My classes are over and I only have to give the final exams for my students this week and after that a period of my life as a professor which lasted for 16 years will be over. Time to move on to my new assignment in Manila as executive secretary of the Committee on BEC of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines. How do I get to Manila from Davao? Instead of flying, I will just run/walk to Manila and even farther - up to Aparri, the northern tip of the Philippines, then take the bus back to Manila (it will take 58 days to cover over 2000 km). This will symbolize my life as a continuing journey and pilgrimage.
I am making my final preparation for this journey of a lifetime. I have already finalized the itinerary. I have already sent the letter to the parish priests where I will stay overnight - requesting for hospitality and asking for a chance to preach about the Gospel of Life & Peace. I have all the necessary equipment that I will need - backpack, running shorts and quick-dry shirts, jacket, running shoes & sandals, headlight, hydration system, umbrella, etc.
My training continues. Yesterday, I went on a 50 km run/walk training along the Davao-Bukidnon highway which took 9 hours 17 minutes. I carried my back-pack and imagined that I was already on my pilgrimage. The night before, I had heavy dinner. Then before starting in the morning, I just took coffee and ate a banana. I didn't have any lunch. I just consumed 5 bananas and 2 pieces of cookies during the entire run. I drank water and energy drink (samurai, extra-joss) every hour. Part of the time I wore sandals, and part of the time I wore a pair of running shoes. I noticed that after 4 hours, I developed some hot spots on my feet while wearing sandals, so I decided to wear my running shoes up to the end of the run/walk. I think it is not a good idea to wear sandals on hot asphalt highway - it could cause blisters. I felt fine during the whole 9 hours - I didn't feel exhausted or hungry.
This morning when I woke up, I felt fine. No muscular pain or strain. I could do another 40-50 km if I wanted but I decided to give myself a break. The remaining days up to the start of my run/walk pilgrimage, I will just do shorter training - 2-3 hours.