105 days to go: Did not get good sleep but ran a 5K nonetheless


The hotel bed of Widus at Clark, Pampanga, where I stayed to attend an IT conference

Looks like a comfortable bed, right? Well, yes it is comfortable, yet because it isn’t my bed, I ended up tossing and turning for most of the night. That’s how I am – I have difficulty sleeping in a bed that isn’t my own. It’s my bane when I travel.

To be fair to Widus Hotel and Casino, which is a hotel in Clark, Pampanga where I stayed to attend an IT conference,  the room was cozy, spacious, and delightful. It felt more like a small apartment than a hotel. It had a standard-sized refrigerator – not one of those tiny models – and a microwave oven. The nice thing about Clark is that there really isn’t much to do so you could go to bed early. It’s just that is wasn’t my bed so I had trouble sleeping.

I knew this would happen, so that’s why I did the scheduled 5-kilometer run in the evening when I got back home rather than in the morning. I was able to squeeze a long nap so I could feel somewhat refreshed before the run. When I hit the road, I felt like I was shaking off the cobwebs in my head. I had For some strange reason my sense of direction got disoriented and I took a wrong turn somewhere but I was able to get my bearings. I ran the 5-kilometer at an easy, comfortable pace and ended up covering the distance in a little over 40 minutes while keeping my heart rate within zone 2 for a majority of the distance. Not bad, I told myself.

Run stats: 5 kilometers, 40:07, average heart rate 142.




Out of town run

Today I am at Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga to attend an IT conference. I was looking forward to running in Clark, primarily because it’s a new place. I like running outside of Metro Manila. It’s a welcome change, a shift from the usual route. Running in a different locale distorts my sense of distance. In Manila I can tell how far a kilometer is, basing it on landmarks and street corners. When I run in a diffrent place I can’t tell anymore.

It was cool when I stepped out of the hotel room. The Weather app registered 21 Celsius. Roads were empty – no cars parked, few cars on the road, few people walking. Do you see those advertisements illustrating the solo morning runner training in empty roads surrounded by empty fields? That’s how I felt. Serene. Peaceful. I ran a relatively fast pace. I just ran a straight route – no left or right turns, no weaving through side streets. I just ran until my watch registered 15 minutes (training plan called for a 30-minute run) then u-turned back. I disregarded the fact that my heart rate was skirting just above zone 2. It was a hilly route so I figured that breaking into zone 3 occassionally would be ok. I wasn’t exhirting myself anyway. I wasn’t breathing heavily. My legs weren’t tired or heavy. I was just running and sucking in the cool, clean, pollution-free air. It’s fun running here in Clark. It makes me seriously want to signup for a run here.

I ended up covering 3.99 kilometers, the farthest 30-minute run in a long time. The pace (7:30 thereabouts) gives me a confidence that I could break the 2:30 barrier in next week’s Pinoyfitness 21K run.