08 January 2014

The Solitude of Solo (Birthday) Run

Birthday is inevitable. It is like the start of a new annual cycle and only stops, um, when one is 6 feet under the ground. Well, some folks still celebrate your birthday even if you have crossed over to the next life. But this is another story altogether.
I was tempted to run my birthday age of 44kms during Fat Ass last 4-5 January but it was too early since my birthday was actually last 06 January. Besides, there is something, um, solemn about running your birthday age on the day itself. Also, I prefer some elevation and given I was entitled to a birthday leave, I might as well spend it wisely. The obvious choice was either Mt. Arayat or Miyamit. With Arayat, I have to climb 4.4 times just to reach 44kms. So the obvious choice was Miyamit. So I took a mental note of this while Fat Ass was going on.

Despite lack of quality sleep prepping and supervising Fat Ass for the last 2 days, I woke up at 3:50AM last 06 January as if my soul stirred me from slumber. A bit groggy and confronted with annoying hesitation whether to run or not. You know that feeling some of us have to contend with first thing in the morning. Normally the best cure to this is not think at all and just head out the door! And that is exactly what I did but not without my cup of joe and taking a bath.

So by 6AM I was already running from Ayala Porac. I realized though that it was Monday when most people are getting ready for work but there I was heading to the mountains instead. It sure felt different that time. I brought two kinds of shirts, one long and the other short sleeved. Weather was a little colder; sky was cloudy as if the natural world was celebrating the day with me. I felt a tinge of guilt on how my Inov 8 trail shoes look like now - almost ruined. Holes on both sides of the shoes where you can see my pinky and big toes. They sure need a replacement. For now, they are still holding up. I realized this pair of shoes has sentimental value having brought me to the finish lines of some tough ultra races - WS100, H1, Four Lakes, TNF100, and of course, Bighorn 100.

Mt. Negron - one of the mountains I want to climb ... soon.

Can you see the white shade on the mountain? I was told and it looks like a big landslide. Ever-changing landscape.
So, the goal was 44kms which was nothing spectacular and not long for some better ultrarunners out there. This was more of a ceremony cum training than anything else. I brought 2.5 liters of water, some food and 1 Salt Stick cap and mentally noted of the need to refill on the way down at the creek 4kms (16kms from Ayala) from the junction of Miyamit Falls and Peak. Perhaps, 3.5 liters of water was consumed. For food, I had a burger as lunch at the peak and a sandwich with butter and "yema" (it is a strange dessert of sort where an unopened can of condensed milk was cooked for hours in hot burning coal resulting in a gooey thingy. Very sweet.) and a small Toblerone which I absentmindedly picked up in 7-11 (will never buy this choco again since the foil is darn messy!). The weather was still cool and the guards asked me If I was all alone to which I said yes. I reached the peak and skipped the Falls on the way back since it would exceed my distance for that day (defeating the very purpose should that be the case). Reaching the peak was again magnificent and awesome! The view is always breathtaking! Invigorating to say the least. I was all alone too.

The run was uneventful except I noticed that it was rather solemn all throughout. There were 5 hours when I did not see any humans and to think you can hardly find a place now where you can be all alone. Alone in a sense that you cannot hear any human and non-natural sounds anymore. Everyday, we are bombarded by noises of different kinds and decibels! We sometimes have to go back and retreat to our natural world to recharge and feel the inner voice within  and listen to the sounds around us. For this reason, I will always love Miyamit peak and the journey going up there. Strange I was feeling contented and ... "natural" on that day. I can't explain it. It is what it is. I simply call it The SOLITUDE OF TRAIL RUNNING.  


1 comment:

  1. Inspiring stuff. Many runners often dream about running in kms the years of ones birthday but few actually get to do it on a consistent basis. Miyamit is turning out to be your personal heaven here on earth.