“West To East”: 5th Day/”Pain Is Temporary”

12:45 PM March 19, 2011/SCTEX Exit/Entry in La Paz, Tarlac to Santa Rosa, Nueva Ecija 

I got good signs that I would be able to continue my run on the 5th day when I saw my swollen left quadriceps had reduced in size and the pain I felt could be tolerable when I woke up in the morning with 9 hours of sleep. It did not matter if I was going to start at noon time for my day’s run as long as I can push my body to run a distance and bring myself nearer to my place of destination.

I was glad that I brought my Adidas Tech Fit Compression Shorts which has those shiny straps that are positioned on the buttocks & hamstring areas and connecting to my quadriceps muscle. The shiny strap has a way to compress and hold my muscles on the areas it covers and it relieves pain on such areas. I was lucky to have brought such compression shorts which I don’t normally wear on my training and road races. It was a blessing that I brought such compression shorts!

After taking my shower after I woke up, I tried the shorts and it perfectly solved my problem about my quads—the swollen portion is pressed by the strap and it minimizes the pain that I could feel every time I lift me left foot from the ground. At this point, I know I could reach my destination with the plan to use this compression all the way to the beach of Dingalan Bay.

After we checked-out from the hotel, we have to travel 35 kilometers from Cabanatuan City back to La Paz, Tarlac but along the way, we decided to take it easy for the day and observe how my swollen quads would react for the day’s run. In Zaragoza, Nueve Ecija (the first town of Nueva Ecija from Tarlac Province) and the town next to La Paz, Tarlac, we stopped by in one of the road side eateries which had been there for the past 40 years serving broiled catfish (hito) to people passing such area. These catfish are freshly caught and cooked as the place is surrounded with river and marshland.

Early Lunch @ Eva's Restaurant (Broiled Hito, Fried Pork Liempo, and...)
Beef Bulalo @ Eva's Restaurant (La Paz-Zaragoza Boundary)

We had our early lunch at 11:00 AM at the Eva’s Eatery which located near the Zaragoza Bridge (there is a lot of bridges though in Zaragoza in between La Paz and Santa Rosa). As we entered the place made of bamboo, wood, nipa hut, and concrete floor, I observed that the place is clean and had improved a lot since my last visit here when I was still a Lieutenant/Captain. The Inihaw Na Hito and broiled Pla-pla wrapped on an aluminum foil are still the favorite dishes in the place. We ordered Bulalo, Inihaw Na Hito, and Fried Pork Liempo and the food was great. We stayed in the place longer as we had planned as more customers entered the establishment. There was this group of motorbikers who stopped for lunch, two families in two separate commuter vans also joined, a middle-age couple, individuals, and seemingly businessmen and travellers passing along the said road.

After lunch, I prepared myself inside the restaurant by wearing my running shoes and arm sleeves and I knew that my trip to the starting point will be a short one. I started the run at 12:45 Noon after the usual photo-ops. It was hot but I was used to it already. At this time, I was wearing the “A Runner’s Circle” (BOA USA) Technical Shirt from Joe Matias, Raul, and Perkins of the said Specialty Running Store. I know, wearing this shirt is some sort of advertising the place and most of the people at the Eva’s Eatery were able to see my shirt, moreso, on all the places that I have passed along the way. It was a way to give back the favour of what ARC Manila had supported to the Elite Team Bald Runner, BDM and PAU Races. Thanks, guys! You are doing great to serve the running community of the country. Please continue helping others!

@ The SCETX Exit/Entry in La Paz, Tarlac

 I was glad my swollen left quads are holding up with the continuous pounding of my left foot on the road. I tried to shift my “more dominant” running leg to my right leg/foot and tried to run with my left leg with a very light touch on the ground. The counting of strides was still there and the “drill” on the road was followed religiously without let-up. Everything that I was doing on the road was already automatic and the support crew was already expert on providing me everything that I needed.

