Posts Tagged ‘Tagaytay

31
Dec
12

2012: Last Hurrah

2012 had been one of the most “interesting” years of my adult life but unfortunately running took a back seat for me this year in terms of mileage.  That doesn’t mean though that there isn’t much to share about this year!  Here are ten (10) of my favorite posts for the year:

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21
Mar
12

Salomon XTrail Run Teaser

Last weekend, I together with some runner/bloggers were invited by Salomon to conduct a trial run on the route of the Salomon XTrail Run to be held on March 21, 2012 at Tagaytay Highlands.  As someone who has done trails from Nuvali to Baguio, I can only say that this race is going to be awesome!

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13
Dec
10

XTERRA Philippines “Pang Rave Run!”

Sunrise Events, Inc. headed by its President and Chairman and also Alaska Milk CEO Fred Uytengsu–the same people who have brought to us the Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 race in the Philippines for two years in a row has again brought to Philippine shores another world-renowned sporting brand.

(Continue reading…)

15
Jun
10

Life’s a Beach

A week after returning from the shores of Boracay I found myself back at the beach!  This time around though it was much closer to Manila, around 110 kilometers south at the beaches of Canyon Cove, Nasugbu, Batangas.

Bus route from Tagaytay City to Nasugbu

Batangas as far as I know isn’t really popular for white beaches but surprisingly Canyon Cove was, although disappointingly as well, it was very short!  At around 400 meters it was long enough, but not long enough for a run!  You know “those” crazy runners thinking of running first, swimming later when on the beach!

The beaches of Canyon Cove actually reminded me of Puca (Shell) beach in Boracay (where I was a week earlier, hehe) because of its color and the “sands” that never really compacts.  Normally sands on the beach becomes so compact that you hardly sink but like Puca I always sink deep whenever I step on its sands.  Only near the either ends of the beach are the sands fine enough to be truly compact and not sink so much.  (I placed quotes on “sands” because white beaches are normally composed of broken corals and shells, not sands.)

A view of the beach

Travel Tip: Canyon Cove isn’t the most practical beach resort to go into, but don’t expect it to be “exclusive” as we saw quite a lot of tourists, both local and foreign, that weekend.

The other side of the beach

Aside from swimming on the beach Canyon Cove also offers the typical banana boat, Jet Ski, and Kayak rentals, but if you’ve had enough salt their big pool is excellent.  At about five feet deep it makes for a great lap pool although its irregular shape and lots of swimmers you share it with makes it more challenging.

The pool of Canyon Cove courtesy Staphanie Madla (click to vote for SEA Awards for Photography)

Getting There (via Commute)

Canyon Cove is located south of Punta Fuego and is just a few minutes from the center of the municipality of Nasugbu, Batangas which is about 50 kilometers away from Tagaytay.  Nasugbu being a popular destination in itself is just about a three hours bus ride from Pasay bus terminal (near Taft Ave. Station of MRT-3 in EDSA) on an ideal day.  Ticket costs P155 (as of June 2010) but be warned though that the bus route passes through the most congested roads in the country crossing just about every choke point Cavite has to offer, so avoid travelling during peak hours.  You can take a tricycle ride from your bus terminal to Canyon Cove’s entrance, or if you know your directions you can opt to run (about 2K).

Canyon Cove

Barefoot Running, Again

Canyon Cove would be my third time to run barefoot and based on my observations it really does help a lot in teaching us the right landing.  The “right” landing or foot strike, be it forefoot, midfoot, or heel strike, really varies by individual so it is all about what works for you, although it is still encouraged to avoid heel striking.  The combination of practically no impact surface plus the difficulty of some loose sands teaches you on how you can improve your running by finding your most efficient foot strike.  Personally I’m learning how to further distribute (and reduce) the impact by finding that ideal landing spot for me.  Let’s just say that my knee isn’t back to normal yet so there’s practically zero run mileage for me for the past several weeks, but despite that I was able to run as long as 6K pain-free on the beach!  Sometimes I wonder if I should just fill my shoes with sands from the beach to simulate barefoot beach running. 🙂

