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Monday, December 31, 2007

Goodbye 2007 Hello 2008

Started 2007 rather depressed and demoralized but gradually as the year passed the mood got better and ended the year with a best ever marathon timing. So it was a good year after all and now it's the last day of 2007!

Looking forward to 2008 hmmm...
Perhaps I will also adopt Brutus' resolution for 2008?

Ha ha no way. But seriously nobody keeps their resolution anyway so I'm not going to have any resolution just 2 small targets:

1. Run a 10km under 50 minutes
2. Run a half marathon under 1hours 50 minutes

That's all short and simple. And I decided - no full marathon or anything longer than half for 2008 unless I get a chance to go to one of the cool climate country than maybe...

Happy New Year friends, relatives and loved ones. Wishing everybody prosperity and joy in the coming year!

Friday, December 28, 2007

Lazy Month

December has been designated lazy month. Resolved not to go to the gym - so far so good - Resolved not to swim - how to swim in such cold weather? Total number of runs this month other than the marathon - 6 so far, average of 2 per week. The only exercise I'm doing seriously is for my stomach - not the crunches type but the eating type:)

And what do I get for lazing? A (*^%$ flu or is it a cold?(can never tell the difference!). How to go for my marathon makan session tomorrow?

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Hills Run

There are 2 type of runs - training runs and easy runs. Training runs are runs like LSD, interval, tempo run or any runs where the main focus is running and anything else is secondary. Then there are the easy runs like jogging, short aimless runs and what I call sightseeing runs.

This morning joined some of the sgrunners in the Christmas Hills Run. Starting from Tanjong Pagar MRT station to Mount Faber to Telok Blangah Hills and finally to Labrador Park. This is what I called a sightseeing run - the type where every now and than we will stop to admire the scenery and somebody will take photographs - just like tourists. But this sightseeing run actually quite siong - with the hills to climb. We took almost 2 hours 20 minutes just to complete the 17 or so km. Nevertheless, it was a refreshing change from East Coast Park and all the other place and we were blessed with good weather too!

It was nice meeting many new faces from sgrunners. A big thank to Tigger for organising the run.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Miracle Healing Products

While in Japan, bought a Phiten sports necklace. Phiten products; so it is claimed is developed using Phild Process Titanium technology incorporating mico-titanium sphere and aqua-titanium and quote "it helps to maintain a person's natural body state in balance which is easily disrupted by today's busy lifestyle. By doing so, enhances your body’s energy level and lessen fatigue. Pain is reduced and flexibility increases" Wore it for the past 2 runs. Did it work?

Also have a Ebene bio-ray knee guard. According to its website, it help to "1. Promotes blood & oxygen circulation around calves, knees & lower thighs
2. Increases energy and supply of nutrients to the knee bones and soft tissues.
3. Relieves knee pain & strengthen the knee bones and soft tissues.
4.With the increased blood & oxygen circulation around your knees & legs,
it does not only increases energy to knees and legs, but also relaxes muscles to increase running speed for sportsmen

Then there is the bio socks bought at a roadside stall at 3 for $10.00.

M also have an Owell magnetic bracelet which is supposed to harness the healing power of the magnetic to promote general well being and which she wears every day.

So do all these products work?

Let's just say I can think of better way to spend my money but then again I don't think it's going to stop me from buying the next miracle product that comes along:)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

SCSM 2007 Video

Finally got some time to do the video for the SCSM 2007.

This time got Brokie, Alvo, Cosmic, Ayin and me (for once) in it! But must got patience and watch slowly than can see the former 3 fly by.

video

The link for the Youtube version here

Monday, December 10, 2007

Aftermath

Official time: 4:59:30 gun time; 4:55:30 chip time which makes it exactly a 7min/km or 8.6km/hr pace. Somehow, I have this nagging thought that if only I had put in a little bit of effort, I could have done better but ....

Anyway, what's next?

Maybe another shot at it? Oops.. forgot my new year resolution is going to be - not to run the full again.

But then again.... who keeps to their new year resolution?

Sunday, December 02, 2007

SCSM 2007

The moment I been waiting for since August 2006. Back for a third try I just wanted to prove to myself that I can do it without cramps never mind the timing. But actually who runs a race without a target time? So I came up with a safe 5 hours. The plan was to follow the 5 hours pacers and if not; run 1:10 for every 10 km and crossed fingers that I can finish in 5 hours.

Started the race in pen 5 (those finishing under 6 hours) running side by side with Ayin and Cobalt. Just after the 2 km mark, Cobalt moved off and the 2 of us continued our Sunday jog. Ayin longest run was the NB real run and his last run was Nov 7 after which he had been sick or on holiday so he was contended to jog with me. Took a pee break at the Marina South Ferry Terminal and covered the 1st 10 km in 1:15. Slightly off target but minus the 4 minutes of start lag, still within my desired pace. At the 20km, time was 2:21 so somehow along the way had managed to catch up a bit. Ayin finally decided to move off after the 25km and I continued slowly. 30km: 3:29 - perfect still on time and best of all, past my 2 psychological barriers - the u-turn and Bedok Jetty (where I choked in my last 2) without problem. Contemplated speeding up but in the end decided not to chance it. Saw Susan cheering for everybody at Marine Cove.

By now the sun was up high and I started taking 3 jelly beans every water point leaving my last pack of powergel for 37km. At 32km, saw Cookie who complained of cramps. Told me the 5 hours pacer was in front and I decided to catch up with them. Hopefully, if I follow their pace, chance are can complete by 5 hours. Caught up with them at around the 35km mark and decided they were too slow and move off ahead. Surprised to see Ayin just in front of me. He too was having cramps and pretty bad it seem.

Decided to run with him. Since we started together, we shall finish together. So from then on, we did a run/walk stopping to walk whenever his cramp came back. The longest stretch of walking was after the Crawford Road slope and we walked all the way until the 41km mark before he decided to chance it and we ran back together. His cramp kept threatening to come back and just after the Esplanade Tunnel with only 200 metres to go, he was screaming in agony but still gamely ran on. With the 5 hours drawing near, we dash the last 150 metres to stop the clock at 4:59(gun time). Chip time should be around 4:56 a personal best for me! Yipee!

So I achieved what I wanted. A race where I did not had to walk long stretch, no cramps; can walk around thereafter without looking like somebody had stuck a big bamboo rod up the ass:). Probably can finish faster even. I think this is it - the perfect race for me - so people believe me, I going to stop doing the full marathon henceforth. Oh, remind me of my pledge if anybody hear me signing up for any of the full next year:)

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Asics 2120

2nd shoe purchase in a week. Got my Asics 2120. Too late to season it for the big out tomorrow. It has my favourite colour. But only a little bit. Most of it on the sole. So for good measure, got a pair of Sole footbed to complement it. Ha ha!

2 down 2 to go. Was hoping to get the TNF Arnuva 50. But saw the 100 at RL and it is black and orange - so now I think I get the 100 instead. Hopefully, they can have my size soon. Last pair after seeing the Spira - very tempt to just buy 1 to try out. But Zoots got new shoe out - also very tempting to try that as well... hmmm decisions decisions........ Maybe will go for the one that comes in my fave colour.

Date of Purchase: 23 December 2007

Cost: $198.00

Purchase from: Running Lab Funan

Worn in Race:

6 April 2008 Couples Run
23 April 2008 JPMorgan Chase Corporate Challenge
6 August 2008 Saucony 100 Plus Passion Run 2008
10 August 2008 Pearl Izumi Pure Run
24 August 2008 Army Half Marathon
12 October 2008 Borneo Marathon
1 March 2009 Netwon Run
15 March 2009 Suburban Run

Retired: 12 September 2009

Total Mileage: 577.81km

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Count Down to D-Day

6 more days to go before my third and perhaps last (??) attempt at the full marathon. Why last? Cos I promised myself if I can do a ‘perfect’ marathon, I will retire on a high and henceforth, no waking up at 5 am to do silly shagged tiring hot want to die long runs

What is a “perfect” marathon? To me, it is not the time finish but more how I will feel after finishing (if I finish that is).

Flashback 2 Dec 2004 – my first marathon. Then with only 9 months of running behind me, I went for it without any expectation and also not realizing what was in store for me. I mentally targeted to finish 4:30 and was on target up to the 30km distance and than wham, the cramps set in and I had to walk the rest of the way back. Eventually, finished in 5:16 and even had the humiliation of having to get Sebas to come down and drive me home – so bad was the cramp and ache that I couldn’t even walk after crossing the finishing line!

4 Dec 2005 – 1 year later with 1 more year of running experience and tips, advices from friends, came back ready to give it another shot. This time, with hindsight and experience, decided to set a modest 5hours target. Sigh, this time round the cramps came in even earlier at 27km and with that hobbled back in 5:37.

