Friday, September 30, 2005

A brief TV appearance

Tomorrow is the start of the 168km NTU Run-Round-Singapore 2005 Ultra-Marathon. As part of a publicity campaign, I went down to MacRitchie for a short session with the TV crew of Chinese news channels 8 and U. I was there to support MR25's representation as escort runners for the key ultra-marathon runners. The role of us escort runners are really to run along with the ultra-marathoners, providing them company, as well as possible assistance as and when required. There have been a coverage of this upcoming event this whole week, with newsbytes every day about something related to the run. Today was supposed to be about the escort runners and the roles they are going to play during the run.

Met David aka DO, Aik Hock, Alvo, Evelyn, JJ, Mika, Vincent, Stephen all from MR25 at 1pm. The trifam family was there too, and I met with Caroline as well as Mythos and his gang from trifam. These two key groups will be providing the main escort runners for the run. After some interview sessions with both the presidents of MR25 as well as trifam, we were heralded to the zig-zag bridge for an hour of running about, coupled with warm-up exercising, and slow jogs in formation. It was a fun time as we chatted merrily with one another, and we later found that the camera-man was an avid runner in his younger days. He mentioned that he wanted to run along with us, after seeing us enjoying so much...hehe.

Members of the MR25 team (Evelyn, Vincent, Aik Hock, David, Alvin)

The snippets were later ran in the sports section of the evening Chinese news on both Channel 8 and Channel U. A few friends called me to say they spotted me running in front..haha...very paiseh to be running in front. I later went to meet up with some members of the SgRunners at Esplanade to collect SgRunners T-Shirts, which many will be wearing for the 168km runs to help promote SgRunners. We had good discussion about the growth of SgRunners and some of its interesting forum members. Overall, not a running day, but all leading to the main running event tomorrow. I may have something to blog about after the run..tune in.

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The SBR/AHM Cert Arrived

The Army Half Marathon cert finally arrived in the mail today. It looked like the cert that they gave out after the race, except this one has the name and timing neatly typed. Gun timing instead of chip timing is indicated in this cert.

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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Training run for StanChart 2005

The plan this evening was to run from SAFRA MF to Sentosa, through the NB Real Run Route, and then back for a distance of 18km. However, trainer Ong got a sudden attack of gout, and we decided to do a shorter one through the quiet Canterbury Estates and then to Labrador Park for an easier 13km. Good for me too, since I do not want to stretch myself too much before this Saturday's Run-Round-Singapore.

I put on my NB754, and wore the Patt Strap to try a longer distance. As we moved through the Canterbury Estates, my legs were still feeling good. My breathing was ok, and the pace was about 5:30min/km. I was just behind Alan, Derrick amd TLH. We were enjoying the slower pace, and was chatting away merrily. We were at times joined by Colleen, Adam, and a few others. There were some down-slopes along the way, and I really slowed down when I hit them. Still, after each down-slope, the front part of my knees didn't feel too good, partly could be psychological too.

As I exited out from Canterbury Estates, I would have covered 8km already. One group turned back to the ClubHouse. I carried on towards Labrador Park, and slowed down my pace slightly. My knees felt much better, and as I ran into Labrador Park, there wasn't much pain... just a feeling of strain on my left leg. The Patt Strap was really holding well, and preventing my ITB from flaring up, but I could feel the slight pull at my knees as the ITB heat up. When I came out from Labrador Park, I bumped into Colleen and her friend. We slowed the pace to about 6min/km, and my legs felt good again. We ran together for about 1km, before I went on my own back to the ClubHouse while they went to get some drinks. Another about 2.5km nice run back, where I focused on getting my form right, picking my legs up, avoiding any jarring of the feet, increasing cadence while maintaining short strides... The legs felt good all the way back.

Went back and did some light stretches, and also practised reverse-draining of the legs for 3mins. There was no pain felt, until I reached home and started descending steps. I could then feel the tightness of the IT Band, and the knees too. I proceeded to massage it, and did more stretches. As I looked back, the Patt Strap did prevent occurence of ITB flaring up during the time I was wearing it. But once it was off, the tightness and rubbing resumed. Of course, the pain and rubbing was not so acute today as compared to the time before the Chinese sin-seh attended to me. I hope the condition is improving, and I plan to probably aim for 21km for the Run-Round-Singapore on Saturday. Only if I feel good then will I carry on longer. I will see.

Distance Ran:13km ___Time:1hr15min____Pace:5:46min/km
Average HR:N/A___Max HR:N/A___KCal:900KCal est.

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The Patt Strap

The Patt Strap I ordered online just a few days ago arrived in the mail today. It took a lot shorter than the promised 10days to be shipped from the USA to international countries. Great...just in time for me to try it. I brought it along for my short run at SAFRA MF, to test it out. I planed to do a short run with SAFRA Running friends, since I was not supposed to run on the Chinese doctor's instructions. Being the stubborn me, I had to run a little to see if the treatment they gave me was working.

