2nd Mt Pinatubo 50K Trail Challenge

Note: The pictures above were taken last July 31, 2010 during the Birthday Run of July Oconer to Mount Pinatubo.

Rules and Regulations: 2nd Mt Pinatubo 50K Trail Challenge

  1. The race starts at 5:00 AM of September 4, 2011 (Sunday) at the vicinity of the Barangay Hall of Sta. Juliana, Capas, Tarlac.
  2. This race is a solo run and the distance is 50 kilometers. The distance from the Starting Line to the Mt Pinatubo Crater Lake (turn-around) is 25 kilometers. From the turn-around point, the runner has to go back to the Starting Line which will serve also as the Finish Line. Pacers are not allowed.
  3. The cut-off time for the race is twelve (12) hours. Runners must be able to reach the turn-around point in 5:30 hours. Runners who will reach the turn-around point in more than 5:30 hours will be advised to ride on the available 4X4 vehicle in going back to the Starting Line. Such runners will be declared as DNF.
  4. Each runner must be able to have their respective hydration system/belt. The runner’s hydration system must be able to carry liquid/water needed to cover a distance of at least 15 kilometers. There will be Aid Station at Km#8-9 & Km#16-17 and these same Aid Stations will serve as Stations at Km# 33-34 and Km # 42-43 (on the way back). These Aid Stations will be 4X4 vehicles manned by Race Marshals. Be sure to carry some food for you to eat at the Crater/turn-around point (Km #25). The park at the Crater has faucets where you can fill water for your hydration system.
  5. The Aid Stations will have water, cola drinks and limited food supply. The foods served will be chocolate bites, salted biscuits, boiled eggs, and boiled bananas.
  6. Runners are encouraged to prepare their own “drop bags” which will be carried/transported by the 4X4 Vehicle-Aid Stations. Drop Bags should be properly marked with the runner’s name, race number, and Aid Station Number/Km Point where it will be available.
  7. Runner has the option to provide his/her own support vehicle from the 4X4 vehicles for rent available through the Barangay Officials at the Barangay Hall of Sta Juliana. The rent/cost of one vehicle is P 2,500.00 (last year’s price). The fee for a guide is P 500.00 (optional for the runner to get one). However, such individual support vehicle should not “shadow” the runner. It is advisable that support vehicles must “leap-frog” from the runner.
  8. The exact turn-around point is at the edge of the Crater Lake. Runners should go down the stairs as each runner must be able to register to the marshal-recorder upon his/her arrival thereat. Runners shall be properly “marked” at the turn-around point by the Race Marshal thereat.
  9. Runners are advised not to ride on their respective support vehicle even for a short distance or while crossing the river. Riding on the vehicle is tantamount to “cheating” during the race.
  10. Since most of the route towards the Mt Pinatubo has no established or designated trail or path due to changing landscape as a result water & earth movements, the runner can improvise or have his/her own personal choice in establishing his/her direction towards the crater. The rule of thumb for the direction towards the crater is ALWAYS STAY ON THE LEFT PART OF THE EXPOSED AREA going southerly direction.
  11. It is advisable to run with somebody or with a group with the same pace. If not, each runner must be able to have a sight on the runner in front and runner at his back.
  12. This is a trail run which is considered as a RACE. However, it is advisable to help each other on matters of emergency and occurrence of accidents along the route. Any casualty or runner who needs medical attention should be brought to the nearest Aid Station.
  13. Each runner must carry with them basic First Aid Kit. This is a MUST and it is a ground for Disqualification if a runner is without this basic requirement. The First Aid Kit should consist enough cotton, sanitary gauze, medical adhesive tape, betadyne/iodine, and anti-biotic ointment.
  14. Runners must be extra careful in stepping those big rocks along the route. Most of the rocks are slippery and some are not stable. It is safer to walk rather than run on these rocks. Always think safety when you encounter rocks along the way.
  15. There will be a lot of river crossing. Find time to be deliberate in crossing such flowing rivers, most especially where there are a lot of rocks. There are some places where the current of the river are strong, take time in establishing a firm and balance footing as you cross such rivers.
  16. Basically, you will have damp/wet running shoes throughout the run. It is advisable for each runner to apply petroleum jelly to their feet before the run to prevent blisters.
  17. Walking sticks or Trekking Poles are allowed on this run.
  18. At the Crater Lake, if you are not a swimmer, please do not attempt to swim at the lake. We don’t have any Lifeguards for this race.
  19. If in case there will be typhoon or continuous raining on race day, the event will be cancelled and it will be postponed to a later date when weather is favorable for the safety of the participants. Please check on the recent race updates on the Event Page on my Wall at Facebook.
  20. Top 3 Overall and Ladies will receive trophies. Every Finisher will receive Individual PAU’s Finisher’s Medal; Finisher’s T-Shirt; and a Certificate of Achievement (to be given later). This trail run is included in the Ranking of PAU Runners for the Year.
  21. Parking Areas will be available on one side of the Road at Barangay Sta Juliana and at the area near the banks of the river (500 meters from the Barangay Hall). Barangay Tanods will serve as the security/”look-out” to your parked vehicles. Be prepared to pay P 50.00 as Parking Fee for each vehicle to the Barangay Tanods.
  22. The RD and Race Marshals will be conducting random checks on each runner’s hydration system and the mandatory First Aid Kit along the route. It is mandatory for each runner to show their First Aid Kit as he/she checks-in at the Starting Area.
  23. Lastly, please maintain the Integrity of this Race.
  24. For those who paid/deposited their registration fee at LANDBANK, please bring your deposit slip/receipt at the Starting Line for verification.
  25. No bandits to be allowed on this event. Insisting to be a Bandit? Go ahead, make our day!!!

