First 50 Days of BaBAe

It’s time to move on from my DNF (did not finish) in last year’s Clark-Miyamit 50 Miles (CM50) Trail Ultramarathon. I informed the race marshals that I’m done at Km50. I started ill, and my condition got worse during the race. Coming back to Cebu, I was diagnosed with pneumonia. I made it a point, together with my wife Espie, to rest and regain my health before I’ll go back running. I thanked GOD that I was able to make my comeback exercise last Feb 1, a short 5km trail run at the back of our office.

My DNF experience was a learning one, too. I figured I have to train not just harder but smarter, as well. It’s good that I have my Cebu Trail Runner friends who gave me all sorts of advice and encouragement, most notably our “elders” (joke!) Meyux and Lyra.

I also learned that I should not rush in regaining my fitness level, that it’s better to slowly build your strength, speed and endurance. I’ve read about the importance of base building, about working out at aerobic heart rate only, about slowly building those mileage, etc. So I thought my running year should start with this kind of phase, thus the formulation of BaBAe (Base Building-Aerobic) for 100 days starting Feb 29.

BaBAe’s objective is simple and realistic, considering my busy schedule at work. The first 50 days should compose of controlling the heart rate at 135-150 bpm (beats per minute) only, never minding the pace at all, then reaching at least 40km of running/hiking per week (with long runs at only 16-21 km), combined with climbing at least 5,000 feet elevation gain. In doing so, I got the chance to explore more the trails of Liloan and Consolacion.

Hiking with Jennet & my wife Espie in Tilhaong, Consolacion.

The second 50 days should still be at 135-150 bpm heart rate, but upping the distance to 50km per week (with long runs at 21-25km), combined with climbing at least 6,500 feet elevation gain. Other activities would also be incorporated like mountain biking, strength training and yoga.

Today is my 50th day of BaBAe and I decided to summarize what I’ve done so far. By the way, in terms of fitness level, I already felt a lot of improvement from my sick self three (3) months ago. My weight has gone down from 91kg to 89kg, my heart rate is now more stable, my strength is coming back, and my endurance is improving. Here’s my short summary:

No. of workout days: 32 days

Total distance: 303 kilometers

Total elevation gain: 30,009 feet

Total time: 55 hours 22 minutes

Single track trails in Tabla, Liloan. (photo by Bruce Lambatan)

At this point, I still haven’t enlisted to any trail race. I want to join the Argao Highland Endurance Trail Run 25K this May 15. I haven’t run this event yet but I’ve seen the race pictures on Facebook. I thought it’s a fun and exciting route.

GOD willing, my ultimate goal this year is to go back to CM50 this November. I’m hoping and praying and preparing that I’ll be a better version of my trail running self come race day so that I can finish it. Until then, I’ll see you on the trails. GOD bless everyone!