I did a little quad-strengthening at the gym before meeting up with the rest. Ong and Jaime was surprised to see me, since I told them I would not be going down. Yes, I felt better today, and wanted to run. I put on my Patt Strap and ran slowly behind the rest down along Depot Road. When the rest made their way towards Labrador Park, I did not follow, but ran towards Telok Blangah Rd and then back to ClubHouse, all throughout at a very comfortable 5:50min/km pace. My legs did not encounter any strain or even slight pain at all, and I was very conscious of it. I took care not to go into over-stride mode, and made sure my left knee was not over-strained. When I reached back, I did more gym-work and quad-work. Very good feeling to the legs, and it seems that the treatment by the Chinese doctor is working well. The Patt Strap remained secure and very comfortable throughout the whole run. I will continue to use it for the next few long runs.

Distance Ran:5km ___Time:29min____Pace:5:50min/km
Average HR:N/A___Max HR:N/A___KCal:350KCal est.

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Monday, September 26, 2005

The Chinese Sinseh

I was still having a dull pain in my outer knee today. I decided to pay the Chinese Sinseh (doctor) near my home a visit. It was at this clinic that I got my twisted right ankle (from playing soccer) fixed last year. As I clearly recalled, one pull and a neat twist was what set my twisted ankle back to its original position, and it took me about 1 month before I was up and running again.

The long queue formed during lunch have dwindled by the time I took a queue number. I waited for just 15min before being served by a lady sinseh. I told her my ITBS symptoms, and immediately she went about showing me a chart of the human skeletal and nervous system, and telling me the cause of my problem. She told me to lie down, facing up. In came a male doctor, who mentioned that my legs looked of the same length (I told him to check as it might cause ITBS and other associated problems). He lifted my left leg, gave a pull, and there was a crackling sound...'there' he said, 'fixed. Your knee was off position slightly, causing the nerves to rub against the bent knees when they were heated up during exercise. He then moved to the next room to attend to another patient.

The lady doctor then told me to lie over, pulled down half my pants, and said she was going to do some acupuncture. She inserted a needle into my lower buttocks, and told me to indicate if I could feel pain in my toes. I went 'huh? Am I supposed to feel pain in my toes?'. Shortly, I could feel a tingling, painful sensation to the whole left leg all the way to my toes, like I was given electric, it was uncomfortable, and I was sweating quite a bit... She then poked a few more kneedles around my knee regions, and while doing all these, she was explaining the procedures and about how many people with similar problems like myself have got treated successfully this way... after a while, she applied suction cups to the buttock and knee areas, which were inserted by needles...she said to suck out apparently bad blood.

I have always believed in Chinese medicine and tui-na, and although I was prepared to go for western sports medicine consultation, I wanted a relief from the Chinese doctor too. Who knows, it may just work. After the treatment, I felt very loose on my left leg. Immediately the ITB wasn't tight, and maybe because my knees has been set back to their original position. The doctor's advised me to rest for at least a week, for the 'loosened' cartilage and tendon to strengthen, before doing hard running and exercises again. A few hours later, I no longer feel any tension nor pain in my knee and ITB areas, just that little 'numbness' from the needle poke at my butt...haha. I am keeping my fingers crossed that this will resolve my ITB problems, and I can continue to run again pain-free after a few days rest... Let's see.

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Sunday, September 25, 2005

Sunday LSD @ Yishun-Seletar Reservoir

After a 10km+ trek at MacRitchie yesterday with some members of the SgRunners (Click here for a good account of the trek), my right leg was slightly sore...hmm, probably not conditioned for so much walking, more for running...haha

This morning, I woke up early for my much anticipated Sunday Run at Yishun with friends from SAFRA MF. I took a cup of coffee and just a banana. I have been eating for the past few days and not running working out much, thus, my glycogen stores should be more than ample for the 20km run this morning. When I reached Yishun Stadium, I met Jaime and Ong who had just arrived by cab. A while later, we saw Kumaran came in by cab. This was the first time in a long while that Kumaran has joined us for a Sunday Run, and he had just 3 hours of sleep the night before. Kumaran later ended the run, asking for more, as he thoroughly enjoyed the outing.

When Adam and Colleen arrived, we set off for our run at about 7.30am. Anticipating a hot day, Wong had his Oakley shades on, and Jaime was armed with her Nike cap. I left my cap, stopwatch, HRM and just about everything at home. My plan was to run slowly, taking this as a mileage accumulation for my marathon in December. Still nursing my ITBS, I was careful not to heat up my left leg ITB tendon too early into the run. We ran from Yishun Stadium, and along Seletar Reservoir, passing Orchid Country Club and into the Seletar Reservoir Dam area. This was about 4km, and a crowd of people were already formed on the banks, picking out fresh catches from the sea. The weather was cool, and my muscles were taking a while longer to get warmed. Chatted with Adam, Ong and Wong about the week's track training, as well as the upcoming marathon preparations. We went on passing Seletar Country Club, and hitting Seletar Base Camp at Jalan Kayu end. We took a 2 minute break to assemble, and then pushed on along Jalan Kayu Road, lined by the famous prata shops on both sides. While I have often driven along Jalan Kayu Road itself, this was the first time I was running along it...

When we reached the other end of Jalan Kayu Road, meeting Yio Chu Kang Road, we made a loop back and after a while, we made our first toilet/drinks stop at a petrol kiosk. Took a 10min break at this 11km mark, and then proceeded to run into Seletar Base Camp. The roads inside the camp will quite busy, and cars were flying by like they were in a rush...wonder why on a Sunday. We ran cautiously by the side of the road, and we pushed all the way to the U-turn point of the normal SAFRA 10km Time-Trial route. We took a 5min walk-break, and with 5km to go, it was free for all. I increased my pace, and at theis point, I could feel a nagging pain in the outer and lower areas of the left knee. It was not crippling, and I could run through it. I kept up the pace, increased my stride, and pushed towards Yishun Stadium. The sun had just come up, but it was ok as I kept to the shady sides of the road curb.