Good luck and Have FUN!!!!

Mt Pinatubo 50K Trail Challenge Elevation Profile (Courtesy of Mark Hernandez)

Finding My MAX HR

Last Friday, I started my anaerobic training after more than 3 months of my MAF training. The purpose of the anaerobic training/speed running workout was to find out my Maximum Heart Rate (Max HR). This activity was done at the ULTRA Oval Track on the early evening of Friday.

After 4 laps of brisk walking, I did five (5) repetitons of 800-meter run or Yasso 800 where I averaged 3:54 minutes. Each repetition was followed with one lap of slow jog. My Average HR for the workout was 168 beats per minute with a MAX HR registered at 178 beats per minute. After the Yasso 800 workout, I did 4 laps of brisk walking as my cool-down workout until my HR registered to 112 beats per minute.

As suggested by Dr Maffetone, there are two ways to find out one’s MAX HR. One is to run at one’s best effort within 3-4 minutes and record one’s highest HR. The other one is to use the suggested formula—208 minus the result of one’s Age multiplied by 0.7.

Based from my first anaerobic workout, I registered a Max HR of 178 beats per minute while my supposed to be Max HR by following the suggested formula is approximately 167 bpm. There is a difference of 11 beats per minute. I hope I’ll be able to adjust my desired Max HR as I do more of my anaerobic workouts.

What was notably good after my first anaerobic workout was that I did not feel any soreness or pain on my legs despite my practice of not doing any stretching or speed drills before my Yasso 800 repeats! I simply do my 10-minute squats after my workout. The 2nd advantage of such workout is that it was quick and short. After 1 1/2 hours, I was out of the ULTRA Oval Track.

There is a need of more anaerobic workouts to really find out my Max HR. One way to do this is to join a 10K run this morning! To prepare for the 10K run, I completely rested the whole day of Saturday.

I joined the Run Doctor Run 10K which was organized by my good friend Eric Pasion of Run For Change. It was a simple race which was held inside the Dasmarinas Village. The last time that I went inside this place was in the mid-90s when I was still active in cycling. The streets are wide and there is no traffic plus they are shaded with tall trees on both sides.

Hanging Out With BDM "Veterans" Mark & Bea Before The Start of the Race

The race started at 6:30 AM with the 10K run being released ahead of the shorter races. I started a very conservative pace of 5:45+ minutes per kilometer making sure that my HR will steadily and gradually increase. It started at 121 bpm until it reached at 160 bpm after running for 3 kilometers. I started to increase my pace for the next 3 kilometers where my Max HR registered at 178 bpm. At the 7th Kilometer, my HR went down to 170 until it peaked again to 175-177 from Kilometer 8 all the way to the Finish Line.

Look Who's Smiling At My Back (Thanks, Jonel for the Accommodation!)

All the amenities you need in a road race were all there. Eric has already perfected the conduct of a road racing event. Everything was perfect, to include the weather!

I finished the race in 55:27 minutes with an average pace of 5:39 mins per kilometer. My HR Monitor registered an average HR of 168 bpm and a Max HR of 178 bpm which is consistent to what I’ve recorded on my first anaerobic workout last Friday at the Oval Track. It seems that I am starting all over again and trying to regain my speed through more aerobic workouts/LSD runs.

Smiling As I Crossed The Finish Line

I know it will take weeks and months and even years for me to improve my performance using the HR monitor as a form of biofeedback on the intensity of my training and running workouts. I am no longer young to do all those high mileage of training but I am still guided with the basic principles of training for endurance sports—consistency, specificity of training, rest & recovery, and extended goals. My primary goal now is to prevent myself from being injured and have fun in all my running adventures.

