Thursday, August 31, 2006

Animile TGIF: The Lion Sleeps Tonight

I will be doing the MR25 30km Progressive Run this Sunday, and then there is the Public Service Run next Sat, followed by the SAFRA Location Run on Sunday... and then there is Terry Fox Run the following Sunday, Sep, lots of runs to look forward to...hmm, I am really missing the Animiles run now...must make a time to try that run to the Zoo again :))

Meanwhile, some light entertainment to celebrate The Animiles!

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Interval training was on the menu this evening, which is not usual for a recovery training week. However, the SAFRA trainers wanted to give those runners who are doing the Public Service Run next week some sustained workout. I joined in the fun, and ran along with the group to Queenstown Stadium. There was a large group of footballers this evening, and we would have to run round them at the final turn of the 400m track.

I took a steady pace for the 1st set of 1.6km. Took the first 2 laps relatively easy, and started to pick up pace in the 3rd lap, and speeding up in the last lap. Completed in 6min30sec. Did the next 2 sets of 800m each, targeting to run below 3min30sec on average. I rested for the 3rd set of 800m, and only joined in for the final burst at the last set, breaking 3min :)
4km warm-up run deom ClubHouse to Queenstown Stadium
1st set of 1.6km @ 6min30sec
2nd set of 800m @ 3min13sec
3rd set of 800m @ 3min18sec
skipped 4th set of 800m
5th set of 800m @ 2min58sec
4km slow job back to ClubHouse

Total Distance Ran: 12km

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Post AHM Recovery

This week will have me doing a series of short runs as recovery from Sunday's AHM. The news reported that there were more than 60,000 runners who participated, and about 15,000 went for the Half Marathon. The talking point was the poor traffic control situation where runners were stopped, and the ugly situations of drivers honking and showing signs...haiz!

Did a recovery run on Monday to TP 40-storey block for stairs climbing and back. Was good for the legs as there were less aches the following day. Went down Tue evening to SAFRA MF for the planned recovery run by the Club. Wow...lots of people went down, must be about 30+ runners. We chatted a lot about Sunday's AHM, some of the happenings, and how many of the running club members did well. Trainer gave a brief of the route (Clubhouse -> Henderson Rd -> Harbourfront -> Kampung Bahru entrance -> Mount Faber Hill -> Morse Rd -> Harbourfront -> Telok Blangah Rise -> Clubhouse) and off we went. I did a regular paced run, mostly running alone, behind the faster group in front. It was a challenging climb as usual up to MF from Kampong Bahru side, and it felt good to reach the top. cfred, Alvin, DO, Foo were some off those whom were running together. After the descent down Morse Road, I was tagging behind Alvin, and later cfred, all the way back to ClubHouse. I felt stretched for the 50min 10km, but it was a good recovery run.

The AHM Results were finally posted, but timings were based on Gun Time instead of Nett Chhip Time (Gun Time - Time Of Crossing The Starting ChipMat). So my official time now becomes 1hr41min and position 55 in the Men's Veteran Cat. My timing last year (Nett ChipTime) was 1hr44min....ok lah, still a PB. Will hope to break 1hr40min for my next 21km race. The claim was for the certificate to be sent within 3 days...I think it may take much longer than that. I received my cert about 2 months after the race last year...speaking about certs, I have still to receive my PaceSetters 15km cert after a 2-month wait already...hmm.

And a short message from one of SgRunner's emminent running sifus sums it all up:-

Dream buddy )))))))))))))
Your were ranked 55 at your veteran category and ranked 319 overall out of 5739 runners, within top 6%!!!!!
- Ultraman

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Army Half Marathon 2006

YES! A PB for me in my third Half Marathon - 1hr40min

Official Results Out: Shows Gun Time:- Position 55, 1hr41min

Rank Bib Name Category CheckPt1 CheckPt2 Total_Finish
55 V8788 Sum Yew Wah Anthony MENV 0:39:13 1:15:18 01:41:47

At The Finishing Line with SgRunners

At the finish line with SAFRA MF Runners

Pre Race

Had about 2hours sleep before I woke up at about 1.30am. Since it was still early, I did some work and also logged in to SgRunners to check for the latest. Took a bowl of cereal at 3am, a banana and coffee for breakfast. Put on my new SAFRA Running Singlet, and almost due-for-retirement Asics DS Trainer shoes. Went to pick DO and Divey up, and we arrived to Raffles City parking at about 4.15am. Saw SC5, notme, Vivian Tang, anna, and a few other AniMILES runners at the basement. Roentgen was there waiting for his gang too :). We chatted a little, before proceeding to meet the SgRunners at the pre-arranged place.

Saw many groups of army people getting ready. We met Richy, Bug, flip, Freddy, Cheow12, Yulan, teelee, IMD and his MHA, and many other SgRunners. Also met some SAFRA runners who were hanging around. At about 4.45am, Divey, DO, Richy, Cheow and I went for a short warm-up jog, did some stretches and queued up for the final 'pee' before race start. My race plan was to start out a little faster, and then maintain that pace (4:50min/km) throughout...hopefully can do my stretched goal of 1hr40min, or at least will have no problem bettering my PB of 1hr44min set at last year's AHM. Richy and I proceeded to the start point. There were a huge crowd at the start point for the competitive runners already, and I could see the non-competitive runners barricaded a short distance away. As we 'inched' our way up, we met up with many familiar faces from SAFRA and SgRunners. Spoke a bit to Mike Kang, introduced Richy to TLR, chatted with Bug. I told Richy that I am a slow starter, and it would be best for him to follow the front runners of TLR and DO.

The Race

The race was flagged off by the Chief Of Army at about 5.30am. It took me about a minute to get to the ChampionChip mat. And after stepping on the mat, it took some time for the front crowd to clear, and I had to meander around a fair bit for the first km, spotting gaps where I could squeeze through. About 200m into the run, someone ran up and called me...heh, it was Brokie, in her bright yellow chopchop...hehe. I mentioned that she started at a good pace, wished each other good luck, and I moved further ahead. I could see Jimmy Chow, runalone among others as I ran the first km. I moved at a quicker pace to catch up for the lost time at the beginning, and by the 2km mark, I had taken 9min+....ok, almost near to goal pace. Further ahead, we moved up along Sheares' Bridge...I ran past Supraman, and the team from Guards. I kept to my pace, and tried to catch up a little on the downslope, albeit with caution. I slowed down at water points, and took a few sips of the plain water provided...yucks! At the 6km mark, my time was about 28min+...hmm, ok, have caught up the pace a little. We then turned towards Fort Road, and up to that point, I was running quite close with a Ang Moh. I could see the front runners coming back, the speedy Thai Runners, the elites and the fast local runners. Along Fort Road, I increased pace hoping to bank in more miles. At this stretch, someone called out to was Lim Teck Heng, MR25 pro photographer. Lim had not run a race in 10years, and this being his first race since, was doing exceptionally good pace. I ran ahead and saw Sumiko, another MR25 runner, showing very good form.

