The 53 Runner’s Commandments
by Joe Kelly
1. Don’t be a whiner. Nobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.
2. Walking out the door is often the toughest part of a run.
3. Don’t make running your life. Make it part of your life.
4. During group training runs, don’t let anyone run alone.
5. Keep promises, especially ones made to yourself.
6. When doing group runs, start on time no matter who’s missing.
7. The faster you are the less you should talk about your times.
8. Keep a quarter in your pocket. One day you’ll need to call for a ride.
9. Don’t compare yourself to other runners.
10. All runners are equal, some are just faster than others.
11. Keep in mind that the later in the day it gets, the more likely it is that you won’t run.
12. For a change of pace, get driven out and then run back.
13. If it was easy, everybody would be a runner.
14. When standing in starting lines, remind yourself how fortunate you are to be there.
15. Getting out of shape is much easier than getting into shape.
16. A bad day of running still beats a good day at work.
17. Talk like a runner. “Singlets” are worn on warm days. “Tank tops” are worn to the beach.
18. Don’t talk about your running injuries. People don’t want to hear about your sore knee or black toe.
19. Don’t always run alone.
20. Don’t always run with people.
21. Approach running as if the quality of your life depended on it.
22. No matter how slow you run it is still faster than someone sitting on a couch.
23. Keep in mind that the harder you run during training, the luckier you’ll get during racing.
24. Races aren’t just for those who can run fast.
25. There are no shortcuts to running excellence.
26. The best runs sometimes come on days when you didn’t feel like running.
27. Be modest after a race, especially if you have reason to brag.
28. If you say, “Let’s run this race together,” then you must stay with that person no matter how slow.
29. Think twice before agreeing to run with someone during a race.
30. There is nothing boring about running. There are, however, boring people who run.
31. Look at hills as opportunities to pass people.
32. Distance running is like cod liver oil. At first it makes you feel awful, then it makes you feel better.
33. Never throw away the instructions to your running watch.
34. Don’t try to outrun dogs.
35. Don’t trust runners who show up at races claiming to be tired, out of share, or not feeling well.
36. Don’t wait for perfect weather. If you do, you won’t run very often.
37. When tempted to stop being a runner, make a list of the reasons you started.
38. Never run alongside very old or very young racers. They get all of the applause.
39. Without goals, training has no purpose.
40. During training runs, let the slowest runner in the group set the pace.
41. The first year in a new age group offers the best opportunity for trophies.
42. Go for broke, but be prepared to be broken.
43. Spend more time running on the roads than sitting on the couch.
44. Make progress in your training, but progress at your own rate.
45. “Winning” means different things to different people.
46. Unless you make your living as a runner, don’t take running too seriously.
47. Runners who never fail are runners who never try anything great.
48. Never tell a runner that he or she doesn’t look good in tights.
49. Never confuse the Ben-Gay tube with the toothpaste tube.
50. Never apologize for doing the best you can.
51. Preventing running injuries is easier than curing them.
52. Running is simple. Don’t make it complicated.
53. Running is always enjoyable. Sometimes, though, the joy doesn’t come until the end of the run.
Tuesday/December 9 @ Roosevelt National Park:
Time Of Start: 4:30 PM
Distance: 6.8 Miles
Time/Duration: 2:24+ Hours
Average Speed: 2.4 Miles Per Hour
Total Ascent: 1,323 Feet
Highest Elevation: 1,170 Feet
1. Started late in the afternoon and it became dark where I had to use my headlight on the 2nd half of the run. My run became slower when it was dark already.
2. It was slightly raining and I had to use my Eddie Bauer Waterproof Jacket with Hood during the duration of the run.
3. Brought two (2) bottles of 20 oz. each capacity; 4 pieces of GU Gels; 3 pieces of Power Bars; one piece of Honey Stinger Chews; Pocket Camera; iPhone; and Thermal Blanket. I purposely brought all these items in my pack to put more weight and have my body accustomed to the food/nutrition needs and required/mandatory items that I will carry with me during the race.
4. I used my INOV-8 X-Talon Trail Shoe and it was responsive on the wet condition of the trail and rocks along the route.
5. How I wished I could go higher in elevation in the mountain but due to the thick growth of grasses along the trail which need to be cleaned and cut, I decided to turn-around at 1,150 feet elevation.
6. The Eddie Bauer Jacket which I bought 5 years ago was very effective in preventing the rain from getting inside my body. However, my body sweat made the lining of the jacket to be damp and wet which made the Jacket to be heavier as I finished my run.
7. My legs and knees started to become painful as I descended on the downhill portions of the route as I went back to where I started. I have observed that my leg muscles became tighter as I went downhill but I persevered by taking shorter strides and lighter with my footing along the trail.
8. I had a “deep-tissue” massage after my dinner and the soreness and pain disappeared as I went to bed.
Rest. I am scheduled to have a 6-mile run but I decided to have a rest after being late to my place of training after a trip to another venue of one of my races where I am the Race Organizer/Race Director.
Instead, I did some body squats and lunges to find out if I still have pain and soreness to my legs. The “deep-tissue” massage the night before “fixed” my issues about my legs. I slept early in the night…eight hours of sleep!
Thursday/December 11 @ Roosevelt National Park:
Time Of Start: 8:00 AM
Distance: 7.37 Miles
Time/Duration: 2:24+ Hours
Average Speed: 3.1 Miles Per Hour
Total Ascent: 1,670 Feet
Highest Elevation: 1,575 Feet
1. The run was done in the morning and the weather was with clear sky and slightly cold weather in the mountain. My water/hydration system was the same with that of the Tuesday Run, consuming 40 oz. of water during the run. I added two (2) pieces of VFuel Gels in my pack and I was able to ingest one piece of Gel on my second half of the run.
2. I felt lighter without the Jacket and I was comfortable with my pack with the same content that I had during the Tuesday Run.
3. I used my ALTRA Lone Peak 1.5 Shoes and they are responsive to the trail and rocks.
4. The highest elevation of 1,575 feet was reached at 3.1 Mile but I decided to have my turn-around at this point due to the thick bushes and grasses along the unused trail towards the peak of the mountain. In my estimate there is a need to clean the trail for a distance of about 2 miles until I reach the peak of the mountain. If the highest elevation of this mountain will reach 2,100+ feet in less than 6-Mile distance, this could be my ideal training ground for my TransLantau 100 Race.