Finally, I am back to my regular training!

Thanks to John Avellanosa for the pictures and Jonel of FrontRUNNER Magazine & Eric Pasion for the accommodation.

MAF Test

It was hard for me to adjust to the Maffetone Training by following 180 Formula during the 1st week of my training. I had mentioned in my previous posts that I “cheated” on strictly following the 180 Formula where my Maximum Aerobic Function’s (MAF) Heart Rate shoud be 121 beats per minute. I started with 142-145 beats per minute for the first 2-3 days until I was able to adjust to 138 beats per minute. After a few days, I was comfortably running, slow jogging and walking at 132 beats per minute.

After another 2-3 days, I was able to bring down my maximum aerobic heart rate to 121 beats per minute. After 3 weeks of running and walking within my MAF of 121 beats per minute based from my 180 Formula, I did my first MAF Test. As suggested by Dr. Phil Maffetone, a runner must first warm-up by gradually increasing the heart rate from a resting rate to a range of maximum aerobic rate, from the lowest range of 111 beats per minute to my maximum rate of 121 beats per minute. Warm-up is being done by slow walking up to brisk walking for almost 15-16 minutes which is equivalent to 4 laps at the oval track. It is notable in my running workouts that I don’t perform any stretching exercises before and after my runs. However, a 10-minute squat after my running workout had been a “must” and later became a habit.

Once my max aerobic rate range of 111-121 bpm is reached, I start jogging/running and complete 4 laps on the oval track  which is equivalent to one mile. The time is recorded and written on a paper. After a short recovery by walking of at least 30 seconds, I do my second set of one mile run until I complete five repetitions of one mile run. The time of each mile repetition is being recorded. After the 5th mile, I have to cool-down by walking another 4 laps until my heart beat rate would gradually go down to the rate that was registered before I started my workout. After 3-4 weeks, another MAF Test has to be done.

So far, I just completed my 3rd MAF Test last week. The results are shown in a tabulation below:

16:50 16:27 16:10
17:32 17:18 16:56
18:10 17:41 17:27
18:55 18:39 17:35
19:28 19:08 17:52

The tabulation would show that I am gaining my “aerobic speed” which means that I am getting faster with a constant HR of 121 beats per minute. When I started to strictly follow the 180 Formula, the distance (as registered by GF 305) I could cover for a hour was 5.6 kilometers. After one week of max HR of 121 bpm, I could cover 5.66 kilometers per hour. After 3 months of 180 Formula/MAF training, my distance covered for one hour is 5.88 kilometers per hour!

Sometimes I vary my method of determining my improvement. I would run/jog for a distance of 8 kilometers (5 miles) continouosly at the oval track by maintaining an average HR of 119-121 beats per minute and try to record the time elapsed to cover the distance. On my first try, I registered a time of 1:31:20 hours. After a few days, I registered a time of 1:30:04 hours. At present, I was able to register my fastest time in 1:25:48 hours for the said distance.

My typical weekly workout would consist of “doubles” during the day—1.5 hours in the morning and another 1.5 hours in the late afternoon. Such workout would include 15 minutes of warm-up, 15 minutes of cool-down, and running for one hour at an average HR of 121 bpm. On the next day, I do 2.5 hours with 2 hours of actual running and the rest for my warm-up and cool down. I do this kind of workout in the morning only which is also considered as my “heat training” under the sun as I start my workout at 8:00 or 9:00 AM. On the next day, I go back to my daily “doubles”. And the cycle continues throughout the week. My long runs during weekends would last up to 3 hours of running & walking, making sure that my average HR would not be more than 121 bpm. The last MILO Elimination Run was my longest LSD for almost 6 hours, covering a distance of 32 kilometers.

It is very evident that I measure my running workouts by the TIME that my feet are on the ground! The distance covered during these timed workouts is just a data that provides a good feedback and evaluation of my improvement in this kind of training. At least, the minimum of hours per week in my training is 12 hours.

It is worthy to note that within this 3-month of strictly following the max aerobic HR of 121 bpm, I was able to try and complete my “Two-Week Test” to determine my carbohydrate intolerance, a situation when the body has more carbohydrates stored in the body system. This “Test” greatly improved my resting HR, lowering and sustaining my MAF’s max aerobic HR to 121 bpm during my workouts, reduced my weight to 135 pounds, and no longer have sleepy feeling after lunch or after a heavy meal. The best result is that I can control my urge to eat foods rich in carbohydrates.

I hope there would be good results in my endurance capabilities as soon I start my anaerobic/speed training in the weeks to come.