After the U-turn, there was the ChampionChip mat again. I think it might have been about 9km. A check of the time showed 38min+. I continued to run ahead at that constant pace, just slightly below 5min/km, overtaking more runners as they were getting tired. Then I spotted a familiar figure in was Ultraman. Ultra was still nursing his injury from a minor accident, and was pacing with another girl runner. I followed from a distance out from Fort Road along Nicholl Highway, and by then, the group of runners around me was thinning. I liked the slight wind that was blowing in my face, and having that whole expanse of highway to run along. As we run up the bridge, I overtook the lady runner, and then waved to Ultra. Ultra perked up upon seeing me, and he revved up his engine, and ran ahead to the front. I was contented to just follow Ultra from behind since I was maintaining my goal pace. Things began to happen the moment we turned into Middle Road. We were stopped for a short while for traffic...URGHHH.. I thought the roads were to be closed?? Apparently, not the traffic junctions. From that point on, there were many traffic junctions, and each time I came to one, there was a possibility of the police and traffic marshals of stopping us runners to allow the traffic to move. I could hear loud blaring of horns from angry motorists...haiz..

I reached the 14km mark at 1:06min. With 7km to go, I had banked in 4min...meaning I was on track for a 1:41min finish time. Wah...gotta speed up if I was to gain 2more min to do sub 1:40. I tried to run harder as I went up the slopes, hoping to gain more time. I was feeling depleted, and could do with a PowerGel at that point...haha...too bad, didn't bring. I did have 3 sips of the isotonic drink handed out along Mountbatten earlier, but it was not very good. With 4km to go, runners from behind were speeding up. Sumiko overtook me at about this point, and I saw her overtaking Ultra...I followed suit. A gal runner was 'chionging' up, encouraged by her running mate. I ran behind them for most of the journey from that point on. I was stopped/slowed down 2 times more along the way and those could have caused me at least another minute. The Running along Outram Road was bad, with the smog coming from the many vehicles waiting to turn into Outram Park, and causing a jam of sorts. The climb up Cantonment Road after that drained me further, and I could have lost more time. At the turn from Cantonment Road to Maxwell Road, someone shouted 2km more to go, 1hr31min. Yikes...I am behind. I overtook the gal and her running mate and ran ahead, but alas, I was stopped another time at the Maxwell Junction to South Bridge Road. She overtook me from there, and I just chugged along, knowing it would not be too far off, with the Bridge in sight. As we ran along South Bridge Road, there were loud horns from motorists and the bellowing of smoke as they were irritated with waiting for the runners to past. It was an ugly sight. I was checking my watch constantly, and with 500m to go, my time was showing 1hr38min. I tried to increase my cadence, and there was a sudden pull....oops, a cramp developing in my left calf. I slowed down to avoid being seized. On the downslope, Eddie from SAFRA ran past me. I tried to give chase, hoping to speed-up for the final 200m. But it was not to be, my cramps were almost going to come...I just did a steady paced finish, and crossed the line at 1hr41min clock-time, raising my hands in jubilation.

Post Race

The finisher's medal was immediately given to me, and the first people I saw were Alan Chao, Ong, Bug and Kumaran, who were there to congratulate me. They did very well, all running many min below 1hr40min. I then saw babymonster Eileen, who did a very good 1hr39min to be third in the women's closed category....wah, again she was in front of me about 2min this year...I am proud of her. DO did well with a 1hr39min timing too....very impressive timing from my buddy...superb! I headed straight for the milo stands, after returning the ChampionChip. This was the first Singapore race that I was served milo. It was refreshing and great for recovery. I took 3 straight cups...shiok! I went back to the finish line to congratulate the many SgRunners (at least 120 of us) and SAFRA runners (at least 80 of us) who were returning. All did well, and most were satisfied with their run, except for the ugly traffic situation...some people were stopped 8-10 times...YUCKS! teelee was superb with his 1hr25min timing, and coming in 19th position for the men's open category...wowee....Lai Chee did 1hr37min to emerge 2nd in the women's closed...wah, LC has improved a lot since doing Alan Chao's hill training.. Brokie came within a whisker of the 10th position in her was CLOSE...we were so happy for her...haha. Run3 almost got top 10 with her 1hr53min timing...waah! Yulan did very well with 1hr50min to emerge 10th in the women's, we do have very good lady runners in SgRunners *cheers*. Ultra did a very commendable 1hr42min in spite of his injury. Richy was super-fast with 1hr38min *salute*. TLR did well with 1hr39min, RealRunner extremely fast at 1hr35min, Freddy a record-breaking 1hr45min, Hedgehog, cfred all with very fast PB times, and many more good performances.

The SAFRA Running Club @ AHM 2006

I joined in for some group photos with SAFRA Running Club, as well as group and mini-group photos with SgRunners. There were so many people to talk too, so exciting, so fun. One of the main highlights of such races have to be meeting up with the running kakis and friends, sharing stories and congratulatory messages...Karen, Johnny, doraemon, Fennel, Superboy, Sotong, Mrs Sotong, loneshark, Charmaine, JT, Angelica, daisiki, cosmic, weishan, Divey, Sandy, Adam, Goola, eng hwa, runalone, Derrick, Colleen, Sam, and a whole lot of friends whom I spoke with after the run. Went for 2 more cups of milo in between chats...heehee. Was offered nice iced-cold barley from, that was so sweet and nice...thanks Fd! With the rains imminent, we went to wash up at Raffles City and proceeded to Marina Square for a nice cuppa and breakfast...thanks to DO who bought lots of nice tahu and poh-piah. Signed up for the Run For Funds with HWA, and chatted with the large SgRunners gang till 11am. It was a great post-race meet-up and makan-together. Overall, I had a good race, and I am happy with the results in spite. Will take a rest now, before starting to put in some long runs and training for SCSM in Dec. Will be doing the Public Service Run and MK Climbathon in Sep, and maybe, maybe... a 21km 2nd Link Bridge Run in Nov.

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Saturday, August 26, 2006

D-Day+1! The Final Countdown!

The Final Countdown!

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

Final Tapering Run....Really, Really :)

Richy called me in the morning to ask about the location of SAFRA MF. He had come all the way from HK to do the AHM run, and I was looking forward to have a short pre-race run with him to warm him up a little :). I almost could not make it as I was having long meetings today, but fortunately managed to rush down MF in time. When I reached MF, DO had already shown Richy the changing place.

There was a smaller crowd at MF this evening, about 20 odd, possibly resting ahead of Sunday's AHM. cm made a intro of Richard to the club members, and we started off nicely for our 9km final tapering run for the week. Bug, DO, Teck Hou, Jimmy were running alongside Richy and chatting. As we entered in Labrador, we explained to Richy about the nice scenic place we were running, a popular lovers' haunt, but also a upcoming tourist attraction. We enjoyed 2 loops round Labrador Park, before exiting and picking pace a little. The final 2-3km back to the ClubHouse was fun, as I paced Richy all the way, up the 'Demoralizing' slopes of Henderson Road..hee. It was a nice workout to end the training week. Now we just have to 'tahan' no running for the next 2 days, and start carbo-loading a little on Friday night and Saturday afternoon. I still hope to get some sleep in these final 2 days.

