Gym Workout @ Gold’s (LA) #1

24 07 2008

7:30 PM 21 July 2008 (Los Angeles)

My son, John, and I had our gym workout at Gold’s Gym at Downtown, Los Angeles which is 5-10 minutes drive from the house.

Using my “travel pass” (which I requested days before my departure from Manila) from Gold’s Gym Glorietta, my entry to the facility was fast and efficient. The people at the Gym just told me to sign-in my name & signature on a tabulated form. Thanks, Emil for the “travel pass”.

I did my dumbbell exercises with my arms and chest. I used also some of the machines for my abdominals and back muscles and later for my leg muscles. I did a lot of lunges with 25-lbs dumbbels on my hands. No cardio machines this time as my workout was focused to the bigger muscles of my body, most especially my legs.

Before going to the gym last Monday (while at home), I did 6 X 15 reps Push-Ups using the Nike Push-Up Grips which my son bought and recommended as part of our home workout. I did the push-ups with at least 15- minute rest interval between sets (while reading the LA Times). The Nike Push-Up Grips really work as you can extend your body drop all the way to the floor with more resistance. I am recommending this simple gadget to all the runners.

We ended our workout with a set of machines which I haven’t seen in any of the Gold’s Gym in Manila and I did not mind getting the name/brand of the machine. The machines isolate each muscle group using small weights with string attach to the set of weights. I like the machine that strengthens the ankles.

We finished our workout in 2 1/2 hours and walking to the parking area was our cool-down exercise.





Bulldog 50K Ultra Run

23 07 2008

Last Friday, I requested my son, John to register me on line for my first ultramarathon trail run which will be held on 23 August 2008 in Calabasas, California. Hereunder is my confirmation to join the said running event. Click the name of the race for the details.

 

This message is generated as confirmation of your recent registration on Active.com. You have been successfully registered for the following:

 

Registration:

Bulldog 50K Ultra Run

Purchase Date:

07/18/08

Category:

Bulldog 50K

Name:

Jovenal Narcise


CLICK HERE for a complete version of this registration.

 

 

 

Wish me good luck!





Bike Patrol @ TFZ

22 07 2008

I was surprised to see a news item posted on my e-mail courtesy of Google Alert. I am already retired and the people in Zamboanga City are still talking of the things that I’ve done and implemented during my stint as the Commander of Task Force Zamboanga (TFZ) in 2000.

I bought ten (10) Mountain Bikes to include 10 helmets and 10 pairs of biking gloves from Manila and had them shipped through one of the shipping lines. I trained at least 20 of my soldiers on the fundamentals of cycling (use of bike gears & spinning) and ordered distinct long-sleeved cotton shirts for them with the proper TFZ markings as their uniform. And the TFZ Bike Patrol was born.

This Bike Patrol became a hit and highly appreciated by the populace as my men were faster in responding to emergency situations than the local police. After almost two months, the City Mayor of Zamboanga, the late Mrs “Caling” Lobregat donated another ten (10) mountain bikes for my command, thereby, increasing the strength of my bike patrol into 20 bikers. Each night, ten (10) teams (2 bikers per team) would each be given a specific area to patrol and conduct checkpoints in key roads inside the city limits. Each team was provided with Motorola radios for more responsive communication between teams. Its accomplishments during my stint provided a deterrent force in preventing kidnapping incidents and other criminal activities within the city.

I am glad the people of Zamboanga City still remember my Bike Patrol. Read this.





Manhattan Beach Run

21 07 2008

8:00 AM, Saturday, 20 July 2008 (Los Angeles Time)

My son and daughter planned to have a long run on the morning of Saturday and I informed them that I will be joining them for their running workout. I knew that after resting on Friday, I could have another long run for the week as my right upper thigh rashes had completely healed.

We left the house at 8:00 AM and proceeded to CA Highway 110 South and went towards the CA Highway 105 that goes to the LA International Airport and finally ended in one of the paid Public Parking Areas near Manhattan Beach. We paid $ 4.00 (16 quarters) on the parking meter for our 4-hour stay.

After 10-15 minutes of going to the Public Toilet and having our stretching routines, we started our run along what they call “The Strand” along the beaches of Manhattan Beach City, Hermosa Beach City, and northern part of Redondo Beach City. The route is a well-paved road for bikers, walkers, and joggers which has a width of 5-6 meters and properly divided at the middle to designate opposing traffic. A runner should always stay on the right of the road as many people could be seen running, biking and walking along the said route. From the northern tip of the paved road at Manhattan Beach up to the wall that separates Redondo Beach and Hermosa Beach (going south), it has a distance of 3.95 miles or 6.32 kilometers.

