Sacks Of Charcoal

15 04 2014

It has been awhile when I had my last post in this blog. I was too busy in the mountains where I could hardly get a good connection to the Internet. Aside from my trail running training, I’ve been busy preparing and directing my road and trail races which are scheduled for the past months.

In my desire to look for trail routes within the vicinity of my “playground”, I had been exposed and had observed some of the local people in the area to be involved in charcoal making in the mountains. I almost meet a group of locals with their sleds being pulled by a carabao (water buffalo) stacked with sacks full of charcoal on a daily basis. Sometimes, I would pass by a place where two locals would be guarding a makeshift underground “oven” where they process or burn the woods cut in pieces and wait for these woods that would turn to charcoal.

I really don’t mind or give any interest or even stop to start a conversation with these people in the charcoal transport and processing “industry”. It is enough that I greet them while I am running or simply wave my hand just to show that I really don’t care about their trade. Anyway, they simply know me as a crazy trail runner in the mountains where they do their business.

Last week, in one of my adventure runs in the mountains trying to look for trails, I was surprised to see a band of charcoal “carriers” or persons who carry sacks of charcoal from the mountains to be brought to the populated community. Most of these carriers are our indigenous people called the “Aetas”. I met these band of Aetas resting in a shaded part of the mountain where there is a pipe with water freely flowing from it. Most of them were resting and some of them were taking their lunch as I can see some cooking pots near the sacks of charcoal.

The following pictures will show the number of sacks of charcoal resting on the rocks along the trail and you can imagine the number of trees being cut by these charcoal makers in the mountains in order to produce these sacks of charcoal:

Spring Water & Rest Area In The Mountains

Spring Water & Rest Area In The Mountains

Sacks Of Charcoal On Top Of Rocks

Sacks Of Charcoal On Top Of Rocks

Closer Look On The Sacks Of Charcoal

Closer Look On The Sacks Of Charcoal

I am not here to post these pictures and make any judgement or opinion on what I have seen and observed in the mountains. It is enough that you can see and conclude for yourself what is really happening on those hidden valleys and cliffs in the mountain ranges which you can see far away while you are in the comfort of an air-conditioned bus or driving your personal vehicle along the highway on your way to the province and from the city.

As usual, I had to greet the Aetas and went on to refresh myself by drinking the fresh and cold water freely flowing from the plastic pipe that was inserting in between two big rocks on the cliff. And then douse my head, face, nape and back with the flowing water.

After a few seconds, I waved my hands and told to the resting Aetas that I will be ahead of them in going to their resettlement. And I am glad they waved their hands and replied to my greetings.

My mountain trail running must go on and as I was nearing the trailhead near the Aeta Resettlement Area, I could see more mountains and more trails to explore in my next outing.

Trail running in the mountains reminds me how blessed I am and the rests of us living in the lowlands.





Result: 1st Playground “Alpha” 50K Trail Ultra

18 03 2014

***By Invitation Only

5:30 AM March 16, 2014

Pastolan Trails, Dinalupihan, Bataan

Number of Starters: 21

Number of Finishers: 17

@ The Start/Finish Area

@ The Start/Finish Area

 

RANK BIB # NAME TIME (HRS)
1 2 Wilnar Iglesia (Champion) 6:50:32
2 6 Raffy Gabotero (1st Runner-Up) 7:22:06
3 7 Bong Alindada (2nd Runner-Up) 7:57:10
4 1 Graciano Santos 9:23:42
5 14 Daphne Codilla (Champion, Female) 9:44:00
6 8 Jay Lamela 9:55:46
7 4 Venn Lamela 9:55:47
8 160 Ronnel Go 9:59:32
9 32 Marc Conrad Molina 10:00:11
10 311 Manny Ocampo 10:20:39
11 22 Michael Lafuente 10:33:01
12 10 Ryan Garcia 11:08:49
13 11 Roy Garcia 11:08:50
14 5 Lady Dianne Palongan (1st Runner-Up, F) 11:10:11
15 50 Januarius Padilla 12:40:10
16 30 Jonathan Moleta 13:17:26
17 42 Jon Ogsimer 14:21:44
Champion Wilnar Iglesia

Champion Wilnar Iglesia

Runners @ The Turn-Around Point (Km #25)

Runners @ The Turn-Around Point (Km #25)

Pictures:  https://www.facebook.com/baldrunner/media_set?set=a.10202845708757439.1073741898.1043179758&type=1

Congratulations To Everybody!