Looking back, my left leg held up pretty well, and a slight nagging pain only started from about the 13km mark, much later than the previous few runs. So there was some improvement, and I hope I will continue to make progress with more stretches, icing and rest. Reached back the start point after 2 hours of running an average 6min/km pace. Not bad for a long run, just that the distance needed to be more. With my current injury, it was a prudent distance, and I expect to increase distance slowly. When all gathered, we had a good round of 100plus drinks, with compliments from Kumaran and SAFRA MF. I proceeded home, whilst the rest went to wash up before having their Jalan Kayu roti prata lunch.

Distance Ran:20km ___Time:2hr____Pace:6min/km
Average HR:N/A___Max HR:N/A___KCal:1500KCal est.

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Thursday, September 22, 2005

ITBS Recovery Jog: Slowly Away

I did not experience any pain on my ITB tendon for the past two days. I have been doing ITBS stretches and recommended recovery exercises. I even tried the roller foam with a used swimming foam my children had, and it seemed quite effective. The weather was good this evening for a run, after the heavy showers in the afternoon. I decided to do a short, slow jog with Beverly around my estate. My plan was to run till I feel pain in my ITB, and I will stop to walk home.

We started off quite slowly. I did some prior ITB stretches, and did not bring the knee-guard along. We avoided the initial small slopes in the estate, and went straight along Braddel Road (the construction works were still ongoing...shucks!). I was very sentitive to any pain that might come from my ITB. outer left knee. It went well for a while, and I even varied the pace to see if pace will trigger the onset of ITBS. For the first 5km, it was pain at all. While waiting for Beverly at a toilet break, I did some ITB stretches.

After a while into the second part of the journey, about 7km of the run, I felt a very slight numbling effect on the front portion of the left knee. I could also feel a slight tightness in my left ITB tendon, and a slight heat developing in my right ITB tendon. I slowed down the pace slightly, and it did help ease the effects. I then picked up pace at the 8km mark, and finished off the 10km run feeling very good. There was just a very slight numb on the left knee, and I would not even call it pain. I did some ITB stretches and cooled down. I even applied ice-pack to the left knee and ITB tendon for 5mins. It felt good. As I am writing this entry, I feel no pain in my left knee, ITB is ok too. My legs will be taking a good rest till the next run this Sunday, a 22km LSD along Yishun-Seletar Reservoir. I hope to feel even better by then, but will stop the run if my ITBS acts up on me. I am quite happy that my ITB did not flare up today, but I will not be too complacent, and will continue to monitor the situation, plus doing stretches and ITB exercises. I hope this bout of ITBS will leave me for good, and I can look forward to good runs in the next few weeks.

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Laying Off Running: Some Gymwork

I do not normally blog about other non-running activities. With my recent laying off running due to ITBS, I decided to keep up training with some gymwork to strengthen my running core, and also some cardio maintenance with a few laps in the pool.

I am not one who is into swimming, but I guess I will start doing more, since it is as good as anytime to strengthen my swimming for my future participation in multi-discipline events. I sawm about 2 laps of front-crawl (which I find very difficult), and another 4 laps of breast-stroke. Thats about it. My swimming sucks. But at least I got in some exercise, else I will feel lethargic.

I just had a review of my running last week, and realized I developed ITBS due to continuous running for 3 straight days. I will make it a point not to repeat this to avoid injuries from running. I am planning to attend a injuries and recovery seminar this saturday organized by the Changi Centre For Sports Medicine. I hope to get more guidance on proper training and rest, as well as look for some help for my ITBS from the sports consultants there.

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ABR/AHM 2005 Results

The official SBR/AHM 2005 Results are Out!

My Performance in the AHM 21km:
Gun_Time: 1:44:39
Chip_Time: 1:44:10
Position: 43

Click here for Results of Men's Open Category
Click here for Results of Men's Veteran Category
Click here for Results of Men's Closed Category
Click here for Results of Women's Open Category
Click here for Results of Women's Veteran Category
Click here for Results of Women's Closed Category

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Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Running with some pain

Having rested for 2 days, I was ready to take my ITBS legs for a test run again. I brought along a knee guard just for psychological reasons. I have already ordered the Patt Strap from US, and will have to wait for 10 days for its arrival.

This evening we ran from SAFRA MF to Marina Promenade and back for a 18km LSD training. There were heavy rains just prior to the run, but it stopped just in time. I did a bit of stretching of my IT Band, and I ran at a slow pace behind the main pack. I tried with more forefoot strike on my left leg, causing it to be tilting slightly out, which will cause less strain to the IT Band. I also deliberately lessen the pace, and kept my strides small (since I believe increasing my stride over the past few weeks have in part caused me to pull at the IT Band). It felt comfortable for the first 2km, and I slipped the knee guard down just to feel my knees again. Ran past Tiong Bahru Park and exchanged pleasantries with the Tiong Bahru runners...Alan Yeo was there too. I increased my cadence to make up for the loss in stride-length. It seemed to work quite well. We moved on to a series of traffic lights, then going to the riverside via Zouk, and all the way to Esplanade. My left leg's ITBS didn't act up, and I was pleased. After a break at Esplanade, I did more stretches, and we moved on towards the 2km+ stretch to the 2nd toilet along Marina Promenade. When I was almost reaching, I felt the pain in my outer left knee...woops, it came at about 8km. I struggled with it for a while, slowed down my pace, and then proceeded 1km more to the toilets. Met the group of Alan Chao, Ong, Kumaran, Derrick, etc.

