Finally personal bests with the help of the men in blue and green.

It was a privilege to run the Bantay Bata(Child Watch) fun night run even though it really wasn’t that dark. I narrowly missed the cut-off time registration as I was pondering if I should exercise on my own time but I thought it should be a good way to post personal bests on the gps, upload it to and be happy with the PB stars later. I drank as much liquids as I could and ate a minimum amount of food like the usual odd food that started late in the day, oatmeal and cereal bars. I tried my best to stop smoking but I couldn’t resist a few sticks till around 1 pm. and decided to call it quits for the afternoon as I knew I was going to suffer the effects of it. It was a good feeling though to see what the local station was doing to protect the rights of children and abuses but on the other side I wanted hopefully to best the previous fun race where I missed the 10kph average on the 5k by .01. I also had thoughts of breaking the 30minute mark. Working odd shifts really does put a toll on me and I wanted to sleep it off around 2:30pm but my adrenalin was keeping me awake well if there was any help that would be it.

The race really didn’t start on time as there were announcers thanking almost everyone from participants to unknowns and we were standing motionless on the start line for almost half an hour. My gps recording was alreading on “on” mode and too bad I didn’t want to press it as is when the “gun” goes off. Around me were students, acquaintances, police recruits, navy, army and students of various colleges and help organizations as well as runners from the top level to the ones just like me. The whole of Bacolod City seemed to be there at the Provincial lagoon area and police escorts where massing on the running route. It was a Sunday and a good day to exercise as I was stressed out from work and other important issues so for once I’d be forgetting that for at least an hour. When the race started it was at a walking pace banging at the back of others as they too were sandwiched. The better ones were on a flying start. As we rounded the first corner the pack seemed to loosen and I steadied on my own pace trying to look for people who more or less had a cadence in synch with me. But it seemed like everyone wanted a free space in front of them and decided to speed up a little bit. I wasn’t surprised as there were thousands packing the route. As I settled myself I seemed to notice I was more or less in stride with the men in blue which were the police recruits and the men in green the armed forces. I thought for a second,”I could run after terrorists and hoodlums..hmmm!” It did really affect my running as I tried my best to stick with them as they were easy to see in packs. I passed by a few friends and spoke in broken words trying to suck in as much air as I could. Past the 2km mark I looked on my GPS and was surprised to see the average speed past 10kph and that gave me a reason to stick to it. As we turned around the halfway mark it felt good that there was only half agony left if ever. But as we neared the last 1.5km mark I could see a mass of white shirts making a u-turn back to the lagoon. I thought this is going to spoil my personal bests. We in the 5k group eventually passed them and tried to weave our way through and around them as they were all mostly walking. I looked for the men in blue and green and spotted them and followed suit jumping to the side streets to overtake and am glad I did. Doing that though really  took my breath away and had to slow down and walk to gather my composure and run again. I checked on the screen and it showed 300 meters to go and at 27minutes so I started running a faster pace same as my breathing. At the last two corners I bolted out of the herd and tried to run triple time overtaking dozens every second to hopefully break my personal record. The finish line was in sight and finally passed it and the first thing I saw was 29 minutes plus. Yes! I thought..this would put yellow stars on my record book and sure enough it did. I broke the 30minute barrier and the past the 10kph average.

Pacing a pedicab.

It’s my first exercise after work and it couldn’t be worst than being light headed but I expected that. I decided to do a quick sweat just around the neighborhood of Villamonte, Bacolod City as driving to the port didn’t appeal to me for now. I only had a window of one hour as my file at the NBI was going to be reprinted so instead of waiting I decided to run. It was hot as usual with no wind but the sound of the real neighborhood of stray dogs and pedicabs could be a uncomfortable one. Am glad the newer model GPS 401 had much more reception that narrow streets through residential houses didn’t record “spikes” while uploading. I honestly didn’t like the run as I had no idea if I was going to turn left or right. I guess I just wanted a clear path without no obstructions and distractions so I hired the services of an old man manning his pedicab for the last 1km. and told him to pace me so I have something to follow and if i tell him to go faster to do so as well. He obliged and at the last stretch I told him to pick up the pace and with his age of around 65 or more he gingerly did it. For a 10peso running buddy it looked fun as neighbors were wondering why this white haired pedicab driver was pushing pedals on a faster cadence and I myself was amused but thanked him for his effort and he replied the same.

My first running race with Garmin’s 401 and personal bests.

