September 25, 2008

Rise of the machines

It's quite difficult to run nowadays because of the weather condition. Almost every week a tropical depression is coming or even worse, it develops into a typhoon. At the onset of the "ber" season, we all know that it is associated with the monsoon season. Rain is frequent and the metro is flooding and running outside is almost impossible. Sometimes I would sneak a quick 5k run just to keep me going. But what about a long run?

One day at the gym, I found myself running long hour on a treadmill. I don't really run long distances on a treadmill but just a 10 minute run. Its my excuse that I run every morning outdoors. I ran for 2 hours covering a distance of about 22 km. It was indeed a long run, thankfully not so many people are present that time. If not, maybe there will be a long queue on my machine.

I found it then that running on a treadmill is also achieving. You could try to step up your pace with just a push of a button. You could try hills too. Additionally, I could do my speed workout at a certain distance and intervals. Once the belt is running fast, all you have to do is go with it. You can't slow down or you'll fall. You could run fast without distractions too. The space is all yours. This is important if you're training for a short faster race like 5k's. And is a good substitute to oval running because of the measured distance. You could see the blinking numbers on the dashboard re; your distance, time, speed, inclination and even calories burned, ganda di ba?
Cross training equipment are also good alternative. Once every week, it is good to have a cross training schedule. Stairclimbers and stationary bikes are best for this workout. Sometimes, we must venture out to our passion and try some cross training.

Some say running on a treadmill is boring and monotonous, but to some extent, it is enjoying too. Can you find a place to run wherein you could watch your favorite TV show at the same time? Can you find a place to run wherein you could watch a movie? Dito lang di ba? Isn't it good enough? Let us not waste our time waiting for the rain to stop before we run. We should keep on going. Takbo tayo...

September 15, 2008

Gravity pull

Last Sunday run was another test for my strength. How can you negotiate a "mountain climb" with a difference in elevation of about hundreds of feet? Whoaa! That was the challenge laid by the MAC runners as they hosted the 7th Makiling Challenge at Los Banos, Laguna. The start and finish line was at the Baker Hall at the heart of UPLB.

The Baker Hall

The race started at past 6am with about 600 participants. The terrain is already ascending from the start line until it reaches the Palma bridge, which they call the bridge to nowhere, because you can't see the other end especially at nighttime, according to the residents. The route traversed dormitories and school buildings of the UPLB. As you go farther, the route ascends higher. The first 2.5km was already an acid test because you are already running uphill. There you will pass by the UPCO housing and the BSP gate. After reaching the turn around point of the 5km distance at the BSP rotunda, we entered the NAC gate. That was the start of the gruelling ascent. I can't run so I had to jog. After about a hundred meters I would slowly walk for another hundred meters. Jog and walk, jog and walk, as I negotiated the steep uphill climb.

When I was here about two years ago, our vehicle could hardly climb that route. I suppose the car would go back down because its really steep. The angle of inclination is close to vertical, if I may say.

It took me 30 minutes to reach the NCA housing, which is the highest point, located about 4km from the start line. From there, it was downhill with a slight ascent going to the NCA open theater, the turn around point of the 10km race. The view here is breath taking. There is a 360 degree view of the Laguna Bay and the surrounding towns. You can see the Crocodile and Talim islands. I had a chance to view the downside because we circled the theater as we turn around before heading back again to the route. The atmosphere here is so quiet as if you are close to the heavens.

I gained a little strength heading back because of the magnificent view. I forgot the fatigue I had as I greet the campers there. It is now 36mins as I peek at my Nike sportsband. Getting back again to NCA housing was an ordeal due to the steep climb. After I reached the NCA housing I briefly rested, recovered my strength and took water at the station. The next route will be going down. Time check: 47mins. As I begun to run downhill, I felt the adrenalin rush as I overtook other runners. I took small strides to keep myself balanced and to control my descent. That was a fast run. Gravitational effect is pulling me downhill as if I am being thrusted downwards. I had to slow down or otherwise I will be somewhere downstairs. Thankfully, I wear my pair of cushioned shoe, it helped a lot because the ball of my foot striked the ground first as I controlled my strides. To my surprise, it is more difficult to run downhill than running uphill because you have to control your speed.

After passing the BSP rotunda, there I gained my speed. I had to rush back to compensate the lost time. Thankfully the route is now sloping so my run was on tempo. I applied the Yasso 800's I was training the past week to see if I could handle it at this stretch. I passed by other runners as I negotiated the route back to the Baker hall. After crossing Palma bridge, I realized I do have more, so I thrusted allthroughout the finish line. The time: 1hr & 5mins.

Signing the grafitti

I can't believe I could do that. Challenging the hills of Mt. Makiling. So many lessons learned, so many experiences gathered. If I had a chance, I will be running again the MAC challenge next time and let gravity pull me once again.

September 10, 2008


This morning was just another heavy day for me. I felt my body was too weak to run. Maybe its because I put too much load on my gym session the previous night. Medyo napakuwento kasi, kaya nalibang. One colleague approached me and asked me kung tumatakbo ako. And my nod was the start of a long 'wento. Alam mo naman na kapag takbuhan na ang pag-uusapan, masaya na 'to. And we ended promising themselves that they will join upcoming fun runs. Nakapag recruit pa.

But then, muscle pains and loomy weather did not stop me from running. I still pushed thru kahit medyo tinanghali ng gising. I climbed down my bed and ran. And I still got a quality 10km run.

September 8, 2008

Looking back

I was reading blogs since March this year to thank those who helped me and shared their influences in my running achievements.
  • God, for everything.
  • Runnex (Doc Winston & Kuya Obet) for the training and Sunday runs.
  • ARC sa pag-ampon nila sa akin.
  • David Styles for the marathon training tips via e-mails.
  • Chris Carmichael & Lance Armstrong for the audio training, truly motivational.
  • Runner's World for their magazine on-line.
  • Race organizers and sponsors for the races.
  • Bald runner for his inspiration in writings, the first blog I found then.
  • Ben Chan for the Nike Sportsband.
  • Fellow runners and friends on the web and on the road, and
  • My wife, for running with me.
My utmost gratitude to all of you. Ang gagaling nyo! Takbo pa tayo, di pa tayo tapos..

September 7, 2008

Running as a passion

I have been in serious running since 2006. Since then, I have had joined numerous races and became a fanatic, or should I say, addicted to it. I started running in the grounds of up diliman to the pavements of qc memorial circle. Counts of runners and enthusiasts at these areas inspired me to pursue running and consider it as another milestone. I started running the 5k race, and then shifted to 10k. I tested the waters of the 21k long runs, and is now running the 42k.

I have met friends along the road and now I would like to have more through this narrative. I believe that as we go along, we will be tied as one in adhering to a certain principle, that is to run together. Let us keep the message running. Let us keep the passion going.

I would share with you every occurrence that will leave an experience inside and outside the unlimited world of running through this blog. Samahan nyo ko as we run and as we take on the journey of life.

Mabuhay ang mga "takbuhin"!