Distance Ran: 8km__Time Taken: 39min__Pace: 4:53min/km

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Half Marathon Taper

Will put in a few short, tempo runs ahead of AHM this Sunday. Will be eating normally, with maybe some carbo-loading on Friday evening and Saturday. Need to sleep well for the next few days, since I will be unlikely to have a restful weekend with some intensive business planning to do till late Sat night...

Monday 21/08: Managed to put in a nice evening run with Bev. I did not run since Saturday morning, and after resting for 3 days, my legs felt quite heavy at first. After 2km, I moved ahead and slowed down twice to wait for Bev. After the majot traffic junction (about 4.5km mark), I decided to move ahead on my own, all the way to finish up to 10km in about 53min...then moving into Tai Keng Gardens for another 2km of estate road and slight slopes. Finished the 12.5km run in 1hr7min.
Distance Ran: 12.5km__Time Taken: 1hr7min__Pace: 5:22min/km

Tuesday 22/08:
After some deliberating, finally went to join the SgRunners folks to do the CBD run. Was pleasantly surprised to see a large crowd...nearly 40 people, and many were new runners who had joined even tin tin was there to say goodbye... he and his family will be going to Cleveland, Ohio for 2years...I wished him well, and hope to hear from him and Ryan (his cute son) through SgRunners Forum. As normal with CBD runs for me, I was running up and down, chatting with various folks along the way.... to Cokiee about his new campus life, Aichai about the nice route we were taking, Divey about the Sheares Bridge which she climbed with relative ease, Teelee and IMD about the upcoming AHM route which measured shorter, Bee about her UK stint and her layoff running for a month, paulh about his training for his maiden 21km, meteor about her injury-free running style, Angelica about her rather serious knee injury, alecchua about his good running form, and bits here and there. I enjoyed the scenic run up Sheares Bridge and the nice views along the coastline, leading to the steamboat area....nice nice. Reached back to Tanjong pagar at 8.30pm, and was fortunate that I was not the last, cause run3, Charmane and taz went to do extra loops and were seen chionging back....woosh....:). Had a nice dinner with half of the folks remaining, occupying 4-5, this CBD run is really helping to give the economy a mini boost lah...haha. I estimated I ran about 9km....ok lah, for a tapering week.
Distance Ran: 9km__Pace: Approx. 5:30min/km

Wednesday 22/08: Managed to squeeze some time in for a quickie run around the 10km route around my estate. Did the run alone and took in a reasonably steady pace, not that hard, definitely below tempo pace. I felt pretty good for the whole run, and restrained from opening up, mostly doing a shuffle. Because of the 7th month and all the offerings, I had to run through many pockets of thick smoke along the way….wah, really not very good air quality. Completed the run in quite a good timing, felt good too.
Distance Ran: 10km__Time Taken: 48min28sec__Pace: 4:50min/km

I am hoping to put in one final, albeit short run for the week...before going into 'REST' mode (yeeks!) till race day... I haven't been sleeping well these past few days, dreaming of myself driving up a steep mountain/slope...hehe...

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Nike Lunar: First Impressions

Brought my new Nike Lunar shoes to the two I-Runs @ River Promenade for trials this week. It attracted quite a fair bit of attention from the runners, as it was probably the first time many of them have laid eyes on the 'candy'. A few of them even thought that they were shoes for streetwear and gai gai, and didn't really thought it was for running; but their impressions immediately changed when they heard about the Phylon & LunarLite Foam technology and how the cushion was supposed to help with defying gravity (when running) to some extent...hehe

As I ran in them at the very hard surfaces along the River Promenade and Esplanade area, the Lunar Trainer really proved its mettle in the area of impact cushioning and shock absorption. I could feel the firm bounce with every stride, as the shoes took most of the impact instead of my, I finally found some relief for my poor legs who were taking lots of pounding on those hard grounds. Of course it helped that the Lunars were very light, making my running form look even more effortless than before; maybe I even looked like running on the moon from the back? hehe

After using the shoes a couple of times now, it has more or less been broken in, and the feeling gets better each time as I feel the shoes wrap around my feet pretty snugly, contributing to a cushy and pampered feel.

With its simple, clean top and colorful, patterned bottom, the Lunars look great, and has been a attention magnet, good conversation piece and topic opener. It is not too loud, yet stand out in a cool, subtle manner. Incidentally, while following the Olympics, I have spotted the Lunars being donned by the women marathoners and triathletes. The distinctive yellow/black bottom of the shoes really make them stand out and are easily spotted from among the crowd....chio!

My initial impressions are that the Lunar has both looks and function, and is set to be one of the running gems from Nike in the years to come.

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Saturday, August 19, 2006

To The Zoo, To The Zoo

We had our final AniMILES run this morning, ahead of the AHM next Sunday. We had planned to do a LSD run of 27km from LPR all the way to the Zoo entrance and back. When we met up at the usual start point, Vivian advised that we could turn into Seletar Reservoir from Upper Thomson Road, and then exit to the Mandai Crematorium area, for an extra 1km to make the run 28km. Freddy joined in the run for the first time, and he was the earliest, having paid $20+ for a thats dedication :). By 5.15am, Cheow12, DO, RealRunner, Bug, Fennel, mwengrof, Freddy, notme and myself had gathered. The AniMILES led by Vivian and Ironman Lieu started off first, including notme and mwengrof. When Brokie came at 5.30am (, our SgRunners group started off too.

As promised, it was an easy chit-chat pace along OUTR. We talked a bit about NBRR tomorrow, as well as marathon training around the Reservoir area after we complete AHM next week. Some of us were also keen to do the MR25 30km Progressive Run in the first week of Sept. As we exited OUTR, we saw Gentle sitting on the curb already waiting for us. Hmm, we didn't see doraemon...she might be doing her own ninja this morning....hee. We ran at an easy pace allowing us to talk talk along Upper Thomson Road. Very soon, we turned into the track leading to Seletar Reservoir...ahh, I haven't gone that way for some time, and it was good to revisit the place. The air was crisp and cool along that stretch. Some of us took a mini break at the toilets, while the rest proceeded on. We passed the mini Towers, and then headed out along the road to the Crematorium, where we kept to a single file because of the narrower lane. Bug and RR were leading the way, and when we reached the bridge at the entrance to the Crematorium, the distance was approximated at 9.5km-10km. The time showed 56min..hmm, possible, because we normally reached that point at about 45min if we run by the normal route. From there Bug, RR, DO and Cheow moved ahead along Mandai Road, with me and Freddy following behind. Gentle, fennel and Brokie were just behind. I was explaining to Freddy the various distance markers and the route, and we soon reached the road leading into the zoo (24km U-turn point) in 1hr14min. We would normally have reached that point in 1hr or less if we were running a faster pace.

