Category Archives: long slow distance

One Fine Sunday Morning Run

It has been roughly almost two weeks since my visit to Baguio City for the 2013 Panagbenga “a season of blooming” flower festival, but still have yet to write an article about it. Missing to do a long slow distance (LSD) the other weekend, I made up for it last Sunday.

Meanwhile, the day before my long run, a fellow runner sent me this text message: Are you back? My reply was, “Yep,” and even added, “It’s BDM (acronym for Bataan Death March) weekend now.” We exchanged a little friendly banter of doing the LSD there. Half jokingly, half seriously, she prodded me to inquire if we could sign up at the event and run a fifty to seventy-kilometer distance para daw payat kaagad (so as to lose weight instantly). Given the time, I knew it would be impossible to register. This event is organized under strict adherence to BDM rules including registration requirements. I replied, “Huwag na. Done na tayo doon. Beauty rest na muna. (Let’s not. We’re done with it. It’s better to have a beauty rest.) Running around Rockwell or going to another place is OK with me.”

In the end, we agreed to do LSD somewhere in the south, in the scenic trail she told me where she and her running buddy, now a dive instructor at a resort in the Visayas, used to train. A bowl of lugaw or arroz caldo (porridge or congee with chicken topped with hard-boiled egg) at Aling Pina’s Lugawan (canteen) in Silang, Cavite was the prime motivator to do this run.

We left at past 4 AM on Sunday morning and drove straight up to Santa Rosa, Laguna. We arrived in the village, an upscale residential area close to a golf course at almost half past five. As there are sari-sari stores along the way, I only brought enough money with me for any hydration or food need. Sari-sari means variety or a different mix of whatever or mini grocery.

It was still dark with patchy drizzle at times. The long path was almost deserted; the only living creatures in sight were us. The road was lit only by the headlights of a passing car or motorbike, the silence broken only by the noise of the engine and our incessant chatter. We started to walk the course to warm up our rather still sleepy legs, going up a sloping pavement with the first few kilometers relatively less steep than the others. Watching the pre-dawn glow of bluish-gray, purple, pink and orange burst into yellow sunlight, revealing the beauty of Mother Nature at its best. Fantastic sight!

The route is more a trail for bikers than for runners. Judging the way some locals eyed us, I think it was pretty uncommon for them to see female runners taking the same route the bikers would pass later. Anyway, for two hours, not taking water or energy drink, this little detour didn’t bother us, as we were enjoying the sights, taking in a deep breath and loving the wind as it brings the smell of flowers, soil, grass, trees and the feel of the fresh dew on the grass. The good training base in ultra distance running had helped us a lot. We did a combination of slow running, walking.

When I was still a young girl, I was bitten by a dog once. Consequently, I get scared of either stray dogs or the unleashed ones. I learned a few techniques through watching Dog Whisperer episodes on National Geographic channel and tried to apply the Cesar Millan way, ha ha. It helped me muster the courage not to get scared when some of them are barking at us as we walked by. So every time we saw one, even if it’s not barking at us, we stopped running from time to time, walked a bit then resumed a jogging pace.

On our way back, the sky suddenly became overcast with heavy rain clouds, later the rain started to pour, which made running more pleasant. After a few minutes, the rain let up, then just as suddenly the sun shone again. Nearing the place from where we started, we stopped to rest and quenched our thirst with fresh buko juice (coconut water) at Mang (mister) Vic’s buko stall. To top it off, much to our delight, Mang Vic gave us free freshly cut pineapple slices.

Overall, we did the LSD for six hours, covering the areas of Santa Rosa in Laguna, Silang in Cavite, and a portion of Tagaytay with a distance of approximately 48 kilometers. For lunch, we treated ourselves to a great tasting crispy fried shrimps plus a bowl of beef bone marrow/shank soup, a cup of rice each and fresh mango shakes. On our drive back home, we grabbed breads to go and a cup of coffee later, the perfect end to our trip.

I would like to thank this lady adventurer, hard-core ultra marathon runner, and trail seeker, who remains grounded despite all the experience and achievement, Ivy aka the Running Contessa (Italian countess), for the invite, photos, and for bringing me to a good route to run at early morning. Until next time! 

Another 5K Race (for me) at the FIC Run Event

25 March 2012 – Personally busy with other things and for some reason, I totally had forgotten about checking the time for the 5K race. I blogged about this event yet here I was not remembering either the assembly time or the gun time, oh well, my bad, I said to myself. Based from previous racing experiences, I deduced that the race would start between 5:30 AM and 5:45 AM.

