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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Looking Forward 2012

Just a few days left to 2011. Time to say goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012.

What's there in store for me in 2012? I wish I have a crystal ball so that I will know. But unfortunately, that is something I don't have and so I will again have to make do with some pathetic dreaming.

Races - Definitely low on the agenda. Probably not going to sign up for more than 4. Top of the list still is to do the TNF 100 Duo and try and better my 2010 timing. That is unfinished business and the only time target I will set for any race. Okay, maybe at this point in time. Meanwhile, already signed up for 1 race in April which means 2 more to go. Something new and hopefully fun. Still no intention to run a full marathon but that can change if an attractive one comes along at the right time, right place.

Running - Definitely less. Currently mileage averages 30km a week. Don't see myself exceeding that. Will be looking to do more easy and enjoyable runs rather than gruelling training sessions. With age catching up and constant injuries, it is better for me to take things easy. In line with this, will wind down my involvement with group runs and other organised events.  Will continue to run trails once the wet season is over. But will do it for myself and friends and not for any organisations. So no official tie up. 

Injuries - Hopefully no more. But with my love to tinker around with running gaits and experiment with different shoes, this might be a pipe dream. But touch wood, with reduced running, hopefully will not be plagued with any thing major.

New Activities - Maybe try something new. Like Tai-chi. Ha ha, don't choke. I am going into the half century mark soon. Tai Chi will fit in nicely with the age group. Then can combine and come up with Chi-running. Sound good? What? Somebody has already invented Chi-running? Oh well........

Volunteer - Not going to sign up as volunteer anymore. But will definitely chip in if asked directly. So anybody organising races or events and need my help, feel free to give me a shout.

Okay that's it. A simpler, easier 2012 for me. Hopefully. 

Here's wishing all friends and readers a blessed, healthy, fun filled and prosperous 2012.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

5 Years on....


Time flies. 5 years ago, I attended my first Running Lab Night Run at Funan Centre as one of the trio of run leaders. It was the inaugural event for Running Lab and was instrumental in kicking off group runs by other retailers. The number of participants grew and grew but over the past 2 years, with the departure of handsome Eddie and the charismatic Ben and speedy Arzeen, the numbers started to drop to the current average of above 12 per session.

Being the only original run leader left from the initial trio, I have more often than desired, been cast as the unofficial "Chief Run Leader", a title that I am not comfortable with since I do not possess most of the qualities that qualify me for it. Probably that is why the runners have stopped coming as well since they do not see any value-add in joining the run - no speedy runners to compete with or someone knowledgeable to share and impart tips.

Anyway, with age catching up and a constant almost non-stop flow of injuries, it is now the right time for me to step down and let the younger run leaders take over. Hopefully, they will be able to resurrect the run to its original glory days.

So after 5 long years of making new friends, some of which has become good friends, I will be bowing out from the Running Lab Night Run.  To Running Lab, Management and staff, it has been a wonderful 5 years of collaboration and I wish Running Lab and everybody all the best for its future endeavor. To all the friends and runners that I have met during these years of running together, I wish you all happy running and I hope to see you around in the running scene.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Looking Back on 2011

Things started well this year.  

Firstly, I got all the shoes that I wanted; most of them either at very good discount or even free! Organised the North Face trail run series for the TNF store in Singapore and made many new and wonderful friends. Managed to volunteer in a few races as well. All in, it was a great 6 months up till June and than wham, it went downhill almost from July!

The injury brought everything almost to a stop. At least for the next 3 months and so I ended the year with just 3 races. The least ever since I started running. 

The volunteer part also went down hill. After a promising start  with 3 volunteer stints, I couldn't get anymore. Problem was I only want to do the charity or non-profit races events and the bigger one doesn't want individual, preferring to get all the volunteers at one goal from organisations like schools. Of course, I also screwed up badly, getting the date mixed up for one event. In the end, I ended up with 4 volunteer stint, 2 short of target. 

But despite all these setbacks, this has probably been my most enjoyable running year so far. I no longer feel the need to out run myself, my run while much slower has been more easy and fun. I learnt to relax and "smell the flowers", a result of doing all those long slow trail runs. 

What will 2012 be like?

