Thursday, March 31, 2005

12km run from SAFRA To Science Park I

The whole afternoon was raining today. Fortunately, it stopped before ourly weekly Thursday run at SAFRA this evening. In spite of weather, there was a large crowd of about 20 that turned up. Among them was Eric, a local ASICS dealer who recommended me to look at the Nimbus range for extra cushion. I will get in contact with him soon to try out a pair.

This evening, we covered a new route. From Telok Blangah to Science Park 1, via depot road, Queensway, Portsdown, then crossing a overhead bridge into the back of Science Park, the round a large pond. It was a series of steep slopes thereafter, and we even crossed a nice suspension bridge. Too bad it was dark when we reached the area, and I could hardly keep track of Foo who was leading the way.

I have been looking forward to the run. I had a good lunch today, as well as some snacks in the office. I was feeling great, and not really tired on my legs. In the end, I finished quite strong and felt very good. I really enjoy these weekly short (about 10-12km) evening runs with the SAFRA Running Club members at Telok Blangah. I sometimes join them on Sunday mornings for longer runs of 18-22km.

Distance Ran:12km_____Time:1hr07min_____Pace:5:34min/km
Average HR:150bpm_____Max HR:169bpm_____KCal:820

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Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Weekly SAFRA Tue run at Mt Faber

I didn't have any sleep at all last night. It might have been because of some work-related issues. Nonetheless, I was looking forward to my run this evening. I took some lunch, and a banana about 1 hour before the run. Again, this banana before my runs have proven to be very useful so far, in that I felt strong during the run(s).

The group of SAFRA runners was big tonight. After sharing some initial pleasantries, we were off to Bukit Timah Hill. I reminded myself to practise the Chi Running style of leaning, not over-striding and relaxing. I went up the hill slopes very strongly, and a lot of runners were lagging behind. Later, some of them said that I ran very quickly up the slopes, which I didn't feel so at all.

Midway on the downslope, Paul caught up with me, and said we will run to Telok Blangah Hill and circle it twice, before getting back to base. I ran behind him, and the rest like Hock Soon and Mervyn followed. They too were running very strong this evening. We went around Telok Blangah Hill twice, and sped back to base. This was a relatively short run of about 9km, and the various spikes in heart rates were when I was running up the steep slopes.

Distance Ran:9km_____Time:46m30s_____Pace:5:10min/km
Average HR:153bpm_____Max HR:168bpm_____KCal:600

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Sunday, March 27, 2005

15km run to MacRitchie

I was supposed to go for the Chinese Garden Mile run this evening. However, it started to rain heavily in the western part of Singapore at 3pm, and it started to rain too at various parts of Singapore, including near my home. My daughter had wanted to bring the dog, Twinki for a outdoor stroll at Chinese Garden, but I guess we did not want to risk the long journey and then find that the run could be cancelled due to rain.

I then decided to make use of the time left to go for my long run. I have not had the chance to go for a longish run this week, and was beginning to feel uncomfortable. I was also undecided whether to run long early on Sunday morning, before I go for the short mile. In the end I didn't join the SAFRA runners at MacRitchie.

I planned to run about 13km to and from my house along Braddel Road to MacRitchie. In the end I added 2.5km more by running to the back (Little Sisters Of The Poor), and also extending the run to the end of Tai Keng Gardens on the return.

I ran for the beginning part in the rain, and was feeling good because of the weather. I was more careful with my steps, because of the wet ground. I was feeling great and was maintaining a reasonable average heart rate of 154bpm. I was focusing on my running form, according to one of the techniques I learnt from Chi Running, namely leaning forward keeping a straight trunk, picking up my legs, and cycling my legs effortlessly.

By the time I reached MacRitchie, the rain had stopped, and I was starting to perspire. I took a quick pee and sip of water at the carpark toilets, and off I went back along the route I came. The run back was smooth, and as I felt good along the way, the extended my run into the end of Tai Keng Gardens, as well as running back via the bus-stop way. I reached home feeling good, did some light stretches, took a isotonic drink, and took a good bath.

Distance Ran:15.5km_____Time:1hr25m_____Pace:5:27min/km
Average HR:154bpm_____Max HR:168bpm_____KCal:1090

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Friday, March 25, 2005

Good Friday 11km run at MacRitchie

I had a good sleep last night, since today was a public holiday. Went with my wife earlier to the SAFE Warehouse sale at Sims Drive, and bought a cheap SD disk, a digital cordless phone. Almost wanted to put in an order for a $109 5-megapixel digital camera (Mercury brand).

Since I didn't run last night, I decided to visit MacRitchie with my wife. We reached there at 5pm, and the whole plae was jam-packed with cars and people. Seems like MacRitchie is full of people during weekends and holidays, ever since the TreeTop Walk was introduced to the public at large. These days, many tourists, walkers, and families like to visit MacRicthie for social walks.

Without much ado, we set off from the car-park toilets towards the start of the Northern Route from the Canoeing Club side. This route is the reverse of what we usually run for the Swift 10km race. I showed Beverly the start of the route, and told her to return on her own along this way, once she hits the SICC concrete road. It will be approximately 8km x-country to-fro. I carried on to do my 11km loop.

Starting slowly with Beverly, I broke away from Beverly after 4min, and I reached the SICC road in 21min+. Hmmm...not bad, I usually reach here in 22min+ on sunday runs. The weather was cloudy and windy today, very good for running. I continued on amidst the strong flow of people in both directions along the trails. Continued on through Sime Track, Jelutong Tower, the road along the Golf Course, and then to the undulating slopes with lots of tree roots. When I have finished crossing that and into the 3.5km marker, it was 44min+. I carried on moving at a steady, but not really quick pace, and hit the zig-zag bridge in 56min. This would be about 10.5km already. I carried on all the way back to the car-park toilets again, taking a total of 58m55s for 11km.

