I Can’t Breathe

Gah! It’s been a couple of weeks now and my cough’s not getting any better and right now I can’t breathe properly as I write this post and I’ve got a verse.

I can’t breathe.
I can’t sleep.
I can’t think.
Not with you. Not with yoooooou.

This haze is killing me in more ways than one and the frustrating part is that I’ve not run since last week Tuesday; which bugs me a lot since I’ve gotta prep for my very first 16.8km run in end August.

Anyways, I’ve got a few remedies that I’m trying now since Western meds are not working. Here are some things you could try if you’re faced with a persistent cough like mine:

Belimbing Juice plus Honey with a Drop of Propolis

  1. Squeeze the juice out of 4 belimbing fruit
  2. Mix in some honey
  3. Top it up with water
  4. Add a drop of propolis for good measure
  5. Chug it all down slowly

That seemed to help me a lot at my buddy’s J-son. I’ve got a stash of belimbing fruit now and will give that a shot over the next few days.

Toasted Orange with Salt

  1. Um… this one is something that my mom recommends altho’ I personally don’t like the taste as much as the belimbing honey combo
  2. Basically what you do is slice the top of an orange
  3. Toast it for a bit in an oven toaster till its brown and you can smell an aroma.
  4. Then you EAT IT with salt as a dip!!!! Mua ha ha ha ha!

I’m also taking some traditional Chinese cough syrup which has been helpful somewhat. I don’t even know the name of the brand but here’s a pic of the packaging.

Traditional Cough Mixture is Nice

Traditional Cough Mixture is Nice

So there you go. Three remedies (including the traditional cough mixture) for the cough in you. Ta da! I think I’m going ke-ra-zee from this cough.

P.S. At the time of writing I was coughing badly but I’m better now. Those remedies must work!

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Breaking the Limit: A Simple HOW-TO

Break Free

Break Free

One of the hardest things about running is breaking barriers. In the short time that I’ve been running there are two things that I constantly strive to break:

  • Distance
  • Speed/time

Distance is the easier of the two to break cos’ once your body is conditioned to the speed you’re running at then it’s a simple matter of just running an extra minute or so as you up your game.

Speed, my friends is a different beast altogether as the moment you up your speed by 1kph the amount of time you can actually run drops dramatically. Taking my own experience as an example; about a month ago, I could comfortably run 4km in 30mins at a speed of 8kph. I just upped my pace to 9kph and now I’m only able to run 2.3km in 15:24 because of the following:

  • I get out of breath sooner
  • My legs ache after awhile
  • I don’t wanna risk my ankle getting busted again (walking around with a limp for 1 week ain’t cool)

A combination of those 3 factors I assume would be the main reason why pacing is the hardest thing to break. Anyways, here are some things that have worked for me in breaking the barriers of distance & speed in my 10 months of running.

  • When you up your pace, dial down the amount of time you spend running. You’ll get out of breath in jiffy. Trust me. So think big but start small.
  • Up the amount of time you run incrementally. I started running at 9kph and covered 1.5km my first time out and that was 2 or 3 weeks ago.
  • Be patient. Patience & diligence is key. Don’t get discouraged. Just keep at it and keep pushing yourself. You’ll get there eventually.

My overall goal is to be able to run at a speed of 10kph for 30mins which would give me a decent distance of 5km once I can hit it. Here’s looking to the future. Oh! And wish me luck as I head out for the Terry Fox Run on November 7th. It’s gonna be my first run ever. Thanks!

Till next time.

Functional Strength

Carrying Them Groceries

Carrying Them Groceries

Functional strength. What is it? I just learnt the term a couple of months ago from a bud in Singapore and I’ve been learning to do simple exercises to help build strength that I can use day to day. Here are a few things you can do daily to build functional strength:

  • Take the stairs instead of an elevator or lift – I’m trying to walk up the 17 flights of steps up to my condo unit. Boy, it’s quite a workout.
  • Park wherever and whenever and just walk.
  • Instead of using a trolley, why not just carry your groceries in your arms.

The whole idea of building functional strength is to keep yourself conditioned physically so you’ll be able to have more energy for day to day living. It’s good stuff. If you think walking up 17 flights of stairs is easy, think again. Ha ha! I’ve been running for the past 10 months and that short walk up still took the wind out of me.

Give it a try!

3 Reasons Why I Run

I Run

I Run

It just hit me that I’ve been running for over half a year and I’m glad that I started on this. Results have been OK so far I guess. As for weight loss, I actually haven’t been weighing myself of late which I’ll probably have to do today when I get back.

