That was exactly what I said to Simon Sandoval last Saturday before our 8-hour run at Miyamit. Déjà vu indeed.
I recall vividly the countless hours I spent at Miyamit training for GNW100 last November. Just driving again to the place brought a lot of memories or perhaps sacrifices just to finish my first 100-mile race. Now, I am at it again. If this training ground worked for GNW100, I did not see any reason why it should not work this time for UTMB which is equally a mountain race. As they say, stick to what works for you.
Simon has run the TDS of UTMB and is qualified and also running this time the full UTMB (http://www.ultratrailmb.com/) -166km race in Chamonix, France. It will be on 26 August 2011 with 46-hour cut-off time. Come to think of it, it is less than a month to go! We are very excited for this race. So last Saturday, we started our run past 3AM. This is our first run together after Jonel's 55km race at Nuvali. The weather was absolutely perfect. The sun hid behind the clouds even as we finished our run before 10AM for 37K. On the way back, we dropped by at the falls for a quick bath. Simon only. I think he found the falls irresistible. With 3-5km more to go, we almost reached the viewdeck point (the area 2-3km to the Pinatubo crater) and were tempted to go there but reason prevailed. That will be the goal for this Saturday's 42k trail run at Miyamit again (hopefully no more rain).
We talked alot about our upcoming race (UTMB), gear, weather, personalities in the Filipino running community (just to spice it up), CDO ultra race which I failed to run due to minor calf pain (my apology to the race director, Francis Velasquez), holding the toughest trail marathon in Miyamit and a host of other stuff. I think our biggest problem, at least mine for the moment, coming into UTMB is the cold weather in Mont Blanc region (aside from the inherent difficuty of the race). Coming from a tropical country, we seem to have a low level tolerance for cold climate. At least that was my experience during the Oxfam HK 100km trail run where the temperature dipped close to freezing point up on the mountains. Imagine wearing 5 layers of clothes and I was still cold. I am sure there are solutions to this. However, one thought that never escaped our mind is the fact that during UTMB, Simon and I will have to contend with running for two (2) consecutive nights as the race will start at 6:30PM of Friday. Assuming a finishing time of 35 hours, we will cross the finish line at around 5AM of Sunday. This alone presents a daunting challenge. I do not know how to train for this. Perhaps, back-to-back night running? A simulation? Not so much for the distance but the psychological boost it gives knowing how it feels to run for 2 nights.
Perhaps, Simon can give us the elevation gain or loss and other profile of our run last weekend. He is the IT guy between us :). (NOTE: Simon sent in the data. So please scroll down to check it out.)
Miyamit never fails to amaze me
en route to the falls
The next day (Sunday), we trekked Mt. Arayat even with tired legs which will prove useful during UTMB. This time we were joined by Dr. Peter Rivera and Jerwin Cuazon. Both ultrarunners in their own right. Peter has been to Chamonix and knows a lot about the place and the race iself. I hope he can join us at Chamonix. We just took it easy as some portions of the route are covered by overgrown grass which was not too kind to our exposed legs.
Peter, Jerwin and as sweeper, Simon
(clockwise) Simon, Jerwin and Peter in a hut on top of Arayat
So our next training is this Saturday. We are planning to start from 11PM up to the next morning or until we have covered the entire Miyamit plus change (Miyamit falls area) Roughly 42K of pure hilly trail running. I just hope the weather will be kinder this weekend. The plan is for Peter to join us up to the gazebo (5K from the start) where he will have access to 360' view of the surroundings and a roof over his head. Since it is still too dark, he will wait for us there until we return just in time for a quick dip in the falls.
Dates for the toughest trail marathon, 50 and 100-mile trail races will be announced soon. They are all on a drawing board. In the meantime, WHEN DO YOU SUGGEST THE 100-MILE RACE SHOULD IDEALLY BE HELD? WHAT OTHER ESSENTIAL DETAILS YOU WANT IN A 50 AND 100-MILE RACES? Your suggestiions will be appreciated.
For now, UTMB is the top priority. Unfortunately, I will have to beg off the Mt. Pinatubo race this weekend due to its insufficient vertical challenge required for UTMB. Perhaps next race of BR. Those interested to run with us, please feel free to join.