On the return trip back, I slowed my pace a little, and Alan kindly agreed to accompany we ran, my knees felt a lot better, and I increased pace. Soon we were able to catch up with Jimmy and Wong and the rest at Esplanade toilets. I took another quick sip of water, and ran all the way back to ClubHouse. It was drizzling at that point, and I was taking care not to slip (with my forefoot strike). My knees got to be quite painful with about 2km left, but I managed to slow jog all the way back. I did stretches of the ITBS when I finished the run, and it felt good again. I was able to walk with no pain...hmm, this ITBS injury is a little irritating, in that its hard to feel it normally, only attacking when I run for a while. Did the run in about 1hr46min. Pretty slow pace for 17km, but it was good traning pace for marathon.

I have decided to give Thurdsday's trackwork a miss, and will probably do a short slow run around my estate. I have also decided to run with Ong and the rest on Sunday at Yishun (which is flat, and better for my current knee condition) for a 22km route. I hope to feel much better by then.

Distance Ran:18km ___Time:1hr47min____Pace:5:56min/km
Average HR:150bpm___Max HR:187bpm___KCal:1312K

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Certs & T-Shirt

Went down to HomeTeam at Ah Hood Road to collect the New Balance Real Run 2005 certificate. Hmmm...the photo used inthe cert is the worst amongst 4 that were taken by SportsphotoX. Maybe they want me to order the other three nicer photos instead...hehe. Well, some runners even had the wrong photos on their certs, so I am considered lucky...phew

Achieved 48min23sec for the 10km X-Terrain Run

On my way to SAFRA MF for my run, I also popped by NTU to collect the T-Shirt for Run-Round-Singapore 2005. I will be starting from station 25 (Hougang Ave 7) on Oct 1, 9.30pm. I hope to run for about 13 stations, covering at least 42km, but I will have to see if my ITB injury holds up by then.

NTU Run-Round-Singapore 2005 T-Shirt

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

Marathon Training Pace?

Heavy rains came this morning as I awoke briefly from my slumber. I was thinking, 'How are they going to do the Terry Fox Run'. Because of my ITBS, I have already decided not to attend the run, and anyway I had already paid $25 and got the T-Shirt, and hopefully, most of the proceeds will go towards cancer research. I later found out from sgrunners who went (kops, tiwazz, sanji) that the 8km run was cancelled, and just the 4km run went on, with mostly a very carnival and family atmosphere; the running mostly erratic, spoilt by the heavy downpour.

I decided to go for a very slow jog with Beverly in the evening, just to see if the ITBS has recovered. I put on a knee-guard and went out fact very slowly, so as not to aggravate anything. The weather was immaculate. For the first time in a long while, I was able to go rather slowly and maintained a very good average heart rate of 133-138. Whoa...this was like 70%-75% MaxHR, a recommended training heart-rate for long distance runs. My pace was an average 6:30min/km, which is 1min below my targeted marathon goal pace of 5:30min/km. That is about right for a marathon training pace. I managed to achieve this over the 12km run I had today, not easy, since I always have a tendency to want to run faster. I could have gone for another 10-15km at that pace quite easily.

After my run, I stretched and iced my outer left knee region, and it seemed that there wasn't much pain anymore. I am keeping my fingers crossed, and may just go shopping for a patt strap (to ease ITBS when running) over the next few days.

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

SBR/AHM 2005 Photos

The Sheares Bridge Run/Army Half Marathon 2005 photos by SportsphotoX are finally out. I have 3 pictures...hmm not too bad, considering that I did not have any photos taken by friends or associates. I do look tired though...haha

Going For the Finish in 1hr44min

Almost There: Go For It

Up Sheare's Bridge in the wee morning hours

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NTU 168km Run-Round-Singapore Challenge

I have signed up for the NTU Run-Round-Singapore Challenge, in part to support a good fund-raising cause, as well as to support some running friends like Sukaimi aka The Lonely Runner , who will be doing the full 168km. The run starts from 8am at NTU on Oct 1, and is expected to end at 2pm on Oct 2, 2005. The whole 168km route is divided into 50 stations, aproximating 3.5km in between stations.

Map of NTU Run-Round-Singapore of 168km route

I have selected to begin my run from station 25 (Hougang Ave 7) which will begin at about 9.30pm on Oct 1. By that time, the runners who started from NTU (station 1) in the early morning, would have run for more than 12hrs already. I will provide a fresh pair of legs, and hopefully accompany the runners through the night and into the early morning hours. I hope to be able to make it as far as I can, maximum for me will be at station 38 (Esplanade) ETA 7.30am Oct 2.
Wish us luck. I will provide a report of this run. Look out for it here.