Avoiding being late, I played it safe by arriving early at the venue. I had plenty of time to explore the place. The weather seemed to be fairly good in spite it had rained lightly the previous night. There were already quite a number of runners who donned their respective race shirts, majority of which were from the 5K category.

After doing my warm up exercises, I carried on to join those who have assembled at the start line. Along the way, I saw two of my ultramarathon friends from Team Boring, Rod aka Rod.Runn3r and Gab aka Dirty Sanchez. Both did the Bataan Death March 160-kilometer Ultramarathon race held early this year. They were already in the 10K coral just waiting for the race to start. I dropped by to say hi and we agreed to meet again after the race to run another five kilometers.

I finished the race more or less the same time as I did the previous Sunday but definitely not a PR for me considering the few seconds difference (official results: 0:32.53) on my chip time. After claiming my loot bag, I cheered on the runners in the 500-meter dash, a costume race category for children and adults. To my utter surprise and delight, the children could run faster than the adults. Man, they were fast! I even saw fellow blogger, Let aka The Running Mom, who supported her twins.

My FIC Run ended with another five kilometers of LSD (long slow distance) with fellow runners, Rod and Gab, by retracing some parts of the 5K and 10K routes. I did a total of 10.93 kilometers based on my Garmin, a distance way, way too short as compared to my previous LSDs of 30++ something in the previous years. Overall, I had fun and it was, indeed, a very good race.

Super-duper thanks to Coach Rio, the Runrio Team thru Vimz aka Kulit on the Run, and Fox Channels for inviting me during FIC Run’s launch and for the complimentary race kit.
Congratulations to Fox Channels for bringing this colorful and exciting event to our budding runners out there. Hoping this wouldn’t be the last and looking forward to more FIC Runs in the coming years!

Related: Fox International Channels (FIC) Run

Bumping Into Coach Titus One Fine Sunday Morning

11 March 2012 — Sunday was the perfect day for long run.  My training program indicated that I need to run 25-36 kilometers.   But with the errands and other activities I did the previous day, the half marathon race held the previous Sunday plus feeling a bit exhausted, I chose to run whatever distance I could finish and shouldn’t go lower than 2 hours.  

Went out of my place at past 5AM, walked for 5 minutes as warm up, and maintained a jog pace later up to Ayala Triangle.  Once I reached the corner near Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati, I started to pick up the pace. Running routes included:  a start near Rockwell area—to Makati Avenue—to Ayala Avenue—crossed EDSA—to McKinley Road—right turn to Lawton Avenue (The Fort)—turned left going to McKinley Hill —back to Lawton Avenue—32nd Street—back to Lawton—McKinley Road—Ayala Avenue—home.  

While I was slowly running along Lawton Avenue, a runner was about to whiz past me.   And when I turned my head to the right, I recognized it was the running coach, Titus Salazar.  Not far behind him are his students or trainees, also called as the Barbie Dolls, or should I say “hard-core runners” just like him.  

I didn’t get to know Coach Titus as a running coach but I’ve heard so much about this guy.  He’s quite popular in the running community as a physiotherapist or “hilot.” The deep tissue massage is one of his skills.  Aside from this, he’s also known as the coach of Team Bald Runner.  

Last time I saw him was two years ago, during the 2010 Condura Skyway Marathon.  Coach Titus, together with the famous singer Leo Valdez, the one he was pacing with throughout the race, prodded me to finish strong and asked me to pace with him in the last 500 meters to the finish line.   It was also during this time when both Coach John Lozada and fellow marathon runner Gab (a.k.a. Dirty Sanchez of Takbo.ph and now a member of Team Boring) paced me and got me to the finish line.  

Not wanting to be left running alone, I once again tried to pick up my pace in tune with Coach Titus’ cadence.  After running McKinley Hill, we only stopped at the convenience store to buy something to drink and eat.  

I don’t talk much during races.   Not much on long runs either.  But this time, I considered it an exemption.  I noticed I could talk now with not much huffing and puffing while running at a six-minute pace.  Coach Titus then said, “When you’re relaxed and your movement just flow, conversing while running is just easy.”  “Indeed,” I said silently to myself.

The long run continued back to Lawton Avenue, passing through Bonifacio Circle, leading to 32nd Street.  It was here I separated from their pack and headed back home following the same route.  When I reached Ayala Triangle Gardens, my mind was not really up to finishing the last 2.5 KMs.  It was already screaming for food, food, and food.   Ended up at the fast-food restaurant instead for the much awaited breakfast, the best part after a good run!

