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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Click-4-Klick Prelude

Another day to go before the end of the year. Gonna spent the start of the year at 2 reservoirs. At around 2 am in Bedok Reservoir and thereafter sometime in the morning at MacRitchie supporting Wonder Woman in her quest to raise funds for the needy.

A rather meaningful way to start the year I suppose. So far, according to the latest update from the blog, nearly $20,000.00 has been raised. Not bad considering that the publicity was limited and started very late. However, this is still far off the target of $50,000.00.

So friends, why not start 2010 on a feel good mood and pledge your support for this worthy event. And if you and your family are free, come down to MacRitchie on Friday to witness this extraordinary lady doing her wee little bit.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Rewind

The year is over. Time for a review.

2009 started off well with some new races in the first half of the year such as the Newton Run; Suburban Run and a Valentine Day Run. For the former and the new POSB Run for Kids in July, instead of participating as a runner, we volunteered as 'Run Pacer' and had heck of a nice time. Maybe if the opportunity arises in 2010, will volunteer for more of such events.

Apart from that bright spark, 2009 was a bit of a disappointment. In spite of the many new races, I did only 7 races, having had to sit out the Singapore Bay Run/Army Half Marathon and choosing to skip the SCSM. The longest race distance was only 15km. Compare this with 2008 when I did 10 events including 2 full marathons.

The main problem was the series of injuries that hit me - first an unidentified foot pain in February, then mild plantar fasciitis followed by a stress fracture and finally an ankle sprain. Anyway, with the very much reduced mileage (now only 20km a week), the problems seems to have been contained and hopefully 2010 will be less problematic.

Looking back at my 2009 resolutions, I managed to keep 1 ha ha and that is not to run a full marathon this year. Unfortunately for the other 2, I still waiting. Maybe will never be kept but so be it.

So what lies ahead in 2010? Let me sleep on it for a while.

Friday, December 25, 2009

SCSM 2009 Pictures Memories

A little bit late but here are some memories of the SCSM 2009

Never let some silly little excuses stop you

Weight - no problem
Obese - no big deal
Leg pain. Get a walking stick
Wheel chair also can
Age? It's all in the mind
Cannot see? Get a helper
How about this 2? Is one of them blind too?
This guy says it all
Please don't cry
But if you must cry, a towel to dry your tears will be helpful
All in the family:
Ah Kong and Ah Ma?
Father and child
Husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend?
Hmm how did they do it?
1 FM and 1 HM and yet the twain met?
Some dancing to take the mind off the race
Thank God no armpit hair!
Ice cream on the mind?
No ice cream, shirt also can
HOT????
Some air for the tummy
Unzip for the breast, umph sorry chest
Better still. Take it all off and cover the head as well
The 'first' local lady to cross the FM finish line!
Her time? Gun Time: 3:05:38 but unfortunately no prize for her
She DNQ big time
My apologies if anybody featured here is offended.

More photos here.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

2 Eyes 4 Eyes

After 40 years of being a 4-eyes monkey, I finally took the first step towards liberating myself from the specs. But did I waited too long? My bro did it when it was first introduced to this part of the world. He was damn gungho. He was in KL, heard about it, walked into the only hospital in Malaysia offering lasik at that time and did it there and then. Pre-op assessment, op all in one go. That was like more than10 years ago. Then a few years ago, the little sis did it and even drove herself home after the op.

Why did I wait so long? I really don't know. Just didn't feel any urgency then but somehow last month on one rainy evening with nowhere to go, ended up at one of the free talk and felt convinced enough to finally sign up.

So did I waited too long? The assessment today didn't turn out well. First I had dry eyes and with that according to the doctor, the probability of regression is increased. And worse, there is signs of early stage cataract (yeah that's how old I am) which means if the cataract become full grown within the next 2 years, I will have wasted the money on the lasik. And I haven't even mentioned the 老花眼 which will means I still need reading glasses.

So it looks like I will not be specky free after all.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's ain't Easy

Once in a while to take a break from running, will try to attempt something new. Of course, most of the time, it makes me look like a silly old tod.

Went with the Princess to this place at Orchard Central with the fancy name BorderX which was supposed to have the highest indoor rock climbing wall in South East Asia. They have 2 options. A rock climbing wall and a wall known as a Ferrata (or something like that) which was actually the same climbing wall but with metal steps all the way up to the top.

Being kiasu people, and to get our money worth, opted to climb the taller wall. Pay more must get money worth so must climb more. Very simple logic. And beside, I have never attempt rock climbing before. Those metal steps look so much easier even though it was much higher. Just climb up. Piece of cake.

We were supposed to go up in pair. The Princess went first. She has done rock climbing on and off since primary school so it shouldn't be a problem.
But of course, looks can be so deceiving. Just a quarter way up, we were stuck as we tried to negotiate a climb to the right. Man, it need hell of a lot of strength to hold on and eventually pull ourselves up to the overhung where we got stuck again.
Eventually we made it - all 30metres of it to the top. And I felt like I conquered Mt Everest. Ha ha. And we reward ourselves for the hard labour with a nice treat at Ben and Jerry!

Monday, December 14, 2009

MR

I recorded the fastest time for MR Route 4. 1:06:59. So happy. Big thrill.

But of course for some people, this type of time is like what so big deal - not even sub 60!

But for me hor - after 3 years this is the best so far and that is after walking the whole of the super rocky path parallel to the SICC course and starting at 9am after the sun had come up.

Nice feel good way to end the running for the rest of the year, perhaps?

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Click-4-Klick

Everybody loves a challenge. I guess in my list of acquaintances and friends, none more so than this lady, Kelly. She among all that I know has ran the most marathon and ultra marathons. 38 in all in the past 8 years!

To kick off 2010, she has decided to take on not 1 but 2 challenges.

1) Challenge no 1 - to run non-stop for 30 hours and to cover 160km in the process
2) Challenge no 2 - to raise $50,000.00 for the President's Challenge.

I really have to salute her (actually if I am in camo, I have no choice ~ she is a Major in the SAF) but it is her mental strength that amazes me. Read more about her races adventure here.

Back to the 2 challenges, on 1 January 2010 at 3am she will start running circles at Bedok Reservoir before running from there to MacRitchie Reservoir where she will continue running the 10.5km trail until she hit 30 hours. She hopes supporters and friends will help her to complete the challenge by donating generously to the President's Challenge either with an outright donation or a pledge of an amount ($1 or more) for every kilometre ran.

Unlike most fund raising projects, all donations received for Click-4-Klick will go directly to the President's Challenge. There will be no deductions of fund raising expenses, admin charges etc. So please donate generously.

For more information on the challenge and how you can make a donation or pledge, click here. For more information on the President's Challenge, click here.

Monday, December 07, 2009

SCSM 2009

It was a cool, cloudy breezy morning. As I sat there, perched on a railing on Esplanade Bridge watching the initial runners come in, there was a small twinge of regret that I was not out there running in such nice weather. But then the human jam came and mayhem broke out not just for the runners especially the poor FM runners but even for us supporters as we tried valiantly to look out for known faces. It was frustrating trying to spot familiar faces and I can imagine even more so for the weary runners trying to weave in and out especially as they attempt to breach that last 200metres and hopefully get a PB or achieve the target.