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ok..I have decided to sit out the Terry Fox Run (though I have registered and paid for it).

thanks for the advice from SgRunners friends philip, kops21, balasing, tiwazz...I cannot risk further injury on my newly developed ITB syndrome... I can feel a very slight nagging pain still, and I should let my legs rest for 1-2 more days.

So, tiwazz, kops, balasing and the rest who are going, u guys enjoy is really hard not to run on a Sunday

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Friday, September 16, 2005

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITB)

The pain that I experienced today seemed like Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITB).

ITB syndrome can result from any activity that causes the leg to turn inward repeatedly. This can include wearing worn-out shoes, running downhill or on banked surfaces, running too many track workouts in the same direction, or simply running too many miles. Unlike many overuse injuries, however, ITB pain afflicts seasoned runners almost as much as beginners.

But it's not the knee, it's the ligament that runs down the outside of the thigh from the hip to the shin. "When the band comes near the knee, it becomes narrow, and rubbing can occur between the band and the bone. This causes inflammation," says Freddie H. Fu, M.D., a Pittsburgh orthopedic surgeon and chairman of the board of the Pittsburgh Marathon.

How can you tell if you have ITB syndrome? "The best way is to bend your knee at a 45-degree angle. If you have an ITB problem, you'll feel pain on the outside of the knee," says Dr. Fu

In my case, I believe it must have been the sand portion at the NB Real Run which had me using my left leg as support, and possibly aggravated by some increased downhill running over the past few days too.

More information and resources for ITB can be found at the following:

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Prior to my regular evening dinner appointment with my kakis, I went to MacRitchie for a 10km run. The sun was out in full force. I brought along a water bottele, put on a cap, and started off from the zifg-zag bridge. I was planning to take it easy just to put some mileage in on a x-country terrain.

I reached the exercise area (about 2.5km) into the run in regular timing of about 13min+, when I started to feel a twitch on my leg knee area. Ouch, a slight stinging pain. I tested to see if I should carry on, and it seemed ok. I then meandered through the undulating 'roots' area, and when I came out into the open at the golf course area, my left knee wobbled, and at times gave way if I landed on my left foot too hard. I had to shorten my strides. I felt my knee, and I think it is some vein being twisted slightly. The pain could be felt intermittently, but was bearable.

I continued on at a very slow pace, and took it as training for a real crisis situation should I ever encounter it. I continued on to the wooden bridge area, and then to Jelutong Tower and Sime Track. All throughout Sime Track, I ran slowly and ensured I lifted my legs high to avoid tripping, but the pain in the left knee did anot allow me to lift my legs. Since I was already in the middle of the route, I decided to just carry on for as long as I could. Going back into the Northern Route from the SICC road, I had another 3km+ to carry on, and the slopes were steeper and undulating. As I went on the upslope, the pain was not evident, but the moment I went downslope, the pain came back sharply. I then realized I could have injured my vein while running down the slopes of Telok Blangah Hill the other evening. I continued on at about a 6min/km pace, and ran slowly to reach the end point in 1hr3min. Pooh...this is the longest time I have taken for this route (normally running it in about 54min), but I was glad to have completed it nonetheless. Looking at the HRM data, I ran at an average heart rate of 154, which was about 80% of my MaxHR. That was just about right for my slow run training. As I did my stretching to warm down, with a bottle of h-two-o, I was wondering if I could still run the 8km Terry Fox Run this Sunday. Maybe I will just slow jog if I recover on time, and if the injury flares up, I may skip the run altogether. I hope for the best in the next 2 days.

Distance Ran:10km XC ___Time:1hr03min____Pace:6:18min/km
Average HR:154bpm___Max HR:168bpm___KCal:806K

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Hills @ Kent Ridge Park

The skies looked dim this evening. Fortunately the rains did not come, and we had a good workout done. There were about 20 of us gathered at SAFRA MF, and we were joined by Melvin, Alan and Bernard. The plan was to do some hills at Kent Ridge Park, a very nice and scenic spot by day and even in the evening.

We started off at 6.45pm sharp. I was running at about 6min/km for the first 4km, and chattinga bit with Alan and Bernard. When we reached Queensway area, the front group broke away, and we made our way towards Portsdown Road on our own. When we reached the flyover coming out of Portsdown Rd, I increased pace a little to 5.30min/km to match my marathon goal pace. As I went up the slopes of Kent Ridge Park, I saw the first group of Ong, Alan, Derrick and Kumaran finishing their first loop. I went ahead to join them, and did 2 rounds along the slopes. We then gathered at the top for a short while, before making our way back the 6km distance to ClubHouse. The last stretch had me increase pace to about 5min/km to provide a much needed boost to my workout.

We had a great carbo-load session at the courtesy of chairman who kindly had his wife cook up a sumptious meal of curry-chicken, prawn roll, pepper pork, fried noodles, topped up with moon-cake agar-agar.

Distance Ran:13km ___Time:1hr07min____Pace:5:10min/km
Average HR:151bpm___Max HR:177bpm___KCal:843K

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Next Milestone: The Singapore Marathon

After a well deserved rest from the AHM on Sunday, I will be gearing up preparations for the StanChart Singapore Marathon 2005 in Dec. I went down Regent Hotel to sign-up for the Terry Fox Run this is done, have contributed to the worthy cause of cancer research. I will also be running the 8km at Sentosa. Got a nice cotton T-Shirt, with a nice design. Also was given a nice white wrist-band, some posters as well as bookmarks.

