Determination #motivationmonday

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A simple spring roll; filled with the perfect ratio of spiced tender meat and square cut potatoes. Delicately wrapped in a fine layer of pastry and covered in an egg paste before it’s coated in scrumptious breadcrumbs. Carefully dipped in hot oil and fried until golden brown. A crispy outer layer contained in a soft spicy filling. Love at first bite.

Are you drooling yet?

This is a mutton roll. It’s simply not food, it’s poetry.

As many great things in life, this heavenly piece of creation has it’s consequences. Calories. It is not only filled with a delicious pâte, it is packed with calories and all kinds of mean things that do no good to the body. 

It takes a sheer amount of determination to say no to such a thing and the heart breaks a little every time.

‘Bad’ calories can be detrimental, especially if consumed during training. Fitness doesn’t only happen in the gym, the majority happens in the kitchen. Just like they say, you are what you eat.

The mutton roll is the metaphor for the daily battle we go through to resist temptation that may hinder the end result if we give into it; and the battle of determination we face when getting out of bed on a cold morning. And maybe getting ourselves to the gym or fitting that workout in. Stopping ourselves from taking a bite out of that creamy cheesecake or that bar of chocolate.

Luckily for me, I am mostly in control of my schedules and more importantly what I put in my body, it is one of the ‘perks’ of living on my own. However, when my mum visits, the menu changes quite a bit. Lately it’s been quite calory intensive, delicious food of course, but it does come at a cost. Something I have to massively pay for if I don’t keep myself in control.

Coming home to a steaming briyani after a militant gym session is not really ideal for the avid fitness freak. Especially when training for a marathon. One needs a massive amount of determination off track as well as on track when partaking in such an intensive physical activity.

Conversely, there is always a time to take a step back a little and enjoy life a bit and the essence of glourious food. I do have my days when all I do it eat and watch a marathon of movies. A marathon which I quite enjoy actually. Downtime is always nice. 

I had to limit my mutton roll intake in the last few years; ever since I’ve started to get into competitive sport, and this year, it’s more intensive than ever. My mental strength will grow even stronger by the end of this part of the journey.

The struggle is real. Just remember, one mutton roll doesn’t make you fat; and one workout doesn’t make you fit. Find your balance. 

2017un

2016 has been no short of immense in terms of racing, having done 3 Marathons, 2 of which were major ones and a bunch of halves. As running continues to change my life, I will be going further and doing more next year. I’m going to calm down on Marathons and just keep it down to two, one in spring and one in fall. Doing better quality races instead of quantity.

I’ve also decided to introduce myself to two new categories of races, the Spartan Race, which is an intense obstacle course; and the London Duathlon, a combination of cycling and running. Let’s hope that I can make it through this challenge for next year. #wishmeluck

  • Worthing Half Marathon FEBRUARY 12. 
  • Thorpe Park Half Marathon FEBRUARY 26.
  • Silverstone Half Marathon MARCH. 12 
  • Greater Manchester Marathon APRIL.2 
  • Hackney Half Marathon APRIL. 30 
  • Spartan Sprint Race MAY. 21 
  • London 10000 MAY. 29
  • London Half Duathlon SEPTEMBER. 17 
  • Surrey Hills Half SEPTEMBER. 24
  • Chicago Marathon OCTOBER. 8 
  • Swiss City Half Marathon OCTOBER. 29 

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Berlin by Bike

I primarily went to Berlin for the marathon, my second major marathon and third international race.

This time last year, running an international race was way out of my comfort zone; after Amsterdam and Paris, this has now evolved into my comfort zone, my new normal. So I just jumped on the plane, didn’t have a place to stay, had no itinerary, just figuring things out and making stuff up as I went along. The pure essence of spontaneity.

I’ve kind of warmed up to solo travel now. I’ve made a good number of friends, speak to a lot of interesting looking strangers (especially backpackers, they always have good stories to tell) and just get involved in random activities, doing whatever the heart desires. Keeping an open mind.

I ended up staying in a hostel (for the first time ever), I was always skeptical living in a shared dorm room but it actually turned out to be fun. I’ve met an array of characters from all around the world, old, young, solos, groups, nomads and many people who came to Berlin for the marathon too.

