9:45 AM March 18, 2011/From Camiling, Tarlac to SCTEX Entry/Exit in La Paz, Tarlac
I was able to sleep for 9 hours at the Royal Blue Hotel in Camiling, Tarlac and it was really a sound sleep. I felt energized again for the day’s run from Camiling, Tarlac up to the Kilometer Post where I could decide to stop to end the day’s run. The plan was to run leisurely without thinking of the number of kilometers that I have to finish for the day. I also started not to follow the Galloway Ratio of Run-Walk. I just simply ran an average pace of 7:30 to 8:00 minutes per kilometer and take a brief walk few meters before reaching my support vehicle. However, I maintained my ritual of walking the uphills and running through the downhills. My brief pit stops would last from 2-4 minutes and checking my blog through my laptop would last up to 15 minutes. And eating in those carinderias/road side eateries would last me for a stop/rest of 20 minutes!
After the usual “drill” upon waking up from bed, my team was ready leave the hotel for a brief breakfast at Jollibee. After breakfast, I was brought to the last kilometer post where stopped the previous night for the regular photo-ops as a part of the starting regimen of every daily run. I started my run at 9:45 AM.
It seems that Camiling, Tarlac is the “melting” pot of the western portion of Tarlac Province. Once you pass along the commercial district of the town, you could see the slow movement of vehicles due to traffic. There was a parade of vehicles advertising some sort of Hog’s Feeds and a new business establishment for farm needs and supplies. It is also the crossroad of vehicles going to the central towns of Pangasinan and the western towns, too! So, vehicles and mass transport/buses coming from Manila and from the Western & Central Pangasinan would converge in this town. Due to the heavy traffic of the main road, I had to walk for about 2 kilometers on the sidewalk trying to observe the people, the vehicles, and the environment. It is good to see 2 PNP personnel manning the crucial intersection to see to it that the traffic is done in orderly manner. All the vehicles are moving but with a crawling speed, at least, all the vehicles are moving.
After two kilometers of walking and another right turn towards Tarlac City, I started my jog as I met a lot of vehicles coming from the opposite direction. The usual ritual during the previous run was followed—drink water every 2 kilometers where my support have advanced; drink sports drinks every 1 ½ hours; and eat solid food during my longer duration of pit stops. Just like in the previous days, I see to it that I have to urinate at least every hour and observe how my body is perspiring. Since yesterday, I opted not to take any Tylenol tablets to ease the pain on my running legs.
The road from Camiling to Sta Ignacia, the next town, and towards Tarlac City is famous for those rolling and long ascending and descending slopes that I have to force myself to walk on those ascending portions and run through the descending parts. It was a repetitive process to be doing this to preserve the strength of my leg muscles. On those walking breaks on the ascending portions, I would also count my strides just to be able to have a continuous rhythm and pace throughout those inclined portion. Although I was still on the right side of the road, I would go to the shoulders when I have my walking breaks. But on those descending parts of the road, I have to continue my running on the paved portion of the road. If there is white-line paint on the edge of the road, then this is the place where I have to land my foot during running. Those white lines are surprisingly rubberized that it has some bounce on my running shoes. There were lots of ascending and descending parts of the road for today’s run.
At Barangay Nambalan in Sta Ignacia, Tarlac, in front of one of those High School compounds, I passed by a group of students who were walking towards the direction where I was going. As I passed them, I waved my hands at them and they cheered at me and they were shouting words of encouragement. After 300 meters ahead, my support vehicle was waiting for me. While the group of students were walking behind me, I stopped at the support vehicle and started to have my “ritual”—drink and sit on my stool. As I was sitting and resting, the group of students reached me and one of them said,
Student: Uncle, adda met gayam napintas a lugan mo. Apay nga agtar-taray ka? (Uncle, you have a nice car and why are you still running?)
BR: Exercise ko lang daytoy! (I am doing this as a part of my exercise)
Student: Uncle, Ban-banogem lang dayta bag-bagim! (Uncle, you are just punishing yourself!)
