Happy As I Intended To Be

As expected, the Happy Run was one happy event. People were in such a festive mood what with all the varying kinds of entertainment available, not to mention the number of eye candies present.

As advised by Coach Rio, I settled in running the 5k in order not to aggravate the pain I was previously feeling on both my shins. I obeyed with an envious heart because all my running friends (well almost) were running the 15k, a number of them for the first time.  But then I convinced myself that it is a great opportunity to see if I can improve on my 5k time. Luckily a few days before the race, my best friend Pol asked me if I wanted to join him on a bike ride at the McKinley trail after the run. Hmmm… Running and mtbiking afterwards seems like a good idea. Of course I said yep!

best friend pol, me and hubby art

best friend pol, me and hubby art prior to 5k gun start

Art, Pol and I arrived at the race area comfortable enough for us to get settled, see the 15k runners take off and do our own thing afterwards. As usual, the McKinley Hill was a killer but I was ready for it this time, after all I was running only the 5k. I was psyching myself, “Parang warm-up run lang sa training ito!”. I ran but did not try to run targetting PR because I was thinking of the bike ride after (I have to have enough energy left for it) and also afraid of making my shins hurt (I forgot to tape my shins). I finished with an unofficial time of 00:34:57 but official records showed that I finished at 00:35:35. Hey, hey, hey my last 5k race yielded me a 00:37:18 finish. PR na naman ako? Lol!  I am truly happy that I did. :D

i liked this candid shot that art took of me as i was about to finish the last half of the race (tama ang form ko ha!)

i liked this shot that art took of me as i was about to finish the last half of the race (tama ang form ko ha!)

I was not able to stay long for the post-race “socials” because Pol and I had to get ready for the ride to the trail. But Art and I was able to sneak in a few photo ops with Marga who like me decided to run the 5k only and Jaymie and JunC who registered for the 15k but decided to do the 5k instead because of their knee injuries.

Chinna, Marga, me and Zinnia

Chinna, Marga, me and Zinnia

Jaymie (TBR), Coach Rio, JunC, me and Zinnia

Jaymie (TBR), Coach Rio, JunC, me and Zinnia

The bike ride was ok except that I had a crash while I was on trail no. 2 because I miscalculated my speed and did not engage the brakes in time for the sharp turn. It resulted to me having bruises on my left knee and a slightly broken thumb. It was crazy really. There I was tackling the very same trail for the third time but I still crashed. But I am generally ok, the incident wasn’t enough to dampen my already high spirits. Why? I just run a 5k but my legs seems to be fresh as I took on the ride to and from the trail. And best of all, the pain on my shins slowly disappeared as I began to ride my bike. Pedalling the uphills seems like a walk in the park it even surprised me as much as it surprised Pol.

Pol and I getting ready for our next activity ;)

Pol and I getting ready for our next activity ;)

resting after riding trails 1 and 2 (McKinley) inside the Phil Army Camp

resting after riding trails 1 and 2 (McKinley) inside the Phil Army Camp

In summary, I was happy because I was able to do two things that I really like doing – running and biking – all on the same day. I usually do only either but being able to do both is a blast!

Congratulations to Drew Arellano together with the rest of Team Super and of course to Coach Rio and his group for putting up a very successful Happy Run. Congratulations are in order too for my friends who ran and finished the 15k for the first time. Happy Run race results btw are now available for viewing.

Meanwhile, back to training I will be on Wednesday at the ULTRA. Art on the other hand will be resuming his attendance to the Nike Running Clinic by Tuesday.  My next target : 15K at the Runew Race on Feb 22 and the Maarat trail sometime soon. Wish me luck! ;)

Sweeter The Second Time Around

This morning, the last day of the almost two weeks long Xmas vacation, I returned to the McKinley Trail inside the Philippine Army Camp to settle a score. You see, the first time I was there on Dec. 26, I never get to really do what I intended to do – ride the whole circuit in my mountain bike. Oh rode the bike I did because we rode all the way from home to the Philippine Army Camp. But I never get to conquer the trail and did not even get past the area around the lagoon. It was because I was too CHICKEN to do it.  I promised myself and my friends that when I return to the trail, I will finish it this time.