I met Beverly shortly, and we did our stretches, before returning home together for a sumptious home-cooked chicken rice, prepared by the maid.

Distance Ran:11km XC___Time:58m55s____Pace:5:21min/km
Average HR:154bpm___Max HR:169bpm___KCal:780KCal

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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Unexpected 10km PB run @ Kelichap Loop

I had the most unexpected 10km run this evening. In what was supposed to start out as a slow 10km run, I ended up running all out. I did not even have my heart rate monitor on. I just put on my cheap stopwatch, and off I went. I was pissed off by a small incident, and that added fuel to my already enthusiastic legs.

I reached the first lap in 4min+, the 2.4km lap in 10min+, the next lap (after the temple) in 15min+, just before Kovan bus-stop in 19min+...Phew, those were fast times. I knew I was onto something. I continued strong, and reached the Srangoon/Upper Paya Lebar X-Junction in 26min+. Then ran onwards and reached the start of Braddel Road in 33min+. All the way back to Upper Paya Lebar Road in 41min+. Finally hit home in 46min36sec. That was a new PB (Personal Best) for me in a10km flat road run. I was happy with the run.

Again, I set this new PB wearing my Nike Air Moto shoes. This pair of shoes feel good, especially its cushion.

Distance Ran:10km_____Time:46m36s_____Pace:4:40min/km
Average HR:NR_____Max HR:NR_____KCal:700 est.

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Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Weekly SAFRA Tue run at Botanic Gardens

I arrived early this evening for my weekly Tue run with the SAFRA Running Club at Telok Blangah. The skies threatened to rain, but fortunately, it held out. We started promptly at 7pm and was supposed to cover the route to Botanic Gardens, but not going indide for the additional 3km loop. Our overall distance this evening worked out to about 11km.

At about the 5km mark, one of the runners, met with an accident. Sok Hwa, tripped on the uneven concrete pavement, and suffered a deep gnash to her knee. Many of us stopped to assist her, and from accounts of those who saw her open wound, it was deep...the cut was reaching the bone area. We immediately hailed a cab, and sent her to Alexandra Hospital. She was subsequently stiched up, and warded for observation.

We continued with our run, and it was rather uneventful after that. I was feeling OK tonight. Many of the SAFRA runners said that I had improved a lot, and my running cadence is very fast. I have been quietly trying to increase my running cadence, but I my legs do not hold out for more than 15km at that kind of high turnover. I guess I need more mileage to build up the strength of my legs. I hope to have that kind of leg turnover to cover up to 42km, maybe within 1-2 years of additional training.

After a number of long stops at traffic junctions along the way, especially along Henderson Road, I reached the clubhouse at about 8pm.

Distance Ran:11km_____Time:57m15s_____Pace:5:12min/km
Average HR:150bpm_____Max HR:168bpm_____KCal:701

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Monday, March 21, 2005

Threadmill run at SAFRA Yishun Gym

Had a short run at the SAFRA Yishun Gym this evening. I have not had a run on the threadmill for some time already, and this would be a good re-visit to the threadmill for me.

I did a quick 2.4km in 11min44s, with pace of 12.8 average (11.5-14.5) and 1.0 incline to simulate outdoor conditions. Then I continued to reach 5km in 23m55s, not my best on the threadmill, but respectable since I did slow down a little to 10.5 pace for a while in between.

I then set the incline to 8.0-10.0 and speed of about 7.5, and ran for another 1km. After that, I ran another 500m at 14.8-15.0 pace. In Total, I covered an overall distance of 6.5km and consumed 500KCal.

I tookl a short rest, and went to the pool to swim 3 laps, used the jacuzzi a bit. I find that I can swim my freestyle better, with improved breathing momentum.

Distance Ran:5km_____Time:23:55min_____Pace: 11.5 - 14.5
Incline:1.0_____Max HR:168bpm_____KCal:500

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Sunday, March 20, 2005

Sunday run with SAFRA Club @ Macritchie-Bukit Timah Loop

This week was hectic, and I didn't have much sleep. For the sunday run, I was to try out my new mizuno running gear, and also get my long run in.

The group was a lot smaller this morning. Derek, Hock Soon joined us for the first time. After some of them have put their bags into my car's boot, we were ready to go. We were going to run from MacRitchie to the Bukit Timah Reserve (Visitor Centre) and back, taking in the MacRitchie Northern Trail, then along SICC, cutting left after the 2 slopes onto dirt track along the pipelines, hitting metal road, and slong dirt track again. The whole to-fro course will normally take 20km-21km.

The alarm rang at 6am, my wife decided not to join me at MacRitchie; I got up, took a coffee, and away I went in my new blue mizuno outfit. The first part of the journey was relatively smooth, and I was running with Derek and Foo most of the time. We reached the halfway mark at the Bukit Timah Reserve Visitor Centre in 1hr2min. Along the way, we bumped into 2 big groups of trekkers to the TreeTop, asking for directions.

We took a 5min break at Bukit Timah, and went on the return trip back. I heard then that the Toa Payoh runners already turned back much earlier. Supraman was still with us, though....He was the ex-Singapore runner who was pacing me all the way the last time we ran this course.