Monday, December 19, 2011

First "Drive" Saucony Kinvara 1

.Finally took out the Saucony Kinvara which was bought almost a year ago for its maiden run. A lot of people have only good things to say about this shoe.  But my first impression wasn't too good. Maybe because I didn't lace it up properly and it felt loose. Maybe because I had inserted my own insoles instead of using the original insole. Or maybe the ground was wet after the rain and it being a new shoe, I didn't want to dirty it so was more conscious about my movement....


Managed to take it out for another spin on Saturday. This time with laces properly done up.

First impression, it was light, very light especially after wearing the Brooks Launch and the TNF Sentinel. But it was very comfortable more so I must say with the insoles.

But the insoles is slightly thicker than the original insoles and that I guess, while providing better cushioning reduces the ground feel. But in my current condition, I don't really have any problem with that and I enjoyed wearing the shoes. Just the right mix of cushioning and minimalist feel.

I think I will stick to this pair of shoe for a long time provided it last long enough.

Date of Purchase: 10 January 2011

Cost:  $102

Purchased from First B Marketing

Worn in Races:

Bali Marathon 2012

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Changi Simei Run

Got an invitation to join friends from the old neighbourhood for a run. Since moving out of Simei last year September have not gone back to that area to run. It was drizzling when we reached Blk 108, the start point of the run.

Team Captain and Champion Runner, Gary Goh was there with a few other current and ex-Simeians. There were also a few "PR" and "FT". Not a very big crowd though but it's nice getting to get to know new running people.

The run took us through the usual Simei St 3 before going into Changi Business Park. The place is real quiet during the weekend and running post rain, it was shiok.

All too soon, the run came to an end, just about 9km and it was breakfast time courtesy of Changi Simei CSC.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Running in Phnom Penh

I read a lot about my running friends running whenever they are abroad. So far although I do go overseas now and then, I have never run in any country unless it is during a race. So when we were in Phnom Penh, our friend  suggested going for a short run and I was stunned. 

We, meaning the sidekick and I were travelling light coming over from Siem Reap and we had not brought along any running gear. Fortunately, we were wearing our running shoes so we ended up wearing our day cloth which was for me, a polo tee and a quite longish short and casual socks. Definitely very uncle looking, I must say.

First thing we learnt about running in Phnom Penh, crossing the road is like dicing with death. And there were several roads to cross before we got to where we want to start our run. But with fairly cool weather and many nice things to see on the way, it was a breeze to have my first overseas casual run.

We started from here. I think this is the Independence Monument.

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Angkor Wat International Half Marathon

This was supposed to be my 6th and final race of the year but instead it was just the 3rd race. But what a great race it turned out to be!

Held in the beautiful Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia, this is a half marathon organised as a fund raising project for the underprivileged and poor people in Cambodia. The race is popular with Caucasians from all over the world and the Japanese.  
Flags of all the countries of the participants
It was a small race by Singapore standard though - just over 8000 participants but that means it was never going to be a congested course for the runners unlike a certain race held in Singapore on the same day. On top of that, even though there were 4 categories (the half, the 10km and the 3km and a wheelchair event), the routes were designed such that there were minimum overlap even with 10 minutes difference between each event's start time.
Runners waiting for the flag off
The support for the race by the locals were fantastic. Even though we were running in the temple complex, the villagers staying there all turned up to support. All the darling little kids were there, either to give out the water or pick up the bottles or just to cheer and high 5 the runners. I had such a wonderful time just looking at the smile on the kids' faces.
Children high fiving the runners

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Marathon Musings

It is now just 3 days to the 2nd Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore. Previously, it was known as the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon. And I have no part in it much to the surprise of all my friends and running acquaintances. After all, this is the marquee event of the Singapore's running scene and the holy grail for all local runners. So friends are surprised that I am not doing it, since I am almost an running addict.

Truth is, I have not ran the Singapore Marathon or for that matter, any full marathon for the past 3 years. The last full marathon that I did was in 2008 after which I had decided that I have achieved what I set out to do. Actually, the thoughts of those hours and hours slaving away to train for it just turn me off. Nevertheless, every time the marathon comes along, my mind wanders back to the past and sometimes a "what if"

I started running in 2004 and completed my first marathon in 2004. Back then, I was a newbie and greenhorn in running and I just ran. I thought I did pretty well, at least for the first 32 km and then I hit the wall and had to walk all the way back. The resulting cramps and aches were so bad that I had to call my friend to come down and drive me home!