5. The massage that I got last Tuesday evening and Full Rest Day on Wednesday gave me a better performance for today. I did not feel any pain or soreness or tightness on my leg muscles and knees on my downhill runs back to Starting Area. It resulted to a faster Average Speed in my workout.
Rest. I had a trip to Fort Magsaysay to attend a Coordinating Conference regarding my race thereat to be held on the weekend.
Saturday/December 13 @ Hill Taklang Damulag, Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City:
Time Of Start: 7:23 AM
Distance: 10.30 Miles
Time: 3:32:52 Hours
Average Pace: 20:41 minutes per mile
Average Speed: 3.1 miles per hour
Elevation Gain: 2,800 Feet
Highest Elevation: 1,255 Feet
1. While supervising my race as the Race Director, I thought of running the course from Fernandez Hill View Deck to the Peak of Taklang Damulag (Hill) trying to find out how many “hill repeats” that I can do until I am tired. However, my training program called for a 10-mile run and any distance after that would be a bonus.
2. The weather was cooler in the early part of the morning but it became hotter on my third climb to the peak. I was carrying my TNF Hand-held Bottle which is just enough for my hydration need for one trip.
3. I had to rest for about 2-3 minutes just enough to make refill on my water bottle and eat something, most specially before I started my third climb.
4. I used my ALTRA Lone Peak 1.5 which was very responsive on the slippery trail and rocks along the route. However, the shoes became heavier as it became wet/damp from the sweat going to my socks and full body.
5. I did not have any problems or soreness on my legs during the duration of the run. If only not for the heat of the sun, I could have attempted a 4th climb to the peak.
6. I will make a point to visit Fort Magsaysay at least once a month and try to break my personal record on how many times I could climb the peak of Taklang Damulag in one day or 12 hours!
7. I was averaging 1:11+ hours per “hill repeat” which is a big improvement on my performance in climbing the hill two years ago.
Sunday/December 14 @ Hill Taklang Damulag, Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City
Time Of Start: 6:56 AM
Distance: 6.69 Miles
Time: 2:20:57 Hours
Average Pace: 21:04 minutes per mile
Average Speed: 2.9 miles per hour
Elevation Gain: 1,814 Feet
Highest Peak: 1,255 Feet
1. I felt I was not wasted from yesterday’s triple trip to Taklang Damulag. For today, I did two “hill repeats” which I expected to have a distance of 7 miles but my running effort was satisfactory.
2. I used my INOV-8 X-Talon Trail Shoes and they were very light and was able to have a very nice leg turn-over during the duration of the workout. I might be slower this time but I feel strong to finish another repeat after completing my scheduled distance for the day.
3. Just the same with yesterday’s run, I was using my TNF Hand-held bottle. I had my breakfast before I started the run and it gave me the energy throughout the workout.
Total Distance: 31.16 Miles or 49.85 Kilometers
Total Time: 10:30 Hours
Total Ascent: 7,607 Feet (152.14 Feet Elevation Gain Per Kilometer)
4th Taklang Damulag 100-Mile Endurance Run
5:00 AM December 13, 2014 To 3:00 PM December 14, 2014
Special Operations Command (SOCOM) Headquarters, Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City (Nueva Ecija)
Number Of Starters: 16
Number Of Finishers: 9
Percentage Rate Of Finish: 56%
RANK NAME TIME (Hours)
1. Lao Ogerio (Champion, Overall)——30:47:32
2. Milbert Cabral (1st Runner-Up, Overall—–31:07:38
3. Alfred Delos Reyes (2nd Runner-Up, Overall)—–32:38:52
4. Tess Leono (Champion, Female, Course Record)—-33:23:01
5. Ariel Briones —————————————–33:35:34
6. Dindo Diaz——————————————–33:37:31
7. Bong Dizon——————————————–33:38:58
8. Simon Pavel Miranda ——————————–33:40:21
9. Myk Dauz ———————————————-33:40:58
4th Taklang Damulag 50-Mile Endurance Run
5:00 AM December 13, 2014
SOCOM Headquarters, Philippine Army, Fort Magsaysay, Palayan City
Number of Starters: 12
Number Of Finishers: 12
Percentage Rate Of Finish: 100%
RANK NAME TIME (Hours)
1. Raul Ragaodao (Champion, Overall/Course Record)—–12:39:30
2. Luc Hapers (1st Runner-Up, Overall/Course Record)————–12:50:31
3. Mark Raon (2nd Runner-Up, Overall)———————13:31:27
4. Von Rayan Martinez————————————–14:51:53
5. Romhel Biscarra —————————————15:33:40
6. Loradel Hanopol (Champion, Female)—————-16:18:31
7. Jobert Inclan———————————————16:37:45
8. Emma Libunao (1st Runner-Up, Female)—————18:35:19
9. Katherine Villaflor (2nd Runner-Up, Female)———18:53:37
10. Cleo Gevero (Female)———————————-18:53:38
11. Efren Monzon——————————————-19:32:33
12. Roland Pagaduan ————————————–19:32:33
Congratulations To Everybody!
It’s been seven years that I’ve been blogging and I am still running in the mountains at the age of 62. And I am still happy doing this kind of ritual, telling my stories about my runs and hikes, and sharing such stories to everybody.
As I enter my eight year of blogging, there are more things to share to everybody with regards to running, hiking, and anything about adventures in the outdoors, whether within the country or abroad. As long as I am healthy and able, I will be running on the trails and hiking to the peak of mountains if time and schedule would allow me.
For the year 2015, I will pursue my plan to hike the Historic General Aguinaldo Trail across the island of Luzon; hike the Historic General Funston Trail; and experience again, at least, one adventure run (multi-day stage) for the year. I am also thinking of doing some “segment hike” through Fastpacking on some portions of the Pacific Crest Trail in California, USA and this activity will be posted on this blog.
