BDM102 @ Ultrarunning Online!!!

31 07 2009

The Bataan Death March 102K Ultramarathon Race (BDM 102) is now officially scheduled as one of the International Ultra Running Events at the Ultrarunning Magazine’s Online edition.

Please check it out at www.ultrarunning.com and browse their Calendar Page.

In addition, I am hoping that the Race Report I’ve submitted to the said magazine on the conduct of the 1st Edition this year will be published soon.

My congratulations and thanks go to the participants, sponsors, running friends/supporters, and staff of the Bald Runner for making this “dream” a “reality”.

Finally, my sincerest appreciation and thanks go to Rick Gaston & Ben Gaetos, my ultrarunner friends in California, for their support and inspiring words.

See you next year in Mariveles, Bataan!!!





Lessons Learned: 33rd MILO 42K Elims

30 07 2009

This had been my third marathon race for the year and and I joined this race five weeks after participating in the 2009 Los Angeles Marathon. I did not expect a good finish time for this race ( sub-4 hours) as I knew I was not yet fully rested and recovered from my past marathon races and one ultramarathon race (BDM 102) since April of this year.

On hindsight,  I could see the following lesson learned which I kept on violating whenever there are major races and there are also good observations that I could maintain as a result of the race:

1) Easy Long Runs—Marathon race is an endurance running sports. A runner must be able to run a minimum of 32 kilometers in his/her long runs. Better yet if he/she could run the full distance of 26 miles/42 kilometers at least 3 weeks before marathon race day. I never had any long run (32K) as far as the said distance 2-3 weeks before the marathon as I concentrated in shorter distance and hill workouts. Those runs were not enough to develop the endurance capability of my leg muscles and this was the reason why I was already having “muscle cramps” before reaching the half-marathon point. As an advise, let your legs experience what it takes to run the distance (42K) no matter what is your pace is, the more time you keep your feet running on the ground, the better for you to survive in a marathon race. Remember, in a marathon race, the race starts on your last 10 kilometers before the finish line!

2) “All Running Shoes Are The Same”—There had been a lot of arguments about the appropriate shoes you should use in running for training and/or racing in a road race. For the “newbies”, they have to take advantage of the running specialty stores that we have right now in Metro Manila which have those “high-tech” stuffs that determine your own gait/stride/foot strike analysis. But for me as an “old” runner, I’ve been a consistent ASICS and New Balance Shoes user. Lately, I’ve been using the lighter racing shoes in my full marathon races and I did not have any problems.

3) Weather Affects One’s Performance—I have observed that running in colder countries improves one’s running performance. If you have plans of running a marathon in colder countries like United States, it is highly recommended to train in our country and allow some time to acclimatize at least one week or few days before race day on the locaton of the race. I am sure you will have a better marathon finish time if you run your race in colder countries.

4) Rest & Recovery—In the book, “Lore of Running” by Dr Tim Noakes, he is recommending to all serious runners to run at least one or two marathon races a year or one marathon race and one ultramarathon race per year which are spaced in between with rest and recovery before training. I guess, I have already violated this recommendation for this year. He also stated in the book that “the more you race frequently, you will never achieve the fastest time your body is capable of”.

5) Finally, I’ve accepted that my best in the marathon race is already past—I would never attain my best time of 3:30+hours when I was in my early 30s. However, my training preparation for my next marathon is geared towards a finish time of 3:45 hours or less. I hope I could make it to the Boston Marathon.





Week #2: Marathon Training

29 07 2009

20-26 July 2009

Monday—Had a “runabout” along the streets of Metro Manila for three (3) hours covering a distance of 26 kilometers in the early morning. It was a slow run with an average pace of 6:30-7:00 mpk. I ran continously for the first 15 kilometers and later alternately, running and brisk walking for the remaining distance of my route.

Tuesday—Another 1:45 hours run in the morning along the streets of Metro Manila covering a distance of 17 kilometers.

Wednesday—Speed Training at the ULTRA Oval Track—6 X 400 meters @ 1:38 minutes with 1-minute rest interval. Had 4 laps before and after as warm-up and cool-down run, respectively. After 5-minute rest, I had another 30-minute slow steady run after speed workout. I covered an estimate distance of 12 kilometers.