With about 7km left, Derek and myself broke off, and decided to return via the TreeTop route. I was feeling tired already, and it was at about this time, that I 'hit the wall'...yah, the wall...I was feeling very weak in my legs. With 5km to go, I was literally struggling. I was feeling weak, and I think it was because I was not properly fueled before such a difficult run. Derek told me not to walk, but continue to jog slowly. Running through the wooden planks, then through the golf course, and back through the 3.5km mark all the way back to the zig-zag bridge. It was one of the toughest running stretch I had to endure for a long, long time. I finally made it back slowly.

Distance Ran:21km XC___Time:2hr____Pace:5:45min/km
Average HR:157bpm___Max HR:169bpm___KCal:1601KCal

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Thursday, March 17, 2005

Weekly Thu Run With SAFRA @ Mt. Faber

Had a very rushed day today. Rushed to SAFRA Mount Faber, immediately after my project meeting. What do do...have to make some extra money to feed my running habit, what. Anyway, reached Telok Blangah at 6.45pm. Knowing that I will be late, I called Chairman to ask where the group was going to run today, and Thiam Huat mentioned 'Up Mount Faber',

I like this route for its steep, long up-slopes...very good for training the legs. However, this evening, I was late, and when I was ready at 7pm, the group had taken off for about 10min. I immediately rushed out the clubhouse, and turned right along the road to Mt. Faber (as I remembered it last when we ran). After about 7min, saw Thiam Huat leading the group up the slopes...I immediately joined in, and ran the very steep slope up to the top. Did a quick 2 loops, and checked with the rest, who wanted to go back. I followed them, and decided to cut the run short. Though the run was short (7.5km), it was hard and hilly. I really enjoyed the good hard workout.

Distance Ran:7.5km_____Time:38m25s_____Pace:5:07min/km
Average HR:153bpm_____Max HR:166bpm_____KCal:486

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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Our weekly slow, relaxed run

As part of my weekly run with my wife, Beverly (we mostly do it around the 10km loop near my house), I had an early dinner at 7pm, and hit the road at 9pm.

This is the first run for Beverly, after her KLIM05 10km debut, and she was filling a little slow. We ran for 9.5km at a very relaxed pace (7min/km). I enjoyed a good run, and worked out a reasonable perspiration, after a hard day of meetings. Such runs are really great for soothing and clearing the mind.

We took 1hr7min, which is a slow pace, even for Beverly.

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Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Weekly Tue SAFRA Run @ Labrador Loop

Because there was a curry fish-head dinner prepared by Akira, a Japanese runner, we decided to do a short one to Labroador Park. We planned to be back to Clubhouse by 8pm.

We started of at about 7pm, once the relatively small group had assembled. The lady runners were still not back in full force yet. Chairman and Foo were noticeably absent too.

Anyway, my plan was to cover 3 loops around the Labrador Park, making a total run of about 10km. Each small circuit within Labrador Park is 800m, and 3 loops around it will make 2.4km. Add that to the 7.6km to and from the Park, and it makes for a good 10km distance.

As usual, I went ahead pretty soon, and very soon I was just behind Derek and Kumaran. Upon entry into the road leading to Labrador Park, I overtook Kumaran and followed Derek for a good distance till I lost him after 2 loops round the Park. In the Park, we met one of the Toa Payoh runners, and said hi.

I went on to cover about 2.6km in 15min, including a small water break after 2 loops. Met Wong and Evelyn on the way out, and ran past Hock Soon too. On the way back, I was mostly alone, and at the last stretch along Telok Blangah Rd, 'Bumblebee' runner caught up with me and raced me for about 100m to the home stretch. I pipped him to the finish at the last 20m, or maybe he just let me go. He is definitely a much stronger and faster runner than I, and he is at least 10 years younger too.

I finished the 10km run in 50:20min, catering for stops at traffic junctions. Quite a good time, since the stretch is a little hilly for the last 1-2km.

We then went to Akira's house to have a great curry fish-head dinner. I contributed the drinks, while Adam bought soya sauce chiken. Kenny contributed to a nice fruit plate. We had a enjoyable moonlit dinner, and left at 10:30pm.

Distance Ran:10km_____Time:50m20s_____Pace:5:02min/km
Average HR:155bpm_____Max HR:169bpm_____KCal:655

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Monday, March 14, 2005

Short Run @ MR25 5km Course

After my project meeting in the afternoon, I decided to have a short run at MacRitchie. With the new project having started, I am already feeling tired from the thought that I may not have much time for running at flexible hours anymore. I wanted to go for a good run to sweat it out, and clear my mind a bit.

I drove to MacRitchie at about 5pm, put on my Polar (this will be my first time measuring heart rate for a short run), did a little bit of warm up, and proceeded to tackle the MR25 5KM Course. For short runs like 5KM, it is important to do proper warm up to get the engines revving and sufficiently warm. However, I was anxious to get started and didn't want to spend to much time doing warm up.

Off I went at a good pace, legs feeling a little wobbly (still not fully recoved from yesterday's long run). I remember hitting the 2km marker in 3min+, and the first slope/opening in 6min+, and the second slope/opening in 8in+. This is slightly faster than my normal times for this course, as I would normally be hitting those milestones in 4min+ and 9min+. I went on to reach the 3.5km marker in 10:40min, and finished the small loop around by 12:34min. Pretty fast times.

On the return leg, my breathing was heavy, and I was feeling a little tired on the back. I was running pretty hard, not to lose the good progess I have made in the first half of the run. From the average HR of 163bpm, it seems that I was running at about 75% MaxHR, not really pushing that hard from the HR point of view. However, it is always my legs that slow me down.