Overall, I was pleased to have had the chance to run with Coach Titus albeit accidentally.  It was truly an excellent (and fast) 16.47-KM run for me.  Whispering I’d say, “But not without a few aches here and there afterwards.”  

Running in the Wee Hours of the Morning

“No way could I make it at 11PM,” this was my thought while inside a cab on my way to Mall of Asia (MOA). It was Friday evening, January 21, where moderate to heavy rain caused flooding of some roads in Makati and clogged traffic.

It was part of my training to run in the wee hours of the morning and my first time to run during those ungodly hours while everyone, I believe, were either having fun with friends or already fast asleep. It was also a good opportunity since I didn’t join the previous weekend’s 50K night test run in Bataan. Many thanks to Gab aka Rastaman for the invite, Aron for provision of vehicle where we can place our stuff, Mar aka Pojie for the support, and the many others who were there.

“Crazy bunch of runners, aren’t we?” I told Aron, one of Team Boring’s members, who I paced with while I was doing my warm up. While running MOA grounds, I observed how the place was buzzing with activity—where young people going home after a long night of partying, of security personnel on motorbike guarding the area every now and then, how the place fell asleep, and how it came alive early in the morning.

It was not easy though, to let your body adapt and be active when it was telling you to shut down and rest. Getting enough sleep, a key ingredient in distance running, I learned, is as important as that of long run. At half an hour past 1AM, I felt groggy and my body was telling me to sleep. Nonetheless, I continued to run. I had to do it. The “will” to reach 6AM prevailed.

A 25K Run from University of the Philippines (UP) to Tiendesitas C5 Pasig City and Back

Sometimes we runners can be a crazy lot, eh? Well, in a good way, of course.

For the past month, the longest distance I’ve run after finishing the 70K ultramarathon, was only 10K each week. I repeat, each week. Last Sunday’s long run was by far the longest I’ve done since my time away from running and racing. Thanks to Pojie aka Forefoot Runner for inviting me in their 25K run.

Excited, I already imagined running around UP area. But when the route was announced, it caught me off guard to find out, when we were about to take off, that we would be using UP as the starting point only and Ortigas, where Tiendesitas is, as the turnaround point. Come to think of it, it was like running from Quezon City to Ortigas and back.

Since I was not familiar with the route, I contented myself to run within the middle pack. Who would have thought I would end up running that long flyover along Katipunan? But, I admit, it was the best part. The downside, well, you get to breathe the fumes from vehicles plus you get heckled by some passing motorists. At times, people along the road would stare at you like you were some kind of an alien from a far off planet.

Overall, it was still a good running experience for me even if I initially couldn’t find my way back to UP. The run ended with a sumptuous brunch at Mang Jimmy’s with some friends from Takbo.ph.

“I Shall Return” to Corregidor

I visited this island in 2005. Then I came back to bring friends from the US and Europe two years ago. I conquered it during the 1st Corregidor Aquathlon race last year. I wrote about it quite a number of times.

L~R: Vimz (Kulit Runner), Edward, James, Let (Running Mom), Erick, Running Diva, Cindy, Doc Marvs (partly hidden), Z (One Sport), Rene (Jazz Runner), and Junrox (Tiger Boy)

Last Saturday, September 11, I returned to the island with friends and did what we love most, RUNNING. Our run started from the island hotel at past 2PM in the afternoon.

We were so lucky to pass through Malinta Tunnel and the trail. From the cliff, one could see the endless beauty of the island and the sea. I had fun time running down the last three kilometers.

For those of you who haven’t been there yet, I do encourage you to try running in the island. It’s worth it.



Thanks to Sun Cruises and its staff for hosting our stay. Many thanks also to Edward, Vanessa, and Raymund for making this visit possible. (Photos courtesy of Raymund and Vimz aka Kulit Runner)

Reaching Tagaytay on Foot

At the starting line, L-R: Doc T and Gab (both BDMers), Edwin aka Hawkeyeball, Running Diva, Pao aka Endangered, Joy, and Joey

Five years ago, while doing my usual early morning run around Rockwell area, a runner approached and once told me that he ran all the way from Manila to Silang, Cavite.

Being a newbie or a fun runner back then, it seemed to be unbelievable. In fact, I thought he was just trying to impress me or pulling my leg.

Today, now that I’m into ultra distance running, I realized that what he said proved to be possible!

After the Tanay long slow distance (LSD) the previous Sunday, I joined another LSD cooked by Team Boring. We started to run at around past 4AM from Silang-Dasmariñas area, which was a good 35-kilometer run to Alfonso, Cavite.

