When the ASEAN Para Games ended, one important question was looming over my head.
Obviously the next big meet would be the Rio Olympics and Paralympics but I am ready to actually challenge at that level, or even simply to qualify for it?
I took a good look at my 1500m results and I needed to shave off 45s in order to qualify for it.
45s is a massive time to cut. Maybe I should just wait for Tokyo 2020…
After sitting on that thought for a while, I realised that I have never backed down from a challenge, so why should I back down now? Regardless if I qualify for Rio2016, I will still train hard isn’t it? So might as well go for it. Make the fullest of every moment in life and live with no regret!
With that goal set, I knew I needed help while I am in Singapore and fortunately, I was given the opportunity to train with Singapore Athletics National head coach, Luis Cunha, who is a biomechanist sprints expert. Knowing that my running gait is my limiting factor, I am excited to see how improving my gait will help me in my runs.
Before I knew it, the SAA series 1 arrived.
I was really glad to see other para-athletes participating in this series. I believe this is a first step taken to integrate para-sports into the abled-body events. Its good for confidence building for para-athletes and also for public awareness too! =)
|Para athletes competing in the 200m.|
Although my daily workouts and warmups have changed drastically over these 2 months, my pre-race warm up was kept the same.
As for me, it was this standard routine that makes me feel comfortable, focused and ready to race, regardless the race and location. Thanks to sports science for this wonderful knowledge and habit =p
Popped on my sony smart B-trainers, listening to my favourite Japanese rock music and away I went for my warm up jog and drills with my asics tri noosa. Unfortunately, no cooling vest this time round =(
While waiting at the call room, I went through the motions that coach Luis often reminded me of: “no back mechanics!”.
Then, there I was standing at the starting line. Said my prayers and I got ready. No block starts this time round simply because I haven’t been practicing it. Rather lose that 0.2s than to fall face down =x.
My mind thought of nothing, it was a state of blank and BANG!
Body falling forward, knees up, elbows blocked, I have taken off.
I ran a very evenly paced 400m and finished with a timing of 67.11s.
A trade mark I had make for myself over the years.
A new personal best and renewed my previous “national record”.
In 2 months, I shaved off 3.49s in the 400m.
This would have been deemed “impossible” to able-bodied or para-athletes.
If you never try, you’ll never know. *grins*
Getting a new 400m PB gave me the confidence that a sub 5 min 1500m is getting closer every single training session. Just got to have the patience, be healthy, train hard and listen to coach.
My next race will be back in Perth at the end of Feb and it will be my pet 1500m.
Looking forward to the pain it brings.
Looking forward to the lactate.
Looking forward to running my lungs out.
Looking forward to push my body and mind to its limit once again.
Looking forward to smashing it.
God willing that I will get closer to the qualifying mark race after race.
Really thankful for SDSC, SAA and coach Luis for making this special arrangement for me to train with such an awesome team. Not forgetting my team mates who push me every training session, never viewing me as someone less abled.
Also, a huge “thank you” to everyone who came up to me, encouraged, cheered for me. Despite the humidity, head and sun, I’m beginning to love to race in Singapore a lot because of this “home support”. Thank you
Nil Sine Labore
|Glad to be able to keep up with some young pups this time round|
|Trying my best to imitate the “head dive” at the end of the sprint. Not quite successful though =x|