5th Day: Final Climb To Baguio City

1. The plan for the 5th Day was to finish the “adventure run” to Baguio City. It will take me 58 kilometers to run/walk for the this “leg”. I knew that Kennon Road covers a distance of 35 kilometers and the uphill road starts from Barangay Saitan, Rosario, La Union which is the road that intersects with the Main National Highway.

5th Day: TNF Apparel Day @ Km Post #192

2. For me to finish this “leg”, I need to have a longer time to sleep the night before the 5th day, wake up earlier than the previous days, and start the run before sunrise. The 5th leg is planned to be a continous run/walk from Kilometer Post #192 to Kilometer Post #250. So, I woke up at 4:00 AM; did the “drill” as if I am going to join a road race; and packed my things.

3. It was still dark when I started my run at Km Post #192 in Binalonan, Pangasinan at 5:45 AM. The sidewalk is still the same—full of stones/gravel and sand which made my run slower and had to use my flashlight. I was wearing my TNF Trail Running Shorts; TNF Long-sleeved shirt; TNF Hand-held Hydration bottle; Under Armour Cap; ASICS Gel-Kanbara 4; PUMA Socks; Armando Caruso Buff as headband; Oakley sunglass; and two Bandanas tied around my neck. From where I started, I had to run/walk at least 23 kilometers to the Rivervue Restaurant where I plan to have a decent breakfast with steamed rice! The restaurant is 400 meters away from the intersection of Kennon Road and the National Highway.

@ Sison, Pangasinan Bridge With Rey Jimenez
Entering The Province of La Union

4. At Km 21, Rey Jimenez of Dagupan City met me along the road and we started to run together. Rey finally believed about my description on the sidewalks of our National Highway as he had seen stones and gravel & sand. After running for two kilometers, we stopped for our breakfast and rest. I ate “tapsilog” with their native chocolate/cocoa hot drink. I really liked the hot native chocolate drink! We stayed at Rivervue Restaurant for about 45 minutes and I think we were the first customer for the day.

At The Benguet Province Boundary (Courtesy of Rey Jimenez)

5. What is good about running on the road is that you are not affected with those traffic brought about by the repair of some bridges and parts of the road where only one lane is usable by the vehicles. We have to pass vehicles which were waiting for their turn to pass the only lane for both traffic. I am sure the people inside the vehicles were talking about us that we are “crazy” running along the Kennon Road towards Baguio City.

@ Our "Pit & Pee" Stops Along Kennon Road Near The Bridal Veil Falls

6. Cyclists from the South would pass me while I was running on my first 20 kilometer and I know that they are also on their way to Baguio City. We would meet a lot of cyclists also coming from Baguio and later see them going back again to the city. I always wave my hands to these cyclists and they respond also. These “cyclists” are the real ones—they are thin, flat-chested, and with very DARK skin! I just laugh to myself when I compare those regular cyclists I always see doing their “circuit” workouts at the BHS loop. 

Walking Breaks Together With Rey
Rey Leading The Way During Our Walking Breaks

7. Running along the Kennon Road is very tricky and you need to be always on the safe side. Take advantage of the limited space at the sidewalk where you could run/walk. I don’t advise runners to use their Ipods/MP3 when running in Kennon Road or for that matter, when running along the National Highway. A runner should have a keen sense of hearing from the incoming vehicle on both lanes of the road. During this adventure run, I could guess what type of vehicle was approaching from behind based from the sound of their engines, mufflers, and tires!

"Where is the toll booth?" (Courtesy of Rey Jimenez)
Where is the roadside eatery for my lunch?

8. Rey and I ran together on single file. On the first 10 kilometers, I was leading the pace but on the next 10 kilometers, Rey was already the one who was trying to pull me along the road as he would lead me for about 5-10 meters. We had occassional “pit stops” where we replenish our water for our hydration; drink sports drinks; and ate Fita/SkyFlakes with Cloud 9 Chocolate. Each Kilometer Post along the road was a sight of relief as the number of Kilometers to my destination slowly became lesser until it bacame single digit.