Starting this week, I have resumed my training after two weeks of rest and recovery (no running!) in preparation to my participation in the Trans Lantau 100K Trail Run in Hongkong on March 13-14, 2015. I will post my daily training in this blog so that I can have a journal/diary for my weekly runs. I have plans also of joining selected mountain ultra trail races to be held abroad which will be dependent on the result of my preparatory races and training.
In addition as the Race Director of Ultra Road and Trail Events scheduled for the year 2015, I will conduct some weekend Trail Running Clinics for those new runners who would like to shift on trail running and/or trail hiking. Announcement and publication of this plan will be made on this blog and on Facebook. These Running Clinics will have limited slots.
Lastly, I would like to express my personal thanks and appreciation to the 5,027 subscribers of this blog.
Keep on running!
I am featured in one of the articles of the Runner’s World Philippines Magazine, October-December 2014 Issue. The article is entitled, “Heroes Of Running: Pinoy Olympians and Trailblazers to Inspire You”. The story is written by Ria Macasaet.
I have asked the writer and the photographer that I will be wearing something different from my running attire and they approved to it. Thus, I was wearing my “meeting/conference” attire for the interview and photo-ops.
If this issue is not available in the popular bookstores, more copies of this RW Philippines are available in one of the Magazine Stores at the Ground Floor of Powerplant Mall in Makati City.
Thank you, RW Philippines for featuring my story and my future endeavor in the outdoors.
8th Tagaytay To Nasugbu 50K Ultra Marathon Race
4:00 AM To 1:00 PM December 7, 2014
Starting Area: Picnic Grove, Tagaytay City
Finish Line: PETRON Gas Station, Nasugbu, Batangas
Number Of Starters: 63
Number Of Finishers: 63
Cut-Off Time: 9 Hours
RANK N A M E T I M E (Hrs)
1. Alen Bautista (Champion, Overall)————-4:54:47
2. Arnel Renato (1st Runner-Up, Overall)———5:19:22
3. Lao Ogerio (2nd Runner-Up, Overall)———5:22:12
4. Rhina Sison (Champion, Female)————–5:22:26
5. Carlo Contemplacion—————————-5:25:01
6. Annaliza Marsan (1st Runner-Up, Female)—5:38:52
7. Jess Evangelista———————————-5:42:53
8. Antonio Delos Reyes—————————–5:45:56
9. Elpidio Berja————————————–5:46:42
10. Mark Anthony Rodica—————————5:46:54
11. Jerdie Jurado————————————-5:52:36
12. Aljim Gacad————————————–5:53:22
13. Rasette Hao Pesuelo (2nd Runner-Up, Female)—5:53:51
14. Madison Trinidad——————————–6:02:24
15. Loradel Hanopol (Female)———————-6:03:15
16. Myk Dauz—————————————–6:05:28
17. Ma. Rowena Madrid (Female)——————6:06:54
18. Kathleen Pinero (Female)———————–6:07:00
19. Ruben Veran————————————-6:17:17
20. Cecile Lalisan (Female)————————6:18:40
21. Ronald Robles———————————–6:24:57
22. Efren Olpindo———————————–6:30:17
23. Jaime Patricio———————————–6:31:09
24. Allan Pablo————————————–6:31:23
25. Ma. Teresa Villa Abrille (Female)————-6:31:24
26. Aleli Gloria Delos Santos (Female)———–6:38:29
27. Romhel Biscarra——————————–6:38:38
28. Eduardo Gelindon——————————6:41:11
29. Jake Nelson Cheng—————————-6:41:47
30. Richard Allan Mangalip———————-6:43:25
31. Maria Celeste Layug (Female)—————6:43:41
32. Myla Go (Female)—————————-6:43:42
33. Wilnar Iglesia———————————6:43:43
34. Floriemay Ragas (Female)——————6:43:51
35. Fraulein Mariano (Female)—————–6:46:35
36. Abby Aliwalas (Female)———————6:46:36
37. Edwin Cruz———————————–6:53:03
38. Renato Grande——————————-6:55:56
39. Eda Maningat (Female)———————6:56:18
40. Gerson Yuzon——————————–6:58:46
41. Ramil Lomboy——————————-7:02:35
42. Emma Libunao (Female)——————7:04:03
43. Marlon Santos——————————7:04:04
44. Mar Marilag——————————–7:05:50
45. Stephen Avanzado————————-7:10:20
46. Severino Khita—————————–7:15:43
47. Arnel Fajardo——————————7:17:40
48. Adrian Aquino—————————-7:19:08
49. Allenstein Co——————————7:20:19
50. Rommel Ayuson————————–7:34:03
51. Ma. Corazon Ramos (Female)———–7:34:50
52. Alberto Cruz, Jr—————————7:35:15
53. Joan Pardo Arevalo (Female)———–7:45:51
54. Edna Yao Lim (Female)—————–7:45:54
55. Joey Genecera—————————-7:50:42
56. Fernando Torres————————-7:52:34
57. Eliza Laureles (Female)—————–8:02:51
58. J. Cip Lim——————————–8:21:39
59. Quennie Lynne Aceveda (Female)—-8:26:06
60. Amor Gabriel, Jr————————8:26:07
61. Julius Danas—————————–8:41:35
62. Richard Toledo————————-8:43:28
63. Rosita Dino (Female)——————8:57:36
Congratulations To All The Runners & Support Crew!
Race Report: 2014 Clark-Miyamit 50-Mile Trail Run (Last Part)
What Went Wrong?
5. Gout Attack——Just when I finished my last long run in preparation for this event, I had a gout attack and the joint on my big toe was inflamed and sore. My first gout attack was in March 2008 and since that time my choice of food was limited to those with no uric acid. For the past 6 years and a half, I was on a diet and I was able to control my uric acid intake. However, for the month of October, I was not able to control my diet and craving for boiled peanuts & beans and native chicken & goat’s meat! Actually, on those days and weeks that my toe was inflamed, I forced myself to hike on the mountains. On race day, I was still feeling some pain on my toes but I was able to endure even if I was able to ingest my ALEVE tablets before the start of the race.
What Went Right?
