Pictures At Nuvali 58K Ultra-Marathon…

24 06 2011

“If you can’t change your fate, change your attitude.” -Amy Tan

Last June 18, 2011 Saturday, I conquered Nuvali Sta Rosa Laguna 58 kilometers Ultra-Marathon in 10 hours and 17 minutes.

Let me share with you some pictures of that event:

It was a difficult but a very nice race. Recap to follow next time.

To all Ultra-runners who conquered the same distance that I did last Saturday, Congratulations.

See you in Manila International Marathon 42k this weekend.

God be Praised!

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Eye-Opener!

1 03 2011

“But we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to His purpose.” -Romans 8:28

 

I have to admit it.

 

Reading the latest happening on the BDM 160k last Feb. 6, 2011 in Facebook was not an enjoyable thing for me to do. Those 60 brave warriors should be 61, and that includes me. But there I was, in the comfort of my living room, watching DVD and occasionally browsing the social network just to see the latest event on the said Ultramarathon. It hurts me because after training for almost 6 months, I was not able to join for personal reason beyond my control. I envied those guys who made it in the starting line. They are my comrades in pain, long time fellows in the world of the ‘insane’. I’m so mad at my circumstances that day, for until the last minute, I do prayed for a miracle to happen. But that time, no miracle or apparition. It was simply a big NO, and so, my dream of joining (or achieving) the first ever 160K held in our country was postponed and probably re-scheduled sometime next year.

Well, there maybe reasons behind why it happened. After reading the Official Result of that Race, only 34 out of 60 participants were able to make it within the cut-off period. It is an eye-opener for me to train harder, better and stronger for next year’s 160K. If  I pursued my desire, my chance is 50-50 too. Or maybe, worst thing happened to me that day.

“All things work together for good to them that Love God…”

In life, delays and halts will always come our way, but please don’t be dismayed. Just trust Him who knows our future. From now on…Let’s put our todays  and all our  tomorrows to the One who holds eternity in His hands.

If He says ‘no’ this year, then it will be next year. Maybe, I’m not yet ready.

See you at the road.

To God be the Glory!

The STEP of  a good man is ordered by the Lord…as well as his STOP.

RUNNING IN MY MIND: I have learned to hold everything loosely. That way it doesn’t hurt when God takes them from me.





Not My Time…

23 02 2011

“Don’t be afraid of missing opportunities. Behind every failure is an opportunity somebody wishes they had missed.” -Lily Tomlin

 

I’m so frustrated and disappointed.

After training for almost 6 months, my dream of competing a 160k  ultramarathon will not happen. I knew in my heart that I’m so prepared for it but circumstances do not favor me this time.

I will surely miss the Bdm 160k which will happen this coming Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011.

To the people who already gave their pledges, I’m going to return your donation. I’m sorry friends  and I thank you for the trust you gave me. You know who you are.

To  Race Director, Sir Jovie Narcise who invited me to join this race, thank you very much too. I’m so sorry for not informing you ahead of time. At the last minute, I did what I have to do in order for me to join this race but to no avail and so, two days before this Ultramarathon begins, I am announcing it here in my blog.

Last night, my last chance to decide whether to join this race or not was finally realized when I was not able to attend the Carbo-loading Party.

It is so painful for me but I have to accept the reality that although we dream something big and plan to achieve that dream, sometimes, that dream will not happen this year. I don’t know why my prayer was not answered this time but I always believe that everything works together for good.

To all brave warriors who will be joining the Bdm 102 and 160, I wish you all the best. May the good Lord gives you all the strength and power to finish that race, safe and injury-free. I salute you all in the name of running.

See you at the road.

Always, to God be the glory!

RUNNING IN MY MIND:

“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan

 

 

 





Black Wall!

29 01 2011

“Man is born with his hands clenched; he dies with them wide open. Entering life, he desires to grasp everything; leaving the world, all he possessed has slipped away.” -Charles Swindoll

 

There are two fixed points in our lives: birth and death. Death is especially unbendable.

In his book  ‘The Last Thing We Talk About‘, Joseph Bayly wrote:

This frustrates us , especially in a time  of scientific breakthrough and exploding knowledge, that we should be able to break  out of earth’s environment and yet be stopped cold  by death’s unyielding mystery.

An electroencephalogram may replace a mirror held before the mouth , autopsies may become sophisticated, cosmetic embalming may take the place of pennies on the eyelids and canvass shrouds, but death continues to confront us with its black wall. Everything changes; death is changeless.

We may postpone it, we may tame its violence, but death is still there waiting for us. Death always waits. The door of the hearse is never closed.

