crosstraining my way out of a running slump
March 30, 2009, 4:56 am
Filed under: Running | Tags: ,

Since I have reverted back to my night owl nature in the past two months, 6 a.m. runs have been less than appealing, and consequently not happening. I have definitely entered the running slump zone.

Nonetheless, I have been (trying) keeping active during these no-running weeks with a few hikes. Today’s hike was more of a stair climb. More than 1000 “steps” up the 648 foot Koko Head. The steps are actually remnants of derelict railway ties once used by the military to transport supplies up to the summit bunker.

It’s a popular hike among locals, but it was only my first try today. My awareness of the trail was only raised by a recent stabbing at the location last month. And now that I’ve climbed it, I realize there was no place for the victims to escape from the lunatic.


Between trying to get the weather to cooperate and waiting for friends (who forbade me to walk solo) to go with, it was three weeks before I took my virgin steps on this trail. Finally, Jacks, who has done this climb once before, indulged me on this nice Sunday afternoon.


Once started, there was no stopping because the trail does not plateau until the summit. Some steps were much too wide for my 5’2″ stature, and I had to take big lunges. About half a mile up the trail are these views, but just wait because it gets better.


Suddenly and with no forewarning, a strip of about 50 yards of the railway ties made my legs shake as I stood there frozen.


In retrospect, even if I have fallen through the rails, it would probably have been no more than a 15-20 feet fall, but my acrophobia made it seem bottomless. With several deep, apprehensive breaths, I was determined to conquer my fear factor.


Hey, I didn’t say how I was going to conquer it.

The rest of the trail is back to normal. I trod along with consistent momentum. The last twenty steps were, admittedly, tough. But, finally, I arrived.


The reward was certainly worth the sweat.



After a few more photo ops, there’s only one way to get home…here we go again.


The best part of it is that it was enough hill work for two weeks!


Updates of the last month

On a more uplifting note, there have been lots of new additions and creations in the last month and a half.

6@6 Club has inducted a new runner since February. Jerry, who is in the US Army Reserve, has started running with us regularly since January to train for his physical exam, for which he needs to meet an 8-something minute mile pace. His exam has been postponed once and again, and he’s still with us, so now he’s a member of the 6@6 Club. He may not know that yet. Go, Jerry, go! (Photo of Jerry to be taken and posted later.)

I finally have a GPS watch! I have been wanting one since July of last year, and for good reasons! (See post gadgets, gadgets, gadgets) Yet with my current running slump, I still have yet to try it out! Instead of the Garmin Forerunner 405, which I had hoped for back then, I got the 305, which actually has better reviews for a fraction of the price.

cf-lgAlmost every runner has one of these. I know I am way behind in the gadget wave, but nonetheless very proud of my ownership.

As for new creations, I have invented many new dishes, with some better than others. I have also collaborated with fellow food-loving friends in trying out exciting recipes. Here are a few highlights.

img_0014My version of a risotto primavera with carrots, mushrooms, asparagus, and haricot verts.

img_0002Smoked shrimp with veggies and sun dried tomatoes pasta garnished with goat cheese

img_0008 img_0011 img_0002_3 img_00141 img_0019 img_0021

A GREAT and highly recommended Lasagna all’Emiliana recipe my friend found on the Food Network site. We made our own lasagna pasta from scratch, and it was worth the work (more fun than work, really). The veal ragu took nearly four hours to simmer, and it is layered with a bechamel sauce and parmesan cheese. It is a must try. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

It has been a pretty good month, I’d say!

March 24, 2009, 7:53 am
Filed under: Life

I can’t recall the last time I felt disappointed, until this past week. It tells me that I must possess a very decent coping mechanism. Having the ability to cope, however, does not mean that disappointments do not hurt. There are many peaks and troughs in life, and there are certainly times when I feel like there are many more troughs than peaks, or at least in succession, like right now.

My running, or lack thereof, has been a disappointment lately. Timing of opportunities has been disappointing. People I believed to be genuine with me turned out to be much less than sincere.

Perhaps expectations are to blame–if there are no expectations of accomplishments, of chances, of others, there will be no let downs. Then when things happen, I would be pleasantly surprised. Sounds very buddhist-esque and zen. Except I am no buddhist.

I will be fine, just need my very decent coping mechanism to kick in.


March 13, 2009, 8:24 am
Filed under: Life

There’s something to be said about expectations. The forecast predicted heavy downpours and thunderstorms starting today and through the weekend, I woke up expecting dark, dreary skies as it has been the frequent scene for the past month.

I opened my eyes promptly at 7:45 a.m. this morning to warm rays that rallied my sleepy bedroom. Within minutes of my languid brain registering this unanticipated sight, I rushed out of bed to get ready. Ready to be outdoor. This day I only had to work until 12p.m. (it’s great to be freelancing), so I packed up my running gear, beach necessities, and hopped on my moped to work–after a perky cup of coffee, of course.

I could not wait for work to be over. I kept staring out the window, at the velvety smooth blue sky with not a cloud in sight. As soon as work was done, I laced up and started up the hill for a 4.2 mile loop. It was my first run in almost three weeks. As unfit as I am, I felt an incredible surge of energy running up the hill. I am, admittedly, easily affected by weather (I am working on willfully improving that). Dreary, rainy days make me lethargic; crisp, sunny skies invigorates me. This day followed that formula.

The ease with which I ran up that seemingly unyielding hill today made me wonder if it was all psychological. Maybe it was the surprisingly gorgeous day which contradicted all expectations that injected the needed dose of strength and stamina to live up to this day because tomorrow will not look the same.

Life should be lived the same way, I suppose. If I can always live today anticipating tomorrow to emerge differently, I will perhaps always have the grit and vigor to live up to life.


March 9, 2009, 7:07 am
Filed under: Life

The whirlwind opera season is over. Although I was only in one production this season, it has, surprisingly, usurped so much of my energy that it’s taking me another week to recuperate. I have much to report: a new member in our running group, a new running gadget I have yet to try out, various thoughts running in my head to be typed out. Only give me a few more days.