Sunday, July 12, 2009

My Sunday Long Walk In Pictures

A beautiful sunny day, perfect for a long walk, thanks for all Your goodness and make this long walk a safe and enjoyable one.

This time around my running clinic group would be more than half way finished with the 19 k LSD (long slow distance) run on the first day of our 8th week in the 18 week marathon training program. Instead of sulking and feeling depressed by my calf muscle injury problem, I decided to do a long walk (one activity that does not cause pain in my calf), at least 3 hours. Let's see if I'll be able to do it.

I'm turning right to Castlemore, and thinking whether to walk in the nearby woods and trail or the park and recreational place. I think the latter is better as I'd been to the trail the last time. I brought some cash with me just in case I run out of drink. I only have 2 containers of gatorade with me.

I'm passing by the sales office and model home of one of the home builders here in Markham. Prices of homes here have remained steady despite the ongoing recession in the US and Canada, because of its good location, cleanliness, reasonable property taxes, parks and recreational facilities, well maintained roads and infrastracture, low crime rate, and fiscally conservative municipal government, among others.

When I was a teenager I and a couple of friends volunteered as "pulot" boys at a tennis court in a neighboring subdivision (Paradise Village) for minimal pay. We were allowed to play afterwards, and we took advantage. I'm sure the 3 of us played poorly in those rare moments we were allowed to use the court and tennis racquets, but in the heat of the moment, I would imagine myself as Jimmy Connors as I tried to make a service ace or return a serve with a two handed backhand. Any Federer's among you who'd challenge me to a tennis game?

It seems like it was just yesterday, when we enjoyed taking our kids to the park to play. Now that they're young adults with their own independent lives, we have more time to indulge in our own individual interests, my wife with volunteering in church and myself with running.

Beside the children's playground is a full basketball court that I visit once in a while. I remember last year, I and another middle aged friend, Celso, who also used to be a good basketball player, and my ex-team mate in a Senior's Basketball League here, were just shooting the ball, when two 15 year olds , who told us they play for their high school team ,challenged us to a two on two game. They were both taller, their skills were still lacking and raw. but they were overly confident. So, we gave them a lesson in basketball, Pinoy style, "konting gulang" but still clean. They lost all three games against us. After the game, we gave them some fatherly advise and little tricks that could help them as basketball players. Basketball gives me fond memories. My father played it. My older brother Mike too, and my youngest brother Lino, who played varsity ball with the UE Warriors in the UAAP.

It's not the wisest idea to do a long walk at this time of the day with the heat of the sun beating down on me. The sunblock I applied on my skin surely is helping. Now, with my dark brown skin, nobody will mistake me for Chinese.

This school carries the name of a Filipino saint, I think the only school in Ontario that is named after a Filipino. It is so fitting that I just live not even 2k away. What a coincidence.

A grandfather and his grandchild sharing quality time on a beautiful Sunday morning. If I get lucky to have one in the near future, I'll be at the basketball court more often.

This morning, all I had was half a bagel and a glass of milk. I'm passing by this Srilankan Restaurant for some food, carbs, to sustain me in this long walk. They prepare the best South Asian food I've ever tasted here in Markham. The one good thing about living in Markham is it is like a melting pot of different cultures and nationalities, and this is reflected in the best Markham restaurants, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, Southasian, Italian, Greek, Canadian, American.

We runners need carbs to sustain us during a long race or a long run. I bought 3 small samosas and 2 of these donut like bread which are both vegetarian. I think these are more than enough for my projected 3 hour walk. As I am eating, I am reminded of the different food choices that some of the runner bloggers consume during their races or long runs that I find quite unique and interesting, as they mention them in their posts. examples are, Pia's bake products from Leona's Bakeshop in Cebu, Jovie's (Baldrunner) hard boiled eggs, Jay's boiled saba :) (if this is his secret to a fast time, I will have to import some here to help me with speed), Rico's hopia cubes :) (Pinoys can help Rico introduce the hopia cubes to marathon runners here in Canada and the US to replace energy gels ,eloctrolyte tablets, or shot bloks) and the many more examples of individual choices as to the food that will help them achieve the goal to finish. Can you imagine watching Haile Gebrselassie on a world marathon record run peeling off a boiled saba in the middle of a race he is leading or the best American marathoner, Ryan Hall, opening a hopia cubes pack with made in the Philippines printed on the packet. :)

These wild berries remind me of the duhat in the Philippines, except ours is purplish and bigger.