“Taklang Damulag(s)”

(Warning: This is an offensive post to those who are concerned. Please don’t proceed if you feel you are one of the persons being described here)

This is a Race Director’s Report on the past three (3) running events that the PAU and Bald Runner’s Events had organized and directed. These road races consist of the following: PAU’s Fort Magsaysay 60K Run; 1st Bald Runner’s Barefoot Run; and the newly-concluded PAU’s Western Pangasinan 65K Run.

Taklang Damulag is a word from the local dialect of the people from the province of Pampanga. It is a Kapampangan word which means literally as a water buffalo crap or shit or bowel. If used figuratively, it means a person who is a pretender, a “bullshitter”, or somebody who tells stories that are exaggerated, or simply a “liar”. In this post, it would mean as somebody who is not honest or one who does not have a “word of honor”.

In the past, I have conveniently announced the schedule of our PAU Races and other BR’s Events through the Facebook as most of the runners had been accepted as my “friends”. It is very easy to create an Event Page on my Wall and it is from there that I receive persons and names of applicants for each of the event I have posted. I usually announce the limited slots for each event as we want a simple and personalized attention to each of the runners.

On the other hand, it is very easy also for the runners to reserve slot for them and for their friends. Comments are easily posted under each Event Page where most of them are requests and intentions of joining the event. From these comments and a click on the Box “Attend”, it is assumed that the person is ready and well-trained to join the event.

From the number of participants listed on each event, we prepare for the number of medals/trophies and Finisher’s Shirts. This is done by ordering them from our “suppliers and manufacturers” and we pay them in cash using our own money as most of our registrations are accepted through bank deposits and “onsite registration”.

The last 3 Road Races had been very “painful” to us in terms of logistics and financial matters. Each runner knows for a fact that our running events are not being backed up by any corporate sponsor. We simply want to spread the love to running and promote the sports of ultra marathon, whether in road and/or in trails, and this had been our advocacy since we started organizing and directing running events. Our efforts are not geared to earn money but simply, to sustain our efforts in our passion to let every runner “test their personal limits of endurance”.

In the PAU’s Fort Magsaysay 60K Run, 230 runners signified their intention to join the said event and we prepared the logistics (shirts and medals) good for the said number of applicants. On Race Day, only 116 runners joined the race. We smiled and did not complain. In the 1st BR’s Barefoot Run, another 220 runners signified to join the 3.2K Barefoot Run but only 89 runners joined the event. This was not a painful one in terms of finances as we asked P 50.00 as a registration fee, enough to pay for the order of Race Bibs. In the newly-concluded PAU’s Western Pangasinan 65K (“COCOS to SUAL”) Run, 147 runners signified their intention to join but only 76 runners finally showed up at the starting area. We have lots of ordered extra medals and shirts which we have decided as part of our losses. It’s a “strike 3” for us and we could no longer smile and keep our silence.

The financial portion hurts but the “passion” for our love to promote ultra marathon will be sustained. This the gravest ” negative stressor” that I experienced for the past weeks and for me to get a relief from it, I have to express this concern to my readers.

The numbers and data would show that one-half of the applicants for reservation of slots in our PAU Races and BR’s Events are “bullshitters or taklang damulags”.

We have a master list of the names of applicants of each of the events listed above and we have determined already the list of the so-called “Taklang Damulags” in PAU Races and BR’s Events.

From this trend, we are getting “wiser but mean” to all the applicants in our future races. We only prepare one-half of the number of applicants as posted in our Events Page in terms of their simple “loot & evidence” given after the race. If Finishers would exceed more than the logistics we have prepared for the event, then we could always re-order the items from our “suppliers and manufacturers” and award them to you as fast as possible. We have also decided NOT to accept On Site registration to some of our races.

This post is not complete if I don’t try to make an attempt to analyze this trend among the runner-applicants at Facebook.

Why do runners apply for a running event on Facebook and then later, don’t join the event?

Is it impulsively done without thinking one’s schedule in the future days, weeks and months to come?

Does a runner want to impress or “brag” to his friends that he is joining an ultra marathon event organized by the PAU?

Do you want to “brag” to the whole world that you will be a future Ultra marathon runner?

Does a runner want to join the list of Pinoy Ultra Marathon Group at Facebook?

Does a runner want to be a part in the history of running in the country by listing his name as one of the applicants?

There are so many questions to answer as there are so many “reasons” why a runner would include his name in the list where he/she is not fully committed to join the event. It baffles my mind. Maybe, this is a sign of immaturity or recklessness of runners. It could be that “bragging” is the “new” past time or hobby on Facebook.  Joining these events is not a joke but it should be treated with serious thoughts and actions. In the same manner that running is NOT a joke, too! Moreso, in ultra marathon running events! If you want to “brag” on Facebook, do it after you have finished the event! You can post your pictures, excitement, medal, trophy, and “loot” to your heart’s content after the event.

