5:00 PM Thursday May 27, 2010 @ “Brown” Mountain 15K 1:58:07 hrs (Adidas Osweego)
This was the first time that my elite athletes brought me to the periphery of BM. The elites usually do their runs to this mountain for their one hour to 1 1/2-hour workouts. We started our run at 5:00 PM. After a slow run for about 500 meters, we had our first uphill climb for about 200 meters of gravel road that ended to a left turn of about 10 meters of flat before another uphill climb of 100 meters. This pattern was repeated for about three times and I started to perspire. We started to experience a level road trail when we reached the 3K point. It was a hard slow uphill run but I kept on remembering to take short strides; lifting my knees higher; swing my arms more; and above all, keep my shoulders relaxed. For every 3-4 minutes during the run, I had to be reminded and always aware with my running form with my shoulders relaxed.
The gravel road slowly turned to a trail road with dust and I was comfortable with my Adidas Osweego which is lighter than the ASICS training shoes that I’ve been using in my road runs. We ran more uphill climbs along one-track trail with tall cogon grasses on both sides. There are also wild plants that keep on brushing on our legs as we trekked uphill. On this portion of the trail, the seven runners in us were lined up on a single file as we went upward towards the mountain.
As we went deeper to the vegetated part on the side of the mountain, a herd of cattles would immediately approach us and the elites would think that they were going to attack us. We had to run faster and tried to evade the cattles. I was laughing when I saw one of my elites removed his shirt and was seen running naked as his shirt was colored red. As we ran, I realized that I was also wearing a red Mizuno running shirt! Later, I told them that these cattles would approach us thinking that we were there to feed them and I laughed with my theory!
After running for 7K, we saw a hut at the side of the mountain and a family of Aeta resides in it. We stopped for awhile and talked to the family. After a few seconds, we resumed our run towards another uphill trail until we reached a place where my GF 305 registered a distance of 7.5K. It was already getting dark and we decided to turn-around to our starting line.
On our way back for another 7.5K to the starting line, it was a race to beat the coming of darkness on those single-track trails. Actually, it was already dark when we still had 3K more to go and we had to slow down because the trail was uneven. Once again, on the downhill run, I alternately took longer strides and shorter strides depending on the steepness of the trail but I always maintain my shoulders relaxed. It was almost 7:00 in the evening when we reached our starting area.
On our way up to the mountain, I averaged a pace of 7:40 mins/km while our fastest average pace in going down was 6:08 mins/km. These numbers would indicate a very slow pace but I am sure this visit to the BM will make me a faster and stronger runner in my incoming road and trail races.
Always remember to run with your shoulders relaxed. Let them drop and swing your arms naturally!