I tried to put to test something I've picked up from Chi Running, a running book I am currently reading, which applies the principles of Tai Chi to good running form. I was trying to have a good lean forward, and pressing my legs backwards instead of lifting too high and forward. It seemed to be quite effective in gaining speed, and also less tiring...Hmmm..I must try it again next time.

The weather was a little dry, but the trail today was pretty quiet, though there were still the various groups of students doing their X-Country training. I reached back in my fastest time yet on the course of 23:15min. I hope to improve on this further in following months to sub 23min for this course, which will make me a 'DEER' in MR25 categorization.

Distance Ran:5km XC___Time:23min15sec___Pace:4:39min/km
Average HR:163bpm___Max HR:174bpm___KCal:334KCal

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Sunday, March 13, 2005

Weekend trekking adventure with Family/Friends

We did a nice sunday trek through the MacRitchie Northern Route. We started off at about 10.45am, after some delay by me caused by traffic.

Westly, Glen, Jack, Adrian, Lee Chean, Beverly, Amanda, Sean and myself set off from the MacRitchie drawbridge area. A few of them showed interest in my new fuel belt, and Adrian and Westly especially wanted to get one for themselves. I told them the usefulness of the fuel belt, and they liked it.

We immediately started off from the Little Sisters Of The Poor area (11km/0km) marker towards the Northern trail. I was there just in the morning doing my 18km run. As we walked the trail, we were enjoying and catching up. Adrian too had his 10km run that morning. In fact he also ran 10km at the same route the previous day. Adrian, I must say, have caught the running bug.

After a good long walk, we reached the SICC road again. Here we bumped into a group of people asking for guidance to tree-top walk. After we gave them some directions, we proceeded up towards the Golf Course to turn left into the road leading to Seletar/Mandai. However, a golfing marshall stopped us, and we had to turn back towards TreeTop Walk. We were a little disappointed, as most of us had been through this part just 2months ago. We wanted so much to try a newer, more scenic route.

Well, we took a good rest at the Ranger Station, and walked all the way back through Jelutong Tower, crossing the wooden planks, back to MacRitchie. In all, we walked for nearly 3 hrs. All had a good time, and we proceeded to have late lunch at the Longhouse food centre along Thomson Road. After that, Westly and Jack bought some Goreng Pisang home, and we all went back by about 4pm. It was a sunny and warm day. In all we walked a total of about 10km+, and expended about 500-700KCal each. We all enjoyed a good walk and exercise, and a few of us were already planning to do the NewPaper walk in July.

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18km Sunday run at MacRitchie

Had my usual sunday run with the SAFRA Running Club members this morning. I slept late and awoke to the alarm with only 3.5hrs of sleep. Feeling a little dizzy, had a good cup of coffee and a 5 bites of a PowerBar.

I have not had a run for 2 days, and my legs were feeling lethargic. I met up with the SAFRA people at 6.45am, meeting Wong and Foo first. After about a group of 12 had gathered, we started slowly at 7am, towards the Northern Route. I ran a quick 1st lap through the x-country portion, following closely behind Jimmy Chow. Reached the SICC road in about 17min. At this point, Foo came forward to lake the lead up the series of slopes along SICC, and turning left into the Golf Course along the reservoir. We reached the 1st toilet point in about 30mins. There, we rested and waited for about 10mins for the rest of the group to come in.

We then carried on, along the nice up/down road towards Old Upper Thomson Rd, now with Wong taking the lead. We reached the pump house in about 40min. We waited for about 5min, and moved down along the Old Upper Thomson Rd. We reached the end of the road in 58min, and took an immediate U-turn back. Some members of the group went ahead towards the Seletar/Mandai Rd toilet point.

We ran back up, and moved along the road towards Pierce Reservoir, and reached the Pierce toilet point in 1hr21min. I refilled my fuel belt bottles, and waited for Foo and Adam to come in. As I waited with Wong, we observed there were lots of monkeys around, and they were ready to pounce on humans who might be carrying food with them. We also saw a lot of cyclists on that stretch of the road, and Wong remarked that there were a lot of uncles doing recreational biking nowadays.

In the last stretch of about 4km back to MacRitchie, we picked up the pace, and again Wong led. We ran for another 23min along Thomson Road to reach the drawbridge at MacRitchie in a total journey time of 1hr45min.

Having rested for 2 days, this was a good run for me, though the last 5km was a little trying. I was very satisfied with how my new fuel belt performed. Once I reached back, I immediately rushed back home for a quick shower to go back to MacRitchie for my second adventure of the day, a trek with another group of friends at MacRitchie.

Distance Ran:18km XC___Time:1hr45min___Pace:5:47min/km
Average HR:154bpm___Max HR:175bpm___KCal:1330

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Thursday, March 10, 2005

Weekly Thu SAFRA Run (Portsdown Loop)

Today's run will see us take the Portsdown stretch, but without going to Clementi Rd and Ulu Pandan Canal. That will be a distance of about 13km.

Most of those who went for the KL marathon came tonight. Still in the recovery process, we decided to take it easy. There was a half-hour shower prior to our run, and that made the run very smooth and easy.

I set my HR monitor to the 20k set. However, my exercise files memory was full, and I could not have the full recording of my entire heart rate. I was running most of the time with Sok Hwa and Paul, as the rest were running a little slower behind.