I really appreciate those runners who would go out their way to send me SMS or send e-mail to me telling their inability to join the race few days before the race. However, I could only count 3-5 people who have done this effort to inform me. Most of the bulk of the “absentees” could not even have the decency to send me a message on my Wall at FB to explain their side on their inability to join the race after the event.

For those who have consistently supported our races, thank you very much! Most of you are getting stronger, faster and “smarter” ultra runners and I hope you will be able to improve some more and expose yourselves to international ultra running events. Whether you are preparing for the BDM Races and for the 1st 100-Mile Trail Endurance Run, the future PAU events will be nice training grounds for your fitness evaluation, race strategy, hydration and nutrition, and the efficiency of your support system. Be consistent on your training be able to listen to your body.

Our scheduled events will still be posted at Facebook and please refrain from making impulsive decisions by “clicking” the “Attending” button. However, we will not be serious in considering you if your name is listed in the “Taklang Damulags” list. You have to personally convince us that you are matured enough and fitted to be as an ultra marathon runner.

See you on the next PAU Race!

Result: Western Pangasinan 65K Run

COCOS Beach Resort, Barangay Ilog-Malino, Bolinao to Poblacion, Sual, Pangasinan/5:00 AM August 20, 2011

Rank Name Time
1 Dick Balaba 6:33:21
2 Junrox Roque 7:16:45
3 Alfred DeLos Reyes 7:29:17
4 Salvador Castilla, Jr 7:47:05
5 Jerome Bautista 7:55:36
6 Raffy Gabotero 8:05:34
7 Sandy Alentajan 8:06:11
8 Keshia Fule (F) 8:06:42
9 Ariel Briones 8:14:54
10 Simon Pavel Miranda 8:21:11
11 Junn Besana 8:27:15
12 Roberto DeLos Santos 8:37:24
13 Graciano Santos 8:59:18
14 Fernando Cabanero 9:04:57
15 Jonel Mendoza 9:05:11
16 Jose Lorenzo Mina 9:05:21
17 Ronnel Go 9:07:22
18 Jeff Amurao 9:23:08
19 Kokoy Delmo 9:26:45
20 Allan Martos 9:27:26
21 Carl Balagot 9:36:58
22 Allen Gaspar 9:41:04
23 David Buban 9:41:40
24 Camilo Paran, Jr 9:45:29
25 Elmar Tolete 9:47:37
26 Jael Wenceslao 9:52:18
27 Ronald Yllana 9:53:04
28 Emil Perez 9:56:44
29 Julius Cervantes 9:58:09
30 George Dolores 9:59:23
31 Carlos Ocampo 9:59:52
32 Michael Angelo Fabian 10:00:00
33 Bong Bernadez 10:00:25
34 Berns Ong (F) 10:00:25
35 Herito Briones 10:03:22
36 Jag Irasga 10:12:20
37 Alex Jones 10:15:33
38 Cesar Aquino 10:15:55
39 Junar Layug 10:15:56
40 Rodel Montejo 10:19:41
41 Vanz Camanong 10:22:52
42 Ferdie Cabiling 10:23:45
43 Meljohn Tezon 10:28:04
44 Michael Santos 10:31:36
45 Cris De La Cruz 10:32:24
46 Ricardo Cabusao 10:32:43
47 Irene Ong (F) 10:34:51
48 Marvin Pangan 10:43:16
49 Louie Cochanco 10:48:25
50 Arman Garcia 10:49:27
51 Bong Alindada 10:54:55
52 Art Virata 10:50:30
53 Jake Victorio 11:11:22
54 Jojo Paguia 11:11:32
55 Brian Tan Seng 11:15:08
56 Nelson Mallillin 11:16:48
57 Prince Baltazar 11:30:31
58 Arrienne Ortega (F) 11:35:16
59 Ryan Albert Moral 11:37:14
60 Erwin Ordonez 11:38:41
61 Joey Mendoza 11:41:16
62 Carmeli Anne Ortega 11:46:36
63 Noel Senorin 11:49:32
64 Jing Guerrero (F) 11:52:05
65 Jeje Ajusto 11:52:08
66 Wesley Orana 11:52:50
67 Ian Dizon (F) 11:56:08
68 Jerome Jamili 11:58:04
69 Lawrence Arvin Tomas 11:58:50
70 Jimmy Ong 12:06:45
71 Eric Caramay 12:06:46
72 Ellen Abigail Castillo 12:33:30


Stress is defined by the Webster Online Dictionary as “a physical, chemical, or emotional factor that causes bodily or mental tension and maybe a factor in disease causation; a state resulting from a stress; especially: one of bodily or mental tension resulting from factors that tend to alter an existing equilibrium”. This definition is based from its use in the medical field as there are more definitions of the word as applied in other fields of endeavor. For the sake of this post, the stress I am describing is all about its application to the medical field as it is related to the human body.

