Thursday, February 2, 2012

Déjà vu? Does Lightning Strike Twice?

After almost two weeks out of the water, I was glad to return to swimming. Last night, I attempted to swim with a pool buoy in the public pool. It started smoothly and unimpeded, until the after-hours crowd decided to exceed their personal boundaries into mine. I managed about 2.3K worth of 100m sets before my left chest started feeling sore. I suspect either a hairline crack on my rib/s, or strained inter-coastal muscles. When I slammed onto the back of a truck while riding two weekends ago, I may have impacted more than my bike frame. Meanwhile, it has been a mild dent in my training preparation as self-doubt and worry may creep in. Realising that my fund-raising activity is doing well inspires me to stay focused on my event and goals. Thank you, Donors and Sponsors!
IMWA 2006: I earned a 4:30 marathon (my best standalone marathon then, was 4:12).
I am a tad disappointed (with my injury) as my fitness has improved since December, and I am shaping up very well for a race. The last time I felt so prepared was in 2006, at the Ironman Western Australia race where I clocked a 12:08 at my second 226K outing. I am holding well, committed to most of my drills diligently, and training at the oddest hours of the day or night. I have missed a session or two, and either do them the day after, or focus on my next session. Each session is a unique experience where anxiety and malaise dissipates and a sense of accomplishment reveals itself at the end of the practice.

I am considering a medical check-up before proceeding into my last two intense weeks (of long mileage), and thereafter my taper stage. I am arranging for an examination so that I am assured of my condition and its limitation. Initial prognosis by my sports-doctor, Dr Ben Tan has been reassuring, as it appears that my risk of a major injury is very low. Exactly, two years ago around the same period I was hit by a taxi while riding; I escaped serious injuries thanks to my helmet. It would be challenging to race at ‘sub-optimal’ conditions (Chrissy Wellington’s words), and grit my teeth, dig deeply, and race towards the end. The image of Chrissy running in the marathon is my psychological anchor, and I believe the image has enhanced my running cadence (88-90rpm). What I need, perhaps, are dark shades to stay focused on my surrounding and internal universe, and hit my targeted running cadence of 94-96rpm, within the next four weeks.

All the best to those doing the Hong Kong Marathon this weekend! A big shout out to Uncle Kor Eng Fatt who turned 80-years-young a few days ago!

Mind your head. Mind your body. Train safely, my friends!

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