Towards the last 3km, I decided to pick up pace and ran quickly all the way back to Clubhouse. It was a fun and refreshing run. After that, we went for our usual dinner at the nearby food centre, and tonight we had 2 new girl runners, Teen and Evelyn join in the post-run dinner for the first time. Chairman, Thiam Huat, was quite happy with the group spirit that is building up amongst the runners.

Distance Ran:13.5km____Time:1hr20min____Pace:5:56min/km
Average HR:NR_____Max HR:NR_____KCal:896

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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Hydration for long runs

As I move into more long runs, especially in places where water is not easily accessible, I have been looking for good equipment to help carry water with me when I run. I have tried simple water bottles, cheap belts, but they all do not work too well.

So, I finally got myself a fuel belt (Endurance 4-bottle model). It was down to this or the CamelBak. I finally settled for the belt, as I am not too used to having something hugging my back (reminds me too much of my army days, carrying fullpacks, charging up hills....siongzz).

I did not get the one with gel-flask, since that option does not come with a pouch (where I can use to store keys and loose change - very useful). Moreover, one or more of the bottles can be used to store gel too.

I can hardly wait to try them out, when I go for one of the long runs at MacRitchie, maybe this sunday. With proper hydration, without the need to worry about getting water midway during runs, I hope that will help me push my endurance limits....very necessary as I move towards my goal of doing marathons and beyond by end this year.

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Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Weekly Tue SAFRA Run (Esplanade)

Today we were to run to The Esplanade and back. A lot of the runners were visibly absent, taking their well-deserved rest after KLIM05. However, there were a number of new runners like Dennis, Toa Payoh runners.

I still had soreness on my thighs. With Foo back in the runs, very soon I was following him through the route to Esplanade. Dennis was following closely behind me. Very soon, the 3 of us broke off as a group. Akira and Jimmy were running ahead as the first group. I felt strong on the way.

On the return, we gave ourselves 30min to cover about 6km. We ran a lot faster back, and very soon, Dennis was falling a little behind, but he did well to maintain pace. With the number of traffic lights, we were stopping and starting. It was irritating, and bad for the rhythm. It also made my legs feel tired, having to start and stop. I pushed on and finally made it back to Telok Blangah, feeling a little tired.

Distance Ran:13.5km_____Time:1hr8min_____Pace:5:05min/km
Average HR:152bpm_____Max HR:165bpm_____KCal:857

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Monday, March 07, 2005

Recovery run at Macritchie Northern Route

After the 21km yesterday, I decided to do a recovery run to loosen up the muscles a bit. I felt a bit sore on my tighs, thereby confirming that the KL course was rather hilly. If I didn't feel it yesterday, it was due to my good form then.

Did a quick warm up, and off I went for the 10km Northern route. Started very slowly, and ran at about what feels like 6min/km pace. All was quiet and peaceful, until the turn back from SICC into the trails. There I met a guy who was running a bit and walking some. I sped up, wanting to overtake him on the steep upslope. He saw me run past, and started to run frantically ahead. He reached the top, and slowed again. I was a bit irritated with his kiasu style, and decided to put pressure on him by running behind for the next 1km. On one of the downslopes, I up the speed and ran past him. He tried to catch up, but gave up. I was still feeling very strong at this stage.

With about 2.5km left, I ran past a walking runner. After I ran past him, I felt him starting to run. He ran with gusto. On one of the upslopes, he sped past me, and ran at a blistering pace. I up my pace to give chase. He increased pace further. He ran strong. With about 1.5km left, I decided to go all the way with him. I followed behind with a 10m gap all the way until the end at the bridge. It was a good finish. I stopped my watch, and slow jogged to my car to warm down.

Distance Ran:10km XC___Time:53:40min___Pace:5:18min/km
Average HR:146bpm___Max HR:165bpm___KCal:687

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KL Marathon 2005 Trip Report

We have signed up for the KL Marathon (various races) and have prepared ourselves to drive up in a convoy, following members of the SAFRA Running Club.

I was going to do my first ever 21km race. My wife, Beverly was to do her first ever 10km race. So is Adrian, my friend (10km). This will all be our first races in those categories, and come what may, as long as we complete with timings, we will record our Personal Bests (PB). Race Day did come, and we all did well. I recorded a 1hr50min for my 21km and collected my large silver finisher's medal. Beverly did well to emerge top 100 in her category, recording 1hr6min for 10km, and walked away with a nice finisher's medal too. Adrian did well to record his best ever 10km time of 1hr3min, and because he was in the men's open category (very competitive), Adrian just missed out on the medal. A quick check with the final official results indicate that I ran 1hr50min and was placed 35th in my category, and was the best Singapore time in my category. Even extending that to all the categories in the men's 21km races (Overall Results), I still had the best time from Singapore....Hmmm, maybe there were nobody else other than me from Singapore running 21km...Ha Ha...Please check out the Race Report for RACE DETAILS.

The winners circle at KLIM 2005

Now for the trip. We gathered bright and early at 6.50am at the Bukit Merah mobil station. Westly, Jack and Lee (Chean) who are not running, will join in my car to KL for their shopping and eating fiesta. My car were to follow Adam's car. We made the morning introductions, and set on at about 7.15am. We reached the Tuas second-link quite easily, and soon we were zooming along the Malaysian N-S Highway (speeds will not be recorded here for obvious reasons). We reached Yong Peng at about 9.30am and met up with another car. We had a scrumptious breakfast of KL Yong Tau Foo.