1. Lesser Mileage, Healthier Knees——I am scared to think that reality is setting in—I am getting older and I need to take care of my knees. With the lesser mileage on every week in my training, I was able to preserve the good condition of my knees. Plus, the addition of a recovery day aside from my usual Monday rest had also added the stability of my knees during the race. I did a lot of strengthening exercises which were focused on my legs and core muscles but most of these exercises were geared to strengthen the muscles surrounding my knees. I did these exercises at least three times a week. If you are wondering what are these exercises, they are very simple! I did body squats, lunges, 100-ups, push-ups; exercises that strengthen my hip flexor using an elastic band; and Pilates exercises that strengthen the core.
2. Taper Properly——This is the most violated training principle among the younger ultra runners whom I know. They think that tapering for one week is enough for them to have fresh legs and body ready to tackle this very challenging race. For the two to three months that I was focused on the training for this race, I had my longest run on the seventh week, which is three weeks before Race Day. My longest run was a 26-mile (42K) mountain trail run which lasted for 8-9 hours and I was able to finish strong and my knees were able to hold on with the course where I had my training. After this long run, I made a steady reduction of my mileage on the coming weeks leading to Race Day until I was running 4-5 miles on my last week and got rested and slept well two-three days before Race Day. This is one of the reasons why I decided to postpone the inaugural edition of the General Aguinaldo Historic Trail Run which I intended to join as one of the participants. This race was scheduled two weeks before the CM 50 Race Day. I was able to monitor the younger runners who joined a trail running event one week before Race Day and I had the observation that they did not perform well in this event. Some of these younger runners would tell me that they have not recovered well after the race they have joined 7 days ago.
3. Nutrition——This is the second time in a running race event that I used VESPA. I’ve used this before in my long runs and I find them effective and working well with my body system. At this time, it was more effective when I started using Udo’s Oil as part of my supplementary nutrition. I usually mix at least two spoonful of this oil once a day in one of my viands/food either in my lunch or dinner for the three weeks that I was on tapering mode. I could feel that I was gaining a little weight which I would thought will be a source of my stored energy in my body to be used during the race. I took one pack of VESPA after eating my meal before the race and for the next 4-5 hours I was full of energy, taking only two (2) pieces of GU Gel, and hydrating with water every 30 minutes. I was not feeling “thirsty” because I was putting a Dynamite Candy in my mouth every time I ingest a VESPA Pack. I suspect that my slow pace made my stored fats as the source of energy and not from the carbohydrates that are available in my body. After 4-4 1/2 hours, I would feel hungry and that’s the time that I would eat my PB & J sandwiches, take another VESPA pack + GU Gels + Dynamite Candy and continue with my run. For the whole duration of the race, I was able to consume 4 packs of VESPA. From AS4 on my way to the peak, I started mixing my 2 MILO Packs with 1 GU Gel in my water bottle which is equivalent to almost 300 calories and I would ingest the whole liquid mix in one bottle within one hour. This mixing of MILO Packs + GU Gel was repeatedly done all the way to the finish line. Last year, I used Perpetuem Powder mixed with water as my source of nutrition and some solid foods (sandwiches, hard boiled eggs, and boiled bananas).
Because of the hotter condition of the day as compared to last year, I might have used the stored fats in my body faster than what I’ve experienced before and I felt weak and exhausted once I returned to AS4 after coming from the Peak/turn-around point. It was an “accident” that I impulsively asked for a Sprite Drink and such “sugar-rush” to my body jolted me to be on a faster mode in my pace from AS4 to the Falls and back to AS4! I suspect also that from this point, my body needed more carbohydrates to propel me all the way to the finish line. This is the reason why I had to ingest some rice and solid food and more Sprite Drinks at AS3 and every hour after this, I was already using my remaining Gels up to the Finish Line.
4. Knowledge of the Course——This is the only year that I was not able to run the CM42 race in preparation for the CM50. Also, I did not had any runs or visits or recon runs along the course. From the past CM42 and CM50 races that I joined and finished, I was able to know what to expect along the course, from the Start to every Aid Station up to the Peak and back to the Finish Line. I was confident on what to expect in every turn and particular place along the route. Such knowledge of the course made me more confident that I will be able to finish the course within the prescribed cut-off time of 18 hours.
5. Having Fun——With the lack of mileage, sickness/diarrhea , condition of my knees, gout attack, and of course, my age, I tried to condition my mind to have a better performance on this race. Such positive thinking pushed me to endure everything and reminded me about my race strategy to focus more on my nutrition and that I would be healthy & injury-free to finish the race. This reminded me of the practice or tip of which I adopted from my Coach——placing one piece of GU Gel inside my cycling gloves/one GU Gel in each glove! This practice would remind me that I need to take a Gel every time I would swing my arms while running. Once I use one Gel, I would replace it with another one from my Belt Pouch and place the litter in one of my shoulder pockets of my hydration pack. I was also having fun when I outrun the younger runners and sometimes would scare them when they see me that I am nearing them or about to overtake them. Counting my strides when fatigue and heat of the sun would be very hard to the body gave me more fun as I gained some distance getting nearer to each of the Aid Stations.
6. Evaluation Run——I did not join this race to earn some points for the UTMB and I don’t have any future plans of going to Chamonix, France to join such race. This race is an evaluation run for the training program that was given to me in preparation for this race. It is also an evaluation run to determine my strengths and weaknesses as I prepare for my future races in the next year to come. I have learned (again) a lot of lessons that I need to make some adjustments in my race tactics, strategy and nutrition needs. I have also personally evaluated that my knees are getting stronger if I give them the much needed rest and recovery. I have learned also that I could run in a slow pace for me to use my fats as the source of energy and I could easily switch to a faster pace mode if I consistently add more carbohydrates to my body system. Lastly, taper mode on the last three weeks leading to Race Day and getting a lot of rest and sleep on the last week made a lot of difference.
How Much Did I Spend?
Coaching Services——P 13,000.00
Training Expenses (Travel & Food + Supplements)——P 3,000.00
Nutrition & Hydration Needs (During The Race)——P 2,500.00
Registration Fee——P 2,500.00
Transportation Costs (Gasoline + Highway Toll Fees)——P 2,000.00
New Gear (Ultimate Direction Belt Pouch + SALOMON Cap)——P 2,500.00
Was The Event Finish Worth For The Expenses?