So I was reminded again of why I choose to sit this out (aside from my laziness to train) and was contended enough to just soak in the atmosphere and take some pictures.

M who had originally also decided to sit this out with her loving hubby (ahem) was roped in as a last minute replacement for a friend who gave up on the HM. So poor loving hubby had to wake up early after all and go down early (original plan was to reach the padang at 7am). Found myself a good spot to watch the runners steaming in and sat there for 5 hours holding in the pee. Actually was quite tempted to just let go on some of the walkers below me ha ha but that would means I will end up having free lunch and possibly dinner so no choice but to tahan until most of friends have passed (if I could spot them in the first place).

Anyway, to all those who completed the race, whether it is 10k, HM or FM, whether you plod or run, your heart will thank you for it. Not too sure what your legs will said though but well done. Get a nice rest and see you next race.

Photos will be up by Wednesday (hopefully). Check back here.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Running the Marathon for Plodders Part 6 The Final Chapter

By the time you read this, you will either
1) be walking like a duck or
2) celebrating your achievement or
3) doing both the above

But whatever it is, congratulations on completion of the full/half marathon. Maybe you did much better, got a PB, maybe you didn't do so well and really ended up walking the main bulk of the race - but whatever it is - you completed and you survived to read this crap. And if you are really reading this - please do share some of your feelings during the race.

Look back - what went well. Think of everything that you did right and consistently apply them to the next races.

And those things that went wrong? What are they? What caused them? And more importantly how to overcome them in future.

Did you get cramps? If so, at what distance? Getting cramps too early may imply you were running too fast, much faster than your normal training pace. Getting cramps after the 30km is fairly usual. But it should not be so. Likely cause is insufficient mileage. The legs just couldn't take the constant pounding. Need to run longer distance in future training lor.

Hit the wall. Ah the dread wall. How to describe it? It is like you have totally no strength to even walk. You simply can't move. Does this sound familiar. I hope not. But if it did happened, it is usually because of insufficient training. Mileage as well as time. How to train for this? I like to think that you need to run for hours and hours just so that the body can get accustomed to being out in the sun and pounding away for 4 - 5 hours. Distance is not so important here. More the amount of time spent.

Walking around in circle or like a drunk. Did you see anybody doing that or maybe you yourself was doing it? This is a classic sign of dehydration and impending heatstroke. Remedy is simple - drink water consistently.

Anything else that happened to cause you to not do so well or have a bad experience? Come forth and share.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Running the Marathon for Plodders Part 5

It's finally here. You are raring to go and move from being a plodder to a runner. But first some things to bear in mind.

Day before the race:

Make sure you have your timing chip and bib. Secure them the night before the race. Put all your race attire aside and get everything ready. No need to kalakabo in the morning.

Do not wear anything new. If you have been thinking that 2XU is a math formula, Skins is what you have on your body, don't try them out during the race if you have never worn them before. Likewise that sports bra or nice singlet that you bought from the Race Expo. New apparels need to be seasoned or rather your body need to be seasoned to them so don't wear anything that is brand new.

Stop eating anything that will give you the runs. That means, no spicy Mala hot pot or Samy curry fish head. Clear your stomach as much as you can.

Carboload? What's that? Unless you are from a country that do not eat rice or noodle daily, there is really no need to have a night of gorging on pasta, bread and rice. All that food will just cause a stomach upset.

Plan your transport so that you can reach the race site at least 1 hour before the start time.

In the morning

Set your alarm clock to wake up at least 3 hours before the race to give you sufficient time to eat, get ready and travel down to the race site.

Eat a light meal at home. Good food to eat are bread - get the Gardenia or Sunshine roll; a cup of Milo and a banana.

Clear your stomach before you leave the house.

Bring along a small bottle of water and a banana. Eat the banana while waiting for the race to start. Take small sip of water. Discard the bottle when the race start. No need to carry it along.

Finally the Race

Stay within your desired timing pen. Don't go to the front where you will be trampled upon by the elites.

There is no need to do any hard run to warm up. You are not the elites. Starting off slowly will do for the warm up. However, you may want to do some light dynamic stretching to warm up and loosen the joints and body.

The need to pee is more in your mind than in your "uhem". Ignore it or wait until you reach the first proper toilet. It is not very glam to pee in the open.

Don't follow the crowd and charge from the beginning. Be discipline and stick to your run strategy.

Drink at every water point. Okay you can skip the very first water point if you don't feel thirsty but otherwise drink even if you don't feel thirsty. It will keep your body hydrated. There is no worry of getting hyponatremia, at least not in our weather. But if you are scare of losing too much salt (is it even possible with our local diet?), that's where the salt tablet come in. Don't drink isotonic drink only. Alternate the isotonic drink with plain water.

Keep left when you run to allow the faster runners to overtake. And don't run hand in hand or side by side with your darling. Wait until the finish line for that photo taking opportunity.

Take a packet of gel every 10km. Sucks your energy chews when you hit 35km and the heat is getting to you and you are totally drained.

Keep track of your pace and slow down or speed up if necessary but do not get carried away if you are ahead of schedule. Be discipline and stick to your game plan. Otherwise the damage later on can be unimaginable.

Cramps? Hopefully won't get but if do, slow down and walk if you feel the cramps coming. Get assistance from the first aid stations along the way. And the lamp posts and trees don't need you to prod them up. Stretching may make the cramp worse.

Smile and raise your hands in triumph for the camera when you cross the finish line.

Good luck and God speed.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Running the Marathon for Plodders Part 4

Just a few more days to go. Are you ready? Here are some pointers for this week.

1) Some people said hor, no sex. Sex will affect your performance. But then, some other people believe it will help morale. Er I think unless you are looking at a podium finish, why not? The least it will do is keep your mind off the race and settle the butterflies in your stomach. And also how to pass the time from going to bed till waking up for the race? Read more here

2) Stay healthy. Eat more fruits. Take your Vitamin B. Keep away from everybody who sneezes, cough and got H1N1. Avoid fried and heaty food. You don't want to waste all your efforts to only go down sick at the last minutes.

3) Go for runs. Yes continue running. Just don't run too far too hard. Keep the legs fresh with short runs.

4) Don't go for a massage. Massage can leave your legs especially the calf sore. Wait until after the race. But a nice body scrub to keep you relax might be helpful.

5) Cut out the marathon shopping sessions these few days and especially on Saturday. Go home and rest.

6) Sleep early the night before the race. And if you cannot sleep, refer to No 1.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Running the Marathon for Plodders Part 3

Part 3 What you need and more importantly what you don't need

Start with the basic. What you need:

1) A running tee or singlet. Yes silly of me to remind you of that but I've seen people who wore buttoned shirt; sweat absorbing cheap cotton t-shirt; long sleeve shirt etc. It's going to be hot enough especially if you are going to run 5 - 6 hours so you want to be at the most comfortable. Those nice cotton tees with the fancy slogans or nice logo will absorb sweat and make it heavy. Oh and leave the clown costumes to the clowns.