The Terry Fox Run 2005 T-Shirt

After a coffee session with another ang moh (non-runner haha), I went down to SAFRA Running Club at Mt. Faber for the scheduled speed-work at Telok Blangah Hill. I was glad to be joined by SgRunner JustDoIt (Bernard) who came to join us for the first time. He did enjoy the whole training afterwards, and I hope to see him again for Thursday's training. We had a big group this evening of about 20 odd, and we went up Telok Blangah to do 6 sets of 1000m round the small hill-top area. It is quite a special interval training, since it is done on slopes and not on the flat stadium tracks. We divided into 2 groups with the first going at about 5.15min/km pace for the 6 sets. The second group of which I was in, wouldl do an average 4.15-4.30min/km pace.

Split Times of 6 x 1000m intervals

As we had just finished the AHM race, and some like Derrick and Lai Chee who just came back from their Putra Jaya 21km conquest, we were not to push to limits, but instead attempt to match pace. I did the 6 rounds in the following split timings, with about 3min rest per lap.

Lap 1: 4:10min
Lap 2: 4:13min
Lap 3: 4:25min
Lap 4: 4:19min
Lap 5: 4:21min
Lap 6: 4:11min

Very even pace. Finished at about 8.30pm and proceeded to ClubHouse for a cool down. There after went for my wanton noodle dinner with nice cooling cheng tng. A very good start to the training week. My legs are still itching due to the lack of distance, and I shall go for a slow run with Beverly tomorrow evening.

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Sunday, September 11, 2005

My First Army Half Marathon

This was to be my first 21km Army Half Marathon (SBR/AHM) and my second 21km race. I did my first half mary at KL in March05 with a time of this was the time to beat for today's run. I did not prepare in any special way for this race, and my training runs have been revolving around the StanChart Martathon in Dec05 instead.

My Race Running Vest with bib

I slept all of 2 hours last night - went to bed at 11pm, and woke up at 1.30am. I guess it is the excitement of the race, and my tapered legs just needed to move and get the run going. I logged on as usual to, and found that most of the people have already signed out - all catching a last minute rest. Took a bath at 3.30am to freshen up, ate a bowl of cereal and downed a cup of coffee to perk myself up. Left for the Padang at 4.30am, and reached Raffles City carpark at about 4.50pm. The place was already a hive of activity in the wee hours of the morning. I took a walk to the memorial and soon bumped into Balasing and Renohtaram of SgRunners. Couldn't see the rest of the SgRunners yet. I then moved along and found Adam, Yean, Colleen from SAFRA Running Club. I then moved to the start point and met up with Alan, Kumaran, Ong, Jaime, Akira, Thiam Huat from SAFRA too. I then introduced CheeryRunner to Balasing and Renohtaram as they crossed paths.

At 5.45am, the Chief Of Army started off the race. Alan was just telling me he was going for a 1hr45min time. I was planning for an averahe 5min/km pace, hoping to do a 1.48min sort of time. The weather was good, just a little humid. The start was smooth, and as I crossed the gantry, I couldn't hear the beep of my electronic bib (hmmm...i didn't test it before). With the srmy runners, many of whom were young, there was not much problem with jamming up...they were all eager beavers rushing ahead. After about 1km, I saw TLR moving ahead from behind. Kumaran and Ong were all up in front. I had no one to pace but myself, feeling my heart-beat and form. Did a check at 2km mark and I was behind my 5min pace..I have to catch up, and bank in a bot more time. After 3km, the slope up Benjamin Sheares' Bridge saw me overtaking hordes of runners...I guess the hillwork at Mt. Faber really helps...I didn't feel that the slope was steep at all, and very soon, it was down slope... Saw a sign somewhere at the 5km mark that read 'Babes Ahead..' I hasten my pace a little at the good news. Went forward and there was a Pit Stop for fact there were a lot of water stops for this race, and I think I made one too many pit-stops. Soon we turned into Fort Road, and the ECP area. The route was dimly lit, and I went ahead and paced a few front runners...Quite a few more ladies to overtake too...They were all in front, very good runners. At the U-turn, we had covered 9km. I saw the leaders moved on the other side from us. After the U-turn, I increased pace again to catch up. I was then matching pace at 10km, doing about 49min+.

After 11km, there weren't that many people to overtake, and we ran a constant pace for about 5km. At each km, I checked my timing, and it seemed that I have gained back the time. I was then looking at a possible 1hr47min time. With about 6km to go, somebody ran up and called my was skyvers...I said 'good pace' and asked him to move ahead. 2 others also overtook me at this stage...hmm, maybe I was slowing down a little. Soon we ran pass the Indoor Stadium, and into the canal and onto Marina Promenade. At this juncture, some people actually started to walk..they probably started to fast, and were then burnt...I could hear one guy panting and making loud noises behind...very soon, he caught up...He looked muscular and I think is one of the army commanders. We then ran a tit-for-tat over the next 3km. More runners, many young nsmen, stopped to walk. There were a few cases of runners fainitng and crashing by the sidelines. My heart-rate must have been very high, and I was really feeling very tired. I had to push for the remaining 3km, and a quick check of my watch indicated that I could make, that was exciting to me. I tried to hasten my pace, but it wasn't easy when people start slowing down...there is a tendency to want to join them. Then there was a SAFRA guy that overtook me, and I decided to run after him. Towards the last km along Esplanade and into the Padang area, I could see many people along the sides of the roads cheering us on. With 5oom, I caught sight of Kumaran, who was shouting my name. I was thinking, 'this guy finished so fast?'...I made a concerted dash for the finish line, out-pacing this ang moh guy by a bit, and with 50m to go, I could see the electronic clock reading 1:44:05. I sped towards the finish in 1hr:44min28s. I punched my own HRM which read 1hr44:37. Phew...made it sub 1hr45min...I was happy. A Personal Best for 21km. As I walked through the finish area, I saw skyvers and we congratulated one another.