Canyon Cove via Google Maps

Before any runner leaves the beach he’s sure to leave his mark there, and despite hating doing laps if it’s on the beach I have no qualms.  I made sure to leave a temporary 1K trail of my footprints at the beaches of Canyon Cove before leaving, very short (that I wouldn’t even log it on my dailymile) due to lack of time but at least I left my mark (runningpinoy was here!).  I also had a “strange” uncomfortable feeling of being stared at so two and a half laps of the beach would suffice to fulfill my cravings.  (I heard a lady singing a line “I’ll be there…” from the theme song of Baywatch as I ran in front of them and coincidentally I was in my red shorts. I hope I didn’t remind them of David Hasselhoff!)

16
Mar
10

TNF100 Philippines 2010: Prep Up

This year one of the region’s toughest ultramarathon race is back, The North Face 100.  For its 2010 edition it would be held in the Philippines’ summer capital, Baguio City (1,500 meters above sea level).  TNF100 is not your “typical” trails—the higher elevation should pose a greater challenge.

TNF100 holds a special place in my heart for being my first ever ultra.  BDM may be my longest distance-wise and fastest ultramarathon so far but TNF100 still holds my most difficult and longest race time-wise.  It’s not surprising that it comes with a 30-hour cutoff.  (TNF50 has an extended 18-hour cutoff, 22K with 4.5, and 11K with 3)

Categories

Unlike previous editions wherein the 100K can be taken as solo or relay, TNF100 now boasts a new category: 50K solo.  This should open the doors to new ultra-trail runners who want to “test” the trails but aren’t up to take on the full challenge that is TNF100.  For beginners there are also 11K and 22K categories.

Registration

Registration is ongoing at The North Face branches, ROX, and Res-Toe-Run branches but you better hurry as slots are limited: 11K and 22K with 40 slots each per branch; 50K and 100K with 10 slots each per branch.  Registration fees for 100K and 50K solo are P2,000 and P500 for 11K and 22K.  Don’t forget your provisional receipt (for race kit claiming) and 20% discount coupon upon registration.

Preparation

For those who would be joining (or considering joining) their first TNF100 (or TNF50) I can only advice based on my previous TNF100 experience in Sacobia, Clark as I am not familiar with this year’s route myself.  I’ve only been to Baguio City once and I know for a fact that the elevation may take a toll to “lowlanders,” especially to those who don’t climb.  I was running for only about half a year when I finished my first ultra (with only a 21K race to boast), and I’ve only had two major training sessions that prepared me for it:

  1. Km 0 – 56 (Manila to Tagaytay)

    View from Km 0

    This ultramarathon distance long run was where I had my first marathon distance and my first ultramarathon distance.  It was crash-course training for TNF100 that served as my test of endurance as it was a 56K worth of gradual uphill.

  2. Mt. Maculot Traverse

    Team Maculet

    Not intended to be part of my training, this recreational climb doubled as such when we encountered “surprises” during our climb.  It was supposed to be an “easy” climb which turned into a very challenging traverse.

Unexpectedly another recent climb of ours now served as my altitude training:

  • Suggested Climb: Mt. Pulag [1, 2]

    First light at Mt. Pulag

    The tallest peak in Luzon at 2,922 masl, acclimatizing at this altitude would make Baguio City feel like a lowland.

For those doing their first trail run (participants of 11K and 22K), I suggest that you read about my first trail run in Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas—TNF Thrill of the Trail 2009 [1, 2, 3, 4].

Shopping

It is highly likely that the mandatory gears of last year’s events are still mandatory this year so you may want to start from there.  It is also most likely that the “self-sufficient” rule still applies, so when it comes to it you may want to shop for something like this (note that I wasn’t able to consume it all and ended up hauling a lot of it back to Manila!).

Hungry?

