02 January 2014

Holiday Runs, Birthday Run, Hardrock, Asia Trail Magazine

Photo from Pinoymountaineer.com
My mind was already busy thinking of what to do for the long holiday weekend starting from 28 Dec. 2013 to 01 January 2014. That was full 5 days of free time. Naturally my mind gravitated towards trail running!
I already made arrangement for a full-Miyamit run with some running buddies last Sunday (29/12/13)but the same had to be postponed since the family had to go to South the day before for the New Year . Since I had to drive the family on Saturday, running had to take a back seat. I figured one-day respite from running was called for given I ran last Friday anyway.  
All I knew I was craving for some elevation or mountain running and the mind scoured the virtual map for the closest mountain from Tagaytay City. It is Mt. Batulao in Batangas which is 20-30 minutes drive from the house depending on the traffic. The elevation (811++ MASL) may not be high but if one will do several rounds, it will suffice.
So I made sure to wake up early enough to factor in driving time to start the run by 6AM (ideally). So starting last Sunday for the next 3 days I had been visiting Mt. Batulao. The run started from the new trail to old.
DAY 1 - The rest last Saturday sort of filled up my tank for today. Extra energy was evident in the uphills. The cool temperature of December weather with wind and cloud-filled sky made it surprisingly invigorating. My regret was only doing a single outing because for the next few days, it was cloudless sky; ergo hot. I could have done 2 loops easily. My goal was to travel light. Hence, I carried no water carrier. If I wanted to drink, the coconut juice at the store of Mang (uncle) PD (the hut at the junction of the old and new trails) for a measly 25 pesos was more than enough.
DAY 2 - Woke up early to prep and have a home-made tapsilog (I myself cooked) before the run. Coffee is always a staple pre-run. I can't do without it. So by 6AM, I was already running starting from Evercrest. I did 2 loops which in hindsight I should have done 3. Carrying no watch also has its own cons. You can't tell EXACTLY what time it is. I had to look at the sun over the horizon to more or less figure it out. I finished around 9AM which meant I could have done another loop to wind up by 10AM which was still okay at home. As usual, the coconut juice after loop 1 and going home was delightful!
DAY 3 - My wife tagged along even when I said I'd be doing 3 loops. She asked if she could do it and naturally I said "Of  course!". The first few hours were "enjoyable" given the cool early morning temperature but when we started doing  hills after hills that was when it dawned on her the unsavory situation given she is not used to mountain running. Let's say she complained of the endless climbs but she managed to finish. Not bad. Our run was from the old to new trail (I am more efficient from the new-to-old-trail loop). She went ahead to the car while I did two more loops. Given that we finished the 1st loop way off my usual target time, the 3rd loop was done around 12 noon; and thus very hot. The noontime heat considerably slowed me down. If I had it my way, I could have done 4 loops.
Pointing at the peak

Now my calves and quads are complaining ... the good kind of hurt :)
The elusive race! Simon Sandoval and I had another bad luck at this year's lottery. Simon had his 3rd straight and 2 in a row for me. Aargh! I am getting older and I hope I won't get to run it when I am 50 years old! :) Anyway, next year again! It's my dream run (yup they say it is not a race :) and so will keep sending in my slot.
Geez, time flies! I'll be turning 44 this coming 06 January 2014. Just like last year, I will run the equivalent of my birth age, er, in kilometers (not in miles yet :) . I am inclined to visit Miyamit this coming Monday or do the same during Fat Ass this weekend. It depends on my mood. I'd appreciate some company this coming Monday but given it is a working day, I should lower my expectation.
The first international trail magazine in Asia! I was glad to be part of its first edition. Thanks to Editor/Publisher Clement Dumont and writer Ms. Rachel Jacqueline. Now if I only can get a hard copy :)
Moi, the 3rd from left at Bighorn 100 approaching the Finish Line


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