My first run race couldn’t be as jittery as signing up for the first Negros Run Expo. I just wanted to try how it feels to be running with several hundred other people. I was debating whether should I go for the 3k as I normally do all the time or for another 50 pesos I might as well join the 5k. Midday runs to me seem normal even with the intense heat of the day but those are short even less than 3k at times. But with Garmin Foretrex 401 and as my coach and analysis charts for the past runs I wanted to see how I could fare with people who run without. I was sure a windsurfing buddy of mine was using a wrist gps but from personal reception tests and reviews from magazines I doubt if his was as receptive and accurate when Lacson street was lined with buildings. But nevertheless to each his own liking. I chose the 401 for the race instead of the 201 not because the former had no max speed reset only resetting the whole screen including the trip odometer and moving time but because I knew it’s reception was superb even in a concrete covered environment. With this in mind uploading my tracks to would be more accurate in distance and speed and with past runs never had spurious readings to date.

When the gun blew we all scrambled to jockey into position and as a lone runner most of the time slapping elbows and dodging people was a new discipline  for me. I had to keep on reminding myself to run my own pace even if women and men young or old of all shape and sizes seemed flying past me. But on the halfway mark I was now overtaking most of them and now pacing the more consistent ones. This was a first time I never stopped let alone for a 5k and that for me is an outstanding effort of running under the midday sun trying to do personal bests with my sparring partners who are made of chips, wires and programs but only give me realtime information and analysis charts after. The joys of technology never tires never sleeps.

Kayaking upstream against the current.

Good to touch water again in a different mode of transportation, kayak. My friend Baby L. picked me for a quiet exploring of Sum-ag river in Punta Taytay, Bacolod City. It looks a loud from all that traffic from the bridge but as you go further upstream it becomes more quieter and peace sets in. I’ll take anything like this when stress abounds. The good thing about this activity is we could talk about life in general as we were paddling along the river banks. With all that quiet I guess even our normal voices could be heard by a few onlookers who were behind trees looking to see what those echoing voices are about.

The water was a bit darker brown as the rains from the previous day and the early morning has probably added to the silt but it still was nice seeing people setting up crab traps, fishing lines and nature. I saw a lizard which could have been a juvenile monitor jump into the water and sensing that the current was too strong swam as hard as it could and jump back up followed by a meter long snake in grayish color a few seconds later. I know reptiles don’t eat their same kind…I might be mistaken though. The Garmin Foretrex 401 was still receiving and recording as we did our exploring stop under a canopy of trees and relieving ourselves. It was a fun 2 and a half hour ride. Forgetting problems is nice for a change. I just didn’t like the echoing sound of two karaoke houses by the river banks and that chainsaw that was even annoying. But to some it all up different perspective from civilization. We had to make a u-turn as the increase in elevation was turning current into rapids. Going back was a relaxing thing as we were with it and less effort on paddling.

GPS birthday run.

Wake-up time: 7:00am on alarm
Snooze times: about 3, Why: slept past 3am because of yakking dogs with hormonal dysfunctions True wake-up time: about 7:30am
Event: Birthday run at the port. Other names: Bredco Port ext. a.k.a. Satan’s loop to me.
Time planned: 11:00am, Why: just because it’s double the effort and a physical examination at 2pm Why: it’s been like that ever since, well not exactly at those times.
Initiator:, Reason: addicting piece of track analysis program, Creator: A brit hiding in his lofty pad watching people sweat it out, Affiliation: none whatsoever, just a sailing buddy
Breakfast pre-menu: Batangas brew, 2 cigs
Menu: oatmeal, 2 pcs. wheat with jam, powdered orange juice
Attire: tangerine yellow shorts in cotton, blue, white and grey running shoes, sleeveless tee but not worn, Other: laced up sunglasses a must, REI water pouch frozen not stirred
Electronic gadgets: Garmin Foretrex 401, H20Man waterproof mp3 player, song tracks: from Alicia Keys to Ziggy Marley
Time at Bredco: 10 something Weather: hazy skies with full sun Temp: 35deg. Celsius, Pavement temp: enough to do scramble eggs, Start area: Petron gas station, warm-up area: same as Start area. Pick me up music track: Van Halen”Jump” Pick me up line: “I get up and nothing gets me down, I like to jump and go round and round, And I know how just it feels”, Distance when music played: past 1.5km
Finish it music track: Lighthouse Family “Ocean Drive”, Finish it music line: “Don’t know why you’re so blue, Sun’s gonna shine on anything you do, And the sky is so blue”,Distance when music played: last 300 meters or so
Stress factor: absolute zero, Sweat rate: gallons per minute
Emotional content: High with delight, Cooling down period: one hour, Physical effort: 110 percent, Physical content left: will do it again and again and again Why: Garmin says so and sportstracklive concurs, So: i’ll do it on windsurfing, kiteboarding, SUP’ing and anything that skims and receives satellite signals, Comments to others: get one and log on
Credits: I’d like to thank Maricel of Petron Gas Station for keeping watch over me, Reward: a bottle of cold Mountain Dew
Appreciation rating: 10 of 10 Affected: wifey, Annika, Result: hard earned dinner at Kaisei, Worth: every penny and cent
Oh about that physical exam; bpm rest: 50, bpm normal: 62
Weight yesterday: 165lbs. Weight today: 164lbs. Other comments: Foretrex 401 at start showed a 2mtr satellite lock-wow! that probably is the shortest I have seen since the 201’s usual 15-30mtr. lock which explains for the shorter distances and faster speeds and more accurate no spike jumps. Overall feeling of elation just because I did my birthday run as planned. As for why I don’t do it farther I never liked running except for the reason’s answered above.