“The Strand” is lined up with beautiful houses and restaurants on the side farther from the beach while the other side (beach side) is lined up with so many Beach Volleyball Courts. In my estimate, there could had been a hundred of beach volleybal courts (with ladies in bikinis playing!) along the 4-mile stretch of the beach. I was not surprised when my son told me that Manhattan Beach is the “birthplace” of Beach Volleyball and as such, Manhattan Beach City is now proudly called “The Home of Beach Volleyball”.

We took off at 8:40 AM and it was nice running along the running strip with all the people around us, some are white, black, Asians, Hispanics, old, young, walkers, joggers, surfers, and bikers. The cloudy sky, clean air and headwind that meets us while running south contributed to a comfortable long run. I ran side by side with my son while my daughter was left behind with an slower pace.

My son and I ran a total distance of 20.07 kilometers with a time of 1:58:10 hours. After the run, we walked another 4 kilometers while watching those people ( I mean, ladies in bikini swimsuits) playing beach volleyball and taking pictures along the way. My son and I linked up with my daughter on the place where we started running.

Later, we had a lunch at The Olive Garden in Manhattan Beach City.

These were some of the pictures I’ve taken while I was at Manhattan & Hermosa Beaches.

Lots of Beach Volleyball courts are evenly spaced on the beaches of Manhattan & Hermosa. I am not surprised why the USA Beach Volleyball Teams (Men & Ladies) are seeded Number One (together with Brazil) for the Olympic Gold on next month’s Summer Olympics in Beijing.

This is a portion of “The Strand”, a cemented strip along the beach of Manhattan & Hermosa Cities, where people can jog, run or walk. Another bike route is at the lower area which runs parallel with this route but at some point, these two routes merge along the Hermosa Beach area.

This is a Hotel along Hermosa Beach on my background. Note that there are bikers on this part of “The Strand”. The route has water fountains along the sides where anybody could drink to include dogs!

The pier, building and small park on my background were renovated by the Shumacher Family of Hermosa Beach.

Ladies on swimsuits about to play beach volleyball on my palm!

Guys, this is the best thing that I can do with my camera! I forgot to adjust it using my Zoom function. I’ll get you a better picture next time!





Trail Racing 101

20 07 2008

While browsing and making a research on trail running, I was able to discover these two articles which were written/published at Runner’s World Magazine in 2002 and 2007. They are nice reading materials to those who would be interested in trail running and eventually join trail road races in the future.

 

For the benefit of those of who will join the The North Face 100 run (10K, 20K, Team Relay, and Solo 100K) next weekend, these articles are nice reading materials.

 

To those who will be joining this race, good luck and be safe on the trails.

 

I will catch up with this race in October 2008 for the Singapore event. I hope by this time I will be prepared to experience the 100K run. Read the rest of this entry »





Silverlake Run

19 07 2008

Before this run, I had my last run last Wednesday, 09 July (“Singing In The Rain”) at The Fort and BHS loop. The reason why I did not run after this was the big rash I had with my left inner thigh. This experience gave me a lesson to always apply petroleum jelly on my groin and upper thigh areas where I expect the lower edge of my running shorts would rub with my legs. The rash was big and deep which gave me pain when I wear my pants. Anyway, I decided not to run until my rashes would show some signs of being cured. For the past days, I’ve veen Neosporin Ointment and it is getting healed. I think I need to try using Body Glide.

Watching the elite ultramarathoners during the Badwater Ultramarathon inspired me to run some more and later try going to ultramarathon. The urge to run immediately after the Badwater experience was so intense but I was still in pain with my rashes. I need more time to rest to let my rashes heal before going back to running. So, yesterday afternoon, I decided to run even if my rashes were not yet fully healed.

It took me some time to prepare myself. I had stretching inside the house and later put a lot of petroleum jelly on my thighs most especially on top of the rashes I had. I started to run at 6:34 PM and the sun was still high above the western horizon and it was still hot. The temperature was 72-75 degrees Fahrenheit and it is really summer in LA. The sun sets at 8:30 PM and I thought that the late afternoon sun’s heat will just be perfect for my running.

From the house, I proceeded to Echo Park where a yearly Lotus Festival (even if there are no longer lotus plants in the lake for the past two years) had been held last weekend. One loop of the inner part of the park has a distance of 1.5 kilometers and I had two loops around the Echo Park Lake. From there, I ran along Glendale Boulevard going north towards the Silverlake Water Reservoir.

