Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Preparations For Phuket Marathon

With all the majoy run events out of the way, I can finally start preparing for the Phuket Marathon in June18. That leaves approximately 2.5 months of training, which is comfortable enough for me. I am tapping on part of the Climbathon training, as well as I will using the Pacesetters 15km Run in KL as a tune-up for the June marathon. My weekly run schedule will be as follows:
Monday - Recovery run of 10km
Tuesday - 12km run with SAFRA MF
Thursday - 14km run with SAFRA MF
Sunday - 25km LSD

Did a 10km run on Monday with the Climbathon team at the old SMU track, runnning along Sixth Ave and skirting Botanic Gardens. A warm humid night as I was pushing myself a little to stay ahead with Xavier and Yulan. It was a nice run nevertheless. The Climbathon training will move to Bishan Stadium from April, and we will have monthly time trials of 10km run and 40-storey stairs climb to determine our progress. I hope to be able to keep up with the program, and join the team on its recce expedition in June, and of course do the race in October06.

I didn't join the SAFRA MF hill repeats on Tuesday. Instead, I ran a quick 10km loop around my home, before going for an appointment. It has been some time since I did this loop; I used to do it quite a lot when I started running on my own. Did it in 48:15min, not the fastest, but not too bad considering I was running an easy pace. I could feel the bad air from the haze during the final 2km.

Did a 16km tempo run with the SAFRA MF group on Thursday evening around the Botanic Gardens vicinity (Clubhouse -> Henderson Rd -> Delta Canal -> Ridley Park -> Tanglin Rd -> Botanical Garden -> Farrer Rd -> Margaret Drive -> Delta Canal -> Tiong Bahru Park -> Henderson Rd -> Clubhouse). There was heavy rain prior to the run, and the weather was real cool and nice, though still humid. Was talking to BabyMonster and found that she has trimmed down a fair bit. Divey mentioned she would do the full 16km if possible. DO updated me about the Climbathon training on Wed, as well as the NTUC Duathlon sponsorship. Have to swim 300m for the Duathlon...brrr, I must go find some life buoy....haha.

I carried a average pace of about 5:30 once I hit the Delta Canal area, after the series of lousy traffic junctions. The first part was nice as we ran into Botanic Gardens, and waited for the second group at the usual water-break area. Chatted with Alvin and found that he is a swim instructor, and listened to some fuelling tips he dispensed. For the second leg, it was just me and the road & elements. Ran along the 'demoralizing' Margaret Drive stretch at a much faster pace, and I tried hard to stay on the road. Running too much on the concrete curbs have been giving me some aches on the calves and shin...hmm, really have to get a pair of Nimbus to help cushion some of the bad shocks (which my dear legs have been taking). Raced a bit with small Chua at the home stretch of Delta Canal, and it was shiokzzz. Ran all the way back after chasing up Tay, and had a good stretch and cool 100plus when the rest came back. I estimated a run time of 1hr30min, covering 16km. cm and Divey's group came back, announcing they did the full 16km too... to loud applause. It seems like all are recovering well, and on the road to preparing well for Phuket and Pattaya races. :)

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

The World Harmony Run

This Sunday morning, I got involved in the World Harmony Run, a run for world harmony and peace. It is a worldwide run, where participants do their part to run in a group, holding a harmony torch and flag, and visiting places of worship to get blessings for world peace.

Arrived with Brokie and Divey at 7.15am to MacRitchie Reservoir. A large group of people have already gathered, all donning the very nice World Harmony Run (WHR) singlet. Reported to the resgistration table, met up with Yap and Akira, collected my running singlet. Had a nice chat with SgRunners and also MFRunners like Karen, Johnny and Alan Yeo. Met a few new SgRunners like acleong, Patrick Chia and Charlotte...great to finally have met them. After a brief by Yap and a rehearsal of the WHR Song, we took off along Thomson Road towards Kong Meng San Temple. The weather was cool, but was humid. By the time we reached the first stop, many of us were drenched. We took off our shoes and went into the temple to receive blessings and prayers by the monks. We proceeded next to the Salvation Army along Bishan. From the Salvation Army, we went on The Burmese Temple and then on to Sun Yat Sen Memorial just next door. It was a eye opener for me as I have never entered these establishments in the past, and I relish the good experience. By the time we reached the next 2 stops, we had run for about 11km. After taking some food and drinks, we moved on to the Ceylon Sports Club where we watched a DVD about how the World Harmony Run is being celebrated in other countries. We proceeded to run to 2 Hindu Temples, again receiving blessings and prayers from the temples, with refreshments being served. The morning's weather was still good, with cloudy skies.

We visited the Civil Service Club HQ next, and thats where Akira decided to leave us for a meeting at the CSC itself. Akira was injured, and did not really run too much during this whole run. He had provided good support and explanations of the background and practices of the WHR; very valuable insights. At each of these visits, a framed certificate of appreciation would be presented to the hosts in recognition of their support for the event, as well as photos taken. At the CSC, a letter from Dr. Amy Khor in support of the WHR in Singapore, was read out by Brokie, our representative. We moved on from CSC to the Central Sikh Temple. This would be the last stop, before making a run of about 15km all the way through ECP, Fort Road, Kallang/Esplanade and then The Merlion. From the Sikh Temple, I took over the carrying of the torch, with Sotong carrying the WHR flag.