It wasn’t easy for someone who’s not used to running in dark areas. The headlights and the blinkers brought by fellow runners served as the only lighting while we were slowly traversing some of the highway’s dark paths plus being extra careful not to be sideswiped by approaching fast vehicles or bitten by stray dogs.

The course is mostly long and gradual uphill climb. With my training program in mind, I aimed to finish only a two-hour slow run regardless of distance covered. However, I ended up finishing 25 kilometers instead, up to Rotonda in Tagaytay, running it in more than three hours.

Who would have thought that one could reach the Pink Sisters Chapel in Tagaytay on foot? I just shook my head in utter disbelief.

Pink Sisters Chapel in Tagaytay

(L-R Front: Doc T, Prince Joseph, Running Diva, Joy, Pao, and Joey; L-R Back: Jet, McCoy, Gab, and Edwin)

The remaining runners, some of whom were Bataan Death March (BDM) 102KM finishers or BDMers as they are fondly called, while the others were simply certified distance addicts, opted to reach Alfonso area and finishing the 35-kilometer long run.

As for me, I had fun in this long run and was happy to have reached Tagaytay accompanied by nice, funny, and great people.

A million thanks to Gab and his relatives in Alfonso for their hospitality and the breakfast they prepared for the group. It was indeed admirable to know that in their excitement to have us in their home, they did not sleep the night before and waited for our arrival instead. A double whoooah!

Many, many thanks to our support vehicle driver who woke up early just to be with the group and who patiently waited for us as we slowly run along the highway. He (the driver) later told me, “I’m amazed to see all of you not tired, having fun, and not minding the distance and the weather at all.”

Super thanks to Doc Topher aka Doc T and Jet aka Jetaime for the photos.

Great thanks to Team Boring members and fellow runners for this nice long run. Running with you was no BO[A]Ring experience at all. Till next time!

35K LSD
From Silang-Dasmariñas to Alfonso, Cavite
15 Aug. 2010

Photos courtesy of Jet aka Jetaime and Doc Topher aka Doc T

Tanay Revisited

Three months have passed since I first set foot in Tanay, Rizal, a place where some of the country’s serious athletes train and the first 50K Philippine Association of Ultrarunners (PAU) race was held.

It was here where I had my first taste of running beyond a full marathon.

It was here where I felt awe with the beauty of nature; seeing the clouds as if you could easily reach them and not far from the horizon, is Laguna Lake.

It was here where I also realized that no matter how strong or fast one can be, Mother Nature will put your strength to the test. We’re just a small speck against the backdrop of the Sierra Madre Mountains and the intensely long and winding road of Tanay.

I came back not to race but to run the route with friends and fellow runners as part of my preparation for the second leg of the PAU ultramarathon series. The 65K ultramarathon race, which starts in Pasuquin and ends in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, I consider, as another romance of mine with ultra distance running.

I had a great time running the last 15K route reminiscing each significant moment where I walked, ran, and struggled during the race. The photo below, was taken at the 35KM turnaround point. Thanks to Doc T, wearing a black running shirt, for this shot.


It was a cloudy weather during our long run. While uphill fast walking, we’re caught in a sudden downpour. I could even hear the winds howling and it almost dragged me on the side of the road.

The almost endless steep uphills, foggy road, matched with strong winds, made our running pace slower. We’re drenched. I felt the water seep into my running shoes. The thought of seeing trees flying along our path made me shiver.

Yet, these surprising events during our 30K LSD in Tanay didn’t dampen the spirits of over sixty runners (I hope the estimated figure is correct), both neophytes and experienced ones, who took time out of their busy schedule, to just experience how it was to run in Tanay.

Of course, thanks to Prince Joseph for pacing with me the whole time.

I’m indebted to Aaron aka Takboular who picked me up from my place so early in the morning.

I thank Lorie aka Silverprex for allowing me to leave my stuff.

Many thanks to Takbo.ph runners for the enthusiasm shown and level of commitment to wake up early just to join the Tanay LSD.

This wouldn’t have been made possible if not for the initiative of the newly launched Team Boring and the leadership of Pojie aka Forefoot Runner. There never was a dull moment running with Team Boring members.

Above all, thanks be to God who kept us safe in all our journeys.

30K LSD
August 8
Tanay, Rizal

Photos courtesy of Doc Topher aka Doc T

Running Calamba City to Sta. Cruz, Laguna

It all started with an invite from Joseph aka Prince asking me to join a long run in Laguna together with some Takbo.ph runners. I decided to go for two reasons. First, it fitted my marathon training schedule. Second, though I’ve visited some of Laguna’s municipalities before, it was a good chance to see and explore Laguna once again.

