It’s been months since my last post. I had just passed the NYC marathon finish line for a second time and decided that it was time take a long break from long distance running. Actually, I was mostly convinced by the nasty shin splint on my right leg and plantar fasciitis on my left heel after the marathon. The “Path to the Marathon” finally came to an end. 4 years worth of race bibs, medals, photos, and memories; reminders of what it feels like to accomplish something major that requires hard work and dedication, and most of all, is completely optional.
The struggle was real as they say. But what happens after you reach your goals? What happens when a marathoner stops running? A new goal perhaps? 2015, a new year, a new goal, a new challenge. Because that is what life is.
I’ve always been a slim dude. Being a martial artist and a runner made sense for my body type. As a 155 pound runner, going to the gym and lifting weights never crossed my mind once. But what if I was more muscular? What would it take? Is it even possible for my body type? Running a marathon never crossed my mind until I started running. The combination of a curious mind and a strong ambition to better oneself led me to the next life goal; to get jacked!
From Running to Lifting
As with any major challenge, it all starts with research and is maintained with effort and consistency. This runner body of mine had to make a 180 degree change. The carbo-loading swapped with protein shakes, and the running sneakers swapped with adjustable weight dumbbells, bench, and pull-up bar. Those moderate neighborhood run sessions turned into intense lifting sessions. It’s been 8 months since the change, and I’m over 170 pounds. Definitely not a pure 15-20 pound muscle mass gain; I’m still in the bulking phase so yea, a little fat gain too. It actually requires the same level of dedication as marathon training, perhaps more since muscle growth is not as fast as one would hope; years most likely. Although it’s not as exiting as running a race, if feels great when you increase the weight by 5 pounds after several weeks at a plateau; you know you’re getting stronger. It’s also a good sign when somebody you haven’t seen in months notices that you look different, like you’ve been lifting weights or something. Nobody ever notices that you shaved off a few minutes of your marathon time; it doesn’t show. Instead of earning medals, you earn curves.
It’ll definitely take more than a year to reach a milestone based on what I started with and what I’m aiming for. And the running hasn’t been completely thrown away. The cardio is necessary. So twice a week, I’ll run 2-3 miles, but always at race speed to get that high intensity requirement. I must say, running is harder than it ever was with the extra weight gain.
Updates since January
Aside from lifting stuff, I won the lottery, became a Jedi, served as king of Westeros for a bit, and my painting was put into the Louvre:
Just kidding. As the winter became summer, there were some highlights:
– The Caribbean once again; El Morro (PR), Trunk bay (St. John), need to work on rock climbing, Nevis (St. Kitts), Maho beach (St. Maarten), waterfall/jungle (Dominica), and snorkeling (Barbados) but sadly, the 5 year waterproof camera lost its waterproofness.
– After a good ol NYC blizzard, I attempted to make a snowman but only the head survived:
– Performed a spear demonstration at the Chinese New Year [Year of the Sheep]:
– Went on a 6 hour road trip to northern New Hampshire and made an attempt at the Mt. Washington summit a.k.a. “Home to the World’s Worst Weather”. Even though it was late March, we still had temps below 20F and a snowstorm as we ascended. We got close to the peak, but mother nature won this round (rematch planned for October 2015):
And after 6 months of not running races or any distance greater than 2 miles at a time, I actually ran a 5K race (JP Morgan Chase Corporate Challenge) with fellow colleagues in Central Park. It felt so much better than the last time I was running a race in Central Park at mile 25.
Stay tuned as I try to keep up with a bucket list that never stops growing, such as a big Europe trip…