I was taught by my Mom how to cook simple home meals when I was in the Elementary Grades. We were lucky within my siblings that we were taught by our Mom how to cook simple home meals in our early age. Our Dad also taught us how to cook but more importantly, how to butcher live animals and dress them properly into cooking pieces. My brother and two sisters are fine cooks with Pinoy Recipes up to this date! The efforts of our parents to teach us on how to cook were not in vain!
When the Covid-19 Lockdown started in March 16 of this year, I was prepared for the food requirements for the days and weeks ahead. My freezer was full of meat/poultry and my pantry was with a considerable number of canned goods, cooking ingredients, noodles, and RICE! As the days and weeks had passed, we were allowed to buy our fresh food and groceries on a scheduled days of the week in Public Markets and Grocery Stores. However, we were fortunate enough to have a Fresh Option Meat Store located a few minutes walk from our house.
Yes! I have to cook simple food meals from the Recipes taught to me by my Mom and Dad during the Lockdown. And here are my Top 5 Favorite Pinoy Meal Recipes During The Covid-19 Lockdown:
1. Pork or Chicken Adobo: One can cook Adobo Recipe separately as Only Pork or Only Chicken or a Combination of Pork and Chicken. Pork and Chicken are cut into bite pieces cooked with the combination of Soy Sauce, little of Vinegar, Garlic, Black Pepper (Ground or Full Kernel), and little of Sugar. Combine all the ingredients in the pot and let it simmer until the meat or chicken cuts are tender. It is better for the fat from the meat to be the only liquid to be left at the bottom of the pot before it is being served as a meal. The oily fat is the best part of an Adobo dish!
2. Pork or Fish Sinigang (Sour-Soup Based Pork or Fish): Pork and Fish should be cooked separately in this kind of Pinoy Recipe. Pork has a longer time to be cooked than the fish. Cut the Pork or Fish in sizes. Prepare the following ingredients: Onions, Ginger, Salt, Tomatoes, and Mama Sita’s Tamarind or Guava Sinigang Mix Pack. Boil the ingredients in a considerable amount of water in the pot until they bring out their aroma to the soup. Put the Pork or Fish until they are tender and then add some leaves of Kangkong or Pechay leaves before being served! The sour taste of the hot soup should jolt you from your seat!
3. Pork Leg Humba: The Fresh Option Store near my place has a lot of Pork Legs in their stock and I was always tempted to buy 3-4 pieces each time I visit the store. I have each piece of the leg cut into cooking pieces and have each leg in a separate bag. This would make me easier to thaw one leg every time I cook this recipe. The ingredients are the same with Pork Adobo but I add some pineapple juice and more brown sugar to the meat. I tend to cook the meat without adding any amount of water as I use my Slow Cooker, put all the ingredients at the same time and have it cooked for overnight with the adjustment on High. Once I wake up in the morning and have my morning running workout done, the meal is ready to be served with rice.
4. Two-Pieces of Soft-Boiled Eggs With Avocado: I have been eating two-pieces of soft-boiled eggs with a cup of rice for breakfast for the past 30 years! Sometimes, I have to add one more piece of egg if the size is small. During the Lockdown period, I have tried eating three pieces of eggs since the available eggs in the market are too small from the regular size that I’ve been buying from the grocery store. In a pot of tap water and the eggs, they are placed on the stove for two minutes and then removed from the boiling water to a container with tap water. This sudden shift from hot to cold water for the eggs would result to a better way to scoop the contents of the eggs from their shells with a spoon. Such eggs are now ready to be mixed from one piece of Avocado, cut into bite pieces. I add a sprinkle of Pink Himalayan Salt and the food is served!
5. Crispy Fried Bagnet & Fried Longaniza: I have a lot of stock of Bagnet (Fried Pork) and Longaniza (Local Sausage) from Ilocos Norte in my freezer which I ordered and given by my Nephew Duckie whenever he visits me in Manila. Bagnet is a Fried Slab of Pork from the Belly and I have to cut it into bite pieces and have to fry them in a hot frying oil until everything is crispy. The longaniza is cooked with a small amount of water in a frying pan until its fat serves as the frying oil as the water dries up from the cooking pan. It is cooked and ready to be served when the skin of the longaniza turns to dark brown. Fried Bagnet is served with Bagoong (Salted Anchovy Paste) Sauce with sliced tomatoes and the Fried Longaniza is best served with Vinegar.
Side Dish: Sautéed Kangkong or Pechay. This is a “quick” Adobo dish for the said vegetables, cut into 1-2 inches long, cooked in oil, garlic, onions, and soy sauce. This dish should be served with the crispiness of the stalks and leaves of the vegetables in order to maintain its freshness.
Having practiced Intermittent Fasting with the ratio, 16:8 hours, I only eat two meals a day. With a regular brunch of Soft-Boiled Eggs, with or without Avocado, I can choose any of these Top Recipes for my Dinner Meal. In between these meals, I would have simple sandwich of Liver Spread and/or Butter or Boiled Sweet Potatoes or Banana or Corn In Cob as my snacks. But most of the time, I don’t really eat snacks in between meals.
So, there you have my Top 5 Favorite Pinoy Recipes which I really cooked and prepared during the Covid-19 Lockdown. How about you? Did you have other food recipes to suggest?
Thank you for reading. Please subscribe and comment on this post for your suggestions.
Journal Of “Team Thomas” @ 2020 HK4TUC (Second Day)
Thomas started the 2nd Leg of the event at Wilson Trail at 16:25 Hours, which was 1:25 AM of January 26, 2020, Sunday Morning. Ahead of him was a 78-kilometer distance during a cold and rainy night. Thomas was feeling cold at the start but having eaten a lot of food and keeping himself on the move, he will surely regain his pace and tempo during the run. After Thomas left, we immediately fixed our things, packed the used clothes/attire of Thomas and threw the trash at the Trash Bins at the Starting Area. We immediately took the Taxi which was waiting for us to bring us back to the place where we are staying. As we arrived in our place, we immediately checked the Racemap Application to find out if Thomas was on the right track. We were glad that Thomas was on the right track and we immediately rested for the day at 3:00 AM on the second day. Last year, after 1-2 kilometers from the Starting point, Thomas got lost and we had a sleepless on the first night at that time when more additional “lost moments” had to be corrected.