So what’s going to happen this time round? Based on the various pace calculators and using my recent race times, I am supposed to be able to finish between 3:52 to 4:20. Ha I know myself – these sort of timing is not possible so I am contend if I can hopefully finish within 5 hours and thereafter able to go off on my holiday without any aches or pain.

Question is – can 1? 1st time round – target 4:30 finish 5:15 (45mins behind); 2nd time 4:45 finish 5:37 (57mins behind); this time target 5 hours will I finish 6:00 aargg! I having nightmares just thinking about it!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

New Balance M1222WO

Rushed down to the New Balance Warehouse Sale and managed to grab a pair of NB M1222 for the grand price of $90.00. Couldn't believe my good fortune cos it was one of my shortlist to replace the PI. According to the New Balance website, this is a 2007 model and the retail price is just over $200.00 so paying $90.00 for it is really a steal.

According to the NB website, the M1222 is a high mileage trainer designed to provide maximum stability and cushioning for the moderate to severe overpronator.
Took it out for a short run this evening at the RL Thu Night run. First impression, it was quite comfortable and support well. Cushioning was pretty good. One annoying thing was it gave out loud squelching sound when landing - much like air being pressed out. I had to keep checking to make sure I was wearing a leaking Nike Air:)

The other thing was they only had it in wide size 4E so it was a tad too loose at the front and I had to stop thrice to tighten the shoe lace real tight.

Overall, it feels good although only ran about 5km in it. Quite happy with the purchase so far. Other than the price it also comes in my favourite colour! Ha Ha no prize for guessing which colour is it.

1 down, 3 more shoes to replace. All my shoes are dying. The 2 Asics have gone past the 500 km mark. For the GT2110, its last run will be the marathon. Most likely, will get another pair of Asics, maybe the 2120 to replace it. The M1222 is a more suitable replacement for the 2100. Will probably get the TNF Arnuva 50 to replace the NB 906 which means I still need to replace the PI - probably with a lightweight trainer.

NB 1220


Date of Purchase: 22 November 2007

Cost: $90.00

Purchased from: New Balance Warehouse Sale

Worn in Races: Nil

Retired: 3 July 2008 (trade in at RL Funan)

Total mileage on retirement: 340.4km

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ugly Shoes

I thought my MBT shoes are ugly.

This is worse.


According to its website, Z-CoiL® footwear is engineered specifically to relieve foot, leg, and back pain. Its patented, shock-absorbing design greatly reduces impact to the body and distributes pressure more evenly across the foot than conventional shoes do. And less impact means less pain.

Much as it tout fantastic benefits, I don't think I will be caught dead wearing a pair of such weird looking shoes. Machiam like those Manchurian shoes but with the innards exposed!

Hmm... wondering are there even uglier shoes out there?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Old Shoes don't go, New Shoes cannot buy

My PI Pace is dead - after a miserly 447.4km and just 6 months old. The black rubber sole has practically wear down until the next layer white plastic or rubber whatever is visible. So sad:( What a short life span.

Compare this to the oldest shoes in my current collection, the Asics GT 2110 (Feb 2006) with a mileage of 695km and still looking good and most importantly, feel good after more than a year of wear and tear.

Hmmm, now this leave me with a nice task - to get a brand new shoes - what should I consider - Adidas, NB, Asics or the North Face?

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Running is Bad!

At the risk of opening another can of worms from my mysterious friend who claimed he has provided scientific data on why running is bad and I have not; here goes:

..... Dr Bonnie Bruce, the study author, followed more than 500 runners from a local club (called “ever runners” in the study) and 300 inactive people (“never runners”, but not necessarily sedentary) in their 50s and 60s for 14 years. When results from an annual health questionnaire were analysed, Bruce and her colleagues found that the “ever runners”, who ran at least six hours a week on average, experienced less joint pain by their 60s and 70s and only 35% of the joggers got arthritis (compared with 43% of non-runners)......Myth: Running is bad for your knees

....The belief that running is bad for your knees is a myth. In fact, the only runners who ever have bad knees are those who already had knee problems before they started running, have a knee condition they didn’t previously know about, or are using incorrect form when they run..... Why should you run?

.....This research also allows runners to be a little smug, because we now know that despite what scientists and the cynical suggest, running is far from bad for you. The only difference between what our ancestors did and modern man does is that most of us have become a little soft.....Running Evolution

...However, it is also worth noting that because running is a weight bearing exercise, it also stresses the bones of the lower body in a positive way. Weight bearing exercise causes the bones to retain minerals and thus supports the rebuilding/maintenance of strong bones....Running: Advantages & Disadvantages

......There are many factors that cause pain in the knees. The most common cause of knee pain is a muscle imbalance in the quadriceps. This imbalance causes the knee joint to be pulled in a direction in which it isn’t designed to be pulled.....Running is bad for your knees

And I can go on and on but I suspect somebody else will dig out even more anti-running stuff to support his case.

I will end with these posts from a forum (no offence but this is exactly how I feel most time with the 'expert' opinion:

"Exercise and nutrition seem to be two of those areas everyone has an opinion on. Who knows why... Some of the crappy advice never seems to die either. It just spreads like a disease or something... Blah. I always love the "running is bad for you (r knees)". WTF?"

"In every instance where someone has told me that running is bad for me-that person is on medication for at least one of the above mentioned issues. Go figure!!"

"Those who CAN'T (or won't) teach, those who can DO!

"I think they are just another case of people who think they are always right.
They don't run...so it must be bad for you, right? Otherwise they'd be out there doing it too. Or feeling guilty that they're fat and lazy"

All quotes from Runner's World Forum

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Last Long Run - ECP - Changi - ECP

Finally, after 2 unsuccessful attempts to do my 35km long run (both got canned by the rain), managed to complete it today.

Left the house at 5.30 am this morning but barely 20 minutes, lighting and thunders started flashing all over. Then the rain came but fortunately, it didn't poured and managed to carry on.

Ran till the lagoon at East Coast Park and uturn to Changi Beach until the toilet with the kiosk. Stopped to get a drink before turning back to carpark F2 at East Coast. Miscalculated the route distance and ran 38km instead of just 35km, the original target!
Along the way, bump into Gary; Ronnie and Bee and also chatted with 2 strangers running the same way. Also met Cosmic and finally at the end of the run, saw Tigger with his whole gang of disciples.

Monday, November 05, 2007

New Run Route - Simei - ECP - Changi - Loyang - Tampines - Simei

Running in the evening always carries some risk - bad weather, last minute appointment, etc etc but wanted to sleep late so switch the morning run to evening. Crossed fingers and in the end everything turned out fine and managed to went for my run.

Decided to try a new route. From home ran the usual way via the Bedok Park Connector to East Coast Park and ran toward NSRCC. From there moved on to Changi Coastal Road running along the park connector. This is like the 6th times I ran there for the past 2 months? Changi Coastal Road is approximately 7km long from the start of the park connector next to the SAF Yacht Club till the Changi Ferry Terminal. Realised that the red brick shelters are spaced 1km apart. Useful as a distance indicator.

The stretch from the Changi Ferry Terminal starting from the park till Changi Beach is 3.3km (at least it said so on the distance indicators on the ground). Didn't run till the end though.

Turned off into Telok Paku Road after 2.7km. By than the sky had already turned dark as it was already past 7pm. Saw a runner dressed all in black and running on the road instead of using the footpath. Sigh. When will these people ever learn to run safely!

Hit into Loyang Ave. This was one of the most grueling stretch as it slopes gently upward all the way till Pasir Ris. Distance was approximately 4km but it sure seem much longer.

Finally, went into Tampines, popped into the Cheers supermart at the Esso petrol station for a drink before continuing home to Simei.

Total distance covered 26.5km or thereabout.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Addicted to Running?

Someone posed a interesting comment on my previous entry. Essentially, this person who chose to remain anonymous said that runners run due to addiction. I quote: "I am sure most people only keep running due to addiction. I hear so many that literally hate it yet keep on going. That's textbook addiction." unquote. He or she went on to say in a later comment: quote "I can't see that being anything besides addiction, especially when they acknowledge that they hate the way running makes them feel once the dndorphins(sic) wear off."

In a way I do agree with the comments. It is safe to say that once the runners' high kick in, nothing beats the joy and feeling of running - not swimming, not scoring a goal in a football game, not climbing the highest mountain in the world. Certainly, many runners seem to be addicted to running - they can't seem to talk about running, is always on the lookout for new routes and races to run, cannot pass by any sport shops without checking out and ultimately buying some running products and for many - die die must run through illness, injury and of course sometime run until drop dead. Runners are so passionate about running - they talk about it all the time unlike say swimmers or ball players.

Why do people run in the first place? I guess most people start running for 2 main reasons:

1. Health reasons - lose weight; fat; as a prevention against some illness
2. Forced to - by doctor; organisation (has to pass fitness test)

What mostly happen; if they don't drop out within the first 3 months; is that most will end up on a love/hate affair with running.