We continued on after breakfast, and all were in good spirits after some good carbo-loading. We drove very smoothly, and after about 2.5hrs, we were in KL. We briefly lost contact with the 3 front cars, but with Jack's local knowledge, we made it to Hotel Malaya first. How surprised the others were when they saw us later. HaHa. We gathered and the runners went to Concorde Hotel to collect our race packs and bibs. Westly, Jack and Lee went shopping.

We took an easy LRT to the expo area. The collection process wasn't very smooth, but still we went through without much problems. I was disappointed with the goodie bag, as there was only 1 lousy cotton singlet. The 10km bag had a cotton T-Shirt, which some thought was even better. We then bought a promotion of PowerBars and got a free water bottle. We headed to KL Plaza area and visited the Lillian Too's feng shui shop with Paul, Yean, Tong Ling and gang. We then headed back to the hotel at 6pm.

At Race Expo With SAFRA Running Club Members

While waiting for Daniel Lim to pick us up for dinner, Beverly and I prepared for the race, pinning up the bib numbers, putting aside gear and fuel for the race early the next day. At about 7.30pm, Daniel picked us up for dinner at Jalan Mutiara. This was a seafood place, with good steamboat. Jack, Westly, Lee, Beverly, Daniel and myself ordered a good steamboat for 4, side dishes of yummy fried pig's organs and spare parts (those we see in HK and Malaysian movies, and always wondering how nice they taste). They were yummylicous. We ate our fill, and it was one good carbo-loading session (which proved to be great for the race the next day). I felt strong during my race, not even a little tired before, during and after, and I think that steamboat dinner had a lot to do with it. Great Stuff!

After dinner, we went to KLCC and saw the Twin Towers in its night granduer. It looked very illuminated and majestic, and when Lee tried to take a photo of me and Beverly together with the Towers, she found that it could hardly fit us in. We told ourselves that we will be back one of these nights to visit this part of KL again. Beverly and I went back to get our early rest, while Lee and gang went to paint the town red. Back in the hotel, after some last minute wash up, I was soon sleeping at around 11.30pm. I was awaken at about 2.30pm with a thud, and found myself on the floor. Beverly was shocked to find that I had fallen off the bed. That bed was too small, and in the process of rolling over in my sleep, I found that it was not my 'Super-King' bed at home. Ahhh...I was in KL to race, remember? After that, I didn't quite sleep well, and was awaken by the alarm at 4.15am.

Yah...time to prepare to meet Yean and Tong Ling at 5.15am to walk together to the race start point (around High Court area). Beverly and I did a quick wash-up, took a piece of banana and coffee for final fuel, put on our race gear, and off we went. It was a short walk from the Hotel to the start point. We reached there at 5.45am; did some warm up, took some photos, checked in the bag, went to the loo, and was soon ready for the 21km start. Do read my race report for exciting details of how the 21km run went for me.

The SAFRA Running Club at KLIM 2005

After our respective races, we waited for most of our friends to come back, especially those from the much longer marathon (42km) race. I met Sukaimi, The Lonely Runner, and took a photo with him. I apologized to Sukaimi for not being able to join him for lunch the previous day with the PaceSetters. I was still on the N-S highway then, remember? We were cheered that my friends at the SAFRA Running Club all returned with very good results. Sok Hwa came in 8th and won $800, Derek came in 25th and won $200. The rest all did their Personal Bests; Joen Yen, Adam, Sam, Hock Soon all did well to go under 5hrs for 42km. Paul, Derek, Sok Hwa did well with sub-4hr marathons. As usual, the Africans swiped most of the top awards in the men's category. China swiped most of the top positions for the ladies categories.

The Lonely Runner & The Dream Runner @ KLIM2005

We had a good wash up, quick lunch of wanton mee at the Hotel's nearby coffee-shop, and checked out at 1pm. I collected my car from the very complex car-park (you will know what I mean if you have ever been to one of these KL multiple-trayed car-parks). Our 3 cars were on the road at 2pm, back to Singapore. We stopped after 1.5hrs at a R&R for some good coffee, and proceeded on to Gelang Pateh for dinner.

We had a superb dinner (thanks to Adam's recommendation) at Gelang Pateh. Broiled Chestnut Duck, Frog-legs with wine in soup, fried tou-miao, chilli-crab. It was very nice, and really helped nourish us runners again. It was our reward for the good work we put in the morning races. At the dinner table, Chua calculated that those who ran the marathon expended 3,500KCal, I expended 1,500KCal in the 21km, and Beverly expended 720KCal in the 10km. So, we could afford to indulge. We really ate our fill. BURP, BURP!

We left and did a final petrol top-up. The price was only 1.45 ringgit. Westly said that was even cheaper than pumping petrol in Singapore $ terms (even without conversion). So, Westly got quite enthusiastic, and pumped till the car overflowed with 'juice'. We crossed the causeway smoothly amidst very light traffic, dropped off Westly, Jack and Lee together (I swear that was the last time I saw them till now). I was so tired, I slept before midnight when I got home. I woke up well-rested to compile this report.

Looking back, we had a albeit short, but wonderful adventure and experience. Do join us for the next overseas adventure in due course.

The Dream Runner

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Sunday, March 06, 2005

KL Marathon 2005 - The 21km Race Report

Finally the time had come for me to run my first official Half Marathon (21km). This was to be done at the KL International Marathon 2005.

I woke up at 4am in the morning of Mar 6, 2005. Washed up, and took a piece of banana and a coffee to build up fuel. The previous night's steamboat dinner was great, and should provide the necessary fuel for today's race.

Went with Beverly and the rest of the 21km gang to the race start point (High Court area) at about 5.30am. Did a little bit of stretching and went to the loo twice.

