8:45 AM March 17, 2011/From Brgy Socony, Bugallon, Pangasinan to Camiling, Tarlac
It was not too hard to look for a place to stay overnight. Just ask from the local folks and they will tell you where to go. After my run the previous day, I walked in one of the Carinderia’s on the side of the road. I asked for some Sinigang and they have Sinigang Na Baboy. I was surprised that they are serving Sinigang Na Native Na Baboy as seen from the black skin of the chopped meat of the broth. After 5 hours of running, the taste of a hot meal is simply amazing, coupled with an ice-cold Coke!
About 200 meters away from the Carinderia is a Traveller’s Inn called ACRO and from a distant sight, it seemed like one of those motels in Metro Manila. I really don’t care about the place as long as there is an air-con room with soft mattress with pillows and blanket and a shower room, the place is already perfect. Of course, the parking area is adjacent to the room and I was surprised that the room is clean and don’t have the smell of a cigarette smoke. The caretaker said that I have to pay P450.00 for a 12-hour stay and have to pay once I will leave the area. Great! It’s cheap as compared to the places where I spent overnight for the past two nights!
The “drill” was very fast once I entered the air-con room—undress my running apparel, enter the bathroom, take a cold shower first and then later rinse the soap with the hot water, dry up with the towel, brush my teeth, and change to something that is made of cotton and open the laptop computer to upload the pictures taken from my digital camera.
If I have time, I browse the Internet and check on my blog. Since the place has no Wi-Fi Connection, it is hard for me to make a post and upload some pictures in my blog using my SmartBro Internet Connection. What I do is write a post through MS Word as a document which I could save in my files. Once I reach a place where there is a Wi-Fi connection, that is the time I compose my blogpost by mixing the post I made through MS Word and uploading the pictures from my Computer. It is really fast if I am connected with an establishment with a Wi-Fi Connection.
I started my run as early as 8:45 AM from the Km Post #357 and I was already on the Carlos P Romulo Highway that goes all the way to Tarlac City, 75 kilometers away! A hundred meters from the Crossing of Barangay Socony, I could feel already the Strong Winds meeting me. It was hard to run with this kind of situation. It seems someone is pulling me back as I progressed gaining few inches on the ground from my running. This was the feeling and the challenge of the environment until I reached the boundary of Camiling, Tarlac.
Almost all the parts of the Highway are flat and wide. Most of the sidewalk/shoulder is cemented/paved as I have an extra space where I could run if there are wide and big trucks on my back and on my front which are about to overtake slower vehicles. Running along the highway is uneventful except for those strong headwind. My pace and strides are okey that I have to follow what I’ve been reading on the blogs of other Ultrarunners. Actually, I’ve been using this technique since I’ve started running long distances—counting on my strides from 1-100 and repeating again..and again..and again, until it becomes my running “mantra” up to the time I take my rest or pit stop.
Counting the strides, instead of having attached to wires on your ears, is a better way for me to be motivated to run in long distances. Researches would say that for a runner to maintain a good form in running, he/she should maintain a good and consistent average stride pace/count. The research would say that an average of 80 strides per minute in long distance runs would be a good pace. However, more of the runners and scientists would prefer to maintain 90 strides per minute. So, on my run along the Romulo Highway, I tried to apply both, the 80 & 90 strides per minute. After running for about an hour and counting on my strides, I found out that I could sustain 90 strides per minute on flat/level parts of the highway while I could do as low as 85 strides per minute if the road is on a rolling terrain! So, for the rest of the way, I didn’t mind about the strong headwind as I consistently counted on my strides per minute. On the average, I could count 8 sets of 90 strides every time I could cover the distance between two kilometer posts! As my left hand is holding my stopwatch, my other hand’s fingers are counting on the number of sets of strides I’ve gone through!
The road side Billboards of a certain garden and water resort in Mangatarem, Pangasinan was simply enticing that I have to stop for a late lunch! The attraction is that it has a Wi-Fi Connection! That was great! The place is called Dandan’s Resort which is located 2 kilometers off the Romulo Highway. On our way to the resort, as we followed the directional arrows, we got lost! Somebody changed the location of the directional signs which we found out later from the people within the barangay.
We ordered food to eat for our late lunch. It took some time before the food was ready but I did not bother me at all as I was busy uploading my pictures to one of my blog posts. The Internet was fast that I was able to upload a lot of pictures needed to be shown to my readers. The food consisted of Sinigang Na Bangus, Deep-Fried Na Liempo, Calamares and Chopseuy. The food was nice and I took time to eat almost everything. I was satisfied with the performance of their Wi-Fi connection. `After almost 2 hours of pit stop at the said resort, we were back to National Highway and started where I left.
Soon enough, I was already crossing the boundary of Pangasinan and Tarlac and I had my picture taken from the billboard of the Governor of Pangasinan, Hon Amado Espino Jr, who is also a Cavalier, Graduate of PMA Class of 1972. Governor Espino and Bani Mayor Navarro are both classmates and members of PMA Class of 1972. We belong to the same Company in the Academy, the “Charlie” Company! Actually, I am close with these two gentlemen! If they knew I was having my running adventure in their place, I am sure my running schedule will be put into a lot of adjustments and the Provincial PNP elements would escort me along the road with the proper local media coverage. I really don’t want that to happen. I did not want so much attention along the road.
San Clemente is the first town of Tarlac and the Poblacion’s commercial district is not impressive. It was already dark but I made up my mind to complete my run up to Camiling, Tarlac where I could see on my way to Bolinao that the place had improved tremendously and progressively for the past years. They have Jollibee & Chowking, signs that the place is economically progressive and stable. I tried to use my handheld Mini-Mag Light to light up my way but after a few minutes, the light simply died down. Since it was night time and I still have 5 kilometers to go, I asked my support vehicle to “shadow” me so that I can use the light coming from the vehicle’s headlamps. As the traffic is so light between San Clemente and Camiling, nobody from the vehicles behind us complained. Cool! The strong illumination created by my support vehicle made me run faster and consistently counted my strides by sets of 90.
As soon as I reached the Km Post at the Poblacion of Camiling, I had my usual last photo-ops for the day. Next thing to do was to proceed to Jollibee for my dinner. After a quick dinner, I ended sleeping in one of the clean and cheap rooms of the United Royal Hotel, located 500 meters from the last Kilometer Post of the day. Unfortunately, the place does not have a Wi-Fi connection but the signal from my Smart Bro started to become faster in its connection to the Internet. I went to bed at 10:45 PM for my 8-9 hours of rest/sleep overnight!
Other data/information for the day:
Weather: Very hot with Strong Headwinds from Bugallon, Pangasinan to Camiling, Tarlac
Distance: 45 Kilometers
Time: 8 Hours (Actual Time of Running)
Average Pace: 5-6 KPH
Running Apparel: NIKE Livestrong Shirt; NIKE Running Shorts; Adidas Running Cap; Bandana; DryMax Socks; Sunglasses by Ray-Ban & Oakley; Arm Sleeves
Running Shoe: ASICS Gel-LyteRacer
ACRO Accommodation—P 450.00
Dinner @ Carinderia—P 150.00 (For 2 persons)
Dandan’s Resort Late Lunch—P 700.00
Jollibee Dinner @ Camiling—P 350.00
Total Expenses For The Day—P 1,780.00
Total Distance Covered: 130 Kilometers (3 Days)
To be continued…