We joined the rest to turn left towards the Zoo entrance. It was good revisting this 3km to/fro stretch, as the slopes presented at that point of the run does require some 'mental' effort to go through. Vivian was explaining that they would do twice that to/fro stretch for a 30km run...hmm, really challenging. I took my mini Snickers bar at that point to refuel, and Freddy mentioned he would be taking his PowerGel soon as well. I reached the Zoo entrance in 1:22hr, with the front runners about 200m in front. On the way out, we saw Gentle, fennel and Brokie, the 3 musketeers..hehe... reaching the Zoo entrance. They were not too far away from us. Great! On the way out, I picked up speed a little to close the gap with the front runners, and along Maindai Road, I ran with Bug for a good distance at a 4:49min/km pace (according to Bug's Polar) till we reached the Crematorium area. At that point, we estimated we covered 18-19km. We turned right back into Seletar Reservoir, along the same way we came from. We maintained a steady pace of about 5:15min/km along that stretch all the way to the toilet point, where we refilled for the final stretch back. Without pausing for too long, we made our way out to UTR, and then back to OUTR. The pace was still about 5:15min/km, and by the time we cleared the small slope up OUTR, we increased pace to 5min/km.

As we passed the gate into UPR, a familiar voice shouted my name..heh, it was Kops21. He was having his own ninja run with Hee Shen, and was just exiting from UPR into OUTR. We said 'Hi' and I proceeded to finish off the remaining 2km+. We (Bug, RR, DO, Freddy, Cheow, Dream) completed the 28km run in 2hr33min. Brokie did 24km, fennel and mwengrof 21km, and Gentle about 20km. Real good run for all, especially those like Brokie, Cheow, fennel who have to reserve some energy for their NBRR the next day...kudos to their commitment and dedication for AHM and SCSM training. A check with Anna indicated that we could have covered more than 28km, possibly closer to 29km...ah well. I passed the AHM race pack to Brokie, and we enjoyed a good laugh about the 'special' magazine included in the pack.

I downed a small pack of Magnolia choco milk for recovery, and Bug too got himself a HL choco milk. It really does work for me, this choco milk :). Later at breakfast, we saw doraemon and SV who were already refuelling at the breakfast table with Gentle. Doraemon actually overslept, and did her own ninja training as suspected...and was dedicated enough to the AniMILES area to go down for breakfast, jio-ing SV along...waah! We had a 1hr long chit-chat over a hearty brekky, before breaking up for some of them to go down to collect their AHM race pack. Everyone was happy with their run this morning, and some of us suggested to extend the Demoralizing Run route all the way to Fort Road and back for a good SCSM Marathon training plan.. hmm, sounds interesting and exciting? foot for thought?

Distance Ran: 28km__Time Taken: 1hr33min__Pace: 5:28min/km

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Friday, August 18, 2006

Hazy days

There have been reports about the haze coming back. There are lots of hot-spots of bush and forest fires started in our neighbouring country. I have been feeling weak during runs these few days, and I think it is due to the poor air quality.

Wednesday 16/08: Had the usual training run with Bev. She wanted to do longer, so I asked her to moderate her pace. But I still felt she assumed the same pace as when she was doing 10km, and might have been even faster. I had to tun quite hard to catch her at the usual Traffic junction. I proceeded on my own after that to allow her to run her steady pace for 12km. I felt pretty tired in my legs, and my hamstrings were still aching....maybe too many consecutive days of exercising. I finished the 10.5km run in 58min....very slow, but yet I could feel the strain of the workout. Pretty happy I got to burn off some calories :).

Thursday 17/08: This evening was supposed to be a asy 14km run at SAFRA MF, as we were preparing for AHM next Sunday. Rosalind joined us this evening....good, I missed her the first time she ran with SAFRA. There was quite a sizeable group this evening, not as many as Tuesday's track intervals, but still there were 2 new members to be introduced. We started off pretty easy, and I chatted with Ros & DO for a bit, before trying to increse pace to run with the front people. Kumaran and Ong were leading the pack... Bug and Derrick were also around. Cfred was also right up front, along with Melvin. These 2 were really fast, and now with their new bodies, they were gliding with ease....really fast :). Ronnie was running very fast in front too, and I was just happy to be following DO and Ronnie. As we passed the Railway track, and then into Portsdown Road, along South Buona Vista Road, it was fast pace all the way.

I was working very hard, and could feel the tiredness in my hamstrings and calves...must have been the lack of rest for them. I was breathing heavy, and I sensed that the air quality was poor... and with the rush hour traffic along those roads, it made the breathing much harder. I also had to weave between the many office workers around the MOE area...really tiring man! As we ran along Commonwealth, Ronnie and Melvin broke away from us...they were speeding away. DO, Cfred and I continued along Alexandra Road, and by the time we reached Depot Road, I was drained....was just contented to follow Cfred and DO from a distance, and as we neared the ClubHouse, Cfred ran slightly ahead...leaving DO and myself to finish the 14km run in about 1hr9min. I was totally drenched, and felt drained at the same time. I felt happy to have completed the tough run, with me pushing on for the last 4-5km.
Distance Ran: 14km__Time Taken: 1hr9min__Pace: 4:55min/km

Saturday 17/08: Will be doing a long 27km Animiles run this Saturday; not for any purpose in particular, just to enjoy the regular weekend long run.

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Run For...

There are many reasons why we run...

Run For Good Health
Run For Fun
Run To Lose Weight
Run For Comradeship
Run For PB
Run To Challenge Ourselves
Run For World Harmony
Run For ...

and for many of us, a host of other reasons why we RUN.

Now is the chance for us to add one more reason to RUN

Run for something different this year!
Run For something meaningful!
Run For Others!
Run For Charity!

A group of running enthusiasts in Singapore has come together to elevate the sport of running to a status worthy of our attention.... running to benefit others less fortunate than us. I attach the following invitation for your kind consideration:

Dear friends,

if you are running in the Standard Chartered Singapore Marathon 2006, we would like to invite you to participate in this fund-raising event for the Handicaps Welfare Association (HWA) during the event .

Click the banner below for the special event!

user posted image

All of us know the feeling.

The rush of wind against your face. The sound of shoes pounding the tarmac. The exhilaration of completing a race.

This year, don’t just run for personal fulfillment at the SCSM 06. Why not GO THE EXTRA MILE and get more out of your run?

If you are running in SCSM 06, why not GO THE EXTRA MILE and raise funds for a charitable cause?

Help HWA GO THE EXTRA MILE for the physically disabled by helping them enhancing their lives and enabling them to integrate into society.

. It's Fund Raising & Fun Racing!

About HWA

HWA provides transport, rehabilitation, welfare and education programmes for people with physical disabilities, to facilitate their integration into society. It also conducts public education programmes such as talks and exhibitions in schools and organizations to promote awareness. More information on HWA is available here

The Target

We need to mobilise 250 runners participating in SCSM 2006 to raise funds for HWA. Each person counts...ask your friends, family, relatives, neighbours, colleagues and kakis to join in the run and raise funds!

Target amount: at least SG$50 000

How this fund-raising will be done

After consultation with HWA, the following fund-raising methods will be used:

1) Pledge Cards

This will allow runners to get lump sum donations (e.g. $5, $10, $50 etc) from people willing to contribute to HWA. Donations can also be based on the distance covered by the runner (e.g. sponsor to donate $XYZ for every kilometer run during SCSM 06). Therefore, the further you run, the more money you can raise for charity!