Berlin as a city was quite awesome, even though it is the capital of Germany it was relatively small and can be easily explored by bike. For the few days I was there I was able to explore most of the city, meet a couple of friends, ate some good food and of course run the marathon. Berlin, I will be returning.

Enjoy the gallery!

Internal Demons #VLM

Completed the Virgin London Marathon yesterday. Home turf. One of the World Majors and on the same year the millionth finisher crossed the line. What a treat and a privilege to be a piece in the making of history.  Also “smashed” my PR (personal record) I’m still overwhelmed by the feeling and experience in the last 24 hours.

I’m going to be discussing more about the change in my mindset rather than the race day experience. That being said, London Marathon was one my of my best running experiences thus far, the support from the crowd was second to none, the course was amazing and I was more prepared for this race more than ever. If you’re thinking about applying next year, just do it. Don’t think twice, you will not regret it!

I think this is a good time for reflection of how far I’ve come since I ran my first race back in late-2014. 4 marathons and 5 half-marathons later; an accumulated distance of nearly 275kms. 275kms of being out of my comfort zone. Ironically this is becoming my comfort-zone now. The journey I’ve been through has been revolutionary for me. Finding and discovering many different traits about myself.

“The only person stopping you is you”.

Internal demons are those negative dark disgusting thoughts that create self-doubt, overthinking, over-analysing; everything that brings you down in life, sometimes very very low.

This journey has allowed my to ‘let go’ and to ‘kill off’ some of them and bury them within me. Sounds brutal but I did warn that this article wasn’t for the light-hearted.

Marathon running is more of an emotional sport than a physical one. If you’re a runner, I’m sure you’ll be nodding with agreement. I learned so much about perspective, relativity, dissociation etc (let’s save that for the next running article).

Marathon has become a metaphor for life, everything experience and conquered can be applied to life. The same emotions than allow us to run a successful marathon will enable us to lead a successful life. Running is not my life but it is definitely part of my life. I hope I can continue to say that for many years to come.

Different people have different approaches to removing theses internal demons. Some may dance, sing, travel etc. The common thing between these are that they are all an art-form, as is running. If you’ve been reading my running blogs for a while. I’ve always said that they are more an exercise for the mind than the body, and it is evident from the somewhat-awesome effects it’s having on my life.

I may look the same from the outside but the Internal structure has been reshaped and enhanced.

Stronger than yesterday and still continue to move upwards and onwards. Here’s to a stronger tomorrow.

I made a minute documentary or my Paris and London Marathon experience. Feel free to watch if you have a few minutes to spare.

Superawesome Marathon Film

2016 in Races

I have really exceeded my potential in 2015, with five races, two of them being marathons, one abroad too. I’ve been trying to thread running into my life, into my daily/weekly routine and make it part of my lifestyle.

In 2016 I hope to “rip apart” the following courses:

  • January 31: London Winter 10K run
  • February 14: Worthing Half Marathon [possible]
  • March 13: Silverstone Half Marathon :D
  • March 26: Regent’s Park Run
  • April 3: Paris Marathon :D
  • April 24: Virgin London Marathon
  • August 21: Isle of Wight Half Marathon [possible]
  • September 11: Great North Run
  • September 25: Berlin Marathon

People often ask me, why do you do this? what’s the point of this? There is no straightforward answer, but to put it simply it makes my normal seem awesome. It helps me balance life, not be afraid to fail, just to say f*ck it and go for things; and of course stay fit and motivated.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily” – Zig Ziglar

It helped me get rid of several internal demons, but lets save that part of a separate blog post.

These are the bunch of medals that I’ve achieved so far. One from 2014 and the rest from 2015.

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It’s been somewhat of a slow journey but I’ve reached a total of 1000 km on nike+ [username: jonnyk3 if you’d like to add me]. Let’s go for another 1000 km.