On The Road To Santa Rosa, Nueva Ecija
Running Alone On The Road
Entering The Province of Nueva Ecija

Along the La Paz-Zaragoza-Santa Rosa Road, I was consistently passed by wide trucks that carry US Marines’ mobility equipment, generators, and water treatment facility which I suspect to be proceeding to Fort Magsaysay. There must be a Joint Military Exercises which is about to be conducted with the US Armed Forces and the Armed Forces of the Philippines inside the vast areas of Fort Magsaysay. Even if I was running on the right side of the road, these wide trucks really give some space as they passed me. The trucking company has good and disciplined drivers.

Passing On Those Parked Trucks Carrying US Armed Forces Assets
Passing Trucks Giving Me Space On The Road
Resting While Having Some Photo-Ops With The Ricefields
I Love The Pain and The Scenery Along The Road

I passed by the Eva’s Eatery and had some photo-ops outside of the place. The traffic of vehicle on the Nueva Ecija side is lesser as compared with the Tarlac side. The road from Zaragoza to Santa Rosa is bounded with vast ricefields on both sides and it was refreshing to see the colors of green and yellow as most of them have already grains on it. The rice will be ready for harvest in a few weeks’ time. 

Signs That I Was Near The Poblacion of Santa Rosa
Running As I Crossed The Santa Rosa Bridge
And Then Walking Up To The End of the Bridge
Finished 30K At This Point But I Need To Run Some More!

Since this day’s run is for me to observe the condition of my swollen quads, I made it a point that this is my recovery run. I decided to cover a distance of 32 kilometers. Once I crossed the Santa Rosa Bridge, I was able to complete 30 kilometers. I needed to run another 2 kilometers and crossed the Maharlika Highway as the road leads me to Fort Magsaysay.

It was already dark when I reached the last kilometer post for the day. My swollen quads had passed the test and they have maintained its present condition. The pain was still there but it was tolerable. A longer sleep/rest will surely do the trick for me to be ready again for the next day’s run. The Adidas Tech Fit Compression Shorts did its job to hold my leg muscles during this recovery run lasting for 5 ½ hours actual time of running. I highly recommend this kind of compression shorts for those who are ultra runners and planning to do their multi-day adventure runs in the future. I decided to have it washed immediately and have it as my running shorts for the next day!

Continued To Run, Passing Along the Santa Rosa Public Market
Finally, Sitting On Top Of the Last Kilometer Post of the Day!

My dinner was in one of the road side eateries in Cabanatuan City with Sinigang Na Baboy, Lechon Paksiw, and our left-over of our Bulalo from the Eva’s Restaurant in the La Paz-Zaragoza boundary. After the dinner, we had to go back to the Hotel where we stayed the previous day because of its Wi-Fi Connection and clean rooms.

I did not had my swollen quads massaged but placed an Ice Bag to it for a duration of 30 minutes and then apply a thin layer of Omega Pain Killer and I took one capsule of Alaxan FR before going to bed.

So far, I’ve completed a distance of 207 kilometers after 5 days of running from the beach of Bolinao, Pangasinan. I knew I would be running another 70+ kilometers until I would reach my destination. I had mixed emotions before going to bed as I knew the places I will be passing along will be bounded with mountains and the roads offer more steep inclinations and therefore, will be more challenging on my part. There is only one way to think about the challenges for the next days—think positive!

Some of the additional data/information on this day’s run:

Weather: Very hot but becoming colder during night time.

Distance Covered For the Day: 32 Kilometers

Duration of Actual Running: 5 ½ Hours

Average Pace: 5-6 Kilometers Per Hour

Running Apparel: A Runner’s Circle (BOA USA) Shirt; Adidas Tech Fit Compression Shorts; Adidas White Soccer Socks; Headsweat Running Cap; Local Buff; Arm Sleeves; Nathan Hydration Belt; and Sunglasses by Ray-Ban

Running Shoes: ASICS Gel-LyteRacer


Dinner (Previous Day)—P 450.00

Early Lunch @ Eva’s Restaurant with Softdrinks—P 640.00

Hotel Accommodation—P 900.00

Dinner @ Cabanatuan City Roadside Eatery—P 160.00

Gasoline @ Cabanatuan City—P 1,000.00

Total Expenses For The Day—P 3,150.00

Total Distance Covered (After 5 Days)—207 Kilometers

To be continued…