Army Half Marathon 21.1km Finisher's Medal

I then went to get drinks, which was so difficult to be had (only 1 miserable guy pressing from a dispenser). I then met Alan who told me he came in 1hr40min, just slightly behind Ong. Kumaran was happy too..he came in 1hr35min..very good timing by my standards. I then went on to collect my finishers' medal and goodie bag. Spent the next 1hr cheering the rest who came in, and also congratulating them for the finish. Later we went to Cafe Cartel and had a very good breakfast. I went back to find the SgRunners at about 10am, but could not locate them. It was a great day and a great run for myself as well as my friends. I can now take a rest, and will look to begin training for my first Marathon in Dec05.

Distance Ran:21km __Clock Time:1hr44min___Pace:4:57min/km
Chip Time:

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Thursday, September 08, 2005

An Easy 13km

This being the final run prior to AHM this Sunday, I did an easy 13km along with the SAFRA runners along Canterbury estates, and then to Labrador Park, climbing the short slope, and then looping twice the 800m park area.

Felt good but outer sole of my right foot a little tired (not sure if it is because of the NB shoes, since I never got this problem at all before). Incidentally, many of my friends and runners are nursing minor injuries and some have just recovered from flu... so the AHM will be taken carefully by quite a few of them. For me, my strategy will be to try to start slower, then maintain a 5min/km pace if possible, and hopefully I can spot someone around that pace to go along for as long as I can. I also plan to drink at all water stops, and will probably down 2 bananas with coffee for my carbo-enriched pre-race meal. Wish me luck!

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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Tapering ahead of AHM

Actually there isn't much need for tapering when preparing for 21km races. The main thing is to have the runs less strenuous and not to do anything to strain or injure any body parts. I did a slow recovery run of 13km with Beverly yesterday evening, to start my engines for the week.

This evening, I was down at Telok Blangah to do a 12km slow-pace (6min+/km) relaxed run to Sentosa. This is also the first time we will be running as a group to Sentosa, and in Sentosa, we will do a loop ala New Balance Real Run (without the sand portion). A reasonable turnout this evening, and we had a new member CJ join us. It was evident that CJ was a gym-guy, and he later told he he had shed 25kg and was looking to do a reasonable timing for the StanChart 42km. I believe if CJ started with our marathon program laid down by trainer Ong, he will certainly complete the marathon in December with change to spare.

It was a warm humid night. It was quite fun running through the beach stretches, the musical fountain, the small uphill along the satellite stations, in the night. Because of the reasonable pace, we were able to stay as a group, and all enjoyed the run very much. There is one more tapering run to Labrador Park (12km) this Thursday evening before resting for the Army Half Marathon this Sunday. I will be spending time with the family this Friday at ECP, and most likely, I'll just do some cycling with the kids...and probably have a good japanese/korean dinner as pre carbo-loading...hmmm

Distance Ran:12.5km ___Time:1hr13min____Pace:5:51min/km
Average HR:N/A___Max HR:N/A___KCal:850KCal est.

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Sunday, September 04, 2005

Mizuno Wave Run 2005

And Oh Yes!, it is a Personal Best 10km for me....

The 2nd Mizuno Wave Run was raced today. This is the first anniversary of this run sponsored by Mizuno, and it also represented my maiden 10km run which I participated in Nov2004. As I remembered clearly, that was the first 10km race I took part since I started this hobby of running in June 2004.

After a year, I come into this event having known more friends from running, and I will no longer be just by myself as in last year. I was looking forward to meet up the rapidly growing SgRunners group, and of course friends from SAFRA Running Club, as well as some from MR25 too. I reached Kovan Hub at about 6.15am, and found ample parking. By that time, cars and runners were streaming, and loud music has begun to be aired. I moved around, doing some light warm-up, and very soon bumped into the SgRunners, TLR, taz, renohtaram, BrokenRunner, Carine, the usual early birds. I also saw Ronald and running friends from SAFRA, as well as some individual runners whom I have gotten to know since last year's run. If my memory served me well, I did something like 52min+ for the same 10km route in 2004.