Picture Of The Week #23

23 02 2014

@ Sitio Happy, Cabayo, Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya

@ Sitio Happy, Cabayo, Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya





5th Week Of Training (February 3-9, 2014)

17 02 2014

February 3, Monday: Rest Day

2-Hour Massage

February 4, Tuesday: @HPA Parade Ground (Paved & Dirt Roads) Start: 5:00 PM

Distance—13.21 Kilometers/8.25 Miles

Time—1:24:04 Hours

Average Pace—6:21 mins/km

Average Speed—9.4 ams/hour

Total Calories—905 cal

Total Ascent—492 meters

Total Descent—508 meters

Weather—Hot & Humid/Afternoon Run

Shoes—Hoka One One Stinson Evo

February 5, Wednesday: Indoor

40-Minute Stationary Cycling

February 6, Thursday: @HPA Parade Ground/Start: 7:40 AM

Distance—17.01 Kilometers/10.6 Miles

Time—1:55:00 Hours

Average Pace—6:45 mins/km

Average Speed—8.9 kilometers/hour

Total Calories—1,174 cal

Total Ascent—565 meters

Total Descent—559 meters

Weather—Hot & Humid

Shoes—Hoka One One Stinson Evo

February 7, Friday: @Mabalacat, Pampanga To San Fernando, Pampanga (Route of Manila to Baguio 250K Ultra Marathon Race)/Start: 9:55 AM

Distance—35.43 Kilometers/22 Miles (Road Run)

Time—6:25:49 Hours

Average Pace—10:52 mins/km

Average Speed—5.5 kilometers/hour

Total Calories—1,943 cal

Total Ascent—1,259 meters

Total Descent—1,263 meters

Weather—VERY Hot

Shoes—Hoka One One Stinson Evo

Comment: Slow Run with Walking Breaks/”Pit Stops” @ 7-11 Stores

February 8, Saturday: @ Mabalacat, Pampanga To Tarlac City (Route of Manila To Baguio 250K Ultra Marathon Race) /Start: 1:03 AM (Night Run)

Distance—32 Kilometers/20.15 Miles

Time—5:20:18 Hours

Average Pace—15:54 minutes/mile

Average Moving Pace—14:47 minutes/mile

Elevation Gain—168 feet

Elevation Loss—357 feet

Total Calories—1,644 cal

Weather—Cooler

Shoes—Hoka One One Bondi Speed

Comment: Slow & Easy Run. Tried some nutrition food/drinks to keep me alert during nighttime running

February 9, Sunday: @Baguio City

Rest Day/Race Director at the Finish Line of the 1st PAU Manila To Baguio 250K Ultra Marathon Race (3-Day Stage)

Total Weekly Mileage: 97.65 Kilometers/61 Miles

Total Weekly Time: 15:15 Hours

Comment: No trail runs for this week but took advantage of the Manila To Baguio 250K 3-Day Stage Ultra Run to put more endurance on my legs, heart and lungs. Runs for this week were more on “heat” training.