In 2005, I got to know people from sgrunners and joined them in their long runs. I also got valuable tips from the sifus there. That plus the previous year experience gave me the confidence that I could do better in the year's edition. I crashed even more badly and ended up with a even worse off timing. Again, I was doing well until the 30km at East Coast Park when the cramps came and refuses to go away. It was another long long walk back to the finish line. I swear I will never do another marathon but everybody knows that is pure bullshit!

I sat out 2006 due to injury and came roaring back in 2007. I had to find out for myself that I could do this. This time with 4 years of running experience behind me, I got smart and less ambitious and came up with a game plan which went according to plan. I got a personal pacer; a superfast runner who was also coming off an injury to pace me; and stuck to a 7 mins pace throughout. Its worked like a charm and I finished right on schedule. No cramps, no ache!

In 2008, an ankle sprain killed my race in the Borneo Marathon but that did not deter me from trying again in the year end marathon. This time round, I stick to the same game plan but got a new pacer in the form of the sidekick who was doing only her 2nd marathon. And we got a PB! That was it for me. I decided I got enough of FM to last me a life time. 

But don't be surprise if one day, sometime, somewhere, you caught me running another FM. Never said never!

Good luck and enjoy your race, all my friends and acquaintances doing the Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Tanjong Rhu/Gardens by the Bay East


Next week is the 2nd Standard Chartered Marathon Singapore. I will not be doing it but just so that I can get a whiff of the excitement, I decided to run a teeny weeny portion of it. East Coast Park don't count so settled for the 2 km (I did say teeny weeny portion ok!) stretch along the new Gardens by the Bay East. 

Started off from East Coast Park Car park B1. The actual full marathon route takes one up the green metal bridge to Area A but since that is still closed off to public, we detoured and went via Fort Road/Tanjong Rhu.

We ran into Kampong Arang Road and hit the waterside. This was part of the route for this year Marina 21 (I think they could have done better if they have adopted my route today). Running along the riverside was great. It was partially sheltered from the heat by the trees and building along the side and we had a great run along the river bank. There were nice view of the buildings in front and on the opposite bank like this view of the Tanjong Rhu estates with all the condominiums in the background. 


Further down across the water, we can see the construction for the new Sports Hub. This area is going to be real hot in a few years time!

Once passed the condominiums, we were in the new Gardens by the Bay East, a big hot park, hot as in searing hot from the sun. The park like all other new parks in Singapore, does not come with big shady trees, just saplings which does not provide any shade at all! Also didn't notice any shelters and Singapore is one of the most lightning prone place in the world! I seriously wonder where all these people who design our parks come from. Don't they know the weather here is not great for outdoor strolling! The plus side is there is a nice wide asphalt path to run and walk on. The view on the other bank was gorgeous. And that distracted me enough to take my mind and body off the blazing hot sun.

Soon we reached the Marina Barrage. There was a gate between it and the Gardens by the Bay but it was opened and we ran through to cross the barrage. Behind the gate, other than the sea was more construction.

But on the other side, looking back where we came from, was more great view of the city skyline including the now iconic 3 main structures, the Marina Bay Sands, the Flyer and the Gardens by the Bay's Flower Dome and Cloud Forest. 


All in, a great place for a short run or a stroll, provided it isn't so damn hot!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Insoles

Since my first injury in 2006,  I have been using some sort of orthotics for my shoes. Over the years, I have chosen not to use the insoles that comes with the running shoes and chosen to use my own. But ever since I moved on to mid foot running, I stopped using them and just went with the conventional insoles. However, with the latest injury, I have switched back to using orthotics again.

Here is a rundown of the orthotics that I have used or am using (left to right):


1. Sole Footbed. This was one of the earliest orthotics that I got. It is heat moldable. Just put it in a toaster or oven and heat it up. Once it soften, stand on it and volia, an insoles that mold nicely to the foot.  I worn this pair for a long long time back in those days when I was a heel striker.  Like most typical orthotics, it is semi rigid and do not allow for any flex at all. Looking back, I wondered how in the world I got used to it but it certainly does provide very good cushioning and support. Till today, I am still using it, but not in running shoes but my heavy duty walking shoes. The Sole Footbed is available at Running Lab outlets.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Which is the most suitable running shoes/form?