2) Appeal Letters

This letter will allow fund-raisers to seek bigger lump sum donations from donors who prefer a more personalised touch.

Participants from any of the running categories (full marathon, half marathon, 10km etc) are welcome.


All participants running for HWA will receive a special HWA runner’s pack! Negotiations are currently underway to secure sponsorship for a t-shirt and other goodies for the pack.

Where can I find the latest info about this drive?

More information on this charity drive can be found here

How to play your part

Please register for the SCSM 06 here AND Email the following details to

1) Full name
3) Contact number
4) Email address
5) Preferred T-shirt size

The organisers will contact you with more details subsequently. Your particulars will be kept strictly confidential.

Feel free to indicate your interest and any constructive feedback in the comments section of this post.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A mixed bag of exercises

Did a couple of short exercises and x-training over the past few days. My butt muscles still ached from Saturday's Animiles run....must have been a hard run for me :).

Sunday 13/08:
Did a short 10.5km around the estate with Bev. My breathing was bad this evening, mainly because of the humid weather and the many incense-burning spots all over the place...hmm, something to do with the Hungry Ghosts festival offerings. I felt quite weak midway, but recovered later on to catch up with Bev. Ended the run in 1hr flat, but feeling quite tired...bad form, considering the slow pace I was going at.

Monday 14/08: Went to Toa Payoh 40-storey block for MK stairs-climbing training. Met the usual team-mates who have started to do their own training. I did an even-paced 7 sets of 40floors in 1hr10min, averaging 10min per set (it takes about 7.5min to climb the 40floors, with 2.5min waiting for the lift and going down). Stairs climbing training is really mental, and to me one of the more boring, but necessary training for trekking and hill running.....but, but, I prefer running up slopes, even steep ones anytime!

Tuesday 15/08: Made it for the SAFRA MF interval training at Queenstown Stadium. This will be the last 'hard' training prior to the AHM next Sunday. The turnout was surprisingly huge, 40 in, for speedwork leh. We slow jogged 4km to Queenstown Stadium...along the way, spoke with Ironman Chua about Kona and the history of the ironman, and also a bit about Ironman Korea....interesting stuff. Chatted a bit with Phei Sunn about Bukit Timah training for MK, and K2 for next year. Took about 20min+ to reach the stadium. The plan for us was to do 2 x 1.6km and 4 x 800m sets. I wanted to do the sets at a steady pace to build up a good 'hearty' workout, and also not to push too hard ahead of the race next week. I completed all the sets this time round, in the following times:
4km warm-up to QS Stadium: 22min
1st set 1.6km: 6min40sec
2nd set 1.6km: 6min43sec
3rd set 800m: 3min07sec
4th set 800m: 3min13sec
5th set 800m: 3min20sec
6th set 800m: 3min05sec
I was quite satisfied to keep my 1.6km at below 6:45 and 800m below 3:30 on average. Didn't feel too drained this evening, but was still tired. Did a good 4km run back to ClubHouse, and had late dinner with the gang. Was an enjoyable workout for me.

Wednesday 15/08: May do a recovery run with Bev in the evening, subject to her availability. I heard from the SAFRA MF folks about ordering CW-X running thights from the US, and was pointed to the site for a review. Some of the feedback given in the Retailer's website goes like:

Description of CW-X Conditioning Tight Shorts -Men's:
CW-X Men's Conditioning Shorts belong to a new class of high-performance equipment known as conditioning wear—clothing engineered to provide a host of benefits to your body, including key muscle group support, increased endurance, shorter recovery times after exercise, and lactic acid buildup prevention. Don't confuse them with technically simple compression shorts. Established in Japan in 1991, CW-X based its designs on the human body's unique motion during exercise. Perfect for running, cycling, and climbing, Conditioning Shorts work by combining two unique zones of stretch material. The body is constructed from a Coolmax and 4-way stretch Lycra blend, providing targeted muscle support and impressive moisture-wicking properties. The key to the Conditioning Shorts, however, lies in the 2-way stretch Conditioning Web that encircles your leg's key muscle groups. While stretching longitudinally, this web holds muscles securely in place laterally, reducing vibration and increasing comfort. Flat seam stitching throughout ensures chafing is never a problem.

Description of CW-X Pro Shorts - Men's:
The CW-X Pro Shorts are perfect for trail running, adventure racing, or any endurance sport where you've gotta have maximum performance. Normal running shorts do little more than give you coverage. The Pro shorts give your muscles added support through various fabrics that are anatomically aligned. This in turn helps to increase your muscle speed, while decreasing fatigue. By distributing your muscles' workload and keeping them properly aligned, the Pro Shorts not only keep your muscles warm, but also supported. Reduce stress on joints and get more from your workouts and races with CW-X's Pro Shorts.

Comments from a Pro Runner:
I have been a pro runner for 5 years now and have used every type of sneaker and clothing out on the market. Cost really is not priority to me, performance is. I started using CWX a year after I turned pro and have been in them ever since. The support you get in the hamstring and quad is awesome. The abs and lower back even get some support. Before I started using them, I would really have to be careful of my hams and or quads when running up or down steep hills, as to not pull anything. Now with the support, I am at full speed and have improved my times. For the everyday user they would be ideal to keep injuries and spasms to a min. T-man.

Hmm...I am tempted to try a CW-X Running Shorts, maybe even the Pro version...just hoping to get a good price from it.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Going Bananas...


After Reading THIS, you'll NEVER look at a banana in the same way again!

Bananas. Containing three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber, a banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.

Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes.

But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit. It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.

According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier. PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of haemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.

Blood Pressure:
This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it the perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.

Brain Power:
200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.

High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.

One of the quickest ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.

Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.

Morning Sickness:
Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.

Mosquito bites:
Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.

Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.

Overweight and at work?
Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.

The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.

Temperature control:
Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.

Seasonal Affective Disorder
(SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.

Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.

Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.

According to research in "The New England Journal of Medicine,
"eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!"

Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape! So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around.

So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say,
"A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"

PS: Bananas must be the reason monkeys are so happy all the time!

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Saturday, August 12, 2006


An AniMILE in the making?

After last Saturday's nice 24km time trial at the AniMILES run, the SgRunners animals decided to do it again this Saturday. There were actually 3 set meals from the menu this week; 8km, 18km and 30km to cater to different animals requirements. Some of us decided to start at 5.30am along with the 18km runners, but we were doing 24km. The usual cheetahs like Bug, RealRunner, DO, Cheow12 were present. We also had the panthers, squirrels, rabbits...Gentle, Brokie, fennel, etc. Nope..Polar Bear wasn't there! We had 2 new animals, IMD and Brokie's other-half Vincent... was great to have them try this nice route of the Animal Kingdom.