Passing by a small cemetery, and reminded of MJ. Hopefully he's at peace now.
Residents of interior homes have a way to get to the main road thru this pathway.

This vine reminds me of the upo and patola vines that my Nana Eleng (my Dad's sister) planted in her rural home in Sto. Cristo, Nueva Ecija where I used to go on vacation in the summer months when I was in elementary school. I learned to ride a water buffalo (carabao) there too, as my aunt and her family were farmers.

I prayed, please don't let me see runners, but this lady runner is showing what I'm missing.
And then another runner greets me good morning. How lucky these healthy runners are.

Maybe it's time for me to try another sport.

I think I can do that.

I tried stepping on it with both feet and I almost killed myself . So, on second thought, no, I'm gonna stick with running. :)

Decided to buy a 649 ticket at a nearby variety store.

The nearby soccer field , but the game just finished.

God, it's getting hot and I'm feeling tired.

Before becoming a runner, I'd be there rather than here.
Finally, a little shade.

Let me see what's inside the Conservation Park .
Can somebody please help us translate the Chinese characters on the lower righthand corner.

Meets a very friendly couple originally from Trinidad who are bird watchers. They tell me that variety of Ontario birds make this Conservation park their home and haven. It turned out that Robert is a runner too and is considering running a marathon in the future. I ask if they know of a bird that has a bright orange color that I saw while walking on the other trail.

They show me this, a picture of the bird I saw.
I say my thank you, and off I continue with my solitary walk. Didn't notice the time passing by, it's more than 2 hours since I left the house.

Both my girls are competitive volleyball players. Whenever we go to family picnics at a park, we set up a net, and we play volleyball just like this group. I suck at the game though.

This is just a gorgeous day to spend the lazy afternoon reading a book or relaxing close to the water where it is much cooler with a breeze.

Or frolic in the sand close to the water. At this time the camera battery goes dead. Any way it is time to return back home. It has been more than 2 hours since, my feet are starting to hurt, but I enjoy the walk so much that I hardly noticed it until the battery went dead.
I take the same route walking back and arrive home 4 hours and 20 minutes after I started, covering a distance of 18.3 ks, fatigued but otherwise okey. The time includes all my stops, to Babu Restaurant, visit to the washroom, replenishing my water/drink, stopping by the skateboard playing ground, buying the 649 tickets ,and my constant stops to take pictures. I constantly had the urge to do the slow jog even for a few seconds as I was not feeling any pain on my left calf, but I succeeded in not falling into the same trap again.
I am scheduled to see a sports injuries doctor to look at my calf on Tuesday. If all things go well the next couple of weeks, I know I'll finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.


  1. This is simply beautiful Bong, thanks again for sharing. I am breathless. Pabalato sa lotto ha..

  2. Thanks for sharing the photos of home in the great North! It is absolutely beautiful!

    I've been lucky enough to spend some time in Ontario the past couple of summers. (My son was a rower and did the Royal Canadian Henley in St. Catherines). Last summer we drove from Niagara through Toronto to Ottawa, and then down to New York City. I might have a different opinion in February, but when we were there in early August, it was absolutely beautiful! Thanks again for sharing!

  3. Great place you've got there! Thanks for sharing! I hope you'll recover fast! God bless!

  4. Thanks Vener, it's the best I could do under the circumstances, to do a long walk due to the injury. Sana nga manalo, para puede na mag-retire. I'd then be running a race every weekend in the home country. And I won't forget you for giving me luck :)

    Thanks also to you Glenn for visiting and your nice comments. I love it here the best in spring and summer, the time when the weather allows us to run outdoors more often. Fall is good too, but winter is not only too long, but sometimes can become too cold and snowy, not the best conditions for running.

