At the fork of the road…

Last week, my training has gone up and down. Looking back, I missed my bike drills and need to hit the pool more often. Yesterday, I had a chat with my sis and we discuss about my training and my career.

Basically it came down to this…I only have time and effort to focus on one thing.

Either my work career or my “tri” career (if u can call it that).
Could I have done both at the same time? Probably. But what is one thing I want to do if I can do it everyday for the rest of my life? (in another words, what is my purpose..what is God created me to do).

The answer became very clear.

Looking back the month of Feb, I haven’t really push myself into making the transition. I haven’t find a job that just pay the bills so I can focus on my training.

I told my sis that if I want to become a coach in the future, I have to start training now. I need to do it myself before I can help others along the way. That just make sense to me. Besides training and racing is fun anyways ;). She was very supportive. We set a date to go back to Hong Kong next year and visit relatives.

My future is a blur. I have no idea where I will end up with. But I know I will be landing into doing something that has to do with endurance sports. Be it racing, coaching, or in the industry (more business sided). For now there is only one focus…train train train…IMUSA 2007. Everytime I feel discourage during my run, swim or bike, I remind myself the struggles I will face in Lake Placid. Either I pay up front right now with my training, or I pay later in LP.

It was chilly outside (about 0* F) but I didn’t care. The mp3 player died 15 min into the run but I didn’t care. I had 6 hours of sleep but I didn’t care. I just want to go out and do my run. Climb those hills and become stronger. I focused on my form. Making sure I am running tall. It felt great. It felt exceptionally great when I know my sis is supportive.

I selected a valley to do my hill training. From one end to another is about 500 m. I ran 5 laps. That’s about 5 km. I have no idea the grade level. One side of the valley is steeper than the other side. I focus on my HR and my form. My HR ranged from 150-170.

Not too bad. The left knee was feeling uncomfortable at the tend. My left ankle didn’t have that lagging pain from Wed’s long run. I also notice in the past few days, my left hamstring was a bit sore. Could the hamstring soreness has to do with my left knee and left ankle problem? Today is much better. I ain’t doing any running by Wed. It should be fine by then.

This morning woke up early and hit the pool. Spent the first 20-30 min doing leg drills and IT drills. Spent the rest of the time doing 250 with 1 min rest. I did 4 sets before I call it a day. I enjoy swimming in the morning better. There are less people to contend the lanes with.

Will be doing some weights and yoga tonight.


  • Stick with it. All of us feel like we don’t have time to fit it all in sometimes. Everything important usually gets done, sometimes just not as fast as we would like. With your dedication, I am sure you will be fine.

  • You hit it right on the button, I’m in the same boat as yourself, only difference is you have people who support you. My family thinks I’m nuts for doing what I do and think that it’s a big waste of money and time. Heck, I’ve even seriously thought about quitting the whole IT gig and go back to school for sports phsycology or something. It all comes down to one thing…”It’s easier said then done” Sure, all I wanna do is train train train, but has that been happening? Sure for a few days then life catches back up with me again. Hopefully you’ll have better luck then I have.

    Also, I was told a very good piece of advice from a runner that I know, “Every problem comes from a source.” If you had hamstring problems then you are most likely straining your knee and ankle by trying to compensate for your hamstring which is BAD!! Stretch that thing out, wait for it to heal up, then get back to the running, but the one thing worst than one injury is to have multiple injuries.

  • Cliff,

    It’s definitely tough balancing things. I’m working like a dog in lab and also my training volume is high (for me). I feel like I’m being pulled in two different directions all the time.

    But, being our best and reaching our potential isn’t easy and it is a tough way to live. Sacrifice and discipline and really the bedrock of achieving your goals.

    Keep up the good work you’ll be a machine by IMLP.

  • Glad you have more clarity Cliff. I hope you stay strong and motivated in through March. This is the toughest time to stick with it.

    Once the warmer weather comes, motivation is easy.

  • you are definitely inspiring! i dont do a tenth of what you do and have trouble fitting it all in!

    way to go Cliff, seriously 🙂

  • It is great that you are able to say that your goals focus on endurance sports and you know that you need to work at it in order to benefit others in the future. You seem to be taking the steps that you need to and fighting through with your training, which has inspired many already.

  • Cliffie,

    Man, I tried running today using mostly the balls of the feet instead of the ball, heel style. It makes alot of difference, less stress on the ankles. But use more calf muscles. Give it a try…

  • When you focus, you definitley focus!

    Whatever you choose to do, make sure you enjoy it and do it to the best of your abilities. Can’t ask for more than that!

  • With your focus, I’m sure your goals will definitely fall into place. Not sure I could get myself out the door to run in those temps- strong!

  • It’s hard but if you listen carefully, the voice of God will take you down the right path. Just trust in Him.

    Or if you listen to Led Zepplin: “Yes there are two paths you can go by but in the long run there’s still time to change the road you’re on.”

    Wish I could go back to Hong Kong soon too.

    Hope the legs feel better.

  • Hi..
    I am a cyclist and massage therapist.

    Try AIS (active isolated stretching for your hamstring/knee/ankle problems. AIS was developed by Aaron Mattes (I took a 3 day workshop with him last Nov.

    A good book:
    The Whartons’ Stretch Book (Paperback)
    by Jim Wharton, Phil Wharton
    their website is:

    good luck with your training !!

By Cliff

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