I ran after a month long hiatus

After my recent entry on NOT been running for the entire month, it got me reflecting that I should just start my running routine and not wait till after my New Zealand trip. I thought I would be spent after the run, but remarkably, I still keep to within acceptable timings, and I feel good!

Not only that, I made the effort of running an additional circuit. I clocked in at almost 7km. My usual routine was to run at 5km before stopping. It was tough, having to set you mind to run another round to reach the 7km mark. I rarely go beyond 6km, much less 7km.

In total, I have clocked 783km since I started using the Runkeeper app more than a year ago. I think I will try another 7km to round up to 790km this Thursday. I will give my body a rest tomorrow, maybe have a protein shake in the morning on the way to work for faster recovery.

So this coming Thursday, another 7km. I’m gonna do it! Then another 2 running sessions before my New Zealand trip to reach the 800km milestone! Things are starting to look good!

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One year on… and still running.

A year ago, I bought a pair of new running shoes, and started running 5km, 3 times a week, every week. Since then I have never stopped. March 16 marks the 1 year milestone since I started this habit. It has been a long journey. But I made it. I managed to keep true to my habits, and now, it has paid off in strides. I look and feel better. I am so much fitter and healthier looking. I am much more emotionally stable, I am happier, more resilient to stress and I don’t fall ill as often.
It was hard keeping up with the habit. I never liked running. I despise it. But I started to anyway when I bought my first pair of running shoes. It was a worthwhile investment looking back at it. Now one year on I ran a total of 500km. Thanks to Runkeeper, an app that tracks my cardio exercises, I logged every single running session for the past year. More than 100 sessions were recorded and I have garnered slightly more than 500km. I have never ran that much in my entire life, much less in a year. For me, this is a fine achievement.
With this much mileage running on my current pair of shoes, it is time for me to get a new one soon. Not that my shoes are wearing out or that the soles are coming out, rather, it would be better for my knees and ankles to have good support by getting a better pair of shoes with better cushioning. The current one has served me well and the cushioning has sort of depleted.
I have been eyeing the Asics Gel Kayano 20. I have tried it at my local sports store, and I really like how it feels. The cushioning is great and it’s stylish as well. However, it’s selling at a whopping $279. If I buy this, it would be the most expensive shoe I ever owned. I have been trying to find other online retailers like amazon and zappos. While amazon sells for cheap, they don’t ship internationally unless it’s sold by amazon itself. And right now, Amazon does not have stock for the shoe that I am eyeing for. Zappos sells the shoe but I would have to go through vPost in order to ship to Singapore. The shipping charges are $20 on top of the $203 shoe that Zappos are charging.
I could get from amazon which is selling at $170. Assuming the shipping charges are the same, at a rate of $20, that would give the total price of the shoes including shipping just shy of $200. I would still save a whopping $79. I don’t need the shoes now, as my current one still works fine, though a little bit stiff, now that the cushioning is pretty much gone. I could wait for a week longer and closely watch the stock availability of the shoes on Amazon. Should it arrive, I will snap it up in no time. But first, I need to confirm the ideal that would fit, by heading to my local store to try it on. I will take note of the size and then purchase the correct one.
The lime green Asics Gel Kayano 20 looks amazing. The colour combination looks fantastic, with a sleek and sharp looking trademarked asics band across the sides of the shoes, with a green mesh at the front allowing the shoes “breathe” and keep your toes cool.
I need to do some serious research on how I can get the best price either through online retailers or through my local stores. It’s a huge investment when it comes to shoes. There is still one more place that I have yet to check it out, and that is Queenstown Shopping center. The place where they sell lots of different sports shoes and sports apparels and equipments.
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Some days, you just don’t feel like running.