Over the years, I have been asked many times by friends, fellow runners and others some very interesting questions about running. Of course, I am not qualify to answer their questions but that does not stop the questions from coming. I suppose it is par for the course since I have been a run leader for the Running Lab Singapore for some years now and that adds some legitimacy to my status.

Picture from kenyaaid.org
In the early days, the most common question I get was which is the best running shoes for them,  Back then, my answers would have been "depends on your foot type and your running gait". And most time, I will add in a "do not choose shoes purely for the design". Of course, people who knows me well, know that that is an advice I never follow myself . There was no such things for me as stability shoes or cushioned shoes. I chooses my shoes primarily based on 1) the color and 2) how cheap it is.

In more recent times, the  question becomes "which is the correct running form re mid foot or heel strike?". When I first started running in 2005, it was heel strike. Not that I consciously adopted it but it came naturally to me. Back then, it was the most natural way to run and I corrected a few friends who were running on their toes.Of course, when the trend moved to mid foot strike, I kept up with the development and switched over to mid foot strike in 2008.
Nowadays, the question has evolved into "should I go into barefoot running or not?". Me again had kept up with the latest development and indulged in it since 2 years ago and has formed some opinion about it.

So what answers do I gave for all these 3 questions? Actually, I cover my arse and give the most general answers - which is "whatever you are most comfortable with" and "do not change for the sake of changing". Incidentally, these answers are more or less the conclusion that these group of researchers came to after  their research, Quote: We tell people we don’t know a thing about the best technique,” he said. He tells runners to use the form they naturally adopt." unquote. And they need to do research to come to this conclusion?

5 years later and older and hopefully wiser, I have come to realise that there is no one best shoes or best running form. Likewise, barefoot running is not the cure all for all the running injuries.   The most expensive shoes are not necessarily the best shoes. In fact, a lot of runners swear by Saucony shoes which is one of the cheapest in the market. Likewise, while heel striker tends to get injuries to the heel, mid foot runners gets injured on the shin and achilles. Ditto barefoot running which comes with its own set of injuries. While I have many friends who are happily running barefoot, I have just as many friends who have gotta injured after switching over to the 5 Fingers. So I end with 3 last words or sentences:
  • Don't fix it if it ain't broken. 
  • To each its own
  • Change only if there is a need. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Garmin Forerunner 210

On the spur of the moment, went and bought the Garmin Forerunner 210. The 210 is the upgraded version of the 110 which I bought almost a year ago. Back then, I bought the basic set without the heart rate monitor  for $299.00 but now due to the favourable exchange rate, the 210 with the heart rate monitor is only selling for about $260.00.

The 210 looks classier with its all black strap. Other than that, it looks no different from the 110 down to all the printed words on the face.


Saturday, November 12, 2011

Still Exploring - Ponggol Coney Island

It started off as a routine run just to get back in shape. The plan was to just run along the new Ponggol Waterway and Ponggol Promenade and hopefully survive a distance of 16km. 

After crossing the nice red bridge to the Ponggol side, our tour leader for the day decided that we should cross to the far bank of the Ponggol Waterway and run, hopefully, to Ponggol Jetty/End. This part of the route was surprisingly not the usual asphalt/concrete/tiled road but what the signboard there said "natural" road. Actually it was nice soft laterites soil. I just hope it stays that way but judging from the many waterlogged spots along it, sooner or later some idiot will complain that the ground spoils his/her shoes and it will be paved over.
The "natural" path on the left and extreme right of the picture. Photo by Broken  Runner
We ran with Coney Island on our right separated from us by the sea. Then we came to an abrupt stop as there was a zinc gate right across the path. Apparently, the path on the other side was not completed yet. Awww, shucks! But then every cyclists, walkers, joggers and the ah ma ah kong were just causally walking through the unlocked gate despite the warning sign. So we did what every natural Singaporean does. We copied them and walked across and continued our run.

We ran and then we came to this bridge that connect the path to Coney Island. So of course being the typical Singaporean, we walked across to take a look at what lies on Coney Island. The only problem was there was another gate and this one was locked! And there was a sign that says

Too bad........but hey we Singaporean are quite well known for being kapo and we definitely have to satisfy our curiosity. So locked gate or not, we walked right through. You guys won't want to know how we did it:)
Looking back where we came from after going through the fence

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Chia Seeds

In Christopher McDougall's Born to Run, apart from the story of the Tarahumara, he also mentioned one of the food that they ate, a drink the Tarahumara called iskiate and which supposedly gave them the energy to run all day. The main ingredient that went into iskiate is Chia seeds.