We ran a good pace all the way towards Marine Parade, where we met up with the SgRunners whom had finished their Biathlon event at Sentosa in the morning. There was a big group of them, and the meeting of the 2 groups were an happy occasion for all. The biathlon people were showing us their very nice T-shirts and finisher medals. After a good water break, some of them joined us to make a larger group to run into East Coast Park. It was a nice run at ECP, and as we ran, people were waving and acknowledging us. As we neared Fort Road, we were hit by heavy rains, but we continued our journey with purpose. When we reached Fort Road, there was no rain anymore, but my shoes were feeling soggy. I took over the flag from there, and continued to run along Kallang/Stadium road. We made a quick stop along the way, where I passed the flag to someone else. We ran towards The Esplanade, and with about 3.5km to go, we spotted a group of VJC students taking a rest from their kayaking. We spoke with them about our mission, and got some of us to pose for pictures with the students. We hope they will spread the message of world harmony next. With just 3km to go, the spirits were high. As we ran towards The Esplanade, we were greeted with loud cheers from many groups of people along the way.

The last 1km to the Merlion was filled with joy and happiness. We were coming to an end of a hard day's run, and all were happy as we were doing it for a good cause. The run ended with many thanks and appreciation for one another, as well as nice photos with The Merlion. We had covered 35km in 7hrs, quite a mean feat, especially the final 2 hours of rain and sun. As we bidded one another goodbye, we were already reflecting the morning's run and how we have managed to spread the message of world harmony around. I look forward to doing this run again next year, hopefully with an even bigger group of WHR advocates...Hip Hip Hooray!

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Saturday, March 25, 2006

KLIM06: Certificate Of Achievement

The KL International Marathon 2006 certificate arrived in the post, less than 3 weeks after the race...not bad. I received a Certificate Of Achievement, as opposed to the Certificate Of Participation I received for my 21km race in 2005. IMD said that it could be a commendation for me in achieving a sub-4hr marathon (3hr51min)..hehe

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Friday, March 24, 2006

Another humid evening run

Did a 13km tempo run on Thursday from SAFRA MF to the old Tanglin Camp around the Dempsey Road area. The turnout was smaller; some were taking a break from training while others are preparing for their biathlon event this weekend. I put on my HRM wearlink to get a gauge of my recent fitness levels. Also put on my pedometer to get an estimate of the distance we will cover. We ran through Tiong Bahru Park, then towards the Lower Delta canal, out along Margaret Drive before cutting through the Swettenham private housing estates and coming out into the Tanglin area. Some of us at the front group while waiting for the rest to join us, were discussing about how we will eat/drink at one of those nice outlets that have sprung up in that old army camp area. It was quite a nice run in very humid weather and some haze.

When the rest of the group, cm, san, yean, jimmy and eh joined us, we ran back along Ridley Park, back along the Delta Canal. I followed the front group of Kumaran, Derrick, sChua to run an extra 1km before joining up with the rest around Tiong Bahru Park, and then making it back to ClubHouse. I felt tired though, and breathing was quite heavy; most probably due to the haze and the humid weather, coupled with the many consecutive days of running/climbing I had. I will take a rest till Sunday's World Harmony Run. My pedometer showed 11.7km.. Those with Polar footpods showed we ran 13km, and thats the distance according to my past recordings of that route as well......hmm, may need to calibrate the stride length of my Pedometer to a smaller number. cm led us through a series of good stretches and leg raises. I was dripping wet with perspiration...a very humid night indeed. Had nice Cheng Tng at the food centre, along with my 'red rice-wine chiken' mee-sua...yummy! I was discussing and jio-ing people for the New Balance Pacesetters 15km Race in KL, May21. It seemed that a number are interested, and we may even drive up for a makan/shop/run/makan-along-the-way experience; have to wait and see if a certain experienced guide will want to drive up, and I can tag along...hehe

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A Chop Chop Time Trial

haha...what are you thinking about? On Wed, as part of the MK Climbathon Program, we did a initial stair-climb time trial at the famous 40-storey blocks at Toa Payoh. For the privacy of residents, I shall not specify the block numbers...hehe. About 10 of us regular Climbathoners gathered at the block by 7pm, and I started in the first detail. The stairs are a tad lower than those at Suntec City Towers, and the ventilation was slightly better.

I ran up the first 8 floors using using double-steps, then walked up using double-steps till about 20 floors, when I took a breather by switching to single steps. About 3 floors of single steps, and I switched back to double-steps again. Did another 2 floors of single-steps at 33rd floor, before finishing the 40floors with double-steps. Reached the top in 5min06sec. Not too bad for an initial effort. Of course a few of the faster climbers did it in about 4min30sec. My time will form a base for future monthly time trials to measure my improvement in this area. Finished the whole activity is less than 30min. Chop Chop it was :).

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A Warm & Hazy Evening

Marathon tune-up training has started. This month will see me doing some shorter runs plus circuit training incorporated in Ong's Marathon Training Program. The plan run for Tuesday was a 12km run into Sentosa, followed by 2 sets of circuits. Again, a big bunch turned up, and long-timers like Patric and Richard also came. Because of my Time Trial on Monday, my legs were feeling a bit dead and naggy at the joints. After a slow pace start-up, running alongside san, my legs warmed up a little. In sentosa, I ran a bit quicker to catch up with the rest, after waiting for my Islander pass from cm. We were to skip the Setosa Cove to/fro as well as the Tanjung Beach stretches (making up the NBRR route). Ran a moderate pace till the first toilet at the beach, where I met up with the rest of the front group. Shortly, cm and the rest came to join in. After a quick toilet break, we ran along the beachfront to the Hotel. It was a nice run along the way, with most of us running as a group. The night was very humid, and I was dripping with perspiration. There were hardly any people around the beach area, even along the walkways.