From Antipolo Overlooking Metro Manila

From Antipolo Overlooking Metro Manila

Thursday—Hill Workout in Antipolo in the early morning covering a period of 2 hours, a “group” run with Elite Team Bald Runner. Estimated distance: 16 kilometers

Friday—Tempo Run at ULTRA Oval Track. 20-minute slow run; 30-minute at race pace; and finished with a 20-minute slow run in the afternoon. Distance Covered: 12K

Saturday—Easy long run with a distance of 16K along the streets of Metro Manila in the morning.

Sunday—Run For M.E. 5K Race @ Ateneo de Manila University Campus. It was followed with an easy 5K run.

Total Mileage—109 Kilometers





Insights: 2009 Tour De France

28 07 2009

The 2009 Tour De France started last 4 July and ended last Sunday, 26 July 2009. It is considered as the world’s most famous and prestigious cycling event of the year. I will not bother to tell you about the results as you already know them from the news stories. I will not also bother to tread on my personal analysis about the performance of Lance Armstrong and about his future as an athlete or his possibility of winning in future cycling events.

For the past three weeks, I’ve been regularly watching the Live Telecast of the daily stages through the Eurosport Channel. The following were my observations and insights about the said event:

1) Scenery of the Route—By watching the Live Telecast, you seem to be a part of the cycling tour. You seem to be a “tourist” also as you got to see the cities/communities where the route would pass through. I’ve been observing a lot of details along the route like the architecture of the houses and buildings as most of the structures are made of concrete & rocks. The structures made during the Middle Ages and castles were preserved and maintained in their original structure. Even the roads are well paved with asphalt with the proper paint-markings and almost all the roads are very clean and well-manicured. I’ve never seen a single trash or even a trash bin along the roads even if they are inside the towns or cities. The scenery of the mountains and their forests were very refreshing. Watching the Tour on the TV was an experience of being a “tourist” in France, Italy, Spain, and other countries where the event was conducted. 

Scenery of the Route Was Awesome!

Scenery of the Route Was Awesome!

2) Cycling Apparel/Uniforms & Technology—If you want to see the latest in cycling technology and cycling apparel, the Tour is the best place to see them. I was impressed on the uniform of each team which is well color-coordinated with the other accessories like sunglass, helmet, shoes, gloves, socks and even the color of their bikes! I wonder how many set of jersey cycling uniforms each participant has for the 3-week event. In order to gain speed, the bikes to include the helmets, had become lighter and air-resistance-proof. Even their “cycling form” and jerseys are very unique in their Team Time Trial and Individual Time Trial in order to shave off few seconds from their time and fight air-resistance. What made me laugh was an observation made by one of my runners in my team when he said that there are no “not so good-looking” cyclists in the Tour! Lahat daw ay puro guwapo!!! hahaha!

Cycling & Technology

Cycling & Technology

3) Excellence In Endurance and Logistics—These endurance athletes are really good in their sports and they really trained well for the event. I remember when I was in my younger years, the Tour was a competition of the best cyclist in each country being invited by the Race Organizer and the pride of the said country was at stake. However, the competition later transformed into corporate team competition and I could see how millions of resources/funds had been used to finance each team and their support/logistics that follow each cyclist. In the last Individual Time Trial, I saw Lance Armstrong threw his $ 300 worth Oakley sunglass while trying to gain more speed as the frame of the sunglass was obstructing his sight. Cyclists would threw their plastic water bottles on the side of the road after there is no water left in them! If there is a flat tire, a support vehicle & mechanic are ready to respond to the problem in few seconds. If a worse problem is ever present to a bike, the whole bike of the cyclist is immediately replaced! In the ITT, each cyclist was provided with a support car with bikes stacked on its top rack. Everything was so perfect that you could see how the logistics people do their job efficiently. I wonder how much is the registration fee for each team to participate in this Tour.