with good friend Rissa

with good friend Rissa

pol, me, ravie and tata bert

pol, me, ravie and tata bert

Team Paco Bikers

Team Paco Bikers

And I happily did! Many thanks to my friends Rissa (fellow girltalker and PMTB babe with handle : FELINE13) and Dan (of Gold’s Gym) for “baby-sitting” me on my “retry” on all the three trails and also to my friends from Team Paco Bikers for joining me again for another round on the circuit. I could not have done it if you guys are not there. :D Next time ulit ha! ;)

The McKinley Trail

I was off the saddle for most of the latter part of the year not because I want to but because of some circumstances that were way beyond my control.  Luckily, I had running to keep me busy during these times but still I have that certain longing to ride the bike again sometime soon – the question of “when” still a tough one to answer. Or so I thought.

Alas on the night of Christmas day, as if he is my Santa just late for Christmas eve, my biker friend Pol (PMTB handle : LOOP) gave me an invitation that is too good to resist. – a bike ride the following day where I was to ride from our home in Pandacan, meet up with them (Team Paco Bikers) at Paco then ride all the way to the Fort then into the McKinley Trail inside the Philippine Army Camp.  Well, if that isn’t a chance too good to pass up on – a comeback ride with the promise of a taste of my first trail experience and what’s best, one surefire way to burn the previous day’s caloric excesses. I did not think twice and replied with a YES.

The ride on the way to the Philippine Army Camp at the Fort was not without the jitters naturally – do i still know how to shift gears, how would i react to the fast vehicles passing by me, will i be super intimidated by jeepneys and hey, do i still look good on a bike? That and the grumbling on my hungry stomach kept up with me during the first half. But then as I got my groove back, I realized that I am doing fine. I still have it, I still know how to ride. I just need practice…

the trail as viewed from the top

the trail as viewed from the top

I have been hearing and reading about the trail inside the Philippine Army Camp which have just been recently opened to the public. Bikers at the PinoyMtBiker.Org forum named it as the “McKinley Trail”, the trail being in close proximity to McKinley Hill and overlooking the McKinley area at the Fort. For now, entrance and use of the trail is free for the public, one just have to bring one valid ID to be able to enter the camp’s premises and go to the trail.

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We arrived at the camp a little past 9 am, registered and had our IDs surrendered at the gate and upon issuance of a biker’s ID/pass we proceeded to the trail. As promised, it was one good trail with two different routes – the red and blue routes. Arrows/markers point to the blue route as the one for leisure/beginner bikers and the red route for expert/technical bikers. I naturally chose to follow the blue route.

litoy, kuya toto, pol and me

litoy, kuya toto, pol and me

pitstop

pitstop

pol and litoy fixing my rear tire

pol and litoy fixing my rear tire

The trail for beginners is one difficult trail not to mention slippery because of the previous night’s rain. Or perhaps, difficult for a first timer like me. I still have shadows of fear following my hard downhill crash during our Makiling, Laguna bike ride which left me with bike-related scars on my left elbow and knee, that I haven’t summoned enough courage to tackle all the steep and slippery uphills, downhills and switchbacks.  The trail were mostly of single tracks which will keep both your hands busy navigating, twisting and turning. I kept telling myself that I should avoid the risk of injury and that I can just dismount whenever I feel like I can’t do it anymore. And after a flat rear tire, I decided not to complete the route all the way to the top. I just remained riding on the lower part surroundng the lagoon, took pictures and even tried to do one lap of running. Plus making a mental note of scheduling a good number of bike rides in the future for me to be able to practice and thus equip me in making a braver comeback to this beautiful trail.

roland and pol preparing to ride the whole circuit one last time

roland and pol preparing to ride the whole circuit one last time

me on the trail

me on the trail

By noon, we were back on the road all the way back home. I was able to complete some 33kms of bike ride for the day and that is enough to make me smile for now. Many thanks Pol, Roland, Kuya Toto and Litoy for letting me join your ride. Next time, Inday (that’s me in MTBiking, hehe) hopes to be able to ride with the whole gang again.

View all photos here.

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