The other day I was blogging about my new millstone that I had achieved in running. I took up this hobby and made it a habit to commit myself to run at least 5km each session every other day of the week. It has been more than 7 months into this routine. And while I hate running to the core, no doubt that it has brought very tangible benefits to me, not just physically, but emotionally as well. The strict routine that I adopted has worked well and I rarely lapsed, where I would skip my running activity for no good reason. It does happen from time to time. Exercising, running in particular, coming from someone who hated it, needs a large amount of motivation to get up on my feet, put those running shoes on, head to the door and just run. Sometimes, my motivational juice runs out at the end of the day you are scheduled to run. And so, you skip a session. But fortunately, as I mentioned, it rarely happened. Just getting to the door and wearing my running shoes however, is a tough act all by itself. So where do I find  the motivation to actually do it?

I think the more difficult aspect about pulling yourself together to stick to the plan is how well you perform in your running. The mantra of “Just Do It” popularised by Nike works well, especially during the “shoe stage” or the stage where you put on your running shoes. Sometimes, I had zero motivation at all to run, but I know I had to. So I just tell myself, Just Do It. By the time I put on my shoes, it will be too late to back out. And thus, I will have no choice but to head out and go for a run. This worked really well for me. As I said, the most difficult part is actually using the time spend to exercise well. Sure you are out there running, but your performance is crap. You clocked at a terrible timing. Your pacing is off, you don’t care whether your pacing is off. So long as you do it. Sure, I have no motivation on that day. What can I do? At least I did some running right? And I never shortchanged myself and run anything less than 5km. There’s good and bad to this. The good thing is that you actually DID exercise. But I doubt I improve much in terms of stamina, and endurance. I know that every session spent exercising is an opportunity to improve your endurance your stamina, your chance in improving your timing and running speed. But those days, I would be happy to be done with the whole running thing so that I can go back home. Depend on how you look at it, you may see it as someone who really have the discipline to go out and actually run, or the lack thereof, not wanting to improve his performance.

5 months in, and a new milestone

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I hate running. But at the beginning of 2013, in April, I decided to buy a good pair of running shoes and tell myself to just run. Run regularly. Run 5KM every time I go out running. Around 5 months in, I hit an all new milestone. I was quite surprised that I had reached this far. It was tough, keeping a strict schedule to run every other day for 5 months. I definitely miss some sessions, but I go back to being on schedule as soon as possible. 5KM, which equates to around 30 to 40  minutes of running, have done wonders to my body.

My legs, calves and thighs are surprisingly more toned now. They are slimmer, firmer, packing more muscles. I look good wearing shorts. But the most important change I experienced within me was definitely the emotional and psychological benefits that comes with running. I feel more positive. I experience less mood swings. I can control my emotions better, think more rationally. My life feels more positive, more optimistic. I smile and laugh more. Emotionally, I am stronger, more resilient. That is what I have felt, ever since I started running as a routine.

Running. I hate it. But I do it because I know it can bring me a lot of other benefits that you usually don’t realise. Feeling good more often than not. Being stronger in all aspects of your life. The discipline and mental fortitude is strengthened to a large degree.

This is one New Year Resolution that I intend to keep at it. To those reading this and are skeptical on the benefits of running, I urge you to try it out and start planning a routine for it. Buy a decent running shoes, a pair of comfortable, and dry fit tops and running shots. I guarantee in 3 months, you will see yourself in a different light. You don’t have to run like a dog. Start slow if you have never run in years or in your entire life. So long as you keep your heart pumping, breathing deep and hard, get the blood flowing. Soon, you will love the effects of it.  Remember, it’s not about losing weight, or gaining muscles, its more about feeling good in general about yourself. Because it is all that matters.

Running. My new form of escape?

I wrote in a previous post that I recently started taking up running as a hobby. I never liked running, but decided to discipline myself to run at least every other day. Thats about 3 times a week for about half an hour. That is the optimal daily recommended amount of exercise to keep yourself healthy. Two months on and I feel so much better physically, mentally and emotionally.  Continue reading Running. My new form of escape?

Getting fit

I realised that I did not write a New Year’s resolution for 2013. But nonetheless, trying to stay fit and healthy is definitely in everyone’s new year resolutions. I bought a new pair of running shoes, running shorts, and the free Runkeeper app to keep track of my running. I have started to form a habit of running at least 5km every other day and for the past week, I have not let myself down.

Continue reading Getting fit