Plate of Table Salt with Coke ;"Chicken Joy" & Kennon Pork Sinigang For Lunch

9. After passing the long bridge at the Toll Station, we stopped for our late lunch. Rey and I ate the available food in one of the eateries for “truckers”—home-cooked sinigang na baboy, “chicken joy” & dinuguan with steamed rice. After our lunch, Rey prepared to go back to where he parked his car in Barangay Saitan as he was scheduled for a social function in Dagupan City late in the afternoon. Rey took a ride in one of the jeepneys  and I was left alone for my last 11 kilometers to Baguio City. Thanks, Rey for the company and the pull/push for the 26 kilometers that we’ve run together! (Do I have to tell you again that I sang some songs with a Karaoke machine in that truckers’ eatery? hahaha!)

Thanks, Rey for the company & food!

10. The last 10 kilometers took me two hours to run & walk. The “zigzag road” has steep uphill climb and I have to walk and then run again along the flat area. The technique was to brisk walk on the steep climb and then run on the flat part of the zigzag road. The technique had been repeated all the way to Baguio City. On my last 5 kilometer, I was received and met by Carlos, photograper of The FrontRunner Magazine and later was greeted by the family & relatives of Jonel aka Bugobugo/The FrontRunner Magazine. Thanks, Jonel for arranging a simple but meaningful reception as I reached my destination for this “adventure run”. I was informed that you arranged for a welcome party consisting of a band and group of runners from Baguio City to join me on my run/walk from the Rotary’s Lion Head to Baguio City. Though they were not able to wait for me, thanks again for the effort & gesture.

Running Alone To Baguio Again
Trying To Look Good On My Last 10K
My Back View
Feeling Tired During My Walking Breaks
@ The Rotary's Lion Head
My Vanishing "Breasts" (I mean, "Chest")

11. Reaching the Baguio General Hospital (BGH) was a realization that I’ve finally reached Baguio City. I am glad that the “Slide” area before reaching the BGH have been fixed as this was the “headache” of motorists and truckers going to Baguio City. You always find a vehicle or truck stucked at the middle of the road on this area almost everyday and such occurence always result to a traffic on both lanes of the road. However, I was not spared on this occurence during my run as one of the jeepneys got stucked at the bottom of the steep uphill climb!

12. I finally reached the Rizal Park infront of the City Hall of Baguio at 6:15 PM as I walked entirely along Burnham Park with heavy traffic of vehicles and people coming out and going to the Park and to those who are audience to a political rally at the Burnham Athletic Ground. Practically, I was on the road for 12 1/2 hours for my last day. I ran the 58-kilometer distance for the day with a running/walking time of 9:15 hours. Finally, I reached my destination. I did it. I was able to prove to myself how far I can push my  body’s capability beyond its limits where I could run an ultramarathon distance almost everyday for 5 days. I was able to prove it also that I can inform my readers on a “near real-time” with pictorials through the Internet with what is going on with me in my “adventure run”.

Finally, At The Rizal Park in Baguio City
Reward For The Day: Pata Tim, Pancit Canton & Fried Rice
Better View of the "Soft Version" of Crispy Pata

13. This post will not be the end of my “adventure run’s” journal/diary. There are so many untold stories to tell which I experienced along the way and I will try my best to recall them and bring them to you on this blog. I did a lot of things along the way and I hope that such experiences will guide future runners/pedestrians who will embark on such challenge. The challenge is, “if I can do it (at the age of almost 58 years old), you can do it, too”!

14. My sincerest thanks to those who supported this “adventure run”. Your prayers, best wishes and words of encouragement pushed me to my limits. Lastly, my thanks to the Lord Almighty for giving me the strength and “vision” to inspire others. What is next? Keep on reading this blog for more interesting stories and surprises.


Third Day: Morning-Noon Edition

1. One thing that I forgot to bring in this “adventure run” was a weight scale! However, I know that my weight before I left Manila was 140 lbs. I am sure I will have reduced my weight once I finish this run. The first thing that I will buy at SM Baguio City once I arrive to my destination is a weight scale.

2. One of my readers was able to observe that I am not ingesting any Energy Bar or Sports Gel during my run. The only time I use Sports Gel is when I join Half-Marathon and Marathon Races. Since there are so many eateries along the way that offer freshly-cooked foods, I think such cooked food in restos along the way are better source of food nutrients than eating/ingesting processed/synthetic foods.

3. On the first & second days of my run, I just drink hot coffee and eat one serving of oatmeal for my breakfast before embarking on my run. I observed in my morning runs that I run sluggish and would not last a continous run of more than 10K. Before I eat my lunch, I could only run a maximum distance of 29-30 kilometers. After eating a complete meal for lunch with steamed rice or pasta, I observed that I could run faster in the afternoon with more endurance.

