I run…therefore I am

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The Arduous Road to Bataan 160 km, part II

18 January 2011

The last 10 days:  Physical/Mental conditioning and logistics

a personal note from Boringer Ronnie…

So it’s the last 10 days before B day (Bataan Death March 160) and so far I’m feeling quite ok.  Clinic sked has been quite hectic, what with my secretary still recovering from childbirth.  Haven’t run since Fat Ass, not even some brisk walking except when I need to accompany my brother and his family on their mall tours (the biggest mall they have at Wellington, NZ is just one wing of SM North).  Fortunately, I’ve been able to squeeze in some gym works, concentrating mostly on the legs and back.  I also wanted some upper body bulking so I’ve done some chest and shoulder routines.  I feel I need to put on some weight come Jan. 28 so I’ve been bingeing on anything that comes my way.  But mostly, I’m eating a lot of fish dishes (thank God for the New Zealand smoked salmon my brother brought – parang sosyal na tinapa!) upon reading that it could help improve my knees and joints.

How do you solve a problem like...?

Once in a while the right or left knees would click and make funny noises but no continuous pain has been felt yet.  To prevent the condition from progressing into something like chromalacia (!), I’ve been doing a lot of leg exercises – mild squats, leg presses and lunges at the gym.  The goal is to strengthen the muscles around the knees – the calves, quadriceps and hamstrings.  The weekly yoga sessions have also really helped on my flexibility while core workouts I can do in between appointments have become regular (that is if I don’t get sleepy – yup, clinic work can get tiring, really).

Doing the Bridge during my weekly yoga sessions...

Meanwhile, I’ve assembled an able support group who will comprise Team Toto (that’s TT for you), made up of Boringers Ina Estoesta, Frio Frolen, his girlfried Ruby Bambalan and our trusty driver Lonie.  We’ve set up a secret page so our notes on the final details (from my outfit per 50 km to the types of food/drinks I will be subsisting on the road) will be summarized and provided to on the 27th when we will meet up at 1 pm as we leave for Mariveles, Bataan.  The information is still raw but expect it to be refined and defined by next week, like what food I will consume at 1 pm when I’ve hopefully reached Abucay, Bataan (km. 50), etc.  During our meeting last Sun. at Yoshinoya, we agreed that our color will be red (for day) and white (at night) just to match the maroon Revo I will be borrowing from my dad.  The look of the support vehicle is in the hands of my artist friend Dr. Anton Datu so I’m expecting something unique, spiffy and fierce.  At the back reads:  Takbo para kay Nanay at Kiko Mina

Team Toto in circles...

The expenses are building up so I’m pinning my hopes on the only 1 corporate sponsor I approached.  Meanwhile, purchases in accessories (headlamp, shades), food & drinks have started so I won’t be panicking next week, as if that won’t happen.  During the run, my support crew will be doing a lot of buying for ice, food, etc. so I’m trying to augment my run fund for the race expenses ahead.  The list goes on and on but with proper preparation and planning, I’m confident we can hurdle these logistical requirements so I can just focus on my running and crossing the finish line.

I am agog, antsy and excited – this is one adventure I’m raring to run…

Borange will rule B-day!

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The Arduous Road to Bataan 160 km, part I

09 January 2011

Fat Ass 2012:  the last and longest run…


test running the Asics-Cumulus 13

The Wednesday before Saturday’s Fat Ass Run at the Clark parade grounds, I was in a bind.  My knees, most especially the right side was hurting a bit while making those popping sounds upon every movement.  Will these worsen as BDM nears?  It started last Dec. 29 when I joined Team Boring on our last long run for 2011 at the Ayala Alabang Village upon the invitation of Doc Art.  We were aiming for 33 kms. since fellow Boringer Kokoy was turning 33 the day after.  Our pacing was quite fast with Bong leading the group along the village’s rolling terrain.  The weather was cool and windy.  At kilometer 15, I felt a tingling pain on the lower knee area which got worse as the distance stretched.  By km. 20, I had no resort but to walk the last 3 kms.