Of course, setting an Event Record in the history of this race as the Oldest Runner to have finished the course in two consecutive years within the cut-off time of 18 hours is more than enough to compensate for what I’ve spent financially in this event. I would not regret spending my spare time in the mountains and trails just to prepare for this event. In the course of my training, I was able to meet a lot of people and make friends with the people in the mountains and being able to learn of how these people live in the mountains and know their problems. In the race, I was able to meet new runners and find time to talk to the “usual suspects” in ultra running in the country whom I only meet in person during such events even if we regularly communicate through the social media. Some of them are participants in the race and some of them served as “volunteers and marshals” in the Aid Stations, turn-around point and in the Lahar Area. As you might have observed, I don’t show or brag my Finisher’s Medal or wear those Finisher’s Shirts as they are not important every time I finish a race. It is the experience and the journey in finishing the race that count most.
Future Plan On This Event
Definitely, I will be back for the 2015 edition and train harder as long as my knees and body are healthy and injury-free. I need to bring back my INOV-8 X-Talon Trail Shoes and my hand-held bottles which I used last year and try to train for more speed on the trails. I am not shifting to any kind of diet but I will have to be more disciplined and selective on my food, making sure that they are uric acid-free and won’t cause diarrhea.
Suggestions/Advise To “New” Runners For This Event
1. Know your Ideal Racing Weight—-If you think you are heavy and way above your BMI, you should reduce—with more calories to burn and lessen your intake of unnecessary foods. Such weight that you can shave off from your body will compensate for the hydration and foods/nutrition needs that you will carry on your vest or belt/pockets.
2. Start going to the Trails—-I mean, mountain trails! And start your training NOW! Start with some hiking in the mountains along dirt roads or single-track trails and feel how your body responds to the ground, elevation, and the scenery. If you have the time do your trail hiking on a daily basis, then do it! If not, make sure you hike on your weekends or off-duty days. Be patient on this as you make your progress from a 30-minute hike up to 8-9 hours of running/jogging/hiking in the mountains on your peak training period. Once you progress and adjusted to trail running, look for a place that has the same elevation profile with that of the race and do more of your training in the said place. If you can have access to the actual route, by all means, spend your weekend runs thereat. If you are afraid to go to the mountains, then you can do it with the “Philippine Army’s Scout Ranger” way! (Note: This will be discussed in my future post featuring one of my Ultra Running friends)
3. Be selective in your Races—-It is not on the quantity of races that you have finished that defines you as a good runner. It is the quality of your performance in finishing your selected races. If you have decided to join this race as your A-priority race, then start your training as early as possible, save some money for your registration fee and training costs, register early and abide by the race/RD’s requirements, and treat your other running races as your training and evaluation runs. Make sure that you have to make some space or period of recovery in between these running events so that you will come out stronger and smarter in the process. Not because you are still young and strong that you don’t need to taper and have more rest before the Race Day, it is always you and only you will be the one responsible for your success or unsuccessful finish in this race.
4. Nutrition is the Key—-In every race, I keep on learning about my nutritional needs. “Fat-Burning” and Carbohydrates as sources of my energy work well with me in ultras. But it took me a lot of time and experience to try what is best for me. It is also worth to know that I have to fully stop and take a rest if I need to ingest solid foods to my system. In the past, I would take in some solid foods while on the move but it gave me more problems like choking and coughing, most specially in high altitude races that I have joined in the past. However, I don’t have any problems ingesting my Gels as I have to suck them quickly and followed with a sip of water from my bottle. Once my taste for the Gel would become uncomfortable for me to swallow, I would start mixing them in my water with my powdered drinks like MILO Packs and just the same, they give me the much-needed calories for my body. As the experts would always advise, fuel up early in the race while your pace is slow and then progressively pick-up the pace while maintaining your food intake and hydration. It is easily said but it needs a lot of practice and discipline.
Thanks for reading my longest Race Report! Keep on running and see you on the mountain trails!
Race Report: 2014 CM 50 (Part 4)
Race In Progress: From AS2 To AS1 To The Finish Line
I still have 3 hours+ to cover a distance of 16-17 kilometers (on paper) but in reality, it might reach actually to 22-23 kilometers. I need to run and jog at an average pace of 6-7 kilometers per hour in order to reach the Finish Line before the cut-off time of 18 hours. It is doable and I could still have some “buffer” time to spare just in case I need more time to rest or power hike or simply walk along the course.
After running on the ridges of hills and edges of sugar plantation, I was going down again to the bank of lahar-sand-filled river which is popularly called as the Pasig-Potrero River and on my right is the bridge before reaching the Porac Exit along the SCTEX when one goes to the direction of Subic Freeport. After crossing the vast and wide river, I was back on the bank of the river and tried to follow those reflectorized markers and colored-orange paint that I could see on plants; on sticks; on rocks and on the ground. This time they were already located on my left side.
I was already getting impatient as to when I would be able to reach the “rope-climbing” part before I finally reach the populated part of the course and the cemented stairs that I’ve climb on the early part of the race. As I jogged and power hike, I would allow the faster runners to pass me because I knew that they are younger than me and they deserve to have that bragging rights to have finished the race ahead of me, a Senior Citizen!
Finally, I was on my way up to the peak of a hill with those ropes and I know in a short while, I would be on my way to that descending cemented stair to be able to reach the populated area. Just the same with last year’s experience, I was able to see those parked 4X4 jeeps and those children playing on the road trying to mimic the way I run and would keep running on my side. I know that after passing the village I will be back again to that road which is full of lahar-sand which is flat and that will lead me to the AS1 which is near to a Spa and Wellness Facility. One runner had passed me on this part of the course and tried to follow him.
