2019 Season opener

It has been very challenging getting my training done this season. 

First off, i did my first 5km jog in January after tearing hip labral last October. Rehab has been slow but at least I managed to get back to running.

After moving back to Singapore in late January, I thought things will get back better and I looked forward to training with my lactic buddy, only to find out that she has retired and is trying for a baby.

So I ended up training with a group of unfamiliar team mates, having a massive age gap between us, and I had no idea how we were gonna motivate each other. More often that not, I felt like the outcast. I was too old for their jokes, my bedtime was too early for them and of course, my old battled body took way longer to recover from em workouts. 

To make things worse, I was suspected of hormonal issues and was constantly tired. I was vomiting between sessions and putting on so much weight despite not feasting like how I was back in Aussie. I went for a full blood screening only to find out that things are pretty alright. So till now, we have no idea what happened.

So things finally fell into place. I depended on the team to pull me through some workout days and coach Luis was always ready to listen or give me an earful. Thats when I realised I need to race to qualify for ASEAN Para Games. 

3 weeks out from the proposed cut-off date and I have not done a single 300m for the season, I was literally freaking out. 

I remember going to coach..

Z: coach, whats my workout for today?

L: the usual.

Z: can I do something different? Like longer distance?

L: yeah you can.. but why?

Z: because im nervous…

L: why are you nervous?

Z: ermmm… because my race is in 3 weeks and I havent ran more than 300m??

L. F…… 

Yeah. He forgot about the race. 😂

So i started doing the race specific training and I got smashed every single day. I couldnt get close to the qualifying time and I felt the games was slipping away from me.. 

i got more stressed and ended up doing the stupidest thing I could do. Overtrain. 

5 days before the race and booom. Plantar fasciitis on both feet. I had no choice but to forfeit the race and give my plantar some much needed break. Almost 4 weeks of rest and my fitness went back to zero.

I was fortunate enough to be given another chance to race last weekend and it was really my last chance to make it to the games. 3 weeks to race day but my fitness level is back at pre-season, body fat much higher than where I need to be, I knew my chances were slim. Dead slim. 

Then I did what I do best. Dug deep and convinced myself that its not over till the race is done. I went straight into high intensity interval training (hiit) with wb almost everyday, did my fartlek diligently for the first 2 weeks to get back as much fitness as I could and spent the last week working on race specific pacing. I woke up at 530am for 5 consecutive days to simulate race day. Taking breakfast at 6am and hitting the track at 7am. I will then rock up to work and sneak in an easy jog in the evening. It was really intense but I knew what needed to be done to maximise my chances. 

So came race day, i had diarrhea. Maybe its the nerves, maybe its the potato chips from the night before. Who knows?! Grrr… 

Its been a long time since I raced and I was really excited but very very nervous. I chat with the officials and they got me to the start line earlier so that I could do some run-throughs. 

15mins before the race: I changed into my spikes. I did some stretching and did some striding. Feels good.

10mins before the race: did more striding and paced around nervously..

5min before the race: was told that I had more time and I should take it easy. I did some stridings yet again to calm myself down.

3min before the race: prompted to do my final run before the race. Did more runs.

Finally.. on your marks.. set… bang! 

And off I went.

I felt the rhythm, i felt my legs turning, man, I know I’ve got a chance as long as I keep this going..

so came the 100m straight and I came face to face with the clock, only to realised im 10s too fast on my first 300m. I knew im stuffed. This is the standard template for killing yourself and doing the crappiest 1500m. 

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As I crossed the 300m mark, a part of me wanted to stop, to end all the suffering, “to save my legs” for future. The other part of me wants to continue to try and make the remaining 1200m work. Its really beyond logic. 

The pacing is off and the lactic was building.. just how am I gonna pull this off.. *another 100m passed*

Maybe I should just start walking now.. but it will be quite embarrassing *another 100m passed*

So this is when I decided to not look at the clock nor the watch and just run. 

“Just gonna hang in there, run till the legs no longer move, the lungs exploding and there you will find another gear, as always, to finish strong” and as Michael would say “hand brakes off mate!”.

Really glad that I did not give up on myself and I got in a decent 1500m given all these circumstances. Looks like my season has just gotten a 5-month extension. Lets see what this season brings 🙏

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Note to self: Its only over when you give up on yourself.