I woke up at 8:00 AM on the second day and immediately checked on the tracker of Thomas and he was doing fine without any “lost moments” as compared to his experience last year. Our monitoring team advised Thomas to call us once he reaches the MTR Station at Lam Tin and once he crosses the Quarry Bay and reaches the MTR Station at Tai Koo on the Hongkong Island side. From these calls, we would be able to estimate the time we would meet Thomas at the Finish Line of the Wilson Trail Leg. But with the lagging time as depicted by Thomas tracker, we decided to give an ample buffer time to wait at the said place before Thomas arrives.
We arrived at the end of the Wilson Trail Leg at the Tai Tam Country Park in Stanley Gap Road at 5:00 PM with the hope that Thomas would be arriving in 30-45 minutes. In a few seconds, we witnessed the arrival of the 4th Runner Abimanyu from Singapore and since Thomas was ranked as the 8th or 9th runner as seen on the tracker, we prepared ourselves to wait for some more time in the said place.
The cold wind from the sea was blowing on our faces as we waited for Thomas but our Team was entertained by two Pinay runners who are working in Hongkong with their stories about the race and what they have prepared in terms of food for Thomas and to the rest of the Pinoy Runners. They even mentioned to me that Christian Villoria from Pangasinan, also a worker in Hongkong, is waiting at the Bus Station at Shek O Road for more food and drinks for the Pinoy Runners. We had a lot conversations with Tha Na and Josephine and they entertained us while waiting for Thomas. I decided later to hike the 1,000+ steps or the last 600 meters of the trail and tried to wait for the arrival of Thomas. Instead, the #5 Runner Chiang from South Korea came out from the vegetated portion of the trail and he was running at an easy pace going downhill. I greeted and congratulated and told him that he is only 500 meters to the end of the trail.
After almost 3 hours of waiting, the #9 Runner Karen from Hongkong, the leading Lady Runner of the event, arrived at the Finish Line and we knew that in a few minutes, Thomas will be arriving next. Finally, Thomas arrived at the Finish Line of the Wilson Trail Leg at exactly 8:00 PM of Sunday, January 26, 2020 with a time of 18:30 Hours to finish the whole Wilson Trail.
At 8:10 PM, we left immediately the end of Wilson Trail to the Shek O Road for Thomas to start the Hongkong Trail Third Leg. It took us a 22-minute ride on a Taxi to the Bus Stop at Shek O Road which is officially the Starting Area of the Hongkong Trail. Upon arrival, Thomas checked-in with Andre Blumberg and we set-up for the “pit stop” for Thomas. Thomas ate his dinner with the food we cooked for him and the food brought by Christian Villoria. Christian was there to meet us once we alighted from our Taxi ride. The NHK Japanese TV Network guys were also there to meet us with their Video Camera and Lights. They even interviewed Thomas while he was eating his dinner and focused their video camera on the food prepared for him. They were interested to see Fried Tuyo (fried salted sardines), Pork Adobo, and Sinigang Salmon Head (Sour Soup with Salmon Head) as Thomas food for dinner.
After eating, refilling his hydration vest with water and food, and changing his socks and attire, Thomas was ready to start the Hongkong Trail which has a distance of 50 kilometers. Before he left the starting point, Tomokazu “Tomo” Ihara, a sub-60 Finisher in last year’s HK4TUC and also a classmate of Thomas in last year’s event, advised Thomas that he is in the halfway (in terms of time elapsed) of the event and he needs to complete the remaining 120 kilometers in less than 24 hours to be able to be declared as a Finisher of the Event. Tomo said that it will be an easy task for Thomas to take the 7:00 AM Ferry trip to Lantau Island and be able to finish the Lantau Trail before the 60-hour cut-off time. Tomo was surprised to see how Thomas improved on his performance this time as compared to last year. In a conversation with Tomo, I told him about Thomas “lost moments” on the beaches of MacLehose Trail, lots of intersections at the Wilson Trail & mistake of going to the MacLehose Trail, and delays for looking the right MRT Platforms at the Lam Tin and Tai Koo Stations.
Thomas left the Shek O Road at 9:05 PM of Sunday, January 26, 2020 and we expect him to finish the Hongkong Trail in 8 hours or at 5:00 AM of Monday January 27, 2020.
“Master the Basics and Do it Every Day” By Dr. Jason Ross
Note: While browsing on the Internet, I came to reach and read this article. I decided to have it posted in this blog and share it to my readers as a reference or reminder to those who are fond of writing or coming up with their respective New Year’s Resolutions for better healthy lifestyle and outlook in life. I hope my readers will like this article as a guide for their goals in life. Good luck!
I’m a huge fan of Dan John. He’s a strength coach that has the ability to boil down the fluff and periphery to get to the important, central stuff. Own the principles, not the methods. Dan has many books, articles, videos, a lot for free, all over the Internet. I would suggest anyone interested in health and strength to take an hour or two and read his stuff and watch his videos.One of the things that has always stuck with me is Dan’s approach to the basics. Don’t get crazy reaching for the top of the pyramid if your base is not there.
The other point comes from legendary coach Dan Gable who Dan often quotes. “If it’s important, do it every day.” With that template, master the basics and if it’s important, do it every day, here is my list in no particular order.
1. Drink water. Half your body weight in ounces. Sport drinks don’t count, tea doesn’t count. Water. If you drink coffee or pop add another 8 ounces of water.
2. Don’t drink pop.
3. Walk. Try to get 15 minutes a day. Minimum.
4. Get sunshine. Have the actual suns rays touch your skin.
5. Get your Vitamin D levels checked twice a year. Keep your level above 50. 1000 IU for every 25lb of body weight when supplementing.