One loop around the Silverlake Water Reservoir is 3.7 kilometers and most of its running path is a dirt road which is about 3-5 meters in width. I did a counterclockwise direction and the path has two ascending portions which are abrupt in nature. I did three and half rounds along this loop until it was nighttime. I could estimate that there were 50-60 runners in the said area and most of them had their dogs running with them!

From the Water Reservoir, I went back to the house following the route I’ve taken along Glendale Boulevard. I did not notice that it was already 9:36 PM when I arrived at the house. After my post stretching routine, I had my shower and later dinner.

It was a nice run, my first again in LA after almost 1 1/2 years of absence. My rashes were not affected due to the thick petroleum jelly that I applied on my thighs before the run. The following were the readings from my GF 305:

Distance—26.02 kilometers         Time—3:02:49 hours

Average Pace—7:01 mins/km               Average Speed—8.5 kms/hr

Maximum Speed—15.6 kms/hr            Total Calories—1,839 cal

Average HR—148 bpm                          Maximum HR—167 bpm

Total Ascent—898 meters                    Total Descent—884 meters





Pictures @ Badwater Ultramarathon

16 07 2008

 The following pictures were taken during Day 1 of the Badwater Ultramarathon.

This is the Support Vehicle of Pam Reed where at least 5 big Coleman Ice Chests are intact inside where ice cold provisions are properly organized depending on what segments along the route they are being used. Each participant is allowed one Support Vehicle and one Crew Vehicle with proper and visible markings on the back and sides.

David Goggins (DNF) talking to Lisa Renee Smith-Batchen (Bib #7) from Tucson, Arizona who finished # 67 overall with a time of 47:17:30 hours.

Pam Reed finished #5 overall with a time of 27:42:52 hours.

Jamie Donaldson is the cute lady with a white cap infront David Goggins. She won the ladies category in 26:51:33 hours breaking the women’s record time which was established by Pam Reed in 2002 by 1 hour & 5 minutes. She finished 3rd overall beating Dean Karnazes by almost 20 minutes who placed 4th overall. Read her Badwater recap story in her blog. 

Akos Konya (#2) finished in 2nd place with a time of 23:49:44 hours. Jorge Pacheco, behind Konya in the picture, finished as the Champion with a time of 23:20:16 hours where he improved by almost two hours from his 4th place finish last year. David Goggins (behind Pacheco) declared himself as DNF upon reaching Panamint Springs (Mile Point #72). Dean Karnazes finished 4th overall with a time of 27:11:00 hours improving his time and standing from last year’s event by 4 hours & 20 minutes and from 10th last year to 4th place overall.

Eight (8) lady participants finished on the top 14 overall finishers in the Badwater Ultramarathon.

For more results, pictures and stories, please log on to www.badwater.com.





Brief Chat With Pam Reed

16 07 2008

Ten minutes before the start of the 10AM Group in the Badwater Ultramarathon, I followed Pam Reed to her support vehicle and called her attention and she faced me immediately after she heard her name. The following were the details of our brief conversation:

Bald Runner (BR): Hi, Pam! I am a runner fan of yours from the Philippines who just arrived in the States last Saturday to witness the start of the Badwater Ultramarathon. My wife accompanied me here to Badwater (introducing my wife to her)

Pam Reed (PR): From the Philippnes? Wow, that’s great!

BR: I read your book and it is a very inspiring one. I am advertising it by posting a review in my blog, bald runner.com.

PR: Ha..ha..ha! Thanks! Did you bring your book? I can sign it now before the start of the race!

BR: Unfortunately, no. I prefer to have a picture with you as the ultramarathon woman! Can I have a picture with you?

PR: Sure!

My wife took the picture.

BR: Thank you very much, Pam & Good luck!

PR: You are welcome & Thanks

Pam Reed proceeded to her support vehicle to drink more fluids before going to the starting line.

While Pam Reed was running towards Furnace Creek, I parked the car on the side of the road and took some pictures of her. However, when she saw me from a distance infront of her, she shouted to her crew (who was about to give a water jug to her) and while pointing her finger to me and said, “The guy who is taking a picture is from the Philippines!”

After taking a picture of Pam Reed and after passing on my position, the lady crew approached me and we had a brief chat.

Crew: Are you from the Philippines?

Bald Runner: Yes, I am a runner and I came here to meet Pam Reed and watch the start of the Badwater.

Crew: Pam and I just visited Malaysia!

Bald Runner: That’s good! I hope you can visit the Philippines, too!

Crew: We will!

