April and May, we had a grand time in enjoying the summer.  We went to Misibis Bay (fantastic but expensive place!)

Then, off to Samar for a 2-week vacation.   It was really an awesome vacation though I wasn't able to do some running!

And late May, I was back to the fabulous world of running.  I had joined 3 races so far...

10K at Greenfield Run for Clean Air (Paseo de Sta. Rosa)
12K at Brooks Run Happy (BGC, Taguig)

21K for Run United 2 (BGC to MOA)
I could not find any picture of me after scanning the gazillion Run United 2 pictures. Though it took me three (3) hours to finish 21K, I enjoyed the race due to cool weather.  Alas, I did very minimal walking!  Hubby came back to me again after he completed his 21k.  It was really a surprise seeing him barefoot.

He ran barefoot at 16K mark & ran an additional 5K after finishing the race!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bora run

I had been remiss on my training.  And Boracay is a culprit.

We had our strategic planning at Shangrila Boracay..a very nice place.

Me and my closest officemates actually took the long route going to Bora...that would be via Kalibo.  From Kalibo to Caticlan, it took us 1 1/2 hours land trip to reach Caticlan jetty.  Then, we took the fast craft provided by Shangrila to guests going to the hotel.

The conference lasted for 4 days but I was only able to train once and only for 4k...grrr.  I actually did plan to run along the shore or even around Shangrila.  But, I could not run earlier than 6AM because it was still dark.  So I decided to use the gym.  I hit the treadmill only on the 3rd day!

And I did a lot of physical activities!

Did kayaking for an hour...

Swam with Sharina for an hour...

Partied every night..

So, what can I say about Bora?  Well, except for the sand, I still like my summer getaway beach in San Antonio!

Boracay fine!

And I really love running it shows on the shirt I wear even in Bora!

Me on my fave shirt!

Now, back to running!!!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Hope, Honor and Half Mary

Note:  This post has been sitting on my drafts for almost two (2) weeks.  I was actually waiting for Dani to do the edits (yap, she is my editor and she's being paid a decent fee for it!).

I did it! I ran 21 kilometres, or also known as, *cough cough* the half marathon!.

The day before, Doods and I had planned to load carbo by eating pasta, bananas and what-have-yous.  It was perfect, because that Saturday, one of my closest classmates in law school was set to have her twins baptized, namely  Hope and Honor. The twins are very cute and so cuddly.

We ate a lot of pasta during the reception.  Our dinner was only boiled bananas, a very good source of, yet again, carbohydrates.

We slept at around 9PM and woke up as early as 2 AM. It was finally the day of our half-marathon! We planned to wake up an hour early so that we could have a warm up run.  At 3AM, we arrived at the venue..  Oh boy, the parking was almost full!  But, wow, the moon was beautiful. I was excited to run for hours under such beauty!

It was good thing that the race organizers split the runners in each category by waves.  This is to prevent clogging of the way up to the skyway.  We came across a familiar face - a fellow runner from our neighbourhood.  Then, it was time for the prep up for the gun time. Condura has really lived up to its hype - fireworks, marshalls, a helicopter filming, etc.

The runners were so excited to ascend the skyway... and off we go.  Doods had promised to pace me, so instead of speeding up and leaving me; he stuck by my side, even though I knew that he was having a hard time with my snail pace. The first half (10.5km) went smoothly.   The hydration stations were well spaced out and the water was plenty with some sports drinks (courtesy of 100 plus).   There was some pride brewing inside  me when I realized that I was really running the highway where our car would pass by every work day!

It's funny when we approached the toll gate and somebody shouted "free toll fees!!!".  For a change, we were not charged by passing the toll gates, he he he.

I took my energy gel when I was near the 1-hour mark.  So, I was very  energetic when I did the u-turn at the 10.5k mark.  The first problem I had was when I was approaching the 16K mark.  It was an uncharted territory.  My longest race so far was my Bull Run, an opening race for 2012.  A combination of fatigue and fear of the unknown brought some discomfort on my calves.  I was sensing some cramps (or maybe I was just imagining them).  So, I told Doods that I would have to stop running and instead just walk to avoid any untoward incident (of cramps).  I told him to continue running and meet him up at the finish line.  He willingly obliged.

I walked and jogged and walked for around half a kilometer.  Then, I did some stretching.  I felt kind of relieved so I decided to run again.  Well, the hubby could not leave me!  He waited for me (actually, I was hoping for it!).  We ran together towards the finish line.  Somebody took a picture of us holding hands while we were about to reach the finish line. Nice timing! :)

So, here's our official time:

Not too impressive but hey it's our first time!!!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Energy gel...for endurance!

I had my first taste of energy gel last Saturday.  And it tastes good (of course, I chose the blackberry flavor!)

This gel has provided me with a shot of 100 calories of carbo upon reaching the 1-hour mark.  I've read in one of the running books that when you're running for more than two hours you will need some energy boosters.  This will help with replacing the glycogen level and also avoid build up lactic acid thus avoiding developing injury.  Ooops, sorry for the running lingo!

Speaking of runner's language, I had a funny encounter with a muggle last Monday.  I went to Mercury Drug Store hoping to find energy gel there....

Me:  Do you have GU energy gel?
Pharmacist:  Ano po yun?
Me:  Energy gel...kahit anong brand.
Pharmacist:  (with a bewildered look)  Para saan po yun?
Me:  For endurance
Pharmacist:  (with an enlightened look) Ahhhh

He left to get a sample.  Guess what he brought?  A condom..yup, endurance is a known label for a condom....LOL.  Anyway, I left the drugstore empty handed.

This Sunday, I will be running my first half-marathon (21K).  Based on my current training pace, I might do it  for about 2.5 - 3 hours.  Oh yes, that's how slow I run.  But, as they say in running, it's not how fast you run but on whether you finish the race or not.
21K Race Map
  So, let's run and conquer the Skyway!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Where did the runners go?

I've asked that question when I ran last Sunday after a lazy spell for 3 days.  I couldn't see a lot of joggers/runners!

Did laziness catch up on them like what happened to me the past 3-4 days?  Are they having running burnout?  Or maybe they were just enjoying the few more weekends of cool mornings.

Then, I remember.  It's the day when Piolo was set to beat his own record for the 10K.  It's the Timex Run Race...

I actually planned to run this race early on but begged off last minute due to some conflict in my husband's social schedule.  And even without conflict, we also could not run due to his injury!

He was suffering from tendonitis.  According to, tendonitis is most often an overuse injury.  Does that mean he was overtraining?  Hmmm may be!  He was not always heeding my advise of strictly following our running workout plan, especially on the distance to be covered.  The plan says run for 12k and he did 16k!

Anyway, he's starting to recover now after a series of therapy and medication.  Hope we can have a long run training this weekend.  You see, having a running partner is a great motivator.  From the time hubby was injured, I haven't had any long run.

Instead, I had short runs for three consecutive days totaling almost 15K.  Yesterday, I had a nice run at Graceland Estates and Country Club.  It offers an amazing view while circling the jogging trail ...

I took that picture using my IPhone 4S.  I'm really loving Instragram right now.  It's the best way of updating your FB status with matching picture.  A genius software invention!  Before, almost all my status updates are regarding my runs or races.  Now, most of my updates are either Instagram photos or impeachment proceedings.

So, where did the runner in me go the past few days?

She's either taking Instagram photos or watching Tupas being lectured by Enrile or pawned by Cuevas! =D