It was already getting dark when I reached AS1 and I thought to myself that I still have 7 kilometers more to go which is I could easily do in order to reach the Finish Line. I guess, I still had one hour and 45 minutes before the cut-off time at this point. The lady volunteer at the AS1 was asking me if I needed something, food and water, were still available and I was the only one she had to attend to. I just said to her, “Thank You” and I was on my way to the last 4 kilometers of lahar-sand filled river of Sacobia. I immediately brought out my headlight and had it fitted on my head as I walked on the lahar. With another runner ahead of me, I could easily spot him on his direction. However, even without the runner in front of me, I would easily get my bearing and direction back to the Finish Line as I still would recall that on my way to the AS1 on the early part of the race, all the runners were running on the left side of the river. So, on my way back, I should be running on the right side of the river trying to be near as possible on the right side of the bank of the river. From afar, I would see the flashing lights of the volunteers/marshals and I made a direct route to reach their positions. I was trying to hug the right bank of the river as I run in semi-circle path towards the trailhead.
As I ran on these last 4 kilometers of lahar-sand and river with flowing water, different kinds of insects would be attracted by the glow of my headlight and they became problem to my vision. Some of the insects would get into my eyes and made used of my hands as an inverted pendulum to drive them away. It did not take long to endure in this kind of situation as I made my way back to the trailhead leading back to the paved road of the Clark Freeport. As I got nearer to the trailhead, I was able to meet the locals and their families as they proceeded to the river. I got the impression that they were going home to their respective villages which is about 4 kilometers of walking along the river. They even joked at me if they can borrow my powerful headlight as they were moving down to the river without any flashlights. At this point, my Garmin watch just died and I was looking on my other watch on how many more minutes left before the actual time of the day reaches to 7:00 PM. Upon reaching the paved road, I got 45 minutes to go before the cut-off time and I know I would make it and finish strong.
I finally brought my distance nearer to the runner ahead of me up to 5-8 meters behind him as we ran the last 3 kilometer of paved road to the Clark’s Parade Ground. I told the runner that we will finish the race in the same order that we are in, which means that I have no intention of passing or “out-kicking” him on the last kilometer or so. I just maintained my regular LSD pace and I would notice that I was still strong at this point. My legs and knees were not hurting and did not have any bouts of cramping during the duration of the race. My feet were fine and I wasn’t able to feel any signs of blisters except for the annoying lahar-sand that was embedded inside my running shoes and socks.
On the last kilometer before the finish line, I slowed down and let the runner ahead of me to widen our gap in between us. It was okey and took my time to jog easily towards the Parade Ground. Finally, I was able to cross the Finish Line with almost 10 minutes more to spare before the cut-off time. Officially, my finish time registered at 17:50:51 hours! The RD awarded my Finisher’s Medal and I was able to get my Finisher’s Shirt.
I did it for the second time in two consecutive years. Not bad for a Senior Citizen at 62 years of age! Surprisingly, I was not limping, no chafing and did not feel any soreness or pain as I walked towards my personal vehicle.
It is worth to mention the following items that I used during the race. For the second time in a row, I did not use trekking poles in this event. And and never ingested any “pain-killer” and salt tablets during the run.
Running Cap: Salomon’s Matador-X (Red Color/Clima UV50+)
Headlight: Icon Polar by Black Diamond
Neck/Nape/Face Cover/Protection & Sweat Absorbent: Buff
Running Shirt: PAU Long-Sleeved Shirt By A Perfect White Shirt
Running Shorts: PATAGONIA Shorts
Watches + HR Monitor: GARMIN 310XT & CASIO Watch
Belt Pouches: ULTIMATE DIRECTION (Scott Jurek’s Signature Series)
Hydration Vest & Back Pack: ULTIMATE DIRECTION Anton Krupicka’s Signature Series
Water Bottles: SIMPLE Hydration Bottles (Two) + One SALOMON (Collapsible) Water Bottle (10 oz.) inside my hydration pack.
Thermal Blanket: SALOMON
Cell Phone: SAMSUNG Dous Flip-Phone
Camera: NIKON Coolpix SO1 Pocket Camera
Calf Sleeves: COMPRESSPORT Ultra (Black)
Gaiters: Dirty Girl
Runinng Shoes: SALOMON S-LAB Sense-3 (Soft Ground)
Running Gloves: Cycling Gloves By Specialized
Anti-Blister & Chafing Protection: LEUKOPLAST By BSN and BODY GLIDE
Pain Killer: Two (2) ALEVE Tablets taken after meal before the Start of the Race
Nutrition: 4 Packs of VESPA Drinks; 12 pieces of GELS ( GU + VFuel); 4 pieces of PB & J Sandwiches; 3 Packs of Honey STINGER; One Can of Tuna Paella; 8 Packs/Sachets of MILO Drinks; and 8 pieces of DYNAMITE Choco Mint Candies By Universal Robina Corporation (70 calories in every 4 candies)
What Went Wrong?
It is nice to analyze once performance in every event that I join so that I can improve in my future attendance to this event. First, I need to discuss my “alibis” or reasons why I slowed down and was not able to duplicate my performance last year. These reasons are geared more to my training and preparation for this race. They maybe gross and disgusting reasons but I have to mention them here:
1. Diarrhea——Would you believe I was having a diarrhea for the whole month of October? Yes, the whole month and no amount of medication would be able to treat it. Just imagine me running towards creeks and streams during my trail running long runs just to be able to relieve myself. I really did not know what illness came to my digestive tract for those weeks. Even in my sleep during nighttime, I would wake up and go to the comfort room for a minimum of 3-4 times! After taking in different brands of Loperamide capsules, my situation did not improve and I just completely stopped taking such medication. Instead, I tried to drink more water and maintained my usual daily diet. I would meet and run the required mileages in my training program but the intensity was not there and I slowed down in my jogging but did more of “power hiking”. I experienced being dehydrated in almost all my long weekend runs.
2. Training Program Adjusted——As compared to last year’s average of 55-60 miles of weekly mileage on my peak training, I was doing 36-42 miles of weekly mileage for the 2 months of training preparation for this year’s event. Last year, I prepared for 5 months and for this year, my preparation was only 2 months! The training adjustment was done for my body to recover for my past ultra trail races in the middle of this year and for my knee injury recovery. It could be a blessing in disguise that I had some medical issues (diarrhea) for me not to over train and put more intensity to my training. There were no speed intervals done for the training period and it was limited to some progressive and tempo runs while doing my long runs and daily short runs. The training adjustment came also with an additional one day of rest and recovery for the week. Monday and Friday became my recovery/rest days for the week and it was maintained for the the tw0-month period of training.
