Reflections on the Grind

thoughts on training and life of an introvert

Archive for July 2009

July, and onward

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Did my last run of the month this morning. It was a good one. Struggled at the start but finished strong.

There’s a graduation ceremony going on in KU this week (today’s the last day). So lots of people are on campus. The football field is one of the popular places for taking photos. So there were many people walking around the track this morning. Graduation day is a big deal for family members and relatives; some travel from other provinces to congratulate their children. Nice scene.

July has been very good. I managed to get in a run everyday and logged the most miles in a month so far (~244).


Seven months of 2009 are over. So far, I’ve gotten a cold once this year.

1 cold in 7 months.

Seems like running has made me much healthier than I was last year, when I seemed to catch a cold every few weeks.

Looking ahead, I think things are going well. I have gotten myself a training schedule, so I won’t have to figure out each time I lace up my shoes how far and how fast I should run. Now I just have to follow the schedule. Hope I can stick to it for 18 weeks, taking it day by day.

When it comes to training, I like to ‘run more’ than ‘run faster’. I think long, slow runs will help me stay injury-free better than fast, intense sessions will.

That’s all for now. Run on. Life is good.


Written by Rop

July 31, 2009 at 11:26 am

Posted in health, running, thoughts

A journey

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Yesterday I had my longest training run to date, in the park. So today I’m taking it easy to let my body recuperate. As I ran around the track, under the sunny sky, I listened to my body. There were aches here and there. Knees, shins, ankles, achilles. It’s normal. There are people who suffer a lot more.

I’m still in the early part of my training. It’s all good. Improvements come slowly. Sometimes the journey means a lot more than the destination. As someone used to say, “A will to win is nothing without a will to prepare.”

Running is hard, but it makes me feel so good. I’m just happy to be able to run. I’m not gonna be able to run forever. I cannot take each day for granted. I’m strong enough and young enough today. But I never know when I will get sick or injured. I will one day be old–too old to run fast, or to run at all. Years from now, I won’t have the energy I have today. So, as long as I have the energy to get out there and push myself to the limits, I won’t let it go to waste.

Life is short. I’m trying to enjoy it as much as I can, in the ways that I understand.

Written by Rop

July 27, 2009 at 9:39 pm

Posted in running, thoughts

A good Friday

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24th July. Happy 29th birthday Sis. Looking forward to see you soon.

me and my sis, maybe 20-25 years ago.

me and my sis, maybe 20-25 years ago.

A couple other things that made me feel good today.

  • Roger Federer became a dad today. Mirka gave birth to twin girls. Happy for the family.
  • Found this video via reddit. I think it’s lovely. Wedding should be about having a good time.

Onto today’s training:

It was cloudy in the afternoon. Thankfully, there was no rain in the evening when I got off work. So I got my run in. It was a good effort. Started off a bit faster than normal. I was happy to be able to hold on to the pace, more or less.

Lately, my legs have been pounding almost exclusively on the gravel track. I got back on concrete yesterday to remind my body what it has to withstand during a real race.

The hard pavement definitely made a difference. After yesterday’s run, my right knee hurt a bit. So today I put on supportive knee wraps and got back on the track. The pain didn’t get aggravated. Felt better than yesterday. So it’s good.

Tomorrow is a recovery day.

Written by Rop

July 24, 2009 at 10:52 pm

Posted in health, running, thoughts

Quick update

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Training is going steadily. Switching between hard and easy days. Keys here are patience and discipline.

Already signed up and paid the entry fee for the race in November. It will be painful, but hopefully less than last year. Gotta be ready!

Written by Rop

July 23, 2009 at 8:44 am

Posted in running

Mind over body

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“When it is very hard there is a war going on between the body and the mind. If my body wins, I will have to give up; if my mind wins, I will continue. At that time I feel that I stay outside of my body. It is as if I see my body in front of me; my mind commands and my body follows. This is a very special feeling, which I like very much.”
-Yiannis Kouros

Had a hard training day yesterday. My legs basically didn’t want to move. Had to really force myself to complete the distance. I was tired. Today’s recovery session will be perfect to let my body rest.

Some days are just more difficult than the others. Each practice serves a purpose though, and one gains a little improvement and knowledge each time. I’m just hoping that one day all of the improvements will come together and make me a better runner.

A lot more work is still required. The pain from yesterday just tells me that, at this point, I’m still not in a shape to run a straight marathon yet. In 2 months, I expect that to change. It’s just about putting in the work; there’s no luck involved.

Written by Rop

July 16, 2009 at 2:53 pm

Posted in running, thoughts

A hard one

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Just want to say I had a nice workout session this evening. Going round and round the track and keeping the pace steady. Calves are sore. Tomorrow will be an easier day.

my training ground: 400m track

Meanwhile, those crazy men and women are still racing along the Badwater course, with leaders already passing the 90-mile checkpoint. Americans Zach Gingerich and Jamie Donaldson are leading the men’s and women’s field, respectively.


Written by Rop

July 14, 2009 at 8:35 pm

Posted in running

Mental strength

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Yesterday I followed UFC 100. Welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre (GSP) retained his title. He beat another top-class fighter: Brazilian jujitsu and Muay Thai master Thiago Alves. He won despite sustaining a groin injury during the fight. St. Pierre didn’t let the injury bring him down. He put aside the pain and willed his way to a dominating victory over a tough opponent.

(Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

I really respect GSP. Not only is he a great fighter, he is also very humble.

Another sporting event that tests human perseverance and spirit is also going on. About 90 ultrarunners are participating in Badwater, one of the world’s most extreme ultramarathons.


The runners will run across Death Valley, perhaps the hottest region of North America. The distance itself is 135 miles (longer than 5 consecutive marathons). But that’s not all. The temperature (reaching 55 celsius) and elevation profile are hellish.

These people are crazy, but a good kind of crazy. To prepare for this kind of event takes incredible dedication. Just because you are physically fit is not enough. You must also have a strong mind to be able to complete the course. I’ll be following the progress of the race. Good luck to all the runners.

“Mind and body: one without the other is not gonna get you very far.”

Written by Rop

July 13, 2009 at 9:19 pm

Posted in running, thoughts

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