Throwback: When I Used To Run

Was doing some post-lunch clearing of emails when I came across this link to a running-related comic that I have saved.

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Link: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/running

There are 6 parts to it in total.

As I look back at my running days now, it has dawned on me that my very 1st race (Great Eastern Women 10K in October 2006) was exactly a decade ago!

Exactly 1 decade (10 years) on, I have stopped running – with my last run being in March 2016. This current phase of life coincided with major changes at work, the closure of California Fitness (where I used to gym/workout at) …… and subsequently taking up yoga – which is my to-go regular workout currently.

I guess it came to a point that I stopped enjoying my training runs, and no longer look forward to waking up at 4-5am to go for Sunday races. And right now, not missing it nor regretting it as I’m enjoying my yoga sessions very much.

Never say never. I have yet to achieve my goal of a 1 hour 15 min 10km so I forsee I will end my ‘hiatus’ / break from running and get back to training for this specific goal. No timeline to this yet – will probably go with the flow as I need to start adding more cardio-based activities progressively to my current workout regime.

Not sure if I will ever do a 3rd marathon as I’m not keen to do long distance runs anymore. In the event I don’t – I can still live in peace knowing that I have completed 2 full marathons, albeit in lousy timing. Can’t take away the fact that I’m a finisher 2 times over*

* Thinking about it now also, it is pretty incredulous that I was being lectured on how to complete a marathon and to apply that to work when said person is not even a good example to begin with. But of course that chapter is over now so peace out!

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Getting Started Again ……

One of the most challenging things in life is getting a goal/project going – and sticking to it! It can be something simple – such as eating less carbs, sleeping earlier …… to something involving higher stakes such as a new job, prospecting in a new target market, sticking to a budget etc. ……

One of my main 2014 new year resolutions is to run a PB for half-marathon this year. The only race that I have signed up to date was the 2XU Compression Run (most likely to give Sundown a miss as I prefer to use the time to concentrate on production matters for the last lap of banding year without the distraction of training). However after being sick since before Christmas (started with sore throat and mild flu from 20th Dec 2013) …… to the irriating cough that refuses to go away well into year 2014 (until mid of last week), workouts and training runs (if there were even any at all) have to take  a backseat.

So rather than setting goals to run X km and doing X workouts per week (as per a prescribed training plan that you can get online from Runner’s World for instance), the one simple goal I had for this week was simply an easy run (at least 20 min and 2km covered) to get back into the running cycle again. No long workouts as it is usually not wise to start long after a long break from the activity (in my case, my last run was the Great Eastern Women’s Half Marathon back in early Nov!) ……

The original plan was to get a run workout in on Tuesday (14th Jan) followed by spin class on Thursday (16th Jan). Bad habit of dily-dalying, thus left office only at around 720pm. Then another bad habit of not fueling up sufficiently pre-workout (the small cheese stick from Sophies was not sufficient as I felt my stomach rumbling) – thus had to get a chicken wing at Old Chang Kee before heading to the gym to change …… Then had to take in a client phone call about some issues. Sighz ……

By the time I got changed, it was already 5 min past late. Decided to abort the plan of an outdoor run, and simply do 15 min on the threadmill instead. However after warm-up and some hip abuctors (machine), was so bothered by client’s phone call that I decided an outdoor run was necessary after all (to clear my mind and also to get training going again) ……

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Lousy statistics indeed but I guess the most important thing is that I have acheived my goal of a run (on Tuesday night) to get my running activity going again. As an analogy to life, we have to start taking action first, before taking the next step of keeping the actvity going and developing it into a lifelong habit!

Ending of with a favourite quote of mine,

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
~ Lao Tzu

Post Marathon Recovery & Re-Start

Completed my 2nd marathon over the weekend – Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon on 4th December Sunday ……

Briefly on the marathon 1st, was not able to acheive a sub-7 hour timing due to various reasons (insufficient training .. extreme heat & humidity .. poor distance markers) and ended up doing similar/slightly worst than last year – which is somewhat below my expectations …… Post run recovery was a drag this year. I had less foot blisters but the abrasion was pretty bad this time round (a sign of lack of fitness resulting in body ‘wear and tear’?) – that I wasn’t able to recover sufficiently to go back to office by Tuesday …… so that is one down!