Recollection

If you still feel uneasy about TNF100 or want to find out what you may expect during race day, here’s my 2009 TNF100 story:

Sunrise during 2009 TNF100

Unlike road ultramarathons you can’t really make a detailed plan on trails unless you’re quite familiar with the terrain of the route.  All you can do is take into account what is known and prepare for possible scenarios you might encounter along the way.  As what we’ve learned last year being a seasoned ultramarathoner doesn’t guarantee success and inversely even newbies can finish.  Believe, and you can achieve!  Brace yourself folks for yet another experience of a lifetime!  Stay tuned for further updates.

31
Dec
09

2009 Favorite Running Moments: In Pictures

Running has taken me to places I never imagined I’ll go to and for my first full year of running the year broke all previous records not only in terms of distance covered, and pictures taken!  2009 toll: about 20 gigabytes worth of pictures and videos, around 11,500 files.  Among these, here are some of my favorites:

January

Transition: from Bench Pedometer watch to Garmin Forerunner 405

TNF Thrill of the Trail: my first trail run and magazine appearance, Side Trip Magazine April-June 2009 edition

Happy Run: First 15K

February

EDSA: First LSD

LSD with takbo.ph

First winter run (Ohio, USA)

March

Condura Run: First 21K

April

Trail run at Montalban with takbo.ph

May

Takbo.ph goes climbing to Mt. Maculot

TNF100: First ultramarathon (100K)

June

Debut climb of the RunHikers at Pico de Loro

Back on trails with Men’s Health All Terrain

Back at ultra via Botak100 (as a pacer)

July

First Marathon via Milo Marathon Manila Eliminations

August

Repeat of Manila-Tagaytay ultramarathon long run (56K)

Ninoy Aquino Day Run

September

Mommy Milkshake

October

Reaching out through Angel Brigade

Pacer duty at QCIM

First sundown marathon via SIM

November

Chillax pacing during Timex Run

Running in Ilocos

December

Running in Singapore

2009 was a splendid year indeed for me, and hopefully yours as well.  Let us make 2010 a better year for everyone and be the change we want to be.  Happy New Year everyone!

22
Aug
09

A Year Into Running: The Secret to an Ultramarathon

When it comes to running, the last thing on my mind was an ultramarathon—I had an idea how far a marathon is by looking at the route taken by the Milo Marathon which is “just” about 42K, but an ultra, especially 100K, was unimaginable.  In fact the first time I’ve heard of the term “ultramarathon” was when I heard the stories of the Pinoy Ultra Runners—I was like a child being told a fairy tale that I didn’t know for the first time—my eyes were probably gleaming while a dream was being shaped—a dream I didn’t realize I can accomplish before my first running anniversary.  How was it possible for a mere mortal to go from zero to an ultramarathon in less than a year?  Endurance.

Everyone has their own endurance level.  Unless you’ve won the genetic lottery a normal person should train himself to be able to endure very long distances.  Of course improving your endurance doesn’t come overnight—it is built one day at a time, like races are completed one step at a time.  The best way to achieve this endurance believe it or not is really simple—long runs.  Endurance training doesn’t really focus much on the speed but more on the time you give to your run.  Long Slow Distance (LSD) runs are best because for starters it is slow so anyone can do it at their own pace, but the key here is the long part—normally it is long distance but of course the distance you cover is also relative to how long the time you give for each run.  Like I’ve mentioned earlier the focus here is not speed so naturally the longer (time-wise) you run regardless of your speed, the longer the distance you cover.

Best Time to Start

I was very lucky when I started doing my long runs because I started during the one of the coolest months of the year, February (2009).  The later sunrises and earlier sunsets plus the much lower temperature mean more opportunity to run (although less sunlight).  I started doing my long runs (LSDs) not really to train for an ultra since I had no plans to do one then, but instead to improve my endurance to be able to run longer.  By the end of 2008 my longest run was at 16K (10mi) and I was aiming for my first half-marathon which is anything but short.  LSDs, how seemingly less effort you put into it, when done regularly would benefit everyone regardless of the distance you want to train for.  Best of all you don’t have to do it several times a week—an LSD a week is enough so better dedicate good amount of time for each.  If you train from December to February you may start as late as 7AM but in any case you should avoid running beyond 9AM outdoors.  During other months it’s better have the least exposure time with the sun so you must start as early as possible, and if the absence of sunlight isn’t an issue for you running at night also works.