From the Hotel, I picked up speed and ran ahead to lead the front people to the entrance of Visitor's Centre. Ong and Derrick were waiting, and asked me if there were anyone that took a wrong turn up (Later found the Kumaran and David actually did take a longer route...hehe). As I ran out from Sentosa, I could feel my breathing getting heavier, very likely due to the funny smell from the haze which I could feel. The air was quite bad, and there were no winds at all. I sped up to about 5min/km pace along Telok Blangah Rise back to the ClubHouse. On the way, I was overtaken by 'small Chua'..heh, not bad, this young man was running a lot stronger these days. Reached the ClubHouse, all drenched in perspiration. My pedometer showed 13km in distance. Ididn;t time the run, and Adam estimated that we ran at least a 5:15min/km pace on the way back..hehe. Because all were feeling tired and drained, we did only 1 set of circuit training, with a few push-ups and leg-raises, and a lot of stretches to cool down.

Distance Ran:12.5km ___Time:1hr10min____Pace:6:00min/km
Average HR:Moderate___Max HR:Hard__KCal:900KCal est.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

MK Training - 10km Time Trial

Went down for Mt. Kinabalu training on Monday evening at the ex-SMU track. We were supposed to do our first time trial for a 10km run to determine the base of the Climbathon participants. I went down slightly earlier, and did a 3-round warm up jog round the track. About 10 of us there; DO, Yulan, Sabrina, Ronnie, Roland, Henry, Timothy, Sim, Jonathan and myself. Shortly, we had the NTUC organizers Carmen and Wilna arrive with bottles of Gatorade, 100 Plus and lots of bananas and some dried peaches...mmm, nice support there.

We started off at 7pm to run the 10km route of Upper Bukit Timah Rd -> Sixth Ave -> Holland Rd -> Fringe of Botanic Gardens -> SMU track. This was not a very good route to do a time trial because of the many traffic junctions, poor road conditions esp. along Sixth Ave, many curbs, heavy traffic. It was a dangerous route for running, and not the best of routes for any good timings at all. Good thing we will be doing our future time trials at the East Coast Park....yeah. Sim dashed away at the start and led all the way. DO and I lost him after just 300m into the run...haha. That guy is fast. Jonathan was running along with the both of us for about the first 4km right up along Sixth Ave. Jon is a triathelete, and is quite a good runner as well. After Sixth Ave, DO and I were running alongside most of the way. I felt slight discomfort in my calves from Holland Road, probably due to the pounding on concrete, and jumping on/off the curbs...really bad surfaces for running. I was running at quite a hard pace, at the same time, watching the roads and traffic very carefully. When we finally arrived back at SMU stadium at around 8pm, it was already dark. The floodlights were shutoff pretty early.

DO and I finished in about 51:30min. Sim was done in 44min...wow... We all agreed that we ran a longer distance, likely to be about 10.3-10.5km. Jonathan came back shortly, followed by Yulan, Henry and the rest. We had nice refreshments and some discussions about the next time time trial, as well as the coming Wed's stair-climbing time trial at Toa Payoh.

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

SAFRA Location Run @ Mt. Faber

This quarter's SAFRA Location Run was organized by SAFRA Mt. Faber Running Club, of which I am a member off. Other than MF Runners, many SAFRA runners from Toa Payoh and Tampines joined us for this social run oragnized for members to get to know one another better. A few of the 'nice surprise' members that came included Tong Ling, ex Chairman Tony, Caroline, Uncle Chan and Johnny. About 70 of us started promptly at 7.30am , as we hit Canterbury Estates first. As we ran, there were photo stops, and lots of opportunities to chit-chat with fellow runners. I got to know a few more runners from Toa Payoh and Tampines.

To show some support to cm, I don on the SAFRA Running top, but did not wear the shorts...hah, of course I wore something..a pair of swim tights suitable for running as well. We moved on from Canterbury into Kent Ridge Hill Park, and again a nice place for photo shots with the tank. We moved on from there the final hill, Mt. Faber itself. Before the ascent, we took a quick water break at the petrol station. It was a nice slow run up the slopes from Morse Road. I took an easy pace, and enjoyed the scenery as I ran. Reached the top, where the Cable Car station was, and a final photo shoot. While waiting for the rest, I saw Karen aka Shamrock. We spoke a bit about Phuket Marathon in June.

After the photos, we finished off the run with downslopes to the Kampong Bahru side. I was careful not to overstride, and increased my cadence to help smoothen the descent. Back at Clubhouse, we had a nice treat of various types of cakes made by cm's wifey, amidst the presentation of awards to the Running Club's elite runners, known as The Core Running Team. We have 5 very strong recipients from MF side this year. Kudos to them, and may they bring honour and glory to MF Runners...hehe, must stress them a bit.

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Friday, March 17, 2006

A Recce Run; A Pleasant Surprise

I was at SAFRA MF last evening to do a recce to prepare for this Sunday's location run. The planned route will take us into Canterbury Estates and then Kent Ridge Park and finally to Mt Faber itself for a 15km distance. There was another good turnout, with more than 20 runners.

I ran at a very comfortable pace, mostly lagging behind...hehe. I enjoy such easier runs once in a while, to take time to smell the roses, admire the scenery and chat with friends. There was a nice sunset, although mostly hidden by the thick clouds. From Canterbury Estates, Chairman led us off track into a small trail which was a short-cut into Kent Ridge Park. According to the old-bird members, many did not know about that short-cut whilst 1-2 vaguely recalled having gone there before. At Kent Ridge Park, we took an easy run up the reverse slopes and stopped at the toilets up the hill for water. We assembled by the tank and chit-chatted a little. That will be a photo point for Sunday's run.

We ran on along the wooden bridge, and then the steep downslopes onto Pasir Panjang Road. I ran slowly down, heel landing first, to avoid too much stress to my knees. Wong, wee san, cm, Jaime and Ong were running as a pack, a nice safe pace for that 'not-too-fun' stretch. Upon reaching Telok Blangah Road junction, I continued on towards HarbourFront alone to get some additional distance in. The rest of that pack did not go along that route as they wanted to cut short the run. My pedometer recorded a 13.5km distance. I did not time the run, since it was a sort of fun run for me.