Why love? Love because you can't seem to get running out of your head. You think about where to run before you stop work for the day, you think about where to run for the weekends on Friday, you constantly think about which shoes, which attire to wear for the run and you make plans with running kakis to run all over - just like being in love and dating.

Why hate? Cos you hate dragging yourself up so damn early in the morning to go for the long run, you hate the oh so hot sun baking down on you, you hate it when your whole body tense up as if going to cramp, you hate it when the knees, the shin, the ITB gets sore and injured and you ache all over and cannot go for a run.

Some hard core runners I know cannot pass a day without running and will run through hell if required. They live and breath running and becomes irritated, bad tempered and frustrated when denied the opportunity to run. The feeling is worse especially if you have already penciled in the run and have to miss it. I am sure many of us is familiar with that sunken feeling when we are all ready to go for a run and somehow due to work, weather, whatever we are forced to cancel the run. Is these symptoms considered addition?

The Webster dictionary defines addiction as "compulsive need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal; broadly : persistent compulsive use of a substance known by the user to be harmful.

Does that sum up a running addict? Let's replace: "compulsive need for running characterized by tolerance and by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal from running...."

I am no master of words so I can't summarize well but at the end of the day - are runners mostly addicted to running? Indeed do I run because I am addicted to running? What about all my running friends out there? Your take?

Sunday, October 28, 2007

New Balance Real Run 2007

Yeah! I got a PB! Ha ha this being my first 15km race, any type of timing will still be a PB.

To avoid a repeat of last year whereby I had to watch the runners ran by after being stuck in traffic, went to the new race site at the new Changi Aerospace Exhibition area early at 6.45pm after picking up M's uncle and M's friend from Bedok and Ayin from Pasir Ris.

At the request of a new friend from Malaysia, collected the bibs and chip for 4 Kenyan runners who for some unknown reasons were unable to enter into Singapore last evening. What a pity. Wasted a chance to befriend new friends and the race lost out on some excitement!

President Nathan flagged off the 10km race first. We were awed by the number of people and to think that the majority of the runners are doing the 15km. I timed the last 10km runner to cross the start line at a good 5 minutes after the flag off. So Ayin and me, we did the kiasu thing and climbed over the barricade to land ourselves just 5 metres from the start. Ha ha.

I had already decided that for this race, I just wanted to enjoy myself and use it as a sort of pace setting run. So I set a target to finish at 1:30 - not faster and not slower which means a 6 minutes pace throughout.

The first 2 km from the start was a straight and fairly wide route and for most part of it I was running beside Vincent (Brokie's husband). Ayin had of course disappeared into the crowd immediately after the flag off. We ran almost together for the first 5km covering it in a time of 28:54 slightly faster than what I wanted. But no worries the sand part will take care of that. Just after the 10 km u-turn, saw the first lot of 15km runner coming back on the road. Managed to spot TLR, Brokie and Kayano on the other side. After the u-turn, since I was still feeling good, decided to pick up the speed a little. This time saw Sotong and Roonz on the other side. However, didn't managed to see M or the other ladies.

10km was completed in 55:48. By than I had lost Vincent who I think had moved on ahead. Picked up a new target - a spunky little lady in black top and shorts and followed her all the way to the beach. Slow down fairly much at the beach stretch as I didn't want to slip and fall. Therefore this stretch comprising part of the park, the sand and part of the road was the slowest at 7:01. Said hi to Kayano outside the toilet at the Changi Ferry Terminal. My pace lady had gone ahead to the junction by than and I gave chase. Turning back into the runway, since it was only about 2.3km and with a 'invitingly' long stretch in front, decided to do a crazy thing and chiong to the finish. It was actually quite fun passing all the other runners most of whom were walking and wilting from the direct sunlight. Touch down at 1:24:59, 5 minutes faster than target but what the hell, I enjoyed the race very much. M came back around 1:37 or 1:38.

Other than the Passion Run, this is probably one of the best organised races I ever took part in (except the course wasn't so exciting unlike Sentosa where there are slopes etc). The distance markers were clearly displayed, there was plenty of drinks (both 100+ amd water), marshals were every where and a nice straight finish for those who want to have a nice strong finish. To cap it all, a nice cool exhibition hall to collect the goodie bag (which had no queue!).

Now die lah - promised myself not going to take part next year since got no cert (at least the website said so), no medal and in so ulu place but I enjoyed myself so much I think will have to break my promise and come back again next year.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Running Home 3

After 1 year 7 months and 1 unsuccessful attempt, managed to run home from work again. The last time I did this route was 3 March 2006.

Much has happened since then. One thing is that instead of improving, I have deproved (is there such a word?). A check on my running log shows that I took 2:09:08 to complete the 20km or so distance the last time round in March 2006. In fact on 21 October 2006, was even faster at 2:05:42. Yesterday, in perfect weather I took 2:17:46 and running at what I thought was a pretty good speed. This deterioration in speed is most obvious when doing long runs of 20km and above. Nowadays, the average speed for long runs is typically 7 to 7.30 pace which I think is too slow. I can't seem to find the energy and will power to run faster although come to races, the timing seem to still be okay.

Anyway, back to the run home. There were 5 traffic breaks, 1 toilet break and 1 stop at 7-eleven for a drink and nourishment. Talking about 7-eleven, the damn place is so bladdy ex. 1 can of 100+ cost $1.80! Was hungry and bought a Milo Energy bar as well. It cost $2.65. Found out NTUC is selling it for $1.90 only. Anyway, the Milo Energy bar was shiok - delicious and provided enough calories to sustain my hunger and energy for the rest of the way home. Highly recommended for those who need something more solid than powergel.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Life is Great - Great Eastern Women 10K Race

Yeah - life is great for the women runners. Another Sunday, another all women's race. A crowd of about 8000 turned up for the 2nd Great Eastern Women 10K Race. The men simply don't have it so good. There was ice cream, unlimited bananas, cereal, flowers and a cute little medal and great atmosphere despite the heat.

Surprisingly, only a few of the sgrunners took part. Bee, Brokie, Ripley, Sassy, Doremon and a few others (don't know their nick though). On the other hand, the whole gang of ladies took part this year. M came in around 55 mins followed closely by Karen. The rest still has a little bit to go before hitting below 1 hour. Work harder ladies! It just within grasp!

The prize money for this must be good to attract a few foreigners. Vivian Tang was beaten into 5th place by the foreigners. Even Suzanne Walsham came in 2nd behind a Kenyan.

Photos:



Video:

Saturday, October 20, 2007

NIE Biathlon 2007

Missed a good chance, in fact the only chance to take part in a biathlon without having to go through a swim trial which surely if have to - cannot qualify.

Nevertheless, the desire to do well for the big one at year end override everything else so choose to go for long run instead of participating in this.

Went to kapo a bit after the run and took some photos.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Greatest Incentive for Running

Consequence of not doing exercise.

video

Need any other reasons to start running?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Running Withdrawal

I'm grouchy and in a big bad mood and everybody at home is avoiding me cos I suffering from running withdrawal:(

Wanted to run home from office today. Had not done that for the past 1 year and had been trying to fit a run into my schedule. Finally today seem like an opportune time since I trying to hit 60km this week and my last long run was on Saturday morning - enough time to space out the mileage.

It started to rain at 5pm. I was happy at that point. Once the rain stop, it will be perfect weather for doing the 20km home. As expected, the rain stopped around 6pm. Waited until 6.30 before setting off from office. All was fine until I hit the Esplanade Bridge. The sky was a fiery black and the wind was so strong even the ice-cream man's umbrella got all squished up. The rain started coming down in sheets and with lighting and thunders flashing all around, I took shelter at the Esplanade. I knew than the run was screwed. With another 19km to go and with the weather in such foul mood, there was no way I can take the chance and run home.

After waiting 10 mins, I reluctantly walked to City Hall MRT before taking a train back to office, mood as black as the weather. I should not have bothered but just go home early. At least, could have easily put in an hour of running in the gym. By the time reach home, too late to do anything - no time for gym, too late to do any workout since dinner is now also pushed back.

What a freaky waste of a day!

Performance Enhancement Drugs

Been following the farce on the Marion Jones case with interest. Seem like the whole thing has now moved into an entire new direction.

There are now calls for the acceptance of 'performance enhancement' drugs. The argument put forth is that in other industry, people are allowed to take drugs to stay ahead e.g. lawyers popping some pills to stay alert in court; and even simple things such as drinking coffee, caffeine loaded drinks and even the good old chicken essence. So why not the steroid based products?

In a way, the argument sounds logically and I might take it one more step - in time to come, what is deemed not acceptable now will become acceptable later when a new class of even more powerful performance enhancement drugs is discovered. After all, the difference between those who took it and those who didn't is so minuscule that it is very difficult to attribute the win to the drug alone. I am sure there have been cases of athletes taking the drugs who lost out to those who didn't.

So is it right to call them cheats?

