So I survived the testosterone raging Army Half Marathon (AHM) a couple of weeks ago. It was exhausting but fun. I realised that there is something different doing a run predominated by men. The kind of satisfaction that you get from overtaking young Army boys half your age is something you can’t get from the usual runs, especially the all-women’s kind.
It was my 3rd half marathon, 2nd time running with the Army but the 1st time running alone, without my husband. We had agreed that he should try his best instead of running at my pace. He came in with an impressive sub 2 timing while I came in more than half an hour later!
It was nerve wrecking to be running alone and not having my running buddy and water boy with me (aka my husband) and I had to be so lucky that my period came less than 24 hours before the run (now that made me sound like a certain Chinese swimmer). I ended up completing a very ‘bloodied’ run which I shan’t gross you out with the details.
I came in later than my 2xU run in April and my legs started to show signs of fatigue at the last 3 km even though I started splattering on copious amounts of heat rub at the the 16 km mark. The run was definitely more painful than the one in April.
I could console myself that my body wasn’t at its best or that I could have done better with more rigourous training. But the fact is, sticking to a training plan is tough. Having the discipline to follow through a plan, having the determination to push yourself is tough. It’s even tougher if you have been a stay-at-home mom for more than a decade, wearing the lady-of-leisure label proudly.
And we go on to tell our kids about emulating these Paralympian girls’ never-say-die spirit, but the truth is, it’s hard to teach them about grit and perseverance when the most strenuous exercise they see their mom does on a regular basis is carrying groceries bags and brushing the bathroom tiles.
A friend who was set to improve his timing managed to stick to a 10 week running program and shaved off more than 15 minutes during the AHM. I was truly impressed with his focus and determination and I wonder whether I will ever be able to do that.
So far, I have always participated with a ‘run-to-complete’ kind of mentality. Seeing how my friend’s training had paid off has inspired me to do better than just completing a run. I am actually aiming to improve my timing for my next run and trust me, that is a HUGE commitment coming from lady-of-leisure me
As usual, my very supportive husband has his views on how I can achieve my goal. Apart from aerobic exercise such as running and cycling, he suggested some circuit training which could help build on my strength and anaerobic fitness. And that was how we ended up trying out at my brother’s newly minted garage circuit training program at MoveFusion.
Over the weekend, we went over to his warehouse gym and did a morning of jumps, shuttle runs, lifting balls, pull ups, burpees and flipping ginormous tires that weighs more than a hundred kilograms. I nearly died! It was more exhausting than running 21 km! I couldn’t go anywhere after the workout and would have slept the whole day if the kids let me.
The next morning, I woke up with aches and sores all over and it lasted for close to a week. I can’t remember the last time I worked my body that hard and I felt like I grew muscles instantaneously.
The garage circuit training was held at an industrial area in the West and it reminds me of CrossFit in the States where they have their workout at big warehouses. Instead of your usual indoor, fully air-conditioned gym, the training was held outdoor on raw bitumen roads. There were no mirrors or nicely shampooed carpet, instead we were surrounded by wooden planks, concrete slabs and occasional foreign workers spectators. It was a no frills workout place where you get dirty and sweaty, the real serious stuff and I kind of like it that way!
As much as I enjoy the solitude of exercising alone, a group class like that actually motivates me in a different way. I was inspired by other girls in the class who don’t look any bigger than me but were much stronger.
Most of them were mothers who looked very fit and trim despite having to juggle family, kids and work. It was such a relief that the trainers cater for people like me who are new to the workout. I actually completed the circuit at my own pace, using lighter weights and pull up bands with higher resistance which were easier.
So if I am really serious about improving my fitness and timing for my next run, I think simply add the garage circuit training once a week to my regular running and cycling would help me achieve my goal. The challenge now is to take the plunge and make the commitment!
If you are interested to find out more about the garage circuit training at MoveFusion, they will be having their first pop up mini garage circuit in an urban setting this Sunday, 18 September. It will be an urban garage circuit and they will be conducting high intensity interval training priced at $20 per participants and all proceeds will go to Edwin Chen’s medical treatment.
There will also be a 3 minute Plank challenge and whoever completes the challenge will walk away with their tastefully designed t-shirt and a free trial lesson at their Sungei Kadut warehouse gym. Hop over to their Facebook page for more details and book a lesson with them directly!
Here’s a list of other Moms and Dads who also workout, be inspired by their stories!
Angelia’s 10 weeks to my GE maiden run
Ai’s Wendler’s 5/3/1 to reach strength target operations
Christy’s Mizuno’s Ekiden 2016
Susan’s I survived my first 10km run
Madeline’s My 2.5 years postpartum weight loss report
Lynn’s Shape run 2016
Meiling’s My first 21km finisher as a racy Mama
Andy’s 2016 Sundown Marathon
Nick Pan’s 5km x 30 days
Jenn’s 6 tips on how to survive through Kayla Itsines’ Bikini Body Guide (BBG)