Excellence In Endurance & Logistics

Excellence In Endurance & Logistics

4) Discipline & Applause Of The Audience—All the spectators were in support to the cyclists as you see them shouting, cheering and clapping their hands as the cyclists and “peloton” pass them. You don’t see anybody from the spectators throwing a pail of water to the cyclists or offering some food along the way. Of course, you see some of those spectators running with the cyclists in the mountain stages but they don’t distract the route and it is already a part of the practice of encouraging the cyclists to push some more! The cars of the spectators were all parked away from the street or road where the Tour passes. Even the Starting and Finish Lines are free from spectators. However, you can not avoid some accidents or “lapses” during the Tour as some of the spectators would be involved in accidents which even resulted to death. Last July 18th stage, one of the spectators was killed by a speeding Police Motorcycle Marshal when he immediately crossed the road where the Tour was passing through.

How I wish these personal insights and observations about The Tour will be translated or applied to Running in Road Races in the Philippines.

(Note: Photos were taken from www.boston.com/bigpicture.)





Comments From 1st BDM 102

28 07 2009

The following are the latest comments sent to me by the Moderator/Administrator of BDM 102 website (www.bataan102.com), Eric Pasion aka Run For Change as a result of the conduct of the 1st BDM 102K Ultramarathon Race:

All of you great athletes have much to be proud of and a job well done to all of you. Last year, April 8-9 2008, myself and my good friend Ariel Lesap from Panay Island marched this same route which took us 2 days. The heat and sun was relentless and how happy we were to put our hands on the 102 km. marker! So it astounds me to see your website ! Not only did you run it, you ran it in hours ! I am 50, but some of your ages are unbelievable ! Younger generations will be inspired by your run ! Thank you for bringing much needed awareness to Bataan and the infamous Death March where so many brave souls perished and still sleep beneath the hallowed ground of Bataan. God Bless you all,….Paul Dillon

Hi,
I am very thrilled to know that there is some kind of a memorial marathon for the Bataan Death March. I would however would like to make a couple of suggestion:

1. Make it a two day walk with a campout somewhere inbetween the start and the finish.
2. Create a foundation to honor the Bataan Death March participants in the Bataan such as erecting some kind of a monument and museum.

My father was a survivor and even before he passed away two years ago, could not discuss the details of the ‘death march’.

If this was made into a two day walk and advertised in the Philippines and the U.S., I’m sure that you will receive quite a number of applicants, including me and my family. I would like to walk my father’s walk and do it in his memory as well as his grandchildren. This can also help the economy of Bataan for it will need hotels and restaurants and maybe tour guides.

This is not to commercialize the horrific experience of those that walked to their death and those that survived but to let us, the living experience what they went through and how they dedicated their lives for Freedom, and what it stands for.

Thank you.
Terry Kelley





First 5K Run At Ateneo Campus

26 07 2009

Run For M.E. @ Ateneo De Manila Campus; 6:34 AM 26 July 2009

Almost 5 weeks before this race, Sir Amado aka Reinier 6666 called me through the phone asking me my approval for him to finance the registration fees and uniforms of my Elite Team Bald Runner to join and compete the 5K Team Run at the RUN FOR M.E. I immediately accepted the offer and gave him the personal data of the team members for their registration. Coach Salazar was able to organize two (2) teams of 5K runners and the members prepared for the race.

I was a member of the Team Bald Runner (Reinier) and Mr Amado Castro, Jr was a member of the Team Bald Runner (Pacific). Some of the elite members of Team Bald Runner ran the 10K distance. Actually, I had some reservations for me to run the said distance as I never ran a 5K road race race since I started this blog.

Days before the race, we received the team’s race packets and uniforms. The aim of the team was to get the first place despite the fact that the college and university’s varsity track & field teams will field their respective runners. The pressure was on us to make sure that we are fielding our best runners for each of our team.

The teams were already at the starting area one hour before the start of the race and had their respective warm-up and stretching exercises. It was also a time to meet friends and other runners while waiting for the signal to assemble at the starting line. The 5K Team Run was scheduled to start 5 minutes ahead of the 10K and 3K Run Run. And after a brief explanation of the race, the race started as scheduled.

