Reflections on the Grind

thoughts on training and life of an introvert

Archive for August 2012

Pain

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Illness
I have a condition called septic arthritis, also known as bacterial arthritis. Many joints have hurt. Left shoulder, right knee, left ankle, left chest, hips.

Therapy
I spent 7 days in the hospital. During the first five days my body was so stiff I couldn’t even turn to the side. My right leg and buttock could not bear any weight. Victories come in centimeters. On the sixth day I finally was able to sit on the bed. When I was able to do that, I started thinking about going home. I then learned to use a walker to move.

Good to be back home. Still, I have not been able to walk since 18 Aug. It’s been 12 straight days of receiving antibacterial drug intravenously. My swollen right knee was drained four times.

Doctors still could not identify the bacteria. But the symptoms point to bacterial infection. I still don’t know how I got infected. They said I am lucky that the body has responded well to the general antibacterial. This was evident from the fever having gone away and the pain slowly decreasing. Has this not been the case, I would need surgery.

Looking ahead
Needless to say, the past couple of weeks have been trying. Overnight, I went from running everyday to barely being able to stand. I’m not sure whether I could train for London Marathon 2013, assuming I get chosen. Cannot do much now. Spending most of my day on a bed. My appetite is back to normal and I’m looking to gain back 3 kg I lost during the hospital stay.

Written by Rop

August 29, 2012 at 12:30 pm

Posted in health

Not dead

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I’ve been very sick. It began with an intense shiver, chattering teeth in an early morning, followed by a fever and sharp headaches. Then a few days later, muscle and joint pains woke me up in the middle of the night. First the right knee, then the right buttock and leg. On Sat 18 Aug I was admitted to a hospital, for the first time in my life. I stayed there seven days. Basically paralyzed by pain. Doctors said it’s some kind of bacterial infection.

hospital stay

Yesterday I was able came home. Perhaps I will write a longer post describing the experience later. My right leg is still in intense pain. I don’t know when I will be able to walk again. Not even thinking about running at this point. Hit hard by something doctors can’t identify. But I’m not dead yet. Life is unpredictable. Do everything you want to do. Tomorrow is not guaranteed.

Written by Rop

August 26, 2012 at 3:36 pm

Posted in health

One medal

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Olympic Men’s marathon gold goes to Stephen Kiprotich of Uganda. A thrilling race which in the end came down to three men.

Kipsang Kiprotich, Kiprotich, and Kirui

Kipsang Kiprotich, Kiprotich, and Kirui

Favorite Wilson Kipsang Kiprotich of Kenya was very brave, pulling ahead very early. I think he was inspired by Sammy Wanjiru at the last Olympics.

He ran out of gas and came in a distant third. It’s very hard to run alone for long. The marathon is no joke. Very difficult to run away from a strong field, especially when the course is full of small turns, narrow paths, and small hills such as this one. I think if Kipsang had stuck and worked together with Abel Kirui, he would have won the race and it would be gold & silver for Kenya instead of silver & bronze.

Uganda’s Kiprotich pulled away from the Kenyans at about 38 km. He looked back frequently but had nothing to worry about. Uganda gets one medal at the London Olympics and it is gold. Congratulations to Stephen Kiprotich. It was a wonderful run.

The Olympics is now over. Athletes go home. London is back to normal. It was a lot of fun.

Written by Rop

August 13, 2012 at 7:18 am

Posted in running, thoughts

Rudisha’s run

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David Rudisha broke world record in the 800m, again. He led wire to wire and become the first human to break 1:41 min. His first 400m was faster than the second, probably to be able to run free in the front and not get boxed in.

Everyone else ran either a personal best or seasonal best. Perhaps the best track race at this Olympics (I missed it live but saw the tape). Rudisha’s running form is one of the best I have seen. Smooth yet explosive. It looks effortless but it certainly is not.

Pic: Dailymail.

It was the second gold for Kenya. Ezekiel Kemboi’s win was impressive as well. Though Kenya came up in 10,000m races and women’s marathon, their 800m and 3000m steeplechase were dominant.

Quick and short run again this morning. Mindset now is to maintain fitness. Doing more bodyweight stuff such as pushups, dips, squats to build strength. Like running, I like these workouts because of its simplicity. I can do it almost anywhere, and, even more than running, anytime. Unlike gym, it’s frugal and convenient. In Bangkok, working out in a gym would involve packing clothes, driving, parking, dealing with the staff, lockers, and sharing equipment with other people. There are better things in life to spend my time on.

