In the military, planning is the most important aspect before the conduct of any operation or any activity. Being a former military officer, planning is already a part of my system. In every thing or activity that I do, there is a thorough planning involved as a guide for the execution of an operation or activity. Without any good planning, mistakes, errors and lapses occur every step of the way during the execution of your intended action or operation.
When I finally executed my “adventure run” from Monumento, Caloocan City to Baguio City, I prepared an operational plan for the said activity. In the military, every planner is guided by the letters S-M-E-A-C. These are five letters of each of the following words—Situation; Mission; Execution; Administration & Logistics; and Command & Control. In the said run, I used these words as my guide for my planning.
Situation guided me to find out the prevailing situation along the road from the starting point to the finish line. The weather, road condition, security and peace & order, pollution, noise, and traffic/density of vehicles along the road. Situation simply answered the question—who/which are my friends and enemies along the road? Mission is very simple, to run from point A to point B and be able to document the activity in near “real time” so that my readers could read and see what I did along the road as soon as I had a break or rest. Execution involved my schedule guide to run from Monumento, Caloocan City to Baguio City on a daily basis with an average of 50 kilometers covered within a day. This includes my strategy for my food & fluid intakes and the expected towns/cities where I would end my daily runs or take a mid-day break. Administration & Logistics would deal with my support system from my financial support up to my logistical support in terms of food, accommodation, gasoline, running attire, shoes, supply of ice, availability of Internet load to my SmartBro connection and what hydration system to use in every leg of the run. Command & Control would deal with Communications & Coordinating Instructons with my Support Crew/driver and the availability of access and signal to the Internet. during my “breaks” and rest over night (RON).
As I am used to be travelling to the North through the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) since it was constructed, I did not know what the old MacArthur Highway looks like nowadays. Pedestrians are not allowed along the NLEX and the only option is to run along the old MacArthur Highway. I had to recon the road/MacArthur Highway from Caloocan City up to Mabalacat, Pampanga for two times just to be sure of the exact road to take and to pinpoint towns/cities with convenience stores/fastfoods along the road. I had to make sure that my designated driver/support crew will not get lost along the road as there are tricky overpasses, road crossings and U-turns along the way. My support has to “leap frog” as far as 2 kilometers during daytime and at least 500 meters during nighttime. Driving through or travelling along the route is the best way to orient and find out the situation along the road as part of the planning process. Studying the route through maps is not enough!
In my execution of my plan, I was guided with the two most important Principles of War—Simplicity and Surprise. Simplicity means running alone. I was responsible for myself only. Surprise is exemplified when I did not warn or give any hint as to when I am going to start my adventure run. Nobody would believe that I was capable of starting this event a day after I finished the Condura Marathon. My security along the road was my most concern as I did not want to advertise this event. What was most important in this run is to be able to journalize or document my run through this blog/site on a near “real time” through my accounts and pictures.
I really don’t care if somebody in the future would run this distance in one day or two days. What I’ve proven here in this adventure run is that I could immediately inform my readers what transpired in my run immediately during my “breaks” or rest periods within the day or before I start another leg of my run. If you can run this distance in two or three days and then publish your account in your blog after you finish the whole adventure run, then that’s another view/perspective of the said experience.
Rest Over Night (RON) was the most important factor to be considered in order to have a rested and recovered body before the start of the next leg of the run. During the two occassions that I conducted an actual drive/recon up to Mabalacat, Pampanga, I pinpointed and planned to rest overnight (RON) at the MacArthur Hotel in San Fernando, Pampanga which is located along the highway. However, on the night I stopped my first leg, there was no available room and I opted to look for a hotel at the very center of San Fernando City. I was able to look for one but my standards for a decent sleeping facility/room was not met but I was able to rest/sleep for 7 hours.
On my second night, Mr Blue Pension in Capas, Tarlac was a perfect place to rest. The place has big rooms and I was able to use the Butane-fed Stove I brought to cook additional foods and prepare hot water for my instant oatmeal, coffee, and mami noodles.
On my third night, I checked in at Jijis Pension/Hotel in Carmen, Rosales, Pangasinan. There was a brownout that time but the electricity was restored after 20 minutes. The available room was cozy without any windows but the air-conditioner was perfect. I overslept in this hotel because of the lack of natural light coming from the outside but I was able to sleep the required 7 hours for the night.
On my last night along the road, I stayed at the Five Star Apartelle in Urdaneta, Pangasinan. So far, this was the best place where I had my rest overnight. The place is spacious and each unit has two bedrooms upstairs with laundry & drying areas on the first floor.
As for my meals, I was a loyal customer of Jollibee for the first two days. I had my lunch at Isdaan Restaurant in Gerona, Tarlac on my third day. I had my lunch and dinner at Matutina’s Restaurant in Urdaneta City on my fourth day. And had my breakfast at the Rivervue Restaurant at Saitan, Rosario, La Union.
I had a daly intake of Multi-Mineral & Vitamin tablet, Vitamin C, and Glucousamine. Before going to bed, I had to drink one glass of Ensure.
Lastly, I was protected by Mr Heckler & Mr Koch USP9 from Germany with their 19 powerful 9mm rounds and a spare of two magazines in case of extreme emergency. However, my daily prayers to the Lord had greatly protected me from any harm or injury.
For those who are intending to experience an adventure run, good luck and I hope you can document your experience on a near “real-time” on your blog or site. Always be safe on the road.