Seen here with The pretty SAFRA MF Babes

When I reached the ClubHouse, the whole group were already back. When they saw me, they suddenly blared out a Happy Birthday song for me. There was a nice Black Forest cake awaiting the hungry runners...Haha... how did they know about my birthday? Although its not the day, they got the month correct at least, not bad...hehe. We snapped a few photos, and in good MF tradition, 1 photo of the Birthday person with the gals, and one with the guys. Everyone enjoyed the cake, especially good for carbo replenishment after the run. Thanks to san who went to buy the cake at Raffles Place...really appreciate her efforts. Must also thank David, Jaime and cm for initiating and organizing this surprise :). We went for dinner, and Alan Chao bought me Cheng Tng too...haha, not bad at all. I had mee sua in 'red-date wine Chicken' soup, a good symbolic meal for birthdays. Thoroughly enjoyed the run and food, and looking forward to this Sunday's location run.

Seen here with The SAFRA MF macho runners

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Mt Kinabalu Training Run

Revisited the Mt. Kinabalu Climbathon training this evening. Met up with Carmen, Lingam and Xavier at the SMU track and got the application form from Carmen. She mentioned that we will start a series of time trials from next monday to guage our current fitness levels, and also progress from then on.

A short sypnosis below:

20th Mt. Kinabalu International Climbathon 2006

Date : 30 September - 01 October 2006
Organiser : Sri Pelancongan Sabah Sdn Bhd
Venue : Kinabalu National Park, Sabah

Website : http://www.sabahtourism.com

The world’s toughest mountain race is in its 20th year running. Normally it takes two days to reach South East Asia’s highest peak (4,095.2m), but the runners take less than three hours. For the fifth year, Climbathon is the deciding race to determine the ultimate Champion of the 7-series Federation for Sport at Altitude’s (FSA) Skyrunning World Championship (racing on high altitude altitude).

The team is now about 15 members, and there is more room for fit and able runners/climbers, especially gals to join the program. A number of SgRunners were present at the training this evening...Kops. DO, Yulan, Spyfish and myself. Weishan will be joining us for the next training. We hope that Divey can join in too if she recovers from her injury soon, as well as possibly having Brokie, run3, astrogal, taz and other SgRunners join in this Climbathon training when their schedule allow them. I hear that training will move to Bishan Stadium from April.

The run started at 7.30pm, and because I was in a rush to get back, we ran a quicker pace as we entered 6th avenue, reaching up to 5min/km as we hit the upslopes. As we turned down to Holland Road, we continued the fast pace with Sim, Xavier, Mel, DO and myself in front. Yulan was not too far behind as well. The team then turned towards Farrer Road for their stairs-climbing training, whilst I, DO and mel ran towards Botanic Gardens and all the way back to SMU. We ran at a fast pace of about 4:45min/km estimated based on the effort and breathing I felt for that stretch. It was a good workout despite the not too long distance we ran. Based on my pedometer, we covered 10.4km in about 50min. hmm.. maybe I should set this time as a base for the 10km time trial next week, along the same route (still hoping to get them to do it at ECP, a safer route without traffic junctions and traffic...keeping fingers crossed).

Including the recovery run I have with Beverly on Monday, I have ran on consecutive days since Sunday....definitely not good, albeit all were short distances. I hope to get a rest after tomorrow's 15km recce run at SAFRA MF. I will try to run at a sight-seeing pace then, and enjoy some good conversations with my SAFRA running mates.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Start of circuit training

The SAFRA Running training program will have us start a month of circuit training to help tone our core muscles, which will hopefully help with improving our running. Did a quick 8km loop along Depot Road, Alexandra Road, Harbourfront and finally along Telok Blangah Rose back to ClubHouse. Another sizeable turnout today with rare guests Foo and Jimmy Tan, who haven't joined us for runs for some time already. New members such as Sagolene and Claire added nice colors to the scenery. I started off slowly enough, and as I got warmed up, I picked up speed and ran up towards Claire and Foo. They were running at quite a good 5min/km pace. After a bit, Ong had to stop due to his new injury.... hope he can recover from this one fast.

As we neared Alexandra Road, I moved ahead and tailgated Kumaran from about 50m. DO was running just behind me. From then on, we had no more slow downs as we crossed traffic light one after another, quite smoothly. I knew I was running at a sub-5min/km pace, and I liked to run at such a pace for shorter training runs, I was quite tired as we approached the slopes at Kampong Bahru area. I just pushed on and finished with a very satisfying short run in about 47min+. My pedometer showed only 7.1km with my setting of a 98cm stride-length. The correct distance covered should have been 8-8.1km according to the few foot-pods the other runners have. The inaccuracy from my pedometer stemmed from the faster speed due to larger strides used for the short run.

After a rest and some cooling down, we started on our circuit training when the rest came back. According to trainer Ong, SAFRA MF used to so such circuit training with the ex-Chairman, Tony, and it was helpful for developing running strength for members. We did sets of push-ups, burpees, leg-raises, squats and tip-toes with toe-curls. It was really challenging for me as I rarely do such exercises on my own. I enjoyed this new training format, and look forward to doing more of it.

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Sunday, March 12, 2006

The NTU Vertical Marathon 2006

Finally did my first Vertical Marathon this morning, all of 43 floors up Suntec City Tower 4. Yeah, conquered The NTU Vertical Marathon 2006 challenge. Having just completed my KL road marathon last Sunday, I wasn't really in a anticipative mood for a martahon of the vertical kind....haha. I did have 2 sessions of stairs climbing around the Farrer Road HDB blocks with the KK Climbathon team. That was about all the stairs I've climbed in recent times.