One of the reasons why we should run or involve ourselves in any physical activity or exercise is to be able to relieve the stress brought about our daily lives or lifestyle. This means that the stress we are trying to relieve from our body system is something bad or not beneficial to our health and sound body.

On the other hand, we need stress or extra effort to our body system in order to be a better person or athlete or gain positive results in our improvement to a certain field of sports or physical activity. For example, if we want to have bigger muscles and well-toned body, we have to put some “stress” to our muscles by carrying heavy weights or lifting light weights in lots of sets or repetitions. If we want to be a faster sprinter or enduring long distance runner, we have to put more “stress” to our body by doing fast interval repetitions or tempo runs or LSDs so that our muscles, bones, and other body organs are conditioned to react if needed during races and other forms of competitions. In simple terms, this kind of stress is good for the body.

As for the stress we are trying to relieve from our body system through running, walking, cycling, swimming, and other forms of sports and physical activities, this kind of stress are the bad ones which should be removed immediately from our body system. If not, this kind of bad stress will greatly affect the proper functioning of our body organs and worst is that, it would ultimately cause our untimely death!

There had been so many surveys and scientific studies that show that the main cause of death of mankind in our present generation is STRESS. But such stress is the bad one!

For a person to have a positive attitude in life, he should be able to eliminate stress and have a healthy life. As for an athlete, whether you are an elite or average sports person, if he/she wants to improve and develop his/her potentials in a given or selected sports discipline, he/she should be able to eliminate stress in his body system. It is simply termed as “stress management”.

How do we manage stress? I mean, the “BAD” stress?

Following the suggested technique of Dr Phil Maffetone in managing bad stress to the body system, first, you should be able to identify and make a list of your “stressors” on a piece of paper and you can take your time in making such list. Maybe, thinking and writing such list within a period of 3-4 days or one week would be an ample time for you to have a complete/comprehensive one. From the master list of stressors, you may now categorize/classify them into two—stressors which you don’t have any control and stressors which you can have control.

Examples for stressors which you don’t have any control—traffic, weather, rains, flooding, criminality, terrorism, air quality and pollution, pressures related to work, paying of taxes, politics, national economy, family, accidents, deaths, and others!

Examples of stressors which you can have control—news, TV series/shows, debts, social activities, pressure/s from friends, extra-curricular activities not related to your sports or physical activity, eating foods high in sugar and carbohydrates, living beyond your means (shopping using your credit cards), higher bills (electricity, Internet access, telephone, water and other utilities), higher
costs of registration fees of road races & high costs of “bragging rights”, reacting to unruly drivers on the road, listening and reacting to “gossips”/blind items and other things.

Depending on your kind of work or profession, you have a better appreciation on your stressors, controllable or not. Make a honest list of your stressors and you’ll be surprised on how easily you’ll be able to find solution on how to eliminate such stressors.

You can’t do anything to stressors that you don’t have any control. Forget most of them and simply focus to your work which is the source of your income and livelihood. Your responsibility to your family is foremost and that’s the reason why you are working to have an income. If you have work-related stressors, then make another list of controllable and non-controllable ones, and start from there! Pay your taxes and live a simple life.

You will be surprised that if you are matured enough and have a good judgement on things that are happening around you, those stressors which you can have control can be easily eliminated by following the best option—IGNORE or say “NO”! On financial matters, it means, “cost-cutting” and simply living within your means!

For the past six weeks, I ignored reading the news, no watching of the TV, no shopping, refused invitations for running lectures, easily driving my car at 45KPH on the main streets (EDSA, The Fort, Buendia, Roxas, MOA vicinity, and others), listening to classical music and old songs (Beatles, Queen, Spiral Staircase, Montovani/Beethoven/Peter Nero/James Last, and Eagles but sometimes listening to Lady Gaga and Bruno Mars would be nice “extra” tunes to hear!), no blowing of horns, staying in one lane on busy roads and never competing for space/lane with taxis, trucks, and jeepneys, never “pissed off” by tricycles on the main
highway, no coffees and sodas to “spike” my calorie and carbo intake, simply no pressure on things that I do, just listen to “bad” news that happened to friends and relatives, no more “hot temper” moods but more on smiles and positive reaction on things…and regularly updating my status at Facebook!

