Getting to La Mesa Nature Reserve for Forest Run 2016
The day of the run started early with a 4 a.m. call time in Ortigas. From there, we drove to La Mesa Nature Reserve where the Forest Run was happening. It was still dark when we got to the area but everyone was buzzing with excitement.
Being a newbie runner, I actually had no idea what to expect with regards to (1) the 6k run itself and (2) the forest trail we were supposed to do. Thankfully, I was in the company of people more knowledgeable in such activities & I just followed their lead.
Yes, that is yours truly actually running!
First Stop: Getting the proper gear
First things first, we got proper gear! Because I had no idea what the trail run entailed, I showed up in old gym shoes (obviously, I did not think that through). I did not realize that trail running was a different ball game altogether. The rough terrain and the possibility of dirt, mud, and water means it’s harder to get traction with just normal running shoes. Thankfully, Merrell was there to save the day!
Merrell’s Tough Mudder line is especially designed for challenging outdoor scenarios (that’s putting it lightly). If you don’t get what I mean, watch this:
Oooookay, now we really didn’t do anything as intense as what the video showed but it was pretty nice to know that what I have on my feet are strong enough to withstand intense ‘outdoor scenarios’ like those shown in that video.
I finally got fitted with the All Out Crush Tough Mudder in Beet Red (and of course my reaction was: Yay! It’s pink!). Time to put these babies to work!
On to the 6k forest trail!
6 kilometers at the La Mesa Nature Reserve is a very enjoyable scenic run. Honestly, I never thought I’d say this in my life but I had a great time and I’d want to do more runs in the future!
Photo of the event from Merrell
Personally, I never enjoyed running before this because I found that running in the city usually bored me. What was so great about the forest run was that it wasn’t just running only to get to the finish line but it was a whole experience in itself. The trail variation challenges you just enough so you won’t get bored and the beautiful scenery makes for great distraction.
Reflections on my very first run
There’s nothing quite like the feeling of accomplishment after finishing a run! I know, I know, some people would say that 6 kilometers isn’t a big deal but I’m a firm believer in celebrating every benchmark or improvement. It may not be a marathon but it may just be the very first step towards that goal (okayyyy, baby steps. Maybe lang naman sa marathon! But this will definitely not be my last trail run, I can assure you!)!
The Merrell team with bloggers & endorsers! Photo from Merrell
As a first time runner, it totally helped that I was in the presence of a very encouraging and supportive group. It was a positive energy that helped me power through my initial fears & anxiety regarding the whole thing. I also suggest getting rest a day before & a good night’s sleep. I was also told that carbo loading a day prior the event would help give you energy to sustain yourself throughout the trail.
Lastly, it pays to have proper shoes. Honestly, I’m the biggest klutz and I trip on my own two feet even when I’m just walking. I once hiked up a mountain in gym shoes (don’t ask) and it wasn’t the best experience for me, mostly because my feet kept sliding and the during the whole climb I was just trying not to to fall on my butt. Suffice to say that I was actually expecting to fall at some point in the race given the trail condition – but I didn’t (Yay! Hooray for me!). I attribute that mostly to to All Out Crush. Apparently, they were designed especially for trail runs and the pinwheel shape helps maintain traction & it keeps mud and other debris off your shoes (just one of the many features as you saw from the video above)
When In Manila, make sure you go out and get away to adventure! I promise you, you will not regret it! Until the next one! (Read more about my personal insights on being a first time runner HERE)
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