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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.

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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.

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