6. Lift weights. Find something you like and do it 2x a week. I don’t care if it kettle bells, cross fit, powerlifting, bodybuilding or what ever is next around the corner. The more muscle mass you carry as you age, the more healthy you will be. Guaranteed. Carry something, push something, pick something off the floor, pull yourself up. (colored dumbbells do not count though.)
7. Floss. There is a lot of evidence for the health of your gums and the health of your heart.
8. Wear your seat belt. ( I stole 7,8,9 from Dan John himself)
9. Take fish oil. 3-5 grams a day.
10. Get rid of polyunsaturated oils. I think this is why most people that adapt a paleo or primal or low carb diet see such improvements. Unhealthy oils destroy your body.
11. Be grateful. Make a mental list or a physical one.
12. Breath well. Inhale with the diaphragm. Exhale. The ribs should move, not your shoulders.
13. Stretch the hip flexor and then pair it with a glute activation exercise. Your lumbar spine will thank you.
14. Get down on the floor on your back and get back up. Several times a day. No particular technique needed. I’ve lost track of how many patients tell me they fear getting down on the floor for how hard it will be for them to get back up. Don’t let that happen in the first place. If you don’t make it a priority, it can be weeks before you have to actually do it. Think about that for a second.
15. Eat some vegetables. Think Rainbow.
16. Master the hip hinge. Use it. When you bend at the hips not the back, you save your back abuse.
17. Read. The person that doesn’t read and the person that doesn’t know how, not much difference.
18. Roll the bottoms of your feet with golf balls. A lot of fascial lines evolve or cross the bottoms of the feet. Next time your tired at work or after work, take a few minutes to do this and feel your energy return.19. Focus on getting some good fat in your diet. MCT oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter, olive oil, fish oil, avocado, red palm oil, to name a few.20. Drink Green Tea. On top of the water you are going to drink. It’s like amazing for you.
22. Sleep. 7-8 hours a night. There is a lot out there these days about how to get by on less, but science doesn’t seem to support that.
23. Your own personal physical/personal goal. Find a way to work at it every day. If you want to write, write at least one sentence. If you want more mobile hips, do 5 min a day of hip mobility work. Striving towards something you want every day, builds strength and character. Lay some ground work every day, it’s the consistency that counts and makes real changes.
This is my list, I think it’s hard to argue with any of them. What do you want to add?
In the past years, I’ve been buying GU Gels by pieces, depending on the distance of the race that I would join. I’ve been conditioned to use GU Gels in half-marathon and full marathon races, taking one gel every hour of the race. I’ve never used gels in my training runs because they are very expensive and it was hard to be accustomed with the best tasting one.
When I started to join ultra marathon races, I was sparingly using the GU Roctance until I completely shifted to solid foods. Since then, I forgot to use these Gels in my training and races.
With my new training program which started three months ago, I re-introduced the use of GU Gels in my body system during my weekend long runs but only when I am in the verge of bonking on the second half of my workout. The Espresso Love Flavor is presently my most preferable tasting GU Gel and it gives me the desired energy on the last 1-2 hours of my long runs.
It was only when I bought this preferred flavor in boxes when I read the printed instructions on the side of the box on how to use GU properly.
It states that in one’s training workout/run, the runner must ingest ONE GU 15 minutes before starting the run and then ingesting ONE GU every 30-45 minutes during the run. In order to save my stash of GU gels, I eat solid foods before I start my run and during the first half of my workout. On the second half of my workout, if I feel that I am losing my energy, I would ingest at least ONE GU in order to maintain a strong finish.
The instructions also states that when a runner is going to join a race, he/she has to ingest ONE GU 45 minutes before the start of the race and to be followed by another GU 15 minutes before the start of the race. During the race, the runner must be able to ingest ONE GU every 30-45 minutes.
In my latest ultra road race last Sunday, I made some adjustments with the suggested instructions since I had prepared some Perpetuem Mix and additional solid foods for my additional nutrition. I ingested ONE GU 15 minutes before the start of the race and then ingested ONE GU every hour during the race. I think my regular intake of GU Gels with solid foods and liquid/water provided me the much needed energy to finish strong in the said race.
ONE GU Gel (Espresso Love) has 100 calories in one sachet. If it is taken every 30 minutes, the runner has 200 calories for his energy to burn in one hour which is enough to maintain for a consistent energy for the body.
It took me sometime to experiment on the use of GU Gels for the past months. It is costly but very effective but if you have the desire to finish a race, the costs will be worthy.
Finally, it should be noted and highly suggested that the empty sachets of these GU Gels should not be littered along the course. Make sure to return the empty sachets to the pocket or hydration belt/vest where you stashed them before the start of the race and dispose them later in trash bags/bins at the Finish Line.
As early as January 4, 2010, I made an appeal/wish in my blog for the establishment of a “Runners’ Museum & Library”.
This is the exact wordings of my 2010 Running Wish—-“A Runners Library & Museum—A place where runners could share their running “collections” and a place where runners would meet and make their research. A place where we could see the Hall of Fame in Athletics!”
After a year, I made a follow-up blog to remind my readers about my wish for the benefit of the growing number of runners as the years passed. The following is the link of such wish:
I made a specific wish to Coach Rio (I am not sure if he is reading my blog then!) and to other runners to come up with an “cooperative effort” where every runner could share in the realization of my wish. But nobody made the move and I thought that if I have a wish to attain, it is upon me to make the MOVE and start initiating such effort. However, I could see that each runner, blogger, race organizer, and race director have their own personal interest to focus on. And as for me as the “initiator” of this idea through my blog, I simply kept silent on the said wish.
After two years, I was surprised to see on Facebook about the “100 Miles Cafe” concept that my ultra running friend, Jael Wenceslao, had posted in one of his rare “status” at the PUMAGs (Pinoy Ultra Marathoners Group) Page on Facebook.