The game plan …

Date: June 20

Meeting Time: 4-4:30 AM
[The group started past 5AM. It took us sometime to reach Laguna due to heavy downpour while traveling South Superhighway. Surprisingly, it didn’t rain in Laguna.]

Meeting Place: Total Gas Station, in front of Jollibee near Letran College (Calamba)

Run Details:
~ 30K long run
[Actual distance covered as per my Garmin 305 is 31.74 KM.]

~ Will start from Calamba City and end in Sta Cruz, Laguna, Complex Oval
[Finish line was not at the Complex Oval. All of us ended up at Dong’s place, too pooped to move and looked forward to lunch instead.]

~ Same pace runners can pace each other

~ Possible support vehicle for hydration
[Many thanks to Prince‘ friend as driver and Lorie aka Silverprex who supported us all throughout the long run]

~ Lunch will be served courtesy of a runner based in Sta Cruz, Laguna
[Considered a bonus. Many thanks to Dong, a runner himself and a native of Sta Cruz Laguna, for the sumptuous lunch.]

A group photo where Prince proudly showed his PAU 50K trophy and finisher’s shirt
L~R: Jai, friends, Carina, friend, Dong, Christian, Prince, Allen, Ayeth, yours truly, Wilnar, and Lorie

The route along the main highway is mostly flat complemented with scenic view. There were three pace groups. The fast runners, Wilnar, Dong, and a teenager-I-didn’t-get-his-name runner, went ahead. Initially, I paced with Carina aka Flying Boar, then in the middle of the run I paced with Prince, and finished the last two kilometers walking. Happy and relieved to see the support vehicle

Nike Human Race Reds taking a good break at a waiting shed in San Isidro, Calauan

Christian and Allen took a break too

Man-made Lake Caliraya situated in the towns of Lumban, Cavinti, and Kalayaan in Laguna province

A group photo with Lake Caliraya as background. Thanks to Prince and Flying Boar for taking us there.

Many thanks to Prince, Flying Boar, Dong, Silverprex, and fellow runners for making this long run an enjoyable experience.
Super thanks also to Silverprex and Jai for the great photos.

Do You Talk While You Race?

No two individuals are alike. Not even twins. Same goes with runners. One is fast, the other is slow. Others are serious. Some not so serious.  And the list goes on.

Are you one of those runners who enjoy talking while racing? Well, good for you. I can’t. As simple as that. That doesn’t mean I didn’t want to talk. I do! But not during race time. I believe some runners are quiet, others chatty.  I am more of the former.

Whoah, hold on! Before you say something about this, let me first tell you something.  As a runner, I want to hear the sounds around me. I want to be aware of my surrounding. I want to listen, to be more focused of what’s ahead of me. (Photo by Photovendo)

NVR2010_2_xxx26_018752_858-1

If I get to see familiar faces on their way back, I try to do a high five, say a few words like, “Go, go, go!” and sometimes, l shout. But I can never engage myself in a conversation while running. Well, except when doing a long run.  I did try, once.  But no, I can’t.  I need to concentrate.  If I can’t concentrate I don’t think I can finish. In the zone … as they say.

As a runner, there are thoughts going on in my mind.  Some are good.  Some are dilemmas.  At times, a way to meditate.

One Sunday, while doing a long slow distance (LSD), I was engaged in a conversation with Maui, a fellow Happy Feet.  Guess what? All I could say was, “Yeah,” “Uhms,” “Ah.” After the LSD, if only Maui asked me to recap the whole conversation? Honestly, I couldn’t since l was not listening! Remember, this was during a long run.  How much more if during a race?

I didn’t intend to be a snob.   Okay, one time, in the recently held Milo Marathon race, I had to say to a fellow runner, a friend of mine, rather bluntly, “don’t talk to me.”  Well, that was bad. (Laughs)  My apologies my friend (you know who you are).  But please don’t take it against me.  I’m no talker when racing.

I once read from a leading running magazine that if you still have that energy to talk while racing, it means you are not doing much effort with your running. Now, if you are eavesdropping to what runners, either ahead of you or behind you, are talking,  you are not racing my dear.

I do appreciate though you calling my name and saying words of encouragement while the race is in progress.  I really do! So if we get to see each other, do chat with me over a postrun drink.  What do you think? 🙂

Now, I am throwing the ball at you. Is talking during a race rude? Is engaging a fellow runner in a conversation during a race rude?