Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Run To The Top Podcast Going Live Tomorrow

Thank you to Stephanie Kay Atwood for giving me the opportunity to be interviewed on the "Run to the Top" Podcast few weeks ago. Honestly, I was excited, but also nervous going into this interview. She made the interview went by smoothly. I hope everyone will be inspired by my story. I will continue to train hard to make my other goals into reality. Thank you in advance to all listeners.

The podcast will be air tomorrow morning at 1 am Greenwich time. Here is the link: 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Banff Half Marathon: Most Beautiful Half I Ever Ran!

Let me start off saying it is hard to express how beautiful the Banff Half Marathon is. I have run countless half marathons in my six years of running, and I have to say the scenery of the Banff half marathon is spectacular from start to the finish. The views of the Vermillion Lake and the mountains along the Bow Valley Parkway are stunning. What a breathtaking experience to be able to run through Canada’s first national park, and celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday!

Banff sits at a high attitude, which makes running a personal best very challenging. And, I have not race in a half marathon since last year. However, with a sight of racing a full marathon in the fall, I decided to make Banff my return to the half marathon distance.

Even though I am unable to get a personal best at the Banff half marathon, it does not mean it is not possible. I ran alongside my friend, Carina, who not only got a personal best, but also second place in her age division. Carina recently got a personal best in the Calgary Half Marathon (1:37), cutting 7 seconds from her New York Half. At the Banff Half, she managed to broke the 97 minutes barrier on a rolling hill course! All of her hard work and training paid off in this race. I am very happy to see how far she has come. Carina had grit and determination when faced with the hills in this race. Regardless of the challenges. she remained positive, and continued a strong push to the finish line. This personal best will certainly build on the momentum for her Chicago Marathon training. I am confident she will continue to improve in this sport of running, and will wish her the very best.

Overall, the race course was well marked. And, the cheering crowds at Central Park motivated the runners to finish strong.

I want to thanks the organizers and volunteers for making this event possible. I want to congratulate all the participants, as crossing the finish line is a celebration of all your hard work it took to get there. I recommend everyone to add this event to their running bucket list! You won’t regret it!

Friday, July 3, 2015

Will my dream of breaking 1:20 Half Marathon come true this fall?

I have been encountering cycle of injuries in the first half of 2015. It was a rough start, especially starting back from square one since achieving my ultimate dream of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. My biggest weakness was having no patience. I was eager to race as much as I can, so I can be one step closer to my goal times I had set out for 2015. Big mistake! The more I race, the more slower I get. 

Thanks to my coach, Janice, for setting me back to the right path. I was on heart rate training, and was building my mileage slowly. It was not fun, as I cannot run as fast as I can. But, it allowed me to run SAFELY and smartly. I learn that to reach your peak in running, I cannot only count on hard work, I must train smart too. 

Although I am not fully back to "peak" shape, I am very grateful to run injury-free *touch-wood*. Ever since I am back to training, I would dream of crossing the finish line of a half marathon race under 1:20. My best half marathon was in 2014 in Calgary (1:24:24). This means I have to cut 4 min:24 sec from my overall half marathon time, or consistently run 3:47 per km. I can barely hold 4:00 per km for more than 14 + kilometers. Can this dream be impossible?

Everyday, I would wake up and remind me of this dream, and that I have to make time each day to get my workout done. It is not a single workout that makes the difference. But, if we accumulate all the workout, then it will make a big difference in one's fitness. Always look at the bigger picture, and that each run must have a purpose. 

There are literally many things on my plates, including working long shifts and other commitments. At the end of the day, my legs would be very sore and tired, but if I can squeeze-in my workout or run safely, it gives me some confident in reaching my dream. I must remind myself to be cautious and listen to my body too. If my body is too fatigue, I must take some rest to be fully recovered from my previous run or workout. 

Time for me to #workhard #runsmart #havefaith I can reach my goal of #sub80orbust, like my team mate/friend, Greg 

Read his report here: http://community.runnersworld.com/printer-friendly-topic/first-half-half-marathon-rr?topicOnly=true

With great friends and family supporting me, I hope to make this dream into a reality. New York Marathon Qualifer, here I come!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Road to Recovery...

The Road To Recovery...still in progress!

How am I feeling about recovery? 

I would say that even though it is hard to not do speed running or any training to reach the goals I have set out at the beginning of the year, I am still grateful to be able to do my run (at an very easy pace: 5:10-6:00 min/km). The doctor advised that I should not go back to my old weekly distance(110km) instead I should run at an easy pace, and stop if I feel any pain, or the need to "gimp". 

This knee injury has been on and off. Some days I can run without any pain, but there are days that I could feel the pain 10-15 minutes into the run. As you can see from my Strava stats (above), my current average weekly distance is 21.2km. I will do 3 runs per week at a very easy pace, and mix it up with some cross training, like pool running. Pool running is not as fun as road running, but one does learn to improve their running form. 

It takes 6-12 weeks for the knees to recovered, and I am on my 4th week. I can see why it takes that long to recover as there is little blood flow going to the injury site (haha, based on my knowledge of the human physiology). All I can do now is continue to put a happy face, and continue running as much as I can (taking rests if I need it). 

What's next? Well, I really want to race, but I should not be in a hurry...just take it easy for now. 

What makes me want to get to running? Well, I want to reach new goals and obtain new performance bests. Plus, with Boston in 2016, I want to be as fit as I can. Running a best marathon time in Boston (preferably a sub-3) would be a dream comes true. However, dream only comes true if one willing to put in the hard work and time to get there! 

