BGC Greenway Park 4/30/2017

Downed my first 10km run since the half-marathon, and it feels great! Tried out a new variation to my standard BGC Greenway Park route (which consists of traversing the length of the jogging path roughly 7 times), by exiting 5th avenue and going through some of the loops before finally re-entering the path via the flight of steps near UCC.Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 10.45.59 PMSplitwise, all the mid-course assents leave much to be desired (splits 2,6,8), but I think this can be corrected over time. Hoping to cut my average pace to the low 7’s as training progresses.

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 10.53.32 PM

Strangely enough, I wasn’t too tired at the end of the run, though I definitely think I could’ve popped a few more km’s tonight. Somehow, it seems as if a switch has been flipped. Certainly based on tonight’s run, this particular 10k didn’t seem as psychologically daunting anymore.

***

One thing I focused on tonight’s run was proper breathing. While I can see why it would be easy to pay little attention to breathing (why focus on something we’ve been doing our whole lives anyway, you may be thinking), there is some value in breath work (pranayama, for those so inclined).

Advertisements
Standard

21K Retrospective

Viewing the Nat Geo run in retrospect, there were a couple things I could’ve done to improve:

1. Race Prep

Before the run, I made no effort to engage myself in any form of organized training. With mileage that would fluctuate roughly between 3 to 20km per week, I knew this was clearly not enough (since building a solid bed of mileage is vital to half-marathon survival). At the time, I honestly felt it was a mental game more than anything, a test to see if I could push myself to survive the rigor of 21 km with my bones (and dignity) intact. I wanted to confirm, in no uncertain terms, that I could do it; that, for all the would-be physical torture that my foolishness would engender, I could drag my stubborn feet to the finish line without walking.

At the end of the day, I survived of course, but it left me wondering, what if I had actually subjected myself to a legitimate training regimen?

2. Get to the venue early to warm-up 

My cousin and I arrived at the race venue quite late due to the insane traffic in the area. Thus, our pitiful warm-up consisted of chugging down an energy gel and running from the Mall of Asia parking lot to the starting block and beginning the half-marathon straight away.

No stretching, no pre-race venue rituals, nothing.

As expected, this bit me in the ass as early as the first kilometer, with my left shin acting up and causing me to rethink this particular life decision of mine. Luckily, by the time we hit the third kilometer, my legs were beginning to be a little bit more cooperative.

3. Manage Hydration and Energy Gels

Unfortunately, one of the facets of this race which I was not able to map out (since I barely did any practical mapping out, as my cousin would attest) was my hydration plan. On this, I noted two things: (a) Intake Schedule: I should’ve determined my intake schedule beforehand (the key points in the raise where one should ideally take a sip, e.g. at certain km points, or after using up a pack of Gu, for instance); and (b) Amount of Intake: I shouldn’t have chugged water like there was no tomorrow midway through the race, the lack of which towards the last stretch caused me to be extremely dehydrated soon after I emptied out my last pack of gels.

4. Utilize the Sponge Stations

Few sensations in the world rival that of squeezing an iced-water-soaked-sponge above your head as you force your body to complete an intense run. It’s a pity I only discovered this quite late into the half-marathon.

When I felt almost certain that I would give up from the heat and exhaustion, taking a sponge to the head (literally) was what I needed to give me that additional boost to finish the race.

5. Mindfulness

Another thing I realized only towards the end of the run was how helpful mindfulness is. When every ounce of my body was telling me to throw in the towel, zoning in on my breathing and the physical machinery of running allowed me to silence the raging thoughts in my head, and to just focus on each every step.

It was a bit strange, to tell you the truth. It’s like that feeling which Haruki Murakami described as he was narrating his ultra-marathon experience in his book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, the feeling of being metaphysically “disassociated” from your body as you run. Either way, the practice helped me survive those last crucial kilometers in the race.

18076576_10155250243878792_1819807497162242276_o

***

Hoping to take these lessons to heart for my next half-marathon (hopefully this June 25)!

Standard

Of Yet-again Beginnings

Hola! I have recently decided to dedicate this blog to the documentation of my journey as a runner, interspersed, if you will, with various musings and data-backed, coffee-induced ruminations on the silly randomness of life.

Why running, of all things?

To be honest, I have always loved running and what it represents: Overcoming limits and pushing yourself to be better each time, allowing you to remember that you are not defined by your past and that every day is an opportunity to move on, and to be nicer, more hopeful, and more forgiving.

Also recently, I ran the National Geographic Earth Day half-marathon, and this changed everything for me. Though my performance was less-than-stellar (clocking in a 2:39hr, 7:57 mins/km run – see picture below), it made me realize how much I truly missed the sport.

Screen Shot 2017-04-30 at 11.47.40 AM.png

That being said, I’ve resolved take running and fitness seriously from now on, and to jot down all my learnings (and side analyses) into this journal. 100% disclosure: I’ve never actually kept a runner’s journal before, even if I had spent 7 years across three different track teams. Nevertheless, I think it’s worth a shot. Let’s do this.

Standard

Some Rilke for Good Measure

“People have (with the help of conventions) oriented all their solutions toward the easy and toward the easiest side of the easy; but it is clear that we must hold to what is difficult; everything alive holds to it, everything in Nature grows and defends itself in its own way and is characteristically and spontaneously itself, seeks at all costs to be so and against all opposition.

“We know little, but that we must hold to what is difficult is a certainty that will not forsake us; it is good to be solitary, for solitude is difficult; that something is difficult must be the reason the more for us to do it.” – Rainier Maria Rilke

Standard