Race Report – First 70km Trail Race Unlocked

What difference would it make in your life if you had an absolutely unshakable confidence in your ability to achieve anything you really put your mind to?

Have you ever had moments where you doubt yourself and your capability to actually accomplish things and entertained thoughts in your head saying you can’t do it, you’re not good enough, you’re weak, never strong enough, and you’re bound to fail? I have! Quite a lot of times! Well, almost all the time actually! But I am just glad that despite all the doubts, I often prove myself wrong. Photo below is a proof! Doubted I’d ever finish a 70km+ Mountain Marathon, and I did! 😀

Hello again friends, mumsh, veshies, fans (chars!), and oh, haters? It’s me again!  It’s been quite a while as usual since my last race report entry. My bad! Life got in the way and struggled to get my writing mojo back. Soooo! What have I missed? A lot I guess. As much as I want to constantly write an entry here, my schedule is crazy and sometimes procrastination gets in the way. Yeah, Spank me! Okay, I am just excited to share my last ultra trail race experience. Long overdue actually. I have been wanting to blog about it after getting back from that out of town race but, yeah, I got lazy and busy. 😀

So back to the questions above, do I ever doubt myself?  Certainly I did have doubts and a lot of demons in my head when I signed up for my last race, the Mt. Talinis Ultra Mountain Marathon 2019. It wasn’t really something that I and my team planned for long, it was a sudden decision through the persuasion and encouragement of RD Carlo Chiong who also served as our coach and mentor in preparing for the race. It was not in my plans just yet to increase race distances as I wanted to be more comfortable with 50kms first before going up a notch higher. But my training partner was too determined to run 50miles in Mapawa that I committed to her that I’d join her in trainings in preparation for the hell-ish Mapawa 50miles race. But because we were part of the organizing team, running the said race became impossible. Hence, the shift of race and venue! Pla decided to run in Mt. Talinis Mountain Ultra Marathon and encouraged me to register as well so we get our 70km race unlocked! It was a bit of a hard decision actually but I signed up a day after she did anyway. So, there! 70km trail running for me and my training buddy.   At first I was just cool about it, not excited, not threatened, steady lang. Until the days progressed, I felt like I was cramming with training, though I think we were just right on track training-wise. But still, nerves were starting to get the best of me as the final day approaches. The demons in my head were starting to creep in and there I was, beginning to get scared and actually entertained the thoughts of bailing out! It was my first 70km trail running race and I didn’t think I would be able to make it to the finish line on time. The intermediate cut-offs were intimidating me big time! I always get intimidated with intermediate cut-offs! Looks like I developed trauma with intermediate cut-off as my first ultra dnf was due to not reaching the AS (Aid Station) before intermediate cut-off time, though that was my first and only DNF so far. But anyway, the training continued.

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Boxing Workout and its Benefits

Hello there ladies and gents! I hope you are doing amazing. Have you been working on your fitness routine? I sure hope you are! If not yet, well, let me tell you, it’s never too late to start! like NOW! no age limit, no excuses!

As for me, I have been into this fitness journey for 4 years now. I was just talking to a friend who is in the same journey (from fat to fit) and I am amazed how time flies and that it has been this long since I made that decision to change myself and take care of my body.

I have been asked a lot of times by my friends which workout is the most effective in terms of losing the extra pounds and which one does it FASTER! Well to be honest, I will be a bit biased because I love weights training despite being in the trail running sport for 2 years now, so I would say lifting weights can shed off the extra pounds faster aside from it shaping your body. Most fitness models and coaches says the same, but don’t just take my word for it, do your own research.

Me Currently trying to stay fit and active
Knock Out Boxing and Fitness with Angel at Knock Out Boxing and Fitness

I mentioned in my previous blog – 6 Ways to Jumpstart Your Fitness Journey, to participate in an exercise or a sport that you love so working out and losing weight at the same time doesn’t become a tedious chore. I can recommend one, how about BOXING? Personally I find it such a lung-busting workout! Imagine exerting effort in throwing those punches while moving the rest of your body? I had the opportunity to do it again with one good friend who is also a health buff and an advocate of fitness and good health for women, Angel. It was her first time and we had a great time doing it that it felt like we were just playing, but oh boy! we were seriously sweating! Video below to prove how much fun we had!

What are the Benefits of Boxing?

Cardio and Calorie Burning
It is a high intensity training. From shuffling from side to side, punching, you rarely have the time to stop. It can burn up to 1000 calories (granting you go full force with it). As this is a high intensity training, you not only burn heaps of calories during the session, but for hours after the training session has ended.

Increased Cardiovascular Fitness
This makes your heart and lungs work overtime to pump blood containing oxygen all around your body as you throw those punches. Boxing tests one’s cardiovascular system to the max, forcing the body to adapt by making your heart and lungs better at delivering oxygen. I personally love this part as a trail runner running ultra distances.

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Cordillera Mountain Ultra – Bucket List Ticked Off

“Strength grows in the moments when you think you can’t go on but you keep going anyway”

Chose that quote to open this post because that’s how I exactly felt at my recently concluded Cordillera Mountain Ultra race in Tinongdan, Itogon Benguet. CMU50 has been a bucket list since I started trail running. We wanted to join 2018 but we were not able to push through so we put it off a bit as we were also not prepared.

Then 2019 schedule came out and we were on it again, wanting to tick off that trail run race bucket list! I was really skeptical, no, actually scared at first. I had tons of apprehensions and was too scared to go out of my comfort zone. I have this issue of doubting myself even before I do something I want to do (good). Thanks to teammates and friends who are strong-willed, persistent, and confident, who included me in the registration and paid it ahead. I was left with no choice but to train and suck it all up! No turning back now! We knew we were up against a tough race because hey! it’s Cordillera! So we trained the best way we can and the best way we knew how.

One week before race day, after my last cardio training, I GOT SICK! I knew it from the symptoms that I will be having a flu and I was anxious because it would usually take me 5 days to a week to fully recover. So instead of doing taper runs for the week, I ended up staying at home and in bed for the most part of the week just resting. I must’ve consumed all the vitamin C in the world just to feel better!

Met with Sir Toni and C3 in Manila before we took our bus to Baguio

I flew to Manila with my friends/teammates still not feeling well (2 days before race day) and met some friends there before heading to Baguio. We arrived at Baguio 3AM Friday with no reserved accommodation from anywhere. Plan was just to have breakfast at Cafe by the Ruins (That Thing Called Tadhana keshe!), and then market for foods to bring in Tinongdan. We walked along the session road to look for an open establishment for coffee and stayed at Burnham Park until 7:00 in the morning then headed to Elena’s friend’s place to leave our bags before hitting the wet market. And we are all set to our race destination!

Breakfast at Cafe by the Ruins in Baguio with my girls

Going Tinongdan

This year’s CMU race commenced at Tinongdan, Itogon. Tinongdan is the second largest barangay in Itogon, Benguet and is one of the tourist destinations in Cordillera with Mt. Ugo as a popular destination among mountaineers and trail runners. We were informed ahead that there will only be one trip going to Tinongdan daily via Jeepney and it leaves before lunch. We of course made sure we get to the terminal before 11 in the morning to ensure a seat. The jeepney left Baguio almost 2pm! Can’t imagine we waited almost 3 hours just sitting there :D, patience is virtue mga dhai!

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