"You think you're strong with all that running, ah? Try sanding the deck, you punk!" I joked with myself as I sand my deck for 4 hours straight today.
Squatting, lunging, kneeling down to put pressure, my muscles were feeling the burn.
No surprise, I am now with more soreness than I did after completing a 100km run! And I reckon I have another 12 hours of sanding ahead of me.
But hey, why not turn this into an opportunity to work on my core strength and grow stronger glutes?
Recently, a friend completed his first 100km race and shared that during the event, he was in a tough spot and could only push through with the words of encouragement from his wife.
I am sure this has happened to all of us, whether we hear these words from our spouses, kids, friends, supporters, or coaches, in real life or as passing thoughts.
If it never happened to you, maybe you have not pushed hard enough yet!
As for me, during very long runs, it feels as though my heart opens up. It may be due to the fatigue, the effort, the isolation, the place I am running, the different sense of perspective, or simply the removal of layers of complexity when all I try to do is take the next step and keep moving forward.
During these runs, I am often overwhelmed to the point of crying, by a sense of deep love and connection for my wife Lidia and my kids, close family members and friends, as well as great sadness from memories of my mom during her cancer. I run on the edge of those two extremes, as if I am on the ridge of a mountain.
And that's okay; I even look forward to these intimate moments.
It's an opportunity to explore emotions that I don't often let surface.
It's liberating and empowering.
This photo perfectly captures my highlight moment from last weekend Noosa Ultra Trail.
As I watch my kids running, I see happiness in their eyes that is truly contagious.
There's something magical about the way they run with such joy and abandon, it fills my heart.
I think part of the reason for their joy is that they don't run for the sake of exercise or competition, but simply because it's fun.
They run down the street with their friends, they run to catch a ball, they run from house to house, they run to explore the world around them.
Watching kids run also reminds me of the innocence of childhood.
They haven't yet fallen into the self-consciousness trap or worry too much about what others think of them.
They run without inhibition or fear, simply enjoying the freedom of movement and the thrill of speed.
But perhaps the biggest reason for their happiness is that running is an expression of their innate vitality and energy.
Kids are full of life, and running is a way for them to release that energy and feel fully alive.
As I watch them, I can't help but be inspired.
It's a reminder that life is meant to be lived fully, with joy and passion.
Let your eyes shine with happiness and your feet carry you to new adventures.
I arrived home from the school run and found my new Coros Pace 2 watch waiting for me. I had been getting anxious as the replacement was delayed because my previous watch was a limited edition, and it took a little longer to figure out what to do. Nevertheless, I must say that the Coros customer support was great, and despite being a week without a watch, Coros remains my GPS of choice.
In fact, I was trying to figure out how many sports watches I have owned over time and how long they have lasted. Here's my list:
Considering that I run an average of 5,000km a year and wear and use the watch 24/7, perhaps two years is not a bad result. What are your thoughts?
I strongly believe in gentle running in the days following a race as it benefits both the mind and body.
There's no set plan or schedule, just the enjoyment of the gradual recovery process.
As time passes, my stride will naturally open up, stiffness will dissipate, and the desire to increase my effort will return.
During today's run/jog, I found myself smiling despite the stiffness and slight pain in different muscles.
It's a testament to the fact that I worked harder than all the fitness gained during weeks and months of dedicated training.
And that's gives me a great sense of achievement; I pushed myself over a previous limit, beyond my comfort zone.