My next reason is the great results I have been seeing lately. It is very inspiring to see some fast times at the First Half Half. Congratulations to Trevor Hofbauer ("Nacho Libre" and Jeremy Deere in obtaining 2nd and 5th at the event! Also, it was nice to see some fast times from our Adrenaline Rush team members (Cairns-1:14:42, Keith- 1:14:48, Greg-1:19:59, Pauline-1:21:28, Jordan-1:22:21, Bob-1:31:42, Rustom-1:30:00). A week after the First Half Half, the Adrenaline Rush team got 3rd place overall in Ragnar Del Sol Relay! You guys really motivated me to get better soon, so I may run half of yours speed!

But until then...


Friday, January 23, 2015

Recovery Process? 

I am currently nursing from a knee pain injury. One thing I learn from this process is the importance of listening to the body. If the body is signaling pain, then it is important to take a rest (yes, rest is the most difficult thing to do when your mind wants to keep training). Resting does not mean sitting at the couch, and refraining from doing any activities. Although, cycling may make the knee pain worse as one bends their knees a lot more which may put more pressure and pain. So, what am I doing at the moment?

I have been testing my knees. Yes, I want to see how much my knees can tolerate running. This may sound counter-intuitive as stopping running completely will allow the knees to recover. I think it is important to run (maybe not speed or strength workout) easy mileage. This is because easy mileage does not put a lot of stress to the knees which allow it to recover. And, at the same time, it allows the knees to get used to the stress of running. I am no sport medical doctor, or sport injury specialist. So, I will not recommend this to anyone. Complete rest would always be the safe option, as it may avoid new running injuries from happening.

I am planning to do some easy mileage, and hopefully continue to increase my running back to my old intensity and mileage. Other than easy mileage, I will incorporate some core strengthening, stretching, and icing. Finger-crossed this injury will be the story in the past, and I will be back to training hard (but also training smart!). The bad news is that it is hard to tell when the knee pain will be recovered.

Anyway, I wish everyone an injury-free training season...as we have 128 days to go until the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon. If you have not registered, just click the register button (yellow button on the top right hand corner on their website). 

#keeponrunning #trainhard #trainsmart #yycrun

Monday, January 19, 2015

2015...What's Next Goal?
It has been months since I have blogged. Again, I want to say thank you to all my friends and family who have supported in my journey in qualifying for the Boston Marathon. It was a dream came true when I crossed the finish line of the Toronto Waterfront Marathon with a time of 2:59:01. So, what's next for 2015?

Ever since I finished the marathon on October 19th, I want to train hard and achieve faster times for shorter distances (i.e. 5k, 10k, and half marathon). I believe the importance of setting new goals or dreams as it allows us to strive to become our best selves, and continue to grow. But, I made a mistake here...I did not give myself enough time to fully recover from the marathon. As a result, I faced some foot pain, and legs problem. 

After taking 2 weeks off in November, I attempted running again. I am grateful that the Strides Running Store was organizing the annual run streak (running every day, at least a mile for the rest of December). During this time, I have already missed a month of speed/strength training, and mileage for the First Half Half in February. I used the annual run streak to slowly build my mileage base (started the first two weeks running 68-70 km per week), then the last two weeks running my usual weekly distance (100km+ per week). There were little to no speed works and strength works. After having my mileage base back, I told myself I am ready to train again...and look forward to seeing my Adrenaline Rush team mates in January.

Comes January. I am following the training schedule that is outlined by my coach (Janice). However, my legs are not as good shape as before. Plus, I am still running with my winter weight. Am I ready for First Half Half? Let's see.

I ran my first 2015 race on January 17th. It was the MEC Race at Eau Claire. I started my run with 5k warm-up with the Champion at this race, Hernan Paul. Hernan was the winner of last year's MEC Race #1. There were many strong competitors in the 10k category (there were 11 sub-40 runners). I ended up in 9th place with 38:23. It was not an easy race as I was breathing hard, and my legs were not in good shape. I am happy to see my friends cheering for me at the start, and on the course (thank you!). I am also glad to see my running friends (including the Champion Hernan, Jason, Noel, Bruce, etc) did so well in this race.

Now, I am pondering whether I should passed on the First Half Half this year as my current shape there is no way I can achieve sub 80. As my friend and team mate (Morris) would say, "there are many half marathons". The First Half Half is a half marathon I have been looking forward to do since 2014. But, if I want to run my best half marathon, I must first be in my best shape with pain-free. So, as for now, I will leave the First Half Half on the side. I am really excited to see my team mates (Cairns, Mark D, Keith, Greg, Jordan, Pauline, Bob, etc), as well as other Calgarians (including Trevor "Nacho Libre", Jeremy Deere, etc) doing well in this event. Go Calgary Runners Go!! 

As for now, I have my eyes set on Spring races, including the Glencoe 10k, the Original St. Patrick Day race, and more importantly the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon. At the moment, I have signed up for the full marathon. However, I would like to do the half marathon again this year (not to mention, it is the national half marathon championship). I believe that with some hard training (and smart training), I will get my sub 80 on May 31st. 

131 days until the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon. What are you waiting for? Signed up if you have not. There are 5k, 10k, half marathon, full marathon, as well as 50K Ultra!!!!

See you on the road!! And, see you at some of these spring races!!