I have been eating Chia seeds for the past 2 months or so. Did it gave me the additional energy that I need? The verdict is still out since I am not doing a great deal of running. But I am eating them regularly if not for the energy but for the many health benefits that purportedly comes from it.

But just how exactly does one eat Chia seeds? In the book, chia seeds is added to water and lime juice and stirred until the Chia seeds expands and dissolve into a soft gel. Nectar is added to taste. This is a picture lifted from this website. Doesn't look very appetizing does it?



Me? I am the lazy sort and I can't be bothered to go through all the trouble. These are some lazy man way to eat Chia seeds.

1. Put 2 teaspoons into your drink. Fruit juice or milo. No need to add anything else. Great as a pre-run drink.
2. Sprinkle them on bread spread. I love it on kaya
3. Add to bread, muffins before baking
4. Add them to pizza in addition to the chilli flakes and cheese
5. Add them to egg or tuna mayo for a delicious sandwich
6. Add as toppings to ice cream

In fact, they are so versatile that one can add to almost anything or just eat it on its own.

Finally, where to get them in Singapore?

I got my first bottle from a shop in Parkway Parade at $15.00 for a 250gm bottle. They are also available in satchet from the major supermarket, marketed as Chia Shots but I think this one is quite ex. Finally, they can be purchased from this blogshop at $19.50 for a 400 gm pack.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Super Efficient

I am really impressed with the organiser of the Yellow Ribbon Prison Run. I have just received my race certificate in the mail just a little bit over 1 month after the event. In fact they are so efficient that I even got a certificate even though I didn't run the race!

I did signed up but didn't start. The bib was kept in my camera bag and I was outside the prison gate taking photograph. I didn't even went near the start line. Hmm okay that's why there is no Net time stated. But then again I also make sure I didn't cross under the finish line. I took care to walk along the side pavement. The super duper timing chip machine they used must have been so powerful that it somehow managed to capture my bib inside the bag. If only the TNF 100 organiser has used the same chip system than it wouldn't have so much problems!



So now I have an official slowest 10km run timing:( Hopefully the next time I do another 10km race, the timing will be better than this:)

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Running is Good for You?

Singapore's No 1 runner, Mr Mox Ying Ren wrote this article for the Straits Times some time ago. For a clearer version of the article, read in in his blog here.

To summarise, running can be done anytime, anywhere, is cheap, can be done alone and is directly related to the effort you put in without needing to rely on somebody else, and has health benefits. These are all rather common sense isn't it?


But surprisingly, a few days later, somebody wrote to the ST Premium to rebut that. And surprisingly, it came from a doctor who should have know better!

So are they talking about the same thing? And who is talking crap? The doctor wannabe or the qualified doctor? The pro runner or the social runner? And who is right or wrong?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Special Conoction

Some people who run with me will know that occasionally I like to bring along a special drink which I find makes for a good recovery drink. At the recent TNF 100 race, I resurrected it in a slightly different form. This here is the ingredient that went into it.

So for those who have been too polite to ask, those floating bits inside the drink are real orange pulp and sometimes seeds not some loose stuff from the kitchen. And for those who managed to have the "sng bao" at the TNF 100, the little black thingy inside the frozen drinks are not the dirt from Lorong Asrama but Chia Seeds.

The next time you go for a run, why not try the above instead of buying 100+ or H20.


Monday, October 24, 2011

MacDonald Waterway Fun Run

The HDB celebrated the completion of the S$235m Punggol Waterway with a full day Fiesta. As part of the Fiesta, there was a 3.2km fun run sponsored by MacDonald Restaurant! So naturally, when we were asked whether we want to join in the fun, we gladly came along. After all, it is free!

The 4.2kmPunggol Waterway runs along the outskirt of Punggol and connects the Sungei  Punggol and Sungei Serangoon. So now it is possible to walk, run, blade, cycle all the way from Pasir Ris to Punggol end without having to cross major traffic junctions!

Back to the run. There was about 2000 participants which I could see was too many for the 2km wide pathway. But except for a few "heros", nobody else run. Everybody was walking and enjoying the beautifully cultured garden and waterway. Too bad about the hot sun though. Wondered why they can't leave some of the trees and have to cut down everyone of them and replant small saplings which does not provide any shade at all!
The start of the event. Nobody was running. 

