After the Pinatubo incident, I was glad that hospitalization was not required for my condition and even managed to do a short run a few days after. The decrease in strength and body weight was substantial and very noticeable and it was only after 5 days that my strength finally recovered. The loss in weight has not improved (lost around 3-4 pounds) and ironically, it seems good. The lighter during the race, the better. So, i'll probably maintain this weight until November.
So last Friday, Don and I decided to run Miyamit in the evening. We started around 11PM and the weather was not ideal. It has been raining here lately and as expected, mud and slippery trail became the staple. I laced up my Inov8 X-Talon 190 to find out how they perform in this kind of trail condition. The lugs of the sole were excellent as they dug in the mud to provide bettter traction. Above all, very lightweight even with mud stuck to it. This is a pair that will help to carry me through the race in November.
We must have disturbed the owner of the house where we normally parked our vehicle from his slumber. It was 11PM after all and we all know how old folks sleep early in rural areas. After saying our apology and farewell, we headed out. Dogs were barking everywhere and from the way they behaved, they must have abhorred our presence. One darted towards me and menacingly wanted to take a chunk off my leg. My goodness! I do not mind my arms but not my legs. As a protocol, we gave notice to the nearest houseowner about our run since the town hall was closed.
The first few kilometers gave us a glimpse of what laid ahead. Mud and lots of it. Our trail shoes were soaking wet and the mud made it difficult to navigate the trail. As the elevation increased, we were met with wind, rain and sub-20'C temperature. Our body was giving off some steam and our breath was thick. Visibility was very poor. Fog was so thick we could hardly see 1-2 meters ahead of us which hampered our momentum substantially.
The worse (not worse if we really think about it) part was getting lost. There had been a recent road widening and the trail leading to the highest peak where the gazebo is located was finally combed and widened. Due to thick fog, we took the right instead of the opposite upon reaching a fork. No wonder, the soil was so soft and loose. Backtracking and upon reaching the intersection, we realized our mistake. We both exclaimed on how we could possibly missed the right trail to take. It was right under our nose so to speak.
We decided not to go to the falls as well. The trail was also soft and loose from my recent visit there. On the way back and around 2:30AM, there was no mistaking about it. Sleepiness! I think this is very natural at around this time. Our body's unique way of telling us to rest. Don and I vividly recalled our unique experience during Oxfam where we had to "box" one of our teammates to prevent him from falling a cliff while walking ... somnambulist-style. Half-awake, half sleep. Well, we all were like that to some varying degrees.
Anyway, we were glad to note our vicarious experience on gear, shoes in particular, hydration pack and the weather and terrain. I think we need some improvement on the headlamp department even with new batteries. Not enough illumination but it must have something to do with the fog. Above all, I am really grateful for the recovery in strength to resume what I love ... running.
In a nutshell, the experience was invaluable as always.