The following is the picture I’ve taken while Pam Reed was on her way to Furnace Creek:

 

The lady crew of Pam Reed was giving a water jug to her while telling that I am from the Philippines.





Brief Chat With Karno

16 07 2008

After the pictures of the 10AM Group had been taken and the final instructions had been delivered by the Chief, Race Organizer, some of the runners and crews and even the members of the race organizer had their pictures taken with Dean Karnazes. I finally approached Dean when he finished taking some pictures with the race organizers and my brief chat went like this:

Bald Runner: Hi, Dean! I am a runner from the Philippines and they call me as The Bald Runner in my country.

Dean Karnazes: Hey, you are not bald! You still have a lot of hair sticking out on your head. (Loooking at my head with his smiling face)

BR: I read your book and you instantly became my idol in ultramarathon and intend to join an ultra running event in the future. You are very popular to the runners in the Philippines. I have a blogsite and I posted your book and your accomplishments as the ultramarathon man. It’s baldrunner.com.

DK: That’s great! I’ll check it out.

BK: By the way, I will be running the San Francisco Marathon with my kids, son and daughter.

DK: This coming San Francisco Marathon?

BR: Yes

DK: I will be at the Runner’s Expo for two days before the San Francisco Marathon and you have to see me there. I want to meet your kids!

BR: Yes, we’ll meet you at the Expo. Can I have a picture with you, Dean?

DK: Ok! ( I asked one of the race organizer’s photographers to take a picture with my camera)

BR: Thanks, Dean! (I offered my hand for handshake & he grabbed my hand)  

DK: You are welcome. I will check your blog.

After that brief conversation, Dean left the place and went to his support vehicle to change his cap and get his hand-held water jug and later lined up with the rest of the runners at the starting line.

After the runners left, my wife and I took some pictures at the Badwater Basin; checked and reviewed the pictures taken; drank a lot of water and Gatorade to replenish the sweat while I was taking pictures; and took some time to use the comfort room in the area. It was already almost 40 minutes had lapsed when I started to drive the car along the direction of the runners.

While Dean Karnazes was running towards Furnace Creek, barely one hour after the start of the run, I slowed down the car and stay beside briefly with him and I opened the window of the car, brought out my head and shouted:

BR: Good luck, Dean!

DK: Thank you, Bald Runner! (in a loud voice while pouring water on his cap/head from his hand-held water jug and he was smiling!)

Later, I took the following picture as he was running  #4 from the leading runner on his way to Furnace Creek:

Being sponsored by The North Face, Dean Karnazes wears running shoes and apparel of the said sports company. His running apparel is now lighter and different from his clothes when he ran the Badwater Ultramarathon in 2005.





Badwater Ultramarathon #2: Dean Karnazes; Pam Reed; and Others

15 07 2008

I woke up at 4:00AM, prepared my things, took a shower, and before 5:00AM, I was already on the road with my wife towards Badwater, California. It was still dark and the street of Los Angeles were clear and I was the only one on the side streets near our place before hitting California State Highway 101 North and later merging at Interstate Highway 10 East after leaving the City of Los Angeles. (Note: US Highways are designated with odd numbers if they go North to South or vice-versa and even numbers if they go West to East or vice-versa)

Well, it had been a long time that I did not drive a car. In the Philippines, I still have my driver to bring me where I want to go in Metro Manila and when I am in Laoag City. But once I am here in the United States, my son or my daughter or my wife becomes my official driver/s and I rarely drive while I am with my family. However, I am a holder of a California Driver’s License which I had renewed regularly since I got it after my schooling in Fort Benning, Georgia and having stayed with my family in Los Angeles for a few months in the early ’80s.

For today’s trip to Badwater, I was made to drive the car as my son and daughter have their respective offices/jobs to attend to plus their scheduled attendance to a Coldplay Concert in Los Angeles on Monday evening. Driving in the US is very easy and efficient unlike driving in the Philippines. Where on Earth (except in Europe’s Autobahn) would you experience driving for hours with an average speed of 80-90 miles per hour? Yes, that was my speed along Interstate Interstate Highway 10 East and later hit Interstate Highway 15 East. Sometimes, I would increase to 100-110 MPH but my wife would remind me that I was way above the authorized 75 MPH speed. She would not like to pay a fine of $260.00 for speeding. That would be equivalent to the price of a Newton and an ASICS Running Shoes!

