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I am a Bicolano by birth and choice. By any standards, I am a slow runner but I like it that way. I look at running as a healthy and exciting way to make a difference. Together with my fellow runners from our family, school, office and the community, we use running to give back..

May 27, 2013

RUNNING IN PICO DE LORO: May 27, 2013

“Run me. Run me”. 

The Pico de Loro landscape seemed to be telling me as I woke up at 5 this morning  and gazed at the scenery outside my 6th floor hotel room. 

The moon was up high over the calm sea to my left, and to my right, I could see the fog wafting thru the verdant forests and lush hills. If only I could grab a handful of the oxygen-rich fog and press it to my parched lips. Below me is a man-made lagoon and around this body of water was a paved pathway which spelled oval track for the runner in me.



I, together with my son, wife, nephews, niece and in laws, was on my second day in Pico de Loro and the night before, I resolved to do some running while in this man-made paradise. With my family still in dreamland, I geared up for 2 hours of running, went down the hotel and exited to the inner courtyard which led to the pathways around the man-made lake. 

I planned to run around the lagoon as my appetizer. I ran around it in less than 10 minutes, indicating to me that the distance is roughly less than a mile, perhaps at 1.2 kms. Given that it was an early Monday morning, I did not encounter any fellow runner around the pathway. Except in the last ten meters where a jogger was just finishing doing a self portrait shot by the lake. I immediately seized the opportunity to offer to take his photo, with the intention of having one shot for myself taken by him.  

The result was a good picture for me.

Running around the man-made lagoon
With the appetizer done with, it was time for me to tackle the main course of my run which was venturing out of the hotel, condo and lake area and galloping towards the gate entrance of the Pico de Loro development, which was 2.7 kms away. One problem though with the galloping part. It would  have to downsize a bit to a trot and trudge as I would have to literally eat a hill for breakfast. And since there was the return run to the hotel, the combo breakfast would have to be a pair of hills.

Running the first uphill felt easy for me. It was steep but I knew it was short, a couple of hundreds short of a kilometer. Pretty soon, I crested the top of the hill and was on the downhill towards the main entrance gate of Pico de Loro. Downhill was a breeze and I was even rewarded with a view of Mt. Pico de Loro being bathed by the sunrise.

Sprinting for the Pico de Loro main entrance
A ready thumbs-up for this "paradise" 
It was the uphill portion going back to the Pico de Loro cove that proved to be lung-busting for me. And looking up the hill made the task ever more daunting. Which led to this series of photos showing the roller coaster of emotion I got on the uphill.

Oh no. No ponies to ride for the uphill.
Curve and hell of a hill up ahead
Out of nowhere, sustenance in the form of an Indian mango, hinog sa puno
The heavens sent a runner for company.
But the runner was non cognizant of my existence...


...and had no intention of doing a Galloway uphill.
Don't worry, I am not equipped to break this speed limit anytime soon, even ever.


The beauty of an uphill is that a downhill awaits.
A downhill with a great view of the cove
At the bottom of the hill, I turned left for the sea.
Actually, I stopped short of the water’s edge as I remembered a  date with the Breakfast Buffet at 8 a.m. in Pico Sands Hotel. Hello, bacon. Hello, wheat bread. Hello, melon and papaya. Speaking of which, the Nasugbu barangay where Pico de Loro is located is named after the fruit Papaya. And just like the fruit papaya which aided many a priest to remain true to their vows of celibacy, a steady doze of hill training is what will help many a runner persevere in their long distance adventures.

2 comments:

  1. Hills elevate your training to the next level. Running in flats will not improve your strength and speed. Keep it up. Cheers.

    P.S. I wonder why you did not climb the mountain itself. It'd have been better :)

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  2. Thank you Atty Jon for the comment. It inspired me more to go for more hills. I did not get to climb the mountain last weekend as I was more on guard duty for my son and nephews when they go swimming. Only time I can run is in the early morning hours. Although I have climbed Mt. Pico de Loro twice already. This was when I was into hiking half a dozen years ago.

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