Months later, I was invited to see for myself where this establishment is located. I would not like to describe in details on what to see and expect in this place.
It may not the exact ideal “Library & Museum” concept that I was thinking but it’s purpose as a place where runners, endurance athletes, their guests and families, relatives and friends could meet and share their “stories” to one another and at the same time a place where lectures, forums, and meetings would be conducted, is very fitting for the said place. But I know, in a few months, this place will transform into a “Library & Museum” for all runners/endurance athletes!
Finally, 100 Miles Cafe will be officially opened with a simple ceremony where runners and other endurance athletes are invited.
See you at the Starting Line @ 100 Miles Cafe, 12 Noon, tomorrow, Friday, April 26, 2013!
Congratulations To Jael and to the Wenceslao Family!
1:00 AM To 8:20 PM, March 20, 2012/Start & Finish @ The Provincial Capitol
On the last week of February, I made a trip to Guimaras Island purposely to visit the place, talk to the Provincial Governor, and recon the circumferential road with a plan to have it as a venue for the incoming PAU National Championships which I scheduled for September 15, 2012.
Despite my initial coordination with the Office of the Governor of Guimaras, my contact person informed me that Gov. Felipe Nava and his wife left for Manila for an important meeting the day before I arrived in the island. So, we had to make some adjustments for the initial coordination.
Provincial Board Member Roy Habana was our savior for the trip. He happens to be a former police officer and personally knows my Uncle-General of the former Philippine Constabulary who was also assigned in the Visayas Area. I explained the purpose of my visit in the island-province to Board Member Habana and he positively endorsed my plan to the Provincial Tourism Officer. After almost one hour of meeting with the Capitol’s Staff concerned on the preparation of my event, the good and very accommodating Board Member Roy invited us for a trip around the island with him as our driver!
For almost 3-4 hours trip on the road around the island, Board Member Roy was our “tourist guide” and host for our “impromtu” lunch prepared and coordinated by her wife in Buenavista, Guimaras (the busiest town of the island). It is in this recon trip that I started to appreciate and love the beauty of the different scenery around the island. Each town has a distinct characteristic of its own which I wanted to feel and see while I am actually running on the ground.
My initial impression of the place is that, this is a “paradise” for ultrarunners! No frills, no vehicular traffic, very nice scenery, challenging terrain of the route, nice people, air quality is very good and above all, a very peaceful environment. No restrictions on what side of the road you would like to run and I intend to allow the use of earphones for the race!
The purpose of my day trip to the island had been attained. Before I left the island, I promised to Board Member Roy that I’ll be back soon for me to actually run around the island. He was amazed! He told me that I will set the record and history for the island for the first runner to run around the island-province! I smiled at him and expressed my heartfelt thanks for the hospitality given during my stay.
Fast Forward. Almost after three weeks, I landed in the Iloilo Airport (again, for the 2nd time this year) with my support crew/security waiting for me. Visiting Iloilo City is not complete if I don’t have my lunch at the Mang Inasal Resto inside the SM Mall in the city, a practice or habit I developed when I was a Division Commander of the Philippine Army in this area. After lunch, I bought my nutritional and hydration needs at the SM Grocery. Top on the list are “Biscocho” & “Butterscotch” from Biscocho Haus; lots of Gardenia Loaf Bread & a bottle of Lily’s Peanut Butter; SMB Pale Pilsen in Cans; Mountain Dew; Nescafe Latte in Cans; Gatorade Powder Mix (I brought it with me); and Absolut Bottled Water. (Yes, I drink beer during my adventure runs!)
A boat ride (each boat is good for 50 passengers) from the city to the island of Guimaras followed after leaving the SM Mall. The fare is only Fifteen Pesos (P 15.00) per person and in 20-25 minutes, we were at the Jordan’s Port in the island. The boat ride was slower this time as compared on my first visit because of the rains, strong winds, and cloudy skies but the sea water is always calm in between Iloilo and Guimaras.
The generosity and hospitality of the Province is superb! Governor Nava prepared for my team’s free hotel accommodation and 50% discount on food for two days at the Raymen Beach Resort in Barangay Alubihod, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras plus the dedicated support vehicle, an Escapade Nissan Van (but I had to buy for the diesel/gas during the whole trip) ! The place, beach, water and amenities are great. Although it is far from the Provincial Capitol, my stay in this place was very relaxing!
As soon as the team was settled in the resort, I met my support crew/security and briefed them about the details of my adventure run. My run would start infront of the Provincial Capitol in Barangay San Miguel, Jordan at 1:00 AM the following day and the run will go on a counter-clockwise direction around the island. My team was advised to sleep immediately after the briefing with a dinner call at 7:30 PM and then sleep again; and then with a “wake-up” call at 12:00 Midnight before going to the Starting Line. My support vehicle would “leap-frog” every 2 kilometers with a motorbike-riding-in-tandem would be on my tail. This adventure run would follow an ala-military operations style of implementation so that it will come out with a successful result! There should be no point where mistakes/errors should be committed.
At 00:45 AM, I was met by Board Member Roy Habana infront of the Provincial Capitol. Wow! I really admire this guy! I am not surprised why the people of Guimaras would elect him to his elective post every election year! My salute to this fine gentleman who is known from his unblemished and outstanding service in the Philippine National Police! We had a brief talk and he wished me good luck before I started my run. After offering a personal prayer for this run, I left the Starting Area at exactly 1:00 AM of March 20, 2012.
My run from the Provincial Capitol was generally downhill but there are also places where there are uphill climbs for the rest of the town of Jordan until I reached the boundary of Nueva Valencia, which is the next town. Nueva Valencia offers a mix of rolling hills just like Jordan but the southernmost part area in this town has a lot of places where it seems there is only the town of Nueva Valencia that covers the whole province! After covering a distance of 42K, I was still in the said town!