Knowing that the race will cover the roads inside the Ateneo Campus, I did not bother to ask or look for the route of the race. I knew that the 5K distance will take one loop of the different roads inside the campus. I was also confident that the Race Director of this run knew how to properly manage the said race. The race strategy for me was to just follow the faster runner infront of me and maintain an even pace as fast as I could.

Teams Bald Runner Before The Race

Teams Bald Runner Before The Race With Reinier6666 (2nd From Left)

Hardcores & Reinier 666 (On my Left side)

Hardcores & Reinier 6666 (On my Left side)

At The Starting Line With The 5K Runners

At The Starting Line With The 5K Runners

The first 3 1/2 kilometers consisted of rolling uphill & downhill roads; a flat run along the campus’ grassy oval track; and the remaining flat roads towards the finish line. There was only one problem along the course—slippery roads most especially on the first two kilometers of the route. I had to shorten my strides as the lugs protruding on the front sole of my Newton shoes had the tendency to be slippery on the wet roads. I saw two of my running friends who were victims of those slippery wet roads along the course trying to finish the 10K race despite their wounds and painful rashes.

I can recall that I was able to pass runners along the rolling hills; along the  oval track; and later on the last 800 meters to the finish line. I finished the 5K run in 22:57 minutes (based from my GF 305) with an average pace of 4:47 minutes per kilometer. I placed #41 among the 5K runners and I was entitled to receive a T-Shirt for the first 50 runners in the 5K race.

Few Meters From The Finish Line

Few Meters From The Finish Line

The Far Eastern University Track & Field Team won the First Place and received a Trophy and a Cash Prize of P 10,000. The Team Bald Runner (Reinier) where I belong, won the 2nd Place and it received a Trophy and a Cash prize of P 7,000. The Team Bald Runner (Pacific) was awarded the Third Place Trophy and a Cash prize of P 5,ooo. However, after some time, it was found out that the Race Organizer and Race Officials admitted that they committed some “lapses” as there were other runners from other teams whose finish times were not properly recorded and included in the master list of finishers. It turned out that a running team from Marikina City registered a faster aggregate time than the Team Bald Runner (Pacific). Even if the Trophy and Cash prize were already awarded during the ceremonies, Coach Salazar and I immediately brought back the Trophy and Cash Prize to the Race Organizer/Officials so that these award & prize would be awarded to the deserving winners. Our other team landed in fourth place without any prize. The Race Organizer of the Race would call us “The Gentlemen & Honest Runners” Team.

In the 10K race, Alcuin Bolivar and Marecil Maquilan, won 4th Overall (Men) and 2nd Overall (Women), respectively.

After resting for 5 minutes after I finished the 5K race, I ran another round of the 5K course for my easy run with an average pace of 6:30 minutes per kilometer.

After changing to my dry shirt and shorts, I had a chance to meet and talk to other runner-bloggers and awarded the BR’s “1,000-Km Club” Finisher’s T-shirts. Finally, the best part of the day was the moment I received my prize for winning a pair of NIKE Zoom Structure Triax+ for my comment on The Bull Runner Magazine from The Bull Runner herself! Thanks, Jaymie!

Receiving My Prize From Jaymie (The Bull Runner)

Receiving My Prize From Jaymie (The Bull Runner)

TBR Receiving BR's "1,000-Km Club" Finisher's Shirt

TBR Receiving BR's "1,000-Km Club" Finisher's Shirt

This race was memorable because of three reasons:

(1) For the first time, my team was fully supported through the initiative of a Corporate Head, in the person of Mr Amado Castro, Jr aka Reinier666 of Reinier Pacific. I hope more Corporate Heads would also involve themselves in supporting our elite long distance runners. Who’s next?

(2) My first time to enter the Ateneo de Manila University Campus and get to have a tour inside through a 5K run.

(3) My second 5K road race since 1984 (after 25 years) and my first 5K road race since I started this blog.

Overall, the conduct of the race was satisfactory.





The “Best” Sponsor & “Corporate Head”

24 07 2009

Who among the “corporate heads” who have the “heart” and initiative to help the elite athletes in their plight to give honor to the country in international competitions? I know there are corporate heads who are helping elite athletes in other sports but  I am not sure of those who are presently helping our elite athletes in long distance running. 

