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.

Pre-Xmas Lunch GT

One of the great “benefits”  that I have been reaping since I got deeply hooked in running is the gift of friendship from really great people. Ei! Really cheesy huh, but it is true.  😀 And so on the day before Christmas, despite all the busy preparations for the eve’s celebration, I together with my son Adam excitedly met Coach Rio, Mayen, Tin, Aljo, Mikey, Tolits and JunC at the Mini Shabu-Shabu restaurant at BHS for what is to be our Merry Christmas Lunch Get-Together.

Now, I know that this is a pretty late post. You know how it is with family during the Christmas holidays. 😉 I hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas and hope you all will have a blast (hehe, pun not intended) on the coming New Year.  Enjoy viewing the pics! 🙂

rio, adam and mayen

rio, adam and mayen

this time with tin

this time with tin

xbox addicts (hehe!) mikey and aljo

xbox addicts (hehe!) mikey and aljo

papa towlits (thanks for the cap! ;) )

papa towlits (thanks for the cap! 😀 )

me and junc trying to figure out how to cook

me and junc trying to figure out how to cook

mayen being very mayen! ;)

mayen being very mayen! 😉

adam - my kulit alter ego

adam - my kulit alter ego

tin, mikey and aljo

tin, mikey and aljo

junc, me, yen and lito

junc, me, yen and lito

group pic (ala si coach!)

group pic (ala si coach!)

View all photos here.

Sunday’s Antipolo Run

I am writing this post with a feeling of muscle soreness and a sweet smile on my face. And it was all a result of yesterday’s run with Tanya, Bobby, Mikey, Wilbert and Taki which started from Brookside Hills in Cainta up to the Antipolo Church and back .

The run was supposedly a total of about 17kms in distance but i, together with Tanya, Mikey and Bobby was able to complete only 14kms due to time constraints – Bobby, our “running guide” has a previous appointment and needs to be home by 9am. We had to take a detour to be able to get back to our place of origin on time. Out of the 14kms, I walked a cumulative total of about 2 to 3kms.

It was my first run at Antipolo and my longest run ever (i only have 10km-runs as my longest runs so far). It was also Wilbert’s last practice run for the year here in Manila because he will be flying to Seattle, WA in the US by January 1 and won’t be back until October (ei Wil! We will miss you!).

It was a great run because I was with good company and also because despite the rolling hills – so many killer uphills and steep descents, I was able to endure the run without experiencing any pain on my shins. There were some feeling of discomfort on my knees but as Mikey said, this is expected since we had a lot of uphill climbs. And oh, my b*tt aches like hell! 😉

Will I ever do it again? Hmmm… Many times during the run, the Kulit Runner that I am was relegated to being the KJ (read: Kulit JOGGER) and for the last part, was even KC (Kulit CHIKADORA, chats while walking). The Antipolo running route is super challenging that one will need not just a good physical well-being but a strong mental state as well. But still, I will surely want to be able to run this route again! And by that next time, I will aim for a no-walk run.

The Lady of Peace and Good Voyage smiled upon us that day, giving us great weather and good legs which enabled us to run at a comfortable pace. I am very thankful for that.

Finally, the run is not without the usual photo-ops. I may not have done a detailed recap but then, the pictures that we have will almost take you to where we have been to and give you an idea of what a fine day we had.

See the complete photo album here.

bobby, me, mikey, taki and tanya at Brookside Hills ready to take off

bobby, me, mikey, taki and tanya at Brookside Hills ready to take off

we had our stretching exercises after the 2.8kms warm-up

we had our stretching exercises after the 2.8kms warm-up

and off we go!

and off we go!

at our first pitstop

at our first pitstop

that's wilbert on the trail

that's wilbert on the trail

moi!

moi!

at hinulugang taktak

at hinulugang taktak

at the Shrine of the Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage

at the Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage

taki,mikey,tanya and me sharing some laughs before we go back to Brookside Hills

taki,mikey,tanya and me sharing some laughs before we go back to Brookside Hills

on our way back na

on our way back na

the steep downhill

the steep downhill

our last group shot c/o mikey

our last group shot c/o mikey

The Condura Race 2009 – Sky’s the Limit!

Whoa! Pat Concepcion delivered a very exciting news this morning that I felt so happy like a kid receiving a gift from Santa.

The news was a fresh update regarding the Condura Race scheduled in March 22, 2009. Titled as Condura – Run in the Sky, the event will have its half marathon (21k) route partially pass the South Luzon SKYWAY. This is a first in the Philippine foot racing history since no other race has ever included a major super highway (where no person is allowed to even walk) in its route. As of todate and as advised by Pat C. himself, the 21k route will start at The fort, near Honda Motors then pass through the Kalayaan Bridge, Buendia Ave. then up to the skyway ramp in Buendia going south bound heading towards the Magallanes Exit which serves as the turn-around point and then back to the Fort.

