Tuesday, 28 August 2007

a fUn LoNg WeekEnd!

A Long Active Weekend

Friday August 24, 2007

I had a whole day location shoot at new restaurant in Quezon City. I was working with Patrick again for the food styling. I was asking Patrick for 3 weeks already if I could tag along with him during his trail biking sessions for me to learn more trails near the metro. Good thing he had a clear schedule for the next day. ☺ Finally, I was going to experience riding the trails!

Saturday August 25, 2007

Quarter before 5am I was up already and on my way to Patrick’s place. We were going back to the same trail that Doc, RC and I took the week 2 weekends ago, San Mateo Timberland. Only this time, we will be tackling single-track downhill and uphill trails along the way.

I’m not a biker… well not yet. So I had a loaner bike and gear with me, thanks again to Pat! We arrived at San Mateo at around 6:30am. Ate a couple of bananas and got some fluids going already. Quarter to 7am and we were off to the hills.

We took the same steep paved uphill sections and through the gates of Timberland. Past the gates were more uphill paved sections for another 1 km. I have just started to hill train for my running and biking up the hill is a totally different ballgame. I then learned that biking uses a different muscle group than running. That’s why I was having doubts if I can make it up the hill at least. But then again, I guess my aerobic ability was able to push me through the incline. ☺ Nah! The trick was to constantly shift down, and if all else fails?! Use the “Granny Gear”, its what bikers call when you use the biggest gear at the rear and the smallest gear up front. ☺
With the paved section over I was really excited with trails… oh and the downhill section too! Pat and I didn’t go straight the main road, we took the first left turn towards the Roxas Trail. There was more uphill here before I got a taste of the first short and easy downhill. I was still having a hard time managing the brakes. Since I am use to riding a motorcycle, I was looking for other ways to slow down my momentum other than the rear and front brakes. Looks like there’s no engine brake here guys. Hehehehe Pat just said that I modulate the use of my brakes. Hey it works!Then came my first steep trail climb. Since it rained the night before, the trail was damp enough to provide some slick mud. I thought that I can manage to get through the climb by powering my way up. Thing is, climbing a slippery hill need weight balance and just the right RPM to maximize tire grip. See, when you don’t distribute your weight properly, It’s either you pop a wheelie and turn backwards or if you put too much weight up front, you loose grip for traction on the rear wheel. Geez… it’s really technical.

After that first steep trail, came the single track downhill section!!!!! Woooohooo!!!!! If you thought that a single track is wide enough for you then you got it all wrong. It’s almost hard to see the track through the bush! Downhill is FUN!
After the single track section we got to Halo-Halo trail which is pretty much an uphill paved section going to the first break stop for a quick snack. I’m enjoying the uphill section more than the downhill though. I can really feel the burn on my quads and my panting. Plus it’s less dangerous too. ☺
Got in our first stop by about 9am. Bought some bread and simple sugars for some boost. If only I knew that I can order Pancit Canton(Chinese noodles)! Tsk tsk…. We got back to the trail and went to ka Virgel’s place. It was another rest stop for bikers and motorbike riders. The place had huts in the middle of the pond. And up the hill has a fresh water spring. Anyway back to more riding.
We took a shorty and headed back to Timberland. Remember the steep paved uphill section at the start. I guess the saying is true…. “ what goes up must come down” . I’m not sure how fast I was going… but it definitely gave me the rush that I needed. ☺

Biking is definitely a great cross training session to do for running.

• Uphill: great resistance and strength training
• Downhill: is pure FUN! But is definitely dangerous. ☺
• The training is also low impact, unless you fall on a downhill ride. Hehehe

Hey, don't take it from me! Try it out and see for yourself.

August 26, 2007


“Today, I’m going to run fast” repeat 20,000 times. That was what I was saying over and over again since 4am. I did my usual pre race preparations and got out of the house. I picked up Miss Roselle on the way to the race. Got to the race start about 40 minutes before race start. I was still repeating my line. ☺

Race started 8 minutes late. When all 2,000++ runners started the run. Joms and I took the time to manage to get through the pack. We ran in the side street. The race looked like a Milo marathon event. I guess the organizers did a great job in promoting the run.

By the first KM the pack was still big but at least there was some space to run on to. I still manage to keep my pace relatively fast with a few shorter stride for breaks. After the loop around the academic quadrangle (2.2km) the route took the first downhill section. And consequently, a steep uphill. I tried to maximize my strides on the downhill and give just my intended race effort on the uphill to conserve some energy for the last 3km of the race.

The next 1km of the race was flat through the main avenue and right side of the quadrangle. Then we get to the next fast downhill section again. And what do you know…. Another steep uphill again right after. I was still trying out psychology on this part of the race… only this time this was my line… “I shouldn’t be comfortable”. Yes folks, I needed to hear that just to remind me that panting, aching, and almost getting dizzy is part of racing. ☺ If I give up on any section then I know I didn’t do my best.

The next downhill-uphill section of the course was really hard due to the glare and heat of the sun. It added to the already grueling section. Only this time I knew that its going to be the last 3km of the race and when I did my time check my watch only registered a good 30:00++…. Which means I have the chance of getting what I wanted if I just hold on to my current race pace.

I was trying to be more conscious of running form at this time of the race. I know that as you progress into the race you loose the proper form, hence you loose energy and time. I couldn’t get my strides to flow, as I wanted. I knew that I was loosing time cause of my short throw. I knew the dynamics of doing longer strides but it just seems that my legs weren’t cooperating with me. Now I have to get to that before the next race. My breathing though was right in-tune with my tempo. Although I was really panting hard, I knew that I could still sustain the load for the rest of the race.

The last 1km through the quadrangle was just pure bliss. All I can think of is the finish at the next 2 corners and my time for the race. Still can’t do longer strides though, but I hung on my pace. Got into the last corner and saw the official clock, smiled and crossed the line at 44:43.

I made it! 18 seconds shy of my target finish time. I wish this is how my mindset is whenever I race. A new PR, a great race!
- still h@ppyFeet after the race at UP -

After the UP GREAT RUN

We had our first h@ppyFeet Picnic!

I would like to thank all the people who made this event possible ☺
Although we were still missing a few members, at least most of the attendee’s got to meet each other already. Hope we have more picnic’s to come.

August 27, 2007

Patrick sent me an SMS if I can join another trail biking session. Of course I said yes! Well, i'll let the pictures tell you the story.....
- did I mention it rained the whole night and the morning too?! -
- we used small garbage bags for water resistance... It didn't work -- second victim of a busted chain -- we had to cross this river, It was FUN! some actually went back and did it again for the camera :) -

- series..... when it pours, there's mud!!!!! -- notice how deep the mud is???? -

- landslide..... had to walk and jump on the side of the hill. Sorry mates, there was no jump ramp for this thing -
- no one was able to bike on this steep very muddy hill. :) -- it was definitely a fun ride! -

Thanks Patrick for lending me Jack's bike and gear. Oh and to Miss Patricia, thanks for the betadine for my first trail crash wound! hehehehe and to the Patrick's biking buds, I may not be able to remember all of your names, but I will surely remember your bikes! hehehehe :)

Geez.... I really hope I was good boy this year. Santa, i just want a descent bike. :P


Jaymie said...

What a weekend! Congrats on your first trail ride! It looked like so much fun---especially the part where you bathed in the mud...er was that on purpose? hehe. Hey, congrats on the new PR too! I wish I was there to scream "44 minutes!!!" as you did for me last time :)

bEnMChAn said...

I wish you were there at the race too miss jaymie! I hope I can still push myself this coming sunday at Fil-Mus since the route is flat. :)