"Corporate Head" @ Fig+7th Building in LA

"Corporate Head" @ Fig+7th Building in LA

BR & "Corporate Head"

BR & "Corporate Head"

The statue above is located at the Fig+7th Building along Figueroa & 7th Streets in Downtown Los Angeles. It is called the “Corporate Head” which depicts an “executive” guy whose head is stucked to the building. I really don’t know if our Corporate Heads are like this guy who really have their heads stucked permanently to those high-rise buildings whose offices have the “best” view of the whole city. How I wish they would also embrace an active & healthy lifestyle and be able to help/support promote the sports they love and at the same time help our elite athletes. A small help/support from them means a lot to our elite athletes.

I have an answer to my question in the person of Mr Amado Castro, Jr who is the President & Owner of Reinier Pacific and fondly called as Reinier6666 among runner-bloggers. Aside from being a passionate racewalker and runner who had already exposure in international racewalking competitions and international marathons, he is silently helping and supporting our elite athletes. And he had done a lot in helping our athletes for the past months.

Surprisingly, he came up with an initiative to finance the registration fees of two (2) teams for the RUN FOR M.E. 5-Km Team Run this coming Sunday consisting of our Elite Team Baldrunner. He also came up with the idea of designing and financing for the teams’ running uniforms. And yesterday, I was able to receive the teams’ race bibs and running uniforms. They are nice and they have the color of “green”! 

What else can I say? This “Corporate Head” is somebody who has the passion and dedication to help and try to alleviate the plight of our elite athletes. Such deed shows what “Leaders” are made of. Mabuhay ka, Mang Amado!

The following are the pictures of the new Team BR running uniform:

Nice Uniform For Team BR

Nice Uniform For Team BR

Printed My Web Address At The Back

Printed My Web Address At The Back

Thank you, Sir Amado! So far, you are the “best” sponsor to our elite long distance runners and future racewalkers! God bless and may you have more blessings to come!





Running Clinic @ CITIBANK

23 07 2009

This is the 7th Running Clinic that the Team Bald Runner had conducted since it started this program. And we have maintained it to be FREE.

This time, the running clinic was done at CITIBANK’s Main Office in Makati City. The coordination was made by Owen King, one of the staff, through an e-mail he sent me. The e-mail which I received while I was still in United States started the “ball rolling” and final coordination had been made in a few days.

Finally, the Team Bald Runner conducted the 1st phase of the Running Clinic at the CITIBANK Tower in Makati City o/a 5:00 PM last Friday, 17 July 2009. The lecture was attended by 20 participants which consisted of officers, staff and employees of the bank. The lecture and open forum lasted for about 2 hours in one of the lecture/seminar rooms of the building.

The Best Seminar/Lecture Hall I've Seen

The Best Seminar/Lecture Hall I've Seen

Participants Listening Attentively During The Lecture

Participants Listening Attentively During The Lecture

Received Used Shoes For My Project Donate A Shoe

Received Used Shoes For My Project Donate A Shoe

After the conduct of the lecture, Nigel Romano, CFO of Citigroup Philippines and Owen formally had given to us the used shoes they have collected from the participants as contribution to my Project Donate A Shoe. Thank you very much!

At 6:30 AM, the following the day, Saturday, July 18, 2009, the CITIBANK running group started their practical demonstration and exercises at the ULTRA Oval Track. Coach Titus Salazar and the Sabal Brothers (Elmer & Gerald) of the Elite Team Bald Runner conducted the practical demonstration and exercises. Coach Titus demonstrated the proper running form, footstrike, and other important “basics” in running, to include stretching exercises, drills, and techniques. The session lasted for two hours.