We started promptly at 5.30am...mainly the SgRunners group was doing this time-slot. There were a few AniMILES runners who joined in too. It didn't take too long for Bug to shoot ahead, and man, he was like a bullet! RR and IMD went ahead along with another AniMILES runner (heard he is a 3:45 marathoner...good to pace RR and IMD). I followed closely behind, trying to keep eye-contact. The pace was fast today, but I felt good enough to keep within 100m of RR and IMD. I had on my new SAFRA running top and tights. I ran with my DS Trainer, which is near retirement...but somehow it felt light, though with the lack of cushioning. I kept up the pace to see where it would take me. The morning was not as cooling as should be, and there wasn't much wind. Out from OUTR into UTR, I was still maintaining eye contact with the front pack. DO and Cheow were somewhere behind me. Because the 30km group had started much earlier, there weren't that many people for me to I just kept IMD in sight. RR was further up, and Bug was really too far in front. Turning to Mandai Rd, and then to the Crematorium area...about 9km point...checked my time, was 42min...hmm, below 5min/km pace still.

I continued on along the Reservoir flanks, running mainly on the pavement. Then I saw some runners on the return...Vivian running steady with her 30km+...we acknowledged each other. Further down, Anna.... then the French guy and his mini group... we waved as we passed. Saw a few more familiar AniMILES regulars, and they were all returning from their 30km+ run...was wondering where they had gone to...must ask them next time for details of the 30km route. With about 1km to the turning point, I saw Bug returning...waah, speeding lah. I had brought along Gatorade mix in my fuel belt, and was not planning to take my mini Snickers bar. Maybe it was because of the faster pace, I felt hungry. So I chomped on the bar *lolz*... and soon saw IMD, followed by RR just turning from the midpoint (road leading to Zoo). We thumbed-up to one another. I too turned around shortly...the light was dim.... my stopwatch showed 57min+. Just about 1min+ faster than last week. OK...quite consistent yah? I felt strong on the return, and was determined to at least maintain pace. Saw Cheow running in, followed by DO. Further down, saw Gentle, fennel and Brokie. Gave them some words of encouragement, and soon I focused on the white spot in front - IMD. He was about some 300m in front. I still could vaguely see RR. The traffic on Mandai Rd was by then very heavy, and I decided to run on the pavement, after running a stretch on the road. As I turned back into UTR, the sky was still dark...but could see that dawn was breaking. Knowing that there was about 7km left to go, I continued on, not wanting to lose concentration. As I neared OUTR again, I felt tiredness in my upper body, and knowing that there was the final upslope to tackle, I slowed down a little to revive.

I chugged along the OUTR upslope, and soon overtook the white spot in front...found that he was not IMD. Just further ahead I spotted RR. OK, then I decided to just keep RR in sight. I maintained about a 200m distance from RR along OUTR, and by the time we hit Casuarina Rd, I was about 100m behind. I checked my watch, and sensing I could do a sub 1:55, I pushed for it. Finally made it in 1hr54min+...a PB for me on this route. Yay! I did a 57min+ as well for the 2nd half, even split this time...:). Bug and IMD was already there. Bug finished in 1hr47min...way too fast for me...IMD did very well too, considering he was not familiar with the route and didn't push too hard. After downing Gatorade, I still felt hungry. I bought a HL choco milk from Shell and used that as recovery...seemed to have worked very well. I didn't feel hungry after that...hmm, must try that more often. We chatted while waiting for the rest, and soon they all came back. Vincent did very well, and I was a little worried when I heard they brought him to do 24km. He looked fresh, so I think he will do it again next time...hee. Brokie, fennel, Gentle all did more than 24km as they turned into Seletar Reservoir for a bit more...wah, 24km not enough to satisfy these animals liao...haha! Overall a very satisfying workout, and RR indicated that we should do that one more time next Saturday! Setz!

Distance Ran: 24km__Time Taken: 1hr54min__Pace: 4:46min/km

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Friday, August 11, 2006

TGIF: We still need to exercise yah?

OK..I rarely do this... but since this is such a lethargic Friday, lets have a good workout shall we?

Oh Yeah!

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Thursday, August 10, 2006

MF Hill Intervals

I joined SAFRA MF this evening for my first MF hill intervals. Hill intervals have been a feature of SAFRA MF training since trainer Ong devised the training program late last year, but I have never done it even once, always fearing that the down slopes will cause my knees misery. I finally found a window this evening to just try the hill intervals. Trainer Ong was not around, and cm conducted the training. Quite a large group had gathered.

We started off at 6.45pm and ran a 3km along Telok Blangah Way and ascended the steep slope of Telok Blangah. Alan Chao and his Special Training Squad ran as a separate group to Mt. Faber as well. By the time I finished the ascent, I was breathing heavy and my legs could feel the strain of yesterday's New Bug Run. The group assembled at Carpark D, at the start of Mt. Faber Loop. We were to do as many of the 1.6km hill loops within 1 hour. My initial plan was to do 5 and then assess the condition of my legs before adding more. The first 2 loops were pretty heavy going, as I was not suitably warmed up. Bug and Derrick had zoomed ahead, and I was following just being TLH. The rest of the runners did their own pace behind. cm was at the carpark junction shouting out the timings and the number of loops we had taken...very nice of him, since trainer was not around. Akira joined us for training after a long layoff, and he declared 'I am back'. Good to see him, and told him about the article write-up about his history at the Red Hawke website. The third loop had TLH speeding away...I think he was about to finish up his run. I was careful not to chiong with him, and just ran my own pace. I lapped the group of runners as I pushed myself up the slopes. My legs were getting heavy, and I was tempted to take short cuts..hehe.

I finished the 4th and 5th 1.6km loop feeling much better as my system had warmed up. As I felt ok after the 5th loop, I decided to go for a final one. Dennis was just finishing his 5th loop, and I ran along with him for my 6th. I finally finished my ascent feeling so drained, but good..and went for a quick descent. Midway down, I could hear footsteps, and it was Bug chionging away to finish his 7th loop..wah, what a speed monster. Near the end, I saw Alan Chao and his runners (small Chua, Lai Chee, Jimmy Chow) doing a recovery lap down....ran past them, and we cheered one another. Completed my 6 loops of 1.6km each in about 53min...I decided to call it a day. My Polar stopwatch showed the following time splits for eeach of the 1.6km laps:-
lap 1: 8min28sec
lap 2: 8min37sec
lap 3: 8min51sec
lap 4: 9min00sec
lap 5: 9min11sec
lap 6: 8min45sec
Total Distance: 9.6km___Time Taken: 52:55min__Pace: 5:31min/km

We took a walk back when all assembled. And for the first time in my 1.5years with SAFRA MF, I took a shortcut down from MF...haha, refreshing. Exited out from Henderson Road, and we did a slow recovery jog back to ClubHouse. Had a nice makan at the usual hawker centre, and I discussed with Bug and Derrick the challenge of running a good pace at this new AHM route. I don't think I can hit my target of sub 1hr40min this coming AHM, but I will give it a good shot.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

New Bug Really Run (NBRR)

The New Bug Really Run (NBRR) was mooted at least a month ago, when we thought it would be a good idea to do a recce of part of the Army Half Marathon route, essentially the changed portion that runs along parts of Chinatown and Orchard Road. Obviously, Bug was the one tasked with the organizing and planning of the run...great stuff.

