Daily Archives: November 27, 2010

Track Beauty of the Week: Maryam Yusuf Jamal مريم يوسف جمال‎

Maryam Yusuf Jamal مريم يوسف جمال‎‎ is this week’s track beauty!

The Ethiopian-born Bahraini is one of the best middle distance runners in the world today. Jamal, once known as Zenebech Tola, won back-to-back World Championship crowns in the 1500m run in 2007 and 2008. Her best times of 1:57.80 and 3:56.18 in the 800m and 1500m, respectively, place her in the top echelons of all-time best performances. Jamal won the 16th Asian Games 1500m title, but failed to follow it up with a win in the 800m.

Photos from life.com, iaaf.org, wn.com, timeoutbahrain.com

The high level of competition for major championship slots in her country of birth, as well as rampant factionalism in sports, prompted Jamal to turn to foreign shores. She sought to gain Swiss, American, Canadian and French citizenship but wound up in the oil-rich nation of Bahrain instead.

Video credit:

sportsnetwork

Additional link:

Wiki

360 Fitness Club Boot Camp Race… from Hell!

I was supposed to do some sprinting and hurdling workouts this afternoon. But it turned out that the guys from 360 Fitness Club had reserved the place from 3pm to 7pm. Since I got to the stadium a little past 2pm, I only had a good 30 minutes to do some quick hurdle drills.

Be a fan of 360 Fitness Club

I was quite pissed off at the ignorant PSC lady whom I talked to yesterday. She failed to inform me of the Boot Camp Race!

Photo from completethecircuit.com

But then again, I had to make the most out of my unfortunate circumstances. I did around 7 reps over 4 junior hurdles, five-stepping my way in between. I focused on form, particularly my errant trail arm. It was a good workout, like I always say, despite my week-long lay-off. Although my legs felt quite sluggish, my technique remained top-of-the-line.

I was just about to leave Ultra when I bumped into my college block mate Pat Cortez, one of the part owners of the innovative fitness club. Since I just had enough cash in my wallet to meet the Php 350 race fee, I signed up! I don’t usually join recreational running events, but the Boot Camp Race was more than just running. The kettle bell and the TRX stations piqued my interest.

Visit the Philippine Kettleclub website

And I also saw some familiar faces in Carlo Dizon (a former track teammate) and his bro Pao, some national athletes like 800m run national record holder John Lozada and decathlete Arnold Villarube, and my newfound blogger friend Dhenz of Running Pinoy fame.

Read Pinoymiler’s Legends Series: King of Pinoy Half Mile (John Lozada)

Read Running Pinoy’s account of the Boot Camp

If I only knew that I’d have to run a friggin’ 300 to 400m AROUND the track in between stations, I wouldn’t have heeded Pat’s advice to sign up for the Level 3 (Advanced) variation! Although circuit training have been a part of my training routine for the better part of the decade, I was a newbie when it came to lifting kettle bells or using the TRX! To make matters worse, I hardly sprint beyond 200m nowadays, since I’m at the competition phase of the track season.

I had to go through a literal hell of lactic acid just to complete the following stations, thanks to the excruciatingly long strolls around the oval.

  1. Station 1: 35 push ups
  2. Station 2: Stadium steps (3 rounds back-and-forth)
  3. Station 3: Kettle bell lifts (25 reps)
  4. Station 4: Step-ups (40 reps both legs)
  5. Station 5: Elevated ladders (3 rounds, but I did 4 or 5, thanks to the marshals!)
  6. Station 6: The so-called Maze (3 rounds)
  7. Station 7: TRX Station – Modified reverse row (25 reps)
  8. Station 8: TRX Station – Push ups with crunch

Aside from those accursed kettle bells, the stations weren’t all that difficult. I actually had fun doing the stadium steps and the TRX stations. I said it before and I’ll say it again, the wretched runs in between ruined KILLED me ten times over.

Instead of maintaining a steady pace during those BLOODY runs, I modified my pace to fit my currently inadequate endurance level. I walked a good 10m to 20m (sometimes longer!) before and after each station. I then shifted into a slow jog all the way into 70% sprinting effort during the latter parts of the Boot Camp from hell!

As I made my way out of the last station, I accidentally tripped over one of the metal supports for the pole vault mats. In a split second an image of a broken arm flashed in my mind! I cushioned the fall by landing on the track on my behind. Thank heavens nothing bad happened!

View pictures of my arm operation (warning: bloody pics galore)

I was a dead man walking after the 6th station. I asked myself, “why in the hell did I pay Php350 bucks to experience pain?” Frankly, I wasn’t concerned about the time (although I tried my utmost not to finish behind the lone powerfully built female who joined the level 3 race. I was a triumphant, thank heavens). Being inherently competitive, it was surprising how uninterested I was in my time for the course.  Never had the cliche “Run against yourself” been so relevant!

Perhaps I’ve lost a good measure of my competitive fire during the years I spend retired from the sport.

Nevertheless, the experience was a refreshing change from my usual routine.  Despite my crappy time, I was quite proud to be one of the finishers. The circuit course was well-designed – tailor-made to give this newbie one hell of an ass-whipping!

GREAT WORKOUT!

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