3. Wrong Choice of Shoes——Two weeks before the race, I made a 23K run at the Mt Pinatubo 50K Trail Challenge while monitoring the progress of my race and my runners. I used the Salomon S-LAB Sense 3 (SG) and I found out that the lahar-sand would easily enter in my shoes’ upper mesh. I was so hard-headed in my desire to come up with a 300-Kilometer mileage as soon as possible for this shoes before I could write and post a decent Shoe Review for it. I should have maintained using my INOV-8 X-Talon Trail Shoes which I used in last year’s edition where its canvass material would easily prevent more lahar-sand entering to my shoes. Although I did not bother cleaning my feet and socks from the lahar-sand throughout the race, I have the feeling that it affected my leg turn-over during the run and overall, I became slower and easily got tired from the additional weight my legs were lifting.
4. Weather——This is my hottest running experience on this route but the scenery was its best! My energy was zapped and got exhausted on my way from AS4 to AS3 after coming from Miyamit Falls. I know that most of the runners experienced this kind of situation. It was unfortunate for us to be in the “tail-end” that there were no more ice available for us by the time we reached AS3, AS2, and AS1. This was not a big deal for me as long as I was able to drink some Soda drinks in the Aid Stations. Anyway, my hydration bottles were never empty from this point on to the Finish Line.
To Be Continued.
Race Report: 2014 CM 50 (Part #3)
Race In Progress @ AS4 To The Peak & Back
Upon reaching AS4 (Km #32), I saw a lot of runners making their refills in their hydration bottles and bladders; and some were eating what the Aid Station had to offer and what they had brought with them in their packs. One of the volunteers, who happens to be an ultra friend, asked my two bottles to be refilled with water as they were about to be empty when I reached the Aid Station. After a few seconds and as soon as my bottles were refilled, I left the Aid Station immediately and did not spend one minute in the place. As I left the place, I was smiling knowing that the Aid Station is consistently manned by Team BORING and I can appropriately relate to what I’ve been posting on Facebook about my training runs——they are simply “boring” trail runs and hill repeats!
From the AS4 to the peak of Mt Miyamit is almost 10 kilometers of single-track trail. The trail is dry, hard and compact and there are portions (with rocks) which are slippery. I had to jog on the flat and descending portions and then power-hike the ascending parts of the trail. Almost half-way to the peak, I started to meet the leading runner who happens to be a foreigner and then later on, followed by fast and strong local trail runners. This part of the course is well-covered with trees, bananas and other vegetation except for the last mile to the peak of Mt Miyamit or turn-around point which is covered with tall grasses. The temperature in this part of the course is cooler and it is where you start feeling the breeze of a cold wind. My pace would be slow but I make it a point to breath deeply and take advantage of the cleanest air that is available outside Metro Manila!
I always have the habit of counting the number of runners that I would meet along this part of the trail as I would know how I fared and know my position on my way down after coming from the peak/turn-around point. When I reached counting up to 50 runners before I could finally reach the peak, I just stopped the mental exercise. From this point, I knew already that I was slowing on my pace as compared when I finished this event last year. I can still recall that I was among the top 40 runners when I reached the turn-around point in last year’s edition.
It was only in this year’s race that I was able to see the peak of the mountain; the scenery of the surroundings; the river and trail that goes to the northern approach towards Mt Pinatubo, coming from Barangay Sta Juliana, Capas (route of Mt Pinatubo 50K Trail Challenge); and the clear sky above. As I moved and jogged towards the peak, I could see those tiny figures of runners as they trekked along the single-track trail that leads to the peak. Last year, I was not able to see such sight of ascending steep trail and the runners that were moving slowly towards the turn-around point. As I moved higher towards the peak, I was able to meet familiar faces of trail runners who are half younger than my age. From what I saw from their faces as I met them, I would see varied reactions. Some were smiling and cheering but some were looking-scared, too! Finally, I reached the peak/turn-around point feeling hungry and tired. I reached the peak/turn-around point in 8:10+ hours which was a very slow time as compared to my time to reach the peak last year. I would guess it would be within the 7-hour mark in last year’s edition!
I immediately got my “loom” band from Brian Tang Sen, who was also taking notes of my Race Bib and time of arrival at the turn-around point. As I looked around, I saw those runners ahead of me sitting on the ground and eating their food that they carried with them in their pack. Since I was drenched with my own sweat, I felt cold as the strong winds would pass my body and I started to chill. To remedy the situation, I decided to go down from the peak and try to locate a place where it is warmer and protected from the strong winds in the mountain. After about 400 meters from the peak, I stopped and ate my food which was one can of Tuna Paella and drank a bit of my water. I was trying to save my water as I was anticipating for the heat and warmer temperature as I descended towards AS4. While I was eating and resting, the runners who were eating at the peak/turn-around point would pass me on their way back to AS4.I wished them good luck and I was hoping that I would be able to catch up with their group.
I felt energized after eating and I had my mixture of MILO drinks and Gel as my hydration while trying to maintain my pace back to AS4. I would try to save the remaining water in my bottles by placing some candies in my mouth and letting them “play” with my tongue. However, within 2 kilometers before reaching the AS4, I started to feel fatigued and wasted. I knew I was about to be dehydrated. I slowed down and tried to hike the uphills and made sure to bring myself to AS4. I consumed the rest of my water and mixed drinks at this point and I was thinking that I would be drinking lots of water once I reached the AS4. While I was on my way back to the AS4, I saw one of my ultra running friends to be sitting on the edge of the trail. I asked him what is his problem and he said something about a fatigue “issue” and I immediately got one of my candies in my running shorts’ pockets. As I handed him the candy, I told him to immediately take it in his mouth and try to relax. I passed him but I knew he will be able to recover after some rest.