Well, this is the life of a retiree and a long distance runner! As a Race Organizer and Director, I have also “stressors” but I will make a separate post on this matter on my Race Director’s Reports. (Note: Forget thinking of being a triathlete and finish an IRONMAN at the age of 60—that’s a lot of (bad) stress! Hopefully, I will be able to publish a separate post on this topic)

In summary, everybody can manage stress in their life. The lesser number of (bad) stressors, the better for you to develop your potentials in endurance sports or in any physical activity which will lead you to a better and healthier life.  Manage your stress for a sound body and a sound mind!


I’ve read somewhere in history books that the Spaniards that discovered the Philippines were able to describe in their accounts that the warrior-natives in those islands where they first landed were full of “black paint patterns” on their skin. This could be the first discovery of tattoos being adorned to the bodies of human and I believe that long before our country was discovered, our forefathers were already experts on this body art. If fully researched, Philippines could be the birthplace of the art of tattoo!

Fast forward. I was amazed seeing my BDM “veterans” and PAU runners (you know who you are!) to be sporting colorful tattoos on their bodies and I immediately liked the idea of having one and be able to experience what is like to be “body painted” with a needle.

It took me months to think on the “concept” of what to choose that would describe me as a person. I thought that there must a “story” that signifies whatever thing that I would like to be “inked” on my body. A simple one that describes everything about me!

A “Silver Two-Star” Rank Insignia of a Major General in the Army would be the best choice that signifies a lot of stories, memories, challenges and other facets in my life in the military service. I have yet to start writing my book about my life in the military.

Major General Rank Insignia

Aside from the significance of my last rank insignia before I retired from the military, the two stars on each on my shoulder will always remind me to start writing my book!

The implimentation of the plan started during my stay in Los Angeles and there was this famous Tattoo Shop near the neighborhood but it did not materialize.

El Clasico @ Echo Park, Los Angeles

After a month of stay back in the country, I finally decided to look for the shop of a tattoo artist at Tiendesitas which was highly recommended by one of my ultra runner friends. And last Sunday evening, I was “inked” for almost one hour!

"Silver Two-Star" Tattoo!!!

Now, I have all the reasons to wear my “muscle shirts” and singlets during my running workouts and races!

"Where are my "muscle shirts"???

And here is the “best tattoo artist” whom I highly recommend! You can get in touch with him here and here.

BR with Franklin Ibanez, Jr of Immortal Tattoo Shop

Getting a tattoo at the age of 59? It’s fun and a lifetime experience! Thanks to the people who pushed and influenced me to do this and to Frank Ibanez, Jr, the artist.

I am already thinking on my next “concept”!!!

Sixty-Peso Meal

Nobody could beat this meal in terms of its price and substance. I discovered this meal while following the “Two-Week Test” by Dr Phil Maffetone somewhere in Metro Manila. Of course, I did not eat the rice and gave it to my staff. The meal consists of fish fillet with salted soy beans and egg omelette. My drinks was plain water.

This was my lunch! If converted to US Dollars, it is worth $ 1.40!

Sixty-Peso Meal ($ 1.40 Meal)

“COCOS To Sual” 65K Run

1. The planning of this PAU Road Race started when I stayed at the COCOS Beach Resort for a night before I started my “West To East” Adventure Run last middle of March of this year. This was the place where I started my run. I was able to meet Mang Ador as the Manager/Caretaker of this facility and I featured a post about our conversation which transpired when I checked-in for the night.

2. After four months, I returned to the place to coordinate with the conduct of this race. The COCOS Beach Resort is the official starting area of the race and the whole place was arranged to be “blocked off” and to be used exclusively for the participants/runners and their support crew on Friday, August 19, 2011. The resort is located in Barangay Ilog-Malino, Bolinao, Pangasinan. For reservations and inquiries on pricing/rates of rooms & cottages, please contact Mang Ador or Ms. Sid Tombaga at Cellphone Number 0919-691-4206. For those who choose to bring their camping tents, a fee of P 200.00 per person will be charged.

BR & Mang Ador (68-year old Resort Manager/Caretaker)

3. For those who opted to register on site, please arrive at the place before 4:00 AM of Saturday (Race Day), August 20, 2011 and please look for me or my staff. Team Bald Runner will be in the starting area in the afternoon of Friday.

4. The road race will start at exactly 5:00 AM of Saturday, August 20 with a cut-off time of 12 hours.

Starting Area Inside The COCOS Beach Resort

5. Participants are advised to have their respective support vehicle. If you don’t have any support vehicle, make sure to carry with you a hydration system and some cash to use to buy for your hydration and food needs as there are lots of sari-sari stores along the route. Runners coming from Metro Manila without support vehicle can take the 5 Star Bus to Bolinao, Pangasinan. Buses leave their Manila terminal/station for Bolinao every 30 minutes.