Finishing 35K On The 1st Day/Leg Of The Manila To Baguio 250K Ultra

Finishing 35K On The 1st Day/Leg Of The Manila To Baguio 250K Ultra





4th Week Of Training (January 27-February 2, 2014)

6 02 2014

January 27, Monday—Rest Day

2-Hour Massage

January 28, Tuesday: @HPA Parade Ground (Paved & Dirt Roads)/Start: 6:51 AM

Distance—-16.2 Kilometers/10 Miles

Time—-1:40:06 Hours

Average Pace—-6:10 mins/km

Average Speed—-9.7 kms/hour

Total Calories—-1,117 cal

Total Ascent—-518 meters/1,700 feet

Total Descent—-500 meters/1,640 feet

Weather—-Cooler on the 1st Half and Early Morning Sun’s Heat on the 2nd Half

Shoes—Hoka One One Stinson Evo

January 29, Wednesday: @Remy Field Oval Track/Start: 3:30 PM

Distance—13 Kilometers/8.1 Miles

Time—-1:14:16 Hours

Average Pace—-5:42 mins/km

Average Speed—-10.5 kms/hour

Total Calories—-883 cal

Total Ascent—-355 meters/1,164 feet

Total Descent—-361 meters/1,184 feet

Weather—-Sunny/Hot

Shoes—-ASICS Gel-Lyte Racer

Note: Speed Workout—Tried “1-2-3-2-1″ Speed Intervals (One Minute @ 5K Pace with One Minute Recovery Run; Two Minutes @ 10K Pace with Two Minutes Recovery Run; Three Minutes @ 21K Pace with Three Minutes Recovery Run; and then back to 2 minutes @ 10K pace then one minute @ 5K pace. Followed by 3 Reps of 800-meter Intervals with 800-meter recovery run after each repetition.

January 30, Thursday: @Pastolan Trails/Start: 10:37 AM

Distance—-21.13 Kilometers/13 Miles

Time—-3:37:20 Hours

Average Pace—-10:17 mins/km

Average Speed—-5.8 kms/hour

Total Calories—-1,077 cal

Total Ascent—-1,107 meters/3,631 feet

Total Descent—-1,098 meters/3,601 feet

Weather—-Sunny On The 1st Half; Windy & Cloudy/Overcast On The 2nd Half

Shoes—-ADIDAS Vigor Trail

Nutrition—-2 pcs of Hopia (Chinese Bread) + 20 oz of Gatorade + 60 oz of Water

January 31, Friday: @ Pastolan Trails/Playground “Alpha” Loop/Start: 9:40 AM

Distance—-26.21 Kilometers/16.4 Miles

Time—-5:29:53 Hours

Average Pace—-12:35 mins/km

Average Speed—-4.8 kms/hour

Total Calories—-1,254 cal

Total Ascent—-2,377 meters/7,796 feet

Total Descent—-2,300 meters/7,544 feet

Lowest Elevation—-42 meters/137 feet

Highest Elevation—-510 meters/1,673 feet

Weather—-Sunny/Hot & Windy

Shoes—-TNF “Single Track” Trail Shoes

Nutrition—-Steamed Rice, Hard-boiled Egg, Hotdog, 2 pcs of Hopia + One GU Gel on the last 5 Kilometers + 80 oz of water

February 1, Saturday: @Pastolan Trails (10.5K Route-Out & Back)/Start: 1:32 PM

(Note: @7:00 AM—-30-Minute Stationary Cycling)

Distance—-21.16 Kilometers/13 Miles

Time—-3:39:28 Hours

Average Pace—-10:22 mins/km

Average Speed—-5.8 kms/hour

Total Calories—-1,040 cal

Total Ascent—-1,079 meters/3,539 feet

Total Descent—-1,084 meters/3,555 feet

Lowest Elevation—-42 meters/137 feet

Highest Elevation—-390 meters/1,279 feet

Weather—-Cloudy/Overcast & Windy

Shoes—-ADIDAS Vigor Trail

Nutrition—-3 pcs of Hopia + 40 oz of Water + 1 GU Gel mixed with 20 oz of water

February 2, Sunday: @Bataan Death March Route (Km Post #50 – Km Post #83)/Paved Road/Start: 6:56 AM

Distance—-32.40 Kilometers/20 Miles

Time—-4:42:19 Hours

Average Pace—-8:42 mins/km

Average Speed—-6.9 kms/hour

Total Calories—-1,862 cal

Total Ascent—-801 meters/2,627 feet

Total Descent—-818 meters/2,683 feet

Weather—-VERY HOT

Shoes—-Hoka One One Bondi Speed

Nutrition—-Fresh Fruits (Sliced Apples & Korean Pears); Hopia; and Gatorade Drinks

Note: Heat Training For 4 Hours

Total Distance For The Week: 130 Kilometers/81 Miles

Total Vertical Distance (Ascent): 6,237 Meters/20,457 feet

More Trails For This Week

More Trails For This Week





Friday Trash Run

5 02 2014

Starting last Friday, Danin (my training partner) and I had put in our training schedule some time to spend cleaning the rivers/streams along our trail running route and pick-up/collect the trashes that we see scattered along the trail.