4. This morning, I ate breakfast with steamed rice & fried chicken (my left-over in last night’s dinner) and later ate one serving of oatmeal with fresh milk & banana before I started my morning run for today. I observed that I was able to run continously up to a distance of 15 kilometers. I become stronger in my morning run if I eat steamed rice for breakfast!

5. I was able to sleep for 7 hours last night. The hotel/traveller’s inn where I stayed overnight is more expensive but the room is bigger, cleaner, and well-maintained. I will mention the names of the hotels and the restos where I ate on this run in my concluding post about this running event.

@ Km Post #102 (Feb 11, 2011) on the 3rd Day

6. I started my run at 6:37 AM at Km Post #102, 6 kilometers away from Capas, Tarlac. I was able to cover a distance of 35 kilometers with an average pace of 8:17 minutes per kilometer. I was able to burn 2,400 calories! My running time to include my “walking breaks” is 4:50 hours. My average heart rate is 124 beats per minute. For the meantime, I stopped at Km Post #137 in Gerona, Tarlac.

@ Km Post 104/The "Old" BDM Capas Shrine

7. On my last 5 kilometers, I started to use my Salonpas Spray in order to anticipate any pains on my calves. The spray gave relief to the tired muscles of my legs as it brought refreshing cool sensation. The feeling is like my muscles are being massaged with an ice!

8. Today is too hot that I needed a third bandana to wrap my neck on my last 15 kilometers. What I do with the 3rd bandana is to roll up 4-5 pieces of tubular ice in it and then tie the rolled bandana on my neck, making sure that the rolled ice is placed/positioned on my nape. The cold sensation on my nape serves as a coolant for the blood that flows to and from my head! Instead of using a sponge to absorb cold water from the ice chest, I use at least two of my bandanas as my sponge. I dip them in the cold water and use them to wipe my face, neck, and legs.

9. If I remember right, based from what I read, the Marathon Des Sable in the Sahara Desert starts with a 20K run on the 1st day, the 2nd day covers a distance of a marathon race (42K); and the 3rd day covers a distance of 80+ kilometers which is an ultramarathon distance. From where I am right now, I am 30K from  the Tarlac-Pangasinan boundary. If there is a need to run up to midnight, I will do it just to be able to run through Tarlac in one day!

A Fallen Kilometer Post in Tarlac City

10. For those of my readers who are asking the number of running shoes I brought for this run, I brought with me five (5) pairs. For the past 2 days, I used my ASICS Gel-Kinsei 2, ASICS Gel-Kayano 14, and The North Face (TNF) Arnuva 50 BOA. The TNF Arnuva 50 BOA is a very versatile running shoes as it can be used as a trail or road running shoes aside from the fact that the BOA Lacing System is quick in releasing and tightening the shoe laces. I still have to use my ASICS Gel-Kanbara 4 & NIKE Triax.

My Running Shoes

11. Today, I am using my Armando Caruso Buff (they are available at Landmark Makati) as my head sweat stopper; Under Armour Runner’s Cap, Patagonia White Long-Sleeved Shirt which is very comfortable under the heat of the sun, CW-X Compression Shorts, TNF Arnuva 50 BOA Shoes, 3 Bandanas, Nathan Hydration Belt, and black PUMA Socks.

12. I see to it to take a sip of water every 2.5 kilometers, drink half-bottle of Propel/Gatorade every 10K, eat biscuits (Fita & SkyFlakes) every 10K, and eat two (2) bite-size of Cloud 9 Chocolate every 10K.

13. In order to break the monotony of running, I vary my running stride and form. Sometimes, I run with “high knees”, shift it to regular strides and then “shuffle”. After the “shuffle”, I do the “pose method” and then later shift my stride by overdoing the sway of my hips. This technique of shifting to different running forms and strides is known by runners who are attending the BR “speed” training. Better yet, ask my good coach, Coach Titus!

14. This is serious stuff. In Tarlac, I could hardly see the Campaign Posters of the Lady Senator who is running for Vice-President. And it is funny to see that Senator Roxas’ Posters are attached below the Campaign Posters of Senator Villar. I am confused!

15. So far, there are pains on my body and I “love” them, but there are no “issues” and injuries that would prevent me from reaching my destination.

16. To my readers and friends, thanks for your greetings, wishes, and prayers.

"Landmark" Where I Had My Lunch
Lunch For The Day (African Beef Stew & "Crunchy Flowers")
Dessert For The Day