2) A proper pair of running shorts. No bermuda, no long pants, no cut off jeans and for the ladies no micro jean shorts. I know those micro shorts look sexy on you ladies but the only people who will feel sexy will be the guys running behind you and oogling away while you struggle with abrasions around your nether area. Ditto the bermudas. Leave that for the beach.

3) A proper pair of running shoes. No slippers, flip flops, sneakers or basketball shoes. Need I say why? Also, don't try barefoot or use any fancy footwear unless you have run in it before and is comfortable with it. Believe me, getting blisters all over your foot is no joke especially after 20km of pounding.

4) Gel. So that your hair will look nice when you crossed the finish line when the official photographer takes a picture of you. Ha ha I am only joking although it might not be such a bad idea. I know a lady whose hair looks like a lion mane when she runs. But seriously, gel as in those jelly like thingy that comes in small satchet and you gulp them down during your run.

5) Your Bib and timing chip. These should need no reminder but somehow every year I hear of one or 2 friends who forget them. No bib no race. No timing chip - no time recorded - no finisher tee, no certificate. This one very critical you know.

6) A watch. Otherwise how you going to keep track of the time and pace? No need those fancy GPS watch. Just a simple Casio/Timex watch with a stop watch function will do.

7) A pace band if you are the forgetful sort. A pace band is a simple make it yourself wrist band where you can mark out the timing you expected to achieve at specific distance and you can use it as a guide during the run and make the necessary adjustment to slow down or speed up. You can make your pace band from these websites:


Just key in your desired finishing time and viola. Print it out and copy the tiiming onto a strip of cloth using a waterproof fabric pen. Don't use paper cos once sweat get on to it, it will just crumple up. Don't be a smart aleck and laminate either. The plastic will stick to the skin and cause abrasion.

8) A cap or something (like maybe the Buff) to protect your head from the heat. Not absolutey necessary but can come in useful.

9) PJ(dont't think naughty thoughts here), vaseline or those expensive abrasion cream like Neat, Sportshield, Bodyglide. Absolutely essential. The sight of blood streaking down the front of your tee isn't very nice.

10) Sweets. I swear by them. Not Mentos or Fruittella but powerpack energy loaded energy chews. Get them from Running Lab or at the Race Expo. Keep your mind off the distance and give you energy. Alternate with the gel.

11) Salt Tablet. Not abosultely necessary but some people thinks it will help to ward off cramps. No harm trying. Oh forget to add - don't be too smart and use cooking salt!

What you don't need. Actually very simple - anything that will weight you down. Every little items will seem to weight a ton after you ran for over 3 hours. Even the shirt you are wearing. But specifically:

1) Hydration Bag/Fuel Belt - If you don't know what these are, you can skip this paragraph otherwise there is no need to carry 1.5ltr of water on you. There will be ample water points including isotonic drinks along the route. Unless you only drink Evian in which case I have nothing to say.

2) Towel. For what? Maybe good to flick at people blocking your way but otherwise its going to absorb sweat and become heavier and heavier as you go along. Use a sweat band or wrist band if you absolutely need to clean away the sweat

3) Energy Bar. Most of them will melt halfway and become a sticky gooey mess. Stick to the gel and sweets.

4) A pouch or bag to carry all the aforesaid stuff. Stuff them into your short's pocket, pin to your shirt will do. A pouch bouncing away at your waist or a bag banging your back over 42 km is not gonna be nice.

Did I forget anything?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Running the Marathon for Plodders Part 2

Is there such a thing as a 'sure can' strategy to complete the marathon? Actually no. So sorry to disappoint you guys. That last line in the previous post was a marketing gimmick. You know keep the suspense going, get more eyeballs, get more advertising income. Ha ha ha.

But anyway seriously I think most people will be able to complete the marathon; maybe not in 3 hours, not 4 hours but maybe and that is a big maybe; depending on the amount of training or lack of; in say 5 or more hours.

But before I go on, STOP reading if you are able to run the marathon without walking (okay maybe can walk a teeny little bit at the various water points), this is not for you. This is for the plodders. (But if you die die must read, don't come and suan me when you see me okay?)

Firstly, some preliminaries. If you do not have the mileage i.e. have not consistently chalked up total weekly runs of at least 40km and a few long runs of 20km and above over the past 3 months, I can assure you - you are not going to be able to run the 42km non stop. Along the way, your legs will start to feel heavier and heavier, your heart starts to beat faster and your brain starts frying and you gonna have to walk. Everyone of us can run a little bit but walk a lot. So we gonna make use of what we know best and use it to our advantage to conquer the FM. All of these strategies that I am going to list below will involve walking. A lot. Easy right? Especially since most of us are capable of walking all day in the malls so what is 5 - 6 hours of walking for the FM?

1) Weaning Plodders

Once a plodder always a plodder. No not true lah. Can graduate but first do it one baby step at a time. So if you have been clocking 6+ hours or more previously, wean yourself off with this strategy.

Run 10 mins Walk 10 mins Repeat. Check point: 3:03 hours at the half way mark (21km)

i.e. Run 10 minutes and aim to cover 1.5km. After that walk 10 minutes covering 800 metres each time. Repeat. So for every 20 minutes you will cover 2.3km. Chicken feed right? Keep to this throughout and you are on the way to weaning yourself off from being a plodder.

Total time taken to complete the FM: 6:06 hours. Pace 8.41min/km.

2) Graduation

Break through the 6 hours barrier. If you have done some training and maybe in the run up have done up to 20km, this is for you.

Run 20 mins Walk 5 mins Repeat. Check point: approximately 1 hour 21 mins every 10km

i.e. Run 2.5km in 20 mins and then take another 4 mins to walk another 500 metres. Repeat. That will means 3km for every 25 mins. Not very difficult right? Use the 5 mins walk to relax and catch your breath. Get into the rhythm and pretty soon you see the finish line. Hurray you graduated no more a plodder!

Total time taken to complete the FM: 5:45 Pace 8:10min/km

3) High 5

Actually it is mid 5 but high 5 sounds better. Yes you can do 5:30 and below if you have some experience in running short distances but have not done too many long runs.

Run 5 mins Walk 5 mins Repeat. Check point: approximately 7.5 km every 1 hour or 2:45 at half way

This one is more 'shiong' although it sounds easy. But hor you kena have to run 800 metres in 5 mins which is like 6:15min/km. Easy for most seasoned runners but may not be easy for us plodders. Use that 5 mins walk to breathe. Yeah you probably forgot to breath while chionging the 5 mins. You know who is good at this? Those young school kids you see so often at races. They run like hell and then suddenly stop and walk and then run like hell again. Yeah we follow them but follow smart not like a headless chicken.

Total time taken to complete the FM: 5:30 Pace 7:50min/km

4) A little bit more

This one a bit more tough - need to be able to run non stop for at least half an hour but hey after that get to walk for half an hour as well. Not too bad a bargain right?

Run 30 mins Walk 30 mins Repeat. Check point: approximately 8 km every 1 hour

Basically, run 30 mins - 6 km and walk 30 mins - 2 km. Or just cover 8 km in 1 hour. How difficult can that be? Seriously if you are fairly fit and have been running consistently, this is gonna be a piece of cake.