It was about sunrise when I saw a lone runner sprinting uphill doing his morning run in one of the last barangays of Nueva Valencia. He was the only runner whom I saw during my run. Nueva Valencia-Sibunag area has a lot fishponds and the scenery was simply refreshing to the eyes! Most of the Sibunag roads are under construction and there are sparse places where runners would encounter uphill climbs!
I would religiously follow my Gymboss setting of 3-minute run & 45-second brisk walk for the first 50 kilometers of my run and I did not feel any pain or imminent attack of cramps on my calves. I was fresh and still strong! Every 2 kilometers, I would eat 2 pieces of “biscocho” and 2 pieces of “butterscotch” with water or gatorade mix and the drill was repeated throughout my run. This is not an advertisement for Biscocho Haus of Iloilo City but that was my nutritional intake for the whole run. If you have tasted these two delicacies already, then you know already why it powers me up during this run!
Board Member Roy Habana linked up with me in the boundary of Sibunag & San Lorenzo for my breakfast/lunch in a roadside eatery/resto where I ate the best “native chicken” tinola in the region with lots of broth! I was simply feeling cold because of my damp running apparel brought about by the rain during the run but the hot broth/soup of the dish kept me warm and my leg muscles’ fresh! I think we stopped for 40 minutes for lunch as more interesting conversation cropped up with the good host-Board Member Roy. Well, he paid for our lunch, to include the police escorts’ meal! Being the Chairman of the Peace & Order of the Provincial Council, he made sure that I was properly escorted by the PNP in every municipality of the Province! Amazing! I did not get this kind of treatment & attention when I was still in the active military service!
As I resumed my run, Board Member Roy passed by on a muddy part of a road under construction and said that he will be going ahead and hope to see me finish at the Provincial Capitol.
I made a discovery that I could run stronger and my endurance last longer if I drink 2-3 cans of beer during my adventure runs. Drinking one can at a time should be spaced properly during such runs. One should not drink more than one can every pit stop! I usually start to drink beer after finishing the marathon distance of 42K (at least, one can to reward myself for finishing the marathon distance) and from there every 10K, I take a sip and once I finished my 2nd marathon distance (84-85K), I should have finished my 2nd can of beer. However, every 2-Kilometer “pit-stop”, I have to drink water or Gatorade and ingest “biscocho & butterscotch”! The 3rd can of beer is taken after finishing my run! It worked well with me.
However, there are times when I fell sleepy while taking my time to finish my 2nd can of beer. The solution is to bring out my Nescafe Latte or Espresso Blend in Cans to perk me up. Espresso Blend is better though because of its strong bitter taste!
As I approached the 90-Kilometer mark all the way to the Finish Line, it’s time to bring out the most powerful source of sugar/glucose—Mountain Dew!
The strong headwinds and crosswinds of San Lorenzo almost zapped my strength on this run. The road is so flat that I was bent on increasing my pace but the wind was so strong that I spent so much force to maintain my short but quick strides. As usual, I was maintaining my Heart Rate of not going beyond 150 beats per minute for the whole duration of this run. There is no use to battle it out with the wind and I concentrated on following my Gymboss setting.
After the strong winds in San Lorenzo, here comes now the start of never-ending uphill climbs once I approached the town of Buenavista. Board Member Roy told me beforehand that there is only one uphill climb from San Lorenzo going to Buenavista, but he was wrong. I think I counted four (4) major uphill climbs before I reached the town!
Passing along the Poblacion of Buenavista was a blast! Board Member Roy, his wife and friends were on the roadside cheering and clapping their hands as I passed by! This town could be the busiest town in the island with lots of people/students leaving their schools; lots of people going and coming out of the public market; and vehicles/tricycles plying along the road.
I was scheduled to reach the finish line between 6:00 and 7:00 PM but the hills in Buenavista and Jordan prevented me from attaining it. It was getting darker already when I slowly ascended each of these hills that I had to brisk walk and took my time to breath the fresh air around. At this point, I was starting to feel the most awaited thing in endurance sports—pain, agony and suffering for an ultrarunner. I was already on my last 10 kilometer before the finish line and all the pains coming from all parts of my body were starting to appear. It is a warning that I need to take something solid in my stomach. I am lucky that we bought a lot of “biscocho & butterscotch”! Biscocho Haus’ products & Mountain Dew are the best food & hydration on this part of my run!
The last 10-kilometer distance in all my adventure runs is simply the hardest but the sweetest of them all. You can easily forget your first 10 kilometers in every ultrarunning race but the last 10 kilometers will always remain in your thoughts that gives a special signature or significance of the race/run that you have successfully finished! This is where you remember to recite and shout your favorite running mantra; this where the “demons and angels” of running will argue with each other; this is where “mind over body” would work; this is where you determine what you are made of; this where you remember your loved ones who are rooting for you to finish this race; this is where you think of your inspiration; this is where you curse yourself why you are doing this run/race; and lastly, this is where you separate yourself from being an ordinary “running boy or girl”! This is where you think that you are a brave “warrior” and nobody would defeat you in order to win your battle!
The last 10 kilometers were challenging part of the route indeed! My Garmin Forerunner 305 would prove that the Provincial Capitol sits on the peak of the highest hill in Jordan, Guimaras! I finally reached the exact place where I started my run infront of the Provincial Capitol with a clock time of 8:20 PM of the same day which means that I finished my run in 19:20+ hours for a distance of 110 Kilometers.
Hereunder are the summary of data taken from my two (2) GF 305:
Distance: 110 Kilometers
Time: 19:20:04 hours
Average HR: 135 beats per minute (bpm)
Maximum HR: 149 beats per minute (bpm)
Total Calories Spent: 5,066 cal
Total Ascent: 3,663 meters (12, 088 ft)
Total Descent: 3,653 meters (12,055 ft)
Under Armour Compression Shirt
CW-X Compression Shorts
Under Armour Runner’s Cap
Nathan “Sprint” Watter Bottle
2 GF 305 Watches with Heart Monitor
After a dinner of Fresh Fish Sinigang, Native Chicken Adobo, Pancit Canton and lots Guimaras Mangoes, I was already on my bed snoring loudly. After almost 9 hours of sleep, I was already on the salty waters of the beach soaking my tired legs for almost 30 minutes.