After all, which one of us have not taken something extra to help boost our energy, strength or stamina. I know of one guy who swears by some exotic Chinese herbs and drink it daily. I am sure all of us have our secret formula be it a simple caffeine loaded red bull, ginseng drink or energy gel. How then do we make sure we don't cross the line between what is legal and what is not? And who determines what is legal or not anyway?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Run Safely - Run Longer

On the way home saw this guy running. Nothing remarkable except that he was running on the road. Simei St 3 is not exactly a very busy road but at 7 + in the evening, traffic can be quite heavy and he was wearing all black or is it dark blue. He was running on the road itself (there is a wide pavement along the stretch of the road) against the traffic and than he stopped when there was a gap in the traffic and proceeded to cross the road. What he did next absolutely flipped me up! The traffic on the other side was too heavy and I think he didn’t want to wait too long – so he proceeded to run in the middle of the road sandwiched between vehicles moving in both directions!

What’s going to happen if a vehicle goes too near him and sidewind him which can cause him to fall onto the path of an oncoming or in his case vehicles from any side! It is idiotic runners like him that give all runners a bad name. I don’t like to curse anyone but I seriously couldn’t care less if he kills himself in the process but I will pity the poor motorist who might accidentally run over him should he falls!

To all runners reading this – please:
Never wear dark attire when running in the evening
Don’t run on the road unless absolutely necessary and only when other alternatives are not available. Even then, restrict it to only short stretches
Don’t even think of running in the middle of the lane much less in the middle of the road with vehicles zooming past in 2 different directions
Use pedestrian crossings and wait for the traffic to stop before running across. Don’t assume motorist will stop for you (especially at side turning zebra crossings)

Think about it - run safely and live to run longer. Run recklessly.....

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Chicago Marathon got canned!

The Chicago Marathon got canned through its half way mark when 1 runner collapsed and about 315 were carried off in ambulances. The reason was the soaring temperature which rise from the start of the race at 8am from 20 degree to 31 degree by noon. Read the full story here.

Not being yaya here - but 31 degree too hot? Here, the normal daylight temperature ranges from 33 to 35 and even though race time starts at 5.30am, typically by the time the average joe finishes, it will be around 10.30 am to 11.00 am with temperature likely to be around 33 degree and humidity at 80-85%.

But let's hope the Singapore organiser don't take a leaf from their fair weather friend over there and canned the race here for some silly reasons. Too many races being cancelled midway nowadays - don't need one more to add to the list.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Motivation and Recovery

Jeanette Wang has a weekly column in The Sunday Times this run up to the marathon. 2 weeks ago she wrote about recovery and this week about motivation.

Me too think I shall write about the same topics:)

Recovery - what do I do to recover after a long run? Most important of all and this is something a lot of runners neglect - do proper cool down stretches especially for the lower body. I find that doing this will ease a lot of soreness and aches the next 2 days. Then a routine which I have established: 1) take a cold shower. After that, as soon as practical, 2) ice various parts of the legs, especially the knees while 3) keeping the legs upright/in an elevated position (higher than the body). This will drain the lactic acid that has build up in the legs to the rest of the body and subsequently replaced the blood in the legs with fresh blood from the rest of the body. This by the way is not my own theory but advice taken from Chi Running by Danny Dreyer. The simultaneous icing reduces any swelling (if any) and speeds up the muscle healing process.

Motivation - indeed what craziness is it that made me sign up for the full? I love my sleep and it is crazy having to get up at ungodly hours and then to spend long long hours torturing myself in the hot sun. 3 years ago, after limping to the finish line and needing a friend to drive me home, I swear that I will not go through the whole thing again. Yet 6 months later, when registration opened, I promptly signed up. I supposed my motivation this year is to prove that I can still do it. More importantly, I have an unfulfilled desire - to do a proper marathon - not one where I have to walk a quarter of the way to the finish line. Will this be enough to sustain me to the end and if so, I promise and I swear this will be my last full marathon.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

New Training Ground - Simei Park Connector

Found a new not yet officially open park connector skirting the ITE East just beneath the MRT track. Distance measured from MapMyRun is app. 400m. Whoopee! Now can just go there to do speedwork. No need to go all the way to Tampines Stadium.



Ran from home app. 1.5km. Good enough for warm up. Did 4 sets of 800m and ran back home.

Quota for the day done. Enough for 1 night.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Demoralising Run II

Joined the sgrunners for a morning run at Changi this morning. Have been meaning to run there for some time but have not found a suitable opportunity. This is a tough route to run although flat. But it is long and hot and would make a good training run. This time managed to convince M to come along.

There was already a big group when we arrived and RSM Brokie demanded that everybody goes for a warm up jog so all of us guai guai followed her to Changi Creek before turning back up to Changi Coast Road.

The last time I ran there was like 1 and a half year ago in Feb 06. After coming out of the Ferry Terminal, instead of having to run on the road, there was now a nice big running path. This as I understand is part of the park connector which will leads all the way to East Coast and eventually Marina South. The other end to Changi Hills is already completed.

The first group comprising of the faster runners led by Realrunner had already disappeared from sight by then. The back pack comprised of WeiHao, Alvo, Cobalt, Highbury, Brokie, Raven, Sealboon, AC and myself. Dream was also with us. Not too sure why he hung around. Thought he could have took off with the front runners. M and Meteor was running a shorter distance and thus hung even further behind.

The weather was fairly good at the beginning. The trees along the side provided a fair bit of shade but running along the route was helluva boring and seem to go on and on forever. (I guess it's not called demoralizing for nothing). It seems like running on an extra long treadmill. No matter how long I had run, it was always the same. Trees on the left - road and airfield on the right!

Eventually, when I saw a split in the path, I decided to break from the rest and turn left into it just to break the monotony. This was actually part of the park connector and hugs the coast line and comes out to Safra Sailing Club. But it was slightly longer and when I reached SAFRA resort, all the runners had disappeared way in front except for Highbury. Ran with him till the first toilet at the National Sailing Club before turning back with Brokie and Cookie who had reached there much earlier. I took my expired PowerBar than. It looks horrible and tasted worst. Took half of it and was tempted to throw the rest away but decided against it.

Way back was the same. One long boring route. Initially maybe with the psychological effect of the powerbar, was able to pick up the pace a bit but when I stopped to finish the rest of the powerbar, the battery simply went flat. That plus the hot humid weather caused me to withered and I slowed to a trot. Gentle was biking up and down and encouraging everybody. AC caught up at the toilet at the Ferry Terminal and even though there was only less than 2.5m km to go, I simply couldn't push myself and contented myself to just sort of shuffle to the finish.

The finish line was great though - there was the famous Brokie's barley which I had heard of many times in the forum but never tried and Doramon's jello. Yummy and good reward for finishing the run.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Down and Out

Looks like all form of exercise is out for this week.

Just when the throat is much better (at least can croak now), the yucky stuff has started. Extra boost of VC, liang teh doesn't seem to help. Look like have to let it run its course.

Oh well, a good excuse to slack.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Nike Jet Stream

I am not a Nike shoe fan but surprisingly, my longest serving shoes is a Nike. It is in fact my 2nd pair of running shoes that I bought around 2003? The first was an Adidas (don't even know which model) and this was the 2nd. Those days know nuts about running and bought whatever shoes that 1) must be nice to look at (my Adidas) and 2) the sales people recommends.

The Nike Jet Stream was recommended by a sweet young thing at the Sportslink outlet at Eastpoint. Asked her why I should buy it when she recommended it and her answer? "Because I also wear it". So I figure if it's good enough for her, its good enough for me. Remembered this clearly becos I actually bought a too small size the first time round. After buying it, went and ran on the treadmill and found it too tight. Brought it back and changed it for a half size bigger. Actually, later found out it was still too small but didn't realised back it those days.


After finding it was still too tight (toes started turning black), relegated it to gym use and that's why it has last for so long. It's still look in pretty good condition and I hate to give it up but I have to make way for new shoes and so I guess it will have to go.

Can't really comment much on the performance as I can't remember how it feels like when wore for a run. But it must be quite comfortable for me to stick with it for so long or is it I just a 'kiamseap' old man who just can bear to dump it?

Goodbye old friend - My one and only Nike:)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Running Lab Annual Dinner

Went for the RL Annual Dinner at Raffles Town Club on Wednesday evening with Eddie, Terence and Sebastian. The RL has grown very fast - from one outlet in Funan to 3 outlets now - 1 in Novena and another specialising in outdoor adventure also at Novena. The RL has certainly spiced up the competition in the sports retail line. It was the first shop to have a treadmill in house and NB and Nike soon followed. Than Mizuno came up with some specialised software to measure the foot but at the end of the day, nothing beats human passion and RL has plenty of that as all the staff are selected because they are passionate about running or sports. At the dinner, the staff were going gaga over a new range of shoes launched by Zoots and offering to the boss to test it out. With such passion and zeal, RL should continue to do well in the years to come - more so as they continues to bring in running gears that are not commonly available in Singapore.