After one hour of driving, we have to stop at Barstow to fill up the gas tank of our Toyota RAV 4, bought ice cubes for our Coleman Ice Chest where I placed a lot of bottled water, Red Bull, Gatorade and fruits, and we had coffee to go. After 15-20 minutes stop at Barstow, we were on our way to Baker, California, as our Gateway to Death Valley National Park, where we would leave Interstate Highway 15 North and hit California Highway 127 towards north going to the center of Death Valley National Park.

This is California State Highway 127 after leaving Baker, California. At this point, I still had 110 miles (176 kilometers) to go before reaching Badwater Basin, the Starting Area of the Badwater Ultramarathon. There are no structures along the way as it is preserved as a National Park because of its desert and unique land features and mountains.

Driving along CA Highway 127 was a bliss and fast as I was alone on the road. I think I had overtaken two vehicles and met at least 3-4 vehicles on the opposite way for the distance of almost 60 miles before turning left to California Highway 178. CA Highway 178 goes directly to the heart of the Death Valley Park and I had to travel 25 miles along this road until it became an ordinary asphalted road without any center divider line to separate the opposite lane. The CA Highway 178 ended to become the Badwater Road.

At the end of CA Highway 178, there were parts of the earth/soil which were washed away from the mountain and desert due to flash floods and rains on the middle of the road and it made our trip slower for a while. However, once we hit the Badwater Road, we could see the lowest part in the whole United States and we seldom met any vehicle along the road. For almost 45 minutes, we were alone along the said road with a temperature reaching to 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit. My wife became nervous as we did not see any other vehicle for almost 30 minutes except when we had a sight of a Ranger Patrol Car parked on the side of the road.

I was confident that I had the right direction and I was always asking my wife what is the time as I estimated to be at the Badwater Ultramarathon Starting Area in 4 hours and 30 minutes to include our brief stop along the way. I was thinking that I had to reach Badwater at 9:30AM with my estimate of our travel time. And suddenly, the Starting Line was on our sight after a long curve on the road.

I arrived at the Badwater Basin at 9:25AM and I was happy that I had still 35 minutes to take some pictures and time to mingle with the elite runners and later witness the start of the 10AM elite runners group on the 31st rendition of the Badwater Ultramarathon.

The Badwater Ultramarathon Starting Area is a small Rest Area or Viewing Area of the Badwater Basin along the CA Highway 190 which has a parking area good for about 50 cars, toilets, and a wooden elevated stage where the elite runners had their group picture before the start of the race.

The following were the pictures taken before the start of the Badwater Ultramarathon.

This is the only shaded area at the Starting Area where the race organizers would take blood samples, conduct brief medical check-up and weight-in to all the runners/participants.

This is the elevated wooden structure on top of the Badwater Basin where a small amount of water is left on the sides. Fifteen minutes before the start, all the 10AM group of elite runners had a picture taking and at the same time served as their final meeting place and got their final instructions from the race manager. Sports photographers, media, relatives, friends, and crew members were infront of the runners taking pictures. I observed I was the only Asian and spectator for the 10AM event as the rest of the crowd were the race organizers, marshalls, medical staff, members of the family & friends of the runners, and members of the crew of each respective runner/participant. 

From left is Akos Konya (with white cap) who is 33 yrs old from Oceanside, California and a native of Hungary, Dean Karnazes (#4), and Pam Reed (with black shorts). These three elite ultramarathoners are the favorites in this race. Konya finished 2nd last year.

This tall guy is David Goggins (#3) who carries the brand The 100 Mile Man. He is the present US Record Holder of the most number of miles ran in 48 hours (203.5 miles). He is presently a member of the US Navy Seals and he has an impressive record in ultramarathon for the past two years. He finished #3 in last year’s Badwater Ultramarathon.

Well, this is the Best Picture For The Year. A pose with The Ultra Marathon Man, Dean Karnazes. I will post another story later on my brief chat and meeting with Dean Karnazes. 

Aha! Another Best Picture For The Year! A pose with Pam Reed, The Ultra Marathon Woman. I will be posting another story about my brief meeting and chat with this wonderful lady.

Konya and Goggins at the Starting Line. Here are two contrasting apparel of two ultramarathoners where one is wearing a white long-sleeved shirt with cap and another wearing a dark-colored singlet for an ultrarun with a temperature reaching up to 125 degrees Fahrenheit on daytime.

I counted 32 ultra runners for this 10AM group out of the 80 runners who finally accepted the invitation of the Race Organizers to run this event. There were no prayers before the start of the run but they had to play and sing the US National Anthem (Star Spangled Banner) before finally starting the race.

And there they go! The start of a 135-mile distance in 60 hours along California Highway 190 and 136.








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