SgRunners @ Mizuno Wave Run 2005 - Take #1

This year's event seemed to be slightly more organized than last year's, but the shortage of water to runners reared its ugly head after the race. The event was divided into a competitive as well as a fun run. Most of us were running in the competitive category, which was to be flagged off first at 7.30am. At the line up, I saw the usual elites who also raced last weekend's NB Real Run...Elangovan, Pulham, the Gurkhas, the MR25 elites, and of course the good women runners too. The start was pretty smooth, and was not jammed up like the NB run. People were starting off faster, since there wasn's any need to conserve energy for obstacles like beaches and sand. The first 5km was ran at a very fast pace, and I was overtaken in the first 2-3km by all sorts, many of whom were young women, I never had so many women runners overtake me before....hmm, maybe there are a lot of good women runners this year. Surprisingly, there weren't that many guys overtaking, and maybe I wasn't letting them, as I increased pace. Skyvvers, Alan did overtake me, and I never saw them until after the race. Both of them did well with 43min-44min finish times. Of course there were TLR, sanji, phishy, and those young turks who blazed in at 41min-43min times....these were the future elites of Singapore distance running....there is good potential in the crop.

At the Start (I am with red top) - Courtesy Of LTH. MR25

There were 2 additional water points added midway for this year's run. I stopped at all water points, but the delivery in cups made a mess of things. I could hardly drink without stopping. At the various stops, I found quite a number of runners not stopping to drink...hmmm, they were the younger ones, and maybe they have full tanks...Golden boys like myself really need good hydration throughout. Once hydrated, I managed to catch up with those who bypassed the water points. At the halfway mark, I clicked my watch and it read 21min+...quite fast pace for me, and I knew I have been drafted to run too quickly by the crowd. The sun was beating down, and it was just another long, straight road to go back 5km. Such routes are not pleasant for running, as there were hardly any scenery on both sides, and the road was just so mundanely straight.

On the 5km return stretch, I managed to overtake a few tired souls, and then it was pretty stable. Hard breathing from young runners as they ran beside me. One wearing 'Saints' singlet, the other Raffles...I tried to run behind them a bit to get some drafting (save strength), but they were probably too lean for me to hide behind...hehe. The 'Saints' guy ran with me more or less to the finish point, with us overtaking a few more at the end. From the halfway mark, I did not come across any more women runners...they were either way in front, or behind....most of them were 'heavy-breathing' guys...huffing and puffing... I was feeling hot and tired just listening to them breathe...haha. With 1 km to go, I tried to up the pace, but it was painful. My legs were tired, and my heart rate was high...working overtime.... Finally saw the finish in sight, dashed for it, and straighten with a nice posture, legs kicking high, for a good photo (in case they were snapping)....haha....Crossed the finish line in 45min30sec, according to my HRM. Immediately I saw skyvvers and he kindly handed me a bottle. I could hardly talk, and I just moved along to catch my breath. As I was resting, I met up with an old friend (he was a commando) who remarked that I improved a lot this year (since he was there last year too). I also met Alan, the new SAFRA runner, crouching-tiger guy, who say he is not fast, but actually did something like 43min. I then collected the goodie bag, and got a nice Mizuno DryScience T-Shirt. Much nicer than last year's shirt. Exchanged congratulations with the SgRunners, and then stayed around for another 1 hour to meet and mingle with many more SgRunners. There were many photos taken, and I will post them up as I receive them.

SgRunners @ Mizuno Wave Run 2005 - Take #2

Overall, a most enjoyable run for me. And Oh Yes, it is a PB for me, assuming that the route was indeed 10km (there were earlier discussions by some that the route might be shorter than 10km, but based on renohtaram's latest Polar distance measurement, it is indeed I'll take it...hee). My previous best 10km timining was 45min50sec set at the SAFRA Time Trial in May05. I certainly enjoyed the company of running friends and the festivities. I now look forward to a good lunch with the family, and start thinking and preparing for the 21km Army Half-Marathon next sunday....and the journey continues...

Distance Ran:10km __Clock Time:45:30min___Pace:4:33min/km

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Saturday, September 03, 2005

Caught In Action

The official run photos from SportsPhotoX which covered the NB Real Run 2005 were finally out, after 5 days. I have 2 photos this time, all captured as I cross the finish line. hmmm... not too bad, but can be better.

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

Night run to Botanic Gardens

hmmm....just another week to the AHM. I will be going down this Saturday to collect the race kit. This Sunday will be the Mizuno Wavw Run 10km. Hmmm, not much chance to do any more longer distance runs. So, this evening, wanted to do slightly longer.

Due to injuries and work, there were fewer of us gathered at SAFRA this evening. I started off with a quicker pace, and it was good to have Wong lead, since he was able to drive a quick pace. We were joined by Alan and 2 other Tiong Bahru runners as we past Tiong Bahru park. They sometimes join us if we happen to run through the park. We ran a quick pace along the canal near Zion Rd? and then along Ridley all the way to dempsey and then entered botanic gardens.

In botanic gardens, Wong ran a quick pace, and I followed....the distance was pretty long. When we finally emerged from Botanic Gardens, Wong mentioned that we ran too fast. I agreed, and said that we should just run slower to recover for the remaining 5km or so. We reached the ClubHouse at about 8.30pm, and then realized that some new runner was lost in Botanic Gardens, after having broken off from the second group.

Overall, a good run for me, since I make it a point to enjoy and see the positive aspects of all runs I put in. I don't really believe there's such a thing as garbage miles, or wasted efforts. As long as I get to run and workout, I feel that it was worth my time and energy.

Distance Ran:15km ___Time:1hr21min____Pace:5:25min/km
Average HR:N/A___Max HR:N/A___KCal:1100KCal est.

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