Friday, July 12, 2013

Friday thoughts.

Never thought that I would be training so hard for a run that I may not even complete half of it.

It's just two months away from the starting line for Sundown's 100k Ultra. Anticipation yet loads of fear for the gun to fire off. Running in darkness and letting the legs & mind take me through every metre and km. The most  comforting part was that I was not alone and he will be running with me like my first full marathon. No expectations and completion would be a bonus if I can even taste the bitter-sweet satisfaction of it.

It all started with this strong decision last year to try it at least once in a lifetime after hearing the experiences from my friends whom have tried it. "Life-changing and emotional" were the terms they used to describe it. Call me crazy but I wanted to know how the pain, tiredness and hungriness felt like, as well as the roller-coaster emotions, negative thoughts, positive thoughts and more in that long journey.  It's not the same as a full marathon as they shared that the ultra-marathon journey is lonely and could drain away all your mental & physical strength. Somehow, running reminds me that there is more to me that what is apparent much of the time and my mind is stronger than I know. The main motive was levelling up and going home enlightened with a take-away message just like how each race is special to me. 

I started my Ultra training straight after the Sundown Marathon in May. The journey wasn't easy as perseverance was key.  My running schedule was drafted to incorporate tempo, hill, interval runs on weekdays and long back-to-back runs on weekends. Trying to clock 30km up to 60km weekly, then cutting down up till September. It took merely minutes to draft based on the precious advice from websites but it took countless  self-discipline to follow especially for the precious weekends to clock that crucial mileage. Time-management was the hardest and trying to juggle between a full time job, after-work activities, alone time, dating time etc. It meant rescheduling the things I wanted to do and sacrificing some social life. The first two weeks were tough as numerous excuses eventually triumphed.

 Still, no pain no gain and I'm glad I managed to get back my discipline after that and these tough sessions gave me the much-needed confidence. On days where I am going for dinner, I try to do an early long run to make up for it. There are no bad work-outs and I will not regret lacing up those sports shoes I tell myself. Nothing would probably be ever enough so no pressure if I really can't follow my regime fully. Currently, I am running 3-5 times a week and alternating between day to night runs, since the actual race would be from sunset to sunrise.  I've read that training from an ultra is different from a marathon as "slow is the ultimate fast" and the crucial part was willpower. For me, I probably need my legs to go through 42% and my mind to take me through 58% of the distance.

I have read that there were cases where runners over-exert themselves in the training process so I made sure there were two yoga classes in a week at least, with cross-training (weights & core training) to build the body strength.

For now, it's two runs (RAC & Adidas KOTR) to go before the actual thing. I can do this. Hopefully.

Shape run was postphoned so it became a training session together with my favourite running partner!
 

Registered for my last race of the year - SCM 2013!!
 

Finally managed to visit the gym before work after years of failed attempted so achievement unlocked! Somehow, I can wake up for early yoga sessions or morning runs, but gym was harder. It felt really good sweating so early after cardio & weights!
 

Tuesday is my favourite because I get to do weights with my gym friends! ;)

Nothing like a fruits platter at home prepared by the family ;)
 

Favourite post-yoga snack. Tried Yami Yogurt's corn with toppings and it's so good!

New Reebok sports shoes, courtesy of RunSociety. Will review it soon, still too pretty to wear!

Feels good to come home early to see the gorgeous sunset

Ending with my wallpaper picture; 
When you feel like quitting, think about why you get started

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