SgRunners @ The NTU Vertical Marathon 2006

I picked up DO and Superboy at 6am in the morning, after my breakfast of a cup of coffee and a banana. We reached Suntec City at about 6.30am and was way too early for registration. Met up with the group of SgRunners TLR, Kops, Commando, Tiwazz, astrogal etc as well as Melvin from SAFRA Running. By the time we finally registered at 7am sharp, we were allocated a start time of 8:54am. Waah..that was way too late for our planned run with Divey, Bug and Cokiee at 8am. While waiting for our race, we met Divey, Bug and Cokiee in the basement food court for a cuppa. DO and I finally decided to talk to the organizers to allow us to start a little early, and we got to race at 8:30am.

At the finish after 43 floors; legs were in a jello state

DO went ahead in detail 20. I was added on to detail 21, and the group of 6 of us started off with a slow 20m jog to the first flight of stairs. I took double steps for the first 10floors, in what seemed to be shorter floors than the typical HDB Block I trained at. The ventilation was bad, and the stairwell was stuffy. I overtook 2 panting runners on the way up, and from 10-15 floors, I switched back to single steps. I skipped the water point at around floor15, and posed for photos by the camera ppl standing at strategic corners. By the 20floor, I was getting slightly tired. I had reverted back to taking 2 steps at a time. All that point, the runner who was just trailing me, started to fall back. I moved on steadily, and by floor28, I was panting. A peek at my watch showed that I have taken 5min+ to reach that point. I slowed to take single steps to regulate my breathing. I skipped the water points, and noticed another camera person snapping away. A gal was saying '10 floors more' in a faint voice when I reached floor32...hehe, maybe she was feeling the strain too. I took single steps for the next few floors, before finally upping to double steps for the final 5floors. With 2 floors to go, I caught up with the last 2 persons in the front detail. Finally reached the top, and as I tried to dash for the finish, my legs wobbled and shook badly. My quads were feeling like jelly. Took the finishing chip, and got a chop onto my bib. There was no scenery on top, and I took the next lift down after a cup of water. My throat was so dry from the bad air, and my lungs were HOT. Official Results have my finish time as 7min38sec. For the next 15min, my throat was dry; DO and I were coughing badly as we collected our goodie bags and went to the carpark.

Met up with Divey, Cokiee and Bug to go for our recovery jog. We planned to do a 20km orginally, but due to the late start, we finally did a 13km to/fro from Suntec City to Marina South. The sun was out by the time we ran, but I felt good to just run along and release lactic acid from my legs. My lungs got the moisture it needed as we ran. We took time out to recce the route to the end near Marina South where we might want to do our next sunrise run, and possibly have a picnic there. I also tried out my new pedometer (low-cost way to measure distance walked/run by measuring stride length x no of strides). By cross checking with DO's Polar R200sd, I was able to fine tune my pedometer. When we reached back to Suntec City, the gals VM just ended. Saw Colleen preparing for her turn, and wished her good luck. Met run3, astrogal and brokie who just completed their races in good timings. After some group photos, we went to Beach Road for the famous 'Bah Chor' mee.

All Results HERE!

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Friday, March 10, 2006

KLIM2006: Post Recovery

After Effects

The physical effects of the KL Marathon were relatively good for me. I did feel some aches, but it was bearable. I was able to move around easily the first day, even though my calves were tight. On the second day. the strain moved to my hamstrings and quads. But with some movement and warming up, it was quite bearable. My body and legs seems to be recovering well.

Recovery Run 1

Had a 12km recovery run at SAFRA MF on Tuesday. Although the common advise is to take 1 day of rest for every 10km raced (ie. 4 days rest for a full marathon raced), I had to do a slow easy run to release the lactic acid built-up as well as loosen muscles and tendons. Most of the runners who went for KLIM were still resting and did not come for the run. Chairman and the runners congratulated DO and I on our sub-4hr marathon, and cm was a tad proud that the Club has added 2 more members to the sub-4 club....hehe. Divey, DO and myself ran mostly together at a relatively even and slow pace through The CanterBury Estates and Labrador Park. It was a nice run for me, and I wasn't even timing. Divey did confirm that we ran 12km in 1hr25min, a 7min/km pace. Wow, haven't ran that slow in a long time, but it did feel shiokzzzz.

Recovery Run 2

Did a 15km run on Thursday from SAFRA MF to Esplanade and Marina Promenade, and then looping back. There was a big turnout of more than 20 runners, and people like hock soon, Richard, colleen and william came back after a long rest. The regulars like Wong, wee san, David, Ong, Jaime, Alan, Adam, etc were all around. I ran mostly with the group for the trip to Esplanade, before extending it to Marina Promenade with David. Along the way, I could see the runners returning from the Running Lab run, notably tekko and IMD. By the time we reached the 2nd flyover bridge, we had covered 7.5km to the dot. We made a turnaround from there and went back on the return. My legs were still tight. We stopped at about 10km and took a toilet break, and did some light stretches. The pace was exactly 6min/km till then. For the remaining 5km, we increased the speed to about 5:30min/km and ran all the way back to the Clubhouse, meeting Adam/Colleen along the way, and seeing san and cm just returning back to Clubhouse from their 12km run. We had a nice gathering back at Clubhouse, and each of us got to pick up some nice running gear as well as photos of our CNY gathering at cm's house. It is always a warm atmosphere at the SAFRA MF runs, and we normally make it a point to go for dinner nearby after our runs. Looking forward to my inaugural Vertical Marathon this Sunday at Suntec City. I won't be 'pia-ing' nor 'chiong-ing' for this, but will take it as a nice walk up the 43 floors and completing without feeling too bad.