As guest, we didn't expect anything but they were kind enough to include everyone in the lucky draw and so all of us came away with something. They are indeed very generous. Each attendee has a pair of socks as a door gift, the staff got an extra t-shirt. We volunteers get a pair of 'Sole' insole. For the games, our table won the bingo game and so each one of us got a SIGG bottle and finally for the lucky draw, I walked away with a North Face watch and a $100 Zoots voucher. Terence was even luckier - he won the prize everybody was eyeing for - the 1st prize of a RS400!



Many many thanks to Walter for inviting us to the dinner.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Back to MR

Have not run at MacRitchie Reservoir (more popularly known as "MR") since May 14 2006 - more than a year ago. Wanted to go last Sunday but it was rained out.

MR has a lot of memory - mostly bad for me but it is still one of my favourite running place in view of the varied routes and challenging terrain. It was the last run in May last year that conclusively killed the knee. It was also the place where I got bummed on the back by a bunch of branches dropping from the sky.

This time dragged 3 ladies with me - M, Bambi and Mich. For the latter 2, they are running there for the first time. We did the short MR 25 Time Trial 5km route. The last time I did it was on March 15 2006. Told the girls to try to finish the distance under 35mins. Myself - I set no targets knowing that I can't possibly do under 25mins. The run was pretty uneventful except for a point where I nearly slipped on a wet root and had to use my right leg to jam in hard for support to avoid falling down. Luckily, nothing else happened and the knee seemed okay. In the end, completed the distance in a slow 29:05mins. The ladies did pretty okay coming in around 32mins. Not bad for a first time though Bambi wearing her brand new PI was making some noise about dirtying her new shoes on the muddy trails.

Went for dinner at The Ship Restaurant at Shaw Center after that. Continue here

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Shape Run 2007

The men still don't get it.

This time round my contingent of ladies are doing the 10km. As usual, went down to support them by taking photographs since we men can't run. Parked myself on top of a huge flower pot just outside the former Clifford Pier and managed to take some nice shots and videos. Simmply too overwhelmed by so many ladies couldn't managed to snap most of the sgrunners although managed to took photos of all the ladies, a colleague and little sis.












See the full set of photos at http://picasaweb.google.com/ckohst/ShapeRun2007


The front three runners were so fast they lead almost by a gap of 300 meters right from the start till the end. M did well to finish in a PB of 55.58. Karen also did well to finish under 60 minutes. In fact all 5 ladies got their PB.


The video of the 10km start. See the big gap between the top 3 and the rest


The video of the 5km start. Again the front runners are far ahead but at least there are more of them.

Aviva Half Ironman 2007 Videos

The biking outside the Esplanade:




The running outside the Esplanade along Marina Promenade:

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Inter Constituency Road Race 2007

And here the video of the Changi-Simei CSC Men's veteran and ladies completing the race.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Aviva Half Ironman 2007

This has got to be the mother of all sports event in Singapore this year. Decided to kill 2 birds with 1 stone by running in town and thereafter going to support the participants.

Reach Esplanade about 8 am and was told by friends that the first group of bikers had already passed by. Couldn't believe it - that fast? Was fortunate enough to see all the bikers while we were running in Marina South. Even saw Eddie who still had enough energy to shout out to us.

Back at the Esplanade bummed into friends from sgrunners who were there either as supporters or volunteers. Managed to take many photographs of the runners including the leading pack. Saw Eddie again but this time he looked so stoned already doubted he recognize us as he ran past.

My hats off to the participants regardless of whether they complete or not - to be at the start line is already a big achievement in itself.

Photographs at http://picasaweb.google.co.uk/ckohst/AvivaHIM2007

Videos will be up later.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Inter Con Road Run 2007

After a week of resting (some called it slacking) it backs to good old running. Today I am doing a short race - a race that I am not looking forward to. It is the Inter Con Road Run. I have been roped in to make up the numbers as the team captain can't seem to find enough runners. I don't like short run - I don't have the speed for it and this being a team event, every single second counts. Fortunately or unfortunately, the distance has been reduced to 4.3km from the original 5.6km. Still I know it was not going to be easy.

The race format comprises of 6 men in the Men Open, max of 3 male veteran and 3 female. We have only 5 male in the open, 3 in the male veteran and 2 female. The best 4 runners timing in the men's open, 1 each from the male veteran and female will counts toward the score. I am running in the men open which gives me more stress. Gary our team captain want to improve on last year 14th placing. So my timing will have to be included. I hope I will be able to run under 20mins but I know it is going to be tough since I seldom concentrate on speedwork. All my runs have always been at most 5.15 pace so to do 20 + I need to go below 5 min and some more for 4 over km. Jialat:(

A surprise awaits us when we reach Bedok Reservoir. The guest of honour, Ms Jessica Tan, MP of East Coast GRC will be running in our team! She is indeed a very nice lady mingling with us and joking chatting with us - totally without air at all. Hopefully, the organiser will give her some handicap:)

Looking at the other teams, I shuddered at what type of placing we will get. All of them are so young - late teens to early 20s - in our team, of the 5 of us in the Men Open, 3 of us are 45 and aboveleaving 2 young men but they are also probably in their late 20s. Also met Mighty Joe and Mrs, Terence and Mrs there. They are running for Yew Tee and Kreta Ayer respectively. Also bump into 'Tiger'. He is representing Clementi and finally there was Puay Hien but he is not running - he is team captain for Serangoon and his team eventually came in 2nd!

The race was flagged off by Miss Jessica Tan. I ran the first 1km in 4min 40 sec (I think the fastest 1km I ever done in my life. At the 2km mark, I was slightly over 9mins but definitely totally out of breathe. I know if I can continue at this pace, I will be able to meet my target but I knew in my heart I couldn't sustain this pace anymore. Soon my team mates started overtaking me. By the time I reached the 3km my mind and leg was screaming for me to stop and walk. I knew I couldn't make it and there I was before the race thinking that I can do it in about 19mins. I had no more energy left even at the 4km mark with 300metres to go. I eventually finished in 21min 29s the fourth member in my team to finish. It is probably a PB for me. Than again, this is my first race of this distance so I suppose any type of timing will be a PB.


The Men's Veteran and Ladies started off together. As expected, our team captain Gary was right up there at the front just behind Donald of MR 25 fame representing Bishan. Gary managed to come in 2nd in 16mins +. Molly with sifu Boon Chye pacing her came back in 22mins 40s. Miss Jessica Tan also managed to come in in a respectable time of 25min+

Told Gary he played the wrong strategy. He should have let Francis (or is it Jeffrey) and BC run in the Men's Open as both of them are faster than me and let the Uncle run in the Veteran. That way, at least all our team runners will be able to finish under 20 minutes. Last year the team finished 14th. This year, even with his 2nd placing, I doubt we can better it since the rest of our times are not as good.

Anyway it's over and I must say running a short 4.3km at this pace is more tough than running a half marathon. I think I retire from short run. This one can die - better not play play.

Photos up at Google Web album. Videos will be up later.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

1 year ago

1 year ago on this day, I was lying in a hospital bed, right leg stuck in a weird looking contraption moving it up and down and throwing up. Friends had shared with me their friend’s experience or their refusal to operate fearing that they will never be able to run again. And there I was wondering whether I had made the right decision to go for the op. Nevertheless I went ahead because the nice Doc had assured me that he learnt from the very best, Dr Steadman who operated on Alan Shearer, Michael Owen etc etc and if they can go back to football, I can go back to running. So I went with an open mind. The way he describe it sounded so simple and I expected to be up and running within 3 months. To my horror, after the op and in my first session of post-op physio, the physio took one look and said 6 months at least.

It is now exactly 1 year later and not only have I resumed running, I have done 2 half marathons plus a few other races here and there, The first half was done just 6 months after the op proving the physio wrong. I was up and running within 3 months (December to be exact). So was the physio wrong in his analysis or just being careful?

To prepare for the op, I went for 2 months of pre-op physio. I also saw an Osteopath and both the physio and Osteopath help me prepare for the op by putting me through a lot of lower legs exercises. The purpose was to build up the strength and muscle on the leg so that after the op during the recovery stage, when the atrophy set in, the impact will be reduced and hence recovery faster.

After the op, while most people would content themselves with just going for the physio session twice a week, I worked like a man possessed. While the leg was still immobilized and cannot bear weight, I contend myself with doing single leg pushups, and all the other jazz that the physio showed me and all this on a daily basis. Even while out with the Mrs and friends while they trained for their maiden half, I would make use of every single time waiting for them to do some sort of exercises like push up, squats etc.