    Hi Bro J. Thanks, I'm doing all I can to take care of this injury, by seeing a sports injury doctor, resting and just walking instead of running. Maybe another 2 weeks of treatment and rest will do it. Take care and God bless to you and the family.

  5. nice pictures! parang ang sarap tumira dyan ah. =)

  6. Thanks for the trip Bong..It's like being in your place already. It's worth the trip. You should have tried skateboarding for a change hehe.

    Nice post. God bless.

  7. I really love your photo posts - thank you :)

  8. hi bong, thank you for sharing your beautiful place through your beautiful pictures. =)

  9. Hi Ronnie. I really have been devouring your posts lately. Where do you get the inspiration to write these gems, they're so beautifully written and I know they come from your heart. I could only do this, photography thing because I'm injured. Once I'm well enough to run, It'll become more of a distraction to carry a camera, although I'll most likely have the wife or somebody else take the pictures. Take care and enjoy the weekend.

    Hey Sharon, glad to hear you're getting better, I mean the calf muscle strain is healing. Enjoy your holidays, although you're not participating, and good luck to your hubby on his ultra.

    Hey Jet, thanks for visiting my site and your nice comments. I am also an avid reader of your posts, they're so interesting, informative, candid, Christian, and most of all the're mostly about a sport we both love, running. Enjoy the rest of the weekend Jet.

  10. Hi Bong,
    It's a Sunday early evening here in Manila, and I decided to pay your blog site a visit, just to find out how your calf injury is doing. I have prayed for it to be healed, and now as I read the last two posts, I am happy to know you are well on the road to recovery.

    Again, this post full of pictures and personal interests is so heartwarming. Did you know that we also have a store here near our place called Babu. My son's favorite. It is near Anonas in Quezon CIty. The owners say Babu is of Persian origin. Well, we also love the food they sell.

    Lovely photographs. You really are blessed to live in such a beautiful place. I look forward to seeing more of the surrounding areas of Markham.

    I think probably swimming will help you heal faster, but this is just my guess.

    It also hit me just now, that your name Bong Pagong... connotes slowness. Although it is rather a cute combination, my children used to love that Pong Pagong in Batibot. You should call yourself Bong Mabilis, or Bong Maliksi... even if it no longer rhymes... just a thought.

    Have a blessed week ahead of you. WIll look forward to reading more updates.

  11. Hi Rod, thanks for passing by. Living here has it's plus and minuses. Our place is clean,beautiful, close to all the amenities (grocery stores, banks, fire station, police station, shopping mall, etc), recreational facilities and parks abound. Also, our government is transparent, honest, fiscally conservative,respects human rights and the rule of law, takes care of our environment. On the otherhand, I am separated an ocean away from my other siblings except for my sister in the US, all my closest friends, most of my relatives. I also sacrificed professional advancement in exchange for a peaceful simpler life here. So when you say "masarap tumira" here, it's a yes and no. I still miss our home country so much. Take care.

    Hi Lidia, I was just reading your post last night and prayed for you and your daughter. I myself has two daughters who are young adults now, both working and independent, and I always think of them, call and make sure they are safe and sound. Like a mother hen (or a father rooster I may say) taking care of her chicks.

    With your daughter now warm, comfortable, safe under your wings, things should only go better. I continue to pray for the both of you. Take care.

  12. nice post, bong! that was really one fruitful walk, in every sense. i hope you recover soon and be off and running again. :)

  13. Thanks Caloy. I have done a couple of slow runs with walk breaks, just slow and easy to avoid a recurrence of the calf injury. I try to be patient, otherwise my goal to finish a marathon this year will surely go down the drain. Tonight I will try another slow 10k run and limit the walk breaks. Hope things all go well, knock on wood.

  14. How are you Bong? I hope there's no recurrence of the calf injury. Take it easy OK? Don't push it. Always remember that at our age, any injury will take much longer to heal. Don't just try to be patient. BE patient.

  15. As I was reading your comment Nora, I'm just resting after a long but slow 19.3k run (with some walk breaks)in the rain and then in the heat of the sun, and I am so thankful that my left calf did alright. I'm still seeing a sports injury doctor who's done great in treating the injury. Yes, I will follow your advise and be patient. I guess, have no choice. :)