Back to Basics

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Last Thursday I rushed to BGC to attend the Milo Apex Running school/clinic for the first time. In the past, I have attended the Nike and Mizuno running clinics and didn't pay a single cent. For this Milo clinic, I actually paid Php2,000 for 3 months of 3x a week training sessions. It took me about 15 minutes of thinking before I shelled out the cash. The money is significant but I could easily afford it; I have spent more on flimsy things. The thing that clinched the deal was the thought I would be forced to train and run more consistently.
The person manning the Milo Apex registration then was someone I knew to be either a running contemporary or someone who started later than me. The guy now leads a group in the multi-location Apex centers. Way to go! He told me I should join the 42km group, having done marathons, an ultramarathon and even half-ironman. I appreciated the gesture, but I told my friend:  my current fitness is good only for the half-marathon group. Back to basics for this overworked, overstressed athlete. The person leading the 21-group turned out to be a former runner from Adination BHS group headed by my Endure teammates/running contemporaries. I told myself:  there is no seniority here in age nor experience. I start at the level where I should start.
I started the APEX school reminded of my current inflexibility, lack of balance and inability to do sustained runs. I ran-walked two loops of BHS with a bunch of kiddos and their dad. Their 5K group head is also a friend, who good-naturedly egged me to ran along with them, which I did in parts.

I remember my early attempts to lose weight after that shocking discovery that I was pre-hypertensive and cholesterol-laden. I was so scared and my overly imaginative mind played out not-so-good scenarios that I ended up spinning or walking at no-more-than 110 beats per minutes. That was either in December. Slowly, I hiked the intensity to a maximum of 135 bpm. Two years ago I typically do 10Ks or 21ks at 155bpm. On the spinning machine, I started with level 1 difficulty, stayed for long at level 3, and recently moved up to levels 5-7.  I used to do up to level 15 on that 25-level machine.

I have been swimming regularly, but usually the dips have been more of leisurely swims. I tried to focus on form even if done at at sea cow's pace. Yesterday was the first time I attempted to do timed 50-m swim intervals at elevated heart-rate levels. I figured my heart can probably take those a-little-over-a-minute bursts. I rested long in between attempts.

Yesterday morning was also my first attempt in months to actually ride a bike outdoors. There are times that I get dizzy by sudden spikes in my blood pressure that I was scared to ride a bike or any contraption that requires balance. I rode my hybrid mtb in the flatter regions of Nuvali and actually enjoyed it. Initially I was reluctant to climb up that circular intersection loop fearing that my vessels will burst, but my feel-good mood in the bike encouraged me to do a calculated try. It is easier to climb hills on MTB anyway and I can always use the granny gear when things get desperate. I managed to ride up that loop using the middle crank and steadily climbed half-way towards the Canlubang Golf and Country Club.

These slow starts are humbling, but I am used to lonely efforts at the end of the line. I know too that the slow - with patience and wisdom - ultimately get better and bounce back. Bounce back. I love the ring to that.


jetpaiso May 5, 2013 at 9:43 PM  

slowly but surely bro. we'll get there! we'll back in shape in no time. cheers!

Rico Villanueva May 5, 2013 at 9:54 PM  

Thanks Jet. I hope to be fit enough to join you guys in your half-ironman training.

daytripper1021 May 13, 2013 at 6:17 PM  

I guess the important thing is not to give up on the program and keep a go at it, one day at a time.

all the best Rico!


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