Not going into details here on the run but having rested and calmed down over the past couple of days …. 1st and foremost, I am grateful that I still finished the entire race without being swept up by the lorry. Despite the cursing & swearing during the last quarter of the marathon, I think I might actually attempt another full next year – the goal of a sub 7 hour timing is something I would like to breakthrough …… For next year, I am looking at improving my 10k and 21km timings for the better half of the year – that’s one tangible year 2011 resolution down! 🙂

Post recovery was tougher this year as compared to last year …… as mentioned above, the body abrasions were more painful and I was still struggling to walk even on Tuesday morning, and so took another day off work. 2 days off work and PD Day (@ Singpost Centre in Paya Lebar) means that more than 1/2 the work week is gone and there is major catch-up to do 😦  …… Was back to office on Thursday, only to be welcomed with a malicious spyware titled ‘Vista Anti-Spyware 2012’ – which went into havoc the very moment I powered on my laptop on the office table …… Talk about an ‘ominous’ return back to work, sigh …… And proceeded to spend a good part of the afternoon figuring out a way to get rid of the spyware (which I managed to do so after referring to here) and more scannings before finally able to resolve the issue before Zzzz ……..

Hence doing my documents back-up before heading into office …. What a way to start and end the week! On a happier note, over the break I have started on a new drama series post Secret Garden – 我可能不會愛你 (Taiwanese Drama currently showing in Taiwan and on Starhub Ch825) ……

Afternoon Entry: Running

A quick post lunch entry in the office ……

Have been pretty slack in my running/training lately ……and even skipped the week (National Day week hols) where I did my wisdom tooth extraction …… Until I came across this article in the Runner’s World email update last week ……

Runner’s World – Get To The Point

This article is a straight-to-the-point, as well as timely reminder that in each and every single training run that we do (irregardless short or long) – there is always a key goal/objective for the day, be it Speed Workouts (short, all out intervals) .. Endurance (long slow runs i.e. LSD) .. Mimic Your Race (aka race pace) ……

Maybe its time to sign up for another race clinic, not so much for the knowledge but more to get the enthusiasum coming back and getting hyped up about running – especially when I have 3 races (1 half marathon, 1 10km trail run, 1 full marathon) to go and training quality has been down down down!!

And of course, to start reading Runner’s World on a more regular basis again ……

Anyway have packed my gym bag this morning …. Am gonna going to stick to my plan of an 1 hour run tonight (my most basic goal for today’s run, heh)!

The Next Few Months Ahead ….

It’s my once a week entry …. as usual on a Sunday. Only difference is I’m writing this via my iPhone due to my ‘inability’ to get it done on my laptop (thanks to sleepiness, tiredness, and wordpress being down online) …..

Had a rough work week no thanks to some people who simply don’t respect people’s time (and of course kalang kabo as they throng into 1 thing without sufficient planning) ……

And the ‘time of the month’ together with the accompanying cramps/stomach churning didn’t help things either where work & gymming/running was concerned as well as energy level was very low 😦 …… A testimony to my low energy – 2 naps that turned into long sleep throughout the night …… On thurs evening, I ‘napped’ while leaving my laptop on all night while yesterday (Saturday) was my earliest bedtime at 9pm where I simply crashed on my bed after dinner (legs & body were feeling the after effects of my 1st spin class in a month) ……

And to top it off – I lost my mp3 player again for the 2nd time in 5 months (I swear that I really didn’t hear it drop on the ground) …… Using a old IPod Shuffle for the time being while I shop for a replacement (Maybe this time no more Creative) ……

Despite a pretty tough week (physically & mentally), but still there is still lots to look forward to in the next couple of months, in the following order …..

1. Signed up for 2 runs – 2XU (April) & Sundown (my 2nd full marathon at the end of May) …… Feeling a bit undertrained though 😛

2. Going for 2 concerts – OMY E Awards on 1st April & Jacky Cheung in August. I finally get to see Jacky Cheung live!!

3. Have joined in a focus/study group w.e.f 1st March – Sales Builder. To describe in a nutshell, it is basically a focus group concept from GAMA which aims to bring people to a higher level of productivity via a very structured approach (and which includes weekly tracking and reporting). Next week will be 2nd week into the program. I personally feel a organized and structured approach is what I really need after years of floating around and inconsistency.

4.  Singapore Restaurant Week! We are checking out Michealangelo’s on 22nd March @ a special promotional rate!!

5.  Group/Branch Retreat this July (early July)! More importantly Sales Builder + uplift to give myself a push to qualify FOC for this 🙂

6.  To add on to above, I hope to make July a travel month. Fingers crossed that I can do another trip – where I can do sight-seeing, shopping, photography, relax & chill out all-in-one! Work hard towards it!!

And of course apart from the activities stated above, at the time of writing, there is only 3+ months left to work towards the end of banding year and towards my production and business goals. Will be busy days ahead!