Route briefing before the run

The morning had a group of us meeting at Marina Square lobby to 'tumpang' bags. By 6.45am, Brokie, DO, Divey, Freddy, daisiki, tooty, Sotong, tekko, Ripley, doraemon, fennel, renohtaram, cosmic and many more had gathered and deposited their 'barang' into some of the cars parked. We proceeded to The Esplanade and I was pleasantly surprised to see a large group already there, with Bug taking control. It was one of the largest gathering we have had in some time, possibly 40-50 runners. Johnny and his PF team were there. Kops21 and Hee Sheng. Newcomers like babumouse and steerpike, were also raring to go. Great to have Teck Hou and some other guest runners join in too. The mega hunks, IMD, teelee, renoh all gathered, ready to provide some good escort and sweeping services to the many babes gathered. The 3 Freddys, Runalone, cfred and Freddy....finally gathered together...hehe. Bug gave a briefing of the route, and we set off towards the direction of the Marina Promenade at about 7.30am. I observed that many of the SgRunners are running a lot faster these days....miffy was already in the mid-pack, tooty looking as strong as ever, aichai very cool with his yellow shades....LKY and Freddy looked strong with their ninja training. We made a water stop at the second toilet to assemble the large group, and it was a good opportunity for all to get to know one another better.

A break at the second toilet along Marina Promenade

We then proceeded along Nicholl Highway, crossing the overhead bridge and proceeded into Middle Road. That was the part where tha main change of the AHM route will be. I spent some time at the back talking to IMD, teelee, cosmic about their recent Bintan Marathon experience. These hunks were happy to just relax and take it easy, especially teelee who just did a LSD the previous night. We caught up a bit with the front group of tekko, Ripley and a new PF gal. Spoke with her (aiya...didn't get her name lah) and found that she has just started running, and usually run alone. I was trying to convince her to do a race to get the motivation, at least a SCSM 10km...hmm, she will be hooked once she completes the race. At one point, the front groups were pretty far in front, and there was a large gap. Bug was running back to show the way. I ran forward to try to catch up with the rest, and by the havelock Road stretch, managed to catch Divey, Brokie, Miffy and gang. We ran along for a bit, before making a water stop at the Waterfront Plaza. It then started to drizzle, and we had good fun from that point, running in the rain. We were joined by Sotong, SV, tintin and a few others. The group of about 15 of us ran along Outram Road, South Bridge Road area...did some turns (there were lots of 90degree turns along this route which will make the run more difficult especially if it is in the final few km stretch) along small roads and soon reached The Parliament House area. We gathered for a bit to wait for the sweepers, before proceeding all the way to The Esplanade. The main group had already gathered in the shelter just next to Esplanade Food Street.

A satisfied bunch resting @ The Esplanade

It was about 9am, and TLR was not there yet to distribute the new SgRunner's gear. Since there was a good 30min to wait, a small group of us went for a 4.2km to/fro Marina Promenade. We did a reasonably quick pace, and turned back at the second toilet point. Some of the runners did fartleks, gallow-walks, speed plays to vary their runs...always nice to do a short, quick run after a LSD, to dispense remaining reserves which might be left in the system...hehe. We finished that 4.2km in about 20min+, and TLR had already distributed the running gear. The new running gear looked so 'chio'...all were happy. We took a short walk to Marina Square, and when crossing the road, I was surprised to see a familiar face...Ultraman...sifu of all sifus...:). He was there to meet touched... and of course to collect his SgRunner's top too. Some of the runners had to leave earlier, but the main group went to Marina Sq. food court for makan and chi-chat. It was a big gathering. We were joined by RealRunner who went for his additional ninja distance...Seal also came for makan, after doing his own run. We talked about the upcoming Saturday's Animiles run....seemed like there will be a big bunch from SgRunners going for this too... all hooked to the 24km crispy morning run, I heard. Lots of nice Jim Fook kopi, milo peng (not the Superband winner ok), ribena downed with tahu goreng, couple even had roti-kaya dipped in porridge...wah, very creative ways of makan-ing...haha. Suffice to say, it was another enjoyable run, makan, chit-chat session for SgRunners and kawans. I actually did not know how far we ran...possibly 13+4km... in about 2.5hrs... most important is that we have tried part of the AHM route, and even had the honour to 'chiong' some of the slopes :))

Photos courtesy of Kops21's camera :)

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Monday, August 07, 2006

in a patriotic mood...

With National Day just 2 days away, there are already a couple of runs lined up to cater to all the enthusiatic runners who would like to celebrate the nation's birthday with a RUN... I myself will go for the SGRunners' New Bug Really Run (NBRR) or otherwise in my mind aka National Birthday Remembrance Run (NBRR)...hah!!

...there was a time when no one believed in Sg Forum, but we did
...there was a time when there was no forum, we survived
...we are runners, seow and free
...running hand in hand, in total harmony

...this is my running, this is my love
...this is my hobby, this is my life
...this is my family, these are my kakis
...we are run..ners, marathon...ers Razz Laughing

We are Singapore...Singaporeans !!!

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

High mileage weekend...Satisfying

Animiles tune-up for AHM

Did not really run much this week, and was looking to do this 24km run with The AniMILES from Lower Pierce Reservoir (LPR). Took a small bowl of cereal and a banana, downed with my usual cuppa. Reached LPR area with DO and met up with SC5, notme, lieu, anna, Brokie, fennel, mwengrof, cheow12, Bug, RealRunner and a bunch of other Animiles runners. bbmon sms-ed me to say she could not make it due to work arrangements. Gentle and doraemon joined us shortly after we started at about 5.15am.

I had wanted to do this run as some kind of a time-trial for the upcoming Army Half Marathon (AHM), just to see what kind of pace will be reasonable for me to sustain for 21.1km. As with Animiles character, most of the runners bolted to the front at the start. I followed from about 100m behind lieu, Bug, RR, DO, Cheow12, anna, and the front bunch. I like to run alone sometimes, to feel the cool morning air, and body-sense a bit to see my form. The pace this morning was fast, and I was breathing a tad heavy already at the start. The SgRunners gals were running not too far behind us. The beginning pace felt like just above 5min/km. Hmm..quite fast for a 24km, but good to push. The frontrunners were strong, and even as I exited OUTR (Old Upper Thomson Road) to UTR (Upper Thomson Road), I was still trailing them by about 200m. I just maintained that distance, and I was trading places with the Eurasian gal for a bit...she is one good fighter....hehe. As I turned into Mandai Road, I followed the one in pink chopchop as she was quite prominent. After overtaking about 8people by then, it seemed that she was the one who would maintain that pace for me to tailgate. As I reached the bridge at Mandai Crematorium, saw anna and said hi to her. She was looking fresh and was taking it easy. I moved along feeling quite strong, but felt the pace was pretty fast...and those guys like Bug, RR, DO and Cheow were really burning the road...wha!