Watched diving for the first time yesterday. Impressed by such high jumps. I have a fear of heights. Just watching the top view of the pool in TV made me dizzy.

Three days left at the Games. Then I can get my proper sleep.

Written by Rop

August 10, 2012 at 11:40 am

Posted in running, thoughts

More medals

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I love the Olympics. It’s full of exciting matches and inspirational human performances. Downside: Been sleep-deprived these past 10 days or so because of it. So, my running is taking a back seat.

Good day for Thailand yesterday. Chanatip Sonkham won bronze in women’s taekwondo and boxer Kaew Pongprayoon got through to the final four, guaranteeing at least a bronze medal. This is the 9th straight Olympic Games that Thai boxing gets a medal (first in Montreal 1976), and 3rd straight for taekwondo. Congrats to the athletes.

Chanatip Sonkham (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Chanatip Sonkham (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)

Kaew’s next fight is against David Ayrapetyan, a silver medalist at 2009 World Championship.

Written by Rop

August 9, 2012 at 8:46 am

Posted in thoughts

Rama IX 10K

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Suan Luang Minimarathon (Run 4 Mom)
6 am, Rama IX Park (สวนหลวง ร. 9)
result: 10 km, 41:38.

Took a day off yesterday to prepare for today’s race. Ate a couple spoonfuls of frozen banana, and was out of the house by 4 am to go to Rama IX Park for my third race of the year. Due to some errands and poor road condition, we got to the arena around 5 am. It was the only race in Bangkok today so there were lots of people. The organizer ran out of bib numbers and t-shirts soon after I registered. If I arrived maybe 5 min later I probably would not get a number.

start of 10 km

start of 10 km

Race started right on time. Temperature was 29 C at the start. I went out with an honest effort. Goal was to run an even or negative split. Tried to hang on with some runners but didn’t over commit. Had no problem with the route or water stations. The event was pretty well organized by the Suanluang Running Club. Grabbed water every 2 km, but couldn’t swallow most of it. Avoided looking at my watch, as usual.

morning moon

morning moon

Got tired very early but tried my best to keep my feet moving. Exhaustion was probably due to the low training mileage. But there were no other problems. No foot pain, no stomach issue, no headache, no cramp.

Ended up doing the first half in 20:21 and second in 21:17. Net time 41:38 for 10 km. About 4:10 min/km pace overall. Gave my best effort and ran as fast as I could today.

shoes: New Balance Minimus Zero Road (mr00).

post-run food: Thai omelettes, pork rib with shiitake mushroom soup, watermelon, coconut ice cream, duck soup, coconut.

Thanks to my wife for the nice photos. (the rest of the pics)

Caught some Olympics action before heading out this morning. Kaeo Pongprayoon (แก้ว พงษ์ประยูร), the last remaining Thai boxer, kept the medal hope alive by winning in the round of 16. Mo Farah won a rather routine 10,000m. First gold for Great Britain in such event. Pretty cool silver for Galen Rupp too. Surprised that the pace was not faster though. Still, 27:30 is crazy fast for mere mortals like me. 2:45 min/km for 10 km. Wow.

Spending the rest of the day watching the women’s marathon, Lin Dan vs Lee Chong Wei, and Federer vs Murray.

Written by Rop

August 5, 2012 at 4:39 pm

Posted in running, thoughts

Weekend plan

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Day one of athletics is here. I’m so excited. The limited TV broadcast in Thailand has left a lot to be desired. Thankfully, the official Olympics Youtube channel is working well for me. I’m really grateful.

semifinals of tennis (Federer-Del Potro) and badminton (Lin Dan-Lee Hyun Il)

semifinals of tennis (Federer-Del Potro) and badminton (Lin Dan-Lee Hyun Il)

World number ones

World number ones

Highlight is the Women’s 10,000m. Dibaba (ETH) vs Cheruiyot (KEN). 3:25am Saturday morning. I’m going to get up to watch that race.

Then Sunday morning I hope to catch men’s 10,000m (3:15am) before going to do my own 10km in Rama IX Park at 6am.

Then I go home and enjoy the women’s marathon in the evening (5pm).

Written by Rop

August 3, 2012 at 5:10 pm

Posted in running, thoughts

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