Road to HCMC, Week 4: Hitting Marks

It’s only two weeks until the Ho Chi Minh City Run and I’m going to have to cram and wing it, no thanks to being sick and weak for most of December.

Here’s the funny thing. Ever felt weak and then after you finish a training session feel on top of the world? I’ve been avoiding the tough sessions because I was afraid they’d make me feel awful, but since it’s the new year I decided just to go for it.

I did my first speed work run session on Monday (10 sets of 400 meters on the treadmill with a floating 200-meter walk recovery) and I wasn’t any worse for it afterwards. I have however been alternating hard and easy exercise days. I’m starting to rediscover motivation as well, probably because I enjoy giving things my best effort.

I’ve also joined MaccaX‘s MX60 new year members’ challenge, putting a sub-30 minute 5K as my goal to hit over the next 60 days of the year. I’ve got one of my friends from MaccaX keeping me accountable for this by checking in with me whether I’m doing the run work needed. I’ve always taken my 5K times for granted, but I’ve been running exclusively at 6 minutes per kilometer or slower for a few months now and I need to build up my tolerance for intensity.

The only thing that stands in the way of us reaching our goals, I’ve discovered, is ourselves. I’ve been sabotaging myself by spending time on trivial matters like video games up until the wee hours of the morning, or eating junk that does nothing but contribute to the spare tire ballooning around my middle. Nobody’s holding me at gunpoint to do these things; it’s just comfortable and enjoyable and easy. Ever hear of The Blerch, from the Oatmeal comics about running?

The Blerch, from The Oatmeal

Well, despite everyone thinking I’m such a healthy person because I’m a runner… I am my own Blerch. But it’s time to start holding myself up to higher standards. I know they’re challenging, but when I hit those marks, the triumph over my Blerch self is sweet and fulfilling.

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