Just one part of the waterway

Bridge over the waterway. And there are several crossing

The part of the waterway that extends to Sungei Seranggon.

Finally the end is in sight but we can't walk anymore cos everybody is queuing up for the goodie bag

The end point at last!

I reckoned the whole stretch from Old Tampines Road to the end here at Punggol Waterway and Punggol Point is about 10km one way and will be a wonderful stretch for runners staying in this part of Singapore looking to do long runs. No more need to go to East Coast Park!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

To Give or not to Give

There are many issues and problems arising from the just concluded TNF 100 in Singapore. One of them was the issue of whether to give the finisher's medal to runners who did not meet the cut off timing.
Photo from one of the albums in somebody's facebook account
One of the rules state: "only runners that finish the race within the cut-off times will be entitled to a finishers’ medal". So a runner was peeved when medal were given to everybody who completed the race regardless of their timing. So the question is, what is the rule for if it is not to adhere to?". Another runner chipped in that the gesture devalue the worth of completing the race as anybody can just walk the entire race and "earn" the medal + bragging rights. This is not unlike the perpetual debate on the finisher's tee that is given out after major race.

Does giving out the medal to everybody cheapen the race for the others who truly worked hard to earn it? 

From the organiser point of view, it make sense for them to give it away. After all, the medals have already been made and they can't recycle it for the next year so they might as well give it away instead of dumping them. For the runners who get it despite finishing after the cut off, at least there is a little memento to take away from the race. After all, the TNF 100 is a grueling race regardless of the distance and anybody who completes deserved a pat on the back right?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The North Face 100 Challenge

I have been looking forward to this race since last year when I ran into the dreaded wall and got defeated by the trail and the heat. But as things turn out, despite putting in so much more trail runs this run, the injury put paid to all my plans. Hopefully this will be the final race that I have to sit out this year. 

A number of friends are doing this and of course, the sidekick. She jokingly said she is on a blind date since she does not know who her running partner is. TNF people managed to swap my place with somebody. As things turn out, she never even got to see her partner. 

After dropping the sidekick off at MacRitchie and after the flag off at 10am (why must it be so late?), I went over to Mandai. The original plan was to go the Dairy Farm first to catch the 100km Duo people and some of the 50km Duo. But after calculating that the majority of the 100km Duo people would have passed Dairy Farm by 10.30am, decided to go straight to Mandai. 
At the junction of Mandai Road and the road to the zoo, there was a waterpoint there. Went in with Ultrawoman Kelly who had DNF after the first round when her back of knee came back. Took some photos before being driven away by the swarm of mosquitoes. 

Crossed the road to Lorong Asrama to await the runners coming out from there. Had earlier prepared some frozen drinks and fruits for Ocean 9, the group of TNF Trail Run Leaders and friends. Of course took some photos in the process. Photos didn't turn out too good. Must be cockeyed!

Unfortunately couldn't wait for Alck, the only Ocean 9 members left doing the 100km solo after the sidekick called to said she was not feeling well and had to rush back to MacRitchie.  Anyway, was glad all the Ocean 9 members completed within the cutoff and got their finisher medal.

The TNF 100 Singapore Challenge has always been a tough race for the local. The terrains are not as bad as other overseas TNF edition I supposed since we do not have steep hills and rivers but the heat more than make up for it. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Back to Running

Exactly one week after the medical review, I have done 4 runs to date. The doctor have given the go ahead to run except that I have to do it on 'soft' ground but not trail. And to do at a pace no faster than 10km per hour. As if I can run faster than that:) And I have to stick to the soft ground for at least 3 weeks and if there is no problems, then I can go onto harder ground.

So I started last week with 3 km on the dreadmill followed by 4 km 2 days later. Because the SSC gym has a time limit of 25minutes, I moved on to the Meridien JC track and ran 5 km on Sunday followed by 6 km today. So far so good!

The doctor also said no more barefoot running. He attributed and I reluctantly agreed with his assessment that the barefoot running was a direct cause of the injury.  The doctor said he did some research and it seems that metatarsal injuries are quite common among barefoot runners due to the repeated pounding on the fore foot. My barefoot friends are sure going to be upset about this!