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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

KLIM2006: After Thoughts

Some personal lessons learnt while doing the KL Marathon

1. Final LSD - should do the final LSD of > 35km at least 3weeks before race day. I did my final LSD of 35km+ just 2 weeks before, on both the marathons, and then came down with flu about 5-7 days after that LSD because of the low resistance; I barely had time to recover from my flu.

2. Carbo Loading - I started to carbo load 5 days from the race, and really ramped it up in the final 2 days. I also took daily PAN Salt 3 days before race, lots more isotonic drinks 2 days before race. All these could have helped me fend off fatigue/hitting the wall during the marathon, and delayed the onset of cramps till only the 32km mark.

3. Sleep - quality sleep a few days before the race, and 3-4 hours just the night before is sufficiently good

4. Starting Off - I ran the initial 21km a tad faster, and I took about 5km to warm-up and rev up the engines.

5. Warm Up - I did not do any warm-up jogs nor even stretch this time round. I got warmed up as as I ran along at a comfortable pace.

6. Weather - Starting at 5am in cooler weather did help

7. Breathing - breathing by pulling in the tummy, instead of inflating the chest consciously works well to prevent shortness of breath and avoid stomach problems

8. Running Gear - Asics Cumulus with sportiv cushioned socks worked well. Very little perspiration

9. Fuel - Snicker Bars felt much more solid and gave me loads more energy during the run, compared with PowerGels - have to resolve problem of carrying them....maybe I will pin them to my shorts next time

10. Chaffing - only happened to areas where water was accidentally poured over. Need to be more careful when pouring water on head to cool off

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

KL International Marathon 2006: The Field Report

The Finish Of 42.195Km In 3hr51min

SgRunners Outside Ancasa Hotel: Raring To Go


Having just recovered from my flu 2 days before actual race day, I was more or less ready to try for a good run at KLIM06. We gathered on Friday night for a overnight train ride to KL. There was a big crowd, with families and friends of the large group of SgRunners going up for the run. That was going to be my first experience on an overnight train, and it was going to be fun traveling with running friends. We had nice drinks and good chit-chat, with last minute advice from sifu-level runners like Ultraman and flip. We had a good time. We boarded the train at about 10pm. The inside of the train is pretty narrow, but was otherwise quite comfy. It was fortunate all of us are runners, and many were petite…so movement was quite easy….hehe. There was a delay of about 1.5hours, but we were enjoying ourselves with games and chit-chat. Lights were on throughout, but I managed to get about 4hours of interrupted sleep with the curtains drawn…pretty surprised I could get some sleep too. I felt refreshed the Saturday morning we arrived in KL, another surprise, considering I had so little sleep.

We checked into Ancasa Hotel (previously known as Impiana Hotel) at about 10am. The hotel is nice, with a nice lobby. The room was good too. The group of us went for very nice Tim Sum at a oldish Coffee Shop (they still have these in KL), and we really enjoyed the good food. After breakfast, we met up with Kops and went down to the race expo. The location this year is very near to the hotel, and within walking distance. I bought the new flavours of PowerBar and was given a free water bottle. The others bought the new non-gassy 100plus, and they too received a free water bottle. We hung around for a short while, before going back to the hotel for check-in and a wash-up.

We spent most of the day at KLCC and the park…did lots of walking and had some nice photo sessions near the Twin Towers. I did not do any shopping at all, and only visited the Adidas and Nike outlets at KLCC. Nothing much different from those in Singapore. We had a very nice carbo-loading dinner at Nando’s, a chicken restaurant place next to our Hotel. 19 of us occupied 2 rows of tables, and I enjoyed my 1/4chicken with rice and coleslaw, downed with berry flavoured tea.

After dinner, DO and myself got some drinks at Watson’s while the rest went for some last-minute night shopping and jalan. We bumped in a friend from the Climbathon training and got the chance to meet runwitme and his friends. Wow…very friendly people, and always smiling as they talked. Hmm..we must get to know them better next time, maybe when they come to Singapore. We reached back to hotel by 9pm, and did have some last minute visitors to our room to get honey, bread, juices, Gatorade from DO…haha, he is like a mini super-mart. I pinned on the bib (A48) which Sotong had collected for us. Mine was for the Men’s Open, even though I applied for the Men’s Junior Veteran…but wth, it didn’t matter to me as I was not going to be anywhere near the top 20 anyway. We switched off the lights at 10.30pm, definitely too early to sleep. All I needed was maybe a good 2-3 hours of sleep.

More Pre-Race Photos

Race Expo & KLCC

Carbo Load Dinner

Race Day

Woke up at about 1.30am, and laid in bed till 2.30am before I heard the stirring of DO. So we got up earlier, and took our time to wash-up, change and I took 2 cups of coffee, a slice of raisin bread, and a PowerBar (cookies & cream). The new PowerBar flavour was yummy. I put on my usual race gear, red Asics top with blue Asics shorts and Cumulus runners. Brought a banana and a bottle of pre-mixed Gatorade (compliments from DO) along. We reached the Hotel Lobby at 3.45am and begun our light stretching. Soon we were joined by Kops21, Brokie, Kelly, Cokiee, Freddy, renoh, run3, astrogal and weishan, David & Emerlyn. Together we took a stroll down to the race start. The lights were brighter this year as compared with 2005 (I did my vrgin Half Marathon then). I met Hui Ling and chatted a bit with her. She was there to replace a friend to do the Full Marathon. Also saw Chua and Sok Hwa walking in, as well as Sumiko and her friend. We all chatted a fair bit, with some photo taking, before I went for my pre-race leak. Proceeded into the pen, and lined up alongside DO, astrogal, weishan and Runwitme. After a few words by the organizers, we wished one another good luck, and off we went slowly away.