Before my team left the island, I had the chance to personally talk to Governor Nava about my run and my plan to hold the PAU National Championships in his province in the later part of the year. He appreciated my feat in running the whole island and he told me that I made a history in the island as the first and only person (and the only retired Major General of the AFP) to have run around the island in a single stage. He also appreciates my purpose of bringing “Sports Tourism” in the province.
A visit to Guimaras is not complete if you have not tasted and brought back home the sweetest mango in the world—Guimaras Mangoes! “Nothing Beats The Guimaras Mango”!!!
Whenever you are asked to eat some more in parties or in family lunch or dinner, your probable answer would be, “Thank you, I am full”. It means that you don’t have enough space in your stomach for the additional food being offered to you. Your stomach is already “stuffed” with the mixture of solid foods and drinks that you have ingested.
The problem now among us is how to determine if we are already “stuffed” with food after our meals. Sometimes, most of us would loosen our belts and allow our stomach to bulge to the fullest when we say that we are “full” already. Others would simply eat the right amount and have the discipline and consciousness to eat the right amount of food without being “stuffed” or without their stomach “ballooned” to a bigger size.
We always do this whenever we are invited to parties and other events where the host would prepare a lot of mixed selection of foods. This is a chance for us to eat the foods which are not normal or ordinary in our daily meals. This is a chance and opportunity for us to stuff our belly with such served foods. Much more when we are invited when the food being offered are in buffet style!
For a runner like me, I would say that I could easily burn the calories on those foods for 1-2 hours of steady run the following day and I could revert back to my usual foods for the days to come. But for others who are not consistent with their running workout and for those who are not involved in any kind of sports, such foods “stuffed” in their stomach would be converted to fats and I am sure that this will result to some additional pound/s in their body weight. And when they see that their weight had increased, then that the only time that they realize that they have to exercise or go out for a run/bike/swim. It is sad to note that it is faster to add more pounds to your body weight than the time needed to reduce one’s weight!
So, how do we find out if we are already “stuffed” or “full” when we eat? The technique that I would recommend is to make a rating of fullness from 1-to-5 scale. If your rating is 5 on the scale, it means that you are about to loosen your belt and remove the upper button of your pants! If your rating is 1, then you need to eat some more! So to be safe, a rating of 3-4 on the scale would be a good gauge to say that you have stuffed the right amount of food which you could easily burn while you are doing your regular daily activities.
Remember, the rating 3-4 on the scale whenever you eat in parties or in buffet lunch and dinner so that you can still maintain your running performance weight in every running event you would want to join.
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!
The “Two-Week Test” is one of the salient parts of Dr Phil Maffetone’s training for endurance athletes. It is something to do with one’s ability to balance the presence of carbohydrates in the body with the other nutrients like protein and fats.
According to Dr Maffetone, there are signs and symptoms that you have more carbohydrates stored in the body when you are overweight, easily exhausted in simple exercises, and sleepy after every meal. There are more signs and symptoms stated in his books and articles but these are the things that I tried to experiment and be able to improve as my reasons in trying this “test”.
This is not a diet program but a simple test that will last for two weeks. This is a test of discipline, patience, focus and determination. All you have to do is to refrain from taking any drinks and food with SUGAR for 14 days. This is to include fresh fruits and some vegetables. Of course, coffee with sugar & cream is a no-no! Not even alcoholic drinks,beer, sodas, and Gatorade/Energy Drinks. It also means not eating rice during your meal. Forget your “hot pandesal”, pancakes, doughnuts, bagels, chips, cookies, oatmeal, ice cream, chocolates and cakes!
It is a challenge but it is worth trying if you want to improve on your training and endurance races.
As a start, you have to record your weight before you start this test and come up with a journal or daily diary. You have to record also what you observe to your body for signs of too much carbohydrate in the body like: easily exhausted in simple exercises; high rate of heart pulse/hear beat; easily irritated; moody; feeling too-stressed all the time; feeling sleepy after meal; and lack of focus.
As soon as you start with the test, put in your journal the things that you observe in your body; your daily weight; morning pulse rate; and the food/s you ingested. Be sure to maintain your journal on a daily basis. Just remember NOT to eat any kind of carbohydrate foods! If you feel hungry, just eat anything that is rich in protein and healthy fats!
During my test, I ate lots of eggs, omelettes, fish, meat (pork & beef), and other seafood. I could hardly count the number of egg trays that I consumed during the duration of the test. In one of the birthday parties I was invited, I finished more than one-half order of “Crispy Pata” and one order of Squid Platter Steak and broiled Tilapia without any rice! On ordinary days, I ate lots of pork barbecue, fried chicken, native chicken tinola, pork adobo, longganiza, fish (Salmon, Tilapia, Bangus and Lapu-Lapu), shrimps & prawns (from Pangasinan) and our ever famous, “Laoag Bagnet”.
I just finished my “Two-Week Test” last Sunday. And here are the results:
I was able to reduce my weight by 12 pounds. I was 150 pounds when I started the test and last Sunday’s weighing on the scale resulted to 138 pounds! Since Dr Maffetone advises its athlete to take the “two-week test” during the aerobic phase when observing his MAF (Maximum Aerobic Function) by following his 180 Formula of HR Monitor, the body tends to use its fats during workouts. So, in my experience, I was able to burn some of my body fats while doing my HR Monitor workouts. Thus, I was able to reduce my weight within a limited number of days!
I did not feel any exhaustion, soreness, and pain during and the days after the last MILO Marathon Elimination. I did not even experience any muscle cramps even if my longest run before the MILO Marathon was only 16 kilometers. Although I ran only 32 kilometers in the MILO Marathon by following the MAF Heart Rate of 132 beats per minute, it was surprising that I was able to run the distance without taking any solid food before and during the run. Moreso, I did not have any “carbo-loading” to speak of, days before the run.
