September 5th, 2010

Terry Fox Run

Starting the countdown

I'll say this really honestly - training for a marathon takes a lot of grit, determination, mental endurance, tenacity and commitment.

I don't want to sugar coat it and say that it is easy. Because, it is not. There are people that get away with minimal or no training either because they are a natural runner or they just land up suffering real bad during the race. I am definitely not the former and since I've committed to doing this, I want to put in my very best effort and see it all the way to the end.

The irony of a race or a marathon in this case, is that even if you had a good training for the 4 months, anything can happen on race day itself so the outcome is never always 100% certain. For 16 week of training in this program, it will be about just under 500 miles clocked in. That is if you complete 100% of the program. I would say that I have done about 70% - work, travel, injuries, laziness etc.

Like I said. It ain't easy so be prepared for what you are getting yourself into. The first marathon will be slightly easier because the main aim should just be to finish so you don't really need to work on speed-work but just clock in sufficient mileage and know what to do during the race itself i.e. hydrate, fuel up, stretch, take your salts and finishing should be doable. Whatever timing that you finish at, it will always be a personal best because that is the first. But once you have done once, it's a lot harder.

Today's run was slow and not according to my target pace. But I figured that I'd rather just try to train for the endurance and complete it instead of forcing it and sustaining injuries. The last 4 miles were the worst. B.T and I run together, but not with each other. We run in reverse loops so that we can see each other and motivate one another along the way. He is way faster than I am so he typically finishes ahead of me by 4miles. I usually catch a glimpse of him happily running back home and sometimes, I half want to give up and just follow but I usually hang in, head down, and run on.

The cramps started to hit (in my right leg) when I had 3 miles left to go. So I spent a good amount of time brisk walking. It wasn't painful, just uncomfortable. I then started to feel hungry but had already chomp through my last gel so I just had to grit my teeth and keep running. And I did. Reached home completed tired out, but feeling accomplished.

B.T says that my mental endurance is definitely more than his. He says that he is really proud of me because I not only keep him motivated when he wants to give up, I continue going even when there's no one left to support me. And I guess that's one thing that I've trained myself hard on. I can run through 20 miles with no music, the same repeat routes over and over again and just get through it. I hope this will keep me through the race even when it gets tough.

My reward at the end of it all? A long warm shower, a facial mask and a glass of cold honey water - which is my current favorite post run beverage. :)

FIVE more weeks to race day. 26.2miles.

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Qunci read


Each time I travel, I will pick up a couple of magazines. However, I never manage to read through the stack before the next pick-up. I still do so each time and flip and read through them whenever I can.

It sounds bimbotic to say this, but I LOVE Vogue magazine (U.S version). It's not all just ads and fashion fluff as it does have good articles inside that are very well-written if I might add. It's no wonder that they say that once you have written for Vogue, you can pretty much write for any other fashion magazine.

In one of the recent issues, my favorite article is the one of Natalie Massenet. I won't go into details of how inspiring she is but I am a huge fan of hers. Let's just say that I'll read any write-up about her. She reminds me of my friend's sister who is a well-known business woman in Singapore but I am too shy to say who she is and that I have admired her LOADS since like when I was 22! And still do, by the way.

I respect many companies in the world not just because they are big MNCs but the history behind each. Of course, the Swoosh is one of them and I'm not being biased but that's one of the reasons why I joined the company. I strongly believed that you can only work well and put in your best if you truly believe in the brand and the product. I have politely declined offers previously not because of the package or so, but because I couldn't believe in the product 100%. There are quite a few on my list that I really respect but I won't list it here because I guess these might be the ones that I potentially would want to work for if and when I decide to change companies.

When it comes to purchasing products and being brand loyal, there are definitely attributing factors that make me become a regular customer. Zappos is a very good example. After the utterly good service that I received, I have been a repeat customer. It's one of my favorite websites to shop at.

I also admire Zappos for their company values and of course, their main goal which is to provide the best service there is to their customers. The call centre is EXCELLENT, they provide a free two way shipping and a 365 days policy refund. How do they keep their staff so motivated? All hired staff undergo a month of training in customer loyalty and have to work at the call centre for at least two weeks, and speak to customers. So whether you are a clerk or a director, you have to go through that. And this is the best part. After a week of training, new employees will be offered USD$3,000 to leave i.e. QUIT, with no strings attached! Sounds bizarre? This ensures that they people that stay, do it because they really love the job and want to. Does this work? Well, about 97% turn down the offer and stay. Companies that treat their employees well result in happy employees which result in happy customers.

A bit of a random post here, but well, as tagged, it's random :P

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