From the start of our 26.2K-loop, we started picking up trashes we saw on the trail until we reached where we started. We also cleaned the streams from dried twigs, branches and leaves.

Pool Cleaning Along The Trail

Pool Cleaning Along The Trail

It made our running workout slower but what we did during the said workout was all worth it. If there is a simple thing to do for the good of the environment, picking up of trashes along the trails is a “no brainer” for a trail runner to do. It may not have an immediate result or impact on the environment but the thought of maintaining cleanliness in the environment has a personal satisfaction for me and Danin.

I did not expect that the trash we collected ended up in two plastic bags which we brought as our garbage bags. As we were going back to where we started, Danin thought of tying the bags on his backpack. One can see from the picture of Danin how big are the volumes of the two garbage bags full of trash!

Danin Running With The Bags Of Trash

Danin Running With The Bags Of Trash

Two Bags Full Of Trash!

Two Bags Full Of Trash!

From the contents of the garbage bags, most of them are non-biodegradables—plastics, water bottles, soda cans, junk food plastic bags, candy wrappers, cigarette packs, and plastic bags.

The Collected Trash

The Collected Trash

Danin and I will be doing this “exercise” once a week along the trails in my playground.

I hope this personal effort to save the environment will have its “spread” effect to the other trail runners and trekkers of our mountains.





3rd Week Of Training (January 20-26, 2014)

31 01 2014

January 20, Monday—Rest Day 

2-Hour Massage

January 21, Tuesday: @HPA Parade Ground (Paved & Dirt Roads)/ Start: 7:52 AM

Distance—10 Kilometers/6.2 Miles

Time—57:15 minutes

Average Pace—5:42 mins/km

Average Speed—10.5 kms/hour

Total Calories—686 cal

Total Ascent—323 meters

Total Descent—232 meters

Weather—Cloudy

Shoes—HOKA One One Stinson Evo

January 22, Wednesday: @Remy Field Oval Track/ Start: 7:14 PM

Distance—13 Kilometers/8.1 Miles (Tempo Run: 4K Easy Run; 5 X 800 with 800 as Recovery in between repetition @ 4:00-4:10 minutes per repetition)

Time—1:16:09 hours

Average Pace—5:50 minutes/km

Average Speed—10.3 Kms/hour

Total Calories—897 cal

Weather—Night Run/Cold/Windy

Shoes—ASICS Gel-Lyte Racer

(Note: Slower Time due to Lots of Runner & Walkers on the Oval Track)

23 January, Thursday: @ Mt Natib Trail Route/Start—10:15 AM

Distance—42 Kilometers/26 Miles (Trail Run with Power Hike)

Time—10:50:09 Hours

Average Pace—25 minutes/mile

Total Calories—1,757 cal

Elevation Gain—1,780 meters/5,873 feet

Elevation Loss—1,778 meters/5,868 feet

Minimum Elevation—30 meters/95 feet

Maximum Elevation—865 meters/2,852 feet

Weather—Sunny and Windy

Shoes—Helios, La Sportiva

24 January, Friday—Rest Day

30-Minute Stationary Bike (PM)

25 January, Saturday: Start: 5:00 AM

Race Director—2014/4th Edition of the Bataan Death March 160K Ultra Marathon Race

26 January, Sunday—Rest Day

40-Minute Stationary Bike

Total Weekly Mileage: 65 Kilometers/40.6 Miles

Total Vertical Distance (Ascent): 2,415 Meters//7,921 Feet

@ Kilometer #7 To Mt Natib

@ Kilometer #7 To Mt Natib (100-meter uphill paved road of the trail route)