As I arrived at the AS4, I saw more familiar faces and most of them greeted me and I greeted them back also. I had my bottles refilled with water and took a chair while waiting for the volunteer to do what I’ve requested. Suddenly, I saw some 1.5 liter bottles of Sprite and I immediately asked from one of the volunteers for some amount of it. For not being able to look for a cup, he offered a lot of Sprite in an improvised cup (empty Sprite bottle cut in one-half) and I was able to ingest an equivalent of 1/2 liter. After a few seconds, I was ready to go down to the Miyamit Falls. I never drank Soda drinks in my training and by drinking Sprite when I was about to be dehydrated gave me an extraordinary feeling of power and strength!
My moves from AS4 to the Miyamit Falls was a non-stop jogging/slow running as the trail was descending. I was able to meet a lot of runners who were going back to AS4. I saw some of the runners to be picking up their hydration bottle which they left on their way down to the falls and retrieving them back again as they reach back to AS4. Last year, I’ve observed a lot of my running friends leaving their hydration packs or hydration belts/bottles at AS4 before going down to the turn-around point at the Miyamit Falls. I personally consider this as unfair practice for those who don’t remove their hydration vest/pack/belt from their body during the entire duration of the race. Anyway, this observation did not affect my motivation to reach the Miyamit Falls and back to AS4 with a faster pace and be able to pass more runners in the process.
As soon as I reached the turn-around point at the Miyamit Falls, I was able to get my “loom” band and made a quick turn-around back to the AS4. There is no valid reason for me to stop, wash my shoes and remove the lahar-sand in them, or have some pictures taken with me and the Falls as the background. It was a waste of time. The power of the Sprite drink that I had taken from AS4 was still in me and I made it a point to jog and power hike all the way up to the Aid Station. I think I was able to break my record time in finishing this part of the course. It was a very fast climb back to AS4 even if I was sweating profusely as it was too hot already for all the runners. As soon as I reached the AS4, I took another drink of Sprite and I was off towards AS2. I was able to surprise those runners who were resting at the Aid Station and I immediately told them that “the race is about to start from this point!”
Running from AS4 to AS3 seemed to be the easiest part of the course since most of the trail was descending in nature. But I was wrong, the heat of the sun showed its strength to all the runners and it was time to adjust my Buff so that my nape and most parts of my face are covered; to wear my Oakley sunglass; to continuously hydrate with my water and mixed MILO + GU; and to try to look for a more shady part of the trail which was usually on the right side of the trail. I was glad those sunflower plants on the side of the road were able to provide enough shade for me! My knees were holding up so good that I was able to run a slow and even pace most of the time. This made the other runners to be scared of me as I tried to quicken my pace while I was in front or behind them. I have memorized already this part of the course after so many times of visiting/running this place and I was confident to anticipate of what kind of terrain to expect from afar. My race tactics is always consistent——count the number of strides up to 90 and then repeat; hydrate every 5 minutes with a sip, alternating water and MILO Drinks; breath from the nose; keep shoulders relaxed; power hike on the ascending portions but still maintaining on counting my strides up to 90; and think positively about the race!
AS3 is located in Barangay Sapang Uwak of Porac, Pampanga and the place is a resettlement site for the Minorities called “Aetas”. The building where the AS3 is located is a tourism facility and Barangay Hall Center. Once I entered the populated area of the Barangay and about 400 meters before reaching the AS3, I was hearing a loud announcement from one of the house’s TV that Manny Pacquiao won its latest fight in Macau. I even asked from the Aeta (owner of the house) standing in front of the house if the opponent was TKO’d by Manny Pacquiao and he related to me briefly what happened during the fight as I slowed down from my running! More or less, this is the approximate time of the day that I reached AS3.
Finally, I reached AS3 and I still have 23 kilometers more to go before reaching the Finish Line. With my experience last year, I knew that it was NOT the last 23 kilometers of the race. It is actually the last 30 Kilometers to the finish line as the whole course has a total distance of almost 54 miles! With only 5 hours + to spare to reach the Finish Line within the cut-off time of 18 hours, I made a mental computation on what could be my average pace/speed in order to be safe and be able to finish strong!
The Ayala Triads was manning the AS3, the one that I promised to the RD to have my pit stop on my way back to the Finish Line. I really stopped here for about 15 minutes——ate a lot of watermelon bites; I was served with fried bean curd dipped in vinegar (tokwa) and pork adobo with rice; refilled my bottles; mixed my MILO drinks; hydrated with a lot of Sprite; and had a brief chat with the volunteers and the rest of the runners at the Aid Station. I knew that this will be my last Aid Station where I will stop and make my refill, so I took time to rest and eat some solid foods. I was so thankful to the members of the Ayala Triads for very attentive and helpful to my personal needs and to the other runners’ needs.
The afternoon was getting hotter as I gained my ground from AS3 to AS2. It was a non-stop jogging and power hiking, alternately. This is the most “boring” part of the course where I would consistently count the number of my strides as I was getting nearer to AS2. It was so simple and “boring” to follow——count my strides while jogging up to 90 and then repeat until I felt I was tired and then power hike up to the count of 30 and then back again to jogging and…counting! It is a “boring” practice/habit but it is very effective! The power hike was my rest period and yet I was still moving forward!
As I was getting nearer to the Finish Line, my Race Belt Pockets/Pouches and Hydration Vest/Pack are getting lighter, too after consuming some of my stashed drinks, food, and gels. But my Salomon Sense-3 Soft Ground Shoes was getting heavier due to the lahar-sand that entered in them. It was time-consuming to stop and clean my socks and shoes from the sand as I knew that I will pass and cross those lahar-filled river crossings (again) before finally reaching the Finish Line. There was no time to fret on such thing where I thought it would be better if I used my INOV-8 shoes which I used in last year’s edition. I did not listen to my first observation when I used them for my 20K run at the Mt Pinatubo 50K Trail Challenge two weeks before this race. I was too engrossed in coming up with a 300-Kilometer mileage before I can write a Shoe Review for this shoes!
I was able to reach AS2 but I simply passed through it and continued my run. My next target was to reach AS1 as fast as I could with my remaining strength and will power. I think I still have 3 hours+ before the cut-off time at this point. It was still daytime!
To be continued.