Warm-Up Run Around The Oval Track

Warm-Up Run Around The Oval Track

Drills & Strides

Drills & Strides (Cathy Sy Doing The Drills)

Every Participant Was Required To Do The Drills

Every Participant Was Required To Do The Drills (Owen King at the Front)

Nigel From Trinidad-Tobago Doing The "High-Knee" Drills

Nigel Romano From Trinidad-Tobago Doing The "High-Knee" Drills

Display of Donated Shoes

Display of Donated Shoes

It was nice to see almost all the participants in the Running Clinic during the conduct of last Sunday’s GLOBE Run For Home at The Fort. I hope that the Running Club/Group of CITIBANK will grow in the number of members and will soon come up with their own corporate-sponsored road race.





Brian Stark: USA Transcontinental Trail Runner

22 07 2009

As I mentioned in my previous posts, I’ve been reading the book, “Getting To The Point: In A Dozen Pairs of Shoes” by Brian Stark who did his 5,000-mile solo trail run for 238 days from March to November 2008 along the newly designed American Discovery Trail from Cape Henlopen, Delaware to Point Reyes, California.

Since the activity was a solo run, he did not have any support crew or pacer during the run. He just carried with him a 10-pound pack which included his water hydration system, making sure to run along the trails across America.

What I admire with this guy was that he really prepared for the said run. It took him one year to coordinate with the organizations that maintain the American Discovery Trail; compile at least 500 maps; arranged for logistics drop-off point in selected Post Offices of towns & cities along the way; created his personal website for the event; and saved $ 10,000 cash to finance his trip. He even arranged for his shoe sponsor making sure that a brand-new shoes as replacement would be picked-up in a pre-designated Post Office along the way. Even media outlets (newspapers, radio and TV) were coordinated and informed about his running event.

Brian Stark, in his daily runs along the trails, would be able to finish at least 30-40 miles and then look for a decent place to stay if a trail is located near a town or city at the end of the day. Sometimes, he would sleep in parks, Fire Stations, churches, schools, and in the homes of strangers who are willing to offer dinner & breakfast, bed and shower.

To update his website and reply to messages in his e-mail address, he would go to Public Libraries along the way to use their computer. The following excerpts was taken from a post from the Internet describing the feats of Brian Stark:

After driving back from the Boston Marathon, where his dad had run, Brian Stark, then 7, got out to use the bathroom during a stop for gas somewhere in Pennsylvania. No one took note, not even when Stark ran up and banged on the family van as it pulled away. “When my parents stopped for breakfast 300 miles away, they noticed I was missing,” he says. These days, Stark could have just kept running until he caught up with them. In 1998, he ran 4,800 miles across the country on the American Discovery Trail, which runs along America’s trails and back roads. It began in a sleet storm in Delaware and ended 238 days later at the Golden Gate Bridge — followed by a drive to L.A. and an appearance on “The Price Is Right.” “I won eight stuffed teddy bears and two trips, one to Hawaii, one to Canada,” says Stark, 36, who frequently pulls experiences from his trek while teaching gifted language arts at Corona Foothills Middle School in the Vail School District. And yes, he sometimes jogs to school, all 35 miles. “I have to get up at 1:30 a.m.,” says Stark, who is married and a father to two little girls, ages 2 and 3. He kept a journal while on his run and afterward wrote a book about the experience, “Getting to the Point: In a Dozen Pairs of Shoes.” “I picked out 12 pairs of running shoes and mailed them to 12 post offices 400 miles apart,” says Stark. When he arrived at each post office — each about three weeks apart — a new pair of shoes would be there to replace his worn-out ones. Along the way, local newspapers and TV stations chronicled his trek through their towns and CBS “Sunday Morning” broadcast a brief telephone interview. Sometimes he slept in motels. Other times he slept under bridges, in barns, even in outhouses. More than once, he’d just knock on a door. More often than not, he’d be invited in for a meal, and maybe a bed. Not once, he says, did anyone slam a door in his face. “No one ever threw anything at me, or tried to run me off the road.” Eight policemen, however, did inquire as to what he was doing, the first in Kansas. “I was sitting on a guardrail looking at a map and he pulled up in his squad car. He asked me what I was doing in the middle of Kansas without a car. I said, ‘I’m running to California.’ ” Even though he handed the cop a card explaining his circumstances, “He still checked me out.” Born in Indiana, Stark ran cross-country in middle school, continuing through high school and then at Hanover College in southern Indiana. After graduating in 1995, he rewarded himself with a five-month, 2,000-mile hike from Maine to Georgia along the Appalachian Trail. In Massachusetts, he met a man who hiked nude every Tuesday. Naturally, it was a Tuesday. Even so, Stark continued on. For the next three years, he lived as a caretaker in a primitive cabin in southern Indiana. “There was no running water and the only heat came from a fireplace,” he says. “After that, I thought I needed a break.” The “break,” of course, would be running across the country. “I’d never been west,” he says. A brother dropped him off at the edge of the Atlantic Ocean on the morning of March 8, 1998. It was 43 degrees and sleeting. Stark was carrying a 10-pound backpack filled with a sleeping bag, jacket, water bottle, cheese crackers, credit card, maps and “one Band-Aid, just in case.” As his brother rolled away, he cracked the window and told him to call if he wanted to quit. Stark never did, aiming to get to the Rocky Mountains after most of the snow had melted. He mostly ran and sometimes walked about 10 hours a day, trying to space it about 25 to 35 miles between towns. That proved impossible in Nevada, where the towns were more than 100 miles apart and he had 37 mountain ranges to cross.