Once the crutches came off, it was on to upper body weight as well. I put in 2 hours of work daily including the twice physio sessions. Than when the physio decided that it was time for me to start on the bike, I added that + swimming to the daily routine. The workout session increases from 2 to 3 hours. By mid December, the physio had commented that I was recovering faster than he expected so in end December, I did my first run on the treadmill and never looked back from there. Sure, the leg is still a bit stiff and cannot bend all the way back but hey I running without pain. I reckoned I back to 80% of my original fitness level although the recent races timing have been encouraging - almost at the old level.

To this day, I continue my daily workout 6 days a week doing strength training (not bodybuilding or weight training), stationery bike, swimming and running 3 – 4 times a week. I take more precaution now though and generally do not push myself all the way.

Why am I rehashing this? I know there are people, friends and runners who are suffering from injuries and are upset that it is taking a long time to recover. I am sharing this to show that it is possible to come back in a short time but one need to put in a lot of effort. Simply wallowing in pity is not going to get anywhere. Neither is it sufficient to just go for weekly treatment or exercise. The whole thing got to be an ongoing process. Workouts can be done at home with some light weights, maybe a gym ball and a theraband or even just body weight exercises (squat, pushup, lunges, calves rises, crunches etc). The important thing is to keep working on it but with care. Increase the mileage slowly (I started at 1km in December and move up to 21 km only in June). Don’t be dishearten; work hard and you will get there.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Singapore Bay Run/Army Half Marathon 2007

I love running in the Army Half Marathon. It was my maiden race in 2004 and it gives me a lot of memories. Didn't run in 2005 due to flu and last year although I did it fearing that it could be my swan song race. Fortunately it was not and so I am back to give it another shot.

Didn't really have a time target. The objective was simple - good if can finish in one piece; better if can do under 2 hours; best if can better last year timing or 'bester' if can get a PB.

It was as usual humid with nary a wind as we assembled on Esplanade Bridge for the start. This year route has been modified to run in the City first before heading to East Coast park. The race started punctually at 5.30 am but even though we managed to go quite near the front, it still took me almost 51 secs to cross the start line. Didn't managed to see many familiar faces at this juncture - only Balasing slightly to the front.

This time with full road closure, we were able to run in the city without interruption. Moreover, with the full road closure, there were adequate space for everybody and no pushing shoving squeezing as what has happened so frequently in all other races. I had a smooth run up to the East Coast Parkway. Up on the bridge, finally managed to see a few more familiar faces - Mike from Safra TP; Fennel, Cosmic, Doraemon Red. Water was plentiful throughout the route - I think they got a bit kiasu after the few past death. Also ran past a few pacers wearing singlet shouting 2:15. Er what were they doing so far ahead. At this pace, they are looking at sub 2!

At East Coast Park, stopped for a toilet break. Had been controlling since the start as I didn't want to go to the foul smelling portable toilet. What a relief:) Time was 56:39 at the 10km mark. Hmm, at this pace, it was 50/50 for a sub 2.

Curiosity got the better of me the next time I saw another pacer wearing a 2:15. Told him he was going way too fast for 2:15. He told me he not use to running so slowly and 'cannot control' his speed. I think that's bullshit. If they signed up to be a pacer, than by hook or by crook they should stick to their assigned time rate otherwise they will sabo all the runners tagging after them. If they can't do it, than don't volunteer. At Nicoll highway, which was like 17km, there were a group of them - 2 of them with 2:30 timing and it was only like 1 hour 40 mins. They were definitely way too fast for their timing band!

The ending was a bit of a let down. At Raffles Boulevard, had expected to run into Marina Boulevard to finish at the floating platform but instead we ran all the way to the back of the stand before doing a sort of left turn, right turn to finish. I think the route was changed slightly and deviate from the map. Sian, I had expected a straight home stretch where the runners can do the usual last minute chiong or compete with other finishers but it was not to be.

Anyway, I finished 1:58:47 so I only managed to hit the 'better' target but I am quite satisfied considering that during the training runs, I have been doing like 2:10 - 2:30 for 20kms runs.

Waited around for M - she came in about 2:10 so that will probably be a PB for her.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mt KK Climbathon

Fortunately and definitely not qualified to do this. My only association with it is a friend is doing this and after 7 months of training, they are finally going off on Friday to Kota Kinabalu.

NTUC Club held a big bash at the Legends, Fort Canning to send off the 13 runners comprising of 11 guys and 2 ladies. Real big bash - MP Guest of Honour; Malaysian Dato Minister, buffet dinner, fire eating performance etc etc and I was there to enjoy the food:)

This is the 2nd year NTUC Club is sponsoring the Singapore team. Last year, a few of the sgrunners took part. This year sgrunners presence is down to 1. Last year only 3 of the team members managed to complete the race within the cut off time. So in good typical traditional Singapore style - to avoid the same fate, import foreign talent! This year they rope in 6 Gurkhas! I suppose they think the Gurkhas hailing from a similar background will be able to complete it and do the team proud.

Anyway, the whole team is a winner already - to be able to go through the vigorous training and to be able to compete in what is billed as the toughest mountain race on earth. Good luck and God speed to everybody in the team and especially to Terence.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Running Lab Thu Night Run

Reached a bit late about 6.45 pm and there were only a few runners waiting. Went to the changing room to change and when came out suddenly the shop was bustling with people. Within 5 minutes, there were so many runners and a number of new faces. Total of 36 today. Ayin couldn't make it, Eddie was late so it was left to Ben and me to jaga them.

Ben did the warm up + cool down - I kaypoh here kaypoh there trying to find out who running what distance and gauge their level of fitness without appearing too condescending or disconcerting. A number of the new comers indicated will do the shorter distance but in the end almost everybody went all the full 10km or if not at least 8km.

Poor Ben and me had to chiong up and down to make sure nobody pengsan or got kidnapped:). At the floating platform on the return leg, walked back with a new guy.

All in, without counting the walking, probably did a 8.5km distance sort of fartlek - so still got a pretty good workout in the end.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Bad Weather or Weak Mind?

Wanted to do a 20k run today.

Went with M and friends to the Esplanade. Started from there, ran the AHM new route before turning into Marina South for the girls to familiarize themselves with the Shape Run route. Weather was good - cloudy with strong wind.

Back at Marina Promenade, suppose to run to Kallang Riverside Park before turning back to make it a total distance of app 20km. The Sun by now was out and shining strongly. Reached the 2nd flyover and decided to turn back. In the end ran only 15k. The sun too strong. The heat too hot.

Somehow it feel better to blame the weather or any other things except my own weak mind, spirit and body.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Washing Machine Ate My Socks

I have 4 pairs of Wright socks, 2 Ultimax, 2 Thorlos and 1 Injinji.

The &(#^%$) of a washing machine decides the Injinji taste the nicest and ate it. Now my poor injinji has lost its twin. Anybody got a single Injinji to spare?

One of life's great mystery:

- Why does washing machine only eats socks - not handkerchief, not underwear?
- What happens to the remains of the socks after the washing machine finished with it? What goes in must go out right?

Some insight to the mystery of the (*&%$ washing machine here

Hmmm it's seems like I not alone. There must be a conspiracy somewhere - maybe socks manufacturers and washing machine makers are banding together ...

Conrad's Column - hey maybe the wife did it!
George Johnson on Science Science gets into the mystery

Monday, July 30, 2007

Olympic Gold??

The Olympic Council is trying to prevent Oscar Pistorius from trying out for the Olympics Games. According to Olympic officials, Pistorius who runs with a pair of carbon fibre leg because he doesn’t have real legs has an unfair advantage over normal runners. Firstly, his special shoes – gives him a technological advantage over normal runners as they are lighter and ‘springier’. Further according to the official, since he doesn’t have any legs, he will not have lactic acid buildup; will not suffer leg cramp; will not have associated leg injuries problems like runner knees, shin splint blah blah blah and therefore will not feel fatigue and therefore have unfair edge over mortal human runners.

Hmm, if this is indeed the case and if all it takes is a technologically superior piece of equipment to win............

It is no secret that Singapore wants an Olympic gold medal desperately. Singapore has never been able to produce an Olympic Gold Medalist (for that matter, any medalist except Mr Tan Howe Liang) in any events in the Olympic Games.

The perfect solution is now staring us in the face.

- Despite what the Olympics people said – we need talented runners. People with natural born talent. So first thing first is to scout China and maybe Africa for talents and bring them here under the Foreign Talents scheme.
- Train them to run the 400m and above distance as the fake legs are no good for short distance running as it makes it difficult for him to get off the starting block fast.
- Next, cut off their legs and fit them with the prosthetics legs.
- Viola – natural born talents with technology advantage!

Sure to win the next Olympic gold medal. SSC, SAA and Mr LLK – what say you?

PS: I am sure the runners will have no problems losing a leg or two. After all the reward for winning an Olympic or Asian Games gold is a cool million dollar. Catch them young enough and they have many years to earn this many times over and who knows by than technology will be so advanced that the legs will look and feel like real legs.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Tour de Farce

This one not on running.

The Tour de France has turned into the Tour de Farce. One could imagine that after the controversy over Lance Armstrong’s drug test, the cyclists (who I imagine are all professional) will know what to do (or rather what not to do).