Before I started following Dr Maffetone’s training, my tendency is to be sleepy after my breakfast in the morning, with or without any runs before breakfast. What is worse is that I always go for a nap after my lunch almost every day. As a result of the “two-week test”, I am now fully awake and don’t feel sleepy at all after breakfast and lunch.
If you think this is a “big” challenge to undertake, I think it’s not. If you have some signs and symptoms like I had before I did this
test, then it is worth trying it. However, if you want to have better results on your training and in your endurance races, I think this is best “test” that I can recommend to everybody!
10:30 AM March 21, 2011/Laur, NE to Dingalan Bay, Aurora
Laur, Nueva Ecija is a small town where the National Highway does not pass on its Poblacion or center of the town. If you are travelling towards Gabaldon, NE, you could barely see the town as you need to turn left from a corner where the only Petron Gasoline Station is located. There are no common or popular commercial establishment or popular fastfood restaurants in the place. There was only one place where it serves cooked food and this was the place where I had my brunch with my team. The food was simple—sinigang na bangus, pork adobo, sauteed meat, and rice with fresh banana. The food serves its purpose as my source of energy for the day.
I was on a relaxed mood after I finished my brunch and took my time to reach Km Post #145 which is only less than one kilometer away from the Poblacion. I knew that this will be my last day of my adventure run and very confident that I will reach my destination without any “issues” or accidents along the road. I just have to maintain the things that I’ve done for the past days and I let my body on “automatic” mode once I start my run. It was at the Kilometer Post where I wear my ASICS Gel-LyteRacer and my Gray DryMax Running Socks. After wearing and checking the accessories I need to wear, I started my run with a simple prayer and sign of a cross, a ritual I’ve never missed to do every time I start my run.
I am not a stranger in this place as it was part of my Area of Operations (AOR) when I was a Brigade Commander of the 7th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army. I always visit Gabaldon and Dingalan because it was our Advanced Command Post (ACP) whenever we had combat and civil-military operations in the mountainous and forested areas of these two towns. But times have changed since then. The roads are now cemented and well-built with the proper drainage and structured concrete bridges. More houses had been built along the Highway. There are already elementary and high schools built in most of the more populated barangays. And there are newly constructed and developed garden and water resorts in the area.
I was assigned in these areas for 2 years and 4 months. What I like with Gabaldon are their Onions! Gabaldon is considered as the Onion Capital of the Country. They cultivate and produce the white and the red onions. There were times when the price of these onions would go down to P 5.00 per kilo and a bagful (20 kilos) would only cost P 100.00! I usually bring some of these onions (in bags of 20 kilos) to Manila and give them as a gift to my friends, peers, relatives, superiors, and subordinates. Well, after a few days, they complain to me that they smell like onions already! On the other hand, the more smart traders/businessmen from Visayas and Mindanao would buy these onions when the price is low and have them transported to their “refrigirated” warehouses so that the freshness of the onions will be maintained even after months of being stored. And then sell them when they supply is low. It’s a good business!
On my last day of my run, I opted to use my ever reliable Patagonia Capilene White Long-Sleeved Shirt. This is the same shirt that I used in last year’s Marin Headlands 50-Mile Train Run. It is not tight but it gives me a comfortable feeling when I run. As for the running shorts, I used a NIKE running shorts which I bought (at a discounted price) in a NIKE Store at the Caltex Gasoline Station along the NLEX. The running shorts is nice and comfortable that I did not have “issues” on my upper inner legs and crotches. I was already confident that I really did not need the Adidas Tech Fit Compression Short for this particular leg of my adventure run. I wanted to appear in my pictures as a traditional runner! The DryMax Trail Socks is thicker than the ordinary running socks and it fits well to my ASICS Gel-LyterRacer. I have no worries if my socks will be wet from the water that I pour on my neck and head, and perspiration from my body that goes down to my legs. I knew these socks will not give me any problems with blisters.
As soon as I started my run, the places that I passed and looked forward became familiar as I recall those times when I usually pass along this road going to Gabaldon and Dingalan. The scenery of the place is really amazing. This is the place where you could see clean and crystal clear flowing water on rivers. I’ve never seen such kind and condition of water on rivers that I passed in the provinces of Pangasinan and Tarlac. The mountains and hills are also amazing to behold. Although most of these mountains lack those thick forested areas, their size, formation and the different colors from their vegetation could give refreshing feeling to the eyes. How I wish these hills and mountains have trails where runners could walk and run. I hope to return to these places and talk to the locals and get more information about the trails on these mountains.
I have observed that the road is clean from Laur to Gabaldon. I did not see any trash or unnecessary wastes along the road. Even when I reached the Poblacion of Gabaldon, I did not see any trash along the road. But what I’ve observed was that there are parts of the mountains which are burned. Burning the grass on the mountains had been an annual practice of the people thereat. The burning of the grass is a way for the grass to re-grow and the new grass growth is a good food or feed for the cattle in the area.
I have to maintain my nutrition strategy during the run. I usually take a meal before my daily run as it gives me the necessary energy to last me for 1 1/2 to 2 hours and I don’t ingest any sports gel. I maintain my hydration strategy by drinking a sip of water evey two kilometers where my support have “leap frogged” ahead of me. This is repeated up to the time I reach 1 1/2 hours of running. After this, I drink one-half bottle of Sports Drinks and every 1 1/2 hours thereafter. If I feel hungry, I take those Nature Valley Sports Bar and/or Chips Ahoy Cookies. If there are fresh fruits, like banana or mangoes. I take them when I feel hungry.
As for my running & walking strategy, I dropped using the Galloway Method of following a run-walk ratio religiously. I simply followed my ritual of running along the descending and flat portions of the road and simply brisk walking on the ascending portions of the road. However, I tried my best to quicken my average pace during the run. The counting of strides was still religiously followed most especially during those times when the heat of the sun and the cement were very challenging. The counting kept my sanity during the run. Of course, there are times also that I pray when I feel that I was exhausted.