BR: (Silent. No words to think of)
The student is smart and he has a point! After that conversation, I was already thinking of stopping my adventure run and go home to have my rest. But as a “warrior” I don’t want to be distracted in accomplishing the mission that I have set to myself.
I resumed my run and running and walking through the ascending and descending portions of the road that leads to Tarlac City. Later, I was already entering the city limits of Tarlac. The Aquino Bridge is the target to cross and I am already within the Commercial Center of Tarlac City! But something is bothering me on my feet. It seems that my feet are burning and I could feel that they are getting hot and had expanded. With one kilometer to go before the Aquino Bridge, I decided to stop by my support vehicle and changed my socks and running shoes. I opted to use the Adidas Adizero Mana for the day but it was my first time to feel such burning sensation and expansion of my feet after running with it for about 32 kilometers. I was using my ASICS running socks which I’ve been using for my long runs but I knew it was the shoes that was causing the problem. I immediately changed my socks with the local PUMA running socks which are thicker and used the always reliable stability-cushion properties of my ASICS Gel-Kayano 14 shoes.
After changing my shoes and socks, I was back on the road, crossing the Aquino Bridge, walking along the commercial district of Tarlac City and later I was already entering the road that goes to La Paz, Tarlac and to the SCETX Entry/Exit. As I was running along the La Paz-Sta Rosa Road, I felt I was hungry and decided to stop in one of the Carinderia/Turo-Turo Eateries. I ate a big bowl of Bulalo Mami/Noodle Soup with Ice Cold Coke. The simple meal energized me and I resumed my running.
It was already getting dark and the main task at hand was to reach the SCTEX entry/exit where I’ve decided to end the day’s run. I think I walked on the last 3 kilometers because of the heavy traffic on the said road, the dark sidewalk, and most of all, those gravel filled sidewalk where the foot hurts when I step on those big and small stones!
Finally, I reached my target, SCETX! At this point, I was already thinking of ending the adventure run and head towards Metro Manila. For today’s run, I was able to cover a distance of 45 Kilometers and in a Total of 175 kilometers in 4 days. I could feel that there was some pain on the mid foot portion of my left foot and my left knee was also in pain. After changing to drier clothes, I decided to look for a place where we could sleep with a Wi-Fi connection and I was back on my mission.
After eating my dinner, checking in a cheap hotel with Wi-Fi Connection in Cabanatuan City, and taking a shower, I observed that the lower portion of my left quadriceps had swollen. I thought it was my left knee that expanded in size but as I compared it with my right leg, I could see and feel that it was my lower left portion of my quads (it connects to the knee) that have been bloated and had some pain when it is pressed by the thumb. It was my first time to experience this and I knew that I got it from those descending roads in Sta Ignacia and Tarlac City. I would say this is the description of ultra trail runners of what they call as “fried quads”. There is no panic! I told my support crew, Marlon, to put some ice in my ice bag and have it strapped on the swollen part of my quads and then to massage it lightly with Omega Pain Killer. And lastly, to remind me to take one Alaxan FR capsule before I go to sleep.
After 9-10 hours of sleep, the swollen quads had reduced its size and there was no more pain that I could feel on my quads. It’s a “Go” again for the 5th Day!
Some data/information during the day’s run:
Weather: Still hot but there are some places that were shaded with trees.
Distance: 45 Kilometers
Duration of Run: 9 Hours (due to more walking on the last 3 kilometers)
Average Pace: 5 KPH
Running Apparel: Team BR Technical Shirt; Adidas Adizero Running Shorts; ASICS Running Socks & PUMA Spots Socks; Local Buff; Headsweat Running Cap; Sunglasses by Ray-Ban & Oakley
Running Shoes: Adidas Adizero Mana (For 32 Kilometers) & ASICS Gel-Kayano 14 (For 13 Kilometers)
Total Kilometers Covered (4 Days)—175 Kilometers
Hotel Accomodation—P 750.00
Dinner (Previous Night) & Breakfast—P 700.00
Total Expenses—P 2,450.00
To be continued…