Total time taken to complete the FM: 5:16 Pace 7:30min/km

5) Supersub 5

Congratulations and celebration when you tell everyone that you've completed under 5! (sing to the tune of Congratulations and celebration) Okay lah doesn't rhythm so well but hey I'm a runner not a singer

Run 4km in 25 mins Walk 500 metres in 5 mins. Repeat. Check point: approximately 9 km every 1 hour

And if you can pull this off, give yourself a big hug (better still hug the fella next to you) as you cross the finish line because its a 4:45 finish! Pace 6:40min/km

Cheem or not? Difficult or not? Impossible? Nothing is impossible. Just do it!

Er okay question time. How to know how far you've run? Well there are distance markers along the route and together with this little thingy which you wear on your wrist you can do the maths. And of course you can use a Pace Band. Pace Band? What is that?

That, we'll leave for the next post where I shall talk about the things you need or don't need to have for the race itself. Until then cheers and happy running.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Running the Marathon for Plodders Part 1

Nowadays with so much information on the net, everybody seems or claim to be an expert in all sort of things dishing out free advice even if it was not asked for. Like in the forum. And of course this Uncle here is no exception.

So let see. What advice shall I dole out today? Okay this being the final run up to the biggest race in this year race schedule, let's talk about the full marathon. Or more precisely, how to complete the full marathon. Wah damn like real lidat. Like I machiam expert... Ha ha but do read the following with a pinch of salt (you will need it for the marathon by the way... I mean the salt)

First of all, some basic terminology in lay man terms:

Pace - this mean how fast you run. It is often mentioned in relation to how many minutes per kilometre as is 6min/km i.e a runner takes 6 mins to run 1 km. So when someone said he ran a 5 mins pace, he is saying he run the race at an average of 5 minutes every 1 km.

Negative Split - That refers to running the second half of a race faster than the first half. Actually if you know this, you shouldn't be reading this crap but then curiosity......

Of course, the opposite of negative split is the positive split where the first half of the race is ran faster than the 2nd half. This is very normal for most people. You know, somebody actually asked me once why he ran slower and slower as he ran further and further. That - my boy - is a positive split and it's because, tired lah so naturally the further you go, the slower you become. And if you don't understand this simple logic, you are likely not ready for the full marathon.

Last but not least, we got the even split. That simply means running a constant pace throughout the whole race. Like Uncle here during the FM in 2007.

Okay, so we got pace, we got splits so how does that helps you to run the FM?

Oh by the way, if you are capable of doing 4:30 (that is for the uninitiated, 4 hours 30 minutes for the FM), this article is not for you. Please go and read some other people's advice on how to achieve sub 4 or better.

Oh yeah sub means below (like submarine) so if someone says sub 4, he or she means running below 4 hours. Usually refer to a few minutes below the hour and not say 15 - 30 mins below like 3:30 or 3:15.

Here ends Part 1. In Part 2, I will talk about 'sure can' strategy to do the FM. Can wait or not?

Monday, November 23, 2009

Tai Chi anyone?

Researcher from Tufts University of Medicine have discovered that people who practice Tai Chi regularly experience less pain in the knee. Read more here

Hurray, good news for runners. Now can practice Chi running, learn a martial art, run faster and experience less pain.

What are you waiting for? Go to your nearest Community Club now to sign up.

But oh wait a minute... before you do that, read this and this.

Sigh... back to square one.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Slacking Week!

I can't remember when was the last time I slacked so big time and I was not sick, injured or on holiday.

As of tonight, it is now 6 days since I last put on my running shoes. Not that I didn't want but then....

Sunday was rest day. You know - exercise 6 days and on the 7th day rest that type of rest
Monday was not a scheduled run day - so went to the gym
Tuesday was running day but of course the run got rained away
Wednesday could have gone running, rain had stopped and weather was breezy and cool but then if I had run, I could have been likely to run 4 days in a row so in the end abandoned the idea and went and freezed my butt in the pool
Thursday was Running Lab run night but it rained the whole day and I didn't want to risk anybody slipping and injuring themselves so cancelled the run
Friday is scheduled run evening with the Kid but he got too hungry after starving himself in school the whole day and so run cancelled in favour of early dinner which is why I am here writing this bo-liao stuff.

Saturday? we shall see.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Plodders and Marathons

Late last month, the New York Time had an article asking whether plodders have a place in a marathon. (NYT 23/10/2009). The Free Online Dictionary defines plods as " The act of moving or walking heavily and slowly.

So is it another case of elitism vs puralism? Is there no space in a marathon for those who will take more than 6 hours to complete?

Me - I consider myself a plodder. Although I have yet to finish a marathon after 6 hours, with my aging body and laziness, it's is not a matter of if but when, so naturally I shall side with the plodders. But that said - there should not be any place for those who do not train for it and do not respect the distance and I suppose at the end of the day, this is what most people should be up in hand against.

Coming back to the article, there has been a fair bit of interesting response to the articles and here are just some of them:


There is even a NY marathon anthem:

When you plod marathons
Hold your head up high
And show that you're proud to plod on.
At the end you will come to the finish line
After winners have long come and gone.
Plod on through Bed-Stuy!
Plod on through the Bronx,
Til you think you'll hit the wall
Plod on! Plod on!
Plod through Central Park,
Where you'll never plod alone!
You'll never plod alone!

Maybe someone can come up with a SCSM plodder marathon? Maybe sing to the tune of one of those National Day songs?

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Tale of 2 Nikes

Finally got a chance to try out the Nike Lunarglide. But first, a change of shoe laces. Tadah!

Did a short 5km run. The Nike Lunarglide is sort of like a 'rojak' shoe - not a full stability shoe neither a cushioning shoe or even a midfoot shoe. It is a jack of all type of shoe suppose to be suitable for everyone. Its come with flywire and a new lunarlite material which replaces the previous lunarlite material on the Lunar. It has what Nike calls Nike Natural Motion Engineering support and dynamic support system that is supposed to give a better running experience (whatever that means) and better cushioning and support. Read more here.

Of course, I got to spoilt it all by putting in my insole which makes the shoes loses its flexibility and hinder its 'ability' to adapt to my feet. But still, I felt the cushioning was good as compared to the trial pair I worn at Bedok Reservoir when we ran on softer ground. The width appears to be a nice fit as well as I don't feel the side of the big toes hurting (as compared to the Lunar) but the verdict is still out on this until I try longer runs.

Meanwhile, just on this run alone, I am pretty satisfied with the shoes considering its price or rather what I paid for it.

Also, for this run, I finally managed to put in the Nike+ sensor into a Nike shoes. The Nike+ sportsband have so far proven to be trouble free but I don't really wear it for every run so I am not too sure whether it will last the distance. Anyway in terms of accuracy - after a second calibration, it has been very accurate. Take this run for instance. The Nike+ capture the distance at 5.14km. My plotted route at Runningahead shows 5.16km and finally based on the distance markers on the PCN ground the distance is around 5km so I would say the Nike+ is almost 95% accurate which is fairly good for a cheap pedometer based equipment.


