Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Caress of God

Maybe it's psychological. A kind of placebo effect. Maybe its the result of watching Sufism youtube videos. And being fascinated by the spiritual connection between the physical and god. Strange.

It started as a dreary, early Sunday morning ride. Usual worries...chasing rabid dogs that stay by the cemetery, psychotic lorry drivers from whoknows province, embarrassment from being overtaken by 65 year old ladys on carbon frames. The usual.

And as usual, the ride was straightforward, pedal pedal pedal. What else? Watch cadence. Up slope; feel the lactic seep in. Concentrate on the down slopes. Watch Bangladeshi workers zoom by on rusty mountain bikes on one gear. Ah the life of a slow, fat triathlete wannabe.

About an hour into the ride, on one particularly hilly part, just when the recovery downhill wasn't enough to get rid of the lactic before the next slope. When the doubts started to creep in, and the left foot was unclipped, ready for the dismount of shame. It happened. For that brief moment that felt like an eternity, god's soft, gentle hand caressed me and pushed me up the hill. I was floating. No! I was flying. No lactic no matter which direction I clicked the ultegras. And even if I had stopped pedaling, I was sure that I couldn't slide backwards. For that brief moment, it was like riding on cushions. And I felt the hand gently yet swiftly pushing me up the hill. Is this what that mind body spiritual thing they were talking about feels like?

Or was it just the tailwind?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Day of not doing

OK, I didn't run yeasterday. I didn't go to class. I didn't do nothing constructive.

I was supposed to do a speedwork session yesterday and run 70 mins the day before. For the 70 mins, I didn't run because after going Hari Raya visiting, it was too late and running would have meant I would have came back at midnight, so I was too damn lazy. Plus, I rationalised that I was going to play football the next day and so, didn't want to tire myself.

Yesterday, I played football. And it was worrying. Despite all the running, in comparison to last year, I don't feel much of a fitness gain. We got thrashed, but on the top of my mind was my lost speed! I have no more speed and I definately need to work on my anaerobic fitness! Worse still, I got my foot kick on and now it hurts, don't know if I can run today.....arrrgghhh.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Running with the Runs

I had diarrhea this morning. Spent the day stoned. Didn't have any lunch. Munched on cashew nuts mostly and coffee before deciding to go on a run.

Did the 35 min workout and was supposed to be a recovery run, but I ended up checking my pace and trying to go faster. There may be something wrong with the Nike+ thing. I never really felt that I slowed down but the pace seems to fluctuate between 10 min/mile to 13 min/mile! When I did slow down, i was about 12ish. And this has been happening quite often. So, maybe its time to recalibrate.

Another thing, although I started out quite fast, and naturally my heart rate went up, it seems strange that my average heart rate is at 85% of my max (220 formula), when I was going really slow! and I definately would have passed the talk test. Perhaps its because my RHR has drastically dropped. I don't know...

Todays run stats:
Calories burnt: 603 on HRM and 545 on Nike +
Average HR : 144

On another note, I have decided to buy an entry level tri bike, most likely the cervelo P2SL. OK, tomorow we are going for 70 mins I think.

Running in Ramadan

Ok, one of the first things that worried me when I started the programme was how I was going to cope with all that running during the month of Ramadan. I toyed with running just before the break of fast, running before the morning meals but settled on running after tarawih prayers.

I was lucky because the initial weeks were relatively shorter, manageable distances and it wasn't very taxing. Except that I ended up finishing quite late and sleeping later, which meant it was harder to get up in the morning. Alot of times, I was sleeping almost all the way whilst driving to work. To keep awake, I slaped myself, shouted etc, etc. Not sure if this had anything to do with the running because I recall being just as sleepy last year.

The third week was when my training programme picked up. All this time, I never conciously took in more water or carbs in preparations for the runs and it didn't affect me. For the third week, when the running times picked up to about 80 mins, I got worried because I figured the cumulative effect of fasting would start to have an effect on my running. I "srecovered" with Accelerade, and though I didn't feel any better, neither did I feel overly taxed. So running during the fasting month was OK I guess. Bearing in mind, I also had classes until 9.30pm three nights a week, it was taxing.

The only peeve, because of work, my masters, the coming Aidil Fitri, I couldn't run in the final week of Ramadan. I have just completed a 90 min run the day after Hari Raya. My Nike+ record is uploaded. Still slow...

Utterly Depressing

After almost 1 year of running;

My stats, taken on an OSIM weighing scale:

87 KgWater 32.9 Fat 42 taken on 25 July
86.5 Kg Water 50.5 Fat 32.1 taken on 23 Aug
85.8Kg Water 49.9 Fat 32.1 taken on 12 Oct.

There doesn't seem to be much progress. Really slow progress....Whats worse was that the last measurement was taken during fasting, so you couldn't really say it was my diet!

On the plus side, my old, smaller clothes fit better so I guess the scale is broken.

How did I get here.

So, what is this all about? I have always told myself that one day I would do a triathlon. I have also told myself alot of things, one day. Every other day is a new "one day" and not all of them have seen the light of day. But one night, I realised that tommorow would be that one day that I chose to do a triathlon.

But being the geek that I am, I cannot just jump into things. It has to be preceeded with meticulous research. What I realised was this, given my life history and present condition, there was no way I could do it without some conditioning. Enter running...

Ultimately, my motivation is to lose weight. I have tried everything except running, because I hated it. I still do. But after all the effort and little results, fact is my weight has plateaued since 2001, I have decided to face up to that necessary evil called running.

I started running seriously with some of my students sometime in March following the Couch to 5K programmes. This was followed by a 10k programme, a Charity Run and the Singapore Bay Run and Army Half-Marathon where I did the 12K fun run. Now I am in the midst of preparing for the Std. Chart Marathon at the end of the year. I have tried numerous gadgets and stuff to motivate me. I stuck to a time based programme and the Nike+ system and the occasional HRM. I have also tried to keep to written journals, but couldn't give a damn about updating it. Now I'm trying blogs cause I've read so many runners blogs and was inspired to try, also as a motivation thing. They say if you tell the world what you are trying to do, you'll more than likely stick to it. So, we'll see...

Oh, and about the title, I got it from a book I read.
This is a completely revamped blog. If there ever was anyone who read the one post on the old page, and has eagerly been awaiting an update. I'm sorry. Hahaha

This blog is about my attempt to complete my first Marathon, the Standard Chartered Marathon on 2nd Dec 2007. Hopefully, the training for that marathon would give me the aerobic base as well as the momentum to pursue my one dream, to complete a triathlon. Doesn't matter which distance, just any triathlon will do. Though these days I'm inclined to think the maximum I'll do is the sprint.

So... this is something new and I don't know how well I'll do at keeping a blog so we'll see....