Dairy farmer and sales executive live in death’s shadow, with Nobel prize winner and prostitute, mother, infant, teen, athlete, triathlete, politician, beggar, actress, president and old man.  The hearse stands waiting for the surgeon who transplants a heart as well as the hopeful recipient, for the funeral director as well as the corpse he manipulates. Death spares none.

Ask most people about dying or heaven and you get amazing answers, especially from children. (Source: Good Housekeeping, March 1979)

Alan, age 7

“God doesn’t tell you when you are going to die because He wants it to be a big surprise.”

Aaron, age 8

“The hospital is the place where people go on their way to heaven.”

Raymond, age 10

“A good doctor can help you so you won’t die. A bad doctor sends you to heaven. ”

Stephanie, age 9

“Doctors help you so you won’t die until you pay all your bills.”

Marsha, age 9

“When you die, you don’t have to do homework  in heaven unless your teacher is there too.”

Kevin, age 10, is very courageous

“I’m not afraid to die because I’m a Boy Scout.”

Ralph, age 8

“When birds are ready to die they just fly to heaven.”

 

I shared all of these to commemorate the death of an Ultra-runner, co-hardcore and a triathlete. He will be remembered always.

I will end with this message from Arnold Toynbee…”Man alone has foreknowledge of his coming death and possessing this foreknowledge , has a chance , if he chooses to take it, of pondering over the strangeness of his destiny…(He) has at least a possibility of coping with it, since he is endowed  with the capacity to think about it in advance and…to face it and to deal with it in some way that is worthy of human dignity.”

Someday, all of us will face the ‘black wall’…the question is, “Are we ready?”

God be Praised!

Note: Due to a conflict in work schedule, I cannot attend the BDM test run today from km 102 to km 160, but I am with you in spirit in dedicating that 58k4J!

See you at the road.

“But it is appointed for men to die once and immediately the judgment.” -Hebrew 9:27





Enough!

21 01 2011

“Fame, like flame, is harmless until you start inhaling it.” -selected

 

Have you noticed? A man never earns enough. A woman is never beautiful enough.  Clothes are never fashionable enough. Cars are never nice enough.  Gadgets are never modern enough. Houses are never furnished enough. Food is never fancy enough. Relationships are never romantic enough. Life is never full enough.

Let me share my own story:

As a jogger then, my ultimate goal was to join a race.

And so I registered for my first race -the 5k in Cabuyao Laguna. At the finish line, I told myself  I’ll try the 10k.

And then a 15k… a 21k…a 25k.

Then came the 42k.

Then a 100K…followed by a 102K.

There was also a 24 hours Run.

And now, the most anticipated 160K.

I already joined almost 90 races in a short span of 4 years.

Enough is never enough.

Always more.

Contentment is out of the question.

To desire for more races is not bad. To train harder is also beneficial.

It is good for you, specially for your health (and bulging tummy.)

However, always keep in mind that MODERATION is the key. Our body needs rest, specially our feet.

In running, we can always strengthen our hearts but be very cautious not to over train our legs (and feet.)

And mind you, even our hearts can falter if you’re running at full speed without listening to your body.

My  friend died during a race some 5 years ago while running way above his heart rate. And there were confirmed fatalities during those recent races in Metro Manila.

Man will always strive to be better even to the point of neglecting their safety.

The rule of the thumb is this -DO ALL THINGS IN MODERATION.

And even if you’re a seasoned Ultra runner, a newbie or just starting your career as a runner -be moderate.

Slowly but surely.

When enough is never enough, be reminded that you can’t have it all at once.

Know your limit and be contented with it.

The good life – the one that truly satisfies – exists only  when we stop wanting a better one. The itch for things , the lust for more -is a virus  draining our souls of contentment.

Yes, I will still join 160K but I will always be contented for my achievements. Not because my peers are doing, then I have to do it too. I follow my own rule and strategy.

Satisfaction comes when we step off  the escalator of desire and say, “This is enough. What I have will do.”

Godliness with contentment is a great gain. Take it from the Master.

God be Praised.





BDM 102…Pride And Glory!