The 42.195km Race

I ran the first 5km conservatively. Took me a while to get warmed up, and after the first water point at about 5km, I got quite comfortable. DO went ahead after 1km and he was pacing this Malaysian gal runner, who was wearing a very stylo black running suit (BSG). I kept them in my sight for most of the first 15km. The first 10km was quite uneventful, and I was just enjoying the morning, and running along, getting warmed up. Hit the 10km mark in 52min, with the crossing of the first championchip mats. The next 10km, I was tailgating a couple who were running mostly together. I picked up pace with the intention of banking early miles. I took a leak at the side of the highway (still under the cover of darkness…hehe), and continued on. At this time, I could still see the Black Suit Gal (BSG) about 100m in front. DO was about 25m in front of her. At about the 13km mark, I took a mini Snicker bar and downed it with the bottle of water I collected from the drinks station earlier. I was feeling good. At about 18km, I popped 2 salt tablets as a precaution, not that I felt anything in my legs. Right at about 20km, someone called out to me…'Anthony!' It was IronmanDreamer, Ben. Wow…how come Ben was overtaking me so soon (he normally comes from behind me in the final stages of races)?..hehe. Ben told me we were halfway (about 20km) at that point, and with some words of encouragement for each other, Ben moved ahead to find DO. Ben looked strong, and relaxed in his ironman running style. I took the opportunity to overtake the man I was drafting for the past 3km or so. With that I was running mostly alone with quite a group in front, and not many behind me. I had lost sight of DO, and I estimated he could be about 300m in front, together with the bigger bunch.

I crossed the 21km mat in 1hr54min. With just half the distance to go, I was still feeling good. No signs of cramps yet. I took my first PowerGel. We were running into the city area, and some vehicles were appearing. After a few km, I spotted the 4hr pacer, a petite gal who was running quite fast. She was ahead of the 4hr pace by a bit. I soon caught up with her, and had a good chat. She said she wanted to bank in more miles, so she won’t have to struggle later. She said that if I continued at my pace, I should hit about 3hr50min…and she egged me to move ahead. Well, I just did that and moved on. I was still feeling good at the 27km mark, though I was worried cramps would come (At SCSM06, I was hit by cramps at the 24km mark). I overtook BSG at about this stretch. She seemed to be affected by something. Some of the other runners were also hit with cramps, and were limping along. I overtook quite a number of people here, especially those who started out much faster than they were comfortable with. I was running back to somewhere near the start point as I could see many people cheering, and this was the point where we had to turn back out into the highway area. I saw Kelly taking aim with her camera, and I waved a little at her. I wasn’t sure if she was looking at me, or was watching the 21km runners about to come back too. Will check if she did capture a photo of me at this point. From there, I continued to run stronger, mainly due to the loud cheers of supporters and bystanders. Many who have just opened their stores were watching and clapping as the runners ran past them. It was quite interesting.

As I turned out into what seemed like a highway stretch, I crossed the 30km mark and championchip mat. The timer shouted "2hr45min". A quick mental calculation told me that I was still on track for a sub-4hr marathon if I kept to a 6min/km pace from that point, but I would not have much room for any unexpected surprises. I was quite happy that my cramps have not emerged till then…but it was not for long...Haiz. Small seizures to my calves started to come at the 32km mark. I slowed down a little, and popped another 2 salt tablets to be safe. However, the seizures got more serious, and I knew then I had cramps. I immediately changed my running style and form, curling up my toes, and having more heel strike. Along the way, at least 5 people, from China, Korea, Thailand were walking and suffering from cramps. I plodded on and soon saw the '7km To Go' marker. I immediately got deep-heat relief from the medical attendants at the drinks station, and rubbed them on both my legs. At the same time, I did not stop too long, for fear of my legs seizing up. I had about 50min to do 7km, which was pretty easy under normal circumstances. I continued running at a easy pace. Sometimes the cramps would go away, but mostly would hit me at intervals, threatening to seize up mt entire legs. From the calves, the attacks moved to my hamstrings. The feeling was made worse when that last 7km stretch was through the city area, lots of vehicles and fumes, and me wanting to hurry to get out of the smog.

With 4km to go, I was still chugging along. And then I heard IMD Ben shouting from across the dividing road. He was running in the opposite direction on the upslope, telling me to push on. I showed him the thumbs-up and ran a tad faster. Soon I spotted DO who was slowing down, likely that he wanted to play it safe. BSG had overtaken me at the 32km point, and I was trailing her most of the way till then. She sped up, and overtook DO and was easily 500m in front of me. I ran faster on the gentle downslope, and at the turn, took a raffia string (final point indicator) from the officials, and as I faced the gentle upslope, I knew I was into the home stretch. It was about 3km more to go. I ran up steadily up that stretch, my cramps not acting up as much. I was running just 50m behind DO. A few of the runners were to-ing and fro-ing with me. I did overtake some more people. I finally came up to DO in the final 2km stretch. DO told me that we will run up that final slope, and it was downhill all the way. I ran just slightly ahead of DO, skipped that last water point, and moved faster downslope. 2 people overtook me. With about 1km to go, DO came up and we ran side by side. I told DO that we could finish together. He said 'Yeah, let's do it!', and we ran faster and stronger. My cramps were still with me, and I was still running cautiously. We overtook a couple of people. At the final stretch, we were welcomed by rousing cheers and people shouting ‘Sub-4…GO GO GO!’…We could see the Finish Point from 100m away. Run3 and Cokiee cheered when they saw us. Cokiee ran about 50m with us. With 25m to go, we held up out hands and crossed the finish line together. It was really shiokzzz. I knew we did a 3hr52min as we crossed, and I was happy that I made it to sub-4hr, and that my cramps did not stopp me dead in my tracks. I was happy that DO too made his sub-4hr, and we did it together…CHEERS!

