What??? It’s November already? Time really flies when you’re having fun.
Well, well, well, I had my first trail run! And it wasn’t just in any trail, it was in Mount Pinatubo, the beautiful but at one time very destructive volcano. Running on volcanic ash and debris kept me alert the whole time and I totally enjoyed it!
I say this because, in road runs, I sometimes struggle with boredom and go on automatic mode putting one foot in front of the other.
It was painful to remember how horrible this lahar was in 1991. Images easily come to mind: Hot lava, ash, rocks and boulders destroying lives, land, and properties.
Twenty-one years after, the desolation is still evident. At least, plants have re-grown in many areas.
Ninety percent of the run was in the river. Towards the end, we had to run single file through tall grass.
Yay! I’m almost 47 years old and I just had my first trail run! I think not a lot of people can say that.
I blinked my eyes, surprised and confused at what I saw. My duty as a medical intern just finished and it was the first time in 24-hours that I went out of the hospital. This was in 1991 and we still didn’t have cellphones, iphones, Twitter or Facebook. Most of us didn’t have cable TV with CNN either. So I wasn’t prepared for what I saw.
It was already eight o’clock in the morning yet the sky was dark and everything was covered with a white material I wasn’t familiar with. It was as if we had a snowfall. (Note: The Philippines is a tropical country and we NEVER have snow.)
Then I heard the BAD news: Mount Pinatubo, a volcano fifty miles north of Manila has erupted. That white material was volcanic ash.
Actually, there were volcanic explosions occurring since about two months back and people already started to evacuate.
Maybe it was my youth or my very difficult intern job, but I wasn’t aware about those things.
A giant cloud rose twenty miles in the air and spread a 2-inch layer of ash and sand over a 30-mile radius. The air filled with white ash so thick it reduced visibility to almost zero.
Look at this world-famous photo. I’m happy to say that the photographer lived to show it to us 🙂
To make matters worse, we also had Typhoon Yunya. The volcanic ash mixed with rain and then carried by the wind blanketed Luzon, the Philippine’s biggest region. More than 800 people died and the economic destruction was staggering.
That day, June 15, 1991 became known as Black Saturday.
I’m glad I registered for this race. It’s going to be an extraordinary event I’m sure. For then we will run remembering that painful event in our history. More importantly, we will run appreciating how resilient the Filipinos are:
often hurt, but not crushed;
sometimes in doubt, but never in despair;
and though badly troubled at times, not destroyed.
Yesterday, I had my first taste of trail biking and I can’t say that I loved it.
Would you love three hours of biking in Timberland Heights‘ muddy, rocky, slippery trail that went up and down forever?
Here’s a recap:
6 AM power breakfast:
8 AM — bike loading time. My bike was placed inside our car ( front wheel dismantled). Hubby’s bike is loaded to his buddy’s car bike rack.
Off to Timberland Heights, San Mateo, Rizal.
After about two hours, we arrived at the Pestano’s House, an al-fresco restaurant in the middle of what felt like no-where.
Hmmm, I have to plan for our midtrail meal next time.
After the meal, there was another hour of biking back to where we started. Thankfully, we passed through an easier path.
Then just about 500 meters before we reached the parking lot, I had a big stumble! There was a big rock and I didn’t know whether to brake or ride through it. I braked and flew forward. OUCH!!! My arms and hands hurt because I tried to break my fall. (Note to self: Study how to fall properly.)
That’s okay. No broken bones.
Finally, I finished! Yay!!
Did I enjoy trail biking? No, not really, haha! I was tense most of the time. Although admittedly, there were brief moments when I felt young and oh soo alive 🙂
Would I do it again? YES! So that bike trail cannot say that it reduced me.
Dear Timberland Bike Trail,
That’s the way you want things huh? I’ll be ready for you next time. In fact, NEXT WEEK!