Over the weekend, I had to do a quick trip to our City of Pines, Baguio. I was hoping I could do a run there but I felt I needed to rest my knee a bit more given the hilly route I would have taken in Camp John Hay and around the Baguio Country Club area. It would have been a great workout but I wanted to play it safe given my sore knee.
So, I guess you're wondering why I'm inserting Baguio into this post -- I discovered a new route that allowed me to reach Baguio in around 4 and 1/2 hours and I just wanted to share this!! Those who've traveled to Baguio recently have already discovered the benefits of the SCTEX -- Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway. Admittedly, I'm grateful for Pres. GMA in completing this much-anticipated tollway which dramatically cuts travel time between Pampanga and Tarlac.
I'm sure, though, that most travelers would have swung back into Tarlac City from the SCTEX exit and resume the trip to Baguio via the old MacArthur Highway.
This time, I decided to be adventurous and instead of turning left towards Tarlac City, I turned right towards Victoria. I was a bit worried about getting lost but there were adequate road signs most of the way -- especially those of Directory Philippines Corp. (Directory Yellow Pages) and Jollibee.
This route took me all the towards Guimba, Nueva Ecija. I made a wrong turn somewhere near Guimba and instead of turning left towards Rosales, Pangasinan, I did end up in Guimba. Fortunately, I had a sneaky suspicion I was on the wrong track since most of the directional signs to Baguio seemed to have disappeared. I stopped by a gasoline station and was redirected back by a helpful attendant. Otherwise, I would have gone straight towards Cabanatuan City.
I found out that this route connects me towards the Magilas Trail from Rosales to Pozorrubio, Pangasinan. I was already familiar with the Magilas Trail and this took most of my worries away -- especially since it was starting to get dark.
This route allowed me to speed up since I was driving through roads along rice fields. Fortunately, it's summer and school's out -- otherwise, I would be hitting so many public schools along the way -- that would have slowed me down a bit. I took the same route going back and, thankfully, no mistakes on the way back. I would recommend this path to anyone except when you're driving in the evening -- kinda hard asking for help in the middle of nowhere at dark.
Okay -- that's a quick side trip -- now, for the running post. On Sunday, I was really planning on running at U.P. -- I didn't sign up for the NatGeo run since I wasn't sure how my knee would hold up. Then, may daughter told me she needed to be in Ateneo at 4am to be part of the Company of Ateneo Dancers (CADS) contingent to the GMA7 Party Pilipinas event in Dagupan.
So, I was up at 3:15am and brought my daughter to Ateneo before 4am. Since I didn't want to go back home to sleep for only an hour before heading back to U.P., I ended up there at 4:30am to start my run.
It was eerie -- although the U.P. Oval was well lighted -- there were probably 4 of us people that I could make out at that time. I started my run and decided to extend the route into University Avenue until I reached the traffic light at the C. P. Garcia intersection. I was threading carefully because of my knee -- as such, I did only 5K for the day.
Fortunately, the lights were still on when I started -- lights went out at 5am!! But, since dawn was breaking, it slowly lightened up. Good thing I was too concentrated on running to have any negative thoughts -- especially since I just finished a marathon session with The Vampire Diaries!! he! he!
I'm still worried about my knee since every time I finish a run, it would be sore after -- so, I'm hoping to see a doctor this week. I've started using braces for support -- it helps during the run and I don't feel any pain while moving. It's when I finish a few hours later and the tendon becomes tender. I'm frustrated since I want to focus on my training for my first 42K. I guess the doctor will have to help. Wish me luck!