Instead it has been one scandalous news after another:

First to be bump off was German Patrick Sinkewitz who failed a drug test. This was followed by Alexandra Vinokourov (banned blood transfusion). Then Cristian Moreni of Italy failed a doping test and now there is the biggest one of all Dane Michael Rasmussen. Ironically, he didn’t get bump off for failing any test. He got kicked off for telling ‘lies’ after he refused to submit to any tests post tournament.

It’s so sad. I am not a big fan of cycling and don’t indulge in the sports but have always admired Lance Armstrong when he came back from cancer to win the Tour 7 times. So the Tour was special for this reason. Now it’s a bladdy farce and a disgrace to the sporting fraternity.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Inter Con Run 2007

Kena cheo to run the inter con run on 1 Sep. Last time round still recuperating from the surgery. This time look like got no choice. Gary can't seem to be able to find enough young male runner to form a proper team. M also got dragged in. Still short of 1 female runner. Anybody from Simei want to apply?

Gary came in 3rd in the Saucony Run and 8th in last week Mizuno run Veteran category but even than with him on our side, our team stand no chance. The youngster are simply too fast - they can finish the 5.6km in like 19 minutes whilst the majority of us are in the wrong end of the Open category and will be lucky if we can touch 25 minutes.

Hopefully, the start of the race will not be like the Mizuno with the bottleneck at the exit of Temasek Poly.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Mizuno Wave Walk a Jog 2007

Supposed to do the Mizuno Wave Run - first time it was being held at Bedok Reservoir. The last race held there was the Real Run Terrain Race and back than I wondered how they could fit it so many runners on such a small track but they did and it was a nice run than. Hopefully, this time round it will be the same. Plus with the rain - maybe a lot of people won't turn up:)

It rained the whole of yesterday and the night and the place was going to be soggy but it was home ground for me and I didn't really care - just go and enjoy. Since there was no timing taken, I didn't expect much - just go run and collect my goodie bag at the end. I targeted to finish in 1:10:00. No PB or anything like that.

M didn't run today as she was still recovering from a cold. Reached Temasek at about 7.10am and was lucky enough to drive around and found a small corner to tuck the car in. The race didn't start until about 7.40 am becos the VIP came late. They had to do a show of it - put the whole lot of them into a mini bus and drove the bus up to the track. That was the first sign of trouble - the organiser obviously was more interested in the public relations than the running.

I was probably only about 10 metres behind the balloon arch but that was bad enough.

Race started
1.09 - crossed the start line. Very normal. No big deal
5.40 - walked/jogged to first gate of TP. What to do:(
8.56 - stucked in the 2nd bottleneck for so long. Finally managed to reach the Bedok Reservoir trail. What the %^^&*! Nearly 9 minutes for a distance of less than 400metres!
From there on, it was skipped avoid skipped as I tried to avoid stepping into the puddles of water and being hit by the splash created by other runners and also avoid being hit by other runners also skipping here and there.
31.33 - Finally exit Bedok Reservoir. Never ran so slow there before. Oh well there's always a first time. Another bottle neck. This time on the flyover above the longkang.
37.16 - 5 km. Got to run the balance 5km in under 23 minutes if I want to finish below 1 hour. Forget it - just stick to my 1:10 target. From Bedok Reservor Road, it was slightly easier to run as I choose to run on the road.
47.48 - 7 km. Hmm didn't realise I had started to run that fast. 2km in 10 minutes?
52.48 - 8 km. Can't be. Something wrong with the distance marker. Quite sure I was running not faster than 6 minutes pace.
58:00 - 9 km. Back on the trail. Back to skipping and jumping.
1.02.35 - Crossed the balloon arch. Er I thought the end point was supposed to be back at Temasek Poly? M and Kelly shouted to me. Not yet finish. Run some more! What the *%$$! Where was the end. This seems like it since everybody is walking up and down.
1.03.08 - The clock. This must be it. And yah, I think the distance was less than 10km - at most 9.5km. What a bladdy screw up.

Queued up another 1+ hour to get the goodie bag. 3 queues snaking all the way to one lousy entrance. Karen managed to get a Maxim magazine from the other event being held concurrently by Aljunied GRC. A walk a jog. With the way this event was organised - they should have just combine the 2 events together and call it Mizuno Wave Walk a Jog and don't waste the serious runners time!

On the plus side - there was adequate water points and t-shirt didn't run out. Even got Milo - first time I managed to drink Milo at a Singapore race (but actually the Milo is for the other event).

Will I join again? Why not if the goodie bag is worthwhile and I just want to do a morning jog.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

?????

44 - 36 = $8 not a problem
42 - 21 = 21 big problem

15 more days to decide before the it become 55 - 45 and the gap increase to $10 + 11 or $9.

What should it be?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Kiasi

3 days of rest. Could feel the onset of a flu on Thursday. Normally couldn't let something as small as let stop me but with so many sudden death nowadays, have to be a bit more kiasu and kiasi. Ran a slow run on Thursday evening, rest on Friday and Saturday and on Sunday was tempted to go for a run but in the end decided to rest another day. Ended up with some strength conditioning and even than, broke it into 2 sessions.

Why so kiasu? Quite sure I don't have any heart abnormalities (that I'm sure cos that could have been pick up during NS). The other major cause of sudden death is heart attack due to high blood pressure, diabetes or high cholesterol both of which fortunately I also don't have. So I guess must be getting old. And the other thing, while I may not have all those diseases, not sure whether I have any blocked blood vessels. That is quite possible since I love to eat fatty food especially braised pork knuckles.

I guess just don't want to be another headline breaking news - not for the wrong reasons anyway.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Silly Old Me and My PI

Silly old me. Found out why I getting arch pain whenever I wear my PI.

I used half size orthotic insoles whenever I run. In my other running shoes, I have removed the original insoles (which has an arch) and replace it with a flat off the shelf purchased insole so that the arch is not 'doubled'.

When I got the PI, forgot about that and just place the orthotics insoles inside resulting in the shoes overall arches becoming artificially higher and resulting in my foot being forced upward.

It was only when changing the insole for the G2110 when I removed the insole that I saw the flat insole and it dawned on me that that could be the cause! Bingo! What a goodnu!

Now I have got for 3 10km distance with the PI without problem and no black toe as well.

And I thought I had to relegate my beautiful PI to a gym shoe:)

Monday, July 09, 2007

Saucony 100Plus Passion Run Results

Wow the official results are out. The organiser is damm efficient.

54:37 and 95 out of a field of 289.

M did even better. 58:45. Top 20 - No 19 out of a field of 85.

The ex-VRP girls also did quite okay considering 2 had not run for the past 2 weeks and I had a painful bump but still they completed in very credible time.

My neighbourhood running hero and team captain for Simei, Gary Goh was even more fantastic. 41.01 3rd

Give ourselves a big pat on the back:)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Saucony 100Plus Passion Run

Another week another race. Seems like there are so many races nowadays. So far I have done the Mizuno Mt Faber, the Real Run Terrain Race, Penang half marathon and today the Saucony 100Plus Passion 10Km race at East Coast Park. 2 weeks later there will be the Mizuno Wave Run and than next month the Army Half Marathon.

This is the first 10km race where they issued timing chip (other than the NB Real Run) and I was looking forward to it very much. I am still doubtful of my recovery and even though I had during training went below 60 minutes for 10km, I wasn't really sure of the distance and I wanted to use this race to confirm once and for all my 10km pace. The earlier 10 k race at Mt Faber didn't count - it was the first race after the operation and it was done at a very relaxed pace together with M.

The race was pretty well organised. In view of the constraint of the route, the race was split into 5 wave - 2 for the men's open, 1 for the lady's open and 1 combined for the veteran and junior. The last was the fun category. The running route was also well separated and there was no worry of running into each other. 100 plus was freely available and there was marshals all over. They also managed to keep out most of the roller bladers and cyclists.

My target was to run it under 1 hour at a comfortable pace. I still remember the 2005 NB Real Run where I did my best official 10km and promptly vomited at the end. That is what sifu Sebas called 'vomit' pace, the type of race where at the end, you are left heaving and breathing so hard that after the first sip of water, everything will come out.

By the time my wave started at 8.15 am, it was pretty hot. I was standing with DO, Dream and a few other sgrunners (I think) almost at the front. M was somewhere behind. Also saw Gary in front. When the race started, all of them disappeared from sight within seconds. Wah so fast. I ran at a slightly faster than normal pace and found it hard to breathe. Still, reach the u-turn point in 26.50 mins and I knew that I was on target for a under 60 minutes finish if I can continue at the same pace. Having run there so many times, I know the return journey alongside the chalet and the lagoon was going to be hot. Somewhere along the chalet, Charles the barebodied Hongkonger caught up with me. That guy has already ran 47 full marathons in 10 years from 1995 until 2005 and that is including 3 operations on both his knees! At the finishing point, saw Bee and Ronnie in front of me, running side by side. Looks like she has fully recovered from her fall some time ago. I crossed the line in 54:46mins which makes me very happy. I have achieved my target. M finished slightly behind in 58:43 mins, a PB for her - in fact the first time she has finished under 1 hour for a 10km run.

