Overtraining.

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Recently, I have been struck down by a sudden onset of lethargy, fatigue, & virus symptoms.

I have been watching my diet & food consumptions pretty closely for the last couple of months, making sure I get the proper nutrition I need for the intensive training I put in. Besides the occasional CHEAT days & REST days, almost everyday is a training day.

This week I took 3 REST days. Now, that’s a record. After a swim session, I forgot to do cool down stretching, & felt my right hamstring during my evening run. It was uncomfortable & I knew something was wrong. I did not want to aggravate it, so I slowed down my pace & made my way back slowly. This was an evening run, ending around 11pm, which I felt was a bad idea in hindsight. It had caused my heart rate to go up, so I could not sleep till 1am, which was bad, as I had a hard interval session scheduled the next morning.

Consequently, the next day, I woke up pretty late, & could not muster the energy to head out the door. I played mind games & told myself, I’ll do it in the evening, but lo-&-behold, I did not do it in the evening.

The next day morning, I went out with the intention of getting it done, only to find out there was a sports meet going on in my local track that morning. Had to postpone the training till evening. When evening came, I got down to the track, full intent with finishing off the 4 X 2km intervals that I wanted to do mentally prep myself to be able to do a SUB40 10k that weekend. I did the first rep, it felt good, I came in well below my target time of 7m40s for 2km. When it came down to the 2nd rep, I felt the sudden need to regurgitate, probably an effect of over-hydrating prior to the interval training. Had to slow down & cut-off the entire exercise as I wasn’t feeling well.

This weekend also coincided with the Hari Raya & National Day public holidays, so there was a long weekend ahead. I was involved in the National Day celebrations, & spent an entire day outdoors & cheering till I almost lost my voice. Perhaps its time to scale back on volunteering activities to concentrate on the core business of running.

Although I’m down, but I’m not out. I’m looking forward to this weekend as it will be the first time I compete in a triathlon, albeit its in the freshmen category (i.e. 200m swim, 10km bike, 2.4km run). This is something that I have set out to do almost a year ago, & I hope to FINISH it. This would definitely pave the way to execute longer distances in triathlon (i.e. sprint, 70.3, Ironman). Every year I’ll try to make the step up to the next category in preparation to eventually complete an Ironman.

Penning my thoughts down in this blog post definitely allowed me to spot some critical errors in training which I will take into consideration in the future. I will have to tweak these bugs out in order to get the optimum efficiency. As for the last paragraph, refocusing on the goal is a great way to steer the vehicle back on track.

Hope I get back on track ASAP as I head into a congested race calendar with 5 back-to-back races lined up every weekend from 11 Aug to 15 Sep.

25 to 25

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In a month’s time I’ll turn 25. Yes, a Quarter of a Century.

Since my 24th birthday, I have been mulling my impending milestone in life. In fact, during the last whole year, my head seems to tell me that I am already 25. Maybe that is because I have been telling people about how I am out to do 25 BIG things to celebrate my 25th birthday. It is a 2 year journey throughout the start of 24th to the end of 25th birthday.

Call it a Quarter-life crisis, but I do feel I am a little older than before, but that does not mean, I cannot continue to outperform myself continually. Majority of runners do not peak till they are in their late 20s to early 30s. Physically, I feel I have not peaked yet. Week-in, week-out, I have been outdoing myself in training. It does feel good to be doing so, feeling like you are on a continuos upward climb, especially when I am just at a Quarter way through my life.

I don’t want to live a mundane life after university life, dragging myself to work everyday, being stuck in the rat race. I’d rather be in a real race anytime of day. Its the competition that drives me; competition against yourself, to continually challenge yourself & break your own limits.

Breaking the SUB40 10k mark is just one of the 25 things I’ve set out to do.

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Another one of my 25 BIG things that I wanted to do was to learn how to swim & complete a triathlon. It has been something that have been bugging me since last year when I was on a road trip up in Airlie Beach, Queensland, Australia. We found a waterfall, & after we parked, we went to check it out. There were many people climbing high up & jumping into the waterfall.

Eating Meatball Subs @ Cedar Creek Falls

Eating Meatball Subs @ Cedar Creek Falls

I really wanted to do it then, but was urged not to, as I did not know how to swim. I have done confidence jumps from 5m dive boards above a deep pool during OCS, but it was under supervision & watchful eyes of professional lifeguards. Hence, I left the waterfall, without jumping down, & it has been bugging me ever since.

They say the best way to conquer your fear, is to face it. And so, I registered myself into a triathlon, albeit a freshman/discovery one (200m swim, 10km bike, 2.4km run). This was a commitment I set out to follow through, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, talking to friends, telling family about my mission.

Come 18 August 2013, I might be the last to FINISH, but I have put in the training, & I will FINISH no matter what. One fine day, I will go back to Cedar Creek Falls & jump down that waterfall.