Pre-New Year runners...

This was not the first time I felt such discomfort on the knee area.  It all began when we started speeding down the hills of Monterrey and Shotgun/the Wall (at Timberland) during the weekends of December.  Down hills are a favorite since I can accelerate quite fast without stopping, slowing down or fearing an accidental face down.  So while I struggled with the up hills (though later on I’ve been able to run it as well), my descents were quite free wheeling and continuous.  I felt that it could minimize resistance and pressure on the knees but then again, the angles we were gliding were quite steep.

a real downer...

a real downer...

it all began with David B's crazy idea...

So there I was burdened with thoughts of abandoning my BDM aspirations if the knee situation worsens.  I was browsing through Frontrunner’s list of orthopedic doctors when I realized I had a gym mate who was one.  I showed up that Thursday afternoon at Dr. Cesar Dimayuga’s clinic, expecting to be told to stop running and to start resting my damaged knees.  I don’t think I would follow him but it would ease my mind if I knew my true physical status before I enter BDM 160.  I told him of my recent running history (though he’s quite aware of the past distances).  He did some tests and movements on my legs, joints and feet.  When I left the clinic I almost gave his secretary a long warm hug, not because she didn’t charge me a thing but because Dr. Dimayuga gave my knees a clean bill of health – they were ready for the road to Capas, Tarlac.

That afternoon also, I realized I’ve been using 3 running shoes which have lived past their running lives – the NB 1064 (bought in Dec 2010), the Asics Cumulus 11 (bought in August 2010) and the NB 760 (bought in 2008).  [I recently bought an NB 890 but it was not for me].  I’ve ran around 2,000 kms in 2011 so even if I used them alternately, each would still register at least 500 kms, the retirement mileage for any running shoes.  So off I went to Second Wind store (after aborting plans of a visit to Runner’s Circle in Malate), first at it’s Quezon City branch then to it’s Home Depot store where I was evaluated by Hector (upon Reylynne’s suggestion) on my gait and running form.  Shoes from New Balance, Nike (!), Asics and Brooks were considered but in the end, I settled with the tried and tested – the Asic Cumulus, this time at its 13thedition.

practicing the ultrapace with CJ, Keshia & Bongski

Cumulus 13 had more support on the arch than its predecessor and is better cushioned all over and the ever reliable IGS gel on the both the heel and forefoot was quite palpable at each step.  I used it the day after while doing clinic work and it felt great.  By Saturday, I used it for the Fat Ass 2012, cautious at first not to step too hard on the parade ground’s uneven asphalt trail and avoiding a repeat of last year’s hip injury.  Along with fellow Boringers (who btw had the most organized and fun team station along the route) Bong, CJ, Dave & Keshia, we traversed the parade ground’s 2.2 kms for 12 hours.

camping and running...the Boring way.

The first 6 hours (from 6 am to 12 noon), we were able to register around 38 kms before proceeding for an outdoor lunch.  An hour later, we were back on the game.  I just wanted to break my previous record of 66 kms. while Keshia just wanted to finish 50 (she’s not well-conditioned).  The weather was quite cool even in the afternoon (blessed with some drizzles and clouds in between) so that by 6 pm, I had registered 70.4 while Keshia tallied 72 kms., clinching the title Fat Ass Queen for the 12-hour category.

Fat Ass survivors all

While runners were completing their respective categories (up to 36 hours), Team Boring settled in one of the best lit corners of the route, enjoying a hearty dinner prepared by the girls and our resident cook, McCoy Lontoc.  Later, as the night progressed, we were enjoying the booze of varying concentrations while inviting runners to join in.  I took just 2 glasses of beer then we left by 11 pm for Marikina.  The best part of it all – my knees survived the 70-km ordeal.  We paced like we were running Bataan in light short steps that was gentle on the sole and feet.  Yesssiree – I believe I would survive BDM – bring it on!

My preciouss.....