After the second opening to the Reservoir, I took my mini Snickers bar to top up some fuel...heh. WaterGal was not around today, so didn't see her at those strategic points waiting to provide water to SC5 and other thirsty runners. I took occasional sips off my fuel belt, which I usually bring for this run. Then I spotted Bug running back, and then RR, then DO...they have reached the turning so fast! I soon reached the mid point at the road entrance to the Zoo, and a quick check showed it was 58min+...wah...I normally reach that point in 1hr2min. I just knew that the pace was fast today :). On the return leg, I tried to pick up speed as usual and started to move in on the pink gal (aiya...didn't get her name again)...she is a 3:50 marathoner, as I found out from SC5 later. The morning was still covered in darkness. I saw SC5 coming, then notme, then further on mwengrof and a bunch of hunks...hah. Then I saw fennel and doraemon, with brokie in full concentration just behind....shouted to them to 'Keep It Up!'. Thumbs up from them...heh. From then on, I increased cadence and soon closed the gap with the front group. A I ran into UTR, I could see the back of Cheow and a few runners further up front. Cheow was running a fast pace, and was strong...and he was keeping the pace very well. Took me a while before I reached him, and told him to push on for a good timing.

As I meander up OUTR, I saw Gentle...wah, he came late and ran 19km, and was looking at his watch and speeding...haha. I checked my watch briefly and it showed 1hr40min. Hmm, I knew that I have lots more time to do sub-2hr for the remaining 3km+ or so. I acknowledged Gentle as he crossed over, and for the next 2km or so, we ran alongside each other, with me going for the shorter bends of the road...haha, real runners always take shorter cuts, according to an article. As I neared Casuarina Rd, I increased pace and made a final push for the finish...1hr56min flat according to my watch...better than my previous time for 24km at Animiles. Bug, RR, DO had already finished in about 1hr54min or so. Cheow12 came back shortly. Then notme and SC5...that guy went to pick rubbish lah...hehe. All had a good and satisfying run, and all did their best times too...great! Then fennel, doraemon and brokie came back....they too did 24km in about 2hr20min and less. Good effort, and they thought they did only 21km...haha...some problem with fennel's footpod lah. After a good wash-up, we proceeded for makan at the usual place, and lots of discussions of the run and the upcoming AHM. Another fine Animiles encounter!

Distance Ran: 24km__Time Taken: 1hr56min__Pace: 4:50min/km

Fort Canning-Marina Promenade Recovery

Yikes! A quick check of my running log shows my mileage, including this Animiles run, is only 36km for this week.....wah, no wonder I still feel deprived :(. Anyway, managed to secure a last-minute Visa and hopped down to SAFRA MF to join in their 24km run. I was hoping to do a recovery run, and catch up with some of my running kakis. Quite a big group turned up. I did a shorter 23km version which ran from Clubhouse -> Henderson Rd -> Tiong Bahru Park -> Havelock Rd -> Clark Quay -> Fort Canning Hill (2 rds) -> Esplanade -> Marina Promenade (2nd toilet U-turn) -> Esplanade Bridge -> Keppel Rd -> Harbourfront -> Kampong Bahru -> Clubhouse. I enjoyed the 2 loops at Fort Canning Hill, and recalled that we were caught in a heavy downpour the last time we ran this way. I chatted mostly with Colleen along the way to Marina Promenade, talking about mountain trekking as usual...:). The weather was cool until the Marina Promenade portion, and my legs were feeling tired after the toilet break. Ran mostly with Wong and Colleen till The Esplanade before I moved slightly ahead for a solo run through the demoralizing portion of Keppel Rd, Harbourfront and Kampong Bahru. The sun was out, but fortunately the cloud cover provided some reprieve. I finished the 23km in an estimated 2hr10min, including toilet breaks n traffic stops.

Distance Ran: 23km__Time Taken: 2hr10min__Pace: 5:39min/km

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Thursday, August 03, 2006

Back to Climbathon and MF training

The forum has been hacked, and though there is a temp forum, it still doesn't feel the same for many of the people. One positive thing coming out all of this on top of fostering a closer spirit amongst SgRunners, is that it leaves us with more time for training and runs :)).

Stairs-Climbing (Monday):

Re-started Climbathon training this evening with stairs climbing at Toa Payoh 40-storey HDB blocks. When I got there at 6.45pm, there was no one on sight, and later found out that all had started promptly... duh! I met Carmen at the foot of the block, and began my sets. The steps in this block are definitely lower than the usual Bishan place that we train at, and certainly not as challenging as well. It took about the same time 7min+ to do this 40floors as compared with the 30floor Bishan block. The air this evening was pretty stale, with not too much wind. I did the first 3 sets, without panting much....hmm, bummer. Took a drink, and continued to do the next 3 sets. This time the cardio did get a little high, and the legs were getting the workout. Still, it was damn boring doing so many sets. I planned to do for about 1hr15min and then call it a day. Not sure if I did 8 or 9sets, but from the time ended at 8:15pm, I think it was more of 9 sets. Well, had a short chat with David, Henry before calling it a night... stairs climbing is downright boring :(

Intervals (Tuesday):
Joined SAFRA MF for intervals at Queenstown Stadium. It has been some time since I joined the group for intervals, and it was a large group this evening. Good to meet familiar faces, as well as touch base with the newbies too. Met Hedgehog who was doing ninja training with his own team, and saw Kops too, who was doing his solo run around the challenging MF area.

Did a 4km jog to Queenstown Stadium along Depot Road, Alexandra Rd, then into Queenstown. After a shirt brief by trainer Ong, we did 2 x 1.6km, and 4 x 800m. I skipped the last 800m set as I had had enough. My legs were feeling a little tired from yesterday's stairs climb, but otherwise, was in good form.

4km warm-up jog - 22min
1st 1.6 km set - 6min24sec
2nd 1.6km set - 6min44sec
1st 800m set - 3min6sec
2nd 800m set - 3min13sec
3rd 800m set - 3min21sec
4th 800m set - skipped
4km jog back to ClubHouse

Kudos to my team-mates who did all the sets...they really pushed themselves to the higher levels, and will surely see good improvements in their strength and speed. A very good and hard workout for me. I could feel the tiredness in my legs, and my heart really got a good workout...thats the intent of intervals according to trainer and cm, to work the heart, not so much to run at top speed...hmm, interesting concept.

Climbathon Training (Thursday):
Received an urgent email informing of a change in Climbathon training to Thursday. Seems like there will be some TV crew there to do some interviews (presumably on the event), and the team is requested to be fully present. Well, seems like I will have to leave my running to Saturday then, for the Animiles Run...and this time, we are expecting quite a number of SgRunners to come... all needing to ramp up their training and mileage for the upcoming Army Half Marathon:).

Went down to Toa Payoh 40-storey block at 6.45pm, and saw Mida, Yusoff with The New Paper cameraman. I proceeded to join the rest for the stairs climb. Did the first 2 sets pretty quickly, and was joined by DO and Rodney. The cameraman took some shots during the 3rd and 4th set of climb. Thereafter, the team were called together for lots of photo-taking and short interviews. We ended the session close to 9pm, and I did not get my workout in at the end.

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