Sunday, November 08, 2009

New Balance Real Run 2009

This is the last race of the year for me. Originally, wanted to do 1 more race - hopefully overseas in December but the plan frizzled out so this is it.

I've always enjoyed doing this race - from the time it was held on Sentosa to now at the Changi Exhibition Centre. A lot of people complained about the long run back along Aviation Road facing the hot rising sun. Yes it is tough especially after doing 13km of trail, road and sand but it is part of the experience and which makes the Real Run so different from the many other road races that is available nowadays.

Ever mindful of getting my ankle sprained again, I approached this race with no high expectation. No need any PB, no choning - all I wanted was to run a good race and enjoy myself. Of course, I set a small target of finishing just under 1:30 so that I won't take it too easy.

M and me, we started at the back and crossed the start line 2mins 22 secs after the flag off. With that in mind, I ran off at a slow and steady pace so I wasn't surprised when M overtook me barely 10 mins later. No problem. The same thing happened at the practice run 2 weeks ago and I managed to catch up eventually. The plan was to take it slow on the 4km trail, pick up speed a little on the road, slow down again on the beach and then chiong back to the finish. Throughout the run, I keep checking my watch to ensure that my 2 mins buffer was still there and I wasn't too far off the mark.

These are the splits:

1 km: 5:21 Trail
2 km: 5:37 Trail
3 km: 5:45 Trail
4 km: 6:04 Trail
5 km: 5:32 Aviation Rd
6 km: 6:18 Coastal Road
7 km: 4:39 Coastal Road
8 km: 5:17 Coastal Road
9 km: 5:36 Coastal Road
10km: 5:28 Coastal Road
11km: 5:24 Coastal Road
12km: 5:46 Beach Park
13km: 7:25 Sand
14km: 7:15 Aviation Road
15km: 6:11 To finish

Okay so things didn't turned out exactly as planned. Maybe the distance marker is a little off but I certainly didn't do below 5mins/km. The trail was fairly easy to run. In fact, I found the park connector very difficult to run as it was too crowded and I thought I did fairly faster the last 2 km but oh well. At the end, I still finished as expected below 1:30 although based on gun time was just passed the 1:30 mark.

Somewhere along the run, I thought I was hallucinating when I thought I saw a lady in bikini top. Shouldn't she be on the beach? In fact, I wasn't hallucinating and I caught up with her at the beach! ha ha and she turned out to be Fia from the Punggol Runners.

Back at the finishing line, I waited for M to turn up only for her to tap me from behind. She had finished in front of me! Bravo! That was something I didn't expect considering that she has always been a lazy runner and tend to take things easy. To cap off her performance, she managed to clinch 8th position. The prize presentation was only for the top 3 position so I think she will be expecting some cash in the mail soon.
The starting route to the trail - running into the sun rise

The goodie bag, which came in the form of a messenger bag, a t-shirt, 1 Nature Valley bar, 1 100Plus, 1 Eagle Brand rub, 1 NB 30% discount voucher and some other brochures.

GE Women 10K Video

This is a little late but hey better late than never.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

A Good Decision - Nike Lunarglide

It was a dark and stormy night. Okay it wasn't that dark and the rain had almost stopped and it was early evening but I like the phrase so ... Anyway, this was Thursday and the RL TNR but I was feeling nuayed this week and with the wet ground and evil looking sky AND my rotten luck this year, chances are I would likely slipped and injured myself so decided to potang the run and go kai kai instead.

So there we were just walking around in Raffles City. Of course as with every shopping expedition, the first stop was the sports shop at the basement. Went into the Sportslink outlet first. Their 25% discount offer was still ongoing. They had the greyish white and blue Nike Lunarglide and at 25% off, it cost only $142.00 but it wasn't what I really want. Yes I was still searching for my elusive Lunarglide. However, the shop displayed out front had the Lunarglide in the new color - dark grey with red or yellow trimming. What the hell - no fish, prawn also can. Went back into the shop but was disappointed when told that the discount was not applicable to those newer models.

Walked a few more steps and next to it was another Sportslink shop. The earlier one only carried Adidas and Nike products, this one had the usual Sportslink stuff. Saw the Brooks Launch but again they didn't have it in my size! Is it really that difficult to get a size 12 shoes here in SG?

And then I saw it. A pair of Black and Orange on display - and it looks big - was it? Yes it was a size 12! I can't believe it! After trekking through the whole of Queensway and Tampines 1, to find it here of all place and the best of all - the 25% discount was applicable ~ which made it cheaper than at Queensway.
Photo from i2runner and with a very powerful review to boot

The timing is just fantastic. I am going to retire my TNF Arnuva Boa this Sunday and to have my final replacement pair found at this time. Wow! Now I can't wait to try it out and hope that it is not 1/2 size too small!

Date of Purchase: 5 November 2009

Purchased from: Sportslink Raffles City

Cost: $142.29

Worn in Races:

20.3.2010 NTUC 350
27.6.2010 KL Marathon
12.9.2010 SBR/AHM 2010
5.12.2010 Macau Marathon

Retired 29 Mar 2011

Total Mileage 546km

Sunday, November 01, 2009

GE Women 10k 2009

Once again for the 2nd weekend running, I got up at an unearthly hour not to run but to kapo in other people's run. But this one today, got no choice otherwise kena.......

Anyway, today was the 3rd instalment of the GE Women 10K Run and this year I have 2 female in the family running. Yes the Princess has been conned into taking part in this and I must said despite her laziness in training, she surprised me by clocking under 30 mins for the 5km fun run. (She still too young to take part in the 10km). M did another normal race - not fast not slow. She need to cross this hurdle to get to the next level but I guess laziness runs in the family so we shall have to be contended with mediocre performance.

The GE run was as per the past years well organised by ESG. Reasonably good goodie bag, no long queue for the drinks, baggage, no human jam and there were free Swensen ice cream! What else can a lady ask for?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Mistreatment of our Nature Reserve?

Today Straits Times (31 October 2009) carries a letter from Mr Shawn Lum, President of the Nature Society (Singapore) where he called for races to be banned from sensitive nature reserves.

Everytime I read in the papers from 'concerned' citizens calling for a ban on this or that, I get pissed off. Why banned something just because you don't like it or it goes against your own personal belief? Just like the chap who criticized the Mediacorp newsreader for wearing a black dress on Deepavali. Are we so insensitive to the needs of others and so selfish that we can only see one side of the story and impose on our beliefs and values on others?

Back to the letter.

The writer cited 3 reasons why the TNF 100 should not be held in 'sensitive nature reserves'.

1) The law. He cited the National Park Board Act which calls for the protection of the plant and animal life of our nature reserve. He questioned whether the high impact run an appropriate form of recreation in sensitive nature reserve. To this - my reply is "In what way is the run through the reserve detrimental to the protection of the plant and animal life?". In fact, the runners ran mainly on the mountain bike trails which were developed by Nparks and did not bash through the reserve at will. So how was plant and animal life threatened by the run?