With Beverly Before The Start Of Race

At 6.30am sharp, the flag off for the 21km began, and away we all went over the mats, with the ChampionChips beeping away. It was good weather and I was feeling strong. The first 2km saw quite a number of people going to the bushes to do a quick one. I started ahead of Wong, Tong Ling, Yean and the rest of the gang. I immediately trained on a few strong-looking runners and used them as pacers. At a few upslopes, I overtook quite a number of runners. The group of runners began to thin, and soon I was running easy pacing with a few 'Ang Mohs'. Very soon, we came to the first drinks point (must have been running for 4km). Took a cup of 100-plus and continued on. Went to to overtake Evelyn on a relatively steep upslope at about the 8km mark.

The KL terrain is known to be hilly, with a number of long slopes. It was at these slopes that I overtook many of the front-runners. It was mentioned by the experienced folk that the Singapore Marathon route was a lot flatter and more scenic. (I subsequently developed sores on my thighs the following day, confirming that I had to climb many-a-slope).

At this point, I spotted Yen San from SAFRA Toa Payoh. I remembered overtaking her husband about a km ago. I tailed her for another 2km before overtaking her on another upslope. I think she recognized me, and she did in fact come to acknowledge that at the end of the race later. Shortly after that, I reached the 10km mark, where I stepped on the timing mat. I looked at my watch and it showed 49min+. I checked with the official, and he confirmed that to be the 10km mark. A sub-50min 10km....that makes it official.

I picked up speed a bit, and felt a little bit of cramp in the stomach and twitching at my calves. I suspected it to be the 100-plus. We came to a PowerGel point at about the 11km mark, and I think I got a coffee flavour. Took 2 gulps, along with some water at another station further down the road. I moved on and continued running with strength.

After a while, the road merged in with that of the 10k runners. At this point, there were only a handful of 21km runners left at the front where I could see. We moved among the midst of slow-moving 10k runners, and had some problem with manouvering amongst the crowd. Managed to plod along, speeding across traffic junctions for fear of impatient traffic not wanting to stop for too long.

After running for quite some time now, I realized that there were no distance markers. I really had no idea exactly how far I have covered, and how far more to go. I started to ask the many officials along the way, and also some of the runners whom I think might know tghe answer, but no one seemed to know then. I continued running with strength, and started overtaking many 10k, 42k runners with ease. When I suspected that we were left with about 6km, I started to pick up pace again.

After another 20min, I could hear announcements in the distance. I knew we were close. I started to speed up, overtaking a few front-runners. I decided to skip the last water point, since we were so close already. Then, an official told us that 21km runners had to run another large round before finishing. At that point, I could see that many runners started to walk out of exasperation. I continued to run strong. I saw a young PaceSetter runner in front, and asked him the distance left. He said '1km left'. I said 'Great. Lets Go'. I increased speed, and left him behind. Knowing that it was only 1km left, I ran all out. At the last 100m, I managed to sprint to the finish, and looked very strong. Hopefully, the pictures reflect this good posture. I finished with a respectable time of 1hr50m45s, my personal best for a 21km, and also recorded a PB of 49min+ for the 10km. A great and satisfying run for me indeed.

A satisfied run with a well deserved finisher's medal

A check with the official results indicate that I was 35th in the veteran men's section, and the best Singaporean 21km runner as well. A memorable achievement for me.

Distance Ran:21km____Time:1hr50.8min____Pace:5:18min/km
Average HR:NM____Max HR:NM____KCal:1,500 est.

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Friday, March 04, 2005

Final tapering run before KLIM05

It is just 3 days more to the KL Marathon this sunday. All the runners tonight are doing our final tapering run. We covered the Canterbury estate-Labrador Park route, about 12km.

I was quite late tonight and didn't have time to strectch nor warm-up. I also forgot to bring my running shoes, and had to borrow an old pair from Paul. It was a little too tight for comfort, but since it was not too long a run, I took the risk.

We started off quite ok, but when Foo and Derek took over the lead, it became quite fast. Paul mentioned halfway that we ran too fast for a tapering run. We ran the stretch of Cantebury estate at a fast pace, then moved onto the main road and into Labrador Park. We did not climb the slope at Labrador, choosing to go the flatter way today. Hit the halfway mark at 34.5min.

I did only a round of Labrador today, and moved back to base in 1hr7min. Not a bad run tonight. After bathing, our group went to Akira's house to have superb home-made Bak Kut Teh and Salmon, along with many good bottles of reds and whites. We joked that this was carbo-loading in advance for Sunday. That guy, Akira is unfathomable. Very creative and won lots of accolades for his fusion food and ideas. Stayed till about 10.30pm before we all left for home.

Distance Ran:12km_____Time:1hr7min_____Pace:5:36min/km
Average HR:151bpm_____Max HR:167bpm_____KCal:837

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

20km Kelichap warm-up & time trial runs

Did 2 back-back 10km runs tonight, the first 10km as a warm-up and the second 10km as a time trial.

The first 10km with Beverly was for her to do her final practice run before KL this sunday. She returned in 1hr7min, which is another min off her best last week. The weather was warm and humid, and the air quality not too good. Probably similar or worse air quality in KL.

After we returned home, I took some water, reset the stop-watch, and went for my 10km time trial (in reverse route - went into Lor Ah Soo, then to Tampines Rd, Kovan, Upper Serangoon Rd, Braddel Rd, into Tai Keng Gardens and back home. I felt good but a little tired on the legs. I suspect it was because of the lack of sleep for the past few days, plus the weather. I did not bring along the heart rate monitor for tonight's runs, to see if I run better without the strap. I felt looser, but with heart rate to see, its quite difficult for me to know how hard to push.