A very exciting news huh! I together with some of my running friends have been eyeing this race to be our first 21k experience.  And how lucky can we get that a new route will be introduced by this time. Makes us look forward to returning to serious and consistent training ASAP.

For more details and updates on this race, you can visit Pat’s blogsite and soon, the Condura Run’s website (which will be available by Janaury 2009). 😉

And I am Back!

With well-rested and “therapied” back and legs, I made my training comeback at the ULTRA late afternoon of Tuesday. My warm-up of 7.5 laps (3Km) at the track oval seemed like an eternity because of my not-so satisfactory state of endurance but I was just so relieved that I am back running again after almost two weeks of physical inactivity.

I liked the way the air felt like Christmas with the cool breeze touching my skin (parang tv ad ah!) especially while I was doing my workout. As instructed by Coach John Lozada, I did a 4 x (2 x 100m) run with 100m slow jog recovery in between. The workout was good, better even because I was running in a fast pace and landing in heel-strike manner without feeling any pain in my shins. Coach Jesse was there all the way, pacing with me, reminding me not to run all out because it is my comeback session and I don’t have to overdo it.

I also enjoyed my core workout which happened after I completed my Fartlek. I only had one set for each but boy, did it really hurt! I was practicing a year-end party dance presentation at the office earlier and I can still feel some slight soreness in my core muscles. Talk about having an effective exercise huh!

This training is supposed to be my yardstick of how I am doing with my therapy sessions. With the way I have trained and with still five clinic sessions more to go, I know that I am now on the right track to being a-ok. The two sessions I have attended so far made me feel confident in running. Sure, there is still that slight pain whenever I sprint and naturally land on my toes but then everything now is tolerable. There wasn’t even a single limp after I was done.

With that, I really am looking forward to completing the program that Dr. Camara has designed for me. Actually, while I was doing the workout Dr. Camara’s voice kept on playing on my mind – “I can help you improve on your running.”.  And with every hundred meters that I run, I am realizing that what he said is true, giving me enough confidence and patience to complete the run.

I won’t be training for the remainder of this week already because of various Christmas-related activities BUT i am so looking forward to being able to have a great Antipolo practice run this Sunday with friends. Hopefully, the shins are still up to the challenge up to this point. If not, I’ll better let my heart do the running. 😉

One “Run-less” Night

When people see a group of runners converge in a venue, they expect a race in the offing right? But then, tonight was an entirely different story. Because when not in running mode, these runners also have the same penchant for other things – eat, chat, take and pose for a lot of pictures.

Almost 30 of us went and met each other for a Pre-Christmas get-together dinner at the Itallianni’s Restaurant at Bonifacio High Street, The Fort. Oh, we did miss a lot of other personalities who unfortunately were not able to come but still it was really a nice opportunity to be able to finally meet the other runners I usually regularly bump into during races and/or training and of course, be with runner friends and enjoy their presence all at the same time.

And since a lot of runner bloggers are present at dinner, expect most if not all to give their own account of what has been an enjoyable evening. For my part, let me post some of the nice pictures I have taken and a link to the complete album. I was in awe at the number of runners I have seen tonight that I just merrily took snaps of everyone at will. 😉

Ei guys, I really had fun tonight with all of you. It as if I won the mini-“lotto”. Lol! Hope to be able to attend more of this next time. Special thanks to Taki for the Xmas gift. 😉

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

View the complete album here.

jay, jaymie, me, coach rio and junc

jay, jaymie, me, coach rio and junc

jay, doray, dindo, rio, aljo, junc and jaymie

clockwise from left: jay, doray, dindo, rio, aljo, junc and jaymie

the girls with rio

the girls with rio

with runner bloggers some of whom i have met only for the first time

with runner bloggers some of whom i have met only for the first time

our group pic (parang class picture!)

our group pic (parang class picture!)

bayaran na!

bayaran na!

we found it hard to go home bec of the non-stop chat!

we found it hard to go home bec of the non-stop chat!

Philippine International Marathon 2009 UPDATE

As per Patrick Concepcion, the Philippine International Marathon schedule is moved from Feb. 22, 2009 to March 8, 2009. This is because ABS-CBN suggested that the date be moved to end of March to allow for longer preparation but Patrick and PATAFA suggested to move at an earlier schedule since it will be hot towards end of March to early April thus resulting to a March 8 date.

The race will now have a 42k run relay and will be combined with the Takbo Para sa Kalikasan race. More updates will follow so watch out for it. 😉

Incidentally, I have already updated this site’s List of Running Races separating the 2009 events from the 2008 runs. Click here to view the list.