Routes

Like I mentioned earlier the LSDs I had were not originally intended for ultramarathon training.  These routes were made because I really find it boring to run at the same place many times, add a sense of adventure to my runs, and seek new places.  Admittedly I wouldn’t have been encouraged to do these without my Garmin Forerunner 405 to track my time and distance (among others).  Tracking the distance you covered and time is important in doing LSDs because you need to track your progress and you may use many sites on the web to measure the distances of the routes you want to cover.  I encourage you to measure the distance of your route first so that you may approximate how long you’d take to finish it (and adjust your course accordingly).

Without further adieu here are some of my notable LSDs:

February 01, 2009: North Ave. to SM Mall of Asia via EDSA

North Ave. - SM Mall of Asia

Also known as my “MRT Tour” this one started from the Northern tip of the MRT, running along EDSA, until reaching the SM Mall of Asia compound and includes the bayside path to complete the target distance of at least 21K.

Actual distance: 21.11K.

February 08, 2009: Boni Ave. to Global City

More or less a simulation of typical 21K route within Global City that includes a pass through McKinley Hill and Heritage and finishing at Bonifacio High Street (BHS).

Actual distance: 21.70K.

March 15, 2009: Commonwealth Run

After about a month of being away from the Philippines I returned to doing LSDs and that time closer to home: Commonwealth Market to Quezon Memorial Circle (QMC) returning back and ending in Regalado Ave.—the northernmost route I’ve done to date.  Who would’ve known that I covered half of the route of the Quezon City International Marathon with this route? This also served as my last run before completing my first 21K later on, the Condura Run.

Actual distance: 22.32K.

April 09, 2009: Commonwealth Ave. to BHS via Kalayaan Ave. and C5

With the excitement I got from LSDs it’s almost automatic for me to have one whenever I am not running any races.  With the thought of doing my first ultra looming I also had to gradually step up my LSDs.

Actual distance: 23.03K.

April 12, 2009: Commonwealth Ave. to MoA via Quezon Ave., España Blvd., and Roxas Blvd.

One of the most picturesque routes and easily one of my favorites, it passes through the historic city of Manila.  Don’t take this route if you don’t have your camera and is not willing to stop to enjoy the sights.

Actual distance: 27.50K.

May 03, 2009: Manila to Tagaytay

To date my longest non-race run—so long I had my marathon and ultramarathon distance debut with this run!  With about 20 days to go before my first ultramarathon race, TNF100, it’s a must that I do a serious LSD to prepare my body for the grueling 100K.  I highly recommend this route to those planning to do their first ultramarathon.

Actual distance: 56.60K.

I actually had a repeat of this route last August 02, 2009 (but was a few meters shorter at 56.00K) with more friends adding to the community of ultra-runners.  I encourage ultra-runners-to-be to take this route because of its challenge (generally uphill) and distance which is even longer than some ultramarathon races.

Metro Manila routes for my first year of running

Metro Manila routes for my first year of running

For the past year I did a lot of LSDs covering nice distances and interesting routes both within and outside Metro Manila.  Recently though I’ve yet done a 20K+ route but despite that I still benefit from the endurance I gained with these LSDs (click here to see the complete list of my runs) and was even able to complete my first marathon, still within my first year of running.  As you may notice I wasn’t as consistent with my LSDs as I’ve wanted but it still works!  What’s important is the honest dedication and effort to practice, and in the end you reap what you sow.  You may not be planning for an ultramarathon but this “secret” is proven to help anyone willing to improve themselves.  As you can see training need not be imposing—all you need are some sense of adventure, an open mind, and a willing body.  Better yet grab along some crazy buddies with you to share the fun!  Just don’t forget to bring along your common sense on your exploit!

See you on the road, and have a safe run!




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The MIRACLE isn’t that I finished.  The miracle is that I had the COURAGE to START
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