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Oxford Half Marathon

I spontaneously applied for this Half Marathon just a month ago. I have the Amsterdam Marathon next week and I thought this was a good way to ‘prepare’ for that race. Quite ironic because I wasn’t completely prepared for this race. When I ran my first half marathon [Royal Parks Half] exactly a year ago, I spent a lot of time and effort making sure I can run that. Maybe I’m a little more confident or maybe even overconfident,

So as usual, woke up early in the morning, fuelled up on a smoothie, fuelled up the car, then made my drive to Oxford. This was actually the second time I’ve visited Oxford and after many years; it’s a shame because I only live about an hour away. Oxford is a place full of hidden gems and I will definitely go back to explore it in full glory.

I was accompanied by my older sister; so naturally she did the photo/video coverage and sometimes holding my gear too. Anyway, back on topic; the course is wonderful, mostly flat all the way through so definitely PR territory for anyone who wants to improve their half marathon time. Although for my I didn’t beat my best half marathon time and ended up getting a 2:34. Mostly due to lack of preparation and I didn’t push myself and face injured before the Amsterdam Marathon next week.

Enjoy the picos and props to vitality for sending me a complimentary pic moments before crossing the finishing line.

 

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If you are inspired or feel the good vibe after reading this post, feel free to donate to the Charity (World Child Cancer) I ran for: https://www.justgiving.com/supportjonnyk

I may have “accidentally” gone and applied for the Paris Marathon prior to writing this blog post. (Oops) [and maybe the London Marathon too (double oops), both scheduled for April 2016]. Let me explain all the emotions and thoughts I went through before I clicked that apply button.

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A number of weeks ago, I accomplished something that wasn’t even on my bucket-list (I had one a long time ago). The prime reason that it was non-existent on that list was that I was sure that I couldn’t do it. Even the the trivial thought of attempting it was insane!

Marathon running probably exists on most people’s bucket lists and some are actually working towards conquering it with the intention of ticking that box; and there is nothing wrong with that. As much as it is an elite success; that particular approach seems a bit unfitting for this fitness ambition (from my perspective anyway).

One would imagine that a marathon is just twice the difficulty of half marathon hence would take twice the amount of time to complete the circuit. I mean why wouldn’t they, it sounds very logical. That is a misconception that I fell into, it is exponentially difficult relative to any distance below it. I only understood it after passing the halfway point, that’s when I felt the first major resistance against my body. Then each mile began to be seconds then minutes slower than the previous one. Since I learnt the power of keeping a strong mind, I kept reassuring myself and continuously ignored all pain and keep moving. 

Eventually I hit a wall around mile 18, it felt like my hamstrings had a mind of their own, I couldn’t run or even walk. I had to make a long stop to have a good long stretch; I had a nice chat with one of the supporters who was sitting on the bus stop. She gave me some words of motivational reassurance; continued moving for another half a mile, the pain was so intense that I had to get some medical attention. Rested for a few minutes and got a massage, really relaxed my muscles. Then kept running and walking the rest of the race. The last 200m were the most challenging; it may seem very small relative to the overall distance; but the excitement of coming to the end was quite overwhelming and running the full length without stopping even though I really really wanted to (because stopping with just that amount of distance remaining is just disgraceful to me). 

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I wrote this well over a year ago; and even then I didn’t believe that I could conquer such a vast distance; mainly because my journey to running a marathon was quite unorthodox. It was just a very minute dream at the time. Putting it simply, it just goes to show that with persistance and perseverance, anything can be achieved. Have a dream, and make sure that every succeeding movement is something that goes into fulfilling that dream. Don’t let time become a limiting factor, use that time to work towards those dreams and aspirations. The impossible will become possible; and that feeling is awesome beyond belief.

Running is not only a physical and an independent activity; it affects other areas of life. It taught me persistance, endurance, self-belief and self-confidence. And you kind of become your own individualistic, you will learn to make decisions based on your own capacity rather than what believe about you.

I love this feeling, I love this lifestyle and I love achieving things with time; but most importantly it gives me a reason to keep training.

There are a lot of things I want to conquer in life, many of them way below the effort, physical and emotional determination of a Marathon. Now that I’ve done this, the new benchmark is set quite highly, I believe that I can now accomplish those things with a little bit of hard work and some faith.

I just wish I had started running much earlier in life, I would’ve gone much further than today.

Better later than never. 

Props to my wonderful sister to capturing the day very epically.