After a long, long time and a different place.

Getting started again on this and see where I left off, wow! that was sometime ago years to be exact. It becomes a bore but if I think about it, I wouldn’t be at this shape and age if I never did anything.  Am now in Cebu one island west of Bacolod. There isn’t much wind for windsurfing and kiting and am down to a few remaining activities which are swimming, apnea swimming, running and an a weekly game of hoops. Six years and a few days ago was the last time I posted here. It’s good to read your thoughts eons ago. It feels nostalgic like you were there as it happened on that particular day. For today, I had decided to run so at least I fulfilled one half of my quota for the week.



Sweat and wet for the Foretrex 401 and 201.

There couldn’t be anything better than running with wifey in the morning. She invited me even to my comments that her shoes weren’t really meant for it but it was better to sweat with my other half than see her unfit for every day life. I decided to use the Foretrex 401 for the run as it could defy buildings of the unnecessary spikes if need be. It was a pleasant run with me urging her to run then brisk walk every 100 meters or so. Soon enough our sweat was worth the talk on the curbside commenting on all types of runners around the city hall. It was a comfortable rest on the shade and just talk about anything under it. However, at that point I could sense the northeast trade winds coming in as the huge flag was starting to blow on the right direction. But I still had lots of time for it. I was a bit worried I was already lost the poundage for my frame and adding another activity could increase the loss but to kite or windsurf the 2nd day of the tradewinds was very inviting. We went home took a shower and I still had lots of energy to burn. Waiting patiently for the forecast to change but still it was a breezy day with little clouds to form into thunderclouds. I left wifey to her own plans for the day as I had already previously planned for this and off I went. Punta Taytay seemed different after a season, lots of changes on the seawall and to the kite and sail tenders that I knew but they still were there one more year aged and a lot taller than before. We didn’t wait but pumped up the kite as the crowds were thin and the water shallow enough. This time I brought the ever trusty 201 and strapped it on eagerly. The sun was out and a constant breeze from the north made it a perfect side-on shore wind. Perfect conditions not for jumping but for cruising but with occasional hops of chops. I loved this day just a perfect tan and wet and cool for the rest of the day. Was it a tiring but wholesome day for me as we capped it off with drinks with other friends and especially with wifey.

Garmin 401 reception and a hot run.

Ahhh! finally good to run a longer distance for my standards on a Sunday morning. I wanted to catch some sunlight to at least give me a light tan and not turn anemic. I decided to take the La Salle avenue route around my alma mater and avoid the traffic which on a Sunday should be nil to light. But I got surprised when it’s turning out to be just like Monday’s light traffic. Dodging cars, pedicabs and public utilities can be annoying but then again it’s not the most suitable place to run quietly. The Garmin Foretrex 401 is really amazing for receptiveness. I tried as much to hug the perimeters of buildings and houses to see if there are spikes when uploading to sportstracklive and to my surprise still none. What surprises me most is on the last 200-300 meters back to home there is a double track which to me is impressive as I did run back on the same street but on the opposite side instead and it clearly defines it instead of just one single line. My worry is the rubber flap for the usb port on the unit which if you slide it in the pouch and take it out everytime may cause it tear one of these days but hopefully shouldn’t be the case. I tried to run as slow as I could in the beginning but somehow can’t get a consistent 8-9kph average. I always unconsciously end up above 10kph for the first kilometer or so and go slightly higher as I warm up my legs. It’s good to run a different route and not encounter stray dogs running after you. Am glad after uploading the tracks no single spike occurred and spurious readings that can make me a world class sprinter instead. I finally got my good dose of ultraviolet rays and extra vitamin c’s. Cooling down took at least an hour to subside and to me that was real excellent. Hopefully my combustion chamber gets rid of the excess nicotine. Yuckk!

Running for sweat without much sleep.

I was happy to run despite a lack of sleep from work. Work starts at 10pm to 6am for me and the time for sleep can’t really be scripted. It’s either I was too groggy or couldn’t understand if I was just sleepy. But for today I just decided to sleep from 8am till around 12noon then decided to run as it was getting hot. The sun was peering into the room despite the drapes and I hate a glint of light when sleeping but I won’t complain because I made a run through our neighborhood in the mid afternoon. I hate running and the only thing that keeps me going is the urge to exercise. If it wasn’t for a gps unit and a track analysis software to me it’s non-sense. Being a smoker isn’t the best complement for running. I went to the grocery store to buy the essentials and bought myself some nutrition water and cereal bars just to give me a bit of boost. It was the same kind of neighborhood run where I had to pace a pedicab to make running smoother and tried to avoid wandering street dogs.My legs were like jelly and just had to overcome it. I wanted to fit it in my schedule so I could sleep at least another hour in the late afternoon.  Even as I write this and had done finishing the uploading process and a quick shower my sweat is still pouring out from my pores with the airconditioning at full blast. The walls of this house just seem to ooze like an oven. I do really miss being in the water as always but for now this will do and hopefully in the next few days.

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.

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.

Slip and slide on a running trail.

I thought jogging was a non-hazardous sport but then it depends where you tread. As usual the GPS was on my left and the H20Man on the right bicep. As soon as I hit rubble after a paved tarmac on or about 700 meters..slip and slide! fell to my left with my hands trying to protect my face and slid on my back and saw the sky just above. Tried to get up and check but luckily a scrape on my hand left leg and an aching bulge on my hip. That was odd i thought. It felt embarrassing falling down but no one in sight. And really I didn’t care as long as I could continue the run home. My neck and left ear was full of mud and dirt so too was my shirt but didn’t know the extent of the dirt I accumulated on my back white tee shirt. It just rained the day before and the portion of the unpaved track was a bit slippery especially with mud on pebbles.

As soon as I finished shook off the dirt what I thought was left but no wonder people on the market on the way home were saying on the background ” he must have swam in the seaside”. They just don’t know how much fun it is for a change.

Topless run as always.

Ever since I started the thought of running short distances, running topless was just natural for me as I got used to running at midday. Today it felt better than two days ago. I guess a bit more water and sustenance did the trick. I smoked heavily during the early morning coffee brew which is always my favorite start for my day.  The men and women who work on the port are used to seeing me run around without a shirt on as they themselves do with minimal clothing and heavy head wear for the heat.

As soon as I started to run I had to avoid trucks that lifted dust and dirt off the unpaved portion of the extended port. Their always in a hurry to dump filling material. As soon as I approach an oncoming truck I go upwind to avoid this. It was an easy run. I remembered from yesterday talking to the orthopedic doctor it’s okay to exert more but ‘listen to your body’ so today I just took it in stride and run an easier pace. Just for sweats anyways. I tried not to look at the GPS and instead look at my watch that am within my usual tracks.