2) Sustainability. He claimed that the rich biodiversity may be harmed by the noise, compaction and erosion that accompany high impact activities. Again I asked how he came to the conclusion. Runners are solitary creature by nature. They do not run, scream and shout or sing out loud while running. And they will be too tired to bash through the undergrowth. In fact, they will be do busy concentrating on the run to cause any harm to the environment. What is more damaging in fact are the weekend hikers and trekkers, family and maids in tow who laughed loudly, and bring in food to the reserve.

3) Limited Resources. Again without giving example, he concluded that the race is a mistreatment of the limited rainforest and not a prudent way to preserve the natural heritage. Again I beg to differ. It is precisely because we have a limited but well preserved forest reserve that we need to encourage more people to this area (abit in a controlled manner). Only when we go through the various different parts of the reserve can we appreciate the majestic wonder of nature and learn to appreciate nature and consequently take care of it. I am sure the runners while running through the various reserves from MacRitchie to Bukit Timah to Zheng Hua will have noticed the beautiful scenery, the lush greenery and appreciate nature more.

I did not run in this race but was there to support many of my friends who did. We picked up all the litters left behind by the runners and I am sure the organiser did the same - sending in cleaning crew after the event to clean the area. Runners were also briefed prior to the race not to leave any litters behind so I am not too sure exactly in what way did the runners or the orgainser mistreated the reserve.

Singapore is a small country. In the words of the writer, "Living in a small country means we have to accept and work around certain limitations". It is precisely because we are a small country that we need to accept and share what scare resources we have. We should not just because we do not like certain things - call for a ban because it inconveniences us or do not suit us.

Just as we need wet markets as much as supermarkets, and we tolerate cyclists on pedestrian walkways, we need to learn to live side by side in harmony and work together to enrich our quality of life be it sharing our limited green area with other users or our neighbourhood with people of all races and nationality.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The North Face 100

I enjoyed myself at The North Face 100 yesterday, not least because I wasn't one of those runners torturing themselves running 50km or 100km in the scorching heat of Singapore.

But to show solidarity for my fellow runners, I too went and suffered in the heat with them for 7 whooping hours at the pipeline parallel to the Bukit Timah Expressway just after Rifle Range Road. Together with a few other non-runners led by Tigger, we set up a support table for friends and runners. Actually, they support, I took pictures.

To the brave runners, whether you win, complete or even start the race nevermind that you may have to give up mid way through cramps or failed to hit the cut off time, I salute all of you.

Photos will be up once I sort through them and do some censorship:)

28 October 2009. Photo uploaded:



Friday, October 23, 2009

Pipelines Trail

This is just a small part of the long sprawling pipelines trail running from ZhengHua to Rifle Range Rd that participants in the North Face challenge tomorrow will have to run through on their way to complete either a 50km or a 100km race through the Singapore nature reserve areas of MacRichite, Mandai and Bukit Timah.

Thanks to T@z who volunteered to show me this beautiful area otherwise I couldn't even know such a place exist in Singapore. Now it has got me itching to run there but see all the slopes damn shiong very scare.

Anyway good luck to all friends doing this. Do stop by to say hello and get a drink when you pass by the pipelines.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Salomon X Trail Run 2009

Went over to the Tampines Mountain Bike park for my masquerade sessions.

This was the day of the Salomon XTrail Run at the TMBP. Had originally wanted to sign up for this race but my constant companion was not keen and so in the end decided to save the $38 and skipped it with a lot of regrets. Firstly, the event tee came in orange! and TMBP was like home ground since I go there pretty often. I like the wide open area, soft ground and peace except when those people go in there to fly their model planes.

Anyway, out of the blue, got a call from a friend to take over his slot as he had to run another event so begin the first of my masquerade.

Wearing a bib that did not belong to me, I went there to begin my passing off. Met M's Uncle Seah, my Simei team captain and a few friends from sgrunners. The race started a little bit earlier for the Men Open, flagged off by MP Charles Chong and the rest of us, meaning the Women, Men and Women veterans started 15 minutes later. The sun had came out by then but fortunately it soon went behind the clouds and stayed that way for the rest of the run. Since I was just there to soak in the atmosphere, I did not make any attempts to run fast (not that I am that fast anyway) and was content to hang behind the main bulk of the runners.

I thought I was pretty familiar with TMBP but the lazy runner that I am, whenever I go there, I only run the easy path but this time round they made us run all over with many up and down over the knolls and including 1 'river' crossing. Fortunately for me, my Adidas Exerta held up well, and did not get suck into the mud although my Wright socks was a goner.

The 'river' crossing. The organiser forced the runners to go into the water instead of crossing the bridge.

The narrow path especially on the various up/down slopes made it difficult to run and I had to constantly stop to let runners pass me. Also had to walk quite a bit on these slopes when the runners in front refuse to give way. Nevermind, I was in good spirit and enjoying the run so I didn't get frus like normal.

Just one of the many small narrow path that we had to navigate

Back at the end was my second masquerade session. This one more drama lol. Removed my bib and assumed another identity - this time of my Simei team captain who had to rush off for a oversea trip. Why need to assume his identity when the race is already over? Cos he came in 2nd in the Men Veteran and I unabashedly stepped up on stage to claim his prize and shake hand with the VIP! Ha ha ha my 'first podium finish' lol. I think the other runners must be wondering where this guy came from and how did he ended up 2nd! And for my masquerade, I got rewarded with a black Salomon T-shirt (the same one that was worn by the volunteers and organiser)

Not bad for a free and nice Sunday morning run!

And congrats to Uncle Seah (8th position Men Veteran), Stella (3rd Women Open). And to my friend who passed me his bib, I hope I didn't disgrace you with my slow timing.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

2 Person in the Gym

2 person at the gym yesterday caught my attention.

The first one was a boy probably about 14 - 15 yrs old. He was with his father and the father was trying to get him to do a workout. He first started on a bike and barely 10 mins later step off and then went to the treadmill where he walked another 10 mins. After the father finished his own run, he got the boy to do some stretches but all I could see was the boy making futile attempts to copy his old man. You see, the boy was obese. Not just fat but obese with wobbly chin, arms and legs.

Later, a lady came in. She started stretching impressively, went on the Flabelos and ended up on the treadmill where she stopped more than she walked. Not obese but just fat.

The things is I know 1 month later, 6 months or even 1 year later when I see them again, they will still be in the same shape. Why? From time to time I bummed into people who enthusiastically took up some sort of exercises to lose weight but I dare say most of them I know fail. Because after they finish their exercises, they are so hungry that they eat like nobody business and put back everything plus more. And I can wager my last dollar these 2 person are in this group.

Which reminds me of 1 person I know who is currently doing the same thing........ me! Ha ha ha, the scale on the weight machine has been creeping up. My food intake dates back to my pre-marathon days but now that I am only doing an average of 20km a week, it's still the same. At this rate, I will hit 80 in 1 month and maybe 90 by year end.

Oops will I have to change my nick then?

Friday, October 09, 2009

Searching searching..........

It's nearly mid October and with 2 and a half months left to go before the end of the year, am still searching for a nice oversea destination to do a race.