Pos Bib Name Country OffTime ChipTime 10Km Halfway 30Km
70 A0048 SUM ANTHONY Singapore 3:52:15 3:51:53 0:52:11 1:54:51 2:45:31

More Race Day Photos HERE

Official Race Results For Men's Marathon HERE

Official Race Results For All Categories HERE

Post Race

Upon finishing, I collected the skimpy paper bag from the officials containing the medal (not very nice-looking), a free pre-paid local phone-card, and a small hand towel. I saw the SAFRA MF group already resting. All of them did very well for their half marathon races. We congratulated one another. I joined DO for a cold soak in ice cubes…Brrrr… too cold for my feet. We then proceeded to go for the MYR15 massage, and that became a real agony for me when my cramps erupted. The strong man who was massaging me made it worse when he tried to stop my muscles from ‘moving’, and he was massaging very hard. I think I screamed because DO mentioned it later…haha. Fortunately, his boss, the lady sports masseur came to the rescue and gently eased the cramps away. It took about 15min of struggle and mini eruptions before he was able to massage me. Still, I had to cut the massage short.

Kops and Weishan soon came back from their marathons (about 4hr30min+), and we talked a little about the race. Weishan too had cramps, and was fortunate to have DO’s ‘heavenly massage’ to ease the misery…hehe. I got her some ice in a bag to cool off the aching calves. We then went to meet up with Brokie and the rest of the SgRunners, all of whom did very well for their half marathons. Run3 would have won a prize for her 1:56 effort; if only she was placed in the correct category…aiya…. Brokie was very close to winning a prize for her 1:58 effort as well, just 2 places less. After we have cheered our voices hoarse, and seen our ultra-marathoner astrogal come in before 5hr30min for the marathon, we assembled for some nice photos and proceeded back to the hotel for clean-up and check-out. We had a very nice 1.5hr Japanese lunch buffet at the Hotel Equatorial… fresh sashimi, sushi, chawanmoshi, tempanyaki, tempura, green-tea ice cream, dessert and fruits…wow, I haven’t eaten so much in one sitting for a long time already.

After lunch, we took the TransStar first-class coach back to Singapore. Each of us had our business-class seats individually, with attached video and entertainment system. It was very comfy and nice. I was happy I didn’t drive, as I could rest my tired legs. Dinner was provided on board the coach too. We arrived back to Singapore at 9.30pm sharp. I did not feel very tired, and in fact was pretty fresh. For me, this was a great outing, good run in the midst of fine company. I look forward to do more of such overseas runs and traveling with a group of like-minded runners in future.

More Photos HERE!

Photos On Mar 3

Photos On Mar 4

Photos On Mar 5

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Sunday, March 05, 2006

The KL International Marathon 2006

A PB for me in the full marathon event, my second marathon ever.
Time of 3hr52min....a sub 4hr marathon, yeah!

Official Results Are Out!
Bib: A0048, Men's Open
Pos: 70
Gun Time: 3:52:15
Nett Chip Time: 3:51:53

Details of the event and race will be posted shortly.

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Friday, March 03, 2006

A Final Tapering Run...The Train Ride

Last evening was the final training run ahead of the KL International Marathon this Sunday, Mar 5. I had a easy, tapering run of 9km mainly to keep the engine warm. I was still recovering from flu, but the run was nice and my breathing was ok. I ran mostly with Divey, who was still injured, and was doing a slow and steady run too. It was one of those lesser occasions where I get to slack a bit, and I really enjoyed the pace... fortunately, there was no one to hurry me this time...hehe. We did abt 60min of run covering about 9.3km (taken from Divey's footpod - another good reason to run with people who have footpods...haha).

My bags are packed, and this evening, I will be taking the overnight train from Singapore to KL with about 10+ SgRunners. This will be my first experience on a train ride from Singapore, and I think it should be fun travelling with my seow runner friends...don't *kok* me hor... We should arrive in KL at 6am tomorrow morning where we will proceed to the hotel, go for breakfast, and then to the race expo to collect our race packs and bibs... hmm, saw that this year's race T-Shirt is really horrid...haiz... Will also look forward to meeting friends from many other running fraternities like the SAFRA Running Club, MR25, PaceSetters, SgRunners and smaller groups of friends travelling there for the race. This will be my first marathon in KL, and I look forward to doing a good run. Though I secretly aim for a sub-4hr marathon, I am not too sure if I can even get close to it with my bout of flu... but then again, that shall not stop me from doing my best. I shall try. So, KLIM06, here I come!

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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Recovering From Flu

Got this bad bout of flu since Sat morning. I actually pre-empted this and went to see the doctor last Friday to get some medicine. On Tuesday, I still had a pretty 'nasal' sounding (in the words of Divey) blocked nose, as I went for the 10km tapering run at MF. We did a relatively fast paced run, considering that I had to struggle up that MF slope from the Kampong Bahru side. Never felt so 'chuan' running this route, and I was just using my mouth to breathe since my nose was not clear. I almost gave up near to the top. Babymon overtook me on the way up, and she sure looked strong. I chugged along behind her for a while, before lagging. On the way down MF, and out from Morse Road, I could once again see BabyMon, Ong and Kumaran. DO was running near to me throughout. Completed the run in 49min, but really a hard workout for me.

Met up with the rest of the group for dinner, and shared stories on the latest Nike running shoes, as well as the new SCSM06 route for this year. Also discussed a bit about the Phuket Marathon which I have planned to go. I hope my nose clears by Thursday when we have our final tapering run before KLIM.

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