Posts Tagged ‘Winter


Bohol + Cebu Quickie: Alona’s Allure

Bohol wasn’t originally part of my itinerary, but since I had some “spare time” I might as well use it to visit one of my most missed places since it’s just a two hour ferry trip from Cebu.  And this time my Bohol itinerary was clear: the beach!

Winter: More fun in the Philippines 😀

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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:


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



LSD with

First winter run (Ohio, USA)


Condura Run: First 21K


Trail run at Montalban with

May goes climbing to Mt. Maculot

TNF100: First ultramarathon (100K)


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)


First Marathon via Milo Marathon Manila Eliminations


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

Ninoy Aquino Day Run


Mommy Milkshake


Reaching out through Angel Brigade

Pacer duty at QCIM

First sundown marathon via SIM


Chillax pacing during Timex Run

Running in Ilocos


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!


The Story of My First Winter Run

Finally after several days of running abstinence I was able to get back to running, despite the sub-zero (°C) temperature.  It’s still winter here in Ohio and although we don’t have several inches of snow on the ground we barely break 0°C during daytime, in fact the warmest temperature we’ve had these past few days was 2°C and the coldest was -14°C.  We usually have flurries at night but a lot of it melts during daytime when temperatures exceed 0°C so we don’t have much buildup, but if you walk around you’d see a lot of ice deposits.  There are also a lot of man-made ponds here and most of which are frozen (a few inches thick) but they usually don’t allow people to skate on it.

My running trail: notice the frozen pond behind.

My running trail within my hotel’s premises: notice the frozen pond behind (and my bottled water on the bench).

During my early days here I was frustrated to run—I don’t have any thermal clothes that I can use to run outdoors and it took me several days before I was able to get one.  Unlike in the Philippines you really need a car to get to the stores and malls so visiting a sports shop that caters thermal pants can be difficult.  Finding one was also a challenge since stores are transitioning from winter collections to spring so I really have to travel more than 50 miles to get my gear.

Here’s my complete winter gear: a runner’s beanie (or bonnet) as headgear, a normal t-shirt and windbreaker as top, a pair of windproof gloves as hand protection, Under Armour thermal tights as bottoms, regular Nike Dri-Fit socks and New Balance 811 trail running shoes as footwear.

My winter gear: a runner’s beanie, windbreaker with regular white cotton t-shirt, pair of gloves, thermal tights, cushioned socks, and trail running shoes

My winter gear: a runner’s beanie, a windbreaker on regular white cotton tee, a pair of wind-proofed gloves, thermal tights, cushioned socks, and trail running shoes.

I started my winter run on a treadmill in the hotel before I got my thermal pants.  You may use your denim jeans when running but wearing one isn’t really ideal so I settled for a treadmill for the time being.  When I got my thermal tights things started looking up—the “barriers” that hindered my outdoor run were no longer issues.

Winter Gear Explained
Let’s start from top to bottom.  Exposing yourself in freezing and windy air for sometime hurts your ear so a beanie is a need.  I think it differs from a bonnet that the latter is normally loose and big while a beanie is more fitting and sporty.  I got a thermal one so even if it’s almost an exact fit it’s very warm.

When I started running outdoors for the first time I was wearing a t-shirt, a fleece jacket, and a windbreaker as top.  Outside temperature then was -3°C so I was still testing my tolerance limit.  This was later reduced (a few minutes after I got warmed up) to just the tee and windbreaker as you really get warm and even start to sweat despite the freezing temperature.  A windbreaker is needed because of wind-chill—it tends to feel colder than it actually is because of the wind (e.g. it could feel like -14°C but in actuality it’s only -6°C because of the wind), and where I’m at it’s very windy, most of the time.

A water-repelling wind-resistant pair of gloves are useful to prevent your fingers from getting numb.  It’s not as comfortable and convenient as a free hand but in cold weather it’ s a necessity.

For the bottom I was wearing thermal pants and my regular running shorts (a Nike football short to be precise) but that was more for aesthetic purposes and later during that initial run I also removed it to test if it was warm enough, and it was.  Note that the tights that I got is thermal—it is specifically designed for use in temperatures below 55°F so it’s warm enough that you don’t need extra layers especially since your legs also get warmer when running.  It keeps you warm without sacrificing weight and performance so tights were the perfect solution for running in the midst of winter outdoors.

Any socks may be used in cold weather; it just depends on how warm you’d like to be.  For me a regular Nike Dri-Fit cushioned socks is warm enough and the NB 811 is not as “meshy” as other running shoes, plus since it’s for trail running it’s extra useful when running on ice which are especially slippery.  There’s a thing they call “black ice” that is the same color as the pavement (especially asphalt) so you don’t see it—you’d just slip on it, so the extra traction that trail running shoes provide is really useful.

I had planned on sharing this experience for several days now but it’s only recently that I got the chance.  As of press time I had already ran at least 20K outdoors, normally in the afternoon and on -3°C temperature.  The warmest run I’ve had was earlier this afternoon, 5.25K on 1°C.

The man-made pond within hotel premises.  It’s ice is a few inches thick and the white things on top of it are snow.

The man-made pond within hotel premises. It’s ice is a few inches thick and the white things on top of it are snow.

I look forward to more runs while winter is still here.  Pretty soon it would be spring and even before that my US trip would come to an end.  Don’t let some obstacles hinder your plans to run.  If you really will it, you can.  I was born and raised in the warm tropics (and spent most of my life between 17°C-35°C) and here I am running outdoors in USA in the middle of winter.  If there’s a will, there’s always a way, otherwise all you got are excuses.  Takbo hangga’t may lupa, kahit pa nagyeyelo!


RP’s Last Weekend in RP

This weekend would be my last weekend here in the Philippines, temporarily at least.  I’ll be off for the USA for some business trip and be away for almost a month, thereby missing a lot of good races.  It should be interesting since it would be my first time in another continent, add to the fact that it would be my first winter experience—it should make for some remarkable running experience, don’t you think?

My biggest concern is of course, winter.  I’ve no experience dealing with such low temperatures, specifically below 0C (32F).  I refuse to be tied to a treadmill during my trip. I’ve always been a fan of the great outdoors so running outside during winter (which I wouldn’t experience in the Philippines) would be exciting, almost like a dream, but I have no idea how I’d deal with the weather.  As tough as winter may seem I still refuse to let it stop me from running.  Like what I always say, “takbo hangga’t may lupa” (run while there’s still ground), this time I can add to it “…kahit nagyeyelo” (even if it’s freezing).  I just don’t know what to wear to be able to do my winter run… care for any suggestions?

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