Saturday, December 24, 2011

T’was the Morning Before Christmas…

Photo-credit: Richard Leong (One of our largest turnouts)
This morning, 18 swimmers showed up for our fortnightly Sentosa Lagoon Swim at Tanjong beach. Our new President of our online tri-group Triathlon Family, Andy ‘Small Circle’ Ng attended as a participant – which we appreciated. Four times of the 420-450 metres (according to our Fearless Leader, Matt) laps later, we did a 4.5K run. After some fun plotting (strategizing with the Survivor mantra ‘Outwit, Outplay, Outlast’) we managed to overtake our youngest Ironman Western Australia finisher in our group. I had fun acting out a mock ‘Iron War’s scene where you go mano a mano with a young buck, and then breast the imaginary tape with experience. At the end, pacing is everything and, if you do not want to hold the lead then drop the pace and follow. I called out everybody’s time as they cross the last lamp-post before the carpark. Some of us were coasting on our post-Ironman or post-marathon peak. Like Steve 'Pre' Prefontaine said: 'In running, what matters is the heart!' 
Photo-credit: Richard Leong. My poor impression of Macca; 11 IMs down, two to go for 2012!
I learnt from my cyclist friend, Bernard that doing power sets on the ride, builds strength quickly. However, this comes at the expense of tendon and ligament development. It takes longer for your elastic and inelastic connective tissues to adapt alongside the highly responsive gross muscles used in pedaling. This must contribute to my mild soreness near around my kneecaps – whose history has been relatively injury-free. We were in agreement that riding with faster riders should encourage strength and speed on the bike. You learn to hold your pace and place when you 'pull' your team or draft with it.
Photo-credit: Richard Leong (End of the run set. Spent but happy!)
Tomorrow, I am headed for a 4.5-hour ride (with 30-minute sets as my Main Set) in the east. Already I have a few interested parties who are tempted to ride on a humid and cool Christmas morning. I will follow up with a brick-run, which sets the premise for an unrepentant evening of Christmas feasting and friendship. Next week, Fox will probably prescribe an appreciative easier week; or not. The daily rainfall has affected one 2-hour run, and two pool-swims so far this week. No drama. There is always the next session. Put heart and mind into the effort, and savour the results and outcomes.

Enjoy your weekend and celebrate in your unique way! 

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