“Charcoal Men’s” Trail

30 01 2014

A day after the conduct of the Rizal Day Run 50K & 32K at Camp Aguinaldo last December 29, 2013, I was invited by Ultra Runner Ronnel Go aka Kampuger for a trail run on his running group’s “playground” which is very near Quezon City/Metro Manila. This was my first time to visit the mountains near Metro Manila but I had a chance to join a half-marathon road race in one of the towns in Rizal four or five years ago which is located within this area.

Ronnel Go became my tourist guide while we were joined by Ariel Tuto Aquino and Dr Marc Conrad Molina. We parked our cars at the Barangay Hall of San Isidro, Rodriguez, Rizal and from there we started our hike. Knowing that Ronnel Go had just finished the Rizal Day Run 50K Ultra Race where he placed as the 2nd Runner-Up and Dr Marc Molina finishing the race, I advised the group that we will power hike the whole route even if it will take us to finish it the whole daytime. The trail tour was some sort of a recovery hike for the two runners while Ariel made some running on the flat and descending portion of the trails to have some easy long run  workout for the day. I was there as a hiker trying to orient myself in the place.

First 5K of the Trail

First 5K of the Trail

Resting Is Picture Taking

Resting Is Picture Taking

I was informed that we were taking the reverse route where most of the hikers would avoid because the approach to higher peaks are steeper. So, we power hiked and enjoyed every scenery we could see around us as we go higher to some of the hills and later to the mountains. We have to stop and take some pictures of the places where one could see up to the vastness of Metro Manila, Laguna De Bay, and the mountains of Rizal and Bulacan.

Billiard Table In A Store

Billiard Table In A Store

We stopped in a store where there is a billiard table and we took our first snacks and rest. We made a re-supply of our water bottles and continued our hike. As we moved higher to more peaks, we felt cold winds all around us and the sky was overcast. It was a perfect weather for a hiking in the mountains and my companions would make some remarks that it was their first time to experience such cold, windy and overcast sky in the area.

Single File!

Single File!

I could hardly feel any tiredness and exhaustion as we moved to a higher elevation. The stories, jokes and laughter with the group make our hike enjoyable plus the nice scenery all around us. The group brought me to their “signature” locations where one would take ones picture. They have this favorite “rock” and ascending trail until one would reach the peak of Mt Balagbag.

Group "Selfie" At The Peak Of Mt Balagbag

Group “Selfie” At The Peak Of Mt Balagbag

The peak of Mt Balagbag has a flat portion for campers where they could “fix” their tents. We stayed for a longer time in the place to see the places around us and take some group pictures. From the peak, everything were all descending until we reach Barangay Licau-licau but before we reached this place for our lunch, we dropped by a store where we had our second snacks for the day.

Barangay Licau-licau is a crossroad to a descending road that goes back to a barangay with garbage and to San Isidro; the ascending road that goes to Mt Balagbag; and a flat road that goes to the populated area within the barangay. There is a store with “turo-turo” (ready cooked) food and this where we had our lunch. This is the place also where we met another ultra runner, Lao Ogerio, who placed 1st Runner-Up in the Rizal Day 50K Run. He was there also for his recovery run a day after the race.

2014 BDM 160 Ultra's 1st Runner-Up Lao Ogerio As Ice Cream Vendor

2014 BDM 160 Ultra’s 1st Runner-Up Lao Ogerio As Ice Cream Vendor

Group Picture With The Ice Candy Vendor

Group Picture With The Ice Candy Vendor

From Barangay Licau-licua, we became five in the group. Lao Ogerio became our lead hiker until we met a local who was selling ice candy/popsicle. He carried the ice box of the local guy to shaded portion of the trail and we had a rest while enjoying the sweet and cold taste of the popsicle. After paying the local guy for the popsicle we ate, we continued our hike until we reached the highway that led us to the Barangay Hall of San Isidro, Rodriguez, Rizal.