In 2001, Stark did the Arizona Trail between Mexico and Utah in 39 days. In 2004, he ran across Iowa.

While reading this book, the following thoughts came to my mind:

1) Did Cesar Guarin of BOTAK come up with a book or a written account of his Run Across America in the 80s? I knew that he is one of the consultants of Joy Rojas and Mat Macabe during their planning preparation for the Takbong Pangarap Run Across America. A running experience as big as Running the Continental USA is worth to be printed in a book.

2) I thought of Joy Rojas and I tried to find out from the Internet if there is any word about the progress of her Takbong Pangarap. Since I could not see any information after she started her run in Eagle Rock, California almost 60 days ago, I posted the question in my Twitter as to where she is right now. Ben Gaetos had the initiative to answer my question by sending an e-mail to Joy Rojas and it led to Mat Macabe’s call to him.

3) Why did Joy Rojas thought of not creating a blog or website on her own instead of relying to the website of www.thepoc.net? After leaving Eagle Rock, California, POC had never updated her running activities. Being a news editor and news writer, she would have known the importance of the Internet in order to “journalize” her daily runs and let her readers know where she is and her daily experiences. In the book, Brian Stark would update his running journal in his website at the end of the day if he had an access to the Internet, if not, he would write his journal in a notebook and later wrote his updates whenever he had an access to the Internet. As compared now and the time when Brian Stark did his run across America’s trails, every town or city has its own public library with a computer, if not, there are so many Internet Cafes in every commercial establishment, even Motels now have Wi-Fi connections in every room with a very minimal additional cost. Access to the Internet right now is very common, cheap, and accessible. I am sure that every house in every big town or city has an Internet connection. Even cellphones nowadays have access to the Internet to include social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.

4) One of my readers made a comment in my post about Joy Rojas and he/she has doubts about her running adventure to the point that she is suspected to be riding and running along the way. There goes the another “controversy” again! The following is the comment from cutierunner about Joy Rojas’ run from Las Vegas, Nevada to Denver, Colorado:

i too wondered where she was after she reached las vegas on may 23 and then silence until she pops out in denver for the western union shindig on june 23/ is she running or riding part of the way? google maps say that from las vegas to denver is a good 844 miles / from reports she says she takes a break every six days that leaves her with only 25 running days going from the desert to the state with the highest mean elevation in my country/ that’s uphill all the way to Colorado (during a season when flash thunderstorms occur), at 30 miles a day which is more than a marathon a day, she would still be short by 94 miles, so she must do something like 20% more to be statistically in denver by the date/ To set records, it would have been better if she wore one of these tracker gps items available here so that we do not have to rely on the word of her trainer who i hear is her boyfriend anyway and guess whether she is actually running or riding part of the way – also strange is having a crew of one

(Note: In my previous post on the pictures of Joy Rojas, I did not notice if she is wearing a Garmin watch, have you?)

I strongly believe that Joy Rojas could also do ala-Brian Stark running adventure across America if she has the necessary preparations, contacts along the way, and updated information about her daily activities.