Garmin Foretrex 401 reception test on a Sunday.

Ran through Bacolod’s “China town” or what the locals call the “shopping” area. Never knew why there’s none to shop for except hardware, textiles and a few eateries. It’s a Sunday alright and decided to give a reception test on the Garmin Foretrex 401. It’s amazing how much better the satellite acquisition is, no “jump” tracks on sportstracklive especially with moderate buildings to the left and right and residential houses…yess! At least for now I really don’t need to run on clear open paths.

There wasn’t much heavy traffic. So the route was left on Malaspina St. from start point then right on Lopez Jaena St. left on a side street then right on Hilado St., right on B.S. Aquino Dr.,right on a side street then left on Hilado St., left on 6th St., right on B.S. Aquino Dr. ext.,right on Malaspina St.,left on side street right on side street left on Camia St. Maybe the next reception test would be on a cloudy day as today was just heat, sun, heat, sun.

Running and taking off past the poo.

After a two hour work application session with a company I decided to go across the street which was the old Bacolod City airport. There the airport’s runway was accessible and I decided to go for a run. I had brought with me my shorts and sunglasses and water to hydrate in the garage and to change clothing as well. I didn’t mind the two persons sweeping the surroundings as it was a bit dark.

The tarmac was obviously deserted with grass and weeds creeping up and sideways onto the pavement except for a few cows and goats. As I ran halfway to the end of the runway I had to avoid their poo which was dotting the area although dried it just didn’t seem right to squash on top of it. There were a few people crossing the runway once in awhile to make a shortcut to the edge of the sea and tend to their nets. I tried my best to at least run one loop without stopping but with a longer track and a searing sun I didn’t want to overdo it. There was prevailing wind coming from the southwest at around 10-11kts. and if I estimated myself to be running at around 4-5kts. The upwind push of 15kts was a bit harder to do so but gratifying to see the sea with small occasional whitecaps. Going back to my start position was a bit easier with the wind to my back but I must have slowed to a walking pace about 4 times to get some needed air in my lungs. There was no place to cool off except for the hangars but were private and closed so I decided to drive home immediately. Even with the car’s air conditioning on my sweat was everywhere inside the car.


Running on Satan’s playground.

It felt like Satan’s playground today. Heat was very intense than high noon. Trucks and various forms of carriers were buzzing about and lifting fine sand into the air. There was a bit of monsoon wind at which I tried to avoid that dust cloud the trucks were spewing by going the opposite the wind direction. My H20Man mp3 player was annoying me instead of soothing me down. I tried to find the best music track nevertheless my sense of touch and sight was very keen on finishing what I started.

I stepped on the unpaved portion of the route and hurt the soles of my right foot a bit. It must have been a sharp pebble or stone. I didn’t look at the new Garmin Foretrex 401 not single moment as I just wanted to minimize upper movement and concentrate on the running instead. Funny how I watched my shadow and it seemed like it too wanted to limp back as well. Ayways  I did reach the gasoline station where I started from and was it a cool place to simmer down.

Testing in between a Garmin Foretrex 401 and 201 with Annika at aft.

