Trails & Cows: 20K Run

I had another trail run last Wednesday afternoon. Instead of going north, I took another direction which was going east and it was a nice run where I covered 10 kilometers one-way and another 10 kilometers on my way back from where I started.

The span of the whole trail was a combination of grass-covered soil ground; sand & gravel road; cement; and clayish-soil. I followed the road beside the irrigational canal which I believed been made way back when I was in my elementary grades. I have yet to find out the stretch of the whole irrigation canal but I was informed that the canal comes from Vintar Dam, which is another 12-14 kilometers away from Laoag City. Vintar is located northeast of Laoag City and it is the source of water that flows along the Bacarra River. The mini-dam in Vintar supplies the water that is needed to irrigate the farmlands in Laoag City. However, I believe that the irrigation canal which was built at the foot of the hills and low mountains that surrounds the city from the north was made also as repository of water coming from the hills/mountains during rainy season. I talked to one of the old guys residing in Barangay Dibua South and he told me that the irrigation canal was made during the time of former President Marcos when the Secretary of Public Works was Secretary Antonio Raquiza, a native resident of Ilocos Norte. I guess, that was between 1961-1964.

I could hardly feel the change in elevation while running on these trail and I had observed that there are so many trails that intertwined with one another where there are some at a higher elevation and others at the lower plain areas. I also found out that some portions of the irrigation canal were underground where they made a water tunnel that crossed the hills and elevated fields.

Trail running is free from carbon monoxide/air pollution. Running on trails did not give me any problems on motor vehicles and tricycles as there were nobody on these trails except for a number of cows which were herded by their owners near the irrigation canal/trails. I was successful in passing (without stopping or reducing my pace) some of these white-imported cows whose ropes crossed my path but for the last group of cows, the third group along the way, posed to attack me! Oops! I had to stop. It was the mother cow who was trying to protect three of her siblings few meters away! I slowly looked for the rope where she was tied and pulled the cow to a safer distance from the canal. With some pulling of the rope and some sounds (commands!) from my mouth & tongue, the cow heeded and distanced herself from the trail. Phew! that was a close call! I don’t want to get injured from an attacking cow! (It could had been a “news” where a retired general was injured while fighting a raging cow during a trail run!). Anyway, it was a nice experience and least that I would expect while running on a trail, instead of fighting it out with tricycle drivers, you have a cow ready to attack you with her horns (ala matador in a bullfight) on the trails. I was glad it was not a bull that tried to attack me!

Another observation that makes my trail running enjoyable is seeing new and big houses being built on the slopes, peaks, foot of the hills and some parts along the trail. These are not just ordinary houses but big houses whose architectural designs are from the Western and European countries. The folks along the road are friendly and I had to wave my hands and sometimes tell the others that I am just passing by. I met a young runner along the way with basketball shoes.

To my surprise, I reached Bacarra Road at Barangay Barit, directly at the Bus Terminal of Farinas Transportation. I decided to cross the road and proceeded to Barangay Salet to check a 7,000-square meter lot I inherited from my Mom which is located on a distinct hill overlooking the city of Laoag which is another 1 1/2 kilometers from the main Highway. I was surprised to see that there is a newly-constructed house in front of my lot, just across the road that separates my lot from the said house.

From this point, I made my turn-around and went back to the place where I started and there were no more cows along the way. I finished my trail run at 7:15 PM and was able to watch some parts of TV Patrol. My last two kilometers were slow ones due to darkness along the way. Overall, my trail run was a refreshing one and did not experience any pains with my legs. I hope someday, I would be able to run up to Vintar Dam.

The following is the data taken from my GF 305:

Distance—20.03 kms             Time—2:14:59 hours

Average Pace—6:44 mins/km         Average Speed—8.9 kms/hr

Maximum Speed—12.5 kms/hr      Total Calories—1,412 cal

Average HR—153 bpm                    Maximum HR—168 bpm

Total Ascent—654 meters              Total Descent—672 meters

Memorable Songs: “California Dreamin” by The Mamas & The Papas & “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Michael Buble

I am beginning to enjoy running on trails with trees that offer shades along the route; the air temperature is lower; the ground is softer with the feet than running on an asphalted or cemented road; changes in elevation is not so hard to deal with; the music I am hearing from my Ipod is very clear and I can sing with the song loudly; I don’t breath so much because the air is clean; and I have to completely wash my running shoes after my trail runs! 


One thought on “Trails & Cows: 20K Run

  1. sfrunner

    BR, I was thinking about you this morning when I went over to the Presidio and ran some trails. It’s nice to get away from the asphalt and run on dirt. Easier on the legs and body.

    Just wanted to mention that the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Race was cancelled today. Due to the many fires in California (over 1,000), the organizers called it off. The cancellation was the first in its 35 year history.

    The weather for Northern California is supposed to get warmer this weekend.

    Anyway, enjoy the race this Sunday! I’m rooting for all of you.


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