But anyways, I’m digressing; here are 5 reasons why I love running:

  1. Number One
    It makes me feel good. Is it the endorphins? Is it the kick? I suppose it’s a combination of these things but what I makes me feel good is that I’m actually doing something about my fitness and in time I do believe it’d effect permanent weight loss.
  2. Number Two
    I get to have some think time on top of my regular time with God.
  3. Number Three
    I feel alive when I run. There’s just something about feeling my lungs burn as I inhale and exhale that makes me feel alive.

Mending A Broken Run (Part 2)

Running, running, running.

Running, running, running.

It’s day 54 today since I started somewhere at the start of the year and it’s been quite a stretch. Like I said in my previous post, the biggest obstacle to overcome in exercising regularly is mental.

Here’s an update on my physical progress. I pushed myself some today and here’s proof that physical exercise is mind over matter cos I managed to run for 10 minutes at 8 kilometres per hour compared to the 6 minutes I did last Monday.

  • 10 mins at 8kph
  • 2 mins at 5kph
  • 1 min 30 secs at 10kph
  • 3 mins 30 secs at 5kph
  • 1 min 30 secs at 10kph
  • 2 mins 30 secs at 5kph
  • 1 min at 8kph

And of course I did my regular 80 push-ups. I’m gonna have to ramp that up pretty soon. 90 push-ups sound really daunting though.

Wish me luck!

3 Facts About Physical Exercise

Give ME 80!!!

Give ME 80!!!

Getting back into exercise again has been difficult. First off, it’s been difficult settling back into a regular routine as I’ve gotten so used to not exercising but one thing I’ve learnt about exercise it’s that it’s all about breaking mental barriers. Here are 3 physical facts that I’m learning first hand right now as I restart my exercise regime after almost 2 months of being out about it regularly:

The biggest obstacle is not your physical state. It’s your mind. My busy little id is very negative in the mornings and keeps telling me “you can’t do it” and “what’s the point?!” Arrgh! That’s probably the biggest thing I have to overcome right now. My mind is my biggest enemy. Frank Herbert was right! Fear IS the mind killer…

The first thing that goes physically is your stamina & lung capacity. Gosh, it’s so much harder now to maintain 30mins at running speeds. I’ve resorted to re-setting my expectations to be able to run consistently at one speed. I was able to run at the following pace:

  • 6mins at 8kph
  • 3mins at 6kph
  • 1min at 10kph
  • 4mins at 6kph
  • 1.5mins at 10kph
  • 4.5mins at 6kph

That’s a huge drop from 2 months ago cos’ I was able to run for 30mins at a consistent 7kph. But the past is the past and right now I have the opportunity to rebuild slowly at a higher running speed of 8kph. My target tomorrow would be 7mins at 8kph.

Ah! The biggest surprise which was the encouraging bit was that my physical strength remained. I’m still able to do 80 push-ups!

Wish me luck as I start this up again! Mind over MATTER! MIND over matter!!! 😛

Fear is the Mind-killer

Fear is the mind-killer.

The Lovely Francesca Annis in 1984's Dune

The Lovely Francesca Annis in 1984's Dune

A classic line from David Lynch’s Dune starring Kyle MacLachlan that also featured a scruffy-looking Sting (surprise, surprise). Fear indeed is a mind-killer but so is doubt and laziness; especially when it comes to exercising and being healthy. These two obstacles were something that I had to overcome when I started exercising and even though it gets easier every day; I still face them every time I wanna get out there to exercise.

Fear and doubt is the mind-killer here cos’ that’s the very first thing I have to overcome before hitting the gym. I face the same thing too  just after I finish my run and am just about to do my push-ups. It’s all in your mind you see. Fear, doubt and laziness are the very first things you need to overcome.

I never thought I’d be able to do it but 3 months of hard work has paid off. Being disciplined to run is really difficult cos’ the first thing you have to overcome is your mind saying “you can’t do it” & laziness! Laziness is the number one killer to regular exercise and Nike’s tagline of just doing it really makes sense here.

Today is my 27th day running in the gym and guess what? I hit my target of being able to run for 3 kilometres non-stop last week on Saturday and in the past 2 runs I’ve done I’ve surpassed my original goal. I’m now doing a 3.6 kilometres and it takes me just about 30 minutes to complete my run at an average speed of 7.2kph. If I can do it so can you. Really!

At the end of the day it’s not about what you intend to do but what you actually do that counts. I leave you with some very wise words.

Just do it!