Tried out the new Garmin Foretrex 401, the last of the diminutive series I believe. After using the 201 for close to 3 years not bad at all as all I need is just the maximum and average speed as well as the trip odometer and the sailing timer at which the 401 does have it as well. My 201 is starting to have ‘enter’ button problems which costs 69$ to have an ‘out of warranty’ overhaul which if you add all the shipping and customs would cost you a brand new model. Straight out of the box the manual was only a few pages which was meant for the user to figure it out by themselves which if you are used to changing windows it’s easy just as the 201. The 401 is really very receptive even acquiring satellites indoors so it’s either you turn the ‘recording’ to off as not to put in tracks.  Here is a comparison between two sportstracklive tracks of the Garmin 201 and the 401 respectively.

The acquisition time at cold start of the 401 is really fast at less than 10 seconds at the most.  While the 201 might take twice as much and still in 2D mode however all will depend on how open the area is. I brought my daughter Annika who is 5yrs. old for a test run of the unit. She wanted to tag along dearly and am glad it was hazy and not searing hot. With a H20Man with her she was at least focused on the road ahead not at the weeds and pebbles along the route. It was a walk and run affair. I kept on looking left and right on both units and it seems like the 401 seemed to give a faster readout in every speed change even when they were both set at a 2 second time interval of which you could set the 401 on either distance, time or auto mode. But for the reason’s of being accurate I was told and have read to put it as is. Downloading time of your tracks took about 2 seconds since it was just a short run and downloading further to GPS TrackMaker took a mere few seconds via usb cable. The 201 for a one hour track of say 3000 trackpoints could easily take 2-3minutes sometimes. Both have the basic dimensions being the 401 was about 1 cm. thicker for the battery compartment. Weight didn’t seem to be noticeable. The strap bolts where durable than the pin type style of the 201 but taking it off just needed a watch screwdriver. What I didn’t like was the rubbler flap covering of the usb port which if you tended to use the device on your arm and sweat a lot there might be a faster decay of the material due to sweat. Since I took off the armbands and use a pouch instead shouldn’t be an issue. There is one program called jumpmaster which I couldn’t make use of since I don’t do hang gliding or sky diving for that reason. The barometer is said to be accurate and could be set at millibars, inches or hPascals. Distance can be set at metric, nautical or statute. Elevation can be configured at meters or feet. Vertical speed can too be set for ft/min, m/min or m/sec. I still like the big font the timer that has been incorporated since the 201 was out and can be customized to any second, minute or hour you do want. The usual distance and bearing to tracking back is still in it as well as the auto compass that can be disabled if you wanted to. That’s as far as I went fiddling with the unit since trekking up and down mountains or valleys wasn’t still my thing but who knows one of these days. The GPS window for acquiring satellites is hidden from view although you can post it up or check to see if the satellite dish icon has stopped blinking meaning a solid fix. Am a bit doubtful if it has the true ipx7 standards as the battery cover doesn’t have a rubber trim around it and so is the usb port again for which the rubber flap just covers firmly but not tightly. Nevertheless as long as there is an arm pouch than can handle water immersion then no problem. Overall there isn’t a smaller GPS designed receiver out there  that’s as small as this and your main uses are for sailing, speed sailing by windsurfing or kiteboarding, biking and running.  Just my two cents worth and still a good follower of this product. Will still save money to have the 201 refurbished later on.

Good to be windswept once again after all that running.

I’t been awhile to be on water once again. The chances of having light winds in Pulupandan a municipality about 20kms. or so south of Bacolod City as a bit risky. I checked out Windguru and it says 8-10kts so maybe I could take a chance and go for a lightwind kiting session. This place is either too light or very blusterous winds, extreme really. Well wifey was going on a get together with her officemates and my daughter Annika was playing with her cousins so that really left me with no other choice. I’d like to bring windsurfing equipment but I don’t have big sails. So with wifey’s car off I went not knowing they were following me on another car going to their picnic place. Winds were very shifty at first. It was so trying to punch through the white water and on to flatter water that I decided after 45minutes to call it quits. But since I traveled that far might as well make the most of it since there was none to do the whole day. I told the two buys who tended the kite to have some lunch first then when they come back I’ll decide if I go out again. And when they did come back. The wind’s picked up to a very consistent 11-13kts. There were gusts that got the 14mtr. kite with a pull that suddenly picked me upright even when depowering hence at least twice stumbling on wavelets.

Boy was it good to get wet again immersed in cool brownish water and get windswept. It was pure cruising up and down the coast meeting fisherman across the way with only white teeth that could be seen when smiling. There was this old man who was waving thumbs up for me and wanted me to go nearer to him as he tended to his nets. But at this time my knees and calves where trembling with such a short time kitieboarding. I guess it has to do with a more static stance than the usual running. I really was so happy and contented driving home and wouldn’t trade it for anything else.