It was Ronnel who was wearing a GPS watch and it registered a distance of 34 kilometers with 9 hours of elapsed time since we started our hike. I did not ask for the total ascent & descent of the place but I know this is a place where one would make himself or herself a strong runner.

Now I know why the group of Ronnel and the other runners who make this place as their “playground” are very strong in ultra running and trail running. I happened to know also that some of the top contenders of my PAU Races come here in this place for their weekend long runs. No wonder they are strong and fast in my ultra races.

If you ask me why I call the trail as “Charcoal Men’s” Trail, it is because the local people whom you meet in the area are carrying with them 3-4 sacks of charcoal in going up and down the mountain trails.

@ The Rock In Mt Balagbag

@ The Rock In Mt Balagbag





2nd Week Of Training (January 13-19, 2014)

24 01 2014

January 13, Monday—-Rest Day

January 14, Tuesday: @ Pastolan Trail (Start: 5:25 PM)

Distance—9.8 Kilometers/6.15 Miles

Time—1:42:24 Hours

Average Pace—10:27 minutes/kilometer

Average Speed—5.7 kilometers/hour

Total Calories—491 cal

Total Ascent—507 meters

Total Descent—592 meters

Weather—Cool & Windy

Shoes—ADIDAS Vigor Trail Shoes

Note/Comment: Early Evening Easy Run. Slowed down on the 2nd half due to poor illumination using a handheld flashlight.

January 15, Wednesday: @ Remy Field Oval Track, Subic Freeport (Start: 3:10 PM)

Distance—13.10 Kilometers/8.18 Miles

Time—1:13:11 Hours

Average Pace—5:35 minutes/kilometer

Average Speed—10.7 Kilometers/Hour

Total Calories—886 cal

Workout—4 Kilometers as Easy Run; 5 X 800 meters with 800-meter recovery jog; and then 1 Kilometer as Cool Down. (800-meter time in 4:00 to 4:10 minutes per repetition)

Weather: Sunny & Windy

Shoes: Helios by La Sportiva

January 16, Thursday: Rest Day

30-Minute Stationary Cycling

January 17, Friday: @ Pastolan Trails (Start: 9:44 AM)

Distance—20 Kilometers/12.4 Miles (Easy Run)

Time—3:16:37 Hours

Average Pace—9:49 minutes/kilometer

Average Speed—6.1 kilometers/hour

Total Calories—1,075 cal

Total Ascent—1,257 meters

Total Descent—1,287 meters

Shoes—HOKA One One Bondi Speed

Weather—Sunny, Hot & Windy

January 18, Saturday: @ Pastolan Trails (Start: 9:13 AM)/Easy Run

Distance—26.2 Kilometers/16 Miles

Time—4:48:30 Hours

Average Pace—11:00 minutes/kilometer

Average Speed—5.4 kilometers/hour

Total Calories—1,306 cal

Total Ascent—1,517 meters

Total Descent—1,479 meters

Weather—Cloudy & Windy

Shoes—Helios By La Sportiva

Comment—Slower by 3 minutes from my previous easy run on the same course. Nutrition was perfect and practiced more time to eat while power hiking.

January 19, Sunday: @ BDM Ultra Route From Km #32 to Km #50 (Start: 2:40 AM)

Distance—16.2 Kilometers/10 Miles

Time—2:08:19 Hours

Average Pace—7:55 minutes/kilometer

Average Speed—7.6 kilometers/hour

Total Calories—1,024 cal

Total Ascent—445 meters

Total Descent—463 meters

Shoes—HOKA One One Bondi Speed

Weather—Cold/Night Run

Total Mileage For The Week: 85.3 Kilometers/53.3 Miles

(Note: Data taken from GARMIN FR305)

River Crossing @ The Last 2 Kilometers

River Crossing @ The Last 2 Kilometers





Pictures Of The Week #21

10 01 2014

Thank You Lord For The Strength!

Thank You Lord For The Strength!

On The Feast Of The Black Nazareth

On The Feast Of The Black Nazareth








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