Baguio Bliss

Tuesday, 14 April 2009  |  Bullish Insights

You know you’re a runner when part of the excitement over an upcoming trip comes from the chance to run a new route, to give your feet the opportunity to experience something extraordinary.  Nothing will stop you, not a hectic itinerary, an injury, nor lack of sleep.  The vacation will be worthless without the run.

This was how I felt as I packed for my Baguio trip last Wednesday.  I couldn’t wait to run up the hills of Camp John Hay again.  But, at the same time, my excitement was mixed with much trepidation as (and I haven’t told you this yet) my heel was still bothering me from Condura.  My PT said it was almost tib-post tendonitis (almost being the operative word) and it was only a matter of time before I would be well enough to run again.  In the meantime, he wrapped my heel to my shin with kinesio tape to deload the muscle.  He allowed me to run but only if there was minimal pain.



– View from our cottage –

Hubby and I woke up to a chilly Baguio morning, just perfect for a morning run.  Our cottage rested on top of a hill so getting down to the main road was a good downhill warm up.  He went ahead to run towards Camp John Hay, while I had to hold myself back and go for a long, boring warm up to make sure my heel was alright.  After 400m, I found myself inside Camp John Hay too.  As I walked up a steep hill just after the gate, I remembered the elite runners last year doing their hill training with their Coach.  How I wished I could do the same!  Grrrr!  As soon I reached the flat roads, I slowly increased my pace.  Less than a minute after, I slowed to a stop; the heel pain was back.  I walked my way back in a grumpy mood thinking Teacher’s Camp, here I come.


If I couldn’t run, then I would turn to my second love, swimming.  By 6:30 a.m., I was at the pool of Baguio Country Club.  Just seeing their pool, which was heated by the way, completely erased my depression from the previous day.  I jumped into the lap pool and swam over 1000m.  I got lost in my thoughts and my happiness that I forgot to count. Then, I slid into the jacuzzi for 10 minutes of complete rest and relaxation. Heaven!


– Heated lap pool at Baguio Country Club –


– Jacuzzi by the lap pool –


It was time for my second test run, this time at the track.  Hubby, my sister in law and her husband, and I went to the track oval at Teacher’s Camp.  There were around 20 runners—a mix of leisure runners, serious, and elite, judging from their appearance.  There was even a sheep who probably could outrun me! 


– Track oval at Teacher’s Camp –


– with hubby and the in laws –


– I hope they get this portion fixed –

The weather was perfect for speedwork, but of course, I had to be content with whatever easy run I could have.  I walked 2 rounds and gradually increased the pace.  After a series of walks and easy run intervals, I managed to run 600m without pain at around 6:30 pace!  Oooooh, it was enough to make me happy.  I quit at 3k with a smile.  Things were looking up.

Not content with a 3k run, I asked hubby to drop me at the club.  I put on my wet swimsuit  (have you ever tried sliding into a wet bathing suit on a cold day?  I did—and I don’t recommend it) and I jumped into the heated pool again.  The initial discomfort was a small price to pay for the great 1000m swim!


Due to my incessant yapping about the heated pool, the in laws and my kids had to see it for themselves.  So, by the same afternoon, I got into my wet swimsuit yet again and swam with my future triathletes (I’m crossing my fingers here!)


– Little Bull Runners hamming it up for the cam with their cousin –

Sure, the runs were bad, but time spent with family plus great swims made up for it. I figured the awful runs aren’t worth crying about; I’ll have another chance to run the hills of Camp John Hay again. In fact, I might just be up there again in a couple of weeks…


– Ready, set…go! –