18 01 2011

“I ran and ran and ran every day, and I acquired this sense of determination, this sense of spirit that I would never, never give up, no matter what else happened.” -selected

km 0- km 10

The race started at 12:35am in my timex heart rate monitor watch. I started very slow and in pace with Dennis Enriquez. When we reached the base of the Mountain, I brisked walk every time there was an uphill and occasionally run at downhill. The road was too dark but the presence of galore of convoys made that highway accessible. At km 3, Dennis was lagging behind, I tried to wait for him but it’s too early to taper so I continued.

km 11- km 20

Already conquered the mountain, I’m all alone now. Our convoy was nowhere to be seen. In one place in Cabcaban, seeing a barking dog, I ran as fast as I could and reached two guys, Vinny and Bernabe..they are both professors like me. We have a good pace, 6.30/km and I enjoyed their company. Their convoy was very supportive of them and even gave me some drinks. Feeling hungry, I stopped at km 20 for the first water station and ate bananas, sweet potato and refilled my hydration belt with gatorade. When I looked for Vinny and Bernabe, they are already gone.

km 21- km 30

At this point, I’m approaching the town of Limay going to Orion, again running alone since both of them were running in their own pace, I badly needed to change my sock for I felt that some blisters are beginning to develop, but my convoy was still nowhere. Since Dennis my buddy, was still behind, I decided to ran slower so that Dennis can catch up with me, for my notion that our convoy was with him. I saw a Petron Gasoline, and there I made the first “call of nature” for 12 minutes. Here, I already ran 3 hours and 30 minutes…

km 31- km 40

Dennis catched me up somewhere in Balanga Bataan but the sad news is, the convoy was still out. At this time, my left foot was aching and blisters were now obvious, I needed my petroleum jelly and a new sock very badly.

Near Death Experience:

Dennis and I were running at comfortable pace when Bugobugo overtook us somewhere at this distance. The road was terribly too dark, and Bugobugo chose the left lane of the road, where there was a big Mansion House but unknown to us, there were two vicious giant dogs manning that huge edifice. Those dogs barked vehemently and when we reached that house, those two dogs at the rooftop were trying to jump on us and I at the center. Will I retreat and go back or go ahead and run faster? I chose option no. 2, glad that I did. We survived but if what if those dogs jumped and attacked us? God forbid. That was my first possible death experience, later on I will tell you the second accident..

km 41- km50

We reached the second water station and here we replenished our systems. Some pains were now obvious. We reached km 42 at 5 hours and 15 minutes and I congratulated Dennis, for it’s the first time he conquered this distance.

At Abucay, we reached km 50, arriving there at 7:31 am. At the station, We wanted to eat “lugaw” or rice porridge but there was nothing left so I sipped the noodle soup instead. We were 58th and 59th who arrived here and the staff told us that there were still 18 more runners to come. Our companion Mr. Nama reached this place at 6:31am according to the list on paper.I’m now running straight 7 hours, still…52 kms to go.

km 51- km 60

I now changed my running apparel from adidas short/nike singlet to New Balance Leggings/Adidas Long sleeve for the sun was now beginning to peek on us terribly! I readied also my spf 70 sunblock Hawaian tropic. Reaching Samal, Orani and Hermosa at this point in time, I am blessed to have with me a sponge, dipped in ice cold water and placed it on my head with my cap. This system was the best method to prevent heat stroke, I thought to myself.

Along the road, I saw a free-flow supply of water (pozo style), I wanted to take a plunge but since I’m wearing a leggings, it’s not that easy, I just borrowed a pail from the local villager there and showered my upper extremities. That was the nicest feeling in the world at that time.

km 61-km 70

Approaching Dinalupihan, I made my final strategy to finish this race and I shared it with Dennis. The result? We overtook some runners. How? We ran 5 minutes and walk 2 minutes. We did it over and over again.

Near Death Accident 2:

At km 64, I cheated death once again. I was running when the side mirror of a speeding car hit me on my left shoulder and the impact almost threw me out of the roadside. The car just hit and ran, miraculously, there was only minor scratch…but now it’s painful. Thank God for protection.

At km 68, we overtook Bernabe ,the one I mentioned earlier. I stopped for a while and told him to be with us, but he said he will Quit this race. I encouraged him to continue, but he just sit down and told me to go on with my pace. He faced his wall already!

km 71 -km 80

This was the toughest part of the race, the narrow road of the highway with sharp gravel stones at the roadside not suitable for running! If you’ll run at the asphalt part, you may be hit by speeding vehicles, and your already injured feet may be worsened if you’ll run by the roadside. Here, we walked for there is no place to run, and the heat of the sun was killing us little by little.

Along km 75…Dennis, I and a new friend Richard, whom we overtook but eventually got even with us as we slowed down decided to rest for a while underneath the shadow of a big fence and we analyzed the whole scenario. We’re like wounded soldiers and we’re afraid we can’t make the cut-off time of 18 hours. Still 27 kms to go, and with a situation like this, eventhough we still have 5 more hours to beat the cut-off time, this last 27 kms was different.

After some calculations, we decided to continue. If we can’t finish this race now, when? It’s now or never!!!

km 81-km 90

Reaching Lubao, its road and bridge under construction, worsened the scenario, for the dust I inhaled and the space was limited. To avoid my previous experience, I opted to run slowly at the roadside, avoiding sharp gravel…missing some…hitting some!