Sighed. Does that mean I have to retire my Saucony Kinvara and NB MT101 without wearing them at all?

Friday, October 07, 2011

Project Love Sneaker

Running Lab Project Love Sneaker is back.

The life of a running shoe isn't necessarily over after 800km... There are literally millions of people that could really use your shoes. 

Donate your pair of previously loved running shoes (adult sizes in cleaned and reusable condition) at any Running Lab store in Singapore from 30 September to 30 October 2011 and receive a S$50 Running Lab shoe voucher*! The collected footwear will be transported by Jet Airways to be donated to needy communities in rural India.

*Terms and conditions apply. Please refer to in-store for details.

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

How to Lose Weight the Cheapo Way - Part 4

In the earlier 3 posts (part 1, part 2, part 3) I talked about losing weight without going to those fancy slimming centre, eating expensive supplements or going on weird diet. I also mentioned that there is no need to do any real exercise. Weight loss, like most expert will tell you, is a simple method of less calorie in, more calorie burnt. But of course we know that it is not so simple as that. Firstly, most of us have no clue how much calorie is in each serving of food and it won't be an enjoyable experience if we have to count calories, although there are now apps available to make it easier, every time we eat something.

But back to the million ton question. Did what I advocate in the earlier posts work and most important of all without doing any real exercises? Coincidentally, due to my current injury, I have stopped all form of exercises for the past 10 weeks. I also don't do any housework other than walking the dog for 10 minutes every now and then. I still do some strength training at home but that is mainly static and non-aerobic. On top of that, this period coincide with the Lantern Festival, so I had my fair share of mooncakes. And there were a few occasions when I dined out with friends and families where we had buffets and seafood. And I continued to eat the way I suggested in post no 3. So how many kilos did I put on during this period?

As of today, 10 weeks after I stopped running, exactly 1.5kg! But I like to think that if there had not been so many feasting sessions this period, so many mooncakes, I would not have put on any weight at all.  But even with all these extra, it was only 1.5kg. So what I suggest may work.

Anyway, the thing is, while it is possible to lose weight strictly by controlling food intake, it is better to combine it with some sort of exercises be it running, cycling or brisk walking. Or even doing housework like moping, sweeping, vacuuming. Not only does it help to burns the calories but it will make one healthier and more fit.   

So in conclusion, eat wisely, do some exercises if you got the time, if not, do some housework. Most of those ladies I know who are always talking of themselves being fat or need to lose weight, believe me, you ladies are definitely not fat!  and if you are not fat, don't try to lose weight. 

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Pasir Ris Sports Complex

I have been waiting eagerly for the Pasir Ris Sports Complex to open since I moved to Pasir Ris last year. Then I don't have to go all the way to Tampines to work out in the gym or swim. And it finally opened in July this year but I have not step foot in it yet.

But after 2 and a half month of feeling sorry for myself and moping around at home, finally picked my butt up and went for a workout at the gym. 

The Pasir Ris Sports Complex is one of those new generation multi purpose all in one place with something for everyone.  

This is the artist impression of the whole complex. Pasir Ris people will not only be able to get a healthy dose of exercises for the body but also plenty of opportunity to work the stomach. Spotted doing renovation now are MacDonald, Pastamania and Once Upon a Milkshake! Isn't it wonderful? So convenient to recoup all the lost calories from the workout in the complex.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Tour De Trail 2011

Haven't meant to take photos for this race but was at MR waiting for M to finish her run and decided to kill time by taking some photos. Small race in the format of the end of year MR UltraMarathon. Each runner have to run loops of 12km. Minimum to complete and earn a finisher tee is 4 loops.

There seem to be slightly less than 100 runners. Except for brief instances when my attention was diverted by yakking with friends, I think I managed to shoot 80% of the runners. Some of them are simply outstanding and can put all of us to shame.

This man must be at least 70 years old?
The ever inspirational Mohan. He did another full marathon the next day in Malaysia!
The female Champion
The Men's Champion
 Here are the rest of photos.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Chia Seeds Basil Seeds

Been hearing a lot about Chia Seeds. No I have not read Christopher McDougall's Born to Run yet but have heard enough talk about Chia Seeds. A quick search on the web and was bowed over by its so called health benefits. After several futile search, finally managed to find it. 