Originally wanted to do the Angkor Wat but that has to be put on hold as it clashed with the Kid's school term. We could go without him of course but he wanted to go Cambodia so thought it would be wasteful to go again another time so can this for the time being.

So then we decided to go Taiwan and right smack in the middle of the trip is the Taipei Marathon. How nice but M said we will be in Kaoshiung at that time and it will be too much of a hassle to travel back to Taipei and then back to Kaoshiung so that is off too. So sad. Can somebody enlighten exactly how long does it take to travel from Kaoshiung to Taipei?

There is of course the Auckland marathon but that is in November and certainly both kids will want to go along and so that time period is out since they are still in school.

A last option before the year runs out is Chiang Mai but that is like 3 days after we return from Taiwan .... do I want to travel again so soon after a trip? Hmmmmm

Where else? Anybody any suggestions?

Monday, October 05, 2009

Balance and the Physio

Read an article in the Saturday's ST about balance. No - not work life balance or family life balance whatever but physical balance as in standing/walking/cycling and not falling. I have always been bad in balancing. When I was doing my NS, I remember a lot of time I cannot clear the swing bridge(?) because the darned thing keep moving when you try to run across it.

Anyway, the writer of the article was emphasizing the importance of balance in our physical life citing example of how proper balancing can help mobility especially when we grow older.

Reading this article set me thinking about some comments some friends made some time ago about the quality of the physio in CGH. Most of the comments were that the physio in CGH were not good, not up to standard and it will be better for me to go to a private physio. Now this argument is not new and it is something that I hear very often about government hospitals in general. Not just about physio, but doctors and even nurses. And I do believe there is some basis for this. Most time, the government hospital are training grounds for medical staff. There they learn and pick up their skills and once they are 'experienced' enough, they leave for private practice. So in that sense, it is not wrong to say that the physio are not very 'good' as they lack experience.

So what has this got to do with balance? The first time I learnt or heard about balancing was you guess it - at CGH. A few years ago, when I first went for the physio session, the first thing the physio did was to check my balance. He made me stand on one leg, do squats and determine that I wasn't very good in my balancing and subsequently put me through a lot of balancing exercises on the bosu ball. In fact, the physio finally discharged me only when I could prove that my balancing had improved and I could stand on one leg without quivering for 1 minutes.

Guess what I am trying to say is - the guys at CGH SMC are not that bad. Maybe they are not too good in explaining the why but certainly in term of knowledge, I think they are right on par with the best there is but maybe lack experience?

So friends, give them a chance. I did and I believe I have benefited from the sessions there. To this day, I still do some 1 leg balancing on the Flabelos because its importance has been drummed into me by the physio and as the article pointed out - it is crucial to have good balance whether it is for the purpose of doing sports or just moving around.

PS: Unfortunately I can't reproduce the ST's article here since SPH is very ngoew about copyrights issue blah blah blah

Friday, October 02, 2009

Hurray - Starhub lost the EPL rights

I am probably like the only guy in this little red dot who is cheering the new that Singtel has won the rights to the EPL for next year.

I don't have any Mio account with Singtel. In fact, I am a Starhub cable tv subscriber which includes the sports channel. So why am I happy over the news?

Cos I gonna get to save $24.00 per month which is $288.00 per annum and that's not including GST. And that can get me 1 pair of running shoes, possibly 2 with discount thrown in.

I been meaning to cancel my subscription for quite some time but have been dragging my foot on it so this is the best opportunity to do so so. I am not going to miss watching the EPL since I hardly watch nowadays. In fact, for the whole of September, I only watched 1 game and that was the Manchester derby. And I am not a big fan of F1 so I not gonna miss that as well.

Now which shoe should I get?


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Open your mind

Went for a very informative talk by a podiatrist and a physiotherapist. The physiotherapist is apparently one of the pioneer in this line in Singapore. Both speakers were very articulate and knowledgeable and there was even short demo session.

However, one thing about the talk irks me a bit. Both speakers were quick to dismiss the 'unorthodox' shoes like the Nike Free, Vibram 5 Fingers and even the MBT and Newton shoes. They based their reasoning on their knowledge of the foot anatomy and how it works and what is the 'acceptable' or 'perceived' way of how the foot should move.

Now while I certainly am no expert, I think it is wrong to dismiss outright any thing that is 'alien' to us or not within our sphere of knowledge. But I guess this is something that is quite common among all of us. Take TCM for example. For many years and even now, Western doctors have always been quick to dismiss the effectiveness of Chinese herbs and medical pratices. However, today, I know of Western doctors who uses acupuncture in their treatment and Western pharmaceutical companies are rushing to produce medicine and supplement from plants etc.

In this case, it was even more sad that these professionals are so quick to dismiss these shoes when by their own admission, they have not even tried it. While I cannot speak of how effective the Nike Free, Vibram are, I have worn a pair of MBT for over a year and I can certainly attest to its effectiveness (for walking). The Newton? So many people are wearing it - can they all be wrong?

I guess what I trying to say is - don't judge a book by its cover. It may not look good on the outside but there may be gem inside it. Take the durian. It smells horrible but if we don't try it, we will never know that it taste darn shiok right? So to those who love to rubbish all the new technologies out there, give it a chance or at least have a personal experience on it.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Accidental New Route

With 2 of the regular routes out of bound due to the F1, we were left with only the Kim Seng/Tanglin route but there was the pcn closure somewhere along the route so was a bit stuck as to where to do a proper run without having to run around in circle.

In the end decided to just go ahead and run the Kim Seng/Tanglin route since there wasn't any option and to just run a shorter distance in the worse case scenario. True enough, just after crossing River Valley Rd, the Alexandar park connector on the left was closed. Directed the first group of runners to cross over and run on the right side of the PCN while I waited for the 2nd group.

By the time the 2nd group arrived, the 1st group had disappeared. Thinking that we will meet them as they return, we ran along the PCN which sadly again was closed off less than 200metres from the road. With no where to go and hoping to meet the returning group of runners, made the decision to run along Jervois Rd, Jervois Road is a winding gently sloping road with high class private residences on both side of the road. It was peaceful and a very nice place to run even though there was some traffic zipping up and down. At the junction of Jervois Road and Jervois Lane, I faced a small dilemma. We had still not bum into the returning runners and I was wondering where they had ran to and eager to follow but I knew the small group of runners were running out of steam. In the end, we split up with 4 of us pressing on and the other 4 turning back. Imagine my surprise when within a short distance, we reached Tanglin Rd and was able to turn back onto the other end of Alexandar PCN. Further down the road when we hit the closure, I got a bit worried about the other group and decided to hunt for them. So our small group of 4 split further with 2 going back and 2 of us turning back to Jervois Rd. But in the end couldn't find any one and had to turn back clocking 11km - more than what we were supposed to do on a typical RL TNR.

However, I am glad to discover Jervois Rd. It is a nice neighbourhood to run in and a good substitute for the closed Alexandra PCN and I shall henceforth make it a part of the RL regular run routes.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Kid

I am glad the Kid has finally decided to join the Koh family 'running club'. Been nagging him to start some fitness program since half the time he's on the com. Actually he promised to start end of the year so that he has 1 year to bring his fitness up to par for NS but somehow at the beginning of the month, he suddenly decided to run.