5) In one of the Ultrarunning Magazines that Rick Gaston gave me, I read about Dean Karnazes plan to run across America using the American Discovery Trail from San Francisco to the East Coast and it is presently on the “drawing boards”. I guess, this will be fully supported by sponsors, marketing stuffs, and good PR support. What I like about Brian Stark is that he did it on his own without any “gimmicks” or marketing stuffs and even without any crew or support and pacer along the way, most especially while he was running the winding roads and trails of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains reaching an altitude of 12,000 feet above sea level.

6) Brian Stark did not set a deadline for him to finish his run and he did not pressure himself to reach a designated place. He had to take a lot of rest for his body to recover during the early part of his run and as the days and weeks have passed, he became stronger. He would find time to visit museums, tourist attractions, historical places and even enjoy the food distinct to every place he stayed while recovering from his rigorous runs. This a good example of a running adventure where you have enough time to explore the places you are passing through by visiting their tourist attractions, museums, and other historical places. Hence, he was able to write a book with all the pictures and clippings of newspaper accounts on his run.

If you have plans of running a multi-stage/multi-day running adventure, Brian Stark and his book is a good inspiration and source of experiences and a guide to a successful running adventure. I am highly recommending every runner to read this book.





Week #1: Start Of Marathon Training

21 07 2009

13-19 July 2009 (1st Week)

After completely resting for the whole week after the 33rd MILO 42K Elimination Race the other Sunday, I am starting a serious training cycle for a marathon race to be held before the end of the year and ultimately, in preparation for a “possible” experience in an ultramarathon race which will be held on the last week of May 2010.

Monday—A Long Run of 1:30 up to 2 hours

Tuesday—Easy Run of 60 minutes

Wednesday—Tempo Run. Start slowly; after 20 minutes, hold race speed for 30-40 minutes, then end with easy run for 20 minutes.

Thursday—Hill run, Easy Run

Friday—Easy Run of 60 minutes

Saturday—16-20K at Race Pace

Sunday—Rest Day

This training schedule is supposed to be a guide. There is no specific target on my weekly mileage as this week and the  following weeks will be part of my endurance phase.

Comparing the abovementioned training schedule from what I’ve actually done for the past days/week, the following was my actual training workout:

Monday—I was able to run for two (2) hours with an average pace of 6:30-6-45 minutes per kilometer. It was a “runabout” along the major streets in Metro Manila. The run was done early in the morning covering a distance of 17K.

Tuesday—It was supposed to be a One Hour Easy Run but it ended as a Run at Race Pace. I finished 12K for one hour at an average pace of 5:02 mins/km. I need to control myself when I run at the ULTRA Oval Track. The run was done at 4:30 PM and had enough time to rest & recover  from the long run yesterday.

Wednesday—I had a tempo run. First 20 minutes at a easy pace at an average pace of 5:40 mins/km; followed with a tempo run for 30 minutes at an average pace of 4:55 mins/km; and then finished with an average pace of 5:45 mins/km for 20 minutes.

Thursday—It was supposed to be an easy run along rolling hills at McKinley Hill but opted to do the “stairs” at the ULTRA bleachers after running for 45 minutes. I did 15X on the stairs. It was raining hard.

Friday—I was able to run under the rain for about 35 minutes in the morning. And did “stairs” for another 30 minutes

Saturday—Did not have a chance to have a long run at race pace because of a running clinic the Team Bald Runner conducted at the ULTRA Oval Tack. However, I was able to run for a duration of 32 minutes with an average pace of 6:00 mins/km after the said running clinic. Had a massage in the afternoon.

Sunday—Did a long steady run during the GLOBE-ALI RUN FOR HOME with the distance of 21 kms. I finished the race/run in 1:51+ hours with an average pace of 5:15 mins/km. It was a “diagnostic” run and I did not force myself for the speed. However, I need more time to strengthen my legs and build-up again my aerobic endurance by doing more long steady runs in the coming weeks. I had another massage to my legs in the afternoon and slept early in the evening.

Total Mileage For The Week: 75 kilometers








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