Now the big question for me - dare I take the challenge and go for the full distance this year end!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Pain today Gone tomorrow

Just as mysteriously as it appears, the pain at the back of the knee has disappeared.

Still can't figure out what causes it. Over exercises, over stretch? Can't be since the sessions the 2 days preceding the pain appearance was quite light - a run at Bedok Res on Sunday, a 30min cycling in the gym + the usual strength training the next day. Did I pull a muscle doing maybe the leg extension? Or like read somewhere, the seat on the stationery bike was adjusted wrongly?

Guess I won't know until it reappears again.

But thank goodness it is not serious as I fear.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Pain!

Cham liao. Now got pain at the back of the right knee. Felt it yesterday morning. It was okay on Sunday after the run at Bedok Res. Monday evening was just 30 mins on the stationery bike, some strength training and nothing that could have caused it. Funny thing is - there was no pain during running last evening but this morning it was more pronounced so much so that I had to apply gel and wear support knee guard.

A quick check on the net and this is the closest I can find:

"Baker’s Cyst The cyst usually occurs due to some other problem in your knee such as arthritis or even a tear of your meniscus. The swelling from this problem causes fluid to build up in your knee. This fluid pushes out the weakest point of your joint capsule surrounding your knee. This is usually to the back portion of your knee capsule, and a cyst forms. The cyst has a valve made out of your joint capsule tissue. This valve can sometimes become clogged and the fluid becomes trapped in the cyst. Thus, even when the injury has resolved, you still have the swelling in the back of your knee. This is associated with pain usually described as dull and aching. The pain is worse with prolonged walking or standing. It is sometimes improved with rest, elevation and taking pain medication." - www.alternativemedicinenew.org

Is this it? So far can't see any swelling although it is difficult to look behind the knee. Anyway, I don't think there is much meniscus left in the right knee after the surgery so hopefully it will just go away with some good old icing and rest.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Mad Dash Home

10.05 am Set off from hotel in happy mood to go airport. Flight is at 12.05

Stopped to put petrol. The machine refuses to take my credit card. The attendant didn't seem to know what to do. Told him I reverse to another pump. He insisted I try again. Finally, made him pump the petrol and I will pay cash. Shit.. he didn't pump it all the way to full. Now I have to stop again to put in that little bit more before returning.

Drove on... holy cow.. we end up on Penang Bridge and its jalan sehaleh all the way. Started to panic. Barely 45 minutes to reach airport to check in. Have been trying to find a way up the bridge for the past 2 days and failed and here we here up there when we don't want to! Can't seem to find a way to u-turn until the end. Have to stop to ask for directions and than kena pay toll. Which was fine but we still have to drive the 8km back to Georgetown and find the airport.

Less than 45 minutes to go before the plane takes off and we are nowhere near the airport. It's a mad mad rush as we sped through the roads desperately looking for directions to the airport.

Somehow, we managed to end up at the airport with less than 20 minutes to go. Screeched to a stop at the departure hall, 2 of the girls ran out with the passport, the other 2 unload the luggage and I drove off to return the car. Just like in the movie!

Made it by the skin of our teeth. The check in had already closed but thankfully, it was a man there and probably impressed by the sight of 2 ladies running towards him, he reopened the counter and they managed to check in.

It was also smooth sailing at the Avis counter. The girl did not insist on a visual inspection of the car, told me it's okay if the petrol tank is not full.. I suppose they have my blank charge slip after all. Gave her our rambutans and banana which we had planned to eat while waiting for the plane.

Managed to board the plane with 15 minutes to go. Back at JB, it was plain sailing until we alight at custom. Couldn't find my tickets for the bus for the continuing journey and in the end had to pay again. This time made sure put the new tickets in my pocket. Can you believe it.. at Singapore side, the tickets go missing again. What the &*($!

Anyway, it was a good experience. The whole trip. I enjoyed the experience of driving around in a foreign place, trying out the nice food. The race was so so. Didn't really like the way it was organised (which means I won't be back). And I enjoyed being the thorn among the roses!

Penang Bridge Marathon 2007

2.55 am. Went to the hotel lobby. Taxi not here yet.
3.00 am. No sight of taxi
3.05 am. Ask the hotel to call and check what happened. Taxi driver says he come at 3.30am. What the ^&%#! He's supposed to come at 3 am and bring us there by 3.30!
3.15 am. Taxi turned up.
3.40 am. Reached the USM. Road closed. Had to get down and walk. Taxi driver say only 1km. 1km my foot! Took us 15 mins to walk there! Sweating like hell. Registration close at 4.15am. Will we be on time!
4.00 am. Finally located the place where they are distributing the wrist band. Why can't they issue it at the number tag collection? M is asked to go to another site to collect hers so we split from there. Followed the crowd and walked across the Padang
through a housing estate and back onto the main road. Sigh, why can't they site the start point nearer? Took me almost 10 mins to walk there. Maybe this is the organiser's way of getting the runners to warm up?

We are doing the half marathon. This is my first major race for the year. I am not aiming for a PB. I just wanted to use this race to assess myself and see whether I am back to full fitness. So far the signs have not been good. The past few runs I have took 2.30 hours or more to complete 20km. In fact, the last 22km run was completed in almost 2.45 hours!

The crowd was huge. From the registration list we saw on Friday, the largest turnout was for the half. There are only about a 1000 runners for the full (in all categories) compared to almost 5000 for the men's half. Most of the runners were wearing the event's tees and a lot of them looks very young - in their late teens and most of them are in groups. I am stuck about 50 metres from the start line. I have a bad feeling!

4.30am. The race is on! Er what race - everybody was still walking. Struggled to go to the front but the crowd is too massive. 1.20 minutes it took me to cross the start line and even than couldn't run. About 10 minutes into the race and there are many walkers all over especially the young teens. They are walking across the width of the road. It's going to be a long run.

Finally up the bridge. At least a little bit of space to run. More and more walkers now. Than there are those kamikaze's runners - chiong for 20metres than walk than chiong and they criss cross the width of the road without regards for anybody.

First waterpoint. There is no more water! I couldn't believe it! So early in the race and they ran out of water? Luckily it was still early and I was okay without the water. The weather wasn't so good. I had expected a crisp cool weather, being so early but unfortunately it was just like another night in Singapore, hot and humid.

Didn't recognise anybody. Than saw this guy wearing a World Harmony Run t-shirt. Went nearer to him. He was listening to the ipod and damn - running with his eyes closed. Was he sleeprunning? Decided to 'wake' him up from his 'sleep'. Told him he damn good - can run with eyes closed! He opened his eyes to stared angrily at me. Gave a shout 'Singapore' to him and quickly dashed off before he hatam me.

The bridge seems to stretch on and on. There are no distance markers except some weird distance markers for the full marathon. Even those didn't make sense to me the way they are spread out. Saw some full marathon runners on the other side of the road. Started looking for familiar faces again. Finally saw IMD and Teelee running together. Shouted a loud 'hi' to them. Now managed to past a few woman running the full marathon. In fact, they are all walking. I estimated the distance for them should at most be about 18km. Walking at such early stage?

Finally I reached the uturn. Time taken about 1:08 hours. Is it 10km or 11 km already? Really had no idea. Managed to get 2 cups of water. Decided to take a pack of the powergel and leave the jelly beans. The return trip is just the same monotonous run. Continued to run at the same constant speed maybe 7min pace. Am overtaking more and more full marathon runners. I am very surprised. They started 1 hour earlier and most should have cleared this sector by now.


Picked up the pace a little bit but soon ran smacked into a big crowd. It's the 10k fun runners and the kids are everywhere. They had started their run 1 hour later and are now doing the return leg. Sign :( how to run like that! Anyway, that's mean I am near the end.

Finally, saw a sign that said '1km to go' on the way down the bridge. My watch shows 2:03 so that could be my 21km timing I supposed. Reached the end and was given a medal and a blank certificate. Total time taken 2:09:07 hours. Quite surprise. Based on the pace I was running at, I had expected to finish in about 2:20 but anyway am very satisfied with the time since it translated into a less than 6min pace for the 22.3km distance (if it is actually 22.3km)!

The organisation at the end was just as bad. The drinks soon ran out and by the time M came back, there was no more drinks. She completed the run in 2:18:04 hours which was a PB for her as it was better than her last year SCSM half marathon which was shorter.

Crossed over to the other field and it was better - free milo, corn fakes, fruit juice, coffee, yakult but the queues were very long. The goodie bag collection was in a separate building. After that went to find the 3 ex VRP girls before going back to the hotel.

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