Started slowly with a 2.6km jog which he completed without walking. A surprise considering that the last time he did anything remotely close to exercise was in his secondary 4 days 2 years ago. After 2 more same distance runs, both of which was done at increasingly faster pace, he did the RunSingapore 4km with us.

Yesterday 2.8km run was done at close to 6.05min pace a drastic improvement over the first run which was at a closer to 7.30min pace and leaving the Mummy far behind.

Welcome to the club. Princess - you lagging behind already!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hunt for Nike LunarGlide

Went to Queensway to get a pair of the Nike Lunarglide. All the shops there are selling it at $160.00 except for Sportslink at $161.00.

But the black and orange version is being phased out and they have it in the new colour (white with a light blue swoosh) but that looks like a school school. Went shop after shop and what the heck none of them have the black/orange version in my size 12.

The Nike shop is selling it for $189.00. That almost $30.00 more than Queensway. Unfortunately, even RL don't carry size 12. Is size 12 that big?

Anybody got any lobang?

Friday, September 18, 2009

X-Ray

Finally got to do a x-ray for the shin. The pain is much better now. At least I can run but there is still this niggling pain and because it has been so long - 3 months I am a bit concerned so the good doc finally sent me to do a x-ray.

Didn't expect to see anything from it but surprise - the x-ray came back very clearly - a bump on the bone which the doc said is the fracture site and evidenced that is is healing. The bad new is that it is not the usual type of stress fracture whereby the fracture is across the bone but one that is parallel with the length of the bone and according to her, this type of fracture takes a long time to heal. Good news is that she is of the opinion I can continue running as long as there is no pain but to heed the usual .. 10% increase every 2 weeks; no 'chionging' blah blah blah.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Mileage Game

A friend asked me how much mileage is considered enough to run a full marathon.

I remembered when I did my first FM in 2004, I was doing an average of about 40km per week. I choked miserably in that FM. Later on when I asked the seniors in SGrunners, I was told my mileage should be around 60km per week. So one year later, with 60km weekly mileage and 1 more year of experience, I reckoned I could hit a reasonable target of 4.30 - 4.45. How wrong I was. Not only did I failed to hit the target, I ended up worse off than the previous year!

So it couldn't be the mileage right? But after trawling the net, talking to some more seniors, it was still mileage, mileage and mileage. Some running magazines advocate 100km of running a week which was like crazy. Unless we are our own boss, where do we find the time to do that sort of running? With our studies, work, family most of us will be hard press to even find time to do a 60km week let alone 100km.

So back to the question - how much? Seriously, I wish I have the magic figure but I don't. I suppose one will only really know the answer when he/she completes the FM.

I have a neighbour who runs 7km 3 times a week. His longest run prior to any marathon is the AHM yet without fail he will finish around 4:30 in each FM! Me on the other hand faithfully clocked up some 40km - 60km weekly mileage prior to every FM yet I have never been able to run faster than him. So it does not seem like a mileage game is it? You go figure - is it mileage or something else?

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Marathon Training?

Over the course of the past few years since I have been involved with the RL TNR, on and off I met people who have signed up for a full marathon and who do not have any inkling of how to go about training for it. In fact some of these people do not even intend to train for it. When they told me they were just going to run the full marathon and with only a longest run of 10km (1 guy didn't even do up to 5km), my jaw dropped. I have always been a advocate of mileage training for running a marathon and I couldn't see how these people can possibly do it!

Of course, these people did eventually finished the full marathon which they signed up for but with timing ranging from 6 hours to 8 hours. These people - I am sure they felt proud that they have managed to complete a marathon, some even more than 1 - but I wonder - is there any glory in walking 3/4 of the marathon?

Last week, Tigger uploaded a link to the reality show, the Biggest Loser where they featured some contestants who were required to complete a marathon without proper training in 26 days. Again, these people did it with 1 even finishing under less than 5 hours.

So the 42km question? Is it possible to complete a marathon without going through all those hours and hours of pounding on the streets? Answer is yes yes yes. Yes if you are a natural born runner or a supremely fit athlete; yes if you intend to walk half or 3/4 of the way and finish in more than 6 hours; and finally yes if you do not mind walking like this

But for the rest of us who intend to do have fun, do a good run and complete in reasonable time, nothing beats good old fashion hours and hours of pounding. Good luck and enjoy.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Run Singapore 06092009

The first time in my life I completed in 2 running events on the same day. This 2nd one was to raise funds for the President's Challenge but not too sure why but they were offering free registration to eery tom dick and harry although the website said there was a registration fee of $25.

Anyway, since it was free, managed to get a few colleagues and their spouses to join in. My intention for this was to do a run/walk/take photos. We arrived around 4.45pm but the queue at the start line was already so long that we had no choice but to wait at the side and join in the run after the President had flagged off the run and most of the runners had passed.

The good weather had continued from the morning and it was a cool nice evening. We, meaning me, the Mrs and our boy (yes his first time joining us for a run), we walked for a while until we cleared the traffic junction between Suntec City and Raffles City. We even had to stopped while the traffic police let the vehicles crossed the road to Esplanade Drive. So it wasn't a very good start but after that it was much more smooth.

I ran up and down looking for known faces while M ran with Alvin. Saw a brood of very noisy big fat red birds. These 'birds' had so much energy singing, shouting, blowing whistle all the way!

I think we took about 40 mins to finish the 4km? but I think we walked like 15 mins + wait for the traffic so it was a pretty decent for Alvin considering that this was the first time in his life he ran for more than 2.4km.

Yellow Ribbon Prison Run 2009

My first race after 3 months and I was totally unprepared for it. Though I started the race cautiously and slowly running behind M, I was still struggling for breath in the first 2 km. My past 3 months run had been mainly short runs of not more than 6km and even those were at very slow pace of around 7min and it was a struggle for me to try and keep to a sub 6 pace. Nevertheless, I pushed on and managed to catch up with M before eventually moving in front. Still it was a torture but thank God for the drizzle and cloud, that somewhat made it manageable a bit.

Around the middle of the route, my Sportsband showed a 4.7km but I had missed the 5km and the watch showed was 31mins + so I figured I had slowed down to a 6mins pace. But the objective for this race was not to get a PB but to ease myself into a proper running mood so I continued to run at the same pace. Around 6km, the energy came back or maybe the body had warmed up sufficiently but I started to feel much better and even the many slopes no longer seemed so intidimating.

And then rounding a bend I came to this beautiful sight of a giant field with the finish line and most important of all, a long downhill slope leading to it. Whoowee, what a sight for sore eyes. I eventually came in around 53mins + which was a big surprise as I had mentally prepared myself to finish in about 60mins.

This must be the best organised run I have ever taken part in. The buses to and from Expo was plentiful. The route was well marked out with clear big distance marker. Water point was adequate with both plain and isotonic drink. At one point, they were even giving whole can of it away. At the finishing line, there was a carnival with free food, Andersen ice cream, milo, and free games and we walked away with many many souvenirs. Including the race kit which came with a nice vest, there was a further goodie bag at the end. This was the final haul:


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