6. For a brief description of the race route, you can refer back to my posts on the month of March of this year when I ran the “Wset To East” Adventure Run. The first 20K will be a slight uphill up to the boundary of Bolinao and Bani. There is a zigzag downhill part between the boundary of Bolinao & Bani and runners are advised to take it easy on their downhill run as they might “burn” their quadriceps muscles early in the race. Bani to Alaminos will be relatively flat but the heat of the sun will be the main problem for the runners. Runners are advised to hydrate themselves regularly on this part of the course. The approach to the Poblacion of Alamaninos will be slight uphill but after the poblacion, everything will be flat. The last 5-6K of the course, as the runners approach the Municipality of Sual, will be a continouos uphill climb with the last one kilometer to the Finish Line will be a fast downhill one. Finish Line will be located infront of Sual’s Sports and Civic Center Building.

Finish Area: Infront of Sual's Sports & Civic Center Building

7. Pacers will not be allowed during the race. There will be checkpoints along the course and runners would make sure that their Race Bibs will be “punched” by the attending marshall in each checkpoint. Of course, “bandits” will not be allowed to run.

8. For a slight change from our previous PAU Races, we will be giving a different kind of Finisher’s Shirt (“muscle shirt”) to all the Finishers which they can use in their running workouts. We have changed to a better name for the road race as depicted on the said Finisher’s Shirt. I guess, each ultra runner must have a piece of this stuff!

Our "New" PAU Finisher's Shirt For The Event

9. For the Podium Finishers ( Top 3 Overall & Top 3 Ladies), they will receive a mini-replica trophy of the following picture:

The Famous Bolinao Lighthouse Replica @ The Highway Boundary

Good luck to all the runners. See you at the starting area on Friday or Saturday early morning.

180 Formula

Click on the link below on the article by Dr Phil Maffetone on his Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) which is a detailed explanation on his training philosophy following one’s Heart Rate and the use of a Heart Rate Monitor.


Lately, one of my “friends” from Facebook who had been a triathlete for 17 years had called my attention when he read one of my posts that I am presently training using the Heart Rate Monitor. After his retirement from triathlon, he is pursuing his first ultra marathon run this coming December as he thinks that ultra running is “deeper” and more challenging than his past triathlon feats. I am sure this guy is a “purist” IRONMAN and one of the bests in the 90s or in his younger years. He even predicted that if I continued my plans to get into triathlon in the mid-80s, I could be a sure podium winner in my age category. (Note: I could be fighting it out with my brother Retired General Samuel and Retired Colonel Brigilio Balaba of the Philippine Constabulary for the top honors for our age group).

In one of his e-mails, he shared to me the following updated version of the MAF’s 180 Formula.

Here is the formula:

1. Take 180

2. Subtract your age

3. Take this number and correct it by the following:

-If you do not workout, subtract another 5 beats.

-If you workout only 1-2 days a week, only subtract 2 or 3 beats.

-If you workout 3-4 times a week keep the number where it is.

-If you workout 5-6 times a week keep the number where it is.

-If you workout 7 or more times a week and have done so for over a year, add 5 beats to the number.

-If you are over about 55 years old or younger than about 25 years old, add another 5 beats to whatever number you now have.

-If you are about 60 years old or older OR if you are about 20 years old or younger, add an additional 5 beats to the corrected number you now  have.

You now have your maximum aerobic heart rate, which again is the maximum heart rate that you can workout at and still burn  mostly fat for fuel. Now go out and do ALL of your cardiovascular  training at or below this heart rate and see how your pace improves.  After just a few weeks you should start to see a dramatic improvement in the speed you can go at these lower heart rates.

The details of his e-mail is properly explained in the link below:


Based from the updated version, my Maximum Aerobic Function’s Heart Rate is supposed to be 126 beats per minute (180-59 = 121 + 5 for being above 55 years old). However, since I’ve started with my first MAF Test with a Maximum Aerobic Heart Rate of 121 beats per minute, I will maintain 121 bpm as my training’s MAF heart rate.

Good luck to my ultra running “friends” and BDM “veterans” who will be competing on this weekend’s CAMSUR Cobra Ironman 70.3 Triathlon Competition. Take it “easy” on the swimming event. Make sure to get a “spot” for the KONA IRONMAN this coming October in Hawaii, USA!!! Have fun and be the best to yourself!

For those who have started to train for the 1st Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Endurance Run and for the yearly BDM Races, I highly recommend you to try the Maffetone’s Training on the use of Heart Rate Monitor/MAF Test.