3 Days Left To 2010 ……

It is the time of the year when things start to wind down for another round of festives (to celebrate the new year) …… and also the time to review and reflect upon the past year – year 2010. It is also the time that I try to find time to sit down and set my new year resolutions for 2011.

My festive season/ celebrations so far ……

Tracking back slightly to the long weekend (starting from Friday – Christmas Eve to Sunday – Boxing Day) …… it has been a quiet festive season in contrast to last year as the gang has already gathered 1 week earlier (which I personally felt was too early to really feel any Christmas spirit in the air) + office party was also rescheduled to be tommorrow
(30th) instead. Was also looking forward to a Christmas theme-ed 90 min spin class as such special holiday classes are getting pretty rare these days …. And pretty disappointed that I only got as far as the waiting list. Mind you, I touched the call button on the dot
at 3pm .. and 15 min later, I only got as far as the waiting list(apparently the reception gives priority to those who quene physically and there is no way 20 bikes can be filled up within 15min) .. Major flaw in execution, not to mention the disappointment as I was really really looking forward to it ……

And so proceeded to slack the Christmas weekend away ……

Busy week so far, as it is another short work week (that is excluding Fri 31st) before 2010 comes to an end …… And trying to clear as much backlog as possible ….. On a happier note, have started the 1st run of my 16 week training plan – an easy 2.85km run on the treadmill yesterday night, but nevertheless, body is already feeling the positive effects from the endorphin 🙂

Post Marathon Recovery ..

*Edit On Sun 19 December 1300 Hrs*

Gosh! Taking a look at my blog, my last entry was actually on Nov 29. The best that I have done for the next entry is to key in the intended title via wordpress for iphone on Wed afternoon 😛

So what have I been up to??

As the title goes, and as blogged previously, one major milestone is that I have completed my 1st full marathon!! Not sure if this has been blogged about/mentioned before .. but one of the MAJOR resolutions/goals that I had going into year 2010 is to complete a full marathon by the age of 30 (which itself is another big milestone, heh!) …… While post marathon recovery has been all about minimal workout/gymming, maximum eating, slacking, tv-ing .. and some work (but not satisfied with my productivity & activity levels though) ……

Why at 30 (since there are many chances to complete a marathon given the growing popularity of running in Singapore)?? Well, you are only 30 once in your entire lifetime – thus it is a good age to acheive some major goals …… and personally for me, running a 42.195km full distance marathon under hot sweltering sun (later part of run) is a BIG THING to me personally (although it might not be to some, to each of their own I suppose) …… but rather than being a NATO (no action talk only), it is always good to experience it once – before talking/criticising loudly.

Before I digress too far into my displeasure with NATOs .. as a recap, based on my own personal experience, running a marathon is not just physical (this is controllable based on the amount of training), a lot of it is mind management (mental – which is within yourself) …… The mental aspect of it is actually the most challenging as typically most of us ‘hit the wall’ (in running terms – it means physically we come to a complete stop & start walking) around the 30km to 37km mark, and your mind starts to play tricks on you. As the run started at 5am, the 30km to 37km mark should co-incide with the hottest stretch of the morning (after 9am) – where you are physically at your worst/weakest and have to gapple with lack of water stations amidst the hottest stretch of the run (this year – the stretch from East Coast Service Road to Marina Bay Golf Course to Marina Barrage to upslope Nicoll Highway indeed fits the criterion) …… And seeing the people who gradually fell by the wayside (marina barrage, nicoll highway) due to injury, dehydration – for a while it is indeed tempting to just stop and wait for the ambulance to sweep you up ……

But Not! I hit the wall around the 31km mark (at the same time, my Garmin FR110 went flat!!) … and walked myself to the finish admist the scorching morning sun & neverending marina barrage/nicoll highway stretch (with a unwelcome upslope at 36km mark) …… And walked another 2km to pit building to collect baggage. To the organizing committee: I have to truly say ^#(@&(&@%*#^@^$^% for such a crap arrangement! ……

In the downtime (2-3 days after the run), I have reflected and analysed on what I have done & what I have NOT Done & what needs to worked/improved on (would like to keep this succint, hence no A-Z discourse and details) …….  Now that I have completed a marathon, the next phase (going into my 30s) is to work on PBs (Personal Best). As part of my 2011 resolutions, I would like to challenge myself to train properly (by following a proper training plan) to do a PB – and bring that discipline and commitment to my work/business as well (it may sound like I’m jumping gun/topic, but trust me, there is a correlation to it lah) ……

And I am happy to say that this shall be one of the many finisher t-shirts that I will add on to my collection in time to come!