I took the lap times at the various specific junctions of the route for reference. I returned back in 49:27min, another sub-50min 10km effort. The following are times in cumulative mode:
Lap 1 (Lor Ah Soo) - 4min 28s
Lap 2 (Tampines Rd) - 11min 48s
Lap 3 (Tampines Rd) - 17min 17s
Lap 4 (Into Upp Serangoon Rd) - 21min 30s
Lap 5 (Upp Paya Lebar X-Junction) - 29min 9s
Lap 6 (Braddel Rd Junction) - 35min 51s
Lap 7 (Upp Paya Lebar Rd) - 44min 19s
Lap 8 (Home) - 49min 27s

Not bad, but I had to push hard at the end. It is about 1.5min off my best effort on this route set 2 weeks ago. I just did not want to risk pushing too hard, with the KL run just days away.

Distance Ran:20km_____Time:1hr56min_____Pace:NA
Average HR:NR_____Max HR:NR_____KCal:1,400 est.

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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

KL Marathon Race Routes

10km Race Route (For Beverly and Adrian)

21km Race Route (For Anthony)

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Tuesday, March 01, 2005

10km Tapering Run on 1 Mar 2005

It is just 5 days more to the KL Marathon this sunday. All the runners tonight are doing their tapering runs (meaning slow-down, shorter runs) to avoid tiring out. The idea is to be well rested and leave the best for the actual race.

I will be doing the 21km at KLIM05, and hope to do a sub-2hr run. Beverly will be doing the 10km run.

Route from Telok Bangah - Labrador Park

For tonight's run, we did the Labrador route. I did 3 rounds at the Labrador Park itself, with the steep first upslope, to cover a total distance of 10km. I felt very good tonight, since I did not run for the past 2 days.

From the chart, it seems that I reached the final upslope at Labrador Park at the 20min mark. After that, I circled the scenic park for 2 rounds, encountering a fierce snow-dog who wanted to race me, and its owner was having a hard time holding it down.

My average heart rate of 158bpm is a tad low for a 10km run, but is ok for a practise run. I finished the 10km run in 53min. I did not feel completely satisfied, since the distance is a little short for my liking. Anyway, I look forward to the next SAFRA run on thursday.

Distance Ran:10km_____Time:53:09min_____Pace:5:18min/km
Average HR:158bpm_____Max HR:171bpm_____KCal:716

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Anthony's 21km Pace WristBand

Cal Coast Track
Miles - Half Marathon
Pace - 5:27
Time - 1:55:00

KM Splits
1 05:27
2 10:54
3 16:21
4 21:48
5 27:15
6 32:42
7 38:09
8 43:36
9 49:03
10 54:30
11 59:57
12 1:05:24
13 1:10:51
14 1:16:18
15 1:21:45
16 1:27:12
17 1:32:39
18 1:38:06
19 1:43:33
20 1:49:00
21 1:54:27
21.1 1:55:00

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Anthony's Oregon Pace: Projected Race Performances

For: Anthony Sum age 41, estimated VO2max 46.87

Projected Race Performances

The following race performance predictions assume that you have adequate endurance training. This is a specific requirement for the longer distances. Your projected performances for standard running distances are:
2 mi
5 km
5 mi
10 km
15 km
10 mi
20 km
25 km
30 km

Easy Effort Training Runs

Most of the endurance training for long distance running should be gentle continuous runs at 75-80 percent effort. Your targets for continuous EASY effort training runs are:
0:20:19 - 0:21:41
10:09 - 10:50
146 - 140
0:30:29 - 0:32:31
10:09 - 10:50
146 - 140
0:40:39 - 0:43:22
10:09 - 10:50
146 - 140
0:50:49 - 0:54:12
10:09 - 10:50
146 - 140
1:00:59 - 1:05:03
10:09 - 10:50
146 - 140
1:11:09 - 1:15:53
10:09 - 10:50
146 - 140
1:21:19 - 1:26:44
10:09 - 10:50
146 - 140
1:43:28 - 1:50:22
10:20 - 11:02
144 - 139
2:05:58 - 2:14:22
10:29 - 11:11
143 - 137
2:28:47 - 2:38:42
10:37 - 11:20
142 - 136
2:51:51 - 3:03:19
10:44 - 11:27
141 - 135
3:15:09 - 3:28:10
10:50 - 11:33
140 - 135
3:38:40 - 3:53:15
10:56 - 11:39
139 - 134
4:02:22 - 4:18:32
11:01 - 11:45
139 - 133
4:26:14 - 4:43:59
11:05 - 11:49
138 - 133
4:50:16 - 5:09:37
11:09 - 11:54
138 - 132

Speed Work Track Interval Paces

The following paces are for strength building intervals where the running is at a high percentage of your maximum aerobic pace (max). Your recommended track interval paces are:
90% max
95% max
100% max

Speed Work Pace Runs or Repeats

Pace runs and repeats are speedwork run at the speed you plan to race. They facilitate the development of efficiency at race pace. A good rule of thumb is to limit yourself to 1/4 of your race distance for each run. If you do multiple runs, (repeats), limit the total to about 1/10 of your weekly mileage. Your targets for pace runs or repeats are:

2 mi
5 km
5 mi
10 km
15 km
10 mi
20 km
25 km
30 km
Team Oregon Pace Wizard --

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Anthony's Heart Rate Zones (Training)

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