In one of the legs/days of this adventure run, I tried a run strategy where I have to run hard on the early hours and sustain whatever strength I have left in my body in the later hours of the day. To be specific, I have to run 8 kilometers for the first hour; 7 kilometers for the second hour; 6 kilometers for the 3rd hour; and then maintain 5 kilometers for the 4th and succeeding hours until I end the run for the day. So, if I am going to run for 8 hours for the day, I would be able to finish at least 46 kilometers for the day. Nice run strategy but it really puts pressure on me. If not for the swelling of my left quads and the pain that goes with it, it would have been doable.
Due to my predicament after the Camiling-La Paz Leg, I maintained an average pace of 5 kilometers per hour but it became slower when I reached the uphills of Fort Magsaysay-Laur-Gabaldon-Dingalan areas. Although I was able to recover on the last two legs of this run, I did not think of taking the risk of increasing my pace on a tempo run mode but maintaining the LSD mode would be the nice decision for this adventure run. The goal is to finish this adventure run where I can still stand up and walk on my own and drive the support vehicle back to Metro Manila.
For so many times, I’ve taken pictures of mountains that resemble the mountains in Marin Headlands in San Francisco, California in almost all the places that I passed through. I know for sure that that there are trails on these mountains and they could be used for trail running events in the future. I know for sure that once upon a time, these trails had been used by the insurgents and military patrols at the height of the government’s efforts to thwart the spread of insurgency in the country. Sometimes, I would think that trail running in some of the mountains in the country would drive away those insurgents to higher mountains and more forested areas. However, on the places that I passed through, these mountains are already cleared from the insurgents.
The challenge now is to find out the trails inside the Fort Magsaysay Military Reservation Area. This would be the best place to conduct an ultra trail running event in the future. I’ve been thinking about this while I was running through the places at Fort Magsaysay the previous day. It is doable and runners would be excited to experience an ultra trail run on a regular basis within the year.
I was also thinking during my run to purposely travel from Manila up to Fort Magsaysay by taking the NLEX-SCETX-La Paz-Zaragoza-Santa Rosa-Fort Magsaysay Route to find out the travel time. Before the SCETX was constructed, the route to Fort Magsaysay would pass along the busy eastern towns of Bulacan and the southern towns of Nueva Ecija. Before, it takes 3 1/2 to 4 hours to reach Fort Magsaysay from Manila even if I take the shortcut route from Gapan, Nueva Ecija to the Southern Gate of Fort Magsaysay through Papaya, Nueva Ecija. I would say and suspect that Fort Magsaysay could be reached in 2 1/2 hours by taking the new route. I will try to prove if my suspicion is right in the coming days.
It was uneventful that I was able to reach the Poblacion of Gabaldon, NE. This town is the location of the Nueva Ecija University of Science and Technology. I had my pictures taken infront of Resort 8 where we stayed overnight before this day’s run. From that point, I had 5 more kilometers to the Poblacion of Gabaldon.
The road from Gabaldon to Dingalan has a distance of 12 kilometers. When I was still assigned in this place, the road was a dirt road with big boulders/stones protruding from the ground. Ordinary cars and vehicles would not be able to reach Dingalan because of the steep roads and slippery and muddy road. It was only those with 4-wheel drive transmission vehicles that could reach Dingalan from Gabaldon. But from what I was seeing during my run, the place had completely changed because of the first class highway where any kind of vehicle would be able to reach Dingalan
Dingalan is the southern most town of Aurora Province and you need to travel through Nueva Ecija in order to reach the capital of Aurora which is Baler. Dingalan Bay is being planned to be the eastern seaport of the country and this could be the reason why the government constructed the SCETX as it would connect it to Subic Bay Freeport. A high-speed highway from Dingalan Bay to Subic Bay Freeport would cut the travel time of goods/materials from the Pacific Ocean to South China Sea or vice-versa, instead of the transport ships coming from the Pacific Ocean to go all the way south to the tip of Bicol region and finally going northwest to Manila Bay.
Dingalan Bay had been the source of Yellow Fin and Blue Marlin Tunas. When I was assigned in this area, a kilo of these fresh fish cost only P 45-50.00. My officers would buy by bulk (minimum of 10 kilos) and had the meat of the fish packaged and frozen into sashimi cuts. Whenever we have visitors from our Higher Headquarters and from our Operating Units, they were surprised when we serve them with sashimi with Wasabe Paste and Kikkoman Soy Sauce. I hope that those fresh catch tunas are still cheap at present.
It was already dark when I reached the last kilometer post. After the usual photo-ops, I ran another 600 meters towards the Dingalan Beach. The Dingalan Beach within the edge of the Poblacion is full of black stones while the neighboring barangay farther south has a beach with black/dark sand. After a picture pose at the Dingalan Beach, I grabbed my Nathan Bottle that I carried throughout the Adventure Run on my Nathan Hydration Belt where the Salt Water from Bolinao Beach was placed and contained.
Finally, at 6:20 PM, I slowly poured the Salt Water from the South China Sea to the waves of the Pacific Ocen. Mission accomplished. I was able to finish this “West To East” Adventure Run.
We tried to look for a place to rest overnight along Dingalan Beach but because it was dark along the main road that goes to the Beach Resorts, I decided to go back to Gabaldon’s Stone 8 Resort for the night. However, as we left the Poblacion of Dingalan, we dropped by a restaurant/resort on top of a mountain which is 3 kilometers away and along the highway. The establishment is called Gina’s Place. The place don’t have any display of cooked food but we were advised to order the food we want. I ordered Sinigang Na Yellow Fin Tuna and Broiled Blue Marlin. It was worth the wait as the tunas cooked were fresh.
After our dinner, we were back to Stone 8 Resort. It is time to rest and recover.
Data/Information For the Day’s Run:
Weather: Hot but it got cooler in the later part in the afternoon and in higher elevation