Haven't yet open it cause I have found an alternative. And it is this little pack of Basil Seeds, a native plant of Asia. Most of us older folks will remember that it is commonly used in Bandung drink, a local rose syrub and condensed milk drink. The Muslim in the region also add it liberally to their drinks during the fasting month.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Yellow Ribbon Prison Run 2011

I have been very selective in my choice of races this year. This should have been my 5th race for the year but as it turns out, this has become the 3rd DNS with hopefully only one more to come before I resume running. 

But even though I can't run, I have to drag my butt down to the race site. Unlike the previous 2 editions, there was no rain this time round and it was a bright sunny morning. After dropping the sidekick and friend off at the race site, I plod myself outside the main Changi Prison Gate to wait for the runners.

There, I have the privilege of meeting the famous Malaysian 'photorunner' Tey. He had came down from Malaysia just to take photographs for his Singapore's friends [clap clap]. Took the opportunity to get some tips from him on taking photos.
Mr Photorunner Tey all the way from Malaysia
 The first lot of runners to reach this approximately 8km at about 20 minutes and soon it was snapping time as I snapping away. Eventually, the mass reached and when it was no longer possible to take individual shots, I made my way into the Prison compound for more picture takings. To view the pictures, click here

M did reasonably well finishing below 1 hour; considering that she has automatically reduced her running without me to run alongside her. Lazy lazy!! 

From what I observed, the race was well organised. There was no complaints of longer/shorter distance, missing distance markers or lack of drinks etc. In fact, they are so super efficient that even though I didn't run, I managed to register a finishing time of 1hr 19mins! Now how did that happened?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Trail Maintenance

After 2 previous failed attempts to participate in the TNF trail maintenance programme with Nparks, finally managed to get my act together and went for my first ever trail maintenance. Of course, I dragged both the sidekick and the Princess along.

We met up at the Bukit Timah Visitor Centre, hopped up onto a truck and were driven to the all too familiar Dairy Farm Carpark where we alighted and walked into the Belukar Trail. We were then split into 2 groups. Our mission: to create drainage at 2 waterlogged area for the water to drain away. 

For many of us, it was the first time toiling with a changkul. Everybody gamely went about their work, digging small drains, clearing away branches and roots. I don't know whether we succeeded in our task but we certainly managed to clear away a lot of top soil from the side. Hopefully, that will be enough for the water to drain off when it rains. 

After 2 hours of labour, we called it a day but not before we unearthed some forest creatures. More of it here. I hope we didn't kill any others in the process though.


The trail maintenance programme is part of the agreement that the TNF has with Nparks in return for using the trail for the TNF 100 Challenge. There are a total of 3 sessions, the first one was on 3 September (read Kelly's report here); today was the 2nd and the next one will be on 1st October at MacRitchie Reservoir. Those who are interested in participating, can obtain more information here. Participants will get a token memento from TNF and a lot of appreciation from trail users.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Changi Simei Road Run 2011

Got a last minute call up to help in the Changi Simei Road Run at Bedok Reservoir. Roped in the sidekick and the Princess and off we went. Weather was great after the earlier rain.

This has got to be the cheapest race in the history of Singapore. $3.00 and participants get to run, timing, goodie bag, baggage and isotonic and plain water and bananas. Where else can one get so much for so little? Despite that, and more likely due to the low key publicity, there were only about 300 signup but maybe because of the rain, only about half turned up, which was a pity.


The race was flagged off by Miss Jessica Tan, MP for Changi Simei. It was a short and sharp affair being just 1 round of the reservoir and the runners soon came back with the winners earning a small cash prize.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

TNF 100 Singapore 2nd Progressive Run

How time flies. We are now onto the last TNF 100 Progressive Run before the TNF 100 Challenge in October. This time round, there were more participants compared to the first one in August despite the rather steep cost of taking part in what was a routine run for most along a by now very familiar route.

After a short briefing by Dirt Traction, the hired organiser, the runners took off. Again for me, I had to again contend myself with snapping pictures. There was an option of 2 distances, 15km and 30km and from what I could see, only a few runners choose to ran the 30km.After a wait of about 40 minutes, the first runner returned and soon the other followed.







With this run, the informal run up to the TNF 100 has ended. I enjoyed the time spent on these series of runs, getting to know new routes, new running friends and I hope to be able to do more of these runs with my new found friends in the future.

More pictures on my Facebook album or here

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