Somewhere at this point, Dennis can’t barely run anymore and he told me to continue my pace. I overtook more runners as I’m nearing the 90 kms mark, and Richard was far behind me.

At km 88, I’m running and walking for almost 5 kms now without Dennis, my convoy was not with me anymore. With no more food, drinks and my best weapon, sponge dipped in ice I felt dehydrated and hungry, so I bought soda and a piece of bread at a nearby Sari2x Store, and here Dennis came and was running so fast. I’m trying to stop him so that he could be with me for the last kick, for I’m refilling now for the last 14 kms of the race, but I think he can’t be stopped at that time.

km 91- km 100

At km 91, I have this painful scratch and small wound beside my right underarm. I need to replace my long sleeve to just ordinary singlet. Also at this point, I saw Razon’s halo halo, I wanted to stop and taste their delicacy but I’m worried I could not beat the time target so I decided to continue my slow run.

At km 92, our convoy remembered me, nice to replace my outfit to prevent further damage to my underarm.

at km 93, I overtook Dennis because he was now walking. He admonished me to continue with my pace.

9 kms to go, but my feet were swollen already!

When I reached km 100, I knew I can make it to the finish line, I still have more than 1 hour to complete the last 2 kms. It sounds funny but it’s true, the last 2 kms were the most challenging part, mind over body.

Reaching this point, I was so emotional. I ran 100 kms already!

those were my pride and glory!

this baller was given in the last part of the race, every time I wear it, this will remind me that NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! Believe in God, and believe also in yourself…that I was able to conquer Bataan 102 kilometers!

-to be continued- next: lessons learned and my assessment for this race.

Note: actual photos taken at the finish line will be available c/o photovendo.

Thank you for all your prayers! God bless us always!

“Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.” -Mathew 6:33





Remembering My First 102K Ultra-marathon.(Repost)!

16 01 2011

Let me share with you in 3 parts my experiences in this toughest race of my entire life. This was the first time  I cried upon reaching the finish line. Imagine running and walking in 17 hours and 24 minutes, non-stop, without sleeping, and with only 3-5 minutes rest just to  change my socks, shoes and singlets, eating only food particles, running solo and in the dark, escaped death 2 times…this is my story.

Before the race:

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Arriving in Mariveles Bataan at 5pm last Saturday, April 4, 2009…this is the first picture I took and it’s where we’ll start the race on or before 1am.

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with Mr. Nama and Dennis Enriquez…my running buddy almost ’til the end. My sincerest appreciation to Mr. Nama and his entire family for a vey nice hitch ride, accommodations and tireless support in the entire race. Without them, I don’t think I could finish this race! By the way, Mr. Nama finished 42nd overll, me at 49th and Dennis at 56th out of 82 runners. (Congrats Dennis, although you don’t have 42 kms race yet, yet you did it at 102! What a display of courage and athleticism.)

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Nerrie, Mr. Nama’s daughter and a fiance of Dennis…is the woman who supported us along the way, together with her mom. Their labor and sacrifices will be forever be remembered in this blog! I can’t repay them back for their benevolence. I don’t know them personally and it’s only the first time that I did see them, but they treated me like their own family. My God will bless you for this…

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Ahhh…this lady is my angel! She cheered for me along the way until the finish line although I don’t know her! She even supplied me with drinks, galore of ice, sponges, etc when my convoy is out. I asked what is her name, and she told me that she is Fhar?..She may not know it, but her act of kindness will be for keeps! And someday, I want to return the favor to her, if possible. I ‘m only few meters ahead of her husband, and when I saw her husband at the finish line whom I also didn’t know personally, I congratulated him and told him that her wife really helped me to push more to finish this race…I salute them both.

There’s this also a van ending in 361 who offered me some refreshments when the temperature is at peak, and a lady wearing orange who gave me gatorade inside a pocari Sweat container…whoever you are, My God will richly bless you and I pray that many people will help you too, like what you did to me! Also, Jonnel (Bugobugo) gave me mineral water, just in time I’m almost dehydrated…thank you bro…I’ll never forget it!

Some View Of Mariveles Before The Race:

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Just in front of the starting line is this majestic view…

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Right beside of the starting line, we put up this tent where we rested and tried to sleep, but due to a very hot weather condition…we can’t.

I was also honored to render the opening prayer for the short program before the race. Little did I know that S’ Jovie sent me an sms informing me of that,but since I don’t bring my smart cellphone (I brought with me my globe), it’s only now that I was able to read it.

-to be continued…during the race!

“Everything begins with the right priorities, and the right priorities begin with God.”